Short Tacks: Volvo Ocean Race

For years, crews have battled to best the Mount Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record, which circumnavigates the island of Jamestown, on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay.
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Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team crossing the finish line off Cape Town, South Africa.

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team crossing the finish line off Cape Town, South Africa.

Fast lap

For years, crews have battled to best the Mount Gay Rum Around Jamestown Record, which circumnavigates the island of Jamestown, on Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. On October 26, Jason Carroll and the crew of his foil-borne GC32 catamaran, Argo, shaved 4 minutes and 7 seconds off the existing record to establish a blistering new benchmark of just 58 minutes and 31 seconds, hitting a top speed of 37.1 knots en route. Giddyap!

Globally Recognized

Australian Jimmy Spithill and the Brazilian powerhouse duo Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze have been named the winners of the ultra-prestigious 2014 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards. Spithill won his shiny Rolex for his stunning come-from-behind win in the 34th America’s Cup (his second Cup victory), while Grael and Kunze earned their timepieces for their dominant performance in the women’s 49er FX Olympic class, where they currently top ISAF’s world rankings.

Offshore Action

Skipper Ian Walker and his Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team won the first leg of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race, which took the seven competing teams 6,487 nautical miles from Alicante, Spain, to Cape Town, South Africa. Impressively, skipper Charles Caudrelier and his Dongfeng Race Team crossed the finishing line just 12 minutes astern of Walker and company, despite significant onboard damage. Skipper Bouwe Bekking and his Team Brunel rounded-out this closely fought podium. For the latest on the 2014-15 VOR, visit sailmagazine.com/racing.

Offshore Attrition

This year’s Route du Rhum, which takes singlehanded sailors from Saint Malo, France, to Gaudeloupe, claimed more than its share of carbon fiber and broken dreams as skippers struggled to clear the English Channel. While there have been multiple rescues and several abandoned boats, the highest-profile bang-up occurred when Thomas Coville, skipper of the maxi trimaran Sodebo Ultime, collided with a ship, causing significant damage to her bow sections, and forcing his retirement from the race.

Photo courtesy of ian Roman/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 

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