Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 - Victory still possible for Groupama 4

by Franck Cammas on 1 Jun 2012
Day 11 onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 7 of the 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 remain in second place, 14.1 miles astern of the leader, on the eleventh day of racing in the seventh leg from Miami to Lisbon.

Free of the high pressure offshore of Portugal, Groupama 4 has her sights on the finish line in front of the Belem Tower, just a few miles shy of the Emirati leader. The results of this final sprint in a good northerly breeze should be decided in the Tagus River at nightfall. Victory is still possible and second place is highly probable.

Midway through the afternoon this Thursday, there was barely a hundred miles left to separate Abu Dhabi, which has been leading this transatlantic sprint for the past five days, and Groupama 4, which made a spectacular comeback to the North of the Azores. The first to enter a zone of light airs, which was being dished up between the Atlantic archipelago and the Iberian peninsula, Ian Walker and his crew opted for a passage level with Porto, whilst Franck Cammas and his men preferred to position themselves fifty miles further South, so as to aim straight for Lisbon. The two VO-70s escaped the clutches of the system shortly after sunrise, with a slight edge on the American boat.

Behind them, the chasing pack benefited from this nocturnal stalling to catch up a number of miles and at one stage the whole fleet were scattered across the race zone within just thirty miles of each other in relation to distance to the finish. As such, everything could have been turned on its head by this important wind shift from the South to the North. Fortunately, the hierarchy didn't really alter, aside from the fact that the New Zealanders saw the Spanish pass to the South of them, before they had a chance to make up the deficit further down the track…

At around 0700 hours this Thursday, Abu Dhabi finally reaped the rewards of its northerly option by powering up and out of the zone of calms under spinnaker. After that it was Groupama 4's turn to latch onto the northerly winds with a deficit of around fifteen miles on the leader. Between the duo, Puma was still dragging her heels in fickle breeze. Meantime, in the wake of the French boat, Camper and Telefonica were struggling to extract themselves from the high pressure trap. At that stage in the game, there were just 200 miles to go, which is when the importance of the North-South separation and the crews' ability to slip along to the finish line kicked in. Franck Cammas and his men broke through into a northerly reaching wind of around twenty knots, whilst Ian Walker and his crew had to bear away 20° further to dive down towards the entrance to the Tagus River.

Making an average speed of close to twenty knots in a wind which is gradually easing the closer they get to the coast, the frontrunners are expected to reach Lisbon at between 2100 and 0100 UTC. With around ten miles between them at 1400 hours UTC, uncertainty still reigns over who will be best placed to be the first to enter the Portuguese channel. Groupama 4 has the advantage of making her approach via the South, whilst Abu Dhabi's ability to make headway may be more disrupted by the wind shadow of Cascais. The wind files for the river are indicating that the grand finale of this leg will be extremely close: a mass of cloud will invade Lisbon early tonight, with more erratic breezes as the fleet attack the last fifteen miles of the course. As such, it is impossible to say whether or not the Emirati boat will be able to contain a comeback by the French boat…

If everything pans out as it should, the deltas are likely to be sufficient for these two crews not be too worried by the Americans, who have been relegated to over 30 miles back (with only 100 miles left to go). However, they themselves have a lead of some twenty miles or so over Camper, whilst the New Zealanders are being pressured by the Spanish. If the present hierarchy is respected (with Groupama 4 finishing first or second into Lisbon), it will have been a superb leg for the French crew, who will move up into first place in the overall standing ahead of the Iberians, whilst also getting a little further away from the menace of the Americans and Kiwis!

Overall standing on leaving Miami
1-Telefonica (Iker Martinez) : 1+30+6+29+2+27+6+20+1+25+2+15+1 = 165 points
2-Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas) : 2+20+2+18+5+24+2+30+4+20+6+20+5 = 158 points
3-Camper (Chris Nicholson) : 4+25+5+24+4+18+3+15+6+15+5+25+3 = 152 points
4-Puma (Ken Read) : 5+0+4+19+3+17+5+25+5+30+4+30+4 = 151 points
5-Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) : 6+0+3+10+6+14+4+10+2+0+3+10+6 = 74 points
6-Sanya (Mike Sanderson) : 3+0+1+5+2+5+1+5+3+0+0+0+2 = 27 points

Positions at 1500 UTC on 31/05/2012
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 80.7 miles from the finish
2. Groupama 4 – 14.1 miles astern of the leader
3. Puma – 32.5 miles astern of the leader
4. Camper – 51.9 miles astern of the leader
5. Team Sanya – 59.6 miles astern of the leader
6. Telefonica – 63.8 miles astern of the leader


Groupama Sailing Team website

Bakewell-White Yacht DesignAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82Colligo Marine 660x82

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