Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Volvo Ocean Race - Pure speed onboard Groupama 4

by Franck Cammas on 30 May 2012
Day 9 - Pure speed on board Groupama 4 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Leg 7 Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.cammas-groupama.com/
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 fleet are being pushed along by a front, which is moving almost as fast as them. The crews are devouring the miles to such an extent that this seventh leg from Miami to Lisbon should see some 24-hour distance records being set. Franck Cammas and his men have switched to attack mode in these conditions, which they're particularly fond of, gaining two places in a single day. However, less than 900 miles from Lisbon, there's still everything to play for as there is a zone of calms to be traversed.

Pushed along by a front, which is moving almost as fast as the fleet, the crews are devouring the miles to such an extent that this seventh leg should see some 24-hour distance records being set. Franck Cammas and his men have switched to attack mode in these conditions, which they're particularly fond of, gaining two places in a single day. However, less than 900 miles from Lisbon, there's still everything to play for as there is a zone of calms to be traversed…


After the setback on exiting the tropical storm, when Groupama 4 stuck her neck out to try to stick with a front which escaped her clutches, Franck Cammas and his men are making a superb ‘drive' offshore of the Azores. Playing a ‘baseline' game with the Spanish just 24 hours ago, the French boat, which is particularly fond of this playing surface (flat seas, reaching wind, a good 20-25 knots of breeze), performed a ‘smash' at the edge of the tramlines, taking third place from the New Zealanders and now distancing herself from Telefonica by nearly twelve miles. However, the outcome of the match isn't likely to be decided until the final set…

For the past 36 hours, the fleet has given some rhythm to this Miami-Lisbon Open thanks to the arrival of a front, which is propelling everyone along at a blistering pace across the Atlantic. Leading as they exited the zone of high pressure off Newfoundland, Abu Dhabi is gradually losing points, as she's not benefiting from such a steady breeze as her rivals. Indeed, in a little over a day, the Emirati leader has conceded over fifty miles to the chasing pack… On this long drive, it's Groupama 4 which is proving to be the fastest, covering 532 miles over the past 24 hours, thus beating her best time in the fourth leg (522 miles).

However, recent performance is going to be important for the ‘slice': the front which is pushing the fleet towards the finish, appears to be slightly faster than the VO-70s and the first to realise that they won't be able to avoid the patch of light airs and the subsequent westerly wind shift behind this barrier of cloud is the crew of the Chinese boat. Indeed Sanya has already been forced to slip along towards the North-East so as she can gybe as the wind shifts round. Her two predecessors (Camper and Telefonica) are also on the edge of the front, which is why the crews of Groupama 4 and Puma are pushing their machines along at full tilt. 'Advantage' Abu Dhabi, who is a 'set' ahead and has little chance of being swallowed up. However, the match is far from over: the front will shift eastwards for a further 24 hours, before stumbling into the 'net' in the form of a ridge of high pressure across the court, less than 300 miles from Lisbon.

Within the next thirty hours or so, the speeds will gradually drop off once the leaders enter the high pressure, which is stretching down from Ireland to the Canaries: there will be a compression of the fleet, at least that will be the case for those which aren't devoured by the front. The separation between the boats should only be a matter of a few miles, with play centring around the latitude of Porto, where the calm conditions seem to be the narrowest. It's on Wednesday afternoon that a couple of questions will come to the fore: what kind of lead will the leader have over her pursuers in this windless zone and will all the fleet opt for the same ‘service court'?

As such it's going to come down to a ‘tie-break' to separate the players once they climb up to the ‘net' of high pressure off Portugal. Importantly, it may be possible to ‘lob' over the leader, if they get stuck in a wind hole! However, clearly leading as they attack this final obstacle will be an advantage and it's preferable to be tied on points for this decisive game. Uncertainty will reign then as the player which manages to hook onto a little additional gust will be in a favourable position for the final ‘volley': behind these calm conditions, the northerly wind is settled nicely in place (20 knots) and on this final service, an ‘ace' is virtually assured…

Positions at 1300 UTC on 29/05/2012
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 817.0 miles from the finish
2. Puma – 32.0 miles astern of the leader
3. Groupama 4 – 46.8 miles astern of the leader
4. Camper – 55.2 miles astern of the leader
5. Telefonica – 57.3 miles astern of the leader
6. Team Sanya – 70.8 miles astern of the leader

Groupama Sailing Team website

InSunSport - NZKilwell - 6Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Volvo Ocean Race- Official Video of latest edtion
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during July The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started in Alicante, Spain in October 2011 and concluded in Galway, Ireland during early July 2012. This documentary tracks the fleet during their amazing around the world journey. Catch all the drama and action as the teams sail a 39,000 nautical miles through the world's most treacherous seas via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape Horn to Itajaí, M
Posted on 21 Aug 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- All-Women crew announced for the 2014-15 edition
The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest co The Volvo Ocean Race will feature an all-female team for the first time since 2001-02 after global hygiene and forest company SCA announced they would enter a women’s crew for the next edition in 2014-15. 'The lack of women in the last few editions of the race has meant we haven't been representing half the population of the human race' - Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean Race, CEO
Posted on 21 Aug 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- And when the race is over.... + Video
Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. She will visit the Copa del Rey in Palma de Mallorca. Sponsored by the Mallorcan footwear company Camper, the return of the joint Spanish and New Zealand flagged boat, marks the end of a round the world adventure that started with the yacht’s baptism at the RCNP in September 2011 and the race start from A
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Calling up the Reinforcements
They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, who were given the chance to prove they could step up to challenges as big as the Southern Ocean, often with barely any notice. Be it an email with a subject line 'get your boots ready' or a hurried face-to-face with the skipper just minutes before the st
Posted on 18 Jul 2012
The most successful Volvo Ocean Race yet
The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most success The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most successful, CEO Knut Frostad said on Thursday, with hundreds of thousands of fans visiting Galway in Ireland for a buoyant finale and outstanding growth across media platforms set to be confirmed once final data is in.
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Sanderson wants to go again
Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in la Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in late 2014 when he expects to return for another campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race. Sanderson skippered ABN AMRO ONE to victory in 2005-06 and while his race this time with Sanya was not the same glittering success he is determined it will not be his final appearance in the Volvo
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Reluctant hero Marsh takes seamanship honour
'It's been an amazing adventure, a fantastic tour, and a great race' - Brad Marsh The title ‘hero’ does not rest easy on the shoulders of Groupama bowman Brad Marsh, but most agree that it is the best way to describe the Kiwi who repaired a sinking yacht, saved a broken rig and scaled a 31-metre mast in a storm front.
Posted on 16 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas
Volvo Ocean Race skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history thanks to Groupama's debut victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. Here we profile the charismatic French sailor for whom perfection is never good enough.
Posted on 10 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Selected Awards announced at Formal Prizegiving
Camper's Hamish Hooper saw nine months of hard work pay off as he was crowned Media Crew Member of the Volvo Ocean Race The selected award category winners were announced at the final formal Volvo Ocean Race prizegiving in Galway Ireland. We present a gallery of images and video of the category winners and their feats including the Media Crew member Award, the Rookie Award, the Seamanship Award, the Shore Crew Award as well as the Designer Award and Speed Trophy presentation.
Posted on 9 Jul 2012
Volvo Ocean Race- Formal Prizegiving - Racing Award winners
The racing award winners and crews were announced at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland The racing award winners were recognised at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland after the conclusion of the InPort race on Saturday. All six crews were presented with overall awards or place momentos. The InPort Trophy was awarded as well, the speed record trophy was also awarded.
Posted on 8 Jul 2012