Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – If there is one event that the International Melges 32 Class looks forward to year-after-year, it is the Gold Cup Regatta, hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It presents the perfect opportunity for teams to steer south and enjoy some warmer weather, while offering three solid days of the best and most challenging racing conditions in the world. Gold Cup also marks the start of a very exciting 2012 international racing calendar and is designated as event number one of the three-part Midwinter Championship Series. Key West Race Week (January 15-20) and the Miami Championship (March 2-4) will complete the speed triptych. For full detail go to MELGES 32.
Monthly archives for November, 2011
Pete Melvin and Juan Kouyoumdjian are designers for some of the most competitive vessels at the America’s Cup, a prestigious race series that features the world’s fastest sailboats. And although the two also have a background designing stand up paddle (sup) race boards, it is among sailboats that they face a fierce rivalry.
Pete Melvin is the designer and naval architect of Emirates Team New Zealand, the Kiwi sailboat that is currently leading the America’s Cup 2011-12, both in the match and fleet races. Emirates Team New Zealand is one of the favorites to win this year’s event, possibly defeating the all-star and reigning champion, Oracle Racing Spithill.
Juan Kouyoumdjian is the principal designer of Artemis Racing, the Swedish sailboat that now places 3rd in the match racing of the America’s Cup. Artemis Racing, together with Emirates Team New Zealand and Oracle Racing Spithill, sits atop the list of the best teams and fastest sailboats in this year’s America’s Cup.
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“We thank President Obama for the passage the America’s Cup Act of 2011 into law, and applaud the tremendous bipartisan efforts of members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives in making this legislation a reality,” said Richard Worth, Chairman and CEO, America’s Cup Event Authority. “The America’s Cup will not just swell civic pride, it will also provide a wave of economic benefit into the United States.”
The America’s Cup Act enables the 34th America’s Cup to be hosted in the United States by authorizing certain eligible vessels to participate in the events.
The upcoming America’s Cup events in Newport, Rhode Island and San Francisco, California are estimated to create thousands of jobs and over $1 billion in economic impact over the next two years.
“The America’s Cup Act of 2011 will enable us to deliver the greatest America’s Cup the world has ever seen, showcasing American venues on the world stage as top international sporting destinations, while we hope serving as a catalyst for long-term economic development in each of these cities,” continued Worth.
Third party sources estimate a $72-million economic impact for Newport, Rhode Island, which will be held in June 2012, and over $1 billion in economic impact to the San Francisco Bay area, with more than 8,500 jobs estimated to be created due to the America’s Cup.
The 34th America’s Cup continues to build upon its rich heritage of leading-edge innovation with an event that is designed to showcase the best sailors in the world on the fastest boats. For the first time in history, the America’s Cup will be able to be seen from shore, creating tremendous public access for spectators as well as drawing large spectator crowds to benefit the port cities being visited.
After 14 hours of racing in Leg 2 of the double-handed, Class40 Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR), the Dutch father-and-son team of Nico and Frans Budel dismasted shortly before rounding the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa and entering the Indian Ocean. Both the Budels are uninjured and have returned to Cape Town unassisted with their Class40 Sec. Hayai while plans are already in place to rejoin the GOR.
Shortly before midnight GMT on Tuesday, Nico and Frans Budel were holding fifth place in the GOR fleet 30 miles south of Cape Town following the start of Leg 2 to Wellington, New Zealand. Sailing in around 17-21 knots of breeze and a rough sea-state, the Dutch duo tacked inshore 19 miles off the appropriately-named Mast Bay carrying the Solent with one reef in the mainsail. As the tack was completed, the starboard shrouds failed and the mast toppled over the boat’s port side. “We had the backstays on and I was just moving across the cockpit to release the old backstay when there was an enormous bang,” reported 41 year-old Frans Budel shortly after arriving back at the GOR’s race pontoons at North Wharf in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront Marina on Wednesday morning. “The mast dropped over the side and then snapped in two pieces in the water.” The two sailors responded calmly and quickly in the pitch black night: “The sea was pretty rough, but we tried to pull the sails back on board and save them, but it was too dangerous with the broken mast hitting the side of the boat,” explains 72 year-old Nico Budel.
The rod rigging, backstays and forestays were swiftly cut away and the duo contacted the GOR’s Race Director, Josh Hall, to advise him that no assistance was required. Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) Cape Town was immediately informed of the yacht’s status as Sec. Hayai motored back to port. The Budels have just completed a hectic stopover in Cape Town, removing their Class40’s keel to replace the keel bolts and only relaunching Sec. Hayai the day before the start. “It has been tough getting the boat back into racing trim, but we were in very good shape for the Indian Ocean,” confirms Frans Budel. Despite this dramatic setback, Nico Budel, who suffered keel failure on Leg 2 of the 2008-09 GOR competing in the single-handed division of the event on is Open 40 Hayai and was forced to abandon the yacht, is determined to rejoin the GOR. “It is very disappointing, but we’re already in touch with mast makers and will have a solid plan in place by the end of today,” predicts the indomitable Dutchman with a broad, confident smile. “Sec. Hayai will be back, trust me!”
Abu Dhabi arrives into Cape Town and Azzam’s back into the water and back in the race…to the relief of skipper Ian Walker.
ACCIONA introduces the first IMOCA 60 100% EcoPowered.
The final and ninth Act of the global 2011 Extreme Sailing Series will be played by 10 Extreme 40 teams out on the waters of Marina Bay in Singapore between the 7th — 11th.
At 12:00 GMT (14:00 local) on Tuesday, the six, double-handed Class40s in the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) crossed the start line of Leg 2 from Cape Town to Wellington, New Zealand. Ahead of the fleet are approximately 7,000 miles and around one month of racing through the high latitudes of the Indian Ocean with a finish line ETA shortly after Christmas.
At 09:30 local time, the V&A Harbourmaster, Steven Bentley, stood-in as the GOR fleet’s chaplain, reading from Luke Chapter 8 – a verse advising sailors on a sinking ship that faith in yourself is valuable throughout life – before the boats left North Wharf and motored through Alfred Basin and Victoria Basin, exiting the V&A Waterfront Marina for a rendezvous at the committee boat off the city’s breakwater.
With a band of 20 knot breeze in the northern end of Table Bay, the 86ft GOR Committee Boat, Pradera Blue, anchored and the pin end of the line was set for a reaching start. Running the start line on behalf of Royal Cape Yacht Club, Di Hutton-Squire – mother of Phesheya-Racing co-skipper, Phillippa Hutton-Squire – fired the start gun at noon (10:00 GMT) with Conrad Colman and Sam Goodchild on Akilaria RC2 Cessna Citation first across, overtaken quickly by Leg 1 winners, New Zealand father-and-son duo of Ross and Campbell Field crossing the line on port reach close to the bow of the Committee Boat with their Tyker 40, BSL.
Heading immediately offshore, BSL and Cessna Citation – just metres apart – sailed to leeward of the enormous ocean-going tug, Fairmount Glacier, anchored in the middle of the course with Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron on Pogo 40S² Campagne de France sailing to windward of the obstruction, followed by the Italian-Spanish duo of Marco Nannini and Hugo Ramon on their Akilaria Financial Crisis, squeezing under the vessel’s blunt bow as the breeze slackened across the race course.
With San Diego in the rear view mirror, the teams are headed for a period of winter training. Winter training, that is, unless it’s Emirates Team New Zealand who return to the southern hemisphere to conduct some testing and training in the warmth of an Auckland summer. Photo Pat Reynolds. Read more here.
Stories behind the action, including ORACLE Racing’s new skipper Darren Bundock and China Team’s boat blessing ceremony featuring Louis Vuitton CEO Yves Carcelle.
As the Groupama crew languish in light winds, the PUMA rescue mission gets into full swing and has no margin for error if Mar Mostro is to be ready for the Cape Town In-Port Race.
Always cool to watch on-board footage of the 18-footers. Here’s a promo video for the Brisbane 18-Foot skiff fleet.
Now, watching all nine and a half minutes of this video means you are an extreme wooden boat fanatic, but checking out a few minutes of this restored Herreshoff sail around a lake means you have respect for a gorgeous piece of workmanship and design.
Hannah White at the prize giving for the Monsoon Cup 2011 and World Match Racing Tour Championship.
Team Telefónica’s Leg 1 win would make them a shoo-in for overall victory in any other edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. This time? Don’t be so sure.
Since the Volvo Ocean Race became a single class event in 1997-98, following the success of the Volvo Ocean 60, the winner of Leg 1 in every edition has claimed the Volvo Ocean Race trophy eight months or so later.
This edition was tipped before the start as likely to be the closest ever so no one, least of all Telefónica, will put too much trust in the longstanding trend continuing.
Minutes after finishing in second position CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson said it was obvious that the overall race victory was anyone’s, especially having watched three competitors ousted with breakage: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG and Team Sanya.
“The fact that it has happened to them means that it could happen to anyone at anytime. If I was in their shoes, I would know that this race is still wide open.”
Abu Dhabi skipper Ian Walker agreed, saying that the fleet was certainly one of the most competitive ever and the tradition would not necessarily endure.
“Leg 1 really gives a bit of everything, which is probably why the boat that’s won this leg has always gone on to win the race,’’ he said. “But if ever there was a race where that might not be the case this might well be it.’’
PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG skipper Ken Read reckons that all the teams are on a level playing field, and who will be the overall winner at the end is anyone’s guess.
“I’ve heard it several times this great tradition that you have to win Leg 1 to win the race, but I’m not so sure about that this time, I think this is setting up to be too close,’’ he said.
“I think traditionally there’s been just a couple of boats that have really been prepared and everybody else has been playing catch up on Leg 1, which has given a boat or two quite a large advantage.
“This time round, it’s very clear that that’s not the case, that there are six very well prepared boats. I have a feeling that you can see that historical factor knocked off, I won’t be shocked that’s for sure.”
Leg 1 and overall winners include: 2008-09 Ericsson 4, 2006-06 ABN AMRO ONE, 2001-02 Illbruck Challenge and 1997-98 EF Language.
It has barely been a week of racing and already there’s good news show Banque Populaire V. By crossing the equator at 00 hours 26 minutes and 52 seconds (Paris time) last night, after 5 days 14 hours 55 minutes and 10 seconds at sea, Loïck Peyron and his men are now the fastest on this section of the Jules Verne Trophy.
In addition to this news, the famous St. Helena anticyclone, a southern match of the Azores’, appears under the best conditions. Currently at 220 miles off the Brazilian coast in a South-East wind, the Maxi, Banque Populaire V sailing conditions are relatively uncomfortable head to wind – but are still making good speeds. In a few hours, the setting will change, to the delight of all, explained by Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant:
“The wind will clock around. We’ll gradually go around the anticyclone. It’s going to become more comfortable and it will be easier to sleep. We are not sailing downwind yet so we have the sea movements facing the boat which causes us to get tossed around in all directions. But we all know it won’t last, that it will get better by tomorrow. So we just bear with it. For now, the weather is wonderful. These are the trade winds in Brazil.”
Clipper 70s – Third generation Clipper Race fleet takes shape on schedule as first hull released from its mould in China
The first of a new twelve-strong fleet of Clipper 70s has been released from its mould as the construction of an expanded fleet for the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race progresses on schedule ahead of its completion next year. This is the first of an order for twelve identical new Castro-designed yachts, with an option on four more.
Clipper Chairman, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, said, “The new fleet build is progressing on target in Qingdao, China. The new yachts will enter service for the Clipper 13-14 Round the World Yacht Race and continue operating until 2020.”
America’s Cup organisers are trying to put a rule in place which will effectively gag sailors from criticising the competition. Team New Zealand is to complain about a planned vote by the nine competing teams to implement the rule that stops sailors or officials making any comments which are detrimental to or against the best interests of the Cup. Read more here.
After a near flawless display from Team Telefonica, Skipper Iker Martinez and his crew have secured victory in the first Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12.
Al Jazeera’s Robin Adams reports on the Monsoon Cup and Peter Gilmour in particular.
A review of Leg 1 of the Global Ocean Race. Sailing from the dock in Palma Mallorca the Sailors have raced their Class 40 yachts 7,800 nautical miles over the North and South Atlantic arriving in Cape Town after a month at sea.
Hannah White with the Highlights from Day 3 of Racing at the Monsoon Cup, joined by Ian Williams and Francesco Bruni.