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Volvo OR: Scallywag's speed wobbles en route to Hong Kong

by Peter Rusch 16 Jan 22:54 NZDT 16 January 2018
Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 15 John Fisher on the mainsheet on board Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag. © Konrad Frost / Volvo Ocean Race

The leader sailed under a cloud line and lost a few miles overnight, but are back up to speed now.

Leg 4 leaders, SHK/Scallywag, had some nervous moments leading up to Tuesday's 0700 UTC position report.

Sailing under a cloud line, the team suffered a few speed wobbles and lost about seven miles on most of the fleet on the latest position report.

But the obstacle appears to be behind them now, with the boat back up to full speed.

And with less than 1,400 nautical miles to run to the finish line, and a 70 mile lead over second placed Vestas 11th Hour Racing, skipper David Witt and his team have their eyes firmly on the prize.

"The nervous excitement of being in the lead means our world even more so revolves around the position reports," writes Scallywag navigator Libby Greenhalgh.

The islets and atolls of Micronesia are also in the rear-view mirror, and that means the fleet is back to straight-line sailing... a speed contest.

"With the fleet forced to pick sides on a number of islands the choice was between gybing and sailing lower and slower versus keeping fast but heading more to the north," writes Vestas 11th Hour Racing navigator Simon Fisher.

"For our sake I am pleased to say the former whilst potentially a short-term loss has paid out over the long term and we are once again enjoying being bow forward on both Dongfeng and Akzo as we settle into the drag race towards the Philippines."

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