Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen IQP 2017 728x90 2

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

by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz 13 Feb 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

Fleet compressing as Scallywag grabs pole position
It's SHK/Scallywag in the lead, but the chasing pack is sailing faster While SHK/Scallywag has made good on its westerly route to grab an impressive lead over the past 24 hours, the fleet is compressing, and as of Sunday afternoon, it's the chasing pack enjoying stronger winds. Posted today at 3:14 pm
Scallywag snatches the lead again - Leg 6, Day 11
On Leg 4, Scallywag made incredible gains through the doldrums. And has done the same on Leg 6 On Leg 4, Scallywag made incredible gains through the doldrums. They're at it again, grabbing the lead from AkzoNobel on Sunday morning... Posted today at 9:28 am
Old scores get settled by two 18ft Skiff skippers
AkzoNobel's Chris Nicholson cops a finger wagging and some brave words from Witty The cards have been dealt, and the result so far looks promising! Here are some updates from the crew along with Libby and David discussing what is and what isn't fact Posted today at 8:39 am
AkzoNobel and Scallywag seize opportunity on Leg 6
Team AkzoNobel and Scallywag are the early winners as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet tackles stage one Dongfeng Race Team and MAPFRE have had the worst of it. Languishing for hour after hour in extremely light and variable winds, while at the same time AkzoNobel and Scallywag were hurrying south at speeds up to 20 knots. Posted on 17 Feb
Volvo OR: Doldrums Casino opens again on Leg 6
Gains and losses mark the rankings on Friday as the fleet hits the doldrums... The team is now furthest south in the fleet and is beginning to pick up the westerly breeze that would indicate they're past the worst of the light and variable winds that plague this area. Posted on 16 Feb
Next transition offers opportunity and jeopardy
Speeds are dropping across Volvo Ocean Race fleet as they bump up against another transition zone On the jeopardy side, it is the crew on SHK/Scallywag, still furthest to the west, who are currently suffering. They've been dropping miles for the past 24 hours and have slid from second to fifth place, nearly 50 miles behind the leader, team AkzoNobel. Posted on 15 Feb
Sailing Photography and the Volvo Ocean Race
Brian Carlin shares some insight into how his team capture the Ocean Adventure OBR Team Leader Brian Carlin shares some insight into how his team capture the exhilarating content of the Volvo Ocean Race, and how this can be useful when it comes to capturing your next adventure. Posted on 15 Feb
Lining up north to south approaching the Doldrums
The gaps are narrowing as the fleet nears the halfway point of Leg 6 With the Volvo Ocean Race fleet racing south in trade wind conditions, team AkzoNobel is leading the charge towards the doldrums, still some 600 miles away. Posted on 14 Feb
Volvo OR Leg 6 Day 7: Ex-backmarkers Match Racing
Match racing battles being won and lost up and down the fleet Every boat in the fleet in Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race is back up to speed and enjoying trade wind sailing conditions as they push south towards the doldrums some 1000 miles away. Posted on 13 Feb
Volvo OR: Break away move gives Witt the lead
Volvo OR: Can Libby Greenhalgh shut out the Kiwi media darlings on Leg 6? Yesterday's front four on Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race have been badly caught out by an area of light winds on Day 5 of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Hong Kong to Auckland. Posted on 12 Feb
Selden 660x82Fever-Tree 660x82Marine Resources BOTTOM