What a finish to Leg 5 in the Volvo Ocean Race, congratulations to Ken Read and PUMA who crossed the finish line some 13 minutes ahead of Groupama in Itajai. After a phenomenal battle where the two skippers were covering each other close to shore, followed by the unfortunate mast failure on Groupama earlier this week, the PUMA crew had clear sailing conditions to Itajai ahead of them. There was one small issue though, their duel with Groupama had taken them away from the favorable conditions further out in the Southern Atlantic where Telefonica was enjoying faster speed closing in on them. Who would have thought that a 400 mile lead at the Horn could have dwindled so rapidly; the last few hundred miles were certainly interesting to follow on-line. Groupama is now back in the hunt after setting up a jury rig in Punta del Este; they have their eyes on the last podium place. The burning question on everyone's lips these days, including VOR CEO Knut Frostad, is whether the current breed of VOR 70 yachts are too fragile for the Southern Ocean conditions, or did they all run out of luck in this leg; an interesting topic to follow.
The Canadian Sailing Team is reporting challenging conditions at the 2012 Trofeo SAR Princesa Sofia Mapfre Olympic World Cup in Palma, Spain. Best results so far are Chris Cook in third in the Finn, Clarke and Bjorn in eighth in the Start and Paul Tingley, also in eighth, in the 2.4m Paralympic class. The regatta wraps up tomorrow.
The Global Ocean Race fleet has finally said goodbye to Punta del Este, Uruguay after a 24 hour delay caused by the late arrival of a shipping container full of race supplies. Cessna Citation is currently leading the way in the South Atlantic towards Charleston, South Carolina.
Artemis Racing started training yesterday in Naples in preparation for the upcoming America's Cup World Series event; this will be event number 4 in the series. Future venues this spring include Venice in May and Newport, Rhode Island in June. Competition will be fierce in Italy, as always the action will be streamed live on the AC YouTube channel.
Finally, a contingent of young Canadian sailors are living the dream in Brazil this week-end; they are part in the South American Optimist Championship where over 150 racers are competing.
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