• 28-NOV-2014

  • SOURCE: Volvo Ocean Race

Expecting Tropical Storm

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet knew this leg would be a strange one - and the trip from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi is certainly fulfilling its promise. From early cyclone forecasts, to tropical depression, and finally a proper storm warning, the weather in this part of the world at this time of the year is tricky and clearly fickle.The sailors are full of adrenaline, anticipation - and maybe a sprinkle of anxiety - about what could either be a great sailing opportunity allowing them to bypass the Doldrums area, or the source of major boat breakages.

As Bouwe Bekking, skipper of Team Brunel, explains: "It's not the breeze that is the big problem."

"The biggest issue will be the sea state. In 30 knots of breeze, you probably get six or seven-metre waves. With a boat speed of 25 knots downwind, and a sea state coming from the front, you can imagine what will happen if you sail straight into it."

"Something will bust. It's a balance between sailing fast, and keeping the boat in one piece"
adds the Dutchman.

The fleet is expecting to reach the storm winds late Friday night to early Saturday morning, soon after sailing between La Reunion and Mauritius islands.


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