sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 prepare for long day ahead
Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 prepare for long day ahead

'Day 18 - Groupama Sailing Team during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12'    Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 lead has dropped from a 149.50 mile lead to 95.5 miles on the eighteenth day of racing in the second stage of leg four from Sanya to Auckland at the 1600 UTC report.

Before they can step onto the dock in Auckland, Franck Cammas and his men still have a day and a half at sea, beating into a strong South-East to easterly wind, which will fade as they make their way along the coast of New Zealand. The pressure from behind is considerable, with the chasing group hot on their heels, beating a path towards them.

Though Groupama 4 is forming the vanguard, the Americans, Spanish and New Zealanders are lying in ambush! Their attack is having increasing resonance as they confront the onslaught from the big seas, where the troughs are increasingly deep, the impact increasingly violent in the rough, abrupt waves and the wind shifts roar as they verge on thirty knots. The sailors are having to submit themselves to the crashing and pounding, their stomachs rumbling with the lack of calories (in this campaign to the Antipodes, the stocks are getting low) as they crawl up on deck to make a sail change. This final battle in the Tasman Sea hasn't yet come to an end. The French scouts are leading the way across this meteorological ‘minefield', which is calling for a number of deviations, zigzags and tack changes in order to climb the last hill linked to this depression, from which they'll hopefully be able to make out the liberating land mass of New Zealand…

There are still 300 miles to go in these liquid trenches, which shake the rigs, send the bodies flying and make the structures tremble. In this incessant bombardment there's no shelter and the stream of projectiles across the deck is constant, undermining the troops, who are hidden away behind a wall of sails to windward, as if answering the call for action stations. Helmets are compulsory here as protection against the fragments of spray and waves, which thunder and explode across the bow. There are some signs which are unmistakable though: the wind fields, which oscillate wildly under the influence of an Australian disturbance which will slowly become more ordered and the North wind, which will be transformed into a zephyr once Cape Reinga looms up on the horizon.

Day 18 - Groupama Sailing Team during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Yann Riou-Groupama Sailing Team_©_-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

'Nearly everyone is on deck because we've going to further reduce the sail area. Sailing under full mainsail, we're going to put a reef in the J2 genoa because we have over 22 knots close-hauled. The breeze has been beginning to get steadier in terms of direction since early last night, but the wind is gradually building and is set to reach 28-30 knots before daybreak. It should remain fairly strong until Cape Reinga. For eight days we were beam onto the wind with a lot of sail changes to adapt to the conditions and, just yesterday, we put in several tacks in the light airs. As such we're pretty tired. Fortunately we have a full moon tonight and our path is being nicely illuminated! We're going to finish off our daily food rations, but we still have a few things left in the larder to get us into Auckland…', indicated Yann Riou, Groupama 4's media man at noon this Thursday.

Once a few additional tacks have been put in to get around Cape Reinga, there will only be 180 miles to go to reach Auckland. The boats bunched up slightly last night. Telefonica, Puma and Camper are just 100-150 miles astern of Groupama 4 and the French crew will have to hold off this trio right the way to the finish line. The slight difference since yesterday relates to the fact that this threesome no longer has many tactical options because, with a 25% lead over a course of less than 500 miles in a stable, enduring wind, their strategy will more likely focus on the internal battle for the podium… The Spanish have been in pole position since they got around to the West of the Americans, as they managed to reposition themselves further along the track in front of them. Puma's easterly option is now just ten miles or so away, which doesn't appear to be enough to benefit from a breeze which is itself shifting round to the East!

In 24 hours' time, Groupama 4 will be beyond Cape Reinga and the breeze will ease. As such the separation between the leader and the chasing trio could well increase, though the change in weather conditions will make the race for second and third place extremely tense behind the French boat. The latter should tie up in Auckland on Saturday morning (ETA between 0600 and 1200 UTC) and it's becoming hard to image a reversal in the situation. However, the same cannot be said of the other pretenders to the podium: the Spanish, Americans and New Zealanders haven't yet done with tearing each other to pieces! All the same, it's a very long day ahead for the French team, who will have to watch that they don't break anything and ensure they use conservative tactics to get around Cape Reinga and for the whole of the descent towards the Hauraki Gulf.

Standings at 1600 UTC
1. Groupama 4 some 437.6 miles from the finish
2. Telefonica 95.5 miles astern of the leader
3. Puma 105 miles astern of the leader
4. Camper 130.6 miles astern of the leader
5. Abu Dhabi 207 miles astern of the leader
6. Sanya 230.9 miles astern of the leader

Day 18 - Groupama Sailing Team during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Yann Riou-Groupama Sailing Team_©_-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

Groupama Sailing Team website


by Franck Cammas

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=94685

7:08 PM Thu 8 Mar 2012GMT


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:

08 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: The battle tightens as North Cape beckons
08 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: The Race Village is opened in Auckland
08 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Squalls and a shakeup
08 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race team Puma Ocean Racing drop into third
08 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 hold onto lead
07 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Big ecomomic benefit and visitors confirmed for NZ
07 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Big gains for Puma Ocean Racing
07 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Hang on for the bumpy ride
07 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 increase lead
06 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro prepared
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World





































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












Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature by Richard Gladwell Ssail-World.com/nz,


















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   
RORC Transatlantic Race - Polishing up the silver   
Vic-Maui International Yacht Race - First start to lead off busy day   
Anna Tunnicliffe competing at the CrossFit Mid-Atlantics + Video   
18ft Skiff Europeans: Winning days at Lake Garda   
Clipper Race - Choppy conditions as fleet closes in on Den Helder   
Lightning Youth World Championship - Final day   
2014 Star Class World Championship - Day 3   
America's Cup: Dean Barker interviewed on the current state of the Cup   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Delphine Cousin draws first blood   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - On a roll in Marstrand + Video   
Star World Championship - Frustrating day 3 rocks the fleet   
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - Rendezvous returns August 31st   
ISAF seeks modern catamaran for future Youth Worlds editions   


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