Volvo Ocean Race: Into Malacca Strait

Telefonica extend as Puma pulls up to second

Saturday January 28th 2012, Author: James Boyd, Location: none selected

Chart above courtesy of Expedition/Tasman Bay Navigation Systems and high res GRIB from PredictWind

Positions at 1002:

Pos Boat Skipper Lat Long SoG CoG DTF DTL
1 Telefonica Iker Martinez 05 14.600n 098 37.220e 11.3 132 1499  
2 Puma Ken Read 05 25.250n 098 30.570e 9.3 122 1511 12
3 Camper Chris Nicholson 05 24.400n 098 13.380e 7.9 128 1525 26
4 Groupama Franck Cammas 05 26.320n 098 08.780e 8.5 127 1530 31
5 Abu Dhabi Ian Walker 05 33.780n 097 52.050e 8.6 136 1548 49
6 Sanya Mike Sanderson 05 54.180n 097 07.100e 9.5 127 1596 97

Tightly grouped yesterday lunchtime (UTC) as they passed the Pulau We island off the northern Sumatra, so over the course of the night (their morning), the fleet has expanded out again with Puma back into second place and with Sanya dropping further astern at the back of the fleet. It is not entirely clear looking at this by remote, even with high resolution GRIB,s why this is happening as it appears that the leaders should be sailing into less pressure, however at present Telefonica seems to be the fastest boat in the fleet, going some two knots quicker than Puma, and as a result has extended her lead to 12 miles.

After a week at sea, the first sight of the lush Indonesian coastline rising above the sea with its ragged tropical vegetation was quite an unexpected experience for some of the crews yesterdat. "We tacked a lot and it was just beautiful,” said Groupama 4’s Thomas Coville. “It was really exciting, really magical."

Now into Malacca Strait the very high levels of shipping traffic in the area is one of the main concerns on board. As Telefonica's MCM Diego Fructuoso pointed out: “Sailing at night with so much shipping traffic is incredible. It's going to get worse. We need to be careful to avoid unpleasant surprises and to avoid sacrificing too many miles if we find ourselves forced into varying our course.”


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