Abu Dhabi heads for Portugal...Damage inspection on Sanya...He ran, She ran, all the way to Brazil


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Volvo Ocean Race - Newsletter - Leg 1 12 November 2011

Xabi Fernandez and Iker Martinez, both from Spain, are named ISAF Sailors of the Year 2011. Team Telefonica during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Diego Fructuoso/ Team Telefónica
Welcome to Sail-World.com's Volvo Ocean Race Newsletter for 12 November 2011

The action has continued in the Volvo Ocean Race, even though Leg 1 is less than a week old.

Today comes the news that Abu Dhabi has elected to pull out of Leg 1, clearly they realise they have no hope of catching the frontrunners, some of who are now hitting 23 kts while Azzam was in light conditions trying to exit the Med. Clearly they had no chance of catching the the frontrunners and the gain of a few points over Team Sanya wasn't worth the risk of dropping an untuned rig.

We have a story from Ian Walker, skipper of Azzam in this edition, where he backgrounds the decision.

'As we said when we left Alicante we were just coming out to see how the new spare mast set up and we are carrying on our investigation as to why the original mast breakage occurred.

'It's been an agonising period but on balance today we made the call that we needed enough time in Cape Town to make some modifications to our rigging.'
Skipper Ian Walker and the crew of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing retire from leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

Staying with those shoreside, we have a conducted tour with crew member, Richard Mason, through Team Sanya and check the damage. It is not until you see the inside of the boat for yourself that you realise the enormity of what has happened, and how close they were to losing the boat completely.

Clearly the decision to close the watertight bulkhead when the weather cut up was what saved Team Sanya, and they will live to fight another day.

Rob Salthouse trimming in the rain onboard Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.  Hamish Hooper/CAMPER/Volvo Ocean Race

On the water, the bout continues between the three boats to the north, Telefonica, Puma and Camper and in the south corner, we have Groupama, ably led by the wily Franck Cammas.

Brief picture is that against all conventional wisdom, Groupama hugged the African coast, and should have been spat out long ago. However Cammas must know something the computer does not, as he rode the thermal breeze and got sucked down the coast, stretch out to a lead well in excess of 200nm over the three in the north corner.

Major damage sustained to Team Sanya during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. (Credit: Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race)  Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race

As matters stand the boats behind are flying, Groupama is slowing and has to find her way through the widest point of the Doldrums.

By rights Groupama should get done like a dinner. But then again that should have happened a few days ago, and didn't. Will he be able to get Groupama through and into the Tradewinds - we'll know the answer in a few days.

Skipper Franck Cammas takes a phone interview. Groupama Sailing Team during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Yann Riou/Groupama sailing team ©

Stay tuned to www.sail-world.com for the unfolding story,or follow every story posted including all the team blogs and videos on our Volvo Ocean Rac_ microsite

In this edition we done an analysis of the state of the play, and tried to explain how one boat can be hundreds of miles in front, but will really come fourth inside a week. Top international sailing journalist Justin Chisholm of the Volvo Ocean Race, also explains on video.

Route options for Groupama, at 0655hrs GMT on 11 November, with the options for Telefonica in the lighter track. Computer routing has always told Groupama to head west - always more extreme than this option.  PredictWind.com

Those of you who subscribe to Predictwind will recocnise the graphics we are using in our coverage, which are invaluable in sorting out what is happening, and who is is going to be in the money in a few days time as they round the first gate off the coast of Brazil and head for Capetown.

Our pick is that the fleet will be a lot closer together than they are now and that the second stage of the leg to Capetown will be a hell of a fight. However one thing is for sure - what you see today will be completely different tomorrow. So stay tuned to www.sail-world.com for the latest updates.

We have an editorial team on watch around the world 24x7 bringing you all the latest developments.

Casey Smith caddies a sail on the foredeck as it goes up the rig. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

From here on we will are publishing weekly. All going to plan we will be sending another newsletter after the fleet have rounded the gate off Brazil - predicted for the 17th November GMT. 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 day 7 spells relief for Puma Ocean Racing
Ken Read,
The Volvo Ocean Race has now reached day seven and things are finally beginning to look up for the crew of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg. Skipper Ken Read shares with us how the crew has finally managed to escape upwind sailing.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Tough call to buy time for Abu Dhabi
Justin Chisholm,
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing skipper, Ian Walker says making the call to pull out of the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race has been one of the hardest decisions of his life. Having been forced to return to Alicante within a few hours of the start when their mast was destroyed by the impact of a massive wave, Abu Dhabi had been in an all out race against the clock to get back on the water and complete... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Camper on form as battle rages on + Video
Volvo Ocean Race,
Leg one of the Volvo Ocean Race has now reached its seventh day and at 1900 UTC, focus was on Camper Emirates Team New Zealand with Aussie Chris Nicholson in charge as he proceeded to take on the two boats ahead of him, cruising in the midst of a 23+knot north-westerly breeze.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama make laboured progress
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 on the Saharan coast lead the trio sailing mid Atlantic by nearly 600 miles! Uncertainty reigns as to how the situation will pan out in relation to the huge lateral separation. The only thing that is sure at this stage is that the West will be the first to be hit by a change in the weather.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race day 7 on Puma Ocean Racing - Pushing west
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on day seven of leg one: And the heading still reads 240. Ever since we started from Alicante it feels like we've been heading west, with Cape Town almost 90 degrees to our left. Regrettably, that's because we have. We just can't seem to get there from here.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: The Riddle of the Routes + Video
Richard Gladwell,
Less than a week into the Volvo Ocean Race, the classic is proving to be what everyone expected and more. Yes, there was the first night shenanigans, which have too often marred the start of Round the World races of various types out of the Med and Europe. While those incidents took some of the edge off the competition, the race on the water is proving to be what many expected.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race – Groupama face big decision
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race leading team Groupama 4 and skipper Franck Cammas/FRA have to make a big decision. They have two choices: move west quickly and take a big loss to do it, or hold their nerve and sail towards the triangle of doom, the no-go windless area that begins south of the Cape Verde Islands 600 nautical miles ahead, and then make the turn west. ... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi forced to withdraw from Leg 1
Sail-World,
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing retired from Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race on Friday having returned to racing early on Thursday following a dismasting on the first night. The decision leaves four of the fleet of six still racing the first stage, the 6,500-nautical mile leg from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town. Team Sanya also pulled out after suffering substantial damage to the boat's hull on Sunday.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Video tour below decks on Team Sanya damage
Sail-World,
Richard Mason takes us below deck on Team Sanya to reveal the gaping hole that nearly sank them after striking an unidentified object on the opening night of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Shows the extent of the damage inside the hull, and the realisation of how close the VOR70 must have been to sinking.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race speeds and winds increase
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet are finally able to fly and this evening at 2200UTC, the boats far out in the Atlantic are relishing the benefit of a little more wind in addition to making good progress on starboard tack at about seventeen knots. This is the sort of speed that is associated with these types high performance racing machines.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper bets on the north westerly to close gap
Sail-World,
On day six of leg one CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand are holding their position with the other westerly boats and are waiting to pick up the expected strong north westerly front. CAMPER remains in fourth place but overnight has gained on the two other westerly boats Puma and Telefonica to be 62 miles behind them.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race day 6 on Puma Ocean Racing – Interrupted routines
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on day six of leg one: We've spent all this time talking about routines and how important it is to get into them, but the truth is they're only good until they're changed. After a beautiful night of sailing due west – directly at the sunset - we've had that bit of interruption in our routines... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Complications ahead for Groupama?
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race sailing team Groupama 4 may have taken the lead in leg one, after deciding to take the coastal path, but the situation will become complicated this coming weekend with the tradewinds having been snuffed out around the Cape Verde archipelago... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - So far so good for Groupama
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - Will Groupama's gamble to split from the fleet pay off or is west still best? The next 24 hours will tell, as the French team and the huge lead they have accumulated close to the West African shore come under threat from a new weather system and three rivals sick of taking losses in the windless west.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Conditions take their toll
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - It's day six for the fleet racing in leg one and the conditions are taking their toll with seasickness and tiredness setting in for the crews sailing out to the west. Inshore, Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA) continues to luck in, leading the fleet by 111.40 nautical miles (nm), while the rest of the fleet loses out.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi makes a cautious restart to Leg 1
Volvo Ocean Race,
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are back in the game, resuming racing this morning five days after losing their mast in violent Mediterranean seas. The team, led by British double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, radioed Race Control at 0216 UTC to notify that they had resumed racing... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Nico not a happy Camper as margin stretches + Video
Sail-World,
A tough day at the office for Camper sailed by Emirates Team NZ as the boat heads west in search of breeze and to catch-up with the rest of the fleet, who are now 80nm behind the race leader, and 77nm behind the third placed boat. There is a lot of catching up to be done, and skipper Chris Nicholson is clearly not happy in this onboard video... [more]
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Groupama in the Volvo Ocean Race: Echoes of the ridge of high pressure
Franck Cammas,
Still alone offshore of Agadir, Groupama 4 is benefiting from a gentle downwind breeze of barely ten knots trickling down from the North. However, the situation is set to improve the further down the coast of Morocco they get, becoming more favourable once they reach the Canaries, at around noon on Thursday if all goes to plan. To the North of Madeira, their three rivals are sailing at quite a lic... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Racer to be shipped to South Africa for repairs
Sail-World,
Tte damaged Sanya Lan is set to hit the road and sea bound for Cape Town where a team of experts awaits, ready to whip her into shape for the start of Leg 2. On the first night of the race, Team Sanya sustained major hull damage in heavy winds and short seas. She is believed to have made contact with an object floating in the water, which punctured the hull... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race – Next 24 hours crucial
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race sailing team Groupama 4 is still alone offshore of Agadir and is currently benefitting from a gentle downwind breeze of barely ten knots trickling down from the North. The situation is set to improve the further down the coast of Morocco they get, becoming more favourable once they reach the Canaries, at around noon on Thursday if all goes to plan.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race day 5 on Puma Ocean Racing - Waiting for the signs
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on day five of leg one: It's been a bumpy few days for Puma's Mar Mostro. The winds have eased a bit but there's some serious chop to contend with, thanks to a collection of underwater seamounts below. We've been taking the waves square on the bow and often lack the power to get through them... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Telefónica new leader
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - It is clear that this is not your usual first leg. In fact, Stu Bannatyne (NZL) co-skipper of Camper says, 'The traditional first half of the first leg of this race is nothing like we are experiencing now.' Having done this race five times previously, Bannatyne would have a good idea of what ‘normal' is, and it seems that the weather the fleet is contending with is anything but.... [more]
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Three days and three leaders in Volvo Ocean Race
Sail-World,
Groupama's decision to take a more direct southerly route rather than stay with the rest of the four-boat fleet pushing out to the west, began to pay dividends over night. The Franck Cammas skippered entry has hugged the Moroccan coast sailing in an area which is generally avoided by Volvo Ocean Race sailors, who are driven by the convention to break to the west... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Chat in the Nav Station - Nico and Will Oxley +Video
Sail-World,
Join Camper skipper Chris Nicholson in the nav station as he talks about the first night at sea in the Volvo Ocean Race, and their thoughts on the conditions and the Abu Dhabi dismasting. Then navigator, Will Oxley, joins us as Camper gets out to a position 65nm off the Casablanca coast, and they have to make the choice of going west before heading south... [more]
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Abu Dhabi ahead of schedule to rejoin Volvo Ocean Race
Sail-World,
bu Dhabi Ocean Racing is ahead of schedule in a race against time to replace its broken mast and start a major mission to catch up to the four yachts still racing Leg 1 of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. The Rolex Fastnet Race record holder, broke her mast five hours after the start of the first leg on Saturday evening, and was forced to motor back to Alicante where her spare rig was fitted.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: The French Fox embraces the coastal route
Sail-World,
Groupama, led by the current round the world non-stop record holder, Franck Cammas has broken from the rest of the fleet and is hugging the African coast in search of thermally driven winds from the Sahara Desert, in a bold bid to be first to the turning mark off Brazil.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean race: Tacticians roll the dice for first leg decider
Sail-World,
The fleet has shown its hand and decisions have been made from which there will be no going back. Franck Cammas/FRA has made a bold move to take Groupama rock-hopping just eight nautical miles off the Moroccan coast, while Chris Nicholson/AUS (CAMPER) changed tactics overnight and paid a high price to join Telefónica (Iker Martinez/ESP) and Kenny Read's PUMA Mar Mostro in the west.... [more]
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Camper: Philosophy and a wise man are a big help in Volvo Ocean Race
Hamish Hooper,
Camper's MCM Hamish Hooper blogs on Day 3 of Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race: Talk about chalk and cheese. In so little time of this race around the world has taken only a couple of days to experience each of the spectrum of conditions we will face. Although a nice reprieve from the brutal first 30 hours of the race, the light and at times non-existent winds have already become somewhat trying... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Sanderson and Team Sanya fight on
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race competitor Mike Sanderson holds two wins in three editions under his belt and as such, is keener on flying than floundering. This is particularly why it is so difficult for the New Zealander to come to terms with the calamity that struck his Team Sanya crew only hours into the start of Leg 1.... [more]
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Images from Alicante: Volvo Ocean Race - working around the clock
Sail-World,
The Abu Dhabi sailing and support crew are working around the clock to get the Volvo Ocean racer back in the water and playing catch up with the other four competitors as they head for Capetown via a rounding mark off Brazil.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race day 3 on Puma Ocean Racing - The ‘ole switcharoo
Amory Ross,
Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports ' We've had the ‘ole switcharoo. The onboard environment has calmed considerably since the first night, but we're aware the 'good life' (dry socks, a quiet boat, prime eating weather) won't last forever.'... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Team Sanya officially retire from leg 1
Sail-World,
Team Sanya have announced their official retirement from Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race. 'We suddenly felt a very odd lurch, like dragging the keel through soft mud. We could hear the noise of water coming into the bow. The watertight doors were already shut thankfully' said Mike Sanderson, CEO and skipper of Team Sanya.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi race to get back in the water
Volvo Ocean Race,
For Volvo Ocean Race competitors Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing there is still plenty at stake and the crew are hoping to be back in the race for leg 1 within the next couple of days. While Abu Dhabi were preparing to return to the race, Sanya had their eyes turned towards Cape Town and getting a quick repair done before the second in-port race on December 10 and the start of leg two a day later.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Groundhog day for Puma Ocean Racing
Ken Read,
Volvo Ocean Race - Ken Read, Skipper of Puma Ocean Racing provides us with an update on the third day of racing. This feels like groundhog day, reminding me of the famous movie with Bill Murray. We leave Alicante in a frenzy of activity, settle into a first night beating (literally and figuratively), and now we're outside the Med with all the boats pretty much lined up for a post-Med drag race... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Team Sanya plan next move
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - Mike Sanderson's Team Sanya have confirmed that they are 100% focused on trying to get their boat shipped to Cape Town after picking up structural damage in the first 24 hours of action in the Volvo Ocean Race. The decision was taken yesterday to suspend racing in the first leg of the 39,000 nautical mile race following an assessment of the damage to Sanya's hull.... [more]
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2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race
01/01/10
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race...
For more details and news for this event, go to:
http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?Eid=1359
 


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