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

 

Sail-World.com : Volvo Ten Zulu Report for Thursday, Day 20

Volvo Ten Zulu Report for Thursday, Day 20

'PUMA Ocean Racing in rough seas heading towards Cape Town, on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race'    Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race ©    Click Here to view large photo

Torben Grael and the crew of Ericsson 4 swept into the history books yesterday as the first monohull to breach the 600-mile barrier in 24 hours. They’ve been chased by men, machines and the elements in the last 48 hours – and nothing has touched them.

In their foaming, boiling, 25-knot wake the fleet lies scattered as the devil and the deep blue sea picked off the hindmost one by one – the cold front sweeping over them with a mix of murderous squalls and ugly waves in a pitch black night. We’re almost down to the last man standing.

At 10:00 ZULU Ken Read and his team were just over 70 miles behind Ericsson 4. That gap has been opened in the last 48 hours and it represents a bit more than five percent of the distance they have travelled in that time.

That’s a chunk of change for two boats that had been side by side for most of the leg – consider that not much more than two days ago, Ericsson 4 navigator, Jules Salter reflected in an email, 'We seem to hang in there with PUMA but only just, are we faster? Our perception on board is not …'

Behind the front pair, Ian Walker and the Green Dragon had led the chase for 36 relentless hours – then the cold front caught them late yesterday afternoon. The wind backed (rotated anticlockwise to the west) and they elected to gybe to the south. It was the same strategy applied by Team Russia and Delta Lloyd just before the TEN ZULU yesterday.

Navigator Andrew Cape and skipper Ken Read discuss tactics as they head towards Cape Town, on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  Rick Deppe-PUMA Ocean Racing-Volvo Ocean Race ©?nid=50346   Click Here to view large photo

’Stepping off the train’

Ian Walker had expressed his concern in an afternoon email, 'We are starting to see the effect of 'stepping off the train' on Delta Lloyd and Team Russia and we want to delay that as long as we can.’ The deficit of the back markers to Ericsson 4 had blown out to 300 and then 400 miles through yesterday, once they gybed – check out the graph. Green Dragon was the next boat to peel onto starboard, and they were furthest east at the time – Telefonica Black and Blue both waited another hour or two, until they were deeper into the front itself – as Bouwe Bekking relates

All five boats are now headed south-east, in a squally, west-southwesterly breeze. The Dragon’s deficit to the leader is now over 200 miles. Ian Walker and his team have not had a smooth night. And from their track it looks as though every time they have gybed the wind has ‘lifted’ them, forcing them to gybe back (technical content note: a lift is a shift in the wind which, when you are sailing downwind, takes you away from where you want to go – a bad thing).

And in these conditions a gybe is a 30-minute operation involving the man-handling of a couple of tonnes of equipment, as everything is moved from one side to the other.

But it’s so hard at night – if the world’s top sailing tacticians (at least the ones I’ve sailed with) have one thing in common, it’s fantastic eyesight – they can read the breeze on the water, tell whether another boat is faster or slower, ahead or behind, and all from ridiculous distances.

But when it gets dark a lot of that information disappears – no more patterns of waves on the water, no more clouds, no more sky – take the world and paint it black.

’Pitch black, absolutely no visibility’

Ericsson 3’s watch captain Richard Mason reported in an email that they 'were in a squall for four hours and it was pitch black, absolutely no visibility at all. I couldn't see the waves and no horizon and we had everything from 19 to 46 knots of wind …'

They had the fractional spinnaker up at the time, and Mason reflected … 'we were caught with our pants down. There was never a chance to get the damn thing off! It was pretty much survive or die! And, we survived.' I was wondering yesterday who might be trying to hold the fractional spinnaker in the marginal conditions – now we know.

And Ericsson 3 have stormed up the charts over the last 48 hours, overtaking both the Telefoncia boats and Green Dragon. Behind PUMA, they’ve done the best job of hanging onto their sistership. And they’ve done it despite an ongoing flirtation with the cold front – they were already in the group going north of east yesterday morning.

And again, they were north-west of Green Dragon when she gybed to the south yesterday. And yet somehow, (to Ian Walker’s confusion in the above email) as Aksel Magdahl relates in an email this morning, they have managed to keep the boat pointed east at the finish (and the word on the street is that the keel will be changed in Cape Town). But although they are closer to the finish, they’ve ended up further north than the chasing group, and that could be important in the home straight.

But before we get to the future, a quick look at the damage control report to date. Ger O’Rourke reported that the top spreader they damaged in the Doldrums is preventing them from flying anything bigger than a fractional sail – although I can’t see that that’s much of a problem right now, it will be soon.

But it’s Telefonica Black that have had the most torrid time, starting with some broken sails that Michael Pammenter talked about to Amanda Blackley yesterday. Then last night, they lost the rudder, wiped out into a broach, broke the bowsprit, ended up head to wind and then had to cut the spinnaker away. Ugly. But they’ve sorted out the mess and are in good shape, with the emergency rudder on and headed for Cape Town.

Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing: Jerry Kirby eating onboard PUMA Ocean Racing, heading towards Cape Town, on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race -  Volvo Ocean Race©?nid=50346   Click Here to view large photo

Ericsson 4 are not entirely unscathed

So … back to the future… Race Forecaster, Jennifer Lilly, has described the situation in her most recent forecast. Conditions will finally ease in the next 24 hours as the low begins to move more to the south than east.

The fleet will all start to see a westerly breeze flowing between the low to their south, and the South Atlantic High to their north.

Jennifer reckons we will see the breeze down around 10 knots for Ericsson 4 as they approach Cape Town. And according to the Predicted Routes in the Race Viewer it’s going to get well tricky for the rest of them. The optimum route now goes via the deep south for everyone except Grael and his boys – who should sneak in ahead of the high pressure ridge building between the fleet and the finish.

If PUMA and Ericsson 3 hang in the north too long, it could open a passing lane to the south. The +3 Day Predicted Distance to Leader has PUMA and Green Dragon dead even – and that’s assuming that PUMA bails out of the north imminently – hey, it’s only a forecast, but we can assume that Ken Read will be looking at something similar and getting nervous.

And finally, a short technical content footnote: Ericsson 4 have not gone entirely unscathed, they have a problem with their instruments, hence the ‘No Data’ in the Data Tables – and having spent far too much of my working life wrestling with electronics and salt water, I can assure you that this is not unusual.

The reason that Ericsson 4's 24-hour record doesn’t show up in the Data Table or Graphs is because it’s only measured every three hours, at the time of the position reports. To check for a record, the boat’s mileage is checked much more regularly.

Volvo Ocean Race Positions - Leg One Thursday, Day 20: 1300 GMT
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to leader)

1 Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) DTF 1122
2 PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +76
3 Ericsson 3 SWE (Anders Lewander/SWE) +163
4 Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +266
5 Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +345
6 Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) +430
7 Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) +454
8 Delta Lloyd IRL (Ger O'Rourke/IRL) +458

The TEN ZULU REPORT (so called because it follows the 10:00 GMT fleet position report, and Zulu is the meteorologist's name for GMT)




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=50346

3:23 PM Thu 30 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



A complete recap of the most successful Melges 20 World Championship by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,








ISAF Santander - Upwards path for Austrian women's 470 crew + video by Luissa Smith, International 470 Class Association,
























2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 4 by William Wagner, San Francisco
































Santander Worlds – already a spectator success
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 - Day 3 morning report
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Tales from the extreme
Volvo Ocean Race: Latest starter wins opening race
2014 J/70 World Championship - Healy, Abdullah, Becker and Borges win
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Full-blown, once again
ISAF Worlds - Americans jump up Laser and Laser Radial leaderboard
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Farr 40 Day 3
America's Cup: Luna Rossa sailing with two foiling AC45's + Video
Extreme Sailing: Emirates Team NZ retain second overall
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio Olympic Laser spots snapped up
Rolex Swan Cup - All set for final showdown
Upper Midwest sailors need help to take it to the next level
ISAF Sailing World Championships - RS:X action begins in Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans rise in Laser and Radial
Extreme Sailing Series - A remarkable penultimate day’s racing + Video
Marseille One Design - GC32 GDF Suez unstoppable in the light
Rolex Swan Cup - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Images of the leaders in Santander
Rolex Big Boat Series - Good day for Double Trouble
Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2 images by Erik Simonson   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - TP52 fleet ready for tricky race tracks   
Rolex Big Boat Series - Plenty maintains lead   
2014 Asia Pacific Student Cup - Count down begins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Live coverage of Day 3 - view here   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Going away   
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Practice makes perfect   
2014 J/70 World Championship - Contrasting conditions on Day 4   
Rolex Big Boat Series - 50 years of big boat racing: a retrospective   
2014 Rolex Big Boat Series - Day 2   
Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champ: Rios takes the Championship   
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg Zero signals start of the significant racing   
Extreme Sailing Series: Physically demanding racing for BAR on Day 2   
Emirates Team NZ: Holding second overall after Day 2 in Istanbul   
Extreme Sailing Series: A force to be reckoned with in Istanbul +Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Day 1 images by Jesus Renedo and Pedro Martinez   
Marseille One Design: GC32's Armin Strom storms ahead on day 2 + Video   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Racing underway in Santander +Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Erika Reineke claims Radial race win   
Santander Worlds 2014 Mat Belcher (Part II) *Feature   


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