VOR: Bizarre weather twists—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
For crews racing in the fully crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), the recent weather forecasts have brought about some puzzled expressions, as the much-anticipated cold front that the fleet was hoping to catch barreled through early, confusing what was otherwise forecasted to be a quick passage across The Pond. As a result, the fleet is pressing north, careful to stay within the VOR-imposed ice gates while also trying to find faster conditions. 'We all missed the train and we're waiting for the next one, which is expected to come in from the northwest and that's [why] we are climbing up,' reported Telefonica's Xabi Fernandez.
|Wade Morgan battles his way forward to retrieve a furling unit, onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. (Credit: Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race) Nick Dana/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing /Volvo Ocean Race|
|Ken Read drives while navigator Tom Addis eyes the weather just to leeward. Onboard PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG during leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Miami, USA to Lisbon, Portugal. (Credit: Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race) Amory Ross/Puma Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race© |
The view from the navigator's chair is anything but certain right now. 'The boats behind have a bit more breeze right now, so they'll be notching up some good data in the next few hours,' said Andrew Cape, Telefónica's navigator. 'The situation we have coming up is quite thorny indeed. We're going to hit a high-pressure system tomorrow and then we will get the next squall, where we hope we'll get away again. It will be interesting.' Get the full VOR multi-media lowdown, in this issue.
Also offshore, the four-strong fleet of doublehanded Class 40 raceboats that are competing in Leg Five of the Global Ocean Race (GOR) are also headed across the North Atlantic, from Charleston, South Carolina to Les Sables d'Olonne, France. 'I don't even know what day of the week it is as our life is now completely dominated on the position schedules,' said Frans Budel of Sec. Hayai DTL. Get the full GOR report, inside.
|Bruce Kendall-1 |
Meanwhile, kiteboarding's inclusion in the 2016 Olympics is another hot topic this week, with different opinions being voiced from around the world. In this issue you'll find three opinion pieces, the first written by Dean Brenner, US Sailing Board Member and Chairman of the Olympic Sailing Committee, the other two by Nevin Sayre, a member of US Sailing and a kiteboarder who has earned a few stitches (read: paid hospital bills) along the way, and ace Kiwi windsurfer-cum-kiter, Bruce Kendall. Fans of Olympic sailing—or anyone interested in the political processes behind how classes get selected for the Games—are highly encouraged to spend time with all three.
And on a much somber tone, US Sailing has released their preliminary findings from their investigation of the 2012 Crewed Farallones Race distaster, where five crewmembers were killed when the Sydney 38, Low Speed Chase went aground. 'We are heartened by the seriousness with which the [San Francisco Bay Offshore Racing Council] has set priorities and assigned tasks to meet their mandate,' said Sally Honey, chairman of the US Sailing Independent Review Panel. 'We believe they are off to a good start in achieving more consistency between the various organizing authorities and making offshore racing safer for all.'
|Finn World Masters Marina Prinzivalli |
Also, be sure to also check out the latest news from the Finn World Masters, the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race, and the Atlantic Cup 2012, which will feature fully crewed fleet racing amongst 14 Class 40s on Narragansett Bay this weekend.
And finally, this weekend marks the annual Swiftsure International Yacht Race, the Block Island Race and the Figawi. Good luck and safe passage to all racing crews and to everyone else who is going sailing or racing on this Memorial Day weekend.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
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