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

2014 Detroit Cup - Sam Gilmour leads by Dobbs Davis, Detroit, Michigan

Audi Melges 20 U.S. Nationals - Oleander takes early lead by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Riding the AC45 - VIDEO by Crosbie Lorimer, Hamilton Island

America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/,

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad talks Time and Money (Part II) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,

AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,

America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature
ISAF seeking hosting bids for Nations Cup
Laser 4.7 Youth Worlds - Luvisetto and Alexadr Boite victorious +Video
IFDS World Championships - Action shots by Tim Wilkes
Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia
World Yacht Racing Forum 2014: 'Growing the business of Yacht Racing'
Clipper Race: 2015-16 edition of world's longest ocean race 70% full
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland - Swish smash 5th World Record
Leaderboards take shape at the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games 2014
IFDS Worlds - Hot competition on first day of racing
Challenging Conditions - CORK OCR
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 for the US Sailing Team
2014 Melges 20 World Championship - Countdown begins
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 3
America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature
Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed   
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium   
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets   
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace   
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2   
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images   
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery   
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships   
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people   
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing   
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph   
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu   
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   

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