Volvo Aussie skipper speculation...Aussies on top in Rio

Team Brunel training, ,Lanzarote, Spain
As the clock winds down to the close of entries for the 35th America’s Cup in three days time, the action shifts to Europe with speculation surrounding the Volvo Ocean Race.

The focus of interest is the pending announcement of the skipper and sponsors for the seventh VO65 in the Race.

While no-one will officially confirm the speculation (saving that for the official announcement) Sail-World’s sources say that it will be former Camper sskipper, Australia's own Chris Nicholson.

If confirmed, Nicholson, a four round the world race veteran will bring to the race the vital benchmark between the previous edition if the race and the upcoming event, which starts in just under 60 days time from Alicante, Spain.

The seventh boat is also rumoured to be sponsored by a variety of Scandinavian corporates, each with a strong international presence, in a deal that is believed to have been brokered by the Volvo Ocean Race itself.

July 29 2014. High-tech Race Control located in the Race Headquarters in Alicante. The boats are tracked 24/7 via the Inmarsat satellite network and its main purposes are overseeing the safety of the fleet and delivering/receiving positional data and communications from the fleet.

For sure the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race will be like no other, with the one design boat and the Volvo organised boatyard making late entry possible.

There’s a strong European influence in the fleet, and with the Emirates Team NZ decision not to enter, there is in fact no entry from the Southern Hemisphere, although there are plenty of Australian and Kiwi sailors.

But that should not overshadow the fact that the race has been lifted up onto a new basis, which should see it expand in the next edition with the creation of new professional teams, who should be around for the second cycle in the same boats.

New Zealander Jack Lloyd is once again Race Director for the Volvo Ocean Race. In this edition, in a story republished from the Volvo Ocean Race website, Jack explains the points system that will be used in this race. A notable feature is that the racing and points will be split between In Port and Trans-Oceanic legs, rather than combined as was the case in previous editions.

RS:X Womens start - Acquese Rio Test Events - Day 1

In Rio de Janerio, the Olympic Test event is underway. Ahead of the event most interest centred not on who would win the racing but how bad the water would smell.

It seems that while the waters of Guanabara Bay are far from pristine, they are not the worst in the world, and last week Brazilian officials unveiled their plans to rectify the water condition over the coming years.

In this edition of Sail-World, we present the whole plan – all 47 pages of it.

Eco-boat in operation at Rio - July 31, 2014

For those genuinely interested in cleaning up the oceans and waterways, it is an interesting insight as to how to the De-pollution Plan will be implemented with the Mitigation phase designed to reduce the inflows before the longer term Prevention plan kicks in with a permanent solution.

Skeptics at event seem pleasantly surprised at the progress that has been made in the past few years. Comments from the sailors have not been too bad. No-one seems to have fallen sick, yet.

While plenty of fingers have been pointed in the direction of the Brazilians for allowing the waterway to get into this state, the fact is that there seems to be a number of parallels with some Austrlaian rivers and the effects of run-off pollution.

Rio 2014 Test Event - Aquece Rio Day 1-3 - International Sailing Regatta 2015

From that perspective the Brazilian efforts are especially interesting, and good on them for listening to the sailing world’s criticism and making the changes sought.

Turning to the sailing, the Aussies are doing very well.

Tuesday was set to be the first full day of competition, but someone forgot to tell the breeze. Belcher and Page in the 470's Outteridge and Jensen in 49ers, Burton in Lasers and Bundock and Curtis in the Nacra 17's all came out of the blocks well and are leading their fields

We hope to have reports each day and images from the event.

2014 Copa del Rey Mapfre
Stay tuned to our website for the latest news and developments in the sailing world.

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

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