Speed, Cup dreams and the Vendee—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

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28 Nov 2012

Speed, Cup dreams and the Vendee—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

Larsen is now the official holder of the WSSRC's 'Outright World and World 'B' Division Sailing Speed Record', but Douglas has already let it be known that he plans to try to recapture his title at this year's Luderitz Speed Challenge (December 3-16 for kiteboarders). Get the scoop on Larsen's latest record, and stay tuned for more, as it unfurls.

Ben Ainslie (GBR) at The London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition.
  onEdition ©

Meanwhile, in Olympic sailing circles, Team Great Britain's Ben Ainslie-the storied winner of four Gold and one Silver Olympic Sailing medals-formally announced his retirement from Olympic sailing. 'When I look back there are so many special memories; from that first medal in Atlanta 16 years ago to carrying the flag at the closing ceremony in London 2012,' reported Ainslie. 'London was an incredibly special Olympics, competing on home waters and in front of a home crowd, I don't think anything will be able to top that experience. But you have to move forwards and it is time to move onto the next challenge in my career.'

For Ainslie, this next challenge is America's Cup World Series 2012/2013, where he is skipper of J.P. Morgan-backed Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) team, and the build-up to the 34th America's Cup as he gets ready to work with Oracle Racing next year, driving one of the team's two AC72s in pre-Cup training.

Team J.P. Morgan BAR racing in San Francisco, CA  © Jon Nash / J.P.Morgan BAR

'The America's Cup has always been a goal for me,' said Ainslie, who has high and long-term ambitions for his BAR team. 'With the new format of the America's Cup World Series and the increased commercialization of the event, I feel confident that we can continue to build towards creating a commercially viable team, with the ultimate goal of challenging for the 35th America's Cup.' More, inside.

Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss - 2012 Vendee Globe  Alex Thomson Racing - copyright

And in offshore-sailing circles, Alex Thomson (GBR) has rocketed into second place in the singlehanded, nonstop-and-unassisted-around-the-world Vendee Globe Race. While happy to see his place advance on the thirteen-strong fleet, Thomson was quick to acknowledge that this fortune could prove short-lived, depending on how the leading pack of IMOCA 60s enters the Roaring 40s, en route to the first of the three great capes. Don't miss the full multi-media Vendee Globe report, inside this issue.

Also inside, get the latest previews of the World Match Racing Tour's upcoming Monsoon Cup, learn about the 49erFX's World Cup debut at this year's Sail Melbourne, and find out why Syd Fischer, 85, is particularly excited to sail in this year's Sydney-Hobart Race (his 44th).

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

WSSR Council announces establishment of a new World Record
John Reed, WSSR Council,
The WSSR Council has now announced the establishment of a new World Record. Current 'B' category record: 2012. Vestas SailRocket. Paul Larsen AUS. Walvis Bay, NAM. 54.08 kts... [more]
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Tuna dies at the age of 94
US Sailing and ISAF,
One of the great characters of sailing Arthur J. 'Tuna' Wullschleger died Sunday, November 25, at the age of 94 years. Tuna was a key figure as well in the America's Cup where he participated in several New York Yacht Club Defender syndicates in the 70's and on into the 80's where he led their America II Syndicate to Perth Australia in an attempt to win back the America's Cup from the Australians... [more]
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UON SB20 World Championships -- online registration ends on Saturday
Lisa Ratcliff,
The field of competitors for the upcoming UON SB20 World Championships at Hamilton Island next month is almost set with late entries having until 5 pm Saturday, 1 December, to register online for the prestigious racing event. The 2012 UON SB20 World Championship will feature champions and contenders coming from Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East as they gun for the ov... [more]
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Enter or nominate for PWA Islas Canarias Windsurfing Excellence Awards
Chris Yates,
The race for the PWA Islas Canarias Windsurfing Excellence Awards is beginning to heat up as the competition heads towards its climax. Since their launch in June this year, windsurfers from all across the world have been entering or nominating entries for the awards, now the deadline for entries is in sight as the competition shall conclude in January 2013.... [more]
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Vendee Globe chess match commences + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) torpedoed into second place at the 1500 GMT ranking today. Although he feels it will be short lived, 'Up to second place on the rankings! Will be short lived when Macif and Virbac get the new wind first but happy anyway!'... [more]
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Captain Krilanovich takes the helm of Vessel Assist Santa Cruz
D. Scott Croft/BoatUS,
Captain Eric Krilanovich is the new owner of Vessel Assist Santa Cruz, which comes to the aid of boaters that need a jumpstart, have run out of fuel, broken down or run aground.... [more]
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Sail Melbourne - 49erFX to debut at ISAF Sailing World Cup
In only five days' time, Melbourne will welcome the Olympic sailing world for the first ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta of the 2012-2013 series. The 49erFX will be seen on the world stage for the first time at a major international regatta and with seven entries, five from Australia, one from Norway and one from New Zealand, it marks the start of the road to Rio.... [more]
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WMRT Monsoon Cup - Minoprio, Alpari Racing Team ready for battle
Leigh Ireland,
2012 Monsoon Cup wildcard Adam Minoprio has confirmed that he will lead the newly-formed Alpari Racing Team at the closing event of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour next month, and expects his team to be back to their Championship-winning best, seven years after their first outing in Malaysia.... [more]
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2012 Paralympic Games a winner in global TV ratings
The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a TV ratings winner with pictures shown in more countries than ever before and attracted their biggest ever international audience according to new figures published by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Thomson in third, complications for Gabart
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Jean-Pierre Dick's (Virbac Paprec 3) loss is Alex Thomson's (Hugo Boss) gain. Dick's decision to dip south away from the theoretical and shortest route, gambling that he will gain miles on the winds gradually shifting to the west in order to propel him to the Cape of Good Hope has meant that Thomson has slipped into third place.... [more]
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RYA responds to Ainslie's Olympic sailing retirement
Matt Carter,
Four-time Olympic Champion Ben Ainslie has now announced that he is to retire from Olympic sailing in order to fully focus on his ambition to win the America's Cup. In response, John Derbyshire, RYA Performance Director, commented: 'Ben has always made it clear that his two career goals have been to win Olympic gold, and to win the America's Cup.... [more]
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Competitors already pumped up for 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Bruce Montgomery,
The 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is expected to provide the action and drama every sailing enthusiast craves for as Australia's living legend Syd Fischer banners a field of world class competitors slugging it out for glory in one of the most popular sailing events in the world.... [more]
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Rolex Watch U.S.A. extends support of US Sailing
Jan Harley,
US Sailing and Rolex Watch U.S.A. have announced that the iconic watch brand will extend its support of sailing's national governing body through the renewal of its long-standing sponsorship.... [more]
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Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Championship overall
Jerelyn Biehl,
At the Snipe Western Hemisphere and Orient Champs, Bruno Bethlem and Dante Bianchi proved their championship status by adding one more title to their resume. Three races were held on the final day on the Mar del Plata, finally serving up the conditions everyone had come for. The gradually building sea breeze was back with races held in 15-20 knots and providing optimal conditions for the Snipe.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Ice gate position shifts + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique), in the North Atlantic, crossed the Equator this morning at 0807 GMT. 'Here it is hot everywhere! I just take good wind finally. Today I did a ceremony for the passage of Ecuador and I gave a little rum offered by Didier Elin Neptune and the boat with rice and salt (Japanese style).... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Jeans make a westward gamble
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, the front guns are slowing as they negotiate a light passage between the Saint Helena high and a depression forming off Argentina. The fleet this morning crossed the symbolic 20,000 miles theoretical distance to finish (DTF Distance To Finish), Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire), the most easterly of boats slowed down to a crawling ten knots.... [more]
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