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27 Apr 2012

VOR: welcome to a magic carpet ride—Sailing news from U.S. and beyond

Ken Read points to a rain squall chasing the Mar Mostro through the Brazilian calm. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Itajai, Brazil, to Miami, USA. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race)  Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race©
After several days of sticky sailing and frustratingly light air, the lead boats in the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) are now punching into developing tradewinds, which are immediately registering as double-digit figures on their speedos.

Currently, Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro is leading the charge, followed nearly 20 miles astern by Emirates Team New Zealand's (ENTZ) Camper and then Telefonica, another 20 miles behind their Kiwi-flagged friends. 'We'd be happy to be another 40 miles east than where we are now, but, at the same time, we are only 180 nm off the coast, so the breeze only has to shift 10 degrees further right and we'd be very happy with where we are,' lamented ENTZ's navigator, Will Oxley.

Finally some wind Groupama Sailing Team on Day 4 of Leg 6 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race

Spirits are understandably high aboard the American-flagged Mar Mostro, and lower aboard Groupama 4, which is uncharacteristically bringing up the rear of the fleet. 'We've had a speed deficit during the start of this course, which means that we've fallen behind,' said Groupama 4's Charles Caudrelier. 'We had an issue as regards Telefonica: we've checked that we didn't have anything stuck around the appendages and I even went into the water to take a look. We still don't understand what the problem was since it was on a point of sail where Groupama 4 is usually fairly at ease...'

And in Cup news, America's Cup Regatta Director, Ian Murray, has confirmed reports that his organization has offered New Zealand a pre-Cup regatta, to be contested in the new AC72-class wingsail-powered catamarans. 'We have offered to go to New Zealand and provide a three-day series,' said Murray. 'It would be a test session for us and we would use the full electronic controls, which means that race boundaries would be used and we would interface with the full electronics package.' Current speculation holds that three teams—ENTZ, Oracle Racing and Luna Rossa—will take part in the informal regatta, although there is no official word as to venue, or if New Zealand will even accept the offer. More, as it becomes known!

Belcher and Page battling the conditions in Hyeres - Semaine Olympique Francaise de Voile 2012  Thom Touw ©

And in One Design circles, the action is getting serious at the breeze-on Semaine Olympique Francaise regatta. While some classes are behind schedule due to the bluster, others are tracking, and the event is certainly proving to be an excellent test of each sailor's heavy-weather acumen. 'It was pretty epic,' said Sonar sailor John Robertson (GBR) of yesterday's conditions. 'It was pretty much near my limit, I think really just for the wave conditions; [they were] short, steep and wind driven. Big, steep, with breakers on top—it was pretty full on, but good fun though.'

(AUS) Mathew Belcher and Malcolm Page, 470 leaders day 5 - Semaine Olympique Francaise 2012  © Jean-Marie Liot /DPPI/FFV

US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider sailors are having a good regatta, with four teams currently occupying Top 10 positions in the Women's 470s (Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan), Sonars (Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Bradley Johnson), SKUD-18s (Jen French and JP Creignou) and the 2.4mR (Mark LeBlanc). Get the full story, plus video interviews with the sailors, inside, and stand by for final regatta results, as they become known.

Also inside, get the latest report from the Global Ocean Race, the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race, and the Bermuda International Invitational Race Week. Lastly, check out Thom Touw's great image gallery from the Semaine Olympique Francaise

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

Semaine Olympique Francaise - Battle continues for US sailors + Video
Dana Paxton,
On day five of racing at the Semaine Olympique Francaise, it was another day of heavy wind and big waves preventing some of the classes from completing racing. For Friday's medal races in the Olympic classes, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider will be represented in the Women's 470 by Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan.... [more]
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Bermuda International Invitational Race Week - Thompson victorious
Talbot Wilson,
At the 2012 Bermuda International Invitational Race Week, Will Thompson and Tim Patton have been battling tooth and nail over the course of the week for Etchells bragging rights and the Trimingham Trophy that is awarded to the winner of the class. Today Thompson snatched the prize with a third and a first on the day.... [more]
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America's Cup: AC72 regatta offered to New Zealand for summer of 2013
Richard Gladwell,
America's Cup Regatta Director Iain Murray, told Sail-World.com this morning that his organisation had offered to stage an informal series between the three America's Cup teams that would be sailing AC72's in New Zealand, next summer. 'We have offered to go to New Zealand and provide a three day series', he told an international media conference this morning.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Day 4 of Leg 6 for Puma
Ken Read,
Volvo Ocean Race – Puma skipper Ken Read shares his thoughts on Leg 6 and the crew's progress... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma out in front and hanging on
Volvo Ocean Race and Sail-World,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, after a tense night with plenty of cloud activity and a few gybes this morning to set up the angle for the turning point at Recife on the coast of Brazil, Puma Ocean Racing Powered by Berg has continued to hang on to the lead she claimed at 0400 GMT this morning. Puma enjoys a lead of about an hour over Camper, according to the latest projections.... [more]
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Semaine Olympique Francaise - Extreme conditions and domination
Corinne Rolland-McKenzie,
The Semaine Olympique Francaise has had another day of extreme conditions with the sailors and racing committees having used lots of time and energy on the water over the week. While some classes and especially Women's Match racing being behind schedule, other classes were able to enjoy a full programme dominated by breezy races.... [more]
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Semaine Olympique Francaise day 5 - Men's 470 images by Thom Touw
Anna Parker, Sail-World,
Photographer Thom Touw shares with us images of Men's 470 sailing action from day five of the Semaine Olympique Francaise, the French Sailing Week, taking place in Hyeres, France.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Tough, tiring Leg 6 for Groupama
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race - The wind hasn't been very cooperative for Groupama 4 over the past 48 hours and their deficit in relation to pole position has further increased. However, the zone of light, fluky winds appears to be evaporating to give way to a fairly inconsistent easterly tradewind.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma punch through cold front
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 4 of Leg 6. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: It seems we are through both front and ridge and finally free to point north, but it was not without its troubles! We first pushed through the frontal barrier with little resistance... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - New York in second Stealth Mode
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - 'A day of Champagne sailing', is how one of the skippers describes the last 24 hours at sea for the ten-strong fleet – a clear sign of joy as winds start to pick up for the fleet closest to shore. The past 24 hours has seen speeds going back up into double figure knots, especially for the more southerly positioned yachts... [more]
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Semaine Olympique Francaise - US Sailing Team in top 10 + Videos
Dana Paxton,
On day four of racing at Semaine Olympique Francaise, light wind was a complete change from the previous three days' 20-plus knots. US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider holds four top-10 positions: Jen French and JP Creignou third in the SKUD-18; Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan fourth in Women's 470; Mark LeBlanc is tenth in 2.4mR; and Paul Callahan, Tom Brown and Bradley Johnson are tenth in Sonar.... [more]
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Semaine Olympique Francaise - Men's 470 images by Thom Touw
Anna Parker, Sail-World,
Photographer Thom Touw shares with us images of Men's 470 sailing action from day three of the Semaine Olympique Francaise taking place in Hyeres, France.... [more]
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Argo Group Gold Cup - Invitations issued by Royal Bermuda YC
Talbot Wilson,
The 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup will get underway on October 2nd in Hamilton, Bermuda and today, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club has issued invitations for the for the event. Automatic invitations went to the nine Alpari World Match Racing Tour Card Holders. Another 13 invitations went to a selection of top sailors... [more]
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Bermuda International Invitational Race Week Day 3
Talbot Wilson,
On day three of Bermuda International invitational Race Week, two-time IOD World Champion John Burnham took the helm again and drove the Burnham/Rugg IOD team to a comfortable third-place finish in what was the last race of the seven-race IOD ‘A' Series to take home the series silver.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Camper regains pole position, Puma set to strike
Volvo Ocean Race and Sail-World,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, after a day of reasonably high speeds and easy sailing, at 1600 UTC today the Leg 6 lead changed again when Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) regained pole position followed by sparring partner Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR).... [more]
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Around Jamestown Record Sailing Race announced
Julianna Barbieri,
Manuka Sports Event Management in association with Double Cross Vodka, Café Zelda and Mount Gay Rum are excited to announce The Around Jamestown Record, a perpetual all out record for sailing around Conanicut Island (also known as Jamestown) in lower Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island.... [more]
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ISAF Youth Sailing Worlds - 30 young sailors awarded APP funding
The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships are being held in Dublin, Ireland this year. ISAF is pleased to announce that 30 competitors from 12 nations have been approved to receive funding from the Athlete Participation Programme (APP) so they can enter into the event. Since 2002 APP funding has enabled over 150 sailors the chance to compete at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Of snapping tacklines and abundant dolphins + Videos
Hamish Hooper,
Hamish Hooper blogs from on board Camper off the Brazilian coast, South America: At the moment my first action of the day is to go up on deck, scan the horizon and play spot the other Volvo boats. It was a satisfying way to start the day seeing Abu Dhabi had shrunk over night and was now around 3 or 4 miles astern of us. See two videos from Camper in this story... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Calm onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 3 of Leg 6. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: These are easy miles, these. Close reaching in flat water, making 20 knots of boat speed in 16 knots of wind, there is little discomfort other than the rising temperature. In these conditions it takes little effort to keep our Mar Mostro moving well through the water.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Puma takes up the running as race lead see-saws
Sail-World and Volvo Ocean Race,
US flagged, Puma Ocean Racing have taken the lead from Camper, who had survived the heart stopping 'bang' and explosion of a tack line to hold the lead, before losing it to Ken Read's crew. Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg climbed to second place at 0100 UTC, clocking up more miles in the past 24 hours than anyone else in the fleet, some 265 nautical miles to Camper's 247,... [more]
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Olympic Windsurfers offer support for Kiteboarding's Olympic Bid
Markus Schwendtner,
After the results from the ISAF Kiteboarding Trials in Santander have been published, the IKA's Olympic Campaign gains some unexpected momentum by getting support from the windsurfers themselves.... [more]
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Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the US Sailing team new sponsor
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
The big news from the racing world is the announcement that Sperry Top-Sider has stepped-up to title sponsorship of the US Sailing Team, now freshly re-minted the US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. This new sponsorship is effective immediately and isn't planned to sunset until December 31, 2016, giving the sailors and the company plenty of time to develop a strong partnership.... [more]
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