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

Sunset-Tyrrel-Bay

Charter: Glorious Grenada

In the wake of the hurricanes that devastated the Virgin Islands last year many charterers ended up going farther south to Grenada and the Grenadines where they found the sailing excellent and the vibe just fine“God must have been a sailor when he created the Caribbean,” a friend ...read more

WaterLinesNov

Waterlines: Tangled Up in Pots

I learned to sail on the Maine coast as a boy, and one of the things my elders taught me was to respect fishing gear. If you got caught up with a lobster pot, you did everything you could to get clear without cutting the pot warp. It represented a family’s livelihood and thus was ...read more

7353

Harken’s Reflex 3 top-down Furler

Furl PowerAre you afraid of flying—spinnakers, that is? Harken’s new Reflex 3 top-down furler will tame A-sails on monohulls from 44-58ft and multis from 39-55ft, and Code 0’s on 39-54ft monos and 36-50ft multis. All you do is heave on the furling line and the sail will roll up ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDitch the stress Owners of high-freeboard yachts best boarded via the stern sugar-scoop like to back them into a slip, but the process can be fraught on a windy day or when there’s a current running, ...read more

Sun-Odyssey-490-Bertrand_DUQUENNE-aft

Boat Review: Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 490

True innovation in monohull sailboat design can be a bit elusive these days. That’s not to say that there are no more new ideas, but it does seem that many new tweaks and introductions are a bit incremental: let’s say evolutionary rather than revolutionary. Just when it seems ...read more