Southern Ocean

Volvo Leaders MAPFRE Suspend Racing for Repairs

Volvo Ocean Race overall leaders MAPFRE have been forced to suspend their race on the seventh leg from Auckland to Itaji in Brazil to undergo repairs to a damaged mast track, organisers said on Friday. A section of the mast track came unglued from the mast about five days ago and while the team had managed to keep racing with jury-rig solutions, skipper Xabi Fernandez decided to suspend racing to make proper repairs. The yacht was about six miles west of Cape Horn when they decided to suspend racing, organisers said. They were about 2,000 miles from the finish line.

British Volvo Ocean Race Crewmember Lost at Sea

A British Volvo Ocean Race crew member who fell overboard in the Southern Ocean is presumed lost at sea, organisers said on Tuesday. John Fisher, 47, had been competing with Hong Kong entry Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag on leg seven of the race from Auckland to Itajai in Brazil and was reported missing in extremely rough seas on Monday. The 65-foot yacht's location was some 1,400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn, and 1,200 miles from the nearest safe landfall in South America. The nearest competitors were 200 miles away downwind.

The Royal Australian Navy operated Sail Training Ship (STS) Young Endeavour will sail in the 2017 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Photo: Royal Australian Navy

Young Endeavour to join the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Fleet

STS Young Endeavour is joining a race on every sailor’s bucket list, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. While the 44 metre brigantine won’t be chasing line honours, she will play an important support role acting as the standby radio relay ship. Lieutenant Commander Mike Gough, Commanding Officer Young Endeavour said the southern ocean could throw up many perils, so the role of the Royal Australian Navy’s sail training ship was important. “The weather conditions on the southern ocean can be unpredictable and ships can get into trouble,” he said.

Photo: BMT

Bandy Creek Boat Harbour Dredging Complete

BMT JFA Consultants (BMT), a subsidiary of BMT Group, an international maritime design, engineering and risk management consultancy, recently completed the project management and supervision of the 2015 Bandy Creek Boat Harbour Dredging works. This campaign was undertaken as part of the state-wide maintenance dredging program which has been managed by BMT for the Western Australian Department of Transport (DoT). After the adverse weather conditions that hampered production in the 2013 session…

Photo courtesy of ACO Marine

New Water Rules Impact Super Yachts

The introduction of new wastewater treatment technologies and regulations will have an impact on the operation of super yachts with more than 12 passengers, especially those embarking on expedition type cruises, according to ACO Marine managing director Mark Beavis. The amendment changes current rules governing the performance of onboard water treatment plant. From 1 January 2016, the nitrogen content of the discharged effluent must be less than 20mg/l while phosphorous content cannot exceed 1mg/l.

Image: Volvo Ocean Race

Fast and Furious Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet, battered but unbroken as they battle through the Southern Ocean, face the toughest 48 hours of the nine-month marathon, reports Reuters. It is now heading for Cape Horn in southern Chile, a graveyard for countless sailors since it was first used as a trading route in the early 17th century. Cape Horn, at the southern-most tip of South America, is regarded by sailors as the most iconic and feared landmark in the world. What makes it so challenging? It's cold, it's bleak and it's dangerous. Its home to biblical storms and gale force winds, making visibility difficult.

New Zealand Herald InPort Race (Pic by Volvo Ocean Race)

Volvo Ocean Race on Cyclone Pam Alert

Cyclone Pam continues to delay the restart of the Volvo Ocean race with organizers grounding the six yachts in the race until weather associated with the deadly system stabilizes. The organizers are being cautious with the sea state in the wake of the cyclone an immediate concerns. Race management and operations team have a round-the-clock watch system of personnel on Auckland's viaduct to monitor the weather and its effect on the boats. “We now don’t expect the impact in Auckland to be as high as first feared,” said Volvo Ocean race meteorologist, Gonzalo Infante.

Stu Bannatyne (Photo by Team Alvimedica)

Kiwi Joins Volvo Ocean Race Crew

Kiwi Volvo Ocean Race veteran Stu Bannatyne has joined Team Alvimedica for leg five of the race from Auckland to Brazil, says a statement from the Team. Bannatyne has done the Volvo Ocean Race six times, winning three of them. The New Zealander will start preparing with the crew tomorrow ahead of the leg start from Auckland on March 15. "Stu brings incredible experience to us for the tough Southern Ocean leg ahead," said Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright. “The leg that we are about to embark on is like nothing we have seen in this race so far.

©Volvo Ocean Race

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 1 Preview

B&G, official supplier to The Volvo Ocean Race, has teamed up with journalist and author Mark Chisnell to create a series of weekly blogs providing behind the scenes insights into the race’s tactics and results. Starting with a preview of the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 from Alicante to Cape Town, the former America’s Cup Navigator, sailing journalist, marine electronics expert and author will provide B&G with exclusive weekly, in-depth technical analysis of the action as it unfolds on the racecourse.

Yacht Qingdao: Photo credit Gua Chuan Sailing

Chinese Lone Yachtsman Inmarset-sponsored

Chinese single-handed sailor Guo Chuan starts 2013 tackling strong winds & towering waves of the Southern Ocean’s Roaring Forties. The Chinese yachtsman is attempting to set a new world record for solo non-stop circumnavigation of the globe. No sailor has ever attempted this in a boat as small as his 40-foot (12-metre) vessel Qingdao. Guo cast off from Qingdao in Shandong province, eastern China, in November on the 21,600-nautical-mile journey, which is expected to take about 125 days.

Yacht 'Macif': Photo credit Vendée Globe

Single-handed Yuletide Southern Ocean

Close to the hypothetical half-way mark Francois Gabart (MACIF) and Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) lead the Vendée Globe 2012/13 race. After separating briefly on Saturday, Francois Gabart (MACIF) and Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) were back together on Sunday slanting towards the West Pacific gate, 650 miles away. Gabart is just 3.4 miles ahead and 25 miles south of Le Cléac’h. Their present speed in a northwest wind, averaging the fastest in the fleet, with Gabart making 20.5 knots over the last four hours.

The Race Leader: Photo credit Vendee Globe

Vendee Leaders Clock 480+ Miles on 30th Race Day

Armel Le Cléac’h, FRA (Banque Populaire) leads the standings in this epic world circumnavigation single-handed race. As they roll seamlessly into their 30th day at sea racing, miles tumbling quickly hour by hour on the heels of strong, 25-30 kts NW’ly winds, the Vendée Globe leaders are consistently returning top speeds but also still proving how closely matched the top of the fleet is. Holder of two 24 hours speed records Jean-Pierre Dick has been the quickest through the night…

Photo by Vendee Global

Latest Vendee Globe Race Update

Race groups into two packs with Armel Le Cléac’h  still in lead. It was a resolute ‘Armel Le Cléac’h’ (Banque Populaire) that appeared on the live Visio video link up on Vendée Globe Live. He said, “I went around the St Helena anticyclone. I am heading to the first Ice gate. Adding that “We have two different weather forecast models: a European and an America. I try to adapt my journey according to both of them. The fleet splits now into two races. There is no way that the back pack…

Polish Skipper Sixth to Withdraw from 2012 Vendée Globe Race

Zbigniew 'Gutek' Gutkowski (ENERGA) retired from the single-handed race after days trying to find a fix for his autopilots. Gutek, almost 2,000 miles behind the leader, Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) had been sailing east, running tests on his two autopilots after his wipe out on Saturday . He said that electronic issues and the autopilots have been the problem from the start. “Today I need to officially announce what I’ve been thinking about for days,” Gutek said. “Being brave is not only about fighting, it is also about knowing where to stop. I know I did everything I could, working on my electronics issues for many days.

Vendée Globe Route: Image credit Wiki CCL

Vendée Globe, Everest of Yachtsmanship, Underway

The Vendée Globe 2012-2013, is a round-the-world single-handed yacht race, sailed non-stop and without assistance, a serious test of endurance. The race started last Saturday and finishes in Les Sables-d'Olonne , in the Vendée département of France ; both Les Sables d’Olonne and the Vendée Conseil Général are official race sponsors. The course is essentially a circumnavigation along the clipper route : from Les Sables d’Olonne, down the Atlantic Ocean to the Cape of Good Hope ; then clockwise around Antarctica , keeping Cape Leeuwin and Cape Horn to port; then back to Les Sables d’Olonne.

Lifeboat Alexandra Shackleton': Photo credit Shacketon Epic

LIfeboat Prepares to Retrace Shackleton's Antarctic Voyage

A crew of six British and Australian adventurers will re-enact Sir Ernest Shackleton's epic Antarctic small boat voyage. With only four months to go before the 'Shackleton Epic' adventure gets underway, a significant milestone has been reached with the sea trial and the expedition's naval element is eager to get going on the trip of a lifetime. The 'Shackleton Epic' has been in development since 2008 when The Honourable Alexandra Shackleton, grand-daughter of Sir Ernest, had the idea of an expedition to honour one of the greatest leadership and survival stories of all time.