VOR: The big one begins!—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

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19 Mar 2012

VOR: The big one begins!—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

Bowman Daryl Wislang from New Zealand onboard CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Chris Nicholson from Australia, leading the fleet during the Auckland In-Port Race, in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Credit: IAN ROMAN/Volvo Ocean Race) - Volvo Ocean Race, In Port Race, Auckland March 17, 2012  Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race©

But first, some in-port racing excitement. Skipper Chris Nicholson and his Emirates Team New Zealand mates powered their VO70, Camper, around the buoys 19 seconds faster than their next-quickest competition, claiming full home-turf bragging rights. 'The one thing we said all week was how do we thank everyone who has supported us,' said Nicholson. 'I hope this goes a long way to thanking them.' Groupama took second-place honors, followed by Puma Ocean Racing. Overall race leader Telefonica earned an uncharacteristic DFL for the day—a result they're already working hard to rectify.

Flash-forward to the start of Sunday's Leg Five start and Team Sanya led the fleet of six Volvo Open 70s out to sea. While the fleet immediately found themselves taking the weather on the chin, everything was going smoothly until calamity struck aboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam some 50 miles into the leg when they damaged the bulkhead that supports their J4 forestay. Given that a huge portion of this leg will involve that particular sail, skipper Ian Walker and his teammates opted to point the bow back at Wellington and make proper repairs, rather than sailing under the wrong wardrobe combo, or trying to jury rig a solution at sea. 'I don't think it was a structural threat to the boat, but it would have been a big repair to get the bulkhead back in and take the load of the J4, which is a sail we're probably going to use 80 percent of the time in the Southern Ocean,' said Walker. According to the latest news, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has made repairs and Azzam has just already restarted racing, no doubt doing their best to hunt down the rest of the fleet.

PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG, skippered by Ken Read from the USA, crashing through waves in heavy weather, at the start of leg 5 from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil, during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. (Credit: PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race) - Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 5 - Day 1  Paul Todd/Volvo Ocean Race©

Currently, Telefonica has taken its usual place at the top of the leaderboard as the fleet charges into the planet's roughest patch of ocean. Currently, bows are pounding and onboard conditions define 'unpleasant'. Tactically, the fleet has split into two groups, with Camper leading the charge to the north and Telefonica (and the majority of the fleet) taking the more easterly routing. Get the full VOR download, including great image galleries of the start of Leg Five, inside this issue.

One Design sailors, be sure to check out ISAF's official statement regarding the much-debated 'Ben Ainslie' incident, which took place at the 2011 ISAF Worlds. After a purported 'fouling' with prop wash and wake, ace Team GBR Finn sailor Sir Ben Ainslie—one of the most decorated Olympic sailors of all time— jumped onto a media boat and threatened its driver for his alleged poor driving. While Ainslie maintains that the driver's lack of behind-the-helm acumen cost him a World Championship, others are less convinced and felt that Sir Ben's deplorable actions deserved more than the slap-on-the-wrist reprimand that Ainslie received from the Royal Yachting Association, and which ISAF seems content to sustain.

Offshore-related but in a decidedly different competition, sailors in the Clipper Around the World Yacht Race are also getting pounded, VOR-style; the Laser World Masters have concluded, and the Extreme Sailing Series' host-venue bidding process has begun for the 2013-16 seasons. Get the long-form reports, in this issue.

Virgin Gorda, 16/03/12
Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2012
Race Day 2: HANUMAN
Photo: © Carlo Borlenghi  Carlo Borlenghi ©

And finally, for anyone in need of a Vitamin D injection, check out ace shooter Carlo Borlenghi's great photo gallery of Day Two of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta.

Happy Monday.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 - Puma prepares for dangers ahead + Video
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race team Puma Ocean Racing nervous in a good way as Amory Ross, MCM, reports: It feels like I was just here on this laptop writing one of these reports, like Auckland was one more vivid dream, the result of another long day's exhaustive efforts. The familiarity with the schedule, the boat, the struggles, they now seem so standard that it's hard to believe we actually got off somewhere... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: 'The hardest opening night I have ever done' + Video
Hamish Hooper,
Hamish Hooper blogs from on board Camper, after their first night at sea on Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race: 'As predicted that was, a particularly torrid night. At times it was blowing 43 knots and the guys on deck were trying to tame the beast under such chaotic conditions. In the bunk about an inch below the carbon fibre deck I could hear the guys yelling as loud as they could... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi leaves New Zealand coast in 55kt winds
Abu Dhabi, the Farr designed Volvo 70 appears to have cleared the Hauraki Gulf and resumed racing on the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. She passed through the Colville Channel at around 2100hrs chasng the other five competitors who are now over 500nm ahead.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race drama and record online audiences
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
Once again Sail-World provides full coverage of all the action with Richard Gladwell and a team of half a dozen reporters and photographers bringing you the latest from Auckland.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi shelters in Hauraki Gulf
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has issued a statement saying that they will delay their restart of Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race to avoid potentially boat-breaking conditions in the South Pacific. The statement says that Ian Walker's team set sail again from Auckland at midday local time (2300 UTC), just 12 hours after returning to the port to repair structural damage to their yacht Azzam.... [more]
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Extreme Sailing Series host venue bidding process commences
Extreme Sailing Series,
The tender and selection process for venues with interest in hosting an Extreme Sailing Series event between 2013-2016 has begun, with three new slots opening up in 2013. The bid process closes 18th May 2012, with Host Venue decisions made by 29th June. The Extreme Sailing Series is delivering ever increasing tangible, year-on-year, benefits for Host Venues... [more]
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2016 Equipment Evaluations - Women's Skiff and Mixed Multihull + Video
From 17-25 March 2012, Multihull evaluations for Women's Skiff and Mixed he 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will take place at the Prince Felipe High Performance Sailing Centre, Santander, Spain.... [more]
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The Onion Patch Series - A difficult one to win
Talbot Wilson,
Almost fifty years ago, a trio of Bermuda sailors were in Cowes, England sailing in the Fastnet Race, the finale of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Admiral's Cup Series. They liked the event and wanted to bring it home. The Admiral's Cup was a hard fought series of races that included racing in the powerful tidal currents of the Solent... [more]
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Volvo Ocean race: Abu Dhabi hoping for a 24 hour stopover + video
Volvo Ocean Race,
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are hopeful of resuming racing in Leg 5 within the next 24 hours after arriving back in Abu Dhabi to repair damage to their yacht Azzam. Ian Walker and his crew made the decision to return to the City of Sails five-and-a-half hours into the 6,700 nautical mile leg to Itajaí in Brazil when a bulkhead in the bow of their yacht Azzam, securing a crucial heavy weather heads... [more]
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RS:X World Windsurfing Championships - Who are the fans betting on?
Rory Ramsden,
RS:X World Windsurfing Championships are to be held in the Bay of Cadiz from 21 to 28 March 2012. Olympic windsurfing is big in Israel. Out the six medals won by athletes for their country, at least three have been in windsurfing so it's not surprising that windsurfing fans in Israel are so passionate about their stars.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Race - Battle continues with mighty Pacific
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet are reflecting on their last two weeks at sea, as the battle with the mighty Pacific continues. 'To all the mothers following the race, or doing the race, the Geraldton Western Australia crew wishes you a peaceful Mother's day,' skipper Juan Coetzer starts his 0600 report to the Race Office.... [more]
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Images of the Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet hits the tough stuff
Paul Todd,
Volvo Ocean Race photographer, Paul Todd, flew over the the Volvo Ocean Race fleet as they hit heavy weather at the start of Leg 5, exiting the Hauraki Gulf - and captured the return of Abu Dhabi to Auckland... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 start images by Andrea Francolini
Andrea Francolini images,
Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 Leg 5 start images from photographer Andrea Francolini.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi suspend racing, return to Auckland + Video
Richard Gladwell,
Volvo Ocean Race reports that Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, suspended racing and headed back to Auckland after suffering damage to the bulkhead on their racing yacht shortly after the start of Leg 5 to Itajaí, Brazil. 'Abu Dhabi have confirmed that they have suspended racing and are returning to Auckland,' the team said in a statement. 'There is a problem with the bulkhead.'... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Team Sanya leads Leg 5 after Waitemata maelstrom
Richard Gladwell,
Team Sanya, skippered by local hero and former Volvo Ocean race winner, Mike Sanderson, had another magic moment in Auckland as she led the six strong fleet in the opening stanzas of the 6700nm fifth leg to Brazil. Tthe former Rolex Sailor of the Year, would have been positively fizzing, after getting his approach just right at the start, and was able to avoid tacking into the flood tide as soon a... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper win golden points from hometown InPort Race
Richard Gladwell,
Camper skipper, Chris Nicholson, described their end to end win in the Auckland Inport Race, as a dream result for the team. Nicholson led his crew of 11 sailors to an end to end win in the sprint event, which counted for five points.... [more]
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Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery images,
Ingrid Abery images from the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta.... [more]
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Laser World Masters Championships 2012 - Down to the wire
Laser World Masters Championships media,
Today was the final day of racing for the 233 sailors from 19 nations at the Laser World Masters Championships 2012. Principal Race officer Kevin Wilson called an early start in the hope of sailing three races and completing a twelve race, two drop series.... [more]
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BoatUS aiming to get more butts out of the water
Boaters are keeping their butts out of the water - and we're not talking about the kind in swim trunks. In just the past three years, the BoatUS Foundation has helped 117 marinas around the country tackle the problem of cigarette litter, and it is now looking for more marinas to join its 2012 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.... [more]
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Thousand Islands Race - Adriatic offshore contest announced + Video
Sailing Club of Rijeka,
Sailing Club of Rijeka (SCOR) and Porto Montenegro Yacht Club organisers have announced a new race for offshore sailors who are interested in sailing along one of the most pristine coastlines in the world: the Thousand Islands Race. The race is set to take place from 20-30 September 2012.... [more]
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Perth 2011 - ISAF Executive Statement on Ainslie case
Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships - ISAF have issued a statement regarding the Ben Ainslie incident during the event: The ISAF Executive Committee has met to consider the reports from the International Jury of the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships and the RYA Tribunal.... [more]
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Laser World Masters Championships 2012 day 5 - The Final Count-down
Laser World Masters Championships media,
Three more races were completed on day 5 of competition at the Laser World Masters Championships 2012. Chilean skipper Matias Del Solar demonstrated to the Laser Standard Apprentice fleet just why he is heading for his third Olympics in the Laser Class later this year.... [more]
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Butler Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club
Rich Roberts,
The fourth annual Butler Cup, an ISAF Grade 3 match race and the third and final stop on the California Dreamin' Series, takes place this weekend at the Long Beach Yacht Club. The winning skipper of the series receives an invitation to compete in this year's Ficker Cup, March 22-24, and if they win the Ficker Cup is then given an invitation to compete in the Congressional Cup, March 26-31.... [more]
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