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a closer look

Henry Bomby is blogging about the Volvo Ocean Race. And we’re sharing…

Last week the race was all about VMG downwind sailing, with Dongfeng being the star performer. After DFRT took the lead, they shortly lost it again 36 hours later after hitting something in the water and losing their rudder. 2 hours later they were up and running again with the spare in. Impressive stuff. What I liked most about this video below is Charles’, concise and clear leadership in the situation, made more impressive doing it in his second language. And how as soon as that rudder was back in, the main was being hoisted to get going in the right direction again, not a second was wasted.

Cape Verde’s was the next obstacle and it looked like all the boats came out in the wash fairly even to how they came into it in terms of distance to finish. Crucially however they were set up East to West for very different approaches into the doldrums. The boats who went through the islands, Dongfeng, Mapfre and Vestas all struggled to make good value ‘Westing’ in after their passage through these remote, mid Atlantic islands. Therefore paying a higher price to get West than Abu Dhabi or Brunel who went West before them at a much better CMG (course made good). This meant that while it looked good initially for the southern trio, it was only ever a short term gain. Read on.