sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama follow Americans as fleet scatter
Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama follow Americans as fleet scatter

'Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 - 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 are on the twelfth day of racing in leg six, from Itajad, Brazil to Miami.
Offshore of Saint Barth, the fleet is scattering out whilst the tradewinds have eased considerably since last night. This general stalling is also an opportunity to switch strategy, like the three leaders, who have split away in three different directions, Groupama 4 having opted to follow the American trajectory. As such there are some serious options up for grabs.


A little over 1,000 miles from the finish in Miami, the situation has totally changed with the break in the tradewinds on Thursday evening. The easterly wind of around twenty knots now only equates to a dozen knots or so of breeze and has shifted round to the South-East. As such the sailing conditions are considerably less wet, but the coming hours will be very important strategically, as there's a meteorological quagmire forming between Puerto Rico and Florida.

'The wind has eased over the past few hours as scheduled, but we were hoping that the stalling would affect the frontrunners first of all. In reality, the light airs hit everyone at the same time… We were sailing downwind under spinnaker with fifteen knots of breeze, twelve at times, on a direct course: it's a lot less wet on deck! On these boats, with an extra 5 knots of breeze and a 15° difference in terms of angle, that makes a massive change as you switch from 15 knots of boat speed to peaks of 25 knots by luffing up a little. Life aboard is a bit more comfortable since we can open things up down below and get a little fresh air into the areas where it's really hot. It's better for hygiene and for getting rest,' indicated Laurent Pagès this Friday morning.

Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Yann Riou-Groupama Sailing Team_©_-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

A technical issue with gathering the data from the five VO-70s is depriving the Volvo Ocean Race organisation of any precision as regards true speeds and distances between the boats as the routes diverge. However, it has to be admitted that Groupama 4 has considerably reduced her delta in relation to the American leader, who is now just 85 miles or so ahead. As for Camper and Telefonica, they opted to gybe mid-morning this Friday (local time) to dive to the North of the Antilles arc, approximately 75 miles from the French boat. And Abu Dhabi is still around fifty miles to leeward of Franck Cammas and his men with a deficit of thirty miles or so in relation to the finish.

'The tradewinds are in the process of crumbling away as scheduled and it's set to become a long hard battle to Miami! It's another opportunity for us, this funny old system: there are doubtless some moves to be played and the grib files aren't clear. It's an important leg for the overall standing, but it doesn't correspond at all with the normal statistics because usually, we'd have had tradewinds from Cape Frio to Miami. The pace is hard as there hasn't really been a moment to decompress and right now, we've been racing for some months and there's probably a bit of weariness creeping in. It's tougher to get up and do your watch now… But everyone must be feeling like that on the other boats. Now that there's been some bunching of the fleet, it's going to be intense all the way to the finish!' commented Jean-Luc Nélias, navigator on Groupama 4, at noon this Friday.

Essentially, a succession of windless zones is lurking between the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas and the navigators will have to zigzag between these calms before entering a barometric minimum which is forming offshore of Florida. It's this rather unpronounced and fairly inactive trough which has snuffed out the tradewinds that usually blow across the Antilles. From this weekend the fleet will be subjected to a light to moderate northerly breeze of around ten knots, practically all the way to the finish. This significant wind rotation of over 120° is accompanied by several transition zones, where the breeze is erratic, fickle, fleeting, variable, inconsistent, irregular and random… among other things. In short, the grib files aren't really able to make head or tail of how the wind is actually behaving over several dozen or even several hundred miles, as everything depends on the extension and movements of this barometric minimum over the coming hours.

Some crews, like the New Zealanders and the Spanish (and the Emiratis to a lesser extent), are seeking to benefit from these sickly south-easterly tradewinds for as long as possible, by closing on Puerto Rico. Others, like the Americans and the French, are counting on the wind gradually shifting round by going to the front of the wind shift rolling in from the North. The hope for the first option is that the transition zone doesn't extend far and is short-lived, whilst enabling them to make as much headway as possible along the direct route. Meantime, the others are hoping that the northerly wind will barge its way into proceedings so they can gybe around a hundred miles above the Virgin Islands. In any case, this scattering of the fleet, which was unexpected just 48 hours ago, is opening up a whole new strategic playing field for Groupama 4. The end of this sixth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race promises to be extremely tense and uncertain, as the breeze is set to remain light as far as Miami…

Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 - 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=96841

3:18 PM Fri 4 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:

04 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Tactical challenge for Puma's Mar Mostro
04 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Tense times for Puma as breeze dies
04 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - High speeds to be replaced by slow conditions
04 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race – Groupama claw back mile after mile
03 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Predicting Mar Mostro's ETA
03 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Battle at the head of the fleet continues
03 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Camper leads but navigational nightmare ahead
03 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama escape the Doldrums
02 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Tight at front as fleet exit Doldrums
02 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Monotony disrupted onboard Mar Mostro
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

420 World Championship - Singapore and Spain out front by 420 International Class Association,






























Lightning strikes cut short CFJ Nationals by Andy Kopetzky, Santa Monica Bay


















America's Cup: Group agrees to co-operate in London Meeting by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,












America's Cup: Alameda makes overtures on Venue hosting for San Fran *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,






Etchells Invitational Cup - Aussies take early lead in Cowes
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Antoine Albeau strikes back on day 4
Aquece Rio – International Sailing Regatta - All set for test event
ISAF World Sailing Rankings for 28 July 2014
29er World Championship - All set in Kingston
ORC World Championship - Third Course area opens for huge fleet
Day one of the Allen RS Feva World Championships
Anna Tunnicliffe On the Final two days of the Reebok CrossFit Games
Joachim Aschenbrenner takes gold at ISAF Youth Match Race Worlds 2014
Maxi Soh scores double wins in CMRC Summer Doubleheader
29er World Championship opening ceremonies in Confederation Park
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Action resumes on day 3
Land Rover Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race Start 2014 VIDEO
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship 2014- Final day
2014 Pacific Cup - Scarlet Runner wins
Gladwell's Line: America's Cup - Joint Statement is a curious note *Feature
ISAF Youth Match Racing World Champ - Top four battle it out for final
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 6
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - Wind teases competitors on day 2
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Action-packed day of racing
Herreshoff Marine Museum announces successful fundraising campaign   
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The most comprehensive victory yet   
Anna Tunnicliffe holds fourth at mid-point of Reebok CrossFit Games   
2014 29er North American Open Championship - Australians win   
INSA Sabot II Invitational Regatta - Erik Hou claims victory   
CMRC Summer Invitational Series - Maxi Soh wins Doubleheader A event   
International Moth World Championships - Nathan Outteridge wins   
International Moth Worlds - Victory for Nathan Outteridge + Video   
PWA Fuerteventura Grand Slam - First blood to Toselli and Angulo   
Melges 24 Nationals - Record entries for 2014 and 2015 venue revealed   
Women’s Match Race Golfe du Morbihan - Anna Kjellberg claims the lead   
Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race at Long Beach YC   
Laser Radial Men’s World Championship - Poland tops the leaderboard   
America's Cup - Four teams confirm full support regardless of venue   
Plastic Classic takes place at Mariposa Hunters Point YC   
Six Metre European Championship - No champion declared for 2014   
J/Teams sail tough Chicago Mackinac Race   
Anna Tunnicliffe wins first event of Reebok Cross Fit Games + Video   
2014 Pacific Cup - Skill and luck required for victory   
Six Metre European Championship - Action resumes on day 4   


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