Leg 10, Day 2: The beautiful west coast of Ireland is the backdrop as the fleet heads north

Now well into their second day at sea, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is heading upwind on starboard tack off the west coast of Ireland, about 115 miles west-northwest of Limerick.

The last 24 hours have seen the fleet rock-hopping along the southern and now western Irish coasts with navigators taking the shortest route very close to the cliffs and islands of the Co. Cork coast.

Some of the pictures in recent days have been amongst the most spectacular of the entire race with the boats picked out against rugged and wild scenery.

On Dongfeng the crew have been working hard, short-tacking up the coast with navigator Pascal Bidegorry on deck helping to call the shots.

After taking the lead early in the stage, Dongfeng was the first to run into a windless hole in the vicinity of Bull Rock where strong adverse tide more or less stopped the boats in their tracks.

But luckily the Chinese-flagged crew managed to get going without losing too much in the ranking and today the team is running in third position, just a couple of miles behind the new leader, MAPFRE, with Team AkzoNobel in between.

At the back of the fleet, Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag has managed to catch up after dropping back to over 100 miles behind the leading pack. She is now just 14.6 miles behind MAPFRE.

By the early hours of tomorrow the weather picture will have dramatically changed as the fleet comes under the influence of an Atlantic cold front which will pack strong southerly winds which will drive the boats up and over Scotland. Then it will be a fast downwind run towards Scandanavia.

This leg looks like it is going to be nip and tuck all the way to the finish and already there are less than 1,000 nautical miles to go…