As our Sail-World NZL editor Richard Gladwell reminded us all this morning the official sub-title for the Volvo Ocean Race 'Life at the Extreme' was certainly bought into stark relief over the weekend and overnight.
ABN AMRO ONE wins leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race in Portsmouth, England. By winning the leg, ABN AMRO ONE also secured the first place in the whole Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006. © Oskar Kihlborg
Richard continues, ‘Starting with the sad loss of a crewman from ABN Amro Two on Thursday, the fleet continued in a subdued fashion for some hours before moving back into race mode.
‘The sober mood changed to ecstasy, when ABN Amro One crossed the finish line on Saturday night to take the Volvo Ocean race for 2005/2006 – and with two legs to spare!
‘In the circumstances of a new class rule; racing boats which not only hold the 24 hour monohull speed record, but have broken it three times by three different VO 70’s; plus winning six of the seven offshore legs (and missing the other by just nine seconds; Mike Sanderson’s team aboard ABN Amro One have set one of the all time great benchmarks in world sailing history.
‘Then last night came the news that movistar (Bouwe Bekking) had keel problems which weren’t in the usual 'our bombdoors are leaking' category. The cause proved to be the whole keel-pin had shifted, which the crew tried to shore up with lashing through structural bulkheads and halyards. This is the same boat that almost sank just short of Cape Horn, and is the same one that did the most trans-oceanic sea miles of any competitor before the race started. Plus she was the first to break the 24 hour monohull speed record.
‘Next came the news that the tail-enders in the Volvo Fleet were about to be hit by a Force 10 storm – the same ferocity as the one that cost 15 lives in the 1979 Fastnet Race. Not the place to be in a crippled Volvo 70 only staying afloat by the action of two pumps running constantly.’
You can read the rest of the story in our features, plus the comment from Glenn Bourke CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race on the overall situation.
In the ISAF World Games, Australia has won the Kings Trophy for the best performing nation overall. An amazing three Gold's, Silver and a Bronze. Read all the details.
On the America’s Cup scene, the fleet racing for Louis Vuitton Act 11 finished overnight, with Emirates Team NZ scoring a good second place and taking third overall in the event behind Alinghi and Luna Rossa.
There is 'a big read today'. News from Sanctuary Cove, Australian Marine Awards, the BMW Sydney Winter series, Melbourne to Apollo Bay, Dee Caffari and lots more.
We are only presenting a selection of stories, and there are lots more posted on our website www.sail-world.com. We will also be updating on the latest developments, throughout the day.
Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team
If you have a friend who would like to receive a free subscription to Sail-World, please forward this newsletter to them and they can subscribe through the red 'Subscribe' button on the bottom of the page.