Thursday, January 31, 2008

Barcelona World Race - Episode 1

Barcelona World Race - Episode 1 Video
The world's first ever non-stop round-the-world offshore sailing race for two-person teams starts from Barcelona and heads through the Strait of Gibraltar... This is one of the best put together race documentary I have seen. Well worth the look! Click Here to Watch Video

Tom Ehman: Judge Cahnwill Will Rule in Our Favor

Click on link below to listen to the interview with Tom Ehman from Oracle BMW regarding the America's Cup and the court's rulings. Great interview!
Click Here to Listen


Last night the Doldrums slowed Groupama 3's progress, which was only able to rack up an average speed of around a dozen knots in a breeze rarely in excess of ten knots. At 0600 GMT, the giant trimaran had just 140 miles to go before reaching the equator.

It was to be expected: the Doldrums really began to make its presence felt from 4° North but normally it effects should begin to dissipate once the sun rises this Wednesday. This serious reduction in speed shouldn't prevent Franck Cammas and his nine crew from beating the intermediary record held by Geronimo (6d 11h 26') however.

Indeed, Groupama 3 is set to cross the equator at midday with a lead of a few hours over Olivier de Kersauson's record and nearly a day ahead of Orange II (7d 02h 56').On the other side of the equator, the forecast shows SE'ly tradewinds of about fifteen knots backing progressively E and filling in to twenty knots from 3° South. The giant trimaran will therefore accelerate considerably once more, making an average of 25 knots of boat speed for several days off Brazil.-

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Unfinished Business Anna VS. Paige

Photo: Dan Nerney/Rolex
January 29, 2008

I sailed well today and had fun on Biscayne Bay at US Sailing’s 2008 Rolex Olympic Classes Regatta. However my 2-3 finishes were not enough to hold back Paige Railey, my team mate on the US Sailing Team. Paige won both of today’s races to move into first place overall while I’m two points behind her in second place. Then there is a gap of 14 points to Penny Clark of Great Britain who is in third.

Yesterday’s northerly faded away this morning and there were some postponements until the sea breeze started to build in strength. Getting our first race started proved to be a bit of a problem. It took five attempts before we got away. I had a good start but got an attack of the slows in the early part of the beat and had to bail out of my position and rounded the top mark in tenth place. However I pulled back to third.
The second race I had a good midline start and led the fleet out to the right which was exactly want I wanted to do. At the weather mark I was in second place, behind Paige but then caught her on the run. At the leeward gates we split with Paige going left while I went right. At the top mark I was leading. By now we had pulled away from the following boats and were engaged in our own little match race. At the leeward mark Paige was ahead again and we made a tight rounding, one after the other. We continued match racing, going high and then getting back on course. I almost had her but ran out of race course and Paige got the gun.

It was a really good race with Paige and we both managed to smile and laugh about it afterwards. The relaxed atmosphere was nice, considering some of the intense tussles and battles we’ve had over the long months leading up to the Olympic selection trials.
We’re slated to sail three races tomorrow, weather permitting. Full results are available at 2008 Rolex OCR Radial Results.
I would like to thank my sponsors Carmeuse and K-Swiss for their continued support of my campaign for the Olympic Gold Medal in Beijing 2008.
Sail hard,


470 Worlds Champions Erin Maxwell (L) and Isabelle Kinsolving with their coach Skip Whyte Guy Nowell
American’s Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving helped ease the bitter disappointment of missing Olympic selection with an emphatic 10 point world title victory ahead of World No.1 Italians Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol. “If there was ever a way to make me feel better about not being selected for the Olympics … this is it,” an ecstatic Maxwell said. “I don’t know what the future holds but we’re going to savour today, that’s for sure. “We’re going to campaign for 2012 but jobs, graduate school and marriages come before that,” Maxwell added.
It was been seventeen years since the USA has won a 470 World Championship. 1991 was the last time that the USA had won the Women’s worlds. J. J. Isler and her crew, Pam Healy won in Brisbane Australia, so this is the lucky country for the USA 470 sailors. - & Sailmebourne

US Olympic Sailing procedure flawed?

US sailors Erin Maxwell and Isabelle Kinsolving only have to finish eighth out of the 10 boat 470 Worlds Medal race in a few hours time to win the 2008 World title in Melbourne Australia.

USA's Beijing Olympics 470 Women's representatives Amanda Clark and Sarah Mergenthaler have some work to do before the Qingdao regatta in August as they finished 12th in the 29 boat fleet. Clearly US SAILING's single regatta Olympic selection procedure will be under review, before the 2012 Games. It is out of step with that of all the other top sailing nations. - Sail-World

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Groupama 3 - On The Move

The equator is the next objective for Groupama 3, which was just 350 miles away midway through this afternoon. The weather forecasts suggest that Franck Cammas and his crew won't be too slowed by a rather inactive Doldrums. At this pace, the crew may well make it into the Southern hemisphere just after daybreak on Wednesday, which would give the giant trimaran its first intermediary time...

Off to a good start...

One sailor who doesn't have to worry about whether she'll make it to Qingdao in August is the USA's Olympic representative in the Laser Radial class and US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics member Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.). After winning the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Sailing in October, Tunnicliffe changed her focus. "I used to have one drive--to win the Trials.
Now I have a new drive; it's to win in China.
" The Florida sailor today won the second of her class's two races after finishing third in the first. The performance put her in first place overall for the day. "It was only 7-9 knots, which made for tricky sailing," said Tunnicliffe, acknowledging that China will have similar wind conditions but with much more chop and swell than Biscayne Bay had to offer today. "It's still early," she said about this regatta. "With it being light and fluky, it's still wide open."In second overall after today's racing was Paige Railey, another Floridian (Clearwater) whose name seems magnetically drawn to Tunnicliffe's whenever they enter the same events.
Railey swapped out with Tunnicliffe to win today's first race and then finished fourth in the second. After she finished behind Tunnicliffe in the Trials, she decided to go "back to the basics and have fun with sailing." She re-set her goals, both long-term (the 2012 Olympics) and short-term (the Laser Radial Worlds in New Zealand this March). "This regatta is part of my build-up to peak at the Worlds," said Railey. "It's too early to tell what will happen here. The fleet is completely stacked with good sailors."-

Monday, January 28, 2008

Brits and Aussies Collide

Elliott Willis and Nick Asher (GBR)

Isabelle Kinsolving, Erin Maxwell (USA) have moved up from seventh to third. Photos Jeff Crow- Sport the Library

A stunning mid-race collision has potentially cost British pair Nic Asher and Elliot Willis a serious tilt at their second world title at the 470 Men’s championships at Mordialloc Sailing Club today.

Asher and Willis, who started the day in overall second position, collided with Aussie No.2 team Mat Belcher and Nick Behrens in Race 8, and have slipped to sixth with Willis carted off to hospital for precautionary chest x-rays. Willis, 24, was knocked off his trapeze after he and Asher, on starboard, bore away fearing the Australians would not attempt to avoid a collision.

“We thought they weren’t going to get out of the way so we tried to … they bore away hard and hit me off the wire,” Willis said. “We capsized and we hit them hard enough to take their shroud out … it was pretty bad,” he added.

While Willis was the only one injured, Belcher/Behrens capped off an horrendous day on the water, unable to complete Race 8 due to major boat damage sustained in the collision, which backed up an OCS is Race 7, leaving them flailing at the tail end of the gold fleet. Results -

Miami Heat

Rolex Miami OCR, scheduled for January 27 to February 2, 2008, Over 100 teams have signed up, and many of the 25 represented nations -- including the USA, Canada and Great Britain, which have the largest contingents at 24, 15 and 11 teams, respectively -- either have sent their final teams or will be selecting who moves on to the Olympic or Paralympic Games based on results at this popular International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade One ranking event -

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Broken rudder on Hugo Boss ©Hugo Boss

470 Worlds Day 3 Graham Biehl and Stu McNay

Update from Graham Biehl and Stu McNay - US Mens 470 Team
The Last Day of qualifying has finished. The winds were puffy and shifty but always between 10 and 20 knots as we warmed up before the race. We got a great start at the pin, tacked and crossed the fleet in the first normal range left shift. We thought we were leading the race with two other boats. The wind proceeded to die entirely and shit 40 degrees left putting us near last. We were mentally rattled and did not come back as well as we could have. We finished the race 23rd. We are currently in the 19th place. Seven races remain. -

Friday, January 25, 2008

Last Day KWRW by Paul Cayard

Three races today in perfect Key West conditions-18-24 knots of wind and sunshine.
There was way too much action to go through it all. The first two races were great for us with a 3, 5 but the third one was bad.

The scores aren't out yet but I think Barking Mad and Mascalzone tied for first. The French were probably third. I think we may have slipped to 7th or even 8th today.

The amazing thing was watching Mascalzone come back through the fleet after being over early in 3 races. They are truly quick. The French were very impressive in their speed too and they have a brand new boat here so we are hoping for some of that with our new boat which will be ready for the next regatta in March.

We are pretty happy with our regatta. Just getting used to sailing together and sorting out the boat and sails. Being down here in Key West at this time of the year is a treat no matter where you finish. - Paul Cayard

Breeze On In Key West

Photos by Sailtrim
For final results click here!

US boys go it alone

Team USA boasts a proud sailing reputation, think Jonathon McKee or Paul Foerster but could manage to field just one team for this year's 470 Men’s world championships at Mordialloc Sailing Club.

And it is not just us who were surprised by their lack of representation, lone crew Stu McNay and Graham Biehl were a little lost for answers also.

"We're a little shocked as to why there is only one American men's team as well." Biehl, 21 from San Diego, said.

"We had our Olympic trials last October. A lot of teams decided to take some time off afterwards to refocus for after the Olympics and rest up to get things organised for the next go around,” he added.

Their training partners flew home last week following the Asia Pacific Regatta to return to university.

The boys are now out numbered by their female counterparts who boast three crews sailing, - 2008 Beijing hopefuls Amanda Clark/Sarah Mergenthaler, 2008 Asia Pacific Regatta winners Erin Maxwell/Isabelle Kinsolving and Molly Carapiet/Molly O’Bryan Vandemoer.

"We enjoy hanging out with them (the women’s teams)," McNay, a 26-year-old Yale graduate from Boston said. "Their company and knowledge is great."

While they might be going it alone in the men’s event, they still see the championships as a good opportunity for them to fine tune their sailing and settings.

"We're feeling pretty good."

"We are a young team relative to the others. We have only been sailing with each other for two years now. We have lots of work to do in between now and the Olympics but I'm confident well be able to accomplish what we want," McNay said.

"We're really excited and just getting everything sorted and working towards our goal of a medal … we all know it is going to be light and choppy and difficult so we're trying to put our best foot forward and perform well,” Biehl said. By Clare Murray Sail Melbourne Media Centre


Skandia Geelong Week 2008 - Melbourne, Australia- ONE STEEL - Andrea Francolini Photo

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Good day for Warpath

We finally got under way at 1430 with about 10 knots of wind. The wind filled from the North Northwest ahead of the front which is due here tonight or early tomorrow morning.
The sea was very flat as the race course was downwind of a set of barrier islands.

In the first race, the fleet got off to a clean start and unfortunately we were just a bit behind relative to the group around us. We got forced to tack and forced to tack again and basically bounced around a bit. Luckily there were some shifts and we managed to get some good lanes and finished a respectable 8th. Twins, the new French Farr 40 sailed a perfect race to lead around all the marks. Mascalzone Latino sailed a good race finishing 2nd to extend their overall lead over Barking Mad who finished 6th. The win moved Twins up to 4th overall.

In the second race we had a decent start but were going to be in a tough lane with Mascalzone just to windward and another boat tight to leeward. Both were over the start line early and had to restart. Mascalzone fouled a boat returning so they had to do a penalty circle as well as get back to the line. They were over 100 yards clear in last place when the finally got going. The current world champions moved through the fleet with ease to finish 12th.

Barking Mad and ourselves (Warpath) went all the way left and got a very nice shift to be first and second at the first windward mark. We sailed comfortably down the run and up the second beat we even gained a bit on Barking Mad. They decided to tack on us near the end of the beat which made things a bit close for us with Twins. The run became a real battle for us but we round the last leeward mark even with the French. We traded tacks up the last windward leg, always close. But near the end of the leg, both of us had gotten to the left side, which had always paid up to that point and Fiamma, another Italian boat got to the right of both of us and moved into second place.

Overall, three Italian boats are in the top 5; Mascalzone, Nerone and Fiamma. Pretty strong! For complete results go to;

Anyway, it was a good day for Warpath and we moved up two place to 6th overall. We are learning a lot and having some fun too. We will get our new boat for the next regatta in Miami in March and then use it in the pre worlds and World Championship in April, also in Miami.
Tomorrow's start is move up to 0930 so 0730 at the boat. The temperature is supposed to drop to 60 and the wind is supposed to be 18-24 knots tomorrow. Back to the fleeces, wool ski hats and the wet weather gear. -Paul Cayard

Key West Action

Photos SailTrim


Check out the press conference from Key West Race Week with Ernesto Bertarelli regarding the courts decision today.

Update: 33rd America’s Cup: Judge Cahn considers SNG’s arguments on invalidity of GGYC challenge.

(New York, 23 January 2008) New York State Supreme Court Justice Herman Cahn heard arguments today over whether the Golden Gate Yacht Club has put forth a valid Deed of Gift challenge for the 33rd America’s Cup to its current holder, the Société Nautique de Genève and its team Alinghi.

“We were glad to make our points and found the Court receptive to our arguments,” said Lucien Masmejan, lead counsel for the SNG. “We look forward to a court order properly addressing the issue of the validity of the GGYC challenge.”

Justice Cahn allowed the SNG to further examine arguments put by the GGYC and invited SNG to present additional submissions on Monday on these issues, including on the definition of a keelyacht versus a multihull. SNG’s submissions will be supported by the interpretation from the International Sailing Federation which was presented to the court (in attachment).

A result in SNG’s favour would put the 33rd America’s Cup back on track with a multi-challenge event in 2011 in Valencia, Spain. As Defender of the America’s Cup, the Deed of Gift gives Alinghi and SNG, as trustee, the serious responsibility of preserving the integrity of this world class sporting event.

They're Off!

They're off: the maxi trimaran crossed the start line just off the Créac'h lighthouse in a fine NW'ly breeze of around fifteen knots with one reef in the main and staysail. Groupama 3 is already powering along at over 25 knots bound for Cape Finisterre, which it is likely to reach by the end of today. The weather forecast is indicative of a fine descent for this first day at sea since the breeze should rapidly clock round to the North as it fills to twenty knots, where it will then reach over thirty knots as it shifts round to the East. The first 24 hours should therefore enable Franck Cammas and his nine crew to get as far as Lisbon by tomorrow morning, Friday. -

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wind!! No Wind?? Key West Race Week

No wind=No Sailboats.

This is how you get statistically perfect sailing conditions. Monday we had 30 knots and too much to race and today 4 knots and not enough to sail. The average of that is 17 knots. Perfect, right? Just kidding. In reality, Key West is one of the best venues in the world for racing sailboats. Just a bit of bad luck this week.

Tomorrow is supposed to be good; 8-13 knots of wind. I am sure the race committee will be eager to get three races in so it will be another long, tough day like yesterday. But tomorrow is a long way off right now and most of the 2500 sailors are well into their third Margarita or Mudslide at this point. Good money making afternoon for Key West.

I am going to run to the beach out by the airport and go for a swim. At 1700 I am going over to Seaquest, a Westport 130 (Powerboat) for a beer with Rich DeVos. Rich has been a big supporter of sailing for many, many years with various project and campaigns including AmericaOne in 2000. His sailboats are always named Windquest. Last fall I sailed with his son Doug on his TP 52 in Portugal. Really good people. - Paul Cayard


With the window having been closely scrutinized over the past few hours here we have the verdict: Groupama 3 is passing to green! The weather is finally providing an opening for Franck Cammas and his men, who will leave their Lorient base at around 1600 GMT this evening to make Ushant, the traditional start zone for the Jules Verne Trophy. According to the latest forecasts, the crew should cross the line tomorrow morning. -

Davis warns against soaring Olympics hopes

Yachting New Zealand Olympic director Rod Davis is warning not to read too much into the results of this week's RS:X World Championships looking ahead to the Olympic Games.
With Kiwis Tom Ashley and Barbara Kendall setting the pace in their respective fields some are already chalking up medals in Beijing.

Given both the men's and the women's fleet are littered with outstanding talent it is hard not to get excited about the pair's prospects. But Davis said while the signs are promising, the outcome of the championships won't mean anything come the Olympic Games.
"In sport you can never make predictions so we'll just take it one step at a time," the former Olympic sailor said. - By Dana Johannsen Photo / Greg Bowker.

Still Going!

Michèle & Dominique practising the tradition...! ©Temenos II

Pachi onboard Mutua Madrileña rounding Cape Horn for the first time! Barcelona World Race ©Mutua Madrileña

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Key West Race Week Photos Day 2

Click on any images to enlarge! Ernesto Bertarelli just beating out Warpath w/Paul Cayard calling the shots! Don’t forget to read Paul Cayard’s daily reports (See entry below this one)

MascalzneLatino leaders in the Farr 40 Fleet


The new Numbers!

Nice Port tack start!
Photos by Sailtrim
For full results click here!

Cayard Update Day 2 KWRW

Today the weather conditions returned back to normal and we had a busy day with 3 races in all classes. The wind started out at 18-20 knots in the first race and dropped steadily over the day down to a low of 9 knots midway through the third race. The sky was overcast and rain cells were all around and pulling the wind right and left. The committee on race course 1 did a great job of moving the marks around to keep the course pretty square.

Onboard Warpath, we had a decent day and are currently in 8th place out of the 25 entires. We had a bad start in the first race and struggled to get 13th. In the last two races we had good starts and stayed near the front of the fleet finishing 8th and 7th. The top boats had a bit of speed on us so we have some work to do to get our mast and mainsail working better together.

The top boat for the day was current world champions, Mascalzone Latino, from Naples, Italy with scores of 2,2,3. Mascalzone, Mean Machine (NED), Barking Mad (USA) and Nerone (ITA) are the top of this fleet and no surprise that they were all at the top today. All are past World Champions in the Farr 40 class.

The one design Farr 40's are so even in speed that even after a 2 mile windward leg, they all seem to arrive at the same time. This makes getting around the windward mark very exciting and sometimes expensive. I think there were a few prangs today, some even with damage. Fortunately, we were not involved in any.

The fleet is gearing up for the World Championship in Miami in April. Key West and the SORC in March are top regattas in their own right but they have the added significance of being usefull in preparation for the World Championship.

The results were not final at the time I wrote this due to some protests. Here is some other information that may be useful:

Be sure to check each evening for a 4-5 minute Gary Jobson production that will feature racing highlights of different classes each day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Too Much Wind at KWRW

Too much wind again today. The Race Committee postponed ashore until 1130 then all fleets were sent out. The wind was in the low 20's. But as we sailed out to the race areas, the breeze built to 30 knots plus.

At 1300, the scheduled start time, the race committee's for all four courses abandoned racing for the day and sent the fleet in. Since it was a five mile beat to windward for the Farr 40's, we used the sail in as an opportunity to train in the heavy air. We sailed in race mode with Peter de Ridder and his Mean Machine team as well as Joe Fly from Italy.

We all had our coach boats following us, observing who was doing what from a sail trim standpoint and who was going better. We sailed on both tacks and even switched sides to see if there was any geographical influence on the results. As we approached the harbor the wind had moderated to 25 knots so we set our fractional spinnakers (Farr 40's can have masthead spinnakers now) and went ripping down wind. It was good to get a few gybes in those conditions when it didn't count. It was pretty exciting but we did not do any serious damage.

We got back to the dock about 1530, had our little debrief on what we learned, bailed the water out of the boat, hosed off the wet weather gear, loaded the dehumidifier onboard, fired her up and headed back to the house. - Paul Cayard

Paul Cayard: Racing Starts Today Key West Race Week

Today marks the first day of racing here in Key West. With entries from 18 countries, 60 foreign boats and 2,500 sailors, the Acura Key West Race Week is without a doubt the most popular winter appointment for sailors worldwide.

Practice over the past three days leading up to today's start saw conditions ranging from 6-8 knots on Friday, to 10-15 on Saturday and 25-30 on Sunday. Not many ventured out today and some of those who did had more excitement than they desired.

This event has 16 classes, from PHRF to IRC, to the very competitive one design classes like Farr 40, Melges 32, Melges 24 and the Club Swan 42. The 16 classes are spread out over four races areas...that means four race committees, lots of buoys, anchors, anchor lines, spare anchor lines, horns, etc. You get the idea... a BIG organization. Peter Craig and his team at Premiere Racing do an excellent job of not only running the event but promoting it, gathering corporate support and offering an event that fosters interest in our sport.

I am sailing with Fred and Steve Howe on their Farr 40 Warpath. I raced with the Howes in 2005 in Sydney in the Farr 40 Worlds where we finished a credible 4th. The Farr 40 Class is extremely competitive (25 entries here) with a nice mix onboard of four pros and six amateurs per boat. The helmsman is required to be an amateur, as well as the owner of the boat. Many of the top names in the sport are tacticians in this Class, including Terry Hutchinson, Dean Barker, Peter Isler, Brad Butterworth, Vasco Vascotto, Tony Rey, Gavin Brady, Morgan Larsson, Jeff Madrigali, to name a few....The other three pros on the boats are usually the mainsheet trimmer, a headsail trimmer and the bow man. Most all the pros in this class also race in the America's Cup.

Having said all that, one of the best things about Key West Race Week is that there are so many passionate amateur sailors here....people who take vacation time and often pay their own expenses to come down here. These are the people who make up the heart and soul of our sport. This is there celebration of sailing.

To honor this passion, a few of us pros participated in a round table conference yesterday afternoon for one hour, just before the skippers' meeting at 1700. Peter Isler, Terry Hutchinson, Larry Leonard, Riccardo Simoneschi, Kimo Worthington and myself reviewed a Farr 40 race from Key West 2007, using a software program called Kattack. Kattack plots the course of each boat and creates a graphical depiction of the race. Each of us was assigned to be the tactician of one of the race boats. The "race" was stopped a several interesting situations where were asked to comment on what was going through our mind relative to the fleet, the wind direction, even our position in the race at that time and weather risks or conservatism was warranted. The session was surprisingly well received, especially considering the Chargers were playing New England at that time. I think Kattack may be available on line to those of you who could not get down here to Key West in person.

Today's forecast is for 25-30 knots of wind. My guess is that if this forecast holds true, Peter Craig and his team will postpone the start of Race 1 which is currently scheduled for 1030 EST. It is the first day of a long week and no point in breaking everyone's gear on day one. The wind may moderate enough in the afternoon for us to get one or two races in.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

IDEC takes 14 days of record!

IDEC trimaran crossed the finishing line off Brest on Sunday 20th January 2008 at 00h39'58 At the age of 51, Francis Joyon is once again the fastest solo yachtsman around the world having completed the voyage in 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes and 6 seconds. He has shattered the previous record, held since 2005 by the British yachtswoman, Ellen MacArthur by 14 days, 44 minutes and 27 seconds.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Take Down

Photo by © ROLEX / Daniel Forster
2008 Circuito Atlantico Sur Rolex Cup
FORTUNA III rig catches the top of the mast of CANUTO REX

South American Blowout