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Posts Tagged ‘Volvo 70’

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Australia’s Brad Blanchard gave us some info on the kind of charity work we love.  Check out this amazing program; if you can help them out, do it.  If not, get over to Facebook and like them.  We’ll be following this one closely right through the 2014 Hobart, and we expect a major sponsor announcement today.

Southern ExcellenceOcean racing is a long way from the landlocked and war-torn country of Afghanistan, but it’s certainly helping some of our country’s wounded veterans heal their physical and psychological wounds.  Australia’s Soldier On charity was established in April 2012 by John Bale following the death of a mate, and the program is all about the Australian community coming together to show support for our wounded and ensuring they know we will always having their backs. It’s about giving those who have served our country the dignity they deserve and the chance to do and be whatever they choose through; providing access to inspirational activities, supporting rehabilitation and providing opportunities that empower them.

As a Soldier On volunteer and Veteran of modern conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan, I developed my interest in sailing following retirement from the military.  After returning from combat, I craved adventure, excitement, competition, and competitive sailing and ultimately participation in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race was just the thing to scratch that itch. Recognising that a lot of other Veterans weren’t coping well after their service in conflict areas, I leapt at the chance to get involved with the Soldier On organisation. I realised that my involvement in sailing had helped me successfully transition out of the military and I wanted to inspire those who were struggling to get back into life, particularly those who had been injured, by helping introduce them to a sport I have become so passionate about.

After the first Soldier On Sailing Program was successfully run in 2013 out of Royal Perth Yacht Club, the organisation has now scheduled courses across Australia to help our Wounded Warriors get involved in the great sport of sailing. Incredibly, plans are now well under way to take one of these Veterans from sailing virgin to Category 1 ocean racer in less than a year by taking part in the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart.

woolichAny sailor worth his salt knows that the Rolex Sydney to Hobart is one of sailings’ great ocean races and 2014 should see a huge and massively competitive fleet with the running of the 70th iteration. In thinking about how we could best capture the spirit of Soldier On’s Sailing Program and the resilience of wounded Veterans, we felt the Sydney to Hobart would be the perfect platform to raise awareness for such a great cause. As a fundraising event our venture will not only help Wounded Warriors recognise that there is life after service and injury but encourage wider participation in our great sport.

For the 70th Hobart, one ‘newbie’ wounded veteran and I will be crewing along with the Volvo 70 Southern Excellence II.  If you would like to follow our Soldier On 2014 Sydney to Hobart Challenge please head over to our Facebook Page here, and share it with anyone in the world who might appreciate it. To discover more about Soldier On and how they help our wounded Veteran community please visit them at www.soldieron.org.au. The official launch for this massive undertaking is today at the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and we are still looking for sponsors for this worthy program.
 

February 19th, 2014 by admin

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NZ wine magnate Jim Delegat has to be the unluckiest Kiwi racer of the past few years.  First, the poor bloke gets anally raped by a subsidiary of Salthouse Marine, which allegedly and quite creatively moved around the million-plus dollars he paid as a deposit for a 68-foot custom job before going bankrupt.  After licking his financial wounds, Delegat then caught a ride with Gavin Brady on the sexy Beau Geste for the tropical Auckland to Noumea race.  A sweet yacht, a great race, and a great big fucking crack in the hull famously ended that bid, with all crew rescued.

Delegat seems to have learned his lesson, and for the 2013 Sydney-Hobart Race (and let’s all get used to not using “Rolex” anymore) he stopped screwing around, with inside reports linking him to the outright purchase of Franck Cammas’ Groupama 4 for the all-important December classic.  Now it looks like Cammas is leading the crew as part of the deal, with sponsorship coming from a big French multi-national with a strong Aussie presence.

This puts an exclamation point on what’s likely to be the biggest and most exciting Hobart in years: Speedboat, the newly chopped and modded Wild Scissorhands, and a mini-fleet of Volvo 70s makes line honors an actual battle for the first time in a while, while the addition of the entire Clipper 70 fleet means more big boats in the race than in ages.

Keep an eye on the thread for more breaking news on one of the world’s baddest races.  Yvan Zedda photo.

UPDATE/CORRECTION:  Cammas ain’t coming, and the French sponsorship ain’t happening.  It’s not as if Delegat needs it.  Meanwhile we are told that Whitbread vet Steve Cotton will be running the boat, while our old pal Rodney Keenan is managing the project.  ”The nice thing about Auckland is you can find a dozen Volvo and Whitbread guys without getting in the car,” Rodney said, sort of.  The new boat is named Giacomo after Delgat’s grandpappy and the founder of much of New Zealand’s wine industry, and the boat’s first race will be the Coastal Classic.

 

August 21st, 2013 by admin

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Two years ago, Detroit’s Bayview Yacht Club gave the NOOD regatta the flick and established the Bayview One-Design Regatta in its place.  The change signaled a move away from the corporate approach embraced by some big yacht clubs and towards a grass-roots attitude, with strong results; a nearly 100% increase in entries over just two years.

Bayview’s Port Huron to Mackinac race was similarly headed for the rocks in part over the last decade, in part because of the confusion and conflict over the two courses that make up the smaller of the two Mack races; a problem that BYC has struggled with for years with varying results.  Bayview made some big changes for the 2013 edition, though they didn’t go full monty – instead of completely ditching the 250-odd NM Cove Island course that the big boats raced for years, they excluded it from the overall race trophy, effectively bringing nearly the entire fleet to the 200-ish NM Shore Course.

While a few big boat racers complained, the fleet responded the other way.  Well over 200 boats entered with the vast majority opting for the shore course.  We’re told the push continues to make the Mack a one-course race –  it’s a move that should continue to bring in smaller boats.  If a one-day race is too short to waste their time on, the big dollar programs may choose to sail only the higher-profile Chicago race, but we believe that if Bayview can keep the numbers growing, the big boys will return – even to a Coveless BYC Mack.  After all, the headline boats want headlines, and when there are 300 boats all racing the same way up Lake Huron, the headlines – and the competition – will be there (especially if something like this hits the fleet!)

The race itself was a far cry from the Chicago Mack’s ultra light airs, the good breeze allowing Pete Thornton’s Volvo 70 Il Mostro to crush a course record that no big boat has competed for in decades.  In fact four boats blew the record up, with Bill Alcott’s STP65 Equation (ex-Rosebud) taking the overall corrected time win.  Il Mostro took second, with Ken Flaska’s super sexy ex-NZ canting keeler Karma Police taking third.

Full results are here, and the decidedly grass-roots looking website has a bit more info if you hunt around a bit.  There’s a big photo gallery of mostly useless but some brilliant stuff from Photoelement right here, and Martin from PE gets credit for the pics above – well, not the Easy Mac pic…

 

 

July 26th, 2013 by admin

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