Volvo Ocean Race 2014 – The first boats have now passed the 750-nautical-mile barrier to Newport.
Dongfeng Race Team is still leading, but the fight for the second place is on between Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Brunel while Mapfre and Team Alvimedica are battling hard for the fourth position.
Behind them, Ian Walker’s crew made some good gains during the day. At around 1130 UTC they started sailing higher, crossing Dongfeng’s trail and gaining 4.8nm. In the 1900 UTC position report, they’ve taken the second place by just 0.1nm, but they’re in a good position to cover the Dutch boat and the back-runners, Mapfre and Team Alvimedica.
The Spaniards and the Turkish-Americans have had a good day. They’ve gained 7nm on the leaders since this morning. While reaching, they have been allowed to sail 15º up and down to reposition themselves without losing too many miles.
At 1500 UTC, Mapfre was to leeward and ahead of Team Alvimedica when they started to head higher and ended up to windward of the orange boat. Clearly a protective manoeuvre! The red boat is currently less than a mile ahead of Team Alvimedica.
That’s what we call close racing.
At the back of the fleet, Team SCA has been in slightly lower pressure with about one to two knots less wind than the others.
Looking ahead, the fleet will continue to sail in 14-18 knots during the night. Tomorrow morning the breeze will decrease to 10 knots. And in the afternoon, they will have to deal with a shift that will force them to gybe.