VOR: Inshore or Offshore?—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
Ono Swain keeps his patience while steering "Mar Mosto" through extremely patchy winds. Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
The sailing world is fully buzzing with news from the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). After enduring boat-breaking upwind sailing for the first few days, the six-strong fleet of VO70s was reduced by two when Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was first dismasted, and then Team Sanya sustained serious hull damage. Currently, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's shore crew is rushing to get Azzam fitted with her spare rig and back in the hunt, with the latest reports putting the team ahead of schedule. Sadly, Team Sanya's hull damage was worse than anticipated (read: a puncture wound) and they have officially retired from racing in Leg 1; the team is currently trouble-shooting the logistics of getting the boat repaired and shipped to Cape Town as fast as possible.
Team Sanya's skipper, Mike Sanderson. Tim Stonton/Volvo Ocean Race
For the four boats that are still racing, the question has become one of inshore versus offshore routing, with three boats taking the later option. Only Franck Cammas and his Groupama team have held onto the inside track after Emirates Team New Zealand cut their losses and punched back offshore. Cammas, it should be noted, currently holds the record for the fastest nonstop circumnavigation and is no stranger to these waters. Interestingly, after dealing with huge amounts of air, the fleet is now struggling to find pressure before negotiating more low-pressure systems and upwind sailing in the days to come. Get the full multimedia reports, inside this issue.
Ned Collier Wakefield et Sam Goodchild aboard their Class 40, Concise 2 in the Transat Jacques Vabre 2011 Alexis Courcoux
Meanwhile, the North Atlantic is also collecting a toll from the Transat Jacques Vabre fleet. Sam Goodchild and Ned Collier-Wakefield are the latest victims, hobbled by hull-delamination issues. The duo has retired from racing and is headed to the Azores to make repairs. The two youngsters (21 and 23, respectively) had just pulled into the lead when their boat failed. 'We are pretty devastated to say the least. It makes it worse that we had just taken the lead but on the other hand we leave the racecourse with our heads high in that we feel we have sailed a pretty good race and proven ourselves competitive,' reported Goodchild. Get the full download inside, and also be sure to get the story of Bernard Stamm and Jean Francois Cuzon's rescue from their IMOCA 60.
Also inside, get the latest from the Hobie 16 and Hobie 20 North Americans, the Clipper Around the World Race and Sail Melbourne, plus the World Match Racing Tour's newest trophy. And finally, we're proud to report that Anna Tunnicliffe and Iker Martinez and Xabier Fernandez have won the prestigious Rolex ISAF Sailor of the Year awards. Interestingly, Martinez and Fernandez will celebrate their victory aboard their VO70, Telefonica, which is currently hunting for air in the VOR off the coast of Africa. Get the complete report inside.
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