Displaying items by tag: Alicante
#VOR - The local heroes on Xabi Fernández's MAPFRE were popular winners in the first in-port race — and first point-scoring race — of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante on Saturday (14 October).
Fernández and his team made a bold call at the start to duck behind the entire fleet in order to sail up what turned out to be the favoured right-hand side of the course, coming from behind to earn a narrow lead at the first gate.
“It was pretty clear from Joan [Vila] and Rob [Greenhalgh] that we wanted to hit the right side of the course in the first upwind looking for more breeze,” said Fernández.
“Our intention was to start on port but Pablo [Arrarte] saw the gap himself when Brunel did a poor tack and they couldn’t accelerate so we want for the cross and we had plenty of room and once we hit the right everything went well.”
MAPFRE then managed to stretch out to a lead of nearly one minute at the bottom gate, giving them a lead they would enjoy the rest of the way.
“The truth is it hasn’t been an easy race but we took a bit of a risk at the start," Fernández said after the finish. "We saw the gap in front of Brunel and we went for it. Everything went really well.”
In fact, the Spanish team sailed a flawless race, in terms of strategy and execution, and were never threatened after grabbing the lead at the first mark.
But behind them, it was a hard-fought race. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag was strong on the first leg, but dropped back over the course of the race.
In contrast, Dongfeng Race Team fought up the fleet to grab second place, battling with Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Team Brunel who were trading places throughout.
“There was a lot of action! MAPFRE played their own game alone but behind them, we had a big fight for second place. It’s good, it’s good,” said skipper Charles Caudrelier on Dongfeng Race Team.
“We showed how we can sail well, after having not such good results in the last few days. It’s great that we managed to come back and get this result.”
“It was a very exciting first in-port race for us,” said Charlie Enright, the skipper of Vestas 11th Hour Racing.
“They’re always really close. You know, when you’re racing these 65-foot canting keel boats around a one-mile track it gets interesting, with a lot of exchanges and big headsails and a lot of grinding. We did some good things and some bad things and got third place. All in all, not a bad way to start the campaign.”
“I had a bad start and that put us on the back foot,” said Bouwe Bekking, skipper of Team Brunel. “But we sailed the boat very nicely. All in all, we're pretty happy with how we sailed today.”
Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag made a late gain to grab fifth over team AkzoNobel with Turn the Tide on Plastic never recovering from a poor first leg.
“It was okay. Fifth’s not great but it was okay. We were second at the top but we just made one mistake on the first run and it cost us. Basically, it was good. Amazing to be racing here in Alicante,” said David Witt, skipper of Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag.
Provisional results of the first in-port race are as follows:
|2||Dongfeng Race Team||56:06||6|
|3||Vestas 11th Hour Racing||56:54||5|
|5||Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag||58:07||3|
|7||Turn the Tide on Plastic||59:39||1|
In the final significant test of the new one-design fleet's capabilities before the race proper begins next month, Team Vestas Wind surprised the more experienced contingents – besting the Dutch side Team Brunel over the line by 10 seconds.
Despite it being 'only a practice race', it's a remarkable achievement for the Danish team that was only confirmed as an entrant last month and has had just four weeks of on-the-water testing.
Meanwhile, Dongfeng Racing Team put their teamwork to the test in their dramatic scramble to retrieve their sail after it slipped into the water during stacking.
However, the primary purpose for many crews sailing on Leg 0 was getting a leg up on the competition.
As the video above demonstrates, 'learning from the enemy' was all important – especially with everyone sailing the same yacht, which means that individual team strategies will make all the difference this time out.
#VOLVO OCEAN RACE - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing's challenge was nearly scuppered at the outset when their yacht suffered a broken mast just hours into the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race yesterday. Dismast photos by Paul Todd below.
The accident occurred 30 nautical miles south of Cartagena on the Spanish Mediterranean, when the yacht Azzam encountered rough weather some six hours after leaving Alicante.
"Our mast broke into three pieces when landing off a big wave in 30+ knots of wind," said skipper Ian Walker. "We were sailing under a J4 and two reefs. We do not as yet know the cause."
A first leg disaster for Ian Walker on Abu Dhabi - Photo: Paul Todd
The broken mast pieces and rig were recovered, thanks to the "courageous" intervention of crewman Wade Morgan, who entered the water to cut away the top of the mainsail.
Walker added: “The mast from the first spreader up is now secured to the port side of the boat. About three or four metres protrude from behind the boat. A spider web of lines is keeping the operation intact. The crew are deeply disappointed.”
Yacht and crew - which includes Wexford man Justin Slattery - were last night headed towards the flatter water at Cabo de Palos before returning to Alicante under motor to begin repairs and get back in the race.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing are one of six teams competing in the epic round-the-world yacht race, which is set to finish in Galway next July.
Earlier this week the team finished first in the initial in-port race of the competition.
The official Volvo Ocean Race website has more on the story HERE.
#LEGENDS REGATTA –This week's 16-boat 'legend' fleet racing in Alicante is a far throw from the six-pro teams waiting for this weekend's VOR start proper but everyone in the Spanish port knows that it is the cross-section of old ketches to International Offshore Rule (IOR) designs and right up to the 70-foot sleds of the present era is what has given birth to the modern €10 million race.
Ireland is featuring prominently in this 'oldies' race. Although there's no sign of NCB Ireland from 25 years ago there's plenty of Irish sailors in attendance for a proper celebration with Joe English, Harry Cudmore, Killian Bushe, Bob McCarthy and Enda O'Coineen leading the charge.
Rick Tomlinson's stunning photos of the Legend's regatta are below.
#VOLVO OCEAN RACE - Organisers for next year's Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Galway have promised the event will be "bigger and better" than the previous race visit in 2009.
John Killeen, president of Let's Do It Galway, told the Galway Independent that he expects as many as 8,000 foreign visitors to the City of the Tribes next July.
Green Dragon on show in Alicante this week – her dockside poster reads: 'the race begins in Alicante, the party starts in Galway'
Killeen is in Alicante on the Spanish Mediterranean for the week of events and in-port races leading up to the official start of the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race this Saturday.
The race is set to finish in Galway on Tuesday 3 July 2012, attracting the world's media to Ireland's fifth largest city for the final prize-giving.
Nimmo's Pier will be the focus of entertainment facilities for the many thousands expected to throng the city as the six competing yachts complete their epic challenge.
"It’s a rare opportunity for Galway and Ireland to have the leverage of such an event and, if we don’t [use it to benefit Galway], it will be remissible,” said Killeen.
The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.
# VOLVO OCEAN RACE The 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will take place in 2014-15, starting once again in Alicante, after Volvo Car Corporation and Volvo Group reaffirmed their long-term commitment to the world's premier offshore sailing event but there is so far no news of the next course, other port stop overs or if the race will end in Galway in 2015.
Stefan Jacoby, CEO and President of Volvo Car Corporation, Olof Persson, CEO and President of Volvo Group and Knut Frostad, CEOof the Volvo Ocean Race. PAUL TODD/Volvo Ocean Race
"At a time when many sports events are struggling to survive in one of the toughest economic climates in living memory, the future of the Volvo Ocean Race is looking very healthy." - Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad
Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad announced the broad timetable just as the fleet prepared for the start of the 2011-12 edition in the Spanish port.
Flanked by Volvo Car Corporation CEO Stefan Jacoby and Volvo Group CEO Olof Persson, Frostad said the next race would begin in the autumn of 2014 in Alicante, where the race has been based since 2010.
Frostad's announcement came after the Volvo Ocean Race revealed that a record 66 broadcasters around the world have so far signed up to follow the 11th edition, reaching 550 million households.
"Right now, I'm concentrating on 2011-12 which I believe will be the most thrilling we've ever had," Frostad said. "I'm just excited that this race just keeps getting better and better in every aspect.
"We intend to bring the drama of a race which stretches its competitors to breaking point day in day out to a far bigger audience than ever before. We believe we will win new converts to this great sport of ours with our coverage."
A traditional Irish sailing boat is on the way to Abu Dhabi in a cultural exchange that will also see six Arabian dhows in Galway for the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race next summer.
The National reports that the near-century-old Galway hooker Nora Bheag is being transported to the United Arab Emirates as part of a Maritime Heritage Cultural Exchange initiative, co-ordinated by Irish expat Peter Vine. (Track its progress at marinetraffic.com.)
On her way: Nora Bheag heads for Abu Dhabi. Photo: Boyd Challenger
According to the Galway Independent, the boat is currently en route to Rotterdam in a container loaded with a small curach named Noa.
Plans to include turf and bottles of poitin were abandoned, however, due to customs concerns - instead two hurleys and a sliotar will make the trip.
Nora Bheag is expected to reach port by early December ahead of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet which arrives on 1 January, marking the first time the city has hosted and taken part in the race.
Vine says he came up with the idea of the boat swap because of the two countries' shared maritime heritage.
There are many similarities between hookers and dhows, too, from their comparable sail shapes to their usage for fishing and personal transport.
"This will be a huge common shared experience that will build true friendships and a real cultural exchange," said Vine. "I am hugely grateful to Emirates Heritage Club, which has done so much to revive Arabian dhows, for making such a project possible."
The National has more on the story HERE.
Meanwhile a delegation from Galway is set to travel to Spain later this week for the launch of the Volvo Ocean Race.
A week of events begins this Saturday ahead of the start of the race proper on 5 November in Alicante.
Volvo Ocean Race skipper Franck Cammas has been presented with one of France’s most prestigious sporting honours.
The man in charge of the Groupama sailing team was awarded the Grand Prix de l’Académie des Sports in Paris recently, recognising his achievements in sailing in 2010.
These included his skippering of the 100ft trimaran Groupama 3 non-stop around the world in a record-breaking in 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds.
Cammas is only the fifth sailor to be presented with the award, following Whitbread Round the World Race skipper Eric Tabarly, 1983 America’s Cup winner John Bertrand, solo sailor Isabelle Autissier and Alinghi team principal Ernesto Bertarelli.
But Cammas isn't resting on his laurels, as he's currently preparing with his team to compete in the next Volvo Ocean Race kicking off next month.
He will lead a crew of 11 sailors - including Kerryman Damian Foxall - on the 70ft monohull Volvo Open 70 Groupama 4 in the 39,000 nautical mile race, which is set to conclude in Galway next summer and will also involve Wexford sailor Justin Slattery, who is in the crew for Team Abu Dhabi.
The action starts in Alicante, Spain on 29 October with the first in-port race. The first leg to Cape Town then begins on 5 November.