MOTH SAILING – A new view – Summary of Day 8, the FINAL DAY of the regatta from Hartas Productions. #MothWorlds15. Moth sailing is always cool to watch – check it out above!
ORACLE TEAM USA – Sailors say he’s the funny one as well as the fastest in the family in a Moth. Meet Tom Spithill, brother to ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill.
ICEBOARD SAILING – Just another day on the ice on a stand up ice board with windsurf sail doing 52 knots on hard ice like no big deal. Want to know what it feels like? Click on the video above!
HISTORIC 18 FOOTERS – While match racing Aberdare (John Winning) for the second day running, Harold Cudmore’s chances for the Historical 18s Australian Championship title were dashed when Yendys capsized off Nielsen Park on the run to Shark Island this afternoon.
The highly fancied Yendys, with Cudmore, one of Ireland’s finest at the helm, had been leading Aberdare in a big 20 knot plus nor’ easter. The two crossed tacks going to windward up the Harbour, Cudmore favouring the western shore, while Winning played the breeze to the east and middle of the Harbour.
When the pair met, Yendys had the advantage, leading Aberdare until just before the YA mark at Watsons Bay, when Winning overtook, his crew quickly hoisting the spinnaker, leaving Cudmore to play catch up.
All was well until Nielsen Park when Yendys tiller broke off and over she went in the gusty winds that produced white caps and swell on the Harbour. Ironically, it was Winning’s Rippleside that took on rescue duties.
Yendys crew member and Sydney Flying Squadron Vice Commodore Michael Van Stom jumped aboard Rippleside and oversaw the rescue, which involved attaching a tow line to Yendys which was almost underwater and taking her under tow to a sheltered beach at Vaucluse.
“The tiller just snapped off and we capsized,” Van Stom said. “That’s the end of our chances, such a shame. But you can’t get angry, these things happen.”
It left the way open for Winning to take a second bullet after opening up a big lead on the rest of the fleet. It has also paved the way for the defending champion to redeem the title.
However, the David Swales skippered Top Weight was the first casualty of the day, retiring 10 minutes after the start. The original Top Weight and her replica were built more for Queensland’s flat water conditions and that was not what was on offer today.
The second retirement was Australia IV, skippered by Terry McDell from New Zealand. Another of the highly fancied boats for the title, the boat took on too much water off Shark Island and retired.
“We weren’t paying attention. We were busy looking at some good looking women on the Island and the boat just became awash with water,” the jovial McDell said.
Six time Australian 18 foot skiff champions Andrew ‘Bucko’ Buckland and Don ‘Admiral’ Buckley were casualties of Yendys and Australia IV’s retirements respectively. The two crewed for Iain Murray during his modern day 18’s rein. They remain the only trio to claim six consecutive titles.
“We sailed together all those years and now we’re sailing against each other,” Buckley said, laughing before heading out to the race course today. “May the best one win,” he said.
SAN DIEGO NEWS – Jerry Fiat’s new F32SXRC Trimaran will be sailing around San Diego for the next few months and doing some racing. Keep an eye out for her. She is super light and completely rigged with Colligo Dux Synthetic Rigging, Luff line and Spinnaker furlers. She has a canting mast, semi lifting foils, and rudders in the amass (outer hulls). She will probably be the only trimaran sailing around on one hull in the bay! See info@colligomarine for more information on her and her rigging!
BWR – Today is Argo Day for the skippers competing in the Barcelona World Race. The crews participating in the only double-handed, non-stop, unassisted race around the world will each deploy an Argo float in support of international ocean monitoring efforts to improve our understanding of the ocean system and climate change.
The 3rd edition of the Barcelona World Race, a lap of the globe starting and finishing in Barcelona (Spain), kicked off on 31 December 2014. This is an extreme sporting challenge and ocean adventure that puts human limits to the test. It is also the only high-level race that translates a commitment to ocean protection into action.
The Argo programme allows scientists to look below the surface, providing a profile of the temperature and salinity of the ocean using a global array of over 3,500 profiling floats that are moving up and down in the water column from the surface to a depth of 2,000m. Argo makes visible large-scale ocean and climate features and processes that were once hidden to scientists.
The network has enabled new revelations about ocean dynamics that are helping society understand and forecast global climate. Maintaining this network is very challenging and requires 1,000 deployments per year. The 8 floats were funded by Coriolis (France). This generous support and the crews’ willingness to take a float on board and deploy them where they are most needed are an invaluable contribution.
JCOMMOPS* specialists, who coordinate the maintenance of the network and initiated this innovative partnership, have been following the race very closely to choose the best day: today, the weather conditions allow for a safe launch, and the position of the boats is optimal to deploy floats in remote areas where there is little coverage, and consequently little data.
The leaders of this tight race, Cheminées Poujoulat, Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos, are well below 34°S – the latitude of the Cape of Good Hope, in the so-called “Roaring Forties”, with the other boats spread out between 20°S and 32°S. Their positions allow for deployments in excellent locations for the Argo programme. The skippers were trained ahead of the race to activate and deploy the floats properly and will be sending information, videos and photos of the deployments throughout the day.
One of the floats had to be deployed early, when pre-race favourites Alex Thomson and Pepe Ribes on their IMOCA 60 Hugo Boss were dismasted on 14 January. The duo had led the Barcelona World Race since the beginning, set a new record in the Mediterranean for the passage from Barcelona to Gibraltar and a course record to the Equator. Nevertheless they were able to deploy their float after the incident in a valuable position, before changing course and heading for Brazil. The float successfully sent first confirmation data to shore before beginning its first 10-day dive.
As a novel, global data source Argo has also become a central element in operational oceanography and in basic research and has great value in education. High school students, university undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral investigators can all use Argo from their desktops to explore the global ocean and its evolution. All Argo data are freely and publically available in near real-time. Starting tomorrow, you can follow the floats, as well as the race!
This is not the only contribution these adventurers are making for science during the race. The Race and skippers are translating their commitment to ocean protection into action by contributing to three other scientific projects through a partnership between the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the Barcelona Foundation for Ocean Sailing.
Each crew will collect data on surface temperatures and salinity, as well as meteorological data as their routes take them to remote areas where very little data is available, to be analysed by international ocean research networks such as the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS).
A very special boat, which takes its name after the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO’s motto “One Planet One Ocean” and sponsor Pharmaton, is also collecting samples of micro-plastic pollution and serves as a platform for environmental awareness, in addition to the scientific contributions made by every crew competing in the race. You can track their progress live and get daily updates from the crews BY CLICKING HERE!
Deployment of an Argo beacon
Partners: Coriolis, in situ Observations Programme Support Centre of the Joint WMO/IOC-UNESCO Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMMOPS), Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB).
The boats taking part in the regatta will release Argo floats at different locations in the Southern hemisphere. The float is 1.70 m high and weighs 22 kg; it will be used to collect highly accurate temperature and salinity data from depths of 2,000 m up to the sea’s surface. The information collected is then transmitted via satellite to be analysed by international ocean research networks. This data is crucial for oceanographers studying the behavior of vast areas of seawater, which is key in the bid to understand the evolution of the planet’s climate.
Evaluation of the quality of surface seawater for the Citclops project
Partners: Citizen’s Observatory for Coast and Ocean Optical Monitoring / European Commission 7th Framework Programme (Citclops project), the Barcelona Digital Technology Centre (BDigital) and the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB)
The Citclops project was set up to retrieve and use data on seawater color, transparency and fluorescence to determine its quality and above all the effect on plankton. Cameras on each of the 8 IMOCA 60 vessels participating in the race will send data for areas where data has so far been scarce, along their route.
Salinity and temperature measurements of the sea surface water along the route of the race
Partners: Marine Science Institute (ICM), Spanish National Research Council h (CSIC), Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB)
This is the continuation of a project that began during the previous edition of the race with the boat Fòrum Marítim Català. The objective is to collect invaluable data on salinity and temperature levels for surface seawater in rarely sailed areas, far from common shipping routes, for which data is scarce. The data will be collected by the boat One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton.
Measurements of microplastic concentration in seawater
Partners: Institut Quimic Sarria (IQS – Sarria Chemical Sciences Institute), ICM, CSIC, FNOB
A device installed on the boat One Planet, One Ocean & Pharmaton will detect the level of microplastics in the seawater. These harmful particles affect the biological cycles of many species that ingest them, and their presence in the ocean is increasing. A system of filters and test tubes will collect and measure the particles, then send out the data via satellite. The project aims to collect data, but also to raise environmental awareness, thus contributing to the educational programme of the Barcelona World Race.
WINDSURFING – Racing got off to a perfect start at the SIM 34th Singapore Open RS:One Asian Windsurfing Championship. The event sees Asia’s top-ranked windsurfers pit their skills against each other in the largest multi-class event on the local windsurfing calendar. The event has drawn competitors from 10 territories – Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan, China, India and Singapore.
MOTH SAILING – With the Moth World Championships in the rear view mirror for ORACLE TEAM USA, the sailors reflect on what they have learned and how it will translate to the new foiling AC45s.
FESTIVAL OF SAILS – Hometown sailor Rob Hanna from the Bellarine Peninsula has added line honours in the 32 nautical mile Melbourne to Geelong passage race to his list of ocean-going successes, at this year’s Festival of Sails presented by Rex Gorell Land Rover.
The 50 footers stole the limelight in the mostly upwind race in terms of the fastest course times, Hanna’s high performance TP52 Shogun V set a time of 4 hours 2 minutes and finished ahead of Ray Roberts’ Farr 55 OneSails Racing. The order was reversed until Shogun V snared the new breeze first.
With salt spray flying from Paul Nudd’s 30ft catamaran Two Tribes as it closed out the final miles to the finish line off the Royal Geelong Yacht Club, the Lake Macquarie catamaran made a grand entrance on its first visit to Geelong at the head of the multihull division.
Conditions for the combined 220-240 strong fleet were sou’west 12-14 knots at the morning start, dying off at the three-quarter mark for the frontrunners then a southerly blew in to rescue the idle and continued to build to 20 knots, accelerating a fast finish. The bulk of the fleet was tied up at the host Royal Geelong Yacht Club by 3.30pm.
TEAM VESTUS WIND – No second chances for Wouter Verbraak, navigator for Team Vestas Wind. Bad luck for a good navigator and sailor.
Who is Wouter? See below:
Date of Birth: November 16, 1975
Status: Married, one son, one dog – Something about him that you don’t know: Wouter loves skiing with his family. Unfortunately missing out on this year’s skiing means he will never keep up with his 10 year old son’s 93km/hr skiing! He speaks: Dutch and English. Wouter has competed in the Volvo Ocean Race twice, the America’s Cup, the 2011 Barcelona World Race and all world major regattas.
What he said:
I am very sad to announce that I have been notified that I will not continue with Team Vestas Wind. I respect Chris Nicholson’s decision and wish the team the very, very best of luck with the hard work ahead of them in the Volvo Ocean Race. I would have wanted to help the team getting back in the race again and contribute to their success in the last parts of the race.
On a personal note I am looking forward to the new sailing challenges that are coming up for me in the months ahead and want to keep sharing the passion that I have for this great sport with you all. Someone recently told me: “Life is not about how many breaths you take, but about the moments that take your breath away.” I am looking forward to the new breathless moments to come. Ocean racing tends to offer many of them.
Thank you all very much for your support,
DANGEROUS BATTENS – Always on the outlook to protect sailors, an XS Collective spy disguised as an early morning dog walker in Hood River has detected this delivery of Unobtainium to Robichaud Batten Systems.
Unobtainium. Fictional? Or an extremely rare, costly material. Used when strength and resilience are required to withstand the rigors of sailing.
“The Wizard” Bill Lee of Santa Cruz ULDB fame, once suggested that Unobtainium was used in the construction of the breakthrough 67″ Merlin.
Could this be the proprietary secret behind RBS creating the best battens available?
Calls and emails to RBS have yet to be returned.
We urge all XS readers to bombard RBS battens with phone calls and inquiries as why they are so tenacious to build the best battens in the world even at the risk of losing lives… but then again it’s pretty cool to win a first place trophy at any cost.
Check out the proof below at 53 seconds in the video when it’s obvious that the Unobtainium is injected into the batten as the technician presses the green button. Turn down the volume as the sound of injecting the radioactive material sounds like a grinding noise… very annoying!
XS Sailing disclaimer – No sailmakers or sailors have been harmed in this post using Unobtainium. In engineering, fiction, and thought experiments, unobtainium is any fictional, extremely rare, costly, or impossible material, or (less commonly) device needed to fulfill a given design for a given application. The properties of any particular unobtainium depend on the intended use.
For example, a pulley made of unobtainium might be massless and frictionless; however, if used in a nuclear rocket, unobtainium would be light, strong at high temperatures, and resistant to radiation damage. The concept of unobtainium is often applied flippantly or humorously.
Reading this disclaimer obligates the reader to contact RBS battens immediately to ask how to sail faster with a new set of RBS battens.
AC NEWS – Cagliari in Sardinia will host the first America’s Cup World Series event of the new America’s Cup cycle in June 2015. The event will run from June 4-7, with racing on June 6-7. More details are available here
The America’s Cup World Series calendar for 2015:
Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy – June 5-7, 2015
Portsmouth, Great Britain – July 23-26, 2015
Gothenburg, Sweden – August 28-30, 2015
Hamilton, Bermuda – October 16-18, 2015
AC NEWS – Ben Ainslie is leading his team on to the waters of the America’s Cup race course in Bermuda this week. The squad is training with two foiling catamarans – the small, light, Nacra 20s – on the Great Sound.
Ainslie says the training session is important for two reasons – learning about conditions on the race course area of the America’s Cup; and upskilling the sailing team on foiling catamarans.
“Sailing the Nacra 20s here enables us to get some time on the water and get some more feedback to our designers on the conditions out here. It’s a different time of year from when the America’s Cup will be held, but it helps us understand things like wave state and the wind conditions over the island,” Ainslie said.
“It also allows us to up our skill level in the foiling 20 footers. These boats are great because it enables not just the helmsman and trimmer types to get foiling but also the bigger guys who don’t always have this opportunity to get their skill levels up as well.”
Ainslie has raced on the Great Sound before, but it’s been nearly 20 years, during a youth world championship event. He says racing on the tight confines of the race course area will be a challenge for all of the teams.
“I think it’s going to be a great challenge for all of us because the wind conditions are variable and the tight course means a lot of manoeuvring which should open up the racing,” he said.
“We’re here this week, then we’re back home and testing on the AC45 – which is going to be quite chilly – and that’s a continuing development process. We open our team base in June, which is a big milestone for us, and then we’re looking forward to the America’s Cup World Series starting in Cagliari in June and of course in Portsmouth in July.”
HAPPY HOUR FRIDAY! – It’s the end of the week and time to get ready to party. Check out the latest drink from the Tipsy Bartender! The Electric Kiwi Margarita! Drink responsibly, especially when sailing!
FOILERS – “Herewith a video with stable foiling of our new Flying Phantom sailing at The Haringvliet – Holland, Catsailing Club Hellecat.
Filmed single handed by Rob Klootwijk at 5 januari with 3 Degrees Celsius and about 14 knts wind speed.
Nice day of practice and a lot of progress compared to the previous day! Very nice cat to sail and an amazing experience so far!!
KEY WEST RACE WEEK – Some of the world’s greatest sailors are competing in J/70 class at Quantum Key West 2015. Most of them got beaten by a 12-year-old during Monday’s second race of the series.
Gannon Troutman has gone from racing Optimist dinghies to skippering an entry in the largest class at one of the greatest regattas in North America. And the kid is doing pretty well, steering Pied Piper to a third place finish in the talent-laden, 54-boat class.
“I almost fell off the spectator boat!” Robin Troutman said of seeing her son’s boat heading to the finish line with the lead pack. “I couldn’t believe he was doing that well on the first day.”
Troutman, a resident of Gloucester, Virginia, is believed to be the youngest skipper in the 28-year history of Key West Race Week. Previously, that honor belonged to Samuel “Shark” Kahn, who was 14 when he skippered a Melges 24 entry here.
Gannon’s fascination with boats began with building models of all sorts of different vessels. Upon hearing about that hobby, the family dentist urged the youngster to give sailing a try. A summer sailing camp at Ware River Yacht Club got him hooked and led to full-time instruction at Fishing Bay Yacht Club.
Gannon started sailing Optis at age eight and four years later is a mid-fleet finisher at most major regattas, his mother said. More important than the results are the passion he has developed for the sport.
“The kid just loves to sail! He wants to be out on that water more than anything,” Robin said.
In an effort to encourage and nurture that enthusiasm, Dan Troutman purchased a J/70 so he could sail alongside his son. Victor Diaz de Leon, who met the family while working as a junior instructor at Tred Avon Yacht Club, joined the crew for some regattas last summer and is the one that suggested competing in Key West.
So a planned family vacation to Aruba was scrapped in favor of giving Gannon an opportunity to compete at the highest level of the sport. Such top-notch professionals as Tim Healy, Vasco Vascotto, Eric Doyle, Tony Rey and Dave Ullman are racing in J/70 class at Quantum Key West 2015.
“We decided to let Gannon do this because we knew it would be a lot of fun and he would get great coaching, great experience,” Robin said.
Diaz de Leon is calling tactics while Tomas Dietrich, the Optimist coach at Fishing Bay Yacht Club, is trimming the headsails. After finishing a respectable 27th in Race 1, the team put it all together in taking third in Race 2 on Monday.
“It felt good to get a result like that. I hope to get up there again,” Gannon said.
Gannon has raced his Optimist in big fleets, but that is quite different from negotiating a J/70 class with 54 entries. “Getting off the line is the hard part. It can be hard to find a lane,” he said.
Troutman continued to acquit himself well on Tuesday by posting results of 17th and 10th. Going into the third of five days of racing, Pied Piper is 16th in the overall standings.
“Gannon is doing great. He is listening well and picking things up very fast,” Diaz de Leon said.
Dietrich said the experience of racing for a week in a big, competitive fleet at Key West is invaluable and will benefit Gannon down the road.
“The more you sail the better you get. Gannon is seeing and learning things down here that are all new to him,” Dietrich said. “There’s no doubt this will build his confidence.”
One of the perks of coming to Key West is that a youngster such as Gannon gets an opportunity to meet some of the big stars of the sport. Gannon was a very interested spectator at Sunday evening’s Panel Discussion that was presented by title sponsor Quantum Sail Design Group and afterward got to meet such world-renowned professionals as Terry Hutchinson, Jonathan McKee and Ed Baird. Vascotto is tactician aboard the J/70 Flojito y Cooperando, which is berthed just a few slips down from Pied Piper at Conch Harbor.
“Vasco has been very nice to Gannon and has stopped by almost every morning to say hello and offer words of encouragement,” Dan Troutman said.
YOUTH SAILING – OnBoard is about more children and young people (aged 8-18) learning to sail and windsurf. More importantly, it’s about keeping them involved in sailing, for life. CHECK IT OUT ABOVE!
VOR – Hectic is the word of the day as the fleet squirms through the Singapore Strait and out into the 7th Sea of this leg, the South China Sea.
VOR UPDATE – Dongfeng still leads by 50 miles but anything can still happen – read below:
“I was inside the boat and suddenly I heard something strange – the boat slowed down, less noise, less speed,” explains Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier.
It’s Day 19 of this leg, and his red boat is 46.6nm ahead of second placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing at the 1840 UTC position report.
But as he rushed up on deck in panic this morning, he knew that this moment, these few seconds, could be the end of their leg.
The end of their Sanya superiority. The end of their dream, to sail home to China in first place.
“When I came up, I saw the jib was flying about 4 metres above the deck. My first concern was ‘don’t break this sail!’” he adds.
Luckily, in Kevin Escoffier and Eric Péron, he has a pair of handymen – and with a little huff and puff, the damage was soon minimised.
“We dropped the sail and did good team work – one team went to prepare another sail, and the other went to fix the problem to be able to hoist the sail again.”
It was a close shave, and a stark reminder that however signed, sealed and delivered this leg seems, there’s only one thing for certain: it’s not over til it’s over.
“Honestly, I’ve been very nervous for about 15 days,” he admits, with a chuckle.
“In this case, yeah you’re nervous – but you’re in the action and you don’t have time to think about it.
“It’s ok, I was just stressed to break the sail. We’d have been very slow with another sail.”
In fact, they’re actually the fastest boat in the whole fleet at the moment. With an average speed of 10.7kts over the last three hours, they’re a touch faster than challengers Abu Dhabi as they sail the final stretch.
But Charles is a firm believer that these things are sent to test you – and when you’ve not seen a boat for days, sometimes a sobering shot in the arm is necessary.
“It’s a good reminder that we’re still very far from home and it’s difficult to stay ahead,” he says.
At the other extreme, Team SCA’s magenta boat has also found its way out of the Singapore Strait, and into the open ocean.
And despite over 120nm separating first and last place, both of these teams are all alone, with three words ringing in their ears: it’s not over.
It’s what gives makes them fight, and it’s what gives them fright.
“We are beating upwind in a north east monsoon in the South China Sea,” says skipper Sam Davies, strands of surfer blonde hair reaching backwards in the wind.
“I think our Singapore experience was pretty good – we wish we were in sight of the other boat, but we sailed pretty well.”
At the most recent report, they sit 67nm behind their nearest competitors MAPFRE, and are yet to join the rest of the fleet in tacking north.
“I like the fact that we’ve been sailing around land” adds Sam. “Ships, fishing boats, exclusion zones, floating debris, barges – it was pretty full on at the bottom part, going around Singapore.”
“No one got any sleep for about 12 hours at least.”
She pauses. “But I think the most difficult part is just about to come – everyone knows it’s going to be a busy few hours.”
But whilst the vast expanse of the ocean might sound less risky, the fact is that unchartered reefs and unlit fishing boats make this place just as much of a minefield.
You just have to take it sched by sched, mile by mile, hazard by hazard. And with less than 1000nm to go until he steps onto Chinese land, Charles certainly isn’t taking anything for granted.
“I know this leg – I already did it – and I know where we are going now is a dangerous place.
“It’s my worst memory of the last Volvo Ocean Race – 60 miles where you have to tack every 30 minutes, full stacking.”
He continues. “I’m very concerned with hitting something with the bulb or the rudder – everyone is going to sail along the Vietnam coast and this is full of fishing boats and fishing nets, the fishing boats have got absolutely no lights.”
“It’s a long trip to Sanya, and a lot of things can happen. You always know in sailing, it’s never over until you cross the line.”
AC NEWS – Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of 35th America’s Cup defender Oracle Team USA, will finally undergo elbow surgery next month.
The 2014 ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year postponed the procedure late last year and instead made an appearance in the Melges class in Florida and more recently competed in the Sydney Hobart Race.
However, the Australian sailor has been advised by doctors to follow through with the surgery to rectify the injury he suffered two years ago whilst preparing for the 34th America’s Cup — or risk being ruled out of Oracle’s next Cup defence in Bermuda in 2017.
CHECK OUT THE INTERVIEW ABOVE THEN CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE STORY BY CLICKING HERE!
FESTIVAL OF SAILS – A late arriving sea breeze kept the Hogs Breath Sports Boat division and Melges 24s out past 5pm enjoying the best conditions of their opening day at Geelong’s annual Festival of Sails sailing regatta.
Light early afternoon winds climbed from 5 knots out of the south to 14 knots from the ENE and finally to a decent sou’easter, completing the day’s gamut of shifting bearings.
The national title session for the multihulls finished yesterday and today the sports boats and Melges reserved the vast expanse of Corio Bay. Tomorrow, Friday January 23, 2015 the big boat component of the Festival will amass off Williamstown for a 9.30am race start then head south west to the regional city of Geelong for the Australia Day long weekend of point scoring and a chance to dip into the regatta spoils.
Around 220 boats will charge off the start line for the largest single start of a yacht race in the southern hemisphere and a key feature of the Festival of Sails which in 2015 is presented by Rex Gorrell Land Rover. The Hon. John Eren Minister for Tourism & Major Events will fire the start cannon and Cr Andy Richards from the City of Greater Geelong will fire the preparatory signal.