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Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 2 Tuesday Update

Doldrums behind, the Volvo leaders have put the Doldrums in the rear-view mirror as tradewind sailing resumes. But who will risk the Chisnell short-cut ?


Leg 2 - Chisnell Short-Cut

We can see that Dongfeng Race Team are now just one mile ahead of MAPFRE, with Team Brunel in third 10 miles back.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing fourth and Team AkzoNobel are in fifth and Turn the Tide on Plastic still holding off Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag.

The whole fleet is solidly in the south-easterly trade winds and now their thoughts will be turning to the South Atlantic High.

Mark Chisnel has run some options for the fleet for the second half of the leg, surmising that the prolonged absence of the high from its normal position has opened an opportunity for a short cut.

Rather than the conventional route almost due south in the trade winds, until you can get round the bottom of the high pressure. Pick up an east-going low pressure system, turn left and ride the low at high speed downwind all the way to Cape Town.

He proposes a more easterly course in the trade winds, that cuts across the top of the high pressure to short cut the route to Cape Town.

It means going upwind for at least half of the sailing time to Cape Town, but currently, that route is predicted to be 14 hours quicker, and it’s 650 miles shorter – that’s more than the distance of a whole Fastnet or Sydney to Hobart Race...

Click image for a larger image

If they want to go for it, they will need to start soon – those routes diverge quite quickly from the fleet’s current position. It would be a very big call.

Mark's prediction is that they will all be conservative, stick with tradition and hold their course for another 24 hours... by which time the window of opportunity will likely have closed.

But, could this be a 'nothing-ventured, nothing-gained' move for one of the tailenders?

VOR Leg 2 – Position Report – Wedsday 15 Nov – 07:00 UTC

1. Dongfeng Race Team -- distance to finish – 3,155 nm
2. MAPFRE + 1.8 nm
3. team AkzoNobel + 3.8 nm
4. Team Brunel + 7.6 nm
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing + 12 nm
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic + 38 nm
7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag + 54 nm

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Gerald New - Sailweb
12 November 2017 13:31 GMT


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