Sunday, 22 April 2018

VolvoOceanRace Leg 8 Starts

On Sunday 22 April, Leg 8 in the VolvoOceanRace will start from Itajai to Newport. There will be 7 Boats on the start, while only 5 could normally finish Leg 7 into Itajai. 
Two boats had aborted the Leg 7 , came in late but were overhauled in time to participate in the next exciting Leg 8. 

As normal a starters parcours will have to be sailed , before heading into the Atlantic.  see parcours. The starting time is 17:00 UTC. I  expect it to be broadcast live, via the VOR website or Twitter

Parcour for Leg 8 Start

Straight away, the skippers have to make a strategical decision, whether to sail close to the Brazilian coast or further East on the Atlantic, where normally stronger winds exist. 

A Doldrums , the last one for this edition of VOR, is also part of the headache for the skippers. The region of the Finish could have some surprises with a strong depression, or not. 

Fair winds 


Saturday, 21 April 2018

Mapfre glorious winner in Itajai In-Port race.

Mapfre strenghtened its scorecard for In-Port race by winning the Itajai In-Port race. 

Mapfre was sharp at the start and first over the line.  

Mapfre took the lead during the first downwind leg and only continued to increase their advance till the Finish.

AkzoNobel, looks to improve their performance race by race and is now a very regular Podium finisher. 

Dongfeng, made a terrible start (again), and at one point they were the closing boat on the course. But somewhere they recovered and managed half way to get to the last spot on the Podium, but were never to challenge AkzoNobel seriously for the runner-up place.

Turn the Tide of Plastic sailed a strong race, just behind the Podium in the middle of the fleet to gain a 4th place.

Brunel, had also a good start and first Leg, rounding the first Mark in 3rd position very close behind Mapfre and AkzoNobel. But an error with the hoisting of the sails, throw them back to the fight for the last place with Vestas. I am a little surprised by a simple error like this, that should not occur at a Boat with a veteran skipper of 8 VOR races and more professonal sailors. For me, I doubt that Brunel is fit to win this years VOR.

SunHungKai/Scallywag did not participate as she is still under repair after a late arrival. 

The next event in the VOR is the start of Leg 8 , Itajai to Newport, on Sunday 22 April 17:00 UTC.


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

VolvoOceanRace continues with Itajai In-Port race

In 2 days, the Itajai In-Port race, will be the start of a new series of hopefully exciting sailing races. The Itajai In_port race will start Friday 20th April at 17:00 UTC (1400 Local time). The parcours for this race is given below.

Lets hope that there will be stronger winds than during the arrival of Leg7, in order for the Boats to make some speed and close passing maneuvers. 

As normal, the In-Port race will be live broadcasted via the VolvoOceanRace website.

From the fleet of 7 VO65 Boats, there were 5 already inspected and ready to sail. Vestas is under repair as we speak and SunHungKai/Scallywag is close before arriving. Trust that all Boats will be ready in time such that 7 participate in the In-Port race.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Vestas arrived in Itajai under jury rig.

Vestas 11 sail a good Leg 7, till they passed Cape Horn. Once thought the worst weather and sea-state was over, just 100 Nm South of the Falkland island, Vestas lost there mast. It broke, fell overboard and to prevent damage to the hull, the crew has to cut away to broken part. 

They stopped the race and motored to the Falklands. There they got excellent support of local sailing enthusiasts. With a throw away streetlamp post, they managed to set up a jury rig,with some the left over sails and with this, a 5 men crew motor-sailed her back to Itajai, some 5 days before the start of Leg 8.

The Boat will be fully inspected and the expectations is that she will be ready with a new rig to start in time.

Only one Boat , SunHungKai/Scallywag is expected in next days in Itajai and hopefully , she will be ready in time for the Start of Leg 8 to Newport..

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Brunel wins horrific Leg 7 in VolvoOceanRace

 Brunel has won the historical difficult Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai, passing Cape Horn , over 7000 Nm with a small advantage of 1Nm, about 15 minutes.

The saddest event on this Leg 7, will always be remembered as the loss at sea of sailor John Fisher form SunHungKai/ Scallywag. He was thrown overboard, in the middle of the Southern Ocean, in high waves, fierce winds and a low sea water temperature. Search efforts could not find him and the Boat had to leave the area and also Search and Resque teams could not find him.

This Leg has offered more than was feared for. Constantly big storms, one after the other, drifting from West passing the fleet  , waiting for the next one. 

Several Boats suffered damages, Mapfre has a loose rail on the mast but could manage with a temperary repair till close at Cape Horn also the Main Sail teared. A pit-stop of 13 hours, made a repair possible, so they could continue, though at some reduced speed. Vestas  demasted just after passing Cape Horn and try to find the logistics to bring them in time to Itajia for the start of the next Leg. 
Turn the Tide on Plastic, had some dislodged spreader on the mast, but managed to correct it. 
Brunel touched some ufo and got a linkage broken on their rudder. A spare could repair that.

Brunel took the lead about halfway with a clever strategical maneuver and never gave the lead out of their hands, though Dongfeng with an earlier engaging on a western wind after the Falkland, could close the distance. Never enough though to pass Brunel. It is a good gain for Brunel who took 16 points, 1 for CapeHorn, 14 for the double scoring winners place and 1 for winning the leg.    

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Southern Ocean a cruel passing for the VolvoOceanRace.

This  version of the VolvoOceanRace, have seen a cruel passage through the Southern Ocean. 
This part of the VOR, is mostly the feared Leg, for boat breakages and losses in the classification if you don't sail without damage to Cape Horn. This year the double counting of points will double the losses when no escaping unscaved.

The worst this year is the lost of a sailor at sea,  John Fisher from SunHungKai/ Scallywag. During a broach, he was swept overboard in big winds , high waves and icy water temperatures. The crew did all possible to search for him and find him, but had in the end to conclude that he was lost and sail on to safe the boat and crew from an approaching Low storm. Scallywag is now going to a port on the Chilean coast.

Mapfre, damage a rail on their mast that holds the Main Sail already early in the  Leg. With some reefs set and ratchet bands they could hold all together and continue more or less, till just before Cape Horn their Main Sail teared completely horizontally. They had to stop for a repair pitstop and could resume sailing after some 13 hours.

Vestas, have lost their mast, just some 100 Nm south of the Falklands. The boat and crew is safe and they are motoring to the Falklands.

Brunel, some 50Nm ahead of the Cape, had a collision and the tiller link to the lee rudder broke, the had a broach but could recover and with some spares on board make a repair. I believe their boat is sound again.

Turn the Tide on Plastic,mentioned a slow down, to make a inspection of a spreader on their mast. They found something suspicious. Have not heard from them, till now, but on the tracker I see they are sailing some 12 hrs later, a normal speed and course, so I expect that there are no further problems.

Fair winds and safe sailing till Itajai.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Mapfre shows their intentions for VolvoOceanRace Leg 7.

Leg 7 , Auckland to Itajai, Brazil, has started and to no surprise Mapfre made a very sharp Start. 

Mapfre starts very sharp Leg 7

Saillng conditions in Auckland were perfect, winds  speeds upto 20kts, made a fierce battle between most boats possible. Mapfre, though, was most of the time in the lead, shortly followed by Dongfeng, and occasionally by Brunel and Turn the Tide on Plastics.
The winds brought high boat speeds and with the tacks, some close passages occured but all without protests and accidents.

It was ultimatel Mapfre that left the starting parcour in the Lead, followed by Dongfeng and Brunel just ahead of Turn the Tide on Plastics. So the 2 main contenders for the Victory already in the lead and no doubt they will battle it out the whole route to Itajai.

This Leg 7 is important as it offers double points, on top of that an extra point for the first Boat passing Cape Horn and an extra point for the Winner. 

The Ice exclusion zone is far south, such the Boats can try to get a ride on the normal Westerly lows through the roaring fifties, the region around the latitude 50 degree.