sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Volvo Race - preview of this Saturday's start

Volvo Race - preview of this Saturday's start

'A buzzing Volvo Ocean Race village in Alicante, Spain.'    Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race ©    Click Here to view large photo

After years, or in some cases weeks, of planning, the day of reckoning has almost arrived for the eight 11-man crews who will be racing their record-breaking Volvo Open 70s in the Volvo Ocean Race 6,500 nautical mile leg one to Cape Town which starts at 12:00 GMT (14:00 CET) this Saturday, 11 October.

Looking ahead to leg one, which in length is second only to the 12,300 nm leg five across the Southern Ocean, the section through the Mediterranean, shortly after the start in Alicante, will be the first Mediterranean leg in the history of this race. But, once the fleet clears the Straits of Gibraltar and heads out into the open Atlantic, things will start to look more familiar.

'The last race course was a particularly well trodden path, sailed by a lot of old hands who knew the route well,' said Telefónica Blue‘s navigator, Simon Fisher (GBR). 'This will be a good new challenge,' he added.

While the Mediterranean is often thought of as being a place of balmy nights and warm evenings, that isn’t necessarily the case in the autumn and the fleet could well face gales as they leave Alicante on Saturday, due to the autumn equinox. There is low pressure sitting to the south and north-west of Alicante, and high pressure to the north-east and south-west. That leaves the race course vulnerable to whichever system develops more strongly over the next three days.

At the moment, it is possible that the north-east to easterly wind currently battering the race village will ease going into Saturday, giving 20 knots for the start with spinnakers flying on a downwind leg, and there is a good chance the wind will ease as the fleet approaches Gibraltar.

In a perfect world, once out into the Atlantic the fleet would find the trade winds - the north-easterly breeze that runs from Portugal down the west coast of Africa - blowing strongly to take them down to the Doldrums, but much will depend on the position of the Azores High - a large high pressure area named after the island chain it typically squats on.

It determines the position of the trade winds and there is the danger that the fleet will find itself struggling in the Horse Latitudes of the Azores High. Desperate square rigger skippers, trapped in the light wind and heaving, oily seas that characterize this part of the Atlantic, would throw their horses overboard to save food and water for their crew, hence the name Horse Latitudes.

Once heading south, the fleet will have to make a decision on where and how to pass the Canary and Cape Verde Islands. If they get too close, particularly at night, they could find themselves trapped in the lee of one of these high islands with no wind. But, equally, during the day the islands can create useful sea breezes.

When the fleet reaches the Doldrums, (also known as the inter-tropical convergence zone or ITCZ), the priority will be to choose the thinnest point to cross them, which is usually to the west. The crews will need to anticipate the cloud’s behaviour, and change the trim of the boat and her sails fast to keep moving south to escape.

According to the navigator on Ericsson 4, Jules Salter (GBR), the Doldrums should be narrower by the time the fleet arrives there in two weeks time. 'We are in a transition in the weather in the northern hemisphere, changing from summer to winter. I think that in turn is reflected in the Doldrums and it should be an easier zone to cross,' he explains.

But, once into the south-east trade winds, it will be champagne sailing until the fleet meets the next hurdle - the South Atlantic High. It blocks the route to the south, but, with the first of seven scoring gates on this 37,000 nm course at Fernando de Noronha, off the Brazilian coast, the fleet will already find itself to the west and will try to look for weather systems forming off the coast of Brazil to help them on their way.

Then the fleet will head south in search of the low pressure systems that roll unremittingly from west to east around Antarctica. They may well find themselves in Southern Ocean conditions with big waves, big westerly breezes and cold air. Cape Town lies at 34S, and the Southern Ocean is usually thought to start at 40S – the Roaring Forties of legend.

The final barrier to Cape Town is the Cape itself. It is a renowned sticky spot of calms and light wind which historically dominate the final approach. There are a lot of miles to go before the fleet arrives in Cape Town, but one point worth noting is that traditionally in this race, the winner of the first leg, almost always wins the race.

Volvo Ocean Race Leaderboard

1. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/Iker Martinez) 4 points
2. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri) 3.5 points
3. Puma Il Mostro (Ken Read) 3 points
4. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael) 2.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker) 2 points
6. Delta Lloyd (Ger O’Rourke) 1 point
7. Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander) 0.5 points*
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp) 0.5 points

*One point has been deducted from the Ericsson 3 score as per the jury decision number JN04 2 October.

The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 is the 10th running of this ocean marathon. It started in Alicante, Spain, on 4 October 2008 with an in-port race. Leg One from Alicante to Cape Town will start on 11 October and the course will, for the first time, take in Cochin, India, Singapore and Qingdao, China before finishing in St Petersburg, Russia for the first time in the history of the race. Spanning some 37,000 nautical miles, stopping at 11 ports and taking nine months to complete, the Volvo Ocean Race is the world’s premier yacht race for professional racing crews.




by Volvo media

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=49629

7:56 AM Fri 10 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
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,














America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,














































2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins by Vanessa Yates, Hawaii






BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 4   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam on the horizon   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Golden Jubilee to take place this September   
DH Pacific Cup - Running with the pack + Video   
Women's Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Testing day in Vannes   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Ireland establishes solid lead   
International Moth Worlds: Outteridge charges into the lead + Video   
Marina Rubicón Round Canary Islands Race - First blood to Team Brunel   
ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds - Competition heats up on day 2   
Laser Radial World Championships - Competition aplenty on day 3 +Video   
Extreme Sailing Series - Penultimate Act to take place in Nice   
Leukemia Cup - Images by Leighton O'Connor   
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Meeting of the grand designs   
29er North American Championship - Final series kicks off   
29er World Championship 2014 set to start in Kingston, Ontario   
Barcelona and Parnu chosen for 2015 ORC championship events   
2014 Race for Rady Yacht Race - Benefiting Rady Children’s hospital   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Doubleheader events start tomorrow   


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