Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Congratulations to 2011 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Champion Michael Kiss, with San Diegan Chris Rast calling tactics. More than 30 teams competed in the three part series ranking, with Kiss, successfully defending the title. Paul Reilly takes home a very deserving second place trophy. Tony Tabb on Elevation Racing was third, tied in points with Mary Anne Ward in fourth. International Audi Melges 20 Class Chairman Marc Hollerbach on FU rounded out the top five. PHOTO CREDIT: ©2011 JOY

International Audi Melges 20 Class Association

View The Full Series Ranking

Monday, March 7, 2011

Katusha wins inaugural RC-44 Cup before large crowds on San Diego Bay

It is hard to tell who was the biggest winner of inaugural Oracle RC-44 Cup of San Diego.
Katusha, with Bob Little driving and former San Diego resident Paul Cayard calling tactics, claimed the title of the four-day, 14-race event on San Diego Bay with a pair seconds and a protective eight-place finish in the series finale Sunday afternoon.
But the biggest winner might have been the sponsoring Sailing Events Association of San Diego.
The four-day "stadium" event with a start-finish line located within shouting distance of the Broadway Pier brought much larger than expected crowds to viewing areas stretching from the flight deck of the Midway Museum to the Broadway Pier to the Embarcadero to Harbor Island.
The Oracle RC-44 Cup was the first event landed by SEA-San Diego, which hopes to bring other spectator-friendly sailing events to San Diego Bay.
"We’ve exceeded our expectations for delivering a really good spectator friendly event," said SEA-San Diego president John Laun. "We hope to have the RC44s back every year, we’ve had a great time with them."
And the high-performance, RC-44 sloops apparently had a great time with San Diego in a series of close and exciting races over twice-around, 2 1/2-mile, windward-leeward courses on the bay.
"It’s been really nice sailing in San Diego," said Islas Canarias Puerto Calero owner-skipper Daniel Calero. "It’s like playing football with all the crowds behind you, screaming and clapping. San Diego Bay is amazing, great atmosphere."
The Russia-based Katusha took the series lead in the third race of the second day and steadily pulled away over the final seven races. Katusha all but clinched the title with second-place finishes in each of Sunday's first two races and finished with a seven-point margin.
The Larry Ellison-skippered Oracle, with America's Cup icon and class founder Russell Coutts calling tactics, won Sunday's opening heat and finished second in the final standings by a point over the Scott Young-skippered Team Aqua, which finished seventh in Sunday's opening heat after drawing a pair of penalties.
"We're very happy," said Coutts. "The San Diego is one of our best for sure, it was just a great venue, lots of variables on the race course, lots of people here and lots of interest, it’s been fantastic. We are hoping to be back here again.’
First-day leader Artemis, which won a series-best fourth race Sunday, finished fourth another point behind.
Katusha won only one of the 14 races. But it had five second-place finishes and three thirds to make it a special win for Cayard, who lived in San Diego for 12 years around three America's Cup campaigns.

"It’s been fun to be here this week," said Cayard. "It means a lot to win this regatta in a town that I spent so much of my life in, and it’s been fun seeing all of my friends from some time past."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

ARTEMIS & KATUSHA : RC44 Cup - San Diego Day 1

March 2, 2011 - A very good day for both Artemis Racing and Katusha with four wins each out of five races.

On Katusha we were happy with our results but I would not characterize our sailing as smooth. Yet, we got the job done.

For our first three races of the day, we had the "Curmudgeons" onboard as guests. First Craig for two races, including the all important Russian National Championship, then Tom for the third. As soon as the Lewecks left us, we lost. We pulled ourselves back together to win our last race of the day.

We ended up tied with four other teams, some of whom raced six races. There is no final scoring for match racing at each event this year, it just rolls on and the final score is tallied at the end of the year.

Tomorrow, starts the fleet racing which will see Bob "Peaches" Little on the helm and I will move to tactician.

The forecast for tomorrow is more of the same, Westerly winds at about 10 knots.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ARTEMIS & KATUSHA : RC44 Cup - San Diego

March 1, 2001 - We just finished up two days of practice down here in San Diego. Beautiful, sunny but chilly both days with 10-17 knots of Northwesterly wind. The race course for this event is inside the Bay where it should be. The boats are berthed at the Broadway Street Pier. Looks like about 12 teams are here.

We had fleet racing practice yesterday which meant Bob (Peaches) Little was on the helm and I was tactician onboard Katusha. We competed in about three races with 10 other teams around a short 1.25 mile course. Today we had match race training with our friends on Artemis Racing in which Bob and I inverted our roles from yesterday. Tomorrow in the first day of racing and will be Match Racing and we are first up against the other Russian team Synergy in the first flight. The format of the regatta's is different this year with the match racing becoming just one day of the event and having only an annual score. So at each event competitors will work their way through a portion of a round robin and by the end of the season we will have completed about three round robins in total. The podium for match racing will be determined only at years end.

The remaining four days of each event will be fleet racing which features the owners as the drivers of the boats. Unfortunately neither Torbjorn Tornqvist (Artemis) nor Guenaddi Timtchencko (Katusha) could attend the event in San Diego this week. Sarah Gundersen is helming Artemis with Morgan Larson calling the shots.

It is fun for me to be in San Diego. I lived here for 12 years. My son was born here and both kids started school here. I have lots of friends here some of whom I am hoping to get to see this week. I raced in the finals of the two America's Cups held in San Diego in the early 90's. I went for a run along the bay front this morning down to where the Stars and Stripes base was in 1995 when I sailed with Dennis Conner and his team. The base is now a harbor for large boats and the Rowing Club restaurant is no longer a Chart House but a Crab Shack.

Things change. That's life.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

San Diego gets ready for the RC44 class

San Diego is ready to once again put on a sensational sailing show as the opening round of 2011 RC44 Championship Tour gets underway in Southern California.

Eleven teams will go head-to-head for the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego between 2-6 March, as for the first time in its five-year history the RC44 Tour visits America’s West Coast.
San Diego is etched in yachting folklore having hosted the America’s Cup on three successive occasions from 1988 to 1995 and being home to some of the sport’s most iconic figures such as Dennis Conner, Lowell North and Malin Burnham.

With the event line-up reading like a who’s who of modern day sailing greats, the city again gets the chance to shine as a venue that attracts the best of the world’s top talent. This include's American yachting legend Paul Cayard, four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts and, joining the class for the first time in 2011, America’s 2004 Olympic 470 Class champion Kevin Burnham.

Olympic gold and silver medallist and multiple America’s Cup campaigner Rod Davis, who is coaching the crew of Igor Lah’s Ceeref, grew up sailing on San Diego waters. He is looking forward to seeing the RC44s doing battle in the Bay he knows so well.

“Some of my best memories are of my younger sailing days at the Coronado and San Diego yacht clubs with people like Chuck Hope, Jerry LaDow and Lowell North,” Rod reveals. “San Diego has a long history of yachting; it’s the culture that you compete at a high level when you sail here, it’s expected of you, which raises the level of everyone.

“You almost always get breeze in San Diego, and 80 per cent of the time it’s between 8-12 knots, which will suit the RC44 really well. The crew has a lot on to get the best out of the boat but all the crews are very good so you have to be at your best if you’re going to be competitive and your very, very best to win.”

The defining spirit of the RC44 Championship Tour is amateur owners racing alongside the biggest names in professional sailing on thoroughbred one-design racing machines. No-one gives an inch, with skippers pushing the boats and their crews to the boundaries of their extensive capabilities.

Over the five days in San Diego, the owners will be at the wheel for four days of fleet racing while the pro sailors get their chance to shine at the helm on one day of match racing. Three to four fleet races are scheduled per day with no discard, every race placing really counts.

Long Beach native Bob Little, an experienced one-design and offshore sailor, will helm Katusha for the fleet racing alongside Paul Cayard, who will steer in the match racing. He added: “I know San Diego will host a fantastic event. I expect a great result from Katusha as we’ve learned a lot sailing together in previous events and hope to build on that. I’m fortunate to be on a team with such great sailors.”

Racing will take place directly in front of the new, spectator friendly Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier, giving the audience a perfect view of the action in a natural amphitheatre.
For full information about the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego and the RC44 class visit www.rc44.com - view the full crew lists for San Diego here.

2011 RC44 Championship Tour dates:
2 – 6 March- Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego, USA
11 – 15 May- RC44 Austria Cup Gmunden, Austria
29 June – 3 July- Italy / France
17 – 21 August- RC44 Marstrand Cup, Sweden
28 September–2 October -Spain
15 – 20 November- 2011 RC44 World Championships, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote

List of entrants – Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego
AEZ RC44 Sailing Team (AUT)
Owner – Rene Mangold (AUT)
Professional Skipper – Peter Evens (NZL)

Artemis Racing (SWE)
Owner – Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE)
Professional Skipper – Morgan Larson (USA)

Ironbound (USA)
Owner – David Murphy (USA)
Professional Skipper – Kevin Burnham (USA)

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP)
Owner– Daniel Calero (ESP)
Professional Skipper - Jose Maria Ponce (ESP)

Katusha (RUS)
Professional Skipper – Paul Cayard (USA)

No Way Back (NED)
Owner – Pieter Heerema (NED)
Professional Skipper – Rod Dawson (NZL)

Owner – Larry Ellison (USA)
Professional Skipper – Russell Coutts (NZL)

Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR)
Owner – John Bassadone (GBR)
Professional Skipper - Iñaki Castañer (ESP)

Owner – Igor Lah (SLO)
Professional Skipper –Michelle Ivaldi (ITA)

Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS)
Owner – Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS)
Professional Skipper – Evgeniy Neugodnikov (RUS)

Team Aqua (UAE)
Owner -Chris Bake (CAN)
Professional Skipper- Cameron Appleton (NZL)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sailing regatta championship set for San Diego Bay

The following article was found today on www.signonsandiego.com, and written by Bill Center

Sailboat racing as a stadium sport comes to San Diego Bay this week with the inaugural RC-44 championship regatta.

The five-day event starts Wednesday and concludes next Sunday and will feature 11, high-performance RC-44 sloops.

While most San Diegans have no idea what an RC-44 is and who is actually racing, although one of the favored boats is owned by Larry Ellison of Oracle America’s Cup fame, the regatta will give event the most land-locked among us a chance to see close-quarter sailboat racing.

All the starts — and finishes — during the racing will be just off the end of the Broadway Pier.
Depending on the direction of the wind and the day of the racing, the courses will take the boats up along the Embarcadero or toward Harbor Island.

“I think this promises to be an exciting event even for those not into sailboat racing,” said John Laun, the president and CEO of the SEA San Diego responsible for bringing the RC-44s — and eventually other sailing events — to San Diego Bay. “The boats will be big enough to see from the shore because they are going to be close to shore. And the boats are exciting. They are very high-tech and very demanding to sail. They are capable of reaching speeds of 20 knots.”

And rather than sailing away from the shore, the RC-44s will be racing on very short courses close to the bayfront. Wednesday’s match races, for example, will likely be contested on a half-mile course with pairs going off every five minutes. The twice-around windward-leeward races (that’s back-and-forth for rank novices) will last around 20 minutes. And race officials are hoping to get in as many as four rounds starting at 11:30 a.m.

The program switches to fleet races Thursday through Sunday with each leg being 1 1/4 miles for a five-mile race. Officials expect the races to take 45 minutes apiece with hopes of getting in three to five rounds each day.

The 11 boats entered will represent nine nations. For those more knowledgeable of sailing, the list of skippers reads like a Who’s Who. Among the world-class skippers entered are Russell Coutts, the hero of New Zealand’s America’s Cup victory off San Diego in 1995, Paul Cayard, Coronado native Rod Davis, Kevin Burnham and Morgan Larson.

The series champion in 2010 was Oracle Racing featuring Ellison and Coutts.

Prime viewing areas will be the tip of the Broadway Pier, the Embarcadero (for Wednesday’s match races) and Harbor Island (for the longer fleet races Thursday through Sunday).

Perhaps the best viewing spot will be the flight deck of the Midway Museum. The viewing area will be free with a paid admission to the carrier museum.

What better way to spend a day?

Boating notes
•Five Olympic class boats numbering San Diegans as either the skipper or crew have been included on the US Sailing Team for 2011. The team includes at least two boats in each Olympic class. The Star class has a pair of boats skippered by San Diegans Andrew Campbell (Ian Coleman crew) and George Szabo (Mark Strude). San Diego’s Graham Biehl is crewing for Stu McNay on the top-ranked U.S. Men’s 470 boat while the San Diego team of Adam Roberts and Nick Martin are ranked second. San Diego’s Molly Vandemoer joins Debbie Capozzi as the crew for top-ranked Anna Tunnicliffe in the Women’s Keelboat class.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bill Hardesty Returning to San Diego

San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) and Etchells Fleet 13, co-hosts of Etchells Worlds 2011, today reported that hometown icon Bill Hardesty, (Etchells World Champion, Chicago, 2008), is returning to his home yacht club of SDYC to begin a concerted campaign to win the 2011 Etchells World Championships, to be sailed in Hardesty’s home waters off San Diego. Hardesty’s entry brings to five the number of former world champions who have been participating in the local regattas for purposes of tuning up for the world title (Dennis Conner,Judd Smith, Vince Brun, Dirk Kneulman). Hardesty plans to have Point Loma High School sailing coach Steve Hunt on board for the worlds. Hunt recently finished 2nd out of 47 boats while sailing Line Honors, hull number 979, on loan from Hardesty.

The Etchells is a fixed keel racing sloop which weighs 3250 pounds and is sailed by a weight limited crew of three or four. First designed in 1968 by world class boat designer Skip Etchells as a potential competitor in the Olympics, the Etchells class is known for its fiercely competitive yet close knit competitors. Despite beating the eventual Olympic selection, the Soling, the Etchells (then referred to as an Etchells 22 for its 22 foot long waterline), instead relied on grass roots growth and a strong commitment to its one design integrity. In addition to a timeless design and strong fleet organization, the Etchells class remains one of the few classes open to professional crew and weekend warriors alike. It remains a draw to the fleet that the weekend sailor can compete, and occasionally (and usually temporarily) prevail over sailing greats such as Dennis Conner, Gary Jobson, Ian Murray, Vince Brun, Judd Smith and Kenny Read.

The 2011 Etchells World Championships will draw approximately 75 boats from 12 different countries, from as far away as the UAE, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. Although the event commences with boat measurements on June 2-4, and racing on June 5, thereare several feeder regattas for which sixty boats will compete. The SLAM Etchells Midwinters will be April 8-10, and the Sailing Supply Orca Bowl - Pre-Worlds will be on May 21-22. With some teams already taking up part time residence, the Point Loma area is abuzz with Etchells sailors and added economic activity has been welcomed by the local businesses. For more informationgo to www.etchellsworlds2011.com or call San Diego Yacht Club 619.221.8400 http://sdyc.org.

Monday, February 14, 2011


World-class sailing event on San Diego Bay, March 2 – 6, marks opening of the 2011 RC44 Championship

SAN DIEGO – The Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego, a world-class sailing regatta featuring the RC44 class fleet and sponsored by ORACLE, will take place on San Diego Bay, March 2 – 6, 2011. The regatta brings together the biggest names in international sailing and global business for the opening round of the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour.

After the inaugural U.S. event in Miami at the end of the 2010 season, and an outing at KeyWest Race Week, the class is now heading west to make its debut at the Oracle RC44 Cup SanDiego. The event features 11 RC44 teams representing nine nations.

The RC44 class was conceived and co-designed by four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts. With an evenly split amateur and professional crew line-up, the class attracts some of the world’s leading business minds as their owner-drivers, along with many of the world’s top sailors.

Racing will take place over five days in San Diego, with four days of fleet racing, where theboats can only be driven by their owner, and one day of America’s Cup-style match racing, when the pro sailors can get their chance to shine at the helm. Spectator viewing is free from portions of Broadway Pier, Harbor Island and numerous areas along the downtown waterfront.

Among the top sailors set to compete on the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour are class designer Russell Coutts (NZL), American yachting legend Paul Cayard and San Diego native son Rod Davis, Audi MedCup winners Morgan Larson (USA) and Jose Maria Ponce (ESP), Olympic Gold medalist Kevin Burnham (USA), along with some of the world’s top match racing talent including Cameron Appleton (NZL).

The 2011 RC44 Championship Tour takes in six venues, including in Austria, France, Sweden and Spain, before coming to a close with the 2011 RC44 World Championships in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands in November.

With Coutts’ ORACLE Racing team, led by Larry Ellison, winning the 2010 RC44Championship at a thrilling Miami showdown in December, each of the 2011 teams – established and new – will be vying to topple ORACLE from its throne.

The Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego marks a poignant return to the city for Coutts, who won the first of his four historic America’s Cup titles in San Diego in 1995. He believes the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour is gearing up to be the most compelling and closely-fought yet.

“Last year’s Championship came down to the wire in Miami and with more owners coming into the class, the level and intensity of the competition is going to be greater than ever,” said Coutts. “It’s always great to race in San Diego, it will be a natural amphitheatre those watching from onshore. I’m looking forward to a great regatta.”

The Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego is organized by Sailing Events Association San Diego, a leading sailboat racing events organization, positioning the city as a top sailing destination by bringing world-class sailing events to San Diego. Racing will take place directly in front of the magnificent new spectator friendly Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier, giving fans the chance to get close to the action.

“All of San Diego is looking forward to great racing on San Diego Bay," said JJ Fetter, Olympic silver medalist and event coordinator for the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego. "This will be a unique opportunity to see such high-caliber America’s Cup talent, like Russell Coutts, Paul Cayard and Rod Davis, return to do battle on San Diego Bay, and we will be encouraging the public to come and watch the action for free from the Broadway Pier."

The RC44 Championship Tour was launched in 2007 and in its first four seasons visited multiple venues across Europe, the Middle East and the U.S.

For more information vist the regatta website: www.oraclerc44cupsandiego.com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Estrella Damm, Shooting Stars

BWR: Nineteen miles is all the separates Estrella Damm from second placed MAPFRE, with the Barcelona duo Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella quicker over the final period of Tuesday and on the one hour speed-gun. They have gained a further seven miles, chipping away steadily at their Basque rivals Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez. Estrella Damm have been the fastest over the last 24 hours, making 464 miles.

Meanwhile the GAES Girls, between the Crozet and Amsterdam gates, are doing some nice work holding off the Hugo Boss duo Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak this evening, Hugo Boss gained only five miles this afternoon to 1900hrs UTC.

And here is the latest from Pachi Rivero on Renault Z.E Sailing Team. The duo have gained around 10 miles on Groupe Bel this afternoon, 141 miles behind Kito de Pavant and Seb Audigane

Hi From Renault Z.E:
First of all I would like to say thank you for all the incredible support we are receivingon board Renault Z.E things goes good; we are a Little bit isolated here but we had been taking care of our lady, Renault Z.E.. and here you never know….
Yesterday we left Amsterdam gate; another gate, another step forward.
Step by step, but without a switch off, we know in this Race all the sailors are great sailors and all of us want to get the situation difficult to the others. We had been heading South to look for other low, to look for faster downwind conditions

Now life on board had changed a lot since the last 2 or 3 days now it´s really good as soon as we stopped reaching. The boat was all time in 'submarine' mode with winds of 27-30 knots. It was like the boat was under the water half the time, it was pouring everywhere and it seems we got a huge river down the deck with waterfalls over the cockpit, dropping over Toño and me. Now we got have great days with sun, downwind (18-20 kts and gusts of 23-25) and with several squalls that shift the direction and the speed of the wind.We don´t seem to evenr stop trimming and the watches are quite intense. Now, that we are downwind we are helming all time. The automatic pilot works great but we think the Renault Z.E performance is best when we helm.

Toño has told me he thinks yesterday he had seen a seal. I hope to see more animals around but I don´t want to sea whales. I prefer to see these great animals when I am on holidays or on TV but not here!.

I love to see the Albatross; amazing birds.
You can see their eyes really clear and it´s amazing how they hold you in their gaze.. I can spend hours watching them it´s amazing their aerofoils and how they soar endlessly.

A big hug from the South Indian ocean (not so South) on board Renault Z.

Extreme 40: Full Team Line-Ups Unveiled

February 08th 2011
Full Team Line-Ups Unveiled


World Champions and ocean racing record holders, will be squaring up against Olympians and America’s Cup hotshots, in the impressive roll call for the Extreme Sailing Series™ this year. The full crew line-ups are unveiled today ahead of the first Extreme Sailing Series™ Act to be hosted in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman in February (20th-24th, stadium days 22nd-24th).

With a wealth of new teams and crew representing 15 nationalities, the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series season promises to be the most competitive yet with 11 boats manned with talent from every corner of competitive yacht racing – and the stats are impressive:

29 Olympians
12 Records set/broken
97 World Championships contended
11 Round the World navigations
69 America’s Cup sailed
4 Olympic Gold Medals
2 Olympic Silver Medals
2 Olympic Bronze Medals

You can find the full crew line-ups in the TEAM section of the website and the 2011 EXTREME magazine is now available to browse online.

Olympic and America’s Cup sailors dominate the teams this year - Terry Hutchinson (USA) Artemis Racing, Dean Barker (NZL) Team New Zealand, Roland Gaebler (GER) Team Extreme, Roman Hagara (AUT) Red Bull Extreme Sailing and Sidney Gavignet (FRA) Oman Air, are just some of the superstars for 2011 who will be raising the bar ever higher.

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave, Muscat will inherit the ‘young-gun’ title from the skipper he is replacing, Paul Campbell-James. Campbell-James’ unabashed and aggressive style saw him grab the 2010 title from the more seasoned skippers and, no doubt, his new Luna Rossa team will be hoping for a repeat performance. At the other end of the age spectrum the experience is mind-blowing - Olympian Roman Hagara has attended the Olympic Games six times, winning two gold medals and Team Extreme skipper Roland Gaebler won bronze. 2008 Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson and his Artemis Racing team have between them competed in the America’s Cup an impressive 15 times.

Terry Hutchinson onboard Extreme 40 Artemis Racing

Groupe Edmond de Rothschild will return for their third Extreme 40 season having finished second overall for the past two years, but this time the all-French team will be headed up by Pierre Pennec replacing Yann Guichard who is now driving for Alinghi. Pennec, who represented his country at the Sydney Olympics in the Tornado Class, has been instrumental in the team’s success to date and is relishing the chance of leading the team. Guichard, having made the switch to Alinghi, is in good company under the leadership of Tanguy Cariou (previously with Franck Cammas’ Groupama 40) and seasoned mulithull sailors Nils Frei and Yves Detrey. On team Niceforyou an all-Italian line-up, skippered by Alberto Barovier, will use their combined America’s Cup experience to the max. Team GAC Pindar will return for a full season in 2011, at the helm match racing supremo Ian Williams who is stepping from one hull to two in his first Extreme 40 venture. This diverse range of competitive skills and experience is going to turn up the heat on the 2011 circuit making the outcome almost impossible to predict.

Going into this season probably at least two thirds of the teams have the experience, talent and sheer nerve to win, and they could all climb on to the podium. Paul Campbell James, helmsman of the 2010 winning team, now signed with Luna Rossa gives his assessment: “Artemis Racing and The Wave, Muscat again will be strong. They [The Wave, Muscat] have Torvar, who has done a bit of 49ering and a lot of match racing and they have Nick [Hutton] and Khamis [Al Anbouri] back with them. You can’t rule out Alinghi and Team New Zealand. It is going to be wicked season!”

Torvar Mirsky and his 2011 team onboard The Wave, Muscat

Read the full Form Guide by DailySail editor James Boyd.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter for the 2011 season. Find out the news first on Twitter.

THE 2011 EXTREME MAGAZINE IS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE... Find out more about the skippers and crews, read entertaining and insightful features by BBC Sport’s Rob Hodgetts, DailySail editor, James Boyd and YachtSponsorship.com guru, David Fuller. Packed with stunning photography and vital stats for the season ahead. To request a copy, please email media@extremesailingseries.com.

OMEGA Onboard as Official Timekeeper for a Fifth Season

OMEGA’s role as Official Timekeeper to the Extreme Sailing Series™ is confirmed for another season, making the Swiss watchmaker the longest-running official series partner since they came onboard at the inception of the circuit in 2007. OMEGA is proud of its nautical history and has an undeniable connection to the sea, being the only company ever to have produced a wristwatch that received marine chronometer certification. Its timepieces have long been the preferred choice of some of sailing’s greatest names. Last year, 2010 champion, Paul Campbell-James won the UK round at Cowes Week and was presented with an OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean watch. Find out more about Omega here.

Paul Cambell-James wearing his OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean watch

Monday, February 7, 2011

SLAM Shops and Point Loma Outfitting Announces US Super Yacht Collection from SLAM

SLAM Shops and Point Loma Outfitting offers the latest in sailing and foul weather gear from the SLAM. The New 2011 US Super Yacht collection from SLAM is Italian designed and inspired by Yachtsmen from around the world.

The US Super Yacht Collection for 2011 is a complete Re-Invention of the SLAM Clothing line from skin to shell. Fresh Italian designs for the 2011 SLAM line begins with new and updated technical fabrics offering better protection from the elements and body temperature control. SLAM's Italian designers utilize these fabrics to create comfortable, functional everyday fitting clothes for men and women that feel good and look great. Highlights of the 2011 SLAM US Super Yacht Collection are as follows:

New in the SLAM Foul Weather Line is the addition of the BOR Spray Top. This spray top was tested and worn by top sailing competitors and major competition winners. It is flexible, comfortable and best of all protects you from the environments.

SLAM Force 2 Inshore / Coastal Foul Weather Gear: The Force 2 Series offers Jacket and Pants combinations in Red, Steel and Grey. The SLAM Force 2 series coastal weight foul weather gear is very affordable for sailing crews. The Force 2 complements the current Women's New Racing Foul Weather Gear. Read more

Celebrating the AC45 in New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand:, Monday, February 07, 2011
Boat One Officially Commissioned Upon Its Hand-Over to America’s Cup Race Management

With its technical shakedown now complete, it is handover day for the new AC45 wing-sailed catamaran, marking the beginning of the next era of the America’s Cup. America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) will now manage the logistics, care and maintenance of the prototype as competitors test the boat over the coming weeks. The AC45 is the forerunner to the larger AC72, which will be used in the 34thAmerica’s Cup.

A traditional Maori blessing will start the day as competitors, prospective competitors and New Zealand dignitaries converge to see the latest in America’s Cup technology and celebrate the tireless effort of the New Zealand marine industry to make this occasion possible.

“To see the AC45 come together from just a concept in September to a full-fledged racing machine by January is a true testament to the skill of the New Zealand marine industry,” said Iain Murray, America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) CEO and Regatta Director. “In particular we would like to thank the team at Core Builders Composites who have produced an incredible boat that is fast yet robust. They remain hard at work on the balance of the AC45 fleet, which will be delivered to the teams for testing through April, before we leave Auckland to compete in the 2011 America’s Cup World Series.”

Dignitaries in attendance include:

Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland
Jonathan Coleman, Associate Minister of Tourism
Ngati Whatua Orakei, an Auckland iwi (tribe)
Iain Murray, ACRM CEO and Regatta Director
Team members from Artemis Racing and ORACLE Racing
Jo Aleh, Olivia Powrie, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, top New Zealand youth sailors


February 8, 2011


America’s Cup Race Management Boat Shed, 101 Halsey Street, in the Viaduct, Auckland

Hard graft and total dedication for GOR Team Mabire-Merron

Global Ocean Race:
Of the 19 teams so far entered in the double-handed, Class40, Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR), the campaign of the Franco-British duo, Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, is one of the most ambitious. In late September last year, the Finot-Conq Design Pogo 40S² hull #101 – the fifth, new generation Pogo - left Christian Bouroullec’s Structures Chantier Naval yard in Brittany and was transported 330 miles on a low-loader to Mabire and Merron’s boatyard-base in Barneville, Normandy. Since the yacht’s arrival, work has rarely ceased in the duo’s immaculate boatshed.

One of the first, major tasks, undertaken in mid-November, was installing the Lombardini engine: although slightly heavier and more compact than a French, back-row, international rugby player, Mabire compared this complex operation with manoeuvring the inert form of Sébastien Chabal through the companionway hatch and into the bilge. Once the L’homme des Cavernes (Caveman) was bolted in place, the duo focused on the ballast system: “The ballast tanks were built and fitted at Structures,” explains Mabire. “But we had to design and fit the plumbing, scoops and pump.” Recently, the duo has been concentrating on the deck layout: “It’s complicated to design a really efficient deck plan that suits us both,” he continues.

While Mabire’s professional background has been divided between racing and boatbuilding, the shed-environment is relatively new territory for Miranda Merron. “Halvard’s the expert here and I’m the apprentice,” she admits. “But I am learning many of the essential skills and can complete a number of the jobs myself,” Merron continues. “Right now we’re building the mainsheet track support.” However, Mabire is fully involved with the design process and this vital element eats into each day: “There really aren’t enough hours in a day to complete manual work on the boat and spend time developing the drawings for the mast, keel and so on,” says Mabire. The boat’s mast is currently under construction at Eric Duchemin and Philippe Boclet’s Axxon Composites facility in Romania, but this has barely reduced the workload: “It’s seven, long days a week, pretty much every week, just working on the boat and the project,” adds Merron.

While the duo was concentrating on their boat and campaign, four Pogo 40S²’s raced in the 44-strong, Class40 Route du Rhum fleet and Merron was following the competition. “I did manage to follow the race as I had a number of friends competing,” she says. Three of the latest Pogo’s were in the top ten finishers - Nicolas Troussel in 2nd with Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne; Damien Grimont in 5th on Monbana and GOR entry Jean-Edouard Criquioche in 7th with Groupe Picoty – and while this result is impressive, Mabire is pragmatic: “It is good, but they certainly had the right people driving those boats!”

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

AC45 - From the driver's seat

ORACLE Racing shows us what's like on board the AC45...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Entries Surge for 31st Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

Fleet Numbers Surpass “Century Mark” as Entries Surge for 31st Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

St. Maarten, N.A. (February 2, 2011) – With less than a month to go before the kick-off of the 31st St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, which this year runs from March 3-6, the entry list continues to grow at a rapid pace, and now surpasses over a hundred yachts (the “century mark”) competing in a half-dozen different classes. The numbers are also growing for the Gill Commodore’s Cup, the separate one-day event for hard-core racers that precedes the three-day St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. At the latest count, the Gill fleet rounded out at an even twenty boats.

As always, the more laid-back bareboat class is historically one of the largest divisions at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and it appears that trend will continue for 2011. With nearly four-dozen entries thus far, the “bareboaters” will once again be in the thick of the action.

With over fifty entries to date, however, the lion’s share of entries will be racing in the CSA Monohull classes, and it’s a truly international field, with competitors flying home flags from France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Turkey, the United States, and a host of Caribbean nations.

While the sailors themselves represent a wide and varied background, the respective yachts also form a diverse and eclectic fleet. At the smaller end of the spectrum are the Melges 24, Budget Marine/Gill, as well as a host of boats in the 30- to 35-foot range, including Tanner Jones’s J/30, Blue Peter; the Beneteau First 310, Americano Café; a pair of swift Melges 32s, David West’s Jurakan and Mark Plaxton’s Team INTAC; Todd Mahoney’s Sigma 33, Overtime; Schrijverke, a Victoire 34; No Face to Face, a J/105; and the radical Kiwi 35, Wild Devil.

On the other end of the scale, Sir Peter Harrison’s sensational Farr 115, Sojana, a perennial favorite at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, will once again be soaring around the racecourse. But Sir Peter will have plenty of company in the big-boat divisions in a fleet that includes another big Farr design, Peter Buckley’s 98-foot I-Sea; a Swan 100, Varsovie; a Swan 82 and 80, Nikata and Team Selene, respectively; a Carbon 82, Aegir II; and Bella PITA, a custom 75-footer designed by Bill Tripp.

In the middle ranges of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta field, Bill Alcott’s Swan 601, Aquarius, is always a dangerous presence. Puerto Rican Sergio Sagramoso, who was often a dominant competitor in his old Beneteau First 40.7, Lazy Dog, will be no less of a threat in the Grand Soleil 54 of the same name that he now campaigns. The popular 40.7 is still a favorite Caribbean racer/cruiser, and four have entered thus far: Coyote 2, Mystery, Smile and Wave, and Spirit of Venus.

In fact, some of the hottest action on the racecourse will take place among the 40-footers, which also include Rich Wesslund’s well-sailed J/120, El Ocaso; Wild T’ing, Lawrence Aqui’s Dufour 40; Lenjohn Van der Wel’s Class 40 flyer, Van Der Wel Racing; and Otra Vez, a J/122 skippered by William Coates. The “sleeper” in this competitive group, however, may well be Bob Read’s J/40, Nepenthe. The veteran New England sailor knows a thing or two about yacht racing, and is also the father of a couple of pretty good racers: sons Brad and Ken, both multiple World Champions in the J/24 class, and the latter a former America’s Cup skipper who now heads up the Puma Volvo Ocean Race campaign.

All in all, it’s shaping up to be another stellar year for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. And there’s still plenty of time to make sure you’re part of it.

For full information on the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup, Gill Commodore’s Cup and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, as well as entry lists, past results, photos, videos, party and band information, the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and much, much more, visit www.heinekenregatta.com.