Opening shots for the Asian regatta calendar 2013 are over now, with Neil Pryde and HiFi putting an end to their long quest for the Prime Minister's Challenge Trophy at the Royal Langkawi International Regatta. Full reports and pictures below.
When Vendee Globe competitors turn left at Cape Horn, there's a certain feeling that they are on the home straight - when of course there is still the whole of the South and the North Atlantic, not to mention another Equator crossing, to get through. Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss had a glamour run up the coast of South America, but the leaders have once again pulled away. After 65 days of racing, front-runner Francois Gabart (Macif) is rapidly approaching the Equator and the ITCZ (that's the Doldrums to you and me) and with a mere 3,400nm to go to the finish line.
And on the subject of circumnavigating races, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston has officially launched the new fleet of Clipper 70 boats, and this time they really are race boats. RKJ told us a good while ago that this was a 'customer-driven decision. Prospective Clipper sailors wanted more 'racey' boats.' They got 'em. This is the third fleet of Clipper boats in the 17 years of the race. Ironic that the Volvo Ocean Race has now gone One Design, too!
Also 'launched' recently, the Global Ocean Race 2014-2015 in Class 40 boats. The 31,000-mile race will again follow the 'classic' Southern Ocean route around the world. Speaking at the Tullet Prebon London Boat Show, race organiser Josh Hall said, 'Ocean Racing is the pinnacle of our sailing sport. It is exciting, challenging and an enormous adventure, but in recent years it has been diluted because of the need to attract wealthy sponsorship from countries not on the classic routes.' So, no PR and marketing tours of Asia then?
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