Please select your home edition
Edition
upffront 728x90

Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12- Walker on taking on the Southern Ocean

by Volvo Ocean Race on 13 Sep 2011
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.volvooceanrace.com
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker has opened up about what he considers to be the greatest challenge in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race – taking on the perilous Southern Ocean to round Cape Horn.

'When we’re in that part of the world and it’s night time, you’ve got ice in the water and you’re doing 30 miles per hour blind, it’s a worry.'

The 41-year-old Olympian described dodging potentially boat breaking and race ending icebergs when he last took on the infamous ocean in the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race.

Walker said he and his crew on board Azzam would be sure to have their wits about them during Leg 4 when the fleet could again face ice, extreme waves and hurricane force winds when racing from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, South America.

'It is a very feared and desolate part of the world,’’ he said. 'If you get a storm when you’re in the vicinity of Cape Horn you need your wits about you to survive. That’s obviously a very notorious part of the world and we’ll be down there for about two and a half weeks.

'When we’re in that part of the world and it’s night time, you’ve got ice in the water and you’re doing 30 miles per hour blind, it’s a worry.'

Despite the fear-factor Walker said there were moments in the world’s toughest and longest professional sailing race when he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

As skipper, he said it was his job to level off the peaks and troughs of emotion the crew will endure to help ensure they can continue to perform in the testing endurance race.

'A third of the time you’re terrified because it’s so wet and windy and wild, and you’d rather be anywhere else in the world,’’ he said. 'It’s a very tough environment, particularly down below trying to live and exist in a carbon fibre shell that’s being tossed around the ocean. It’s anything but luxury.

'A third of the time is actually quite mundane with easy conditions and the other third is some of the best sailing and best racing of your life where you are neck and neck with another boat, or enjoying beautiful trade wind sailing under a starry sky, and there’s no place else you’d rather be.'

Volvo Ocean Race website
Barz Optics - Melanin Lensesupffront 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's view of Day 2
Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Not a lot of wind for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St Tropez. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru captured these images of the always picturesque classics as they sailed in a light breeze
Posted today at 11:39 am
Legendary Mitch Booth to compete in St-Barth Cata Cup 2016
Sixty teams have already confirmed they will be competing in the event. As a triple world champion, Booth is no stranger to the F18. For this edition, he will be joined by Andy Dinsdale, a regular on the waters around St Barth.
Posted today at 11:25 am
Les Voiles de St Tropez - Eugenia Bakunova's images from Day 1
Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones Racing got underway in St Propez on the first day at Les Voiles de St Tropez with three dedicated race zones, Nioulargue for the Modern yachts, Pampelonne for the Wallys and the bay for the 15 m JIs, racing in an even swell and glorious sunshine. Most of the Classic yachts are not due to set sail until the second day of racing. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on hand to capture the acti
Posted today at 11:17 am
J-70 Worlds - San Francisco - Images from a fired up first day
Images and video of the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Videographer and photographer, John Navas was on the water on the Berkley Circle, San Francisco for the opening day of the J-70 Worlds being run by the St Francis Yacht Club. Here's his view of the day in video and still images.
Posted today at 8:11 am
Alcatel J/70 Worlds - Cut-throat competition on Day 1 in San Francisco
World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition World Championship regattas always generate high-level competition, but when you stack 68 of the world’s most popular One Design boats on San Francisco Bay in a crisp, late-September breeze, you can bet your last shackle that the competition will be ferocious.
Posted today at 4:09 am
Les Voiles de St Tropez France – Day 2 images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day two Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from day two
Posted on 27 Sep
Panerai Classic Yachts - Images from Régates Royales - Final day
The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge has concluded at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales The final round of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge has concluded at Cannes in the 38th Régates Royales. Eugenia Bakunova of mainsail.ru was on the water at Cannes and provided this gallery of images from the Final Day - there ws no racing due to the obvious lack of wind - but the images are still excellent.
Posted on 27 Sep
Team France Jeune selects its group for Red Bull Youth America's Cup
Franck Cammas and Jacques Cathelineau reveal the group of 14 youngsters who will now train together to prepare From 5 to 9 September, the city of Toulon played host to the second phase of the selection process launched by the Filière d’Excellence Team France (TF Excellence Network). After five days of events, Franck Cammas and Jacques Cathelineau (the French Sailing Federation’s Technical Director) reveal the group of 14 youngsters who will now train together to prepare
Posted on 27 Sep
French-flagged sailing team to make Extreme Sailing Series debut
30-year old Kiwi Adam Minoprio will lead the team, and he is looking forward to the challenge. Arriving fresh from victory on their GC32 in Sotogrande (Spain), the team of experienced foilers is expected to get competitive quickly on Lisbon’s stadium racetrack.
Posted on 27 Sep
Groupama Nouvelle-Caledonie Race - Top Kiwi racer takes line honours
TeamVodafoneSailing/Frank Racing has taken line honours in the 650nm Groupama Nouvelle-Caledonie Race. The New Zealand ORMA60 trimaran TeamVodafoneSailing/Frank Racing has taken line honours in the 650nm Groupama Nouvelle-Calendonie Race. She crossed the finish line at 10.33.12 on Tuesday morning, local time.
Posted on 27 Sep