Monday, 6 August 2012

Final Film VolvoOceanRace 2011-12

Complete film VolvoOceanRace 2011-12

The 2011-2012 edition of the VolvoOceanRace was the most closely fought Sailing Race so far. Upto the final leg, there were still 4 of the 6 Boats with a chance to win the Overall. 

Ultimately, Groupama was the Overall Winner with Camper in a nice 2nd place gained in the last Leg. Puma finished in 3rd position and Telefonica, who held the lead for the first part of the race in 4th place. 
Azzam of AbuDhabi finished in a 5th place , while Sanya with the only former generation boat finished in the 6th place. This proofs that the newer generation boats for sure had a higher speed. 

What NOW???
If you have sailed virtually in the VORG alongside, you will be missing the daily excitement; not the nightly wake-up though. 

LiveSkipper (   is a virtual sailing simulator on the Web that will for sure surprise you with its better quality of screen views, better navigation tools and most of all a good scheduler to sail optimal and have a long healthy night sleep. On top of this, LiveSkipper is FREE. Try it out.   

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

VORG is Finished , LIVESKIPPER continues !

VORG 2011-2012 Certificate of Completion of World Tour

A certificate was received for the completion of the Tour around the Globe in the Volvo Ocean Race Game 2011-2012. Thanks a lot. It was a long tour, about 9 months, but luckily with some nice rests at the intermediate cities. 
So apart from sailing, the tour brought also some cultural "interesting" events!

Now the VORG is finished for next 2 odd years so NEXT is.......

LiveSkipper  , the BEST virtual sailing simulator on the  Internet. It is FREE , contrary to the VORG and it has regular  sailing race through the years. Most important however is: LiveSkipper has a good scheduler, so you can sail   proper during the night and  still have apart from a good sailing progress a Healthy SLEEP. 

Try it out , you will be surprised on the  easy of sailing, however, to win a race you will have to bring in some experience in Sailing, sail selection and interpretation of the real weather systems. 

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 is over!

Video van virtual Boats in VORG

This video shows (Lost the video)  how the boats sailing virtually in the VORG choose their routes from Start to Finish in the sequential legs.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

PUMA's victory in In-Port Race Galway, VolvoOceanRace.

PUMA , winner in In-Port Race in Galway.
The scoreboard for the Overall Podium was already settled, but the win in the In-Port series was still up  for  grabs. There were still 4 boats that could become winner in this serie.

In an exciting Sailing Race, where Camper and AbuDhabi has a fast start, it was Puma on the 1st leg that advanced to take the first Mark. They did not look back, well actually they did to assure themselves that their advantage was growing with every leg. Puma sailed a flawless In-Port Race and won.
Camper made a clever move on the one but last legs and passed Groupama , who on the last 100 meters also was passed by Telefonica.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

A compilation of the Toughest Moments during the "VolvoOceanRace 2011-2012" has been made, see video above.

But lets hope that conditions are not that harsh during the last Event of the "VolvoOceanRace 2011-2012" -- The In-Port Race in Galway. 

This In-Port Race in Galway will be held Saturday 7th July  starting at 12:00 GMT.
As normal this Sailing race is visible live in the internet on the VolvoOceanRace main page. 

There are theoretically still 4 boats that can make victory in the Overall In-Port Race ranking, so it could become a hard fought battle for the win. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Camper Winner in VolvoOceanRace Leg9

Though CAMPER did not round Fastnet Rock first, later she would win the LEG9.
Camper had a terrible start in Leg9, she did not round the Fastnet Rock as the first, but ultimately she managed to sail in  front and win the last LEG9 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Galway.
Groupama finished in 2nd in the Leg9 but that brought her enough points to take the OVERALL WIN IN THE VOLVOOCEANRACE 2011-2012!

Puma filled the last place on the Podium and has lost the change for the 1st and 2nd   place in the Overall.

The Scorecard is sorted, as the one  scoring event In-Port race in Galway will give 6 points to the winner and 1 point to the last boat, while the difference between boats is now 6 points or more. So just finishing the In-Port race will be enought to take the present Overall scoring position; for the scorecard see the TAB Scorecard in the  top of my blog.

The virtual player for VOR is also comming to an End with Leg9 Finish. What to do next?

My advice is to switch to LiveSkipper virtual sailing simulator. It is a sailing game that has races all through the years, has a better interface as VORG, better tools to plan your route as well and most of all LiveSkipper has a good scheduler ! So you can sail optimal results, while also enjoying a good sleep!!!
I have made a comparison of some virtual sailing games and my conclusion is that LiveSkipper is the BEST.

Monday, 2 July 2012

VolvoOceanRace Last Leg9 to Galway

All 6 Boats in the VolvoOceanRace have start the Last Leg9 from Lorient to Galway, Ireland.
It will be a very short race, for Ocean sailors that is. The reporting of progress is done on a minute frequency so you can at any moment see who is first etc.
The winds are SouthWesterly and pretty strong , so the fleet is having a good speed of around 20 kts.
Above a video impression of the Highlights of the starting circuit in Lorient, for a full version see the link in my Video page TAB above.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

START last LEG9 VolvoOceanRace to Galway.

Groupama showed once more their qualities in winning the VolvoOceanRace In-Port Race in Lorient , their hometown. Groupama is now 25 points ahead of Puma and have a good chance to win the Overall VolvoOceanRace. 

See the Highlights in which Camper lost the Victory by a wind shift in the last leg, where Puma lost because of a problem in changing sails and where Telefonica once more did not impress. 

Today Sunday 1st July 2012 at 11:00 GMT will be the START of Leg 9 from Lorient to Galway. 
Leg 9 Starting circuit 

It will be possible to follow this live on the VOR  website. 

Saturday, 30 June 2012

In-Port Race in Lorient

Circuit for Bretagne In-Port Race 
The mentioned starting time is the Local starting time.  This related to 11:02 GMT!

Thursday, 28 June 2012

VOR65 - One Design Monohull is the New Boat for coming VolvoOceanRaces

Volvo 65 ft One-Design

In a press conference today in Lorient Knut Frostad, presented the New Boat that  will be designed , build to be used in the next Volvo Ocean Race editions. 

Main points presented were:
- It was said that Volvo is fully committed to continue support for the  Volvo Ocean Race events.
-the plans developed now are for at least 2 editions of coming VOR.
-the new Boats will be a ONE-DESIGN MONOHULL of 65 ft; this will be the Volvo65 class boat and to be used in next 2 editions of VOR.
- the plan is and Volvo supports this, to have a minimum of 8 participating boats
- the design team Farr Yacht Design will give extra attention to a reliable design for the new boat, that should still be competitive and of high performance. 
- The boat will be build by a consortium of boat builders  to the strict measures of this one design.
- a larger hood over the cabin, to offer and area with protection to the water/wind for media activities
- the boat price will be in the order of 4.5 million $
- the anticipated cost incl. purchase of boat and one race cycle to be around 12-15 million $
- The Crew will be 8 persons plus a media crew member (MCM)
- a full ladies team will be allowed 2 extra ladies.
- some discussion on promotion of younger sailers and sailors from nations will less experience in the team is on-going
- the numbers of sail will be reduced to 7 (from 10 now) , maximum possible furling mechanisms will be included 
- the VOR sailing route to be finalised by 21 dec 2012.
- the first Volvo65 boats to become available mid 2013. 

well that is about it, some details are available on the Volvo Web site soon. 

Isn't it good that I in the mountains in interior Thailand can live follow this press conference in Lorient :?: The communication capabilities nowadays are fantastic.

Last days before START of Leg9 Volvo Ocean Race

It is a rather long resting time in Lorient before the In-Port race and the start of the last Leg 9 to GALWAY, Ireland. This is especially inviting to haul the boat out of the water for a last cleaning and repair operations. However, the rules does not allow this and any repairs have to be done with the boat floating. 

There were 4 boats that needed repair which would benefit from hauling, but their request was denied; or rather a penalty would be given of 2 points reduction in overall standing. Telefonica requested new replacement rudders, which again was denied, unless a one place set-back in each of the 3 following sailing events would be accepted. 

I know that all boats have chosen to make the repairs on their floating boast. I am still not sure the choice that Telefonica made , whether to repair their broken rudders or replace with new ones. Any repair should be made proper though, as it will bring the boat and  crew in danger if a repaired rudder will break again. 

Saturday 30 June at 11:00 gmt will  be the  Start of the In-Port race in Lorient and as normal can be followed live on the  VolvoOceanRace web site. 

Thursday, 21 June 2012

What comes after the VORG?

Soon the VolvoOceanRaceGame will be over if we have  virtually sailed to Galway in Ireland. 
What  to do with the spare time that comes available if we don't have to sail in VORG???

Well...........I have found a remedy to the addiction to virtual sailing. ! 

Sail in one of the other available Virtual Sailing Simulators on the Web!

Now is the time to start looking into other Virtual Sailing sites. I have been sailing in  different other virtual sailing simulators and for what it is worth, I have make a table with the features, tools, options and capabilities of some 3 virtual sailing simulators. 

this is my Conclusion:
A comparison is made between 3 Virtual Sailing Simulators: LiveSkipper(LS), SailonLine(SOL) and VolvoOceanRaceGame(VORG). The table gives the details, while the verdict is describing some comparisons and favorites items.
LiveSkipper and SailonLine both have a player that provides an “even playing field” for all players, while VORG favours for optimal sailing speed, those players that invest in the extra sails and tools that are included for free in the other players.
On the view of the player screens, (I guess, that depends much on  individual preference,) but LS offers a 3D boat silhouette and the largest player area on the screen. SOL shows always all boats that can hinder the view on the shoreline or wind vanes.
On family friendliness, LiveSkipper beats the others as it has a very good scheduler to set the boat heading and sail selection for extended period. It offers a scheduler even in 2 modes a location and time based mode.
SOL has one (auto) sail only, while LS and VORG offer different sails on top of an auto-sail , which makes the sailing experience more challenging and realistic.
LS offers very good dynamic polar projection and ruler for route exploration, SOL is only giving a 6hrs advance line and VORG is not giving any of these tools, not even VMG like the other two virtual players.
LiveSkipper and Volvo Ocean Race both are offering a Tutorial and a detailed wiki to help in learning and optimizing the sailing experience.
My favorite is LiveSkipper ( as it offers the best sailing tools to optimise your virtual sailing experiences, it is free with same option for all players (even playing field) and with its good scheduler allows a good programmed sailing; to keep Peace in the Family.

The full report and detailed summary of options is available here. 
Comparison of 3 Virtual Sailing Simulator games

I hope to see many VORG sailors in LiveSkipper. If you have any questions, just Ask in the LiveSkipper Forum or chatroom and an answer will come soon. 
There is also a  very detailed LiveSkipper Wiki and for new players in the Beginner mode a Tutorial will be shown when starting your 1st Sailing Race. 

Monday, 18 June 2012

Raw Power in Leg8 Volvo Ocean Race

See this footage of sailing a VO70 sailing boat during an Atlantic Storm. The water splashes all over the Boats, the Camera's and gives the impression that next YOU will be completely soaked !!!

This is as close as it can get for an arm-chair sailor to feel the power of the Ocean Waves. 

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Groupama Winner Leg8 in Home-country.

Groupama is the Happy Winner of Leg8 into their Home-base Lorient. It was the first time a Leg Finish was broadcasted live on internet, courtesy a  French TV station. Together with the 3D animation, this was a fantastic reporting effort and for daylight finished should be continued.

The big looser in the Leg8 must be Telefonica. Sailing in the lead , a day before the finish, they got problem with  a rudder breakage. A repair at sea with the spare rudder was made and they started to chase. Surprisingly they got into the lead , but just as the crucial jybe towards the Finish was made, she broke her 2nd rudder ; pushing hard is one thing but pushing till you get severe damage is another thing. They were limping in survival mode and lucky to kept Sanya Lan just behind her, to save 10 points, but this will keep her from the Overall Victory.

Camper made a good 2nd place, by a good sailing strategy in the last day than allowed them to pass Puma that was long time in a 2nd place option.

Azzam ended on 4th place making an early  jybe but that did not gained them any places.

Groupama now has a 23 points lead on Puma and a very good chance on the Overall Victory, with just one Leg and  2 In-Port races to go.
Puma again has  a 5 point lead on both Camper and Telefonica with equal points.

Theoretically all 4 Boats still can win the Overall Volvo Ocean Race trophy, but the more intense battles will be for the 2nd and 3rd place on the Podium.

In-Port Race Lorient on Saturday 30 June
Start Leg9 on Sunday 1 July
In-Port Race in Galway on Saturday 7 July.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Volvo Ocean Race Leg8 with Puma in the lead.

PUMA makes a Good Start in Lisbon for Leg8
The Volvo Ocean Race has continued with the Start of Leg8 in Lisbon. This leg will sail around San Miguel island in the Azores to the Finish in Lorient, France.

Puma made the Best of the start circuit and was entering the Atlantic with a nice lead. But the race is still long and some tricky winds situations will occurre around the Azoren High.

I have a map showing the daily progress, under the TAB "Progress Map" above. 

Alongside the Real VOR Boats there are also several virtual sailing sites that sail similar races, like LiveSkipper and VORG. The progress of my own virtual boats is also shown in the progress map.  

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Volvo Ocean Race START of Leg8 to Lorient.

After again an exciting In-Port Race in the Tagus river in Lisbon, the fleet is starting Today on the penultimate leg 8 to Lorient, France via the Azores. 

Oeiras In-Port Race in Tagus rive 
Groupama sailed a clever strategy and won this In-Port Race. Puma at one stage looked to miss the Podium, but apparently this was part of their strategy and finished strong in 2nd place, shortly coming even close to  Groupama. 
Telefonica, was too eager at the start and got a penalty turn after a too aggressive attack on Puma boat. This costed them dearly any opportunity on the Podium. In the later stages they also had a broken lanyard for the Gennaker and could only end at last boat. 

Today Sunday 10th June 2012 at 1200 gmt the Leg8 will start. First a circuit will  be sailed in the Tagus river before the boats are setting sail to the Azoren islands. The sailing around the start-circuit will be able to follow live on Volvo's website. 

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Lisbon Sailing activities in Volvo Ocean Race

Since my work on the Wiki on the Volvo Ocean Race Game in the Portuguese language, I could understand the information on Sailing Events in the coming days in Lisbon a little bit better. 
(do have a look at the Lisbon VOR website)

This is all in store for You. 
VOR, courses for Lisbon Sailing events 
The Pro-Am style Sailing Race. 
on Friday 8th June at 1100 GMT. (local 1200hrs)
The course shown in top left of above image. 
Normally this event is not broadcasted live, but afterwards the videos can be found on VOR site and in my Collection of Video in the TAB Videos above. 

The In-Port Lisbon Sailing Race. 
on Saturday 9th June 1200 GMT, (local 1300 hrs) 
Two alternative courses are shown, but before the start it will be made clear what course will be sailed in this Race. 
This In-Port Race is counting for the overall ranking; the Pro-Am is not.
The In-Port race is normale live broadcasted on the VOR  website and on Livestream
Also on the  Home-page of the VOR website is a Blog for actual messages from the VOR race committee and other visitors of the site. 

Last In-Port races have shown a very exciting and challenging race, so do not miss this one. 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

My Virtual LiveSkipper Boat finished in Lisbon.

Along the Volvo Ocean Race, I was also sailing a virtual sailing race in LiveSkipper. With my Boat, I finished Yesterday 4th June around 1400 gmt. 

My LiveSkipper route 
I did follow of more southerly course, caused by a unexpected wind shift during the firsts night and conditions  never were favorite anymore to search the northerly routes. The  southerly route showed not to be the fastest as other skippers in LiveSkipper proofed. 

I also sailed in VORG and finished there early this morning with my Boat Paradise. She sailed a slightly more northerly course, though. The poor scheduling for night time windupdates in the VORG player, made me loose however many miles on wrong sail or not the optimal heading. 

For those VORG sailors that are interested to continue the virtual sailing after VOR has finished, I can recommend to have a look at and make a try with LiveSkipper. This is a Virtual Sailing Simulator with excellent scheduling tools and a better looks at your screen. So no disturbing your night sleep anymore and it offers both short duration Friday races as well as long duration sailing races. 

Friday, 1 June 2012

Azzam - Abu Dhabi wins Volvo Ocean Race Leg7

Azzam after Winning Leg7 Volvo Ocean Race in Lisbon

Azzam _ Abu Dhabi could bring the Victory to Lisbon after a days long period of leading the VOR fleet. It was a good strategy that brought this first Victory on a Leg for Azzam. 

The main part was a good move about halfway the TransAtlantic, that at one point gave her 90 Nm advantage on the other boats. As some coldfront was pushing the boats in the back, the fleet compacted upto to 25 Nm a day back. Azzam was first to pass the   area of light winds upfront and could maintain their lead to the Finish.

Groupama sailed a good strategy and could cover the 2nd place while Puma , long time in the 2nd place took the 3rd place. 
The battle for 4th and 5th was between Camper and Telefonic, who both floating up the river in almost no wind against the current and it was a real slow motion event that went in the favor of Telefonica. 
Sanya Lan finished just 14 minutes later in the last place. 

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Azzam had Good Sailing in 2nd half Leg7

Leg7 in the Volvo Ocean Race, has seen many different Boats in the lead one passing the other. Azzam however showed a very strong strategy in the 2nd half of the TransAtlantic leg. 
However, a ridge of calm winds ahead of Lisbon has made the Fleet to compact to 25 Nm this morning. 

So depending on how quick a Boat can pass this area of low winds and pick up the Northerly stronger winds, the better the  chances on a good Podium place in Lisbon. 

The sailing race tracker is now already in the rapid update mode, with each minute a refresh of boat locations and speed indication.

The expected Finish in Lisbon is late Today Thursday 31 May or early tomorrow. The Finish is expected to be close as the weather along the coast of Portugal can bring some surprises localy. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Groupama made good strategical decision.

Groupama sailing in the lead in LEG 7
Hardly 2 days sailing and Groupama has taken the lead with some 50 Nm. It was clear that the Tropical Storm Alberto had a key to the sailing progress in firts days of the Leg7 to Lisbon.
Groupama made a timely turn to the East, thus favoring maximal from the strong but not too strong winds and less waves to jump into a comfortable lead. Puma clearly sailed too far North and had to return thus loosing important miles.
Now all boats in an Easterly heading progressing well towards Lisbon.
Question is , how long will they be able to surf the winds of Alberto and when will another weather-system takes over?

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Volvo Ocean Race - START of LEG 7

After the exciting In-Port Race in Miami, won  by Abu Dhabi Boat Azzam, the LEG7 Miami - Lisbon is to start TODAY: Sunday 20th May at 1700 GMT. 
Close Sailing in Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Miami. 
After Azzam it was Puma that passed Camper on the last meters before the Finish.  Telefonica came in last after she could not prevent touching one of the Race course buoys; the resulting penalty turn made her loose more places. 

Today, will be the start of the Transatlantic crossing to Portugal, Lisbon. The Northern Atlantic can be a whirlpool of waves and  wind depending on the weather systems. So it could be a gentle race but as well a brutal race and lets hope that all Boats will make it without severe damage to the other end of the Ocean. 

Alongside the Real Boats also a number of virtual sailing games will start, each with their own mirrored races (be it organised by a group of sailors or by the game proper) : LiveSkipper, SailonLine, VORG and maybe even more. 

Friday, 18 May 2012

Volvo Ocean Race next Miami In-Port Race

Saturday 19th May, the Sailing excitement will start again !
Miami - In-Port Sailing Course
At 1700 UTC (1300 Local time) will sound the starting shot for the Miami In-Port Sailing Race.
And with the scores in the Overall Standing just 17 apart for the first 4 Boats, each point will be hard fought for as each point is becoming very important.

The Miami In-Port Race can be followed life on the internet via the Volvo Ocean Race site or via LiveStream:

The highlights of Leg6 have been compiled in a Documentary and the excitement of the days-long battle between Puma, the ultimate winner, and Camper and the passage of Groupama over Telefonica can be viewed.

A day later Sunday 20May 1700 UTC is the start of Leg7.
A special course will be sailed close to  shore before setting sail to the Ocean.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

PUMA brilliant winner of Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6.

PUMA , winner of Leg6 in Miami. 
Puma, has won the 6th Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Itajai, Brazil to Miami, States of America. Puma won the lead already during the course race at the start of Leg6, and  apart for a short while, they were always in the lead with a little more or less miles.
This Leg6 has seen no boats with serious structural damage and lets hope that we can  keep it that way; of course one boat Sanya Lan did not participate in this Leg as she was shipped to the States for some heavy repair jobs.

This leg has seen some good sailing in breach conditions, a Doldrum situation that was not a big issue but still some calmer wind regions in the Caribbean.
Second was Camper, who was always close behind Puma and threatened several times to overtake into the lead.
Groupama , who was trailing the fleet for a long time with distance of 160 Nm at one time, managed to cut  the corner by sailing in between some Caribbean islands and thus passed Telefonica for 3rd.
Telefonica, that long time was close to the leaders, lost that good place in a Caribbean wind hole and could not recover from that anymore.
Azzam, trailed this leg with Groupama a long time, but where Groupama recovered , Azzam was not able to close in on the fleet again.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Camper sneaking through shallow narrow !

I read in the logbook of Camper that they had some exciting moments while passing through a narrow at Anguilla and Scrub island. 
Camper sailed this narrow. 
“Soon after as we passed the Caribbean islands of St Bart’s and St Martin, a small window of opportunity presented itself when the breeze picked up sufficiently for Will Oxley to give the all clear to shoot a relatively small and shallow gap right between Anguilla and Scrub Island, saving us around 5 miles going around the typically Caribbean named Dead Man’s Cay at the northern end of the island.

“Sailing through a 200 metre gap at 21 knots in six metres of water, was a thrill at least, but the question was soon asked just how many signature moves will it take to win this leg,” Hooper said.


With a canting keel of 4.5 M. they must have counted on a flat and most of all clean seafloor without a coral growth :) 
BUT........Camper passed Telefonica again with this action. 

In LiveSkipper, this narrow is indicated as 2 pixels that tough each other in the corners. Some Virtual skippers make it a hobby to sail through these narrows; which is called pixel jumping. 
LiveSkipper make this a pixel-jump 
 Like the anxious moments of Camper crew, in LiveSkipper this pixel-jumps is not without a risk. You have to zoom-in to the maximum and make sure you hit the pixels exactly in the touching point of the corners, else you will see your boat wrecked. 

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Trade winds have been passed and now ........?

The fast sailing in the Trade winds just North of the Equator has come to an halt. Boatspeeds have dropped from the 20+kts to the 12-15 region and with the  weather forecast it could  drop even further.
Sailing nicely in the Tradewinds

It is the same for all boats, so it is still a fierce battle be it that it has become less predictable. It is said that the router software is also puzzled on what to tell the fastest route will be to Miami. I think that could be a blessing as now the real skippers will come foreward and us their experience and maybe even a little gut-feel.
Wind forecasts are swiftly changing so what looks a good route at one point , proofs to be less favorable next update, so that leave room for a lot of guessing, intuition  and a little bit of luck to keep the progress high.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Volvo Ocean Race leaders clearing Brazil.

Up there over the Horizon is Miami.
The first 4 boats in Volvo Ocean Race have cleared the NE corner of Brazil and now sailing in the Tradewinds towards Miami.
On their route they will be confronted with some surprises most likely in the area that normally is known as the Dolldrums.
The first 3 boats are separate by about 10 Nm, and with some 3500 Nm to go, that means that ALL are still in to win this Leg 6; and don't forget Azzam at just 50Nm and considered to have a good speed on tail winds routes :)

The Boats in the VORG (virtual sailing game) are also round the Brazil corner already, that is to say the leading money spending boats, and sail almost same speeds as the Real Boats. Me , in my Paradise boat, sailing the No Money Sailors group are just south of Recife hoping to round it today.
In my LiveSkipper boat, I sail just within the Horizon of Recife and soon will be able to set the  Spinnaker for increased speeds.
All the progress of the different boats can be followed in the progress Map, sitting in the TAB above.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

VOR fleet on its way from Itajai to Miami.

This Leg 6 to Miami left with strong winds and sailing fast in reaching conditions. After 2 days Camper is in the lead as she choose to sail a little more northerly course. Some separation can be seen, mainly caused by an area of lighter winds while sailing NE towards the Trade winds. Some boats have a different strategy and we will see the  results in 2 maybe 3 days from now, who will be first enjoying the Tradewinds.

As in other legs, again I am following the tracks of VOR fleet, but also of my own boats in different virtual sailing games LiveSkipper and VORG and this can be  seen in the Map Leg 6 under the TAB progress maps above.
At the moment the Real boats have shown the best speed.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Leaving Itajai for Miami.

a close battle during Itajai In-Port Race  
Yesterday saw a very exciting close fought battle during the In-Port Race in Itajai, Brazil. Winds were not that strong, but sufficient to give these boats a good speed.

A drama developed already on the Start, where PUMA was judge to make a wrong  move and was penalized with a 360. Later on Puma recovered reasonably well.

Telefonica, that avoided the crowded end of the Start line, made a good start, till they rounded a wrong windward buoy. Sailing already with the Spinnaker up, they had to make a turn to correct this, which thrown them from leading to last place.

Ultimately Groupama came out as Winners over Camper, Puma , Azzam and Telefonica.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 is approaching

Today Saturday 21 April at 17:00 gmt will be the Start of the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race in Itajai, Brazil. Most likely Azzam will be repaired in time , which will make it a 5 boats race field.

Camper, was successful in the Pro-Am style race that was held yesterday. A half hour summary of the Itajai Pro-Am can be seen here.
This is a good training for the In-Port Race so the Kiwi's hope for a Good result.

Leg 6 of the VOR will start a day after the In-Port race on Sunday 22 April at 17:00 gmt. First a starting circuit will be sailed before the boats set off into the Atlantic.

Lets hope that the 5 participating boast, all can this time sail till the Miami Finish, without structural damage or loosing the mast and if so, they may also make it a close finish.

Fair winds.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

FINISHED in Volvo Ocean Race Itajai, Brazil.

PUMA, winner of Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5. 
CONGRATULATIONS, to PUMA for winning Leg 5 in the Volvo Ocean Race on the Finish in Itajai, Brazil.

Puma, is the only boat that sailed this leg without a major damage that required assisted  repairs to the  other 5 boats. A devastating Leg on the southern Pacific, but with 5 out of 6 boats suffering from sever structural damage, one  should put the  question whether these boats are sea-worthy for a Ocean crossing?

Puma, sailed after Cape Horn a neck-on-neck race with Groupama, changing the lead several times, till the time that Groupama broke their Mast. Telefonica, that suffered structural damage on the Hull before got it repaired in a 17 hrs stop at Cape Horn, had all the luck in the world with very good wind systems pushing them towards the leaders.
So in the last day of the Leg5, PUMA had suddenly a new contender for the victory. Clever sailing brought the Victory to Puma however.

In the parallel sailed 9Pack Serie in LiveSkipper the victory went to Misterqu shortly following by Tsunami.  This race was far more exciting than the VOR as now  there were 4 boats battling it out for the Podium , with some 3 boats following on short  distance.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Monotonous story in Volvo Ocean Race

Groupama is the next with a broken Mast. 
It is getting a little TOO MUCH OF THE SAME ,  as Groupama has broken her Mast, late Wednesday and only about 670 Nm from the Finish in leading position.

Luckily the crew is safe and Groupama is apparently considering to make a jury rig and sail on to Itajai or to visit the next Harbor for a change with a new mast.

Puma is now leader, but only with about 40 Nm advance on Telefonica who has made a marvelous recovery after her Hull repair at Cape Horn.

It will  still be an exciting race between 2 out of the  6 started boats , who will  be the Winner of Leg 5 in Itajai, Brazil.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Strategy for the End sprint in Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5.

Puma and Groupama are in a close battle for the lead in Leg 5 , Volvo Ocean Race with some 1000 Nm to go to Itajai, Brazil.

The last days has seen many lead changes where one time Groupama is in the lead only to be passed by Puma again. These two however have to be careful as Telefonica, that made a 17 hrs repair stop at Cape Horn, has in last days reduced the difference from 400+ Nm upto 70 Nm.
This for sure makes them  a candidate for the leg win again.

Coming days will be a  nice close battle and it is not at all sure who will  be the winner.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Rounding CAPE HORN in Volvo Ocean Race.

GROUPAMA pass CAPE HORN in the 1st place, with PUMA about 1 hour later.
Groupama rounding Cape Horn. 

This point marks a change in sailing from the Pacific into the Atlantic, for the last 2000 Nm to the Itajai Finish.

Azzam - repair inside the Hull

Azzam also suffered structural damage to their boat; that is 4 out of 6 boats with structural damage.
But they followed a inventive repair at sea to safe time and try to make some progress on other boats in the harbours for repairs.

Azzam - repair outside the Hull.

Some strengthening of the Hull that had deliminated, with stiffening materials and some 30 bolts thru the hull.

I must say I like the outside view better.

Telefonica, most likely fearing the on-water repair of Azzam, have change their repair plan and now are looking for a calm bay in one of the islands on Cape Horn to perform the repair also at sea. As they will get some outsiders help, the stop has to be for minimum of 12 hrs.
With this plan, Telefonica most likely will stay ahead of Azzam, who is sailing again but not that fast considering the local winds.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Another casualty from the Pacific Ocean conditions

Telefonica reported already some damage and for sure they were carrying out repair works. They did not reveal the seriousness of the damage as to leave the competition question what it was. But the reduced speed, actually indicated already some serious damage.

Now only Telefonica have admitted they have structural damage to the bow and if not repaired will have a risk of loosing their boat upto Itajai.

So now only 2 out of 6 boats are still sailing without any serious damage that needed outside assistance with repairs for this Leg. This put some questions on the table!

When I would have been running my plant with this reliability record, I would have been sacked long time back; and right the company directors would be.

Some serious reliability talks and design changes are needed to make this Volvo Ocean Race a worthy Adventurers Sailing event again. Now it resembles the story of sending the old limping boat to the seas with the intention to collect the insurance money. It is a shame to put the lives of the seamen at such a high risk.

Monday, 26 March 2012

This is the REAL South Pacific Sailing

Yesterday the leading 4 boats were really enjoying (or frightened?) by the ferocious winds and waves in the Southern Pacific that has made 2 more casualties. 

That leaves only 2 boats on this Leg 5 without serious damage. 
-Groupama is leading the South Pacific race and seems still to be unscaved , apart from some bruises for the crew. Also Groupama reported that they have reduced speed, in order to be able to safeguard the boat to reach Cape Horn safely. 
-Puma is trailing on short 50Nm and seems also still to have been spared serious damage. They are sailing about  same speed as Groupama, but now the wind has reduced to the high 20's , I guess that Puma will try to find a way passed. 
-Azzam, with early damage on a bulkhead have finished the repair alreay and now sailing as a healthy boat. However the repair, made them miss the stormy weather front and they are now trailing the leaders with some 1000 Nm. But with Camper going for repair and some ? on Telefonica, maybe Azzam still has a chance to join the Podium. 

Camper, had earlier some structural damage inside their bow. They slowed down for a repair and started sailing again. However the repair broke also and not the plan is to sail slowly and towards a Chile harbor on the West coast for repairs; estimated for maybe 3 days. 

Telefonica showed a short video, how she was hit by two successive big waves that tossed the crew members around on deck. The boat is pushed far over, but is erecting itself reasonably fast again. 

Telefonica reported some damage on the bow, but without details. Fact is that they have lowered the boatspeed and now trailing Puma with about 100Nm. 

Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Valhalla of Sailing

Wind conditions at the moment are such that it is the Valhalla for Sailing a Volvo Ocean racing Yacht in the Southern Pacific.

However the dramatic damage to Sanya Lan , has made the other Boats a little more careful. It is not sailing the  fastest, it is most and for all keeping the Boat in one piece. The location of the 4 front runners is almost the most remote place on the Pacific and  in any disaster it would  be very  difficult to get assistance.

So while conditions would allow a 30kts boats speed , the boat has slowed down to around the 20-22 kts and try to maintain a healthy boat and crew and being  able to finish  this leg.

Sanya Lan, has suspended this leg, but will need a major repair and transporting to Itajai, but rather (as their  statement said) Boston to join the fleet for racing again.
A day back the ruder broke, at a location within the hull and also damaging the hull leaving a hole that filled up the aft compartment with 3-4 Mcub of water. Now they are with an emergency steering, on their way back to New Zealand.

A Brazilain friend of mine, mentioned an interesting blog on VORG,  with his last article pointing to the many Friendships that have evolved in the group of Virtual Sailors all over the World; and he is  right.

It is in Portuguese language but a real sailor needs only half a word to understand ; so a Google translate will be able to get the story to you.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Volvo Ocean Race Sailing again

The Beach in  Itajai, Brazil the Finish of Leg 5. 
This is the destination for the Volvo Ocean Fleet in Leg 5. However before the crews can enjoy a relaxing beach holiday, there is a risky and challenging sailing route to overcome. 

The Fleet started Sunday in Auckland and made a nice start circuit in Auckland harbor. Sanya Lan made a flashing start and was ultimately leading the fleet out of the harbor into the Open waters. 

After some hours of sailing, disaster struck Azzam as a huge wave damaged their bulkhead. Being still close to Auckland, with good repair facilities and a long and dangerous route ahead, the crew decided to  suspend racing, and turn around for the  repair. I just read that the repair is finished, 18march 23GMT and Azzam is going to start sailing again. 

The Virtual sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race Game, has started alongside the real boats.Very interesting as now the virtual sailors can battle it out in the same weather patterns , on the same route with about the same sail polars. Let see who will be the first in Itajai. 

Saturday, 17 March 2012

In-Port Race Auckland in Volvo Ocean Race

CAMPER winner of In-Port Race in Home town Auckland 
It was again an exciting and close fought battle between the boats in the narrow harbour of Auckland. Camper, though not the first over the start line, made a quick tack and gained quickly leaders place and did not let it go. 
Behind them Puma and Groupama has a good battle with some positions changes over the race. 
Azzam came in too fast as 4th at end of 2nd leg, the late release of spinnaker gave a lot of problems allowing Sanya Lan and Telefonica to pass. Sanya Lan sailed a nice race and had no problems holding on the 4th place. 

A replay of the live report on Auckland In-Port Race is available. 

SUNDAY 18TH MARCH 2012 01:00 GMT 

START of the LEG 5.  

The circuit for the start of Leg 5; inner harbour and outer harbourTo follow it live be at your screen some 15 minutes before the start, or else pick up the link to a replay in my list of Video's; see TAB above this post. 

Friday, 16 March 2012

Volvo Ocean Race - Auckland In-Port Race

Auckland NZ must enjoy the presence of the Volvo Ocean Race circus!

Today a Sailing Race in Pro-Am style was sailed. Only 5 boats participated as Azzam was doing some inspections and adjustment to the rigging. 

Sanya Lan, the oldest lady in the fleet, had the honor to win this event; pity for her that it does not count for the Overall results. The wind was calm and that may have contributed to Sanya's victory. A video of this Pro-Am Auckland.

Tomorrow, Saturday at 1400 local which is 01:00 in GMT hours, 

The Auckland In-Port race will be sailed. 

 This event can be followed live on the internet, see the links at the Volvo Ocean Race site. The wind forecast promise stronger winds that may make this In-Port as exciting as the one in Sanya. Study the In-Port course map as this is a different course as we have seen before. 

For Virtual Sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race, there is some rest as the player is out "in the dry-docks". It will come back maybe today or tomorrow and then you can start studying the route briefing for Leg 5 and set your heading and sail in anticipation for the Start on Sunday, 01:00 GMT or 14:00 local. 

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Volvo Ocean Race Finished in Auckland

Groupama is the proud Winner of this challenging Leg 4 in the Volvo Ocean Race. This Leg 4 started in Sanya, China, where due to a fierce storm there was a short starting circuit before the real staggered start on the next morning in almost windless conditions. 
Groupama finished as Winner VOR Leg 4 in Auckland. 
The  wind returned quickly after the wind-shade of Sanya island was left behind and  a couple of days sailing head on in  strong winds and high  waves was the  result. The route, strangely, did bring the  boats to the NorthEast rather than the SouthEast where the Finish was. Puma sailed the furthest North but it was Groupama that followed quickly and benefited ultimately the most of this northerly-easterly route. 
The Solomon islands, caused a split in the fleet, 3 boats sailed East while the other 3 sails west and in between. The boats converged towards the North Cape Reinga of New Zealand. Groupama has a  nice lead and though a hole in the bow did scare the crew, claimed their first victory in a leg, holding Telefonica form a 4th consecutive leg win. 
Puma could keep a small advantage over Telefonica and finish as runner-up, pushing Telefonica to the 3rd podium place.  
Camper has a good end-sprint but came ultimately 2 mins short on claiming a podium. 
Azzam had some worries but could hold Sanya Lan off to claim the 5th place, while Sanya Lan came in last, be it that she recovered some 250 Nm on the leaders in the last couple of days. 

OK next event will be the In-Port race in Auckland on Saturday 17 March 2012. The Pro-Am race will  be a day before and a day after on 18th March will be the  Start of the Leg 5 to Itajaí.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

The Volvo Ocean Race Boats are converging

The route followed by the different boats in Leg 4, Sanya to Auckland, has been hardly similar for the different boats in the Volvo Ocean Race. 

In the first part of the Race it was Puma that set off to a Northerly course, that made viewers believe they were heading to Japan, rather than New Zealand. Groupama followed Puma up to a certain extent only to favor the most of the Northerly-Easterly route. 

Half way on approach of the Equator some un-expected windshift occured and made 3 boats decide to sail West or in between the Solomon islands, while the 3 Eastern boats would sail East of the Solomon. This worked out good for Telefonica and Camper on the West but bad for Azzam in the East; the  former two  could cut the distance while winds were reasonable but Azzam had a bad angle to the Solomon SE cliffs, while the decreasing wind strength caught them out. 

Now in the final part of the Leg, south of the Solomon, all boast converge on a route west of New Caledonia. Where the advance of the Eastern boats is dwindling compared to the 2 front Western boats. 

It will be a close battle for the  Podium places till Auckland. Finish is now predicted as on the 10th of March. 

And I just read that the VOR race tracker is changing to a 1 min. update for the last 2 days of the Leg 4, to bring the   excitement of the End-Sprint into Auckland also to your screens. 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet turns South!

From Sanya to Auckland is a South-East direction. Strange that over last 8 days the Boats followed a East or more ENE course looking they want to sail to the West Coast of America than to the Southern latitudes of New-Zealand. 

It is all because of their chosen strategies, to go as far East as required to have the benefit of beam sailing in the Tradewinds and as such make a faster route. 
It looks like the boats are now turning the bow to the SE or SSE as a sign that they expect the race in Tradewinds will start from here. 

Groupama is the leader at the moment, with Camper (the long time leader) now in 2nd place. Puma sailed the most northerly course, gained already a lot back,  but still has to gain more from the others to bring them the victory. 

The  virtual players VORG has had some rought seas for some days with server breakdown of about a day and  a common restarting point in the middle of a wind hole. However , those boats are now sailing as well but many try a route closer along the Phillipine coast. Wonder how long it will take till the real boats will blast passed them :)

For the progress of different boats and categories, you may have a look at my maps under the TAB Progress Map above. 

In another virtual sailing site, LiveSkipper, a group of sailors is organizing a kind of mirror to the VOR and have a lot of fun with un-interrupted sailings from the original Sanya start onward. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Remote Control Volvo Ocean Racing

Real or not?
With the repairs on the Real Boats finished for almost all Boats, it is time for some other (sailing related) activities!

What about a sailing race with 1 m. long models of the VOR boats ? Great fun to sail these models with remote control. 

Sanya was the BIG winner of the RC In-Port race. And lets hope that Sanya Lan also will be able to win the Sanya Hiatang Bay In-Port Race on 18th February. 
Starting time will be: 06:00 UTC so a little early for some Europeans maybe, (14:00 local time) 

The course layout