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VOR: teams are heading north to skirt the ice exclusion zone

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VOR 2017-18
VOR 2017-18

December 16, 2017 09:00 UTC - The weekend is bringing warmer temperatures to the sailors in the Southern Ocean, but on the 0700 UTC position report, the wind was still between 19 and 34 knots across the fleet, so the breeze isn't falling off significantly.

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"So the ice gates have been moved up... It means that tonight is the last night where it is nippy. Still running my thin socks in my 'duck hunting boots'. They look stupid and out of place, but they do a marvelous job. Pete and Carlo have them as well, all smiles," writes Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking.

The shift of the ice exclusion zone to the north means the leaders, Dongfeng Race Team and MAPFRE are on a long northeast hitch at the moment, running parallel to the zone. If there is a good news for them, it means they won't be able to gybe for the next hours, allowing some much needed rest. 

"Despite the sea and air temperature hovering around 7-8 degrees and the wind still blowing hard morale on board is good. We are walking the fine line between performance and safety, trying to respect the conditions but continue to race hard and so far we seem to be rewarded by our commitment," writes Vestas 11th Hour Navigator Simon Fisher. 

"Every few hours we have to gybe which from start to finish is a 40 minute process but it is worth the effort to stay in the stronger wind and in phase with the shifts. However, we are all looking forward to the point where we can sail straight for a little while and catch up on some sleep..."

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