Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sailing Report: Races Around the World

VELUX 5 Oceans competitors have Cape Horn on their mind. Barcelona racers approach Cook Strait.

The view this morning from aboard Groupe Bel in the Barcelona World Race ©

Sometimes it’s hard to imagine as we go on with our day to day lives that there are a handful of sailors racing across the world’s oceans in two separate competitions, each of which spans several months and tens of thousands of nautical miles.

Solo Sailing
American Brad Van Liew still holds a commanding lead in the Velux 5 Oceans, as the solo sailors approach Cape Horn in the third sprint of the race. Brad and his three remaining competitors are each spending their time in South Pacific strategizing for what may be the most treacherous part of their journey. Wikipedia just confirmed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Horn for me that the waters around Cape Horn are particularly hazardous, owing to strong winds, large waves, strong currents and icebergs.

The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the oldest single-handed round the world yacht race. Run every 4 years since 1982, the race is considered by many to be the longest and toughest event for any individual in any sport. The 30,000 nautical mile race is a series of five high-pressure ocean sprints within a marathon circumnavigation. The current edition started in October 2010 and the remaining sailors are expected to cross the finish line in La Rochelle sometime in June 2011.

Racing in Pairs
The second edition of the Barcelona World Race, the first only double-handed (two-crew) non-stop regatta around the world, is really heating up. The leading team, comprised of the French duo of Loick Peyron and previous Barcelona winner Jean Pierre Dick, was about 188 miles from Cook Strait as of this morning. Team Neutrogena, which includes the race’s only American (Ryan Breymaier), is currently in seventh place. The 25,000 mile race, which started in December, 2010, is expected to finish at the end of March, 2011.

Keep up with all the big sailing news at the Daily Boater.