by Adam Cort

Adam Cort is SAIL’s executive editor. He lives and sails in the Boston area.

A week and a half into the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, the competition has been even tighter than anticipated as the fleet makes its way south in a tight bunch. Although the all-women SCA team was the first to exit the Mediterranean via the Straits of Gibraltar, the other boats quickly reeled them back in as they sailed into a calm.
Chinese-flagged Dongfeng sustained the first major damage of the race when it hit an unidentified submerged object that destroyed the boat’s port rudder.
Thus far the racing in the 2014-15 VOR has been as close as any in the race’s long history, thanks in part to the fact that this year’s fleet is made up of identical one-designs.
Chart briefings are like snowflakes in that no two are the same. This was especially true of the one Al Ashford of Horizon Yacht Charters gave before my family and I set sail on a recent weeklong getaway in Antigua—if for no other reason than the amount of time Al spent talking about the seas.
The Audi Hamilton Island Race Week fleet recently got an unexpected treat—and found itself facing a potentially tricky tactical situation—
It appears the powers-that-be are once again doing their best to sap whatever life remains out of the America’s Cup in their never-ending quest to make a dime off the oldest trophy in sports.
The concept of seakindliness has largely been lost to modern sailors—with the possible exception of the bluewater cruising community. The basic idea is that a boat’s motion through the water—its “feel,” so to speak—should be as comfortable as it is seaworthy. 
An estimated 50,000 race fans packed both the docks and harbor as the seven-boat 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race fleet set out on the event’s first offshore leg from Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town, South Africa. 

New Kids Draw First Blood

by Adam Cort, Posted October 6, 2014
If there was ever any doubt Team Alvimedica and its young American leaders—skipper Charlie Enright and watch captain Mark Towill—were ready for the 2014-25 Volvo Ocean Race, those doubts were put to rest Saturday as the team won the opening in-port event in Alicante, Spain.

Boat Review: Xp44

by Adam Cort, Posted October 3, 2014
X-Yachts has long been one of my favorite production boatbuilders, for the simple reason that the company consistently builds great boats, and the Xp44 is no exception. This is a company that never cuts corners. The result is a boat that looks great, feels good and sails well.
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