Volvo Ocean Race: On ice, With salt
Published on March 20th, 2015
Alicante, Spain (March 20, 2015) – A massive one kilometre-wide iceberg has forced the Volvo Ocean Race to change the positioning of their ice gates to keep the fleet clear of trouble in the Southern Ocean on Leg 5 from New Zealand to Brazil.
The berg was heading towards the path of the fleet so organisers and their advisers, French company CLS and Dutch weather expert Marcel van Triest, opted late on Thursday night (Mar 19) to move the current ice limit route further to the north.
The main iceberg is not the only concern. Growlers – pieces of ice that have broken away and float semi-submerged in the icy cold water – are also a major threat to the fleet.
A new higher resolution image for the relevant area will be delivered to Race HQ on Sunday (Mar 22), but this new information will not necessarily lead to further re-positioning of the ice limit in that area (from 150W to 115W).
The race has pre-set ice gates, or ice limits, on this leg to keep the fleet clear from icebergs. Race management can change them according to conditions as the leg unfolds. Boats will be penalised if they sail over these boundaries towards hazardous areas.
Source: Race media
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 fifth leg, from Auckland, NZL to Itajaí, Brazil (6,776 nm), begins March 18 with an ETA of approximately April 4. Race website.