Dongfeng Race Team Holds On To Lead In Volvo Ocean Race
Published: Monday, 12 January 2015
Wind shadows can extends dozens of miles offshore from a mountainous area sucking in boats that dare to go too close and potentially keeping them there for many hours, even days.
“The island of Sri Lanka is more than 2000 metres high, and creates a wind shadow to its south of more than 200km,” says Dongfeng Race Team Skipper Charles Caudrelier. “We can head south but we’ll sail many more miles, and there isn’t much wind in the south either. This must be the question all the navigators are asking themselves over the past few days, but soon we all have to make the decision.”
In the past few hours, having steered a course more to the north of Dongfeng over the past few days, both Abu Dhabi’s Azzam and Team Brunel have suddenly changed course and headed further south to, and then beyond, Dongfeng’s line.
“This could be the key to winning this leg and unfortunately one probably needs more luck than skill to get it right. We don’t like that,” says Caudrelier.
The guys have been experiencing an unusual amount of fuel burn with one of the batteries not charging properly. The suppliers and team onboard are working hard to solve the problem. With a fixed amount of fuel onboard and another 3000 miles to go, this is upping the stress levels onboard. Keeping the boats functioning at 100% is all part of ocean racing, and there are many complex systems onboard the Volvo Ocean 65.
The super tight racing continues – slow but intense.