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Dongfeng Race Team | Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015

Dongfeng Race Team’s Chinese rookies came face to face in the mid-Atlantic with a whale in a taste of the kind of larger-than-life experience the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 will throw at them. They have already sailed through a storm, faced up to 40 knots of wind and French skipper Charles Caudrelier says he has navigated “one of the darkest nights I’ve known with absolutely no moon at all and barely any visibility”. He continued: “We had the scariest experience to date during the night when we came so close to hitting a whale, so close we could hear it breathing. “You can smell whales in the air but in the pitch black you can’t tell where they are. You can’t sense them in the water because very often when whales are at the surface it’s because they’re sleeping so it’s a nasty surprise for both the whale and us! “I just held my breath knowing how close we were to potential danger but, thankfully, we didn’t hit it – we just had a near miss.”

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