The first ice waypoint lies approximately 900 miles ahead and to the north. There are some very complex strategy decisions to be made across the fleet with a complicated weather pattern ahead. Already there have been some quite diverging courses which is unusual for this fleet. The decision to be made is immensely intricate and it will be another two days or so before it becomes clear as to which team made the right choices.
Fourth place Pirates of the Caribbean skipper Paul CAYARD (USA) explains, 'Right now we are working our way to the first ice way point and we are going to have some trickiness there which we wouldn't normally encounter in the southern ocean, because we have to go through a fixed point. There is a big hole in the wind there. There is a cyclone which is hopefully dying slowly, causing a lot of turbulence in the waves and the wind and so we are going to have some very strange winds in the last twelve hours going into that gate.'
The tropical storm is making its way south towards the position of the first ice gate, possibly arriving at the same time as the fleet. The options are either to go to the north of it, which would carry the higher risk, or to sail to the south of it, which is what the fleet has decided to do. Sailing to the south of the depression also carries risks. It is possible that the storm may move faster south and the fleet could end up in 40 knots of headwinds in order to reach the ice gate.
The boats furthest north have the shortest distance to the finish in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil which puts Sebastien JOSSE's (FRA) ABN AMRO TWO in the lead. The team is cutting the corner to the ice gate, but is closest to the centre of the depression. The danger in this move is that they may find they run out of wind and need to gybe to get south later which could be very costly.
The fleet has now effectively split into two packs to tackle the remnants of a tropical storm, with ABN AMRO TWO and Brasil 1 electing to stay north and the rest of the boats keeping further south. ABN AMRO ONE skipper Mike SANDERSON (NZL) alluded to the issue in yesterday's email, stating, 'It looks like our play to the east to keep both options open of going over the top or underneath of this upcoming tropical low will cost us some distance on the fleet.'
He continued, 'The ice waypoints look like they are going to make our trip to the Horn pretty grim as this tropical storm is going to make its way down so that it is getting there about the same time as us. At the moment going over the top of it looks like it would be the riskier move as it seems that the majority of the fleet anyway are going to go underneath…'
SANDERSON concluded that 'Going underneath though you stand the risk of the thing moving faster south and you ending up in 40 knots of wind and bashing your way upwind to get to the gates!! It is going to make for some fun viewing for you guys at home, especially if at least one boat has a go over the top...'
SANDERSON's gamble seems to have him well placed at the bottom of the fleet to pick up best of winds from the storm and all eyes will be on the next sched to see if his manoeuvre has paid dividends.Position Report At 1000 Hours UTC, 21 February 2006
|ABN AMRO TWO||NED||Sebastian JOSSE (FRA)||50 55.01S||167 29.02W||6056||0||0||115||16.1||15.2||10/03/2006|
|Brasil 1||BRA||Torben GRAEL (BRA)||51 10.02S||167 55.04W||6073||17||18||99||17.8||14.9||10/03/2006|
|Ericsson Racing Team||SWE||Neal MCDONALD (GBR)||51 59.01S||167 52.04W||6076||20||8||112||17.7||14.8||10/03/2006|
|Pirates of the Caribbean||USA||Paul CAYARD (USA)||52 17.02S||167 57.09W||6081||25||5||117||18.1||14.8||10/03/2006|
|ABN AMRO ONE||NED||Mike SANDERSON (NZL)||52 18.03S||167 58.05W||6082||26||17||112||19.5||14.7||10/03/2006|
|movistar||ESP||Bouwe BEKKING (NED)||52 8.20S||168 18.06W||6093||37||-1||119||17.1||14.5||10/03/2006|
|Brunel||AUS||Grant WHARINGTON (AUS)||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS|
DTF: Distance To Finish
DTL: Distance To Leader
DTLC: Distance To Leader Change; the difference between the distance from the boat to the leader taken at the time of the last six hour poll, and the distance from the boat to the leader at the previous poll
CMG: Course Made Good; the average course steered over the period of the past six hours up to the time of the last poll
SMG: Speed Made Good
VMG: Velocity Made Good; the average velocity of the boat towards the finish over the entire leg
ETA: Estimated Time of Arrival
(Up to and including Leg Three)
|1||ABN AMRO ONE||NED||Mike SANDERSON (NZL)||38.5|
|2||ABN AMRO TWO||NED||Sebastien JOSSE (FRA)||28|
|3||movistar||ESP||Bouwe BEKKING (NED)||25|
|5||Pirates of the Caribbean||USA||Paul CAYARD (USA)||21.5|
|4||Brasil 1||BRA||Torben GRAEL (BRA)||20|
|6||Ericsson Racing Team||SWE||Neal MCDONALD (GBR)||16.5|
|7||ING Real Estate Brunel||AUS||Grant WHARINGTON (AUS)||11.5|
For a complete list of all the news about the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006 CLICK HERE.