• 21-OCT-2014

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet enters the Doldrums - patience and first showers

The fleet is entering the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), also known as the Doldrums.
Convergence means a meeting of many things, a place of confusion, as the trade winds of the Northern and Southern hemispheres come together. As the fleet are pulled south (SSW), the tracker looks more like raindrops dripping down a window pane than a data bank of directions.

And rain, tropical rain, should be the theme of the next 24 hours. It's certainly a theme that the teams will be looking forward to, as they haven't enjoyed a proper shower in days now.

After passing through and around the Cape Verde Islands, the big question for each team was whether to head east or west into the Doldrums.
Team Vestas Wind and MAPFRE are to the east. Dongfeng Race Team, Team Alvimedica and Team SCA, who are catching up from behind, are in the middle. Team Brunel and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are to the west.

It's too early to know which the best route is, as the Doldrums are never a certain thing - but the west is looking good right now. As Vestas' navigator Wouter Verbraak says – "the ITCZ can be fun but tricky…"

ETA to the Equator: October 23rd, 2014

1. Team Brunel - Distance to Cape Town 4 099.3nm
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 0nm from the leader
3. Dongfeng Race Team - 30.2nm from the leader
4. Team Alvimedica- 44.5nm from the leader
5. Team SCA - 56.1nm from the leader
6. MAPFRE - 61nm from the leader
7. Team SCA - 72.4nm from the leader


  • Marie Laurens
    Volvo Ocean Race News Distribution Manager