Volvo Ocean Race 2017/2018

Dieses Thema im Forum "Sonstige Sportarten & Sport Allgemein" wurde erstellt von TennisFed, 19. Mai 2018.

  1. TennisFed

    TennisFed Team-Kapitän

    Registriert seit:
    19. Mai 2018
    Ehemals bekannt als "Whitebread Round The World Race" wurde die aktuelle Auflage des Volvo Ocean Race am 22. Oktober 2017 in Alicante gestartet. Es geht einmal um die ganze Welt...naja so ungefähr;) Der Zielhafen ist Den Haag Ende Juni.

    yPdAn1A0_400x400.jpg m100413_crop169014_1024x576_proportional_1487782976BF7F.jpg XfXUgmWh_400x400.jpg

    Geschäftsführer: Richard Brisius & Johan Salén

    Heimathafen: Alicante, Spanien

    Starthafen: Alicante, Spanien

    Zielhafen: Den Haag, Niederlande

    Das Volvo Ocean Race 2017/2018 umfasst 11 Etappen und 45.000 Seemeilen.

    Die Teams

    Team AzkoNobel (Niederlande)

    Skipper: Simeon Tienpont (Niederlande)
    Navigator: Roscoe Monson (Großbritannien/1. Etappe) und Jules Salter (Großbritannien)

    Dongfeng Race Team (China)

    Skipper: Charles Caudrelier (Frankreich)
    Navigator: Pascal Bidegorry (Frankreich) und Franck Cammas (Frankreich, 4. Etappe)

    MAPFRE (Spanien)

    Skipper: Xabi Fernandez (Spanien)
    Navigator: Joan Vila (Spanien)

    Vestas 11th Hour Racing (USA/Dänemark)

    Skipper: Charlie Enright (USA), Mark Towill (4. Etappe)
    Navigator: Simon Fisher (Großbritannien)

    Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag (Hongkong)

    Skipper: David Witt (Australien)
    Navigator: Steve Hayles (Großbritannien), Antonio Fontes (Portugal, 3. Etappe), Libby Greenhalgh (Großbritannien, seit der 4. Etappe)

    Clean Seas/Turn The Tide On Plastic (Vereinte Nationen)

    Skipper: Dee Caffari (Großbritannien)
    Navigator: Nicolas Lunven (Frankreich) und Brian Thompson (Großbritannien)

    Team Brunel (Niederlande)

    Skipper: Bouwe Bekking (Niederlande)
    Navigator: Andrew Cape (Australien)

    Die Etappen

    # 0 Der Countdown + Leg 0 (rund 2000 Seemeilen über 4 Teilabschnitte)
    2. August 2017 (Round The Isle of Wright Race)
    6. August 2017 (Rolex Fastnet Race)
    10. August 2017 (Plymouth - St. Malo)
    13. August 2017 (St. Malo - Lisbon)

    # 1 (Alicante - Lissabon/rund 1.650 Seemeilen/Start: 22. Oktober 2017)

    Gewinner: Vestas 11th Hour Racing

    # 2 (Lissabon - Kapstadt/rund 7000 Seemeilen/Start: 5. November 2017)

    Gewinner: Desafio MAPFRE

    # 3 (Kapstadt - Melbourne/rund 6500 Seemeilen/Start: 10. Dezember 2017)

    Gewinner: Desafio MAPFRE

    # 4 (Melbourne - Hongkong/rund 6000 Seemeilen/Start: 2. Januar 2018)

    Gewinner: Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag

    # 5 (Hongkong - Guangzhou/rund 100 Seemeilen/Start: 1. Februar 2018/Transition-Etappe/Jedes Team bekommt einen Punkt)

    # 6 (Hongkong - Auckland/rund 6100 Seemeilen/Start: 7. Februar 2018)

    Gewinner: team AkzoNobel

    # 7 (Auckland - Itajai/rund 7600 Seemeilen/Start: 18. März 2018)

    Gewinner: Team Brunel

    # 8 (Itajai - Newport, USA/rund 5700 Seemeilen/Start: 22. April 2018)

    Gewinner: Desafio MAPFRE

    # 9 (Newport, USA - Cardiff, GBR/rund 3300 Seemeilen/Start: 20. Mai 2018)

    Gewinner: Team Brunel

    # 10 (Cardiff, GBR - Göteborg/rund 1300 Seemeilen/Start: 10. Juni 2018)

    Gewinner: Team Brunel

    # 11 (Göteborg - Den Haag/rund 700 Seemeilen/Start: 21. Juni 2018)

    Gewinner: Dongfeng Race Team

    Der Race Tracker (2D) (2D/Vollansicht) (3D Virtualansicht)


    Die Ergebnisse

    Gesamtstand nach 8 von 11 Etappen
    Screenshot-2018-5-11 Volvo Ocean Race - YouTube.jpg


    Als Favoriten gelten das Chinesische Team Dongfeng und die Spanier vom Team MAPFRE.
    Zuletzt bearbeitet: 3. Dezember 2018
  2. TennisFed

    TennisFed Team-Kapitän

    Registriert seit:
    19. Mai 2018
    Everything you need to know about Leg Zero

    You’ve probably heard the term Leg Zero bandied around a few times – but what does it actually mean?

    So... you're probably wondering what all this Leg Zero fuss is about. Well, it’s pretty simple – Leg Zero starts on Wednesday 2 August and is made up of a series of mini races which kickstart an exciting period of pre-race activity for the 2017-18 fleet.

    Along with the Prologue, which takes place in early October (don't panic –see more at the bottom of this story), Leg Zero has replaced the previous 2,000-mile mandatory qualification voyage which teams had to complete in order to enter the race – and although the mileage is similar, this new format is way more advantageous for the teams in terms of crew training, boat-on-boat action and commercial activity.

    In previous editions, teams were prevented from two-boat tuning in the lead up to the race. This time, we’ve changed that – and Leg Zero and the Prologue will be full-fleet races. They’re important to the sailors as they’re the final chances to get a view on the opposition and try out some different things.

    Phil Lawrence, Race Director

    “The sailors will have one eye on what their rivals are doing in terms of crew set-up and sail configuration, and will be keen to use the opportunity to get some close racing action before the race goes live in October.”

    So, what’s the plan? Well, Leg Zero actually consists of a series of races, beginning at Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight, and ending at the Volvo Boatyard in Lisbon, Portugal.

    “At the end of the Fastnet we'll see which teams are stronger than others," explains Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier. "You can have a few surprises during the Fastnet as there are new teams that we don't know much about – but it's important to see if we did a good job with our preparation so far.”

    Overview – Leg Zero key dates

    • Wednesday 2 August: Cowes Week Round Isle of Wight Race
    • Sunday 6 August: Rolex Fastnet Race starts
    • Wednesday 9 August: Rolex Fastnet Race ETA
    • Thursday 10 August: Fleet departs Plymouth
    • Friday 11 August: Fleet arrives in St Malo
    • Sunday 13 August: Fleet departs St Malo
    • Wednesday 16 August: Fleet ETA in Lisbon
    “The fleet will compete in the Round Isle of Wight Race, as part of the Triple Crown at Cowes Week, on Wednesday 2 August, before setting off for the Rolex Fastnet Race which is organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) and starts on Sunday 6 August,” Phil adds.

    “That will take around three days to complete, and then the boats will be back in Plymouth by Wednesday 9 August, where they will stay overnight, before beginning a race to Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday 10 August.”

    But the fleet won’t be heading straight to the Boatyard in Lisbon. In a bonus for French fans, the boats will be calling at one of France’s most famous sailing hotspots.

    “We’re going to visit St Malo for a short pit-stop,” continues Phil. “The boats will arrive there on Friday lunchtime and there’ll be a short, coastal Pro-Am on the Saturday, before the sailors leave on Sunday 13 August to continue the race to Lisbon.”

    Assembly Period

    • Monday 18 September: Assembly Period begins in Lisbon
    • Saturday 30 September: Assembly Period ends in Lisbon
    The next compulsory date is the beginning of the Assembly Period in Lisbon on Monday 18 September. “The Assembly Period lasts lasts for around two weeks, and is valuable time for the Boatyard as they will be able to crane all of the boats out of the water and complete final pre-race measurement and safety checks,” Phil adds.

    “Meanwhile, the crews will complete a mandatory sea survival course and medical workshop. There will be several other different workshops and courses for the sailors to undertake delivered by Boatyard suppliers and related to different areas of the boat."

    The Prologue

    • Sunday 8 October: Prologue Race Lisbon–Alicante begins
    • Thursday 12 October: Prologue Race ETA Alicante
    The fleet races from Lisbon to Alicante before the Alicante In-Port Race on Saturday 14 October, and the race start itself on Sunday 22 October.
  3. TennisFed

    TennisFed Team-Kapitän

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    19. Mai 2018
    MAPFRE blaze to record victory in first pre-Volvo Ocean Race test
    Spanish team MAPFRE took first blood in the first battle of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet – with Xabi Fernández and his team finding faultless form to win the Around the Island Race.

    MAPFRE clocked 3 hours 13 minutes 11 seconds in strong conditions off England’s south coast to win the first stage of Leg Zero – the series of races that acts as qualifying for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, which start on 22 October.

    Their time was well under the monohull record of 3:20, set by ICAP Maximus.

    Race Results:

    1. MAPFRE: 3 hours 13 minutes 11 seconds
    2. Team Brunel: 3 hours 14 minutes 55 seconds
    3. team AkzoNobel: 3 hours 15 minutes 16 seconds
    4. Dongfeng Race Team: 3 hours 18 minutes 26 seconds
    5. Turn the Tide on Plastic: 3 hours 24 minutes 16 seconds
    6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing: 3 hours 25 minutes 10 seconds
    7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag: 3 hours 29 minutes 53 seconds
    The first four of the Volvo Ocean 65s – MAPFRE, Brunel, AkzoNobel and Dongfeng – were all, subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council, under the fastest previous monohull time of 3:20, set by the super-maxi ICAP Maximus.

    On a grey summer’s day in Cowes, scattered patches of drizzle couldn’t obscure the brightly coloured sails of the Volvo Ocean 65 fleet as the brass cannons of the Royal Yacht Squadron boomed out the first official start signal in the build-up to this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

    MAPFRE brought their team’s Olympic experience to bear as they won the start handily, beating Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Brunel across the line.

    With wind from the south between 15-20 knots at the start and gusts up to 35 knots, the boats flew down the Solent on the outgoing tide. The most recently announced team, and thus the team with the least miles in training, Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic was the only boat with a reef at the start. They were quickly joined by the rest of the fleet as the wind built during the drag race down the Solent.

    After the southern point of the island the Volvo Ocean 65s were finally able to bear away onto their favourite point of sail, with navigator Joan Vila perfectly choosing MAPFRE’s course and sail changes.

    There was no surprise that all the top teams around the back of the island had done the previous race, with MAPFRE leading Dongfeng and Brunel. Bouwe Bekking’s strong performance demonstrated that despite only a week’s training before today, and crew trials still underway, the 39,000 miles sailed in the 2014-15 edition are worth gold.

    The boats will now regroup in Gosport as a final opportunity to prepare for the Rolex Fastnet Race, the second stage of Leg Zero, starting on Sunday. After the Fastnet, the teams complete Leg Zero by sailing from Plymouth to St Malo and then on to Lisbon.
    What the skippers said:

    Xabi Fernández, MAPFRE: "Of course, I’m very happy with the crew. It’s one of our strongest points – a lot of us have sailed together already and the new people are all good people, very switched on, and things are coming together nicely.”

    Bouwe Bekking, Team Brunel: “I think we sailed well and made the right sail choices. AkzoNobel have been sailing for more than a year but MAPFRE was the fastest today. All in all, a good day!”

    Simeon Tienpont, team AkzoNobel: “We felt we had a solid race and it was good to be in the top of the fleet. It gives us some confidence. Absolutely, there’s a few things we can work on but we’ll also take a lot of positives out of it.”

    Charles Caudrelier, Dongfeng Race Team: “Windy and wet for sure. We had a nice match with MAPFRE, had a very good day and we were fighting with AkzoNobel and Brunel. We have seen a lot of things to improve and everyone is ready. It was not an easy day!”

    Dee Caffari, Turn the Tide on Plastic: "We were a bit conservative with our sailing plan but we were fast and we’re learning how to sail our boats so I am happy. It’s the first time in my whole career, with all the miles I have done, that I have steered a boat on its bow with all its rudders out of the water. It was impressive!”

    Charlie Enright, Vestas 11th Hour Racing: “It never feels good to have a poor result but it’s all about the process and making sure we keep within the right times. Plenty of stuff on the list today to get better at, and actually it was pretty constructive.”

    David Witt, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag: “It was very wet, very windy and we didn’t do very well but there’s a long way to go. We can take a fair bit out of this. It was the first time we’ve ever lined up against anyone and we were right in it. Far from dire straits. If it all went well then you probably don’t learn as much.”

  4. TennisFed

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    19. Mai 2018
    Dongfeng lead the pack as Volvo Ocean Race fleet takes on the Rolex Fastnet Race
    Dongfeng Race Team stormed down the western Solent to lead the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s in the Rolex Fastnet Race – part two of the Leg Zero qualifying series for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

    With 2.5 knots of outgoing tide against 18-21 knots of south westerly wind, the Chinese team, skippered by Charles Caudrelier, secured their lead by expertly covering the rest of the tightly bunched fleet.

    The two red boats, MAPFRE and Dongfeng Racing won the start but the Spanish team were held up by bad wind coming off Nikata, the biggest boat in the race at 115 feet. In fact, all the Volvo Ocean Race sailors were challenged by having to sail around the record 390-boat fleet in this 605-nautical mile offshore classic.

    Sailing in a mixed boat fleet will not be a challenge after this section of Leg Zero. Following the Fastnet, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet will complete two more legs – Plymouth to Saint-Malo and Saint-Malo to Lisbon – without any other boats as a distraction, or hindrance.

    The opening leg of Leg Zero was a 50nm sprint around the Isle of Wight, won in record-breaking fashion by MAPFRE.

    That makes the Fastnet the first offshore test for the teams that will take the start line of the Volvo Ocean Race on 22 October in Alicante.

    "It’s the first time we are all going to sail offshore against the other boats so it’s important to see where we are amongst the other boats,” said Caudrelier. “It’s a good race to train, to start racing together."

    As the boats reached the famous chalky cliffs of the Needles, Dongfeng led by 0.3 nm from Vestas 11th Hour Racing, with MAPFRE in third.

    Team AkzoNobel, Team Brunel, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Turn the Tide on Plastic were closely grouped behind, with only 0.6 nm separating the entire fleet.
    Leaving the Isle of Wight behind, the fleet will face stable upwind conditions until Land’s End where scrambled winds from an old cold front, and strong tides await. This transition will be hard fought and could split the fleet, with opportunities for more experienced teams to react faster to the changing circumstances.
    While an overall Leg Zero winner will be declared, no points will be carried through to the Volvo Ocean Race itself, meaning there’s particular value in the series for some of the later teams to enter.

    David Witt, skipper of Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, said: “The longer we can sail in the same water as MAPFRE and Dongfeng, the more we’re going to learn. Just don’t expect us to set the world on fire until the real stuff happens.”

    The boats are due at the Fastnet Rock at around 0600 UTC on Tuesday, whereupon they will sail downwind in conditions building from 15-20 knots before a reach to the finish in Plymouth late on Tuesday night.

    The fleet will re-start from Plymouth on the leg to Saint-Malo on Thursday.
  5. TennisFed

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    AkzoNobel lead after series of Fastnet gambles
    The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has been forced to sail in amongst the rocks off the Cornish coast as they struggle to make good progress in a light edition of the Rolex Fastnet Race.

    Team AkzoNobel had trailed the leaders MAPFRE and Dongfeng overnight but made an aggressive move just before rounding the Lizard Point, shaving the coastline to get out of the counter current.

    After struggling all day with light and variable winds the teams can finally look forward to strengthening conditions after 1800 UTC as they head north westwards into the Celtic sea. After the light conditions, the fleet is now due to round Fastnet 0700-0900 UTC on Tuesday.

    m102204_crop169014_1024x576_proportional_1502112844B3FA.jpg Team AkzoNobel had trailed the leaders MAPFRE and Dongfeng overnight but made an aggressive move just before rounding the Lizard Point, shaving the coastline to get out of the counter current. AkzoNobel navigator Jules Salter said it's going to be a struggle later in the day. "There's a light patch ahead of us this afternoon. Our job is just to keep the boat moving really."

    In a call to MAPFRE when they were rounding Land’s End, the entire crew were perched on the bow, along with all the sails and any other moveable weight onboard. Moving weight forward presses the bow into the water, lengthening the waterline of the boat for speed and lifting the wider aft part of the boat out of the water to reduce drag.

    Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag caught up with the pack after rounding Land’s End by joining Vestas 11th Hour racing in a daring move to sail down a 260-metre wide channel in between the Longships rocks. MAPFRE and Brunel chose a more conservative route closer to the mainland shore but got caught in lighter winds and dropped two positions.

    We've got these light winds for most of the day until we get to the Rock so it will be interesting to see how we go given that we are a fair bit lighter than everybody else. This is one of the conditions where we thought it would be advantageous to take less people

    David Witt, Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag
    After struggling all day with light and variable winds the teams can finally look forward to strengthening conditions after 1800 UTC as they head north westwards into the Celtic sea. After the light conditions, the fleet is now due to round Fastnet 0700-0900 UTC on Tuesday.

    For now, it's the heat, and stress, rather than the wind that is building.
  6. TennisFed

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    19. Mai 2018
    Dongfeng first to round Fastnet Rock
    The Chinese entry passed team AkzoNobel after a night of constant tacking battles
    Current finish ETA for the Volvo Ocean 65 fleet: 0230-0400 UTC Wednesday 9 August
    Dongfeng were the first Volvo Ocean Race team to round the iconic Fastnet Rock with a lead of 1.5 nm over AkzoNobel after a night of intense concentration in light conditions.

    There were no dramatic crashing waves or fast Volvo Ocean Race style surfs overnight. Instead, Dongfeng Race Team brought their experience in the Volvo Ocean 65 to bear as they overhauled yesterday's leaders with smart sailing.
    Both are hugely experienced teams, AkzoNobel has 23 accumulated Volvo Ocean Races in their crew to 18 on Dongfeng, but Charles Caudrelier and the bulk of his team raced together around the world last time and clearly remember how to go fast in light conditions.
    Last night also saw the return of MAPFRE into the podium positions. A painful westward tack early in the Celtic sea positioned the Spanish boat in slightly different wind from the rest of the fleet and then, again, their experience showed as they were able to sail faster than the rest of the fleet to regain the leaders.

    Here's the ranking for the Fastnet rounding (all times UTC):
    Dongfeng Race Team: 06:58 (1.5nm ahead of team AkzoNobel)
    Team AkzoNobel: 07:06
    MAPFRE: 07:18
    Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag: 07:22
    Team Brunel: 07:30
    Vestas 11th Hour Racing: 07:30:30 (just 30 seconds, and around 200 metres behind Brunel)
    Turn the Tide on Plastic: 07:55

    The fleet is now sailing downwind with their biggest sails up (full mainsail and A3 gennaker) in 15 knots of wind that will build to 20 knots in a couple of hours. They are not pointing directly at the next race waypoint by the Scilly Isles as their objective is to keep sailing southwards, waiting for the new wind to sweep in from the west.

    Now we wait with interest to see how this will play out closer to the finish. Will MAPFRE manage to sail fewer miles on the east side of the course or will Dongfeng and AkzoNobel be rewarded for sailing fast in search of new wind?

    Time will tell.
  7. TennisFed

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    19. Mai 2018
    Bekking testet Robin Zinkmann als Navigator für Brunel
    Aktuelles Bild vom Start ins Rolex Fastnet Race 2017 von Sonntagnachmittag

    Für Robin Zinkmann ist es eine wichtige Prüfung als Navigator im Team Brunel: Der Hamburger Seesegler startete heute mit Bouwe Bekkings Crew in den Langstreckenklassiker Rolex Fastnet Race. Zinkmann wurde 2016 Swan-45-Weltmeister ("Elena Nova") und trainiert schon einige Zeit mit den Holländern.
    Als Navigator sammelte er auch Erfahrung an Bord der GP 42 "Silva Neo" und gewann mit der Crew von Max Gurgel die Deutsche Matchrace-Meisterschaft 2016. Der Diplom-Schiffbauer arbeitet als Konstrukteur für Judel/Vrolijk & Co. in Bremerhaven. Das weltweit zu den führenden Designschmieden zählende Unternehmen hat Zinkmann für sein Engagement grünes Licht gegeben. "Robin ist richtig gut, hat in Harburg an der TUHH studiert und macht bei uns One-Off-Projekte", sagt Torsten Conradi, J/V-Partner und Präsident des Deutschen Boots- und Schiffbauer-Verbandes.

    Neben Robin Zinkmann vom Hamburger Segel-Club sind eine Reihe weitere Testkandidaten und Kandidatinnen bei Brunel an Bord. Als fest verpflichtet hat Bekking den australischen America's-Cup-Segler Kyle Langford (Oracle Team USA), den 35-jährigen Debütanten Juanpa Marcos aus Argentinien, den Italiener Alberto Bolzan, der sein zweites Rennen um die Erde bestreitet, Maciel Cicchetti (Argentinien) für dessen dritte Weltumsegelung und den 25-jährigen Niederländer Carlo Huisman, der mit den Kiwis den America's Cup gewann, nach dem Fastnet-Start via Pressemitteilung vorgestellt.
  8. TennisFed

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    Dongfeng win knife-edge battle with MAPFRE in Rolex Fastnet Race
    The Chinese entry pipped MAPFRE just moments from the line in the Fastnet Race after an intense battle overnight
    China’s Dongfeng Race Team edged out MAPFRE by just 56 seconds in a Rolex Fastnet Race thriller in the early hours of Wednesday, as an intense night of lead changes and fickle winds ended with the entire fleet separated by less than 40 minutes after more than 600 miles of racing.

    Victory for Charles Caudrelier’s team keeps it tight at the top of Leg Zero qualifying for the Volvo Ocean Race – and heralds an epic battle to come when the race around the world begins from Alicante on 22 October.

    MAPFRE and Dongfeng had the best start back in Cowes on Sunday, stayed close all the way around the race course and finally finished just metres from each other after fighting all the way to finish line off the Plymouth breakwater.

    Dongfeng crossed the line at 04:18:10 local time, with MAPFRE following shortly afterwards at 04:19:06.

    Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel were next over the line – a result that will give them a massive lift given that their preparations started so late – followed by team AkzoNobel in fourth. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag and Turn the Tide on Plastic completed the fleet arrivals – and with just over 39 minutes between the first and last placed boats, they will be boosted by the belief that they can close the gap further by October.

    Volvo Ocean 65s in the Rolex Fastnet Race:

    1. Dongfeng Race Team: 2 days 15 hours 38 minutes 10 seconds
    2. MAPFRE: 2 days 15 hours 39 minutes 06 seconds
    3. Team Brunel: 2 days 15 hours 45 minutes 47 seconds
    4. team AkzoNobel: 2 days 15 hours 52 minutes 40 seconds
    5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing: 2 days 16 hours 09 minutes 11 seconds
    6. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag: 2 days 16 hours 13 minutes 53 seconds
    7. Turn the Tide on Plastic: 2 days 16 hours 17 minutes 32 seconds

    Dongfeng leveraged their experience on how to set up the boat from the last race, and their crew's local knowledge of these tricky coastlines, at times demonstrating superior boat speed and superb navigational choices.

    Critical moments in their victory were when they regained the lead from team AkzoNobel before the Fastnet rounding and later, perfect navigation on the return from the Rock that saw them split from the fleet on the downwind run and pass through the obstacles around the Scilly Isles with fewer manoeuvres.

    Despite often leading the fleet, Caudrelier revealed at the finish that their victory was far from certain.

    We were leading at the Fastnet, leading the downwind and then suddenly, in big clouds we lost everything, we were last!

    "Then another cloud helped us to come back, but afterwards MAPFRE were still there. They came back, passed us but we passed again. It was a nice fight with MAPFRE", Charles Caudrelier, Skipper of Dongfeng Race Team.

    A testament to the close racing, MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández explained that the final finishing order was determined by one crucial gust. Dongfeng were able to furl and drop their masthead zero before MAPFRE and pass the Spanish boat when they were caught out with too much sail up.

    “At the end we had a big sail and a 20-knot gust hit us, while Dongfeng had a smaller sail,” explained Xabi. “It's a pity but it was a very good race for us."

    Brunel’s third place finish – after they grabbed second in the record-breaking race around the Isle of Wight last Wednesday – was another sign that Bouwe Bekking’s team have hit the ground running after announcing their participation only recently.

    “The team has done extremely well,” said the Dutchman. “They all dug in 100% and I think everyone can look each other in the eye and say for the time being we got the maximum out of the team. We learnt a heck of a lot. I think that’s the most important thing.”

    Overall Leg Zero rankings after 2 of 4 stages:

    MAPFRE 15 points
    Dongfeng Race Team 13
    Team Brunel 13
    team AkzoNobel 11
    Vestas 11th Hour Racing 7
    Turn the Tide on Plastic 6
    Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 5

    There are two more races to go in the Leg Zero series of qualifiers. On Thursday, the fleet will race from Plymouth to Saint-Malo in France. After a non-scoring Pro-Am Race on Saturday, the teams will complete the series with a race from Saint-Malo to Lisbon, starting on Sunday.

    While an overall Leg Zero winner will be declared, based on equal scoring for each of the four stages, no points will be carried forward to the Volvo Ocean Race itself.
  9. TennisFed

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    Saint-Malo: here we come
    The fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s left Plymouth on Thursday for the third race of the Leg Zero qualifying series – weaving their way through waves of tired/euphoric sailors from the smaller boats still on their way to the finish line in the Fastnet.

    This race is the first time America's Cup winning helmsman Peter Burling will sail with Team Brunel.

    Joining Brunel puts Peter in competition with his Olympic and America’s Cup crew mate Blair Tuke who is sailing on MAPFRE, but also means that he joins Kyle Langford, wing trimmer for Oracle Team USA in the last Cup.

    With the winner and loser of the America’s Cup on the same boat, there should be plenty to talk about during the next 45,000 miles…
    The latest challenge for the Volvo Ocean Race teams is a short sprint from Plymouth to St Malo, via a buoy next to the Needles, and everything points to another tight finish.

    For the first leg along the English coast back towards the Isle of Wight, the fleet will be sailing downwind in 10-15 knots before reaching across the English Channel where they'll arrive off the Normandy coastline in the early morning.

    The fleet will sail through a famous tidal acceleration zone called the Alderney Race that will accelerate the boats by up to 8 knots, so look out for record speeds in light winds. The Volvo Ocean Race might be an ocean race, but by Friday morning they'll be sailing down a river!

    This race is the first time America's Cup winning helmsman Peter Burling will sail with Team Brunel.

    Update at 1600 UTC:

    Shortly after the start, a big split in the fleet developed. MAPFRE, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Turn the Tide on Plastic headed south to stronger wind, but were forced to sail more distance, whereas Brunel led Dongfeng Race Team, team AkzoNobel and Sun Hung Kai/ Scallywag along the coast over a shorter distance, but in less wind.

    When the two fleets crossed, MAPFRE had gained more than a mile over the boats who had taken the northern route, and they did it with less effort.

    In comparison with the one gybe that MAPFRE did, Brunel did 17! Their arms will be burning as each manoeuvre not only requires whipping a 390 square meter gennaker (the equivalent of 1.5 tennis courts) from one side to the other but also carrying all the sails that aren't actively being used from one side to the other. That’s hard work in the hot sun.
  10. TennisFed

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    MAPFRE win cross-channel sprint into Saint-Malo on Leg Zero

    The Spanish team continue their charge through Leg Zero to maintain grip on the leaderboard

    Xabi Fernández and his in-form MAPFRE team made it two wins and a runners-up spot from the three Leg Zero qualifiers to date with another commanding performance in the build-up to the Volvo Ocean Race.

    MAPFRE had a lead of seven nautical miles when they crossed the finish line at 0629 UTC off the coast of the walled city of Saint-Malo.

    Team Brunel had another great result with second place, around 40 minutes behind, in their first race sailing with new recruit Peter Burling, the Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winning helmsman.

    Dongfeng Race Team completed the podium to maintain their own excellent form in the series, and were followed by Vestas 11th Hour Racing, team AkzoNobel, Turn the Tide on Plastic and Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag.

    MAPFRE’s latest victory was barely in doubt in a race they dominated following a decisive moment shortly after the Plymouth start.

    “It’s a very good result for us, it’s been a really good leg for us from beginning to end,” said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández. “We made some good choices going offshore, finding the sea breeze and beating the current, we watched the other teams struggle with the current. I’m really pleased with our result.

    “Racing in the last edition of the race was extremely close and we’re seeing more and more of it in Leg Zero. The speed of the teams is similar and I think winning will come down to the small details. we’ve been training for a while so it’s good to see the hard work pay off.”
    MAPFRE chose to dive south with Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Turn the Tide on Plastic. The others chose a route down the coast that required an exhausting gybing duel. When the fleet came back together, the offshore option had paid off, and Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team switched sides to choose the southern option with MAPFRE and Vestas 11th Hour Racing.
    The fleet then had to negotiate a barrier of light winds that blocked the route. The calms were narrower in the south and the four boats that had invested in this option slowed but continued moving whereas Sun Hung Kai/ Scallywag went backwards on the tide, completely becalmed.

    At 1700 UTC the fleet was grouped together just east of Start Point. Two hours later, Sun Hung Kai/ Scallywag had barely moved but MAPFRE, first to touch the new wind, was half way across Lyme Bay and cruising at 16 knots.
    After the turning mark by the Needles (a familiar landmark in this series after featuring in the Around the Island race and the Rolex Fastnet) and a drag race across the English Channel, excitement awaited in the tidal acceleration zone next to the French coast.

    Just like stepping onto a moving walkway at the airport, the speeds on every boat jumped from 13 knots to 19 as they were pushed by the river in the ocean.

    From there, MAPFRE were never challenged.

    Leg Zero, stage 3 results, Plymouth to Saint-Malo:

    1. MAPFRE finish time 06:29 UTC
    2. Team Brunel 07:10
    3. Dongfeng Race Team 07:19
    4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing 07:28
    5. Team AkzoNobel 07:32
    6. Turn the Tide on Plastic 08:35 (unofficial)
    7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 09:08 (unofficial)

    French sailing fans will now get to see the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65s in the inner harbour before a non-scoring Pro-Am Race on Saturday.
    The teams will complete Leg Zero qualifying with a race from Saint-Malo to Lisbon, starting on Sunday and with an ETA on Wednesday.

    “It’s really interesting to add Saint–Malo to the mix as it’s quite technical to get here, a lot of tidal racing with the Channel Islands and navigational hazards, so it tests the navigators,” said Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari.

    MAPFRE now have a three-point advantage at the top of the Leg Zero standings. While an overall winner will be declared, no points will be carried forward to the Volvo Ocean Race itself, which starts on 22 October.

    Overall Leg Zero standings after 3 of 4 races:
    1. MAPFRE 23 points
    2. Team Brunel 20
    3. Dongfeng Race Team 19
    4. Team AkzoNobel 15
    5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing 12
    6. Turn the Tide on Plastic 9
    7. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 7
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    Leg Zero, stage 4 preview: A test of concentration
    Light winds are set to stalk the fleet as we preview the fourth stage of Leg Zero from Saint-Malo to Lisbon
    For the sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet who signed up for shrieking winds and waves the size of houses, the weather forecast for the fourth and final stage of the Leg Zero qualifying series will be a test of patience and concentration.

    Just like the Rolex Fastnet Race and stage three of Leg Zero from Plymouth to Saint-Malo, light winds are the predominating feature; indeed, only 5% of the route will be sailed in more than 16kts of wind!

    At start time, Saint-Malo will be sitting in the middle of a high-pressure zone just behind an old frontal system, so light and variable winds are assured. This stretch of coastline is notorious as a navigator's nightmare and they're not going to get a break as the wind will shut off completely shortly after the start and the tide will be rushing against them in the early evening.

    The first night could be the defining moment in the race, like the shutdown of Start Point in the previous leg that MAPFRE negotiated better than everyone else, setting them up for an unchallenged win.

    On Monday, the Volvo Ocean 65 fleet will escape the French coast and head due west in the search of more stable wind. This big dog leg (identified in the third weather chart in the gallery above) in search of wind is the principle reason that the boats will sail over 900 nautical miles, a lot farther than the direct route of 768. As we'll see later in the race around the world, it's often faster to sail more distance in better conditions than to minimize distance sailed with less than ideal wind.

    On Monday afternoon the boats will finally tack to the south and the wind will shift so the passage of the Bay of Biscay will be made in light downwind sailing. This will be the moment that David Witt, skipper on Sun Hun Kai/Scallywag will be dreading as he identified this as his team's weak point upon arriving in Saint- Malo. They might be painful miles but it will be welcome practice for new teams like his and Dee Caffari on Turn the Tide on Plastic.

    We’ve got a massive problem with VMG running is what we learnt, and we’ve got to work out how we are gonna fix it. We don’t know what we are doing wrong yet.

    The approach to the north west corner of Spain, Cape Finisterre, will be a flurry of activity as the yachts will be forced to gybe down the inside of the TSS off the headland (a conduit for cargo ships and thus out of bounds for our fleet). The steep cliffs of Cape Finisterre often accelerate the local wind but the benefit will be short lived as the fleet will likely head offshore again on their way to Lisbon, again sailing more miles than the direct route, in search of stronger winds.

    Estimated time of arrival is early afternoon in Lisbon, but with such an unstable wind on order for this leg, it could probably be 12 hours either side!

    The arrival in Lisbon marks the end of the Leg Zero qualifier for the Volvo Ocean Race. The teams will then embark on individual testing voyages and the crews will go through a series of rigorous training sessions in ocean safety, offshore medicine and refresher courses for all the mechanical systems onboard.

    The fleet will regroup for the start of the prologue warm-up race from Lisbon to Alicante on 8 October before the Volvo Ocean Race starts for real on 22 October.
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    MAPFRE continue Leg Zero dominance
    The Spanish team eked out a small advantage over Vestas 11th Hour Racing and will now restart in first position tomorrow morning
    MAPFRE gave themselves the best possible chance of completing overall victory in the Leg Zero series as they led the fleet over the finish line on a short opening stage of the final race out of Saint-Malo.

    Extended periods of extremely light weather meant that the Saint-Malo to Lisbon leg had to be split into two parts.

    As expected, the Volvo Ocean 65s stayed tightly bunched on the first of those, a drag race towards Le Grand Lejon. Vestas 11th Hour Racing were neck-and-neck with MAPFRE for the lead, with the Spanish side just pipping them to the line.

    Dongfeng Race Team grabbed third ahead of Turn the Tide on Plastic and team AkzoNobel. Preliminary unofficial results gave Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Team Brunel the same time, with less than a mile between the first and last teams in the seven-boat fleet.

    The restart begins from Chaussé de Sein at 0900 UTC on Monday. It will be a staggered start based on the finishing deltas from Sunday.

    MAPFRE maintained their near-faultless performance in Volvo Ocean Race qualifying – and gave themselves the best possible chance of completing overall victory in the Leg Zero series – as they led the fleet over the finish line on a short opening stage of the final race out of Saint-Malo.

    Extended periods of extremely light weather meant that the Saint-Malo to Lisbon leg had to be split into two parts.

    As expected, the Volvo Ocean 65s stayed tightly bunched on the first of those, a drag race towards Le Grand Lejon. Vestas 11th Hour Racing were neck-and-neck with MAPFRE for the lead, with the Spanish side just pipping them to the line.

    Dongfeng Race Team grabbed third ahead of Turn the Tide on Plastic and team AkzoNobel. Preliminary unofficial results gave Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Team Brunel the same time, with less than a mile between the first and last teams in the seven-boat fleet.

    Now that the teams have completed their ‘Sunday drive’ – a 25nm sprint in just 10 knots – they can prepare for the restart which will begin from Chaussé de Sein at 0900 UTC on Monday. It will be a staggered start based on the finishing deltas from Sunday.

    The fleet will start with light south easterlies that will quickly die and then come back from the west. This will be a critical transition to manage as the whole race course will favour the leaders and punish the stragglers.

    The fleet will negotiate the passage of a cold front early Tuesday morning and the new wind will set them up for a downwind drag race towards Cape Finisterre, the northwestern tip of Spain. It will be a race for their competitive lives – with light winds chasing them as a ridge of high pressure again pushes into the normally tempestuous Bay of Biscay.

    "Leg Zero has been really good for us," said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández, whose team have won two out of the three races completed so far. "Saint-Malo to Lisbon is the last stop so it's not quite over yet but I'm so happy with the team, the boat... Everything seems to be working out."

    After negotiating the narrow channel between Cape Finisterre and the out-of-bounds shipping channel, they'll have a pretty simple run down the Portuguese coast. There's no major strategic play here, just pure speed before a handbrake turn into the Tagus river and the finish in downtown Lisbon.

    “You only enter races to win – but the forecast is flukey so everything’s on the table,” said Vestas 11th Hour Racing skipper Charlie Enright. “Everyone’s expectation is to be competitive and to continue to refine the areas that we realise need work.”

    Overall standings after 3 of 4 completed races in Leg Zero:

    1. MAPFRE 23 points

    2. Team Brunel 20

    3. Dongfeng Race Team 19
4. team AkzoNobel 15

    5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing 12

    6. Turn the Tide on Plastic 9

    7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 7

    While an overall winner will be declared, no points will be carried forward to the Volvo Ocean Race itself, which starts on 22 October from Alicante.
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    MAPFRE seal overall Leg Zero victory as light winds force shortened course on final stage
    Racing was stopped at 0430 UTC Wednesday, with Vestas 11th Hour Racing winning the stage and MAPFRE finishing top of the qualifying standings
    MAPFRE did enough to take the overall Leg Zero honours after the fourth and final stage of the Volvo Ocean Race qualifying series was shortened due to continued forecasts of lights winds.

    The stage, which started from Saint-Malo on Sunday and had been due to see the teams race all the way to Lisbon, was brought to a close at 0430 UTC on Wednesday morning.

    Fast-improving Vestas 11th Hour Racing took the stage win with the shortest Distance to Finish at 0430 UTC.

    team AkzoNobel were second, and third place in the stage was enough for MAPFRE to seal overall victory.

    "I think it was a good decision (to shorten the stage) because this Leg Zero was already becoming quite long," said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández. "It's been very interesting. We’ve done a lot of training over the winter and I think we’ve seen that we sail very well."

    The decision to call a halt to the racing came late on Tuesday night as the stage had become a drifting contest, with the teams making a series of expensive gybes in a bid to find some wind, and latest ETAs predicting that the boats would not reach Lisbon until well into Thursday.

    “Preparation time for the Volvo Ocean Race is at a real premium and we have to make sure the teams are using that time in the best way to get ready,” said Race Director Phil Lawrence, who had already taken the decision to split the race into two parts because of the lack of wind on the first day of racing.

    No actual points are at stake on Leg Zero, which was introduced as a means to give the teams crucial time on the water in racing conditions before the Volvo Ocean Race itself begins in October.

    At 1900 UTC on Tuesday, speeds for the Volvo Ocean 65s on the final stage were around 5 knots, with all but Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag just off Cape Finisterre.

    After being informed of the decision to cut short racing, the teams had about eight hours to adjust their strategy.

    By 0100 UTC on Wednesday, the teams were making slow progress down the north western coast of Spain in isolated pockets of breeze ranging from 2-6 knots from a southerly direction.

    Vestas 11th Hour Racing and MAPFRE were at the head of the pack before team AkzoNobel started to advance, sailing slightly to the west and managing to avoid the pocket of light airs affecting their rivals.

    On a difficult and frustrating night for the teams, Vestas 11th Hour Racing did just enough to hold on and finish Leg Zero on a high note.

    "There may never be another one quite like that, but we'll take it," said skipper Charlie Enright. "We've been improving every day we spend on the boat together and it's nice to see that improvement manifest itself in the form of a win. We still have a lot to work on but it gives us confidence in the process as we move forward."

    Leg Zero, stage four rankings

    1. Vestas 11th Hour Racing
    2. team AkzoNobel
    3. MAPFRE
    4. Dongfeng Race Team
    5. Team Brunel
    6. Turn the Tide on Plastic
    7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag

    Leg Zero, overall final rankings

    1. MAPFRE 29 points
    2. Dongfeng Race Team 24
    3. Team Brunel 24
    4. team AkzoNobel 22
    5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing 20
    6. Turn the Tide on Plastic 12
    7. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag 9
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    Die Vorstartfavoriten: Mapfre macht das Rennen
    Das spanische Team Mapfre hat die Ouvertüre zum Volvo Ocean Race gewonnen – es entschied die Vierer-Serie "Leg Zero" gegen Dongfeng und Brunel für sich.
    Ein hartes Rennen rund um die Isle of Wight, das klassische Rolex Fastnet Race, ein schneller Sprint von Plymouth nach Saint-Malo und ein nervenzerrender Flautenpoker von Saint-Malo nach Lissabon – diese vier Etappen haben das sogenannte "Leg Zero" gebildet, das den sieben Volvo-Ocean-Race-Teams bis heute Morgen zur intensiven Vorbereitung und für einen ersten Schlagabtausch auf dem Weg an die Startlinie zur 13. Auflage des Meeres-Marathons um die Welt diente.

    Gesamtsieger wurde das spanische Team Mapfre von Skipper Xabi Fernandez vor Charles Caudreliers Dongfeng Race Team und Bouwe Bekkings Team Brunel. Fernandez' Fazit: "Ich glaube, dass Dongfeng gut vorbereitet ist. Die haben auch den ganzen Winter hart gearbeitet. Neue Teams wie AkzoNobel wachsen mit einiger guter Erfahrung zusammen und verbessern sich jeden Tag, an dem sie zusammen segeln. Das Team Brunel verfügt über eine gute Mischung und ist sehr erfahren. Die werden sehr stark sein."

    In den frühen Morgenstunden des 16. August war es schließlich Charlie Enrights Team Vestas 11th Hour Racing, das sich im Schlussspurt nach Lissabon durchsetzen und in der Endabrechnung von "Leg Zero" noch auf Platz 5 hinter dem zweiten holländischen Team AkzoNobel und vor Dee Caffaris Kampagne Turn the Tide on Plastic und Außenseiter Sun Hung Kai Scallyway vorschieben konnte. Dessen Skipper sagte: "Mapfre hat dominiert und allen gezeigt, wie stark sie sind. Sie haben die Latte hochgelegt, die wir nun alle erreichen müssen."
    Mit Mapfre ging auch Olympiasieger und America's-Cup-Gewinner Blair Tuke im Fernduell mit seinem Steuermann und Freund Peter Burling in Führung. Burling, der erst nach dem Fastnet Race zu seinem holländischen Team Brunel stieß, sammelt gerade seine ersten intensiven Hochsee-Erfahrungen an Bord einer VO-65-Yacht.

    Die Siege auf den vier Abschnitten von "Leg Zero" haben sich drei verschiedene Mannschaften gesichert – was für einen engen und spannenden Verlauf des Volvo Ocean Race spricht, das am 22. Oktober in die erste Etappe von Alicante nach Lissabon startet.
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    Everything you need to know about the Assembly Period
    The Volvo Ocean 65s come out of the water on 18 September for final checks and a last chance for the Boatyard to spin the wrenches before the race start
    You might have noticed that the Volvo Ocean Race teams have been chalking up plenty of miles recently. Well, with the Assembly Period starting on Monday 18 September, it's their last chance to get to grips with the boat for a couple of weeks.

    So what is an Assembly Period, and why do we need it? It's a mandatory part of the pre-race preparation, when all teams must report to the Boatyard facility in Lisbon, Portugal, so their boats can be lifted out of the water and given a final once over before the start of another ocean marathon.

    Assembly Period 2017-18

    Starts: Monday 18 September
    Ends: Saturday 30 September
    Boats must be at the Boatyard in Lisbon

    One of the unique elements of the One Design era is that all major maintenance is done by a central Boatyard facility, run by Volvo Ocean Race staff, instead of by the teams themselves. Just like dropping your Volvo car off at the dealer for a 50,000-mile service, the Boatyard takes charge.

    But instead of getting a coffee and waiting in the customer lounge, the Assembly Period gives Volvo Ocean Race teams some invaluable time on shore – and they'll head to Newcastle, UK for a rigorous sea survival course.
    With nearly 9,000 nautical miles until the next big service in Cape Town, the Boatyard will do a lot more than just kick the tyres. The masts will all come out to be scanned by non-destructive testing specialists to confirm that the challenging Leg Zero racing didn't leave any lasting effects.
    To guarantee the best level of service the Boatyard uses the original manufacturers to maintain the equipment on the Volvo Ocean 65s. This means that, for example, Harken will work alongside the Boatyard hardware specialists to service the winches, Dutch Mastervolt electricians will check the Lithium Ion batteries, Italian hydraulics specialists will service the Cariboni keel system and British electronics experts from B&G will calibrate the instruments.

    In short, the Boatyard becomes a dusty, oily version of the United Nations and the core staff jumps from 20 to 55 during the intensive maintenance periods.

    We're confident they’re in great shape and by the time we're done with them the boats will be fit to go the distance, all the way to Cape Town

    Neil Cox, Head of the Boatyard

    The result? That the Volvo Ocean Race crews are able to push their boats relentlessly, safe in the knowledge that there is this high level of care waiting for them in the next Host City.

    Different legs will put different levels of wear and tear on the boats and their crews, and the level of service waiting on shore reflects that. Major overhauls (where the boats will be taken out of the water, and the boats given a full service) are reserved for Cape Town, Hong Kong, Auckland, Itajaí and Cardiff.

    Lighter touch ups are reserved for Melbourne, Newport and Gothenburg where the boats must stay in the water during the stopover.
    Beyond carefully checking over the boats after an estimated 12,000 miles of pre-race testing, the Boatyard is charged with confirming that the boats are perfectly identical and will issue the measurement certificates that allow them to race as a one design fleet.

    This involves adding corrector weights to individual components like the boom and the mast so that the boats weigh exactly the same, piece by piece and as a whole boat.

    Come 30 September, the closest One Design fleet on the open ocean will be shiny clean and street legal, ready to race!
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    Prologue Leg to offer final tune-up ahead of race start
    On Sunday afternoon at 1400 local time in Lisbon (1300 UTC), the seven Volvo Ocean Race skippers will lead their teams off the start line of the Prologue Leg, a non-scoring race to the host city and start port of Alicante, Spain.

    It’s a final chance for teams to lock in crew configurations and get in some speed testing against the competition ahead of the start of Leg 1 on October 22 in Alicante.

    “This is the last opportunity for all of the boats to face each other before we start,” says Mark Towill of Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “We’ll be lining up against the other teams to check the things we’ve learned during testing compared to the rest of the fleet.”

    Towill and his team have been training against team AkzoNobel. The Dutch team's Luke Molloy spoke of the benefit from the sessions.

    “The two boat training sessions we did with Vestas 11th Hour Racing were definitely very valuable and actually quite eye opening in a few areas,” he confirms. “Just to check on some of our sail crossovers and lock down what we think we know in some other performance areas.”

    Turn the Tide on Plastic skipper Dee Caffari says she’ll be giving some of her crew who have less offshore miles time on board during the Prologue, as her team makes the transition from training to competition.

    “It’s an opportunity to get back into race mode,” she says. “It’s almost a practice of Leg 1, because we’re going from Lisbon to Alicante and that’s going to be the reverse for Leg 1 so it’s nice to suss it out.”

    Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, disappointed with its results this summer during Leg Zero, will be racing with some new crew members and navigator Steve Hayles says the team will be looking to bed in improvements made during practice over the past month.

    “I think (on Leg Zero) everything was sub-par, so this is a good chance to put into effect everything we’ve been doing since. We’ve been sailing hard, we’ve done at least as many miles as anyone else, and so this is a good opportunity to cement those changes.

    “Nothing is as good a measure of where you stand as going racing and hopefully we’ve made a big step up in our team performance.”

    Rob Greenhalgh, about to embark with the Spanish team MAPFRE on his fifth Volvo Ocean Race, is looking forward to this final look at the opposition.

    “It’s pretty important. Everyone’s going to be keen to check in,” he says. “We’ll be keen to race properly… we won’t be backed off. We’ll be going for it!”

    Dongfeng Racing team director Bruno Dubois will see his team leave the dock in Lisbon satisfied they have done what they need to do to be ready to race by the start of Leg 1.

    “My objective was to make sure we put everything in place and didn’t leave anything to chance,” Dubois explains. “We made a plan and we’ve stayed to it.

    “Maybe someone is going to head out in Leg 1 and be very fast, but we’ve done what we needed to do to make our boat ready and fast for the start of the race. After that, well, it’s a long race.”

    The weather forecast offers a mixed bag that will get the wrinkles out of all the new sails the teams have installed in Lisbon. Crews will face a light wind start in the Tagus River before a gentle run down the coast to Cape Saint-Vincent, the South West corner of Portugal. The light wind sails will stay up for the reach towards the Gibraltar Straight where the real action starts.
    The boats will race upwind through the Gibraltar Straight early on Tuesday morning against the infamous Levanter easterly wind that could accelerate to over 30kts, all while penned in by a narrow coast, heavy shipping exclusion zones and coastal fishing nets. Forced into a 1.5-mile wide channel, skippers will be balancing the desire to push for a good result in their last warm-up versus the need to protect new sails that need to last 45,000 miles around the world.

    Bouwe Bekking, the skipper of Team Brunel, was very candid about placing a priority on protecting his equipment.

    “It’s about finding that balance between pushing the boat, getting it ready, and putting the least amount of hours on the new sails,” he says. “If there is a lot of wind, we’ll want to save our sails… that’s just what we have to do.”

    After the Straights, the fleet will continue upwind through the Alboran Sea along the south Spanish coast in an uncomfortable sea state created by fresh easterlies running over the permanent eastwards current created by the Atlantic flowing into the Mediterranean. Turning northwards by Cabo de Gata, the wind is expected to drop to just 5 knots from the east, pushing the homecoming in the Alicante race village deep into Wednesday evening.

    “We heard all the stories about how the Race Village in Alicante is nearly ready and everyone is waiting for us to arrive,” Caffari says. “And I know from the moment we arrive, the circus begins and it is pretty much non-stop. The time will fly by and we’ll be crossing that start line and heading away from Alicante for Leg 1 in no time.”
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    Volvo Ocean Race fleet heading for start port of Alicante as Prologue is underway
    The Prologue Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race began on Sunday afternoon, after the start was delayed by just over 2 hours and moved nearly 20 miles south in order to find better racing conditions.

    The Prologue is a non-scoring race to deliver the seven-boat fleet from The Boatyard in Lisbon, Portugal to the home start port of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante, Spain ahead of the race start on 22 October.

    At the scheduled start time of 1400 local time in Lisbon on Sunday afternoon (1300 UTC), the sea was like glass with extremely light and variable winds.

    Race Director Phil Lawrence and his team asked the crews to proceed due south, under power, towards Gibraltar, and two-hours later the fleet was rewarded with a light, but steady 7 to 10 knot northwesterly breeze, allowing racing to start at 1515 UTC.

    Xabi Fernández and his MAPFRE team led the fleet off the starting line, racing downwind in a drag race to get south.

    “This prologue is a great opportunity as a warm-up because then we go straight into the coastal race and the first leg. We are really looking forward to it, and are all very motivated,” said Pablo Arrarte, watch captain on MAPFRE, as the team left the dock. m103545_crop169014_1024x576_proportional_1507478408A91A.jpg

    In contrast, Dongfeng Race Team was shut out from the starting line at the committee boat end and trailed the fleet across the line.

    Thirty minutes after the start, there was an east / west split emerging, with Team Brunel furthest east and slightly behind the leaders, with Vestas 11th Hour Racing furthest west and nominally in the lead.

    “It feels different when it’s game day,” said Charlie Enright, skipper of Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “For this Prologue, it’s all about learning. We’re interested to see where we stand against these guys. We’ve done some two boat testing and it’ll be interesting to see how fast we’ve gotten because the fastest boat is going to win this race."

    Der Prolog

    Lissabon - Alicante

    Start: 13.00 Uhr (UTC) / 14.00 (MESZ); 8. Oktober 2017

    Zeit: 72-96 Stunden

    Distanz: 581,6 Nautische Meilen

    Die Crews

    Dongfeng Race Team

    Skipper - Charles Caudrelier
    Navigator - Pascal Bidégorry
    Daryl Wislang
    Stuart Bannatyne
    Jérémie Beyou
    Marie Riou
    Jackson Bouttell
    Carolijn Brouwer
    Xue Liu
    OBR - Jérémie Lecaudey


    Skipper - Xabi Fernández
    Navigator - Joan Vila
    Pablo Arrarte
    Rob Greenhalgh
    Antonio "Ñeti" Cuervas-Mons
    Blair Tuke
    Willy Altadill
    Sophie Ciszek
    Tamara Echegoyen

    OBR - Jen Edney

    team AkzoNobel

    Skipper - Simeon Tienpont
    Navigator - Jules Salter
    Joca Signorini
    Brad Jackson
    Luke Molloy
    Nicolai Sehested
    Brad Farrand
    Emily Nagel
    Martine Grael
    OBR - James Blake

    Team Brunel

    Skipper - Bouwe Bekking
    Navigator - Andrew Cape
    Carlo Huisman
    Alberto Bolzan
    Kyle Langford
    Maciel Cicchetti
    Peter Burling
    Abby Ehler
    OBR - Richard Edwards

    Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag

    Skipper- David Witt
    Navigator - Steve Hayles
    Alex Gough
    Annemieke Bes
    Ben Piggott
    John Fisher
    Luke Parkinson
    Tom Clout
    OBR - Konrad Frost

    Turn the Tide on Plastic

    Skipper - Dee Caffari
    Navigator - Nico Lunven
    Martin Strömberg
    Liz Wardley
    Annalise Murphy
    Francesca Clapcich
    Bianca Cook
    Lucas Chapman
    Henry Bomby
    Frederico Melo
    OBR - Sam Greenfield

    Vestas 11th Hour Racing

    Skipper - Charlie Enright
    Navigator - Simon Fisher
    Mark Towill
    Phil Harmer
    Nick Dana
    Tom Johnson
    Tony Mutter
    Stacey Jackson
    Jena Mai Hansen
    OBR - Martin Keruzoré
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    19. Mai 2018
    MAPFRE edges Team Brunel to win abbreviated Prologue Leg
    The Spanish MAPFRE team won the Volvo Ocean Race Prologue Leg on Wednesday, holding off a late charge from Team Brunel after Race Management shortened the course, converting the compulsory gate at Cabo de Gata into the finishing line.
    For skipper Xabi Fernández and his team, it’s a continuation of the success MAPFRE found on Leg 0, where the team was the overall winner of the four-stage leg.

    “It’s all good on board,” Fernández said shortly after crossing the ‘virtual’ finishing line.

    “It’s been really good training. It’s been a close race and I’m really happy with the team’s performance.”

    Close behind the winner was Team Brunel.
    Both of the leading teams owed their performance in large part to a decision they took early in the leg, shortly after the start, when they hugged the coast of Portugal in contrast to the rest of the fleet further offshore.

    The coastal route paid in a big way, and less than 24-hours after the start, MAPFRE and Team Brunel held a decisive lead over the fleet, turning this into a two-boat race for victory.

    But the chasing pack had a hard-fought battle for third place, with team AkzoNobel squeaking in just ahead of Turn the Tide on Plastic and Vestas 11th Hour Racing.
    “We had a very good race, very enjoyable. Good close racing,” said skipper Simeon Tienpont. “We were in the game all the way. MAPFRE and Brunel went a different route which worked out for them, but with the rest of the fleet we took the best we could out of it and I’m very confident after finishing in third place.”
    At the back of the pack, Dongfeng Racing held off Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag.

    With the shortened course putting the finishing line some 120 miles away, the teams will now motorsail to Alicante, the start port of the Volvo Ocean Race. The event Race Village opens Wednesday evening, with entertainment, ceremonies and fireworks.

    The teams are expected to arrive beginning in the pre-dawn hours on Thursday, ahead of practice racing on Friday and the MAPFRE in-Port Race Alicante on Saturday. Leg One of the Volvo Ocean Race starts on 22 October.

    Volvo Ocean Race Prologue Leg – Positions and finishing times (UTC), 11 October

    1. Mapfre; finished 09:49 UTC
    2. Team Brunel; finished 10:06 UTC
    3. team AkzoNobel; finished 12:44 UTC
    4. Turn the Tide on Plastic; finished 12:53
    5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing; finished 12:59
    6. Dongfeng Race Team; finished 13:09
    7. Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag; 13:17

    Desafio MAPFRE gewinnt den Prolog und bleibt vorerst das Maß aller Dinge...

    Zuletzt bearbeitet: 21. Mai 2018

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