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

 

Sail-World.com : The Ten Zulu Report, Leg 1, Day 10 - The Doldrums

The Ten Zulu Report, Leg 1, Day 10 - The Doldrums

'Photo credit: Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.
Andrew McLean trimming the spinnaker on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race'    Volvo Ocean Race©    Click Here to view large photo

The Ten Zulu Report, Leg 1, Day 10, Volvo Ocean Race - The Doldrums.

Is it a restart? Is it a reshuffle? Or is it just history repeating?

How does it go? ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Only four days ago, Ken Read was telling us that ‘there is nothing ‘traditional’ about this leg so far at all. All the historical routing data? Throw it in the bin. 'You will never sail inside the Canaries'. Been there. 'You will never have to deal with the Cape Verde Islands'. About to be there.’

But then, in a heartbeat, it turned out just like it always does – ‘never let anyone get west of you into the Doldrums.’ Green Dragon went west, all the way west, three days ago. And now they’ve flown off with PUMA’s lead.

At 10:00 Zulu, the Dragon was holding around a 35 mile advantage over second placed Telefonica Black, with the fleet spread in a rough line across the race track, from west to east. The leader for much of the past five days, PUMA, was back in third. And conditions were, shall we say, trying…? The breeze was down to five or six knots or less, and blowing from anywhere from the north to south-east.

We’ve been talking about it for days, and now it’s finally here – the Doldrums.

This is the biggest reshuffle we’ve seen so far, and barely were the electronic dipoles aligned on yesterday’s TEN ZULU than it all kicked off. A bitter Aksel Magdahl, navigator aboard Ericsson 3, reported yesterday morning, ‘We are being hunted by clouds! It does not feel fair that once again it pays off to be behind. It should not be like that in sailing. The rich should always get richer.’ They had already seen their lead out of Gibraltar turned over (definition six), and now it was happening again. And it was about to get a whole lot worse.

The Weekend Shuffle

Over the last three days we have watched Green Dragon spend heavily to get to the west of the fleet. By Saturday morning they had got themselves 50 miles of leverage - lateral separation - but were well over a hundred miles behind the leader, PUMA.

By Sunday morning, they were hauling in the fast lane, with significantly more wind than the others. And it was a quietly confident navigator, Ian Moore, that talked through the decision with Amanda Blackley yesterday morning.

And with good reason, at yesterday’s 10:00 Position Report, they had cut PUMA’s lead to just 24 miles. With the tail on fire, the ailerons screaming, and the joystick in his lap, Kenny Read punched the canopy and bailed out. Almost as soon as he had received news of the Dragon’s gains in the west at 10:00 Zulu, PUMA gybed to go that way. It remains to be seen whether or not the parachute opens. But I think it was a courageous call, and my money is still on PUMA for a podium position at the scoring gate.

An hour and a half later, Ericsson 4 swallowed the same bitter pill and followed her to the west. Guy Salter has the media job aboard, and he said on yesterday’s audio interview with Amanda Blackley that the detour to Cape Verde meant they didn’t get as far west as they wanted. They were certainly making up for it yesterday afternoon, but the penalty was much greater than the 30 miles they initially lost on the pit-stop to drop off Tony Mutter.

The short-term effect on the leaderboard was dramatic. Remember – Bearing to Waypoint (BRG_WPT in the Data Tables) tells you where they are going, and yesterday it was around 190 – 200. Green Dragon was steering straight at the mark on port gybe yesterday afternoon, barreling down the rhumb line, while PUMA and Ericsson 4 were going almost at right angles to the direction of Fernando de Noronha, on starboard gybe.

Bottoms Up

Inevitably, PUMA’s advantage started to strip away even faster, and by 16:00 Green Dragon were into the lead. I love it when a plan comes together. By early evening, both PUMA and Ericsson 4 had gybed back to port to head south again, and the 22:00 Position Report gave us the first indications of the damage done – PUMA were down to third, 16 miles behind Green Dragon, while Ericsson 4 had gone all the way to seventh, 47 miles behind.

Photo credit: Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race.
Skipper Ken Read, helming onboard PUMA Ocean Racing’s il mostrop on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=49965

PUMA and Ericsson 4’s gybe to the west has allowed Green Dragon to consolidate her lead over them. They all have a similar Bearing to the Waypoint – so Green Dragon has got herself between a couple of men and the hoop.

But there’s another five boats with plenty of leverage out there – 250 miles from the western to eastern flank of the fleet. None of the others made a really concerted effort to get west in the last 24 hours – which is why most of them have also gained on the PUMA and Ericsson 4.

Overnight, the fleet settled into its new line-up, with everyone heading south. The Dragon was unmoved from her position as the most westerly boat at almost 31W. Along the line, going east, PUMA then led Ericsson 4 down the longitude 30W. Next across was Telefonica Black, the only other boat to have spent any significant time on starboard in the last 24 hours, and now at 28.5W. We then have a group hovering around 27W – Telefonica Black, Ericsson 3 and Team Russia – before we get to Delta Lloyd, running a lonely vigil on the eastern flank.

So, is there a dragon slayer in the fleet? Not if this morning’s run on the Deckman for Windows weather routing is anything to go by... We’ve done the route for both the western (Green Dragon) and eastern (Delta Lloyd) flanks. And the difference is dramatic.

A big bubble of light air is spreading from the east and about to swallow the fleet. Aboard Delta Lloyd, Matt Gregory was talking about trying to dodge a weather system a couple of days ago, hence their eastern route. But if this is it (and I think it is), things haven’t gone according to plan, the system has stalled and they are going to be trapped battling light air for a couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Green Dragon’s route shows her blithely sailing a clean passage south down the longitude 30-31W. They will still hit some ugly stuff - no one is going to get into the south-east trades until the 22nd - but the Dragon should skirt the worst of it. I’m still backing the three western boats to pick up the flowers and chocolates at the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha – and the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) has now gone back to the early afternoon of the 23rd.

And if they do, the old rule will win out again – so I’ll make another prediction. If a group of boats round Fernando de Noronha in a tight bunch, then the one that makes the biggest effort to get south will be first to Cape Town.

Photo credit: Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race. -  Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=49965   Click Here to view large photo



www.volvooceanrace.org




by Mark Chisnell

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=49965

12:03 AM Tue 21 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































































Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall by International Windsurfing Association,




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
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur   
World Match Racing Tour: See the Finals replay at the Stena Match Cup   
Newport International Boat Show unveils exciting 'At The Helm' Program   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - First blood to Hansen over Canfield + Video   
Star World Championship - Americans claim race win in Malcesine   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Weather halts action on day 4   
Clipper Race - Henri Lloyd wins OneDLL Cup into Den Helder   
Clipper Race - Close match racing in closing stages of the OneDLL Cup   
Volvo Ocean Race: Spanish play catch-up with under 100 days to go   
World Match Racing Tour: Catch the live action at the Stena Match Cup   
Finn Junior Worlds - Battle for the Jorge Bruder Silver Cup   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
British Open Dragon Championship finale at Royal Lymington preview   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket is ready to host   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Valerie Ghibaudo hits back on day 3   
Star World Championship - Hard fought win on day 4 + Video   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Action-packed match racing + Video   
Oceans of Hope yacht arrives in Portsmouth   
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Registration details   


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