Aussies everywhere —Sailing News from around the world
After an exciting, nail-biting nine months of inshore and open-ocean tactical combat, the final guns have sounded in the 2011/2012 Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). This year's event saw multiple teams topping the leaderboard at different points as the fleet completed their fully crewed 'laps' of the planet.
One-time leader Telefonica—seemingly untouchable for the first portion of the race—saw their fortunes evaporate as VOR newcomer Groupama snatched away the overall win, followed by Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and Puma Ocean Racing. The Spanish-flagged team that once looked so strong had to settle for fourth-place.
Yesterday marked the official end to racing as crews saddled up one last time for the Discover Ireland In-Port Race. Interestingly, the VOR created a separate in-shore championship, as these short-course events test sailors in ways that the offshore legs simply can't match. Skipper Ken Read's Puma Ocean Racing proved untouchable in the final in-shore sprint, besting the fleet of five other VO70s and cinching up his overall victory in the in-port series, despite yesterday's victory being his only all-out in-shore win.
'Winning anything is fun, whether it's an In-Port Race or a game of checkers,' reported Read. 'And, it's fun to compete against the best sailors in the world. We definitely waited pretty long for an In-Port win, but consistency paid off. We're really pleased, and I'm happy for the whole program – it's a great way to finish.' Australian Skipper Chris Nicholson's ETNZ finished second in the Discover Ireland In-Port Race, while skipper Iker Martinez' Telefonica squad rallied to finish in third-place.
For fans of the expensive-yet-spectacular Volvo Open 70 design (ourselves included!), yesterday was also a bittersweet moment. It represented the last time that these magnificent open-ocean thoroughbreds will compete for the VOR's prestigious trophies, as the race is moving to a One Design format for the next few editions. While the racing will be more level and the budgets far more reasonable, there's something sad about leaving behind a world of technological and design-related innovation, but—thankfully—the flipside also includes the promise of more teams, tighter competition and a lighter environmental footprint, all of which are worthy objectives. Big congratulations to all of the sailors who just completed this year's VOR, and stay tuned for updates on the next edition, as they unfurl.
Don't miss the latest news and developments from the the World Match Racing Tour Stena Cup where Aussie veteran Peter Gilmour came second, Extreme Sailing Series Act 4 (taking place in Porto, Portugal), the Lake Ontario 300, the Route Halifax Saint-Pierre 2012, the upcoming Chicago Match Cup (which takes place this coming week - with WA's Keith Swinton sailing there ), and the wrap-up report from the Farr 40 North Americans, with Guido Belgiorno-Nettis's (Sydney, Australia) Transfusion team preparing for the Worlds in September.
Lots of entries flowing in for the key Queensland regattas now coming up fast!!
The northern action continues and later this week the 2012 Laser Radial Mens World Championship will start at RQYS. We will report from the water.
Just before the Olympics the 29er World Championship 2012 is being held at Travemunde, Germany from 22nd to 28th July and 18ft Skiff skipper/sail maker Andrew Chapman (Fisher and Paykel) will be on the start line. More on 29ers with the Australian Mid-Winter Youth Championships being sailed out of RQYS and we have regular reports.
You've probably noticed the regular flow of new products from Barz Optics the Gold Coast (Queensland, Australia) based Sunglass Company who is exporting their products to France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Croatia, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, USA, Brazil, Malta and Dubai. Barz Optics continues to prove they are one of the most innovative optics companies around. Well done to Kevin and his team!!
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