Painful Sailing in Volvo Leg 10 - Sail Magazine

Painful Sailing in Volvo Leg 10

The race is on to see who will get the breeze first
Author:
Publish date:
Merely escaping the Bristol Channel was a struggle as the fleet suffered under little or no breeze

Merely escaping the Bristol Channel was a struggle as the fleet suffered under little or no breeze

It’s looking to be a case of feast or famine for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean fleet as it continues the epic struggle that has been Leg 10, with it having been all famine thus far. Painful is the only word to describe the light-air start in Cardiff, Wales, on June 10, as the 11-boat fleet had scarcely enough wind to even claw its way past the race committee boat: and it hasn’t been much better since. That will soon change, though, as the fleet is forecast to encounter 40-knot winds and poor visibility as it makes its way around Scotland toward the finish in Gothenburg, Sweden. One can only imagine what the navigators are going through aboard the top three teams, Brunel, Mapfre and Dongfeng, all currently within three points of each other as they battle for the overall lead.

The search wind continues off famed Fastnet Rock

The search wind continues off famed Fastnet Rock

After almost two days at sea in the second to last stage of the 11-leg race, and with just under 1,000 miles remaining, a mere eight miles separated the first seven boats. The real race now, however, is to see who will be the first to get to the other side of the ridge of high pressure in which they are all being left gasping and hook onto the forecast south-westerlies that will ultimately allow them to last toward the top of Scotland.

“It's been very tricky since the start as I'm sure you've seen," says Mapfre skipper, Xabi Fernández. "We are a little bit nervous about crossing the ridge, as the first one through will look very good, so we are trying to gain to the west as much as can."

“Most of the boats are pretty much in a line, southeast to northwest, coming into the ridge,” says AkzoNobel watch captain Chris Nicholson. “I don’t think anyone really knows where they need to be, but we’ve pretty much stuck to our plan, so in that regard, we’re reasonably happy. Now we’re just gearing up, talking about how we’re going to change and adjust sails really efficiently from after we cross the ridge to the finish. I think that’s going to be the trick.”

The current ETA into the finish in Gothenburg, Sweden, is set for Thursday night. For the latest position reports from the fleet, click here

—June 2018

Related

ElanGT5-a

Boat Review: Elan GT5

Aboard many modern yachts, it can be hard to remember exactly what boat you’re on until your eye happens to light upon a logo. However, this is most definitely not the case with the Elan GT5, a performance cruiser with a look all its own and style to burn.Design & ...read more

01-Lead-P1060210

Handheld VHF Radios

For many sailors, cell phones have become their primary means of both ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communication. Even the Coast Guard will often ask for a cell number after it receives a distress call. None of this, however, makes a VHF radio any less important—and this goes ...read more

Seascape24

Boat Review: Seascape 24

Since its inception in 2008, Slovenian builder Seascape, founded by a pair of Mini Transat sailors, has focused solely on creating boats that are both simple and loads of fun to sail. With their 18-footer and then a 27-footer they succeeded in putting out a pair of trailerable ...read more

01-Trash-Tiki_in-partnership-with-Subtch-Sports_starting

The Adventurers Aboard Trash-Tiki

If you were in Gotland, a popular island vacation destination off the coast of Sweden, on the morning of July 3, your holiday might have been interrupted by a startling sight: a tiny island of trash approaching shore with people aboard. It was, in fact, a sailboat made from ...read more

atlantic-cup-trailer

2018 Atlantic Cup Video Mini-Series

Atlantic Cup 2018: TrailerThis past spring, SAIL magazine was on-hand to document the 2018 Atlantic Cup, a two-week-long Class 40 regatta spanning the U.S. East Coast and one of the toughest events in all of North America. The preview above will give you a taste of the four-video ...read more

hardangerfjord

Cruising: Holland to Norway

In 2015, we cruised to Norway’s Lofoten Islands on our Nordic 40, Juanona, which we’d sailed transatlantic from Maine to England. Our 2016 plan was to cruise through the Netherlands to the Kiel Canal, sail into the Baltic as far as Stockholm, then cruise the western coast of ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comThe Watch-keeper’s Nightmare The commercial watchkeeper’s most awkward decisions come with a vessel converging from abaft the starboard beam showing a red light. If he’s more than 2 points, or around 22 ...read more

cosair760R

Boat Review: Corsair 760R

We’d only been out on Miami’s Biscayne Bay aboard the Corsair 760R a few minutes when Corsair Marine marketing manager Shane Grover and I began bemoaning the fact neither of us had a GPS with us to determine our boatspeed. Moments later, though, we both came to the same ...read more