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Ο Bouwe Bekking συνεχίζει (διαβάστε τα πρώτα του σχόλια) να μας δίνει πολλές ενδιαφέρουσες απόψεις για το Volvo Ocean Race και για τα σκάφη που θα συμμετάσχουν στον φετινό αγώνα.  
Photo Credit: Chris Cameron/CAMPER2011-12
Αυτή τη φορά απαντά στην ερώτηση, του ποιες είναι οι διαφορές ανάμεσα στα σκάφη που σχεδίασε το Juan K, (Groupama, Puma Racing, Team Telefonica) και στα άλλα τρία, το Team Sanya (είναι το παλιό Telefonica Blue που έχει σχεδιάσει ο Farr και είχε συμμετάσχει στον προηγούμενο αγώνα με κυβερνήτη τον Bouwe Bekking), το Camper with ETNZ που είναι ένα νέο σχέδιο του Marcelino Botin, και το Abu Dhabi, που είναι και αυτό ένα νέο σχέδιο του Farr.
Οπότε στη μάχη των σχεδιαστών έχουμε τρεις πολύ καλούς σχεδιαστικούς οίκους που θα δώσουν την μάχη τους, τον Juan Kouyoumdjian, τον Marcelino Botin και το Farr Design.
Αυτός που φαίνεται να έχει το προβάδισμα είναι ο Juan K και γιατί έχει τα περισσότερα σκάφη στο στόλο, αλλά και γιατί έχει σχεδιάσει τα σκάφη που έχουν κερδίσει τους δυο τελευταίους αγώνες, το Ericsson 4 και το ABN AMRO.
Στο επόμενο σχόλιο του ο
Bouwe Bekking θα ασχοληθεί με τα πανιά και τα πλήρωμα της κάθε ομάδας.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, training in Cascais, prior to the
start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12
(Credit: Ainhoa Sanchez/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing)
B.B. The biggest difference is that there actually one boat from the last race, my “old” boat, Telefonica Blue, designed by Farr and now sailing under the Chinese flag named Sanya.
Let me start with this boat as I know that one very well. First of all I think it was a smart choice, as this design has proven to be a good overall performer, really fast in light air and superb in the inshore races.
Remember this boat won the inshore trophy in the last race and was on the podium on each single in-port race. Maybe the boat will not win the overall race, but besides good results in the inshore races as well can win several legs, meaning a lot of publicity for the sponsors.
As well I think the choice was good, as this boat is different than the other 3 Juan K design. Team Sanya could have chosen Ericsson 3 or 4, but most likely the newer design will outperform the previous one. 

Groupama Sailing Team finish the Alicante qualifying race
Photo Credit: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race
In the last race the boat improved dramatically downwind in big breeze, after new rudders and shifting interior weight aft. Since then a new bulp, rudders and so-called dagggerboards have been fitted. As well having an advantage of 200 kg heavier bulp compare to all the newer designs, they might be actually in for a surprise.
We were the first boat with one big open cockpit, which made stacking the sails so much easier and as well the center of gravity became lower. In this edition this boat will have small theoretical disadvantage, as the crews are not allowed to stack their food and spare anymore behind the water tight bulkhead, Sanya will not be able to get as much weight aft as the newer designs as they have less space downstairs.

Photo Credit: Chris Cameron/CAMPER2011-12
Camper, designed by Marcelino Botin. Marcelino has gone for a very smooth hull line and and a more powerfull aft section than the Juan K designs.
It looks that the boat is not so much stern down, (transom immersion) compare to the others, so less dragging in the lighter air. It will be interesting to see if they can hang on in the big breeze running downwind.
Would be really interesting to have a peek inside as I expect a complete different lay out. The boat has been build in record time and knowing the builders not an extra gram has been put on this boat. The cockpit layout is very similar as Telefonica and Puma.

Photo Credit: Ainhoa Sanchez/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Abu Dhabi, a Farr design. Interesting to see is that this design has pushed up their freeboards up as well , like Telefonica, but even more extreme.
Looks like all the de-briefs during the previous race, have did got stuck in the head of the Telefonica sailors and Farr design both going for the high forward freeboard, where Farr have gone even for an overall higher freeboard.
The cockpit layout is the same as Telefonica Blue, I think a good choice, especially since the sails will be heavier than in the last race. Since they have gained freeboard, there is more space downstairs and watertight bulkheads should have moved relativly compare to Sanya. 

photo credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race
This again to optimize the moving of spares and food in lighter and heavier conditions. Their bowsection looks a step away from what Farr’s research has said before, it is looking very full, hopefully they can get through the powerboats waves during the inshore races. The stern section looks like to be in between the Juna K boats and Camper.
The rigs on these boats.
Camper has gone for a Southern rig, obvious since TNZL has been working for ever with them and as well it was build in their home town. They have adopted as well the Telefonica jumperless configuration.
Very interesting is that Abu Dhabi and Sanya have gone for a complete new rig manufacturer.
Future Fibres was known for their rigging, but they have invested heavily for producing tubes and new carbon rigging. Their head designer has a very good track record, so I think the rig will be good. 

Photo Credit: Maria Muina
The new carbon rigging has way smaller diameter than the other have in the race, so for sure windage is less. They have gone as well for a jumperless rig.


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