Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

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.

navathome 660x82InSunSport - NZEnsign 660

Related Articles

The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted today at 2:20 am
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug