The 2011 Pan-Am games are on in Guadalajara, Mexico and the Canadian Sailing Team is back on the water today after a lay-over day for all classes yesterday. Our best results so far are from Isabella Bertold in third place in the Laser Radial class, followed closely by Nikola Girke, fourth in the RSX Women (windsurfer). Peter Hall and his crew are fifth in the Lightning, while Zac Plavsic and Dave Wright hold a sixth in RSX Men and Laser respectively. Roger Burns' crew in the J/24 and the Borg/Champ duo in Hobie 16 have been struggling in the early days and find themselves at the bottom of their classes but there is still plenty of sailing ahead leading to the final races on Sunday!
Looking ahead to the next big event, London 2012, Canadian Sailing Team members Richard Clark and Tyler Bjorn are on their way to Brazil for the Star Southern Hemispheres Championships; a final major regatta tune-up before the Olympic qualifier in Fremantle, Australia later in December. Montreal native Tyler Bjorn was recently featured on a short CBC newsclip here.
The Cape Verde Islands, off the Senegal coast, are now behind the majority of racers in the La Charente Maritime-Bahia Transat 6.50 race; the fleet is now spread over two humdred kilomters as they struggle with the light conditions. Recent Proto fleet leader Sebastien Rogue was forced to abandon the race for medical reasons after stopping in Mindelo because of serious back pains. As a result, David Raison and his unusual craft are back in the lead; Eric LLull and Bruno Simonnet are leading the Series fleet. Canadian Bruce Gailey is less than a 100 nm behind them in 25th place.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet is reaching the half-way point between South Africa and Western Australia but things are not getting any easier for the navigators on board the yachts as a massive high pressure system stands in their way. The fleet experienced typically challenging Southern Hemisphere sailing conditions earlier this week but will likely have to contend with light air ahead and intricate tactical decisions. Gold Coast Australia is still in the lead but the situation can change quickly over the next few days!
In the Global Ocean Race, the New Zealand duo of Ross Field and his son, Campbell on BSL have played their cards right and have caught up with leaders Mabire and Merron on Campagne de France, less than five miles separates the two yachts in the Southern Atlantic. The reminder of the fleet is now facing headwinds as they sail in much different conditions 800 miles behind the leaders.
Only one week to go before the the Iberdrola In-Port Race that will mark the start of the 2011-12 edition of Volvo Ocean Race next Saturday. Although the six teams are really looking forward to the 6500 miles around the world main event set for November 5th, nobody wants to look bad in the short in-port race as everyone's pride is on the line. The Iberdrola In-Port Race and the start of Leg One will be streamed live on www.VolvoOceanRace.com.
Finally, the Canadian Yachting Association Annual General Meeting is set for next Saturday, October 29 at 1:30 in Kingston. Those interested in attending can get more details at the CYA website
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