Published: Friday, 09 January 2015

Dongfeng Race Team’s navigator Pascal Bidégorry’s eyes are glued to Team Brunel’s AIS data on the nav chart. Brunel is still the only boat in range as Dongfeng holds on to a slim lead in Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

A Game Of Cat And Mouse In The Volvo Ocean Race

At 0800 UTC on Day 5, the air on deck is fresh and warm and the moon has just started to rise and it chokes out the Milky Way and dims the expanse of stars overhead.

“Tonight is an important decision,” says Skipper Charles Caudrelier. “It’s maybe the only gybe left on this leg and you have to choose a good position because then you have 600 to 1000 miles to pass the India coast. So where you gybe is going to be your position compared to the fleet for the next four days. If we do a good gybe tonight and are fast I think we’ll be able to keep the lead for the next four days so it’s very important.”

The young sailors climb on deck and everyone is at their station and rubbing tired eyes in less than 60 seconds. The crew gybe and return to their bunks.

When the sun rises Brunel is eight miles behind.