Team AkzoNobel charges the podium on final day of Leg 10
The team AkzoNobel sailors have fought their way into third position on Leg 3 after a night of brutal conditions for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet out on the North Sea. Southerly winds up to 35 knots have whipped up a hideous seaway for the seven identical boats as they sail on a tight reach towards Gothenburg.
Having previously rounded the top of Scotland in fifth place behind Mapfre (ESP), Dongfeng Race Team (CHN), Team Brunel (NED), and Turn the Tide on Plastic (UN), team AkzoNobel somehow found a fast mode in the tough going to overtake both TTOP and Dongfeng to move into third place.
It’s a spirited performance from a crew that before leaving Cardiff pledged to do everything possible to deliver a strong performance over the final two legs of the Volvo Ocean Race.
At 0700 UTC 0900 CEST) this morning team AkzoNobel was in third place, four nautical miles behind leg leader Mapfre and second placed Team Brunel who were in a fierce slugging match for the Leg 10 lead.
Before the teams can get into calmer seas they will have to find a way around the southern tip of Norway, which could mean switching to full upwind beating mode against the wind and waves.
These are boat breaking conditions and the team AkzoNobel crew will need to be careful to balance the temptation to push harder to catch the leaders with the need to avoid causing a serious breakage on board the boat. Both the dismastings that have happened in the race so far have been in very similar conditions.
Team AkzoNobel’s Danish boat captain Nicolai Sehested describes the waters the team is currently racing through as “my backyard” so perhaps the young Dane has some tactical or navigational tricks up his sleeve to help close down the top two?
Whether he has or not we just will have to wait and see by staying glued to the tracker for the final hours of this thrilling penultimate Volvo Ocean Race stage.
With under 300 nm (555 km) still to go on Leg 10 the estimated arrival times for the fleet tonight range from 1000 - 0020 UTC (0000 – 0400 CEST).