Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spanish Speed Off Into The Pressure Zone - Volvo Ocean Race Update

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet were battling hard this morning to make their way through the trough separating two low-pressure systems.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Now separated across a north/south divide by more than 200 nautical miles, the crews are knackered and under the pump. Team Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP), the overall leader have managed to maintain their overnight lead with a 26 nautical mile advantage over Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Everyone knows that the team that first finds the new northerly breeze will leave the others for dust.  But the difficulty in getting ahead is due to the repetitive fluctuation of the breeze and the trough which is travelling east at approximately the same speed as the fleet.
Photo: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
“A cold front extending north/south across the fleet containing rain, little wind and a 180 degree wind shift is moving slowly east at about 12 knots. Sadly this means that we sail into it at 20 knots, the wind dies, we stop until the front moves forward and we regain the wind from the old direction," Ian Walker, skipper of Abu Dhabi’s Azzam explains.
Photo: Yann Roui/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
“All the time this happens, those boats behind pile into the back of us. Only when the front slows down or if we get some magic gust from a rain cloud or something similar will we be able to pop through to the east side and away.
Photo: Yann Roui/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
“The only real question for navigators and skippers is where to position yourself on the north/south axis in the line-up. If you can get through it fast then north should be good, if it takes longer then south could be stronger. We are currently trying to slide south a bit to get in touch with PUMA and CAMPER and minimise any leverage they have over us.”
Leg 2
Report: 15/12/2011 10:08:08 UTC
DTLDTLCBS
1TELE0.000.017
2ADOR26.302.013.7
3SNYA29.2010.016.8
4PUMA42.303.014.8
5CMPR64.007.011.5
6GPMA138.603.011.9
Lulu Roseman

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