Leg 2 of the Volvo Race in Two Days - Sail Magazine

Leg 2 of the Volvo Race in Two Days

Author:
Publish date:
W1772_SAIL_WEB_BANNERS_700x150
01 VOR lead photo

Less than a week after the finish of Leg 1 of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race, it’s back to work as the seven teams comprising the fleet get set for their first big oceanic leg: from Lisbon to Cape Town, South Africa.

Currently, the joint U.S./Danish effort Vestas 11 Racing is in the lead, with the other two podium spots occupied by a pair of other very experienced teams that were very much expected to be there: Spain’s MAPFRE in second and China’s Dongfeng in third.

That said, despite Vestas taking a commanding lead early on, in just the first few hours out of Alicante, Spain—a lead it would carry straight through until the finish—a mere six hours separated the first- and last-place boats at the end of more than 1,500 miles of racing. In other words, no one ran away with it, and this very much remains anyone’s race.

“Can’t argue with the results,” said Vestas skipper, U.S. sailor Charlie Enright upon finishing in Lisbon. “For us, it has always been the process and improving every day. We prioritized getting the right people and this provides us with a lot of confidence. I can’t say enough about the squad on the boat and the ones on the shore.”

“To kick it off this way is a strong sentiment to the team,” agreed team director and co-Founder, fellow U.S. sailor Mark Towill. “We have a long way to go for sure, and this is a great way to start the event.”

As for Leg 2, a 7,000-mile marathon that starts in the North Atlantic, crosses the doldrums and continues on down the South Atlantic to the tip of Africa, fans can expect to see classic VOR racing as the fleet works its way through a wide range of sailing conditions.

Look for the position of the Azores High, which in turn dictates the state of the northeast Trade Winds, to see if the race will get off to a fast start. After that comes the Canary and Cape Verde islands, which not only serve as obstacles but as tactical opportunities as they twist and bend the winds in the area, creating opportunities for the different teams to either catch up again with their rivals or pull farther ahead, whatever the case may be.

After that, it’s the Doldrums, or intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), the band of light and variable winds (and squalls) surrounding the equator following by the South Atlantic, where the key to success is negotiating the St. Helena High: a vast area of high barometric pressure and low windspeeds.

Finally, there’s the Southern Ocean and Westerly Storm Track, where the teams must find the best point at which to hook onto the powerful weather systems defining the area for a quick trip to the finish. Good luck to all seven teams at this, the start of the first truly demanding leg of the 2017-18 VOR. 

November 2017

W1772_SAIL_WEB_BANNERS_700x150_V3

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more