Friday, January 20, 2012

CAMPER with ETNZ Prepares For Leg 3 - Volvo Ocean Race Update

With two legs of the race complete CAMPER with ETNZ is holding a solid position in second place just seven points from the overall race leaders, Telefonica. Leg 3 is expected to be the most challenging to date.
Photo: Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race
“Leg 3 is the most worrying of the whole race, there are so many things going on in this next leg in regards to shipping down the Malacca Straits and the possibility of a light air upwind start. After the Malacca Straits we will have to deal with one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world, followed by the prospect of some heavy air upwind sailing,"
said Skipper Chris Nicholson.

"Looking at the leg there’s some key tactical decisions that people should look out for. Going up to the Malacca Straits and how you set-up on the long port tack will be vital. If you go further towards Sri Lanka you’re likely to have less pressure but will comfortably lay through the Straits. If you go more to the south you’ll have better pressure but may but may not be able to make the entry to the Straits. Then all the way through the Straits themselves will be very interesting,” he said.

"The boats are all likely to be forced to sail effectively the same course meaning that those with the sail program best suited to whatever the wind angle is are likely to have a major speed advantage over the others and may make a break on the fleet. This will be a leg that rewards good tactical and navigational calls and a reliable boat."

After several days in the UAE the crew have been running through the debrief of the first stage of Leg 3 and other areas of performance, while planning the strategy for the second section of Leg 3.

“There isn’t much we don’t record onboard these boats, we record everything from boat speed, wind angles, rudder angles, keel, trim, dagger-boards you name it and we record it. We then trawl though all of the data and start to pick out little bits and pieces, and then the sailing team will meet to ask questions about certain areas.

“The amount of data and analysis you could do could take years so you have to prioritise the areas you need to find the answers to and go from there. We’re lucky to have some seriously smart people around that can help deliver answers to some serious tough questions.”

The six crews are due to fly to the safe haven port in the Indian Ocean over the next few days with a potential re-start lined up for the 22nd January.

Lulu Roseman

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