VOR – The lead and leaders have changed again as Abu Dhabi sails into the lead. Dongfeng Race Team who had a commanding lead and who everyone thought broke away from the pack is now in 4th place. To follow this great one-design madness CLICK HERE! Reports from the Boats is below:
“The only thing we see is the other boats in the far distance, and occasionally a fishing boat, a cargo or a sailing boat around one of the islands. It’s kind of weird that after 9 days of sailing into the ocean we are still fighting our way! But that’s life, you have to expect the unexpected and be ready to react in the best possible way.
Carlos Hernández, Anthony Marchand and Xabi Fernández were all hit by flying fish. The worst is the smell they leave behind… and if one falls into the boat unnoticed, then it’s even worse.
It’s getting warmer and warmer. Yesterday you couldn’t sleep inside anymore, so we ended up not sleeping at all.”
Francisco Vignale, OBR
Whales are big and beautiful mammals, however you want to keep your distance. Tom and Peter were pretty happy about seeing their first whales on the trip but one gave them a little bit of a scare. Having seen four whales in succession a fifth came within 4 meters on the leeward side. It certainly gave Tom a fright. All ended well and we continued onwards to the equator.
I think if I was Tom I would be more concerned with what will happen his lovely boy band hair than worrying about whales. Neptune is waiting and so is Rob Salthouse with his scissors.
Brian Carlin, OBR
Team Vestas Wind
On Dongfeng, we ended up south of everyone, slaloming between the islands of Cape Verde. It paid off in the rankings short-term, but the real outcome is still undecided. Many wind rotations to exploit, accelerations between the islands, but also a nice navigation amidst a beautiful archipelago.
Wolf, who seems to have only just discovered the existence of this archipelago, questions, “There are people who live there?”. I must say, it’s a valid question, when we are faced with Fogo, this piece of land in the middle of the Atlantic, which peaks at 2,900 meters.
Yann Riou, OBR
Dongfeng Race Team
The bright green and steep hillsides of the Cape Verde Islands brought everyone on deck to take in the awesome scenery and lightened the mood onboard. “Quite an amazing thing to see really”, said Parko.
“It was cool to sail so close to such a high mountain; we were probably only a mile away when we gybed. Without doing this race I definitely would’ve never seen that.”
There is a sense of relief that it appears our northern bet is paying dividends and we’ll draw even with Dongfeng if not make a few gains.
Matt Knighton, OBR
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
The first time I sailed past Cape Verde islands was in 2010 when I was helping deliver a catamaran from Gibraltar to Antigua. We stopped in the mid-Atlantic tropical island for fuel and were sailing out of the islands around sunset at a gentle pace. I think I was even attempting a bit of yoga in the luxury catamaran’s saloon.
Yeah, things were different back then. This time there was no yoga — unless you count my balancing act as I attempted a video interview with Sam (the one legged standing starfish pose). This time, my experience was loads different as Team SCA screamed around the northern side of the Cape Verde Islands at 20-22 knots down wind—yep, we were sailing at full throttle. We’re a boat on a mission: catch the fleet. And they’re getting closer by the mile.
Corinna Halloran, OBR
Today Mark Towill turns 26. We’ve got a bit of a present-stash for Mark courtesy of Charlie’s wife, and needless to say this will be a birthday he won’t forget. In darkness we sailed under a chain of clouds that was most likely coming from Santa Antao, the westernmost island of the chain (and also—westernmost point of Africa), and it took us 30-degrees from our “expected” heading for a few hours.
It’s hard to explain the complexity of the weather in this part of the world. No computer model or forecaster can accurately predict the winds, and things like small islands and clouds throw more than a few monkey wrenches in a well-laid plan.
Amory Ross, OBR