VOR 2017-18. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag gana la cuarta etapa y se lleva el punto bonus.

© Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

© Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

Fuente info VOR

Leg 4, Race Day 18 — 19 January, 2018

Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag record historic win into home port of Hong Kong

They did it… Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag has won Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Melbourne, Australia to their home port of Hong Kong…

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag have won Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, leading the fleet into their home port of Hong Kong.

It’s an historic win for skipper David Witt and his team who had to overcome significant setbacks on the leg before grabbing the lead with a bold tactical call out of the Doldrums last weekend.

“We had a bit of a plan and we stuck to it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and this time it worked for us,” Witt said.

It was an extended Doldrums crossing, and Scallywag had moments where they appeared to be in a strong position.

But late in the crossing, after falling behind the fleet again, Witt and navigator Libby Greenhalgh made the decision to cut the corner, and turn to the west earlier than the opposition who kept pressing north in search of stronger winds.

The move paid dividends nearly immediately on the leaderboard as Scallywag had less miles to sail to the finish line, but pundits cautioned that the teams in the north would almost certainly overhaul them as the tradewinds filled in from the northeast.

It never happened.

Even when the team dropped miles recovering a man overboard after Alex Gough was swept off the boat by a wave, after executing a flawless recovery, Scallywag returned to racing and extended to nearly a 100-mile lead.

But then, the chasing boats began chipping away at the lead. Two days out from the finish, the margin had been cut significantly and the pressure mounted.

“I was really impressed by the way we operated over the past couple of days,” Witt said. “We had a pretty big lead and then through no fault of our own, about two-thirds of it got taken away. But we stuck to our guns, did what we thought was right and it’s worked out.”

With the Leg 4 win, Scallywag picks up 8 points (7 points for first place plus a one point win bonus). It will vault the team up to mid-fleet on the overall leaderboard, in a very respectable fourth place.

“It was always going to take us longer than the others to get up to speed as we were the last to enter,” Witt said. “All teams need a bit of confidence and I think one thing that is underrated in sport is momentum and this will certainly give the Scallywags plenty of that… We’re all still learning and we’re going to keep getting better as we go on.”

Witt has acknowledged the significance of the win as the local team leading the fleet into the first ever Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Hong Kong. For the team owner, Seng Huang Lee, who has supported Scallywag sailing over the years, it’s a big moment.

“We’re a privately owned team and our owner Mr. Lee has poured his passion and enthusiasm and vision into this project and this win will be very special for him… Winning this leg will be a massive platform for Scallywag going forward.”

Behind Scallywag, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Dongfeng Race Team are battling for second place and expected to finish approximately two and three hours behind the winner. The rest of the fleet is forecast to finish at intervals over the following 12 hours.

Leg 4 – Provisional Results at Friday 19 January (Leg 4, Day 18) at 20:17 UTC

1. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag — FINISHED – 17:45:42 UTC
2. Vestas 11th Hour Racing — RACING
3. Dongfeng Race Team — RACING
4. team AkzoNobel – RACING
6. Team Brunel — RACING
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic — RACING

Volvo Ocean Race – Current Leaderboard

1. MAPFRE — RACING — 29 points (after Leg 3)
2. Dongfeng Race Team — RACING — 23 points (after Leg 3)
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing — RACING — 23 points (after Leg 3)
4. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag — FINISHED — 19 points (after Leg 4)
5. Team Brunel — RACING — 14 points (after Leg 3)
6. team AkzoNobel — RACING — 9 points (after Leg 3)
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic — RACING — 6 points (after Leg 3)

Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR, primera prueba olímpica europea del 2018.

Fuente info Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR

El Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR se presenta como la primera gran prueba olímpica de 2018
17 January 2018

La regata mallorquina dará comienzo al circuito europeo y sirvirá para conocer el estado de los regatistas que este año lucharán por clasificar a sus países de cara a Tokio 2020

La 49 edición del Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR se disputará del 30 de marzo al 7 de abril en aguas de la Bahía de Palma de Mallorca y se espera participen alrededor de 1.000 regatistas de más de 50 países. La regata española es la primera prueba de clases olímpicas de nivel internacional del calendario europeo y por ello congrega a gran cantidad de deportistas que buscan plaza en Tokio 2020.

Con el segundo ciclo olímpico recién estrenado, el Sofía IBEROSTAR se perfila como un medidor clave para conocer el estado de forma de los equipos y los regatistas antes del Campeonato del Mundo de vela, que este año se disputará en Aarhus, Dinamarca, en el que estarán en juego las primeras plazas para clasificar a los países en los Juegos Olímpicos.

Ferrán Muniesa, director de la regata, asegura que “esta nueva edición contará con un alto nivel en el mar al ser un año clave para los deportistas”. Muniesa también augura una “alta inscripción” y espera que el Sofía IBEROSTAR siga siendo reconocido como “la regata más querida y valorada” por la flota internacional. “Trabajamos durante todo el año para ofrecer una competición única tanto en tierra como en el mar; nos respaldan casi 50 años de experiencia y tenemos con nosotros a los mejores profesionales”, destaca el director de la regata.

La Bahía de Palma contará un año más con la presencia de los mejores regatistas del mundo que se enfrentarán a una competición de seis días. Como es habitual, el Club Nàutic S’Arenal y el Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa se repartirán las clases olímpicas. S’Arenal acogerá los Finn, 470 M y F y 49er y 49er FX, en tanto que Can Pastilla será la base de los Laser, Laser Radial, RS:X M y F y Nacra 17.

Por segundo año consecutivo, el Real Club Náutico de Palma, club organizador junto a los del Arenal y Can Pastilla, albergará a la flota de cruceros y clase Dragón que disputarán el Sofía IBEROSTAR de cruceros durante el fin de semana del 31 de marzo y 1 de abril. La regata para clases de vela ligera comenzará el 31 de marzo con una jornada de medición seguida de un día de entrenos oficiales. La competición en el mar tendrá lugar del lunes 2 al sábado 7 de abril, con unas series clasificatorias compuestas por 10 o 15 pruebas (según la clase) y un Medal Stage, la gran final que decidirá el podio de cada categoría y el vencedor absoluto del 49 Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR.

La condiciones que ofrece Mallorca para la navegación hacen de esta regata una de las favoritas de los equipos internacionales que aprovechan para trasladar sus bases de entrenamiento a la Bahía de Palma en los meses de invierno.

Las inscripciones para la regata ya están abiertas, en http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/, así como la solicitud de acreditación de prensa.

Organizado por el Club Nàutic S’Arenal, el Club Marítimo San Antonio de la Playa, el Real Club Náutico de Palma y las federaciones de vela balear y española, el 49 Trofeo Princesa Sofía IBEROSTAR está patrocinado por IBEROSTAR y cuenta como colaboradores a Trasmediterranea, OK Rent a Car, Squid, Infiniti y Marine Pool, además del Govern de les Illes Balears, el Ajuntament de Palma, el Ajuntament de Llucmajor y Ports de Balears.

FAST40+ Class, calendario 2018.


Fuente info FAST40+ Class

FAST40+ Class Race Circuit

19 January, 2018

Fast40+ Class Announces 2018 Programme

The 2018 FAST40+ Race Circuit kicks off this April, with thrilling high speed action for the owner driven class. The season has been extended to six scoring events, ending in October, to decide the overall FAST40+ Champion. For the 2018 season the majority of the events will be stand alone regattas including the FAST40+ National Championship, and the prestigious One Ton Cup. FAST40+ Race Director, Stuart Childerley spoke about the provisional format for the season ahead.

“The objective for the events is to provide good quality and fair racing, allowing all the teams to reach their full potential through boat handling, sail handling and boat speed.” commented Childerley. “Most of the events will be held over long weekends, typically with eight races, which will be a mixture of windward leeward and round the cans races. Every event will have a social occasion during the regatta.”

The season opener will be a non-scoring training regatta in the Solent on 21-22 April, with a class coach working alongside team coaches, to improve performance throughout the fleet.

“We will organise multiple practice starts, short and long course legs and two-boat testing, designed to analyse both boat speed and handling.” continued Childerley. “There will be an open debrief using video and coach notes, and a social evening, where a video summary will be presented to each team. Round One of the FAST40+ Race Circuit will be held the following weekend.”

Over a dozen teams are expected to be racing on the FAST40+ Race Circuit, and other IRC events throughout 2018. The next FAST40+ update will focus on team news, with some interesting developments to be revealed.

300 Millas A3 Trofeo Grefusa, poco viento en el inicio.

copyright 300 Millas A3 Trofeo Grefusa

Fuente info 300 Millas A3 Trofeo Grefusa

La flota de las 300 Millas A3 Trofeo Grefusa afrontan las primeras millas con poco viento

La largada de la flota para los 22 barcos desde el náutico Moraira ha sido puntual, 12 horas, con un viento de 7 nudos del 320º

El primer paso obligado será en la isla de Tabarca, se prevé que en la tarde-noche de hoy la flota alcance la isla. Tras ella se dirigirán a aguas ibicencas, pasando por el islote de Venadrell, después Columbretes, Peña del Moro y Moraira, por lo que se esperan a las primeras unidades en la tarde-noche del viernes

Moraira (Alicante), 17 de enero de 2018

Las 300 Millas A3 Trofeo Grefusa se han puesto en marcha, con puntualidad. A las 12 horas el comité de regatas procedía a lanzar la regata con 22 barcos en la línea de salida con un viento que ha llegado a los 7 nudos de intensidad, sobre un eje del 320º (NW-Noroeste). Una salida muy estirada en la línea, aunque un grueso se ha decantado por el visor.

En los primeros compases los ‘grandes’ han optado por el bordo de fuera, principalmente el cartagenero Kundaka, el calpino Jeffertje II, los valencianos Cafés Granell y Pestañeo o el local Alzira-Moraira (Swan 75), el más grande de la flota. Otras unidades, y que entran en las quinielas para estar en el podio, se han decantado por el bordo de tierra, caso de Pajuelín XIII Benidorm, Phonemovil o el alicantino Dignity 3.

El primer paso que debe afrontar la flota es la isla de Tabarca, que si todo va bien y las condiciones de viento son buenas las primeras unidades atacarán ese paso en la tarde-noche de hoy miércoles. Tras dejar la isla frente a Santa Pola, pondrán rumbo a aguas ibicencas, pasando por el islote de Venadrell y de ahí rumbo a la isla de Columbretes (Castellón) para afrontar el último paso en Peña del Moro (Cullera) para llegar a Moraira en la tarde-noche del viernes.

Las previsiones de viento apuntan a que va a ser una edición ‘algo lenta’ como consecuencia de un viento muy inestable y poca intensidad. En el momento del cierre de la nota de prensa la flota de las 300 Millas navega muy cerca de Benidorm, con Llevant Blau, Kundaka-Elite Sails, Guaguanco, Phonemovil y Cafés Granell en el grupo de cabeza.

La regata de Moraira cuenta, un año más, con el seguimiento ‘on line’: http://www.tractrac.com/web/event-page/event_20180108_MillasdeMo/1236/

VOR 2017-18. Horas decisivas de la cuarta etapa.

© Martin Keruzore/Volvo Ocean Race

Fuente info VOR

18 de enero de 2018

La flota juega al escondite en una apasionante jornada final

Cinco de los siete barcos han recurrido al modo sigilo en las últimas horas mientras el Scallywag sigue líder, pero pierde millas; el MAPFRE sigue quinto.

La Volvo Ocean Race pone a disposición de la flota un arma táctica que pueden usar una vez por etapa. Se le conoce como modo sigilo (stealth mode) y permite a un barco ocultar su posición a sus rivales y al público durante tres partes de posiciones consecutivos.

Esta táctica puede ser especialmente beneficiosa cuando un barco tenga previsto hacer un movimiento diferente, como una virada o una trasluchada en un momento concreto de la etapa, ya que los competidores suelen estar muy pendientes de las maniobras de los rivales.

Pues bien; las últimas 24 horas nos han dado una auténtica exhibición de esta particular manera de jugar al escondite, ya que cinco de los siete participantes han recurrido al modo sigilo en un momento u otro para encarar la aproximación final hacia Hong Kong, donde está previsto que lleguen de forma escalonada a partir del mediodía del viernes (UTC).

Únicamente el Turn the Tide on Plastic y el MAPFRE han preferido no jugar al escondite y apurar sus últimas millas a pecho descubierto. Pablo Arrarte, jefe de guardia del MAPFRE, hablaba en el Daily Show de este jueves con el Race Control de la Volvo Ocean Race. “Sabíamos que los Doldrums iban a ser muy difíciles, pero no vamos a hacer un drama de esto. En alguna etapa podía pasarnos algo así, pero estamos muy felices y formamos un equipo muy fuerte”, afirmó.

Por delante, el SHK/Scallywag tiene la victoria en su puerto de origen casi en el bolsillo. Y eso que ha habido emoción en las últimas horas, ya que antes de meterse en modo sigilo los de David Witt les sacaban solo 40 millas al Vestas 11th Hour Racing de Chuny Bermúdez de Castro.

Al reaparecer en el parte de las 13:00 UTC de este jueves, han desaparecido automáticamente tanto el Vestas como el team Akzonobel, cuando los líderes están ya a menos de 500 millas de Hong Kong con 37 millas de ventaja sobre el segundo equipo ‘visible’, el Dongfeng Race Team.

Antes de salir del modo sigilo, el patrón del Scallywag, Dave Witt, insinuó lo igualada que está la parte superior de la flota. “Creo que es bueno para algunos de nuestros aficionados que hayamos estado en modo sigilo porque a algunos les daría un ataque cardíaco si supieran lo cerca que estábamos del resto”, dijo Witt. “Estamos líderes, pero el resto está muy cerca”, sorprendió.

“No hemos confiado en nuestro programa de routing en este tramo, pero ahora queremos hacerlo porque dice que vamos a vencer al Vestas por una hora y media. A todos los seguidores de Scallywag en Hong Kong: recen una oración por nosotros esta noche”, añadió.

A pesar de su cercanía al final, los equipos tienen que afrontar aún varios obstáculos.

Primero deben elegir el momento adecuado para trasluchar para abrirse camino a través de las islas del Estrecho de Luzón sin quedar atrapados en la enorme calma creada por Taiwán, o las islas más pequeñas del norte de Filipinas.

Aproximándose a Hong Kong, el viento puede caer mucho a medida que navegan las últimas millas hasta la línea de meta.

Todas estas incertidumbres aseguran que puede suceder todavía cualquier cosa.

“Se está poniendo interesante “, dijo Simon Fisher, navegante del Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “Todos están buscando sus oportunidades. La ruta que pasa por Filipinas y el Mar de China Meridional tiene varias opciones y habrá que tomar algunas decisiones importantes”.

La ETA (hora estimada de llegada) más reciente sitúa a los líderes llegando entre las 1600 y las 2000 UTC del viernes, con el trío de atrás entre las 02:00 y las 06:30 UTC del sábado.

Rolex Circuito Atlántico Sur 2018. Circuito La Barra y regatas barlo – sota para los J70.

© Claudio Cambria

Fuente info YCA

Hoy fue el tercer día del Rolex Circuito Atlántico Sur, edición 2018. Este evento está organizado por el Yacht Club Argentino, el Yacht Club Olivos, el Yacht Club Punta del Este y el Yacht Club Uruguayo. ​

Las Fórmulas ORC Club, ORC Internacional e IRC corrieron el tradicional Circuito La Barra. Tuvieron una única largada desde la escollera y realizaron un recorrido de 22 millas. Al comenzar tenían 8-10 nudos del ESE y fue aumentando y rotando paulatinamente durante el día hasta llegar a los 18 nudos del Este.

Los J70 por su parte corrieron dos regatas barlovento sotavento.

“Este es nuestro segundo campeonato en la flota” dijo Agustín Romero, timonel de J70. “La venimos pasando muy bien. Realmente las regatas son muy divertidas, siempre con cruces y situaciones de barco a barco,
Las condiciones los tres días fueron excelentes.”

Después de las regatas se realizó la entrega de premios parcial de Fórmulas en el Yacht Club Uruguayo, donde compartieron unas cervezas celebrando la mitad del campeonato.

Mañana será el día libre para todas las fórmulas y clases, así que podrán descansar.

Las instrucciones, resultados y fotos están en el sitio oficial del campeonato.

Para seguir el evento minuto a minuto pueden entrar en las redes sociales:



Resultados hasta ahora.

ORC Internacional
Serie A
1. San Gregorio – Simón Simsiroglu.
2. Gaucho – Funes de Rioja.
3. Crioula 29 – Renato Plass

Serie B
1. Dole – Nicolás Gonzalez.
2. Mad Max – Julian Somodi.
3. Don Ignazio – Carlos Murgia.

Clasificación General
1. Dole – Nicolás Gonzalez
2. Mad Max – Julián Somodi.
3. Gaucho – Funes de Rioja.

ORC Club
Serie A
1. Llanero – David Said.
2. Diva – Diego Bogino.
3. Monte ancho – Raul Moneta.

Serie B
1. Ladino Millenial – Pablo Maffei.
2. Happy Hour – Vicente Ragognetti.
3. Green Pepper – Ricardo Regner.
Serie C
1. Zafiro – Juan Pablo Cardona.
2. Ushuaia – Andés Somodi.
3. Tímido II – Roberto Ferrario.

Clasificación General
1. Llanero – David Said.
2. Ladino Millenial – Pablo Maffei.
3. Diva – Diego Bogino.

Serie A
1. Cabernet – Alejandro Bellini.
2. #Trending Topic – Johnny B Good – Pablo Micetich.
3. Morocha – Miguel Fraschini.
Serie B

1. Tolerancia Cero – Jorge Ibarborde
2. Sinergia Life Manos – Polvrini/Ávila.
3. Pericles II – Guido Lepori.

Clasificación General
1. Cabernet – Alejandro Bellini.
2. Tolerancia Cero – Jorge Ibarborde.
3. Pericles II – Guido Lepori.


1. Diego García – Chapulín – 15 pts.
2. Francisco Van Aermaete – Si querida – 16 pts.
3. Pedro Garra – Plan B – 27 pts.

World Cup Series Miami con todas las figuras presentes.

Las argentinas Victoria Travascio y María Sol Branz estarán presentes en Miami en clase 49er FX.

Fuente info World Sailing

For immediate release: Wednesday 17 January 2018
Issued on behalf of World Sailing
Top sailors head to Miami for the first test in 2018

Over 540 sailors, from 50 nations, will be competing in Miami, USA, for the second of four regattas in Sailing’s 2018 World Cup Series.

From 21-28 January, some of the best sailors, including Olympic medallists and World Champions, will be competing across all ten Olympic events in Miami, giving their best to ensure a solid start to the year.

The first opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is at Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus 2018 this August. World Cup Series rounds in Miami, USA and Hyères, France as well as the final in Marseille, France, at the Paris 2024 Olympic venue, will give a clear indication on who will be gunning for gold at the World Championships and in line to qualify their country for the Tokyo 2020.

Some of the stars sailing in Miami include the Australian Laser Men’s sailor, Tom Burton, who won gold at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, and the legendary Santiago Lange and Cecilia Carranza Saroli (ARG) who clinched an emotional Nacra 17 gold medal in Rio.

British 49er sailors, Dylan Fletcher-Scott and Stuart Bithell competed in the first event of the 2018 World Cup Series, in Gamagori, Japan last October and managed to add World Cup gold to their 2017 49er World Championship title.

2018 World Cup Series Miami will see the return of 49erFX sailors, Ragna Agerup and Maia Agerup (NOR), who had a successful 2017 winning silver at the 2017 World Cup Series in Miami and gold at the 49erFX Junior World Championship in Kingston, Canada.

Kate Macgregor and Sophie Ainsworth (GBR) just missed out on a podium position at the 2017 World Cup Series Final in Santander, Spain. The 49erFX sailors are motivated to make the podium this time.

The Men’s RS:X fleet will see a renewal of rivalries. The Rio 2016 gold medallist, Dorian Van Rysselberghe (NED) and Rio 2016 bronze medallist, Pierre Le Co (FRA), fought closely at Rio 2016 and will both be fighting for Miami honours.

Hei Man H V Chan, from Hong Kong, won gold in the first round of World Cup Series in Japan and at the 2017 RS:X Asian Championships in Taiwan. After an impressive haul of honours in 2017, the 27-year-old will be hoping to get her 2018 off to a blistering start in the Women’s RS:X. She will also be joined by Rio 2016 bronze medallist, Stefania Elfutina (RUS).

The 2017 470 World Champions, Agnieszka Skrzypulec and Irmina Mrózek Gliszczynska, who also won at the first round of the World Cup Series, will be attending and looking to continue their winning streak in Miami. Close rivals, Hannah Mills and Eilidh McIntyre (GBR), will also be competing. Mills, a Rio gold medallist with Saskia Clark, teamed up with McIntyre for the 2017 Series Final in Santander where they won gold. They’ll be battling for top spot once again.

Rio 2016 Men’s 470 bronze medallists, Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis (GRE) will be attending Miami this year. They will be aiming to better they bronze medal winning performance from 2017.

The Laser fleet will be highly competitive as all three Gamagori podium sailors will be battling it out. Bronze Rio 2016 champion, Sam Meech (NZL), won gold in the first round of the World Cup Series.

The current ranked number one sailor, Pavlos Kontides (CYP), who recently won Cyprus’ Athlete of the Year for the fifth time, scored silver in Gamagori and was crowned champion of the 2017 Laser World Championship, in Split, Croatia.

Australian Laser sailor, Tom Burton, claimed bronze in Gamagori and fought hard with Kontides at the Laser Standard Men’s Worlds. Burton managed to get silver. The competition is expected to be close once again.

Laser Radial sailors, Emma Plasschaert (BEL) and Josefin Olsson (SWE), who came second and third in Gamagori will be racing in Miami.

Plasschaert didn’t make the podium at the 2017 Santander World Cup Series Final but she has shown significant progress and is certainly a contender to watch out for.

Vasileia Karachaliou (GRE) won a landslide Miami gold in 2017 and she’s quite familiar with the playing field giving her an advantage this year. Karachaliou currently holds third place in the world rankings.

Giles Scott (GBR) makes his World Cup series return in Miami following his gold medal exploits at Rio 2016. Scott was part of Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup team in Bermuda but is back on the Olympic trail targeting Tokyo 2020.

During Scott’s absence, Ben Cornish has taken a lead role in the British Finn team with a number of medal winning performances and will be in the medal hunt in Miami.

Max Salminen (SWE) will also be a major contender. The Swede gained gold in the 2017 Finn Gold Cup in Balatonföldvár, Hungary, and in the 2017 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía, in Spain.

Racing at the 2018 World Cup Series Miami will commence on Tuesday 23 January at 11:00 local time.

Live Medal Races on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January will bring the week to a close before the series heads to Hyères, France in April.

By Aadil Seedat – World Sailing

A full list of sailors registered to sail in Miami is available to view here - https://www.manage2sail.com/en-US/event/271867bf-f41f-4d64-81b4-faea2cd65e80#!/

VOR 2017-18. SHK/Scallywag sufre hasta el final.

copyright Konrad Frost/Volvo Ocean Race

Fuente info VOR

Leg 4, Race Day 16 — 17 January, 2018
SHK/Scallywag fighting to the finish

As the Volvo Ocean Race stopover village opens in Hong Kong, the home team, SHK/Scallywag, continues its charge towards the finishing line…

Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag skipper Dave Witt says the next 24 hours are the most vital of Leg 4 as they close in on an historic victory in their home town of Hong Kong.

Witt’s crew were sitting almost 100 nautical miles in front of their closest rivals Vestas 11th Hour Racing on Wednesday with just 840 miles to the finish line.

Despite the healthy buffer, Hong Kong is still 36 hours away, and Scallywag’s experienced sailors know better than to start celebrating just yet.

To get to the finish they must first thread their way in between Taiwan and the Philippines, some 400 miles ahead. There are some patches of light wind in the area that need to be avoided.

According to Witt, the 24 hours leading up to this point will decide whether they can hang on to the top spot all the way home.

“For me the biggest concern is from here to the top of the Philippines,” he said. “Once we get around the corner of the Philippines to Hong Kong it’s pretty easy, I don’t think we can get passed there. The most danger lies between here and there so the next 24 hours are the most important.

“If we can get through the next three scheds without a loss there won’t be enough runway for anyone to catch us. We’re going to push really hard for the next 24 hours, and hopefully ‘sign the deal’.

“Basically the only way we are going to lose it is if we park up and stop, and I’ll make sure we won’t do that.”

A moment of panic set in when Scallywag hit a patch of light airs, halting progress. But thankfully for them the breeze that was forecast to fill in ahead of them materialised, and by 1300 UTC they were back up to speed.

“I don’t think anyone really understands the magnitude of this if we manage to pull it off,” Witt added. “There are so many firsts: first Hong Kong team ever, first time to Hong Kong… hopefully we will have plenty of time in Hong Kong over beers to let it sink in – but we have to get there first.”

Second-placed Vestas 11th Hour Racing were seemingly sitting pretty thanks to a 70-mile gap between them and team AkzoNobel in third on the leaderboard today.

However Dongfeng Race Team had been in third place some 50 miles behind Vestas before opting to go in to stealth mode, hiding their position from the fleet for 24 hours.

Charles Caudrelier’s crew will reappear on the tracker at 1900 UTC – and only then will anyone know what strategy they’ve been employing and whether they’ve closed the gap at all.

Sixty miles behind AkzoNobel were overall race leaders MAPFRE, with Team Brunel in fifth and Turn the Tide on Plastic in sixth.

Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking, the most experienced Volvo Ocean Race sailor in the fleet, admitted his team have struggled for speed.

“Everybody is giving a 100 per cent, there is no doubt about that, but at the moment that’s just not enough,” he said. “We’ve made a mistake twice, once at the beginning of the leg and once in the Doldrums.

“With lower wind speeds and when we’re sailing closer angles to the wind we do alright, but when it’s like this, with more wind and coming more from the back, we barely manage to keep up with the rest of the fleet. It’s frustrating, but the only thing we can do on board is remain positive and trim and steer the boat as well as possible.”

Meanwhile the first ever Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong stopover officially opened on Wednesday following a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The stopover, which is situated on Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Runway Park, marks the first time that the boats have visited the region – and with local team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag currently leading the Leg 4 fleet, the excitement is tangible

Local dignitaries included Tong Yui Shing, President of the Hong Kong Sailing Federation; Andrew Kwok, CEO of HGC; The Hon Lau Kong-wah, Secretary for Home Affairs. They were joined by Volvo Ocean Race Executive Director Karin Backlund, and Grant Calder, Hong Kong Port Director.

Following the ribbon-cutting, the guests were given a tour of the Race Village. The facility was already full of local school kids enjoying the interactive and immersive activities and structures. Over 12,500 local students will visit the Race Village during the festival period as part of the Schools Programme.

The latest ETA for the leading boat – SHK/Scallywag – is early afternoon on Friday, UTC (Friday night in Hong Kong).