Another win for Telefonica, this time, they dominated the VOR Sanya Haitang in-port race just a few hours ago. Ken Read and his PUMA team were pleased with their second place; they pushed hard the entire race and came in close a few times at mark roundings but somehow, Iker Martinez always managed to distance himself again and eventually crossed the finish with a 41 seconds lead over PUMA. Tomorrow is the start of the much anticipated Leg 4 to Auckland, New Zealand via the top of the Philippines; skippers, navigators and race organizers have been glued to the weather forecast screen for the past week trying to determine how to contend with challenging monsoon season weather patterns in the South China sea. Given the 40-knot winds and 8-meter seas forecast forecast, the Volvo Ocean Race organizers have elected to split the leg in two; first stage will take place tomorrow as planned and will consist of the short in-shore race but the yachts will be kept in Sanya for a day to let the worse of the weather pass through. The offshore leg will restart within 24 hours in a staggered fashion following the finish order for the inshore event. The inshore start stage will be broadcasted live on the Internet; check the countdown clock on the official website to determine your local time!
In the southern Pacific, the Global Ocean race fleet encounters challenging conditions as they dip south towards Cape Horn. After reporting the sight of icebergs a few days ago, race leaders on Cessna Citation, are getting ready for upwind sailing through the Drake Passage. Back on shore in New Zealand, Buckley Systems have announced their retirement from the race following Ross Field's injuries sustained a few weeks ago at the start of this leg; a very unfortunate situation for the winner of Leg 1.
The Clipper Round the World Race fleet is currently racing from Singapore to Qingdoa, China in gruelling conditions. We just learned that Gold Coast Australia is diverting towards Taiwan in order evacuate an injured crew member; Australian Tim Burgess broke his leg while working on the foredeck; prevailing conditions prevent an airlift. Leading the race, De Lage Landen is beating upwind just north of Taiwan on their way to the chinese port city.
Those of you who are already planning their 2012 racing season will certainly want to have a look at the new PredictWind app for the iPhone and the Android smartphones; data from the world leader in wind forecasting in the palm of your hand!
Speaking of the 2012 racing season, announcements are coming in from various events; the Route Halifax to St. Pierre race is now accepting entries, while the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge has announced a new Sperry Top-Sider IRC trophy for this year.
Finally, with London 2012 only a few months away, it's time to familiarize yourself with the Canadian Sailing Team; in a very timely fashion, they have just announced their new website at http://canadiansailingteam.ca/ where you can read athletes bios, learn about Olympic class boats and get the latest news!
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