After several days of sticky sailing and frustratingly light air, the lead boats in the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) are now punching into developing trade winds, which are immediately registering as double-digit figures on their speedos.
Currently, Puma Ocean Racing's Mar Mostro is leading the charge, followed nearly 20 miles astern by Emirates Team New Zealand's (ENTZ) Camper and then Telefonica, another 20 miles behind their Kiwi-flagged friends. 'We'd be happy to be another 40 miles east than where we are now, but, at the same time, we are only 180 nm off the coast, so the breeze only has to shift 10 degrees further right and we'd be very happy with where we are,' lamented ENTZ's navigator, Australia's Will Oxley.
And in latest America's Cup news, America's Cup Regatta Director, Iain Murray, has confirmed reports that his organization has offered New Zealand a pre-Cup regatta, to be contested in the new AC72-class wing sail-powered catamarans. 'We have offered to go to New Zealand and provide a three-day series,' said Murray. 'It would be a test session for us and we would use the full electronic controls, which mean that race boundaries would be used and we would interface with the full electronics package.' Current speculation holds that three teams—ENTZ, Oracle Racing and Luna Rossa—will take part in the informal regatta, although there is no official word as to venue, or if New Zealand will even accept the offer
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