Sailing World Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and the latest sailing news

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 05 Apr 2012

Sailing World Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and the latest sailing news

Welcome to's Europe 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 around 60 nautical miles south of Punta del Este. (Credit: Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team/Volvo Ocean Race)  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.

On day 3 of the 43rd Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma, Spain Thierry Schmitter (NED) leads the 2.4mr class, Marit Bouwmeester (NED) the Laser Radial fleet, Jonas Warrer and Soren Hansen (DEN) have taken the lead in the 49er fleet while Croatian pair of Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic lead the Mens 470 fleet. Emmanuelle Rol and Hélène Defrance (FRA) lead the Womens 470 fleet and Claire Leroy and crew Elodie Bertrand, Marie Riou (FRA) lie second in the Womens Match Racing qualifiers.

43 Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia Mapfre   © Jesus Renedo / Sofia Mapfre

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

Volvo Ocean Race - Tension mounts onboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 18 of Leg 5. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: I'd like to be able to say we're the last boat standing, because as the only boat yet to suspend racing this leg that's the way it feels, but in actual fact Telefónica is very much a threat to our first leg win as they make their charge well to the east.... [more]
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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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Rolex China Sea Race fleet splits
At the 50th Anniversary Rolex China Sea Race there has been a split in the fleet. Alan Tillyer on Genuine Risk gave some on-the-water details. 'The first night was a bit bumpy to begin with and we had up to about 15 knots of wind. We ran off low and made good progress South. The wind then eased and headed up slightly; we kept going with that wind.... [more]
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Les Voiles de St. Barth day 2 - A chance to perform
Sabina Mollart-Rogerson,
On day 2 of the Les Voiles de St. Barth the fleet were offered a chance to perform in a variable 8-12 knot easterly breeze. The first off the line were Classic and Non-Spinnaker Racing classes.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Knut Frostad says boat failure rate is unacceptable
After only one of the six boat fleet has not suspended racing, at some point on the fifth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, VOR CEO Knut Frostad has issued a statement expressing his concern at the continuing instances of boats suffering serious damage in the 2011-12 edition.... [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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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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Volvo Ocean Race - Camper confident of quickfire pit stop + Video
Lucy Harwood,
Volvo Ocean Race - Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand reached their pit stop in Puerto Montt, Chile at 2100 local time on Tuesday night. The shore crew, led by Neil Cox, wasted no time in assessing the hull with a full ultrasound survey to check for no further unseen damage. Camper are confident of resuming racing in leg five to Itajai over the weekend... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race leading duo continue to battle
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race teams Groupama 4 and Puma Ocean Racing are continuing their close-contact match off Plate River, on the seventeenth day of racing in leg five from Auckland to Itajai. A lot further South, the Spanish are gradually clawing back their deficit... The trajectory against a moderate northerly wind will take the leading duo along the coast of Uruguay and Brazil as far as Itajai... [more]
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AC World Series Naples - Artemis Racing announce line-up
Artemis Racing,
Artemis Racing, Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup, will begin training tomorrow in Naples, Italy for the fourth America's Cup World Series (ACWS) event, which gets underway on 11th April and runs to 15th April. Skipper Terry Hutchinson (USA) and the Artemis Racing crew will be competing in AC45s against eight other professional sailing crews from seven countries.... [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 Leg 5 - Puma's fight for first place continues
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 17 of Leg 5. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: And so the match race continues. Another day, another few tacks. Groupama and us are always within sight of each other and realistically, this could be the way it stays until the finish. We've long ago accepted the fact that we wont be getting much of a break before then!... [more]
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Garda Optimist Meeting at Fraglia Vela Riva preview
Elena Giolai,
Garda Optimist Meeting, organised by Fraglia Vela Riva with the support of Kinder+Sport, starts with the opening ceremony on Wednesday 4th April and ends on Sunday 8th April. A lively, colourful, multi-national invasion has been taking place on Trentino Garda over the last few days with the arrival of the participants.... [more]
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Rolex China Sea Race - Genuine Risk leads at first sked
The Rolex China Sea Race got underway today under near-perfect conditions for a start in Victoria Harbour, just off the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. Good Easterly breeze at about 12-15 knots gave the 26 participating boats the push they needed to get the 50th Anniversary race underway.... [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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