sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race: Tightly grouped fleet in a drag race to the Azores
Volvo Ocean Race: Tightly grouped fleet in a drag race to the Azores

'Skipper Chris Nicholson takes a compass bearing of the other boats, onboard Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France.'    Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race©    Click Here to view large photo

Telefónica's bid for redemption and the return of their overall lead was well underway on Monday with the Spanish team leading the Leg 8 race to Lorient, France, though the sight of current race frontrunners Groupama on their shoulder are a sobering thought.

At 1300 UTC Iker Martínez and his crew, who won the first three offshore legs but have since slipped, held a narrow 1.1 nautical mile lead over Groupama following the first 24 hours' racing towards the turning mark of São Miguel island in the Azores. Having rounded the island, the fleet will sail directly to Lorient on a course that is more of a passage race than a trans-oceanic leg of a round the world race.

The fleet is sailing at near wind speed, with boatspeeds of around 20kts being recorded, making for a fast trip.

They are expected to slow as the hit the Azores High - currently parked over the islands. They will take 24 hours to traverse the zone, sailing in winds expected to be less than 10kts.

The first boat is expected to round the Azores on Wednesday June 13, 2012 in the early afternoon, UTC based on current wind data. They should finish late on Friday night June 15, 2012.

The fleet has made good progress to the Azores as at 1900hrs UTC on June 11, 2012. Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  PredictWind.com  
One of the two weather feeds used by Predictwind, to forecast optimum course and windstrength shows the fleet getting a belting from strong winds from a major depression over the final 36 hours, with average wind strength being over 30kts, which generally means gusting 40kts plus. The other feed shows more moderate winds.

On current standings, Puma Ocean Racing were in third place followed by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand, while Team Sanya rounded out the fleet on a more southerly course more than 26 nm behind.

Groupama lead Telefónica by eight points with two offshore legs and two in-port races to go in what is turning out to be the closest ever Volvo Ocean Race. Puma are in third, 13 points off the lead, with Camper a further 10 points back. With 30 points going to the winner of each of the remaining offshore legs, there is still plenty of scope for lead changes.

The only real opportunity for the places to swap on a tactical basis would seem to be in a spot of light airs through which the boats will have to pass, just short os Sao Miguel, in the Azores.

Telefónica trimmer and Olympic gold medallist Xabi Fernández said the team were revelling in their return to a position at the front of the pack after a difficult run, but were under no illusion about the battle to come to remain there.

'We are still second overall and everything is still in our hands,' said Fernández. 'The only thing we can think about is to keep pushing, try to do a very nice leg and get back in the lead as soon as possible.'

A couple of course options are available nearing the Azores in a patch of light winds at 1900hrs UTC on June 11, 2012. Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  PredictWind.com  
He said the team had more to worry about than just Groupama, with third overall Puma currently in third place and within sight on the race course.

Adding to the pressure is the knowledge that the fleet will compress as it nears São Miguel, which is situated in a notoriously windless area in the middle of the Azores High.

'You are always nervous when you go into a zone with no wind,' Fernández said. 'We will have a very hard 24 hours maybe tomorrow or the next day. It's clear that the first one going out of the light air is going to be the winner, or have a lot of chances, so we have to fight hard in the light air conditions.'

Groupama are not only looking to defend their hard fought overall lead, they are also vying for an opportunity to race into their homeport of Lorient in first place.

Groupama Media Crew Member Yann Riou today reported that his team were focused on capitalising on the fast reaching conditions for which his team are famous for being quickest of the fleet.

'Of course it's a bit of a special leg on different levels,' Riou said. 'Its format is a bit different in terms of length, there is a lot at stake and we don't forget that this is bringing us home.'

Belting along at speeds of near 20kts, overall race leader is on second placed Telefonica’s shoulder at 1900hrs UTC on June 11, 2012. Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  Virtual Eye-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

The game will change on Tuesday once the teams round São Miguel and switch from reaching to running conditions in a powerful low-pressure system that promises gale force winds in excess of 40 knots.

Abu Dhabi navigator Jules Salter said turning the corner could be likened to a second start and the race would again become wide open.

'It is going to be pretty exciting to see how we play that low and close we go to the centre of it,' he said. 'That will probably decide who wins this leg.'

The latest ETA for the fleet's arrival in Lorient, France is on Friday.

Neal McDonald and crew looking out on the rail, onboard Team Telefonica during leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France. -  Diego Fructuoso -Team Telefónica-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo
In a later interview with Volvo Ocean Race Media, Camper skipper Chris Nicholson said he would 'sooner smack his thumb with a hammer' than continue leeching miles to his competitors, but with the fleet soon to head into fast running conditions he is preparing to mount a comeback.

Nicholson said the team have been working hard on the reach to the turning mark at São Miguel island, as they try to hang on to the top three teams who all have Juan Kouyoumdjian designed boats that revel in the conditions.

Nicholson said if his team could remain within 20 miles of the leaders once the fleet reach the islands then they would be in with a shot of reeling the frontrunners in on what is expected to be some fast and furious running.

'I reckon if we can get to the Azores, to the parking-lot as such, within 20 miles of them, that’d be OK,' he said. 'Several days ago I thought it could be worse.'

For now, Nicholson and navigator Will Oxley are focusing on how they can capitalise on the opportunities that are to be had at São Miguel, which is enveloped inside the centre of the Azores High, where there is little to no wind.

'There’s big gains and losses to be made getting around the island,’’ Nicholson said. 'Then it’s a pretty fast trip if you keep it all in one piece.'

The fast trip Nicholson is referring to is the second stage of the race, from São Miguel to Lorient, France, which will be powered by a massive low-pressure system that is packing gale force wind.

Nicholson said 'it would be like open season for any of the boats' once they’re on the home run, only it was a question of just how hard each of the teams were prepared to push.



Nicholson is hopeful his team will be contenders in the conditions, which he reckons they’re pretty strong in.

'We think we’re pretty good in those conditions, but to take these boats into 30 or 40 knots down wind anything can happen there,’’ he said.

'You like to say everything will be normal, and we’re just going to plod along. But it won’t be it will be the full gloves off.'

Team Telefónica and Groupama sailing team continue to fight for the top spot, with the Spanish team narrowly holding an edge.

Puma aren't far behind, and hoping to make gains on the second stage of the race to help bolster their overall score. Abu Dhabi, on a more northern course than Camper, are narrowly in fourth. Team Sanya remain on a more southern course in sixth.


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=98330

6:29 PM Mon 11 Jun 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:

12 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Pressure continues to mount in Leg 8
12 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race – Groupama 4 make up ground
11 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Camper - playing for a draw until the Azores
11 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro nails Leg 8 start + Video
11 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 8 Day 2 - A tight match race to Lorient
11 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race Leg 8 - Groupama power into third
11 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Telefonica closes in on Puma
11 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Sailors bid adieu to Lisbon
11 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma leads fleet out of Lisbon + Video
11 Jun 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Confident onboard Groupama 4
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

World sailing history was created earlier today when Dongfeng Race Team became the first Chinese yacht to have a win in a premier trans-ocean racing event. Her win was also a first in the 41-year history of the Volvo Ocean Race. At 1131hrs UTC the Chinese flagged entry emphatically won Leg 3 in their home port of Sanya to take the overall leadin the 40,000nm event with six stages to go. ... [more]  

Winner of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng, have released footage taken from a drone launched from the Volvo Ocean Race yacht, as she sails in light airs on the last days of Leg 3 of the race. It is believed to be the first time a drone, launched from a competitor, has been used in a major ocean race. ... [more]  

On the morning of the 26th of January, the Maersk Line ship MV Stockholm delivered the Team Vestas Wind's damaged VO65 to the port in Genoa, Italy. From here she will be taken to the Persico building facilty where the rebuild of the wrecked boat will be undertaken. The team's goal is to rejoin the race in Lisbon, Portugal in June, 2015. ... [more]  

Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is considering backing Sir Ben Ainslie’s America’s Cup bid, in a move that would propel the fortunes of the Olympic gold medallist yet further. Sir Ben is believed to have asked the Virgin billionaire to consider backing the venture when he and his new wife, Georgie Thompson, spent time on Sir Richard’s Necker Island in January. ... [more]  

To the 91st 2015 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race significant changes have been made in order to enhance the race experience, and by the looks of it, sailors are embracing them wholeheartedly. ... [more]  

Alpari World Match Racing Tour - Monsoon Cup preview by Alpari World Match Racing Tour
The final event of the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, Monsoon Cup Malaysia, is to take place in its new home of Johor, the southernmost state of Malaysia, over 10th-14th February. In addition to being the grand finale of the Tour, the event will also see the 2014 ISAF Match Racing World Champion crowned. ... [more]  

In the Barcelona World Race the two lead boats are preparing for a gruelling 3,500-mile game of chase across the Southern Ocean, until the next natural gateway of the course, Cape Leeuwin in south-west Australia. ... [more]  

Quantum Key West Race Week provided the opportunity for the GC32s to make a spectacular debut in the USA. During the five days of racing held in balmy temperatures off the southernmost tip of Florida, crews experienced a range of conditions. ... [more]  

40 year old Charles Caudrelier the skipper of race leader Dongfeng was a major figure of the winning French team Groupama in 2011-12 . With the Dongfeng team now approaching Sanya, almost unstoppable, its worthwhile hearing from Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad who is hugely pleased with the current on water situation. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race. The northerly drag race continues, with the stable light wind forecast to drop slightly. The boats have all remained in position, if anything cementing their places with gaps between them increasing slightly through the night. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - Sailing in a straight line was never supposed to be as tense as this. We’ve been pointing at Sanya for almost a day now and fortunately, Alvimedica, MAPFRE, and Brunel far enough back to not be in AIS range anymore. The problem is they’re not in AIS range anymore. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 - After what can only be described as a frustrating few days of wind and current conditions in the Malacca Strait, the shipping lanes we had to pass were a bit more entertaining as it was upwind which meant some tacking. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 3 Finish - Video - Delayed feed by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Tune in here to see the finish of Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean race in Sanya. Will sailing history be made? Can Dongfeng become the first Chinese flagged yacht to win a Leg in a Round the World Race? ... [more]  

2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Bigger than ever in 2015, with an atmosphere crackling with adrenaline, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, Presented by Sunbrella, was ground zero on Sunday as competitors from 63 countries made their final preparations. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Dong looks set to create sailing sailing history when she finishes first on Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Sanya in two days time. Includes video Currently Dongfeng is 250 nm to the finish line in Sanya and the chasing pack with ADOR ahead in second place 55+ nm behind the Chinese team. ... [more]  

The first of the iconic Great Capes has been passed in the Barcelona World Race with Cheminées Poujoulat rounding the Cape of Good Hope earlier this morning. Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam passed 20°E around 400 miles south of Cape Agulhas – the southernmost tip of Africa – at 0935am (UTC) today and have begun the Indian Ocean leg of their race around Antarctica. ... [more]  

The Classic 18fters were racing again on Saturday on Sydney harbour. Michael Chittenden caught the action from a shore vantage point. ... [more]  

When race leader Dongfeng rounded Singapore 60+ nautical miles ahead of the chasing pack, it looked like the final 1200 miles of Leg three would be a procession but over the last day, the Volvo Ocean race leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya China appears to have tightened incredibly. ... [more]  

US Sailing and Rolex USA announced last week that the 2014 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year is Stephanie Roble. Her accomplishments on the water last year were recognized by the selection panel for her versatility; her accomplishments as a skipper and as a crew; and her competitive successes on a variety of platforms, sailing against both men and women. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - The first of the Great Capes is fast-approaching, with the leading boats in the Barcelona World Race expected to pass the longitude of the Cape of Good Hope at the tip of South Africa tomorrow. As they pass 20°E, the Atlantic Ocean will deliver its verdict – did Cheminées Poujoulat’s east-bound track or Neutrogena’s southerly gamble pay off? ... [more]  

Mardi Gras may not be for another month but US Sailing’s National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) kicked it off early for Oakcliff Sailing this year. This evening, Oakcliff received The Captain Joe Prosser Award, given to an organization that has made an exemplary contribution toward improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors. ... [more]  

The 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta has already attracted entries from 20 different countries: Antigua, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Dominican Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, St.Maarten, Uruguay, USA and the US Virgin Islands. ... [more]  

The world is watching. Can Dongfeng Race Team hold onto their 57 nautical miles lead to China for what will essentially be the ultimate home victory? Or will another team get desperate and make a bold decision that could cost Dongfeng their win? ... [more]  

Most of the marque classes at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 came down to the last day of the regatta, which delivered the toughest conditions of the week. Howling winds and rough seas challenging the competitors on Friday, forcing the top contenders to raise their game in order to claim overall victory. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Sport met science today on the Barcelona World Race when the pairs of skippers took the first opportunity to deploy their data monitoring Argo beacon which was given to them in Bareclona prior to the start. ... [more]  

2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - It really wasn’t our week. Two races were held today in very nice conditions and we finished third in both. Bella Mente won both races to win the class. ... [more]  

The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series, incorporating three days of coastal racing and the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race concluded last night at a sumptuous, Mount Gay Rum-fuelled prizegiving dinner and party. The final 300-mile Ocean Race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Cup starts on Saturday. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on the water again today at 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, and provided this gallery of images from day five ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2015 - With a solid 17-20 knots from the north east, reducing the possibility of a distance sapping park up, the likehood of the Leg three leader the Chinese boat Dongfeng getting the gun in Sanya just 640 nautical miles ahead continues to strengthen. ... [more]  

The 2015 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Swinoujscie, Poland from 15 – 19 September 2015 Notice of Race has been released. ... [more]  

Currently doing scheduled maintenance. Some elements of site may not be visible at the moment. ... [more]  

On 2nd January 2015, Team Vestas Wind announced that skipper Chris Nicholson had been tasked to review the team during the month of January. The objective is to ensure the right team for the come back to the race, which is now, for this team, of a different nature than the scheduled original route from Alicante to Gothenburg. ... [more]  

Beau Outteridge has compiled a video of highlights and interviews from the 2015 McDougall + McConanghy Moth Worlds completed recently in Sorrento, Melbourne ... [more]  

America's Cup: Oracle crew mate lodges complaint against Tienpont
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 4 images by Ingrid Abery
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailing Team preview
Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 - A great day
Volvo Ocean Race: Jump seat and Pro-Am race spots up for auction
Lauderdale Olympic Classes Regatta overall
Volvo Ocean Race - Dongfeng? Race Team suffer? damage
America's Cup: Italy to host first America's Cup World Series regatta
Breeze and Sunshine at Quantum Key West Race Week
Images of the Millennium Cup and Bay of Islands Sailing Week - Day 1:
2015 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race – Three records broken
St.Maarten Heineken Regatta - Simplified logistics and fun themes
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 images by Ingrid Abery
Millennium Cup: Racing in the picturesque Bay of Islands
Volvo Ocean Race - Up up and away
Barcelona World Race - 'Haves' and 'Have Nots'
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 update from Jack Bouttell onboard Dongfeng
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - Game time!
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2015 – Ninth year ready to rock!
Foiling GC32s Key West Race Week images by Ingrid Abery
Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race - Crews prepare for big race   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 2   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - A challenging day   
America's Cup: Spithill leads Oracle reconnaissance team in Bermuda   
Extreme Sailing Series announces new teams and venues for 2015   
Barcelona World Race - Leaders enter the fastest section of the course   
Martinique Surf Pro - Must attend event in the world surfing circuit   
New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup preview   
RORC Caribbean 600 proving irresistible   
18ft Skiffs: Images from NSW Championships - Race 2   
Volvo Ocean Race – Malacca Nightmare – now it’s a boat race again!!   
2015 Annapolis to Newport Race - Battle for Surflant Prize   
2015 Quantum Key West Race Week - Off to a great start   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica - Enter the Dragon + Video   
Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series - Day 3   
World Match Racing Tour's title sponsor goes into administration   
Kieler Woche 2015 promotes Olympic sailing competitions   
Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía – Kiteboarding and Dragons return   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami preview   
Audi Melges 20 Class - Miami Winter Series   


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