VOR: And they're off...again —Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
This week's big sailing news is the start of Leg Eight of the fully crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), which is taking the fleet from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France by way of the Azores. In total, the leg represents more than 1,900 miles, the later portion of which could be quite lumpy, at least according to preliminary forecasts. Puma Ocean Racing enjoyed a perfect start, leading the six-strong parade of Volvo Open 70s out of town.
|Puma Ocean Racing powered by BERG, Leg 8, Day 1 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race© |
Interestingly, multiple teams are within striking range of the race's overall win, making this one of the most fiercely contested VOR in the event's proud history. 'We've been second in this race before, and there's a lot of racing still to go,' said Ken Read, skipper of Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro. 'Groupama are not going to be feeling very secure up there -- they know there's a lot of racing left.'
The weekend's Oeiras In-Port Race further shuffled the cards, as current leader Groupama sailed extremely well, finishing in first place, while their arch rival Telefonica had another hard day out on the water. Puma Ocean Racing finished in second place, followed by Emirates Team New Zealand. 'We had a great start and if you win the start it's a little bit easier,' said Groupama 4 skipper Franck Cammas. 'We did a great job today. Sometimes I'm not very good with the starts so we worked a lot yesterday to practice downwind starts. They're very tricky, there's a lot to do in the last 10 seconds.' Given the team's recent run of successes, it's obvious that Cammas and company have discovered the keys to more than just downwind starts. Get the full VOR media blast, inside.
In One Design circles, US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider has sailed away from the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta with a silver medal in the Women's 470 class (Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan), and a bronze medal in the Women's Match Racing event (Anna Tunnicliffe, Molly Vandemoer and Debbie Capozzi). Zach Railey, it should be noted, finished fourth in the hotly contested Finn class.
|SFG120602 IMG 2427 credit WillRicketson-USSAILING Will Ricketson / US Sailing Team |
'It feels great,' said Amanda Clark, skipper of the Women's 470 team. 'We're pretty excited to be racing at the front of the fleet. [Next month's Olympic Games are] going to be amazing competition. By no means does this say this is how it's going to stack up [next month]. This is why we do this, to sail against the best in the world and to challenge ourselves. Sarah [Lihan] and I have worked really hard for this. We're psyched to take this into the Olympics.' Get the full Skandia Sail for Gold post-racing report, inside, and stay tuned for all things Olympics as the action starts soon.
You will note too that Sail-World's Greg Nicoll talked to Sperry about their 30 second decision to sponsor the US Sailing team in New York this week.
|Swan 60, Bronenosec are currently leading class 0 IRC at the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2012 © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo|
Meanwhile, in the Med, the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2012 has seen blustery conditions that have tested man and machine alike. The event, which is being organized by the Yacht Club Italiano, along with the Yacht Club de France, the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez and the Yacht Club Sanrem, runs until June 15 and is based out of Saint-Tropez.
The event's main attraction is the 242-mile distance race, which takes the fleet from Saint Tropez to Sanremo, by way of the Giraglia rock, which is situated off the northern tip of Corsica. 'Almost two hundred boats should be participating, demonstrating that the Giraglia Rolex Cup has a place in everyone's heart,' said Carlo Croce, President of event organizers Yacht Club Italiano. 'Many nations, from almost everywhere, are represented and above all lots of larger boats which hasn't always been the case. A very high level of competition is in prospect.'
|Edmond de Rothschild - Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 3 © Vincent Curutchet / Dark Frame |
And finally, be sure to read about the latest happenings in the Clipper Around the World Race, the Extreme Sailing Series and the New York Yacht Club's 158th Annual Regatta, in this issue.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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