Vendée, AC and the Road to Rio - Sailing News from Europe and Beyond

Jean Pierre Dick, Virbac Paprec 3 - 2012 Vendee Globe
© JM Liot / DPPI / Virbac-Paprec Sailing Team
Lately, French sailor Jean-Pierre Dick has been making worldwide headlines following his decision to fight on in the quest to reach the finish line of the solo, around the world, unassisted Vendee Globe... even tho' his IMOCA 60, Virbac Paprec 3 lost her keel a number of days ago. At the time his keel failed, he was in the third place spot.

Two other Frenchmen, François Gabart (Macif) and Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) are at the time of this writing, sitting in first and second places respectively. As of Friday 25 January 2013, 20:00 (FR) the rankings have Gabart 673.5nm from the finish in Les Sables D’Olonne and Le Cléac´h 133.3 nm behind him with 806.8 nm to reach the finish. Be sure to check out more on Vendee action inside this issue including images and videos.

Francois Gabart, Macif - 2012 Vendee Globe
Vincent Curutchet / DPPI

Meanwhile, registrations are now open for the 2013 Delta Lloyd Regatta. The regatta is set to take place 21st to 25th of May at Medemblik, the Netherlands. In the event’s 29th anniversary, the greatest sailors from around the globe will be pitted against one another with Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, 470 Men and Women, 49er, 49er FX,RS:X Men and Women, Nacra 17, 2.4mR, SKUD18and Sonar classes invited to attend.

Marit Bouwmeester, laser radial © Sander van der Borch - Medemblik - the Netherlands, May 26th 2011. Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik (26/30 May 2011). Day 3.

Over in Florida USA, sailors are competing in Quantum Key West Race Week, where fierce battle has been underway since the 20th January. Azzurra and her crew sailed to victory in Race 9 - making it their fourth win out of the ten races that took place during the week. Honourable metion to one of the new US crews in the 52 Super Series - onboard Interlodge as they sailed to victory in the second race of the final day yesterday, 25th January, making their event tally 2-1.

Reining 2012 52 Super Series champs Azzurra, with her four out of ten win record for the event have claimed the overall event victory to get their 2013 Series season off to a splendid start.

Azzurra celebrate 2013 52 Super Series victory at Quantum Key West
Xaume Olleros / 52 Super Series

Miami’s Coconut Grove Sailing Club played host to 470, 49er and 49erFX crews ahead of the ISAF Sailing World Cup.

North American titles have been dominated by crews from Austria and Brazil as Matthias Schmid and Florian Reichstadter (AUT) claimed top honours in the 470 Men’s fleet whilst Lara Vadlau and Solanta Goar (AUT) claimed the top spot in 470 Women’s.

Brazil’s Andrea Fonseca sailing with Francisco Andrada claimed the 49er North American title with the 49erFX top spot going to fellow Brazilians Martine Soffiatti Grael and Kahena Kunze.

Coming up from 15th-26th July at Fraglia Vela Riva is the 2013 World Optimist Championship. The first nation to sign up for the event, Singapore, also made a clean seep of the podium at the 2012 World Championships - held in the Dominican Republic.

Singapore first to sign up for World Optimist Championship
© Elena Giolai/Fraglia Vela Riva

Also on the horizon, taking place the 28th-31 March 2013, is the XXXI Garda Optimist Meeting and pre-registrations have been flying in. The event marks the commencement of the Fraglia season and takes place during the week of Easter. Important to note is that at the time of this writing, it was reported that 400+ registrations had been received which is twice the number from the same time last year when the Meeting became a Guiness World Record holder.

In America’s Cup news, Iker Martinez who was a helmsman for Italian Challenger Luna Rossa, has split from the team. 'We decided together to close our working relationship. The entire Team has enormous respect for Iker, he is a great sailor, which is why he was selected to enter the Luna Rossa Team,' Max Sirena declared.

November 2012 , Auckland (NZL) Luna Rossa AC72 and Emirates Team New Zealand AC 72

In Red Bull Youth America’s Cup news, another crew - Team Tilt - to be skippered by the young and talented Lucien Cujean, have gleefully announced that they have been invited to participate in the Selection Trials. The team will also participate in the 2013 Vulcain Trophy with the anticipation of benefiting from the outstanding level of competition in the lead up to the Youth America’s Cup.

Team Tilt at the occasion of the official presentation of the team at the Jiva Hill Park Hotel
© Team Tilt / Loris Von Siebenthal