Christmas to New Year sailing summary - news from the US and beyond


30 Dec 2010                             If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE                    To reply to this email click here

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Christmas - New Year summary - from the US sailing scene and beyond

Its that time of year and as we hunker down in winter conditions nothing says 'sailing' and summer in Australia more than the Sydney-Hobart Race, a 630-mile grudge match that leads the fleet from Sydney to Hobart, Tasmania.

Wild Oats - 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart  © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

This year, 87 boats started the sprint down Australia's southeast coast, eventually taking them across Bass Straight—one of the most serious bodies of water in the world—then across Storm Bay and up the Derwent River, before finishing in grand Australian style in Hobart has had the most intense coverage of this iconic event of any news source in the world, breaking news day after day, some of you will have been receiving our separate Sydney to Hobart newsletter and our online coverage continues.

The five skippers racing in this year's Velux 5 Oceans Race have been pressing through some difficult upwind sailing since leaving Cape Town, with the fleet only recently patching into good downhill conditions. American Brad Van Liew, aboard Le Pingouin, summed it up well: 'The weather has not been kind to us since the Leg 2 restart in Cape Town... Sailing one of these boats upwind is difficult and uncomfortable... [But] I am happy to say that with Christmas here, the tides have changed. I am FINALLY sailing downwind in northwesterly winds. It is a welcome Christmas treat! I have about 20-25 knots and we are hootin' along feeling like the boat is happy and well prepared for the conditions. With that happy news, I also realize that this is one of the most remote and dangerous areas of the race.'

Brad Van Liew - Velux 5 Oceans  Velux 5 Oceans ©

While Van Liew is enjoying a sled ride, Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowsk has his hands full with autopilot dilemmas. 'Since Christmas Eve I have had a very serious problems with my self-steering gear and I can't fix it,' reports Gutek. 'It just does its own thing whenever it wants. On the night of December 24th when I was sailing at full speed my boat made an unexpected gybe. As a result I found myself lying down in the middle of Southern Ocean with my sails glued to the water... I have lost all my confidence in the self-steering gear and for a first time I am anxious about my own life.'

Currently, Van Liew is leading the fleet to Wellington, New Zealand. Stay tuned for more from this race, as it becomes known.

Larry Ellison must like suspense. He now has the entire sailing world waiting for his decision as to the where of AC34, yet still no news. Sources claim that this decision will likely come down to the wire (N.B., the Protocol, written by the Defender, calls for the venue to be announced by December 31, lest the Defender open themselves to a lawsuit from other challengers). Given the fact that the end of the year is this coming Friday, the wire looms large on the horizon. For better of for worse, we will have our answer soon enough...

Meanwhile, in Warkworth, New Zealand, progress continues on the new AC45 class, the hard-wingsail catamarans that will be used for pre-Cup racing, starting this coming spring. Be sure to check out Ivor Wilkins' photo gallery of the new-build construction on the hard wingsails; work that is being carried out right now.

Oakcliff Swedish Match 40s  .. ©

Believe it or not, there is match racing outside of the Cup. In the past few years, two great match-racing facilities have come online: the Chicago Match Racing Center and the Oakcliff Sailing Center, situated on Long Island (Oyster Bay), roughly an hour's drive from NYC. Sailing Legends Dawn Riley and Dave Perry—your esteemed editor's middle school athletic coach and an old friend, not to mention a Laser sailing great—are both heavily involved with the Oakcliff Sailing Center—be sure to check out their posted 2011 schedule. Both of these sailing centers represent a fantastic new push in American sailing, and will no doubt be instrumental in crafting the next generation of American match racers. Hats off to these two great organizations, and for the investment that they are making into American sailing. If you're in the area and have an interest in match racing, be sure to include these centers in your summer-sailing plans.

Sadly, there is still no news from the Defender as to when we will know the venue for AC34, despite their December 31 deadline (as mandated by the Protocol) to make public this news. Given that 2010 wraps up on Friday, you can bet your last roll of duct tape that the powers that be are working hard to iron out a deal right now. Stay tuned.

And speaking of the Cup, Shosholoza, the much beloved South African syndicate from the 2007 Cup in Valencia has announced that they will not compete in AC34. 'It's not a beautiful thing,' said Captain Salvatore Sarno, Shosholoza's founder of AC34. 'Larry Ellison has let [Russell] Coutts do everything, and I think the result is absolutely catastrophic. Aside from the spectacular yachts they wanted to go too far with the evolution. The 90-foot yachts proposed by Alinghi would have provided the same spectacle and would have cost less.'

Thus far, the jury remains out on exactly what AC34 will be, and how it will be received.

RAN, Sail n: GBR 7236R, Owner: Niklas Zennstrom, State: U.K, Division: IRC, Design: Jv 72 - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2010  © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt

Velux 5 Oceans - Brad Van Liew through speed gate
Velux 5 Oceans,
Velux 5 Oceans race leader Brad Van Liew has powered though the end of the speed gate in the second sprint of the round the world yacht race... [more]
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Barcelona World Race - Skippers face the media
Barcelona World Race,
With less than 48 hours before the start of the second edition of the Barcelona World Race, it was time for 27 of the 28 skippers representing the 14 teams to meet the media in a packed main Moll Barcelona World Race Expo this afternoon.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart – Secret Men's Business 3.5 Overall winner
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
South Australian Geoff Boettcher has sailed his Reichel Pugh Secret Mens Business 3.5 to victory, winning the Tattersall's Cup in his 22nd attempt.... [more]
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Barcelona World Race - A meeting of minds from different continents
Barcelona World Race,
In the pursuit of their own, entirely independent dreams of reaching the top of in the world of solo and short handed ocean racing, German Boris Herrmann, and American Ryan Breymaier had made their respective bases in France, only 20 minutes apart in Brittany. Back in April they had never knowingly set eyes on each other.... [more]
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America´s Cup - Vincenzo Onorato replies to Salvatore Sarno,
Salvatore Sarno, owner of Team Shosholoza, the first ever America's Cup challenger to come from Africa, stated in a recent interview in the Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale that the 34th America's Cup was very expensive and as a result Shosholoza wouldn't be taking part.... [more]
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Orange Bowl Regatta - Cold but sunny for Youth sailors
Coral Reef Yacht Club,
Biscayne Bay was covered with boats under the cloudless blue sky. The cold (in the lower 40s) and wind (up to 15 with some gusts to 30) did not stop the 600+ Orange Bowl Regatta sailors in Miami.... [more]
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Velux 5 Oceans - Gutek battling autopilot problems
Velux 5 Oceans,
Velux 5 Oceans skipper Zbigniew Gutkowski has been struck with problems with the autopilot onboard. Since Christmas Eve I have had a very serious problems with my self-steering gear and I can't fix it,' Gutek said. 'It just does its own thing whenever it wants.'... [more]
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Sydney to Hobart: Secret Men's Business - Water skiing in Bass Strait
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Update - Secret Mens Business 3.5 sailor Caillin Howard went waterskiing last night but did not tell his crewmates he was going.... [more]
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Miami Grand Prix regatta canceled for 2011
Peter S. Craig,
After very careful review, Premiere Racing has determined that it is in the best interest of the event and prospective competitors to have a one year hiatus with their Miami Grand Prix regatta.... [more]
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Lightning Boat Grant Applications Due 12/31/10
Lightning Class Association (ILCA),
The deadline for the 2011 program is December 31, 2010. The ILCA class website also has reports and video from past years' grantees as well as additional information about the Lightning Class.... [more]
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America's Cup: Assembling the AC45 wingsail in Warkworth
Images by Ivor Wilkins,
Building continues apace at Core Composites - BMW Oracle Racing's building facility in Warkworth, 40 minutes drive north of Auckland. Top photographer, Ivor Wilkins checked out the action earlier this week, and presents these images of the wingsail under construction for the AC45's. The construction detail involved in these structures is very complex... [more]
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America's Cup: San Francisco shortens the odds in tight Venue race
Richard Gladwell,
Sail-World NZ's Editor, Richard Gladwell, caught up with BMW Oracle Racing's Chief Operating Officer, and lead negotiator for the 34th America's Cup Venue Selection process, the day after he returned from visiting the three candidates in Newport, San Francisco and Italy. Barclay told Sail-World that the decision was 'going right down to the wire, documenting each city's proposal – each are very... [more]
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Oakcliff Sailing Center announces 2011 Match Racing Schedule
Dawn Riley,
The Oakcliff Sailing Center, located less than an hour drive from New York City, announced today that it will host twenty match race regattas in 2011, including four Grade 3 Invitational's and a new Grade 2 event, The Oakcliff International. The Oakcliff International will draw the world's best sailors to race in Oakcliff's fleet of ten Swedish Match 40s on Oyster Bay.... [more]
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Six Champions seeking Optimist Worlds title in Langkawi
Secretary Optimist class Sally Burnett,
Six Champions meet in Langkawi. In just a few days time the International Optimist Class Worlds will begin in Langkawi, Malaysia. This fabulous island venue will see a near record attendance of 235 sailors from as many as 56 countries.... [more]
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America's Cup - BMW retires from Cup campaign,
America's Cup - An annoucement today that at the end of the year BMW will bring to a close its longstanding partnership with ORACLE Racing and thereby end its involvement in the America's Cup. This is by mutual agreement of both partners. Both parties set ambitious goals and achieved the ultimate objective: winning the America's Cup.... [more]
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US Sailing - Merchant Marine Academy Vessel Honored with Hanson Medal
Jake Fish,
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (December 22, 2010) - US SAILING's Safety-at-Sea Committee has awarded an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to the crew of United States Merchant Marine Academy's (USMMA) sail training vessel Summerwind for a rescue made off the coast of Maine.... [more]
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ISAF : 2011 WADA Prohibited List published
Following its approval by the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) Executive Committee on September 18, the 2011 List of Prohibited Substances and Methods is now available. This List will take effect on 1 January 2011.... [more]
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America's Cup: Australian team files Notice of Challenge
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]
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Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta – a perfect formula
Connie Bischoff,
Miami's 2010 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta will combine 665 sailors in 6 classes racing on 4 circles. The sailors come from 22 countries and 28 states. The regatta, with racing Dec. 27-30, is hosted by Coral Reef Yacht Club and co-hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, Shake-A-Leg Miami and the US Sailing Center - Miami. The regatta is a USSailing Junior Olympic Sailing Festival Event.... [more]
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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]
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