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Southern Spars - North Technology

New offshore record and OD news—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 25 Feb 2013
Team Australia day 2 heading to Tasman Light - Team Australia Sydney Hobart passage record attempt 2013 Josh Alexander
The big sailing news this weekend comes courtesy of Australia, where Sean Langman’s 'Team Australia' (sailing aboard a modified Orma 60 trimaran) managed to demolish the record passage from Sydney to Hobart, Tasmania. The previous record, set by 'Wild Oats XI' in 2012 was one day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds; 'Team Australia’s' new benchmark pace was a mere 29 hours, 52 minutes and 23 seconds- an improvement of 12 hours 30 minutes and 49 seconds over Wild Oats’ best effort.

'We were always on the edge, that’s what sailing these boats is like,' said Langman, who reported that 'Team Australia' pegged a top speed of 39.6 knots.

According to reports, Langman and his crew experienced a wild, massively wet ride that sometimes teetered on the edge of control, but the fast and highly skilled crew kept everything together and sailed exceptionally well. As for the prospects of someone (eventually) breaking his newly established benchmark, Langman is both optimistic and realistic: 'We’ll have another go when someone else breaks our [record].' More on this historic run, inside.

Meanwhile, the racecourse action is heating up at the first event of the Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series 2013, which is being hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) on Virgin Gorda, BVI. At the time of this writing, Jason Carroll's 'Argo' was dominating the leaderboard, followed by Alex Jackson’s 'Leenabarca' and Roberto Tomasini Grinover’s 'Robertissima'. Be sure to check the website for more updates from this event, as they unfurl.

And in America’s Cup news, Oracle Team USA’s Tom Slingsby got the nod from his superiors to skipper his own AC45 in the upcoming America’s Cup World Series Naples event (April 16-21). 'I've been in the tactician role, but now to steer in an America's Cup World Series event, I can't wait,' Slingsby said, who won Gold in the highly competitive Laser class at the London Olympics 2012. 'I saw my name on the wing the other day, and there was a realization that it's going to happen.'

'Having been the tactician and calling a lot of the shots on the water, it shouldn't be too hard of a transition,' continued Slingsby. 'Obviously our priority is the AC72 now, but hopefully we’ll get some good training time in.'

And in high-performance One Design news, the three-man team of Steve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris ('Gotta Love it 7') won the prestigious JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, beating out the 'Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel' crew for top bragging rights. According to reports, the action all boiled down to Race 7 (as Race 6 had to be cancelled due to high winds), where Jarvin, Babbage and Harris demonstrated their on-the-water magic. Get the full scoop, inside this issue.

Also inside, don’t miss the latest news from the Harken Youth International Match Racing Championship 2013, the latest download from the Vendee Globe, and finally, get the wrap-up report from the RORC’s Caribbean 600. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,

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