The first day of Act 2 in Qingdao didn't go as Oman Air had planned, but the team is ready to do some climbing.
The first day of Act 2 brought some of the closest racing I’ve seen so far in the Extreme Sailing Series; a trend that I’m sure will continue in Qingdao. Light air, current, and geographic shifts kept things incredibly tight. Just when it appeared obvious that coming off the pin and hugging the seawall on the left side of the course was a surefire recipe for success, someone would get bounced off the line and come out of the right in the lead. A boat penalized at the weather mark would split from the fleet on the run, catch a puff, lift a hull, and take off.
Proud parents: Dad and I pause our Easter Egg hunt to admire our handiwork.
With sailing season rapidly approaching, the pressure to finish work on the Sled intensifies.
For all the hard work we put in varnishing the Sled this winter, I expected to feel more relieved after we applied the final coat—which we finally did the other day. Instead, I'm feeling annoyed and overwhelmed.
Tim Zimmermann reflects on the tragedy at this past weekend's Farallones Race in San Francisco.
You never really get used to it. And you can never not feel empathy, sadness, and regret when sailors die at sea. It doesn’t matter whether you know them, or know their families. Everyone who sails boats on the oceans is part of a community that is bound together by a love of water and adventure, but also by the quiet knowledge that the oceans can kill. That’s why this past weekend’s tragedy during the San Francisco YC's Farallones Race, in which the Sydney 38 Low Speed Chase lost crew overboard and then was thrown by heavy seas upon the rocks, hits so hard.
I will say that, if it wasn't for these posters (which are plastered all over the airport and city) I might still be sitting on the curb at the airport, failing to give directions in incredibly broken Mandarin to a confused looking cab driver.
Oman Air's Max Bulger reports back on the fast first day in Qingdao, China, for Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series.
I learned a lot of valuable lessons during Act 1, but apparently few of them had to do with departure. While I did manage to pack a little further in advance this time (not much of a feat considering most of my gear was shipped with the boat from Oman to China), I still found myself escaping to the airport in a flurry of mid-term exams, dissertations and papers. I guess that’s what happens when you’re an undergraduate moonlighting as a bartender to pay rent moonlighting as an international sailor moonlighting as a… you get the point.
As PUMA Ocean Racing's mar mostro slides through the final miles of Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajai, Brazil, its 3Di sail inventory looks plenty fresh.
PUMA Ocean Racing's Ken Read gives us the low down on this "bullet proof" inventory, and why his onboard sewing machine is gathering cobwebs.
With much discussion of late regarding equipment and hull failures in the Volvo Ocean Race’s fleet of VO70s, one point of discussion not making the rounds is the sails. Whereas in the previous edition it seemed sewing machines were clattering away across the fleet the entire race, mending delaminating mainsails and piecing together shredded reaching sails. For the most part, onboard sail lofts have been quiet this time around.
J.P. Dick's Virbac-Paprec is one of a half dozen boats built for the 2012-'13 edition of the Vendée Globe. Whether the new rules will improve the boats' safety and speed is a subject of debate.
New regulations were supposed to make the Open 60 monohulls safer and faster. But not everyone agrees that this has happened.
IMOCA organizers say that the six newest boats signed up for the Vendée Globe are the fastest and safest in the history of the fabled solo, non-stop, around-the-world race. But with seven months until the start, there is significant disagreement on what advantages, if any, the new boats will have over boats built for previous editions of the race.
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.