The VOR point scoring system gives Ericsson plenty of hope for remaining legs

It’s not over ’til it’s over. The Ericsson Racing Team may be out of leg two of the Volvo Ocean Race, but because of the way in which the point scoring system is weighted, it is not as big a set back as it may appear. Points are allocated for in-port races, for passing scoring gates along the course and for finishing the legs. When the boats reach Rio, three-quarters of the way around the world, over half of the points will still be up for grabs. The overall winner will be the boat that scores the highest number of points by the time it gets to Gothenburg.

When crossing the finishing line at the end of a leg, a boat gets points equal to the number of entries at the start of the race, less the number of boats placed above her on that leg. For example, with seven boats on the start line of the first leg in Vigo, ABN Amro One was awarded seven points for finishing first, whilst Ericsson got four points for arriving fourth. If by some misfortune a boat drops out of the race at any stage, the first boat home on any subsequent leg will still get seven points, but the last will get two points instead of one.

For the in-port races, boats receive points equal to half the number of entries at the beginning of the event, less half the number of boats placed above her in that race. Hence Ericsson got three and a half points for winning the first in-port race. The same, half value scoring method applies to the scoring gates on legs one, two, four, five and seven.

If a boat retires from a leg then she will score points as if she finished last in that leg, thus Ericsson will still obtain a point for leg two, even though she arrives by ship. The points are weighted such that when the boats reach Rio less than half the points will have been allocated.

With a total of 108.5 points up for grabs during the entire race, and only 31.5 awarded by the end of leg two, Ericsson has all to play for.

Ericsson Racing Team skipper, Neal McDonald, commented: “The Volvo Ocean Race is the pinnacle of our sport, and we always knew that this event would be a challenge, especially with a completely new design of boat. We are working hard at trying to understand the reasons why the piston rod in the hydraulic ram failed and into designing a more robust replacement. Soon after Ericsson arrives in Melbourne the new parts will be fitted. She is in great shape otherwise (we were second when our ram broke and we had to retire) and we’ll soon be back out on the water to train for the next in-port race. We will carry on with full determination and our ambition is intact.”