• 22-JAN-2015

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

Sailing through the Malacca and Singapore Straits dodging cargo ships, fishing nets and flotsam

The Volvo Ocean fleet has exited the Malacca and Singapore Straits after close to four days in one of the busiest maritime passages in the world. The Malacca and Singapore Straits see close to 94,000 ships passing through per year… and an even bigger amount of floating debris.

The 500nm stretch of water that separates the Indonesian island of Sumatra from Malaysia was the stage for close racing between the chasing pack, with the boats passing each other whilst slaloming between fishing nets and boats, debris and cargo ships.

Dongfeng Race Team managed to keep, and even increase its lead until early this morning, when they announced a break of the Tack Line of their J1 sail, their favored sail at the moment.

The fleet of the Volvo Ocean Race also had to deal with what they called "a sea of obstacles": local geographic pollution, plastic bags, bottles, tree trunks, Styrofoam...

Sailors live from and for the sea. The water they drink comes from the ocean, only filtered by a desalinating water maker. The crews keep their trash bags sealed inside the boat, and shower in the rain.Their vulnerability to nature's elements is total. But one of the things they're suffering from the most in this race is not natural.