VOR: Leg Five off to a smashing start—Sailing news from the U.S. and b

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21 Mar 2012

VOR: Leg Five off to a smashing start—Sailing news from the U.S. and b

Unless, of course, your question was aimed at any of the sailors who are currently racing in Leg Five of this year's VOR. Then, you're likely to hear the stripped-down, bare-naked truth of how violent ocean racing can be, especially when the steed in question is a high-strung Volvo Open 70. 'Without a shadow of a doubt, that was the hardest opening night of a Volvo leg I have ever done,' reported Emirates Team New Zealand's co-skipper Stu Bannatyne, a six-time circumnavigator and one of the most highly respected sailors in the Grand Prix offshore game. Others with impressive resumes agreed. 'It's certainly the roughest 24 hours I can remember for the last four editions of this race,' said Emirates skipper, Chris Nicholson, a veteran of four VORs. 'Going over the waves is like playing Russian roulette every time when you just hope for the best.'

Martin Krite and Brad Marsh setting up the J4 during high speed sailing onboard Groupama Sailing Team during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil. (Credit: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race) - Volvo Ocean Race, Leg 5, 20 March 2012  Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race

Elsewhere in the fleet, conditions were equally boisterous. 'We've been in windier, we've been in wetter, and we've been in rougher, but it's the combination of it all that makes doing anything effectively hopeless,' reported Puma Ocean Racing's Media Crew Member, Amory Ross. 'I can't speak for the ten other guys on the boat, but I wasn't prepared for that kind of a start and it's taken me a while to get up to speed.'

Others onboard Puma's Mar Mostro have been fairing worse, specifically Thomas Johanson, who dislocated his shoulder after being swept from a wheel, and bowman Casey Smith, who blew out his back during a routine sail change. The onboard med team was able to reset Johanson's dislocated wing, but the latest reports from Mar Mostro are maintaining that Smith is still bunk-ridden. Moreover, there's talk of possibly having to evacuate Smith when the boat approaches Cape Horn, if his pain level doesn't improve.

[Ed. Note: Having suffered a broken back in my youth, I can only imagine the horror-show experience that Smith is experiencing as the boat rockets down waves and creates holes in the ocean. May his situation improve, and quickly!]

Get the full VOR media experience, including some great image galleries and video footage, inside this issue.

Singapore's Cecilia Low and Rachel Lee sail the ARUP Skiff at the 2016 ISAF Equipment Evaluation.

Image copyright free for editorial use. This image may not be used for any other purpose without the express prior written permission of ISAF. - 2016 Equipment Evaluations  ISAF ©

Meanwhile, in Olympic sailing news, the ISAF Olympic Women's Skiff Trials, which are being used to select the Olympic equipment for the Women's Skiff and Mixed Multihull events for the 2016 Games, are under way in Santander, Spain. Check out the report, inside, as well as the image gallery (and embedded video footage) of the different designs that are being considered. The evaluations wrap up on March 25, so stay tuned for more info, as it becomes known.

Also inside, read about the Opti regatta that's trying to earn its way into the Guinness Book of World Records with 1,000 registered sailors; learn about Conrad Colman's new co-skipper aboard Cessna Citation for the Global Ocean Race, and get the latest report from the Clipper Around the World Race, which has just reached its halfway mark around the planet.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

Clipper Round the World Race fleet crosses International Date Line
Heather Ewing,
Clipper 2011-12 Round the World Yacht Race fleet crossed the International Date Line into the western hemisphere. In a 40,000-mile circumnavigation in which the crews are people like you – from all walks of life and representing more than 40 nationalities – such milestones are to be celebrated, as much from a reflective viewpoint as a spur to overcome the challenges ahead.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race; Auckland Stopover all but a Hazy and Fond Memory
Crosbie Lorimer,
As the Volvo Ocean Race fleet finally reach their natural environment in the Southern Ocean, the hammering that the crews have taken in the three days since the Leg 5 start last Sunday must have rendered their recollections of that short but popular stopover in Auckland a distant and hazy memory.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - To the Horn we go!
Richard Gladwell,
Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race got underway from Auckland on Sunday afternoon. Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water and followed the fleet from the start to when the fleet exited the Waitemata and headed for Cape Horn. Team Sanya led around both legs inside the Waitemata before rounding the top mark for the final time and headed off to a final rounding mark off Auckland's East Coast Bays... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - The run down the Waitemata
Richard Gladwell,
Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race got underway from Auckland on Sunday afternoon. Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water and followed the six strong fleet from the start to when the fleet exited the Waitemata and headed from Cape Horn. Team Sanya rounded the top mark first and headed back down the Harbour pushed by a strong easterly breeze and favourable tide.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Images from Auckland - The First Beat
Richard Gladwell,
Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race got underway from Auckland on Sunday afternoon. Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water and followed the six strong fleet from the start to when the fleet exited the Waitemata and headed from Cape Horn. Here is how he saw the day, after the Start there was the Beat down the Waitemata, past the Wharves on the south side, and past the Naval Base and Devonport... [more]
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America's Cup Chairman to head AC World Series Development
Stephanie Martin,
The chairman of America's Cup marketing arm is switching roles to become its head of world series development, allowing him to focus efforts exclusively on finding new America's Cup World Series venues and generating increased broadcast revenues from the burgeoning growth of America's Cup competitive sailing.... [more]
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2016 Equipment Evaluations - Skiffs and multihulls Day 4 + Video
Day four in Santander began with light winds which led to sailing being briefly postponed. Despite waiting for breeze, it was a productive morning for the female skiff sailors as they joined Evaluation Panel members Adrienne Cahalan (AUS) and Sylvia Vogl (AUT) in an informal session where they all gave feedback on the skiffs they'd sailed so far.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - A brief reprieve from the Roaring Forties
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, there has been a complete turnaround from the atrocious conditions the six-boat fleet has been forced to endure since the start of Leg 5 last Sunday, the famous Roaring Forties have been reduced to a ‘simpering' six knots as the leading five boats pick their way carefully across a ridge of high-pressure.... [more]
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Smile and Wave Racing Team ready to rock the Int'l Rolex Regatta
Carol Bareuther,
Puerto Rican yacht racer Jaime Torres and the crew of his Beneteau First 40 Smile and Wave set off today for St. Thomas with a mission. Crew aboard Smile and Wave for the IRR will be a mix of Puerto Rican and mainland U.S. sailors.... [more]
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LBYC Ficker Cup match race preview
David Murray,
Sailors are looking to follow the course of Gavin Brady. In an ambitious young sailor's dream world, he (or she) somehow finds the way into the Long Beach Yacht Club's match race event, wins it to qualify for the prestigious Congressional Cup, and then wins the Congressional Cup.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Keeping it together onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race team Puma Ocean Racing have a long way to go as Amory Ross, MCM, reports: I can't believe I actually told people on the dock I was excited for this. Naivety, in a nutshell. What I should have said, and the way I feel now, is I'm excited to get this over with! Like a bunch of little kids in the backseat, the question everyone has been asking is how much more?... [more]
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Antigua Sailing Week entries approach 100 yachts
Louay Habib,
Antigua Sailing Week entry list is fast approaching over 100 yachts. There are just six weeks to go before the final curtain call of the Caribbean racing season. The Organising Committee is recruiting dozens of volunteers for the SWAT team (Sailing Week Antigua Team) to make sure that the Caribbean's oldest and most prestigious regatta is a joy to behold.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: And a smashing good time was had by all
A dislocated shoulder, a broken bunk and a leaking boat are just some of the damages on a list that is fast growing as Telefónica continue to lead the fleet in challenging conditions. Overnight Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reported that new crewman trimmer Thomas Johanson had dislocated his shoulder in the violent conditions and bowman Casey Smith was bunk bound with a back injury.... [more]
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ISAF Olympic Womens Skiff Trials move into their fourth day
The trials being conducted at Santander, Spain for the Olympic Womens Skiff and Mixed Multihull are now in their fourth day, having got underway on 17 March. The first two days were marred by not enough wind, or too much.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing crew injuries
Lisa Ramsperger,
Two Puma Ocean Racingcrew suffered two injuries during Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. Puma's Mar Mostro departed Auckland on Sunday, March 18, for Leg 5. The leg is taking the fleet more than 6,500 nautical miles through the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn.... [more]
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2016 Equipment Evaluations - Skiffs and Mixed Multihull + Video
The Equipment Evaluations for the 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition will take place in Santander, Spain from 17-25 March. Day three in Santander was a good one with the sailors having their first full day of sailing, allowing the panel to check out the equipment in various conditions.... [more]
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Garda Optimist Meeting - A new Guiness World Record?
Elena Giolai,
Entry 1000 for the XXX Garda Optimist Meeting is Aline Schmittmann, born in 1998, Junior category, sailing number Ger 12690 from Seehaupt Yacht Club. This year, the event is setting out to break a new Guinness World Record. A special commission will be arriving in Riva del Garda to officially certify the record as the regatta with the largest number of single- class boats taking part in the world.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Race - Geraldton take final Scoring Gate point
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - In the last 24 hours two more teams decided to race for the final point to the Scoring Gate, seeing Geraldton Western Australia moving up to fifth place in the overall leader board. After crossing the Scoring Gate at 03:08.12 UTC today, Geraldton Western Australia's skipper Juan Coetzer says, 'It's one point, but it could make the world of difference... [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 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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From California Dreamin' Series Butler Cup to Ficker Cup
Rich Roberts,
Leading the California Dreamin' Series points coming into this weekend was Nicole Breault of St. Francis Yacht Club. Breault was declared the winner of the series. The first place prize is an invitation to race in next week's Ficker Cup, March 22-24.... [more]
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