Life at the Extreme

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 28 Mar 2012

As the Volvo Ocean Race – or at least some of it – approaches Cape Horn, let's do a quick stock take:

Azzam (Abu Dhabi) dropped her rig eight hours after the start of the very first leg and was shipped from Alicante to Cape Town.

Sanya hit something that punched a hole in her bow, and was also shipped to Cape Town.

Puma broke her mast in the South Atlantic and limped to the end of the first leg.

Next leg, Sanya went into Madagascar for a pit stop and a rig fix.

The whole fleet was shipped from Male (Maldives) to Abu Dhabi and back again to avoid the pirate-infested reaches of the Indian Ocean.

Azzam broke a ring frame just five hours out of Auckland and went back for a fix.

Sanya broke a rudder stock and went back to New Zealand, and will miss the current leg AND the next leg entirely.

Camper have a broken forward bulkhead and longitudinal stringers, and are proceeding very cautiously towards a repair stop in Puerto Montt (Chile).

Telefonica have a delaminating bow and are heading to Ushuaia for repairs.

That leaves Groupama as the only boat to have stayed in one piece so far. ‘Life at the Extreme', indeed.

Guy Nowell, Editor

Top of the Gulf Regatta 2012 - the 'Sporties and Forties'
Top of the Gulf Media,
Sporties and Forties - the 'Forties' (40-footers) look to be out in force at the 2012 TOG Regatta with 15 already signed up. This class of boat is becoming very popular in Asia and that trend looks set to continue. And while the 40-footers are grabbing the headlines, TOG Regatta looks set to field a strong and growing Sports Boat Class, aka 'Sporties'.... [more]
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Rolex China Sea Race, 50th Anniversary - Oh my Darling!
RHKYC Media,
Darling, a Hanse 400, is named after Grace Darling, an English Victorian heroine who assisted her lighthouse-keeper father in saving 13 shipwrecked people in a rowing boat on the evening of 7 September 1838 off the Northumberland coast - when it was too rough for the local life boat to be launched.... [more]
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Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference - one month away
Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference,
There is now just one month to go until the Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference. It is now in its fourth year and takes place the 25-26 April at the ONE°15 Marina Club, Sentosa Cove, Singapore. This years' conference has an impressive line-up of superyacht industry professionals presenting over the two days; there are panel debates and streamed sessions from which to choose subjects of most relevan... [more]
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Congressional Cup day 1 - Brady finds his touch
Rich Roberts,
On Day 1 of Long Beach Yacht Club's 48th Congressional Cup Gavin Brady quickly found his touch to sweep his five races. Winds for the racing before spectators on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier were a moderately chilly and brisk 10 to 14 knots from the normal southwest, leaving boat handling paramount and the rest of the fleet tightly bunched at 3-2 or 2-3.... [more]
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America's Cup: San Francisco Board approves Cup Agreement
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors today approved by a majority of 11-0, the agreement to host the America's Cup in San Francisco September 7 to 22, 2013. The San Francisco agreement calls for teams to be based at Piers 30/32 and for the America's Cup Village – the public Race Headquarters – at Piers 27/29. The pier improvements will be funded by the Port.... [more]
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Piracy reaches the Maldives
Lee Mylchreest,
The hijack of a ship by Somali pirates in the waters of the Maldives may keep away cruising yachts in future. Up until now, the Maldives has been a popular stopping place on the way across the Indian Ocean, whether the yachts are headed for the Red Sea or for Africa. With the Red Sea out, the Maldives has still been a good rest point for yachts on their way around Africa - but maybe no more.... [more]
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Vendee Globe skippers seek top form for upcoming race
Vendee Globe,
There are now fewer than eight months to go before the Vendée Globe gets underway and skippers are currently actively working on their physical preparation in order to reach their peak form on November 10. Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) and Kito de Pavant's (Groupe Bel) physical trainers tell us more about the key-elements of an ideal training.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Telefonica pitstop plan revealed + Video
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama sailing team extended their advantage at the head of the fleet, moving 46 nautical miles clear of Puma at 1900 UTC on Tuesday as race leaders Team Telefónica, 335 nm off the lead in third, revealed a plan to make a pit stop for repairs.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Team Sanya arrives in Tauranga
Garth Cooke, Volvo Ocean Race,
Team Sanya, has arrived in the New Zealand port of Tauranga, after breaking a rudder shaft while leading Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, forcing her retirement from Leg 5. She will miss Leg 6, but will rejoin the race for Leg 7. She ships out of New Zealand on Wednesday. Gareth Cooke was on hand to catch the team's arrival in Tauranga.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Camper aim for Chilean pitstop + Video
Stefano Blin,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, the crew aboard Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand were in a positive frame of mind on Tuesday as the boat pushed on towards Puerto Montt to repair damage sustained in the Southern Ocean. Temporary repairs have stabilised the bow section and the boat is less than 2000 nautical miles from the Chilean port and sailing in moderate weather.... [more]
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RS:X Worlds - Racing halted with gusts up to 50 knots + Video
Rory Ramsden,
At the World Windsurfing Championships in Cadiz, it didn't take long for the Race Committee to pull the plug on racing. The committee boat anchored and with a few minutes, their bowroller was bent out of shape as the first 40 knot gust came through. White caps transformed into vapor as the sea became streaked with white lines...... [more]
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RS:X Worlds - A war of attrition ensues + Video
Rory Ramsden,
At the 2012 World Windsurfing Championships in Cadiz, the Gold Fleets were able to get out on the water and complete three races for the day whilst the Silver Fleet were unable to race. Wind speeds were solidly in the mid 20s and topping out over 30. This world championship is turning into a war of attrition. Attrition on the sailors. And attrition on the equipment.... [more]
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RS:X Worlds blasted by 40 knots
Rory Ramsden,
At the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Cadiz, the morning time had the Bay covered in white caps. The AP wentup. Racing was postponed in the hope that the wind would moderate. It topped out at 40 knots plus mid morning and stayed there until 1500hrs.Up went the AP over A. No racing.... [more]
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RS:X Worlds - Battle for Olympic qualification spots continues + Video
Rory Ramsden,
At the 2012 RS:X World Windsurfing Championships, there was a break from normal practice in which the RS:X men's gold fleet was accompanied by their compadres in the silver fleet for the first day of the final series. It was Przemyslaw Miarczynski [POL] who was the most consistent posting 1-2-5 to move up the rankings to take over sixth spot overall.... [more]
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McConaghy boats - The fastest and now the deepest
Blue Robinson,
McConaghy boats are renowned for building the some of the fastest yachts afloat. Now McConaghy construction skills have been used by film maker/explorer James Cameron - who has just entered the history books and became the first person to make a solo dive to the ocean's deepest point.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet enjoys downwind conditions
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams have begun to enjoy some extended downwind sailing. 'So the downwind sailing for leg six has finally commenced,' reveals Rupert Dean, skipper of Welcome to Yorkshire. 'It's a great chance to make good speed and generally dry things out above and below decks,' continues Rupert.... [more]
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RC44 Championship Tour heads to Portugal
RC44 Class Association,
RC44 Cascais Cup - Patrick de Barros, one of Portugal's most celebrated entrepreneurs and sportsmen, is hoping for a jubilant return to the RC44 class on his home waters of Cascais. A new team will be testing the waters in Portugal, Brian Benjamin better known in the world of Maxi Racing will be racing in Portugal with his Team Aegir.... [more]
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