VOR—Play It Again, Please—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
Alicante practice race, ahead of the Iberdrola In-Port Race in Alicante. Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race
If you're like me, the countdown to this coming weekend's start of Leg One of the 2011/2012 Volvo Ocean Race is becoming excruciating. Months of following each team's progress has ratcheted up my anticipation level for what I can only imagine will quickly evolve into a game of high-speed, long-distance fleet match racing, with tighter finishing deltas than ever before. According to sailors and skippers, this is a case of the class' evolution and refinement, similar budgets, a cap on the number of pre-race sailing days, and even tighter sail-tag allotments.
While last Saturday's in-shore race doesn't speak to each boat's offshore capabilities, it does offer a glimpse into the level of preparation and training that each team has invested (read: significant, across the board, with no real outliers). If you missed last weekend's racing, you'll be happy to find the full replay, inside this issue, as well as plenty of other multi-media.
And if this still doesn't cure your VOR jones, check out the piece on the role of the Media Crew Member, as these are the guys who will be enabling your portal to all the offshore (and inshore) action.
40 Degrees under Code 0 during the Prologue race - Transat Jacques Vabre 2011 Jesse Naimark-Rowse
Also in offshore circles, the action has begun in the Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV), which started in Le Havre, France and takes sailors to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. While the race was postponed for three days to allow a serious low-pressure system to barrel through, sailors can still expect stiff conditions, with forecasts calling for winds north of 50 knots and big, confused seas. 'Our boat is well-prepared and we're feeling as ready as possible to head out tomorrow and push as hard as we can all the way to Costa Rica,' wrote Jesse Naimark-Rowse, racing aboard the Class 40, 40 Degrees, in his race preview. 'We're looking at a few days of windy reaching conditions, which our boat absolutely loves but can be punishing for the crew. Blasting along at 12-14 knots with 20+ knots of wind on the beam in the English Channel and Western Approaches is a bit like hanging onto a bucking bronco while getting sprayed with a freezing cold fire hose. I say bring it!' Get the full story inside this issue and stay tuned for more from the TJV and Naimark-Rowse as the fleet charges into the business district.
Also inside, get the latest on the America's Cup World Series' upcoming San Diego stopover, the Global Ocean Race, the La Charente Maritime Bahia Transat 6.50, and the World Match Racing Tour's upcoming Monsoon Cup. And finally, don't miss Anna Tunnicliffe's post-race report from the US Olympic Trials, where her Team Maclaren took top honors in the Women's Match Racing event.
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