Thursday, 15 March 2018

VolvoOceanRace continues with Leg 7 to Itajai, Brazil.

Sunday 18 March, the next Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai will start. Many call this Leg the real VolvoOceanRace Sailing. This leg will be hard, but than there also extra points up for grab, double point as one of the 3 heavy legs, a piont for passage of Cape Horn as well. So expect a fierce battle for the scorecard. 

This leg will start with a start circuit in the waters of Auckland to allow the winner of this short race to sail as first into the Open Water of the Southern Ocean. 
Start is Sunday 18 March, at 01:00 UTC; normally there is a live broadcast via the VolvoOceanRace website.

This leg will bring, low Temperatures, as Boats would like to sail as close as possible to the Antarctic, to reduce the miles and get (normally)the strongest winds. The Lows, with harsh winds and huge waves will make this also a adventures leg, where Boats might have to avoid the worst of the winds to protect boat and crew. 
However, the first around Cape Horn, has a good change to win in Itajia, though there might be some surprises waiting in the Southern Atlantic.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Dongfeng wins Gamble In-Port race in Auckland

The New Zealand Herald In-Port race was sailed in tricky wind conditions that made a big impact on the results.

situation just after the first Mark.  
The race started with a "flying" start for Mapfre and SunHungKai and to some extend Vestas, and a hold up for the other 4 Boats. 
Brunel, on port tack but leeward and overlapping on 4 boats, blocked the start line for Donfeng, Turn the Tide on Plastic and AkzoNobel. Brunel had a slow start herself, and had to let SunHungKai slip pass from their intended blockage. The other 3 blocked Boats had to turn around and pass the start line a lot later. 

Mapfre and SunHungKai, sailed far ahead towards to top mark, but landed in a wind-hole, allowing some  Boats to pass. Dongfeng and AkzoNobel will be thankful to Brunel for the hold-up at the start, as this allowed them to sail on the outer northern and southern side of the course passed all but Vestas. This ultimately brought Dongfeng the Victory and AkzoNobel the runner up place. 
Mapfre, ultimately could take the last Podium place. 

Vestas, repaired in time from the damage suffered from a collision with a fishing boat on the approach to HongKong, sailed nicely to a 4 th place.

SunHungKai had a good end sprint and almost passed Brunel, who sailed again a disappointing race finishing 4th. 
Turn the Tide on Plastic, also got caught in the windhole in 1e leg, could catch up later, but not far enough preventing a last place.  

Next event is the Start of Leg 7 to Itajai on Sunday 18 March , 01:00UTC.

Thursday, 8 March 2018

VolvoOceanRace activities restart with Auckland In-Port race

After a couple of weeks rest for the VolvoOceanRace crews , this Saturday the activities are re-starting with a historic In-Port race in the narrow waters of Auckland. 

Auckland In-Port race waters
The New-Zealand Herald In-Port race will be sailed in Auckland waters under the famous bridge, that could add to the challenge. 

As normal, I expect the In-Port race to be broadcasted on Internet via the VOR website

The New-Zealand Herald In-Port race will start Saturday 10 March at 0100 UTC, or 1400 local time.

The next event will be the Leg 7 Start Sunday a week later 18th March.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

First Win in Auckland for AkzoNobel in VolvoOceanRace

AkzoNobel has won the Leg 6 VolvoOceanRace from HongKong to Auckland in an epic close battle in the last day along the NewZealand NE coast. The difference with the runner up Sun Hung Kai /Scallywag, was only some minutes. It is remarkable that the win in Leg 6, like the win in Leg 4 was earned by a Boat that made a bald separate strategy from the main fleet. 

AkzoNobel and SunHungKai, both made a diversion straight after passing Taiwan, one that many said was a bad move. Ultimately, be it by consistent navigation of pure luck the winds were favourable for the two and around the dolldrums these boats were in the lead. In a close battle, with several lead changes it was ultimately AkzoNobel that took the Victory in Auckland. 

The two red boats, Mapfre and Dongfeng, were seemingly battling each other rather than the Leg 6 fleet. They got lost in the Doldrums and were at the far end of the fleet. However they made a remarkable come back and managed to pass Turn the Tide on Plastic to a 3rd and 4th place respectively. 

Turn the Tide on Plastic, sailed a very good race, and were some days in the lead and with the leaders in the last part of the Leg 6. It is a pity that the red boats could pass them in the last 20Nm of this Leg.  

Brunel finished as last way back on the fleet. They made during a stealth mode a bold move , that brought them in the wrong winds. This navigation fault brought them in the end of the fleet with no way to recover the big loss.  

The Overall scoreboard looks as follows

 Next event will be the Auckland In-Port race on 10 March at 01:00 UTC

The VOR will continue with Leg 7 , Auckland to Itajai, starting on 18 March 01:00 UTC.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

VolvoOceanRace brings surprises in un-expected winds

Leg 6 brings all except what could be expected and just this makes up for an interesting race classification day-by-day.

I have seen every Boat, except Dongfeng, in the lead at one day or more in Leg 6. Skippers must feel the joy one day and the frustration the other day, especially if their detailed prepared navigation plan does not brings the expected gain, because the wind has shifted and thrown all sailing theories overboard.

Whereas at one time the 2nd Doldrums looked to be an easy passage, once sailing into it, suddenly it was tremendous large and brought un-expected transfer of the lead in this Leg.

tracks 21 Feb

at this moment, 21 February 600 GMT, Turn the Tide on  Plastic is in the lead, followed by Brunel. The long time front runners, HunSungKai and AkzoNobel, demoted to 3rd and 4th at some 30Nm; While Dongfeng and Mapfre seems forgotten for this leg at the back end at 100 Nm. They looks to sailing against each other rather than participating in 6 Boat Leg 6 sailing race to Auckland.

The recent cycolone Gita, has shaken the windsystems and nothing is like expected. The navigators will have a hard job to find the fastest route to Auckland.

Fair winds to All.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

AkzoNobel winner for the Leg 6 start circuit.

Leg 6 in the VolvoOceanRace , Hong Kong to Auckland, has started and AkzoNobel was the big winner. 
Their lead out of the HK region, looked a lot similar to the lead Mapfre had in the Hong Kong Round the Island race. However outside in the Open water, the lead was still with AkzoNobel, drastically reduced though. 

Start Leg 6 to leave Hong Kong

Leg 6 is long and with a unknown phenomena as the Doldrums, the Victory in Auckland is still up for grab, as there will come many surprises on  the route.
A good start however is always a good motivation, to do well.

Fair winds .

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Leg 6 Starts earlier because of strong winds later on.

The Leg 6 in VolvoOceanRace, from Hong Kong to Auckland, is starting now at 300 UTC, 2 hours earlier. Main reason is the expected stronger winds some hours later, and by that time the Boats are out of HK and in the open waters.

Leg 6 is for a long stretch the reverse of Leg 4, but in the End will turn east to New Zealand for a traditional finish in Auckland. 

There will be 6 boats only in this Leg , as Vestas due to damage after a collision is shipped for repairs to Auckland.  
The parcour for the start is here Hong Kong Start parcours and as normal there will be live broadcasts on the volvo website.