VOR: Boats loaded at a safe haven—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyon

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28 Dec 2011

VOR: Boats loaded at a safe haven—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyon

For millennia, piracy has been an issue for sailors. But until recently, most sailors thought of pirates as a nostalgic hangover from yesteryear. No longer! Piracy off the coast of Somalia has turned into a multi-million dollar a year business, with prisoners taken and exorbitant ransoms extorted.

To quell safety concerns, the Volvo Ocean Race's (VOR) second leg, which takes the fleet of Volvo Open 70s from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi, has proved to be the most unconventional in the race's history. As a precaution against fishermen-cum-gunsligers, the powers that be at the VOR wisely decided to avoid this issue entirely.

So, instead of sending the fleet directly from Point A to Point B, the race organizers established an undisclosed 'safe haven' where the fleet has now crossed a theoretical finishing line before being loaded onto an undisclosed ship and then transported to a re-start area not far from Abu Dhabi, thus allowing the now five-strong fleet to blaze into the VOR's first-ever Middle Eastern stopover.

The fleet of Volvo Open 70's are lifted onto a ship in the safe haven port on stage 1 of leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Cape Town, South Africa, to Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Photo Credit Must Read: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race) - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race©

Yet this wasn't without risk. The orthotropic VO70s had to be carefully loaded onto the ship, with any unforeseen sea state oscillations potentially causing big worries, should delicate carbon swing into unforgiving steel. Fortunately, things have gone smoothly and the fleet has now been loaded up, in the order in which they crossed the finishing line, with Telefonica taking the cradle of honor, followed by Emirates Team New Zealand's (ENTZ) Camper and Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro. 'Things are going exactly to plan so far,' said the ship's captain, whose identity has been withheld for security reasons.

This leg-within-a-leg race proved triumphant for Telefonica, who is quickly proving to be the boat to beat. Impressively, ENTZ crossed the finishing line just one minute and 57 seconds astern of their Spanish rivals. Puma had to settle for third. 'We went into this leg with confidence,' said Mar Mostro's skipper Ken Read. 'It's a bit of a shame because we had a couple of points in this leg where we did really the right thing and put ourselves in the right position.'

The fleet of Volvo Open 70's are lifted onto a ship in the safe haven port on stage 1 of leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Cape Town, South Africa, to Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Photo Credit Must Read: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race) - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race©

The ship is expected to reach the United Arab Emirates in early January. Then, the boats will be unloaded, the race restarted, and the sailors can scorch into Abu Dhabi under sail—not power. Get the full VOR scoop inside.

Also offshore, the Sydney-Hobart Race is in full swing. The first few days saw rough, upwind weather and a serious melee between the super maxis Wild Oats and Investec Loyal. The two wind machines have been trading leads and are rushing towards the finishing line in Hobart. Be sure to comb through this issue for the latest news from this classic ocean bash.

Ross and Campbell Field - Global Ocean Race 2011-12  Global Ocean Race

And in the Global Ocean Race (GBR), Conrad Colman and Sam Goodchild, aboard their Class 40, Cessna Citation are leading the charge, followed by the father-and-son team of Campbell and Ross Field aboard BSL. At the time of this writing, Cessna Citation had roughly 400 nautical miles to go before enjoying their first proper pint in Wellington, New Zealand, although there's no question that the Field's will be keeping the pressure on full-blast between now and the finishing line. 'We had thick fog the whole day with visibility to a couple hundred metres at the best of times,' reports Sam Goodchild. 'However, the bright side was our three-day wait for wind finally came to an end as we started covering some decent miles again and by the evening we were slamming upwind in 20-25 knots.' More, inside.

Also in this issue, be sure to check out the latest from the Clipper Around the World Race, the Optimist Worlds, as well as the Mission Bay Yacht Club's 'Hot Rum' series. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

Rolex Sydney Hobart - Investec Loyal's line honours win threatened
Di Pearson,
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Committee has protested Investec Loyal's line honours win this evening. The Protest Hearing will be held by the International Jury at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania at 10.00 AEST tomorrow, Thursday 29th December.... [more]
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Challenging first day of the Harken Invitational Regatta tests sailors
Nathalie van Dort,
It was a challenging first days' sailing for many of the international sailors competing in the Harken Invitational Regatta for Optimist sailors today due to the changing wind and wave conditions. The provisional results show that Chilean male Francisco Ducasse was the overall leader after the first four races. The sailor holding the second position overall is a female, Justina Pacheco from the D... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Cyclone risk in Coral Sea
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race – One of the major features of the race from the Gold Coast on the east coast of Australia to Singapore, other than the fact that it will be the longest time so far that the crews will have spent at sea in a single stretch, is wind: not enough of it, a situation the teams are enduring today, or altogether too much.... [more]
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ORC Rules for 2012 available online
Offshore Racing Congress,
ORC Rules 2012 - The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) have today, 28th December, announced its rules for 2012 are now available for download These rules include the International Measurement System (IMS), the ORC Rating Rules (ORC International and ORC Club), the 'Green Book' of ORC Championship Rules, GP Class Rules, the ORC Speed Guide, and ORC Stability and Hydrostatic Datasheet.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Boat loading operation a success
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - The five Volvo Open 70s are being transported to the start of the second stage of leg two in the northern Emirates in the latest stage of the anti-piracy plan after a nerve-wracking operation to load the 15-tonne boats went perfectly. Sailors, shore crews and race organisers worked round the clock to complete the risky task... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart: Investec Loyal wins line honours but is protested
This story is being updated regularly with the latest developments from Hobart. Investec Loyal, the Greg Elliott designed supermaxi has been first to finish the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, beating the race favorite, Wild Oats XI by less than a mile. The yachts finished in the Derwent in a fading breeze necessitating Investec Loyal to indulge in a gybing duel to stay between Wild Oats and the finish... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Upwind hammering on the cards
Oliver Dewar,
With the Global Ocean Race (GOR) Class40s spread over 1,200 miles to the west of New Zealand, there are, naturally, immense differences in the conditions for the five boats.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Risky loading operation underway for fleet
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race yachts are being craned 40 foot in the air onto a ship that is expected to begin transporting them to the United Arab Emirates tomorrow following Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's arrival at a secret ‘safe haven' in the Indian Ocean today, Tuesday 27th December.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing ready to relax
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: We have officially finished our first [incomplete] leg to the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012! The sensation is strange. There is nobody here and the leg isn't technically over, even though we've just sailed 4,300 miles and crossed a finish line. Weird, eh?... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing arrive
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race team Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing have arrived at the safe haven this morning, Tuesday 27th December, in fifth place. All the boats being shipped to Abu Dhabi have completed the first stage of leg two. Ian Walker's crew crossed the line at 08:56:38 UTC, 15 hours behind stage winners and overall race leaders Team Telefónica.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart; Wild Oats and Loyal, Let the Games Begin
Crosbie Lorimer,
They said as much would happen and here we are. For the last few days all the top tacticians, navigators and weather folk have been saying that the second half of this year's race is going to be very tricky, with some unusually light and unpredictable winds all the way down the Tasmanian East Coast for at least a couple of days.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Protests fly at Leg 2, Stage 1 Finish
Volvo Ocean Race have reported that both Team Telefónica and Camper have lodged protests against each other following the nail biting finish to Leg 2, Stage 1. Camper skipper Chris Nicholson was the first to lodge a protest, which was related to a manoeuvre made within miles of the finish line, where Telefónica claimed victory by less than two minutes.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet revel in settled conditions
Heather Ewing,
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet are two hundred miles to the north east of the Great Barrier Reef on the day after Christmas and are reveling in the more settled conditions, including sunshine, blue skies, flat seas and some serious spinnaker flying.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Knife-edge victory for Telefonica in Leg 2, Stage 1
Sophie Luther,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Telefonica are poised to charge into 2012 as the leaders of race after snapping up the victory over Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand in a thrilling finish to the first stage of Leg 2 from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi.... [more]
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Mission Bay Yacht Club Hot Rum regatta
Lightning Class Association,
Very light wind and puffy, shifty conditions for the Mission Bay Yacht Club Hot Rum regatta held December 17 and 18.... [more]
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