Boxing Day Anticipation—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

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24 Dec 2012

Boxing Day Anticipation—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond


While the former offers one of the most iconic starting scenes in all of sailboat racing, this year's Vendee is rapidly proving to be one of the most intricate match races ever see in solitary-sailing circles, with race leader Francois Gabart ('MACIF') some 7.5 miles ahead of Armel Le Cleac'h ('Banque Populaire') at the time of this writing...despite both skippers now having sailed more than half way around the globe.


"Jazz" racing to Hobart  CYCA .



While sailing takes a backseat to mainstream American sports, the Sydney-Hobart Race is front-page news to all Australians, irrespective of whether they have saltwater coursing through their veins. This year is looking to be no exception, with some 77 boats registered to race in this classic bluewater race, which starts on Boxing Day (December 26) and takes the fleet some 630 miles to Hobart, Tasmania.


'The Sydney Hobart is one of those events you start thinking of when you're at work, it's one of those legendary races,' said Simonas Steponavicius, the owner/skipper of the Lithuanian-flagged Volvo 60, 'Ambersail', which is making a tour of the world's great ocean races, including this year's Sydney-Hobart. 'It's very competitive and very tactical racing; this is sailing at its purest.'


Speaking of pure speed, the 'Wild Oats XI' team have taken some serious steps to try and earn line honors, including some fairly significant rig, bulb and underbody reconfigurations. 'Our aim is to get to Hobart first,' said Mark Richards, 'Wild Oats XI's' skipper. 'We're not thinking about the race record. If we get the record then it will come as a bonus.' A bonus that the boat's winner, Bob Oatley, would love to reap, even if it's simply to break his own standing record, which his team set in 2005.


Unfortunately for Richards and Oatley, however, the weather models aren't necessarily screaming 'record run', but, according to Richards, that's not a prerequisite for a record-setting run. ‘I agree with [meteorologist] Roger ['Clouds' Badham] that we are still in with a chance for the record, even with the less favorable forecast,' said Richards. 'If you compare the weather pattern we experienced when we set the record in 2005 with what we are likely to get this year, I think conditions are still far more in favor of a race record time this year.'


Inside, get the latest news on the race, the preparations and the rivalries that make the Sydney-Hobart one of the great sailing contests, and stay tuned to the Sail-World website for more news, as it unfurls. We are proud that Sail-World delivers the most detailed coverage of this event of any media group world-wide.


Francois Gabart, Macif - 2012 Vendee Globe  Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / Vendée Globe ©



And in the Vendee Globe, the tussle for pole position has no doubt cost both Gabart and Le Cleac'h valuable hours of sleep as the two skippers exchange tactical fisticuffs in the storm-tossed depths of the Pacific Ocean, their bows pointed towards Cape Horn.


A bit more astern of the leaders, Bernard Stamm ('Cheminées Poujoulat') has had to temporarily stop racing due to mechanical problems, most notably to his hydrogenerators. As a result, Stamm has found shelter in the Auckland Islands, where he is now trying to repair his vessel.


Alex Thomson, Hugo Boss - 2012 Vendee Globe  Christophe Launay ©



Power problems also haunt Alex Thomson ('Hugo Boss'), who continues to post some impressive 24-hour runs, despite having seriously limited communications due to an earlier gear failure. The British-flagged sailor is currently in fourth place, behind Gabart, Le Cleac'h and Jean-Pierre Dick. Get the latest Vendee Globe news, inside this issue.


Also inside, get the latest on the America's Cup, where the International Jury found the Defender, Oracle Racing, to be in violation of the rules; check out the NOR for the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and get the wrap up report from the 2012 ARC.


May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Vendee Globe - Stamm, Cheminées Poujoulat head for New Zealand + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, unable to stay where he is because of the imminent arrival of storm force conditions, Bernard Stamm was forced to sail to New Zealand on Monday afternoon. Stamm has been anchored at Sandy bay, south of Enderby Island, 200 miles south of New Zealand, since Sunday morning, as he tries to repair his hydrogenerators. He will attempt to finish his repairs and re-start the race... [more]
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Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - Big boats favourites to win race
Jim Gale,
The weather forecast for the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 will certainly give big boats a considerable edge in the 628-nautical mile off shore ocean racing as 20-knot southerly breeze provides a humdinger of a start of what would be a fast and furious edition of Australia's premier sailing classic.... [more]
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Vendee Globe Race 2012-2013 - Le Cam breaks away, Stamm in trouble
Vendee Globe,
Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) was still working this morning (his night) to try and fix his hydrogenerators, re-join the race and preserve any hope of a place on the podium. The weather has hardened, with 16-18 knot northwesterlies sweeping down on the Auckland Islands, but Stamm has shelter in Sandy Bay, Enderby Island, in the northeast of the Archipelago.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – conjecture is the current winner
John Curnow,
Indeed, conjecture itself really does appear to be on target for both Line Honours and the Overall Winner at present. One thing that has settled down a little in to recognisable pattern is the weather. Boxing Day should be the favoured Southerly start with the accordant spinnakers.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Stamm diverts to make repairs
Vendee Globe,
Vendee Globe 2012-13 skipper Bernard Stamm (Cheminées Poujoulat) has found shelter in the Auckland Islands, 250 miles south of New Zealand, on Sunday morning, after diverting at around 1700hrs UTC on Saturday to try to make repairs to his boat, ostensibly the hydrogenerators.... [more]
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ARC 2012 wrap up
World Cruising Club,
The 27th ARC finally draws to a close with Ostrea winning the Spirit of the ARC plum for showing the spirit of goodwill and camaraderie. Ostrea was only one of the several awards presented Saturday at Gaiety Nightclub in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia.... [more]
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Skype - key event communication tool for Rolex Sydney Hobart race
TetraMedia's IT Team,
Two Swedish techno-nerds Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis spent the noughties revolutionizing music distribution and then telephony in the 21st century.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The Weather Gate
John Curnow and Rob Kothe,
In order to win this iconic ocean race, there are three things you absolutely need to have accomplished. Two you can do something about, whereas the third is entirely out of your control.... [more]
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The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is like Neapolitan Icecream
John Curnow and the Sail-World Team,
Yes. In a lot of ways, this classic of ocean races can be likened to a tub of Australia's famous Peters Neapolitan ice cream. You get three flavours inside the one experience, you see. There's the start to the turning mark of South Head, the run down to Tasman Island and then the reset to get across Storm Bay and ultimately, up the Derwent River. And that all makes for Chocolate, Strawberry an... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Mike Golding struggles to find speed on boats ahead
Vendee Globe,
Vendee Globe skipper Mike Golding (Gamesa) faces a race this morning not to get entangled in the bubble of high pressure south of Tasmania and watch Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) sail away. Golding was not alone in scratching his head as to why Le Cam dived south 36 hours ago. It may be clearer this morning, but in his morning message Golding was confident he would also escape with Le Cam.... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle found guilty as charged on Italian spy incident
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World,
The International Jury for the 34th America's Cup, has just posted its Decision in Case 19, initiated by the Italian Challenger, Luna Rossa, over an incident where a surveillance boat from Oracle Team USA was within half the distance allowed for viewing competitors while training. Updated on the penalty options and outcome: Had the usual Racing Rules applied, Oracle could have been disqualified... [more]
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Vendee Globe Race 2012-2013 - Cheminées Poujoulat's winch broken again
Vendee Globe,
The Vendee Globe Race 2012-2013 has been a test of will power for skipper Bernard Stamm, who's once again in quandary after the central winch of his boat Cheminées Poujoulat was broken again... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Dream start for Boxing Day race
Jennifer Crooks,
The forecast for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 looks encouraging for the skippers of the 77 competing yachts as strong southerly breeze is set to sweep through Sydney Harbour, leading up to what would be one of the most action-packed starts in the history of the Boxing Day race spectacle.... [more]
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Rum Festival added for Jolly Harbour Valentine's Regatta 2013
Trish Jenkins,
Plans are moving forward for the Jolly Harbour Valentine's Regatta 2013 and the organisers can now confirm that the addition of a Rum Festival as part of the event will ensure as much fun will be had off the water as on it.... [more]
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Successful year for the Chicago Match Race Center
Stephanie Roble,
As 2012 comes to a close, the Chicago Match Race Center can look back on a phenomenal year. A total of thirteen events spread from February through October offered sailors, sponsors and spectators the full spectrum of match race sailing, from the one-day intramural Grade 5 level regattas to the Grade WC $100,000 prize money Chicago Match Cup, the only US stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.... [more]
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UON SB20 World Championship - Geoff Carveth achieves the hat trick
Lisa Ratcliff,
It was a gripping conclusion on the deciding day at the UON SB20 World Championships at Hamilton Island with Geoff Carveth sailing into the class history books, crowned SB20 world champion for the third time.... [more]
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