Prologue, Day 2: Dongfeng battles light winds.

By Jeremie Lecaudey, OBR on Dongfeng

It has been a long night on board. A big decision had to be taken – do we stay on the coast of Portugal or remain offshore?

This morning Jeremie Beyou sums up the overall situation: “MAPFRE and Brunel have taken the decision to remain close to the shore up north because we cannot see them anymore on our navigation system – which only shows the AIS of boats within 8-10 miles of us.”

“We have Team AkzoNobel, Scallywag, Turn the Tide on Plastic (TTT) and Vestas 11TH Hour Racing on our tail. We will see the results in the next few hours or days.”

The start was indeed challenging for Dongfeng after having the door closed on us meaning we had to turn back and play catch up with the fleet. We eventually came back to be in front of the fleet in the south this morning.

Charles has been busy at the navigation system during his watch, hoping to track Brunel and MAPFRE. When the other two boats do eventually pop up on the screen, it is good to see that their speed is similar to that of ours – 4 to 5 knots in an ocean that currently looks like a mirror.

Charles went to wake his right-hand man, Pascal, for some advice. They both considered the option of going north but after reviewing the latest forecast, they’ve decided the best option is to stay offshore. They are now discussing the highlights of last night, catching the breeze here and there before finally getting back to the pack.