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Off to the Races

While plenty of American families spent their weekends patching together Halloween costumes and dealing with latent sugar hangovers, sailors and spectators alike had their hands full in France this weekend as 85 boats set off for the 2010 Route du Rhum.

This iconic transatlantic sprint, from Saint Malo, France to Pointe à Pitre (in the Lesser Antilles), has long served as a proving ground for the world's best solo sailors, and this year's fleet looks to be no exception. Here's a breakdown of the fleet: 24 multi-hulls and 60 monohulls, of which nine are giant multi-hulls, nine are IMOCA Open 60s (including several brand-new boats that are using this event as their shakedown stroll), 12 Multi 50's, 44 Class 40 monos, and 11 Rhum monos and multis.

La Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale 2010 start  Route du Rhum


The 85 skippers set out on their ocean adventure in 8-11 knots of SE'ly wind, flying gennakers and enjoying postcard-perfect sailing conditions. But, a look at the weather forecast reveals that sailors won't be reveling in the glories of dry, flat, fast sailing for long, as the fleet should encounter their first challenging weather as early as today.

Meanwhile, for the five sailors in the Velux 5 Oceans Race, a significant spread is developing on the leaderboard, with Brad Van Liew dominating his 'rivals' (with the maybe exception of Polish skipper Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski, Van Liew doesn't seem to be any). 'I am trucking along in the southeast trades off the coast of Brazil making some miles, but it is not comfortable sailing as it is almost upwind and very wet on deck,' reported Van Liew on his blog over the weekend. While the ride might not be particularly comfortable, Van Liew's lead over the fleet certainly must help him better enjoy his catnaps.

And finally, the 2010 Luderitz Speed Challenge wrapped up over the weekend, with Martha's Vineyard's own Robert Douglas emerging the winner.

Douglas not only won the event but also established a new outright speed record of 55.56 knots (not yet ratified by the WSSRC) and ended his long-standing battle with French rider Alex Caizergues, at least until next year. Hats off to Douglas for sailing so fast and for helping to redefine the limits of the word 'possible' when it comes to wind-driven adrenaline rushes and on-the-water excellence.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt,Sail-World USA Editor



America's Cup: Entries open today, announcement expected later
Richard Gladwell and AC Media,
Today is, or was 1 November 2010 - the first day entries for the 34th America's Cup will be accepted. The entry widow for the receipt of Challenges will remain open until 31st March 2011. Due to the fact that the defender Golden Gate Yacht Club is located in San Francisco, they will see the first day of November later than most - certainly after New Zealand and Europe from where the first c... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Derek Hatfield snared by Doldrums
Velux 5 Oceans,
Canadian ocean racer Derek Hatfield said this morning he is 'devastated' to still be in the Doldrums. At the end of last week the 57-year-old was just a few hundred miles behind race leader Brad Van Liew, sights firmly set on escaping the frustrating and unpredictable weather that characterises the Doldrums.... [more]
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IRC East Coast Championship - Kirby/Butterworth a victorious combo
Barby MacGowan,
IRC East Coast Championship - Kirby/Butterwoth a victorious combo - The 66.5' Judel-Vrolijk design was minus its owner Dan Meyers (Boston, Mass.) but loaded up with plenty of go-power, including the young Rome Kirby (son of Volvo Ocean Race veteran Jerry Kirby) who helmed while Brad Butterworth (of America's Cup fame) served as skipper.... [more]
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Match Racing in Monohulls or Multihulls – Have your say!!
The Sail-World Team,
Now Sail-World gives everyone in the sailing community, both match racers and other sailors the chance to have your say, or rather vote, as we conduct a survey to find out the 'People's Choice' - just a week to go, so enter now!! Complete the quick survey below and go into the draw to win one of six Musto fleeces... [more]
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18 Foot Skiffs - Yandoo wins Race 1 of Club Championship
Frank Quealey,
18 footers - Skill and experience won the day for John Winning, Andrew Hay and Dave Gibson when they sailed their skiff Yandoo to victory in Race 1 of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today... [more]
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US Sailing seeks nominations for 2010 Coach of the Year awards
Dana Paxton,
US Sailing's Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) seeks nominations from the public for the 2010 Coach of the Year Awards in Sailing. The awards are a part of the United States Olympic Committee's (USOC) Coach Recognition Program which highlights the accomplishments and contributions of coaches who train athletes at all levels of sailing.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Bugs on Spartan
Velux 5 Oceans,
Yesterday was a botanist's dream come true when without warning Spartan sailed through a cloud of insects of all different sorts and nationalities which descended on the decks in an instant and in their hundreds. Inch long black Katydids, a two or three inch cricket, leaf cutters, things that jump, things that scurry and things that fly they were all here.... [more]
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Farr 30 World Championship 2010 - Veteran French team clamps down
Farr 30 Class Association,
Farr 30 World Championship 2010 - With the forecast breeze failing to appear by the 10 AM warning signal of Day 2, the stage was set for yesterday's all-conquering Team Orca to show their light air dominance off once again. Patrick Lindblom and crew delivered yet another fantastic performance in the first race, giving them their third-straight victory to open the prestigious world championship.... [more]
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Student Yachting World Cup - England victors
Student Yachting World Cup and various blogs,
Student Yachting World Cup - Well it is over for this year.....this wonderful, challenging, maddening and enriching World Cup experience. There as today only one windward-leeward regatta, which lasted for about two hours. The Italian team from Milano could not sail because of a technical problem.... [more]
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Farr 30 World Championship 2010 - High drama on the seas
Carole Abbott,
Farr 30 World Championship 2010, day three, and there was an unexpected drama to deal with between races 8 and 9. The Race Committee boat sank, which is a first for this Class! But in France and with COYCH being the organiser, a substitute committee boat was found within 30 minutes and racing was not delayed.... [more]
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RS:X Youth World Championships: Hamilton and Goyard crowned
RS:X Class,
The ending to the RS:X Youth World Championships was anticlimactic. The lack of wind left us waiting until 1530hrs when the N over A was hoisted. Finally around 1500 hrs, two knots of breeze. Was this going to build?... [more]
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Rolex Middle Sea Race - Over for another year
KPMS,
Seventy-six boats started the race, and 60 finished, one of the highest numbers of finishers in recent years.... [more]
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China Cup Int Regatta 2010 – smoke and mirrors on a grand scale
Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia,
We still haven't worked out why the Opening Ceremony was held exactly half way through a four-day regatta, but such niceties of terminology disappeared like the skin off a mast man's hands when competitors were bused to a local sports stadium to find a ceremony of almost Olympic (well, at least Asian Games) proportions waiting for us.... [more]
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Route du Rhum - Final weather analysis before the start
Soazig Guého,
Routem du Rhum, pre-start update: Marc Guillemot and Sylvain Mondon are stepping up the weather analysis aboard Safran and running through the latest models. We should remember that routing is not permitted for the IMOCA monohulls: once at sea, Marc Guillemot will have to draw up his own strategy.... [more]
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Sail-World Mailbag: The Week that Was - Olympic Decisions
Sail-World Readers,
Sail-World readers comment on the Olympic decisions for November - following the 'Olympic Decision - will ISAF get caught by a Yorker?' and the earlier 'Olympic sailing destined for another major jolt at Athens in November'. You can have your say by clicking on the reply form on the bottom of http://www.sail-world.com/NZ/Gladwells-Line:-Olympic-Decision---will-ISAF-get-caught-by-a-Yorker?/75967!th... [more]
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Route du Rhum - For Cammas less pressure than last time + Video
Route du Rhum,
Route du Rhum - Cammas needs optimum conditions, but thinks winning is possible on Groupama 3.... [more]
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RS:X Youth World Championship day 5 - Hamilton so close
Rory Ramsden,
Izzy Hamilton [GBR] is close, very close, to winning. If the wind fills in enough to race tomorrow, the medal races will have priority. The forecast for tomorrow is light. So light in fact that we may be lucky to start a medal race at all.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Tropical weather brings mystery to the fleet
Velux 5 Oceans,
They say it's tough at the top, and that's something American ocean racer Brad Van Liew knows only too well as he struggles through the Doldrums at the head of the Velux 5 Oceans fleet. The 42-year-old skipper of Le Pingouin has a seemingly comfortable lead of around 80 nautical miles on his nearest rival, Polish solo sailor Zbigniew ‘Gutek' Gutkowski.... [more]
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Farr 30 World Championship 2010 - Surprise leader after 2 early wins
Farr 30 Class Association,
Farr 30 World Championship 2010 - One of the forces behind the recent emergence of Sweden as the Farr 30's newest regional stronghold, Patrick Lindblom had the kind of day a sailor rarely forgets. 'We obviously are very comfortable in the light air, and we feel extremely fast in the conditions we saw today on the water,' said crew Martin Nilsson after racing.... [more]
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Barcelona World Race and Route du Rhum - Double challenge
Barcelona World Race,
Three of the skippers setting sail next Sunday in the Route du Rhum-Le Banque Postale are facing a double challenge. Sailing 30,000 miles in just five months will be a real sporting, technical and logistical challenge.... [more]
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Bullimore's 33m catamaran capsized - Update
Sam Nelson,
Tony Bullimore's 33m catamaran capsizes off Cape Finistere. Update: Ben Jones (29): 'There wasn't that much wind-only about 15knots. We were sailing fast and close to the wind. We then had a big gust and because it's a multi hull, the apparent wind induces a much worse affect.... [more]
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Audi MedCup Circuit - Quantum Racing Team name helm for 2011
Audi MedCup Circuit,
Audi MedCup Circuit 2011 news: True to the succession planning of a world championships winning team, America's Cup winner Baird was present as an observer with the team in Cagliari at the final event of the 2010 Audi Med Cup season, now official confirmation arrives that Ed Baird will take over the helm next season... [more]
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