Volvo Ocean Race 2014 – 15 – The leaders passed the 200 nautical miles (nm) to the finish around 0200 UTC. For them the past 12 hours of sailing have consisted in pointing the bows towards the Brazilian coast where they are heading upwind in starboard tack.
The leading pack is still within 5nm of each other, but Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has being making some small gains during the night, enough to keep Mapfre under control.
They have gained 1.1nm in the last 12 hours. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s skipper Ian Walker said: “It is quite incredible that after racing 6,200nm through the Southern Ocean we have today been racing with four boats in sight of each other.
“The racing has the same intensity as an inshore race and boat-on-boat tactics rather than large scale navigational decisions will decide the final outcome.
“It is still possible that the weather gods may turn this leg inside out at the finish, but whatever the outcome I am really proud of how our team have stood up to the test so far. Roll on tomorrow and a huge Brazilian welcome in Itajaí!”
Team Alvimedica in second place after the latest position report, was the first boat to tack yesterday afternoon.
They are currently in the most westerly in the peloton and, together with Team Brunel, they have been sailing a lower angle (320º-325º) than Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Mapfre (330º-335º.)
“We fell on the wrong side of one particularly vicious cloud an hour ago that negated some big gains on Abu Dhabi and Mapfre,” according to Amory Ross. “As the westernmost and southernmost boat in the pack, we’re going to be first to the coast.
“According to the weather models when the offshore breeze dies tomorrow afternoon, the new breeze will arrive from the south along the shore and it will fill our sails first.
“Hopefully, we’ll carry it all the way up to the leaders and we’ll finish this leg with a neck-and-neck, rainy gybing duel down to the line.
‘Everyone’s trying to get plenty of good rest tonight as tomorrow promises to be pretty intense! A fitting finish to an amazing leg.”
Stay tuned for the arrivals today. volvooceanrace.com
by Volvo Ocean Race