Monthly archives for May, 2014
CLIPPER RACE – Henri Lloyd has set the time to beat in the Ocean Sprint as the final teams start their campaign to win those all-important two bonus points in the Grange Hotels Trophy.
With the top five boats in the Clipper Race fleet having now completed the Ocean Sprint, race leaders Henri Lloyd set an impressive time of 12 hours 56 minutes and 33 seconds to beat. GREAT Britain is currently second with a time of 13 hours 7 minutes 17 seconds, followed by OneDLL, Switzerland and Derry~Londonderry~Doire.
Skipper of GREAT Britain, Simon Talbot, couldn’t hide his disappointment after the curse of the Ocean Sprint struck again for the team, as they narrowly missed out to their arch rivals Henri Lloyd.
“Well they say that all good things must come to an end and for us it certainly has. We had a great day’s sailing through the Ocean Sprint, looking for most of it like we would set a faster time than Henri Lloyd, but with about 25 miles to run, the squall randomizer found us and unfortunately we were the loser this time.
“I think we lost about 1.5 miles to Henri Lloyd, which was enough I believe to give them a faster time through the sprint than us, but we will just have to wait for the official results to find out for sure.”
With three teams still left to complete the Ocean Sprint which is situated between the lines of latitudes 30N and 32N, tactics are being deployed as Old Pulteney has elected to activate Stealth Mode. Skipper of Old Pulteney, skipper Patrick van der Zijden describes the tough crossing:
“We are still in the Ocean Sprint, but with our extended drifting session, we saw other boats extend their leads. We do not have a lot of hope for good results, and we will be glad when it’s over because that means we then have reached the Gulf Stream, that would be our freeway to New York.”
Old Pulteney’s position will be hidden from the rest of the fleet and the Race Viewer for a period of 24 hours and will be published again at 0000 UTC Saturday 31 May. Meanwhile Derry~Londonderry~Doire has also requested to activate its Stealth Mode from 1200 UTC today. The team’s position will be broadcast at 1200 UTC Saturday 31 May.
This morning it was announced that due to the continued light winds, Race 13 had been shortened and Invest Africa had accepted twelfth place and 1 point. Team Garmin, Qingdao and Mission Performance had also accepted, eleventh, tenth and ninth place respectively. To read the full story please click here.
THE GREAT CUP 32 – Watch another day of flying cats and sailors live! The racing starts at 11 am CET (Central European Time) to 3:30 pm today! Go to the website for a ‘live link’- CLICK HERE. Check out the highlights from day one including comments from the sailors on how easy it is to sail the GC32 on foils!
CHARITY RACE – The Imoca 60 Hugo Boss has won the Hugo Boss Watches Charity Race in New York 29th May 2014. The Hugo Boss Watches Manhattan Charity Race provided an opportunity for corporate guests and members of the press to gain a small taste of life on board these powerful state of the art, shorthanded offshore racing yachts. Among Hugo Boss’ guests was Jimmy Graham, an NFL player and several stars of the New York fashion world.
Each of the boats was racing for a charity of their choice. Hugo Boss team received a US$ 10,000 donation from Hugo Boss Watches, to be awarded at the post-race prize giving in North Cove Marina.
The Imoca Ocean masters New York to Barcelona Race is a new race in the World Championship Series. It tarts on 1st of June from New York. The expected ETA in Barcelona is around 12-15th June. 5 crews will take the start: Ryan Breymaier and Pepe Ribes (Hugo Boss), Marc Guillemot and Morgan Lagravière (Safran), Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin (Gaes), Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz (Neutrogena), Nandor Fa and Marcell Goszleth (Spirit of Hungary)
SAILOR PROFILES – Alex Maloney and Molly Meech are two of competitive sailing’s most formidable athletes on the open ocean. After winning the world title last year, they’ve set their sights on earning a spot at the 2016 Rio games, and won’t let up until they get there! Check out this well done Red Bull video on these two extremely dedicated and talented sailors above.
AWMRT – London, UK (29th May 2014): Like Phil Robertson, Swede Björn Hansen has been hovering around the podium for the last two seasons on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, finishing second in 2012 and fourth last year. He reigned supreme on home waters, winning his third Stena Match Cup Sweden last year and followed this up with a third at Chicago Match Cup, but before this had failed to make the top eight in Korea. A shade more consistency through the season and Hansen stands every chance of taking the elusive big prize this season.
One of the main aspects for a team to remain consistent is its crew and for 2014 Hansen will be racing with the same line-up as he has had for the last couple of seasons. This comprises well known Swedish fighter pilot tactician/mainsail trimmer Gustav Tempelman, Danish headsail trimmer Phillip Kai Guhle, pitman Sebastian Wedel and the longest member of Hansens’ team, bowman Mathias Bredin, who has been sailing regularly with him for ten years now and helps Hansen run the project.
As Hansen explains: “We sat down after last season and discussed whether to continue or not and we all agreed if we were going to do it, we’d only do it with the same five of us. We really think we have a good shot at the World Championship title if we are doing it together and if each one of us tries to improve a little bit. So everyone signed up for that and hopefully we will go all the way this year.”
So why does Hansen repeatedly keep coming back to the World Tour? “It’s because I think match racing is a fantastic type of sailing – you really need to be good on the rules, preferably better than the umpires! I get very frustrated when I go back to fleet racing, when you don’t have the umpires on the water and you know that people around you don’t know the rules as well as you. When they break a rule, they don’t even know they break a rule and if you want to protest, you know you’ll be in the protest room for hours…”
In addition to this, Hansen points out that match racing on the World Tour is also the fairest type of sailing because everyone uses the same equipment. “You cannot put in €300,000 extra and get an extra 0.2 knots – that is impossible in match racing. The only way to become better is to keep on practising and having good people around you, having good crew members. That really attracts me.”
This year the Alpari World Match Racing Tour features three new Tour Card holders. On the line-up for 2014, Hansen says: “I feel and I say this every year, but I think it is true that the Alpari World Match Racing Tour is getting better and better each year, and with Richard and Bruni coming back, it is a really strong line up. Young Mr Gilmour is going to upset quite a few people in the regattas. I think he will be on a steep learning curve, but by the end of the season, we will definitely see him on the podium at a few regattas. Maybe he won’t win the World Championship title this year, but, I would say all of the other seven crews can if they have a good year. That’s good for the tour, good for media and it’s pretty much good for everyone.”
Like Australia and New Zealand, Denmark and Sweden have a lengthy tradition in match racing, which Hansen and his crew are continuing. However Hansen advises that there is likely to be a transition coming soon.
“We have been struggling a bit in Stockholm for the last five or so years to get young sailors to commit to match racing. The problem is that we have had several quite strong Swedish teams recently, with Magnus Holmberg, Johnie Berntsson, Mattias Rahm and ourselves, and we’ve all been fighting for the spots at the Stena Match Cup Sweden and it has been impossible for anyone else to get in. But now Magnus has stopped, and I don’t think Johnie or I will be doing this for too many more years, I think it will be an opportunity for a few young crews to come in. There are some doing really well in Gothenburg at the moment.”
In the meantime, Hansen would like to nail the World Championship title finally. “We try to make our practice very good quality, we plan our practice well in advance – really pinpoint our weaknesses and our individual weaknesses, so we all have a few areas that we can work on for this year. If everyone raises their level a little bit, we can go all the way.”
As to the Alpari World Match Racing Tour venues this year, Hansen is one of the few on the World Tour who has previously raced in the Sopot, Poland, where there is a new event this season. “It’s a fantastic venue, I think that will be a really nice event. They will put on a great show. They have one of these piers like in the south of England – it’s a holiday place for Polish people.”
Hansen is now 47, making him the oldest skipper on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, although he is keen to point out that his crew is younger. “Maybe I am a little bit childish, which is why we work well together! It feels like we have a good set-up. The guy I started racing keelboats with always said ‘a happy boat is a fast boat’ and it was always great fun sailing with him, so I am trying to keep it that way on our boat. We are doing this because we think it is extremely fun and when we don’t think it is fun anymore we should do something else.”
Follow Björn Hansen and his team on the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour at www.wmrt.com and Twitter @worldmrt
The 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour championship kicks off at Match Race Germany next week beginning 5 June – 9 June. The Alpari World Match Racing Tour is one of five special events sanctioned under the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) including America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race, the Extreme Sailing Series and the PWA World Tour.
CLIPPER RACE – With the ridge of high pressure showing no signs of dispersing, it’s been another frustrating 24 hours for the fleet. However, with the Ocean Sprint in touching distance who will overcome the challenging conditions and sprint to victory to claim a further two bonus points in Race 13 – the Grange Hotels Trophy?
With just 25 miles currently separating the top half of the fleet, GREAT Britain has narrowly stolen the lead after escaping the dreaded wind hole and climbing an impressive three places up the leaderboard. Skipper of the UK entry, Simon Talbot, describes the last 24 hours:
“You may remember that we spent much of yesterday in close quarters racing with OneDLL which culminated overnight in us both ending up in a wind hole. Now thankfully we managed to escape the wind hole after a few hours but then spent the rest of the night and this morning in little more than 4 to 5 knots of breeze so we have had our work cut out to keep the boat moving.”
Meanwhile, Team Garmin and Jamaica Get All Right, which elected to tack east of the rhumb line, continue to battle to make gains of the rest of the fleet. Having won the last Ocean Sprint, the crew on Jamaica Get All Right have their sights firmly on the prize as skipper Pete Stirling explains:
“The forecast is for the wind to slowly build from the south west and that should hopefully see the end of the ultra-light wind sailing conditions for this race. The Ocean Sprint start line is just 70 miles ahead of us and by this time tomorrow we should be well and truly in sprint mode with good wind and boat speed. We won the last Ocean Sprint on the race from San Francisco to Panama and will be doing our very best to get the double.”
The Ocean Sprint lies between the lines of latitudes 30N and 32N, and the fastest yacht to cross the gate will be awarded two bonus points.
Meanwhile, the African sponsored entry, skippered by Rich Gould, is suffering the frustrating conditions of the dreaded wind hole, as Rich details the painfully slow progress of his team which currently lies in last place:
“Well what can I say about today? Not a lot if truth be told, in the last 12 hours we have only covered 18 miles!
“The wind has been light to non existent all day which has kept progress at a painfully slow minimum. The ridge of high pressure that is upon us does not seem to be showing any signs of moving off any time soon and the fully powered up double figure speeds of 36 hours ago now seem like nothing but a distant memory.”
To keep up-to-date with the fleet check the Race Viewer
To read all the skipper reports click here
THE GREAT CUP 32 – Watch the second day of flying cats and sailors live! The racing starts at 11 am CET (Central European Time) to 3:30 pm today! Go to the website – CLICK HERE. If you missed it check out the promo video above – more to come through out the day.
CLIPPER RACE – The dreaded forecast lighter winds have arrived as the fleet tackles the ridge of a high pressure system. Henri Lloyd has now relinquished its lead, as Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Old Pulteney have stormed to the top of the leaderboard eager to challenge for the impending Ocean Sprint points.
Patrick Van der Zijden – skipper of Old Pulteney – which currently lies in second place – has so far played a successful tactical game after claiming one bonus point in the Scoring Gate. He reflects on the close match racing in his skipper report today:
“We are half way through this race mileage wise, and are still neck and neck with our nearest competitors and good friends Derry~Londonderry~Doire, who is only a mile away. This afternoon the wind lightened and changed enough to hoist our mediumweight kite which helped us average speeds of 9 to 10 knots.”
While GREAT Britain has swapped it’s ‘dance partner’ for OneDLL, Switzerland, skippered by Vicky Ellis, has climbed into fourth place. She was relieved to have parted company after some very close racing:
“After having sailed with the company of GREAT Britain in our wake for several days we have finally filed for separation this morning and they have shifted off east to go and play with OneDLL. This is a bit of welcome relief as the racing last night was close, very close, nearly too close (well it was GREAT Britain).”
“GREAT Britain got so close on a few occasions her bow navigation lights were illuminating our aft deck. You could have read a map, and their bowsprit was so close to us at points I nearly made my helmsman wear a hard hat! Very exciting stuff, I hope it made Simon’s birthday!”
While the fleet battle the lighter winds and the mix fortunes it brings with it, Team Garmin which saw its closest rival Jamaica Get All Right take a lead of just 10 miles, remains focussed and upbeat.
Skipper Jan Ridd said: “Hopefully the rest of the fleet will now slow down as we all enter this ridge of high pressure. We were all aware of this ridge and we could not see any practical way to avoid sailing through it, but as always we hoped that all the fleet would be affected equally.
“The crew have been working hard with all sail combinations trying to maximise our boat speed.”
To keep up-to-date with the fleet check the Race Viewer
To read all the skipper reports click here
A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS – My boat building friend came up with this a few years back. Nautical Playing Cards are a very cool deck of cards that make memorizing the International Code Flags and Phonetic Alphabet a breeze! You learn passively while playing regular card games like black jack, poker, gin, go fish or whatever floats your boat.
Code flags are important for racing sailors because they are used at every regatta for course instructions and committee boat communications. A gift idea for anyone who likes boating or the sea! Save 20% – one deck of cards only $11.97 with free shipping. Click on the 30 second video above then go to www.NauticalPlayingCards.com
EXTREME SAILING – Land Rover Global Brand Ambassador Hannah White caught up with two-times winner of the Extreme Sailing Series™ Paul Campbell-James, who has made a welcome return to the Extreme Sailing Series™ in 2014, about the formation of a new team, being the ‘underdogs’ and what motivates him.
ATLANTIC CUP – Gryphon Solo 2 skippered by Joe Harris and Patrick O’Connor, held on to first place overall in the 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing after a tight weekend of inshore racing. Both Gryphon Solo 2 and #116 – JeffreyMacFarlane.com were tied at the end of racing today, however per the Notice of Race, all ties are broken in favor of the boat with the most points earned among the two offshore legs, which was Gryphon Solo 2. The weather on day 1 of the inshore series delivered wind speeds consistently in the upper teens, but in day 2 the wind was variable from 7-12 knots making for a challenging two days of inshore racing in Narragansett Bay. #39 Pleiad Racing dominated the inshore series by winning three of the five races, en route to securing third overall.
Gryphon Solo 2 bested the field during the first offshore leg (Charleston, S.C. to N.Y. Harbor) and placed 3rd in the second leg (N.Y. Harbor to Newport, R.I.). JeffreyMacFarlane.com finished 1st in the second leg and 4th in the first leg. Both teams finished the overall racing with 31 total combined points. However, per the Notice of Race, the tie is broken in favor of the team scoring the most points in the offshore legs, which was Gryphon Solo 2. With the victory Gryphon Solo 2 claims $4,000 of the $15,000 purse, one of the largest in sailing in the United States.
106-Gryphon Solo 2 Skipper Joe Harris: “It feels great, we really got off on the right foot by winning leg one. Going into the inshore series, I was nervous because the boat is very fussy; less than 8 knots and she doesn’t want to go more than 8 knots and she gets up and starts flying. This is my third Atlantic Cup, I got third place in 2012, 4th last year, so to have a win this year is terrific, the level of competition was extremely high, so it’s a really satisfying win”
Jeff MacFarlane, Skipper of #116 – www.JeffreyMacFarlane.com said, “I was really impressed with the boat and our crew, we didn’t make a lot of bad decisions this weekend. I’m happy, the boat was going fast especially considering after the first leg where things weren’t looking good overall, but we really were able to get it going. It’s tough to lose in a tie-break, but it this is good overall.”
Hugh Piggin, Manuka Sports Event Management Founder and Atlantic Cup Race Director – “Once again we are very proud to have a terrific team with us to put together another successful event. A huge amount of effort goes into making this event a success from all of our sponsors, volunteers and staff. Every year I think competition can’t get any closer, but it does which goes to show how great this style of racing really is. We congratulate all of the competitors especially Gryphon Solo 2 in winning one of the closest grand prix regattas in the U.S.”
PHOTO BY BILLY BLACK
THE GREAT CUP – In a few days the first event of the season kicks off. GC32 Racing starts this year at Lake Traunsee at the GC32 Austria Cup event. It will be a very exciting event, as it is the first race with the ‘new’ full foiling GC32.
We are proud to announce that the GC32 Racing series will be live broadcasted at www.thegreatcup.com, www.sailinganarchy.com and www.gc32.at. You can watch the live stream every day from 11am till 3pm CET. The races will be held from the 28th of May till the 1st of June. The live stream team production team consists of 12 members, all individually specialized in an area of expertise.
8 teams will compete every day at Lake Traunsee. And the list of teams and team members is looking very good! We have teams from France, Denmark, Austria, Italy, the Uk, and so on. We have Olympic sailors, America’s Cup teams, Extreme Sailing series teams and many others!
AWMRT -London: Italian Francesco Bruni may not have done much keelboat match racing in recent years, but the talented match racer has always shown a remarkable talent for learning the ropes quickly. As the 2014 Alpari World Match Racing Tour prepares to kick off in Germany next week, AWMRT speaks to the America’s Cup skipper from Luna Rossa about his most challenging Tour ever – CLICK HERE FOR THE INTERVIEW.
OCEAN MASTERS RACE – For someone who is not a professional sailor, to go on a trip on an IMOCA 60 is a rare privilege. Charlotte Guillemot and Christophe Favreau, two of the communications team members of Open Sports Management (OSM), event organisers of the IMOCA Ocean Masters New York to Barcelona Race, were both able to take part in the prologue race between Newport, Rhode Island, and New York.
For Guillemot (daughter of Safran skipper Marc’s cousin) and Favreau, this provided them with a clearer idea of the work of the on board ‘media crewmen’ who, for the transatlantic race, are charged with writing and sending in blogs, taking great photos and video footage and then transferring these across to the comms team back ashore in Barcelona. During the race the media crewmen will also answer any specific team and media requests made during the race – the first time the IMOCA Ocean Masters circuit has featured a dedicated on board media person during a major offshore race. Their objective is clear: to use the various media to provide followers of the race a glimpse of what life is like on board these extreme yachts as they experience ‘life on the inside’, something that the skippers sometimes struggle to achieve while they focus on trying to race their boats as fast as possible.
French photo journalist Christophe Favreau, was on board Team GAES and shared his impressions of the voyage from Newport to New York overnight on Saturday: “The first thing I will remember from this experience is that one has to remain constantly attentive and not be distracted by the incredible environment around you.
To sail onboard an IMOCA 60 is amazing, but you have to be careful not to forget that before taking any enjoyment out of it, the media guy has to work, to take images that will allow him to share the story about a pair of skippers racing across the Atlantic.
Photo and video camera in hand, it is all about finding the best angles that show the intensity that goes into racing a complex yacht such as this. Fortunately conditions were relatively manageable with never more than 15 knots of wind and calm seas that made the work relatively easy for me during the 150 mile race. It even allowed me to climb the mast to get a little height for my shooting, but it is easy to imagine that it would become much more complicated when the weather turns bad and the boat starts to slam into the waves with a violent action. Added to the difficulty of taking images is then the discomfort of working inside the boat. These IMOCA 60s are very rigid and solid and they quickly become uncomfortable and very noisy on board.
The second point that I think is important is to ensure the skippers ‘forget that you are there’. Under the race rules each media man is prohibited from helping the sailing crew race the boat. They must not interfere with any of the manoeuvre, even if things go wrong! They have to embed himself into the crew, and to join in the rhythm of the team – a rhythm that often can be fast and challenging and to react to whatever conditions are thrown at him.
During the prologue race on board GAES, we caught a fishing net and one of the team had to dive overboard to release it. So you have to react quickly, take photos and film as that’s an important story to tell, which shows that it is not always plain sailing on board – you have to stay alert and ready at all times, something that will be tough after a few days at sea when the tiredness starts to creep up on you..!”
French video reporter Charlotte Guillemot, was on board Safran for the Prologue race :
‘Watch and film, be everywhere, without interfering in anything’. If I had a motto for the media person, that would be it.
For me, to be in the right place at the right time, my sailing experience is always a great advantage : To know the boat well, its way of moving, understanding the different manœuvres, hoisting sails, understanding the crew intentions, in short pretty much becoming part of the team.
The technical terms used during sailing can be complicated and in the height of a race there is no time to explain to you what is going to happen with each move. It is up to you to be in the place you need to be and absolutely vital that you don’t get in the way. While capturing footage you absolutely mustn’t get in the way.
The media man is not allowed to get involved in any of the racing, but that does not alleviate the fact that life on board an IMOCA 60 at times is very uncomfortable. These are tough spartan boats that are built for speed, with no creature comforts and you feel that – even as the media guy. You have to share a communal bunk, eat freeze dried food, and the facilities for washing and the toilet are basic in the extreme !
But even given all that, this trip on Safran was a privilege for me. To be part of this great team, to feel almost like a proper part of the crew, but in particular to be the eyes of the people who will see the footage I shoot – this was an incredible experience.”
I’ve had a taste of offshore sailing, while doing my filming job and I want more !!
CLIPPER RACE – It’s been a tense 24 hours for the 12-strong matched fleet, as the battle to be the first team across the Scoring Gate and secure 3, 2, 1 points respectively, meant a fierce battle ensued. Henri Lloyd fought of stiff competition and stormed to victory to the claim the maximum points.
However, it was a tightly fought battle for the final points up for grabs as the results show that just three minutes separated OneDLL and Old Pulteney who went onto claim second and third place respectively. Skipper of OneDLL, Olly Cotterell, described the close battle that culminated in the top half of the fleet sprinting towards the Scoring Gate.
“Fast forward to the Scoring Gate and the gap between us Old Pulteney and Derry~Londonderry~Doire is tiny with Switzerland and GREAT Britain still only a few miles behind as Henri Lloyd has managed to creep onto the horizon. This is seriously close racing. I think we managed to hold off a long and sustained attack by Derry~Londonderry~Doire and Old Pulteney to get second through the Scoring Gate.”
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for the Northern Irish team,
Derry~Londonderry~Doire, who after being hit by a badly-timed squall missed out on third place by just three minutes. Skipper, Sean McCarter describes the incident:
“We’ve been battling it out last night and today with Old Pulteney and OneDLL. Each boat has taken turns to share the lead and it’s been fractions of a knot here and there.
“With about 15 miles to the Scoring Gate and about 1.5 miles separating the three of us, we were not in a great position after hurricane ‘Sun-shower’. We opted for the all or nothing, aces high, shot to nothing of an incredibly tight heavyweight kite in 20 knots of breeze.”
Meanwhile, the rest of the fleet continues to make gains GREAT Britain and Switzerland’s game of ‘cat and mouse’ rumbles on with both teams neck and neck on the leaderboard.
Veteran Clipper Race skippers, Pete Stirling, skipper of Jamaica Get All Right and Jan Ridd, skipper of Team Garmin, who both competed in the Clipper 2009-10 Race, continue to prove that their historic rivalry is still very much alive. Pete Stirling, explains:
“As I write this blog we have Team Garmin just 100 metres away on our starboard beam. Despite the fact we would rather be ahead of them with a two or three mile lead this is great for both teams as it keeps the crews focussed on getting the very best speed out of our respective boats. I imagine we will be keeping company for a while longer – perhaps even to the finish line just over 900 miles away – so who knows.”
As an area of light winds forecast threatens to slow down the entire fleet in the next 24 hours, all eyes will be on the Race Viewer as Race 13 – The Grange Hotels Trophy continues.
With some of the skippers knowing the crew of Cheeki Rafiki, the British yacht that was lost in the Atlantic last week, a minute’s silence was held across the fleet on Sunday evening to remember the four sailors.
MEMORIAL DAY – From all of us at XS Sailing, please have a safe and happy Memorial Day as we remember why we have the freedom to live, breathe and sail in the USA.
MOTH SAILING – Anthony Kotoun didn’t spend much time in the lead of the 11th Hour Cup’s racing fleet on Sunday, though you wouldn’t know it from the scores; the Virgin Islands native and longtime Newport resident scored another 4 first place finishes from 5 races, identical to his scoreline from Saturday. Second-place Matt Knowles was the worst effected by Kotoun’s penchant for being in the right place at the right time; Matt led the way around the course for most of three races, only to get pipped at the pin by Kotoun in two of them. “It’s pretty frustrating to see him always lurking there waiting for his chance to pass no matter how far ahead you are,” said Knowles. “I can’t blame him – I left the opening both times by missing a puff or a layline, and he grabbed the openings and rode them to wins.”
Sunday featured the biggest spectator crowds yet at the tip of Sail Newport’s historic and picturesque Fort Adams home, with hundreds of locals and visitors enjoying the action from the Moth fleet and the ocean racers of the Atlantic Cup, sharing a starting line barely 200 meters from the crowd’s picnic blankets and folding chairs. They weren’t the only ones enjoying the scenery on Narragansett Bay, though; 11th Hour Cup leader and reigning Moth US National Champ Kotoun says he’ll never get bored racing in Newport. “I can’t think of any other place where you have all this going on at one time, and even in the middle of a race, you can’t help but love it,” said Kotoun, referring to the hundreds of sailing vessels on the water for the unofficial opening of summer. “You’ve got 12 meters in tacking duels, Class 40s from all over racing around the cans, beautiful historic schooners, Open 60s, Maxis, and cruisers and racers of every size and shape. How can you beat that?” he added.
Just one more day of racing remains for the inaugural 11th Hour Cup, with Newport’s sea breeze finally scheduled to kick in with gusto, giving Tommy Loughborough and first-time Moth racer Brooks Reed some power to play with as they fight for the final podium position. Loughborough and Reed are tied on 28 points, and the fleet expects 15-20 knots of breeze for today’s final 5 races. The action begins at 11 AM on Monday.
Relive the weekend’s racing with photos, videos, and interviews on the US Moth Class Facebook Page www.facebook.com/USMothClass, and tune in Sunday at 11 AM for racing. Photos and videos of the racing can be found in the gallery here www.facebook.com/USMothClass/photos_albums.
RESULTS AFTER 10 RACES (Top 5 Only)
1 – Anthony Kotoun – Newport, RI – 8 Points
2 – Matt Knowles – Boston, MA – 16 Points
3 – Tom Loughborough – Newport, RI – 28 Points
4 – Brooks Read – Cambridge, MA – 28 Points
5 – Zach Maxam – Costa Mesa, CA – 35 Points
CLIPPER RACE – It’s been an exhausting 24 hours for the 12-strong fleet with the teams matching each other tack for tack as they beat upwind through the Windward Passage to the Virtual Mark off the coast of Cuba. However, with the fleet reluctantly playing follow the leader, who will be the first team to break free and challenge Henri Lloyd for the lead in Race 13 – The Grange Hotels Trophy?
As Henri Lloyd now leads the pack the majority of the fleet has now exited Windward Passage. Skipper of Henri Lloyd, Eric Holden, knows the next big decision for the fleet will be what tactics to deploy as the teams navigate around, and through, the tropical islands and reefs in the Bahamas.
“This is one of the tightest races yet and any team could come out on top. There are now lots of reefs and islands to sail around to add to the challenge as you don’t know which way teams are going to decide to leave them. It is no longer the follow the leader upwind sailing we’ve just been doing. Fantastic nail biting racing!”
Meanwhile, skipper of PSP Logistics, Chis Hollis, describes how tightly packed the fleet has been during the last 24 hours, resulting in a very close encounter with its nearest rivals.
“The time did come to hoist the Yankee 3 just before we were approaching our lay line to the Windward Passage mark. Up went the sail, up went the speed! We nearly crossed in front of Jamaica Get All Right, but ended up dropping in just to leeward of them on the lay line, and both of us crossed Mission Performance. Now the three of us are fully powered up to the max, in hot pursuit of Team Garmin which is only four miles ahead. So, we are in stall for a tasty night indeed!”
Meanwhile, the varied conditions of the Windward Passage have seen Qingdao fall to the back of the fleet, as the team continues to beat upwind eager to make gains on the rest of the fleet. Skipper, Gareth Glover explains his frustration: “We have been having problems with upwind speed like the other yachts, and again we found ourselves alongside GREAT Britain and Switzerland. Again we watched as they sailed higher and faster then us and we lost lead to them by 10 miles. We are trying to gain that back however whatever we do we just can’t seem get Qingdao to go upwind like the other yachts.”
MOTH SAILING – Unseasonably cold temperature and winds up to 15 knots welcomed the high-flying International Moth fleet to Narragansett Bay on Saturday for the inaugural 11th Hour Cup regatta, with long time Newport local and reigning US National Champion Anthony Kotoun sailing a nearly flawless day to lead the fleet. Boston-based attorney Matt Knowles found the only chink in Kotoun’s armor on the fifth and final race of the day, when a dropping breeze allowed the lightweight Knowles to sail away to a nearly one-minute win over the fleet.
“It’s always nice to have a good lead, but this 11th Hour Cup is much bigger than that,” said Kotoun, who also serves as the regatta organizer for the event. “It provides an opportunity for the US Moth Class and Class Partner 11th Hour Racing to get together and brainstorm on where we want to take our partnership for the coming year.”
Newport-based 11th Hour Racing, a program of the Schmidt Family Foundation, seeks to mobilize the sailing and marine industry to create systemic change for the improved health of our oceans, and Program Director Kate Neubauer said the organization is extremely excited about their continuing partnership with the US Moth Class.
“Anyone who loves the water can’t help but be fascinated by these athletes with their state-of-the-art foiling boats,” said Neubauer, on site to train the Moth racers as ‘ambassadors’ for 11th Hour’s mission. “Moth sailors spend more time in the water than any other sailor, and between that and the fact that the tiniest bit of trash on a foil can destroy a sailor’s day, we’ve found the Moth Class to be the perfect partner for helping us spread our message of environmental sustainability to sailors around the world.”
Relive Saturday’s racing with photos, videos, and interviews on the US Moth Class Facebook Page, and tune in Sunday at 11 AM for racing. Photos and videos of the racing can be found in the gallery here at www.facebook.com/USMothClass/photos .
RESULTS AFTER 5 RACES (Top 5 Only)
1 – Anthony Kotoun – Newport – 7 Points
2 – Matt Knowles – Boston – Miami – 11 Points
3 – Tom Loughborough – Newport – 14 Points
4 – Brooks Read – Cambridge – 19 Points
5 – Jason Carroll – New York – 25 Points
ATLANTIC CUP – Turn down the sound on this one – The Atlantic Cup started its third and final leg racing today with its Inshore Series in Narragansett Bay.
Dragon was leading the first race of the day en route to the first mark when they hit a rock just off Jamestown. Emma Creighton, their bowman, was launched into the water, but was quickly retrieved.
The team withdrew from the race and motored back to the Newport Shipyard to assess the damage. Upon pulling the boat out of the water they discovered major damage to the keel box and have withdrawn from the remainder of the inshore series.
Click Here for the event website.
CLIPPER RACE – Race 13 – The Grange Hotels Trophy from Port Antonio, Jamaica to New York, USA got underway today at 1330 local time (1830 UTC) from the Folly Point Lighthouse by Port Antonio.
PSP Logistics, Old Pulteney, and Derry~Londonderry~ Doire crossed the line first, in that order in a beautifully close fought race start after heavy monsoon conditions and thunder this morning cleared up.
Mark Light, Deputy Race Director explained: “A typically Caribbean easterly breeze of about 12 to 15 knots allowed for a stunning, tropical start to Race 13: The Grange Hotels Trophy, to New York. After a short delay to get the committee start boat on station, the start line was set and the fleet were busy jostling for position during pre-start.
“At 1330 the gunshot sounded from Coastguard Cutter HMJS Cornwall and an impressive start ensued and in my opinion, one of the most hotly contested in the Clipper Race so far. PSP Logistics timed its start superbly, followed very closely by Old Pulteney and Derry~Londonderry~Doire and the rest of the fleet, looking magnificent as it heading away up wind.”
After leaving the Jamaican coastline, the fleet is now heading into lighter winds near the Windward Passage, which marks the exit from the Caribbean Sea into the Atlantic Ocean.
The 1420 mile race will see the crews experience wind from every point of the compass as the yachts head away from the steady Caribbean trade winds into the variable winds associated with the depressions coming from the North American land mass.
Speaking this morning ahead of the race start, Eric Holden, Skipper of Henri Lloyd, the overall ClipperRace leaders said: “I’m telling my crew to expect anything in this race, downwind reaching, calms, strong wind, so like I said, it is kind of hard to plan for this one. Just need to adapt to the situation as it comes. Things will evolve pretty quick once you get the low pressures coming off the eastern seaboard.”
Switzerland skipper Vicky Ellis summarised the fleets opinion on its stopover as she said: “The Jamaica stopover’s been fantastic. We haven’t had a stopover like this with days off since I don’t know when, so for the crews and for the skippers, it has been a wonderful respite. Thank you to everyone in Jamaica for making us feel so welcome. It has been a fantastic stopover and we are leaving feeling very refreshed.”
The race 13 course includes an elective Scoring Gate and an Ocean Sprint section between the lines of latitudes 30N and 32N. As usual, each yacht will also have the opportunity to use one 24 hour period of Stealth Mode.
The estimated fleet arrival into New York is 31 May, where the winning team will receive the Grange Hotels Trophy and a celebratory hamper.
To read all the skippers quotes ahead of race start, CLICK HERE
To view the fleets progress in Race 13: The Grange Hotels Trophy CLICK HERE
THE POWER OF THE SEA – Check out this video of how the crew reacts to dropping off a huge wave that most sailors never want to see. It is truly amazing how large ships and freighters handle mother nature at its worse… 44 seconds of terror.
SAILING IN MICRONESIA – Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests at Satawal in Micronesia go for a sail aboard a traditionally made vessel still in use by islanders. Video by James Napoli. Now this is sailing ‘old school’!
MENORCA MAXI 2014 – Incredible photos of the racing in Menorca including the magnificent America Cup J boats. Check out the images HERE.
SAFETY AT SEA – The U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed the life raft aboard the capsized sailing vessel Cheeki Rafiki was secured in its storage space in the aft portion of the boat, Friday, indicating it was not used for emergency purposes.
A U.S. Navy warship smallboat crew and surface swimmer captured underwater imagery clearly identifying the raft in its storage space. The image was shared with and acknowledged by the families.
The U.S. Coast Guard made an announcement, Thursday, that search operations would be suspended at midnight, Friday, unless new information or sightings suggested the crew would still be alive.
RACING – On July 19th, The Offshore Yachting Club of Rhodes is organizing for the 18th year the international sailing week “RODOS CUP 2014” in the paradisian Dodecanese islands. The aim of the event is to promote Offshore Sailing by uniting as many sailors as possible, giving them the opportunity to enjoy the wind, sea and sun of the Greek islands.
Starting from the island of Hippocrates – Kos, we will visit the islands of Nisiros, Symi and the sun island of Rhodes. The regatta constitutes an invitation and at the same time a challenge for sailing holidays in the Dodecanese. Dodecanese lies in the Aegean sea and offers challenging and demanding sailing conditions. Rodos Cup 2014 is a unique opportunity to experience the natural beauties, the sights, the rich traditions as well as the Hellenic warm hospitality.
SAILING HISTORY IN THE MAKING – A modern version of an ancient sailing vessel will leave Hawaii next week on its longest ocean voyage. Relying on wind and stars to guide it, the Hokulea will chase the horizon for 47,000 miles, dropping anchor at 85 ports on six continents.
COOL BOAT DESIGNS – No sound in this video but don’t need it to enjoy the beauty of this mono-hull maxi. Truly a sweeet ride!
HAPPY HOUR FRIDAY – The Tipsy Bartender says the 1800 Coconut Tequila is super hot right now. They show you how to make your own…COCONUT INFUSED TEQUILA for that tropical feeling. Always entertaining and great recipes for the boat at anchor. Drink Responsibly!
WETA SAILING – Last year’s Weta training camp in Ventura was so much fun, we’re gonna do it again! Join us for some great summer sailing in Ventura, California on the weekend of June 22-23. Spend Saturday with an on-the-water coach for some skill-building and camaraderie and a sail a few miles up or down the coast, and enjoy Sunday with three to five short, fun races. This event coincides with Summer Sailstice www.summersailstice.com , so you can do both at the same time!
Can’t dedicate the whole weekend? Choose a day! The Saturday activities will be geared toward folks who want more time on the water and would like some coaching to increase their skill handling a Weta. Sunday will be fun racing and a good opportunity for racing noobs to practice starts and mark rounding with a fleet of us. Ventura consistently serves up great sailing conditions in the summer, with winds in the low to high teens, so there will be fun for everyone. Check out the schedule for more details. You don’t want to miss this!
Did I mention, all this is FREE! Big shout out to Wetamarine and Pierpont Performance Sailing for helping us put this together.
Don’t have a boat? Don’t want to bring your boat? Flying in from out of town? Pierpont Performance Sailing has one of their Wetas still available to charter for this event. Here’s some more info from the web site at http://www.pierpontperformancesailing.com/events/2nd-annual-weta-training-camp/
SAFETY AT SEA – Check out this real attack by pirates in skiffs against a freighter. The freighter has onboard a private security service hired to protect the ship in case of events like this. Watch the whole video as a second skiff surprises the security team. What would you do if you were attacked by pirates?
505 SAILING – The 5O5 North American Championship enjoyed good wind in Santa Cruz for their Wednesday practice race. 20+ boats lined up for the 2:30 rabbit start and the first boat made the windward mark in just under fifteen minutes followed by a downwind run in less than ten. Today they start racing! For the event website CLICK HERE.
ANDREW SIMPSON UPDATE – The death of Olympic sailing gold medallist Andrew Simpson was accidental, a coroner has ruled.
The assistant coroner said the medical cause of Simpson’s death should be recorded as “blunt trauma with drowning”.
Known as Bart, the 36-year-old, from Sherborne in Dorset, was killed in San Francisco Bay on 9 May 2013.
The inquest in Bournemouth heard the father-of-two died while training for the America’s Cup with Artemis Racing.
He was one of 11 people on board the AC72 catamaran when he became trapped underneath it, after it capsized and broke into pieces.
During the 15-minute inquest, Richard Middleton, assistant coroner for Dorset, said Simpson had been trapped underneath the vessel for approximately 10 minutes before being pulled from the water.
He had been performing a “bear away” manoeuvre – turning downwind – when the catamaran’s hull dug into the water, causing it to capsize.
“I have heard how he sustained injuries, predominantly to his head and neck.
“I am sure that it is probable Mr Simpson’s cause of death arose as a consequence of a deliberate human act which has unintentionally and unexpectedly taken a turn that has led to his death.
“Mr Simpson died as a result of an accident,” Mr Middleton said.
He added that Simpson’s death was a “tremendous loss to the sailing community”.
Simpson, Iain Percy and Sir Ben Ainslie had been part of Sir Keith Mills’ Team Origin campaign to try to build a British challenger to compete for the America’s Cup.
Sir Keith later pulled Team Origin out of the event.
Simpson won gold alongside Percy at the 2008 Olympics and silver at London 2012 in the Star discipline.
Following his death, a foundation was established by Percy, Sir Ben and Simpson’s widow, Leah.