Published: Monday, 09 February 2015

Despite what appeared to be the perfect combination on the last leg, French skipper Charles Caudrelier is sticking to his original game plan of giving the Chinese rookies as much experience as possible.

Liu Xue (Black) and Cheng Ying (Kit) have made way for Chen Jin Hao (Horace) and Yang Jiru (Wolf) for the next stage to Auckland, New Zealand.

In addition to these two changes, French navigator Pascal Bidégorry is taking a breather for this leg and has been replaced with fellow countryman Erwan Israel. Also, Australian, Jack Bouttell has swapped out with Swede Martin Strömberg who has returned as senior member of the crew.

Pressure Is On For Dongfeng Race Team In Leg 4 3

(Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race)

The combination seems to be working however, as Dongfeng Race Team secured first place in the Team Vestas Wind in-port race this weekend in Sanya, China.

Pressure Is On For Dongfeng Race Team In Leg 4

(Photo: Victor Fraile / Volvo Ocean Race)

“Winning the leg was more than we would have ever imagined and winning the in-port race really is the icing on the cake,” says Team Director, Bruno Dubois. “I truly believe we can say we have done China proud.”

Pressure Is On For Dongfeng Race Team In Leg 4 4

(Photo: Alex Wang / Volvo Ocean Race)

Now the pressure is truly on, as the fleet set sail for Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race at 0600 (CET) Feb 8. Dongfeng Race Team is currently leading the race over all – it would appear that Caudrelier and his team are on a roll.

Pressure Is On For Dongfeng Race Team In Leg 4 2

(Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race)

“Coming second twice in a row during the first two legs of the race then finishing in first place into our home port of Sanya was a better result than we could have ever expected,” says Caudrelier.  “The problem is, we now have to face the fact that we’re under more pressure than ever before to keep our position. I am careful because I know happiness comes and goes in this race. From experience I know that you can be on top of the world one minute and be at your lowest the next.”

Sanya Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race results (actual finishing time):

  1. Dongfeng Race Team 14:54:29 -1pt
  2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 14:55:07 -2pts

  3. Team Alvimedica 14:56:20 -3pts

  4. Team Brunel 14:56:36 -4pts

  5. Team SCA 14:57:30 -5pts
  6. Mapfre 15:00:03 -6pts
  7. Team Vestas Wind -DNS