Bill Hardesty - Chicago Match Cup 2011 Chicago Match Race Center
'This is a huge honor,' said Bill Hardesty, the recipient of the 2011 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award. 'The long list of past winners is very impressive and includes people who I have always considered to be the best in the world. 'A lot of credit goes to the teams I raced with this past year. Sailing is truly a group effort and winning this award would never have been possible without great teammates: the Etchells World Championship team of Steve Hunt, Mandi Markee and Craig Leweck, and Team GAC Pindar skippered by Ian Williams.' Get the full scoop on the 2011 Rolex Yachtswoman and Yachtsman awards, inside.
Offshore related, the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) is gearing up for today's in-port race, immediately followed by Leg Three's 'sprint' restart (tomorrow), which will take the fleet into the stealth zone, where they will be loaded onto an undisclosed vessel and shipped past pirate-infested waters. Once clear of the threat, the boats will restart and race the remainder of Leg Three, finishing off of Sanya, China. 'I think the whole race needs to get into a rhythm,' said Ken Read, skipper of Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro. 'This sort of race is hard, even in light airs. It doesn't have to be pretty but we have to be error-free.'
Team Sanya - Volvo Ocean Race Andres Soriano/Team Sanya/Volvo Ocean Race
Also VOR related Team Sanya is struggling to make it through a huge patch of light air, upwind sailing, en route to the undisclosed piracy safe haven, after suffering rig damage in Leg Two. From there, the team is hoping to join the rest of the fleet for the re-start of Leg Three. 'The next leg is looking tricky with a lot of upwind,' said Mike Sanderson, skipper of Team Sanya. 'There's going to be some very confined waters with a lot of unlit fishing boats and nets which are on the surface and pretty random, and there are plenty of man-made obstacles halfway through the leg. Being halfway makes it very tricky. You've just got your team into the swing of it, six or seven days, then you have this nasty period in the middle when you'll be short tacking or whatever the conditions allow and will be tricky. Then there's a pretty long beat up to China and it will be tough.'
For Cup junkies, Artemis Racing has become the first team to start construction on their first AC72, which is being built by King Marine near Gothenberg, Sweden. Interestingly, Juan Kouyoumidjian—famous for his work designing Volvo Open 70s—designed the boat, which is expected to hit the water sometime after July 1. Get the full story, inside.
And for the superstitious amongst our fleet, happy Friday the 13th.
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