When it comes to welcoming racing yachts that have crossed oceans, no city or port exceeds Auckland for turnout, fanfare, and enthusiasm.
Groupama finished in the dark, but check out the arrival of PUMA:
And hometown favorites CAMPER:
That's what it looks like when sailing is a national sport.
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If you haven't been paying much attention to the Volvo Ocean Race, now is the time to focus. A brutal, seemingly endless, Leg 4 is coming down to an intense battle for podium places, and boats are practically match-racing as they try to get through the final 300 miles.
Groupama has sailed a brilliant leg, and barring a catastrophic breakdown, look to have this leg sewn up. Cammas and his team deserve this victory, and it will help keep Telefonica from running away with this VOR.
It is the fight for second and third, however, that is delivering ... Read More
Okay, now that you have your Dream Boat, where are you going to sail it?
I am here to serve. So let me point you toward the Caribbean paradise of Saint Barts, where one of the most spectacular regattas on God's blue ocean will take place in a month.
Les Voiles De Saint Barths. It sounds exotic, non? Does it feature beautiful classic yachts, luxury yachts, and flat-out racers, bashing it out across deep blue waters in whistling tradewinds? Why, yes, yes it does.
April 2-7. Be there. And any American with a pulse has to be happy ... Read More
Good interview with VSail. Here's just a taste:
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VSail.info: So, what is the most important factor in beating such a record? Is it luck, the boat, the weather, the crew?
Loïck Peyron: The weather. Optimal weather conditions can allow you to beat the record, even with older boats.
VSail.info: You rounded the world in 45 days. Do you envision the record being brought down to less than 40 days?
Loïck Peyron: Of course. It can even go lower. Twenty years ago we couldn’t grasp the possibility of rounding the world in 80 days. I was there, with my brother
It didn't take long for the Volvo fleet to go from exhilaration that it had finally hit the trades (which delivered blistering speeds) to the realization that a VO70 at speed is an uncomfortable, wet, painful, and even dangerous place to be.
Let's start with CAMPER's Tony Rae (the audio includes a frank summary of how hard it is to deal with going to the head: "the worst experience of my life"):
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“You’re just blasting along and the boat is leaping around like a wild animal. I think in my 30 odd years’ experience of offshore sailing I’ve never
The Volvo fleet is finally broad reaching in strong trade winds, doing what a VO70 was designed to do: sail at 20-plus knots over the open ocean.
What would that be like? These will give you a feel.
And if you want to see what it looks like on video, as well as see what sort of damage these speeds are handing to the fleet, click on.
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It is impressive how fast, and how far, sailing and sponsorship have come in the Arabian Peninsula. So it's no suprise to see the Extreme Sailing Series open its season in Oman, which makes for a nice promo:
We're through Day 2 of the racing, and so far the big story has been the impressive debut of surfer/sailor, and
laid-back, all-around nice guy, Morgan Larson, who took his team to the top of the Day 1 rankings despite nearly losing a man overboard. Larson's Oman Air is still a close second after two days, so it ain't no fluke. ... Read More
The Whitbread/Volvo has generally been considered an "Anglo" race, with the French preferring the solo and multihull stuff, like the Jules Verne and the Vendee Globe. So it was an interesting wrinkle that Groupama stepped up to build a VO70 and compete in this year's edition of the VOR.
No one knew quite what to expect, but now that we are a few legs in, and Groupama is leading the fleet to Auckland, I'm loving the flair and competitiveness of Franck Cammas and his team. They are in third place on the leaderboard, they have shown a propensity for ... Read More
If you have been wondering why the hell the Volvo Ocean Race fleet appears to be sailing away from the finish in New Zealand, and why PUMA appears to be heading to Alaska, then the Groupama team will do its best to enlighten you. Here is their analysis:
There's been a major meteorological upset over the North Pacific: a very large subtropical depression (962 hPa) is extending away from Japan towards the East, with another depression replacing it this weekend over the Empire of the Rising Sun, whilst a third system is rolling across from China at the start ... Read More
"Hey, who shut the wind off?" (Click image for full size)
Backstory from Crowley Maritime Facebook page:
John Caputo, one of our customers in San Juan, Puerto Rico sent us this great photo. He said: "Not your average every day duck crossing. Our little sailors had to pause while this Crowley barge had to pass in the channel during the San Juan regatta."
Here's another great one, taken in the Baltic Sea: Read More