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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5

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  • Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5

    Local heroes CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand clinched a dream victory on Saturday, winning the Auckland In-Port Race in front of tens of thousands of ecstatic fans to reinvigorate their Volvo Ocean Race campaign.

    Bowman Daryl Wislang from New Zealand onboard CAMPER leading the fleet during the Auckland In-Port Race, ©IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race

    CAMPER, the Spanish sponsored team who count Auckland as one of their two homeports, earned the advantage with a tack right to the shoreline off the start and once in front never let go, keeping a comfortable lead all the way home on the 60-minute course.

    PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG finished second, just 54 seconds behind, followed by Groupama sailing team in the third podium spot.

    Team Sanya, skippered by Auckland-born Mike Sanderson, sailed a terrific race to clinch fourth ahead of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Telefónica, who between them had won all four of the previous races in the in-port series.

    "The one thing we said all week was how do we thank everyone who has supported us," said skipper Chris Nicholson. "I hope this goes a long way to thanking them.

    "It's been a huge week of support and it's helped.''

    Team Sanya celebrate St Patrick's Day before the Auckland In-Port Race, during the Volvo OCean Race 2011-12. ©IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race

    CAMPER scored six points for the win but it wasn’t enough to edge them ahead on the overall leaderboard where they remain third with 104 points, behind Telefónica (122 points) and Groupama (107).

    It was PUMA who looked to have scored the jump off the start line, sprinting under full speed to the lead with a dominant position to windward at the committee boat end of the line.

    Within a minute of the start gun firing a split in the fleet developed with CAMPER, Sanya and Groupama opting to tack to a course closer to the city’s port.

    The trio gained pace with one knot less current against them than their counterparts PUMA, Telefónica and Abu Dhabi in the middle of Waitemata Harbour.

    It was CAMPER who came out on top of the split, locking in first place as the fleet engaged in some very close-quarter sailing.

    Sanya fell foul of the tight racing, falling to sixth place on the back of a port/starboard incident with Groupama within five minutes of the start.

    Emirates Team New Zealand in the lead followed by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during the In-Port Race in Auckland, ©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

    The fleet followed by spectator boats sail under the Auckland Harbour Bridge during the In-Port Race in Auckland, © PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

    After the 18-minute, 2.5 nautical mile upwind sprint to the first mark CAMPER clung to a slim 19-second lead over Groupama.

    PUMA trailed in third by 55 seconds, followed by Sanya 1:29 behind, Abu Dhabi in fifth by 1:35 and Telefónica in sixth by 1:41.

    The easterly breeze picked up to 18-20 knots as the teams cracked their spinnakers, which proved only to add to CAMPER’s domination as they extended their lead to 40 seconds.

    Groupama and PUMA held their positions, while Abu Dhabi moved to fourth, Telefónica to fifth and Sanya to sixth.

    PUMA managed to manoeuvre in front of Groupama on leg three and trail CAMPER by 1:01. Groupama held third position, but they were under pressure from Team Sanya who had clawed back to fourth, with Abu Dhabi in fifth and Team Telefónica in sixth.

    Positions remained locked-in as the team’s crossed the finish line much to the delight of the crowd. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  • #2
    Leg 5 Start Auckland

    CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand are leading the fleet in a battle against more than 37 knot winds and six metre seas on the brutal opening night of Leg 5 that has already forced Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing back to port with damage.

    PUMA changing sails whilst crashing through waves in heavy weather, at the start of leg 5 © PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

    The fierce conditions caused by a tropical storm near New Zealand’s North Island are giving the teams no time to ease back into racing after the brief stopover in Auckland, and there is no relief in sight with the weather tipped to worsen to over the next 24 hours.

    CAMPER navigator Will Oxley said the barometer on board the red boat was dropping and the sea state was building as the team prepared to batten down the hatches.

    “It will be a long hard night ahead, it seems to be the norm to start each leg in particularly heinous conditions," he said. “Hopefully we can continue our trend of starting well, but this time carry it on through the entire leg.”

    The fleet of Volvo Open 70's head out into open water, at the start of leg 5
    © PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

    Oxley said his team was able to navigate to their lead by weaving around Rakino Island, gaining an advantage from the tide. At 1300 UTC CAMPER held a 0.3 nautical mile lead over PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG.

    Overall race leaders Team Telefónica were third, and the only team on a port tack heading southeasterly, while Leg 4 victors Groupama sailing team were in fourth place followed by Team Sanya in fifth, just three miles behind CAMPER.

    The crew on board Abu Dhabi’s Azzam returned to Auckland’s Viaduct Harbour at 1030 UTC and were visibly disappointed as they threw their mooring lines to their waiting shore crew.

    The team were forced to suspend racing at 0630 UTC, just five-and-a-half hours into the leg, after their Volvo Open 70 crashed off a steep wave and ripped a bulkhead in their bow, which secures a crucial heavy weather headsail, clean out.

    Skipper Ian Walker described the situation as “not disastrous”, saying that if it had happened a week into the leg the team would have carried on.

    Team Sanya, skippered by Mike Sanderson from New Zealand tacking at the start of leg 5 © IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race

    Bowman Justin Slattery onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, during the start of leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, ©IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race

    However, given the team’s location Walker said it made sense to return for repairs especially as they needed a sound bulkhead to enable them to use their J4 sail, which will be needed for as much as 80 per cent of the Southern Ocean stretch.

    “We discussed it and took the decision that we’re only 40 miles from Auckland, let’s come back and we’ll probably repair it quicker and better, and then we can get back out and try to catch everyone up,” he said.

    Abu Dhabi team director Jamie Boag said he expected repairs to take about 24 hours.

    “The guys are back here in one piece and the problem is pretty straightforward,’’ he said. “They were so close to our big resources here in Auckland that I think they made the right decision to come back. We will try to get the boys turned round as quickly as we can and get them back in the race. It should be 24 to 30 hours or so.”

    To Abu Dhabi’s advantage, the fleet will continue to battle against the massive low-pressure system and transition into survival mode as the wind peaks to in excess of 40 knots Volvo meteorologist Gonzalo Infante said.

    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing shore crew working on the broken J4 bulkhead during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 © IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race

    The fleet is likely to continue to trek north where they will find the best escape route to survive the worst of the storm’s might in offshore waters away from the Continental Shelf and pick up northerly winds on the eastern section of the storm.

    As for Abu Dhabi, they are likely to face tough conditions if they depart in 24 to 36 hours. “It will not be an easy departure, they will have a south-east wind gusting up to 35 to 40 knots with steep waves,’’ Infante said.

    Leg 5 is the longest leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. It takes the fleet on a 6,705 nm race through the Southern Ocean, around Cape Horn and on to Itajaí, Brazil where they are expected to finish in early April.

    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, in heavy weather, at the start of leg 5
    ©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

    Team Telefonica, changing sails in rough weather, at the start of leg 5
    ©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


    • #3
      A Bit of Relief In The Southern Ocean

      After two days of relentless punishment from high winds and huge waves on Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajaí the top five boats are set for some relief over the next 24 hours as two high pressure systems bring lighter conditions.

      Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skipper Ian Walker cover by sea spray
      © Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

      According to race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante the merging systems will envelop the main pack in light unstable breezes and could push the boats hard south in search of stronger westerly winds.

      An ice exclusion zone now set around 47 degrees south may further complicate the teams’ strategies but Infante says the fleet could reach steadier westerly winds around midday on Wednesday.

      At 1400 UTC today Team Telefónica had a four nautical mile margin at the front of the fleet, a lead which navigator Andrew Cape said was under threat as the overall race leaders head into the lighter winds.

      “Anything could happen here, it’s all on for young and old,” Cape said. “We’re the first to get into lighter air so it’s always a case that the boats behind us could catch us. So right now everyone is a threat, even Abu Dhabi.

      “We could park here for the day and they’ll be right back here with us and choose a different path."

      Cape said the developing high pressure ridge would mean slow going for the whole fleet and could pay a huge dividend to whoever broke through to stronger winds first.

      “The picture ahead doesn’t look brilliant for anyone, as we have to move across this ridge that stands between us and going fast,” he said. “It’s going to be a pretty slow next 24 hours and the first to break through is going to be going great."

      The break in hard running has come as a relief to several of the already wearied teams allowing them to affect running repairs to both boats and bodies.

      “I feel like I’ve gone 12 rounds with Mike Tyson,” said PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG skipper Ken Read. “Everybody in the fleet’s body and mind is pretty shot right now.”

      Read said two crew injuries sustained in the brutal first 48 hours of the leg had almost resulted in PUMA detouring 500 nm to the Chatham Islands for an emergency evacuation of helmsman Thomas Johanson and bowman Casey Smith.

      Sail change onboard Team Telefonica
      © Diego Fructuoso/Volvo Ocean Race

      Johanson dislocated his shoulder after being washed across the boat’s cockpit by a wave and Smith was confined to his bunk by a reoccurrence of a pre-existing back injury during a routine sail change.

      “Thomas found himself on the leeward side of the cockpit, crumpled in a heap,” Read explained. “He was coming on deck and got blindsided by this wave and got crunched.”

      Happily, after taking medical advice from race and team doctors back ashore, PUMA onboard medic Jono Swain successfully re-located Johanson’s shoulder.

      “Jono just slowly popped his shoulder back in place and all of a sudden you saw his eyes open up,” Read said. “It was instantaneous relief. He was back on deck today having a drive, so he’s recuperating quite quickly.”

      However Read said Smith’s back injury was a trickier scenario which they were treating with pain medication and could still require him to be taken off the boat at Cape Horn.

      “At one point we were heading to the Chatham Islands to get rid of both of them,’’ Read confirmed. “But then Thomas’ shoulder got popped back in and we had a long talk to Casey.

      “He’s a tough guy, he’s a team guy, so essentially we said let’s at least get to Cape Horn and if there’s no improvement by then, we’ll figure out a way to get rid of him. But up until then there’s not a whole lot of options.”

      “Hopefully the medication will start to work a bit better and we’ll see a light at the end of the tunnel. Right now he’s still in pain,’’ Read said.

      Broken bunk onboard Team Telefonica
      © Diego Fructuoso/Volvo Ocean Race

      Navigator Will Oxley comes back below deck to the nav station onboard CAMPER © Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race

      On second placed Groupama sailing team, skipper Franck Cammas said the French crew were in good shape having used the moderating conditions for sail repairs and to fix some niggling leaks.

      “We now have 12 to 14 knots of wind and finally a flatter sea state,” Cammas said today. “Sailing without the shocks – better conditions.

      “The boat is fine. We had some issues during the first night and the following day but today there is no problem anymore and we can use every sail and have fixed the leaks.”

      Cammas said he was not expecting any fast sailing for around a week as the closely packed fleet squeezed between the ice exclusion zone and the high pressure.

      “Right now the fleet is really grouped -- 40 miles for the first 5 boats with still 3,500 miles to go to the Cape Horn is really small,” he said. “There isn’t a big option to take. We are expecting light wind in the next few hours and it already went down a lot.

      “We will cross a high pressure zone and have an ice zone to respect. Sadly that stops us from going south enough to pick up stronger winds. So we are not expecting very high speeds within the seven next days.”

      At 1400 UTC Groupama were just four nautical miles behind leaders Telefónica.

      Third placed PUMA were just three nautical miles further off the lead and eight nautical miles ahead of fourth placed CAMPER with Emirates team New Zealand.

      Team Sanya were in fifth, 40 nm off the lead.

      Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, who resumed racing yesterday after returning to Auckland for repairs on the first day, were 419 nm off the lead.

      Skipper Chris Nicholson on deck for a sail change onboard CAMPER
      © Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


      • #4
        Oh Snap! Sanya's Woes Continue

        Team Sanya's rudder stock, broken after sustaining damage during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race
        ©AndrŽs Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race

        Sanya, who were leading Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajaí in Brazil at the time, reported the damage to Race Control in Alicante at 0800 UTC after the rudderstock sheared off.

        The team, skippered by former race winner Mike Sanderson, said they had worked through the aft deck hatch to pump water from the aft watertight compartment.

        "There was an almighty bang that came from the back of the boat, just a metre away from where I was sitting, bailing water out of the aft compartment," MCM Andrés Soriano explained.

        "Initially I could not tell what it was, until I looked around with my head torch on. What I found was gut wrenching. The rudderstock had sheared off just under deck level. I could tell there was no rudder left looking at what remained. Instantly, massive amounts of water filled the aft compartment I was in."

        The team then successfully plugged the hole, using a piece of carbon plate.

        “We are now a watertight vessel again," said boat captain Richard Mason.

        The team are now working out what to do next.

        Sanya in green, have now turned around and are sailing back towards Auckland
        Abu Dhabi is in yellow to the north, avoiding the monster system to the south.

        "Right now, the plan is to get north as soon as possible to get out of a building breeze," said Soriano. "The plan is still up in the air, but as Mike stated our main priority is crew safety."

        After some swift action by the crew to seal off the stern section and get the boat back under control a fuller damage assessment revealed that the starboard rudderstock had sheared off inside the hull.

        Still weighing up his team’s immediate options Sanderson said the most urgent priority had been to plug the hole torn in the aft of the boat when the rudderstock snapped.

        “We’ve been in preservation mode for the past few hours,” he said. “We had to save the boat.

        “The rudder snapped in between the boat and the deck, which is just the worst thing that can happen because then it just leverages itself off he boat and leaves a pretty messy trail.”

        “The thing is we had all the sails stacked aft on deck, we had the aft ballast tank and the whole all the gear stacked downstairs in the back of the boat,” Sanderson said. “So as soon as we stopped of course water just started rushing in. It is the second time we’ve heard water coming into this boat at that sort of pace, so it’s pretty scary.

        “The whole aft compartment was full of water, about three to four tonnes and it was pressing.

        Sanderson said the crash gybe immediately following the incident had laid the boat almost flat and taken a considerable time to recover from.

        “We went into a Chinese gybe, so suddenly we’re pinned on our side dragging the sails through the water with a lot of heel on,” he said. “We had the keel out the wrong side and the sail stack all on the wrong side. But you know, it’s just a process you work through and take your time.

        The rudder snapped as Sanya were leading the fleet and sailing at speeds of around 25 knots. According to Sanderson this made the current situation all the harder to swallow particularly after putting on an impressive performance during the Auckland stopover.

        “We were very pleased with our leg from a performance standpoint. We won the pro-am race, we got a fourth in the in-port race and we led the fleet out of Auckland,” he said.

        “We were really pleased we were in a lead and in a really nice spot to extend our lead. We were sailing along pretty fast, between 20-30 knots of boat speed in nice conditions with winds gutting up to 30 knots, when these boats are at their fastest,” he said.

        “We’re just gutted, it hasn’t even quite sunk in for sure.

        “But first and foremost is ensuring everyone is safe and well. The guys have just finished fixing the hole, which has taken a couple of hours and we’ve fitted the emergency steering.

        “But we’re not out of the woods yet, we’ve got a temporary repair on the back of the boat and we have plenty of work ahead of us yet.”

        Volvo Open 70s have two rudders and each boat also carries one extra emergency rudder. This rudder can be mounted either on the stern or through the same bearings as the original rudders.

        The problem occurred on Thursday, Day 5 of Leg 5 from Auckland in New Zealand to Itajaí in Brazil.

        At the time, Sanya held a slim lead over four other boats in the main pack with over 5,500 nautical miles to go to the finish line.

        It is the third big setback suffered by Sanya since the start of the race. Shortly after leaving Alicante on Leg 1 they suffered major bow damage that meant they had to be shipped to Cape Town.

        Then, while leading the fleet on Leg 2, a key piece of rigging broke, forcing them to head to Madagascar for repairs. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


        • #5

          A small break in the weather conditions as the fleet prepares for more punishment in the days to come.

          On board video from CAMPER on day 5 of leg 5 as the crew carry out some
          runiing repairs.

          On board video from CAMPER on Day 6 of Leg 5 as CAMPER hits fast
          downwind sailing conditions in the Southern Ocean - what everyone has
          been waiting for!
 ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


          • #6
            Pedal To The Metal

            Conditions are so extreme on Leg 5 that teams are taking their foot off the throttle, according to Groupama helmsman Charles Caudrelier, who is mindful of the fact that there is a lot more to be lost than won in the Southern Ocean.

            The boats were averaging around 20 knots boat speed on Friday, and four had notched up 24 hour runs in excess of 500 nautical miles, quick enough but not nearly as fast as they could be going if they were not halfway through a race around the world.

            “The only way (to keep the boat in one piece) is to slow down," Caudrelier said on Friday. "We are far from being as fast as we would if the sea state was good – we could be above 30 knots of speed and we are actually around 20, 25 knots. So we reduce the sail area and nurse the boat.

            “I think everyone has slowed down; some more than others. It’s for the guy steering to use his seamanship and it’s strategic too. This surely is the most beautiful leg to win, it’s also the one, which can make you lose the Volvo Ocean Race. If you break the boat here…. Let’s look after her."

            Caudrelier said the waves, some up to five metres, were slamming on deck, and each was colder than the one before. Survival suits, gloves, balaclavas and life-line tethers are no longer optional, they are a necessity in the southern lows.

            The 38-year-old Volvo first timer admitted that it was tough going - - the cold combined with the stress of driving blind at night made for extremely testing conditions.

            “I think there is nothing tougher than sailing through the Southern Ocean on a Volvo Open 70," he said. "You’re very badly protected; the boats are very fast and wet. We are in the deep end of the pool.

            “At the helm, you’re doing all the work and it’s interesting. You got to play with the waves and the wind, you got to nurse the boat, but it’s not easy. At night you don’t see a thing. It’s stressing too because lots of waves come on the deck. But hey – we are attached and we built a little shield with the sails in front of us: it’s not that bad!”

   ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


            • #7

              Sailing lesson from the Southern Ocean, how to drive a powered up V-70 in the roaring 40's!
     ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


              • #8
                Survival Mode IN The Southern Ocean

                The top four boats are surviving rather than racing tonight as they close in on the central waypoint of the ice exclusion zone in the Southern Ocean in average wind strengths up to 40 knots and peak gusts over 60 knots.

                Team Telefonica crew fully suited up as the Southern Ocean sea washes over the deck © Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race

                All four teams have the same priority -- to survive the extreme conditions and get to Cape Horn in one piece.

                At 1900 UTC leg leaders Groupama sailing team had throttled their boat back to an average speed of 18 knots, while 27 nautical miles (nm) astern race leaders Team Telefónica were travelling at a similarly cautious speed in second place.

                “The boat could sail at 30 knots the whole way,” commented Telefónica skipper Iker Martínez. “But I don't think it would last more than ten minutes without falling apart like that, so we're going at 18-20 knots.”

                PUMA Ocean Racing crew clipping in
                ©Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

                Martínez said the waves which regularly break over the boat were one of the biggest problems and told of a lucky escape earlier in the day.

                “Jordi (Calafat, helmsman) went flying from the wheel due to the impact of a wave and Ñeti (Cuervas-Mons, bowman) also flew and fell on top of him,” Martínez said.

                “The (stacked) sails hit the wheel protection tubes and blocked it. It wasn't broken but we couldn't steer for a while. We were very lucky.”

                Martínez confirmed the crew were concentrating less on racing than on protecting their boat and themselves against the harsh conditions in order to complete the leg safely.

                “There's no doubt that the South Pacific pushes you strive to be a better seaman,” he said. “Down here we put aside the 'yachtsman' side of ourselves to strive to be better seamen, as that's what's going to get us to Brazil.”

                Rough Southern Ocean sailing onboard Groupama
                © Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

                Damien Foxall and Laurent Pages on deck onboard Groupama
                © Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

                At 1900 UTC PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG were in third place having overhauled CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand who had slowed down more than the others to carry out running repairs.

                Meanwhile, fifth placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were approaching the western edge of the ice limit in lighter winds more than 670 nm off the lead.

                Casey Smith grinding while is getting cover by sea spray onboard PUMA
                ©Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
       ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


                • #9
                  Team Telefónica felt the full force of the Southern Ocean earlier today when they were
                  slammed by two monster waves in over 40 knots of wind on their way to Cape Horn on Leg 5.

                  Both incidents were captured by Telefónica Media Crew Member (MCM) Diego Fructuoso on one of the boat’s four fixed video cameras.

                  The amazing footage shot from the stern camera shows the entire on-deck crew -- including the helmsman -- twice knocked off their feet by the force of the up- to-10-metre waves.

                  Seconds before the first wave hits, helmsman Jordi Calafat can be seen urgently trying to steer the boat away from the impact before a wall of water slams into the boat engulfing the cockpit and leaving Calafat swinging in mid-air as the boat lurches out of control.

                  Later, when the second wave hits, Pablo Arrarte is thrown off the wheel and ends up steering on his knees as his shocked crewmates struggle back to their feet.

                  Remarkably, despite being thrown to the deck by the force of the waves, on both occasions the sailors regained their composure almost instantaneously to get the boat back under control in a matter of seconds.

                  Catch up with all of today's action, as CAMPER with Emirates Team NZ
                  announce their detour to Chile, and we witness Team Telefonica take
                  some severe punishment from an enormous rogue wave.


         ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


                  • #10
                    Attrition Devours VOR Fleet

                    Damage to Team Sanya's rudder bearing. Team Sanya skippered by Mike Sanderson from New Zealand, arrive in Tauranga, New Zealand, after a broken rudder and hull damage forced them to sail back, during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. They are now forced to retire from leg five and miss leg six of the race and ship their race boat and equipment to Miami. ©Gareth Cooke/Volvo Ocean Race

                    Groupama sailing team extended their advantage at the head of the fleet, moving 46 nautical miles clear of PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG at 1900 UTC on Tuesday as race leaders Team Telefónica, 335 nm off the lead in third, revealed a plan to make a pit stop for repairs.

                    Martin Krite cover by a flow of water onboard Groupama
                    ©Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

                    Now free of the restrictions of the ice exclusion zone the leading pair have continued to power south east in winds gusting over 45 knots at average speeds over 20 knots.

                    Fourth placed CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand who themselves committed to a repair stop in Chile two days previously continue slow but steady progress towards Puerto Montt now less than 2,000 nm away.

                    Meanwhile fifth placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are fast approaching the eastern end of the ice exclusion zone with their sights set on a possible podium result in Leg 5. At 1900 UTC Abu Dhabi were 1,426 nm off the lead travelling at an average speed of 20 knots.

                    Bert Schandevyl ties a line from The Star Keys, to give Team Sanya a tow to Tauranga, New Zealand
                    © Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race

                    Team Sanya, who were forced back to New Zealand by a broken rudder, today arrived in Tauranga. The team announced yesterday that the boat will be shipped to Savannah in the United States and then sailed to Miami ahead of the start of Leg 7.

                    Overall race leaders Team Telefónica will make a stop at the Argentine port of Ushuaia to repair bow damage and give themselves the best chance of holding on to a podium position in Leg 5.

                    Skipper Ian Walker tries his hand in the pit, onboard Abu Dhabi
                    © Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

                    Thomas Johanson drives in the Southern Ocean swell with a passing an albatross in the distance. © Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

                    Telefónica announced several days ago that they were slowing down to prevent further damage and skipper Iker Martínez confirmed today that delamination to the bow, sustained when a huge wave crashed down on them last week, would make a stop necessary before the finish line in Itajaí in Brazil.

                    “As you can see, we've got no problems in terms of continuing to sail, but if we continue to violently crash against the waves like this the damage could worsen and we want to rule out the possibility of that happening," said Martínez, who is determined to go on and complete the leg.

                    Already cold and wet conditions get colder as the sun goes down on Puma
                    © Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

                    CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson said his crew had up to eight more days of cautious sailing to go before they make landfall and still needed everything to go well if they were to make a quick return to the action.

                    “We still have a bit under 2,000 miles to travel and you can still see a lot of bad weather in that time,” Nicholson said.

 “Weather wise you can just call this a hostile part of the world with regards to the severity of the weather fronts and we have got to keep this in mind.

                    “It’s a big expanse of water. Hopefully everything goes according to plan.”
           ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~


                    • #11
                      Groupama and Puma Duel To Cape Horn

                      At 1900 UTC tonight as Groupama and PUMA were closing on Cape Horn, conditions had improved temporarily for the series of gybes required to set the leading pair free of the Southern Ocean.

                      Bowman Brad Marsh is on standby, onboard Groupama
                      © Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

                      Groupama reported sailing with 25 knots of west north-westerly wind in a much less violent sea.

                      “We are heading towards the southern tip of South America, but not directly towards Cape Horn, since we will have to gybe several times along the coast,” said skipper Franck Cammas.

                      It will be touch and go as to whether Groupama sailing team and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG will both escape the punchy weather still due in the region of Cape Horn tomorrow when the leading pair will be in the vicinity.

                      The teams will not be sorry to leave the Southern Ocean behind. Cammas said that it was only yesterday that the waves dropped below seven metres, and admitted to broaching Groupama twice during the heaviest of conditions. “We haven’t been really frightened at any point, but it was stressful for a long time,” he said.

                      Groupama is expected to enter Drake’s Passage, the expanse of water that separates Cape Horn from the South Shetland Islands of Antarctica, tomorrow. Cape Horn marks the northern boundary of Drake’s Passage, the area notorious for shipwrecks and known as the ‘sailor’s graveyard’.

                      Groupama Sailing Team get hit by a wave on their port side
                      ©Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

                      “It’s not a deciding factor that we will still be leading on exiting Drake’s Passage," Cammas explained. "However, it is not a deciding factor to be leader. What matters is to make it back into the Atlantic with a boat in her absolute prime and with a crew which is great shape."

                      While Groupama and PUMA keep up their duel, 41 nautical miles (nm) apart, third-placed Telefónica are continuing to sail cautiously with 363 nm between them and first place ahead of a planned repair pit sop in Ushuaia, Argentina after the Horn. Despite their problems skipper Iker Martínez said the crew were still looking forward to rounding the historic landmark.

                      “Despite how the racing is going, round this Cape is always an important maritime passage and it is a symbol of great personal achievement for all of us, because of the tough conditions, the cold and because of the risk undertaken when you sail down in these latitudes,” Martínez said.

                      Further back still and also sailing slowly due to possible damage, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing were 1,475 nm off the lead.

                      CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand were maintaining a steady speed towards Puerto Montt in Chile, where the boat will make a pit stop for damage repairs.

                      Thomas Johanson drives in the Southern Ocean swell with a passing an albatross in the distance
                      © Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

                      Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing marches on
                      ©Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
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                      • #12
                        Down to 2 boats now. Groupama snapped their stick.


                        • #13
                          that sux


                          • #14
                            Then There Were Two

                            Groupama sailing team suspended racing from the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race after the mast broke just above the first spreader.

                            The crew are all safe, with the boat around 60 nautical miles south of Punta del Este.

                            "We just lost the rig now, all the crew is safe. We are working to stabilise the rig on the boat. Not easy," skipper Franck Cammas told Race HQ.

                            "We suspend the race now and have a look at what doing. We are 59 miles to Punta del Este."

                            Groupama 4 was holding a narrow lead over Puma in the leg from Auckland to Itajaí in southern Brazil when the incident was reported to Race control around 1540 UTC.

                            Clean up begins onboard Groupama after the mast breaks
                            All Photos © Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race

                            CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand arrive into Puerto Montt, Chile, where the team will perform repairs to their Volvo Open 70
                            © Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race

                            Chris Nicholson’s team were met by a crack team of six CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand shore crew led by Neil Cox plus ultrasound technician Stefano Beltrando as they pulled into port around 2240 UTC.

                            Work began immediately to lift the boat out of the water to assess the extent of the structural problems to the hull of the team’s Volvo Open 70.

                            The repair job should take around four days to complete but the team still plan to sail round Cape Horn and complete the leg under sail.

                            CAMPER suspended racing at 0130 UTC on Tuesday as they neared Puerto Montt.

                            They announced plans to divert to Chile on March 25 after discovering damage in the bow of their boat, brought on by ferocious weather conditions in the Southern Ocean.

                            Team Sanya is loaded on to a container ship in Taurange New Zealand, to be taken to Miami, after sustaining damage during leg 5
                            ©Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race

                            Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will ship their boat to Brazil and return to strength for the Itajaí In-Port Race after damage forced them to retire from Leg 5.

                            Craig Satterthwaite, Wade Morgan and Ian Walker inspect the compromised panel, onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
                            © Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

                            Craig Satterthwaite hangs over the side to tighten up some bolts in the damaged area, whilst being filmed by a GoPro camera on a pole on Abu Dhabi
                            ©Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

                            The team made the tough call not to attempt to complete the 6,700 nautical mile leg from Auckland to preserve the safety of the crew and stop further damage to their yacht Azzam. Skipper Ian Walker notified race officials of his team's retirement at 1000 UTC on Wednesday.

                            Instead, they are heading to Puerto Montt in Chile where Azzam will be loaded on to a container ship, likely on Saturday April 7, before starting the nine day trip around Cape Horn to Itajaí.

                            With 50-knot winds and 10-metre seas forecast at Cape Horn for the next four days, skipper Ian Walker said their decision was “the only logical option”.

                            “As skipper my overriding responsibility is the safety of Azzam and her crew and this is always at the forefront of my mind,” Walker said.

                            “The Southern Ocean is one part of the world you do not want to head out into with a yacht that is not 100 per cent.

                            “We have carefully reviewed all our options, spoken with our build teams and weather experts and this was the only logical choice available to us.”

                            Abu Dhabi first discovered the damage to the mid section of the left side of Azzam’s hull on March 29 while battling horrendous Southern Ocean conditions.

                            The crew carried out a daring mid-sea repair in 35 knots and four-metre seas, drilling 30 bolts through the hull to reinforce the damaged section.

                            Despite the team’s heroics, it was decided the repair was not strong enough to take on the remaining 3,000 nm of the leg.

                            Walker said the delivery of Azzam to Itajaí would give the team a greater chance of racing at full strength for the in-port racing on April 21.

                            “Of course we are devastated,” he said. “However the team is fully motivated and will once again show a fighting spirit to get Azzam back sailing competitively as soon as possible.”

                            Abu Dhabi were also forced to return to Auckland a few hours into Leg 5 after dropping off a huge wave and damaging a bulkhead in the bow of the boat.

                            A monumental round-the-clock effort from their shore team saw them back to racing around 12 hours later.

                            Dayne Lim, Product Development Director for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s team principal Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, added: “Our ambition for Azzam to complete this arduous event on her maiden voyage remains undeterred.

                            “Rest assured we will nurse Azzam back to full competitiveness for the Itajaí In-Port Race and the remaining legs.”

                            CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand arrived in Puerto Montt at 2240 UTC on Tuesday after suspending racing earlier in the day.

                            They plan to repair their boat before resuming racing.

                            Team Sanya headed back to New Zealand while leading the fleet on Day 5 after suffering damage to their starboard rudder.

                            Their yacht is currently being shipped to Savannah in the USA where the team will carry out repairs before sailing to Miami to rejoin the fleet for Leg 7.

                            Team Telefónica were also forced to suspend racing for 17 hours on April 1 to carry out repairs to structural damage but were back up to speed and pushing Leg 5 leaders Groupama sailing team and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG.

                            Last edited by PD Staff; 04-04-2012, 04:40 PM.
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                            • #15
                              I guess they pushed the design of the V-70 beyond the breaking point.