• 19-JAN-2015

Weekly highlights N°13

The six Volvo Ocean 65s have already sailed halfway to Sanya. The fleet has been sailing in very changeable conditions during the last week, from south of India, rounding south Sri Lanka and crossing the Bay of Bengal.

After more than a week of light winds the fleet finally had some relief. Champagne sailing, with 20 knots of breeze from the North were the conditions they faced before rounding Sri Lanka.

Sailing conditions were not easy in that area. The fleet had to deal with shadow winds from the island, and these tricky and unpredictable conditions made the fleet play with the bungee theory. The consequences became clear the very next day, when MAPFRE overtook Abu Dhabi.

After two days of good wind and sailing fast the conditions changed dramatically, and this is what happened.

The crews made the most of the situation, repairing and checking everything on board. It was time to dive off the boats and have a look at the keel, or fix some sails previously damaged by the strong wind conditions.

An average of 2 knots of breeze for more than 2 days ensured the frustrated crews worked every single mile to improve the performance of their boats. The light winds worked for MAPFRE, however. The Spaniards overtook Team Brunel and moved in to second place.

Slow sailing through the Bay of Bengal produced some significant changes in the rankings. Dongfeng Race Team extended their lead by over 50 miles from 2nd place MAPFRE. The Spanish team and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing overtook Team Brunel and were separated by only 15 miles heading into the tricky Malacca Strait.

The Malacca Strait will be a big challenge for the fleet over the coming days, and this could be the key to winning leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race.


  • Marie Laurens
    Volvo Ocean Race News Distribution Manager