Please select your home edition
Edition
Mariners Museum 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,

Southern Spars - 100Protector - 660 x 82Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

A Q&A with Don Adams about Sail Canada’s plan to win Olympic medals
I caught up with Sail Canada CEO Don Adams to hear about Team Canada’s High Performance Plan for winning Olympic medals. Sail Canada, Canada’s national sailing authority, is implementing a new High Performance Plan with the aim of improving on their recent Olympic sailing performances. I caught up with Don Adams, CEO of Sail Canada, to learn more about this ambition plan for helping Canadian sailors win Olympic medals while also helping to inspire younger generations to pursue the Olympic-sailing dream.
Posted on 8 May
America's Cup - Southern Spars AC50 build for Emirates Team NZ + Video
The Peter Blake skippered Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map 27 years after Steinlager 2 put Southern Spars on the map with her unequalled clean sweep of the 1989/90 Whitbread Round the World Race, Southern Spars were called on to build Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup Challenger. Here's a look behind the scenes at the composite engineering process Southern Spars employ on projects ranging from Volvo OR spars, to Olympic bike wheels to an AC50
Posted on 1 May
She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is 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
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
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar
So what’s it really like?
For ages now, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and 24-hour runs For ages now, well it seems like that anyway, these editorials have talked about multihull this, record that, outrageous boat speed and incredible 24-hour runs. In their own very unique way they totally represent the technical avant-garde, and thank God for that. Where would we be without their impressive shapes, wonderful rigs, and now of course, foiling magic.
Posted on 6 Mar
JJ Giltinan 18ft - Kiwi Champion the subject of two protests in Sydney
Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings on Friday Overall series leader Yamaha will have her position put on the line in a series of protest hearings Friday morning in Sydney. She faces two claims - both from Appliancesonline (David Witt). The first is an attempt to re-open the Hearing held on Wednesday morning after Yamaha was suffered damage in Race 3 as a result of a collision with a give way yacht, and Yamaha received redress of average
Posted on 3 Mar