Skip to main content

Buckin' Volvos

Leg Two, a pleasant jaunt north through the tropics to exotic India? At some point, part of the way, maybe. Not now. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet left Cape Town last weekend and deliberately worked into the path of a series of low pressure systems to blast them east toward their scoring gate.For some, it's been an overachievement.A broken boom on Green Dragon. Plus a broken

Leg Two, a pleasant jaunt north through the tropics to exotic India? At some point, part of the way, maybe. Not now. The Volvo Ocean Race fleet left Cape Town last weekend and deliberately worked into the path of a series of low pressure systems to blast them east toward their scoring gate.

For some, it's been an overachievement.

A broken boom on Green Dragon. Plus a broken steering system after at least three major knockdowns.

A bruised body (another bruised body) on Ericsson 3, as recounted by media crew Gustav Morin, as the boat swept green water down the deck on a pitch dark night in a 40-knot puff, "Bowman Anders Dahlsjo lost his grip and got smashed into a winch handle down to leeward. The handle bent, and Anders was in agony holding his hand over his ribs. Now we have one more guy on painkillers."

And a broken Puma, for the second time. The first crack (at the bow) took nearly eight hours to patch. This time, flying off a wave to impact and a loud crack, as skipper Ken Reed recounts:

"Three of us were having breakfast and there was a bit of a stare into each others eyes. Justin (Ferris) said, 'That didn't sound good."

"Nope," I said.

"Nico (Chris Nicholson) added, "Maybe it was just an unloaded sheet snapping up on deck?"

"Justin looked down: 'Or maybe it was this large crack splitting the main longitudinal frame?' "

"The master of understatement. "

Faced with the likelihood of working a full day and night to effect a repair that might not stand up to a pounding, Puma diverted north, out of the path of the next, breezy low pressure system, with the risk of perhaps being swallowed by the high they had been trying to skirt. Reed again: "This is not good."

With the fleet tracking east toward a scoring gate, after which they will be able to choose a time to turn north, skirting the high, you have to be a person of opinion to judge who's in the best shape. The numbers don't necessarily tell the story, but the numbers are updated frequently at www.volvooceanrace.org.

Related

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

Video: Celestial Navigation Pt3

. In episode three of the Practical Celestial Navigation course, Andy Howe examines the theory behind celestial navigation, the celestial triangle and the celestial sphere, and why it is important to have a basic understanding of each. Topics introduced include zenith position, ...read more

01-LEAD-6.-After-2-years-ashore,-Nada-headsto-the-water-(3)

Sailing in the Time of Covid

In mid-August 2019, my wife, Terrie, and I laid up our Malö 46, Nada, in Falmouth, England, and flew home to Maine. We booked flights back to the UK for May 2020, anticipating a summer of cruising the Atlantic coasts of France and Spain. Then Covid struck. Remember that first ...read more

Ulysse Nardin promo photo

The Ocean Race Names Official Timekeeper

With just under one year before the start of The 2022-23 Ocean Race, Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin has been named the official timekeeper of the race. The Ocean Race, formerly known as the Volvo Ocean Race and before that the Whitbread Round the World Race, announced ...read more

Arthur Daniel_RORC Maserati - RORC Transatlantic 2022 - Jan 15th -Social Media-4

Fast Finishes for the RORC Leaders

Over the weekend, the first finishers of the 2022 RORC Transat made landfall in Grenada, led by Giovanni Soldini’s Multi70 Maserati, which was awarded line honors with a corrected time of six days, 18 hours and 51 minutes. Maserati finished ahead of Peter Cunningham’s MOD70 ...read more

Background-02

Notice to Mariners: A Blog from the SAIL Editors

As a teenager, I stumbled across a copy of Derek Lundy’s Godforsaken Sea in the back room of a used bookshop. I had never heard of the Vendée Globe and frankly found all the boat-speak in the first 50 pages a little difficult to get through. But Lundy’s storytelling and the draw ...read more

Screen-Shot-2022-01-13-at-9.26.59-AM2048x

VIDEO: Celestial Navigation Episode 2

Celestial navigation is an invaluable tool for all kinds of sailors. In episode two of the celestial navigation series, learn the basic elements of navigation and the sight reduction process using declination and GHA to determine the Geographic Position and navigate using a ...read more

Film-poster-EP-2048

Cruising: Year of the Sea Shanty

Along with other timeless pursuits, like baking sourdough and gardening, singing sea shanties surged back into popularity during the recent lockdown, thanks, in part, to the app TikTok and its “duet” feature, which allows singers from around the world create music together. By ...read more

Book-Cover-9780712353700

Book Review: Sailor Song

Sailor Song is the ultimate guide to the music of working sailors during the 18th and 19th centuries. The book includes lyrics and sheet music for 50 of the most beloved sea songs with fascinating historical background on the adjoining page. Chapter introductions provide ...read more