Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for 9 April 2012
The Volvo Ocean Race takes another turn, with the restart for Camper and Groupama. The former in full race mode with 2700nm to sail on Leg 5, and the latter with just 650nm to sail under jury rig.
Leg 5 was won by Puma Racing after a match race for the final 1000nm, first with Groupama before she dropped her rig, and then with Telefonica, after she picked up a front and was able to sail 10kts or more faster, and wind back a 17hour deficit.
Deservedly the only boat not to have suspended racing at some stage of Leg 5, took the winner's points.
The fact that only one boat did not suspend racing, plus the fact that another two are heading to different ports to rejoin the race aboard a ship, will be a cause for much discussion.
Our take is that if you want to sail around the world in extreme boats, you have to accept the carnage that goes with that type.
It is probably no co-incidence that after reporting that they had just exceeded 40kts, two boats advised that they had suffered hull damage in their next report. Clearly the Volvo Ocean Race, or Rally, as it should be called, is being sailed in boats whose crews can take more punishment than the boats.
Whether that is good or bad, depends on your point of view. Certainly the extreme boats provide some excellent racing and results are always in doubt right to the finish. But the downside is that you have to accept the carnage, and that means that only some of the fleet will finish each leg. In fact in only one full leg out of five, have all six boats finished in a normal race finish.
But all credit to Puma and her skipper Ken Read for leading his team back from the disaster of Leg 1, to win what is the toughest leg in this race. In this edition we feature a long interview, from Auckland, with Ken Read (who is also a Vice President of North Sails), about the race so far - there are some fairly incisive comments about their performance and that of others in the race.
The America's Cup is building to a start in the World Series in Naples, and we feature reports and images from the opening days. The event has been changed with more fleet racing and less match racing. the duration has been cut to five days and just nine teams will compete. A key point of interest will be in the performance of new entrant, Luna Rossa, who will have two boats sailing.
At the other extreme of the catamaran world, we have reports from the Paper Tiger International being sailed in Melbourne, where New Zealand is cleaning up nicely in the big fleet.
From Palma, Spain we have reports from the Princess Sofia Trophy where New Zealand competed in some classes. Best performance came in the Star Class, Mens Two Man Keelboat, where but for a double penalty in the final stages of the medal race, the New Zealand crew of Hamish Pepper and Jim Turner would have won the event, from a very classy field.
New Zealand's Dan Slater, also finished in fifth place in the Mens Heavyweight Single Hander (Finn) after a final race controversy. We have details in this edition of Sail-World.
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