sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama escape the Doldrums
Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama escape the Doldrums

'Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12'    Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 are on the tenth day of racing in leg six, from Itajad, Brazil to Miami. Offshore of Kourou's satellite launching station in French Guiana, Groupama has escaped what ended up being a fairly cooperative passage through the Doldrums, which has enabled her to move up into fourth position to the detriment of Abu Dhabi. However, her deficit of around eight hours in relation to the three leaders means that it was a little later in the day before she too hit the tradewinds. However, her separation of a hundred miles behind Puma should stabilise before beginning to come down again as the fleet approach the West Indies.

With 2,000 miles still to go before they reach Miami, the fleet has been sailing in some steady tradewinds of around 16 to 23 knots since the early hours. As such the pace has picked up considerably and the three leaders, who were the first to hit this fresh breeze after the Doldrums, have been able to extend their lead over Abu Dhabi, now in fifth place, and Groupama 4. However, this average tempo of nearly twenty knots isn't set to last. Indeed the easterly breeze will die away slowly as they make their approach on the Caribbean between now and Thursday evening, at which point the five VO-70s will gradually slow up. Furthermore this drop in speed will affect the front of the fleet first of all.

Their slight delay in powering up at the start in Itajai has disrupted Groupama 4's launch into this Brazilian orbit a little, however ultimately this Florida-bound leg has been split into three sections. The first stage wasn't a favourable one for Franck Cammas and his men, who didn't enjoy the same weather conditions as their rivals and fell a bit behind on the journey up to the equator. After clearing the Doldrums last night, it would seem that the second stage in the tradewinds of the northern hemisphere may enable them to get back in contact with the others. Indeed, from the latitude of Martinique, the wind is expected to ease to below fifteen knots, or even less, and the first to feel the effects of this will be the leaders. As a result, it's highly likely that there will be a compression of the fleet along the Caribbean arc.

Finally, the third stage, between Saint Barth and the Bahamas is shaping up to be a complicated phase for all the navigators: a weak anticyclone is forming offshore of Florida, causing a break in the tradewinds, as well as an accumulation of tropical clouds between Guadeloupe and Cuba. This new configuration is set to cause the VO-70s to stall from the latitude of Barbados, where the tradewinds will create a lowly fifteen knots of breeze during Thursday lunchtime (European time), and even less than that as they approach Guadeloupe, where the wind will ease to just a dozen knots or so, before really becoming lethargic offshore of the Virgin Islands.

The question on everyone's lips relates to how to tackle the end of this course. It's certainly hard to anticipate since a windless zone is forming to the North-East of the Antilles arc and in this light easterly breeze, the inside lane through the islands is likely to alternate between the effects of a thermal breeze, a strengthening Venturi, wind shadows and local currents, depending on the time of day. As such there are a lot of different choices possible for the final 1,000 miles before making landfall in Miami! A zone of calm conditions also seems keen to lounge around the Bahamas this coming weekend…. Targeting the veins of breeze when the wind is set to ease to less than five knots looks like a seemingly impossible task.

As such, in this veritable labyrinth, where certain options may end up in a dead end, Groupama 4 will have to find Ariadne's thread within the navigation charts. The initial focus will have to be on speed, but heading will also be key so as any stalling can at least be tackled with a good angle in relation to the wind. Franck Cammas and his crew have opted to swerve to windward and Abu Dhabi is currently 50 miles further West. This choice has been dictated by the fact that, for now, the tradewinds are packing more of a punch to the East, which would suggest that a trajectory outside the Antilles arc would be more favourable. Distancing oneself from the West Indies and hence the direct route is also about taking a punt that the compression of the fleet will open up the strategic options for the final sprint, which may well be completed at a snail's pace…

Standings on 2 May at 1300 UTC
1 – Puma 1,939.3 from the finish
2 – Camper 3.0 miles from the leader
3 – Telefonica 6.6 miles from the leader
4 – Groupama 107.7 miles from the leader
5 – Abu Dhabi 111.9 miles from the leader

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=96775

3:46 PM Wed 2 May 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:

02 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Tight at front as fleet exit Doldrums
02 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Monotony disrupted onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
02 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Combat continues for Puma
01 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing plagued by clouds + Video
01 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma aims to stay in the lead + Video
01 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma corrects the error of their ways
01 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama prepares to tackle the Doldrums
30 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Camper in marathon match race + Video
30 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Easy sailing onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
29 Apr 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama dive due west
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


























GBR aiming for first ever Nacra 17 Games berth at Santander Worlds
Volvo Ocean Race: Man and sail overboard as Leg 0 serves up drama
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander 2014 – Images by Dan Ibsen
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   


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