Please select your home edition
Edition
Ancasta Ker 40+ 728x90

VOR- Walker wins Leg Seven—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 1 Jun 2012
Broken through the high-pressure and headed for Lisbon. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. (Credit: Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race) Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race http://www.volvooceanrace.org
One of the hard truths about the fully crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) is that teams operate in relative bubbles for roughly two years prior to the race’s start, designing adn building their boats and teams. The Litmus test usually arrives the first night of Leg One, from Europe to Cape Town. Only then do crews have the chance to open their throttles in an offshore environment with their other 'classmates' all around. This year was no exception, nor was it odd that designer Juan Kouyoumdjian likely went to bed happy that night—his three Volvo Open 70s were performing flawlessly and were quickly occupying the entire podium.

The principals at Farr Yacht Design, however, likely had a very different experience, both on Leg One and on each sub-sequential offshore leg as Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Azzam, the only modern-generation Farr-designed boat in the race, struggled.

Until today.


You see, dear reader, Azzam just won Leg Seven, which took the six-strong fleet from Miami, Florida to Lisbon, Portugal. 'It’s a massive relief it was such a tough race,' said Walker upon finishing. 'Everyone knows we’re not as quick as some of the other boats, so we just had to make up for it in other ways. It’s one of the most amazing experiences of my sailing career, that’s for sure. We paced ourselves pretty well, we were even sleeping today.'

Groupama 4 finished less than six minutes astern of Azzam, followed by Puma Ocean Racing’s Mar Mostro. Overall leader Telefonica finished in fourth place, which could have some long-term ramifications for the 2011-2012 VOR’s final results. Get the latest VOR news, as well as the multimedia reports, inside this issue.


Meanwhile, Alan Thébault’s newest version of his 'flying' trimaran, l’Hydroptère, has been loaded onto a ship bound for Los Angles. The team plans to wait for a perfect weather window to attempt a new LA-to-Honolulu record. Interestingly, this will be the first major offshore record attempted with the use of hydrofoils. The current record—a mere 4 days, 19 hours and 31 minutes—is held by Olivier de Kersauson’s maxi trimaran Geronimo and will be a serious challenge to beat. 'We still have work to do on the control system but globally, we can speak of a speed increase of about 10% downwind with a much more stable behavior in rough seas,' says Thébault. Get the full scoop in this issue.

Also in offshore news, there have been some great post-race reports from the Atlantic Cup 2012, most notably from Joe Harris (Gryphon Solo II), Emma Creighton (Initiatives) and from the event itself. This year, 15 teams of sailors, racing doublehanded, participated in this three-stage Class 40 event, bolstering shorthanded sailing’s Stateside profile and providing a great opportunity for American sailors to match up against the Europeans. Impressively, three out of the top five boats were American (including both Harris and Creighton). More, inside.

And in One Design circles, US Sailing Team Sperry Top Sider sailors are now in Weymouth, England—site of the 2012 Olympics later this summer—for the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta (June 4-9). This prestigious event is the team’s last chance to make some important pre-Games decisions.

'We’re closing in on 50 days until the start of the Games,' said Dean Brenner, Chairman of the Olympic Sailing Committee Chairman. 'In addition to this being our last chance at competition on the Olympic course area, this regatta will also serve as a dry run for the Games in a number of ways. Our athletes and coaches will continue to keep ticking things off the to-do list. For example, Olympic equipment has been chosen, final sail selections have been made, and with our support staff and performance enhancement team on site we are making sure everyone stays focused and healthy.'

Get the full report inside, and stand by for updates and field reports from the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, as they unfurl.


And finally, get the latest news from the World Match Racing Tour’s Korea Match Cup, the Finn World Masters and the storm-pounded Global Ocean Race, whose fleet of Class 40s is getting thoroughly trounced by a serious North Atlantic blow. Suddenly, an armchair and a cup of tea don’t sound so bad…



May the four winds blow you safely home,

upffront 660x82Southern Spars - 100Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82

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