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Dongfeng's slim lead survives cold front passage - Spiderman is at it again! 'I think Kevin spends more time out of the boat than on the boat' - Sam
Dongfeng's slim lead survives cold front passage

Leg 6: Itajai – Newport (5,000nm theoretical)
Days at sea: 15
Distance to finish: 807nm
Position in fleet: First, 2.5nm ahead of Team Brunel, 4.9nm ahead of Abu Dhabi
Boat speed: 15.6 knots
ETA Newport: Thursday, 7 May

Dongfeng skipper’s prediction of their lead ‘melting away’ when they hit the stalled cold front hasn’t come entirely true but the lead Charles Caudrelier’s determined men have over Team Brunel is still a very slim one – and it just got slimmer in the last 3 hours as a 10nm lead over Abu Dhabi shrank to just 4 with the Dutch just 2 miles adrift. In fact Dongfeng lost more miles in the last 3 hours than in the past few days…

In the end the weather files over-estimated the difficult of transitioning from the warm air coming from the south, and the cold air behind the front. One thing is for sure – the temperatures have dropped and some will be pulling out their Musto thermals for the first time on this leg!

Just over 800 miles to go to the finish of this leg in Newport, Rhode Island, with the fleet expected there on Thursday, 7th May. A lead of single digits means next to nothing still at this stage, but as each 100 mile marker passes, the percentage of the distance to go that it represents will increase.

But its not straight line sailing – some big weather hurdles remain in the final miles. A ridge of high pressure that will slide across the fleet’s track, a conundrum that will have navigator Pascal Bidegorry chewing his nails again as to how close they can cut to the centre on the direct route, coupled with the traverse of the Gulf Stream, and then the increasing likelihood of little wind and fog in the last hundred miles to Newport.

And if you want to understand a little bit more about the communications lockdown onboard the boats – they have no connection to the outside world – read on here

© Sam Greenfield / Dongfeng Race Team / Volvo Ocean Race
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