It is now official; there will be 20 racers on the start line in Les Sables d'Olonne next month for the legendary Vendée Globe. Polish racer Zbigniew Gutkowski, better known as Gutek to those of us who followed him around the world in the 2011-12 Velux 5 Oceans, has just completed all necessary qualifications and will join the fleet on his first Vendée Globe race aboard Energa, a 2007 Finot-Conq design. Stay tuned for highlights of the skippers and their yachts over the next few weeks.
The America's Cup World Series is back in California this week, experiencing for the first time the San Francisco venue ahead of the Louis Vuitton and America's Cup finals set for next summer. Recovering from a spectacular capsize earlier tin the week, Jimmy Spithill on Oracle racing beat ETNZ veteran Dean Barker to win the Match Racing Championship, while Ben Ainslie is leading the Fleet Racing Championship on JP Morgan BAR, with one race to go later today. Check your local TV schedule as NBC will air the event stating at 1:30pm PDT (4:30pm EDT); I've already set my PVR.
Audi Melges 20 : U.S. National Championship 2012 JOY | International Audi Melges 20 Class Association - copyright
Finally, also in San Francisco, four enthusiastic Canadian boat owners have towed their Melges 20 across the continent from the Toronto, ON area to the California coast to participate in the popular Melges 20 US National Championship. The series wraps up later today with RCYC's Erwyn Naidoo on Bohica currently in seventh place, PCYC's Rhonda Joyce (Batteries Not Required) and David Pollock (dp) in 13th and 16th respectively; Paul Currie on Wild Deuces sits in 22nd. Thumbs up to all!
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