While the much hotter-than-usual weather that we’ve been experiencing recently here in the Pacific Northwest suggests otherwise, the simple truth is that the mid-October start of this year’s Volvo Ocean Race is approaching fast. Currently, two teams, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Alvamedica, are engaging in a 'friendly delivery' from Newport, Rhode Island, to the United Kingdom, with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing to headed Gosport and Team Alvimedica to Southampton.
'I still find it exceptional, how one day you're restless and rolling in your bunk because life is [tame] and you want to be productive, and the next you very simply don't have time to do anything but survive,' reported Team Alvimedica on their blog. 'The contrasts are enormous, and they often change in an instant… Gearing up, gearing down, sail changes, meal prep-going to the bathroom-everything takes four times longer and is twice as exhausting and there are no exceptions.'
Meanwhile, reports have emerged that Team Brunnel, Team SCA and the Spanish-flagged team will be going head-to-head for a friendly, 650-mile race in the Canary Islands on Saturday. This little competition will start and finish in Marina Rubicón in Lanzarote, and is expected to reveal a lot about each team's overall level of preparation less than three months before the start of the actual Volvo Ocean Race.
'It’s a big challenge–not only because the Volvo Ocean Race is such a long and tough race for all the crew members–but also because we know we do not have much time left before the first leg start on October 11,' said Iker Martínez, of the Spanish-flagged team’s preparations. 'We know that we’re really pressed for time and the other teams are far ahead in terms of preparation but we are working hard to make up the difference.'
22 Feb 2014, Onboard Team Brunel for its first leg: Southampton - Sanxexo - Lanzarote. - Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - Feike Essink / Team Brunel
Get the full report inside, and stay tuned for more VOR-related news, as it unfurls.
Speaking of Newport, Rhode Island, part two of the biennial New York Yacht Club Race Week (July 16-19) is currently being contested on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound, with racing taking place in One Design, IRC and PHRF classes. Thunderstorms cancelled racing on Wednesday, but the fleet is expected to be enjoying around-the cans and mid-distance races-with a mix of Corinthian and celebrity sailors racing aboard the different yachts-once the weather improves.
'The 12 Meter and the IRC 52 are such different animals that you have to think differently on both boats,' said Brad Read, the executive director of Sail Newport, referring to part one of the NYYC’s Race Week, which was contested in classic yachts. 'The 12 Meter is a momentum machine where you have to plan a lot farther ahead, while 'Hooligan' is a 52-foot planing dinghy. With it, you can dance your way up the course upwind and can get yourself in and out of trouble quicker, and things happen a lot faster onboard.'
And in America’s Cup news, Stuart Alexander, a top international yachting journalist from the British newspaper, The Independent, has filed an interesting report on the Challengers meeting, which took place last weekend in Los Angeles. While the Defender, Oracle Team USA, was in attendance, the mood sounded strained, based on Alexander’s report.
'The six from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, Italy and Sweden took the opportunity to say that they disapproved of the move to drop San Francisco as the venue, expressed varying degrees of dislike for the two remaining venue choices, San Diego and Bermuda, made clear that they did not want the event split between two venues, one possibly in the southern hemisphere, and wanted to see supervisory provisions, which at the moment bypass the sport’s world governing body, the Southampton-based International Sailing Federation (ISAF), reviewed,' wrote Alexander.
Get Alexander’s full report, inside this issue, and stay tuned for the latest updates on the 35th America’s Cup, as they become known.
Sarah Norbury and Mari Davis (420 girls) - 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds - © Neuza Aires Pereira | ISAF Youth Worlds
Also inside, get the latest news from the ISAF Youth Worlds, the Flying Dutchman Worlds, Foiling Week, and the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race.
May the four winds blow you safely home,