Saturday, November 29, 2008

Late Night Snack

It's about 7:30pm EST and just getting caught up on the VOR scoop. It was pretty clear Ericsson4 was taking the Leg2 win, but nothing is final till that dear old fat lady sings. The Telefonica Blue boys are playing the stealthy move for their final run but odds are good for them to take the second piece of glass.

In the mean time, perused through the image database and for the mates who love a good shot of weather and clouds, these two images captured by MCM Rick Deppe from team Puma are outstanding:

Hope everyone reading had a lovely holiday if an American and otherwise, simply hope all are well! Back to recovering from my Thanksgiving food coma and will carry on with the BoatBites Monday morning ~ Cheers

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Black Friday Holiday Gift Guide

The inbox has been terribly cluttered today and not a single email from any one of interest. Virtual junk mail to allure one out for some holiday hell in the local malls and shopping centers. I did scope out the "one day Apple" sale, but the site was not working very well with everyone one else in the world doing the same.

An Endurance Event

It is official, like the start of an endurance sail around the world people around the globe can officially think about Christmas and the gift giving season. Honestly, its been on my mind for awhile. However, I'm from a family who do at least one "creative" gift. For example, one year my mom took all my old t-shirts and crafted up a lovely quilt. This requires some early planning.

I don't have that sort of time, but do have a couple nifty ideas in the mix. I can't share, since my family actually checks out my blog occasionally!

Gift Guide Bite!

Here's the official SailTrim/BoatBites holiday gift guide. Items I have found to be a godsend and indispensable to my day-to-day, maybe a fellow sailing peep may enjoy for 2009. A few items, just for fun!

If you really really love them and have the budget:
  • Anything Apple! My "apple program" is pretty simple with Macbook and iPod but hoping Santa delivers the international converter set.
  • Canon G9 (now the G10) It's a digital "pug," an SLR stuck in a point and shoot body with old school flare. Interesting tid-bit: it's the official camera for the VOR media crew member! Sadly, Canon is not an official sponsor...when weight is an issue, happy middle ground.
Portable and Useful:
Keep Them Cozy At Home Or Abroad:
  • Discover Atlantis! They are a professional affiliate of mine but this is an unsoliciated plug and they don't even know about it! I ADORE my women's Number's Softshell, could use for a couple hand warmer pockets but it's a staple all year long. Both of my sisters wear this jacket. The guys I see wearing their gear look so sharp and handsome. Ladies, recommend as a gift for the hunky sailor in your life.
Stocking Stuffers And On A Budget:
  • Off The Line! One can never go wrong with a calendar and yes, we all know I am massive Amory Ross fan, but this calendar deserves the plug and already on my wall. It's SWEET!
  • "Be Your Own Sailing Coach" by Jon Emmett is a great book for that sailor who'd like a little guide to improve their skills. I read this book earlier in the year and have passed it on as a gift with great reviews.
  • Safe and re-usable water bottle! In Alicante, we only had those tiny little plastic shot-glass sized cups to stay hydrated at the VOR's media center and I HATE HATE to use plastic cups and damn if my water bottle was not a hot comodity and one I had to prevet from being stolen everyday.
  • Adopt A Creature! This year, I'm supporting my fav non-profit. I love receiving these sorts of gifts. Something my grandparents started for us a long time ago when we adopted a family whale.
  • Sustainable Shopping! I'm a bit of a Natzi when it come to plastic bags. I'll seriously be "that girl" who would rather carry the 20 plus items precariously stacked in her folded arms than use a plastic bag. Though, to avoid that scenerio, I never leave the house without my canvas bag.
Oh dear, there are plenty more but not so much as a guide item. It's easy to sneak in a few personal wish list items!! Maybe Santa will surprise me this year if I share it with the virtual world...but won't.

In The News:

The "boyz" of VOR will be in India by end of weekend, early next week...
Vendee front runners have begun their dance around the St. Helena High...
Key West Race Week deadline is coming up but race organizers are doing their best to help in hard economic times...

There's tons more sailing news out there!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Slice Of Turkey

If I was doing an around the world race and being at sea fell over the Thanksgiving Holiday, would have to find some means to bring a slice of turkey and some home-made cranberry sauce. Suppose some form of turkey jerky and dried cranberries would do...

Wishing all the American sailor-peeps around the globe a lovely holiday.


Monday, November 24, 2008

VO70 In A Haystack

Spent the morning cup-of-joe searching (hence the play on "needle in a haystack") for the news clip from last night with Kenny Read and Puma. Was Sunday's Prime Time on CBS and my "anti-sailing" Uncle who called all excited to inform (he has ZERO interest in sailing and is the facilitator over family gatherings on how the sport is a non-event...grrr.)

Did you catch the episode? Was in reference to the recent pirate hijackings off Somalia and included a nice aerial shot of Puma sailing. THAT's what did it for my Uncle, a huge fan of man-made marvels that move with haste. He was, "Wow, those boats can move" and a "very cool' and I think, not sure, but a touch of sudden concern for the guys.

They showed images of tankers (the size of a small country) and then he gave some thought to the 70 foot boat: that has enough value in it's bits and pieces to feed a country but a mere dinghy in comparison to size. Shared with him what little I knew from PR and interviews regarding measures in place to ensure their safety. Was impressed with his concern, but I know he was looking for a back door for return on his negative feelings over the sport = denied!

If someone finds it, would love to see the whole clip.

Built Tough!

Between Green Dragon, Puma and now Telefonica Blue...the boats: decently "tough" but even my Uncle, he's a "man's-man" sort of personality and very hard worker had to agree, "these VOR sailors are a solid breed!" Sadly, the India stop-over is more a pit-stop and not much time for massive repairs. Leg Two has provided some lovely drama, however, expecting a bit more shore-side chaos in a week and a half...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Funny Bite!

Some days the brain just needs a break from the subject and material we live and breathe on a day-to-day.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chilly Days Ahead

Reading Dee's post today: "It is boiling. The sea temperature is 29 degrees and the air temperature is mid thirties both during the night and day. Doing anything in the black carbon boat is like a sweaty oven." She may have come across as complaining but did remind herself and us, chilly, actually freezing temperatures are ahead.

Tracking the Vendee this morning, the doldrums have clearly consolidated the "lead pack" and curious to see if we have a "second heat" and so forth... Volvo World it's pretty nice have a "race," no follow the leader a straight out race to India and with both Green Dragon and Puma in less than top form: off shore sailors really a hardy bunch!

Speaking of Hardy...

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Being a M A S S I V E fan of oatmeal, today's healthy bite: Top 10 Reasons to Eat Oatmeal!

Enjoy your weekends!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Taste Of Thursday

...can you smell the weekend ahead?

Taking a little "offshore" break and for the first time all week did not make a virtual bee-line for the VOR, Vendee or any sailing news. Instead, felt a little tribute to my other love that is wrapped up in SailTrim.Org.

Reading through a few fav "healthy-fit" online magazines and felt these clips were fitting for my sailing peeps:

A yummy recipe for next week's holiday that supports the "one design" program:

Healthy Harvest Stuffing (Whole Living)
  • 1 pound whole-wheat Italian bread, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium celery stalk with leaves, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and caps chopped
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (you may not need to use it all)
  • Olive-oil spray (optional)
For Full Cooking Instructions

Consider a few minutes for yourself tomorrow morning and giving this AM stretch routine a try:

"It's often hard to find the inspiration to get out of your nice, comfortable bed when you're still so tired. But according to Kundalini yoga, a built-in supply of energy lies dormant at the root of the spine, like a bulb that rests underground, waiting for a cue to bloom. By accessing this vitality, you'll have the charge you need to fire up your day -- without having to resort to a double latte." ~ Kate Hanley

For the entire sequence with photos: Go Here


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tough Bites In The Southern Ocean

The events of the Volvo have been showing the true talents of these men. One can not just sail the boat and man the grinders. They dig deep and do all that and have the versatility of a seamstress, engineer, builder, creative problem solver, medic and certainly forgetting a few skills.

Meanwhile they do all this under the most extreme circumstances. It was terrible news for the boys of Green Dragon who limp on with a broken boom.

Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race

The lovely il Mostro has suffered serious damage not once but twice. I've scowered and no pictures as of late but a short video bit from the boat.

Vendee Peace, for now.

The 'solo kids" are entering into the Doldrums where for us at home, always an interest to see who will make it into the Trades first:

Lots of reading out there for those who enjoy a good salty tale or two...cheers

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Healthy Bites For Key West

Key West Race Week is one of my favorite American venues and this is the time of year is when I typically start up with the whole "making weight" and "surviving the holidays." Things are a tad different this year, given the state of economic affairs.

Don't Ditch The Gym

Mind you, it may be a touch more stressful as we all figure the budget for holiday travel, gifts and year end financial obligations. Stress, actually how the body manages stress can and will be what causes many of the "weigh-in woes" for 2009 One Design or personal fitness goals. I suspect for many, gym membership will go to the wayside to afford the gift or trip this winter.

Meanwhile, the stress of all will turn the body's internal management system on to "survival mode," making it terribly harder to maintain healthy weight (i.e. muscle mass) and lose the access fat. I kindly suggest not skipping the gym but settle for a lesser commitment: going once a week is better than not at all for stress management. Taking the time to do something for yourself during these times will go far for maintaining health and mental wellness.

Clean Food Choices Will Help

Most people either over eat or under eat when they feel the weight of the world. Maintaining some exercise will support either personality and for those who find eating to bring comfort, set yourself up for success and keep healthy munchies close by (i.e. popcorn over chips, dried fruit over candy and whole grain crackers over the-on-the fly doughnut, pastry.)

If you tend to not eat when stress, this is a time to keep in hand some comfort foods with the best effort to choose ones which do provide some nutritional value to help maintain during tough times (i.e. frozen yogurt, chocolate yogurt, trail mix, favorite fruits if available, etc.)

Nickle And Dime, Getting To Key West

The efforts to survive the holidays need a "carrot' and this year the "Key West Carrot" may not be happening, but could it? What if there was some compromise to how you "do" Key West compared to past?
  • Charter a Southern located boat?
  • Smaller team but invite friends to share lodging cost and make a holiday out of it?
  • Skip the "crew gear"?
  • If you have to make the drive and tow the boat: bring food and beverage from home, don't eat out but dine in? Bulk items are much cheaper before you hit the keys.
Something tells me there are many ways to cut cost for Key West having seen how extravagant teams go, but have also seen the "nickle and dime" programs and they are no less fun...they may lack the swanky crew gear and have to bunk up with their mates, but when most of the time is spent on the water, at the tent party or exploring the island...does it matter if all are having a good time?

How have you saved money on Key West Race Week? Care to share?


Little extra reading: Mindful Holiday Eating

Breaking BITE!

This JUST posted and just terrible news but the nature of this "game."

Tuesday 18 November 2008 14:00

Ian Walker's Green Dragon suffererd a broken boom as the fleet continued to wrestle with strong gusts and treacherous seas as the second leg of the race to India turned spiteful.

Just before 11:00 GMT Walker sent the following email to the Duty Office at race headquarters in Portsmouth alerting race organisers to the situation on board.

“I am sorry to report that we have just broken our boom in a 50-knot squall,” the message read. “We are in the process of recovering the parts. The situation is under control with no harm or risk to anyone. We are carrying on downwind.”

Their position at the time was 39:41.17S , 40:28.73E, 1,500 miles from Mauritius.

Walker and the team were weighing up whether to continue under jury rig to Cochin or head for Mauritius where a replacement boom could be fitted.

The past 24 hours have been the most testing in the 2008-09 Volvo Ocean Race so far. Green Dragon's latest misadventure came after they survived a spectacular Chinese gybe yesterday.

Ian Walker's men were not alone in sustaining damage as the wind speeds consistently hit the +40-knot mark and seas rose to between 10 and 12 metres.

A number of boats reported structural damage and shredded sails.

In spite of the confused sea state, boat speeds hover around the 20-knot mark, with Ericsson 4 achieving 490 nm, the highest 24-hour run.

The fleet is effectively split in two, 115 nm across a north/south divide, with Telefonica Blue and Telefonica Black, PUMA and Delta Lloyd in the north, and Team Russia, the Ericsson twins and Green Dragon in the south.

Green Dragon Racing Site for additional news on team's progress.

Tasty Tuesday

Today's "bites" show the VOR Boys are still in two groups but all heading for the same "line", which on the screen looks to the eye like a finish, but we know, far from it...

However, the last night could have been a finish for the Puma folks:

"Last night sucked. OR it was great……if you are a boat builder or a sailmaker looking for work. Yikes. The proverbial "you know what" hit the fan when we got about as vertical in a sailboat as you ever want to be going down a big dark wave that sort of snuck up on us."

The rest of Kenny's email will have you on the edge of your seat...

The Vendee folks have a little bit off everything and as they sneak closer to the "center of the earth", we'll have flash backs of the VOR counterparts just weeks earlier...

The most nerve wracking news is from the VOR folks as the teams play in the Southern Ocean, making way to their scoring "line" before heading up for India. Amongst VOR fans there is daily chatter about the VOR's website, the media coverage or lack there of. The Ararchy East Coast editor had a chat with Knut Frostad (CEO) about the race. Worth a read through, Knut does explain the why's to a few things concerning the site but not-so-much.

One can respect the "gaps in technological understanding" from country-to-country and how HD may not even be available for all, meaning the HD video is useless to them. Or the hope to have something in place for the beginning but "will be" in two months. It is all one big learning experience. I think we all get that.

It still pains me to work with the site...but keeping faith it will get better and better but it's not the media coverage that pains me, it's basic "web site design" stuff...just hate it when one gets lost after they navigate from the home page. The "web glitz" to make it pretty...ok ok...I'll go get another cup of coffee and get on with my day.


Monday, November 17, 2008

A Decision Has Been Made

The weather has made a change here in New England, sadly to a cooler temp, and change is brewing in the future of VOR leg two.

Puma made a decision, which appears to have them on a course set to cross paths with the Telefonica bloys (blue and black.) Is everyone going for the "scoring line" at 58DegE? Way to early, but what fun it is to think and ponder...

Green Dragon and the "Ericsson Brothers" seem clear in their path, but looking at the weather, will be curious to see how the "high road" boys do compared to the "low and cold", less distance but if the weather report I am looking at is on the mark...

Then there is Delta Lloyd...made a move in "our" night. Here's what Matt has to say:

Last night there was an opportunity to make an aggressive tactical call. I would have preferred to be positioned to the south side (right) of the fleet, but it was a risky call. The move would have involved tacking away from boats within sight of us—all sailing on our same tack. So, instead we played a conservative card to stay with the boats alongside. This fit our pre-race plan, to sail with other boats for some bench-mark testing, but it worked against my maverick streak. I was sure that tacking and moving into the westerly position was the correct move. What to do? Go for the kill or stay with the fleet and test? Read on...

Keeping on the theme of "Decisions Made" all the various "bits" on the ISAF choice to NOT go with the 29erXX and stick with the 470...ugh.

I'm sorry ladies! Mrs. Jen Morgon Glass made an excellent point on the Scuttlebutt this morning:

"Lady sailors, let's vote by sailing. The 29erXX will join the 49er at their
World Championship July 12-19th on Lake Garda, Italy. The class is now sponsored
by Seiko and the event promises to be amazing. Come and join us!"

Thinking... Lake Garda is my favorite place in the world, the VOR will be over and plan to be out that way for the 18 footer World Championships...could July 2009 be month of the "Skiff"... here on BoatBites... it will be!

Lake Garda, Looking South from above Campione, taken early morning.

Lake Garda Italy offers up some the of best sailing, hospitality and fantastic espresso!!!

Those are the "Bites" for Monday... till tomorrow...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Offshore Nibbles

"It's all gone so quickly...I've completely lost track of time...So we're Sunday today, are we? For me there are no more days or weeks.. The days simply tick by with the arrival of each new weather chart and the scheds." ~ Yann Eliès (Générali)

From Vendee:

Inside, outside? Through the middle or around them? To the east or west?

The Cape Verde islands block the route to the Equator and whilst it will be this afternoon that the strategic choice is revealed, the decision will have been ruminated upon for a while, based on experience, the latest weather charts, and even the punishment inflicted upon Marc Guillemot in the Canaries.

Getting stuck for hours on end more than 100 kilometres from an island that is only 3200 m in altitude, while the trade wind was blowing above twenty knots, Safran just proves that the disturbed patterns in the wind shadow can stretch out a long way leeward of the island.

Read On...

I still fancy the Vendee tracker of the VOR's but in general what fun it is to have all these screens open tracking little triangles dance around the globe!

Cape Town: Offshore Haven

It has been a thrilling day in Cape Town as first Beluga Racer took line honours to win Leg 1 of the Portimão Global Ocean Race, followed three hours later by Desafio Cabo de Hornos. ~ Portimao Global Ocean Race

It's about to turn cold again, here in the Northeast (we've been spoiled with warmth.)

But the frost-bite sailing has commenced and there is a pumpkin pie fresh from the oven, taunting my are the two related? They are aren't, except a warm piece of pie after Sunday frost-biting rocks!

That will be all the biting and nibbling for this weekend!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Which Way Will They Go?

One "Bite" leads to another "Bite...
Sincerely tried distracting myself all afternoon, but with the weather outside being "frightful" and in no mood to clean house; here's where we're at:

Ken Read shares from recent report:

“There are so many different route possibilities; we could all end up hundreds of miles apart. It’s going to be interesting for us, but it could be a hard leg to follow back home. It may be hard at times to see which boat is really ahead, and who has the advantage. It certainly keeps me awake at night. “


Ooo...Another Bite: Photos & PR

At last, photos from the start:

The fleet park up in Table Bay as the winds drops at the start of leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cape Town, South Africa to Cochin, India
Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

This rainy day has made "geeking" it out over the new tracker - O.K.

Time to get on with the day's non-sailing related livelihoods...but the latest VOR Press Bit:

Under the gaze of a huge spectator fleet, and a clutch of helicopters buzzing in the sky, the 4,450 nautical mile leg two of the Volvo Ocean Race from Cape Town to Cochin in India got underway today at 1120GMT (1320 local time) in beautiful, classic Cape Town conditions.

Andreas Hanakamp, skipper of Team Russia summed up the atmosphere among the crews on the dock this morning when he said, “You can never come to this place for long enough, but let’s set the horses loose. We are here to race, so let’s race.”

Read On....

One More VOR Bite...

It's not as pretty but...Ken's simple tracker has us in the know:

The tracking is working off the VOR data center, just giving picture of position. The VOR tracker...well we have to give it some time I guess. A little impatient on my end, horrible day out and not ready to commit to the television or home project just yet...

Weekend Bite: Vendee Fun

Time to get out of bed, check back in with the VOR later but catch up on some Vendee Scoop and "The Life of Brian Day 6" caught me eye...

Weekend Bite: VOR Leg Two Start

Grrr... The Volvo Ocean Race media is killing me and getting up early to watch the start was like Christmas morning till I opened the Volvo TV website and it all went down hill from there. The experience matched the horrific weather here in New England.

In brief:
Puma had a fantastic start, ran away with a "lead" which was short lived when they became the first to hit a break in breeze from the impressive wind shadow Table Top Mountain appears to create (having never been there I have to go with what I am told.) There was a bit of head sail trouble...Ericsson 4 was able to take advantage and now holds the lead...

And on that note, since the site is not updating the news this moment... there seems to be a new race tracker:

Well...Today, there was a huge miss-connect between the commentary and what one saw...till next time. For now...enough on disappointment and on with following a yacht race. This should be an interesting leg.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Set Your Alarm For Leg Two!

Watch the start of Leg Two LIVE on Volvo TV @ 5:45am EST... Ok, yes...that is very early on a Saturday Morning, but you won't be alone and can take a nap later in the day ~ Cheers!

Dreams Can Come True

“I feel proud to sail with those guys and to sail this race. It really has been a dream come true." ~ Mike Pammenter, Telefonica Black

Mike is one of the "under thirty boys," I've been trailing since Alicante. This piece done on Mike is a lovely read for anyone who dreams, stays true to it and when the opportunities present...just be yourself! The rest will sort itself out...way to go Mike!

Cape Town: Busy Port!

Tomorrow the VOR boys make way for India with "Great Expectations" and ready to brace the inbox for the "boat email flood" and daily VOR PRs.

Right behind them Cape Town prepares to welcome the Portimao Sailors...good time to be in South Africa!

Getting Dialed In: Vendee Style

The human body is fantastic and amazing. This piece from the Vendee site was an interesting read for those who wonder "how they do that?!?"

"When The Adrenaline Slows" read on...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

BoatBITE! 29er XX In The News

There are so many cool boats to sail but when I think about the Olympics, an event that does keep pace with innovative technology: the impact of telecommunications and electronics for scoring and broad-casting as one example...

The 29er XX seems a logical and smart choice. I've never sailed one (it's on the list, with the Moth, Open 60...) but when I watched the young sailors play about Buzzards Bay back in August...the boat encourages one to "aspire" towards something because it is eye-catching, fast, innovative and a snapshot of technology moving forward.

Buzzards Bay 2008: My own shot

If the guys can aspire to the 49er, why can't the gals have the 29er XX...

Competing Weather Systems

...competing offshore races! Feeling guilty to think I've left off my radar another group of offshore sailors:

An Obstacle Course Of Competing Weather Systems ~ by Brian Hancock

Do not agree with the Portimao Global Ocean Race's timing with regards to the Vendee and Volvo, pretty sure I've posted such when the announcement came out. None the less, the sailors are deserving of our eyes as anyone of them could be the next Vendee or Volvo sailor...

Suppose it's not horrible I've taken to writing about sailing. I hope the AC get's its #@!? in order, the momentum from this winter's offshore tales could keep a car going up hill with the emergency break on...

Creative Sailors

We have some crafty sailors in our midst! Thank you to Ken Ward, creator of SailLogs, who gives VOR followers another means to track the teams using Google Maps:

Thank you Ken for taking the time to create another option: SailLogs VOR Tracker

Like Chapters In A Book

When I first "decided" I wanted to work more with words, less chasing after sailors, showing them a healthier means to "make weight" (they seemed keen on the chase but no so much on the healthy,) Mark Chisnell was one of the individuals who answered a call for mentoring.

Since meeting the real man in Alicante I've not missed a single article, which read like a chapter in a novel. You'll get your money's worth, especially if one to spend xx on a book and have it completed in less time it took to decide and buy! This tale will entertain far longer. Mark helps us "pace" through the story. A tad longer than ideal for a "web-read," it's a nice break.

Brew a cup of tea of coffee, take a break and enjoy a fine read:

Seeking Passage To India By Mark Chisnell

It's Not Fair

My heart goes out to Alex Thomson...

“I am gutted, absolutely gutted. To have put everything into this for the last four years, and battling to get away like we had to do, this just feels so unjust.” ~ Alex Thomson on his necessary retirement from the Vendee Globe

The full article, please read.

It's the nature of the "game" but one of the impressive traits of men and women on a quest, they don't give up. Alex, here's to 2012 and will we see you in the Barcelona World Race Again?

In following "sports" it's fun to have a few favorites, a team to cheer for and wear their "colors", but with these offshore sailing events I find it hard to stick to one because they ALL impress and deserve the shore-side (web-side) cheerleaders. The struggle, if you choose all to be your fav on the tracker, unless you zoom, it becomes one big triangle cluster...bugger.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Debth Of Field

I always find it a treat when Amory Ross is on location, look forward to what shot this constantly improving artist will turn up next. I pity anyone who has shunned an eye to this guy, taking on the more "known name" or whoever will "shoot for less" because one of these days we will be lucky to afford an "Amory Ross" or fit into his crazy calendar of events!

His blog post speaks somberly of Valencia, Spain, home to the once grand yacht race known as the America's Cup and host to last weekend's CNEV Annual Regatta. However, the depth and diversity in his shots bring light and hope to all who fancy these majestic yachts underway.

It was lovely to see the boats afloat and lining up. The sailors dusting off the cobwebs and maneuvering about. Till the next time...enjoy Amory's gallery!

Vendee Is A Blast To Follow

It was a rocky start to the 2008 Vendee Globe, but they have me eating words. Their website, tracking and daily "boat news" has my complete attention over the Volvo layout. I say that cautiously, sincere admiration for the people behind the Volvo media. Though, I'm sorry guys and gals, it pains me to use the site.

The VOR tracking, for the amount of time it takes to load has nothing on the Vendee's tracking:

I love this tracking for one key reason: weather overlay! You can zoom in and out, track your favorite teams (mine are BT, Safran and Roxy.)Pair this with their short news reels on the main site, which are well written and mixed with commentary and short emails from the boats. Would video and more photos be cool, of course. However, no media crew on this program! One of the impressive traits for a Vendee/Barcelona Race Team: ulitimate "Jacks" and "Janes."

These solo sailors are quite the personality!

Ok, well...this time next week there will be plenty of reading to do from the VOR and Vendee and will spend less time watching the latest 6PM news clip explaining the state of our troubled economy.

The Game Has Changed...

"Can we have the icebergs back?" joked Bouwe Bekking...

Read today's piece on the Volvo's new element, which for now, makes keeping clear of iceburgs seem almost child's play. Modern day pirates don't drift about with the current. They have minds of their owns and a steady risk to all who travel the waterways these days.

The article claims the risks are low but precautions and education in place. With so many eyes watching, they'd be silly pirates to even consider to tempt such fate!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jerry's Words Make it Better

Had Jerry Kirby delivered the statement, over Kimo, maybe I would never have "seen red" regarding the news about Puma's crew changes. Wording is everything...

If you've not heard, in Jerry's own words a solid explanation:
It all makes sense...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Under Thirty Complete Leg One, Onto Leg Two!

"Virtual" Interview With Telefonica Under Thirty Team Members From Cape Town

The "Under Thirty" of Telefonica made light on personal disappointment in not physically being in Cape Town to ask silly questions while gazing into their darling eyes, taking in their beautiful accents; I digress.

The marvels of modern day telecommunication and a team press officer, Helena Paz, who simply rocks, made not "being there" ok. The guys, and Helena, took time out of their day to share how they felt on arrival to Cape Town, favorite moments, less then great moments, what they saw, what they forgot and how their first night on land panned out.

Allow me to refresh, the men in question are:

Mike Pammenter, bowman on Telefonica Black
Antonio "Neti" Cuervas-Mons, pitman on Telefonica Black
Daryl Wislang, bowman on Telefonica Blue
Pablo Arrarte, trimmer on Telefonica Blue

In there own words:

How did each physically feel after stepping off the boat in Cape Town (emotions, tired, hungry)?

Stepping off that boat was an awesome experience for me. Coming into my home country and knowing that my family was in the crowd somewhere was so overwhelming. As for the tiredness and the hungry part, they were there too, but at the back of my mind.- Mike

To Read Full Article...

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race : The crew of Telefonica Black celebrate finishing leg 1 Bruised and battered, the Spanish entry, Telefonica Black became the eighth and final boat to complete the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race when they crossed the finish line in Cape Town at 16:43 GMT.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Matthew Gregory ~ An All Around Ironman

It's dinner time in Cape Town, just thinking about lunch here in CT but lost all track of time while on a skype catching up with Team Delta Lloyd's navigator Matthew Gregory.

Sander Pluijm/Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race, Matthew at the helm.

Some of you may not know this but, but Matthew is a real deal Ironman, never mind America's Cup Sailor and now extreme offshore navigator...check this out!

I bombarded him with all the typical questions about, scariest moments, what was it like getting to Cape Town, yadda, yadda... he claims the most nerve wracking part of the leg was just getting out of Alicante!

Photo: Leg One Start, Alicante, Spain, Jennifer Langille

There was never a scary moment; nervousness, anxiousness but the only scary bit was reflecting back on the spreader failure and it's crashing to the deck, narrowing missing himself and fellow crew. The impact on the deck was proof, had fate not been on their side...well anyways, no need to dwell on "what could of!"

Here's a little "Matthew Video":

The team sounds to be in good form with three members, including Matthew being afforded a little time off, have a tour of South Africa's top sites planned this weekend.

When asked about the next leg, still early (it's always too early...) though explained the unique dynamics leg two brings due to the unusual "scoring gate", which is not really a "gate" but a line through the ocean (longitude 58 degrees East to be exact.) The nature of this line, shape of the earth have staying south being the quickest way to secure the scoring points, though this makes for longer distance to India after crossing the line...what is more important? That is surely the topic of discussion amongst the teams...

Matthew shares his hope to do some "shore-side" blogging before the restart next weekend...Check It Out!


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Seeing Red! Disappointed in Puma

Grrr...I can honestly say, DO NOT agree with Puma's "We like the idea of having fresh blood." Could be disappointed due to a sincere admiration for the talents of both Jerry and Jonathan and hate the idea of either not on the boat.

Here's the feeder from the VOR Site:

PUMA Ocean Racing have announced that veteran duo Jerry Kirby and Jonathan McKee will be rested for the forthcoming leg to India.

The American pair, aged 52 and 48 respectively, will be replaced for the 4,450-nautical mile trip to Cochin by Shannon Falcone of Antigua and New Zealand’s Robbie Naismith, a previous race winner.

According to the team’s general manager Kimo Worthington, the move was taken to preserve freshness within the team.

“Instead of carrying the same guys around (This last bit really got my blood in a boil!!), we are bringing in fresh blood,” he said. “Normally the guys here have five weeks off but here it is like two weeks with just four or five days off this time. We like the idea of having fresh blood.”

Read Full Piece And Share Your Voice!

It's one thing to rotate crew for injury or a seriously GOOD reason resulting from a prior life commitment before signing the dotted line for the most extreme TEAM based around the world yacht race. Not having five weeks off is part of the extreme nature of this particular race! Having to transition like an Ironman triathlete into the the next leg.

I may be way off base. I have a right to an opinion: this does not follow the integrity of what the Volvo Ocean Race represents. Once the race becomes "easier", guys (or gals) not having to commit, swapping out tired sailors and actually acknowledging that there is a strategy to how sailors are used; like choosing a sail inventory, well then why do it? This is not the America's Cup or Grand Prix Race Week. This is the ultimate test of a sailing team's endurance...

Grrr...this darn post has taken me too long to write and missing Grey's Anatomy! I've had to edit out the inappropriate words and thoughts...

Would love to hear what sailors getting ready to embark on their NON-STOP SOLO around the world race this weekend think..they'll be lucky when they get to sleep for 5 minutes on their one leg.

~ Grumpy Jenn

Ocean Conservation Yacht Club: Have you heard?!?

Have you seen this logo at a regatta near you?

If you have a passion for the natural world our darling sailboats call home, this club is a perfect fit for you and your team.

The Clubs Mission:
  • The OCYC acts to harness the spirit, dedication and strength of the sailing community to promote ocean conservation.
  • The OCYC seeks to advocate for the protection of the world’s oceans by harnessing the support of sailors everywhere. The OCYC will inform and inspire the sailing community and empower OCYC members to take small actions with big impact for ocean protection. We are guided by a simple principle to make marine environments healthy and ecologically diverse.
  • The OCYC will encourage sailors to engage in ocean conservation at local, state, national and international levels.
  • The OCYC will inform sailors about the threats to oceans, solutions to the problems and provide pathways to action.
  • The OCYC will provide a unique voice that acts as a bridge between the sailing community and conservation communities in order to bring them closer together.
  • The OCYC will provide recommendations for how sailors can sail more responsibly.
  • To OCYC will provide a unique social network for sailors and ocean conservationists worldwide.
The Club was established in 2008 and spear headed by one of the communities own: Kristen Berry of Gale Force Sailing in collaboration with Oceana.

I will be periodically contributing to the club's bog covering topics on being a "Sustainable Sailor."


Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

I have never been one to really dive into politics, hate when a good meal get's interrupted of such conversation and as a rule of thumb: avoid it all together (especially at family holiday gatherings!)

This year, after a couple of years coming and going from these U.S. borders have felt a renewed interest brewing. It could have something to do with experiences abroad. Being verbally attacked and standing at defense when I agreed with every word but I am an American...not always proud, but will defend.

Today, I'm very proud. do we achieve the same in U.S. Sailing? We have an incredibly talented sailing community that never "stands-out", though we have stand-out sailors making waves all over the world but shadowed...

What do you think? What are the sailing communities' ideas for change? I can't imagine its push-button sailing...or only thinking "Olympic Dream" when encouraging youth to try the sport.

The perception of sailing to the general American public is all over the place. Just an opinion, maybe rally as a collective sailing community verse class associations and "type-of"...a sailor is a sailor no matter "what" they sail on...

Just a ramble...

Monday, November 03, 2008

VOR Boston Scoop!

There has not been an official release that I am aware of and I am pretty aware on this one little item, but the Boston Stop-over Site is up, looks sharp and to the point!

We have a Face Book page up to build a list of fans and means to keep those really really interested up to speed. It'll be pretty quiet till after Key West Race Week'09 but why not get a jump on it!

There is a lot of chat about some of the other venues going on around the same time, i.e. college graduations which will have the more affordable accommodations booking up quick...get my hint!

Check out the site and post comments here!


It's That Time Of Year Again

This is about the time when I really start looking ahead to Key West Race Week, planning the final details in travel for family festivities with a mix of dread and anticipation for the Holiday fixings.

The VOR Boys will be on their way to India, cursing their pre-processed fare with each wave as Americans start preparing the ingredients for Thanksgiving delights.

Freeze-dried Turkey, stuffing and sweet no no

However, for those sailors not doing the VOR, are tucked away in their North American homes or celebrating with friends, family in foreign lands remember some of the tried and true SailTrim Tactics in surviving the holidays.

This year may prove to be more challenging financially, adding more stress than the already existing "holiday weight" of meeting end of year deadlines, the increase road traffic and increase in name a few.

We have the Volvo and the Vendee Globe to keep it real, distract us from a bad day in the office and entertain us when we need a little dose of procrastination, giving the "head" a mental break for the day's pressures.

If it really gets bad, take a D E E P breathe, a nice E X H A L E and have a drink (of water!!)

The holidays can be much but they go by quick.
Not as fast as Erisson 4, new 24 hours record holders, though quick enough.

Photo Credits: Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race