On Saturday afternoon in Singapore, for the second time in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, the teams will take to the race course for the short, sharp, intense action of an in-port race day.
The schedule for the UBS Challenge for the In-Port Race in the Volvo Ocean Race comprises of up to two races on Saturday afternoon, with the first start gun scheduled to fire at 13:00 local time (05:00 UTC).
Race fans in Singapore can watch the racing from along the shoreline at East Coast Beach Park.
For those further afield, the racing will be streamed live in video at www.volvooceanrace.tv
and in audio (English and Spanish) at www.volvooceanrace.org
. Both streams will begin at 04:45 UTC. The video coverage will also be archived and available for viewing following the races.
'A Short Course, For Big, Fast Boats'
The only other in-port racing to this point came ahead of the leg one start in Alicante, when Telefonica Blue won both races to claim top points on the day. The co-skipper that day, Iker MARTINEZ
(ESP), will be at the helm of the Blue boat again on Saturday, but he's not expecting the day to be easy.
"It's going to be a very difficult race,"
he said. "We saw this today in practice. It also looks like there's going to be much more wind. So for us, and I guess all the other boats, it feels difficult to focus on in-port racing after the long legs of the last few months. We have to adjust."
PUMA's skipper, Ken READ
(USA) agreed: "The difference in mindset [between the offshore and inshore] is quite dramatic; different communication, different positions on board and more structure. And it takes some practice. The first couple of spinnaker sets and drops we did a couple of days ago were embarrassing...We just forgot how to do it. But it's amazing though how quickly it comes back and today was a phenomenal day of sailing. Hopefully we all stay sharp as a group because it can get pretty scary pretty quick."
Ericsson 4 skipper Torben GRAEL
(BRA) said the compressed race course, and a forecast for moderate to strong offshore winds, means the racing will be spectacular to watch.
"It's a very short course for very big, fast boats,"
he said. "When you put a gate in the middle and everyone has to go through at the same time, that doesn't make it any easier. And with the wind off the land it's going to be shifty. So it's going to be hard for us and good for you guys to watch."
The winner of each race on Saturday will earn 4 points, the second placed boat 3.5 points and so on. If two races are sailed, the winner of the UBS Challenge for the In-Port Race in the Volvo Ocean Race is the team with the highest accumulated point score. If there are two races and two teams end up on equal points, the team with the highest score in the second race of the day is placed higher.
For the overall score in the Volvo Ocean Race, the winner of the in-port race day (whether it comprises one or two races) is awarded 4 points, second place 3.5 points and so on, towards their race overall race ranking.
Thus each in-port race counts half as much as an offshore leg. In total the in-port races make up for 20% of the total points you can score in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Volvo Ocean Race Leaderboard - Provisional
(After Leg Three)
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben GRAEL), 35 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe BEKKING), 30.5 points
3. PUMA Racing Team (Ken READ), 27.5 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Anders LEWANDER), 22.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian WALKER), 20.5 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando ECHAVARRI), 19.5 points
7. Team Russia (Andreas HANAKAMP), 10.5 points
8. Delta Lloyd (Roberto BERMUDEZ), 9 points
Go here for all the news on the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09
Volvo Ocean Race - www.volvooceanrace.org