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14 Jun 2012

Highs and lows—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

Brad Jackson meets a wall of water while trimming and grinding the mainsheet, onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Amory Ross ©
Leg Eight of the highly wound Volvo Ocean Race is proving to be every bit as competitive as advertised as four teams—Puma Ocean Racing, Groupama, Telefonica and Emirates Team New Zealand (ENTZ)—are all contenders for the race's overall trophy.

Two days ago Groupama 4 enjoyed a narrow lead over Telefonica and Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro with ENTZ's Camper in close pursuit—in the light, upwind airs that the fleet must negotiate before rounding São Miguel in the Azores and then spinning their bows towards France and Leg Eight's finishing line. 'So far the three of us have been glued to each other for the entire race. It's no wonder that three nearly identical boats are on top of each other,' said Puma skipper Ken Read of the three Juan K-designed Volvo Open 70s that have been leading the chase since Alicante.

But with the massive low now in place the six Volvo Open 70s are going at full pace in the North Atlantic with plenty of runway ahead.

The breeze has been steadily buildings as a depression moves in from the Atlantic. As the wind increases, so the speeds climb - and this morning comes the news that the race distance record, set by Camper on Leg 1, has been broken by Telefonica.

Art effect - Groupama 4 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race


ABN AMRO ONE powers along during the 2005-06 race  Oskar Kihlborg/Volvo Ocean Race

Also VOR-related, the event's media team has put together a piece that looks at what it takes to win this grueling offshore event, both in previous years and also in this highly contested edition. 'When we won the race it was something we just chipped away at from the start,' said Mike Sanderson, winning skipper of ABN Amro One in the 2005/2006 edition and skipper of Team Sanya> in this lap. 'We built a lead from the first night of the race really, so it was a very different situation.' Get Sanderson and Rob Greenhalgh's (Sanderson's 2005/2006 team mate aboard ABN Amro One and currently a watch captain aboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam) thoughts on what it will take to win the 2011/2012 edition, which is by far the most competitive in the race's storied history. More, inside.

Also offshore but closer to home, crews competing in the Newport-Bermuda Race—as well as the race organizers—are making their final preparations before Friday's start. 'The participants attending are an extraordinary group from boats that were built in the 1930s to boats that just came out of the mould six months ago,' said Newport Bermuda Race chairman, John Osmond. On the organizational side of things, Osmond reports a well-run ship. 'Everything is going along quite smoothly... All the pieces have come together and everybody has been working very hard.' Sailors can no doubt look forward to a fantastic race; those of us who are stuck shore side, be sure to stay current with the website for the latest updates, as they unfurl.

PORTO CERVO, ITALY. 2012. Azzurra crew in action during the free practice day in Porto Cervo on June 11, 2011 in Porto Cervo, Italy (photo by Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries)  Xaume Olleros/52 Superseries

Meanwhile, on the waters off of Sardinia's Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, six TP52 teams and six Soto 40s are lined up for the Audi Sardinia Cup, which starts Wednesday. The mistral winds have been blowing this week, testing crews and boats alike as teams prepare for the main event. 'We are in good shape,' reported Ed Reynolds, general manager of Quantum Racing. 'The crew communication has improved and we have been working on making the boat go fast... But everybody is going to have to be on their best game here. They are here to beat us.'

Aegean Yacht's GPS track - Newport to Ensenada 2012  © Spot LLC

And on a somber tone, a US Sailing Independent Review Panel has concluded that the cause of the fatalities on April 28th during the Newport to Ensenada Race was a grounding on North Coronado Island. This tragically led to the deaths of four sailors aboard the Aegean, a Hunter 376. According to a press release, US Sailing arrived at their conclusion by reconstructing the Aegean's position reports, along with a meeting with the U.S. Coast Guard's San Diego Sector's investigation team. The full report from this terrible accident is expected out in late July.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Volvo Ocean Race Day 4: IWC Schaffhausen Speed Challenge mark smashed
Sail-World and Volvo Ocean Race,
The six Volvo Open 70s are going at full pace in the North Atlantic with plenty of runway ahead of them and Camper's leading mark in the IWC Schaffhausen Speed Record Challenge under threat. Telefónica have claimed the lead in the IWC Schaffhausen Speed Record Challenge with a 24-hour run of 557 nautical miles, though the record could yet fall again with plenty of runway left for the teams.... [more]
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Newport Bermuda Race - Veteran Brown returns for 21st race
Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette,
Warren Brown is no stranger to the biennial Newport Bermuda Race. The Bermudian sailor has sailed the race on 20 occasions in 11 different boats, including four of his own. This year Brown is among the crew aboard 'Spirit of Bermuda', an 118 ft triple mast sloop that is competing alone in the ‘Spirit of Tradition' Division.... [more]
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Krys Ocean Race - Musandam-Oman Sail in preparation mode
Jessica Gray,
Krys Ocean Race - Oman Sail's Multi One Design 70 team, the National initiative's elite offshore crew, are in full preparation mode in Lorient, France, ahead of the transatlantic delivery to Newport and then New York for the start of the racing on the 7 July. Sidney Gavignet (FRA), skipper of the trimaran Musandam-Oman Sail, has brought American sailor Ryan Breymaier onboard... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Pushing to the limit onboard Puma + Video
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 4 of Leg 8. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing, reports: The Northern Atlantic feels a bit like the Southern Ocean on days like these. It's really windy, it's really wet, it's not nearly as cold, but the waves are pretty big too. I went back to jamming my feet in the bunk/hull seam as I slept last night to keep me from sliding off the end into the nav station... [more]
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Windsurfing: Why was it voted out?
Lanee Beashel,
Top US Womens Windsurfer, Lanee Beashel writes: To say that I've been completely shocked and heartbroken since I heard the news that windsurfing was kicked out of the 2016 Olympic Games, would be an understatement. I sail, windsurf and kitesurf, but since I have been 15 years old, my passion has been windsurfing. Even now, when I take my two young boys out on my board with me, I love every minu... [more]
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Three races on day 3 of 2012 Soling Europeans
Matias Collins,
2012 Soling Europeans day 3Despite being in the northern hemisphere, longer days, and a theoretical summer happening, the temperatures never were higher than 13 degrees even lower when sun was totally hided by the typical low clouds.... [more]
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J/80 World Championship images by Tim Wright
Becci Eplett,
J/80 World Championship day two images by photographer Tim Wright.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Telefonica leads the charge
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) is leading the charge not only towards the finish of Leg 8 in Lorient on Friday but straight towards the centre of a particularly nasty north-Atlantic depression. Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) faltered briefly, allowing Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg (Ken Read/USA) and Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) to overtake.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Day 3 - Groupama drops back as gale approaches
Sail-World and Volvo Ocean Race,
At 1500 UTC Team Telefónica held a 1.6 nautical mile lead over Groupama sailing team, followed by Puma Ocean Racing , Camper, Abu Dhabi and Team Sanya in sixth place. But an hour later Groupama had dropped back to fourth place, being passed by Puma and Camper. No reasons has been given for the change in placing on what should be a drag race.... [more]
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Melges 24 World Championship - Record number of countries entered
International Melges 24 Class Association,
Melges 24 World Championship - With three days still to go until the late entry entry surcharge kicks in we already have 105 entries and we've broken the record for the number of countries that will be represented at a Melges 24 Worlds!... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama 4 in favourable position
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race - The final home straight to Brittany will be extremely quick, to the extent that the first boats are set to finish by midday on Friday or early afternoon! Groupama 4, which rounded Sao Miguel just astern of the Spanish, is in a favourable position for this high tension final and the result in Lorient could well determine the winner of the Volvo Ocean Race... Answer on Friday.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma get ready for one last push + Video
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 3 of Leg 8. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: The things you see and the places you go. We just keep adding to the list! At around 5 AM local time we cleared Sao Miguel and the Azores in total darkness after making just one tack near sundown (our only manoeuvre so far since leaving Lisbon).... [more]
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Newport Bermuda Race - Spirit of Bermuda on course
Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette,
Spirit of Bermuda was expected to make landfall in Newport, Rhode Island late Tuesday. Her young crew and their mentors will begin preparations Wednesday for their sail home to Bermuda in the 635-mile Newport Bermuda race starting on Friday afternoon, June 15th. The 118ft triple masted sloop left Norfolk, Virginia, Monday to make the short sprint up the US East Coast to begin final preparations... [more]
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J/80 World Championship Day 1 - Tricky conditions
Becci Eplett,
J/80 World Championship - Principal Race Officer Mike Pearson held the crews of the seventy six competing teams ashore for a postponement of just over two hours in order to wait for the breeze to fill in and settle. Light airs meant that only one race of the three scheduled was raced but the fleet returned to the Centre happy to have completed the first race of the eleven scheduled... [more]
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America's Cup: Defender's first AC72 wingsail is delivered
Sail-World,
The 12-story tall wingsail and hull crossbeams for the first of Oracle Racing's first of two AC72 yachts aimed at the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco were delivered to the team today. The components arrived in Oakland from New Zealand on the Cap Vilano by shipping partner Hamburg Sud before being delivered to the team's base at Pier 80 on the west side of San Francisco Bay.... [more]
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52 Super Series: All ready in Porto Cervo
Sail-World,
Six TP52 teams, partners to six Soto 40's, are lined up at the dock, fully prepared for whatever Sardinia's famous Costa Smeralda waters might deliver them for the Audi Sardinia Cup, the international team regatta which starts Wednesday. A buffeting Mistral put paid to Tuesday's official practice race, the race officers deciding that too much was at stake on the eve of regatta's first races to ris... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - What it takes to win sailing's toughest challenge
Volvo Ocean Race,
Of the 60+ sailors competing in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, only ten know first-hand what it takes to win sailing's toughest challenge. Mike Sanderson and Rob Greenhalgh won the 2005-06 race together with ABN Amro One -- and here they talk about just how tough it is to make it over the line in first place.... [more]
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Coast Guard has increased reward for New Jersey hoax caller
Powerboat-world.com,
The hoaxster behind two calls alerting the Coast Guard of a motor yacht exploding off New Jersey calmly told authorities Monday that three of his fellow passengers had died, the boat was taking on water and the water level on the bridge was about three feet high.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Lead change as fleet works their way through High
Sail-World and Volvo Ocean Race,
A hard night is in store for the six boat fleet on Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race as they suffer light headwinds surrounding the Azores island of São Miguel. At 2200GMt a significant lead change took place as Puma moved from being in a group with Telefonica and Groupama to join what had been the trailing group of Camper, Abu Dhabi and Sanya.... [more]
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Westward Cup - A blaze of excitement on day 1
Peta Stuart-Hunt,
The second running of the Westward Cup commenced on the water today at 1100hrs, bringing together the cream of the world's Big Class yachts in a blaze of excitement and anticipation of some great racing in Solent waters for the owners and their guests. Eleonora, Mariette and Mariquita also created a breathtaking sight for the spectators on Cowes Parade and Princes Green as the yachts prepared... [more]
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George Washington University names first Varsity Sailing Head Coach
GW Sports,
The George Washington University Department of Athletics has hired John Pearce as the first-ever head coach of the Colonials' sailing program, which will be elevated from club to varsity status beginning in 2012-13. Coach Pearce most recently spent three seasons from 2007-10 as co-head coach of the Dartmouth University varsity sailing team.... [more]
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Newport to Ensenada - US Sailing Independent Review Panel conclusion
Jake Fish,
During the Newport to Ensenada Race 2012 a tragic incident occurred, on 28th April, which resulted in the deaths of four Sailors. A US Sailing Independent Review Panel has come to a conclusion regarding the cause of accident. Aegean, a 37-foot Hunter 376 sailboat, was destroyed during the race a few miles offshore near Mexico's Coronado Islands.... [more]
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America's Cup World Series - Final showdown set for Newport
Jane Eagleson,
The inaugural champion of the America's Cup World Series will be decided in Newport, Rhode Island on July 1, the final day of racing in the series. Under the spotlight of a nationwide audience on NBC, the grand finale will witness one of eight teams win the title.... [more]
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Watermen complete first crossing of Gulf Stream on SUP Paddleboards
John Bell,
Starting with a first paddle at the docks of the Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina to a final stroke landing just north of Haulover Beach in Miami Beach, Miami Watermen Bill Whiddon and Thaddeus Foote made history Saturday, June 9th, becoming the first to cross the Gulf Steam on stand-up paddleboards.... [more]
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Tall Ships Challenge Atlantic Coast Series - Race two overall
Barby MacGowan,
Tall Ships Challenge® Atlantic Coast 2012 series second race helped rake in the crowds over the Memorial Day Weekend. Greenport, N.Y. held the second of four summer maritime festivals being coordinated by Tall Ships America along the Eastern Seaboard with the help of local organizers... [more]
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New York YC Annual Regatta - Strong start for Bermuda's Steve Sherwin
Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette,
Skipper Stephen Sherwin and the crew of Nasty Medicine had an excellent weekend of racing in Newport, Rhode Island. Dr Sherwin's Corby 41 placed second in its class in both the New York Yacht Club's (NYYC) ‘Round the Island Race' and 158th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex.... [more]
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Newport Bermuda Race - Brown donates 'War Baby' Trophy
Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette,
Local sailing legend Warren Brown has donated one of his most prized trophies to the Newport Bermuda Race's newest class. Brown has donated the prestigious Grimaldi Coupe Prada Cup he won at the helm of War Baby in the Mediterranean Sea several years ago to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (RBYC).... [more]
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Perth 2011 Emerging Nations Programme sailors qualify for Olympics
Leigh Ireland,
The Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships today welcomed the announcement that five sailors who participated in the Championships' Emerging Nations Programme have each qualified to compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games.... [more]
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New York Yacht Club (NYYC) 158th Annual Regatta overall
Barby MacGowan,
Light winds meant an abbreviated race schedule at the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) 158th Annual Regatta presented by Rolex. Among the largest boats in the fleet was George Sakellaris's (Framingham, Mass.) Mini Maxi 72 Shockwave, which won IRC 1.... [more]
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