Volvo Ocean Race turns up the heat
Published on December 2nd, 2014
(December 2, 2014; Day 14) – The wind is light. The heat is hot. As the Volvo Ocean Race fleet inches north in the Indian Ocean toward Abu Dhabi, now at 7 degrees south latitude, it reminds of this famous exchange by the late great Robin Williams in the 1987 classic, Good Morning, Vietnam:
Hey, uh, hi. Can you help me? What’s your name?
“My name’s Roosevelt E. Roosevelt.”
Roosevelt, what town are you stationed in?
“I’m stationed in Poontang.”
Well, thank you, Roosevelt. What’s the weather like out there?
“It’s hot. Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking.”
Well, can you tell me what it feels like?
“Fool, it’s hot! I told you again! Were you born on the sun? It’s damn hot! I saw – It’s so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It’s that hot! Do you know what I’m talking about?”
From the boats:
Amory Ross, Alvimedica: “Holy sizzle, it feels like somebody’s left the oven open on high. It is stiflingly hot above and below deck, and with little wind on the water the heat just sort of hangs. It’s impossible to escape and we spent most of yesterday sweating in the nothingness.”
Corinna Halloran, Team SCA: “I need an egg. I want to see if it the expression ‘it’s so hot, you could fry an egg’ is actually truth or an old wives tale. I reckon that it’s true on days like today. The sun is like a laser beam pointed directly at us. There’s enough shade for one and a half bodies on the entire boat. Seeking refuge does not really help either as it’s just like a black, stuffy box. We have small personal bunk fans that are working over time, but they offer minimal relief.”
Iker Martínez, MAPFRE: “The heat is kicking in. Onboard, when we need to charge batteries, it really gets unbearable and driving the boat in yesterday’s little wind was hard, really. The water is warm, the food is warm, you are sweating nonstop and therefore your clothes drenched… it really feels a bit hard and there’s still a long way ahead.”
As for the forecast, it’s still all too early to tell as the models are changing every day. It will be 48 hours before the fleet starts to pick up the more stable westerlies only to be presented with another hurdle to cross… even more light air.
Vestas update: The crew is in transit to Mauritius Island, while the team and race organisers are evaluating if the boat can be repaired. Based on the information now available from the Íle du Sud and the aerial photograph from the Mauritius coastguards, it may not be possible to do so. The team has revealed that human error was at the root of the accident. Report – Video
Leg 2 Position Report (as of 21:40 UTC)
1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 2327.5 nm Distance to Finish
2. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 3.8 nm Distance to Lead
3. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 3.8 nm DTL
4. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 76.5 nm DTL
5. MAPFRE, Iker Martinez (ESP), 77.9 nm DTL
6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 90.5 DTL
7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing
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.