Saturday, 29 November 2014

VOR fleet passes Mauritius Mark

The Boats in the VolvoOceanRace fleet have just passed Mauritius and now sailing fast to the North on strong Easterly winds.

The image shows the daily progress in red of the VOR leading Boat and in blue for my Boat Paradise sailing virtual in LiveSkipper. (also under TAB Progress)  Till now, I was able to sail along or even a little ahead of the VOR fleet, but in reaching conditions the new VO65 is faster than my Imoca60 boat.

daily progress for VOR boats and My Paradise boat (LiveSkipper)
The spread has suddenly increased which is typically a signal of speeding up and the first to approach the better winds, can make a big step forward and increase its leaing distance. Maphre is in the lead, which might be a crucial and Leg determining lead. Their performance in Leg2 outstretches their performance in Leg1 with miles!.

The boats in the back of the pack, should be careful not to loose contact with the leaders, there is in these wind conditions little they can do about it though.

The Boats can not move to the West , because of the African exclusion zone, and are bound to sail Norht or maybe a little NE, which is not to bad considering the finish in Abu Dhabi.

Friday, 21 November 2014

VOR: one step forward, two steps backward?

It still stays problematic with the New VOR Website , which sometimes looks like a puzzle for information. 

VOR fleet leaving Cape Town
But the Start of VolvoOceanRace Leg 2 in Cape Town went alright. 

Where last Month some improvements were made in the VOR web-site, e.g. An extra button for RACING related issues in the Main Menu on Top of the pages, some keywords in those confusing tiles, 


Where is the Main Menu?

would that be the South-African influence, the whole Main Menu has been removed from the pages. 
It looks more and more like the VOR webmaster tries to pester their visitors to the point that the visitors stop coming; and the web-master can have his/her nap on the office?

Luckily the Main Menu has not disappeared ,

There is the Main Menu!

it is just hidden (like many other information is properly hidden), as if it was not meant to be seen and used for easy surfing on the VOR web-site. 

To get the Main Menu, you have to click the Menu icon(the icon with the 3 lines on right side). OK now we can at least find the main parts of the web-site and find some info on the still on-going VolvoOceanRace

The sailing is still on-going as it does needs only the Sailing Boat, the water, the wind and an experienced Sailing crew. 
The Boats sailing still close together, sailing SE direction as the winds look stronger to the South. 
The progress can be followed in my TAB Progress, where I also plot the progress of my Virtual Boat sailing a 9Pack RtW race in LiveSkipper, for the time being I am still sailing ahead of the VOR  fleet.

The BIG moment will come to watch for , when to turn the bow to the North heading to the Finish. 

The exciting Start of Leg 2, with a close battle in the Cape Town harbour, can be seen in a Video on Youtube; a summary of Highlights is also available; all Videos' can be found nicely listed under my TAB Video.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

VolvoOceanRace Leg 2 starts TODAY with some course changes!

Today, Wednesday 19 November 2014 at 16:00 UTC the VolvoOceanRace will continue with the Start of Leg 2 in Cape Town.
The VOR website give some details on the Start and the starters circuit. That is still identical to the Map shown in my previous blog post. The start event will be live on internet either the VOR website or Youtube.

VOR Leg 2 Course with sailing Marks.

After this Start circuit, the Boats will sail into the Open Waters heading to AbuDhabi. But there are a lot of racing obstacles on route, even some that are different from the ones mentioned before. Therefore I feel obliged to inform you on what I received , concluded as last details on the route of Leg 2.

The VOR website still does not give any details for Leg 2, but you have to switch to the Dashboard ( choose the Racing button, and the Dashboard comes to You)
Last time, the Dashboard was also correct with the Leg 1 details  , so lets assume that the Dashboard is correct this time also for Leg 2.

After leaving Cape Town, the VOR fleet has to sail around Cape of Good Hope and keep an Ice-gate on its Starboard side. This might prevent the Boats choosing the normal route South to the stream of Western depressions. It will be interesting to see what the best route is now.

An African exclusion zone, spreads from Maputo on a latitude of Madagascar southern point to its North shores.
This is different, as first the exclusion zone included the Island of Mauritius.

Passing Madagascar the exclusion zone, [don't know how this is called ? might be the Pirated zone :) ]  is a vertical line to the SE coast of Oman, near the turtle beaches of Raz al Hadd.
No mention is made of the Iranian exclusion zone, but maybe this is not required anymore after the release of tensions with Iran in the last months.

After passing the narrow Strait of Hormuz it is finding the Finish line close to AbuDhabi, where more and more artificial islands appear in the sea in front of Dubai.

The virtual sailing games still maintain the Mauritius Marker to be kept on Port side.

Fair winds

Monday, 17 November 2014

VOR LEG 2 to start Wednesday ...OR?

Yes, the VolvoOceanRace website has improved. The important elements to follow the race are easier to find and grouped together.
The information on the Race and coming Legs,however, is still minimal, little details if any and spread all over the site.

When will VOR understand the needs from armchair sailors, that are keen to follow the VÓR via the internet?

What I was looking for yesterday and today for the coming start of Leg2 of the VOR from Cape Town to AbuDhabi is:
  • the start location
  • the start time
  • the details for the route
Via the menu Route and Leg2, you find nothing of this at all; apart from a stylistic route indication, that lacks all required details on Marks, Ice zones, and Exclusion zones.

Start Location.
Luckily, when clicking on Cape Town, the good people of CT have in their part given a nice map for the Starting circuit, to be sailed before the Boats can choose the open water and find the best route to Abu Dhabi.
VOR Leg 2 Start Circuit

Thanks for the Start location.

Starting Time.
The Time mentioned in this map, seems to be the only time indication for the Start of VOR Leg 2 on the whole VOR website and ........ is not correct or rather not complete enough. The time mentioned is South African local time, and that for an International Global Sailing Race.

The correct Starting time for VOR Leg 2 is 16:00 UTC.

If you like puzzles, you could have  found out, maybe, by looking at the countdown counter that shows part-time in the right top of the screen. Better maybe the countdown counter at the bottom of my blog-pages.

Route Details
As for any details on the route to be followed and marks to be validated by the Boats, there is nothing at all easily available. There is a Leg specific story on meteo, but without route details.

I had to dig deep into the cellars of the VOR website and there I found a document called Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 2 Addendum Final.(check it out via the link Noticeboard, complete in the bottom of the VOR web-pages)

There I found some information  in m30627 pdf document on Marks, Exclusion Zones and Ice Gates, be it correct ?

- East African Exclusion Zone
25° 58.573'S --32° 59.295'E  mark on African Coast
25° 35.407'S --45° 08.599'E  mark on Madagascar
20° 30.609'S --57° 23.786'E  mark on Mauritius
Boats have to sail, south of the lines connecting these marks, keeping the lines on Port side.
-Ice Gate
The ‘Ice Limits’ are positions used to form an imaginary line that Boats shall leave to Starboard. 45º 00.000S 20º 00.000E, 45º 00.000S 30º 00.000E
-and there are exclusion zones on the Iranian coast and strait of Hormuz, these to make a more narrow sailing channel in the natural water channel with the intend to keep the boats away from Iranian waters.

Pending any missed amendments, this is it.

For my virtual sailing a nice Map is made that shows the important details for Leg 2. For more details please visit the Forum of LiveSkipper Virtual Sailing Game.

Route details Leg 2

I hope that this give the required details to be able to follow the fleet and understand the route of the Boats and some of the maneuvers the Boats will be making.

Fair winds and Safe Sailing

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Abu Dhabi again the quickest

Saturday was the 2nd In-Port race in Cape Town. The weather conditions were good for sailing , with a strong Southerly Wind and some Sunshine most of the time.

The 3 Boats fighting for the Podium
The split on the Start Line would decide the outcome of this In-Port Race, the Boats didn't know that immediately, however.
Abu Dhabi, SCA and a little later Brunel and Dongfeng, choose to Sail first the Open end of the circuit, and this offered them an advantage that the other Boats, Vestas, Alvimedica and Maphre, that first sail into the shoreside ,could not follow anymore , let alone catch up or pass.

In the course of the race , Brunel got hold of SCA, and at one point even were about even with AbuDhabi, but Ian Walker had all under control and in the last leg made a proper gain to give them a convincing Victory.
Brunel had some fight with SCA, but made a tactical manoeuvre close to SCA that  gave them a gap that SCA was not able to close.
Dongfeng made some nice gains towards the end but SCA was to strong to be beaten .

Maphre was the last to pass the finish

In-Port Scorecard

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Continue the Actions in VolvoOceanRace - In-Port Race Cape Town

Today, SATURDAY 15th November 2014, at 1200GMT will be the Start of the In-Port Race in Cape Town as continuation of the VolvoOceanRace events.

In-Port Race Cape Town Circuit

The 7 participating boats will battle it out in the harbour of Cape Town. Like in Alicante , where Alvimedica won the In-Port , I expect it again to be a close race. Winds, ?, if the entry of the winners of Leg 1 , Abu Dhabi and Dongfeng is any indication it could be variable, weak and most of all tricky. 

Have a watch on Internet on the VolvoOceanRace website or look at Youtube a life video.

The Start for Leg 2, Cape Town to Abu Dhabi will be on Wednesday 19 November.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

LiveSkipper Boats beat the New VO65 in Cape Town

Yesterday saw the Podium fill up in Cape Town, South-Africa, first of all just after mid-night by the virtual Sailors on the LiveSkipper game, then later in the afternoon the Real VolvoOceanRace VO65 OneDesign boats.

Liveskipper: The last moments for the Finish
This is a Great performance, if you consider that the LiveSkipper Boats are an older type Imoca60, with their Polars and both the LiveSkipper and VOR skippers and navigators using quiet similar wind conditions.

For the VOR skipper Ian Walker on Abu Dhabi boat, it must have been a nail biting last hours of sailing. Dongfeng was sailing close behind and at times had better speed and closing in. Especially when Ian as first got stuck in a windhole behind the table-mountain. But later Dongfeng felt the same problem of fading winds, luckily for AbuDhabi did Dongfeng sail almost the same route and did not try to circle the windholes.
Ian on Abu Dhabi got the Victory, and Dongfeng finished some 12 minutes later. Bauwe Bekking had lost considerable distance on these 2 and finished some 4 hours later.

The other 4 Boats are still sailing and are also feeling the calmer winds towards Cape Town.

A nice Leg 1 and next event will be the In-Port race in Cape Town on Saturday 15 November.

Finishing order and Sailing times Leg 1
1. Abu Dhabi   - 25day 3hrs 10min 44sec
2. Dongfent     - 25day 3hrs 22min 48sec
3. Brunel          - 25day 07hrs 33min 25sec
4. Vestas Wind- 26day 00hrs 48min 47sec
5. Alvimedica  - 26d 13h 07m 38s
6. SCA            - 26d 23h 37m 49s
7. Maphre       - 27d 00h 47m 32s