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Volvo Ocean Race – Miami In-Port Race

May 20, 2012

I really enjoyed the Miami IP race. It was full of action, overtaking and suprisingly few glaring errors. The wind shifts and difficult harbour seemed to through up plenty of opportunities. Even the start had a surprise with the best start coming from a boat on port. Camper had problems at the start and had the wrong headsail up, presumably they couldn’t get the bigger genoa hoisted. Despite that, they were not last at the first mark. That shows that tactics and picking the best side of the course can be so much more important than sailing the boat fast on each tack.

There were a lot of lead changes and even more further down the fleet.  Telefonica led at one point but ended up last. Camper were last and managed to get right up the leader board. However, a very bad tack at the end really cost them. That always looked likely though, the VO70 does not tack well in light winds.

The most bizarre moment affected Telefonica again. They tacked right on the mark in very light winds in a strong tide. I’ve been in that situation many times and it always looked like a bad move to me. It wasn’t even clear why tacking so quickly would ever be a good move. I suspect that so much dinghy sailing affected their judgment and didn’t realise how easy it would be to drift back onto the mark. Touch it they did, and that was their race gone. 3rd to last with one mistake. Not quite as bad as going around the wrong mark like the last IP race, but nearly as bad.

Well done to Azzam, another fine inport display from them. Pity they don’t have the boat speed to compete off shore. The race leaderboard tightens up and the last few legs look increasingly important. Could the race be decided in Galway?

 

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From → The Sea

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