VOR: Islands of decisions—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
The last few days of sailing in the fully crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) have been all about picking the best line through or around the Solomon Islands. Crews who took the former option (westerly) have been playing a game of finding the best line through reefs and squalls, oftentimes at night, and sometimes in the lee of land. Leg leader Groupama, however, led the way by steering an easterly (and decidedly less stressful) passage around the islands. Puma Ocean Racing also opted for this easterly routing, as the present weather-routing models are calling for a building southeasterly system, which could be great for the more easterly boats as they punch it for Auckland, New Zealand.
|Ryan Godfrey trims the staysail sheet to leeward. PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race) Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race© |
Speaking of Auckland, preparations are in full swing for the VOR's arrival in town, with volunteers and workers alike putting in the hours it takes to set up the travelling VOR village. 'We have an outstanding team of volunteers,' said Ruth Tuiraviravi, Head of Volunteers. 'And now the Stopover is getting so close, the excitement is really building up.'
Meanwhile, the ten-boat fleet that's competing in the Clipper Around the World Race has now departed Qingdao, China, and is en route to Oakland, California. The fleet is expected to arrive on San Francisco Bay in plenty of time for the 2012 Strictly Sail Pacific boat show, which begins on April 12. Get the full story inside this issue, and be sure to check the site for updates, as they unfurl.
For sailors who are suffering from a touch of winter blues, be sure to get the regatta reports from the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. Here, sun-soaked sailors enjoyed perfect conditions on day one, followed by a bit too much wind on day two resulting in some cancelled races. Racing may be serious in all classes during the day, but, given the regatta's infamous reputation, you can bet your last cold 'greenie' that the evenings were suitably relaxed.
|Full Throttle - Melges 32 Miami Championship 2012 JOY - International Melges 32 Class Association ©|
Stateside, the Melges 32 class is enjoying a fine Miami Championship, with classic Miami conditions greeting the fleet of talent-laden boats. And should J Class Yachts be your obsession, look for the Official J Class Facebook page—as well as a J Class twitter feed—to get the latest happenings on these hopelessly beautiful designs. And OD sailors, hear what top international female sailors have to say about the RX, one of several designs that is being evaluated for future Olympic use at the ISAF Women's Olympic Skiff Trials, which are being staged in Santander, Spain, in mid-March.
|J/70 speedster- stern quarter profile showing broad, powerful buttocks and open cockpit Stuart Johnstone|
And finally, start your week out right with some sneak-preview glimpses of the new J/70 hull form. According to reports, the first two hulls are well under way, with the expectation of launching and sea trialing this trailer-able rocketship later this month. Giddyap!
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
|Global Ocean Race - Financial Crisis second |
Global Ocean Race - The 33-year-old, Italian-Slovak skipper, Marco Nannini, and his 26-year-old Spanish co-skipper, Hugo Ramon, have taken second place in Leg 3 with Class40 Financial Crisis, crossing the finish line in Punta del Este, Uruguay at 08:54:20 local (10:54:20 GMT) on Sunday, completing the 6,300-mile leg through the Pacific and South Atlantic... [more]
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