sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race crews to face their toughest leg yet
Volvo Ocean Race crews to face their toughest leg yet

'Onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing - Volvo Ocean Race'    Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race could be set to produce record breaking high speed sailing as the six boat fleet takes on fierce storms and huge ocean swells on their way from New Zealand to Brazil.

With no more than a week to regroup after finishing the punishing fourth leg from China the teams have had to hustle in Auckland to be ready for what is likely to be their toughest test yet - a daunting Southern Ocean passage around Cape Horn to the Brazilian city of Itajaí.

At 6,705 nautical miles (nm) Leg 5 is the longest of the race and takes the boats into the world’s most remote and inhospitable stretches of open ocean.

On their way to Itajaí the crews will face ocean swells the size of buildings, storm force winds, freezing temperatures as well as taking on Chile’s infamous Cape Horn.

Bordered only in the south by the frozen wastes of Antarctica, the Southern Ocean is characterised by rapidly moving low pressure storm systems that circle the world’s lower latitudes unfettered by major landmasses to slow them down.

Fed by the steep temperature gradient between the Antarctic Ocean and the South Pacific these high intensity weather systems can generate winds up to 60 knots as they tear eastwards.

According to race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante Leg 5’s predominantly broad reaching- downwind sailing conditions could well see a new IWC Schaffhausen Speed Challenge 24 hour distance record set.

'This is going to be a leg for fast downwind sailing,' Infante said. 'Based on data from previous races and current weather models we expect the boats to sailing fast open angles in average winds well over 20 knots. This is the sweet spot for Volvo Open 70s and we could see some huge 24 hour runs.'

However Infante says the highly volatile nature of the Southern Ocean weather will require the teams adopt aggressive navigational strategies on Leg 5.

'The main influence on the weather in this region is the South Pacific sub tropical high pressure system which typically generates strong westerly winds on its southern extremities,' Infante explained.

'When this is the case the strategy on leaving New Zealand is to immediately dig hard to the south to get into the westerly ‘storm track’ as soon as possible for a fast run towards Cape Horn.

'But keeping up with an easterly moving weather system travelling at up to 25 knots is not simple.' Infante said. 'It is easy to be overtaken by the front and fall into the lighter winds closer to the centre of the system. Staying in the best winds requires perfect timing and some aggressive course changes to keep up with the lows. Unfortunately, this will be restricted by the ice limits.'

On board Puma Ocean Racing - Volvo Ocean Race -  Amory Ross-Puma Ocean Racing-Volvo Ocean Race©   Click Here to view large photo

Infante says the already dynamic weather scenario can be further complicated by other low pressure system cyclogenesis areas which influence how and when the storms behave.

'Most of the Low pressure systems are born east off New Zealand, in Mid Pacific, Tasman Sea to the west of New Zealand, or drift down from the north in the form of decaying tropical depressions and cyclones,' he said.

'If a tropical lows get in phase with existing systems they can re-intensify as they feed off the Pacific to Southern Ocean temperature gradient. Most of the time this can cause a split the South Pacific sub tropical high pressure, making the overall situation more complex.

To avoid the fleet running the risk of encountering ice flows off Antarctica race organisers have imposed an ice exclusion zone to keep the boats north of the highest risk area.

'As ever, safety is paramount,' Infante said. 'We will be monitoring the ice flows carefully using daily satellite imagery. The exclusion zone will keep the fleet away from a danger area known as the South Pacific cone of ice.'

After negotiating the extremes of the Southern Ocean the fleet has to round the rocky outcrop of Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of Chile before turning north and passing the Falkland Islands on the way to the finish in Itajaí.

'The Horn approach will depend on the strategy chosen in the Pacific. In this are the interaction between the strong westerlies and the barrier of the Andes is potentially very dangerous, as many sailors can report'

'The section from Cape Horn to the finish could still be a fast reach,' said Infante. 'But the approach to Itajaí is normally tricky with a more dynamic and variable weather'.

'It could provide a strategy nightmare before they finish Leg 5,' Infante concluded.

The start of Leg 5 will be at 1400 local time in Auckland on Sunday March 18 (0100 UTC March 17).

Volvo Ocean Race website


by Volvo Ocean Race

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=94899

3:52 AM Thu 15 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
2012 Camper - Volvo Ocean Race sale


Related News Stories:

15 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - 'Code red' situation for Puma team
15 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Crowds turn out for Open Boat at Camper
14 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma announce new crew member for Leg 5
14 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Team Sanya's sails get serviced at Doyles
14 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma claims second distance award
13 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: More images from the Race Village
13 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the Race Village
13 Mar 2012  Volvo Inmarsat Report: Leg 4 'Too long and hard was the consensus'
13 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Telefonica delay rigging replacement
12 Mar 2012  Volvo Ocean Race teams race against time to finish repairs
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World















Express 27 National Championship overall + Video by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,














America's Cup: Louis Vuitton Cup's Yves Carcelle dies at 66 *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,












Audi Melges 20 World Championship - ‘Samba Pa Ti’ crowned champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Final race to decide champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,




Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,


ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Australian Sailing Team signs up
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 3
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA sailors place on world regatta circuits
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2
PWA Alacati World Cup - Intense competition on day 3
America's Cup: 'The Doc' appointed as Commercial Commissioner
Wake Park Triple Crown - Registration open for final stop
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 2 images by Stefano Gattini
Volvo Ocean Race - Two more join Dongfeng Race Team
OHPRI Teen Summer Camps make a splash
East to West: A profile of Volvo Ocean Race crew Team Dongfeng
Extreme Sailing Series - First-ever Turkish team to race in Istanbul
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Race 4 images by Max Ranchi
New Around Britain and Ireland Monohull 40ft and less world record
Detroit Cup - Fifth place finish a difficult result for Neptune Racing
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads
Volvo Ocean Race: Call of Duty comes first for Team Alvimedica
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini
Helping boaters understand weather basics
PWA Alacati World Cup - Exciting finish on day 2
Match 40s find the surface again + Video   
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Max Ranchi   
Clagett Regatta names first Executive Director   
Transatlantic Race - Fleet expanded for 2015 edition   
IFDS World Championship overall   
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi finishes second - Extreme Sailing Series   
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 2   
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship - It's go time in Garda   
2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14   
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing   
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa   
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video   
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay   
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic   
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?   
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta   
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay   
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys   
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature   
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos   


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