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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Act 9, Singapore - Promo Video

Hetairos Takes Line Honours in Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta & Maxi Yacht Cup 2011

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
30 November, 2011

Hetairos, the stunning 66 metre Baltic Yachts ketch launched in July this year was the first superyacht to finish the Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta - Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup 2011 at 00.03 a.m. GMT on 30th November.
Hetairos Photo: Baltic Yachts
She crossed the finish line just off Saba Rock after 8 days, 10 hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds of navigation. Designed and engineeried by Dykstra & Partners and Reichel Pugh, Hetairos covered the 3069 mile trip from Santa Cruz in Tenerife at an average speed of 15.12 knots. 

Second-placed Sojana (GBR), owned by Peter Harrison, was approximately 400 miles from the finish at 09.55 GMT today. She was travelling at approximately 9 knots and was followed by Andrea Recordati's Wally 101 Indio (ITA).
  Hetairos at the start Photo: IMA
Last night Indio's skipper Mark Fliegner, said that the conditions were pretty challenging 

"The wind has started dying down about an hour ago, only 23 to 28 knots now. We are carrying the storm jib forward with 3 reefs in the main. A bit underpowered through the night in the light patches (23-30knts), but perfect when squalls came in (30-38 usually, one at 46knts), with lots of rain. We are still managing acceptable average speed, with some amazing top speed out of nowhere of up to 24 knots," Fliegner said.
Hetairos at the start Photo: IMA
Tobias Koenig's Swan 82 Grey Goose of Rorc (GBR) was in fourth place. Although following different courses, there was little in it between the Wally 107 Kenora (ITA) and the smallest yacht in the fleet, the Croatian Karuba V, which both had approximately 900 miles still to cover. Salvatore Trifiro's 49.7 metre Zefira (ITA) made the decision to switch to engine power for the final stretch and is no longer competing in the race.
 Hetairos Photo: Baltic Yachts
On iRC corrected time Hetairos completed the course in just over 17 days and 9 hours and the fleet will be fighting tooth and nail over the next few days to be in with a chance of taking overall victory.

The top scoring IMA and YCCS boats will also receive awards at a glittering prize-giving ceremony held at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's stunning new Clubhouse perched above the Club's purpose built superyacht marina. Another six superyachts will be arrive in Virgin Gorda over the coming days.

Lulu Roseman

Groupama secure 3rd - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Groupama Slam Into Third Place - Volvo Ocean Race

Leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race drew to a close on Tuesday when Groupama 4 and Franck Cammas/FRA crossed the finish in Cape Town at 17.28.31 UTC (19.28 local time) after 24 days, four hours, 28 minutes and 31 seconds (24:04:28:31) of racing.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
It is the first time that a fully French entry has been seen in the race since the late Eric Tabarly skippered the maxi La Poste in 1993-94. Groupama Sailing team score 20 points for the leg, to add to the two points awarded for fifth place in the Iberdrola In-Port Race in Alicante on October 29. The team are in third place overall.

“Third is not that bad, some others are in a much worse position.  But we are disappointed because especially at the end of the leg, we didn’t get to come back on the others,” Cammas said.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
"We are pleased to get to Cape Town and to leave with some learnings and confidence in the boat, and all the experience we have built up - it is a lot more important than any amount of training you can do over two years", Cammas said shortly before arrival in Cape Town.

The last two days have been tedious in the extreme for Groupama 4 whose progress was hampered first by no wind and then by too much.  It was a tired and relieved crew that finally made it to Cape Town as dusk fell.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
Groupama 4 briefly took the lead on day three, November 7, but it was day four that decisions were made from which there was, almost, no going back. Cammas decided to keep inshore and follow the African coast in the painfully slow, upwind conditions. Taking a risk, which, ultimately, did not pay off, the team split from the pack, clearly confident in their choice of tactics. CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS) also took the same track, but later paid a costly price to follow Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP), the eventual leg winner and PUMA’s Mar Mostro (Ken Read/USA) later dismasted, out to the west.

The tactical gamble immediately began to cost the French team and, later that day, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand bailed out to the west. The sails slatted and flogged in less than two knots of wind and Groupama sailing team became lonely warriors, heading the traditional trade route less than five nautical miles (nm) off the Moroccan coast.

By day five, the French were on the ‘highway to hell’, over 300 nm east of the rest of the fleet and 42 nm offshore. “With Morocco just under our eyes, we really feel like this is the start of a round the world trip…  A lonely one, and one that wasn’t really planned,” wrote the crew that day. The unbelievable scenario that the crew felt could happen, was now taking place. “Let’s say ‘we won’t see them again soon’”, wrote MCM Yann Riou. How right he was.

On day six, Groupama 4 was top of the leaderboard, and Cammas was still confident. “It was not our choice to go alone,” Cammas said in a radio interview on day six. “I have nervous moments for sure, but I don’t share them. I just share my hopes. We’ve done everything we wanted to do up to now,” he said. But, by day eight, the tables had turned as the boats in the west hooked into a new weather system and Groupama were left struggling in fourth place, a position they never recovered from.  

At the time, Cammas said, ruefully, “The outcome won’t be very positive, that’s for sure. That’s the risk of our option. We knew it would be favourable in the short term. It was uncertain in the long term and it didn’t come out very good for us.”

That being said, their position on the leaderboard at the end of the leg looks positive enough. Team Telefónica lead with 31 points, followed by CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand on 29 and Groupama on 22.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have six points, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG are on five and Sanya are on three, after all three were forced to retire from Leg 1.

The next opportunity for all six to score points will be in the second in-port race in Cape Town on Saturday, November 10 at 1300 UTC. The second leg to Abu Dhabi begins the following day at the same time.

Provisional Leaderboard Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
1. Team Telefónica: 31 points
2. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand: 29 points
3. Groupama sailing team: 22 points
4. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing: 6 points
5. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG: 5 points
6. Team Sanya: 3 points

Volvo Ocean Race Media

Fast Sailing - Pirates of the Caribbean - Black Pearl - Volvo Ocean Race

Groupama Does It Slowly - Volvo Ocean Race Update

The struggle to Cape Town continues for the beleaguered Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA).
They'll be none of this for Groupama Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
Overnight the team made little or no progress, covering just 140 nautical miles in 24 hours and averaging 5.9 knots, but at 1000 UTC today, as the team hooked into a new low-pressure system, it was a question of slowing the boat down as she raced towards the finish at over 18 knots.

“It’s pretty brutal onboard,” said watch captain Daman Foxall. “We are bouncing along now, so we’re actually trying to slow the boat down to avoid unnecessary risks,” he said.
...or this! Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
Overnight, bowman Brad Marsh described what it felt like to be onboard Groupama 4:

“We are trying our best to get back to the real world, but at the moment it feels kind of like we are on parole for some horrible crime none of us can remember committing.

“We thought when we crossed the equator that King Neptune had informed us of all our wrongdoings and punished us accordingly. However, it appears that another mythical and equally important character named ‘Uncle Huey the Wind God’ has decided he would like to add salt to our wound.

“Imagine Sebastian Vettel’s Formula One car running out of petrol on the final lap and then watching him jump out of the driver’s seat and try to push his car around the track in order to finish for some vital championship points, a similar scene is happening here now on Groupama 4 in the grand prix of offshore sailing.

“For the last 12 hours we have been sitting in the middle of a high pressure system that has absolutely no wind at all. No matter how hard we attempt to trim the sails and urge our boat towards Cape Town, it is Uncle Huey and Mother Nature who are having the last say and are currently laughing at our attempts.”

With 108 nautical miles to run to the finish, computers have been predicting a finish today at around 1630 UTC, but as Brad Marsh says, “Our estimated time of arrival (ETA) has begun to sound like an old person’s Bingo game. Basically a lot of numbers that are not worth taking note of recently, as they are subject to such a great range of change.”

Leg 1
Report: 29/11/2011 10:01:18 UTC
DTLDTLCBSDTF
1TELEFinished: 021d 05h 14m 25s
2CAMPFinished: 021d 21h 48m 04s
3GPMA0.000.018.3108.8
-ADORRetired from Leg 1
-PUMARetired from Leg 1
-SNYARetired from Leg 1
Volvo Ocean Race Media

Monday, November 28, 2011

Groupama's Rough Ride to Cape Town - Volvo Ocean Race Update

The worst is yet to come for the frustrated crew onboard Groupama 4, as the windless ridge stretches further across their chosen route to the finish in Cape Town and the crew play games to keep themselves amused.
Photo: Yanni Roui/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
While the sails flog in a confused breeze some 250 nautical miles from the finish, the crew have been playing solitaire on an iPad and asking the classic boredom cure-all: “If you could take just one movie to a desert island, what would you choose?”

Despite the obvious frustrations, multihull sailing champion and Groupama sailing team skipper Franck Cammas was able to remain philosophical about this team’s position, especially as third in Leg 1 and overall was all but guaranteed.

“Third is not that bad, some others are in a much worst situation,’’ he said. “But we are disappointed because, especially at the end of the leg, we didn’t get to come back on the others.

“The Doldrums stopped us from getting the same weather system that the others had. We were 10 hours behind CAMPER, we are now more than two days away – it’s frustrating, for sure. But that’s the sea, that’s the weather, that’s sailing. It happened to us and it will happen again – that’s the game.”

Volvo Ocean Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante said Groupama would continue to encounter fickle, light upwind conditions until later this eventing, possibly for another 10 hours.

Their saviour will be a low-pressure system that will build increasing southern winds overnight. The southerly change means Groupama will be able to gybe later tonight, and finally point and accelerate for the finish at Cape Town.

However, closer to South Africa’s shores awaits a hostile greeting similar to that afforded to CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, Infante said, with winds gusting in excess of 30 knots and confused seas from at least 50nm from the finish line.

Cammas said his team were in no rush, and keeping the boat and her crew safe and in one piece was priority number one.

"We want to get to Cape Town as soon as possible because the stopover will be short, but we also want to get there in one piece with a boat in perfect condition.

"It’s a combination of both going fast without taking useless risks"

While the unpredictable conditions make any estimated finish time more of a guestimate, Infante said a finish could be expected tomorrow morning, possibly 0900 UTC.

Groupama will take third place on the leaderboard with 22 points assuming they get across the line. Team Telefónica lead with 31 points, followed by CAMPER with 29.

As Cammas alluded to, some teams are in a far trickier situation than Groupama. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG were playing golf on the remote island of Tristan da Cunha as they awaited a ship that finally left Cape Town in the early hours of Monday.

The best Ken Read’s team can hope for is to be back in South Africa on December 6 – just four days before the second in-port race.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Sanya, forced to retire form Leg 1, were expecting their boats to arrive in Cape Town by Wednesday.
Leg 1
Report: 28/11/2011 13:00:52 UTC
DTLDTLCBSDTF
1TELEFinished: 021d 05h 14m 25s
2CAMPFinished: 021d 21h 48m 04s
3GPMA0.000.08.1255.7
-ADORRetired from Leg 1
-PUMARetired from Leg 1
-SNYARetired from Leg 1
Volvo Ocean Race Media

Groupama 4 Travelling At A Snail's Pace - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Groupama 4 is making slow progress towards the finish line in Cape Town in a meagre 8.7 knots of breeze.
Photo: Yanni Roui/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
It's a frustrating situation to still be at sea while the two teams who finished ahead of them, Telefónica and CAMPER, get a head start in preparing their boats for the Cape Town In-Port Race and the start of Leg 2 on December 10 and 11 respectively.
Photo: Yanni Roui/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
With just one more night at sea and 274 nautical miles to go the French boat team is keen to make landfall.
Photo: Yanni Roui/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
Meanwhile, the crew of PUMA’s Mar Mostro are wiling away their days playing golf and keeping an eye  out for their rescue freighter, Team Bremen, which left Cape Town in the early hours of Monday morning. The ship is expected to take four days to cover the 1,500nm to the remote island of Tristan da Cunha where she will crane PUMA's Mar Mostro up onto the cradle that is perched on her deck.
Photo: Yanni Roui/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
On board is shore team boat builder Chris Hill, the cradle for Mar Mostro, a shipping container filled with tools, supplies, personal items for sailors and some delicious freeze-dried food for them to eat on the return trip. If all goes to plan, the boat should arrive in Cape Town on December 6. A replacement mast leaves the United States today and is expected to arrive in Cape Town on Friday.


Leg 1
Report: 28/11/2011 10:00:49 UTC
 DTLDTLCBSDTF
1TELEFinished: 021d 05h 14m 25s
2CAMPFinished: 021d 21h 48m 04s
3GPMA0.000.08.7274.4
-ADORRetired from Leg 1
-PUMARetired from Leg 1
-SNYARetired from Leg 1

Lulu Roseman