I suspect that by now, everyone has seen THE video! The America's Cup organizers could not have purchased better publicity if they wanted to – Russell Coutts getting a bit carried away in front of the world's media assembled in San Francisco Bay, home of the 34th America's Cup in 2013 for the inaugural AC45 sail in the USA. In a mock race setup for the media, Coutt's high performance catamaran dug into a wave and went head-over-heels, sending crew members into the water in rather unceremonious fashion. Pictures were on the cover of many mainstream media, while most televised news channels carried the video footage, just enough to peak the general public's interest. The better part is that this was on the 'small' boat; I can't wait to see the performance and crash potential of the final and much larger AC72 catamarans when they are built next year!
The Bermuda 1-2 fleet left St. George's Harbour yesterday on the way back to Newport for the double-handed leg of the race. Light winds and a heavy swell are hampering progress, particularly for the smaller yachts; the Canadian entries, One Girl Ocean Challenge and Pogo Loco, both 21-foot Mini 6.5 are struggling to find decent sailing conditions.
I have been a strong supporter of offshore racing in Canada; I was pleased to find out about a new event set in Quebec, La Route Rimouski Anticosti (http://www.regates-rimouski.com/). The Gulf of St. Lawrence will host 11 yachts racing from Rimouski, QC around Anticosti Island and back starting on July 10; a small number of enthusiasts for the inaugural event but one that promises to be exciting. The 650-mile offshore race, presented by the Canadian Wildlife Federation, is being held concurrently, in proper Quebec traditions, with a new maritime festival. On the same day, over 80 yachts will depart from Boston, MA en route to Halifax, NS for the 34th biennial 2011 Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race; the race alternates years with the Route Halifax St. Pierre event.
The 2011 Transatlantic Race will see an eclectic fleet leave Newport, RI on June 26 and cross the 2,975 miles separating them from South Cornwall in the UK. Yachts ranging from Class 40 racers to the 289-foot Maltese Falcon. All the details at http://www.transatlanticrace.org/
The European racing season in the Mediterranean is shaping up well; the second stop on the popular Audi MedCup circuit is in France this week at the Audi MedCup Marseille Trophy where light and shifty conditions prevailed on Day 1. Sail-World is providing daily reports and images of the event, so watch our website! The historic Giraglia Rolex Cup is next, starting this weekend with the inshore races, followed by the popular offshore event on June 22nd.
Also in the news this week, China launched its first ever entry in the Volvo Ocean Race, Team Sanya. The team will be using yachts from the previous event and have announced New Zealander Mike Sanderson as the team skipper; Sanderson, having already won the event twice in the past, is excited about the opportunity.
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