Volvo Ocean Race - Somber fleet prepare for Leg 6

Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race is a 6,100 nautical mile race to Auckland, New Zealand. The fleet will start at 11:00 local time in Hong Kong (03:00 UTC) on Wednesday 7 February.

The VOR has lost impetus with the stay in Hong Kong and the short visit to Guangzhou in mainland China.

The collision of Vestas 11th Hour Racing with a local fishing boat at the end of the Leg to Hong Kong, and the tragic death of a fisherman in the collision, cast a somber shadow over the stop-over.

The stay in Hong Kong took on a very low-key feel, with the normal in-port races getting little publicity, and the side trip to Guangzhou hardly raising any interest.

Vestas is now on a cargoship to Auckland for repair, with a new bow section being shipped to New Zealand from Italy.

MAPFRE, the overall race leader, will cross the start line to Auckland with a four-point lead over Dongfeng Race Team.

The fleet will be glad to be back at sea, putting the problems behind them and hoping for a fresh start to get the race back on track.

They will face another Doldrums crossing with the potential for big gains and loses on the 6,100 nm leg to Auckland, the City of Sails.

The forecast for start time at 11:00 (03:00 UTC) on Wednesday morning in Hong Kong is for a 12-15 Northeasterly wind, but as the fleet gets into the leg, stronger winds are forecast over the first days.

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