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11 Nov 2012

The Vendee, METS and winter sailing highlight week in sailing world

Start of the seventh Vendee Globe.  Vendee Globe - copyright
By far, the sailing world's biggest news has been the start of the nonstop, singlehanded Vendee Globe around-the-world race, which is commonly referred to as sailing's hardest challenge. This year, twenty skippers set out from Les Sables d'Olonne, France aboard tricked-out Open 60s, some with their eye on the podium, others simply hoping to finish sans mishap or misfortune. (tho' one has already suffered just that).

Start of the seventh Vendee Globe.  © Thierry Martinez/Mirabaud


The rules are simple—essentially, to sail nonstop, around the world unassisted, keeping the three great horns to port—yet the challenge of a solo circumnavigation, much of it in the Southern Ocean, clearly emphasizes preparation, seamanship and knowing when to lean on the accelerator and when to back off.
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Interestingly, of the 20 boats racing, six are now-generation designs that are purportedly lighter (read: 'potentially less robust') than earlier generations. For example, according to several sources, Vincent's Riou's 'PRB' allegedly has spots on her deck that are not safe to walk on, obviously trimming deck strength for stiffness. Other skippers have opted for older, heavier (read: 'probably more robust') boats, usually by financial necessity, that—while a touch stickier at certain angles—could prove advantageous, should the race become a war of attrition.

Inside this issue, get the full Vendee Globe media blitz, including images from the start, position reports, and all the latest Vendee Globe news, as it unfurls.

Hugo Boss - 2012 Vendee Globe  Alex Thompson Racing


Meanwhile, on the industry side of the sailing world, the annual METS tradeshow is taking place this week in Amsterdam. For gearheads like myself, there are few cooler shows, as the gear-only METS is where many companies unveil their latest creations in an effort to win a coveted DAME design award (stay tuned for more on these awards, as the week progresses), attract media attention and, of course, to sell product. I'll be attending the show, so please also stand by for some sneak previews of interesting new kit that I discover.

METS Tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt


Closer to my home in the Pacific Northwest, the annual Around the County Race took place this weekend, drawing some eighty-plus boats to come and play in the chilly late-fall race. The two-day race started and ended in Rosario Straight, which separates San Juan County from Island County (northern end of Puget Sound), and circumnavigates the San Juan Island archipelago, stopping for the night in scenic Roche Harbor. While I'm certainly envious of all the fun that my sailing friends had back home, it was nice to have warm fingers and toes this weekend!

On the other side of the sailing-conditions coin are the upcoming J/24 North Americans, which are set to take place this week (November 14-17) at the Florida Yacht Club in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm-water regatta is expected to see 34 boats battling for position on the starting lines, so stay tuned for more from this classic event, as it becomes known.

Virbac Paprec 3 - 2012 Vendee Globe  Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©



David Schmidt



Vendee Globe - Emotional roller coaster ride continues
Vendee Globe,
The Vendee Globe is in full swing as the emotional roller coast ride continues. Rather than the strong gales which often prevail on the Bay of Biscay it was irregular, unsettled winds and big squalls which set a high work rate for the solo skippers through their first night of the solo race around the world.... [more]
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VX ONE North American Championship - Eagans victorious in Pensacola
Christopher E. Howell,
The VX ONE North American Championship has drawn to a close in Pensacola, Florida with Marcus and Andrew Eagan emerging triumphant. The Louisiana-based duo beat out 15 others to earn the victory with sixteen points over the nine races. They notched all top three tallies, after dropping an eight in race 6.... [more]
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Italy organises most ISAF regattas worldwide
Elena Giolai,
In an analysis conducted by Fraglia Vela Riva's sport's director Andrea Camin, on the regattas in the ISAF calendar ( The International Sailing Federation), from September 2011 to September 2012, showed that Italy organised the most regattas in the world with 82 events.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Active, challenging first night at sea
Vendee Globe,
Following the high emotions of the start day of the Vendee Globe in Les Sables d'Olonne, skippers competing in the solo round the world race had an active, challenging first night at sea dealing with unstable winds, occasional squalls and regular manoeuvres. On the early morning ranking, François Gabart leads the fleet which already spans 74 miles on the Bay of Biscay.... [more]
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Monsoon Cup - Excitement builds ahead of Pulau Duyong battle
Miyeera Navaretna,
Excitement is building with less than one month to go before the eighth Monsoon Cup gets underway. This year's event consists of one of the strongest fields ever, including three ISAF Match Racing World Champions. Eleven teams, including the top eight skippers on the Tour leaderboard, confirm their hard earned place in the season-ending Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT).... [more]
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ISAF announces new Council Members
ISAF,
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has now announced the new members of the ISAF Council, the final decision-making body of ISAF. The new members of the ISAF Council were made known at the ISAF General Assembly in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.... [more]
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Emotional highs and lows continue through first night of Vendée Globe
Sail-World,
After the high emotions of start day in Les Sables d'Olonne skippers competing in the 2012-13 edition of the Vendée Globe solo round the world race had an active, challenging first night at sea dealing with unstable winds, occasional squalls and regular manoeuvres. On the early morning ranking François Gabart leads the fleet which already spans 74 miles on the Bay of Biscay.... [more]
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Southern Spars exhibiting at METS2012
Sail-World,
Southern Spars will be exhibiting on stand 01.108 at METS and its incorporated SuperYacht Pavilion 2012. METS is the world's largest exhibition of equipment, materials and systems for the international marine leisure industry. This year the show celebrates its 25th anniversary... [more]
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Vendee Globe: Safran forced to retire with broken keel
Soazig Guého,
Vendee Globe - At 1745 hrs CET (1645 hrs GMT) on Saturday 10th November, Marc Guillemot called his shore team to inform them that he had hit something and that there had been a loud noise, after which the boat suddenly heeled over. After making the boat safe, the skipper of Safran decided to head back to Les Sables d'Olonne in order to inspect the damage... [more]
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Manson Anchors to show underhull anchoring system at METS2012
Sail-World,
Manson Anchors and Bowmaster are again exhibiting at METS2012, in the same location with the New Zealand companies, Hall 2 stand 02.222 After a great show in Monaco and confidence building (albeit windy and wet) show in Fort Lauderdale, Manson's Ned Wood says they are very much looking forward to the METS show for 2012.... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ AC72 gets ready for Round 2 of testing
ETNZBlog,
After a week in the shed for modifications, Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 is almost ready for another intensive round of tests and crew development. With 16 of the 30 allowed AC72 sailing days used, the team now aims to make the most of the 14 days remaining. Skipper Dean Barker says there's a lot to accomplish – and the 14 days will go very quickly... [more]
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Cressy Championship - Sailors strut their wares under breezy weather
Sherri Campbell,
The 2012 ISSA Singlehanded National Championship got underway on Saturday with Mitchell Kiss of Holland, Michigan and Malcolm Lamphere of Lake Forrest, Illinois taking an early lead after a gusty first day of competition off the Belmont the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier in Long Beach, California.... [more]
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ISAF Annual Conference comes to a close in Dun Laoghaire
ISAF,
After three days of meetings, the ISAF Annual Conference came to a close today as the final decisions affecting the sport moving forward were made. Hosted in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, hundreds of delegates gathered from 1st November 2012 to discuss sailing across the world.... [more]
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ISAF Conference - Kiteboarding out, Windsurfing back in
Sail-World,
After a long six month battle, Windsurfing has made it back as an Olympic Event for the 2016 Olympics. The ISAF Annual General Meeting, in a simple majority vote, decided to delete Kiteboarding and re-instate Windsurfing, which has been in the Olympics since 1984 as a Mens Event, and since 1992 for Women.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Fleet sets off from Les Sables d'Olonne + Video
Vendee Globe,
The Vendee Globe is now underway with 19 of the 20 skippers entered for the seventh edition of the solo 24, 048 mile, three month circumnavigation race around the world taking to the start line at 1302hrs local time off Les Sables d'Olonne, France today. A small collision with his support team's rigid inflatable boat required Bertrand de Broc to return to port even before the start.... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ goes for the high jump
Emiartes Team NZ,
Join Emirates Team NZ's sailing crew as they upgrade their safety skills ahead of the second half of their AC72 testing program. Safety onboard the AC72's has always and will always be paramount. In the event of a capsize, people first, boat second.... [more]
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ISAA Singlehanded National Championship - Cressy Trophy up for grabs
Sherri Campbel,
The 2012 ISAA Singlehanded National Championship, to be held off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, is expected to draw 36 of the finest high school sailors across the United States as they battle it out for the coveted Cressy Trophy this weekend in Long Beach, California... [more]
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America's Cup: Luna Rossa trains on the Hauraki Gulf
Sail-World,
The Italian America's Cup Challenger, Luna Rossa was out on the Hauraki Gulf on Friday for what appeared to be a good training session in a light onshore breeze, which later changed to a moderate offshore breeze as she entered the Waitemata Harbour.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Final countdown underway
Vendee Globe,
For the Vendée Globe, weather forecasts look promising for the 20 solo skippers who start the seventh edition of the 28,050 mile solo non-stop around the world race tomorrow, Saturday at 1302hrs (French time, 1202hrs UTC). The final hours before the start are never, ever easy to deal with.... [more]
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ISAF Conference: Near-miss for Windsurfing in Olympic re-open call
Richard Gladwell,
The ISAF Council failed to support moves to re-open the topic of the 2016 Olympic Events and the vexed issue of Windsurfing and Kiteboarding. The move to re-open the decision made at the Mid-Year meeting of the ISAF Council in Stresa, Italy failed to gain the threshold of 75% support... [more]
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Counting down the Top 50 Paralympic Moments of 2012
IPC,
This year was a substantial one for the whole Paralympic Movement, and in honour of that the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) will count down the Top 50 Paralympic Moments of 2012 on www.Paralympic.org starting on Monday, 12th November.... [more]
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Rob Andrews presented with ISAF President Development Award
ISAF,
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has bestowed the ISAF President Development Award upon London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition manager Rob Andrews. The Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the development of sailing. Rob Andrews already had a long and illustrious career in sailing when he was appointed to the role of Sailing Manager for London 2012.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Skippers come together for final press conference
Vendee Globe,
With an audience of more than two hundred media, Bruno Retailleau, the President of the Vendée General Council, accompanied by Louis Guédon, the mayor of Les Sables d'Olonne, Patricia Brochard the Co-President of the Sodebo and Denis Horeau, Vendée Globe race director presented the twenty skippers who will take part in the imminent Vendée Globe.... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ - getting from side to side
ETNZBlog,
Here's the second part of the interview Sailing World editor Dave Reed had with Emirates Team New Zealand technical director Nick Holroyd. The interview was first published in the October issue of sailing World magazine.... [more]
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Sailors compete for turkeys at 65th Annual Turkey Day Regatta
Rich Roberts,
The 2012 Annual Turkey Day Regatta, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, is expecting more than 350 sailors from different ages compete for turkeys and more goodies in the festive two-day sailing event from Nov. 17 to Nov. 18 in Long Beach, California.... [more]
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