Sailing action is on the rise as 2013 progresses. Fierce battle still rages on in the Vendee Globe between Frenchman Jean Le Cam and Brit Mike Golding. RC44 Championship Tour action is underway, ISAF Sailing World Cup battles have produced winners on Miami’s Biscayne Bay, RS Feva Worlds entries are booming and of course, there have been more announcements regarding the upcoming 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race.
When it comes to the Vendee Globe, though the podium places have been determined, the battle action is no less intense. The duel between Jean Le Cam and Mike Golding, tussling over fifth place, continues to simmer around the Azores high pressure. Yesterday the French skipper was staying tight lipped, silent through the day forcing the British skipper to wonder…. ‘he has gone strangely quiet at the moment, hasn't he…’ whilst Le Cam himself told Vendée Globe live that he too just focuses on his own race.
'I like my position. Now I have to deal with the weather as it comes. So far I’ve been doing some good work, but I don’t want to speak too soon because in half an hour it might change. I’m focused on my own job and I don’t think about anything or anyone else.'
Also on the Vendee Globe news front is the capsize of Spanish solo sailor Javier 'Bubi' Sanso's Acciona 100% EcoPowered. On the morning of 3rd February, around 1049hrs UTC, two distress beacons of Acciona were triggered. The alarms were received at 1052hrs UTC.
At 1049hrs UTC the boat was positioned at 31° 59.00 N 27 26.24 W, so 500 miles west of Madeira and 360 miles south of the Azores island of Sao Miguel.
At 1750hrs UTC an EH101 helicopter was dispatched from the Azores island of Terceira heading to the zone to effect the rescue of Javier Sanso and is expected to be in the area by 2300hrs UTC.
As for the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour, action is now underway with the RC44 Oman Cup in which Russian Katusha claimed the event victory. The final day of racing was set for Sunday 3rd February but was snuffed out due to the Shamal, the wind that blows over the Persian Gulf states.
With no racing, Gennadi Timchenko’s Katusha were crowned the RC44 Oman Cup winners. This has been an excellent event for the Russian team. With new tactician Andy Horton at the helm, the team were undefeated on the match race day, Steve Howe then took over for the fleet racing, winning four of the eight races, leading from start to finish.
Meanwhile in ISAF Sailing World Cup Action, it has been a tale of victory and defeat on Miami’s Biscayne Bay. Once again, conditions on the emerald waters mixed with the high level of competition and medal race urgency, allowed sailors to evaluate their abilities and determine where they rank among the world’s best.
Sweden’s Jesper Stalheim collected gold medal honors in the Laser class.
'Miami is really shifty,' said Stalheim. 'There was a bit more breeze in Miami than usual, so there was a lot of hiking. I was super fast on the downwind so that was great. It felt like the last day was super important, maybe a bit too much.'
Making its debut in World Cup competition is the mixed multihull Nacra 17 with Americans sweeping the top three positions. Sarah Newberry and John Casey (USA) capped a fantastic regatta in the intriguing Nacra 17 event. For nearly the entire week, Newberry and Casey were at the top of the leaderboard. They were fifth in the medal race and won the gold medal by five points. Finishing with silver was Sarah Streater and Matthew Whitehead (USA). Taylor Reiss and Sarah Lihan (USA) won bronze.
And for the the RS Feva Worlds- set to take place in Tuscany, the entries have surpassed the 100 mark with close to six months still remaining until the start of the event! The entry limit is 180 so don’t miss this appointment with the Tuscan sun, sea and glorious pasta and wine! Fourteen countries from three continents are coming so far.
Action from the 2012 RS Feva Worlds - Richard Gibbons
There is also more news on the Volvo Ocean Race, the final stop for the upcoming 2014-15 edition will be Gothenburg, Sweden.
Gothenburg is Sweden's second largest city, Scandinavia's largest port and has a well-earned reputation for hosting major sporting events. 2014-15 will be the third time Gothenburg has hosted the Volvo Ocean Race and the second time it has staged the finale, following the success of 2005-06, when ABN AMRO ONE sailed into the port as overall race winners.
Until next time, we wish you fair winds and good sailing,
by Anna Parker and the Sail-World Team
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5:53 PM Sun 3 Feb 2013GMT
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