Monday, November 30, 2009

Snap, Crackle, Pop... Alinghi gets pulled

Alinghi 5 is being lifted out of the water this evening in Ras Al Khaimah after suffering a minor breakage while sailing today in an unusually big sea state in the Arabian Gulf. The giant catamaran will be checked over and repaired ready for more training in the coming days. speaks to Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper:

What were the conditions today?
Brad Butterworth: Over the last few days the wind has been up to what we think is the limit for these boats and the sea state has been getting bigger and bigger each day. Today it was a little bit too big for us and we had a breakdown with the boat that is going to take us a day to sort out. It just goes to show that these boats have got limits and we should be safe and adhere to them.

When is the boat likely to be sailing again?
BB: We could be back in the water by Wednesday but there is too much wind forecast; there is a system coming through here at the moment…Hopefully we’ll be sailing again on Thursday.

Can you be more precise about the breakage?
BB: We had a minor breakage in the boat, but it had nothing to do with the modification that we had made, it was something that probably would have broken anyway and it is just part of the development process we are going through. -

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Around-the-world Reference Tour of the SolOceans

Photo Jean-Marie Liot - SailingOne

At 01.00pm sharp (1200UT), by force 7 wind, Liz Wardley crossed the start line off Caen - Ouistreham (France) of the Around-the-world Reference Tour of the SolOceans - OceanoScientific® Campaign 2009-2010. She rounded Cabourg / Dives-sur-mer (Normandy - France) buoy before heading towards Wellington, the Capital of New Zealand.

The young sailor left in the exact conditions of the SolOceans - the start of the first edition is scheduled on 23 October 2011 - i.e. solo onboard a SolOceans One-design, a 16-Meter (52.5-foot) all-carbon high-tech sailing yacht Made In Normandy. This one-design is at the same time a real scientific vessel and a bold oceanic racing vessel with performances worthy of an 18-metre prototype. The SolOceans One-design proudly sails the colours of the Lower Norman Region (France), Wellington, Caen la mer urban area (France) and Cherbourg (France) - who have supported the creation and development of the SolOceans and the OceanoScientific® Campaign since its creation.

The French Ministry of Higher Education and Research is a patron of this campaign. It will give new scientific data to researchers in order for them to better understand the climate of our planet and precisely determine the causes and consequences of Global warming. Jean-Louis Borloo, French Minister of Marine Affairs: "is delighted with this initiative allowing us to better understand the oceans and the effect of Climate Change on our seas. That's why I would like this OceanoScientific® Campaign to be part of the Oceans Round Table actions (Grenelle de la Mer) and to receive very soon an official labelling"Liz Wardley plans to be back in Lower Normandy in mid-March, at the end of the second leg between Wellington and Cherbourg i.e. two 50 to 55-day single-handed navigations raced against the clock.

To follow Liz Wardley or test your sailing skills against her around the planet go to: "Follow" or "Sail"And for all the latest news on the SolOceans, visit our website:

RC 44 Gold Cup-Dubai

Paul Cayard
Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not a great day for Katusha today. We started out really badly by finishing last in the first race. We were sailing with the number 2 jib on as the breeze was up today and we really struggled with our speed upwind. Toward the end of the race we made some changes in our set up and it seemed to help us the rest of the day.

In the second race, we had a good races going at the end of the first lap we were in fourth. The wind shifted 40 degrees to the right and I had us too far to the left so we gave back 4 positions on the second windward leg of that race. We passed one boat down the run to the finish but still a disappointing 7th.

For the last race, we had a good start, actually all of our starts were good all week and that is a credit to Bob Little and Morgan Gutenkunst. We were battling away in 5th most of the race and then we passed Aqua down the final run to finish 4th in the last one.

It was not our best regatta that is for sure. We made a lot of mistakes and had more than the normal amount of things go against us. So that is the recipe for mediocrity.

BMW Oracle had a good day winning the first two races and No Way Back just dominated the series and the season. No Way Back has put more time and effort into this class than any other team this year and it shows in the results. They have two coaches; one for the sails and one for the crew work, and they show up one week before the regatta starts to train. That is how to get good at sailing the boat. Ray Davies does a very nice job with the tactics as well so well deserved.

I am off to SFO for about 20 hours and then to Rio on Tuesday where I will be racing in the Nestle Match Cup which is a match racing event. I will be sailing with a bunch of my Star buddies as crew. We are racing Bennetau First Class 40.7's I believe. I really like Rio and haven't been in a while so I am looking forward to spending a few days down there with some good friends. I will report in on Wednesday or Thursday.

For more information go to

Cayard Sailing Website

Saturday, November 28, 2009

South American Championship Regatta - 27th/11/2009

By Lynn Fitzpatrick

November 28, 2009 (Rio de Janerio, Brazil) – Results are provisional, and it looks as if Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria (SUI) amassed a nearly unassailable lead today at the Star South American Championship. The ISAF ranked #1 team posted a 7, 2 to their score while Torben Grael and Marcelo Ferreira (BRA), who were ahead of them by one point going into the day, had two double-digit scores and slipped to third place overall.

Past Star World Champion skipper, Alan Adler, sailing with Guilherme Almeida (BRA) also passed Grael and Ferreira with their low point score for the day. They sailed a remarkable 3,4 in the 70-boat fleet.

By discarding a deep 23rd place, two-time Star World Champion, Freddy Loof, sailing with Johann Tillander (SWE) moved up to fourth.

Fewer than 20 points separate 2nd through 10th place. Six Star world championship winning skippers are included in the lot.

Marrazzi and De Maria are the only team that has posted single digit scores in each race. Expect them to remain consistent.

If the final day of racing is in light air, watch out for Lars Grael and Ronald Seifert (BRA), who are sitting in fifth place, with 31 points following the discard. They are also on a roll after having placed third at the 2009 Star World Championship and winning last week’s warm up regatta, the 2009 Taca Royal Thames. The rest of the Brazilians and a number of other teams savor heavy air, so anything can happen during the final day of racing on Sunday.

Scores and information posted at and

Friday, November 27, 2009

Another light wind day

By Paul Cayard

Friday, November 27, 2009

We had another light wind day today with a max of 8 knots from 345 degrees around 1400. The race committee did well to get 4 fleet races in. We had a mediocre day onboard Katusha with a 4,5,6,9. Some of the teams that won races immediately finished last in the next race. It wasn't easy out there.

There were too many ups and downs to go through it all. Obviously, we did not sail great so we hope to improve on that tomorrow. Artemis had a good day with a 5,3,3,1 I believe and may be winning the fleet racing.

Tonight Team Aqua, whose owner Chris Bake, lives here in Dubai, is hosting a barbeque on the beach. We are headed down there now.

It was pretty warm today topping out at 30C.

Tomorrow is supposed to be light winds again. We have the DHL Race which is a short coastal race. We will race around The Palm to some extent. We will probably have a couple of windward/leeward races after that wind permitting.

For more information go to

Cayard Sailing Website

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Practice Race in Rio today

By Andrew Campbell
We sailed the practice race today before the South American Championships starts tomorrow sailed out of the ICRJ (Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro). Brad and I put up the new jib today to make sure it was all set to go. The distance to the race course sails literally in the shadow of Sugar Loaf mountain towering a thousand feet above the bay. Once we get through the massive wind shadows, we turn right out the harbor entrance into six foot ground swell and a funneled 15 knots of breeze. The next 3 miles upwind to the racing area the wind dissipates and steadies to an average 6-10 knots, loading and unloading as the swells pick us up and put us down.

We tuned on the way out to the course to day with Robert Scheidt and Mark Mendelblatt. Brad and I are slowly working the kinks out of the P Star, but were certainly happy with the speed around the course. We started the practice race three boats up from the pin and unfortunately led around the first windward mark and the first leeward before we turned back to the harbor (it is, after all, bad luck to win the practice race). The sail in and out

First race starts tomorrow at 1330. We’ll let you know how it goes.

On fire... RC44

Photo by Raffaello Bastiani
On fire, Rod Davis conquers the Sea Dubai Gold Cup match race and offers the season title to Ceeref

The Slovenian team Ceeref, with Rod Davis at the helm for this regatta, wins the Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup match race ahead of the fantastic Spaniards on board Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Ceeref also conquers the season title ahead of a disappointed Dean Barker, on board Artemis, ninth of the event.

November 26, 2009 – The Sea Dubai match race took place today in a light and fairly stable sea breeze. Due to the cancellation of the races yesterday and in order to save time, the fleet got split into two groups of five boats, resulting in two parallel rankings. The wind unfortunately didn’t allow for a Grand Finale; the event is nevertheless valid, with five flights completed and a proper ranking.

Sailing for the season title, Artemis, with Dean Barker at the helm, suffered from a steering failure during the pre-start of the first regatta against Team Sea Dubai. Markus Wieser, who was steering the local team, immediately saw the benefit he could get from this situation and inflicted a penalty to his opponent before the start, winning the race and an important point although Barker and his team remained a serious threat until the arrival line. However, Dean’s steering position, squatting in the cockpit during the entire race - holding the spare tiller - made a come back impossible.

The RC 44 technical team managed to repair the failure but the crew on board Artemis suffered throughout the day, sailing way below their usual level and finishing a disappointing ninth overall. A result that allows Ceeref to grab the annual Championship Tour match race title.

The irony of the story is that Artemis’ main opponent today was no other than their own coach: Rod Davis, steering Ceeref exceptionally today as a substitute to their usual helmsman Sébastien Col, who was not available this week.

Davis was on fire, beating Team Aqua in the first flight after a fantastic match race lesson that included a dial up at the windward mark, fake jibes and many more of the “dirty tricks" available in the match race encyclopaedia. Ceeref then went on to beat Team Austria, Organika and BMW ORACLE Racing, finishing the contest unbeaten.

The situation was tighter in the second group, with Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (José Maria Ponce) winning ahead of No Way Back (Ray Davies) to grab the second place overall.

There were many penalties today, and the overall ranking is deeply affected by the nervousness of some of the teams. Indeed, Team Aqua – who was third overall in the match race ranking before this regatta – finishes the Gold Cup at an unbelievable last place and ends up seventh in the yearly ranking. Artemis, who was leading, finishes fourth… On the other hand, Ceeref is the season winner ahead of No Way Back and Karol Jablonski’s Organika, definitely on great form after their performance last week in Nice.

The fleet regatta starts tomorrow. Artemis leads the season ranking, two points ahead of Team Aqua and five points ahead of BMW ORACLE Racing and No Way Back. Artemis dominated last month’s event in Portoroz and is the favourite of this contest. However, as the match race event proved, nothing’s ever acquired until the last race!

They said:

Rod Davis, helmsman, CEEREF: "CEEREF is a very easy team to fit in. It is a slick and very well run operation. All I had to do is take the helm and concentrate on my steering: the manoeuvres were perfect and Michele Ivaldi was giving me great strategic advice. I had a big pressure because I am usually sitting on the coach boat: if I loose, people will say "who are you to give advice…" I focused on remaining calm and trying to identify the issues and find the right answers."

Jose Maria Ponce, helmsman, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero: “We knew in the morning that it would be a very difficult day, with a light breeze. Our first race against Paul Cayard went really well; we managed to give him a penalty before the start and won nicely. It gave the entire team a great boost of confidence and we carried on sailing very well. The mental is very important in those races, and when you start well it gives you a huge motivation."

Dean Barker, helmsman, Artemis: “I am extremely disappointed. We had this steering failure during the first race and it affected our entire day. We just didn’t get back into it, and sailed very average. It is frustrating that we are loosing the title due to a gear failure."

Ray Davies, helmsman, No Way Back: “I am very happy with our day, especially the second part of it as we finished very strong. We should also have won the first race against the Spaniards but we were called back at the start and didn’t manage to get back. There was obviously a strong pressure today because it is the end of the season and the points become very important. We salvaged a good day."

Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup - Match-race final results:

(Ranking, name of team, helmsman, No of victories / defeats, points)

1) CEEREF, Rod Davis, 4 points
2) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, José Maria Ponce, 3 points
3) Organika, Karol Jablonski, 3 points
4) No Way Back, Ray Davies, 2 points
5) BMW ORACLE Racing, Morgan Larson, 1,5 points (including 0,5 point penalty)
6) Team Katusha, Paul Cayard, 1 point (including 2 points penalty)
7) Team Austria, Christian Binder, 1 point
8) Team Sea Dubai, Markus Wieser, 1 point
9) Artemis, Dean Barker, 1 point
10) Team Aqua, Cameron Appleton, -2 points (including 3 points penalty)

RC 44 Championship Tour, Match-race final results 2009:

(Ranking, name of team, points)

1) CEEREF, 13 points
2) No Way Back, 20 points
3) Organika, 24 points
4) Artemis, 27 points
5) BMW ORACLE Racing, 28 points
6) Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 29 points
7) Team Aqua, 32 points
8) Katusha, 45 points
9) Team Sea Dubai, 45 points
10) Team Austria, 51 points
11) Jelik, 65 points

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Reverse the October 27 Supreme Court decision...

Tom Ehman, Golden Gate Yacht Club Spokesperson

New York, NY, November 25, 2009 – In its continuing effort to host the 33rd America’s Cup in Ras Al Khaimah, today Société Nautique de Geneve asked the Appellate Division to reverse the October 27 Supreme Court decision which had declared RAK as non-compliant with the governing Deed of Gift.

In recent weeks, SNG has publicly committed to Valencia as the venue, even while attempting to re-instate Ras Al Khaimah via appeal, as well as floating Australia as a possible venue.

Today SNG also requested that, if the Appellate Court does not reinstate RAK in February, the 33rd Match be delayed from February until May 2010. SNG argued that this was to allow it to choose a venue in the Northern Hemisphere that would be Deed- compliant even though both SNG and GGYC had previously agreed to Valencia by mutual consent.

Additionally, SNG asked the Appellate Court to reinstate SNG’s own peculiar measurement method that would include rudders in the crucial Length on Load Water-Line calculation. The effect of this abnormal practice, never before used in the America’s Cup, would be to disqualify GGYC’s yacht. The Supreme Court ruled against SNG’s measurement method last month.

We appreciate the Appellate Court having handled SNG’s appeal on an expedited basis, and we look forward to its decision.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Countdown to 2nd Annual Carlos Aguilar Match Race

By Lynn Fitzpatrick of World Regattas

"We enjoy racing in St. Thomas. The conditions are great," said Genny Tulloch, after her team's recent victory at US Sailing's 2009 Women's Match Racing Championship, hosted by St. Thomas Yacht Club. Tulloch is becoming one of USVI's biggest cheerleaders. The Californian has won two major match racing championships this year in St. Thomas. She will return to the spectator-friendly waterfront of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI to defend her title in the Second Annual Carlos Aguliar Match Race, December 2-6, 2009.

Tulloch will face stiff completion from Claire Leroy (FRA) and her 2007 and 2008 Women's World Match Racing Champion team. Women's International Matching Racing Association President, Liz Bayliss (USA) and her team are among the top ranked WIMRA teams returning to the warm Caribbean waters for one of the few ISAF Grade I Women's Match Racing events in North America. Marie Rameris (POR) and Renata Decnop (BRA), Katy Pilley-Lovell (USA), Julie Brossard (FRA) and Kelly O'Brien-Uszenski (ISV) and her all Virgin Island crew will round out the international fleet.

In the open event, Virgin Island sailing and match racing legend, Peter Holmberg has an all Virgin Islands team. Holmberg's trusted tactician, trimmer and bowman for many years, Maurice Kurg, Morgan Avery and Ben Beer, bring more local knowledge and seasoned IC 24 boat-handling skills to the team.

Holmberg won the USVI's first and only Olympic medal and continues to inspire Caribbean sailors. His protégés love trying to take races and matches off of the America's Cup skipper and former #1 match racer in the world. Taylor Canfield (USVI), winner of the 2008 Carlos Aguliar Regatta, will field a strong team to defend his title. Team COORS-LIGHT, with Frits Bus at the helm, Andrew Rapley as tactician, Chuck Pessler as trimmer and Tommy Koyskin as bowman have won many Caribbean regattas on their Melges 24 are up for the challenge as are; Juan Carlos Escobar (ELS), Collin Rathbon (IVB), Fraito Lugo (PUR), Jes Gram Hansen (DEN) and Dave Perry (USA).

The new Olympic quadrennium has kept Dave Perry busy giving rules seminars, being a rules consultant and working with USTAG women's match racing teams, including Genny Tulloch and her colleagues. His boathandling skills have improved with his participation in many match racing events. He goes into the Carlos Aguilar Match Race regatta with his international match racing ranking is well below his age. Perry's team includes US Coast Guard coach, Doug Clark and William Bailey. Perry is fresh off of an exciting Grande Finale Match against Bill Hardesty at the US Match Racing Championship.

St. Thomas Yacht Club and the Virgin Islands Sailing Association are hosting the Carlos Aguilar Match Race along the city front of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, USVI. Ulysee Nardin, Trident Jewels & Time, U.S. Virgin Islands and Tourism Association and CK Advertising & Design Group will be adding their sizzling spice to one of the first regattas of the Caribbean sailing season.

For team and regatta information, please visit

BOR Footage

Melges 32 Gold Rush

A record-breaking twenty-three teams confirmed for competition at the 2009 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta, hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club, December 4-6.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. - On December 4-6, hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., the International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA) will celebrate the fourth running of the Gold Cup Regatta supported by Henri Lloyd. A record attendance level is expected with twenty-three teams entered, up three from 2008.

"The Lauderdale Yacht Club would like to extend a warm welcome to all Melges 32 sailors that will be with us for the Gold Cup," said Bob Meagher, Event Regatta Chair. "We are especially pleased that the event has already exceeded expectations with a record number of attendees. We expect great racing, stunning conditions and the very best in competition. Getting ready for this event has been a united effort consisting of many LYC volunteers. We've all worked very hard to ensure this event maintains its 'first-class' reputation."

Since the first 'tune-up' events held in 2006 and 2007, the popularity of the Melges 32 has steadily increased. The sole purpose of those 'warm-ups' were to better familiarize new owners with the intense style of Melges racing. It also helped better prepare them for the steep competition expected in Key West during the later part of January and the Miami Grand Prix in early March. The tradition lives on in 2009, as the Gold Cup participation level is only six shy of the recent World Championship in Porto Cervo, Italy.

"We are thrilled with the turn out for this year's Gold Cup," said Stephen Pugh, North American Fleet President. "The competition will be magnificent. This class is a shining example of what one design racing should be. It is a very level playing field, but a tough one at that. A challenging one. To see new owners here is an indication that 2010 will be another great year in North America for the Melges 32 as we work our way toward Nationals in July, then Worlds in September on the West Coast."

The entry list is clearly a 'who's who' of the sailing world — Dave Ullman, Gavin Brady, Harry Melges, Mike Beasley, Allan Terhune, Jamie Lea, Johnny Lovell, John Bowden, Anthony Kotoun, Brad Boston, Jud Smith, Dave Lenz, Jeremy Elliott, Michele Paoletti, Mark Ivey, Scott Nixon, Andy Horton, Terry Hutchinson, Seadon Wijsen, Charlie Smythe, Tom Burnham, Steve Hunt, Wally Cross, George Peet, Stu McNay and Charlie Enright just to name a few. View The Full Crew List.

Two members of the reigning World Championship team Bliksem will sail. Winning tactician Jeremy Wilmot will be crewing with Malcolm Geftner (Newport, R.I.) on Celebritas and Alex Clegg will accompany Alex Jackson (Riverside, Conn.) on Leenabarca. Three of the four sailors recently awarded the esteemed title of Melges 24 World Champion will also attend. Helmsman Chris Larson will offer his expertise as tactician aboard Geoff Pierini’s (Bernardsville, N.J.) Shakedown and Richard Clarke is slated to call the shots for Philip Lotz (Newport, R.I.) on Arethusa. Curtis Florence will also sail with Jackson.

Lotz and Geftner are among several new owners including Robert Hughes and his legendary Heartbreaker program, Rod Jabin returns to the fleet on Ramrod, and Michael Dominguez on Bronco will join the fleet for the first time.

Difficult to measure with any degree of certainty, is who will actually do well and come out on top. Looking to fill his Gold Cup once more is defending Champion Marty Kullman (St. Petersburg, Fla.) on New Wave with Doug Fisher as tactician. 2009 ACURA Key West Race Week Champion Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) on Star has home court advantage and always competes well. John Kilroy’s (San Francisco, Calif.) Samba Pa Ti is always a strong contender. Stacked to the max, Kilroy has Sam Rogers alongside on tactics with the help of Eric Arndt and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Stu Bannatyne. Jason Carroll's (New York, N.Y.) Argo is another team to watch. Carroll helmed his way to a fantastic fifth place finish at Worlds. To see him at the top of this league will be no surprise, as he is long overdue for a big win. 2009 North American Champion Don Jesberg (Mill Valley, Calif.) on Viva will be a force to reckon with comp eting at the Gold Cup for the first time, as will 2009 U.S. National Champion Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) on Rougarou.

Although the fleet is predominantly American, there is a small, but strong European contingent that includes Stuart Simpson (London, UK) on Team Barbarians with Nigel Young as tactician and Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on Red assisted by the currently ranked number one Laser sailor in world, Paul Goodison calling tactics. Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantasticaa is the token Italian team with tactician Daniele De Luca.

Another signature feature of this event is the Take A Junior Sailing Day. LYC is renowned for fostering America's next sailing generation with an extraordinary youth program. It has produced the likes of 2009 Opti North American Champion Christopher Williford, 2009 U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Champion Chanel Miller, 2008 Florida State Junior Champion Dominique Wright and the phenomenal Erika Reineke. They are among those that potentially will have the opportunity to sail alongside of the best sailors in the world on Saturday, December 5.

Ecklund, a LYC member, championed the Take A Junior Sailing Day concept the moment the Gold Cup was conceived. "No other class of boat does anything quite like this. Being so close to something as unique as LYC's junior program is as unique as the caliber of sailors competing at the Gold Cup. Every year the Melges 32 Class sees this as a chance to encourage and inspire. It was really great to see the American Yacht Club in Rye, N.Y. adopt the idea at the East Coast Championship. We'd love to see many more do the same. It's a great way to give back to the sport." A complete list of junior sailors and the boats they will sail on will be published at the start of the regatta.

The 2009 Gold Cup Regatta is the first of three 2010 Winter Series events for the Melges 32 in North America. On January 18-22, the fleet will assemble in Key West, Fla. for Premiere Racing’s Key West Race Week and Miami Grand Prix on March 4-7. In April, the fleet will form for the first time at Charleston Race Week in Charleston, S.C., in May for the East Coast Championship and Newport in June. View The Complete Schedule. The USA Sailing Series will come to a grand close at the 2010 Melges 32 World Championship on September 22-27 i n San Francisco, Calif., hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club.

In Europe, things will heat up with yet another round of Audi Sailing Series events starting in March and progressing throughout the summer months. It winds down in Palma for the fourth and final event. Stay close as more information will follow soon regarding the very first European Championship taking place on June 10-13, 2010.

Gold Cup Entry List
1.) Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy/Sam Rogers
2.) Viva, Don Jesberg/Dave Ullman
3.) Arethusa, Philip Lotz/Richard Clarke
4.) Ramrod, Rod Jabin/Gavin Brady
5.) Star, Jeff Ecklund/Harry Melges
6.) Ninkasi, John Taylor/Anthony Kotoun
7.) Shakedown, Geoff Pierini/Chris Larson
8.) Argo, Jason Carroll/John Baxter
9.) Team Barbarians, Stuart Simpson/Nigel Young
10.) Rougarou, Andy Lovell/Johnny Lovell
11.) Lake Effect, Bob Hesse/Brad Boston
12.) Red, Joe Woods, Paul Goodison
13.) Fantasticaaa, Lanfranco Cirillo/Daniele De Luca
14.) Leenabarca, Alex Jackson/Philip Werheim
15.) New Wave, Marty Kullman/Doug Fisher
16.) Celeritas, Malcolm Geftner/Randy Shore
17.) Volpe, Ryan Devos/Scott Nixon
18.) Delta, Dalton Devos/Terry Hutchinson
19.) Taboo, Stephen Pugh/Seadon Wijsen
20.) Bronco, Michael Dominguez/Tommy Burnham
21.) Heartbreaker, Bob Hughes/Steve Hunt
22.) Roxanne, Kip Meadows/Andy Horton
23.) Dark n’ Stormy, Edward Tillinghast/Stu McNay

Team Aqua, Team Austria and BMW ORACLE Racing on great form

The Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup practice race took place in spectacular conditions this afternoon. Making the best of the big surf, Team Aqua, Team Austria and BMW ORACLE Racing dominated the opposition.

November 24, 2009 – The RC 44 Championship Tour final event started today with the practice race. The conditions were absolutely perfect, with 15 knots of breeze and a big swell. “This particular wind is very rare in Dubai”, commented the Regatta Chief Executive Saeed Harib during the event’s opening press conference this morning. “It was blowing last time the RC 44’s were in Dubai, and it is there again today. I think the Class has taken a subscription.”

Starting perfectly at the Committee boat end of the line and tacking immediately to the right of the course, Team Austria - helmed by René Mangold - dominated most of the race, giving the victory away to Team Aqua and BMW ORACLE Racing in the last gibe. The Team from the UAE chose not to cross the line, letting the Americans win the regatta. Unfortunately, the forecast for the coming days isn’t as good and the usual sea breeze should be back.

Ten RC 44 one-designs representing nine nations are competing this week for the Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup and the season’s overall trophies. Organised by Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), the event starts tomorrow and Thursday with a full match race round robin and carries on until Sunday with the fleet regatta. The points will count for double.

Talking about their strategy for the event, both Dean Barker and Cameron Appleton – skippers of the two leading teams – said that they would sail their race without looking too much at their opponent. “We will sail this race like any other race”, commented Appleton. Barker replied: “We hope to be as lucky as we were last time.”
Skipper of the local entry Team Sea Dubai, Markus Wieser explained that his team had been training hard over the past few days and that he expects a good results, at least in the top five. “The pressure is on”, he concluded.

The teams involved:

(Name of team, owner, pro sailor)

Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Rod Davis
Team Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser
BMW ORACLE Racing, Neville Crichton / Ian Vickers
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski
Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero / Jose Maria Ponce
Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker
No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies
Team Austria, René Mangold / Christian Binder
Team Katusha, Paul Cayard / Bob Little

Photo: Raffaello Bastiani / RC44 Class Association

Camet Nantucket Sailing Shorts

Camet just released their 2010 Nantucket Sailing Shorts to dealers for the Holidays. These shorts mix a classic New England style with So-Cal feel. Made of lightweight nylon fabric that is water repellent for quick drying. Plus it has a UV rating of 40+ so you don’t burn your assets. On top of that it has the abrasion resistant seat pocket with optional padding. Available in: Limestone and Slate Grey.

New women’s shorts…"The Martinique" coming out soon!

Buy them now before they run out at: Annapolis Performance, Groovy-uv Bermuda, Landfall Navigation, Line Honors, Point Loma Outfitting, Sailing Pro Shop, Sailing Supply, Sound Boatworks and Team One Newport More dealer info at: CAMET.COM

Monday, November 23, 2009

Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice: Tom Burnham

We talk to Azzurra Strategist Tom Burnham after the final race at the Louis Vuitton Trophy in Nice

AZZURRA marks the rebirth of a crew that wrote history 25 years ago with its successful participation in the first Louis Vuitton Cup in 1983.

The new AZZURRA arose from the collaboration between the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Giovannni Maspero.

The crew, which is made up of young Italian racing yachtsmen and extremely experienced sailors, will make its debut in Nice for the Louis Vuitton Trophy.

Riccardo Bonadeo, the Club's commodore, was at the head of AZZURRA in 1983 and is today, once more, responsible for this new team with Giovanni Maspero. Francesco Bruni, the skipper, has taken part in two America's Cups and three Olympic Games.

The tactician, Tommaso Chieffi, is also one of the best Italian racing yachtsmen, while the Team Manager, Alessandra Sensini, is the only woman to have won four Olympic medals.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, whose President is HSH Prince Aga Khan, is renowned for organising numerous international challenges.

Produced by Keith Brash & Matt Carkeek

BTS Broadcast is an independent production company covering the worlds leading yachting events

Head down but an unfailing morale

Jules Verne Trophy
Tied up alongside in the port of Cape Town since Saturday, Groupama 3 certainly isn't being left in peace, far from it in fact. Barely had she reached the dock, then the shore crew managed by Yann Mérour, all of whom had made the trip down from Lorient, had taken control of matters with the assistance of the sailors. Structural analysis of the damage and observations made on site by composite specialists, confirm that it will indeed take a week's work before Groupama 3 can head out to sea again, bound for Brest, for a new stand-by period set to begin on 1st January 2010.

Benefiting from the technical means available in the Shosholoza base (a team which participated in the 32nd edition of the America's Cup), Pierre Tissier, Sandy Blanalt, Sarah Lynch and Eric Beylot are all working on Groupama 3's port float. In a dry, oppressive heat, which is favourable for working on carbon, they have begun by cutting out the faulty bulkhead and then constructing its replacement: "It's never easy to work in such a confined space. Luckily this bulkhead is very close to the access hatch though. This enables us to poke our heads out into the fresh air on a regular basis. It certainly is hot though!" says Eric Beylot, who is almost missing the gloomy weather reigning back home in Brittany.

Having made the journey down from Johannesburg, three infra-red analysis specialists have inspected the affected zone without finding any side-effects. This is a good thing according to the skipper of Groupama 3, who only rarely leaves his telephone, as he's in regular contact with his design office, the architects from the VPLP and HDS: "By running the data through their computers again, they've realised that the load case which concerns us today was not intended to exceed six tonnes. The sailing conditions we endured very certainly produced greater stresses than that. This is why we're also going to reinforce the equivalent bulkhead on the starboard float" explains Franck.

As far as the rest of Groupama 3 is concerned though, she's in perfect condition, ready to head back out to sea and set off once again to tackle this famous Jules Verne Trophy record, the value of which can now be appreciated even more: "It's clear that in order to stand a chance of beating it, we're going to have to go fast. We're also going to have to go far, which we haven't managed to do to date. It's now down to us to prove we're capable of that. From the moment the damage occurred, the whole crew have expressed their commitment to this. I'm proud of them and also proud of Groupama 3, which is an excellent boat. The same goes for my loyal partner, Groupama who, once again, are giving us their support in what is a difficult time" concludes Franck Cammas.

During this time, the rest of the crew are rinsing off the deck fittings and foulies, tidying up their `home' and inspecting the deck from top to toe. Certain lines, such as those which control the descent and rise of the foils, are worn and have been replaced. When it's time for lunch, conversations regularly revolve around the anecdotes experienced during the first 11 days of this Jules Verne Trophy attempt. These are always coloured by laughter which demonstrates, if there were a need, the extent of the bond between the ten crew, who together form a great team.

Find all the latest news from the Groupama trimarans at:

RC 44 Gold Cup-Dubai

By Paul Cayard
Monday, November 23, 2009

We have had two days of training here in Dubai on Katusha. Today was a very good day with wind speeds up to 14 knots. The boats were surfing downwind and there was plenty of action.
We trained with Aqua most of the day. We had about eight match race starts and three races with them. They had the upper hand on us all day, but we learned a lot. We have two new crew members for this regatta, Bob Little who will be our fleet racing helmsman and match racing tactician and Alan "Buddah" Nakanishi who is helping Robbie with the trimming of the kite and the jib. Alan is from Hawaii and been around as long as I have.

The remainder of the crew includes: Morgan Gutenkunst on the bow, Sander van der Borsch in the pit, Tahito Sanchez (mainsheet assist), Robbie Naismith (genoa-spinnaker trim), Jared Henderson (cockpit), Marco Constant (mainsheet) and me steering in the match racing and tactician in the fleet racing.

I took a few photos at the airport and around the Dubai International Marine Club which is hosting the Gold Cup. The airport is HUGE! You would think Dubai is the hub of the world with how many flights and people pass through here. I was here a few times 5 and 6 years ago and I can tell you that all those building behind the Yacht Club were not here as well as most of the other structures near the marina. We are just in front of The Palm and it is still under going massive construction. You wonder who is going to buy all these places.

The forecast for tomorrow is even more wind, maybe up to 20 knots, from the Northwest, then easing for the rest of the week. Hopefully not too much easing.
For more information go to Cayard Sailing Website

final day of the USMRC...

Clearwater, FL : Yesterday wrapped up the final day of the USMRC which was won, in a very tight final, by Bill Hardesty from the Chicago Match Race Center. Bill won the finals against Dave Perry 3-2 in a heavily contested five-race series. We won our knockout series for 7th/8th places, against 2007 National Champion, Brian Angel, 2-0, to finish 7th overall.

It Wasn't All Bad!
Photo: Chris Love, SailGroove
There was wind, finally, for the last day, but as we had only completed one and one-third rounds of the scheduled two round robins, the organizers wanted to get into the semi-finals and the finals for the event. Unfortunately for us, this meant that we were not going to be able to climb up the standings by any more than one place. Because the rounds were not completed, we were scored in a way that is called 'fractional scoring'. The scoring system is a bit complicated, and it didn't help us out in the standings, leaving us in 8th going into the last day. There was a small possibility that the second round was going to be completed instead of the semi's and finals, which would have increased our chances of moving up more. However, the way it worked out, the finals were so much fun to watch, I'm glad the regatta was sailed the way it was.

And For My Next Trick ....
Photo: Chris Love, SailGroove

I started the day by running a 5k road race. I had a bit of frustration from the week built up inside me and needed to let it out, so I ran a race before sailing on Sunday and it cleared my head. I didn't run as fast as I had wanted since I was tired and suffering from a cold, but I did managed to finish 3rd overall, and 2nd woman, with a time of 20:08. (Warm up for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving). After the race, I met my team at the sailing center and we were notified of the format for the day's racing. Despite being disappointed by the format, we used the racing as good practice, and executed the plans that we wanted to. The team worked very well together and everything felt as if it was flowing. It was a great way to end our season, with two wins and, fantastic and effective team work.

After we had finished racing, we stayed out, anchored our boat, and watched the finals. I don't think I have ever seen so many penalty flags in five races as we saw in these finals, but needless to say, it was very exciting. Both teams sailed exceptionally well, executing great moves and being very aggressive. We watched and took notes, and are going to study them in our off-time over the next couple of weeks.

So our season has ended for the year. We have a month and a half off from sailing, except that I'm heading to Australia in a week, for a week of Laser training with my friend Marit, from the Netherlands. I am looking forward to sailing my Laser again, to work on my fitness and hiking, since it's been a while. As a match race team, we are focusing on our fitness programs and weight gain for the Elliots. Our next regatta is our USSTAG team qualifier in early January, which will be our qualifier for the Miami OCR regatta.

I'll write an update from Australia with pictures. In the mean time, I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

I would like to thank Carmeuse for their continued support of my campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. I would also like to thank Gill for their support of us at these past few regattas, and USSTAG for their continued support of my sailing.

Sail Hard,


NSW 18ft Skiff Championship

18ft Skiffs NSW Championship race 3 - Frank Quealey © /Australian 18 Footers League
Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas have taken a tight grip on the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship after only three of the five scheduled races when they scored their third successive win in Thurlow Fisher-City on Sydney Harbour today.

The trio, however, didn't have it all their own way as they had to recover from fourth place on the final lap of the course before going on to a 45s victory.

After leading for a majority of the race, Asko Appliances (Archie Massey, Dan Wilsdon and Cameron Mc Donald) had to be content with second placing, with a fast finishing, skippered by John Winning Jr., a further 1m6s back in third place.

Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) finished fourth followed By Gill (Dave Alexander) and Yandoo (John Winning).

With just two more races left in the championship, Thurlow Fisher-City has a perfect score of 3 points to lead Gotta Love It 7 on 8 points, Asko Appliances 16, and Smeg (Nick Press) on 21 and Yandoo on 23.
Today's race was sailed over a four-lap windward-return course in very fluctuating NW winds.

Jacqui Bonnitcha, sailing as replacement skipper for Matthew Searle on Red Claw won the start near Clarke Island but Thurlow Fisher-City led narrowly from Gotta Love It 7 mid way up the windward leg with Kinder Caring Home Nursing (Brett Van Munster) in third place.

At the windward mark in Athol Bay, Thurlow Fisher-City led Gotta Love It 7 by just three secs., followed by Kinder Caring, Asko Appliances, Thurlow Fisher-Bankstown (Bruce Savage), Gill, De'Longhi (Simon Nearn), Red Claw and Smeg, skippered by replacement Hugh Stodart.

Thurlow Fisher-City retained her lead back to the twin bottom marks. The only change in the leading group was Asko moving into third place ahead of Kinder Caring.

The LHS of the course was favoured on the second windward leg and the Asko team took full advantage to grab a 25s lead from Gotta Love It 7 and Thurlow Fisher-City.

Another big improver was James Francis' Pure Blonde which wrked through the fleet to be in fourth place, just ahead of Gill and Kinder Caring.

Asko Appliances increased her lead over the next lap of the course and held a margin of 1m25s at the windward mark the third time.

Gotta Love It 7 was still in second place but Pure Blonde had continued her charge to be third, just ahead of Thurlow Fisher-City.

Smeg was fifth ahead of Gill with a gap then to Yandoo, which had recoverd extremely well from a disastrous first lap.

The race was turned on its head near the bottom mark when there was a combination of wind shifts and a large ship leaving the harbour.

Asko was on the wrong end of these changes near Clarke Island which allowed Gotta Love It 7, Smeg (which was now third), Thurlow Fisher-City and Pure Blonde to reduce the leading margin.

Coxon and his team were superb in the difficult conditions on the final windward leg and led narrowly from Asko Appliances and Gotta Love It 7 (only 3secs. separated the three teams) as they turned for home.

A brilliant spinnaker set saw Thurlow Fisher-City quickly open up a race-winning break on the run to the finish.

Race 4 will be sailed next Sunday with the last race of the championship scheduled for Sunday 6 December.

More photos will be published on and Video will also be published on
Frank Quealey
Australian 18 Footers Laegue


Videographer Rick Deppe caught up with some of the team 'wingnuts' to learn more about the logistics of the wing...

What happens at night? How about maintenance? How do they trim it?

Check it out...

Tom Ehman Video Blog BOR

Coming home
The BOR 90 returned to base in San Diego on Saturday for the first time since the wing sail was installed. Up until now, the boat has been on a mooring a few hundred metres from the dock. Recovering blogger Tom Ehman (USA) was there with iPhone in hand to document the arrival and speak to some of those involved in the creation of our beautiful wing.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Groupama 3 : Arrivée à Cape Town

L'arrivée de Groupama 3 à Cape Town : l'approche de la côte sud africaine et les premières réactions de l'équipage arrivant à terre après deux semaines de mer...

The Extreme Sailing Series Asia

BT snatch victory in Hong Kong Around the Island Race
[ 22 November 2009 ] BT snatched victory by just 14 seconds in the annual Around the Island Race in Hong Kong this morning, following a 27 nautical mile marathon. The six Extreme 40s battled their way around the Island with every boat taking the lead at some point during the race. China Team crossed the line in second, with Oman Sail Masirah finishing 3rd. It was an amazing day for not only the sailors, but also the VIP guests onboard, who raced in the coveted 'fifth man' spot, including the Queen's Grandson, Peter Phillips, onboard The Wave, Muscat. The six Extreme 40s will be back to their shorter courses tomorrow, Monday 23 November, in Victoria Harbour. -

Azzurra scores 2-0 shut out of Emirates Team New Zealand

Azzurra scores 2-0 shut out of Emirates Team New Zealand to win Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d'Azur
The team from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda makes a triumphant return after a 22-year hiatus

© photo Credit must read Bob Grieser/ Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d'AzurEven before the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur began, Azzurra skipper Francesco Bruni spoke of his passion and honour to be leading an iconic sailing brand back into the fray after a long absence. This afternoon he could barely describe his joy.

Bruni and his Azzurra crew, including tactician Tommaso Chieffi, defeated Emirates Team New Zealand 2-0 in the Grand Final to win this match race regatta.

Azzurra, from the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, made its international sailing debut at the 1983 Louis Vuitton Cup but has been in hiatus since the 1987 event off Western Australia. The team was re-launched last month and today Azzurra won the first race by 25 seconds and the second by 17 for a well-deserved championship.

“It’s an amazing sensation. I can’t find the words to describe it,” said Bruni, the 40-year-old skipper from Sicily. “We knew we could do a good job. We had very good training before the event. But we never thought about beating New Zealand in the final.”

Emirates Team New Zealand entered the final as the favourite. It won the round robin, suffering just one loss in 10 starts, and then defeated the upstart Synergy Russia Sailing Team in a hard-fought semi final match.

Team New Zealand has won many regattas this year, including the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in February and the TP52 World Championship in September. Today, however, the Kiwis lost the first cross in both races and could never find a way around the Italians on the short courses of less than 5 nautical miles.

“I think we sailed well today but Azzurra was clearly better than us. They did everything right,” said Dean Barker, skipper of Emirates Team New Zealand. “Sometimes that’s just the way it is. You’re either in the right place or you’re not. Today Azzurra sailed very, very well.”

The two races were sailed early in the morning as the race committee was intent on deciding the regatta on the water and not on countback, which might’ve happened if racing couldn’t be conducted. The best winds of this two-week event were often early in the morning, and today the first warning signal was sounded at 0800 CET, one hour earlier than scheduled.

The northwesterly wind blew between 6 and 10 knots for the two races and was very shifty and patchy. Pressure differences often accounted for different sailing angles as 1 or 2 knots more wind can lift a yacht as much as 10 degrees higher than its opponent.

Chieffi, who won the 1992 Louis Vuitton Cup as tactician of Il Moro di Venezia, thought the Kiwis’ success played against them in the final.

“Beating TeamOrigin yesterday was a big plus for us; we’d done our share of work,” said Chieffi. “So we came in with smiley faces today despite the early morning. I could sense the Kiwis were more tense because they were the favourite; they were leading throughout the regatta. This played a role in our favour.”

The winning crew included skipper Bruni and tactician Chieffi, Tom Burnham (strategist), Bruno Zirilli (navigator), Daniele De Luca (mainsail trimmer), Stefano Rizzi (jib trimmer), Pierluigi De Felice (spinnaker trimmer), Gabriele Bruni (trimmer), Piero Romero (runner grinder), Nicola Pilastro (mainsail grinder), Massimo Galli (port grinder), Francesco Scalici (starboard grinder), Cristian Griggio (pitman), Luca Albarelli (mastman), Pietro Mantovani (mid-bow), Matteo Auguadro (bowman) and Michele Cannoni (pit assist).

Despite the win, Azzurra had its mishaps on the racecourse. The skipper and tactician both described three problems in the two races. In Race 1 a helicopter got too low to the water and disrupted the wind flow, reducing a four-boatlength lead to one.

In the second race the crew didn’t judge a bias in the leeward gate. They made a starboard rounding, but the mark was farther downwind and again they gave away three boatlengths.

The biggest mishap came at the top of the second beat in the second race. Approaching the windward mark on starboard tack with Team New Zealand two or three lengths behind, Mantovani, the mid-bowman, slipped overboard while preparing the spinnaker for the rounding. As the yacht sailed past the aft grinder, Romero, ran into the scoop and grabbed him out of the water “like a fish,” according to Bruni.

Chieffi said: “Even with the mishaps, the crew did a solid job to not lose concentration. Yes, we had five-boatlength leads, but one length is enough. The crew did an outstanding job keeping it calm, steady and tidy. We’re very pleased with the result.”

Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Cote d’Azur Final Standings

Team (Country) Skipper (Nationality) Won-Lost

1. Azzurra (ITA) Francesco Bruni (ITA), 11-5

2. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker (NZL), 11-4

3. Synergy Russia Sailing Team (RUS) Karol Jablonski (POL), 8-6

4. TeamOrigin (GBR) Ben Ainslie (GBR), 9-6

5. All4One (FRA/GER) Jochen Schumann (GER), 5-8

6. BMW Oracle Racing (USA) Hamish Pepper (NZL), 5-8

7. Artemis (SWE) Paul Cayard (USA), 5-7

8. TFS – PagesJaunes (FRA) Bertrand Pacé (FRA), 1-11

(Note: Won-lost records do not reflect penalties assessed by on-water umpires or the International Jury.)

Dubai RC44

Photo: Loris von Siebenthal
The return of Aqua & Ceeref

Dubai International Marine Club, 22, November 2009. The build up for the Sea Dubai RC44 Gold Cup is almost done, the boats are on the water and teams are out practicing and the race starts on Wednesday 25 November. Two teams, Aqua (UAE) and Ceeref (SLO) have raced in Dubai before and it is the home of Team Sea Dubai but to the other seven competing teams it will be a totally new platform and challenge. The arrival of two boats in March 2006 in Dubai International Marine Club marked the first ever event of RC44 Class and then in 2007 eight boats returned to complete the first Championship with UAE based Team Aqua winning the top prize. Owned by local businessman Chris Bake who teamed up with pro skipper Cameron Appleton, Team Aqua has had considerable success and sits well placed for a good result when the Championship ends on November 29.

Team Ceeref have also had a good run, joining half way through the 2007 season they went on to take a second place overall in 2008 and owner Igor Lah is in a good position in the present tour with pro skipper Sebastien Col. Team Sea Dubai is owned by Dubai International Marine Club with pro skipper Markus Wieser at the helm. Markus is fuelled from his recent win with Sea Dubai teammate Matti Paschen in the Dragon European Championships in St. Tropez. The team has been practicing daily and making good use of the time running up to the start of the competition

A press conference at 11:00 on Tuesday 24th November will open the event with a chance for media representatives to go on the boats during the practice race at 14:00. The first match race round will be at 11:30 on Wednesday 25th.

Ten teams representing nine Countries will participate in the Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup: Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton (UAE), Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Rod Davis (SLO), Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser (UAE), BMW ORACLE Racing, Neville Crichton / Russell Coutts (USA), Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski (POL), Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero / Jose Maria Ponce (SPA), Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker (SWE), No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies (NED), Team Austria, René Mangold / Christian Binder AUS), Team Katusha, Bob Little / Paul Cayard (RUS).

Friday, November 20, 2009

slow day

Today was a slow day here in St. Pete at the USMRC. Total for the day, we had two races, and team Tunnicliffe went 1-1 to finish the round with a 4-5 record and lying 6th overall.

Waiting For The Wind
Chris Love, SailGroove

The day started with heavy fog, but it quickly burnt off and we managed to get in one race against Meghan Rulhman this morning before the wind died and we were sent in.

After a long lunch, we went out to complete the final race of the round robin. As it turned out, we were not given very much time once we got out there, and were upwind warming up when we were told that the race committee were going to go into sequence soon. This meant that they were putting up the warning flag now. As a consequence, we were a little late getting back down to the start and just made entry before having to gybe around the pin to avoid the starboard boat. From that point on, we had to get our kite down and sort ourselves out for the start. We were in a tough position and got pinned out past the pin. We started behind our competitor, Rus Silvestri, and couldn't pass him in the light conditions. (Lesson learned.)

Tomorrow's schedule of racing depends on the weather forecast. But we are hoping for another round robin so that we have a shot at the semi-finals. The points are still close with the leaders at eight points, and two boats in front of us at 5 points.

Racing starts again at 10am tomorrow, and will be live online through Kattack. You can also check out the results at the regatta website.

I would like to thank Carmeuse for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. I would also like to thank Gill and USSTAG for their support.

Sail Hard,


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tricky day...

November 19, 2009
St. Petersburg, FL

Today was a tricky day for our team at the US Match Racing Championships . We had a successful morning, and a bit of an unsuccessful afternoon. We finished the day 3-4. The racing was very close and the results are too, with second place only at 5 points.

Taking Notes During Debrief, Anna, Debbie, Molly
Photo: Chris Love, SailGroove

We had some very exciting, close races today that were a lot of fun. Win or lose, we enjoyed ourselves and learned a significant amount. Some things we learned for the first time, and others were just reminders of moves that we haven't seen in a while. One of our closest races was with Bill Hardesty where we tried a move on him that he did to us when we practiced earlier this year. It was quite ironic, but this time, we were on the wrong side of the call and ended up with a red penalty. It was too bad, but it was deserved, and we learned from the play. Another was with Taylor Canfield where the whole way around the race course we were within two boat lengths of each other.

Dialing Up At The Start
Photo: Chris Love, SailGroove

Tomorrow's forecast is for a little less breeze before it builds again into the weekend. We have two races left of the first round robin before we dive into the second round. We have plenty of racing left, and are looking forward to it.

Racing starts again at 10am tomorrow morning, and will be live online through Kattack. You can also checkout the results at the regatta website.

I would like to thank Carmeuse for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. I would also like to thank Gill and USSTAG for their support.

Sail Hard,


Louis Vuitton Trophy - Nice, France

By Paul Cayard
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Only one race was completed today and that was a semi final match between Azzurra and Origin. The Italians continue to sail well beat the Brits by over a minute to take a 1-0 lead in their best of three series.

No other racing took place. We have struggled here a bit with the wind but it is the end on November in the northern hemisphere.

We are first up tomorrow with a 0830 start which means 0730 dock out. We race All4One in a one race knock out. The winner of our race will race the winner of BMW Oracle-French Spirit for 5th place.

We had a few meetings today one of which was the shareholders of the World Sailing Teams Association. We had a very good meeting that included planning for next year. The Auckland event in March and Sardinia event in May were confirmed. We are working on two more and they will be confirmed by the end of the year.

Cayard Sailing Website

Baby Steps

Tom Ehman, Golden Gate Yacht Club Spokesperson

San Diego, CA, November 19, 2009 – The New York Supreme Court has moved the 33rd America’s Cup match another significant step closer to be being sailed under the normal, fair rules of sailing.

Justice Shirley Kornreich has adopted the unanimous recommendations made by the Expert Panel which took testimony from both Golden Gate Yacht Club and the defending Société Nautique de Geneve in New York on November 7, 2009.

“This is victory for fair rules and common sense,” said Tom Ehman, GGYC spokesperson. “Once again SNG’s attempts to bias the rules in their favor have been rejected.”

The court’s ruling that both yachts must be measured with all ballast aboard, including moveable ballast, blocks Alinghi’s attempt to circumvent the 90ft Length on Load Waterline (LWL) limit imposed by the America’s Cup Deed of Gift.

It was because of SNG’s refusal to put an International Jury in place to determine some of the sporting and technical issues that the Court called for its own Expert Panel of former America’s Cup jurors.

David Tillett (AUS), Graham McKenzie (NZL) and Bryan Willis (GBR) were “well qualified and independent,” the Court said in today’s ruling.

The Court also put a time limit on this vital matter of jury appointment, ordering that if is not settled by December 4th, 2009 the Court will ask the Expert Panel to re-convene.

“All we have ever asked is that the America’s Cup be raced under the normal rules and procedures that nearly every sailor in the world competes under,” added Ehman. “Yet again SNG has had to be reminded that the America’s Cup is not the Alinghi Cup.”

Grant Simmer on progress and modifications to Alinghi 5

'Grant Simmer' George Johns/Alinghi
After six weeks of sailing in near perfect conditions in Ras Al Khaimah, catches up with design team coordinator, Grant Simmer, on progress with the America’s Cup Defender Alinghi.

She is completing the current phase of the Alinghi 5 development programme today in Ras Al Khaimah and over the next few days the team will wheel the giant catamaran into the boat shed for some modifications. This next phase will keep the team busy up until she ships out to Valencia to continue developing towards the February 8 2010 America’s Cup Match. speaks to design team coordinator, Grant Simmer, about the modifications and the development so far:

Grant Simmer and Loick Peyron - George Johns-Alinghi
The team has been testing and training in Ras Al Khaimah for the past six weeks, what have been the main areas of focus and the goals?

Grant Simmer: We changed to the new, bigger, rig soon after we came here and we have been working on our sail crossovers and learning about optimum angles; really just concentrating on learning to sail the boat and optimising the performance.

Have the conditions in Ras Al Khaimah been conducive to the testing and development?

Grant Simmer: One of the reasons we came to Ras Al Khaimah in the first place was that the winter months offer really nice sailing conditions and that is what we have enjoyed here. Luckily we have only lost a couple of days in the six weeks that we have been here and that was mainly due to too much wind. The conditions have been great and very stable so we don’t expect much change from that.

Alinghi 5 sailing off Ras al-Khaimah - Alinghi Team
Can you hint at the modifications that will be made to Alinghi 5 over the coming days?

Grant Simmer: Well, you will see them at the end of the week! The thing about this boat is that everything is so massive that you have to plan months in advance to make virtually any component in the boat. We have been manufacturing these pieces in Villeneuve, Switzerland, where we still have a factory (the same one that built the boat) and the boys have done a good job and delivered the parts on time so we will spend next week installing them.

Is adapting the boat for Valencia in February a consideration at this point?

Grant Simmer: Since the decision on Valencia, the default venue, we have been adapting the boat to the increased variability there at the time of the Match. Of course in the background we still have the appeal on the RAK decision, which we feel quite strongly about because RAK is a far better place to race these boats in February; something we have said repeatedly.

Any plans for the few days off?!

Grant Simmer: Actually I plan to take the weekend off to go to Dubai so I’m looking forward to that!

Wing and a jib...

33rd America’s Cup - BMW ORACLE Racing - Wing trials, Day 5 - BMW Oracle Racing © Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
BOR Blog Report:
With a 7am start off the mooring today, thermal underwear and knits caps were the most popular items of team kit this morning. As the days get shorter, even San Diego’s perpetual sunshine can’t remove the morning chill from the air.

The guys tested some soft sails today taking a look at code zeros and gennakers for use with the hard wing sail configuration. “We had a good look at the sails and some nice upwind sailing today,” said Simeon Tienpont (NED).

Later in the day, the bowsprit broke, bringing the day’s testing to a close. “It’s frustrating to break gear but we would rather break it now,” Simeon said. “We are still finding the limits on this boat and breakages are part of that process. We are all learning together. Tomorrow we will get back at it.”

Meanwhile for one of the lead wing designers, Joseph Ozanne (FRA), the aeronautical engineer had his first day on board with the wing sail. “It was really good to be on board with the trimmers and understand their point of view as the end-users of this design. This link between the designers and sailors allows us to continually improve our performance. And for me personally, it’s always a great day when I have the chance to get on board – even though it was a bit cold today.”

Posted by Peter Rusch at 20:54

Tiller takes a firm grip on Day One of Harken

Report by Damian Devine & Tom Spithill
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Newport, Australia

William Tiller and his crew of Donovan Neil, Shaun Mason, Arnau Farras-Knowles from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron set the early pace with a perfect record to take a firm grip on Day One of the 2009 HARKEN INTERNATIONAL YOUTH MATCH RACING CHAMPIONSHIP, winning all of their 7 matches. "Really pleased with our efforts today, I couldn't ask for a better start," Tiller said.

Round Robin One today comprised 10 flights and racing got underway on schedule under the direction of PRO Ted Anderson who said, "After the first flight we he had to go into a short postponement as the wind oscillated from 090 to 160, but then shortly thereafter the breeze started to strengthen and go left into a typical summer Nor Easter' providing fantastic sailing conditions on Pittwater and allowing us to finish the first leg of the Round Robin."

Tiller leads Day One from another of his RNZYS compatriots Harry Thurston who had five wins from seven, losing only to his Club sparring partner Tiller and Jordan Reece of the RSYS.

One of the tightest matches of the day occurred in flight six that saw Jordan Reece (RSYS) up against William Tiller (RNZYS). In a closely contested match not much separated the two boats over the whole course with a luffing duel on the way to the bottom mark with Reece gaining the overlap to obtain the rights and lead at the bottom mark.

They battled it out as they beat back up the course to the top mark for the final time, neck and neck, and as they raced toward the finish line, another luffing duel was contested with Tiller pushing Reece past the pin, forcing them both to drop spinnaker and resulting in Reece trailing Tiller to the line. Reece sailed well but didn't get the points. "We got him on the bottom mark to turn in front, but we just jybed too early coming to the finish and he managed to take me past the finish line, and that was it. Still waiting for my luck to kick in," Reece said, who is celebrating his 18th birthday today.

With three teams tied on points behind the two leaders after Round Robin One it makes for an exciting day's racing tomorrow as these teams battle it out on Day Two to try and cement a place in the Top four for the semi finals.

Placings after Day One of the completed Round Robin are:

1. RNZYS William Tiller NZL 7/0
2. RNZYS Harry Thurston NZL 5/2
3. RFBYC Pete Nicholas AUS 4/3
3. CYCA Olivia Price AUS 4/3
3. RPNYC Matthew Stevens NZ 4/3
6. RSYS Jordan Reece AUS 2/5
7. RPAYC Jason Waterhouse AUS 1/6
8. RPAYC Reece Tailby AUS 1/6

Follow our live racing results via the website at
A big thank you to our sponsor HARKEN Australia in supporting youth match racing and this event for 12 consecutive years. Visit

Racing gets underway at 0953hrs tomorrow.

US Match Racing Championships

St. Petersburg, FL
November 18, 2009
By Anna Tunnicliffe

Our team is back in St. Petersburg, Florida today as we prepare for racing to start tomorrow morning at the US Match Racing Championships. This week is the open division of the national championships. Racing runs from Thursday through Sunday.

It is a very good field of players including top names like Dave Perry, our USSTAG coach, Dave Dellenbaugh, Brian Angel, and Bill Hardesty. We are very much looking forward to racing everyone here, and we know the racing will be intense the whole time.

After we flew back to Ft. Lauderdale from St Thomas, on Sunday night, our team took to relaxing, catching up on work, and dropping some last minute weight so we would make weigh in. The weight limit for the open divisions is different to that for the women's. Our weight limit for this event was only 578 pounds, 22 pounds under our women's weight limit. Three weeks ago when we were here, we weighed in 12 pounds over the open weight limit so we knew we had a bit of work to do.

Anyway, we made it through our two days of dropping weight, and actually overdid it to the point of being 10 pounds light. But better to be safe than sorry, given that you never know what the scale is really going to say. After we weighed in at noon today, we went, as fast as we could, to get lunch and truly enjoyed every bite of food we could consume.

When our bellies were full, we went back to the yacht club to go for a short sail. We paired up with Dellenbaugh and did some drills to get ready. It was great practice, and we already learned a lot of new moves and tactics from him today.

Racing starts at 10am tomorrow (Thursday) morning, and will be live online through Kattack. You can also checkout the results at the regatta website.

I would like to thank Carmeuse for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. I would also like to thank Gill and USSTAG for their support.

Sail Hard,