Gold Cup, Mini Transat and VOR—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 10 Oct 2013
The United States Sailboat Show at Annapolis is the biggest in-water U.S. show each year, and an awesome opportunity to check out the latest raceboats and go-fast gear. This year’s show (October 10-14) will no doubt offer plenty of hardware and software to drool over, but, should you find yourself salivating, the odds are (unfortunately) good that the lashing wind and rain will quickly clear it off your mug as Mother Nature is being anything but cooperative.
United States Sailboat Show - Annapolis during drier times United States Yacht Shows Inc http://www.usboat.com
Hopefully this weather situation will improve as Annapolis is currently doing a great job of proving my hometown of Seattle to be a relative desert (not an easy feat to pull off, especially as the 'dark curtain' descends on the Pacific NW each fall). Still, if you’re anywhere near Annapolis this weekend (or a reasonable flight/drive away), this show is well worth your time. Just remember to pack your foulies, a fleece and positive thoughts for drier times!
Fortunately, for the sailors gathered in Bermuda for the Argo Group Gold Cup, the sun has been shinning and the racing conditions on Hamilton Harbor have been described as perfect. Skippers and crew are currently engaged in the Qualification rounds, and the event’s second day of competition saw an interesting battle between British skippers Ian Williams and Sir Ben Ainslie, with the former emerging victorious, thanks in large part to Ainslie and crew taking a big hitch to the left after an even start.
'We were happy with the left, but I think it was really about whether we could close the gap at start time and still have speed,' reported Williams. 'We managed to do that and once we’d squeezed [Ainslie] off, if that guy does a down-speed tack away, you expect to cross on the next one. And we did.'
The qualification round continues through Thursday and the event’s Quarter Finals are set to commence on Friday. Get the full media download inside this issue, and stay tuned for more on this high-caliber event, as it becomes known.
Meanwhile, in ocean-racing news, the fabled Mini Transat race is set to kick off this weekend, taking an 84-boat fleet of singlehanded skippers sailing aboard small-but-powerful racing machines across the Atlantic. Inside, don’t miss the visitor’s guide for checking out the pre-race festivities in France, as well as tips on how to follow the race once the starting gun has sounded.
Also in offshore news, we are now looking at just a year to go before the start of the next Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). The 2014/2015 event will be the first time that this historic event will use a One Design fleet, and it’s also the first time in many years that an all-female crew (skippered by Samantha Davies) has taken-on this round-the-world race.
While the race currently has two confirmed entries, the event is confident that this number will swell as the clock winds down to zero. 'We are very confident that we'll have a larger fleet than in the last edition,' said Knut Frostad, CEO of the VOR. 'Last time, we had six teams, one of them racing in a second-hand boat, but we are already committed to building at least seven of the brand new Volvo Ocean 65s for 2014-15–and there could yet be even more. That's a sign of just how high our confidence levels are, even in this difficult economic climate.' Get the full scoop, inside this issue.
Also inside, don’t miss the latest reports from the Semaine Olympique Francaise (AKA the French Olympic Sailing Week), the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and be sure to check out the background/biography info on this year’s nominations for ISAF’s prestigious Sailor of the Year award. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,
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