TEAM EMIRATES – The AC72’s are like no yachts to have ever been sailed. Team Trainer David Slyfield is the man in charge of training the crew to handle the demands of sailing each day on the AC72.
Monthly archives for December, 2012
MELGES 29ers – Final day for the 2012 Open Orange Bowl Regatta. Sailors woke up to a solid 17-20 knots of breeze from the Northwest.
Race One is off! The 29er fleet is heading up both sides of the course. What side will win? At the top mark, Duncan Williford and Matthew Mollerus took the lead. Rounding in second was Nic Muller and Kai Friesecke. Close in their heels, was Campbell D’Eliscu and Conner Keiter in third with the rest of the fleet right behind them. D’Eliscu/Keiter pass through the gate in first followed by Muller/Friesecke in second and Sam Gustin and Ian Woodbury in third. These top 3 boats are gone. The rest of he fleet is 2-3 minutes behind the leaders. Back upwind to the top mark, D’Eliscu/Keiter continued to lead with a huge separation between first and second positions. In second was Gustin/Woodbury and Quinn and Dane Wilson were holding firm in third. This team has sailed a great event. They were over early went back and are still managing to place in the top five. D’Eliscu/Keiter take the bullet with Williford/Mollerus over taking Muller/Friesecke at the finish.
The start of Race Two of the day was a tricky one. Both sides of the course look good, but it was the left side of the course that the sailors liked most. With a clean startMuller/Frieseck assume a very comfortable lead. Williford/Mollerus came second with D’Eliscu/Keiter inches behind, trying to make their move into the second place position. Muller/Friesecke maintain and begin to extend their lead as they round at the leeward gate. D’Eliscu/Keiter split from the leaders looking to the other side of the course to try and make a move. Holding their lead all the way around the course, Muller/Friesecke cross the line in first with no other boat around them. D’Eliscu/Keiter came second. These guys are sitting in second place overall and are looking to advance to the first place spot. Hopefully they can make it happen with one race left. In third is the Wilson’s. This team is leading the event overall. We’ll see if they can hold onto the lead going into the final race.
At the start of the final race of the series, 29ers jockey to find a spot at the boat end of the line with a little right hand shift across the course. And their off! But the Race Committee pulled the general recall flag as most of the fleet was over early.
Take Two of the start of the final race resulted in another general recall! Teams were still liking the boat end of the line, but as the wind shifted more to the right, the fleet was called over early as the boat end of the line was too favored.
On the third try, the wind shifts right and also builds a bit more. As the count approaches the final minute, teams still like the boat end of the line. And their off with the fleet split into two — half going left the other going right! Who will reach the top first?
Coming into the top mark, it’s Max Fraser and Jonny Goldsberry in first, but it’s super close with the entire fleet. Ian MacDiarmid and Scott Ewing rounded close behind the leaders with Quinn/Dane Wilson in third. With both Fraser/Goldsberry and MacDiarmid/Ewing splitting around the gates. They do their final battle back to the weather mark. At the final weather mark, MacDiarmid/Ewing lead the fleet followed closely by D’Eliscu/Keiter and Fraser/Goldsberry. At the finish, MacDiarmid/Ewing took the bullet in style. This team had bested the fleet with superior boat speed and handling. Fraser/Goldsberry was second and D’Eliscu/Keiter came third.
Well that’s all folks. Next event is the ISAF Youth World Qualifiers up in Clearwater, Florida on January 18-21, 2013, hosted by the Clearwater Yacht Cl
Article courtesy of Matt Pistay
VENDEE GLOBE – Current routings have the two leaders reaching Cape Horn at around 1800-1930hrs roughly on the night of Tuesday January 1st. To the advantage of Armel Le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) and François Gabart (MACIF) is that the nights at these latitudes are short and so they should have a maximum amount of daylight on their approach and winds are not expected to be too fierce, so their ice watch should be helped.
Presently Jean-Pierre Dick is probably going to be around 18-20 hours behind, maybe slightly more but that will be quite encouraging for the Virbac-Paprec skipper.
By the same routings Alex Thomson is reckoned to be on a schedule which would have him three days behind and Jean Le Cam about 5 days behind the leader. These are of course theoretical routings based on weather files which are current but will change over coming days.
Four years ago Michel Desjoyeaux passed with Roland Jourdain eight hours and 50 minutes behind. About two days behind them were Le Cléac’h and Vincent Riou who dismasted just after Cape Horn. Marc Guillemot, rounding fifth, was about seven days behind Desjoyeaux. At Cape Horn Brian Thompson was sixth and about 10 days behind. Rich Wilson was 21 days and 10 hours behind at Cape Horn and Austrian Norbert Sedlacek rounding eight days or so after the American Wilson.
At present the leaders Banque Populaire and Macif are round about three days ahead of the record held by Michel Desjoyeaux. And so it is still looking like the winner might have a chance of breaking 80 days.
AMERICAS CUP – This week on AC Discovered we have exclusive aerial and on board footage of Emirates Team NZ’s AC72. Grant Dalton comments on foiling, speed and energy. We go 101,with everything you wanted to know about the America’s Cup. It’s been a roller coaster 2012 for Oracle Team USA; we take a look back on the highs and the lows.
AMERICAS CUP – The International Jury for the 34th America’s Cup has deducted sailing days from ORACLE TEAM USA as the final decision in the espionage case brought against the defender by Italian syndicate Luna Rossa Challenge 2013.
Last week the International Jury announced that it found in favor of Luna Rossa, which alleged that ORACLE TEAM USA had breached part of the Reconnaissance Article (37.2(g)) of the Protocol for the 34th America’s Cup by being within 200 meters of the Italian AC72 during a training session in New Zealand in early November.
Citing the importance of the Reconnaissance Article in the Protocol and the importance of a meaningful penalty, today the International Jury announced that it has deducted from ORACLE TEAM USA the final five sailing days, April 26-30, 2013, of the Second AC72 Sailing Period (Feb. 1-Apr. 30, 2013).
The International Jury acknowledged that ORACLE TEAM USA has returned 10 photos as instructed and also levied costs of €11,500 (approximately $15,200) against the team.
YOUNG SAILORS – Sailing the 14 is all about fun over the summer, says Jessica Watson, missing a lot of her younger days sailing dinghies, because of her fast move into keelboats for her solo World voyage in 2010.
Watson’s new challenge is sailing her International 14ft skiff Ella Bache, in this year’s Australian Championships, at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron against 25 boats as a new comer to the class.
Whether its crossing the Tasman with the youngest ever crew to contest the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race or doing it solo around world, Watson is looking forward to blasting around the buoys with Cameron Dale in her new challenge the International 14.
“Trapezing and kites and all of this are new and fun, I didn’t realize how much was involved with these boats, its all about having fun over the summer, and learning as much as I can, and taking it from there” says Watson.
As the only female sailor Watson is taking on a field of experienced 14ft skiff teams, from all around Australia, including four time Australian champions Brad Devine and 96kg Ian ‘Footy’ Furlong.
“We aren’t going to be particularly competitive this season, and we aren’t the ideal weight but we will have to see how we go” says Watson.
The solo trip is in the past but the Sydney to Hobart Watson did last year was a great lesson in crew work. “I have spent the last few years doing a fair bit of sailing with other crew”.
“Even on a small boat with just two of us you find it’s a good day if you’re working together as a team”.
“It’s been great coming back from keel boats, everything on these boats (International 14) are exaggerated, you can feel everything, and it will be great to take what I’ve learnt back to my keel boat racing”.
Words and Images by Andrew Gough
SAILING TO ANTARCTICA – A British and Australian team will try to recreate explorer Ernest Shackleton’s 800-mile journey in 1914 to save his crew trapped in the Antarctic.
HAPPY HOUR FRIDAY – New Year’s Eve is right around the corner! Here’s one of our
favorite festive rum cocktails.
The Old Bermudan
6 mint leaves
1 ounce simple syrup (or less, to taste)
3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 ounces Gosling’s Rum
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 oz chilled champagne
In a cocktail shaker add mint, simple syrup & lime juice. Gently muddle the mint leaves. Add Gosling’s Rum and Angostura bitters. Fill shaker with ice, and shake well for 10 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass (you may wish to use a tea strainer to remove the tiny flecks of mint). Top with champagne; garnish with a mint leaf. Cheers!
ROLEX HOBART RACE – Bob Oatley’s five-time Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours winner, Wild Oats XI,beat her 2005 record time this morning, in a gentle glide to the finish that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. She finished in one day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds, taking 16 minutes and 58 seconds off her old record.
The time difference was a long one in terms of how the crew would have been feeling in those last 16 minutes of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race. Could they or couldn’t they?
At 5 am today,Wild Oats XI’s 2005 record of one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds seemed out of reach, but at about 7 am, her dashed hopes were revived, and as the minutes ticked by, her chances improved.
Initially, skipper Mark Richards and his crew were a tantalisingly 40 minutes outside the record time and were expected to finish at about 8.30 am. However, as the clock ticked, the super maxi picked up speed to around 15 knots and her finish time was upgraded to 8.00 am, then 7.50 am, 7.36 am, 7.23am and 7.13 am with five nautical miles to go.
The breeze eased. Richards ordered a bigger headsail to keep it moving, which ended with their record victory. It remains to be seen whetherWild Oats XIcan go all the way and take the treble (victory on corrected time as well as line honours and the race record).
Dockside, Richards said: “We’re all over the moon. How many places have this level of race with a fleet this size?
“Last year we were beaten by Investec Loyal (now Ragamuffin-Loyal) by three minutes, which was very disappointing. This year we beat them by much more.”
Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin-Loyal that was about 45 miles behind the line honours winner.
“We’ll be back next year,” Richards said.
Of the new record, he said: “We just kept chipping away. You expect it to be light in the Derwent and it did get lighter towards the end. This is a very testing event and the Derwent is very, very, testing. It’s always a tough race.
“We have a great bunch of people on board and we’re all good mates,” Richards said of the mostly long term crew who were aboard in 2005 and are still sailing the boat today.
Of navigator Adrienne Cahalan (who was aboard for the 2005 record) and co-navigator Tom Addis, Richards said: “They did a great job. It’s a difficult job with meteorology to look at, all the updates and critical decisions to make.”
Richards also praised tactician Iain Murray, who has taken time out of his role as Regatta Director and CEO of the America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) organisation to return to sail the yacht again.
“I can’t wait to give the Oatley family a big hug,” Richards said, grinning from ear to ear.
He said that although the race was a relatively easy one “we had some very hard and fast running conditions; we blew out a spinnaker and had some gear failure, so it wasn’t all smooth sailing”.
Covered live on Channel 7, the tension could be seen in the faces and movements of the Wild Oats XI crew, which included Murray, Cahalan and Addis and Steve Jarvin, who was thrilled to claim the record on his milestone 25thrace, as they sailed the final miles to Castray Esplanade.
Through dint of luck, or just choosing the right boats, Jarvin also holds the record for the most line honours victories in the race’s history, this being his tenth.
Following his boat down the Derwent River aboard a spectator boat, owner Bob Oatley looked close to tears as his ever-evolving yacht made it across the line in record time. Joining Oatley in the celebrations were his wife Val, son Sandy and their families.
“We’ve never given up; we’ll try to do it again next year.
“New wings on the keel helped enormously I’m sure, so did the new jib. The design, the crew, the sails and the modifications are what makes the boat fast,” Oatley said dockside.
“I’m over the moon,” he added, keen to reach Richards, or Ricko, as he’s known in yachting circles, and the crew.
Wild Oats XIwill go into the history books as only the second boat in the history of the race to break its own race record. OnlyMorna, later renamedKurrewa IV, exceeds that record, have cracked its race record twice.
By Di Pearson, Rolex Sydney Hobart media team
VENDEE GLOBE – Bernard Stamm’s team say the skipper of Cheminées Poujoulat is nearly ready to leave Dunedin on New Zealand’s South Island and make his return to the Vendée Globe race course.
Seeking to find a safe anchorage and decent weather to make his repairs, keynote being his hydrogenerators, Stamm arrived off Dunedin very early yesterday morning, 26th December.
His team make the point that Stamm’s concern about his ability to make electricity has bothered him since the Portuguese coast, within the first few days of the race. The situation became critical to the point that Stamm did not want to cross the Pacific without a power source. Hence he diverted and stopped off on 23rd December in the Auckland Islands. The precisions of repair operations were set, theoretically, by Stamm’s boat captain Gautier Levisse
“ At the start of the Sables d’Olonne, the hydrogenerators were mounted on little trucks on a track to raise and lower them out of the water. And we supported them with chainplates. Off Portugal one of the chainplates was damaged and so broke the track. And then the second also broke. We tried to remove the U-bolts and fix them firmly with lashings. And that took time for Bernard, but the hydros were still too loose. There was some cavitation – air being drawn in and preventing the propellors working right. The only alternative was cutting the transom.”
The level of delicacy and relative precision really left Stamm with no choice but to stop. He halted on the morning of 23rd December in the north of the Aucland Islands. He attacked the first hydrogenerator but a reinforcement of the cut was needed with some lamination and bonding. It was a complicated process. And, Stamm’s team report, his materials were limited and increasingly the weather – incessant rain – became an issue especially for trying to sand the material on the transom and getting epoxy to bond and set. In the end the odds really stacked up against him and with a gale arriving he had no choice but to move, especially considering the strong winds could push Cheminées Poujoulat on to the beach, a fate which had befallen Stamm during the 2008-9 race in the Kerguelen Islands. So he set sail for New Zealand’s South Island.
Stamm anchored at two different locations off Dunedin, moving last night due to a change in wind, but also allowing him to try one of the repaired hydrogenerators. And since yesterday he has been fixing the second unit.
“He’s been trying be protected from wind and waves to work in the best possible conditions, even if everything is relative. In between times, waiting for resins to set he has been taking care of the smaller problems. He should go after daybreak local time, tonight is for us in Europe. ” concludes Gautier Levisse.
Bernard’s team paid a warm tribute to Sophie Luther who lives locally who has helped with sending images and with local media contacts
TEAM EMIRATES – Sail-World.com’s America’s Cup Editor, Richard Gladwell talks to Emirates Team NZ’s skipper, Dean Barker, after the first 30 days of sailing in ETNZ’s AC72 – Part 1
ROLEX SYDNEY HOBART RACE – Five-time Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours winner,Wild Oats XI,is headed for her sixth title this morning in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual ocean classic after rounding the Tasman Island light at 0330 this morning and sailing west towards Storm Bay and Hobart for an 0830 ETA at the finish.
If that ETA eventuates,Wild Oats XIwill finish about 50 minutes outside her 2005 race record of one day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.
Owned by Bob Oatley and skippered by Mark Richards, the 100-foot super maxi was on track for the record yesterday when she powered down the Tasmanian east coast at speeds of more than 24 knots before a strong north-easterly. At one stage she was about 30 nautical miles ahead of the 2005 record pace.
However, as she closed on the coast near Fortescue Bay last night, the north-easterly gave way to a weaker westerly, which also meant the race leader was in the lee of the land.
Wild Oats XI’s tactician Iain Murray had anticipated rounding Tasman at midnight, but she was not to do so until 0330am.
Syd Fischer’s maxiRagamuffin-Loyalis 40nm behind, a separation that fluctuated throughout yesterday. At one stage, Wild Oats XI was out by more than 50nm, but it reduced to about 20. This morning Fischer’s super maxi was 43 nautical miles astern of the leader.
Leading the race on handicap are Chris Bull’s well-performed Cookson 50 from NSW,Jazz, which is marginally ahead on corrected time of the Victorian yachtCalm, skippered by Jason Van der Slot NSW.
There have been two retirements in the race:Living Doll(Vic), which retired yesterday with a broken rudder in eastern Bass Strait and is heading to Eden with an ETA of 1200 tomorrow and Primitive Cool which retired this morning with a damaged mainsail. She is also heading to Eden with an ETA of 1500 today.
TO TRACK THE FLEET CLICK HERE
VENDEE GLOBE – Finally ended up going up the mast today just before sundown with both the spinnaker and main fractionally up when climbing…to be honest I was at the limit of my strengths as there was a lot of swell but I still managed to get up to the first reef to note that the piece of plastic in the mainsail car had basically become unstuck and that the car itself was not damaged and no screws were missing, which is what I had imagined…simply the piece that I had already changed in the Canaries was faulty.
The piece of plastic that goes into the car and which provides the friction when going up the track was missing when I lowered the main yesterday…so they were touching. You had the aluminium from the car against the aluminium on the track. What happens is that the piece of plastic in the car that I had in was not working well with the piece that was in the car I changed in the Canaries…I had to make a kind of invention and change the parts in the car to that which I had changed…anyway I had to cut a pin with a radial and make an invention that I hope will hold as I have no more parts…
Now funnily I have raised the car that I changed in the Canaries with the titanium fixtures of the one I had previously… Well anyway, as long as it all holds we are at 100%. The piece is held in better in this car.
Just like it happened in the Canaries, this repair has not only made me loose repair time but also completely left my out of sync with the racing…I would have intended on being a lot further south but had to go up to find better weather, which I found, but now am stuck in Little wind and everyone is racing flat out ahead and behind in 17 and 18 knots… This situation is quite frustrating in the end, but at least I am heading in the right direction and will start racing fast again…
DESTOPNEWS – Your weekly video sailing update for the week. Today on the agenda:
1. Jules Verne Trophy — Banque Populaire V — Brest France
2. Optimist World Championship — Napier New Zealand
3. 18 Footers World Championship — Sydney Australia
4. Yann Eliès — Victory in the Solitaire du Figaro
5. Krys Ocean Race — New York to Brest
6. First AC72’s Launch — Auckland New Zealand
AMERICAS CUP – 2012 in review slide show America’s Cup photographer Gilles Martin-Raget captures it all – America’s Cup World Series in Naples, Venice, Newport, and San Francisco. Including Moët moments to capsizes to onshore activities around the AC Village, plus AC72 photos from Carlo Borlenghi (Luna Rossa),Chris Cameron (ETNZ), Guilain Grenier (ORACLE Team USA), Sander Van der Borsch (Artemis Racing).
COOL DESIGNS – LightFighter Beach Catamaran with free standing carbon wingmast. Check out Lightfighter for more information
ROLEX SYDNEY HOBART – A short time ago Wild Oats XI’s navigator, Adrienne Cahalan, reported that the crew had had a busy night, constantly changing sails as yesterday’s east-south-easterly breeze moved around to the east and softened to 4-5 knots at around midnight. It gradually shifted around to the north-north east, and gradually built in the early hours of the morning.
“We are currently doing 15 knots in 15 knots of wind,” Cahalan reported this morning. “We’ve got a little bit of current too.”
Cahalan expects the wind to build to around 20 knots this morning, making for a very fast ride across Bass Strait.
“We’re now looking at how we approach Tasmania. The next big picture is the approaching front this evening or tomorrow morning. We are working out what our strategy should be,” she said.
Cahalan reported that in the lighter breeze during the night, second placed Ragamuffin-Loyal was able to close in on the race leader, but as the northerly kicked in, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI pulled away again in the near-perfect downwind conditions, opening a lead of 10 nautical miles.
“It’s better to be ahead in this situation, which isn’t always the case. Usually the boats behind get the breeze first, but that’s not the case at the moment; we’re getting the new breeze first.”
About 30 miles behind Wild Oats XI, Geoff Cropley, on board Peter Millard/John Honan’s 98ft Lahana,reported: “Us and the lead boats are under spinnaker. We’re in a nice north-easterly breeze of around 15 knots and building.”
Cropley said the night had been pretty uneventful aboardLahana, with only one problem. “We did break the tack line on the Code Zero, but apart from that, all is good.
“The breeze died to 4-5 knots from the east around midnight, 1.00pm, but at around 3.00am it started to fill in and build and is continuing to build,” Cropley said. “It feels like we’re in a washing machine though – the leftovers of the south/easterly swell have made it bumpy.”
While the big boats are picking up speed this morning, life remains frustrating for the smaller, slower boats further up the coast. The fleet is now stretched across 140 miles from Jervis Bay to Green Cape, where each boat must radio its position before heading into Bass Straight, and the further along the coast, where they are in softer breeze. Some boats are making very little headway at all.
As Ichi Ban skipper Mat Allen prophesised before the race: “This year the rich will only get richer.”
There have been no retirements at all from the 76 boat fleet.
By Jim Gale, Rolex Sydney Hobart media team
VENDEE GLOBE – Day 47 highlights – Wednesday, December 26, 2012
AYSF NEWS – The American Youth Sailing Force (AYSF) was formed first and foremost with the goal of representing the United States in the RedBull Youth America’s Cup. Our team represents the highest level of youth sailing in America and aims to prove that with steady determination, hard work and passion young American sailors can be a leading force on the international sailing circuit.
Historically, youth sailing in America has been planned, organized, and funded by parents. In an effort to not only create a completely youth run organization, but also to separate AYSF from our competition in the Youth America’s Cup, as a team we will delegate all the functions and operations of the team including managing, fundraising, and training amongst its members. We intend to utilize the opportunity created by RedBull as a path for the next generation of young American sailors who want to compete in elite sailing events, and to inspire youth sailors across the nation to challenge themselves by setting and attaining ambitious goals.
That being said, the Youth America’s Cup isn’t the end of the road for this team. Not only will team members continue to compete in future high-profile events, but also the partnerships and the foundation we’ve created will continue to provide equally exciting opportunities to future generations. We are the future of sailing, and intend to prove that we are world-class sailors with real dedication and determination.
“To support the AYSF, please visit the Donate page on our website to make a tax deductible donation (http://americanyouthsailingforce.com/?page_id=621)
or feel free to contact us at americanyouthsailingforce.com <http://americanyouthsailingforce.com> with any questions.”
VENDEE GLOBE UPDATE – After being forced to virtually stop off the island of Tenerife to repair the top of his damaged mainsail track just one week into his Vendée Globe, Spain’s Javier Sanso spent most of the following four weeks at sea trying to catch up.
Left behind in successive waves of high pressure and light winds, the skipper of Acciona 100% Eco Powered was more than 600 miles behind Dominique Wavre and Mike Golding when he passed the Cape of Good Hope but bowed to his task in the Indian Ocean. By the time his Swiss counterpart was passing Cape Leeuwin, West Australia, Sanso was snapping at the heels of the middle pack, 100 miles behind.
…..we have a problem, V2.0
Now Sanso faces another mast climb after discovering this morning that his mainsail track is, he believes, damaged again. He reported to Vendée Globe LIVE today that he can move the mainsail headboard car but it will not go up to full hoist. So he must sail temporarily with one reef and will wait for first light Wednesday morning (local) to make the climb and try to make a repair.
“It is stuck at the first reef and so I have to go up the mast again.” Sanso explained, “ I can lower the sail if I need to, but I cannot hoist it to full main. Something is stuck up there. Hopefully it is not the track again, so I don’t know. I will have to go up tomorrow and check. It was starting to get dark last night when I realised there was a problem, and then this morning when I was going to go for full main with the wind down to 20-21kts I could not get it up to full main. It would go up but it would slide. There is a problem up there.”
The problems facing Bernard Stamm continue. The Swiss skipper’s arrival at Kaikai Beach by Dunedin, NZ quickly became a local talking point for Boxing Day visitors to the local beauty spot and surfing location and the beleaguered Vendée Globe soloist’s anchorage was covered on television by TVNZ, but as yet there is no clear news about how Stamm is faring with his attempts to restore his two hydrogenerators to working order.
Great minds think alike?
There is no change in the strategic thinking which is clearly shared between the two leaders. Armel Le Cléac’h and François Gabart as they start to deal with a developing trough of confused light winds. The leading pair have two alternative routes, north or south, to avoid the worst of the sticky situation but so far both remain locked side by side following the same course. The northern route offers a more surefire guarantee of wind but means more miles sailed, whilst the south is more direct but with a greater risk. The overall difference, according to the routing software, is a matter of hours at Cape Horn where they are expected to reach some time on January 1st.
There are not likely to do anything different to one another at the moment. Not only do they have the same boat, the same set ups and train together at Port La Fôret but they will have almost the same weather information run through identical or near identical routing software and so, not only is it not a surprise they stay so close together, but I dont see them doing anything very different right now. » observed Alain Gautier, the Vendée Globe’s safety adviser who finished second in the second edition of the race.
Le Cléac’h has held on to his slender lead over Gabart– around 10 miles this afternoon – as they make a robust 18-19kts.
But the worst of the light winds seem set to affect them as they deal with final gate of the course, Pacific East, which is 750 miles in front of them. The patience of Jean-Pierre Dick has been sorely tested over the last 24 hours as he struggles with a ridge of high pressure that has snared him in lighter winds since Christmas Day. Virbac-Paprec 3 has made 200 miles less than Banque Populaire and has rarely crept into double figures but the medium to long term outlook is still favourable for a catch up for Dick who remains very positive.
Profiting from adversity
At 45 days into the Vendée Globe the skippers are very well aware of what represents their comfort zone, and where the limits are. Mike Golding is one skipper who was prepared to push his boundaries last night in very gusty, squally conditions to try and pull back some lost miles of Jean Le Cam.
“The squalls were up to 40kts at times but were relatively short lived and so you just had to hang on. It was a bit fruity at times, but in the end you cannot set the sails only for what you get in the big squalls otherwise you are just underpowered the rest of the time.” Recalled Golding.
The British skipper and counterpart Dominique Wavre have now profited from Stamm’s Dunedin halt, rising to sixth and seventh today.
When solo means solo
But many of the skippers must look at the two leaders with envy, not just for the sizeable lead they have built but seeing what having a boat nearby to pace yourself against represents as a real advantage in terms of measuring and modulating performance.
There are now many who really are racing solo, without any means of judging how they are doing. Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) is some 650 miles back from the two frontrunners with Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) 300 miles behind him. The British sailor on Hugo Boss has a lead of almost 900 miles over Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel), who is continuing on his way 400 miles ahead of the only trio remaining close together comprising Mike Golding (Gamesa), Dominique Wavre (Mirabaud) and Javier Sanso (Acciona 100% EcoPowered).
Further back, Arnaud Boissières (Akena Vérandas) is still 400 miles from Bubi Sanso, which is around the same distance that separates Bertrand de Broc (Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM Projets) from Tanguy de Lamotte (Initiatives-cœur).
Alessandro Di Benedetto (Team Plastique) is not worried about that sort of problem. Sailing 4800 miles from the leaders is not that big a deal for someone, who has already sailed non-stop solo around the world on a 6.50m Mini taking 268 days.
FOR LATEST VENDEE UPDATES CLICK HERE
AC NEWS – This week on America’s Cup Discovered speed is King. Jimmy Spithill meets racing legend Mario Andretti on the Indy 500 and looks for their formula for success. How do you lift an AC45 out of the water? We go behind the crane to learn more. We then track down ORACLE TEAM USA coach Philippe Presti as we approach 2013, the year of the America’s Cup.
SYDNEY HOBART RACE – The 68th Rolex Sydney Hobart got underway 14 hours ago in exceptional conditions. The forecast southerly breeze providing the perfect angle for a spinnaker start and run down the harbour. The angle would prove less kind as the yachts exited the Sydney Heads and made their turn towards Hobart, finding the 20 – 25 knots now firmly on the nose
Mark Richards and Wild Oats XI looked to be in no mood to be interrupted in her bid to claim a sixth line honours, blasting off the line and showing Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin Loyala clean pair of heels before popping out of the Heads comfortably in the lead.
An interesting night lies ahead. The decision how far to head out to sea was the first conundrum facing the crews. So far the bulk of yachts appear firm in the belief that staying inshore, and inside the rhumb line will pay better. Only, one or two boats have shown a determination to head offshore for any length of time.
Mike Broughton, navigator on Chris Bull’s Jazz, felt ahead of the start that the fleet would do well to stay inshore for the initial section of the race, certainly until the major swing in wind direction expected during the night. This transition should see the wind back to the northeast and will have the yachts running under spinnaker for an extended period.
Earlier this morning, Gordon Maguire, tactician on Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki, indicated some of their pre-race routing suggested the bigger yachts could profit enormously from the predicted northeasterly. If it arrives on cue, they could bite a huge chunk out of the course during the hours of darkness and be lying off Green Cape by mid-morning on the second day, 27 December. The small boats, meanwhile, such as race veteran Roger Hickman’s Wild Rose, might only find themselves parallel with Jervis Bay as dawn breaks. The difference in power between segments of the fleet will be all too apparent at this juncture.
At 17:30 AEDT Wild Oats XI was 8 nautical miles north east of Kiama travelling at 12 knots, with some 50 nm under her belt after 4.5 hours of sailing. Any thought of setting a new record seemed to be on hold as navigator Adrienne Cahalan called in to report the wind speed dropping as evening arrives. Ragamuffin Loyal lies within striking distance just astern. Lahana, Ichi Ban and Black Jack round out the top five on the water. Conditions have been wet and hard on crews during these first few hours and the measure of performance differential between front-runners and back markers is clearly demonstrated by Charlie’s Dream. Averaging just 3.4 knots, Peter Lewis and crew were parallel with Botany Bay having knocked a mere 13 nm off the 628nm course distance.
The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart is like few other yacht races. The natural amphitheatre formed by the deep-water harbour offers great viewing potential from the water, at water level from the beaches and coves, and grandstand opportunities from higher ground. Every Sydney-sider has a favourite location, and South Head must be one of the most popular and dramatic. A huge crowd always assembles to watch the fleet barrel down the harbour and make the sharp out into open water. This year’s spectacle was worth the effort involved. After a dreadful Christmas Day, when rain and wind battered Sydney, Boxing Day has been a joy. Blue sky and reasonably warm temperatures brought the locals out in their thousands to cheer the determined and enthusiastic crews off on their compelling adventure.
By Key Partners/RegattaNews.com FOR LATEST TRACKING INFO CLICK HERE
SAILING ON THE HARD – Ice sailing, originating more than 4,000 years ago, is known as the fastest of all winter sports. While popular all around the world, Michigan is a well-known destination because of our great lakes and winter winds. Watch as the 2012 WISSA team takes you racing over a frozen lake on a wind-powered sled, hitting speeds up to 40 miles per hour. For more information or to plan your winter vacation, visit http://www.michigan.org/winter
GUNBOAT 60 – Top speed aboard Gunboat 60 Moonwave on this passage to Singapore is 30.2 knots. Effortless speed on her maiden voyage. And she is for charter! For charter info Click Here.
VENDEE GLOBE – Day 46 highlights – Tuesday, December 25, 2012
ROLEX HOBART RACE – The Race Committee of the Rolex Sydney Hobart has announced this morning that the Grant Wharington’s super maxi Wild Thing will not be allowed to race.
Just two and a half hours before the start of the race, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore, Howard Piggott, announced: “The Race Committee of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will not be accepting the entry of the boatWild Thing as a result of non-compliance with the Notice of Race, in particular NOR 4.1, dealing with documentation to be lodged and verification of construction requirements.
“The Race Committee has worked with the owner of the boat, Grant Wharington, to allow him up to three hours prior to the start of the race to provide the documentation required however that has not been forthcoming, and the Race Committee has no option but to not accept the entry of Wild Thing.”
Piggott said the Race Committee had been working with Wharington over recent days to try to get the necessary documentation lodged, and had extended the deadline until 10am this morning, three hours before the start.
Wild Thing has undergone extensive modifications in recent months, including a new a section of her hull that added two feet to her overall length. The race rules require that a boat designer and builder provide declarations that the yacht has been built to ABS standards.
“This is the final decision of the Race Committee, that puts safety first,” Piggott told the media at a press conference.
He added: “It’s disappointing; we’ve made every effort. I assure you we want to see boat’s racing. However, it’s out of our hands. We must comply with the Notice of Race, and ensure our safety standards are maintained. I believe we just have to get on with it now and go out and yacht race.”
By Jim Gale, Rolex Sydney Hobart media team
SAILING RECORDS – In 1993, Bruno Peyron and his crew of four on the giant catamaran Commodore Explorer broke the mythical 80 days, setting a mark at 79 days 06hrs and 15 mins. Now some 20 years later that mark might be broken by a solo sailor for the first time.
The record for the Atlantic climb from Cape Horn is 27 days and 12 hours. Presently it looks as if the leaders might leave the Pacific around January 1s, so some 52 days after leaving Les Sables d’Olonne.
So if François Gabart and/or Armel Le Cléac’h can be close to Michel Desjoyeaux’s 2009 reference time they could well lower the bar to less than 80 days, but it needs to be remembered that the Foncia skipper did have very favourable weather conditions and he could sail his own race. But even so, a finish in Les Sables d’Olonne around the 27 to 29th January is not beyond the realms of possibility.
Bernard Stamm’s team say that the Swiss skipper is expected in Dunedin between 0100hrs and 0300hrs (French time) this morning where he will carry on with the work to try and repair his damaged hydrogenerators.
Meantime the balance of power has changed hands once again in the tussle between Armel Le Cléac’h and François Gabart. Le Cléac’h lead this morning and does again this evening with a small margin of just over 3 miles. Banque Populaire has been more than one knot quicker over the last poll period.
Meanwhile Mike Golding will be considering Stamm’s problems. On the one hand the British skipper has been unequivocal in his support for Bernard, saying how he hopes he will be able to continue in the race to complete his first Vendée Globe, but on the other hand he will realise that he – like Jean Le Cam has already – will soon benefit from the Cheminées Poujoulat skipper’s halt. Golding is 270 miles west of Stamm’s longtitude and might expect to pass that line tomorrow.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! – All of us at XS Sailing want to wish you and yours smooth sailing during this holiday season…and thank you for making 2012 our best year yet. Happy Holidays and Good Sailing!
Photo by Pat Reynolds and boat supplied to Santa by Open Sailing USA.
HARVARD SAILING TEAM – What do you get for the people you avoid all year?