Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Sun shafts, icebergs and knights—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 31 Dec 2012
While other parts of the country are challenged with snow and ice during the winter months, the Pacific Northwest tests its sailors and residents alike with a damp, drizzly cold chill that’s perpetuated by the nearly continuous line of clouds that typically succeed in curtaining the sun’s warmth. Today, however, the clouds partially parted in the afternoon, allowing for a winter stroll along the shores of Puget Sound. A gentle breeze stirred from the south and the often-choppy waters were millpond still in some areas, rippled in others. Sun shafts illuminated the distant mountains and close-by waters, perfectly setting the scene for the lone cruising boat that was heading north.


While the days are short in Seattle (situated at almost 48 degrees north) this time of year, the thirteen skippers who are racing in the 2012/2013 Vendee Globe Race are experiencing the inverse as they plunge through the icy depths of the Southern Ocean (49 to 56 degrees south, position depending). According to the latest reports, race leaders Armel Le Cleac’h ('Banque Populaire') and Francois Gabart ('Macif') continue their intricate match race around the world and were still lockstep, less than three miles apart.





'I’m concerned about the ice in the Cape Horn area,' reported current race leader Le Cléac’h. 'It’s not fun to sail close to the coast in such conditions, with icebergs. Francois and I will be very careful and if we do see ice, we’ll let each other know. That’s another good thing about being so close. If you really want to be as safe as possible, the radar is not enough. We’re lucky because when you’re at 56° south, nights are very short and that helps when you are looking around, checking for icebergs. Except when there’s fog, of course!'


Gabart shared his rival’s sentiments aboard his own IMOCA 60. 'Whether François and I can actually see each other or not, we know we’re close and it’s reassuring, in case something happens,' said Gabart. 'Having François around also makes me even more motivated to work hard and make the boat sail fast and well. It helps me see if I’m doing the right thing and having the right speed.' More, inside.





Meanwhile, in Cup news, Oracle Racing has been dealt a fairly small slap-on-the-wrist penalty from the International Jury for a spying incident that took place in New Zealand shortly after challenger Luna Rossa launched their AC72.

According to Sail-World’s New Zealand Editor, Richard Gladwell, Oracle will be prohibited from sailing either of their AC72s for a period of five days at the tail end of an official training window that runs between February 1, 2013 and May 1, 2013. While this doesn’t directly cost Oracle any sailing time, it will make things logistically more interesting for the Defender during this period. Additionally, Oracle Racing was presented with a relatively small fine (11,500 euros) and has returned ten still images of the Italian-flagged boat, which were taken from within the prohibited 200-meter zone. Check out Gladwell’s full report, inside this issue.





And in Olympic sailing news, four-time Gold medalist Ben Ainslie has been 'knighted in the New Years Honors list', adding an impressive seal to a truly impressive year of sailing. 'This is an incredible honor,' said Sir Ben. 'When I set out Olympic sailing twenty years ago, I never would have dreamt this would happen.'





Also inside, get the latest news from the Sydney Hobart Race, the Governor’s Cup and the International Cadet World Championships.


And finally, best wishes to everyone for a happy, healthy and peaceful 2013.


May the four winds blow you safely home,

NaiadColligo Marine 660x82Southern Spars - 100

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep
A Q&A with Peter Bresnan ONE Palma’s founder and director
Sail-World interviewed ONE Palma’s founder Peter Bresnan to learn about the company’s partnership with McConaghy Boats For the past eight years, ONE Palma (formerly OneSails Spain) has been building a strong name, first as a sailmaker and later with refit work. Recently, ONE Palma and McConaghy Boats-legendary boatbuilders who have crafted some of the planet’s fastest sailboats-entered a business partnership. I caught up with Peter Bresnan, ONE Palma’s founder and director, to learn more about this new direction.
Posted on 2 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
An Q&A with Steve and Heidi Benjamin about the NYYC’s 2016 Queen’s Cup
Sail-World caught up with Steve and Heidi Benjamin to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup. When it comes to U.S. Grand Prix sailing, it’s hard not to encounter the names of Steve and Heidi Benjamin. The two highly polished sailors have been successfully campaigning their series of yachts, named SPOOKIE, for years, starting first with a Carkeek 40 and progressing to their TP52. I caught up with Steve and Heidi to learn more about Heidi’s historic win in the NYYC’s Queen’s Cup
Posted on 19 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug