Volvo Race tight after first week...Images, news and boat blogs

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 19 Oct 2008

Major Events

2008 - 2009 Volvo Ocean Race

Editorial: Welcome to Sail-World's Volvo OR news

The second generation Volvo Open 70. Credit:

  Volvo Ocean Race ©
Welcome to the Sail-World.Com's Volvo Ocean race newsletter for the week ended 19 October 2008

Sail-World will be publishing a weekly newsletter for the duration of the Volvo Ocean race summarising the stories and images from the week.

A key part of this coverage will be a look ahead, using images generated from the Expedition software developed by Nick White, a former Round the World race navigator, and Jon Bilger using his well known wind analysis application PredictWind.

These systems are in use on the Volvo Ocean race competitors, except their wind information is supplied by the organisers and is common to all boats.

The competitors cannot access the information that is available to Sail-World readers via Expedition/PredictWind.

The 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race got underway in 25 kts winds in Alicante Spain, just over a week ago.

After a lap of the bay, the first 'gate' in the race was the Straits of Gibraltar at the entrance to the Mediterranean.

After taking a more inshore course, Ericsson 4 was first through the Straits and turned to port to head for the next gate off the coast of Brazil.

Telefonica Blue puts their boat to the test, offshore at the start of leg 1 of The Volvo Ocean Race. Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race  Volvo Ocean Race ©

Since then the USA entry, PUMA Racing has made much of the running and has defended a narrow lead rather well.

Now the competitors are on the edge of the Doldrums, and the next 24-48 hours will be critical to their chances on the 6,500nm leg to Cape Town.

To date the race has been notable for only a couple of mishaps. The first to Telefonica Blue, which broke a steering arm, 20 minutes after the start of the race.

PUMA Ocean Racing sail into the night on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race   Volvo Ocean Race ©

They made landfall close to Gibraltar and took a 12 hour pit stop penalty to effect repairs. (Fortunately they had a spare from another manufacturer available.)

Yesterday, came the news that Tony Mutter (New Zealand) was taken off Ericsson 4 by a fishing boat off the Cape Verde Islands after he was suffering a knee infection which was not improving as expected. Ericsson 4 will continue with nine crew.

Remember to stay tuned to for all the latest Volvo Ocean race news and images as this race unfolds.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell

Volvo Ocean Race Editor>/i>

Volvo Ocean Race - lead will tighten in 24 hours
Richard Gladwell,
As the Volvo race fleet thread their way through the Doldrums, the path ahead has narrowed considerably from the last report. The previous option for two competitors to take a dog leg to the east has now gone and all competitors are focussed on a narrow weather gate that will get them through the doldrums The 24 hour prediction sees the lead being contested by three competitors.... [more]

Boat Blogs from Day 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race
Various Volvo Ocean Race Competitors,
Boat Blogs from Day 8, Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Telefonica Black has sail issues, Delta Lloyd is studing tropical storm information... Read on for more news.... [more]

Volvo Ten Zulu Report - Leg 1, Saturday Day 8
Mark Chisnell,
The western side of the race course has been bandit country for days now, every boat that has ventured west on starboard gybe has had their pockets picked and returned to the fold fleeced. Just like Shackleton, the fleet were hooked on the south. And then today, it turned on them. A tiny bubble - a blip in the atmosphere, a wobble in the pressure lines with no wind at its centre... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - big horizontal split ahead
Richard Gladwell,
As the Volvo race fleet tip toe their way through the Doldrums, the course/weather optimisation analysis from PredictWind and Expedition shows that the fleet is about to make a big split. Writing on the Expedition site, Nick White has calculated the (current) optimal weather routes as giving a horizontal separation of 270nm!... [more]

High spirits as fleet rattles south on Volvo Day 8
VOR Media,
After last night's evacuation of Tony Mutter from Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA), the eight-strong fleet racing in leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race is rattling south towards the Doldrums at 15+ knots. Anders Lewander/SWE is making sure that his boat, Ericsson 3, currently in second place, is attached to the leading team, PUMA (Ken Read/USA)... [more]

Bouwe Bekking describes Volvo Ocean Race Course
Bouwe Bekking,
The VOR 2008-09 Race Course in words of Bouwe Bekking. The Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 is a 37,000 nautical mile journey around the globe. A fantastic trip for all eight participating boats and even more so for their crew-members.... [more]

Boat Blogs from Day 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race
Various Volvo Ocean Race Competitors,
Boat Blogs from Day 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1 to Cape Town South Africa. Puma descibes the weather as a minefield, Team Russia thinks the race is fantastic, Ericsson 4 is experiencing offshore familiarity and the Green Dragon skipper is suffering from lack of sleep. Read on ....... [more]

Medical Evacuation for Ericsson 4 crew member
Victoria Low,
At 1800h local time today, Tony Mutter, of Auckland, New Zealand, was removed from Ericsson 4 via a fishing boat due to medical concerns.... [more]

Volvo Ten Zulu Report - Leg 1, Friday Day 7
Mark Chisnell,
Day 7 dawns with the Volvo Ocean Race fleet more fearful of the west than American pioneers venturing into Apache territory. And with good reason – everyone that has headed that way has returned with arrows in their hat and their wagons burning... [more]

Tough couple of days onboard Green Dragon
Lucy Harwood - Green Dragon Racing,
It has been a tough couple of days onboard Green Dragon, the route through the Canary Islands proved crucial. Green Dragon's navigator Ian Moore explained the situation,'When we gybed away from the pack we felt uneasy about it .... I think that we underestimated the good shifts everyone else was getting down that coast.... [more]

Ericsson 3 stalks Volvo leader PUMA
Cameron Kelleher/Various VOR competitors,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, following a prolonged battle with the Ericsson duo soon after the Canary Islands, PUMA assumed the lead at 0700 and hold a margin of eight miles... [more]

Volvo Race - Ericsson 3 within 8 miles of Puma
Volvo media,
PUMA (Ken Read/USA) broke away from the rest of the Volvo fleet today and headed for the open ocean. She gybed away from the shore and onto a westerly course at around 10:40 GMT. Ericsson 3 (Anders Lewander/SWE) has closed to within eight miles of the leader... [more]

Puma leads VOR as Telefonica Black regrets move
Volvo Ocean Race media,
At the front of the fleet, PUMA continues to slowly stretch away from Ericsson 4. But for Telefonica Black, it's likely been a couple of days they would rather forget.... [more]

Blogs from the boats - Volvo Ocean Race
Various competitors,
Latest emails received from various boats racing to Capetown, South Africa, in Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race. Puma Ocean Racing is now the current leader and Telefonica Blue reports on a tough 24 hours. Read on ........ [more]

Puma leads - Green Dragon reappears - Volvo Race
Volvo media,
At 04:00 GMT Wednesday, StealthPlay came into action for the first time. In the approach to the Canary Islands, Ian Walker and Green Dragon played their joker and decided it was time to go into hiding. They disappeared for 12 hours, reappearing on the 16:00 GMT position report this afternoon... [more]

Green Dragon leads Volvo fleet
Into the blue Media,
After nearly 1000 miles at sea Green Dragon has taken pole position of the eight boat fleet. They have extended a small 6 mile lead over Ericsson 4 with the rest of the pack close behind. The next 24 hours will prove challenging, as each navigator chooses their route south through the Canary Islands.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race Boat Blogs - Day 4
Various VOR Competitors,
Day 4 boat Emails from various competitors in the Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1 to Capetown. Telefonica Blue has been closing on her neareast rival as Telefonica Black holds onto a slender lead. over the fleet. Ericsson 4 had a busy night, while Ericsson 3 was disappointed with its progress. Delta Lloyd is involved in strategically positioning .... read on... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race Day 3 emails from the boats
Various VOR competitors,
Latest Day 3 and 4 emails from the boats. Leg 1, Volvo Ocean Race. Telefonica Blue is back into the race, Ericsson 4 crew finally getting some sleep and Green Dragon has finally escaped the Med. Read on ....... [more]

Volvo OR: The Ten Zulu Report, Leg 1, Day 3
Mark Chisnell,
I was half right – Ericsson 4 got clear of the Straits of Gibraltar with a decent amount of her lead still intact, but her sistership didn't. At 10:00 ZULU this morning, Ericsson 4 was leading the fleet south, with the gang of four – PUMA, Telefonica Black, Ericsson 3 and Green Dragon on her tail just over ten miles behind.... [more]

Images from Volvo OR: Leg 1 - Gibraltar
Volvo Ocean Race Media,
Volvo Ocean Race photographers provide a gallery of images as the eight strong fleet passes through the Straits of Gibraltar... [more]

Pit Stop for damaged Telefonica Blue
Volvo Ocean Race media,
Telefonica Blue officially suspended racing having reached landfall near Gibraltar last night to undertake repairs to the steering gear they damaged soon after the race start in Alicante. With gear fixed and the 12 hour penalty served they are returning to the race... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race blogs - Day 1
Various competitors,
Day 1 Blogs from various boats in the Volvo Ocean Race. The fleet of VO70's departed from Alicante, Spain on Leg 1 of the VOR and have now passed through the Straits of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean.... [more]

Volvo OR Images: Leg 1 - at speed
Dave Kneale and Rick Tomlinson,
Dave Kneale and Rick Tomlinson present a gallery of images taken as the Volvo Ocean race competitors headed for the Straits of Gibraltar, soon after the starting signal and lap of the bay at Alicante, Spain.... [more]

Images from Volvo OR: Start of leg 1, Alicante ESP
Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race,
Top sailing photographer, Rick Tomlinson, presents a gallery of images from the start of the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race, in Alicante, Spain.... [more]

Delta Lloyd off to safe start
Diana Bogaards, Delta Lloyd Media,
On Saturday October 11 2008, Team Delta Lloyd (NED) showed a modest start at the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09. It was a grey day in Alicante, with a strong north-easterly and a solid swell. The Delta Lloyd, skippered by Ger O'Rourke (IRL), did not take any risks and started beating in last position.... [more]

And . . . They're off! - Wild Volvo Race start
Mark Chisnell, Volvo media,
The long-awaited start day of leg one of the 10th running of the Volvo Ocean race had dawned grey and very windy in Alicante, just as the forecasters had predicted. Out on the race track, conditions were wild. A strong north-easterly breeze of 25 – 30 knots meant a windy start for the fleet... [more]

International Jury says No to Ericsson Racing Team
Victoria Low,
Ericsson Racing Team was informed last night at 6:30 pm, 20 hours before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race, that the International Jury will not reopen the case involving the keel fin of Ericsson 3... [more]

Bouwe Bekking on the Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, Onboard TELEFONICA BLUE, Bouwe Bekking is the most experienced offshore sailor of the 11-person, 7-nation crew. This will be his sixth round the world race, Bouwe knows exactly what to expect and what to fear. At 1400 hours on Saturday 11th October, 88 of the best sailors in the world will launch eight boats into a 37,000-mile race around the globe.... [more]

2008 - 2009 Volvo Ocean Race
The 2008-09 event will be the 10th running of this ocean marathon...
For more details and news for this event, go to:

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