Weekend roundup—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
Big news abounds on both the international and national levels as teams racing in the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) and the Newport-Bermuda Race dominate off-shore headlines, while inshore talk is being controlled by the J/80 Worlds and the Melges 24 Nationals, the later of which are taking place less than a mile from my house here in Seattle.
|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 ©|
On the international scene, the six teams competing in the fully crewed, around-the-world VOR are experiencing serious competition and as they confronted full-on conditions while reporting seriously quick boatspeeds. Both Telefonica and Emirates Team New Zealand had earned some high-mile days (560 miles and 565 miles, respectively) but Telefonica's Chinese gybe put paid to her chances.
But Groupama crossed the line first , Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand took second place, with Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg .
|Water over the deck onboard CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Lisbon, Portugal to Lorient, France. (Credit: Hamish Hooper/CAMPER ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race) Hamish Hooper/Camper ETNZ/Volvo Ocean Race© |
Get the full multi-media report inside this issue and stay current with the website for the latest news, as it develops.
Meanwhile, in Newport, Rhode Island, these are exciting times for the crews racing aboard the 166 boats that are entered in the 48th edition of the Newport-Bermuda Race. Winds were perfect at the start, as forecast, a colorful spinnaker start with plenty of sunshine and winds should build as the fleet punches offshore, before then throttling back deeper into the weekend.
|2012 Newport Bermuda Race start
This sets the banquette table for extremely fast passages for the bigger boats that are contending for various racecourse plums.
|George David's Rambler (90) shown here at the Start of Class 10 in the Newport Bermuda Race in 2010. Be sure to track her on Yellowbrick in the 2012 race as she goes for line honors again in the 635-mile classic. Weather forcasters fredict favorable conditions for a recors breaking run to Bermuda. Credit Fran Grenon Fran Grenon|
'I think we'll break the record...but someone else will set the record,' said Chris Branning, navigator of Team Tiburon, a Reichel/Pugh 74 (ex. Bella Mente), alluding to George David's bigger, quicker Rambler, a water-ballasted R/P 90. 'A windy reach or a run are Rambler's points of sail. She will load the ballast tanks and blast on to Bermuda.' Stand by for Newport-Bermuda Race updates as they become available, (there is a six hour tracking dealy and be sure to check out this issue for some interesting race-related media, including the profile piece on Warren Brown (BER), who is preparing for his 21st Newport-Bermuda.
|J80 Worlds, Dartmouth 2012 Tim Wright /Photoaction.com ©|
And in Dartmouth, UK, the 76 teams competing in the J/80 Worlds saw a clean sweep for Spain, Results now final - GOLD : 9 (Jose Maria VAN DER PLOEG/ (ESP)), SILVER : 8 (Rayco TABARES/ (ESP)), BRONZE 6 (Carlos MARTINEZ/ (ESP)) -
In Cup circles, Oracle Racing—the Defender of the 34th America's Cup—received delivery of its first hard wingsail on Wednesday, which it will use to power its first AC72 class catamaran. The 12-story tall wing required elaborate shipping arrangements to reach the team's Pier 80 base in San Francisco. 'It's a major step in the course of our campaign to win the America's Cup again,' said skipper Jimmy Spithill. Oracle Racing design team member Dirk Kramers agrees: 'After the hundreds of hours of design and thousands of man-hours of construction, it's a significant milestone to see these components become reality.' Get the full scoop inside, and stay tuned for more information on the newly forming (literally) AC72 class, as it becomes known.
And finally, less than a mile (as the bald eagle flies) from my house in Seattle, 36 fortunate crews are competing for the CSR Marine Melges 24 Nationals, which are being sailed on Puget Sound's Shilshole Bay, and which are being hosted by the Seattle Yacht Club. True to form, the Pacific Northwest has been delivering its typical 'June-uary' conditions, with overcast, brooding skies and plenty of breeze. The weekend's forecast calls for possible 'Seattle Sunshine' (read: rain showers), but the breeze should be steady.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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