News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery : Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet has to make a decisive decision on route

Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet has to make a decisive decision on route

Frustrated by light winds and adverse currents on the opening night of Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, the six-boat fleet will soon face the critical choice between a southerly or easterly route around the tip of Africa.

<:img Med_vor111212_hooper_92441.jpg right :> The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is heading for an undisclosed destination off the African coast, before being loaded aboard a secure ship, taken through to the Persian Gulf before being relaunched for a 24 hour sprint to Abu Dhabi. The move is necessary to avoid Somali pirates who operate out into the midway point of the Indian Ocean seizing over 1000 people in the past 12 months.

After making a high-speed exit from Cape Town, led by Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the fleet ground to a halt on the first night after missing the chance to pick up an easterly moving cold front.

'We made a great exit from Table Bay and built a nice lead before getting swallowed up by the fleet as we sat in no wind further up the coast,' Walker said.

This mistake dropped Abu Dhabi to fifth place this morning, almost 12 miles behind the new leader Groupama sailing team, skippered by Franck Cammas.

Groupama media crew member Yann Riou joked that the French crew’s light wind experience on the first leg was now paying dividends.

'We worked a lot on light winds during Leg 1! Actually, there was no wind in Cape Town Bay and we managed to get ahead of our competitors and lead at the Cape of Good Hope by several lengths. What more could we ask?' he said.

In a more serious tone Riou added: 'Yet, looking at the very variable conditions ahead, this leadership looks temporary.'

Having missed the initial low pressure system, the fleet is likely to be trapped in a light wind zone for the next 24 hours until the formation of another cold front to their south west.

Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante says the weather scenario will make life very difficult for the navigators as they try to work out whether to head south in search of the front, or turn east in the hope of wind closer to the tip of Africa.

'Although the fleet may want to head south, the light winds they are experiencing means that they may not actually be able to do that,' Infante said.

'The situation is trickier than ever for the navigators now. '

Around mid morning today the fleet picked up a 12 knot south westerly breeze and began to make steady progress along the African coast. However, Infante believes this fresh wind may be short lived.

<:img Alt_vor121211_dana_39671.jpg :>
'The area between two low pressure systems always has very little breeze and the fleet will have to wait for maybe another 24 hours before they can be more certain of solid winds,' he said.

Groupama were first into the new breeze, followed by Chris Nicholson’s CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and these two took full advantage of their opportunity to pull away from the fleet.

Nicholson said the previous night had been a risky situation. 'The danger in sailing in such light winds is that you get left in a hole and the other boats get wind and leave,' he said. 'Fortunately that did not happen to us this time.'

With the breeze expected to die tonight, the next 24 hours will see some key decisions being made by the navigators.

<:img Alt_vor121211_dana_39751.jpg :>
'I think if everyone answered honestly they would all prefer to be heading south,' he said. 'We haven’t made that call yet by any means though.'

At 1300 UTC Groupama and CAMPER remained locked in their tussle for the lead with less than half a nautical mile separating them. Less than four nautical miles back Ken Read’s PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG had eased past Mike Sanderson’s Team Sanya to take third place.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing lay in fifth, nearly 12 nautical miles behind the leader, with Iker Martínez’s Team Telefónica a further six nautical miles adrift in sixth place.

<:img Alt_vor111212_hooper_93011.jpg :>
<:img Alt_vor121211_dana_39771.jpg :>
<:img Alt_VOR20111211_FRUSCTUOSO_00051.jpg :>
<:img Alt_VOR20111211_FRUSCTUOSO_67911.jpg :>

by Volvo Ocean Race


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

7:14 PM Mon 12 Dec 2011 GMT

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

Click for further information on
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race

Related News Stories:

21 Aug 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Official Video of latest edtion
21 Aug 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: All-Women crew announced for the 2014-15 edition
31 Jul 2012  B&G helps Volvo Ocean Race winner to victory
18 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: And when the race is over.... + Video
18 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Calling up the Reinforcements
16 Jul 2012  The most successful Volvo Ocean Race yet
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Sanderson wants to go again
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Reluctant hero Marsh takes seamanship honour
16 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean race: How the closest ever race was won
10 Jul 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas

News - USA and the World

America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell,

Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong

HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle

Rolex China Sea Race – Fleet off to a clean start
America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature
World Youth Sailing Week – Second edition officially presented + Video
Rolex China Sea Race - Sailing classic returns
Les Voiles de St Barth – Fired up for battle
CNN Mainsail Down Under for the 75th JJ Giltinan Trophy - 18ft skiffs
Volvo Ocean Race: North Sails on outfitting the Volvo 65
Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete   
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event   
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website   
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!   
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale   
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   

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.