NZ-Noumea yacht in trouble, GOR double walloping - US news and more
Overnight, Karl Kwoks 80 footer Beau Geste has got into trouble in the Auckland to Noumea Race, we have the breaking news.
|Storm jib at the height of the gale - Global Ocean Race 2011-12 Phesheya Racing |
Sailors competing in the double-handed, around-the-world Global Ocean Race (GOR), which is being contested in Class 40 raceboats, have taken a double pounding as the fleet has been rolled by two significant low-pressure systems in the past week. The second of these, Tropical Storm Beryl, delivered winds north of 40 knots in certain areas. Co-skippers Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough, aboard Cessna Citation, are leading the pack by 300 miles, but the past 24 hours have seen Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo, aboard Financial Crisis, make noticeable gains on the leaders.
'Before the winds built up on Saturday, we were surfing along, fastest boat in the fleet, with the biggest masthead spinnaker,' reported Nannini. 'Then, before sunset, the sky started to be covered in clouds, the wind was backing to the south and increasing, all signs of the approaching low-pressure system... During the night we had steady 30-35 knots with the maximum gust at 40 knots, a bit more than we expected, but we decided to ride it with [a smaller] spinnaker up. The boat was surfing often at 15 to 18 knots in an exuberant power display, sometimes surfing at over 20 knots between two walls of spray.'
Conditions are reportedly worse further astern. 'We're now in the depression with the wind building to over 30 knots and occasional gusts to 35 knots,' reported Sec. Hayai.‘s co-skipper Frans Budel in an email dispatch. 'So we're sailing with two reefs in the main and staysail, but there's still water flying everywhere.' Get the full GOR? Report, inside.
|Fireworks go off, as Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker from the UK finish first on leg 7, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race) Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race© |
And in the fully crewed around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), the leaderboard is displaying some extremely tight numbers between the three Juan K-designed Volvo Open 70s, namely Groupama 4, Telefonica and Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro. The podium saw an upset as Telefonica fell from first place for the first time since leaving Alicante, Spain last November thanks to a Leg Seven win by Ian Walker's Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, followed by Groupama 4 in second place and the Spanish-flagged Telefonica in fourth, with Puma Ocean Racing take Bronze.
'The truth is that the only thing all of us will remember will be how we end up in Galway,' said Telefonica's skipper, Iker Martinez in Lisbon, Portugal. 'We always said our goal was to be in a position to fight for the race in the final leg. Today we are there so it's not bad but obviously it's not as good as we have been.'
As for the American-flagged contingency, skipper Ken Read's Puma Ocean Racing have been showing some serious wick recently and, in third-place, they could still prove victorious. 'We're still very confident—we have just beaten two out of our three closest competitors in this leg, and before that we won the previous two legs,' said skipper Ken Read. Get the full VOR lowdown and multimedia report, inside this issue.
|Barkow. - Chicago Match Race Center's June Grade 2 Invitational CMRC - Chicago Match Race Center - ©|
And in match-racing circles, the Chicago Match Race Center's June Grade 2 Invitational enjoyed a fine weekend of racing under skies of different color and cloud compositions. At the time of this writing, Taylor Canfield, of the US Virgin Islands, is defending a narrow margin as overall leader in the Men' division, while former Olympian Sally Bakow is leading the women's side.
'The team really came together today, pulling off miracles at the mark roundings,' said Barkow. 'One of our crew had to work the night shift on Thursday night, getting off work at 8 AM, so yesterday was tough for us. So it was nice to get our timing down today. But it wasn't easy: there were lots of lead changes, and lots of shifts.'
And finally, be sure to get the latest scoop from the World Match Racing Tour' Korea Match Cup, the Finn World Maters, and the Sperry Top-Sider/ICSA Women's National Championships, inside this issue.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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