Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for March 23, 2014
This newsletter is the first in the new format for Sail-World NZ. Sorry we have been off the air with some issues related to our mail out system.
Kiwi fans will be heartened with the performance of Emirates Team New Zealand overnight, placing second in the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat, Oman.
Although little could be taken out of the first three days racing with light winds being the order of the day, last night's final day was sailed in a good seabreeze – and provided a good test of pressure sailing. A point of which Kiwi fans need assurance after the 34th Ameruica's Cup and the implications that have been drawn from that.
In this case there were some very good names astern – Ben Ainslie and his BAR Racing Team, who are an established combination, led by arguable the best sailor in the world. Franck Cammas in Groupama, looked very ordinary. Alinghi, placed third overall and was very well sailed, looking unbeatable early in the week. Team Australia were in the mix, and not performing well, but recovered in the breeze along with a change of helmsman.
For those who did not watch the Extreme Sailing Series live, the races are short 10 minute affairs, with congested start lines, and the racing is a street-fight from start to finish.
Barker performed better than most, in this close quarters combat – evidenced by the second place overall.
This final day was not the crapshoot of Singapore, and provided an excellent test of measured risk taking and sailing brilliance.
Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker hits some golf balls with the Extreme Sailing series skippers prior to racing on Day 2 of the Extreme Sailing series Oman Hamish Hooper/Emirates Team NZ
The winner was the local boat The Muscat, Wave sailed by British Tornado representative, Leigh McMillan. They had the benefit of training off Oman for a longer period than the fly in teams, and they were dominant in the breeze.
One of the features of this regatta were the numbers of women sailing in the fleet. Under Extreme 40 rules, there are strict limits in crew weight and numbers.
Many teams chose to take female crew as the fifth crew member, with them either working the bow or as tactician.
Most had an Olympic Gold medal or two to their credit, and it was significant to see them get up after the race was finished, and move down to the back of the boat and have a serious chat with the skipper about what had and had not gone right in the race just past.
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) was aboard Alinghi, and showed how womens sailing is advancing in the attitude department. Tunnicliffe, since he exit from the Olympic scene has got into Crossfit training, is apparently ranked 9th in the World, and turned in a spectacular crewing performance in the Extreme 40's. We feature her blog on the first two days of the regatta in this edition, and will have the second pressing later today on www.sail-world.com/nz
For those who missed the action in the Extreme 40's we have replays and highlight videos in this edition.
We've plenty of local news in this edition of Sail-World.com, covering the last week. Thanks for those who are using the submission system, it makes editing and posting the reports and images much simpler.
Lawless Class A - 2014 Jack Tar Regatta, Day 1 Ivor Wilkins/Offshore Images
This weekend the Jack Tar Auckland Cup is being sailed off Eastern Beach. We don't have any reports in this edition, but managed to source some excellent images of the racing and have produced these in this edition of Sail-World.com
The TP52 Mayhem (Harry Dodson) scored two wins in Class A, yesterday.
The Volvo Ocean Race will come into focus next month, with the Dongfeng team from China arriving in Auckland as part of a training exercise where they sail Leg 4 from China to NZ. Their arrival is projected for April 19, in Auckland and from there they will make a decision as to whether they keep sailing, or put the VO65 on a ship.
The team left China bound for Auckland yesterday. We have reports in this edition of Sail-World.
Just in, we have been informed of the sad passing of Andre Raoult, the President of Oceania Sailing Federation, and long time advocate of sailing in the Pacific Region. Andre was part of the International Jury for the Int A-Class Catamaran Worlds, in Takapuna just a five weeks ago. He was diagnosed with cancer, after feeling unwell on arrival in New Zealand. We will have a fuller tribute to a remarkable, and different life later in Sail-World. Our thoughts, of course go out to his family and friends at this sad time.
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