The Rolex Sydney Hobart race is around the corner!
A week after setting sail from Cape Town, the Velux 5 oceans fleet of Eco 60 yachts not only have to deal with unusually challenging weather conditions but they must also spend Christmas alone at sea; except for Christophe Bullens, the Belgian single hander, as he has discovered problems with the boat's mast track and was forced to return to Cape Town again for more repairs; he will likely be spending Christmas day at the docks. While the reminder of the fleet was ready for battle against the notorious weather conditions of the Roaring Forties and Screaming Fifties latitudes, they have had to face an unexpected area of high pressure sitting in between them and the westerly winds they are searching for and fight the Agulhas Current, a strong-running warm-water river that is constantly pushing them back to Cape Town. This unusual weather system has brought with it squalls, thunderstorms and south easterly winds that hinder their progress towards New Zealand. Earlier this week, Clipper Ventures, the event organizer has announced a change to the route that will see the fleet finish Sprint 3 from Wellington, NZ in Punta del Este, Uruguay rather than Brazil as originally scheduled. The city of Salvador, Brazil, was unfortunately not able to fulfill their obligations to host the race.
In Sydney, the Bureau of Meteorology presented the Rolex Sydney Hobart race outlook to a panel of skippers and navigators representing the largest in the fleet, Wild Oats XI, to the smallest, Illusion at 34 feet, acknowledging there are going to be a 'couple of rough patches'. Talk of robust headwinds has put a stop to race record prophesising, today's panel admitting their strategy is going to be focused on keeping boats and crew in one piece. 'It's going to be quite a demanding race but nothing you wouldn't expect. The Rolex Sydney Hobart is known for being the toughest race of its type in the world and these are pretty much normal conditions for this sort of race,' said Wild Oats XI's co-navigator Ian Burns. Jonathan Stone, skipper of the smallest in the 89 boat fleet, the NSW based Davidson 34 Illusion, is circumspect. 'We're forewarned now and the CYCA has made sure we're forearmed. We've sailed in those conditions; we believe we can handle them. It's an adventure, a challenge and that's why we're in it.'
Barcelona, Spain is bustling with Barcelona World Race activities; French sailor Jean Le Cam, co-skipper of President with local Catalan sailor Bruno Garcia explains: 'Everything in Barcelona is linked to the presence of the sea. You find it in the culture and in their history'. The team can hardly wait to set off in the direction pointed to by Christopher Columbus from the top of his monumental column, which towers over the Vell Port. Earlier this week, the IMOCA Class confirmed that the Polish yacht Fruit did not comply with the current class rules and no measurement certificate would be issued; meanwhile the majority of the fleet has completed or is very close to having completed safety and security scrutineering and should be ready to go next week
On the to the America's Cup scene where a syndicate of Australians has submitted a Notice of Challenge to the defending Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco. The Syndicate says it aims to bring together nationwide resources and skills in a true people's challenge and reserve a place for Australia to return to competition for the world's oldest international sporting trophy. In the meantime, BMW Oracle Racing, the Defenders, have until December 31st to identify the location of the 34th America's Cup. They have had a negotiating team in Newport for a week holding discussions over staging the event after San Francisco recently changed the terms of the deal that had been in the works for four months.
Velux 5 Oceans skippers face Christmas at sea Velux 5 Oceans, For the skippers, Christmas Day is just one more day at sea. It's especially tough on the skippers who have young children, including Derek Hatfield, Brad Van Liew and Zbigniew Gutkowski. Thanks to the state-of-the-art onboard communications system each skipper has onboard their yachts they will be able to make calls to loved ones.... [more] Share this story
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Divisional Lists with handicaps - Provisional Sail-World.com, Rolex Sydney Hobart - Divisional Lists with handicaps - Provisional - The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, the event organisers have released the provisional lists of divisions with handicaps for the 2010 Sydney to Hobart race.... [more] Share this story
America's Cup: Australian team files Notice of Challenge Sail-World, A syndicate of Australians including yachtsman Ludde Ingvall, skipper of the YuuZoo Big Boat Racing Team, has submitted a Notice of Challenge to the defending Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco. The Syndicate aims to bring together nationwide resources and skills in a true people's challenge. Lodging the application reserves a place for Australia to return to competition for the world's olde... [more] Share this story
Barcelona World Race - Le Cam aims for podium Barcelona World Race, Barcelona World Race - It would be surprising to see Jean Le Cam line up at the start of a major race without having the ambition of ending up somewhere on the podium.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Christophe Bullens returns to Cape Town again Velux 5 Oceans, Velux 5 Oceans skipper Christophe Bullens is returning to Cape Town again following more issues onboard his yacht Five Oceans of Smiles too. It is the second time Christophe has returned to port since the second ocean sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans started from Cape Town on December 16.... [more] Share this story
Barcelona World Race - Central Lechera Asturiana's new rig in Barcelona World Race, An update from Central Lechera Asturiana on its new mast. The rig was stepped in the early evening drizzle. It will likely be next Monday before the IMOCA Open 60 is ready to go sailing, with a day of dock tuning Thursday before the Christmas break.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Gutkowski steals the lead Velux 5 Oceans, Velux 5 Oceans skippers have been dogged by light headwinds and glassy calm seas punctuated by unpredictable squalls. Sailing Operon Racing, Gutek was the fastest of all of the fleet in the last 24 hours, averaging 8.1 knots.... [more] Share this story
Rolex Sydney Hobart - On the snotter!! Lisa Ratcliff, The Bureau of Meteorology's regional director NSW, Barry Hanstrum, presented the race outlook to a panel of skippers and navigators. Talk of robust headwinds has put a stop to race record prophesising, today's panel admitting their strategy is going to be focused on keeping boats and crew in one piece.... [more] Share this story
America's Cup: Newport Daily News updates on Venue Bid Richard Gladwell, The Newport Daily News is reporting on the developments in Rhode Island on their bid to host the 34th America's Cup in the state. BMW Oracle Racing have had a negotiating team in Newport for a week holding discussions over staging the 34th America's Cup after San Francisco, previously described by the team as having a 'winning bid', changed the deal that had been under negotiation for four mont... [more] Share this story
Barcelona World Race - Fruit a non starter Barcelona World Race, Barcelona World Race - Having no valid, up-to-date IMOCA certificate, 'Fruit' team is not allowed to start the race. The 'Fruit' team has now missed the 17th December deadline for IMOCA Open 60's entrance requirements by four days.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans announces new South American stopover Velux 5 Oceans, Clipper Ventures, organisers of the Velux 5 Oceans solo round the world yacht race, today announced a change to the 2010/11 race route. Ocean Sprint 3, which will see the fleet of Eco 60s depart Wellington, New Zealand, on February 6, will now finish in the Uruguayan city of Punta del Este, rather than Salvador in Brazil.... [more] Share this story
America's Cup: Letter released inviting Rhode Island Venue Bid Richard Gladwell, A letter, dated last Friday 17 December 2010 from Stephen Barclay, lead negotiator BMW Oracle Racing to Keith Stokes Executive Director, Rhode Island Economic Development Corp has been released. The polite note would seem to be just a welcome mat for a response from the 113 year home of the America's Cup which hosted Defences from 1870 to 1983, when the trophy was held by the New Yo... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - High pressure zone bringing misery the the fleet Velux 5 Oceans, It has been a gruelling start to the second sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans with the fleet battling strong currents, unpredictable weather and severe sleep deprivation. After starting from Cape Town on Thursday, the ocean racers have been pushing south into the Southern Ocean in search of the prevailing westerly winds that will propel their yachts towards their destination of Wellington, New Zealand.... [more] Share this story
America's Cup: Interview with Kevin Reed, head of Canada's AC drive Valencia Sailing, Red Maple Racing, led by Toronto financier Kevin Reed, is the project that embodies Canada's drive in the America's Cup. The last time Canada was present in the America's Cup was in Fremantle in 1987 when a combined project from Secret Cove Yacht Club and Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron challenged the Defender from the Royal Perth Yacht Club.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Christophe Bullens set to restart Sprint 2 Velux 5 Oceans, After an amazing effort by a team of volunteers on the dock in Cape Town working to fix his yacht Five Oceans of Smiles too, Belgian ocean racer Christophe Bullens is set to restart sprint two of the VELUX 5 OCEANS. The 49-year-old was forced to head back to Cape Town on Friday with rudder problems, just over 24 hours after starting the 7,500 nautical mile sprint to New Zealand.... [more] Share this story
Barcelona and the media bids 'Bienvenidos' to the skippers Barcelona World Race, Barcelona World Race skippers lined up today for the first obligatory press conference with the sailors taking part in an official photo call before informal media interviews.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Canadian Derek Hatfield leads fleet in second sprint Sarah Hames, Canadian ocean racer Derek Hatfield has reclaimed the lead less than 24 hours into the second sprint of the Velux 5 Oceans. Keen to make up for a slow start at the beginning of sprint one in La Rochelle, the veteran solo sailor was the first of the international fleet to cross the start line of the second leg in Cape Town on Active House.... [more] Share this story
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