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First VO70 Sets Sail, Extreme 40 Carnage —the latest Sailing News

by David Schmidt, US Editor Sail-World.com on 16 Apr 2011
In Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) circles, Emirates Team New Zealand sailed their new Marcelino Botin-designed Volvo Open 70, Camper today on New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf. Camper is the first of the now-generation VO70s to hit the water, and her livery is certainly engaging, especially when coupled with her sail inventory, each of which has a custom-designed graphics job. 'As a team we have always strived to be different and to set ourselves apart from other teams,' said Grant Dalton, Emirates Team New Zealand’s Managing Director. 'Today we have demonstrated this visually, we are making a bold statement and we anticipate being able to do the same on the water.' Check out the story and images in this issue, as well as the video of Camper’s first miles.


Speaking of Emirates Team New Zealand, their multi-hull contingency has been sailing well at the Extreme Series Act 2, which is currently being sailed off of Qingdao, China in Extreme 40 catamarans. After Day 2, Emirates Team New Zealand won a crucial redress against the Austrian-flagged Red Bull Extreme Sailing team, keeping the Kiwis in first, the Austrians in second, and Alinghi—Ernesto Berarelli’s Swiss team—in third place. Thus far the wind has been typical of Qingdao, with hulls sometimes aloft, sometimes not. Still, with some of the world’s best multi-hull sailors assembled on eleven high-speed cats, rest assured that the competition is strong. 'It was a pretty hard day today, especially on the start line as the wind was shifting a lot and there was a big difference in pressure,' said Roman Hagara, of the Red Bull Extreme Sailing team. 'Quite difficult to know where to go, which side of the start line is better, where the pressure is the most powerful.' Stay tuned for more from this event, as it transpires. STOP THE PRESSES. We have today's carnage

In the double-handed, nonstop Barcelona World Race (BWR), skippers Juan Merediz and Fran Palacio, onboard Central Lechera Asturiana, have retired due to safety concerns regarding the broken ring frame on their IMOCA 60. This frame is crucial to supporting the hull’s engine box. This damage, coupled with their current location in New Zealand and the changing seasons in the Southern Hemisphere, presented serious issues; the fact that all of their competitors are well ahead substantially reduces their safety net, making it a wise decision to call it a day. 'It is never easy to make decisions like this,' said Palacio. 'But safety is the first requirement that we put together and the southern winter is upon us. That really is the fact that we cannot get round or ignore.' More inside.


And finally, if big is your thing check out the wrap-up report from this year’s Les Voiles de St. Barth, where the maxis go to strut their stuff. 'Today’s race (race four) was fantastic,' said Jim Swartz of Vesper, the winner of the Racing class. 'We went around the island, and it was very challenging; I think we used most of the sails in our inventory. It was a great day to be on the water.' Images, final results and the full report are all inside.

May the four winds blow you safely home.

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