Volvo, Global Ocean Race and GBR charge to the London Olympics

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 05 Apr 2012

Volvo, Global Ocean Race and GBR charge to the London Olympics

Welcome to this edition of's UK newsletter.

In 2009, Ericsson 3 stunned the sailing world with their juggernaut victory in the Southern Ocean leg of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), despite a late start due to significant hull delamination. Flash forward three years, and a glance at the VOR's leaderboard yesterday had revealed a razor-thin separation between Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro and Groupama. Mar Mostro held a 0.9-mile lead over Groupama).

But suddenly the world changed with Groupama's dismasting.

Groupama Sailing Team, skippered by Franck Cammas from France, suspend racing from leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil, after the mast broke just above the first spreader   Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race

Telefonica is currently holding second place, some 70-plus miles astern of the leader. Impressive, given that the team had to stop at Caleta Martial, a cove on Chile's Herschel Island, to make repairs—a mission that cost them 19 hours of racing—but mostly a function of a high-pressure system that stalled Groupama and Mar Mostro, while Telefonica continued to enjoy good breeze.

Now, a few days later, Iker Martinez and his Telefonica crew have all but sewn up a second position (provided, of course, that Telefonica's repairs hold together for the next 843 miles). The question now, however, is a matter of gold or silver.

While it would be a jaw-dropper to see Telefonica pull an Ericsson 3 and snag this victory, the chances are fairly slim .

Meanwhile, in Puerto Montt, Chile, Emirates Team New Zealand's shore team is hard at work, scrambling to repair their delaminated Camper. Repairs are expected to take roughly 72 hours, from the time the clock started. Depending on when the Kiwis decamp, they could well see their friends from Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, who have also diverted to this Chilean port to make repairs after reporting 'new, funky noises' from their repaired panel aboard the Azzam. Get the full VOR report, inside.

Meanwhile, in actual One Design news, the 43 TROFEO S.A.R. PRINCESA SOFÍA MAPFRE is taking place in Mallorca, where sailors from 50-plus countries are enjoying stellar, Olympic-class racing on the beautiful Bay of Palma.

Ben Ainslie continues on his 2012 Olympic campaign. Big Ben maintains a sizeable lead over the rest of the Finn fleet. Helena Lucas is second in the 2.4MR, John Pink and Rick Peacock are second in the 49er class. In the Star class with Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson are in first place while in the Womens Match Racing Gold group, Lucy Macgregor (GBR) and her crew top the group.

Ben Ainslie (Finn) - Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre 2012 Day 3 ©

And in America's Cup circles, the news has broken that one of the French national teams, Aleph–Equipe de France, has withdrawn from both the America's Cup World Series and the 34th America's Cup, citing tough economic times and the reality of building and racing wingsail-powered catamarans. 'We fought hard, with all our drive and enthusiasm, to find a budget allowing us to participate in the final phase of the 34th America's Cup,' said Philippe Ligot, Aleph's CEO. 'We did not want to compete with resources that would not allow us to credibly challenge the best teams. France has, without a doubt, all the sporting, technical and managerial talent to win the Cup but the current economic environment makes funding a commercial team extremely difficult.'

Also inside, get the latest from the Global Ocean Race and the Clipper Around the World Race, where two injured crewmembers were rescued from the Geraldton Western Australia by a US Coast Guard ship after a huge wave swept the raceboat several days ago.

And finally, be sure to check out Guido Trombetta's great image gallery of the final day of racing at the RC44 Cascais Cup.

May the four winds blow you safely home, team

Global Ocean Race - Cessna Citation leads the fleet
Oliver Dewar,
The Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) fleet of Class40s tacked away from the Uruguayan coast in unison at 20:00 GMT on Wednesday with Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough, onboard Cessna Citation leading the fleet due east into the South Atlantic, beating on port tack in northerly wind.... [more]
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UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix Round 1 at Stone Sailing Club + Video
Ben Clothier,
UK 18ft Skiff Grand Prix Round 1 was held at Stone Sailing Club. Whilst the Australian 18ft skiff season finished last weekend on the other side of the world the new skiff season started. Six UK teams arrived in Essex to compete. On Saturday a mixed forecast contributed to a difficult rig choice with two of the six teams opting for smaller rigs.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Latest images from onboard - Groupama dismasting
Yann Riou, Groupama,
Groupama's MCM, Yann Riou, has just filed these images taken aboard the Volvo Ocean race entry Groupama, skippered by Franck Cammas, after her dismasting 650nm from the finish of Leg 5 in Itajai, Brazil... [more]
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Les Voiles de St. Barth - Day 2 images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery Images,
Photographer Ingrid Abery shares with us images from the action taking place on day two of the 2012 Les Voiles de St. Barth... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race CEO concerned about serious damage to boats
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race's Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Knut Frostad, issued a statement on Wednesday expressing his concern at the continuing instances of boats suffering serious damage in the 2011-12 edition. Frostad, who competed in the race four times himself, said it was not acceptable to have so many incidents of boats failing in a Volvo Ocean Race.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Drama as Groupama dismasted
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, Groupama's dismasting while in the lead earlier today, leaves Puma with only Telefónica able to challenge them for the lead in the final stage of what has been a drama filled Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajaí. With 677 nautical miles (nm) to go to the finish line, Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) dismasted 60 nm south of Punta del Este... [more]
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Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofía Mapfre Day 3 - High stakes racing
Corinne Rolland-McKenzie,
Day three of the 43rd Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma ended the qualification stage for the classes sailing in groups. The Lasers, 470 and 49ers will be split on Thursday in Gold and Silver fleets with a Bronze fleet only for Lasers and 49ers. With racing on schedule, all classes are discarding tonight their worse results creating some changes in the classification.... [more]
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Delta Lloyd Regatta set to premiere Olympic sailing
Rick van Wijngaarden,
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Delta Lloyd Regatta, is set to take place from May 22-26 in Medemblik, The Netherlands and will have a world premiere for Olympic sailing. Sailors are in a tough situation where they have to make certain choices on which sailing events they wish to attend. Next to all preparations for the 2012 Olympic Games... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Princesa Sofia regatta - Finn fleet on day 3
Robert Deaves,
On day three of the Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre Regatta, there was another first and second for Ben Ainslie (GBR) giving him a comfortable lead of 11 points at the top of the Finn fleet. Daniel Birgmark (SWE) remains in second overall, while Zach Railey (USA), who won the first race of the day, moves up to third.... [more]
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Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre Women's Match Racing - Day 3
Day three at the 43rd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Mapfre proved to be a big one for the six teams in the Repechage - only two would advance to the Quarter Finals, the other four go home. The racing was very close with Ekaterina Skudina (RUS) winning the round with four wins and only one loss.... [more]
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Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre - Ainslie tops fleet at halfway mark
Lindsey Bell,
Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre third day, the halfway stage, provided light and shifty wind conditions. Ben Ainslie and the Star duo of Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson made the best of the conditions to top their fleets. The triple Olympic Champion Ainslie increased his lead to 11 points at the top of the Finn class standings... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race Leg 5 - Groupama 4 suspend racing after dismasting
Franck Cammas advised his shore crew, at around 1500 UTC today, that Groupama 4 had dismasted 650 miles offshore of the coast of Uruguay, whilst leading leg 5 from Auckland to Itajai. When the incident happened, Groupama 4 was sailing upwind on port tack in a northerly wind of around twenty knots.... [more]
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British Keelboat Academy sailors focus on 2012 campaigns
Matt Carter,
The British Keelboat Academy is a joint keelboat racing initiative between the RYA and UKSA. Sailors from the academy are all geared up for a busy racing season which begins this coming weekend, from sixth to 8th April, at the RORC Easter Challenge. The BKA sailors have undergone an intense winter training programme, focused on preparing both their boats and crews for successful 2012 campaigns... [more]
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Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - British trials preview
Trish Jenkins,
Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - The Royal Ocean Racing Club's more open rating bands for the event are having the desired effect: As the deadline closed for teams wishing to enter the British trials for this July's Cowes-based event, so 17 boats had registered - a near record compared to past trials.... [more]
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America's Cup World Series – Interview with Jimmy Spithill
Tim Jeffery,
The upcoming America's Cup World Series Naples invokes fond memories for Jimmy Spithill. The Oracle Racing skipper was helmsman of the Luna Rossa Challenge 2007, which advanced to the Louis Vuitton Cup final. Spithill says he's looking forward to seeing the fans' passion from the other side.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Second competitor withdraws from Leg 5
Before reaching the Chilean port of Puerto Montt, the Emirati entry in the Volvo Ocean Race has withdrawn from Leg 5. An announcement from the team tonight said they have officially retired from the Volvo Ocean Race's gruelling Southern Ocean Leg 5 today to carry out urgent repairs to its yacht Azzam and ensure full competitiveness for the final four legs of the global sailing event.... [more]
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Laser 4.7 and Standard Youth World Championship day 4
Laser Youth Worlds edited,
Today the 117 competitors sailed races three and four of the Laser 4.7 and Standard Youth World Championship.... [more]
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Jules Verne Trophy Prizegiving - Brian Thompson honoured
Vicky Pounds,
Jules Verne Trophy - Brian Thompson was helmsman and trimmer for Banque Populaire V and the only British crew member onboard the maxi trimaran. Yesterday he was honoured in Paris for the fastest navigation of the world. Thompson becomes one of a handful of British sailors to have received the trophy and the first for 18 years.... [more]
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ISAF Presidential Candidate plans to sail a new course,
There will be an election for a new ISAF President at the annual conference in Dublin Ireland in November 2012. Australia's David Kellett, who for 14 years has been on the ISAF executive - ten years as a Vice President and four as ISAF treasurer - was the first person to formally advise his intention to stand for the ISAF President at the end of 2011.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta 2013 to be hosted by Melbourne
ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta third venue is to be hosted by Melbourne, Australia from 2013 onwards. The regatta will kick start the 2013-2014 Sailing World Cup at Sandringham, Yacht Club from 2-8 December 2012 with the agreement running until 2015.... [more]
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Clipper Round The World Yacht Race - Injured crew members recovering
Isabel Hokken,
After 30 days at sea, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race entry Geraldton Western Australia made its way into the marina at Oakland, California.... [more]
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RYA Volvo Youth National Championships - Challenging conditions abound
Matt Carter,
Charlie Cox and Craig Dibb, last year's 420 RYA Volvo Youth National Champions, turned on the style in some very challenging and chaotic conditions as the duo posted what was undoubtedly the performance of day two out in Cardigan Bay (Tuesday 3 April).... [more]
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Global Ocean Race fleet make steady but slow progress
Oliver Dewar,
Following the Global Ocean Race's busy build-up to the start of Leg 4, from Punta del Este to Charleston, the four double-handed Class40 teams have made steady but slow progress over the first 24 hours along the coast of Uruguay led by Cessna Citation with the fleet spread over 15 miles.... [more]
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America's Cup: French National team withdraws from ACWS and Cup
Equipe de France announces its withdrawal from the 34th America's Cup and from the America's Cup World Series 2011/2012 circuit.... [more]
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Phantom Open at Frensham Pond
Jeff Dolton,
The windguru curse and the difficulty of getting fuel, was a deterrent for some people for travelling, but a small and very select group arrived at the pond to be greeted by beautiful sunshine and a mirror calm lake. Fortunately, for Race officer Bruce Hill, some pressure appeared on the water and the first race started with only a short delay.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Princesa Sofia regatta - GBR excels on day 2
Lindsey Bell,
On day two of the 43rd Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Mafpre regatta, Palma Bay dished up improved conditions, with British boats occupying the top spots in the Finn, 470 Women and 49er events at the end of racing on Tuesday (3 April).... [more]
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Royal Southern Academy Match Cup - Perfect score for Team Wight Match
Peta Stuart-Hunt,
Royal Southern Academy Match Cup first round was held over the weekend of 31st March and 1st April on the Solent in Laser SB3s. Sam Pearson led from the front throughout the Heat. Pearson, with Tristan Jaques on main and tactics and Tom Dawson trimming, booked his place in the 2012 Final with a perfect score of 10 wins and no losses in the Round Robins... [more]
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Lightning 368 Open at Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre
Lightning 368 Class Association,
Lightning 368 Open was held at Hillingdon Outdoor Activities Centre. Five visitors joined the six local boats for the first open of the year to be greeted by bright sunshine and a gentle breeze across the lake. Three of the new boats were present with Caroline Key's shiny new beast, 413 only seeing water for the second time.... [more]
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Ker 40 takes home the trifecta
Ellen Pragnell-Raasch,
Connel McLarens' McConaghy buiilt Ker 40 Ice Breaker is yet again at the top of her division, following the win at the Bay of Islands Regatta back in January. Ice Breaker took home the trifecta last week at The BMW Cup, coming first in PHRF A-Division, IRC Nationals and winning the overall BWM Trophy.... [more]
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RS200s at Draycote Water SC
Draycote Water SC hosted the first RS200 Gul series event of the year. The 200s embraced the customary general recalls but once away, local sailors in 1273 stormed in to lead.... [more]
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