• 26-JAN-2015

Weekly highlights N°14

The six Volvo Ocean 65s spent all week crossing the Malacca Strait, one of the key parts of leg 3. More than 400 miles long and 27 miles wide at the narrowest part.The Malacca Strait was not very different from what the crews were expecting. Rubbish in the water, ships all around them, tricky wind conditions and also sailing against the current. A bad combination for a pleasant sail.
Dongfeng was leading the fleet but the chasing pack has eaten into their lead. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, MAPFRE, Team Alvimedica and Team Brunel were fighting for second place into Malacca Strait. Team SCA is sailing in sixth place, closer to the Sumatra coast.Heading south, the fleet had to deal with an exclusion zone before they arrive to Singapore. The battle between the 2nd and 4th positions was on. Proper match racing into the Malacca Strait. The boats could see each other dealing with the situation.
The 6 Volvo Ocean 65s also had to deal with a tremendous amount of rubbish in the water, fishing nets and fishing boats around them. Not an easy situation in such a narrow and busy strait.
The second milestone of the Malacca Strait was crossing the narrow Singapore Strait, a busy place to sail full of traffic of huge cargo ships entering or leaving the Malacca Strait. Charles Caudrelier and his crew were the first to exit the Singapore Strait, more than 70 miles ahead of the chasing pack.
After 4 days of tension the boats found upwind hard conditions going north into the China sea. Again the conditions weren't easy for the fleet and they suffered some breakages. The fleet is heading north on the China Sea next to the Vietnam coast. Dongfeng is still leading the fleet and chasing pack is struggling to catch up the leader. The last days of leg 3 will have tricky conditions with low winds. The first boat is expected to arrive to Sanya on Monday 26th at night.

Meanwhile Sanya is ready to receive the Volvo Ocean Race fleet. The Race Village is already open and full of activities to enjoy as we await the arrivals of the 6 boats in the following days.