Leg 8 from Itajai to Newport, day 07 on board Vestas 11th Hour. Phil Harmer driving at the sunrise. 28 April, 2018.

Four teams are within four miles of the lead as Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race enters its second week on Sunday morning.

As at 1100 UTC on Sunday morning, Turn the Tide on Plastic was working hard to fend off attacks by Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel as the leading four boats have been gybing back and forth along the northeast coast of Brazil to take advantage of favourable current over the past 18 hours.

“We have Vestas just off our stern, Dongfeng is up to windward, abeam of us and Brunel is just off our hip,” said Bianca Cook from Turn the Tide on Plastic on Sunday morning. “We’ve had a few clouds that haven’t really gone in our favour and so they’ve started to creep up on us…

“We’re concentrating on our performance, tweaking everything all the time, but for sure the pressure is on when these boats are just behind you. But it’s nice to have the lead and we’re confident in our ability to beat these guys to the finish.”

Now free of the Brazilian coast line, the teams will be looking to choose their lane into the doldrums, some 250 miles to the north, although with the fleet this far west, this is forecast to be the easiest of the four crossings in this race.

And while the pressure to perform remains, this weather is probably giving the sailors the most comfortable conditions of the race.

“Life is good on board, and dry on deck and after the first night without squalls the team is well rested and in good spirits,” wrote Simon Fisher from on board Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “We can make out Turn the Tide ahead and Dongfeng behind giving us both motivation to chase and to not get caught.”

Further back, team AkzoNobel, MAPFRE and Scallywag will be looking at the doldrums for an opportunity to close the gap.

Team AkzoNobel, the closest at just 13 miles behind, is already forging a different path, sailing directly north, but fully 25 miles to the east of the leading quartet.

You can follow the progress of the fleet on the race tracker, now testing in live mode for the remainder of the Leg 8.


What’sUpNewp’s Volvo Ocean Race coverage and content is brought to you by Sightsailing Of Newport
What’sUpNewp’s Volvo Ocean Race coverage and content is brought to you by Sightsailing Of Newport

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.