LISBON, POR - The USA's Charlie Enright, skipper of Vestas 11th Hour Racing, continues to hold a nice lead (about 21nm) over MAPFRE, the largely Spanish team – sponsor and sailors – which most keen observers say is the overall favorite in this 2017-18 edition. The fleet is now on the final leg to Lisbon from the virtual waypoint added Wednesday to lengthen the race by 200nm to time the arrival of the fleet for Saturday afternoon for the edification of the sponsors, the fleet of boats that will greet them, and the shoreside spectators. Vestas 11th Hour DTF (Distance to Finish) is just under 230nm.
Here is a screen grab from a few minutes ago (0615 PDT / 1315 UTC) from the the race tracker, which is now live as the fleet is within 24 hours of the finish....
And the detailed leaderboard....
DTL = Distance To Leader. VMG = Velocit Made Good. TWS = True Wind Speed. TWD = True Wind Direction. TWA = True Wind Apparent. DTF = Distance To Finish.
Read the latest daily update by Peter Rusch of the Volvo media team here.
The key news from Peter's story:
Dongfeng Race Team has spent the entire leg trying to claw back miles and Charles Caudrelier's team is now just 4 miles from a podium spot [when that was written, now within a mile] and charging hard.
"We try to play a little bit differently compared to AkzoNobel," explains navigator Pascal Bidégorry. "The forecast for the next day is quite clear. More pressure, a header, and we’re going to cross a ridge. It’s very interesting and very stressful because I don’t think we’ll have a lot of wind close to Lisbon, and every time it’s a big mess."
The forecast is for easing winds near the finishing line. With an extensive lead, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and MAPFRE should be safe. But after that, it's an open question who will complete the podium and how the rest of the placings will be earned.
The rumors continue to fly around Europe and back and forth across the Atlantic as to what changes will take place in the AkzoNobel crew during the Lisbon stopover. Sailing Illustrated doesn't print rumors, but we are always checking with our many sources and will bring you the real news as soon as we are confident we have it.