Radio silence to fox competitors

Eerily reminiscent of Donald Crowhurst’s strange voyage in which he kept a deliberate radio silence to fox his competitors during the Golden Globe round-the-world -race, are the tactics now being used by the Volvo Ocean Race.

The Volvo organisers have launched StealthPlay, a cloak and dagger initiative in which crews will have one opportunity on each of the longer legs to activate
the play and have their location hidden from position reports and the public for
12 hours.

It is designed to add an intriguing tactical dimension to the race, whereby a
team might opt to make a tactical break from the fleet without the rest of
competitors knowing what they are doing and where they are on the race track.
Otherwise, position reporting times will be every three hours throughout the
duration of each offshore leg of the race, with reports circulated among the
fleet as well as being published on the event website.

Commented Green Dragon’s Damian Foxall, “It can be used as a bluff or to hide
what you are doing. It could be useful when you are close to a finish. I think
offshore the players will be fairly clear as to what everyone is doing, maybe
with a couple of opportunities where there are several options to follow, but
when you have several good options it could be a good time to turn off the

When a boat in play passes a scoring gate – there are seven gates around the
course – her rounding time and points scored will be made public. Her position
will also be made public when the team is within 50 nautical miles of the
finish. Race Headquarters in the UK will continue to monitor each boat’s
progress every 15 minutes for safety reasons, but this information is never made
public. — Complete report: