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Volvo Ocean Race 2012

Ninth Leg

Volvo Ocean Race

7th July: The in-port race in Galway was won by Puma follwed by Camper, Telefonica, Groupama, Abu Dhabi and team Sanya (in that order) which was the culmination of a fabulous week in Galway.

3rd July: Groupama won the Volvo Ocean Race having come second behind Camper into Galway this morning at 04:06 irish Time. It has an unassailable lead before the final in-port race in Galway at the weekend.

Winners: Groupama

The Overall Race result was:
Groupama 263pts
Camper 231 pts
Puma 226 pts
Telefonica 213 pts
Abu Dhabi 131 pts
Sanya 51 pts

2nd July, at 1100 BST: the fleet is close to the Fastnet Rock in west Cork and not too far from Galway now.

Crowd Scene Volvo

The final leg of the Volvo Round the World Yacht Race leaves L'Orient, France on Sunday 1st July and the boats should be in Galway 2 or 3 days later. Log on to Galway Volvo Race for more details on the Race to Galway and what is happening there all that week.

Eight Leg

30th June: Groupama won the in-port race today in L'Orient, followed by Puma and Camper, so Groupama have extended their lead slightly. The scoreboard now reads: Groupama 225 points, Puma 200 pts, Camper 196 pts, Team Telefonica 194 pts, Abu Dhabi 124 pts and Team Sanya 40 pts.

These big boats leave tomorrow, Sunday 1st July, for the final leg to Galway, where the masses and the craic awaits them for the entire week. What a pity it is that we (Hooks and Crookes) can't be there. Aye

It might have been a short leg (the boats were only five days at sea while racing between Lisbon and Lorient) but it was gale-lashed with five metre seas, which made things very difficult for the crews. Groupama won the leg and the Race positions now are: Groupama 219 points, Puma 196 pts, Camper 191 pts, Team Telefonica 191 points, Abu Dhabi 122 pts and Team Sanya 39 pts.

Lorient, France

Seventh Leg

Sailing into Lisbon

2 June: In a little over a months time, on Monday the 2nd July, the Volvo fleet should be arriving in Galway and the in-port race to be held on the following Saturday could well decide who wins the Race. Abu Dhabi Racing won the latest 11-day leg of the Race into Lisbon, in the closest finish yet, and in so doing won themselves 30 points, followed by Groupama who gained 25 points and then Puma (20), Team Telefonica (15), Camper (10) and Team Sanya (5). The overall standing is Groupama on 183 points, Team Telefonica on 180 points, Puma on 171 pts, Camper on 162 pts, Abu Dhabi (104) and Team Sanya (32). The first four positions are separated by only 21 points and up to 76 can be gained from the two remaining legs and in-port racing. So anything can happen. The Lisbon in-port racing take place on Saturday 9th June and then the boats head back into the Atlantic for the 2,000 mile jaunt to Lorient in France.

20 May 2012: After some hectic in-port racing over the last few days, the fleet sails across the Atlantic for Lisbon later on today (at 1700 local time). Team Telefonica still leads the overall Race having gained just one point in the in-port racing and is now on 165 points, Groupama is on 158 points, Camper is on 152 pts and Puma is on 151 pts, with Abu Dhabi (74) and Team Sanya (27) still trailing the field by a considerable margin. So its all to play (or sail?) for and any one of the leading four boats could claim the overall prize. It might even come down to the in-port racing in Galway yet (30th June-8th July). Galway here we come!!


Sixth Leg

winner leg 4

13 May 2012: Puma won its second consecutive leg followed by Camper and then Groupama, Telefonica and Abu Dhabi Racing. So the Race is really wide open now with very little separating the top four teams: Team Telefonica is on 164 points, Groupama on 153 points, Camper is on 149 pts and Puma is on 147 pts, with Abu Dhabi (68) and Team Sanya (25) propping up the table.

6 May 2012: Puma has the lead as the 6th Leg enters its third week, followed by Groupama. But a lot can happen in the 700 miles or so of ocean that remains between the fleet and Miami, where preparations are well under way for the arrival of the boats, the festivities and the in-port races.

23 April 2012: Leg 6 began yesterday and the fleet (minus Team Sanya) are on the way to Miaimi, and Camper already has a slight lead over the rest of the boats.


Fifth Leg

10 April 2012: Groupama finished leg 5 of the Race today under a ramshackle main mast (it snapped in two earlier in the Race) and claimed 20 points. Camper likewise is on the move and is approaching Cape Horn; it should come in fourth (the finish in Itajaí, Brazil is another 2,160 miles from the Horn).

7 April 2012: Puma just pipped Telefonica (by about 10 minutes) and arrived in port around 4 o'clock local time to win the 5th leg of the Race.

6 April 2012: The fifth leg finishes later on today and the two remaining boats are more or less neck and neck as they head for port. Puma has the advantage but Telefonica is closing so it should be a real epic finish. The other boats all suffered various mishaps are in a race themselves to have thier boats ready for the next leg.

30 March 2012: Groupama was the first boat to round Cape Horn today, followed soon after by Puma, after 12 days of hard going on the open ocean. Cape Horn has a fearsome reputation among mariners, so it was mighty that some of the boats got around it unscathed.

18 March 2012: The Volvo fleet began Leg 5 today (Sunday 18th March) with a traditional Maoiri farewell (a haka) and a blessing from an elder of the Ngati Whatua tribe. The Race from New Zealand to Brazil is likely to be the most difficult Leg with horrendous conditions expected in the South Pacific. True to form the boats encountered a violent storm not long out of port, forcing some of the boats to return to Port to repair damage sustained in the nasty conditions.


Fourth Leg

10 March 2012: Groupama was first past the post into Auckland, New Zealand despite suffering bow damage during Leg 4. Second in was Puma followed just 93 seconds later by Camper, with Team Sanya coming in last of the 6 boats. Rest and recuperation now for the crews before the inshore races on the 16th March

The Race positions now are: Team Telefonica (121 points), Groupama (103 pts), Camper (98 pts), Puma (78 pts), Abu Dhabi (53 pts) and Team Sanya (22 pts).

3rd March 2012: Groupama led the field as the boats crossed the equator just yesterday, in high temperatures. They are heading into the Doldrums but the seas off the Soloman Islands pose their own challenges for the boats that have taken this route, with its coral reefs, strange tidal surges and wind shadows. But New Zealand is still a week away and it too will cause problems, particularly if low pressure persists there and the high winds it generates.

20th February 2012: Today is the first day of the fourth leg of the Race from Sanya to Auckland as the crews brave difficult conditions in five metre waves following severe gales recently in the South China Seas. Seasickness is another problem, if an unlikely one for hardened sailors used to disturbed seas.


Third Leg

13th February 2012: The crews have been relaxing in China after the trials of the third leg and engaging with the locals who have a real love of sailing. But now the boats are going back into the water and the crews are preparing them for the next leg which begins next weekend

5th February 2012: Team Sanya raced into their home port in China today to a tremendous reception and received 5 points in their first Leg finish of the Race. The 3rd Leg was won by Team Telefonica, who now top the leaderboard. They were followed into port by Abu Dhabi Racing Team. The Race positions are: Team Telefonica (95 points), Camper (80 pts), Groupama (71 pts), Puma (48 pts), Abu Dhabi (39 pts) and Team Sanya (16 pts).

28th January 2012: Fickle winds all last week ensured that the boats were struggling to reach 10 knots and trying to avoid all the large ships that ply the waters off the Straits of Malacca, not to mention all the discarded debris. Puma had a narrow lead of around 1 nautical mile over Telefonica with Team Sanya some distance behind (110 nm) in sixth position.

22nd January 2012: The fleet is in the Maldives and are preparing for the three week trip across the Indian Ocean to Sanya and 3000 nautical miles through the Malacca Straight and into the South China Sea, through some of the world's busiest shipping lanes. Sanya is on the Chinese island of Hainan, and this, the fourth port of call for the Volvo Race, is surrounded by crystal clear waters. The Race Village wil be a hive of activity from the 4th to the 19th February when the big boats will be in port.


Second Leg

15th December 2011: All six boats are strung out across the Indian Ocean and have been looking desperately for wind. Those that found it have averaged over 20 knots in good sailing conditions. Team Telefonica leads the Second Leg, followed by Team Abu Dhabi followed by the others who encountered less favourable conditions because of the more southerly routes they chose.


First Leg

19th November 2011: It’s now two weeks into the Volvo Ocean Race and Team Telefonica are still ahead of arch-rivals PUMA Ocean Racing, with Camper some 170 nautical miles behind. PUMA was leading for much of the first leg of the Race but Team Telefonica took a more easterly route through the South Atlantic and the better weather there gave them better speeds, which allowed them to forge ahead. Surprisingly, Groupama 4, lying in fourth place were making an average of 16.5 knots, faster than any in the fleet, as they try to make up the gap of around 420 nautical miles between them and the rest of the fleet.

13th November 2011: There are only four boats left now in the Race, and with 4,500 km left to Cape Town, Puma leads the field from Team Telefonica, Camper and Groupama. (Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Sanya, unfortunately, had to retire from Leg 1 following damge casued by high seas, but these will rejoin the Race on Leg 2). Camper led through the Straits of Gibralter on the 7th November but their lead was short lived as they headed out into the open ocean off the African coast.

31st October 2011: The Volvo Ocean Race has begun with an inshore race in Alicante, Spain on the 29th October 2011 followed by a Pro-Am race there on the 30th. 2011-12 will be the 11th edition of this round-the-world sailing regatta. The race is contested by 11 crews of professional sailors, who will experience testing conditions across the oceans of the world not least of which will be varying temperatures (ranging from -15 to +40 degrees Celsius), winds and waves and all sorts of obstacles inbetween, over the course of the race. The race, which has just started in Alicante finishes in Galway, Ireland in July 2012. On the way, the race will visit Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Miami (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France). The first leg of the Race, from Alicante to Cape Town, a distance of 6500 nautical miles, begins on Saturday 5th November. Apparently, whoever wins this first leg, eventually ends up winning the Race. We'll see!

Some images from the Race