Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring One Design

Vendee, AC72 and Olympic news—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 21 Nov 2012
Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss - 2012 Vendee Globe © Christophe Launay
For fans of offshore sailing, these are heady days. The non-stop-and-unassisted around-the-world Vendee Globe Race is in full swing, with 15 of the original 20 IMOCA 60s still plunging south. For the unfortunate five skippers who have had to head back to shore already, the race’s reputation as a war of attrition has become a reality bath. For the remaining 15 skippers, however, slipping quickly through the Doldrums has been the game.


At the time of this writing, Armel Le Cléac’h, racing 'Banque Populaire', holds the overall lead, followed by Jean-Pierre Dick ('Virbac Paprec 3') and Francois Gabart ('Macif'), but British-flagged skippers Alex Thomson ('Hubo Boss'), and Mike Golding, ('Gamesa'), proved to be sly foxes where the air blows thin, making impressive gains on the leading pack of Frenchmen.


'It was a really tough night last night and I haven’t been able to get any sleep,' reported Thomson. 'It was like one constant squall. It was monsoon rain for seven hours straight. I had practically no wind at all, so I have been steering by hand the entire time.' Fortunately for the Brit, the worst of the sticky sailing is likely astern. 'I do think I am now out. I am sailing upwind. I have the boats all around me and I can see them, so I want to stay awake at the moment.'





At the front of the pack, Le Cléac’h seems confident and in control. 'The Doldrums are behind me, the sky is clear this morning,' he reported. 'We took the opportunity to rest a little after a rather complicated 24 hours. Behind, they are grouped in the Doldrums and I took the opportunity to increase the gap between them and me. For now the road to go to the first ice gate is not very fast. We'll see how it will evolve.' Get the full Vendee Globe report, inside this issue.


Meanwhile, in Olympic sailing news, an independent Olympic Review Panel presented their findings and recommendations on our country’s less-than-stellar showing at the London Olympics 2012 at U.S. Sailing’s annual meeting, which just wrapped up in San Francisco. 'The Olympic Review Panel did excellent work on this assignment,' said Josh Adams, Managing Director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, as well as the panel’s leader. 'Their findings and recommendations form a body of information that we can use as a positive influence on our Olympic Sailing strategy going forward.' Get the full scoop, inside.





And in Cup sailing news, two AC72 have now lined up against each other, a first for this newly minted class of wingsail-powered catamarans that will be used to contest the 34th America’s Cup. According to the latest reports, Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and the Italian-flagged Luna Rossa lined up on New Zealand’s Hauraki Gulf in less than 12 knots of air for a bit of windward-leeward work. ETNZ appeared to be much quicker than their Italians friends, but this is hardly surprising given that the Kiwis launched their boat in July, while the Italians didn’t splash their boat until early November. Be sure to check out the multimedia report-including a video-inside.





Also Cup related, Glenn Ashby, ETNZ’s wingsail trimmer, provides great insight on what it’s like to sail aboard one of these mammoth cats. 'The strongest breeze they’ve had at the mast head is about 33 knots with a good 25 to 28 knots on the water at times,' reported Ashby. 'We have had 60 knots of apparent wind across the deck so there can be a lot of wind noise, which affects communications. That’s a key area to get right.'


Interestingly, Ashby also offers some insight into how the wingsail works in concert with the foils. 'We’ve found we have to change the wing trim quite aggressively from when the hull’s in the water to when it’s foiling. It was a matter of trial and error until we got it right.' Get the full scoop, inside this issue.


May the four winds blow you safely home,

Colligo Marine 660x82Barz Optics - Kids rangeupffront 660x82

Related Articles

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
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug
Gladwell's Line - The challenges of Guanbara Bay
The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer course, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest The decision to run Medal Racing on the Pao de Acucer, probably won't be remembered as one of the brightest of the 2016 Sailing Olympics. Over shadowed by a 1300ft tall granite and quartz mountain in the shape of a sugarloaf, the bay suffers from dramatic windshifts, and huge variance in wind pressure.
Posted on 11 Aug
Rio 2016 - Fresher breezes expected inside and outside on Day 3
Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Stronger winds are expected for the third day of racing in the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta in Rio de Janeiro. Two of the fleet scheduled to race outside on the Atlantic Ocean course off Copacabana Beach, while the 470 Men and Women will race inside on Guananara Bay.
Posted on 10 Aug