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27 Jan 2012

Offshore leapfrog—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

Groupama Sailing Team during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China. (Credit: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race)  Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race
Remember the old childhood game of leapfrog? The six-strong fleet that's contesting this year's Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) is getting a great refresher in this timeless playground diversion as the leader board seems to swing with each passing cloud.

For several days, Kenny Read and his Puma Ocean Racing Team commanded the top spot, only to see Chris Nicholson and his Emirates Team New Zealand slip ahead in the light airs. Now, according to the latest reports, overall race leader Iker Martinez and his Team Telefonica are looking to be the quickest boat to reach the waypoint at the Mallaca Straits—a geographical bottleneck that will likely see a few more 'restarts' as the sailors seek pressure and fast angles.

Factor in heavy commercial traffic and hazardous navigation work, and the plot will thicken substantially as the boats punch towards Sanya, China. Fortunately, the wind machine seems to be switching back on, according to the latest reports from Puma Ocean Racing. 'It's still hot as hell below, though the breeze has been building steadily (now at 17 knots), which means it's getting a little wet on deck,' wrote Media Crew Member Amory Ross. 'A refreshing wave in the face helps to keep things cool, but with now-closed hatches, the moisture only makes things more humid and unlivable downstairs.' Get the full VOR media blast, inside this issue.

Maserati Yacht  

Also offshore related, skipper Giovanni Soldini and his sponsor, Maserati, have announced a go at the Cadiz-San Salvador speed record, sailing some 3884 miles aboard what appears to be a modified Volvo Open 70. The eight-man crew will include American ocean-racing great Brad Van Liew, as well as a cadre of European sailing legends; according to press releases, the team's attempt is expected to get underway in early February. 'It is exciting to be working with my old friend Giovanni,' said Van Liew. 'It is a wonderful collaborative effort and a fresh, new type of sailing for me. It takes me back to my crewed racing roots, which is an exciting departure from my solo-sailing competitions. I welcome the race against time.'

In first place, Day Three, Zach Railey (USA), Finn - Rolex Miami OCR  © Rolex/Daniel Forster

Stateside and ashore, One Design action has been intense at this year's Rolex Miami Olympic Class Regatta (OCR), where sailors have enjoyed a mixed bag of conditions throughout the week. So far, US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics have been realizing a strong regatta, with particularly strong showings from Zach Railey (Finn class), Erik Storck and Trevor Moore (49er class) and Farrah Hall (Women's RS:X class).

American Paralympic sailors have also been kicking some serious butt at the Miami OCR, which serves as the official trials for sailors seeking a berth on the US Paralympic Team. Jen French and JP Creignou are looking red-hot in the Skud-18 class, while Mark LeBlanc and 2008 Paralympic bronze medalist John Ruf continue to exchange tactical fisticuffs in the 2.4mR class. Get the full scoop inside, including some great video interviews and spectacular, caught-on-camera aerial footage of a collision between a 49er skipper and a competitor's bowsprit. Racing concludes today, so be sure to check the website frequently for information uploads, as they become available.

And finally, get the latest America's Cup Beta from Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for AC34. According to Paul Cayard, the team's CEO, Artemis Racing recently acquired a second AC45 catamaran, to be used in pre-Cup events, and construction is well underway on their first AC72 class cat. '2012 will be a defining year for the AC teams,' said Cayard. 'Most of the important activities of the campaigns will take place this year. The first AC72s will launch on July 1st and each team has a limit of 30 days to spend training. It will be interesting to see the different strategies on how to use the 30 days.'

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Volvo Ocean Race: Telefonica expected to lead at Mallaca waypoint
Richard Gladwell,
The current overall leader in the Volvo Ocean Race, Telefonica (ESP) is expected to be in the lead at the first waypoint in the Mallaca Straits. They are expected to arrive at the point in the next two and a half days and are approximately 630nm away.... [more]
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Miami OCR - Final showdown awaits Paralympic classes
Barby MacGowan,
For the Paralympic sailors tomorrow will be the final day of racing at the Rolex Miami OCR, with two races each scheduled for Skud-18, Sonar and 2.4mR classes.... [more]
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Rolex Miami Olympic Regatta: 49er skipper hit by bowsprit - Video
TP2TV,
Spectacular aerial video of a mark rounding incident from the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, which sees a 49er skipper flicked off the back of his boat, by an incoming competitor's bowsprit - all at full pace.... [more]
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Antigua Sailing Week announces official charity
Louay Habib,
Antigua Sailing Week has adopted The National Sailing Academy as its official charity and though the strapline ‘Where Sailing Comes First' may appear to some to be stating the obvious, for Antigua Sailing Week 2012's organisers, it's an essential part of the strategy.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race Leg 2 prize giving in Wellington + Video
Oliver Dewar,
The Global Ocean Race Leg 2 prize giving took place on Thursday evening at the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club (RPNYC) on Oriental Parade on the western shore of Wellington Harbour.... [more]
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Maserati and Soldini announce North Atlantic speed record challenge
Meaghan Van Liew,
Both Giovanni and Maserati are preparing for an attempt at the Cadiz-San Salvador speed record. A professional eight man crew, which includes American Brad Van Liew, will take on the Atlantic Ocean. The first ambitious challenge at a speed record in the North Atlantic by Giovanni Soldini and Maserati was announced today in Milan.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Nothing short of dramatic as Camper becomes prey
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, the last 24-hours have been nothing short of dramatic which is in contrast to the port tack beat that took place for the first four days. At 1600 UTC this afternoon, Iker Martinez and Team Telefonica were screaming through the fleet, sailing as much as two knots faster than the rest and picking off places without remorse.... [more]
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One Week Later - Images of the Costa Concordia accident + Video
Anna Parker,
The Costa Concordia is a cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Giglio, Italy, after smashing into a reef and partially sinking on the 13 January. There was number of passengers that survived while deaths were reported, and others are still missing. Photographer Carlo Borlenghi journeyed to Giglio Island to snap these images.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro hot as hell
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: Wouldn't you know it? We're back on top of each other again. After our first two tacks of Leg 3 last night, everyone's bunched up and best trying to pick through some unexpectedly shifty winds on the way to Sumatra and the Malacca Strait.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Camper leads the charge to China
Volvo Ocean Race,
Camper skipper Chris Nicholson has taken his team to the lead of the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 Stage 2 charge to China. Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) has shown some astonishing boat speed in the past two days. Martínez has been forced to take risks to make gains due to the damage sustained earlier in the course.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Stressful onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Ken Read,
Volvo Ocean Race - Ken Read, Skipper of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress. 'Hot as a...' you fill in the blank. That is what we have going out here...90 degree water and a black boat means no reprieve even at night.... [more]
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Artemis Racing prepares for AC teams defining year
Paul Cayard,
Artemis Racing is preparing its two AC45s for an upcoming training session in Valencia. At the same time, our first AC72 is well underway in Sweden, the culmination of many months of research by Juan K and his talented team.... [more]
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Miami OCR - Strong day for US Sailing Team members
Dana Paxton,
USA sailors hold top-10 spots in 11 of the 12 fleet racing classes spread across Olympic and Paralympic events. This event serves as the selection event for the US Paralympic Team as well as the US Sailing Development Team.... [more]
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Miami OCR day 3 - Making the most of the zippy conditions
Barby MacGowan,
Making the most out of the zippy conditions were the 24 teams split into Groups A and B in the Women's Match Racing discipline.... [more]
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Newport Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar taking registrations
Talbot Wilson,
From March 17-18, the Newport Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar will introduce a new approach to safety education that fits the needs of sailors in the 2012 New Port Bermuda Race as well as delivery crews and cruisers. The seminar will be sponsored by the Cruising Club of America and will take place at the Newport Hyatt Regency Hotel.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - There's no holding back for Telefonica
Volvo Ocean Race,
The overall leader of the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Telefonica, are not holding back with Spaniard Iker Martinez in charge, as they have now gained some ten miles on the Leg 3 leaders, thus jumping two places higher up the rankings. For the entire afternoon, Telefonica has threatened the fleet from her controlling position to windward and, at 1600 today, she rolled Groupama 4... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Four way ocean chess games develops on Day 4
Volvo Ocean Race,
A fascinating tactical contest is being played out at the front of the fleet as they close on the north west tip of Sumatra on the fourth day of the second stage of Leg 3, of the Volvo Ocean Race to Sanya in China. At 0700 UTC today leg leaders PUMA Ocean Racing remained the closest to the first course turning point -- the island of Pulau We which marks the entrance to the restricted waters of... [more]
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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - For doers and dreamers
Michele Korteweg,
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - There's more than one way to enjoy the legendary 'Serious Fun' that's become the trademark for the annual Regatta. Thanks to a website that links sailors looking for boats and skippers searching for crew, as well as the pay-to-play opportunities from Ondeck ocean racing, all you really need is a pair of boat shoes and a plane ticket to sunny St. Maarten.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Simple sailing onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: If you're going to have to go upwind, this is exactly how you'd want to do it. It has been simple sailing: we haven't tacked or gybed once since leaving Malé, we've hardly touched our foul weather gear, the boat is dry, the sea is calm... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Final teams arrive in port
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The final three teams have arrived in Batam after completing Race seven of the 40,000-mile marathon. Race seven has proved challenging for the whole fleet and the yachts have motor-sailed in company for the past week due to lack of winds and increased piracy risks, which saw the Race Committee deciding to finish the race earlier than originally planned.... [more]
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Miami OCR - Day 2 catchup and new leaders
Barby MacGowan,
Finn sailor Zach Railey could do nothing wrong as he methodically picked off his competition at the Rolex Miami OCR. In the 49er Class, Erik Storck (Huntington, N.Y.) and Trevor Moore (Naples, Fla.) are still holding on to first place. Mat Belcher and Malcolm Page (AUS) hold first place in the 470 mens.... [more]
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