sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race: The van of the fleet closes on the fading falcon
Volvo Ocean Race: The van of the fleet closes on the fading falcon

'Water across the deck onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal.'    Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Leg 7 lead was being steadily eroded on Monday, as the chasing pack lined up along an easterly moving cold front bringing strong winds.

Up to 90 nautical miles ahead of their nearest rivals at one point, Ian Walker’s Emirati team have been steadily losing ground as the new weather system brings the rest of the fleet up to them at average speeds over 20 knots.

That progress could stop suddenly – the boats are positioning themselves for a light wind zone off Lisbon that threatens to throw the leg standings wide open – but for now speeds are high.

The latest projections from Predictwind, show that while Abu Dhabi may slow, and may have a less direct through the high, she is projected to take the Leg 7 win. Ahead of her is a 12 hour patch of light winds, before the breeze kicks in for the final run to Lisbon. But the margins are very tight with Azzam predicted to be just 10minutes ahead at the finish in three days time. Puma is expected to be second with Camper 20 minutes astern, followed 2mins later by Groupama, with Telefonica 9mins later and Sanya 2 mins behind that.

The reality is that the finish will not be that precise, as the boats match race each other over the final two days - and certainly when they are in sight of the other boat. But on current projections, Azzam's skipper Ian Walker's estimate that the fleet will finish within an hour of each other seems to be generous, and currently just 40 minutes covers the fleet according to the latest projections. And the race has been that tight for the past couple of days at least.

At 1300 UTC Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, which carries the stylised image of a striking falcon on her mainsail, were 63 nm ahead of second placed Puma Ocean Racing and 83 nm in front of Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand in third. Four miles behind Camper were Team Sanya who held a three nautical mile lead over Groupama sailing team and Team Telefónica in fifth and sixth.

Telefónica have a seven-point lead over Groupama with three legs to complete, while Camper and Puma are poised respectively 13 and 14 points off the pace.

On Day 8, the fleet is well advanced across the Atlantic and heading for Portugal -  PredictWind.com  
Despite having to watch the fleet inexorably closing them down with every position report, skipper Ian Walker said the Abu Dhabi crew remained confident of holding on to the lead ahead of what he predicts could be a photo finish in Lisbon.

'So far we have sailed a very good leg and everyone on board is fiercely determined to defend our lead for as long we possibly can,' Walker said.

'As the fleet charges east at ever increasing speeds towards Lisbon we know that it is highly likely that we will give up a lot of our once 90 mile lead to the chasing pack.

'I am not being defeatist, just preparing myself mentally for the fact that those behind will have more wind than us due to the advancing cold front picking everyone up from behind.

'One thing for certain is that there is going to be a very tight finish from first to last place in Lisbon. The weather gods have scripted that.'

Puma navigator Tom Addis said the building breezes from behind were compressing the fleet rapidly with any one of the chasing boats able to break through to the lead.

'Abu Dhabi are still 80 miles ahead of us, but we’re pulling them in at eight or nine miles every three hours so it’s happening fairly quickly,' Addis said this morning.

Day 8, Leg 7: Over the past 24 hours the tracks have straightened as the wind kicks in and the boats head stright for the finish of Leg 7 in Lisbon -  PredictWind.com  
'But the guys just south of us also have pretty good breeze right now, so they might get a pretty good break as well. We’ll see how we go. It’s a really difficult one to pick.'

Camper have found themselves fighting to hold off a rapidly advancing Sanya, who moved into fourth after a tactical move north yesterday paid dividends.

'It’s very intense,' said navigator Will Oxley. 'We’re trying to defend against building breeze from behind, so the boats behind you are in better pressure. We’ve been forced to gybe in front of Sanya, who are visible quite clearly just off our starboard quarter.'

Oxley said he believed Leg 7 could ultimately be decided on how well the teams negotiate the light air ridge on the final approach into Lisbon.

'We’re all going to go barreling in there at high speeds and whoever picks their way through there and gets a bit of luck is going to probably be the one who comes out on top,' he said.

Fifth and sixth placed Groupama and Telefónica remain less than two nautical miles apart in terms of distance to the finish, with both teams fighting hard for a podium position in Lisbon, having picked up increasingly stronger winds in the cold front.

'The wind started to fill in around our last gybe,' said Groupama helmsman Erwan Israël. 'We are sailing ahead of the front in 20 to 23 knots of wind and expecting up to 26 knots of wind.

'We kept gybing to get a better angle in the front and stay longer in it. Telefónica gybed a bit later and managed to overtake us. They are controlling us, but now we are in sight of each other and it’s really nice to fight like that.'

Latest estimates suggest the leading boats will complete Leg 7 from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal on May 31.


by Sail-World and Volvo Ocean Race

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=97789

8:16 PM Mon 28 May 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:

29 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama gain precious miles
28 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: A drag race to Lisbon - but will Azzam last?
28 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Exciting times onboard Puma’s Mar Mostro
28 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Stood up on a date but not for long
28 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama contain attacks from Telefónica
27 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Anything's possible onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
27 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Sanya's bold move might have paid big dividend
27 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Andrew Cape - 'The big decider will be today'
27 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama crew prepare for drag race
26 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro slams upwind + Video
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia










Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   
Melges 32 Sailing Series - Napoli action shots by Max Ranchi   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica launch new boat   
Emirates Team NZ: Royals duke it out on the Waitemata   


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.
X6XL WAS US