Archivio della categoria Volvo Ocean Race

Watch the Ocean Summit LIVE from Gothenburg

121395

To watch the live stream of the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit Gothenburg, click here

The first ever Gothenburg event highlights progressive announcements from the Volvo Cars and Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme.

In a first for car manufacturers, Håkan Samuelsson, President and CEO of Volvo Cars, announced the company’s ambition that from 2025, at least 25 per cent of the plastics used in every newly launched Volvo car will be made from recycled material. A recycled-plastics XC60 was also revealed at the Ocean Summit.

Håkan Samuelsson said: “Volvo Cars is committed to minimising its global environmental footprint. Environmental care is one of Volvo’s core values and we will continue to find new ways to bring this into our business. This car and our recycled plastics ambition are further examples of that commitment.”

The special XC60’s interior has parts made from renewable fibres and plastics from discarded fishing nets and ropes. Used car seats from old Volvo cars were used to create the sound-absorbing material under the car bonnet.

Volvo Ocean Race Ambassador for Gothenburg and Turn the Tide on Plastic crewmember Martin Strömberg joined boat Skipper Dee Caffari, and Charlie Enright, Skipper, Vestas 11th Hour Racing in a discussion about their experiences of plastic polluting our seas.

The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme announced data on the levels of microplastics in the Atlantic Ocean as the boats raced from Newport, Rhode Island, to Cardiff.

Nessun commento

Vestas 11th Hour Racing win Gothenburg In-Port Race, MAPFRE claim Series title

121373

© Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race

Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing showed great patience and sailed a clean race for a victory in the Gothenburg In-Port Race on Sunday.

But it was Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE team who rode a third place finish on Sunday to a win the overall In-Port Race Series, sailing 11 points clear of their closest pursuers, Dongfeng Race Team.

With one In-Port Race left in The Hague, MAPFRE can now not be overtaken on the leaderboard.

© Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race

“It’s a box ticked for us and we’re very happy with it,” Fernández said. “Today is a good day for us. We were planning to sail our own race, but in the start we saw it wasn’t going well for us so we decided to hold up Dongfeng and try to finish the series now.”

Conditions were ideal for racing on Sunday, with winds in the 14 to 17 knot range, the southerly direction producing a reaching race course at the start. A wind shift turned the course into a true upwind/downwind for the last third of the race.

© Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race

Team Brunel won the start with a fantastic time on distance run, hitting the line with speed and fully powered up.

Meanwhile, MAPFRE, with an eye on the leaderboard, stayed close to Dongfeng Race Team, luffing them up early and holding them back, the pair trailing the entire fleet early.

At the first mark, both tried to bully their way past Turn the Tide on Plastic, squeezing inside at the turn.

But while MAPFRE made a clean pass, Dongfeng Race Team didn’t have rights to push inside and received a penalty from the on-water Umpires, knocking them back behind the fleet.

At the front of the race, Team Brunel was trying desperately to hold on to its early lead, but a poor choice in sail selection meant the team was underpowered on the downwind leg and dropped all the way back from first to sixth.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing and team AkzoNobel were best placed to take advantage of the error and grabbed the leading two positions for the last lap of the course, with Charlie Enright’s team taking the win.

“We got off the start line okay and gave ourselves a chance,” Enright said. “On a day like today you’re never going to get it right 100% of the time, but the team that gets it right the most, wins. We’re happy with the result. Every time the start gun goes off it’s a chance to prove ourselves.”

The second place finish for Simeon Tienpont’s AkzoNobel team moves his crew into a podium position for the series, just two points ahead of Team Brunel.

A fourth place finish on Sunday allowed Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic to close the gap with David Witt’s SHK/Scallywag to three points heading into the final race in The Hague on June 30.

On Thursday June 21 the final leg of the Volvo Ocean Race from Gothenburg to The Hague will start at 1400 local time (1200 UTC) with the top three teams on the leaderboard in a dead heat.

“We’re already thinking about it,” Fernández admitted. “We knew it would be close but I don’t think anyone thought it would be three boats and whoever wins the leg, wins the race!”

The race for the title is between MAPFRE, Team Brunel and Dongfeng Race Team. Whoever among them finishes the leg to The Hague ahead of the others, will win the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.

It marks the closest finish in the 45-year history of the race.

Tune in for live coverage of Leg 11 at www.volvooceanrace.com and on social media @volvooceanrace beginning at 1345 local time (1145 UTC) on June 21.


Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Points Table
1. MAPFRE – 61 points – winner of the In-Port Race Series
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 50 points
3. team AkzoNobel – 45 points
4. Team Brunel – 43 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 33 points
6. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 24 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 21 points

Volvo Ocean Race Overall Points Leaderboard after Leg 10
1. MAPFRE – 65 points
2. Team Brunel – 65 points
3. Dongfeng Race Team – 64 points *
4. team AkzoNobel – 53 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 38 points
6. SHK / Scallywag – 30 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 29 points

* One additional point will be awarded to the team with the best elapsed time at the conclusion of the race in The Hague. Currently, Dongfeng would win this point.
** Should there be a tie on the overall race leaderboard at the end of the offshore legs, the In-Port Race Series standings will be used to break the tie.

Nessun commento

Leg 10 Strategic Review – Setting up the showdown

120891

However, the bonus point for the shortest elapsed time around the world will go to Dongfeng should they beat the other two in Leg 11. This has created an effective three-way tie that will be settled by the result of this final leg. It’s all going to come down to one last 700 mile dash from Gothenburg to The Hague.

How did we get so lucky to have a finale like this? Well…

Opening
It certainly didn’t look like Leg 10 was going to be a vintage one at the restart in Cardiff. There were very light winds and strong tides to negotiate before the fleet could clear the Bristol Channel and head for Gothenburg (Leg 10 Preview is here). The race committee were smart enough to postpone for a little while until the tide had turned, so at least the fleet had six hours of drifting in the right direction while they waited for the wind to fill.

The breeze picked up in the evening, a northerly flowing around the eastern side of a big high pressure out in the Atlantic. It hustled the fleet out into the Western Approaches, headed for the Fastnet Rock. If we look at Image 1 from 10:00UTC on the 11th June we can see that it was a straight-forward drag race overnight and into the next morning.

©Geovoile - Image 1 (Click for larger image)

Dongfeng Race Team (red), led from Team Brunel (yellow) and MAPFRE (white). Same old, same old… but by this time they were closing with the coast and things were starting to get interesting as the land warmed up.

Sea breeze
In Image 2 from 12:30UTC on 11th June we can see that the flowlines for the weather forecast were predicting a wind shadow along the south coast in the northerly wind. This combined with the thermal effect – as the land started to warm – created an onshore sea breeze that by midday was blowing as a light (4-5 knot) south-easterly.

 ©Geovoile - Image 2 (Click for larger image)

Dongfeng Race Team held their nerve and the lead through this transition as they passed the Fastnet Rock. The other challengers for the overall win were still right on their tail though, with Vestas 11th Hour Racing (orange), Turn the Tide on Plastic (light blue), Team AkzoNobel (purple) all part of this lead pack - just Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag (grey) had been dropped.

Transition two
The sea breeze couldn’t last forever though, and everyone knew that there would be a second transition back into the strong northerly gradient wind as the day wore on. We can see from the tracks in Image 3 from 17:00UTC on the 11th June that it was a stressful afternoon. This image captured the moment when Turn the Tide on Plastic and Team Brunel got the new wind first – a 16-18 knot blast from the north-west that punched them into the lead.

 ©Geovoile - Image 3 (Click for larger image)

It quickly reached the others and the fleet started a long upwind leg around the south-west corner of Ireland. It’s a testament to the closeness of the racing, and the one-design performance of the fleet that five hours later, at 22:00UTC on the 11th June there was still nothing in it as we can see in Image 4. Just one and a half miles separated the top five boats, with Turn the Tide another mile and a half behind in sixth – fantastic racing.

 ©Geovoile - Image 4 (Click for larger image)

Game change
The game was about to change significantly though, from a coastal, inshore mode to a big-picture strategic mode. To see why we’re going to zoom out in Image 5, and go forward just a couple of hours to midnight UTC on the 11th June. We can see a ridge of high pressure on the left of the image that was drifting east from the Atlantic towards the British Isles.

 ©Geovoile - Image 5 (Click for larger image)

The fleet was going to have to head out into the Atlantic and cross it, or wait on the coast until it drifted over on top of them anyway. There was a consensus that crossing the ridge early was fastest because on the other side was a strong southerly breeze that would make it a downwind blast all the way to the top of Scotland. It was possible, and even likely that if a fast boat won the race to transit across the high they would take Leg 10, as the forecast onwards was all straight-line racing in good breeze.

Game settler?
In Image 6 we see that by 10:00UTC the following morning, 12th June, the fleet were deep in the battle to get across the high pressure ridge. The wind was light, 3-6 knots, and still from the north so they had yet to cross the axis of the ridge, when the wind would switch to a southerly direction.

 ©Geovoile - Image 6 (Click for larger image)

The leaderboard didn’t mean much at this point, as it was measuring distance travelled northwards, and this was all about who could get into the new breeze first. What made this interesting was that the forecast showed that the strengthening southerly wind was actually closer to the fleet in the north.

The fleet had split; Team Brunel, Turn the Tide and Vestas 11th Hour Racing all went for the straight-forward option: go west. MAPFRE and Team AkzoNobel – perhaps seeing that new breeze stronger in the north – had picked a lane about seven miles to the north. Dongfeng Race Team were hedging their bets in the middle.

Even fill
This time around the wind filled very evenly for the fleet. If we look at Image 7 from 14:30UTC on the 12th June we can see that (with the exception of the distant Scallywags) everyone now had a building 7-8 knots from the south. It looked like the more northerly position of MAPFRE and Team AkzoNobel would allow them to take the lead. And that was how it turned out.

 ©Geovoile - Image 7 (Click for larger image)

If we look at Image 8 from 18:30UTC on the 12th June we can see that everyone was now safely into the strong southerly wind on the western side of the high pressure ridge, and they had started gybing back towards the coast, settling on a long starboard gybe that would take most of them all the way around Scotland and across the North Sea.

 ©Geovoile - Image 8 (Click for larger image)

The gybe brought them back together and gave us a good idea of the winners and losers. MAPFRE and AkzoNobel had solidified their lead as they crossed in front of the rest of the pack – their advantage was worth about four miles. The others (apart from Scallywag) were too close to call. If we go forward to Image 9 from 21:00UTC on the 12th June we see that Team Brunel got a little bit out of whack in this section. They gybed five times before settling onto starboard, in contrast to everyone else who gybed just once. The result was that they dropped themselves out of the front rank, and had some work to do.

 ©Geovoile - Image 9 (Click for larger image)

The drag race north
What followed next was all about speed. Apart from a couple of (probably unnecessary) gybes from Vestas 11th Hour Racing that dropped them down the fleet, everyone blasted north on starboard towards the top of Scotland. In Image 10 from 09:00UTC on the 13th June we can see that the high pressure had now settled over the British Isles, while at the very top left of the image we can see a low pressure starting to spin up. This was increasing the strength of the southerly wind – the fleet now had around 22-26 knots of wind speed.

 ©Geovoile - Image 10 (Click for larger image)

In Image 11 from 19:00UTC on the 13th June we get a very solid fix on who had been fast and who hadn’t, as the fleet reached their furthest point north and adjusted their course to head for Gothenburg. Dongfeng Race Team had closed down MAPFRE a little, narrowing the distance to just under four miles. The big winners were Team Brunel, up to third having almost halved the distance to the leader in the short time since they had started to narrow the wind angle to sail across the top of Scotland.

 ©Geovoile - Image 11 (Click for larger image)

The drag race east
The course was now slightly south of due east, and still in a strong southerly wind. This meant that everyone was now reaching with the wind forward of the beam (true wind angle of 65-75 degrees). Team Brunel were in another gear: check out Image 12 from midnight on the 13th June, just five hours after Image 11.

 ©Geovoile - Image 12 (Click for larger image)

The fleet had compressed slightly (as a result of the leaders turning onto a slower point of sailing), but even allowing for that Team Brunel’s progress was impressive; drawing level with Dongfeng Race Team and more than halving the distance again to MAPFRE. I think it was around here that Dongfeng Race Team thought they picked up something on their keel, and started a grim 24 hours that only ended when they finally backed down (sailed backwards to allow rubbish dragging on the keel to float free).

It wasn’t that great a period for MAPFRE either, as Team Brunel just mowed them down and flew right by. In Image 13 from 12:00UTC on the 14th June we can see the fleet rounding the southern tip of Norway before heading across the Skagerrak to Gothenburg. Team Brunel now led MAPFRE by half a mile, with Team AkzoNobel up to third as Dongfeng Race Team slipped back. The low pressure (with the cold front very visible to the left of the image) was starting to drag the wind to the south-west, and increasing the strength to 25-30 knots.

 ©Geovoile - Image 13 (Click for larger image)

Home straight
In Image 14 from 21:00UTC on the 14th June we can see that the wind angle had steadily widened on the final stretch, but nothing much changed on the leaderboard as they closed on the finish line. MAPFRE were now hanging onto Team Brunel, maintaining the deficit at half a mile.

 ©Geovoile - Image 14 (Click for larger image)

A couple of thoughts on that; it might have been down to the change in wind angle. Bouwe Bekking indicated that he thought their pace was likely due to a new headsail, and so the shift back to downwind sailing could have negated that. It did seem that Team Brunel only started making big gains when the wind angle narrowed around the top of Scotland.

It could also be that – given that Team Brunel sailed close past MAPFRE in broad daylight – a difference in technique or set-up was observed and subsequently matched. More likely, it was a bit of both – I guess we may find out the answer to that one on the final leg… Meanwhile, Team AkzoNobel were comfortably holding onto their third place. Dongfeng Race Team had slipped back to fifth behind Turn the Tide, before recovering to fourth after their back-down. Vestas 11th Hour Racing were trailing home in sixth with Scallywag in their customary seventh place.

Finish
And that was exactly how it finished, with just 1m 55s separating the two leaders into Gothenburg. The first six were all home inside an hour and a quarter – seriously close racing after four days. Although I guess we knew that with a three-way tie for first overall…  

Comeback
This wasn’t just a comeback in Leg 11 for Team Brunel, it’s been a spectacular comeback in the overall race. After a very shaky opening six legs, Bouwe Bekking and his team have dropped just two points (44 points from a possible 46) in the last four legs with three wins and a second place. The momentum is all with them as we go into the final leg.

I’m sure that no one needs me to point out that this Dutch boat – with a Dutch skipper seeking an overall race win at the eighth time of trying – will be racing home to the Netherlands to close out the win. It could hardly be more motivating. Nor could it be more of a pressure cooker. It will be fascinating to see how the three leaders manage a very tricky seven hundred miles with this much at stake; threading their way through the tides and sand banks of the North Sea.

Nessun commento

Teams ready for close action in Sunday’s Gothenburg In-Port Race

118445

With the Volvo Ocean Race making its fourth visit to Gothenburg, race fans will be treated to spectacular racing on a course at the mouth of the Göta älv, the river that bisects the city.

As the home of Volvo, Gothenburg has become a home away from home for the race over the past 20 years.

While the overall leaderboard for the Volvo Ocean Race is historically tight, there is slightly more margin in the In-Port Race Series.

© Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race

The biggest battle is between the two teams with Dutch skippers, where Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel leads Simeon Tienpont’s team AkzoNobel by just two points in the fight for the final podium spot.

At the top of the table, Xabi Fernández’s MAPFRE is seven points clear of Charles Caudrelier’s Dongfeng Race Team. A win on Sunday would confirm MAPFRE’s victory in the series, ahead of the final race in The Hague on 30 June.

Further down the table, Charlie Enright’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing is five points clear of David Witt’s SHK/Scallywag, who have Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic just four points behind.

With two In-Port Race Series events left, there is potential for movement here.

The weather forecast for Sunday is for a 10-knot South-Southwesterly, with a chance of light showers.


How to follow the Gothenburg In-Port Race

Racing starts at 1400 local time (1200 UTC), on Sunday, 17th June.

On the website:
Head to www.volvooceanrace.com to catch a live stream of the action from 1345 local time (1145 UTC). A post race story summarising the action and with quotes from the skippers will be posted shortly after racing has finished.

Check out Facebook Live:
We’ll go live at 1345 local time (1145 UTC). You can go to our page to schedule a reminder so you don’t miss it.

Check out Twitter Live:
Join the conversation on Twitter with the live broadcast at 1345 local time (1145 UTC) by visiting live.twitter.com/volvooceanrace and tweeting us with #volvooceanrace. We’ll be live-tweeting the action, as well as broadcasting the race feed. Check it out as we share the best content from the teams, stakeholders and fans on our feed.

Join us on our live blog:
We’ll be blogging all the moves, previews and news from the racetrack on our live blog, including the best of clips and social content, from 1330 local time (1130 UTC). You can find it at www.volvooceanrace.com under the ‘Racing’ section.

Download the app:
It’s full of great content and fits on your mobile phone. Why wouldn’t you want the official Volvo Ocean Race app? Head to the App Store or Google Play to download it. It’s called Volvo Ocean Race.

Come down to the Race Village:
We’ve got a fantastic Race Village in Gothenburg, including the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard facility, the Volvo Pavilion and Volvo Ocean Race Globe as well as the team bases. The Village is jam-packed full of interactive elements, innovative structures and loads of exciting things to do.

Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Points Table
1. MAPFRE – 56 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 49 points
3. Team Brunel – 41 points
4. team AkzoNobel – 39 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 26 points
6. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 21 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 17 points

Nessun commento

Inspirational scientist becomes Cardiff leg jumper

121379

The team first met scientist Dr. Robert Mulvaney of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) in Cambridge, ahead of the Race, with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) where they discussed a range of issues connected to ocean health and climate change. 

Dr. Robert Mulvaney our Cardiff Leg Jumper

The scientist caught up with the team in the Welsh capital, where he was leg jumper as the boat set off on Leg 10 of the Volvo Ocean Race for Gothenburg in Sweden.

In a career spanning 30 years, Dr Mulvaney has made 22 trips to Antarctica traversing the Southern Ocean many times, which is the most demanding stretch of remote Ocean the boats have travelled across during the Race. Sea samples, collected at Point Nemo, found levels of microplastic in this remotest part of the world’s oceans.

"Over the years, I've seen people change from not believing in climate change to the point where the message has gotten across - now our work is to persuade people to do something about it, either governments or industry,” Dr Mulvaney said. During their CISL visit last September, Dr Mulvaney showed the team ice cores, which contain information on global temperatures, and past concentrations of atmospheric gasses – he has successfully retrieved ice cores dating as far back as 800,000 years.

Dr Mulvaney  added: “It's really nice to get all sorts of people into the lab in Cambridge – like when the Vestas 11th Hour Racing team came into my laboratory - they saw the ice cores, they were able to listen to them, they could hear the air crackling out of the ice, this was ice that was 1,000 years old - they can sniff pre-industrial air as the ice melts.”

“It's important to me that the message gets across - that it's real, it’s tangible, I can take ice out of the Antarctic and measure it over and over again, and I get the same message every time. That the level of carbon dioxide is much higher today than it ever has been in the past, and that there is a clear link between carbon dioxide and climate." 

© Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race

“During my career, I’ve seen the discovery of the ozone hole in the atmosphere above Antarctica, and helped find the evidence from Antarctica’s ice of the unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide in the air.  Now the oceans are sounding the alarm: plastics are making their way into the ocean and food webs.  The atmosphere told its story, the ice told its story, and now the oceans are telling the same story – we cannot continue to live in an unsustainable way on this planet.”

Charlie Enright, skipper of Vestas 11th Hour Racing, said: “It was hugely rewarding to revisit and reflect upon our time at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and the British Antarctic Survey.

“Without doubt, the training in September gave us a stronger understanding of how a sports team can ignite change around the world and that’s something we’ve put into practice as we’ve raced around the world.”

Additionally, in Cardiff the team met again with Tony Juniper, a Fellow at CISL who kicked-off the team’s sustainability training in Cambridge.  Tony re-connected with the team on the progress of their sustainability plan as they’ve sailed around the world. 11th Hour Racing marked the occasion by awarding a $10,000 grant for CISL's Sustainability Leadership Labs, as part of the team’s on-going legacy project.

 The team discussed how they put their CISL training into action and examined the wider issues connected to our seas, including plastic pollution, overfishing, warming seas, and ocean acidification.

Tony Juniper added: “Talking with some of the team in Cardiff it became clear the programme has had a profound impact. They have shown leadership in the actions they’ve taken as a team and have clearly expressed individual commitment to taking action and raising awareness, which they plan to continue beyond the race to create a lasting impact.”

Vestas 11th Hour Racing co-founder, Mark Towill, added: “The impressive team at CISL and BAS broke down the incredibly vast, multifaceted, and fascinating work they do to help us understand the changes happening beneath our boat hulls. This gave us tangible actions to help meet our goal of being the most sustainable team in the Volvo Ocean Race, including reducing and offsetting our carbon footprint.”

The 11th Hour Racing grant to CISL will provide funding for up to four applicants working in not-for-profit organisations in the marine and ocean health sectors to attend CISL’s Sustainability Leadership Labs. 

The Labs are two-day courses offering a deep dive into topics primarily shaped around the themes of circular economy and leadership – topics that have been explored during the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summits.

Nessun commento