Sunday, May 31, 2009


GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC44 Class Association.
Cameron Appleton, tactician, Team Aqua: “I am very proud of our result. We fought until the last race and it was amazing to see the top three boats sailing so close from each other in this last regatta. We had control over the situation half way through, but then I didn’t manage to prevent Artemis’ come back.

Report By Paul Cayard
The Lake of Traunsee was not too kind to us today. Four very mediocre finishes pushed us down to 6th overall. The team from Holland in No Way Back, won the event. Artemis and Aqua followed.

The sun actually came out for the day which made things a lot more pleasant. There was plenty of snow around in the hills after all the rain of the last two days. There wasn't much wind up at the Gmunden end of the lake so after the first race, things were moved completely down to the other end, about 10K from Gmunden.

This is a beautiful place especially when the sun is out. Idylic really. Nice weekend homes for the people of Linz and Salzberg.

The RC 44 is a great boat and I hope to do some more sailing in the class.

I am back to San Francisco tomorrow and training on Flash next weekend for Trans-Pac with Danny and Allie and the rest of the Flash team.
Cayard Sailing Website

Puma on top in Galway

Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race

Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race

Photos Vincent O'Brien
PUMA Ocean Racing, skippered by Ken Read (USA) come first in the In-port Race in Galway Bay.
It's About Time!!!
"It’s about time! Our first big win has been a long time coming in this race and we’re thrilled. The chemistry onboard is terrific right now. The PUMA shore crew this week put a completely bashed up boat back together in just a couple of days and this win is for those guys. Those guys were absolute studs and studettes this week. They weren’t exactly what we’d call ‘our conditions’ out there, but we have been steadily improving as the race has gone on and we have never lost faith. We made some changes to our sail programme for today which also clearly worked.
The first race was great, you could almost say it was better than the second in a way. We didn’t have the best start, so to get back up to third was great. To get a good race out of a mistake – that’s a big deal. Second race, if you get the best start, and you go the right way...sure enough you win. We knew we needed to get some boats in between Telefonica Blue and us, which is why we put in so many tacks. Rob Greenhalgh (GBR), our tactician made some great calls and did a really nice job out there today. Every once in a while it all comes together"-Ken Read
Posted by PUMA Ocean Racing Team at Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Ceeref team had a great day...

Copyright GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC44 Class Association
RC 44 - Gmunden, Austria
Paul Cayard
Friday, May 29, 2009
The Ceeref team had a great day today, winning the day with a 2nd and a 1st place in the fleet racing. The conditions were fairly windy and very shifty.

With owner Igor Lah at the helm, we got off the line well in both races. We fell a bit behind on the first leg of the first race as Artemis took control. We managed a good comeback on the second windward leg and final run to finish second.

In the second race, the wind was building. We started in 15 knots. The wind was shifting from 270 to 300 every three minutes. It wasn't the same over the course. Very tricky! We had a good start and played the first few shifts off the line. By the first windward mark we had a 100 yard lead. Artemis was looking good again up half way up the beat but got too far left and rounded about 5th.

We got a nice puff and extended down the run. At the bottom of the run, a strong gust came through.... about 35 knots. We had just gotten around the bottom mark and were going up wind as BMW Oracle and Artemis were coming downwind straight at us, pretty much out of control. I thought they were going to hit us and told our guest to get ready to avoid them. They both missed us and both broached. There was carnage all over the place. Gennakers flagging, boats on their side, etc.

We, and the fleet, managed to sail the second windward leg with way too much sail up. The wind shifted hard to the right as this front passed very quickly and the final run was a 2 sail reach in 30 knots of wind. The boat was going 21 knots! Igor did a great job of keeping the boat under control. Igor has only been sailing for two years and clearly doesn't know everything about the sport. But it was very clear to me that he had a great feel for "balance" and he instinctively sailed the boat to the right heel angle. This is a hard thing to teach someone but Igor seems to have that inside him.

The wind died after that front went through, then we had plenty of rain. After that it went clam and then we were told of another squall coming and ordered to the moorings. We just got to the moorings when the next line of squally hit. Lightning and hail. The call came, "Let's just scrape the snow off the jib before we put her down below." Mate, I don't thing I have heard that call in a long time.

Tomorrow we will have a bit of an earlier start and hope to get about 5 or 6 races in.
I haven't seen the scores but I know we won the day and Artemis was second with a 1, 4.
Cayard Sailing Website

Thursday, May 28, 2009

RC 44 Report

GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC 44 Class Association
Report by Paul Cayard
Wednesday, May 27, 2009

We had a good day onboard Ceeref today winning three races and losing just one. The conditions were tricky as seems to be the norm here and this caused more than a few lead changes.

Before things got going, our boat captain Josh did a great job getting down to the boat at 0700 to check her out. He even dove on the boat and found that the trim tab had been damaged by one of the mooring lines the night before in the storm. He and a couple of the crew took the boat down to the end of the lake, about 10 miles away, hauled it and tried to put in the spare tab. It did not fit so they put the damaged one back in, sanded it a bit and we raced like that. Luckily we had a bye in the first flight of racing so we did not miss anything.

We actually led around every mark of every race we were in. In our first race, we lost the lead on the final run to the finish when the boat behind gybe set and got a puff of wind we never saw. Other than that, we never crossed behind anyone. I could not have hoped for much more than that. Most importantly, my friend and fellow team member from the 1983 America's Cup, Rod Davis, kindly let me beat him so I could win the master division.

If you want to read more about the day this is a descriptive article.

So tomorrow we have the last four matches. We start out with Artemis where Dean Barker is the helmsman. The forecast for tomorrow isn't great but I think we just have to reset our idea of good wind down to about 4 knots with 40 degree shifts and then it will all be normal.

We had a nice party tonight in an old palace half way down the west side of the Lake. There was a church in this place from the 12th century. Most places we go are very international really. If you go to Palma or St. Tropez or San Francisco, you can find anything. This place is very old and very Austrian. Cayard Sailing Website

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Volvo Ocean Race 2008 - Leg 7 - Ericsson 3 damage

Volvo Ocean Race 2008 - Leg 7 - Ericsson 3 damage

Back to the drawing board

Photo credits : Loris Von Siebenthal
Alterations under way for the SYZ & CO hydrofoil catamaran

Geneva, 27 May 2009 – Since her maiden flight at the beginning of April, the SYZ & CO hydrofoil catamaran went through an intensive training campaign that has permitted to validate her capacity to fly and has demonstrated the boat’s huge speed potential. At the end of this first test phase, the project team has identified, together with the architects and engineers, several possible alterations to improve her performance and has decided to take the boat out of the water in order to optimize it in time for the record season.

For nearly two months, the team of the SYZ & CO hydrofoil catamaran has multiplied the trial runs in different weather conditions and has accumulated massive amounts of data with the onboard recorders. This initial phase has allowed to measure the stress imposed on the different parts and above all to validate the foil concept. Not only does the boat react very soundly when flying, but the team has managed to achieve some bursts of speed which demonstrate her capacity to beat the different speed records on Lake Geneva. Another reason of satisfaction: all the foil-tuning and mast-tilting hydraulic systems function to perfection.

The analysis of all the gathered data and the surveys performed by the architects and engineers have also pinpointed several modifications that could increase the boat’s performance, particularly in Archimedean mode with light winds. Moreover, the stress sustained by the structure turned out to be less important than expected, allowing for further weight reductions.

As wind conditions during the summer months tend to be fairly light and therefore not favorable to pure speed, the team has preferred to implement these alterations immediately. The boat has thus been taken out of the water yesterday and brought back to the shipyard in order to quickly start working on the changes and optimize her performance in view of the record season at the end of the summer.

Besides maximum speed, these evolutions will make the hydrofoil catamaran fully competitive in light wind regattas.

«Naturally we are disappointed not to take part in this year’s Bol d’Or Mirabaud on board the SYZ & CO hydrofoil catamaran, but this was an eventuality for which we were prepared, given the complexity of the project » explains Alex Schneiter. « We had to start work as soon as possible in order to launch our quest for new speed records by the end of the summer.

More information :

The full force of the Atlantic

The full force of the Atlantic Volvo Ocean Race

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

RC 44 - Gmunden, Austria

RC 44 - Gmunden, Austria

Tomorrow will be the first day of racing for the RC44 fleet here in Gmunden. The RC44 is a relatively new class of boat designed by Russell Coutts and Andre Justin. It looks like a 1/2 scale of the America's Cup boats from 2007. But it is relatively lighter and very high performing. It planes downwind in 16 knots of wind and it is fully powered up in 7 knots upwind. It is a one design class and the boats are very high tech being built out of carbon fiber and even having a trim tab on the keel fin.

The RC 44 fleet has a circuit around Europe and the Middle East.ᅠ So far this year, the fleet has competed two events, one in Lanzarote and one Cagliari, Sardinia.

I have been asked to sail onboard Ceeref for just this regatta as the tactician, Sebastian Col is off doing one of the World Match Race Tour regattas.

The format for racing in this class is: Wednesday and Thursday Match Racing where a professional can steer the boat and Friday-Sunday is Fleet Racing and an armature must steer the boat which is usually the owner.

So we will race each other team once in a round robin over the next two days. There are some very good match racers here and I haven't match raced in a while so it will be a good challenge for me.

Gmunden in on Lake Traun. This lake is nestled at the bottom of some very high mountains. So far, two of the three days, the wind had trouble getting down to the lake with any kind of steadiness. Yesterday was a fantastic day with the wind blowing down the length of the lake due to thermal convection in the mountains at the far end of the lake. The lake is about 8 miles long and 2 miles wide. It makes for a beautiful setting. There are many summer homes here is Gmunden is just 40 minutes from Salzburg.

A big wind just blew through the town and knocked a couple of the boats off their mooring. I am told there was a bit of damage to one of them when another drifted into it.ᅠ We'll see in the morning.

It has been about 33C for the past two days but the temp is supposed to drop to 15C tomorrow.
Cayard Sailing Website

Monday, May 25, 2009

120,000 people... Vendee Globe!

Photos by Jean-Marie Liot/DPPI/Vendee Globe
120,000 people on the beach in Les Sables d’Olonne for the prize-giving ceremony

At 10.30 in the evening on Saturday, the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe skippers climbed one after the other onto the huge podium erected on the beach for the official prize-giving ceremony for this sixth Vendée Globe. No fewer than 120,000 people turned up for this show that was entirely free and packed with emotion. One final opportunity to applaud the sailors, but also an occasion to look back at this historic race. During the evening, the date of the start of the next Vendée Globe was revealed. It will begin on 21st October 2012.

As night fell over Les Sables, the show began. A highly emotional atmosphere with a joyful crowd watching the large stage set up on the beach in Sables d'Olonne.

One by one the skippers, who kept millions of fans so excited, would make their appearance. On the giant screens on either side of the stage, the audience was able to watch the highlights of the race. There would be all the emotion of the start, footage of the storms, the moments of stress and anguish, the skippers being forced to retire, the rescues. Then, all the joyful moments: Michel Desjoyeaux's amazing comeback, the ecstasy of each finish. To conclude, there was a giant fireworks display over the beach and sea to close the evening a quarter of an hour after midnight. - For more information:

MEDCUP 2009 Recap Alicante

Video by AdonnanteTv

Volvo Ocean Race 2008 - Leg 7 - Ericsson 3 Galway, Ireland arrival

End Leg 7 - Volvo Ocean Race

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race
Green Dragon, skippered by Ian Walker (GBR) finish third on leg 7 from Boston to Galway, crossing the line at 02:31:18 GMT 24/05/09

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.
Ericsson 3, skippered by Magnus Olsson (SWE) finish seventh on leg 7 from Boston to Galway, crossing the line at 05:58:59 GMT 24/05/09

Galway, Opening Ceremony for the the Race Village in Galway, Ireland The guests of honour at the opening ceremony Sunday evening included the seven race skippers, along with the Prime Minister of Ireland, Taoiseach Brian Cowen; the Mayor Galway, Padraig Conneely; Ireland's Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism Martin Cullen; and the CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, Knut Frostad.

Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race
Thousands of people turn out to see for the Volvo Ocean Race Opening Ceremony in Galway

The Docks: GP of Monaco

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New York YC Match Race Clinic and Regatta

Final Day - New York YC Match Race Clinic and Regatta E-mail May 23, 2009 Boston, MA

I’m sitting in Boston airport waiting for my flight to Amsterdam for my next event, the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherland. But today we wrapped up the New York YC Women’s Match Race Clinic and Regatta, and what an exciting day it was. We came from behind by two races to win the event 3-2 over Sally Barkow and team.

The day started overcast, with showers and light shifty winds. Yesterday we advanced into the semi-finals where we were paired up with Lotte Pederson from Denmark. We completed the first two races of the semi’s yesterday and took a 2-0 lead. Today we had to win one more of the three scheduled races to advance to the finals. We had a great start against Lotte in the first race, but she managed to catch up to us by the top mark. On the downwind leg, we managed to pass her and took control of the race to advance to the finals against Sally Barkow. Sally defeated Genny Tulloch 3-0 in her semi-finals match.

It was the finals’ match up we were looking forward to. The conditions were still light and shifty with a current that was pretty strong in places and not in others. The first race of the series we had an even start with Sally and rounded the top mark on the outside of her. At that point I made a big mistake and tried to gybe my boat, but was unsuccessful. We lost our spinnaker and it was enough for her to pull ahead and control the rest of the race. The next race, the conditions had changed so that there was a big current relief on the left side of the course. We knew this, but didn’t quite realize it was as big as it was.

We started to the right of Sally with about 10 boat lengths separation, but it was enough put her in the relief and us in the current. At that point, we had lost the race about 30 seconds into it. But we kept up our spirits and knew that we could rally back if we put our minds to it. And we did. The next race, the conditions were similar, but this time, we took control of the left and Sally was on the right.

We had pulled a race back, and we were feeling good about it. The next race seemed to be over at the start as we were over the line early and I took a long time returning. But again we kept our heads in it and the conditions at this point were getting very tricky. Sally rounded the top mark ahead of us by about 30 seconds, but then sailed into a lull. We rounded the mark and lined ourselves up with the next puff. We rode this puff all the way downwind to catch up to Sally and claim inside at the leeward mark. We held her off on the next upwind to go on to win the race.

The series was now tied 2-2 and we were very excited for our last race. We had a great start again, and rounded the top mark again on the outside of Sally. We soaked low on the downwind to gain great position for the gybe we would need at the leeward mark. Sally threw in a gybe, but did it a bit too close to us and drew a penalty. Although she burned it soon after acquiring it, she gave us the lead. We went on to cover up the next leg and win the regatta overall 3-2.

It was a great series and we had a lot of fun. We learned a lot of great things that I’m looking forward to putting into practice next time we match race. I had a fabulous team sailing with me, Molly Vandemoer, Molly Carapiet, and Liz Bower. Unfortuantley, both Mollys have to go back to full time 470 sailing, so this was our last match race event together. It was a great way to end our time together, and we are keeping a check on our schedules to see if we can do another event at some point, but they are committed to the 470 for the London Olympic Games so have to put their time into their goals. But as I said, it was a great way to end our time together and I owe all three of my crew a big thanks for getting us around the race course very quickly.

So now I’m on my way to Holland where we start racing on Wednesday, May 27th. I will write updates during the regatta, but I’m not sure as to what my internet situation will be. I will send out an update before the event starts with a link to the regatta website so you can follow along there.

I would like to thank my sponsor Carmeuse for their continued support of my campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Sail hard, Anna

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Twitpic: Alfa Romeo arrives in Long Beach

Twitter post: By JohnSangmeister: First Transpac competitor arrives in Rainbow Harbor Alfa Romeo is a Reichel-Pugh designed 30 meter ocean racer. : She is expected to break the L.A.- Honolulu record and may cross in under six days!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Photo by
The American Sailing League (ASL) redefines sailboat racing with its second annual Championship Series at PIER 39 on San Francisco Bay. A series of races will take place on Saturday, May 30, 2009 and Sunday, May 31, 2009 from noon – 5 p.m., with teams competing just off the bay end of PIER 39. These 18-foot skiffs are among the fastest and most exciting in the sport today. They can reach more than three times the speed of average sailing yachts. The races combine all of the athletic skill and daredevil stunts of the X-Games with the breakneck speed and spectacular wipeouts of NASCAR. “Last year was PIER 39’s first year of hosting the American Sailing League Championship Series,” said Sue Muzzin, PIER 39’s Director of Public Relations & Advertising. “It’s a great waterfront event that appeals to our broad range of visitors. We are looking forward to working with ASL and growing their Championship Series at PIER 39.”

The list of competitors reads like a who's who of American skiff sailing, with such names as Howie Hamlin, Fritz Lanzinger, Matt Noble, Chad Freitas, Patrick Whitmarsh, Rory Giffen, Joey Pasquali, and Andrew McCorquodale. Teams will complete in elimination heats on Saturday and the first half of Sunday, culminating in a high stakes, single race championship round. The winner goes home with a cash prize.

The American Sailing League was founded by Jeff Causey and Thomas Loughborough, of Causey/Loughborough Racing LLC, as a vehicle to bring Grand prix 18 Foot Skiff racing to the United States, and offer a platform for a new generation of young American sailors to showcase their talent. Causey/Loughborough Racing and The American Sailing League have leapt to the vanguard of this revolution, working with San Francisco’s own Skiff Sailing Foundation to facilitate the growth of skiff sailing across the United States. -

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Photo update VOR

Photo by Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Rough weather onboard Green Dragon

Photo credit: Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
On deck instrumentation onboard Green Dragon (Click On Image to Enlarge!)
Photo credit: Rick Deppe/PUMA Ocean Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Telefonica Blue can just be seen in foggy conditions, from PUMA OceanRacing,

Photo Gustav Morin/Ericsson 3/Volvo Ocean Race
Aksel Magdahl and Thomas Johanson checking the weather charts onboardEricsson 3, on leg 7 from Boston to Galway

view from the top

Photo by Juerg Kaufmann.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Green dragon sustain dammage

Photo credit: Guo Chuan/Green Dragon Racing/Volvo Ocean Race
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Green dragon sustain dammage to their leeward, port daggerboard, after hitting a lobster pot, on leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race from Boston to Galway.

2009 iShares Cup in Venice

Gitana Extreme-Groupe LCF Rothschild wins the first event of the 2009 iShares Cup in Venice

Great starts, impressive speed and flawless manoeuvres allowed Yann Guichard's crew to shine on the racecourse since Day 1 at the iShares Cup Venice, taking the lead yesterday after 10 races... Winning the first one today, the French team proved omnipresent in the leading group, making very few mistakes and gradually capitalising on points to move closer to final victory after each race. The wind direction today forced the Race Committee to set-up oblong courses leaving few tactical options to the skippers, and more than ever winning the first mark was key - any hesitation or imperfect placement on the startline was immediately sanctioned by a costly result. Show-wise, it was absolutely perfect with the boats coming under gennaker, flying a hull, just metres away from the race village!
Read more.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Final Day MedCup 2009 Alicante

Photos by Jesús Renedo
Down to the wire in both the TP52 Series and the GP42 Series, last race wins secured the City of Alicante titles for Matador and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero.

A very modest trio of results across yesterday’s races proved a spur to the Matador (ARG) team to come out fighting today and score the best pair of scores in the TP52 fleet to win the City of Alicante Trophy today after a very close fought first regatta of the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit. Read full report.

Audi MedCup Circuit 2009City of Alicante Trophy
TP52 Series Overall results
1. Matador (ARG) 2,5,1,8,7,5,5,2,1=36 points
2. Artemis (SWE) 7,2,9,7,2,2,1,5,2=37 points
3. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 4,4,6,2,1,3,10,1,7=38 points
4. Quantum Racing (USA) 5,1,3,4,5,6,7,3,6=40 points
5. Bigamist (POR) 3,12,5,5,9,1,4,4,3=46 points...
GP42 SeriesOverall results
1. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) 3,2,1,2,4,5,2,1=20 points
2. Airis (ITA) 2,3,3,1,2,1,4,5=21 points
3. Roma (ITA) 1,1,2,3,5,3,1,6=22 points
4. Caser-Endesa (ESP) 4,4,4,6,6,2,3,4=33 points
5. Turismo Madrid (ESP) 6,5,5,4,3,4,5,3=35 points

Jim Swartz Wins 2009 Melges 32 East Coast Championship

Photo by Joy
Rye, N.Y. (May 17) - Jim Swartz (Edgartown, Mass.) on USA-007 Q and his 10-Congressional Cup collective-tenure team comprised of Gavin Brady, Chris Larson, Jamie Gale, Ben Beer, Tim Klein, Sarah Callahan and Alex Baittinger are the 2009 Melges 32 East Coast Champions. This is the first major win for Swartz in the Melges 32 Class. "This has been fantastic. We feel incredibly lucky. It came down to the last race, and we had some interesting starts that got our blood pumping. But this team rose to the occasion." said Swartz.

In second overall, Alex Jackson (Riverside, CT) on USA-174 Leenabarca was second and in third was John Taylor (Jupiter, Fla.) on USA-1315 Ninkasi.

Today's breeze was just what the American Yacht Club ordered for the last day of racing in Rye, N.Y. The competition was tight and eventful. Flat water, clearer conditions and 8-10 knots primed the fleet with the first start. Swartz lashed out, right off the pin with speed, Taylor alongside. For most of the race, Swartz looked to have the win in the bag chased by Ed Tillinghast (New York, N.Y.) Tillinghast on USA-151 Dark n' Stormy, Taylor and Jason Carroll (New York, N.Y.) on USA-128 Argo.
On the last weather leg he simply went the wrong way pushing him to the back of the fleet. Instead, Taylor challenged for the top spot three-wide into the mark with Tillinghast and Meadows right behind who made a remarkable comeback after being called over early on the start. At the offset, Taylor and Meadows had trouble with the sets, leaving Tillinghast to slide right by and take the lead on the last downwind run. Tillinghast went on to win, with Carroll slipping in to take second at the finish. Meadows accepted third.

With a course bearing of 350, 1.8nm and five legs, the last race felt continued breezy conditions and a big shift right at the start that stirred the fleet's intensity and aggression. Meadows was called over early again, Jackson on the other hand was boxed out at the committee end. Taylor got another leg-up on the fleet rounding the top mark in first just ahead of Swartz and Carroll. Downwind and through the gate, Taylor held the lead with Swartz right behind. Back upwind, around the mark, then through the final gate of the race, Swartz took the lead only moments ahead of Taylor, followed by Carroll, Tillinghast and Pierini. He hung on for the win and sealed the deal for the Championship title!

A very special thanks goes to the extremely hospitable American Yacht Club, that went above and beyond to make the fleet feel welcome. Each afternoon teams congregated in the bar and out on the lawn for beer chat and a review of the day's racing. The race committee work was really great — very attentive to every shift. Nine races were scheduled and nine races were delivered. Thanks in particular to PRO Robin Wallace, the entire race committee, especially Bill Sandberg and Glenn Morrison. Thanks to Scott Florio who helped organize the young sailors on Take A Junior Sailing Day.

Be sure to check out the full results link. Interesting fleet facts: every team at some point over the nine-race, East Coast Championship series came in last; and five of the seven teams total won a race. It's these types of demographics that prove the one design, ultra competitiveness of the International Melges 32.

Top Three (Final, After nine races)1.) Jim Swartz, Q; 1-1-1-4-2-2-[7]-6-1 = 182.) Alex Jackson, Leenabarca; 2-3-5-2-4-1-2-[7]-7 = 263.) John Taylor, Ninkasi; 6-[7]-2-5-6-4-1-4-2= 30

Full Results View Photo Gallery

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Oracle promise "normal" Cup...

Photo by
Article By Paul Lewis -

Russell Coutts will not skipper the trimaran in the America's Cup battle against Alinghi - but says Oracle will back a 'normal' America's Cup regatta in 2011 involving all challengers if they win the big multi-hull showdown.

Coutts, regarded by many as the best sailor in the world, is tactician on the Swedish boat Artemis at the Audi Med Cup regatta in Alicante.

But he has ruled himself out of trying to steer the massive trimaran with a truly scary sail area and reputedly able to garner impressive boat speed in even moderate winds.

"Something like that [the trimaran] is a 100 per cent, full-time, focus and I'm quite happy to say it's not my area of expertise. James Spithill will skipper it and he and the crew have been doing nothing else but working out on it and getting to grips with it."

However, Coutts, as CEO of BMW Oracle racing, said an Oracle win would more than likely lead to a conventional, multi-challenger America's Cup regatta in 2011.

Coutts was withering about the Alinghi court challenge that ended abruptly last week when the New York Supreme Court ruled the big multi-hulls contest would take place in February - Alinghi wanted May.

Coutts said Alinghi's allegations of espionage were "ridiculous" and sought to make "something out of nothing".

"It is an accepted part of what goes on in the America's Cup," he said. "We all do it - that's why Alinghi have had people like [New Zealand Alinghi sailors] Peter Evans and Warwick Flury hanging round in San Diego. Last time I was there, I took them all out to dinner - that's how normal it is.

"But they [Alinghi] were quite vicious about our guy - they tried to make out he'd trespassed when it was quite clear he hadn't and they tried to make out it was a criminal thing when it wasn't."

Asked if he thought Alinghi might resort to court action again if they did not win the multi-hull challenge, Coutts said he didn't know. He also did not know if Alinghi would choose Valencia or a Southern Hemisphere venue.

Team NZ boss Grant Dalton, however, wasn't so shy.

"I'd say it would be a disadvantage to Alinghii if they tried the Southern Hemisphere.
"Logistically, I think it would just end up being a distraction to them and they could end up shooting themselves in the foot."

Volvo Ocean race Boston to Galway

Photo credit: Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race and Dave Kneale/Volvo Ocean Race
Fog sets in as the fleet head out at the start of leg 7 from Boston to Galway. -

Time To Turn It Around

Posted by PUMA Ocean Racing Team
Having enjoyed three weeks in Boston, dubbed the PUMA team’s ‘home’ due to their links with the North American city, the team feel well-prepared for the eight to ten day dash back across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe, where the race began almost eight months ago. During the transatlantic leg the fleet will avoid icebergs located to the southeast of Newfoundland, and will cross both the Labrador Current and Gulf Stream en route. The weather outlook for the leg is mixed, with uncomfortable living conditions onboard. PUMA’s il mostro has remained in the water since last weekend’s in port race, and the team have spent the past week loading for the offshore leg.

Skipper Ken Read (USA) commented: “This next leg, from Boston to Galway, Ireland is one that should not be taken lightly. There is the potential for us to be close to ice again and the conditions you can see out there can be pretty brutal. Racing across the North Atlantic in spring should be treated with all of the respect it deserves.”

“For PUMA, it’s time for us to turn this thing around. With four legs left in the race, it’s no secret that we need to fight for every point even harder than ever, before this race is mathematically over for us. We’ve always said we’re here to win, and we won’t stop trying until it’s no longer possible. I am very proud of our team – the whole team, the crew of il mostro as well as our shore team and back room team – for sticking together through the tough parts of this competition. This leg we have a couple of changes within our team, with Jerry Kirby unable to sail this leg with us and Sidney Gavignet taking a break for the leg. Craig Satterthwaite steps onboard from our ‘bench’ which will help to keep our team fresh. Our boat’s in great shape. I have confidence in the team, and the team has confidence in each other.” -