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Volvo Ocean Race: Next stop – Cape Town

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Next stop – Cape Town, as Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon

VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon
VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is charging into a challenging first night at sea with winds over 30-knots forecast...

Dongfeng Race Team converted a strong start into an early lead as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet embarked on Leg 2, a 7,000 nautical mile race from Lisbon to Cape Town.

VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon
VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon

Conditions were perfect for the leg start, with bright 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 4-metres. It will be a fast and challenging first night at sea as the teams charge to the southwest.

VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon
VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon

“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.”

And indeed, within 15-minutes of clearing the mouth of the river, the fleet was already seeing over 30-knots of wind and Dongfeng Race Team recorded a boatspeed of nearly 33-knots.

VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon
VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon

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 boatspeed oriented and we’re looking forward to that.”

VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon
VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon

“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.”

VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon
VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon

Leg 2 – Position Report – Sunday 5 November (Day 1) – 15:00 UTC

1. Dongfeng Race Team -- distance to finish – 5,094.2 nautical miles

2. Team Brunel +0.2nm

3. MAPFRE + 0.6

4. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +0.9

5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +1.6

6. Turn the Tide on Plastic +1.8

7. team AkzoNobel +1.8

VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon
VOR 2017/18 - Leg 2: Dongfeng Race Team lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out of Lisbon