Monthly archives for October, 2011
The Iberdrola Alicante In-Port Race, a close-quarters sprint around a short course that took place this past Saturday, October 29, marks the start of the 2011-12 edition of one of the world’s toughest and longest professional yacht races – the Volvo Ocean Race.
Here’s a great little piece on the Vesta Sailrocket (first version) that explores the history and motivations of this concept-boat that might become the fastest sailboat on the planet.
Here’s a peek at the teams engaged in the next America’s Cup World Series in San Diego.
As a massive storm is about to hit the Martha’s Vineyard the folks from the North American Speed Sailing Invitational get a few Interviews with the fastest sailers in the world. Can 50 knots be hit in the US and secure Martha’s Vineyard as one of the fastest places in the world?
SpeedDream was featured in the BBC program “The Science of Speed” along with Sailrocket and L’Hydroptere. Some of this has been posted on XS before but not in this format.
Transat Jacques Vabre Open-60 sailor Mike Golding addresses the postponement of the race because of a ‘storm of historical proportions’…
Sailing Anarchy’s Mr. Clean sits down with Grant Dalton, the iconic kiwi sailor, to discuss Camper’s chances in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, some of the unique design features of their Volvo Open 70, and the ETNZ America’s Cup challenge.
Promoter Adrian Goddard talks abot how the AC is going to gear up the nightlife around the San Fran Bay area…
Cast your vote today on our XS Poll over there on the right. Will Sail Rocket break the kite heads speed record? So far 80% of our readers say ‘yes’ she will! Do you agree? Let your voice be heard.
At the Volvo Ocean Race, the starting gun will fire tomorrow with the Iberdrola In-Port Race — a quickfire sprint that will profide their first chance to put points on the scoreboard in the 39,000 nautical mile race around the world.
At 05:13:25 GMT on Friday 28 October, Ross and Campbell Field took first place in Leg 1 of the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race (GOR) crossing the finish line in Cape Town after 32 days 17 hours 13 minutes and 25 seconds and 7,300 miles of racing from Palma, Mallorca, on their Verdier-design Class40 BSL averaging 9.3 knots and finishing 89 miles ahead of Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France. More here.
Great documentary about the Rosenfeld Collection, acquired in 1984 by Mystic Seaport, is one of the largest archives of maritime photographs in the United States. If you’re into photography – check this out.
Destopnews is a weekly sailing update program bringing you the latest news and action from international regattas around the world. Good stuff!
Episode 3 takes a look at what it feels like to race above 45 mph. The wind was averaging 20 to 25 knots from the WNW at beautiful Cape Pogue Bay in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
In honor of the upcoming Transat Jacques Vabre, here’s a clip of Bernard Stamm doing what he do…
Dominique Wavre and Michele Paret are calm and collected three days out from the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre. Preparations continue onboard Mirabaud, but the pace is steady, as the bulk of the work has already been done.
“We are bang on schedule,” said Dominique Wavre. “We have completed all the checks and inspections, including the security checks, and the measurers have sealed a few things that we are forbidden to touch while racing. Our provisions are onboard and while we have a few small things to pack, we are basically ready.”
The trans-Atlantic should take approximately two weeks so the yacht is in “light” mode. “We only have 200kg on board for this race, compared to 600kg for the Barcelona World Race,” explained Michele Paret. “We have the same number of sails, but a lot less spare parts, clothing and food. We will notice a distinct difference in performance.”
The race starts this coming Sunday at 13:02. Mirabaud will leave the port at precisely 10:34. The forecast for the start is relatively calm, but this will be short-lived as a sizeable low pressure is forecast for the following day. “It is a typical November North Atlantic forecast,” said Dominique. “We will have to be 100% on our game from the start, there will be no easing into this race. We will very quickly be swept up by the low pressure and dealing with high winds and big seas on the nose. I don’t think there will be decisive tactical decisions to be made early in the race. North Atlantic weather is well known and the competitors will be sailing more or less the same course.”
Leads will be established based on the boat speed of the different types of yacht, on the quality of maneuvers and the teams’ ability to perform at 100% right off the start line.
In order to be in the best possible shape for the start, Dominique and Michele are making the most of their last days ashore to rest, eat healthily and finalise the final few details. They are also running through the different phases of the race in their minds.
“Sadly, we can’t stockpile sleep,” said Dominique, laughing. “But we are making sure that we sleep properly and eat well before the start. On Saturday we will try to do as little as possible. The day will be dedicated to resting and focusing on what is to come.”
The Sailrocket team are still testing in Namibia, looking to be the flat-out fastest boat in the world – yesterday a bit of a setback but not too big a deal. “We just managed to drag our bird back in with a broken wing… well ‘beam’ anyway (wings fine),” said project leader Paul Larsen. Photo courtesy of Vestas Sailrocket. More here.
In the 15:00 GMT position poll on Thursday, Ross and Campbell Field leading the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race (GOR) fleet on BSL are just 117 miles from the finish with an ETA of early Friday morning at the Cape Town finish line with an 87 mile lead over Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Campagne de France in second. More here.
The Tornado is a fast, fun, long lasting media friendly boat with ambitions to come back into the Olympic Games as the Mixed Multihull.
This dude realizes that Finn sailing is not all about sailing. It’s mostly driving…
Somehow, watching VOR highlights is always a worthy 30-second go-to…
Quantum Shore Crew in action after the delivery from Porto Cervo. Produced by Keith Brash for Quantum TV.
Here’s an interview with British sailor Alex Thomson who is set to race in the Transat Jacques Vabre at the end of the month. Interview and story courtesy of Transat Jacques Vabre.
Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadil will race Hugo Boss, the IMOCA Open 60 which won last year’s Route du Rhum La Banque Postale in the hands of Roland ‘Bilou’ Jourdain. Thomson’s best finish in this race is a second place in his second participation in the race when he raced alongside Bilou on the former Sill in 2003. The British skipper who has set two 24 hours speed records in IMOCA Open 60’s and finished second in the first edition of the Barcelona World Race in February 2008, had to withdraw from the last Transat Jacques Vabre after damage caused by an unidentified floating object, and – unfortunately – missed out on the last edition due to health problems suffered by his infant son Oscar.
Now after a relatively settled summer at home in the UK, during which he got married, Thomson is back with an ambitious program, looking to the 2012 Vendee Globe:
How has your preparation been?
“We have not had a lot of preparation time at all, but the boat is very simple and Guillermo has sailed it a lot when it was first launched. In essence we have just got some new sails, new rigging and branded it up and that is really about it.
And how does the boat compared to the Juan K design?
” It is very easy compared to the other boat, very easy which I am not unhappy about. I think we felt that for this period and for this race, and especially for the BtoB that to be competitive with the other boat was going to be too much, too hard. So we came up with getting this boat, a simple, proven, easy boat and go for it.”
What are your feelings about the boat, it is a winner but had problems in the last race?
” We feel pretty confident with this boat. The boat had been leading the last Transat Jacques Vabre when it nearly sank. What happened to the boat does not really worry me at all, we have spoken to the designers and are happy.”
“I have had a really good summer, spending a lot of time in the UK which has been really nice.”
And what will be key to your race?
“Looking at the weather ahead, now it looks like there will be two depressions, two bashings and once we survive them then hopefully some nice racing to the sun.”
” Guillermo brings a lot of experience, like eight round the worlds, plus he knows this boat so well, so for me it is really an ideal situation.”
It used to be said that by the time the yachts hit the start line of the first leg, the Volvo Ocean Race was already won or lost. Historically, the teams with the biggest budgets and best preparation would have the greatest shot at glory – and more often than not they would be the ones lifting the trophy nine months later. But that’s all about to change. Photo Oskar Kihlborg Volvo Ocean Race. More here.
A few days into the event and the athletes are doing a little cross training. This video captures a glimpse of the life these athletes live as they push the 50 knot threshold in the beautiful waters off of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Ian Walker talks from the heart about his love of sailing and competing in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Jerome Sammarcelli from Open Sailing in Los Angeles – builder of the Pogo 2 Mini Transat boat – conducts an interview with Jean-Marie Oger (and helps translate) before the start of the 2011 Mini Transat. Jean-Marie races on the Pogo 2 #774.
Lest we forget how the open ocean can behave…
As the Transat Jacques Vabre is about to get underway with thirteen boats in the IMOCA fleet, including five from the latest generation, the Class has held a General Meeting in Le Havre to examine what lies ahead after the next Vendée Globe. The goal is to ensure a lively future as they move forward to the 2014 Barcelona World Race and the 2016 Vendée Globe.
This General Meeting chaired by Luc Talbourdet was arranged by the Board of the Class and brought together racers and owners so that everyone could discuss future prospects.
The first conclusion was that the IMOCA class is doing well. In spite of the unfavourable economic conditions, it is continuing to attract new projects, and remains one of the most attractive classes with a program that is becoming increasingly clear: a round the world race every two years and a few major races alternating double-handed and solo races with crewed races.
Nevertheless, as is the case for other sportsmen, racers in the IMOCA class are facing increasing difficulties finding the funding that is required to get projects set up. Today, several exceptional sailors, including Jean Le Cam, Sam Davies and Yann Eliès are still looking for a partner with one year to go to the 2012 Vendée Globe.
That is why the Board, led by racers like Jean Le Cam, Dominique Wavre, Bernard Stamm and Alex Thomson, has decided to work towards changing the class rules, bearing in mind two particular aspects: they wish to make the boats more reliable and less expensive.
Luc Talbourdet reminded everyone that the future of the Class will depend on its commercial development and on stabilizing its program and that it is necessary to take into account the current economic context, which is affecting everyone, whatever their activity and wherever they are. Today the IMOCA is well established and everyone fully understands that these problems need to be tackled in a global way: technical aspects, the safety of the boats and crews, but also the return on the investment for the partners, with communications and marketing seen as vital components that need to be given equal importance.
An alternative to make the Class even more attractive
The Board presented the work it has done and the meeting enabled members, skippers and owners to have their say. The discussions were very constructive and dignified. It was logical too for the class to hear from the leading race organisers – the Vendée Globe and the Barcelona World Race, who were both favourable to a solution making it easier for racers, businesses and particularly smaller businesses to become involved.
The IMOCA class has been thinking about changing its Open rules. Antoine Mermod, a member of the Board, presented some measures to simplify matters, significantly reducing the cost of boats while ensuring greater reliability. Having listened to these arguments, it became increasingly clear that by keeping Open rules, the class continues to favor the development of boats. But experience shows that that the constraints are huge, with progress costing a lot and with real gains often seen as minute.
That is why the Board has come up with the idea of looking at a one-design alternative. This solution would certainly have an effect on costs, reliability and, of course, competitiveness. The goal that is being put forward is to cut costs by 30% a year without any loss in performance and competitiveness. The Open rules enabled some amazing and fantastic changes to occur, but today to win, it is not enough to be a talented skipper, as you also need an exceptional technical team bringing together specialists and engineers every day.
Such a change cannot be adopted in any case without taking into account the viability of the current fleet, which includes six new boats as we move forward to the next Vendée Globe. That is why the IMOCA Class has decided to give everyone, racers and owners, time to think about these changes. The first decisions are due to be taken in January 2012 with the aim of ensuring the best possible future for the Class. Photo onEdition.
Outright world speed sailing record contender, VESTAS Sailrocket 2, takes WIRED Journalist Adam Fisher for a joy ride during its trials in Namibia.
The AC World Series is coming to San Diego – here’s a fluffy little lifestyle piece…