The Gulf of Oh, Man Sorry for the pun. But this is awesome. The…

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

The Gulf of Oh, Man

Sorry for the pun. But this is awesome.

The three leaders spent the last 24 hours fighting their way through extremely light winds in the Gulf of Oman. As of yesterday the order was Brunel in front, Dongfeng close behind, and ADOR somewhat farther behind.

Brunel is keeping a tight cover on Dongfeng. But that has opened up a route closer to shore for ADOR, and Ian Walker has taken it. You’d think he knows what he’s doing, too, because over the past several years the Abu Dhabi team has spent a lot of time sailing in these waters during their training.

As of the 1540 update today the tracker shows:

  1. Brunel, leading
  2. ADOR, 2.9 miles from the lead
  3. Dongfeng, 4.2 miles from the lead

At this point any of those three could totally win it, and each scenario would make me happy in a different way:

  • If they finish in the order of Brunel, Dongfeng, and ADOR, then all three boats will be tied for the lead going into Leg 3. How cool would that be?
  • If Dongfeng can manage to pass Brunel and win the leg, I’d be ecstatic. Go Dongfeng! They’re my favorites after SCA.
  • If ADOR can pass inshore and win, the UAE is going to erupt. Adil (the Emirati crewmember who also sailed the last VOR) is a national hero already. But a dramatic come-from-behind victory played out along the coast into Abu Dhabi (which would also give ADOR a big lead in the race overall), and I think the country will basically just shut down. Ferraris for everyone!

I’d love to see that.

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Dongfeng crossing Brunel, Leg 1, Day 4. Source. I like the…

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

Dongfeng crossing Brunel, Leg 1, Day 4. Source.

I like the little wave Eric Peron gives the Dutch boat in the third gif. When boats meet at sea we always wave. It’s a rule.

You can see another competitor in the background in the second gif, and if you watch the source video there’s actually a fourth one visible a few miles back in the same shot. Four days into the race, and all seven competitors are still within sight of each other.

The fleet is approaching the Canary Islands in a tight clump, still trying to get through the light stuff and into the trade winds. Team SCA is in fourth, 3.1 NM behind the leader and on the left (southerly) side of the pack. It will be interesting to see if their recent training in the Canaries gives them any helpful local knowledge over the next 24 hours. Probably not. But fun to speculate about.

At this point I think every boat has led at some point. As of today’s (Oct 15) 2146 UTC update it’s Dongfeng’s turn. Good for them. There had been speculation that the relative inexperience of the crew, half of whom are Chinese sailors with little offshore experience, might slow them down.

Um, no. Not so much.

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