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Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

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Yachting’s dirty little secret is the nearly complete lily-whiteness of the competition in almost every venue, which is why we get stoked when we see stories like South Africa’s Abenathi Jim and Sibu Suzatu taking the first podium in major competition for an all-black South African 470 crew.   Jim took 20th in the Rio Olympics along with decidedly unblack crew Roger Hudson, and in his first big event with new crew Suzatu – the pre-Worlds in Greece – the duo took third spot in a tough 44-boat pre-worlds fleet.

Props to Hudson – now the team’s performance coach – and RSA’s RaceAhead Foundation for grinding it out in the long slog to diverse participation at the top of the game.  And props to the International 470 Class for finally joining the latter part of the 20th century with the introduction of carbon-fiber masts following the 2020 Tokyo Games.

After three days of Worlds, the RSA team is just outside the top ten, while top US team Stu McNay and Dave Hughes sit just outside the podium spots. Results here, and some great photo galleries of the teams are over here (reminding all of us just which fleet has the best looking women in sailing).

July 10th, 2017 by admin

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The world is moving damned quickly; we just got notice from our old South African friends at Aerospective that Romain Attanasio is in Simon’s Town, fixing his rudder – and we’re able to watch it almost in real time.  Romain is NOT out of the race as long as he receives no physical assistance; they say that every Vendee Globe skipper needs the skills of a boatbuilder, and we’re about to find out how good Romain’s are!  The full aerial flyover video is over here.

Here’s a post from Romain’s better half summing up the situation for Attanasio:

A quick update on Romain’s situation. As you can see on the tracker he is heading towards Cape Town. He is aiming precisely for Simonstown (a military town in False Bay to the East of Cape Point.) We know it, as we visited the port during the 2014 Volvo stop-over, so geographically Romain will be able to recognise his landfall and find his bearings, and he remembers that there were moorings there. He is hoping to be able to catch a mooring, but will obviously be ready to anchor if necessary. Then the plan is to remove the broken rudders and asses the damage properly, which will probably involve swimming! At this time of year in Simonstown, it is around 25°C in the daytime and so this will help dry out his broken rudders. He needs to be able to make repairs to the least damaged of the two rudders, to make the blade watertight and vaguely streamlined so that it will not deteriorate further. He will also have to install his spare rudder, which is a delicate operation that will also involve swimming. The critical part of this procedure is to be able to not damage the bearings in the boat. And not be eaten by a shark, of course!

Romain has been assessing the performance and manouverability of his broken rudder and is positive that if he manages to follow his plan, he will be able to continue the race with one clean, new, rudder and one short, damaged but repaired, rudder. This may imply sailing a bit more carefully on whichever tack has the damaged rudder and he will take the weather into consideration when he chooses which side he puts the new rudder back into the boat on.

Romain has the laminating equipment required to make the repair, and has enough food to accept taking a bit longer than planned in the race. He is totally motivated to stay in the race and make this repair “unassisted”. I have notified this fact to the guys in Simonstown who have been very supportive and are passing the message around to “protect” Romain from any enthusiastic by-standers and keep people away from helping him! This is much appreciated.

A big thanks to everyone who has sent us messages, I have forwarded them all to the boat and it really has made a difference to Romain.  I will keep you updated when I have more news.

Sam

 

December 8th, 2016 by admin

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In this battle of the latecomers from an angle we may be the first to have, the two final entries in the VOR fight it out mid-Atlantic, with Chris Nicholson luffing the Spanish a couple of weeks into Leg 1.  Did MAPFRE foul Vestas?  You make the call.

Meanwhile, MAPFRE’s DFL has already produced some major casualties, including the world’s most successful solo ocean RTW’er.  You heard that right, Michel Desjoyeaux gets the flick from MAPFRE along with French navigator Nico Lunven, and Spanish sailing journo Pedro Sardinia says there was plenty of drama between the French star and Spanish skipper, and q quite unbearable atmosphere on boad according to Sardina.  Thanks to Geronimoll for the translation of the original Spanish piece here.

You should already be on the Leg 2 thread here if you’re looking for the latest news.  Want to know something special about any of the teams or this edition of the VOR?  Post up and Mr. Clean will get the answer for you on the ground in Cape Town – he arrives on Wednesday.

 

November 11th, 2014 by admin

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