• 25-MAR-2015

Caught between Point Nemo and an iceberg

After an eventful last 48 hours and three Chinese gybes that brutally stopped Team SCA, Dongfeng Race Team and MAPFRE (see footage from yesterday here), the Spanish boat managed to take the lead in Leg 5.

As the six-strong fleet passes Point Nemo, the point in the ocean that is farthest from land, they now need to manage a new course to avoid the protective ice limits defined by Race Management.

The race has pre-set ice limits, a virtual line specific to this leg to keep the fleet clear from icebergs. Race Management can change them according to conditions as the leg unfolds.

Yesterday, Alicante Race Control received information from CLS, a French compagny contracted by the race to detect icebergs in this area. A large iceberg was detected drifting towards the fleet's path, and the ice limit was moved for the third time in Leg 5.

The larger icebergs the satellite is able to detect are not the only concern. Growlers – pieces of ice that have broken away and float semi-submerged in the icy cold water – are actually the major threat to the fleet.

Boats will be penalised if they sail over these boundaries towards hazardous areas.

It's truly Life at the Extreme. It's freezing cold and soaking wet in survival conditions - until the Volvo Ocean 65s reach Cape Horn between March 29 and 31.

Ice limits
A virtual line the fleet must leave to starboard, it can be modified by Race Management depending on the movement of the ice in the southern part of the globe. An imaginary point has been placed every five degrees, drawing a precise contour that can be adapted. The race has been implementing Ice Limits since the 2005-06 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Ice limit changes on March 25
Leg 5 Sailing Instructions Amendment 8 has been posted and communicated to the boats – waypoints 11 and 12 have been moved further north after the detection of a new iceberg close to the ice limit line had been confirmed, between 95 W and 100 W.


  • Marie Laurens
    Volvo Ocean Race News Distribution Manager