Least-favorite thing about the leg: Carlo: going upwind. Kyle: The upwind start, going upwind in 40 knots. Alberto: The humidity downstairs. Bouwe: The rain. Alberto: The rain in the first days. Sally: The beginning of the leg. It was horrible. Rough, a little seasick. Enjoyed the most? Bouwe: When the northerly wind came in and we were sailing at 26 knots in flat water. Kyle: Being with the leaders. Louis: Being competitive. Sally: Racing against the other boats, quite close. Peter: The transition we went through with all four of the leading boats right next to each other. Alberto: I like days like this. Sunny days, nice, warm. Carlo: Sailing to Auckland. Alberto and Carlo below.
Fish, on the helm, to Witty: "Happy Valentine's Day, David." To the camera: "Happy Valentine's Day to Kirsten, the woman that makes me the man I am, for supporting me with everything I do." Other Valentine's wishes: Witty: his mum, his daughters Piper and Summer, to Abby, and to Lenny. Ben: I don't have one. Next. Marcus: The love of my life, Suzie. Thanks for being amazing, for being awesome, and when I called you up and said can I do the next leg of Volvo in a couple of hours, you just said go for it. So thanks for being awesome. Happy Valentine's Day.
Night shot. Bouwe's voice: "Slower than us, yes. Moving. And a bit lower." Peter on the helm. Capey's voice talks about MAPFRE. MAPFRE, a boatlength ahead of them, in a flashlight; they shine a light back at them. Peter, on the helm: "We had a good bit of fun last night. Got stuck a boatlength behind MAPFRE... Eventually managed to get over the top." Louis talks about how they got over them, but then they got caught under a cloud. Bouwe talks about how they took off with wind and they just couldn't get over to them. And TTToP came up and made a move on them as well. "Of course it's bloody annoying." They've made up distance on TTToP. Good pace. Shot of TTToP to weather. Drone shots from close aboard. Carlo, shirtless, works on the stack. Drone shot with TTToP behind them and to weather.
Brunel and a second boat (MAPFRE?) a mile or two away. Light winds. Nicolas explains that they are in a wind transition. Good news is they were able to catch up with Brunel, Dongfeng, and MAPFRE; only a couple of hundred meters away. Now fighting in very light wind. Grinding at night. Stacking below, talking about how bad they smell. Other boat a few hundred yards away with port running lights. Bernardo talks about being on a 2-on, 2-off watch schedule. Phosphorescent wake. Competitor running light close to them. Drone shot of sunrise. Bernardo, Nicolas shave in a handheld mirror. Crew sleepy. Another boat behind them. Nicolas takes a bucket bath on the stern. Francesca talks about the battle during the night. MAPFRE and Dongfeng 35 miles to the west; now they're hanging with Brunel. Pushed hard during the night. All a bit tired, but we want to push as hard as possible. Drone shot of them sailing wiht Brunel ahead and to leeward of them.
Trystan on the helm (might have been mixing him up with Marcus; would be nice if the Volvo site team page had photos for either of them). Drone shot of Scallywag sailing toward the sunrise on port gybe. Witty and Libby laughing at the nav station. Witty: "You're starting to come around!" They seem happy about how they're doing on the other boats. Witty talks to Ben about how it's a balance; they've got "fugazi" (pointing to Libby) and "non-fugazi" (himself) and it works out pretty good. Witty: "We have just absolutely smashed them." He laughs. "All these other guys do the fugazi, and listen to the computer, and we sort of point where we want to go, and it seems to be working quite nicely." In the background, Libby is rocking back and forth, laughing silently. Witty: "It's only yachting mate, it's not science, it's not that hard... Libby Greenhalgh, she's done it again! We should have shares in Libby Greenhalgh!" Libby reads the sched on the intercom: MAPFRE doing 6 knots. (Meanwhile, they're sailing at 20.) Alex, on deck: "I heard a little rumor going round that we've actually done well. Apparently we're in front. We've got a better line down here... Long way to go. Fingers crossed we can keep on gaining... Still gotta go through the doldrums." Shot of sunrise. Drone shot of them shifting the stack on the bow. Sunrise drone shots.
Circling drone shot in 20 knot winds showing Scallywag sailing fast on port gybe. Looks like they're double-heading with the J0 and J3? Witty, at the nav station, points to a weather screen on the computer. "This is a grid file." Shows them as the southernmost boat pushing along with the front. "But really, the whole thing is smoke and mirrors. Navigators make it up so they can charge me money. Really it's just a bunch of pretty pictures, and whatever happens happens. It's all bullshit. All I know is we're now pointing at New Zealand instead of pointing at Japan." Shot of routing software; Witty lounging at nav station. High drone shot of them sailing fast. Fisher in the pit. "Just another day in the life of Team Scallywag." Pressure down a bit, so less firehose. Cleaning up. Keep with the plan. Ben works his way aft in the cockpit. Below, Alex watches a movie on a phone in his bunk. Ben eats, says the food isn't that bad. "Got a hybrid; mix a couple of freeze-drieds together, get a hot sauce... It's quite good." Witty at the nav station: "Go to bed, get up, steer 110." Cockpit shot; drone shot. Ben on the forward pedestal Libby at the nav station points out the current strategic situation, and how they have an opportunity to stay with the breeze a bit longer than the leaders. "Watch this space; 12 hours." Drone shot.
Pablo, below, talks about the tricky conditions. Being in front of the front, losing the wind, and compression happening. Needing to decide where to be to catch the next wind. They're a little to the northeast, and they think it's good for them. It's middle of the night, Brunel, Dongfeng, and TTToP all very close to each other fighting to get the next pressure. Shot of them sailign fast on port, triple-heading. Dongfeng to leeward. Pulling down the J0 on the foredeck. Shifting the stack. Slomo of Dongfeng to leeward, of Xabi on the helm. Washing machine. Then light winds. Sophie on the foredeck as they slat in no wind. Stacking forward, with headsail rolled up as a windseeker. Chart screen. Drone shot of them triple-heading with Dongfeng behind them. Cool drone shots.
Drone shots of TTToP triple-heading on port gybe under cloudy skies. Slomo spray, Dee grinding. Dee talks about why she loves racing. Harnassing that power of nature, and no two days are alike, so you're always learning. Crew in the cockpit. Dee talks about saling solo vs. sailing with a team. When you're alone it's all your responsibility. But with a team even when you're sleeping people are pushing, so the intensity is up. Slomo spray, washing machine. Chart showing their position and other boats. Brian reads the position report for 0100 UTC over the intercom. Have been going very much the same speed as the boats in front. "The great thing about this racing is it's so absorbing." Close competition with the other 5 boats. Dee talks about having the confidence of their boatspeed matching the leaders. Want to carry that through to the finish in Auckland. Drone shot from high overhead.
Drone shot with another boat about a mile to leeward; looks like TTToP. (Tracker confirms; yup. This is probably around the time of the big bunch up when MAPFRE, Dongfent, Brunel, and TTToP were all close to each other.) Drone shot with two boats to weather (Dongfeng and MAPFRE?).
Kyle on deck. Carlo on the bow. A distant competitor's sail can be seen ahead of them. They hoist a sail. Peter on the helm talks about how they're struggling a little at the moment. They've extended quite a bit. Not sure if it's a sail or just pressure. Seem to be all right on their targets; hopefully it's just pressure. Not much you can do about it. Keep trying to figure it out. Come up with ideas to go quicker. Finicky boats. Plenty of different configurations. It's been good being in the same bit of water as the boats ahead. Frustrating when they get away, but that's yacht racing. Sally explains that the two boats ahead pulled away, but they're coming into a squall. She's confident. "We'll catch 'em." Bouwe on the helm.
Carolijn, below, makes and eats a meal. "I'm eating the big boy cereal, specially made by Neal. Lots of granola and nuts and dried fruit." Talks about bad sea state 16/18 hours ago. MAPFRE right next to them. Fun racing. Jérémie eats. "Chinese breakfast... Quick to cook." Talks about being close to MAPFRE, concentrating while driving on being fast. A very close battle. Interesting, but a bit exhausting at times." Charles, at the nav station, talks about MAPFRE. Boats staying together to cross the doldrums. "Lots of boats are following us. Every time we change a bit our heading they change. But today we don't know where to go because we have no forecast... We are using the forecast from the start... Now we have the forecast, and can see we are in a good position."
Washing machine shot of cockpit. Slomo spray. Marcus, below, talks about how wet the boat is. "I've never seen boats like this. They are just So. Wet. It's epic. It's good fun though. Nonstop spray in your face; no reprieve." Fish, below, talks about fast sailing. Slomo spray on deck. More spray. Annemieke talks about holding on, it's pretty bumpy. Slomo spray washing over Annemieke. Alex at the nav station, with Libby behind him, makes a wrap with a tortilla and something in it. "It's almost like normal food." To Libby: "Cutting the corner again." Witty talks about food, mangoes. Libby talks about how the northern group will get into some lighter winds and they'll be able to close some distance. Shots of nav software. Fish: "It's all to play for. Like we saw in the last leg going the other way." The nav team is pretty happy with where they are and where they're going, and he has every confidence in them.
Kyle emerges from the cockpit. Major washing machine. Slomo washing machine soaks Carlo on the helm. Bouwe (I think?) trims on the stern. "Going to New Zealand now!"
Night shots: Rain (or spray?) in the cockpit. Sail change. Working on the foredeck. Spray in the cockpit. Below, Alberto talks about chaning from the MH0 to the J0 (or maybe it was J0 to J1?) "I was nice and dry, and now I'm completely wet and ready to go in the sleeping bag." Carlo, Kyle talk about the maneuver. Breeze kicked up to 30 knots and had to peel to the blade. Talks about how it's difficult, that that's what it takes to be competitive.
Xabi, below, talks in Spanish about strategy. Blair, below, talks about it being full-on going fast in the strong wind and big sea state. Talks about the competition. Dongfeng behind them, Brunel to leeward. Going well speed-wise against those guys. No wind in 12 hours. Night vision shots of the cockpit. Stern cam shots of rough conditions, washing machine. Spreader cam. Cockpit washing machine shots. Slomo of Támara getting doused while trimming. Slomo washing machine. Sailing fast in strong winds.
Spreader cam view of the deck as they sail fast on port gybe with the J0/J3. Spreader cam view of the cockpit; washing machine. Dee eats at the nav station. Dee: "All smiles. Everyone is soaking wet, but it's really fast sailing." Cold front met them before dawn; gybed. Really fast boatspeed toward Auckland. No longer pointing at Japan. Should have 8 hours with 30 knots of wind, then dropping to 20. Annalise bails water from below with a bucket. Talks about it having been nice for a while, but now it's back to being rough and bailing out. "But it's not too bad, because we're sailing fast in the direction of New Zealand." Dee talks about hoping to have closed the gap a bit with the leaders. Slomo spray on deck. Liz talks about sailing fast with the J0 up. Sailing at 24 knots. Bianca: "Going home!" Liz calls her The Cookie Monster, because she loves cookies and cream. Bianca gets wiped off the pedestal by a wave. Slomo spray in Liz's face on the helm. More of Annalise bailing water from below. Nicolas at the nav station: Not so far away from the first 3 boats. Akzo and Scallywag not too far away behind them. Not a bad sched. Spreader cam view of deck.