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