Australia has been commanding plenty of press recently, partially because it’s now frigid here in the northern hemisphere, and because the annual Sydney-Hobart Race starts in just over two weeks. In addition, there are the high-end feeder events for the Sydney-Hobart, as well as regattas such as the inaugural TP52 Southern Cross Cup, which just recently wrapped up at the Sandringham Yacht Club. After three days of tight racing, Karl Kwok’s 'Team Beau Geste' took top honors, followed by Bob Steels’s 'Quest' and Tony Lyall’s 'Cougar II'.
'We’ve raced different venues and courses, inshore and offshore, traditional and with gates in the middle. We’ve competed in different states from right off the deck of SYC, one of the world’s premier yacht clubs to pristine Pittwater, another world class venue,' said Gavin Brady, 'Team Beau Geste’s' helmsman. 'I think the big thing we’ve achieved with this concept was showing clubs that as long as there’s six meters of water, we can race these boats on an Opti course.'
While Kwok and his 'Team Beau Geste' crew can celebrate their latest victory for a small while, most of these sailors are stepping onto Kwok’s brand-new 80-footer for the Sydney-Hobart, so expect this team to stay sharp in the weeks before the Boxing Day bash begins. Get the full scoop, inside.
In One Design news, John Taylor and his 'Ninkasi' crew have taken top honors at the Melges 20 Worlds, which just recently concluded at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Florida. 'I guess if I'm going to win one, this was the one to win,' reported Taylor, who was enjoying his first big win in this hotly contested class. 'I am honored to be in the presence of so many great owners and fellow sailboat racers. This is by far the best class, with the best owners in the world.'
Ninkasi - Audi Melges 20 World Championship 2013 - http://melges20.com/
According to reports, the event wasn’t decided until the regatta’s final day, making for a spicy finish. Get the full story, inside this issue.
And in ocean racing news, Green Marine, one of the builders of the new Volvo Ocean Race 65 One Design, have now completed the build process of the VO65 for the Chinese-flagged VOR entry, 'Dongfeng', and have now transferred the boat over to the team. According to reports, the team is now in the process of fielding six to eight Chinese sailors, but, interestingly, their recruiting process advises that no sailing experience is mandatory to participate.
'The ‘only’ thing we have left to do from there is sail from China back to Europe, effectively half of the Volvo Ocean Race course, during which the elite squad will sail on board in rotation over the legs,' said Team Director, Bruno Dubois. 'It’s really quite ambitious what we’re doing. But the guys need to clock up the hours, they need to spend night and day on the water, they need to experience the Southern Ocean and what it is like to round Cape Horn.'
'If they arrive at the start in Alicante having completed this journey they will understand at least in part what they are heading for, and they won’t be complete newcomers,' continued Dubois. Get the full report on the team and their unconventional VOR campaign, inside this issue.
Also inside, get the full report on the Sydney to Hobart Race, the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, and the One Ton Cup. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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4:31 PM Sun 15 Dec 2013GMT
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