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.

Monday, 5 February 2018

Vestas shipped out of Hong Kong

Vestas was involved in a collision with a fishing boat, just before finishing Leg 4 into HongKong. One crew member of the fishing Boat, was seriously injured and later died.

Very little information has been published neither by Vestas nor by VolvoOceanRace. In an era of openness and involvement, this is a little odd. So there might be a fierce juridical battle being fought out, in the backrooms.

Also the situation of the collision, the weather /sea conditions at that moment, it is all left for guessing.

What I do recall, is that there was a proper NE wind and proper sight, it was dark though. The Vestas boat however is full of radar and other observation equipment and it seems strange that they did not see the fishing boat; even if the last boat would not have had navigation lights.

Vestas shipped out of Hong Kong
Anyway Vestas suffered heavy damage to the bow , while the other is said to have sunken, giving the facts that it was a very large collision.

Consequence for Vestas, is reported today,. The repairs are large , and can not be completed in HongKong. So Vestas boat is shipped out to Auckland, and they all hope that repairs can be made there ahead of the start of Leg 7, Auckland to Itajai - Brasil. A new bow section is being build at the Italian boatyard that made these VO65 boats, as strictest rules apply for the OneDesign boats. 

Lets hope that Vestas can join VOR again in Leg 7. 

Mapfre convincing Winner in Guangzhou In-Port race.

Saturday's Guangzhou's In-Port race brought Victory for Mapfre in a convincing manner.  They crossed the Start among the first correct starting boats, build an advantage on the first leg and never looked back, sailing a perfect race.

Two teams, too eager to have a flashing start, were called back, Dongfeng and SunHungKai. Dongfeng, in stead making a good restart, got herself entangled in the mooring line of the startline marker and lost too much time to be any better than last. 
SunHungKai, however managed to sail a proper race and ended fourth.

fierce battle in midfield Guangzhou In-Port race

The show was stolen however by Brunel and AkzoNobel, the 2 Dutch teams. They sailed close together on 2 and 3rd place for most of the race. Changing positions several times, by sailing a little different from each other. In the end however, it was Brunel that made the decisive move and got the runner-up place with AkzoNobel the last Podium  place.

Now the Boats will sail on their own back to Hong Kong for the Start of Leg 6 on Wednesday 7 February at 500 UTC.

Friday, 2 February 2018

Guangzhou In-Port Race for VolvoOceanRace.

Well, a surprise as Leg 5 was not a sailing race. Each boat had to move itself up-river to be in time in Guangzhou for the In-Port Race that will be sailed on Saturday 3 February 700 UTC (1500 local time)

Guangzhou In-Port parcour
Above an image with the parcour to sail. 

As normal I expect a live coverage on the internet site of VOR 

The boats will be allowed to float back without any racing towards HongKong.

After this race the first official event will be the Leg 6 start in HongKong on 
Wednesday 7 February 2018 at 500 UTC.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

VolvoOceanRace Leg 5 Start on Thursday.

The VOR continues with Leg 5 after an intensive HongKong Sailing weekend. The next Leg is none counting for the Overall score but is sailed, I think, to honor China .

It is a short Leg, up the Pearl river, so it will be a complete different style of sailing for these VO65 Boats. Hopefully the traffic on the river will be friendly and overcoming for the sailing boats, that might have some difficulties in maneuvering in lower wind strengths; as we do not want to see another collision. 

The Start for Leg 5 is Thursday 1 February but so far there is not mentioned any starting time, it might be 500 UTC, same as for the Leg 6 start ?

In Guangzhou, there will be an officially counting In-Port race held on 3 February at 700UTC (15:00 local)