Archivio della categoria Volvo Ocean Race

Daily Digest – Sunday 27 May


Team AkzoNobel and Team Brunel are racing practically neck and neck in a Dutch drag race towards the finish as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet geared up for a nail-biting Leg 9 finale. In fact, they're so close that when you look at the Live Tracker you can't see two boats, just one - that flickers between purple and yellow. Countdown to arrivals in Cardiff is officially on, let the stress begin. 

© Rich Edwards/Volvo Ocean Race

Sometimes a picture says a 1000 words and that's definitely the case here. The pressure on team AkzoNobel's skipper Simeon Tienpont will be huge right now as he tries to defend the lead against a very determined, very ruthless Bouwe Bekking. Funnily enough, during the press conference in Newport Simeon explained that Bouwe was his idle and that's why it would be all the sweeter to beat him across the Atlantic. Standyby everyone, it's going to be an epic finish. 

© Konrad Frost/Volvo Ocean Race

They might not be at the front of the fleet but that hasn't stopped Turn the Tide on Plastic from having some serious fun onboard. Check out this 'hangover' video from the team. 

It might have taken some time for team Brunel to gel as a team but they are now on top of their game. Bouwe always believed success would be down to having the right mix of old and new onboard and we like how Sam Greenfield's latest picture has captured that. #LearningFromTheBest

© Sam Greenfield/Volvo Ocean Race

Now Charles Caudrelier is probably one of the more silent characters in the Volvo Ocean Race fleet and that's why we've really enjoyed watching this video Dongfeng's Onboard Reporter Jeremie Lecaudey and our video editors have put togther. How much do you really know about our French skipper?

Now, there aren't too many places to hide in the Atlantic but it looks like Blair Tuke and Sophie Cizesk have found the perfect spot...

© Ugo Fonolla/Volvo Ocean Race

And finally, it's with great excitement we can finally announce that the Cardiff Race Village is now open! Click here for more info.

Don’t forget to download the Volvo Ocean Race App and follow @RaceExperts on Twitter for all the latest updates.

Did you know that all the incredible content delivered from the boats is made possible by Inmarsat? You can follow them on Twitter here.

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Dutch drag race towards finish in Cardiff


Team AkzoNobel and Team Brunel were racing practically neck and neck on Sunday as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet geared up for a nail-biting Leg 9 finale.

© Konrad Frost/Volvo Ocean Race

With less than 300 miles remaining to the finish line in Cardiff, Wales, the two Dutch boats were just two miles apart at the front of the seven-strong fleet and matching each other for speed.

Having broken free of the clutches of a high-pressure ridge west of Ireland that halted their fast progress across the Atlantic, the fleet faces one last hurdle – a cyclone off Land’s End, the most westerly point of England.

The depression will force the teams to sail upwind, tacking to take what they believe is the quickest route to the finish line. There will be an enhanced emphasis on tactics, sail selection and above all team work on the final miles to the finish.

Having had victory snatched from them at the last minute in Leg 8, Brunel are out to exact revenge on rivals MAPFRE and Dongfeng Race Team by defeating them in Leg 9.

At 1300 UTC Dongfeng were 32 miles behind them in third, with MAPFRE in fifth some 87 miles off the pace.

© Sam Greenfield/Volvo Ocean Race

Brunel’s veteran skipper Bouwe Bekking said that with the two red boats taken care of, his crew would then set their sights on overhauling AkzoNobel in pursuit of their second leg win this edition.

“The finish looks tricky – we have to manage a low-pressure system just off Land’s End, England that means upwind sailing and tacking eventually, then one more park-up before sailing into the finish,” Bekking said.

“We expect Dongfeng will push hard south east as it’s their only way to have a chance to gain mileage on us. But it can be tricky for them as well – if they get caught in the low, it means no pressure.

“We can't control them if we’re sailing in a different weather pattern, so we can’t think too much about that. We have to make the right moves for what is the best for us.

© Ugo Fonolla/Volvo Ocean Race

“Objective number one for this leg was, and is, beating the two red busses, so that hope for overall victory is still alive.

“Let’s make that happen first and we feel we can pass the leader as well.”

AkzoNobel were equally fired up for the final fight in Leg 9.

“We’re ready for a long match race, potentially all the way to the finish line,” AkzoNobel’s Chris Nicholson said. “Everyone’s up for it.”

As well as the regular battle between the seven teams, a personal scrap between the race’s two Welsh sailors – Bleddyn Mon on Turn the Tide on Plastic and Trystan Seal on Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag – has developed, with each looking for bragging rights sailing into their home country.

© Rich Edwards/Volvo Ocean Race

“There are two Welshmen in the race and the race is on between them. We have Bleddyn Mon and Scallywag have Trystan Seal and we are racing to bring a local hero home,” said Dee Caffari, skipper of sixth-placed Turn the Tide on Plastic.

“I am sure both will be Welsh celebrities by the end of the stopover but this is now about bragging rights and we need to find our victories somewhere, however large or small.”

The Race Village in Cardiff officially opened on Sunday morning. The Welsh city becomes just the third port in the UK to host the Volvo Ocean Race, after Southampton and Portsmouth.

Current ETAs have the leading group finishing late Monday night and into the early hours of Tuesday morning, with the rest of the fleet following throughout the day.

© James Blake/Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race – Leg 9 – Leaderboard (13:00 UTC)
1. team AkzoNobel – Distance To Finish: 299.9 nautical miles
2. Team Brunel – 2.2 nautical miles behind
3. Dongfeng Race Team – 32.8 nautical miles behind
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 60.2 nautical miles behind
5. MAPFRE – 87.3 nautical miles behind
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 143.0 nautical miles behind
7. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 255.4 nautical miles behind

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Welcome to Cardiff!


As the Volvo Ocean Race returns to the United Kingdom for the first time in over a decade, it’s the Welsh City of Cardiff that has opened its doors to receive the fleet after their Transatlantic sprint from Newport, Rhode Island.

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

“This will be the first time since 2005-06 that the U.K has hosted a stopover and we are delighted to be here in the country’s sporting capital,” says Karin Backlund, Commercial Director of the Volvo Ocean Race. “Many people have forgotten that this race started and finished in the U.K for the first 7 editions, so this makes Cardiff the third city in Britain [after Portsmouth and Southampton] to host the race. This is undoubtably the start of a very exciting stopover and we look forward to seeing what Cardiff and Wales has in store for the Volvo Ocean Race.”

In a ceremony that marked the official opening of the Cardiff Race Village, dignitaries from the Host City and the Volvo Ocean Race exchanged pleasantries. Present on behalf of Cardiff was Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM (Wales First Minister) and the Leader of Cardiff Council, Councillor Huw Thomas, while representing the Volvo Ocean Race was Karin Backlund and Host City Operations Manager Adolfo Rodruigez.

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

The fleet is currently in the North Atlantic over 300 nautical miles from the finish line which is based just off Lavernock Point. This is a double-points scoring leg, and one potential outcome will put four boats into contention for the overall win... with just two legs to go. Tensions are high and the arrival is expected to be an emotional one.

The latest expected time of arrival (ETA) is around 0100 Tuesday morning for the leaders and 1600 Tuesday afternoon for the last boat. Once the Volvo Ocean 65s have crossed the finish line they will proceed to the dock in the Race Village which is accessed via a tidal lock. If they are unable to access the lock due to low tide, the crew will be transferred by RIB to the Race Village. The Cardiff Race Village will be open to the public to greet the sailors, even if it is 4am!

© Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race

Welsh sailor Bleddyn Mon onboard Turn the Tide on Plastic expressed his excitement at coming home. “Cardiff is the capital of the my home country so I’m looking forward to seeing home. I’m really proud to be on my way from Newport, Rhode Island to Wales, especially with this being such an important leg of the race, with double points up for grabs. This is a big deal for me personally and professionally.”

The arrival of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2018 completes a world-class sporting double for the Welsh city, which hosts the UEFA Champions League Final in 2017 at the city's iconic Principality Stadium. Wales is also a growing power in world football, having enjoyed an incredible run to the semi-finals of Euro 2016.

The Cardiff Race Village is open to the public from 27 May - 10 June. To find out more about Race Village activities, click here.

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Daily Digest – Saturday 26 May


The leading boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have left Friday’s record-breaking conditions and are entering the last 1000 miles of Leg 9. The future is looking very uncertain as the fleet compress and find themselves in lighter conditions. 

Read today's update of what's happening on the race track here as team AkzoNobel hang onto the lead by just 2.5 nautical miles (as of 16:23 UTC). 

© Konrad Frost/Volvo Ocean Race

A must-read is also Mark Chisnell's Leg 9 Strategic Review: Part 2 where he breaks down the options and opportunities remaining for the teams. Don't forget you can track the boats on the Live Tracker in real time (unlike the fleet who only get position reports every 6 hours). 

Now we love this race for the competition, and of course, the adventure. Check out this amazing video as MAPFRE have a close encounter with an expected spectator on the race course! 

Once again, if you have a spare 15 minutes and want to catch up on all the best content, check out our Daily Live with Conrad Colman, behind the scenes at Alicante HQ.

Daily Live – Saturday 26 May | Volvo Ocean Race

It's been 5 days of relentless conditions in the North Atlantic but the crews are finally having a dry moment. Here is a picture of Martine Grael as she inspects her hands in the lighter conditions.

© Konrad Frost/Volvo Ocean Race

At the back of the fleet it's all hands on deck for Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag as the team change sails whilst skipper David Witt helms. 

© Rich Edwards/Volvo Ocean Race

It's that time again, we have published the Leg 8 look back video. Let's watch as MAPFRE stunned us all with a shocking come-from-behind victory into a foggy Newport, Rhode Island. 

Leg 8 look back

And finally, just because we can never get enough of our around-the-world drones. Here is a tutorial on how to fly a drone in 30+ knots of wind from Brunel's Onboard Reporter, Sam Greenfield.

Don’t forget to download the Volvo Ocean Race App and follow @RaceExperts on Twitter for all the latest updates.

Did you know that all the incredible content delivered from the boats is made possible by Inmarsat? You can follow them on Twitter here.

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The gap closes as the fleet compresses on Leg 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race


The leading boats in the Volvo Ocean Race have left Friday’s record-breaking conditions in their wake as they bump into a ridge of high pressure that is beginning to slow their progress towards the finish in Cardiff.

The Leg 9 leader on Saturday is team AkzoNobel, the crew still basking in the afterglow of setting a new 24-hour distance record for the Volvo Ocean Race.

Skipper Simeon Tienpont’s team smashed the old Volvo Ocean 65 record run of 550.8 nautical miles, then broke through the 600-mile barrier to provisionally claim the outright race record with a 24-hour run of 602.5 miles.

“I would have bet the house you couldn’t do 600 miles on one of these boats,” said watch captain Chris Nicholson. “I’m so happy for the whole team. It’s really cool. Everything had to align perfectly to break the record… what an effort!”

Regrettably, the team can’t spend much time celebrating. Already, the strong to gale force winds that pushed the fleet into record-breaking territory are easing and the leaders are starting to feel the effects of a high pressure ridge standing between them and the finish line.

“There is a big, big light spot ahead of us,” explained Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charlles Caudrelier, from his third place position, nearly 30 miles back of the front runners.

“Unfortunately for the leader there is a wall of no wind. I don’t think anyone will cross it as it will move with us and we will have to wait and we’ll have a new start, all together. So I imagine there will be a big compression…”

At 1100 UTC the leading pair, team AkzoNobel and Team Brunel were only seeing 3 to 5 knots of wind, and watching helplessly as their hard-won advantage on the ranking started to plummet.

At 1600 UTC on Friday afternoon, for example, Dongfeng Race Team was 62 miles behind team AkzoNobel. By 1100 Saturday morning, the margin was barely 25 miles, and the compression is expected to continue.

© James Blake/Volvo Ocean Race

This is good news for those at the back, although there is a chance the leading pair break through the ridge and find favourable winds on the other side while the rest of the fleet is mired in the light and variable conditions.

“At the moment the ridge is stationary and that may allow a couple of the leaders to punch through it,” explains Brian Thompson, the navigator on Turn the Tide on Plastic, still some 60 miles from the lightest conditions.

“But just as we get into it, it’s going to start to move back towards the UK and we’ll only be able to go the speed that it’s going. That’s going to be particularly frustrating for our team, but there will be other boats in the same predicament and we’ll be fighting with them to get out of this ridge and into the good wind on the other side.”

The light conditions mean that even though team AkzoNobel now has less than 600 miles to run to the finish – a number they’ve just sailed in 24 hours – it will in fact take closer to three days to reach Cardiff.

Current ETAs have the leading group finishing in the early hours of Tuesday morning, with the rest of the fleet finishing throughout the day.

Volvo Ocean Race – Leg 9 – Leaderboard (11:00 UTC)
1. team AkzoNobel – Distance To Finish: 598.8 nautical miles
2. Team Brunel – 1.9 nautical miles behind
3. Dongfeng Race Team – 26.6 nautical miles behind
4. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 34.7 nautical miles behind
5. MAPFRE – 50.9 nautical miles behind
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 65.1 nautical miles behind
7. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 95.0 nautical miles behind

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