Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama crew prepare for drag race

by Franck Cammas on 27 May 2012
Groupama Sailing Team during leg 7 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.cammas-groupama.com/
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 team Groupama 4 are still on a beat in the area surrounding Newfoundland's Grand Bankson on the sixth day of racing in leg seven. Groupama has got back in contact with the head of the fleet during the numerous tack changes over the past 24 hours. They have half a day to go before they latch onto the north-westerly wind associated with a depression coming off Labrador, which will propel Franck Cammas and his men beyond the Azores.

The temperature has dropped considerably over the past day and over the Grand Banks it is now just a dozen degrees. The sea has also become more bouncy with the Gulf Stream, which is running against a moderate north-easterly breeze, whilst the cold Labrador Current is providing dense cloud cover. As such conditions are a far cry from the weather in the tropics! Furthermore, there's a lot of work on deck as Groupama 4 is linking together a series of tacks, roughly every couple of hours, so as to remain in a favourable vein of breeze with assistance from the Gulf Stream. Indeed, this weaving about has borne fruit for Franck Cammas and his crew, since the French crew is just thirty miles or so shy of the Emirati leader now, and most significantly, they have got past the Spanish, who headed off further East on Friday.

Not everybody shared the same viewpoint for tackling this climb up to the North, slinking around the edge of a zone of high pressure positioned over the banks of Newfoundland. The New Zealanders, who managed to take control of the fleet after a judicious shift across to the East, stayed on that same tack for too long in an attempt to control the Spanish. This resulted in them being overtaken by those favouring a westerly option, an attack led by the Emiratis, who have sailed a very inspired race in this seventh leg, and the Americans, who are still very incisive. The option by Franck Cammas and his men to follow the bulk of the fleet, once it was established that the front had escaped them a couple of days ago, has ultimately enabled them to limit the damage and Telefonica has now lost her advantage in this beat.

There were still ten or so tacks to be performed to climb up towards the depression, which is expected to come into play early tonight, and there is still a gain to be made before the new north-westerly wind begins to influence the trajectories for the next three days. The crew which manages to position themselves the furthest North as they escape the high pressure, will be the first to power up. As such, the gameplan right now involves distancing oneself from the zone of high pressure (via the East), whilst climbing up towards the Grand Banks.

With the exception of the Chinese boat, which is now too far behind to worry the leading pack, the fleet will launch into a long glide towards the Azores from Sunday, which will kick-off with some spinnaker sailing in a north-westerly breeze (15-20 knots), followed by an important gybe once the breeze backs round to the West, and ending with a very fast reaching wind to the North of the archipelago once the wind shifts round to the South-West. Given that the deficits are likely to have shrunk to just thirty miles or so for the Franco-Spanish duo when the depression rolls in, the crews are preparing for a drag race for Pentecost. And in such conditions, Groupama 4 has already shown her prowess...

Positions at 1300 UTC on 26/05/2012:
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - 1,868.2 miles from the finish
2. Puma - 19.6 miles astern of the leader
3. Camper - 26.0 miles astern of the leader
4. Groupama 4 - 37.8 miles astern of the leader
5. Telefonica - 39.8 miles astern of the leader
6. Team Sanya - 83.7 miles astern of the Groupama Sailing Team website
North Technology - Southern SparsBakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

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
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