Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jules Verne Trophy: In phase

Jules Verne Trophy 2009 - 2010

After four hours of sailing across the Bay of Biscay, Groupama 3 is very much on track for rounding Cape Finisterre prior to daybreak on Monday morning. This would enable the crew to escape the calm conditions which are set to invade the Spanish headland. As such this unexpected departure, due to a favourable evolution in the weather situation, bodes well for a swift sprint as far as the Canaries.

Nothing has been decided yet though as this initial night at sea is essential for the next stage in this Jules Verne Trophy attempt! After setting off from Ushant at 13h 55' 53'' (UTC) this Sunday 31st January on the back of a rain front generating a N'ly wind of around ten knots in the big springs (111), Franck Cammas and his nine crew have quickly joined up with a wind becoming increasingly steady the further offshore they get. The solent jib has been replaced by a gennaker in the brisker conditions on fairly manageable seas, the maxi trimaran making an average of thirty knots at sunset!

Hispanic gatekeeper
Having already covered over a hundred miles in four hours, Groupama 3 is in phase with the weather routing and, despite the fact that the breeze is set to ease in the early hours, Franck Cammas and his men should still have traversed the Bay of Biscay before daybreak. As such, they should be in a perfect position to slip along beneath the zone of high pressure, currently shifting across towards Spain, in a moderate E'ly breeze. The sailing conditions are considerably more pleasant than they were during the last record attempt in November, however the crew can't afford to make any mistakes and will have to be extremely vigilant to negotiate a gybe during the course of the night. As this departure on the Jules Verne Trophy was rushed due to a favourable evolution in the forecasts, the crew are going to need to have their fingers on the pulse from the off! Fortunately the full moon will light the way and, given that the giant trimaran has headed off on the back of a rain front, the boat will be able to make headway effortlessly in rising temperatures and calm seas.

It remains that the movement of these zones of high pressure in the Atlantic will be the first Justice of the Peace along the 24,375 mile course stretching around the world... The way through this tricky stage may well be blocked more suddenly than forecast at which point the crew will have to hold their steed on a tight rein so as to skirt around the low, which is currently filling in off the Canaries. The aim of crossing the equator within six days is feasible and would put Groupama 3 a day ahead of Bruno Peyron's reference time (7d 02h 58'). -

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Team Tunnicliffe wins 2010 Miami OCR

It came down to the last leg of the five race series, but we pulled it off and won the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR. We are so happy with how we sailed and are delighted that we came out on top. It was a great series against Lucy MacGregor and team, from Great Britain.

Close Call
Photo: (c)
Walter Cooper, January 2010
The conditions were perfect for match racing this morning as the first warning gun went off at 9am. Our first race didn't start too well for us. We were awarded a penalty at 20 seconds to go. We came back during the race, and got slightly ahead of them into the finish, but were awarded another penalty just before the finish so we lost that race. The next race, we got behind, and just couldn't quite catch back up. But we didn't let it affect us going into the third race; there was no pressure on us now. We either had to win the race to continue racing, or go home. We were able to draw two penalties on Team MacGregor by the leeward mark, which advanced us enough that they weren't going to be able to come back.

Keeping An Eye On The Competition
Photo: (c)
Dave Hein, January 2010
Then again, in the fourth race, there was still no pressure on us. We had great boat speed and sailed a smart race to take the win. We also got some Aussie encouragement; they gave us a cheer before the fourth race, and then again before the fifth race!

Going into the fifth race, we were excited that we had evened up the score, and it was now all on the line, but we still managed to keep the pressure off us. We didn't have a great start, and were getting a bit behind up the first beat. But at the top, Team MacGregor hit some waves and slowed, which put us right back behind them. We had pulled them in some more by the bottom mark, and just had to keep the race close back up to the top so we could try and do something downwind. On the downwind leg, they gybed early, and we extended on port. We gybed shortly after and got some nice waves, which we used to surf down inside of them. From that point on, all we had to do was defend the starboard layline to the boat-end of the finish line, which we did.

We are extremely happy with our result. We learned tons this week, and are looking forward to reviewing it all in the upcoming days, organizing all of our little notes from the event. It is a great way to start our season, but know we have an enormous amount still to learn. We have a couple of weeks off before we start training again for our next regatta.

We would like to thank Carmuese for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London, England. We would also like to thank USSTAG for their support. We would like to thank our USSTAG coach, Dave Perry, for his help this week and this past month. Also a big thanks to the PET team, especially Shaun and Scott for keeping us game ready.

Sail Hard,

Team Tunnicliffe

Friday, January 29, 2010

Double win for Jonathan Lobert in Miami

Finn Focus at Rolex Miami OCR - Day five

The final day of the qualification races in the Finn class at the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR brought a new face to the front of the fleet. Jonathan Lobert (FRA) won both races in the light to moderate winds to make a last minute challenge for a medal. However the top three positions remained the same with Ed Wright (GBR) leading into Saturday's medal race from Giles Scott (GBR) and Zach Railey (USA).

Overnight leader Wright placed 5-2 and will lead into the medal race by a useful 14 point margin over team mate Scott who produced a 2-7. Third placed Railey lost some of his advantage and now trails Scott by 7 points, with race eight winner Gasper Vincec just 7 points further back.

However there was no great changes after the final two qualification races. Though sailors swapped positions inside the top 10, no-one moved in or out of the top 10. All this means that the gold medal is between Wright and Scott, the silver is between Wright, Scott, Railey and Vincec and the bronze is between Scott, Railey and Vincec.

Rafa Trujillo (ESP) lost his chances of a medal with an 18-6 to end the day in 5th overall, but with too large a points gap on Vincec.

After his double race win, Lobart climbed from 10th to 6th, but is also still too far adrift to take a medal. He said, “Today it was great sailing for I had two very good starts and my speed was very good so I could easily do what I liked. I went on the left side where the wind was more consistent and it was clearly proved to be the right choice. I am very happy with this and I hope to do as good in the medal race.”

So the medal races line up looks like this:

Ed Wright (GBR) – Winner of the 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup, 2006 European Champion and dominated this week so far against a high standard fleet.

Giles Scott (GBR) – 2008 Junior World Champion. Generally did not perform well in medal races last year, but has been unusually consistent this week.

Zach Railey (USA) – 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and runner-up in last year's Gold Cup. Will be disappointed not to be in the hunt for the gold.

Gaser Vincec (SLO) – Return to form for the Slovenian after a break since last year's Gold Cup. Could easily snatch a medal after slow start to the regatta.

Rafael Trujillo (ESP) – 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist and 2007 World Champion. Expected to be in with a medal chance but too many high scores on the board.

Jonathan Lobert (FRA) – Apart from Wright, the only other sailor to win more than one race this week and has clearly shown he has to speed to win, but can't take a medal.

Bryan Boyd (USA) – Plenty of flair to win races. Won the opening race of last year's Gold Cup but has not generally been consistent enough this week.

Thomas Le Breton (FRA) – Second year in the Finn and improving all the time. Only three points off fourth place.

Peer Moberg (NOR) – Won the 2007 Rolex Miami OCR and has been pretty consistent all week, though too far adrift to make the podium this year.

Eduard Skornyakov (RUS) – 2007 European Champion. Seems to enjoy the lighter winds more and only 11 points off fifth place, so there could be a large shuffle in the lower half of the fleet after the medal race.

Standings after 10 races

1 GBR 11 Wright, Edward GBR 1 2 [19] 1 4 1 1 3 5 2 20.00
2 GBR 41 Scott, Giles GBR 2 7 1 3 3 3 [8] 6 2 7 34.00
3 USA 4 Railey, Zach USA 4 5 4 4 1 5 4 5 9 [36/DNS] 41.00
4 SLO 5 Vincec, Gasper SLO 5 12 5 8 [19] 2 7 1 3 5 48.00
5 ESP 100 Trujillo, Rafael ESP 14 6 3 6 7 7 5 7 [18] 6 61.00
6 FRA 112 Lobert, Jonathan FRA 8 [25] 8 7 15 14 6 2 1 1 62.00
7 USA 14 Boyd, Bryan USA 12 4 [18] 2 2 6 10 4 15 9 64.00
8 FRA 115 Le Breton, Thomas FRA 11 9 2 5 5 [20] 11 9 4 8 64.00
9 NOR 1 Moberg, Peer NOR 7 8 6 9 6 8 [13] 11 8 3 66.00
10 RUS 9 Eduard, Skornyakov RUS 6 3 [13] 12 13 4 9 10 11 4 72.00

Class website:
Event videos:
Event website:

New York Supreme Court: Toooooooo busy

America's Cup:
Statement by Tom Ehman, GGYC spokesperson

New York (January 29, 2010) – The New York Supreme Court said today that,
due to its busy schedule, the hearing on the “constructed-in-country” issue could
not be expedited. Therefore, it appears unlikely that a hearing will take place
before the America’s Cup match begins on February 8th.

It is unfortunate that the legality of Alinghi’s American-made sails probably will
not be decided before the Match. However, it will be decided eventually.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

OCR, Miami: Day 4, Quarter Final Day

Miami, FL - Racing was tight today at the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR. We finished up the Gold fleet races and went 1-1. With this added to yesterday's 2-0, we finished the round in second with a 3-2 record. Then, it was on to the Quarter finals round, against Lucinda Whitty from Australia. At the end of the day, we were up 2-0 in a first-to-three-point series.

Anna Getting Debbie Wet
Photo: (c) Dave Hein, Miami OCR, January 2010

Our first Gold fleet race today was against the reigning ISAF Women's Match Racing champion, Nicky Souter. We led her off the line, but made a small mistake upwind, put ourselves behind, and were unable to catch up.

In the second and final race of the Gold fleet, we were matched up against our fellow Americans, Sally Barkow and team. It was a great race all around the race course. At the second windward mark, we got into a luffing situation that ran into the press boats. Luckily they got out of the way just in time so they didn't intefere with the race. On the downwind leg, we got into a short gybing duel. We gybed away and managed to hold her off by about half a boat length at the finish to take the win. That win put us in second overall in the round behind GBR's, Lucy MacGregor. Because we finished second in the Gold fleet, for the Quarter finals round (now a knock-out format), we are matched up against the winner of the repecharge, Lucinda Whitty (AUS).

We had some really good races with the Aussies. The first race started with us ahead, but them passing us downwind. We had room on them at the leeward mark, but were not given it, so they were given a penalty. They spun their penalty, and we extended on them to take the win. The second race was much closer all around the course, but we held them off to the end and took the second race. The series is first-to-three-points, so we need to win one more tomorrow morning to advance to the Semi finals round. You can check the results here at the regatta website.

We are learning a lot as a team and about working together, and we are having fun on top of that. This is a great event for us, being able to match up against all the top ranked sailors; the racing is close, and keeps us on our toes from start to finish.

I would like to thank Carmeuse for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London, England. I would also like to thank USSTAG for their support.

Sail Hard,

Team Tunnicliffe


Winner race 1 - Visione photo:

Perfect Caribbean sailing conditions for the first race of the 4th Superyacht Cup Antigua, bright sunshine, blue skies, a good 18 - 22 knot breeze from the North East and big seas. This highly competitive fleet has some of the best sailors in the world, countless America's Cup and grand-prix racing calibre crews are dotted amongst the professional superyacht crews, making this a hotly contested regatta.

The course needed to take into account not only the wind and sea conditions but the optimal 'guest-experience', ensuring a bit of excitement, comfortable reaching and a beat up the coast to admire the beautiful scenery off the south coast of Antigua. Rebecca started first, beating up to the first mark and bearing away down the reach towards Cades Reef, with Ranger following close astern. Ranger attempted to fly their genniker but ripped it on the hoist and was forced to sail down the reach with just the mainsail and jib; "It was a day for the ketches" commented Mike Quilter on Ranger, "It may be a small fleet but they are all excellent boats, and without the genniker we just could not keep up, but the boss and guests had a great day out".

Sojana may not have been convinced with Quilter's ketch theory, breaking the mizzen boom they had to complete the course with just the mainsail and jib. Visione, the powerful 45m Baltic who stared 25 minutes after Rebecca sailed a clean race and took the lead coming up the final beat to win the first race by over 4 minutes.

It is an interesting time for superyacht racing as the SYC organizers have been working with the Bucket Regattas to develop a new superyacht racing protocol. With all the talent in town, a meeting was called on Tuesday night to gain valuable input to the first draft of the protocol. All the participating Yacht Captains were invited, along with a wide cross-section of top racing skippers and long-time Bucket supporters. Robbie Doyle and Peter Holmberg, who are sailing on P2 this week, Earl Williams, Alistair Tait and Dan Jackson from Ranger, as well as Jens Christensen from North Sails and Garth Brewer from Visione, aired their views on the protocol and offered their input. The intention of the protocol is to provide the safest, fairest and most appropriate format for racing superyachts which currently has the audience split between the ISAF racing rules and the amended COLREGS protocol.

Tonight the crews will be taking-over Nelson's Dockyard dressed up as Pirates of the Caribbean for a barbecue on the dock, live music and plenty of Antiguan rum punch! The second race will start tomorrow at 12.00. -

Ziggy & Maikal X set to perform...

Ziggy & Maikal X set to perform at the 2010 St.Maarten Heineken Regatta.

January 28th 2010-Simpson Bay St.Maarten-Holland’s biggest Reggae Star Ziggi will be opening on Sunday March 7th for a fantastic night of fun on Kim Sha Beach.

Having shot to fame since 2004, with singles like ‘In my Head’, ‘High time’ and ‘Missing the Way’ Ziggi has been compared to many great Reggae artists, and is predicted a bright future in the Music world.

His fame takes him well beyond the borders of the Netherlands, having toured with German Reggae band Gentleman and played at many European concerts. He was recently signed to Jamaican record label VP/Greensleeves, where he is the first European Reggae artist to join their roster.

As a young artist, Ziggi is proving to be socially engaged, as his latest record ‘In Transit’ deals with issues like environment and poverty.

Ziggi now comes back to the Caribbean, which is where he grew up listening to Reggae, Dance Hall and Hip Hop; all of which influences are now deeply intertwined in his melodies.

Having performed on the Boardwalk in Philipsburg at the 2007 regatta, the crowds loved him, and the organizers are very pleased to welcome him back!

Ziggi will be teaming up with Maikal X, also known as Shyrock or Rollarocka. This artist hails from the Netherlands, with his roots in the Caribbean.

Having recently launched his solo-career, Maikal X is no stranger to the party scene where he is known as the tenor of The Postmen. With this group he has had a string of hit singles such as “Cocktail” and “You Wait” taken from their hit debut album “Documents”.

Under the name Shyrock, Maikal X is also known as the MC of Europe’s biggest dancehall and reggae party called “Jamrock”. His MC skills have taken him to many corners of the world, so for Sunday’s show he is expected to bring some upbeat reggae beats to Kim Sha beach.

Both Ziggi and Maikal X will be backed by the Renaissance Band.

Artist booker for the Regatta Michele Ferron is excited; “Ziggi and Maikel X are both very talented young performers, and the perfect act for this event. Their music is diverse and inspired, with a broad appeal. I am sure everyone will be dancing to these sounds on the beach with a cold Heineken in their hands, sailors and locals, young and old. This is exactly what the Regatta parties are all about: a great time, great music and great beer. I know Í am looking forward to the show; it’s going to be Hot!”

In its 30th anniversary year, the final night of this four day event is going to be one to remember. Don’t miss it! -

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

OCR, Miami: Day 3, Sorting Out the Seeds

Miami, FL

This morning, at 2010 US Sailing Rolex Miami OCR, we had one job to do, and that was to win our race. And we did it. We won our race, and other teams lost their races which allowed us to advance into the Gold fleet this afternoon. With three races completed in the Gold fleet, we currently have a 2-1 record.

Closely Watched By The Judges
Photo: copyright Walter Cooper, January 2010

It was a beautiful day in Miami today. The wind was a bit shifty this morning although blowing a nice 10-12kts. In our first race, we had a great start and led all the way around the course. There were times when the other boat got a bit close, but as a team, I felt as though we positioned ourselves against the other boat well so that we could hold them off. We were quite relieved to win this race after the disappointing afternoon yesterday. This morning, we were all focused on what needed to be done, and we kept it calm and simple.

After the first race, we got to come ashore for an hour. The afternoon's racing was much tighter than we have experienced in the regatta so far. Our first race was against Lucy MacGregor from England. We got our timing slightly wrong, and couldn't quite get through her lee on the start line. She ended up forcing us away from the first shift and she extended on us sufficiently, that we couldn't catch up.

After that loss, we were fired up for our next race against Claire Leroy from France. We had a great start with her. We won the side we wanted on the start line, and she started a little early. We had a great lead off the line, but she got a little shift right at the end of the first beat and she gained back on us towards the top mark. Downwind, we got into a gybing duel and drew a penalty on her. From there, we held the lead around the course, and made it our goal to sail a clean race to the finish. Our last race was against Samantha Osborne from New Zealand. We won the start and then hooked into a huge right shift that put us over the layline for the windward mark, so much so that we had to start reaching in. We were looking like we were 'miles' ahead, then we fell out of the puff towards the top of the course and the right shift fell away and we were now bow to bow at the top mark. We forced Samantha to tack and held her for a while until we felt we could tack and safely set the spinnaker. We had a fast set, allowing us to extend a bit on the downwind leg. On the second time around, we sailed smart and fast and extended our lead and held on to the finish.

Tomorrow we will finish up the Gold fleet round robin. The purpose of this round robin is to seed the top 6 for the quarter-finals. We will be joined by the top two in the repecharge to make the top 8 and from there, sail a knock-out. You can find results here at the regatta website.

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

Sail Hard,

Team Tunnicliffe

Change of Pace

Coming Together Preview from BenWilsonSurf on Vimeo.

Over 2 billion viewers will have access to the America's Cup on TV - Just not in the USA!

With less than two weeks until the first races of the 33rd America’s Cup, a massive TV broadcast reach has already been secured which should ensure that the dramatic, never seen before multihull races between the Defender Alinghi and the Challenger BMW Oracle Racing, with the capacity to reach a huge global audience.

Through the agreements with the European Broadcasting Union, which reaches 56 territories and has an audience of over 650 million. As well as Sports News TV spanning 160 territories, broadcasting to over 1.4 billion people and Transworld Sport with a global audience of over 302 million, the America’s Cup News packages are assured of a massive international audience of over 2 billion viewers.

Among the broadcasters are Great Britain’s BSkyB, TVE/Teledeporte and Canal 9 in Spain, French based Eurosport and Showtime in the Middle East. Broadcasters will take all of the America’s Cup output, including the 26 minutes race day highlights package, Race News package and the 52 minute summary wrap up programme at the end of the event.

Also, for the first time in the history of the America's Cup, races will be broadcast live free of charge on

Finn Focus at Rolex Miami OCR - Day two

International Finn Association Press Release

British team dominate first day in Finns at Miami

After a frustrating day lost Monday due to heavy storms passing through, the 2010 Finn season finally got underway with the first three races of the Rolex Miami OCR, the second event in the 2010 ISAF Sailing World Cup. With 37 sailors entered from 14 nations, this year's event was always going to be tough with a strong line up including 11 of the top 20 world ranked sailors present.

For many the man to beat here is Zach Railey (USA), the 2008 Olympic silver medalist, who has been training hard over the winter, but the strong British team picked up where they left off last year with a win apiece between last year's winner of the ISAF Sailing World Cup for Finns, Ed Wright (GBR), Mark Andrews (GBR) and Giles Scott (GBR). In fact race one turned into a Team GBR benefit with Wright winning the race from Scott and Andrew Mills (GBR).

The forecast was wind from the north at 8 to 12 knots, decreasing as the day went on. The first start began at 13:30 and that race was very shifty as there was an ongoing battle between the sea breeze and the land breeze making the race course was extremely complicated.

The 2004 Olympic Silver medalist Rafa Trujillo (ESP) had a poor start to the regatta with a 14th, but recovered to place 6th and 3rd in the remaining races of the day. He said “It was a very difficult day, with many shifts and changes in pressure which required us to sail on the sides of the racecourse. After a disastrous first start I was pretty much stuck in the middle of the course and suffered for the duration of the race though I was able to improve from 22nd to 14th.”

“During the other two races of the day I was much more aggressive on my starts which allowed me to decide where I wanted to go and gradually regain confidence in my decisions and manage risks better than the first race.”

Scott leads after day from Railey, who was one of the few consistent sailors after three races. He reported, “Today was very shifty so I am happy to get 3 top 5 results and hope to keep it going tomorrow.” Third place is Peer Moberg (NOR), the only other sailor to maintain top 10 positions all day.

Fleet racing continues until Friday with the medal race for the top 10 on Saturday 30th January.
Class website:
Event website:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Miami OCR: Day 2

British Sailor crashing through wave on Biscayne Bay(Credit: Walter Cooper/ US SAILING)
Shifty Wind Made for Challenging Racing in All Classes

Miami, Fla. (January 26, 2010) -- Today counted as a perfect day at US SAILING’s 2010 Rolex Miami OCR, the second of seven stops of the International (ISAF) Sailing World Cup 2009-2010.Especially after yesterday’s weather interruptions, no one minded this morning’s slight cold snap that gave way to brilliant conditions on Biscayne Bay and allowed multiple races to be completed in the 13 Olympic and Paralympic classes represented here. The annual event, in its 21st year, has 45 nations represented on its roster of 448 teams (633 athletes), most of whom are top contenders for 2012 Olympic or Paralympic berths.

Israel’s Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela took pleasure in “three good races” that launched them to the top of the scoreboard in the 470 Men’s class that runs 34 teams deep. (Racing was cancelled for this class yesterday.)Even with an impressive scoreline of 2-6-4, however, Kliger was humble about his team’s performance.“We only started sailing together one month ago, so I wouldn’t have put ourselves in ‘the teams to watch,’ but it was a good day.” Kliger skippered in two Olympic Games (Athens and Beijing) and has claimed three bronze medals at 470 class world championships.He was quick to point out that his crew also holds a bronze medal from the Junior World Championship.“All the best guys are here, like at the worlds,” said Kliger.Nipping at his heels in overall standings is Luke Patience with crew Stuart Bithell (GBR), showing 17 points to Israel’s 12, followed by Sven and Kalle Coster (NED) with 22 points.

Mikee Anderson-Mitterling (San Diego, Calif.) and David Hughes (San Diego, Calif.), comprising the top-finishing U.S. team (12th place) in this class, also felt a bit like newcomers today.“It was our first day back after not sailing for 2 ½ years since the Olympic Trials,” said Anderson-Mitterling.“We’re going to try to see at this point if we still think we have it, and if we feel we can do well, we might go full bore again for an Olympic campaign.” As for holding their own, he admitted, “It’s a deep fleet (in talent); if you make a mistake they make you pay.”

Only four points separated the top seven Women’s 470 teams, proving how experience ruled the day as sailors played to the shifty conditions. Two French teams and two U.S. teams rose to the top: Ingrid Petitjean and crew Nadege Douroux posted the fewest points (13) in the low-point scoring system, with Erin Maxwell (Norwalk, Conn.) and Isabelle Kinsolving Farrar (New York, N.Y.) following close behind with 14.After that, it’s the same trade-out with France’s Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron posting 15 points, followed by Amanda Clark (Shelter Island Heights, N.Y.) and Sarah Chin (Hoboken, N.J.), also with 15 (but showing fourth because of tie-breaking rules).

“It was difficult, with very shifty winds,” said Petitjean, who noted that she knows Maxwell and Kinsolving almost as well as her own teammates here on the French national team.Such is the way of making friends the world-over while sailing an Olympic campaign. When asked who she would watch most closely tomorrow, Petitjean said, “After only three races, we are not watching anyone, we are competing against the whole fleet.”

Kinsolving Farrar agreed the conditions were tricky but exciting: “You had to keep your head out of the boat and look around the whole time. It’s never over until it’s over. There’s always room to be gained.”

This is Clark and Chin’s first major event after taking the last year off after competing at the 2008 Olympic Games, and they’re eager to get back into the mix. “Changing places with other teams was really fun,” said Clark. “The pumping flag was up, so we were able to be physical and play the waves.”

In the 24-boat Star class, four American teams finished in the top five after three races today, with Andy Horton (South Burlington, Vt.) and James Lyne (Granville, Vt.) in the lead. On their course, the wind shifted 60 degrees right by the end of the day. “The U.S. teams did what they needed to do today: they hit about 75 percent of the shifts and had single digits for the majority of the races,” said Mark Ivey (San Francisco, Calif.), who is here coaching the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics’ Star teams. “The goal for everybody was for everyone in the top eight at all mark roundings ... which is what you have to do in a small boat fleet.”

“It was pretty crazy,” said Horton, whose goal is to finish in the top five this week. “It was pretty shifty and puffy, so [we had to] change gears a lot.”

Horton said he felt lucky with their top results today, considering this is only the third regatta they’ve sailed together. “We’re still trying to figure things out working as a team. There’s so much communication in a Star boat – there’s two of you, big sails and lots of kinetics in a big boat.”

2009 Star World Champions George Szabo (San Diego, Calif.) and Rick Peters (Venice, Calif.) finished the three races in fourth overall today. Szabo noted that it was a tough day to catch all the shifts and he was glad they didn’t make any big errors that would take them out of the race.“It was really hard on the crews today; they had to work extra hard,” he said. -

Today’s post brought you by Point Loma Outfitting

Batten down the hatches...

Big breeze in Valencia - With Alinghi’s wind limit this regatta might never happen till summer.


One of our readers posted this: BRING BACK THE SPORTSMANSHIP! Larry Ellison epitomizes the worst in American greed and has ruined the America's Cup for ever. We used to have a great sailing competition, now we just have a revolting display of financial power. Whoever thinks of Larry Ellison in association with sport has no idea of what true sport is about. He should be banned from participating to any future sports events and his company Oracle should be boycotted as well.

What do you think? Should Larry Ellison be blamed for the America's Cup debacle and be banned from the sport of sailing. Leave your comments below.

St Maarten Heineken Regatta Visual Information Piece

Monday, January 25, 2010

OCR, Miami: Great Start On Day 1

Post brought to you by Speed & Smarts

January 25, 2010 - Miami, FL -
We started racing around 10:15 this morning at the US Sailing Rolex Miami OCR. The cold front that was scheduled to blow through in the early afternoon was looming on the other side of the bay. And so, because it was moving in a more northerly direction than easterly, we sailed along the edge of the dark clouds and completed our scheduled three races for the day. It was a great day for us, and we were very happy with how things turned out. We started the round 3-0 and will race another four races to complete our round tomorrow afternoon.

Anna Tunnicliffe and Molly Vandemoer throw Y-flags during racing today
Photo: copyright Walter Cooper, January 2010

There are 24 teams competing at the event, divided into three groups of eight. The groups are divided based on the current ISAF World Rankings. We are ranked #10 in the ISAF rankings, and ended up being the #7 seed team for this event. The groups are divided as follows: ISAF #1 ranked in group A, ISAF #2 ranked in group B, ISAF #3 and #4 ranked in group C, ISAF #5 in group A, and so on. For this reason, we are in group A. In order for each boat to sail every day, the race committee limited the number of races in each group per day. So for today, groups B and C were scheduled to sail 4 races each this afternoon, and will then do their other three each tomorrow, after which we will finish our last 4. It's a bit confusing at first, but once you've see it on the schedule they've given us, it makes much more sense. (Check out the results' page to get a better idea.)

TeamTunnicliffe Leading The Israelis In To The Mark
Photo: copyright Walter Cooper, January 2010

The promised storm did eventually come in, but not until group B had completed one of its four races. The storm forced the race committee to send in the sailors, as there were reports of waterspouts in the surrounding waters and wind gusts up to 50kts. Better to be safe than sorry. The teams were only on shore for a brief period, before the front passed and they could resume racing. I'm not sure where they are in the schedule as we left the YC, but I'm sure all three groups will have gotten in some racing today. (Actually, as it turned out, group B completed its 4 races but group C didn't get in any racing - short on time.)

Our races were held in 15-17kts and a short chop. Because we were sailing along the edge of the storm clouds, the shifts were quite frequent, but Molly and Debbie did a great job of putting us in the correct place relative to our competitor to make a gain out of it. Our pre-starts were quite quick and aggressive, and were a great indicator of how our work on boat handling has been going. We are very happy with where we are at, but are now at the point of nit-picking little things to make it even more smooth.

We had one exciting pre-start with the Israeli team. We were trailing them back towards the start line with too much time left for them to start cleanly if they kept going. With about 40 seconds left, we hooked them to leeward and forced them to tack. This was a bit of a mistake on our part because we did it too close to the committee boat so that if we wanted to tack with them, we would get ourselves pinned between them and the committee boat, resulting in us not being able to start. We didn't tack because we realized this, and instead gybed around at them, to try and catch them before they got a gybe in. Well, they managed to get their gybe in to starboard, and although we were trying to avoid them, I chose the wrong direction to avoid them, thus putting ourselves across their path. This was a big mistake by me, and resulted in us getting a penalty. But, we cleared our heads, gybed around behind them and hooked them to leeward and drew a penalty right back on them 10 seconds after the start to even the penalties out. We engaged them in a tacking dual upwind, and managed to get control of the right and passed them about half way up the beat. From there, we just had to sail smart and stay out of trouble, which we did and went on to win the race.

We are very happy with how our day went. We have done loads of practice over the last couple of weeks, working on improving our communication and our plays. Today, save my one big mistake, was a great day for our team. Everything went quite smoothly. We are looking forward to racing again tomorrow and finishing up the round robin. You can check out the results for the regatta here.

We would like to thank our sponsors, Carmeuse and USSTAG, for their continued support towards our campaign for the 2012 Olympics, and we look forward to being able to name other sponsors in our future daily reports.

Sail Hard,

Team Tunnicliffe

America’s Cup racing will be broadcast Live on the internet!

- International marketing and event team already in place to support.

- For the first time, Racing will be broadcast Live on the internet

The Société Nautique du Genève (SNG), trustee of the America’s Cup, has delegated the responsibility for organising the media and event activities for the 33rd America’s Cup to Consorcio Valencia 2007. The 33rd America’s Cup promises to be a regatta unlike anything that has been seen before so far.

The two fastest boats in history will fight for the America’s Cup over race courses that are up to six times bigger than the ones used in the 32nd America’s Cup. For this reason, the TV coverage of the racing will be key. For the first time, the races will be broadcast live and free of charge through to reach the biggest, widest possible audience, including all the fans who will not be able to be in Valencia to witness live this historic competition.

The on-shore action will be concentrated at the Veles e Vents, the landmark building central to Port America’s Cup. A giant screen will be installed for fans and spectators to follow the races live as well as enjoying a host of complementary activities around the Port area. The International media center with capacity for 150 journalists will be in close proximity to the Veles y Vents.

Jorge Gisbert, General Director of Consorcio Valencia 2007: « We are very grateful to have the event back at Port America’s Cup, in the short time we have available we will do our utmost to set the stage for an unforgettable event here in Valencia. »

To organise this event in a short time Gisbert has surrounded himself with an international team involved in the execution of the 32nd America’s Cup. This team led by Michel Hodara (SUI, 48) consists of seasoned professionals in the field of television, media, public entertainment and hospitality.

Questions and Answers - Jorge Gisbert, General Director of Consorcio Valencia 2007

Consorcio Valencia 2007 was in charge of the infrastructure of the 32nd America’s Cup What does it mean for consorcio to be now in charge of the organisation for the 33rd America’s Cup?
“It’s a challenge. Thanks to our experience in the development of the Port we can give a fast and efficient answer to the technical requirements of an event like this. Also Michel Hodara and his team have joined to contribute with their experience. For three years we worked with him in the last edition of the Cup.”

The 32nd America’s Cup was a success. What can we expect from the 33rd?
“Another success, that’s the only way we can see it. This America’s Cup is a totally different proposition and now we are responsible for the organisation and we have a very limited amount of time. We are going to push our creativity and work capacity to the maximum.”

Valencia enjoys the legacy of the 32nd America’s Cup. What will be the legacy of the 33rd edition?
“We are seeing now that the work to produce the 32nd America’s Cup was the right effort. The 33rd America’s Cup will be an opportunity to show the world that not only can we can organise a great international event, but that we can do it in a very short period of time.” - Michel Hodara, Event Manager of the 33rd America’s Cup

What is it needed to organise an America’s Cup in such a short period of time?
“It is necessary to have a team of professionals that are used to work together and who are ready to do it 24 hours a day. In addition to the staff of Consortio Valencia 2007, I have surrounded myself with people that enjoy aiming for the ‘impossible’.”

Will it be comparable to the 32nd America’s Cup?
“The 32nd America’s Cup was a five star event, developed over the course of three years. The 33rd America’s Cup is not simply the second chapter of that story, is a totally different story, it will be more compact, more intimate, but just as exciting.”

What will it be like as an experience, on the ground in Valencia?
“We will welcome fans with an inauguration event on February 7th. From the first race, scheduled for the 8th February, they will be able to watch the races live on a giant screen, get official merchandising and enjoy a range of activities for kids, youngsters and families. Also, there will be food and beverage points with Swiss, American and, of course, Spanish food. We want to create a special atmosphere a great fan experience.”

British sailor Sarah Ayton back in the game...

Sarah Ayton will make her first appearance since striking her second Olympic Yngling gold in Beijing on Monday, teaming up with Saskia Clark in the 470 class at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta.

The 29-year old took last season out to have a baby but is returning to the water after Clark's regular partner Pippa Wilson - who won gold with Ayton in Beijing - withdrew.

With Yngling removed from the Olympic programme for 2012, Ayton is still to decide which class she will compete in London but insists she is not getting ahead of herself in Miami.

"It's been a while, but I really enjoy sailing in Miami and it'll be fun to race with Sas this week," said Ayton.

"It will be an event all about learning and there's no pressure or expectation on me to deliver a result which will be nice."

Ayton's husband, RS:X world champion Nick Dempsey will also compete in Biscayne Bay as part of a 45-strong British squad.

Other medal contenders for the British team include 2009 World Cup series winners Nick Thompson (Laser), Ed Wright (Finn), John Robertson and crew (Paralympic Sonar) and Lucy Macgregor, Annie Lush and Ally Martin (match racing).

And Macgregor, who struck bronze in Miami 12 months ago in Laser SB3s but will compete in the new Olympic class Elliott 6m keelboat this time round, admitted she was looking forward to eyeing up the opposition for this season's World Cup.

"It'll be quite interesting in terms of our rivals this week," said the 23-year old.

"A lot of people have been away now and spent a bit of time in the boats, getting used to them.

"So I don't think anyone really knows who are going to be the ones to watch.

"The Americans have been working really hard, as have the French and the Dutch, so I think it could be a really close regatta." - EuroSports

It rains in Spain

Posted by Peter Rusch
With a big weather system bringing strong winds to the Valencia area, the BMW ORACLE Racing team is taking advantage of the non-sailing days to continue its preparation of its race boat, USA.

The first race of the America's Cup Match is just two weeks from today.

On Saturday morning, the team renewed its confidence in the boat and the wing sail when it was able to set out on its scheduled training session in winds over 20 knots.

The session was shortened slightly when a trickle of water found it’s way into the yacht's electronics system and caused an electrical fault that affected the power systems on board.

Over Sunday and into this week, the shore team is making sure the problem won't re-occur.

"There wasn't a problem with the engine itself," explained navigator Matteo Plazzi (ITA). "Some of the waterproofing elements on board were put to a higher stress test than they had been previously and we found that areas we thought were 100% waterproof, actually weren't in these conditions.

"As navigator, I know that water and electronics are not a good mix and that is what caused the failure. The engine itself was working exactly as it should.

"In a strange way, it's good that it happened. It's important that we identify these problems now and eliminate them. With the boats at the cutting-edge, I think reliability is going to be an issue for both teams, so the more problems we identify and take care of now, the better."

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BOR dropping the hammer 22kts of wind

Posted by Peter Rusch
With the wind up and a forecast for building conditions, the team opted for an early dock-out. In fact, the light had just filled in behind a grey, overcast, sky as the USA slipped its mooring.

In a very cool departure, the boat simply drifted downwind, backwards, several hundred metres from its mooring, before making a quick bear away, and powering up in the flat water of the port to fly past the breakwater.

Once at sea, the plan was for some upwind work, and that's exactly what they did. With the wind hitting 22 knots, it was a day to see what the USA, and it's wing sail, could do.

"The wing, upwind, is a beautiful thing," said main trimmer Dirk de Ridder (NED) after sailing. "It's so much easier to trim. Everything gets easier when it's windier as the whole head just lays off. You ease it out and off she goes.

"We did a few tacks upwind and a bear away, which at these windspeeds people always say is the most dangerous thing to do. When you see a spectacular picture of multihulls it's always on the bear away, but that went really well - really easy - which is a very good sign for us.

"Then we did a little bit of downwind with just the wing, and we were in the process of putting a jib up when we had an engine problem, which affected power to the winches, so that's how we finished. It was a shame not to sail all the way back downwind, but it was a really good upwind session today, so we're happy."

So a small electrical issue ended an otherwise successful session.

"We had bigger conditions in San Diego, but most times there it was choppy and lighter winds," said bowman Simeon Tienpont (NED). "Today, the boat was really fast, it felt really good."

The fast part, I can confirm. Trying to keep up in a 6-metre RIB was more or less impossible with the sea state. What was amazing to me was how stable the USA was in the chop, using her waterline length to slice through the waves like they weren't there.

"We're getting more comfortable every day," confirmed Tienpont. "Today was really good because it gives us a lot of confidence in the boat." -

Saturday, January 23, 2010

John Kilroy's 'Samba Pa Ti' Wins Key West Race Week

Photos by Joy - Megles Class
John Kilroy's 'Samba Pa Ti' Wins Key West Race Week Melges 32 Division, Named 'Boat Of The Week'

After completing the full ten race series at Premiere Racing's Key West Race Week, John Kilroy wins by a substantial margin over, Joe Woods in second and third place finisher Lanfranco Cirillo.
Key West, Fla. - Congratulations to John Kilroy (Malibu, Calif.) on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti is 2010 Key West Race Week Melges 32 Champion. Along for the sweet ride was Stu Bannatyne calling tactics, Morgan Reeser, Sam Rogers (back-to-back winner), Shana Rosenfeld Phelan, Eric Dorman, Alan Nakanishi and Justin Smart. The energy was pure electricity as Samba accepted honors at tonight's Premiere Racing Yachting awards.

Adding feathers to Kilroy's cap, true icing on the cake, Kilroy's Samba Pa Ti was also named Boat of the Week, a prestigious award at Key West Race Week.

Kilroy simply crushed the competition with an unprecedented 18-point advantage over second place finisher Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on GBR-700 Red. For Woods, second place is bittersweet. This is the second year in a row that Woods has found his Red team, comprised of Paul Goodison on tactics, Dave Lenz, Shane Hughes, Simon Hughes, Jamie Binmore, Chris Cooper and Conner Myant, in second overall at the end of the day. Woods is an extraordinary competitor and a definite class favorite. Without a doubt, sooner or later it is certain he’ll find the winner’s circle in Key West.

In third overall is none other than Italy’s Lanfranco Cirillo (Torri del Benac, Italy) on ITA-212 Fantastica. Cirillo had a tough start to the week, but worked his way steadily up the leaderboard for a great finish. Sailing with Cirillo is tactician Michele Paoletti, Daniele De Luca, Claudio Celon, Riamondo Tonelli, Manuel Giubellini, Eros Paghera and Enrico Verdinelli.

On the final day of racing the fleet was more than content with the warm temperatures and sunshine, however longed for the Thursday’s breezy conditions. Instead, they were forced to deal with light and fickle air that progressively got lighter and trickier. The first start dealt only 5-8 knots with Kilroy looking to have a nice lane upwind. Kilroy’s next closest challengers Rod Jabin (Annapolis, Md.) on USA-201 Ramrod took the pin end, and Marty Kullman (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave looked to get a jump up the middle. Jabin assumed the early lead, with a full court press from Woods. On the final upwind leg, Woods overtook Jabin’s lead and won. Jabin was second and Alex Jackson (Riverside, Conn.) on USA-174 Leenabarca was third. Cirillo finished fourth, Kilroy held fast in fifth.

The second race of the day only provided further unsettled breeze as the race committee was continually squaring up the course. In addition, as the wind diminished the course was shortened. Race two, the final race in the ten Key West Race Week Series, started out at 210 with a length of 1.6 nm. Yukihiro Ishida (Toyko, Japan) on JPN-203 Yasha Samarai rebounded from their dissappointing 20th in race one of the day to lead the fleet around the first mark. Kilroy rounded in a solid second position, confirming that his team was the one to beat. Carlo Alberini (Pesaro, Italy) on ITA-186 Calvi Network pulled up into second. Stuart Simpson (London, UK) on GBR-84845 Team Barbarians had an impressive day trying to secure the third place position. Ishida held on for the win with Alberini in second and Simpson holding in for third.

Special thanks to all the teams who were able to travel to Key West this year! If you weren’t here — you missed out on one of the best Key West’s ever!

A very special thank you to Premiere Racing, in particular Peter Craig, Jeanne Kleene and Alison Snipes who go above and beyond the call of duty to accommodate the fleet while in Key West, most especially to PRO Ken Legler.

The International Melges 32 Class Association is grateful for the keen support and ongoing generosity of Melges Performance Sailboats and Melges Europe. MELGES ROCKS!

Last, certainly not least, the IM32CA is extremely grateful to owner John Taylor on Ninkasi for the allowing the class onboard his support rib Hops, and the very careful and courtious hand of driver Jim Condon. Access to the racing all week has delivered not only the details of each day's racing but also provided the class the ability to bring everyone back home daily images of all the fun and fast racing in Key West! Thank you John and the entire Ninkasi Racing Team!

Top Ten Results
1.) Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy; [14]-1-4-1-11-1-3-6-5-4 = 36
2.) Red, Joe Woods; 9-6-[19]-6-5-10-1-5-1-11 = 54
3.) Fantastica, Lanfranco Cirillo; [18]-8-12-9-4-4-4-2-4-10 = 57
4.) New Wave, Marty Kullman; 2-13-13-3-14-3-2-1-14-[21] = 65
5.) Leenabarca, Alex Jackson; [20]-2-7-11-3-15-10-10-3-5 = 66
6.) STAR, Jeff Ecklund; 1-9-[15]-10-7.4RDG-2-15-8-7-9 = 68.4
7.) Calvi Network, Carlo Alberini; 12-5-1-8-10-7-16-[19]-9-2 = 70
8.) Ramrod, Rod Jabin; 3-3-11-4-[18]-9-8-17-2-18 = 75
9.) Heartbreaker, Robert Hughes; 5-12-6-2-12-[14]-14-3-15-7 = 75
10.) Yasha Samarai, Ishida Yukihiro; 11-16-8-7-1-5-17-18-[20]-1 = 84

Friday, January 22, 2010

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The newsletter comes in two versions – Paper or PDF (email) – and every copy is full of diagrams, photos, graphs, charts, lists and tips (plus there's no advertising!). Whether you race a one-design or big boat, at the top or bottom of your fleet, as a skipper or crew – you'll find lots of valuable ideas in Speed & Smarts.

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Andrew Campbell on the 2010 Star Worlds

Photo by

11th Overall at 2010 Star World Championships

Yesterday capped off a tricky 2010 Star World Championships. From the first race of the regatta inside the confines of Rio’s Guanabara Bay to nasty swirling current mixed with ocean slop, the racing was extremely testing at times for even the best sailors at the event.

Yesterday was not in the regular seabreeze pattern. When we arrived on the course, the wind had already filled from the southwest in anticipation of a small trough of weather. We were able to start in the 210 direction, but as we went up the first beat, the clouds moving over head quickly burned off revealing yet another 95 degree day. Brad and I had a great start near the boat-end of the line, tacked and crossed to the right side of the course. Ultimately we were crossed by only three boats in the final few hundred yards of the course from the left side of the fleet. Because the current was finally not pushing us upwind, the 2.1 mile windward beat took almost 45 minutes.

The race took nearly three hours to complete, and the final direction for the last beat was almost 100 degrees left of where we started. In retrospect as the clouds burned off the breeze started to trend left towards the normal seabreeze direction. We made a critical error on the second beat letting too many boats get left of us, and were only able to hold onto a 14th place finish in the race. We were able to hold off Percy and Simpson as they sailed across the line for their World Championship, and were able to put some serious points on a number of other teams that were deep in the race allowing us to move up the leaderboard to 11th overall, one point out of tenth and only three behind Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada in 9th.

If you take a look at the results list, it provides a pretty good “box score” analysis of how difficult the event was. It was not uncommon for sailors that finished in the top ten to have 30s, 40s, even 50s in their series.

Today we will pack up the boats into containers and hopefully have them ship back to the US before Bacardi Cup in about 8 weeks. Next up, I will be coaching Charlie Buckingham at Miami OCR.

Good times in Rio:

Composite Lifelines and the Racing Rules of Sailing


PORTSMOUTH, RI (January 22, 2010) – Composite lifelines are being used by sailors more frequently, especially in around-the-buoy racing. In the 2010-2011 edition of the ISAF Offshore Special Regulations, Dyneema® is now an approved lifeline material for offshore racing. There have been concerns that the offshore regulations were in conflict with the racing rules regarding lifeline materials.

The Racing Rules of Sailing for 2009-2012 (RRS) rule 49.2 states that “on boats equipped with upper and lower lifelines of wire, a competitor sitting on the deck facing outboard with his waist inside the lower lifeline may have the upper part of his body outside the upper lifeline.” In an answer to a recent question posted on an ISAF question and answer page, ISAF clarified that Dyneema® is not wire and boats wishing to use the provisions of rule 49.2 will need to continue using wire for upper and lower lifelines. However, RRS 86 states that RRS 49.2 may be changed by the sailing instructions or class rules to allow the use of other materials. The full text of ISAF’s question and answer forum concerning this issue can be found at

For more information on how to use Dyneema®, please read this article prepared by US SAILING Safety-at-Sea page committee members, Glenn T. McCarthy and Evans Starzinger at or contact the US SAILING Offshore department at

CONTACT: Jake Fish US SAILING Communications Manager (401) 683-0800

Spithill on sailing BOR

BOR practicing for light air. Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Following a long day of training on the water Friday, skipper and helmsman Jimmy Spithill (AUS) spoke with the international media who have been visiting the team this week.

Most of their questions were about what it's like sailing on the USA.

"It's a pretty exciting boat to sail and a pretty rewarding boat. It's a challenge and a lot of fun," he said.

"It's certainly the best sailing I've ever done. The only downside is that the actual time you spend sailing and sheeted on is quite small compared to the amount of energy you have to put into the logistics and getting it ready. So you really have to enjoy the moments when you're sailing."

And with February 8th fast approaching, how is that impacting the sailing team?

"We're working pretty hard. We're trying to prepare and make sure we're ready to go...

"Everyone's feeling the pressure a bit more. I think that's natural as you get closer to the competition. But also, everyone is looking forward to the race. We're ready to meet the other guys.

"From our point of view we're ready to go. Bring on the 8th of February!"

Posted by Peter Rusch at 19:45 -

BMW Oracle is a French design... Alinghi to forfeit


Valencia (January 22, 2010) - The Deed of Gift requires the competing
yachts to be "Constructed in Country." In the court papers filed last night by
Société Nautique de Genève, they admit they are using 3DL sails. Racing
sailors the world over know that 3DL sails are American, not Swiss, made.
Instead of demonstrating that their sails have been constructed in Switzerland
as required by the Deed of Gift, their court papers attempt to duck the issue
with a long list of excuses, and shift the focus away from their own problems
with bizarre attacks on our yacht.

In recent months, their excuses have been, literally, all over the map. First, it
was, "Sails aren't part of a sailboat." Then, "It's not an issue until we race."
Next, "Our sails were built in the USA but assembled in Switzerland."

Yesterday it was, "If we can't use our 3DL sails we'll forfeit." Now, in their
latest court papers, "GGYC's boat is a French design."

This is untrue, and there is nothing whatsoever in the Deed of Gift that says
where, or by whom, a yacht must be designed -- only that it must be
constructed in the country of the yacht club it represents.

After claiming repeatedly, and erroneously, that GGYC is trying to win the Cup
in court, SNG's latest filing seeks to disqualify GGYC's yacht. Moreover, SNG
threatens to bring further litigation after the Match if they lose to GGYC on the

Making a modern sail is like baking a cake. You gather the ingredients, put it
in a mold of a shape and size designated by your design team, and literally
cook it. That's what takes place at the 3DL plant in Minden, Nevada, where
Alinghi's sails were constructed. Shipping that cake to Switzerland and adding
some candles does not make it "Swiss-made." -

Alinghi's Post:

‘Constructed in country’ counter motion
In parallel to the opposition papers, SNG has presented a counter motion stating that, should GGYC’s interpretation of the CIC in the Deed of Gift be validated by the Court, then its own boat would be illegal. Affidavits from a number of leading experts in the field of yacht design, such as Duncan MacLane and Nigel Irens, support the fact that GGYC’s trimaran is in fact a French-designed boat and not American, as supported by photographic exhibits the boat also includes a number of non-American constructed elements. In addition, BMW Oracle's yacht is not even a sloop, propelled by sails, with a main and a jib, as declared in the American club’s certificate of challenge, but a wing-mast rig.

SNG’s set of documents showcases how this latest motion by GGYC is in contravention of the spirit of the Deed of Gift and how Larry Ellison’s yacht club has forgotten the call for friendly competition between nations.

BMW ORACLE Racing Footy

2011-2014 Multi One Championship

Michel Desjoyeaux and FONCIA officially enter the 2011-2014 Multi One Championship

“In any kind of sport, there is the ultimate. In sailing, the ultimate is multihull sailing. The multihulls are spectacular, exciting and fast boats. I hope that many international teams will decide to come and sail these fantastic boats.” Michel Desjoyeaux has made his mind; he will be part of the Multi One Design 70' international circuit!

Multi One Design S.A. is proud to announce that Michel Desjoyeaux and his sponsor FONCIA are officially entering the MOD 70 circuit. The Multi One Championship will bring together an international fleet of 12 one-design trimarans for an offshore and inshore crew racing programme starting in 2012.

“Welcome to FONCIA and to Michel Desjoyeaux!” says Marco Simeoni, President of Multi One Design S.A. He is delighted to welcome within this new championship, FONCIA, a committed sponsor, supporting an exceptional sailor: “FONCIA and Michel Desjoyeaux involvement in the Multi One Design 70' circuit proves the revival of the oceanic multihull racing at the highest level. Michel Desjoyeaux is the most awarded solo sailor and FONCIA is one of the best oceanic teams in the world. 12 teams will be competing in the 2010-2020 Multi One Championship, on one-design 70-foot multihulls: a competition based on equal chances with an eco-responsible dimension and a philosophy, called the “Multi One Attitude”, which will focus on Water preservation. Michel Desjoyeaux and FONCIA confirm the growing interest for this new international class. See you in May 2012 with the European Tour!"

Michel Desjoyeaux: “In 2006, when I left multihull racing for the Vendée Globe, I had the intention to come back to it afterwards… and then the Orma class disappeared. Today, the situation has changed with the new start of the MOD 70. These one-design boats will be more simple, more robust, more oriented towards ocean racing and more accessible to teams with less experience. With FONCIA, we are the first team which has committed for 2011. The first 5 boats will be delivered at the end of 2011 and there should be 12 teams on board by 2012. I am looking forward to these exciting competitions!"

Yves Gevin, President of the FONCIA Group Directory: “For the 10th anniversary of FONCIA’s sailing sponsoring, Michel has granted us with an exceptional year, giving us a number of splendid victories. He has showed his great fighting spirit and desire and he has never given up. So, how to go further? By being daring and pionnering: the MOD 70 circuit enables us to go back to the origin of our history with the trimarans while participating in a great and innovative adventure.”

Since the official launch of the project in July 2009 and since the beginning of the construction of the first MOD 70’ last December, Multi One Design S.A. has had more and more interest coming from the teams and the sponsors. Official contacts are now taking place with several international teams. Always the same goal: bring together the best skippers and the best teams in the world !

Reminder of the Multi One Championship program:

Autumn 2011:
Delivery of the first 4 MOD 70

November 2011:
Pro-Am - Promotional race with 4 MOD 70 bringing together skippers and guests (press and public relations operations).

May-June 2012:
European Tour - MOD 70 crew races (objective: 7 crews)

October 2012:
Oceanic crew races (MOD 70)

June-July 2013:
European Tour - MOD 70 crew races

Nov 2013-Apr 2014:

Ocean World Tour – MOD 70 crew races (5 oceans, 8 stop-overs, objective: 12 boats)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kilroy Stays In The Lead

Great Sailing Conditions Make For An Extraordinary Day Of Sailing The Melges 32, Kilroy Stays In The Lead

Melges 32 fleet prepares for the final day of racing in Key West Race Week 2010.

Key West, Fla. - Key West Race Week 2010 is officially on the homestretch with the completion of Thursday’s racing. Classic conditions prevailed as John Kilroy (Malibu, Calif.) on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti maintained the top spot in the fleet with a solid 10 point lead. In second overall, moving up from sixth place overnight is Marty Kullman (Tampa, Fla.) on USA-131 New Wave. Rounding out the top three is Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) on GBR-700 Red.

With a steady 15-18 knots of breeze and lumpy seas for the start of race one, Woods had a phenomenal start rounding the top mark in first. Kilroy gave great chase to round in second. The downwind run however was what the fleet signed up for in Key West — stunning breeze, sunshine and big waves delivered Kullman’s New Wave power, style and speed to round through the gate in second, overtaking Kilroy. It was the tightest fleet racing seen thus far in Key West as Woods pulled off with the win, Kullman held on for second, Kilroy was third, Lanfranco Cirillo (Torri del Benac, Italy) on ITA-212 Fantastica was fourth and Bob Hesse (Elma, N.Y.) on USA-153 Lake Effect was fifth.

Kullman got a tremendous start on the second race, placing him well ahead of the fleet for the lead. Race two was five legs set at 060 with a course length of 1.8 nm. Up the middle and playing a strong left side Kullman found his way to the mark rounding almost neck-and-neck with Hesse. Hesse led the fleet around the offset with Cirillo, Geoff Pierini (Perth Amboy, N.J.) on USA-178 Shakedown and Bob Hughes (Macatawa Bay, Mich.) on USA-201 Heartbreaker in hot pursuit. Kullman was quick to gain control and commanded the remainder of the race leaving Cirillo, Hughes, Woods and Pierini to battle for second thru fourth positions. As the race progressed, the breeze diminished with Kullman taking the win, Cirillo in second and in third, Hughes.

Friday is the last day of racing where partial sunshine is expected to make an appearance yet the breeze potentially will be a lighter than today. Kilroy, who is seated in first overall is quick to acknowledge that this regatta is far from over. "Overall, we're pretty happy. Anything can happen in this fleet. In the meantime, we're going to keep working hard and keep sailing smart, we've learned a lot about tuning our rig this regatta," said Kilroy.

Stay close as each day, the Official Melges 32 blog will be running with brief updates. Daily video uploads can be seen online at Offshore Rules.

Top Ten Results
1.) Samba Pa Ti, John Kilroy; [14]-1-4-1-11-1-3-6 = 27
2.) New Wave, Marty Kullman; 2-13-13-3-[14]-3-2-1 = 37
3.) Red, Joe Woods; 9-6-[19]-6-5-10-1-5 = 42
4.) Fantastica, Lanfranco Cirillo; [18]-8-12-9-4-4-4-2 = 43
5.) STAR, Jeff Ecklund; 1-9-[15]-10-7.4RDG-2-15-8 = 52.4
6.) Heartbreaker, Robert Hughes; 5-12-6-2-12-[14]-14-3 = 54
7.) Ramrod, Rod Jabin; 3-3-11-4-[18]-9-8-17 = 55
8.) Lake Effect, Bob Hesse; 8-[19]-3-5-15-13-5-7 = 56
9.) Leenabarca, Alex Jackson; [20]-2-7-11-3-15-10-10 = 58
10.) Calvi Network, Carlo Alberini; 12-5-1-8-10-7-16-[19] = 59

The Circus Continues

Alinghi continues to make a mockery of the America's Cup - this is the latest cartoon in response to Russell Coutts press conference yesterday in Valencia - You can see the press conference here.

Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing go head to head

A little drag race in Valencia???

Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson win 2010 Star World Championship

By By Lynn Fitzpatrick -

January 21, 2010 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) - Iain Percy and Andrew "Bart" Simpson (GBR) were crowned 2010 Star World Champions today. The reigning Olympic Gold Medalists continue to add treasures to war chests. Percy's sterling collection of championship titles includes the 2002 Star World Championship and an Olympic Gold Medal in the Finn in 2000.

Percy and Simpson are in the TeamORIGIN afterguard and began sailing Stars together in 2007. They were persistent in getting every ounce of boat speed out of their Mader Star and won the Olympic Gold Medal in the most exciting Medal Race of all of the Olympic Classes. While the wind was lighter during the final race of the 2010 Star World Championship, it was a nail biter nonetheless.

Following the Olympics, they took a breather from Star sailing and have been doing a lot of match racing. Their last Star regatta was Sail for the Gold in Weymouth, where they won the Gold. They did not compete in the 2009 Star World Championship nor did they compete in the Taca Royal Thames and South American Championship earlier this season. They had two practice sessions leading up to this regatta. Percy commented at the pre-regatta press conference, "Sometimes short, sharp training sessions can work in your favor."

This victory places Percy in the rarified company of Torben Grael, Mark Reynolds, Bill Buchan, Jr.; Lowell North, and Agostino Straulino as a Star skipper who has won an Olympic Gold Medal and multiple Star World Championship titles.

Flavio Marazzi and Enrico De Maria (SUI) entered the 2010 Star World Championship ranked #1 by ISAF and hoping to find the Holy Grail after their second place finish in the Taca Royal Thames Regatta and victory in the South American Championship. This second place finish matches their second place finish at the 2004 Star World Championship. They were fourth in 2008.

Marazzi/DeMaria's doggedness in trying to close the point spread between them and Percy/Simpson during Race 5 kept the World Championship title up for grabs through the final race of the series. Percy went into the race, "holding all of the cards" and knowing that Marazzi/DeMaria would have a difficult time accomplishing two very difficult feats: placing first or second in the race and having the Brits finish eight or more points behind them.

Percy/Simpson and Marazzi/DeMaria had an altercation during the starting sequence and Marazzi/DeMaria started to leeward of Percy/Simpson. "The start did not quite go as planned," explained Simpson. "We thought that we were pushing them to the wrong end of the line and a big shift came through in their favor. They did a great job."

The Brits' miscalculation put the Swiss more than two dozen boats ahead of them at the top mark and trading places with Lars Grael and Ronald Seifert (BRA) and Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy (GER) and Fernando Echavarri and Fernando Rodrigues (ESP), all talented light air sailors. Said Percy, "We had a nervous moment at first when they crossed the fleet, but we continued to play the shifts and make gains."

Mark Mendelblatt and John Von Schwarz led around the first windward mark. They, like many others, had problems with the current after tacking for the offset mark, they slipped back to fifth. On the run, "We jibed to get clear air, and it turned out to be a good decision," said Mendelblatt who went on to win his first race in a Star World Championship. He continued, "It was a good way to end the regatta."

Percy/Simpson made a huge gain half way up the second beat and, "got quite close to them, and actually enjoyed the last lap," said Percy.

In the end, Flavio Marazzi and Enrico DeMaria slipped from being in contention for first or second to 12th and Iain Percy and Andrew "Bart" Simpson had recovered to 16th place.

Said Percy, who was pleased to win another important sailing title with his best mate, "The race didn't quite go as planned and was a good reminder that you can't rest on your laurels especially in the Star Class."

Alexander Schlonski and Frithjof Kleen (GER) matched their Race 1 second place finish with another second place finish today. Torben Grael and Marcel Ferreira (BRA) followed them across the finish line in third.

Grael/Ferreira claimed third place in the regatta. Lars Grael and Ronald Seifert (BRA) followed their third place finish at the 2009 Star World Championship with a fourth in Rio. Alan Adler and Guiherme Almeida (BRA) finished fifth.

Torben Grael said, "I am very glad with our performance. It was a wonderful way to get back into the Star with a third at the South Americans and a third at the Worlds. There is such a high level of competition locally and it is fun for all of us. The races are always difficult and we are always pushing one another. We have talented newcomers, like Andre Mirsky. It is good for the Class."

Top Junior

Tomas Hornos and Luis Hornos (USA) - the top Junior skipper at the 2010 Star World Championship is Tomos Hornos. Tomas sailed with his father, Luis, the District 1 Secretary. Tomas is the 2007 Snipe World Champion. Luis' brother, Carlos, joined them in Rio. Tomas sailed his first Star regatta in New England years ago at his uncle's suggestion. Tomas is in his final semester at Tufts University, where he is the Jumbo's A Division skipper. The father and son combination finished 44th overall.

Top Master

Peter Ficker and Urbirtran Oliviera (BRA) - The 1976 Olympic Silver Medalist in the Flying Dutchman teamed up with the 2005 Brazilian Star National Champion crew for this regatta and topped the group of eight Masters teams in the 2010 Star World Championship. They finished 38th overall.

Top Grand Master

Gastao Brun and Gustavo Kunze (BRA) - The 2010 Star World Champion Regatta Chair, and his family have been working around the clock helping to make the regatta perfect. Brun is the 2008 South American Champion and the 1990 North American Champion, and a lengthy list of other victories. Brun won the warm-up regatta and had two races in the top ten, including on Wednesday, the day that half of the top ten teams to cross the finish line were Brazilian. Gustavo Kunze sailed Optimists and Lasers and started crewing with Brun in 2007. They finished 16th overall, ahead of all of the Junior, Master and Grand Master teams. Said Brun, "It is great to be sailing with all of these guys. It is so much fun. It makes you feel alive." Brun has won many races in these waters, said, "You need to be calm and can't go to the extremes." -

Match Points for Budget Marine

Simpson Bay – St. Maarten – With all eight entries now confirmed, this year’s Budget Marine Match Racing Cup at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is set to establish itself firmly on the ladder as one of key match racing events in the Caribbean.

As well as entries received from Peter Isler, Gavin Brady, and Peter Holmberg – three of the world’s most respected match racing skippers – there’s some other interesting names in melting pot who’ll be racing for cash prizes totalling $10,000 at this ISAF-sanctioned Grade 5 event, including Colin Rathbun, Eugeniy Nikiforov, Jakub Pawluk, Chris Nesbitt and Marc Fitzgerald.

The racing, to be held on Tuesday 2 March during the run-up to St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, will be based on a round-robin format and sailed in Lagoon Sailboat Rental’s fleet of six Jeanneau SunFast 20s, without spinnakers. The one-day format of this event, and the fact that there are just six boats for eight teams, means racing will be exceptionally action-packed with crews swapping boats after every flight to ensure racing is kept as fair as possible.

With a silver medal from the 1988 Games, and a win for Alinghi at the 32nd America’s Cup in 2007, listed among his exceptional sailing achievements, it wasn’t particularly surprising to see Peter Holmberg clean up at last year’s inaugural Budget Marine Match Racing Cup. The good news is, he enjoyed it so much; he’ll be back to defend his title this year.

Holmberg who is no stranger to island life, having been brought up on the US Virgin Island, is always an avid supporter of Caribbean regattas and says as well as competing in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in New Zealand in January last year, he made sure he did most of the big events in the Caribbean. “The Heineken is the big opener to the Caribbean season so I'm looking forward to racing against all the hot boats coming this year.”

Sailing with team mates Ben Beer on jib, and Maurice Kurg on mainsheet, Holmberg says the match racing is a great lead-in to the Heineken Regatta, commenting: “Match racing puts a premium on all aspects of racing, from crew work, to speed, to rules, so it's a great way to get me and my team in racing shape just before the big regatta.”

Joining Holmberg at the event this year is the equally talented match racing pro Peter Isler. Isler who is two-time winner of the America’s Cup and has a total of five America’s Cup campaigns under his belt including the position of Oracle’s navigator in 2007 at the 32nd edition of the Cup, says he’s really looking forward to getting back on the helm as a match racing skipper. Isler was a really active and successful skipper on the pro match racing tour in the late 80s and early 90s and sees the Budget Marine match racing event as a chance to get back on the helm and have some fun. He commented: “It’s been so long since I steered any sort of regatta, my expectations are certainly tempered... but it will be a lot of fun… and that's why we are coming!”

Isler will be racing with a couple of his teammates from Titan 15 – Artie Means from San Diego, and CT Olander from Newport, Rhode Island. He says when he saw publicity about the match race, he thought it would be a fun start to Heineken Regatta. “Because it’s only one day, I can afford the time – we start practice on Titan the day after the match race.”

With Gavin Brady, another highly talented match racing helmsman, and multiple America’s Cup campaigner, joining the line up at the Budget Marine Match Racing event, there’ll be no shortage of top ranked competition on Simpson Bay Lagoon in March. Brady enthusing about the event, said: “This will be the first match race event I will sail in 2010, and with good teams and great winds I am really looking forward to the racing.”

Colin Rathbun from the BVIs is another Caribbean race week regular and although he is known more on the fleet racing circuit sailing his IC24, he won the 2009 Pete Shiels Match Race, and notched up a creditable fourth place overall at the 2009 Carlos Aguilar Match Racing Regatta in St Thomas. ‘Our claim to fame at that event,” said Rathbun, “is to have beaten US match racing pro Dave Perry. We barely slid through in front of him, but it’s not every day an amateur sailor can say that.”

Russian sailor Eugeniy Nikiforov who’s currently ranked 45th the ISAF Match Racing placings, will be back for the second year running and hoping to improve on last year’s third overall, while Marc Fitzgerald from the British yacht Sojana hopes to at least match the second place he achieved last year. Jakub Pawluk from Poland will make his debut at this event, while Chris Nesbitt and his team of Brian Janney and Isao Toyama who’ve been match racing together for a year hope to turn a few heads as they pit themselves against the professionals. Nesbitt confessed he is very much looking forward to sailing against Peter Isler. "It’s not often that we get to sail against America’s Cup veterans and it should be a great learning experience for a new team like ours."


For full information on the Budget Marine Match Racing, the Gill Commodore’s Cup, and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, including entry lists, entry forms and news, visit