buddy Bouwe Bekking (who will providing SA with daily reports from the
VOR) gave a serious beat-down to the rest of the Volvo fleet during the
first round of the VOR’s inshore races this weekend in Alicante, Spain.
Bouwe’s Telefonica Blue beat their teammates aboard Telefonica Black in
the first race, while in the second, it looked like Kenny Read’s Puma
pulled a rabbit out of a hat. The red boat from Newport hoisted
their code zero just before the start and used it as an upwind sail
for the light air race, jumping into a sizable lead at the top mark. Bekking
kept the pressure on Puma until the final downwind leg, when the faster
Blue rolled over Puma and took their second bullet.
It was exciting stuff, and what’s even more exciting is the way that
the Volvo have listened to the community. We’ve spent enough time bitching
about big regattas that don’t let the fans in on the action –
check out what a sweet job the VOR folks are doing. You can watch Race
1 or Race
2 in their entirety while tracking
the race virtually – with helicopter angles and commentary
on some tight racing from VOR CEO Knut Frostad.
With over half a million visitors to the Alicante race village already
and a 2011 start confirmed for the next VOR, this race seems to be holding
on to its niche as the sailing event that most grips the public’s interest
worldwide. Hopefully the organizers can keep building on it. Photo courtesy
Volvo Ocean Race/Rick Tomlinson.