Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

Solo Ocean Race Dramas - Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 26 Oct 2011


For distance-racing fans, the annual Rolex Middle Sea is always a favorite. Race veterans often describe the course as the most beautiful of any ocean challenge, and navigators and tacticians are often quick to point out the race’s fickle nature. This year was no exception, with a strong line-up and plenty of tactical challenges to keep the 'brain trusts' satisfied. Igor Simcic’s Esimit Europa 2 nabbed line honors with an elapsed time of 61 hours, 24 minutes and 35 seconds, a feat that he also pulled off in 2010. 'We kept some land breeze longer and we stretched there,' said Esimit Europa 2’s navigator, Juan Vila. 'Everyone on the boat did a good job of keeping the boat going and we probably managed to keep going with the little bit of wind that was going north. To keep the boat moving in these light airs, we knew it would be tricky - as the Rolex Middle Sea Race is - especially the first night. We thought it would be a deciding point of the race, getting by the eastern coast of Sicily and through Messina. From Stromboli it was light, but we managed to find some clouds, so we were jumping from cloud to cloud.'

Meanwhile, in the Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6.50, two singlehanded Classe Mini skippers have had to abandon their boats in recent days. First, Mathieu Claveau (405) hit an unidentified object, causing massive damage to his boat. In a coordinated effort between a cargo vessel and one of the race’s escort boats, Claveau was safely plucked from his liferaft and brought aboard the escort boat, where he’ll remain until the fleet arrives in Brazil. 'I had 10 knots of wind when it happened. I was asleep and I was awakened by a great shock,' said Claveau. 'I saw the water gushing under my kitchen board. I went down, I plunged in my hand and I felt the wood of the hull that had exploded. I think that I hit a metal object, which destroyed my hull. The boat was filled with water in an hour. I tried to bail out but I quickly realized that this was not possible and that it was completely useless. I was surprised that everyone was there so quickly. I had everything prepared to stay one or two days without help. All is fine... '


Then, Australian Scott Cavanough (79) was forced to abandon after sustaining a collision with a super tanker that resulted in 'substantial' damage to 79’s bow. According to reports, race officials dispatched an escort boat to Cavanough’s aide, but help was many hours away. American sailor Emma Creighton (574 Pocket Rocket selflessly answered the law of the sea and man, standing by Cavanough overnight until the cavalry arrived the next morning before re-starting her own race. Get the full story inside, and stand by for more details, as they become known.

And in another tale of an offshore drubbing, be sure to check in with the Global Ocean Race, where the main fleet of four boats has been slammed with serious conditions. 'The only way to describe the sea is the French word ‘méchante’,' said Hugo Ramon (Cessna Citation). 'It’s more expressive than ‘pretty bad’ or ‘really messy’ as the current sea state is malevolent, vicious and wicked, and is giving us hell. The boat is flying from the top of waves, throwing us around the boat in every direction and landing with such an impact that it leaves the rigging shaking and vibrating.' Get the full scoop inside.

Also inside, check out the latest inductees into the National Sailing Hall of Fame, the newest Cup media and Paul Larsen’s update on his speed-sailing ventures.

And finally, be sure to check out Sail-World.com’s massive media plans for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race and the 2012 Olympics—you will not be disappointed.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

Lancer Not EqualBeneteau SAIL Oceanis 35.1 37.1 41.1 660x82 1Pantaenius - Fixed Value

Related Articles

You can almost see it
The windward/leeward is great fun and a real test of your skills. True, it might be hard for the uninitiated to follow The windward/leeward is great fun and a real test of your skills. True, it might be hard for the uninitiated to follow, but then sailing is not the world’s largest spectator sport by any means. Badminton does rate higher, after all. Still, when you’re doing it, you not really worried about little racquets and small, caged up, feathered thingamabobs.
Posted on 24 Apr
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the most paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the most paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish...
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience
This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. This all stems from the learnings in the widely read, ‘Debbie says there are 7 Ps and 1 C with insurance’. As time unfolds some more, we learn that indeed there are a lot of reasons you need to apply patience with both your dealings with your insurance company, and also all the many trades that are working feverishly to get all the jobs done.
Posted on 19 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
Almost got sad…
Then realised that in fact racing was not over. It was just a change in focus, that’s all. Then realised that in fact racing was not over. It was just a change in focus, that’s all. Black Jack stormed away to grab Line Honours in the Brisbane to Gladstone, and thanks also to Nigel Statham for providing us with more info. Of course it could be the 70’ rocketship’s last outing under that name, with the 40 and now 100 to be Peter Harburg’s nautical passions.
Posted on 18 Apr
Debbie says there are 7Ps and 1C with Insurance
Debbie says there are 7Ps and 1C with Insurance If you have been on the planet or around boats long enough, you’ll know all about the 7Ps. The one ‘C’ mentioned here refers to consequence, and in the legalese that surrounds insurance, it gets applied distinctly to consequential damage. We’ll come back to all of that in a while, but for now, our mission is to look at the consequences of actions prior to TC Debbie making landfall.
Posted on 5 Apr
It’s all moving on…
The starting point was seeing that Phaedo3 had taken Line Honours in the Newport Harbour YC Cabo Race. The starting point was seeing that Phaedo3 had taken Line Honours in the Newport Harbour YC Cabo Race. I am still thinking about Miles Seddon’s great material about what is like on board from So What’s It Really like? True, he was not there for this run down the West coast of the North American landmass, but it is a little akin to his ‘spray back vortex’, the vacuum caused by the incredible feats
Posted on 20 Mar
MYC Helly Hansen Women's Challenge 2017 - Crosbie Lorimer Images
In what is fast becoming a tradition, the Manly Yacht Club Helly Hansen Women's Challenge keelboat races started off In what is fast becoming a tradition, the Manly Yacht Club Helly Hansen Women's Challenge keelboat races started off in wet weather today (Sunday), before clearing to a fine afternoon. The fleet of 23 yachts enjoyed moderate 15-18 knot east nor'easterlies for their harbour course. Little Nico, skippered by Sonja Walters, with Katie Spithill at the helm, relished the downwind running
Posted on 19 Mar