The crew of Akatea - second monohull to finish - enjoy a quiet rum in Noumea Sail Noumea 2012
Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for June 10, 2012
The Evolution Sails Sail Noumea 2012 race wrapped up this afternoon, as the final finished, Iolanthe II crossed the line under storm trysail and jib.
17 boats started the race, with five being recorded as retired, after a testing race marked by extremes of weather. Light winds for the first two days, and then a pummelling as a front crossed the fleet on Monday night.
The 2012 fleet was a long way short of the 48 entries for the 1967 event, in the days when it was organised by the Whangarei Cruising Club. But that was a different era – when most people worked a five day week, and Gay was still a girl's name.
Certainly Sail Noumea 2012 has been an interesting race from a coverage point of view. The advent of tracking systems and Predictwind has made a huge difference to the way offshore racing is covered.
V5 enters the marina at Noumea, and was the first monohull to finish Sail Noumea 2012 Sail Noumea 2012
At Sail-World we are able to see the ratings for various stories. Since Sail Noumea started last Saturday week, the stories were the top raters in New Zealand. At one stage we had four stories on site, and they took the top four slots. That's against the major international news – Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup, Skandia Sail for Gold and the myriad of other international sailing stories that get covered each week on Sail-World.com.
That's a long way from the '67 days, when the interweb wasn't on the scene, and daily race reports were only possible when the RNZAF flew over the race fleet - and reported back maybe with pictures.
Also finishing overnight was the Skandia Sail for Gold regatta. A mixed bag of results for New Zealand. Two crews won medals in the 10 events contested, and another three made the cut for the top ten for the Medal races. By implication New Zealand didn't make the cut in five of the Olympic events. It was a passable result for the Paralympians competing in two events.
With 48 days left to the Olympics it is very unwise to go into Medal predictions at this stage. Too much can happen when the regatta gets underway. Maybe after the Olympics have been underway a couple of days, one can form a few as to how things might shake out on the medal front – but not before.
For the train spotters, one way to test the results is not so much to look at where a competitor finished at this point in time, but who they beat. That will tell you the depth of the fleet, and a similar exercise across several World Cup events will give a better view.
One of the things must be remembered is that the top international competitors (especially the British) do not go into every regatta, with an intense, must win attitude. Instead some are used as events to try gear, and development. The result is less important than the learning experience.
The Volvo Ocean Race is in its final stages, with just 10 days of ocean racing left, and is definitely not in the learning experience category. Every point is vital for the four boats in the hunt for the top places, and the slope got a bit steeper overnight for those who performed badly in the In Port race in Lisbon, on Saturday night (NZT).
The race was notable for the penalty imposed on Telefonica. After the race, skipper Iker Martinez vented on the Umpire decision. We have the report in this edition.
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