Volvo Ocean Race - Comeback!! The fightback starts with massive compression in the fleet - News - NAUTICA REPORT
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Titolo del: 18/03/2018 07:50
News / Volvo Ocean Race - Comeback!! The fightback starts with massive c...
Volvo Ocean Race - Comeback!! The fightback starts with massive compression in the fleet

Volvo Ocean Race - Comeback!! The fightback starts with massive compression in the fleet

February 19, 2018 - 07:24 UTC

The leaders have been slower, the chasing pack has been fast and the spread from front to back is down to 70 miles.


The back markers in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet have gained nearly 120 miles over the past 24 hours, as the leaders have been plagued by light and variable conditions. 


It's been particularly brutal for Scallywag and AkzoNobel who have seen dead calm conditions at times, while those at the back of the fleet were gaining on them with 18 knots of boat speed. 


It's quite a turn around from the past three days.


"We do really have hopes of getting much better in this leg," said skipper Xabi Fernández on board MAPFRE, the overall race leader who finds himself, uncharacteristically at the back of the fleet.


"So much to come in the Solomon Islands still that make us think this leg is giving us another chance, let's see if it does and if we can take it."


So far so good. MAPFRE trailed Scallywag by 194 miles on Sunday at 0700 UTC. Fast forward 24 hours and the deficit is now down to 75 miles.


But the latest position report has also been better for the leaders, who are back up to 10 knots of boatspeed, just like the rest of the fleet. Maybe, just maybe, the bleeding of miles has stopped.


"The weather models are still quite unresolved really for how to get through this next 500 to 600 mile band of doldrums," said navigator Jules Salter on AkzoNobel. 


"We're just biding our time, trying to stay in front if we can, before deciding where we go into this light spot."


"We're still going through a lot of clouds," said AkzoNobel's Martine Grael. "We can still have a park up where everybody catches us.


"You just have to deal with it. It's part of the race."


Wise words from the rookie. There's more of this to come.


Written by Peter Rusch


Photo: © Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Race

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