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28 Mar 2012

VOR: War of attrition—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

Damian Foxall working in freezing conditions onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. (Credit: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race)  Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race
The fists continue to swing in Leg Five of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), but attrition—rather than tactics—continues to be the culprit as the fleet of fleet of Volvo Open 70s presses from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil. What started out as a six-strong fleet of raceboats has now dwindled to three as overall race leader Telefonica has diverted to Ushuaia, Argentina to repair their bow. According to skipper Iker Martinez, the delamination damage occurred during a spectacular (and well-documented) double knockdown, which the team sustained over the weekend.

'As you can see, we've got no problems in terms of continuing to sail, but if we continue to violently crash against the waves like this the damage could worsen and we want to rule-out the possibility of that happening,' said Martínez. Current reports hold that Telefonica will rejoin the hunt once the repairs are made; more will be known once the team reaches Ushuaia, so stay tuned.

Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, Groupama continues to lead the way, with the French-flagged boat several hundred miles in front of Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro. Astern of Mar Mostro is Emirates Team New Zealand's stricken Camper, which also suffered breakage due to the rough slamming; they have committed to a stop in Chile, but are also expected to arrive in Itajaí on their own keel.

Team Sanya, however, is a different story as the Chinese-flagged team has reached New Zealand and is working fervently to repair their vessel, which sustained serious damage (and water ingress) after sheering off a rudder and spinning into an uncontrolled gybe several days ago. The team has suspended racing and the current plan calls for Sanya to be loaded onto a container ship bound for Miami, where she will rejoin the fleet for Leg 7. 'We will make it happen and Team Sanya will be back in action before you know it,' said skipper Mike Sanderson.

For Groupama, Mar Mostro and—some 1,400 miles astern—Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam, which continues to be beleaguered by light winds and (relatively) sticky boatspeeds, the game is about sailing smart and not breaking anything. All crews have eased off their accelerators, but it's a safe wager that Ken Read and company aboard Mar Mostro are pressing hard to catch Groupama. Get the full VOR media blitz, inside.

2012 World Windsurfing Championships  Vincenzo Baglione

Meanwhile, racing had to be cancelled at the RS:X Worlds, which are taking place in Cadiz, Spain, due to sustained 30-knot winds and white-streaked water. Instead of buoy racing, a winner-takes-all speed contest was held inside the breakwater. Check out the heavy-wind video and get the names of the winners, inside, and stay tuned for more info from this event, which continues through Thursday.

Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron emerges from the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible after his successful solo dive to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. The dive was part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research. - Deepsea Challange  Mark Thiessen National Geographic

Also in the news this week was film maker/explorer James Cameron (Titanic and Avatar), who became the first person to dive into the ocean's deepest depths, solo. Interestingly, Cameron helped revolutionized submarine design by flipping the capsule from a horizontal to a vertical orientation; even cooler for sailors is the fact that McConaghy Boats—builders of many of the world's quickest carbon-fiber raceboats—was heavily involved in the project. Check out the report, inside.

Also inside, get the latest news from Giovanni Soldini and his Maserati crewmembers who just arrived in New York after a storm-fraught passage from Miami; check-in with the Clipper Around The World Race, and get the wrap-up report from the US Etchells Nationals, which just concluded in Miami.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Congressional Cup day 1 - Brady finds his touch
Rich Roberts,
On Day 1 of Long Beach Yacht Club's 48th Congressional Cup Gavin Brady quickly found his touch to sweep his five races. Winds for the racing before spectators on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier were a moderately chilly and brisk 10 to 14 knots from the normal southwest, leaving boat handling paramount and the rest of the fleet tightly bunched at 3-2 or 2-3.... [more]
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America's Cup: San Francisco Board approves Cup Agreement
Sail-World,
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today approved by a majority of 11-0, the agreement to host the America's Cup in San Francisco September 7 to 22, 2013. The San Francisco agreement calls for teams to be based at Piers 30/32 and for the America's Cup Village – the public Race Headquarters – at Piers 27/29. The pier improvements will be funded by the Port.... [more]
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Vendee Globe skippers seek top form for upcoming race
Vendee Globe,
There are now fewer than eight months to go before the Vendée Globe gets underway and skippers are currently actively working on their physical preparation in order to reach their peak form on November 10. Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) and Kito de Pavant's (Groupe Bel) physical trainers tell us more about the key-elements of an ideal training.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Telefonica pitstop plan revealed + Video
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama sailing team extended their advantage at the head of the fleet, moving 46 nautical miles clear of Puma at 1900 UTC on Tuesday as race leaders Team Telefónica, 335 nm off the lead in third, revealed a plan to make a pit stop for repairs.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Team Sanya arrives in Tauranga
Garth Cooke, Volvo Ocean Race,
Team Sanya, has arrived in the New Zealand port of Tauranga, after breaking a rudder shaft while leading Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, forcing her retirement from Leg 5. She will miss Leg 6, but will rejoin the race for Leg 7. She ships out of New Zealand on Wednesday. Gareth Cooke was on hand to catch the team's arrival in Tauranga.... [more]
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BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival halted by Mother Nature
Louay Habib,
Mother Nature put a stop to racing on the first day of the BVI Sailing Festival. Principal Race Officer, Dave Brennan postponed the start of the race to Bitter End and indicated to the 48 competing yachts in the starting area to motor up towards Virgin Gorda, to see if the situation would improve. In the vicinity of Ginger Island, there were some signs of a stable wind developing... [more]
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US Etchells Nationals in Miami - Siegal and crew champions
Connie Bischoff,
Competitive racing, beautiful Miami weather, great wind at the U.S. Etchells Class National Championship, sailed from the Coral Reef Yacht Club, Miami. The racing was tight going into the last day with several of the highly talented teams in contention.... [more]
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Newport Bermuda entries closing soon
Talbot Wilson,
As of Sunday March 25th, 172 boats have been entered in the registration system for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Of these, 161 have filed their AFE's and 147 have been invited to race. According to information supplied on the applications, there are 48 boats that are new to the race. This does not mean that there will be 48 new skippers because some these are experienced owners with new boats.... [more]
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Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta and Women's Invitational
Debra Frenkel,
It is nearly time for the Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta 'Beyond Disabilities' and the Women's Invitational Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta. These two events will take place from May 31st - June 3rd at the Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY with their Co-Host, American Yacht Club.... [more]
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RS:X Worlds - Racing halted with gusts up to 50 knots + Video
Rory Ramsden,
At the World Windsurfing Championships in Cadiz, it didn't take long for the Race Committee to pull the plug on racing. The committee boat anchored and with a few minutes, their bowroller was bent out of shape as the first 40 knot gust came through. White caps transformed into vapor as the sea became streaked with white lines...... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet continues to be tested
Heather Ewing,
As the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race leading teams break through the 1,000 miles to go barrier, undoubtedly giving the exhausted sailors a much needed boost, the Pacific Ocean continues to throw her challenges at them. The distances between the fleet remain close.... [more]
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McConaghy boats - The fastest and now the deepest
Blue Robinson,
McConaghy boats are renowned for building the some of the fastest yachts afloat. Now McConaghy construction skills have been used by film maker/explorer James Cameron - who has just entered the history books and became the first person to make a solo dive to the ocean's deepest point.... [more]
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Interview with Mike Urwin, Chairman of the IRC Technical Committee
IRC / Louay Habib,
Mike Urwin, joint Chairman of the IRC Technical Committee, is interviewed by Louay Habib on some detail technical aspects of IRC.... [more]
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Maserati arrives in NY but declines ratification of record attempt
Meaghan Van Liew,
In New York at at 11:50 am this morning GMT (7:50 am local time), the Maserati crew reached the Ambrose light station in New York, destination point of the Miami-New York record attempt. Soldini and his team chose not to ratify the Miami - New York record with the World Sailing Speed Record Council.... [more]
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ISAF Evaluations - Roland Gaebler's observations
Roland Gaebler,
Roland Gaebler talks about the super sailing in Santander during the ISAF Multihull Evaluation. What a great place to sail! Inshore with flat water and tactical challenges. Offshore with real waves and nice surf. The Club made an amazing job. Its one of the best places for sailing we ever saw. Nice facilities, brilliant beaches and snow on the mountains. Purely one of the nicest sailing scenery.... [more]
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A look back at the 2012 International Rolex Regatta
Anna Parker, Sail-World.com,
The 2012 International Rolex Regatta, an event deemed as the ‘Crown Jewel' of Caribbean regattas, welcomed 68 boats and more than 500 sailors who represented the U.S., Great Britain, Puerto Rico, Canada, The Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Sweden, Monaco and multiple Caribbean islands to the St. Thomas Yacht Club in St, Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands from 23-25 March.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson explains Camper's situation - Video
Sail-World,
Camper skipper Chris Nicholson explains the damage and situation facing Camper as they head towards the Chilean port of Puerto Montt to effect repairs. Camper damaged a safety bulkhead, on the first night of the race, then the port longitudinal frame let go for part of its length, followed by the starboard longitudinal. Two part video by Chris Nicholson... [more]
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RS:X Worlds - A war of attrition ensues + Video
Rory Ramsden,
At the 2012 World Windsurfing Championships in Cadiz, the Gold Fleets were able to get out on the water and complete three races for the day whilst the Silver Fleet were unable to race. Wind speeds were solidly in the mid 20s and topping out over 30. This world championship is turning into a war of attrition. Attrition on the sailors. And attrition on the equipment.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Great day onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 8 of Leg 5. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: Today was a great day among good ones, and for no reason in particular. Sometimes a bunch of little things add up and you find yourself riding a high of the likes you haven't felt in far too long.... [more]
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International Rolex Regatta - Last day decider
Barby MacGowan,
Today's International Rolex Regatta tactically demanding Pillsbury Sound races, with courses that wound through the cays of St. Thomas and St. John, decided winners in one IRC and three CSA classes as well as a Beach Cat class, while one-design IC 24s completed six short-course races in Jersey Bay to determine that class's victor.... [more]
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