Dongfeng Race Team leads fleet out of Lisbon
Published: Monday, 06 November 2017
Dongfeng Race Team converted a strong start into an early lead as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet embarked on Leg 2, a 7,000nm race from Lisbon to Cape Town.
(Photo: Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race)
The leg started with blue skies and a 15-20-knot Northerly breeze that allowed the fleet to reach up and down the Tagus River past the city front of Lisbon.
After exiting the river and heading offshore past the protection of Cascais, the wind is forecast to build to over 30 knots, with a heavy ocean swell near 4m.
“It’s going to be fast,” said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. “We have been preparing for this, training in strong winds for six months, so I hope we are ready. We have some good drivers in these conditions so I hope we will be fast.”
Within 15mins of clearing the mouth of the river, the fleet was already seeing over 30 knots of wind and Dongfeng Race Team recorded a boat speed of nearly 33 knots.
Charlie Enright, the skipper of race leader Vestas 11th Hour Racing was in a strong position early, but appeared to be caught out with too much sail up for the final stretch down the river, and fell back to fifth place.
“We’re confident, but not cocky,” Enright said before the start. “We want to take what we’ve learned and apply it to leg 2. It’s going to be a much different leg. It will be a lot more boat speed-oriented and we’re looking forward to that.”
“The real race starts now,” said Xabi Fernández, the skipper of Mapfre. “Today we will sail in a couple of days in heavy winds. Everyone will be competitive so we’ll need to go as fast as we can.”