Welcome to Sail-World.com's New Zealand newsletter for March 15, 2014
This newsletter marks the end of an era for Sail-World New Zealand, as we switch to a new site and newsletter format in the next couple of days, God and Geeks willing.
The change is just the front end of a series of changes and expansions that have been underway since early 2013.
That process is still ongoing - but without the technical disruptions that we faced in the early days.
The reasons for the changes are essentially to allow Sail-World to cope with the expansion of the site. When I started in 2005, Sail-World was just five sites – Cruising, Australia, Asia, UK and NZ. With the next flight of sites to be launched in Europe, we will be up to 25 sites in total world-wide.
Four of the five editors who were with us in 2005 are still onboard.
Still a favorite shot - ABN Amro One skippered by Mike Sanderson flies past the Lizard, winning six of the nine trans-oceanic legs in the 2005/06 Volvo Ovean race Volvo Ocean Race/Oskar Kihlborg
Each of those sites is unique, meaning that effecting a global change is not easy, and with the shift to the new format and other changes that have been made and are planned we are looking to make changes more easily, improve speed, and enhance stability.
We do expect to have transition issues, as nothing is ever quite as simple as it should be. And it is a rare day in IT when everything goes as planned, and all issues are foreseen - and dealt with ahead of time.
Please bear with us.
PredictWind March 1000hrs, 15, 2014 - Cyclone Lusi, PredictWind
Right now Auckland is being battered by the tail of Cyclone Lusi, which hit the Northland Coast late Friday and hit Auckland earlier this morning.
Fortunately Auckland seems to have been spared the worst of the wind and rain, however a few miles away winds have been gusting to 60kts and that is fairly typical for any area exposed to the full force of the easterly. In the old money that is Force 10 on the Beaufort Scale – and to put that is perspective is well under what has been experienced around Great Britain recently, where winds of Force 11, have been almost commonplace at sea.
We have been covering the forecast and progress of the cyclone using the functions of www.predictwind.com!PredictWind!new, and have run three stories over the past 48 hours or so.
As with any weather forecasting system, reality is sometimes different from the forecast – particularly when there is an official tendency to overstate the danger – and then scale that back at a later time.
With PredictWind it is easy to check the accuracy of the forecasts, by checking out the actual latest observations from MetService's recorders around New Zealand. In fact you can do this within PredictWind itself.
PredictWind did get the landing time of the cyclone time correct, and the wind strengths have been very close to forecast.
Probably the most disturbing aspect is that the latest models now show Christchurch and its catchment area on the surrounding Canterbury Plains receiving a lot more rain than was previously expected.
We will monitor the path of the storm, and continue to provide updates throughout the weekend.
The remains of Cyclone Lusi are expected to have spun off into the Southern Ocean by Monday morning.
Alex Thomson the skipper of the Hugo Boss IMOCA Open 60 race yacht jumps after walking up the mast of his yacht whilst sailing. Lloyd Images/Alex Thomson Racing
In other stories in this newsletter, we update on solo sailor Alex Thomson's mast walk on the 60fter Hugo Boss, with the republication and link to a story by Kate Laven, yachting correspondent for the Daily Telegraph (UK). All was not quite what it seemed with the stunt – spectacular as it was.
As the America's Cup bubbles away, waiting for the announcement of the Protocol for the 35th Match, we carry a story of the signing of past New Zealand Sailor of the Year, and 2010 World Match Racing Champion, Adam Minoprio, by Italian Challenger, Luna Rossa.
Nothing has been said officially and we speculate as to his role in the Luna Rossa team – both on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, and beyond.
Another signing, or re-signing, is the announcement that top multihull sailor Loick Peyron (FRA) will join Artemis Racing Team, and will sail for Sweden. We carry a report and video in this issue of Sail-World.com's newsletter.
Rome Kirby, the sole US sailor aboard America's Cup winner Oracle Team USA, tells how it felt to be able to successfully Defend the America's Cup – which came on the back of a third place in the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race. From Sydney where he is sailing the team's AC45 against Team Australia, he reflects on both experiences.
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