Financial Times reporter Rohit Jaggi skims around the south of France aboard the world’s fastest boat, L’Hydroptère.
Monthly archives for September, 2011
At 17:00 GMT on Thursday, Nick Leggatt and Phillippa Hutton-Squire finally found some breeze following a day locked in a windless bubble 40 miles off Morocco. As the South African duo picked up speed to six knots, sailing Phesheya-Racing directly away from the African coast into stronger breeze to the west, the fleet leaders in the double-handed Global Ocean Race (GOR) were 140 miles further south with Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France leading the fleet of six Class40s averaging between nine – 12 knots with a lead of nine miles over Ross and Campbell Field on BSL in second place. More here.
The most competitive line-up to contest a Volvo Ocean Race is assembling in Alicante ready for the start of the 2011-2012 edition in just under a month. Many of the boats are on the cement receiving their last repairs, adjustments and/or improvements. More here.
There was no standout performance on the fleet race opener. Three boats took race wins with ORACLE Racing, (Stuart Hebb /Russell Coutts) winning the first and third race, Artemis Racing, (Torbjorn Tornqvist/Morgan Larson) taking the second and Team Aqua (Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton) the fourth and final race of the day.
The Destopnews peeps have some great footage of the major sailing stories of the week…
Extreme Sailing Series, Act 7, Nice, Day 2 – early start for the 11 Extreme 40 teams to maximise the morning breeze ahead of the afternoon racing which actually delivered some great, close racing.
By midday GMT on Friday, the Global Ocean Race leaders were closing in on the Canary Islands with Campagne de France 35 miles due north of Lanzarote holding an eight-mile lead over Ross and Campbell Field and BSL. Here’s the fleet before they sailed off.
Volvo Ocean Race skipper Mike Sanderson was rushed to hospital yesterday evening for an emergency appendicitis operation and now looks set to miss the qualifying leg in just over a week. However, his participation in the race proper is not in doubt.
“I am supported by a great team and am safe in the knowledge that everything will be progressing forward just as planned and bound to be in great shape when I make it back to work 100 per cent,” the 2005-06 Volvo Ocean race winner said.
Normally, patients who have had operations of this kind need around two weeks to recover.
The 40-year-old New Zealander suffered severe stomach pains on a flight to Alicante having first experienced discomfort while sailing on another boat earlier in the week in France.
He had the operation shortly after landing in Spain.
“It was incredibly painful and I’m not sure how I managed the trip back from France to Spain – the homing instinct set in for sure,” Sanderson added.
“The doctors and the hospital here in Alicante have been amazing and everything happened very quickly. I’m allowed home tomorrow and so won’t be out of action for too long.
“It looks marginal for me to be able to do the qualifier that starts on October 7 but I have every confidence in the guys and they can take that on no problem.”
Volvo Ocean Race chief executive Knut Frostad said: “This is the worst thing that can happen when you’re in the middle of the ocean as Mike would have been in just six or seven weeks’ time.
“There’s nothing really that can be done until you get medical help on land for this kind of thing.”
The three-day, 600-nautical mile qualifying race begins on October 7 and will finish three days later.
The first In-Port Race for the Volvo Ocean Race will be held in Alicante on October 29 before the fleet heads for Cape Town on November 5.
“There is no chance of him missing the start of the racing at the end of the month,” said a spokesman for Team Sanya, the first ever Chinese entry in the Volvo Ocean Race. Photo Paul Todd/VOR.
Red Bull Extreme Sailing sailed home with strong results under difficult conditions on the second day of the multihull world series off the coast of Nice (FRA), getting places 4/10/2/10/2/7/1/4. Skipper Roman Hagara (AUT) and his crew held onto a 1.5 point lead in the top-ranked field (with 11 teams from 9 countries) ahead of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA/89 points) and Luna Rossa Prada (ITA/88. More here.
As part of the America’s Cup Event Authority’s ongoing commitment to support local businesses, today Mayor Edwin M. Lee and the Event Authority announced a local business outreach initiative to ensure San Francisco businesses benefit from the anticipated economic impact generated by the 34th America’s Cup. More here.
Watch the highlights from day one of match racing at the Adris RC44 Cup 2011.
AC advocate Stephanie Martin discusses what the event will mean to the city of San Fran.
Eleven very talented and competitive Extreme 40 teams rolled into Nice for the start of Act 7 of the Extreme Sailing Series.
Red Bull Extreme Sailing got off to a flying start in the seventh regatta of the 2011 Extreme Sailing World Series. Double Olympic gold medal winner Roman Hagara (AUT) led his team on their 20-meter high catamaran to three race victories (out of four races) against the world’s 10 best sailing syndicates. The Austrian team thus captured the top spot in the standings.
Part of the Mini Transat sailors fleet will cross the Cape Finisterre tonight. Prototype leader Jorg Riechers was 68 miles of the Spanish foreland at last report. The wind is blowing from the South and the Southwest swell will begin to gradually be felt, as they will sail toward the west. Currently the sky is cloudy and the fleet probably find a few showers. More here.
Last week’s free XS poll is done with a record number of votes! And what did we find out about our XS readers…they like speed! Our question was “You have one day to live. You are offered a sail on one of these boats. Which boat would you want to sail on before you die?” – The top four boats were: Banque Populaire Maxi Tri with 25%, the AC45 Cat with 22%, the Hydroptere foiler with 19% and the VOR 70 speedster with 13%. Even Rambler with a new keel pulled in one vote!
This weeks new XS poll asks the question – “Will capsizing in the America’s Cup events CHANGE the perception of catamarans or further say that they’re UNSAFE platforms and accidents waiting to happen?” So will it? Take a chance…be brave and vote your opinion over there on the right hand side. It’s free, fast, easy and your right as an XS reader!
There’s a project called “Sailing and Mountain”, created by TeamWork Sailing which includes members sailing in the Mini Transat 2011 amongst other pursuits.
Highlights from Day One of the Tornado Speed Sailing at the PSP Southampton Boat Show sponsored by Hydropool.
British offshore sailor Mike Golding, talks about sponsorship, the Vendee Globe and technology transfer at the Southampton Boat Show.
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) received nominations for the 2011 Awards from across the world for sailors representing all aspects of the sport. In deciding the nominees, the achievements of sailors made during the qualifying period of 1 September 2010 and 31 August 2011 are taken into consideration. There can be only one winner in each of the two categories, male and female, and the names of those sailors now vying for the coveted and prestigious 2011 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award are announced today.
The 2011 nominees are:
Dee Caffari (GBR) – Record Breaking Round The World Yachtswoman
Sarah-Quita Offringa (ARU) – Double Professional Windsurfing Association World Champion
Alexandra Rickham (GBR) – ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion and IFDS World Champion
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) – ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion
Ben Ainslie (GBR) – Match Racing World Champion & ISAF Sailing World Cup Champion
Lorenzo Bressani (ITA) – Melges 24 and 32 World Champion
Rob Douglas (USA) – Outright World Speed Record Holder
Iker Martinez & Xabier Fernandez (ESP) – IMOCA60 and 49er Success
Nathan Outteridge (AUS) – International Moth World Champion and 49er Champion
As the 2011 World Match Racing Tour heads towards stage 7 in Bermuda, Argo Group Gold Cup Chairman Brian Billings believes there are a group of young and hungry match racers with the potential to upset five of the competing Tour Card Holders who have each lifted the Gold Cup.
After wrestling first place in the Championship from Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing following a third place in St. Moritz, Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar will be the man to beat though at the Argo Group Gold Cup. He will be a marked man for the teams eyeing the overall Championship, the teams hoping to secure an invitation to the Monsoon Cup and, according to Billings, the young teams who are out to make a name for themselves by taking a huge scalp.
Billings has been involved with the Argo Group Gold Cup in various guises since 1988 and is acutely aware of the importance of the event for all 24 competing teams.
“We’ve had some incredible success stories where young, less experienced sailors have come from nowhere, knocked the big boys off their pedestals and then gone on to compete regularly on the World Match Racing Tour and the America’s Cup.”
Billings is referring to the likes of Andy Green who entered the competition in Bermuda in 1999 as a relative unknown and walked away with the title. With the winners list boasting names such as Russell Coutts, Peter Gilmour and Chris Dickson, Green’s win shows anything is possible in Bermuda. This was just the start of things to come for Green who went on to join Hawaii’s Abracadabra syndicate in the 2000 America’s Cup.
A host of emerging talent like Jakub Pawluk (POL), Sam Pearson (GBR), Terry McLaughlin (CAN) and Lance Fraser (BER) will join all nine Tour Card Holders in Bermuda and while Billings realises experience helps, these young teams often have no fear and their fair share of tricks.
“The boats are much heavier and very tactical so you have to be quite a few steps ahead. The teams who have been here before will have an advantage over the newcomers because they know the boats but it doesn’t take the young guys long to figure it all out.
“Also, the experienced guys are always racing each other and know each other’s tactics. The young teams can throw a surprise to the seasoned skippers because they may never have raced, don’t know their style, how good they are and can’t play their tactical games so effectively because they don’t necessarily know what works and what doesn’t. All of these elements make things very unpredictable.”
Gold Coast Australia, one of the ten international teams competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, have continued their winning streak by finishing first in the third stage of the 40,000-mile circumnavigation from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Cape Town, South Africa. It is the third individual race victory in a row for the crew, ‘people like you’, led by Tasmanian skipper, Richard Hewson. More here.
World Cup Winning 49er Team from Austria, training in Spain. Preparation for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Ken Read and his team leave their training base in Lanzarote and head to Alicante. The clock is ticking, the 2011 – 2012 Edition of the race starts on October 29th.
Global Ocean Race Ambassador Dee Caffari discusses Leg 1 of the Race that started from Palma on Sunday the 25th September 2011.