ECCS announced—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

The Newport Bermuda Race is one of the Offshore events in the 2012 ORR East Coast Championship Series.
Talbot Wilson - Copyright
The Offshore Racing Rule Owners Association’s (ORROA) newly announced East Coast Championship Series (ECCS) promises to be an interesting affair for right coast-based big-boat sailors. The ECCS takes each entrant’s results from the Block Island Race, the New York Yacht Club’s 158th Annual Regatta, the Newport Bermuda Race, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta and the Stamford Vineyard Race in order to determine the overall victor using the Offshore Rating Rule (ORR). 'After seeing the success of the Great Lakes Championship Series,' states ORA spokesman, John Winder, 'we wanted to develop something for sailors on the East Coast that will serve the dual purpose of increasing regatta participation and giving racers of all types an objective rule to race under.' Get the full details inside, and stay tuned for more about the ECCS, as it unfurls.

A wet sunset, onboard Groupama 4 during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12

Offshore, the six-strong fleet of Volvo Open 70s have been making fine progress in Leg Seven of the fully-crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). The leg, which takes the fleet from Miami, Florida to Lisbon, Portugal, started with quick sailing conditions that registered fast speeds as each team negotiated Tropical Storm Alberto before transitioning to lighter airs and an opportunity for the sailors to eat and sleep before the new low comes barreling through. At the time of this writing, Telefonica was leading the hunt, followed by Groupama 4 and Puma Ocean Racing’s Mar Mostro.

Groupama 4 during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12

'We are quietly slipping along,' reported Groupama 4 skipper Franck Cammas. 'However, the weather is very complicated up ahead. It is hard to know which option we’re going to take as there are a lot of pitfalls in front.' Get the full VOR multi-media blast inside, and stay tuned for updates from the fleet as they scorch across 'The Pond'.


Meanwhile, in America’s Cup circles, the official entry deadline has been extended by two months in an effort to give teams more time to secure sponsorship and hopefully to entice more teams than the current line-up of three Challengers and one Defender. According to reports, an impetus behind this move is the fact that Loick Peyron and his brother Bruno—both legendary French sailors—are trying to put together a last-minute team.

'Energy Team, along with some of the other teams, requested to move the entry deadline by two months to August 1st,' reported Bruno in an interview. 'Fortunately, the other challengers and the Defender agreed and voted through a Protocol change, so we now have a little bit more time to secure everything we need for our challenge.' Get the full story, inside.

And finally, be sure to check out the reports from the Rolex Volcano Race, the storm-fraught Global Ocean Race, and the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,
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