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Competition, Adventure – The Pressure is on!
In a fascinating mix of adventure and competition, the Volvo Ocean Race kicked off in October from the sunny coast of Alicante. Heading towards the finishing line in Lisbon, Portugal, the sailors expected wayward winds and high pressure ridges that are notoriously difficult to predict. But this is exactly what sailors that enter this particular race are after: an ultimate human adventure.
A Fickle Breeze
Since 1973 sailors have experienced the mythical hold the Volvo Ocean Race has over their adventurous souls. The race takes teams thousands of miles across the globe and touches down at several landmark host cities. It is the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, and so far this year has not proven to be any different, especially the last stretch, just after the waypoint turn at Porto Santo North, where all seven teams made the turn. This is where things got interesting.
The Game is on – Even in the Back
Vestas 11th Hour Racing has been in the lead for several days with MAPFRE following closely. The Dongfeng Race Team and Charles Caudrelier’s team spent the penultimate leg trying to gain miles as Team AkzoNobel slid into third place. The competition became tight between Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Team Brunel and Turn The Tide on Plastic.
Easing Winds Towards the Finish Line
With a forecast of easing winds closer to the end of the race, anything can happen with the wrangling contenders. The less wind at the finish line, the more interesting and stressful the last stretch will be. But with the extensive lead Vestas 11th Hour Racing and MAPFRE have taken, these two teams can be relatively assured of a spot in the lead. How the rest of the placings will be earned can only be speculated. It’s a doozy out there!