[Volvo Ocean Race #6] From one America to another…
After an amazing stopover in Itajaí (Brazil), the time has come for the fleet of the Volvo Ocean Race to set sail once again. After a painfully slow start on Sunday, all the teams are now sailing incredibly similar speeds (14 knots). Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing currently leads the fleet on this 5010-nautical mile sixth leg, but Dongfeng (4th) and SCA (2nd), both “Julbo boats”, are very close! They are expected to take around 15-18 days to reach Newport (USA), the seventh port to host the race.
DONGFENG IS BACK!
“To win, first you have to finish”, a quote from Volvo Ocean Race veteran Chris Dickson in bold print in the race village. To even have a chance at winning this race first you have to finish it, something that for Dongfeng Race Team was a question mark just more than a week ago, after the breakage of the mast in the leg 5, early on Monday March 30. Liu Xue (Black), one of the Chinese sailors of the crew, was sleeping below when the accident happened. “I was shocked when I came on the deck. Really speechless. We were only 240 nm and 10 hours away from realising a dream: to pass Cape Horn. We’ve been through so many suffering days before, we fought so hard just for this…” Fortunately nobody has been injured. Charles Caudrelier, French skipper of the boat, ever is forward-looking today. He showed his determination after the in-port race when he said: “I have one goal and that is to perform as well as my shore crew! If we can be up to their standards I think we can win. Last week was a race against time and they did an amazing job to repair the boat. Now it’s our turn. We need to do what we do best: race!”
THE INCREASING POWER OF TEAM SCA
They are arrived exhausted and broken from the Southern Ocean and they are leaving well rested and smiling. Although Itajaí was not a long stopover, only 12 days for Team SCA, it was a perfect taste of Brazil: the food, the culture, and the people. “It was a great stop. The Brazilians have a great enthusiasm and we all needed the break. We surfed, hiked, traveled, ate, and played like Brazilian, said Carolijn Brouwer on the early morning report the day before yesterday. The all-female crew said their goodbyes in the carnival atmosphere of a packed race village, and stepped onboard the boat mentally and physically prepared for this new leg to Newport. Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajaí was certainly the biggest challenge of the race for Team SCA. “Together we’ve done a lot of things we had never done before in our lives, comments Sam Davies, British skipper of the boat. The difference between how we sailed the boat on leg 1 and how we do now is just huge, enormous. The team dynamics is fantastic, we have come on in leaps and bounds! To have come through the Southern Ocean with boat and crew intact brought a high degree of satisfaction. We are ready to fight on for leg 6!”
General ranking of the Volvo Ocean Race after leg 5:
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 9 pts
2. Dongfeng Race Team - 16 pts
3. Team Brunel - 18 pts
4. Team Alvimedica - 19 pts
5. Mapfre - 20 pts
6. Team SCA - 29 pts
7. Team Vestas Wind - 44 pts
More info / follow the race: www.volvooceanrace.com