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28 Feb 2012

Midwinter days—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

PUMA's Mar Mostro finally hitting stride in the East China Sea after a week of upwind misery. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)  Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race©
While the weekend proved to be cold, grey and dreary—punctuated by random bursts of sunlight and reluctant winter shine—here in the Pacific Northwest, it's (fortunately) not winter everywhere. Ironically, the two biggest offshore races that are currently taking place—the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) and the Global Ocean Race (GOR)—are not exactly warm-weather affairs. VOR sailors are (eventually) pressing south, crossing the equator and heading for New Zealand, while GOR sailors have their bows aimed north for South America. (Translated: Smarter souls got their mid-winter offshore fix during last week's Caribbean 600!)

Michi Müller goes to the end of the bowsprit while preparing the tack of the new sail for a hoist. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)  Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race©

Emirates Team New Zealand has been leading the globe-girdling VOR fleet while the weekend's big news was Puma Ocean Racing's radical breakaway turn to the north, which the team executed just after clearing Taiwan's southeast corner.

But its a big gamble and now Groupama sailing team hold the lead and the furthest east position and at 0800 UTC this morning were charging along at an average of 18 knots -- a speed only topped by their neighbours Puma Ocean Racing and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, who have been powering south east at peak speeds above 25 knots.

For Puma the return to fast sailing comes as a blessed relief after their charge down the eastern flank had temporarily ground to a halt in a patch of light airs -- a warning to Ken Read's team of their vulnerable position on the edge of the fleet.

Find out how well Read and company's gamble paid off, inside and on the website, as it happens.

And in the double-handed, around-the-world GOR, Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel, aboard the Class 40, Cessna Citation, are getting close to nabbing victory in leg-three, with just a few hundred miles separating their bow from the finishing line. The grueling, boat-testing leg started in Wellington, New Zealand and is taking the now-lean fleet (from five to three) to Punta del Este, Uruguay.

As far as conditions, Nick Leggatt aboard Financial Crisis, sums up the fleet's situation nicely: 'The wind was forward of the beam and we were pounding over the big waves again... The sun has not been seen for days as dark grey heavy clouds loom over the boat while the icy cold water of the southeast Pacific Ocean splashes over the deck and runs down into the cockpit.'

Sometimes, the cloudy, pregnant grey of a Pacific Northwest midwinter's day doesn't feel so unpleasant, especially when creature comforts such as a stable horizon, a sound roof and a functional thermostat are considered...not to mention the errant rum drink...

Etchells Worlds 2012 Final Day  Ingrid Abery - Copyright

Also inside this issue, check out the Etchells Worlds' wrap-up report, Jud Smith put himself in a winning position, at the business end of the event, we have interviewws and image galleries; read about the winners of the RORC's Caribbean 600, and get the latest from the Chicago Match Race Center's Miami Open Elliott 6m Invitational Regatta.

And for anyone really jonesing for a warm-water fix, check out the pre-regatta registration report from the upcoming St. Maarten Heineken Regatta—clearly, you're not alone in your desire for tradewinds and Caribbean vibes are outweighing thoughts of winter wonderlands.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

Volvo Ocean Race: Too tight to call in late running Leg 4
Richard Gladwell,
With around 3700nm to sail to Auckland, and nine days left to do it, not too many around the Auckland waterfront are picking a finish as scheduled on 8 March, In Auckland. Projections run by Sail-World using Predictwind's routing function have the fleet currently finishing at 11.00am on the 15 March - three days before Leg 5 is due to start from Auckland.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Global Party at the Auckland Stopover
Penny Dain,
There's a Global Party lined up for the Race Village in the Viaduct during the Auckland Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. A rolling programme of entertainment for twelve hours each day - from 9am to 9pm - has been put together for the Stopover which runs from 8 - 18 March. And it's all free.... [more]
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Access Worlds 2012: Be part of the competition - entries closing soon
Di Pearson,
Entries for the 2012 Macquarie Access World Championships, close this Friday, 2 March. To be hosted by Middle Harbour Yacht Club from 7-13 Apri, the Access Worlds are open to competitors of all abilities, making it a rare opportunity for athletes with a disability to compete alongside able-bodied athletes.... [more]
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Groupama Race – New Caledonia third edition announced
Matthias Balagny,
The third edition of Groupama Race – Sailing around New Caledonia, has now been announced. The Groupama Race, the longest windward, leeward race around the biggest lagoon of the world, starts on the 9th of September.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - To the trade winds
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama sailing team are leading the charge to trade winds that promise to slingshot the first to reach them into a powerful position in the race to Auckland, New Zealand. Franck Cammas' team continue to make steady gains on every yacht in the fleet clocking up 428 nautical miles in the past 24 hours... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Mixed fortunes
Oliver Dewar,
In the Global Ocean Race, there are mixed fortunes for theClass40 trio in the South Atlantic and the Southern Ocean. Leading the fleet towards the Leg 3 finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Conrad Colman – who has just been made Seahorse Magazine's Sailor of the Month – and his South African co-skipper, Adrian Kuttel, stayed in strong winds, but punishing seas... [more]
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Chicago Match Cup slated as only US stop on World Match Racing Tour
Tod Reynolds,
The 2012 Chicago March Cup has been selected for the Alpari World Match Racing Tour and will be the only ISAF Grade WC (World Championship) event in the US. The World Class event will offer stadium sailing at Navy Pier, with the world's best match race sailors to vie for $100,000 in prize money.... [more]
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America's Cup Uncovered: Episode 27 - Luna Rossa fitness tests
This week on 'America's Cup Uncovered' we're in San Francisco to celebrate ORACLE Racing's anniversary two years on from their Cup victory in February 2010. Then Luna Rossa Challenge team is pushed to the limits in the gym with their first fitness assessment in Auckland. Then we head to Valencia for some winter training with Green Comm Racing. But not without a behind the scenes on the race commit... [more]
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America's Cup Uncovered: Episode 26 - Wing Extensions
This week on America's Cup Uncovered we're in Auckland where Luna Rossa Challenge and Emirates Team New Zealand went head to head for the first time. We have reactions to the testing sessions for the wing extensions, designed to increase the speed of the AC45s in lighter breeze. Then, we are in San Francisco to uncover Save the Bay - partner of the America's Cup Healthy Ocean Project.... [more]
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World Match Racing Tour announces new title sponsor
World Match Racing Tour,
World Match Racing Tour - Alpari, a global association of companies providing online foreign exchange ('Forex', 'FX'), precious metals and CFD trading services, today announced a five-year title partnership with the World Match Racing Tour. Jim O'Toole, CEO of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, today joined David Stuart, COO of Alpari in the City of London to announce the title sponsorship.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Morale high 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: Life has gotten a little giddy! I made reference yesterday to improved morale and a brighter mood, but I assumed it was merely a byproduct of our returned presence to the front of the fleet.... [more]
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Video: Star sailing in a 40kt 'breeze'
Valentin Mankin,
After a two weeks stop for his honeymoon, top Star sailor Diego Negri a few days ago started training again in Loano (SV, Italy) with his bowman Enrico Voltolini. In this video, you can see how fast 'an old lady', like a Star, can sail with 40 kts of wind.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover: Up close and personal!
Penny Dain,
Spectators will have a great close-up view of the world's fastest monohulls in action as the Volvo Open 70s race in Waitemata Harbour during the Auckland Stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race. Organisers announced the courses today for the Pro-Am Races on Friday 16 March, the In-Port Race on Saturday 17 March and the Departure and Start of Leg 5 on Sunday 18 March.... [more]
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Chicago Match Race Center Invitational - Tunnicliffe on top
Chicago Match Race Center,
Chicago Match Race Center Invitational - After three hard-fought days of match race sailing, US Olympic hopeful Anna Tunnicliffe and her Team Maclaren crew of Debbie Capozzi and Molly Vandemoer have today won. The 2-0 victory over Kiwi Ruben Corbett in the Finals earns the team valuable Open Grade 2 match racing points to further solidify their position as the world's top-ranked team... [more]
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Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan 2012, Race 7 another win for 7 - Video
Bob Killick,
The A team, with Jarvin, Babbage, and Newton brought the 'Red Rocket', Gotta Love it 7 home for their sixth bullet to complete their total domination of the 2012 JJ.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper slips down the fleet
Sail-World and Emirates Team NZ,
According to the latest position update run by Sail-World using the route projection and time to finish functions of PredictWind, the New Zealand/Spanish entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, Camper, as slid from being the leg leader to a projected third place. The yachts are not out of the light airs that have bedeviled this leg, and none of the boats are heading south of east.... [more]
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RORC Caribbean 600 a sensational success this year
Trish Jenkins,
The fourth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club, was a sensational success. The Caribbean's only offshore yacht race attracted some of the world's most stunning yachts in addition to the Corinthian entries. A total of 578 sailors from 36 different countries took part in a memorable race.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma back in it
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, day seven of the second stage of Leg 4. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: We appear to be OK. Our lonesome detour to the north hasn't ended in self-destruction, we don't find ourselves hundreds of miles behind, and by all means we are back in this race. A lot sooner than expected, too, I might add.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Cessna Citation close to Leg 3 finish
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race - After 28 days at sea, the leading Class40 is closing in on the Leg 3 finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay, following a week when tough decisions were made in the final approach to Cape Horn. Having taken the lead in the GOR, the period at the front of the fleet was short but very sweet for Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon on Class40 Financial Crisis... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Emotional roller coaster for Puma Ocean Racing
Ken Read,
Volvo Ocean Race - Ken Read, Skipper of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress: I don't remember doing my last blog from the boat. To say it has been an emotional roller coaster the last few days would be a vast understatement. I think I have a splinter in my right hand as well.... [more]
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Etchells Worlds 2012 final race images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery images,
Yesterday was the final day of racing at the 2012 Etchells Worlds, sailed in the waters off Sydney Heads... [more]
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Etchells Worlds 2012 - Sail-World interviews some of the key players
After the last race of the Etchells Worlds 2012 Sail-World.com interviewed the top four place getters dockside at the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron - Tom King (Iron Lotus), Graeme Taylor (Magpie), John Bertrand (Triad) and Jud Smith (Roulette), as well as 2010 Sailor of the Year Tom Slingsby (Triad).... [more]
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New Cancer Fundraising Boat-a-thon seeks participants and sponsors
Cruise for Life,
Cruise for Life is a unique, one-of-a-kind fundraising event taking place on July 28, 2012 at Macmillan Pier (Provincetown, MA) to support cancer research and compassionate patient care at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other New England based cancer centers.... [more]
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Entries wanted for 46th Gov Cup Youth Match Race Challenge
Brett Hemphill,
The oldest junior match racing championship will take place at Balboa Yacht Club July 17-22. Competitors will be racing identical purpose built Governor's Cup 21's provided by the Newport Balboa Sailing & Seamanship Association.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper loses lead as breakaway group forms
Richard Gladwell,
Some dramatic moves over the past eight hours have seen the lead change in the Volvo Ocean Race, and breakaway group form as two of the boats made a move north, sailing away from their destination. Although Camper is being called as race leader by the Volvo Ocean race, using their snap-shot of current positions, that system does not see projected finishing times, and just calls the lead for those... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro turns east
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: Two things were certain of 2012: The world was going to end, and Puma Ocean Racing was going to sail north on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race...f o r e v e r. Well, the world lives on and we've turned east! Incredible.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Puma heads for New Zealand at 20kts plus
Richard Gladwell,
Puma Ocean Racing, the US flagged entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, is blitzing the fleet, sailing at speeds of around 19kts, while her competitors are sailing at 10-12kts. Worst affected is the leg leader, Camper crewed by Enirates Team NZ, who has been forced to sail the most northerly course of the group, reducing her lead under the on the water snap shot of the boat positions used by VOR... [more]
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Etchells Worlds 2012: And the Podium Places go to ...
Tracey Johnson,
The podium places in the Etchells World Championship 2012 decided after an intense nine-race battle on the offshore courses.... [more]
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Etchells Worlds – The 2012 Champion is crowned
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
The ninth and final race in the 2012 Etchells World Championship was scheduled to start on the Manly Circle at 12 noon, Saturday 25 February. The match up everyone was waiting for was between Tom King (Iron Lotus) and Graeme ‘GT' Taylor (Magpie), second on the leader board.... [more]
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Etchells Worlds 2012 interviews with top contenders - Who will win?
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
At the Etchells Worlds 2012, Sail-World.com interviewed the top title contenders after four days of competition - Tom King (Iron Lotus), Graeme Taylor (Magpie), John Bertrand (Triad) and Jud Smith (Roulette).... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Lone path for Puma Ocean Racing
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress:... [more]
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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Impressive number of entries
Michele Korteweg,
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - With less than a week to go before action begins the fleet continues to grow impressively with nearly 200 yachts now signed up for the competition. And while the quantity of the field is certainly striking, the big story is the quality of the boats and sailors who will soon descend on the friendly island of St. Maarten.... [more]
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