(November 13, 2017; Leg 2, Day 9) – The 2017/18 Volvo Ocean Race frontrunners are into the Southern Hemisphere on Monday after crossing the Equator, the latest milestone in the drag race to Cape Town.
Charles Caudrelier's Dongfeng Race Team led the fleet over the famous line of latitude at 0941 UTC with the slimmest of leads over MAPFRE, Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Team Brunel and team Akzonobel. By 1126 UTC all five boats in the tight leading pack had crossed the Equator, the delta between them just over 20 nautical miles going into their ninth day at sea in Leg 2.
Turn the Tide on Plastic and Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, in sixth and seventh respectively only just over 60 miles behind Dongfeng, are tipped to cross the Equator within the next few hours. With the crossing of the Equator came the offerings to King Neptune, the Roman God of the Sea. Ancient maritime tradition dictates that any sailor that hasn't yet crossed the Equator, known as a Pollywog, be inducted into Neptune's court by the Shellbacks, those onboard with crossings already under their belts.
The induction ceremony usually involves a certain degree of hair ...