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      Abbreviated rules   07/28/2017

      Underdawg did an excellent job of explaining the rules.  Here's the simplified version: Don't insinuate Pedo.  Warning and or timeout for a first offense.  PermaFlick for any subsequent offenses Don't out members.  See above for penalties.  Caveat:  if you have ever used your own real name or personal information here on the forums since, like, ever - it doesn't count and you are fair game. If you see spam posts, report it to the mods.  We do not hang out in every thread 24/7 If you see any of the above, report it to the mods by hitting the Report button in the offending post.   We do not take action for foul language, off-subject content, or abusive behavior unless it escalates to persistent stalking.  There may be times that we might warn someone or flick someone for something particularly egregious.  There is no standard, we will know it when we see it.  If you continually report things that do not fall into rules #1 or 2 above, you may very well get a timeout yourself for annoying the Mods with repeated whining.  Use your best judgement. Warnings, timeouts, suspensions and flicks are arbitrary and capricious.  Deal with it.  Welcome to anarchy.   If you are a newbie, there are unwritten rules to adhere to.  They will be explained to you soon enough.  
duncan (the other one)

VOR Leg 4 Melbourne to Honkers

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8 minutes ago, terrafirma said:

 

Don't think Wharro is a bad choice. Clearly there are a range of issues on Scallywag and we can guess at the usual suspects. Nevertheless they have had crew changes and I suspect their team has not been run well in comparison to the other teams and it shows on the positions rankings. The other teams have learnt. If Witt is listening to Wharro they might still climb a ranking. Brunel not much better. In the meantime back to Dongfeng and Mapfre leading as usual.

Wharro didn't exactly cover himself in glory last time he was involved with a DFL. 

Witt wants to do everything with an underdog spirit & stick it to the big boys. It's not working. 

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58 minutes ago, mad said:

Boys trip??

Is freeze-dried booze a thing?

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Clouds?

This morning, I believe it was TTOP,  the point was made that sailing under clouds is essentially one of 2 things. Bad, or worse than bad. :rolleyes:

Now, when one looks at drawings of cumulonimbus, it invariably shows an updraft ( with wind in the direction of the cloud) or a downdraft ( which can be quite gusty and significant) with wind away from the cloud. 

So, to the experienced off-shorers, how do you decide what to do? 

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1 hour ago, SCANAS said:

Wharro didn't exactly cover himself in glory last time he was involved with a DFL. 

Witt wants to do everything with an underdog spirit & stick it to the big boys. It's not working. 

I think he is a better sailor and strategist than Witt IMO. They weren't setting the world on fire before this leg so why not try something? It hasn't worked so far  but let's be realistic what did we expect from them?

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10 hours ago, southerncross said:

A big split with Mapfre and Vestas going inshore.  Brunel and Scally in the middle.  DF, TToP and Akzo East.

Mapfre and Vestas caught up a 40 mile deficit.  Scally almost hit a reef.  Playing the clouds now and about to hit the doldrums proper.

 

10 hours ago, boomer said:

Holy phuck! Just review the sites as well as pages here - it would take longer to write two paragraphs, that it would take to do a review.

The short of it, the fleet split coming up the Australian coast, with MAPFRE and Vestas committed to inshore, and Brunel taking the center between the split. Aboard Akzo Nic talked about catching a favorable current, which they hoped to extend on, I assume this was Dongfengs plan as well.

Winds went light inshore and a big hole in front of them, so MAPFRE and Vestas headed NE offshore and the whole went into the same mode.  Crossing the rumb line, MAPFRE and Alzo pulled a tactical move. jibed and consolidated their lead, with about a 40 mile lead on MAPFRE and Vestas. The fleet jibed about four times to the east of the rumb line. MAPFRE, Vestas and TTOP chose to stay a bit east and caught a predicted new wind out of the east, while Dongfeng and Akzo were to the west. Initially TTOP was between MAPFRE and Vestas, but they soon left TTOP behind, and caught up to the rear of the leaders in about the next 12+ hours. Akzo has been on Dongfeng's butt all along, as MAPFRE did in the last leg. It's been a tight group of the four leaders, with a seperation of less then four NMs six hours ago, and now about 8.5 NMs separation laterally from Akzo to Vestas, with Dongfeng still leading the charge.

Runkle and Boomer thank you. Much appreciate that, it saved me the temptation of having to digest and reply over many pages. Glad to see the Paintwaggon shrugged off its starting blues and are up the front for a change and in line with Nicho's game plan. The dodging of hard bits by some seems a bit dodgy in the routing department. The Warro experiment seems to have worked a treat ..not.

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16 minutes ago, terrafirma said:

I think he is a better sailor and strategist than Witt IMO. They weren't setting the world on fire before this leg so why not try something? It hasn't worked so far  but let's be realistic what did we expect from them?

If Witt was a hired gun skipper for the race he would be out already. Lucky he is also team manager, judge, jury & executioner for the boss. He says they came in late, but he's been planning the Volvo race since at least 2015 publicly. You can't expect him to be 1st or 2nd at the end of the lap but the sponsor would be expecting better than this. 

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2 hours ago, mad said:

And if Libby stays on for the rest of the race?

I guess that depends a bit on what caused the reef tour.
As mentioned above and as we learned last round navigation errors are always and exclusively the navs fault but how last minute was the call? Did they have a discussion about the lack of time to prepare?

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1 hour ago, terrafirma said:

I think he is a better sailor and strategist than Witt IMO. They weren't setting the world on fire before this leg so why not try something? It hasn't worked so far  but let's be realistic what did we expect from them?

Don't get me wrong, Wharro is a top sailor offshore and inshore (very handy on an Etchell) but not sure how rusty or fit he would be knowing the Volvo and what is required for success.... I'm the first to admit that i wouldn't be and he is a bit older than me.

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Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 07 on board Dongfeng.

Photo by Martin Keruzore/Volvo Ocean Race. 07 January, 2018.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 3.28.16 AM.png

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1 hour ago, Chasm said:

.... Did they have a discussion about the lack of time to prepare?

I don't buy a lack of preparation as an excuse for the double-back-reef-dodge of Scally.. Preparation is learning about local wind effects, currents, studying history of prior races through the area, etc. (Watch Stan Honey's talk again for hints).  Preparation is not about avoiding obstacles at sea. You can't know in advance exactly what heading you will be on and which patch of water you will sail through. That's why the navs have plenty of time to scroll the routing forward a bit and zoom at every level. They have almost all of their time in front of the computers, and its not that hard to look forward an hour, 6 hours, 12 hours, a day, and see what obstacles could be out there to change your plan.

You say, for example, "Hey skippy, if we hold this course for a few hours, there's a reef we need to pay attention to. It's 60 miles away, we're doing 20 knots, its in our wedge of probability in 3 hours. Recommend we come up 2 or 3 degrees now".  And then monitor and adjust as necessary. You don't wait until the last moment and make 90 degree turns this way and that.

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1 hour ago, Chasm said:

I guess that depends a bit on what caused the reef tour.
As mentioned above and as we learned last round navigation errors are always and exclusively the navs fault but how last minute was the call? Did they have a discussion about the lack of time to prepare?

It would make a lot of sense to keep Libby on. Unless that reef-episode is a deal breaker. Witt quite open about underestimating the physicality of sailing the V65s. Having a female nav leaves more grunt on deck. And she is good. I don't think improving navigation should be Scallywag's first priority. Boatspeed is what they need most urgently.

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Short prep time is no excuse -> Which brings us back to my first point. WTF actually happened.

As far as the electronic map goes it seems pretty senseless to do what they did. Look also like a left vs right issue?

 

(Lobby was Nav on Climate Action Now, they finished in Hobart on the 29th ~6pm)

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Tight lines for BRUNEL. They're bouncing off the kerb. 

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9 minutes ago, Varan said:

Oh oh, not again...

fck.thumb.jpg.9bf7b6fe3db0706c41085e977cc7d81e.jpg

This is getting interesting.

The Spanish assassins ready to strike. Brunel taking an option closer to land. Could be 500 miles before they hit stable breeze again. Game on.

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1 hour ago, southerncross said:

Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 07 on board Dongfeng.

Photo by Martin Keruzore/Volvo Ocean Race. 07 January, 2018.

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 3.28.16 AM.png

Awesome image. Some of those brooding clouds are getting harder to dodge.

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1 hour ago, Zander said:

It would make a lot of sense to keep Libby on. Unless that reef-episode is a deal breaker. Witt quite open about underestimating the physicality of sailing the V65s. Having a female nav leaves more grunt on deck. And she is good. I don't think improving navigation should be Scallywag's first priority. Boatspeed is what they need most urgently.

+1 

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1 hour ago, Chasm said:

Short prep time is no excuse -> Which brings us back to my first point. WTF actually happened.

As far as the electronic map goes it seems pretty senseless to do what they did. Look also like a left vs right issue?

 

(Lobby was Nav on Climate Action Now, they finished in Hobart on the 29th ~6pm)

In that short video, Libby said she had been looking at it for a day and half, then the reef being a lot larger than she expected. At another time point the three of them are huddled together and Wharro talks about tacking clear of the entire reef system.

Looking at my charts - and that screen cap of what she was looking at, looks like she interpreted Banc de Landsowne as an entire shallow reef system, when they only had to steer clear of Recif Nereus, at 2018.01.06 07:48:14. they're heading 54 degrees, 10nm from Brunel , by my measurement they'll need maintain 41 degrees to clear the reef (~15nm), they eventually get as far as 80 degrees, only 2 nm away from Brunel's route. 

Sounds like a series of unforced errors. First didn't make a commitment to leave the reef to port - made initial commitment to turn starboard and follow Brunel, then decided to reverse course and keep the entire system to starboard. 

Granted we don't know who made what call, how much confidence or lack there of they had re the charts - perhaps there was sufficient disparity between electronic and paper that leads you to pause. Out of an abundance of caution, not follow Brunel.

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Hope Capey is being a smart old fox here and they are not entering the ‘Let’s experiment because we’ve got nothing to lose’ phase.... come on Brunel! 

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3 hours ago, PIL007 said:

Don't get me wrong, Wharro is a top sailor offshore and inshore (very handy on an Etchell) but not sure how rusty or fit he would be knowing the Volvo and what is required for success.... I'm the first to admit that i wouldn't be and he is a bit older than me.

He's done this race before and he would be fitter and stronger than Witt. If he wasn't up to it he could have said no. I think the fact he sailed on ragamuffin 100 with Witt before in the Hobart etc was the reason he was asked to join the team. I'm not privy to how the team decision making goes but a lot would depend on how the Navigator presents his case to Witt and Wharro etc. It seemed to me they lost a big chunk of ground over the reef that was in their way, so they made the wrong decision there. Since then they are maintaining but not gaining and that's a speed issue.

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Leaderboard now has Mapfre in front by their DTF calculation. Dongfeng seems stuck under a cloud. Good gains for Vestas and TToP.

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25 minutes ago, Miffy said:

Granted we don't know who made what call, how much confidence or lack there of they had re the charts - perhaps there was sufficient disparity between electronic and paper that leads you to pause. Out of an abundance of caution, not follow Brunel.

But if you have a situation on your "radar" for over one day wouldn't you notice the disparity earlier and thus come up with a plan much earlier instead of last second? That's what is irritating me. With the hindsight of last edition i would have expected the nav to create a big enough exclusion zone on the electronic charts and plan a save route. I could understand this whole last second thing if they haven't had the reef on their "radar".

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29 minutes ago, Miffy said:

In that short video, Libby said she had been looking at it for a day and half,

....

Granted we don't know who made what call, how much confidence or lack there of they had re the charts - perhaps there was sufficient disparity between electronic and paper that leads you to pause. Out of an abundance of caution, not follow Brunel.

There was also mention of a wind change, and although there really isn't enough information to fully understand the order of thinking, it may be that the change was enough to mean a total change in best path - and taking the hit for reversing path was better than trying to keep on eastward. 

One suspects the spectre of Vestas on the bricks looms large in every nav's mind at these times. You have the choice between bleeding a few miles and a possible career limiting event.

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5 minutes ago, Marty6 said:

But if you have a situation on your "radar" for over one day wouldn't you notice the disparity earlier and thus come up with a plan much earlier instead of last second? That's what is irritating me. With the hindsight of last edition i would have expected the nav to create a big enough exclusion zone on the electronic charts and plan a save route. I could understand this whole last second thing if they haven't had the reef on their "radar".

I would - I said earlier reef avoidance in poorly charted regions is one area where European sailing pros can learn from cruisers and professional delivery/superyacht captains. The focus from sailing - the attention span is so focused on weather, they don't exactly file a float plan. Personally I'd sleep better with an nav who had time to study the passage and make good notations on the leg beforehand than one who may be excellent but literally flew to Melbourne after SH and took the job.

 

2 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

There was also mention of a wind change, and although there really isn't enough information to fully understand the order of thinking, it may be that the change was enough to mean a total change in best path - and taking the hit for reversing path was better than trying to keep on eastward. 

One suspects the spectre of Vestas on the bricks looms large in every nav's mind at these times. You have the choice between bleeding a few miles and a possible career limiting event.

Yep. I don't want to cast blame - obv a mistake was made, but we don't know what decisions were made, who made them, what info was available and if circumstances changed. But I think it does show poor situational awareness by THAT boat, considering every other boat gave themselves plenty of seaway (other than Capey) the other boats sailed 25-50 nm east of that system.

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16 hours ago, LeoV said:

And you think that rock is really: Only thinking maybe.

- on that spot or nearby (it could be miles off)   Maybe somewhere in the 0-20 m. contour.

 

- exists at all   It could be, you never know until you hit it.

Dashed lines indicates: No dashed lines on my PC or phone, only continuous. 

no soundings there   And it says:"Rocks,  Depth 0-20 m.", on my phone app

unless you know when and how it was surveyed, you better stay way more then 2 nm off.  2 nm off any 0-20 m. (blue) area would seem prudent enough in my book. Otherwise navigation in the pacific would be no fun anymore...

Your mileage in the North Sea may vary (grapje).

 

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42 minutes ago, Miffy said:

But I think it does show poor situational awareness by THAT boat, considering every other boat gave themselves plenty of seaway (other than Capey) the other boats sailed 25-50 nm east of that system.

When everyone hypes the local knowledge of a boat...
I guess it is time for the commentators to find a new talking point. 

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5 hours ago, SCANAS said:

If Witt was a hired gun skipper for the race he would be out already. Lucky he is also team manager, judge, jury & executioner for the boss. He says they came in late, but he's been planning the Volvo race since at least 2015 publicly. You can't expect him to be 1st or 2nd at the end of the lap but the sponsor would be expecting better than this. 

my two bits-

the mighty Witt is racing against guys who've been involved in the serious projects for years, he's a big fish in races like S2H which are not much more than dick measuring contests where you win the silver tray. he's probably on the next rung down and has no real answers to the skillz he's up against.

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19 minutes ago, 3to1 said:

my two bits-

the mighty Witt is racing against guys who've been involved in the serious projects for years, he's a big fish in races like S2H which are not much more than dick measuring contests where you win the silver tray. he's probably on the next rung down and has no real answers to the skillz he's up against.

I think all that's a given. The most important question is why he didn't head hunt proven boys & girls who would get a result. 

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5 minutes ago, SCANAS said:

I think all that's a given. The most important question is why he didn't head hunt proven boys & girls who would get a result. 

Ego?

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1 hour ago, Zander said:

Leaderboard now has Mapfre in front by their DTF calculation. Dongfeng seems stuck under a cloud. Good gains for Vestas and TToP.

Yes, and Mapfre lead also seems to hold under the tracker routing feature (unfotunately).

This doldrum section will truly be nerve racking ..

Go the Dong, go !

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43 minutes ago, SCANAS said:

I think all that's a given. The most important question is why he didn't head hunt proven boys & girls who would get a result. 

I think that is well documented and understood. Witty said that he believed that there was greater value in working with an existing team that had track record of sailing together. I don't think such a belief should be dismissed out of hand either. We currently have had commentary on the difference between Mapfre's team stability versus the loss of continuity in other boats. They seem quite clear about the value. However if Libby gets the push, Scallywag's problem with navigators is going to start drawing comparisons with drumming for Spinal Tap.

Given Brunel's performance thus far it is somewhat harsh to dismiss Witty and his team. They are making a pretty good fist of driving the boat around the planet, albeit not at the level of multiple rock stat VOR, AC and Olympic medalists. One thing that will be sure. At the end of this race Scallywag will have a crew with a phenomenal jump in ability. Even if they just go back to the maxi, they will be a very different team. I would suspect that part of the case for running he team in VOR might have been that lift in capability as an added value after the race.

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10 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

I think that is well documented and understood. Witty said that he believed that there was greater value in working with an existing team that had track record of sailing together. I don't think such a belief should be dismissed out of hand either. We currently have had commentary on the difference between Mapfre's team stability versus the loss of continuity in other boats. They seem quite clear about the value. However if Libby gets the push, Scallywag's problem with navigators is going to start drawing comparisons with drumming for Spinal Tap.

Given Brunel's performance thus far it is somewhat harsh to dismiss Witty and his team. They are making a pretty good fist of driving the boat around the planet, albeit not at the level of multiple rock stat VOR, AC and Olympic medalists. One thing that will be sure. At the end of this race Scallywag will have a crew with a phenomenal jump in ability. Even if they just go back to the maxi, they will be a very different team. I would suspect that part of the case for running he team in VOR might have been that lift in capability as an added value after the race.

Or Brunel are sailing badly too? The Brunel problem IMO has a lot to do with the crew's experience in this event. Whilst Bouwe has done this many times have the current crew? The other change to the event is the introduction of one design boats which means the crew are the differences between the teams not the boats design as it was with the 70 footers. 

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Moses came down from the mountain & gave a sermon to enlighten us. Last bit answers the crew choice question.

 

& to all my brothers in the Solomons toklo English you hool pipes! 

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Easy to see why they are last.  Scally looks like they are cruising the Pacific with a bunch of mates. 

Is that what they are there for?

 

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2 hours ago, SCANAS said:

I think all that's a given. The most important question is why he didn't head hunt proven boys & girls who would get a result. 

Witt from the beginning has pushed the "all one one for all in the trenches together battlefield mantra" and getting better the more miles they put in over that of world ranked individual skill sets and core members having previous VOR experience. He repeats that mantra in the above Vid. 

While that approach may hold water in short course big boat racing, I'm not too sure it holds a candle to the specialist approach adopted by other teams in this a RTW race. Xabi's crew selection criteria is probably marginally the best on that basis against a pretty solid bunch amoungst the front runners.

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1 hour ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Witty said that he believed that there was greater value in working with an existing team that had track record of sailing together. I

He did say that.  So how's it working out for him?

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It has been a very hectic 24 hours..

Yesterday we ran through a massive thunderstorm, with a huge amount of lightning. The stable breeze instantly changed and before we knew it we were becalmed. Then a huge lightning strike hit, so close the sparks were flying off the mast and runners.

Rome, who was driving, was laying flat on the deck, just from the shock of the massive sound as well.

Luckily no electronics got blown out. Of course there was plenty of rain as well. It makes you wonder what happens with all the electricity going through the boat and you are standing there barefoot and some with bare chest... Carbon is very good at leading electricity through. But we all survived:-)

Of course you are always worried when you park up, and wondering how did the others cope with it, did they park up as well or did they keep going?

As it turned out the leaders were also slow, but Scallywag missed everything and made a massive gain...

We have the feeling that we are sailing well and that shows as well in the reports. We just have to keep chipping away. 30 miles to the leader is a lot, but we know all is possible.

It is always remarkable that seeing land always has an extra positive effect on everybody. For one it might be the snow white beaches, for another one seeing the green forest and maybe even for some knowing that you are not by yourself out here ;-)

One big downside with seeing land is that it results straight away in plenty of rubbish in the water, from plastic bottles, bags to big fishing nets and wooden crates. Not funny at all !

Cheers,

Bouwe
 

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57 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Witt from the beginning has pushed the "all one one for all in the trenches together battlefield mantra" and getting better the more miles they put in over that of world ranked individual skill sets and core members having previous VOR experience. He repeats that mantra in the above Vid. 

"Social experiment" was his downfall. No experience on the VO65 did not help either, so no reason for him to backtrack real fast. 
Sailing with the boys would have been possible for the most part. Just find 2 girls that fit into the existing team.

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1 hour ago, popo said:

So, whose position do you like the most ?

at the time you posted, I would have said
Vestas, Mapfre, Akzo, DF, TTToP

after the 13:00 update,
DF, Vestas, Akzo, TTToP, Mapfre

To summarize, I would say : The norther the better (and the safer)
easter should be slightly better but with more miles to go.

Still amazed by the difference made by Akzo to Mapfre last hour in so close area

and last but not the least
some will tell there is lot of strategy involved by navigators, blah blah blah

Reality is : there is 2 options you can choose (more East or more West, especially if you had miles to catch up) but considering the forecast they have, the rate of update, it is just dice playing right now.

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Morning all--catching up. Lightning strike! 

Anyway, just saw this. Another almost unintended consequence of drones

 

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Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 07

Sailing by commerical fishingon board AkzoNobel as the fleet passes Solomon Islands.

Photo by Sam Greenfield/Volvo Ocean Race. 08 January, 2018.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 4.31.24 PM.png

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Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 07 on board MAPFRE, drone shot, shadow, 2 in 1. 08 January, 2018.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 4.34.39 PM.png

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Cloud compression of the fleet.  Good for Brunel.

Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 7

A lot of clouds around. With some giving good breeze and others nothing at all its best to avoid them on board Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag. 07 January, 2018

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 4.36.12 PM.png

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1 hour ago, Tunnel Rat said:

Wow. Brilliant footage 

Looked like a Blue Whale.  Saw a shark fin in there as well.  

So many great shots coming off the boats, whales, lightning, the Solomons.  Here is some commercial fisherman surveillance aka Sea Shepard.

http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/raw/5192.html

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VOLVO OCEAN RACE SAILOR ANNIE LUSH IS FINDING RESTING AND REHABBING HARD AFTER HER ACCIDENT ON TEAM BRUNEL WHILE SHE WATCHES HER TEAMMATES SAIL ON WITHOUT HER

The Sailing Show is presented by Chris Stafford & Annie Lush

Podcast length 27’28”

http://www.wispsports.com/the-sailing-show/annie-lush-rehab-and-racing-plans?utm_content=buffer84ede&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Witty was cocky.  That's his personality.  But he's been humbled by the race so far and is not so delusional or egotistical to admit his mistakes regarding crew mix/size.  More so, I think he is very competitive and will do what it takes to get better or win (a Leg).  

I don't fault him for wanting to sail with mates or with a crew he's used to.  I think this strategy is paying dividends for Mapfre.   He's missing out on the skipper/nav symbiosis some of the other teams enjoy after many years together.  Not sure Libby is the right one either.

All in all, I appreciate his openness and honesty.

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Dongfeng has stepped into the roll of pace setter.  Or they have self - imposed this role on themselves.  I think it comes from an idea that they will use their speed to jump out in front and extend.  Instead, one boat after the other uses them to pace off of, placing a lot of mental and physical pressure on the crew with no time to conserve energy for the latter part of the race.  When they are at their most vulnerable and spent, the others pounce.

Some have already drawn parallels to cycling.  Rarely does one cyclist break away from the chase group to hold the lead all the way to the finish.

I think Dongfeng might be better served to let other boats set the pace and then use their speed to attack when the moment counts.

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Brunel.  I get the feeling Bouwe is soaking this one in.  It might be his last.  It might be time to pass the guard to a younger Dutch skipper (and navigator) and team.

Who?  I'd bring Wouter back.

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6 hours ago, Chasm said:

"Social experiment" was his downfall.

Chasm I love you like a brother and noting I'm no fan of Witt but the next dickhead here who brings up a 3 second sound bite from a pre-race vid aired the middle of last year about "social experiment" shit... well I'm going to come around to your place and rip your bloody arms off Aunty Jack style.

Move on.

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32 minutes ago, southerncross said:

Dongfeng has stepped into the roll of pace setter.  Or they have self - imposed this role on themselves.  I think it comes from an idea that they will use their speed to jump out in front and extend.  Instead, one boat after the other uses them to pace off of, placing a lot of mental and physical pressure on the crew with no time to conserve energy for the latter part of the race.  When they are at their most vulnerable and spent, the others pounce.

Some have already drawn parallels to cycling.  Rarely does one cyclist break away from the chase group to hold the lead all the way to the finish.

I think Dongfeng might be better served to let other boats set the pace and then use their speed to attack when the moment counts.

I think the cycling comparison is a good one - except it also highly depends on how DF/MF is achieving better speeds. 

When MF was banging out those perfectly square gybes along the exclusion zone? That seemed like a cyclist going on the attack and will deplete reserves. 

But the rest of the time? Unless MAPFRE is just so much better at managing information and OBR, their boat just seems so spotless, stacks perfectly clean, crew tired but clean faces. It gives one the impression they're outsailing you without going on the attack. 

When DF is pushing it - the crew and boat appeared to be pushed and stained. 

I think we will see whether Cammas add something to the personality of DF. In the prior legs, this would be the time when Pascal decides to take a risk and it ultimately doesn't pay off. 

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32 minutes ago, southerncross said:

When Mutter (I think) says it's something he's never seen before, that's something. And Towill's hope that his kids will be able to see more fish than plastic is right on too. 

After this race, it may be that this moment will be the one the VS11 crew will remember, and repeatedly bore their grandkids retelling :) 

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Interview Clean/Jen Edney after Leg III aboard Mapfre.

Also, an interview with our very own JBC at about 30:00.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 6.26.56 PM.png

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Conventional wisdom to get through the doldrums is to go north, but the rhumb line looks just as good to me.  Could be another split coming.  BR may find a passing lane?

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Xabi: "Now our job is to keep it close, as close as possible, and wait for our opportunities.

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28 minutes ago, Kenny Dumas said:

If BR find some wind, they should go stealth.

They got too close- on AIS for 5 of the boats, as there's less than 15 miles separation between the top 5, as of the 1900 update.

With just 2-3 knots of wind, one good cloud could make a hero or zero...

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36 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

Move on.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
He said something, it sparked quite the backlash and I'd say that in turn hit his stubborn button. Firmly backed into a corner it took almost half the race and several (un?)forced crew changes to get out again. Bouwe was much faster, not that it helped much on the course so far.
 

 

Mapfre almost biggest looser in the sked. Looks like a major drift challenge right now. Scrolling back and looking at boat data the wind on the VOR tracker is not helpful...

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9 minutes ago, Kenny Dumas said:

Vestas leading at 0.5 knots!!  

No, Scally leading at VMG  -1.2 kn.!!

Give them some respect...

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The next 36 hours will arguably be among the most vital of the 6,000-mile stage – and could ultimately determine the Leg 4 podium despite there still being more than 3,000 miles left to sail.

The enormity of the situation has not been lost on the sailors.

“We've just had a post sunset total race reset,” said AkzoNobel’s Luke Molloy. “Vestas, MAPFRE, Dongfeng and Azko are all bunched together with TTOP not far behind.

"The moment is intense, it could be the making or breaking of the race over the next hour."

http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/news/10748_Competition-intensifies-as-the-doldrums-take-hold.html

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GoPro quits the drone business, slashes staff.

The company said its Karma drone, which cost about $800 without a camera or about $1,100 with a camera, was the second largest seller in its price range. But it said a hostile regulatory environment in Europe and the United States, and extremely competitive market, makes staying in the business untenable. GoPro said it will exit the business once it sells off its remaining Karma inventory.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/08/technology/gopro-karma-drone-dropped-staff-cut/index.html