Please select your home edition
Edition
InSunSport - International - RG

Volvo Ocean Race – Intense duel continues between Groupama and Puma

by Franck Cammas on 3 Apr 2012
Day 15 - Franck Cammas, Laurent Pages and Damian Foxall - Leg 5 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.cammas-groupama.com/
Volvo Ocean Race teams Groupama 4 and Puma Ocean Racing continue to do battle for the top spot on the fifteenth day of racing in leg five, from Auckland to Itajai.

The duel between the French and the Americans is still just as intense as before, since Groupama 4 and Puma have now been sailing together for 24 hours. 1,000 miles from the finish in Itajai, the duellists will quickly make the switch from a steady downwind breeze this Monday, to a beat from tonight… As such there are a lot of minor options up for grabs!

Of course the Spanish have made up nearly half the deficit they'd accumulated after their pit stop behind Cape Horn, and Telefonica is just 250 miles astern of the leading duo now! However, this separation should be enough to mean that the Iberians are in a different weather system and are hence likely to retain a slight deficit in relation to the duellists. This situation will stabilise over the coming days and probably through to Brazil. As such their 25% delta would appear to be very difficult to make up, given that the three Juan Kouyoumdjian designs are virtually sisterships and that their speed differential is minimal. Essentially it all comes down to sail configuration and being in contact with another boat can only improve on performance thanks to this comparison…

At the same latitude as the leaders, the New Zealanders are approaching Chile. As such they still have a good day at sea before Camper reaches Puerto Montt to have her bow repaired. How long will this take? That is the question… However, now is not a good time to be flirting with the Southern Ocean! A very big and very deep depression is making headway across the Pacific, with winds in excess of 60 knots on the cards. This is probably why Abu Dhabi is heading due East, and even though they have yet to declare their intentions, Ian Walker and his crew appear to be making for Chiloé Island too. The spectacular repairs at sea, after the Emirati hull suffered delamination, may not be safe enough to enable some extreme sailing towards Cape Horn…

As such, all eyes are on the front of the fleet because after over 5,000 miles, a nasty upwind gale, a short spell of calms, an 8-day austral storm and 800 miles of very varied conditions since Cape Horn, Puma and Groupama 4 are within sight of each other! This is something that occurred during the second leg to the Maldives between Camper and Telefonica, but right now, there are still 1,000 miles to go so there's likely to be a fair amount of jockeying for position over the coming days…

Indeed the Argentine tango is likely to be played out on the bandoneon! We can expect the separation between the French and American boats to oscillate according to the meteorological micro-phenomena, the sail changes, and the short repositioning tacks as the wind shifts round to the North. In fact this double duple rhythm should alter the tempo from tonight because although the pace has already changed a number of times since Cape Horn, it finally woke up last night with the passage of a front rolling in from Argentina: a 25-knot south-westerly air flow enabled the leaders to accelerate at midday. However, the next stage is more complicated, because behind this deepening depression, which will track quickly across to South Africa, an anticyclone is forming over Rio de la Plata.


Heading along the coast of Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil appears to be the gameplan for the duellists. The trajectory is a less risky one than heading offshore: in this area, the high pressure tends to sprawl eastwards, or to split away into several cells, which become hard to avoid. However, this coastal option is no picnic either! Initially the breeze will die away as Groupama 4 and Puma see the centre of the high pressure pass in front of their bows. After that, given that the system will shift offshore, it's along its western limit that the two crews will have to carve out a route towards Brazil. The route will be a chaotic one with around twenty knots of north-westerly wind, then fifteen knots of northerly. The duo will have to negotiate the wind shifts nicely and we can expect Franck Cammas and his men to be stuck to Ken Read and his crew like glue until they reach Itajai!

Standings on 2 April 2012 at 1300 UTC
1. Puma 1,033.3 miles from the finish
2. Groupama 6.5 miles astern of the leader
3. Telefonica 250.7 miles astern of the leader
4. Camper 1,701.8 miles astern of the leader
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 1,828.0 miles astern of the leader
6. Sanya DNF.

Groupama Sailing team website

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesColligo Marine 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race- Official Video of latest edtion
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during July The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during early July 2012. This documentary tracks the fleet during their amazing around the world journey. Catch all the drama and action as the teams sail a 39,000 nautical miles through the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, M
Posted on 21 Aug 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- All-Women crew announced for the 2014-15 edition
The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest co The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest company SCA announced they would enter a women’s crew for the next edition in 2014-15. 'The lack of women in the last few editions of the race has meant we haven't been representing half the population of the human race' - Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race, CEO
Posted on 21 Aug 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- And when the race is over.... + Video
Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. She will visit the Copa del Rey in Palma de Mallorca. Sponsored by the Mallorcan footwear company Camper, the return of the joint Spanish and New Zealand flagged boat, marks the end of a round the world adventure that started with the yacht’s baptism at the RCNP in September 2011 and the race start from A
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Calling up the Reinforcements
They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, who were given the chance to prove they could step up to challenges as big as the Southern Ocean, often with barely any notice. Be it an email with a subject line 'get your boots ready' or a hurried face-to-face with the skipper just minutes before the st
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
The most successful Volvo Ocean Race yet
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most success The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most successful, CEO Knut Frostad said on Thursday, with hundreds of thousands of fans visiting Galway in Ireland for a buoyant finale and outstanding growth across media platforms set to be confirmed once final data is in.
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Sanderson wants to go again
Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in la Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in late 2014 when he expects to return for another campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race. Sanderson skippered ABN AMRO ONE to victory in 2005-06 and while his race this time with Sanya was not the same glittering success he is determined it will not be his final appearance in the Volvo
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Reluctant hero Marsh takes seamanship honour
'It's been an amazing adventure, a fantastic tour, and a great race' - Brad Marsh The title ‘hero’ does not rest easy on the shoulders of Groupama bowman Brad Marsh, but most agree that it is the best way to describe the Kiwi who repaired a sinking yacht, saved a broken rig and scaled a 31-metre mast in a storm front.
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas
Volvo Ocean Race skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history thanks to Groupama's debut victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. Here we profile the charismatic French sailor for whom perfection is never good enough.
Posted on 10 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Selected Awards announced at Formal Prizegiving
Camper's Hamish Hooper saw nine months of hard work pay off as he was crowned Media Crew Member of the Volvo Ocean Race The selected award category winners were announced at the final formal Volvo Ocean Race prizegiving in Galway Ireland. We present a gallery of images and video of the category winners and their feats including the Media Crew member Award, the Rookie Award, the Seamanship Award, the Shore Crew Award as well as the Designer Award and Speed Trophy presentation.
Posted on 9 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Formal Prizegiving - Racing Award winners
The racing award winners and crews were announced at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland The racing award winners were recognised at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland after the conclusion of the InPort race on Saturday. All six crews were presented with overall awards or place momentos. The InPort Trophy was awarded as well, the speed record trophy was also awarded.
Posted on 8 Jul 2012