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.
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.