The big news in the world of One Design racing is coming from the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía regatta (AKA the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca), where Olympic class sailors are lining up against the best in the world as they prepare for the long journey to the Rio Olympics 2016. According to reports, conditions have been light, with breezes below 10 knots for most of yesterday’s racing. Still, the light breeze did nothing to lower the relative (competitive) pressure on the racecourse, especially given the caliber of the sailors gathered in Palma de Mallorca for this prestigious event.
Norregaard Training (c) Dansk Sejlunion - ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca 2014
So far, American sailors are experiencing a slow start to the regatta. Luke Lawrence and the rest of the U.S. Finn squad are having a particularly good showing, with Lawrence sitting in fourth place at the time of this writing, followed by Caleb Paine in 11th and John Dane in 35th; in the 144-boat strong Laser class, Erik Bowers is 17th overall, followed by Charlie Buckingham in 36th place. Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha are in 11th place in the Women’s 470 class, and Stuart McNay and David Hughes are sitting in 25th place in the Men’s 470.
Laser, Charlie Buckingham (Newport Beach, Calif). - ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca
Inside, be sure to check out the full multi-media coverage of this Grand Prix-level One Design regatta, and stay tuned to the website for more news from Palma de Mallorca, as it unfurls.
Meanwhile, in ocean-racing news, skipper Charles Caudrelier and his crew aboard the Volvo Ocean 65 'Team Dongfeng' have dramatically altered their course towards Hong Kong on their training run that was supposed to take the boat from Sanya, China to Auckland, New Zealand. Unfortunately, the crew faced stiff headwinds that dramatically impacted their ability to realize high daily mileage runs, and the team ran shy of time to physically sail to Auckland and still make it to the start of the race (October 11, in Alicante, Spain) on time.
Dongfeng Race Team heads for Auckland, March 2014
'We have been looking at the routing to reach New Zealand and the weather is simply not looking good enough to justify spending another 20 days in that direction and risk the chance of missing our shipping date,' said Bruno Dubois, Team Principal. 'Our plan is now to stay in the good breeze we have in this part of the ocean to achieve good downwind tests and push our crew more.'
Fortunately for the crew, the routing to Hong Kong involves plenty of off-the-breeze sailing. More, inside.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire at the start of Race 4 of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race in Cape Town, South Africa
And in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, crewmember Andrew Taylor, racing aboard 'Derry, Londonderry, Doire', fell overboard during a sail change in the middle of the Pacific Ocean during big seas and strong winds earlier this week. Fortunately, conditions were clear and the crew was able to rescue Taylor, who is reportedly doing fairly well.
'The sea can be a harsh environment and we rehearse every eventuality including a man overboard (MOB),' said Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Chairman and Founder of the Clipper Race. 'The MOB procedures were put into practice flawlessly by the crew in difficult conditions. It is a tribute to their training and determination that Andrew was successfully recovered. It is always a concern when we have a major incident and we will want to analyze the circumstances in detail to see if there is anything we need to learn or review as a result.'
Ben Schulz and Doug Sheppard (AUS) - 2014 Fireball World Championship
Also inside, be sure to get the latest news from the Fireball World Championships, the St. Thomas International Regatta, the BVI Spring Regatta and the America’s Cup.
49er fleet during the 45th Trofeo Princesa Sofia
And finally, be sure to spend some time scrolling through the great image galleries of the Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofía regatta from top international shooters Jesus Renedo and Thom Touw. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,