The Clearwater, FL 49er and 49er FX Worlds are live for the final two days of the regatta, when numerous qualification battles for Rio 2016 will be decided, while Pete Burling and Blair Tuke humiliate everyone else. The iconic Peter Lester leads the commentary over a mix of drone and on-board video, and it’s worth a watch. Results over here.
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The 2015 edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race start this Saturday (17 October) in Malta’s Grand Harbour. Over 100 yachts will be competing, flying the flags of 22 countries.
The 36th edition of the race has a record number of 11 canting keel carbon fibre flyers racing, and weather permitting all of these high performance yachts are capable of breaking the course record, which has stood since George David’s Rambler 90 record run of 2007 (47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds).
Leading the assault on the course record will be George David himself, racing the Juan K designed American Maxi, Rambler 88, with an all-star crew including; Brad Jackson, Andrew Cape, Joca Signorini, Rodney Ardern, Simon Daubney, Robbie Naismith, Lorenzo Mazza, Stu Wilson, Nathan Hislop, Jan Dekker, Jerry Kirby, Scott Beavis and Curtis Blewitt.
Two hi-tech multihulls will be racing in the MOCRA Class and both are very capable of beating Rambler 88 around the 606-mile course. Lloyd Thornburg’s American MOD 70, Phaedo3, has been smashing world records since being launched last year. Phaedo3 is co-skippered by British sailor, Brian Thompson, who was part of the crew on Banque Populaire V, for the outright round the world record (Jules Verne Trophy).
Californian Peter Aschenbrenner will be racing his 63-foot Nigel Irens designed trimaran, Paradox. Whilst on paper, Phaedo3 is faster than Paradox, under the MOCRA rating rule, Paradox beat Phaedo3 in this year’s Rolex Fastnet Race. Paradox crew includes the world speed record holder, Paul Larsen, who achieved over 65 knots in Sailrocket in 2012.
Last year’s overall winner, Lee Satariano’s Maltese J/122 Artie (top picture), will be aiming for a third win, which is unprecedented in the 47-year history of the race. Speaking ahead of the event, Satariano said: “It looks like it might be a light wind start, which will suit us, but the weather forecast is very changeable.
“We have much the same crew as last year and we are ready to race. Some weather models are showing light winds for the first two days, followed by a south-easterly wind, which would really suit Artie. However, there are a number of extremely well sailed boats that will also benefit from the scenario.”
The overall winner of the Rolex Middle Sea Race and the coveted Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy is decided by the best-corrected time under the IRC handicap system. Last year, the competitors experienced flat calm to storm force winds, which makes predicting the overall winner very difficult.
The 606-mile Rolex Middle Sea Race at 11am on Saturday, with seven starts for the fleet according to the yachts’ category.
If you fancy a January 2016 full of seriously fun racing and a nine day party in Barbados, this could be for you.It may seem forever away, but Mount Gay’s 80th Round Barbados Series will be here before we know it.
It runs from 16-24 January and, if you’d like to chase the January blues away with some racing fun in the sun, the time to sign up is now.
It features three days of coastal racing, the Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race (the headline event), and the chance to contest a final 300-mile Ocean Race to Antigua to tie up with the Superyacht Challenge.
If speed is your thing, there’s a chance for teams to win their skipper’s weight in rum – the prize for the fastest time if any of the 14 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race records are broken.
There will also be rum-fuelled parties, a visit to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, and the chance to soak up the colonial-style Bajan hospitality at an exhibition polo match on lay day. What a way to start the year.
VOR – While we wait for the start of the next leg of the VOR here is a good video of the sailor who can’t help sail the boat… the onboard reporter. Every boat in the Volvo Ocean Race has an Onboard Reporter dedicated to capturing the stories of the race and the crew. The reporter is not allowed to do anything at all sailing related. Get a glimpse into the life of our onboard reporters in this behind-the scenes video. Check it out above!
VOR – SCA and MAPFRE have jibed first putting SCA in the lead. It was short lived though as the teams going off to the west made out big. Below is a short explanation of the decision making being made:
GO EAST OR WEST?
“No one wants to be the first or the last to gybe.
“When someone gybes, the others follow not to lose ground in the short term. People worry a lot about what’s printed on the Internet!”
Andrew Cape jokes through the Inmarsat iSat phone from the middle of the Arabian Sea. Team Brunel are in second position, steadily catching up miles on the first boat, Dongfeng.
And their navigator is tired – he didn’t sleep for the first three days after leaving Abu Dhabi for Sanya, but there is one big call coming and he won’t miss it.
Go east, or west?
On the face of it, it’s a fairly simple dilemma.
Go east, and you get closer to the Indian shore. It’s tempting, because it cuts the corner to the Cape Comorin and Sri Lanka, and allows you to escape the light airs of the high-pressure system currently sitting southwest of the fleet.
But the forecast confidence is low, and you’d have to sail through a series of low-pressure troughs, navigation hazards and fishing fleet.
Ah, and the closer you get to the coast, the more you’re affected by the thermal variations of the wind.
Still tempted? Well, look at the other option available.
Go west, and you’ll follow a safer offshore route. The monsoon situation should be clearer and the breeze, steadier. There are less risks of encountering a floating object, and it places you for a safer approach of Sri Lanka.
“If there was no other boats, I’d go offshore,” admits Capey.
He should know: he’s done the race five times before, and once with his skipper Bouwe Bekking.
So these are the two options available to him and to the five other navigators. That’s without counting with the fleet tactics and the wind direction though.
If the first boats go one way, the ones at the back are likely to follow. And if the wind shifts to the east, they will all have to gybe to change tack.
“It looks like people are already committing to the offshore option, from what I’ve seen,” adds the Aussie.
“There have already been a lot of major decisions to make, but we all went at the same time because everyone was so close and could see each other. The gybe tonight will be pretty much the same.
“We’re only four days into this leg: no one wants to take a long-term decision yet. No one wants to be a long way from the opposition. We’ve got a lot a variability to come in the Bay of Bengal and the Malacca Strait.”
By the time we wake up tomorrow, the six boats should have gybed. But whether they follow each other or not, whether they split up or not, well, no- one quite knows.
The game is on, and Capey loves it.
“It may look very boring on the Internet, like everyone is sailing the same way, but when you’re on the boat, you’re getting little puffs, gaining 100 metres, and they make a huge difference in the long run.”
He insists on the “huge”, with his heavy accent.
“Look, we were last out of the Gulf and we slowly worked our way back in second.
“No, it’s good sailing. It’s tricky!”
See if the girls can stay ahead or if the teams going offshore will launch them back into the lead: FOLLOW THE FLEET BY CLICKING HERE!
CLIPPER RACE – Have you ever wanted to know what life is like on board the world’s longest ocean race? No previous sailing experience is necessary as full training is provided and organizers supply a fleet of twelve identical racing yachts, each with a fully qualified skipper to safely guide their amateur crew as they compete around the world.
The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race is visiting St Katharine Docks, London this weekend and invites you on board one of its specially designed 70-foot race yachts for a closer look at one of the biggest challenges of the natural world, to meet the race team and chat to former crew members who have recently completed their adventures.
Sunday 11 January: 10:00 to 16:00 – tours free of charge. West Dock, (next to Cote Brasserie restaurant), St Katharine Docks, 50 Saint Katharine’s Way, London E1W 1LA.
An endurance test like no other, the Clipper Race is 40,000 nautical miles long, takes almost a year to complete, and is the only global race of its kind for everyday people.
Starting and finishing in the UK, the race is divided into eight international legs which include a series of individually scored races which cover six continents and include the awesome experiences of the Southern, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. Crew can choose to complete the full circumnavigation or select individual race legs.
40-per cent of crew members have never sailed before they sign up and come from all over the world, including everyone from taxi drivers, to chief executives, students, rugby players, housewives, and many more.
The only qualifications participants need is a good level of fitness, to be aged 18 or older (no upper age limit), and a thirst for adventure into the unknown. The 2015-16 race starts in August and will be the tenth edition of this famous biennial event. Crew places are now 80 per cent full but places are still available on most legs.
As Central London’s only marina, St Katharine Docks is the ideal location to introduce the race to Londoners. The picturesque waterside community of offices, shops, bars and restaurants is an ideal day out in the heart of the capital.
St Katharine Docks’ Destination Manager, Caroline Young said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the Clipper Race team back to St Katharine Docks. These yachts are an impressive and rare sight, and we’re lucky to have played host to them on numerous occasions, including the incredible scenes of the 2013-14 Race Start and Finish. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in participating, who loves adventure sports, or those who just fancy a unique day out.”
To find out more, email Crew Recruitment Manager, Della Parsons on [email protected] or call the office on +44 (0) 2392 526 000
BWR – The motorway south to the Equator was opening up for the Barcelona World Race leaders this morning and British skipper Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss was back enjoying life in the fast lane. Speaking on the live video call today, when he was steering the VPLP-Verdier designed IMOCA 60 at more than 20kts in the brisk trade winds, the pleasure was written all over his face. His huge grin spoke volumes.
For Thomson and Spanish co-skipper Pepe Ribes there is the knowledge that the strongest trade winds should last at least through until Friday. There should be breeze to the Equator and the cherry on top is that the Doldrums presently look like they may open the toll barriers wide and let the leaders through without taxing their speeds more than necessary.
From their position as the most easterly boat of the fleet last night, just 17 miles off the African coast at one point, Thomson and Ribes gybed back towards the pack, sailing west again. Their strategy, as the only boat to go east of the Canary Islands, certainly did not harm them – even if Thomson admitted their angle back to the west was not as beneficial as had been hoped for – and by this Wednesday afternoon, one week after starting in Barcelona, Hugo Boss leads by about 20 miles. The battle for second to fourth is nip and tuck, GAES Centros Auditivos and Cheminees Poujoulat trading third this afternoon and Neutrogena steady second. As per the forecast, the NE’ly trade winds were at a pretty lively 30kts in the middle of the morning and slightly more is anticipated. Thomson was anticipating 32-33kts in the gusts.
The express speeds south might see them break the passage time for Barcelona to the Equator of the last edition. In 2011 the leaders Jean-Pierre Dick an d Loick Peyron – on Virbac Paprec 3, which is now the Hugo Boss of Thomson and Ribes – took 12 day 14 hours to the Equator, which they passed one hour ahead of Foncia. This time the pace is looking like they will reach the Southern Hemisphere by the morning of the 11th, or thereabouts. That is based on current meteo projections.
Of course with the bone-shaking, fast ride south so now the post-start honeymoon period of light and modest breezes is now over. The muscular trade winds and relentless pace will expose any immediate flaws in the partnerships, the race craft and equipment. Thomson emphasized how quickly a virtuous circle can quickly develop if the duos do not look after themselves and each other:
” I dont think either of us have had more than a couple of hours sleep. But we are very conscious of trying to keep the (other) man fresh, it is so important not to make a mistake in these kind of conditions. That costs you miles and then you have to work harder, that means less sleep, and them more probability of mistakes. So it is really important to look after each other.”
The battle for second, third and fourth is between well sailed Farr designs of the same generation and it is extremely close. Second was still Guillermo Altadill and Jose Munoz on the Neutrogena who are just 13 miles ahead of Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam sailing Cheminees Poujoulat. Both Cheminees Poujoulat and GAES Centros Auditivos were neck and neck and speed-gunned (measured over 30 minutes) at 17.8kts. But the Spanish duo of Anna Corbella and Gerard Marin drew praise from Thomson today for their race so far on GAES Centros Auditivos. They have maintained a high pace and lie fourth, still very much a thorn in the side for the established IMOCA duo Stamm and Le Cam.
” I think GAES has done a fantastic job, really great. They have obviously massively upped their game for this Barcelona World Race and they are definitiely contenders now. I am not surprised how close we all are, so far.” Thomson admitted today.
In many respects too the honeymoon period for the like of Aleix Gelabert and Didac Costa on One Planet One Ocean/Pharmaton is also drawing to a close. They have sailed the fleet’s oldest IMOCA 60, the former Kingfisher, astutely and with alacrity these first few days but as they line up to drive south all on the same route with the same trade winds, it is inevitable they will lose miles to those behind and ahead. They have lost 100 miles to the leaders in 24 hours, not least as they have been sailing west. As Gelabert, sixth overall, confirmed today:
” Our boat is the oldest one so it not as good a performance in the same conditions. In these conditions now the other boats are faster. Also they had more wind before us so they are going faster so it’s normal that they get way now a little bit earlier.And as for We Are Water we are not worried about We Are Water. We kn ow that she was going to catch us and Bruno and Willy are sailing well and going west is a good tactical decision also. So they will probably catch us. They have a boat with a better performance so its normal if they catch up us fast.”
Ranking at 14:00 UTC WEDNESDAY 7TH JANUARY 2015
1 Hugo Boss (A Thomson – P Ribes) 2188miles to finish
2 Neutrogena (G Altadill – J Muñoz) +approx 20 miles to leader
3 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) +31.1miles to leader
4 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marin) +31.3miles to leader
5 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) +123.7miles to leader
6 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – D Costa) + 262.7 miles to leader
7 We Are Water (B Garcia – W Garcia) + 435.2 miles to leader
8 Spirit of Hungary (N Fa – C Colman) + 783.4 miles to leader
Q and A with Alex Thomson (GBR) Hugo Boss:
Strategy at Canaries, did it work?
” We got the impression everyone else would go between Lanzarote and Grand Canaria. When we had to make a decision there was about 40 minutes of difference between the routes and it seems to have paid off, there has been some gain. “
“We expected to be more headed when we were coming back (so making an angle more south), but the wind was a bit more right than we came back, so we had got south quicker, we had a lot more wind than we thought (earlier on) and so when we came back our course was more westerly than we expected. We ended up going back a little closer at the fleet. When we looked at the initial routing we expected to gain about 10 to 15 miles and that seems to be what we have done.”
Is it as close or closer than anticipated?
” I think ourselves the three of us, Cheminees Poujoulat, Neutrogena and ourselves would be close, I think GAES has done a fantastic job, really great. They have obviously massively upped their game for this Barcelona World Race and they are definitiely contenders now. I am not surprised how close we all are, so far. When I did the Vendee Globe and we popped out of the Doldrums I was there with Francois Gabart, with Bernard Stamm with all of them, so I am not surprised to see how close we are all in speed. I think maybe when we start to go at real pace in some proper reaching we can gain a mile or two then, but apart from that we seem to be quite even.”
Describe how you are working the boat:
” We did have a plan to have some kind or routine and it has not worked out like that. I think an amateur sailor coming on one of these boats during one of these races would be horrified by the amount of work and the lack of sleep that is required to be able to perform a the highest level. We hoped to have a routine, but it has just been naps whenever we can. I dont think either of us have had more than a couple of hours sleep. But we are very conscious of trying to keep the man fresh, it is so important not to make a mistake in these kind of conditions. That costs you miles and then you have to work harder, that means less sleep, more probability of mistakes. So it is really important to look after each other.
Pepe woke me at 0630 and I had had a good sleep, so now I will go as long as I can and let him get a good sleep too. As soon as I stop being efficient I will wake him up. If we need to take a reef or change a sail then I wake him. But hopefully now he can ge t a few good hours in now.”
Any problems to date?
” We broke the rudder reference unit. That is the unit that tells the rudder how much rudder is on. It is a tiny little thing. I show it to you. There is a little metal piece which comes out, a little ram and it broke. That broke when we got the net round the keel in the Straits of Gibraltar. We have a spare so that is OK but we need to make sure it does not happen again. The reason it happened was trying to get the net off the keel we had to put the boat head to wind, and allow the boat to be pushed, reversing off the net. Going through that the —-big wave —- bit of a puff there – we were in such big waves in 30kts the boat was going back pretty quickly, the rudder slammed to one side. And that is when it broke. We need to make sure it does not happen again, especially in the south where we might have to back up or the rudder kicks up. Without an autopilot this would be a much harder race.”
Fast to the equator?
“It is looking fast to the equator, and it is quite outstanding at the moment. We have 25 gusting 30kts at the moment. And it is due to build to gusting 32 to 33 kts. But it is good, bigger waves now and that makes for nice, fast sailing but I am going to be at this tiller position until we start approaching the doldrums. But after a few hours of this you look forwards to putting the pilot on.”
” The only fresh food we took was ten apples and ten oranges, we dont have any fresh fruits. When we want to eat we have very varied menus. Pepe has decided what he wants to eat and we have bags for every day. Day 1 and he eats it. I have to work out what I am going to eat over the whole period, what I am going to eat and when I am going to eat it. I am a fussy eater. If for example my Day 1 had a Beef and Potato Casserole and I did not fancy it, then I would be digging into my Day 2 bag, and so we are very different. We do eat together when we can. We try and eat when we come on watch. I am enjoying the diet, I have done this so many times I know exactly what I like and what I dont like. We have both got an amount of Iberica jamon which we are addicted to, I look forward to. I have a little bag of twiglets every day (a little savoury snack shaped like tree twigs).”
VOR – Leg 3 has long promised to be as hazardous a stage in the Volvo Ocean Race as we’ll see, but no-one figured it would be quite so tricky from the get-go.
A thick fog lowered on to the in-shore course in Abu Dhabi and for once the sun didn’t burn it off to give the six crews the perfect send-off.
Instead the teams had their work cut out even to see the turning marks through the murk before leaving the port where they had enjoyed such a wonderful Christmas and New Year.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing’s skipper Ian Walker has told us repeatedly how sorry he’ll be to leave his home part, but that didn’t stop him showing the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels as they took the honours to lead it out of port and into the Indian Ocean.
‘It’s the most challenging part of the whole race’
Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA) led the chasing pack with Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR), boosted so much by their In-Port Race victory 24 hours earlier, progressing nicely behind them.
For Team Vestas Wind skipper Chris Nicholson (AUS) and his crew there must have been very mixed feelings as they waved their rivals farewell for the 4,642 nautical mile (nm) trip to Sanya which will take about three weeks to complete.
Nicholson’s boat is now targeted for a major repair job culminating in their hoped-for return to the race for the final two legs from Lisbon from June 7 following their grounding on a reef in the middle of the Indian Ocean during Leg 2.
“The toughest moment for us will be the first night of the leg,” Australian skipper Chris Nicholson told a news conference on the eve of the departure to Sanya in Hainan Island, the southern-most point of China.
‘You can get tangled in the nets, or worse still, run someone over’
“That’s when you really know you’re in an offshore race. But we have a new target now – to concentrate on repairing our boat to return to the race.”
This leg promises to be demanding all the way but particularly during the Malacca Strait, which separates the Indonesian island of Sumatra and Malaysia.
At some stages, it narrows to 1.5nm and is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.
“It’s the most challenging part of the whole race,” Team Alvimedica navigator Will Oxley (AUS) told us on the eve of the leg.
“I’m pretty happy dealing with big waves and strong winds, but the complexity of dealing with a narrow channel and a very large amount of shipping is what causes the problems.”
“Some 300ft of steel coming at you at 20 knots is always concerning, particularly if you haven’t got much control over your speed if there’s not much wind.
“Then you have squalls, very violent squalls in the night, and there’s lots of fishermen who are not showing navigation lights and have long nets. You can get tangled in the nets, or worse still, run someone over. So it’s very stressful.”
VOR – The racing begins at 2 am PST! To follow the action CLICK HERE! It’s a 3-way tie for first place. Who will break from the fleet first? The girls are sailing fast after winning the in-port race. Stay tuned for VOR updates from XS!
BWR – Although speeds through the night have been lower – making just 65-70 miles through the night between the 1900hrs and 0500hrs ranking – the leaders of the Barcelona World Race are still comfortably on schedule to set a new record for the 538 miles passage from the Barcelona start line to Gibraltar. At 0600hrs UTC this Friday morning Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes are around 100 miles east of Gibraltar making around 7-8kts as they slide downwind in the light E’ly breeze of the western Alboran Sea. The leader is expected to be off Gibraltar between 1430 and 1530hrs this afternoon.
The rhythm may not exactly be fast and furious but it is intense for the leaders, who have had very very little sleep, zig-zagging downwind in the best of the breeze, gybing approximately every hour or so. Hugo Boss have extended slightly on their closest pursuers, BernardStamm and Jean Le Cam on Cheminées Poujoulat and on the early morning ranking are 8.8 miles ahead. The Swiss-French duo appear to have had one particularly slow period during the night.
GAES Centros Auditivos, Anna Corbella and Gérard Marin look to be breaking more to the south, towards the Algerian and Moroccan coast where there can be some better breeze but there is more contrary current on this side so this could be a higher risk option. Meantime they have ceded third place to Neutrogena.Guillermo Altadill and Jose Muñoz who remain in phase with the Hugo Boss and have sailed a good night with solid average speeds. Renault Captur, Jörg Riechers and Sébastien Audigane, seem to be opting to break south too, in fifth place at 50 miles behind the leaders.
Weather files suggest that the favourable E’ly breeze should build from 10-15kts in the west of the Alboran Sea to as much as 30kts as they accelerate out of the Gibraltar Strait late this afternoon and in the evening.
The boats placed sixth to eighth are developing their ‘race within the race’ with Didac Costa and Alex Gelabeirt on One Planet One Ocean Pharmaton in sixth, heading slowly SW towards the Algerian coast, in seventh the Garcia brothers have a solid middle ground courseon We Are Water, while Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman are still quite north on Spirit of Hungary. But there is just 20 miles in terms of DTF between the three who are really in the grip of the light winds which see them slowed to less than three kts, unfortunately increasing their split away from the five boats in front.
BWR – After yesterday’s light winds start, which tested the patience of the 16 skippers with a busy, if slightly slo-motion, send off from the waters off the iconic Hotel Vela (W-Hotel), there has been a steady building of wind strength, and a smooth acceleration of pace for the transition into offshore racing mode for the eight boats competing in the Barcelona World Race.
Alex Thomson (GBR) and Pepe Ribes (ESP) on Hugo Boss have made no secret of their desire to win this edition, and before departing yesterday Alex commented that for the initial stages: “The pressure is to be at the front of the pack and not to not lose too much is important. We feel fortunate that we’ve got a boat that can probably catch everybody up if we need to catch everybody up, but we don’t really want to be in that position really!” The pair emphatically demonstrated the overtaking speed of their 2010 VPLP/Verdier design over the first 24 hours racing, accelerating through the fleet from fourth to first place to take the lead this morning. But as with all the duos, they have found the pressure of the first night and day quite tiring – as is always the case during the transition from the race build-up on land to full-on race mode, battling in visual contact with the opposition.
Thomson spoke briefly with his team in the early morni ng: “The breeze did not come through as strong as we expected. So as soon as we got in front of Cheminées Poujoulat and the others, we decided really just to concentrate less on the pre-race strategy and more on sailing the shortest distance and covering the boats immediately behind. All in all it is going well, we are both quite tired as it is has not been easy to get settled into any kind of routine.”
For all that the pre-start weather forecasts had painted a picture of gloom in the Alboran Sea, with light winds becoming lighter, this Thursday afternoon the race-leading trio were moving into this area – where the Straits of Gibraltar start to narrow from the east – and are still making good progress towards Gibraltar. The winds are easing off but the advantage should increase for Hugo Boss, Cheminées Poujoulat and GAES Centros Auditivos, who remain within sight of each other, as they head west – back towards the Spanish coast – and as this trio get closer to the land they should stay with the stronger breeze.
At just 26 hours after Wednesday’s 1300hrs start the leaders were already 50 miles to the east of Cabo de Gata – the promontory by Almeria which marks the entrance to the Alboran Sea, some 175 miles to Gibraltar and the exit to the Atlantic. The race record for the 538 miles passage from Barcelona to Gibraltar was set at the start of the 2010-11 edition by Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on Virbac-Paprec 3 at 3 days, 7 hours, 55 mins.
At this afternoon’s 1400hrs (UTC) position update Thomson and Ribes had a four-mile advantage over first night leaders Bernard Stamm (SUI) and Jean Le Cam (FRA) on Cheminée Poujoulat. GAES Centros Auditivos, who were OCS at the startline but gybed early off the Barcelona shoreline to snake their way out of the crowded starting area, are holding firm to third place, within 6 miles of the leaders. Anna Corbella and Gerard Marín have had the longest preparation time together, now close to two years of working, sailing and optimising their Farr-designed boat which started life as Gitana 80, raced the last edition of the Barcelona World Race as Renault ZE and the Vendée Globe as Synerciel.
Fourth placed Neutrogena has been working hard to remain in touch after erring too far to the east of the pack, seeking the strongest NE’ly but sailing more miles, Guillermo Altadill (ESP) speaking today said: “We spent the night reaching quite fast and trying to not lost contact with the boats in front of us, we lost a little bit against Hugo Boss and Cheminees Poujoulat, but still we can see Poujoulat on our port side. So it’s good, we lost a little bit but we are still in contact with them, so we are hoping after Gibraltar we can come back when conditions become a little bit unstable again.”
Renault Captur suffered some issues with their spinnaker halyard, which required Sébastien Audigane (FRA) to scale the mast and work to resolve the situation. In today’s audio conference co-skipper Jörg Riechers (GER) explained:
“Well, we were doing pretty good until we had a problem with the spinnaker halyard [last] night where we lost about 12 miles because we had to go the top of mast and sort out the halyard, and the whole operation took about 1.5-2 hours, plus then cleaning up the mess. So it was roughly three hours we sailed without a spinnaker and we were doing 7 or 8 knots instead of 12-13 knots so it was an expensive mistake!”
Renault Captur is around 40 miles east of the front-runners, and at this afternoon was heading south while the front half of the fleet headed west towards the Spanish shore.
To the north, One Planet, One Ocean / Pharmaton (Aleix Gelabert and Dídac Costa) remain in sixth place, followed by We Are Water(Bruno Garcia and Willy Garcia) with Spirit of Hungary (Nandor Fa and Conrad Colman) currently in eighth, around 75 miles covering the fleet.
Initial predictions were for very light winds in the Alboran Sea, but currently the easterly winds look set to hold and carry the fleet into the Straits of Gibraltar, with the first half of the fleet expected to reach Gibraltar by noon tomorrow.
Ranking at 14:00 UTC December 31, 2014:
Hugo Boss (A Thomson – Ribes P) 23,154.7 miles from the finish
Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) 3.8 miles to leader
GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marino) 5.8 miles to leader
Neutrogena (G Altadill – Muñoz J) 16 miles to leader
Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) 41.5 miles to leader
One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – Costa D) 44.2 miles to leader
We Are Water (B Garcia – Garcia W) 63 miles to leader
Spirit of Hungary (N F – C Colman) 75.9 miles to leader
Guillermo Altadill (ESP), Neutrogena:
“The first night was OK. The conditions at the start were a little bit stressful with no wind and with a lot of changes of pressure, so when we got the wind later on, about four hours after the start, things became more quiet [on board] and we started reaching with a good speed.
“So we spent the night reaching quite fast and trying to not lose contact with the boats in front of us. We lost a little bit against Hugo Boss and Cheminées Poujoulat, but still we can see Poujoulat on our port side. So it’s good, we lost a little bit but we are still in contact with them, so we are hoping after Gibraltar we can come back when conditions become a little bit unstable again.
“Between here and Gibraltar it’s going to be still downwind. We already started going downwind with a good breeze. I think it’s going to increase a little bit, especially close to Gibraltar, so on the next 300 miles are going to be downwind and then we hope to pass Gibraltar probably tomorrow midday.”
Jörg Riechers(GER), Renault Captur:
“Well, we were doing pretty good until we had a problem with the spinnaker halyard [last] night where we lost about 12 miles because we had to go the top of mast and sort out the halyard, and the whole operation took about 1.5-2 hours, plus then cleaning up the mess. So it was roughly three hours we sailed without a spinnaker and we were doing 7 or 8 knots instead of 12-13 knots so it was an expensive mistake!”
BWR – As ever emotions ran high as the eight IMOCA 60s left the dock, one after the other, heading for the 13000hrs start of the 23,000 miles Barcelona World Race. There was scarcely enough wind to lift the flags but the warm morning sunshine offered an idyllic setting as the crowds build under the watchful eye of the Christopher Columbus statue.
Bubbly and openly nervous round the world rookie Jorg Riechers of Germany and his quiet, focused French co-skipper Seb Audigane were first to leave on Renault Captur, followed by by Spirit of Hungary (Nandor Fa, Conrad Colman). Fa looked relieved but determined saying goodbye to his family earlier after a normal breakfast in his hotel.
Spanish duo One Planet One Ocean Pharmaton (Aleix Gelabert, Didac Costa) were next, waving to the growing crowd, whilst the Garcia brothers stood shoulder on the deck and they bid farewell to their supporters on We Are Water. Neutrogena (Guillermo Altadill (ESP) and Jose Munoz (CHI)) lead the dock out from the north side of the pontoon, both looking cool and ready.
Stealing the show was Alex Thomson (GBR) and his four year old son Oscar who shouted to each other until Hugo Boss was out of sight. The biggest cheer was for Anna Corbella, though, the first Spanish woman to sail around the world as she set off on GAES Centros Auditivos with Gerard Marín (ESP), while Jean Le Cam on Cheminées Poujoulat had his normally substantial hairstyle cropped back to the ‘wood’ as he docked out with co-skipper Bernard Stamm (SUI).
Reigning champion Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA) was on the dock to bid the skippers farewell.
The Barcelona World Race has begun. To follow the fleet go to the TRACKER.
BWR UPDATE: As if to underline their billing as pre-race favourites to win, Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes on Hugo Boss led the eight-strong fleet of IMOCA 60s off the start line of the third edition of the Barcelona World Race, two handed race around the world. The British-Spanish duo made the best of the very light winds, setting up with speed at the gun, to eke out a small lead to the turning mark, 1.5 miles away from the line.
With 23,450 miles to sail, of course the early advantage to the British-Spanish duo might only appear to be psychological and within the first hour of racing they found themselves snared by the combination of very calm winds and wash from the sizeable spectator fleet, and were passed by the Swiss-French pairing Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam on Cheminées Poujoulat, but the main objective for all was to ensure they stay in the lead group on what will be a tricky, challenging descent of the Mediterranean to the exit doors at the Straits of Gibraltar.
As per forecast breezes were only very light for the start, 2-6 knots. But the sun shone brightly and brought out huge crowds to the beaches of the Catalan capital. To all intents it felt less like the last day of 2014 in the depths of winter, and more like a day stolen from summer.
The warmth of the sunshine leant an almost surreal air to the emotional scenes as the 16 skippers left the Barcelona World Race dock this morning. They may be heading for some of the most feared stretches of the world’s oceans, but there was a welcome serenity as the crowds bid farewell to each of the duos. To those observers and skippers more used to the oppressive atmosphere of other winter race starts, usually contemplating Atlantic storms, it was a pleasant change.
But for all that, emotions bubbled to the surface, tugging hard at the heartstrings. Who could fail to be moved when Alex Thomson and his four-year-old son Oscar shouted ‘Good bye’ to each other across the widening gap between the pontoon and the departing 60-foot monohull? In their private world it was a beautiful toddler waving his dad off to a day at the office – even if Thomson blinked back a tear behind the Hugo Boss designer shades – but to everyone else it was a harsh reminder of the imminent three months of separation from the son whose illness precluded his participation in the last edition.
Hugo Boss team-mate Pepe Ribes’ farewell to Pepe Ribes Jr was no less touching, considering the last time he left on this race his son was only three weeks old. This time GAES Centros Auditivos’ Gérard Marin’s son is only a few months old.
The biggest cheer of the morning was for Anna Corbella, the only female skipper in the race who became the first Spanish woman to sail around the world when she finished the second edition of the race in April 2011 with Briton Dee Caffari. Corbella and Gérard Marin, both local to Barcelona, have been training for two years with their GAES Centros Auditivos and harbour high hopes of a podium finish.
Their partisan fan club were, predictably, the loudest. Corbella’s smile wavered as if to crack but as the docklines came aboard, her game face was fixed and she was immediately in ‘race mode’.
When the gun sounded at 1300hrs local time (1200hrs UTC) GAES Centros Auditivos looked to have made the best start along with Hugo Boss and Renault Captur (Jorge Riechers and Sébastien Audigane), but both GAES Centros Auditivos and One Planet One Ocean Pharmaton (Aleix Gelabeirt and Didac Costa) jumped the gun and had to restart.
As well as media, family, friends and team-mates, the dock was dotted with key figures of the race including twice winner Jean-Pierre Dick, who saw off the eight boats, and Race Director Jacques Caraës, who helped many teams slip their lines. FNOB president Maite Fandos, the depute mayor of Barcelona; IMOCA President Jean Kehroas; Peter Bayer, General Manager of Open Sports Management, and the President of the Spanish Sailing Federation José Ángel Rodríguez, all joined the farewell.
Meanwhile the city of Barcelona delivered a ‘tapas menu’ of live performance featuring wind instruments, spraying water, seashells, and performance artists by the Fura dels Baus as a fitting show as the Mayor of Barcelona Xavier Trias lowered a flag on the La Dona of Mil·leni sculpture to signify the start of the race.
Winds might only have been light at the start but the skippers know the pressure is absolutely on from the start. The race start sat between two wind zones. To the east the brisk NE’ly Tramontana is a strong lure, to sail more miles to reach this corridor of breeze does represent the high risk option but with potentially the biggest reward. A fast passage to the Balearics would allow the leader(s) to hold on to this wind longest. Conversely, this breeze will fade first, potentially leaving any gamblers on this flank downwind in very gentle winds. The alternative is to sail the direct, rhumb line – or to the west of it – and wait until the NE’ly has strengthened all the way to the Spanish coast.
The overall balance between the options remained unclear. For sure there is a ‘rich get richer’ scenario for anyone who breaks through the Strait of Gibraltar first, breaching the brisk, favourable trade winds first for quick train ride south. But the greater likelihood is of a period of very light winds in the busy gateway between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
Ranking at 14:00 UTC December 31, 2014:
1 Cheminées Poujoulat (B Stamm – J Le Cam) 23 448.3 miles from the finish
2 GAES Centros Auditivos (A Corbella – G Marino) 0.3 miles to leader
3 Renault Captur (J Riechers – S Audigane) 0.6 miles to leader
4 Hugo Boss (A Thomson – Ribes P) 0.7 miles to leader
5 Neutrogena (G Altadill – Muñoz J) 1.2 miles to leader
6 We Are Water (B Garcia – Garcia W) 1.2 miles to leader
7 One Planet One Ocean & Pharmaton (A Gelabert – Costa D) 1.2 miles to leader
8 Spirit of Hungary (N F – C Colman) 1.3 miles to leader
Guillermo Altadill (ESP), Neutrogena:
“The last GRIB files are showing a little bit variable conditions that are quite tricky. It’s going to be quite open to the Straits – you could go inshore, offshore, so I think it’s going to be quite tricky and very open for all the fleet. We hope to be at Gibraltar ahead, but it’s not very relevant in one race that’s 25000 miles to be ahead 10 miles at Gibraltar, it makes you feel better but it’s not very important.
“You make your own pressure, but it’s going to be pressure for everybody because everybody is going to push the boat and be the first one out to Gibraltar, but for us it’s about holding onto the fleet and to be with the fleet the first part of the race.”
“I’ve probably [raced to Gibraltar] 20 or 25 times. The Med is very unpredictable, so the more you know and the more you race here… you get more confused!”
Nandor Far (HUN), Spirit of Hungary:
“I’m quite relaxed. We did our best to be finished, to be 100 per cent prepared, but you never know. The boat is a very complicated piece so there is always something which is going wrong. Right now I feel the boat is well prepared.
“We are concentrating on the wind and the proper sail choice, and going out in a safe good way, that’s all. It will be nice to have time to think about everything. If we want to be in a good place we have to make good progress, but I’m not worried really.”
Anna Corbella (ESP), GAES Centros Auditivos:
“I’m feeling excited and happy. I want to get going! The weather is OK, it’s nice. It’s easy – in terms of physically, so it’s not going to be a lot of sail changes, I think it’s nice downwind to Gibraltar. Probably at some point it’s not [going to be] easy, but I think what is important is to be at Gibraltar in a good position, and to go out in a good position.”
Alex Thomson (GBR), Hugo Boss:
“I think the first 5-6 hours there probably won’t be very much wind, and then after that we should see some breeze, some fairly good breeze hopefully. Then the breeze will run out, but whether we get to Gibraltar or not I don’t know.
“I think for all of us the routing shows that the people at the front will gain and the people at the back will lose – so all the pressure is to be at the front of the pack and not to not lose too much is important. We feel fortunate that we’ve got a boat that can probably catch everybody up if we need to catch everybody up, but we don’t really want to be in that position really!
“As a team we feel very confident. We’ve put in a lot of work and a lot of prep. These last moments are always a bit heartfelt because of the family and leaving them behind for three months. I think it’s not something you would want to get used to, because if you got used to it then it would maybe mean you don’t care as much as you do.”
TV server on http://tv.barcelonaworldrace.org
SYDNEY HOBART RACE – It was Boxing Day and time to race! XS Sailing posted the start of the 70th running of the Sydney to Hobart LIVE FEED. It was an amazing start to an amazing race to date. Check the updates below to catch up and to follow the fleet on the TRACKER, CLICK HERE!
UPDATE #5 – Comanche is on the move. As Perpetual Loyal and Comanche converge, Comanche seems to have better speed and has taken the lead. But it is a tighter race with the top 5 maxi boats within 5 miles of each other. Wild Oats XI is only 2 miles behind the leader in 3rd place. It’s still anyone’s race.
UPDATE #4 – The inside paid off! Perpetual Loyal and Ragamuffin 100 are in 1st and 2nd place respectively. Comanche and Wild Oats XI went outside and lost ground. But the racing is still tight as the spread between the top four maxis is less than 4 miles.
UPDATE #3 – Comanche and Wild Oats XI are heading out to sea while Perpetual Loyal and Ragamuffin 100 are staying inside and tacking up the coast. Which navigator will be right? Looks like the guys inside are leading sailing faster… but will the wind and direction hold for them?… Stay tuned!
UPDATE #2 – Comanche wins the start and leads the fleet to the ocean. Wild Oats XI is in second but pointing higher as they tack up the coast.
UPDATE #1: At the final briefing for crews at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this morning, the Bureau of Meteorology’s Andrew Treloar told the sailors that a southerly front is expected to move through Sydney about an hour before race start.
So it will be a colourful spinnaker start in a 15 knot southerly before the yachts turn at Sydney Heads to begin a long first day’s bash into a 20 to 28 knot offshore southerly, with the breeze even stronger the further south the boats go.
The fleet will be led out to sea by the five 100ft maxis, but don’t blink or you’ll miss them. They will drag race to the first mark, and will be there in minutes. It will make for perhaps the race’s most exciting start in its 70 year history.
Once they turn south, the skippers of these giants will then have to tread a very fine line, choosing when to race flat out and when to slow down to preserve the boat.
Ken Read, the skipper of the untested American Comanche can’t wait. “We’re ready. To me it looks like a nice sailboat racing day. A little breezy, a little lumpy, but if our boat can’t handle 25 knots and a little bit of bump then something’s wrong.
“We’re pretty psyched with this forecast; we’ll do a little bit of reaching across Bass Strait, which is quite good for us. It’s really the end of the race that looks a little difficult, a little bit light.”
“We hate the light stuff and certainly like the heavier stuff,” Perpetual Loyal’s Anthony Bell enthused now that the latest forecast is saying that at the time the front runners enter Bass Strait the wind will be a bit stronger than expected a few days ago.
“I don’t think we should leave much in the tank at the front end of this race,” Bell says. All the maxi skippers believe that being in the best place for the transitions from one weather pattern to the next will be critical on the dash for line honours.
With better breeze now expected off the Tasmanian coast, the front runner will hold a real edge. There do not appear to be too many passing lanes on offer later in the race.
There will be times though, on the weekend, when the breeze will be quite soft before a powerful northerly drives the back half of the fleet home. An outright Rolex Sydney Hobart handicap victory is the holy grail of Australian ocean racing. In recent year it has been the preserve of the 50 and 60 footers, but Ed Psaltis, the skipper of the Ker 40 St GeorgeMidnight Rambler, reckons this could be the year of the 40 footers.
“This forecast is fantastic. We couldn’t get a better forecast. It’s good for the 50’s but better for us. They come home on a building breeze, but it will be well and truly set in when we come down the Tassie coast, we’ll be smoking.”
That big northerly on Monday will push the small boats home at full speed, and Psaltis concedes that it will suit his arch rival, Bruce Taylor’s Caprice 40 Chutzpah. “We need to get in front of them on this first night by a reasonable amount,” Psaltis says. “We’re better upwind, but Chutzpah is the fastest downwind 40 footer in Australia.”
Michael Spies, who will be one of the drivers on the Farr 55 Onesails Racing, concedes that the 40 footers are looking good: “If you were holding the book, you’d definitely have the small boats covered,” he says.
But he knows the weather never goes to plan and the 50s could still triumph: “It doesn’t take much to turn the race around. If we can get through the light patch alright it could definitely go back to the 50 footers.”
Probably a record fast start, probably not a record race, definitely a fascinating contest over the next three or four days – impossible to nominate an outright line honours or handicap winner.
The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7.
A Parade of Sail will take place from 10.30am to 11.30am, before a fleet of 117 will set sail from three start lines in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December 26 at 1.00pm AEDT.
By Jim Gale, RSHYR media
VESTAS WIND UPDATE – “Every now and then I feel like I’ll wake up and it’ll all just be a crazy dream, and I’d say, “wahoo, wasn’t that the worst dream I’ve had in a long while?”
Neil Cox has been Chris Nicholson’s shore manager for two Volvo Ocean Races before they entered their third one together with Team Vestas Wind.
But the Aussie expert had never, ever been in the situation he is in now – heading to a remote Indian Ocean reef to recover the blue Volvo Ocean 65 after it ran aground in the middle of the second leg, on November 29.
“The ultimate plan, the gold-medal prize we’re reaching for, is to get the boat buoyant enough to float it across the lagoon to get it into more protected water,” explains Neil, or Coxy, as everybody calls him.
“That would stop it disintegrating out on the reef, and at the same time, once we get to the other side of the reef, it gives us the chance to set it up in a controlled fashion to either be able to tow the boat back to Mauritius, or there is a Maersk Line ship coming on Monday and we’re hoping to use their derrick to get it on the ship.”
Coxy pauses to take a breath.
“The race has taken me through some pretty bizarre scenarios, but I would say that this one is pretty unique.”
Chris, the skipper, joined him in Mauritius yesterday evening. They’ve set up the recovery operation in Port Louis, liaising with local resources, chartering a boat they’ll use as a mother ship, getting all the necessary tools through customs and the permits to go back to the Saint Brandon archipelago.
In the meantime, the Île du Sud inhabitants have maintained a watch on the boat, and sent some photos with the supply boat two days ago.
It appears that the boat hasn’t moved much. Coxy and Chris are now sailing to the location along with their shore crew Tom Kiff plus two local guys, five recovery people from Durban, South Africa, and a cameraman.
“The rest of the team offered to come and help,” adds Coxy, “but there is nothing out there so you cannot take a whole work force with you because you cannot provide enough water or power for everyone.
“We’ll base ourselves on this mother ship, on the inside of the lagoon. It’s on the leeward side of the reef and two and half miles away from the boat. The ship has the facilities for us to live onboard, because there is no way for us to stay on the island. We’ve also chartered local fishing boats to cross the lagoon everyday.
“It’s a case of how structurally sound the boat is, and what we can utilise to get it buoyant again. And anything that floats, float tanks, buoyancy bags, you name it, is coming out with us.”
Coxy, Chris and Team Vestas Wind have a plan, and a strong will to get the boat off the reef. But there are a lot of difficult factors to take into account.
“We want to bring as much of the boat back as possible,” asserts Coxy.
“If anything can be recycled or used for a potential new boat, we have to do everything in our power to make that happen.
“The reality is, it’s a very dangerous workplace we’re going to. It doesn’t have all the nice things we have in the stopovers… it’s in the middle of the ocean. We’re on our own. And, while I’d avoid the cheap shark headlines, yes, there is a lot more activity on the reef at nighttime.”
He pauses again.
“We’ll get there by sunrise tomorrow. We’ll go straight to the boat after that.”
SYDNEY HOBART RACE – Who will win line honors in the upcoming race? For a great detailed comparison between the 5 maxi monohulls CLICK HERE!
BARTS BASH – Bart’s Bash, the global sailing race that took place on September 21st, 2014 raised an incredible three hundred and thirty six thousand, three hundred and ninety one pounds and ninety five pence (£366,391.95) for the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation.
The announcement of the grand total of fundraising was made by Freddie, Andrew Simpson’s four year old son and his classmates at Sherborne Primary School.
Freddie also drew the winners of two competitions which incentivised the fund raising. Terry Ross, Gulf Harbour Yacht Club David Wilkins Rutland Sailing Club Duncan Greenhalgh York RI Sailing Club and Angus Graham WPNSA, Castle Cove SC, ASSC all won a trip to Ben Ainslie Racing’s new Portsmouth base for a tour and to experience sailing on an AC45. Chris Mayhew from Royal Harwich Yacht Club won the exciting trip to the Artemis America’s Cup base in San Francisco to meet Iain Percy and sail in the bay.
Inspiring the next generation – The announcement of the total comes exactly one year since the event was launched and it’s a testament to the hard work of the Bart’s Bash team that so many people made it on to the water on one special day and so much money raised in memory of Bart.
AC NEWS – How did Bermuda win the America’s Cup venue? Check out the video above. Was it strictly about money or do you think it will provide a better venue than San Diego? Will it be better, equal or worse than last year? Currently the XS Collective believes it will be worse by 57%, better by 32% and equal by 11%. What do you think? Go vote in the XS Poll over there on the upper right side of the site. Vote Today! Click on your answer and then click on Vote. It’s that easy.
TEAM VESTAS WIND UPDATE – Final part of a three part, 80 minute, interview with Team Vestas Wind skipper, Chris Nicholson on the wrecking of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht on an idyllic atoll in the South Indian Ocean during the night of November 29. In this part, Nicholson tells what happened once the crew stepped aboard the local coastguard boat just after dawn, and subsequent trips back to the wreck. He also looks at the chances of the campaign getting back on the water. CHECK IT OUT BY CLICKING HERE!
ISAF WORLDS – A successful medal haul for the Australian Sailing Team (AST) at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Melbourne with five gold, five silver and three bronze in the Olympic class program, plus two gold & one bronze in the Paralympic fleet. Hear what our sailors had to say about their performance, along with some great video footage of the week’s racing on Port Phillip.
CLIPPER RACE – The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race has announced that it will include Australian offshore classic the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR) in its 2015-16 global series after a successful debut last year.
The intention to enter the fleet of twelve Clipper 70s in the 71st edition has just been confirmed by Clipper Race organisers. The RSHYR will form part of the biennial Clipper Race series for a second time. The round-the-world fleet created much interest in 2013 as amateur sailors from over 40 different nationalities competed as part of their 40,000 mile circumnavigation.
Clipper Race Chairman and Founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who was the first person to sail single-handed and non-stop around the world in 1968-69 said: “We are very excited to include the Sydney Hobart as part of our Australian leg in the 2015-16 Clipper Race series and look forward to submitting our entries when the Notice of Race for the 71st edition is released next year.”
The chance to compete against some of the world’s top sailors in the RSHYR was the highlight for many Clipper Race sailors as part of their global ocean odyssey. There is still time for aspiring Australian crew to sign up for this iconic ‘all-Australian’ Leg which starts in Albany and finishes on the east coast via Sydney and Hobart.”
Sir Robin added: “This coast-to-coast leg is very popular with Australians with a three-race series which includes the Sydney to Hobart classic. No experience necessary, as we provide all the training!”
The majority of pre-race training can be carried out at the new Clipper Race Australia base in Sydney, which also has a boat entered in this year’s 70th RSHYR.
To read more, click here.
AC NEWS – The Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams registered for the 2017 America’s Cup, has appointed Iain Murray as Regatta Director. Murray is a former America’s Cup skipper who also served as Regatta Director in the last America’s Cup.
Murray started in his role as of December 1 and has already been meeting with the teams as well as Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller via regular Competitor Forum conference calls.
Murray says he sees his appointment to a second term as Regatta Director as an opportunity to advance the America’s Cup forward beyond what was achieved last time.
“Leading into the last America’s Cup, there were so many major changes and collectively we learned so much about how to design, build and race these foiling multihulls,” Murray said. “Now we have the chance to fine-tune and make adjustments to make it even better.
“Whether it’s the conversion to foiling AC45s for the America’s Cup World Series, the new AC62s, the spectator experience, or the safety mechanisms – last time we really had to find our way. This time we have a template to work from and I expect we’ll see improvements across the board.”
In his role as Regatta Director, Murray will work in collaboration with all of the teams as well as Commercial Commissioner Harvey Schiller in setting the competitive parameters for the event.
Murray is required to nominate Regatta Officials, including a Measurement Committee and Umpires, as well as administer the Regatta Officials Fund to a budget agreed by the competitors. Each team contributes in equal measure to the Fund, initially through their entry fees.
“I’ve already seen a strong spirit of cooperation between the teams,” Murray said. “We’re focused on getting ready for the first America’s Cup World Series events in the new foiling versions of the AC45s, as well as pulling together a measurement committee and finalizing some details about the AC62. Everybody is contributing and the process is working well.”
INTERNATIONAL 14 – Four-time World Champion, Britain’s Archie Massey, expects racing in the 2015 International 14 World Championship at Geelong, Australia, will be tight.
The defending champion joins an already strong entry list which includes ten British teams.
The British held the final top six places at the 2013 World Championships in Toronto and Massey predicts they will do it again with the podium most likely taken up by Ben McGrane, Glen Truswell and, of course, himself.
“I could not try to predict the order save to say that in the Nationals the three of us were repeatedly within 100 yards for two hour long races. Normally 14 racing stretches out more than that, so it will be a tough week.
“Obviously there is some home talent too, which will excel in the stronger conditions of Geelong. I’d expect to see a return to the top five for Meaty. Dave A, teaming up with Dan, could be the dark horses. Brad is always fast, so again if the conditions are right, he may be untouchable.
“I can’t wait and because it’s all going to be so tight and I’m not the favourite. It’s really exciting again,” Massey said.
Some of the large fleet may have been hoping that Massey would miss this championship due to his very newly arrived child and a forced change in crew. “They wish,” joked Massey.
“I think it’s your duty to try and defend a crown, so hopefully, I’ve got many more worlds to come! I was always going to come and it provides a good excuse to meet up with friends in Sydney afterwards where I lived for five years. We are bringing over our three-month-old baby, so that makes life a little harder than normal.”
Since moving back to the UK, putting some 20,000 miles between himself and his long-standing crew Dan Wilsdon, Massey has also had to change crew. It has been a disappointment for Massey to leave combination with Wilsdon, but he has bounced back quickly, forming a new partnership with the very experienced 49er sailor and RYA Head of Performance, Harvey Hillary.
“He has a number of tricks up his sleeve. He lives one kilometre away so we’ve been able to get out on the water together and put some quality time to get up to speed.
“Early season we trained a fair amount, pre-baby and pre Harvey’s Olympic team support duties. So we’ve got a good grounding. Our boat-handling is top-notch, but we’ve not quite got the speed of old. That said we think we may have cracked that in the last few weeks of the UK summer.
“Our racing has involved a string of seconds, always to Glen Truswell. When he hasn’t turned up, we’ve won the event. That said, at the Europeans and Nationals, twice we led by four points into the last day,” Massey said.
Sailing Instructions Available at: www.i14worlds2015.com/regatta-documents/
For the full entry list, go to www.i14worlds2015.com/entry-list/
EXTREME SAILING – For your viewing pleasure and if you have time, check out Day 2 racing – full video. If you don’t have time, check out the 2-minute plus highlights in the lower video. Enjoy!
DAY 2 – The fleet might have lost yesterday’s racing because of 45 knot gusts on Sydney Harbour, but today the city delivered in style and the sailors patience was rewarded with some of the best racing of the season so far, at the final Act of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series™ presented by Land Rover. A physically exhausting 10 races were sailed, with all the teams pulling some big punches out of the water that resulted in seven different race winners. Oman’s The Wave, Muscat blasted round the tight course and were slick in executing their manouvres – despite a huge nose dive in the first race that almost saw the team lose control – and two race wins and two second places put Leigh McMillan’s team at the top of the rankings at the end of the day.
McMillan summed up after racing:
“It was a pretty feisty day to be honest – full on. There were big gusts and it was massively shifty so it was pretty hard to be consistent. We had to make quick decisions.” With only two days left this season, McMillan’s attentions quickly shifted to the bigger prize: “We know we have a lot to do and Morgan’s not far behind on the leaderboard, but he had a better day than we had hoped today to be honest. We could have done with him being further back but we’ll keep working away at it tomorrow and give ourselves the best possible position we can.”
With 18 knots of breeze and gusts up to 24 knots that blasted across the course like bullets from the surrounding city skyscrapers, the fleet had it all on to remain in control of their over-powered catamarans, against the backdrop of the Sydney Opera House, Harbour Bridge and the Royal Botanical Gardens. Reaching starts and incredibly tight mark roundings had the trimmers working in overdrive as they powered around the track trying to capitalise on the pressure points and avoid the lulls in the breeze. The Swiss Realteam were impressive, with two race wins helping to secure them second place, and getting their campaign for the Series podium off to a flying start -literally, as the fastest average boat on the water. Not giving too much away, Larson commented:
“It was a good effort by the guys and they muscled the boat around. Every point counts and it’s going to come down to one or two points I know, so it’s good to know we didn’t get any last place finishes. We know what we have to do tomorrow. Now it’s time to get more aggressive and go after it, but being too aggressive on a new course, in a tight zone with winds gusting between 15 and 25 knots could really get you in trouble.”
One duo who know their way around Sydney Harbour better than most is Roman Hagara and his right-hand man Hans Peter Steinacher of Red Bull Sailing Team, who picked up their first of two Olympic gold medals here in 2000. The team put their knowledge to great use, sailing a slick course and executing the fewest maneuvres according to the SAP analytics, and a race win coupled with two second places leaves them tied on points with J.P Morgan BAR in fourth. Roman commented:
“We know Sydney well, and it’s great to be back and see how much interest there is in sailing here. There were lots of spectators supporting the racing today from the Botanical Gardens, which is incredible to see. The racing was good for us – we did some really nice starts and had some really nice crew work – we are pleased with the race win so we are happy with the first day.”
With the windward mark literally metres from the shore, the elite level teams could hear the crowds cheering, while the public could hear the frenetic shouts from the boats during the high speed mark roundings. One team who took it too close to the rocks was Gazprom Team Russia, and the sound of carbon crunching could be heard from the shore as the team run aground. However, two race wins for the Russian meant it was a mixed day, and skipper Phil Robertson certainly showed the team’s intentions this week, commenting:
“It was really close and difficult out there. There are massive shifts and big puffs so it was pretty hard getting off the line. It’s a hard one to read but it was fantastic down by the windward mark. We were pushing it a little too close, but that’s what you do when you’re racing at this level – you’re trying for every inch. It’s an awesome spot and a great viewing point for the spectators.”
It was a tough day in the office for the two skippers from Down Under, Nathan Wilmot and Tom Slingsby, whose local knowledge was no match for the more experienced Extreme 40 fleet. It’s a big ask for any sailor to step into this fleet at this stage in the season, and even Slingsby whose enviable CV boasts five Laser World Championship titles as well as an Olympic gold, struggled with some boat handling errors as the new skipper of Oman Air. But a win in the final race of the day made it clear we will see a lot more of this team over the weekend.
Tomorrow is the penultimate day of the season, and it is all about clocking up those valuable points on the Act 8 Sydney presented by Land Rover leaderboard with every team wanting to finish on a high. Extreme Sailing Series commentator David Carr has predicted one more twist in the season this year, and with a lighter breeze and glorious sunshine on the forecast for the coming days, it’s not over until it’s over.
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 8 Sydney presented by Land Rover standings after Day 2, 10 races (12.12.14)
Position / Team / Points
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 75 points.
2nd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wasem 74 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 70 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 61 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Campbell-James, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 61 points.
6th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Christian Kamp, Brad Farrand 49 points.
7th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Tanguy Cariou, Romain Motteau, Thierry Fouchier, Hervé Cunningham 49 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 41 points.
9th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Seve Jarvin, Matt Mitchell, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski 40 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA) Tom Slingsby, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Joey Newton, Ali Al Balashi 30 points.
VOR – Team Vestas Wind’s Onboard Reporter Brian Carlin tells the grounding incident as he experienced it, and explains why he kept filming despite the risks. Great video update on the grounding of Team Vestas Wind.
VOR UPDATE: Team Brunel’s lead is shrinking and Abu Dhabi is on the move, passing Dongfeng, taking 2nd position just 2.9 miles behind the leader. Dongfeng is only 4.2 miles behind Team Brunel. With the finish line getting closer who will win? Follow the 3-boat one design racing by CLICKING HERE!
SAILING HISTORY – Check out this cool film on the 1964 Sydney Hobart race with sailing footage and interviews – great sailing history!
VOR – It has happened again and will continue – another lead change. Abu Dhabi is back in the lead but by only 2 miles. To follow the fleet CLICK HERE!
REPORT FROM THE BOATS:
The front-runners and ourselves all patiently or not so patiently wait for this shift in the breeze to the left. A lifting breeze will allow us gybe to get south once again and finally make a rendezvous with a substantial frontal system that pushes us east to our next port.
We have options; right now Chris and Wouter discuss and discuss in detail every option. I’m finding it tough to wait this out, they too must be… It’s exciting though, we have the potential to pop out in the lead if not completely close the gauge on Abu Dhabi and Brunel.
… It’s funny I usually start these blogs mid morning and finish them that evening so that I miss nothing during the course of the day, well something funny just happened. It’s now 18:42 and a boat we have not seen since the Canary Islands has crossed our bow by 3 miles, it’s Abu Dhabi!
Wow, that’s good news and bad, good we are in the right place on the race course bad so now too are the rest of the leading group, we suspect Brunel is not far away either. This is a true testament to the new one-design fleet, three miles apart after 19 days of racing! Now the following days are going to get very exciting…
Brian Carlin, OBR
Team Vestas Wind
With sunlight fading over the South Atlantic, from the helm of Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing a bright white sail grew larger by the minute on the horizon. After more than five days without seeing any other boats, Team Vestas Wind was crossing behind us by a mere three miles.
One might think that after 19 days of racing and being thousands of miles from land we’re surprised to see another boat so close. To be honest, we’re not. The shock of how close this one-design racing is has worn off. After the earlier battle down the African coast, it’s not surprising to see one or even two sails keeping pace with you for a very, very long time.
Matt Knighton, OBR
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
The sun shines and we are sailing in 15 knots of wind. The good news: the sched this morning showed that we were the fastest boat, we’ve been catching up with the pack. It’s very important that by the time we head to South Africa, we are all together and at the front. As Iker puts it “we can’t miss this train.” Arriving late would be too bad for us.
Today we had a look at the forecast for the upcoming days, and tomorrow we’ll be sailing in 25 knots of wind, and 3 to 4 meter waves. It’s going to get wet. I’ve been preparing everything for that, when the life onboard gets difficult.
The French guys also surprised us by taking a “pate” out of the bags. It was really good, so thanks so much for that guys. Eating something different really puts you in better spirits!
Francisco Vignale, OBR
Corinna Halloran/Team SCA/Volvo Ocean
Just like any Wednesday at the office, the general topic of conversation around the water cooler was plans for the weekend. We will all be in the Southern Ocean, so it should be a pretty epic weekend to say the least. Sara said she already has her wardrobe ready and organised; this will be Sara’s first time going to the Southern Ocean.
Today’s average day at the office also included some last minute checks before the big weekend. Sophie went up the rig to make sure everything was 100%, and Abby and Liz continued a detailed inspection of the boat. I’m not lying when I say it’s going to be one big weekend.
So yeah today was just an average day out here—no surprises and no excitement, just a quiet, average Wednesday.
Corinna Halloran, OBR
The most obvious changes have been in the weather, and it’s a matter of some significance given where we’re soon headed. Life is getting cold in a hurry and because the water’s still warm we’re seeing a lot of fog; fog is damp, and for the first time in a long time things are wet. At this point its just condensation, but it’s an early reminder that we’re going south, somewhere much colder and much wetter: to the notorious latitudes of the roaring forties.
While the sailing is still easy—and it is by comparison to what it will soon be—everyone has been prepping their respective areas–building worklists, checking the rig, the winches, digging out boots, waterproofing etc… We want to be sure that when the winds begin to build we’re as ready as possible, and more ready than the rest. We could see sustained winds of 35 knots so preparation is going to be crucial.
Amory Ross, OBR
Open food bags: 19
Food bags left: 6
Days of sailing left: 7
We won’t die of hunger because we do have leftovers from the 19 open bags. But it won’t contain our favourite meals. Let’s just say we’ll have to wait for Cape Town to enjoy a great dinner.
Percentage of meals unfinished last week: 100
Percentage of meals unfinished this week: 0
Average life span of a Nutella pot the first week: 3-4 days
Average life span of a Nutella pot this week: less than 24 hours
Confirmation: we do have food, but we’re not against a food feast in South Africa.
Yann Riou, OBR
Dongfeng Race Team
VOR – The fleet is sailing to Cape Town like a pack of wolves – “A hungry wolf walks fast so.. it’s always a good thing. We have a pack of wolves here, so maybe a bit of hunger just gives a little bit of extra drive to come earlier to Cape Town.” Abu Dhabi is leading the pack with a good gain last night of 13 miles. Can the rest of the pack catch her? Check out the tracker by clicking HERE.
VOR – The lead and leaders have changed again as Abu Dhabi sails into the lead. Dongfeng Race Team who had a commanding lead and who everyone thought broke away from the pack is now in 4th place. To follow this great one-design madness CLICK HERE! Reports from the Boats is below:
“The only thing we see is the other boats in the far distance, and occasionally a fishing boat, a cargo or a sailing boat around one of the islands. It’s kind of weird that after 9 days of sailing into the ocean we are still fighting our way! But that’s life, you have to expect the unexpected and be ready to react in the best possible way.
Carlos Hernández, Anthony Marchand and Xabi Fernández were all hit by flying fish. The worst is the smell they leave behind… and if one falls into the boat unnoticed, then it’s even worse.
It’s getting warmer and warmer. Yesterday you couldn’t sleep inside anymore, so we ended up not sleeping at all.”
Francisco Vignale, OBR
Whales are big and beautiful mammals, however you want to keep your distance. Tom and Peter were pretty happy about seeing their first whales on the trip but one gave them a little bit of a scare. Having seen four whales in succession a fifth came within 4 meters on the leeward side. It certainly gave Tom a fright. All ended well and we continued onwards to the equator.
I think if I was Tom I would be more concerned with what will happen his lovely boy band hair than worrying about whales. Neptune is waiting and so is Rob Salthouse with his scissors.
Brian Carlin, OBR
Team Vestas Wind
On Dongfeng, we ended up south of everyone, slaloming between the islands of Cape Verde. It paid off in the rankings short-term, but the real outcome is still undecided. Many wind rotations to exploit, accelerations between the islands, but also a nice navigation amidst a beautiful archipelago.
Wolf, who seems to have only just discovered the existence of this archipelago, questions, “There are people who live there?”. I must say, it’s a valid question, when we are faced with Fogo, this piece of land in the middle of the Atlantic, which peaks at 2,900 meters.
Yann Riou, OBR
Dongfeng Race Team
The bright green and steep hillsides of the Cape Verde Islands brought everyone on deck to take in the awesome scenery and lightened the mood onboard. “Quite an amazing thing to see really”, said Parko.
“It was cool to sail so close to such a high mountain; we were probably only a mile away when we gybed. Without doing this race I definitely would’ve never seen that.”
There is a sense of relief that it appears our northern bet is paying dividends and we’ll draw even with Dongfeng if not make a few gains.
Matt Knighton, OBR
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
The first time I sailed past Cape Verde islands was in 2010 when I was helping deliver a catamaran from Gibraltar to Antigua. We stopped in the mid-Atlantic tropical island for fuel and were sailing out of the islands around sunset at a gentle pace. I think I was even attempting a bit of yoga in the luxury catamaran’s saloon.
Yeah, things were different back then. This time there was no yoga — unless you count my balancing act as I attempted a video interview with Sam (the one legged standing starfish pose). This time, my experience was loads different as Team SCA screamed around the northern side of the Cape Verde Islands at 20-22 knots down wind—yep, we were sailing at full throttle. We’re a boat on a mission: catch the fleet. And they’re getting closer by the mile.
Corinna Halloran, OBR
Today Mark Towill turns 26. We’ve got a bit of a present-stash for Mark courtesy of Charlie’s wife, and needless to say this will be a birthday he won’t forget. In darkness we sailed under a chain of clouds that was most likely coming from Santa Antao, the westernmost island of the chain (and also—westernmost point of Africa), and it took us 30-degrees from our “expected” heading for a few hours.
It’s hard to explain the complexity of the weather in this part of the world. No computer model or forecaster can accurately predict the winds, and things like small islands and clouds throw more than a few monkey wrenches in a well-laid plan.
Amory Ross, OBR
VOR – Don’t miss the start of the world’s most extreme ocean race. Watch live streaming of the Volvo Ocean Race Alicante In-port Race on TODAY!. – Live stream begins 13:50pm CEST / 11:50 UTC – Ends 15:05pm CEST / 13:05 UTC.
Charlie Enright’s smile said it all as he led his young Team Alvimedica crew to victory in the opening skirmish of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 on Saturday.
There’s a long, long way to go and the Alicante in-port race success does not even count towards the offshore overall trophy apart from as a tie-breaker in the case of teams finishing level on points.
But as a confidence-builder for the Turkish/American team, you could hardly beat victory under bright blue skies and 14-knot winds in front of thousands of fans who thronged the Alicante harbour.
Enright was impressively poised afterwards. “Surprised that we’re able to do well? Not that much. We’ve had some good practice, the guys have been working really hard on maneuvres and we’re happy with the win,” he said.
“We haven’t done anything that counts for the overall trophy yet, but it’s a confidence builder, it gives us the feeling that we can do well again.”
Enright (USA), 30, and his right-hand man Mark Towill (USA) know all about fairytale starts after hatching a dream to one day compete in offshore racing’s leading event on the film set of the Disney movie, Morning Light, some seven years ago.
The realisation of that ambition took a lot of determination and the hammering on doors of countless sponsors before Turkish surgical instrument manufacturer Alvimedica CEO Cem Bozkurt finally saw potential in them and supported their campaign.
On the face of Saturday’s surprise result, that confidence could be richly repaid, although it’s obviously very early days.
Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, winners of the 2011 Alicante in-port race, were denied a repeat triumph by a mere five seconds in just over 14 knots of wind with Spanish entrants MAPFRE third a further 25 seconds adrift.
Generally, the racing could barely have been tighter in almost perfect conditions for sailing and the lead changed hands several times after a storming start with China’s Dongfeng Race Team grabbing the early initiative.
Team Brunel (NED) eventually pipped them for fourth spot with Team SCA’s all-women crew (SWE) leaving Team Vestas Wind (DEN) comfortably behind to take sixth.
Leg 1 from Alicante to Cape Town begins next Saturday. In all, the boats will cover 38,739 nautical miles over nine months before the adventure finishes in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 27, 2015. They will visit 11 ports in all, including a pit-stop in The Hague. Team Alvimedica wins first In-Port Race in Alicante
Final results for Alicante In-Port Race:
1. Team Alvimedica 14:52:02 – 1pt
2. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 14:52:07 – 2pts
3. MAPFRE 14:52:27 – 3pts
4. Team Brunel 14:52:48 – 4pts
5. Dongfeng Race Team 14:53:14 – 5pts
6. Team SCA 14:53:51 – 6pts
7. Team Vestas Wind 14:55:24 – 7pts
EXTREME SAILING – Follow the racing with the 3D viewer. Starts at 5am PST. Don’t miss it!
EXTREME UPDATE!!! : The third day of racing on the French Riviera for the Extreme 40s could prove to be one of the most defining days of the whole 2014 season, with the leaderboard well and truly blown open. There were plenty of movers and shakers in the rankings, but the most significant moves came from Alinghi, who came to Nice with a slender one-point lead in the Series rankings, between them and the team challenging them for the season title, The Wave, Muscat. The Swiss took an impressive 54 points from a possible 70, while the Omanis could only add 21 to their tally, and the result: Alinghi lead, The Wave, Muscat last going into tomorrow’s final showdown, leaving The Wave, Muscat now planning their damage limitation strategy.
Explaining what worked for them today, Morgan Larson commented:
“Sometimes in the light air, if you just focus on your positioning, your tactics and your starts and ignore the other boats – it works. That was our strategy this morning; ignore the other boats. I know I keep my loose eye on The Wave, Muscat all the time, and the team remind me to just sail the boat well, and we did that – which in turn will put the pressure on them. It’s working, but there’s still a lot of races to go.”
For the defending champions from Oman it was a day of sailing they will want to forget. But while the team are down, they are by no means out and when the pressure is on, Leigh McMillan has more then enough ability to rise to the challenge and bounce back, which the team’s tactician Sarah Ayton was positive about:
“It was a really tough day – the conditions were such that if you had a good start then you could lead either into the left or into the right and that’s were the gains were. As a team we are solid, our roles, routines, the synergy on the boat is good – so we’ll just take a bit of time to reflect on our performance and have another go tomorrow.”
Realteam, who have led the regatta since day one, did well to maintain their podium position and head into tomorrow in second place, just 10 points behind Alinghi, and three ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, somewhat to the relief of Skipper Jérôme Clerc.
“It was a tough day for us, we are surprised by the overall standings because we didn’t think we had a good day. The plan of attack for tomorrow is to continue to navigate as we did the first few days, it is quite regular and strategy work. The mindset will also play a role tomorrow because it is going to be complicated; everyone will want to attack and be on the podium.”
Seven races were sailed, and with so much at stake, the teams took plenty of risks in the light conditions, often rolling the dice and trying to break away from the pack to make gains. On the tight and congested racetrack, mistakes were punished hard; misjudge the start and there was no coming back, find yourself stuck in a hole in the wind and sufferer the consequences. Those who could minimise mistakes and stay out of trouble rose to the top, and it was a great day of racing for Rob Greenhalgh and the team from the Sultanate of Oman, Oman Air, scoring two race wins to upgrade their overnight position from eighth to fourth at the close of play.
“It was a difficult day, we didn’t start off brilliantly but then we had a string of reasonable results all the way through,” said Greenhalgh “We were good downwind and made some good decisions. We will go out tomorrow and do the best we can – the team has made excellent progress and we hope to continue to.”
Behind them is J.P. Morgan BAR who had a consistently inconsistent day like much of the fleet, currently in fifth place and leading the middle of the pack. Just one point behind are the new boys from Down Under on GAC Pindar, and while it has been a steep learning curve this season the team are getting better Act by Act, as skipper Nathan Wilmot explained:
“I think we’ve learnt a lot over the last couple of regattas. Generally we are being more consistent although we had a couple of bad races today. I think we are learning a lot and up there fighting at the top of the fleet in a lot of the races, so we’ve just got to try and keep it up and hopefully we’ll keep doing it come Sydney.”
Gazprom Team Russia tumbled a few places on the leaderboard, and finish the day tied on points with Red Bull Sailing Team in seventh place. Roman Hagara and his crew had a much better day, making the right sort of waves to move up from eleventh to eighth at the close of play and their double Olympic champion skipper Roman Hagara explained what was different:
“We sat down as a team yesterday and tried to analyse all of the things we did that were both bad and good, and then came up with a plan for today. So we’ve continuously improved over the last three days, and that’s what we’ll try and do tomorrow.”
As is the way in Extreme Sailing Series, the final double points race can be a shoot-out that always has twists and turns, and expect tomorrow to be no different, with any team mathematically capable of a top three finish at the close of play. Watch live from 1530 local time (GMT+2) at extremesailingseries.com This is not one you want to miss!
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7 Nice standings after Day 3, 22 races (4.10.14)
Position / Team / Points
1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 135 points.
2nd Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wasem 125 points.
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Glenn Ashby, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 122 points.
4th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 120 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Campbell-James, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 110 points.
6th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Seve Jarvin, Hugh Styles, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski 109 points.
7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 106 points.
8th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Thomas Cjakgak, Stewart Dodson 106 points.
9th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Tanguy Cariou, Valentin Bellet, Arnaud Jarlegan, Devan Le Bihan 105 points.
10th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Christian Kamp, Brad Farrand 98 points.
11th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 95 points.
TEAM NZ – Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Peter Burling goes over the first days performance in the Extreme Sailing Series Regatta at Nice.
EXTREME SAILING – Light winds dominated the opening day of Act 7 of the Extreme Sailing Series™ in Nice, France calling for pin-point precision from the teams as the battle at the penultimate Act of the 2014 global tour began on the sparkling Mediterranean waters. There was change in the air with the newer teams on the circuit calling the shots and Realteam had all the right tactics and boat speed as the fastest average team according to the SAP sailing analytics. The Swiss team scored two first and two seconds places finishing the end of day one in pole position, and skipper Jérôme Clerc commented:
“With these light wind conditions, it is even harder to be ahead all the time but I think we have been able to find a good strategy for the day. I think we have to continue with this spirit and try to limit the bad races.”
Despite not scoring in race two after sailing the wrong course whilst leading, Gazprom Team Russia sailed an impressive day, scoring two race wins to claim second place overall, on equal points with the all-French fixture on Groupama sailing team skippered by Franck Cammas at the close of play. Team Russia’s skipper Phil Robertson, who only took over the tiller at Act 5 Cardiff, spoke about ‘fine-tuning’ their Extreme 40 for light wind racing.
“Your whole set up changes with your rig tuning and speed wise, the whole balance of the boat changes. We talk about these factors after every race, whether we need to make any changes or not and as a whole, chat about what we can improve on. That was really good today and the boys put in a big effort to make sure we were going fast. The trick now is just to keep that rolling. The hard part is having another day like this over the next three days, and keep as consistent as possible when we’re not having such a great day so that’s the key.”
The Aussie team GAC Pindar, led by Olympic gold medallist Nathan Wilmot had their best start to a regatta this year, coming out of the blocks quickly and sailing consistently to finish the day in fourth place. Cool as ever, Wilmot commented:
“We just kept plugging some good races in now and then, and in the lighter air you have a little more time to think about what’s going on. We just tried to sail the boat fast around the course and stay out of trouble with everyone and it seems to have worked well today. It’s pretty hard out there and it can be frustrating so it’s quite hard on the brain when trying to figure out where to go, but if we can keep the boat going around the course nicely we’ll be there doing alright at the end.”
Ben Ainslie and the British on J.P. Morgan BAR made the right sort of waves in the opening races, and looked to be in imperious form, but a penalty in the third race followed by a start line collision with Alinghi cost them valuable points. The Brits finish the day in a credible fifth place, tied with Emirates Team New Zealand, helmed here by Pete Burling, fresh from a successful defense of the World 49er title in Spain. J.P.Morgan BAR’s bowman Matt Cornwell explained what it was like on the course.
“It was very tricky, very light and very easy to put yourself in situations where you’re looking to be in the top three, and then very quickly you can be in the bottom three, so it’s very hard to get those calls right. I think it was the same for everyone and there’s a lot of teams out there that looked frustrated with today’s racing but actually I think we’re all on similar points and it’s all very tight.”
It wasn’t such a pretty story for the current Series leader Alinghi, and their long-standing dueling partners The Wave, Muscat who both found themselves in the bottom half of the fleet more then the top today. The pair finish the day tied on 39 points in seventh place, leaving themselves with a bit of work to do over the next three days.
Despite managing to finish a handful of races in the top three between, Oman Air, Red Bull Sailing Team and SAP Extreme Sailing Team all struggled in the light airs finishing the day in ninth to eleventh respectively. The opening day is just a shakedown of what is to come over the next three days here in Nice, and expect plenty more twists and turns on the leaderboard. Watch tomorrow’s racing live from 1530 local time, (GMT+2) at extremesailingseries.com.
Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 7 Nice standings after Day 1, 8 races (2.10.14)
Position / Team / Points
1st Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem 51 points.
2nd Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Matt Adams, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 48 points.
3rd Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Tanguy Cariou, Valentin Bellet, Arnaud Jarlegan, Devan Le Bihan 48 points.
4th GAC Pindar (AUS) Nathan Wilmot, Seve Jarvin, Hugh Styles, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski 45 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Campbell-James, Bleddyn Mon, Matt Cornwell 44 points.
6th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Peter Burling, Glenn Ashby, Blair Tuke, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 44 points.
7th Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 39 points.
8th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 39 points.
9th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Ted Hackney, Kyle Langford, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 33 points.
10th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 30 points.
11th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Christian Kamp, Brad Farrand 26 points.
VOR – It’s been two long years of waiting but the Volvo Ocean Race returns to action in the opening Alicante in-port race on Saturday with anticipation rising thanks to a new one-design boat which promises the closest competition in the event’s 41-year history.
The in-shore showdown marks the first competitive action since Franck Cammas’ French crew on Groupama lifted offshore’s most prestigious trophy back in June 2012.
This time, the seven-strong fleet will be competing for a second competition – the Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Series – in Saturday’s race rather than points which count towards the overall prize.
Only if teams finish exactly equal on points in the offshore legs at the conclusion of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 in June next year will the in-port positions count as a tie-breaker.
The one-hour race around the southern Spanish port city’s harbour will give crews, media and fans alike the chance to see the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65 boats in serious action.
Whether the event will be a reliable form guide for the race proper is unlikely – in 2011, Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing boat won the in-port race in Alicante and then suffered a broken mast within hours of starting Leg 1 a week later.
But all crews are taking it very seriously with Leg 1 to Cape Town starting exactly a week after the Alicante in-port race on October 11.
“We always look forward to lining up against the other teams,” Walker said. “With the leg start just a week away it’s important that we protect the boat and the sails, but we will be gunning for a good result to kick off the campaign in style and give the fans back in Abu Dhabi something to cheer about.
“All the teams are very competitive and will also be out to win, so I’m sure the race will be an exciting spectacle,” he added.
The crew will welcome Britain’s Olympic medal-winning triathlon brothers Jonathan and Alistair Brownlee as guests on board, two men who know all about sport at its toughest.
The all-women’s crew of Team SCA, the first in the event since the 2001-02 race, were admitting some understandable apprehension mid-week about starting well.
“Although the in-port race doesn’t count towards the final result, we feel like we can still do a good performance and psychologically it’d be good to get a strong start to race properly,” said skipper Sam Davies. “We know that it’s not our strength, we’ve got to work hard.”
The action begins at 1400 local time (1200 GMT). The action will be shown live on www.volvooceanrace.com from 1350.
The teams are Team SCA (Sweden), Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Brunel (The Netherlands), Dongfeng Race Team (China), Team Alvimedica (Turkey/U.S.), MAPFRE (Spain), Team Vestas Wind (Denmark).
BART’S BASH – Bart’s Bash, the global sailing race organised by the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation which took place on 21st September, has set the new Guinness World Record for the Largest Sailing Race (24 hours).
While the Bart’s Bash technical team are still processing the data submitted by some of the 768 venues who took part, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation is delighted to announce that the threshold of 2,500 boats sailing in regattas including at least 25 boats, the key criteria to meet the record, has been reached.
This announcement comes after processing the results of 3,600 boats, who have sailed over 10,000,000 metres in total, which equals 13% of the data the organisation expects to receive in the coming days.
“The event has proved a huge success and we are delighted to announce that, subject to ratification, we have set the new Guinness World Record. And we have done it in style with 87 % of the results still to be processed,” said Richard Percy, CEO of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation. “The turnout on 21st September exceeded our expectations and we are very happy that we provided a truly global opportunity for people to come together and enjoy sailing. We hope this event will become a regular feature in the global sailing calendar.”
The event was a world-wide celebration of sailing attracting over 18,000 participants of all ages and abilities, taking part in 68 different countries. For many people it was their first time sailing. Races were held between 0.00 and 23.59 GMT on 21st September 2014 globally.
Bart’s Bash was set up to remember Olympic gold medallist Andrew ‘Bart’ Simpson, to inspire the next generation of sailors, to encourage clubs to open their doors and to fundraise in support of the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation’s charitable programmes.
The Bart’s Bash technical team have created a system capable of handicapping several thousands of boats across hundreds of classes. The provisional results are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The processed data will be ratified by Guinness World Records before the end of the year.
The Guinness World Record criteria is explained here.
Watch the video highlights of the event here.
Video provided from clubs and participants has been shared on facebook.com/bartsbash.
To request broadcast quality video, please contact: [email protected]
Download photos of Bart’s Bash at the Andrew Simpson Sailing Centre, Weymouth, UK here.
Download photos of Bart’s Bash at the Queen Mary Sailing Club, Ashford, UK here.
Download photos of Bart’s Bash at the Clipper Race Yacht Club, Gosport, UK here.
Download photos of Bart’s Bash at the Yacht club Cagliari/ Windsurfing Club Cagliari with Luna Rossa, Italy here.
Download photos of Bart’s Bash at the Seaplane Lagoon Yacht Club with Artemis Racing, Alameda, USA here
WMRT – Chicago, USA (21 Sept. 2014): In a masterful display of tenacious match race sailing in today’s blustery conditions, Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team US One have successfully defended their Chicago Match Cup title, the only US event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). Canfield’s US One team consists of tactician Rod Dawson, trimmer Mike Rehe and bowman Hayden Goodrick.
Canfield started strong in the 15-20+ knot northerly breeze that puffed and shifted all day, dominating all matches in the first-to-three point Semi Final against Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team and amassing a convincing winning score of 3-0. Williams looked like he would do the same by winning his first two matches against Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets, but then the French team took the third match to bring the score to 2-1. However, in Match 4 Williams once again took control early and kept control to earn his berth in the Finals 3-1.
The momentum Williams had gained in that last match seemed it would carry through to the Finals when taking the start and early lead in the first match. But on the last half of the last run to the finish, Canfield closed the gap down to nil and then got an overlap and control of Williams, who managed to stay clear in hard spinnaker luff from Canfield. Williams then managed to build enough separation to gybe back to starboard at Canfield, luff him hard, and force a penalty on him for not keeping clear. One last gybe back by Canfield on the finish line only earned him another penalty, thus ceding the win to Williams. Score: Williams 1-0.
The second match saw Williams back in control in the pre-start, not only pushing Canfield over the line early at the start, but Canfield earning a red flag penalty for not keeping clear either. After taking his obligatory turn, Canfield was left to follow Williams around the first lap, especially after a right shift on the first run made that leg a parade. But being clever on the last beat put Canfield close, then into the lead that he managed to defend to make the score even at 1-1.
In Petit Final action, Richard led in nearly every turn of both matches against Hansen to win this series for third place 2-0.
In the third match of the Finals, Williams took the right side of the start and never let go control of this match, and was helped by a right shift that deprived Canfield of any passing opportunities. Williams’s narrow lead on the last leg to the finish looked reasonably safe, until Canfield rode a puff to close the gap, overlapped Williams to leeward, and under Tour rules was allowed to luff. According to match umpires Bill Edgerton, Russell Green and Tom Rinda, Williams did not keep clear, and was not in the two-length zone at the pin end of the finish, and therefore earned a penalty before crash gybing to try to get to the line before Canfield. Score: Canfield 2-1.
In the last match, Canfield wanted and took the right and successfully defended this side to where Williams never had a chance to get ahead. Even in one dial-down defence on the first beat, Canfield simply extended his lead more. With the breeze dropping slightly, and the big puffs of earlier matches no longer available to enable the trailing boat any opportunity to catch the leaders, Canfield went on to sail comfortably to the finish and his successful defence of the Chicago Match Cup.
“It was fantastic to defend this event in front of all of our families and friends,” said an elated Canfield. “And I really have to thank my team for an incredible performance this week in only losing two matches. In these conditions when you’re behind never out of it, and this team is incredible: when we were behind they only pushed harder for us to win.”
Overall results of Stage 4 Chicago Match Cup, Alpari World Match Racing Tour
1 Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One
2 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
3 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
4 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
5 Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
6 Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
7 Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing
8 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
9 Tom Slingsby (AUS) Team Tom Slingsby
10 Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Sailbox
11 Don Wilson (USA) Chicago Match Race Center
12 Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One beat Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 3-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets beats Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 2-0
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One beat Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 3-0
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar beat Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 3-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets beat Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 3-1
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team beat Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 3-2
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar beat Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 3-0
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One beat Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing 3-0
1. Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing 6-1
2. Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 5-2
3. Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 5-2
4. Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 4-3
5. Tom Slingsby (AUS) Team Tom Slingsby 3-4
6. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Sailbox 2-5
7. Don Wilson (USA) Chicago Match Race Center 2-5
8. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing 1-6
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One 10-1
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 9-2
Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 7-4
Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 7-4
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 7-4
Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing 5-6
Tom Slingsby (AUS) Team Tom Slingsby 4-7
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Team Trifork 4-7
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 4-7
Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team 4-7
Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Sailbox 3-8
Don Wilson (USA) Chicago Match Race Center 2-9
2014 Leaderboard Standings after Stage 4
1 Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 94pts
2 Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets 74pts
3 Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone 73pts
4 Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing 63pts
5 Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX 52pts
6 Phil Robertson (NZL) Waka Racing 48pts
7 Francesco Bruni (ITA) Luna Rossa 20pts
8 David Gilmour (AUS) Team Gilmour 20pts
FULL RESULTS HERE http://www.wmrt.com/component/wmrt/event_results/96.html
WMRT – Chicago, USA (19 Sept 2014): After a lacklustre performance in Qualifying yesterday, and a terrible start to the Repechage today, Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team looked as though the Chicago Match Cup would end early for him when after three flights he had still not won a single match. He needed to win all of his remaining four matches to have a chance to go through to the Quarter Finals, and even then would be at the mercy of tie-breaks among the other seven teams to determine his fate.
This outcome would be a blow for Hansen: as one of the senior members of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT), Hansen has done well this year, winning Match Cup Sweden in July and is only one point behind Qualifying series winner Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One who is third on the Tour leader board.
But then things started to fall into place for the Swedes, starting with a win against top-ranked US match racer Don Wilson. Then another win in Flight 5 against the ISAF #8-ranked Danish team led by Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing Team..
Suddenly the impossible became plausible, as the other teams wins and losses through Flight 5 started to bring into focus some scenarios where the Swedes could get through. In the building 8-12 knot breeze and steep 1-meter high waves on Lake Michigan, teams like Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing who had more time in the TOM 28’s were beating their opponents through shear boathandling prowess and excellent timing.
Regardless, Hansen had to keep winning and get to 4 points to have a chance. The next match in Flight 6 was going to be a hard one against Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets, as the French were already strong on four wins and were nearly certain to go through. But Hansen did it, and the final showdown lie ahead in Flight 7.
In this flight, not only did Hansen have to beat Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX, another strong team already through on five wins, but also have Wilson defeat Tom Slingsby (AUS) Team Tom Slingsby, because if Slingsby won he would go to four points as well and beat Hansen on the tie-break.
In this final flight the breeze kicked up a notch to 15 knots, with a hint of right shift, Hansen successfully controlled the right side off the start and well into the first beat, shearing off the Aussies on the long starboard tack off the start line. The hard part came on the next leg, when any boat trailing could find the right wave and surf ahead into an overlap to completely change the match.
But Hansen’s team kept their cool, survived the attacks on the run, protected the right side on the next beat, and survived the final run to cross the line ahead by several lengths.
And Wilson did his part by defeating Slingsby, the team strategist on Oracle Team USA in the last America’s Cup, by taking and winning the start and leading throughout the match to the finish.
“It feels great to get through and start with a clean slate now,” said Hansen. “It has felt like we’ve just been out of luck all week, where whatever we did was just the wrong thing. It was like that this morning too, until we made a few changes in our trim upwind, and this made a big difference. And in our match with Richard, we got a little lucky when Mathieu was down speed with us at the top mark and hit a wave that caused him to stop and drift into the mark [to get a penalty], helping us to win that match.”
When asked if he knew who would select him from the top four determined from the Qualifying Series yesterday, Hansen said he didn’t know. But he did say who Canfield, the top seed from yesterday, should pick to make the Tour leader board tighten up.
“We were talking amongst ourselves earlier and agreed Taylor should choose Ian [Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar],” said Hansen. “Taylor has raced here more than anyone and has the strongest chance to beat him.” The reason for this is that if successful, Williams would be deprived of a chance to go to the Semi-Finals and thus gaining more than the 14 points awarded a fifth place finisher for the event. With a 17-point lead over the current runner-up Richard, this would help compress the standings coming into the final run of two events in Holland and Bermuda and the season’s finale in Malaysia.
Quarter Final racing will start tomorrow at 0930 CDT as a first-to-three point series, with pairings determined in the morning before racing.
Stage 4 Chicago Match Race, Alpari World Match Racing Tour
1. Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing, 6-1
2. Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets, 5-2
3. Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX, 5-2
4. Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team, 4-3
5. Tom Slingsby (AUS) Slingsby Racing Team, 3-4
6. Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Sailbox, 2-5
7. Don Wilson (USA) Chicago Match Race Center, 2-5
8. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Aschenbrenner Racing, 1-6
Taylor Canfield (ISV) US One
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar
Pierre Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing
Chris Steele (NZL) 36 Below Racing
Mathieu Richard (FRA) LunaJets
Keith Swinton (AUS) Team Alpari FX
Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Sailing Team
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LOCAL KNOWLEDGE – Come join the Summer Splash THIS WEEKEND! by Multi-Marine! Presently, over 30 multis signed up… which makes this the largest, offshore, multihull event in North America! All multihulls capable of open ocean passage to Catalina are welcome!
Dates: THIS FRIDAY/SAT/SUN – Sept. 19-21
Location: Angels Gate, LA Harbor or MdR Start to Cat Harbor, Catalina (though some boats only go to the Isthmus )
Cost $60. ( includes one t-shirt ). Payment can be made at Catalina or Pay Pal.
We provide: venue, BBQ coals Friday and Sat. night, flipping tools, condiments, and, events while on the island.
So don’t miss the biggest multihull event of the year! For more information call Mike at 310-821-6762 or email Mike at [email protected]
AC NEWS – The six America’s Cup teams have agreed to a project that will see the existing fleet of AC45 catamarans modified into fully foiling catamarans for racing in the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS).
Importantly, the teams have also committed to continue to race the foiling AC45s on the America’s Cup World Series circuit in 2018, following the conclusion of the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.
“I’m pleased all of the competitors have agreed on a way forward, beyond the current America’s Cup cycle,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner for the 35th America’s Cup.
“To have the teams give certainty to all stakeholders as to what will happen following the racing in 2017, regardless of who wins, is a huge step forward for all involved.”
The teams have undertaken the project to modify the one-design AC45s into fully foiling catamarans with a view to racing the foiling versions as early as the 2015 ACWS season.
A feasibility study has been commissioned to determine whether the mods will need to wait until the 2016 season as the timeline to make changes to the entire fleet ahead of racing in 2015 is extremely tight.
The competitors have also appointed a working group to select a Regatta Director, as required by the Protocol.
ISAF RACING – It was a tough fifth day of racing yesterday for all of the fleets at the Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships with a challenging up and down wind playing havoc across the seven race courses. Check out the highlights above!