Please select your home edition
Edition
PredictWind.com 2014

Volvo Ocean Race- Puma heads for New Zealand at 20kts plus

by Richard Gladwell on 25 Feb 2012
Team Telefonica during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. Diego Fructuoso /Team Telefónica/Volvo Ocean Race http://www.volvooceanrace.com

Puma Ocean Racing, the US flagged entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, is blitzing the fleet, sailing at speeds of around 20kts, while her competitors are sailing at 10-12kts.

Worst affected is the leg leader, Camper crewed by Emirates Team NZ, who has been forced to sail the most northerly course of the group, reducing her lead under the on the water snap shot of the boat positions - calculated to a radius from Auckland, New Zealand the destination stopover.

Camper has been sailing on a course of 030, which is a long way from the required course of 160degrees to head for Auckland when she reaches the tradewinds. Her northerly course was the least favourable of the six strong fleet, and will reduce her lead under VOR snapshot. At a later sked she dropped down to a heading of 088 - which is halfway to where she needs to be. Her speed has also increased to over 12kts and she is no longer the slowest boat in the fleet.



The routing feature of Predictwind.com, used by Sail-World to determine the boat positions and leg lead, is similar to that used by the onboard navigators, and sails the boat for the next nine days of available weather towards a selected waypoint.

On that basis Camper holds the narrowest of leads - just 2 minutes after 1870nm of racing using one of the two wind direction and speed feeds used by Predictwind, and 13 minutes using a second wind data feed. She is being chased hard by Groupama, and would seem to be set to lose her lead in the next few hours, unless she can sail a lower course than the French entry.

Groupama is sailing at a course of 070, which is still heading north, but is less severe than she has been sailing over the last couple of hours.


Astern the fleet have closed up on the leaders. Using the Predictwind system in third place is Abu Dhabi less than an hour astern at the waypoint, and another hour covers the other two boats, Sanya and overall leader, Telefonica.

In the next few hours, Predictwind shows that Camper can drop back to a course more favourable for her destination in Auckland, but she may still be plagued by light winds of less than 10knots average. She won't really hit tradewinds of more than 15knots for another three days.



Puma Racing is both sailing the fastest of the six yachts, averaging 19kts on the lowest course, or most favourable direction for New Zealand. However she is only on a heading of 090 and needs to sail a lot lower than that to reach New Zealand.

Puma is not yet in the tradewinds, but is skirting an area of light winds which has bedevilled the fleet for the past few days. By taking the most northerly course of the fleet - heading for Japan rather than New Zealand, she cracked into the stronger breeze a few hours ago, and at a second sked is sailing at speeds of over 21kts. According to the predictions and course options, will hold a very solid breezeline in to the tradewinds.

Whether that strength of breeze and the huge boatspeed edge that Puma has is sufficient to wipe out the lead of the other boats, remains to be seen.


Predictwind's routing function says that Puma will still be four hours off the leaders at the waypoint 1870nm down the track, however given her substantial speed edge, and the fact that she is in a different part of the ocean from her competitors, it is they who will be asked the question over the next few days.

Their task is really to make a decisive escape from the light airs and collapsing winds, or risk being caught by Puma whose current speed edge is worth about 160nm per day. She has pulled 65mn out of the leg leader in the past two skeds.

Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82Ensign Bavaria C57 April 2017

Related Articles

Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.II)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone and now we see the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery.
Posted today at 1:24 am
You can almost see it
The windward/leeward is great fun and a real test of your skills. True, it might be hard for the uninitiated to follow The windward/leeward is great fun and a real test of your skills. True, it might be hard for the uninitiated to follow, but then sailing is not the world’s largest spectator sport by any means. Badminton does rate higher, after all. Still, when you’re doing it, you not really worried about little racquets and small, caged up, feathered thingamabobs.
Posted on 24 Apr
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience
This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. As time unfolds some more, we learn that indeed there are a lot of reasons you need to apply patience with both your dealings with your insurance company, and also all the many trades that are working feverishly to get all the jobs done.
Posted on 19 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
Almost got sad…
Then realised that in fact racing was not over. It was just a change in focus, that’s all. Then realised that in fact racing was not over. It was just a change in focus, that’s all. Black Jack stormed away to grab Line Honours in the Brisbane to Gladstone, and thanks also to Nigel Statham for providing us with more info. Of course it could be the 70’ rocketship’s last outing under that name, with the 40 and now 100 to be Peter Harburg’s nautical passions.
Posted on 18 Apr
Debbie says there are 7Ps and 1C with Insurance
Debbie says there are 7Ps and 1C with Insurance If you have been on the planet or around boats long enough, you’ll know all about the 7Ps. The one ‘C’ mentioned here refers to consequence, and in the legalese that surrounds insurance, it gets applied distinctly to consequential damage. We’ll come back to all of that in a while, but for now, our mission is to look at the consequences of actions prior to TC Debbie making landfall.
Posted on 5 Apr
It’s all moving on…
The starting point was seeing that Phaedo3 had taken Line Honours in the Newport Harbour YC Cabo Race. The starting point was seeing that Phaedo3 had taken Line Honours in the Newport Harbour YC Cabo Race. I am still thinking about Miles Seddon’s great material about what is like on board from So What’s It Really like? True, he was not there for this run down the West coast of the North American landmass, but it is a little akin to his ‘spray back vortex’, the vacuum caused by the incredible feats
Posted on 20 Mar