Thursday, July 31, 2008

2008 Suzuki Figaro Video - by

The 2008 Suzuki Figaro a 1880 mile, three-leg race and part two of the French Solo Offshore Sailing Championship series. Brought to you by

Rail Ride

onEdition 2008©
Mike Golding onboard Ecover 3 during the Technical Alliance testing.


Two of Britain's most famous solo skippers, Mike Golding and Dee Caffari,move into the next stage of their ground-breaking technical alliance todevelop the fastest Open 60 possible ahead of this year's gruelling soloround the world yacht race, the Vendee Globe 2008/09. Caffari and Golding,who between them have circumnavigated the global on eight different occasions, have developed an intensive testing programme to find acompetitive advantage over the 30-strong Vendee Globe fleet and inparticular the impressive French contingent.

The two skippers announced the technical alliance, the first of its kindbetween British Open 60 teams, in March 2007. The alliance led to theconstruction of two identical sister-ships in Aviva and Ecover 3 and this summer Caffari and Golding will be testing the two boats against each other to maximise performance.

The Aviva Ocean Racing and Ecover teams are taking a leaf out of Formula 1'sbook and believe in the merits of testing against similar machines. Theupcoming period of two-boat testing will set the two Open 60s against eachother much like the way F1 teams do with their two cars. One of the boats will be set as a control whilst the other makes changes to the sail trim, ballast and keel angle to determine the most effective set up. The ultimateaim is to find the optimum performance that will give the skippers an edge to challenge the French dominance of the Vendee Globe race. -Caroline Ayling ­ Aviva Ocean Racing

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

SimSail Land Sailing Simulator

Written by Jack Loftus
Philippe Kahn and his ambitious Pacific Cup sailing trip from San Francisco to Hawai'i got me all inspired this week to go sailing, but there's one problem: I suck at sailing. In fact, the last time I went sailing was in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where I almost got smashed on the reef that protects the beach there. So you'll excuse my excitement today over the SimSail, a full sized "land yachting" simulator for two. It's not quite the same thing as sailing on the water, and it's certainly not even remotely close to what Kahn's up to these days, but for me, at least, it's a start.
SimSail offers custom locations, weather and, yes, those land yachts are full-size. A roughly 7'x5' screen displays the virtual course for the two "sailors" and the two or three people gathered to watch. SimSail


Plain sailing? It could be like running on pot-holes, says Olympic hopeful Ainslie
By Alan Fraser
The Return of the Algae sounds more like a horror film than a natural phenomenon which could wreck the Olympic regatta.

But there are no special effects involved in the emerald seaweed carpet which an ill wind blew back into the sailing venue at Qingdao last weekend, turning the Yellow Sea green.

'Imagine running the 100metres on a track covered in pot holes. That's what it can be like,' Ben Ainslie told Sportsmail from his base in China.

'A fleet of little Chinese fishing boats outside the course area is trying to pick all the weed out. They are doing a great job, bless 'em. But some days are better than others. Today was not so good, though a lot better than three or four weeks ago.

'Then, you could not really have raced. It would just be unfair. Now, it is not great, but livable.'

At the height of the problem, one third of the sailing area was covered in a green gunge. Thousands of volunteers, fishermen and even the Chinese navy were enlisted to break up and remove the foul-smelling slime, some of which had accumulated into dense slabs the size of football pitches.

As if smog, strong currents and little or no wind were not enough for the world's top sailors to have to negotiate.

'You have to sail round it,' Ainslie explained. 'You try to avoid it best you can by altering your course a little bit. But you do not want to change course too much because you are giving away ground.

'Sometimes you can't help but run over a patch and then you have to check whether it has stuck to your rudder or your keel. If it has, you have to clean it off and that can cost you three or four boat lengths. It is a real annoyance and it may well be something we have to deal with.' Read more...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008



New York, NY (AP) - A New York appeals court has declared that a Spanish yacht club is the challenger of record for the next America's Cup, adecision that removes a California club from that position.

Valencia, Spain, 29 July 2008:
From Oracle BMW Racing

The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) said today it will carefully consider the implications of today’s ruling by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court before deciding on its next step.

In a 3-2 decision, the Court ruled in favor of the Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV) as the challenger of record following a previous New York State Supreme Court decision last November that found CNEV’s challenge was invalid.

"We are surprised and disappointed by this ruling. We will now be taking legal advice and considering the next step," Tom Ehman, the club’s spokesman, said. -

12 days to go...

Austin's Update
Back in San Francisco with 12 days to go

Friends, family and great weather make San Francisco better and better each time we visit.
On 23 July, we finished a two week training camp in China so Rodney Hagebols, Mark Reynolds, JD and I arrived in SF last Wednesday. Our training camp was very productive on all fronts. We have chosen our boat for the Games, we have three masts we're confident in and our sail selection looks fast.

Upon arrival in San Francisco, we all went different directions for the evening. I headed for the Erickson's in Tiburon for some of their great hospitality. Then JD and I met up in the next morning to travel together to San Jose State University for Olympic team processing. At SJSU, we hooked up with the rest of our teammates and our team leader, Dean Brenner.

I have to say, I loved every minute of it! I enjoyed all 16 years of college, so I was naturally excited for one more night in a college dorm with my buddies and teammates.

The US Olympic Team is sponsored by Nike and Ralph Lauren, so we got some very cool gear that I will be wearing proudly at the opening ceremony and around town. They gave each of us a shopping cart and a clipboard with a list. I visited every station where we loaded up on everything, from four pairs of shoes to an Olympic leather jacket. We were even sized for our Olympic rings. We were also fitted for our opening ceremony blazers and trousers (Ralph Lauren even made the alterations while we waited!).

Then on Friday night, we were at my home club - the St Francis Yacht Club for a team send off party. Close to 50 of my family and friends came to party and did we ever celebrate! My childhood buddy CJ and his parents came along too, so I let them in on a secret that we've kept for 11 years. Back in 1995, I ran away from boarding school and when I arrived in San Francisco I hid out at their house, yet they only found out the details on Friday night!

It's been great hanging out here in SF. Sally is here and helping me tick a few things off the list with some last minute shopping for Qingdao. Rodney has also been fantastic. He never stops working, I am not sure I could live without these people.

So all is well. I can't wait to get this started!

I am enjoying sharing this unique experience with you and really love reading your feedback.
The best part is yet to come, stay tuned!


Monday, July 28, 2008

This ones going to hurt...

Photo credit: Rolex / Dan Nerney
Wet and wild weekend at the New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport Presented By Rolex.

Melges 32 U.S. National

Twice As Nice, Ecklund Crowned 2008 Melges 32 U.S. National Champion
Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on USA-32 Star with his friend/crew and tactician Harry Melges, III (Lake Geneva, Wisc.), Scott Norris (Newport, R.I.), Sam Rogers (Lake Minnetonka, Minn.), Lindsay Bartel (Annapolis, Md.), Clay Bartel (Annapolis, Md.), Jamey Randall (Lake Minnetonka, Minn.) and Peeter Must (New York, N.Y.) have been named 2008 Melges 32 U.S. National Champions for a second time. In second overall is Pieter Taselaar (Scarsdale, N.Y.) on USA-169 Bliksem, and in third is Marty Kullman and Mike Carroll (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave.

'It has been a really good year for Star. It's always great to sail with an incredibly talented group of individuals. We had a lot of fun this week," said Ecklund after receiving his award. "Harry is a star, I couldn't do it without him. We've sailed together for years and have a really good time, on and off the water. Scott Norris is a great trimmer and wonderful to have on the team. We are very lucky to have him on the boat. Lindsay is awesome on the bow, one of the few lady sailors in this fleet and has sailed with us now for a year and a half. I can't say enough about having Sam, Peeter, Clay and Jamey on board. Everyone did such a great job." -

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Crêpes Whaou!

Rippin along in the Transat Quebec race! More to come...

Pegasus sets new San Francisco to Hawaii record...

We Won! Pegasus sets new San Francisco to Hawaii record and wins Pacific Cup 2008 Fastest Passage.

July 27, 9 AM, Honolulu
We did it. We shattered the double handed record from San Francisco by over one day and a half. We also were the fastest boat to Hawaii out of all the Pacific Cup boats. That in itself is a remarkable achievement: Two in a fifty footer took on and prevailed over fully crewed racing yachts from sizes 52 to 79 feet boat for boat.

Lady-Luck smiled upon us. Rudi, wherever you are, Sail Fast! -PK

Wot Rocket takes a noise dive...

Wot Rocket - Crosbie Lorimer
Images from Wot Rocket's recent practice run on Sydney's Botany Bay trying hit the 50 knot speed mark takes a little noise dive as Wot Rocket hit 25 knots and the breaks came on. Back to the drawing board!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Audi MedCup Day 5 Video Highlights

The new King of the hill...

Photos by Ian Roman
Just as they did in Cagliari earlier this month when they won the Audi Region of Sardinia Trophy, Quantum Racing proved the dominant force in Peurto Portals, Mallorca when they won the 14th Breitling Regatta, the fourth regatta of the Audi MedCup Circuit 2008.
Terry Hutchinson (USA) and the crew became the first team since 2006 to win back-to-back MedCup regattas when the AP over A flags were finally hoisted this afternoon. A breeze which was just too light and too unsettled across the race area to allow any competition before the 1600hrs time limit meant Quantum Racing (USA) returned to the dock victorious, winning by 14 points over Alberto Roemmers’ second placed Matador (ARG).
The fact that we have won the two events is really good,” grinned Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing’s helm and skipper, “But we also have the utmost respect for our competition, and a thirty-point lead for the season isn’t enough, and won’t be enough until the season is over. So we are going to still concentrate on looking forward and not behind us, always taking care of everything we can on our boat to have good results. If someone at the end of this beats us, then we know we have done everything we can, and they will have done a good job as well.”

Friday, July 25, 2008

a lot of leverage...

July 25, 08:45 PST, Lat 27°20'N Lon 149°48'W
This morning the sunrise was spectacular, right above the deflated Squalls of last night. The wind maxed out at 28 knots last night so things were relatively mild throughout. It was very dark and we sailed conservatively yet fast. Roll call will be interesting. We assume that we got passed by the big crewed boats.
14:30 PST, Lat 26°50'N, Lon 150°21'W
Beautiful Kaneohe Bay (the finish line) is about 500 nautical miles away on a magnetic bearing of 222. We're getting closer. The morning roll call yielded some interesting surprises: We are in the upper right corner of the course, with a lot of leverage. That's what we wanted.
There is a persistent right shift when you get to the islands to between 70 and 90 degrees magnetic. Right now Flash is on our left on a 30 degrees magnetic even split so we are ahead as the wind has been averaging 45 degrees. Holua (with Dave and Adrienne aboard) are about 80 miles behind us at a similar latitude. They are also betting on the right shift and worked hard to get leverage on Flash. When the wind shifts, Holua could get ahead of Flash.

It's now 6 days that we've been going day and night, and we have serious sleep deprivation. We'll sleep once we get there and have some delicious island sashimi, fresh Poke, and chilled fresh sliced mangoes. That sounds awesome. Turn on Iz Kamakawiwo'ole! - Philippe Kahn -

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Life is Good on Hula Girl

Mark Towill- 26°N 149°W - Pacific Cup Update.

Ralfie and I just came off watch from the best night of sailing we have experienced yet. The clouds have finally cleared and the stars couldn't be brighter. With a blazing half moon all of our headlights have remained down below. The breeze has been very shifty which has kept us on our toes. I believe we gybed eight times in the last four hours. It's now warm enough for us to sail in our board shorts and jackets, very comfortable conditions. Everyone is well rested and upbeat. Things couldn't be better aboard the Hula Girl.

I must say for a boat well beyond its day, this thing flies! With such a long and narrow hull the boat likes to sail low and fast. At the moment we have 19 knots of wind and are surfing down waves at a comfortable 14.5 knots. It's just incredible how responsive the boat is, especially as the breeze increases. Not bad for a boat that's almost 10 years older than me.

This afternoon we were greeted by a few birds, our first sign of land. The breeze has been steadily increasing and shifting east, sure indications that we are quickly approaching Hawaii. This is very much a race, and we are pushing the boat hard to arrive at the finish as quickly as possible. But at the same time I am enjoying living in the moment and am not excited for it to end. I think often it's so easy to be focused on the goal that we forget to take a deep breath and enjoy the journey itself. In what little time remains I know that we will all make the most of our time spent out here on the Pacific.


Mark Towill - Cayard Sailing Website

Pacific Cup 2008 - Pegasus Racing Update

July 23, 23:10 PST, Night Busters rolling again
It's now pitch dark and the moon hasn't risen yet. We were lucky that that huge net didn't rip our keel off. Or we'd be in the life-raft right now. We're still trying to sort this out. We may end-up with a piece of the spinnaker around the keel. At night we can't see well underwater. We now have lost our lead and are sitting in waves the size of small buildings like a cork on the water going nowhere. It's wet. But we have a plan. We will try one more time and then do two back downs and try to sail. We will cut anything that we have to cut. We both have our headlights on. Night busters, probably busted by the squall. Luck is on our side, it could have been much worse. More later....
July 23, 22:30 PST, More unfortunate events but......
Never, ever give up. It took 11 tries and then we were able to get free of this mess. We're wet, yet warm from the pulling, pushing, grinding, cutting, name-calling, yanking, hosting, winching, towing, moving and finally succeeding. Almost, but not quite. We feel that we have a piece of the kite wrapped at the articulation between the hull and the keel. It should be safe and we'll tell how much drag it is fairly quickly. For sure we'll be 10 percent slower. But we're happy. Very happy. It's not over for us. So we hoisted our smaller kite and we just sent it! Straight down the track. This is not as fast as soon as the wind ranges under 25 knots. Right now we are sitting on 13.5 knots in 17 knots of wind. Pointing to Honolulu. We are very happy. We are the night busters! -

Soggy Mess

Photo CAM
Barely floating at the dock, the Tp52 CAM looks more like a full train wreck then a racing boat. Now starts the long process of drying out after her dramatic sinking! See video!

Spithill and Team Cammas gear up

Photographer: Gilles Martin-Raget
BMW ORACLE Racing’s Team Spithill and Team Cammas gear up for Cowes Extreme 40s.
BMW ORACLE Racing will begin training in Cowes next week in preparation for the highly competitive iShares Cup at Skandia Cowes Week 2-4 August where the team is fielding two entries –Team Spithill and Team Cammas.
Spithill will helm with John Kostecki (USA), tactician/traveler; Dirk de Ridder (NED) trim/grind, and Alan Smith (NZL), trim/grind. Multihull consultant Franck Cammas (FRA) will also helm one of the team’s two Extreme 40s. His crew will include Thierry Fouchier (FRA), tactician/traveler; Joe Newton (AUS), trim/grind; and Simeon Tienpont (NED), trim/grind. BMW ORACLE Racing skipper Russell Coutts and design coordinator Mike Drummond (NZL) will be coaching the two crews in Cowes. Read More

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

14th Breitling Regatta - TP52 Video Highlights

Spain, Mallorca, Puerto Portals
So the standings for the 14th Breitling Regatta show that Mean Machine lead on 17 points, Matador are second on 24 points, and Quantum Racing still third on 27 points. Overall on the Audi MedCup Circuit standings it was a solid day for Quantum who are now 19 points clear of Artemis in second place, Mean Machine are third on the same points as the Swedish boat, 175pts, and Bribon now fourth on 178.2 points. -

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Hula Girl Update 2008 Pacific Cup

Paul Cayard - 28° 16'N 150° 26'W

It is going fast. The boat, the race, the dream. We are half way to Hawaii. The first two nights were cold, wet and high speed. Everyone was wet to the bone. Everything on the boat got soaked. We had a few minor fire drills. Mainsail down and Robbie up the mast to lead a new spinnaker halyard.

We went South, then we converted it to West. It has been foggy, then more overcast. Today, for the first time we had some glimpses of trade wind sailing. A bit of sun, deep blue water, flying fish and squid jumping out of the water. The breeze was up, the breeze was down. Now it is up again. We have had 30 knots and we have had 6 knots and all the sails to go with those conditions. No slating or drifting.

The Pacific Cup is a well thought out race; you have the worst conditions first and then it just gets better from there.

I have had my hands full standing a watch and trying to pay attention to the weather. Hopefully, we have played most of the important cards now and it is more about sailing the boat down the track we have chosen. With the luck of some 060 wind, I made a bit of a step to the South today from our position at roll call as I was a bit concerned about getting into the right corner (too close to the high pressure center), too hard and the wind getting to light. We are back on starboard in 050 wind direction and 5 knots. More winds and cruising into the night.

We have missed the full moon each night so far due to the overcast out here. Hopefully, tonight with the breaks in the clouds, the "stadium lights" will shine through and light up the field. That is one of the cool experiences about ocean racing and sailing at night in general.

We can't help but to start to think about Hawaii and how exciting it will be to arrive there and what a feeling of accomplishment it will be..more so for the less experienced.

Time for a little chicken with rice and then on deck with my watch partner, Allie. We are swapping with Mark and Ralfie. - PC

Monday, July 21, 2008

Genuine Risk Takes Line Honors

Photos by
[By Christie Kirchner]

First boats finish the 100th Running of Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac

July 21, 2008 (Mackinac Island) -- Randall Pittman and crew aboard Genuine Risk, the largest boat in the over 430 boat fleet, were the first to reach Mackinac Island first thing today at 1:18 a.m. during the 100th Running of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac. Peter Isler, navigator on Risk said, "It was a tactically challenging race. We had 5-6 weather models and the science just couldn't keep up with Mother Nature."

Like Isler, many sailors are reporting on the fickle winds in this 2008 race, which began Saturday. "It's hard to have a strong game plan in these conditions. Sometimes you just have to wing it and go with your gut instincts," Isler added. Fortunately the crew of Genuine Risk is packed with great instincts in sailors like Isler, Eric Doyle and James Spittle to name a few. "Since it is an Americas Cup off-year, we could finally put this great crew together of friends," owner Randall Pittman explained. "This is a great group of guys who really work well as a team."
The 100th Mac was special for Pittman and crew for several reasons, but in particular the race was an opportunity for the crew to pay tribute to friend and renown sailor Mark Rudiger who passed away Thursday prior to the race. "We added a sticker on the boom that reads "RUDI." We dedicated this race to him," Pittman remarked. Rudiger was Pittman's navigator the last time Genuine Risk competed on the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac four years prior.

Genuine Risk finished with an elapsed time of 35:08:42, and just under an hour later was followed by last year’s first to finish boat Windquest, owned by Doug and Dick DeVos with an elapsed time of 35:56:44. The skippers of both boats hail from Michigan. “I live in Ann Arbor now and grew up in Holland and of course know Doug [DeVos]. I think it’s pretty great that two guys from Holland are first and second to finish.”

For continued coverage of the fleet go to

Take down...

Adam Minoprio mast expolodes as they enter the start line to the third race of the Toyota Sopot Match Race final. Sopot, 20 July 2008. Photo copyright Juerg Kaufmann

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Audi MedCup is back...

©Enrico Fager/AUDI MEDCUP
Back on familiar waters, The Audi MedCup is back ´at home´ in Puerto Portals
The return to Majorca, to Puerto Portals, brings the 2008 Audi MedCup Circuit back to familiar waters for the season´s fourth regatta of six. With 15 TP52's competing the fleet is at close to full strength for a key event this season.

Windquest leads Genuine Risk - 25nm out

Photos by Becky DaMore/Sail22 checkout more photos by her here of the start.

At post time Windquest had a small lead over Genuine Risk, but "GR" looked to have more speed and wind. The next five hours will tell the outcome as these two boats match race to the finish.
For boat tracking click here:

Optimist Youth Worlds 2008

Room??? No Room!!!!

Potos by Esra Karahan
Congratulations to Puerto Rico, the winner of the Team Racing World Championship 2008. Take a look at all countries' progress under Results section with today's photos. We are having a one day-off, the championship will continue on Tuesday, 22 July 2008.

Hula Girl - 30° 38' N 131° 24' W - Pacific Cup

Allie Cayard
Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's been a rough first 48 hours. Compared to our 48 hour training, the weather has been cold and quite windy and we have yet to see much sea life. This morning our spinnaker halyard broke with four people on deck. Two more crew quickly rushed up to retrieve the kite out of the water. The port winch is chewing up our spin sheets so we had Mo quickly repair them as we don't have many sheets out here in the open ocean.

We are still adjusting to the watch times, especially me as I haven't slept for about 40 of the 48 hours. The food isn't all that bad. Most of us enjoy what Mark likes to call "the reds" which means anything like pasta with red sauce, lasagna, and spaghetti with meat balls.

The weather is starting to get warmer now that we went over the ridge. Cloudy skies still remain, but the sun and the moon manage to poke their way through every now and then. It's an amazing feeling of being in the ocean and not seeing land or anyone in sight. You get a feeling of how big our world truly is.

The Hula Girl is no five star hotel. As I mentioned, I had gotten no sleep until just a while ago due to the thrashing of the boat against the waves. Also the boys are really starting to smell. I had the honor of washing their dirty, sweaty socks today because I couldn't stand the smell. One good thing about having all these boys with me is I get to hear a lot of good jokes, some at my expense, but they still manage to keep the smiles aboard. I am partaking in the physical activities such as trimming and grinding from which I have bruises all over, sore ribs, traps, and back, but it's all worth it in the end to get to Hawaii!

I'm going into my bunk now for four hours of sleep, then back up for the 2200-0200 shift.


Cayard Sailing Website

New video on the sinking of TP52 CAM

See the frantic attempt to save CAM as she takes on water! Very scary to see what can happen. - Video by

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mackinac boat race conditions

Source WGN

Youth Worlds Wrap Up

For overall results please go to:

$10,000 Day in Qingdao

[Team Austin Sperry/ John Dane]
Hello from Qingdao.

Yesterday was a big day for us here in China. We have been working on a few items for the light winds we expect for the Olympic Games next month, but before we can race with them we need find out how strong they are and see if the stuff breaks and what its range is.

As you can see from the photos, it broke. Yes we found its range. Hence it was a the $10,000 dollar day (the cost for a new mast and a new set of sails).

Some people may look at this like, man that was a really bad day, but call me an eternal optimist. I look at this situation from a different angle.

1) It was blowing 20kts, with puffs up to 25kts (this is when the mast fell over) with really big waves out on the Yellow Sea. We knew the risks associated with what we were doing and went for it. You will never grow as a team, in business, in life or as a person if you don't take a few risks.

2) It was a brand new mast that had never been in the boat before today. You might say wow that's bad, but I say that's good because we will never know if it was a fast or slow mast.

3) When this happened, our team rallied around each other there was no yelling, no talking just the sounds of waves crashing over the bow and the sound of a torn sail blowing in a stiff breeze. Four guys got to work to clean the mess up get on the tow and make it back to harbor. We were about three miles to the SE of the harbor entrance when this happened. We had this yard sale cleaned up and off the boat ten minutes after we got back to the dock. Impressive, like we had done it before.

4) Team work and togetherness are really strong - I can tell that we are getting ready to peak for the Games. When someone is down we pick them up, build them up and get on with the day. No mulling around, no head down moping around...100% business.
Today is another day, seven knots predicted so more racing today against Marc Pickel. It's another opportunity to become better and faster.

It's been a great training camp. We have nearly everything sorted for the Olympic Games as far as equipment goes, just focusing on the basics now.

We have four more days of sailing left before we head back to San Francisco.

I have to roll, I need to rig another mast and make sure she is ready to race this afternoon.

More later

China Training Wrap-Up

We’ve just finished our final day of training at Yin Hai Yacht Club in Qingdao, China. This is the end of our last big training session before the Olympic Games! Our boat is loaded into a container, which will be shipped into the Olympic venue on July 22nd. The past two and a half weeks of training have been jam-packed but very successful. Most of the training days delivered the exact conditions we wanted for speed testing, equipment evaluation as well as mock races and starts. We’ve been working hard to get our speed and trim closer to perfect in light wind, lots of chop and current. Our speed downwind continues to be the strongest part of our race. As of today, we have finished selecting our Olympic Games mast, boom, spinnaker, rudder and centerboard. The boat work is finally complete and tweaked just the way we want for light wind.

One thing we have noticed during the past three days is more and more of the green algae popping up. Most of the Chinese military in charge of the clean up cleared out of the area a week ago, when the green goo was almost non-existant. Since they’ve gone, it’s seemed to have a bit of a resurgence. We’ve almost perfected the “less-than-three-second-goo-check” to clear our blades of the nuisance as quickly as possible during a race. If the algae sticks around, it will be crucial during racing to make sure it hasn’t clung to any part of the hull and blades.

We fly back to the USA tomorrow, one day earlier than we planned, for a thrilling event. We’ve been invited to the White House Rose Garden Lunch with President and Mrs. Bush. We are honored to be one of only a handful of Olympic athletes to receive this opportunity and we are ecstatic. After a day in Washington, D.C. we will fly to San Francisco for the US Olympic Team Processing.

This is where all team gear and opening ceremony uniforms are distributed. Following team processing the US Olympic Sailing Team will head to St. Francis Yacht Club for a send off party. Thanks in advance to St. Francis-This will be a fun evening for the whole team! We will then return to the East Coast for a few days off before returning to China on July 31. The final countdown to the Opening Ceremonies is on!

More to come,
Sarah & Amanda

Friday, July 18, 2008

Genuine Risk to Honor "Rudi"

The 90 ft Genuine Risk owned by Randall Pittman will sail the Chicago Mac race in honor of Mark Rudiger "Rudi" who passed away on Thursday. Genuine Risk will dawn the nickname "Rudi" on the boom of her boat as she crosses the starting line of the 100th running of the Chicago Mac Race. Mr. Pittman asked for the lettering to be placed on the boom to pay tribute to a good friend and crew memeber. "This is how we want to remember him" Pittman said. "Rudi loved to race and this race is for him!"

Mark Rudiger "Rudi" - the passing of a legend

On Thursday July 17th, 2008 Mark Rudiger, one of the best and most sought-after ocean racing navigators in the world has lost his battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Lori and his son Zayle. He will be greatly missed. Your family will always be in our prayers.

Mark's wife Lori sent out the following message to the sailing community:

Dear beloved sailing family, Thank you all for your good thoughts and well wishes. After a very tough battle, Mark chose to trade in his defective body for a beautiful new form and left us this afternoon. At his son Zayle’s suggestion, we are going to light candles tonight to remember him and his amazing life energy. If you can, please join us by lighting a candle for Mark. Mark and I were overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and healing energy from all of you around the world. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, we love you all.

Zayle and Lori Rudiger

A non-profit emergency fund has been set up by Jim Swartz, owner of Moneypenny.

Donations can be made as follows: Christian Center of Park City, P.O. Box 683480, 1100 Iron Horse Drive, Park City, UT 84060 (attn: Emergency Assistance Fund, for benefit of Mark Rudiger).

Hula Girl- Friday

Photo by Sandra Cannon
Paul Cayard

We are finally headed to Hawaii. After months of work on the boat, we get to go sailing!!
With 2 reefs in the main and the #4 up the tender SC 50 got a good start in front of my home club of 32 years and we tacked and crossed the fleet heading for the ebb tide and the Golden Gate.

Morpheus ( a Schumacher 50) had a bit more stability and took over the lead for a while but as soon as we cracked sheets a bit the Hula Girl was off.

The night was breezy, 25-30 most of the night and our top speed was 21.3. I could not believe a boat from 1980 could go that fast with at #4, genoa staysail and two reefs. About 0200 with a bit of moon shining through the fog, to help, we set the blast reacher and then at 0600 we set the Jib top. The scene of the night was very cool, rugged and rough, but cool. The moon made a silver shin to the water and the waves were big and cresting so it was very impressive to those who have not been to seas in a sailboat. The wind has moderated to 20 and lifted to 340 so we are not hitting the big speeds any more. Looks like we did ok with our group during the first night.

I am downloading today's grib now to see if there are any changes but from yesterdays grib, it looks to me like we are all having a tough time getting far enough south. Some people look like they want to cut the corner a bit. Or maybe they don't want to but they don't have certain sails. That is what is tough to figure out in ocean racing and even tougher when you have all different sizes and designs racing each other. I spent exactly two minutes figuring out range and bearing to three of our competitors. that's enough at this point.

Life onboard is god but it has been rough. Water got everywhere as you can imagine in 30 true. My sailing instructions and communications plan got soaked so I am going to have to try to resurrect them when we get the warmer weather and start running.

Allie cooked us dinner (beef stew with peas and potatoes) and has been grinding the main. That's right, grinding the main for the guys. She is a trouper. No seas sickness onboard! Ralfie and I took the first headsail change on the bow just so the young guys can't say we made them do all the shitty jobs. But that may have been our last, too.

So now is the time for me to do my navigator thing for a couple of hours then try to get a nap. Not a lot of sleep last night.

In closing I want to say that I am thinking about my good friend and shipmate, Mark Rudiger, together we won the 1998 Whitbread Round the World Race as skipper and navigator, and with whom I have spent countless hours in the nav station looking at gribs, tweaking gribs, etc. Rudi tough me everything I know about Ocean Racing from a strategy standpoint. Right know Rudi is fighting another battle with cancer. I know how he fights...looks nice, acts nice, but is very intense and very competitive. I know Rudi will succeed in this race too! Good on you Rudi!

Paul Cayard

Cayard Sailing Website

Chicago Mac Race Tracking

[Chicago Yacht Club] For the first time in the history of the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, all boats in the fleet will carry position transponders, which will allow spectators around the world to follow the Race. This state-of-the-art tracking system allows anyone following the race receive hourly updates on individual boats, entire sections, or even the entire 436 boat fleet as the race moves up Lake Michigan.
Race tracking services are being provided by iBoattrack, a division of Horizon Marine. There are two methods to access the tracking site maintained by iBoattrack. The first way is to go to the Race to Mackinac web site CLICK HERE) then click on multimedia and race tracking. You can also bookmark the site directly at site will become active shortly before the race begins).

Greg J. Miarecki

Chair 2008 ChicagoYacht Club Race to Mackinac

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Volvo Youth Worlds Day 5

Video highlights from Day 5 Volvo Youth Worlds.

Melges 20

The new Melges 20 out for a sail! Nice!!

I 14 Worlds - High wind stops play

High wind stops play at the 14s on Day 4
High winds off Warnemunde meant that no racing took place today at the International 14 Worlds. The plan is to run two back to back races tomorrow to get the event back on schedule. Australians Roger Blasse and Andrew Gilligan currently lead the series after three races.
High winds off Warnemunde meant that no racing took place today at the International 14 Worlds. The plan is to run two back to back races tomorrow to get the event back on schedule. Australians Roger Blasse and Andrew Gilligan currently lead the series after three races. - Read more...

Race Highlights Day 4 Youth Worlds Video

Volvo Youth Worlds Day 4 Report

Arhus, Denmark – 16 July, 2008 – The top five places in the 29er boys, RS:X girls, Laser Radials and the SL16 are getting tighter with only two days left of the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships. The breeze was lighter on the Bay of Århus allowing for more of the sailors to excel as the conditions eased for them. The race committee set three races for each class today to catch up on those lost on the first day.

The British girls still rule the 29er class as Frances Peters and Claire Lasko posted a 2, 1 and 3 on the fourth day of racing of the Championships. The Swedish team of Sara Engström and Hanna Dahlborg didn’t have a great day on the water with a 5, 5, 4 which made them drop down to fourth from third. Engström commented after racing, “We were not happy with today but at least we are sailing more consistently now which is good.

With only two more days it will be very close for all of us at the top.” The Australians Hannah Natrass and Michelle Muller, bronze medallists last year, moved into third with a two firsts and a ninth which they dropped as the second discard comes into play.

In the boy’s fleet the American’s Judge Ryan and Hans Henken had a great day with a 1, 2, 3 bringing them to the top of the pile. Henken explained how they started slow but placed themselves well in the lighter breeze. “We played the shifts downwind well and getting top three positions today was a great achievement.” James Peters and Edward Fitzgerald (GBR) where pushed down to second but are only a point behind the leaders. Australians Bryon White and Rhys Mara are now in third on 37 points, 14 points behind, with Germán Billoch and Gastón Cheb Terrab of Argentina six points behind them. Read more...