Friday, 11 August 2017

VolvoOceanRace Boats tested on the Fastnet Rock race.

It was a 2nd test for the VolvoOceanRace(VOR) Boats as preparation for the VOR , starting 22 October in Alicante with a Leg 1 to Lisbon.  But is was a first test for VOR boats sailing competitive in an Ocean like environment. 

On Sunday 6th August, all 7 VOR Boats started in Cowes for the 600 odd NM Sailing race around the Fastnet Rock. Though this pre-race event does not count for the VOR score, the Teams were not taking it easy and did their utmost to win this race, or were trimming and testing their boat and sails to optimise their speed compared to the other boats. 

The start with many Boats in a small water.

It was a hard race, with many lead changes. Maphre had a good start not far behind followed by Dongfeng. The other Boats following aat short distance.

The famous Fastnet Rock rounding
It was Dongfeng that rounded the Fastnet Rock in the lead ,shortly followed by AkzoNobel, a new entry in the VOR.

Dongfeng wins Fastnet Rock race before Maphre
The return travel saw Dongfeng separate from the fleet to sail passed the Scilly islands, but wind shifts brought many changes in the lead. 
Ultimately it was Dongfeng that won Victory over Maphre with just a minute. For sure a close battle and this promises much good for the coming VOR. 

1. Dongfeng Race Team:     2d15h38m10s
2. MAPFRE:                       2d15h39m06s

3. Team Brunel:                 2d15h45m47s
4. team AkzoNobel:            2d15h52m40s
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing: 2d16h09m11s

6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag: 2d16h13m53s
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic:  2d16h17m32s

Thursday, 3 August 2017

The first battle of the VolvoOceanRace Teams

Yesterday 2nd August was the first battle of the VolvoOceanRace 2017-18 Boast with a first part of 'Leg Zero' ; a none counting but qualifying race for the fleet. 

It was a race Around the Isle of Wight.

see the Video impression

The Race benefited from a strong SW wind with gusts of 40 kts, so it was a fast race to start with and a good view on how the Boats and Teams will perform in the Southern Ocean waters. The first 4 Boats all broke the previous record for sailing around the Isle.

The results saw some Boats from the previous VOR on the top of the Podium.

1. Desafio Mapfre
2. Team Brunel 
3. Team AkzoNobel

4. Dongfeng Race Team
5. Turn the Tide on Plastic
6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing
7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag

I hear the sailors enjoyed it, and the skippers have made good observations of things that can be improved.

Next test is the Rolex Fastnet Rock race starting on Sunday 6th August. 

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Rolex Fastnet Rock Race - a trial for VolvoOceanRace Teams

 There are now, August 2nd , 7 Boats registered for the coming VolvoOceanRace 2017-2018; VOR. Whether the 8th Boat, ready to sail, will be participating is still a big unknown. Whether a new Team can be formed and be ready in time to start the VOR becomes more and more doubtful.

What does the Fastnet Rock has to do with the VolvoOceanRace?. Well this race is put on the list as qualification events for the VOR teams also called 'Zero Leg'. It will be the first time that all participants for the VOR be battling it out in a real Ocean Sailing race and a first comparison between the strength and weaknesses for the Boats will occur, or maybe some teams will play the game of sandbagging?

Fastnet Race - Training for VolvoOceanRace 2017-18

Sunday 6 August some 600 Boats will start in phases from Cowes for the Rolex Fastnet Rock Race, finishing in Plymouth. The Boats will sail with a handicap, depending on their boat type, size, sails etc etc. The different categories will each start with other participants in their class. 

Details for Fastnet Rock race. 

Dongfeng, Brunel and Maphre have all sail in the previous VOR 2014-15 and do know each other, be it that all Boats have many changes in their crews. These teams ended last VOR edition resp. 3rd, 2nd and 4th, but all hope to beat the other Boats for improved results. 
Sun Hung Kai Scallyway is a new entry from HongKong with an all (7) men team, while another new entry Turn the Tide on Plastic will have a equal mixed team of 5 men and 5 women. 
AkzoNobel, is another new Team that is the lucky team to sail the newest last build OneDesign VO65 Boat. 
Vestas, was sailing also the last VOR but was stranded on some shallows in the Indian Ocean, crew luckily got not hurt and after a heavy repair sailed their Boats in the last Leg over the Finish.

Lets see what the coming Rolex Fastnet Rock Race will highlight for the excitement we can expect later in the VolvoOceanRace, proper. The VOR 2017-18 will start over  73 days with the In-Port race in Alicante and the Start of Leg 1 Alicante to Lisbon will be 22 October. more details later. 

If you are interested to follow the progress on the Fastnet Rock Race than you may view this tracker Fastnet Rock tracker