How to Build A Boat to Sail Around the World

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Ok, maybe this video won’t show you the steps necessary or give you tips on how to actually build your own Volvo Ocean 65 sailboat. But it’s pretty cool to see a months long project condensed into minutes. Especially when you know it’s bound for a circumnavigation race – the Volvo Ocean Race starts in October – not too far off. So these boats better get built, and fast!  Continue reading

Newport’s Big Volvo Ocean Race News

Press Conference and Pep Rally TODAY, Tuesday, Mar. 21

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Volvo Ocean Race Press Conference TODAY

Maybe you’re not local – in which case – watch this space and our Facebook and Instagram pages for the big reveal of Sail Newport and the Volvo Ocean Race’s big news. We will share the announcement as we get word at the press conference. Our best guess is that a local team will be announced as the 4th boat to enter the race, and our hopes are set on seeing our own local hero, Charlie Enright, skipper of Alvimedica in the last VOR, involved with a Rhody based team. Stand by – or head over to Bel Mer on Goat Island for the big news break. Newport has already been announced as a stopover in the next race due largely to the major enthusiasm the area showed for the race and the participants. Adding a local team to the mix would be a major boon for Rhode Island and for the sailing industry.   Continue reading

55 South – 11th Hour Racing: A Team is Born

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Charlie Enright and Mark Towill announced yesterday the formation of their new racing team, 55 South. Enright and Towill will train and race under 55 South as they work toward their ultimate goal of returning to the Volvo Ocean Race in 2017-18. In addition, Enright and Towill announced their title sponsor for 2016, sustainability organization, 11th Hour Racing based in Newport, Rhode Island. The newly formed team will compete in 2016 as 55 South – 11th Hour Racing and aim to set the example for a more responsible relationship with energy and water resources in the sport of sailing.

Bristol, Rhode Island native, Enright and Kaneohe, Hawaii, native Towill were founders of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race entry, Team Alvimedica. In 2015, the team was the first to round Cape Horn and as the southern most point in any around the world race, it is considered to be a pinnacle of achievement. Recognizing the amount of work it took to get the team to Cape Horn, Enright and Towill committed to returning in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race and thus formed 55 South.

During their last campaign, both Enright and Towill became acutely aware of the significant amount of marine debris they saw around the globe. Together with 2016 title sponsor 11th Hour Racing, 55 South will use their racing as a platform to promote environmental sustainability amongst sailors, clubs and events, and across the marine industry.

Co-Founder/Skipper, Charlie Enright,After the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, both Mark I were proud of many of our accomplishments, but recognized there are improvements to be made and unfinished business to be settled. It’s going to be a tough road back to the start-line filled with training, racing and fundraising. We named the team 55 South to provide us with a daily reminder of Cape Horn, how epic it is and what it takes to get there.  Getting there requires the support of our partners and sponsors and I am excited to have 11th Hour Racing as our title sponsor for 2016. As first hand witnesses of our planet’s marine debris epidemic we feel like we can bring value to an already amazing organization by spreading awareness and helping to source solutions. It was great to start a working relationship with 11th Hour during the Ocean Summit at the [Volvo Ocean Race] Newport Stopover and Mark and I are excited to continue the relationship into the future. ”

Co-Founder/Principle, Mark Towill, “Both Charlie and I are excited to be back on the water racing with our own team again. I’m also extremely happy to be working with 11th Hour Racing to help raise the awareness for ocean health. We are looking forward to promoting sustainability solutions at the events we race in and to the wider sailing community. And of course, I’m always looking towards our ultimate goal of returning to 55 South.”

11th Hour Racing Co-Founder Rob MacMillan stated, “The goal of 11th Hour Racing’s sponsorship of 55 South is to show that a top level racing team can be successful while incorporating ocean stewardship and environmental responsibility. When we met Mark and Charlie, we saw a young, eager duo that expressed genuine concern for ocean health. We recognize that the Volvo Ocean Race is the premier crewed race around the world and we’re happy to be supporting 55 South as they work towards returning to the start line.”

The 2016 race campaign for 55 South-11th Hour Racing is currently scheduled to include the M32 Bermuda Series along with speaking engagements promoting ocean health and environmental sustainability. The first race will be January 8-10. For a current schedule and update on 55 South-11thHour Racing’s schedule and events, please visit: 55South.us

Doing the Mast Jump…

Nick Jacobsen, Danish Kitesurfing wild man, has pulled off 2 completely nutty jumps from tall structures in the past few weeks. The first totally nutty one (that we know of) was actually in 2011 when he climbed to the top of a crane and jumped off, kite in hand.

He has a history of being brave and crazy and going for some big air. He recently got lots of attention when a video of him jumping off the top of Richard Branson’s Necker Island house went viral. That too was a bit off-the-charts crazy. And this 13 minute video of Nick plays off his fearless, try-anything nuttiness.

This time though – he caught our attention becuase he chose a boat to use as his launching pad. And not just any boat – the recent winner of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 Race, Team Abu Dhabi’s winning VO65, Azzam. Check out the video above for the complete ride. Even climbing up to the top of the mast looks hairy – and we know you all love the Father’s Day mast jump – well this is the next best thing!  Jacobsen was hoisted to the top of the reefed mainsail of Azzam with his kite flying high above, kiteboard in hand and then leapt off into the wind, with his kite almost gently placing him on the water, some 30m below.

It’s fun to watch the nutty people do crazy things. And live. What could Nick possibly be dreaming of doing next?… We can’t wait to see it…

 

 

Volvo Ocean Race Wrap Up

It’s been a wild ride around the globe with the fleet of 7 Volvo Ocean 65s and after this weekend it will all be a memory. Complete with a local stopover, tons of onboard videos and pictures to share, and a bunch of local “heroes,” the race has delivered nine months and 38,739 miles of hair raising fun and fierce competition. Congratulations are in order to Team AbuDhabi who kicked butt all the way round!

The fact that ALL competitors have made it around the globe without any human loss or injury, and for the most part the fleet has only a few dents and dings in the sturdy boats (Team Vestas Wind’s “grounding” aside… being much more than a dent!), could easily deem the event one of the most successful ocean races ever.

A few fun factoids:

  • Every team won a leg (Except Vestas who completed 2 legs and sailed in 3)
  • Most teams (except Vestas Wind and Mapfre) sailed into their homeport for a stopover
  • Newport is already creating a proposal to be a stopover for the next race edition
  • The boats were built to be used for this race and the next edition, too. With some minor modifications and upgrades. Wonder if they will continue in VO65s after that….
  • It isn’t over yet! Saturday is the final In-Port Race, the outcome of which will determine a tie between Team Alvimedica and Mapfre. TUNE IN!

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Monday GirlY Power Stoke

Still stoked about the chicks taking the first place spot on the last leg of the VOR? We are! To add to the excitement, the 6th place finishers of that leg, and the other TotalBoat favorite team, Team Alvimedica, posted a first place finish at the Lorient In Port Race, giving them a better chance of reaching an overall 3rd place podium finish if a lot of things go right for them and some wrong brushes with the other teams in their way (Mapfre and Dongfeng, specifically).

So to honor these hard working and now very well accomplished teams, we offer these few videos to keep the momentum and excitement going through to the finish line, about a week away, in Gothenburg Sweden. Don’t stop cheering or watching or hoping. These guys and girls can do it! They have proven so!

That one makes you smile. This next one makes my stomach feel yucky:

Go Girls and Go Young Guns on Alvi!  What will we do without the VOR to feed us exciting news and videos? Enjoy!

 

 

 

The Whitbread Around the World Race Film

Having just come down from the high of having the Volvo Ocean Race in town (Newport) for the only North American stopover, we bring you this oldy-but-goody video of the 1973-74 Whitbread Race – the very first edition of this circumnavigation race.  Unlike the current version of this race (now called the Volvo Ocean Race), there were no onboard reporters with video cameras being forced in faces and no daily blogs from the boats. Very few videos exist at all – and from the 73-74 edition there were some great clips to include in this video which also features lots of photos from the race.

The video really points out how far this race has come. From the boats used in the race, to the kind of sailors (now all pros) that were invited along, it had a flavor of serious ocean racing but this newer Volvo Race has embraced the “extreme” angle, and with good reason. Modern audiences watching VOR YouTube and Facebook videos that are only hours old and are coming from every entry, scream that this is a dangerous and definitely very extreme undertaking.

Three sailors were swept overboard during this Whitbread Race and two were never recovered. (Paul Waterhouse and Dominique Guillet). French sailor, Eric Tabarly,  entered his famous ocean racer, Pen Duick VI, which never finished the race due to mast failure, but he later raced the boat singlehanded into Newport, winning the transatlantic race with his boat, built to be sailed with twelve aboard. There is plenty of amazing history in this film, and aside from the now comical comments about “modern” navigation equipment and other zingers like it – it’s a great movie for sailing buffs.

So take a trip back in time and enjoy some history of the birth of what is one of the coolest and craziest races on the ocean.  And decide for yourselves if you would have rahter sailed with Sir Peter Blake on his sturdy entry in ’73, or perhaps with the crazies out there on Volvo Ocean 65’s who are currently crossing oceans and blogging daily about their extreme adventure at sea.

Design & Construction Talk about the VO65’s

It’s interesting to check back on this older video posted at the initial stages of this 2014-2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Having decided on doing one-design boats for more level competition, the boats are a  collaboration between many designers, yards and builders.

And now that the boats have safely crossed all the oceans of the race (with only 3 short legs remaining up the coast of Europe with a finish in Gothenburg, Sweden) it is safe to declare that they must have really been built well, as there were very few structural or mechanical breakdowns. It has been a mercifully non-eventful event for the shore crew and the sailors. Everyone is in one piece and aside from the obvious boat damage sustained when Team Vestas Wind smashed into a little island (ok, a reef) requiring a full repair back at Persico Marine in Italy, all the boats have fared well. And this can be directly attributed to smart sailing,  a great and sturdy design for the boats and rigs and great boatbuilding.

Kudos to all the involved boatbuilders and designers. The VO65 is here to stay for the next edition of the race, presumably in these very hulls which might owe part of their structural soundness to the fact that they were actually built to be used for 2 races.  It’s been a real pleasure to watch the teams conquer the seven seas in boats that don’t appear to be too light or under built.  Let’s not forget that this race has evolved from massively heavy and well appointed boats who were built to sail around the world. The evolution to light-as-possible racing machines is a good one, and dare we say that the new one-design element has been a great addition to the race, forcing skill and experience of the crew to the surface.

However you slice it, the boats are built with as much modern technology and state-of-the-art go-fasters onboard with the simple goal of winning the race by being the fastest around. The days of pushing as hard as possible, testing the limits of the boat and it’s construction are here to stay. And It’s nice to be able to see how these boats were conceived and built to endure everything the mighty ocean and the sailors who push as hard as possible can throw at them. The boats – all of them- and their designers and builders are all winning. The ultimate winner, though, is yet to be determined… time will certainly tell that story.

 

360 Degree Video of Team SCA

It’s Friday so we thought we’d put the controls in your hands and give you the 360* Experience aboard a Volvo 65 doing upwards of 15knots. How cool is that? VERY cool if you have Google Chrome as your browser and/ or an Android device. The rest of you will have to beg, borrow or steal to watch this. But it’s worth it.

You can actually control what you’re looking at in this video of Team SCA as they fly through the ocean, taking on waves and water and avoiding a heinous death roll. You can see and feel how hairy it is to drive in these conditions, and now you can decide which hairy view you want to look at by dragging your mouse in the video to alter the viewing angle. AWESOME! Check it out!

From Team SCA: This ground-breaking technique, puts you into the center of the sailing experience! You can look around in 360*, using the arrows or click & drag with your mouse / drag the screen on mobile. NOTE: The 360 experience is so far only enabled for Chrome browsers & Android mobile devices

Newport Pulls Out All the Stops for the Volvo Ocean Race

To say it was a successful stopover is an understatement. It exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic forecasters and was a pleasant surprise for the sailors who call this port home. When the America’s Cup rolled out of town in 1986 bound for Australia, Newport went into suspended animation. A town that had lined its miles of shoreline with spectators and its shores with a fleet of boats would have to wait for more than 25 years to relive the excitement and spectacle that a major sailing event, like the Volvo Ocean Race would bring to the area. The TotalBoat team was on the water and onshore for all the fun and gathered this little stopover roundup for you!

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