You may remember back when Alinghi’s Arabian Adventure failed miserably, with their choice of Ras-Al-Kaimah in the UAE nixed by the NY courts as not being hemispherically compliant with the Deed of Gift. Knowing the likelihood of their loss in court, Alinghi had already scouted much of the Ozzie coast, with Southport being the likely candidate to hold the races. Apparently, that same port city, just on the other side of the inlet from Surfer’s Paradise on the Gold Coast, whet their appetite for big international sailing events (as you can see from this Southport Yacht Club announcement from last year about their fight to get the VOR stopover), and despite initial reports that Southport didn’t have the cash to pull it off, we expect Knut Frostad to announce this as the final mystery on the race’s next go-round. The Southport stopover would break up the vast distance between China and Brazil, breaking up the long Pacific leg of the race into something more manageable, and bringing the race back to the country that hosted so many memorable memories from the Whitbread days. We’ve been wrong before, but since our friend Knut (an avowed fan of SA) won’t answer our emails about it, we’re probably not. We’ll know soon enough.
But just breaking is news from an Auckland newspaper, which seems to announce that the City of Sails WILL work with the Volvo for the 2011-2012 stopover. Clear as mud!"