Volvo Ocean Race – Team Brunel sweeps to Leg 4 lead

On board Team Brunel. pic by Stefan Coppers/Team Brunel
On board Team Brunel.
pic by Stefan Coppers/Team Brunel

As the fleets turn south towards the Northern Marina Islands of Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guan, Team Brunel, having split north with Team SCA, found the more breeze and s slowly increasing their leverage over Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

The Dutch team is sailing at speeds in the low 20s over Azzams’s speeds in the mid to high teens. This has resulted in a boost in Brunel’s position report.

In the last 24 hours they have moved from fifth to third, second and now have hit the lead.

Just 24 hours ago, Team Brunel was 185 nm away from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s line. They are now just 115nm as they push down, trying to head the fleet off at the pass.

Team SCA, who had been sailing on Brunel’s hip, have fallen back and taken a slightly higher line. The closest they got to Team Brunel’s line was 10nm but they are now 34nm above.

These readings don’t mean anything in the big picture but do show how much height/depth each team is gaining/burning off against their forward progress.

We still have the ITZ about 1000nm away, and this will be the real player in this leg story.

Stop Press: News just in from Matt Knighton on board Abu Dhabi Ocean Race: ‘We’ve broken the J1 spigot and then one hour later broke the padeye for the reaching strut (second day in a row). We’re bleeding miles trying to get it all going again.’

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