sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 attack upwind conditions
Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 attack upwind conditions

'Day 5 - Groupama 4 in leg 7 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12'    Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 team Groupama 4 has conceded some ground on the fifth day of racing in leg seven, following a climatic upset offshore of Newfoundland: the formation of a zone of high pressure over the Labrador Current is generating a north-easterly headwind, which has modified the strategic tone of the race. The whole fleet has quickly repositioned itself to the North as it awaits the arrival of a Canadian depression over the course of the weekend.

As the spring draws to a close, a major clean-up is going on in the Atlantic! The ocean has had its surface broken by numerous fronts, which are gadding about the sea from the Bering Strait to Newfoundland, from Greenland to Bermuda, from the Shetlands to Madeira and from Scotland to the Caspian Sea… whilst the Azores High has vanished into thin air, whilst high pressure is settling over Saint Pierre & Miquelon. And we won't even mention a tropical storm reforming over Florida. In short, the situation is very chaotic and the weather models are becoming muddled with a multitude of depressionary minima, which are forming and dissipating, merging or disappearing, whipping up their whirlwinds at the mercy of the polar air dropping down or a burst of heat… There's little isobaric gradient, which means that the atmospheric pressure is pretty constant (between 1006 and 1020 hPa). However, if there are no hills or valleys, there is no contour and hence little or no wind…

Two days ago, it seemed certain that the fleet wasn't going to flirt with the ice exclusion zone offshore of Newfoundland. However, the scenario has turned on its head now since the bulk of the fleet are ultimately likely to pass within 200 miles of its most southerly tip, along the edge of the cold Labrador Current. Indeed, this barometric stagnation has led to a dramatic change in less than a day and a half: the only way through to the East transformed into a dead-end when the front slipping along towards the Azores powered up faster than forecast, leaving behind it a zone of calms. Those pursuing Groupama 4 and Telefonica then managed to benefit from enough breeze to reposition themselves to the North, in order to get around a zone without a lot of wind, and scoop their trajectories around to reposition themselves in front of the former leaders…

Day 5 - Groupama 4 in leg 7 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -  Yann Riou-Groupama Sailing Team_©_-Volvo Ocean Race   Click Here to view large photo

'In concrete terms, the backrunners have become the frontrunners! Through the southerly option, we were hoping to hook onto a front, but it slipped through our fingers. We then had to change our plans and the backrunners, who already knew that they weren't going to be able to take the course out to the East because of their delay, snatched the advantage. Whilst we were in a fairly light wind, they latched onto a westerly breeze: it's pretty frustrating, but you just have to accept it. We're now in the same breeze as our rivals and we know that a lot of things are going to happen between now and the finish in Lisbon. The Spanish are opening a door to us too as they haven't opted for the same trajectory as the bulk of the fleet. From this Friday, we're going to be attacking some upwind conditions with a great deal of tack changes and some opportunities are bound to result from that. Furthermore, making landfall in Portugal is often complicated: for now nothing's set in stone…' commented Erwan Israël this Friday morning.

In fact the fleet are on a beat this Friday afternoon, racing along the edge of a zone of high pressure positioned over Newfoundland (a rather unusual phenomenon at this time of year): the north-easterly wind remains moderate at around fifteen knots and the crews are going to be champing at the bit for a good day before the breeze picks up as it backs round to the North-West. Already the navigators have a difference of opinion over how to tackle this headwind: Abu Dhabi, Puma and Groupama 4 are heading North again to hunt down this shift, whilst the New Zealanders on lead boat Camper are continuing eastwards to cover the Spanish. However, there is sure to be a great deal of weaving about on the cards as a succession of tack changes will punctuate the watches as they await the arrival of a new disturbance rolling in from Canada, which will finally enable them to lengthen their stride. There isn't likely to be too much hierarchical upheaval over the coming hours, despite the slight separation, both laterally (Telefonica is 50 miles further South) and longitudinally (Groupama 4 is 40 miles further West than the leader).

Patience is going to be the order of the day over this next phase then, as everyone will be in the same ‘boat' on the same option (climbing North). However, concentration is also going to be important because sailing upwind in a medium breeze is the New Zealanders' strong point. It isn't until midway through the weekend that the situation will become clearer, once the new disturbed system reorganises the Atlantic, propelling the fleet into a steadier south-westerly wind for Pentecost. In the meantime, Franck Cammas and his men will have the arduous task of clawing back some miles on the leaders, whilst keeping an eye on the Spanish who, in this headwind, don't appear to be very well positioned to threaten Groupama 4 at the start of the weekend.

Positions at 1300 UTC on 25/05/2012
1. Camper – 2,058.3 miles from the finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 11.3 miles astern of the leader
3. Puma– 18.8 miles astern of the leader
4. Telefonica – 26.2 miles astern of the leader
5. Groupama 4 – 39.5 miles astern of the leader
6. Team Sanya – 71.6 miles astern of the leader

Day 5 - Thomas Coville, watch captain on board Groupama 4 during leg 7 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=97678

4:53 PM Fri 25 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:

26 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Amazing turnaround for Camper
26 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Frustrating sailing for Puma's Mar Mostro
25 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Leaders set to zigzag to Lisbon
25 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro claws back
25 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Unexpected twist for the fleet
25 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: North or East? That is the Question.
25 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Drastic change of heart for Groupama 4
24 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro trampled
24 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Lesson learned for Puma skipper + Video
24 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Camper slides to the back of the fleet + Video
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World























America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,




Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature
World Youth Sailing Week – Second edition officially presented + Video
Rolex China Sea Race - Sailing classic returns
Les Voiles de St Barth – Fired up for battle
CNN Mainsail Down Under for the 75th JJ Giltinan Trophy - 18ft skiffs
Volvo Ocean Race: North Sails on outfitting the Volvo 65
Image gallery: James Cook High's Royal encounter on Steinlager 2 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race - Maersk Line named shipping partner
Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew
SSV Oliver Hazard Perry joins America's Tall Ship fleet + Video
2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Glorious conditions prevail on final day
WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete   
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event   
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website   
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!   
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale   
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design   
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager   
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature   
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall   
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in   
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences   
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   


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.
X6XL NEW US