(June 18, 2015; Day 3) – It was the day of the big split for the Volvo Ocean Race, as a 20-mile wide exclusion zone in the English Channel saw half the fleet on the English side while the other half hugged the French coast.
Alvimedica led the croissant contingent along France, bleeding miles early to the northerners, but charging late to build an insurmountable lead when the two roads merged, coming into The Hague pitstop with a 25 nm lead.
“It feels good to be going into the locker room ahead at half time,” said Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright. “We don’t know how far ahead we are yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Their partners in crime – Abu Dhabi, SCA, and Vestas Wind – did not get the same benefit from southern option, watching the British brigade – Dongfeng, MAPRE, and Brunel – cross in front.
“It would have helped us in the overall for all our group to have won out,” noted Enright, “but there’s plenty more race left in the second half.”
The Hague, or to be more precise its harbour of Scheveningen, is hosting a pit-stop on the way to Gothenburg, Sweden, the final leg destination which the fleet will reach early next week. No points are awarded at this stage.
The boats will re-start their course to Gothenburg from midday local time/1000 UTC onwards on Saturday (June 20) from The Hague in the order they cross the finish line.
They will be released to sail the remaining 480 nautical miles (nm) of the leg to Gothenburg with the same time advantages/deficits on their rivals that they took into The Hague.
The seven-strong fleet is expected to arrive in the Swedish port on Monday (June 22) afternoon to complete the offshore racing.
The final event of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, the 12th edition of the 41-year-old event, will be the Inmarsat In-Port Race Gothenburg on Saturday, June 27, drawing to a conclusion nine months and more than 38,739nm covered, visiting 11 ports and every continent.
Leg 9 (930 nm) Standings (as of Jun 19, 00:45 UTC)
1. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), arrived, elapsed time 02d 08h 34m 01s
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 10.5 nm Distance to Finish
3. MAPFRE, Iker Martínez (ESP), 20.3 nm DTF
4. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 25.3 nm DTF
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 41.6 nm DTF
6. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS) 47.5 nm DTF
7. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 51.7 nm DTF
Note: It was estimated that Alvimedica had a 25 nm lead on Dongfeng when they finished. The elapsed times between each boat will determine the timing and order of the re-start.