Friday, December 16, 2011

And They Wait and Wait Some More- Volvo Ocean Race Update

As the fleet racing in Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi slogs across the Indian Ocean, the positions remain unchanged as the waiting game continues. Overall race leader Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) is still topping the leg leaderboard, but there has been some place swapping on the lateral north/south divide as the fleet lines up for the new northerly breeze waiting just out of reach.
Photo:  Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race 
Overnight, Franck Cammas/FRA and his men onboard Groupama 4 briefly flirted with a more northerly option, changing places with CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS) and PUMA’s Mar Mostro (Ken Read/USA), but the Frenchman has dived south once again, convinced that this will be the best option to line up his team for the new breeze.
Photo: Yann Roui/Groupama Sailing Team/ Volvo Ocean Race
Around 1900 UTC on Thursday, CAMPER looked sweet as a northerly breeze filled in and the team thought they had reached the pot of gold, but it wasn’t to last. “We had a northerly of about 18 knots for about five minutes or so. We had our fingers crossed that we were through, but in the end, it was not to be. We were very, very close,” said skipper Chris Nicholson
Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
It’s a constant study of weather information for the navigators cooped up below, while on deck the crews wrestle with a plethora of sail changes on a boat that is shaking and crashing about, no doubt giving cause for concern, given the boat-breaking conditions.
Photo:  Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race
In third position, Mike Sanderson and Team Sanya are fully charged and enjoying the challenge, but the crew is aware there is a big decision to make. “Do we take the more traditional route and push east into the high pressure, or go with what the weather router wants us to do and head north?” questions Sanderson.
Photo:  Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race
At present, the fleet is herding towards the more easterly traditional route, with CAMPER the most easterly boat, but, as Sanderson says, ‘There is a potential race-winning move on the cards for someone." According to Sanderson it is highly likely to be a winning or a last place move, so a little more homework is required.

Leg 2
Report: 16/12/2011 10:02:21 UTC

Volvo Ocean Race Media

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