Friday, August 31, 2007

Super Flash

FLASH GORDON, Helmut Jahn, first in Race 8 Copenhagen, 31 08 2007 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Flash Gordon ©Photo:ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi
In the third race today, a windward/leeward course of five legs, finishing upwind, Helmut Jahn's Flash Gordon (USA), was launched at the start and led at every mark, fighting off Barking Mad to finishing in front. Jahn has been in the Farr 40 class for over seven years, and sails with his son Evan; Helmut steering on the upwind legs and Evan downwind, which today proved a winning combination. Jahn said, “We had the feeling we had a breakthrough this time because we've really been training a lot and the crew has been working together for a long time and it didn't just click that well. You know how that is, you can try and try but if it doesn't happen, you can only push yourself so much. Today, it probably came easier, it's always easier when things go well.
Our problem has been the starts, in five races we were over (the line) three times and we fought our way back, (gaining back) thirteen boats total in both races. In the one race we lost about 8 boats at the finish because we tried to cover both sides and we should have covered one side. But today we got out in front and stayed in front. You can call your own race, your race is not dictated by someone else.” -

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Bertarelli and Ehman go at it...

There has already been an angry confrontation in the not so wonderful city of Copenhagen. It has been cold and miserable for the Farr 40 worlds, but some heat was injected from outside when Ernesto Bertarelli’s Alinghi asked that the chairman of the jury, Tom Ehman, should step down. As Ehman is at the centre of the litigation by GGYC, at the behest of BMW Oracle’s Larry Ellison, Alinghi, as a competitor, felt there could be some conflict of interest.

Ehman did not step down, doubtless because he thought that his four co-jurors would never allow themselves to be manipulated in what could be seen as vindictive behavour. But Bertarelli’s skipper, Brad Butterworth, is incensed and has written to the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) with a formal complaint.

The stage is being set for a bitter battle. Expect SNG (Alinghi) to have a formidable team of lawyers which will assert that the event already has a mechanism for resolving disputes. It is called the Arbitration Panel, appinted by ACM, and may well deliver an opinion prior to any court hearing. SNG may also say that any quarrels over mutual consent have been covered by the Club Nautico Espanol de Vela, the chosen Challenger of Record, having signed up to the new protocol - as, by implication, have challengers from South Africa, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Germany."-

America's Cup back in NZ hands?

According to an affidavit, sworn by Tom Ehman, Head of External Affairs for BMW ORACLE Racing, the Sociéte Nautique de Genève and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Club could have an arrangement, under which the America’s Cup would return to the RNZYS.

Ehman says: Using its unfettered powers under the Protocol, SNG has devised two schemes to escape adjudication of this dispute by the New York courts. Its first scheme, I have heard, relies upon a provision in the Deed of Gift which states that if a "Club holding the Cup be for any cause dissolved, the Cup shall be transferred to some Club of the same nationality, but, in the event of the failure of such transfer within three months after such dissolution, such Cup shall revert to the preceding Club holding the same."

I have heard that SNG has considered resigning as trustee and refraining from transferring the Cup to another Swiss yacht club within three months. It would then invoke the above quoted provision as a basis for returning the Cup to the preceding trustee, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron ("RNZYS"). In turn, RNZYS would accept SNG as the challenger of record and decline, or ignore, GGYC's challenge of July 11, 2008. Such a gambit would, of course, violate the Deed of Gift. - Cathy McLean Full story
Photo Giles Martin-Raget/BMW

Miami University Sailing Team, promotional video

Well…What can we say! You got to love the Dry Suit Michelin Man! Classic!

Got a sailing video send it to us! Will send you some swag!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Will Puma lead the way...

As skipper of the PUMA Ocean Racing entry in the 2008-09 race, American Ken Read is overseeing both the design/build programme in his native Newport, Rhode Island.

Q: How important is the entry of the PUMA brand into professional sailing?
A: I had a sneaking suspicion that it was going to be a wild and crazy ride and very different and I was 100 per cent right. PUMA, the whole company, thinks so far outside of the box that it’s spectacular. A breath of fresh air is a wonderful thing from time to time. As a company they are so into this – the products that are going to be introduced, the technical gear they will produce. The next couple of years are going to be a fun ride. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg so far. Sailing is going to be a better place because of companies like PUMA.

Hopefully this is a great start for a new wave of companies getting involved in sailing! - SK

You can read the rest of the Q&A with Ken Reed at

Farr 40 Worlds Results & Photos Day 1

NERONE, Antonio Sodo Migliori at the helm with Vasco Vascotto calling tactics, 1st overall after 3 races

Photos by: Rolex / Daniel Forster
Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Copenhagen, Denmark
Day 1 Results after 3 Races:
1. NERONE ITA - Antonio Sodo Migliori 3.0 6.0 1.0 10.0
2. MASCALZONE LATINO ITA - Vincenzo Onorato 2.0 2.0 7.0 11.0
3. OPUS ONE GER - Wolfgang Stolz 4.0 3.0 6.0 13.0
4. CALVI ITA - Carlo Alberini 1.0 9.0 14.0 24.0
5. ALINGHI SUI - Ernesto Bertarelli 18.0 5.0 4.0 27.0
6. BARKING MAD USA - Jim Richardson 7.0 16.0 5.0 28.0
For all the results click here

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Conspiracy Theory: La Copa America

It's easy to see what is happening in the America's Cup as Cayard signs up with the new Argentina/Spanish team backed by Siemens and a few rich Argentines. You have to wonder what Cayard will do. Will this new team sign up for the Cup or will they wait on the sidelines until his business partner in the World Sailing League (WLS) (Russell Coutts) takes a few more shots at Alinghi in the American courts? There is no doubt that there is a common thread in the whole thing when you read the Juan K interview on the Valencia Sailing Blog about the future of the Cup and how multi hulls will become the new choice for the Cup. Bertarelli knows that it is a matter of time before the other Cup team beats him at his own game. Hence all the changes with the rules that give him the best odds at defending the Cup. Don't forget who is putting together the WSL as is mentioned on Cayard's website after the last TP52event: "This event was organized by Lagos Sports of Lisbon, who intend to get more involved with high profile sailing in the coming years, including the World Sailing League, which is the project Russell Coutts and I have been working on."
When you start connecting
the dots you see where the money is and who really is running the Cup...or is it all part of a big, and very well scripted plan?

Who will it be?

Photo by: Rolex / Daniel Forster & Carlo Borlenghi

With Farr 40 Worlds starting in a few days! Who will win?

Competing in Copenhagen will be numerous Olympic talents and America's Cup sailors including Jeff Madrigali, Olympic bronze medalist, on John Demourkas' Groovederci (USA), Brad Butterworth, skipper and tactician of the 32nd America's Cup winner Alinghi on Alinghi (SUI), Jesper Bank, three-time Olympic medalist on Struntje Light (GER), Adrian Stead the accomplished British sailor on Mascalzone Latino (ITA) and America's Cup challenger Desafio Espanol's crew Tony Rey and John Cutler on, respectively, Cannonball (ITA) and the Le Renard (USA).
Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking will call tactics for HRH Crown Prince Frederik on Nanoq (DEN), following Nanoq's Key West debut last January. Australian Michael Coxon, who won the 2005 Farr 40 Pre-Worlds, in Sydney, as tactician for Neville Crichton, followed by a close 2nd in the Worlds behind Richard Perini's Evolution, will call tactics on Ichi Ban (AUS) with Matt Allen at the helm, while Lang Walker's Kokomo (AUS) will again have Olympian Colin Beashel as tactician.

Interview with Jim Richardson

©Photo:ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi
BARKING MAD, Jim Richardson, USA, winner of the Rolex Farr 40 Pre-Words
Interview with Jim Richardson, Barking Mad owner and president of the international Farr 40 class association Interview by Giles Pearman Listen

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Sailing Dubai Style...

Video may take a minute to upload!

A modern interpretation of the traditional Dhow for the ultra competitive Dhow racing fleet in Dubai being built by Premier Composite Technologies, who are also building one of the new STP65's!
Built in cold molded epoxy wood veneer technology this one is 60 feet in length and as you can see from the video they are plenty fast until you break something! When the rudder broke, the boat was sailing at 22 knots in 16-17 knots of true wind speed. Maybe the next America's Cup should be in these boats!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Farr 40 Pre Worlds

TWINS, Erik Maris, FRA leading the Pre-World races after 2

After a busy season in the Mediterranean and the Baltic, the Farr 40 fleet has moved north to Copenhagen in preparation for the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. The Royal Danish Yacht Club (RDYC), host of Worlds, welcomed thirty-five boats from twelve countries to their new yacht club headquarters on Tuborg Harbour, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Friday was the first day of racing in the Rolex Pre-Worlds, a tune-up for the Rolex Farr 40 World Championships, which begins on 29 August and runs through 1 September. Teams from USA (7), Denmark (6), Italy (6), Australia (4), Norway (3), France (2), Germany (2), Switzerland (1), Ukraine (1), Finland (1), Brazil (1), and Sweden (1) took to the water today to get a feel for the local conditions with mixed results. For full results

The Empire Strikes Back

BERNE, Switzerland - America's Cup holders Alinghi have accused yachting rivals BMW Oracle of holding the competition to ransom following their decision to file legal proceedings in New York.

BMW Oracle owner Larry Ellison is suing Alinghi for what he says are "unfair" rules for the running of the next America's Cup - a charge strenuously denied by the Swiss team.

"Far from being an attempt to control everything, the new protocol has been written to make the 33rd America's Cup even better," said Michel Bonnefous, president of the ACM organising body set up to run the competition on Alinghi's behalf.

"The vision is shared by many Challengers from around the world, four of whom have now formally entered the competition, with others about to do so.

"Larry Ellison is holding the Cup to ransom for competitive gain by attempting to disrupt the preparations."

Alinghi's New Zealand-born skipper Brad Butterworth attributed the US team's lawsuit to sour grapes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Tunniclffe takes Gold in China

World #1 Anna Tunniclffe (USA) secured the USA’s only medal, a gold in the Laser Radial. The Radial fleet got the day's Medal Racing underway and although Tunniclffe came in last in the Medal Race, her 11-point cushion going into the race was enough for her to hold on to gold.

Tunniclffe's only rival for gold was Jo Aleh (NZL) and the American never allowed the Kiwi out of her sight. 'I went into today’s race with my primary goal being to slow Jo Aleh down as much as possible, and I succeeded in doing that,' revealed Tunniclffe. 'My start did not go as well as I would have hoped, but Jo had a slow start as well. I worked up behind her, and started forcing her to tack out. I forced Jo to sail at a slow pace, and she had no momentum at all during the first upwind. I ensured that we stayed far enough from the rest of the fleet that she could not catch up at all. Although Joe managed to make up some room on the downwind side, I worked up behind her again and continued to carry out my plan.'

Photo of the day

Humpback whales at the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. - Jack Atley


Photo Copyright OnEdition
Southern Spars - David Barnaby
Challenging a sailor’s every ounce of energy and adrenalin, the Open 60 is one of the fastest monohull classes in the world. Moreover this is a class that continues to evolve, explores new design innovations and technology and sets the standards for other classes. The development of the rig in this class is no exception. David Barnaby, a designer for Southern Spars, who resides in Europe, explores some of the advancements in rig design and technology.

Since the inception of the Open 60 class many rig geometries have been developed and presently there are three popular configurations. However several common factors are crucial to a rig’s success regardless of geometry; reliability, rig control, and weight.

Reliability – Crucial in any round the world race, but particularly in the Vendee as a single-handed masthead climb is not easy unless you are an octopus, and being a non-stop race, any unreliable equipment will likely be a handicap for 3 months. With any round the world race there is much talk prior regarding weight savings, and yet for the year after there are many grumblings about reliability.

Control – the key being that the skipper controls the rig and not vice versa. Stiffness without excess weight is crucial. Geometry is also an important factor for all sail configurations because if any of these combinations are compromised by a lack of rig stability, then the performance is less than optimum. In previous generations the rigs have been super light and consequently soft, which has been a function of the ‘no rule’ limit on mast weight. As a result, the yacht experienced poor upwind performance due in part to massive headstay sag. With the development of lighter rigging, stiffer boats, better rig geometries and centreboards, the class has started to attract more attention for its upwind capabilities. Being able to gybe with slackened runners is also a design prerequisite.

Weight – a function of the rule is that if all boats were identical apart from the rig then the boat with the lightest rig would theoretically have the greatest righting moment and therefore potentially be the fastest. This is unlike Volvo or Americas’ Cup where all rigs weigh the same and the only performance gain is drag. History has proven that if applied correctly, righting moment is king.

The Rig Geometries
1) Classic non-rotating rig geometry – 2, 3 or 4 fixed spreaders generally produce the lightest possible package. These rigs provide good control throughout the various sail configurations. Occasionally we see these spreaders able to rotate which eases the torque induced by the mainsail during a gybe.

2) Swinging spreader wing – this has been popularised by the Ecover style package, featuring one or more swinging spreaders, which gives the drag reduction of a wing but has the more ‘locked on’ control characteristics of a classic rig.

3) Deck spreader wing – this is a low drag option due to minimal rigging. The chainplates, being at the end of wide deck spreaders, allow wide shroud angles. This geometry is probably the heaviest option, however interestingly provides the lowest VCG and heeling moment as the deck spreaders are heavy but low down. This geometry has a tendency for instability fore and aft as it is not locked in with spreaders. The only way to stabilise this is by having a longer chord length mast which adds weight. A nice product of the deck spreader geometry is the ability to sheet the reaching sails off the deck struts.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Medcup Day 2

Two races today for the MedCup fleet. The wind struggled to find stability and we did not start the racing until 1500.

The first race of the day was held in a light seabreeze from 240. The wind generally went right except the left paid because of pressure. CaxiaGalicia won the race with Artimus second. We on windquest finished 6th.

For the second race, after another sizeable delay waiting for the wind to stabelize, we had 15-18 knots from 315. Smooth seas and sun made for another spectacular race. Mean Machine used their patented committee boat start to jump out to a big lead that they held to the finish. Bribon was second and Christabella third. We managed an 8th after getting bounced around (boats tacking on us) up the first winward leg. We are happy with our consistency. We would like to move a bit higher up the top 10 list. Still a long way to go this week.

We are now 7th overall on Windquest.

Tomorrow is the coastal race which will be two series of windward leeward legs joined in the middle by a 4-5 mile reaching leg. - Paul Cayard

For complete results go to

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Melges 24 Blowout

Photo credit: Rolex / Daniel Forster
Rolex Baltic Week
Rough weather with stormy gusts on the Bay of Neustadt caused spectacular sailing conditions for the participants of the Rolex Baltic Week on Tuesday (21 August). Some of the 74 teams competing in the Melges 24 European Championship suffered material damages, but no major injuries. The “Blu Moon” from Switzerland with helmsman Flavio Favini defended the overall lead by nine points ahead of the Italian “Uka Uka” skippered by Lorenzo Bressani. The “Lenny” crew and skipper Toenu Toeniste from Estonia remained the leading Corinthian team.

TP52 update from Mr. Cayard

Photo ThMatinez

Photo Diego
TP52 Portimao, Portugal
We had three races today in 16 to 28 knots. Top speeds of 22 knots were seen by all boats on the runs. With the offshore breeze, the sea was flat and the sky was clear and sunny. It was a beautiful day for the 19 boats here in Portimao.

The winner of the day was Valle Romano-Mean Machine with a 7th and two firsts. Second of the day was Artemis with Russell Coutts as tactician with a 2, 3 and a 5. Third was CaixaGalicia with John Knostecki as tactician with a 3, 4 and 10.

It was important to keep the boat upright during the gybes and almost everyone broached at least once. We had a decent day on Windquest with a 10, 7 and 8 for 25 points, 8th overall. The fleet is tightly bunched in scoring with Siemens/Matador in 6th with 24 points and Stay Calm in 9th with 27 points.

It was a long day with the third race finishing at 1800. All the teams are still on their boats drying out the insides, folding sails, checking the rigs and it is 1915.

It all starts again tomorrow with the first warning at 1300. The forecast is for a bit less wind.
For complete results go to


We have to say that we do love what they are doing in Europe with the Open 60 for the Barcelona Race. The boats are awesome and the graphics are even better!

I hope that with the Volvo race, especially with teams like Puma, that the US companies see this as an opportunity to brand their companies with a sport that puts man against nature. Maybe a FedEx vs UPS boat! Our hope is that in future events we can change the stereotype of sailing as a rich man's sport to one seen as teams competing. We know that Larry and Ernesto do not help with that stereotype, but maybe we focus too much on them and not the other events that give a better look into sailing. -SK

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Revolution in sail design... Elvström Sails

Elvstrom Sails: Improving the performance of sail design once again.
Swan 45 owners noticed something very different in their fleet at Cowes Week this year. Overall winner of the class WISC (Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing) sported a unique design of sail from Elvström Sobstad including large ‘cut out’ sections to the headsails.

Elvström Sobstad UK’s Kevin Sproul picked up on the opportunity to produce a larger headsail on the Swan 45 which could be sheeted fully without fouling the spreader, but remaining within the class rules (maximum mid girth measurement of 3.08m). After consultation with the Elvström design and engineering department in Denmark, the concept was quickly implemented and a design was drawn to cleverly move the leechline round the spreaders.

By effectively ‘cutting out’ room for the spreader, the two medium headsails on WISC gained 6% extra sail area. The inventory consisted of a conventional light headsail for up to six knots of breeze, then two ‘cut-out’ jibs, a medium light for 6-11 knots and a medium heavy for 11-16 knots. The conventional three is used for 16 knots and above.

"The new sails proved unbeatable at this year's Cowes Week” commented Glyn Williams, owner of Swan 45 WISC. “With the cut out jibs, our upwind performance across a range of light to medium wind speeds allowed us to sail higher and faster than the rest of the fleet. We also found we had improved acceleration off the line and through the tacks.” -

Barking Mad: Top Dog in the Baltic

Photo by: Rolex / Daniel Forster

Photo by: Rolex / Daniel Forster
US yacht “Barking Mad” superior again on the last race dayJim Richardson from the United States is the first overall winner of the Rolex Baltic Week 2007.
The owner and helmsman of “Barking Mad” and his team have won the Farr 40 competition on the Baltic Sea off Neustadt, Germany as well as the European Circuit, a grand prix series of this prestigious international class comprising five separate regattas. Richardson beat the Australian “Kokomo” by Sue and Lang Walker in both competitions and sent her down to place two. Wolfgang Stolz and his “Opus One” team from Frankfurt, Germany finished fourth overall and ranked as best German team. In the European Circuit, Stolz overtook Wolfgang Schaefer's “Struntje light” (sixth) and gained the “bronze medal”.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Less drag? Generali keel out of water...

Photo by Sally Collison
This is one way to reduce drag! Yann Elies's Open 60 Generali racing out of the Solent at the start of the Fastnet Race.

Hutchinson back in the saddle

Photo by: Rolex / Daniel Forster
Farr 40 Rolex Baltic Week - Neustadt, Germany
The first day of the 4th Rolex Baltic Week started in Neustadt, Germany on Friday (17 August) with four incredibly tight and exciting races in the international Farr 40 class. The lead changed several times not only in all single races, but also in the overall ranking. At the end of the day the Jim Richardson's US yacht “Barking Mad” by had a narrow lead by just two points ahead of Sue and Lang Walker's “Kokomo” from Australia.

“It was very tough racing in tricky conditions,” said Terry Hutchinson, who is the tactician on board the leading “Barking Mad”. “But the race committee managed it pretty well.” The day started with a fresh and gusty westerly breeze, which decreased later on and shifted in a thunderstorm front. These conditions caused the practice race for the European Championship of the international Melges 24 class to be abandoned. Their Europeans are due to start on Saturday (18 August) at 14 h local time.

Jonathan McKee reports in...

It is to an enthusiastic Jonathan McKee that the Sailing Team spoke to this morning as he reported in from there Open 60 Estrella Damm:
“Things are going well onboard. We are just coming up to Ushant, it's been a good test of the boat, last night was really dark and quite windy but it feels good to be leaving the Channel. It is good to be double-handed at last, we are getting into the routine, sleep wise we are not too bad we have been doing a normal 4 hours watch system and it seems to be working for us. We haven’t been very good with food so far but all is well onboard, and we're just happy to be out here.” To follow Estrella Damm during her qualifying sail to Barcelona, please click here
photo by OnEdition

Estrella Damm Sailing Video

Click button to play!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

420 & 470 Jr European Championships

470 Girls Winners by Thom Touw.

470 Boys Winners by Thom Touw.

420 Girls Winners by Thom Touw.

420 Boys Winners by Thom Touw.
The Junior European Championships 420/470, sponsored by Valk Welding, ended quite windy on the IJsselmeer off Medemblik (NED). The west wind quickly picked up from about 15 to 30 knots in gusts. That caused many capsizes, especially on the 420 course. As a result of the strong conditions, the race committee decided to send the sailors ashore. The 470 Medal Race followed later in the afternoon. Although Justin Liu and Sherman Cheng (SIN) won the gold fleet, runners up Tom Gillard and Sam Breary (GBR) became the International 420 Class Men Junior European Champions 2007.

Tina Lutz and Susann Beucke from Germany are the new International 420 Class Ladies Junior Champions. Last year's winner Hannah Mills and her new crew Katrina Hughes (GBR) were now victorious in the 470. They became the 470 Class Women's Junior European Champions 2007. Despite their capsize in the Medal Race, the Russians Artem Basalkin and Maxim Sheremetyev remained on top of the 470 leader board. They are the new 470 Class Junior European Champion.

Not made in China

Read China Daily:

QINGDAO, East China, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Six scheduled events were abandoned due to weather conditions on the first competition day at Qingdao International Regatta here on Wednesday.

Only two events, 49ER and 470 Women, set sail despite weak wind.
Iker Martinez/Xabier, the gold medalists of Athens Olympics, finished on top after the first race in 49ER.

"We finished up our first race with a good performance today, coming in 1st with a little luck. The conditions are difficult here, so we will have to see what happens tomorrow," Martinze said.
"We didn't do too well in last year's event. This year, we have come in with more preparation, and are hoping to come out in the top 10. We will be training hard for the 2008 Olympics."
In the 470 Women, Elise Rechichi/Tessa Parkinson from Australia, who is extremely fast in light air, came out first after the first race.

"We were very happy with the start of today's event," Rechichi said. "Winning our first race feels amazing, and was a great way to start off the week." Lindsey Bell, press officer of the British sailing team, said: "Qingdao's condition is different from most places, but that is normal. Sometimes there is wind, sometimes there is not." "I think we will be luckier as the regatta goes," Bell added.
Qingdao International Regatta runs from August 9 to 24 and features 11 events of nine classes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Open 60's So Cool! - Update: A closer look

Copyright onEdition: Click to see large image

Copyright onEdition: Click to see large image

Copyright onEdition: Click to see large image

Copyright onEdition: Click to see large image
Barcelona WorldRace Prologue took place at the Fastnet Race off Cowes, UK.

The Barcelona World Race duos are racing in the same two-up format for the 608-mile race that starts Sunday, 12th August. The Barcelona World Racestarts in November and will be held every four years. For the first time, this race will see the world's best professional sailors from both solo andfully crewed disciplines coming together to compete against each other inteams of two.

Racing 25,000 miles over three months across the planet's mosthostile and challenging oceans in high-performance IMOCA Open 60 monohulls. Never before has a two-handed, non-stop around the world race been stagedand there has never been a crewed, non-stop round the world race inmonohulls. This concept opens up a whole new world of possibilities in thesport of extreme offshore sailing both in terms of competition and racecommunications.