The wreck of Groupe Bel after a fishing boat slammed into it Monday morning.
Two skippers are forced to abandon their dreams of winning the Vendée Globe less than 48 hours after the start. Bruce Gain reflects on the drama of the race and the emotional cord it strikes with the French public.
The Vendée Globe got off to a rough start as two of the favorites were forced to abandon the race less than 48 hours after the start. And yet, the drama is just beginning.
Jean Pierre Dick, often touted a favorite to win the race, will sail the Virbac Paprec, one of the newer boats in the fleet.
Bruce Gain checks in with the Vendée Globe skippers to see how they're sizing up their competition for the solo, around-the-world race.
I would not describe it as NBA-style trash talking, but some past and present Vendée Globe sailors have very opinionated ideas about who will most likely win the Everest of offshore solo races. Most agree on the obvious conclusion that one of the more experienced sailors with a technologically advanced boat (and who is also very lucky) will be the first to arrive back to port at Les Sables d'Olonne after surviving the Vendée Globe’s around-the-world route. The general assumption is also that only about half of the fleet will even finish the race.
The AC72 is in the water, but Luna Rossa is quite a ways from getting out on the water and sparring with training partners Emirates Team New Zealand.
Steve Erickson, Luna Rossa’s Sailing Team Manger, is in charge of Luna Rossa’s technical and sailing development program and works in close co-operation with the Design Team. Following the recent launch of its AC72, Erickson got us caught up on next steps for the Team which relocated to New Zealand after the World Series events in San Francisco this summer.
Tim Zimmermann battens down the hatches on the Beneteau 36.7 Moondust on the Chesapeake Bay for Hurricane Sandy.
Thanks to Sandy, I have now nursed sailboats through two hurricanes (or hurricanes that were fading into the tropical storm category, if I am totally honest). One sailboat, a Bristol 35.5, was at sea, and we ran into Hurricane Mitch in 1998, after the storm surprised everyone by doubling back east and running over the southbound Caribbean 1500 fleet. And the other, my new-old Beneteau 36.7, Moondust, was sitting at a pier on the Rhode River on the Chesapeake Bay when Sandy roared through this week.
While built from the same design as the Emirates Team New Zealand AC72, Luna Rossa's first AC72 brought Italian style to the America's Cup when it was unveiled last week in Auckland, New Zealand.
The Italian syndicate is in the America's Cup thanks largely to a design partnership with Emirates Team New Zealand. But its style remains its own.
Style returned to the America’s Cup with a bang on Friday night in Auckland, New Zealand, as Patrizio Bertelli’s Italian team launched its AC72 catamaran from their Westhaven compound.
Fireworks thundered as Miuccia Prada, Bertelli’s wife and chief designer for the famous fashion label, doused christening champagne over the boat’s prod with a mighty overhand swing worthy of a tennis champion.
Joining the shore crew means a shift in responsibilities.
As a college sailing crew, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you’re the best person to be on the water no matter what the conditions. At some point, though, you’ve got to step back and realize that someone else can do it bigger and better, and support your team the best that you can from the dock.
While some colleges send heavy crews to nearly every intersectional, other teams, such as my own, follow a more minimalist route. With the prerogative to get everyone sailing each weekend, even a huge team can get spread thin enough that there are no extra bodies on the dock, even at intersectionals. As a medium-sized crew, this approach suits me just fine; my skipper and I weigh just over 270 lbs. together and have built enough muscle in the gym and in V-15s that hiking for 10 races straight is not a problem.
A 27-foot prototype of SpeedDream sets sail, and Tim Zimmermann takes notice.
I've seen it kicking around online for a few years now: Russian designer Vlad Murnikov's quest to build the fastest monohull on the planet. Usually any mention was accompanied by a cool looking drawing, but not much else. SpeedDream, as the project was called, seemed like just that: a dream.
The home of the Jumbos on Mystic Lake in Medford, Mass., is a bunker with one great view of the racing.
A brief look at the college sailing venues of New England.
College sailing venues vary just as much as the teams' coaches do. After having sailed across NEISA (New England Intercollegiate Sailing Association) for three full years, I thought I’d share some highly subjective thoughts on their facilities. This is not an exhaustive list, by any means; I’ve heard that UConn has great cookouts but I’ve never personally sailed there, and a few middle-of-the-road venues—such as Salve Regina—were neither here nor there.
Dean Barker at the wheel of Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72. They were the first to launch and the first to get their 72 up on foils. But there's a lot of work between now and the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup in July 2013.
Emirates Team New Zealand uncharacteristically struggled in its first visit to the America's Cup venue at the America's Cup World Series event in San Francisco in August. Skipper Dean Barker is looking for a better performance this time around.
For the four syndicates still committed to putting an AC72 on the line for the 34th America’s Cup, it’s a busy time.r While the primary focus shifts to the 72-footer, which each team has launched or will launch shortly, the America’s Cup World Series rolls on, with another event in San Francisco starting today. While each team’s learning curve in the one-design 45-footers has plateaued, there’s a lot that can be learned about what it’s like to race high-speed catamarans on such a windy and tidal racecourse.