AC NEWS – Australian sailing legend Iain Murray talks to BoTV about the Team Australia and the coming 2017 America’s Cup. Yes the boats will be in the 60 foot range and there will be a crew nationality clause.
XS WORLD NEWS – Need more sailing news than what’s on our homepage? Go to our new and improved XS WORLD NEWS page for all the sailing news from around the world. We keep adding links and RSS feeds so the news is constantly being updated everyday and every hour. The link is always located in the menu bar above and a large XS World News banner on the upper right.
Check it out today and please allow a little time for loading as it is packed full of all your sailing news. It’s worth the wait! Just another reason why XS Sailing is your one stop website for sailing news… Where Sailing Lives! CHECK IT OUT BY CLICKING HERE!
SAILBOAT CRASHES – With almost 400,000 Youtube views, 3rd Place goes to this incredible MOD 70 Spindrift capsize while racing in Dublin, Dun Laoghaire. The boat capsized with 25 knots of wind in a severe gust during the Inshore Race of the Route des Princes. It is the first time a MOD70 capsizes since this One Design boat was launched 2 years ago. Yann Guichard was at the helm of the boat when the accident occurred.
SAILBOAT CRASHES – With 506,000 Youtube views, 2nd Place goes to a Figaro boat capsized or pitchpoled while sailing under spinnaker. An amazing vidéo. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the accident. Xavier Macaire was the skipper of the boat and Yves Le Blevec was a guest onboard. Both of them are well knowned skippers. The boat nosedived in less than two seconds. the video is incredible.
SAILING CRASH – With 522,000 Youtube views, 1st place goes to SailRocket – Sailing footage of the extreme record-breaking sailboat SailRocket lifting off for a spectacular mid-air crash. Vestas Sailrocket sailing at speed.
SAFETY AT SEA – Every Sailors worst nightmare is to have a hole in his/her boat, especially one that the bilge pumps can’t keep up with. Friends encountered just such a nightmare at this weekends HEINEKEN Sailing Regatta in St Maarten / St Martin, SXM, Caribbean.
Imagine going out for a fun day as crew on a friends boat, only to come home that night and find an unexpected wind shift in the anchorage has put your boat up on a shallow reef and punctured the hull… that’s exactly what happened to these friends, and we spent the day today alongside everyone else working to salvage their floating home. These are good people, and avid sailors of over 30 years, and this boat was their dream as they just started out on their new voyage onboard. Very sad day.
CLIPPER RACE – The first teams have started to arrive in Qingdao, China, following one of the most challenging legs of the 2013-14 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race: GREAT Britain, Mission Performance and Derry~Londonderry~Doire arrived at the Olympic Sailing Center this morning, local time.
“We had a really good race, but it was a very tough race. We have all our fingers crossed that we have done really well with our elapsed time,” said GREAT Britain skipper Simon Talbot. “As a team we are really pleased especially when you consider how tricky this race has been.”
Click here to view the official photography from the Clipper Race fleet’s arrival in Qingdao, China.
Race 9.1 is being run on an elapsed time basis following staggered start times out of Hong Kong, so the finishing order will not necessarily reflect the fastest times, which will be the basis for awarding points.
So far GREAT Britain has the shortest elapsed time of the first three arrivals at 7 days 00 hours 35 minutes 41 seconds , but both Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Mission Performanceare proud of their teams who achieved elapsed times of 7 days 7 hours 57 minutes 59 seconds and 7 days 13 hours 14 minutes 0 seconds respectively.
All these times could still remain competitive given the changing weather currently being experienced across the fleet. Mission Performance Skipper Matt Mitchell said the strong finish had given his crew a real morale booster: “Everyone feels fantastic, we do have a very small team but everyone gave 110 percent, and I couldn’t have asked more of them.
“There were times when I was asking them to change the sails and they really didn’t want to. In all fairness to the team it didn’t take too much persuasion. We really feel that we have performed the best we possibly could for what was a very tough race.”
Derry~Londonderry~Doire was also in high spirits as they joined the other boats in bright sunshine to be greeted by massed bands of drummers, dancers, throngs of well wishers, media and local VIPs.
Skipper Sean McCarter said, “To arrive here today in Qingdao China is a massive relief. To finish Race 9.1 one of the toughest races in the entire Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, to finish it in one piece with the crew in good form is just a massive relief.”
“We were lucky to dodge the worst of the weather, but it definitely wasn’t easy. We faced some very tough conditions in the Taiwan Strait, and we were racing very closely with GREAT Britain and Mission Performance. ”
The rest of the fleet has been struggling in lighter airs or strong head winds, although the forecast suggests winds will shift to provide a downwind finish for some.
For the latest ETAs into Qingdao view here
The Race Viewer leader board by Yellow Brick will have provisional finish and elapsed times posted as they are reported. Click here
However, the official results and relative points for each team will not be confirmed until Thursday.
HOME MOVIES - The guys at Dogcam lent me a camera for a month to have a play with. I took it out for some of the training and then had a little play at editing. Have a look. I decided Figaros are a bit more interesting in Fast forward… CHECK IT OUT ABOVE!
LANDSAILING – Another perfect day ripping around on Red Lake in a Blokart! The wind blew once again around 20 mph from the north. We started the day out using 3 and 4M sails. Patty was way over powered up wind, so she put up a 2M sail. This allowed her to point with speed to windward and still blow by me downwind!!!
UNTIE THE LINES – Until we get report #26 from our mysterious woman sailor – we will try to catch you up on this adventuresome woman sailor with report #12- Becoming a solo sailing woman:
After a positive trial run with KARL, it is time to untie the lines by myself for the first time. So I leave Shelter Bay, all excited about my first solo trip. The weather looks good and KARL’s engine is running…but then another adventure is coming up for me and KARL. But find out yourself!
If you enjoy watching my documentary and therefore want to contribute a little bit internet costs / video equipment, then you can do so here: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr…. Thank you for your support!
COOL DESIGN CONCEPTS – Model proa with bi-directional canting sail in a gust. Check out the tack / jibe? of this new model concept.
52 SUPER SERIES – Miami, FL (March 9, 2014) – Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing completed a double title ‘slam dunk’ in the sweltering Miami heat and light winds as they collected the US 52 Championship title with a solid final day and also clinched the US 52 SUPER SERIES title, adding the Miami regatta win to their event victory in Key West in January.
While Takashi Okura’s crew from Sled celebrated their own two bullets ending to their perfect day off South Beach Miami, Quantum Racing – with Ed Baird steering and Terry Hutchinson calling tactics – twice got the better of their duels with Azzurra. The quiet satisfaction of the victorious American team at a job well done, securing the US title today with a fourth and third in difficult, very shifty conditions contrasted sharply with the deep frustrations of the Azzurra crew.
Twice they had started better and were ahead of Quantum Racing but both times their choices and tactics proved inferior. When Azzurra needed to put points on their rivals in fact they ended up dropping well behind, scoring a sixth and seventh. Having lead the regatta at interim stages the emblematic team from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda will analyse their learning before starting up in Europe in May Capri when the Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES begins.
Just as Quantum Racing had two reasons to celebrate, so also it was double delight for Okura’s Sled team. Not only did they win both races today but their 2,2,1,1 finale over the last four races, easily the strongest of the fleet, elevated them to third overall in the 52 US Championship, the nine race Miami regatta. They edged out the Interlodge team – which had Dean Barker steering – but only on count back.
After the fleet was held ashore waiting for the breeze to build, the first contest was sailed in only 6 to 8 knots of very patchy, streaky breeze. With just two points separating Quantum Racing and Azzurra before the start, a match racing tussle seemed inevitable. After the requisite circling it was Azzurra which broke way to make the start they wanted towards the inshore end of the line. When they crossed it was Azzurra ahead but on the next pattern of shifts Quantum Racing jumped clear ahead of them.
Sled, with Ross MacDonald calling tactics, jumped off the start line and were able to cross the fleet to the preferred right, offshore side of the upwind leg and were never passed again before collecting their first race win of the US 52 SUPER SERIES. Azzurra faded badly and only by virtue of a last run penalty imposed on Hooligan did they avoid seventh. Quantum Racing finished two boats ahead in fourth, extending their cushion to four points into the final race.
The last race of the US season was marked by a big, big wind shift to the right. Sled were all over it, working the right flank almost alone and so, again, lead all the way around the short, but slow, and exacting final contest. Quantum Racing took third, only one second behind Interlodge as the pair dived for the line side by side.
The American team which is owned by Doug DeVos, current 52 SUPER SERIES champions, Quantum Racing finish the event as well deserved regatta and series champions, equally accomplished across the very fullest range of wind conditions which Miami has offered, from light drift-offs to a stunning mid regatta day of three very hard, physical races in 25kts, gusting to over 30kts. Tactician Terry Hutchinson acknowledged that they have been fast across all the conditions here:
“ I think we are fast here. That was the one thing for this regatta, I felt we were really, really fast. We never felt compromised at any time, speedwise. And that was a real bonus.”
“ Miami at this time of year is always very hard, it is a subtle sea breeze with a lot of fanning pressure under the clouds and how that affects the race course. It is really, really difficult. And I would not pick that as our strong point. And yet we seemed to sail the boat pretty nicely.”
As the North American series concludes owners and crews contemplate the Barclays 52 SUPER SERIES, the four regattas circuit in Europe which starts late May in Capri, Italy.
Click here for photos.
US 52 SUPER SERIES
TP52 US CHAMPIONSHIP
final standings after nine races
1. Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA) 1,3,2,1,1,4,3,4,3; 22pts
2. Azzurra (ITA) Pablo A Roemmers (ARG) 4,1,1,2,2,1,6, 6, 7; 30pts
3. Sled (USA) Takashi Okura (USA) 6,6,6,5,4,2,2,1,1; 33pts
4. Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA) 3,5,3,3,5,3,7,2,2; 33pts
5. Rán Racing (SWE) Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,7,4,4,3,6,4,5,6; 41pts
6. Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA) 5,2,5,6,7,5,5,3,5; 43pts
7. Hooligan (USA) Gunther Buerman (USA) 7,4,7,7,6 8/DNF,1,7,4; 51pts
1. Quantum Racing 1,3,2,1,1,4,3,4,2; 21pts
2. Azzurra 4,1,1,2,3,1,5,6,7; 30pts
3. Sled 6,6,6,5,4,2.2,,1,1; 33pts
4. Interlodge 3,5,4,3,6,3,7,2,3; 36pts
5. Rán Racing 2,7,3,4,2,6,4,5,5; 38pts
6. Vesper 5,2,5,6,7,5 6,3,6; 45pts
7. Hooligan 7,4,7,7,5,8/DNF 1,7,4; 50pts
ISAF – The Qualification System for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition has been released.
The first Qualification Regatta, the 2014 High Liner IFDS World Championships, takes place from 16-24 August 2014 at the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron, Halifax, Canada.
The Squadron will welcome 150 world class disabled athletes across three Paralympic events as they aim to qualify their nation for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Sailing Competition
Heather Robertson, Chair of the High Liner IFDS Worlds said, “We are hosting the North American Championship from 9-11 August so it will be an amazingly busy month at our club. It’s a huge undertaking but we are ready after three years of preparation.
“Our commitment to disabled sailing has not gone unrewarded as all three levels of government and the private sector have financially supported these events and helped to make our club a fully accessible venue, including ramps to the clubhouse and docks, paved pathways and a lift in the Marine Activity Center for access to the second story regatta offices.
“I am really proud of the Squadron and what we have achieved. We have a world class race management team who have already devoted untold amounts of time in preparation for the Worlds.
“When we are inundated with great sailors from around the world, we know our membership will be warm and welcoming to all the participants.”
Eight Single-Person Keelboat (2.4mR) spots, five Two-Person Keelboat (SKUD18) places and seven Three-Person Keelboat (Sonar) slots will be allocated at the 2014 Worlds.
The remaining places will be taken at the 2015 IFDS Worlds set to be held in Melbourne, Australia from 26 November – 3 December 2015.
View the 2014 IFDS Worlds Website here.
Click here to view the Qualification System.
SAFETY AT SEA – A missing 69 year old sailor was found dead onboard his Hobie catamaran less than 24 hours after setting sail. What happened? Heart attack or accident? See the report above.
US 52 SUPER SERIES – Quantum Racing go into the final day of racing at the 52 US Championship in Miami with a lead of two points after rescuing a valuable third place from what proved to be one of the most tactically testing races yet. They took places down the final fluky run of Saturday’s only contest to establish slender advantage over rivals Azzurra as they contemplate a finale of up to three races Sunday.
A long, hot wait – drifting aimlessly off Miami South Beach for over two and half hours – was rewarded by a very taxing NE’ly breeze of 7 to 9 knots which contained big windshifts, subtle pressure differences and consequently many place changes through the seven boat US 52 SUPER SERIES fleet.
Gunther Buermann’s Hooligan crew proved true to a late night pledge to themselves, that they would win today, seeking ‘redemption’ after a problematic final race Friday. A succession of small mistakes culminated in a gybe in which the running backstay jammed, taking away their aftermost stanchion and dropping three crew into the water.
With Kenny Read calling tactics, aided and abetted by strategist Tony Rey they sailed an accomplished, smart race to win their first race ever on the US 52 SUPER SERIES. Their precise second beat got them through early leaders Sled, and so Taksashi Okura’s crew were – for the second successive occasion – denied their own 52 maiden race win.
“It was redemption for us for sure. Yesterday was quite humbling and we just make a bunch of errors as a group and literally paid for it. We broke the boat, we broke some people, and we decided late last night that ‘we are winning today, we were pissed at how we performed and we all wanted to do something about it. So I give the whole team a lot of credit. It would have been easy to pack it in, and have nothing to play for. But everybody was really into it. My brother Brad got us a great start and that made it a little easier.” Read smiled on the dock at Miami Beach Marina.
Starting the day with a cushion of just one point Azzurra’s game plan looked favourite early in the race, working the left inshore lane where there was more pressure. But unfortunately for them it was the opposite side which played out best. Until the second round they were back in seventh, but they too one place on the last run to keep themselves solidly in contention going into the last day.
“We had a plan to go left, there was plenty of breeze on the left, there was less current and I was very confident in it. It was forecast to go left. There were many reasons to go left. We were very very happy after the start. But that is part of the game, you have to trust in your plan but sometimes it does not work out. But tomorrow is another day.” Noted Vasco Vascotto, Azzurra’s tactician.
It remains close throughout the fleet. Azzurra may be 12 points clear of third placed Interlodge but there are then just two points separating them, Rán Racing in fourth and Sled in fifth.
US 52 SUPER SERIES – TP52 US CHAMPIONSHIP
after seven races
1 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug DeVos (USA) 1,3,2,1,1,4,3 15pts
2 Azzurra (ITA) Pablo A Roemmers (ARG) 4,1,1,2,2,1,6 17pts
3 Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA) 3,5,3,3,5,3,7 29pts
4 Rán Racing (SWE) Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,7,4,4,3,6,4 30pts
5 Sled (USA) Takashi Okura (USA) 6,6,6,5,4,2,2 31pts
6 Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA) 5,2,5,6,7,5,5 35pts
7 Hooligan (USA) Gunther Buerman (USA) 7,4,7,7,6 8DNF,1 44pts
BACARDI MIAMI SAILING WEEK – Miami, FL (March 8, 2014) – The mantra “a bad day on the water is better than a good day at the office” will resonate with many of the sailors who have been racing at the fifth BACARDI Miami Sailing Week Presented by EFG. While the breeze yesterday was higher than allowed for competition by some class rules, today’s finale saw so little wind it appeared as though a raft-up was taking place on Biscayne Bay instead of a regatta.
Wrapping up a six-day schedule today, the 180 teams racing in six one-design classes – Audi Melges 20, J/70, Melges 24, Star, Viper 640 and VX One – completed enough races for the victors to collect the spoils, and, with the mid-day cancellation of additional races the sailors had ample time to enjoy the legendary hospitality of Bacardi.
Since 2000, there has been a jinx for the day one winning Star team as none in that position has gone on to claim the prized BACARDI Cup. That was the case again this year for Mark Reynolds (San Diego, Calif.) and Miami sailor Magnus Liljedahl, who won the first race of the series to jump to the top of the 55-boat Star fleet. The duo, who shared both Olympic Gold and a Star World Championship win in 2000, had not sailed together for 10 years.
“I’m from Miami, live here, have a lot of friends and this result [second overall] feels like a win,” said Liljedahl, who has more wins of the Bacardi Cup (five) than any other crew in the event’s history, while Reynolds holds the record (seven) for skippers. “It was a good event for Mark and me. I have a lot of respect for him, he is an outstanding skipper, he is very balanced and I like racing with him.”
Lars Grael of Brazil, the two-time (’88, ’96) Tornado Olympic Medalist, with crew Samuel Gonzalves, moved to the top of the Star standings on the second day of racing and held that position to the end. They took the win with five points, holding a five-point lead over Reynolds and Liljedahl.
“This is great, it’s my first BACARDI Cup and it’s the first for a Brazilian boat,” said Lars Grael. “I’m very proud. Last year we got close and this year we sealed the deal. We started off with two seconds and a first; we dropped our bad race from the other day. Yesterday we had too much wind, today too little, and with our conservative approach we took it home.”
Lars Grael’s older brother, Torben Grael, the 1990 Star World Champion, and crew Guilheme Almeida, finished third overall with 12 points; followed by the 2012 Bacardi Cup Champion Xavier Rohart of France and Serge Pulfer with 16 points. Brad Funk (Plantation, Fla.) and crew Mark Strube round out the top-five with 18 points.
In the 41-boat Audi Melges 20 fleet, reigning world champion John Taylor (Jupiter, Fla.) goes home the winner after posting finishes of 3-5 yesterday to move to the top of the standings with 35 points. Drew Freides (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) is second overall with 37 points; Russell Lucas (Little Silver, N.J.) placed third overall with 41 points; followed by Brazilian sailor Cesar Gomes Neto with 44 points. Defending champion Michael Kiss (Holland, Mich.), also a three-time national champion in the class, completes the top-five with 45 points.
“The fleet was very competitive; there was a very high level of sailing,” said Bill Hardesty who was John Taylor’s tactician. “It was great sailing against the best of them. [We] won worlds in December and the hardest thing to do is to come back and win again.”
In the six-boat Melges 24 class Kevin Welch (Anacortes, Wash.) won the series with six points. Italian sailor Nicola Ardito was second overall with eight points; Steven Boho (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin) took third overall with 16 points; followed by Canada’s Richard Reid with 19 points.
“Coming from the northwest to sail in Miami was a great change of pace,” said Welch. “We have not been able to sail since last fall. First day we had snag; our anchor line wrapped around our keel. So Friday our strategy was to just avoid disaster and sail smooth. Friday was the best sailing day we have had in a very long time. This was a great event to be part of. We hope to be back next year. The race committee did a great job of setting the course up.”
With scores of 10-1-1, Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.) took the win in the 40-boat J/70 fleet with 12 points, winning the tie-breaker over BMSW defending champion Brian Keane (Weston, Mass.) who had finishes of 7-2-3. Peter Duncan (Rye, N.Y) took third with 14 points, followed by Heather Gregg-Earl (Boston, Mass.) with 22 points, and Tim Molony (New Orleans, La.) with 23.
“Out of all the regattas this was a really great one to win,” said Welles. “We had a great start, good team work, nice speed and a little luck. The first day we had about 10 knots, second day we had about 20. So I would say today they made a good choice to not race [today]. Coming from Newport we really love coming to BACARDI and we are so glad they invited the J70 class to be part of it.”
In the 25-boat Viper 640 fleet, Phil Lotz (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) took the win by just one point over defending BMSW champion Brad Boston (Canada) who had six points. British sailor Justin Scott was third overall with 14 points; Australian sailor Rod Beurteaux finished fourth overall with 16 points; and another British sailor, Jon Powell, was fifth with 22 points.
“I am very happy to break my streak of placing second,” said Lotz who had his wife, Wendy, and Luke Lawrence as crew. “I was neck and neck with Brad Boston, who sailed very well! I would also like to add how great it was to sail with all the international teams who crossed the pond to be part of this race. I think the key factor to our win is that we really sailed as a team. We worked hard with the breeze on Thursday and Friday. This was mine and my wife’s second time sailing in this race we have been sailing together for a little over a year now.”
In the VX One class, Donovan Brennan (Mobile, Ala.) took the win in that 21-strong fleet with seven points after finishes of 5-1-1. David Bolyard (Portsmouth, R.I.) and Kevin Northrop (Daphne, Alabama), were second and third, respectively, tied on eight points each. David Reich (Trussville, Ala.) took fourth overall with 13 points, with Charles Brown (Newport, R.I.) finished fifth with 14 points.
“Wow, winning this race was extraordinary for a couple reasons,” said Brennan who sailed with his son and daughter. “I won it with my family. I came into it with no expectations. I believe we won on energy and as for technicalities go we had a flatter give then the others did. We were at 23 knots yesterday. Winning was just as great as it was running into old friends and Olympians. This was my first BACARDI and probably will not be my last.”
Click here for complete results.
18 FOOTERS – The Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage officially became the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff champions today after a magnificent regatta performance which saw the team score five wins and one second place from the six races which count towards the final points.
The win gave skipper Seve Jarvin his sixth victory as a skipper in the championship, equaling the record of Iain Murray (1977-1982, inclusive), who is now team manager for Gotta Love It 7.
In today’s Race 7 of the 2014 championship (video above), proudly presented by Sydney City Marine, Gotta Love It 7 failed to register a perfect score by just 12s when the Asko Appliances team of Marcus Ashley-Jones, James Dorron and Jeronimo Harrison took the honours after a long battle with ‘7’ and third placed Yamaha, from New Zealand, which was only 7s behind ‘7’.
Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) finished fourth today, ahead of Pure Blonde (Nick Daly) and C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ).
Gotta Love It 7 finished on 7 points for a comprehensive victory.
Although only 11th today, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Trent Barnabas) was runner-up overall on 24 points followed by Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge) on 28, C-Tech on 30, Yamaha 35 and Asko Appliances on 41.
Today, the three placegetters put on a great contest in the light ENE breeze for the entire course and only 19s separated the three teams at the finish.
Yamaha (David Mc Diarmid, Andrew Archbald, Mark Overington) took the lead soon after the start but Gotta Love It 7 was making a move and soon had pressure on the leader.
The Kiwi boat had good boat speed and sailed a great course as she held off ‘7’ to lead by 17s at the windward mark.
Asko Appliances was about another 1 min. behind the leader at that stage.
Yamaha extended the lead on the spinnaker run back to the bottom mark after electing to sail a totally different course to Gotta Love It 7.
Asko was also fast and joined ‘7’ as the pair turned for the next windward leg.
Another good leg upwind and Asko Appliances took the lead, while Gotta Love It 7 took Yamaha which seemed to suffer from a lack of local knowledge.
As the leaders headed for home Gotta Love It 7 had once again taken the lead late in a race and seemed a likely winner.
With only a few hundred metres from the finish Gotta Love It 7 still led but a brilliant finish by Asko Appliances grabbed a victory in the dying stages.
For full details on the championship, Race Reports, Results, Points and video coverage go to www.18footers.com.au and “click here” on the home page.
AC NEWS – American Andrew Campbell is the newest recruit to join ORACLE TEAM USA and he is making his debut with the team during its training camp in Sydney Australia this week.
A four-time All-American, Campbell was a standout sailor at the collegiate level, leading his Georgetown University sailing team to three single-handed national championships, among other titles. Incredibly, on a list dominated by football and basketball players, Campbell has been named among Georgetown’s all-time Top 10 Athletes by Sports Illustrated magazine.
Following up his college sailing with Olympic campaigns in the Laser and Star class, Campbell sailed for the United States in the Laser in the 2008 Olympic Games in China.
And it’s from a relationship formed in the Laser that he comes to ORACLE TEAM USA.
“I’ve been racing a lot against (ORACLE TEAM USA tactician and sailing team manager) Tom Slingsby over the last 12 years,” Campbell says. “We went to the youth worlds in 2002 and competed against each other in the Laser and we’ve either been racing each other or at least racing in events on the same circuit as each other for a long time. Tom is my main connection here.”
Campbell also knows American sailor Rome Kirby – both of their fathers worked with the America3 campaigns in San Diego in the 1990s.
But now it’s Campbell’s turn to take on the sailing’s pinnacle event. This will be his first America’s Cup campaign and he joins a team that just completed one of the greatest comebacks in all of sport.
“I’m trying to come in this week with as open a mind as possible,” he says. “This group of guys have been together through some serious obstacles and they fought through it to win the top prize in our sport. So I’m going to have to fit in to a squad that’s already running at high gear. I’ll do my best to see what kind of role they need me to play and I’ll fit my sailing style and team skills in as best I can.”
With his background in US college sailing, Campbell knows about working in big teams, something he missed during his Olympic days, although he says he will draw on both types of experiences going forward.
“My strongest suit that I’m going to bring to this group is the focus and tactical background you get from an Olympic campaign,” he says. “But I also think I have a unique experience having gone through the US collegiate atmosphere. The team building aspects that go on there are very important. You learn a lot about team dynamics and achieving goals with a large group, so I’m excited to get back into that environment.
“The Olympic program is very much an individual effort and can be very character building as you’re really on your own. Before the Olympics I was in Georgetown University in a team of about 40 people, and we were all figuring our way forward. The dynamics of putting players in certain roles and finding places for people to succeed is something I really enjoyed when I was in college and I think I fit in really well in those kind of group situations.”
Campbell says he was following ORACLE TEAM USA throughout the Cup finals last September and emailing Slingsby and Kirby with some words of ‘encouragement’ when things weren’t looking good early in the series.
“We were giving them a bit of grief but promised to come up to San Francisco if they ever got it together and made a comeback. And sure enough, when they won that 18th race to tie the series, I realized I’d have to race up the coast from San Diego, sleep on a coach and cheer them on for the last race.
“It was a pretty spectacular thing to watch and I was just itching the whole time to sink my teeth into it. Now I’m so excited for the opportunity to join them in a sailing role rather than just a cheerleading role. It’s going to be great.”
Campbell’s America’s Cup journey started on Friday when ORACLE TEAM USA started training in Sydney.
CLIPPER RACE - The wind has abated slightly and the waves have decreased marginally, providing a little respite to the crews as they close in on Qingdao.
The wind has freed off a little more to the north from the north east and forecasts predict that it will veer back round to the north east again soon to give pack leaders GREAT Britain, Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Mission Performance a better angle towards the finish line.
GREAT Britain has sailed into a patch of light wind and is currently only making 3.8 knots.
Simon Talbot, skipper of GREAT Britain, said his team had been working really hard to rinse every last ounce out of the dying wind to get past the virtual mark before it shuts down completely and leaves them at the mercy of the current.
“I am pleased to say we have just passed it, which means the next waypoint off the course is now the finish line which lies a tantalisingly close 171 miles away!”
Derry~Londonderry~Doire skipper Sean McCarter said: “All good things must come to an end though and it seems that the Yellow Sea is running out of wind for the moment. Not only that but the new breeze is forecast to fill in from the north-west which means that after a few hours of bobbing around, we’ll be back to slow upwind sailing. Nevertheless, we have blown the cobwebs off our medium weight spinnaker, re-read the instruction manual on how to use it and are currently milking the last few miles out of this breeze.”
For the yachts in the middle of the pack, progress is still painfully slow. Eric Holden, skipper of Henri Lloyd, said: “While we’ve seen some of the other yachts get some nice lifts, we have found none ourselves and continue on the same poor headings as the past several days. Unfortunately it looks like this slow steady slog will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Meanwhile, Jamaica Get All right has made a short pit-stop in Taiwan as it motor sails to Qingdao following a decision to cease racing due to forestay safety concerns.
Today is International Women’s Day. Read some of the stories of the global women of the race here, including Vicky Song, the first Chinese woman to circumnavigate the globe, taking part in the race on board Qingdao.
To read all the skipper reports click here.
To track the fleet’s progress on the official Race Viewer click here.