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Record Attempts, Nose Dives and Classics—Sailing News from the U.S. an

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 9 Sep 2011

Just when you thought that performance-sailing news was entirely dominated by match racing, Paul Larsen and his Vestas Sailrocket 2 team are returning to Walvis Bay in Namibia this month to have another go at the outright world speed sailing record. This will be Larsen’s second go at kiteboarder Rob Douglas’ 2010 world record (a jaw-dropping 55.65 knots), as he and his Vestas Sailrocket 2 team were in Namibia this past spring, tuning up their new boat and learning how to sail her fast. In fact, the team’s main goal for their return mission is to continue on their learning curve. 'With this much innovation,' said Larsen, 'sometimes you have to 'unlearn' aspects of what you know so that you can be open to the new ways that will ultimately take you forward.' But, they advise, should they find their sweet spot, they have no issue pressing hard. Check out the full report, inside.

In Cup circles, sailors are getting amped up for the second stop of the America’s Cup World Series, which kicks off on Saturday in Plymouth, England. Given that it’s been cold, wet and windy in Plymouth this week, chances are excellent that the sailors will have their hands full in this spectator-friendly venue. PRO John Craig briefs spectators on what they can expect, and advises that teams can expect races to start in breezes up to 30 knots.

Also Cup related, be sure to check out Artemis skipper Terry Hutchinson’s description of what it’s like to nosedive an AC45, and the fine line between water to the crossbeam and water further astern.

Meanwhile, in the Med, racing is in full swing at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, despite a frustrating start to their series (read: too much wind). Fortunately the Mistral winds have relented, and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Race Committee have been more than happy to squeeze off bullets. 'I don’t think it has ever been this close before,' said Sir Lindsay Owen Jones, the owner of Magic Carpet 2, a 94-foot Wally. 'The first three or four boats are very close in absolute terms and all of them can win on handicap. It is a highly competitive fleet. At the beginning, people thought the Wally class was gentlemen’s racing [class] but it has become much more professional and close.' Get the full scoop, as well as an image gallery courtesy of Ingrid Abery, inside.

And finally, be sure to check out the wrap-up report from the Museum of Yachting’s 32nd Annual Classic Yacht Regatta, as well as an update from the Global Ocean Race, which kicks off on September 25.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

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