Monday, March 31, 2008

Safran hits the water

After a few months work Sanfan Sailing Team is back in the water.


Photo credit: Tomeu Bibiloni / CNA
S’Arenal (Majorca), 30 March – Spanish double triumph at the 49er Europeans – Madrid 2016 with Gold for Iker Martínez & Xabi Fernández and silver for brothers Federico & Arturo Alonso. The event, held at Club Nàutic S’Arenal, in Majorca, enjoyed today a gripping ending that finally gave the opportunity to the Basque tandem to win their third European title- second consecutive one- and the first medal for the brothers from Asturias. Third place on the podium was for Ukrainian sailors Rodion Luka & Geogiy Leonchuk -

10 Class 40s confirmed but 13 are possible…

After two decades in ocean racing, Simon Clarke is fulfilling a lifelong ambition of competing in the world of short-handed sailing. This week Clarke confirmed his Class 40 entry in The Artemis Transat that starts in just over six weeks on Sunday, 11th May. And it might not end there, as there is the potential for three more Class 40s to enter the fray. British female sailor Miranda Merron completed a very wet and windy 1000-mile race qualifier yesterday after six days to ensure she can officially enter The Artemis Transat once the all-important sponsor has been secured. Experienced French skipper, Patrice Carpentier, and German Boris Hermann (German) are also looking for sponsors to facilitate their participation in the race, although both have paid the necessary ‘pre-inscription’ to keep the possibility of entry alive.

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Philippe Briand has designed a new 86’. This aluminium sailing yacht is currently under construction at the Chantier C.N.B. in Bordeaux. She is to be launched in May 2009.

Gitana off to Japan...

Gitana 13 departs from San Francisco on her attempt to set a new North Pacific crossing record from San Francisco to Yokohama (JPN) - Erik

Foncia capsized with Alinghi sailors onboard...

Top Photo: Thierry Martinez
[Alinghi] AT 11:30 March 29th, in 20 plus knots and a lumpy Atlantic swell, the 60ft trimaran Foncia capsized off Lorient with Alinghi sailors onboard. Of the 10 crew onboard, Peter van Niekerk and Francesco Rapetti were airlifted to hospital, both are safe and with no serious injuries. The rest of the crew along with consultant Alain Gautier were involved in securing the boat and towing it ashore, the sailors are shaken but unhurt.

Ed Baird, who was onboard, provides some insight into what happened: “As we were bearing away, always the highest risk situation on a multi-hull, both the leeward and the central hull dug into the water and the rudders came out. From then it was out of our hands and we capsized forwards. As the mast hit the water, it broke, followed by the rear beam.” He continues: “The crew reacted very quickly in getting everyone back on board, doing a head count and checking injuries before calling for help and beginning to secure the boat.”

Foncia is currently being towed into the harbour upside down to be craned out and assessed for damage. “We have all been through crashes and capsizes before, this is all part of the sport,” says Ed Baird, adding “however this is a temporary situation with Foncia and is not our equipment, so it is even more disappointing to us that we are involved in damaging someone else’s gear. We have learned a valuable lesson here and now must get to work to fix things up for Alain [Gautier].”

End of reign looming over Alinghi

Grant Dalton doubts Alinghi will be able to challenge Oracle.
[NZHerald] Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton says he would be surprised if America's Cup defender Alinghi are much advanced in building a 90-foot multi-hull yacht to take on Oracle in the courtroom-inspired clash likely to take place later this year.

The Cup went back into court last week after Alinghi and Oracle could not agree on a date to hold the head-to-head clash which, after Oracle's successful court challenge against Alinghi, cuts out all other challengers (including Emirates Team New Zealand). The regatta will likely be held in Valencia in July or October this year.
But Alinghi are claiming they do not have time to be ready and the matter has gone back to the New York Supreme Court - for resolution next week.

Dalton says he believes Alinghi are behind in the boat-building race.

That's in spite of the BMW Oracle syndicate saying that Alinghi chief Ernesto Bertarelli had been quoted in a newspaper in December as saying that Alinghi were "even then" preparing for a multi-hull clash in July.

"The problem is that these yachts will be an enormously stressed engineering piece of kit. It's a bit like launching a lunar satellite into space - it's no mean feat," said Dalton. By Paul Lewis Read more...

Photo / Janna Dixon

International Rolex Regatta St. Thomas

Photo by: Rolex / Daniel Forster
International Rolex Regatta St.Thomas, US Virgin Island

After completing a single distance race today, yesterday's eight class leaders nailed down overall victories at the 35th annual International Rolex Regatta, which began Friday. The trade winds that made the prior two days so exciting delivered once again as sailors on 90 boats completed the Pillsbury Sound course, set between the east end of St. Thomas, where host St. Thomas Yacht Club is located, and its smaller sister island of St. John.

The two IRC classes, as well as two of four CSA classes (Spinnaker Racing 1 and Spinnaker Racing/Cruising) and Beach Cats sailed a longer version of the race (13 nm with several windward-leeward laps included) while the remaining two CSA classes (Spinnaker Racing 2 and Non-Spinnaker Racing) stuck to the more straightforward shorter course (13 nm). In all cases, however, the key to victory lay in playing the second windward leg of the course correctly. Read more...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Etchells Mid Winters West

So here we are the day before the Etchells Mid Winters regatta in San Diego, California going through weigh in! A great idea considering that during the last event we had there was a lot of bar talk about some teams being over weight. So this will be a good thing! Not too worried because we are under weight, but those who are close to weight are going to be doing some running in the morning as the scale is a good 8 pounds heavy. So we will see what happens come Saturday morning. Tomorrow should be an interesting day of racing. Defending champion and winner of the Jaguar series Bill Hardesty will be out in full force. Rumor has it that his coach Ed Adams is in town. There’s know doubt he’ll be doing a little spying on the competition to see what others have to bring to the table. I also love when coaches motor up behind you when you’re sailing to take a few pictures of your set up! Kind of makes you feel special! It looks like it will be a good turn out with the likes of Russ Silvestri with Vince Burn on board. Not to mention Eric Dole taking over for Randall Pitman also sailing is Bruce Nelson. I‘ll write more on our outcome after the races tomorrow.

Brian Camet

Etchells USA 1216


Blowing 20-22 knots...

Photo credit: Rolex / Daniel Forster
International Rolex Regatta St.Thomas, US Virgin Island
With the wind blowing 20-22 knots on opening day of the International Rolex Regatta, everyone had a war story to tell when they got back to shore. The three-day event kicked off with a race to town, in which 90 boats took off from the east end of St. Thomas, where the 35-year-old event is hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club, for the bustling waterfront of Charlotte Amalie. After the downwind sprint, the fleet reversed course and sailed back home "on the nose."
"Our kite exploded early in the first race, which isn't too surprising," said local sailing hero Peter Holmberg, whose perfect start in IRC 2 included forcing others above the committee boat while his team peeled off cleanly at the gun. An Olympic medalist who was weaned on this regatta, Holmberg led a crew from OnDeck Racing, a racing yacht charter company, in his first appearance since returning from a 10-year hiatus to sail in the America's Cup. Having mentally prepared the crew for what could go wrong in the given conditions, Holmberg rallied for a second-place finish in race one and turned in a fourth in the second race for a fourth overall. "It's all working well," he said. Read More...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Spanish team dominates

Photo credit: Tomeu Bibiloni / CNA
S’Arenal (Majorca) The Spanish team dominates the 49er European championship– Madrid 2016 at the end of the third day in Club Nàutic S’Arenal. Iker Martínez & Xabi Fernández are still the leaders and second place is now for crew from Asturias Federico & Arturo Alonso although they are tied with third and fourth classified. But the Athens 2004 gold medallists and our representatives at the 2008 Beijing Games have already an eight point advantage over their immediate rivals.

Strong, gusty and changeable SW winds of an average speed of 18 knots blew again in the bay of Palma. The Race Committee of Club Nàutic S’Arenal gave three starts today in the two racing areas in which each group competes. These were the last races of the qualifying series and tomorrow the 54 boats fleet – representing 22 nations- that participate in the 49er European championship- Madrid 2016 will sail the final series, divided in groups Gold and Silver.
More information, results and images at:

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Ernesto, DC did it, why can't you?

With Justice Kahn ruling against him again. Billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli is on the back foot. Now he complains he just can't get a multihull built in time to meet the 10-month deadline for billionaire Larry Ellison's America's Cup challenge. Rich Roberts wonders why not

Another defender had a similar problem 20 years ago when New Zealand's Sir Michael Fay challenged Dennis Conner's San Diego Yacht Club with a 120-foot winged monohull designed by Bruce Farr to the maximum dimension of 90 feet on the waterline. Realizing they probably couldn't out-do or even match that in such limited time, the defenders, with divine inspiration, seized upon a loophole in the hallowed Deed of Gift: a 60-foot catamaran!

Let us now return to those gloried days of yesteryear to hear from two of the key players in that wild and crazy scheme that set the tone for later tours of the New York State Supreme Court. Gino Morrelli of Morrelli and Melvin was a lead designer. Bob DeLong of RD Boatworks was the builder.

Morrelli said this week, 'It's been funny watching all the posturing and BS flying around. We've been contacted by all the usual suspects but we are only peripherally involved to date in this go-around.'

DeLong said, 'For me, this all brings up a fun time from the past. I am amazed that this is happening all over again. I thought that was the main benefit coming out of 1988, that rules were created that would prevent all of this. Well, I guess history does repeat itself.'

What may have been forgotten is that two catamarans were built, a 'hard sail' and a 'soft sail.' The former would be faster but the latter would be less of a risk for breaking down. DC and his Stars & Stripes crew would sail the soft sail, sometimes without even hoisting a jib. Didn't need it.

Morrelli said, 'I seem to remember it taking two-odd months arguing and designing prior to starting to build.'

'It was a very rushed affair,' DeLong said, '6-8 weeks of talking with DC---he flew in on a helicopter one day!---before they finally pulled the trigger and turned us loose. The only actual blueprints I received on the project were on the hull lines. All of the rest of the plans arrived via the fax machine (generation 1 model with continuous thermal paper).

'With six designers there were a lot of delays and changes. Sometimes, due to these changes, we would have to tear things out and start over. At about the eight-week mark there was finally a summit meeting that froze all design work so the boat could be finished without any further delays.'

Morrelli called DeLong to refresh his memory over two decades. 'He reminded me it took three months and a week to build both platforms, painted and delivered to San Diego. It took Bob just 10 days to build the 60-foot hull plug and mold with 30 guys going. Then we had three-odd months training prior to the event.

'So, all told . . . nine months. we were sailing after about six months.'

DeLong: 'With organization, desire, a lot of manpower, two shifts, seven days a week, it all got done---and could be done again.'

Hear that, Ernesto?

Oh, yeah, we heard you just started to practice sailing a multihull.

Lesson No. 1: make sure both hulls go past the same side of the mark.
by Rich Roberts [Sail-World]

SNG frustrated with meeting outcome

(Wednesday 26 March 2008) Following the meeting that was held at the Société Nautique de Genève in Switzerland with representatives from both SNG and Golden Gate Yacht Club, Lucien Masmejan, lead counsel for the defending yacht club, expresses:

“Despite having had great hopes for today’s meeting with GGYC, we were very disappointed with the outcome. GGYC adopted the same approach that it took last year coming to the meeting with a fixed position rather than to discuss and find a resolution in accordance with Justice Cahn’s Order.

We are particularly frustrated by the GGYC’s assertion that the agreement made in front of Justice Cahn to ‘toll the case’ so that the Defender would have 10 months notice as per the Deed of Gift no longer applies and that racing should take place in October 2008.

GGYC confirmed that it has already started building its boat for the America’s Cup Match and stated that SNG has time to build a boat by October 2008 but should this not be possible that SNG should compete in an existing boat. This clearly is an extension of the GGYC’s strategy to win the America’s Cup at all costs as it would guarantee an absurdly miss-matched race – precisely the opposite of the racing that we have come to expect from the America’s Cup.

We remain committed to trying to move the fight from the court room back to the water but the actions of GGYC are making this extremely difficult to achieve. GGYC has successfully guaranteed itself entry via the Courts to the America’s Cup Match for the first time, despite its strong statements that its legal action was for the benefit of all Challengers. We will use all avenues open to us to ensure that they are forced to compete in a competitive race in the spirit and tradition of the America’s Cup.” [Source]

Go Once! Going Twice! Sold?

Time to pull your money out from under your mattress and place your bid! I'll bet you have a pretty good chance of being the highest bidder! This boat will make a great beer can racer!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

$1 million and change...

[Source] NEWPORT – The owners of a 103-year-old sailing yacht that sunk during the Museum of Yachting's Robert Tiedemann Classic Regatta last summer are suing the owners of the 94-foot yacht Sumurun for more than $1 million.

According to the appeals committee, "Sumurun was properly found at fault for the subject collision through private resolution of disputes in an agreed-upon forum akin to arbitration which met the requirements for due process and Sumurun is therefore responsible for the collision."

In all, Amorita sustained damages, losses and expenses estimated at $1 million. In order to compensate their loss, the plaintiffs are asking that Sumurun be "arrested," condemned and sold. In addition, Mr. Pearsall and Mr. Doyle are also seeking unspecified "consequential" and punitive damages. Read the full story by Tom Shevlin

The Future of the Cup??

Don't blink! You just might miss the race.



The America's Cup Defender, Switzerland-based Alinghi, tonight issued a statement expressing hope that outstanding issues between its team and BMW Oracle Racing will be resolved at a high-powered meeting in Geneva tomorrow (Wednesday) enabling the teams to compete in a meaningful race in the true spirit of the historic match.

Vice Commodore Fred Meyer of the SNG said: "We at the SNG are very much looking forward to this meeting to break the deadlock and to help guarantee a successful event and produce a competitive regatta.

"The most crucial point for our discussion is the date. When we have a realistic date we can start proceedings to secure a location and set the stage for the regatta.

"As we have made clear we are not in a position to race this year because we always understood that tolling would take place during the legal proceedings. Furthermore we have not started construction of our boat and will not be ready to compete this year.

"We are surprised as to why Larry Ellison, who considers himself a competitive sailor, would wish to take part in a second rate race or win by legal manoeuvres.

"We have been inundated with calls and letters from sailing fans all over the world who want to see a swift end to the legal processes and a return to competing on the water. I am sure that's what both teams want too."

The meeting, due to take place in Geneva, will be between Alinghi's chief legal adviser, Lucien Masmejan, Vice Commodore Fred Meyer of the SNG and Russell Coutts and Tom Ehman from BMW Oracle Racing. -

Monday, March 24, 2008

49er European Championship

Photo:Tomeu Bibiloni
Storm brings cancellation of the first day of the 49er Europeans
Winds of 25 to 30 knots and huge waves dominate the bay of PalmaWind of over 25 knots and the huge waves today in the bay of Palma have brought the cancellation of the first day of the 49er European Championship– Madrid 2016 de 49er, organised until next Sunday at Club Nàutic S’Arenal.
“The wind is not the problem; the waves are the main concern. They are over 2 metres high and are very dangerous for the 49ers because they can cause broken masts and other structural damages”, explained today Ferran Muniesa, sports manager of Club Nàutic S’Arenal, minutes after displaying the cancellation flag.The same storm is forecasted for tomorrow, with NW winds 25 to 30 knots. The wind could lose strength from 16:00 hours but the waves are expected to remain. In any case, three races are scheduled with the first start at 12 hours.The debut of the 64 boats and 128 sailors representing 22 nations that participate at the European championship– Madrid 2016 will have to wait until tomorrow. Read more...

Swan 45 Winners

Photo James Taylor/Club Nautico Scarlino
DSK-Comifin Wins Swan 45 Memorial Giorgio Falck Regatta
Scarlino – Over the course of the four-day Easter weekend regatta, Danilo Salsi’s team onboard Swan 45 DSK-Comifin demonstrated seamless teamwork and pure skill during the nine race event. Competing against twelve teams from seven nations, DSK-Comifin consistently finished in the top of the competitive fleet.

Despite the heavy rain and strong winds, DSK-Comifin pushed through Day 3 maintaining their lead, two points ahead of Glynn William’s Swan 45 WISC (GBR). On the fourth and final day of the 2nd Memorial Giorgio Falck Regatta organised by the Club Nautico Scarlino, the team from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda were well prepared for the final three races.

Commenting on the team’s performance throughout the regatta tactician Pietro D’Ali said: “It was a good regatta for us. We always had good boat speed, strong starts and were consistently on the right side of the course.”

Sailing with the team for the first time was Tom Burnham (USA) a veteran of America’s Cup team Luna Rosa. “It was a hard day today, really shifty (30-40 degrees at times), with winds ranging from 8 to 25 knots, plus waves. Danilo did a great job keeping the boat going
– he kept us fast. There were big potholes on the race course. The team has sailed a lot of miles in this boat. It’s experience that counts – Danilo and these guys have that,” said Burnham.

The next event for the DSK-Sailing Team is the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds from 16-19 April in Miami, followed by Rolex Capri Sailing Week in the Swan 45.
1. DSK-Comifin, Danilo Salsi (ITA), 4-2-8-3-1-3-2-5-2 points 17
2. Jeroboam, Vittorio Codecasa (ITA), 12-7-1-2-3-6-3-6-1 points 22
3. Vertigo, Marco Salvi (ITA), 1-3-5-5-12-4-1-4-4 points 22

Spi Ouest-France

© Yvan Zedda
[Team Groupama] With just a glance at the general ranking for the Open 7.50 one design series, one can fully comprehend this remark from Franck Cammas. Coming second overall, the skipper of Groupama and his crew congratulated Loïck Peyron and the Gitana team for their fine victory in a Spi Ouest France, which was marked by the small number of races contended due to a far from welcoming weather situation.
At the end of the event, it's always the same thing : you look into why points were lost. For this thirtieth edition of the Spi Ouest France, the crew of Groupama set out with a slight handicap, through having hardly sailed together before the start of the first race. As Franck says: "You can have the top sailors in the world on the same boat but they still have to sail together so as they can get to know each other".

The end...

FULL METAL JACKET (NZL) at the finish line in Subic Bay

Photos: © ROLEX/Carlo Borlenghi HI FI (HKG) takes line honours
Neil Pryde's Hi Fi takes line honours win in Rolex China Sea Race

An increase in wind strength off the West coast of the Philippines overnight gave the lead boats exactly what they needed to close in on the finish line off Grande Island at the entrance to Subic Bay, Philippines on Easter Sunday. Neil Pryde's Wellbourn 52 Hi Fi crossed the finish line just before noon local time with an elapsed time of 71 hrs 35mins 42 secs.

Hi Fi held off Fortis Mandrake, 20 miles behind, which had a shot at the overall corrected win. In the end, Mandrake finished at 1438hrs today, missing the win by a mere 13 minutes. That leaves only a few suspects who could upset Hi Fi for the overall corrected win if the wind in fact holds, the first of which, Full Metal Jacket, would need to cross at 1819hrs tonight. Others include Subic Centennial, Australian Maid, and Moonblue II, which are due in by 2000hrs tonight. -Read more @

Not so good...

America's Cup sailor Simon Daubney's drug case has been reopened by the World Anti Doping Agency. Read more... Photo / Getty Images

Andrew Campbell: 9th at Trofeo Princesa Sofia

Yesterday’s medal race turned out to be blowing-dogs-off-chains kind of day. We awoke to 15-18 knots of southerly breeze driving three foot waves into the Bahia Palma and it would only get windier. The majority of the fleets started around noon while kitesurfers and windsurfers blasted along the shoreline just inside the medal-race courses.

By the time we got the green light to head to our race course, the kitesurfers had stopped altogether leaving only small sailed windsurfers out playing in now four foot waves breaking on what was yesterday a calm shoreline. When we hit the racecourse, the leader of the Yngling fleet had already broached badly and lost a crew member overboard in their race, a windsurfer had come in early having slashed her sail from luff to leach, and the breeze had built well into the twenties. Rumors of an upper twenty or thirty knot puff would not be unfounded, but we survived... Read more

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Laurent Vidal / PHOTOMER.COM
Just lunched the new 9.5! The 9.5 rule is a Class 40 scaled down rule. Will it be as successful as the 40?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Round 2...

[SAFRAN] After a three-month winter refit and upgrade, the SAFRAN Open 60 monohull racing boat will be relaunched on Wednesday, March 26 at La Trinité-sur-Mer in Brittany. Several races are on the agenda this season, with the main target being the Vendée Globe 2008 round-the-world solo race.

The SAFRAN racing boat was revamped this winter under the direction of skipper Marc Guillemot and the Safran Sailing Team. Although the new monohull boat has already proven to be a fierce contender (finishing second in the Transat Jacques Vabre and fifth in the Transat Ecover B to B), it still needed some refurbishment and fine-tuning. “We completely repainted the boat,” notes Marc Guillemot, “then addressed a few issues concerning protection, comfort, maneuvering, steering, ballast handling, etc.” Read more...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Rolex China Sea Race

IRC Racing Division start

HI FI (HKG), IRC Racing Division start

FULL METAL JACKET (NZL), skipper Chris Meads Photos by: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
[Regatta News] There can't be a more exciting location to start a race than Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour: with local sampans, ferry boats, cruise ships, and steady stream of tug and barges to contend with in the narrow channel, it's not for the timid. The weather gods cooperated today, providing an easterly breeze of 15 -18 knots at the race start. The 24-boat fleet beat fairly quickly out the harbour, in front of the downtown skyscrapers, past the fishing village at Lei Yue Mun and the shoreside shrines, across Junk Bay, and out past the Po Toi islands into the South China Sea.

In the Racing Division, Neil Pryde's newly modified Hi Fi (HKG), with it's distinctive flared deck aft, was early at the pin end of the start line, but gybed around to restart and was quickly back at the head of the fleet with the other 50-footers. In fact, out through Junk Bay, the 2006 race winner Fortis Mandrake (HKG) and the TP52s, Geoff Hill's Strewth (AUS), a nd Sam Chan's Ffreefire (HKG), were closely grouped together, crossing tacks. Read more...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dream Team?

Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW Oracle
What do you think?
BMW ORACLE Racing Announces Core Sailing Team.
[From BMW ORACLE]BMW ORACLE Racing today announced its core sailing team for the 33rd America’s Cup. The team also confirmed the start of a comprehensive 2008 training and racing program that includes both monohulls and multihulls.

Joining skipper Russell Coutts in the accomplished afterguard are American John Kostecki and Australian James Spithill. Among the crew roster are nine sailors returning from BMW ORACLE Racing and 11 from Luna Rossa’s 2007 Italian challenge.

“We have assembled a fantastic team who are not only experienced and talented but who have winning attitudes and are great fun to race with,” said CEO and Skipper Russell Coutts.
“I have sailed with most of these guys on different projects over the years, and am really pleased to have had the opportunity to bring them together into one America’s Cup team. We are looking forward to getting out and doing some racing.”

Spithill will share helming duties with Coutts, and Kostecki has been named tactician. In addition to Spithill, there are 10 other recruits from the 2007 Luna Rossa challenge. Jonathan Macbeth joins from 2007 Louis Vuitton Cup winner Emirates Team New Zealand. Among the crew are Hamish Pepper, strategist, and Carl Williams, grinder, the 2006 Star World champions representing New Zealand in the 2008 Olympics in the Star class.

The team’s on-the-water training program began last week in Valencia with sailing in two Extreme 40 catamarans. This summer the team will compete in the Extreme 40 European tour. Team members will also be competing in the TP 52 Med Cup Series, a European grand prix sailing tour in monohulls. Additional details about the 2008 program will be announced soon.

The BMW ORACLE Racing core sailing team for the 33rd America’s Cup includes (in alphabetical order name, country and position):
Alberto Barovier, Italy, foredeck; Russell Coutts, New Zealand, skipper; Simone de Mari, Italy, pit; Dirk de Ridder, The Netherlands, mainsail trimmer; Noel Drennan, Ireland; mainsail trimmer; Larry Ellison, USA, afterguard; Shannon Falcone, United Kingdom, mast; Daniel Fong, New Zealand, trimmer; Ross Halcrow, New Zealand, trimmer; Jared Henderson, New Zealand, pit; John Kostecki, USA, tactician; Michele Ivaldi, Italy, navigator; Jonathan Macbeth, New Zealand, grinder; Brian MacInnes, Canada, grinder; Gilberto Nobili, Italy, grinder; Joe Newton, Australia, trimmer; Hamish Pepper, New Zealand, strategist; Matteo Plazzi, Italy, navigator; Max Sirena, Italy, foredeck; Alan Smith, New Zealand, foredeck; James Spithill, Australia, helmsman; Joe Spooner, New Zealand, grinder; Andrew Taylor, New Zealand, grinder; Simeon Tienpont, The Netherlands, grinder; Brad Webb, New Zealand, foredeck; Carl Williams, New Zealand, grinder. Julien di Biase, Switzerland, is sailing team coordinator.

18th Overall After Five Races

Photo: Will Calver:
By Anna Tunnicliffe: We had tons of sun on the Hauraki Gulf yesterday at the 2008 Laser Radial Women's World Championship but wind was in short supply. The yellow fleet had a relatively short day of it, but our blue fleet took nearly 12 hours, from rigging up our boats to bedding them down, to complete two races.

My results were kinda ordinary, with a 33rd in the fourth race of the series followed by a 13th in the fifth. In between, the committee abandoned an early version of the fifth race when the leaders were on the last run and I was placed ninth.

We have split into gold and silver fleets for the last two days of racing and after discarding my OCS from Saturday, I’m now in 18th place overall with a 6-(OCS)-1-33-13 score. Lijia Xu from China is the series leader. Sarah Steyaert from France is second and Evi van Acker from Belgium is third. Read Anna's full report...

DSK-Comifim ready for Swan 45 season

Photo credit: Rolex / Daniel Forster
Swan 45 Season Starts for DSK-Comifin

Just back from the Acura Miami Grand Prix, the DSK-Comifin Sailing Team is in the final stages of preparation for the first Swan 45 event of the season, the Memorial Giorgio Falck Regatta.

Milan, 19 March 2008 – Following on from their foray in the competitive Farr 40 Class in the US, the DSK-Comifin Sailing Team will start their Swan 45 sailing season this weekend. The team will shift gears and step onboard the Swan 45 to line up against a dozen other teams at this weekend’s Memorial Giorgio Falck Regatta.

Organised exclusively for the Swan 45 Class by the Club Nautico Scarlino, this second annual regatta promises challenging wind and weather conditions for the more than 200 sailors participating. Over the last three years, the DSK-Comifin Sailing Team has consistently been on the Swan 45 Class podium and finished second overall in the Swan 45 Mediterranean Circuit 2007, just behind Swan 45 Jeroboam Ca’nova.“I am looking forward to getting back onboard our Swan 45.

We’ll be racing in both the Swan 45 Mediterranean and International circuits. It promises to be a competitive season for the Class culminating with the Swan 45 Worlds hosted by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in September,” stated owner/helmsman Danilo Salsi. - Jennifer Hall

Dalton Happy...

Team NZ boss Grant Dalton wants Alinghi and Oracle to race this year. Photo / Mark Mitchell

[NZHerald] A New York judge's ruling against America's Cup defenders Alinghi was a great outcome given the bad situation that yachting's greatest competition found itself in, Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton said today.

Dalton also questioned Alinghi's proposal that the one-on-one showdown the Swiss syndicate now faced with American syndicate Oracle should take place in July next year.

He said the Deed of Gift covering the Auld Mug stipulated that it would have to be raced by July this year unless there was mutual agreement between the two parties, and he doubted Oracle would want a delay.

"It's a great result," he said of New York State Supreme Court Judge Herman Cahn's decision today.

"It's the start of the clearing of the fog in the landscape." Read More

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The gloves come off...

“Let’s settle this on the water,” said Alinghi boss Ernesto Bertarelli
In response to New York Supreme Court Justice Herman Cahn’s order today designating Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) as America’s Cup Challenger of Record replacing Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV), lead counsel for the defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), Lucien Masmejan, issued the following statement:

“Following today’s court order, Larry Ellison has eliminated the competition and gained access to the America’s Cup Match, a feat BMW Oracle Racing has never been able to achieve on the water. While we are disappointed with the outcome of this court order and believe that the matter of GGYC’s certificate of challenge wasn’t properly addressed, we have decided not to appeal the decision and we look forward to getting the fight back on the water and meeting BMW Oracle Racing on the start line of a Deed of Gift Match in July 2009,” Masmejan said.

Should Alinghi win the Deed of Gift Match, the Defender is committed to getting the America’s Cup back on track for a world class multi-challenge event in 2011 in Valencia, Spain. “The challengers can be assured that the 34th America’s Cup will be run with the same vision and commitment for a premiere multi-challenge sailing event that they supported in Valencia in 2007,” Masmejan concluded. -

Six days...Sydney to Hobart on a Hobie Cat.

[ABC News] A Sydney father and son have taken less than a week to sail to Hobart in their five-metre catamaran.
Rod Waterhouse and his son Jason, who only had wetsuits to protect them from the weather, left Manly last Tuesday afternoon, and docked in Hobart about 7:00pm AEDT.

The 16-year-old is the world champion in this class of yacht for his age group.

Rod Waterhouse says he has always wanted to cross Bass Strait in the catamaran, and has been watching the weather closely since deciding two months ago to make the attempt.

"There was a lot of preparation on the weather and that's what makes the crossing possible in this type of boat," he said.

"Despite that, you can get it wrong and we made a few little errors, but we've had a lot of experience in this type of craft.

"We got away with it and had a great time."

Monday, March 17, 2008

Katie Spithill undefeatd after day one...

Australia’s Katie Spithill and her crew have showed ominous form early in the Harken Women’s International Match Racing Regatta, finishing day one undefeated after seven flights.

“We were very comfortable out there,” admitted a jubilant Spithill this afternoon after finding her groove straight up on home waters. “This is our second regatta with this team on the Elliott 6’s. The first was in the New Zealand Nationals, which was our learning curve, and today we got to practice. It’s a good start for us and our result is a good test of where we are at but we definitely still have things to work on…drills to go through.

“Today was about hiking out so hard you almost let go and fell in the water,” laughed Spithill, 25, who hails from the famous Pittwater sailing family that produced older brother James Spithill who at the age of 20 signed up for his first America’s Cup campaign in 2000 as helmsman.

World number one Claire Leroy (FRA) and twelfth ranked club mate Nicky Souter (AUS) both suffered today at the hands of Spithill who is currently number three in the world. Read more..

Womens Laser Radial Worlds

Photo by Richard Gladwell
[By Jodie Bakewell-White] Sarah Steyaert of France has taken the overall lead at the 2008 Women’s Laser Radial World Championship being sailed off Takapuna Beach, North Shore City, Auckland. Just one race was sailed today with three races in total now on the board.

A postponement due to lack of wind delayed the scheduled start of racing off Takapuna Beach for the 116 boat Women’s Laser Radial fleet competing for the world title. However a light north easterly sea breeze gradually filled in and the fleet left the beach at around 1o’clock for a 2 o’clock start to racing.

The day belonged however to Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) and Lijia Xu (CHN) who both brought home a race win with a solid leading margin in their respective fleets in today’s race. Despite this neither Tunnicliffe of Xu are featuring in the top ten as the American is carrying an OCS and lies 36th overall while Xu has a DSQ on her scorecard and lies 30th at this stage in the regatta. Both will likely rocket up the leader board once the first discard comes into play. Read more

Mean Machine Goes Euro

Photos Chris Rrei/Mean Machine
Friday 15th March will go down in Mean Machine history as the day the new Rolf Vrojlik designed TP 52, number 22 in Peter de Ridder’s Mean Machine family, left the shipbuilder’s in special transport, bound for Auckland’s famous port. The brand new Mean Machine left the shipyard wrapped to within an inch of it’s life, in order to protect the vessel on its passage to Europe. The mast and other equipment essential for the upcoming European season, as well as a container were also loaded onto the cargo ship, alongside the new hull. -