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09 Mar 2012

VOR: Final miles to Auckland—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

Groupama Sailing Team during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. (Credit: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race)  Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race
As the miles rapidly wind down to Auckland, it's becoming increasingly clear that Groupama 4's 100-plus mile lead could prove to be unassailable in the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). Currently, the battle for second place is between Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro and Telefonica, with both crews pressing hard. 'It's certainly wearing us down,' reported Puma's media crew member, Amory Ross. 'Everybody is up on deck moving sails and those below are moving gear as the wind comes and goes. It has been all-hands-on-deck for most of the day and we sleep when we can. A lot of people are sleeping still dressed in their foul weather gear.'

Casey Smith and Brad Jackson scout the clouds for signs of squalls and rain. 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 crews on both Telefonica and Mar Mostro are chasing hard, the reality is that this leg has become Groupama 4's to loose. Be sure to check out the latest weather files, inside, which are currently calling for a healthy Delta of twelve-plus hours between Groupama 4's finishing time and that of her nearest suitor. And visit the site regularly this weekend for updates and results, as they become available.

Inshore and in warm, welcoming temperatures, Miami Sailing Week has been in full swing all week, with great racecourse action taking place in all classes. Racing began on Monday and wraps up tomorrow afternoon, so plenty of class contests are getting down to the wire. Get the full story, inside.

College sailors, the Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta begins today at the Los Angeles Yacht Club, offering coed crews the opportunity to step out of dinghies and into keelboats. Ten teams from across the country will race on identical Catalina 37s—not exactly TP52s, but vessels that still demand leadership, teamwork and communication to sail fast, especially on a starting line that's populated with plenty of other good sailors. 'I am always amazed at how well all the competing teams get up to speed with their teamwork and execution aboard the Catalina 37s,' said Jahn Tihansky, the U.S. Naval Academy's varsity offshore sailing team director. 'It would be easy to conclude that a team like ours should have a distinct advantage by doing most of our training aboard larger keel boats, but that hasn't proved to be the case with many dinghy teams representing their schools and doing a very competent job of it.'

And in AC circles, Team China has set up their training base in Sanya, China, at the Serenity Marina. The team has taken receipt of two small training catamarans, which they plan to use to bring crewmembers up to speed quickly before next month's America's Cup World Series event, which is being held in Naples, Italy.

Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire take 3rd in Leg 3 with Class40 Phesheya-Racing - Global Ocean Race 2011-12  

And finally, get the latest from the Global Ocean Race, where Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire, aboard Phesheya-Racing crossed the finishing line in third place, thus completing the podium and signaling that the entire fleet has reached Uruguay. In Charleston, South Carolina, the modified Volvo Open 70 Maserati (ex. Ericsson 3) left the historic harbor, bound for a weather system offshore that could possibly produce the weather conditions necessary to best the 24-hour record for a monohull (597 miles), which was set by Ericsson 4 in the last VOR. And for those who love fast, sexy and new classes, check out John Curnow's look at the new Far 400.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Volvo Ocean Race - Podium battle
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race leader Groupama 4's 84.7-nautical mile lead could be unassailable. After 19 days at sea the pack is chasing hard, but concentrating on beating each other rather than mounting an assault on Groupama, who have just over 400 nm to go in Leg 4.... [more]
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Miami Sailing Week Melges 24 - Razor sharp performance
Melges 24 Class Association,
Former America's Cup helmsman Flavio Favini at the helm of Franco Rossini's Blu Moon handed down a razor sharp 2-1-1 performance to lead the Melges 20 fleet at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week.... [more]
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2012 Laser Masters Worlds preview - Hot fleets and breeze expected
Laser Masters World Championships media,
The 2012 Laser Masters World Championships will be sailed from of the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron at Manly (Queensland, Australia) on Brisbane's Moreton Bay. With many world champions amongst the 233 sailors competition is expected to be tight and titles hotly contested.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover News 14 - Kia ora Knut!
VOR Auckland Stopover,
As the fleet battle it out on the way into Auckland, the Race Village is open in the Viaduct. The Global Party begins with twelve hours of entertainment every day from 9am to 9pm. Today's line up includes five live bands as well as race highlights and action on the big screens. Then there's the Volvo Experience with the Grinding Challenge, the Race simulator and Air Balls on water... [more]
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Maserati record attempt thwarted
Meaghan Van Liew,
The Maserati crew have returned to Charleston after their rudder was damaged while sailing toward Cape Hatteras last night. Maserati's windward rudder sustained significant damaged after hitting a chunk of wood in the Atlantic. Once in Charleston, the rudder will be immediately replaced with a spare.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race team Puma Ocean Racing suffer raincloud induced agony
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race team Puma Ocean Racing make new enemies as Amory Ross, MCM, reports: There are very few things in this world I hate. Alarm clocks. Creamed spinach. Spiders. Ghost stories. Tequila. The Boston Red Sox. Well, effective immediately – I'm adding clouds. I hate clouds. They're beautiful and they do look like ice cream, I know, but I still hate them.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams frustrated
Heather Ewing,
Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race entry Edinburgh Inspiring Capital have been racing to close the gap on the rest of the fleet since suspending racing yesterday to medevac an injured crew member. Alan Stewart is recovering after receiving hospital treatment for a fractured leg while the crew gets back to the business of racing across the Pacific Ocean.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: The battle tightens as North Cape beckons
Richard Gladwell,
While the fourth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race looks to be Groupama's to lose, the battle for the other two podium places has tightened over the past 24 hours. A trough of low pressure in the Tasman Sea may work in favour of both Camper and Puma as they try to make landfall at North Cape.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: The Race Village is opened in Auckland
Penny Dain,
The fleet may still be two days away but that didn't stop the celebrations at the Auckland Stopover Race Village. Auckland Mayor Len Brown (centre) cuts the ribbon to open the Auckland Stopover Race Village watched by Port Director Tom Mayo (left) and Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad (right).... [more]
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Bacardi Cup day 2
Jan Harley,
Organizers of the 85th Bacardi Cup were forced to cancel racing for the second day in a row. Organizers have revised the schedule for the 67 registered Star teams to include a second race on Thursday and Friday.... [more]
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Farr 40 US Circuit Championship Event No 2 a waiting game
Farr 40 Class Association,
Farr 40 teams anxious to race prepared their boats knowing that this was the likely outcome of the day's forecast. High winds off South Beach gusting to around 30 knots and a very unpleasant sea state resulted in a unanimous vote by owners and the race committee to forego racing for the day and try again tomorrow.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Phesheya-Racing completes podium
Oliver Dewar,
In Leg 3 of the Global Ocean Race, the South African duo of 45-year-old Nick Leggatt and 28-year-old Phillippa Hutton-Squire, crossed the finish line in Punta del Este in third place with their Akilaria Class40, Phesheya-Racing at 16:26:20 local (18:26:20 GMT) on Wednesday 7 March, taking 38 days 16 hours 26 minutes and 20 seconds to complete the 6,300-mile course from Wellington to Uruguay... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Squalls and a shakeup
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race this afternoon, Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) moved up to second place on the Leg 4 leader board as Groupama 4 continued to dominate. The fleet is racing towards Cape Reinga, the turning point at the northern tip of New Zealand's North Island, which lies 437 nautical miles ahead of Groupama.... [more]
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Miami Sailing Week - Stars back on the Bay
Jan Harley,
At Miami Sailing Week, conditions for the day were near perfect as 51 teams of Star sailors headed out on Biscayne Bay for the first day of racing. Headlining Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank, the Stars will race alone through Thursday, March 8, after which they will be joined by the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, Melges 24 and J/80 classes.... [more]
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Central South American Laser Radial Championship title for Saroli
ISAF,
At the Central South American Laser Radial Championship, Argentina's Olympic Laser Radial hopeful, Cecilia Carranza Saroli, claimed the title after a consistent week of racing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. On the last day, the competitors completed two races, the ninth and tenth of this competition. The gold fleet started racing at 11:15 local time with the silver fleet starting ten minutes later.... [more]
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Atlantic Cup entries increase
Atlantic Cup,
The Atlantic Cup 2012 will feature one of the largest prize purses for sailing in the U.S. ($30,000) and will be the first 'eco-friendly' competition of its kind, using biodiesel and hydrogenerators to limit the use of fuel during the competition and eliminating single-use plastic bottles in its hospitality villages.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Big gains for Puma Ocean Racing
Ken Read,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 17 of the second stage of Leg 4. Ken Read, Skipper of Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress: The cruelty in this game has got to be the three-hour 'scheds.' The three-hour progress reports we get from Volvo headquarters with each competitor's vital statistics and their exact position.... [more]
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Melges 20 Miami Winter Series ends with Miami Sailing Week
International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,
An impressive 39 Audi Melges 20s are entered to compete at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week. On deck in Miami are the usual suspects including back-to-back U.S. National Champion Michael Kiss on Bacio, recently crowned Gold Cup Champion Alessandro Rombelli on STIG, Miami Winter Regatta Champion Luca Lalli on BLinsailing.com and defending Bacardi Champion Mary Anne Ward on M&M Sailing Team.... [more]
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Miami Sailing Week Melges 24 - Strong fleet set for the competition
Melges 24 Class Association,
The U.S. Melges 24 Class is proud to welcome some of the world's greatest teams packed full with sailing superstars to warm and sunny Coconut Grove, Fla. for Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW).... [more]
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Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta Harbor Cup 2012
Rich Roberts,
Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup/Cal Maritime Invitational Intercollegiate Regatta will start on Friday out of Los Angeles Yacht Club. Ten teams from across the country will sail heavy duty Catalina 37s on an ocean course between the harbor entrance and Point Fermin.... [more]
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AC China Team setting up shop in Sanya
China Team ACWS Media,
China Team, the sole Chinese challenger for the AC 34, to take place in San Francisco in the summer of 2013, is delighted to announce that they will set up a training base in Sanya, at the Serenity Marina. Serenity Marina will host China Team's boats and sailing requirements for the upcoming training of China Team.... [more]
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