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PaulinVictoria 04-04-2012 09:26 PM

VOR down to two boats
 
With Groupama losing their mast earlier, there are now only 2 boats actively racing in the VOR. Not much of a race in terms of excitement!
Do you think these boats are being built too light with too much focus on downwind surfing rather than gruelling upwind pounding? Are the technologies they are using to make these boats simply not suitable to the conditions they face? Should they go back to slower but stronger? Drop down to 60ft to reduce cost and encourage more competitors?
I remember seeing the Whitbread fleets, they looked like "real" boats and although they still suffered damage, I don't ever recall there being quite so many retirements/suspended racing. I dunno, just seems that a pretty important part of having a boat race is to have boats racing!

smackdaddy 04-04-2012 09:46 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
Huge long-running discussion on this over at SA. Personally, I think the breakages have actually meant as much, if not more, PR for the race. It's not great "racing" - but it's been a hell of a drama.

Though I'm a huge Puma fan, it was really a heartbreak to see Groupama's mast fall.

PaulinVictoria 04-04-2012 09:58 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
PR perhaps, but crap for anyone actually interested in ocean racing, even the CEO of the VOR is expressing concern. If I wanted to see boats getting broken on a regular basis, I'd just go sailing more :)
Maybe the organisers of the Clipper race just need to get some better sponsors/media people as those boats seem to fair better. I "get" that the VOR boats are supposed to be the pinnacles of technology, ultimate monohull speedsters etc, but they also have to be able to actually get around the globe in a race fashion. I want to see sailors pushing their boats as fast as they will go in any conditions, not having to spend thousands of miles holding back because they fear the next catastrophic failure of their uber-technology.

smackdaddy 04-04-2012 10:05 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria (Post 854681)
I want to see sailors pushing their boats as fast as they will go in any conditions, not having to spend thousands of miles holding back because they fear the next catastrophic failure of their uber-technology.

But this is the rub isn't it? What's the limit of that speed? Usually a breakage of some sort.

To me the biggest issue in this race is that, to my knowledge, none of these boats has been able to beat Ericsson's 24 hr speed record from the last race. If these boats were faster, but broke - it would be somewhat more understandable. But to be slower and still break - that's what seems to be the biggest issue. And I bet that's what's bothering Knut the most.

The inport in Itajai is going to be a very quiet affair.

PaulinVictoria 04-04-2012 10:15 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
Yep, still stands as far as I know, will be interesting to see if the average for the race is faster than previously though. I have a suspicion that it won't and that these current Open70s can only be pushed above 75% (just plucking a figure out of the air there) in flat conditions whereas perhaps previous generations could go to 75% more often giving them an overall better speed.
AFAIK the only boat not planning on making Itajai is Sanya so hopefully there will still be plenty for the lucky locals to watch.

Scottyrocket 04-07-2012 07:36 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
Either way you look at it these are still fast boats. Reading the following article about racing near the ice exclusion zone in the Southern Ocean teams had to throttle back from 30 knots to a snails pace 20. Amazing given the conditions they faced.

Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 | Leading pack in survival mode as winds top 60 knots

obanarama 04-07-2012 11:23 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
Though they've clearly got to strengthen these boats some so there's not so many DNF's, watching this VOR is anything but boring. Its totally riveting. The video of the boats blasting through the southern ocean is insane, then the Puma vs Groupama and Puma vs Telephonica duels during this leg were AWESOME.

smackdaddy 04-13-2012 07:41 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
WOW! JuanK speaks out on the breakage issues for VSail:

Juan Kouyoumdjian statement on the breakages in the Volvo Ocean Race | VSail.info

Quote:

I believe we are presented with an intentional manipulation of the truth.

There is a common, spread notion that ALL the participants of this VOR have structural problems, that the situation is unacceptable and that something needs to be done for the future. A fundamental distinction needs to be done between the mast breakages and the rest, and whilst I think it is very important to understand what caused so many mast failures, it is a travesty of the truth to put ALL designs in the same basket when it comes down to the "other" structural issues.

This generalization might suit a specific Team, or person to push any agenda he might have for the future, but out of respect of the hard and serious work done with my Team I need to speak up.

Pretty strong words. Looks like this thing is going to really heat up.

I posted this link over at SA and immediately pissed off Clean for pointing out the fact that he missed the scoop...again. Heh-heh. Good times.

(VOR Leg 5 - Sailing Anarchy Forums - Page 78)
-Lots of great info in this thread from dudes in the know.

blt2ski 04-13-2012 08:07 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
Glad to know clean has been scooped, he is a pisser of a person IMHO!

smackdaddy 04-13-2012 08:27 PM

Re: VOR down to two boats
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by blt2ski (Post 858429)
Glad to know clean has been scooped, he is a pisser of a person IMHO!

Aaaa - he's okay. Just a knucklehead.

He's fun to mess with for sure.


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