The biggest news in racing circles this past week was obviously Rambler's capsize, one of the monohull line honor's contenders, shortly after the rounded the Fastnet Rock in the biennial Rolex Fastnet Race. All 21 crew members on board were swiftly rescued by the Irish authorities just hours after the keel broke off on the 100' yacht; the yacht immediately capsized following the loss of ballast. The subject of much media attention, we have photos and interviews to share with you. Other news from Plymouth include the recent confirmation from the Royal Ocean Racing Club that Niklas Zennström's Rán is once again the overall corrected time winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race and recipient of the coveted Fastnet Challenge Cup; this is the second Fastnet victory in a row for the Skype founder. The maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V, skippered by Loick Peyron, set a new race record of just under 33 hours for the 608 miles course; the previous record been set in 1999 by none other than Loick Peyron himself on board Fujicolor. The monohull race record was also demolished this year; while many expected a repeat performance from the supermaxi ICAP Leopard, previous record holder set in 2007, it was the smaller Volvo Open 70 Abu Dhabi from the United Arab Emirate that crossed the line first. Abu Dhabi was skippered by Olympic silver medalist, Ian Walker. This level of performance should provide some interesting competition in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race.
The Clipper Round the World fleet left Portugal on their way to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The just recently crossed a scoring gate where current leader, Singapore, picked up three extra points for a first place crossing. The fleet is now trying to avoid zones of light air in the Atlantic.
I hope you have found the time to tune in to YouTube and watch some of the America's Cup World Series in Cascais, Portugal. The live programs were amazing with incredible on-board footage, complete with full audio from the crews; we have all the replays if you missed anything! The new format, with the VirtualEye graphics, looks very promising as the event moves to Plymouth in the UK in September.
Next stop on the Audi MedCup circuit, another great opportunity for live Internet yacht racing coverage, is Cartagena, Spain where the 52 Series teams will be racing for the Region of Murcia Trophy; three different teams have already won this year, the competition should be fierce in the challenging conditions usually in Cartagena. The fourth in a series of five regattas in the circuit starts on August 23rd.
Back home, Chester Race Week was the site of another successful event despite demanding conditions on Mahone Bay early in the regatta. Chester Yacht Club Commodore Don McAlpine sums it well: 'Although I didn't do as well as I had hoped with my Bluenose 'Stinger', it was a truly great Race Week. It may be cliché but sponsors make it possible but volunteers make it happen' concluded McAlpine. Sail-World Canada has all the results for you.
By all accounts, the 2011 IRC North American Championship Regatta, held this past week-end at RCYC in Toronto, ON, was also a great success. Excellent racing conditions prevailed as 55 teams competed in a mix of windward-leeward and distance races on Lake Ontario. RCYC's David Ogden and crew on the aging J/35 Buckaroo Banzai was the overall winner over a wide variety of mostly local yachts ranging from early-eighties 30 foot cruisers to modern designs; looks like IRC is here to stay on Lake Ontario!
The action this week-end is in Kingston, ON for the annual Canadian Olympic Regatta in Kingston event. The CORK regatta includes ISAF Grade 1 event for Laser and Laser Radial and other Olympic and international classes with a typical participation of more than 1000 boats and sailors not only from North America but from all over the world.. All the details at http://www.cork.org.
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