Volvo Ocean Race - Newsletter - Leg 2 Finish - 6 January 2012
Welcome to Sail-World.com's Volvo Ocean Race Newsletter for 6 January 2012
|Team Telefonica through the binoculars just behind Camper during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race© |
Firstly Season Greetings to all our readers, and wishing every one a great 2012.
So little time, so many vital points, could be the story of the two stage Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Spanish entry, Telefonica skippered by Olympic medallist Iker Martinez cemented a place at the top of the points table, beating Camper (Chris Nicholson) by just under two minutes at the end of Stage 1, and a more convincing five minutes at the end of Stage 2 to add another five points to the difference between the first and second overall.
In hindsight the narrow win in the first stage did the damage - a different result in the last 10 nm of the two week leg would have been sufficient for Camper sailed by Emirates Team NZ to lead the overall standings by a single point, and even with the same two/three result from Stage 2, would have seen the two top boats tied at the top of the points table.
|Team Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez from Spain at the finish of leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape town, South Africa, to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Marc Bow/Volvo Ocean Race |
The narrowness of the margin and incredibly close racing on the ocean legs underlines how fine the balance is between the Telefonica and Camper. The only other boat to have finished all stages, Groupama (Franck Cammas), has proved she has the straight line pace in the second stage of Leg 2, with a 52 second win.
The issue for Groupama on both ocean legs has been taking extreme navigational choices, which while they may have gained initially and looked very good for a time on the great-circle distance, or orthodromic distance, method used by Volvo Ocean Race organisers to calculate the leader, Groupama's choices have twice proven to be weather and routing gambles, with those behind making sudden and big gains as a new hand of wind cards are dealt, later in the leg.
|Team Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez from Spain finishes first in to the safe haven port on Stage 1 of Leg 2 Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race© |
For two of the racers, Abu Dhabi and Puma Ocean Racing, the standard quip from Rolling Stone's Keith Richard's of 'pleased to be here, pleased to be anywhere' is somewhat relevant. After the trauma of the first Leg, they will both be pleased to be in Abu Dhabi in one piece, with their crews back in race mode, and will now be refocussed on what is required, and what is possible. to close the gaps on the points table.
They will be looking hard at the lesson from the top group - no extreme courses; and small differences at crucial times, make vital gains on the points table.
|Camper and Telefonica - finish of Stage 1, Leg 2 after two weeks of racing - Volvo Ocean Race 2011 Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race |
It is a huge understatement to say that Team Sanya has not enjoyed good luck so far in this race. As skipper Mike Sanderson commented - three metres either side of their course in the opening stanzas of Leg 1 and they probably would have finished the leg in at least fourth position, maybe third.
Similarly with the failure of a single element of their rigging in Stage 1 of Leg 2, when they were leading. The trials and tribulations didn't end there and we have the story in this edition. But Team Sanya is expected to resume racing today, and God willing should rejoin the fleet for the leg to her home port in Sanya, China - and still picking up some useful points.
|Better times - Team Sanya during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race |
For all its twists and turns, the Volvo Ocean Race is proving to be a mix of adventure and racing.
Yes, the shore crews could be doing without some of the challenges they have been set in effecting repairs and recovery operations in remote parts of the world.
|Skipper Chris Nicholson and Navigator Andy McLean watch the trailing fleet like hawks onboard Camper during leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Cape Town, South Africa to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race© |
But the battle at the front is equally fascinating, as the racing skills more often associated with a dinghy or match race come into play. maybe that is why a boat with some top round true world racers, plus a couple of double Olympic medallists aboard is leading - so far.
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2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race
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