View Full Version : Volvo Ocean Race Qualifier Alicante

PD Staff
10-07-2011, 03:25 PM
©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand shot off the start line and showed impressive speed in the light airs of Alicante Bay as the six Volvo Open 70s lined up for the first time.

No points are available in the race, which acts primarily as a test of safety systems ahead of the 39,000 nautical mile Volvo Ocean Race, but the excitement was palpable as the teams got their first opportunity to face each other.
Team Telefónica, led by Spanish Olympic gold medallist Iker Martínez, were hot on the heels of CAMPER, stealing the lead briefly as the teams completed several laps of an inshore course.

©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

But by the time the fleet headed out towards Isla de Tabarca, the final turning mark before heading to Mallorca, CAMPER had a sizeable advantage over their rivals.
Team Telefónica, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Groupama and Team Sanya still have plenty of time to play catch up however -- and it is well worth remembering that no points are at stake.

©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

CAMPER have more at stake than the other teams as the race takes them to one of their two home bases in Palma de Mallorca. From there they will head back to Alicante, with the boats expected to arrive early on Sunday.
Watching all the action unfold on the water was Volvo Ocean Race Chief Executive Knut Frostad.
In one of many updates from his chase boat, Frostad wrote: “CAMPER was by far the fastest downwind!”

©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

Frostad, a four-time veteran of the Volvo Ocean Race, was watching closely as the fleet rounded the final inshore mark and headed out to sea.
“As the night comes on the talks will start on board. Has CAMPER got it right? Should we have had a different sail design? This is not the Volvo Ocean Race but it's the first meeting and it didn't look like anyone was sandbagging.”
During the short race the teams will have to demonstrate safety procedures including a man-overboard drill, fitting their emergency steering system and hoisting their storm sails.

©PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race

Team Sanya also practised an emergency evacuation drill, with skipper Mike Sanderson leaving the boat before the team got too far from the shore.
Sanderson, who won the race in 2005-06 with ABN AMRO ONE, underwent emergency surgery for appendicitis last week so after helming the boat for the first few laps he was transferred off so as not to hinder his recovery.