VOLVO OCEAN RACE – Groupama sailing team continue to hold the lead and the furthest east position and at 0800 UTC this morning were charging along at an average of 18 knots — a speed only topped by PUMA Ocean racing powered by BERG and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. On the western flange of the fleet second placed the CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand crew were working flat out to claw back miles on the leaders. CAMPER Media Crew Member (MCM) Hamish Hooper described the scenario in his latest report from the boat. “At the moment it’s a slight waiting game until all of the fleet are nose down and pointing at New Zealand when the 2000-mile drag race starts to the Doldrums and a chain of Pacific Islands to penetrate before the last push to paradise. “It’s still full throttle down charging along getting every ounce of speed out of CAMPER to claw back some ground mile by mile. “Groupama have had a tough few skeds being caught further out to the east in lighter wind, which we know all too well about the pain of after recent days,” Hooper wrote. “However, we are short of sympathy for our French counterparts. “Thanks to that we have managed to take a couple of chunks out of their lead, which gave everyone a momentary additional spring in their step. “They are now back up to full speed again, in fact in the latest sked we had the least amount of wind. “It sure is swings in roundabouts. But we push on hard,” Hooper concluded.
Posts tagged puma ocean racing
MOVING PICTURES – Volvo Ocean Race leg 4 update.
VOLVO OCEAN RACE – PUMA’s breakaway move directly north became their only option when local breezes prevented them heading east with the pack after passing the tip of Taiwan yesterday but has meant a risky split with the fleet.
Ay 2200 UTC tonight PUMA was more than 131 nautical miles apart from the furthest east boat, CAMPER.
Navigator Tom Addis said the PUMA crew were in good spirits and nervously hoping their northerly investment would pay off.
“We would have liked to have got more north and east like Groupama and CAMPER but we saw an opportunity in the north to go east quickly that could set us up for the long run south,” he said.
After being forced to sail almost directly north away from Auckland tonight PUMA finally were able to tack and head east parallel with the fleet. MORE STORY
MOVING PICTURES – The fleet head east in search of the trade winds, as going directly south to New Zealand is no longer an option.
MOVING PICTURES – The fleet are still heading upwind towards Taiwan and they’re still taking a beating from the swell. With the slamming they are checking the boats for stress.
VOLVO OCEAN RACE – After a long starboard leg towards the southern tip of Taiwan, there has been something of a tacking frenzy between 1600 and 2200 GMT, when all but PUMA’s Mar Mostro tacked onto port, followed shortly by Telefónica and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand tacking back again. Tonight’s activity is the first in a series of arduous manoeuvres for the fleet in order to free themselves from the claws of the South China Sea.
At 2200 UTC tonight, CAMPER maintained a 10.4 nautical mile (nm) lead over Groupama 4 despite narrowly avoiding a huge unlit buoy earlier, something that navigator Will Oxley described as a ‘complete show-stopper in the dark’. The many oilrigs and platforms that dot the area south of Hong Kong have also kept the crews at the height of awareness for most of today. The team plans to slip just under the southern tip of Taiwan and sneak through the Luzon Strait before the wind shuts down and the whole area becomes a glassy, windless zone.
The solutions on how to exit the South China Sea effectively vary wildly. Options include shooting away to the southeast and just shaving the Philippines, while another suggests heading north around the island of Taiwan. It is a pivotal moment in the leg, where winners can be losers and vice versa. MORE STORY
HOTLINK – PUMA’s Amory Ross has been awarded the Inmarsat Media Crew Member Award for Leg 3 after another outstanding set of work from Ken Read’s boat.
Ross’s work with the PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team first came to the Award judges’ attention in Leg 1 as he captured the amazing story of his crew’s unscheduled trip to the remote island of Tristan da Cunha in the mid-Atlantic.
The boat had to take refuge there after breaking her mast but Ross made the most of the situation with a string of superb video diaries, one of which was later used on the top American TV programme, The Today Show.
His work on Leg 3 included a live interview with UK Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts and the EU’s Vice President of the European Commission, Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, Antonio Tajani.
“British satellite technology is enabling one of the world’s most exciting yachting events to be broadcast globally to millions of smartphones and computers,” said Willetts. “This is testament to the continued success of the UK space industry and innovative companies like Inmarsat.” MORE STORY
HOTLINK – PUMA Ocean Racing may have missed out on a podium position in Leg 3 but they proved Mar Mostro’s potential as they picked up the IWC Speed Record Challenge trophy for the leg with a 24-hour run of 355.89 nautical miles.
Ken Read’s men join the crews of CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama sailing team, recipients of the Legs 1 and 2 distance awards, in the trophy winner’s club.
PUMA set the bar late in the leg, sailing the top 24-hour distance on February 4 as they straight-lined past Vietnam towards Sanya.
Skipper Ken Read said the win was proof that he had great boat, which was designed by Juan Kouyoumdjian, and a solid crew capable of anything.
“Imagine what we could have done if we had pulled our mainsail up,” joked Read. “We’ve always been happy with our boat, and this goes to show we have a persistent crew, doing what they do best — constantly working to make the boat go faster.”
A trophy is awarded at the end of each leg to the team recording the greatest distance over a 24-hour period by the Volvo Ocean Race’s Official Timekeeper IWC Schaffhausen.
The overall greatest 24-hour distance over the entire eight months of the race will land all 11 members of the winning crew with an IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Edition ‘Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12’ MORE STORY
HOTLINK– Volvo Ocean Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante says the next 12 hours could be key to determining the eventual Leg 3 winner and will give a clear indication whether or not the bold easterly move by Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg will pay off.
Tonight the VOR fleet are facing 25 knot winds and steep waves, testing both the crews and their boats as they close on the Vietnam coast.
Puma were a distant third when they split from the fleet to head east, but Infante says based on the latest data they now stand a better than average chance of getting themselves right back in the fight to win the second stage of Leg 3. ‘They are beginning to look strong,’ Infante said. ‘But there is risk as well. Their position to the east of the fleet means they will benefit from the expected right shift in the wind and they will avoid the worst of the adverse current along the Vietnamese coast. ‘However, they will have to pass through an area called ‘Dangerous Ground’ with uncharted rocks and other obstacles to negotiate. It’s risk and reward but it could pay off for them.’
Latest weather forecasts suggest the strong winds forecast for tonight may only reach 25 rather than 35 knots, but with waves up to four metres Infante says the teams will still have their hands full to slow their boats down and avoid any major damage.
‘The crews start depowering the boats in 17 knots of breeze and anything more does not make them go any faster and increases the risk of damage,’ he said.
Infante also said Puma could gain from avoiding the backbreaking work of continually tacking along Vietnam’s coast which leaders Team Telefónica, second placed Groupama sailing team, third placed Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand and fourth placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will have to endure on their way to Sanya. ‘Tonight will be an important one,’ Infante said. ‘In the morning we will start to see which side is paying.’ MORE
MOVING PICTURES- PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG team navigator Tom Addis explains the strategy behind tacking and stacking. Each tack or gybe requires all gear stowed down below to be moved from side to side, or “stacked”, by Mar Mostro’s crew in order to maintain proper weight balance.