Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Melges 32 Sailing Video

Check out this very cool video taken by Melges Europe’s Federico Michetti aboard the Melges 32 with Melges 32 European Class President Filippo Pacinotti and 2009 Crew member Freddy Loof on Brontolo.

Western Hemisphere Championship

A small fleet of Stars has turned up here in Mississippi for the Western Hemisphere Championship also known as the Spring Championship. There is one Spring Championship in Europe and one in North America each year.

This year there are 18 boats here in Pass Christian. My crew, Austin Sperry, lives here so I am staying with him and his wife Sally.

The Pass Christian Yacht Club has been in existence since 1849 and there has been sailing here on the Gulf Coast for 300 years. The only time I have raced on the Gulf Coast prior to this was the 1985 Spring Championship in New Orleans, at the Southern Yacht Club. There is a long standing tradition of racing Stars here on the Gulf Coast.

The schedule for this week is for two races per day, for four days, starting today. There will be one discard in the series.

The forecast for the week is fairly breezy every day with thunderstorms and lots of rain today. So much for the nice sunshine we enjoyed yesterday.

Today the fleet had a practice race which Austin and I managed to win. They say it is bad luck to win the practice race but I wanted to check again to see if that is still true. We also have #13 as our bow number this week so maybe all of that working together is good luck.

In any case, we are lucky to be down here and racing!

If you are waiting for an America's Cup update, apparently the New York Supreme court issues decisions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Today is Tuesday so standby.
Paul Cayard

Cayard Sailing Website

Monday, March 30, 2009

A windy day in Punta Ala... Finn Sailing

International Finn Association Press Release: A windy day in Punta Ala

Over last weekend the Italian Finn fleet met in Punta Ala, Tuscany for the opening event of its Coppa Italia 2009 series. This venue is just a few km south of Scarlino, where the class sailed its European Championships last year.
Punta Ala is also bidding to host the Finn World Masters in 2011.However on the Saturday, racing was abandoned because the northerly wind was too strong at 30-35 knots. But that's just perfect for Finn sailing so some of the younger sailors went out for a blast.
Pictured here are Italy's 2008 Olympic Finn representative Giorgio Poggi, along with Marko Kolic, Riccardo Cordovani and Filippo Baldassari, sailing the Finn the way it was meant to be sailed. They were escorted by a RIB and a photographer and this is the result.

Thanks to Tosca Zambra (http://www.fotozambra.it/) for the excellent photos.

Wall of light breeze...

At midnight on Saturday (28/03), the Portimão Global Ocean Race fleet ran straight into a wall of light breeze with speeds plummeting from seven knots to three and four knot averages with Jeremy Salvesen and David Thomson on Team Mowgli hanging on to the breeze longest to the west of the double-handed race leaders. Over the past 24 hours, the fleet have compressed with both second placed Desafio Cabo de Hornos and Team Mowgli in third taking distance from the lead held by Boris Herrmann and Felix Oehme on Beluga Racer with the Chilean duo of Felipe Cubillos and José Muñoz reducing the deficit by 11 miles and Salvesen and Thomson taking 14 miles from the Germans since light airs trapped the fleet on Saturday... read more @ http://portimaorace.com/

The Yachts on Google Earth!

Nibor has taken boat tracks to a new level with this amazing image which shows boat tracks of all the boats in Leg 5 of the Volvo Virtual Ocean Race. What's amazing really is the variety of different routes sailors have taken. It certainly answers that question "where is everyone?" and looking at some of the tracks "where are they going".

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Prologue Transat BPE

Photos by Benoit Stichelbaut - contact@stichelbaut.com http://www.stichelbaut.com/
Regatta website: http://www.transatbpe.com

First pics J/V 72 RAN

Photos by Jesús Renedo http://www.sailingstock.com/
Jesus came across RAN while traiing in Palma de Mallorca Bay.

TP52 Matador deck layout photos

Some more great photos of the deck layout of the new TP52 Matador photos by Jesús Renedo check out all the photos on his website http://www.sailingstock.com/

Friday, March 27, 2009


On the morning of March 26th, on the ‘dry’ Lake Ivanpah, The Ecotricity Greenbird driven by British engineer, Richard Jenkins smashed the world land speed record for wind powered vehicles. The Greenbird clocked 126.1 mph (202.9 km/h) , eclipsing the old, American held, record of 116 mph , set by Bob Schumacher in the Iron Duck in March 1999 at the same location.

The Samba

Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.
PUMA Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read (USA) finish third into Rio de Janeiro on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the line at 04:27:00 GMT 27/03/09

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ericsson 3 Wins Leg 5

Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race
Ericsson 3, skippered by Magnus Olsson (SWE) finish first into Rio de
Janeiro on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, crossing the line at 10:37:57 GMT
26/03/09, after 41 days at sea.

Banque Populaire 5 just rippin along

Click the HQ button for higher resolution video.

Running out of fuel and food...

Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race Green Dragon go fishing as food runs low, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro
Green Dragon have reached the 40 day mark, the last few days onboard have been long and slow. Today conditions have improved and the Dragon is now up to speed again and making good progress towards Rio. Just 700 miles remain on this epic leg for Ian Walker and his crew, and whilst the weather looked to be against them yesterday as Telefónica Blue closed the gap to within 50 miles. Today brings better news as the distance between them has increased again to over 160 miles. Green Dragon have managed to escape the high pressure that has been a trap for them in the last week.

The Dragon is now in good breeze and sailing at a steady 15 knots.

Volvo’s race expert Mark Chisnell filled us in, “They all had the east or south-easterly wind direction that would be expected to flow anti-clockwise above the high, at 12 o’clock relative to the centre. And in the case of Green Dragon, it was veritably howling, blowing 20 knots.”
Elsewhere Ericsson 3 who were leading the fleet home to Rio have pulled the stealth play out of the bag today at 10:00 GMT, the current routing has them arriving into Rio approximately 9 hours ahead of their sister ship Ericsson 4, who also deployed stealth play at 1600 GMT.
Update from onboard: “We are still in the grips of the ever expanding high pressure. Last night and this morning was the calmest I have ever seen the sea. We went hours and hours without even seeing a ripple on the surface. The crew continue to work hard to move forwards as every mile we get north will help us get in the wind sooner. Right now it looks like we will have to endure another six days to get to Rio. Not good considering our first ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) 4 days ago was tomorrow!

Our fuel situation has become critical as the alternator on the generator isn’t working and we are having to charge off the main engine which takes more fuel. We have switched off all non essentials and are trying not to move the keel (which draws a lot of power) and have calculated we have 6 days left. I think it will still take us 6 days to get to Rio but I am scared of making any more predictions. We have approximately 5 meals left and a bit of porridge so nobody will starve but this is on top of being hungry for weeks - each watch now has its own ration pack and a black market is rapidly developing.

I am not one to dwell too long on any misfortune. Last night I lay on the foredeck looking up at the mast and sails listening to my ipod pondering our situation and I thought of all the thousands of people who would love to go sailing across an ocean on a fantastic boat like this and those who never had that chance. We have that opportunity and we will continue to make the most of it despite less than ideal circumstances. See you in Rio soon I hope!”

Green Dragon Skipper Ian Walker

Read the rest of Ian Walker’s blog here.

Audi MedCup 2008 : the best of the best video!


Photo CNS

Photo J Taylor

24 March 2009 Marina di Scarlino, Maremma Tuscany - Another wonderful weekend of great sailing wrapped up the Spring Open Championship, organized by the Club Nautico and La Marina di Scarlino for the X-35 and Swan 45 classes. This constituted a warm up race in preparation for the III Memorial Giorgio Falck powered by Jaguar, scheduled over Easter weekend from April 10th to the 13th. An exciting couple of days, with sunny skies, northerly winds gusting to 35 knots on Saturday and 15-25 knots on Sunday. On the water top level athletes such as Olympic sailors as Gabriele Bruni and Lorenzo Bodini and America's Cup veterans like Sten Mohr and Morgan Larson faced off on the gulf of Follonica, just in front of the breathtaking Islands of Elba and Montecristo.

The X-35 class victory went to Tixelio owned by Carlo Brenca and with Gabriele Bruni as a tactician in the second weekend (Placements: 4-reparation-5-1-1-4-3-2-1). In second place Giochelotta owned by Francesco Conte and in third AveMaria owned by Maria Balbo. with Peter at the helm.
In Swan 45 class, Finnish Blue Nights, owned and helmed by Tea Ekengren (1-3-1) won in front of Italian Jeroboam Canova, owner Vittorio Codecasa with Marco Franchini at the helm and Matteo Simoncelli, Marketing Director at La Marina di Scarlino calling tactics. Third German Early Bird, owner Christian Nagel.

Carlo Brenca, the owner of Tixelio, winner of the X-35, praised the organization: "Scarlino? Always and any time! For the exceptional race course and for the whole structure,” he said, "Here I feel safe even thanks to the presence of a highly competent yard. Brcin Branco and Gabriele Bruni both did a great job and I am looking forward to racing here again at Easter."

Tea Ekengren, the owner of Blue Nights, winner of the Swan 45: “It is just so nice to be back! I am very happy: it was great sailing and we are pleased with our result. It is truly beautiful here.”

Vittorio Codecasa, owner of Jeroboam Canova, and President of the Swan 45 Class stated: “Racing here for the Swan class is like returning home, the reception on land, the efficiency of the Marina and boat yard and an exceptional race venue makes it a wonderful experience."

A cocktail party was held at the Club House where yacht owner were able to examine the renderings of the apartments and of the commercial mall that will be inaugurated at the beginning of summer. This will complete and enrich the high quality services already offered by La Marina di Scarlino.

The Swan 45 and X35 classes will be back at La Marina di Scarlino over the Easter weekend to race in the III edition of the Memorial Giorgio Falck powered by Jaguar, scheduled April 10-13. For this event at least 25 X-35s and ten Swan 45s are expected. http://www.clubnauticoscarlino.com/

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


See more Photos at http://www.capizzano.com/

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Europa Cup 2009: 452 SAILORS FROM 21 NATIONS...


From Friday 27 to Monday, March 30, Marina di Scarlino will host the Italian leg of the Laser Europa Cup. The Italian national team led by bronze Olympic medallist Diego Romero will be racing on the Gulf of Follonica. The Club Nautico Follonica, the Club Nautico Scarlino and the Group of Vela Lega Navale Italiana di Follonica in collaboration with Assolaser, the Comitato Circoli Velici Costa Etrusca and the support of Furiga Impianti have organized the event.

Marina di Scarlino, March 23rd 2009 - There are 452 sailors who are arriving in Maremma, Scarlino from all over Europe to race in the only Italian leg of the Europa Cup Laser class. A race that has already broken all records, as the number of competitors may easily reach 480, a first for Italy. is not never been reached before for this class in Italy. The class is as usual divided in Standard (Olympic-class for men), Radial (Olympic class for women) and youth 4.7. The ideal weather conditions confirm Maremma in Tuscany one of the best racing grounds. 21 nations that will be represented at La Marina di Scarlino, logistics headquarters of the event: Austria, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Nederlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, San Marino, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and Italy. About 1000 people are expected in Scarlino and Follonica, taking into account athletes, coaches and accompanying persons.

Diego Romero, who just won the bronze Olympic medal, will no doubt be the star of the event. The Italo-Argentinean has begun training again in preparation for the Games in London in 2012, after securing a victory at the Mediterranean Games which took place last weekend in Pescara, Italy.

The organizing committee will place two race courses in the stretch of sea in front of La Marina di Scarlino, which will also serve as a sailing base thanks to the beach immediately north of the harbour. Racing is scheduled to begin on Friday 27th lasting until Monday March 30th, with at least two races per day for each class. An event that will literally cover the Gulf of Follonica and the sea of Scarlino with white sails. Also fed the group of talented local sailors, who will be measured with the best European specialists.

The race is organized in collaboration with the Assolaser, the sponsorship of Furiga Impianti, and the support of La Marina di Scarlino and Avanade

Info: http://www.regatedelgolfo.it/ - http://www.lamarinadiscarlino.com/

Monday, March 23, 2009

I 14's Sailing San Diego NOOD 2009

Post Sponsored By CAMET
A little I14 action during the long distance race for the I14 NOOD regatta in San Diego, CA.

Volvo Ocean Race as reality TV

MTV's "The Real World" takes over the VOR! New featured video - Puma Volvo Ocean Race Team as reality TV.

Leg 5 Day 37 - Kenny is back

Unboard Puma Ocean Racing: Back in action after thirty six hours of pure misery with the stomach flu. I won't get into graphics but it wasn't pretty. As if any of us needed to lose any more weight. I may be running marathons in my next sporting venture because I will certainly have the physique for it!
Plodding along at a snail’s pace right now, frustrated because we can't make any real progress on the E's and are making painfully slow progress on the finish line. At least if we are to be out here longer than projected, give us a weather window to make a run at the two leaders!A simple delivery from here is no fun. 800 plus miles to go, and we are light air upwind at the moment making very little ground.

I am sure we aren't the only boat complaining of lack of food at this point, but we are starting to run pretty low. Every routing run we do after we get new weather is showing longer and longer elapsed times. But even with all that, the tempo onboard the boat is still high and the spirits are generally up beat. Pretty good seeing what we have all been through.

We were always threatened with a 40 day leg, and it looks like that may be the reality or darn close to it. It’s a long time to be on one of these yachts, I can tell you that.

The upside is that most of us have broken out a fresh set of clothing for the final dash to the finish. I wonder if this is what could have gotten me sick? You would have thought that the flu that hit the crew hard the first five days of this leg had run its course and gone, but yours truly got it with a vengeance- about hour hours after I changed clothing. All my new clothes were stored in zip lock bags- I'll have to ask a doctor someday if there is some correlation between the two or mere coincidence!

Finally from a competition side of things, it will be interesting to match up against the boats that were shipped here again in the inshore and the next leg. One by product of not sailing this leg is you’re your allotted sails will only have to sail about 2/3 of the mileage that our sails will have- quite a nice little edge if managed correctly. It will be interesting so see if there is a speed improvement against the group from the boats that were shipped to Rio. Just a thought…

To say at this point that we are looking forward to our families, that first cold beer and a big fat steak...this is the understatement of the century. If the wind gods would only cooperate a bit!!!

- Kenny

RC 44 Class goes green...

Post sponsored by ECO SPORTS BOTTLES

The RC 44 Class goes green and pursues its development at a steady pace

DHL to minimize carbon footprint of the Championship Tour

Following the first regatta of the 2009 Championship Tour, held in Lanzarote last month, the RC 44 fleet is now heading to central Europe for the next regattas. Oracle joins DHL, BMW and SLAM as Partner of the Class, whilst new teams have scheduled their debuts. Some important Class rules have also been updated in order to increase the attractiveness of the Class, whilst Boat no 21 is nearing completion. DHL will minimize the carbon footprint of the champions tour and offset the carbon dioxide emission from transportation.

Hamburg, March 23 2009 – The RC 44 Class Association announced today during a press conference in Hamburg’s Norddeutscher Regatta Verein that it is looking forward to a great sailing season and is very positive about the development of the Class.

With six international regattas on the program, many of the world's best sailors, new teams and the arrival of Oracle as partner alongside DHL, BMW and SLAM, the Championship Tour pursues its development at a steady rhythm.

“We are very pleased to welcome Oracle as a partner of the Class alongside our logistics supplier DHL, BMW and SLAM”, said Class manager Bertrand Favre. The support of these prestigious brands is a fantastic boost and a testimony to the quality of our work over the past years. Read More...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

What it took to win...

What it took to win – a chat with the 2009 Audi Etchells World Championship Team of Racer XY (AUS 874): Jason Muir, Matt Chew, Paul Wyatt & Bucky Smith.

Paige Brooks
NA Etchells Class Correspondent
March 18, 2009
Photo by Andrea Francolini

Last Friday, March 13, this Queensland based team clenched the Etchells Worlds with one race to spare. 85 boats, with crews of highly decorated sailors, competed in the worlds hosted this year in Melbourne, Austrailia by the Royal Brighton Yacht Club. When the last day was cancelled due to weather conditions, Jason Muir’s team had won the Worlds by twenty points over second place Damien King, and twenty-two points over legendary skipper John Bertrand. This team of generation X and Yers (perhaps the reason for the boat name), may be young in years, but they are wise in experience. Muir’s team sat down this week to answer a few questions about their regatta win, and what it took to get there.

Congratulations to you! So has it sunk in yet? What have the first few days post winning been like? Any surprises?

Jason Muir: No, just lots of phone calls from family and friends.
Bucky Smith: Thanks, it’s beginning to sink in. The first few days have been a bit head in the clouds, but that came crashing down when I was faced with catching up with 2 weeks worth of missed work at the sail loft! [Bucky works for Ullman Sails in Brisbane]

Matt Chew: It’s been surreal. At times I’m over the moon happy, at times I’m quite just reflecting, and at times I think it was all a dream.

[Paul Wyatt was unavailable this week due to racing commitments]

Tell me about your other teammates. Are you all professional sailors?

Matt: No I’m not a pro, I have always had a supportive family which has helped me remain a CAT1. Jason owns a chandlery and is a CAT2; Bucky is a sail maker and is a CAT2; Paul is a CAT 1.

Jason: We are all accomplished amateurs.
I met Paul [Wyatt] when he took me overseas in 1984 to crew for him in the inter cadet worlds. We ended up 10th, I think. Adrian Finglas [the team’s coach] put me onto Matty Chew in 2007 for Mooloolaba Nationals and has been with us since. Bucky [Smith] jumped on board just 3 weeks before Worlds and slotted in straight away.

Tell me about your sailing experience.

Jason: I’ve been sailing since I was 11 in sabots, 420s, and 470s. I have won a couple of Australian championships in these classes.

Bucky: I grew up around sailmaking and sailing from a very early age. I’ve sailed a lot of different classes and designs over the past 25 years, both racing and cruising, but the highlight to date has certainly been this Etchells World Championship win.

Matt: I won the 2001 youth world bronze medal in the 420, and more recently trimmed main in one design racing on a Sydney 38 and a Farr 40.

How were the jobs distributed on the boat?

Jason: We work together like we are all joined at the hip - we just click! Matty on main and rig; Paul does compass and works with Bucky on tactics and where all the other boats are. Bucky does weather and tactics and does it very well.

Matt: We work very well as a team as we have a lot of respect for each other. As when it all boils down, we are 4 friends!

Bucky: Basically, Jason steered the boat fast, Matt made the boat go fast with rig setup and mainsail trim, Paul did higher-level strategy and compass numbers and kept in my ear the whole time about all his thoughts, and I did tactics and headsail trim. Obviously, I didn't do tactics in isolation, I ran ideas past all the boys, and often tacking or gybing was a confirmation from Paul or Matt. The key about this was we really came together as a champion team and we all performed our tasks well individually which meant each other person didn't have to give anyone else's task a second thought. Jase and the boys put a lot of trust in me tactically but operating in their team environment made performing the job easy. There was no second guessing, no issues, just positive comments and tactical contribution from the boys with information and ideas to consider before I made the hard decisions. They put a lot of faith in me and I'm very proud and relieved at the same time we were able to put together such a clean consistent scorecard.

Any more about how you work together?

Bucky: Jason asked me to come on board as tactician and headsail trimmer. The great part about that was Jason, Matt, and Paul were already very well rehearsed in running the boat, making it go fast, etc. so I was truly able to come on as tactician and focus 99% of my attention on that task. I believe this was one of the keys to our success. I had all the tactical information at hand and was able to sit on the boat constantly running tactical options and scenarios through my mind to make my decisions. This would not have been achievable without Jason driving the boat perfectly, Matt making the boat go as fast as possible and giving me his tactical input as well, and especially without Paul keeping in my ear about our bigger picture strategy we had come up with before each race and with things like our overall positioning on the race course, the compass numbers info, etc. This enabled me to make informed, quick decisions.

What attracted you to the Etchells Class? What were your results in recent Etchells regattas? How much did you practice together leading up to the regatta?

Jason: The best sailors in the world sail them.
My record in the Etchells so far:
1. 3rd Winter Nationals Mooloolaba 2004
2. 11th Worlds Mooloolaba 2004
3. 3rd Winter Nationals Mooloolaba 2007
4. 2nd QLD state titles December 2007
5. 1st Austrailia National Titles 2008
6. 3rd Winter Nationals Mooloolaba 2008
7. 1st Worlds Austrailia 2009

Bucky: In Australia the Etchells Class is currently the “top of the game” for one design fleet racing. There is no fleet that rivals the Etchells racing in Australia in my opinion and I wanted to sail against the best people. Not only that, Etchells World Titles is one of my favorite regattas for the competition, socializing, and general quality of the regatta.

Matt: As a kid I was totally attracted to the class. They attract the best sailors in the world in a boat that is just beautiful to look at. I have always dreamt of winning an Etchells worlds, but thought it would happen when I was 45 years old due to needing to weigh 90-100kgs. The introduction of 4-up crews opened the doors to many of us dinghy sailors.

Bucky: Regarding our pre-world practice together, basically I came on board about 4 weeks before the worlds. The boat was already prepared very well and was up to speed. We did a few club races together and the Brisbane Fleet Championships, which we won. After the fleet championships we were able to identify areas of improvement in our on-water processes regarding crew work, tactical information gathering, starting strategy, and decision making. We then took the boat to Brighton and did the pre-worlds regatta and kept building on what we were learning about how were racing the boat and interacting together and communicating on board.

Was winning the Worlds a goal for your team? How did you go about preparing to win? Was physical fitness a big part of it? How did you handle the weight limits?

Jason: YES it was a big goal of mine.

Bucky: I’m sure winning the worlds was a dream for all of the team and definitely on our minds. But we set modest expectations before the regatta; we really didn’t focus on the result too much in order to minimize pressure and also to make the main focus the processes involved with sailing the boat well.

Matt: Yes. We won the nationals the previous season and the worlds were an achievable goal, along with 10 other boats that in any given series could have won.

Bucky: Physical fitness did come into the program a bit. We are all keen cyclists and Matt and Jason extend this to triathlons. Regarding the weight limits I had to lose a few kilos to make my target! I switched my training focus to aerobic based activities like running, swimming, cycling, etc., and basically went on a diet for a month!

What did you all do to prepare the boat? What sails did you use? How much tuning did you do with other teams? How did they help? Did you have help from a coach –what sort of work did he have you do?

Jason: We had a great team of guys who do their jobs very well. We sailed AUS 874, but did very little to prepare the boat and used North sails.

Matt: We do very little tuning. We use a widely used tuning guide on stock standard sails. Our boat speed edge comes from what we see and feel.

Bucky: I was lucky enough to step into Jason’s program which already had a very well prepared and fast boat and the boys had already put in a lot of the hard work with boat preparation, equipment testing, tuning, and coaching. Luckily, my longer-term coach happened to be the same coach as theirs – Adrian Finglas – and this definitely helped me slip comfortably into Jason’s team and fit in.

We read a bit about your strategy for the last few races, what was your strategy at the beginning of the week? What were your toughest moments?

Bucky: The main element of our overall regatta strategy was based on being conservative and going for consistent top 10 finish. My plan was top 15 places in the races would be respectable, consistent top 10 finishes would put us in the top 5 overall and in a position to play the game at the end of the regatta, top 5 finishes on average would easily win the regatta. This meant we were on a mistake-minimizing strategy, risk-minimizing, but taking the opportunities as they presented themselves. Essentially, keep it clean at the start, get on the lifted tack or head to what I though was the favoured side of the course, get the boat going as fast as possible for as long as possible, minimise tacks upwind to keep the boat at full speed as long as possible in the lighter conditions, sail in lanes of clear air, stay in phase, etc., be top 15 at the top mark and chip away from there, if the opportunity presented itself to win a race later in the race then we could get a bit of separation and leverage but don't risk losing places in the process - easier said than done though!!

Matt: Very simple. Sail the favored side, take minimal risks and let the other players lose the event. That’s basically how it happened. We nailed every first beat and we were in the top 15 at the top mark.

Bucky: Our race strategy was initially based on the weather models I was getting. I looked at what the models were saying the wind would do around the start time, and then finalized on-water when I was able to compare what the wind was actually doing to what the models predicted and my own judgement. An overall start and first beat strategy was usually agreed upon by 10 mins to go to the warning signal. We also had to adapt to any weather changes in the final 15mins to the start.

The toughest moment was probably missing a big left-hand shift after the start of race 7 and having to take a lot of sterns to get out to the favoured left side of the course. We made it out there eventually and got to the first top mark in good shape but there were some pretty tense times on the boat on the way.

Jason: The toughest moment for me was steering at 110% for long periods of time. Very mentally challenging - it's hard work -you can't take your eyes of the jib at any stage.

You won the regatta without a single bullet, does that surprise you or was that part of the plan?
Jason: It was part of the plan we just wanted to finish inside the top ten in every race

How did you feel about the competition (John Bertrand, Jud Smith, Chris Busch Stuart Childerly, etc). ?

Matt: Amazing respect.

Jason: They are all awesome sailors it was a big thrill to beat them.

Bucky: The pre-worlds regatta gave us a good idea of the main competition and really just confirmed in our minds who was fast. In terms of specific competitors, I have always maintained that I was well aware of the calibre of who we were up against. Every race I knew of the company we were in, and I had the utmost respect for John Bertrand (and his team of Ben Ainslie and Andrew Palfrey), Jud Smith, Chris Bush, Stuart Childerly, even the Barry boys, along with many others in the fleet. In fact, we went through the entry list after the pre-worlds and specifically identified who we thought were going to be the top 10 (this was tough because of so many top crews) and we memorised their bow numbers and sail numbers, and the Barry boys [who finished 2nd overall] were on the list right from the start. This made it much easier to know who was where on the race course and I think this is testament to how much respect we had for the fleet, basing some of our decisions on where our top competitors were positioning themselves on the race course.

Matt: I have grown up following all of those guys. To race against them at the highest level is an amazing honor. The greatest moment in my life was receiving a standing ovation from them

And finally, how was the Worlds event? What was the club like, the social events…any good stories you can share? What’s next for you

Bucky: The Worlds as an event itself was awesome. We got a great weather window at the regatta location and had nice mostly sunny skies and light-medium air. It was truly fantastic but tricky and shifty sailing conditions. The Royal Brighton Yacht Club and Melbourne Etchells Fleet put on a fantastic event and it was a real privilege to be part of such a successful event on and off the water.

Matt: What’s next… Well I don’t know exactly. My idea was to have a couple of months off and get a perspective on things and to deal with some real world issues. However I’m sure the holiday won’t last long as the phone is ringing with some great offers .

Jason: No not really any good stories...I am fairly low key these days, but let me say the yacht club did an amazing job. As for what’s next, I don’t know, I will go back and do some triathlons for a while.

Now that you have a berth in every future Etchells Worlds, do you plan to go to Ireland in 2010 or San Diego the following year? I didn’t know that - it might change things a bit….

Once again, congratulations to you all for a job well done.


Casey Smith rounded Cape Horn naked...

Casey and Sid getting a Royal flush Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Update from Puma blog: They pay us for this!
And they pay us to do this! A fantastic rounding of Cape Horn yesterday- 30 knots of wind, big waves and daytime to boot. We only got to see the actual rock way off in the distance but that’s okay. Rounding Cape Horn is a big bag full of emotions- relief that you are alive and out of the danger that is ever present in the Southern Ocean, regret that you may not come this way again, and a sense that you are passing not only a geographic landmark, but perhaps an important and significant milestone in your life. Capey's been ‘round seven times so I'm not sure it has the same relevance to him but he did seem a little chuffed and celebrated in his own special way, as did another member of our crew...

Casey made good on his promise to get nude at the Horn! It was absolutely hilarious watching him come out of the hatch in his birthday suit, accompanied by Sid in tights, before together running to the bow and hanging onto the headstay for a photo-op where they got drenched by a freezing Southern Ocean wave before running back and driving the boat for a minute. I wondered what the people at Volvo would make of this! I'm sure they had good reason to introduce the under 30 rule, but I bet no one anticipated some of the potential consequences.
It was tough moment for a MCM- standing there on the pitching deck with a camera in both hands, waves breaking over the deck, and people running around everywhere. Everyone wants a picture, plus I need to get video. Fortunately, we slowed the boat down for about five minutes and by that I mean we bore off a few degrees so the boat doesn't actually go any slower but the water coming across the deck is reduced a little.

We were little disappointed to come around in third place, but congratulations to both the Ericsson team, and nice work hanging in there by the guys on E3. That said we came round in good shape- boat and crew are all in one piece, spirits high and we are ready for a fight to the finish. We're hanging in there for now but hopefully there will be some opportunities up ahead for the monster.

- Rick

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Puma & E4 round Cape Horn

Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
PUMA Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read (USA), celebrate rounding Cape Horn in third place at 20:46 GMT, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race

Guy Salter/Ericsson 4/Volvo Ocean Race
Ericsson 4 celebrate rounding in Cape Horn in second place at 14:48 GMT. Skipper Torben Grael, ticking the box for the second time, said: "Cape Horn for sailors is like climbing Mount Everest."

For the leaders, the treacherous conditions anticipated at the Horn did not materialize with wind conditions in the 25-30 knot range and moderate seas. On the final approach, Ericsson 4's Media Crew Member Guy Salter handed out plaudits to his stable mates.

The Ericsson 3 boys have managed to hold us off and fair play to them they played a good move early after the last scoring gate a move which none of the rest of us were as brave to play and go against all that is traditional with the NZ to the Horn leg.

Ericsson 3 Frist Around Cape Horn

onEdition Photography
Volvo Ocean Race
Magnus Olsson and his team of Nordic sailors onboard Ericsson 3 rounded the legendary Cape Horn at 1222 GMT today in pole position and in daylight, gaining maximum points at the scoring gate. For every sailor, the achievement of rounding this notorious Cape, which is the tip of one small island with a lighthouse, situated in one of the most remote areas in the world, is never diminished, no matter how many times they do it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

TP52 Matador Sets Sail

Photos by Costa

Photos by Costa

Photos by Costa

Photos by Costa

Photos by Costa

Photos by Costa

Photos by Costa
Some pictures of the latest TP52 built by King Marine (Argentinian boatyard) here in Valencia under the directions of Ezequiel Sirito.

She’s a Judel/ Vrolijk design built for Alberto Roemmers of Bs As and skippered by Guillermo Parada. Mast is Southern, Sails N/S Argentina, Winches Lewmar, Hardware Harken, Running Rigging Trabajos en Cabos from Palma and Electronics VMG Spain.

The boat was launched three days ago and is fully sailing since then. First race will be Palmavela, April 15th.

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/VolvoOcean Race
Guo Chuan (CHI) and Justin Slattery (IRE) The crew of Irish/Chinese entry Green Dragon celebrate St Patrick's Day in the Southern Ocean, on leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Qingdao to Rio de Janeiro.

Terry Hutchinson on 2009

Photo by M Ranchi
Interview by Justin Chisholm - Offshorerules.com

Terry Hutchinson is one of the world’s most well known professional sailors. His racing CV includes match racing success, multiple one design national and world titles, as well as participation in three top flight America’s Cup campaigns. Last year at the helm of Quantum Racing’s TP52 he dominated the European circuit, winning the Medcup Regatta Series and the class World Championship. Later in the year and also sailing a Quantum boat he took out the hotly contested Melges 24 North American Championship. To round out a memorable year Hutchinson was awarded the prestigious Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award and was been appointed as international spokesman for Quantum Sails.

This year Hutchinson will be defending his TP52 titles as well as sailing as tactician on Jim Richardson’s Farr 40 Barking Mad and also taking a tilt at the Melges 24 World Championship in Annapolis. We caught up with him to find out more about him and ask how he plans to top last year’s performance.

OR: Terry for you last year was a sensational one by anyone’s standards. Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, TP52 European dominance, Melges 24 NA Champion. What are your thoughts about 2008 now?
TH: The 2008 Rolex award was quite an honour for me. It is a privilege to be considered as a member of that group of people. That said, the year was awesome because so much work and effort went into it from a lot of people other than just me. All the programs - TP52, Farr 40, and Melges 24 each benefited from having great people involved. The Rolex award is really an acknowledgement of all the great team’s that I was so fortunate to have been a part of in 2008.

OR: How is the 2009 season shaping up?
TH: My personal goal for 2009 is to continue to compete in the same manner and at the same level as in 2008. The reality is that it is very difficult to continually win events and frankly 2009 has started not as well as 2008. For one reason or another first three events of the year have only resulted in only one podium finish…Read full interview