Volvo Ocean Race

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Vestas 11th Hour Racing leads into Atlantic

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team maintained its lead overnight as the fleet sailed west into the Atlantic.
October 24, 2017 06:32 UTC
written by Peter Rusch
© James Blake

Overnight, the entire fleet made it through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic. Progress was fast in the 'acceleration zone' just west of the Strait where the wind strengthens as it gets funneled by the shoreline. 

But the further west the leaders go, the more the wind is forecast to ease, leading to compression in the fleet. 

© Jeremie Lecaudey/Volvo Ocean Rac

Vestas 11th Hour Racing retained its lead overnight, with MAPFRE showing good pace and tactics to sail up into second place. As of 0500 UTC, team AkzoNobel was just behind in third with Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag holding firm in fourth place.

Just 37 miles separates the first placed Vestas boat from last placed Team Brunel. But we can expect much more compression over the coming hours as a high pressure ridge slows the progress of the leading boats first.

© Konrad Frost/Volvo Ocean Race

Some tense times early in the night on AkzoNobel, who appeared to hit something just off the African coast.

"We hit something pretty hard, at 22-23 knots," explained skipper Simeon Tienpont. "Some plastic on the rudder and some vibration on the keel, but we did a bit of a backdown and it seems to be gone. No water in the boat, the rudder is still there, so... phew!"

Over the past 24 hours, the maximum boat speed registered has been on Turn the Tide on Plastic, at 31 knots. MAPFRE saw the strongest winds at 36 knots, and Vestas 11th Hour Racing and MAPFRE have put the most work in, each making 18 gybes

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 October 2017 )