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Monday, November 21, 2011

Risky Business - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Telefónica is leading the charge south while PUMA’s Mar Mostro trails a mere 16 nautical miles (nm) behind in a different game of risk these two are playing. The Saint Helena High is blocking the quickest route to Cape Town and on the southern side lies a westerly cold front that all the teams have been waiting for.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
For much of today, the leaders will continue with their high-speed drag race on a port tack reach. But it will be a whole new ball game over the next 24 hours. As the leading pair nears the Saint Helena High, strategy and navigation will be focused on barometric pressure. This is the means by which the navigator will know the relation of his boat to the centre of the high.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
The biggest risk is to sail too close and get sucked into the windless zone, balanced against shaving the corner and sailing less miles to the finish. The judgement is critical and one false move could prove to be catastrophic.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
On the south side of the high is a cold front, which Telefónica and PUMA’s Mar Mostro are expected to  reach by midday on Wednesday. Wind speeds here could be up to 25 knots, gusting 30, which are perfect for the Volvo Open 70. “The boat just lights up and takes off,” ssid Stu Bannatyne, co-skipper of CAMPER.
Neal McDonald Photo: Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race
Onboard Telefónica, Neal McDonald reported lots of wind and already a cooler water temperature. “I think Cape (our navigator)  has found us a great spot,” he said, referring to their position.
Photo: Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race
Groupama 4 will arrive at the cold front much later than the rest of the fleet. The team would potentially need to gybe south to escape the new high building from the west and sail away from the direction of the finish in order to seek out the westerly breeze. This will mean sailing even more miles for Franck Cammas and his team who currently have put 346 nautical miles between themselves and the leaders.

Leg 1
Report: 21/11/2011 10:05:53 UTC
DTLDTLCBSDTF
1TELE0.000.020.62171.0
2PUMA16.003.019.52187.0
3CMPR110.503.021.32281.5
4GPMA346.3018.021.32517.3
-ADORRetired from Leg 1
-SNYARetired from Leg 1
Lulu Roseman

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