Friday, October 24, 2008

Volvo Around the World Race

The Volvo Ocean Race is on right now. For those of us cruisers who get excited at hitting 7 knots or making a 50+ mile day this brand of sailing is certainly off of our charts. For example, the record for distance in a 24 hour time period in this race is 563 nautical miles! That's average 23 knots! The boats themselves are fascinating. They are identical designs with canting keels. These are swung up to 40 degrees to windward while beating.

The boats are not built for comfort. No fresh food. One change of clothes. Looks like a pretty wet ride too. Some of the legs of the race are over 30 days. Stinky.

They are on the first leg of the trip now from Spain to Cape Town with about, 3500 miles left to do. Take a look at this race tracker and you'll see that they sail all the way to South America before tacking to South Africa. Crazy. The entire Volvo Ocean Race website is pretty good. Lots of pictures, videos, stories, and frequent updates. There is supposed to be a 3D tour of the boats but it keeps jamming for me when I try it.

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