Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 morning update: all to play for
Monday, February 12, 2018 8:48 AM
Monday morning sees the Volvo Ocean Race fleet blasting towards New Zealand on a southeast heading, with speeds of 20-25 knots, in power-reaching conditions.
The leaderboard is similar to what it was on the weekend, but even more compressed. The top four are in a tight group, with MAPFRE leading Dongfeng, Team Brunel and Turn the Tide on Plastic. However this group is within just four miles in terms of distance to finish, and less than 10 miles on the water. It's hard, close racing.
About 70 miles directly west is team AkzoNobel, while Scallywag is about 150 miles to the southwest, cutting the corning on the direct route to New Zealand. This translates to about a 32 mile deficit on distance to finish.
"It's all to play for," said Scallywag's John Fisher. "We saw that on the last leg coming the other way. You just have to pick your spot in the doldrums. The nav team is pretty happy with where we are and where we're going. So I have every confidence in them."
"Ultimately that northern group will get into some lighter winds and that will allow us to close the distance on the fleet," said navigator Libby Greenhalgh.
On board the leader, MAPFRE, skipper Xabi Fernández is philosophical about the game closing up,
"I already see this is going to be an exhausting leg but we knew this before the start, I guess," he said.
"The truth is we are looking forward for some trade wind sailing, sunny and clear skies! Right now the visibility is low and all the days are grey so I hope it gets better soon.
"We will have a transition to pass soon and I guess we will meet all together again and restart the race."