The international media assembled in Lorient ahead of the resumption of competitive action this weekend got a final chance to hear how the skippers were planning to approach the Bretagne In-Port Race on Saturday and Leg 9 to Galway starting the following day, at today’s press conference.
This is what they had to say:
Franck Cammas - Groupama skipper
“It is going to be hard to finish this race. Yes, we are in a good position but there is a lot to do to win the race. We are glad to be in first place at this point, it is better than we expected at the start of the race.
“Local knowledge is useful of course -- it is always good to know the neighbourhood, but all the other competitors are capable of working out the waters off Lorient.
“Our strategy for Leg 9 depends on how the in-port race goes. We will see how we stand after that, and if we don’t need to win the leg we will perhaps change our strategy. For example, it is easier to know that third is enough rather than to have to win, but we will have to wait and see.
“This is our first time in the Volvo Ocean Race and since the beginning we have had to learn all the time, and we are still learning. We have learned about the boat and learned about tactics and strategy. This race is about the team who makes the least mistakes. We have to keep on learning, even on Leg 9 to the finish."
Ken Read - PUMA skipper
“Lorient is a famous sailing venue. I have sailed all my life but I have never sailed here so this is a pleasure.
“On the water, Lorient throws everything at you: big breeze; light winds; currents; and that makes for a great sailing venue. On the shore, good food and good wine -- what’s not to like about this place?
(On the new boat announcement) “The future of the Volvo Ocean Race depends on new teams. We simply have to have more teams. The race has been given new life. I applaud the Volvo board for what they have done. It is a bold move and there was really no choice. It is better to have a race than not have a race."
Mike Sanderson, Sanya skipper
(On the new boat announcement) “I support what the race has done, but remember, this doesn’t need to be forever. After two races the world might be a different place and be ready for Volvo 80, or something else. Right now the economic situation just won’t support anything like that.
“Those who don’t agree with this move most likely don’t know how hard it is to raise 25 million Euro, like I do.
(On the other teams’ strategies for the Bretagne In-Port Race) “Kenny can’t leave anything on the table in the in-port. He has to pray there is forty degrees of bias on the start line and he can go for it. If there is anyone here capable of nailing it, then it is Ken."
Ian Walker, Abu Dhabi skipper
“Everyone has their story to tell about why they are where they are in this race. But now, the points are what the points are, and Groupama are in a strong position. Franck just needs to stay out of trouble, but as anyone who has sailed these boats knows, there is always the chance that trouble is always just around the corner.
Chris Nicholson - CAMPER skipper
“The stopover has been good for us. We had quite a few bumps and bruises when we arrived. This has been a long hard race for all the teams and this has been what I would call the first normal length stopover. You could see it in people's faces that they were coming back to the boat refreshed.
“Looking at the weather for Leg 9 this morning, there are not as many tactical decisions as I was hoping. It is looking like a two-sail reach all the way up, so a pretty quick trip. The key decisions are now things like, do you take a boat loaded up with spares for more righting moment or do you go with a light empty boat?
“Weather depending, we might not be able to do anything about Groupama’s speed advantage. At the moment we are just trying to control everything we can control and make sure that when it comes to the more tactical and crew work related situations we can pounce on those chances.
“We may change the watch systems around so that when there is an advantage to having everyone up on deck, we will run it that way."
- 6 Jul 2012Skippers talk it up ahead of final in-port fight
- 9 Jun 2012Dock Talk: Oeiras In-Port Race
- 13 Apr 2012The big debate - skippers comment on Leg 5 attrition
- 4 Nov 2011Volvo Ocean Race fleet heads for first night ordeal
- 9 Oct 2011Fleet returns with lessons learned
- 19 Aug 2011Skippers applaud anti-piracy course changes in Volvo Ocean Race