Saturday, September 29, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
But unfortunately, the benign conditions didn’t last long. Soon after racing started for the Dragons, Classic, Tradition and 12 Metre Classes, an intense squall came through, bringing heavy rain showers, hail, thunder and lightning.
The tempest attacked the fleet with a fury. Visibility was reduced to metres at times, and the gusting conditions caused several boats to broach, colliding one into the other. France was dismasted, and Nagaïna suffered significant damage to its hull.
The Dragon fleet also suffered, as sadly, two boats sank in the storm, after taking on immense amounts of water. One appeared to be pinned on its side in gusts that exceeded 30 knots, filling it with water. The other was sailing downwind when it broached on its side with the spinnaker flailing from the top of the mast. The boat never recovered. In both cases, the crew were quickly plucked from the water, shaken up, but uninjured.
There were reports of lightning striking near several boats, and indeed, crew on board some boats told of instances of being ‘shocked’. Initially, it appears the more than one thousand sailors taking part in the regatta have escaped serious injury, although a handful were taken to the hospital for observation and minor treatment.
'I think that the only time I have seen conditions like these was in 1980; it is really very unusual for this place, at this time of year,' said Jean-Claude Montesinos, the President of the Yacht Club de Cannes.
'The storm we saw was much, much more intense than anything on the four weather forecasts we checked this morning,' added Denis Horeau, the Waterborne Operations Director of the Régates Royales - Trophée Panerai.
12 Metre World Championships
Despite the conditions, one race was completed on Thursday at the centennial world championships of the 12 Metre Class and in the Grand Prix division, James Spithill steered Kookabura II to victory, moving his team up to second place with three races completed. Roger Wright’s Wright on White earned a third place in today’s difficult race to remain at the head of the table.
In the Modern Division, Courageous had a day worthy of its name – its race win today puts it on top of the division with Challenge 12 and Freedom just one point in arrears.
In the Classic Division – Vintage, Trivia won for the second time to increase its lead after three races over Vanity V. While in the two-boat Traditional division, Ikra won for the second consecutive time to take the series lead over Sovereign.
One race was completed on Thursday, but at the terrible cost of two boats sinking. Jean-Sébastien Ponce was on board one of the boats, which was sailing under spinnaker when it gybed and broached. With the boat on its side, water poured in and the hull quickly began to submerge.
'My lifejacket was pulling me to the surface, but a line was wrapped around my foot, so I started to go down with the boat,' Ponce said, relieved to be safe on dry land. 'The tension on the line around my foot was strong, but eventually I was able to free it…The way back up to the surface seemed to be pretty long!'
The crew and owners of both boats are hoping they can be brought to the surface and salvaged. Just 49 of the 81 starters completed the race today, with Don O’Donoghue on Seabird claiming the win over Markus Wieser’s BB Queen.
In the Classic Yachts and Spirit of Tradition classes at the Régates Royales - Trophée Panerai, one race was started but all the talk was about the dramatic day, with many stories of close – at times too close – encounters with the elements. Lightning struck or hit near several boats, including Mariquita, the old William Fife III design, one of the last remaining ‘19 Metre’ boats.
Similarly, the crew on Dennis Conner’s beautiful Cotton Blossom II was among those reporting to have had a close call with lightning. In the end, Cotton Blossom II was among the first boats to return to port, the grizzled veteran Conner displaying the sense and seamanship that comes from experience in getting his boat and crew ashore early.
Daubney failed a doping test during this year's America's Cup and has resigned from Alinghi but intends to prove his innocence.
The 48-year-old was tested on June 23, race one of the America's Cup match against Emirates Team New Zealand. The urine sample returned a positive test for a recreational drug, believed to be cannabis, on July 13. The B sample returned a positive result on August 8. He is the first sailor in cup history to return a positive test.
The America's Cup Jury, whose members were selected by Alinghi and the challenger commission, heard the case on Wednesday and found that there was no fault or negligence on Daubney's behalf.
But the length of time it took for the case to be heard and the fact the failed test came to light only after Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport revealed it, has led to speculation of a cover-up.
While it is not uncommon for results of drug tests to take three or four weeks - in big events, like the Olympics, results can be obtained within 24 hours and the athletes automatically disqualified.
If such a system was used in the last cup, Daubney would been unable to compete in the remainder of the match.
While his absence probably wouldn't have cost Alinghi the cup, Daubney is regarded as one of the best sail trimmers in the world and it would have had some effect on the Swiss.
Under the cup rules, Alinghi could not have lost the cup as they stipulate crew members are individually responsible for doping.
Daubney said yesterday that he had "done everything in my power to prove that I have never knowingly taken a banned substance of any type and to this end underwent and passed a polygraph test conducted by the UK and European Polygraph Association".
He said he was heartened and relieved that the jury agreed with his assertion that he was a victim of contamination and/or drink-spiking. - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Rolex TP 52 Global Championship 2007 ©Photo:ROLEX /Carlo Borlenghi
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
The America's Cup syndicate released a statement saying they have been unable to agree on the terms and conditions of a continued relationship.
The syndicate boss Grant Dalton said Hutchinson was a key factor in leading the team to victory in the Louis Vuitton Cup.
The resignation is effective immediately.
Yachting commentator Peter Montgomery suspects there may be more to it than meets the eye.
He says if Hutchinson is as good as Team New Zealand says he was in Valencia, then why are they electing to let him go?
Montgomery wonders if - due to mistakes in the America's Cup match against Alinghi - the American tactican was offered so little money that he was forced to walk away.
Team New Zealand are refusing to make any further comment.
Hutchinson served as the team's tactician in 13 America's Cup Acts, the Louis Vuitton Challenger Selection competition, and the finals of the 32nd America's Cup after joining the after guard in 2004.
However, the American-born sailor was clearly outpointed by Alinghi's Brad Butterworth in the America's Cup finals and made several crucial errors in the latter races of the series. - http://tvnz.co.nz/
The system, known as Saffire, has been developed by Bluefinger , the maritime division of Cybit , the UK’s leading online telematics service provider. It will be used to track the position, direction and speed of each yacht.
The Saffire system uses the international maritime satellite (INMARSAT) network to give accurate position reports which will be refreshed every 15 minutes to monitor the safety of each yacht and allow accurate race scoring and leadership tables to be maintained.
Saffire will also feed data to the race’s website and 3D viewing platform enabling visitors to http://www.volvooceanrace.org/ to follow the fleet’s progress online.
“The primary reason for the race management system is to ensure the safety of every competitor – if one of the boats stops unexpectedly, we need to know about it immediately,” Andy Hindley, Race Director of the Volvo Ocean Race, said.
1/3rd scale testing, September 2006 undertaken in addition to two test sessions with 1/7th scale models in June and July 2006 for Mike Golding's Ecover 3.
Clay Oliver (left)co-designer of ECOVER 3 & Merf Owen (right) designer© Andi Robertson
"During this project I was also working mostly on the America’s Cup at the time and so I helped on the conceptual design, the lines development and the tank testing and some VPP analysis."
"One of the interesting things was using a larger, one seventh scale model, a boat actually at Lyngby, north of Copenhagen.
It was quite interesting dealing with a boat in the tank, so we were dealing with higher accuracy, and at the same time with higher loads with all the appendages that we were working with. We had an interesting time trying to keep it all hanging together, the challenge with the model at the Wolfson Unit as well."
"The Wolfson Unit had been looking at it for some time as somewhere to do large scale tank testing. It is a wonderful tank though of course logistically we had to then load the models on the car and drive it there across to Denmark.
"Essentially with the small scale models you are looking at the sizing of the boat and the shape, at the tank here in the University of Solent. I think we did about seven models at that scale. Part of this is that we had been doing tank testing for other yachts as well, so in a way there is an experience base as well. From that we decided on the hull, built the large model and went to Denmark."
" Usually we are trying to decide things like beam, and the performance across a mix of races that you are thinking about, whether it is two handed, single-handed around the world, then once you have decided on the beam, and then you start thinking about smaller hull shape changes and appendages, what kind of appendage configurations you might have."
"Hopefully if we have done everything right then when we get to the large model, then in the way things then you sometimes put a small tweak in in the end. Most boats that have gone into the water after the tank have had some small tweak at the end, after testing."
"It is very similar to the Cup with the tank testing, but with the Cup usually you will be testing a lot more models, because you can, and because you are running much smaller variations. Usually running two programmes: one, the so called conceptional or revolutionary and the evolutionary. Conceptually you do the same thing here, running what are maybe the big ideas, the new ideas, and then maybe you do it on paper, if that is a good idea, then try it on the models."
"Basically this boat is more powerful, provides a greater demands on the sailor, in terms of skill and experience, greater attention to reliability, because there is increased stability sail shapes can be different, so there can be progressions and developments in terms of sail design and sail shapes. But the general theme is that the loads are larger, the boats are more powerful, the boats will be going faster.
More experienced sailors will be benefiting from trying to make the right choices because it will be very demanding on their resources." - http://www.mikegolding.com/
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Photo by: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Cayards Reports on 12m preworlds:
Today the second day of the Pre Worlds regatta and two races were scheduled. The wind was a bit more promising at the start of the first race, but half way down the final run it died completely again. For the first part of the race, Kookaburra II, Kiwi Magic, and KZ3 were all very even and swapping positions. The racing was very close and exciting. At the finish line, Kookaburra II won with Kiwi Magic second. KZ3 withdrew when the wind died. There was no second race as the owners meeting was scheduled for 1600 and no races could be started after 1500.
Overall for the pre-worlds, Bill Koch's team on Kiwi Magic won the regatta and the Centennial Cup which was a special race yesterday. These races were the Society Nautique de Geneve's annual regatta. The funny thing is that, as far as I could see, there was no Swiss boat in the regatta.
The summary after these first few days is that the 4 grand prix boats, Kookaburra, KZ7, KZ5 and KZ3 are very even in 6 knots and under and it was more the shifts and positioning that made the difference. Tomorrow we should be joined by 2 more grand prix boats, French Kiss and South Australia. All these boats will built for the 1987 Cup in Fremantle. There are about 15 other 12's racing with vintages from about 1945 to 1983.
Slowly as the week goes on, we should get a bit more wind. The 12 Meter World Championship starts tomorrow and continues through Saturday. Also tomorrow, the Regate Royale will start with all the beautiful classic boats.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Just in! Alinghi secret training video that shows Alinghi's grinders staying in top physical condition just in case Oracle wins their court battle. Butterworth said when asked about the tape “We need to be ready at a moments notice to race, we are training 4 to 5 hours a day on shore running through tacking and jibing duels. I yell at my team from my office chair to go faster and I tell them that Russell is gaining. It’s all about the mental preparation”.
Friday, September 21, 2007
Asked if the US team would drop its court case and challenge under the new protocol, he said: "No, not based on yesterday's amendments."
He particularly argued that Alinghi could still change the rules at any time with the challenger of record, a new Spanish yacht club BMW Oracle has called "a sham".
He also said Alinghi were effectively still able to disqualify any competitor who disagreed with the protocol. Alinghi has said any team up for disqualification would be able to appeal to the arbitration panel.
"This should be resolved by negotiating face to face," Ehman said. "So far Alinghi have rejected our offers to try to negotiate a settlement through mediation."
You have to love the media stunt these too are making! -SK
WTF? I thought Quantum/Sobstad was the dominant force and the evil empire. I’m confused. Maybe Scott T. can clear all of this up for us!?!
"I'm pretty optimistic. I hope we'll be able to encourage BMW Oracle to drop the law suit and join the other challengers and get in on the game," Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth said.
What Butterworth really meant to say is that they are screwed and are tiring to kiss Larry’s butt because they know that they will lose in court. Or maybe Bertarelli is feeling bad from ditching the trophy ceremony at the Farr 40 worlds and now he is trying to show his softer side.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Guillermo Altadill (left) and Jonathan McKee (right) finish their Barcelona World Race qualifier© Carlos Pich
We jibed just as it was getting dark, onto a fast but extremely wet angle. The waves were constantly breaking over the boat, so it was very difficult to be on deck. All through the night, one of us would basically huddle under the cuddy in the cockpit, or just inside the door, poking your head out every 10 minutes or so, letting the autopilot do the steering. It is the only sane way to sail in these conditions. I can only imagine what it will be like with freezing cold water, or in more changeable conditions that require adjusting the sails. I think I need more clothes. Full Story
It had been reported that Davies, one of the stand-out performers in Valencia, had signed with Russell Coutts BMW Oracle Racing. However, the strategist has been spotted at the Team New Zealand base over the past couple of days.
It is understood all of the Team New Zealand sailors who competed in the match against Alinghi have signed letters of intent to stay or signed new contracts. A number of the sailors have yet to return to New Zealand following the cup, choosing to stay in Europe and compete in various regattas such as the TP52 circuit.
The Davies rumours surfaced a month ago. Davies, whose weather calls made him one of the stars of the last cup, was to have competed in next year's round-the-world race. However, the team he was to compete in fell over, allowing Davies to return to Team New Zealand.
The $10 million the New Zealand Government gave Team New Zealand has allowed them to re-sign the people they want. With the introduction of new 90ft boats, the syndicate is working to strengthen its design team.
Senior members of Team New Zealand, including managing director Grant Dalton, have been in Europe for the past 10 days involved in design meetings relating to the new cup boats.
New America's Cup rules prevent teams from two-boat testing, which means syndicates will require fewer sailors. It means those that sailed on Team New Zealand's B boat in the last cup will be lost to other syndicates. One is Ben Ainslie, who has joined Origin Challenge. - http://www.nzherald.co.nz
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
However, Swiss defenders Alinghi will obtain the lion's share of the profits from the event, with their cut being almost 30m euro ($60 million).
AC Management (ACM), the entity set up by Alinghi to run the cup, said the regatta and the leadup events over the previous three years generated a net surplus of 66.5m euro.
The surplus, from total revenue of 240m euro, came mostly from the city bid and a four-year sponsorship programme.
Under the protocol for the event, 10 per cent of the surplus would go to ACM, 45 per cent to Alinghi and 45 per cent to the challenging teams.
The allocation of the challengers' funds was based on how far each syndicate went in the competition, with the lowest payout being more than one million euro.
While the distribution date in the protocol was next March, ACM said it accelerated the closing of the accounts to allow teams to use the money to prepare for the next cup regatta in Valencia.
Alinghi have so far accepted five challenges for 2009 -- from Desafio Espanol (Spain), Shosholoza (South Africa), Team Origin (Britain), Team Germany and Team NZ.
The next cup match will be sailed in a new, larger class of boat, and Alinghi and the five challenging syndicates met in Valencia last weekend for the first design consultation meeting.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 15.- NZPA
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Photographs by Carl Hancock http://www.sdsailing.com
Until yesterday. Brian Camet, with father Daniel and brother Alex as crew, defeated nine other club teams from around the country to win the title. Camet, who won three US Sailing national titles in other classes as a youth, had three wins and four second-place finishes in the 10-race series sailed in Etchells sloops out of Southwestern Yacht Club. Each skipper sailed a different boat every race.
The Camets won the title by 16 points over San Diego Yacht Club's Chris Busch, who finished one point in front of defending and three-time champion Scott Young of Austin, Texas. Young had also sailed on two other Mallory Cup winners as a crew. “It was a lot more competitive than I expected it to be,” said Camet, who has raced Etchells as a family team for more than a decade. “In the end, knowledge of the conditions and experience worked in our favor.”
In the companion Adam Cup U.S. Women's Championship, Elizabeth Altman of Chicago won seven of the 11 races en route to the title. SWYC's Colleen Cooke was third. – BILL CENTER
Friday, September 14, 2007
12 METRES COMPLETE FINAL RACES, AS VINTAGE YACHTS START THEIR SERIES
Veteran. Vintage. Classic. Traditional. Vela d'Epoca. There is nothing quite like a bit of Italian, the language of the Latin romantic, to captivate the imagination in a way that English with all its variety and complexity could never do. Such is the beauty, especially under sail, of some of the yachts competing at the Rolex Veteran Boat Rally that descriptions of tactics and strategy would also seem to completely fail to convey the majesty of what is taking place this week off Porto Cervo.