News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Volvo In-port race preview

Volvo In-port race preview

'Volvo Ocean Race Alicante practice in-port race'    Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race ©

The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 will open in Alicante, Spain, Saturday with the first of seven in-port races. The action kicks off at 13.00 local time and there have been plenty of changes to the format.

The fleet will race into the wind initially, from a start line at the bottom of the course. Tacking upwind, they will have to pass through a 300-metre wide mid-course gate on every leg. Once through the gate and around the top mark (which they will have to leave on the port) they will head back down the course.

Now sailing downwind they will have to pass through the mid-course gate again. The bottom of the race course will also be a gate, giving the yachts a choice of rounding the buoys at either end, before they turn back up, into the wind for the second and final lap.

The scoring is straightforward – they get a point for each yacht that they beat in each race, and the yacht with the highest number of points from the two races wins the day.

This time around there will be two races each day, both lasting for a couple of laps, with a target time for each race of just 50 minutes. The sailors amongst you can do the maths - the implications for the crew work are stark – with four legs per race that’s an average of 12.5 minutes a leg (give or take a bit).

And with the mid-course gate to be negotiated as well, that means the fleet will be pushed back together every six minutes or so.

That’s going to put a lot of pressure on crew work, especially on boats that were designed to primarily race around the world, rather than around short courses inshore. And it’s going to mean that a clean lane – or space to sail, free from the opposition’s bad air and wake – will be worth more than gold bars in a credit crunch.

The boats are allowed another couple of crew members for these in-port races, so you will find some America’s Cup grinding legends on the crew rosters. I’ve already bumped into (and that can hurt) Andrew ‘Raw Meat’ Taylor on the dock – sailing with Kenny Read aboard PUMA, before returning to duty with BMW Oracle (whatever that entails, these days) and not worrying about the weather in the South Atlantic anytime soon.

Another thing to watch out for is that we are going to be using Addendum Q for protests and penalties.

Boiling it down to the bones, Addendum Q says that the umpires can give on-the-water penalties in the same way as they would in a match race like the America’s Cup. If there is an incident in which one boat thinks another may have infringed a rule, they can ask the umpire for a decision by shouting protest (which you probably won’t hear) and waving a red flag (which you might see).

The umpires can then penalise a boat by blowing a whistle and waving a red flag at the guilty party – who must complete a penalty turn, involving a tack and a gybe, and a minimum rotation of 360 degrees.

If the umpires don’t think a rule has been broken they can wave a green flag. There’s a bunch of other stuff to account for more serious infringements, but let’s hope we don’t need any of that ...

The high pressure that has dominated the weather in Alicante recently will continue drifting east, and that will ease the northerly gradient wind over the race course, and veer the wind (shift it to the right, looking into the wind) round to the south-east.

As to who’s going to win and what it’s going to tell us … the opening in-port race of the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean Race was won by Ericsson, who subsequently slid down the rankings to finish fifth overall, with only movistar (abandoned to the elements to sink on Leg 7) and Brunel (who missed the middle half of the race) behind them. So er … like, last then.

And who was last in that first in-port? – ABN AMRO ONE – the run-away winner of the last Volvo – so don’t expect to learn too much.


Leg One: Alicante – Cape Town
Leg Two: Cape Town – Cochin
Leg Three: Cochin – Singapore
Leg Four: Singapore – Qingdao
Leg Five: Qingdao – Rio de Janeiro
Leg Six: Rio de Janeiro – Boston
Leg Seven: Boston – Galway
Leg Eight: Galway – Goteborg/Marstrand
Leg Nine: Goteborg/Marstrand – Stockholm
Leg Ten: Stockholm – St Petersburg

by Mark Chisnell


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

6:44 AM Sat 4 Oct 2008 GMT

Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on

Related News Stories:

20 Oct 2011  Puma's Volvo 70 - 'il mostro' - for sale!
17 Aug 2010  Volvo Ocean Race Legends: Caviar, Cocktails and Central Heating
23 Jul 2010  Volvo Ocean Race: Camper announce build, crew and workup for VOR70
05 Jul 2010  Volvo Ocean Race announce Legends Regatta covering all editions
07 May 2010  Stu Bannatyne joins CAMPER/Emirates Team NZ for Volvo Ocean Race
04 May 2010  Second's out for PUMA's Ken Read in Volvo Ocean Race + Video (x2)
30 Apr 2010  Puma announces core team for Volvo Ocean Race
26 Apr 2010  Sports Consultancy secures 10 Host Ports for Volvo Ocean Race 2011–12
22 Apr 2010  Nicholson and Minoprio named for Camper/ETNZ Volvo crew + Audio
20 Apr 2010  Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 – Schedule announced

News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Challenger calls Competitor Meeting ahead of deadline *Feature by Richard Gladwell,

U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship - Top teams to battle
Audi-Tron Sailing Series - Melges 20 fleet ready for action
Volvo Cork Week - Front runners emerge on day 3
Nacra 17 Europeans - Big winds halt racing in La Grande Motte
49er and 49erFX Europeans - Tough end to qualifying phase + Video
New Classification Code for consultation released by the IPC
Clipper Round The World Yacht Race fleet heads for London
Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi and Team Alvimedi head for England
Rio 2016 in the sights of ISAF Youth Worlds 420 sailors
Exciting new International Audi Melges 20 Ranking System now in play
FISU World University Match Racing Championships - GBR women win gold
2014 Seiko 49er and 49erFX European Championship - Day 2
Volvo Ocean Race teams Abu Dhabi and Alvimedica leave Newport, RI
Half Ton Classics Cup - Champagne conditions on Day 2 + Video
ABYC Fourth of July Regatta - Snipes join the action
Volvo Cork Week - Three bullets for ballistic catapult
Nacra 17 Europeans - Besson and Riou lead the overall standings
Formula 16 World Championship - Aussies claim title in Newport
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - The journey beckons
Clipper Round the World - London to provide emotional heroes welcome
ISAF Youth Worlds - Italians to lead RS:X fleet in Tavira   
Vestas Sailrocket 3 - Over the Horizon   
Foiling Week - Italian Moth Championship - Final results   
NYYC Race Week - Yachting history on display   
Rescued sailors reach shore after dramatic ocean rescue   
Half Ton Classics Cup: Swuzzlebubble out front on Day 1 + Video   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Yachting history on display   
Volvo Cork Week - Thrilling conditions welcome international fleet   
Nacra 17 Europeans: Success for Italy's Bissaro and Sicouri   
America's Cup: 2017 venue short-list reduced to two Cities   
Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall   
49er and 49erFX Europeans: Pitfalls aplenty on day 1 + Video   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends   
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran   
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner   
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature   
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm   
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos   
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results   

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  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





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.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT