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Posts Tagged ‘volvo ocean race’

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It’s a 3-way battle with just a mile of separation as Xabi Fernandez’s MAPFRE holds a slim lead over Azzam and the Dong in the last couple of hours before the Volvo frontrunners hit Auckland.  Genny and the live feed start now!  (or very soon, anyway).  Click the player and compare photos, performance stats and trivia in the thread.

 

February 27th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 1.00.52 PM Question of the Week

For the first time ever, our own staff asked the question of the week, largely based on a consistent theme in all of the VOR threads in Ocean Racing Anarchy about the combined effects of AIS and the 6-hour position updates on the Volvo fleet and the racing experience.  Mr. Clean posed the question during a live interview with Bouwe Bekking last week, and then forwarded the same question to all the teams.  Sam Greenfield posted the Dongfeng response yesterday, and Sam Davies weighed in on audio, which you’ll find below Sam’s letter.

Dear Clean,

After I read your question, I went and asked Erwan Israel, our navigator, word for word what he thought.

The question was, “the current system (6 hour fleet updates, AIS inside 10 NM or so) has skewed the racing to a ‘stay with the pack at all costs’ mentality, meaning fliers are more rare and morale far more tied to the ability to see blips on a screen. What do you think about this unintended consequence of the AIS system in this race and –in simpler terms- do you want it or not?”

Don’t let this go to your head, but Erwan’s initial response was, “Wow. That’s a very good question!”

I took full credit and he’s been much easier to interrogate at the NAV desk ever since.

But it does bring up a good point, because instant access to the boat speed, distance and heading of every boat in eyesight has made each and every one of us screen addicts.

It’s also highlighted different navigation styles.

If a boat is within the AIS range Pascal makes sure that he or one of the crew is sitting at the desk with the microphone in hand, relaying bearing and speed to the trimmers and driver on deck.

Every. Five. Seconds – Like an old French sub hunter.

I wrote about it in my ‘Hunt for Red October’ blog during leg 3.

Erwan opts for a less maniacal approach, preferring to plot distance and bearing every few minutes onto an excel sheet so that he can see who’s gaining and losing. He doesn’t announce to the guys on deck, preferring to walk up and say it in person.

Everyone, myself included, agrees that having the AIS for safety –to alert for oncoming ships and fishing boats- is indispensable, but the crew were split when it came to the debate over performance.

Kevin Escoffier says, “I like it for safety only. Otherwise it’s like a smartphone. Once you get it you can’t put it down.”

Thomas Rouxel says bluntly, “No, I don’t like it. You don’t make your own strategy.”

Martin Stromberg had two answers:

First, ever the Swede, he says, “It’s not good or bad, it’s just a different version of the game.”

But when he overheard me asking Eric Peron just before sitting down to write this blog he admitted with a grin, “It makes it boring.”

For the sailors, yes, but from my point of view the last 48 hours have been anything but, as outlined in Charles’ French blog today:

“We’ve just gone through the worst night yet of this Volvo. On the menu we had no wind, big swell, stopping waves right on the nose and adverse current! At the end of the night enormous thunderstorm clouds with wind coming from all over the place. We came out of this night behind our two chasing competitors. Unfortunately the final cloud was fatal for us. But Abu Dhabi is just in front of us now, and we have 4 days to overtake. Once again, we are back in a drag and speed race.”

Which translates to; either Charles or Erwan or one of the sailors is glued to the screen at any given moment of the day watching Azzam’s speed.

Mapfre is out of range.

Eric Peron says, “I like it and I don’t like it. It takes away certain tactical options, and it opens others.”

Erwan Israel was more blunt: “I wish we didn’t have it – it forces the pack into a group mentality.

I know Erwan is thinking about our decision to sail to the North Philippines. His gut told him to sail north to Taiwan, like he and Charles did last race on Groupama, but the two chose to stick and cover Ian Walker’s team.

Horace told me “yes, we need it,” and Wolf said, “For safety, of course. I think it’s good for performance, unless you’re in first place and the guys behind you can see exactly how fast you’re going.”

Which leaves our skipper, Charles, who may need a reading prescription at the end of this Volvo.

“Bah. Well…” He hesitates. “I like it. It’s good. It’s interesting. You get to compare the speed and see where the other guys are.”

He’s glued to the screen as he says all this to me.

“But it’s a bit addictive, if you see what I mean.”

So, Clean, that’s the breakdown from Dongfeng Race Team. We’re almost approaching 1,000 NM to Auckland and Azzam is just off our bow.  Keep glued at your screen, and we’ll do the same.

-Sam G

And here’s Samantha Davies on the subject.

Volvo Ocean Race “Team SCA” Responds To Sailing Anarchy’s Questions About AIS and Tracking by Sailing Anarchy on Mixcloud

February 25th, 2015 by admin

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On the Volvo Ocean Race’s “Inside Track”, Clean and Genny T are reunited on camera for the first time since America’s Cup 33 in Valencia, and aside from some sound issues, they give some good chat together.  Bouwe Bekking checks in from the front of the fleet, and we find out what he thinks about AIS and trackers.  And oh, how fast things change…

 

February 21st, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 9.38.55 AMWe may sound like a bit of a broken record, but once again, Sam Greenfield is raising the bar on Volvo Ocean Race media from aboard the DFRT.  Why?  Because he’s making us laugh.  Here’s Sam’s ‘washing up cooking pots for mom’ report, and we encourage all of you – especially the young’uns, to read Sam’s “Advice to future OBRs” report here.

Dear Mom,

Do you remember how getting me to wash the dishes after meals never came easy? Sorry about that. I know, it never ‘just happened’ like you see in the movies, or plainly through the windows of the neighbors’ houses. I don’t know why it was always such a battle, or why the Fields next door were such better behaved kids, but I hope you never saw it as a reflection of your parenting skills. You were great and I was just a bit of a little sh*t when it came to household chores, all of my college roommates will back this up. But people change, and because you are the best mom I know today’s blog is dedicated to you.

Hey Mom! Guess what the Volvo Ocean Race taught me how to do!

Here’s the setting:  The sun has just gone down and it’s blowing 25 knots and we’re on a screaming reach, sailing about as fast as the wind. The boat is heeled over 30 degrees and sheets of water are getting picked up by the bow and flying clear over the satellite tower.

We’re settled into living on a soaking wet rock-climbing wall set on the back of what feels like an elephant jumping over hedgerows.

Are most days anything like this? No. But a little dramatic effect never hurt.

I’m warm and dry and standing in the hatchway watching waves plaster the guys, and I’m wondering how the hell can I get one of them to wash this pot for me.

It usually takes about 30 seconds to strike that thought from my head and haul my ass into gear.

My mission is to bring our prized, French, stainless steel pressure cooker from the galley all the way to the low side at the very back of the boat with a sponge, some dish soap, wash her, and return her safely so I can start cooking the next hot meal.

It’s a perilous journey that would ideally require four hands, but thanks to you, Mom –really- I only have two.

Part 1. Preparation

There’s an unspoken rule about washing the pot off the stern of the boat: If you drop her you might as well jump in after her. Seriously, Mom, the crew would murder me. There’s no replacement. The only option is straight into the ocean.

Stop thinking that. There’s always at least a couple other Volvo Ocean 65s nearby and I’m determined to make sure that one of the boats chasing our wake would be able to pick me up and bring me to safer harbors in the event of such misfortune.

So, my dish-washing ritual begins with a rummage for five essential items, night or day:

1. My pocket EPIRB – which notifies the coast guard and race control if activated in the water.

2. My pocket AIS Tracker, which when activated allows any boat in a 10-mile radius to see me on their navigation screen

3. My strobe light – Brighter than Jesus with a jetpack, it’s a waterproof beacon that pulses and is visible up to a distance of 5 miles

4. My Musto HPX bottoms and top

5. My PDF/Harness (if it’s night time and really shitty). Just for you.

Now, Mom, I’m completely waterproof and I have more advanced electronics stuffed into my pant pocket than the Apollo lander needed to make it home from the moon.

It’s time for…

Part II. The Perilous Journey

I put my hood on before I grab the pot. It’s pretty heavy to hold in one hand. Or maybe I’m not very strong. Probably that. So I go to the hatch and wait for a wave to break over the deck.

Because just as the plane that crashes into the house in The World According to Garp was a 100 year boon, each wave is typically a 60 second boon.

I hold the pot in my downwind hand so that the other can anchor onto the tops of winch drums and handles and I swing and hop back through the cockpit over the jib sheet and over the mainsheet to the radar tower while trying to stay out of the way of the main trimmer and grinder.

Remember, 30 degrees heel on a leaping elephant and it’s a massive drop to the bottom, where Pascal fractured a few of his vertebra on the first leg to Cape Town.

I try not to think about that either.

From the tower I scooch –yes scooch like a puppy dog – down to the leeward rail on my ass, because at this point I can see the water screaming out the back and I can’t drop the pot.

Regardless of what you think, compared to this pot, I have no value.

30-seconds later I’m hanging over the stern in a fetal crouch,praying to god that the metal lifelines weren’t made in… forget that thought.

You know, I try not to think about falling in, because the boat would be miles away before they could even turn around. So instead I usually just talk nonsense and go, ‘woowhoo’, cause the truth is it’s really damn fun once you’re down there.

Now you’d think that the pot would get ripped right out of your hand when dipped into the water, but when the boat is traveling over 10 knots it just sort of bounces across the surface like a skipped stone.

So I drag, scrub and repeat and pray while all the screaming forces of Neptune do the same to me.

By the time I make it back to the main cabin, my foul weather gear is soaked from tip to toe. The pot is clean. And so am I.  Sort of.

That’s when I often think, “maybe doing the dishes when I was a kid wasn’t as big a deal as I made it out to be…gee, I wish I hadn’t made it so hard for mom.”

So dear Mom: Happy Valentines Day from Lat. 18.650N Long 136.397E.  I don’t think the card is going to make it.

But as soon as I get back to the States, I’m coming straight to yours and I hope you leave the dishes out for me.  I promise not to drop any.

Happy Valentines Day.

Love,

Sam

P.S. I have no idea what I’d do if I dropped the pot and we were in last place, so I try not to think about that. xo

February 14th, 2015 by admin

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It’s almost halfway through the race and we still have seen precious few moments in big Volvo Ocean Race conditions; Sam G does his best to share some of them with us from aboard Dongfeng, and once again, we comment the Franco/Chinese team for keepin’ it real with Charles Caudrelier’s ‘oops’ here.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 12.32.26 PMMeanwhile, Team Brunel and the SCA girls have split off to the North and with the wind freeing up, both are advancing rapidly on the Southerly group.  The girls were first to tack to starboard on what looked like a flier, and though Brunel are ahead of them, could this be the first big break for the pink boat?

With the race getting interesting, SA is the place to be.  Check SA’er ‘Campbell’s’ latest weather routing, analysis, and more finish time calculations (like the one to the left) here, and get in on the discussion in the Ocean Racing Anarchy thread.

February 12th, 2015 by admin

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The Franco/Chinese team aboard Dongfeng can’t seem to put a leg wrong, stringing together a brilliant day to win yesterday’s Sanya In-Port Race in front of their home crowd.  And now, the real race begins yet again with the Sanya to NZ leg ready to go.

Watch yesterday’s full replay below (or here), and get ready for more tight action with Chris Nicholson guest-commentating and our old pal (and 5-time RTW’er) Mase helping call the shots from the booth.

 

February 7th, 2015 by admin

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We’ve been pushing hard for the better part of a decade for more live streaming video from the world’s biggest ocean race, and going by what Inmarsat executive and VOR junkie Chris McLaughlin has been saying, it’s almost here.  From VOR news:

If the terminals and equipment can be developed for the next race, then we could stream the latest releases to the boats, and we’ll be able to see constant streaming in the same way as you see in Formula 1 race cars.

Imagine if you will that you can not only monitor the crew and what they’re saying but also their heart rate, their health conditions, their sails, the loading of the rig, the tension, the constant speeds, the trim angles.

You will effectively be sitting on the boat with everyone else. It’s that real-time, real experience that everybody really wants.” “Imagine that you, the viewer, can command the cameras that you want to see. What if you’re only interested in the bowman, his story and his technique? What if you’re only interested in helmswoman, and the way she is driving the boat?

Good idea or bad?  Post your say here.

 

February 3rd, 2015 by admin

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IMG_1169The Sailing Anarchy/VOR “Show Us Your Boatyard” competition is off to a blazing start, with over 50 submissions coming in over the past few weeks.  They’ve been so good that the SUYB leaderboard (left) is now a permanent part of the traveling VOR race village show – be sure to check it out when you come down to visit the race.

Your submissions are also providing plenty of entertainment to the awesome girls of the Boatyard (the competition’s judges), and they remind you that Leg 3′s Boatyard T-shirt winners will be announced immediately after the Sanya In-Port Race.  Keep sending in your submissions, and if you want extra consideration, post ‘em straight on the Boatyard Facebook Page with a hashtag #showusyourboatyard.

Full contest details over here.

 

January 30th, 2015 by admin

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Stern-steerers, litigation (not ours, thankfully!), luscious Hannah, the slickest metal in the world, the boys in Orange coming on, and the boys in Bermuda flying high.  Another edition of Video Anarchy is all yours.

Magic Carpet Ride

Yacht designers and racers have been searching for some breakthrough in hull coating technology for as long as boats have raced; so much so that the  fluid-emitting system on the BMW/Oracle 90 is illegal in every other type of racing.  But what if the perfect hydrophobic hull was a single sheet of metal?  And what if you could etch metal foils so the water literally ran away from them?  We don’t know what the long term outlook would be, but we sure are interested, and we know the AC guys are, too.  Check this incredible video above, and you will be too.

All Hannah, All The Time

We were going to post an interesting kiteboarding movie here by the awesome Broken Head Film guys, but then we noticed one of their stars (and an avowed SA reader) Hannah Whiteley – had a new video up herself. And since we’re head-over-heels in love with her, we’ll feature that one.  Follow Hannah here.

Big Ben’s Bermuda Base

Is this just an easy winter vacation for a team whose backers probably all have winter mansions in Bermuda, or are Ben & Friends the most serious Cup team of all right now?   Time is the one thing that matters most for the AC, and here’s a slickly produced video showing Ben and the team getting feet wet in Bermuda with Nacra F20C foilers.  UK 1, everyone else: 0.

Orange Is The New Bronze

If you’re like us, you’re proud of Charlie and Mark and the youngest VOR team for their hard-fought podium finish in Sanya.  But if you’re like us, you didn’t pay much attention to this long, light-air leg, and you don’t understand how they got there.  Watch this video and catch up.

 Section 68

Former OTUSA sailor Mattie Mitchell is taking Larry and Russell to court for being thrown headfirst under the bus during the 2013 AC’s Kingpostgate (and hung out to dry for $68K),  and now that it’s in court, all the OTUSA/ACEA/ISAF secret meetings, back room deals, and ‘confidential’ submissions are finally going to see the light of day. Mattie sat down for a 10-minute interview with NZ’s  Good Chaps the other day, and it’s definitely a good listen for anyone who likes a good AC dustup.

We’re excited for the discovery process to begin, and we think the world will get to see just what kind of folks were running the show over in San Fran and at ISAF headquarters for the past few years.  Stay tuned for more developments coming soon, and let’s all hope Mattie doesn’t settle!

Lords Of The Deuce

54 feet. 104 MPH. 6 crazy dudes.
Total Anarchy.

January 29th, 2015 by admin

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Charlie and the Anarchists aboard Dongfeng Race Team are minutes from the finish in Sanya and a momentous occasion for the most Chinese team we’ve ever seen in any major event; watch the homecoming live here with (we think) the wonderful past SCOTW Genny Tulloch MC’ing them in.  To chat about it, hit the latest page of the thread here.  And for a cool new feature the VOR doesn’t have (but should) from yet another Anarchist taking the matter into his own hands, check out “dglad’s” VOR Social Content Aggregator here.

 

January 26th, 2015 by admin

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Vestas is the blue-hued spice that gives zest to this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, and we’re rapt with attention at the rebuild saga.  At times, it’s as interesting as the race itself, especially with Brian Carlin back on the camera and edits.  Check it.

 

January 26th, 2015 by admin

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We thank everyone who entered our Line Honors/Moth Worlds Flexfit Cap giveaway, and your hats will be on their way next week.  And now, we’ve something just as cool – a chance to win an exclusive Volvo Ocean Race “The Boatyard” t-shirt!  We call this one “Show Us Your Boatyard,” and all you have to do is send us a picture or video of your own personal Boatyard.  Be as creative as you can, send your entry to clean@sailinganarchy.com, and the beautiful and accomplished girls of the Boatyard will choose their favorite SA Boatyards for each leg and get you a sweet bit of kit.  Watch the video for details, and game on!

 

January 20th, 2015 by admin

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Future SCOTW Clare Bright grabbed a press spot with the inshore-blitzing Team SCA boat during the practice race in Abu Dhabi last week on the condition that she tell us their story; given how many fans Samantha and the team have here at SA, we were stoked when it hit the inbox the other day.  Track the girls, as they hang on for dear life at the back of the Leg 3 standings.  Photos from proud hubby Jeff Bright.

IMG_7130OK, this is me…I’m a Brit, grew up on the North Kent coast and crewed Condor Cats as a kid, found it all too cold in that part of the world and gave up for many years, then moved to Abu Dhabi and started again on keelboats.  That was just over 3 years ago and now I’m a mad sailing addict, race regularly in IRC and one-design fleets, sometimes against my better half (yes, I can beat him!) and could not believe it when I got the opportunity to go out on the TeamSCA Volvo boat thanks to Sailing Anarchy.  Here’s my story:

Sailing with ‘the girls’ for the practice race was an amazing experience. The Volvo boats are stunning and the top end of the sport has gone too long without all-girls team. I run my own female team, albeit a much smaller one, on my SB20 and the dynamics are quite different to being out with a male crew.  We focus on a clean race, finding our own lane, clear air and smooth maneuvers to tack, gybe or set/drop sails.  There are no port tack starts on a busy start line just to look macho, or legs spent chasing other boats downwind to try and take them up and out (which usually results in the aggressor taking herself out) or other such testosterone-loaded tactics.  And the result? Very often we quietly and smoothly gain places and end up with a podium finish and smiles on our faces.  It works!

Back to the Volvo race, that’s exactly what I saw with team SCA.  From the moment I stepped on board there was full focus on teamwork, the race, discussing tactics, practicing the starts, learning from every move and a subtle but firm, quiet and concentrated attitude.  With a couple of changes amongst the crew there was an air of needing to get back into a rhythm and it sure didn’t take long.  The girls were a little early at the start, killing time to the line, then they played the course perfectly going left first, which often pays off in Abu Dhabi while the offshore wind is settling, and rounding the first mark in the lead.  From that point their tactics were about getting ready for every maneuver early and to keep things clean. Looking back, the guys were desperately trying to catch up and clearly not so calm. I was smiling as I watched spinnies with bad sets or late drops causing mark roundings that weren’t so clean, the girls showed everyone how to do it that day.

IMG_2781Plenty of people thought the team got lucky…until they did it in the In-Port Race.  This time watching from one of the media boats, we saw the girls peel off early and the general commentary out on the water was that they probably had no choice given their position after the start.  How wrong could they be! What the locals know is that there’s a narrow channel running across the bay near the gate end of the course.  Going right early they took both an advantageous wind shift and current help, taking them around the top mark with a solid lead. They won on excellent tactics, navigation and skill – both times.

I’m sure you’ll be wondering if any of the crew really stood out, but the truth is that they all did.  Pure teamwork is a joy to watch, with everyone playing an important and integral role. Libby as navigator called the lines perfectly, then Carolijn would add some fine tuning as she spotted a wind shift or wanted a better position while driving.  Up front, the foredeck team was incredibly smooth and there was great communication between them and the rest of the crew.

Foredeck is my favorite place to be on my SB20, and I would love to have been up there helping out!  Sadly, I had to stick to the guest role, watching from the back.  Next time, eh? The trimmers worked constantly, and everyone from mainsheet to bow made sure to always keep the boat tidy, never leaving a chance to mess up from a tangled sheet as they were all back in the bags when needed.   Even OBR Corinna Halloran played a fundamental role, looking out for the guests IMG_7098and snapping great pics for all of us.  If there’s one thing I noticed that possibly use improvement, it would be for the girls to make sure they always know who’s in charge when it hits the fan.  A gentle inshore race in Abu Dhabi might be fun and the consultation amongst the girls is always going to be valuable, but the challenges on the next leg may need a fast, clear decisionmaker in the crew.

The Volvo Ocean Race Abu Dhabi stopover has been an incredible week!  Over a hundred thousand people checking out these awesome boats, some great racing for the participants, the VIPs, and the spectators.  The way the shore teams, Boatyard staff, and VOR HQ support the teams and public is outstanding, and I just hope that both Abu Dhabi and SCA sign up for another go, because we would love to have them back in three years.

January 7th, 2015 by admin

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After receiving thousands of applications for the On-Board Reporter program, and with a high likelihood that at least one of the seven OBRs would be knocked out of the race for one reason or another, you’d think that VOR headquarters would have a solid list of qualified replacements – but you’d be wrong.  And when doctors diagnosed Dong Feng OBR Yann Riou’s wife with a life-threatening illness and he left the race two weeks ago, a mad scramble ensued in Alicante and Abu Dhabi to find someone to fill his brilliant shoes.

Thankfully, that lack of preparedness opened the door for a kid who we consider one of our own, and one of those talents who will help define the sport over the next decade: Longtime SA contributor Sam Greenfield was working in the video edit room for the VOR tv army – he was there, he was ready, and he was raring to go.

If you’ve read anything over the past few years here, you know we think Sam is sailing’s version of a young Warren Miller, and his work has the same potential to revolutionize the perception of a sport just as Miller did for backcountry and extreme skiing.  Despite our hearty endorsement, there was a palpable fear from quite a few VOR and team staffers; Sam is undeniably talented, but he’s never dealt with the specific pressure of on-board race coverage, with all the obstacles it brings.  We didn’t doubt him for a second, and after watching his first dispatch from the now-leading Dongfeng Race Team, we’re glad to see that, as usual, we were right.

This kid is money, as are the subjects in his first video – Kevin Escoffier and the hazards of fishing nets. Clicky the video above, and keep your eyes on the Leg 3 thread for upcoming interviews we did with all 6 OBRs just hours before the start, as well as everything else you need to know about the VOR.

 

January 4th, 2015 by admin

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Clean Report

After trailing into the UAE, and trailing in the practice and In-Port Races, Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team finally did exactly what the big-spending Emirati sponsors wanted most: They turned a brilliant first beat move into a massive lead at the sendoff buoy as Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race began.  Relive it above,  chat about it in the Leg 3 thread, and revisit the Stopover Thread for all the interviews and pics from Abu Dhabi. And get to the Vestas thread for a great press conference that should answer all your questions about the return of the Blue Boat.

Head over to Facebook in a few minutes where you can check out my morning Dock Walk, and thanks to all of you for tuning in.

MORE LIVE ACTION NEXT WEEK

If you’re a fan of live sailboat racing, now’s the time to start pumping yourself up for our world-beating coverage of next week’s Moth Worlds, an On-The-Water Anarchy/Perpetual Shit Show Production.  Remember when we used to bring you our own brand of irreverant and fun live video, high-quality photos, daily writeups, highlight reels, wet t-shirt contests, and so on? Well, we’re back, and this time, we’ve got the full all-star OTW Crew to go along with the most star-studded fleet in the history of the Moth Class.  Petey Crawford on the HD reels, Sander Van Der Borch on the HQ photography, Ronnie Simpson on writing and live feed production, Nic Douglass and yours truly on the microphone, a pregnant Mer working the social angles from back home, and an army of local enthusiasts helping us get ‘er done.  All brought to you thanks entirely to a sponsor who may surprise all of you.

Don’t expect to get a lot of work done from the 10th to the 16th.  You’ll find it all right here on the front page.

 

January 3rd, 2015 by admin

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Screw football:  Let’s watch some boat racing!  Team SCA, with 3-time Olympian Carolijn Brouwer taking over the stick from Sam Davies (who moves to trim and big-picture stuff)  gets their first In-Port Race win today in Abu Dhabi!  With the In-Port Races getting more and more important as the fleet’s parity becomes evident, this was some of the most aggressive racing we’ve seen yet from the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race. Team Brunel finished second, and the local favs in third, with MAPFRE’s woes continuing and Alvimedica caught along with the Spanish team on the wrong side of a big first-beat righty.

Check out Clean’s raw interviews with Sally Barkow, Carolijn Brouwer, Bouwe Bekking, Anderson Reggio, Nick Bice, and Patrick Shaughnessy as well as dozens of pics from Anarchist JeffB starting about here in the Abu Dhabi stopover thread.

And be sure to tune in at the same time on Saturday for all the action from the Leg 3 Start – with Chris Nicholson alongside Knut and Clean for the OTW commentary. We’ll have it right here on the front page, of course.

 

 

January 1st, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-01-02 at 1.25.50 AMClean Report

Like almost everyone, I hate awards ceremonies, even when I win something.  And since the ceremony for the VOR leg 2 awards in Cape Town was a 3 hour long snoozefest, I purposefully didn’t bring anything dressier than a ripped pair of jeans to Abu Dhabi, figuring it was a convenient excuse to avoid another parade of dignitaries who like to hear themselves speak. But when VOR media boss Jon Bramley told me ‘you’re my guest tonight’, the writing was on the wall, and jeans would have to do.

And boy, am I glad I went, because it was certainly the most dramatic awards ceremony I’ve ever attended, thanks to a crushing, then heartlifting presentation from OBR Brian Carlin, a choked up speech from Nico, and then the bombshell: Team Vestas Wind CEO and CMO of Vestas Group Morten Albæk’s nnouncement that Team Vestas Wind would be rejoining the fleet with a mostly new boat before the finish.   If you’ve been under a rock for a month, get the full story from my interview with skipper Chris Nicholson in Australia a couple weeks ago.

Details remain a little thin until tomorrow’s Vestas presser after the In-Port Race, but we can tell you a few things we found out:

1) The decision was literally made 24 hours ago.  A week ago they were almost sure it was over.

2) Nico has full control over selecting the crew for the rest of the trip.

3) He will take a few weeks to really mull it over.

4) Themes of redemption and unity in both Nico and Albaek’s speeches lead us to believe that the crew could remain entirely the same

5)  Lisbon may be too soon, but it’s the target.  Lorient is the backup, where we can be mostly certain to see the new blue boat begin her redemption song.

6) Vestas is 100% committed, as is co-sponsor Powerhouse.  They love this race and feel there is really only one choice for them if they want to send the right message to their employees, customers, and the world.

7) We will be able to follow the ‘race to rejoin the race’ via webcam and through updates, and the team’s sponsors are working on a documentary of the whole affair.  In many ways, this wreck – and the way it was handled – are the best and most important things that have happened to the race since the introduction of the Volvo 70.

Got questions for Team Vestas at the presser? Post ‘em in the Resurrection Thread here and we’ll do our best to get them answered, and don’t forget we’ve got a great team bringing you live video coverage of the In-Port Race starting tomorrow at 0950 UTC.  That means an early morning for East Coasters and a late night for you Pacific Time folks.

Go here for some title-inspired redemption of your own, and thanks to GCaptain’s story (via shippingnews and the salvors) for the photo.

January 1st, 2015 by admin

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We get a lot of fun Christmas cards every year, but this one from SA’er iTa303030 made us chuckle the most.  Share your Kwanzaa, Hanukah, and yeah, Christmas wishes in the thread, and remember: Just ’cause you ain’t working doesn’t mean we ain’t!

So what’s in store for the end of the year?  Plenty! 

We’ve got boots on the ground in Sydney and Hobart, and we’ll get you everything you need to listen to both Nic Douglass’s all-day live radio show and the official Yahoo/Channel 7 streaming video start of the Sydney-Hobart Race on December 26th (25th in the US and Europe)

Mr. Clean hits the road for Abu Dhabi on Sunday to bring you his customarily awesome interviews, analysis, and live commentary from the In-Port Race and Leg 3 start of the Volvo Ocean Race on January 2 and 3.

Our favorite cornbelt photojournalist Jen Edney is off to Barcelona to get all the inside stories from the 3rd Barcelona World Race.

and Petey Crawford’s International Date Line troubles means he’s missing Christmas entirely as he heads to Melbourne, Australia at this very moment to scout for our world-leading coverage of January’s Moth Worlds.

If you love sailing, 2015 is going to be one hell of a year.  Don’t change the channel.

December 24th, 2014 by admin

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The SA’ers grabbed a few shots of Rambler 88 from Instagram going through her post-launch checklist on a cold New England day; latest rumors are that Oracle grinder and bow scion Rome Kirby will be boat captain for the crew’s workup in the Caribbean in preparation for the 2015 Transatlantic Race.  Everything else on this orphan-sized racer over here.

 Title shout to an electronic orphan from the 80s.

December 23rd, 2014 by admin

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In a fairly amazing salvage operation, Coxy, Nico and the team somehow managed to free the Volvo 65 Team Vestas Wind from the grips of the reef, and she’s already loaded on a MAERSK container ship and bound for Malaysia in incredibly good shape, considering.  The boat will be offloaded and transshipped directly to Italy, where all the ducks are all in a row to put humpty dumpty back together again.  We have no word on whether Vestas management have decided to pull the trigger, but we know Volvo wants to see it happen, and so does the world.  Tell ‘em so on Facebook, and help the big blue boat get back in the race!  Talk about it in the Vestas Resurrection thread.

Photo thanks to MAERSK, with more shots and the story of the salvage op over here.

December 22nd, 2014 by admin

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