West is best!
Even after getting rolled by the bus, re-navigating the southern doldrums and travelling many more miles, the higher average boat speed and better downwind VMG paid off in the end.
Lazy Lisbon finished up in 4,372nd place, barely an hour ahead of the eastern fleet.
There are mind numbing decisions happening all across the fleet as the Southern Hemisphere welcomes us into its arms and pits.
For the western group, it’s looking more and more like it all comes down to making that departure window much farther south than anticipated. It doesn’t look like there’s any short cuts ahead, so don’t miss the bus!
Volvo Ocean Race has some great insights into the weather ahead and up to date information and interviews with everyone involved. Check out the latest Daily Live:
The eastern group has some tough decisions ahead (I note, just as Nessalg makes a port tack for the mid-Atlantic) on the heels of some nail biting and incredible forward progress. Is there enough breeze to stay on the train, or will they take their chances beating hard to wind to Cape Town?
It’s been incredibly quick sailing across the equator easily maintaining a southward port-side broad reach since nearly the start of the leg.
It’s been a struggle without the Code 0 to keep up with the pack at times as I’m missing an extra quarter knot or so of boat speed on every beam reach. Serves me right for choosing the light wind package on an Atlantic crossing!
The early split on Leg #2 from Lisbon to Cape Town going east to west showed confidence in an alternate route rather than the usual trade winds.
Although every Volvo Ocean Race Boat went west, many virtual sailors headed east down the African coast.
Major gains are being made in the east as a strong flow presses the fleet towards the Sengal doldrums.
The western fleet got a big break with increased wind pressure and reduced wind shadow behind Cape Verde. It been a port side beam reach of around 100 degrees almost directly south for days!
The rubber is on the road as this drag race enters day 5!
Check the Live Stream for constant racing action and updates!
Finally I have gotten back on track to Newport. After a serious collision with the Fernando de Noronha’s and some lazy corrections, I’m pointed in the right direction and fighting to get farther north into favorable winds.
The rest of the fleet is plowing Northwards with Gabi1-06 currently in the lead and they look to be within 48-72 hours of the finish. I’ll be out here a while yet, say hello to the little Shaggster’s at home for me!
See you in Newport!
I can’t believe I ran aground. I saw the islands yesterday when I placed my tack to avoid them, and then I updated my course to catch some better wind last night. Little did I know my course would lead me straight into the islands I sought to avoid!
The rest of the fleet is far ahead and set to finish in the next 48 hours. I’ll be lucky to put in a finish before the reset for leg 7.
There is no sign of my nemesis, Inquietjg, as I know he’s pushed on ahead. I am close to a past competitor, Ginger Girl, who looks like she will be my benchmark for racing the rest of this leg.
Things aren’t going any better on this leg either. After my DNF on Leg 5, i haven’t been checking in as frequently. It looks like I’ve made only 5 tacks since the start of the leg and currently placed in 45,828th!
It’s still a long haul to Newport and anything can happen, I’m counting on it!
I skipped all of posting about Leg 5 after a horrible early noob loss trying to use the free TWA and so I embarked on an experiment going far north to avoid a bout of southern doldrums. Of course, sailing near the Tropic of Capricorn was a bad idea, and although I came across the Southern Pacific without loss in my crossing group, I was still a good 5 sets of trade winds behind the leaders.
Let’s just say I’m not going to AFK with TWA on again!
Unfortunately I was just under 24 hours to the finish and around 32,000th place when the race reset in preparation for Leg 6.
My first DNF.
The current standings are:
– Leg #1
– Leg #2
– Leg #3
– Leg #4
Here is a really cool time lapse of the race from virtual satellite view of Leg #4 to Auckland!
We’ve arrived at the Philippines and the fleet compresses to round Santa Ana. This is the first leg, or race even, where I’ve even been within eyesight of the VR News Boat. Continue reading Leg #4 – Crunch Time
The standings have been all over the place as a bunch of crazies darted east-south-east towards the philipines with no appear regard for the northerly mark round Santa Ana. Continue reading Leg #4 – Approaching the Philippines