The Volvo Ocean Race fleet marked a sad anniversary early on Leg 7 on Monday as they raced across the Atlantic, nine years to the day that the last sailor to lose his life in the event was drowned.
Dutchman Hans Horrevoets, 32, of ABN AMRO TWO, was the last of five fatalities in the history of the 41-year-old race and the tragedy serves as a vivid reminder to the sailors in the 2014-15 edition of the dangers of the race.
He was washed overboard at night, some 1,800 nautical miles (nm) from Lands End, England, on the New York to Portsmouth leg of the 2005-06 race. Although the crew recovered his body, they were not able to resuscitate him.
ABN AMRO TWO's team then experienced further drama on the stage when they rescued the crew of movistar, the challenge led by Bouwe Bekking (NED), shortly before the Spanish-backed boat sunk to the bottom of the Atlantic.
The boats are expected to arrive in the Portuguese capital in seven to eight days before taking on the final two legs to Lorient, France, and then Gothenburg, Sweden, where the race will be concluded on June 27.
Another Crimson Blazer For Canfield
Long Beach, California, USA: Taylor Canfield successfully defended his Congressional Cup title in a five-day series off the California coastline, completing the opening stage of the 2015/16 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) season. Twelve skippers from nine nations competed in the 51st edition of the prestigious Congressional Cup regatta, hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club May 13 to 17.
Canfield had moved his way up through the round robins with a solid - but not undefeated - record; and into the quarterfinals and semifinals, to race against Sweden's Bjorn Hansen. Ian Williams and Phil Robertson made up the second pairing.
Canfield triumphed in the first race, Robertson the second, and it came down to a winner take all match.
In the final downwind leg, "It came down to that last luff, and my guys were ready for it," Canfield said. "We went right through the lee of Phil [Robertson]; and kept working every moment." Canfield crossed the finish line less than two seconds ahead of Robertson, to win the final match and the Congressional Cup title.
1. Taylor Canfield, ISV US One, 35 points
2. Phil Robertson, NZL WAKA Racing, 31
3. Ian Williams, GBR GAC Pindar, 28
4. Bjorn Hansen, SWE Hansen Sailing Team, 25
5. Reuben Corbett, NZL Corbett Racing, 22
6. Joachim Aschenbrenner, DEN Aschenbrenner Racing Team, 20
7. Chris Steele, NZ 36 Below Racing, 18
8. Keith Swinton, AUS Black Swan Racing, 16
9. Eric Monnin, SUI Team SailBox, 14
10. Scott Dickson, USA Dickson Racing, 12
11. Przemeyslaw 'Tara' Tarnacki, POL Energa Yacht Racing Team, 0
12. Dustin Durant, USA Long Beach Match Racing, 0
J/70 ....Finding The Kid In You
Photo by Paul Todd, Ocean Images
The J/70 is getting headlines for its explosive growth across Europe and the fantastic event schedule including the 2015 Worlds in La Rochelle, the 2015 Europeans in Monaco, and the recently announced 2017 Worlds in Sardinia. The lesser known story is the 'why.'
At the 2015 Quantum Key West Race Week, 12 year old Gannon Troutman steered his family's J/70 to 5th place overall in a 54 boat fleet. Other J/70 events are routinely attracting multi-generational teams from ages 8 to 80.
There are very few sporting activities one can actively share with one's kids or grandkids. J/70 sailing is one of them.
2015 Gazprom Swan 60 World Champion
The 2015 Gazprom Swan 60 World Championship has been won for a third consecutive year by Bronenosec. Igor Frolov, Executive Director at Saint Petersburg Yacht Club skippered the team to yet another victory this year at the new Mediterranean location of Marina di Scarlino.
Only Swan 60s Vertical Smile, Petite Flamme and the Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge on board Tsaar Peter have kept pace with the high energy Bronenosec team. The Danes with skipper Peter Lerbrandt have kept their foot hard down on boat speed all week and are clear ahead by 9 points in 2nd place.
Spanish sailor, Luis Doreste, a double Olympic gold medallist joined for his first time to race on Italian entry, Petite Flamme. Doreste was tactician to Riccardo Pavoncelli finishing 3rd overall in his first Swan 60 event.
This completes the first two events of the 2015 Gazprom Swan 60 circuit. From Tuscany the fleet will head towards Liguria and then France for the 63rd edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup. The current defending champion is the Swiss Swan 42 Tixwave.
Following the first leg from Sanremo (12 June) the fleet will gather in Saint-Tropez for three days of inshore competition (14-16 June) before embarking on the main event, the 243-nautical mile offshore race (commencing 17 June) to Genoa via the Giraglia rock.
The final two events of the 2015 circuit then include Copa del Rey during August and the Nord Stream Race which this year starts in Flensburg, Germany and culminates in Saint Petersburg, Russia towards the end of September with the overall circuit prize giving.
Bronenosec (RUS): 1-1-1-1-3-1-1-1-(7) Total 10
Vertical Smile (DEN): (3)-2-2-3-1-2-3-3-2 Total 18
Petite Flamme (ITA): 4-4-4-2-5-3-(7)-2-3 Total 27
Tsaar Peter (RUS): 2-3-3-4-4-5-2-4-(7) Total 27
Spirit of Europe (ITA): 5-5-5-5-2-4-(7)-5-1 Total 32
SGM (BVI): 6-6-6-6-(7)-7-4-6-7 Total 48
Team NZ Silence Wastes PR Gold
Last week we all basked in the memories of one of the country's greatest sporting achievements as Team New Zealand marked 20 years since their famous victory in 1995. All, except for Team NZ it seemed.
The lack of fanfare from them on the anniversary of the syndicate's most celebrated moments is baffling. Yes, for organisations to remain contemporary it's important to move on, look forward and all that jazz, but this was a PR gift horse that Grant Dalton and company stared in the mouth. What an opportunity wasted.
On the morning of May 14, the syndicate should have opened the doors of their Viaduct compound, which 20 years earlier was the site of wild celebrations as they first lifted the America's Cup.
Instead what did the team do to celebrate their most famous moment? They put a 90-second video on their website -- most of it dedicated to the announcement their major sponsor Emirates had recommitted to another campaign. -- Dana Johannsen
Hamilton Island IRC Australian Championship 2015, August 15-22
Most owners left last year's Audi Hamilton Island Race Week tired, tanned and happy after a week of winter Whitsunday racing, appreciating their boats would be safely delivered or trucked home.
Most owners aren't South Australian yachtsman Geoff Boettcher and his mixed fortunes when it comes to yachting, particularly at the established Whitsunday series.
Boettcher's not even one year old modified Farr 400 called Secret Men's Business 4.5 was involved in a nasty truck accident on the way home from the island in August and declared an insurance write-off.
Undeterred, the veteran and overall winner of the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race with Secret Mens Business 3.5, an RP51, has started a new chapter in the sport. This time with a TP52 and he's coming to contest class A of the Hamilton Island IRC Australian Championship with the reigning national titleholder.
"When we were at Hamilton Island last August I was thinking about a 52. Though I heard Beau Geste might be coming up for sale, I didn't even look at it... you don't own two boats. After the accident I approached Gavin Brady and Karl Kwok and arranged for the TP to be shipped from Asia just after Christmas, in time for the Adelaide to Port Lincoln race. We had a very successful Port Lincoln Regatta, but know we need to improve our skills.
"The latest Secret Mens Business is a fast boat, and tricky. The tiller steerage is very light compared to the old boat. It's very rewarding if you get it right," Boettcher added.
It's likely the final IRC line up will be split into classes A, B and C based on size and IRC rating. Already twenty two yachts have been nominated for the Hamilton Island Yacht Club hosted championship, representing New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia.
The IRC fleet will contest a mixture of windward/leeward and passage racing over six days, August 16 to 18 then a layday before the second half, August 20-22. -- Lisa Ratcliff
Improve Your Chances Of Survival - Be Seen and Get Rescued Fast!
You may think a man overboard will never happen to your crew. If it does, being found fast could be the difference between life and death.
Exposure's MOB strobe and searchlight is designed to do just that - make the difference between life and death.
As soon as the buoyant, pocket-sized MOB hits the water, its 1300 lumens strobe starts flashing automatically. What's more, it will keep flashing for up to 40 hours. 1300 lumens means it's highly visible from the air and can be seen from more than five miles away.
The MOB strobe is a really powerful search light as well, so it serves as the perfect personal crew torch for offshore racing too.
What is it like to be a man overboard in pitch dark? See the video.
One night, your MOB light might just make the difference.
16 Chinese Crew Training In Britain For Clipper Round The World Race
16 Chinese amateur sailors were in an intensive training in Britain before they race in the world's longest ocean yacht challenge.
They will represent China's sailing city of Qingdao in the 2015-16 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, which sets sail on 30 August from London.
It is the largest contingent of Chinese crew to participate in a single edition of the race and the Clipper 2015-16 Race marks the sixth time Qingdao has entered the biennial race, making it the longest ever consecutive team partnership in the event's history.
The 16 crew members, who were selected during a tough application process and trial in Qingdao in January, have been split into two groups of eight to receive their intensive 4-week training programme at the Clipper Race headquarters in Gosport, Portsmouth Harbour.
The 16 ambassadors include eight women, and range from age 21 to 49. They also represent a wide range of professions which include an air steward, a professor, students, and an air medic, among more.
Sir Ben Ainslie Unveils Memorial To Heath Sailing Tragedy
Morning Cloud III racing off Cowes with Sir Edward at the helm. Photo courtesy of Arundells. Click on image to enlarge.
Sir Ben Ainslie today unveiled the restored bow section of a yacht owned by former Prime Minister Sir Edward Heath, which was wrecked in a storm in 1974, with the loss of two crew, Heath's godson Christopher Chadd, and Nigel Cumming.
The ceremony was held in the garden of Arundells, Sir Edward's former home in Salisbury which is now open to the public, and was attended by Margaret Chadd, aged 92, the mother of Christopher and his brothers Jonathan and Sam.
The third of five yachts raced by Sir Edward, and all named Morning Cloud, sank in heavy weather in the Channel in September 1974. The same severe weather tore Sir Edward's first Morning Cloud, by then under different ownership, from her moorings in Jersey, and she too was wrecked.
Sir Ben Ainslie, who won medals at five consecutive Olympics including gold at the last four, was joined at the unveiling of the bow section and memorial plaque by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt. Rev. Nicholas Holtam.
Sir Ben said today: "Edward Heath managed to combine holding the highest office in Britain with being a world-class yachtsman and musician and it is fitting that his achievements should be remembered by the sailing community.
"It is my privilege to unveil the restored bow section of the third Morning Cloud, it is an imaginative project and I know that it has only been made possible by the dedication of many individuals and companies. Most importantly it serves as a reminder of the tragic deaths of Nigel Cumming and Christopher Chadd but it is also an important addition to the unique collection of sailing-related trophies, paintings, models and memorabilia held at Arundells."
U.S. Sailboats Arrive In Cuba For Havana Challenge Regatta
About 100 Americans in around 20 sailboats arrived in the Cuban capital this weekend from Key West, Florida, for the Havana Challenge, the first regatta between the countries sanctioned by Washington in 15 years.
The Hobie Cat-16s sailed from Key West on Saturday morning and began arriving at Havana's Club Nautico Internacional Hemingway in the evening, an Efe reporter on the scene confirmed.
The Hobie Cats were accompanied by support vessels, including two replicas of 18th-century schooners, the club's commodore, Jose Miguel Diaz Escrich, told reporters.
Key West Mayor Craig Cates and sailors Joe Weatherby and George Bellenger, who participated in the first Havana Challenge in 2000, were the main promoters of the regatta.
Semaine Du Golfe Du Morbihan
Photo by Christophe Launay, www.sealaunay.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Once again, the Gulf gathering boats of every size and every tradition: sail&oar craft, small "camp cruising" boats, classic yachts, fishing boats, classic motorboats... Most of them are coming from the French Atlantic coasts, but also, from The British Islands, the North Sea, Scandinavia, the Mediterranean...
The Gulf of Morbihan is a true inland 'little sea' composed of 12,000 hectares of Atlantic sea sheltered from swell. A magical place where sea, land & sky melt in changing & picturesque landscapes. The Morbihan Gulf is part of the World Most Beautiful Bays Club.
In breton language, "Mor-Bihan" means 'little sea'. Thousands of years ago, when rivers had already dug their beds, they were deluged by Atlantic waters. This is why the Ocean goes so far inland towards Vannes & Auray through typically Breton rias, surrounding former hills which have turned into an archipelago of uncountable islands, the biggest being the Ile d'Arz & the Ile aux Moines. -- Christophe Launay
Fantastic one design racing and good IRC and IRC rating. Lots of sails (North Sails) Excellent electronics (Bravo) The boat is lying out of water in Marina de Cascais 30km from Lisbon. The boat will sail Copa del Rey 2015, and is ready for a new owner after that race.
Contact: Afonso Domingos
Phone: +351 962565322
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
I want to create wilderness out of empire. -- Gary Snyder