Off and Running

The Volvo Ocean Race's Chesapeake stopover came to a close a brilliant display of sailing from the Brazilian squad.

A Clean Getaway

Dave Reed

TRUE TO FORM, the four Farr boats with the most to gain in the closing stages of the Volvo Ocean Race, excelled in the light-wind conditions of the Annapolis re-start today on the Chesapeake Bay. As it was in Sanxenxo, Spain, last November, and in the in-port race last week, the ABN AMRO boats were doing their collective best to not get left too far behind. ABN One, the race's current leader, didn't help its handicap with a late start. It was Brasil 1, currently fourth overall, which led away from the starting line with a perfectly executed mid-line start; others were crowded near the race committee boat; movistar, alone near the pin. After a short stint on starboard, Brasil 1 tacked to cover Pirates of the Caribbean, and the ABN boats, clearing out the Chesapeake's Eastern Shore. Movistar favored the opposite side of the course for a short while before tacking to reconnect with the fleet. Ericsson and Brunel, both with respectable starts, continued to favor the left. With less wind they immediately took their respective places at the back of the fleet. Coming from the deep right-hand corner, weaving through a portion of the estimated 3,000-plus spectator boats, Brasil 1 nailed its starboard layline, and even benefited from a favorable windshift as they neared the mark, lifting high and rounding with a 1-minute margin to movistar. Pirates rounded a close third and were first to jibe towards the Eastern Shore; Brasil 1 and movistar kept to the middle. Pirates' move played into their hands, and with favorable wind and current, they managed to narrow Brasil 1's lead and pass movistar as the three boats passed through the starting line. The tight-knit group didn't last long, however, as Brasil 1 and movistar continued to keep to the middle of the racecourse. Pirates sailed a higher angle towards shoreline again, weaving through the spectator fleet as they exited the Bay. With 400 miles of sailing to New York City, and a developing low pressure system, positions will likely shuffle overnight. For updates www.volvooceanrace.org