sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 makes fast headway
Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 makes fast headway

'Groupama Sailing Team get hit by a wave on their port side, during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12'    Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 remain at the front of the fleet on the eleventh day of racing in leg five, from Auckland to Itajai, at the 1300 UTC report today.

With less than 400 miles to go to reach Cape Horn, Groupama 4 is making fast headway towards South America, but the crew will have to link together a series of gybes before they make it through into the Atlantic. The sailing conditions have considerably improved and, if things pan out as they should, Franck Cammas and his men will be Cape Horners from daybreak local time, or early afternoon on Friday (European time).

Making landfall on the Chilean coast is already part of the programme and before sunset this Thursday the Andes cordillera will appear over the horizon! This will be the first land they've seen since setting out from Auckland, after twelve days at sea, nine of which have been particularly lively… Groupama 4 is in tip-top condition and the crew is benefiting from a slight ‘let-up' to lengthen their stride, without forcing either the machine or the men.

'It will be daybreak in about half an hour's time: right now, for the first time in a long while, we're sailing with 25 knots of WNW'ly wind, on considerably flatter seas. It's a lot less violent down below and on deck. We're beginning to slip along smoothly with a lot more sail up, even though we aren't carrying everything aloft again yet. We're heading towards the southern tip of South America, but not directly towards Cape Horn, since we'll have to gybe several times along the coast, a session which will probably start tonight. The north-westerly wind is set to kick back in with a punch and we should be able to make out land this Thursday afternoon (local time). It's very beautiful down here so we'll be able to do a spot of tourism…' indicated Franck Cammas during the noon radio session today.

The austral depression has done some damage and just half the fleet are still in a position to get the best out of their VO-70s. Groupama 4 has managed to negotiate this latest storm without mishap, despite it picking up very messy seas. Indeed, it was still making its presence felt this morning when it caused Abu Dhabi to crash tack with the sails backed and the keel on the wrong side… which just goes to show how violent the Pacific has been (and still is). It's the ability to temper this speed-safety ratio, which has been a real plus for the two leaders, who haven't sought to impose their authority at the head of the fleet and are simply focusing on sailing gently, without putting too much pressure on their machines.

'We've tried to get our bearings in the rough weather in terms of the way we trim the boat and we're being sparing with her, whilst making fast headway. We've tested the different sail configurations. At times, it's reminiscent of multihull sailing, where you have to make headway gently, really bearing away, with the sails depowered and hence not sailing the boat flat out. On the whole, we tend to carry more sail up forward whilst putting reefs in the mainsail, as we're doing at the moment under masthead gennaker. We've always tried to slip across the waves gently and the helmsman has to really play around with the wheel so as not to slow down too suddenly and not accelerate too fast. You're considerably less protected on a VO-70 than on a trimaran like Groupama 3! You're one or two metres lower down on a monohull, and it's a bit like being the leeward float on a multihull… We've put up a wall of sails in front of the helmsman to protect him, but he gets the full force of it dumped on top of him.'

Two years ago, Franck Cammas passed by these same places during the Jules Verne Trophy and the South Pacific wasn't quite the same then. A lot of this was down to the fact that monohull and multihull sailing are very different…

'Compared with the Jules Verne Trophy, the Pacific has been a lot tougher this time. With a multihull, the period of bad weather rolls through a lot quicker… On Groupama 3, we had just as big a depression before we made Cape Horn, with 40 knots of breeze, but that only lasted a day. Here, we remained with the system for longer (eight days) in very heavy seas, because the depression wasn't really moving. It remained very static and we were at the back of it too! We had cross seas and the waves only dropped below seven metres yesterday evening… There have been some very tough times, especially at night, as we're traversing the area later in the season and there is almost as much darkness as daylight. We haven't really been frightened at any point, but it was stressful for a long time: you gradually get used to getting slammed by the sea, though we did go into a broach twice…'

The end of this fifth leg is far from over though as there are still over 1,800 miles to go after Cape Horn before the crews reach Itajai. As such the duel between the Americans and the French is only just beginning and there are a number of strategic opportunities on the cards over the coming days. Initially it will be important to find out what the separation is between the two boats as they exit Drake's Passage. A delta of over fifty miles, as was the case at noon this Thursday, would be a bonus, though it certainly wouldn't be enough to guarantee a result. Indeed, after a quick climb with the wind on the beam, there will be another depression to negotiate offshore of Argentina and very likely some upwind conditions and light airs as they approach Brazil.

'Like any rounding of Cape Horn, it's both legendary and a deliverance! It's the end of the hardest section of the Volvo Ocean Race. We'll finally be able to climb northwards, towards milder latitudes and, most notably, the seas will become flatter and more organised. From Isla de Los Estados, life will change radically, as will the level of comfort aboard. The conditions will alter drastically, because we're not gearing up for a high speed dash to get to Cape Horn. There are going to be a series of gybes, the effects of land and there will be a strong north-westerly wind (35 knots), easing after the rock. It's not certain that we'll still be leading on exiting Drake's Passage! However, it's not a deciding factor to be leader: what matters is to make it back into the Atlantic with a boat in her absolute prime and with a crew which is in great shape.'

Standings on 29 March 2012 at 1300 UTC
1. Groupama 2,279.3 miles from the finish
2. Puma 52.3 miles astern of the leader
3. Telefonica 379.1 miles astern of the leader
4. Camper 1,236.8 miles astern of the leader
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 1,447.8 miles astern of the leader
6. Sanya DNF.

Martin Krite on the bow, preparing for a sail change, onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Yann Riou-Groupama Sailing Team_©_-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

Groupama Sailing team website


by Franck Cammas

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=95412

6:53 PM Thu 29 Mar 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Related News Stories:

30 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Conserving fuel onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
29 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Camper's shore crew prepare for quick turnaround
29 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Host of issues for Puma's Mar Mostro
29 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Hurtling towards Leg 5’s major milestone
29 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi plots their comeback
29 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama crew roll with the punches
29 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Bleak onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
28 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Night gybes as course set for Cape Horn
28 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Telefonica pitstop plan revealed + Video
28 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Team Sanya arrives in Tauranga
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World





ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets by Olga Maslivets, International RS:X Class Assoc.,


































470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification by 470 International Association Class,












A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,




ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,












ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 4 images from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Emerging Nations Program sailors shine
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Teasing winds play havoc on day 4
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Hot conditions in Santander on day 4
Santander ISAF Sailing World Championships joins Bart’s Bash
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - Grounded fishing boat creates problems
Marseille One Design - GC32 Armin Strom Sailing Team emerge victorious
Rolex Big Boat Series 2014 - Ready for another 50 years
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4
2014 Rolex Swan Cup - Eleventh-hour victories
Extreme Sailing Series - Kiwis clinch Act win in Istanbul + Video
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Two long races today for the J70 fleet
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Impressive to sail out of the Golden Gate
Extreme Sailing Series - Istanbul delivers four days of great racing
ISAF Sailing Worlds Santander - Day 3 images by Sail-World.com
Extreme Sailing Series: Emirates Team NZ bounces back for series win
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - Light winds and current test six classes
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Solid Day 3 for US Sailing Team
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 3 images by Jesus Renedo
Marseille One Design 2014 - GC32 Armin Strom blitzes final day
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Una Etapa 0 complicada para todos   
Santander 49ers: Olympic Gold Medallist says two into 90 does not go!! *Feature   
GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds   
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen   
Santander Worlds – already a spectator success   
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme   
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again   
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Day 2 images from Sail-World.com   
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video   
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up   
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown   
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT