Offshore, airfoils and OD action—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

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30 Jan 2013

Offshore, airfoils and OD action—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond



The good news, of course, is that the local racing fleet has been getting courtesy deck and topside cleanings...the drawback, however, is the serious lack of Vitamin D. But if winter's gloomy grind seems endless, I guarantee that skipper Alex Thomson's final storm-tossed, ship-crossed miles in the nonstop-around-the-world-unassisted-and-alone Vendee Globe Race seem much, much more drawn-out as the British-flagged skipper tries to conservatively cross the finishing line unscathed.

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


At the time of this writing, Thomson's 'Hugo Boss' was a hair over 200 miles from the race's finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, contending with 35-45 knot winds, confused seas and heavy volumes of commercial traffic. Provided that 'Hugo Boss' holds together sans incident, Thomson's imminent finish secures his third-place finish in this Grand Prix event and also represents his first successful around-the-world campaign, despite several other attempts.

'It's the fishing boats that concern me,' reported Thomson. 'I crossed with in a mile and a half of a fishing boat and the sea was so bad I couldn't see it. I am hoping they will all be put off by the terrible weather and that the fisherman stay in their beds tonight.'

Knut Frostad, Volvo Ocean race CEO at the announcement of Auckland as a two-edition stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race  Richard Gladwell ©

Also in offshore news, Auckland, New Zealand has been named as an official host city for the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR). 'Auckland people know sailing and know the race,' said Knut Frostad, CEO of the VOR. 'It's hugely satisfying to be able to say that we're coming back... Having an agreement in place for the next two editions is just the icing on the cake.'

Meanwhile, in America's Cup news, Oracle Racing is close to re-launching their heavily modified first-generation AC72 class wingsail-powered catamaran. According to the latest reports, the team expects to be sailing on San Francisco Bay next week, thanks to a massive team effort.

Oracle Racing's second wingsail will soon emerge from the shed  Guilain Grenier/Oracle Racing©

'Everyone has been focused and really pushing to get all of the work done,' said Oracle Racing's Shore Team Manager, Mark Turner. 'It's meant a lot of long hours for a lot of people, seven days a week. They've been working not only on repairs, but also doing the work needed to modify the platform.' Stay tuned for more on Oracle Racing's return to the water, as it unfurls.

Also in San Francisco, Artemis Racing, the Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup, has now successfully tested their second wingsail aboard their first-generation AC72 platform. But while the airfoil might be new, don't expect to see radical alterations from the team's first-generation wing. 'The general concept is very much the same,' said Juan Kouyoumdjian, the team's Principal Designer. 'I would define it as a refinement of the first wing.'

According to team boss Paul Cayard, the team is pleased with their progress. 'The first [sailing day] with wing two went well,' said Cayard. 'We have little adjustments and tweaks to make, but we operated the wing with all of its controls and it all functions well. We had up to 16 knots of wind, which was a bit more than we needed for the first sail, but everything was fine and it was a productive day.'

The first ever Nacra 17 race gets underway at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami  ISAF ©

And finally, the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami is currently taking place in the Sunshine State, where 311 sailors from 37 different countries have gathered for this super important six-day regatta. This event officially that marks the start to the long metaphorical windward beat that will take the fastest sailors to the Rio Olympics 2016. While these are still early days in this regatta (and in this Olympic quadrennium), U.S.-flagged sailors are looking fast in numerous classes. Get the full download, inside.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Vendee Globe Race - Alex Thompson to finish career-defining voyage
Vendee Globe,
Vendee Globe Race 2012-2013. British solo sailor Alex Thomson is expected to finish his non-stop around the world race, at around 0700hrs UTC (0800hrs local time France) this morning.... [more]
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Ullman Sails names new VP and General Manager
Ullman Sails,
Kelly Buchan has been appointed the new Vice President and General Manager of Ullman Sails International, Inc., the license management office of the Ullman Sails group based in Newport Beach, CA, effective January 1, 2013.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup 2013 - Elite windsurfers test Miami waters
Jake Fish,
A strong contingent of the top sailors in the world are in Miami testing themselves against familiar rivals and incoming talent from a new generation of racers. The RS:X Men's and Women's events are back in Miami for 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup and these two fleets feature the best of the best in an early season clash of Olympic medalists and new challengers.... [more]
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Vendee Globe Race - Gamesa struggling to stay afloat
Emily Caroe,
Mike Golding onboard Gamesa has been working for the past 24 hours to resolve an issue with his keel. Investigations over the side of the boat with a camera yesterday evening revealed that the front fairing of the keel olive has been lost.... [more]
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Youth America's Cup 2013 - Stage set for Selection Series
Irene Corosu,
The Red Bull Youth America's Cup Selection Series will feature 11 national teams battling in two qualifying sessions in San Francisco from 9-24 February.... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle Team USA makes final preparations for sailing
Sail-World,
Following months of repair work and delivery and assembly of the second wing, the boat is nearing completion and is on track to be sailing in the San Francisco Bay, again. Following the launch it is expected the AC72 will undergo the usual towing trial, before the wingsail is stepped and USA-17 sails once again.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - The end is near + Video
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, British skipper Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) is due to arrive in Les Sables d'Olonne between 6am and 7am early tomorrow, Wednesday morning, and to process down the canal at approximately 8am. He is enduring similar conditions to those that were experienced by François Gabart and Armel Le Cléac'h, battered in the Bay of Biscay by 35 to 45 knots and very confused, unpleasant seas.... [more]
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Tower of the Year Award to TowBoatUS Tampa Bay
D. Scott Croft,
An on-the-water towboat company that assists Gulf Coast boaters get home safely was singled out for its professionalism at the BoatUS Towing Services Annual Conference recently held in Clearwater Beach, Florida. Tower of the Year honors went to TowBoatUS Tampa Bay, which is owned and operated by Capt. Larry Tieman and Capt. Clayton Tieman.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Knut Frostad updates on progress
Richard Gladwell,
Knut Frostad, CEO of Volvo Ocean Race talks with Sail-World.com's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell after the announcement of the Auckland stopover for the next two editions of the race. Here he talks about the reasons for choosing Auckland, how the costs and budgets work for the Volvo 65's, the approach being taken for the on board media reporters and much more.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami 2013 - A new beginning for Rio hopefuls
Jake Fish,
ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami got under way on Monday with spectacular yet testing conditions welcoming 311 sailors coming from 37 countries on the opening day of racing on Biscayne Bay.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami - US Sailors shine on Day 1
Dana Paxton,
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami has already started the competition on Monday, completing all scheduled races in 10 Olympic and two Paralympic classes under spectacular sailing conditions on Biscayne Bay. This regatta serves as the selection event for 2013 US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, in all classes except for SKUD-18 and Nacra 17, as well as for the 2013 US Sailing Development Team.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Auckland confirmed as a stopover for two editions
Richard Gladwell,
Auckland has been confirmed as a stopover for two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. The announcement was made at a media function attended by Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean race organisation, the Mayor of Auckland and representatives from Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development. The NZD$5.5million event fee has been funded jointly by Auckland Council and the NZ Government.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Close together and exhausted in Les Sables d'Olonne
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, the record breaking duo's feet have barely touched the ground since they made their unprecedented arrival into Les Sables d'Olonne yesterday. Never in the race's history have two boats been so close together. With an exhausted François Gabart (Macif) rationalising his victory and an energetic Armel Le Cléac'h (Banque Populaire) gallantly coming to terms with his second place.... [more]
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RC44 Tour ready to kick off with RC44 Oman Cup
Jo Grindley,
The seventh season of RC44 Championship Tour is about to get underway with the RC44 Oman Cup presented by Oman Shipping Company and hosted by Oman Sail. Anticipation amongst the thirteen competing teams is growing; who can stop Team Aqua taking the Championship for the third year in a row.... [more]
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Formula 18 Nationals - it never pours it reigns
Mark Rothfield,
There were card games all morning and snakes'n'ladders on the race course during an intriguing, rain-interrupted second day of the 2013 Australian Formula 18 National Championships on Lake Macquarie NSW.... [more]
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F18 Australian Championships 2013 - Two in row
Mark Rothfield,
The Australian F18 National Championships 2013 had the final day of racing scrapped off the schedule due to heavy flooding and a looming gale on Monday, allowing Jason Waterhouse and his crewman Brett Goodall to bag their second consecutive national title after five races at Mannering Park Amateur Sailing Club, Lake Macquarie.... [more]
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Vendee Globe Race - Golding tilts at fifth place
Emily Caroe,
The seemingly relentless climb up the Atlantic in the NE'ly tradewinds is a passage that Mike Golding knows well but that does not make it any easier or more enjoyable. There are no tactical, short term options available, this is just a period of bouncing, bumpy, slamming upwind sailing which is testing on stamina and patience, watching the miles to the finish drop slowly.... [more]
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Antigua Sailing Week 2013 - Star of the show
Trish Jenkins,
Peter Harrison's magnificent 115-foot ketch, Sojana was the star of the show in 2011, winning the Lord Nelson Trophy and the event overall. In 2012 Sojana came desperately close to a second year of success, only to be beaten on countback by Geoff Hill's Australian Santa Cruz 72, Antipodes.... [more]
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America's Cup: Olympic Rowing Gold medalist on the AC72's physicality
ETNZblog.com,
2000 Olympic Rowing Gold medalist in the Single Sculls, Rob Waddell well remembers the day he first set foot on the AC72. 'I remember thinking the boat was about as big as it could be and still be sailed by people power. If it was any bigger it would need an engine rather than grinders alone. 'The first day sailing was pretty tough physically and sailing the AC72 is still tough.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Transcript of press conference with Armel Le Cleac'h
Sabina Mollart Rogerson,
In the Vendee Globe, second place has also now been determined. Armel Le Cléac'h onboard Banque Populaire, crossed the Vendée Globe finish line Sunday 27th January 2013 at 17 hour 35 min 52 seconds GMT. He finishes the race in 78 days 5 hours and 33 minutes.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Transcript of press conference with Francois Gabart
Vendee Globe,
In the Vendee Globe, the winner has been decided. Gabart crossed the finish line onboard Macif at 15 hours 18 minutes 40 seconds, French time, setting a new solo round-the-world record of 78 day, 2 hours, 16 minutes and 40 seconds. Beating Michel Desjoyeaux's record by 6 day 00 hours 53 minutes.... [more]
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America's Cup: Kouyoumojian and Cayard on the new wingsail
America's Cup Media,
Artemis Racing, the Swedish Challenger for the 34th America's Cup, trained with its second wing sail for the first time earlier this week. Principal Designer Juan Kouyoumojian calls the new wing an evolution from wing one. 'The general concept is very much the same. I would define it as a refinement of the first wing,' he said.... [more]
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ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami preview
Jake Fish,
For the 24th time in ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami history, excellence in Olympic and Paralympic class racing will take place on the emerald waters of Biscayne Bay. This 6-day regatta gets underway on Monday, with over 300 of the best sailors in the World representing 35 countries. The regatta marks the second of four stops on the 2012-2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup series.... [more]
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Vendee Globe - Armel Le Cléac'h, Banque Populaire takes second place
Vendee Globe,
Frenchman Armel Le Cléac'h onboard Banque Populaire, crossed the Vendée Globe finish line Sunday 27th January 2013 at 17 hour 35 min 52 seconds GMT. He finishes the race in 78 days 5 hours and 33 minutes. This is the smallest gap between the winner and the second in the Vendée Globe history, a mere 3 hours 17minutes 12 seconds behind Gabart.... [more]
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