Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Volvo Ocean Race- Puma heads for New Zealand at 20kts plus

by Richard Gladwell on 25 Feb 2012
Team Telefonica during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. Diego Fructuoso /Team Telefónica/Volvo Ocean Race http://www.volvooceanrace.com

Puma Ocean Racing, the US flagged entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, is blitzing the fleet, sailing at speeds of around 20kts, while her competitors are sailing at 10-12kts.

Worst affected is the leg leader, Camper crewed by Emirates Team NZ, who has been forced to sail the most northerly course of the group, reducing her lead under the on the water snap shot of the boat positions - calculated to a radius from Auckland, New Zealand the destination stopover.

Camper has been sailing on a course of 030, which is a long way from the required course of 160degrees to head for Auckland when she reaches the tradewinds. Her northerly course was the least favourable of the six strong fleet, and will reduce her lead under VOR snapshot. At a later sked she dropped down to a heading of 088 - which is halfway to where she needs to be. Her speed has also increased to over 12kts and she is no longer the slowest boat in the fleet.



The routing feature of Predictwind.com, used by Sail-World to determine the boat positions and leg lead, is similar to that used by the onboard navigators, and sails the boat for the next nine days of available weather towards a selected waypoint.

On that basis Camper holds the narrowest of leads - just 2 minutes after 1870nm of racing using one of the two wind direction and speed feeds used by Predictwind, and 13 minutes using a second wind data feed. She is being chased hard by Groupama, and would seem to be set to lose her lead in the next few hours, unless she can sail a lower course than the French entry.

Groupama is sailing at a course of 070, which is still heading north, but is less severe than she has been sailing over the last couple of hours.


Astern the fleet have closed up on the leaders. Using the Predictwind system in third place is Abu Dhabi less than an hour astern at the waypoint, and another hour covers the other two boats, Sanya and overall leader, Telefonica.

In the next few hours, Predictwind shows that Camper can drop back to a course more favourable for her destination in Auckland, but she may still be plagued by light winds of less than 10knots average. She won't really hit tradewinds of more than 15knots for another three days.



Puma Racing is both sailing the fastest of the six yachts, averaging 19kts on the lowest course, or most favourable direction for New Zealand. However she is only on a heading of 090 and needs to sail a lot lower than that to reach New Zealand.

Puma is not yet in the tradewinds, but is skirting an area of light winds which has bedevilled the fleet for the past few days. By taking the most northerly course of the fleet - heading for Japan rather than New Zealand, she cracked into the stronger breeze a few hours ago, and at a second sked is sailing at speeds of over 21kts. According to the predictions and course options, will hold a very solid breezeline in to the tradewinds.

Whether that strength of breeze and the huge boatspeed edge that Puma has is sufficient to wipe out the lead of the other boats, remains to be seen.


Predictwind's routing function says that Puma will still be four hours off the leaders at the waypoint 1870nm down the track, however given her substantial speed edge, and the fact that she is in a different part of the ocean from her competitors, it is they who will be asked the question over the next few days.

Their task is really to make a decisive escape from the light airs and collapsing winds, or risk being caught by Puma whose current speed edge is worth about 160nm per day. She has pulled 65mn out of the leg leader in the past two skeds.

Protector - 660 x 82Wildwind 2016 660x82PredictWind.com

Related Articles

She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar