sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Volvo Ocean Race: The van of the fleet closes on the fading falcon
Volvo Ocean Race: The van of the fleet closes on the fading falcon

'Water across the deck onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal.'    Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race    Click Here to view large photo

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Leg 7 lead was being steadily eroded on Monday, as the chasing pack lined up along an easterly moving cold front bringing strong winds.

Up to 90 nautical miles ahead of their nearest rivals at one point, Ian Walker’s Emirati team have been steadily losing ground as the new weather system brings the rest of the fleet up to them at average speeds over 20 knots.

That progress could stop suddenly – the boats are positioning themselves for a light wind zone off Lisbon that threatens to throw the leg standings wide open – but for now speeds are high.

The latest projections from Predictwind, show that while Abu Dhabi may slow, and may have a less direct through the high, she is projected to take the Leg 7 win. Ahead of her is a 12 hour patch of light winds, before the breeze kicks in for the final run to Lisbon. But the margins are very tight with Azzam predicted to be just 10minutes ahead at the finish in three days time. Puma is expected to be second with Camper 20 minutes astern, followed 2mins later by Groupama, with Telefonica 9mins later and Sanya 2 mins behind that.

The reality is that the finish will not be that precise, as the boats match race each other over the final two days - and certainly when they are in sight of the other boat. But on current projections, Azzam's skipper Ian Walker's estimate that the fleet will finish within an hour of each other seems to be generous, and currently just 40 minutes covers the fleet according to the latest projections. And the race has been that tight for the past couple of days at least.

At 1300 UTC Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, which carries the stylised image of a striking falcon on her mainsail, were 63 nm ahead of second placed Puma Ocean Racing and 83 nm in front of Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand in third. Four miles behind Camper were Team Sanya who held a three nautical mile lead over Groupama sailing team and Team Telefónica in fifth and sixth.

Telefónica have a seven-point lead over Groupama with three legs to complete, while Camper and Puma are poised respectively 13 and 14 points off the pace.

On Day 8, the fleet is well advanced across the Atlantic and heading for Portugal -  PredictWind.com  
Despite having to watch the fleet inexorably closing them down with every position report, skipper Ian Walker said the Abu Dhabi crew remained confident of holding on to the lead ahead of what he predicts could be a photo finish in Lisbon.

'So far we have sailed a very good leg and everyone on board is fiercely determined to defend our lead for as long we possibly can,' Walker said.

'As the fleet charges east at ever increasing speeds towards Lisbon we know that it is highly likely that we will give up a lot of our once 90 mile lead to the chasing pack.

'I am not being defeatist, just preparing myself mentally for the fact that those behind will have more wind than us due to the advancing cold front picking everyone up from behind.

'One thing for certain is that there is going to be a very tight finish from first to last place in Lisbon. The weather gods have scripted that.'

Puma navigator Tom Addis said the building breezes from behind were compressing the fleet rapidly with any one of the chasing boats able to break through to the lead.

'Abu Dhabi are still 80 miles ahead of us, but we’re pulling them in at eight or nine miles every three hours so it’s happening fairly quickly,' Addis said this morning.

Day 8, Leg 7: Over the past 24 hours the tracks have straightened as the wind kicks in and the boats head stright for the finish of Leg 7 in Lisbon -  PredictWind.com  
'But the guys just south of us also have pretty good breeze right now, so they might get a pretty good break as well. We’ll see how we go. It’s a really difficult one to pick.'

Camper have found themselves fighting to hold off a rapidly advancing Sanya, who moved into fourth after a tactical move north yesterday paid dividends.

'It’s very intense,' said navigator Will Oxley. 'We’re trying to defend against building breeze from behind, so the boats behind you are in better pressure. We’ve been forced to gybe in front of Sanya, who are visible quite clearly just off our starboard quarter.'

Oxley said he believed Leg 7 could ultimately be decided on how well the teams negotiate the light air ridge on the final approach into Lisbon.

'We’re all going to go barreling in there at high speeds and whoever picks their way through there and gets a bit of luck is going to probably be the one who comes out on top,' he said.

Fifth and sixth placed Groupama and Telefónica remain less than two nautical miles apart in terms of distance to the finish, with both teams fighting hard for a podium position in Lisbon, having picked up increasingly stronger winds in the cold front.

'The wind started to fill in around our last gybe,' said Groupama helmsman Erwan Israël. 'We are sailing ahead of the front in 20 to 23 knots of wind and expecting up to 26 knots of wind.

'We kept gybing to get a better angle in the front and stay longer in it. Telefónica gybed a bit later and managed to overtake us. They are controlling us, but now we are in sight of each other and it’s really nice to fight like that.'

Latest estimates suggest the leading boats will complete Leg 7 from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal on May 31.


by Sail-World and 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=97789

8:16 PM Mon 28 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:

29 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama gain precious miles
28 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: A drag race to Lisbon - but will Azzam last?
28 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Exciting times onboard Puma’s Mar Mostro
28 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Stood up on a date but not for long
28 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama contain attacks from Telefónica
27 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Anything's possible onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
27 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Sanya's bold move might have paid big dividend
27 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race: Andrew Cape - 'The big decider will be today'
27 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama crew prepare for drag race
26 May 2012  Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro slams upwind + Video
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World































































Formula Windsurfing Youth and Master Worlds overall by International Windsurfing Association,




ISAF Youth Worlds - Laser Radial sailors look to join list of legends
Coville soon to chase solo circumnavigation record in giant trimaran
Fierce competition at the Meanline Fins Slalom Challenge
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel opt for experienced winner
Bakewell-White supermaxi designed to take Transpac's Barn Door Trophy *Feature
Crew rescued by navy patrol from J/111 racer after Mayday in storm
Team Alvimedica practice in Newport, RI - Photos
18 foot skiff European Championship (Open Europeans) - Final results
Nacra 17 European Championships - No action on day 1
ISAF Youth Worlds - 29er and SL16 sailors prepare for battle + Video
Volvo Ocean Race: Eight new crew members named by teams
Volvo Ocean Race: New additions to Spanish team announced
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket Island is ready to host
PWA Awaza World Cup - Cyril Moussilmani and Delphine Cousin on top
Foiling Week - Moth Class Italian Open Championship Day 2
America's Cup: Luna Rossa foiling in AC45s at their Italian base
Star World Championship - Germans claim dramatic win in Malcesine
PWA Awaza World Cup - Down to the wire in Turkmenistan
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre - Off to France!
Nacra 17 Europeans - La Grande Motte back in Olympic classes arena
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Hansen hat trick in Marstrand + Video   
Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race keeps an eye on Arthur   
World Match Racing Tour: See the Finals replay at the Stena Match Cup   
Newport International Boat Show unveils exciting 'At The Helm' Program   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - First blood to Hansen over Canfield + Video   
Star World Championship - Americans claim race win in Malcesine   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Weather halts action on day 4   
Clipper Race - Henri Lloyd wins OneDLL Cup into Den Helder   
Clipper Race - Close match racing in closing stages of the OneDLL Cup   
Volvo Ocean Race: Spanish play catch-up with under 100 days to go   
World Match Racing Tour: Catch the live action at the Stena Match Cup   
Finn Junior Worlds - Battle for the Jorge Bruder Silver Cup   
Mobiles drive traffic - 72% increase in Sail-World.com page view *Feature   
British Open Dragon Championship finale at Royal Lymington preview   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Phuket is ready to host   
PWA Awaza World Cup - Valerie Ghibaudo hits back on day 3   
Star World Championship - Hard fought win on day 4 + Video   
Stena Match Cup Sweden - Action-packed match racing + Video   
Oceans of Hope yacht arrives in Portsmouth   
Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race - Registration details   


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