Charlie, on the starboard rail, looks forward: "We think we see Dongfeng, having won the Volvo Ocean Race. Nick (I think), jokes: I don't wanna talk about it! Charlie: Apparently we don't wanna talk about it. SiFi is smiling with a tablet at the back of the boat. Jeremie: You don't want to talk about it? Charlie: They certainly deserve it. They've been the most consistent, they saved the best for last, always bounce back, a strong team, big risk. Looking good. TJ, by the helm with binoculars, is talking to SiFi about what he's seeing: Dongers. A bunch of other sailboats.
Sophie on the rail: We are so close. We're coming up to the TSS, and we're gonna bear away. And we're 0.2 of a mile away from Brunel... we just gotta pass them. Joan looks at tablet, calls them being clear of the exclusion zone. Trying to punch through to leeward of Brunel. Drone shot of them gybing in front of AkzoNobel. Tamara, on the bow, talks in Spanish. Neti looks through binoculars. AkzoNobel crosses behind them. Neti talks in Spanish. He repeats in English: We're pushing hard, we take the first chance to overtake them, and we take it. Now we have to wait and see what happens with Dongfeng on the other side. Hopefully we keep ahead of Brunel, and the guys on the other side. We'll see.
Charlie and SiFi look at the chart. SiFi: Right now if I was a betting man I'd say that Dongfeng is pretty good. They're 7 miles behind the leading boat, which is MAPFRE. And they're laying in doing 14 knots. Three other boats to weather.
Witty, below, puts talcum powder in his foulies. "Look at this: I apply the talcum powder like Bes told me." He shakes talcum powder all over himself. This is the best theory. You just get as much of it as you can, and you just cover yourself. This could almost be for the last time. He pulls on his foulies. About 6 hours to the end of the VOR. The V-O-R. He jokes about throwing beer in each other's faces. Annemieke, in her bunk: It's sure he will do it again.
High drone shot showing the three boats all in a line: AkzoNobel, Brunel, MAPFRE. Peter, below by the hatch as Nina moves coiled lines. Peter: AkzoNobel's proving to be a bit of a roadblock. Drone shot with RIB in the foreground. MAPFRE astern. Bouwe to Capey: Continue? Bouwe: MAPFRE there, and the roadblocker, Akzo, in front of us. And they're not too fast. But that's sailing. Peter in the pit. Low drone shot. Bouwe: Not too tight on the bit sail? Closeup of the chart showing the exclusion zones. Abby talks about how difficult it was to get past Akzo. Gonna be a tense 30 miles. MAPFRE coming up on their weather quarter; Carlo looks forward. Sam: What are you experiencing right now? Carlo: It's pretty tight racing. I'm getting a little annoyed by our Dutch mates on Akzo. I imagine MAPFRE isn't too happy with them either. We're pretty close to being home, so that's good. But it's pretty nerve-wracking. Brunel: MAPFRE gybed, and we still think this is the right way, so lets just cross our fingers that it's the winning move. AkzoNobel crosses in front by 100 yards. Kyle (I think?) calls a tongue-in-cheek "Starboard! Get out of the way." They gybe.
Drone shot of Vestas triple-heading on starboard gybe. Drone shot of peeling to the MH0, furling the J0. SiFi, below: Last night was important tactically. Explains taking the offshore option. Made the choice we made because we thought we might get ahead of MAPFRE and Dongfeng that way. As it turns out, MAPFRE joined us. Now the overall of the race is resting on who made the right choice on which lane. We've seen one boat pick one, one pick the other, and one sort of waver between the two. Roy Disney, Jr. on deck. Charlie on the helm. Stacey grinding. Tony fiddles with the clew of a sail. Drones shot of lowering the J0, pulling the tack of the J0 off the bowsprit.
Annemike, trimming: Battling here. Don't want anyone between us and Plastics. Very important few hours. Witty: Looks like a photo finish, doesn't it? What other way would you want to finish the Volvo Ocean Race? He describes the position of the boats. Describes the possibilities of how the finish could play out. This has been an amazing mental, emotional roller coaster this race. In 47,000 miles not one thing has changed. As critical as I have been of the boats, and I will stand by that, this is the most amazing round the world race I've ever seen. For a whole bunch of different reasons. Antonio and Trystan grinning on the weather rail.
An Amazing Mental Emotional Roller Coaster, Discussing the competition, Educating Witty, Favorite, Photo Finish, Standings, The Most Amazing Round The World Race I've Ever Seen, Very Important Few Hours
Charles and Pascal scowl at the computer. Looking at a sched? Charles chews on his neck cowl, rubs his eyes, talks to Pascal in French. Charles goes up, and Pascal moves into his spot. On deck, Horace says, "keep pushing." Carolijn asks about the other boats. Charles explains that the others are closer in mileage, but they have a straight line while the other boats have to gybe. So could be very close.
Tony, below: As Nick just said, could be ever. Nick: Not ever. Tony: Who knows? [he laughs] Good and bad. The race has been a blast. Full on. Windiest race ever. As a team we had our ups and downs, had to battle on, come through it... It's my sixth race. Finishing my sixth lap of the planet over 20 years. Nick's just sniggering away up here. He knows I'll be back. Nick: I'm still going back to sleep. This could be my last watch on this boat. Which will have just completed two laps around the planet on, because this was Alvimedica on the last race. The old girl. Tony: I think Nick's gonna buy it. He's gonna put it on a vacant lot somewhere in Newport, and he's gonna live on it. Because he won't know how to live in a house. Stacey: Can put a sprinkler system on it... We joke about it, but I'm a bit like Tony. Hopefully this is my last time. I think I said this last race as well. Who knows what the future will bring I guess. On deck, Phil takes off his neoprene hood and rubs his hair: Last watch. Not gonna lie I'm pretty excited. I really want to get home. Time to start being a dad again, I guess. A few more hours, try to catch these guys, and then get home and start planning the next Volvo Ocean Race. Jena laughs. Tony: She's just dreaming of racing again, next time. Jena: Next time. I will enjoy it, have a little meal with Phil, a romantic breakfast. And then a little lie down in the bunk. You'll probably see me in 5 minutes setting a different sail. SiFi: We are enjoying our last day of offshore sailing. Beautiful sunny day in the North Sea. Not too sunny; if it gets too sunny it will get lighter. Below, Phil looks at a food pack. Eats at the nav station next to Jena. Phil sneezes, says to the camera: Brian [Brian Carlin, head of the OBRs mayabe?], Jena says there's never any mail for her. Charlie, on a pedestal on deck: Miss the most? Waking up every day with one goal. When it's over you wake up and don't know what to do with yourself. The direction is nice. What am I going to miss the least? Water pressure. Stacey: Probably, the challenge every day. And soon enough you don't have that, and you have to figure out what your next challenge is. SiFi: Miss the most? Other than the entertaining conversation with the OBRs? Hanging out with all of these guys I reckon. Working with some good people, learning something new every day. Don't know what I'm going to miss the least. Looking forward to my newfound freedom. Tony: Some of the stopovers were great. I'm going to miss that. Looking forward to going sailing again without getting blasted with water. TJ, on the helm: Miss the most? Like SiFi said, the people of course. Fast flat water VMG sailing. Miss the least? Probably that forward upper bunk. I'm looking forward to never having to climb that one again.
A Romantic Breakfast, After The Race, Buying The Boat And Putting It In A Vacant Lot In Newport And Living On It, Favorite, Food, Forward Upper Bunk, Jena Says There's Never Any Mail For Her, Missing Crewmates, My Sixth Race, North Sea, Question Video, Thing I'll Miss The Least, Thing I'll Miss The Most, Time To Start Being A Dad Again
Marie, below: Big surprise at the end because we took a different option from Brunel and MAPFRE. So we don't know for the moment. We will have a position report in 40 minutes, so we will see how they are going. So a bit stress, eh? We cross the finger. We have good wind at the moment. We hope they don't have the same. So we wait and we wait. Horace: Almost 42 nautical miles to the finish. Hopefully the weather forecast is like they say, the offshore choice will have less wind. So we can have a chance to overtake them. We still fight for that, and try everything we can, push the boat faster to have the best VMG speed to arrive the finish line. Everything will be happening at the finish line. Always believe it.
Sailing down the Dutch coast with Stu on the helm and Marie trimming. RIB comes alongside. Marie waves. Carol takes a picture with her phone. Spray. Daryl trimming.
Annemieke, below: Plan is, we're gonna bear away, and catch the whole fleet and finish first. Simple plan but it will work out. Witty: It's like leg 2 into Cape Town, the middle of the bloody Southern Ocean and we're gybing on top of each other. Nothing's changed. I think the boss is quite surprised at how tight and close it is. 100-footers were close but nothing like this. I don't want to look at the AIS ever again in my life. I'm sick of looking at the AIS. We've sailed 40,000 miles and we're still watching the boat next to us to see if they moved a sail a meter forward or back... I think now everyone's at the realization that tomorrow we never have to get on one of these things again and put ourselves through this. I think everything's coming home to roost of just how agonizingly frustrating and mentally tough it is, and we're now counting down the hours. I think if you thought like this any earlier in the race you wouldn't have been able to get yourself mentally right to do the next leg. Owner talks about the course from the cabin to the cockpit. Annemieke: I think as Witty always said, we're a bunch of good lunatics. But yeah, I think we've really bond. Everyone will not say to each other, but I think we're gonna miss each other. We went through so many highlights and major... disasters. Losing Fish. And I think Fish is a big part of the crew, he's with us, you know. Talking for myself I think about him every day. I miss him, and I think that counts for all of us. I think that's a big thing.
100-footers, A Bunch Of Good Lunatics, AIS, Discussing the competition, Counting Down The Hours, Educating Witty, Favorite, Frustration, Guest, I Don't Want To Look At Ais Ever Again In My Life, I Think The Boss Is Quite Surprised At How Tight And Close It Is, Plan Is We're Gonna Bear Away Catch The Whole Fleet And Finish First, The Loss Of John Fisher, The Race Ending, We're Going To Miss Each Other
Bouwe, trimming the main, talks about doing well over the night where they were the first to change sails from J1 to MH0, and did a good job, and later when AkzoNobel did their change they did it poorly and lost ground. And then they sailed over the top of MAPFRE. He talks about how Dongfeng went east. They're hoping the wind stays the same so they (Brunel) will need to gybe downwind. "Nothing we can do about that; they chose that route we chose this route." Nina: A bit nervous. No idea what Dongfeng is doing. We're just trying to hold MAPFRE now. Bouwe: Had a bit of a tough start. Kyle, on the helm: Not over till it's over. Bouwe, walking below, shows Sam his fingernails are all intact. Capey, below: Que sera, sera. Sam: What's that mean? Capey: What will be will be.
Xabi, in the cockpit, trims the main and talks in Spanish about tactical situation. Repeats in English: 70 miles to go, very complicated really. Yesterday we were going east down the Danish coast with Dongfeng, but the last weather forecast changed a little, and we decided that the westerly option was better. Unfotunately they are in front of us, and Akzo. Still a good downwind of 30 miles today, but we will keep fighting and see what happens. Brunel and AkzoNobel ahead of them. Joan at the nav station. Blair on the helm. Willy, Sophie, Blair and Neti on the bow. Xabi: Main on. Hold. Blair's salty hands. Two boats closer in front of them.
High drone shot of AkzoNobel with Brunel and MAPFRE behind them. Martine grinding as they peel to the MH0. Martine: after the mark in Aarhus, being so far behind we didn't expect to be in this position. But after a lot of flat out, no-sleep watches, here we are. Brad trimming with the other boats behind them. "Last day of it all. I'm feeling a sense of relief, but it's all on back there. No thought about resting tomorrow; next eight hours is going to be flat out. No eating no sleeping no drinking for the next eight hours. It's all on." Low drone shot from ahead.
Tanker on the horizon; Dee talks about watching it to see if it changes direction. Dee gets her hat on and goes up. Slomo steering. Francesca, below: It's a real tough leg, it's short, but a lot of corners, different sails peeling, different conditions, full Volvo style, 30 knots, now we are sailing in 18 knots, so it's quite changeable waeather. It's quite nice. We were able to put more distance between us and Scallywag, and we can see Dongfeng in front, so everyone is really close. Bianca grinding on deck. Dee trimming. Slomo grinding by Liz. Scallywag behind them. Francesca: We have to beat Scallywag and put a boat between us and them. We'll try to catch the people in front. Maybe not in our hands; if someone wants to finish behind us it's perfect. Liz, on deck, talks about trying to keep the staysail happy. Nicolas at the nav station. Bianca and Dee in slomo.
Pascal rubs his eyes at the nav station. Charles looks on. They talk in French. Pascal: Honestly, for the moment we are far behind, but they have to turn around 40 miles before the finish line and come back. I hope the next wind's on us, a lot. But we will see. It's a bit crazy we have been racing for 9 months and it's only the 40 last miles of the last leg is going to decide who is going to win the Volvo Ocean Race. It's crazy. Charles gets dressed and talks to Pascal in French; something about "a cyclone and we flap flap flap!" He tells Martin: If they get some light pressure we can come back. We win or not in one hour but not two hour (?). Wait and see.
A Bit Crazy, Discussing the competition, Computer, Favorite, Flap Flap Flap, French, Nav Station, Strategy, Translation Needed, Wait And See, We Have Been Racing For Nine Months And It's Only The Last Forty Miles That Will Decide Who Is Going To Win
Nicolai on the helm. MAPFRE and Brunel in their wake. Nicho: You're in the lead, but they're so close it's not really. Gotta sail as fast as we can, mode the boat, hopefully that will be enough. But it's going to be on, all day; here we go. Hasn't' been much sleep the last few days. Carlo talks to Jules below: Where's the Dongers? Jules explains how they went inside. "Could pay off for them; could not. Models aren't particularly clear." Nav screen shows them entering the little gap in the exclusion zone. He stands in the hatch and shows Simeon the route on a tablet. Simeon: Pretty good. [He sounds half asleep.] "Good feeling to be in home waters." Shots of Brunel and MAPFRE behind them. Nicho: Stress. You can cut it with a knife back there between those two boats. Still have Dongfeng... not as strong a position tactically, but can't tell. He talks about the exciting day ahead.
Grinding in the sunrise. Libby, below: We just peeled from our MH0 to the J1. Now wobbling along the northwest edge of Europe. Three boats have taken this route... Surprised to see the leaders split like that. Map screen showing the split. She talks about the western group. After a shot in the cabin hatch, the same clip of Libby is repeated. Libby calls up fleet positions from the nav station. "Struggling a bit with our speed... Hats off to Turn the Tide. They've got some good moding. A few peels to go; we seem to be better at peels, we gain a bit when we do that. So it's never over till it's over."
Washing machine shot from inside the cabin. Martin driving. Stern cam of spray coming over the cockpit. Dee on the helm. Slomo washing machine past sthe cockpit winches. Martin grinding.
Blair, below: So, real interesting one. Final appraoch to the Hague and the end of the race, and we knew it would be the case, but there's these TSS's that are a massive exclusion zone. Have to make a choice off Denmark which way to go. We were lining up to go on the inside, down toward Germany and along the beaches on the top of Holland; made a late call to go to the west. As a result we lost quite a lot on Brunel and AkzoNobel who had decided to go this way earlier, and doing so we split from Dongfeng who were carrying on down. It's a tricky one, but at the end of the day we have to do what we think is right to get us there fastest, and both the boats we had to beat are going different ways, and we feel this way's fastest. Got Brunel about a mile above us now, so we're gonna have to fight to the end. But that's the way it is. All good really. Wouldn't want it any other way. Not long to the finish now, definitely in the final sprint. Probably no sleep now for sure. Not that there's been much sleep. There's gonna be compression toward the finish as well. Lot of light stuff and gybing... Plenty to play for. Just glad we're here and in the fight. It's been a busy few days, just looking forward to finishing off well. Black and white shot of the cockpit. Mast cam view of lowering the J1. Loud shot of the cockpit. Conversation between Blair and Joan at the nav station. Xabi in the pit. Slomo. Blair on the helm.
Black And White, Compression, Exclusion Zone, Favorite, Foredeck, J1, Just Looking Forward To Finishing Off Well, Maneuver, Pit, Plenty To Play For, Sleep, Slow-mo, Strategy, The Hague, Wouldn't Want It Any Other Way
Spreader cam of the cockpit. Mast cam of spray on the bow. Stern cam of major washing machine. Liz: This is definitely one of the things I'm going to miss about the race. It's pretty cool to spend the last 24 hours like this. It's a good way to end the race. Washing machine in the pit. Stacking. Bagging a sail (?) on the floor of the cockpit. Liz: Gaining on Scallywag the last 2 hours, and everyone's pretty geared up to stay in front of them. So the fight is on. Lowering the J1 on the foredeck.
Bernardo on the rail lashes the stack. Scallywag is visible a half mile behind and to weather. A coastline is visible behind them and to starboard; is that Norway? A German or Dutch island? Keel shot. Rudder shot. Nicolas: We are going offshore; in a few hours will have 30 knots (yeah, this is off Norway). Bleddyn works on the outrigger. Dee steers. Dee grinding. Reefing the main. Stronger conditions; washing machine. Liz, below: Pretty gnarly. We're sending it across the North Sea from Norway down to Denmark. 32 knots of breeze, pretty bouncy sea state, and we're sitting on speeds of between 24 and 27 knots. Really really fun.
Black and white. Night. Abby works the pit. It's super loud as they surf on starboard; some maneuver is going on. Water cascades into the cockpit. Abby coils. Below, Peter, from his bunk, asks Capey about the sched. Capey: It's half and half; could go either way. Looks like they're going inshore. [Talking about MAPFRE and Dongfeng, I assume.] Peter, in his bunk, explains to Sam: Just peeled to the J0. "So we go the J1 off, which is always nice. AkzoNobel seems to be going pretty quick with the J1, Vestas is down to leeward, a little bit behind. We're not very sure if MAPFRE and Dongfeng are going inside or outside; we're obviously going outside. Hope to find some good speed with the J0 and get to Holland."
Black And White, Discussing the competition, Exclusion Zone, Favorite, Hope To Find Some Good Speed With The J0 And Get To Holland, J0, J1, Maneuver, Night, Peel, Pit, Sched, Traffic Seperation Scheme, Washing Machine, We Got The J1 Off Which Is Always Nice
Dongfeng on port gybe, Carolijn trimming. MAPFRE to starboard. Daryl. Hoisting the J1. Charles grinding on the forward pedestal. Stu on the helm talking with Kevin. Spray. Sunset. Waves. Reefed main. Stacking. Pascal at the nav station. Charles at the nav station. Stu: If we had to gybe it though, we could run one. Stu: We've chosen a path inshore. So there's lots of tricky navigation. Sand banks, separation schemes, wind farms. It's going to be an interesting night.
Slomo washing machine from the cockpit. Kyle, below: Just broke the padeye that holds the port outrigger on, lost the forward outrigger, snapped the end off it, and it took a big gouge out of the daggerboard, and had to replace that, which was pretty horrible in 25 knots power reaching. So just spent 45 minutes under water with Carlo trying to replace that. And we did that, and lost quite a bit, unfortunately, about a mile and a half to AkzoNobel and the rest of the guys. Back underway, and hopefully make some gains on those guys soon. Spreader cam shots of Kyle and Carlo working on the broken outrigger. Reefing the main.
TJ suits up and goes forward wth a GOPro (Garmin) on him. Working at the base of the mast to put in a reef.. He takes spray in the pit. Crash cam from the stern shows him taking spray; SiFi talks on the PA about an upcoming exlcusion zone. He clips in the reefed tack, comes back to the pit. Spreader cam view of them pulling the main back in. TJ, below, talks about putting the reef in. Charlie comes down: When you have to go up for two seconds sometimes you don't put your gear on. Which is stupid. TJ: We reduced the sail, and then we were like, let's go faster. And put it back up again. Charlie, spraying water on his face: And we were the victims. Us.
Drone shot of Carlo working the bow; looks like the end of a peel to the J1 from the MH0 (or J0). Below, Carlo takes off his foulies. Sam: How's it going? Carlo: It was tough. Feels like we've gone through about 20 transitions in the last day. Lot of peeling, and not a lot of sleep. It's a bit frustrating. It's a tough leg. Bouwe, in the hatch: Who has got such unbelievably stinky feet? (Sees Carlo.) Ah, the cloggy! You should wear clogs instead of boots. Carlo: That's what you get when you do hard work on the bow, mate. Bouwe: We've dialed it up quite a bit. We've got leverage on them now. They're probably four miles ahead, so everything to play for. There's always opportunities, so you just have to keep chipping away. Big call will be to take an easterly course, or outside. That's the big choice we have to make. Sam: Anything you want to say to your Brunel fans out there? Bouwe: Talks in Dutch.
Bow, Clogs, Discussing the competition, Drone, Dutch, Exclusion Zone, Favorite, Feels Like We've Gone Through 20 Transitions In The Last Day, Foredeck, J1, Sleep, Stinky Feet, Strategy, The Hague, Tough Leg, Translation Needed
HIgh drone shot in low-light conditions. Nicolai stacking below. Jules in the cockpit talking about wind with Nicolai and Nicho. Jules: Got a little complicated there. Models had a big shift. Trying to time that, and dealing wiht the TSS. High drone shot of Akzo with Brunel a quarter mile behind them. Emily stacking uphill below. Jules at the nav station talking to Nicho. Nicolai getting his gear on below, talking to Jules about the upcoming wind. Nicho talks about changing to the J0; confirms with Nicolai that the outrigger is already set up for it. Nicolai to Nicho: Set up J1, J3, outrigger? Slomo washing machine on deck. Brunel behind them. Drone shot of both boats. Nicolai below, his face covered in freshly-applied sunscreen: Day 2? Day 3. Rounded the virtual mark off Norway. Transitions... Talks about the stress on the three boats with a chance to win the race. "Stress is on them. We just want to sail as fast as we can and win the leg."
Drone shots of Scallywag sailing upwind wih TTToP a half mile away. Parko, below: We've basically been match racing with them since the start of this leg, and the position between us has changed a half dozen times now. I don't think anyone's going to change to a smaller sail, and after a couple of hours the breeze should lighten up a bit. Crew working in the cockpit in rougher conditions. Annemieke and Seng Huang Lee on the pedestal. Parko, below: Going through the moding, and you have to laugh sometimes; all the sails are flapping and you're still going 20 knots... Last chance to drive these boats hard before the Hague, in this edition. Slomo washing machine. Parko: It's always amazing toward the end of these campaigns. Amazing events, getting to compete against the best in the business. I think we're going to be close to them the rest of the way; I wouldn't be surprised if our position changes again before the finish. Drone shot.
All The Sails Are Flapping And You're Still Going 20 Knots, Drone, Emotions At The End Of This Edition, Favorite, Guest, Last Chance To Drive These Boats Hard Before The Hague, Match Racing, Other Boat, Slow-mo, Upwind, Washing Machine
Xabi talks below in Spanish. From the noise and movement it sounds like they're getting into the stronger wind. Repeats in English: 25 - 30 knots from west to northwest. Last night passed a light wind transition close to Norway. Now they have Dongfeng 2 miles to leeward and astern. So very happy, and hopefully we can keep this position. Still a lot to go, obviously. Rob talks to Pablo, on the helm, about tactics with Dongfeng (who is to leeward and ahead). If Dongfeng tacks, then MAPFRE can sail low and fast to get into a controlling position (?)(Something like that.) Pablo: They are tacking. Rob: Okay. Speeding it up guys. Dongfeng approaching. Patch on the J1. Rob: We don't really want to sag down to them. But we do want to pull some bearing. So higher and faster please. (Chuckles.) Slomo of Neti on the helm. Stern cam, spreader cam of stacking aft. Washing machine. Spray on the foredeck as the wind builds.
Drone shot of Vestas tacking with the J1 and land in the background. Charlie in the cockpit: Little bit of a situation when we passed the virtual mark and the breeze died, and we ended up on the wrong side of the TSS. A little disappointing. But it's going to make some fun racing on the last night of the race. Drone shots: stacking, sailing upwind. Mark and Charlie sailing in the cockpit. Phil grinding. Drone shot from overhead.
Flopping. TTToP crossing them a half mile away. Drone shot of the two boats. Ben: Pretty frustrating night. A big game of luck almost, who can pick the right shifts. We just went around a virtual mark. Can't seem to shake Turn the Tide yet. Drone shot. Ben: It's a massive undertaking, this race. It's relentless. It's never-ending... It really shapes your character. Relentless mentally and physically. A good test of the person and of the team.
Slomo of Dee grinding. Liz on the helm. Slomo. Tacking the MH0. Drifting conditions. Scallywag bare-headed flops on the horizon. Nicolas looks at his tablet. "It's a flapping sail." Stacking. Dee and Bernardo. Bianca. "We have passed the mark." Everyone cheers. Sitting forward. Francesca: How many miles to the Hague? Bernardo: 400. Bianca: 400 miles to the finish line. Francesca: 6 days. 10 days. We don't have enough food. Dee: But it's not just the finish line, Franky. It's the ultimate finish line. Francesca: The extreme finish line. Life at the extreme. Bianca: Look at us we're blasting along now. Furling the MH0 for a gybe. Scallywag a half mile away. Dee and Francesca talking on the rail. Dee explains that they've just rounded the virtual mark, and expect to finish Sunday evening... It's felt so far like the longest in-port race ever.
Below, Pascal studies the computer, chews his nails. He announces to the cockpit over the PA that in (something) minutes they can furl the J3 (I think?). Marie responds on deck. Pascal: Standby tack. Okay, tacking! We hear the sound of the tack. Chart screen shows the exclusion zone rounding (I think?). Pascal explains being in the new wind, and getting the shift, and being able to go directly to the south. Sleep? I think we are going to sleep well when we arrive in The Hague. But that's life. We have a little bit more than one day until the race is finished. I think it is good that we can go on pushing. And we will see.
Capey at the nav station, chin in hand. Peter sitting below, shirtless, eating and scowling. Closeup computer screen showing their positioon and AkzoNobel's AIS symbol just ahead of them. Pans down to show courses diverging around an exclusion zone. Bouwe on deck explains the traffic separation scheme. Breeze shifted so much that they had to sail down to miss the traffic separation zone. And they'll lose Akzo as well, because they tacked well before. Bouwe: "Can't change it."
Nicolai gets out of his bunk: "That was 20 minutes. That was good." Martine: I don't count time anymore. I don't count hours and minutes. Nicolai, agreeing: No. Grinding on deck. Jules calling course changes while looking at his tablet. Nicho talks about winds ahead. They talk about which way to take the exclusion zone. Nicho talks about rounding the virtual mark. Now we can see the guys in front of us. Need another compression and parkup. Have a reasonable lead over Scallywag and Turn the Tide, but need to get into the guys in front. Another boat in the distance ahead of them (Vestas?).
Carlo, below: It's very light. So it's an opportunity to catch up on the two red boats. And on sleep. He gets in his bunk. Peter, on deck: Pretty light. Working our way back up to Norway. Stretching the course, which is good for us... Can see the boats ahead of us, bit of a compression. Kyle, on the helm: Of course the dream is still alive till it's over. Some good gains... Keep plugging away and hopefully catch them in the next 24 hours. AkzoNobel behind them. Dongfeng and MAPFRE heading south. Peter and Capey talk about current and the virtual mark. Peter: Wanna wake everyone up? Two miles? Capey: I think that will do it for me. (Calling layline.) They tack. They come into the virtual mark, with Capey calling the bear away. Abby on the bow talks about them having rounded the mark, and traffic separation scheme coming up. Sam: How is the mood on board right now? Abby: It's good. Still in good spirits. Still a long way to go, gotta keep plugging. As much as we would like to be down there, we just gotta keep trucking. Shot of the two boats ahead of them.
Blair preps a sail patch below. "Too many sail changes, and the [something] which attaches the sheet to the sail, went through the J1's... So a quick repair before the next sail change. Endless... He and Neti apply the patch on the sail near the bow. Willy, on the foredeck, talks in Spanish. Repeats in English: If there's another team besides us in this race that deserves to win it's them. We've been stuck behind them for the last 2 days. We had our chances to pass them. We did pass them, but they always come back strong. They're just under half a mile. We're just catching them up now in the next half hour. Compression and transition. Plenty of chances. Blair below tells Tamara, "Two hours". Then says "Nahh..." Maybe he was joking? Rounding the virtual mark, with Dongfeng heading south and dthen them following them. Chasing Dongfeng south with Vestas (I think) approaching them.
Discussing the competition, Compression, Favorite, If There's Another Team Besides Us In The Race That Deserves To Win It's Them, J1, Other Boat, Patch, Sail Repair, Spanish, Transition, Translation Needed, Virtual Mark
Ben and Trystan go through food packs by the galley. Libby tells them 10 minutes to the virtual mark. Witty asks how far. Libby: 4.7 miles. Fleet compressed; at one point everyone was within 6 or 7 miles; now they've spread out again. Might be able to get past Turn the Tide. Will see in 40 minutes. Boats around the "mark" are going slower than boats still going upwind, so wind is light. Witty calls to be ready for a tack. "Hopefully get across Plastics." They tack. Owner on the grinder. Drone shots of them converging with TTToP, both sailing very slowly.
Dongfeng and MAPFRE sailing south from the virtual turning mark. Jena: MAPFRE! SiFi talks about the approach, passenger ferry. Jena slaps at someting. SiFi checks his tablet. They all seem exhausted. Charlie on the helm. Simon calls it, and they tack to round the virtual mark. TJ: Are we around it? SiFi: Yeah. We were a bit in tight, out wide. Charlie, on the helm, hoists his cup: This is for you Bill. This is for you.
Knotmeter on mast reads 5.7. Stacking amidships. Francesca: Of course it's a mix of emotions. You want to push, because it's the last leg, and you want to gain a position on the leaderboard. But in a week and a half it's over, and you need to work out your work plans, dream plans... it's a bit weird for everyone. I think we did some good legs during the race. Maybe we deserve something more than to finish last in the race. This leg seems quite open. MAPFRE and Dongfeng had a big lead yesterday, and they lost everything in this light patch. Every thing is open to the finish line. Everyone is quite tired. But the other boats are in the same position as us. Cannot complain, and just do what we know to do in the few hours we still have of this Volvo Ocean Race. Bernardo: I think we didn't sleep one straight hour... Lucas: My eyes are bleeding. Slomo of Bernardo, Bianca, Bernardo and Lucas eating below. Grinding.
Flopping at sunrise/sunset. Nicolas looking for wind. Mast instruments showing 0.7 knot. J1 flopping throug the foretriangle with the (furled) MH0 next to it. Crew sleeping on the bow. Lucas: Bit tired this morning. Been a couple of restless days. But now we've gone into a parking lot with the whole fleet. Dongfeng and MAPFRE are both within our sights now. Dee on the helm. Clew of the sail. Lucas: NO, we're not moving. Going backwards. Flappy flappy flappy. Francesca on the bow: Pretty tired. Two days of no sleep. Lot of maneuvers. Don't have time for eating, for sleep. Short leg but it's quite hard. Crew lowering the J1 in the morning light. Paolo Mirpuri helps pull it down.
Drifting in light conditions. SiFi talks about wind. Stacey: The standard Volvo Ocean Race compression has happeend. We busted our butts to get somewhere and then (hits her hands together) we all end up together. Mark and SiFi looking around. MAPFRE and Dongfeng 3 miles away. TJ talks about a spectator boat motoring out to see them. Nick puts on an abdominal wrap. "I got this from an even older, and more damaged bowman; Neti, right there (pointing). He puts on his foulie pants over it. "Kind of feels like a diaper though." Charlie calls from the bow: Dongfeng looks like they're getting the better of... Nick: High pressure clouds... It's gonna be a good day. Stacy grinds. Tony on the helm points out MAPFRE sailing with strong wind. TJ: They're heeled over. So we compress and now we're expanding. Bungee. SiFi and Charlie talking at the nav station. They all sound loopy as hell.
Kevin carries a stacking pole. Jack on the helm with MAPFRE in the background. Charles, Marie, scowling. Light air tack. Stu. Horace. They all look exhausted. Tacking the MH0. Pascal. Carolijn: Aarhus, a bit crazy in the marina but very fun. Waypoint not as far north as the last one. Been through a light patch; hopefully that will be the last of it. MAPFRE to leeward, had a bit of a battle in the transition. And allowed other boats to catch up. Can see Vestas. Battling it out with MAPFRE at the moment.
Neti talks in Spanish in the morning light about wind, the fleet, Dongfeng. Repeats in English: Busy night. Pretty tied with Dongfeng. Not too far from the top mark. Last evening had upwind and reaching condiions in medium breeze. Now compression, Dongfeng and us have escaped from the other guys before, now we have to keep in front of them. Loud footage of foredeck work, darkness. Then drifting conditions in the pretty gorgeous sunrise with Dongfeng a quarter mile away. Slomo sailing with Dongfeng behind them. Willy sleeping on the stack forward. Blair, through the hatch, puts his hands up: What?
Amazing sunrise drone shot with AkzoNobel sailing across in front of it. Luke on the helm: I'd say everyone is shattered. It'd be a good word. This has probably been the longest stretch of sleep for people. Unfortunately Brad and I are on watch while everyone else is getting this great sleep. I think in total we've probably had an hour since the start, of solid sleep. But that's the race; it's a short leg. It's part of what we do. Lots of corners, lots of places to see, different countries. Stacking. Drone shot of pulling J1 forward for a sail change. Brad, hanking on the J1, talks about not having sleep. Getting up able to see all the boats. Almost a restart. Feeling hopeful as well. Simeon: Back in the same spot we were 24 hours ago. All compressing in. Leaders are just 5 miles in front, hitting a wall of no pressure. Drone shot with sunrise. Luke: We keep on pushing because if we're going to take the effort to be out here, might as well push and try to win the leg. Doesn't mean too much for overall points for us, but if we're all going to be together and do our last race, we'll do the best we can. Sunrise.
Back In The Same Spot We Were 24 Hours Ago, Compression, Drone, Favorite, Foredeck, Hanks, J1, Last Race Together, Lots Of Corners, Lots Of Places To See, Motivation, Part Of What We Do, Restart, Shattered, Sleep, Stacking, Sunrise
In the semi-dark, sailing with Scallywag a half mile behind them. Passing a buoy with two boats ahead of them. Martin, on the helm: Got Scallywag behind us, and have Brunel and Vestas just ahead. Sunrise silhouetting Vestas and Brunel ahead of them. Wind is dropping a lot. Have to change the mode quite a bit on the boat, probably change the sail as well. A lot of work for us. (Sounds super tired.) Boatspeed: 10.3. Folding a furled sail on the foredeck. Competitor on the horizon ahead.