Saturday, February 19, 2011

Surprise Sailing Stopover

Surprise visit indeed!
Virbac-Paprec 3, leading the non-stop Barcelona round-the-world yacht race, docked unexpectedly in Wellington on Thursday for emergency repairs.
I say "surprise!"... because I had not heard a single word that this event was even on! You'd think we'd have heard a bit more about it here in NZ, given that most of the yachts are kiwi-built. And damn, DO we make good yachts!
Still, now that I've found the website, I'm a little more familiar with this, the second running of the event.
If you're vaguely interested in yacht races, this one's a tad crazy. It's the only double-handed (two-crew) regatta around the world, non-stop from Barcelona back to Barcelona via three capes - Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, and through Cook Strait (and the strait, certified at times as the most vicious stretch of water in the world, is where VP3 sustained some damage).
The race is approx.25,000nm (46,300km) along the Great Circle line, the shortest route traced on a map across the world. It started on Dec.31st.2010 and the first yacht is expected home about the end of March.
Even if you're not into yacht racing, the website (in your choice of four different languages) is worth a visit. It's a very good example of multimedia usage. Not only does it have the compulsory team bios, yacht pics, skipper blogs etc., but also audio, weather updates, and an awesome live positional tracker (with extremely good graphics). The tracker alone is worth checking out, if nothing else!

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