Intervjuer med alla skeppare och TV-tider inför starten i VOR

Gustav Morin

Gustav Morin

Start of Volvo Ocean Race 2011Det ser ut att bli en tuff start för båtarna i Volvo Ocean Race med vindar över 10 m/s. Första etappen går från Alicante till Kapstaden. En sträcka på 6 500 sjömil som beräknas ta ca 3 veckor. Läs mer för intervjuer och tv-tider.

Starten går kl.13.00 UTC (1400 lokal tid). Soffsittarna kan följa starten via bland annat TV10 som ska sända direkt från Alicante kl. 13.45 och via www.volvooceanrace.com.

Första etappen är en av de längsta i racet och historiskt sett den som ofta visar vem som kommer att vinna totalt. Den innefattar alltifrån stundtals hopplös stiljte och hetta till storm och kyla.

Starten går i Alicante med efterföljande sprint söder ut mot flaskhalsen i Gibraltar där båtarna ofta stannar upp på grund av lite vind och jobbig ström. Väl ute kommer ofta nordliga vindar och ger bra drag söderut mot det ostadiga väderbältet Doldrums, vilket är en högtrycksrygg som ofta sträcker sig några hundra sjömil på vardera sidan om ekvatorn.

Första båt ut från Doldrums har ofta ett övertag ner mot Brasiliens kust. Sedan tar kylan och hårda vindar över när båtarna siktar österut mot Kapstaden.

Här följer pressmeddelande från Volvo Ocean Race:

Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing go into the first offshore leg at the top of the leaderboard with six points after victory in the Iberdrola In-Port Race. PUMA finished second, followed by CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, Team Sanya, Groupama sailing team and Team Telefónica.

Walker, a two-time Olympic silver medallist, said the first 24 hours of the leg could prove crucial to the end result.

“The big question will be whether we can get out of the Med quick enough to connect with the trade winds,” the Briton said. “We’ll see over 20 knots upwind and that’s enough to break these boats. It could be that the most decisive point of this leg is the first 24 hours.”

Mike Sanderson, skipper of Chinese entry Team Sanya, knows all too well about sailing into heavy weather. He led ANB AMRO ONE to victory in the 2005-06 race when a storm ravaged the fleet hours after the start from the Spanish port of Vigo.

“There’s nothing that starts quite as quickly as a Volvo Ocean Race — you’re into it straight away,” the New Zealander said. “We’re going to see some action pretty quickly. It’s looking like it could be pretty churned up out there.”

Despite the forecast, CAMPER’s Australian skipper Chris Nicholson said his team were keen to get started on leg 1, which is expected to keep the 11-man teams, including one embedded Media Crew Member, at sea for an exhausting 21 days.

“We are all over that kind of weather,” Nicholson said. “We have had it since day one of the launch. It’s not a problem for us. We may well see 30 knots on the nose before we get to the Gibraltar Straits and that’s OK. We had 45 knots on the way down to Alicante from the UK so we’re up for 30 knots for sure.”

Franck Cammas, charged with leading France’s first entry in 18 years, said his team were in “the racing frame of mind” as the clock ticked down to the start.

“We are ready,” the Groupama 4 skipper said. “We are looking at the weather and it’s as if we are already racing. We have been preparing for a long time and we are happy to be leaving on Groupama 4 which has shown its potential and looks promising offshore.”

Iker Martínez said Telefónica would be looking to show what his crew is capable of in the offshore legs, which offer five times as many points as the in-port races.

“I’m feeling good but a little bit nervous, not because I’m worried about anything in particular but because we have spent a long time preparing and we want to have a good race,” said Martínez, who has gold and silver Olympic medals to his credit. “We didn’t have a very good inshore race and that’s given us even more determination to prove ourselves.”

Ever since the Volvo Ocean Race became a single-class event in 1997-98 the winners of the first leg have gone on to take overall victory.

“I’ve heard it several times this great tradition that you have to win leg one to win the race, but I’m not so sure about that this time,” said Read. “I think this is setting up to be too close.”

Before the teams leave Alicante, fans will get a final chance to see the fleet up close, as they complete a short course along the Alicante shoreline starting near the port, heading to Albufereta then up to Cabo de Huertas and back before setting sail for the open sea. The leg start will be shown live through the New Livestream platform, which includes video, photos, audio and text updates at
http://new.livestream.com/volvooceanrace.

You don’t have to be onboard one of our Volvo Open 70s to find out what’s going on out on the racecourse. There are plenty of ways you can follow the racing at home and on the move, find out here how to follow the race.

Volvo Ocean Race är en global folkfest som lockar en miljard-publik. Mellan 29 oktober i år och 8 juli 2012 passerar de tävlande Kapstaden i Sydafrika, Abu Dhabi i Förenade Arabemiraten, Sanya i Kina, Auckland – Nya Zeeland, Itajai i Brasilien, Miami – USA, Lissabon i Portugal och Franska Lorient, för att avsluta i Galway på Irland.

 

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