Volvo Race Report

January 7 - Auckland, New Zealand

Despite having three ill crewmembers, Assa Abloy won Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, after taking line honors in the Sydney-Hobart Race. The day before they reached New Zealand's north coast, worrying news was sent back from the yacht. Three crew were reported ill or injured, with bowman Jason Carrington in his bunk under heavy medication. Skipper Neal McDonald considered taking him off the boat at Cape Reinga, but later decided to keep Carrington onboard until the finish. Carrington collapsed on deck just after the Hobart, Tasmania, restart. The Englishman was looked after by Klabbe Nylof, who is responsible for onboard health. Carrington was running a fever and suffered from serious abdominal pains. He couldn't eat and drink properly and had traces of blood in his urine. Nylof immediately started treating Carrington with heavy painkillers, and after consulting doctors in England began treating the bowman with intra-muscular injections of anti-biotics. From then on the fever dropped and Carrington was in less pain.

Assa Abloy approaching Auckland, about to round North Head
Photo Carlo Borlenghi/SEA&SEE

On the finish line, Mike Joubert prepares to spike the spinnaker.
Photo Thierry Martinez

Amer Sports One crossed the finish line just under two hours after Assa Abloy. Tyco beat out illbruck and News Corp in a close third place battle. Finishing third in his hometown was a great satisfaction for Kevin Shoebridge and crew. However, News Corp is protesting Tyco in the Volvo Ocean Race for failing to comply with the rules of the Sydney to Hobart Race, which constituted the first part of Leg 3.

In the battle for third place, Tyco pulls ahead.
Photo Rick Tomlinson

The International Jury has already denied News Corp and SEB's request for redress over the same issue. The Jury, chaired by Bryan Willis, found that Tyco had been scored DNF in the Sydney-Hobart race because she failed to report in as required by the Sydney-Hobart Sailing Instructions. However the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 Sailing Instructions state that "Scoring from the SHYR will not affect the results of Leg 3 in any way." But, the Jury also concluded that when Tyco failed to comply with the communication requirement of the Sydney-Hobart race, they had contravened part of the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 3 Sailing Instructions, which require Volvo Ocean Race boats to comply with the communication requirements of the Sydney-Hobart race. The jury also concluded that it was open to any other Volvo boat, or the Volvo Ocean Race race committee, to protest Tyco for breaking SH SI 43.2, but that there was no obligation to do so.

After Tyco's retirement from Leg 2 due to rudder failure, a disqualification in this leg would snuff out any realistic chance of Kevin Shoebridge winning the Volvo Ocean Race.

djuice finished in a disappointing sixth place, and Erle Williams was taken off the boat at the finish line and to the hospital, as he was suffering from suspected intestinal problems. 

Twice damaged during Leg 3, Amer Sports Too limped into Auckland a day and a half after the rest of the fleet. They were greeted by the largest dockside crowd yet, a midnight gathering of revelers and press, which cheered them into port at Auckland's Viaduct Basin, with Crowded House's 'Take the Weather with You' blaring out over the speakers.

A large crowd of media and well-wishers
thronged the docks to welcome the women.
Photo Rick Tomlinson
All Photos Courtesy

"It's great arriving here, a great sense of achievement," said skipper Lisa McDonald. She said that the moment when the forestay broke was a scary one, but strangely enough, happened when they had already dealt with the worst of the Sydney-Hobart Race and the wind had subsided. "At that point, we were halfway across Bass Strait so do you head back or carry on? We decided to carry on, and went on to fix the forestay in Hobart. We don't yet know if there is any long term damage to the rig through the shock load of the forestay breaking. At least we have a long stopover to sort these things out."

Andy Rice of reports that, "The broken rudder may take more sorting, and is one of a series of rudder problems that has taken this fleet by surprise. It appears to be the weak point in what are otherwise proving to be bullet-proof boats, but what can you do to protect against submerged objects - especially when it is two large fish in succession?" McDonald observed, "I don't think they came off very well. The girl who was steering at the time damaged her thumb badly with the force of the wheel being spun round and ripped out of her hand."

Standings at the end of Leg 3 are as follows: 1. illbruck; 2. Amer Sports One; 3. Team News Corp; 4. Assa Abloy; 5. Tyco; 6. SEB; 7. djuice; 8. Amer Sports Too.

For more great photos and breaking news from the Volvo Ocean Race, see

Still Crazy Sinks in Mexico

January 7 - Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

While sailing the Olson 30 Still Crazy en route from San Blas to Puerto Vallarta at about 2 a.m. on December 31, flamboyant singlehander Ron Corbin slipped into a cat nap which cost him his boat.

Until Ron returns to the Bay Area this evening, full details cannot be confirmed, but according to Corbin's father, Jack Wilcox, Still Crazy had either just entered, or was about to enter, the broad crescent of Banderas Bay, when her keel struck a submerged rock. The next wave launched Corbin overboard - apparently he had been sleeping in the cockpit - and before he made his way to the surface his chest was crushed by the hull.

Corbin got himself back aboard, but there was nothing he could do to free his boat from the shallow, rocky area where she now flailed back and forth in the surf. Two young fishermen passed nearby and offered to send help, but assistance did not arrive for seven hours.

With help from locals, Corbin was eventually able to swim a load of
his personal belongings ashore, but when he returned later by land to retrieve the salvaged items, most of them had disappeared.

At this writing, Still Crazy lies beneath the surface, presumably a total loss. And sadly, Corbin, being a singlehander, did not have insurance. Already having thousands of solo sea miles under his belt, Corbin singlehanded to Mexico in November with the Baja Ha-Ha fleet. We
hope to bring you a more detailed report tomorrow.

Ron Corbin
Photo Latitude 38 Archives

Ron racing on the Bay with "Betty, the almost perfect boat chick"
Photo Mariah's Eyes Photography

Murphys Still Missing

January 7 - San Francisco Bay Area

On December 28 and December 27, we reported on the disappearance of singlehanded sailor Ornaith Murphy and her estranged husband, Kieran Murphy of San Francisco. They are both still missing, as is Ornaith's Cal 39, Sola III, normally berthed in Oakland.

Anyone who knows Ornaith's whereabouts, or who has spotted the boat, is asked to call the Oakland Police Dept. at (510) 238-3641. If you have seen Kieran or know where he is, please contact the SFPD at (415) 558-5508 or 553-1071.

We are in touch with both families, and will let you know if we receive any news about them.

Ornaith and Kieran Murphy
Photo Courtesy Ornaith's Family

Orange Bowl Regatta a Big Deal for Kids

January 7 - Miami, FL

With 383 competitors registered, the 2002 Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta was the largest Junior Olympic Sailing Festival in US Sailing's history with the event. This is a 10 percent increase over last year's attendance. Light winds predominated throughout the competition, which ran December 27-30.

The event, considered the premiere youth regatta in the nation, was distinctly international with competitors from Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Holland, Peru and Canada. U.S. sailors came from Connecticut, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Michigan and Illinois (and even California) to participate.

In the Optimist White Fleet, (age 10 and under), international sailors showed their skill. Alberto Fernandini, 9, of Lima, Peru, took home the gold medal, while Elijah Simmons, 10, of Bermuda won the silver medal. Emily Billing, 10, of Clearwater, FL, took home the bronze medal and said, "My favorite thing about the Orange Bowl was having all the international kids here."

Local knowledge wasn't the deciding factor in the Optimist Green Fleet (novice, age 15 and under) which was dominated by out-of-town sailors. Sam Padros, 13, of Holland, MI, took the gold medal with 27 points. Melany Johnson, 9, of Wayne, PA, took home the silver medal. Kyle Sowers, 10, of St. Petersburg, FL, won the bronze medal.

Sailing in the Optimist Blue Fleet (age 11-12) was a sailor we might expect to get good advice from her dad: Emily Dellenbaugh. (Emily's father, David, has acted as coach, tactician and helmsman on two America's Cup campaigns, among many other sailing accomplishments.) Emily, 11, from Easton, CT, earned the silver medal with 89 points, a mere 6 points behind gold medalist Nick Voss, 11, of Miami, FL. Morgan Wilson, 12, of Annapolis, MD, earned the bronze medal with 96 points.

In the Optimist Red Fleet (age 13-15), Jesse Kirkland, 13, from Bermuda earned the gold medal with six first-place finishes in the nine race series. Kirkland's total of 18 points also earned him the gold medal in the Optimist Championship Fleet (Red, White and Blue fleets combined). Stephen Young, 14, of Tampa, FL, earned silver with 23 points for both his Red Fleet performance and his overall finish. Marieke Jones, 14, of Holland, took home the bronze medal for the Red Fleet and the Optimist Championship Fleet.

Racing on the 420 fleet circle was a spectacle with 55 boats on the starting line. Once again, ability to sail in light and shifty winds seemed more important than local knowledge. Juston Law and Nathan Tupman, both 16 and both from Newport Beach, CA, (and the only Californians to take home a trophy) dominated the seven race series. Competition was tight for silver with Derby Anderson and Meredith Adams, both 17 and from Annapolis, MD, grabbing second place with a total of 22 points. Bronze medals went to John Howell, 17, and Jimmy Attridge, 17, also of Annapolis.

The Radial fleet was also a large one, with 65 boats on the course. Andrew Smith, 16, of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, won the gold medal. Smith and Radial silver medalist Paige Railey, 14, of Clearwater, FL, agreed that the best thing about the regatta was talking to friends. Chris Alexander, 15, of Cape Coral, FL, won the Radial bronze medal.

The Laser fleet had 15 boats on the line for a seven race series. Alex Steele, who also secured the Florida State Youth Sailing Association Laser Champion title, won the gold medal. Anthony Boueilh, 17, of Ste-Foy, Quebec, won the silver medal, and Conner Higgins, 17, of Toronto, Ontario, won the bronze medal.

The host yacht club hopes to post photos on their Web site soon, but for now you can see complete results at

Results from Saturday and Sunday's Rose Bowl Regatta in SoCal are not yet available, but you can look for them at or


January 7 - The Pacific Ocean and Cyberspace

Who is out making passages in the Pacific and what kind of weather are they having? Check out YOTREPS - 'yacht reports' - at

Weather Updates

January 7 - Pacific Ocean

San Francisco Bay Weather

To see what the winds are like on the Bay and just outside the Gate right now, check out The National Weather Service site for San Francisco Bay is

California Coast Weather

Looking for current as well as recent wind and sea readings from 17 buoys and stations between Pt. Arena and the Mexican border? Here's the place - which has further links to weather buoys and stations all over the U.S.:

Pacific Winds and Pressure

The University of Hawaii Dept. of Meteorology page posts a daily map of the NE Pacific Ocean barometric pressure and winds.

Pacific Sea State

Check out the Pacific Ocean sea states at:
For another view, see

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