Image © James Blake/Volvo Ocean Race
Team AkzoNobel in fourth place on speedy approach to Scotland
Team AkzoNobel is in the thick of a fiercely-fought high-speed six-way battle at the front of the fleet on Leg 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cardiff to Gothenburg. Currently in fourth place in the rankings the team has taken the easterly inside track as the fleet closes rapidly on the Outer Hebrides islands off the west coast of Scotland.
Sailing in 25 knots of wind the top six boats are engaged in a flat out drag race to be first to make the turn around the top of Scotland and head into the North Sea on the final stint to Gothenburg.
At 0700 UTC (0900 CEST) team AkzoNobel was seven nautical miles (13 kilometers) behind leg leader Mapfre (ESP) with just 15 nm (28 km) separating first to sixth in the fleet.
It’s a wild headlong rush that will mean fire hose conditions for the team AkzoNobel sailors on deck and a noisy and bumpy ride for the off-watch crew down below trying to get some sleep.
With conditions set to get even windier when the fleet reaches the top of Scotland the crew are preparing themselves for what could be some of the toughest conditions of the round-the-world race so far.
“From here to Sweden is two days of really strong breeze,” commented team AkzoNobel boat captain Nicolai Sehested (DEN). “We are setting ourselves up for a big battle in some big winds, but we are ready for it. The boat is ready to go, and we are set up for anything.”