Sports / Cordexfun / Telefónica titans accept sailing’s top award

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Telefónica titans accept sailing’s top award

Tireless Telefónica duo Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández were finally able to pick up their ISAF World Sailor of the Year Awards following the end of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.

Skipper Martínez and trimmer Fernández were honoured by the International Sailing Federation back in November when they were on their way to winning Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race between Alicante and Cape Town.

Eight months on, they attended a ceremony in Madrid to receive the awards before heading on to Lanzarote, where they will complete their training for the London Olympics.

The award recognises the outstanding skill and sheer versatility of the two close friends, who won Olympic gold and silver medals in the 49er class at the Olympics in 2004 and 2008.

They finished second in the Barcelona World Race in the IMOCA 60 class before switching to a Volvo Open 70 for the Volvo Ocean Race.

They went on to win the first three offshore legs and were challenging hard for overall victory right up until suffering appalling luck when they broke a rudder for the second time in a matter of hours while leading Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient.

It was a cruel blow, yet Martínez and his men continued scrapping and managed to snatch a podium place on the final act of the race, the Discover Ireland In-Port Race in Galway on Saturday.

“We would like to thank ISAF and Rolex for these fantastic awards which really are the fruits of a great season for us and of the great careers we’ve enjoyed over the past four years,” said Martínez.

“The aim now is to be as prepared as possible for the Olympic Games and to fight for medals. We’ll be training for a week at the Marina Rubicón in Lanzarote in strong winds, which is what we want and it’s perfect for training as conditions are very similar to those we’ll get out on the racecourse at Weymouth.”

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Sports / Cordexfun / An enthusiastic welcome for the AC World Series in Newport

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An enthusiastic welcome for the AC World Series in Newport

The waters were crowded off Newport this weekend as AC World Series teams trained in postcard perfect conditions on Narragansett Bay, surrounded by all manner of sailing craft, from little dinghies to classics and old America’s Cup 12-meters.

Sail Newport held its annual Youth Challenge sailing regatta, putting over 150 kids in 118 boats on the water each day (an event record). By late afternoon, when the youth boats and AC45s were all returning to Newport, close encounters of a spectacular kind were inevitable and exciting for sailors on both sides of the equation.

“To see so many boats out there is brilliant,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. “I just think about what it would have been like for me as a kid to see boats blasting around like these catamarans do. It’s just really cool. The AC45s perform really well in these conditions, they love a little bit of breeze and flat water, so it doesn’t get much better than this.

“It really is amazing here. Newport has such a rich history in the America’s Cup. When I was growing up you came to hear about Newport, primarily I think because of what Australia II did here, so to come here and sail on the same waters is really special.”

Brad Read, the executive director of Sail Newport reminded his charges at the Youth Challenge prize giving that the event is just starting.

“We’re going all week long. This is a true festival of sailing through next weekend and you guys kicked it off,” he said. “Anybody in this room who sailed probably won’t remember how they did in any of the races compared to what it was like when ORACLE TEAM USA blasted through your race course! I think that was the coolest thing you’re going to see while you’re racing.”

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Leisure / Cordexfun / Rope Lamp

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Rope Lamp

A utilitarian length of manila rope has a natural beauty that usually passes unnoticed through working hands. But once a rope is coiled around a lamp base, its texture and shape stand out. Begin by finding an inexpensive lamp with a large, bulbous base.

  

Purchase a 100-foot length of 3-ply rope made of manila, jute, or sisal from a hardware store or a marine-supply store. Before attaching the rope to the lamp, coil it around the base to make sure it’s long enough to cover the whole thing. Starting at the bottom, apply Weldbond (a heavy-duty all-purpose glue) to the lamp in 6-inch sections, using a 3/4-inch bright brush, which has a flat, compact head. (You can use a hot-glue gun in place of Weldbond and a brush.) Press the rope to the glue, wrapping the rope around the base and holding it in place until the glue begins to set (about 10 to 20 seconds). Press each layer snug against the one below it, watching that no gaps appear on the surface. Trim the end on an angle and tuck it beneath the previous coil. Top off the lamp with a natural-colored shade made of linen or parchment.

Posted in Alpinism, Gymnastic, Leisure, Nautical, Playground, Rope for Climbing, Rope for Cruising, Rope for Decor, Rope for Racing, Rope for Regatta, Rope for Sailing, Rope for Yachting, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sports / Cordexfun / Florine, Honnold Set New Nose Speed Record

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Florine, Honnold Set New Nose Speed Record

Hans Florine and Alex Honnold broke the Nose speed record on El Capitan in Yosemite Valley on June 17 with a time of 2 hours, 23 minutes, 46 seconds. This is about 13 minutes faster than the previous record set by Sean Leary and Dean Potter in 2010. They began their ascent Sunday morning just shy of 6 a.m. with a crowd assembled in the meadow, hoping to see a piece of El Cap history made.

“Now that we officially have a record, it feels surprisingly satisfying,” Honnold said in an email. “Mostly it just feels great to have climbed the route so smoothly and well.”

Honnold wanted to break the Nose speed record with Florine after seeing the REEL ROCK film Race for the Nose. “It got me all psyched,” he said. “So I called up Hans, and he was obviously keen to retake his record.”

Florine and Honnold returned to the Nose this weekend after attempting to break the record in November 2011 and missing it by 45 seconds. On June 14, the pair fell short of the record by three minutes on a “warm-up run.”

“We climbed the whole route at a pretty steady pace, and I was out of breath the whole time.” Honnold said. “But it felt pretty awesome. Hans always said ‘Safety first, fun second, speed third.’ And it honestly played out like that.”

Florine has held the speed record numerous times since his first “quick” ascent with Steve Schneider in 1990 (8 hours, 6 minutes). Since then, he has engaged in heated competition with other climbers to hold the record. Florine also set the Nose solo ascent record in 2003 with an ascent of 11 hours, 50 minutes.

“The difference between climbing the Nose in 2:37 and 2:23 isn’t really that big,” Honnold said. “Either way, you’re climbing a big face in two and half hours. Our time is a product of the style we climbed in: We simul-climbed a lot. Dean and Sean climbed it the same way and would have had a similar time if it hadn’t snowed the season they were working on it. Soon enough, someone will do better. I think it could go sub-two [hours] some day with a lot of cardio and a little less safety.”

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Sports / Cordexfun / What it takes to win the Volvo Ocean Race

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What it takes to win the Volvo Ocean Race

Of the 60-plus sailors competing in this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, only 10 know first hand what it takes to win sailing’s toughest challenge. Mike Sanderson and Rob Greenhalgh won the 2005-06 race together with ABN AMRO ONE — and here they talk about just how tough it is to make it over the line in first place.

As the fleet take on the penultimate leg of the race with just 23 points splitting top four teams Groupama, Telefónica, PUMA and CAMPER, we asked the two ABN AMRO ONE crewmates about their experiences and predictions.

Sanderson, now skipper with Team Sanya, believes with four boats still able to win overall so late in the race, the frontrunners are in unknown territory.

“It’s hard to imagine what the guys who are in with a shot now are going through,” he said.

“When we won the race it was something we just chipped away at from the start.

“We built a lead from the first night of the race really, so it was a very different situation.”

Sanderson said old adage of taking one day at a time and not focusing on the overall points tally had been widely adopted so far, but as the race winds up towards the Galway finish, he said the leading pack would be feeling the pressure to perform.

“If you think of it as another regatta, many of us have been in a position where you have to go out and perform on the last day of the event. What they will tell you is to treat it as just another day, just another race,” he said.

“But there’s no doubt the stress levels are high, the nerves are on edge,” Sanderson added. “At the end of the day, one of these four teams is going to have on their CVs that they won the Volvo Ocean Race.”

Greenhalgh, a watch captain on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing in this edition, agreed that the chance to secure a Volvo Ocean Race title would ratchet up the tension with just four scoring opportunities left.

“It’s big, and anyone who says they aren’t nervous about it is lying,” he said. “They’re into a real cutthroat battle where every point is going to count.

“They’ve got to go out and focus as hard as they can.”

Sanderson said that despite having battled tooth and nail for seven months through more than 36,000 nautical miles of extreme ocean racing, there would be no let up from any of the top teams with so much riding on the last two offshore legs and two in-port races.

“The fact of the matter is that these teams are operating already at their very best potential,” he said.

“There’s nothing more they can really give. You can’t do any more than you’re already doing, you’re already giving 120 per cent.

“Just because they’re under more pressure it doesn’t really up the stakes. These guys can’t sail any harder. They’re sailing as hard as they can already, and getting as little sleep as they think they can get away with.”

Despite all this, Sanderson and Greenhalgh both agree that the mental stress, back breaking work, sleep deprivation, time away from their families and unrelenting pressure to perform day and night will be quickly forgotten by whoever lifts the Volvo Ocean Race trophy above their heads this July.

“Winning was fantastic,” Greenhalgh declared. “Whoever wins this edition is going to seriously enjoy it.”

Sanderson, who in his own victory speech famously likened the achievement to scaling Everest or winning an Olympic gold medal, says the Volvo Ocean Race will always be a consuming passion for those who take it on.

“There’s no doubt that it’s your world,” he said. “It’s the thing you’ve been working towards for three years.

“Winning will mean everything.”

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Sports / Cordexfun / Emily Harrington summits Everest

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Emily Harrington summits Everest

Interview with the American climber Emily Harrington who reached the top of Everest on 25 May 2012

Emily Harrington on the top of Everest? Wait a second, Emily Harrington? The same Emily we had met years ago in the World Cup in Lecco and in the competition circuit? The one who in2005 Lead World Championship in Munich just missed out on the titanic achievement and had to “settle” for beautiful silver behind a truly unbeatable Angela Eiter? That same Emily, the multi-American sport climbing champion, who had caught our attention and delighted us the Rock Master in Arco…? Yes, she’s the one. Just a few days ago, on 25 May to be precise, the 25-year-old blonde American reached the highest point in the world during an expedition led by Conrad Anker, an alpinist who certainly needs no introduction. The path which Emily has taken ever since leaving competitions and the recent summit intrigued us and she has kindly provided this brief but intense interview.
Hers is a voice and testimony which joins the others we have already published during this “crowdy” Everest season. And Emily talks about the draw that mountain exerts on everyone, regardless of who they are. Indistinctively of whether they are calibre alpinists such as Conrad Anker and Ueli Steck (and just a few more this year) who climbed without oxygen. Or athletes who have very little alpine experience such as her. Or simply men and women who dream of setting foot on the highest mountain on earth. For all, and even Emily seems to confirm this, the ascent with or without oxygen (despite being two completely incomparable styles) remains a huge and unfortunately also very dangerous undertaking. This “awareness” is perhaps the key, possibly the most important “cultural” point worth underlining. As such it is a departure point for a more sustainable Everest, where being prepared (both physically and technically) is indispensable and where turning back and failure can be “normal” occurrences and an integral part of this mountain.

Emily, how come a climber like you with a a great competition background is suddenly on the top of the highest mountain in the world?
I’ve been trying to branch out a bit more in the past few years. I’ve learned how to ice/mixed climb and am doing a lot more rock climbing as opposed to gym training and competitions. I lost my passion for the latter, but still love climbing, and was curious to explore it in all forms.

Everest, a dream come true?
Climbing Everest itself was never really a dream of mine, and even though the objective of the trip was to reach the summit, we had a lot of other goals as well. We participated in medical research for the Mayo clinic, to help doctors understand the effects of altitude on the body and relate it to cardiovascular disease. Some geologists from Montana State University were also a part of our team, and they conducted field research that has never been done before on the mountain, as well as put together a curriculum for school children to educate them on climate change and geology in the Himalaya.

So how was the ascent?
Climbing Everest is very different than climbing other mountains, in that it’s very commercial and you ascend fixed lines the whole way up. It was cool, but I think I would learn more from climbing some smaller, more technical peaks in the future. In the end though, it wasn’t about climbing Everest at all, but the lessons I learned from the more experienced members of the team and the friendships I made along the way. Being in the high mountains for such a long period of time really strips a person down to who they really are, there are no alibi to hide behind, and I learned so much about myself through this process. Including a strength and mental toughness I never thought I was capable of. That is what I am most thankful for.

Talking of strength, how did it go with great Conrad Anker?
Conrad is the reason I was allowed to go on this trip. He is a great mentor and an incredibly strong alpinist. I’ve learned so much from him through the years and am so grateful to him for everything he’s done for me.

Can you provide some technical details about the ascent?
We left Camp 4 at 9:30pm on May 24 and I summitted on May 25 at 6:30am. I slept on oxygen at Camp 3 and climbed to Camp 4 with one bottle on 1.5 liter flow. I climbed to the summit and back down on two bottles at 2 liter flow.

last question: now that a few days have gone by, what impression do you have about this adventure?
It was an overwhelming experience in many ways. I am still trying to understand it all. One thing is for sure, this trip has changed me in a lot of ways.

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Sports / Cordexfun / Steve King of Landscape Structures Inc, honored for his inclusive playgrounds

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Steve King of Landscape Structures Inc, honored for his inclusive playgrounds

Steve King, the co-founder of Landscape Structures Inc., a Delano, Minnesota, based commercial playground equipment manufacturer, was recently honored for his dedication to creating inclusive playgrounds. King was awarded the Visionary Leadership Award from Shane’s Inspiration, a nonprofit group that works to provide towns with inclusive playground equipment that can not afford it themselves.


King was recognized for his commitment to creating commercial playgrounds that allow children of all abilities to play together and have fun. Landscape Structures also works with Shane’s Inspiration by donating equipment to the towns in need.

According to the Shane’s Inspiration official website, Catherine Curry-Williams and her husband Scott Williams created the organization after losing their son Shane to Hoffman’s Disease in 1997. Shane only lived for a few short weeks after his birth, but had he lived, he would have been confined to a wheelchair and unable to enjoy the simple pleasures of a playground. Since his passing, the Williams have worked tirelessly to give deserving towns and children across the nation a chance to play regardless of their differences.

Posted in Alpinism, Gymnastic, Leisure, Nautical, Playground, Rope for Climbing, Rope for Cruising, Rope for Decor, Rope for Racing, Rope for Regatta, Rope for Sailing, Rope for Yachting, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment