Pirates to the left, Iranians to the right
Published on November 18th, 2014
The second offshore leg of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race gets underway on Wednesday (Nov. 19), taking the seven teams 6,125 nm from Cape Town, SA to Abu Dhabi, UAE. Mark Chisnell provides a preview of Leg Two – courtesy of B&G, official sponsor to the race:
This is a tough one, it’s both long and strategically tricky, crossing from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, from the Southern Hemisphere to the North. And it will be different to any previous race. This route to Abu Dhabi was only introduced in 2011-12, and on that occasion the boats were shipped part of the way due to piracy concerns; this time they will race every mile.
The course heads south out of Cape Town to go around the Cape of Good Hope, before turning to head north-east into the Indian Ocean. There are two exclusion zones on this leg, and the first one is almost immediately relevant. It is defined by a great circle line between Maputo on the east coast of South Africa, then Madagascar, Mauritius and a point at the eastern edge of Oman. The idea of this zone is to keep boats out of the pirate territory that lies off the coast of East Africa and to the south of the Arabian Peninsula.
So once around the Cape the fleet must head north-east rather than north, to stay out of the East Africa exclusion zone. Only when they have cleared it, can they turn due north for the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and so to the finish in Abu Dhabi. The second exclusion zone will only be relevant on the run in to the line – an exclusion zone to keep them out of Iranian waters. No prizes for guessing why. FULL REPORT
Viewing: Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi starts Wednesday at 18:00 local time (16:00 UTC), or 11:00 EST. WATCH HERE
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 ETA for Leg 2 is Dec. 9-19. Race website: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/home.html