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 02 Nov 2010
Welcome to Sail-World Canada

Offshore Racing at its Best!

I must admit I am still amazed with the French fascination with offshore racing: over 1 million visitors in the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale race village in Saint-Malo last week; hundreds of thousands at the start to wish their heroes farewell as the yachts left the harbor through the locks; and more than 2 million sailing fans watching on television and the Internet as the start was carried on all major French television networks. My favourite moment watching the proceedings on the Internet came when the helicopter flew over the more than 50,0000 people gathered on Cape Fréhelis, just west of Saint-Malo. This is traditionally the best vantage point, where the first mark of the course, 18 miles after the start, compresses the fleet; the crowd on shore was joined by an estimated six thousand more on the water in a huge variety of craft. I guess none of this shouldn't be surprising in a country where young schoolchildren are as familiar with the names Michel Desjoyaux and Franck Cammas as Canadian kids (and adults) relate to Sidney Crosby or Wayne Gretzky. Even the great Eric Tabarly, whose international offshore racing claim to fame happened back in the sixties and seventies, is still regarded as a national hero in France. As a side note, the only North American sailor participating in the race in 2010 is Etienne Giroire, president of ATN Inc., a Florida based manufacturer of sailing equipment. Giroire is racing, a 40' trimaran in the Rhum category.

The fleet enjoyed spectacular conditions in Saint-Malo on Sunday for the start; two days later, the Ultime catamarans are leading the way into the Atlantic oceans but we're seeing divergence of strategies at the front. Groupama 3 is leading the way closer to the European shore, followed closely by IDEC and Gitana 11, while Oman Air Majan has opted for a more westerly route. The rest of the fleet appears to be split in similar fashion; the Open 60's are split in two distinct groups, Michel Desjoyaux's Foncia is leading the eastern group, while the lead of the western group keeps changing constantly. The crossing promises to be interesting to watch; none of the weather prediction models and experts seem to agree on the best route to follow.

A little further south, Canadian Derek Hatfield is getting quite frustrated as the Doldrums keep following him south as he gets near the Equator; sailing is unstable air in not only extremely slow but very demanding, as one constantly tries to extract a bit more speed from the sail plan. Brad and Gutek are now in the southern hemisphere near the Brazilian coast trying to determine the most opportune time to make the big left-hand turn to cross the St Helena high pressure zone towards South Africa. Belgian Chistophe Bullens has made a pit stop in the Canary Islands for repairs after getting knocked down. The Velux 5 Oceans race is also full of surprises and anything can happen.

Still in France, the Kingston Queen's University representatives took 6th place in the recent international Student Yachting World Cup in La Rochelle, while the French dominated the Farr 30 2010 World Championships in Hyères on the Mediterranean coast.

Finally, congratulations to Richard Oland, from new Brunswick, and the entire crew of Vela Veloce for their recent first place finish in the IRC 52 Class at the 2010 IRC Fall Championship Regatta in Annapolis this past week-end.

See you soon!

Guy Perrin
Sail-World Canada Managing Editor

Velo Veloce tops the IRC 52's at IRC Fall Championships
Lynn Fitzpatrick,
Vela Veloce, Richard Oland's Southern Cross 52 won the IRC 52 Class at the 2010 IRC Fall Championship Regatta hosted by Annapolis Yacht Club from October 29-31. Vele Veloce was second overall to Dan Meyers' Numbers, a Judel-Vrolijk 66.5, in the IRC 1 Division. With this week's performance, Vela Veloce clinched the 2010 US-IRC Gulf Stream Series, which comprises 19 events throughout the year.... [more]
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ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards – One week to go
Regatta News,
ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards will be announced just one week from today, on Tuesday 9 November. The spectacular ceremony and presentation will be held in Greece.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Brad Van Liew has his eyes on Cape Town
Velux 5 Oceans,
Velux 5 Oceans race leader Brad Van Liew is waiting for a 'window of opportunity' to start the final sprint to Cape Town. The 42-year-old American solo sailor has led the fleet for the majority of the last 16 days since leaving La Rochelle in France on ocean sprint one to Cape Town.... [more]
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Route du Rhum - Choices and challenges
Gaia Coretti,
Route du Rhum - After more than 24 hours at sea in conditions which have progressively eased off for the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale skippers, already many of the class leaders are hooked firmly into their strategic plays which could already dictate the outcome of their race.... [more]
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America's Cup Victory Tour – Reserve Now!
On Friday, November 5, come see the America's Cup, meet BMW Oracle Crew members and celebrate RCYC's contribution to their success. Hear the inside scoop on the oldest active trophy in international sport.... [more]
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Route du Rhum - Groupama 3: Due South
Vincent Borde,
Route du Rhum - Twenty four hours after a spectacular start, Franck Cammas is continuing his course at a hellish pace. Heading southward, the skipper of Groupama has already passed Cape Finisterre and is beginning his descent along the Spanish coast. Accredited with fourth place due to her SE'ly position, in reality Groupama 3's position is doubtless much envied by her rivals.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Bullens makes pit stop after double crash
Velux 5 Oceans,
Velux 5 Oceans skipper Christophe Bullens has been forced to head for port after his yacht Five Oceans of Smiles too was damaged in strong winds in the North Atlantic. The 49-year-old Belgian singlehander was sailing near to Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands, when his boat was knocked flat twice while travelling at 16 knots.... [more]
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Match Racing in Monohulls or Multihulls – Have your say!!
The Sail-World Team,
Now Sail-World gives everyone in the sailing community, both match racers and other sailors the chance to have your say, or rather vote, as we conduct a survey to find out the 'People's Choice' - just a week to go, so enter now!! Complete the quick survey below and go into the draw to win one of six Musto fleeces... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Derek Hatfield snared by Doldrums
Velux 5 Oceans,
Canadian ocean racer Derek Hatfield said this morning he is 'devastated' to still be in the Doldrums. At the end of last week the 57-year-old was just a few hundred miles behind race leader Brad Van Liew, sights firmly set on escaping the frustrating and unpredictable weather that characterises the Doldrums.... [more]
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Oman Air Majan starts La Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale 2010
Lucy Harwood,
The multihulls powered off the line and extended from the monohull fleet as they headed towards Cap Fréhel 18 miles to the west of St. Malo, where the fleet rounded a mark of the course before gybing offshore into the English Channel.... [more]
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Farr 30 World Championship 2010 - Veteran French team clamps down
Farr 30 Class Association,
Farr 30 World Championship 2010 - With the forecast breeze failing to appear by the 10 AM warning signal of Day 2, the stage was set for yesterday's all-conquering Team Orca to show their light air dominance off once again. Patrick Lindblom and crew delivered yet another fantastic performance in the first race, giving them their third-straight victory to open the prestigious world championship.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Bugs on Spartan
Velux 5 Oceans,
Yesterday was a botanist's dream come true when without warning Spartan sailed through a cloud of insects of all different sorts and nationalities which descended on the decks in an instant and in their hundreds. Inch long black Katydids, a two or three inch cricket, leaf cutters, things that jump, things that scurry and things that fly they were all here.... [more]
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Student Yachting World Cup - England victors
Student Yachting World Cup and various blogs,
Student Yachting World Cup - Well it is over for this year.....this wonderful, challenging, maddening and enriching World Cup experience. There as today only one windward-leeward regatta, which lasted for about two hours. The Italian team from Milano could not sail because of a technical problem.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Equator crossing superstition on Active House
Velux 5 Oceans,
The sweat runs down my fingers and onto the key board, hope the laptop can handle the heat. It's hot hot hot for sure here at 9 degrees  north. I've managed to catch up a little on Brad and Gutek but it won't be long before they hit the southern trades and start the second half of this leg to Cape Town.... [more]
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Route du Rhum - A chance for Lemonchois to shine again
Route du Rhum,
Route du Rhum - He won the ORMA class in 2006 when he sit a blistering race record, Lionel Lemonchois races this time in the Multi50 Class as skipper of Prince de Bretagne.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Tropical weather brings mystery to the fleet
Velux 5 Oceans,
They say it's tough at the top, and that's something American ocean racer Brad Van Liew knows only too well as he struggles through the Doldrums at the head of the Velux 5 Oceans fleet. The 42-year-old skipper of Le Pingouin has a seemingly comfortable lead of around 80 nautical miles on his nearest rival, Polish solo sailor Zbigniew ‘Gutek' Gutkowski.... [more]
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Barcelona World Race and Route du Rhum - Double challenge
Barcelona World Race,
Three of the skippers setting sail next Sunday in the Route du Rhum-Le Banque Postale are facing a double challenge. Sailing 30,000 miles in just five months will be a real sporting, technical and logistical challenge.... [more]
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Route du Rhum - New challenges for the Professor and a Benjamin
Gaia Coretti,
Route du Rhum - Christopher Pratt is unequivocal. His dream of becoming a solo ocean racer was born twenty years ago when he vividly remembers watching the victory of Florence Arthaud into Gaudeloupe, the flares, the lights, the excitement, the history.... [more]
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