Those of you who enjoyed the webchat with Velux 5 Oceans skippers in Uruguay a few weeks ago will be pleased to hear that another similar event, this time on video, is planned for next week; all the details are in the story. Get your questions ready now! While the other skippers are getting their yachts ready for the final leg from Charleston, USA to La Rochelle, France, Polish skipper Zbigniew ‘Gutek' Gutkowski is closing in on Charleston following his emergency stop in Brazil in the last leg; Gutek will have to perform more repairs on Operon Racing when he gets in as the bowsprit has now broken clean of the hull. Next sprint starts on May 14th.
Jaume Mumbru and Cali Sanmarti, on board We Are Water, are the last duo remaining at sea in the Barcelona World Race and should complete their circumnavigation next week; all things considered, not a bad achievement for a relatively inexperienced IMOCA team on an 11-year-old yacht. Speaking of the IMOCA class, Jean-Pierre Dick, who, with Loick Peyron, won the Barcelona World Race is the new 2010 IMOCA World Champion. New to this list of the best IMOCA Open 60 class skippers, Spaniards Alex Pella, Pachi Rivero and Iker Martínez take second, third and fourth place respectively. What an exceptional achievement by Spanish offshore skippers, this incredible outcome is mostly associated with their success in the Barcelona World Race.
This week-end will mark the start of the first Atlantic Cup, a brand new Class40 event composed of two distinct stages; a double-handed offshore leg from New York City to Newport RI starting on Saturday, may 7th, followed next week-end by a fully crewed series in Newport.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) is holding their Mid-Year Meeting in Russia this week; on the agenda is a comprehensive review of submissions from classes and national authorities, many of these having a potential impact on the 2016 Olympics. Sail-World's own Richard Gladwell provides his typically colourful point of view in Gladwell's Line.
The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race website reminds me today that the race is only 178 days away; October 29 is start day in Allicante, Spain. Building on their 2008-09 success, the VOR team is once again providing the technology for this event to be the most engaging for the fans worldwide; check out the Fanzone on the official website! As new yachts are being splashed, you would almost think there's a competition for the most extreme graphic designs; US photographer George Bekris spent some time on the water for Puma Racing's first sail; those tentacles look menacing! Stay tuned for more VOR news!
Congratulations to Canadians Peter Hall, Paul Davis and Phillip Kerrigan, representing the Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club in Montreal, for winning the Soling World Championship in Germany. A great achievement for Canada on the strong international Soling scene with two top ten finish; Etobicoke Yacht Club's Hans Fogh, John Finch and Gord Devries wrapped up the event with a respectable seventh place.
Back home, the racing season is shaping up to be an exciting one once again, hopefully the weather will start cooperating soon. On the agenda, the J/24 North American Championships and the IRC North American Championships are being held in Canada in 2011; Halifax, fresh from hosting Canadians Championship in 2010, will greet the North-American fleet in mid-August while -two feature IRC events will be hosted on Lake Ontario. The Suunto IRC Canadian Championship will be hosted at Port Credit Yacht Club on July 29-31, followed two weeks later by the 2011 IRC North American Championship at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club on August 11-14. More details on these and other major Canadian events in the weeks to come.
Racing season is finally upon us, see you on the start line soon!
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