The portuguese flagged boat with founding partner Mirpuri Foundation and portuguese sailor Frederico Melo onboard is on the lead in Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Dee Caffari’s crew set themselves up as the most easterly boat as the seven-strong fleet climb up the coast of Brazil bound for the finish in Newport, USA, some 4,000 miles away.

Caffari and Turn the Tide on Plastic navigator Nico Lunven gambled that being furthest east would yield results with better breeze giving them a boost on their rivals.

And as Leg 8 approached its sixth day their tactics seemed to have paid off as they edged out a lead of more than 11 miles on former leg leaders Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

Despite their gains it has been anything but plain sailing for Turn the Tide on Plastic as they try to dodge the huge South Atlantic clouds threatening to slow their progress north.

“We have reached the point where we can ease the sheets and sail faster, however the clouds have a different idea,” Caffari said. “Last night we spent about eight hours under a cloud with the pressure changing all the time, the wind direction shifting all the time and it constantly raining.”

“Endless sail changes relied on the crew being up for most of it and so there was very little sleep to be had. Even now we have cleared the monster clouds we have constant clouds rolling through”.

“Some big some small, all with a wind pressure change, all with a slight wind shift and some with some precipitation. We have made a sail plan choice that allows us to make good progress when we are in real wind and able to adjust to the changes when we are facing yet another cloud.”

“We now just need to keep trying to go fast in the right direction. Not always easy when yet another cloud is trying to make you wait for the others to overtake.”

Challenges aside, the mood onboard Turn the Tide on Plastic remains high. “We’re leading right now which is fantastic,” Italian crew member Francesca Clapcich said. “We’re sailing a really solid leg – we just have to keep doing what we’re doing for another two weeks!”

Leg 8 – Starting To Reach

The team have now started ease the sails slightly and are building speed. Hear from Frederico Melo, Dee Caffari & Annalise Murphy Sailing in the latest onboard video.#TurnTheTideOnPlastic #VolvoOceanRaceFollow the tracker (it's still LIVE)

Publicado por Turn the Tide on Plastic em Quinta-feira, 26 de Abril de 2018

Photo Credits: James Blake / VOR