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Sailing – Mid-Atlantic

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. 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.

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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

U.S. Sailing recognizes outstanding coaches

U.S. Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee picked three sailing coaches for the 2008 Coaches of the Year awards. Based on nominations from the public, the committee named Betsy Alison of Newport, R.I., as National Coach of the Year; Brett Davis of Naples, Fla., as Developmental Coach of the Year; Carrie Rohde of Richmond Hill, Ga., as Volunteer Coach of the Year.

As coach of the 2008 Paralympic Sailing Team, Alison was the driving force behind the team’s gold and bronze medals at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Qingdao, China. She created and manages the entire Paralympic sailing program, from the budget to shipping to training and development.

Brett Davis’ specialty is coaching elite-level youths and Olympic-caliber sailors who are highly motivated. In 2008, Davis was the coach of the Laser and Laser Radial sailors on the 2008 U.S. Youth Worlds Team, an elite team of sailors aged 18 and under.

Carrie Rohde has made a huge difference to the sport of sailing. Thanks to Rohde, sailing has become the most popular sports team at Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill, Ga.

Atlantis WeatherGear joins US Sailing team

Atlantis WeatherGear and US Sailing announced Atlantis will be the technical and casual apparel partner of the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics for the next Olympic and Paralympic quadrennium.

U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics is made up of 66 athletes who will train together during the next four years with the goal of winning medals at the 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games in Weymouth, U.K. Atlantis will also supply clothing to 35 athletes on the newly launched under-18 and under-23 youth development teams.

Coville finishes solo round-the-world

Thomas Coville crossed the finish line Jan. 17 aboard Maxi Trimaran Sodeb’O on his solo round-the-world record attempt aboard a multihull.

The sailor completed the circumnavigation in 59 days, 20 hours, 47 minutes and 43 seconds. He is the third sailor after Francis Joyon and Ellen MacArthur to have successfully sailed around the world without stopovers. Each of them, as well as Olivier de Kersauson, have paid tribute to the skipper of Sodeb’O and his performance.

Alone aboard a demanding 105-foot boat, constantly pushing back the limits of extreme fatigue, Coville racked up the fourth-best time around the globe, behind the crews of Bruno Peyron (2005) and Steve Fossett (2004) and the solo sailor Francis Joyon (2008). Though he was unable to outdo Francis Joyon’s performance in terms of speed during his circumnavigation of the globe, Coville beat his own 24-hour distance record on

Dec. 7: 628.5 miles at 26.2 knots.

“Bravo Thomas,” says Joyon. “Although you weren’t victorious, the record only just escaped you and, most importantly, you managed to overcome all the difficulties and all the risks, which form part of the charm of a solo round the world aboard a multihull.”

“Only three people in the world know the brutality and stress of a round the world without stopovers aboard a multihull,” says MacArthur. “I have the utmost respect for what you’ve just achieved.”  

This article originally appeared in the April 2009 issue.