Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Global Ocean Race fleet handicapped by light airs

by Oliver Dewar on 24 May 2012
GOR Race Tracker 15:00 GMT 23/05/2012 - Global Ocean Race 2011-12 .
The Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) Class40s are relying on the Gulf Stream’s current as light airs continue to handicap the fleet.

While Tropical Storm Alberto has failed to materialise, the fleet has encountered a gaping hole of light wind 260 miles off the coast of the USA as the boats push east into the North Atlantic.

At 10:00 GMT on Wednesday, Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo relinquished their lead with Financial Crisis as the Italian-Slovak Class40 began to slow down while Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough held onto the breeze on Cessna Citation further north, building a lead of 19 miles by mid-afternoon.

Meanwhile, trailing Nannini and Frattaruolo by 84 miles at 15:00 on Wednesday, Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt on Phesheya-Racing in third have kept a 13-mile lead over the Dutch father-and-son duo of Nico and Frans Budel with Sec. Hayai, but the Budel’s are averaging one knot faster than the South Africans as they enter a zone where GRIB files are currently predicting less than four knots.

On Cessna Citation, Colman and Cavanough were still averaging slightly under eight knots as the windless area ballooned across their path on the weather files: 'Welcome to the world of pogo-stick sailing,' commented Colman on Wednesday morning. 'Since leaving the welcoming confines of the Charleston Harbour we have been bouncing continually and the first night was truly horrendous - lightning flashes wrought the sky at scarily frequent intervals, its booming thunder drowned out only by the cacophony of our boat's impact with the waves.'

Despite the worst conditions passing, it still requires two hands to remain stable on Colman’s Akilaria RC2 Class40: 'Even then, and now, we have been bouncing on the turbulent waters, but it has paid dividends with a scary fast passage north that would have otherwise been impossible in the light wind,' continues the Kiwi skipper who has been relying on the Gulf Stream’s northerly current to keep moving: 'The wind has dropped-off completely and left us with zero knots of boat speed, but 5+ knots of speed over the ground thanks to the current,' he explains. 'We considered taking down the sails and throwing them in the water and then harnessing ourselves to them to be pulled through the water like Poseidon's chariot,' says Colman.

Despite the unreliable weather, spirits are high on board: 'Aside from chasing tendrils of wind from un-forecasted sectors while looking for an invisible river within the ocean while on a bouncing pogo-stick, life is all good aboard Cessna Citation,' Colman confirms. 'Scotty and I both were sick initially, but are now enjoying the new freeze dried range that we updated in America,' he adds.

In third place, trailing Cessna Citation by 103 miles on Wednesday afternoon, Phillippa Hutton-Squire and Nick Leggatt on Phesheya-Racing were working hard and constantly changing sails to keep their Akilaria Class40 moving. 'Night skies filled with stars and blue sky days, it is warm sailing in the Gulf Stream,' reports Hutton-Squire, but the lack of stable breeze is painful: 'Rolling lumpy swells flogging the sails down the waves,' she continues. 'There is very little wind to speak of at the moment and any movement towards the bluQube Scoring Gate is caused by the Gulf Stream,' adds the South African skipper. 'There is very little sailing going on here!'

Having relinquished the lead, Nannini and Frattaruolo are still upbeat despite struggling with a 4.5-knot speed average on Wednesday afternoon. 'After facing Tropical Storm Alberto on the first night of Leg 5, the weather has changed in a maze of unpredictable winds,' Nannini reports from Financial Crisis. 'The conditions we met very often differed substantially from the forecast,' he adds. 'Our tactical choices seemed correct given the available information and we've managed to increase our lead of the identical boats in the fleet, Phesheya and Sec. Hayai,' says Nannini.

However, Colman and Cavanough are a different prospect: 'It’s much more difficult to keep Cessna under control and the new generation boat always breaks through thanks to her better performance,' explains the Italian-Slovak skipper. 'Only once before have we overtaken them during a leg, on the approach to Cape Horn, but just for a few hours until they disappeared again over the horizon...we may not beat them, but we sure enjoy teasing them!' he comments.

GOR leaderboard positions at 15:00 GMT 23/05/2012:
1. Cessna Citation DTF 2937 7.8kts
2. Financial Crisis DTL 19 4.5kts
3. Phesheya-Racing DTL 103 6.8kts
4. Sec. Hayai DTL 116 Global Ocean Race website

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Kilwell - 6NaiadBarz Optics - Floaters