VOR, Cupnews, SailRocket 3—Sailing news from Oz and beyond

Team Alvimedica and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing engage in a "friendly delivery" start out of Newport
Donna Erichsen
The whales are going to see a lot of boats up north this year. The 2014 Vision on Surveys 25th Airlie Beach Race Week being held from the eighth to 15th August is just a month away and its shaping as a record fleet.

Event organisers Whitsunday Sailing Club have reported the entry numbers are roaring along ahead of last year’s numbers. Eighty-one entries have been received so far, which is definitely a record this far out and many more are to come by the time of the official close of entries date on 1st August. The race committee have the option of course to accept further entries, but an additional fee will be attached to any late entry.

This year there are nine divisions to choose from – IRC Racing, One Design Classes, IRC Cruising, Performance Racing, Cruising Spinnaker, Cruising Non-Spinnaker, Sports Boats, Multihull Racing and Multihull Cruising.

Two Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 rival crews have set out for transatlantic crossings from Newport, Rhode Island to the United Kingdom this week as preparations for the event start in October continued to heat up.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Alvimedica are strictly forbidden under Volvo Ocean Race rules to compete against each other over such a trip, but were given permission to start their transatlantic passages on Wednesday at the same time in a ‘promotional start’ watched by hundreds of Newport sailing fans.

They started at the same time and have finishes close near by hmmm maybe this will be a cruise in company (NOT).

'It’s not easy to leave friends and family behind but it is time to get out and go sailing,' said Charlie Enright, skipper of Team Alvimedica. 'While we have achieved a lot in our month here in Newport, we now need to maximize our time at sea together as a team.'

French skippers Gwenole Gahinet and Paul Meilhat are training off Lorient on their Figaro Safran - Guy Cotten prior to the AG2R transat on March 06, 2014.
Jean Marie Liot


The next time that either Team Alvimedica or Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing sail into Newport Harbor will be during the actual Volvo Ocean Race stopover, so this was obviously a big moment for both teams, especially the American- and Turkish-flagged Team Alvimedica, whose skipper is a proud Newport-area local. More, below.

And in America’s Cup news, word hit the street this week that the hunt for the city that will host the 35th America’s Cup has been narrowed to two candidates, San Diego and Bermuda. This decision eliminates Chicago, but as many pundits and experts have pointed out, Chicago’s wind limits, its brutal winters and its already-packed waterfront were likely complicating factors-not to mention the entire 'arm of the sea' consideration, as described in the Deed of Gift-for hosting an America’s Cup. While no decisions are even close to final, many people have noted that Chicago would be an ideal venue for an pre-Cup AC45 event, leading up to the 35th America’s Cup.

The America's Cup Trophy at the top of Golden Gate Bridge


While the Defender has until the end of 2014 to name the host venue for 'AC35', many challengers have been clambering for more information, as it’s extremely difficult to sell campaigns to sponsors sans a 'where'. 'We are now able to focus on two venues that are motivated and enthusiastic at the prospect of hosting the next America’s Cup,' said Russell Coutts, Director of the America’s Cup Event Authority. 'I’m confident that we’re on target to finish with a venue that allows us to achieve our goal of hosting an exciting and successful America’s Cup built on a strong commercial foundation.'

Get the full America’s Cup venue report,below and stay tuned for more AC news, as it unfurls.

Paul Larsen aboard Vestas Sail Rocket.


Meanwhile, fans of speed sailing are still toasting the jaw-dropping 65.45-knot high-water mark that Australian Paul Larsen and his 'Vestas Sailrocket 2' program established in November of 2012, that certainly hasn’t stopped Larsen from dreaming of his next challenge, this one involving the high seas and an offshore-capable version of his proven concept.

'If you liked what the project achieved last time, you won't be disappointed by where we are aiming now,' wrote Larsen on his blog.



'The concepts upon which 'Vestas Sailrocket 3' will be based already have a lot of credibility,' continued Larsen. 'The numbers are good. The real challenge now is to put together the resources and project where once again we can turn these numbers into reality.'

See the full report, below

Lisa Darmanin and her helm Jason Waterhouse


Also while there is lots of Aussie new we have the latest from the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, Volvo Cork Week, the Nacra 17 European, the 49er Europeans and the Formula 16 Worlds. And looking ahead for the weekend, be sure to stay current with the website for the latest news from Narragansett Bay, where the New York Yacht Club’s Race Week and the Bacardi Newport Race Week are both being contested.

george bekris July-5-2014--1-3 (2)-005
Donna Erichsen