By Sebastien Destremau
Departing Rio de Janeiro on the 11th of April the Volvo Ocean race fleet picks its way through two to four knots of breeze along the South American coast. The seven boats only covered less than 100 nautical miles in the first 20 hours of leg 6 to Boston. Telefonica Black had to remove his South African bowman shortly after the start due to a leg injury. They are a man down and sailing with 10 crewmembers only.
By Monday report, Telefonica Blue led delta Lloyd and Telefonica Black after having taken a more coastal route. With 25 miles separating the leader to the trailer, the distance may not appear to be significant at this stage. However, getting away from the coastal influences and into those trade winds first could prove a decisive advantage in the coming days.
Whoever’s first to get it will build a huge lead over the opposition and will probably leading the fleet all the way to Fernando de Noronha scoring gate only 5 days away. The next difficulty will be the Doldrums when the fleet might compress again.
The start of the Virtual Volvo race was also quite slow for the 200 000 players with 24hours of very frustrating sailing. However it seems like the fleet as picked the pace and is now sailing in a 12 to 15 knots of easterly wind. The leaders were the one who sailed the most direct course, however it has been reported that several thousands of players ran aground when they sailed to close to the shore a few hours after leaving Rio de Janeiro.
The strategy for now is to GO FAST and head North, with the Fernado de Noronha mark to be left to port before reaching the Doldrums for the fourth and –thank God - last time of this round the World Race
Trade wind sailing can often come out as a pure speed contest, but since the start, there have been enough slight changes to deal with that success is based on more than just boat speed. Minor adjustments are sometimes necessary to make the boat goes Faster, picking the right lane in order to avoid the winf hole and the zigzagging always costly in terms of distance.
Fair and FAST sailing to all. Sébastien
ps: Following a flury of angry messages received on my boat, I owe you an explanation about the anoying-for-some pop up thing on my boat.
There is no vanity on my part ... It is completely beyond my control and I cannot turn off the flemming thing... you can temporarely by clicking on the button that will get rid of all the boats on your screen ... I know some of you would still like to see your friends when you are zooming in and my boat is kind of in the way ...especially with this congested fleet ...
You've got to understand that this is a sponsorship deal that any players can obtain .... and it is part of the package you guys may offer a sponsor.... For a small ammount your sponsor can have this massive exposure...and you can make money playing this game ...
Having said that I had to battle hard and for 2 weeks to have it reduced by 50% during the previous leg .... and it was supposed to be changed again during the stopover to become like a "bubble thing" in order to avoid the situation we are in at the moment (ie people next to my boat not being able to actually see their own/friends boat...)
For some reason the new version was not implemented at the start of this leg ... and I am as @$#&!ed off as you guys .... and fed up receiving "insulting messages" from bothered players when it is clearly not the intention...
I can only apologise to be in your way guys ... and hopefully it will change soon ...
I've sent a very clear message requesting this change to be done ASAP ... or the pop up thing to be removed .... however I know that it does involve a complete reload of the game and for some technical reasons this has to be planned carefully .... just a real shame is was not done prior to starting this leg as previously planned!!!
Sorry for this guys... and believe me, if I could turn it off, I would.
Have a good race to all ...