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Zhik 2018 Yacht 728x90

Volvo Ocean Race: Fast sleighride to Gothenburg

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz 14 Jun 02:51 PDT 14 June 2018
Team Brunel - Leg 10 from Cardiff to Gothenburg. © Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet are being lashed by 30knot winds as they pass through the northern-most latitudes of the race.

With less than 1000nm to sail on the 45000nm nine month race, the race looks set to go right down to the final metres of the final leg into The Hague - home port of two of the entrants.

Right now they are crossing the North Sea in a 30kt southerly gale which is giving the teams a final workout on the four day leg.

Three boats are in contention for the overall race win - MAPFRE, Dongfeng and Team Brunel.

Using the points predictor, there is one combination of places at the finish of Leg 10 which would see all three boats go into the final 700nm leg all on equal points. That scenario is operative if the boats finish in their current positions.

The easy way for the competitors to avoid that situation is to pull the maximum points on Leg 10, and now it is a trade-off between pushing the boats as fast as possible in the conditions while avoiding a breakage or handling snafu.

Also at stake on two of the boats is for Peter Burling or Blair Tuke to become the first sailor in history to win the Triple Crown - an Olympic Gold Medal, and America's Cup win and a Volvo Ocean Race win.

Burling's hopes of being "The One" looked to have faded earlier today as Team Brunel languished in fifth place. However over the past few hours the yellow boat, has pulled up into the Leg lead, with Tuke aboard MAPFRE right up their clacker - just .3nm behind.

You can follow all the action on the live tracker click here.

If the boats hold their current speed (20kts) the the finish is likely around 2000hrs UTC on Thursday June 14.

Catch the live video coming off Brunel and MAPFRE in the viewer below.

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