sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 - Groupama 4 leads the way
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 - Groupama 4 leads the way

'Groupama Sailing Team - Day 4 of Leg 5 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12'    Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 hold a narrow lead of 6.1 miles on the fourth day of the racing in leg five, from Auckland to Itajai, at the 1600 UTC report today.

The fleet is right in the thick of the biggest depression since the race start in Alicante! And this austral disturbance promises to be particularly violent with winds in excess of 45 knots and very heavy seas with over ten-metre waves. Groupama 4 is leading the way, but Franck Cammas and his crew know that the focus has to be on extracting themselves from this Antarctic storm with both the men and the gear in one piece.

It's good and bad news: the depression, which the fleet is in the process of tackling via its western edge, is moving slowly and the boats will be able to hitch a ride with it as far as Cape Horn or almost. However, this austral disturbance is growing everyday and is set to position itself across the route to South America. As such there is an extremely harsh phase in store between now and early next week.

'The wind has really punched back in and for the past six hours we've had 25 to 33 knots of breeze and we're expecting a lot stronger wind ahead of us. We've already reduced the sail area with one reef in the mainsail and the small storm gennaker: we're going at quite a lick, it's very wet and the water is cold! So we're beginning to enter what will be a difficult period for the whole fleet… We're still a long way from the matter in hand and once we have 40-45 knots of breeze, the sea state will be all important. We'll then have two reefs in the mainsail and the storm jib (J-4), so we can reduce the sail area. We have to get around a big depression over the next four days. We're playing a game of wait and see: how will we bear up in some very, very strong winds? The whole crew is a bit tense. Over the coming days we're going to cool things down a bit in terms of the race so we can close on Cape Horn without mishap.'

The Antarctic depression centred over 58°S and 140°W is tracking eastwards very slowly but most importantly it's climbing up to the edge of the ice until Saturday, so it's very close to the optimum trajectory for the boats. Groupama 4 will be forced to close on this violent meteorological phenomenon since the northern motion is causing a compression of the isobars and hence a very brutal increase in wind strength. Fortunately the cold front associated with this disturbance will remain in front of them, though a zone of squalls will come into play with gusts of over 50 knots, and even as high as 60 knots!

Groupama Sailing Team - Day 4 of Leg 5 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Yann Riou-Groupama Sailing Team_©_-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

'We've repaired our technical issues and we got the boat in order so we're ready to tackle this disturbance. Everyone is aware of the conditions we're going to be subjected to and is preparing both mentally and physically by trying to recover and rest. We'll have to really anticipate the manœuvres well so as we can avoid breakage or injury to a crew member. The optimum route doesn't take us to the edge of the ice gates (imposed by the Volvo Ocean Race organisation at 47° South): we'll be able sail parallel to them because, given the depression, we don't need to go further South. We're not allowed to dip below this limit because it would be akin to us not sailing the right course and we'd be disqualified… However, it will be easy for us given the south-westerly wind expected, as we'll be able to bear away so as we don't get close to it.'

With every passing hour then, the sailing conditions will become more difficult and the south-westerly breeze will reach more than 35 knots this Thursday evening. As such, the already heavy seas are set to get even bigger, with waves in excess of ten metres and above all the risk of breakers. Indeed, once the top of the crest breaks due to the angle of the wave, the speed at which the molecules of water move is greater than the speed of the boat and the resulting breaker could swamp the cockpit from behind. It's a situation which becomes dangerous for the crew on deck, as well as for the boat, which could end up side onto the wave where there's a risk of breaking gear.

'In principle we won't be able to go right around the system and we'll have to plunge into it at some point. As we close on the centre of the depression, there will be the maximum amount of waves, with cross seas and breakers thrown into the mix perhaps… That's what frightens me a bit! For the time being, according to the grib files, the worst of the wind and sea will hit us over the course of the day on Saturday, just before we begin to drop down to the South-East. Right now we have south-westerly wind (and I hope it won't shift round to the South!) and it's already pretty cold with the water at 8°C. As such, they're not the kind of conditions where you're on the attack and I don't think we'll be able to improve on the record number of miles covered in 24 hours… All the crews will have to ease off the pace, because the most important thing is to traverse this zone without incident. There are no strategic options up for grabs and everyone will be following each other at varying speeds. We'll have to make a compromise between safety and performance. We won't be able to sail the boat at her full potential and it will be hard to compare the speeds achieved by each crew. I don't think we're going to have much fun… even at the helm. Will we be able to play with the waves? I'm not sure. We'll have to protect ourselves and try to stay upright with waves of around ten metres! The risk of failure is by no means insignificant…'

As a result, this weekend promises to be horribly testing for Franck Cammas and his men. There will be no comfort, an icy cold, breakers across the deck, and an ‘end of the world' type atmosphere in the most isolated maritime zone on the planet, since on Saturday there will be no land within 2,000 miles (3,500 kilometres) and no ship before Cape Horn…

Standings on 22 March 2012 at 1600 UTC
1. Groupama 5,363.7 miles from the finish
2. Camper 6.1 miles astern of the leader
3. Puma 28.9 miles astern of the leader
4. Telefonica 50.1 miles astern of the leader
5. Sanya 205.6 miles astern of the leader
6. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 400.2 miles astern of the leader

Groupama Sailing Team - Day 4 of Leg 5 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Yann Riou-Groupama Sailing Team_©_-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

Groupama Sailing Team website


by Franck Cammas

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=95165

5:49 PM Thu 22 Mar 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Related News Stories:

23 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 - Mentally prepared onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
22 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Busted rudder costs Team Sanya in Southern Ocean
22 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Fleet face a race against time
22 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Telefonica to appear before Int Jury in Brazil
22 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's abundance of renewed energy
21 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - To the Horn we go!
21 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - The run down the Waitemata
21 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - The First Beat
21 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - The Start
21 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - A brief reprieve from the Roaring Forties
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Volvo Ocean Race has lifted intensity again on Day 9 with the fleet spread across 100nm of ocean and charging in a line for the turning point of Fernando de Noronha, 220nm off the Brazilian coast. ... [more]  

The first eight days of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race have been filled with more excitement and tighter racing than anyone could have anticipated. Up until Saturday morning, Leg One has left the fleet with few tactical options and therefore has kept everyone tightly packed as one unit of seven boats. ... [more]  

As expected the third day of the 2014 La Torche PWA Grand Slam proved to be a quiet affair with very light winds throughout the day. After a chilly and overcast start, the sun eventually broke through to produce another beautiful afternoon in La Torche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. The sun’s out. It’s warm – not too hot, but warm enough for just a tee shirt. Ian Walker is stood at the helm of his Emirati boat, generous Atlantic trade winds whistling past his ears. 'We’re going straight through,' he claims, confidently. 'What Doldrums? - they’re going to say. Azzam isn’t even going to slow down.' ... [more]  

At 1700 CET in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, 113 yachts had rounded Stromboli, the active volcano that marks the most northerly point of the course. Race leader on the water, Esimit Europa 2, was less than 20 miles from Favignana and preparing to turn south with 289 miles to go and is expected to finish the race in the early hours of Wednesday 22 October, which would be well outside the course record ... [more]  

It is with great pleasure that the Star Sailors League announces that two more top Brazilian sailors will be joining the fleet of 20 super-champions taking part in the Star Sailors League Finals 2014 being held for the second consecutive year at Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team Alvimedica. It’s hard to explain the complexity of the weather in this part of the world. No computer model or forecaster can accurately predict the winds because the air here is dry and warm, 23c now, and the typical barometric pressure gradients that generate them become very weak. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team SCA. We’re a boat on a mission: catch the fleet. And they’re getting closer by the mile. The first time I sailed past Cape Verde islands was in 2010 when I was helping deliver a catamaran from Gibraltar to Antigua, W.I. ... [more]  

Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships by Jordan Rumsby, Royal Varuna Yacht Club
Pattaya's Royal Varuna Yacht Club has submitted a bid to host the 2016 International Optimist Dinghy Association World Championships, offering the world's most talented junior sailing teams a chance to experience the steady wind, sunshine, smiles, great food, and family-friendly attractions of Thailand's top dinghy sailing destination ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this second gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 Prizegiving ... [more]  

Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on by Malcolm McKeag, Scuttlebutt Europe, Lymington, England:
Bill Green, San Francisco-born sailor, Navy jet jockey (not a lot of people know that); US Coastguard; shrimp-boat hand (not a lot of people know that either); One Ton Cup winner and most latterly proprietor of Green Marine slipped quietly away from this life ... [more]  

Tom Burton (AUS) retained World #1 in the Laser after a tremendous fight back at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao where he picked up bronze. The Australia had a tough opening day, finishing down the pack in both races but as the week progressed he worked his way up and sealed bronze on the final day to keep hold of World #1. ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Rolex Middle Sea Race - As high pressure moved in from the north, the area around Stromboli had virtually no gradient wind and for those yachts yet to reach Stromboli, a south flowing current has slowed proceedings even further. For the competitive offshore yacht racer, performing well in light wind is more difficult than blasting through a storm at top speed. ... [more]  

34th Student Yachting World Cup - France knew today its best day since the beginning of the competition. They spent the two races at the very first positions, even rivaling with the ultra-dominant English team. They showed today an astounding panache, and can now hope to improve their ranking before the end of the SYWoC. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Donfeng Race Team, has lost her lead on Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race, with boats on the east and western side of the course threatening. Two hours before the most recent sked at 0640hrs UTC, Dongfeng was still being listed by Volvo Ocean Race as the leader. But Team Brunel is now listed as the leader, but on a time taken projection basis, Team Brunel is fifth. ... [more]  

Flying Dreams is a movie directed by the talented Elsa Blayau is an ode to ocean, water sports and femininity. Based on an original idea from Alex Udin, Elsa Blayau transformed the project to a complete story and brought it to reality with this realization. ... [more]  

The 70th running of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is living up to expectation with 98 high-calibre entries received so far, from Sean Langman’s 1932 built Maluka of Kermandie, the oldest and smallest boat at nine metres, to the super maxis. The most talked about boat though, is the Verdier Yacht Design and Vplp 100 footer, Comanche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video. Catch a birthday at sea on board Team Brunel, and unravel the fishing net with Team SCA Hear and see how the crews coped with the front that came through in the nigh ... [more]  

Shala Youngerman and her team from Southwestern Yacht Club won the 23rd annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge Sunday in this two-day fleet race regatta organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. ... [more]  

After three days of racing in the Valparaíso bay, the Santander team was crowned champion of the Off Valparaíso Race, first stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour that was held in the Yacht Club de Chile with the participation of eight boats. ... [more]  

Day two of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw the glorious golden sunshine continue together with the waves, but unfortunately the wind remained absent again. To keep the crowds entertained Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) and birthday boy - Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) - attempted a bit of wave tow-in with varying degrees of success, as Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) took control of the jet ski. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng consolidates lead on Day 8 *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
After cutting between the Cape Verde islands, separating from the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, Chinese entry, Dongfeng gained an initial significant lead, which they are in the process of consolidating. One routing option for the then race leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, gave the team the option of cutting inside the island group, they are close to the optimum course for Fernando off Brazil ... [more]  

RS:X Youth World Championships - All set for Clearwater action by RS:X Olympic Windsurfing Class Association
Mild, breezy weather, temperate Gulf of Mexico waters and wide bands of sugar white sand - this is the place where 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship racing is about to start. 'Clearwater Beach is the perfect spot to play host to the young windsurfers gathering here from around the world for international competition', says Frank Chivas. ... [more]  

The first 24 hours of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has seen the fleet progress slowly up the eastern seaboard of Sicily towards the Strait of Messina. By 16.00 on day two, a mere ten per cent of the competition had passed through the Strait and started the leg to Stromboli, where they will turn west towards the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - If only it were that easy. Amazingly we did manage to replace the rudder and regain first position amongst the fleet however just hours afterwards, navigator Pascal Bidégorry was faced with an important strategic decision. ... [more]  

Ian Moore, navigator on Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino, is no stranger to the Rolex Middle Sea Race, this is his fourth and Ian was part of the winning crew on Bryon Ehrhart's TP52, Lucky in 2010. Ian describes the tactical nuances of the first night at sea. ... [more]  

Top videographer and photographer, John Navas, was on the water for the final day of the Farr 40 Worlds being sailed on San Francisco. ... [more]  

The brilliant conditions of last week’s opening race of the season were duplicated today when the Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy race was sailed in a 20–knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour. Current JJ Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage showed why they are the world’s best team. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - The fleet has finally left the West African Coast. They are now in the trade winds, making the westerly course across the Atlantic Ocean to FernandoThey will find the Cape Verde Islands in the way and that will cause some issues of navigation. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - It was a light wind, big wave finish at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao as the medallists were decided across the six fleets competing on the waters of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - In life, timing is everything. And, after seven years in the Farr 40 class, the timing was right for New York financier Alex Roepers to achieve a long-held goal of winning the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. ... [more]  

Coast Guard rescues two near Wachapreague
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 2
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Massive swell on day 1
Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Al's Ocean Cafe
Argo Group Gold Cup survives Hurricane Gonzalo
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng regains lead after incident packed Day 7 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Dramatic video of Dongfeng rudder replacement
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica bounces back
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA expecting the expected + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - New record for Mediterranean classic
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Medallists decided across six fleets
Volvo Ocean Race - Impressive turnaround for Dongfeng Race Team +Video
Volvo Ocean Race: Race closer than leaderboard suggests - Leg 1, Day 6
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team break rudder after collision
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Famous breeze frustrates
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 1
Sunfish World Championship - Victory for Argentina's Francisco Renna
Volvo Ocean Race - Feeling the pressure six days in
Volvo Ocean Race - Alvimedica cautiously cruising down coast of Africa
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel still within striking distance
Volvo Ocean Race - Testing times for Team SCA + Video   
Beijing 2008 Olympic legacy lives on in Qingdao + Video   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A return nearly 20 years in the making   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Game on for remaining fleets   
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 2 Image and Video gallery *Feature   
Day 5 of the Chris Benz Lüderitz Speed Challenge: 4 more records!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Coastal racing at its best - Leg 1, Day 5   
Chris Poole new number one Open Match Racer in U.S.   
Rolex Farr 40 World Champs - Plenty leads as Struntje Light impresses   
2014 Soto 40 South American Tour - Back in action   
Volvo Ocean Race - Mail arrival brings excitement for Team SCA + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race - Jens Dolmer getting restless onboard Team Brunel   
Volvo Ocean Race - Too close for comfort as fleet pushes on + Video   
Foils or not? Explanations from IMOCA Class President Jean Kerhoas   
Ben Ainslie's Olympic Finn sails are up for auction   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica goes to school   
Volvo Ocean Race - Intensity level rises for Dongfeng Race Team   
China Cup Regatta - Olympic medallists and offshore legends to race   
St. Barth Cata Cup - Friendly US rivalry on the Island   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Tight and tactical racing + Video   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT