sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean race: Skippers comment on Leg 5 attrition
Volvo Ocean race: Skippers comment on Leg 5 attrition

'The Juan K designed Groupama hauled and starting repairs while the other yachts are still finishing - Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 4 Finish'    Richard Gladwell    Click Here to view large photo

Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajaí saw the highest attrition rate on the fleet to date, with just one boat making it all the way without stopping, one of the three finishers so far coming home under a jury rig, two others loaded on cargo ships and one still to finish.

The problems sparked comment and speculation in the world’s sailing media and across online forums over the designs and building of the boats, the route of the race, the style of racing, the ice exclusion zone and even the time of year the leg was sailed.

The Volvo Ocean Race talked to people who should know best -- the six skippers themselves -- to get their opinion on the problems.

Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Chris Nicholson described the latest generation boats as difficult to build and to sail but said that challenge was integral to the allure of the Volvo Ocean Race for the fans and part of the job for the professional sailors who race them.

'You just can’t produce these faster boats -- this exciting offshore action and also the in-port racing -- you just can’t deliver the speed and thrills without some breakages,' he said.

'I imagine there are quite different opinions out there but everyone sailing on these boats know exactly what they are capable of,' Nicholson added. 'We could be racing around in steel hulled boats, doing a maximum of 12 knots, never breaking anything and effectively turning everyone away from watching the race.

'I like the combination that we have. It’s very challenging and that’s one of the reasons it draws the best sailors in the world. These are pretty cool boats but they are difficult -- and that is how it should be at this level of the sport.'

Team Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez believes that damage to boats in a round the world race is virtually inevitable and a factor the skippers and crews need to take into consideration when setting their strategies.

'The boats get damaged because they are very fast,' Martínez said. 'They can easily reach 40 knots and to not have any damage at that speed the boat would have to be very strong and thus not ideal to win an around a world race.

'The best way to win this race is to have a very fast boat and stop it when it needs to be stopped,' he added. 'That is the type of boat that we have, we compete with it, and we have to take all of that into account and that’s that.'

Team Sanya’s Mike Sanderson, the only skipper in the current edition to have won the Volvo Ocean Race, says boat failures are absolutely to be expected, given the astonishing performance of the latest batch of Volvo Open 70s.

'When they’re going fast they crash hard,' said Sanderson, who skippers the only older generation boat in the race. 'Just take a second and look at what these guys put these boats through. Sometimes they’re not even trying, you know. Sometimes they’re trying to slow the boats down and they can’t. They’re incredible.'

Sanderson said boat damage had always been a part of the Volvo Ocean Race and cited his experience in the 2005-06 race which he won on ABN AMRO ONE. 'It was the first time the (new) boats had been used in the race and we had loads of problems, especially with the keel,' Sanderson said.

'We were using new things that hadn’t been tried before and there were failures. But there were also spectacular performances and distances covered like no one had ever seen before, especially in monohull boats.'

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper Ian Walker also pointed to a previous edition as evidence that fleet-wide boat damage was nothing new. 'In the last race we only had one tough leg -- on the way to China -- and don’t forget three boats ended up getting smashed up on that leg and the others stopped,' he said.

However, Walker said that the fact that this time only Leg 5 winner PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG had made it to Brazil without stopping was a strong indicator that something was wrong.

'We -- not just us, all the teams -- just don’t seem to be able to get through the tough conditions in this race,' he said. 'Before the start of Leg 5 it hadn’t been too bad. We hadn’t had too many breakages up until then.

'When you look at this leg however, you have to say we can’t go on like this.'

Walker did not put any blame on the design parameters or the quality of the boats’ construction for the failures.

'I don’t think you can blame the rule and these boats are all very well built,' he said. 'I just think we are pushing them so hard and the boats are so stiff and so light that I guess things are inevitably going to break with these materials.'

Groupama sailing team skipper Franck Cammas believes that with each generation of Volvo Open 70s the teams try to make the boats more and more stable and learn from previous mistakes.

Cammas also pointed out that the teams and their designers were well aware that taking shortcuts to save money would be false economy. 'We all know and the experts know that loss of reliability means at the end of the day a loss of money and a loss of time,' he said. 'Reliability is the most important thing and every rule is twisted towards that.'

Cammas said he did not believe the latest fleet was any less resilient than in previous races but the boats were being pushed harder because of the level of competition this time.

'People mustn’t say that the boats are less reliable than before because they’re not,' he said. 'Certainly the level of competition of this Volvo Ocean Race is making us push the boats harder than ever before. They go faster than ever before too because they’re better designed.'

'You can always change the rules, sometimes it’s good to and maybe we could make the boats more resistant – but let’s not worry ourselves too much, it’s all part of the sport.

'In Formula 1 if there was never an accident it wouldn’t even be Formula 1 and with the Volvo if there weren’t breakages like this we wouldn’t be hitting the extreme benchmark,' Cammas concluded.

Ken Read, skipper of Leg 5 winners Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, said the modern day boats were arguably too fast and conditions had been such in the Southern Ocean that the helmsmen spent most of their time trying to slow down to avoid damaging the boat.

'That’s when the human element has to take over and say, 'Listen, there is a limit to sailing these boats at this pace before things can go catastrophically wrong,' Read said.

'Going at 40 knots is the dumbest thing you could do, because you would be out of control. However sometimes you don’t have the choice, a couple of big waves pick you up and suddenly you are off like a scalded dog.

'You have to do everything you can to stop the boat going airborne,' he added. 'It is the waves within the waves that do the damage. It’s the 10- footers that are all over the 50-footers that act as the launching ramp and those are the ones that do the damage.'

Despite ultimately coming through Leg 5 unscathed, Read said the team owed a great deal to chance.

'There is a huge amount of luck involved,' he said. 'It’s like a car crash -- if I had left the house ten seconds later my car wouldn’t have been in that position and the whole thing would not have happened.

'Well, if something had happened just prior and you weren’t on that particular part of the wave at that point, then the boat wouldn’t have gone airborne and you wouldn’t have come crashing down and broken the boat in half.'

Read said he attributed much of the damage sustained by the fleet to how close the competition is in this edition.

'The fact is that the race has become so competitive, that forces us to push harder in conditions which we would traditionally not normally have pushed,' he said.

'To win you need to be on the edge all the time. Backing off means taking off that last 10 per cent, which means you have gone from completely out of control to just kind off out of control.'

'It’s human competitive nature to push and you can break anything but you have to have the self preservation mentality which says we can’ break now because this is how we are going to lost the race.'


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=96035

10:22 AM Fri 13 Apr 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:

13 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Camper feeling the wrath
12 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Camper's pioneering spirit + Video
12 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean race: Top designer speaks out on structural issues
11 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Camper passes the landmark of ocean sailing, at last
11 Apr 2012  Video selections from Sail-World.com
11 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Broken rudder masks hull split for Team Sanya
11 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean race: Abu Dhabi in for the big chop in Itajai
11 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Groupama cross for third under jury rig
11 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama cross Leg 5 finish
10 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Camper Blogs from the Horn .. dreamin' of Hooters
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Tropical depression proves to be circuit beaker *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The seven strong fleet in the Volvo Ocean Race have been split in two by the effects of a tropical depression over the past 24 hours or so. Having been in close contact for the first week of the race, and covered by about 25nm, the lead group positioned to the east gained a 20nm lead over the three boats positioned to the west, off the coast of Mauritius. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Abu Dhabi - The leaderboards across the ten Olympic and open kiteboarding event at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Final in Abu Dhabi, UAE are shaping up ahead of the penultimate day of racing. ... [more]  

The ‘Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image 2014’ competition is proving more popular than ever. In just under a month, no less than 50,000 people have visited the event website and viewed 380,000 pages, whilst more than 28,000 people have already voted for their favorite photograph. The social networks have been hugely successful too, with uncountable mentions, ‘shares’ and ‘likes’. ... [more]  

We won’t be able to relax until the end of the leg, it’s the kind of problem that can end our race. Its happened a load of times in offshore racing. ... [more]  

2014 World Yacht Racing Forum - The CEO of Alvimedica will be one of the event speakers alongside Sir Keith Mills, Bertrand Cardis, Bryan Winning, David Brabis, James Dadd, Dobbs Davis, Alistair Fox and many other key personalities from the yacht racing industry. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - As predicted, a low pressure system arrived in Lanzarote in the early hours of this morning, bringing strong westerly winds of over 30 knots gusting up to 45 knots. The sea state in the region has been building all day. The forecast for tomorrow morning is much the same, however may abate by the afternoon. ... [more]  

We’re talking, of course, about Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy, who make up one of two German duos in Nassau this year, along with 2014 World Champion Robert Stanjek. Polgar and Koy have been strong sailing partnership for many years now and finished fifth in the 2013 Star Sailors League Final with just Scheidt-Prada, Kusznierewicz-Zycki, Mendelblatt-Fatih and Negri-Lambertenghi in front of them. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Heading into a tropical Depression *Feature by Mike Scullin, Predictwind
The weather team at PredictWind have put together this prognosis for the next few days, looking at what lies ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet ... [more]  

Seven Australian Sailing Team and Squad crews are currently competing in five of the Olympic events at Abu Dhabi at the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. Next on the AST and Squad’s calendar is the World Cup in Melbourne, December 7-14, 2014. The deadline of Tuesday December 2nd for entries is fast approaching and organiser Yachting Victoria is calling for final registrations. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November 1200 CET from Lanzarote, Canary Islands bound for Grenada, West Indies, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final Abu Dhabi 2014: Smiles were present before racing at the Abu Dhabi Sailing & Yacht Club, on the waters off of the Corniche and around Lulu Island and back ashore upon the conclusion of racing. A north westerly breeze that ranged between 9-14 knots greeted the sailors across the four race tracks. The outside courses saw big waves to add some spice to the sailors’ lives. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel: Sailing against the wind and ramming into waves is not exactly comfortable. But it can get worse, because right now we are heading straight into a tropical storm. 'Tro-tro-tropical storm?' I stammer in fright to Louis Balcaen. The young Belgian sailor quickly makes it clear that I’m not the only one who is afraid of this particular weather condition. ... [more]  

The Commodore of the San Diego Yacht Club, which has hosted three America's Cups and one America's Cup World Series, appeared on local TV, commenting on the apparent decision to award the 35th America's Cup to British Overseas Territory of Bermuda. In this replay of the video Commodore Chuck Sinks, deftly stays within the confines of not confirming that Bermuda has won the hosting rights. ... [more]  

Overall race leader, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has slipped in the Volvo Ocean Race having led for most of Leg 2, and won Leg 1. But as has been done before Abu Dhabi has caught up, and now playing storm-watch. ... [more]  

Mast track issues have dogged the Chinese Volvo Ocean Race entry, Dongfeng Race Team on Leg 2 on the 40,000nm round the world race. The problem is not fully repairable in the current upwind and bumpy conditions, and is certainly an issue of concern for Charles Caudrelier led team. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: The Traemeister's onboard gym session *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
On Board Reporter, Brian Carlin, claimed he did not know what a Gym before he set foot aboard Team Vestas Wind. And then compounded his issues by saying that he thought 'Gym' was pronounced 'Gime'. Fitness freak Trae has taken on the invidious task of getting the Irish OBM up to a passable fitness level, believed to be 100 push-ups. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Thanksgiving at Sea *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Although they may be far from home, old traditions aren't forgotten as the US crew aboard Team Alvimedica celebrate one of the great traditions. And the non-US crew partake of their first Thanksgiving, off the coast of Madagascar. There's some of the traditional fare, adapted for the Volvo Ocean Race, and some messages and mementos from home. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The official launch of Syd Fischer’s super maxi, Ragamuffin 100, will take place next Tuesday, 2 December 2014, at Sydney City Marine Complex, Rozelle. ... [more]  

The new application from PredictWind for Mac and PC is revolutionary for accessing weather data when offshore. Accessing GRIB files, Weather Routing, GMDSS forecasts and Satellite Imagery is now a simple task with the unique and user friendly interface. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre takes lead in Leg 2 as break point looms *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The latest position report from Volvo Ocean Race Control has given the lead in leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race to Mapfre (Iker Martinez). She takes over the lead from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker), who has led from soon after the start of Leg 2, a week ago. ... [more]  

Over 270 sailors from 38 nations have enjoyed a mixed range of conditions since their arrival early on in the week. The athletes have used the time to acclimatise to their surroundings, different sea states and a variety of wind strengths. But now, the practice time is over with racing across the ten Olympic and open kiteboarding fleets to kick start the inaugural ISAF Sailing World Cup Final. ... [more]  

VOR 2014-15: Some of them also wake up in the middle of the night to check the latest position reports of Team Brunel. The crew is aware of that, including our skipper Bouwe Bekking. 'We are not the only ones looking out for the position reports. We know that the home front is eyeballing every move of us. Our wives, children, girlfriends, friends and supporters live this race as extreme as we.' ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: Among the ten Olympic series represented, Franck Cammas will be participating in the event for the first time aboard a Nacra 17, this time teaming up with the young, light Alizée Desbordes. Having remained in France to satisfy her professional obligations, Sophie de Turckheim will be following the performance of her favourite helm closely. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Bjorn Allansson (SWE), Briana Provancha (USA), Sofia Bekatorou (GRE), Lara Vadlau (AUT) and Anton Paz (ESP) have fully embraced the Abu Dhabi and Emirati life, grasping the opportunities available with both hands. 'There are so many welcoming and friendly people here,' explained Provancha at the opening press conference. ... [more]  

Leading sailing marine electronics manufacturer B&G has been appointed an Official Race Supplier for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15. B&G will also be providing full electronic navigation systems, tactical software and race support to the organisers of the 2014 Volvo Ocean Race, which began on the October 4th in Alicante, Spain. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. Adventures of a Sailor Girl #31 - Pathways and passion! ... [more]  

Star Sailors League Finals: This Bahaman event is about much more than just sailing, however: it promises a blistering week of high emotion, passion and dazzlingly action that will deliver a unique display of sporting prowess from a slew of champions. All in an easy-to-grasp and see format that even non-sailing folk will understand perfectly. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Sweden to host World Series regatta in 2015 by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Artemis Racing and the City of Gothenburg are set to host an America’s Cup World Series event during the last weekend of August (28th - 30th) 2015. Racing will take place either on the Gota River close to the city centre, or at Långedrag, and the race village will be located in Frihamnen. ... [more]  

2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - The inaugural RORC Transatlantic Race, in association with the International Maxi Association (IMA), starts on Saturday 29th November from Lanzarote bound for Grenada, 2,995 nautical miles across the Atlantic Ocean. All of the competing yachts are now safely moored in Puerto Calero Marina and last night an informal welcome drinks reception was well received with crew ... [more]  

2014 Chicago Match Cup - At the end of Chicago Match Race Center's sixth season, the numbers show how well CMRC reached both into and beyond the Great Lakes sailing community. CMRC hosted a total of 12 graded events from May to October. Of these, the five Grade Three regattas were the best attended featuring 23 skippers from nine countries. ... [more]  

2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Tom Slingsby, Australian Olympic Laser Gold medalist, and member of Oracle Team USA, has signed up as skipper of Oman Air, one of two Oman Sail Extreme Sailing teams, for the final act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Sydney, Australia (11-14 December). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Big spread in fleet as Abu Dhabi leads *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) continues to lead the Volvo Ocean Race. She is the most westerly of the fleet as they approach the coast of Madagascar. In a video, Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker explains the weather hazards of the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. ... [more]  

ISAF Sailing World Cup Final 2014: With a packed crowd of local dignitaries, VIPS and competitors, the ISAF President welcomed the world’s finest Olympic sailors and kiteboarders who will be battling it out on Abu Dhabi's waters. 'It’s a great honour for me to be here today because we have a very important regatta which will be the future of our sport,' explained Croce. ... [more]  

America's Cup World Series: Portsmouth to host in 2015 and 2016
Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Brian's Gime *Feature
Volvo Ocean Racing: Abu Dhabi Leg 2 Review and what will win the Race *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - A new deal for corinthians
2016 Hansa Class Combined World and Int'l Champs held in Netherlands
Turkey Day Regatta - Day 2
St Barth Cata Cup - New winners on the Island
Star Sailors League Final -Interview with Robert Scheidt
USODA 2015 Nationals - Pensacola Yacht Club to host
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, an inspirational legend
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Inspiring the next generation in the UAE
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup – Albeau completes world title hat-trick
Volvo Ocean Race – Team Alvimedica pushing harder
Volvo Ocean Race – ADOR continues to inspire youth
Volvo Ocean Race – Team SCA’s super fan
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final: Abu Dhabi Sailing Instructions published
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Italian 49erFX duo ready for action
St Barth Cata Cup day 3
Volvo Ocean Race: Racing between a Rock and a Hard Place
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 24 Nov 0700 UTC
2014 RC44 Championship Tour trophy – Video highlights   
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 23 Nov 1930 UTC   
Volvo Ocean Race - Position report at: 23 Nov 0748 UTC   
Gladwell's Line: The America's Cup is now Bermuda's Cup? *Feature   
VX ONE Winter Series - Norris and Family earn first weekend victory   
RC44 Oman Cup - Nika wins and Team Aqua clinch their fourth RC44 title   
18ft Skiffs: Club Championship, Cordukes Clubhouse Trophy - Race three   
Volvo Ocean Race: On board with Abu Dhabi - torn sail and where to go? *Feature   
2014 Argo Group Gold Cup - Bermuda shines   
2014 Turkey Day Regatta – Day 1   
Airwaves Noumea PWA Dream Cup - Delphine Cousin officially world champ   
Volvo Ocean Race: A man's got to do what a man's got to do   
RC44 Championship Tour - A great sailing day on the Gulf of Oman   
Sail-World Team holds first Continental Conference at METS   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Open Formula Kiteboarding event preview   
Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet heads into the Southern Ocean + Videos *Feature   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Final - Set to be an 'experience of a lifetime'   
America's Cup: Source named in Bermuda venue leak *Feature   
2014 RC44 Oman Cup - Challenging day + Videos   
Volvo Ocean Race: A bumpy, hard driving ride in the Southern Ocean   


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