Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Volvo Ocean Race - So far so good for Groupama

by Volvo Ocean Race on 11 Nov 2011
Groupama Sailing Team sail along the African coast during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.cammas-groupama.com/
Volvo Ocean Race - Will Groupama's gamble to split from the fleet pay off or is west still best? The next 24 hours will tell, as the French team and the huge lead they have accumulated close to the West African shore come under threat from a new weather system and three rivals sick of taking losses in the windless west.

A bold move from skipper Franck Cammas? The Frenchman says not, he was expecting the other boats to go the same way when he made his call inside the first two days of leg one. But whatever the motivation – and a team choosing Highway to Hell as their anthem might be expected to take a few risks – the only significant question now is whether it was a wise one.

As of 1300 UTC on Thursday, the decision had brought them a lead of 140 nautical miles over Team Telefónica, who are ahead of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg and Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand. Those three teams followed conventional wisdom by deciding that west is best when it comes to reaching the way point at Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil.

While it's a case of so far so good for Cammas, leading the first French entry in the race for 18 years, weather forecasts point to a new low pressure system that could come in to destroy the trade winds to their south.

The nightmare scenario for Groupama is to see their three main rivals starting to exploit the new system from Friday afternoon. By the following day, the trio could be hitting boat speeds of 18 knots in the pure trade winds, eating into the lead of a French team whose speed at 1300 was around 14 knots.

'It was not our choice to go alone,' Cammas said via the Inmarsat-powered phone bridge in a conference call from Groupama 4. 'Of course the Anglo-Saxons would say that the French boat went for the lonely path, but really that wasn't our choice.

'I have nervous moments for sure, but I don't share them. I just share my hopes. We've done everything we wanted to do up to now.

'We have never been surprised by the light wind areas – they were all announced by the routing -- but we are now entering another area and have a doubt about tomorrow, with light winds expected. We will have to deal with it to find a passage and make it work. On the other hand we have more wind than expected so we are a bit in advance, which is always good.'


The other great unanswered question on Thursday was how Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing would progress with their replacement mast.

Ian Walker's team resumed leg one officially at 0216 UTC on Thursday after returning to the point where they were forced to suspend racing when their mast snapped in horrific conditions on Saturday, just six hours into the race.

Sailing with a new mast, and with no more replacements in the locker, means the team will take a cautious approach.

'It is not normal practice to step a new mast and set off in the dark and straight offshore – new masts can sometimes take days to tune up but we don't have that time,' Walker said.


'We also don't have the safety of a spare mast waiting for us if anything goes wrong. The stakes are now very high and we must sail accordingly.

'Right now we are taking it one step at a time. We will not sail fully loaded tonight until we can check everything in daylight.

'Just like falling off a horse it takes time to regain your confidence but you simply have to get back on it as soon as you can.

For the three boats in the west, the continued sailing in light winds was proving frustrating but the tight battle between Telefónica and Puma's Mar Mostro was at least a welcome distraction.

'Now I get up on deck for four hours to struggle with the little wind there is, and to see if we can manage to put some distance between us and Puma, who have been snapping at our heels since we left Alicante,' wrote Telefónica helmsman Pablo Arrarte.

'At night, we can see their navigation lights and by day we see them pretty well, given that we haven't been further than 10 miles apart.'

Camper were 90 nm further away from the way point than Puma after choosing to head further north in a bid to catch stronger winds earlier.

Team Sanya, the sixth entry in the race, were forced to pull out of leg one because of damage to the hull. They have finalised plans to ship the boat to South Africa in the hope of completing repairs before the second in-port race in Cape Town on December 10 and the start of leg two to Abu Dhabi the following day.

Positions on 10/11/2011 13:03:24 UTC

Volvo Ocean Race website
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignNorth Technology - Southern Sparsupffront 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

 

 

DTL

DTLC

BS

DTF

1

GPMA

0.00

0.0

14

5499.3

2

TELE

139.90

28.0

12

5639.2

3

PUMA

146.60

27.0

12.2

5645.9

4

CMPR

235.60

38.0

11.3

5735.0

5

ADOR

855.10

17.0

9.3

6354.4

-

SNYA

Retired from Leg 1