Please select your home edition
Edition
Melges 14 2018 Leaderboard

Volvo Ocean Race: The Leg 6 Casino opens in a couple of days

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz 13 Feb 2018 15:27 PST
Leg 6 to Auckland, Day 7 on board Brunel. Sail change. Drone. 13 February, . © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race

"If you're gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

"You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em,
"Know when to walk away and know when to run.
"You never count your money when you're sittin' at the table.
"There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."

The lyrics of Kenny Roger's signature hit "The Gambler" can aptly be applied to Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

While the immediate attention focuses on who is currently beating who as the fleet enjoys Tradewind sailing, but the wind cards on Leg 6 will be dealt many times the Leg, as the Volvo 65's traverse the newly created Sea of Frustration.

This area of calms and light winds extends for 15 degrees of latitude or 1100nm, from just south of the Solomon Islands to a few hundred miles short of North Cape - the northernmost point of New Zealand.

On the latest sched Volvo OR Race Control still has Team AkzoNobel leading by an 11nm margin over yesterday's leader, SHK Scallywag, and 50nm over the third placed Team Brunel which in turn leads the van of the fleet.

In normal circumstances that would be a useful working lead and with a modicum of luck would be sufficient to build out to a triple-digit lead and a leg victory.

Heading north on Leg 4, the Doldrums caused the fleet several days of frustration, and on the return journey, according to the routing function of Predictwind, will be relatively less stressful, and the fleet should have a quick passage.

However a day or two later the real race begins as the fleet have to negotiate the wake of Cyclone Gita and a sideswipe from a second cyclone which spins off into the Southern Ocean. The two cyclones create a massive area of light and fickle breezes. The wind vacuum expands behind Gita as the Cyclone moves closer to New Zealand.

The Predictwind routing using four weather feeds shows a typical pattern for this situation - with each feed showing a markedly different course - and with the past certainty that the weather files will change markedly with every update.

For the six-boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet, the exercise is even more fraught - with race management in their wisdom deciding that the fleet will only receive two feeds (GFS and ECMWF). This makes tactical navigation a very fraught exercise - with the real risk of positioning to take a course that appears to be a way through the light winds, only to find a weather update or two later that you are in exactly the wrong place.

Given that situation, most navigators will normally opt to sail down the Great Circle course being the shortest route to the finish, and just focus on boat speed and small course devastation to extract the most from the fickle breeze.

"There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."

Or in the case of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race, when the leaders approach the Northland coast of New Zealand.

For the crews, the arrival in Auckland on February 25/26 will never have been sweeter.

Related Articles

OC Sport opens international base in France
One of the first to take advantage is VOR-winning skipper Charles Caudrelier 'Le HUB by OC Sport' will draw on the company's successful track record in the organisation of major offshore events and team management, to offer a full-service solution for international offshore sailing campaigns. Posted on 17 Jan
Some advice on how to go about finding a sponsor
YachtRacing.Life has a few tips for those looking for a sailing sponsorship Sailing and yacht racing website, YachtRacing.Life's Justin Chisholm has a few tips for those looking for sponsorship He talks with Nathalie Quéré – global brand director at AkzoNobel and campaign director at team AkzoNobel Posted on 16 Jan
"The Ocean Race" is born in Paris
Good progress was made and celebrated in Paris this week Good progress was made and celebrated in Paris this week with IMOCA ratifying a version of their class rule for fully crewed events. “We intend to issue the Notice of Race and open the entry period in the coming days ” - Richard Brisius Posted on 15 Dec 2018
Volvo Ocean Race retitled for 2021 edition
Further details revealed about The Ocean Race, the son and heir of the Volvo Ocean Race In the Espace 2000 at Paris' annual Salon Nautic further details about The Ocean Race, the son and heir of the Volvo Ocean Race, were announced by co-owners Richard Brisius and Johan Salén long time partners in Atlant Racing Posted on 15 Dec 2018
Volvo Ocean Race: Remembering Sir Peter Blake
It's 17 years since the Kiwi Race Legend passed away This week marks 17 years since Race legend Sir Peter Blake passed away. Revered by many as the greatest yachtsman of the modern era, Blake was 24 when he first took part in the Race as a watch captain onboard Burton Cutter in the debut edition in 1973. Posted on 8 Dec 2018
Volvo Ocean Race: Record-breaking results
The most recent edition has raised the bar, both on and off the water... The latest edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started in Alicante, Spain in October 2017 and finished in The Hague in the Netherlands in June 2018, will be remembered as the closest in race history, as well as a record-breaking event on many levels. Posted on 28 Nov 2018
Race data revealed at expert conference
Unique information on the global concentration of microplastics pollution Unique information on the global concentration of microplastics pollution in our oceans has been presented at an international science conference in Lanzarote. Posted on 23 Nov 2018
The Logistics Genie: We speak to JT of GAC Pindar
Recently back from the huge logistical challenge of the Volvo Ocean Race We spoke to Jeremy Troughton - universally known as 'JT' - General Manager of Marine Leisure and Events at GAC Pindar, who has recently come back from the huge logistical challenge of the Volvo Ocean Race. Posted on 20 Nov 2018
Robin Clegg on microplastics and the VOR
An interview with Robin Clegg about microplastics and the Volvo Ocean Race's Sustainability Program I checked in with Robin Clegg, who handles sustainability communications for the Volvo Ocean Race, via email, to find out more about microplastics, the VOR's Sustainability Program, and the results that this forward-leaning program delivered. Posted on 14 Nov 2018
Setting a course for a healthier ocean
Commitment to put sustainability at Volvo Ocean Race's heart With a commitment to put sustainability at its heart, the next edition of the ultimate fully crewed around the world yacht race has unveiled a roadmap to inspire action and create tangible outcomes for ocean health. Posted on 6 Nov 2018
Marine Resources BOTTOMNaiad 660x82px_TouristWindBot-COACH-660x82