Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Volvo Ocean Race - Unexpected twist for the fleet

by Volvo Ocean Race on 25 May 2012
Wade Morgan battles his way forward to retrieve a furling unit, onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.volvooceanrace.org
In the Volvo Ocean Race, the quick Atlantic crossing to Lisbon, Portugal, has taken an unexpected twist, as the cold front the fleet had been hoping to hook into for a fast ride across the North Atlantic was moving too quickly, slamming the door shut and forcing some quick thinking.

'We all missed the train and we’re waiting for the next one, which is expected to come in from the northwest and that’s while we are climbing up,' explained Xabi Fernandez, trimmer with leg leaders Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP).

Having missed the opportunity for a fast ride towards the finish, the fleet has gybed north and are heading towards the ice gates put in place to keep the fleet south of the ice brought south on the cold Labrador current.

'The latest bit of ice was spotted at latitude 46 degrees north. At the moment we’re headed to get above it. Bring on the freeze,' said Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s navigator, Jules Salter.

'The boats behind have a bit more breeze right now, so they’ll be notching up some good data in the next few hours. The situation we have coming up is quite thorny indeed. We’re going to hit a high pressure system tomorrow and then we will get the next squall, where we hope we’ll get away again. It will be interesting,' said Telefónica navigator Andrew Cape, who made the call to head east again shortly after 1300 GMT.

For Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS), who found themselves further south than they wanted, it has been a particularly painful two days following the decision by the afterguard to abandon the south and take the high road north.

'We took a couple of big shifts to the north. The remains of tropical storm Alberto were still around, so we got a bit of a shove from that. Right at the moment, we are reaping some of the benefits from it,' explained navigator Will Oxley earlier.

The leaderboard reshuffled at 1600 GMT today, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) moving up to second place, with Camper eight miles behind and Groupama slipping to fourth. At 1900 GMT Groupama had slipped further down the field to fifth place. Having hit a light spot, the team was sailing at almost half the speed of the rest of the fleet. They are positioned midway between Telefónica who is heading east and the rest of the fleet who are continuing to claw northeast. The fleet is now spread 65 nm from Telefónica in first to Sanya in sixth place, with a north/south divide of 68 nm.

So far, the course from Miami to Lisbon has produced flat water downwind sailing under clear blue skies, unexpected conditions enjoyed by all. 'Normally it’s grey, miserable and cold and probably freezing at this stage, as we are usually up around Newfoundland, so we will definitely take this,' said Justin Slattery, bowman with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.

Far from being a drag race to the finish, the current weather situation, although tricky, has presented plenty of options for the chasing pack who are picking their way through the minefield. Fortunately, although many miles have been lost in the claw north, there is still over 2,000 nm left to run in this 3,590 nm leg to Lisbon, which is plenty enough runway to provide for some changes in the leaderboard.

Volvo Ocean Race 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
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearKilwell - 6T Clewring One Design