Friday, February 27, 2009

RC44 Match Racing Day 2 Video

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Thursday, February 26, 2009


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02/21/09 Photos by Paul Todd BMW ORACLE RACING

Etchells Sailors prepare for Mid-Winters East

Photos by John Payne - Click for Web Site
By Paige Brooks, North American Etchells Class Correspondent:
Thursday, 26 February 2009, Miami: Once again, many of the sailing luminaries will be heading down to Miami for the Etchells Jaguar Series and some will stay on for Miami Race Week and the Barcardi Cup, which follow in quick succession. The Etchells Midwinters Regatta is both an independent regatta and the final weekend of the series held here on Biscayne Bay. The racers in the series are watching the weather, figuring what sails to check in, and monitoring their weight (max weight is ~ 628 lbs) as they prepare for the three-day racing weekend. Late February, or early March, when the regatta is held, is usually breezy, but the forecast this weekend is for lighter air, which could make it feel a little like Los Vegas.

Not new to the top standings for the series, Jud Smith, who has been racing with Dirk Kneulman, will be heading to Melbourne to tune up for the Etchells Worlds. Hank Lammens will shake off the cobwebs and take over the helm for the weekend with Dirk and Hank’s brother Mark Lammens. Bruce Golison, lying in second for the series will sail with Steve Ericson and Steve Flam, who, like Hank, hasn’t been to Miami this winter. In third for the series, Bill Hardesty, who came on strong after missing the first regatta, will be sailing with his same crew of Vince Brun, Eric Shampain and Jennifer Wilson.

As the teams assemble in Miami, the organizers are already getting their share of weigh-in questions. Some want to know what type of scale they’ll be using, others, how it will be calibrated, and still others, exactly how early and often they can weigh in before the first gun. No one-design sailor will be surprised to see a few folks running the streets of Coconut Grove in foulies Thursday morning, hoping to sweat off the last few pounds.

With light wind forecast for the weekend, the racing will surely be tricky for all of the competitors. Will they just roll the dice to figure out which way to go? Jud Smith thinks it could be anyone’s game. He first said when Hank Lammens “has his mojo on [in the light breeze] he is good.” After thinking about it, he hedged his bets and said Hardesty, of course with his same team, or Golison who is “really good in the light stuff” could come out ahead. With one drop allowed, it’s worth a look deeper into the standings as you lay your bets for the winner.

The coaches, relegated to the sidelines during the event, will be interested to hear that the class will be giving Kattack tracking devices to all of the competitors. Shortly after racing each day those mid-fleet finishers who wonder what happened and where the leaders went, will be able to review the races over adult beverages at the club with their competitors. It should make for interesting bar talk.

For those of you interested in watching how these competitors navigate the light breeze in good old-fashioned fleet racing (sans lawyers), you can virtually watch using the Kattack web player at

Race results and standings are here:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lines of squalls

Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Sailing along through the Micronesian Islands of the South Pacific, I got a nasty awakening this morning as I was rolled out of my bunk without warning. Fortunately, I landed in the stack below me but the boat was tipped over at such an angle that if you didn't know what was going on you might think the boat was about to capsize. We'd been hit by another line squall. They appear to be quite prevalent in this part of the world and seem to have some teeth as well. Once the call has been made that we are about to get hit the crew has to react quickly to make the boat safe - wind speeds in a squall can easily double or increase by 20 knots.

I could hear the guys on deck running around as they got the big jib down and put up a smaller sail, then a minute later the reef starts to go in. I can feel the boat accelerating and then go quiet as the helmsman turns downwind so that the guys can make the maneuver safely.

The squall has generated a sloppy wave pattern and boat starts to crash and bump because the waves are disorganized and random. This particular squall was a real beauty and lasted about two hours. The first indication that you are going to get nailed by a line squall will be a general darkening and thickening of the clouds to weather, therefore if you're reaching and you see some activity at about 45 degrees off the windward bow, you need to start getting prepared.

The photograph of Ken looking out with the binoculars illustrates pretty, well how a line squall appears about eight minutes out. The leading edge of the squall comes with a pretty high probability of a significant wind-shift. You will observe high black clouds above you and light rain will start to fall. This lasts for about five minutes and is generally followed by a short pause in the rain, which may be accompanied by possible clearing of the clouds.

This break will only be for a few minutes before the large drops start to fall from the puffy nimbus clouds that make up the body of the squall. Once in the squall, the rain will be torrential and I mean torrential. It's really quite fun. Because the water is so cool and clean it provides a great chance for a shower and generally speaking the on-deck watch has to work around the off watch guys streaming out of the hatch clutching shower gel.

There's a lot of space for interpretation of both line squall theory and on the water observation. Trust me...everyone has his own theory of line squalls, and everybody observes the outcome of a squall in their own special way.- Rick

Puerto Calero RC 44 Cup

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Baptism of fire for the Class newcomers on day one of the Puerto Calero RC 44 Cup
Luis Doreste, Karol Jablonski, Pieter Heerema and many other top sailors participated in their first RC 44 regatta today in Puerto Calero. The conditions were light and unstable, leading to some surprises and upsets. Puerto Calero, February 25, 2009 – The RC 44 Championship Tour 2009 started today in Puerto Calero with the first matches of Round Robin one. It was also the baptism of fire for Pieter Heerema’s Team No Way Back and Carlos Morales’ Team Puerto Calero Islas Canarias 2. The Dutch boat had an excellent day, with two victories over the two Spanish boats. On the contrary, the local entries didn’t have such a good day, suffering respectively from a trim tab failure and a broken crash box following… a crash.

Many top sailors also discovered the Class today, including Olympic champions Martin Kirketerp or Luis Doreste and veteran America’s Cup sailors Yann Gouniot and Christian Scherrer. The conditions weren’t too difficult for an initiation, although the breeze’s lack of consistency made Race Officer Peter Regio’s life difficult. At the end of the day, two and a half flight could be completed, most probably putting an end to the event organiser’s desire to complete two round robins in two days.

Winner of last year’s match race ranking, Igor Lah’s Ceeref is still the team to beat, with three victories in as many matches today. Sébastien Col is Ceeref’s substitute driver in James Spithill’s absence. Needless to say that he did a great job, particularly during a fantastic regatta against Organika, who were sailing for the first time with their new match race helmsman Karol Jablonski. Leading the race by half a boat length, Organika couldn’t stop Ceeref’s come back, until the Slovenian spinnaker touched the Polish boat’s runners.

With a penalty to complete, Séb Col and his team had to attack, which they did in style, taking the lead and increasing it just enough to complete their penalty turn before crossing the arrival line.Pieter Heerema and Philippe Presti’s team No Way Back and Russell Coutts’ BMW ORACLE Racing are also unbeaten so far, however with one less match under their belt.

Team Aqua and Cameron Appleton had an excellent match against Artemis, inflicting a penalty to their opponent at the start and winning the race, before loosing an important match against Ceeref. Finally, Dean Barker’s Artemis won two matches against Organika and Jose Maria Ponce’s Team Puerto Calero Islas Canarias 1. Organised by Puerto Calero, a superb real estate development on Lanzarote's seafront, the RC 44 Cup consists in two days of match racing followed by three days of fleet racing. -

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

We are racing! Caribbean 600

Photos by
Boogie van den Boogaard, Star Chaser, Mon 23:11 GMT
We are racing!

Star Chaser was looking like a busy beehive this morning, with her race crew getting the last things in order to get off the dock and go racing!

We had a good start going off with our nr 3 headsail and 1 reef in the was still a bit windy and lumpy although not quite so much so as during our training this weekend!
The first couple of hours had us tacking up the south coast of Antigua, before going round the east side, heading for the first and only laid mark of the race, just off Barbuda (all the other marks of the race are islands! How cool is that?). Lots of reefs in and out and back again as it was a bit squally and we are racing, so we do want to keep as much sail up as we can.

Right now, we're headed for the south point of Nevis, under the nr 2 ( a bigger headsail) and a full main.

We have just had dinner. Night has fallen and everybody is getting settled, used to the boat and the watch system (4 hours on watch, followed by 4 hours off watch). You can feel the excitement running like a fever through the boat, we are out here, in this first of all RORC Caribbean 600 races and doing well!

We are middle of the fleet (just under 30 boats), with yachts like Leopard and DSK-Swan 90 (boats almost twice our size) ahead of us, but we are lying first in class! Need to get back to the deck as racing means constant concentration and as Sir Chay Blyth always used to say, ‘there are 3 things important to win a race: trim, trim, trim!'

More tomorrow.... - Regatta Website

Chicago Mac... 130 entries!

The 2009 Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is shaping up to be one of the largest in our history. We have received over 130 entries in the first week alone, and fully expect a sellout crowd this July. If you have already received an invitation to the 101st Race, we encourage you to enter as soon as possible. If you have not yet received an invitation, and would like one, please make sure that you've completed a Request for Invitation via our Race website

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dog Pound...Update!

New tent has been built to house sails and throw big parties!


Work was being done to the centerboard - it sounded like they hit something out sailing - they had a diver in the water as four crew members removed all the supports on the deck as they lifted the centerboard out - there was a backup centerboard on the dock.

A few of the "A" cats on the dock - one had the wing on it on the weekend.
Photos by

Sail around the world at age 15!

Jessica Watson, in Bluff yesterday preparing for a voyage in the Southern Ocean, aims to be the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world. Read more

Road trip...

By Paul Cayard

Two inches of rain fell today here in Kentfield where I live. That is GOOD. We NEED it. But it does make the mind wander. I am going to check the weather in Miami.

2009 is off and running. Well, maybe walking or crawling is a better characterization.With the current economic recession, entries at Key West Race Week were down 60% and with the America's Cup still tied up in the New York courts, many of us pro sailors are finding plenty of time on our hands to work on our houses and clean our bikes.

I'm feeling the need for a little tune up on my sailing skills so I have made a plan to sail in two great regattas in my Star. First will be the Bacardi Cup in Coconut Grove in early March. I will follow that up with the Western Hemisphere Championship in Pass Christian, Mississippi in late March. Bacardi Cup always has between 70 and 90 boats on that beautiful Biscayne Bay race course that many of us know so well, so that should be great racing.

Austin Sperry, a great crew and friend will be guiding me like a seeing eye dog. Austin is very current in the Star Class having just represented the USA at the Olympics last summer with his father in-law, John Dane.

I have so much time on my hands that I am going to drive my boat out to Miami. Austin's Dad, Brooks, will be riding shotgun for the trip out. No word yet on how he is going to get back. Maybe he wants to drive the boat back! Better not be too greedy. Seriously, I am kind of looking forward to the drive across our great country. Haven't done it in 20 years. There are some very cool sights along the way.

Enough with power-washing the house. Time to untie the lines and get out on the water.

US Sailing is Ordered to Comply with US Law

ANNAPOLIS, MD, February 22, 2009 – A distinguished hearing panel of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has unanimously held that US Sailing’s protest and redress system violates the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act of 1978. US Sailing was given six months to provide its athletes the right to fair treatment guaranteed by United States law. The panel was appointed by Peter Ueberroth, USOC Chairman, with representatives from five different Olympic sports.

The case resulted from US Sailing’s women’s RS-X Olympic windsurfing trials in October 2007. Annapolis, MD windsurfer Farrah Hall won the trials but was removed as winner by a protest committee appointed by US Sailing after a one-party hearing requested by another competitor, Nancy Rios. Hall has never been accused of any wrongdoing and was not informed of the hearing. Instead US Sailing informed her that she had been replaced as its 2008 Olympic women’s windsurfing representative as she completed her shower after the event.

Farrah Hall sought a fair hearing under US Sailing’s existing rules before losing her right to compete in China but US Sailing refused. She then pursued the action before the USOC.
In its comprehensive 23-page ruling, the panel said: “… this controversy could have been avoided if US Sailing had notified Hall of Rios’ October 14 request for redress, allowed her to participate as a party, and made its determination on evidence submitted by both parties. Instead, US Sailing seemed to have gotten wrapped around its own rules, and the Racing Rules of Sailing, and created a situation in which neither Hall nor Rios was ably served.”

The panel directed US Sailing to bring its rules into compliance with US law and USOC bylaws which guarantee fair treatment to athletes. US Sailing has until September 1 to act or face loss of its status as the National Governing Body for Olympic Sailing. The full text of the panel’s decision is available at:

Hall, who is now training for Great Britain’s 2012 Olympic Games, welcomed the decision. “I am delighted that as a result of this USOC hearing panel decision other athletes will not suffer the same convoluted, expensive and prolonged procedures that US Sailing subjected Nancy Rios and me to. The USOC panel recognized that before a National Governing Body like US Sailing can change the results of an Olympic qualifying event, it has to give all the athletes involved a fair hearing. I really appreciate the support I received through this long process from my sponsor, my advisors John Bertrand and Keith Taylor, and my lawyers at the firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher.”

The panel that issued the decision consisted of: Chairperson Nina Kempel, Athletes Advisory Council, US Ski and Snowboard Association; Scott Fortune, USOC Athletes Advisory Council, USA Volleyball; Bob Mitchell, USOC National Governing Body Council, USA Shooting; Jeanne Picariello, Chair, USOC Multisport Organizations Council; and Ron Van Pool, USOC National Governing Body Council, USA Swimming

Doug Smith, who headed the legal team representing Hall, said, “We were very pleased that the panel agreed with each of our key points:
· An athlete is entitled to a fair hearing before losing the opportunity to compete in the Olympics;
· A one-party hearing which the athlete is not allowed to attend, in front of a protest committee whose members are also witnessing for one of the parties, is not a “fair hearing”;
· The members of any committee that determines the outcome of Olympic Trials must include athletes; and
· The National Governing Body for an Olympic sport such as sailing must comply with the provisions of US law adopted to ensure athletes receive fair treatment. ”
Jamie Dodge Byrnes of Gibson Dunn who presented the oral argument for Farrah Hall to the panel commented: ”The hearing panel has wisely given US Sailing six months to bring their rules into compliance with US law, the same law that all the other National Governing Bodies for Olympic Sports already comply with. We are confident that US Sailing will find a solution that addresses the interests of all of its members including its Olympic aspirants.”

John Bertrand Bertrand Racing, Annapolis, Md Tel: +1 (410) 224-2450 Email

Sunday, February 22, 2009

VESTAS SAILROCKET World Record Attempt 2... Run 1

The wind was building to 20 knots as we hit the top of the course. I didn't want to do a high 40's run straight off in case something was amiss. I decided to only sheet the wing in to around a mild 18-20 degrees instead of the 'full-bore' 10 degrees... and not pull on the main flap. If all went well then I would sheet in a little harder towards the end of the run.

It was great to be back in the cockpit on such a glamorous day. VESTAS SAILROCKET felt just as sweet as I remember. The start up was easy and the speed came quickly.

I spent most of the run monitoring the rudder angle to make sure it was in the 'fine' band giving fractional inputs rather than the 'coarse' band which can easily upset the boat by either sending it into a round-up to windward or unloading the front end in a bear away (it reduces the angle of attack of the inclined foil which also reduces the 'down' component. This factored in the flip scenario). With the wing eased, the boat will tend to want to turn towards the beach more than usual. When everything looked and felt fine I sheeted in to around 14 degrees and noted that the rudder trim approached zero i.e. the middle of the 'fine-trim' band. The time spent in setting the boat up had been vindicated as it shows how well we are coming to understand the whole boat in theory, set-up and sailing.

The front end felt firmly planted and the pod wasn't flying... but then it doesn't get light until over 42-3 knots. All in all it was a pretty good run for the intended purpose.

The mean average wind speed was 19.18 knots, peak speed was around 41.4 knots with a 500 meter average of 38.62 knots.

It would have been better to have slightly less wind so that I could have sheeted everything into their proper angles without going ballistic.

Despite doing a clean run, we headed back to the shore to digest all the information and double check that everything was as it appeared. So far so good.

The recent rains had caused some of the normally dry river beds to run. The local waterboard seems to think its clever to put all the bore pumps in the middle of the river beds. When the rivers run... all the pumps get washed away... and the town runs out of water. So no water for the past four days... or even for the next week or two apparently. I would hate to be running a restaurant or hotel.

So this is the most complete team we have ever had down here. It's really good to also have access to off-site team members like George and Richy to help digest the pile of data we get after each run. The project as a whole is really powering into this final push to the summit. I hope the summit really is as close as it feels.

Cheers, Paul.
This is the video from the last time they tried breaking the record. Fast foward to 3 minutes 50 seconds...

Laser Midwinters East Photos

Photos by Bev Dolezal
A few shots from the Laser Midwinter East Regatta.

Nick Thompson from Great Britain just crushed the Laser Fleet, Paige Railey won the Radials and Kevin Holmberg won the 4.7’s. For full results click here.

Hello from E4!

Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race
Ericsson 4 - Joca Signorini (Trimmer)

After seven days of wet and fast sailing and with some really cold days, things start to change. Today we arrive at the Doldrums and the last eight hours has been really painful with lots of clouds and light winds. We are now trying to keep moving and waiting to see what happens with the others. They still have good winds and are getting close to us again. The only good thing about the clouds was that most of our crew could have a shower today and put on new clothes after an intense week on board.

The distance to the finish shows 9,500 miles to go and we are close to crossing the equator for the third time on the race. Everybody is still trying to not count the days but our pace since the start was really good. It’s crazy when you stop and think that we still have close to 30 days to go... But that’s what makes this race and this leg very special. Even more for me that we will be arriving at my home town!

Today is the second day of the Carnival in Brazil. At some places the fire fighters use the hose to refresh all the people who are dancing and singing at the streets. Yesterday night our deck was like that, but the pressure of the water was hurting some times.

Good winds, Joca

18ft skiffs

The Southern Cross Constructions crew of Euan Mc Nicol, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas became the 2009 Giltinan 18ft Skiff champions today after one of the "craziest" races seen on Sydney Harbour.

Although the talented trio could do no better than fourth placing today, their overall pointscore of 18 points was just enough to defeat Active Air-2UE (Matthew Searle, Dan Wilsdon, Archie Massey) by one point, with Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, Tom Clout) three more points back in third place.

The final outcome was almost unbelievable as Southern Cross Constructions looked to have absolutely no hope for more than three-quarters of today's race.

Trailing the leader by four minutes and ten seconds at the first windward mark (and almost totally at the back of the fleet) Southern Cross' crew could only watch as most of their main opponents were vying for the lead.

Victory today went to the 2000 Giltinan winner John Winning with crew of Andrew Hay and David Gibson in Yandoo.

They defeated the young Panasonic crew of Jonathan Whitty, Dan Higlett and Tom Anderson by 1m12s with Active Air-2UE a further 15s back in third place.

A lack of wind at the scheduled start time saw the start delayed for more than 20 minutes before he elected to go with the four-lap windward-and-return course. (John Winning Jr.) won the start and led by 20s from Smeg (Hugh Stodart) at the windward mark.

Gotta Love It 7 was third, closely followed by SLAM (Grant Rollerson), Active Air-2UE, Panasonic, Macquarie Real Estate (Micah Lane), Yamaha NZ (Scott Kennedy) and Yandoo.

Macquarie Real Estate grabbed the lead on the spinnaker run back to the twin bottom rounding marks with Gotta Love It 7 only 15s further back.

Gotta Love It 7 took over on the following windward leg and established a comfortable lead until the end of the third lap.

Just when it looked as though the ‘7' team would win the race and take the title, everything went 180-degrees and the championship again became wide open.

Yandoo, Active Air-2UE and Panasonic made gains on Gotta Love It 7 while Southern Cross was also starting to move closer to this leading group.

As bows were turned towards the finish and spinnakers set for the final run any one of Active Air-2UE, Southern Cross or Gotta Love It 7 could become the champion - depending on the final placings of each.

It was critical that Active Air-2UE could finish no worse than second, but the young Panasonic crew was sailing beautifully and relegated Active Air-2UE to third place.

In the meantime, Southern Cross had sailed through Gotta Love It 7 and the championship suddenly belonged to Mc Nicol and his team as they finished in fourth place.

The finish line was an incredible sight as skiffs were approaching from all directions.

Only 6s separated the next four skiffs as Gotta Love It 7 was relegated back to eighth place.

Today's result sheet, final point score are attached. Video can be seen on
-Frank Quealey

Friday, February 20, 2009

Emirates Team NZ test sail TP52

Emirates Team NZ sail their new Cookson built TP52 - Chris Cameron-ETNZ

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ship it... Mill it... Rebuild it!

Bas Vredenburg/Team Delta Lloyd/VolvoOcean Race
Delta Lloyd is loaded on to a container ship to be taken to Rio de Janerio whilst a new bow piece is being made, which will be fitted once the boat arrives.

Team Delta Lloyd/Volvo Ocean Race
The process of building the new bow section for their Volvo 70 yacht which was damaged in the up-wind leg from Singapore to Qindao. The image shows the mould being milled out of a big block of polystyrene. Team Delta Lloyd works on a strong comeback in the second half of the Volvo Ocean Race, starting from Rio de Janeiro/Brazil.

Louis Vuitton Pacific Series Regatta Book

Within days of the prize giving for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series, a coffee table book with a foreword by regatta organizer, Bruno Troublé, will be available for distribution.

With just the right balance of prose from sailing journalist, Lynn Fitzpatrick, and eye-popping photos from photographer, Juerg Kaufmann, the book is the perfect keepsake for everyone attending this historic match racing event in Auckland, NZ. For those who were not present for five days of practice and 16 days of exciting match racing between world renown skippers, helmsmen, tacticians and crew from 10 teams representing 9 countries, this photo journal allows you to live vicariously.

See the book online at

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

DSK ready for the RORC Caribbean 600

Photos credit : Carlo Borlenghi/ Pioneer Investments
By Jennifer Hall trimsailing

In less than one week’s time, Danilo Salsi’s DSK Sailing Team will represent Italy in the newest offshore race on the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s (RORC) calendar, the RORC Caribbean 600.

Milan, 18 February 2009 – Danilo Salsi is one of the few Italian owners active on the international offshore racing circuit. Building on from the team’s success with Swan 45 DSK-Comifin in the world’s most demanding races including the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Rolex Fastnet, Newport-Bermuda and Rolex Middle Sea Race, the RORC Caribbean 600 will be Salsi’s first offshore regatta with his recently built Swan 90.

The crew list is impressive and includes long standing team members Andrea Casale (J24 World Champion), Riccardo de Magistris and Alessandro Franci, as well as newcomer Lucas Brun, of ABN AMRO/Volvo Ocean Race fame. The team has also called in Andrea Scarabelli of North Sails St Maarten for his local knowledge, which will be essential as the team tackle the 605 mile course.

Starting in Antigua on 23 February, the RORC Caribbean 600 will see the fleet race North to Nevis and St Barths, then circling St Maarten before heading down to Guadeloupe and back to Barbuda, to finish in Antigua.

Owner and helmsman Danilo Salsi stated; “I’m looking forward to participating in the RORC Caribbean 600 with DSK. It’s a challenging course, amidst some of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. This is the first regatta in our racing programme for the Swan 90 and it will be interesting to see how we perform under IRC and among the impressive fleet of competitors.”

“This is the first time we will race the new Swan 90 – DSK so we’ve planned a few days of training prior to the start in St Marten. DSK is an impressive boat and we have a full sail inventory from North Sails which will be putting to the test,” added Andrea Casale.

The team onboard Swan 90 DSK includes: Danilo Salsi (helm), Andrea Casale (trimmer), Francesco Mongelli (navigator), Andrea Scarabelli (navigator/trimmer), Alessandro Franci (trimmer), Vittorio Rosso (trimmer), Lucas Brun (trimmer), Riccardo de Magistris (pit), Niky Mosca (pit), Mark Fliegner (bow), Tristan Cross (bow), Saverio Cigliano (bow), Alessandro Tonelli (bow/rig/trim), Vittorio Codecasa, Dott Maienza and Tatiana Loof (logistics). -