Sitting in second place with just a day to run in Leg 3, Dongfeng Race Team is facing what it calls its first “first serious technical issue” of the Volvo Ocean Race.
The team reports the port keel ram, which helps to cant the keel (pushing the keel on an angle to one side to increase righting moment, and thus speed and power), is not working properly.
“We managed to make an alternative system with only one ram but it has been a tough job...” said skipper Charles Caudrelier.
“We lost 10-15 miles. This is not very good for us because we could be really close to Vestas 11th Hour Racing or Brunel. The back of the fleet took a totally different routing option and they are coming back very fast.
“Let’s hope this is not a loss that will cost us second place. So let’s go, because I think we deserve this second place.”
At 1600 UTC, Dongfeng was 469 nautical miles from the finish line, with a lead of about 45 miles over Brunel and presumably something similar with Vestas 11th Hour Racing who were close to Brunel when they engaged Stealth Mode last night.