Please select your home edition
Edition
North Sails 3Di 60 - 728x90

Scallywag record historic Volvo Ocean Race Leg 4 win into home port of Hong Kong

by Volvo Ocean Race 19 Jan 10:53 PST 19 January 2018

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag have won Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, leading the fleet into their home port of Hong Kong.

It's an historic win for skipper David Witt and his team who had to overcome significant setbacks on the leg before grabbing the lead with a bold tactical call out of the Doldrums last weekend.

"We had a bit of a plan and we stuck to it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't and this time it worked for us," Witt said.

It was an extended Doldrums crossing, and Scallywag had moments where they appeared to be in a strong position.

But late in the crossing, after falling behind the fleet again, Witt and navigator Libby Greenhalgh made the decision to cut the corner, and turn to the west earlier than the opposition who kept pressing north in search of stronger winds.

The move paid dividends nearly immediately on the leaderboard as Scallywag had less miles to sail to the finish line, but pundits cautioned that the teams in the north would almost certainly overhaul them as the tradewinds filled in from the northeast.

It never happened.

Even when the team dropped miles recovering a man overboard after Alex Gough was swept off the boat by a wave, after executing a flawless recovery, Scallywag returned to racing and extended to nearly a 100-mile lead.

But then, the chasing boats began chipping away at the lead. Two days out from the finish, the margin had been cut significantly and the pressure mounted.

"I was really impressed by the way we operated over the past couple of days," Witt said. "We had a pretty big lead and then through no fault of our own, about two-thirds of it got taken away. But we stuck to our guns, did what we thought was right and it's worked out."

With the Leg 4 win, Scallywag picks up 8 points (7 points for first place plus a one point win bonus). It will vault the team up to mid-fleet on the overall leaderboard, in a very respectable fourth place.

"It was always going to take us longer than the others to get up to speed as we were the last to enter," Witt said. "All teams need a bit of confidence and I think one thing that is underrated in sport is momentum and this will certainly give the Scallywags plenty of that... We're all still learning and we're going to keep getting better as we go on."

Witt has acknowledged the significance of the win as the local team leading the fleet into the first ever Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Hong Kong. For the team owner, Seng Huang Lee, who has supported Scallywag sailing over the years, it's a big moment.

Posted by Volvo Ocean Race on Friday, 19 January 2018

"We're a privately owned team and our owner Mr. Lee has poured his passion and enthusiasm and vision into this project and this win will be very special for him... Winning this leg will be a massive platform for Scallywag going forward."

Behind Scallywag, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Dongfeng Race Team are battling for second place and expected to finish approximately two and three hours behind the winner. The rest of the fleet is forecast to finish at intervals over the following 12 hours.

Leg 4 – Provisional Results at Friday 19 January (Leg 4, Day 18) at 20:17 UTC

1. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag -- FINISHED – 17:45:42 UTC
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing -- RACING
3. Dongfeng Race Team -- RACING
4. team AkzoNobel – RACING
5. MAPFRE -- RACING
6. Team Brunel -- RACING
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic -- RACING

Volvo Ocean Race – Current Leaderboard

1. MAPFRE -- RACING -- 29 points (after Leg 3)
2. Dongfeng Race Team -- RACING -- 23 points (after Leg 3)
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing -- RACING -- 23 points (after Leg 3)
4. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag -- FINISHED -- 19 points (after Leg 4)
5. Team Brunel -- RACING -- 14 points (after Leg 3)
6. team AkzoNobel -- RACING -- 9 points (after Leg 3)
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic -- RACING -- 6 points (after Leg 3)

Related Articles

AkzoNobel and Scallywag seize opportunity on Leg 6
Team AkzoNobel and Scallywag are the early winners as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet tackles stage one Dongfeng Race Team and MAPFRE have had the worst of it. Languishing for hour after hour in extremely light and variable winds, while at the same time AkzoNobel and Scallywag were hurrying south at speeds up to 20 knots. Posted on 17 Feb
Volvo OR: Doldrums Casino opens again on Leg 6
Gains and losses mark the rankings on Friday as the fleet hits the doldrums... The team is now furthest south in the fleet and is beginning to pick up the westerly breeze that would indicate they're past the worst of the light and variable winds that plague this area. Posted on 16 Feb
Next transition offers opportunity and jeopardy
Speeds are dropping across Volvo Ocean Race fleet as they bump up against another transition zone On the jeopardy side, it is the crew on SHK/Scallywag, still furthest to the west, who are currently suffering. They've been dropping miles for the past 24 hours and have slid from second to fifth place, nearly 50 miles behind the leader, team AkzoNobel. Posted on 15 Feb
Sailing Photography and the Volvo Ocean Race
Brian Carlin shares some insight into how his team capture the Ocean Adventure OBR Team Leader Brian Carlin shares some insight into how his team capture the exhilarating content of the Volvo Ocean Race, and how this can be useful when it comes to capturing your next adventure. Posted on 15 Feb
Lining up north to south approaching the Doldrums
The gaps are narrowing as the fleet nears the halfway point of Leg 6 With the Volvo Ocean Race fleet racing south in trade wind conditions, team AkzoNobel is leading the charge towards the doldrums, still some 600 miles away. Posted on 14 Feb
Volvo OR: Massive wind vacuum set to plague fleet
Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean set to traverse the 1100nm wide Sea of Frustration created by Cyclone Giita The lyrics of Kenny Roger's signature hit "The Gambler" can aptly be applied to Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race Posted on 13 Feb
Volvo OR Leg 6 Day 7: Ex-backmarkers Match Racing
Match racing battles being won and lost up and down the fleet Every boat in the fleet in Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race is back up to speed and enjoying trade wind sailing conditions as they push south towards the doldrums some 1000 miles away. Posted on 13 Feb
Volvo OR: Break away move gives Witt the lead
Volvo OR: Can Libby Greenhalgh shut out the Kiwi media darlings on Leg 6? Yesterday's front four on Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race have been badly caught out by an area of light winds on Day 5 of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Hong Kong to Auckland. Posted on 12 Feb
Can lightning strike twice for Scallywag?
The winning move for Leg 4 saw Scallywag take the inside track on a left hand turn towards Hong Kong Fast forward to the early stages of Leg 6 where Scallywag again finds itself on the inside track, cutting the corner on the right hand turn to the south towards the finish line in New Zealand. Posted on 12 Feb
Fast rides end for a day on Leg 6, Volvo OR
Volvo OR fleet leaders have to make some hard decisions to skirt a area of light air on Leg 6 After fast rides for a couple of days, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet leaders have to make some hard decisions to skirt a area of light air on Leg 6, before they get back into the Trade Winds for a three day run ahead of the onset of the Doldrums. Posted on 12 Feb
RS Sailing BOTTOMSelden 660x82Nebo 660x82 2