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The French Connection

For the most part, solo sailing aboard giant trimarans is a French pursuit, with a sailing culture that loves experimentation and corporations that are willing to sponsor high-dollar campaigns aboard these massive beasts.

Simply crossing an ocean with a full compliment of top-notch sailors aboard a G-Class trimaran such as Groupama 3 would be a serious undertaking for most sailors, let alone racing across the Pond at speeds regularly exceeding the high 30's, given the right weather conditions. Now imagine doing this alone.

Groupama - La Route du Rhum 2010  Yvan Zedda ©


This sort of drama is in full focus right now in the Route du Rhum. This week, Sidney Gavignet (FRA), a veteran of numerous Volvo Ocean Races and the skipper of Oman Air Majan, came off of a wave just wrong and cracked the boat's front leeward crossbeam. 'Then it went very, very quick, in probably two to three seconds. I was easing the traveler and the float came out of the crossbeam—I think it was still linked at that time with the aft crossbeam,' reported Gavignet in a phone interview with Sam Davies. 'But because the front was not linked to the float the boat capsized almost, the mast was horizontal and platform vertical.' The boat was dismasted and severely damaged, but, fortunately, Gavignet was safely rescued by the bulk carrier Kavo Alexander, which is now en route to Turkey. Be sure to check out the rest of Davies' interview with Gavignet in this issue.

Elsewhere on the course, Franck Cammas on Groupama 3 is leading the pack by a margin of several hundred miles—a comfy lead in almost any other sort of yacht race. But when you're talking about boats that can sail faster than the wind, fortunes can change quickly. Be sure to follow the serious competition that's unfolding at the front of this impressive—if a bit terrifying—fleet.

The thrills are huge, but clearly the risks are substantial.

Speaking of thrills, Sail-World is pleased to offer our new Sailing Videos of the Week. Check out what 55.65 knots looks like, as well as plenty of other high-adrenaline footage. And finally, be sure to check out Tim Wilkes photo spread and race report on the J/24 East Coast Championships.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Velux 5 Oceans - Videos of the week
Velux 5 Oceans,
The Sail-World team brings you the latest videos from the Velux 5 Oceans race. The skippers are sharing the action with you via a dedicated on board camera system that enables broadcast and web feeds from anywhere at sea.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Leaders ready for drag race across the Atlantic
Velux 5 Oceans,
Brad Van Liew doing everything he can to hold onto lead as finish line approaches; he is setting up for a one-on-one drag race to Cape Town with rival Zbigniew ‘Gutek' Gutkowski as the pair battle it out for the top spot. After nearly three weeks at sea and more than 4,000 nautical miles sailed just 22 nautical miles separate the two skippers.... [more]
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St. Moritz Match Race announces dates of 2011 edition
MaxComm Communications,
The world's best match racers will once again gather to the Swiss Alps next summer in order to compete for the title of King of the Mountains. St. Moritz Match Race is one of the principal stopovers of the match racing annual calendar; it is also Switzerland's most important match race event.... [more]
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Sailing Videos of the Week - the Sail-World selection
The Sail-World Team,
There is more and more video footage being published online. For your enjoyment Sail-World is going to bring you a mixture of the latests and greatest and some historic footage each week. If you'd like to make sure everyone sees the best old stuff, give us your feedback.... [more]
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Route du Rhum - King of the motorway
Gaia Coretti,
Route du Rhum - In the clash of the giants that is the Ultime class of the 2010 Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, Franck Cammas is looking increasingly likely to be crowned king, as Groupama 3 profits from another day of unchecked high speed miles down the trade winds motorway towards Guadeloupe.... [more]
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Match Racing - Monohulls or Multihulls – Have your say!! Two days
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 two days 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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Groupama 3: The battle of the Atlantic starts in the Route du Rhum
Franck Cammas,
At this very moment in the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale, Franck Cammas has a 346 mile lead over Thomas Coville, making an average speed of twenty knots over 17 hours or simply 26 knots over thirteen hours. Whilst Groupama 3 has just passed the midway mark in the race in exactly the same position as the winner of the 2006 edition after four days of sailing, her main rival, Sodebo, has just finis... [more]
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Oman Air Majan - Interview with Skipper aboard bulk carrier
Into the Blue,
Sidney Gavignet took part in a telephone interview with Sam Davies while once aboard bulk carrier Kavo Alexander. After we jumped over a wave, probably a little harder than others, I heard a crack and I thought it was the dagger board even if the top of it was higher than deck level which is quite far up... [more]
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Olympic Sailing: New multihull analysis asks hard questions of ISAF
Richard Gladwell and UKCRA,
Just over a week before the start of the International Sailing Federation's Annual Meeting in Athens, Greece the vociferous UK Catamaran Racing Association has issued an analysis, which not surprisingly makes a strong case for the inclusion of a Multihull Event in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta. Three years ago, at the same conference in Estoril, Portugal, the various Olympic class politicia... [more]
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IRC Fall Championships - Vela Veloce tops the class
Lynn Fitzpatrick,
Vela Veloce, Richard Oland's Southern Cross 52 won the IRC 52 Class at the 2010 IRC Fall Championship Regatta hosted by Annapolis Yacht Club from October 29-31. Vele Veloce was second overall to Dan Meyers' Numbers, a Judel-Vrolijk 66.5, in the IRC 1 Division. With this week's performance, Vela Veloce clinched the 2010 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series, which comprises 19 events throughout the year... [more]
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Tim Healy wins the J24 East Coast Championship
Tim Wilkes,
Fresh off his first World Championship title in Malmo, Sweden, Tim Healy of Newport, RI is on a roll as he and his team of Gordon Borges (bow), Ben McAndrew (mast), Geoff Becker (tactics), and Paul Abdullah (trimmer) took the East Coast title.... [more]
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CMRC announces Winter Series - New event format for Key West & Miami
Dobbs Davis,
CMRC announces Winter Series - New event format for Key West & Miami - Both events will be raced in Melges 24 class boats, with the first being the Key West Invitational to be held over 22-23 January 2011, and the second Miami Invitational to be held over 26-27 February 2011.... [more]
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ISAF Publish Notice of Race for 2011 Team Racing Worlds
ISAF World Sailing,
ISAF Publish Notice of Race for 2011 Team Racing Worlds - Following the successful launch of an Under 21 competition at the 2005 Team Worlds, the 2011 championship will again feature racing in both the open competition, for the ISAF Team Racing World Championship Trophy, and in an Under 21 competition for the Ciudad de Gandia Trophy.... [more]
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Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale - Oman Air Majan skipper rescued
Lucy Harwood,
At 20: 51 CET (GMT+1) skipper Sidney Gavignet was picked up by a bulk carrier called Cavo Alexander which was en route to Turkey. Sidney is safe and well and is in contact with his shore team via satellite phone.... [more]
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Herreshoff Marine Museum prepares for fifth decade
Jonathan Goff,
America's Cup - In 1971, A. Sidney DeWolf and Rebecca Chase Herreshoff founded the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol and progressed to establish in 1977 exhibits on Burnside Street, on the site of the former Herreshoff Manufacturing Company, where hundreds of elegant and record-setting yachts were built, including eight consecutive defenders of the America's Cup.... [more]
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Sail-World Mailbag: The Week that Was - More on the Olympic Decision
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-La Banque Postale: Raw emotions
Route du Rhum,
Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale and on day three heartache, contentment and grim determination are just three of the raw emotions surfacing once again. Sidney Gavignet on Air Oman Majan was awaiting rescue this evening, 200 miles north east of the Azores after sustaining substantial damage to the leeward front beam of his trimaran.... [more]
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Route du Rhum - Sidney Gavignet activates distress beacon
Gaia Coretti,
Route du Rhum - At 1648hrs (GMT+1) the skipper of Oman Air Majan, Sidney Gavignet called to say that his boat has suffered a major damage to the leeward front beam.... [more]
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World Match Racing Tour - Francesco Bruni outlines his vision
WMRT,
World Match Racing Tour - Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing Team may not be in the reckoning to win this year's ISAF Match Racing World Champion crown however that has not dented the ambition of this inspirational Italian to win the second most prestigious prize on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) - the Monsoon Cup.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race supports World Yacht Racing Forum for the third year
Laila Anbar,
World Yacht Racing Forum organisers are pleased to announce the addition of the Volvo Ocean Race as Platinum Partner of the 2010 edition of the Forum from 14-15 December in Estoril, Portugal.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Hatfield shaves off his moustache at equator crossing
Velux 5 Oceans,
Canadian solo sailor first person ever to take part in ‘Movember' from middle of ocean. Ocean racer Derek Hatfield made a special offering to Neptune as he passed the Equator yesterday – by shaving off his iconic moustache. The 57-year-old has crossed the Equator many times and has always honoured the tradition among sailors of performing a ritual to appease King Neptune, ancient god of the seas.... [more]
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Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale - Groupama 3 continues to gain
Route du Rhum,
Franck Cammas on the giant trimararan Groupama has taken the lead in the Ultimate class since early this morning, continuing to set a fierce pace as his southern routing takes him under the critical Azores high pressure system.... [more]
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McConaghy 38 (MC38) is cause for excitement
John Curnow,
It won't be long before we see the anticipated arrival of the exciting McConaghy 38. Setting new benchmarks in one design yacht racing this boat has been meticulously designed and engineered and crafted by world renowned boat builders, McConaghy Boats... [more]
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Innovative Joint 420 and 470 Clinic in South America
Luissa Smith,
Innovative Joint 420 and 470 Clinic in South America - Organised by Fernanda Sesto, 470 helm at three Olympic Games, four experienced coaches delivered a very full 3-day training programme for over 60 sailors, together with six coaches from South American and Caribbean countries.... [more]
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America's Cup: First of the AC45's begins layup in Warkworth
Ivor Wilkins,
Last Monday, Ivor Wilkins from www.americascup.com revisited the Core Composites building facility in Warkworth 40 minutes drive north of Auckland, and found the first of the new AC45 one design class was being laid up in the female moulds. This boat is scheduled for launch at the end of next month, and will be owned by BMW Oracle as a spare boat for the America's Cup World Series.... [more]
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Groupama 3 averaging over 20kts to lead Route du Rhum
Franck Cammas,
Leading the fleet of 84 competitors still racing since the skipper of Côte d'Or had to be airlifted to hospital, Franck Cammas is continuing to extend his lead aboard Groupama 3. Never dipping below an average of 20 knots, the maxi-trimaran is now positioning her bows westward in a NE'ly breeze of around twenty knots, which is highly reminiscent of the tradewinds.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans Video - Brad Van Liew crosses the equator
Velux 5 Oceans,
See Brad Van Liew's crossing of the Equator on video... [more]
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US Sailing's 2011 Rolex Miami OCR – Registration now open
Dana Paxton,
US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR is the second regatta of the 2010-2011 ISAF Sailing World Cup and will bring together the world's top sailors for elite-level competition in the classes selected for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games from January 23-29, 2011.... [more]
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