sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama hopes high as Leg 6 begins
Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama hopes high as Leg 6 begins

'Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France, lead CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, during the DHL In-Port Race Itajai, Brazil, in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.'    Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race©    Click Here to view large photo

Volvo Ocean Race - There is a fairly technical 4,800-mile course on the cards, where the fleet will have to get around Brazil, negotiate the Doldrums and traverse the Caribbean. Boosted by their victory in Saturday's In-Port race, Groupama 4's crew have high hopes and aim to further reduce the points separating them from the Spanish leader in the overall standing.

The weather conditions in Brazil are forecast to be perfect for the start of this sixth offshore leg: sunshine with a few clouds and some fine weather, an idyllic temperature, an almost smooth race zone and above all a good fifteen knots or so of southerly breeze!

This will probably be the most intense race start in this Volvo Ocean Race, because although the situation is particularly favourable for a spectacular opening sprint, it's also a key moment for the next stage in the event. This is especially true given that this disturbed southerly air flow isn't set to last very long and tackling the bay of Rio de Janeiro in pole position is likely to be a considerable advantage as the fleet begin to climb up around Brazil.

Groupama - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Yvan Zedda ©  
Indeed this 4,800-mile course will involve the fleet sailing along the Brazilian coast as far as the Doldrums, so this first half of the course is likely to throw up a fair few curve balls, where the navigators will have to play their hand over a stretch of ocean less than 200 miles offshore of Brazil.

The first obstacle will comprise manoeuvring their way around Cape Frio, which will mark the first change of route, northbound. In fact the high post-summer temperatures generate some hot and very humid air masses which spread across the South Atlantic in the form of some stormy zones. Further South, near Rio de la Plata, the Argentinean depressions pushes back the Saint Helena High, which usually creates the Brazilian tradewinds.

There's nothing clear about the programme for coming days however! Instead there are likely to be a mixture of calm zones, sudden squalls and significant wind shifts, combined with at times unpredictable conditions along the coast. As such it will probably be necessary to wait until they get to the latitude of Salvador de Bahia before the steady south-easterly to easterly winds settle into position and accompany them as far as the equator.

Once through the Doldrums, which aren't usually very developed at this time of year at 35° West, the five VO-70s will hook onto the north-easterly tradewinds of the northern hemisphere, which will gradually clock round to the East and then the South-East as the fleet home in on the West Indies. As a result the crews are likely to have no respite and will have to constantly sail within sight of each other, which will call for some very frequent manoeuvring.

The overall conditions are set to be rather favourable for Groupama 4 then, as there will be prevailing downwind breezes and reaching, with an average wind strength of around fifteen knots.

Indeed Franck Cammas and his men were very much at ease in the light conditions during Saturday's In-Port race, and this is a situation which is likely to be repeated many times over in the numerous weather transitions they will have to traverse. There are big stakes at play for all the crews as the points accumulated in Florida will determine the final strategy as far as Galway...

Of particular note for this leg is that Phil Harmer, injured during the Cape Horn leg, has left his place to Erwan Israël so the crew list for the leg between Itajai and Miami comprises: Franck Cammas (FRA) skipper, Jean Luc Nélias (FRA) navigator, Thomas Coville (FRA), Charles Caudrelier (FRA), Laurent Pagès (FRA), Erwan Israël (FRA), Damian Foxall (IRL), Brad Marsh (NZL), Martin Strömberg (SWE), Martin Krite (SWE) and Yann Riou (FRA) media man.

Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France, round a mark, during the DHL In-Port Race Itajai, Brazil, in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race)  Paul Todd-Volvo Ocean Race©   Click Here to view large photo

Franck Cammas, skipper of Groupama 4: 'Naturally we'll be trying to get ahead of Telefonica, but our focus will be on trying to win this race like all the others: we're over halfway on this round the world and any points gained now become increasingly important. We're lying in second place and the Spanish are within rifle range: we have every chance of winning and we're motivated to do just that.

The dismasting halted our progress but over the previous two legs, we've seen that we're increasingly at ease. We've proven that we can remain up front for a good while: right now we need to put up a consistent performance for the final victory...

We feel more at ease offshore than in the short races, even though we've made good progress with the latter as we showed in Itajai on Saturday, where we managed to withstand the pressure from some very good crews. For this next leg, there will be more French crew onboard the boat as Phil Harmer is injured and is remaining onshore to get some rest and has been replaced by Erwan Israël. All the sailors were able to get a break in Brazil, and even though the fatigue is building, we're in good shape and the upcoming leg is likely to be less physically demanding.'

Jean-Luc Nélias, navigator on Groupama 4: 'This is the longest of the remaining legs and is characterised by heat! The course is essentially tropical and that will cause us to switch weather systems as we make headway north. The situation as far as Rio de Janeiro will be somewhat disturbed, then it will be necessary to traverse a transition zone before we hook onto the south-easterly tradewinds.

Following on from that we'll have to negotiate the Doldrums, then the tradewinds in the northern hemisphere and hence north-easterly winds, before a more uncertain final sprint as there may be fronts accompanied by depressions at this time of year. The leg will have predominantly moderate wind, with about 80% of the course coloured by fifteen knots of breeze. It will also be very sunny with some serious heat and high humidity levels. There will be a lot of downwind sailing and reaching, which will favour Groupama 4, but there will also be some zones of light air to traverse.

There don't appear to be any major strategic options to be had, but we'll have to keep a close eye on our rivals: the trajectory is a bit blocked by the fact that we have to get around Brazil. There may be a few moves to be attempted in the Caribbean as we pass to windward, leeward or through the islands. The finish could have a few surprises in store too if the usual conditions are a little messed up near the Bahamas.'

Volvo Ocean Race website
Groupama website


by Vincent Borde

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=96382

7:09 PM Sun 22 Apr 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:

23 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 6 Start in Itajai - Puma leads - Full Replay
23 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Battle for overall victory intensifies
22 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Jury finds two Race Committee errors in Camper case
22 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race In-Port race - Good results for Groupama
22 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma claws their way up to third place
22 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Camper takes second in drama filled inshore race
22 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Groupama take inshore victory after Telefónica error
21 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama prepares for the in-port race
20 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean race: Camper to seek redress on Telefonica decision
20 Apr 2012  Mike Sanderson on the present and future of the Volvo Ocean Race
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World



Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5 by American Windsurfing Tour,






































470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,


























ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Finn leaders emerge from shifty Santander breeze
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - RS:X winner images by Barbara Sanchez
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 470 spots awarded
52 Super Series 2015 - Outlook looks hot for the 52 Super Series
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - Another early start on day 4
ISAF Sailing World - First entry leaves sailor's reputation in tatters
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard   
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result   
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO   
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 7 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Laser and Radial winner images by Jesus Renedo   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Medal Race images by Sail-World.com   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Dutch dominate Laser and Radial in Santander   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing more than doubles overall lead   
J/24 World Championship - Excitement builds for Newport racing   
Volvo Ocean Race - Seb Marsset joins Team Alvimedica   
Fall Seamanship training opportunities at New York Yacht Club   
Rolex Big Boat Series: More images from San Francisco - Final Day   
AWT Hatteras Wave Jam action commences on day 3   
Rolex Big Boat Series: Images from San Francisco - Final Day   


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