Volvo Ocean Race:Between boldness and caution

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It’s been a week since the fleet left Cape Town for the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race and is far from having taken the most direct route to Abu Dhabi. Today, the seven competitors move to 300 miles in the South East of Madagascar but before we get there, we had to the South, Southeast and South again. It is also that last Sunday, after five days of racing, the first boats have finally crossed the latitude of Cape Town …!

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To exploit or avoid?
It’s been a week since the fleet left Cape Town for the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race and is far from having taken the most direct route to Abu Dhabi. Today, the seven competitors move to 300 miles in the South East of Madagascar but before we get there, we had to the South, Southeast and South again. It is also that last Sunday, after five days of racing, the first boats have finally crossed the latitude of Cape Town …!
Despite this little detour in extreme latitudes, the battle has lost none of its intensity. The last 24 hours, Abu Dhabi tries his luck in the west but Ian Walker, skipper, does not hide that he suffered more than he has chosen strategy. “Some people think that this position is intentional but it is not,” says Matt Knighton, carry onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. Ian Walker and his men were the first surprised when they realized they had gybed a lot earlier than their classmates.

In a one-design racing, where the tactic is preponderant, this isolated position (the lateral deviation reached 60,000) looks like an incongruity. To date, it is nevertheless pay for the Emirati boat is still leading the fleet, even if the Spaniards MAPFRE sometimes able to steal the limelight for a few hours. Ian Walker and his men does not seem to want to go further in their radical choices and, in the last 24 hours, they have halved their lateral distance while remaining the most swift of the fleet.
Beyond this duel to the Indian, prosecutors – Dongfeng head – biding their time and only 11 short miles separate the leader of Team Vestas, sixth overall. Only girls Team SCA, which have even been forced to turn around in a squall there two days are temporarily out of the loop with a delay of nearly 25 miles.
In the coming hours, with the approach of Mauritius, the situation will become even more complicated for competitors. There are some days, preaching a cyclone but it became – great relief – a “simple” tropical storm. “It is as if one passed in Europe of a tornado in a winter storm,” jokes Brian Carling reporter boarded Team Brunel. Charles Caudrelier (Dongfeng) sees the bright side: “this depression will generate strong winds but they will help us move to the North. The problem is not the depression is the vacuum it will leave behind. »

Between boldness and caution

In the next few hours, the crews will have to decide which strategy to adopt. They may choose to deviate from this tropical storm to preserve men as boats or they will instead seek to make the most of this powerful flows for the faster progress towards the North.