With the fleet approaching the latitudes of the Doldrums, speeds are expected to drop and indeed the leading boat, Dongfeng, was down to 12 knots of speed on the 13:00 UTC position report.
Boats just 10 miles further back were making closer to 20 knots, so a compression in the fleet is expected. But it may not be as severe as it often is. This Doldrums crossing is forecast to be relatively quick. Good news for the leading pack with the boats grouped so close together.
“There is still so much to go in this leg. We are 10 miles behind Dongfeng and we have Vestas and AkzoNobel right behind us… it’s nothing,” said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernandez.
“We would like to keep the distance close. Everyone is happy and we know we have a hard fight with these guys.”
“We are in a tough part of the race, I think. It’s been just about speed for about three days,” said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier. “Life is not easy on board. It’s very wet and warm and it’s going to be like this for a few days.”
But the weather is providing some relief. The strong rain showers are not just an opportunity to cool off, but also to get a fresh water shower. A luxury that doesn’t happen very frequently on a 20-plus day leg.
Leg 2 – Position Report – 11 November (Day 7) – 13:00 UTC
1. Dongfeng Race Team — distance to finish – 4,093.7 nautical miles
2. MAPFRE +9.8
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing +11.9
4. team AkzoNobel +25.0
5. Team Brunel +30.2
6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +88.7
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic +115.2