Displaying items by tag: VOR
That’s the view from an editorial on US website Sailing Illustrated, which takes the event to task over lack of information regarding Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s absence from the next leg, among other issues.
The Vestas team has since announced that its boat is being shipped directly to Auckland in New Zealand for repairs after its fatal collision with a fishing vessel in Hong Kong waters last month.
“There are far more questions, both about the collision and the aftermath, than there are answers,” says Sailing Illustrated’s contributor ‘The Fifth Beatle’.
“And that’s not a good thing for an event that has struggled to get and keep teams, and seems eager to protect commercial interests at the expense of the truth – and our sport.”
The win puts the Spanish race leader alone at the top of the In-Port Race Series leaderboard after a wire-to-wire win just six days after their Around Hong Kong Island Race victory some 70 miles down the Pearl River Delta.
“It was very tricky racing in the river of course,” said MAPFRE skipper Xabi Fernández. “We had a very good start and then we were able to stay in phase with the wind and current and extended away.”
It was a more challenging afternoon for the hometown heroes on Dongfeng Race Team, who were over the starting line early, along with SHK/Scallywag.
But while Scallywag returned to re-start cleanly, Dongfeng found itself tangled up with the anchor line for the start mark. By the time they were free, the rest of the fleet was hundreds of metres up the course.
While MAPFRE started well and extended away for the win, there was a real battle for second place between Team Brunel, with America’s Cup winner Peter Burling on the helm, and Team AkzoNobel, who won last Saturday’s Hong Kong In-Port Race.
The pair switched places time and again on the first three laps of the course, before Burling and Brunel extended slightly on the last upwind leg to gain some comfort on the final run to the finish.
Scallywag, who were third at the first top mark, fell to Brunel on the first run and then had fourth place to themselves the rest of the way.
Meanwhile, Dongfeng Race Team was making every effort to pick up at least one position before the finish.
The gap with Dee Caffari’s Turn the Tide on Plastic, with Annalise Murphy on board, narrowed on each leg. But in the end Caffari was able to hold off the late charge and secure fifth place, leaving Dongfeng in sixth.
The fleet will depart Guangzhou on Monday 5 February for Auckland in New Zealand, with a short stop scheduled in Hong Kong before a re-start on Wednesday February 7 at 1pm local time (5am Irish time/UTC).
Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Leaderboard:
- MAPFRE – 32 points
- Dongfeng Race Team – 27 points
- Team Brunel – 23 points
- Team AkzoNobel – 21 points
- Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 13 points
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 12 points
- Turn the Tide on Plastic – 10 points
Light and variable wind shortly after the start allowed the leading boats to break away as they found new wind pressure first. But it didn’t mean opportunities for passing later in the afternoon were completely closed off.
MAPFRE had the best start in the fleet and eked out ahead in light winds. Three teams broke the line early and needed to restart, with Team Brunel, Turn the Tide on Plastic and Leg 4 winners Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag all turning back.
It put them at an immediate disadvantage, but while Brunel had the best re-start, it was Turn the Tide on Plastic who moved up the fleet to challenge the leading pack over the next 20 minutes.
However as the race progressed, MAPFRE and Dongfeng Race Team found the new favourable wind first and built a commanding lead over the others.
“With these inshore races you never know, because just as you can have the advantage one moment, the next you can lose it,” said MAPFRE navigator Juan Vila.
“Fortunately today it was more of a race in which the one in front always seemed to have better pressure. The transitions have also gone a little better for us and of course, the start and the moments afterward were key.”
“It was very tricky conditions today but we had a lot of good advice from local sailors and it helped us a lot,” said Dongfeng Race Team skipper Charles Caudrelier. “So I think we prepared it very well and the result is there, so that’s good.”
Behind the leading pair, it was Turn the Tide on Plastic and yesterday’s In-Port Race winners Team AkzoNobel battling for third place early. But as the teams rounded the southern shore of the island, Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag and Team Brunel slipped through in the middle of the channel with better wind.
Local favourite Scallywag went from being last across the starting line to a third-place finish, with Team Brunel just a couple of hundred metres back to take a popular podium result.
That left AkzoNobel to take fifth place in front of Turn the Tide on Plastic, with Annalise Murphy on board, which had a frustrating weekend trailing the fleet in both races.
When MAPFRE crossed the finish line, they were flying a protest flag but later informed the Race Committee they would not be following through with a protest, making the results on the water final.
Today’s results mean Dongfeng Race Team has the best overall score on the weekend after two second-place finishes. The team will claim a full 7 points from the Hong Kong series which pulls it into a tie on the overall In-Port Race Series Leaderboard with MAPFRE, both sitting on 25 points.
Dongfeng Race Team is ranked first based on winning the most recent series in Hong Kong.
“It is a very good result for us,” Caudrelier added. “We are in the same position as the MAPFRE crew which is full of inshore specialists, so I think we can be proud of the team’s performance.”
Vestas 11th Hour Racing did not race this weekend and has announced it will not participate in Leg 5 to Guangzhou next week as the team co-ordinates repairs to its boat after its tragic collision with a fishing vessel last weekend.
Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Leaderboard:
- Dongfeng Race Team – 25 points
- MAPFRE – 25 points
- Team Brunel – 17 points
- Team AkzoNobel – 16 points
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 12 points
- Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 9 points
- Turn the Tide on Plastic – 7 points
A full replay of today’s Around Hong Kong Island Race can be watched below:
#VOR - Team AkzoNobel took the win earlier today (Saturday 27 January) in the HGC In-Port Race Hong Kong on a challenging afternoon on the waters of Kowloon Bay.
The wind during race time was a 6-10 knot easterly, but was very shifty and puffy. And with a tidal current running on the race course, it was a difficult day for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet's tacticians.
“We had a fantastic race, pretty exciting. We planned to sail our own race today. It was tricky enough with the tide and the wind shifts,” said Team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont.
“The team sailed an unbelievable race and the guys in the back of the boat played the tactics very well … It’s good when things come together. It’s a nice reward for all the effort the team has put in.”
Dongfeng Race Team finished in second place, with Team Brunel third. The two swapped places on the third lap of the course after a solid upwind leg by Brunel gave them the lead, but the Dongfeng crew fought back on the run to secure second place.
A fourth place finish on Saturday by the series leader MAPFRE means Dongfeng vaults to the top of the table.
But it’s a tight leaderboard and it could compress further following tomorrow’s Around Hong Kong Island Race, when results of the weekend of racing will be combined to assign the points from this stopover.
Hong Kong’s hometown heroes Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag had a fantastic start, but fell back and battled to a fifth place finish over Turn the Tide on Plastic on Saturday. Both teams will be determined to move up with a better result on Sunday.
The Around Hong Kong Island Race is scheduled to start at 11:30am local time in Hong Kong (3.30am Irish time/UTC).
See today’s In-Port Race in full below:
MAPFRE, the overall race leader, is also at the top of the In-Port Race Series leaderboard, with Dongfeng Race Team just one point behind, and Team Brunel completing the current podium.
The HGC In-Port Race is one of two world-class events scheduled in Hong Kong this weekend. On Sunday, the teams will compete in the Around Hong Kong Island Race, a near-shore race around the island of Hong Kong.
Results from the two races will be combined and scored as one event for the purposes of the In-Port Race leaderboard.
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag will be a team to watch over the weekend. The hometown favourite won Leg 4 from Melbourne into Hong Kong and will be keen to continue its winning ways in front of its enthusiastic home supporters.
Turn the Tide on Plastic will also be hoping to climb up from the bottom of the In-Port results table, with Annalise Murphy on deck to help both for this weekend and the subsequent leg to Auckland, New Zealand.
Meanwhile, Vestas 11th Hour Racing has announced it will not be participating in the inshore racing in Hong Kong this weekend nor in Leg 5 from Hong Kong to Guangzhou.
The team is currently co-ordinating necessary repairs to its boat after it collided with a fishing boat on approach to Hong Kong. One fisherman died and nine others were rescued in the incident last Saturday 20 January.
In other news, the Volvo Ocean Race will live stream on Twitter the eight remaining In-Port Races from the 2017-18 edition, beginning with Hong Kong this weekend.
Fans from all around the world will be able to watch the exciting live races and join the real-time conversation via @volvooceanrace on Twitter.
In addition to the live In-Port Races, @volvooceanrace will also broadcast premium video content from the participating boats for the first time since May 2015, when the race broadcast live from its vessels using Periscope, Twitter’s live streaming video app.
“Twitter is a natural home for the Volvo Ocean Race’s live action and ever-changing story, and we’re excited to partner and work closely with the platform to give our fans a more connected experience than ever before in 2017-18,” said Jordi Neves, chief digital officer with the Volvo Ocean Race.
The introduction of a ground-breaking Crew Communicator device means that for the first time in Volvo Ocean Race history, sailors can send tweets live from the boat, even as they race through the most remote regions on Earth – staying connected via satellites in geo-stationary orbit some 36,000 km in space.
Previously, access to the internet has been prohibited in order to prevent teams receiving information from shore.
Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Leaderboard:
- MAPFRE – 19 points
- Dongfeng Race Team – 18 points
- Team Brunel – 13 points
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 12 points
- Team AkzoNobel – 11 points
- Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag – 6 points
- Turn the Tide on Plastic – 5 points
Scientists with the Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme, funded by Volvo Cars, analysed water samples gathered at points during Leg 2 of the yacht race between Lisbon and Cape Town and Leg 3 from Cape Town to Melbourne.
The results, announced at the Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong Ocean Summit, found microplastics in the Southern Ocean close to the Antarctic Ice Exclusion Zone.
Compared to other oceans, the number of microplastic particles was small, but four microplastic particles per cubic metre were still found.
Over one million microplastic particles per square kilometre of ocean were found in the Southern Atlantic Ocean, west of Cape Town. And on the third leg of the race, one and a half million microplastic particles per square kilometre of ocean were discovered east of South Africa.
In Australian waters, close to Melbourne, one million microplastic particles per square kilometre of ocean were found.
The tiny particles of plastic, which break down from larger pieces such as single-use plastic bottles, were collected by race team Turn the Tide on Plastic, which features Ireland’s own Annalise Murphy in its crew rotation.
“This new information confirms the results we had previously collected from European waters and shows that there are consistently high levels of microplastic in the ocean and we are also seeing low levels of microplastics in waters close to the Antarctic,” said Sören Gutekunst, who works at GEOMAR, an ocean research institute in Kiel, Germany.
“The Turn the Tide on Plastic race team is collecting extremely valuable scientific data that will help us gain a clearer picture of the amount of microplastics in our oceans.”
Microplastic has the potential to enter the food chain, in species such as tuna and mackerel, and can cause harm to humans, too. It consists of small particles of plastic, often invisible to the naked eye and less than 5mm.
At the Hong Kong Ocean Summit, Daisy Lo, assistant director of environmental protection with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, pledged to explore ways to reduce plastic at source, revealed plans for a $HK20 million fund for upgrading plastic recycling facilities and talked of efforts to clean up the marine environment.
Anne-Cecile Turner, sustainability programme leader for the Volvo Ocean Race, said: “We know very little about exactly how much microplastic is contaminating our oceans so this data provides information for the scientific community and the wider public.
“Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summits offer a platform to showcase innovative solutions to the global crisis of plastic polluting our oceans.”
The news comes as Volvo Ocean Race boat Team AkzoNobel has been announced as the second team to use the on-board data gathering equipment to measure water quality and composition, as well as microplastics in some of the world’s remotest oceans.
The scientific research was collected using a state-of-the-art instrument designed especially for the Volvo Ocean 65 racing yacht.
Volvo Cars is funding the Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme by donating €100 from the first 3,000 sales of the new V90 Cross Country Volvo Ocean Race edition vehicle.
Consisting of three key pillars – meteorological data collection, scientific drifter buoy deployment, and on board analysis of key metrics for ocean health including salinity, temperature, dissolved CO2 and Chlorophyll a – this marine science programme aims to create a snapshot of the health of the oceans to help scientists worldwide.
Last week, the Marine Institute in Galway declared its support for Ireland’s commitment to legislation prohibiting the sale of certain products containing microbeads, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.
The incident occurred approximately 30 miles from the finish of Leg 4, outside of Hong Kong waters.
Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at around 5.23pm Irish time/UTC on Friday 19 January (1.23am local time on Saturday morning).
The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team, none of whom were injured in the collision, issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC).
HKMRCC informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a 10th crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital. HKMRCC has since confirmed the death of the air-lifted crew member.
Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, which retired from the leg after the incident and proceeded to Hong Kong under its own power, are now focused on providing immediate support to those affected by this incident.
All involved organisations are co-operating with the authorities and are fully supporting the ongoing investigation.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet has now arrived in Hong Kong hours after Scallywag took the Leg 4 win, with Dongfeng Race Team taking second place at 8.33pm Irish time/UTC last night, followed by Team AkzoNobel in third at 12.21am this morning (Saturday 20 January), MAPFRE fourth at 1.51am, Team Brunel fifth at 4am, and Turn the Tide on Plastic in sixth at 4.54am.
It’s a historic win for skipper David Witt and his team who had to overcome significant setbacks on the leg before grabbing the lead with a bold tactical call out of the Doldrums last weekend.
“We had a bit of a plan and we stuck to it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and this time it worked for us,” Witt said.
It was an extended Doldrums crossing, and Scallywag had moments where they appeared to be in a strong position.
But late in the crossing, after falling behind the fleet again, Witt and navigator Libby Greenhalgh made the decision to cut the corner, and turn to the west earlier than the opposition who kept pressing north in search of stronger winds.
The move paid dividends nearly immediately on the leaderboard as Scallywag had less miles to sail to the finish line. Pundits cautioned that the teams in the north would almost certainly overhaul them as the trade winds filled in from the northeast. But that never happened.
Even when the team dropped miles recovering a man overboard after Alex Gough was swept off the boat by a wave, after executing a flawless recovery, Scallywag returned to racing and extended to nearly a 100-mile lead.
But then, the chasing boats began chipping away at the lead. Two days out from the finish, the margin had been cut significantly and the pressure mounted.
“I was really impressed by the way we operated over the past couple of days,” Witt said. “We had a pretty big lead and then through no fault of our own, about two-thirds of it got taken away. But we stuck to our guns, did what we thought was right and it’s worked out.”
With the Leg 4 win, Scallywag picks up 8 points (7 points for first place plus a one point win bonus). It will vault the team up to mid-fleet on the overall leaderboard, in a very respectable fourth place.
“It was always going to take us longer than the others to get up to speed as we were the last to enter,” Witt said. “All teams need a bit of confidence and I think one thing that is underrated in sport is momentum and this will certainly give the Scallywags plenty of that… We’re all still learning and we’re going to keep getting better as we go on.”
Witt has acknowledged the significance of the win as the local team leading the fleet into the first ever Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Hong Kong. For the team owner, Seng Huang Lee, who has supported Scallywag sailing over the years, it’s a big moment.
“We’re a privately owned team and our owner Mr. Lee has poured his passion and enthusiasm and vision into this project and this win will be very special for him… Winning this leg will be a massive platform for Scallywag going forward.”
Behind Scallywag, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Dongfeng Race Team are battling for second place and expected to finish approximately two and three hours behind the winner. The rest of the fleet is forecast to finish at intervals over the following 12 hours.
Leg 4 Position Report, Friday 19 January (Day 18) at 6.40pm Irish time:
- Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag — Finished 17:45:42 UTC
- Dongfeng Race Team — DTF 22 nautical miles
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing +8.7 nautical miles
- Team AkzoNobel +67.6
- MAPFRE +125.9
- Team Brunel +161.9
- Turn the Tide on Plastic +173.7
#VOR - Volvo Ocean Race fans around the world were on the edges of their seats on Thursday (18 January) as Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag’s emergence from Stealth Mode corresponded with two of their closest rivals disappearing from the tracker.
Scallywag had a jump of just 40 miles on second-placed Vestas 11th Hour Racing when they went into Stealth Mode just before 5pm Irish time/UTC yesterday, cloaking their position from their rivals and from fans for three consecutive six-hourly position reports.
At 1pm today they reappeared on the tracker back in the number one spot with only 500 miles left. But just when it seemed the action couldn’t get any more tense, podium challengers Vestas 11th Hour Racing and team AkzoNobel deployed their own Stealth Mode.
Team Brunel, locked in their own battle with MAPFRE and Turn the Tide on Plastic for fifth, also chose to go undercover, leaving only four teams on the tracker with 24 hours to go.
At 1pm Irish time/UTC, Scallywag were 37 miles ahead of Dongfeng, but both teams – and race fans – were left guessing as to where Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Akzonobel were.
Prior to emerging from Stealth Mode, Scallywag skipper Dave Witt hinted at just how tight it is at the top – and revealed that the race to the finish line could go down to the wire.
“I think it’s a good for some of our fans that we’ve been in Stealth Mode because there’s a few people who’d be having heart attacks if they knew how close it was,” Witt said. “We are in front, we are leading, but it’s really close. The others don’t realise how close it is.
“We haven’t trusted our weather routing software at all on this leg but now we want to because it says we’re going to beat Vestas in by an hour and a half. To all the Scallywag supporters in Hong Kong: say a prayer for us tonight.”
Despite their proximity to the finish, the teams have several hurdles still to contend with.
First they must pick the right moment to gybe in order to thread their way through the islands of the Luzon Strait. This must be done without getting caught in the huge wind shadow created by Taiwan, or the smaller islands of the northern Philippines.
Once they reach Hong Kong, they may face a stretch of light winds as they navigate the final miles to the finish line. These uncertainties mean that even at this late stage of the leg, anything can happen.
“It’s getting interesting now,” said Simon Fisher, navigator on Vestas 11th Hour Racing. “Everyone’s looking for their opportunities. The path past the Philippines and into the South China Sea is open to a number of options and some important choices will have to be made.
“We can easily see the fleet splitting which will no doubt lead to more tension as we close on the finish.”
The most up-to-date ETAs see the leaders arriving between 4pm and 8pm Irish time/UTC tomorrow, Friday 19 January, with the back trio due in the early hours of Saturday 20 January.
Leg 4 Position Report, Thursday 18 January (Day 17) at 1pm Irish time:
- Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag — DTF 486.90 nautical miles
- Dongfeng Race Team +37.43 nautical miles
- MAPFRE +99.64
- Turn the Tide on Plastic +138.34
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Team Brunel and Team AkzoNobel in Stealth Mode till 7am Irish time/UTC on Friday 19 January
Dave Witt’s team shot to the front of the fleet on Saturday after ‘cutting the corner’ north of the Solomon Islands and have since then consolidated their lead over their six rivals — even with their man overboard emergency yesterday (Sunday 14 January).
Driven on by the opportunity to lead the fleet across the finish line in the first ever Volvo Ocean Race stopover in their home town of Hong Kong, Scallywag have found an extra gear as they profit from favourable trade winds at the front of the fleet.
In the 24 hours prior to the 1pm Irish time/UTC position report, Scallywag clocked up an impressive 504.7 miles — 25 miles more than second-placed Vestas 11th Hour Racing managed and 77 miles more than Team AkzoNobel in third.
Vestas were today some 76 miles behind, and AkzoNobel were trailing by just under 89 miles.
Despite their healthy lead, however, the Scallywags are taking nothing for granted.
“A couple of days ago we’d lost a fair few miles, and so we looked at some of the weather files and tried to do something slightly different,” Scallywag crewman John Fisher explained.
“Over the last day or so it’s started to pay off. It’s more positive not being at the back but you know it can all change. Hong Kong is our home town so for us to get a good result would be everything.”
Among those cheering for Scallywag is one group of unlikely fans – the crew of MAPFRE.
Although they would rather be fighting for the Leg 4 lead the overall race leaders, some 170 miles behind in fifth, would rather see Scallywag win the leg and pick up the bonus win point than see it go to Dongfeng or Akzonobel, their biggest threats on the leaderboard at this stage of the race.
Then there’s the fact that Scallywag navigator Libby Greenhalgh is MAPFRE helmsman Rob Greenhalgh’s sister.
“[A win for Scallywag] would good for them but good for us too,” Greenhalgh said. “With a bonus point available for winning the leg it would be best for us if that doesn’t go to Vestas or Dongfeng. We’re all rooting for Scallywag for multiple reasons. Go Scallywag!”
The north-easterly trade winds now dominate the run in to Hong Kong, limiting the tactical options available to the teams.
Instead the focus is on pure boat speed as each crew attempts to rise through the rankings over the final days of Leg 4.
Bouwe Bekking’s Team Brunel might be in sixth place, almost 220 miles behind Scallywag, but they haven’t given up hope.
“It doesn’t look like there’s too many options other than just speed – it’s downwind sailing pointing straight at the finish line,” Carlo Huisman said. “But spirits are still high on board. We’ve just got to stay as fast as we can.”
Turn the Tide on Plastic, with Annalise Murphy and onboard reporter Brian Carlin representing Ireland on this leg, had more than just the position reports to worry about when their water maker – the machine that removes the salt from sea water to make it drinkable – stopped working.
The crew turned to Liz Wardley – nicknamed ‘Little Miss Fix It’ by skipper Dee Caffari – to solve the problem. She quickly identified a corroded part within the water maker, and soon after the crew had fresh water again.
The latest ETA for the leaders is this Friday 19 January Irish time/UTC.
Leg 4 Position Report, Monday 15 January (Day 14) at 1pm Irish time:
- Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag — DTF 1,702.04 nautical miles
- Vestas 11th Hour Racing +75.93 nautical miles
- Team AkzoNobel +92.92
- Dongfeng Race Team +94.89
- MAPFRE +176.19
- Turn the Tide on Plastic +221.78
- Team Brunel +229.67