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Southern Spars - North Technology

Volvo fleet in heavy weather

by Rob Kothe & the Sail-World.com on 25 May 2012
Wade Morgan battles his way forward to retrieve a furling unit, onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. (Credit: Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race) Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.volvooceanrace.org
For crews racing in the fully crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), the recent weather forecasts have brought about some puzzled expressions, as the much-anticipated cold front that the fleet was hoping to catch barreled through early, confusing what was otherwise forecasted to be a quick passage across The Pond.

As a result, the fleet is pressing north, careful to stay within the VOR-imposed ice gates while also trying to find faster conditions. 'We all missed the train and we’re waiting for the next one, which is expected to come in from the northwest and that’s [why] we are climbing up,' reported Telefonica’s Xabi Fernandez.

The view from the navigator’s chair is anything but certain right now. 'The boats behind have a bit more breeze right now, so they’ll be notching up some good data in the next few hours,' said Andrew Cape, Telefónica’s navigator. 'The situation we have coming up is quite thorny indeed. We’re going to hit a high-pressure system tomorrow and then we will get the next squall, where we hope we’ll get away again. It will be interesting.' Get the full VOR multi-media lowdown, in this issue.

Meanwhile, kiteboarding’s inclusion in the 2016 Olympics is another hot topic this week, with different opinions being voiced from around the world.



In this issue you’ll find three opinion pieces, the first written by Dean Brenner, US Sailing Board Member and Chairman of the Olympic Sailing Committee, the other two by Nevin Sayre, a member of US Sailing and a kiteboarder who has earned a few stitches (read: paid hospital bills) along the way, and ace Kiwi windsurfer-cum-kiter, Bruce Kendall.

Some pretty robust comments. We will have some Sail-World exclusive interviews on this subject over the weekend.

And on a very sombre note, US Sailing has released their preliminary findings from their investigation of the 2012 Crewed Farallones Race distaster, where five crewmembers were killed when the Sydney 38, Low Speed Chase went aground. Some of the proposed changes in race management include measures which to Australian offshore sailors seem quite basic. Interesting times.

On the local scene - crowds were up by more than a thousand visitors on the first day of Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show but rain on day 2. Highly targeted media promotion of the event has certainly been a feature with the Channel 7 Morning Show OB'd from the event.



The sailing exhibitors and certainly upbeat with Brent Vaughan from Australian multihull builder Seawind commenting this afternoon ‘Yesterday was a good day; we sold our first 950 before lunch.

The upward multihull trends continue, we’ve obviously made a big step forward with our containerised shipability. It’s slowed down with the steady rain this afternoon but we are looking forward to two days of great weather ahead.’

A significant boost in mobile phone bandwidth from Telstra has paid dividends for exhibitors and visitors alike.

Our MarineBusiness-World team is busy reporting, filming interviews and capturing the scene. You will see much more content over the weekend.



A big weekend of news ahead, check in regularly to see what we have discovered.

T Clewring One DesignHood SailsEnsign 660

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