Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

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
Protector - 660 x 82PredictWind.com 2014Barz Optics - Melanin Lenses

Related Articles

Cruising Club of America names annual award recipients
The Cruising Club of America selected Michael J. Johnson (Santa Fe, N.M.) to receive Club’s Blue Water Medal for 2016 The Cruising Club of America (CCA) selected Michael J. Johnson (Santa Fe, N.M.) to receive the Club’s Blue Water Medal for 2016, awarded for his extensive cruising for over 40 years, covering more than 125,000 nautical miles and including an east-to-west circumnavigation below the five great southern capes.
Posted today at 4:02 am
JJ Giltinan 18ft skiffs - LIVE Coverage of Race 3 On NOW
Catch the latest race of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for the 18ft Skiffs, sailed on Sydney harbour. Catch the latest race of the JJ Giltinan Trophy for the 18ft Skiffs, sailed on Sydney harbour. Great coverage from the very knowledgeable team on the Camera Cat, including commentary from Peter Shipway, Bob Killick and Andrew Buckland.
Posted today at 3:41 am
Les Voiles de St. Barth - VORs in the spotlight
With curtain set to rise on Les Voiles de St. Barth in just over six weeks no fewer than 57 boats signed up for event With the curtain set to rise on the eighth edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth in just over six weeks (10 to 15 April, 2017), no fewer than 57 boats are already signed up for the event. Among these will be an impressive and rather unique fleet of Volvo Ocean Race boats, including both VOR 60s and VOR 70s.
Posted today at 3:05 am
Unreal acts of seamanship
It was a pleasure to watch Kiwi Conrad Coleman cross the finish line to complete his Vendée Globe. It was a pleasure to watch Kiwi Conrad Coleman cross the finish line to complete his Vendée Globe. He lapped the planet without using any kind of fossil fuels; just wind and solar to power an array of instruments as well as the all important (and power hungry) auto-pilot.
Posted today at 12:11 am
Vendée Globe – Slow down, you move too fast
The Dutch skipper has been forced to slow down to attempt to let the gales move away ahead of him in the Bay of Biscay. After the arrival of five skippers last week, there are now only two left at sea this morning: Pieter Heerema and Sébastien Destremau. The Dutch skipper has been forced to slow down to attempt to let the gales move away ahead of him in the Bay of Biscay.
Posted on 27 Feb
Vendée Globe – Why Pieter Heerema has to wait a little while longer
The Dutch skipper has less than 600 miles to go to reach Les Sables d’Olonne but is not likely to finish before Thursday The Dutch skipper has less than 600 miles to go to reach Les Sables d’Olonne, but is not likely to finish before Thursday, when he is expected to take seventeenth place
Posted on 27 Feb
11 boats to race the first ever GC32 Championship
Paul Kohlhoff, who represented Germany in the Nacra 17 catamaran at Rio 2016, is skippering SVB Team Germany Land Rover BAR Academy announced its squad for the 2017 season today. Like last year, the crew here is unusually being led by its bowman, in this case with former shorthanded offshore sailor, Rob Bunce, taking over from Neil Hunter, who has graduated up to the Land Rover BAR America’s Cup sailing team.
Posted on 27 Feb
RORC Caribbean 600 – A totally unique race
Close to 900 sailors from 30 different nations competed in the ninth edition of the RORC's classic offshore race. The 2017 edition will be remembered for highly competitive racing throughout the fleet, with American yachts winning the major prizes. The race was affected by unusual weather conditions, with a low pressure system sending the wind direction spinning through 360º of the compass.
Posted on 27 Feb
Land Rover BAR Academy with big ambitions in Extreme Sailing Series
Land Rover BAR Academy today becomes the final team to join the line-up for the season opener in Muscat Land Rover BAR Academy today becomes the final team to join the line-up for the season opener in Muscat, as it launches its second campaign in the world's leading global Stadium Racing circuit.
Posted on 27 Feb
Oman Air crew eye podium finish in inaugural GC32 Championship
Oman Air will kick start their 2017 season in style as top-class sailing teams from across the globe converge on Muscat A new-look Oman Air will aim to kick start their 2017 season in style as top-class sailing teams from across the globe converge on Muscat, Oman, for the first ever GC32 Championship this week.
Posted on 27 Feb