Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Volvo Ocean Race - Drastic change of heart for Groupama 4

by Vincent Borde on 25 May 2012
On board Groupama Sailing Team during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.cammas-groupama.com/
In Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race, the front ultimately rolled through faster than Groupama 4. As such, Franck Cammas and his men have had a drastic change of heart and are now gunning hard northwards, in the wake of the Spanish leaders. A way through to the East no longer seems to be a possibility and so it is that the French boat, like the rest of the fleet, is trying to escape the encroaching barometric marshland in a light to moderate breeze…

'We're in a difficult phase, even though it's not such a hard leg for the moment: we've just switched options because prior to today, we had thought we were in with of chance of heading straight to Lisbon. However, the door's closed on us and we've gybed to set a course to the North. The westerly wind is fairly light (10-12 knots) on flat seas and we're doing pretty well, even though it's not enough compared with some of our rivals. We're likely to have a rather longer distance to cover than scheduled!' indicated Charles Caudrelier during the lunchtime radio session this Thursday.

Basically, the front which the crew of Groupama 4 thought they would be able to hook onto further to their East, is now too far away for them to stand a chance of holding onto its slightly steadier south-westerly winds. Behind this system, the breeze has shifted round to the West and it proved necessary to choose between a northerly or a south-easterly course. The choice was made quickly since the entire fleet is now trying to reposition itself up near the banks of Newfoundland.

The Spanish have benefited from this reversal in the situation to reposition themselves ahead of Franck Cammas and his crew, whilst the chasing pack is already over twenty miles to their West. Once again, there aren't really any options to be had, aside from anticipating the arrival of a zone of high pressure, which will settle over the banks of Newfoundland.


'Since the start in Miami, there have always been two options, to the North and to the South, but the latter was linked to a high-speed schedule which nobody was able to keep up with in their bid to hook onto the front. As we didn't manage to join up with it (despite still believing we could do it yesterday), after falling into a patch of light airs and the phenomenon accelerating away, we've switched options and we're starting our attack from scratch again… Everyone is now seeking to gain ground to the North. We sailed a very good start to this course, and it's hard to accept that all our efforts have been wiped out in a matter of hours: Telefonica has had a little more wind than us, but they're also very quick on this point of sail and they're sailing very well.'

This change of course will cause the fleet to stall significantly and Lisbon will be further away than planned! The westerly wind is set to last for a good day before Groupama 4 sees herself forced to negotiate a zone of calms beneath the banks of Newfoundland: it's against the wind that the fleet will separate in around twenty knots of north-easterly breeze… and it won't be until after the ice exclusion zone that the pace will pick up again, once a north-westerly breeze slips into play as it shifts down from Labrador.

'The coming hours are forecast to be pretty light and as soon as we hit wind, we'll be sailing close-hauled! We won't head downwind again until we've side-stepped a zone of calms, but the breeze won't be very strong. We won't be making fast headway towards the goal within the next three days, but things may change again. We won't make Lisbon early next week as planned just 24 hours ago…', concluded Charles Caudrelier.

Position of the competitors at 1600 UTC on 24/05/2012:

1. Telefonica – 2,295 miles from the finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 20.9 miles astern of the leader
3. Camper – 28.4 miles astern of the leader
4. Groupama 4 – 29.6 miles astern of the leader
5. Puma – 32.5 miles astern of the leader
6. Team Sanya – 68.2 miles astern of the leader
Groupama Volvo Ocean Race website

Kilwell - 6Bakewell-White Yacht DesignSouthern Spars - 100

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted on 27 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
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