Second Volvo dismasting, more from ACWS—Sailing News from the U.S.
The America's Cup World Series (ACWS) San Diego event wrapped up this weekend after a great run, thrilling crowds and crews alike. The wind gods saved the best for last, with this weekend's match-racing championships (Saturday) and yesterday's fleet-racing championships seeing winds puffing to about 20 knots. Impressively, Oracle Racing Spithill was on a tear, becoming the first team to pull off a 'double' at an AMWS event. While skipper James Spithill was rock solid in the match-racing sections throughout the event, it was his come-from-astern win in the fleet-racing championship that demonstrated again just how skilled this young skipper is, and how well oiled this team has become. 'We really wanted to win the double,' said Spithill. 'We started okay, but got mixed up in the pack. But JK [tactician John Kostecki] got us back into it and then the boys did a fantastic job. We were able to stretch away and use our speed.'
Energy Team, the French challenger, showed tremendous improvement in this event, finishing up in third place overall all, with Dean Barker's Emirates Team New Zealand taking second-place honors. Clearly, the French team is gelling around Yann Guichard, who replaced offshore ocean-racing legend Loïck Peyron as skipper. The team saw steady advancement throughout the week, beating Barker and the Kiwis in the match-racing championships and taking third-place in the fleet-racing. 'I'm quite pleased,' said Guichard. 'We worked well throughout the week and remained constant in our performance. I'm very happy to finish in second place in the match-racing championship. We surprised everyone and are making progress every day. The team has really done some excellent work.'
Team Telefonica during leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Alicante, Spain to Cape Town, South Africa. (Credit: Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race) Diego Fructuoso/ Team Telefónica
Meanwhile, in the Volvo Ocean Race, Iker Martinez and his Telefonica are now leading the fleet of three Volvo Open 70s to Cape Town. Puma Ocean Racing has officially retired from Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 after suffering a broken mast. The rig onboard Puma's Mar Mostro failed on Monday, November 21, at around 15:00 UTC in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 2,150 nautical miles from Cape Town, South Africa. All crew were unhurt.
The team has recovered all pieces of the mast and all sails from the water. They are currently headed toward the island of Tristan da Cunha.
'We've just withdrawn from the leg,' said skipper Ken Read. 'We have [the mast] jury rigged – we have about 15 feet of mast left. We have our trysail and storm jib awkwardly set. We're supplementing that with really low revs of the engine just to make forward progress. 'As you can imagine, there aren't a lot of smiles right now, but one way to make it even worse would be to proclaim that there wasn't a chance to make the next leg.
Get the full VOR report, inside.
USA 470 team of Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Farrar are excited about the wind and upcoming Perth 2011 regatta - Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships Shauna McGee Kinney
And finally, be sure to check out ace lensman Gilles Martin-Raget's fantastic image galleries of the San Diego ACWS action. And to really soften the start to your work week, take a gander at Shauna McGee Kinney's image gallery of US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics in Perth, Australia, preparing for the upcoming ISAF World Championships (December 3-18). Stay tuned for serious media coverage of this important event, which will dictate Olympic participation for many sailors racing across numerous classes.
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