Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama gain precious miles

by Franck Cammas on 29 May 2012
Groupama Sailing Team during leg 7 - Day 8, Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.cammas-groupama.com/
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 fleet is racking up some great speeds again, with the arrival of a solid south-westerly breeze ahead of a front, and will be able to devour the next 1,000 miles in less than 48 hours! Behind the Emirati leader, the chasing group has lined itself up along the same longitude, bound for the North of the Azores. These conditions are pretty favourable for Franck Cammas and his men, who have gained some precious miles on the Spanish.

They're off! At last. Indeed, what promised to be a high speed dash across the Atlantic hasn't quite panned out like that: in fact the fleet has covered just 2,200 miles in eight days, which equates to an average speed of barely any more than 11 knots… However, the fleet is set to make up its deficit, at least until Wednesday evening, as the end of this important seventh leg could well upset the hierarchy over the last 24 hours. However, for the time being, they're planing on virtually flat seas, in a solid south-westerly breeze of around twenty knots.


To windward of the fleet accompanied by the Spanish, who are sailing within sight of them, the crew of Groupama 4 are slowly but surely managing to reposition themselves in relation to the New Zealanders and the Chinese, who are a little less at ease in this lively close reach. Leading the fleet, Abu Dhabi has been losing miles on every watch, as she's situated further ahead of the front, which is rolling down from Labrador. Indeed the south-westerly breeze is steadier closer to the front, which is where the five pursuers are positioned, virtually along the same line from North-South. As such, a drag race awaits the crews for the next 48 hours, until after the Azores, which the VO-70s should leave 200 miles to their South.

It's going to be vitally important that the crews don't ease off the pace as the front is shifting across towards Europe at the same speed as the boats: getting caught up by it translates as ending up in a westerly breeze and hence linking together a series of gybes without the ability to set a direct course to Lisbon. If everything goes to plan, it's just after the longitude of San Miguel that the rhythm will ease off. Indeed the depression which will merge with this propelling front near the finish, will bend around to the North, leaving the fleet floundering…

The high pressure, which is now stretching out from Scotland to the West Indies, via the Canaries, will form a barrier of light winds, which will have to be traversed on Wednesday evening and for now there's not really any way in to tackle this final obstacle. As such, there will likely be a hundred difficult miles for the whole fleet to negotiate, so there will probably be some serious bunching up of the fleet with just a handful of miles between them. The Emirati leader will be the first to be ensnared in these calm conditions and their pursuers will have the advantage of being able to witness how this first transition is panning out before they too have to tackle it.

Beyond these calm conditions, the wind will shift round to the NNE along the Spanish coast, building in a Portuguese tradewind system to reach a lively twenty knots: the first to escape the high pressure trap will stand a good chance of making their mark in Lisbon. In any case, Tuesday is likely to enable all the crews to far exceed 500 miles in 24 hours and Groupama 4 should be able to improve on her best time in the fourth leg when Franck Cammas and his men racked up a total of 522 miles…

Positions at 1300 UTC on 28/05/2012
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 1,304.0 miles from the finish
2. Puma – 63.2 miles astern of the leader
3. Camper – 83.1 miles astern of the leader
4. Team Sanya – 87.5 miles astern of the leader
5. Groupama 4 – 91.1 miles astern of the leader
6. Telefonica – 93.1 miles astern of the leader

Groupama Sailing Team website

Related Articles

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
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Thou doth protest too much, me thinks
And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen And no, we’re not off to analyse Hamlet right away. There’ll be no surtitles popping up on the top of your screen about now. At any rate, it is simply an adaptation of Lady Gertrude’s original line. We merely seek to use it as a way to demonstrate that when there is a lot of brouhaha going on, the smoke screen ultimately ends up as a lovely, colourful flag as to the real intent behind it.
Posted on 18 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
North Technology - Southern SparsBarz Optics - Melanin LensesSchaefer 2016 660x82