West Coast sailing news continues to be driven by the Louis Vuitton Cup, while sailors on the East Coast have been making their own headlines within the world of Grand Prix One Design racing. While the right-coast racing involved plenty of well-polished teams competing against each other, the Louis Vuitton Cup (LVC) has been about solo sailing for the last few days, first with Luna Rossa making a solo outing on Thursday, while Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) sailed an unchallenged race on Saturday, as the Challenger of Record, Artemis Racing, is still not yet racecourse-ready.
Perhaps as a way of training up their squad or maybe as a way of communicating/demonstrating their on-the-water dominance in this LVC, ETNZ sailed their last race with their wing trimmer, the immensely talented Glen Ashby (AUS), in the driver’s seat, while helmsman Dean Barker watched from a chase boat. 'It was good to have a feel of the boat through the different maneuvers,' said Ashby, who reportedly had not spent much time driving an AC72-class catamaran before Saturday’s race.
'There were a few laughs and banter on board at my expense,' continued Ashby, who despite being one of the world’s most accomplished multi-hull sailors, admitted to feeling a bit 'wobbly' at times. 'I did get an insight into how I can help [Barker] mode the boat better to get through the puffs and holes a bit better. I’m sure [Barker] appreciated seeing the boat from the outside-how it trims and how it behaves.'
Irrespective of how Ashby felt, the boat looked good and sailed her racecourse quickly and sans incident. Luna Rossa and ETNZ are set to line up on Sunday for their fifth on-the-water meeting, the previous four of which ended poorly for the Italian-flagged team. Be sure to stay tuned into the website for the latest LVC news, as it unfurls.
Barking Mad finished second overall and has won the Farr 40 U.S. Circuit at the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship - Rolex/Daniel Forster Click Here to view large photo
And on the East Coast, Nico Poons and his crew aboard 'Charisma' took top honors in the Farr 40 North Americans, which just wrapped up off of Martha’s Vineyard. According to repots, 'Charisma' only posted two results (out of ten) that were lower than a second-place finish.
'It’s always our goal to win the worlds,' said Poons, who has been sailing Farr 40s for four seasons. 'But sailing is a humbling sport; you need a lot of luck. Eighty percent of the job is good starts. You saw it today in our first race. We did not have a good start, and it was hard to get back in it, and you see the results. The rest of the regatta, we had good starts and not too many boats got ahead of us, so we were able to just continue sailing our race.'
Charisma (right) is the 2013 Rolex Farr 40 North American Champion. Struntje light is on the left at the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship - Rolex/Daniel Forster Click Here to view large photo
Get the full Far 40 North Americans debriefing, inside.
And in Porto, Portugal, action has been hot at the Extreme Sailing Series Act 5, where, 'The Wave, Muscat' is currently leading the pack, ahead of 'Alinghi' and 'RealTeam'. 'You would think it would get easier the longer you compete on this circuit but it never does!' exclaimed Leigh McMillan, skipper of 'The Wave, Muscat'. 'I’m certain that tomorrow is going to be extremely tough and 'Alinghi' are going to be there right up until the end. In an ideal situation we will have a good day and we can build up a bit of a points margin, but it's very, very difficult to do that in this Series and we've never really been able to achieve that before so I don't know how tomorrow is going to be any different!'
Also inside, be sure to get the complete news from the ongoing Laser North Americans, the 420 Words and the recently concluded Nacra 17 Worlds. And finally, get psyched for the upcoming week’s worth of LVC racing by checking out some of the great video footage of the wingsail-powered beasts flying around on San Francisco Bay. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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2:31 PM Sun 28 Jul 2013GMT
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