CCA bestows coveted offshore awards—Sailing news from the U.S.

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01 Feb 2012

CCA bestows coveted offshore awards—Sailing news from the U.S.

Anyone who has ever sailed offshore needs to read about the latest recipients of the Cruising Club of America's (CCA) coveted Blue Water Award, which is granted to sailors who display 'the most meritous example of seamanship.' This year's winners are no exception to the prestigious club's strong tradition of recognizing offshore greatness. While not racing-related, anyone who's ever taken over a night watch can recognize that reeling off 135,000 offshore miles over 24 years—as Thies Matzen and Kicki Ericson managed to achieve—is seriously impressive, especially when much of it was spent in high-latitude environs. For example, the pair spent 26 months sailing in the vicinity of South Georgia Island, not to mention many miles spent transiting from one continent to the next. While winning pickle dishes might not be Matzen' and Ericson's ambition, their voyages are the stuff of dreams.

Also CCA-related, the club award Bob Arzbaecher and his Sociable crew the Rod Stephens Trophy for outstanding seamanship. They earned this accolade during the Chicago Yacht Club's storm and tragedy-fraught 2011 Race to Mackinac, where they helped to save the lives of members of the Wingnuts crew after their unstable (and unsuitable-for-the-course) sportboat was turned on her ear when a freakish supercell combed the course. More inside, as well as details about other CCA awards that were granted to members of our floating fraternity.

Team Telefonica picking up speed after exiting the Strait of Malacca, during leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Abu Dhabi, UAE to Sanya, China. (Credit: Diego Fructuoso/Team Telefonica/Volvo Ocean Race)  Diego Fructuoso/ Team Telefónica/Volvo Ocean Race

Purely racing related, the Volvo Ocean Race fleet is slowly punching clear of the dreaded Malacca Strait, where fishing vessels and heavy metal wrecked havoc for navigators as they tried to determine the fastest way through this hazardous stretch of water. Andrew Cape, navigator aboard race leader Telefonica, makes no bones about being happy to have escaped the watery clutches of this nasty place. 'I can't put into words how relieved I am to get out of the strait,' reported Cape. 'It's a nightmare and I'm really, really relieved that nothing went wrong and even happier that we managed to start in first place and finish there. There's serious relief all round. It's good to be out.' Get the full VOR lowdown, inside.

While the six VO70s are pressing to get to Sanya, China, the five-strong fleet of Class 40s that are contesting the Global Ocean Race are now several days deep into the toughest leg of their race, which will take the sailors from Wellington, New Zealand to Punta del Este, Uruguay. 'Back into life at sea—trimming sails, changing sails, getting chased by, or chasing, the competition and sleeping whenever possible,' reports Miranda Merron aboard Campagne de France.

And should you find yourself craving an offshore adventure of your own after all this talk of high-seas sailing, check out John Rousmaniere's preview of the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race. While this storied event stays well clear of the higher latitudes, plenty of sailors (myself included) have enjoyed some serious grins racing to this magnificent island. And while it's true that the Gulf Stream can serve up a serious walloping when the right conditions prevail, it's also true that few rum drinks will taste finer than your first libation upon arriving in Bermuda (but of course your editor would know nothing of such tomfoolery). More, inside.

Richard Gladwell brings us more America's Cup scoops, wih the AC72's on the water and Iain 'Big Fella' Murray giving us some insight into the decision making ahead of the 2013 regatta.

LightSquared - testing around Boulder City  .. .

And finally, be sure to check out Nancy Knudsen's look at the latest threat to the global GPS navigation system. If you thought the aging satellite fleet and NASA's growing dependence on Russia and other foreign powers to put 'birds' into orbit was scary, you've not yet heard about LightSquared. Get the full scoop, plus a video, inside this issue.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Volvo Ocean Race - Camper sail into their comfort zone
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race - The crew aboard Camper may be facing gale force winds and huge seas, but with confidence, they feel that they are now sailing into their comfort zone. Chris Nicholson's team spent so long bashing upwind during their training for the VOR that the 35-knot winds forecast to pummel the fleet within the next 24 hours as they race through the South China Sea are little worry for them.... [more]
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Interclub Midwinters won by Team Vineyard Vines
Lincoln White,
The 2012 Midwinter Championship took place at Larchmont Yacht Club with a total of 35 teams turning out to compete. There were 146 sailors (70 skippers, 76 crews) represented the largest gathering at an IC regatta in almost sixteen years, leaving no disappointment for those who attended.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Keeping it tight
Oliver Dewar,
The first three boats Global Ocean Race Class40s are keeping close formation as they run off the wind in 30 knots of breeze in the Roaring Forties, leaving Chatham Island to port.... [more]
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Alarm and anger grow as LightSquared threatens USA GPS system
Nancy Knudsen,
GPS-enabled devices could be compromised if a plan to expand the United States' broadband system goes forward, yet the company that proposes to build a broadband cell-phone communications network it calls LightSquared, 4G-LTE wireless broadband, seems to be as yet completely undaunted by marine industry concern that the vital GPS system is under threat... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race fleet enter the South China Sea
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet were led around the Horsburgh Lighthouse and out into the South China Sea at 1605 UTC today by Iker Martinez and the crew of Telefonica. Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas/FRA) was 3.4 nm behind and, in third, 10.8 nm further back, was Puma's Mar Mostro (Ken Read/USA).... [more]
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Single Handed Sailing Society's 2012 3 Bridge Fiasco
Erik Simonson,
The Single Handed Sailing Society's 2012 3 Bridge Fiasco welcomed 334 registered boats to take part in the competition. The numbers this year were staggering but, still short of the record. As the forecast neared, any and all fears of dampness were alleviated, and the new concern became the wind, or lack thereof... [more]
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Newport Bermuda - A race to remember
John Rousmaniere,
After several days of banging into it, you're feeling a little weary and a trifle sore. Then Gibbs Hill Lighthouse rises above the blue-green sea, and, almost tasting the rum punch, you sail a little harder. You're almost there, at Bermuda.... [more]
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Sailing World Cup Standings taking shape after opening events
ISAF,
Standings for the 2011-2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup are beginning to take shape after Sail Melbourne and US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR, the opening two regattas of the seven series World Cup. China's Lijia Xu has had the perfect start to her World Cup campaign winning Laser Radial gold at Sail Melbourne and the Rolex Miami OCR.... [more]
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CCA awards Matzen and Ericson with Blue Water Medal
Kirsten Ferguson,
The Cruising Club of America has awarded its prestigious Blue Water Medal to Thies Matzen and Kicki Ericson for a commendable 24-years and 135,000 miles of sailing the world's oceans with a focus in the high latitudes of the Southern Ocean.... [more]
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Swiss Olympic team training - Video by Juerg Kaufmann
Juerg Kaufmann,
Top international sailing photographer Juerg Kaufmann compiled this stunning video of the Swiss Olympic Sailing team during their training sessions, ahead of the 2012 Olympics. Known for his varied approach to all forms of visual media, this video combines some spectacular images together with stunning video and still image techniques. Not to be missed.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Gut wrenching setback for Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: Yesterday I said it was going to be a make or break 24 hours. It appears now – after a full 24 hours – that we were headed for a breaking. Puma's Mar Mostro pulled to within a few hundred yards of Groupama and Telefónica late yesterday... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Telefonica and Groupama 4 scrapping along the Strait
Volvo Ocean Race,
After a night of close-quarter scrapping for the lead, Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) and Groupama 4 were by 1000 UTC today just five more hours from passing Horsburgh Lighthouse and exiting the stressful Singapore Strait.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Almost finished running the Malacca gauntlet
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Malacca Strait nightmare is almost over with just 60 nautical miles standing between the leaders and the open ocean. Team Telefónica and Groupama sailing team were inseparable overnight as the leading pack of three was reduced to two, with PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG snagged by a net and left more than 10 nm behind in third.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race Leg 3 - Upwind battle
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race - The first night at sea for the double-handed Class40s was an upwind battle in around 20 knots as the fleet left the shelter of Wellington Harbour following a one-month stopover and hammered out into Cook Strait led by leg two winners, Conrad Colman, and South African skipper, Adrian Kuttel, on their Akilaria RC2, Cessna Citation.... [more]
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