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Volvo Race

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:34 pm
by mm5aho
I've been following the VOR.
I notice that all boats went a long way west to Brazil before heading back to Sth Africa.
I've never sailed in the S Atlantic. Is this due to the lack of wind along the West African coast, or some other reason?
Looking at the actual wind while they were sailing, there was wind on a much more direct route, but less than the route they all took. They could have sailed at half speed over half the distance and done as well ?

Re: Volvo Race

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 2:52 pm
by wully
The navigators of these boats spend a lot of time routing the boat to the best wind angle and the route they follow does, historically, have more favourable winds and ( I think) a shorter route through the doldrums.

There may well have been more wind on the ' direct route' but they would have lost time/ distance getting to it?

That none of them went on your direct route would suggest there was no value in going that way.

Re: Volvo Race

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:22 pm
by Fingal
I understand that sailing vessels heading for the Indian Ocean from Europe have been using the route that heads over to Brazil, before turning SE-ish toward the CofGH, since about the 16th century.

Re: Volvo Race

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 11:54 pm
by MrMcP
There was a mark of the course off the Brazilian coast which took them over there in the first place. The subsequent run down the coast then low crossing to Cape Town was to avoid the St Helena high higher up in the S Atlantic. Decent race so far, the move to one design seems to have paid off.

Re: Volvo Race

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 12:38 am
by claymore
Its the route which offers the briefest passage through the Doldrums and then picks up the prevailing westerlies which send the fleet back across towards the Cape of Good Hope.