Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resources 2019 - 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

Carolijn Brouwer awarded Magnus Olsson Prize
One of the first females ever to win The Ocean Race The Mange Olsson Memorial Foundation has revealed that Carolijn Brouwer - one of the first females ever to win The Ocean Race in the 2017-18 edition - has scooped its prestigious award for 2019. Posted on 8 Aug
The Ocean Race: Signed, Sailed and Delivered
Liz Wardley and other Race veterans are back on a VO65 – but this time, there's no trophy It's 3am in Newcastle, England – and, although this might feel a million miles away from The Ocean Race, if you can open your sleepy eyes enough you might just spot a familiar face or two. Posted on 2 Aug
Martine flies the flag
Brazil's The Ocean Race star leads the charge in style at the PanAm Games in Peru Martine Grael, Olympic champion and star of The Ocean Race, led the Brazilian charge at the PanAm Games in Peru and made history at the same time - by flying the flag, with her sailing crew Kahena Kunze. Posted on 1 Aug
The Ocean Race: Plans for Hong Kong entry
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag skipper David Witt is keen to take on another round-the-world Ocean Race One week after celebrating one of his biggest international successes, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag skipper David Witt said he was keen to take on another round-the-world Ocean Race and win it, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. Posted on 17 Jul
Caffari: I'd love to lead a team in 2021
Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper yearning for a return Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee admits she's yearning for a return in the next edition, as she launches strategic review into women in sailing. Posted on 13 Jul
Paul Meilhat confirms registration for dream race
Top-ranked IMOCA sailor focuses in on The Ocean Race Paul Meilhat, the French winner of the last Route du Rhum race, has confirmed his registration for The Ocean Race 2021-22. Posted on 11 Jul
Offshore Team Germany sets course for 2021 start
IMOCA 60 campaign was announced during Kiel Week Last month in Kiel, Germany, a new IMOCA 60 team emerged with ambitions for the start of The Ocean Race in 2021. Posted on 11 Jul
IMOCA 60 vs VO65
Everything you need to know about the two classes in 2021-22 In case you missed it, the next edition of The Ocean Race will be contested by two different classes of boat: the all-new, super fast and foiling IMOCA 60s, and the one-design VO65s that gave us such intensely close racing last time out. Posted on 6 Jul
Ocean Race science equipment on new mission
Devices that collect valuable information on ocean health Devices that collect valuable information on ocean health are being used to further understanding of the state of our seas. Posted on 5 Jul
The Ocean Race: New VO65 campaign announced
Mirpuri Foundation ‘Racing For The Planet' to put Climate Change on the global agenda The Mirpuri Foundation has announced that it will soon be ‘Racing For The Planet', as it confirms both its environmental message and the name of its new VO65 racing yacht for the next edition of The Ocean Race, beginning in 2021. Posted on 3 Jul
Melges 14 2019 FooterRS Sailing 2019 - FooterWindBot-COACH-660x82