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.