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

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A Helping Hand  This is a real-world solution, and I expect correction by my betters. However, anyone whose seacocks are modern ball valves rather than the grand old tapered cone variety may care to ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more

shutterstock_698968441

Cruising: The Bahamas

“The ‘Explorer’ chartbooks. All three.” “An unlocked phone. But good luck with BTC.” “Spam. It’s ‘spensive there!” These were just a few suggestions we received from fellow sailors who had cruised the Bahamas when we asked how to best prepare for the trip. In fact, several ...read more

windsensor

Gear: B&G Wind Sensors

Sense the Wind B&G has launched a new line of wind sensors, including the WS320, a wireless system that is suitable for masts up to 80ft. Wireless wind sensor technology has been hit-and-miss, with some users reporting intermittent signal failure on tall rigs, but B&G, citing ...read more