• 26-JAN-2015

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

Last 24 hours in the South China Sea - tacking, tacking, tacking

Last 24 hours in the South China Sea - tacking, tacking, tacking
A thrilling finish looks to be in store for Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race after the chasing pack made big inroads into Dongfeng Race Team's once huge lead early on Sunday with just over 24 hours to sail to the finish in Sanya. Charles Caudrelier's (FRA) crew led by more than 106 nautical miles (nm) approaching the Malacca Strait but gradually their advantage has been clawed back with under 140nm left of this fascinating stage from Abu Dhabi to Sanya on the southernmost tip of China.

Victory in the 4,670nm stage, which started on January 3 in Abu Dhabi, would also put Dongfeng Race Team top of the overall standings on five points ahead of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Brunel who won Legs 1 and 2 respectively.

At 0940UTC on Monday, Dongfeng Race Team had a lead of 54.5nm over Leg 1 winners Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

Team Alvimedica (Charles Enright/USA), MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández/ESP) and Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) were all within 15nm of each others.

The fleet has been slaloming back and forth with gybe after gybe, tack after tack to avoid the numerous obstacles, including a series of near misses with fishing vessels and their nets just off the Vietnamese coast.