GOR fleet goes from rough to cold—Sailing news from the U.S. an
For the past few weeks, the fleet of Class 40s that's contesting the Global Ocean Race (GOR)—once five, now only three—has been consistently beating to weather, triggering attrition and causing plenty of miserable miles for both man and machine. But now it seems as though the fierce headwinds that were smacking the fleet have given way to bands of super light breeze as the boats plunge south, reducing their SOG to a mere pedestrian's pace. Moreover, water and air temperatures have plummeted leaving all teams to stand watch during some of the coldest conditions that the Southern Ocean can deliver this time of year.
While some teams have taken the opportunity to attend to pressing medical repairs (story inside), all are learning to embrace adventure sailing in some of the most remote waters imaginable. 'We are now getting a very long way south,' said Hugo Ramon, co-skipper of Financial Crisis, as he and Marco Nannini approach 54S. 'It is now more inhospitable and colder than I've ever experienced before. The closest speck of land is an uninhabited lump of rock about 1,700 miles to the north, which is almost the same distance as we have to Cape Horn in front of us. If there was an emergency down here, any quick rescue would be hard to organize.' Get the full GOR story, inside this issue.
|Maserati Yacht |
Also offshore related, skipper Giovanni Soldini and his crew sailed their modified 2008/2009 Volvo Open 70, Maserati (ex Ericsson 3) to a new time reference from Cadiz, Spain to San Salvador, Bahamas of 10 days, 23 hours, nine minutes and two seconds. All told, the team sailed 4,632 miles at an average pace of 17.6 knots. 'I'm extremely pleased,' said Soldini. 'We've established an excellent time reference, which will be very difficult to beat. The only fly in the ointment was the last night, which was really rough. We had a technical problem with the hydraulic system for the keel, which doesn't move anymore. We were all awake, and [we were sailing] with a fixed, central keel, but obviously it slowed us down. In any case, we couldn't have hoped for a better result. We were spot on with all our choices regarding the weather, and I'm really pleased with how the boat and the crew performed.'
And in Cup circles, be sure to check out the latest installments of the 'America's Cup Uncovered' video magazine, which is produced by the America's Cup Management. In this issue you'll find great stuff about Dennis Conner's fabled Stars & Stripes 1987 campaign, as well as an interesting look at what it was like for Australia—the third country to challenge for the Cup—to go from a being a challenger to defending one of the most coveted trophies in sports.
| “Third Wave” crew nears the end of a fast trip to Saint-Pierre in 2010. The C&C 37R crossed the finish line in 41:41:52, fast enough for second place in the PHR-1 class. JCL'ESPAGNOL / VSP |
Also, be sure to get the latest happening from the 2012 Etchells 'Pre-Worlds', the Clipper round the World Race, and an update on this summer's 2012 Route Halifax Saint-Pierre Race.
|Sunfish Sailing on Lake Michigan Summer of 1963 |
And finally, for other sailors like myself who are dreaming of warmer temperatures, long days and plenty of competitive sailing, check out the preview for the 50th Sunfish North American Open Championship, which is being hosted by the Lake Bluff Yacht Club and the Waukegan Yacht Club from August 2-4. While it can't arrive soon enough, summer really is coming, friends.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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