The sailing teams of the Volvo Ocean Race will shortly face a battle against the elements on their way to New Zealand.
Currently gearing up for a short sprint – the Sanya Haitang Bay In-Port Race on 18th February 2012 in China – the teams will soon turn to the ocean for Leg 4 which will take them through the South China Sea between Taiwan and the Philippines. The race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante is forecasting a North Easterly winds ranging from 35 – 40 knots, just north of Taiwan.
The teams will be heading for Auckland, in New Zealand, which will represent a homecoming for many of the crew members. The managing director of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, Grant Dalton, commented:
“Auckland is important for two reasons. It’s important because there’s so much history of titanic struggles into Auckland – the last three races I did we were never more than a couple of minutes apart the whole way – and it’s important for some of the guys because they’re coming home. It’s both pressure and motivation. You’re motivated to sit on the rail for the last two and a half days if you have to.”
The current standings are as follows:
- Team Telefónica 95 points
- CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ 80 points
- Groupama Sailing Team 71 points
- PUMA Ocean Racing by BERG 48 points
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 39 points
- Team Sanya 16 points