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05 Mar 2012

VOR: Islands of decisions—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

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©
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.

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



Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover News 13 - The man at the helm
VOR Auckland Stopover,
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has finished Leg 3 in Sanya (China), and are gearing up for the nest leg to Auckland. Read the latest news here on the Auckland Stopover It's now just 5 days to go until the fleet is scheduled to arrive in Auckland and our e-newsletter Event HQ brings you the latest news from the Race, the Auckland Stopover and the Race Village.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Auckland Stopover News 12 - The containers arrive
VOR Auckland Stopover,
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has finished Leg 3 in Sanya (China), and are gearing up for the nest leg to Auckland. Read the latest news here on the Auckland Stopover It's now just 5 days to go until the fleet is scheduled to arrive in Auckland and our e-newsletter Event HQ brings you the latest news from the Race, the Auckland Stopover and the Race Village.... [more]
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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Wind gods unleash their power
Michele Korteweg,
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - On the first day of the regatta, the breeze was sharp and steady. On the second day of the annual Caribbean sailing festival, it blew harder still. But today, on the third and final day of competition, the wind gods truly unleashed their power. And the result was one of the more stirring, sensational days of racing in the legacy of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Auckland amps up as Race Village opening nears
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race fever is sweeping through Auckland as the city prepares for the opening of the Race Village on Thursday and the imminent arrival of the six-strong fleet. The Race Village, at Viaduct Harbour, will throw open its doors to the public at 9am on Thursday, kicking off 10 days of celebrations marking the Volvo Ocean Race's return to the City of Sails and the completion of Leg 4.... [more]
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Please Note - Its Google Analytics not Google Statistics
The SEO Guy & TetraMedia,
Google Analytics is NOT designed to record website traffic statistics accurately. Google Analytics is far from accurate, especially when compared directly against server log files. G A is intended to track and analyse what people do when on the site. That's why its called 'Google Analytics' and not 'Google Statistics'... If you want webstats you must use server log data stats.... [more]
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Inaugural MC 38 One Design Australian Championship announced
Ellen Pragnell-Raasch,
McConaghy Boats has announced the inaugural MC 38 Australian Championship which is set to take place in Pittwater, Sydney this October. The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club is home to the first three MC 38s in Sydney and is very excited to be hosting the event.... [more]
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Melges 32 Miami event - Hedgehog crew the new Champions
Melges 32 Class Association,
It was decided early on Sunday morning to call off all racing as a fast approaching cold front surged ever closer, ushering in the potential for severe weather and high winds. Congratulations to Alec Cutler aboard Hedgehog as he and his team are 2012 Miami Champions.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma skipper on the unsure outcome
Ken Read,
Volvo Ocean Race - Puma skipper, Ken Read, shares with us the latest on the crew's progress as they enter day fourteen of Leg 4.... [more]
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J/70 Ready to Roll for New York YC Qualifiers
Stuart Johnstone,
The family pocket rocketship is nearly ready to launch! The new 'baby J' is looking sleek, sweet and sexy. Sweeping, curvy lines. Powerful, firm buttocks. Knife-like entry to part the seas. More than enough room to accommodate a crew of three in the cockpit.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Financial Crisis second
Oliver Dewar,
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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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing ready to fight
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: These waters lay claim to some of history's worst fought battles, contested over many months during World War II. Guadalcanal, less than 100 miles to our west, was a major pawn in the struggle for Pacific supremacy.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet departs Qingdao
Isabel Hokken,
The Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet has departed from Qingdao today. The spectacular welcome ceremonies the individual teams received upon their arrival at the Olympic Sailing Centre was exceeded by an even more lavish departure ceremony shown live on Chinese television.... [more]
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FX: What the Sailors say about the Olympic Womens Skiff entry + Video
Ben Gladwell,
In this video double Olympic representative, Jo Aleh, ISAF Youth World Gold medalist Martine Grael (BRA) and Olympic Bronze medalist Isabel Swan (BRA) give their impressions of the FX. And ISAF World Youth Silver medalist, Alex Maloney, and double ISAF Youth Representative in the Womens Singlehanded event, Molly Meech talk about transitioning to the new Event and their hopes for 2016 Olympics.... [more]
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Melges 32 Miami Championship - Hedgehog leads
Melges 32 Class Association,
Teams were greeted with breezier conditions in the 15-18 knots range on day two along with more sunshine and temps in the upper 80s (F), making for more fun and a whole lot of speed, especially downwind. At the end of the day throw-outs went into play.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - A story of east versus west?
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Puma MCM, Amory Ross,sends the latest on the crew's progress as they continue their journey towards Auckland.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Looking to make the most of squalls and thunderstorm
Thomas Pryor and Sail-world,
As the leading boats cross the Equator Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand is looking to make the most of the large thunder clouds and sudden severe squalls on the approaches to the Doldrums. As the fleet eases down through the Solomon Islands group they are encountering squall lines packing gusts of wind in excess of 35 knots and rain filled thunder clouds that can significantly help or hind... [more]
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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Day 1 - Ideal conditions
Michele Korteweg,
Race officials on two separate starting circles off the southern coast of St. Maarten sent their respective fleets on the traditional clockwise round-the-island race.... [more]
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Melges 32 Miami Championship - Classic Miami conditions
Melges 32 Class Association,
2012 Melges 32 Miami Championship day 1 delivered a steady stream of plentiful sunshine and warmth. After one general recall and a solid start, PRO Hank Stuart fired off the third and final race of the day.... [more]
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J Class Arrives on Social Media
J Class Association,
The Official J Class Facebook page and @OfficialJClass Twitter account have both been established to relay news and images to supporters around the world in real time. These J Class Social Media accounts give supporters an opportunity to interact with the class and each other, sharing their own J Class images and stories.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Fingers crossed for the Doldrums + Video
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - As they press onwards toward the Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, Groupama 4's skipper, Franck Cammas/FRA said 'I've got my fingers crossed for this third passage through the Doldrums: all you need is one bad squall to lose a huge amount of ground as the experience of our previous two equators has shown.'... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro ticks away the miles
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: It took almost 10 days of sailing to get south of Sanya, our starting location, but ever since then we've been ticking away the miles to Auckland in a hurry.... [more]
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Brad Van Liew loses sailing company and prized yacht
Brian Hicks,
Brad Van Liew's racing yacht is on its way to France for a new race with a new owner, and his 15-year-old sailing company is out of business. On Thursday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court closed the book on Van Liew Ventures, ending one chapter in the life of the only American to race solo around the world three times.... [more]
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Miami Melges 32 Championship preview
Joy Dunigan,
Miami Melges 32 Championship - Over the next three days teams are not only looking forward to some intense yacht racing, but also the opportunity to bask in the simply more than perfect Miami weather - sunshine, warmth and classic high-performance breeze. Up six entries from 2011, the Melges 32 fleet anticipates great competition in North America, and it truly will culminate in Miami.... [more]
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St. Maarten Heineken Regatta kicks off with Gill Commodores Cup
Michele Korteweg,
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta 32nd edition kicked off with the Gill Commodores Cup in Simpson Bay. There are many adjectives one might employ to describe the sailing conditions off the south coast of the Friendly Island of St. Maarten. 'Sporty, sunny, and breezy' would all apply. But for the sake of simplicity, the day could be summed up with one straightforward word:... [more]
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