Nagel and Co maintain lead
Emily Nagel's Team AkzoNobel maintained the lead of the Volvo Ocean Race 12 days after setting sail on the second leg of the around-the-world race from Lisbon to Cape Town.
The Dutch team were more than 40 nautical miles ahead of Dongfeng Race Team, their nearest rivals, at last check yesterday, moving along at faster than 15 knots.
Bermudian Nagel and her team-mates have rolled the dice by taking a more easterly route than the rest of the fleet, which puts them closer in a straight line to Cape Town.
However, they will still have to sail a circle route around the huge light wind system refered to as the St Helena high pressure that blocks the direct route to their South African destination, while Dongfeng are among a group of seven boats who have their eyes on the low pressure system ahead that will bring strong downwind conditions to push them towards the finish line.
It remains to be seen whether AkzoNobel's gamble pays off.
“In any sport, really, to win you've got to be the one who is willing to risk it all in order to get the biggest gains,” Nagel, the team's sail trimmer, said.
“Looking at the move we've made, we had to take a little short turn inside to catch up some boats we were never going to catch just by following everyone else.
“We had to do something different and it's quite a bit of risk. We've got four of the navigators saying go that way and we all said ‘OK, let's try and go this way', which is a huge risk going against what everyone else thinks.”
Nagel was selected after successfully completing two months of trials with the Dutch racing syndicate, who are led by two-times America's Cup winner Simeon Tienpont.
She is one of two local sailors involved in the event as Mustafa Ingham, a member of Bermuda's Red Bull Youth America's Cup team, is serving an apprenticeship with racing syndicate Turn the Tide on Plastic.
The thirteenth Volvo Ocean Race, which started on October 22 in Alicante, Spain, and will finish at the end of June next year in The Hague, Netherlands, is a global competition formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race and is held every three years.
The 11-stage race will be contested over the longest distance in race history, covering about 45,000 nautical miles.
The longest stage will be from Cape Town to Hong Kong, which will cover more than 12,000 nautical miles, taking up to 37 days at sea.
The racing class is the high-performance one-design Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht design and built exclusively for this event.