Volvo Ocean Race

Stormy weather delays Volvo

2012-02-19 13:36
Volvo Ocean Race (File)

Sanya, China - Volvo Ocean Race organisers have introduced an unprecedented delay to the start of an offshore leg after deciding high waves and fierce winds would present an unacceptable risk to the fleet.

Race CEO Knut Frostad informed the teams late Saturday that they would bring the boats back after a short race outside the bay and hold them for 12-16 hours while a dangerous weather system clears.

They will then be able to take on the 5 220 nautical mile fourth leg to Auckland in New Zealand.

"All the weather data we have suggests that the conditions will effectively be unassailable and the risks too great," said Frostad.

"It was a gut-wrenching decision to delay a leg start for the first time in the history of our race but in this instance we felt we had no choice."

Weather forecasters expected cyclone-strength winds of up to 50-knots and 10-metre (33-foot) waves to pummel the region.

Five of the six teams backed the decision to wait, with second-placed Camper/Team New Zealand the lone dissenting voice.

"It should be down to the skippers and navigators to make their own decisions on whether it is safe to go or not," said the team's Chris Nicholson. "The teams who want to stay have their own agendas here."

Caution from the teams and organisers is understandable given that three boats were forced to retire from leg one of this edition and only just managed to recover in time for the next leg starting in Cape Town.

The last time the fleet sailed through a similar area in the South China Sea in 2008-09 several boats suffered serious structural damage that threatened their continued participation in the race.

The Volvo Ocean race 2011-12 finishes in Galway, Ireland in July.

Read more on:    volvo ocean race


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Following the conclusion of the various end of year tours to Europe, who is your favourite for the 2019 Rugby World Cup title?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.