Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius AUS Smooth 728x90

Volvo Ocean Race- Nicho on the lessons thus far for Camper

by Chris Nicholson on 9 Jan 2012
Camper shore crew have an early start preparing the boat for the lift back into the water. Volvo Ocean Race stopover in in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 9/1/2012 Chris Cameron/Volvo Ocean Race www.volvooceanrace.com



He explains why 'moding' is so important, and how the crews suggest and test potential changes before trying these in the race itself. Clearly the old days of 'try it and see' are long gone.

He writes on www.etnzblog.com

Hi all

Well after a few days rest following the end of leg two the sailing team is back at work and straight into reviewing performance and looking at where we can improve things across the board. The debrief process seems like a long one but it’s an incredibly useful one which generates a lot of positive changes.

The debriefs involve us going through a huge amount of data collated by co-navigator Andy McLean that give us a pretty detailed insight into how the boat has actually performed in certain conditions, modes, trim etc and how it should have performed. From this along with our gut instinct on how the boat has sailed we compare our performance with the other teams in the same conditions.


We then generally come up with a number of potential changes/ questions that we send to the designers and engineers that are normally theoretical in nature such as 'what would happen to the boat if we changed setting xyz'. Once we’ve factored this info in we then make a call on how we alter how we sail the boat. None of these changes are massive, rather dozens of small things that collectively add up to a different looking, different moded boat.

In this race we’re hearing a lot more mention of the ‘moding’ of boats and getting it right than previously. Basically, when we talk about moding what we mean is the multiple medium term changes/adjustment we can make to the boat to alter performance. These changes can be anything from deciding to carry more spares on a leg if you feel have a good handle on the weather and want more weight aboard, to deciding you want to target a particular true wind angle and adjusting your sail programme accordingly, to different mast rake for set conditions, rudder angles, dagger board heights – the list is almost endless.

The closeness of the fleet this time around means that moding has taken on a huge new importance. In previous editions leading boats just didn’t need to go into this level of detail as they were generally quicker across the board. This time however, it’s a different story and if we see the slightest chink in the armour then we are all over our moding to see if we can fix it.


Overall our programme is in good shape. The boat has had a full structural sign-off after coming out of the water and will be dropped back in tomorrow and is looking ready to roll. Our sail programme has been well and truly beefed up with recuts happening on most sails and two new sails coming online. To date I think we’ve managed to use less sail slots than other teams which should play into our hand nicely over the next few legs. The two new sails are a J1 which will replace the existing one which is pretty tired after a lot of hard miles, and a new fractional sail in which we’re going a little bigger to help on wider angles.

After a hard race like we had in Leg 2 I think it’s a real boost to have the boat come through without any issues. Reliability is going to be a big factor in winning this race and having total confidence in our designers, engineers and builders makes a massive difference. I know from previous programmes that it’s a hard thing psychologically to come back and perform at your full potential after a major gear or structural failure. To go out there the next day or the next watch and push the boat at least as hard as you did when it broke, well that’s a difficult thing to get you head around. So for us to have had no significant issues after two pretty hard legs is definitely a positive factor.


We feel that we’ve got a good handle on the limits of this boat now and there’s potential to get more of it. So are we going to start pushing harder? Yes, for sure but in a slow and measured manner that doesn’t break the boat – it’s a very fine line.

So all in all half way through the Abu Dhabi stopover things are generally in good shape and I’m happy with where we are at. The guys are rested, the boat is ready to go and the sail programme refreshed. The facilities here are second to none and I think we’ve all appreciated it. Now our focus turns to the in-port on January 13th and the start of Leg 3 the next day. We’re ready for it.

Talk soon

Nico








Sail World NZ Lone WolfX-Yachts AUS X4 - 660 - 2Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Dalton opens up on boat and options for next Cup
The Protocol for the 36th America's Cup will take place in Auckland on the morning of the 29th September Italian media are reporting that the announcement of the Protocol for the 36th America's Cup will take place in Auckland on the morning of the 29th September. Dalton confirmed the details of the yacht will be revealed two months later on November 30, but would not say if it will be a foiling monohull as speculated in the media.
Posted on 18 Sep
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt II
Just a little while ago we pulled some Gs with Beneteau’s Mr Product, aka G3. Just a little while ago we pulled some Gs with Beneteau’s Mr Product, aka G3. You can go back and read Part One of the story of Gianguido Girotti, as and when you may like. However, for now we’ll push on with the incredible semi-foiler Figaro 3, and the new Oceanis 51.1, along with what they represent for the brand as a whole. It is a very interesting tale, especially as Beneteau...
Posted on 31 Aug
JATO ignited as SuperFoiler prepares for take off (Pt II)
When we left SuperFoiler last time, the JATO rockets had been lit, and we were rapidly approaching the time for rotation When we left SuperFoiler last time, the JATO rockets had been lit, and we were rapidly approaching the time for rotation (lift off). You can catch up with Part One of SuperFoiler and the JATO rockets, but for now we get to talk speed, the crew on board, and finally the commercialisation of it all. Buckle up!
Posted on 28 Aug
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt I
In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. Over nine (+ve) in an aircraft, and without a G-suit, you will be unconscious. So at three G’s, and pulling no punches with them either, we not only enjoyed our opportunity to sit with Gianguido Girotti (G3), we got to learn a lot as well!
Posted on 23 Aug
JATO ignited as SuperFoiler prepares for take off (Pt I)
When small military transports have to take off from impossibly short runways with a belly full of cargo When small military transports have to take off from impossibly short runways with a belly full of cargo akin to Mr. Creosote, they reach for the JATO bottles. Aircraft like C-7 Caribous and LC130 Hercules strap rockets, yes rockets, to the underside of their wings to gain valuable extra thrust, which surely helps keep the pilots' heart rates below the red line.
Posted on 22 Aug
A Q&A with the RORC’s Nick Elliott about the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race
I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email, to learn more about the world-famous Rolex Fastnet Race. When one stops to consider the world’s best ocean races, the Royal Offshore Racing Club’s Rolex Fastnet Race, which starts on Sunday, August 6, 2017, is never far from mind. I caught up with Nick Elliott, RORC Racing Manager, via email to learn more about the race’s history and evolution, its challenges, and the amount of work that goes into pulling off this world-famous regatta.
Posted on 1 Aug
Tank killers
Not all that long ago, the US Army started using depleted Uranium shells. Not all that long ago, the US Army started using depleted Uranium shells. These shells were wickedly awesome at their job, which was killing enemy tanks in their tracks (and yes the pun is fully intended). The mighty, turbine powered, M1 Abrams became even more formidable, and their crews somewhat safer again.
Posted on 24 Jul
Ian Walker - Musto Ambassador on the Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup
Ian Walker on his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup We speak to Musto ambassador Ian Walker about his Volvo Ocean Race win, why food and clothing are so important offshore, his views on the America's Cup, his new desk job, sailing for fun, and 20 years of the John Merricks Sailing Trust.
Posted on 23 Jul
Black Jack Yachting. Bigger boat. Bigger team. Even bigger performance
Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus Throughout the iterations of maxis called Black Jack, a strong, consistent and talented team has been their focus. Some were sail makers, like Skipper Mark Bradford and also Vaughan Prentice from North Sails’ Brisbane loft. Others were riggers, such as Bruce Clarke, and there are even boat builders, like Gary van Lunteren, as well as Ash Deeks.
Posted on 20 Jul
Gladwell's Line - America's Cup returns to its new home and thinking
Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness Emirates Team New Zealand's win in the 35th America's Cup ends 17-years of wandering in the AC wilderness and will open a new era of America's Cup, New Zealand and World Sailing. A rookie crew won the most prestigious trophy in sailing, and one of the most difficult to win in any sport.
Posted on 29 Jun