Sanya Detours For Repairs As Fleet Closes Up
Team Sanya were forced to sacrifice their Leg 2 lead and detour west to Madagascar for emergency repairs on Monday, leaving CAMPER, Telefónica and PUMA’s Mar Mostro to fight it out for first place within two nautical miles of each other.
Mike Sanderson and his crew on board Sanya continue to sail cautiously to Madagascar where they will assess options to repair their rigging, which was damaged in the early hours of Monday.
Sanderson said it was fortunate that the team’s new helmsman/trimmer David Rolfe spotted the broken rigging cable, a D2, shortly before a planned tack.
“We were just lucky that it happened in daylight,’’ said the skipper, who described himself as “absolutely gutted” at an incident that occurred while the team were widening their lead over the fleet. “If it had happened in the dark, we wouldn’t have noticed it and we would have tacked and the mast would have fallen down instantly.”
Team Sanya are expected to arrive at Madagascar tomorrow, where they will survey the damage and continue to make plans to resume racing as soon as possible.
Sanya’s detour has caused a major shake up in the fleet – with Chris Nicholson’s CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand slipping into the lead at 1400 UTC, just 1.3 nautical miles ahead of overall leaders Team Telefónica, with PUMA Ocean Racing Powered by BERG trailing by 2.2 nm.
The Indian Ocean trade winds have given a much needed speed injection to the fleet, which is averaging boat speeds in the mid-teens as they head north to the safe haven on a superhighway of stable, if sometimes squally conditions.
However, it is fourth placed Groupama sailing team who are the ones to watch, with their southerly gamble now placing them further east with more constant wind and a better sailing angle.
Volvo meteorologist Gonzalo Infante said Groupama could gain an extra three to four knots boat speed than the rest of the fleet over coming days, as they are furthest from a menacing low-pressure system in the west.
Cammas says the French team’s combined ocean racing experience is paying dividends.
“I think we had a different approach from the rest of the fleet,’’ he said. “They tried to stay on a more direct route, waiting for opportunities, to cross the front. We will draw the conclusions in a few days.
"We ended up in a different option for two legs now, it certainly comes from our experience with multihulls and in France."
CAMPER’s under-30 bowman Daryl Wislang wasn’t deterred by Groupama’s favourable predictions, especially given the turbulence of the Leg 2 race to Abu Dhabi so far.
Wislang said his team were focused on the “end game” and have the boat fully stacked, with nothing left to leeward, as they settled in for a starboard “drag race” toward the Doldrums some 1600 nm away.
“As we’ve seen we had two restarts in the leg so far and the Doldrums could be the third,’’ he said.
“It’s just a matter of keeping in with the game. Anything can happen right down to the last 100 miles. There are always opportunities and we’ll just be making the most of them.”
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are trailing Groupama by about 60 nm, with a boat speed that is on average about two knots slower than their rivals.
The fleet is heading towards an undisclosed safe haven port in the Indian Ocean as part of the race’s anti-piracy plan for Legs 2 and 3. The boats will be loaded onto a ship and transported to a point off the Sharjah coast, where they will resume racing with a sprint into Abu Dhabi.
Pressure From Backmarkers As Camper Finds New Breeze
Tonight, as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet pushes on through the Indian Ocean on Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, leg and overall leader Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) is under threat from the backmarkers.
Although the order of play remains unchanged, northerly yacht Telefónica is facing a challenge by Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) and CAMPER (Chris Nicholson/AUS), the two yachts furthest to the south. Both boats are averaging speeds over 18 knots and Groupama 4 has made a substantial inroad into Telefónica’s lead, taking out 30 nautical miles in the last three hours.
CAMPER is looking particularly sweet in her position furthest to the east and is now benefitting from a steadier northerly breeze. Groupama 4, just 17 nm to the south, is climbing steadily up to join her, while Sanya Lan (Mike Sanderson/NZL) is almost level pegging with Ian Walker’s Azzam further north again.
By tomorrow morning it will be clear who the winners and losers are, at least until the fleet reaches the next hurdle, the parking lot known as the Indian Ocean High. This is an area of light wind that sits beyond the low-pressure system that the fleet must swerve around before turning north in search of the trade winds and, finally, the dreaded Doldrums.
Five Volvo Models Get IIHS Top Safety Pick Award
Volvo Car Corporation's leadership in car safety is confirmed in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) 2012 Top Safety Pick award. The U.S. award recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rollover, and rear crashes - and no less than five Volvo models - the C30, S60, S80, XC60 and XC90 - earned a Top Safety Pick. Volvo is the only European luxury brand with five awarded models in the new IIHS report.
"The risk of being involved in an accident or being injured in one of our latest car models has been reduced with more than two thirds compared with a Volvo from the 1970s. Now, we keep on moving towards our safety vision that nobody should die or suffer serious injuries in a new Volvo car by the year 2020", says Thomas Broberg, Senior Safety Advisor at Volvo Car Corporation.
IIHS Top Safety Pick is based on four accident scenario results*:
- Frontal crashworthiness evaluations are based on results of 40 mph (64 km/h) frontal offset crash tests.
- Side evaluations are based on performance in a crash test in which the side of a vehicle is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph (50 km/h). The barrier represents the front end of a pickup or SUV.
- To earn a good rating for rollover protection, the car roof must withstand a force of four times the vehicle's weight before reaching five inches of crush.
- Rear crash protection is rated using a dummy that measures forces on the neck. This test simulates a collision in which a stationary vehicle is struck in the rear at 20 mph (32 km/h).
Outstanding U.S. NCAP rating
Volvo Car Corporation's dedication to car safety has been recognized in several recent studies.
The XC60 is also the only SUV crossover with an IIHS Top Safety Pick and an overall 5 star U.S. NCAP rating. In the 2010 test, the XC60 received 5 stars in all individual crash tests, including 5 stars for the driver and 5 stars for the passenger in the frontal collision as well as 5 stars in both side tests.
Auto brake results in fewer accidents
Earlier this year, the benefits of the groundbreaking City Safety technology - featuring automatic braking in low speed situations - were documented in another IIHS report stating a reduction of the collision frequency with up to 22 percent. The IIHS study of insurance claims involving a Volvo XC60 shows that City Safety reduces the costs for personal injury claims with 51 percent - while vehicle repair costs were lowered by more than 20 percent.
A similar study by the Swedish insurance company Volvia shows that Volvo cars equipped with automatic braking are involved in 22 percent fewer rear end accidents than cars without auto brake.
* Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety