VOR: Leg Three begins—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

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16 Jan 2012

VOR: Leg Three begins—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

This past weekend proved a great doubleheader for Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) sailors, as the Abu Dhabi in-port race kicked off on Friday, followed by Saturday's 106-mile sprint from the Abu Dhabi to Sharjah. There, the boats were loaded onto a container ship, which will carry the fleet past pirate-infested waters to a safe port in the Indian Ocean, where racing will continue with a long leg to Sanya, China.

Friday's in-port race put smiles on a lot of locals' faces when Ian Walker and his Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing teammates dominated the eight-mile course, which they dispatched in just under an hour. Groupama, Emirates Team New Zealand, Puma Ocean Racing and Telefonica followed them across the finishing line. 'We so wanted to win the race so we were prepared to take risks,' said Walker. 'We're involved in a nine-month odyssey around the world but today is the most important day for Abu Dhabi. We've never seen this many boats out on the water to watch racing, and there are lots of people out who are new to sailing. Right now all they are seeing is their country flag being waved. It's a real thrill for that to happen.'

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, skippered by Ian Walker from the UK during the start of leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Abu Dhab,i UAE to Sanya, China. (Credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race)  Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race

Meanwhile, Saturday's 106-mile 'sprint' was likewise engaging, with the lead changing hands several times before Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing once again earned the top prize, followed by Puma Ocean Racing and Groupama.

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, skippered by Ken Read from the USA during the start of leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 from Abu Dhab,i UAE to Sanya, China. (Credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race)  Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race

'This sport is hard,' said Ken Read, skipper of Puma's Mar Mostro. 'We really didn't sail very well in the first triangle. Once we got into a drag race, the boat started to bail us out. We were going faster in the reaching conditions, and the tweaks we made certainly appeared to have helped. That's the key to these races—you have to keep getting faster every stopover. And, this is really the first stopover that we've had a chance to work on boat speed. We're pleased.'

Get the full VOR lowdown—including the scoop on Team Sanya's ongoing Leg Two ordeal—inside this issue.

Also inside, get the latest from Paul Cayard and Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup, as well as updates from the IFDS Worlds, and the Clipper Around the World Race. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

America's Cup: Luna Rossa AC45 launches in Auckland
Richard and Ben Gladwell,
The very popular America's Cup Challenger, Luna Rossa, set up and launched their new AC45 in Auckland, this morning, marking a major milestone in their America's Cup campaign. Currently the team has 20 people in Auckland, working out of the old Team New Zealand base, and will expand this team to 60 people when the team begins sailing their AC72, currently under construction in Italy.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Last gasp victory for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race,
Team Telefónica set a cracking pace in a quickfire inshore course on Saturday. The 106nm Stage 1 race to Sharjah carries 20 per cent of the overall Leg 3 points, with six points up for grabs for first place and the overall Volvo Ocean Race leaders nailed the start and quickly accelerated to a smoking 16 knots. But it was not to be for Telefonica.... [more]
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America's Cup: Paul Cayard on the latest Cup developments
Pierre Orphanidis, vsail.info,
Top European sailing website www.vsail.info continues their series of new-year interviews with sailing's top personalities, Editor, Pierre Orphanidis catches up with Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing, the 34th America's Cup Challenger of Record.... [more]
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Look out for Lily – China's Laser Radial champion will bounce back
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
At the recent Perth 2011 Laser Radial World Championships, one of the sailors who did not perform as well as expected was Lijia Xu (Lily) who finished 25th, but the 24 year old Chinese sailor has talent to burn and is working hard for the coming European season. We talked to Lily after Perth 2011.... [more]
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Key West Race Week preview - Melges 32 fleet ready
Joy Dunigan,
Quantum Key West Race Week 2012 kicks off today, Monday 16th January, in Florida. In the famous words of biographer Walter Isaacson referencing Steve Jobs' early tenure at Apple Computers — the Melges 32 fleet is ready to ‘turn on, boot up and jack in'. Nineteen teams, originating from six nations, have registered and confirmed participation... [more]
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US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier - Light conditions on day 2
Rich Roberts,
US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier - Who are the stars after two of three days? The people who figured it out best. That would include not only the class leaders - notably the Brooklyn girls who share first place in the International 420s with a couple of guys, but the race committee that has been wrestling with the mysteries of the uncharacteristic weather conditions.... [more]
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Key West 2012 preview
Bill Wagner,
Quantum Key West 2012 officially begins on Monday and the forecast is for robust 15-20 knot winds. Challenging to sail and powerfully-built, the 52-footers require highly-experienced crews to get around the course and thereby have attracted a who's who of professional sailing. America's Cup veterans Terry Hutchinson and Gavin Brady headline a list of top-notch tacticians.... [more]
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Bermuda Ocean Race slates seminar Feb. 11 at new location
Linda Hughes,
Those who have entered or are contemplating the Bermuda Ocean Race (BOR) should be aware that organizers are hosting a navigation seminar 'Navigation Know-How: Combining Sense with Technology' at the Eastport Volunteer Fire Department located at 914 Bay Ridge Ave., Annapolis on Saturday, February 11 from 9am-12pm.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race fleet loading complete after Shamal delay
Volvo Ocean Race,
The five strong Volvo Ocean Race fleet were safely loaded onto a ship in Sharjah on Sunday following strong desert winds which had earlier caused a delay. The fleet arrived in the port late last night at the end of the opening stage of Leg 3, a high adrenaline 106 nautical mile, six and a half hour blast from Abu Dhabi, won by Ian Walker's home team on Azzam, their second victory in two days.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Skippers say minor tweaks key to success
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, even the smallest of advantages can spell success on the race course. Having an opportunity to work on their boats in port gave Abu Dhabi and Puma just the edge that they needed for glory in the Leg 3 Stage 1 sprint, according to their skippers.... [more]
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IFDS Worlds day 5 - Video
The International Association for Disabled Sailing Worlds (IFDS) taking place at Charlotte Harbor, Florida USA are coming down to the wire. This video is of the action on the second last day of competition.... [more]
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The Toronto International Boat Show in photos
Guy Perrin,
The Toronto International Boat Show opened to the public yesterday morning and will run until Sunday, January 22nd. It seems like Mother Nature is always willing to help with attendance on opening day by creating havoc with the weather and convincing boating enthusiasts that the day will be netter spent inside framing of summer activities; this year was no different... [more]
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US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier - Day 1
Rich Roberts,
Day 1 of the US Sailing ISAF Youth World Qualifier hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club had everything but wind. Courses were set, but the onshore wind neither built nor settled, except for the single phase that didn't last, so PRO Townsend called it a day shortly after 3 o'clock.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma's Mar Mostro shows speed
Lisa Ramsperger,
In the first stage of Leg 3 in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, Puma's Mar Mostro demonstrated its speed. The Puma crew captured five points with a time of 16:31:01, finishing only 1 minute, 16 seconds behind Abu Dhabi as the fleet began the journey from Abu Dhabi, UAE, to the next port of Sanya, China.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Team Sanya punished
Volvo Ocean Race,
Team Sanya were still being punished by the Doldrums as they vanished off the public radar under the cloak of the ‘stealth zone'. At 0140 UTC on Saturday Sanya reached the zone, which is part of a series of security measures implemented by Volvo Ocean Race organisers to combat the threat of piracy. The team's exact position will continue to be withheld... [more]
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Women's Match Race Country Qualifier preview – Battle for final spots
Women's Match Race Country Qualifier – The 2011 Women's Match World Championship qualified eight countries to send a team to the Olympics. Those countries are Australia, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, Russia and USA. GBR, as host country, is also given a berth. That leaves three open slots.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: See the start of Leg 3 Live
The Volvo Ocean Race starts on 5 November from Alicante Spain. The six teams are now making the final preparations before they set off from Alicante bound for Cape Town, South Africa, the first of nine offshore legs. Leg one starts at 1400 UTC on November 5 and is expected to take around 21 days to complete.... [more]
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Charleston Race Week expecting record turnout
Dan Dickison,
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week is expecting a record year in 2012. Organizers within Charleston Ocean Racing Association are busily making plans for what is shaping up to be another bonanza edition. By early January, the event's steering committee had received sufficient inquiries to predict a 15 percent increase in entries for the mid-April affair.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 crew line-up revealed
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race has six teams set to compete in the Leg 3 race to Sanya, China and the crews who will be taking part at the start of Saturday's Stage 1 sprint from Abu Dhabi to the Sharjah coast have now been revealed.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Team Sanya 'The comeback kids'
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, skipper Mike Sanderson was able to watch his rivals in action in Abu Dhabi today whilst Team Sanya's sailors were celebrating a significant milestone in their race to the safe have port: reaching the Trade winds. Comeback kids Sanya have sailed upwind since setting sail from Madagascar on January 7, but their arrival in the trades means favourable winds... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race – Puma crosses In-Port finish line
Lisa Ramsperger,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 - Puma's Mar Mostro crossed the Etihad Airways In-Port Race finish line in fourth place on Friday 13th January, collecting three points. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing landed on top of the podium in their home port, followed by Groupama in second and Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand in third.... [more]
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Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race – Test of endurance
37th Annual Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race - Thirty three hours after the start of racing the trophies are still very much 'up in the air'. Out of the 47 registered boats, 20 have officially retired or did not start and five have finished. There are still 22 out there.... [more]
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