A constant northerly breeze (12 to 20 knots) has been pushing the Volvo Ocean Race fleet across the South Pacific. Similar average speeds (13.4 – 16.3knts) have kept the whole fleet within a 54-nautical mile spread.
For Bouwe Bekking and his crew, the straight line sailing has only been interrupted around 0400 UTC by the wind shifting farther behind them, making them gybe twice. They are now back on port tack with a True Wind Direction of 16 degrees.
Wind speeds will decrease today and the wind direction will continue to back.
“It has been a beautiful 24 hours of perfect port tack reaching conditions,” summed up Abu Dhabi’s skipper Ian Walker.
Meanwhile the Team Brunel men are quite battered. Lately, they tore up two sails, a furler bent (the tool wrapping the headsails), we broke a lock (what attaches the sails to the mast) and suffered their own wind silence that gave the entire fleet the momentum to catch up. On top of that, four of our eight sailors have the “Spanish flu” and Johnny still runs around with a bruised arm.
And on Dongfeng Race Team on Friday Kevin Escoffier hauled a double barrel epoxy gun, a tool bag and a GoPro 30 meters up the mast to get tossed around like a tissue in the wind while attempting to repair their mast track. The mast track that binds our massive mainsail to the mast is peeling away and Kevin is operating on it for the second time this race – albeit in a different spot than leg 2.
Volvo Ocean Race – Leg 4 – Updated Positions at 06:40 hrs 21 February 2015
1. Team Brunel – Distance to Finish 1962 nm
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – DTL 22 nm
3. Dongfeng Race Team – DTL 28 nm
4. MAPFRE – DTL 30 nm
5. Team Alvimedica DTL 44 nm
6. Team SCA – DTL 50 nm