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30 Nov 2012

Olympic, Cup and Vendee news—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

Charlie McKee (USA) racing at the 2009 Moth Worlds at Cascade Locks, Oregon  Sean Trew (Pacific Fog) ©
In high-level One Design and Olympic circles, two-time Olympic medalist Charlie McKee has been named High Performance Director of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. In his new capacity McKee—who earned a Bronze medal in the Men's 470 at the 1988 Games and a second Bronze in the 49er class with his brother, Jonathan, in the 2000 Games—will be responsible for managing all elements of the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider's on-the-water efforts, ranging from coaching to technical and youth development.


'Charlie is a proven winner in Olympic sailing as both a sailor and a coach,' said Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing. 'He brings a passion for Olympic class sailing and a high level of expertise in the boats we sail. Charlie is absolutely the right person to lead all performance aspects of US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.'


For his part, McKee sounds thrilled at the opportunity and will no doubt bring a lot of energy and medal-winning expertise to the U.S. team. 'I'm honored to be a part of this effort,' said McKee. 'We plan to build on the good work that has been done previously, and work hard to give athletes the support they need to succeed in the increasingly competitive environment that is Olympic Sailing today. This includes a focus on technical expertise, high-level coaching and sufficient funding.'


Armel Le Cleac'h, Banque Populaire - 2012 Vendee Globe  © Armel Le Cléac'h / Banque Populaire



Meanwhile, Armel Le Cléac'h, racing aboard 'Banque Populaire', has snatched the pole position in the in the nonstop-around-the-world-alone-and-unassisted Vendee Globe Race, followed in hot pursuit by Jean-Pierre Dick ('Virbac Paprec 3') and François Gabart ('Macif') as the pack of thirteen IMOCA 60s plunge south, towards the first ice gate. According to the latest reports, the fleet has separated into two distinct groups, almost creating two separate races as skippers struggle to hook into the furious Southern Ocean conveyer-belt ride.


As for the sailors, they are no doubt excited to reach the conditions that they all worked so very hard to experience. 'I feel like I am returning to my world! I like to sail in the very wild, very beautiful Southern seas,' reported Dick. 'I am wearing underlayers and soon, I will put on my boots.' And, knowing the French obsession with the Vendee, the leading sailors will also soon be pressing on as much sail cloth as possible, teetering along the edge of what most of us would call 'safe' and 'insane'. Get the full Vendee report, inside this issue.


Luna Rossa joins the AC72 foiling club  Luna Rossa Challenge 2013



And in Cup news, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team New Zealand have now completed their second day of racing on New Zealand's Hauraki Gulf, where both teams are training for the winter. According to reports, Luna Rossa has now joined the AC72-class 'foilers club', along with ETNZ and Oracle Racing, prior to their disastrous capsize in October. Interestingly, word has also hit the street that ETNZ plans to decommission their first-generation AC72 in a few weeks and will not be using it for two-boat testing once the new boat is launched in early February-talk about design confidence! Get the full AC scoop, inside, and don't miss Kiwi team boss Grant Dalton's thoughts on how the first phase of AC72 sailing has gone for his team.


Emirates Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa practice racing in the Hauraki Gulf. 27/11/2012  Chris Cameron/ETNZ©



Also inside, get the latest from the Extreme Sailing Series, which is holding their final event of 2012 next week in Rio de Janeiro; get the latest from the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, and be sure to check out the rules changes for the Marion to Bermuda Cruising Yacht Race.


May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Vestas Sailrocket 2 - Blown away... the over 65 knot run + Video
Paul Larsen,
Paul Larsen, Vestas Sailrocket project leader and pilot, discussed the latest - including the 65+ knot run on Walvis Bay: So let's get this down here before I start forgetting stuff...Last Saturday looked like it was going to be a strong day from the moment it popped onto the long range Windguru forecast.... [more]
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Olympian Charlie McKee will lead USA's sailors toward success at Games
Dana Paxton,
Two-time Olympic medalist Charlie McKee has been appointed High Performance Director of the U.S. Olympic Sailing Program. His responsibilities will include managing all on-the-water elements of the U.S. Sailing Team, including the coaching program, technical development and youth development with a goal of enabling sailors to reach the highest level for the next Olympic and Paralympic quadrenniums... [more]
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Impressive year of achievement for Charlie Buckingham
Dana Paxton,
Olympic Development Team member Charlie Buckingham was recently chosen for the Red Bull Youth America's Cup, after a tryout session in San Francisco earlier this month. This past year has been one of impressive achievement by Buckingham.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Thomson's 2003 record broken by Gabart, Macif?
Vendee Globe,
Yesterday in the Vendee Globe, between 12pm GMT Thursday 29th to 12pm GMT Friday 30th November François Gabart (Macif), travelled from point to point, 482.91 miles in 24 hours, averaging speeds of 20.1 knots. This breaks the record held previously by Alex Thomson in 2003. Confirmation of the record is subject to the WSSRC validation.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Fleet sailing to the beat of a different drum
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, as expected, the front of the fleet has compressed and the distances between the competitors has shrunk. Just seventy miles separates Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire), François Gabart (Macif) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac Paprec 3) François Gabart (Macif) has closed the gap to a very tight twenty miles.... [more]
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Stars descend on Fort Lauderdale for 5th Melges 32 Gold Cup
Joy Dunigan,
The 2012 Melges 32 Gold Cup will be pitting some of sailing's biggest stars in a three-day action-packed race from Nov. 30 to Dec.2 in Fort Lauderdale in Florida. Reigning USA Sailing Series titlist Steve Howe is set to defend his Gold Cup title against a field of top-notch participants, which includes former Audi Sailing Series Champion Lanfranco Cirillo and 2011 World Champion William Douglass.... [more]
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Ian Williams guns for 4th world match racing title at Monsoon Cup
Monsoon Cup,
Reigning Monsoon Cup champion Ian Williams and his GAC Pindar team is expected to come all out next week as he aims to capture his fourth world match racing championship in the series finale of the 2012 Alpari World Match Racing Tour from December 3-8 at Yaz Heritage Marina Resort and Spa, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.... [more]
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America's Cup: November 2012 Review - 43.6 knots! But who is counting?

Following is the November 2012 review from Sail-World's fourth America's Cup Newsletter for the 34th America's Cup, which focusses on the action, developments and off the field play in the AC72 catamarans. Personal highlight this month on the America's Cup scene had to be the three hour sail on board Emirates Team NZ's AC 72.... [more]
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Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race entries open
Rich Roberts,
Take a deep breath and hold it ... until next April 26. That's when the Lexus Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race gets underway and competitors will be looking for all the wind they can get. Entries open Saturday, Dec. 1, for the 66th running of the Newport Ocean Sailing Association's traditional chase from Newport Beach to the Mexican resort town that several hundred boats have struggled to reach.... [more]
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Lifetime Achievement Award to Mustang Survival's Dwight Davies
Cindy Cheung,
Dwight Davies, Mustang Survival's owner and helmsman of the iconic company for much of its history, was presented with the BC Marine Trade Association's Lifetime Achievement Award during the annual BCTMA conference. The award, the first bestowed by BCMTA, recognizes outstanding achievement in supporting the BC recreational boating community.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Banque Populaire clutches the lead
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, it was resolute Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) that appeared on the live Visio video link up on Vendée Globe LIVE today. He said, 'I went around the St Helena anticyclone. I am heading to the first Ice gate. I am looking at the others and I believe we won't be very far away from each other in 48 hours...'... [more]
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Vendee Globe waiting game ensues
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) is holding onto to his lead as he picks his way through the light winds, near the ridge, northwest of the anticyclone of St. Helena. But, coming from a more southerly aspect, his pursuers are starting to accelerate ahead of the front of the depression that has been brewing in the west, near Argentina.... [more]
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America's Cup: Day 2 of racing in Auckland for Luna Ross and Emirates
Sail-World,
Two America's Cup Challengers, Luna Rossa and Emirates Team NZ were on the Hauraki Gulf for their second day of racing. Emirates Team NZ photographer, Chris Cameron, was on hand to capture the action... [more]
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America's Cup: Grant Dalton reflects on the first 24 days sailing
Sail-World,
Emirates Team New Zealand's MD, Grant Dalton, who also crews on the AC72 has confirmed that the boat which has done 24 days sailing, will be used as a spare boat only for the team. It is believed that the boat will be taken out of commission around mid-December, and parts of it will be transferred to the teams new boat due for launch in early February.... [more]
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Oracle Team USA picks two teams for 2013 Red Bull Youth America's Cup
Lisa Ramsperger,
Oracle Team has chosen USA's Team America Racing and San Francisco's America Youth Sailing Force to compete in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup starting on 1st September 2013. The two US-based racing teams will undergo nine months of intense training under the mentorship of Oracle Team USA, which will try to retain the America's Cup from a bevy of challengers.... [more]
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US Sailing launches REACH program to educate youth
Jake Fish,
US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, has announced the launch of the REACH Program, an initiative that utilizes sailing as a platform that enables middle school aged youth of all walks of life to embrace education, establish a love of learning and explore productive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) based careers.... [more]
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Jay Kehoe named Training Program Director for Oakcliff
Oakcliff Sailing,
Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, New York is excited to announce the addition of Jay Kehoe to its team as Training Program Director. Kehoe will continue to strengthen Oakcliff's comprehensive training programs, which prepare sailing athletes, Acorns (15-­?18) and Saplings (18+) for professional careers inside and outside the sport of sailing.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Tension rises as the clock ticks on
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, with 760 miles to go until the boats arrive at the first mark Gough Island, which they must leave to starboard, everything is still to play for in this nail biting strategic climax to the gateway of the southern ocean. If the fleet compresses it means the drag race through the mountainous swells of the icy south seas and leaves the race wide open.... [more]
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Changes on the horizon for Marion Bermuda Race
Liz Stott,
The Marion Bermuda Race organization has recently adopted major changes designed to make this biennial offshore yacht race more accessible than ever before. These new initiatives invite broader participation and position the Marion Bermuda Race to remain the prestigious offshore yacht race event that is has been since 1977.... [more]
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Vendee Globe: Shortest v fastest - who will benefit?
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, the front of the fleet are gnawing their nails as they are plagued by fickle weather conditions. The question is who will benefit? Will it be those who have elected to sail the shortest and most direct route of the course, and are now heading into the lighter north, or those who have sailed deeper south in search of faster winds.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne to descend on Port Phillip
John Curnow,
Descending once again on Melbourne's Port Phillip and the world class facilities of the Sandringham YC is the ISAF Sailing World Cup - Sail Melbourne. The first round of this year's Cup series will take place from December 2-8, 2012 and will feature all of the Olympic sailing classes, bar the Nacra 17 cats. Sail Melbourne will also host twelve invited classes including a strong kite-boarding fleet... [more]
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Tuna dies at the age of 94
US Sailing and ISAF,
One of the great characters of sailing Arthur J. 'Tuna' Wullschleger died Sunday, November 25, at the age of 94 years. Tuna was a key figure as well in the America's Cup where he participated in several New York Yacht Club Defender syndicates in the 70's and on into the 80's where he led their America II Syndicate to Perth Australia in an attempt to win back the America's Cup from the Australians... [more]
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