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Volvo OR Leg 7 finally finishes...Kiwis triple-medal in Palma

09/04/2018


Sail-World NZ e-Magazine: April 9, 2018 - Olympic promise

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Vestas 11th Hour Racing leaves Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands for an 8-10 day voyage heading for Itajai. - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Rac


Dear [recipient name]

Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand e-magazine for April 9, 2018

Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race has finally come to a close when the former overall leader MAPFRE crossed the finish line in Itajai, Brazil last night (NZT) and finished 4days 17hrs and 15 mins behind the leg winner Team Brunel.

Food, fuel and water had to be rationed, with MAPFRE fitting their Sea&Watts hydro generator - and finding it worked well with surprisingly well with little impact on speed. They also had a manually powered watermaker which got broken out of the packaging, and worked but wasn't required.

To recap, on March 25, when MAPFRE was close to Point Nemo a small section of the sail track began to detach. The crew nursed the boat for the next few days after making an interim repair to the spar at sea.

They split the mainsail from luff to leech at Cape Horn and pulled in for a minimum 12-hour stopover on March 30 (UTC) which turned into 13 hours by the time both items had been repaired with the aid of their shore crew and a vessel anchored in the shelter of Cape Horn.

At the time of dropping out of full race mode MAPFRE was only 73nm off the lead and was in fourth place.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing has her jury rig fitted at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Rac
Vestas 11th Hour Racing has her jury rig fitted at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Rac

When they restarted, after effecting repairs, their speed was initially OK, as was that of the other six boats still in the race. A few days later it had all turned to custard as Team Brunel, and Dongfeng Racing took off for Itajai at speeds of over 20kts. At that point MAPFRE was trailing Team Brunel by over 640nm - that's about the length of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

At the time, two competitors had dropped out. SHK Scallywag had already suspended racing after the tragic loss of John Fisher, and Vestas 11th Hour Racing had also suspended after dropping her mast 100nm south of the Falkland Islands.

For both those two boats, the race is on to get to Itajai by April 22 for the start of Leg 8 to Newport RI.

SHK Scallywag has recruited a delivery crew who are taking the VO65 through the Strait of Magellan to Itajai. They left Puerto Montt a few days ago.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing left Port Stanley for a second time after fitting a Jury Rig and new improved fuel system for their 1400nm voyage under motor and sail.

We have several stories in this edition about the various recoveries by the Volvo Ocean Race entrants, as well as the stories from the lead entrants.

Thanks to the drone flying skills of the On Board Reporters there's some spectacular video of the Volvo 65's sailing at high speed in the Southern Ocean.

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board AkzoNobel. 28 March, . - photo © James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 11 on board AkzoNobel. 28 March, . - photo © James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race

What is remarkable about the Leg 7 finish is its contrast with the end of Leg 6 into Auckland. There six boats finished within 25 minutes, and the whole seven finished Leg 6 within two hours.

Yet on the next Leg, the total margin from first to fifth was over four and a half days, with two retiring from the leg.

Both SHK Scallywag and Vestas 11th Hour are racing against time to make the start of Leg 8. We'll be carrying any updates we have on sail-world.com

New Zealand was represented by a team of 26 sailors at the Princesa Sofia Trophy in Palma, Spain. The regatta ended on early Sunday morning NZT and was the first of the major international regattas on the 2018 European circuit. Over 1200 sailors competed in the Regatta which covers all 10 Olympic events.

In August, the 2020 Olympic Qualification process gets underway at the 2018 Sailing World Championships, Denmark. From now the lead-up regattas take on a special significance.

SHK Scallywag's crew pose before leaving for their delivery voyage to Itajai, via Strait of Magellan  - photo © SHK Scallywag
SHK Scallywag's crew pose before leaving for their delivery voyage to Itajai, via Strait of Magellan - photo © SHK Scallywag

New Zealand emerged from Palma as the third best-performed country with three medals, behind Great Britain and The Netherlands.

Probably the most pleasing aspect of the regatta, from New Zealand's point of view, is that we are starting to build some depth into the classes, rather than just having one key sailor/crew in each event - and living or dying on their results and form.

With Peter Burling and Blair Tuke not confirmed for a 2020 Olympic campaign, Josh Porebski and Trent Rippey turned in a creditable fourth overall in the 49er fleet. A quick scan down the result sheet reveals only a few of the sailors who competed in Rio Olympics, 18 months ago. Most of the entry list was new crews. Also missing for similar reasons to Burling and Tuke was the crack Australian crew of Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen.

Another notable result came in the Finn class with former Laser sailor and America's Cup cyclor, Andy Maloney turning in a very creditable third against a quality field with plenty of familiar names from Rio 2016. Maloney scored two race wins in the 73-strong field.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race
Vestas 11th Hour Racing, Port Stanley, Falkland Islands - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race

The event was won by the 2016 Gold Medalist and America's Cup team Land Rover BAR sailor, Giles Scott. Olympic Bronze medalist Caleb Paine (USA) was in 27th two places ahead of NZ's 2016 rep and America's Cup cyclor Josh Junior.

2016 Bronze medalist Sam Meech improved one place to win Silver in the Laser class. All three medalists from Rio were in the high-quality field - with the Olympic Gold Medalist Tom Burton (AUS) in sixth, and the Silver medalist from Rio in third.

If Yachting NZ applies same selection criteria for the 2020, as YNZ used in 2012 and 2016, then New Zealand sailing fans should expect to be represented in only seven of the ten events in Games of the XXXII Olympiad.

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 7 on board AkzoNobel. 23 March, . Could be a bit on in a second. - photo © James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 7 on board AkzoNobel. 23 March, . Could be a bit on in a second. - photo © James Blake / Volvo Ocean Race

That is the same as Rio 2016, and down from the full card of 10 events in 2012 at Weymouth and an improvement on the six classes only in 2008 at Qingdao.

The 2020 Olympic Qualifying criteria were published late last week.

The first and arguably main, qualifying round is at the 2018 World Championships in Denmark, with the top eight countries going through in the Finn, 470 Men, 49er, 470 Women, 49erFX and Nacra 17, for the other classes, the Mens and Womens RS:X have 10 and 11 spots respectively. The Laser and Laser Radial have 14 and 18 country spots. On the basis of the Princesa Sofia results, New Zealand would have Qualified in six events and be two places wide of the mark in the Men's 470.

Brazilian sailing royalty - Martine and Torben Grael - Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai. Arrivals in Itajai. 05 April, . - photo © Pedro Martinez / Volvo Ocean Race
Brazilian sailing royalty - Martine and Torben Grael - Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai. Arrivals in Itajai. 05 April, . - photo © Pedro Martinez / Volvo Ocean Race

While there are further qualification rounds in 2019, the simple point is that if you can't make the top eight countries in 2018, how are you going to be medal capable in 2020?

Sure a crew can have a bad first qualifier and come back to be top three overall in the following year, but that is very much the exception.

It is still early days, with plenty of regattas to come before the Olympic Qualifiers in August. After what happened in 2016, to earn Olympic selection for NZ, a sailor or crew has to be in the top 10 overall in a World Championship in one of the two years preceding the Olympics.

That is a very high bar.

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, Day 11 on board Brunel. Drone picture. 400 miles from Cape Horn. 30 knots of wind. 5-6 meter waves. Thanks to Kyle Langford for his help on launching and catching the drone. 28 March, 2018 - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race
Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, Day 11 on board Brunel. Drone picture. 400 miles from Cape Horn. 30 knots of wind. 5-6 meter waves. Thanks to Kyle Langford for his help on launching and catching the drone. 28 March, 2018 - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race

Follow all the racing and developments in major and local events on Sail-World.com by scrolling to the top of the site, select New Zealand, and get all the latest news and updates from the sailing world.

All stories are available on Sail-World.com/nz

Good sailing!

Richard Gladwell
NZ Editor

 
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Andy Maloney (NZL) Finn - Medal Race - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, April 7, 2018 - photo © Tomas Moya / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar
Andy Maloney (NZL) Finn - Medal Race - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, April 7, 2018 - photo © Tomas Moya / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar
Molly Meech and Alex Maloney - 49erFX - Medal ceremony - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, April 7, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
Molly Meech and Alex Maloney - 49erFX - Medal ceremony - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, April 7, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR

 
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Sam Meech (Laser) Medal ceremony - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, April 7, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
Sam Meech (Laser) Medal ceremony - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, April 7, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Day 5, April 6, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
Sussanah Pyatt (Laser Radial) 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Day 5, April 6, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR

 
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49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Day 5, April 6, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
Sam Meech (Laser) 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Day 5, April 6, 2018 - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
Dan Willcox and Paul Snow-Hansen (NZL) 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Day 5, April 6, 2018 - photo © Tomas Moya / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar
Dan Willcox and Paul Snow-Hansen (NZL) 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Day 5, April 6, 2018 - photo © Tomas Moya / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar

 
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Nacra 17s- 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Palma, Spain - photo © Tomas Moya / Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Nacra 17s- 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Palma, Spain - photo © Tomas Moya / Sailing Energy / World Sailing
Day 3 - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Palma, Spain - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR
Josh Junior (Finn) Day 3 - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, Palma, Spain - photo © Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia IBEROSTAR

 
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Wilkinson and Mackay (NZL) - Nacra 17 - Medal Race - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, April 7, 2018 - photo © Bernard Bibiloni / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar
Wilkinson and Mackay (NZL) - Nacra 17 - Medal Race - 49th Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar, April 7, 2018 - photo © Bernard Bibiloni / Sailing Energy / Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar

Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai. Arrivals. 08 April, . - photo © Pedro Martinez / Volvo Ocean Race
MAPFRE closes in on the finish line - Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai. Arrivals. 08 April, . - photo © Pedro Martinez / Volvo Ocean Race

 
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Naiad

Predictwind - Iridium

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