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Trident-UK 2012 May

Dropping Anchor

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 23 Sep 23:00 BST
Rob Greenhalgh, Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, Day 10 on board MAPFRE © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race

Dropping anchor is not necessarily something you automatically associate with racing boats of any description. So when a sailor the calibre of Robert Greenhalgh decides to call Sydney home, well it is pretty damn newsworthy.

When it gets North Sails' President, Ken Read, all inspired, then you can be sure the announcement is both large and distinguishable. On top of all that, he's going to call Oz his home. What a win for us!

Yet what is quite possibly the most defining aspect of it all, is that Greenhalgh can talk OTB, OD, IRC, Maxi, Multi, inshore and off, all with serious cred, and enough chalk on the board to make the CV look way impressive. He's a winner of the Volvo, has World titles in skiffs, and is always a name you pay attention to in a whisper of Moths! Then there is being part of the A-Team on Comanche, the exciting Extreme Sailing Series, and also MOD70s. Like wow...

Sail-World's own Mark Jardine knows him well, and interviewed him recently in Cardiff. Mark is no stranger to the pointy end of the fleet in smaller craft himself. He said of Greenhalgh, "He's a good man, and a damn good sailor. Robert showed us a hiding in the Laser 5000 days (1997) with his brother Pete." You mean to tell me there's another one of them?!

We'll duck under the transom now, and look at a piece about to go live on the Volvo Ocean Race, and North Sails' involvement therein, especially as the only sail provider in the last iteration. A little later on today, an interview Mark Jardine did with North Sails' Gautier Sergent will go live on Sail-World.com. It is a fascinating read into life with 3Di Raw, how The Boatyard attended to the crews and the precious inventory, as well as the developments seen over the last two events with the VO65s. One of those is the now somewhat de-rigueur triple headed set up, and remember, the VO65s now hold the record for the fabled 24-hour run!

Set up... Gybe oh. Seeing as we are talking ocean racing, but now in something very different to a modern apparent wind machine. Anyway. Over the weekend I awoke to news of two dismastings in the Golden Globe Race. To be 1900nm from AUS, and in serious grief does not sound like anything other than a total nightmare. To be definitively incapacitated on top of all that would require the kind of mental fortitude only few have. One hopes Abhilash Tomy's military background offers him some paths forward as he lies there in his bunk unable to move, and awaiting rescue.

Gregor McGuckin's Irish yacht, Hanley Energy Endurance, is under jury rig following on from a dismasting in the same storm and trying to close down the 90nm to get to Tomy, as Indian and Australian assets all rush to get there. Airborne ones have been overhead on Sunday, and it will be at least another three to four before serious craft arrive to render assistance and perform a total rescue. And yes, there is a still a weather issue to address. It is the Southern Ocean after all...

A French fisheries patrol vessel, Osiris, is expected to reach Thuriya about the time this landed in your email inbox. She has some medical equipment, but it will be HMAS Ballarat that will have the required gear, having been despatched post-haste from Perth. A full 400nm West of the stricken sailor is Uku Randmaa. The Estonian was not as affected by the storm, so as McGuckin desperately nurses what is left of his craft over to Tomy, it is expected that Randmaa will get there by about late Tuesday to be of further assistance to the operation. The smaller craft may be in a better position to raft up or take on McGuckin himself if his craft has been found to unsalvageable. All in all, testing times down South!

Right oh - here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the M32s, 52 Super Series winds up, Para World Championship, AUS Match Racing, RC44, new Beneteau Firsts, Middle Sea Race could be huge, gear from Musto, Short Ocean Racing Championship coming up, Big Boat Series from San Fran, the AST do well in Japan, and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

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