The Chinese boat sponsored by Dongfeng Motor Corporation is now well into the northeast Trades and there looks to be about another four days on starboard tack ahead, as she heads towards the eastern edge of the Caribbean.
This is a straight speed test for the crews and Charles Caudrelier and his team are putting all their hard work in training before the race to good use – keeping the boat trucking, 24 hours-a-day.
While this section of the race is fast with water cascading over the bow and boatspeeds up to 20 knots, the routing models for the final stages of the leg suggest it could be a light airs finish.
Speaking at the nav station, Pascal Bidegorry, was underlining that there is still a long way to go on this leg. “Yesterday it was exactly the distance between Newport and Cardiff – so we have a transatlantic in front of us – it’s a long way. There is plenty of things to do and it will be hard because I think everybody wants to fight,” he said.
Bowman Jack Bouttell has been explaining the clothing choices for deck work in strong winds in the Tropics. “We’re out of the Doldrums which is really nice – it’s very, very hot when it’s sunny,” he said.
“It’s always a call when you get a cloud and the wind goes up – whether you put your full wet weather gear on and you are fully sweating inside, because it’s really hot but you stay dry. Or you just accept it and go effectively naked just with your undies or board shorts on and get wet.”
Behind Dongfeng, Turn the Tide on Plastic is in third position (+24.3), with Vestas 11th Hour Racing fourth (+40) and MAPFRE still in fifth place but now 67.7 miles behind Team Brunel.
Position report at 11h06UTC:
1 - Team Brunel 2.360 from Newport
2 - Dongfeng Race Team 14.8nm from the leader
3 - Turn The Tide of Plastic 27.1nm
4 - Vestas 11th Hour 41.6nm
5 - MAPFRE 72.7nm
6 - AkzoNobel 94.9nm
7 - Scallywag 201.01nm