ReshuffledHere’s the last four days from the tracker. The…


Here’s the last four days from the tracker. The DTL figures are now actually meaningful, since the boats are on the final sprint toward Auckland.

Yesterday the fleet hit the doldrums proper, which led to a wonderful 5-way park up. SCA made a strong move to the west to try to avoid the mess, and for a while it appeared to be working, but then they, too, hit the light stuff.

The trio of Dongfeng, ADOR, and Mapfre escaped first. Since then Mapfre has fallen 11 miles behind, so at this point it looks like Dongfeng and ADOR are the favorites to win the leg.

The story aboard Brunel has been especially interesting to me. They seemed like they had the win locked up a week ago, but then first one crewmember, and then three more, came down with the flu, and now they’re at the back of the fleet. I realize they’ve had some bad luck wind-wise, but I wonder if their weakened condition was the major difference.

If so, it might mean that the strength deficit aboard SCA is a bigger factor than I’d previously thought. Yes, they have three extra crewmembers, but from what I’ve heard that doesn’t make up completely for the strength issue. Sailing a Volvo 65 is so physically demanding, with upper-body strength so crucial for changing sails and shifting moveable ballast, that maybe an all-woman team has the deck stacked against them, so to speak.

There are a lot of other factors in the mix; I’ve talked elsewhere about what I think might be going on. But seeing the way Brunel has dropped off the pace has me wondering.

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Tags: vor, volvo ocean race, weareteamsca, team brunel, gifs, my gifs.

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