Downshifting into low gear—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

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04 May 2012

Downshifting into low gear—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

Mar Mostro leads the Leg Six charge from Itajai, Brazil into Miami, followed by Emirates Team New Zealand's (ENTZ) Camper, and Telefonica just a mile or two astern of their Kiwi-flagged rival.

Groupama Sailing Team during leg 6 - Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  Yann Riou/Groupama Sailing Team © /Volvo Ocean Race

But while the fleet has been enjoying the sort of sailing that you and I regularly dream about, the magic carpet ride is expected to grind to a halt as teams run out of their most precious commodity: wind. Interestingly, as the leaders park-up and search for their low gears, Groupama 4 and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's Azzam will get another bite at the restart apple, after having spent time languishing astern of the fleet.

Tactically, this could change everything, depending—of course—on how the weather plays out. 'We are expecting a little low, which will bring breeze, but before that it's going to be pretty light and fickle,' said an optimistic Rob Salthouse, helmsman/trimmer aboard ENTZ's Camper. 'We have got the boat for those conditions, but we will just have to see how it all pans out.' Get the full VOR report, inside.

Inshore and also in that part of the world, Antigua Sailing Week wraps up today after a fairly windy contest that tested each team's ability to handle their steeds in a blow. 'It's a long flight to get here from Australia but I have to say it has been worth it, great conditions similar to Hawaii when I used to compete there in the Kenwood Cup,' said sailing great Syd Fischer (85), a 40-time participant in the fabled Sydney-Hobart Race and a five-time America's Cup veteran. 'This is my first visit to Antigua but I have enjoyed the sailing so far and it was great to get a win today.'

Spirit of Isis,Ondeck,CSA 1 - Antigua Sailing Week 2012  Paul Wyeth / pwpictures.com

According to the most recent reports from the sovereign Caribbean nation, yesterday's racing included a mash up involving the Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean and Spirit of Isis, which is one of On Deck's Farr 65s. The result was a gaping hole in the smaller boat. 'The regatta was going really well and a fantastic performance has been put in by the team who are charter guests of mixed sailing ability,' reported Vicky Blunt, skipper of Spirit of Isis. '[While] we were on starboard tack there was an unfortunate incident involving Starry Night, which came at us on port tack, ending our regatta in dramatic fashion.' More, in this issue.

Mirabaud LX - New wing mast for 2012  Pierre-Alain Folliet / Mirabaud

And in high-speed sailing news, a truly cool 'boat' took flight this week as Thomas Jundt's refitted Mirabaud LX was re-splashed on Lake Geneva, preceding the 2012 racing season. The experimental foiler features a massive hard wingsail (think America's Cup) and sports a set of foils on its centerboard (think foiling Moths), allowing the crew to drastically reduce their wetted surface area. 'Last year, we concluded that the wing is a great solution, but unfortunately we under-sized our first [wing], thinking that its performance would compensate for the surface area,' said Jundt. 'In practice, however, the wing is much easier to handle than a soft sail as it never flaps, so our goal with this new [wing] is to have more power in order to foil earlier.'

Also in this issue, get the latest from the Global Ocean Race, where Erik van Vuuren and Yvonne Beusker, aboard Sec. Hayai just crossed the Leg Four finishing line in Charleston, South Carolina; check out the happenings from the ongoing Clipper Around the World Yacht Race, and get the post-racing report from the Interclub Dinghy National Championship, which just wrapped up on Irondequoit Bay in Rochester, New York.

And finally, stay tuned to the website this weekend for updates from the U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta, which is being held at Weymouth, England, site of the 2012 Games. This regatta will determine which team will represent the U.S. in the Women's Match Racing event at the 2012 Olympics. More, as it unfurls.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Antigua Sailing Week - Incidents and high drama
Louay Habib,
Antigua Sailing Week. It was yet another day of incidents and a collision. The first race of the day saw a serious collision between Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean and On Deck's Farr 65, Spirit of Isis, which resulted in a large part of the Farr 65's transom being smashed in.... [more]
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Antigua Sailing Week day 4 - Spirit of Isis and Starry Night collide
Trish Jenkins,
On day four of the 2012 Antigua Sailing Week, a collision occurred during the morning between Ondeck's Farr 65, Spirit of Isis and the Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean. Peter Anthony, Chairman of Ondeck commented: 'During the first race today one of our yachts, Spirit of Isis, was involved in a port and starboard incident with Oyster 82, Starry Night that caused serious damage...... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - High speeds to be replaced by slow conditions
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, as the fleet racing in Leg 6 enter the final 1,300 nautical miles to the finish in Miami, the breeze is softening. The high boat speeds, which allowed Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg (Ken Read/USA), Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) and Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) to achieve in excess of 500-mile days, will evaporate and be replaced... [more]
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PWA Ulsan Korea World Cup preview
PWA,
The 2012 PWA Ulsan Korea World Cup is set to take place from 5-11 May with everyone preparing for more high-octane racing as the slalom fleet head to Asia, South Korea. The second leg of the tour is guaranteed to be an exciting event, as competitors go head-to-head at one of the most challenging spots of the year. The beautiful Jinha beach will once again be thrust into the limelight... [more]
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Foiling multihull has successful shakedown sail with new wing mast
Bernard Schopfer,
Thomas Jundt's Mirabaud LX, a 2008 Swiss experimental foiler, now has a new and improved 24m2 wing mast for the 2012 Lake Geneva season. The crew took the foiler for a successful shakedown sail last night and has its eye on the Lake Geneva records this summer.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race Leg 4 - Dutch and South African teams cross finish
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) - The Dutch and South African mixed-doubles teams crossed the Leg 4 finish line off Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday 2nd May. First across the line at 19:06:30 GMT (15:06:30 local) was Class40 Sec. Hayai with the Dutch duo of Erik van Vuuren and Yvonne Beusker, followed just over three hours later by the South African team... [more]
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La Transat AG2R La Mondiale - Goodchild and Cherry head south
Artemis Offshore Academy,
La Transat AG2R La Mondiale - Nick Cherry and Sam Goodchild aboard Artemis, are currently holding the most southerly position in the fleet. Taking a gamble on a less direct route to St Barths, the co-skippers hope that the northerly boats led by Nacarat and Cercle Vert will be slowed by the light airs of a high pressure weather system,... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race – Groupama claw back mile after mile
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race - Making an average speed of over twenty knots for the past 24 hours, Groupama has managed to move up to fourth place as she continues to claw back mile after mile on the head of the fleet. Furthermore, the expected stalling by the leaders from this Thursday afternoon could enable Franck Cammas and his men to come back in contact within 48 hours' time.... [more]
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Argo Group Gold Cup - Johnie Berntsson to compete
Colin Thompson, The Royal Gazette,
Argo Group Gold Cup 2012 is the eighth and penultimate stage of the World Match Racing Tour. Past King Edward VII Gold Cup winner Johnie Berntsson has accepted an invitation to compete in October's Argo Group Gold Cup. The Swede is among the first skippers to have accepted invitations to compete in this year's WMRTsanctioned regatta.... [more]
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Falmouth Finn Festival begins with UK National Championship
Robert Deaves,
JP Morgan Asset Management Falmouth Finn Festival - The long wait is almost over. Three years of planning for one of the most important Finn sailing events ever held in the UK is about to become reality in Falmouth, UK. The JP Morgan Asset Management Finn Festival combines the Open UK National Championships from 5-7 May and the Finn Gold Cup, the class world championship, from 13-18 May.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Predicting Mar Mostro's ETA
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 11 of Leg 6. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: Our daily routines are predictable enough. Each day is more or less the same and at some point day 17 begins to feel like day 12, which very much felt like day six. One variable of inconsistent kind though, and one of great interest to everyone onboard, is Tom's ETA... [more]
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ISAF Mid-Year Meetings: Decisions made in Events Committee
Sail-World,
Sail-World's sources report that a couple of key decision have been made at the ISAF Events Committee Meeting in Stresa, Italy. The Events Committee met to consider, amongst other business, which of the classes should go forward as a recommendation to the ISAF Council for the two new Olympic Events, the Mixed Multihull and the Womens Skiff. Both would come into the 2016 Olympics... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Battle at the head of the fleet continues
Volvo Ocean Race,
In the Volvo Ocean Race, the battle at the head of the fleet rages on as Ken Read and Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg have managed to keep Camper with Emirates Team New Zealand (Chris Nicholson/AUS) and Team Telefónica (Iker Martínez/ESP) at bay throughout today.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper leads but navigational nightmare ahead
Richard Gladwell and Volvo Ocean Race,
The lead three boats in the Volvo Ocean Race are sailing at speeds well in excess of 20kts, as they enjoy the Tradewinds, having exited the Doldrums. Using the routing function of www.predictwind.com!Predictwind.com, Camper sailed by Emirates Team NZ has a small lead of 50 minutes over Puma Ocean Racing, with overall race leader Telefonica just 10 minutes behind the US flagged entry.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Race - Podium positions in Race 10 announced
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - After fighting off stiff competition and keeping their yachts moving in fickle winds, all three podium positions in race ten have been announced. Gold Coast Australia was once again victorious finishing in first place out of the ten-strong fleet in the race from San Francisco Bay to Panama.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama escape the Doldrums
Franck Cammas,
Volvo Ocean Race team Groupama 4 has escaped what ended up being a fairly cooperative passage through the Doldrums, which has enabled her to move up into fourth position to the detriment of Abu Dhabi. However, her deficit of around eight hours in relation to the three leaders means that it was a little later in the day before she too hit the tradewinds.... [more]
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Interclub National Championship on Irondequoit Bay
Lincoln White,
Over sixty competitors made the trip to Rochester, NY for the Interclub Dinghy National Championship last weekend. The event was hosted jointly by the Rochester Canoe Club and the Rochester Yacht Club. Conditions ranged from 5- 20+ knots on the Irondequoit Bay and there were ten races sailed on Saturday alone.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Tight at front as fleet exit Doldrums
Sail-World and Volvo Ocean Race,
The front three teams were neck and neck early on Wednesday as the battle for the Leg 6 lead reached new heights. As the race to Miami entered its 11th day, it couldn't be closer at the front of the fleet as CAMPER moved to within a mile of long term leaders PUMA, the closest any team has been to the frontrunners since leaving Itajaí in Brazil on April 22.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Monotony disrupted onboard Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race, Day 10 of Leg 6. Amory Ross, MCM for Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg, reports on the crew's progress: At least today we were ready for it! Sunrise this morning brought the familiar sight of Camper on the horizon, and sure enough, they only got bigger. Then came Telefónica just before sundown. So here we sit, three's company, all lined up after 10 days of great racing.... [more]
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Southern Spars rigged Soto 30 is coming!
Southern Spars,
The mast is one of the most important components of the Soto 30, and is being manufactured by Southern Spars. This spar package design has been optimized from the onset with input from the designer, boat builder and sail makers – this translates into a high performance spar package that is engineered and manufactured for seamless, optimal interface with the boat and the sail package.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race - Financial Crisis secures second
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race (GOR) - Italian-Slovak duo of Marco Nannini and Sergio Frattaruolo, onboard Akilaria Class40 Financial Crisis, completed the 5,700-mile leg four course from Punta del Este to Charleston at 04:22:59 GMT (00:22:59 local) securing second place just under 24 hours behind the winners, Conrad Colman and Scott Cavanough with Cessna Citation.... [more]
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Antigua Sailing Week day 3 - Smashing through the start line
Louay Habib,
On day three of Antigua Sailing Week similar conditions to the previous two days prevailed. The sizeable yachts in CSA 1 were an awesome sight today, smashing through the start line to windward through the Caribbean surf and after coming off the wind at the Ocean mark, the yachts speared off downwind, bow up, accelerating off big waves to surf at speeds of 20 knots plus.... [more]
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U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta - Final Match Racing trial
Dana Paxton,
The U.S. Olympic Team Qualifying Regatta is set to take place in Weymouth, England from May 4-9. The event is organized by US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport and the Olympic Sailing Committee. The USA's top Olympic hopefuls in Women's Match Racing prepare for this final event that will decide which sailors will make up the Women's Match Racing Olympic Team.... [more]
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FX Rig Designer explains the working of the Fathead Rig + Video
Richard Gladwell,
Mackay Boats' John Clinton explains how the Fathead Rig works using video taken from a test sailing session in the FX on Auckland Harbour on Saturday, when winds gusted to a recorded 31 kts. Fathead rigs had their origins in 12 and 18ft skiffs and have been adopted by a variety of classes, right up to America's Cup level, because of their ability to carry extra sail area high up in the rig... [more]
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