Rough ride to Gibraltar for Volvo fleet...Sanderson on Team Sanya damage...Walker reflects on Abu Dhabi dismasting

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Volvo Ocean Race - Newsletter - Leg 1 7 November 2011

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's yacht Azzam, skippered by Britain's Ian Walker, returns to Alicante, Spain after the mast broke in rough weather   Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Welcome to Sail-World.com's Volvo Ocean Race Newsletter for 7 November 2011

This is the last of the set of three Volvo Ocean Race newsletters to be sent ahead and after the start of the Volvo Ocean Race which got underway from Alicante, Spain on 5 November at 2.00pm UTC.

The Sail-World VOR newsletter is one of a series of newsletters which will be sent over the coming 12 months, covering the Volvo Ocean Race, the 2011 ISAF World Sailing Championships, and the 2012 Olympic Regatta. We're not quite sure of the total newsletter count that will be sent but expect it to be now over 6.5million across the three publications.

In this edition, sent to 115,000 subscribers, we have covered the dramatic start and catastrophic opening stanzas of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.

Long story short is that two of the six entrants have had to suspend racing, after strong winds on the first night.

While it would seem that the dismasting was likely caused by a failure of a rigging part, it would appear that the hull damage to Team Sanya was caused by her striking an object in the water.

Groupama Sailing Team during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa.   © Yann Riou/Groupama sailing team

Team Sanya's hull is punctured, as well as as suffering localised delamination, and skipper Mike Sanderson expects that at this stage she will not do the first leg on her own bottom.

We have many videos included with the reports in this edition - and we'll let the sailors tell you their tales of this dramatic first day of the round the world race.

The race for both the 'suspended' yachts is now to make the Inport race in Cape Town on 10 December ahead of the start of Leg 2 on 11 December.

Alicante Start - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  © Ingrid Abery

Depending on the prognosis on the damage and extent of repairs, it may be an option for Team Sanya to take the boat through the Med and Suez Canal and head straight for Abu Dhabi, and rejoin the race at that juncture. While that may seem a radical option, part of the second leg will be done on a ship by all competitors due to piracy fears. Plus Team Sanya's objectives, as a previous generation Volvo 70, was to a spoiler for the latest generation boats - taking podium places and Inport Races, where she could - and there is plenty of racing left in the event after the Abu Dhabi stopover.

But that is all conjecture at this stage.

Alicante Start - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  © Ingrid Abery

In the race itself the three leaders are swapping the yellow jersey with each sked. Those who are just behind, will be expected to pull a move - most likely to try and edge across to the west - a move which worked so well for Green Dragon last time on this leg.

Thankfully the winds have dropped, and tactics will take over from seamanship as the head for the next turning mark - the island of Fernando de Noronha 195nm off the Brazilian coast. With over 6000nm left to sail there is plenty of action left in this leg of the race.

Leg 1 start from Alicante - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Rick Tomlinson ©

From here on we will be publishing weekly, while there is racing underway. For the latest updates stay tuned to www.sail-world.com - and click on the Volvo Ocean Race button in the top header bar, to see all stories for all regions from this exciting race - all updated as the race unfolds.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Editor@Large

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Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi hold media conference in Alicante
Sail-World,
Ian Walker, the skipper of Abu Dhabi, the Volvo 70 dismasted in the the opening hours of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race has just appeared in a media conference in Alicante to update on their situation with their broken spar, which is in three pieces.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Adil Khalid: 'It was the scariest day of my life'
Volvo Ocean Race,
Emirati sailor Adil Khalid has described the moment Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's rig came crashing down as the scariest moment of his life. Khalid, who at 23 years old is one of the Volvo Ocean Race's youngest sailors, said his 'heart was beating really fast' as the 31-metre mast broke into three pieces just six hours into Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Mike Sanderson reflects on Team Sanya damage
Sail-World,
Mike Sanderson, skipper of Team Sanya reflects on the damage caused on the first day. The former Telefonica Blue has sustained major damage to her starboard hull chine around the area of the chainplates. The suspicion is that this was caused by hitting an underwater object in the 35kt winds. The hull is punctured and delaminated in a localised area - lending further credence to the theory that... [more]
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Brutal start to Volvo Ocean Race - a media perspective
Martin Tasker, ONE Sport,
International yachting commentator, Martin Tasker, describes a tumultuous first 24 hours after the start of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race: Traditionally in round the world races the shore crews celebrate their boat's departure with a 'thank God they've gone' party. But there was little of the party mood in Alicante when news filtered back just hours after the start of the Volvo Ocean Race tha... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race update from Groupama 4
Welcome On Board,
The crew aboard Groupama 4 are currently sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012. We are now brought up to date on the team's progress. Around thirty miles from the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, Groupama 4 has taken a different option to her three rivals by dipping down towards the coast of Morocco, whilst the other VOR-70s are picking their way along the Costa Brava...... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Dramatic video from onboard dismasted Abu Dhabi
Sail-World,
Volvo Ocean Race have posted videos from the opening day of the 2011-12 race, including some dramatic video shot as night as Abu Dhabi's mast is cut away, and pulled onboard. Also includes the first 24 hours of the race, a summary of trhe start, and a look at the first 40 years of Round the World Racing... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Battered fleet reaches Gibraltar after chaotic Day 1
Sail-World,
Two of the six boats in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 were forced to suspend racing inside the first 24 hours offshore as the teams were beset by brutal sea conditions while still in the Mediterranean. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing came back into Alicante under engine this morning after the mast on the team's racing yacht Azzam had broken in five-metre waves and 30 knots of wind. Includes two videos... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Team Sanya suffers hull damage and suspends racing
Sail-World,
Aksel Magdahl, navigator on board Team Sanya, reported at 0834 UTC Sunday, November 6 that they had suffered hull damage on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, which began yesterday in Alicante. Skipper Mike Sanderson has confirmed to Volvo Ocean Race control: 'The situation is very much under control, everyone is obviously disappointed but in good spirits as all are safe on board.'... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race update from Puma Ocean Racing
Amory Ross,
The first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race is underway and now Puma Ocean Racing MCM Amory Ross updates us on the crew's progress. BANG! That's what they say, right, when you fly out of the gates? Puma's Mar Mostro left Alicante with one today – fast and furious.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi dismasting update from Alicante
Volvo Ocean Race,
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are putting a major repair operation into effect after their racing yacht Azzam suffered a broken mast in rough weather today, forcing her to suspend racing just over six hours into Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. 'We have no injuries and have retrieved or secured all equipment' A spare mast is being rushed to the Spanish port of Alicante... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Broken mast forces Abu Dhabi to suspend racing
Sail-World,
Volvo Ocean Race is reporting that the Ian Walker skippered Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam has suffered a broken mast and had suspended racing on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, which began today in Alicante. Navigator Jules Salter told Volvo Ocean Race control that all the crew were unhurt and were attempting to recover what they could. 'There is no panic on board and we're plan... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Start Video replays - Summary and Full Coverage
Sail-World,
Watch the start of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean race via Livestream. The link includes summary video plus a full replay of the start which took place at Alicante, Spain at 1400hrs UTC. The race fleet sailed a series of short legs along the waterfront and Alicante coastline, before heading for the first major point of the first leg - the Straits of Gibraltar... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 - Laird Hamilton leaps off Puma's Mar Mostro
Lisa Ramsperger,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 first leg is underway, and the Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG team was picking up speed as they headed out from Alicante, Spain, this afternoon, Saturday 5th November. The team rounded the in-port loop in the second position behind Camper and was quickly on their way to the second port of Cape Town, South Africa.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 – Groupama delayed with penalty
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 started today, 5th November, at 1400 hrs local time in a good fifteen knots or so of westerly breeze, increasing to over twenty-five at the end of the fifteen mile coastal course. Groupama 4, delayed on the very first tack by having to perform a penalty, managed to get back into the thick of the action to position herself in fifth place, just astern of Abu Dhabi.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 – Camper leads the fleet + Start Video
Thomas Pryor,
Volvo Ocean Race - Camper flew out of the starting blocks this afternoon as the race began in spectacular conditions. Skipper Chris Nicholson and the crew were faultless during the short inshore course leading the fleet off the line and extending as they flew around the course covering eight nautical miles in under 40 minutes.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 - Brutal sea conditions
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 - Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand enjoyed the best of a fast and furious inshore course today before the most evenly matched fleet in Volvo Ocean Race history blasted out towards brutal sea conditions at the start of leg one. A crowd of 60,000 watched as Spain's Crown Prince Felipe fired the gun to set the six boats on their way at 1300 GMT (1400 CET).... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 start images by Rick Tomlinson
Rick Tomlinson,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 images of the start of the first leg from Alicante, Spain from photographer Rick Tomlinson... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 1 start images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 images of the start of Leg 1 from Alicante, Spain by photographer Ingrid Abery.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Inmarsat Media Pioneer Award winner announced
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race Legends Reunion and Regatta 2011 - Photographer Rick Tomlinson received the Inmarsat Media Pioneer Award in recognition of his trailblazing record documenting the race. The award celebrates Inmarsat's 30-year history with the Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race by honouring the contribution, courage and commitment of the pioneering photographers on the original races.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race crews announced for Leg 1
Volvo Ocean Race,
The crews for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 have now been announced by each of the six teams competing. It was required for each of the teams to name their eleven sailors ahead of tomorrow's race start at 1400 local time (1300GMT) and they are....... [more]
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