PUMA bowman Casey Smith, who spent part of Leg 5 laid up with a bad back, waves to the crowd gathered to welcome in winners of a grueling Southern Ocean leg.
Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race was noteworthy primarily for the damage done to boats throughout the fleet, with five of six boats sustaining significant damage and two of six dropping out of the leg. Is the Volvo Open 70 rule to blame?
“We heard a loud bang, and then in slow motion we saw the mast fall over the side.” Groupama’s bowman, Brad Marsh recalls of the moment their team went from leading Leg 5 to becoming the race’s latest casualty. It was a bang heard around the world, as critics called the attrition rate in this leg unacceptable. Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad was even forced to issue a public statement concerning the safety of the Volvo 70 design. "It is not acceptable that in a race like this we have so many failures.
Armchair sailor Tim Zimmermann gets the RSS feed cranked up to follow simple sailing adventures.
I write a lot about extreme sailing. That usually means elite sailors, high-end yacht design, sponsors and marketing. But it’s also worth emphasizing simple sailing adventures. No sponsors. No marketing. Just people who went sailing because they love to sail and wanted to explore. And blog, of course.
Onboard PUMA Ocean Racings Mar Mostro, Jonathan Swain confers with the team doctor after reducing new cremember Thomas Johanson's dislocated shoulder.
The departure from Auckland for Leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race broke bodies and boats. But that carnage paled in comparison to the drama that is taking place onshore, and what's coming a little further down the Southern Ocean road.
Ryan O'Grady, a veteran follower of the Volvo Ocean Race and a top amateur sailor, is providing regular insight and analysis on the 2011-'12 Volvo Ocean Race for SailingWorld.com.
Max Bulger looks back at the last race of Act 1 in Muscat, Oman: "As I slid, belly-down, out to the bow of the leeward hull to call our final approach to the line, the media boats caught me with a big grin on my face."
In a fleet as tight as the Extreme 40s have proven to be this year, being in contention for the podium entering the final day of racing is as good as it’s going to get. The races are short, and there are as many as 10 each day. Every team is well trained, focused and stacked with top talent. It’s a one-design fleet. And the final race of every Act is worth double points. When you combine all these factors with the inevitable unpredictability of sailboat racing, the idea of any team pulling away from the fleet before the final day is close to laughable.
If you want to sashay down the slopes and race around the buoys, this is your regatta.
Any good regatta organizer knows that it’s best to make the most of what your sailing venue has to offer, whether it’s big wind, beautiful scenery, excellent food, night—I mean dance—clubs, or any and all of the above. And some venues—think Key West or San Francisco Bay—maybe have a little more to work with than others. Regardless, it always pays to think outside the box.
Flying into the finish in front of the race village.
In-shore venues and short courses make for great spectating, but more stress onboard Oman Air during Act 1 of the Extreme Sailing Series.
Will, our headsail trimmer and resident X40 vet, continually warned us about the tight nature of the short course racing in store for us during the regatta. Despite a couple weeks of training and hours watching footage from previous seasons, I had no idea just how close the racing would be until the first day of the event was over.
Despite falling off the cat during light-air racing, Max Bulger recovers, and the Oman Air team brings a strong record at the first Act of the Extreme Sailing Series in Muscat, Oman.
After such a great event, and overall experience, those two words are at the top of the pile. A victory here in Muscat leaves me indebted to talented and fun teammates, unbelievable shore support crew, phenomenal competitors, the great folks at Oman Sail, and, of course, the legs that run all my adventures: amazing family and friends back home in Boston, at Tufts, and around the world. Cheers.