VOR: Three in a row—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
Offshore-sailing circles were abuzz this weekend with news of skipper Iker Martinez and his Telefonica teammates' third-straight offshore leg win in the ongoing Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). The team is the first to have claimed this hat-trick honor in the past 22 years of race history, making the reward for all their hard work that much sweeter.
|Team Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez from Spain finishes first on leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Abu Dhabi, UAE, to Sanya, China. (Photo Credit must read: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race) - Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 3B finish Sanya, China Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race |
'It's one of the toughest legs I've done,' reported Andrew Cape, Telefonica's navigator. 'Mentally it was very difficult, tactically very difficult. Physically it wasn't as tough as a long southern ocean leg but mentally it was really hard.' Crossing the line in Telefonica's wake was Groupama, followed by Emirates Team New Zealand's Camper. Puma Ocean Racing came in a disappointing fourth after an easterly hitch failed to play out, followed by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Sanya. Get the full VOR lowdown, inside.
Also offshore related, things are getting a bit rough in the Global Ocean Race where the fleet has been taking a multi-day upwind pounding. Sadly, this thrashing claimed the father-and-son team of Ross and Campbell Field aboard Buckley Systems, as massive conditions, equipment breakage and human injury exacted a far higher toll than expected, and the two plotted a course for dry land.
|Buckley Systems was leading the Global Ocean Race at the time of the incident. Ivor Wilkins/Offshore Images |
The same sad fate befell Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron aboard Campagne de France, who had been sitting in second place prior to the thrashing, which was described as Force 8-9 winds accompanied by massive seas. This recent attrition whittles the fleet down to three strong, all of whom are pressing deeper into the challenging leg that will carry the fleet from Wellington, New Zealand to Punta del Este, Uruguay. More, inside.
In Cup circles, residents of Auckland, New Zealand were recently given front-row seats to watch their hometown Emirates Team New Zealand squad engaging in a little bit of friendly sparing against the Italian-flagged Luna Rossa.
While the two teams enjoy an unprecedented friendly relationship, the four races were notable for being one of the few times that the newly minted Italian-backed team has sailed their fully logoed, wingsail-powered AC45 catamaran.
|ETNZ-Prada-050212 (3) - Luna Rossa and Emirates Team NZ - Practice Racing, Waitemata Harbour Richard Gladwell|
Moreover, it was also one of the first times that the two teams have flown their wingsail extensions, which were developed to add punch in lighter airs. While beginner's luck evaded the Italians in all four races, there's no doubt that that both teams gained valuable mileage and experience with their wingsail extensions thanks to their copasetic relationship.
And finally, be sure to get the latest scoop on the Women's Match Racing Country Qualifier, the Clipper Around the World Race, and the names of the six newly selected members of the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Team, inside this issue.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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