Chess games and offshore refits—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

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19 Dec 2012

Chess games and offshore refits—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

'I've entered the Pacific Ocean? Wow, that's great, another ocean for me!' reported Gabert to the Vendee Globe TV. 'That's perfect, let's round Cape Horn and go home, now.' No doubt the sentiment is the same aboard 'Banque Populaire', given the sheer duration of this tactical tussle.

François Gabart, the young chess master  © François Gabart / MACIF

Elsewhere in the fleet, the remaining miles of the Indian Ocean have been dealing a walloping (read big seas and serious breeze) that's threatening to break both man and machine aboard Bertrand de Broc's 'Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM Projets'. The French-flagged skipper managed to mash-up his elbow and also tear-out a stanchion, creating a dangerous new 'aperture' in his hull. According to the latest reports, de Broc is considering anchoring in either Australia or New Zealand and trying to effect a watertight DIY job, so as not to disqualify himself from the race.

Meanwhile, Jean Le Cam ('SynerCiel') described one of the most poetic wipeouts imaginable in a recent onboard report. 'I did an incredible nosedive, the ‘nicest' crash in my life,' he said. 'It was like crashing your car at full speed into butter.' Better that than the slamming landing that is closer to hitting a brick wall with the hull.' Get the full Vendee Globe scoop, including some great 'air guitar' work by Tanguy De Lamotte (Initiatives Cœur), inside.

Tanguy De Lamotte plays a mean air guitar  Tanguy De Lamotte (FRA) / Initiatives Coeur

Also offshore related, Southern Spars has been named the official spar builder for the 2014/2015 and 2017/2018 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). Southern Spars will be building these carbon-fiber sticks for the new Farr-designed One Design Volvo Ocean 65. 'We will also be using our Thin Ply Technology in the rigs to get the best combination of stiffness and strength,' reported Southern Spars' Kevin Batten. 'The thin layers give us the ability to create a more highly engineered structure, with better margins of safety in key areas.'

And in Australia, sailors and raceboats are in their final-preparation modes as Boxing Day (December 26) approaches, bringing with it the start to Australia's notorious Sydney-Hobart Race. Bob Oatley, owner of the infamous 'Wild Oats XI', a Reichel-Pugh-designed 100-foot super maxi, today revealed some interesting modifications that he hopes will help him to break his own course record of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes, and 10 seconds. These changes include 'keel winglets', a retractable bow centerboard and a new Code Zero headsail, as well as plenty of miles spent testing, tweaking and perfecting.

Wild Oats XI revealing speed enhancing underwater modifications at Woolwich Dock  Peter Blakeman

'As was all too evident for us last year, we can't control the weather, but we can go into the race knowing that we can do no more when it comes to having the fastest possible yacht, and that is the case this year,' said Mark Richards, 'Wild Oats XI's' skipper. 'Wild Oats XI has never been better prepared for a Rolex Sydney Hobart race. Now it's up to us – the crew – and the weather to decide the outcome.' Amen!

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

America's Cup: One year on for Luna Rossa
Luna Rossa,
On January 7, 2012, the first of the two AC 45 Luna Rossa catamarans was launched in Auckland, after rushing against time to put the yacht together and be ready to start training with Emirates Team New Zealand. 'It feels like yesterday, but it's almost one year!' says Max Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa Challenge, as he gets off the yacht after a training session at sea.... [more]
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International Optimist Regatta set for June 17-23, 2013
Carol Bareuther,
Save the Date! The 2013 International Optimist Regatta (IOR) will take place June 17 to 23, 2013. Three clinic days, team racing and three race days for beginner and advanced sailors alike makes this one of the most instructive and competitive junior sailing regattas. Plus, it's a great way to tune-up skills for the Optimist North Americans a month later in Bermuda.... [more]
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America's Cup: Back to Foiling School in the SL33's + Video
One of the low-profile aspects of Emirates Team NZ's America's Cup development program has been the two SL33's run by the design and sailing teams, as test boats. The small catamaran fits just millimeters inside the allowed maximum length prescribed in the Protocol governing the 34th America's Cup, to restrict the use of 'surrogate' boats, or near full size test platforms for the AC72 class.... [more]
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SB20 World Championship 2012 – Interest in SB20 class at all-time high
Lisa Ratcliff,
The SB20 class has experienced a renewed interest among sailing enthusiasts and it's expected to get even bigger at the conclusion of the UON SB20 World Championship at Hamilton Island, which has already produced a number of exciting races going into its penultimate day of competition. Sportsboat World has been a key backer behind the successful staging of the first SB20 Worlds held in the souther... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Bumps, scrapes and battering continues + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, the leader Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) and Francois Gabart (Macif) were just 6.3 miles apart after becoming the first two skippers into the Pacific Ocean. It is more of a psychological than a physical line for the skippers, the point at which they begin to feel they are on the way home.... [more]
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Vendée Globe - Banque Populaire retakes lead
Vendee Globe,
Vendée Globe skipper Armel the Jackal has taken the lead with 37 days, 20 hours, 70 miles to the longitude of Hobart. They call him The Jackal because of his relentless hunting exploits in French sailing races and Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) is showing why in this Vendée Globe.... [more]
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Sail Melbourne 2012 – Road to Rio 2016 begins at Sandringham YC
Lauren Garnet,
The successful hosting of the Sail Melbourne 2012, Australia's premier sailing event, officially kick-started a long and grueling journey towards the 2016 Rio Olympics. The first leg of ISAF Sailing World Cup drew more than 400 sailors from 27 countries as they engaged in a weeklong battle for a spot on the podium from December 2 to 8 at Sandringham Yacht Club.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Ocean match racing and air guitars? + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, after 37 days, three hours and 13,984.72 nautical miles of racing (as of 1500 UTC) Francois Gabart (Macif) was just 15.8 miles ahead of Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) at the front. Behind them are three more private battles, races within the race, that have been going on almost since the start.... [more]
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Kiwis claim gold at Sail Melbourne, Sail Sydney in 49erFX
New Zealand 49erFX sailors Alex Maloney and Molly Meech have set the early pace having claimed gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and Sail Sydney over the weekend. The Kiwis, who have both come up through the ISAF Youth Worlds, won nine of twelve races to take a comprehensive victory ahead of Ella Giudice and Caitlin Elks (AUS) and Tessa Parkinson and Kate Lathouras (AUS).... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Leaders head for East Australia Gate
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, after enjoying the best last 24 hours in the fleet at the 0400hrs (0500hrs French time) ranking, but slowing after the end of his complicated relationship with Claudia, fourth-placed Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) dived south on Monday morning. It was almost simultaneous gybing with Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) 45 miles behind on the same track.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Southern Spars to be mast supplier for Volvo 65
New Zealand-based Southern Spars will supply the complete rig package – mast, boom and rigging – for the One Design Volvo Ocean 65 that will contest the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. For the 2014-15 and 2017-18 races, Southern Spars will supply a high modulus mast, high modulus racing box boom and a full EC6 bundled carbon fibre rod rigging package with deflected backstays for the... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI set to fly
Rob Mundle,
The Wild Oats XI officially unveiled on Sunday the three key changes in her armoury in an attempt to win line honours for Boxing Day's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and even shatter the record of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes, and 10 seconds the supermaxi booked seven years ago.... [more]
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The other kind of airfoil
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
Editorial... [more]
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UON SB20 World Championships 2012 - Brits put pressure on Russians
Lisa Ratcliff,
The UON SB20 World Championships 2012 has already reached its halfway mark with Russian team of skipper Oleg Zherebtsov and helmsman Rodion Luka still lording on top of the leaderboard despite facing pressure from Great Britain team led by Ben Saxton in the 42-boat racing event at Hamilton Island.... [more]
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The resurrection of Olympic windsurfing + Video
Patrik Pollak,
Windsurfing has been thru ups and downs in recent years. End of the world predictions were almost truthful for Olympic windsurfing this year. There was a lot of discussions about why windsurfing should stay at the Olympics.... [more]
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