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Exiting the Southern Ocean marks a milestone in any circumnavigation, but for this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race the passing of the notorious headland triggered a deeply emotional response across the fleet. Leg 7 from Auckland to Brazil had been a brutal affair and tragically, had cost one crew member his life. A dismasting and widespread damage had added to the stress and by the end of the leg there was a new order on the leaderboard.
So after such a dramatic leg, this month the World Sailing Show headed out to the stopover in Itajai, Brazil to produce a Volvo Ocean Race special.
Volvo Ocean Race Special
VOR Part 1 – The brutal Southern Ocean
Behind the dockside smiles and away from the Auckland buzz anxiety was building among the Volvo Ocean Race crews, the mood was changing.
The fleet was now half way around the world, but the toughest leg lay ahead. From Auckland to Itajai in Brazil, the 7,600mile leg would take the fleet through the Southern Ocean.
While those that have been there before describe it as delivering some of the best sailing in the world, everyone knew the risks. The fleet would need to pass Point Nemo, the most remote spot on earth where the International Space station is the closest form of human contact - No one takes on this leg lightly.
And this time Leg 7 proved why.
VOR Part 2 – Triumph and Tragedy
Stress, wild weather and tragedy had characterised the first half of Leg 7 from New Zealand to Brazil. But as the fleet arrived at the world’s most notorious headland, Cape Horn, there was more stress to come for the Volvo Ocean race fleet.
By the end of the leg the leaderboard had been re-shuffled and a new team led the field.
VOR Part 3 – Inside Dongfeng Race Team
The The Volvo Ocean race tears your body apart.’
‘Arriving here was the most broken I’ve been.’
‘The whole body was subjected to 18 days of pure abuse.’
As they stepped ashore crews held little back when it came to describing how they felt. But the race was still far from over.
‘The most important three months of the race are ahead of us,’ said Dongfeng crew member Carolijn Brouwer.
In a dramatic leg, her team had taken the overall lead, but to stand any chance of keeping it meant re-building their crew for the next 11,000 miles.
The Word Sailing Show went behind the scenes in Brazil to find out how.
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