What is the largest change this edition to former editions of VolvoOceanRace?
Not so much the Boats. The VO65 One-Design boat was already used last time and intended for 3 VOR editions.
Not so much Ladies sailing the VOR. Last edition there was a ladies Boat, SCA and this time indeed not a full ladies boat but all Boats have a mixed gender crew albeit in different percentages.
Not so much the route, as the VOR fleet , still sails East wards around the Globe, be it that this version spend some more miles in the Southern Ocean.
It is, in my view, the Media coverage of the VOR.
The positive aspects from this is dramatic more information on the race, analyses of weather etc.
|VOR race status|
Where last VOR edition, there was a lack on decent race information, and many people complaining, me included. The VOR did not have a daily progress show, did not have weather forecasts let alone leg reviews, to explain a little the chosen strategies of boats and how the winner made there Victory. Luckily there was Mark Chisnell on the B&G website with a regular review and preview of the Leg.
This edition , however, is full of information. The In-Port race are fully live broadcasted on Internet and still available in the Video library or on Youtube; links available under the above Tab "Video" in my blog.
Also commentary with some sailing details to explain, choices from skippers and explanation on favorable tracks.
Same applies for the Leg Start circuit. For the Leg's there are details previews of weather systems and probable best routes as well as detailed reviews of a Leg. Fantastic information that helps us skippers at the wall, or armchair virtual sailors understand the finesses of Ocean Sailing.
Daily there is a Daily Live show at 1300UTC, with status of the race, preview of wind systems, explanation by specialists of issues that have an impact on the sailing speed, e.g. the effects of a rain shower on the wind, and some reports from the crews on board the Boat. And a short Quick Fix at 800 UTC
On Twitter there are regular , race status updates by the "race experts" with each 6 hrs a fresh location and tracking update.
On top of that, some very good Leg previews and reviews made by Mark Chisnell with very detailed and good explained information on how and why the Boats sailed as they did, and explaining the reasons for a Leg Victory.
Also the VOR website has improved on the information on the race; last edition I wrote to them already to improve on that as the VOR in the end is a Sailing Race. The Dashboard gives with a tracker a good view on boats positions , tracks sailed and since some days even a router to tell which is the best route for the Boats to the Finish. Also detailed tables with ranking, DTL, distance to Leader, gain/losses, course , speed , VMG and other real wind info. Very Good.
The Boats themselves also make a lot of video and audio reports. All in all a lot to view and read and for interested people to get clued to the performances till the Finish.
A minor negative aspect from this extra media attention, was the extension during Leg 1, in order to delay the arrival in Lisbon to come closer to the original publish arrival time. Only now I hope that VOR management does not do this every or most coming Leg Finishes.
There is one thing that I would like to improve, still.
Nowhere is the information given on the location of the Boats, I mean the Longitude and Latitude during the regular status reports; this could easily be added to the windows that open while clicking on a Boat. Ok, you can make a kind of work around, by looking in the tracker with the grid engaged, but still.
VOR go on, this will make the armchair sailors happy.