STUDENT YACHTING WORLD CUP – Day two’s sailing programme was the same as day one: two windward/leeward races and a coastal race awaited the competitors. The weather was still incredible, especially for this time of the year. The English team made a really good job as they won every race of the day: they are clearly the great favourites of the edition!
VOR – It’s all about how you overcome obstacles, you know… While leading Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng hit an unidentified object alongside the African coast. One of their rudders broke and they had to replace it. They lost the first place for a while but they are already back with a 32 mile lead over 2nd place Team Vestas Wind. Check how the Franco-Chinese crew – with a Swede too – managed that quick fix in the video above then go check out the real time tracker by clicking HERE.
MAXI RACING – The 100 foot (30.47m) LOA monohull limit set by a number of the classic 600 mile races such as the Fastnet, Sydney Hobart and Middle Sea races has been lifted by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and the Royal Malta Yacht Club for the 2015 editions of the Rolex Fastnet and Rolex Middle Sea Races. This will allow superyachts participating in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series to compete.
The AORS consists of four events: the RORC Caribbean 600, the 2015 Transatlantic Race from Newport to the Lizard, the Rolex Fastnet Race and Rolex Middle Sea Race. Superyachts have always been eligible to race in the RORC Caribbean 600 and a number have entered for the west to east Transatlantic Race at the end of June/July 2015, organised by the Royal Yacht Squadron and New York Yacht Club in association with the Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club.
In previous editions of the Rolex Fastnet Race only monohulls of 100ft or less were eligible to win the coveted Fastnet Challenge Cup. In 2013 there were two monohulls at this upper limit of 100ft: Mike Slade’s Farr 100, ICAP Leopard (GBR), and Igor Simcic’s RP100, Esimit Europa 2 (SLO).
With a number of superyachts competing in the 2015 Transatlantic Race, such as Elena Ambrosiadou’s, 289ft Dykstra/Perini Navi, Maltese Falcon, and Mariette, the 1915 Herreshoff classic, the increased LOA limit for the 46th biennial Rolex Fastnet Race will entice yachts over 100ft to enter and possibly win the Fastnet Challenge Cup, making for a spectacular race from Cowes, Isle of Wight in August 2015.
XS WORLD NEWS – Go to our XS World News page for sailing news from around the world. We keep adding links and RSS feeds so you can get sailing news and events from around the world. The page is constantly being updated everyday and every hour thru RSS feeds so check back a couple of times daily for up to minute news. XS Sailing -Where Sailing Lives!
ISAF WORLD CUP – On water action from the third day of racing at the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao. Follow the ISAF Sailing World Cup:Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/ISAFSailingWo…
VOR – The battle continues! These new one design 65’s are so close in performance the lead change has been too numerous to count. Almost everyone has been in the lead at some point. Currently the DONGFENG TEAM has the lead where as the girls, who once had a 13 mile lead, are now in last place. But don’t count them out as there is still a lot of racing to go. Check out the latest Reports from the Boats to see the mood onboard as the crew continues to race ‘dinghy’ style across the vast ocean:
REPORT FROM THE BOATS:
After the night we got a thrashing from, things were not working as expected. It began when Wouter discovered the AIS wasn’t working on the navigation laptop. As mentioned in a previous blog the spare/performance laptop took a swim and is no longer with us. The sea state was still rather rough so we started from the bottom up, problem solving. All the base units appear to work fine. The only possible answer and it was still a little speculative, “has the aerial fallen off?” Well, Tom was sent up the rig as soon as conditions allowed. It was a confirmed “YES” – the aerial was gone. Chris “imagine how far it got sent, its probably speared someone in Spain.” Trae said “I definitely wouldn’t want to be an aerial last night, or a windex” as he smiled looking up at the top of the mast. Then the issues continued, the hydraulics for the canting keel were not pushing to its maximum angle of 40 degrees. Chris had emails and phone calls all day long to rectify the issue, which I believe we have got to the bottom of. We also had a number of serious leaks, the major one on the pedestal buttons that killed Wouter’s laptop. Nicolai spent several hours with a tube of Sikaflex sealing late yesterday. Brian Carlin, OBR – Team Vestas Wind
Just like any of the crew, Wolf is recovering slowly from the three first days that have been extremely demanding in terms of physical effort and lack of sleep. He took the opportunity today to rest a little bit, to wash himself, to eat properly, but he is now realising how hard this race could be. “My dream was to do the Volvo Ocean race and I am now living my dream, but this is different from what I imagined. After these three first days, I am now wondering if this dream could potentially be a nightmare…”Yann Riou, OBR -Dongfeng Race Team
Today we went to school. Penthouse to the outhouse, we lost a ton of miles—heaps—and by large everyone was very aware of it all the time. But the challenges of the last 24 hours are already being viewed as a chance to improve; that quality is going to be one of this team’s biggest assets moving forward. Charlie has been keeping a sailing log, specific enough that after the crazy couple of cloud-driven, unpredictably random days of weather weirdness—conditions that reward patience and luck more so than your ability to physically sail a boat well through the water—he recorded his optimism: “Day four, happy to return to expected gradient sailing where we can start to actually sail the boat.” Charlie’s next log entry reads something along the lines of “And we’re extremely slow.” Amory Ross, OBR – Team Alvimedica
The crew has been living at the bow for more than 48 hours now, because of the light airs. We are nine, in a very small space, with all of our things, smells and snoring. There are many repairs to do onboard after the bashing the 30 knots upwind gave us. One of the most important ones is fixing the “outrigger” that we broke in half by mistake, sails on deck, and repairs inside “our home”. We’re making arrangements for the life to be easier in there, though there is nothing comfortable about it. Francisco Vignale, OBR – MAPFRE
Always learning. It’s what we do. And we did a lot of it today. It’s remarkable how compressed the seven Volvo Ocean 65s are at this point in the race. Race veterans can’t believe it. Onboard Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, the guys are just now starting their normal sleep rhythms after spending the first three nights of the race with no rest. Still, there’s little chance to relax when your competition is only a few miles away. Bright lights on the horizon. Matt Knighton, OBR – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
The excitement of mail arriving doesn’t change out here in the least. In fact, it’s probably amplified out here: 6,000nm from Cape Town and only five days out from Alicante on a 65-foot boat. Yesterday, Sophie came running out on deck and exclaimed: “I got mail!!” The email was four sentences long but her face beaming. “I didn’t expect anyone out here to email me, this is awesome,” she said. Corinna Halloran, OBR – Team SCA
CNN MAINSAIL – Mainsail’s Shirley Robertson meets the mega-rich owners who compete in the Mini Maxi World Championships. CHECK OUT PARTS ONE, TWO AND THREE IN THIS EXCELLENT COVERAGE BY CNN ABOVE!
SUNFISH SAILING – Everyone loves the sunfish! Simple and fun to sail. So do kids! Check out the competition at the 2014 Youth Worlds above!
VOR – The very first episode of a weekly show – Life at the Extreme – your best way to join the adventure and share the exhilarating and demanding experience of competitive sailing, around the world… the Volvo Ocean Race!
SOLO SAILORS – Red Dot on the Ocean is the story of Matt Rutherford, a severely troubled youth, who became a sailing legend. Departing Annapolis, MD in a scrappy, old 27-foot fiberglass sloop without fanfare, 30-year-old Rutherford braved the icebergs of the arctic and mountainous waves of Cape Horn to become the only person to ever sail single-handed, non-stop around the Americas a journey many professional sailors declared “a suicide mission.”
The story of Matt’s 27,000 mile journey is told through his own footage and photographs of the voyage and interviews with friends, family, and sailing experts. As a youngster, Matt’s ADHD and tics made life at home and at school near-impossible. At age 13 he was in drug rehab and he spent his remaining teen years more on the streets than in school.
Then, at age 17, locked up in a cell, he had an epiphany and began to turn his life around. Matt bought his first boat – sight unseen on the Internet and learned to sail on the fly. Four years later, in 2008, he embarked on a single-handed voyage from the USA to Europe, West Africa and back across the Atlantic to the Caribbean he’d found his calling. His next challenge was to circumnavigate the Americas. And, after 309 days at sea, he achieved his goal and sailed into Annapolis to a hero’s welcome.
Matt Rutherford’s story is full of surprises. It is truly inspiring and makes us all feel we can do more than we ever imagined. Check out the trailer above!
VOR UPDATE – From Matt Knighton, OBR – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing:
“Constant tacking, trying to be the first to get to the fresh winds, has meant no rest for the weary. Each change of course used to take 20 minutes shifting several tons of food, spares, sails, and water from one side of the boat to the other. After repetitive changes in course – some within mere minutes of the last – our time is down to 10 minutes. After a long night fighting waves and sprinting down towards the African coastline, the guys were pushing hard and not letting up. Although the breeze lightened and the waves subsided, the fact that we could still see almost the entire fleet around us meant that those who were looking for some sleep, weren’t going to get any.”
Currently, the top three boats are all within a mile from each other with the last boat Team Vestas Wind only 13 miles behind with sa long way to go To follow the fleet go to the Virtual Eye by CLICKING HERE!
VOR – It’s not just humans who want to catch a glimpse of the new Volvo Ocean 65. The girls on Team SCA made some new friends as they headed towards the Gibraltar Strait yesterday, when a pod of whales popped up to say ‘hi!’
DESTOPNEWS – Destopnews reports on the start of the VOR in their very own way. Check it out above.
ISAF – It was a day for calculated thinking and well measured approaches for the 171 sailors from 21 nations across six classes as racing commenced at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao.
Those who read the conditions well rose to the top of the leader boards as three races were completed in the Men’s and Women’s RS:X and two in the Men’s and Women’s 470, Laser and Laser Radial.
Laser and Laser Radial
Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and Pavlos Kontdies (CYP) were models of consistency on the opening day with the former posting two bullets and the latter taking two seconds.
It was a day of challenges for the 37-boat fleet with tactful sailing in a tough breeze and strong current. Stipanovic took gold at the 2013 edition of ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and used his experience of the waters to full affect, dominating the day, “It was a really good first day,” said the Croatian. “I managed to finish both races first, all marks around first but it was a really difficult wind with a lot of shifts. I was trying to keep on the left side the whole day and I managed to do that.”
At future ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas the fleet size will be reduced to 40 boats and with a number close to that in Qingdao Stipanovic likes the size of the fleet, “It’s much better than last year and it’s almost 40 boats which we’ll have next season in the World Cup so it is really nice. Next season all 40 boats will be top guys and it’s good that ISAF is changing and trying something.”
Despite trailing Stipanovic in both races Kontides was always in the hunt, putting the Croatian under pressure in both races. With the current and wind playing a big factor on the opening day Kontides always believed he would overtake his training partner, “In the strong current it was really important to be correct otherwise you would lose or gain a lot of metres,” said the Cypriot, silver medallist at the 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao.
“The race was never over until the end. I sailed consistently and had two second places and I am satisfied with the way I sailed and the way I thought during the races and I’m looking forward to the rest of the week.
“It’s a nice group of people and pretty competitive. You can see how one big mistake can get you right at the back of the fleet and you have to be careful because there are a lot of guys who can really good in this regatta.”
Wannes Van Laer (BEL) holds third position after the conclusion of race day one following a third and an eighth.
In the Laser Radial it was another 2013 victor, Dongshuang Zhang (CHN), who leads the way. Zhang was consistent on the race track posting two second place finishes to lead Sara Winther (NZL) by four points.
Gu Win (CHN) stole the show in the opening race of the day as she took an early lead. The Chinese racer got clean air and was able to extend her advantage as the race played out. She followed it up with an eighth in the second race to occupy third place overall.
2013 Laser Radial World Champion Tina Mihelic (CRO) took the second bullet of the day and sits in fifth.
Men’s and Women’s RS:X
Greece’s Byron Kokkalanis grabbed the lead in the Men’s RS:X fleet with a solid day of racing. Posting a 1-4-2 scoreline the Greek racer is one point ahead of China’s Xue Jingqi.
Kokkalanis explained how things panned out on the race track, “It was really tricky and gusty because the wind was blowing from the towers and cliffs so it was really hard. It’s a hard fleet in the light winds because the Chinese are really good. There can always be someone on the top for them as they are all very equal. I had fun and tomorrow the wind looks good, a nice breeze so we can have some more fun.”
The Greek sailor, visiting Qingdao for the first time, is revelling in the Chinese racing and culture and is making the most of his visit, “I love the place,” exclaimed Kokkalanis, “I’ve never been here before. It’s my first time. I did my campaign in 2008 but I didn’t qualify for the Olympics so it’s nice to be here and to see the place. The Opening Ceremony was good. I’ve never seen an Opening Ceremony in the World Cup like that, it was really nice.”
Going into the second day of competition and three more races are scheduled. With the breeze forecast to increase, Kokkalanis is looking forward to another good day of racing, “I’m just doing to do my best, I know I am fast planing and in strong wind. I’ll just keep an eye on the guys who are doing really good as well and just see what comes out.”
The day’s bullets went the way of Jingqi and Fu Erhao (CHN) who is down in sixth.
In the Women’s RS:X Lu Yunxiu (CHN) and Olga Maslivets (RUS) share the lead on three points. Maslivets was the stand out performer in the Women’s RS:X picking up an opening race bullet and following it up with a second and a fourth.
Yunxiu discards a 24th in the second race of the day so will have to remain consistent throughout the remaining races to ensure she keeps in touch at the top of the bunch.
Men’s and Women’s 470
Greece’s Pavlos Kagialis and Panagiotis Mantis have been one of the top performers in the Men’s 470 over 2014 and peaked at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships where they walked away with bronze. The pair have carried that form over to ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and with a 2-4 score line they lead the 18-boat Men’s 470.
As the week progresses it will be the team with the most consistent results that will walk away with the spoils. Race 1 victors Weng Daoliang and Lin Qiaowen (CHN) picked up an 11th in the second race to sit fourth overall. Zhou Chuancheng and Lin Yiqiang (CHN) took the second race bullet but posted a sixth in the opening race.
In the Women’s 470 China’s Wei Mengxi and Xu Yani lead after a second and a bullet. They have a slender three point advantage over Japan’s Ai Yoshida and Miho Yoshioka.
The breeze is expected to pick up on the second day of competition. Racing is scheduled to resume at 13:00 local time on Wednesday 15 October.
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CLIPPER SAILING – Sailing on the Clipper Stad Amsterdam will make your heart beat faster. It is an experience without comparison. The Atlantic Ocean Crossing is a voyage for the true sailing enthusiast! Mr. A. Goldschmeding made this short video impression of his experience in the spring of this year. Check it out above!
FINN SAILING – For Ben’s media studies this year as part of his major VCE final film project, he decided to film and document Australian Sailing Team member Oli Tweddell on what he does while sailing the Finn. “My main idea was to create a film that would appeal to sailors who understand the sport, and want to see it in a way that has never been documented before, while also teaching people who may not know the sport that well, how it works, and what sailors are doing in their boats and why they are doing it.”. Ben filmed all of this within 2 days, and has spent hours upon hours editing to create the final film.
VOR – REPORTS FROM THE BOATS: As of this post Team Alvimedica is in the lead but the lead has been changing every hour it seems – To follow the boat CLICK HERE. To get a feel of the sailing read below the reports from the boats:
It’s like World War 1 here, we are the front line troops, we have planes in the skies and submarines below the water. Nico and Wouter really haven’t slept at all. Getting out of the Med proved to be so difficult, a constant change in weather, wind, and waves proves a challenge for all. It’s really quite hideous outside, and so uncomfortable below deck. Imagine watching TV on a roller coaster. Writing a blog upwind is comparable to giving a 1 year old a typewriter… Evveryy nowws anf thenny a fandom ey gest touvhed…my laptop actually lifted about an inch off the desk as I wrote this. – Brian Carlin, OBR – Team Vestas Wind – Go to team website
The biggest challenge we have had so far was in making it through the night. A malicious front has left us licking our wounds a bit in these early hours of the morning. For now, everyone’s just trying to take care of each other and the boat. – Amory Ross, OBR – Team Alvimedica – Go to team website
Gusts of 30 knots were constantly bouncing the boat, and the guys were running from one place to the other changing sails, trimming, bailing water out, and doing everything possible to get the boat to the lead. We didn’t sleep for the third consecutive day, so some guys are resting now. It seems that every time the sun sets conditions worsen and we have to work at the top of our strength. As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t make dinner so they only had cereal and protein bars. – Francisco Vignale, OBR – MAPFRE – Go to team website
Last night, the wind increased to nearly 30 knots. For the first time since the start of the race, the bridge of the boat is wet by something other than rain. Moisture tends to spread everywhere – every little movement becomes complicated. Finding a balance, and trying to keep it despite the impacts of the hull against the waves. In short, a routine – but a routine that had been a bit lost for a month under the sun of Alicante. – Yann Riou, OBR – Dongfeng Race Team – Go to team website
The day began with little to no wind. At one point in the early hours we were even sailing backwards because there was no wind and too much current! Life on board is 200% different than earlier. – Corinna Halloran/Team SCA – And it’s this extreme difference that cannot only keep life out here interesting but it also can be a (literal) pain. For example, new bruises and aches show up, our stomachs are not 100%, and we’re all somewhat exhausted. Nonetheless, we’re moving forward after all and that’s exactly what we want to be doing. – Corinna Halloran -Team SCA – Go to team website
Team Vestas Wind was keeping pace as Chuny looked at his old Skipper, Chris Nicholson’s boat wearily. With a flick of the hand as if to swat him away, he grinned and steadied his eyes forward.“It’s not about being more experienced sailor”, said Chuny in his friendly broken English. Pointing to his head he continued, “It’s about being a smarter sailor.”Over the next several hours into the night, the winds continued to build from the Southwest. Quick to notice the change, Chuny changed sails minutes before it built into the low thirties. A smooth transition in moderate conditions that could have taken much longer in serious conditions; we gained several tenths of a mile. – Matt Knighton, OBR – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – Go to team website