Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Volvo Ocean Race teams batten down the hatches

by Volvo Ocean Race on 14 Jun 2012
Around Sao Miguel and the Azores in the dark, PUMA’s Mar Mostro now heads northeast towards Lorient at the hands of Tony Mutter, with Groupama in sight to leeward, onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race© http://www.puma.com/sailing
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 fleet are on day two of leg eight from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France. Team Telefónica led a furious charge into the eye of a North Atlantic storm today, Wednesday 13th June, with just 10 nautical miles separating the top four teams overall and the fastest 24-hour runs of the race a real possibility.

How the leading quartet of Groupama, Telefónica, Puma and Camper play the risky situation could ultimately decide the entire race with just 23 points between them and only one more leg to go after the fleet arrive in Lorient on Friday.

The teams have been battening down the hatches in preparation for gale force winds up to 50 knots and waves in excess of six metres that could see the IWC Schaffhausen 24-hour record for the race toppled, but could equally prove boat-breaking.

The delicate balancing act is likely to turn many a skipper and navigator into an insomniac.


On board Abu Dhabi's Azzam the whole team have been engaged in an intense team meeting to discuss their tactics for what skipper Ian Walker described as 'the sternest test yet of this race'.

'This leg could still hinge on who pushes hardest and survives the gale force winds ahead,' the double Olympic silver medallist said. 'We will make sure we are well rested and everything is strapped to the back of the bus before the wind rapidly builds tonight.

'In those conditions, first and foremost it is surviving. The problem is that we are actually racing so it will be a case of which boats push hardest and force everyone else to as well.'

Few are more nervous than Groupama sailing team, who have the most to lose. The overall race leaders, nursing an eight-point advantage over Telefónica, are all too aware that they will have to push hard to defend their narrow lead on the leg eight race to their home port.

But, with the conditions threatening to be as tough as the Southern Ocean in leg five when the French team broke their mast and were forced to finish under jury rig, there will be trepidation.

One thing the team are confident in is the stamina of their crewmen, who are prepared to put every ounce of energy into the remaining 1,000 nautical miles, according to helmsman/trimmer Charles Caudrelier.

'There is a lot at stake, for sure,' he said. 'We are realising that we are leading the Volvo Ocean Race, and that we can win it. We are in front and that's more motivation. Plus the leg is short and we don't have to save energy for later on. We are sprinting.'


The teams will be sprinting alright, with 24-hour distances expected to near, if not better, the 553 nautical miles notched by Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg one, which has Chris Nicholson's team at the top of the IWC Schaffhausen Speed Record Challenge leaderboard.

Camper navigator Will Oxley said there was plenty of run-way available for the teams to accelerate without interruption, loosening the team's current clutch on the IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition 'Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12' timepiece.

'There are almost 800 miles before we have to gybe, so there are plenty of opportunities for very fast time/distances to be covered over the next 36 hours,' Oxley said. 'A 24-hour distance record is possible, certainly the watches are up for grabs.'

Ericsson 4 broke the world 24-hour speed record for a monohull during the 2008-09 race, recording 596.6 nautical miles -- a mark that has not been bettered since.

At 1500 UTC Team Telefónica held a 1.6 nautical mile lead over Groupama sailing team, followed by Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, Camper, Abu Dhabi and Team Sanya in sixth place.

The latest ETA for the boats' arrival at Lorient, on the Brittany coast of France, is Friday.

Leg 8 - 13/06/2012 13:01:36 UTC

Volvo Ocean Race website

Related Articles

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
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
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Schaefer 2016 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsBarz Optics - Kids range

 

 

DTL

DTLC

BS

DTF

1

TELE

0.00

0

21.9

1004.1

2

GPMA

1.60

2

21.7

1005.7

3

PUMA

2.90

2

21.9

1007.0

4

CMPR

9.60

1

22.1

1013.7

5

ADOR

20.30

2

22

1024.4

6

SNYA

38.80

7

19.8

1042.9