Please select your home edition
Edition
Sea Sure 2021 - RED - LEADERBOARD

Volvo OR - Podium candidates bite the Scallywag bullet

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz 15 Jan 2018 20:47 PST 16 January 2018
Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 15 When the wind shifts so do the smiles on board Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag © Konrad Frost / Volvo Ocean Race

Continuing her dream run, SHK Scallywag has clocked up her eighth consecutive best 24-hour run as Leg 4 draws to a close in the 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race.

David Witt and his crew have staged probably the biggest comeback in the Volvo Ocean Race since the Magnus Olsson skippered Ericsson 3 took the 12,300nm Leg 5 in the 2008/09 edition.

There the late Magnus Olsson took over as skipper only four legs into the race, sailing with a youth crew. They survived a near sinking on Leg 4 - arrived late - starting Leg 5 seven hours behind the fleet. But made a smart navigational decision to break with the rest of the fleet - which paid a big dividend, and they won the leg from the 2008 Olympic venue in Qingdao to the 2016 Olympic venue in Rio de Janeiro.

Turning to the here and now as the fleet leader enters the South China Sea with 1500nm to sail, SHK Scallywag looks set to extend her lead from the initial 1-2hrs when her leg win looked likely. The latest weather routing from Predictwind now shows that distance could be eight hours or more at the finish line in Hong Kong.

While part of the margin is a better average speed manifesting it in the string of eight 24 hour runs, the balance comes from the three boats in her immediate wake having to work further south, and in some cases having to gybe to get onto the optimum course for Hong Kong.

That's a clear admission they over-cooked their northerly heading to escape the Doldrums - leaving the open for Scallywag's meteorologist/navigator Libby Greenhalgh to suggest cutting the corner and being the first to head NW and make some gain towards the finish line in Hong Kong, as well as sailing out of the Doldrums.

That point is underlined by the fact that Team Brunel is currently running in last place. They were also the last of the seven boats to turn west.

"The routing is telling us to take a step down", said AkzoNobel watch captain Chris Nicholson. "It's gonna hurt. We thought we'd have a chance later. But we have to get down to Brunel and MAPFRE while we can.

"If we leave it and wait until tomorrow that opportunity will be gone. So we are better to do it now. That's reality. We've just got to face up to it and get on with it and do what we can."

The team's rationale (along with others at the top of the leaderboard) was that the north was going to pay off. Then they found out that the southern route adopted by SHK Scallywag was going to be quicker.

"We had to take the risk last of whether we kept going and ignored the weather/course model. Or, just take the hit and gybe to set us up in the same sort of water as Dongfeng and Vestas," said skipper Simeon Tienpont.

Of course, you don't want to gybe back and not be pointing to Hong Kong", he added. "It's a bit of a chance, but let's see."

While there may be long faces aboard the second to fourth placegetters, aboard overall leader, MAPFRE they are taking a more sanguine view of SHK Scallywag's performance. The point is explained by Rob Greenhalgh who notes that they are quite happy to see Scallywag get the bonus point for Leg 4, as that means that Vestas and Dongfeng who are closer to them on the leaderboard miss out - which could be very telling at the end of the race.

At this stage, MAPFRE would seem to be safe in fifth place - with Turn the Tide on Plastic in sixth, about 45nm back and Team Brunel almost 60nm back from MAPFRE using Volvo Ocean Race's distance to finish method of calculating the places on the Leg leaderboard.

Related Articles

The Ocean Race to be climate positive sport event
Aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75% for the 2022-23 Race The Ocean Race aims to slash its emissions by up to 75%. All participants in the next edition of the round-the-world sailing race are working together to make the event climate positive. Posted on 9 Aug
How deep is your love?
Vital to making sailing a life-long pastime Some will know this as a Bee Gees or Take That song, and those of a younger generation will know it as a Calvin Harris track; either way, it is vital to making sailing a life-long pastime. Posted on 11 Jul
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy 2022 concludes
Green Eyes clinches line honours in the NHC class The 107-foot superyacht Green Eyes and the professional sailing team on board the VO65 Racing for the Planet walked away with line honours after two days and closely fought racing in the bay of Cascais. Posted on 11 Jul
The Ocean Race announces a Positive Change Partner
The partnership announced today will see DSC aligned with The Ocean Race Dole Sunshine Company (DSC) and The Ocean Race will team up to promote The Dole Promise and support the DSC's sustainability journey towards zero fossil-based packaging by 2025 and net zero carbon emissions by 2030. Posted on 7 Jul
Mirpuri Foundation Sailing Trophy 2022 preview
Exciting flotilla to line up for the highly anticipated event The regatta will see the third edition of the sustainable event get under way to cannon fire from onboard the Navio Patrulha Oceânico Sines of the Portuguese Navy at midday on Saturday July 9th. Posted on 6 Jul
Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights campaign
The Ocean Race is launching One Blue Voice, new initiative to drive public support for ocean rights The ambitious campaign aims to give the ocean a voice and put in place a global framework for protecting the marine environment, which plays a critical role in maintaining the health of the planet. Posted on 6 Jul
UN Ocean Conference
The Ocean Race calls for a Universal Declaration of Ocean Rights The Ocean Race and its global collaborators - including the Government of Cabo Verde - took a major step forward in their efforts to give the ocean a voice and make it an international legal entity. Posted on 1 Jul
Pelle Petterson receives Magnus Olsson Prize
Now the circle is complete, with the first Swede recognised The Swedish sailing icon and legend, Pelle Petterson, has been announced as winner of the prestigious Magnus "Mange" Olsson Prize 2022, which is awarded annually to an individual who has made an indelible contribution to the world of sailing. Posted on 10 Jun
Leading voices call for ocean rights
To protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean The Ocean Race Summit Stockholm - Racing to protect the Southern Ocean, brought together sailors, scientists, policymakers and adventurers yesterday (Wednesday 1st June), to discuss the urgent need to protect Antarctica and the Southern Ocean. Posted on 3 Jun
Ocean Race aims for equal number of men and women
The ambitious 2030 target is part of a new collaboration called Horizon The ambitious target is part of Horizon, a new collaboration with The Magenta Project, World Sailing Trust and PA Consulting, dedicated to increasing the number of women in professional sailing. Posted on 26 May
J Composites 2022 - J99 FOOTERC-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 BOTTOMSOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 Bottom