While the Volvo Ocean Race doesn't kick off until this October, the event is already starting to generate serious buzz as teams finalize their plans and start to take delivery of their One Design Volvo Ocean 65s, which will be used to contest the next two editions of the fully crewed, around-the-world race. News recently hit the street that Team Brunel managed to reel off 540 miles in a 24-hour period during a training run, and now Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing has their newest 'Azzam' in the UK, where they are conducting sea trials along the country's south coast.
'The sailing we've done this week has given us a great deal of faith in our new Azzam,' said skipper Ian Walker said. 'It's fantastic to finally have her to ourselves and we can't wait for a bit of open water sailing.'
According to reports, the team is expected to see the open ocean in the near future, as they prepare for a full-pace delivery to Portugal. 'It's a three or four day run and it will be a good shakedown sail to give us all an early chance to get to know the boat better and start to work out how to sail this new design at optimum performance,' said Walker. 'Every minute we spend on the boat from now on is an opportunity to learn how to sail her faster when the race comes around.'
Get the full report from the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team, inside this issue, and be sure to check out the interesting comparison piece-also inside-that queries if a VO65 can eventually break the 24-hour record of 596.6 nautical miles, which was set by 'Ericsson 4' during the first leg of the 2008/2009 edition of the VOR.
Sydney (AUS) - AC45 Training Oracle Team USA/Team Australia Beau Outteridge/Oracle Team USA
Meanwhile, in America's Cup news, both Team Australia and Oracle Team USA have been taking advantage of late-summer sailing conditions in Sydney, Australia, to log some training miles on their AC45-class catamarans. For Oracle, this training session represents an opportunity to dust off cobwebs and to inject some new blood into the team, while for Team Australia, this represents their first chance to sail aboard a wingsail-powered catamaran that's done up in their official team livery.
Oracle Team USA got panned after the 34th America's Cup for crossing the last finishing line with a single American, Rome Kirby, sailing aboard (Ed. Note: Tom Slingsby, the team's strategist, was born to an American mother and an Australian father and carries two passports). The team is now looking at homegrown talent for 'AC35', including Andrew Campbell (USA), who has made a fine name for himself as a four-time All-American at Georgetown, and as an Olympic Laser sailor (2008).
Andrew Campbell (USA) - Sydney (AUS) - AC45 Training Oracle Team USA/Team Australia Beau Outteridge/Oracle Team USA
'I'm trying to come in this week with as open a mind as possible,' said Campbell. 'This group of guys have been together through some serious obstacles and they fought through it to win the top prize in our sport. So I'm going to have to fit in to a squad that's already running at high gear. I'll do my best to see what kind of role they need me to play and I'll fit my sailing style and team skills in as best I can.'
Also in Sydney, Team Australia has officially launched their first AC45, which they have been sailing all week under the steady hand of skipper Mathew Belcher, one of the country's most decorated Olympic sailors. Richard Gladwell, Sail-World's New Zealand editor, recently caught up with Iain Murray, the team's CEO, for a great audio interview, which is available inside this issue and which provides some interesting insight into the Challenger of Record's thoughts about AC35.
Also inside this issue, don't miss the post-racing debrief from the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, check in with the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race and get the latest news from the New York Yacht Club's Invitational Cup.
SAILING - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013 -Cruising Yacht Club of Australia - Hobart, Tasmania- 28/12/2013
ph. Andrea Francolini
WILD OATS XI, owned by Bob Oatley and skippered by Mark Richards, Line honour winner of the 2013 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Andrea Francolini
And finally, for any ocean-racing fans out there who could use a saltwater-infused adrenaline hit, be sure to check out ABC's raw helicopter video feeds from the 2013 Sydney to Hobart Race. Enjoy!
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