Oct 19, 2008, 8:16 AM
IT COULD ALL GO IN THE DUMPSTER
VOR Leg 1: Why is the scoring gate south of the equator?
Love the Volvo Ocean Race, but I am a bit confused. Let me see if I have this right. You sail for a week, making all kinds of tactical moves down the African continent. Working the wind shifts. Weaving around the Canary Islands. Offwind angles at 20 knots, countless jibes, each requiring the entire crew to either sail the boat, or move all the gear to the new windward side. Lots of decisions made, and some get it right, and some not so right.
But hold it… now you are telling me that the leaders have to go through the doldrums before they get to the scoring gate? The doldrums, that absolutely random low-pressure area around the equator where the winds are as predictable as my economic future. I understand that you have to go through this aquatic Las Vegas to get to Cape Town, but how about throwing the boys a bone beforehand. Why is the scoring gate SOUTH of the equator?
The site of the gate is at Fernando de Noronha, off the coast of Brazil. There is some logic to pulling the fleet across the Atlantic. Better winds, better sailing, okay, I get that, but why make it a scoring gate? Why not just a mark of the course? Why not pick a point in space… okay the ocean… before the doldrums, and give out some love there, where it might actually reward the teams that were more smart than lucky?
I don’t get it, but somebody must. Please reply with the reasons.
- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt