So mapfre is behind now… To be honest, I think it would have been a safer call to just stay ahead of dongfeng. There is no certainty about inside vs outside but staying ahead of dongfeng was one certainty and they had the possibility of being ahead of Brunel too. Not sure I agree with their move

I don’t know if you saw Blair talking about the decision in the latest video, which Ugo uploaded about three hours ago:

We were lining up to go on the inside, down toward Germany and along the beaches on the top of Holland; made a late call to go to the west. As a result we lost quite a lot on Brunel and AkzoNobel who had decided to go this way earlier, and doing so we split from Dongfeng who were carrying on down. It’s a tricky one, but at the end of the day we have to do what we think is right to get us there fastest, and both the boats we had to beat are going different ways, and we feel this way’s fastest. Got Brunel about a mile above us now, so we’re gonna have to fight to the end. But that’s the way it is. All good really. Wouldn’t want it any other way.

I think he lays it out pretty well. At first they were covering Dongfeng, and Dongfeng was going inside all the way. But as they got closer to the final decision they decided (where “they” is some combination of Xabi and Joan and the crew as a whole) that the outside route looked better. So even though it meant throwing away their lead, they were willing to switch to the outside.

I don’t think the difference between second and third makes that much difference to them. It’s all about still having a shot at winning. In a weird me-specific way it feels like the choice in LOTR to send the Ring to Mordor. Yeah, it was a dangerous choice, one that increased the risks. But sometimes risks are worth taking.

On your point about them still having a chance to beat Brunel by going inside even if the western route was (somewhat) better, I think there’s probably a bias on their part to want to control their own destiny. That is, if they switched to the west they knew they’d be close to Brunel, on the route that they thought had the best chance of being fastest. So they’d be able to try to beat Brunel with boatspeed. If they stuck with the inside route and it turned out to be slower it’s true that their earlier-today lead over Brunel might still have been enough for them to beat them. But that would have meant relying on the wind gods, rather than their own abilities.

We’ll find out in the next 12 hours or so whether the risk they took was worth it.

Reposted from

Tags: vor, volvo ocean race, dreaminsailor.

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