VOR: War of attrition—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
The fists continue to swing in Leg Five of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), but attrition—rather than tactics—continues to be the culprit as the fleet of fleet of Volvo Open 70s presses from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajaí, Brazil. What started out as a six-strong fleet of raceboats has now dwindled to three as overall race leader Telefonica has diverted to Ushuaia, Argentina to repair their bow. According to skipper Iker Martinez, the delamination damage occurred during a spectacular (and well-documented) double knockdown, which the team sustained over the weekend.
|Damian Foxall working in freezing conditions onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. (Credit: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race) Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race|
'As you can see, we've got no problems in terms of continuing to sail, but if we continue to violently crash against the waves like this the damage could worsen and we want to rule-out the possibility of that happening,' said Martínez. Current reports hold that Telefonica will rejoin the hunt once the repairs are made; more will be known once the team reaches Ushuaia, so stay tuned.
Meanwhile, at the front of the pack, Groupama continues to lead the way, with the French-flagged boat several hundred miles in front of Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro. Astern of Mar Mostro is Emirates Team New Zealand's stricken Camper, which also suffered breakage due to the rough slamming; they have committed to a stop in Chile, but are also expected to arrive in Itajaí on their own keel.
Team Sanya, however, is a different story as the Chinese-flagged team has reached New Zealand and is working fervently to repair their vessel, which sustained serious damage (and water ingress) after sheering off a rudder and spinning into an uncontrolled gybe several days ago. The team has suspended racing and the current plan calls for Sanya to be loaded onto a container ship bound for Miami, where she will rejoin the fleet for Leg 7. 'We will make it happen and Team Sanya will be back in action before you know it,' said skipper Mike Sanderson.
For Groupama, Mar Mostro and—some 1,400 miles astern—Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam, which continues to be beleaguered by light winds and (relatively) sticky boatspeeds, the game is about sailing smart and not breaking anything. All crews have eased off their accelerators, but it's a safe wager that Ken Read and company aboard Mar Mostro are pressing hard to catch Groupama. Get the full VOR media blitz, inside.
|2012 World Windsurfing Championships Vincenzo Baglione|
Meanwhile, racing had to be cancelled at the RS:X Worlds, which are taking place in Cadiz, Spain, due to sustained 30-knot winds and white-streaked water. Instead of buoy racing, a winner-takes-all speed contest was held inside the breakwater. Check out the heavy-wind video and get the names of the winners, inside, and stay tuned for more info from this event, which continues through Thursday.
|Filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron emerges from the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible after his successful solo dive to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. The dive was part of DEEPSEA CHALLENGE, a joint scientific expedition by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research. - Deepsea Challange Mark Thiessen National Geographic|
Also in the news this week was film maker/explorer James Cameron (Titanic and Avatar), who became the first person to dive into the ocean's deepest depths, solo. Interestingly, Cameron helped revolutionized submarine design by flipping the capsule from a horizontal to a vertical orientation; even cooler for sailors is the fact that McConaghy Boats—builders of many of the world's quickest carbon-fiber raceboats—was heavily involved in the project. Check out the report, inside.
Also inside, get the latest news from Giovanni Soldini and his Maserati crewmembers who just arrived in New York after a storm-fraught passage from Miami; check-in with the Clipper Around The World Race, and get the wrap-up report from the US Etchells Nationals, which just concluded in Miami.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
|A look back at the 2012 International Rolex Regatta |
Anna Parker, Sail-World.com,
The 2012 International Rolex Regatta, an event deemed as the ‘Crown Jewel' of Caribbean regattas, welcomed 68 boats and more than 500 sailors who represented the U.S., Great Britain, Puerto Rico, Canada, The Netherlands, Russia, Italy, Sweden, Monaco and multiple Caribbean islands to the St. Thomas Yacht Club in St, Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands from 23-25 March.... [more]
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