Violent seas set stage for Volvo fleet

Published on November 21st, 2014

(November 21, 2014; Day 3) – Around 1700 UTC this afternoon, all the Volvo Ocean Race boats gybed to port, taking the fleet now in a northeasterly direction.

This gybe was needed to go through the high-pressure system, but it also affect the boats’ sailing angle in the trades and their future tactics. Until the fleet is fully aiming in a northerly direction, the position report will be influenced by strategy.

The rough conditions continue to be the theme, as Alvimedica reporter Amory Ross describes:

“The fast southeast sailing continues but where excitement and adrenaline began—discomfort has taken over. We’re seeing an average of about 25 knots of wind but the sea state is making life somewhat miserable!

“We first crossed the Agulhas current, a large south-moving stream of warm water originating in the Indian Ocean late yesterday, but ever since leaving the main volume of moving ocean we’ve been [literally] bouncing through gyres, boils, meanders, eddies—whichever you like to say most—of twisting ocean and it doesn’t seem to matter which way the current is heading, it’s moving strongly enough to make the waves stack up in all kinds of random directions. It is a hazardous path to travel as the boat is moving fast and unpredictably, and there are some fairly sudden and violent crashes.

“Working is hard—it’s taken me the better part of an hour just to write this much—eating is harder (nobody is going near the freeze dried) and even the little things like pouring milk powder in a bowl for a dab of cereal can go horribly wrong: Charlie’s just ‘had one’, and the galley looks like a scene from Scarface after the milk container decided to make a run for it.”


As of Nov. 21, 18:40

Leg 2 Position Report (as of 18:40 UTC)
1. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 4668 nm Distance to Finish
2. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 0.5 Distance to Lead
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 1.2 nm DTL
4. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 1.8 nm nm DTL
5. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 7.1 DTL
6. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 9.4 nm DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), 19.8 nm DTL

Race websiteTrackingWatch logVideos

: PredictWind has created a 7-day weather routing video that carries the fleet through the forecasted conditions. See below.

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.

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