Nick on deck: Another day off the top of God knows where in the moon. And it's windy. And beautiful! Home stretch, heading to Gothenburg right now. Getting back into these conditions where it's tighter angles with higher windspeeds that we know and love, dont' have memories of Falklands. Yeah, it's beautiful out. [He sounds sleep-deprived.] Tony talking in the cockpit. Islands to starboard. SiFi in the hatch: You see the headland, or? Charlie: Top of Scotland, Shetland Islands. Breeze should build as we get around the headland here, switch to a stronger sail. We think we're strong in these conditions, good tactics at the end of legs, so we'll see what happens. TJ on the helm: Never been this far north. Cold, windy, raining. Flat water. Actually quite nice sailign right now. Nice to move up the leaderboard. But we'll catch 'em. SiFi: Lovely: Might come here for my summer holidays. They do a maneuver. Charlie: Bear away, furl, then pull the 2 out. We see them do that. Folding the J0. Stacking. SiFi: Almost 4 knots of current at the moment. That's a good thing. Someone's keen to put us in the North Sea.HIgh-wind reaching past a Scottish island. Carlo, in the cockpit: We've been making nice gains on the others. Dongfeng, maybe 1.5 miles [ahead]. We're going around the top of Britain, setting course for the bottom of Norway. It's gonna be pretty windy soon. We'll be peeling to the J2 [from the J1, presumably] pretty soon. Sam: What's the morale on board in the last 12 hours? Carlo: Always good. Intense. Happy. Slightly tired. Nice sailing conditions. Sam: You've put boats behind you. Carlo: You can barely see them, but I think it's Turn the Tide and AkzoNobel. Disappearing quickly. Carlo on the foredeck (witih the J1 up). Bouwe: Top of England, with one more island to go. Got current with us, 3 knots. Sam: What's the intensity like right now? Bouwe: We've got the two red boats ahead of us, we're pushing hard. But Akzo and Turn the Tide about 4 miles behind us. We've done quite nicely in the last 7 or 8 hours. Grinding in the cockpit.Going through locks. Spectator boats. Bouwe hugs the jumper goodbye; he jumps off. Peter: It's not good timing, but you should drop it in somewhere that over half that crew is under 30. Good knowledge. Carlo on the foredeck. More horse, more carrots. Peter on the helm in the prestart yells at MAPFRE: Hold your course! He's altering course here! (Looks like a port-starboard with Brunel approaching on port and talking ahead and to leeward of the starboard-tack MAPFRE.) Bouwe holds up a protest flag. Bouwe: Come down, you're early. Big dip! Dongfeng on their stern. Capey looking at the fleet. Carlo on the foredeck as they tack. Bow with ripples. Carlo: We were over the line for a minute, but managed to squeeze back. Struggling to get some speed going. Luckly we have the tide with us. All trying to reach this pressure line. Spectator RIB with a Brunel flag. Capey points out wind to Peter on the helm. Carlo: A lot of tacking here. Decision between current and breeze. MAPFRE drifting to port. Kyle talks about not much wind. Dongfeng from last to first. MAPFRE not so lnicely. TTToP drifting through a tack. Sun reflections on the water. Slomo drifting.High drone shot of AkzoNobel sailing in light conditions. Trimming. Slomo of Martine and Emily on the bow. RIB drives alongside; Justin waves to them from the helm. Justin stacking forward. Sunset. Justin: Whole leaderboard got reversed... Can just see Dongfeng on the bow. Plastics and Scallywag forward and to leeward. Luckly Vestas is behind us. That's always a bonus. Doing 11/12 knots toward Fastnet Rock. Good for the progress toward the finish, but not so good for the leaderboard. Drone shot of AkzoNobel sailing toward the sunset in flat conditions.Jumper prepares to go over. Charlie: "Everybody say bye to the Ice Man." Jumper dives over. Postponement flag on the committee boat. Countdown starts. SiFi calls time and distance. They start on port. All clear. Charlie on the leeward wheel looks at other boats. Tacking to starboard with Akzo and Brunel behind. Then Dongfeng and TTToP behind. Jena on the bow looks for pressure. Mark: Warm sunny day leaving Cardiff. Up in the front with MAPFRE. Seems like a sitaution where the leading boats gain. A little anticlimactic, but plenty of spectators. The slower we are here the windier it could be up at the top of the UK. Tony pops the batten over after a tack. Charlie on the helm: Tenuous start, certainly. Did a good job keeping the rudders straight. Phil: I think it was a nice start. SiFi talks about the thermal activity and tricky Bristol Channel winds. Tony talks to Charlie about wind. SiFi talks about hitting a tide line. Charlie passes the helm to Mark. Jena looks at MAPFRE ahead of them. Tack. Charlie: If they let us, happy to switch. How much do we have depth-wise? Stacey points out a windline. Crew sits forward. Glassy conditions as they tack with MAPFRE. Current is pushing them against no wind. Nick says to Jeremie: What are you doing? Turn that shit off. He sounded serious. Was Jeremie filming something they didn't want him to? Or was that just joking?Slomo parade with kids waving flags. Slomo dockout with Simeon waving from the wheel. Luke: just coming out of the Cardiff lock, just coming down to sea level... Exciting toward the end; "thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening." Start sequence in drifting conditions. Jules and Nicho talking about a competitor getting a helicopter puff. Jules: Trying to make use of the turning tide here. Sailing offshore into the middle of the channel. Sailing with better wind.Sophie explains there is no wind, and plenty of current. And they have the anchor built just in case. Postponement. No triangle, sausage; just go straight out. Pablo, on the helm, talks in Spanish. Blair, sitting on deck, talks about the low wind and big current. Helicopter noises. Race committee boat with 2:05 to star. Rob and Blair calling tactics in the cockpit at the start. In the prestart, they come toward Brunel on starboard, then tack while waving a protest flag. Committee boat green-flags it; Pablo throws the protest flag down in frustration. After the start they are ahead and to leeward of Brunel and Dongfeng. Rob calls for weight forward; trying to accelerate. Brunel, AkzoNobel and Vestas to weather. Drifting conditions. Willy on the bow. Brunel crossing behind them. Vestas sailing to leeward. Blair: "Here they go. Nice, nice, nice." Blair and Joan talk strategy and wind on the bow. Xabi trimming. Vestas on their weather quarter, then crossing behind them.High drone shot. Drone shots in glassy conditions. Jack: Silky smooth. Pascal: Worst case is at one point no wind, and anchor. And I want to be as close to the shore as possible when we tack. They pass a lobster buoy, Charles points out the current; running a knot or two against them. Sunset. Low-altitude drone shots. Abby: Akzo and Brunel have 20 knots. Charles: Shit! Chalres bangs something in frustration. Daryl, from the helm. How far are they? Charles: 18 miles, and 20 knots of wind. Charles looks at the computer and mutters to himself in French. Charles: Allez; come on, I need some wind! Carolijn: it's coming up. Thomas, on the helm: It could be temporary; a rain cloud or something. Carolijn: Need to worry about Vestas. And MAPFRE, they're currently 80 miles behind. Charles: Wind is going to drop... We have to stay ahead of MAPFRE. I lost 3 hours in this bay. I say nothing to Pascal!... We catch some wind, no? It's good! Allez! Kevin below in the nav station. Pascal stands in the cockpit. Glassy conditions. Sunset.High drone shot showing Brunel leading AkzoNobel past Lundy Island. Alberto talks in Italian. Alberto eases the runner. Close up of the island. Alberto: It's a very nice island. Super-low-altitude drone shot. Bouwe: Still have 10 knots of breeze. Slowly starts heading, and the current is pretty slack right now. In 1 1/2 hours it will probably run 4 knots against us. Drone shot of a buoy in the foreground with about a half-knot of current, and Brunel in the background. (That's a sweet shot.) Bouwe talks about how the finishes in the Volvo seem to go like this. Floating balloon. Gulls. AkzoNobel close behind them. Sam: What's going on horse? Someone wearing the horse head nods. Drone shots. Bouwe: Well, we just did a little frenzy. We dropped out of the breeze. Akzo tacked behind them in the drone shot. We were in the midst of a live X conversation with a full stack forward. Went into a sudden tack with an uphill stack.Bouwe: Beautiful sunny day in Wales. Normally it's raining; something's wrong. AkzoNobel is visible on the horizon behind them. Peter on the helm. Bouwe: Roughly 100 miles to the finish. Current is with us now, but will be 3 to 4 knots against us by the end. So a restart. Not what you'd expect for an ocean race. And AkzoNobel 0.8 miles behind us. If the score stays the way it is now, we have a good chance of winning the race. So let's hope it stays the way it is now. Abby looks through binoculars at Akzo on their starboard quarter. Bouwe: It's like any yacht race. You're competing for winning. I've sailed it 8 times; 3 times I've been second, so it's time that we win. Alberto: All I'll remember of this leg is the pancakes. Carlo: It's stressful with Akzo not far behind, and Dongfeng not far behind. Going to be like Newport. Everyone's a bit on edge because of that. Below, Capey at the nav station: No more. Sam: Why do you say that? Capey: I don't know; I'm still young and good. Enough's enough. I've been lucky. Had a good run. Sam: Do you say that at the end of every Volvo? Capey: No. Never. This is a first. You've done a lap of the planet. Sam: How many laps have you done? Capey: Eight. Sam: And you really think this is it? Capey: Yupo. Stick a fork in me. Sam: Do you have any reflections you want to say? Capey: It's been a great run; met a lot of nice people, had a lot of great times. But I think it's time to put a line under it. Sam: Do you have any closing remarks? Capey: No. None. Go Team Brunel. Sam: It's a team effort. Capey, nodding: It's a team sport.Drone shot of Vestas triple heading with the sunset behind them. Phil: I'd rather NOT tell you how it's doing with Akzo today. Below, Charlie: Had a pretty good exchange with Akzo about 24 hours ago. And when we finally got across this wind it wasn't as forecast. Shot of AkzoNobel to starboard. Phil: It's been one of those frustrating days on the Volvo Ocean Race you try not to have too much of. Charlie: Wind shifted, they got out of phase with us pretty nicely. They've been going well. But now we're on their line, which eliminates differences from wind and current. We've stopped the bleeding. Hope our southerly decision pays off. Soon we'll be drifting around in high pressure. Be patient. Shot of AkzoNobel on the horizon several miles ahead of them. Phil: Tomorrow's another day. Only lost a few miles. We'll be all right. Drone shot with Vestas silhouetted by the sun behind them.High drone shot of Dongfeng sailing in light winds. Low drone shot. Kevin on the helm: We know we have two groups of boats. One going south in front of the front. Three of us who have gybed. Now we know that the ones who stayed in front of the front are doing better than us. Now we're working hard. We took this position; we'll see. Pascal and Stu argue about effects of current if they bear away or not. Marie and Kevin talking. Horace: Last night was a bad dream. We almost stopped in the ocean. He looks up at the main. "More mainsheet?" Kevin driving. Stu: I find there's nothing productive in getting upset about stuff you can't control. For example, the other guys who are cruising off, with a nice breeze, there's nothing we can do about that at the moment. The best we can do is to sail well with the wind we have. As long as we're doing well with the boats around us, that's all we can do. Might end up a day behind, but it won't be through lack of trying. Marie talks in French. Nav station: Pascal looks at routing. Closeup of a winch grinding. Another boat a few miles away ahead and to leeward: Looks like TTToP (yup; tracker confirms). HIgh drone shot.Time lapse of the cockpit from the stern at night. Jules, at the nav station, explains that they're trying to negotiate some current, but didn't do as well as the boats ahead of them. Emily, below, sprays water on herself. Jules: Using larger sails, VMG running. Less concerned about the current, more about the clouds. Unstable wind; lots of rain.Mark, in the cockpit, explians that they're going through a current line south of Guam, and there's an "unbelievable" amount of floating debris. Shots of them bouncing along. Shot of the mainsail bouncing as they hit chop. Below, Phil talks from his bunk, eyeshades pushed up on his forehead. "Not ideal for sleeping. It's bloody uncomfortable. Feels like we're doing about 5 knots and just slamming up and down." He calls to SiFi and Mark, who are looking at the latest sched. "How'd we go?" SiFi: "Reasonably quick but very high." Nick, on deck: "Sea state is very confused right now... Pretty scary looking at the rig sometimes." Mark, by the wheel, reports on the latest sched to Nick, Tony, and Stacey. "We were higher and slower than Dongers, and higher and faster than Akzo." SiFi, below: "Sea states's been pretty horrendous." He talks about some lighter winds ahead, and trying to figure it all out. Shots of the weather models on the computer.Pablo, sitting ahead of the wheel as MAPFRE reaches on starboard, talks in Spanish about the competition. Rob, on the wheel: There's a split in the fleet, and you had to decide inshore or offshore. A bit of current offshore, but also better breeze. "We lost out bigtime, actually. The two leaders are far ahead." Talks about moving past Vestas and TTToP, and gaining some miles on the leaders. Willy, on the middle pedestal, talks about how of course it's good to gain miles on the leaders, but it's a long race, and you need to realize that the bungee stretches and comes back. "Winning more than losing. Still a long time to go." Pablo talks in Spanish. Shots at night: moonlight, full moon past clew of the sail, ratcheting the stack. In the sunrise, Blair and Xabi laugh about something on the aft pedestal. Wake shot of sunrise. Closeups: The wheel, Támara's face, Willy grinding. Slomo shots of Vestas to port and behind, and then astern of them. Louis works the outrigger, then gets hoisted out to the clew of the A3 to do something with the sheets.Jules, at the nav station, talks to Sam. "How would I describe myself? Tired?... I think I'm pretty easy-going, most of the time, except when I'm tired." Sam: "How do you think the crew would describe you?" Jules: "Miserable. Quiet." On deck, Luke answers the question: "Uncomplicated, I would say. [laughs] No; he's a good rooster. Very rarely gets it wrong. It's only us getting it wrong that makes him look bad." Looks like this was shot as they were beating out of Port Phillip Bay on the first afternoon. Closeup of Jules at the nav station, rubbing his head. Shot of the computer showing weather. On deck, Brad points out Green Cape. "Everyone knows it's one of the most southeastern capes of Australia." Shot of the cape with its lighthouse. To the left is another boat, barely visible; I'm guessing it's Vestas. On deck, Simeon talks about needing to choose whether to play the coast or go offshore. Shot from the cabin of Jules (below) talking to Nicho (on deck). Simeon crouches down as water splashes over him. Simeon: "[something] stay in touch with the other guys. Otherwise you'll lose them." Jules discusses how the fleet is splitting. Also there are three different tidal models that disagree as to where the eddy is. More discussion by Simeon: gybe or not? Conversation with the three of them continues below at the nav station. Nicho: "If you gybe back, you're pretty much committed to playing the shore." Sam talks to Jules: "How would you describe the decision-making process on this boat?" Jules: "Not very clear. Because not everyone knows the full implications of everything they're talking about. You often get into situations like this where it's a tossup, you gotta trust one weather model or the other. Or you just do the conservative thing and stay with the fleet." Nicho, below, eating: "You've gotta kick it around. Kick it to death. And then make a gut call, usually. There's a fair bit of science involved... I think in the end for this situation, we're on a good heading with great pressure. More breeze than inshore." Sam: "How would you describe the decision-making process on this boat?" Nicho: "Plenty of input from everybody. At times this is Simeon's boat. I certainly from my side I feel like I can make the decision and live with it perhaps a bit easier. It's not a difficulty, it's just how it is. I guess we've kind of struggled and grappled with that sitaution a little. But no; the actual process I think is quite good. No one's angry or frustrated or anyting like that. It's just trying to weigh up all the pros and cons, come up with a decision."