Onboard medic Tony Rae administers three stitches and anaesthetic to CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand bowman Mike Pammenter from South Africa, after suffering a broken tooth and gash to the face in a fall during a sail change Hamish Hooper/CAMPER/Volvo Ocean Race
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for 22 November 2011
The Volvo Ocean Race jumped back in the headlines with the dismasting of Puma Racing using, we believe a Hall Spar.
As with the dismasting of Azzam (Abu Dhabi) there has been no immediate cause identified of the incident, however given the specification required of the spar by Volvo Ocean Race rules, the first suspect has to be a rigging failure.
The incident has parallels with Ceramco dismasting, even further away from Cape Town, on Leg 1 of the 1981-82 Whitbread Race.
Puma was reported to be reaching in winds of around 25kts, and 8-10ft seas and in a fairly loaded state for a canting keelboat. The underlying message with this Volvo Ocean Race is that it is being sailed in boats which will can be red-lined, and the question is how hard to push and when.
Some would say that has always been part of the Volvo Ocean Race, but the button off level now seems to have dropped below that for previous races. It is also a fact that these boats are superbly fast - evidenced by the fact that Abu Dhabi was able to set a Fastnet Race record this year - coming from behind on the supermaxis which are 30ft longer.
Puma Ocean Racing from the USA has suffered a broken mast on the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Amory Ross/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race - copyright
We have the latest updates on the Volvo Ocean Race in this edition, plus the the Camper injury, along with video of the operation - which a great insight into life aboard the around the world racer.
In San Diego, the America's Cup World Series has concluded, with Oracle Racing making a welcome return to form - and winning the match racing and fleet racing championship.
Their wins were not however sufficient to crank themselves up to the top of the points table for the America's Cup World Series, across the three events sailed this year. Emirates Team NZ stays on top of that ladder.
Quite where things go from here remains to be seen, as there is now a five month layoff until the next event gets underway in April 2012.
Emirates Team NZ and Luna Rossa would look to have a solid work out ahead of them with the summer in Auckland and two AC45's to play with, as well as a development program in the SL33's.
For the rest their AC45's will go to Valencia, Spain and may well be used for some workup program, however it is winter, and conditions can get very cold and inhospitable for sailing - so quite how much on the water time is possible....
It is expected that the Defender will head for warmer climes and will take their fleet two or four AC45's for the layoff period.
While Oracle Racing will be buoyed by the improvement in the performance of Oracle Spithill, they also finished well back in the fleet in the regatta in their second boat and the first task is clearly to get the boat and crew up to speed. That is an issue to be faced by all teams - it is just that Oracle Racing's shortcoming in this respect are a little more obvious than others, by virtue of their entering two teams in the third round of the America's Cup World Series.
Certainly one can feel the tension, starting to rise as some teams move into build mode with their first AC72, and get their 30+ man years of construction done by July 2012 - if they are to hit the first allowed launch date.
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