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Thread: Leg 3 Volvo Ocean Race: Home Biscuits Rule

  1. #1

    Leg 3 Volvo Ocean Race: Home Biscuits Rule

    Hometown heroes Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing claimed their second inshore victory on Friday, winning the Etihad Airways In-Port Race in front of thousands of ecstatic local supporters. Abu Dhabi, who take six points for a dream victory in front of their home fans, were followed by Groupama sailing team in second and CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand in the third podium place. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG were fourth, followed by overall race leaders Team Telefónica in fifth.

    We so wanted to win the race so we were prepared to take risks," said Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker. "We knew if we could win it would be very special for everyone.

    "I want to thank everyone here for their support. Everyone has been wishing us luck in the in-port race during the stopover and there were so many people in the village and out on the water cheering us on.

    “We’re involved in a nine-month odyssey round the world but today is the most important day for Abu Dhabi. We have never seen this many boats out on the water to watch racing, and there are lots of people out who are new to sailing. Right now all they are seeing is their country flag being waved. It’s a real thrill for that to happen."

    PUMA led the fleet off the start line, but a port and starboard infringement on Telefónica soon after resulted in a penalty turn that cost them dearly. CAMPER made massive gains on the right hand side of the downwind course, but it was home favourites Abu Dhabi who came in from the left to take the lead at the first mark.

    bu Dhabi secured a 30-second jump over the fleet on the first 1.4 nautical mile run, but lost their lead in a port/starboard encounter midway through the second leg when they were forced to dip Groupama’s stern. The close-quarters upwind battle continued, with Abu Dhabi regaining the lead shortly before the second mark.

    At the third mark, after just a few minutes reaching, Abu Dhabi led Groupama by 38 seconds, followed by CAMPER, PUMA and Telefónica, who slipped to last after a problematic second mark rounding.

    Abu Dhabi’s Azzam consolidated their lead as the fleet started the second lap of the eight-plus mile course in a southerly breeze gusting to around seven knots. The locals held their lead for the remainder of the race, when with fists pumping on board they crossed the line after just under an hour's racing.

    No one was more thrilled than Azzam’s local sailor Adil Khalid, the first Emirati to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race, who waved the flag of the United Arab Emirates as they finished.

    "I am so pleased with this win here in Abu Dhabi," Khalid said. "The stopover has been wonderful and this is a great result for us as a team in our home port."

    A touch of royalty joined the fleet, with His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sheikh Shakhboot bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan racing on board Azzam. Prince Andrew, standing beside Walker as Azzam crossed the line, gave the British skipper a congratulatory pat on the back.

    Thousands of spectators lined the shores of Abu Dhabi and hundreds more, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, took front row seats on board spectator boats, as the fleet battled the third of 10 in-port races, which account for around 20 per cent of all points.

    The more than 4,000 nautical mile Leg 3 race to Sanya will start on Saturday, with the first stage race from Abu Dhabi to a point off the Sharjah coast getting underway at 1400 local time, 1000 UTC/GMT. Early forecasts are tipping fresh north-west winds of 13 to 16 knots inshore, building to 18 to 22 kts offshore.

    1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 6 points
    2. Groupama sailing team 5
    3. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 4
    4. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 3
    5. Team Telefonica 2
    6. Team Sanya DNS*


    1. Team Telefonica 68
    2. CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand 62
    3. Groupama sailing team 47
    4. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG 31
    5. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 25
    6. Team Sanya 4*

    NOTE Pressure Drop VOR Pick and Win Contest will resume in Sanya for in port and Leg 4 events. ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  2. #2

    Of Fishing Boat and Nets, and Straight Line Sailing

    It is neck and neck for the leading pair in the second stage of Leg 3, with just 3.4 nautical miles separating PUMA and tiresome terrier CAMPER. Chris Nicholson’s CAMPER crew may be astern, but they are to windward and fully fired up to snatch whatever opportunities they can to take the red boat into the lead.

    “We’ve been hanging on and the skeds have been so close, probably the closest I’ve ever seen,” Nicholson said earlier today.

    According to the Australian skipper there is the potential for the rest of the fleet to move further to the north of CAMPER, as Team Telefónica already have done.

    But the CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand have made a conscious decision to sail a little lower and faster to make small gains and protect their position.

    Nicholson expects to see both PUMA’s Mar Mostro and third-placed Groupama 4 to sail lower and faster in response.

    “No one will want to let us get to the east of them, because getting east puts us closer to Indonesia,” he said.

    PUMA’s Mar Mostro is holding off the attack from CAMPER for the third day running. “It’s nice to know the boat is up to speed and we’re going along just nicely,” said bowman Casey Smith. “Getting round the corner of Sumatra is one thing, but the Malacca Strait is a whole different animal.”

    The crew on board Groupama 4, in third, are happy to have PUMA’s Mar Mostro as their pacemaker. “It’s a meticulous job with slightly open angles and little bit of speed in the wind shifts,” said helmsman/trimmer Damian Foxall of the action on the racecourse. “Every 10th of a knot, every shift is important.”

    ©Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race
    The 3,000 nm second stage of Leg 3 from the Maldives to Sanya in China is providing some exhilarating straight-line sailing in near perfect conditions for the six-boat fleet as they close in on the waypoint of Pulau Weh, situated at the northern entrance to the Malacca Strait between Sumatra and Singapore.

    Many of the boats have yet to put in a tack since the start last Sunday, bowling along on port at an even 12.5 knots. Even the cloud activity has been less than expected and for once the weather gods seem to be smiling on the fleet.

    “There’s nothing too complicated going on,” said Ian Walker skipper of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s black yacht Azzam in fourth place, 16.8 nm behind the leader.

    “Essentially we’re just pointing straight at the target and we only have minor decisions to make as to whether we chose the high side or the low side.”

    That decision will, according to Walker, depend on what the wind will do further down the track. He expects a period of 12 to 24 hours of lifting wind before it heads back in the final approach to Pulau Weh.

    Onboard Puma© Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

    The fleet is now split over 25 nm from first to sixth place, and a lateral divide of 22 nm. On board fifth-placed Telefónica, the crew is happy with their speed.

    “We have two days more with these conditions until we reach the Malacca Strait and we hope to catch up during this time. The truth is, the boat speed is good, so it is likely we will reel them in,” wrote MCM Diego Fructuoso.

    Meanwhile, Mike Sanderson, who currently fills the sixth spot with Sanya, is hoping for a parking lot in the Malacca Strait, as his team is now a shade over 25 nm adrift. “All our efforts at the moment are to just try to stay close enough to the fleet,” he said.

    This leg concludes in Sanderson's team’s homeport where they are sure of a huge welcome regardless of their finishing position.

    Iker Martinez from Spain at the navigation station ©Credit: Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race ~It's not the size of the website, it's how you use it! ~

  3. #3
    Malacca Strait? Some how assumed they would head south around the archipelago.

    I imagine there will be lots of unmarked fishing boats in that region, hope for no repeat
    of the Batman Vessel a few years back.

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