• 09-DEC-2014

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

Weekly Highlights N°9

That was the moment of Team Vestas Wind went aground on an atoll in the South Indian Ocean last Saturday. The impact so severe, their only choice, to abandon their stricken boat, and wait for rescue by local coastguard.

Escaping injury, Chris Nicholson and his crew spent the next three days on the island, unloading everything that could be salvaged from the boat to protect the reef.

When they finally made it to shore, and safety in Mauritius, they were greeted by a shore team relieved that they were safe, but this leg of their Volvo Ocean Race was over.

Meanwhile, the fleet still raced north for Abu Dhabi, searching for the quickest way to cross the light wind area ahead.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing took over the lead, trailed by Dongfeng Race Team, and Team Brunel, while Spain's Mapfre headed furthest east in search of more wind.

After two weeks at sea, the teams entered the Doldrums for the second time in the race, sweltering in no wind, with no let up, a race in slow motion within sight of one another.

For those that had missed it in leg one, King Neptune came aboard as the fleet crossed the equator, demanding his dues from those crossing the line for the first time.

Unsteady winds, towering white clouds, sudden gusts and long calms laid in wait. Boat speeds increased and the leaders extended the distance between the chasing pack.

The light winds gave many in the fleet time to reflect, December 6 marking the 13th year since ocean racing legend, Sir Peter Blake, was killed whilst finishing his Amazon expedition.

After seven days of Emirati supremacy, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel were finally rewarded for their perseverance, overtaking Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

The finish now just 1300 miles away, the ETA for the leaders the 14th of December, just who will get to the United Arab Emirates first, wide open


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