The Volvo Ocean Race fleet are currently preparing themselves for the second In Port race in Cape on Monday
Whilst most people will still be enjoying their leftover Christmas dinners, the seven Volvo Open 70s that make up the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 will be out in Table Bay locked in battle for the second In Port race.
Glenn Bourke, Chief Executive of the Volvo Ocean Race with his thoughts on Monday’s race said: “Looking at the forecast, with strong winds predicted for Boxing Day, we can expect to see the fastest racing monohulls in the world testing their crews to the limit around a very short and intense 2-3 hour course. Success and failure will probably depend more on crew work and tactics than it will on relative speed of the boats which gives everyone the opportunity to pick up some vital points and stand on the podium.”
After an exciting start from Spain in November the fleet in one way or another covered the 6,400 nautical miles to Cape Town. The first race leg victory went to ABN AMRO ONE skippered by Mike Sanderson (NZ) who led the party of five finishers into Cape Town. A week later Pirates of the Caribbean arrived by Antanov aeroplane after suffering from damage that forced her to retire from the first leg. The final boat to arrive was the Spanish entry movistar, who like Pirates of the Caribbean, also suffered damage when storms flattened the fleet in the first 24 hours. Movistar arrived in spectacular style onboard a huge Wallenius Wilhelmsen freighter – MV Toronto.
Going into the in-port race, which will take place as near to the shore as possible in Table Bay, the Dutch entry of ABN AMRO ONE is currently the overall race leader. The result of a win on the first leg gives Sanderson and his crew a one-point lead over the Brazilian entry, Brasil 1, skippered my multiple Olympic medallist Torben Grael (BRA) but points are tight and they hold joint second with British Skipper Neal McDonald and his Ericsson Racing Team.
The in-port race will provide an opportunity for Paul Cayard’s (USA) Pirates of the Caribbean and movistar, under the guidance of Bouwe Bekking (NED), to get some points under their belts as, due to the result of them retiring from the first leg, they hold sixth and seventh place respectively.
The forecast looks set to add a bit of excitement to the day’s racing as race meteorologist Christopher Bedford explains, “Winds will start to ease on Monday, but there is a chance of some strong 15-25 knots south-easterly gradient winds for the in-port race.”
If the ‘Cape Doctor’ blows, spectators who plan to watch the race (which is scheduled to commence at 1300 on the 26 December) will get a real sense of the power and speed of the Volvo Open 70s.
Current Leaderboard (inc in-port, scoring
gate, leg finish)
1st TEAM ABN AMRO ONE, Mike Sanderson (NZL) 11.5 pts
2nd Brasil 1, Torben Grael (BRA) 10.5 pts
2nd Ericsson Racing Team Neal McDonald (GBR) 10.5 pts
4th TEAM ABN AMRO TWO, Sebastien Josse (FRA) 9.5 pts
5th ING Real Estate Brunel, Grant Wharington (AUS) 4.5 pts
6th Pirates of the Caribbean, Paul Cayard (USA) 3.5 pts
7th Movistar, Bouwe Bekking (NED) 3 pts