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Volvo Ocean Race resumes Wednesday morning

The original Sunday start was delayed by Cyclone Pam.

Nevil Gibson
Tue, 17 Mar 2015

The fifth leg of Volvo Ocean Race will leave Auckland at 9am tomorrow, officials have decided.

The original start on Sunday was delayed by Cyclone Pam, which is crossing the yachts’ projected path on the journey to Brazil.

Race chief executive Knut Frostad met the six teams’ skippers, navigators and weather experts last night. Four of the six teams strongly urged a Wednesday start over a Tuesday one.

“We see a significant change between leaving Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning in easier conditions, and this was also the preference of the majority of the teams,” Mr Frostad says.

“The cyclone is still a very severe system near New Zealand. Most of the routes on this leg take you very close to that cyclone for a substantially long period of time.

“What we see is that the system is big, it’s not moved very far and leaving on Tuesday they’d very quickly be into 40 knots and a very big sea state.”

Team SCA’s navigator Libby Greenhalgh says not many of the crews would have experienced a cyclone.

“On Tuesday, we would be in 35 to 40 knots for between five and seven days, whereas Wednesday that’s not the case. We still end up catching it up but the storm has started to decay.

“It’s probably going to be significantly different even though that’s difficult to estimate and easy to underestimate as well.”

The fifth leg covers a 6776 nautical mile stage across the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn to the Brazilian port of Itajai.

The original estimated time of arrival in Brazil was April 1-5 but Mr Frostad says there are still too many uncertainties in the forecast to establish a clearer range at this stage.

Nevil Gibson
Tue, 17 Mar 2015
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Volvo Ocean Race resumes Wednesday morning