Volvo Sailing Race

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January 13, 2015. Leg 3 onboard Team Alvimedica. Day 10. Around the south of Sri Lanka the fleet enters the Bay of Bengal, still hanging onto the last of the strong winds that are forecasted to soon dissipate. All hands on deck for a sail change as the winds begin to ease. Credit: Amory Ross/Team Alvimedica/Volvo Ocean Race.

Now that we are really into the winter season, with temperatures hovering in the mid 20s, one has to wonder what sailors do to wile away the time until they can get back into the boatyards to prepare for the sailing season.  
Many would think that skippers and their crew just hibernate and wait out the winter in a bit of  a funk. Not so. There is lots to do for those who love to be out on the water, from frostbiting (either racing or race committee duty), checking out new boats at boat shows, attending seminars to up their performance levels, to tracking the exciting events at the Volvo Ocean Race, or just enjoying an evening inside by the fire reading a good book about sailing adventures.
Many of us are not inclined to get out and frostbite on Manhasset Bay on a cold and wintry Sunday afternoon. While it is the very best racing of the year—all the top racers come out—others might be looking for a nice alternative. Take heart…there is a lot going on.
Check out the Volvo Ocean Race. If we can’t be out racing, why not enjoy a vicarious experience as 66 men and women race around the world in this nine-month adventure? The best way to follow the action: 1. App Store and Google Play app: incredible photos and updates on the action. 2.  The Volvo Ocean Race Game: (see link below). Fancy yourself as a future winning skipper or navigating genius? You can win a trip to the next stopover if you sign up.
3. View live: watch live action on all in-port races (the races that take place between the legs of the nine month journey), leg starts and arrivals live on the app.  Need to sign up to be notified by email or SMS. 4. Twitter: follow the race on Twitter for the latest updates and breaking news, 5. TV schedule: 39 weekly shows are broadcast around the world. To find out which channels cover the race in the US, check the schedule online, 6. Facebook: your window to the adventure with exhilarating photos, videos and stories, 7. Instagram: experience the extreme beauty of round the world racing through our incredible imagery, 8. Race Dashboard: check out the Dashboard for fresh stats from the boats, the 2D Tracker and for hard-core fans, the Virtual Eye 3D Tracker with even more information, and 9. YouTube: subscribe to our channel and enjoy the multitude of action-packed and informative videos and live events.
Note: Team Alvimedica, the youngest team in the race, hails from Oakcliff Sailing Center, Oyster Bay. This “local team” has great press releases and action shots.  And readers can send encouraging emails to them. It was the Alvimedica team that went to the rescue of Team Vestas Wind, when they went aground on the Cargados Carajos Shoals in the Indian Ocean. For more information on the above, go to: http://www.volvooceanrace.com/en/howtofollow.html.
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Upcoming boat shows: Progressive New York Boat Show, Jan. 21-25, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, NY. This venerable show is the place to see the latest and greatest in boating. www.nyboatshow.com.
But if you can’t make the NY boat show, why not head down to the Atlantic City Boat Show, Feb. 4-8. From luxury motor and sailing yachts to sportfishers, performance boats, inflatable and personal watercraft, this show has something for every lifestyle, activity and budget. Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, NJ. www.acboatshow.com. And a third boat show might just be the ticket for you and your family and friends. On Feb 5-8, the 46th Annual CMTA Hartford Boat Show will take place at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Check out the hundreds of new powerboats, sailboats, kayaks, inflatables, engines, electronics, fishing equipment and more, along with a full schedule of boating and fishing seminars. www.hartforedboatshow.com.
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For more things to do and places to go, WindCheck Magazine has all the information to keep you busy. Go to: www.windcheckmagazine.com. Or, pick it up at local yacht clubs or nautical stores.
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Did you know? On Jan. 20, 1969, John Fairfax got underway in the rowboat Britannia from the Canary Islands for Florida, on what would become the first solo crossing under oars of any ocean (in this case the Atlantic). From: Peter H. Spectre, The Mariner’s Book of Days.

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Andrea Watson is a Port Washington-based maritime photographer and journalist. She writes Manhasset Press' column On The Bay and is currently the Executive Secretary of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRALIS).

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