Bracing for the storm ahead
Published on November 26th, 2014
(November 26, 2014; Day 8) – The Volvo Ocean Race crews have been focusing their attention on the next big challenge ahead, a tropical storm or depression that is developing north east of the fleet. The conditions could be full on, which has been par for the course on Leg 2
“I feel considerably shorter today than I was just 48 hours ago,” shared reporter Amory Ross on Alvimedica. “It has been two days of slamming, and I mean slamming, upwind on a boat with a bottom flatter than your floor. It’s a jarring, jerking, back breaking kind of abuse that after launching off a wave, drives you to the deck on landing, and I have no doubt everyone’s feeling the same degree of…Vertical Compression!
“The good news is that we’ve seen the worst of the low pressure off Madagascar,” Amory continued. “It is behind us now and we’re sliding northeast through warmer temps and lesser winds. The sea state remains just as messy but the boat’s no longer lurching through it. The bad news is that the tropical “depression” in our path has been upgraded to a tropical “storm,” and there’s no assurance its development will end there. Tropical storms can see winds of 30 to 60 knots, and if the storm continues to grow it becomes a full cyclone of 60-plus. It is an obvious point of concern that makes nagging backs and sleepless nights trivial by comparison.”
The fleet is sailing upwind on port, heading northeast in anticipation of the wind veering. When the shift comes, the decision when to tack will be guided by how the starboard angle approaches the storm. Amory will undoubtedly be hoping for a smooth lane.
Leg 2 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 3472.1 nm Distance to Finish
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 4.6 nm Distance to Lead
3. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 4.7 nm DTL
4. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 5.9 nm DTL
5. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), 8.7 nm DTL
6. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 9.5 nm DTL
7. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 24.0 DTL
Background: The 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race began in Alicante, Spain on Oct. 11 with the final finish on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden. Racing the new one design Volvo Ocean 65, seven teams will be scoring points in 9 offshore legs to determine the overall Volvo Ocean Race winner. Additionally, the teams will compete in 10 In-Port races at each stopover for a separate competition – the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series. The second offshore leg from Cape Town, SA to Abu Dhabi, UAE is 6,125 nm, started Nov. 19 with an ETA of Dec. 9-16.