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13 Oct 2013
Sail-World New Zealand: October 13, 2013 - Volvo Ocean Race steps up
The 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race took a major step forward earlier this week with the sea trialing and first major sail of a VO65 - with the all womens team Team SCA taking delivery of the first boat, and sailing to their base in Lanzarote, in France.
In this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter we feature several galleries of images of the VO65 sailing hard in fresh conditions in the English Channel.
The one-design Volvo Ocean racer will be watched with interest. The concept of the boat is to get campaign costs down, by dispensing with design teams, and using a network of four builders based in Europe.
Additionally the boat has been designed to last two races, further reducing costs for teams.
At this stage there are no official takers other than Team SCA and the Abu Dhabi team from 2011/12 edition if the race – they are clearly a team with unfinished business.
Others in Europe, closer to the action than us, confidently predict there will be at least seven teams in the race, however with just on a year left to the start in Alicante, they are leaving it late.
The contrast with the America's Cup is now sharply defined. The Volvo Ocean Race is very much a sponsored teams event, with little expectations about national entries. Teams are made up of multi-national crews, and with some serious cost cutting measures put in place, including heading down the one-design path. The latter taking the guesswork out of what will be best design options and trade-offs for the 30,000nm race around the world.
The America's Cup is yet to decide where it is headed. One design is not an option – if that path is taken, then it becomes like any other one-design event. And Nationality clauses seem to be a pre-requisite for many of the possible challengers.
In this edition of Sail-World.com's newsletter we have the spectacular images and coverage of the capsize of the MOD70 trimaran Virbac-Paprec sailed by Jean-Pierre Dick and Roland Jourdain while on a training sail of the French coast ahead of the Transat Jacques Vabre race – a two handed trans Atlantic race from the French port of Le Havre to Itajai in Brazil, which was also a stopover on Leg 5 of the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean race, after the fleet left Auckland.
Also featured is the video from inside the cabin, taken by a French journalist who was filming at the time of the incident. Virbac-Paprec was being filmed by a helicopter at the time of the incident – providing some still but a full video of the capsize.
Suffice to say the rig was badly damaged as she inverted.
We had hoped to carry full video coverage of the start of the Mini Transat 2013 – a 4000nm single-handed race in 6.5metre boats, across the Atlantic from France to Brazil, with a stopover in Madeira or the Canary Islands. Strong winds have forced the delay of the start, but we are hoping to be able to bring the live coverage on Sail-World.com
In Bermuda, Adam Minoprio and the former Black Match crew, now sailing under the sponsorship of Team AlpariFX, have reached the semi-finals of the Argo Bermuda Cup. There they have come up against Ben Ainslie, who is back from his duties with Oracle Team USA, and their America's Cup win.
The old maxim of 'success has a thousand fathers', is certainly true on Oracle's case with the Australians, British and USA media all claiming the America's Cup win as being their own. But Ainslie (GBR) seems to be in excellent form, and it will be a huge feather in the cap of Adam Minoprio and friends, if they can beat Ainslie and make the Finals.
Sir Ben Ainslie moves on to the semi finals in the Argo Group Gold Cup at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club on Hamilton Harbour. Charles Anderson/Argo Group Gold Cup
We'll be carrying the official reports, plus daily reports from David Swete from Bermuda.
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