Thursday, April 30, 2009


Photo by Carlo Borlenghi
Ran sailing day 1 Long Distance Race Regate Pirelli Coppa Carlo Negri 2009 in Santa Margherita ITALY

Help Save the Optis...

Every Opti needs a good home .... in California!

Puma Sailing Team on Today TV Show!

The Puma boys where on the Today Show this morning checkout the clip!

Click here to see video.


Want to make your competition freak out at night when you sail by? Check out the new Glowfast Luminous Draft Stripes! They automatically illuminate when it gets dark allowing you to see your entire sail shape simultaneously. They claim to increase performance by as much as 20% at night. So much for using the flashlight! Now all you need are glow-in-the dark telltales!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

RC44 Cagliari 2009 Race Video

BMW Sailing Cup World Final 2009 Lake Garda

Video by BMWwebTV

Take a look at the best inshore sailing location for the World Final 2009: Lake Garda, Italy. Perfect sailing conditions and exciting match races. Eight countries were competing in the high-class amateur racing regatta. Experience the final race in front of a fascinating backdrop.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

SNG in contempt of court...

New York, NY, April 28, 2009 – At Golden Gate Yacht Club’s request, the
Supreme Court of the State of New York today issued an order directing the
defender, Société Nautique de Genève, to show cause why it should not be held
in contempt of court. SNG has refused to comply with the Court’s April 7, 2009
Order and Judgment concerning the dates for the next America’s Cup match.
The court scheduled a hearing for May 14, 2009 at 0930.

In early April the New York State Court of Appeals, in a unanimous 6-0 ruling,
held that GGYC is the rightful challenger, and that the next match would be in ten
months, meaning early February 2010.

However, in a letter last week to GGYC, SNG unilaterally dictated that the match
would be in May 2010 in defiance of the Court’s April 7 Order and Judgment.
SNG and Alinghi officials also made the same statements widely in the media.

“By forcing litigation over our rightful challenge, they have already managed to
delay the match from July 2008 to February 2010,” said GGYC spokesman Tom
Ehman. “Now they seek another three-month delay, in defiance of the Court’s
clear mandate. Enough is enough.”

At a meeting with SNG representatives in Geneva last week, GGYC’s straightforward
proposal for a conventional, multi-challenger America’s Cup in monohulls
was categorically rejected by SNG.

Leg 6 PUMA Arrival in Boston & Interview w/ Kenny

Video by AdonnanteTv

Monday, April 27, 2009

Kitesurfing footy...

That some crazy hair!

Snap, Crackle and Pop! 18's go at it...

'Mast down - Opening day ANZAC 18ft skiffs - Waitemata Harbour' Ross Whitburn.
ANZAC 18's on Auckland Harbour

Aucklanders were treated once again to the sight of Australian and New Zealand 18ft skiffs on the Auckland harbour on Thursday. Due to strong winds racing was cancelled on Friday and Saturday but is hoped to be held on Sunday.

Click here to see video.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Happy To Be In Boston

From Puma Blog: “For us, this leg had a bitter sweet ending. Fourth is not exactly the result we were looking for coming in to Boston, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. It was one of those legs where nothing seemed to go our way. I wish I could say it was effort, the boat, or the sails but I can’t, it just wasn’t our leg. In the end we were fourth best today. Ericsson 4 got a fourth before, everyone has a leg like this. However, we had some great, close, exciting racing up here from Brazil and the whole team is happy to be here in Boston, a place that we can call home.” - Ken Read

Puma sailing into Boston...

(Click on image to enlarge) Thanks to Rick Tomlinson for sending us this photo. It was taken about 20 miles north of Boston!
(Side note: that is one big big Code Zero!)

BMW ORACLE Racing wins... RC44

PRESS RELEASE - RC44 Championship Tour – Cagliari RC 44 Cup
BMW ORACLE Racing wins the fleet race event and the overall Cagliari RC 44 Cup
There were no races in Cagliari today due to the lack of wind. Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts’ BMW ORACLE Racing are the grand winners of the event, ahead of Chris Bake’s Team Aqua and Igor Lah’s Ceeref.

April 26, 2009 – The wind carried on playing tricks with the Cagliari Cup organisers today. Despite a good forecast and some promising moments, Peter “Luigi Reggio had no other option but to send all the teams back to port at 2:30 PM. Winner of the fleet regatta, Larry Ellison’s BMW ORACLE Racing also grabs the Cagliari RC 44 Cup – the combined fleet & match race ranking - ahead of Chris Bake’s Team Aqua and Igor Lah’s Ceeref. Aqua, Ceeref and Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis finish the event on a tie, with seven points each; however the fleet race results are taken into account to separate the teams on equal points, hence offering the silver to Bake and the bronze to Lah.
The Cagliari RC 44 Cup has not offered a wide range of sailing conditions to the teams. Indeed, all the races have taken place in less than 12 knots of wind, and often in very light conditions. Nevertheless, the races have been exciting and the teams seem to be closer than ever. Also interesting to note that the results are very different from the last regatta in Puerto Calero, proving that the Class’s one-design concept gives equal chances to all the teams and that the newcomers have the opportunity to get excellent results, as shown this week by the Calero brothers and their team on board “Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. The next regatta will take place in Lake Traunsee, a mountain lake located in Austria, on May 27 – 31.

They said:

Larry Ellison, helmsman, BMW ORACLE Racing: “I am very happy, because it was really tough behind the wheel this week. The sailing conditions were tricky, but it was the same for all of us. The level in this Class is very tough, and the other owners are very experienced. The team did a great job, and Russell is a fantastic tactician.

Russell Coutts, tactician, BMW ORACLE Racing: “The standard of the fleet is getting higher. Most of the teams have similar sails, and they use similar settings, which keeps all the boats very close from each other. This regatta was very difficult for the helmsmen, because of the waves and the light breeze. It is also an event that rewards the teams who work well together; those who manage to constantly adapt their settings to the mode required by the situation. I am absolutely convinced that the next regatta, on smooth water, will open opportunities to other teams.

Chris Bake, helmsman, Team Aqua: “We were on good form and this is a nice follow through from the last event in Lanzarote. I am really happy with our team: everyone is very focused and cooperative; it’s a strong team, and we also have a very good time together. Cameron Appleton is the pillar of this team, he does a great job.

René Mangold, helmsman, Team Austria: “The result is kind of what we expected for our first regatta. But I saw good signs and I know what we have done wrong. I am very happy that we have joined this circuit. Everyone has been helping us, all the teams are friendly; it is really great.

Karol Jablonski, tactician, Organika: “We are quite happy with our result in the match race, because we are getting closer and closer to the best teams. We are definitely there. We still have some work to do in the fleet regatta, but we are coming together; we just need a little bit more time.

Photo: Copyright Nico Martinez / RC 44 Class: Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts, winners of the Cagliari RC 44 Cup

Opti's fleet grows in California

Photos copyright Leslie Richter
Some great photos of the growing Opti Fleet in the Bay Area... more to come on the story!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Monohull or Multihulls?

Valencia, Spain, 23 April 2009 – A delegation from the Golden Gate Yacht Club and its team, BMW ORACLE Racing, met in Geneva today with representatives of SNG/Alinghi.

GGYC’s clear and straight-forward proposals for a fully competitive, conventional America’s Cup in monohulls were rejected by SNG, who insisted on a regatta in large multihulls under the Deed of Gift (“DoG”).

SNG asserted that the Deed of Gift match with GGYC would take place in May 2010. This is in defiance of the recent decision and orders of the New York courts that the DoG match take place in February 2010.

GGYC has asked SNG to put their position in writing, and hopes to have nother meeting with SNG soon to clarify issues related to the DoG match. GGYC is disappointed that SNG categorically rejected our proposals for a conventional regatta. GGYC will continue to negotiate in good faith as Challenger of Record to put the America’s Cup back on the water as soon as

For additional background, please go to

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

GP42's ready for Audi MedCup Circuit stage one

Final preparations are underway among the six teams competing in the GP 42 Series for Stage One of the upcoming 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit. The field is diverse yet competitive, with both new teams and established teams hailing from Europe and Asia getting ready to converge for racing in 3 weeks in Alicante.

“Our teams are very excited and eager to start racing,” said GP42 Manager Paolo Massarini. “They have been working on their boats and forming up their teams in expectation of a very high level of competition.”

Like their larger bretheren the TP 52’s, the GP 42’s are a highly-competitive evolutionary box-rule class, where the boats must measure to within narrow design tolerances to comply to class rules for level racing. However, these tolerances do allow for subtle differences between boats, which in the hands of clever designers and sailors can be exploited to optimize performance. So many teams have spent the past winter making changes to their boats to optimize for this year based new ideas on what they learned from last season’s racing, upgrades to their sails and equipment, and how they think the race conditions may be different in this year’s MedCup venues.

On Filippo Faruffini’s Italian-based Farr design Roma 2, for example, even though the boat was new for last year incisions were made to the hull’s stern section and the boat narrowed aft in order to reduce wetted surface and enhance light air performance. On José María van der Ploeg’s Spanish Turismo Madrid, this 2007 Botin & Carkeek design will have a new mast and other modifications which “will be made public later,” according to the team.

And on Roberto Monti’s Italian-based Airis, designed by Umberto Felci, the team is opting to work with a sailmaker new to the GP 42s, Olimpic Sails, because “they are very keen to give their full devotion to get a good product to use for the limited sail buttons allowed in this class,” said skipper Cameron Appleton. Read more...

Tricky conditions on day one

Tricky conditions on day one of the Cagliari RC 44 match race contest

Two flights could be completed on day one of the Cagliari Cup match race event. The winners of the day are Team Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, undefeated, and No Way Back, who managed to beat the match race champion Ceeref. Team Aqua, Artemis and BMW ORACLE Racing are also unbeaten.

April 22, 2009 – The first day of the Cagliari RC 44 Cup proved to be tricky for the navigators as well as the race organiser’s nerves. Indeed, big black clouds started building up over Cagliari early in the afternoon, forcing Race Officer Peter Reggio to send everyone home after the two first flights. The nine RC 44’s then sailed back out once the shower and thunder were gone, but only for a short time as the next threatening weather system was arriving fast.

The first flight saw fairly easy victories from Team Aqua, BMW ORACLE Racing and Puerto Calero against respectively Team Sea Dubai, Team Austria and Team Organika. The most interesting match was the one opposing Team No Way Back and Artemis. The two teams kept in contact all along, showing how much the Dutch have improved since the last regatta. Both boats arrived together at the last windward mark, and went into a spectacular dial up that turned out to Dean Barker’s advantage. Despite loosing the race, Philippe Presti and his crew onboard No Way Back got the proof that their long training session in Lanzarote had paid off. They would soon have another confirmation of their progress.

Indeed, sailing in the second flight against the favourite of the match race contest, Ceeref, with Sébastien Col at the helm, No Way Back managed to control most of the regatta, loosing the lead shortly during the second beat but regaining it in the last downwind leg to win the race. Not many RC 44 teams can say that they have beaten Ceeref in a match; No Way Back’s owner Pieter Heerema can tick this one in his list of achievements.

Team Puerto Calero, Artemis and Aqua are unbeaten after two races. BMW ORACLE Racing is also unbeaten; however after sailing only one match, against Team Austria.

Seven flights remain for the 9 teams assembled for this second event of the RC 44 Championship Tour. Peter Reggio will certainly impose an intense rhythm tomorrow. The racing is due to start at 11:30.

They said:
Pieter Heerema, owner, No Way Back: “I am happy because we seem to be more in the race than before. We trained very hard after the last regatta and it has paid off. We had a good session in Lanzarote with Team Puerto Calero; we tuned up together and progressed a lot. We will do the same n16ext month with the Austrians. It is an apprenticeship for all of us. We are learning a lot. At this stage, I am convinced that it is more important for us to spend a week sailing than to buy new sails.”

José Maria Ponce, helmsman, Team Puerto Calero Islas Canarias: “We took very good starts and managed to control the rest of the two races against Organika and Sea Dubai. We had a good speed, which is partly the result of our training session with No Way Back. We tested some trimmings, sails, configurations etc. It was extremely useful.”

Christian Binder, helmsman, Team Austria: “I have been trying to play it too safely today. We took good starts, but just a little bit behind our opponents; then we tried to hunt but our speed wasn’t very good in this light wind. We also had problems with our drop line. We will make a big debriefing tonight to see what we can improve.”

Match-race, provisional results after 2 flights (out of 9):

(Name of team, helmsman, No of victories / defeats, points)

1) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, José Juan Calero, 2/0, 2 points
1) Team Aqua, Cameron Appleton 2/0, 2 points
1) Artemis, Dean Barker, 2/0, 2 points
4) BMW ORACLE Racing, Larry Ellison, 1/0, 1 point
5) No Way Back, Philippe Presti, 1/1, 1 point
6) Ceeref, Sébastien Col, 0/1, 0 point
7) Team Organika, Karol Jablonski 0/2, 0 point
7) Team Sea Dubai, Markus Wieser, 0/2, 0 point
9) Team Austria, Christian Binder, 0/2, 0 point

Photo: Copyright Mario Lastretti / RC 44 Class association: Team Puerto calero Islas Canarias controls the situation against Team Sea Dubai.
Video news updates are available every evening on the Class website:

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Melges 20 Champion In Charleston

Sam Sharpe,
Hollerbach Named Audi Melges 20 Champion In Charleston

The Audi Melges 20 dazzled spectators and competitors alike at Charleston Race Week 2009 with six boats on the line, Marc Hollerbach takes top honors.

21 April 2009 - Congratulations are in order for Marc Hollerbach on USA-21 from Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., as he and his crew complied of sons Ian and Adam Hollerbach along with Morgan Kiss won the much talked about Audi Melges 20 division at Charleston Race Week 2009. Coming in second overall was Geoff Pierini on USA-103 Shakedown, and in third was Canada's Phil Sustronk on USA-102.

Three days and a successful ten race series super-charged the brand new Audi Melges 20 fleet, and the dock talk was simply electric for this milestone event. "This boat has met my expectations and so much more," said a raving Michael Kiss on USA-13 Bacio from Macatawa Bay, Mich. "This boat is it. I am so happy with my purchase. Bow to stern, the value in this boat design is phenomenal. I mean — just look at it. And, the racing. I can't say enough about the racing. Racing in Charleston has been incredible."

Charleston Champion Hollerbach is no stranger to this kind of competition. A former Melges 24 owner, he is a perfect candidate for a haute-couture ride such as the Audi Melges 20. His experience in the similar but different Melges 24 class may have contributed directly to his win however, as Hollerbach stated after practice last Thursday, the enjoyment it brings is also key. "Downwind is just fantastic. It's fast and fun. This boat is easy. The load is nothing. It's great. Anyone can sail this boat. Upwind is all about where you put your weight. This boat is high performance and high technology on the deck."

A walk down the dock on Saturday afternoon, chatting with the Audi Melges 20 teams and owners was inspiring. They congregated like Formula 1 drivers after completing the China Grand Prix. Shop talk, tweaks, tricks, fine-tuning, debriefs, friendships forming everywhere you turned. Crowds gathered around them before and after racing, some teaming with curiosity, others overly-impressed with its sharp and super-sleek appearance. A true example of form follows function, speed follows performance, a distinct competitive-edge follows Melges.

The Audi Melges 20 is special in many, many ways and as with all the Melges breeds, this boat exudes quality, high performance and maximum attention to detail. Undeniably, each owner that raced in Charleston felt every bit of that ingenuity. From the upwind beat, to the each sensational downwind run, to the very tight point contention that carried them to and from the docks each day until the last finish line gun — the Audi Melges 20 delivered.

Obviously, one weekend of Audi Melges 20 racing just isn't enough.

This is the real thing, and it's only the beginning...

The International Audi Melges 20 Class would like to thank each and every owner and team that raced in Charleston. Many special thanks to the event organizers — Brad and Meaghan Van Liew with staff for delivering an outstanding event.

Full Results
1.) Marc Hollerbach, USA-21; 1-3-[5]-1-5-3-1-5-1-3 = 23
2.) Geoff Pierini, USA-103 Shakedown; 5-2-4-[7/DNS]-3-4-2-2-2-1 =25
3.) Phil Sustronk, USA-102; 2-[5]-2-3-1-2-5-1-5-5 = 26
4.) Eric Wynsma, USA-116; 4-1-3-4-2-1-[6]-4-3-4 = 26
5.) Dave Hammett/Linton Weiss, USA-119 Simplified Sophistication; 3-4-1-2-4-5-4-[7/DNS]-7/DNS-7/DNS = 37
6.) Michael Kiss, USA-13 Bacio; 6-6-6-[7/RAF]-6-6-3-3-4-2 = 42

Event Photo Gallery

RC 44 contest in Cagliari

Pro skippers expect a tough RC 44 contest in Cagliari

The second event of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2009 begins tomorrow in Sardinia. The event marks the beginning of DHL’s GoGreen program, aimed at compensating the carbon footprint of the RC 44 Championship Tour. Nine top level teams will compete for the title.

April 21, 2009 – The world’s best skippers involved in the RC 44 Cagliari Cup participated this morning in the event’s opening press conference, held in the beautiful Antico Palazzo di Città, the city’s town hall, in the presence of the Mayor of Cagliari, Dottore Emilio Floris.

“I think this will be a tough event, commented the Championship Tour leader Cameron Appleton. Winner of the season opener in Lanzarote last month, Team Aqua is not necessarily the favourite of the event according to its pro skipper: “The level is very high, and anyone can win. The courses are short, and it is easy to make small & costly mistakes. But we will certainly try hard.

Tactician onboard BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts confirmed that “the level of the Class has never been as high as in this event, and everything is possible. The boats are identical; it is therefore the driver and the team who make the difference. I think that all the teams have a chance to win some races, and many teams can win the overall ranking. I certainly hope that we will do as well as we did last year... read more

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Orange Lines: Puma Ocean Racing

Photo Rick Deppe
Approaching a 500 mile day on the fine yacht, gains on all the last position reports- boat is going well and the crew is happy. What's there not to like! Well, I will tell you one thing. The race is essentially starting over again and the two bloody Ericsson boats are right next to us- essentially tied with us in distance to the finish. We can't ever shake these boats. Magnus Olson said at the pre-leg press conference that he was going to shadow us because he thought we knew how to get to Boston fastest. Well I'm not so sure if that is true because the T-Blue guys seem to be doing a pretty good job thus far- but I didn't think he meant his comment so literally.

We’re kind of tired of looking at a mirror image of Ericsson boats- feels like we are getting teamed up on sometimes. Between you and me, we gauge if they are close or not by the fact we can see the orange head on their mainsails. We call it their pregnancy test. You know, you wait for the stick or whatever it is to turn the special color...something like that...well, their color turned orange. Orange pregnancy lines means they are positively close. No visual on the orange mainsail head means negative, they aren't that close. There have been a lot of positive tests for far this race.

The fire hose is still on full force on deck. I can say that this is some of the easiest 500 mile per day sailing that I have ever done. Warm, not sweltering, warm water, beautiful 20 knot trade winds, open ocean planning across the waves. Just fast, fun sailing that might bee some of the more pleasurable miles ticked off this entire race. It has been a long time coming waiting for days like this. Hopefully it lasts for a bit longer. - Kenny

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Light and Shifty But Cool With It

April 19, 2009 Hyeres, France
Today was day one of the Semaine Olympique Francaise , the fourth leg of the ISAF World Cup . It was a long day with only one race sailed for the Laser Radial fleet. I finished the race in 6th in shifty and light conditions.

Photo: Guillaume Durand
We had a postponement due to lack of wind to start the day. Racing was supposed to begin at 12pm. The postponement was dropped at 12:15pm, and we then had a 20 minute tow to the course area. We are sharing the course with the Finns. They finally got a race off after two general recalls. It was just at the right time for the wind to start getting shifty, not letting us get off a start . We wallowed around until 4:30pm when we finally started our race. We had one general recall before we actually got racing.

I had a great start in the race, on port tack crossing the fleet. Unfortunately, I had a boat on my hip that wouldn't allow me to tack back to startboard on the first shift, and as a consequence, I got stuck in the middle of the course. I rounded the top mark in 12th and didn't really pass any boats on the downwind leg.

Up the next leg, I got in phase with the wind and passed six boats to round the top mark in 6th. I passed one more boat on the reach, but on the last downwind leg, the wind started to get very light. The boats behind us started to bring the breeze down with them to us, but luckily I held onto my 6th place position at the bottom mark to reach into the finish.

I'm pretty happy with how the day went. It was good to get racing, to get rid of the nervous energy.

Tomorrow, our start is scheduled to be at 12pm again. The race committee will try for three races so we can catch up with the schedule. You can check out the results at the regatta website here: Semaine Olympique Francaise I would like to thank Carmeuse for their continued support in my campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Sail hard, Anna

AUDI Melges 32 Sailing Series 2009 Malcesine

Photo: Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Guido Trombetta/BPlan

Photo: Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Guido Trombetta/BPlan

Photo: Carlo Borlenghi, Stefano Gattini, Guido Trombetta/BPlan

Photo: Max Ranchi

Friday, April 17, 2009

Puma City: Fan Pier Boston for VOR stopover

Photo by Tom Thrasher
Puma sets up shop for the Volvo Ocean Race stopover at Fan Pier Boston. Eight days until the Race Village is open!

Bouwe Bekking does it again:

Gabriele Olivo/Telefonica Blue/VolvoOcean Race
Telefonica Blue first across the Fernando de Noronha scoring gate
Leg 6 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09 has been going well for Bouwe Bekking and his crew onboard Telefonica Blue. They had been leading the fleet out of Rio by an ever-growing margin and at 19:50 GMT yesterday Telefonica Blue was the first to cross the Fernando de Noronha scoring gate, adding an additional 4 points to their overall score as they make their way to Boston.

"We have made the right calls since our first night out of Rio, and since then we have been consistent and of course, the boat has been going well," said Bouwe Bekking of his team's performance. "It is a pretty good feeling, especially after all the mishaps in the last leg, we have showed again how quickly we can bounce back. Not only for us as a sailing team, but also for the shore crew who have busted their bums to give us this fantastic boat."

Telefonica Blue has added eight points to the leaderboard in less than two weeks thanks to an easy win in the Rio in-port race and the Fernando de Noronha gate crossing. For Bouwe, the result at this gate crossing may come as no surprise as he managed the same feat in the last edition of the VOR, leading Movistar across this same waypoint ahead of the fleet on the leg from Rio (BRA) to Baltimore (USA).

Currently third in the overall standings, Telefonica Blue has far from finished the 2008-2009 edition of this legendary race. Perhaps good fortune is finally smiling on the Spanish boat considering the difficulties the team has already been up against in this edition of the race.

Bouwe and his crew suffered greatly in Leg 5- their start began delayed by 19 hours and even so they managed to push forward to take the lead at one point on the way to Rio. Then the forestay broke, greatly slowing their progress and resulting in a discouraging last place for the Leg. However the team did all within their power to keep spirits up and it did not take long for them to recover, with the results of the Rio in-port race as evidence of their efforts.

Telefonica Blue began Leg 6 with high hopes, and the miles between the team and the rest of the fleet only continue to grow. As an added bonus, following the latest results including the Fernando de Noronha waypoint crossing, there are only 0.5 points overall in between Bouwe Bekking's boat and their second-place-overall-rivals, Ken Read's Puma Ocean Racing (USA).
When asked where his focus lies for the rest of the leg, Bouwe replies, "the key point is to stay ahead of ERT4, Puma and the rest of the boats when we cross the ridge of high pressure of the Bermuda high- that will be crucial." -

Largest Melges 32 European Fleet

Largest Melges 32 European Fleet Ever Gathers For Audi Sailing Series Event No. 1 In Malcesine

The 2009 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series gets underway on April 17-19 on Lake of Garda, Italy with the largest fleet gathering ever in Europe.

16 April 2009 - An impressive twenty-one Melges 32s are ready to go racing in Malcesine, Italy on April 17-19 for event number one of the 2009 Audi Sailing Series. This regatta marks a major milestone for the European fleet. All eyes have turned to the beautiful Lake of Garda for the ultimate showdown of speed, consistency and high performance racing.

The majority of the fleet is made up of a very strong, and intimidating Italian armada. Reigning Audi Sailing Series Champion Claudio Recchi on ITA-93 Team 93 is back, this time with a new ride and team that includes Jonathan McKee and Melges Europe's Federico Michetti. Lorenzo Santini and his now famous ITA-1 Uka Uka Racing has embellished his crew with reigning Melges 24 World Champion Lorenzo Bressani as tactician. Luigi Melegari on ITA-181 Matrix made a strong showing in 2008, and for 2009 expects nothing less from his star-studded line-up featuring Olympic medallist Matteo Ivaldi.

New to the Italian fleet is Andrea Cecchetti aboard ITA-752 Bagua with Vasco Vascotto on tactics. Roberto Pardini on ITA-172 Janas joins the fleet with Aniello Stinca as tactician. Gabrielle Benussi will keep ITA-186 Calvi Network's Carlo Alberini in check for success. Lanfranco Cirillo has outfitted his Melges 32 with 2006 Melges 24 World Champion Nicola Celon as tactician, Dede De Luca and Stefano Rizzi. European Melges 32 Class President Filippo Pacinotti on ITA-667 Brontolo will have Freddy Loof calling tactics.

Challenging from beyond Italy's border is Tommasso Chieffi, Flavio Grassi and Luca Alberelli on Savino Formentini's MON-1999 Bitipi.

Three teams from Great Britain have signed up — Stuart Simpson on GBR-84845 Team Barbarians, Peter Rogers on GBR-121 Highlife and last, but certainly not least is Joe Woods on GBR-700 Red.

The Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series has implemented a new bow numbering system, that is quite unique. View the Official Audi Release about this special racing aspect of the event.

View The Entire Crew List For The 2009 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series, Event No. 1
The International Melges 32 Class Association is very appreciative of the support of title sponsor Audi, as well as Melges Performance Sailboats and Melges Europe.

The Audi Melges 20 Makes Its Racing Debut In The U.S.A.

Audi Melges 20 racing debuts at Charleston Race Week 2009, April 17-19 with six forming the first U.S. fleet.

16 April 2009 - For the very first time ever in North America, the Audi Melges 20 will race as a fleet at Charleston Race Week 2009. Not only has the event been a great success for event organizers, but in particular, the attendees offer full proof that Melges' sportboat concept has taken hold and refuses to let go.

Racing begins on Friday, April 17 with six Audi Melges 20s and continues Saturday, concluding Sunday. Entries have traveled from the Northeast corridor including veteran Melges boat fanatic Geoff Pierini (Bernardsville, N.J) on USA-103 Shakedown with Anthony Kotoun as crew, and Dave Hammett (Rockville, Md.) on USA-119 Simplified Sophistication has employed the efforts of Annapolis' Paul Murphy. Two-thirds of the fleet hail from the Midwest and Canada. Phil Sustonk (Mississauga, Ontario Canada) on USA-102 has the crew talents of Olympic medallist Mike Wolfs. Michael Kiss (Macatawa Bay, Mich.) on USA-13 Bacio is out in full force as well as Eric Wynsma (Grand Rapids, Mich.) on USA-116 Superfly.

Last, but certainly not least is yet another seasoned Melges sailor — Marc Hollerbach (Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.) on USA-21. He is sailing this weekend with probably the most youthful crew in the fleet. His two sons Ian and Adam were secured as original crew, yet when they arrived in Charleston, together they decided to take on a fourth — Meagan Kiss. Meagan is not only the daughter of fellow competitor Michael Kiss, but she is also part of the U.S. Under 18 Olympic Team, has competed at the Opti Worlds many times over and frequently sails on the international level making her one of the most talented female sailors in the U.S. - Read more Audi Melges 20 Blog.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Palma Vela... Where the big boys play!

MAXI ESSENSE photo : Nico Martinez

MATADOR and PRUEBA 2. photo : Nico Martinez
Lizard of Cornwall in Maxi Cruiser, Favonius in Maxi Cruiser Regatta and @robas in Maxi Mini Cruiser Regatta also leaders in their classes. On friday J80, Platú 25, Flying Fifteen, IRC, ORC and Vintage and Classic will join the competition.

The HUBLOT Palma Vela 2009 has started today with great weather conditions, a good breeze, sunny skies and the Maxis and TP 52´s opening the most spectacular regatta of the season

20 Maxis have taken part in the two windward-leeward races held today, whereas the TP 52´s have run three of them. The course was placed in the Delta-HUBLOT King Power area and covered 9,4 miles. The southeasterly breeze at the 240 ranged from 15 to 19 knots in the afternoon.

The Maxi Cruiser Regatta, the largest boats in the fleet, started their first race at 12:20 a.m. J One, steered by Tristan Kinloch, was over the line but rapidly went back to the start line. The rest of the fleet sailed up the first beat with big Esense ( Wally 143) of Riccardo Magistris, a 143 footer, at the lead. Favonius ( Swan 80) of Roel Pieper won the race, followed by another favorite, Open Season ( Wally) of Tomas Bscher with skipper Mike Atkinson, and Grey Goose (Swan 82 FD) who was third.

In the second race Favonius did a first again, confirming its leadership over Greu Goose and Open Season, second and third repectively. They are also second and third in the overall results, and equal at the moment. Event Website:

From Groupama 3 to Groupama 40

Though the programme for the maxi-trimaran Groupama 3 is living up to all expectations, unfortunately this won't be the case for the ORMA circuit in which Groupama 2 was racing as, due to a lack of competitors, the triple world champion in the series has today been put into storage in Groupama team's yard in Lorient. To fill this void, Franck Cammas and his crew will be participating in the entire iShares Cup circuit, developed for the third consecutive year by Dame Ellen MacArthur and her associate, Mark Turner.

Contested aboard 12 metre long one-design catamarans referred to as "eXtreme 40s", the iShares circuit will make stopovers in six European countries: Italy, France, United Kingdom, Germany, Holland and Spain. Sailing aboard Groupama 40, Franck Cammas will rediscover some familiar faces from the multihull world, notably French sailors Loïck Peyron and Yann Guichard, as well as Australian James Spithill and even the double Olympic medallist Shirley Robertson, all of whom will be racing their own steeds. -

Not so Sour... The updated Pisco Sour TP52

Pisco Sour (former Mutua Madrileña) getting finished up at Carbon Lab. Skipper by the legendary Italian sailor Vasco Vascotto. Pisco Sour will hit the line for the start of the 2009 AUDI MedCup season in a month’s time.

Carbon Lab

A look into Carbon Lab and the work they do on TP52's and anything carbon.

It's a bird! Its a plane! No it's...

Photo: Carlo Borlenghi/ALINGHI and Bruno Cocozza/ALINGHI
Launch of the Alinghi D35 and Ladycat in Villeneuve in preparation for Challenge Julius Baer which start on May 8th on Lake Geneva.

Here are some more cool shots of the D35:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

coming up fast!

Five regattas on the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit means that each single regatta this season is more important, leaving less opportunity for crews to learn, change and optimise on the race course. With just four weeks left to the first regatta of the season, the curtain raiser that is the City of Alicante Trophy, TP52 and GP42 is coming up fast on the horizon.

For teams who have to complete the preparation of their new boats, time will slip away quickly. The new Matador, having been built in Spain for Alberto Roemmers’ Argentinian team, will race this week at the Palma Vela regatta in Mallorca where three or four Audi MedCup TP52’s will compete as an important part of their build up to Alicante. So too John Cook’s Palma based Cristabella and both of the Russian boats Valars 3 (ex Mean Machine, Podolsky Kirill) and Synergy (ex USA 17) be competing at the big start of season regatta.
Time will be short for the two Cookson New Zealand built boats Artemis (Torbjorn Tornqvist, SWE) and Emirates Team New Zealand’s first TP52 which are due to come off the ship in Valencia during the first couple of days in May (Spanish holidays permitting!). Thereafter the following weekend in Valencia a number of boats are expected to train and practise race, before a final work up off Alicante.

2008 Audi MedCup Champion Quantum Racing has been training and tuning recently and has been optimised through the winter months too: “We"ve developed the aero optimization and sail development and introduced changes to the deck detailing and layouts as well as modifications to the structures to further improve the boats dynamic behaviour.” Confirms Shaun Carkeek of designers Botin Carkeek.

Jose Cusi’s 2008 Audi MedCup runner up Bribon was also due to be in action at the weekend and this week, but not racing on her native Palma waters. “We had not really planned it until we realised that we have a good opportunity with so many of the Bribon crew here to race at Palma Vela and a number are based here anyway and so it is a good opportunity.” Says Ignacio Triay, Bribon’s project manager.

Eleven TP52’s and six GP42’s seems likely to be the entry for the City of Alicante Trophy regatta, but both Triay, and the TP52’s class manager Rob Weiland confirm there is still a promising level of interest and activity from all around the world for possible charters for TP52’s for single and two or three Audi MedCup regattas this season.

“I think we might yet still see the same size of fleet at some regattas this season as we had last season which is quite encouraging. There is interest from several different countries which is very encouraging.” Comments Rob Weiland, TP52 Class Manager, who helps match potential charters to existing, available boats.

Racing at the City of Alicante Trophy starts with the Practise Race on Tuesday 12th May, thereafter racing for the TP52 Series points starts on Wednesday 13th May and the GP42 Series points racing starts on Thursday 14th after a Practise Race Wednesday. -

Monday, April 13, 2009


STP 65 LUNA ROSSA - Sailing in Palma - Photos by Jesús Renedo -

Slow Going

We've been experiencing the lightest conditions seen in the race so far. It has been slow going since we started yesterday on Leg Six of the race from Rio de Janeiro to Boston. We saw the remnants of a sea breeze for the first few hours after the start but since then we haven't really seen any more than five knots of wind. We rounded Cabo Frio this morning around 1000 hours, alongside E3 and 4. It is now 1800 and that point of land is still clearly visible behind us. Capey informs me that it's going to be slow for the next few days as well. This is not what we wanted to hear- everyone is itching to get moving and there is a noticeable air of impatience onboard the vessel. We are still alongside the E's, there’s nothing new there. It's not good to be fighting it out with them in the middle while Tele-Blue sneaks along the coast- another layer of frustration.

My own theory is that people are still recovering from the physical and mental toll taken on them by Leg Five. There has been no real down time for months now and a case in point would be Salty and Justin, who had just four days at home in New Zealand before heading back to Rio for the In Port race, so being out here and going between zero and three knots is understandably frustrating. Fortunately, my family came to Rio so I was able to chill out for a few extra days. Now we are back at sea and it always takes me a day or two to get into the swing of things. It’s never any different so I'm grateful for few easy days, although it is a little boring to be going so slowly. Added to that this leg is critical and it would be a shame to see the outcome decided early on in a crap-shoot 100 miles from the start. - Rick

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

Leg six of the Volvo Ocean Race kicked off this afternoon at 1500 local time (GMT -4) in a light south westerly 5 - 10 knots sea breeze, the 4,900 mile leg should see the fleet arrive in Boston in 14 - 16 days. It was a good start for Green Dragon as they stuck close to PUMA at the committee boat end of the line, with Telefónica Black at the pin end.

It was the young Spanish crew on Telefonica Black, who are back in the race after missing Leg 5 due to damage sustained in Leg 4, that had the best start off the line. Skipper Fernando Echávarri led the fleet around the first mark in Guanabara Bay with PUMA and Ericsson 4 hard in pursuit. Pressure from Torben Grael at the mark forced a mistake by the PUMA which allowed Ericsson 4 to slip into second as they headed downwind.

For Leg 5 winners Ericsson 3 it was a shaky start as they headed downwind towards the bottom mark, the crew were unable to drop their spinnaker and a crew member was forced to climb the mast in order to free the sail. This error saw the fleet sail past and out into the open sea, apart from Delta Lloyd who had a slow start and were left trailing in seventh. The fleet then headed out of Guanabara Bay and past the famous Copacabana beach before turning off and heading north out into the open sea along the Brazilian coast.

Telefonica Black’s lead held with Ericsson 4 in second and PUMA chasing in third behind. The battle for fourth continued between Green Dragon and Telefonica Blue and Ericsson 3 had made up some ground after the sail error earlier in the start and were holding sixth place. The newly repaired Delta Lloyd seemed to struggle from the beginning and were left chasing the fleet as they headed out in seventh place.
There is one mid-leg scoring gate opportunity on this leg, set at Fernando de Noronha, before the fleet arrives in Boston on or around 27 April. Event website