Published: Tuesday, 06 January 2015

Going into their third day at sea since leaving Abu Dhabi on Saturday, Jan 3 the luck of Dongfeng Race Team is holding as Skipper Charles Caudrelier and his crew hold a slim 5 nautical mile lead ahead of Team Brunel.

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(Photo: Sam Greenfield / Dongfeng Race Team)

“Luck,” says Caudrelier. “I honestly believe a big part of this leg will depend on luck.” For now that luck is staying with the team racing for China. While Dongfeng Race Team clings to the lead, behind the other teams are jostling for position, seeing gains evaporate to losses. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing is down to fifth, Team Brunel is in second, Mapfre is in fourth down from second since the last position report.

It has been an intense, tactical battle since the start of light wind conditions, fishing net hazards and constant gybing and tacking out of the Strait of Hormuz along the Iranian coast in unstable winds.

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(Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race)

Cheng Ying "Kit" is on board, racing his first leg of the race following in the footsteps of Yang Jiru "Wolf", Chen Jin Hao "Horace" and Liu Xue "Black" racing his second consecutive leg. The Chinese rookies have proved themselves worthy crew and Kit now has to prove himself.

“I’m number 8, because I took Horace’s place so I took his number as well,” says Kit. “The crew are numbered 1 to 9 in terms of identifying their sailing kit on board. “I think Horace choose number 8 because number 8 is kind of a lucky number in China. The sign for number 8 looks like a bridge, you have money, so this means also lucky, lucky for everyone.”

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(Photo: Sam Greenfield / Dongfeng Race Team)

Numbers are also critical for safety at sea in the case of emergency. Imagine jumping into a life raft in the middle of the night on a stormy night. It would be a lot easier to shout out 1-9 and figure out who’s missing than to play around with names.

“Numbers are better than names,” says Caudrelier. “In terms of organisation, sometimes we change people onboard so it’s better to have a number.”