Saturday, October 29, 2005

Douget wins Mini Transat

Corentin Douget finished at 19 hours 22 minutes and 09 seconds local on Wednesday 26th October, just 38 minutes and 38 seconds behind Spaniard Alex Pella on the second leg og the Mini Transat. Douguet exploded the event's original overall reference time to take outright victory on his 2003 Manuard design.

The time set by Armel Tripon (29 days and 13 hours) in 2003 has also been significantly reduced to the new race reference time of 24 days 21 hours for covering a distance of 4220 miles.

Comeback kid Phil Sharp managed an impressive 4th total.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

The bright sailing future

Offshore Challenges has gathered massive support for their new event, The Barcelona World Race. One of the quotes that really stands out commercially is this from Keith Glasspoole, Sponsorship Research, IPSOS: - We measure periodically the general interest of the public in various sports. Things like football obviously come out on top but interest in sailing doubled before and after Ellen MacArthur [record attempt] and the Olympics. The other thing is brands are trying to get exposure around events - we measured spontaneous association of B&Q with Ellen MacArthur as nearly three-fifths of the public and that is more than three times what you would expect for an established Premiership football sponsorship. So it really was a huge level of awareness. When you have that level of awareness and exposure, it is not surprising that interest in the sport generally rises.


- Even the people that don’t actually win the race overall will have made a fundamental achievement – and so that type of endeavour you can rub off positively on brands regardless of what individual sailors might achieve.


-          With ocean racing these days people can actually see the events taking place and unfolding in their living rooms, this puts it more online with other international sports and it’s this which makes it an even more attractive proposition for international brands, says Glasspoole.


So what are you guys waiting for? Get out there…


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Offshore Challenges goes Barcelona

- Farr has already received the first order on a new Open 60 for the Barcelona World Race. We don't know who the owner is yet, said Mark Turner, the business brain behind Offshore Challenges during the launch of the new double handed race Wednesday.

There are no doubt that this race will attract both high profiled skippers and navigators from fully crewed racing, but also more Corinthian spirited sailors will try to get a name in this ever expanding business through Barcelona World Race. With just two sailors on board there is no telling what the winning formula for 90 days sprint in a 60 footer will be.

The commercial side of this regatta should be very interesting. With a four year campaign including all the IMOCA regattas a competitive program with a new boat will be 5-7 million Euros. With such a number and so many regattas there are a lot of potential companies out there that have the marketing budget to capitalize on such an investment. The bang for the buck will be much louder than a typical VOR campaign, for instance.

The VOR mindgame is on

The mind game in Volvo Ocean Race is definitely full on 10 days before the guns goes off. All the boats, except for Premier Challenge, have gathered and the top guys in each project have started the important game of psyching the competitors. The latest update from Bouwe Bekking on Movistar is a very interesting must read.

Why do the Spanish bother?

This is Sail PR for dummies. If you have a group of 40 international yachting reporters flying in from all over the world to attend the launch of Offshore Challenges new doublehanded round the world race and you want to get some free PR for the local yacht exhibition, don’t hand out press kits in Spanish. In fact don’t even bother to hand out anything else than free tickets if you don’t have the money for a PR agent to translate and adapt the material. It only creates bad will. In other words; don’t do like the Salon Nautico in Barcelona just did.

We will update you on a whole lot of more smooth PR sailing business later today when Ellen MacArthur goes on stage to launch the new event.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Disaster for Le Blevec

Yves Le Blevec's Mini Transat is over. He lost his mast Friday morning while lying in third place. Le Blevec was one of the race favourites and has been in constant battle for the lead with Corentin Douguet since 17 September. Disaster struck in the same area where Jonathan McKee lost his mast in the last race while he was leading the race.

Spanish Alex Pella has taken over the lead in the fleet and he has 653,5 nautical miles to the finish line.

VOR: Big difference in sails

The VO 70s are starting to check in with each other 12 days before the start, and there are obviously some exciting times ahead for us all. Magnus Olsson on Ericsson Racing Team reports on an on the water meeting with Moviestar and the Swedish boat had a little speed edge on the Spanish guys. But they where a bit distance and Olsson isn't certain if the competitors gave full throttle.

Cayard got spanked by ABN AMRO One in heavy upwind one day, but reports of a much tighter fight in 8 knots against the same Dutch boat and Brasil 1 a few days later. This is going to be the sail developer’s race...

Friday, October 21, 2005

Ellen with new race

Ellen MacArthur didn't get the weather window she needed for a Transatlantic record attempt. She has put the project on hold to focus on other Offshore Challenges tasks. She will be sailing Transat Jaques Vabre with Roland Jourdain, launching here program for B&Q, doing a reserach trip to South Georgia and most off all: Next week she will launch a brand new doublehanded round the world race starting from Barcelona in November 2007. Tim Jeffery report.

Hot Mini class - hot race

While the 72 competitors in Transat 6.50 are fighting their way through the Doldrums the new long distance race Nantes-Azores are just days away from having a full entry list. Nearly 70 sailors have pre-registered just a month after the new 1260 miles race each way was launched. A lot of sailors will use the race as a qualifier for the Transat in 2007.

The Sam Manuard Series designed TipTop will also have its debut in the race. Manuard is the hottest design name in the 21 foot class at the moment and a lot of people will be watching how the TipTop will perform.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

This is the true adventure

Dee Caffari is ready for the adventure of a lifetime in ‘The Aviva Challenge’ - her bid to sail solo, non-stop around the world against the prevailing winds and currents. If she succeeds, Caffari will become the first woman to achieve this feat, setting a new world record.

Caffari, 32, is scheduled to set sail in Aviva from Portsmouth on 20 November. She will take the same route as her mentor Sir Chay Blyth who, 34 years ago, was the first man to sail around the world “east to west”. Sir Chay will lead the team behind Caffari's record attempt.

VOR to your mobile

Volvo Ocean Race has taken a step further towards how the promissed the race would be communicated four years ago. In the coming race you can get all the news and drama of the race delivered direct to your mobile phone handsets. VOR has choosen Ericsson as their partner and the Swedish based international company will deliver content to all handsets. Ericsson is also the main partner of Ericsson Racing Team.

The mobile portal will also allow people to sign up for a series of arcade style games in addition to interactive elements of the service including quizzes and blogs which will enable the general public, as well as the sailing fraternity, to find out about the race, the characters, the destinations and life at the extreme end of ocean racing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Any chance for catch up?

The front runners Yves Blevec on Point Marriage and Corentin Douguet on E Leclerc-Bouygues Telecom will enter the Doldrums any minute now. They are on a direct course for the Islands of St Peter and St Paul - just north of the Equator. Spanish Alex Pella on Open Sea/Team Work, is in third and further to the east just 30 miles behind Le Blevec. Who will come out on the other side first is the big question? And for the sailors behind the three: Will they manage to catch up.

Phil Sharp is doing quite good in the catch up game and has climbed up to 9th.

Fast, exciting and good PR

The Volvo Extreme 40 is on the verge of attracting just as many projects as the Volvo Ocean Race. The boats are fast, simple, exciting, have a price tag that is presentable for a wide range of companies. Last women out in the class are Hollands ex-Amer Sports Too and Tornado sailor Carolijn Brouwer. She and her crew will compete under the Volvo Ocean Race banner. That makes three boats in the series so far, and at least two more are soon to go public.
The Volvo Extreme 40 class will race in five stopover ports; Sanxenxo (ESP), Rio de Janeiro (BRA), Baltimore/Annapolis (US), Portsmouth (UK) and Rotterdam (NED), and have been introduced to the Volvo Ocean Race to add spectacle to the entertainment package for stopover crowds.

Monday, October 17, 2005

No news is the best from Equator

There isn’t a sailor alive that doesn’t know about the dirty baptism for those who cross the equator. But the story about the Equator Virgins seems to be pouring in from all the races. Now it’s time for the sailors in the Clipper Race to get dirty.
If you really are interested you can read about it here, or you can start thinking about other stories to put out to the people. Because it has to be more interesting stories out there on the great oceans. Right?
This is a far better story from the same race. Eileen Skelly (61) has just crossed the Equator and she is the oldest women who has ever competed in this round the world race. Go girl...

Kickoff for the ladies match

A sailing marathon took place on Sunday on Hamilton harbor during The Virtual Spectator ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship where 12 teams from seven nations completed 36 races in a round robin elimination series that will ultimately decide this year’s 2005 ISAF Women’s Match Racing champion. American veteran Betsy Alison came out of the first day undefeated.

- We had a lot of confidence going into the racing today and our experience in keeping the boat flat upwind was crucial. We are fortunate in that we know and sail the J24s well but we also had excellent crew work today, Alison commented after the hard slog in over 20 knots was over.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Comeback Sharp

Phil Sharp has made a remarkable comeback after he joined his fellow countryman Nick Bubb on the very lonesome western route after the start from Lanzarote. Sunday afternoon he was only 76 miles after front runner Yves Le Blevec when on Friday he was 115 miles behind. Sharp is currently lying in 19th. Nick Bubb hasn’t recovered just as good, but he has climbed the field to. The young British is now in 37th and has 160 miles to catch up. 48 hours ago he was 201 miles behind.

But the gained miles can again be lost in the coming days as the leaders are expected to get in to better wind. All the sailors are now in the dark regarding the weather routing they did before the start. The routing are one week old and more than ready for the bin. Now they only can rely on the forecast from Radio Monaco and their own interpretation of the conditions.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Time for the Italian

The solosailors and their 21 footers have completed on third of their journey on the second leg, and Saturday was the day of the Italian Andrea Caracci on Speedy Bonsai. He has overtaken Yves Le Blevec and Corentin Douguet is following, writes 4ocean. But the three has taken completely different routes and are spread out on a 70 mile horizontal gap.

The leader Caracci has decided to take the route between the easternmost islands. Le Blevec the opposite between the westernmost islands and Corentin is taking the middle. Phil Sharp who was already proclaimed the loser is still climbing the lists and is now lying 20th.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Ellen running out of time

After six weeks on standby for an attempt on the solo transatlantic record to beat Francis Joyon’s time of 6 days, 4 hours and 1 minute, the window of opportunity is quickly drawing to a close for Ellen MacArthur. The 75-foot trimaran arrived in New York (USA) on 23rd August and officially went on standby from the 1st September, she has been waiting patiently but to no avail. Now only one week remains before Ellen and her team are stood down and, for now, the weather forecast over the next seven days is not encouraging. The deadline of the 20th October looms as Ellen must be in the port of Le Havre by the 28th October, a week before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre race which she is doing with French skipper, Roland Jourdain on the Open 60 monohull Sill et Veolia – this is a mandatory commitment for all skippers to participate in the event’s prologue race.
Ellens new book Race Against Time will be on the streets soon and the soloqueen is nominated for both ISAF Rolex Female sailor of the Year and The Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year. Suprise, suprise; she has won both before.

Endless list of Mini-damage

The Cape Verdes and Mindelo on the island Sao-Vicente in particular, some 150 miles from the head of the fleet, is likely to play host to a number of pitstops over the next day or so as lots of skippers pop in to make repairs prior to their Atlantic crossing, writes Yachting Universe.

Cyril Ducrot (Région Nord Pas de Calais) is still suffering from a leak and doesn't have enough materials aboard to repair his transom. It seems that his transom was ripped off by the rudders during yesterday's collision with a shark. Kristian Kargk (Prima Nautica) is planning to stop off there to repair a broken stay and Mikaël Mergui (Marcel Forever) will be calling in after losing a fairing o­n his canting keel and flooding a battery. Xavier Bluy (Smets) has broken a spreader as well as his bowsprit while Juan Carlos Maris Sanchi (Spasmos) has automatic pilot problems.

And this is just some examples on the endless list of damage. Should the sailors really be allowed to get help to continue this solo-race?

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Minis blasting south

The solosailors in Transat 6.50 have been enjoying some hot angled sailing the last couples of days. The three up front, Corentin Douguet, Yves Blevec and Stanislas Maslard respectively, has put over 200 nautical miles in their wake the last 24 hours. That’s hard driving in a 21 foot overpowered Mini. The biggest fear of each skipper is falling asleep and has the autopilot sending the boat in to a kite ruining broach. The Cape Verde archipelago are only 130 nautical miles away from the first boats, but there’s still to much distance to the finish to have major kite repairs to struggle with.

The approach to Cape Verde will be difficult as the wind will easy off to 15-5 knots and swing between NE and NNE. The boats to the west of the rhumbline will benefit from this. South of the islands there will be northerly 5 knops and that will give the boats chasing the leaders a chance to catch up. The high mountains will give a lot of local effects that the sailors have to tackle.

Tacktick with new gizmo

Not just a remote control, the Tacktick Micronet Remote Display is an independent, wireless, palm sized display unit as well as remote control. The dot matrix screen not only shows you all the data from the full onboard Micronet electronics system, it also functions as a full remote control for the Micronet Maxi display units. The new product will be launched in January 2006.

Cayard: Pimp my ride

Paul Cayard, skipper on Pirates of the Caribbean, have the power of the word. Here is his last update. Photo: Oscar Kilhborg.
We are in the middle of a work week on the boat. The mast is down, the keel is off and the boat is in the shed. The later fact has been a great move as it has been raining a lot this week. Following the 2000 miler and the trip to Holland and back, we got enough time in the boat to know what things we wanted to change. We lined up 14 boat builders from around the world,
rented a shed, got the parts lined up and hit it hard last Thursday. Code name for the project is "Pimp my ride". Special edition T-Shirts are being made. The boat should come out of the shed this weekend and we will start sailing on Monday.
We have 15 outside contractors working on the boat this week plus our own shore team. We have four boat builders from Switzerland who work on Alinghi, we call them the Ski Team, we have four guys from Green Marine in the UK, we have 3 guys from the USA, and 5 painters from England. All these guys do is work, eat, work, sleep and work. Mark Rehana has been taking good care of them with the food. This is proving once again to be a big plus to have not just an in-house cook but to have Mark Rehana and his able assistant, Jo. They are simply the best!
Three of our competitors are also working on their boats this week. Both ABN AMRO boats and Ericsson are out of the water. Brasil 1 arrived today from their training base in Portugal. Volvo event management is setting up the race village near the club. Things are heating up in Sanxenxo.
-- Paul Cayard, Pirates of the Caribbean

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bubb off the wagon

Nick Bubb has gone from favourite to backbencher after his back breaking choice after the start. West was not the best. Wednesday morning he is in 68th place and has less breeze than the competitors up front. Bubb might end up in another weather system beacause of this.

Phil Sharp on the other hand has managed to recover from the disaster route, and during the night he has moved from 55th to 39th place. He will be doing some more catch up in the coming days.

The Mini-sailors are enjoying NE 20 knots at the moment and one that is definitely enjoying herself is Isabelle Joschke (27). She is holding an impressive 3rd. Joschke is sailing the same boat that Andrew Cape used in 1999 and Sam Davies in 2001. She has been sailing in the class for two years and been among the top ten in most regattas. She is looking to be the best woman in Mini Transit and that means beating Isabelle Autissier 3rd from 1987. It’s about time that records falls.

Corentin Douget is leading the pack south.

VOR: Scary unknown one month away

Only one month left before the Volvo Ocean Race fleet departs for Leg One to Cape Town, and just three weeks before the first in-port race! We get up close and personal with Ericsson Racing Team skipper Neal McDonald, to talk about the many bridges crossed and the hills still to climb.
Just one month to go before the start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06 - what is your current state of mind?

"Right now, it's the calm before the storm. The last few weeks before the start are always hectic and this time will be worse than previous starts with the addition of the in port racing and the new class of boat.

"Overall I feel comfortable that we have got everything we need done, but it's kind of scary to think that in one month's time we will be starting the first leg. There are a lot of decisions that we have made so far and we won't really know the full extent of their effect until some way into the race. We hope that we have got them right!"

How is the team bearing up?

"I think we are all looking forward to getting started now. The shore crew has taken a lot of pride in its work and we've got a boat that looks in terrific shape.

"It's difficult to appreciate just how much else is going on in parallel with the boat work; there is a massive amount of planning and logistics that is going on at the same time. Accommodation in eight different countries around the world, travel for the shore team and race crew families, sending containers with tools and spares to various ports around the world, mountains of paper work, crew medicals - you name it. All these hidden extras have to be dealt with by our own in-house logistic team - it's not just our boat builders who have been flat out for the past few months"

What are the big unknowns for this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race?

"There is so much that we don't know about the boats. In the previous races we have known a huge amount. If you ask our Technical Director, Magnus Olsson about the VO 60, he has had 12 years experience with them, whereas we have had just over 12 weeks to learn the idiosyncrasies of this current class.

"We have no real idea how the boats will compare to one another until the race begins or which boats will be fast in which conditions. All the teams have made their own decisions on how best to configure their boat and to optimize the various systems. It is very rare in a campaign like this for none of the boats to have lined up against each other before the start - it certainly makes it all the more exciting.

"The in-port races themselves are an unknown. It will also be tough to finish a leg knowing that in a short space of time we've got to do an inshore race. It will be like finishing a really long rally race then doing a formula one race in between!"

How physical are these boats compared to the VO 60's?

"The Volvo Open 70's are physically more demanding boats and technically more complicated, and there will be some new skills required to get the best out of them. We have a whole new rule book to learn as to how hard to push these boats and how hard to push the people that are sailing them. The majority of the attraction for taking part in a race like this is that we are racing against other competitors that are in a similar situation. An added bonus for this race is the fact that we will be racing a new exciting class and effectively breaking new ground in terms of fully crewed offshore sailing.

What are your main tasks before the start?

"To make sure that we haven't left any stones unturned, that we are ready for this unbelievable adventure and more importantly to keep an eye on the big picture. Clearly the immediate concern is to do well in the first in-port race but the overall picture is the thing we need to keep a handle on - what's going to happen several months down the line. It is all about prioritizing and making the best of the situation with the money, time and manpower that we have."

Do you feel Ericsson is ready or is there a lot of space for improvement throughout the race?

"On the one hand, there is a huge limit on improvement because technically the teams are not allowed to change anything other than the sails during the race. On the other hand, our understanding of the boat and how to get the best out of her will improve a lot and we have to make sure that our learning curve is steeper than our competitors."

What have you achieved so far?

"We have achieved a huge amount in the past three months since the boat hit the water. We've sailed over 5000 miles, tried out numerous sails, completed our 2000 mile qualifier for the Volvo Ocean Race, optimized lots of systems, and most importantly made our sail choice for the first leg."

A month before the start, what do you think will make the difference between the teams?

"The make up of the teams themselves is paramount to success. It's a long race and a huge amount of the success will come down to the people involved, not just the race crew but also the shore crew. Selecting the right crew is the biggest job of all - a professional crew that will respect each other and will persevere - all values that are core to our sponsor Ericsson. The crew I have been fortunate enough to gather together is simply superb, with so much talent and experience. The sailing crew alone has 30 round the world yacht races to its credit, and I am hoping that this experience will pull us through."

The Transat winner is back

The winner of the first leg of the Transat 6.50 Charente-Maritime/Bahia, Corentin Douguet was back at the head of the ranking this morning. Less than a mile behind at the first ranking of the day, Stanislas Maslard has tonight taken the driving seat, albeit by just 1.2 miles, the duo orchestrating a series of gybes in a prevailing 10 knot N/NE'ly set to build to 15 knots down the African coast. Read more on Yachting Universe.

Battle of the Melges

Three-time America’s Cup winning skipper Russell Coutts and Australian America’s Cup skipper James Spithill have joined a distinguished roster of past class world champions and America’s Cup sailors who have entered the 2005 Corum Melges 24 World Championship to be sailed off Key Largo, Fla., in December. That was a long sentence...

You will find more on the upcoming World Championship that starts December 11th here.

VOR pictures and TV

Independent sports producer Sunset + Vine has signed a
deal with ITV to provide coverage of the Volvo Ocean Race. Sunset+Vine,
part of The Television Corporation, will produce 32 weekly half hour
programmes for ITV4 and eight one-hour long programmes for ITV1.

Ericsson Racing Team has signed up two of the best photographers in the sailing business. Thierry Martinez (FRA) and Rick Tomlinson (GBR) are their official team photographers and we will have the opportunity to enjoy their stunning pictures from the race.

Monday, October 10, 2005

British corner

The two British solosailors Nick Bubb and Phil Sharp are on a real flyer one day in to Transat 6.50. The two has together with a third skipper gone for the far right corner and has even been sailing the wrong way for a while.

The three, Jaime Mumbru is the third, have gone due west after the start and none of the 67 other boats have seen any reason to follow. The three musketeers have been sightseeing the Islands and Monday morning they where on the outskirts of the group of islands. The reason behind the corner banging is that they wanted to avoid a windless area along the rhumbline. But so far the parking zone has yet to appear for the rest of the fleet.

It’s quite the opposite that has happened. And by this evening the wind is supposed to fill in from the east. If that happens the chances for the three sailors to climb the result list are slim. Bubb is in 68th, Sharp on 57th and Mumbru on 63rd. The smile Bubb had on his face when he lead the fleet out from the start has probably been changed with some serious hairpulling by now.

The rest of the fleet has chosen a far more conservative approach and are sailing more close to the rhumbline line. Yvan Noblet is leading the fleet to the right of the direct course to Cape Verde.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Bubb took the lead

Nick Bubb, skipper on Whittlebury Hall, is definitely the best and most aggressive starter in the Transat 6,50 Charente-Maritime/Bahia race. Saturday he once again won the start when the 70 boat strong fleet started on the second leg in the race. He launched a Code 0-like sail and powered in front of the whole fleet on port tack. He also won the start from La Rochelle over three weeks ago and he sailed in to a 5th on the all downwind leg.
The fleet came off to a 14 minutes delayed but clean start in the swell with wind on the nose as predicted. Corentin Douguet on E Leclerc-Bouygues Telecom and Sebastien Gladu on Armor Lux took a more conservative approach to the start. Douguet soon broke loose from the rest of the pack and chose not to skirt the coastline of Lanzarote together with them.
The decisions the sailors makes early in this race will be crucial, and already three hours in to the race the fleet was divided in two groups separated by 15 miles. The depression centred NW of the islands are moving fast. The routing alternatives predicted in the start are therefore numerous. One of the main scenario with the SW winds will be the African coastline. That’s not an ideal route considering all the piracy attacks going on in those waters.
In the next 72 hours we will be likely to see who has taken the best choice for the first weeks sailing. This race is 2.700 nautical miles so this is only the first of a number of choices the sailors have to make.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

No more rest for the Minis

Saturday the 70 solo sailors in Transat 6.50 Charente-Maritime/Bahia will set of again. They have enjoyed two full weeks in the sun and now they are ready for the 2.900 nautical mile last leg over the Atlantic.

The weather forecast is not the best. While the sailors enjoyed full on spinnaker sailing from La Rochelle to Lanzarote on the first leg, the usual downwind start in the second is none exciting. It looks like its going to be an upwind slog leaving the Canary Islands. A depression centred (see picture) to the NW of the islands will create some interesting parking areas and pressure zones.

In the two-hour Prologue race just outside Lanzarote on Wednesday it was Adrien Hardy that won. He finished on 5th on the first leg despite the fact that he broke a rudder. The 22 year old and his Magnen design is definitely someone to watch out for.

Transat Jacques Vabre kickoff

The Offshore Challenges PR machine is again up to speed on Transat Jaques Vabre and the Skandia team. Brian Thompson and co-skipper Will Oxley have just completed their compulsory 1000 mile qualifier onboard the Open 60 for this year’s transatlantic adventure. Its 30 days to the start and the teams are starting to gather.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Solosailor goes multimad

Conrad Humphreys will use the spectacular Volvo Extreme 40 to learn, excite the crowds and attract sponsors to his Velux 5 Oceans and Vendee Globe campaign. There are only two teams in the all carbon flat out catamaran class right now, but more teams are said to rise from the sea as the start of VOR draws closer. But how close do we have to be?

Big day out in Trapani

Americas Cup goes Italy has been a big success spectator wise. Friday the course was surrounded by hundred of boats filled to the brim with happy people. School children has been given time of to join the AC-party and when some of the home teams have done well there have been horn-honking all over Trapani. Thousands of spectators has poured in to the race village. No other AC-town has showed nearly as much enthusiasm as the locals in Trapani.

The first fleet race in Act 9 had do wait 90 minutes before the wind had settled before the starting gun could go off. The colourful Team Shosholoza made a massive impression by delivering outstanding performance in 25 knot of wind. They have certainly come a long way since they joined the game a year ago. The South African team split up the fabulous four and has positioned themselves in a handsome 4th after day one. BMW Oracle Racing Team is on top of the list. See the full report here.