Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Volvo Ocean Race - Strong position for Groupama 4

by Franck Cammas on 13 Jun 2012
Wet atmosphere on board Groupama 4 - 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 currently on day two of leg eight and have moved into pole position less than fifty miles from the first island in the Azorean archipelago, thanks to her potential in the current reaching conditions, as well as a clever sidestep to windward of the group. The boats should round the island of Sao Miguel tonight, at which point they'll be able to latch onto the steadier breeze of an Atlantic depression.

The laborious start in Lisbon is already ancient history: Franck Cammas and his men certainly haven't been dawdling. They managed to catch up with the head of the fleet within 24 hours, before starting to claw back the miles on Groupama 4's two sisterships. In a reaching wind bordering on about twenty knots, the French boat is unquestionably the quickest and the Americans were the first to confirm that, whilst the Spanish had to let the high-speed train past shortly afterwards… And yet the wind was beginning to ease during this time as the fleet gradually closed on the heart of the Azores High and at noon this Tuesday, as they approached Santa Maria, Groupama 4 was polled as leader.

The crew of the French boat cleverly performed a little 2-mile counter tack to reposition herself to windward of the fleet, which was sailing in around ten knots of north-westerly breeze. Indeed, as they approach the volcanic landmass that makes up the Azores, the wind is set to shift round to the West after a fairly light passage at dusk. At that point they will have to try to gain ground to the North to round the centre of high pressure situated to the South-West of Santa Maria. It's this beat towards the turning mark which may create some separation over the coming hours, but already those boats further South, such as Camper and Abu Dhabi, aren't having much fun with a breeze which is heading them and forcing them to set a course towards the South-West to make headway.

As a result, Franck Cammas and his crew were sailing within sight of the Spanish, who are proving to be their most dangerous rivals in this phase of light winds, as Telefonica is especially quick upwind in the light airs. The controlling position Groupama 4 has secured to windward is an important bonus because, if things pan out as planned, the breeze is more stable and slightly denser to the North. It'll seem like one of the longest night's for the French crew tonight, though we're a few days shy of the longest day yet…

On the cards at the end of this 100-mile light air wading session is a dive North once they're around the volcanic island. They mustn't get too close to land, which exceeds 1,000 metres high in places, where the wind will be very disturbed. Once clear of this zone however, there won't be any more obstacles because some fifty miles or so to the North of Sao Miguel, the wind will build under the influence of an Atlantic depression, which is shifting towards Ireland. The first to extract themselves from the Azorean archipelago will stretch out a lead and is likely to reach Cape Finisterre (770 miles from Sao Miguel) in around thirty knots of south-westerly breeze!

The finish in Lorient is scheduled for Friday and if the boats don't struggle too much tonight in their mission to round the Azores mark, the leaders could even finish by noon! The final sprint is going to be extremely boisterous then. All the crews will be trying to be a cut above the rest on this section of the course, which will require a good compromise between speed and preservation of the gear. The stakes are high for us: if the Spanish finish two places ahead of Groupama 4 in Brittany, they'll snatch back the overall lead. However, if Franck Cammas and his men manage to assert themselves in home waters, they'll be on the right track to ultimate victory in Galway…

Positions at 1300 UTC on 12/06/2012
1. Groupama 4– 1,260.9 miles from the finish
2. Telefonica – 2.1 miles astern of the leader
3. Puma – 4.7 miles astern of the leader
4. Camper – 8.0 miles astern of the leader
5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 8.1 miles astern of the leader
6. Team Sanya – 16.6 miles astern of the leader


Groupama Sailing Team website

Colligo Marine 660x82Barz Optics - Melanin LensesInSunSport - NZ

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