southerncross

VOR Leg 7 Auckland to Itajai

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Leg Starts March 18

The big deal

This is the defining leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The winner here will get kudos beyond even the double points and the bonus point for rounding Cape Horn first. This is the one that everyone wants to win. It has more myth and legend swirling around it than the Holy Grail.

So what’s so special?

It’s the longest leg of the race by a long way - 7,600 nautical miles and almost all of it is through some of the coldest, roughest ocean in the world. The fleet will leave Auckland on 18 March and head south past New Zealand’s East Cape into the Southern Ocean. Once they get far enough south they will be racing from west to east, sailing within the Westerly Storm Track (low pressure systems circulating west-to east around Antarctica and the Arctic), running with the low pressure systems that prowl around Antarctica. There will be big waves and there will be big breeze. And icebergs.

Once across this vast expanse of ocean they will have to negotiate the legendary Cape Horn – where the power of the South Pacific slams into South America – and then turn north, traversing the coast of Argentina, Uruguay and finally Brazil to Itajaí.

This is more about brawn than brains? 

Back in the day, yes – when the boats rolled along at 8-10 knots they were sitting ducks for the weather systems that would roll up behind and then overtake them. But now the boats are fast enough to just about keep pace with the storm systems and a lot of smart strategy is required to position the boat correctly. 

What are the hurdles?

The race south: The initial strategic problem is exactly the same as we saw towards the end of Leg 2 and on leaving Cape Town at the start of Leg 3. The storms and depressions that swirl west-to-east around the globe’s temperate zones, circulate Antarctica with barely so much as a decent sized island to slow them down. There is lots of breeze down there, and the principle strategy on approaching  in the Southern Oceanthe Westerly Storm Track is always to get south, find a low pressure system moving east and ride with it. So as soon as they leave Auckland the race is on to get south and hook into a low pressure system.

If a nice gentle high pressure system is dominating New Zealand’s late summer weather, then this initial race south out of Auckland can be a low speed, light wind drift-off – but if a tropical low pressure enters the picture it can create boat-breaking conditions. 

In the 2011-12 edition, a vicious weather system tracked south with the fleet with 50- knot gusts and seven-meter waves. Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi lasted just six hours; and three more boats joined them in the pit lane with damage before conditions abated. And then in 2015-16, Cyclone Pam forced the leg start to be postponed... and this is all before they’ve got anywhere near the Southern Ocean.

Westerly Storm Track: Once the boats have picked up a ride on a Cape Horn-bound-low-pressure-system life is a little simpler. Just as with Leg 3, Tthe key to sailing this section fast is keeping the boat in the band of strong westerly winds to the north of the centre of a low. Not too close, if it’s a really, deep powerful low, the skippers don’t want the boat to get hammered, to break gear. But not too far north either, where the winds get lighter and the boat might slow too much and let the low pressure slip away early. 

The biggest mistake however is to get trapped to the south of the centre of the low, where easterly winds will make life slow and extremely unpleasant. This has become less likely these days because the race committee will usually set a limit on how far south the boats can go to keep them out of the ice...  

Titanic moments: Antarctica is shedding ice faster than ever before the Alps in spring, and a lot of it is driftsing north into the path of the racing boats. Hitting a big berg or even a small one at full speed could be a disaster for both boat and crew, so these days the race committee usually set a limit that is designed to keep the boats away from the ice. This limit will become part of the strategic problem, limiting their ability to move with the weather systems.

Cape Horn: Cape Horn is its own legend, as the Southern Ocean low pressure systems sweep around the planet and find themselves compressed between the tip of South America, the Antarctic Peninsula and the shallowing bottom between the two. It can make for some of the roughest seas in the world. Statistically, an approach from the north is usually faster.

Falklands choices: Once around Cape Horn, the fleet is headed north into warmer weather, but with South America never far away to the west, they will have to deal with a lot more unpredictability in the weather. For instance, they will have to decide whether to go inside or outside the Falkland Islands. There was a legendary overtaking move here in 1997-98, when the boats that arrived last at the Horn went round to the east of the Falklands and passed all those that had committed to the west. 

Pampero Menace: If that isn’t enough to worry about, the Southern Ocean storms are hitting the Andes, and one of the results is the Pampero, a storm that hits as a squall line, often with rain and thunder. It strikes just as weary crew are relaxing on the ‘safe’ side of Cape Horn. Ask Eric Newby, who recounted the impact of one in his classic of the days of sail, The Last Grain Race.

This is a tough leg, probably the toughest. It’s what the race is all about and whoever wins overall, the first boat around Cape Horn and the first across the line in Brazil will write their own place in race history.

https://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/route/leg-7.html

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New thread.  Proper spelling.  Couldn't listen to all the whining about the spelling for weeks.

Anyway, last we were discussing the integrity of the Vestas repair.

Carry on.

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Just now, ColinG said:

and here I was thinking it was Orcland...

Can you still see the old thread?  I hit the 'hide' button.

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Useful function. Shame it's so censoring though. :rolleyes:

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Just now, Sailbydate said:

Useful function. Shame it's so censoring though. :rolleyes:

Yeah.  Would have preferred just to fix it.

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Autocorrect function on Anarchy? It'd be busy as a one armed paper hanger with crabs.

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Just now, jack_sparrow said:

Fixing the spelling will have Randumb confused...good move.

Shell game.

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I liked this pic so much have reposted where the first few days of this leg have the potential to be the worst (going uphill) if a cyclone starts brewing up north and makes it down in time for the start.

 

Atu13.jpg

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34 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

I liked this pic so much have reposted where the first few days of this leg have the potential to be the worst (going uphill) if a cyclone starts brewing up north and makes it down in time for the start.

Don't make a fuss, Jack.  They might postpone the race like they did last time.

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37 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

I liked this pic so much have reposted where the first few days of this leg have the potential to be the worst (going uphill) if a cyclone starts brewing up north and makes it down in time for the start.

 

Atu13.jpg

We've already had our token cyclones this summer. Global warming be damned.

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Progress continues in Auckland as the new bow section is secured into the hull and painting commenced with a goal to relaunch the boat early next week. Photos: Atlia Madrona/ Vestas 11th Hour Racing

https://www.facebook.com/543015375825493/photos/?tab=album&album_id=543376135789417 …

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 8.26.49 PM.png

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2 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

Useful function. Shame it's so censoring though. :rolleyes:

Always have a Plan B, and save your work, I say. Here's what was 'censored' from my initial posts for those who missed them:

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 8.45.37 PM.png

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All things being equal, and the cyclone/Typhoon gods smiling the trick will be the shortest route along the ice ?  As the sails are one design, the question is on fresh or not, saving shape for later lighter conditions ? 

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4 hours ago, southerncross said:

This is a tough leg, probably the toughest. It’s what the race is all about and whoever wins overall, the first boat around Cape Horn and the first across the line in Brazil will write their own place in race history.

Said it then on Southern Cross's old thread, I'll say it again on his new one: "Those intrepid racers who survived The Southern Ocean, authored the saying, "Never fuck with ocean racers!" And deservedly so.

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5 hours ago, Chasm said:

So, will DF break the mast again this round?

It will be interesting to see if DF makes another crew change and brings Stu Bannantyne, aka "Magic Stu",  their favorite downwind sailor and lover of the Southern Ocean, back on board. I don't know who they would send off; the crew members who, other than Stu,  have gone or been off the boat for reasons unrelated to injury, besides so far the Chinese sailors Black and Wolf, who seem to be rotated on and off one at a time instead of two Chinese sailors on board at the same time,  are Kevin Escoffier and Jereme Beyou. While I don't know what the terms are of any of their contracts with DF, Escoffier has certainly been key in both this and the last edition in fixing stuff on board that goes seriously wrong (water pump, keel, etc.) and Beyou also has major Southern Ocean experience and is one of the key bowmen. Charles has never said that he pushed the boat beyond her limits when the mast broke in the prior edition, but he was very aggressive driving the boat in Leg 4. Even Stu admitted he himself was a bit wide-eyed while driving in those conditions, and it wasn't his first rodeo. 

Edited by despacio avenue
Clarification
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This should be a good one.

The battle of the reds is tight. A Dongfeng first and Mapfre second would be sufficient to close the points gap down from 5 to 2. Conversely, Mapfre could  stretch from 5 to ….  Will be interesting to see if Mapfre opts for a keep close to DF and try to pip them over the line strategy again.  You would think that with the margins being this close it will backfire at some point.

I have a feel that AKZO is now more or less where they would have been at the start, if the sponsor had kept quiet. But, they know more than anyone that it only takes one bad gybe to ruin your week.  

Scallywag has outperformed my expectations by quite a bit in the last two legs. I think the question of how they will deal with the second Southern Ocean leg is legit though.

Gutted for TToP that they were overtaken by the red boats at the finish. Felt harsh, but also shows the difference between a top campaign and a one that is “only” very good. Will also be interesting to see what they make of the Southern Ocean. Do they feel more confident taking risks that in the leg to Melbourne?

With Brunel, I am not sure I agree with the analyses of some that it is one lap of the marble too many for Bekking and Cape. I think much of their issues are down to being very late to the game and not well funded. The constant changes in crew (some forced by injury, some by lack of preparation time and subsequent previous commitments of their A-listers) don’t help. They also seem to have more than their fair share of bad-luck (career constant for Bekking in the VOR?). Still, for this leg they could easily break their podium duck if things go their way.

Finally, we should see Vestas back in the pack. Will the forced rest be an advantage, or a disadvantage? How did they work through the experience of the collision and the aftermath?

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4 hours ago, Zander said:

have a feel that AKZO is now more or less where they would have been at the start, if the sponsor had kept quiet. But, they know more than anyone that it only takes one bad gybe to ruin your week.

If you feel compelled to do an all boat race card at least do it properly...this sort of stuff is shit.

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9 hours ago, southerncross said:

Screen Shot 2018-02-28 at 8.30.36 PM.png

Following up on my previous posts, that have disappeared for whatever reason, I tip my hat to the Vestas crew for having the stones to test this out on the Southern Ocean.  Stones of granite.

WetHog  :ph34r:

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1 hour ago, WetHog said:

Following up on my previous posts, that have disappeared for whatever reason, I tip my hat to the Vestas crew for having the stones to test this out on the Southern Ocean.  Stones of granite.

WetHog  :ph34r:

Will they have time for any kind of sea trials and/or the in-port race?

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1 hour ago, southerncross said:

Yes.

That's good news.  Hopefully they'll have some breeze so that the boat will get at least a bit of a test before the open ocean.

Although I guess they won't see any heavy seas until they're well into Leg 7, and the bow work won't truly be fully tested until they have heavy seas.

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It's forward of a waterproof bulkhead, so, unless the hull buckles and takes down the rig they should be ok

 

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4 hours ago, LionessRacing said:

It's forward of a waterproof bulkhead, so, unless the hull buckles and takes down the rig they should be ok

True, and good point relative to the safety of the crew.  I was thinking less severely about scenarios like cracks developing or delamination, resulting in them having to turn back to Auckland 3 days into the race, or detour to Ushuaia or something like that.  Also about having enough confidence in the hull to push as hard as they need to if they want to be competitive.

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Welcome back to dry land after your tour of the Pacific, Mom.

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On ‎2‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 12:41 AM, WetHog said:

Following up on my previous posts, that have disappeared for whatever reason, I tip my hat to the Vestas crew for having the stones to test this out on the Southern Ocean.  Stones of granite.

WetHog  :ph34r:

Wet,  the whole thread was hidden to get rid of the typo in the name of the thread. SX couldn't bear the prolonged shame. ^_^ Nothing sinister.  This is the new thread.

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38 minutes ago, DtM said:

Wet,  the whole thread was hidden to get rid of the typo in the name of the thread. SX couldn't bear the prolonged shame. ^_^ Nothing sinister.  This is the new thread.

Didn't think it was anything sinister but dropping a thread for a spelling error is a bit much.  ;)

WetHog  :ph34r:

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2 hours ago, WetHog said:

Didn't think it was anything sinister but dropping a thread for a spelling error is a bit much.  ;)

WetHog  :ph34r:

Damed if you do. Damned if you don't. How could he win that one? :unsure:

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4 hours ago, WetHog said:

Didn't think it was anything sinister but dropping a thread for a spelling error is a bit much.  ;)

The bitching about it got to be a bit much. 

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BrunelSailing‏ 

The Volvo Ocean Race is also a race of extremes for our shore crew. Getting the boat in perfect condition after it has been used in brutal conditions. To get it done you’ll need a very sure crew.

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 3.37.44 PM.png

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On ‎01‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 10:29 AM, Chasm said:

So, will DF break the mast again this round?

DF's mast broke last time round, i don't think you will find anyone that could truly say DF broke the mast. They had troubles with the mast the whole race and were actually relatively 'backed off the power' when the stick went

SS

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On ‎01‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 4:10 PM, despacio avenue said:

It will be interesting to see if DF makes another crew change and brings Stu Bannantyne, aka "Magic Stu",  their favorite downwind sailor and lover of the Southern Ocean, back on board. I don't know who they would send off; the crew members who, other than Stu,  have gone or been off the boat for reasons unrelated to injury, besides so far the Chinese sailors Black and Wolf, who seem to be rotated on and off one at a time instead of two Chinese sailors on board at the same time,  are Kevin Escoffier and Jereme Beyou. While I don't know what the terms are of any of their contracts with DF, Escoffier has certainly been key in both this and the last edition in fixing stuff on board that goes seriously wrong (water pump, keel, etc.) and Beyou also has major Southern Ocean experience and is one of the key bowmen. Charles has never said that he pushed the boat beyond her limits when the mast broke in the prior edition, but he was very aggressive driving the boat in Leg 4. Even Stu admitted he himself was a bit wide-eyed while driving in those conditions, and it wasn't his first rodeo. 

Actually rotating Black and Horace not Black & Wolf

SS

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2 hours ago, southerncross said:

BrunelSailing‏ 

The Volvo Ocean Race is also a race of extremes for our shore crew. Getting the boat in perfect condition after it has been used in brutal conditions. To get it done you’ll need a very sure crew.

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 3.37.44 PM.png

I observed (have never personally been to a stopover) this in previous editions but never asked: during the stopovers the boats are worked on outside as pictured above. Obviously it rains in many of those places, some or even much of the time. How do the shore crews accommodate for this? Some of the work involves sanding, painting, etc.  How is that done out in the open? Are there boat sheds available?  Request: don't make me feel like a complete idiot for asking...

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2 hours ago, despacio avenue said:

I observed (have never personally been to a stopover) this in previous editions but never asked: during the stopovers the boats are worked on outside as pictured above. Obviously it rains in many of those places, some or even much of the time. How do the shore crews accommodate for this? Some of the work involves sanding, painting, etc.  How is that done out in the open? Are there boat sheds available?  Request: don't make me feel like a complete idiot for asking...

The boats in the picture have been tented, so that the painting for the deck can go on despite the rain. Most parts for servicing are taken off and worked on in the technical containers, housed in the building behind the boats.

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5 hours ago, LionessRacing said:

Wait a few weeks, and then switch them... 

Could still happen, to fix "Itajaí"?

 

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2 hours ago, Potter said:

The boats in the picture have been tented, so that the painting for the deck can go on despite the rain. Most parts for servicing are taken off and worked on in the technical containers, housed in the building behind the boats.

Thanks.

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On 3/1/2018 at 5:43 AM, southerncross said:

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 5.39.49 AM.png

'ah yes, she had the curves of a racing yachit'.

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Calling all Auckland-based Scallywags!!

On the 11th of March, Sunday, from 12 to 1:00pm (NZT), we will be hosting an Open Boat event for the public. So come down, meet the crew, explore the boat, and see what life is like onboard the Volvo Ocean 65!

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 5.59.27 AM.png

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This interview by SG (from my Sophie collection) of the two current frontrunners ....but after the Fastnet... is an interesting crank back in time knowing what we know now.

 

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WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE BOATYARD #1

So while the boat is on-shore for planned maintenance it’s time to catch up with Jack Taylor, Team Brunel’s technical shore manager.
 

Jack, it’s Sunday, the boat is in for about 5 days, what’s going on?
A lot, the boat is now four days out of the water and we are doing all we can to get it in the best shape possible for the InPort Race and the next Leg off course. Today the guys de-masking from the non-skin paint job. We’ve got Cariboni down below, their taking out the keel ramp and pins. The winch specialists are about to restock and put all the winches back on the boat. Riggers are putting in new steering cables. The painters are down below filling in the keel vin and they will start painting tonight. And the shore crew are preparing the rig and following true with all the hardware and all the rigging that needs to be done in the workshop.

Did you find any unexpected problems?
No, actually we didn’t. During the Leg, I receive almost daily an updated job list with what’s going on aboard. So in that way we are always pretty up to date on which work has to be done when the boat gets ashore.

We don’t see any sailors around, where are they? 
The sailors aren’t here, they are off and having some well-deserved rest. The sailors are back on Thursday and they will help load the boom, the daggerboards, the sails, hook the main up and then rig the boat for Friday's practice race in the afternoon.

onderhoud.png

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As news a bit thin on the ground....if you think a lot has changed over the years...check out what NorBow's ancestors were doing in the late 10th and early 11th century or over a 1,000 years ago. 

Fast, sound, crewed boats have always been wet boats.

 

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It's that time of the year!

Happy birthday to the scallywag himself, David Witt; skipper of Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag!

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 9.02.38 PM.png

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4 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

As news a bit thin on the ground....if you think a lot has changed over the years...check out what NorBow's ancestors were doing in the late 10th and early 11th century or over a 1,000 years ago. 

Fast, sound, crewed boats have always been wet boats.

 

"Trim, trim....telltale number 27 is falling"

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20 minutes ago, NORBowGirl said:

"Trim, trim....telltale number 27 is falling"

Pretty tough on the crew trimming to heavy reefing ties, NBGirl. Isn't that why woolies were invented? ;)

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1 hour ago, Sailbydate said:

Pretty tough on the crew trimming to heavy reefing ties, NBGirl. Isn't that why woolies were invented? ;)

Pretty tough yes...but they were standing on the deck doing "bottom down" reefing around 1000AD, just as we do today. 

I think crew were treated as more expendable 500+ years later as shit got bigger in waterline length, carrying capacity and sail area etc, which then sent large crew numbers aloft to "top up" stow and or furl shit, often in horendous conditions, to preserve vessel and crew, well most of them. 

I know which era I would have preferred to have been born into in the crew department.

My guess is the Viking pillaging then settlement bit at the other end in the 10th/11th century was also far more fun by comparison to being with Columbus etc 500+ years later and even to the cusp of the 20th century beginning/clippers ending.

I'm showing my blondness.

13-1931CrewFurlingMainsail-1024x671.jpg

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7 hours ago, southerncross said:

It's that time of the year!

Happy birthday to the scallywag himself, David Witt; skipper of Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag!

:angry:

I was hoping for a Witster-free day.

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7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Pretty tough yes...but they were standing on the deck doing "bottom down" reefing around 1000AD, just as we do today. 

I think crew were treated as more expendable 500+ years later as shit got bigger in waterline length, carrying capacity and sail area etc, which then sent large crew numbers aloft to "top up" stow and or furl shit, often in horendous conditions, to preserve vessel and crew, well most of them. 

I know which era I would have preferred to have been born into in the crew department.

My guess is the Viking pillaging then settlement bit at the other end in the 10th/11th century was also far more fun by comparison to being with Columbus etc 500+ years later and even to the cusp of the 20th century beginning/clippers ending.

I'm showing my blondness.

13-1931CrewFurlingMainsail-1024x671.jpg

You bloody Vikings have a lot to answer for. ;)

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16 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

As news a bit thin on the ground....if you think a lot has changed over the years...check out what NorBow's ancestors were doing in the late 10th and early 11th century or over a 1,000 years ago. 

Fast, sound, crewed boats have always been wet boats.

 

Awesome, would have been even better with a few of those tall, strong, blond and scarcely dressed vikings on board :P

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15 hours ago, southerncross said:

It's that time of the year!

Happy birthday to the scallywag himself, David Witt; skipper of Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag!

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 9.02.38 PM.png

Plus 1 year ... minus 20 kg ... well done .... congrats! :)

DW.png.563423a220a8b0be50dde23c14bc04e3.png

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Goodbye 'Paquita'

Francisca Larios, better known as Paquita – who joined husband Ramon Carlín onboard first ever Race winner Sayula II in 1973 – has passed awayThe Volvo Ocean Race is saddened to hear that Francisca Larios, better known as Paquita, has passed away in her native Mexico aged 91 years old.

Paquita earned her place in Race history by stepping onboard winning yacht Sayula II for the first leg of the first ever edition of the race.

She later admitted that she hated being onboard – and after 44 days at sea, cooking, taking care of the crew and making tequila cocktails, she left the boat in Cape Town, vowing never to return.

She continued to support the boat – featuring her husband, son and nephews – from shore. In May 2017, Volvo Ocean Race's Nacho Goméz caught up with Paquita to get her memories of that first ever race. The full interview is below.

https://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/news/11203_Goodbye-Paquita-.html

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16 hours ago, Diva39 said:

Plus 1 year ... minus 20 kg ... well done .... congrats! :)

DW.png.563423a220a8b0be50dde23c14bc04e3.png

Was just watching this and up popped a very young David Witt (2:59)

 

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35 minutes ago, hoppy said:

Was just watching this and up popped a very young David Witt (2:59)

And some young others, uhm... LOL

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Have the ice limits been published yet?

This season was a heavy sea ice one in Antarctica which generally means that fewer icebergs will have been released into the Southern Ocean so hopefully the ice route won't be too far north this time around. 

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Dongfeng Race Team‏

"It's been an intense week for Dongfeng's technical team here in Auckland, with only one week to carry out a painting schedule and maintenance overhaul that would normally take at least 2-3 weeks in any normal yard environment." - Gringo

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 1.19.21 PM.png

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Libby Greenhalgh‏ 

I spy with my little eye volvooceanrace legend Trimore from @brunelsailing showing @lmsiddall newly crowned @IMNZ champion around the VO65 today. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 8.15.46 PM.png

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8 minutes ago, southerncross said:

Libby Greenhalgh‏ 

I spy with my little eye volvooceanrace legend Trimore from @brunelsailing showing @lmsiddall newly crowned @IMNZ champion around the VO65 today. 

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 8.15.46 PM.png

That stock fence is still a bit bent out of shape. ;)

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On ‎01‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 5:04 PM, Zander said:

This should be a good one.

The battle of the reds is tight. A Dongfeng first and Mapfre second would be sufficient to close the points gap down from 5 to 2. Conversely, Mapfre could  stretch from 5 to ….  Will be interesting to see if Mapfre opts for a keep close to DF and try to pip them over the line strategy again.  You would think that with the margins being this close it will backfire at some point.

I have a feel that AKZO is now more or less where they would have been at the start, if the sponsor had kept quiet. But, they know more than anyone that it only takes one bad gybe to ruin your week.  

Scallywag has outperformed my expectations by quite a bit in the last two legs. I think the question of how they will deal with the second Southern Ocean leg is legit though.

Gutted for TToP that they were overtaken by the red boats at the finish. Felt harsh, but also shows the difference between a top campaign and a one that is “only” very good. Will also be interesting to see what they make of the Southern Ocean. Do they feel more confident taking risks that in the leg to Melbourne?

With Brunel, I am not sure I agree with the analyses of some that it is one lap of the marble too many for Bekking and Cape. I think much of their issues are down to being very late to the game and not well funded. The constant changes in crew (some forced by injury, some by lack of preparation time and subsequent previous commitments of their A-listers) don’t help. They also seem to have more than their fair share of bad-luck (career constant for Bekking in the VOR?). Still, for this leg they could easily break their podium duck if things go their way.

Finally, we should see Vestas back in the pack. Will the forced rest be an advantage, or a disadvantage? How did they work through the experience of the collision and the aftermath?

It's a huge leg Zander, if DF are also 1st to the Horn it becomes a deficit of just one, put one boat between them and Mapfre and it changes once again but if Mapfre leads the way it could be a real race winner overall- absolutely massive and could be pivotal in the overall result of the race.

With a cumulative time difference between these two teams of less than 10 minutes it is far too close to call.

SS

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^^^ There is an argument that those at the top of the table will take their foot off the gas when it gets knarly maybe before those down the list and who don't appear to have a speed deficit anymore to the brothers red.

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WHAT'S GOING ON IN THE BOATYARD #3

Napper, you're the rigger of Team Brunel what does that mean?
I'm in charge of all the maintenance and servicing of the mast, the boom and all the rope work. I try to make sure we don't have any failures, without just throwing money around to replace everything. That's it really, that's essentially the job.

What's the first thing you do when the boat docks in after a Leg?
At a stopover, if the mast is not coming out, I'll go straight to it to check if there's nothing major we have to deal with. The sooner we know, the sooner I can deal with it, the better it is. If the mast is going out I'm still usually going up to have a look, again to give myself some for warning if there's anything major. But like in this stopover they came in in the middle of the night and we were lifting the rig and the boat in a couple of hours anyway. So I just set up to pull the mast out, I disconnected all the electric and hydraulics from down below. Preparing the mast jacks so we can unplug all of the components that hold the mast up and then get all the slings set up on the rig ready to hook up to the crane and then we lift it out and put it down. Then I had a good look through it all, and when I had a visual look through it all and made sure we had nothing frightening to deal with, then I start looking for signs of wear and tear on strings and cables and then I start unscrewing everything. Pulling all the compounds apart, cleaning them, getting all the grease off. Then it's time to have a good look inside to see that there's nothing major going on there. And then depending on the serving schedule or if they are broken I either replace them or start putting it all back together.

What's the boatyard doing on the rig?
The boatyard does a certain degree because the whole program is all very one design. Really that's about it, I give a list to the boatyard saying what I want replaced rope work wise. Which are strip areas, strops and rigging and if it's on their schedule replacement for the stopover they do it free of charge all part of their entry fees and if it's ok then I normally do it myself. But essentially I tell them what I want to replace and then they will do that. Standard rigging wise all the parts that actually hold the mast up I'll deal with all that myself. They might come over and help us out if they have some spare-time but essential I do that all myself. Once I've got certain components clean I'll give them to Harry of the boatyard and he will do some non-destructive testing on them. And then he just hands them back to me and says all cool or hands them back to me with a red flag on to it and recommend replacement.

What are you doing around an InPort race like we have next Saturday here in Auckland?
Not much more in preparation really, because you see when the mast is in, the mast is in. It's all set up to go sailing, it's an offshore boat. We don't have really two different modes, like an inshore and an offshore mode. She is set up to race offshore so once we're ready to go you just can go and start sailing inshore. And after it, it's the best shakedown sail cause we've pulled so much stuff apart and put it all back together after a big InPort race and everything getting all highly loaded again then I go up and have a good visual inspection again around the rig. To ensure there's nothing happened that could surprise us. And to be honest, after that I'm happy to wave it off the dock and let it go into the Southern Ocean, happy days. She's right on!

What did you do before you became part of Team Brunel?
Mainly racing on superyachts and the J-class and I was doing the rigging freelance for a few people. In particular, for one of the J-class boats, that is where I met Bouwe. So mainly racing big yachts and then rigging on a few of them as well but it's a very different style of rigging in a way. This is all one-design here so you buy it in rather than make it yourself. 

But this is good, it really got my head into a different way of thinking, a lot more logistically. And it highlighted the importance of protection and durability of everything for the simple fact that I can't inspect it at the end of everyday racing which ordinarily on every other boat I worked on, I could inspect it. That's quite reassuring really we're like this I can't look at it for about three weeks of hard use so I got to be pretty sure that she will be up to it, and not having done something like this before, it's a bit of chatting with the veterans around here about what really gets worn down, what are the areas of concern and what's actually pretty robust and not much to worry about.

napster-2.png

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6 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

^^^ There is an argument that those at the top of the table will take their foot off the gas when it gets knarly maybe before those down the list and who don't appear to have a speed deficit anymore to the brothers red.

Interesting thought. I hope it doesn’t come to this. As had been suggested, I hope DFRT takes the view that this leg is a unique opportunity to run up some points on MAPFRE- maybe even gain the lead- and that later legs will not offer the same opportunities. If that is the case, they might not take their foot off the gas. And if DF is going for it, or MAPFRE perceives that DF will push hard this leg, I would imagine MAPFRE would be motivated to also push hard so as not to allow DF to potentially Turn the tables on MAPFRE. 

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7 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

^^^ There is an argument that those at the top of the table will take their foot off the gas when it gets knarly maybe before those down the list and who don't appear to have a speed deficit anymore to the brothers red.

Yeah Jack, they might still have a speed advantage if the "race experts" hadn't looked at the telemetry coming off the boats and then blabbed that certain settings appeared to be a lot fasted and non-intuitive just to stroke their own kudos giving away discoveries that had taken dozens of hours to discover, log and check. And of course included in the whole world that could see their analysis were the other teams shore crews. And to do it, effectively mid-regatta was not smart.

SS

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1 hour ago, shanghaisailor said:

Yeah Jack, they might still have a speed advantage if the "race experts" hadn't looked at the telemetry coming off the boats and then blabbed that certain settings appeared to be a lot fasted and non-intuitive just to stroke their own kudos giving away discoveries that had taken dozens of hours to discover, log and check. And of course included in the whole world that could see their analysis were the other teams shore crews. And to do it, effectively mid-regatta was not smart.

SS

Even the teams late to the game were looking at dropping the keel to increase righting moment, and reduce drag, before the start of leg 2. TTTOP has-been testing it during that leg.

So that output from the Race Experts was not as bad as DFRT made it out to be.  They made a big song and dance about it, but actually it was no secret to the other teams.

I would go so far to say that the reaction from DFRT was out of all proportion,  and actually shows how much pressure they are under to win.

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Utmost respect to these sailors . . 

It's one thing to sail wet - but it's another thing entirely to sail while being blasted by a fire hose. Not just hard, but "too hard." 

I don't know how they do it. 

Caudrelier - > Talk about wear and fatigue. Where are you at this level? 
This is a very difficult race, we are not likely to do all the steps. Although those who we see a break is not the same after. The great difficulty of the Volvo, it's endurance, it is a race of attrition. I have already done two full but I admit that it is becoming harder. The pace is very high, it has even become the anything. All the sailors say. The stops are too short, the steps last very long. The Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018 has become too hard. it grinds teams, it crushes men and women. Yes, it's too much and it is not good for the race because it will not attract other crews. 

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Caudrelier seems to be having a tough time.  Most of the crews look like they are having a grand time on the stopovers especially in New Zealand.  Rotations are available for any team member who is either injured or worn out.  It is important to note that Mapfre has kept the same team practically from since the start with no complaints and beating DF.

As Potter said, I think the added pressure on Caudrelier and team to win may be contributing to his overall hardship.

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