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9 Oct 2011, 16:00UTC

Fleet returns with lessons learned

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IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race
All six boats arrived back from the final qualifying race on Sunday and all of them learned plenty from the experience -- from work that needs to be done on in-port race technique to a realisation of just how close the real race is going to be.

"We have a lot of in-port training to do -- it’s something we haven’t focused on at all." - CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson.

Chris Nicholson, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand: “It has been a frustrating 24 hours but that’s all part of it. We have to manage light air zones a little bit differently next time – you live and learn. I actually enjoyed it right from the start to the finish.

"We have a lot of in-port training to do -- it’s something we haven’t focused on at all. We have a lot of work to do there. We’ll have time off later on once we know everything is ticked off. Our job list is just tiny little things."

Franck Cammas, Groupama: "It was good -- very good training. We had a good fight with CAMPER from the second night to the finishing line. We were close to them and it was good for team spirit.

"I hope we can train more with other competitors before the in-port race because we have to learn -- I have to learn as well -- the fight with this type of boat. I hope we improve the crew work this next week."

Ken Read, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion: “It was a perfectly useful exercise up until the wind died. Hanging around all day yesterday for the wind to fill in was a bit of torture. Fortunately in the evening the breeze came back and got us home but it wasn’t looking good for a little while.

“We learned some valuable lessons about ourselves and the other teams. If there’s one thing to take from this race was that our onboard communication got better. That’s a big one for us. We’ve always known that all the boats are going to be really fast and this race confirmed that. There are no dogs out there."

Cameron Dunn, Team Sanya: “The biggest lesson we have learned is that although we are sailing an older generation boat, we have proved that if we sail smart and don't make mistakes then we can beat some of the newer boats."

Iker Martínez, Telefónica: "It wasn't a real race and we can't reach any conclusions from it. What we can say is that when the boats were together they were very very similar and that means the race is going to be very very difficult."

Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing: "I think the whole race was a good exercise. You can never get enough practice at man overboard drills. We fitted the emergency rudder in quite difficult conditions when it was quite windy. Then the whole race turned inside out. There was no wind and we were flopping around for hours. We managed to break something on our headsail furler so I wasn’t very happy about using the masthead Code 0. The forecast was for six knots for the rest of the trip and to be honest we have got an awful lot to do.

"I’ve got a lot of very tired people who have been working 12 hours a day seven days a week – so having basically completed everything we had to do for Volvo I decided the best use of our time was to get in so the shore crew could work on the boat."

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