Archive | October, 2011

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Patrick Shaughnessy, president of Farr Yacht Design, talks to VSail.info

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Following Saturday’s overwhelming victory of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in the in-port race in Alicante, VSail.info talked to Patrick Shaughnessy, president of Farr Yacht Design, about his office’s design in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race.

VSail.info: Abu Dhabi’s performance in today’s very light and tricky conditions was undeniably exceptional. Were Ian Walker and the crew geniuses or simply very lucky?
Patrick Shaughnessy: I am always very hesitant to use the word genius. Obviously the team has put in a lot of effort into research, design, boat building, maintenance and training and as a result it’s a team effort but I think that everyone in the team is cautiously optimistic. Of course we feel strong and it was a nice result but it is just the beginning of a very long race and you have to be cautious about that. Certainly, the conditions were very difficult and I think the team was fortunate, I think that’s a better word, to be in some relatively clean air and be able to extend their lead.

VSail.info: Did this race serve as your first real opportunity to assess your boat and the rest of the fleet?
Patrick Shaughnessy: I think it’s difficult to draw comparisons against the other boats because most of them weren’t sailing in very close proximity to each other but for us it’s affirmation, winning the Fastnet Race and then this race, it’s a piece of good solid momentum and the team is really excited. Some of the areas where you feel you maybe made some tradeoffs in the design process where the boat should or shouldn’t be strong are coming through and it’s a good quality feeling.

VSail.info: It’s good to see you’re positive because according to Juan Kouyoumdjian, in an interview in Valencia a couple of months ago, Abu Dhabi and Camper were the clear favorites this time. Do you feel you designed the favorite boat to win the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race?
Patrick Shaughnessy: I think that, with all due respect to Juan, there is a little bit of gamesmanship there in his comments and, certainly, in our team we took them in good part. We have a strong team, we assembled it very well and we have done a lot of the right things but I don’t believe we are the favorites. We were one of the last boats in the water, if not the last one, we had a very short training time and feel more the opposite. We feel we have to push very hard to achieve more with less. I would never say that we’re favorites, definitely not.

VSail.info: Despite this short time since you launched your boat do you think Farr Yacht Design has done a good job?
Patrick Shaughnessy: Yes, I think that so far we had good confirmation on some of the choices. You make choices in your race modelling and in how you choose and pick your concept and you do that relative to a sort of theoretical fleet of boats and when you come to sail against the actual boats of the fleet they will, obviously, stack up a little bit differently. We feel that the choices we’ve made are the correct ones and I don’t think there is anything we feel at this stage we could have done differently. We feel confident.

VSail.info: In your modelling did you favor a particular type of conditions or did you aim for an all-around boat, if that can exist?
Patrick Shaughnessy: The teams always ask for a theoretical all-around boat which is of course quite difficult to create. We tried to address some of the perceived weaknesses from our past design work in the last race and build upon some strengths. I think that we do have a better, more well-rounded boat now and certainly it favors the offshore sailing a little bit more than the in-port racing. So, it is satisfying to have a good in-port result but it certainly is an offshore boat. It’s been a difficult race to conceptualize the boat for, because of the sail restrictions. It’s a very difficult choice when you have three masthead sails and one of them is almost certainly a Code 0. So, you make a choice about how much reaching-oriented the other two sails should be and it’s very possible in that process to mode the boat for a given leg and some of the boats will be making that.

What it forces you to do is look very hard at the legs and the sails and have a very good match between the sails that you model in the VPP tools and the aero coefficient. A lot of effort that we have done has been in building sail coefficients and sail testings so that we can make these decisions very well. In the design sense this is now behind us but it still living for the sail selection. So, you still have a number off sail cards to play and difficult choices to make.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing leading the fleet in the first in-port race of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

VSail.info: This edition of the race has a number of short legs in Europe that carry the same weight in terms of points as the long oceanic legs. Did that make any difference from your perspective compared to last time?
Patrick Shaughnessy: It did, in the race model. When you do the weather routing of a particular leg with your candidate boat you get a result, a time result, you compare it to other candidates and then you have to choose how you are going to value some legs differently or relative to each other. Certainly, in those legs it’s going to be difficult for a boat to stretch and do very well or recover. A boat may have a strength that only comes apparent at the end of a short leg and will not have the time to make up the ground that may have lost earlier. You do have to look at those legs quite carefully and then tune how to make your choices.

VSail.info: Two aspects of your boat that stand out are, at least in my view, the full bow and the clean deck. Could you elaborate on these two issues and the philosophy them?
Patrick Shaughnessy: Quite a few of the boats, from different designers, have different takes on how much volume forward you should have. That volume forward in the hull shape and in particular as you see in our stem area is about high-speed reaching and running and bow up attitude in those conditions. The CFD work we have done pointed in that direction and you have to balance that with some dynamic negatives you have in waves and short chop but I think we’re pretty happy with where we placed it. On the deck we had a number of goals there. First of all, because we were quite late and we had a lot of pressure, we put our pressure on the boat-building team as well to build very quickly. We spent a lot of effort trying to simplify the geometries we were making so that they could be easily achieved by the team. So, it’s a simpler geometry and its primary goals, taking away the cabin, are about water management, so when you have a lot of water on the deck not having a cabin means that the water becomes ariborne as it comes into contact with something and can be easily moved from the cockpit area away from the crew and treated like that. Then it also allows to move all of the lines under the deck, so it’s very clean, very simple and everything is hidden.

VSail.info: If I’m not mistaken this is something you had already done on Telefonica Blue in 2008.
Patrick Shaughnessy: The Telefonica cockpit was very similar and this is a development of that work but forward of the cockpit, in Telefonica we were pursuing a low vertical center of gravity solution with little deck camber and a pronounced cabin. We were working on water management there but we have done a lot of work now on how to better manage it and we think that by removing the cabin the water that comes along the deck doesn’t get broken up and thrown and create a lot of debilitating spray for the team.

VSail.info: You previously mentioned that your work on Azzam was based on building upon the strengths of the Telefonica boat but also addressing her weaknesses. What were the major weaknesses of the Telefonica VO70 in 2008?
Patrick Shaughnessy: As a total platform we had a weakness in high speed running and that was coming from a number of areas. Some of them were hull-shape related, some of them was how the hull was trimmed, some of them were sail design and some of them were due to the way the team trained based solely here in Alicante. A number of these issues improved over the course of the Telefonica campaign, so when you start over you try to address each individual component in a more careful way. A lot of the work this time was spent on hull geometry.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing leading the fleet in the first in-port race of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

VSail.info: Another new factor in this edition of the race is, unfortunately, piracy in Africa. The boats will sail to some harbor in the Indian Ocean and then shipped to another port in the Arabian peninsula from where they will sail to Abu Dhabi. Did you know that when you designed Azzam? Is it a factor that needs to be taken into consideration?
Patrick Shaughnessy: Our race modelling at that stage looked at the entire leg so we went back and re-analyzed and shortened the leg to what we thought it would be sailed. It doesn’t substantially change the results and, of course, there is nothing we can do about at this stage.

VSail.info: Of course, it’s totally beyond everybody’s control but had you known it at that stage would you have done something radically different?
Patrick Shaughnessy: I don’t think it would have been radically different, it’s just removing a chunk of miles from the entire race and it doesn’t have a drastic effect on design choices.

VSail.info: Is there a particular leg that in your opinion could be more difficult or more demanding than the rest?
Patrick Shaughnessy: I think that the legs that will be difficult for the teams are the high-speed running legs because they just won’t have the sails. If a sail is damaged and you’re low in your inventory or if you make a sail choice where you don’t have the real running sails it will be a very difficult leg. They show up a little bit more than they really are because even if the points are the points, in the heavy-weather running legs the disparity on time is enormous and that could have a big psychological effect, bigger than what the points might indicate.

VSail.info: If we switch our attention to the rest of the fleet here in Alicante, Camper is the only one to have her keel in front of the mast. What is your take on that?
Patrick Shaughnessy: They have obviously gone for a longitudinal center of buoyancy that is further forward than the other boats. It’s a choice and I think the fullness in their bow isn’t as noticeable at the stem itself but obviously they have more total volume forward of the mast than some of the other boats. It’s a difficult choice to make that.

VSail.info: Is it something you looked into during the design process?
Patrick Shaughnessy: We considered several relationships between keel and mast and I think we’re happy with the longitudinal center of buoyancy we ended up with. I don’t think we would have necessarily made the same choice and I consider them brave to go in that direction. We’ll see how it works out.

VSail.info: Conventional wisdom, or at least that’s what I’ve been told a few times here in Alicante, wants that the winner of the first leg is, usually, the winner of the overall race. Do you also believe it?
Patrick Shaughnessy: It’s clear in the statistics that this is normally true, so it’s difficult to argue with. I think that what really happened traditionally was that there was a very strong team that always did well in the first leg because they were better prepared and organized for that. It doesn’t mean that the conditions in the first leg necessarily indicate a winner, it’s that a very strong team can prevail there and then continue winning. In this race you have five teams, arguably of very similar strength without any clearly dominant team and this will be less likely to be true. However, if Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing wins the first leg, I hope this tradition holds true.

VSail.info: Last but not least have you set a goal below which the result will be unacceptable? Of course every team wants to win but will you consider it a failure if you finish, let’s say, third?
Patrick Shaughnessy: Our sponsor has, obviously, goals, our sailors have goals and as a design team we have our goals. Certainly, as a design group our goal is, clearly, to re-establish dominance in the race. This is the kind of work we like doing, we believe we are good at it and well suited. We had some tough luck in the past races and some of that was stuff we look at ourselves and we can change and correct while some of it was something beyond our control. Clearly, as a design group, victory is our goal.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing leading the fleet in the first in-port race of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

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Transat Jacques Vabre will start Wednesday (Nov 2) at 1500hrs CET

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Transat Jacques Vabre] After detailed weather analysys and consultation Jean Maurel, the race director, has announced that the start of the tenth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre will be Wednesday, November 2 at 1500hrs CET/Local Le Havre.

On Wednesday, the worst of the violent low pressure which forced the organization of the Transat Jacques Vabre to postpone the start of the double handed race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica will be spent. Even so the first hours of the race, from Le Havre out of the Channel will still be quite tough with the wind south-southwest 15-20 knots strengthening with gusts in big squalls and a heavy swell after the front. After the frontal passage associated with depression, the wind will switch to the northwest.The boats will then be able to reach faster, driven by a wind from the west-northwest. The early stages of the race are likely to be fast.

Time-line Wednesday (all CET/Local)

1130hrs: Weather Briefing for skippers
1300hrs : boats dock out from the Paul Vatine Basin
1500hrs: start of the 10th Transat Jacques Vabre
After they cross the start line, the 35 competitors will turn at the General Metzinger buoy, 4 miles north-west of the line, leaving it to
port. Then head for Costa Rica.

The course

For monohulls (IMOCA and Class 40): 4730 miles
leaving Dominican Republic to starboard and arrived in Puerto Limon

For Multi50: 5323 miles
Saint Barts to port and Barbados to starboard finish in Puerto Limon

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Team Extreme – The First Club to take part in the Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore

Posted on 31 October 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: K-Challenge] Supported by Stephane Kandler, SOITEC and the first club™ (thefirstclub.com), a new team called “Team Extreme - the first club™” will take part in the upcoming Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore from 9th 11th December, together with the fleet of the Extreme 40 boats – all of which are competing in this fast-paced, and spectacular circuit.

Team Extreme - the first club™, leaders in their respective fields:

Managed by Bruno Dubois, with whom Stephane Kandler took part in the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007, Team Extreme – the first club™ gathers some highly experienced French sailors, who are well known for their expertise in multihull sailing. The team comprises of Jean-Christophe Mourniac, Franck Citeau, Christophe André, and a newcomer to Extreme 40 (but with an impressive prize list in other sailing specialities), Sebastien Col.

the first club™ is the first global solutions provider to present a new, better, and more effective way to offer rewards and build loyalty by delivering relevant, digital content that is instantly gratifying to today’s consumers.  the first club™ digital solutions can enhance loyalty, promotions, incentives and any type of rewards programs by offering the latest in premium content that will engage consumers worldwide, with attainable low-level rewards. Consumers can redeem rewards instantly to access the very latest in digital content in 14 languages, including millions of music tracks, mobile phone apps, games, eBooks, audio books, and soon digital magazines, movies and TV shows to engage with their favourite brands. the first club™ solutions are easily integrated into existing loyalty and reward programs, are cost-efficient and scalable to encourage low level reward redemption, increase customer loyalty and create additional revenues for brands.

Stephane Kandler, K-Challenge’s CEO: “We took the chance that Team Extreme and Mark Turner in particular offered us, and I wish to take the opportunity to thank him again for that. This will make it possible for us to test a new platform with that team. I’m very glad to help this crew to step into this catamaran top-level circuit, the goal being to have a long-term view and to continue for the 2012 season and beyond, as it is a real opportunity for the future. Sailing multihull is really becoming a “must-manage” regatta format. We have then decided to follow this logic, as it is important to focus on all the high level sailing formats, which is what we’ve been doing since 20 years, in the same way that we carried on our collaboration with a multi purpose sailor as Sebastien Col, whom we’ve been working with for a while.”

As a result, Bruno Dubois, Managing Director of North Sails France and a top sailor himself, (being in offshore or in-shore sailing, and who has also sailed a lot in Extreme 40), has gathered around Sebastien Col a team of “specialists”.

Bruno Dubois, Sports Director: “I’m quite happy to be on the other side this time. That is to say being Sports Director vs. Sailor. I sailed half of the season with Team Extreme, so I know all the circuit’s little details well. The team we selected is used to sail together in D35, in match racing and in Extreme 40 for some of them. The connections will need to be quick as our training time will be quite short.

My goal for Singapore is to use this opportunity to create a multihull dynamics with Stephane Kandler, who I know well as it’s been almost 15 years that I’m regularly part of the K-Challenge projects. The Extreme Sailing Series offer an incredible sailing platform, which is not only about racing, but also about close combat. And I think it is the kind of intense feelings that the public and the sponsors are looking for these days.”

Another partner will also be supporting the team: Soitec – a world leader in generating and manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials, a company at the frontier of the most exciting energy and electronic challenges.

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Iberdrola In-Port Race Alicante Full Replay

Posted on 30 October 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Iberdrola In-Port Race Alicante Full Replay

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Iberdrola In-Port Race Showdown – Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12

Posted on 30 October 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Iberdrola In-Port Race Showdown – Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12

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Transat Jacques Vabre race start postponed

Posted on 30 October 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Transat Jacques Vabre] After a meeting between skippers and Race Direction of the Transat Jacques Vabre this morning the start of the biennial race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica, race director Jean Maurel announced the decision to postpone the start.

A prologue race will be staged with a start at 1302hrs.

The decision was taken because of the approach of a very significant low pressure system due to generate storm force winds for the 35 teams of two skippers which were due to set off today, Sunday, at 1302hrs.
CET.

Although the weather forecast promises fair winds for the first 24 hours conditions deteriorate from Tuesday.

The arrival of the large very deep depression generates stormy conditions for 48 hours: sustained winds of 45 knots, gusting to 55-60 knots in heavy seas associated with a (8 to 10 m) behind the cold front.

“It’s a decision taken as a sailor,” said race director Jean Maurel, “which takes into account the participation of all three classes. We wanted to maintain the overall integrity of the whole fleet ”

The start is postponed to a date to be announced later depending on the evolution of this depression. But it will not be set before Wednesday.

The prologue exhibition race will be staged instead, following a 13 miles coastal course. The race organisers and skippers have shown a determination to provide a spectacle for the tens of thousands of visitors and spectators who are in the port for the race start.

The programmed dock-out schedule is maintained, with first IMOCA Open 60’s and Class 40’s due to cast off and leave the Paul Vatine basin at 1030hrs, the start of a parade through the Abeilles quays and along past the parking area of the Musée André Malraux before heading on to the race area.

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Abu Dhabi massacres competition in the Alicante In-Port race

Posted on 29 October 2011 by Valencia Sailing

If I was asked to sum up in one sentence the opening In-Port race of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, it would be “Abu Dhabi shines, Puma holds on while Camper screws up”.

Conditions during Saturday’s Iberdrola In-Port race had nothing to do with what was forecast on Friday night. The cold front covering the entire eastern coast of Spain brought lots of rain and fresh breeze overnight and early in the morning but by the time the starting gun was fired, the breeze had dramatically dropped to 8-10 knots and then completely disappeared at the last mark.

However, Abu Dhabi’s crushing victory (14 minutes over Puma) was certainly not the result of pure luck or the roll of a dice. The race committee had set up a course with the starting line right off the breakwater and two reaching legs at right angles. Ian Walker steered the boat at the lead of the fleet right from the onset. Abu Dhabi had a great start, on full pace in the middle of the line and stayed ahead.

With the breeze dropping even more in the approach to the first mark, putting the boat in the right place at the right time was becoming more important and tactical errors would bear a great cost. Abu Dhabi rounded the first mark in first place, closely followed by Camper and Puma.

Although that order wasn’t altered in the second leg back to the committee boat, Abu Dhabi stretched their advantage and were able to round the second mark with a comfortable lead, again followed by Camper and Puma. That’s where the Emirates Team New Zealand crew onboard the Camper boat screwed up, in a horrible exhibition of poor crew work. While changing their headsail from spinnaker to a Code 0, the spinnaker fell on the water and it took a frantic minute to recover it. The kiwi-aussies dropped to last placed, overtaken even by Team Sanya and Telefonica.

Ken Read on Puma, obviously, took advantage of the golden opportunity and placed the American boat in second place. The third leg would then turn into a frustrating, slow-motion fight to the last mark, as the breeze dropped to practically nothing. Abu Dhabi stayed ahead, rounded the last mark more than 4 minutes ahead of the fleet and found the breeze that would propel them to a well-deserved victory. The first ever Arab entry in the Volvo Ocean Race crossed the finish line 14 minutes (!!!) ahead of Puma.

Camper did manage to make up for the error and sneaked in to third place. The worst performance was probably Telefonica’s. The Spanish had managed to crawl to fourth in the excruciatingly light breeze at the last mark but threw away their slot when a few dozen meters before the finish they blatantly crossed ahead of Sanya, penalized themselves and finished dead last.

Start of the In-Port race. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Groupama, Camper and Abu Dhabi take the early lead in the first leg. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Abu Dhabi rounds the firt mark in the lead. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Camper rounds the first mark in second place. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Groupama is a distant fourth in the first mark. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Abu Dhabi is in the lead in the second leg but not by much. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Abu Dhabi rounds the second mark in first place. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Team Sanya overtakes Telefonica in the second leg and round the second mark in fifth place. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

This is what I call a screwup. Camper drop their spinnaker in the water and give up their second place in the race. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Abu Dhabi is in the lead during the third leg of the race. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Final mark rounding for Abu Dhabi. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

You have to see it to believe it! Abu Dhabi is sailing towards victory while the rest of the fleet is about to round the final mark half a mile behind. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Abu Dhabi blazes to victory in the final leg. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Camper, Telefonica and Groupama fight for third place. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Camper will finally take third place. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Adding insult to injury, Telefonica are penalized for a port-starboard incident with Team Sanya a few meters from the finish line. Alicante, 29 October 2011. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

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Volvo Ocean Race set fair for 12th edition in 2014-15

Posted on 29 October 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] The 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will take place in 2014-15 after Volvo Car Corporation and Volvo Group today reaffirmed their long-term commitment to the world’s premier offshore sailing event.

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad announced the broad timetable just as the fleet prepared for the opening in-port race in the 2011-12 edition, starting in Alicante, Spain.

Flanked by Volvo Car Corporation CEO Stefan Jacoby and Volvo Group CEO Olof Persson, Frostad said the next race would begin in the autumn of 2014 in Alicante, where the race has been based since 2010.

“Volvo Cars and Volvo Group have pledged their long-term support for the event,” said Frostad, a four-time veteran of the race and CEO since 2008. “They trust us and we trust them.

“At a time when many sports events are struggling to survive in one of the toughest economic climates in living memory, the future of the Volvo Ocean Race is looking very healthy.

“A large part of the secret of our success is that the event is owned by Volvo Cars and Volvo Group and forms a central part in both companies’ marketing strategy.”

Persson said the race showcased important values for the two companies.

“There are many reasons for being the owner of the Volvo Ocean Race,” Persson said. “The adventure, technology, teamwork and the constant pursuit of perfection – it all reflects the work we do within Volvo Group and Volvo Cars.

“Equally important is the opportunity to meet customers at the different stopovers. Here we have the time to really sit down and discuss their business and future needs.”
Volvo Cars President and CEO Jacoby said: “Volvo Ocean Race is an important tool in our marketing strategy, aiming to build our brand attraction and consideration to buy.

“The global reach of the Volvo Ocean Race makes it a fantastic commercial platform to build close customer relations. The race gives us extremely good return on investment in terms of media exposure, increased brand awareness and incremental sales.”

Six teams are contesting the 2011-12 race, which is widely expected to be the closest in its 38-year history.

Frostad’s announcement came after the Volvo Ocean Race revealed that a record 66 broadcasters around the world have so far signed up to follow the 11th edition, reaching 550 million households.

“Right now, I’m concentrating on 2011-12 which I believe will be the most thrilling we’ve ever had,” Frostad said. “I’m just excited that this race just keeps getting better and better in every aspect.

“We intend to bring the drama of a race which stretches its competitors to breaking point day in, day out to a far bigger audience than ever before. We believe we will win new converts to this great sport of ours with our coverage.”

The first offshore leg of the 2011-12 race begins on November 5, when the fleet sets off for Cape Town in South Africa. The six teams will visit Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Miami (United States), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France) before finishing in Galway (Ireland) in July 2012.

The six teams contesting the race are: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, Groupama sailing team, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, Team Sanya and Team Telefónica.

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