Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Three days and three leaders in Volvo Ocean Race

by Sail-World on 9 Nov 2011
Navigator Andrew Cape from Australia onboard Team Telefonica during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. Diego Fructuoso /Team Telefónica/Volvo Ocean Race http://www.volvooceanrace.com

Groupama’s decision to take a more direct southerly route rather than stay with the rest of the four-boat fleet pushing out to the west, began to pay dividends over night.

The Franck Cammas skippered entry has hugged the Moroccan coast sailing in an area which is generally avoided by Volvo Ocean Race sailors, who are driven by the convention to break to the west to minimise time spent in the Doldrums before reaching the tradewinds.

Cammas, current holder of the circumnavigation record saw something in the wind data that the others did not, and has managed stay in a thermally created breeze along the coast, while being able to stick to the direct route for the rounding mark off the Brazilian coast.

Now Groupama has taken the lead, which has been variously shared by Camper and Telefonica. The small band of breeze which pulled her down the African coast should drag her the whole way through into a wind system that she can ride all the way to Brazil.


From sailing at a speed of about 5kts 24 hours ago, Groupama is now matching the rest of the fleet for speed but is much closer to the direct and shortest route. They are now sailing at around 12 kts and enjoy a 4.6 nm lead at 0700 UTC on 9 November.

Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg lie nine nautical miles behind the Spanish team, and Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand are in fourth a further 45nm astern, but closer to the direct route to Brazil.


With the French crew now benefiting from their bold split from the fleet, the mood on Groupama 4 is understandably upbeat, says Volvo Ocean race media reports.

'The atmosphere on board is following a parallel curve to the strength of the wind' said media crew member Yann Riou in a report from the boat this morning. 'Everyone on board has been 100 per cent behind the decision to go south and we are all working hard to make it pay.'

As night fell on the fleet, the previous evening Groupama 4 was well away from the other three yachts who had struck out for the conventional westerly course.


Ken Read (USA) from Puma's Mar Mostro described the French as ‘lonely warriors heading the traditional trade route’. They are sailing their own race only four and a half nautical miles (nm) off the Moroccan coast, 96 nm inshore of the rest of the fleet. 'Still pretty amazing,' Read writes. 'A split in the fleet with 39,000 miles to go.'

For all competitors finding a quick route through the Doldrums will be required before the champagne sailing can begin. Only then will we know if Groupama has pulled off a brilliant tactical move, or made a dreadful error.

Dame Fortune favours the brave, and right now she is positively beaming on the French.

Overnight it was announced in Puerto Rico that Telefonica's Xabi Fernandez and Iker Martinez, both from Spain, the ISAF sailors of the Year 2011, their sailing skills will surely be put to the test once again over the next few days.

Southern Spars - 100Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Mackay Boats

Related Articles

A Q&A with US Sailing’s Malcolm Page about the Sailing World Cup Miami
I spoke with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s Olympic chief, about the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami I talked with Malcolm Page (AUS), a two-time Olympic gold medalist in the Men’s 470 class and the chief of Olympic sailing at US Sailing, to get his pulse on the team’s performance at the 2017 Sailing World Cup Miami and discuss some recent coaching changes within the Olympic-sailing program.
Posted on 20 Feb
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016