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Asian sailing news, photos, results & views

April 2012 - AsianYachting News and Views

Goto 2011-12 AYGP Events

Next up on 2011-12 AYGP

Rolex China Sea Race
(Starts April 4th)
Commodore's Cup
(April 10 - 14th)
Top of the Gulf Regatta
(May 4 - 8th)


Goto Top of the Gulf RegattaBest of the best at Top of the Gulf Regatta (May 4-8th)
The fleet line-up for 2012, at Ocean Marina Yacht Club in Jomtien, Pattaya, Thailand, is set to be one of the most competitive yet. Over 600 participants in 300+ sailing craft, from more than 30 countries will compete in 12 classes at Asia's largest multi-class regatta. The pedigree of sailors is exceptional, with winners from all major Asian Regattas in the last 12 months, taking part, as well as national and regional champions competing in the Optimist, dinghies and beach catamaran classes. A record fleet is also expected in the keelboat and multihull classes this year. Growing year-on-year, the highly competitive fleet will see Asia's rapidly expanding 40-foot class from around the region coming together again in a winner take all and claiming bragging rights for the rest of the year. If you haven't entered already, go to http://topofthegulfregatta.com/entry_form1.shtml and complete the entry form. Goto www.topofthegulfregatta.com or join them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/togregatta

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1. EDITORIAL - Final countdown to 2011-12 season
. AUSTRAL - ASIAN NEWS - World Cup to determine Olympic places – SMU & SSF promote keelboats in Singapore - Easter brings the Brisbane Gladstone Race - Best place yet for Singapore Clipper - 4th Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference - IRC Rule Authority contacts now online - Fred Le Peutrec is China Team skipper - Tsunami boat sighted off Canada - Deepest Dive for James Cameron's Sci-Fi Sub
Up next in Asia - 50th Rolex China Sea Race - Commodore's Cup - Top of the Gulf Regatta - 11th Samui Regatta
ACWS kicks off in Naples April 11 - Artemis Racing debuts full scale AC72 wing - San Francisco Approves AC for Sept 2013
Follow the:
Volvo Ocean Race - Global Ocean Race - Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - RC44's - Extreme Sailing Series - AC World Series
4. World Speed records
Miami-New York record thwarted
5. "Unluckiest sailor of the month"
- Lord Laidlaw Highland Fling XII dismasted - Southern Ocean takes its toll on VOR yachts


Goto Rolex China Sea RaceFinal countdown to 2011-12 season
With only four regattas to go in the
2011-12 AYGP Championship, we expect a thrilling conclusion to an already pulsating 2011-12 Season. The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the biennial 565nm, Rolex China Sea Race starting this Wednesday April 4th to Subic Bay in the Philippines. Twenty six yachts will be embarking on this blue-water classic that includes Geoff Hill's newly acquired Dubois 90 Genuine Risk, two TP52's Freefire and Jelik 5, Neil Pryde's Hi Fi and up from Singapore Jonathan Mahony's well traveled Zanzibar are going head to head in the Racing Class. Since its inception this race has continued to attract interest and has served to draw the attention of the international yachting fraternity to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. All the race info including fantastic Rolex photos, videos and tracking can be accessed Here...

Got NOR Commodore's CupThe Subic Bay Yacht Club are expecting a flow on of entries for the Commodore's Cup (April 10-14th) straight after the Easter break. The Notice of Race, Entry Form and Amendments can be found at: http://www.sbyc.com.ph/watersports.html

This is also the time of year when serious International racing teams are making contact and plan an assault on the Asian regatta scene next season. This is very reassuring for the future and regatta organisers must be collectively congratulated for their hard work in bringing together a lively program of events that stretch across the SE and East Asian region for all to enjoy. More and more people are becoming aware that attending a sailing event in tropical waters can be a great holiday or an easy introduction to Asia and a highlight of their sailing year

Goto Top of the Gulf RegattaAt the beginning of next month racing swings over to the Gulf of Thailand for the Top of the Gulf Regatta (May 4-8th) where anything from an Optimist dinghy to the latest monohull and multihull designs will be taking flight in the largest fleet of boats ever to come together in a multi-class event. At the end of the month the season ending 11th Samui Regatta (May 27th - June 2nd) raps up an exciting year and assessment can be made on how the new all inclusive AYGP Pointscore has panned out with the awarding of the Skipper and Yacht of the Year. The Samui Regatta has recently changed management and all systems are 'go'. The tremendous growth of the 40 foot class will make this an exciting grand final and bodes well for the coming season.

Goto RC 44 siteFull details on all these events and more can be found on the Asian Sailing Calendar. Keep up with the 2011-12 AYGP Pointscore by searching through the Overall Skippers - Yachts - Regatta Results

On the International scene - The Southern Ocean takes its toll on the Volvo Ocean Race fleet (Full roundup plus photos in Unluckiest Sailors of the Month) - The Global Ocean Race are restarting from Punta del Este, Uruguay and the Clipper RTW Race have just arrived in Oakland, San Francisco - The RC44's are up and running in dramatic fashion and the Extreme Sailing Series are heading to Qingdao China on April 19-22nd . For your convenience, news on all these events along with other major yachting news can be accessed from the AY Homepage and much much more can be found below.
Wishing you blue sky, fair winds where ever you are sailing.
Capt Marty Rijkuris


2.1 World Cup to determine Olympic places
The third of seven ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas, the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE, kicked off on 31 March and runs until 7 April in Palma, Spain. As teams begin to step up their preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition the regatta will be key for sailors preparing for the Olympic Games, as well as those still aiming to qualify their nation at their respective upcoming World Championships. With 148 sailors, the Laser fleet will be the biggest in Palma. And eight of the world’s top ten sailors will be amongst the fleet aiming for vital ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings points ahead of a busy summer. The Women’s Match Racing Competition will see 18 teams pitting their wits against each other. Four of the teams in Palma will be American, as each team continues to stake their claim for the sole American Match Racing spot at London 2012. The leading American teams will compete against each other in a winner takes all qualification event in Weymouth and Portland in May. To view the nations qualified for the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition as at 28 March 2012 Click Here... or the ISAF World Cup Microsite Daily videos available on YouTube Channel

2,2 SMU and SSF to promote keelboat sailing in Singapore
Singapore, 30 Mar 2012 – Singapore Management University (SMU) and Singapore Sailing Federation (SSF) have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote keelboat sailing among the youths and explore possibilities of working together in sailing related initiatives. Under the new partnership, SMU is the first University in Southeast Asia to have a successful keelboat sailing program and SSF will jointly organise and promote “Sailing in the City” programs to students and members of the public. They will also jointly organise the first Asia Pacific Match Racing Student Cup 2012. This international competition is open to both local and international student participants. The race, which will start in September this year at Marina Bay, will coincide with the Formula One races in Singapore.

2,3 Easter brings the Brisbane Gladstone Race
Coastal forecasts remain as the most important factor as the 48 crews representing Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland decide on their sail selection to contest the 308 n/ml QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Race over the Easter weekend. All skippers including the current race record holder Grant Wharington who power sailed his super maxi Skandia Wild Thing to a remarkable 15.09 knot average in 2004 remain hopeful of a favourable spinnaker sailing forecast. The return of race record holder Wild Thing to test her proven boat speed against last year's line honours champion the Peter Millard skippered Sydney super maxi Lahana promises to involve both crews in a tactical match race for the prestigious first to finish trophy. Naturally they are hopeful of a strong wind forecast and should this be the case the race record of 20 hours 40 minutes and 50 seconds will enter a new time zone. But first either crew will have to cross the finish line off Gladstone's Auckland Creek before 7-40-50 on Easter Saturday morning to register a new record. Intense interest also surrounds a classic contest for overall handicap and the associated honour of sipping the traditional seafarers 'Nectar' (Rum and Coke) from the 64 year old Courier-Mail Cup by the handicap winner. More info and tracking at: http://www.brisbanetogladstone.com.au/Home.aspx

2,4 North Sails arrive with strength in Asian waters
Bringing North Sails to Southeast AsiaNorth Sails Asia is the regional division of North Sails including the countries of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. North Sails has become the world leader in sailmaking through an ongoing commitment to making sails that are faster, lighter and longer lasting than any other sails in the world. Whether you race or cruise, North Sails is committed to designing and building sails that are just right for you! When performance matters, the choice is clear. North Sails builds more cruising sails and racing sails than any other sailmaker in the world. All North sails are manufactured to the highest standards using the latest technology and premium fabrics from North Cloth and other quality suppliers. Whether you race or cruise, North Sails has the widest variety of products in the world to meet the needs of Sunday afternoon cruising sailors and America's Cup teams alike. Our team of designers, sales and sail care personnel have one common goal: to build a sail that is right for you. Email: info@asia.northsails.com
or check out their website at: http://www.northsails.com/

2,5 Best place yet for Singapore Clipper
1st April 2012: After a grueling 6,000 miles at sea crossing the world’s largest ocean, Singapore has secured its best position in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race so far, as they were second to cross the finish line under the Golden Gate Bridge at 1713UTC today. Despite heavy storms and waves the size of buildings endured the past 28 days crossing the mighty Pacific Ocean, Singapore, a yacht sponsored by Keppel Corporation, today secured its first second place in the world’s longest yacht race, as well as securing two additional points for the Scoring Gate. As they crossed the finish line, the Golden Gate Bridge, at 1713UTC this morning, the Singapore crew were visibly ecstatic about their second podium place. Upon arrival into Jack London Square, its skipper, Ben Bowley, said, “It’s been an epic race. It’s by far the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, certainly all the crew will agree it’s the most challenging thing that they’ve ever done. It’s fantastic to be here. The Gold Coast Australia entry arrived in first place yesterday and New York came in third. The rest of the fleet are expected to arrive in Oakland over the next few days. For further information log onto http://www.clipperroundtheworld.com

2.6 4th Asia Pacific Superyacht Conference
Will be held from April 25-26 at the ONE°15 Marina Club in Sentosa Cove, Singapore — just before the Singapore Yacht Show. Run in association with the Singapore Superyacht Association, the conference will be a forum to discuss and explore the opportunities for the superyacht industry in Asia Pacific — and help build the region as an exciting and emerging cruising and yacht building destination. The full program can be seen at: http://www.singaporeyachtshow.com/conference-zone/programme/ or register online: http://www.quaynote.com/ankiti/www/?code=aspc12&f=register The conference will cover the following topics:
• Superyacht construction and design in the Asia-Pacific region
• Marina design and management in Asia
• The needs of the Asian superyacht buyer/owner
• Superyacht opportunities in China
• Transforming Asia-Pacific into the world's leading superyacht cruising destination
• Country by country focus for charter brokers and yacht captains
• Update on regulation and permits in key countries including China and Indonesia
• Yacht service and support in Asia
• Refit and overhaul
• Finance, risk management and insurance

2.7 IRC Rule Authority contacts now online
The IRC rating system is administered around the world through Rule Authorities, although all certificates are processed either by the RORC Rating Office or the UNCL Centre de Calcul. The Rule Authority helps regarding applications, measurements, any local policies regarding weighing and measurement, or any IRC queries that owners or race organisers have (if they don't know the answer, they will pass on the query to RORC or UNCL). The appropriate Rule Authority is based on where the boat predominantly races (as opposed to where she may be registered). A list of Rule Authority contacts in now online: http://www.ircrating.org/en/contact/rule-authorities-map Louay Habib interviewed Mike Urwin, joint Chairman of the IRC Technical Committee, on some detail technical aspects of IRC. Check it out at: Mike Urwin answers some IRC questions.

2.8 Surprise someone with a Sunsail Holiday today...
Goto Sunsail Asia Thinking about buying the perfect gift but don't know what to get? Why not surprise a loved one or a friend with an idyllic Sunsail getaway by getting them a Sunsail Gift Voucher @ 20% discount. Learn more about the types of gift vouchers you can get by calling 1800 803 988. Sunsail's South-East Asia bases are easily accessed by direct flights from all major Asian cities. The main base in Phuket is conveniently located at Ao Po Marina. Three other great destinations include duty-free Langkawi, Koh Chang and Koh Samui. All your berthing, insurance and maintenance taken care off, by a team of Sunsail professionals, you can enjoy access to year-round, worry-free cruising.
Check out the huge discounts each month on high-performance cruising yachts built for comfort and designed especially for the great sailing in Asia! Visit Sunsail Asia www.sunsailasia.com and pick up a copy of the
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2.9 Fred Le Peutrec is China Team skipper
After two intensive weeks of training in Sanya, China, China Team, the official Chinese challenger for the America’s Cup, is ready to compete in Naples America’s Cup World Series against the best sailors in the world with a new crew. China Team trained on two M2 Ventilo catamarans, with the 2 skippers each vying for the respectable position as China Team skipper. Phil Robertson from New Zealand, currently ranked 8th worldwide in the World Match Racing Tour, and aiming to be number 1, represents the young and up-and-coming ambitious new generation of skippers, and the future of sailing. At only 25 years old, Phil fronts WAKA Racing, a tight team of top young sailors, and has already won many major regattas. Fred Le Peutrec, from France, one of the most experienced multihull skippers in the world. At 45 years old, and with a multitude of Olympic campaigns and world records, Fred represents the maturity that comes with such extensive experience. But nothing stops Fred from openly showing his passion for sailing and most specifically stating recently “I just love multihull's!” China Team CEO Thierry Barot says “Both skippers performed admirably well, and each had their own strengths at different times and in different conditions. We really waited until the last day to decide, as a team, who should be the main skipper in Naples for China Team and who would be the back-up skipper. In the end, we have decided that Fred will be the main skipper in Naples.” The other crew members in Naples will be Adam Martin, James Williamson, Garth Ellingham and Nick Catley. Replacement crew will be Phil Robertson (skipper), Kit Cheng (from China) and Tudur Owen. Full story Here...

2.10 Tsunami boat sighted off Canada
A large fishing boat swept away by the tsunami that devastated Japan last year was spotted adrift off British Columbia in western Canada. Jeff Olsson, of Victoria's joint rescue coordination center, said "An airplane contracted by the government spotted the 50-foot-long boat recently about 160 miles west of Haida Gwaii, slowly drifting toward shore, according to media reports". The boat was identified as coming from Hokkaido, Japan. The vessel is one of several Japanese ships swept away by the March 11, 2011, tsunami that authorities are tracking as the debris field edges closer to North America. About 5 million tons of debris were swept into the ocean when the magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. More Here...

2.11 Deepest Dive for James Cameron's Sci-Fi Sub
March 25, 2012: At noon, local time (10 p.m. ET), James Cameron's "vertical torpedo" sub broke the surface of the western Pacific, carrying the National Geographic explorer and filmmaker back from the Mariana Trench's Challenger Deep—Earth's deepest, and perhaps most alien, realm. The first human to reach the 6.8-mile-deep (11-kilometer-deep) undersea valley solo, Cameron arrived at the bottom with the tech to collect scientific data, specimens, and visions unthinkable in 1960, when the only other manned Challenger Deep dive took place, according to members of the National Geographic expedition. After a faster-than-expected, roughly 70-minute ascent, Cameron's sub, bobbing in the open ocean, was plucked from the Pacific by a research ship's crane. Earlier, the descent to Challenger Deep had taken 2 hours and 36 minutes. Expedition member Kevin Hand called the timing of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER sub's ascent "perfect." Before surfacing about 300 miles (500 kilometers) southwest of Guam, Cameron spent hours hovering over Challenger Deep's desert-like sea floor and gliding along its cliff walls, the whole time collecting samples and video. Among the 2.5-story-tall sub's tools are a sediment sampler, a robotic claw, a "slurp gun" for sucking up small sea creatures for study at the surface, and temperature, salinity, and pressure gauges. Now "the science team is getting ready for the returned samples," said NASA's Hand. See pictures of Cameron's sub. Here...

Goto Quantum Sails2.8 QUANTUM iQ delivers top results
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3.1 ACWS kicks off in Naples April 11
The first championship races in 2012 in the America’s Cup World Series are scheduled to begin on April 11, on the waters off Naples, Italy. As the crews make their final preparations, ORACLE Racing skipper Jimmy Spithill, who has previously raced for the Italian Luna Rossa team from 2004-2007, says he thinks the Italian fans will be blown away by the new-look America’s Cup – with short course racing in exciting and fast wing-sailed catamarans, all within shouting distance of the crowds on the shoreline. A revised format for the event has been issued which provides a balanced schedule of match racing, fleet racing and speed trials across the five days of competition that climaxes on Sunday April 15 when the winner of the Naples Fleet Race Championship is crowned. Two things stand out in the new format – each fleet race, at 35 minutes, is longer than in prior events, and the Fleet Racing Championship will be determined by performance across all nine scheduled races, as opposed to the previous, winner-take-all race on the final Sunday. More ACWC News at: http://www.americascup.com/en/

3.2 Artemis Racing debuts full scale AC72 wing
Artermis media
Photo: Sander van der Borch
16 Mar. 2012 The culmination of more than 35,000 man hours and a tremendous amount of hard work on the part of the entire team came to fruition when Artemis Racing sailed with the team’s first AC72 wing. While the Defender and other Challengers for the 34th America’s Cup have chosen to train and test elements for the AC72 catamarans using smaller boats, specifically AC45 and SL33 catamarans, Artemis Racing opted to build a full size wing from the outset. Towering more than 13 stories high, the AC72 wing is a pure work of art. The 40 metre high structure, predominantly built of carbon fibre, measures 260 square meters yet weighs just over one tonne. “We chose the full scale strategy. Our decision was more time consuming, but it allows us to learn how to handle this powerful wing. Before performance, there is the safety of our team. San Francisco Bay in July and August is an unforgiving place,” CEO Paul Cayard said. “It was a team effort and it was amazing to see the wing out on the water. It looks great, but at the same time threatening. We will be going through a series of structural tests in the next few days,” Principal Designer Juan Kouyoumdjian said. Further information: http://www.artemisracing.com

Goto.DK Yachts3.3 DK 47 is the new game in town
If your serious about forming a racing team and joining the top racing class at major regattas in the region, the all new carbon fibre DK 47 is the boat to do it. DK Yachts is one of the most technologically advanced composite manufacturing facility in the SE Asian region. The design office works on high performance IBM CAD/CAM systems which are data supply linked to production and directly command the five-axis milling machine that accurately cuts hull plugs and moulds. Contained within the 110,000 sq ft facility is a multi-cycle computerized temperature oven (25m x 5m x 3.5m), a spray chamber (18m x 6m x 5.5m), an engineering workshop and a dedicated laminating room. In addition, DK also has an in-house 40m long autoclave to cure carbon fibre and kevlar finished products. So what are you waiting for? Serious Yachts for Serious Sailors can be found at http://www.dkyachts.com

3.4 San Francisco Approves AC for Sept 2013
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors approved the agreement to host the America's Cup in San Francisco September 7 to 22, 2013. The 2013 race will be the first time the competition for the "Auld Mug" will be held in San Francisco, a perfect natural sailing arena where more than one million spectators will see the 34th edition of the America's Cup. The San Francisco agreement calls for teams to be based at Piers 30/32 and for the America's Cup Village - the public Race Headquarters - at Piers 27/29. The pier improvements will be funded by the Port. "We have worked very hard to bring this historic race to San Francisco and we're very happy to have finally reached an agreement," said Stephen Barclay, interim CEO of the America's Cup. "Now we are focused on making this the most spectacular race in America's Cup history.”
2012 America’s Cup World Series dates and venues
AC World Series Naples, Italy – April 11-15, 2012
AC World Series Venice, Italy – May 15-20, 2012
AC World Series Newport, USA – June 26 – July 1, 2012
AC World Series San Francisco, USA – August 21-26, 2012
AC World Series San Francisco, USA – October 4-7, 2012

Editors Note: Hear directly from Russell Coutts and put an end to all the speculation that arm chair sailors, online forums and ill informed media come up with. Thanks for the insight and expectations the future will bring. Click Here...


4.1 Miami-New York record thwarted
26 March 2012: This morning at 11:50 am GMT (7:50 am local time) the Maserati racing yacht reached the Ambrose light station in New York, destination point of the Miami-New York record attempt. Soldini and his team decided not to ratify the Miami - New York record with the World Sailing Speed Record Council. There is not a recorded time reference for monohulls from Miami to New York, and the team felt the adverse weather conditions (tropical storms, sudden blasts, windless zones) that Maserati encountered during the route did not warrant an official record. "We have decided not to ask for a ratification of the Miami-New York record attempt, even though a time reference for monohulls doesn't exist," said Soldini. "Our achievement turned out to be below our expectations, and it does not reflect the performance of a boat as fast as Maserati. When we set sail for the record attempt we knew that the weather conditions were not ideal, but we didn't expect them to be so adverse. We can do much better than this aboard Maserati. In the coming days we will wait for the right moment to attempt the New York - Cape Lizard (UK) speed record and, weather permitting, we will again try the 24 hour speed record. It is going to be hard but we can make it." This ambitious race against time is one of several records that Giovanni Soldini and his international crew aboard Maserati will attempt in the months ahead. Goto: http://www.maserati.soldini.it

5. "Unluckiest sailor of the month"

5.1 Lord Laidlaw Highland Fling XII dismasted
Photo By: Rolex / Ingrid Abery
A disappointment to all in this class was the dismasting of Lord Irvine Laidlaw of Rothiemay’s (MON) IRC 52 Highland Fling XII after a port spreader apparently failed. “It happened about five miles into the race after the first turning mark,” said Michael Giles (SA), the boat’s trimmer. “We had made some modifications after racing in Key West, and we were very happy because we knew they were the right changes. We were 100% sure we were winning, so it was unfortunate that it did come down.” With no way to repair the rig before the end of the regatta, the boat is out for the count. “It’s absolutely a shame for a lot of reasons,” said eventual winner Tony Rey (Newport, R.I.), tactician aboard Peter Cunningham’s (George Town, CAY) PowerPlay “We were having a great race with them at the time when we heard a loud bang. She was a benchmark for us, and we were keen to see how we compared.”

5.2 Southern Ocean takes its toll on VOR yachts
Photo - Wade Morgan holding Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's J4 bulkhead
Amazingly the one leg that had all the crews excited about surfing downwind has turned into the most damaging on crew and boat. The conditions took its first casualty after five and a half hours of racing when Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing made the decision to return to Auckland when a bulkhead in the bow which secures the heavy weather J4 headsail had ripped clean out. The shore team worked through the night to fix structural damage in the bow of Azzam – and just 12 hours after arriving back in Auckland the sailors were headed back out to sea but had to delay their restart as a howling gale was blowing in the Haraki Gulf. Ian Walker’s crew must now play catch-up to rejoin their five rivals and missed the weather front that propelled the leaders deep into the Southern Ocean. News coverage Click Here and Video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zRr7kV8sdQ&feature=uploademail

Shortly after it was reported the International Jury will hear a protest during the next stopover in Itajai regarding the legality of sails carried by Telefonica during Leg 4 from Sanya to Auckland. While 2 crew members onboard Ken Read’s PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG sustained a dislocated shoulder and reoccurring back injury while crashing around in the huge waves.

Then while briefly leading the fleet Team Sanya sustained rudder damage while surfing along at speeds up to 32 knots with the masthead gennaker on and one reef in the main. Skipper Mike Sanderson’s blog - I had just come below and when I heard the bang I knew we where in trouble. The split second silence was followed by an all too familiar sound of the Niagra Falls as the water came charging into the boat. The guys on deck had no idea, Shifty did a great job and dived for the water tight door, still at this stage we were doing over 20 knots. What we didn't know was that we had lost the rudder altogether. The water rushing into the aft compartment hadn't made that clear as we shut the door. Dave, who had been driving at the time, handed over to his Watch captain Richard and we set about to furl the gennaker. Just as we had started furling the boat surged and without a windward rudder we carved into a high speed crash gybe!! (formerly known as a Chinese..). The water crashing around in the aft compartment was violent and the surging of the water tight doors as they strained with the load was worrying. We then hove-to, which is something I have never done before, staysail tacked hard to weather, wheel lashed and keel to leeward and we parked the boat up again, this time with the hole where the rudder was out of the water. We carry a spare rudder as part of our emergency steering system, however quite quickly we realized that our leg was over, because the rudder stock had snapped inside the boat it had thrashed around and badly damaged the bottom rudder bearing. After arriving back in NZ Team Sanya announced that after exhaustive enquiries, the boat will be shipped to Savannah in the United States and rejoin the fleet for the in-port race in Miami and the start of Leg 7.

After taking over the lead Chris Nicholson’s CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand had earlier repaired bulkhead damage reported that bow damage had been sustained after falling heavily off a wave and delaminating a forward structural beam. Plan A was to pull the hand break and start on repairs, but a day later Nicholson said that the team would divert to Puerto Montt on the west coast of Chile to repair bow damage. Their aim is to make the repairs to the bow without hauling the boat out of the water in Chile and return to the racetrack as quickly as possible to complete the leg.

That left the three Juan K boats, Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA), PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG (Ken Read/USA) and Telefonica (Iker Martinez/ESP), at the front of the fleet and for the third edition of the race, this design is proving most suitable in the hard running conditions. In short, the Juan K bow lifts up better than the others. But even on leader Groupama, there is no calm on even the best designed boat. "The closer we get to South America, generally speaking, the more difficult and confused the conditions can get,'' Groupama helmsman/trimmer Damian Foxall said. "Once we get to Cape Horn everyone will breathe a mental sigh of relief, but then you have to go up wind for another couple of thousand miles and there's some heavy reaching, so there's an awful lot of banging and smashing yet."

As everything seemed to be settling down Telefonica (Iker Martinez/ESP), which has been bleeding miles the past couple days, admitted they have damage to the bow serious enough for the crew to slow the boat. "We're battling on and making sure we don't do any more damage. We could push harder, but we think that could lead to further problems," said watch leader Neal McDonald earlier today. The team has had two crew members in the bow for a week, patching up a repair. McDonald says they will continue as they are and monitor it carefully. "Time will tell. It looks stable at the moment and, at the pace we are going, we are in good shape," he said. Overall race leaders Team Telefónica carried out their repairs at Martial Creek, a cove in Herschel Island in the Cape Horn National Park, where they were met by their shore crew and gave themselves the best chance of holding on to a podium position in Leg 5. Bowman Antonio Cuervas-Mons was taken off the boat and will miss the remaining 2,000nm of the leg due to a lower back injury affecting his sciatic nerve.

After finally finding the wind and reporting speeds in excess of 30 knots, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing slowed down to give themselves an opportunity to make a damage assessment after the team’s racing yacht Azzam suffered some delamination to the hull. All crew are safe and well. This morning the crew completed at sea remedial repairs on the port side mid-ship of its yacht Azzam to minimise delamination spread. Hull delamination occurred yesterday (Thursday, March 29) when Azzam was sailing against 35 knot winds and four metre swells in the Southern Ocean.

The crew waited for daylight and a softening of the winds and Southern Ocean seas before drilling through the hull and bolting its lamination back together. Azzam and her crew are back sailing and will continue to monitor the situation closely. The team will move out of the low pressure system, to avoid the onset of a heavy storm, towards the Chilean coast to further assess repairs. and sailing slowly as they carried out their damage assessment.

Groupama (Franck Cammas/FRA) and PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG (Ken Read/USA), the only two teams to have avoided serious damage to their boats so far on Leg 5, and rounded Cape Horn in that order with only 12 miles separating them. A tight battle is taking place up the coast with Telefonica coming up the rear and ready to pounce if the leaders make a mistake. Catch the video as the fleet have passed the half way mark of the race at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEUCsFhXE8M&feature=player_embedded


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