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Its Wednesday, must be Magnetic Island

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 29 Aug 2012
Team Korea and Ben Ainslie Racing - America’s Cup World Series San Francisco 2012 August, Match Racing Qualifier ACEA - Photo Gilles Martin-Raget © http://photo.americascup.com/
Its been a hectic month with Olympics, Airlie Beach Race Week, then Hamilton Island Race Week. Woke up this morning at Jupiters Casino in Townsville, looking out into the Coral Sea towards Magnetic Island. Now at Peppers Blue on Blue on the Island and the curlews are calling.

On Monday the wagon rolled on, after a foggy Hamilton Island, now there are towering cumulo-nimbus back over the ranges behind Townsville. There was a steady 10-14 knot seabreeze this afternoon


The weather forecast is all over the place for the sixth annual SeaLink Magnetic Island Race Week. Registration starts tomorrow morning and the event runs until Tuesday night next.



Different disciplines of sailboat racing have been nabbing headlines this week, including the America’s Cup World Series (AWCS), the Volvo Ocean Race and the London Paralympics 2012. For starters, the ACWS just concluded its first event of the 2012-2013 season on San Francisco Bay, showcasing the awesome sight of 11 boats from eight syndicates, flying hulls and trimming wingsails in both the fleet racing and match-racing sections of the event.

While many eyes were riveted on Oracle Racing’s talent-ripe boats—skippered by Russell Coutts and James Spithill—two other recent Olympic Gold Medalists also commanded attention, namely Team Korea’s Nathan Outteridge (49er class) and J.P. Morgan BAR’s Ben Ainslie (Finn class). While Outteridge has had some previous AC45 experience, before that A Cats, wingsail-powered catamarans were a new experience for Ainslie.

'I knew that sailing these boats would be really tough physically, especially for the crew,' reported Ainslie. 'I’ve been watching quite a few videos of the racing for a while now, knowing that I would be involved. What has struck me is the difference between what I thought was obvious and what it feels like on board. You look at people making mistakes and question why they are doing that, surely it’s obvious? But now I can tell you for sure, when you’re on the boat it’s not that easy. In fact it’s really hard. You can’t just tack on a shift or pop in a maneuver.'

And in the fully crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race, our MarineBusiness-World Editor Jeni Bone has put together an interesting piece that looks at the roles—and suitability—of female sailors in this oftentimes rough-and-tumble endurance race. Interestingly, SCA, a 'global hygiene and forest company', is putting together an all-women’s crew to take on the 2014/2015 edition of the VOR aboard one of the newly announced Farr-designed 65-foot One Designs, and, predictably, there have been arguments levied from both philosophical camps.

'It’s fantastic!' reported Adrienne Cahalan, a former VOR competitor and veteran of 20-some Sydney Hobart Races, as well as the fastest woman around the planet. 'It’s not gender-specific, the dream to race around the world. Offshore racing appeals to women the same as men for the excitement, the competitiveness, the skills needed. VOR is the peak of racing in our sport.'

Get the full scoop, including a look at Cahalan’s suggested picks for the core afterguard, inside.



And don’t miss ISAF’s preview of the upcoming London Paralympics 2012, which commence on August 29th and run through September 9th, in Weymouth, UK. We will of course be following the Australian teams progress in our ongoing Olympic newsletter series.

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