Sunday, March 11, 2012

J-Trained Tacticians Leading Volvo Ocean Race

Ken Read on Volvo 70 Puma Mar Mastro*  The "J-Trained" tacticians are continuing to put their mark on the Volvo Ocean Race.  As even Ken Read (6x J/24 World Champion) has to say, "we're racing tactically and strategically from sched-to-sched (e.g. 3 hour intervals)."  In other words, when all boats have to report to Volvo Race HQ their Lat/Lon for safety/tracking reasons, everyone knows where they are, how fast they're going and at what angle.  Talk about stress.  The navigators have to be the "coolest" guys on the planet to have to deal with the incessant pressure of going "higher/lower" and at what sail trim/selection on the "cross-over charts" to keep their machines going at 99% or better.  So far, some crew of the top three boats on the leg to Auckland, New Zealand count amongst their experiences getting "schooled" on J/22s, J/24s, J/80s in both America and Europe.  Go figure-- a 40,000nm J/24 one-design race-- in essence, wondering where the next wind shift, wind streak, current anomaly shows up before passing the next mark, one a 3 hour interval 24x7  each leg.  Hmmm-- a challenge to say the least.  Nor for the faint of heart.  Steely nerves, forethought and planning are evidently part of the equation that also includes "mother luck"!  To see how these teams are doing take a look at: