Volvo Ocean Race - Newsletter: Leg 7 finish and Stopover - 8 June 2012
Welcome to Sail-World.com's Volvo Ocean Race Newsletter for 8 June 2012
|Puma Ocean Racing takes third in leg seven - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race© |
Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race ended unusually.
Unusual in that for the last few days of the race, the prognosis from Predictwind had the boats finishing within an hour or two of each other. So unusual was this prediction that we didn't publish it, on the basis that surely something must be wrong – probably operator error.
But as the boats lined up across the Atlantic on that last day – it looked like the finish of a beer-can race, rather than a 3,600nm haul across the Atlantic.
Predictwind was right.
Unusual in that the finish of the race on the River Tagus, at night, and in no wind, is probably not how many imagined such a leg would finish.
|Day 9 - Pure speed on board Groupama 4 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Leg 7 Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race|
The final outcome of the 39,000nm race could well have swung on the roll of the dice in those last few windless, current filled, metres.
When the Volvo Ocean Race started, few were prepared to pick a winner. Now after seven legs are complete that situation hasn't really changed, and the scene is now set for the closest race in the 11 cycle history of the event.
|Team Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez from Spain, narrowly beat CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia on leg 7, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race) Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race© |
Four boats remain in contention. Maybe some have a little more of an uphill battle than others. But the delicacy of the outcome of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race is probably best explained by the results of Camper, currently sitting in fourth place overall and 22pts off the lead.
Camper has been on the losing end of three very close finishes. Total combined margin on all three is about five minutes. Had the result gone the other way on all three, Camper would be 15pts the richer and would be in second place at this juncture.
|Fireworks go off, as Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker from the UK finish first on Leg 7 Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race© |
The point is that in a fleet that is this closely matched, anything can happen, and the consequences will have a significant impact on the points table, and overall places. From here on, every metre counts.
Generally by now, the Volvo Ocean Race has sorted itself out, and the tactic for the overall leader is very much steady as she goes. But that tactic won't work in June 2012. There are no safe options, and the last two legs will have to be sailed just as hard as the opening stanzas.
|The fleet hoist their kites, during the practice race in Lisbon, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race© |
It could well be that the result is in doubt right up to the end of the final In Port race in Galway in just four weeks time on July 7.
Stay tuned to www.sail-world.com for the latest Volvo Ocean Race news, updated on a 24x7 basis by our editorial team around the world.
We never sleep.
|Groupama Sailing Team skipper Franck Cammas from France, is interviewed after finishing second, on leg 7, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race© |
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|Puma has a wet ride - Volvo Ocean Race Paul Todd ©|
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race...
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