Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for 21 February 2012
At latest report Camper seems to be in the lead in the Volvo Ocean Race - having been racing for just under 40 hours.
We are a little hesitant to make further predictions at this stage due to the rather erratic course being taken by the fleet as first they spread around the direct line to the Philippines (set down as a waypoint), with some to the north and some to the south. Then, late last night (NZT) the southern boats headed north, and at the time of writing the fleet are headed well to the north of the Philippines, before turning for Auckland.
We will contact a higher authority and update on Wednesday on www.sail-world.com. However we are pleased to see that the wind strengths we have seen on Predictwind.com are close to those being reported by the fleet and not the stronger winds reported by race organisers.
Our heart goes out to the crew of Puma, who in our view, got a very rough deal out of the arrangement for the delayed restart. Not only were they forced to start 39 minutes astern for sailing into a hole when they had been leading the inshore 40miler the day before - but were then forced to watch as the fleet sailed away ahead of them in a building breeze.
This is the second instance, in a month, when race organisers have made decisions which have had unexpected consequences. The Global Ocean Race being a prime example. But in the Volvo Ocean Race - what was really achieved by staging the impromptu coastal race?
Manu Goyard from New Caledonia - Bic Techno Oceanias and RS:X Nationals Brian Haybittle
No problem with it being unseamanlike to start the race in poor conditions. Wouldn't the crews have been better to have had the extra day off ahead of what was going to be a very tough opening to the fourth leg?
Too often we are seeing professional and top-level sailing events being made 'media-friendly' by race organisers - when the reaction of most media, who have sailing experience, is just to cringe at what is being done in their name. The Olympic Medal Race is another prime example.
The FX gets put through her paces, off Takapuna, ahead of the Womens HP Skiff Trials in Santander next month Richard Gladwell
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