Sailing – Connecticut and New York

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Puma hauled for repairs

Puma Ocean Racing, skippered by American Ken Read, finished second on Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Singapore to Qingdao, China.  Puma Ocean Racing is lifted out for repairs and maintenance in Qingdao.

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There are seven entries in the 2008-’09 Volvo, which started in Alicante, Spain, in October and concludes in St Petersburg, Russia, in June. Teams will sail more than 37,000 nautical miles during the race. Crews departed Feb. 14 for Leg 5 to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The yachts are estimated to arrive in late April in Boston.

NYYC honors greats with Hall inductions

John Longley and the late Thomas Ratsey will be inducted April 30 into the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, during a celebratory dinner at the New York Yacht Club. The event will also honor last year’s inductee, the late John Biddle.

Biddle made his living as a film lecturer, though his cinematography resulted in 40 shows that often focused on the America’s Cup. Biddle raced to Bermuda 11 times and was aboard the winning yacht to Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1957. The sailor also crewed aboard square-riggers in the North Sea, sailing the SORC several times.

Longley was made a member of the Order of Australia for his services to yachting in 1984 and is a veteran of five Australian campaigns for the America’s Cup, winning the crown in 1983. Longley was involved in the Australia II campaign, helping skipper John Bertrand select the vessel’s crew. He currently serves as event director for the ISAF sailing world championships, to be held in Fremantle, Australia, in 2011.

Thomas W. Ratsey entered his family’s business at 15. By 1882, Ratsey’s company was responsible for the sails of every Cup challenger up until Shamrock IV. Ratsey was directly involved in seven challenges, and the firm he controlled supplied sails for 10 challengers and for defenders during his lifetime.

Honorees are chosen for their ability, character, performance, contributions and international recognition.

Tickets, as well as sponsorship opportunities, are available by contacting the America’s Cup Hall of Fame at (401) 253 5000, or e-mailing s.watson@herreshoff.org.

US Sailing selects youth world qualifiers

Ten youth sailors have qualified for US Sailing’s 2009 Youth World Team, which will represent the United States July 9-18 at the 39th Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championship in Buzios, Brazil.

Eight of the athletes were selected based on first-place finishes in their respective classes at the 2009 U.S. Sailing International Sailing Federation Youth World Qualifier and U.S. Youth Multihull Championship Regatta in Long Beach, Calif.

Members of the team are: Laser Radial: Chris Barnard of Newport Beach, Calif.; Laser Radial: Marissa Lihan of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; International 420s: Ian Liberty of Colts Neck, N.J.; and Alex Whipple of Plandome, N.Y.; Club 420s: Morgan Kiss of Holland, Mich., and Laura McKenna of Palo Alto, Calif.; Hobie 16s with spinnaker: Korbin Kirk of Long Beach, Calif., and Daniel Segerblom of Costa Mesa, Calif.

Athletes in the boys’ and girls’ windsurfing classes were chosen by résumé. Also qualifying for the 2009 Youth World Team are: RS:X boys: Chris Gardiner of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and RS:X girls: Solvig Sayre of Vineyard Haven, Mass.

Barnard, Lihan, Liberty, Whipple, Kiss and McKenna are all members of the newly launched US Sailing U18 team, which includes sailors identified as Olympic hopefuls in the Laser Radial (boys and girls), 29er (open) and I420 (boys or girls) classes.

Desjoyeaux captures second Vendée Globe

Sailing a course distance of 28,303 miles and averaging 14.02 knots, French solo skipper Michel Desjoyeaux shattered the Vendée Globe race record on his way to becoming the first solo skipper to win the solo nonstop around-the-world race twice.

Michel Desjoyeaux finished the Vendee Globe in a record-breaking 84 days, 3 hours, 9 minutes.

After winning the race in 2000-01 on PRB — beating the young emerging British skipper Ellen MacArthur by 1 day, 28 minutes — Desjoyeaux joined the 30-boat fleet for this race, the biggest entry ever for a round-the-world race in sailing history. He was one of the clear favorites.

Desjoyeaux crossed the finish Feb. 1 after 84 days, 3 hours, 9 minutes of racing. Foncia, his 60-foot monohull, completed the race in 20 knots of breeze under sunny skies, in Les Sables d’Olonne, France, where the race departed Nov. 9.

“I suffered a lot less this year. Maybe because I’m older, maybe because I have experience, so I was more at ease,” said Desjoyeaux. “The boats are tougher than a lot of people think. They should see what we put these boats through.”

This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue.