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Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 2 Thursday Update

Dongfeng leads to the South Thursday midday, with Turn The Tide last but furthest West - will it pay?Donfeng head for the rainbow -

With the leading group all around 28W, the two tail-enders Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Turn the Tide edging further west to try to make some gains.

Coming up on the outside we have Turn the Tide, most northerly and furthest west, but are now heading South after the leading group.

After Dongfeng decided to go west to protect their lead earlier, they are now bock to heading south, and still leading (13:00 UTC) but at a reduced speed - 9 knots.

Interesting to see that the big leading multihulls in the Transat Jacques Vabre race, ahead of the Volvo fleet, are crossing the Doldrums at 30W, sailing at 6 to 7 knots.

As Mark Chisnell clarifies / comments in his strategic review:

The strategic dilemma here is that while the best place to cross the Doldrums might be to the west, the course to Cape Town is due south.

This is the same conundrum we saw in Leg 1 – speed versus distance.

To get west and sail through the Doldrums at the theoretical fastest point, a boat will need to sail more miles than if they just pointed straight towards Cape Town.

So which will be more important, maintaining a higher average speed, or doing the shorter distance?

What has been happening was that each boat was using small shifts in the wind to get either south (shortening the distance) or west (setting up for the fast route through the Doldrums).

It seems that they are all following the ‘west is best’ for their approach to the Doldrums, with a crossing that looks relatively benign at 30W.

VOR Leg 2 – Position Report – Thursday 9 Nov – 19:00 UTC

1. Dongfeng Race Team -- distance to finish – 4,297 nm
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing + 6.4 nm
3. MAPFRE + 9.3 nm
4. team AkzoNobel + 10.2 nm
5. Team Brunel + 20 nm
6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag + 49 nm
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic + 69 nm

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