by Adam Cort

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

After months of following the fleet online, Volvo Ocean Race fans in the U.S. will soon have the opportunity to meet the crews in person as the fleet is scheduled to depart Itajaí, Brazil, this weekend bound for Newport, Rhode Island.  
While it may still be too early to say anything about the race having been broken wide open, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s Azzam is now clearly the team to beat in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, following a decisive victory in Leg 5.
Comprised of a pair of east and west arms, separated by the Old Mission Peninsula, Grand Traverse Bay measures some 30 miles north to south, from where it opens out onto Lake Michigan down to the town Grand Traverse. Although protected from the swells and occasionally severe storms found out on the open lake, the Bay can still experience some powerful conditions on its own

Chartering Chesapeake Bay

by Adam Cort, Posted April 6, 2015
Chesapeake Bay is a body of water than can be both intimate and absolutely enormous all at the same time: a cruising ground where you can enjoy a first-class meal one night and rough it on the hook the next, without ever having to sail more than a few miles.
It’s been the best of times and the worst of times for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race fleet as it battles its way through the Southern Ocean toward home. 
After 84 days at sea, Frenchman Bernard Stamm and Swiss sailor Jean Le Cam have not only won the double-handed Barcelona World Race, but set a new record for the event, which was first established in 2007. 
After a three-day delay to avoid the worst of Cyclone Pam, the six-boat Volvo Ocean Race fleet has now set out from Auckland, New Zealand, for Leg 5 through the Southern Ocean. 
After months of battling tropical calms, and bouncing back and forth across the Doldrums in no less than three different oceans, it’s time for the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race to return to its stormy roots. As in races past, Leg 4, which stretches 6,776 miles from Auckland to Itajaí, Brazil, will push the six competing crews to the limit and then some as they battler their way through the Southern Ocean and around Cape Horn. 
This past week, an independent review committee that included VOR veteran and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Stan Honey, former West Marine advisor author Chuck Hawely, and Rear Adm. Chris Oxenbould, a former deputy chief of the Australian Navy, determined there were “deficiencies” both in the use of charts aboard Vestas Wind and in “the cartography presenting the navigation dangers on the small and medium scales” of the electronic charts themselves when the boat ran aground last November.
Chinese-flagged Dongfeng is clearly the boat to beat as the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race fleet bashes its way through the early stages of Leg 4 from Sanya, China, to Auckland, New Zealand. Not only is the team number one on the overall leaderboard following a first-place finish on Leg 3 from Abu Dhabi to China, it also took first in the inshore race on February 7—the first time a Chinese-flagged team has done so in the VOR. Nonetheless, if there’s one thing that’s remained constant throughout the ever-changing history of Volvo Ocean Race, it’s that it’s never over until it’s over. 
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