Volvo Ocean Race qualifying race - Fleet split

Team Telefónica - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
Bets were being taken this evening on which route would pay dividends as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet split around Ibiza.

'We’re going ok on the southerly route. Taking this option just seemed the better move looking at the wind forecast' - Andrew Cape, Team Telefonica.


After blessing the six Volvo Open 70s with a quick first half, the weather gods had other ideas as the fleet was becalmed rounding the Balearic island.

A split in the fleet saw Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand and Groupama sailing team take the more direct northerly route while Telefónica, Puma Ocean Racing and Team Sanya headed south in search of more wind.

But breeze was in short supply whichever route was taken but at the 1630 UTC position report the boats in the southerly pack had slightly more speed then the barely moving yachts in the northerly group.

Speaking to volvooceanrace.com this evening Team Telefónica navigator Andrew Cape said: 'We’re going ok on the southerly route. Taking this option just seemed the better move looking at the wind forecast.'

PUMA Ocean Racing skipper Ken Read described the light conditions as 'frustrating' but said before the wind died the teams had enjoyed close racing in what was their first real test against each other.

'We had a great night last night. It was light in Palma Bay, and we made a couple of mistakes, but we pulled it back.

'It was a hard night with lots of sail changes, tacking up shorelines, reef after reef - it was full on.

'There was a bunch of us racing pretty close together, it was cool to be racing hard against the other guys.'

Race Control Manager Gonzalo Infante said he expected the breeze to fill in later this evening, predicting the first boats to arrive in Alicante tomorrow morning.

Volvo Ocean Race website