There is lot’s going on in the (sailing) world at the moment with the Vendee-skippers suffering immensly (both physical and with their gear) over the last couple of days and the Volvo guys suffering mostly mentally (although there has been the structural failure of black betty). Although I’m not involved in any of this (and off to play in the snow shortly) a quick few snippets of interesting stuff (in my humble opinion) of the sailing over the last couple of days:
– Yann Elies suffering a mayor injury, no-one deserves that and I hope the Australian Navy (who are on thier way) manage to get him into safety and comfort quickly. My favorite yacht (Safran, which was not performing anywhere as good as I’d hoped) is sailing next to him and the yacht “Generali” offering support.
– Mike Golding and Loick Peyron both dismasted in leading position, both had been sailing really well and no apperent reason has been found other than the rough seas and heavy (50+ kts) winds.
– Leading the Vendee at the moment is Foncia (‘Mich Desj’) who had to return to port after the start to fix a few minor details and has been sailing faster and smarter up till now than anyone else, wow!
– Further back there is an interesting dual between the boat that won twice, now ROXY, and the brand new (and on her third mast) Pindar (JuanK-60). Sam Davies showing what the commitment and lessons of the French offshore sailing school can do when combined with a yacht that is known inside out fencing off Brian on his hugely powerful 60.
– Delta Lloyd with a number of friends involved suffered structural damage earlier, some carbon gave way. Not good fun and I hope the conditions stay fairly favourable to Black Betty’s injury.
– The 33rd America’s Cup has been dead in the water for some time now but in a very obvious attempt to influence the court ruling Alinghi has continued preparing for the cup with meetings with possible challengers a full list of accepted challengers being released as part of the whole play. Looking at the list I am of the opinion there are a large number of participants and wannabees but hardly any real competitive challengers… What is obvious is the fact that one of the challenges that at least would have been economically viable has been ignored and the twist the PR-peopple will give on all that will be interesting to follow (but no reason to let it spoil a perfectly good ski-trip).
– One of the biggest 600-mile classics (the “Hobart”) is about the start and there will be some awesome gear on the line. Most interesting boats will be the new Living Doll (Farr IRC55, twin rudder), the new Loki (R/P 63) and new limit (R/P 62). Studying the results (and thus designs) is on the list for when I’ve returned from the snow…

That’s a quick summary of what I think is important in the unimportant world of sailing. Life’s great