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Dongfeng Race Team: Volvo Ocean Race - High Pressure in every way! - The determined men of Dongfeng continue to hold on to a slender lead as the fleet compresses once again. 450nm to Newport...
Leg 6: Itajai – Newport (5,000nm theoretical)
Days at sea: 16
Distance to finish: 453nm
Position in fleet: First with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing just 1.9nm behind
Boat speed: 12.3 knots
ETA Newport: Thursday, 7 May

The determined and young men of Dongfeng continue to hold on to a slender lead as the fleet compresses once again on its approach to the ridge of high pressure centred some 100 miles ahead. As the wind goes lighter in front, so the teams at the back inevitably catch up. At the same time Abu Dhabi has continued to show better speed, and is now in sight just behind and slightly further east. Overnight Dongfeng sailed faster but further to the west, but seems to have decided it was time to cover the race favourites this morning, working their way back east.
The fleet are sailing some 200 miles off the coast of North Caroline, USA, and have less than 500 miles to run to Newport.

The back eddies of the Gulf Stream current come in to play now – if you choose the wrong ‘lane’ you could have 2 to 3 knots of adverse current to fight – with the positions so close, this can be decisive.

The war of nerves is on – everyone is tired right across the fleet, the pressure has been relentless on the skippers and navigators in particular on this leg. And everyone knows this is going to probably come down to the final few hours. For now its about staying in the game and being ready for the final battle in to Newport.

After being penalised so heavily by the broken mast on the last leg, Dongfeng Race Team feels it both deserves, but also needs, a good result from this leg. Right now nothing is certain!

Meanwhile in Newport, the race village opens today, the temperatures have finally climbed a few degrees and the town has been switched on and is now buzzing with anticipation for the boats arrivals.

Photo : © Sam Greenfield / Dongfeng Race Team / Volvo Ocean Race
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