Friday, December 23, 2011

Drama in The Doldrums - Volvo Ocean Race Update

Late on Thursday, the fleet racing towards Abu Dhabi on Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race began to feel the effects of the Doldrums. The pace slowed to under 10 knots and has not risen since, at least for Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA), whose lead has been usurped by Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP).

After the deliberations of yesterday, the fleet has split and Telefónica and CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS), are maintaining good speed around 15-16 knots. They have been going so well, in fact, that in the last three hours, Ken Read decided to take Mar Mostro the same way, potentially an expensive late decision. The black cat is barely making five knots in a bid to find breeze and has dropped from second place to fourth.

Closing the gap to 95 nautical miles, the team on board Azzam (Ian Walker/GBR) in fifth, has had the luxury of watching the four boats in front.

After firstly following the path taken by Groupama 4 and Mar Mostro, Walker too has pointed Azzam’s bows towards the direction of Telefónica and CAMPER in search of opportunities. On board the black boat the sailors are focused.

“Generally, the Doldrums are seen as a hindrance in yacht racing, a windless band of space stretching across the equator in an unpredictable manner,” explains Nick Dana, MCM with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. "However, when you are behind, they are often seen as your last chance to make up some distance between yourself and the leaders."

The five-boat fleet is now fully in the stealth region and their exact whereabouts will remain secret until they reach the restart point for the second stage of Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.
Leg 2
Report: 23/12/2011 10:04:18 UTC
1TELE (STE)0.002515.6
2GPMA (STE)5.4055.3
3CMPR (STE)6.703016
4PUMA (STE)78.5074.3
5ADOR (STE)95.202313.4
-SNYASuspended Racing
Volvo Ocean Race Media

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