While Buckley Systems and Campagne de France are safely back in Auckland, NZ, Conrad Colman and Adrian Kuttel on Cessna Citation were first through the BluQube southern Pacific scoring gate. They were followed by Financial Crisis who, unfortunately, destroyed their masthead spinnaker in a violent crash gybe; with 2000 miles to CApe Horn and another 1800 miles up the South America coast to Punta Del Este, it will be a long ride without their fastest sail. Back in Auckland, the recent GOR organizing committee's decision to shift the scoring gate to the south has infuriated Buckley Systems' Ross Field who hurt his back when they yacht jumped a large wave; Ross believes the change has presented an unfair advantage to the leaders.
Team Telefonica finds themselves securely at the top of the Volvo Ocean Race scoreboard with their recent win in China; Camper ETNZ and Groupama Sailing Team are second and third respectively. The next big event is the Sanya in-port race on Saturday the 18th, immediately followed by the start of the 5200 miles leg to Auckland, NZ on Sunday. A fairly straightforward course but challenging course towards the northern end of the Philippines is on the menu for the fist part of Leg 4 but the remainder of the course south will be anyone's guess; so many tactical options!
This week-end, I'll be keeping my eyes on the Audi Melges 20 Winter Regatta in Miami where many racers from my home club, Port Credit Yacht Club in Mississauga, ON will be competing in event 2 of the Winters Series. 38 entries, including some from as far away as Italy, will be on the start line at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club in Miami. This one-design fleet is certainly gaining popularity across North America.
Don't hesitate to publish announcements about your events for the upcoming season; you can either use the 'Upload News, Photos, Results, Events' banner at the top of the website or submit text and photos via e-mail directly to me.
Finally, there's a 9-year-old Canadian boy in Honolulu who won't be short of stories to tell when he gets back to school in Calgary; Wes James, his dad Brad and uncle Mitch were rescued by a freighter 400 miles from Hawaii when their yacht was damaged in a violent storm. Check out the CBC interview in our story!
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