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30 Apr 2012

Volvo Open 70s, Olympic class updates and a Grand Prix roundup—Sailing

Nice sailing conditions on deck at sunrise. 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©
In the fully crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), action is tight as can be at the front of the pack, where—at the time of this writing—Puma Ocean Racing commanded a narrow margin over Telefonica and Emirates Team New Zealand (ENTZ). A look at the leaderboard reveals a separation of less than five miles between the top boats, with a hair's width under three thousand miles of racing left before the fleet arrives in Miami, Florida.

The real outlier, however, has been the usually quick Groupama 4, who has seemed off the pace ever since leaving Itajai, Brazil for Miami. Currently, Groupama 4 are lagging behind Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's usually sticky Azzam by some 80 miles, raising the question as to if this is a tactical problem or a boatspeed issue (the later hypothesis spurned by the team's unfortunate dismasting on Leg Five, coupled with comments from the team about the boat 'feeling slow').

'The breeze has picked up to six knots again so we're happy!' reported Groupama's Charles Caudrelier. 'The leaders are escaping this rather inactive zone and are set to accelerate. As such, we're expecting them to extend their lead even more... It's a severe punishment for us, even though we messed-up the start of the leg a bit, and since then we haven't had a solution for making a comeback. It's very frustrating because it's going to be a very long race and we can see that there's a fine match going on ahead of us and we're not part of it... Beyond the points we may lose in the overall standing, it's not much fun on a day-to-day basis.'

Ken Read keeps an eye on CAMPER with a hand bearing compass. 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©

At the front of the fleet, however, the VOR is already working its elusive magic on the sailors, treating them to Champaign sailing, the variety of which entices men to 're-enlist' for 'another lap'. For us landlubber viewers, the footage coming off the boats might not be as dramatic as the Southern Ocean slam machine that the teams tangoed with a few weeks ago, but, tactically speaking, these are some of the more interesting miles of the race. Get the full story, inside.

Meanwhile, in One Design circles, the Semaine Olympique Francaise wrapped up last week, with some impressive final results posted by US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider. In the Women's Match Racing event, Anna Tunnicliffe's 'Team Maclaren' (Tunnicliffe, plus Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi) proved untouchable, which is a fantastic boost going into next weekend's Olympic trials. Interestingly, Tunnicliffe's chief competition for an Olympic Berth—Sally Barkow and her 'Team 7' (Barkow, plus Alana O'Reilly and Elizabeth Kratzig Burnham)—earned a silver medal, thus upping next weekend's stakes. 'We're very happy with how the racing went,' said Tunnicliffe. 'It was a lot of races, 16 races, and unfortunately we couldn't go into the finals, but you can't control the weather. We're psyched with where we're at (with racing), so far, going into the Trials.'

And in the SKUD-18 class, Jen French and JP Creignou won a bronze medal, rounding out a 'virtual podium' of gold, silver and bronze finishes. Also, Amanda Clark and crewmate Sarah Lihan finished in second place in the Women's 470 event, thus adding another great data point prior to this summer's Games. 'We're really excited; it's been a great week of strong wind,' said Clark. 'We've been practicing a lot in strong wind and it shows. To finish up second here really helps our confidence as we go into the Games this summer. Turning it up for this event and the Worlds, that's our main goal.'

BTW the Laser Radial Youth and Laser Radial Mens World Championships NOR and online entry is now live on the International Laser site.

Aegean after start of Newport to Ensenda Yacht Race  Newport Beach Patch .

Tragically, reports are in that three sailors died and another went missing in the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race after Aegean, a Hunter 376, it seems must have collided with a large vessel in the main shipping channel, just south of the Mexican border. 'The 37-foot Redondo Beach-based Aegean was skippered by its owner, Theo Mavromatis, and had its regular crew,' reported Ray Pollock of Marina Sailing, which is involved with Mavromatis and Aegean. 'We don't have any details of what happened to the boat,' Pollock said. 'The boat was very seaworthy and had all the instruments you need to avoid collisions. I'd probably rule out operator error.' Get the latest report, inside.

Melges 32 East Coast Championship - West Palm Beach Regatta 2012  JOY - International Melges 32 Class Association ©

Also inside, be sure to get the latest from the Melges 32 East Coast Championships; check-out the report from the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race, and check-in with the Global Ocean Race fleet as they push towards Charleston, South Carolina. And finally, stay tuned to the latest happenings from Antigua Sailing Week, which starts Monday and runs through this Friday.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama dive due west
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama hasn't managed to reduce its deficit in relation to the leaders due to the tradewinds favouring the frontrunners. However there is still an opportunity for this to happen tonight, when the head of the race encounter a more uncertain weather zone.... [more]
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Antigua Sailing Week day 1 - Drama, action and a blistering start
Louay Habib,
Exciting action and drama got Antigua Sailing Week off to a blistering start. Stefan Lehnert was understandably concerned when his son, Phillip went over board from Tripp 56, Passion 4C during a broach when approaching the Half Moon mark.... [more]
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Newport to Ensenada - Suspected shipping collision deaths - Update
Sail-World.com,
Newport to Ensenada Race - Three sailors are dead and one is missing after the Redondo Beach based Hunter 376 yacht Aegean sailing in the category three 113 nautical mile apparently collided with a large vessel in the main shipping channel near the Coronada Islands just south of the Mexican border.... [more]
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America's Cup: AC72 a triple leap of faith - Luca Devoti
Luca Devoti, Vsail.info,
Luca Devoti gives a critical view on the current America's Cup and, in particular, the AC72 yacht which he considers to be an example of the 'complete lack of practicality' that, in his opinion, marks the 34th America's Cup. Devoti has first-hand experience on the issue, having been the Sports Director of Green Comm Racing, the now defunct challenger for the 34th America's Cup:... [more]
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Olympic Sailing Competition - Tokyo 1964
ISAF,
During the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, sailing was initially supposed to take place at Yokohama, but after it was deemed unsuitable, the events were held off the coast of Enoshima Island in Kanagawa Prefecture on the bay of Sagami.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - High pressure agony
Oliver Dewar,
For the Global Ocean Race leaders, Cessna Citation, there's high pressure agony tantalisingly close to the finish line in Charleston as the three chasing Class40s, Financial Crisis, Phesheya-Racing and Sec. Hayai thunder north at high speed parallel to the Bahamas. Having made major gains on Saturday, the brakes went on for Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough on Sunday morning... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Puma's lead collapses as the fleet turn corner
Richard Gladwell,
The lead of over an hour enjoyed by Puma Ocean Racing for the majority of Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race, seems to have collapsed as they turn the corner of South America. The Volvo Ocean Race Tracker, using an instant position system, reports that Puma now has a lead of just 4nm over Camper sailed by Emirates Team NZ, with Telefonica 10nm back.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro holds off Camper
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 7 of Leg 6. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: Camper first appeared on the horizon two days ago and we managed to keep them there. But yesterday they kept coming, they kept getting bigger, and it seemed like there was nothing we could do to stop them.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race Committee shorten Race 10 course
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - The last 24 hours has seen the competition heat up even further. Several of the ten yacht entries are now in sight of each other and as anticipated, the Race Committee has shortened the race course. Race Director Joff Bailey explains, 'The Clipper Race Committee has shortened the course for race ten by selecting one of the pre-existing gates... [more]
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Melges 32 East Coast Championship Day 2 drama
Joy Dunnigan,
Melges 32 East Coast Championship at West Palm Beach, Florida, being lead by Carroll was nothing short of dramatic on the second day of racing. Three more races, a near perfect 12-15 knots of breeze, overcast skies and big seas put a wild spin on the leaderboard. Jason Carroll on Argo now leads the 16-strong fleet, ahead by three.... [more]
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Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race - Two duel for honors
Rich Roberts,
Bad Pak made a strong comeback from an awful start Friday when another Maxi rival, Taxi Dancer, forced it off the starting line behind the pin-end committee boat as Medicine Man built an early lead.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Morale high onboard Puma's Mar Mostro + Video
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 6 of Leg 6. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: Oh the joys of ocean racing. Here we are thinking we can afford a little complacency, some casual downtime on the rail – maybe a small reward for days of hard work and tangible successes – when what do we do?... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Black Friday for Financial Crisis
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race - It has been a painful 24 hours for Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattarruolo in second place on Financial Crisis as the two chasing Class40s, Phesheya-Racing and Sec. Hayai, eat heavily into their lead and Cessna Citation extends quickly away to the north and the finish line in Charleston.... [more]
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Womens Olympic Skiff proves a point in a 25kt breeze + Video
Richard Gladwell,
Mackay Boats, the team behind the FX, one of two preferred boats to emerge from the recent Olympic Womens Skiff Trials have responded to the report presented to the International Sailing Federation and comments made by other parties.... [more]
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Melges 32 East Coast Championship day 1 a three way tie
Joy Dunigan,
Melges 32 East Coast Championship commenced under very light and shifty conditions resulting in a three-way tie for first in points. After a brief on-land postponement, PRO Hank Stuart took a stab at Race One around noon. With two beats and run on the board, Stuart abandoned the effort as the breeze shifted more than 70 degrees.... [more]
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Antigua Sailing Week - Strong and gusty for feeder race
Louay Habib,
The Guadeloupe to Antigua Race has been running for over 40 years. Line Honours went to Hector Verlarde's NM92, Locura completing the 42-mile course in just over three and a half hours.... [more]
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Bermuda International Race Week - Unusual way to win a regatta
Talbot Wilson,
'It is an unusual way to win a regatta ,' Burnham said while he and his team repaired the rigging later in the afternoon. John Burnham is a two-time IOD world Champion.... [more]
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Laser Radial Worlds Youth and Mens 2012 – NOR and online entry NOW
Laser Radial Youth & Mens World Championship media,
The 2012 Laser Masters Worlds was sailed out of Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron (RQYS) in Brisbane Australia in March and there are two more Laser Class World Championships scheduled for the same venue. World Laser Radial Youth Championship 2012 - Thu 28th June - Wed fourth World Laser Radial Men's Championship 2012 - Wed 11th July - Tue 17th July... [more]
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Too large or just right? The bias on weight in Olympic Sailing
Roland Gaebler,
Is there bias in Olympic Sailing? Perhaps discrimination of athletes that are above average weights? It seems as though lightweights will dominate future Olympic Sailing!... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères overall
ISAF,
Semaine Olympique Francaise - China's Lijia Xu is starting to peak at the right time following her third 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal, in Hyères, France, which moves her to the top of the Laser Radial Standings. As the big wind specialists came to the forefront in Hyères, Xu has shown superb consistency in variable conditions... [more]
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OK Dinghy World Ranking List April 2012 - Little change at the top
Robert Deaves,
The first OK Dinghy World Ranking List of the year sees little change at the top, after the top three down under regattas have been completed. This list includes the Australian and New Zealand National Championships as well as the Interdominion Championships, which this year was held in New Zealand.... [more]
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Melges 32's locked and loaded for East Coast Championships
Joy Dunigan,
West Palm Beach Regatta - Melges 32 Class is sporting 16 high-powered machines, locked and loaded, amidst the towering mega yachts of Rybovich Marina in West Palm Beach, Florida, which are ready to race just off the shore. Rybovich's south dock is a star-studded sailing walk of fame populated with the likes of Jonathan McKee, Cameron Appleton, Eric Doyle, Dave Armitage, Andy Horton, Bill Hardesty... [more]
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MOD70 Multi One Championship - Krys Ocean Race preview
Sabina Mollart-Rogerson,
Krys Ocean Race - New York will be start city for the new MOD70 class's first ever trans-oceanic race. Officially launched at the French Consulate in New York, today Thursday 26th April in the presence of the Consul M Philippe Lalliot and renowned American sailor Dawn Riley, the American program which forms the prelude to the MOD 70 Krys Ocean Race promises a full complement of activities... [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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