• 19-MAY-2015

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

Foggy night scare for Team Alvimedica and Traffic Safety Separation questions

- Dongfeng leads but it's so close as Gulf Stream 'bashes' fleet
- Small scare for Team Alvimedica in a foggy moonless night (see footage)
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Alvimedica look into the Traffic Safety Separation (TSS) lines

ALICANTE, Spain, May 19 – The Volvo Ocean Race fleet was still locked together no more than four nautical miles (nm). The 2,800nm stage from Newport, Rhode Island, after a triumphant stopover there, to Lisbon, already promises to follow the race-long pattern of extraordinarily close duelling between the six-strong fleet with around 400nm covered so far through the Atlantic.

At 1240 UTC, Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) were protecting a wafer-thin 2nm advantage over Walker's Emirati-backed crew, but even sixth-placed Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) were right in the hunt, with MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP), Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) and Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR) sandwiched between them in that order.

Onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Alvimedica, the first day of sailing also raised the topic of the Traffic Safety Separation.(see Onboard Reporter Matt Knighton's blog on this, May 18).

Last night, these two teams had a small scare for a different reason, as Team Alvimedica almost crossed lines with Azzam, in a moon-less foggy night. It was quite the panic onboard. The two teams were close, Ian Walker could be heard from Team Alvimedica's crew on deck (see footage).

The boats can not access their rivals' blogs from the boats, but all will be all too aware of the challenges of riding the Gulf Stream that the fleet has now entered.

The sailors are predicted to complete this challenging and key leg between May 27 and 29.

They will enjoy a brief respite in the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, before setting out from June 7 for the frenetic finale of the race with the final two legs leading to its conclusion on June 27 (see route animation here).