Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Turn The Tide On Plastic Turns The Tables On Volvo Ocean Race Fleet

21st February 2018
Turn the Tide on Plastic picks up the pace on day 15 of Leg 6 to Auckland Turn the Tide on Plastic picks up the pace on day 15 of Leg 6 to Auckland Photo: James Blake/Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - Turn the Tide on Plastic became the new leaders of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Wednesday (21 February) as the sprint from Hong Kong to Auckland moved inside 1,500 miles.

Dee Caffari’s talented young sailors — among them Ireland’s own Annalise Murphy — ghosted past Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag as they capitalised on the tiniest puffs of breeze in an otherwise windless doldrums.

The temporary acceleration from less than a knot to more than four was welcomed by Turn the Tide on Plastic after two days of painstakingly slow progress in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 1pm UTC/Irish time position update showed a 17-mile lead for Caffari’s crew, no strangers to the top spot in the doldrums having previously led the fleet through the Intertropical Convergence Zone on Leg 4 from Melbourne to Hong Kong.

But with around six days still to sail before reaching the Auckland finish line, navigator Nico Lunven was keen to urge caution.

“On the ranking we’re first but it’s calculated on the distance to Auckland,” Lunven said, “and we won’t be going there a straight line.”

The dilemma facing the teams over the past 48 hours has been where to position themselves as they approach the island chain of Vanuatu. If and when the new wind arrives, it should do so from the east, and Turn the Tide on Plastic’s overnight gain is testament to the advantages on offer from getting it first.

However, as Lunven alluded, the forecast suggests a routing to the west of New Caledonia, some 300 miles to the south, will be quickest. It could yet be that Scallywag, some 45 miles to the west, and Team Akzonobel, another 15 miles past them, leapfrog their rivals into the top spot once more.

After several days in front, conceding any miles to Turn the Tide on Plastic has been a bitter pill to swallow for Dave Witt’s Scallywag crew.

“For us it’s about limiting the damage,” said Scallywag’s Marcus Ashley Jones. “Hopefully we’ll get a little bit of luck with a puff. We’re still in touch, still in the game, but it’s always disappointing to go from being the peacock to the feather duster.”

Almost 100 miles behind the pacesetters, Dongfeng Race Team and MAPFRE continued their match race. At times the two teams, first and second on the overall leaderboard, were practically side by side after nearly 4,000 miles of racing.

Although speeds were up around seven knots today, the teams face another 24 hours before they reach New Caledonia and start accelerating towards Auckland, their progress buoyed by stronger winds.

Meanwhile, construction of the Race Village at the Viaduct Basin in Auckland is continuing in anticipation of opening day this Saturday 24 February.

Leg 6 Position Report, Wednesday 21 February (Day 15) at 1pm Irish time/UTC:

  1. Turn the Tide on Plastic - DTF 1444.49 nautical miles
  2. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag +17.05 nautical miles
  3. Team Brunel +18.90
  4. Team AkzoNobel +20.15
  5. MAPFRE +80.93
  6. Dongfeng Race Team +87.00
Published in Volvo Ocean Race
MacDara Conroy

About The Author

MacDara Conroy

Email The Author

MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

corkweek sidebutton
tokyo sidebutton
roundireland sidebutton
wave regatta
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating