© James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race
A milestone has passed this morning as at the 0700 UTC [0900 CEST] sched, team AkzoNobel now has less than 1,000 nautical miles [1,852 kilometers] to go before the end of Leg 7 of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. The crew is just under 50 nautical miles [93 kilometers] behind the leading pair of Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team and all three boats are now sailing towards a high pressure system which will bring an area of lighter winds across their path. The stresses of battling their way through the strong winds of the last few weeks now replaced by the stresses of picking their path through the patchy breeze.
Our on board reporter, James Blake, send this short update this morning, “After a day of some strong winds and fast sailing we have now entered some lighter breeze so it is giving the boat and the crew a chance to dry out. With around 1,000 miles to go it looks like it should be a quick finish with a low sat off Brazil providing 25-30 knots of downwind sailing.”
Boat captain Nicolai Sehested is keeping himself busy on board in between his watches on deck. He explains a little more about the work and time that goes in to the running repairs on board the VO65. “This race is all about pushing the boats 100%, it’s the tool we have to win the race and to do well. You are never going to take it easy on the boat, you are always going to use it as hard as you can and sail as fast as you can and that requires a lot of maintenance.
"You have to check everything again and again. If you think it is going to be alright, then it is not. That’s the sort of mentality you have to have. I’m doing the daily checks and we take care of the boat like we always do and hopefully it will stay in one piece hopefully as it has done so far. Things will break, there is no way around it, the boat will break and things will break every day, it is just about finding it in time and fixing it before it becomes a snowball.”
At 0700 UTC [0900 CEST], Team AkzoNobel has 998 nautical miles [1,850 kilometers] to go before the finish in Itajaí Brazil, with an ETA of April 3 or 4.