Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik Yachting Range

Offshore, airfoils and OD action—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 30 Jan 2013
Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss - 2012 Vendee Globe Christophe Launay
While we keep hearing rumors of a large, glowing ball in the sky from friends who live at other latitudes and longitudes, I’m afraid that the sun has been hiding behind a soggy blanket of low-ceiling clouds here in Seattle for the past (few) week(s).

The good news, of course, is that the local racing fleet has been getting courtesy deck and topside cleanings…the drawback, however, is the serious lack of Vitamin D. But if winter’s gloomy grind seems endless, I guarantee that skipper Alex Thomson’s final storm-tossed, ship-crossed miles in the nonstop-around-the-world-unassisted-and-alone Vendee Globe Race seem much, much more drawn-out as the British-flagged skipper tries to conservatively cross the finishing line unscathed.



At the time of this writing, Thomson’s 'Hugo Boss' was a hair over 200 miles from the race’s finish in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, contending with 35-45 knot winds, confused seas and heavy volumes of commercial traffic. Provided that 'Hugo Boss' holds together sans incident, Thomson’s imminent finish secures his third-place finish in this Grand Prix event and also represents his first successful around-the-world campaign, despite several other attempts.

'It’s the fishing boats that concern me,' reported Thomson. 'I crossed with in a mile and a half of a fishing boat and the sea was so bad I couldn’t see it. I am hoping they will all be put off by the terrible weather and that the fisherman stay in their beds tonight.'


Also in offshore news, Auckland, New Zealand has been named as an official host city for the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). 'Auckland people know sailing and know the race,' said Knut Frostad, CEO of the VOR. 'It's hugely satisfying to be able to say that we're coming back... Having an agreement in place for the next two editions is just the icing on the cake.'

Meanwhile, in America’s Cup news, Oracle Racing is close to re-launching their heavily modified first-generation AC72 class wingsail-powered catamaran. According to the latest reports, the team expects to be sailing on San Francisco Bay next week, thanks to a massive team effort.


'Everyone has been focused and really pushing to get all of the work done,' said Oracle Racing’s Shore Team Manager, Mark Turner. 'It’s meant a lot of long hours for a lot of people, seven days a week. They’ve been working not only on repairs, but also doing the work needed to modify the platform.' Stay tuned for more on Oracle Racing’s return to the water, as it unfurls.

Also in San Francisco, Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup, has now successfully tested their second wingsail aboard their first-generation AC72 platform. But while the airfoil might be new, don’t expect to see radical alterations from the team’s first-generation wing. 'The general concept is very much the same,' said Juan Kouyoumdjian, the team’s Principal Designer. 'I would define it as a refinement of the first wing.'

According to team boss Paul Cayard, the team is pleased with their progress. 'The first [sailing day] with wing two went well,' said Cayard. 'We have little adjustments and tweaks to make, but we operated the wing with all of its controls and it all functions well. We had up to 16 knots of wind, which was a bit more than we needed for the first sail, but everything was fine and it was a productive day.'


And finally, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is currently taking place in the Sunshine State, where 311 sailors from 37 different countries have gathered for this super important six-day regatta. This event officially that marks the start to the long metaphorical windward beat that will take the fastest sailors to the Rio Olympics 2016. While these are still early days in this regatta (and in this Olympic quadrennium), U.S.-flagged sailors are looking fast in numerous classes. Get the full download, inside.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

RS Sailing 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Protector - 660 x 82

Related Articles

She’s still here with us, and now we can be there for her
Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Of the many endearing qualities in Lisa Blair, the one that is paramount is her effervescence. Yet it is what lies behind that which could be her most incredible characteristic. Sometimes you can almost overlook her steely determination, but not for long when you start talking with her. Catching up with her live from Cape Town surely was a vivid reminder of not only what this sailor can accomplish
Posted on 24 Apr
Gladwell's Line - Timeout in Bermuda and a decision OTUSA will regret?
With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath With Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 now in Bermuda and being re-assembled, it is time to take a breath from what has been a hectic couple of months, both in Auckland and Bermuda. The third major Practice Session has concluded in Bermuda. This was conducted almost entirely if winds of around 16-25kts - starting to get close to the top end of the range for the AC50's.
Posted on 20 Apr
America's Cup - Glenn Ashby on hitting the AC50's sound barrier
These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. The big difference between the AC72, the America's Cup Class, used in the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco and the smaller AC50 to be sailed in Bermuda, lies in their light and medium air performance. 'These boats are incredible. The performance that can be achieved in light airs is the amazing thing. In 7-8-9-10 knots of breeze, you are sailing at 30kts at times.
Posted on 18 Apr
America's Cup - Bernasconi on expected winning factors in Bermuda
ETNZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie Emirates Team NZ's Technical Director, Dan Bernasconi has let out a few clues as to where he thought the differences might lie once the six teams entered in the 35th America's Cup. 'We have had a great run', he says. 'We've had a few hiccups along the way, as always. But the boat is going really well. We are getting through manoeuvres very well. And we think our straight line speed is good.'
Posted on 18 Apr
A Q&A with Nicole Breault about women’s match racing in the USA
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about women’s match racing in the USA and about her upcoming Clinegatta. I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women’s match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.
Posted on 17 Apr
America's Cup - Team NZ return fire at Coutts' social media bullets
Emirates Team New Zealand have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers Emirates Team NZ have corrected the allegations made by America's Cup organisers in a media release on Thursday (NZT) over the team's daggerboard use. In the release, replayed by America's Cup Events Authority and Oracle Team USA CEO Sir Russell Coutts on his Facebook page. It was claimed that the Kiwi team had an issue with daggerboards and were using a rule they had not supported to keep sailing
Posted on 2 Apr
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
New Pacific 52 class makes its debut in San Francisco
The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. The first of two new-build Pacific 52's from Auckland's Cookson Boats is now sailing in San Francisco. Invisible Hand for San Francisco's Frank Slootman replaces his earlier RP63 of the same name. She will soon be joined by a second Cookson build, Bad Pack (Tom Holthus) from the same moulds. A third, RIO 52 is for RIO 100 supermaxi owner Manouch Moshayedi.
Posted on 18 Mar
A Q&A with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race
I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba. The 2017 Miami to Havana Race is set to begin on March 15 and promises high adventure-both sailing-related and cultural-for the sailors lucky enough to be participating in this historical-and for now legal-race. I talked with Chris Woolsey, regatta chair of the Miami to Havana Race and SORC race chairman, to learn more about this exciting race to Cuba.
Posted on 13 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Of Carnage, Characters and Colour
About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched About this time of an America's Cup season, the sap begins rising as new boats are launched, and Cup fans get their first sight of the various team designers' response to the latest America's Cup Class rule. In the monohull days, of course, we initially only got a partial glimpse thanks to the shrouding practices adopted by all teams to hide the nether regions of their America's Cupper
Posted on 13 Mar