Ocean Racing

It was the start of Leg 2 of the second annual Atlantic Cup, a mixed-format regatta raced in high-speed water-ballasted Class 40 sloops, and we were bound for Newport, Rhode Island.
Team Sanya had a run of bad luck in the Volvo Ocean Race. Really bad luck. Sanya Lan, skippered by Australian Mike Sanderson, is a VOR veteran, yet in this race it seemed like she spent nearly as much time out of the water being fixed as she did in it.
It was a Newport-Bermuda Race competitors will not soon forget, with “perfect” conditions that allowed race leaders to not just break records but shatter them. Leading the charge was George David’s 90ft maxi Rambler.
Abu Dhabi nabbed its first Volvo Ocean Race leg victory after sailing 3500 miles from Miami to Lisbon, Portugal in 12 days. Groupama finished second just six minutes later, followed by PUMA, Telefónica, CAMPER, and Team Sanya.
In late May, the German-flagged Mare won three of five fully crewed inshore races off Newport, Rhode Island, to take first overall in the second running of the fast-growing Atlantic Cup Regatta.
Twenty-something years ago I stood at the mouth of the Solent and watched the start of the Whitbread Round the World Race. I counted 23 boats making their way into the English Channel, with 32,000 miles of hard racing ahead of them. 
Nearly two weeks after leaving Panama, all 10 teams of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race have reached New Jersey, successfully finishing Leg 7.
Only three legs remain in the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean race, as Leg 7 began May 21 from Miami. The six teams will sail 3,590 miles from Miami to Lisbon Portugal.
In 2003, Robert Miller and his monohull Mary Cha IV set the world speed record for sailing from New York to Cape Lizard, at 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes and 39 seconds. Giovanni Soldini and his crew aboard Maserati are now looking to shatter it.
Even for an event that seems to continually reinvent itself, the 11th running of the Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) has been “unique,” to say the least, not to mention almost insanely competitive.
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