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For offshore sailors, these are great days. The Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) is in full swing, and the Sydney to Hobart Race about to start. True, those events are unfolding in places with far more daylight than my hometown (Seattle, at almost 48 degrees north), but at least we can all look forward to lengthening days, now that the solstice be astern!
Speaking of the Hobart, be sure to check out Rob Kothe’s great piece on how the race is typically won and lost. 'Computer driven handicap predictions ignore the fact that most races are won and lost in the last 40 miles from Tasman Light across Storm Bay, past the Iron Pot and up the Derwent,' writes Kothe. Check out his story for the insider line on negotiating the Derwent River and the last few miles of this classic, 628-mile ocean race.
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In VOR circles, you’ll find tons of media including team reports and official reports in this issue. Currently, the fleet is contending with the onset of the Doldrums and sticky-weather sailing. As always, the trick will be getting through to good breeze as fast as possible. 'We really could do with 12 hours of sailing in more wind, which should happen and we should compress into the Doldrums,' said Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s skipper Ian Walker. 'If we can close the lead down to 40 or 50 miles, then we are within shooting distance'. Get the full story, inside.
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One Design sailors, be sure to check out Amanda Clark and Sarah Lihan’s post-regatta report from the Perth 2011 ISAF World Championships, where they placed 12th overall in the Women’s 470 class, and earning the right to represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics. 'We went into the Worlds with one goal in mind: to win the Trials,' reports Clark and Lihan. 'Despite the unexpected conditions, we raced a solid series.' Get the team’s full report, inside this issue.
And finally, Cup fans, be sure to check out the story by Artemis Racing’s Sean Clarkson for his thoughts on matriculating from Grand Prix monohull sailing to top-flight multihull racing. 'Once you get over the fact that it’s a multihull, it’s just a sailboat,' reported Clarkson. 'You’re starting to see the top keelboat sailors quickly becoming the top multihull sailors and actually surpassing all the legendary Olympians. If you’re a good team and you have good sailors, you’ll do pretty well. You don’t have to have a huge background in multihulls—it’s just a sailboat.'
The next week will be one of the very biggest of the year for us, sailing does not stop over the holiday period so nor do we.
Check with us regularly for all the latest news.
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor - 2:40 AM Fri 23 Dec 2011 GMT
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