Volvo Ocean Race - Newsletter: Leg 9, the Finish, Prizegiving and the Future - 18 July 2012


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Volvo Ocean Race - Newsletter: Leg 9 and the Finish - 18 July 2012



Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France, are awarded first place for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, at the Prize Giving Ceremony in Galway, Ireland, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.   Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©
In this final newsletter for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, we cover the final leg from Lorient to Galway, the finish celebrations, the return home, and where to from here for the 12th edition of the round the world classic.

The Whitbread and now Volvo Ocean Race has undergone some major changes since its inception in 1973-74 when 17 entries set off on an adventure race around the world.

Without wishing to recap history, the Volvo 70 phase has ended, in favour of a one-design projected to reduce costs significantly, while maintaining performance. Whether in fact costs are reduced, of course remains to be seen - often a shrink in one area is accompanied by a blow out in another.

But clearly the race has to lift its entry level to at least eight boats, and more importantly they have to finish each leg. The situation at the end of Leg 5 where only one of the six competitors had not suspended racing on that leg, verges on the bizarre.

Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France and Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand rounding the Fastnet Rock on Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12,   Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©

Most involved in the present race have spoken favourably of the changes - quite how many back that with boat deposits is another matter. We'll be closely following the development of the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race on Sail-World.com - so stay tuned.

One of the many changes from the original four legged Whitbread course has been the introduction of the two sprint ocean legs - from Lisbon to Lorient and Lorient to Galway. Certainly Leg 8 provided more than its fair share of the action - and really the course of the race was decided in just two minutes - when Telefonica broke two rudders - and the Race became Groupama's to lose.

Groupama Sailing Team, skipper Franck Cammas from France, lifts the Volvo Ocean Race trophy, claiming first place overall in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©

In the post race analysis, it was surprising just how many failures beset the race winner Groupama. In fact they probably had more damage than most but fortuitously their issues all happened within reasonable reach of land. Her hull de-lamination, occurred just over a day out of finishing in Auckland. The dismasting off the Brazillian coast was fixed with a trip to a nearby port.

The mainsail jam on Leg 8, on the day of the finish, freed up after the third attempt and before real damage was done.

The tactical/navigation snafu of Leg 1 saw her finish third, thanks to two dismastings and a hull fracture amongst her competitors.

In the end it was the experience of Franck Cammas, coupled with a very good design that pulled Groupama through.

Cammas and his crew had a strong understanding of trans-oceanic racing developed from many round the world speed record attempts, plus numerous other trans-oceanic races. This knowledge told them when to button off, and when to push hard. That factor gave Groupama the race winning edge.

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia, at the start of Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Lorient, France to Galway, Ireland.   Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©

The final Leg was close - for once fate dealt Camper a fair hand and the history of the finish at the Maldives, and Lisbon, where she was pipped at the post was not repeated. That, plus what happened astern for Chris Nicholson and his crew, was sufficient to place Camper into second place - and that in turn was hers to lose going in the final InPort Race - where she only had to finish and extract a single point to beat Puma for the second spot in the overall prize.

Puma Ocean Racing skipper Ken Read from the USA, celebrates winning the Discover Ireland In-Port Race, in Galway, Ireland  Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©

Ken Read and crew and Puma pulled off a remarkable recovery from their dismasting in one of the most remote spots in the planet. Read was obviously disappointed not to have been able to cement second place on the final two Legs.

But had he looked back to mid-November as he was teeing off in the Tristan da Cunha Open, waiting for a ship to arrive to pick up the dismasted Puma, anchored in the bay. That was when three of his competitors had already finished in Cape Town. Right then, the notion of finishing third, and running a very close second - and being at the point where he could have won after leg 7 - would have been filed under 'D' for Dreams.

Puma's was a remarkable story in so many ways. If we had to pick a Sailor of the Race, it would have been Ken Read. A superb sailor, a tremendous ambassador for his country, boat and sponsor. Always with a smile on his face, and ready laconic comment - in public at least, although the lows must have seemed very deep at times.

Team Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez from Spain, lead Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand, at the start of Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Lorient, France to Galway, Ireland.   Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©

Telefonica looked to have the race in the bag by the end of Leg 5, when she had to suspend racing for 17 hours, and then pulled up to within an hour of Puma at Itajai. From there, the race unraveled for the winner of the first three legs. Uncharacteristic errors from an a top crew marred their InPort racing, and that in turn framed up their subsequent trans-oceanic performance. This was race of two halves, and those that performed best in the latter half or even third, came through on the final podium.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing make repairs to their damaged keel fairing in the Volvo Ocean Race village, in Galway, Ireland  Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©

Abu Dhabi started the campaign brilliantly with her performance in the Rolex Fastnet Race - setting a new monohull record. But despite a leg win, she struggled to recover from her dismasting on the opening night of Leg 1, and had similar upsets on Leg 5, with a return to Auckland for repairs and then another trip on a freighter from Chile to Itajai. The snagging of a lobster pot on the final leg was the last straw for a boat who had more than her share of bad luck.

Team Sanya, skippered by Mike Sanderson from New Zealand, with the crew out on the rail, at the start of leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Lorient, France to Galway, Ireland.   Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©

Team Sanya had their moments in the 39,270nm race, but they were few and far between. They didn't need the collision with a submerged object on the opening night of Leg 1. The way things turned out they could have got a third on that Leg. The next with a rig fracture and the stop in Madagascar - was again unfortunate. So too was the snapping of a rudder when leading on Leg 5 in the Southern Ocean. However Mike Sanderson and his plucky crew had bitten off a big mouthful, in taking on the five new boats with the former Telefonica Blue from the previous race. They only achieved their goal of beating one of the new boats, on the last leg, after Abu Dhabi's misfortune. Otherwise they were limited to grabbing some better than minimum points from the InPort races.

Team Sanya's skipper Mike Sanderson is the first of the six in the current race to come out with a strong statement about wanting to go again in the 12th edition in the Volvo 65.

Winner of the Seamanship award Brad Marsh, proud to be into his home port, Auckland, after a near sinking north of New Zealand, while leading Leg of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race  Richard Gladwell

In this edition we cover the prizegivings for the final leg and race overall, as well as taking a look at those who won the selected trophies for Race Rookie, Shore Crew, Media Crew Member, Seamanship and Designer, and where available have videos of their exploits.

And what now that the race has finished and a two or more year program is over? We have the story of Camper's return to Spain, with a delivery crew - and yes, still more sponsor activities. Indeed, why not?

Traoloch Collins presents Juan Kouyoumdjian, with the Ercisson Designer Award for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, at the Prize Giving Ceremony in Galway, Ireland, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.  Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©
Although the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race is over, the next has already begun. We will continue our coverage in the regular Sail-World.com newsletters and website stories.

Hope you enjoyed the ride.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
Editor@Large

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Team Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez from Spain, are greeted by huge crowds, after finishing leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race  Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©




Volvo Ocean Race: And when the race is over....
Camper Media and Daryl Wislang,
Camper, the second placed boat in the Volvo Ocean Race, has returned to her Spanish home. She will visit the Copa del Rey in Palma de Mallorca. Sponsored by the Mallorcan footwear company Camper, the return of the joint Spanish and New Zealand flagged boat, marks the end of a round the world adventure that started with the yacht's baptism at the RCNP in September 2011 and the race start from A... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Calling up the Reinforcements
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They say one man's misfortune is another man's opportunity, and that certainly was the case for reserve sailors in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, who were given the chance to prove they could step up to challenges as big as the Southern Ocean, often with barely any notice. Be it an email with a subject line 'get your boots ready' or a hurried face-to-face with the skipper just minutes before the st... [more]
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The most successful Volvo Ocean Race yet
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The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 was not only the closest race in the 39-year history of the event but also the most successful, CEO Knut Frostad said on Thursday, with hundreds of thousands of fans visiting Galway in Ireland for a buoyant finale and outstanding growth across media platforms set to be confirmed once final data is in.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Sanderson wants to go again
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Sanya skipper Mike Sanderson will be back racing as early as this weekend but the big date circled in his diary is in late 2014 when he expects to return for another campaign in the Volvo Ocean Race. Sanderson skippered ABN AMRO ONE to victory in 2005-06 and while his race this time with Sanya was not the same glittering success he is determined it will not be his final appearance in the Volvo... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Reluctant hero Marsh takes seamanship honour
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The title ‘hero' does not rest easy on the shoulders of Groupama bowman Brad Marsh, but most agree that it is the best way to describe the Kiwi who repaired a sinking yacht, saved a broken rig and scaled a 31-metre mast in a storm front.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean race: How the closest ever race was won
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Volvo Ocean Race - Perfection never enough for Franck Cammas
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Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 skipper Franck Cammas, at the age of just 39, is already assured of his place in sailing history thanks to Groupama's debut victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. Here we profile the charismatic French sailor for whom perfection is never good enough.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Selected Awards announced at Formal Prizegiving
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Volvo Ocean Race: Formal Prizegiving - Racing Award winners
Sail-World,
The racing award winners were recognised at the formal prizegiving for the Volvo Ocean Race, at Galway, Ireland after the conclusion of the InPort race on Saturday. All six crews were presented with overall awards or place momentos. The InPort Trophy was awarded as well, the speed record trophy was also awarded.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the Overall Race Prizegiving in Galway
Volvo Ocean Race,
Franck Cammas became the first skipper to hold aloft the new Volvo Ocean Race Trophy as thousands of fans joined his Groupama sailing team for a raucous Race Village reception. There was a party atmosphere all day in Galway as people lined the docks and packed the viewing areas to see the final action of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 -- the Discover Ireland In-Port Race.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: See the full replay of the final vital InPort Race
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Volvo Ocean Race: Wet, fast and furious - the iconic moments - Video
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See the Volvo Ocean 70s and their crews slamming through some of the roughest, most terrifying, and dangerous conditions on the planet while competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. A selection of some of the most incredible and spectacular rough ocean footage you'll ever see.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Images of Galway - Leg 9 finish
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper wins Leg 9, Groupama overall winner
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The Spanish/New Zealand entry in the Volvo Ocean Race has won Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the finish line at 0100UTC, in Galway, Ireland. Groupama (Franck Cammas) finished second behind Camper, assuring the French team of her overall win in the 39,000nm classic.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Day 2 - Camper takes cliffhanger in Galway
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Volvo Ocean Race: Day - 1 Fleet on the final stretch to Ireland
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Volvo Ocean Race are running a series of updates on progress on the final 550nm Leg 9 of the race to finish in Galway, Ireland. Wind conditions currently are reported to be 16kts, but are predicted to drop to 9-11kts for the remainder of the leg from Fastnet to Galway. The boats rounded Fastnet Rock at 1030 approx UTC, and the finish is projected for 0300UTC on July 3, 2012... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Intense onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 1 of Leg 9. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: I feel the need to apologize before I write any further: sleep has not been a component of Leg 9 thus far and it's hard to do anything at the moment that doesn't start with keeping the eyes open.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: InPort Race and Leg 9 Start - Replays
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Volvo Ocean Race - Telefonica leads fleet out of Lorient + Video
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In the Volvo Ocean Race, Telefónica were back to their commanding best on Sunday to lead the fleet out of Lorient on the final offshore leg to Galway, Ireland, as Groupama made a patient start to their bid for the top four place that would guarantee overall victory. In a sign of what lies ahead, the fleet raced at speeds upwards of 20 knots around the 6.5 nautical mile inshore course in Port Foll.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Being a Volvo Ocean Race Virtual Sailor
Lorraine MacIntosh,
We can't all be Franck Cammas or Chris Nicholsons and sail the high seas, but one can be in the race. Over 212,000 registrations for VORG show the appeal of going virtual. But beware; the hazards may not be 40 knot winds or 6 metre waves, but the addictive powers of virtual racing while one tries to live in a normal world.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Groupama almost secure Overall Race with InPort win
Sail-World and Volvo Ocean Race,
Groupama took a dream home victory in the Bretagne In-Port Race on Saturday to take a big step closer to an overall race victory, while Camper finished second to tie with Puma at the top of the in-shore series. Skipper Franck Cammas and his Groupama crew scored six points for winning, taking their total to 225 points overall -- 25 points ahead of their closest rival with just one leg and one in... [more]
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Gladwell's Line: Grant Dalton welcomes new Volvo 65 concept
Richard Gladwell,
Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, and many time round the world sailor, and skipper, Grant Dalton, describes the new concept for the Volvo Ocean Race as a positive move. Speaking from Lorient, France, venue awaiting the start of Leg 9, of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, Dalton believes the concept for the boat and the next two races do address the central issue, which is cost.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: New Farr 65 one design announced for two races
Richard Gladwell,
Knut Frostad has announced a new one design class for the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. The cost of the new boats all be EUR4.5million with a team budget of EUR15million.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Blasting and wipe-outs in the Atlantic Storm - Video
Volvo Ocean Race,
A North Atlantic storm during Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 wreaked havoc on the fleet but provided powerful winds that saw race speed records fall and boats averaging over 30 knots on multiple stretches. Features all the major high-speed action including Telefonica's rudder breaking wipe-outs... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Setting a speed record of 39kts is not one you want
Chris Nicholson,
Camper with Emirates Team NZ's skipper Chris Nicholson blogs from Lorient following the finish of Leg 8: The guys are all battered, bruised and absolutely exhausted. But we're all in one piece, the boat is one piece, we set a new 24 hour distance record for the race and with our second place moved back onto the podium. All in all a good leg and result for the team.... [more]
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2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race
01/01/10
2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race...
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