• Volvo Update: October 28

    Team Brunel has assumed the lead dog role with Abu Dhabi 40 nm aft and Alvimedica breaking into the top 3.

    A world of digital age, everything is on Google, every answer a keystroke away. There is little left in our world now original. The world has become a huge dumping ground for secondhand information.

    If you want something real you must initiate it. This is our authenticity.
    An experience, it’s exactly that, an event or a happening experienced first hand by an individual.

    The Volvo Ocean Race is an event, it’s one you get to watch unfold as something real. What happens on these boats day to day, what’s sent, what’s written about, what’s photographed, what’s on video is REAL. It’s not a reality show, it’s certainly not scripted, it’s actually a real experience that is viewed by you. Perhaps the success of this event has become so popular with mainstream viewers for this factor.

    When you wake at 3am, its dark, really dark, you hear the wind chime its echo through the rigging above you, you feel the walls of your home flex in and out due to the waves, the bunk lurches from side to side and you know that your shift is coming up. That is authentic, that is our reality. This is “the experience” we experience.

    Brian Carlin, OBR
    Team Vestas Wind


    Tough day for MAPFRE today. Why? Last two position reports showed that we’ve lost miles on our closest competitors.
    We are sailing closer to land and the others are getting a bit more wind than us.
    We have to stay cool, following the forecast in a day and a half we’ll see the benefit of our call, but in the meanwhile we have to sail as fast as posible to the South and wait up.
    Martínez looked a bit more tense today, noboday likes to lose miles. It’s like bleeding out drop by drop. “This is our position and we have to defend it until the next call”, he says.

    Francisco Vignale, OBR


    We’re basking in the traditional SE tradewinds, serving up a gorgeous dosage of twenty-knot perfection squarely on the beam. An occasional cloud brings a bit of Brazilian fever, a quick reef and some warm water over the deck, but on the whole these days are exactly what you have in mind when you sign up for this race. Dare I suggest: downwind perfection. It is the collective opinion that you could just go on like this forever; irrelevant are the days!

    We’re figuring the boat out a bit, finding a few more knots here and there, making our way back up through the middle of the fleet with sound decision making. It is going to be a critical few days of navigating the high-pressure between Cape Town and us, but we’re psyched to sniff the front of the fleet again and we’re all ready for some fast sailing towards the finish!
    Amory Ross, OBR
    Team Alvimedica

    Honestly, I’m not really sure what to tell you, I’ve got writer’s block.
    I suppose I could tell you we changed sails to the Mast Head 0 and the Frac0. Does that interest you? If so great, because they were the biggest moments of our day…

    Yann Riou/Dongfeng Race Team/Volvo Ocean Race/Volvo Ocean Race
    As for the rest of the ‘news’ we’re going straight and the boat is on a constant incline. At this rate we’re all going to end up with one leg shorter than the other.
    Actually I forgot, we did do something cool. We put up the wind generator. Kevin was the man tasked with the mission. Poor guy, lost two hours of his life doing it… so I need to tell you about it. We’re not trying to get one up on Vestas.
    The truth is we’re getting a little bit stressed about the fuel situation onboard. Just to explain, without fuel there’s no electricity and without electricity we’re basically sailing blind and drinking seawater.

    We gybed today. Several times. It means that, for the first time in a while, we were on starboard tack. It also means we moved everything we pack on port to the starboard side. That includes the sails on deck, but also all the gear inside the boat. Bags of food, tools, personal bags, spare pieces, parts of our kitchen… When we sail at a reaching angle like we’ve done in the past days, the more things you stack on windward, the fastest you ho.
    Let’s say we put it all.

    So, when you move after almost a week, you find some random stuff that got stuck in a corner or under a box. A sock, a tee shirt… I found a pen, and a camera battery.
    On the other side, there is also a layer of dirt and old food crumbs that made the spaces between the bags their home too.
    So we cleaned.

    Yann Riou, OBR
    Dongfeng Race Team


    “I’m sailing against my mentor, and we’re about to pass them,” Sam Davies said with a cheeky smile.
    Our mentors recognise something within us when we, ourselves, may be unsure. Our mentors lead us through their understandings of situations we may encounter, perhaps in the Southern Ocean. Our mentors give us the confidence to make our own choices, and (eventually) surpass their knowledge.
    Some of us have known our mentors for decades, others have just met theirs; some of us are racing with our mentors, and others are racing against them. Some have many mentors, and others just one.
    We are a team of determined women; we are positive; we are on the hunt; we are coming back and there’s nothing stopping us.

    On board we have a few Southern Ocean veterans, and they’ve been a saving grace for us Southern Ocean newbies.
    “I can’t help but laugh,” Sam said. “The girls who haven’t sailed in the Southern Ocean keep asking me all these questions, and I can’t help remember that’s exactly what I did. I was lucky enough to have a very patient navigator—so I’ve been open to answering the questions.”

    Sam was 22 when she first sailed in the Southern Ocean; she has since been back once in 2009 for the Vendee Globe, when she spent six weeks down there. Abby sailed the Southern Ocean in her last Volvo Ocean Race in 2001-02, as did Carolijn Brouwer. Liz Wardley last played in the Southern Ocean in 2007 when she was testing a one-design boat for an Around the World Race. Dee Caffari has been down there four times! That must be a good sign then!!!
    Corinna Halloran, OBR
    Team SCA

    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing continued to punch further south along the western edge of the St. Helena High Pressure, guiding Azzam as a three-way battle for the lead developed with Team Vestas Wind and Team Brunel sailing on either side. Separated by about 150 miles, each boat has placed a bet on which “lane” south will have the strongest breeze.

    Nevertheless, all three routes are different variations on the same theme: heading south to catch the westerly winds at 40 degrees south or the “Roaring Forties”.
    Home to freezing temperatures, very strong winds, and huge waves that travel uninterrupted around the planet, the last week of Leg 1 will play out in possibly epic conditions.

    Matt Knighton, OBR

    Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

    "In the Netherlands there is a book. It contains all the Dutchmen who have rounded Cape Horn," continues the good-humoured Gerd-Jan Poortman. "I want to be in it! And: there is a myth that if you have rounded Cape Horn, you can pee in the wind! Well, as a sailor, that's very useful.”
    Stefan Coppers, OBR
    Team Brunel

    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race started by PD Staff View original post