Friday, 17 February 2012

Controlling the controllable

Team Telefonica change rigging, prior to the Sanya Haitang Bay
in-port race. (Photo Credit: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race).
The teams are back in the water and gearing up for the weekend’s in-port racing in Sanya. As the overall points start to form a more conclusive pecking order, the teams that are winning look to defend - and the teams that are not look to attack.

We have a saying in sailing that if you’re winning, keep doing what you’re doing - don’t change anything! This is harder then it sounds. As a team can see their overall win starting to look like a possibility they naturally start to sail more cautiously.

Race leaders Team Telef√≥nica missed today’s practice race to swap out their rigging after a routine check revealed a problem.

Strong winds
The Spanish team’s skipper Iker Mart√≠nez said the team was being cautious because of the forecast of strong winds and the fact that two boats lost their masts during leg one.

I don’t doubt that they did have a problem, but they will be looking more and more closely at their equipment and how they can avoid any unforced errors. Control the controllable as the saying goes.

On the other side of the leaderboard coin, the teams that are struggling will be looking to push harder and risk more to get on the rostrum.

Light wind
The last leg was a light wind “cat and mouse” game of ocean chess. Leg four to Auckland New Zealand will be a war of attrition and hammer-down sailing.

Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante is forecasting a monsoon to develop to the north of Taiwan, resulting in north-easterly winds of between 35 and 40 knots across the South China Sea over the weekend.

There was talk of postponing the start, but Volvo race management has confirmed that the show must go on! Leg four will start this Sunday after the thrills and spills of a windy in-port race on Saturday.

Mark Covell

No comments:

Post a Comment