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Volvo Ocean Race - Newsletter - Leg 4 to Auckland 6 March 2012

Craig Satterthwaite helming at sunset onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand.  Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Welcome to Sail-World.com's Volvo Ocean Race Newsletter for 6 March 2012

The six boat Volvo Ocean race fleet are nearing Auckland - with a finish predicted for Sunday, local time - three days later than scheduled, and allowing the crews just a four day break before the Pro-Am Race on Friday week.

On current positions Groupama (Franck Cammas) should have the leg in the bag, and only needs to close ahead of the westerly group of three yachts, before the French crew can settle into the tactical game of staying between the man and the mark (being the finish line in Auckland).

The celebrations in Auckland should be something else again, with the race returning to the City of Sails for the first time in ten years.

On the the current prognosis, the fleet will finish on a weekend, with the weather data last night showing a finish in the early hours of Sunday morning - being an excuse for the party animals to start celebrating on Saturday night and continue through to the early, and not so early, hours of Sunday morning.

Add to that the fact that Saturday is St Patrick's Day - always a big celebration in New Zealand - where you only have to wish you were Irish - and you've got a licence to celebrate.

Mike Pammenter, Stuart Bannatyne, Rob Salthouse and Andy McLean leaving the Solomon Islands behind onboard Camper during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. (Credit: Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race)  Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race©

This morning, the latest prognosis shows a later finish - probably early to mid Sunday afternoon. Maybe that will test even the drinking classes, but will be great for the families of Auckland, who will no doubt crowd the many vantage points around the City.

And then there is the traditional waterborne welcome as the fast launches and others come out from all down the Northland coast to trail the fleet home.

Quite what will happen on the water remains to be seen. New Zealand is notorious for having fickle weather, and is currently experiencing one of the worst summers in living memory. For international readers, the country was hit by a weather bomb last weekend, with winds gusting to 85kts in the Cook Strait, and 70kts on the west coast of Auckland.

Wade Morgan splices a new jib 'up/down' line onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand.   Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

Those conditions would have sorely tested the Volvo racers - which is why many are somewhat bemused by the frequent position reports as to who is leading and by how much. Those with slightly longer memories will remember a lead change within sight of the finish line in Auckland, as a wind change hit the 1989/90 Whitbread Race.

Even those with shorter memories will remember what happened at the start of this Leg, with Puma starting 39 minutes astern, watching the fleet sail off in a stronger breeze, and then she took a track well to the north. The boats taking a more southerly route looked good for a long time - as the US flagged entry slipped back to be 280nm off the lead - but then Puma caught a breeze, pulled in half of the deficit in almost 12 hours, and then reeled in the rest over the next three days.

The Puma bar and store being built in the Auckland race village, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.   Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race©

Now she is back in second place - a spot on which few would have laid short odds a week or so ago.

What will happen in Auckland? Who knows, as the fleet look set to have to sail to windward all the way in, and with the routing software putting out some interesting options.

We'll just have to hurry up and wait.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Editor@Large

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Volvo Ocean Race: Saturday party, Sunday finish predicted for Leg 4
Richard Gladwell,
The latest projection of the finish time for Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean race is being put at the early hours of Sunday morning. Ideal for the Auckland party set at the Viaduct harbour. The top three places would seem to be locked in, with Groupamaprojected to be first to finish, by both weather feeds used by PredictWind. She is variously four and six hours ahead of the second placed boat Puma... [more]
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Knut Frostad talks about sponsorship, economics, China, and the VOR
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
While the VOR fleet are bashing their way towards Taiwan and the Luzon Strait, we were quite happy to have had a trip round the bay in somewhat lighter conditions, sun shining etc on board Camper during the Volvo stopover in Sanya. It was an interesting experience, getting up close and personal with not only the sailors but also the movers and shakers behind the scenes.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Will the French lose out?
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - Can leg leader Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA) cling onto the lead or will the French lose their precious gains made over the last 15 days? The fleet is converging and the French team's lead has been up and down like a yoyo for much of today, dropping to a frightening 53 nautical miles at 1000 UTC, before steadily climbing to a healthy 83.7 nm over Puma Ocean Racing... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race – Groupama 4 trundle along
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race – The course towards Auckland is calling for some slight detours so the pace is slow as Groupama 4 continues on her way to the West of New Caledonia. There are two reasons for this change of heading: a south-easterly breeze which isn't terribly steady and the need to cover the three ‘western' boats.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro take high and slow road
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: God it's hot. We're back to 'suffering the simmering' onboard Mar Mostro, and we were joking that we should fill one of the bow chambers with water to make our own hot tub.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Auckland amps up as Race Village opening nears
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race fever is sweeping through Auckland as the city prepares for the opening of the Race Village on Thursday and the imminent arrival of the six-strong fleet. The Race Village, at Viaduct Harbour, will throw open its doors to the public at 9am on Thursday, kicking off 10 days of celebrations marking the Volvo Ocean Race's return to the City of Sails and the completion of Leg 4.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma skipper on the unsure outcome
Ken Read,
Volvo Ocean Race - Puma skipper, Ken Read, shares with us the latest on the crew's progress as they enter day fourteen of Leg 4.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing ready to fight
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: These waters lay claim to some of history's worst fought battles, contested over many months during World War II. Guadalcanal, less than 100 miles to our west, was a major pawn in the struggle for Pacific supremacy.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 consolidates lead
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race - The Doldrums have been traversed without hassle, both by those favouring the outer ringroad of the Solomon archipelago and those opting for the shortcut through the islands. As such there haven't been any major hierarchical upsets, but the lateral separation is still just as big between the leader of leg four, Groupama 4, and the leader of the overall standing, Telefonica... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - A story of east versus west?
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Puma MCM, Amory Ross,sends the latest on the crew's progress as they continue their journey towards Auckland.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Looking to make the most of squalls and thunderstorm
Thomas Pryor and Sail-world,
As the leading boats cross the Equator Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand is looking to make the most of the large thunder clouds and sudden severe squalls on the approaches to the Doldrums. As the fleet eases down through the Solomon Islands group they are encountering squall lines packing gusts of wind in excess of 35 knots and rain filled thunder clouds that can significantly help or hind... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Fingers crossed for the Doldrums + Video
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - As they press onwards toward the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, Groupama 4's skipper, Franck Cammas/FRA said 'I've got my fingers crossed for this third passage through the Doldrums: all you need is one bad squall to lose a huge amount of ground as the experience of our previous two equators has shown.'... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Looking for a break in the Doldrums
Hamish Hooper,
With over 2300nm to go to Auckland, or just 40% of the distance left to sail, Hamish Hooper blogs from on board Camper on Leg 4 of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race: Right now we are just over 1°north of the equator and just like that- it's hot.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: A sleighride through the 500nm a day barrier
Volvo Ocean Race,
It has been a thrilling night on the racetrack when half the fleet racing in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race broke through the magical 500-nautical mile (nm) barrier. As the high-speed chase to Auckland continues to test the crews to the full, the leg leader board has a new look today.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: The drips return and a ripped jib hurts on Camper
Hamish Hooper,
Camper, and her crew from Emirates Team New Zealand, were struck a cruel blow last night when one of their most crucial sails ripped in two while hurtling south at speeds of more than 20 knots. From on board Camper, Hamish Hooper talks us through his day...Includes video from onboard Camper... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Global Party at the Auckland Stopover
Penny Dain,
There's a Global Party lined up for the Race Village in the Viaduct during the Auckland Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. A rolling programme of entertainment for twelve hours each day - from 9am to 9pm - has been put together for the Stopover which runs from 8 - 18 March. And it's all free.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper slips down the fleet
Sail-World and Emirates Team NZ,
According to the latest position update run by Sail-World using the route projection and time to finish functions of PredictWind, the New Zealand/Spanish entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, Camper, as slid from being the leg leader to a projected third place. The yachts are not out of the light airs that have bedeviled this leg, and none of the boats are heading south of east.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper loses lead as breakaway group forms
Richard Gladwell,
Some dramatic moves over the past eight hours have seen the lead change in the Volvo Ocean Race, and breakaway group form as two of the boats made a move north, sailing away from their destination. Although Camper is being called as race leader by the Volvo Ocean race, using their snap-shot of current positions, that system does not see projected finishing times, and just calls the lead for those... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Puma heads for New Zealand at 20kts plus
Richard Gladwell,
Puma Ocean Racing, the US flagged entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, is blitzing the fleet, sailing at speeds of around 19kts, while her competitors are sailing at 10-12kts. Worst affected is the leg leader, Camper crewed by Enirates 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 used by VOR... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper lead, but is Puma about to pounce?
Sail-World,
Camper and Groupama extended their lead on the Volvo Ocean Race fleet pushing east as Puma gambled their chips on the arrival of a northerly breeze forecast to fill in in the next 48 hours. At 2200 UTC on 24 February Ken Read's men on Puma Ocean Racing had slipped to 273 nauctical miles behind leg leaders Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand but were banking on better winds coming their way.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Lone path for Puma Ocean Racing
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Will the East come through with a dividend?
Richard Gladwell,
East continues to be best in the Volvo Ocean Race, as the fleet tries to get south to the next stop over in Auckland. As she has done for the past couple of days, Camper continues to lead - using the course routing feature of PredictWind - however Groupama is just seven miles astern.... [more]
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Gladwell's Line: Who is really leading the Volvo Ocean Race?
Richard Gladwell,
The fortunes of the six competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race have been waxing and waning - if you believe the official results which show regular lead changes occurring even over just the space of a couple of hours. Using the Predictwind.com routing system, we get quite a different picture from the 'who's closest to Auckland approach' adopted by the Volvo OR reporting and tracking system.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - New leader emerges as fleet exit Luzon Strait
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, the Camper team led the fleet through the Luzon Strait, passing within a mile of the lighthouse marking the southern tip of Taiwan at 1830 UTC tonight. Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA) and Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) followed. But, at 2200 UTC tonight, a new leader had emerged and Telefónica was in back their customary position as leader of the pack.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Brutal onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: There's a reason they call upwind sailing 'beating' – it's what we take while doing it. These boats are just not made to sail this way. But we insist on doing it, like all the time.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Sickness and slamming take their toll + Video
Volvo Ocean Race,
Sea sickness and waves as high as five metres are making life difficult for all six teams on the first day of the second stage of Leg 4 from Sanya to Auckland. Conditions on board have been brutal as the crews struggle to rein in their Volvo Open 70s to avoid teeth-rattling crash landings off the backs of the monster waves left over from several days of gale force winds.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Lead changes as fleet make big move north
Richard Gladwell,
A move to the north of the direct line for the first waypoint at the Philipines, by the whole Volvo Ocean Race fleet, has seen Groupama (Franck Cammas) take a narrow lead from Telefonica (Iker Martinez). The move is a result of recommendations from the on board weather routing systems, as the fleet try to find the fastest way through a period of light winds that will prevail for the next 12 hours... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 take control
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 set off from Sanya at first light local time in the wake of the Spanish, and quickly took control of the fleet on their way towards the North of the Philippines. On the programme is a 660-mile sprint to the Luzon Strait, across a rather ill-tempered South China Sea, with an easing breeze of around twenty knots and what are still heavy seas.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Trouble and a head start + Video
Volvo Ocean Race,
In Volvo Ocean Race, Team Telefonica have earned and will enjoy a head start on their rivals in the race to Auckland after taking the win in the first stage of Leg 4. Iker Martínez's team continued their winning streak in Sanya with victory in a race full of surprises which saw both Groupama and Abu Dhabi claw their way back from last place to the podium... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper disappointed at decision to split Leg 4
Thomas Pryor and Sail-world,
Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand has expressed their disappointment at the decision by Volvo Ocean Race organisers to split Leg 4 into two stages and hold the six boats in Sanya after Sunday's leg start for up to 24 hours in order to avoid forecast bad weather... [more]
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Volvo Ocan race: Start in Sanya delayed due to bad weather
Thomas Pryor,
Volvo Ocean Race organisers will split Leg 4 into two stages and hold the six boats in Sanya after Sunday's leg start to allow enough time for dangerous conditions to clear, with fears that waves of up to eight metres in the South China Sea could wreak havoc with the fleet... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Images of Sanya: The In Port Race
Ian Roman,
Top international photographer, Ian Roman (GBR) presents this gallery of images from the In Port Race at Sanya, China - part of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012... [more]
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2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race
01/01/10
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race...
For more details and news for this event, go to:
http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?Eid=1359
 


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