Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Groundhog Day Sailing Report

Another wintry day in the Northeast, another sailing report on the Daily Boater.

Team Neutrogena in the Barcelona World Race ©
With snow and ice covering most of the United States, we thought we would cover some sailing events today so that we can dream of being somewhere warmer. Yes, it's Groundhog Day, and we don't have to watch the news to know that Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow. We are REALLY hoping this results in an early spring as promised by that adorable little rodent.

The Barcelona World Race is described on the race website as the first only double-handed (two-crew) regatta around the world. The sole American in the race, Ryan Breymaier, is currently in seventh place along with his German teammate Boris Herrmann. This is a non-stop regatta with some outside assistance permitted, although subject to rules and penalties. Competitors began the second edition of the regatta (the first was in 2007/08) on December 31, 2010, and are expected to reach the finish line at the end of March (2011). The 25,000 nautical mile course is from Barcelona to Barcelona along the Great Circle line via three capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, Cook Strait, putting Antarctica to starboard.

Following are some additional sailing race reports, including the 2011 Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta and the grueling around the world Velux 5 Oceans, sent in to us by our resident sailing expert Sean McQuilken.

The 2011 Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta recently concluded, for many of the teams campaigning for the 2012 Olympics this was their first event of a busy year of training and events worldwide. Full results and daily updates can be found at

Velux 5 Oceans
While most Americans are stocking up on beer and food in preparation to watch the Super Bowl, American Brad Van Liew and the rest of the Velux 5 Oceans sailors are preparing for their second southern ocean leg which starts on February 6th from Wellington, New Zealand. This leg takes them 6,000 nautical miles to Punta del Este, Uruguay. They will battle weeks of freezing cold temperatures, hurricane force winds, waves the size of five story buildings and freezing spray (conditions that are much worse than what the northeastern US is currently experiencing), while dodging icebergs at boat speeds approaching 35 knots. They will pass Point Nemo (the most remote spot in the world, 2000 miles from any land mass). If they survive that stretch they will pass Cape Horn, hopefully getting a glimpse of it then turn the corner and battle 1300 miles of variable winds to a warm welcome in Punta del Este.

Be sure to stay tuned to the Daily Boater for coverage of these and other sailing events!

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