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Volvo Fleet in Miami, 'Raging Bull' Lucky to Survive Rocky Shoreline

5th May 2012
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Volvo Fleet in Miami, 'Raging Bull' Lucky to Survive Rocky Shoreline

#SAILING ON SATURDAY – The Volvo Ocean Racers were at last feeling the benefit of the northeast trade winds on Thursday on the final 1600 miles to Miami from Brazil as the three leaders recorded speeds above 20 knots, but as they were so close together when reaching the breeze, nobody had got significantly ahead. American Ken Read's Puma was 5 miles ahead of NZ's Chris Nicholson's Camper, with overall leader Telefonica (Iker Martinez, Spain) 18 miles astern again, but with breezy offwind sailing in prospect and three boat neck and neck for the remainder of Leg 6, gaps like that can disappear in hours.

Puma has led narrowly all the way from Itajai, but only by dint of finding some new and often untried sail combination or trim. The new Volvo rule that they couldn't do any pre-race training matched with another boat meant that these have been the first prolonged and intensive boat-for-boat sessions they've experienced. They're expected in Miami tomorrow.

The newly-launched defending 2011 Irish Sea Champion Raging Bull, Matt Davis of Skerries Sigma 400 Raging Bull, will miss the early races of the ISORA programme as she broke her moorings off Skerries in the recent severe northeasterly gales. Sounds unfortunate, yett the Bull was lucky. Other Skerries boats were smashed to smithereens. But the Davis winner came in on the only patch of sand in an otherwise totally rocky bit of foreshore, and can be repaired. Some day, some time, we'll see a proper harbour at Skerries.

W M Nixon's sailing column is in the Irish Independent on Saturdays

See also Round the World Cruiser Stephen Hyde is April's Sailor of the Month

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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