VNR: Brunel leads into the Luzon Strait 08 Feb
08 Feb 2018
Off the coasts of Taiwan, Taiwan
“We’ve been bouncing upwind. Everyone is still pretty close. Whoever puts their bow down for a little while goes a little bit faster than the other,” said team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont. “Brunel is a little bit ahead, we lost a few miles with a sail change.
“It’s been straight into it. Everyone is quiet and efficient. We were happy with the start and we’re back in fighting mode.” The fight is for every mile. Any mistake or misfortune is costly. For Brunel and Turn the Tide on Plastic, it came in the form of plastic bags stuck to appendages, slowing the boat down.
“It’s not slowing us down too much,” said Turn the Tide on Plastic sailor Henry Bomby. “It’s a big deal to do a back down to get rid of it, so we’re going to wait.” “At the moment, we can’t afford to go backwards, so we’re carrying this plastic on our keel, sadly,” said skipper Dee Caffari.
For Team Brunel, the performance hit was too much, and they did a double tack to clear the debris from their rudder.
We were going very well and soon found ourselves in the lead, but then all of sudden we were super slow. In no time we lost half a mile, the cause was a huge plastic bag on the rudder. We actually had to do two tacks to get it off, losing more distance, but from then on we’ve been slowly chipping away again.
Bouwe Bekking, skipper of Team Brunel.
As a result, Brunel has had about a three-mile lead for much of the morning on Thursday as the teams race towards Taiwan. After passing to the south of Taiwan, the fleet is expected to head to the north, further away from the direct route to New Zealand, in an effort to avoid a developing area of light wind and to pick up favourable conditions before diving south. It means more upwind sailing, so progress towards the finish looks to be slow and hard-earned for the early stages of Leg 6.
00:11 IV in English with Bouwe Bekking (NED), skipper of Team Brunel
00:36 Crew on team Brunel try to remove a plastic sheet from the rudder
00:47 Turn the Tide on Plastic’s Liz Wardley (AUS) dealing with plastic around the keel
00:57 IV in English with Henry Bomby (GBR), Turn the Tide on Plastic
01:07 IV in English with Dee Caffari (GBR), skipper of Turn the Tide on Plastic
01:17 IV in English with Simeon Tienpont (NED), skipper of team AkzoNobel
01:34 Shots of boats sailing very close to each other
02:08 IV in English with David Witt (AUS), skipper of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag
02:23 Time-lapse video of Vestas 11th Hour Racing boat being shipped for repair
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