Volvo Ocean Race: are the boats up to the task following attritional Auckland to Itajai leg?

April 14th, 20129:15 am @


Mike Sanderson, Team Sanya

When they’re going fast they crash hard. Just take a second and look at what
these guys put these boats through. Sometimes they’re not even trying, you
know. Sometimes they’re trying to slow the boats down and they can’t.
They’re incredible.

Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing

In the last race we only had one tough leg – on the way to China – and don’t
forget three boats ended up getting smashed up on that leg and the others
stopped. We – not just us, all the teams – just don’t seem to be able to get
through the tough conditions in this race. Before the start of Leg 5 it
hadn’t been too bad. We hadn’t had too many breakages up until then.

Franck Cammas, Groupama

We all know and the experts know that loss of reliability means at the end of
the day a loss of money and a loss of time. Reliability is the most
important thing and every rule is twisted towards that. People mustn’t say
that the boats are less reliable than before because they’re not. Certainly
the level of competition of this Volvo Ocean Race is making us push the
boats harder than ever before. They go faster than ever before too because
they’re better designed.

Ken Read, PUMA Ocean Racing

That’s when the human element has to take over and say, ‘Listen, there is a
limit to sailing these boats at this pace before things can go
catastrophically wrong. Going at 40 knots is the dumbest thing you could do,
because you would be out of control. However sometimes you don’t have the
choice, a couple of big waves pick you up and suddenly you are off like a
scalded dog. The fact is that the race has become so competitive, that
forces us to push harder in conditions which we would traditionally not
normally have pushed.

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