Friday, October 31, 2008

Race 7 Melges 24 North Americans

Visit SailGroove For More Videos

Nice ride...

MODENA - High-tech design, cutting edge materials and the quest for optimum performance are just a few of the traits shared by sports cars and sailing. These characteristics, combined with the beautiful Pininfarina design and his love for Italy, explain Paul Cayard's choice of a black Maserati GranTurismo for the streets of San Francisco.

-Some guys have all the luck!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Telefonica Black takes a beating

Mikel Pasabant/EquipoTelefonica/Volvo Ocean Race
Telefonica Black. Having already shredded four sails, Fernando Echavarriísboat loses a rudder, wipes off the bowsprit and breaks one of itsdaggerboards. Now lying in last place, the sails are under repair and there is a temporary rudder in place.

600 mile days... it's going to hurt a little!

Photo by each team Volvo Ocean Race
Here's a few onboard shots from the last few days 0f life on board a Volvo 70 knocking out a 600 miles run in 24 hours!

Video from Melges 24 North Americans Day 1

Visit SailGroove For More VideosSome great wipeouts!

Visit SailGroove For More VideosInterview with Dave Ullman before todays racing.

Just scan it...

© North Sails
Using your sail photo, SailScan digitally measures sail shape at key intervals and plots sail curvature at specified wind speeds.

Get better sail shape by digitizing your sails!
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Digital images can be sent by e-mail to your North Sails sail consultant. Photographic prints are also usable for SailScan analysis. For more tips on photographing your sails Click Here

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


My husband has been acting most strangely for the past week. He works from home and has his one office he seems to de getting very depressed lately.

He's locked in there for hours at a time, we use to go to the pub four or five times a week. The other day he came screaming out off his office something about he had broken a sale? I thought it was something to do with his work. Then the other night it was 3 am before he came to bed, moaning all night about the forecast being late again. I haven't seen him for two days just passing from his office to the bathroom and back. All I get from him is those sodden doldrums. I just cannot stand it anymore.

He mumbled something (in passing in the early hours off the morning) about Il de femando de noronha and cape town, I asked him if we were going there for a holiday but he said ‘you just don't understand’.
To top the lot I went to bed last night and caught him in bed with another laptop - I just don't know what to do and IM OFF TO MY MOTHER. Help me!
-Fair winds and calm seas to you all‘pipers song’ out

From ‘Camisoleair’ to Pipers Song’s wife.

I don't think anyone on here has much energy left to offer the emotional support you need. You see, every single one of us had new babies some 12 days ago (indeed some people have had triplets and even quins).

They wake up every 10 mins and need all kinds of careful attention, you leave them alone for a couple of hours to get some sleep and they get into all kinds of mischief. You can't get to sleep because you're worrying about the babies.

Some people are using their entire families to watch over their babies. The stress and anxiety (and rows) that have occurred if something has gone wrong with the baby on a watch is causing all kinds of rows.

And there have been some really weird bugs going around. Some are genuine but some people think their baby has got a bug and it hasn't - it's just the baby being, well a baby. Then they start worrying they might catch a bug and so sit up half the night on the off chance they might catch it.
If I were you, I'd get to mothers as soon as possible. If you stay much longer, you'll find yourself with a baby of your own to worry about. Or worse still, looking after your husbands.
-Camisoleair out

Get hooked at

Ericsson 4 has obliterated the 24-hour record...

Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race

At 1310 GMT today, Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA) obliterated the 24-hour record run for a monohull when the team recorded a run of 593.23 nautical miles. The previous record (562.96 nm) was set by ABN AMRO TWO/Sebastian Josse/FRA during leg two of the previous Volvo Ocean Race in 2006. The new mark is subject to ratification by the World Sailing Speed Record Council. PUMA (Ken Read/USA), in second place, has covered 561 nm, just short of ABNAMRO TWO's record. The new mark translates into an incredible average speedof 24.71 knots in conditions not best suited for a record-setting run.
Skipper Torben Grael and his crew have been pushing the boat hard all night, first eclipsing the previous mark at 0355 GMT. They have been adding to the record since then, although the current 30 knots of wind is likely to ease. It is a great achievement, but we were not really looking for it, said Grael in a radio interview this morning. What we were looking for was a good ride on this weather system, and to stay in it as long as possible. Grael said: We are doing 30 knots of boat speed. The wind is around 28 - ­32 knots but the waves (around eight metres) are not very good for us. Conditions are marginal. I think we have been pretty much on the edge. Perhaps if we had a better sea state, we might be able to go faster, but itis hard to go faster with waves like this.
This will be the third time that Juan Kouyoumdjian has produced arecord-breaking design. The Argentinean was responsible for drawing thelines of the two ABN AMRO boats both of whom held the record in the previousedition of the race, as well as the current Ericsson 4. For some days now the teams have been anticipating the possibility of a record-breaking run as they ride the current weather system, but concern over damage has led some to back off a little bit.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TNZ halt legal action against Alinghi

[Source] AFP - Team New Zealand said on Tuesday it was withdrawing its legal action against Swiss champions Alinghi to ensure they would take part in the Pacific Series in Auckland in February.

Team New Zealand managing director Grant Dalton said Alinghi had committed to sending a competitive team to Auckland if the legal proceedings were withdrawn.

"It is our view that this regatta, and Alinghi's participation in it, is an important initiative towards repairing the harm that recent events have done to yacht racing at this level," Dalton said in a statement.

"For that reason we are prepared to respond positively to Alinghi's commitment to the regatta by meeting its condition of discontinuing our proceedings." - Read more

Has the tide turned?

(Photo credit: Mark O'Brien/Alinghi)
As more teams sign up for the CNEV... Will this help get the Cup back on track?

Blowout - Megles 24 NA Championships

North American Championships - IM24CA -

Getting windier… - by Justin

With the conditions prevailing in Annapolis right now best described as ‘fresh to frightening’ and most of the competitors wisely contenting themselves with final preparations, sail measurement and general boat faff, a few hardy teams have ventured on to the water.

Giovanni Maspero’s Italian Joe Fly team told me that the conditions for their hour long sail were pretty extreme. ‘It is too windy really to be racing. Going down wind it was blowing around thirty when we hoisted. We nosedived several times and there was no chance of trying a gybe so we just managed a panic drop before struggling back upwind.’ My view is if these guys think it’s too windy then we can all safely assume that it really is.

Stuart McVay’s team on USA 620 Erica also tried their hand and after a short but spectacular screaming reach managed they too fought their way back up wind. Bravely venturing to the end of the pontoons in the interests of journalism we managed to shoot this long range video of them coming back. -

TEAMORIGIN to sail in Valencia

Credit Ian Roman
TEAMORIGIN to sail at Club Náutico Español de Vela annual regatta

Valencia, October 28th 2008.- TEAMORIGIN, the British America’s Cup team, has confirmed its entry at the 2nd Trofeo Desafío Español, CNEV’s annual regatta that will be held in Valencia from Thursday November 6th to Sunday November 9th.

The British team lead by Sir Keith Mills joins Alinghi and Desafío Español in the ACC v5 regatta. This will be the first time TEAMORIGIN races on an ACC yacht.

Mike Sanderson, Team Director for TEAMORIGIN, stated: “We are delighted to be invited to compete in this 2nd CNEV regatta as it gives our team the chance to compete in our first ever America’s Cup Version 5 event. We are very much looking forward to getting out on the water in Valencia next week.”

Desafío Español is lending ESP88 to TEAMORIGIN for the racing. Today, shore teams from the Spanish challenger and Alinghi are working together on the assembly and on Friday a shore crew from the British team will continue the work.

According to the Notice of Race for America’s Cup Class v5 boats of the 2nd Trofeo Desafío Español, the regatta will consist with a maximum of 6 fleet races, nevertheless the Race Committee could change the format and then the regatta will consist of a qualifying series with a maximum of 4 fleet races (Friday and Saturday) and a final series in Match racing (Sunday).

The Notice of Race can be found at CNEV’s official webpage:

Life onboard RUS-1

Mark Covell/Team Russia/Volvo Ocean Race
On Board RUS -1 Kosatka Team Russia On a long voyage you become accustomed to your environment around you. The watch system shapes your days, four on four off four on four off. The freeze-dried food you eat tastes the same as it did the day before and the day before that. The clothes you put on all have the same logo as the one you put on yesterday and the one you put on the day before that.

It all smells the same; it all has that musty damp sailing bag, man smell. The definitive goal, to win the leg, to beat the opposition, to push hard to the horizon, never changes. The sensation of speed has become rhythmical as we muscle over the waves. Sharp pull to the left, hold, lunge forward, small smile to ones-self as in respect to the power under your feet and the faith we have in this craft.

The bow fires down the wave face, judders as we accelerate up to the high twenties, force forward as we plow into the wave ahead and decelerate, sway right and climb the back of the wave with a kind “I’m come through like it or not” feeling and into the circle again. This is translated into different forces on your body whether you are in your bunk or hanging on the grinder handles or on the bow battling the spray and deck wash, or even gripping the media desks slippery shiny carbon edge as I try to tap out a Blog using only one hand. You have conversations with other crew all doing the same strange sway, bob and totter.

Filmed by a fixed camera held stationary on the bulkhead people look like they are performing an exotic courtship dance. The waves fly by as if in an aquatic tube coming into a station with blue waves instead of billboards. Occasionally, you focus on the leeward wash as it grabs your eye and forces it to follow through to the water exiting the transom. The torrid waves that the bow eats up are spat out behind us, washed and ironed, cleaned and pressed -good enough for Neptune’s Sunday best.

The shear power of these boats becomes an extension of the crew that operates them. One finger can cant tones of swinging lead to unleash yet more power. The words you learned at school in a physics lesson and never meant that much to you now bring new meaning. Words like Kinetic, Potential, Inertia and Dynamic Loads all start represent something tangible on board. This trip is slowly stripping me back.

I’m seeing things in a very uncluttered way, almost child like, without preconceptions, very mater-of-fact. Strangely, I’ve been waking up from heavy sleep in the fetal position curled round the beanbag with the sound of the ocean around me. On a long voyage you become accustomed to your environment around you, as if you have lived here forever.

Read more news at Team Russia's web site.

Volvo Ocean Race Video Updates:

Stuart Bannatyne and Brad Jackson discuss the fleet heading south.

The Ericsson 3 navigator plots their route South.

Michael Joubert looks foward to Cape Town.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Portimao Race Into the South Atlantic

Visitor aboard Beluga Racer -

The yachts racing in the Portimão Global Ocean Race are required to honour a mandatory waypoint off the coast of Brazil. The waypoint, named the Recife Gate, was included in the Sailing Instructions for a number of reasons. The first reason being that gates are included to keep the fleet as close together as possible. This is good for racing as well as for safety. The second reason is that the gate serves as place to accumulate points for the race. While the points are not as weighty as those collected for each leg, they can make a difference in the overall standings. The third, and perhaps the most important reason, was to rule out any chance of someone trying to sail down the eastern side of the South Atlantic High.

The South Atlantic is dominated by a large area of high pressure that can at times extend from the coast of Africa to the coast of South America. The wind circulates around the high in a counter-clockwise direction and generates perfect trade wind conditions for boats sailing from Africa to Brazil. The problem, however, is that while there is wind on the edge of the system, there in nothing in the middle and should an unwary skipper stray into the centre of the high they could find themselves becalmed for days, even weeks.

As the boats exit the Recife Gate they will have to take a long hard look at their options for getting to Cape Town. The shorter, more direct route sailing to the east of the high pressure will no longer be a viable alternative. The fleet will be too far to the west to contemplate this tactic. Essentially the only option is to sail due south skirting the western edge of the High, tracking down an isobar that provides a consistent and steady breeze. It’s frustrating sailing to be sure. The sailors will be tempted to head on a more direct course for Cape Town thereby quickly reducing the miles, but this will only be fools gold. Instead it will be a procession south keeping a close eye on the movements of the high pressure.
Read more @ Portimo Race

Event Video Promo

Vendee Globe - Interviews etc...

Interviews with Norbert Sedlacek, Alain Lenoble, Kito de Pavant, Alex Thomson. Video by © SEM Vendée.

Hugo Boss Repairs Update

© Alex Thomson / Hugo Boss / Vendée Globe
Photo from a few days ago as Hugo Boss damaged section was cut away and the rebuilding process began.

Update from the Hugo Boss repairs today: Boatworld: Significant progress, the outer carbon skin has been successfully laminated so the new hull section is fixed in place, and the high-density core is being fitted, ready for the the carbon inner skin to be applied tomorrow. Rigworld: A fairly big day for the riggers today as "two becomes one" so the two sections of the mast, with their new inner sleeves have been glued into place, and are joined together by the addition of two outer shells which will clamp around the inner sleeves, thus giving us a whole rig once again!

It´s imperative to ensure that all the mousing lines are properly attached at this stage - there´s no chance of threading them through again once it´s complete.Spliceworld: Continued good progress - so much so that the splicers have started to work on the spare ropes that Alex will take with him, rather than just the ones that had to be replaced. Provisional arrangements have been made for cranes and/or lorries to enable us to get the boat back in the water on 31st October, ready for an intensive week of sailing and fine-tuning before the race start. -


Attention 2008 NOOD Sailors;

During the course of covering the 2008 Sperry Top-Sider NOOD series, the Sailing World editors took thousands of photos of the competitors for potential use online and in the magazine. Prints of these images would make a great end-of-the-season present for generous skippers or loyal crew. They are available for purchase at with prices starting at $10 a photo. The photos are organized by event and by day. The only exception is Chicago, as no editor was able to attend that event.

While the photos are uncorrected, we would be happy to polish and crop any photo before you have it printed. Simply send an email to with the location, day, and file name and we'll sharpen it up and re-post it. The file name can be obtained by positioning your mouse over the image in the large frame and then clicking on the "photo info" button.

Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions, and we look forward to seeing you on the water in 2009. St. Pete is just a few short months away.

Best Regards,

The Sailing World editorial team

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Update from onboard: VOR

Some dental work on a crew member.

“It has been a tricky 36 hours on the Green Dragon as we have watched some of the boats chip away at our lead and pass us to windward. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that it is day 15 and we are in sight of Puma and Ericsson 4 fighting for the lead. Now the wind has dropped and freed up a bit and we are no longer in ‘stability reaching’ conditions, we can feel a bit more confident about our speed. Having said that we are still learning the boat and the sail combination’s and we know we can and will do a better job. We are collecting data all the time and using it to get faster.
Ahead of us now is a day or two of light air before the leaders pick up a cold front. This looks like being a significant feature, which will literally launch us across the South Atlantic. It will be a rough ride and we have started preparing the boat for it and will rest up the crew. Everyone is getting on fine although Anthony (Youngster) incurred the wrath of Justin when he was called from his bunk for a sail change - he leapt up naked and threw on the first pair of shorts he could find - these were of course Justin’s. No pants is one thing but rushing upon the bow to help he got completely hosed from head to foot before returning the shorts to Justin - thanks mate! You have to watch the Aussies!”

Green Dragon Skipper, Ian Walker

19 knots was fun....

By Paul Cayard Team El Desafio - TP52 Worlds

Up and down day today for El Desafio. The wind was 20 to 25 knots from the North and shifty for a change.

The short story is in the first race we had a bad start and could not get in phase and finished 12th. In the second race we had a great start, stayed in phase and won! Consistency! Not at all. But it did feel good to win the last race of the season and the long race, both in big San Francisco breeze! Good to see that my roots haven't left me.

Planing downwind at a steady 19 knots was fun.

Quantum sailed better than ever and won the regatta without sailing the last race. Mutua hung on to second overall despite getting two 9ths today. And Platoon finished strong to take 3rd place away from Artemis by 0.25 of a point.

Puerto Calero, Lanzarote and Jose Calero and his family... all number 1's in my book. I'll come back for sure.

Top 5:1. Quantum2. Mutua Madrilena3. Platoon4. Artemis5. Matador
El Desafio 7th. For complete scores and more information go

Cayard Sailing Website

Friday, October 24, 2008

Bad day at the office... TP52 Worlds 2008

Update from Paul Cayard TP52 Worlds-

Terrible day for El Desafio today with a 13, 10. The wind was 15-20 knots from 000 to 020, very shifty and puffy. In both races we struggled to play the shifts.

Quantum is showing superior sailing skill really. Their boat is fast but so is ours. Today they scored a 1, 3. They are just sailing smart and doing it consistently and it is paying off big. No one else is even close really.

Mutua Madrilena had the second best day with a 6,5 and they are in second place in the regatta even after two very mediocre coastal races. So you can see that apart from Quantum, the fleet is mixing a lot in their results.

Tomorrow is the last day and two races are scheduled. The forecast is calling for similar conditions to today. With a great day and some help we could finish third. That is what we have to be shooting for.

Top 5:1. Quantum 282. Mutua Madrilena 433. Artemis 52.254. Platoon 585. Matador 62.25
El Desafio is 6th with 66.25.

For complete scores and more information go to:

Cayard Sailing Website

Monster Wave takes out Virgin Money

After approximately 2 days and 4 hours at sea in the face of impossible odds the crew of Virgin Money had to admit defeat on their first attempt to set a new world record for the fastest mono-hull crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. After 2 days that saw the crew and Virgin Money overcome seas of 40ft and gale force winds of between 7 and 9 their dreams were finally dashed when a ‘monster wave’ took out the spinnaker, washed a ten man life boat overboard and ripped a huge gash in the mainsail.

Speaking to Mission Control after the decision to abandon the record attempt this time round, the crew were frustrated but upbeat about the boat’s performance and chances of success in the future. Co-skipper Sir Richard Branson said: “I am surrounded by the most amazing group of world class sailors - all of whom are still committed to getting this record – its just a shame it wasn’t to be on this attempt. Virgin Money will soon be fighting fit and ready to take on the Atlantic again in the very near future. Taking on an ocean like the Atlantic was never going to be easy – I know that only too well having been defeated by her once before on Virgin Challenger 1 - you learn to respect the awesome power of this ocean and to admit when she has you beat. But I truly believe that next time, as with Virgin Challenger 11, Virgin Money will set a new world record that will secure its place in the record books for many years to come.”

From onboard Virgin Money fellow co-skipper Mike Sanderson was characteristically laid back: “Well that was a fairly exciting trip… We all knew, as a result of leaving so late in the season, we were in for a bumpy ride – we just didn’t suspect it to be this bumpy. We had a good go at repairing the mainsail at sea but it wasn’t possible in the conditions we were experiencing. Lady Luck was not smiling down on us this time round. Virgin Money performed well and she’ll be good to go again just as soon as we get the mainsail repaired.”

The crew and Virgin Money are expected in St George’s Customs Dock, Bermuda at 5pm local (9pm BST). Read more at

An interview with Alinghi

Photo Thierry Martinez
Sailkarma goes one on one with Alinghi.

-What topics are discussed between Mr. Ellison and Mr. Bertarelli during these meetings?
As the conversations are private, what is said between the two remains between them, what we do know however is that discussions between them are similar to ones that Ernesto has been having with other syndicate heads such as Patrizio Bertelli (Luna Rossa), Keith Mills (Team Origin) and Ignacio Sanchez Galan (Iberdrola - Desafio Espanol).
These are about the future and unlocking the current situation; with a longterm view and the better of the America's Cup in mind, Ernesto is ready to relinquish some of the Defender's rights and create a working process with other teams that provides mid-term stability, he has this in common with both Larry and the other team heads.

Discussions have also been about creating a new class for the America's Cup that fits with the current economic situation, and a will to curb the cost of running a campaign, again both elements he has in common with Larry, Bertelli, Mills and Galan. Now that SNG, Alinghi and ACM, along with the challenger of record, CNEV, have re-launched the 33rd America's Cup, these discussions will continue during competitor meetings planned over the coming weeks with all entered challengers.

-Why wasn't there a meeting in Trieste?
Good question, perhaps you could ask Larry and let us know? After agreeing to the meeting in his visit to Larry in California, Ernesto was on stand-by in Geneva that week waiting for Larry to confirm the day and the time in and around his racing the RC44, only to read in a press release that the meeting had been cancelled. Given the positive tone of the first meeting that Ernesto attended in the US, there was hope to continue along this path of finding a solution to the current impasse. Now that the 33rd ACup is re-launched, we hope that GGYC/BOR will drop their law suit and come and join the competitor meetings to create a new class of race yacht.

-Is there an issue between Mr. Bertarelli and Russell Coutts that needs to be cleared up before the event can move forward?
You should ask Russell Coutts this. It's his team that is holding the Cup hostage in the New York courts.

-Would having Russell Coutts and Brad Butterworth in the meeting with Mr.Ellison and Mr. Bertarelli help resolve the issues?
The meetings between Larry Ellison and Ernesto Bertarelli have been positive and could continue to be should Larry return to the table; we hope that he will.

-Is Alinghi interested in stopping the legal battle for the good of the sport?
Alinghi did not start the legal battle, BMW Oracle Racing did, and they have kept it going even after CNEV was ruled the legitimate Challenger of Record by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court. The Defender is planning the 33rd America's Cup - scheduled for 2009 with a 2010 America's Cup Match in a new class of race yacht - as we speak, along with the Challenger of Record and the entered challengers. Stopping the legal battle is entirely in the hands of Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts.

-At what point to does Alinghi just say, "Let's go and beat them on the water again"?
As above, this power does not lie in the hands of the Defender, but in the hands of BMW Oracle Racing. It is their team that is holding the America's Cup event and community hostage in the Court of Appeals. The defending yacht club, Societe Nautique de Geneve, Alinghi, the Challenger of Record, CNEV and the entered challengers are working on the 33rd America's Cup with pre-regattas in V5s in 2009 and the Match in a new class of race yacht in Valencia in 2010. Several teams are competing on the 8&9 November in the AC Class during the CNEV annual regatta here in Valencia, so we are back on the water. It seems more a case of BMW Oracle not joining us and the challengers on the water.

-When will Alinghi's trimaran be finished?
We are forced to continue work on the DoG boat in case BMW Oracle succeed with their law suit.

- What is the meaning of the last cartoon about Russell Coutts and Tom Ehman pulling Larry Ellison strings? (see post Puppet Show) It's just an humourous summary of the current situation.

-What do you say to the future youth sailor that looks at the America's Cup and shakes their head?
We say, it is going back on the water regardless of what BMW Oracle is trying to do by forcing their way in to the Match through the legal system. Both Ernesto Bertarelli and Brad Butterworth have been in discussions at several levels with the challengers regarding the future of the America's Cup. And now that the event is re-launched, the entered teams will sit with the Defender and the Challenger of Record and craft a new class of racing yacht.

We would like pre-regattas in 2009 in the Version 5 AC Class and a Match in 2010 in the new class of boat. If one thing has been made obvious by BMW Oracle's efforts of the last year to force their way into the Match using a legal strategy instead of winning on the water, then it is the fact that there is a need to bring the Deed of Gift into the 21st century. The event needs mid-term stability, it needs to be governed not by the courts of New York, but by a people who understand the sport, for example those that have been trustees of the America's Cup. - Team Alinghi

Shredded sails, crashing boats

TP52 Worlds - Paul Cayard

Shredded sails, crashing boats and big speed was the order of the day today at the TP 52 World Championship. Some how through it all, El Desafio came through for the win!

After a good start we were approaching the first windward mark on starboard. Bribon and Synergy just simply refused to go behind us and I would have hit Bribon amidships if I did not tack to port to avoid them. Hideous! Instead of being 3rd there we were 7th after the melee cleared itself.

Undeterred we immediately starting passing boats. First Synergy, one of the offenders at the windward mark then Audi Q8 on the two sail reach down to Porto Calero. The breeze was 20 knots at this point and we were sailing about 60 true wind angle for 6 miles.

Once at Porto Calero, we executed a chicane and set off with our Code 0 on a 90 degree true wind angle reach in 20 to 22 knots. The other boats stayed with the jibs and held a higher course. This was a 20 mile reach to Fuertaventura. As the wind built, we changed back to the jib and came into the buoy hot and rounded right on the heels of Bribon and Quantum who were second and third. Platoon had a handy lead at this point.

Next was a 10 miles windward leg back to the southwest corner of Lanzarote. He we passed Bribon and rounded third right behind Quantum. Most boats had the #4 jib on but we had a #3. As the wind gusted from 20-28 knots, each had his turn as far as which sail was right.

Next was a 10 mile run back to the mark at Fuertaventure. The current was going against the 25 knots + wind and the waves were short and steep. The TP 52's dig their bows in rather badly actually and aren't as fun as you would think to sail in these conditions. The bow is burying continuously despite having the entire crew planted on the transom. We left out jib up the whole run so as not to have to deal with people on the bow or the sail getting washed overboard. There were two gybes on the run in which where both rather difficult to execute but we managed to keep the boat upright through it all. Quantum exploded their spinnaker three-quarters of the way down and we closed in and passed Platoon to round the mark in 1st!

For the last fetch back to Porto Calero and the finish line, we still had ourᅠ#3 jib up while Quantum had their #4 up. The #4 was the right sail and we were overpowered most of the 20 mile fetch. But we stayed directly in front of Quantum even as they made a few attacks by trying to sail up and over us.

After 57 miles, it was a hard earned win. I am off to the physiotherapist as my back is a bit sore after holding onto that tiller in those conditions.

Bribon and Synergy have a bit on in the protest room tonight so we will see what shakes out from that.ᅠ

1. Quantum 24
2. Mutua Madrilena 33.25
3. Artemis 41.5
4. Bribon 43
5. El Desafio 43.25

For complete scores and more information go to:

Cayard Sailing Website

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Virgin on the move

Neptune pays a visit to PUMA RACING

PUMA toasts Neptune as they celebrate crossing the equator.

Virgin Money onboard video...

Sam Branson: Brutal but amazing...

We have been out here now just over 24 hours but it feels like 24 days. Leaving New York we have a magnificent sight of the Statue of Liberty and it wasn’t until then that it hit home what we were embarking on. The winds have been up to gale force 8 and we’ve had sea swells up to 35 feet and seen speeds of 30 knots. It is difficult trying to get used to having only three hours sleep and as the breast of the ship crashes over every wave a loud shudder runs down through the whole boat - brutal but amazing. -

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Alinghi: Bring the America's Cup back...

America’s Cup defending yacht club, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), the Defender Alinghi and their event organising body AC Management (ACM) are taking the necessary steps to get the 33rd America’s Cup back on track in partnership with the Challenger of Record – Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV) – and all challengers keen to join the competition.

Over the past weeks, Alinghi team president Ernesto Bertarelli and skipper Brad Butterworth have met with challengers to discuss the future and, to this end, the Defender is re-launching the process of the 33rd America’s Cup with the aim of having it back on the water as soon as possible under terms to be discussed and accepted by all those joining the competition.

“We feel that there is an opportunity to move ahead with the competition,” says Brad Butterworth. “Teams, sailors and the whole America’s Cup community are keen to return to sailing. We want to get this competition going and get the entered challengers to participate in a constructive process. Both GGYC and RNZYS are invited to abandon their respective legal proceedings and join the competition.”

ACM is re-opening entries for a multi-challenger 33rd America’s Cup from now until 15 December 2008 with the intention of having a Match in 2010 in a new and modern class of race yacht and with pre-regattas in 2009 on the existing Version 5 ACC yachts. Teams already entered under the 33rd Protocol along with any new entries will participate in the consultation process to take place in the coming weeks. Subject to a final agreement with the Spanish authorities, the 33rd America’s Cup will take place in Valencia. Read More...

Virgin Money - We're off...

Photo Virgin Money
This post brought to you by CAMET CLOTHING - Virgin Crew wearing CAMET Hobart Shorts.

Virgin Money heads east for a Transatlantic Record
10.22.08 04:00 EST Richard - We're off...
I can't quite believe we've decided to leave four hours earlier than planned to ensure we jump in front of a huge storm. The first 24 hours we'll endeavour to out-run a storm and navigate another that could cause major damage to the boat and destroy our chances of breaking the record. We need to navigate these two storm systems perfectly to have any chance of succeeding. It’s going to be a very challenging six days.

10.22.08 08:00 EST Mike - Fantastic to be out here...
...blasting along finally on the mighty Virgin Money. So far the forecast has been spot on and we are heading North East at pace.

It has been a long couple of days just getting here and making the tough calls that the team faced about when the best time to go Code Orange was and get the crew on planes. It's great to be back at sea, great group of guys, great boat that's beautifully we need a little luck and a good chunk of good management to keep this thing in one piece and have the weather gods smile on us...

Fingers crossed, I'll keep you posted...

Volvo Ocean Race Video - "Still Going Strong"

Green Dragon continues to look good.

Life on board Ericsson 3, during the frist week of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The color of money!

Virgin Money wanting for the green light!

Ben Ainslie and Sir Richard Branson Prepare For Transatlantic Record Attempt Aboard Virgin Money.

Sir Richard Branson and triple Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie are on standby to begin a Transatlantic Record Attempt aboard the 100ft supermaxi yacht Virgin Money (formerly Speedboat). With a potential weather window approaching, the crew hopes to set sail early tomorrow morning with TEAMORIGIN’s Team Director Mike Sanderson as skipper. Sanderson, who holds the current transatlantic record of 6 days, 27 hours and 52 minutes, will lead the crew, which includes Sir Richard Branson’s children Holly and Sam.

With a potential start from North Cove Marina, New York, tomorrow at dawn, Virgin Money’s record attempt will be Ben Ainslie’s first transatlantic voyage. The record attempt will start from Ambrose Point in New York and the course will take them through treacherous winter conditions in the North Atlantic before finishing at Lizard Point, off the coast of Plymouth. Mike Sanderson has held the transatlantic record since 2003, when he broke the previous record aboard Mari Cha IV.

Further details will follow once it has been confirmed that Virgin Money will begin her attempt tomorrow. -

America's Cup yachts to race in Valenica

America’s Cup yachts will participate at the CNEV annual regatta in Valencia

Alinghi and Desafío Español are the first teams to join the Trofeo Desafío Español. Racing is open to all America’s Cup teams

October 21st 2008.- The second edition of the Trofeo Desafío Español, the annual regatta organized by Club Náutico Español de Vela (CNEV), will have yachts and teams from the 32nd America’s Cup. On board two of the ACC V5 used the past edition held in Valencia, Alinghi -the sailing team of the Defender, Société Nautique de Geneve- and Desafío Español -the syndicate of the Challenger of Record, Club Náutico Español de Vela- will race the 8th and 9th of November in a series of races. With this competition, the America’s Cup Class yachts will go back to where they belong, the race course, in Valencia.

“Our desire is for the America’s Cup to start as soon as possible back in Valencia”, said today the president of the CNEV, Manuel Chirivella. “We want Trofeo Desafío Español to be beginning of testing, training and racing, not only for Desafío Español and Alinghi, but also for other America’s Cup teams that are willing to take part in the races, which are open to all”.

Apart from these two teams from the 32nd America’s Cup and all the others who may announce their participation, the second edition of CNEV’s annual regatta will be open to yachts with an RN certificate. In the first edition, held last year, a total of 88 boats from 17 yacht clubs raced in the regatta. -

Hugo Boss Repairs Video

HUGO BOSS repair in shipyard part 1. Video by © SAEM Vendée - Video really shows the extent of the damage.

HUGO BOSS repair in shipyard part 2. Video by © SAEM Vendée


Cressy Trophy 2008 - High School Singlehand Nationals

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Day 1 of the High School Singlehand Nationals. Sailors set up their boats and do some practice racing. Music: The Pimps of Joytime - Street Sound Video by Chris Love

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Interview with Christopher Stocke, winner of the radial division.

The best high school laser sailors in the country meet in Ithaca, NY to compete for the national championship, the Cressy Trophy. Click here for results and for more videos and photos checkout

Buenos Aires Sail Week 2008

The 13th International Buenos Aires Sail Week 2008 started this weekend at the Yacht Club Argentino, Buenos Aires, Argentina. There are 526 boats, 811 sailors and 18 International and National classes. Featuring sailors form Argentine, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Unites States, Finland, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela and Uruguay. It is the most important sailing event in South America.

The fleets are:
Optimist Timoneles (147), Optimist Principiantes (101), Cadet (18), Europe (8), Laser Standard (31), Laser Radial (61), Laser 4.7 (10), 29er. (27), 470 (5), 420 (20), Snipe (26), Star (11), Soling (6), J-24 (22), F 18 (8), Grumete (15) y OD 27 (10).

You can see a ton of great photos from our friend Matias Capizzano at his website @

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cayard on TP52 World Championship

Paul Cayard - Monday, October 20, 2008

We did not have a great day on El Desafio. The wind was very shifty and tricky. We were mediocre. We are tied for 7th after three races.

Artemis had the winning form today with a 1, 2, 2 Quantum is in second with a 2,6,1 and Mutua Madrilena is just behind with 3, 1, 6.

The wind was very shifty. Many times, boats that were in the back half of the fleet on the first windward leg and had no where to go except where the leaders did not want to go, ended up passing the leaders. On both runs of the second race, the shift was so big that there were no gybes by any boat.

In the last race of the day on the last run, Platoon went from 3rd to 13th while Audi Q8 went from 13th to 3rd.

We had a bad last race, most of it on the last run as we basically had Platoon's fate going from 6th to 11th.

The wind speed was 9 knots in the first race building all day to 14 knots in the last race. But even the wind speed was anything but steady. There were micro bursts touching down a various times from various directions and it was very hard to figure out the pattern. Russell Coutts, tactician of Artemis, obviously had a good feel for it.

Three races done and 8 to go. If it stays like this there will be plenty of ups and downs to go. We are racing on the south east side of the island of Lanzarote and the gradient wind is coming from the north so we are slightly in the lee of the island. Sometimes the wind comes right over the island, then at other moments with wind comes around the corner which gives an easterly direction. There has previously been a line of clouds trailing off the highest mountain to the north, which was a good telltale as to where the wind was going to come from but that line was not very well delineated today.

Forecast for tomorrow is slightly more wind but same direction.

Top 5 scores are:
1. Artemus - 5
2. Quantum - 9
3. Mutua Madrilena - 10
4. Matador - 15
5. Synergy - 20

El Desafio is tied for 7th with 23 points.

For complete scores and more information go to:

Cayard Sailing Website

Retraction: Alinghi will not ban AC Teams

In an email received from Alinghi late this afternoon it states that
"there is absolutely no intention to ban teams from competing in the
LVPS". However, it does not go into discussing if Alinghi will or will
not plan to make an announcement regarding having events in Valencia in
2008 & 2009.

Onboard video - Tony Mutter getting dropped off...

Shot of the day!

Gustav Morin/Ericsson Racing Team/Volvo Ocean Race - Click on image to enlarge!

Volvo Ocean Race: Light winds in the Doldrums on leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race

Onboard with Ericsson: Nice wind since we gybed from Gran Canaria 48 hours ago. We are fighting E4, Puma is in front. Guys have bee fighting hard. Constant wavechasing takes a lot of energy. During the night we had visits from whole bunch of flyfish. Volvo Ocean Race

Ernesto Bertarelli to ban America’s Cup Teams

Photo Thierry Martinez
In a last minute act of desperation, Ernesto Bertarelli will announce this week a new event to be held in Valencia in November of 2008 and another event in 2009 that would use the International America's Cup class boats.

He will also announce that any team that enters into the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series will be banned from competing in the 33rd America’s Cup if Alinghi wins its legal battle against BMW Oracle.

This announcement is fueled by a bitter battle between Bruno Trouble and Ernesto Bertarelli. Bruno has signed on more teams to compete in the Pacific Series which appears to take away form Ernesto’s America’s Cup.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Rosebud battles it out

© ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo
Rolex Middle Sea Race 2008 - STP65 ROSEBUD/TEAM DYT passing through the Strait of Messina with Capo Peloro lighthouse in the background.

Given the unpromising start to the day, the three frontrunners in the Rolex Middle Sea Race are probably delighted to be fast approaching Stromboli, and expecting to round by 1900 this evening. Rosebud (USA), Moneypenny (USA) and Alegre (GBR) have been locked together for much of the race so far and it looks as though this pattern is set to continue. Behind them, the much smaller Ran (GBR) is chasing hard, with a deficit of only 4.5 nm. Then comes Whisper (IRL), all on her own, with a chasing pack of ten yachts also through the Strait that are 4 miles away from Michael Cotter's 78-foot mini maxi and 14 miles off the pace of the leaders. It all looked very different first thing this morning and both the competitors and organizers, the Royal Malta Yacht Club, will be relieved at the way the day has panned out.

At 0800 this morning, Jim Swartz's STP65 Moneypenny and Andres Soriano's Mills 68 Alegre got themselves stuck in a wind hole just off the coast of Sicily and some way short of Messina. Meanwhile, Roger Sturgeon's Rosebud, with Maltese sailor Christian Ripard onboard started the day in third place on the water. She was positioned further offshore, never stopped moving and effectively sailing round the other two yachts. It must have been galling to watch a hard earned lead slip away in such a fashion, but the day was not over and the next twist was yet to come. Full Report...

Update from Alex Thomson - Hugo Boss

Photo Marcel Mochet/AFP
“At 2.30 this morning, a fishing boat hit the hull of the boat. It caused a lot of damage, leaving a large hole and the mast broken as well. After the incident the mast was cut away, we arrived into the les Sables d’Olonne, France at about 4:30 am local time. The situation now is to look at the damage on the boat and see how big the repair is, and ultimately how long the repair will take. In the meantime, as we speak, the mast and the sails have been recovered, and when the mast arrives here we’ll be able to ascertain how long it will take to repair.

For the moment we have no more details than that. My team and I have been preparing for this Vendée Globe for the last four years and we’re not about to give up now. We have 3 weeks and 2 days until the start of the race, and I’m hoping that it’ll either be a long time or a short time, hopefully a long time. I’m fortunately surrounded by a fantastic team of people.

We’ve had other disasters before, and each time we’ve been able to recover from it. Until somebody tells me we cannot start the race on Nov. 9th, we will start on November 9th. We have many possibilities with the mast, one is to repair, another one to build, I’ve been offered a mast from Yann Elies, and the sailing world is a very close one, so it’s been very supportive”.

Q: How many crew were on board?
A: We were 3 on board, 2 were sleeping, one on watch

Q: Do you have anti collision radars?
A: We do, we have everything

Q: If the radar was on, or the crew member was on watch, how did they not see the fishing boat coming?
A: The fishing boat’s radar was also on. When it happened, it happened very quickly and the guy on watch tried to get the engine started but it didn’t happen in time.

Q: Was he inside or out?
A: He was outside

Q: And he didn’t see the boat?
A: Some fishing boats are with lights, some without, and they go fast, I wasn’t on deck so I didn’t see what happened.

Q: Where exactly was the boat?
A: We were about 1.5 miles outside of the channel.

Q: What did the fisherman say?
A: I think his first concern was to make sure that everybody was ok.

Q: No explanations?
A: He said he didn’t see us.

Q: In terms of manpower, what do you expect?
A: I’m very fortunate, I have a very good team of people, including our designer, so I think the manpower is not a problem.

Q: How many people do you think it will take to repair the damage?
A: Until they decide what the repair is I can’t say.

Q: Was the boat is hit under the waterline?
A: No, it’s very close.

Q: Were you waiting for the tide?
A: We were waiting for a change of crew.

Q: Do you think that the watch on board Hugo Boss could be to blame?
A: I don’t consider us to be in blame, no

Q: Can we go over what happened last night to HUGO BOSS?
A: We were just outside the port of Sables d’Olonne, and at about 3 in the morning, lights on, everything on, a fishing boat plowed straight into us, making a big hole and breaking the mast. After the fishing boat made sure we were ok, we had to cut the mast.

The boat has a big hole, it’s in bad shape, and we’re not sure how much needs to be going into it, we have construction engineers and designers looking into the quickest and most effective ways to repair the damage. At the moment the mast is being collected at sea, and we have the pieces so we’ll see if it’s able to be repaired, otherwise Dominique Wavre has offered us a mast.

I’m devastated, we’ve spent 4 years preparing for the race, 4 years ago I stopped, so we spent many years getting ready, to not be even at the race village is hard. For the moment, the intention is definitely to be at the start on November the 9th, if no one tells us it’s impossible, then it’s possible, and so many people have offered us support, so we’re lucky. -

It's getting hot! - Puma Ocean Racing

Click on any image to enlarge!

Photos by each team.
The heaters have been turned on, and the grinders have been turned off-for the moment anyway.To give you a few interesting anecdotes from The Monster today...

1. People ask all the time how much work there actually is to do when on watch.

Well, I can report that I heard several today mention the fact that the light air is a reprieve from grinding the spinnaker down every single wave for 5 of the first 7 days of this race. Work is an understatement, with only 4 on deck a decent percentage of the time, you are steering or trimming or grinding. Not a sole sitting on the rail thinking about beer and pizza– actually maybe not, you can get in a quick beer and pizza thought in when grinding- and not really look like you are day dreaming.

Anyway, the grinding is even more intense than most day races, because the apparent wind speed difference and the apparent wind angle difference is so great before, during and after a wave that you have to ease and trim literally on every single wave- hard on the bodies, and hard on the ear drums below.

The easing of a sheet that is as loaded as these sheets are is deafening. On every single wave, especially if Salty is trimming! He has a knack for easing 2 inches whether he needs it or not. Just loud enough to send a shudder and scream through the interior, piercing the eardrums. We have spoken about it and he just smiles. My guess is that he won't change his ways in the near future.

2. As we approach the middle of the earth, how hot does it really get? Hot, and we aren't even to the hottest part yet. REALLY HOT. A couple of us were doing a few little sail maintenance touch ups today and to call it rivers of sweat running off of you is a minor understatement. The water maker is a value that we could not do without and seems to get run overtime down here. We are constantly preaching drinking water.

If you don't you develop hangover like symptoms pretty quick. Not that I have those symptoms often when on dry land, but I have been told... The battle goes on against the fleet spread wide across the entry to the Doldrums. Actually, we had quite a day today surrounded by squalls in which the Volvo veterans fondly told us rookies

"Welcome to the Doldrums- and if this isn't it then we are really close." Can't wait for them to say "Welcome to the South East Trades."

Kenny -