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18 Jan 2013

VOR, Vendee, AC and KWRW updates—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

2014/15 Volvo Leg 1 from Alicante to Recife  PredictWind.com
While the weather has been 'brisk' in Seattle as of late (read: New England-like), the offshore-racing world has been aglow with the news that the first stop-over in the fully crewed, around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race 2014/2015 will be Recife, Brazil, thus breaking the race's longstanding Leg One tradition of sailing from Spain to South Africa. Also exciting is the news that a boat from the Brazilian state of Pernambuco will be competing in the next edition of the VOR.

'Today's announcement of the Pernambuco team and Recife stopover are fantastic news for the Race,' said Knut Frostad, CEO of the VOR. 'I'm delighted to see the Race strengthen our ties with Brazil, Recife and Pernambuco in this way.'

Interestingly, this means that Brazil will be hosting both the VOR and the World Cup in the same year...less than two years before they host the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 'Brazil is the capital of world sport with the World Cup coming up in 2014 and the Rio Olympics to follow in 2016 and it's a real thrill to be bringing the Race to a country with such passion for sport,' said Tom Touber, COO of the VOR.

Y-structure looking aft with wingsail support in the centre foreground - Emirates Team NZ - Media Day January 17, 2012  Richard Gladwell ©

And in America's Cup news, Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) invited the media to their base for a press day, allowing full access to some aspects of their second-generation AC72 (namely, the shed with the hulls/crossbeams platform), while restricting access to other areas (the wing shed). The Protocol is specific about how much modification or 'repair' work a team can make to a wing, and, since ETNZ still has a perfectly good first-generation wing, the team's plan calls for seriously updating Wing 1 so that, eventually, it will be identical to Wing 2, which the team is currently building.

Grant Dalton (left) and Nick Holroyd in front of the new AC72 - Emirates Team NZ - Media Day January 17, 2012  Richard Gladwell ©

'They will be so interchangeable the guys won't even know which one is in the boat,' said ETNZ's Technical Director, Nick Holroyd. 'The wingsails are designed for the San Francisco weather bell-curve, which centers on 15-16 knots. Your ability to twist the wing and de-power it is very, very important. If you were running these boats in Valencia, Spain you might look at a three-element, two-slot type of wingsail. This wingsail package is very much tailored to the winds that we are expecting in San Francisco.' Get the full story, inside.

Meanwhile, in the non-stop-and-solo around-the-world Vendee Globe Race, the competition continues to be relentless, especially at the front of the pack. As of this writing, Francois Gabart ('Macif') is leading Armel Le Cleac'h ('Banque Populaire') by just over 90 miles, which is a serious leaderboard tumble for the young Gabart compared to his impressive lead last week. No doubt this compression was a result of different experiences getting through the Doldrums, but you can bet your last roll of duct tape that each skipper is carefully studying the approach to France and seriously contemplating their end-game strategy.

Armel Le Cléac'h, Banque Populaire - 2012 Vendee Globe  Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©

'In the big picture I did well,' said Le Cléac'h said about his (ballpark) 200-mile gains. 'I hope I'll be able to use this great crossing for the finish. Everything remains possible... The journey is still long and there are many dangers on our way to Les Sables d'Olonne.'

Key West Race Week - Farr 400 One Design Class Regatta 2012  Farr 400

Closer to home, the Fortunate Few will get to experience next week's Key West Race Week, which is shaping up to be an interesting on-the-water contest involving talented players large and small. Impressively, 39 of the brand-new J/70s are signed up to race, making them the largest one-design fleet in this year's event, followed in numbers by the Melges 24 class (23 boats) and the Melges 32 class (11 boats). At the top of the food chain are the two mini maxis ('Bella Mente' and 'Shockwave'), as well as six TP/IRC52s and plenty of 'fast 40s'. Be sure to get the full preview, inside, and stand by for Key West updates, as they unfurl.

And finally, don't miss the latest reports from the 2014/2015 Global Ocean Race, the upcoming Round Barbados Race Series 2013 and the Pineapple Cup–Montego Bay Race 2013.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



America's Cup: Nick Holroyd on Emirates Team NZ's design gains + Video
Richard Gladwell,
'These boats have a long gestation', explains Nick Holroyd, Design Director for Emirates Team NZ. 'The designs for the tooling up at Cookson Boats, were delivered after just four or five days sailing in Boat 1.'... [more]
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America's Cup: Inside the AC72 hangar with Grant Dalton + Video
Richard Gladwell,
'Two years ago, we were pretty well gone for all money. We were basically broke and trying to stay alive', says Emirates Team NZ's Grant Dalton, reflecting on the team's then dire situation, back in early 2011. 'We managed to get some good people on board, but they all knew that if we didn't have the money by April 2011, then we were gone. But it's moved a huge distance since then', he adds.... [more]
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America's Cup: The Wing is the Thing for Emirates Team NZ's next AC72
Richard Gladwell,
Emirates Team New Zealand are on target to launch their second AC72 catamaran, around February 4, with their Challenger for the 34th America's Cup having her first sail on February 7. Doors at the teams base were thrown open for the New Zealand media today, showing the 72ft catamaran, with hulls in place, beams fitted and in an advanced state of preparation.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Go your own way + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) remained the fastest man at the front of the fleet, albeit less dramatically than on Thursday morning, as he chips away at the lead of the three in front. Only Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique), getting ready to be the last skipper round Cape Horn on Thursday night, has been quicker since the last ranking four hours ago, averaging 16.1 knots.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: First stopover and second team announced for 2014/15
Sail-World,
Volvo Ocean Race organisers have announced the first stopover port and the second team to enter the 2014/15 edition of the race, which will be sailed in a one design fleet of Volvo 65ft yachts. The race will start in November 2014 from the Spanish port of Alicante, where the race is headquartered.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race 2014-15 Leg 1 sponsors announced
Oliver Dewar,
The 30,000-mile round-the-world Global Ocean Race 2014-15 is for Class40 boats with single-handed, double-handed and fully-crewed (4 crew) teams competing and will start in September 2014... [more]
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Peter Durant named new Association Manager of Sail America
Mark Amaral,
Peter Durant has been named as the new Association Manager of Sail America, effective immediately. As Association Manager for Sail America, Durant will work with Sail America's Board of Directors to promote the sailing lifestyle, strengthen member businesses and sustain and grow the membership.... [more]
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Melges 24 second largest fleet to compete at Key West Race Week
Joy Dunigan,
The 26th edition of Key West Race Week (KWRW) is expected to be a thrilling event filled with wonderful weather, dependable breezes, and crystal clear water. The Melges 24 fleet is representing Melges in a significant way with 23 boats registered -deeming it the second largest fleet in attendance.... [more]
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Achievements in one-design sailing recognized
Jake Fish,
This past Saturday night at US Sailing's 2013 One-Design Sailing Symposium, presented by Gowrie Group and hosted by the Cleveland Yachting Club in Rocky River, Ohio, five awards were presented to recognize outstanding individual and organizational achievements in one-design sailing. These annual award categories are for Service, Leadership, Club, Regatta, and Creativity.... [more]
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Marion Bermuda Race – Online entry now open
Talbot Wilson,
The Marion Bermuda Race 2013, kicking off on Friday June 14th, is a 645-mile ocean race which provides an opportunity for cruising style yachts and amateur crews to sail a true ocean race, across the Gulf Stream with the finish line off St. David's Lighthouse on the shore of Bermuda, perhaps the world's greatest yacht racing destination.... [more]
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Vendée Globe – Hugo Boss fastest in fleet overnight
Matthew Pryor,
Vendée Globe 2012-13 skipper Alex Thomson, onboard Hugo Boss, was the fastest in the fleet overnight averaging 17 knots to keep his hopes of a place on the podium alive. He has been the fastest over the last 24 hours and as he leaves the coast of Brazil has power to add over the next 24 in easterly tradewinds as those in front of him struggle.... [more]
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Round Barbados Race Series 2013 – Massive start for busy sailing year
Round Barbados,
The Round Barbados Race Series 2013 will kick off its 77th anniversary with the staging of Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race on Errol Barrow Day, Monday, January 21. Competing crews are expected to come all out as they try to steer their boats to victory in the opening salvo of what would be a very busy sailing calendar in the island.... [more]
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America's Cup: Designer Mike Drummond looks at foiling and pitchpoling
Richard Gladwell,
Sail-World talks with Mike Drummond, former Design Director for Oracle Racing in the 2010 America's Cup. In this second part of the interview the issues of foiling and the trade-offs are discussed, along with the factors that led to the pitchpoling of Oracle's USA-17, and what is expected to be seen in the second generation of AC72 catamarans... [more]
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Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race 2013 – Living up to marquee status
Kirsten Ferguson,
The Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race 2013 is expecting a fleet of high profile boats skippered by veteran and promising sailors to compete in one of the most prestigious offshore racing events in the world. The 811 nautical mile race will take place on February 8, navigating the treacherous route from Florida's Port Everglades to the picturesque shore of Montego Bay, Jamaica.... [more]
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UK Sailmakers gives Yassine a new mast for 150nm Laser sail record
Nancy Knudsen,
In December we ran a story about how a young Moroccan sailor was in Thailand training to sail a 150nm course in a tiny Laser to break the world record. His problem was, his mast was broken and he couldn't afford a new one. Now, thanks to our Asia Editor Guy Nowell and UK Sailmakers Hong Kong representative, Barry Hayes, who read the story, things are looking up for Yassine Darkaoui.... [more]
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Quantum Key West - Santa and crew prepare for battle
Victoria Low,
Of the two Farr 400's from overseas that will take part in the Quantum Key West 2013, Claus Landmark's appropriately named Santa is from the most northerly of latitudes. Landmark, a leading Norwegian marine trade figure and past veteran of two Whitbread Round the World races has assembled a top class Scandinavian crew, which is lead by Denmark's double Olympic gold medallist Jesper Bank.... [more]
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