Tuesday, 3 July 2018

What after the VolvoOceanRace2017-2018 event.

An announcement has been made already that the next VolvoOceanRace will be starting in 2021. That is very good news. 

The VOR committee had come to an agreement with the IMOCA organisation to make the IMOCA 60 boat available for next VOR

The IMOCA60 is an open boat, with canting keel and foils. So we may expect some close and fast sailing again in next VOR. 

What if you can not wait 3 years?
Well, what I do and can recommend is to hone your sailing skills in the Virtual Sailing community. For me the best Virtual Sailing Player is LiveSkipper Virtual Sailing Game 
This game is modern, does not use so much computer power as the ram hungry Virtual Sailing that was used in previous VOR's .
In LiveSkipper, you have a lot of free navigation and sailing optimization tools that makes live for a virtual sailor comfortable. All the features, like multiple sails, autopilot, scheduler, marks, wind forecasts for 7 days etc are free, such that all Boats have same opportunity of sailing same speed and win race.  

LiveSkipper Game screen

 The game screen offers:
  • view of your Boat
  • view of your set route
  • wind information 
  • wind data at the mouse
  • Polar diagram and 3hrs polar projections, upto 24 hrs.
  • winds forecast upto 7 days
  • extensive date on the ruler, 
  • clear maps and shorelines to prevent grounding
  • Marks, 4 for free and optional 10 for minimal contribution
  • regular short and long duration sailing races
  • an easy to use Forum
  • an easy to used chat box,  also for closed groups
  • and an easy to understand LiveSkipper wiki, to learn all about virtual sailing and optimal sailing in LiveSkipper. 

Hope to meet you either in LiveSkipper or in next VolvoOceanRace.              

Brunel takes Victory in the Last In-Port Race in The Hague

It was beautiful sailing weather, stable strong winds and only small waves.

Brunel made a blistering Start and got was soon in the Lead, only to take it to the Finish. Rounding the 1st buoy, was a close battle with SunHungKai/Scallywag, and though they were somewhat faster around the buoy, it is Brunel that squeezed themselves back in the lead. 

Brunel already in the Lead, In-Port The Hague

For Brunel it was important to win from AkzoNoble with at least one Boat in between, in order to get the 3rd prize overall in the In-Port race series. With Dongfeng sailing a strong race and taking the Runner-Up place, it was exactly what brought the 3rd prize to Brunel.

Another very important battle was between TurntheTideon Plastic and SunHungKai/Scallywag. Both had same scoring on the Overall VOR scorecard, and thus the standing in the In-Port serie would decide who would take the 6th and who the 7th place. 
SunHungKai, was nicely in the lead and had nothing to fear,till............. their ruder got hooked on the rope of a mark. This allows TurntheTideonPlastic to pass them and once SunHungKai got released their disadvantage was that big that TurntheTideon Plastic was long gone. 

Dee Caffari smiling already before the race, or did she know the good result to come?

Dee Caffari sailed a strong race, and was able to pass Vestas in the last leg, while Mapfre made an easy sailing and was no threat at all. 
So TurntheTide on Plastic, got a 4th place and with this won a 6th place in the Overall standings.

This was the last event of the VolvoOceanRace 2017-2018 and hopefully in 3 years time we will have a new VolvoOceanRace. 

Saturday, 30 June 2018

VolvoOceanRace last event in The Hague In-Port Race

Today is the last event of the VolvoOceanRace 2017-2018. It was an epic event this year and for most teams the results are fixed, except for TurntheTidetoPlastic and SunHungKai boats. 
These Boats gained equal point in the Overall ranking, and there for the results of the In-Port race serie will decide who takes the penultimate and last place . 

And there is the battle between the Dutch boats, for the final Podium place in the In-Port series. 

So we may expect some fierce battles on the North Sea coast in front of The Hague.

In-Port Race The Hague
Wind forecast promisse a 14 kts wind strengtsh , so that could bring some nice fast and sharp sailing. 

The race will start 11:30 UTC, 13:30 local time. As normally I expect a live broadcast can be seen via the VolvoOceanRace website or via Twitter


Monday, 25 June 2018

Dongfeng wins last Leg in VolvoOceanRace.. AND .. Overall Victory.

This version of the VolvoOceanRace 2017-2018 has been very compatitive with a close and exciting last Leg. The Overall Ranking after 10 Legs was even for the 3 leading Teams, Mapfre , Dongfeng and Brunel; taking into account that Dongfeng would win the bonus point for the shortest sailing time overall. 

Thus the results of these 3 Boats, would automatically rank them in the Overall accounting the finishing order in The Hague. 

In the begin, it was Dongfeng leading closely followed by Mapfre, and Brunel loosing out and on the chase. It was the last stretch over the North Sea to wards the finish, where multiple exclusion zones, gave options for different strategies.

That split in the fleet, Brunel and Mapfre choosing the middle route over the North Sea, while Dongfeng choose the more risky route along the coast into a narrow "channel" between the exclusion zone and the coast. The latter route was longer, but the High would give Dongfeng a better wind towards the Finish. 

Dongfeng wins the VolvoOceanRace 2017-2018

It was exactly this, that brought the Victory to Dongfeng. Trailing the other boats till about the Island of Texel on the NW corner of The Netherlands, where Dongfeng gained a better boatspeed only to cut in front of the other boats just before the finish in The Hague and take the Win. 

The Scorecard looks like this, with now a clear winner.

There is one In-Port Race to come, Saturday 30th June at 11:30 UTC, 13:30 local in the waters just outside The Hague. This last In-Port Race is especially important for TurntheTideonPlastic and SunHungKai/Scallywag as these boats ended with equal points and the best score in the In-Port scorecard will decide the ultimate ranking. 

Sunday, 24 June 2018

VolvoOcean Race fleet approaching the Last Finish line.

This version of VolvoOceanRace 2017-2018 is on the approach to the Finish in the last Leg 11, Gothenburg to The Hague. 

It is a very exciting last Leg, as the 3 highest ranked Boats for the Overall win, all have the same number of points; considering the bonus point for shortest overall sailing time goes to Dongfeng. This implicates that the 1st of these three Boats will take the VolvoOceanRace Victory for this year ; the 2nd the 2nd etc. 

The most interesting is , that the fleet have split. One part sails the middle route on the North Sea in between the exclusion zones, amongst them Mapfre and Brunel, and the other part sails the German and Dutch coast, a narrow gap between the land and the exclusion zone. 
The winner of this separation battle on the 3 top boats, will take the Overall Victory; so ultimately it is a strategical decision that decide.

Some 88 Nm to go for the wWestern group and 134 Nm for the Eastern group.

The expectation is that the last 20Nm will decide the winner.

Live broadcast of the Finish , between 11-13 UTC today, is expected,keep an eye on VolvoOceanRace website , or Twitter. 

Monday, 18 June 2018

Vestas wins VolvoOceanRace penultimate In-Port Race.

It was from the beginning a hard battle between Mapfre and Dongfeng and also between Brunel and SunHungKai/Scallywag, but it was Vestas that sailed a perfect sail and took Victory. Congratulations.

Vestas wins Gothenburg In-Port race.
. There was a strong wind and Brunel made a fantastic flying start from behind, to take the lead. They could keep the lead till the 2nd Mark with strong sailing, but on the first downwind leg, Brunel had the wrong sail, too small, and somehow could not change it. While starting Leg 3 as the leader, they were in 6th at the end, never to recover, so far for the speed-kings of Leg 10.
Mapfre, straight from the start jumped on Dongfeng and prevented Dongfeng by pushing them into the wind, from sailing away from the Start . Later with a starboard-port Mapfre again fought Dongfeng , apparently Mapfre had more intentions to beat Dongfeng than to win the In-Port race; well actully by beating Dongfeng Mapfre got so many points that they took Victory inthe In-Port race series. 

Dongfeng ,, with a poor start, made an error by cutting in front of Turn the Tide of Plastic and got a deserved penalty turn,making them to end last. 

Next event is the Start of the Last Leg Gothenburg to The Hague , on Thursday 21 June at 1200 UTC,1400 local.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Short time till In-Port Race in Gothenburg

Tomorrow , Saturday 17 June, already is the Gothenburg In-Port Race, so little rest for the crews; it was also a short Leg 10. 

A parcours is set in the bay of Gothenburg as seen below. I am told that these waters do hold some rocks that could be dangerous if not located good. Remember the stranding of Telefonica Blue on Marstrand some versions of the VOR ago, with Bouwe Bekking indeed skippering that Boat.

Gothenburg In-Port parcours
With 3 Boats in the lead with exactly the same points for the Overall ranking, the results in the In-Port race ranking will be more important then ever. 
Mapfre has a healthy lead with 7 points over Dongfeng and Brunel is again 8 points behind. So I do actually not expect too many changes in the leaderboards for In-Port races

Scoreboard In-Port races

As normal, the race will be broadcasted live, via the VolvolOceanRace website, via Facebook and Twitter. 

Next event will be the start of the last Leg 11, on Thursday 21  June , 1200 UTC.