Please select your home edition
Edition
C-Tech Emirates

Sail-World.com USA Newsletter: The Volvo Ocean Race's wild Southern Ocean ride

19/03/2018


Buckling up for the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race’s wildest Southern Ocean ride

Zhik 2018 Yacht 728x90

Allen IQP 2017 728x90 3

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 from Auckland to Itajai, day 01 on board Brunel. Passing White island at sunrise. Peter Burling. Carlo Huisman. Abby Ehler at the mast. Not sure about the other ones - photo © Yann Riou / Volvo Ocean Race


Dear [recipient name]

When it comes to sailing, few places capture the imagination to the same extent as the windswept depths of the Southern Ocean and legendary Cape Horn, the latter of which holds the nearly mythological status of serving as sailing's Mount Everest. Simply surviving in this inhospitable environment is a serious ask for most highly skilled sailors, but to race through this seascape of towering waves, howling winds, and lonely albatrosses requires near superhuman strength, determination and drive, as well as an acceptance of the fact that this ecosystem will "encourage" every sailor to redefine their personal breaking point(s).

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7, Auckland to Itajai - photo © Jesus Renedo / Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7, Auckland to Itajai - photo © Jesus Renedo / Volvo Ocean Race

While this likely sounds utterly horrific to sailors with a bit more sense than others, this is the exact reality facing the dozens of sailors who are taking part in the 2017/2018 Volvo Ocean Race (VOR), which just began its marathon, 6,776-nautical mile leg that will take the fleet of seven identical Farr-designed Volvo Ocean 65s from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajai, Brazil, on Sunday, March 18.

 
North Sails 3Di 60 300x250   Mars Keel -  Manufactured Keel Systems 250
 

En route, all sailors can expect to be wet, cold, hungry and uncomfortable for large swaths of the time, likely punctuated only by snaps of pure fear, pulsing adrenaline, unadulterated exhilaration, and - once Cape Horn is safely astern - supreme accomplishment.

Bouwe Bekking – Volvo Ocean Race - photo © Rich Edwards / Volvo Ocean Race
Bouwe Bekking – Volvo Ocean Race - photo © Rich Edwards / Volvo Ocean Race

"It's going to be bloody cold," said Bouwe Bekking (NED), Team Brunel's skipper, who will be rounding Cape Horn for his eighth time on this leg, in an official VOR press release. "It's a funny thing, there will be moments when you hate it, but you know better times are ahead and when you arrive in Brazil, you forget the bad parts and the good parts stay with you."

Call it a lifetime of experience or simply the VOR's competitive nature, but Bekking mirrors his competition when he discusses the magnetic pull that keeps drawing him back to the Southern Ocean. "It's probably the best sailing you can get. We know the boats so well at this point in the race, we will be pushing 100 percent."

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 to Auckland, day 15 on board Sun hung Kai / Scallywag. David Witt. 21 February - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race Leg 6 to Auckland, day 15 on board Sun hung Kai / Scallywag. David Witt. 21 February - photo © Jeremie Lecaudey / Volvo Ocean Race

David Witt (AUS), skipper of the Hong Kong-flagged Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, agrees with Bekking's commitment to sailing fast, despite the impending big weather. "We're going to win the leg or drop the rig," said Witt in an official communication ahead of Leg 7. "That's the mentality. This is a big chance for Scallywag to stay up there and do something or drop back towards the back of the pack... We don't care what goes wrong or what breaks... We're just going to send it."

 
J111 Worlds 2018 Retina MPU   Gul 2018 Code Zero 300x250
 

Others are slightly less cavalier but equally committed to a podium finish. "It's a difficult leg for sure," said Charles Caudrelier (FRA), skipper of Dongfeng Race Team, in an official VOR communication. "Sometimes you have to forget the race and take care of the boat and the crew. I know this very well. I've done this leg twice and never finished with the mast up! And Pascal [Bidégorry] did this leg twice and he's never made it past Cape Horn! So that is one of our goals, make it past Cape Horn and finish with the mast up!"

Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. Charles Caudrelier, Dongfeng. - photo © Guy Nowell
Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18. Charles Caudrelier, Dongfeng. - photo © Guy Nowell

Leg 7 also marks the return of the American and Danish-flagged Vestas/11th Hour Racing team, who sustained a collision with a fishing boast some 30 nautical miles before the finishing line in Hong Kong on Leg 4 (Melbourne to Hong Kong), which tragically killed a fisherman and caused considerable damage to the team's VO65. Fortunately, the team was able to build and fit a new bow section to the boat in New Zealand, allowing them to rejoin the race for the Southern Ocean melee.

"The team has come together great, the repair has come together great," said Charlie Enright (USA), the team's skipper, who proudly rounded Cape Horn ahead of his competition as skipper of Team Alvimedica in the 2014/2015 edition of the VOR. "There are 16 points available to the winner and to put that into context, we have 23 points now, so it's going to be a big move and shake. We had a successful Southern Ocean leg last time and we're looking to repeat that performance."

Welcome to the Southern Ocean: Charlie Enright on board Vestas 11th Hour during Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race
Welcome to the Southern Ocean: Charlie Enright on board Vestas 11th Hour during Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race - photo © Sam Greenfield / Volvo Ocean Race

Not surprisingly, this same locked-and-loaded mentality also reverberates through the hull and rigging of MAPFRE, which is currently topping the leaderboard for both the offshore legs and in-port races.

"Of course I feel like [the other teams] are coming closer and faster, but we can only do one thing – push the boat, sail well and try to win this leg," said Xabi Fernández (ESP), who is serving as MAPFRE's skipper and who is preparing to round Cape Horn for his seventh time. "If we can win this leg, it's a big step forward. There is nothing to change, we just need to sail a little bit better than the others and push a little bit harder."

 
Selden CX & GX Furling Systems 600x500   Allen HPS 300x250
 

As of this writing, Enright and his Vestas/11th Hour Racing team are topping Leg 7's leaderboard, followed by Turn The Tide On Plastic and MAPFRE, but with almost 6,282 nautical miles separating the leader from the finishing line, there is plenty of runway left for smart strategy and tactical opportunities.

Xabi Fernández to skipper MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 - photo © Francisco Vignale / MAPFRE / Volvo Ocean Race
Xabi Fernández to skipper MAPFRE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 - photo © Francisco Vignale / MAPFRE / Volvo Ocean Race

Meanwhile, this Friday (March 23) also marks the start of Leg 6 of the Clipper Around The World Yacht Race, which will take the 12-strong fleet of identical, Tony Castro-designed 70-footers from Qingdao, China, to my hometown of Seattle, Washington, a distance of some 5,528 nautical miles. While the Clipper fleet won't round The Horn, these crews can expect several proper Pacific Ocean pastings as they cross some of the planet's most desolate soundings.

Sail-World.com wishes all 19 teams competing in the VOR and the Clipper Race safe and successful passage through the Southern Ocean and across the Pacific Ocean (respectively), and we are certainly looking forward to welcoming the Clipper fleet to Seattle next month.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World.com North American Editor

 
Fever-Tree 300x250   Hyde Sails 2017 March 300x250
 


A Q&A with Bill Canfield about the 2018 St. Thomas International Regatta
I interviewed Bill Canfield, STIR's race director, via email, to learn more about St. Thomas' hurricane-recovery efforts, and about the great racing that await sailors competing in this year's STIR.

A Q&A with Nikki Henderson about Leg 6 of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race
I interviewed Nikki Henderson, skipper of Visit Seattle in the 2017-2018 Clipper Round The World Yacht Race, via email, to learn more about Leg 6, which the race has dubbed “The Mighty Pacific Leg”.

Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7 Day 2: Turn the Tide on Plastic leads charge as fleet dives south
Monday has brought little let-up with winds hovering around 25 knots producing similar boat speeds as the teams charge deeper into the Southern Ocean on the 7,600-mile leg.

 
Zhik 2018 Yacht 300x250   Nebo 300x250 5
 
USA J/70 Corinthian Nationals update
Huge lake, lots of shifts, flat water, great sailing! But, then there is the famous Fort Worth BC hospitality, starting with their notoriously friendly bar and restaurant

Countdown to the Congressional Cup 2018
With just one month to Long Beach Yacht Club's 54th Congressional Cup regatta, excitement is building! In addition to an all-star lineup for April 18-22 Congressional Cup racing.

FAST40+ Class Race Circuit - Crew talk
FAST40+ Class rules allow a maximum of five professional crew racing. This creates a wide variety of sailors from all backgrounds; world class experienced sailors, and young talent looking to break into the sport, and just about everything in between.

 
Rooster Sailing North America Find a Stockist   RS Sailing Feva Worlds 2018 300x250
 
ISCA Masters World and USSCA Nationals at Midwinters
Starting today, internationally-renowned sailors from across the globe will gather in Panama City to compete in two regattas that will determine the best Sunfish® sailors in the U.S. and in the world

Paul Cayard at the St. Barth's Bucket
Three days of racing in the Caribbean for 25 Super Yachts concluded on Sunday with a 8-10 knots race, clockwise around the island.

Overwhelming support for 47th BVI Spring Regatta
The organisers and supporters of the BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival hosted by Nanny Cay have always stood firm and optimistic that the 47th edition of this much-loved regatta would take place over Easter as planned, and so it will.

 
Barton Marine 300x250   Sperry Charleston Race Week 2018 MPU v2
 
Success is super sweet for Svea, J Class winners in St Barths
One year ago when the J Class fleet was at it hammer and tongs, racing their first regatta of a historic season, the newly launched Svea was in Europe still completing first sea trials.

2018 J/22 Midwinter Championship at Houston Yacht Club - Overall
Four J/22 World Champions finished in the top five of the J/22 Midwinter Championship at Houston Yacht Club in Texas, but it was 1999 Champion Mark Foster on Pressure Drop who edged out fellow Texan Terry Flynn on Tejas to earn the title on a tie-breaker.

Viper 640 Team victorious at Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in San Diego
The 2018 Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta — the country's largest and longest-running sailboat racing series — concluded its second stop of 2018 in San Diego on Sunday.

 
Southern Spars Recruitment 300x100   Naiad 100
 
Melges 20 Winter Series Finale at Coconut Grove Sailing Club - Overall
A full round of congratulations goes out to 2018 Melges Rocks Regatta Champions Vladimir Prosikhin and his NIKA team which included tactician Michele Ivaldi and crew Giorgio Tortarolo.

Antigua Bermuda Race: Warrior Perpetual Trophy announced
The 2018 Antigua Bermuda Race is organised by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in association with Antigua Sailing Week, and supported by the Bermuda Tourism Authority and Goslings Rum.

Argo Group Gold Cup to return this year
As a result of the partnership between RBYC and Argo Group, Bermuda will return to the center of the sailing world this May, when the world's top matchracing talent descends on the island.

 
PredictWind.com 100 - 2014   C-Tech - 100
 
18ft Skiff Queen of the Harbour 2018
Twenty one year old Isabelle Quigley became the 18ft Skiffs Queen of the Harbour for 2018 when she teamed with Steve Quigley, Sam Ellis and Scott Babbage in The Kitchen Maker on Sydney Harbout today.

Volvo Ocean Race - Images from the start of Leg 7
Images shot at the start of Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race on the Waitemata Harbour. Apologies for the sameness of angle but for the first time in three Olympics and three America's Cups I had was to shoot without a media flag.

MAPFRE leads the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to start epic Southern Ocean leg
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet left Auckland for Itajaí, Brazil on Sunday following a spectacular start to Leg 7 from the City of Sails...

 
Insun - AC - Promo   Mackay 250
 
Skills tested at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta San Diego
Saturday was a challenging day on the water for the hundreds of sailors competing in the Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta in San Diego.

Velsheda finishing error grants Svea their fourth win
Velsheda appeared to have done all they needed to win around today's 25.43 nautical miles 'wiggly' J Class coastal race at the 2018 St Barths Bucket, but an error in their misreading of amendment to the instructions for the finish line robbed

Alinghi win 2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 1, Muscat
After four days of consistently strong sailing in Oman, the Swiss team extended their lead on the fleet of super-fast foiling GC32s, closing the Act with a six-point lead.

 
KZRaceFurlers   Protector - 300x250
 
Finn European Championship at Cádiz, Spain - Overall
Ed Wright won his second Finn European title on Saturday, in Cádiz, after a spectacular medal race in high winds and huge waves that nearly resulted in the race being cancelled.

Volvo Ocean Race: Goodbye to Stealth Mode
A welcome feature of Leg 7 and hopefully the remainder of the race is the removal of the ability of the boats to go into so-called "Stealth Mode". The option allowed the boats elect to sail under the radar for the up to three six-hour reporting periods

Clipper Race 8 exclusion zone penalties
Qingdao will officially take fourth place in Race 8: The Sailing City Qingdao Cup, after three Clipper Round the World Yacht Race teams were issued with time penalties.

Unbeaten Svea win their first Round the Island Race at St Barths Bucket
Svea bounced back from one small error to retain their unbeaten record in the three boat J Class fleet at the first regatta of the season, the St Barth's Bucket.

Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta takes off in San Diego
Optimal conditions on San Diego Bay made for a solid first day of racing at the Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta on Friday. This is the second of five stops in the nation's largest and longest-running sailboat racing circuit, now in its 30th season.

2018 Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 1, Muscat: Two of the season's newly-formed crews collide
Drama struck on the water today, Friday 16th March, as two of the season's newly-formed crews collided on the racecourse on the third day of the 2018 Extreme Sailing Series™.

Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club to host opening event of 2018 Farr 40 Circuit
Cabrillo Beach and Long Beach were two of the favourite stops for Farr 40 owners when California hosted the International Circuit in 2014 and 2015.

Volvo Ocean Race: Live replay of the Leg 7 Media Conference
Full length video replay of the Leg 7 Media Conference held in Auckland on Friday morning. All seven skippers were present, plus locals Peter Burling, Blair Tuke and Bianca Cook.

St. Barth Bucket Regatta action shots by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from St. Barth Bucket Regatta

Dream double is the perfect St Barths Bucket debut for Svea
Svea may be the J Class' 'newcomers' launched last year and racing at their first St Barths Bucket, but their two hard won first places from today's two windward-leeward races is a perfect opening to the popular Caribbean regatta.

Vestas 11th Hour Racing meets world renowned Orca Researcher Dr. Ingrid Visser
Ahead of the start of Leg 7 of the VOR from New Zealand to Brazil, Vestas 11th Hour Racing team members gathered at the Weiti River, just outside Auckland, to spend the morning exploring the estuary as Dr. Visser explained Orca Research Trust's work.

Allen Laser Kicker Key Upgraded
Allen Brothers, the UK manufacturer of sailboat hardware, has announced they will now be supplying a beefed up Laser Vang Key as standard with no extra price increase.

North Sails Palma: The leading superyacht service center in the world
The newly combined facilities and the team are taking shape in the heart of the global Superyacht industry.

RS Sailing BOTTOM

Fever-Tree 660x82

This email was sent to the.recipients@email.address by YY Online Services Ltd.
The George Business Centre, Christchurch Road, New Milton, BH25 6QJ
Registered in England No. 7895890

Our records show that you signed up to receive news from us on 1 January 1900

Please do not reply to this message as we cannot receive replies.

You can unsubscribe at any time or email us here if you encounter any difficulties
Zhik 2018 Yacht 728x90 BOTTOMVaikobi 2019 - Footer 2Gul 2018 October - Code Zero FOOTER