Volvo Ocean Race - Green Dragon to extend lead

Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing: Andrew McLean trimming the spinnaker on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race

Green Dragon, the Chinese sponsored Volvo 70 will have a lead of about 37 miles at the Brazil gate, according to the current projections.

Using Expedition and PredictWind, Sail-World has been able to take the current positions in the 6,500nm first leg, and cycle forward for 24 hours when the first competitors will be about to round the gate in the first leg.

Currently Green Dragon enjoys a small lead over the two nearest yachts PUMA racing and Ericsson 4, however as the fleet exits The Doldrums, winds will increase, allowing Green Dragon to increase her lead substantially.

Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1, Actual (22-10-08 at 2200hrs NZT), showing the fleet on the charge for the gate Mark 1 off the coast of Brazil


The reason for the gain by Green Dragon is that she is sailing into a freshening SE breeze, increasing from 12 knots to 20kts and more close to the mark.

Once they have rounded Green Dragon should extend even further as the winds are predicted to increase to 23 knots and more.

Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 1, Projection (23-10-08 at 2200hrs NZT) - the competitors have been cycled forward by 24 hours, and are now close to the gate mark, and Green Dragon has made a big gain.

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How to read these images

The boats have four digit codes as follows: DLYD - Delta Lloyd; ERT3 - Ericsson 3; ERT4 - Ericsson 4; GDRA - Green Dragon; ILMO - PUMA Racing; TELA - Telefonica Blue; TELN - Telefonica Black; KOSA - Team Russia

The wind is shown in barbed arrow format. The longer line is the wind direction, if it has one longer barb at right angles to the tail, then the wind strength is 10 kts, if there is a half size barb, further up the shaft then the strength is 15kts, two full size barbs indicate 20kts and so on.

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The images used in this story have been generated by www.iexpedition.org!Expedition which is a tactical and navigation software application which has been developed by veteran Volvo Ocean Race navigator and Whitbread winner, physicist Nick White, initially for his use in the 2001-2 Volvo Ocean Race with Team News Corp and the Stars & Stripes Americas Cup team.

Since then, www.iexpedition.org!Expedition has been continually refined by a core group of world-renowned navigators and two-time America’s Cup winning navigator Peter Isler has consulted closely in the development of the system. Expedition supports more instrument systems, is easier to use and has the most powerful and useful functions for the racing navigator.

To read an occasional analysis of the Volvo_navigation_options by Nick White www.iexpedition.org/VolvoVolvo.htm!click_here

Expedition is now has PredictWind integrated into the application as an option for PredictWind subscribers.

The wind data and prognosis used to produce these images also uses software developed by www.predictwind.com!PredictWind, an application developed by Jon Bilger a top NZ youth and Olympic sailor who turned his hand to wind and weather prediction, and helped Alinghi to their outstanding victories in the last two America's Cups.

Now that same technology is available to the weekend sailing and club racers, the cruising fraternity or professional sailors around the world. Select any region in the world of interest to you and www.predictwind.com!PredictWind will monitor the area for you and provide updated predictions on demand.

PredictWind is a subscription system, with a number of options. While some may feel the wind is free, the ability to get a five day detailed wind forecast for an area of interest creates great peace of mind, allowing forward planning and decision making to be made with some certainty. The time and money saved through being able to work with a high degree of confidence, is more than offset by the relatively small cost of the subscription.

You have until January 2009 to get your free subscription, and see for yourself.