Broken Vendee dreams and KWRW—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

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23 Jan 2013

Broken Vendee dreams and KWRW—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond



While skipper Marc Guillemot famously finished the 2008/2009 Vendee Globe after dropping his keel (ballpark) 1,000 miles before the finishing line, Dick's plight is much worse, especially given the deteriorating weather conditions, which could spell 40 knots. Here's a recap of the incident, in Dick's words, which he shared earlier today on Vendee Globe TV:

'It happened a little before midnight,' said Dick. 'There were already noises in the boat, rather strong and quite screeching. I thought it was the sound of keel jack but in fact the head of keel was already damaged. All of a sudden there was a popping noise.

Jean-Pierre Dick, Virbac Paprec 3 - 2012 Vendee Globe  © Jean-Pierre Dick / Paprec Virbac / Vendée Globe

'There were several squalls and then there was a new squall happening. The boat was lying on its side [and] in a second I realized that the keel had broken. I was able to quickly get to the mainsail winch to ease the mainsail a little. There was certainly a moment of doubt about the boat [but] luckily it didn't flip over. After a few minutes I was able to ease the solent and furl it. The boat was safe enough to put in more [water] ballast and take a risk and further reduce the canvas.'

As for whether he can limp home with a broken boat or seek shelter from his storm is—not surprisingly—a philosophical question. 'The competitor and the sailor do not agree,' said Dick. 'Should I continue in a degraded state or abandon and go and hide in the Azores.' The answer, of course, will likely depend on the next few day's worth of GRIB files and a careful risk-management assessment.

Elsewhere in the fleet, fellow skippers have expressed outrage that such a critical component could fail, given the race's stringent design and material rules. Some skippers have even gone so far as to demand that future editions of the race require forged steel keels, rather than the composite appendages that are currently being used. More, inside.

Quantum Key West 2013  Leighton O'Connor

Closer to home, the racecourse action has been hot (and breezy) at this year's Quantum Key West Race Week, which is taking place this week in the Conch Republic. Impressively, Steve Benjamin's 'Spookie' (a Carkeek 40) has posted four straight bullets in the High Performance Division (nine boats), while George Sakellaris' 'Shockwave' has won three of her tussles with Hap Fauth's 'Bella Mente' in the Mini Maxi class (two boats). Cole and James Allsopp's 'Moxie' is sitting in pole position in the 39-strong J/70 class, while Alec Cutler's 'Hedgehog' is leading the 23-boat fleet of Melges 24s. Be sure to get the full download, inside this issue, and stay tuned to the website for more KWRW news, as it unfurls.

Meanwhile, the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) recently announced that the 2014/2015 VOR fleet will return to Itajai, Brazil during the next race, en route from Cape Horn and the Southern Ocean leg. Itajai will be the fleet's second visit to Brazil during this next edition of the VOR, as last week it was announced that Recife would be the fleet's first stop, rather than the traditional long Leg One from Europe to the tip of southern tip of Africa.

'Making two stops in Brazil makes perfect sense at a time when the country will be the beating heart of sport between soccer's World Cup in 2014 and the Rio Olympic Games in 2016,' said Knut Frostad, CEO of the VOR. 'We are thrilled to be going back to Itajaí, which proved to be one of the most successful stopovers of the last edition with a rhythm all of its own.'

And in Cup circles, the news recently broke that Iker Martinez has split from Luna Rossa Challenge. 'We decided together to close our working relationship,' wrote skipper Max Sirena in a formal statement. 'The entire Team has enormous respect for Iker, he is a great sailor... We thank [him] for making a great contribution to the team with his talent and his technical and tactical skills in this sport. We wish him all the best for his future challenges.'

Virbac-Paprec 3 - Transat Jacques Vabre 2011  US Sailing ©

And finally, get the latest news from the Extreme Sailing Series, US Sailing's 2013 Youth World Team and from the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami (January 28-February 2), where the Nacra 17 will make its Olympic class debut. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Brewing Partnership - America's Cup gets sponsorship from Nespresso
Anna Lundstrom,
Nespresso will join the 2013 America's Cup as the Official Coffee of the event, continuing a strong relationship between the premium portioned coffee pioneer and the competition for the oldest trophy in international sport.... [more]
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Key West Race Week - Strong winds pose challenge for crews
Bill Wagner,
There were a lot of weary bones, aching muscles and exhausted bodies over at The Galleon Dock and Truman Annex on Tuesday afternoon. The sailors on Division 2 of Quantum Key West 2013 completed three races on the second day of the 26th annual regatta.... [more]
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Key West Race Week - Melges 32 fleet completes another perfect day
Mary Catherine Finnerty,
The Melges 32 fleet had another wonderful day of sailing at Quantum Key West 2013, completing all three races scheduled on Tuesday. Andrea Pozzi on Bombarda is sitting on top of the leader board while Vincenzo Onorato's Mascalzone Latino and Keisuke Suzuki's Swing placing second and third, respectively.... [more]
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52 Super Series - Penalty proves costly for Azzura
Giuliano Luzzatto,
Super Series champion Azzurra remains in striking distance to defend their title after two days of racing, though they have to deal first some tight competition being presented by Sweden's Ran Racing.... [more]
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Keywest Race Week 52 Super Series - Competition heating up
52 Super Series,
The 52 Super Series is turning into a tussle between Niklas Zennström's Rán Racing and reigning champion Azzurra heading into the third day of racing at Key West Race Week 2013.... [more]
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US Youth World and Sailing Development teams named
Dana Paxton,
12 youth sailors have qualified for US Sailing's 2013 Youth World Team, and will receive invitations to represent the United States at the ISAF Youth World Championship in Limassol, Cyprus from July 11-20. The U.S. Youth Worlds Team members were selected based on first-place finishes in their respective classes at US Sailing's 2013 ISAF Youth World Qualifier regatta.... [more]
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America's Cup: Iker Martinez splits from Italian Challenger
Richard Gladwell,
In a tightly worded statement on their website, Luna Rossa Challenge have announced the departure of one of their helmsmen, Iker Martinez from the team. Chris Draper who placed ninth in the last America's Cup World Series, is expected to assume the duties of principal helmsman, for the team's only AC72, with team boss, Max Sirena as backup.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Sympathy, shock and keels of steel + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, despite losing his keel with 2,000 miles to the finish line in Les Sables d'Olonne, Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) has not abandoned and is working out what to do next. 'The competitor and the sailor do not agree,' Dick said. 'Should I continue in a degraded state or abandon and go and hide in the Azores.'... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup - Nacra 17 all set for Miami debut
ISAF,
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is set to take place 28th January - 2nd February in Biscayne Bay and will come alive with sights and sounds of Olympic sailing as action gets underway. Held at US Sailing Center Miami, Coconut Grove Sailing Club, Miami Rowing Club and Shake-A-Leg, hundreds of sailors will kick start their Rio 2016 Olympic ambitions.... [more]
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52 Super Series - Key West victory and setback for Azzurra
Giuliano Luzzatto,
Commanding victory in the opening race of the 52 Super Series 2013 season in Key West, while in the second one, Azzurra suffered an unfortunate setback as the keel got tangled up with the line of a lobster trap.... [more]
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Key West Race Week - Fantastica takes lead on Day 1
Joy Dunigan,
Premiere Racing's 2013 Quantum Key West Race Week first day of racing got underway today. The eleven-strong Melges 32 fleet participating enjoyed two races on day one of the five-day series placing Italy's Lanfranco Cirillo helming Fantastica in the overall lead.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Brazil scores a second stopover
Volvo Ocean Race,
Itajaí will once again be a Host Port for the Race in 2014-15 following the huge success of the stopover there in the last edition. Brazil will have two stops along the route for the 12th edition of the round-the-world race.... [more]
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America's Cup: Horsepower from Yamaha backs up AC72 on the water
Emirates Team NZ,
Emirates Team New Zealand's sailing crew relies on the wind to win races. Raw horsepower is needed to back them up and make it possible for them to do their job. Since 1988 Yamaha engines have provided the power and that's how long Hugh Stewart has been looking after them.... [more]
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Vendee Globe: Jean-Pierre Dick's dreams shattered with keel failure
Sail-World,
With a third place finish in the Vendée Globe apparently almost guaranteed, Jean-Pierre Dick's dreams for the Vendee Globe Race were shattered with an abrupt bang before midnight on Monday night as Virbac Paprec 3 lost her keel with just over 2,000 of the 28,000 mile race left.... [more]
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Quantum Key West 2013 - Gods conspire for wonderful Day 1
Bill Wagner,
The Quantum Key West 2013 was off to a wonderful start as strong winds provided sailor enough reasons to enjoy racing off the beautiful shore of Miami.... [more]
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Quantum Key West 2013 - Dandy opener in Miami for J's
Bill Wagner,
The opening day of Quantum Key West Race Week 2013 has been splendid for the participating crews of J boats, who started their respective competitions with perfect sailing condition.... [more]
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Quantum Key West 2013 - Light winds provide tactical battle on Day 1
Samantha Keen,
With light winds, flat seas and solid sunshine, the Quantum Key West 2013 provided a tricky tactical racing for sailors on the opening day of competition in the Farr 400 class.... [more]
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Vendee Globe Newsflash: Virbac-Paprec 3 loses its keel
Vendee Globe Media,
Vendee Globe have just announced that Virbac-Paprec 3 has lost her keel, while sailing in the third position of the Vendée Globe, about 500 miles northwest of the Cape Verde islands.The skipper from Nice has stabilised the situation. The boat has full ballasts and Dick is sailing at 8 knots towards the Azores.... [more]
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52 Super Series Day 1 - Quantum leaps on top
52 Super Series,
With owner Doug DeVos on the helm, Quantum Racing took the overall lead after placing first and fourth in the opening heats of the 52 Super Series at Quantum Key West 2013.... [more]
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RORC Caribbean 600 - Entries sailing in for classic race
Trish Jenkins,
The RORC Caribbean 600 is growing from strength to strength and turning into one of the true classic offshore races. The Royal Ocean Racing Club, which will host the Caribbean 600 race, confirmed 44 entries so far but anticipates around 50 on the start line in Antigua on Monday 18th February.... [more]
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Moth Video- 'Bangin' the Corners Cup' extreme racing funny commentary
Sail-World,
Zhik, CST Composites 2013 Australian Moth Championship Day 2 - With temperatures over 40 degrees and wind gust in excess of 30 knots, championship racing was cancelled. But the top guns raced in the Bangin' the Corners Cup - here is the video - its extreme racing and a funny commentary.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - The closest finish in Race history? + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) continues to close on Francois Gabart (Macif) as they slow in the Azores high. If the race continues as forecast, always easier on paper, Gabart will cross the line first late on January 26 or in the early hours of January 27 and could be as little as six hours ahead of Le Cléac'h, which would be the closest finish in Vendée history.... [more]
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Volvo Penta sets America's Cup vessels precisely on station
Lindsy Shrewsberry,
Volvo Penta will provide the engines, drives and dynamic positioning systems for a new class of support vessels for America's Cup events. The six new custom 13.9m (46-ft) power catamarans, which were designed by Australian naval architects One2three and built by East Asia Composites, made their debut at the America's Cup World Series events held in San Francisco in August and October 2012.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to make stop in Cozumel
Ruth Harrington,
The Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race will make a pitstop in Cozumel, Mexico in 2014 forging an exciting new partnership with the region of Quintana Roo. Cozumel, situated off the east coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula is already a popular stop for cruise liners and will provide the Clipper Race crews with an exotic respite on their 40,000 mile journey around the world.... [more]
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Vendée Globe - More bad luck for Alessandro
Sabina Mollart-Rogerson,
Vendée Globe skipper Alessandro Di Benedetto, after climbing his mast yesterday evening, keeps having bad luck. Following the nose-dive by his boat, the sailor was injured and lost his small spinnaker in the manoeuvre.... [more]
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10-Meter Rater Sally takes her first sail after a two year rebuild
Bob Grieser/Outside Images,
Top international photographer, Bob Grieser has been following a two year reconstruction project of a classic 10 Meter rating yacht, Sally. She was recently relaunched following a two year reconstruction from the keel up of this classic thoroughbred by CF and his team at Koehler Kraft on Shelter Island Drive in San Diego.... [more]
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Vendee Globe Race - The pressure is on
Vendee Globe,
Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) sustained its surging speed as he drew closer to pace-setters Francois Gabart (Macif) and Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire). Meanwhile, Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) was forced into a second trip up the mast in as many days following the loss of another headsail.... [more]
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Key West 2013 - All ready for swashbuckling opener
Bill Wagner,
The Quantum Key West 2013 is all set to begin the competition on Monday as thousand of sailors aboard 121 participating sailboats are already gearing up for tomorrow's opener.... [more]
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52 Super Series 2013 - Favorites loom large on race day
52 Super Series,
The Quantum Key West regatta opened up its busy week of racing on Monday with two scheduled heats of the 52 Super Series 2013. If early indicators from the informal training races which have taken place over recent days are a yardstick, then the established form teams are certainly in for splendid sailing.... [more]
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Extreme Sailing Series 2013 - Elites spice up competition
Extreme Sailing Series,
Organisers of the Extreme Sailing Series announced details of the eight boats participating at the 2013 Series at the Dusseldorf Boat Show on Sunday.... [more]
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