Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Almost done...

Dennis Connor's yacht FAME close to going sailing! Become a fan on Facebook - Search The-Schooner-FAME

Time to move...

photo by -Rolex Giraglia Cup 2010

Obama and the Cup

Photo Samantha Appleton
President Barack Obama greets members of the America's Cup Team and Members of Congress in the East Room of the White House, June 29, 2010.

US Sailors Shine at LaserPerformance World Regatta

16 Year old US Sailor is overall winner Wins LaserPerformance World Open!

Laser Performance World Open- Regatta on both sides of the pond, HUGE SUCCESS!!!

This past weekend 95 competitors participated in the inaugural LaserPerformance World Open at Sail Newport in Newport, Rhode Island. Another 132 boats took part in European portion of the regatta at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing academy in the United Kingdom. The essence of the event was to combine a competitive regatta with fun sailing competition within a family style atmosphere on a global spectrum.

Brian Fisher, who won the US Laser Fleet and whose son Jack sailed in the Bug Fleet talked about the family atmosphere of the event saying, “Sailing in a regatta with my son was a blast. Given that he is only 8 years old and just starting out in an Opti, there are not too many opportunities for us to share a regatta experience together. The Bug race course was a blend of novice (Jack) sailors as well as some older kids who had obviously sailed and raced in the past. One thing for sure is that Jack and I will be making the Worlds Open an annual regatta on our schedule and I hope that other Laser sailors will too.”

At the conclusion of racing in both countries, class winners’ results were entered into a scoring matrix, the same one used at Cowes Week, to determine an overall World Open Winner. US Laser Radial winner Eliza Richartz came away with the 3rd place prize, second place went to Ross McFarlane of the UK Laser 4.7 class, and the overall 2010 LaserPerformance World Open Winner was 16 year old Nick Valente, winner of the US Sunfish Class.

A big thanks to the sponsors of the 2010 LaserPerformance World Open, Gold and Global sponsors Maclaren ( and Harken (, and US Silver sponsors Gill (, Registration Solutions (, and Narragansett Beer (

Monday, June 28, 2010

Full Throttle Up In Newport

Newport, R.I., 27 June 2010 - John Porter on Full Throttle and team comprised of tactician Jonathan McKee, Andy Burdick, Fritz Lanzinger, sons Corbet and Vincent Porter along with Kelly McKenna and Matthew Woodsworth are 2010 Layline Oakcliff Northeast Regatta Champions. Porter finished the event a solid six points ahead of heavy opposition. Long-time Melges 32 owner Kip Meadows on roXanne with Andy Horton on tactics really came on strong Saturday to complete the regatta in second.

Enough can’t be said about the incredible progress made by third place finisher, Newport’s own Michael Dominguez on Bronco with experienced tactician Anthony Kotoun. As mentioned in the preview release, Dominguez officially, yet apprehensively entered the fleet in December ’09 at the Gold Cup. He knew the competition was stiff. Over the last seven months, tremendous strides have been made by this very competitive team. A fourth place finish at the East Coast Championship showed that they are growing fast. "It's all starting to come together," was a frequent comment heard from several of Dominguez’s crew over the course of the weekend.

The Northeast Regatta witnessed the return of one of its most treasured player teams, Jim Swartz and famed tactician Gavin Brady on Q finishing fourth.

Another bright and youthful face beginning to acquire a nice foothold in the Melges 32 fleet is 18-year old Ryan Devos on Volpe. As the youngest helmsman in the fleet, Devos improved his score race-by-race, alongside his father Dick, tactican Ed Baird, Scott Nixon, Nils Frei, Mike Hill, Drew Wierda and Marty Kullman to finish an amazing fifth overall.

Last evening, the Melges Rocks party took place with the fleets jamming into the late evening hours at Riptide to the sounds of Chelley of the Ravers, free beer and great camaraderie! Special thanks to Melges USA for bringing this amazing party to Newport!

Heavy fog and no breeze kicked off Sunday, the final day of racing. The fleet went into immediate postponement for more than an hour with hopes that it would burn off quickly and racing could resume. PRO Tom Duggan was optimistic early on, however around 1p.m. racing was abandoned due to the uncooperative conditions.

An event such as Northeast Regatta never happens without the unwavering dedication and input from many individuals, excellent host sailing club volunteers and countless hours of organizing. The International Melges 32 Class (IM32CA) would specifically like to recognize the hard work and passion of U.S. Melges 24 NE District Governor Cary Siegler, Regatta Co-Chair J.C. Raby and, especially Anthony Kotoun for all their efforts. Most especially to Kim Cooper at Sail Newport and awesome PRO Tom Duggan and committee for the incredible race management.

Top Five Results (FINAL)
1.) John Porter/Jonathan Mckee, Full Throttle; 1-3-4-6-1-[10] = 15
2.) Kip Meadows/Andy Horton, roXanne; 4-5-[10]-3-2-7 = 21
3.) Michael Dominguez/Anthony Kotoun, Bronco; 3-7-7-2-7-[14] = 26
4.) Jim Swartz/Gavin Brady, Q; 10-1-6-1-9-[11] = 27
5.) Ryan Devos/Ed Baird, Volpe; 8-9-[14]-5-3-2 = 27

View Full Results

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Porter’s Full Throttle Takes The Lead In Newport

Photo by Joy

Newport, R.I., 25 June 2010 - A great, yet fantastically challenging day of racing took place in Newport for the 2010 Layline Oakcliff Northeast Regatta, hosted by Sail Newport. Three races were held revealing John Porter with tactican Jonathan McKee on Full Throttle in first place, Jason Carroll’s Argo is second with John Baxter on tactics, and in third is Jim Swartz and long-time tactician Gavin Brady on Q.

Porter’s Full Throttle poured on the speed right out of the gate. Michael Dominguez on Bronco had a great start putting him out front early to round the windward mark in first. Porter trailed in second followed by John Taylor on Ninkasi. Downwind Dominguez held his own to round through the gate with the breeze dropping off significantly and fast. With a change of course to 000, Porter over took Dominguez for the lead for the shortened race to win.

In race two, Q took the lead early with an aggressive pin end start. The really hot contest was between Robert Hughes with tactician Charlie Ogletree on Heartbreaker and Kip Meadows on roXanne with Andy Horton calling the shots. Meadows held on with a strong second position up until the last sprint to the finish. Hughes triumphed staying more center to the course while Meadows struggled with boat speed out on the right. Better pressure put Swartz across in first, Hughes was second and Porter finished third.

The last and final race of the day belonged to Jeff Ecklund on STAR. From almost start to finish, Ecklund had a firm grip on the lead, or at least within sight and was determined to hold on for victory. With Bill Hardesty on tactics, STAR rounded second behind Italy’s Carlo Perrone on Atlantica 19 at the first mark. Ecklund eventually overtook Perrone for the win. Perrone settled for second, Hughes took third.

After racing, teams congregated at Celeritas’ Malcolm and Kathy Gefter’s home for snacks, wine and Long Trail Beer. Daily awards were given out to the top teams of the day. Special thanks to Mac Designs and Seahorse Magazine for the cool prizes provided alongside of the classic, overall daily winner bottles of champaign.

Top Five Results (After 3 Races)
1.) John Porter, Full Throttle; 1-3-4 = 8
2.) Jason Carroll, Argo; 2-4-9 = 15
3.) Jim Swartz, Q; 10-1-6 = 17
4.) Carlo Perrone, Atlantica 19; 7-8-2 = 17
5.) Michael Dominguez, Bronco; 3-7-7 = 17

View The Photo Gallery
Official Event Website

Monday, June 21, 2010

Genuine Risk - genuine win in Bermuda race

Watson made his first race to Bermuda memorable with a corrected time win in Genuine Risk in the Open Division for cant-keel boats. Speedboat, owned by Alex Jackson, took line honors for the race, finishing just before dawn at 3:47:56 with an elapsed time of 59:17:56, well off the course record. Rán, the Fastnet and Sydney Hobart race winner, finished first in Class 10 and is a strong contender for the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse trophy.

Il Mostro (Puma) skippered by Ken Read, crossed the line second and corrected just behind Genuine Risk. “We were ahead of Il Mostro and Speedboat after we all came out of the Gulf Stream west of the rhumb line,” Watson said. “We decided to take a more easterly angle to avoid a cold eddy with negative current, but that let Speedboat separate from us.” Ralph Steitz, Sailing Director for the US Merchant Marine Academy (owner of Genuine Risk, which Watson sponsored), was one of many sailors who said how much they had enjoyed the race. “This was the easiest Bermuda Race I’ve ever done and I’ve done a few.”

Rán, Niklas Zennstrom’s JV 72, is the provisional winner in Class 10 for big professional boats in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division after being pushed hard by Tom Hill’s Titan XV for more than 600 miles. George David’s Rambler matched up with Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste and took line honors for these fixed-keel boats. “I’ve never sailed a Bermuda Race when you’re head to head with another boat for so long,” said Rambler’s tactician, Jerry Kirby. “It came down to the last tack to St. David’s Light.”

Vanquish, co-skippered by Bermudian Buddy Rego and Americans Russell Lucas and Jamie Hilton, crossed the line first in Class 8 for the big boats in the amateur St. David’s Lighthouse Division, but Gus Carlson’s Aurora is the provisional class winner. Some smaller boats have a good shot at winning the division. Carina, skippered by Rives Potts, has a 60-mile lead over her Class 3 competition. In the highly competitive Class 1, Sinn Fein, Peter Rebovich’s Cal 40 and the two-time defending St. David’s winner, has sailed farther west than anybody and is fighting for the lead with David Dickerson’s Lindy.

Speedboat finishes in slow time, Il Mostro next

Post sponsored by
Photos from Newport Bermuda Media

Support team prepares ritual Dark 'n Stormies for Speedboat's crew as the first to finish boat ties up at RBYC marina early Monday morning - Speedboat navigator Stan Honey (dark glasses)

by John Rousmaniere

Alex Jackson’s maxi 100-footer sloop Speedboat finished the Newport Bermuda Race early Monday morning at 3:49 AM EDT. Finishing second at 6:25 was Il Mostro (Puma), a 70-foot Volvo Ocean Race boat sailed by Kenny Read, whose brother, Brad, was in Speedboat’s afterguard. Boat boats sailed in the Open Division for racing yachts with canting keels.

It was a slow race, with Speedboat making the 635-mile course in just over 59 hours after the start at Newport on Friday. The crew of 25 never reefed the boat. In the light to moderate conditions that prevailed through most of the race, Speedboat was hard pressed by Il Mostro, Rambler, and several boats in the mini-maxi 70-80 foot range over the first third of the course. “We really didn’t get away from them until we were in the Stream,” navigator Stan Honey said after Speedboat tied up at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s marina early Monday morning. “Then they gained a lot in the light stuff as we came into the finish.”

At 5 AM EDT the mini-maxi Rán on its blog reported less than 10 knots as she beat to windward toward the buoys guarding Bermuda’s reef. “Titan is downwind from us and is not a threat. Rambler and Beau Geste are upwind and in front as we thought they would. We are still in a strong position although it now looks like Beau Geste is the biggest threat. Just a few more hours to go.”

At 6:30 the blog reported, “As we are approaching the finish slowly but surely, we are all on deck, no more watches, all are on duty for the final stretch. Coffee and tea served on the rail – black only as no more milk powder onboard. Very calm water. Wind speed of 9 knots –just over – and land in sight.”

The iBoattrack showed the rest of the 183-boat fleet, some as small as 33 feet in length, stretched back to the Gulf Stream.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Speedboat chased by mini-maxis

John Rousmaniere reports on Day 1 of the Newport Bermuda Race

The wind that has been teasing the Bermuda race crews since early Saturday morning, has produced some turmoil in the standings at the head of the fleet. The 100ft maxi 'Speedboat' took the lead Friday night, but the mini-maxis remain close on her heals. Positions continue to change as the fleet nears the Gulf Stream.

The leader for several hours was Titan XV, a 75-foot mini maxi in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division. Like the other large boats, in more wind she is a handful and can even be dangerous to sailors who don’t respect her power. But in these moderate conditions a boat this size is more noted for her speed. Chris Museler, in her crew, wrote on the Bermuda Race website, “These big modern keel boats, with their double-wide transoms and twin rudders, have such a narrow underwater presence that the ride is smooth as silk, similar to that of a large racing catamaran and even an ice boat. The tiny foam trail we leave in our wake looks like champagne.”

Titan was caught by the much larger 100-foot maxi Speedboat (Open Division, which started an hour later) on Friday evening. Other positions have been changing in the extremely competitive group of mini-maxis sailing in the Gibbs Hill Division, with Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente overtaking Niklas Zennstrom’s Rán soon after midnight, and Rán then catching Rambler and Beau Geste in parking-lot conditions.

After dawn, two boats reported a very light breeze from the southeast, but others were in a flat calm, with sightings of whales, porpoises, and one large fish – possibly a shark – that Titan rammed, with no reported damage to either the animal or the boat. If the sea life didn’t keep the sailors alert, reports of U.S. Navy exercises in the area surely did.

Later on Saturday morning the wind filled in for a while with a report of 15-plus knots, whitecaps, and the first sighting of cumulus clouds over the Gulf Stream ahead. By Saturday afternoon the standings were jumbled again, although Speedboat kept her lead as the wind came ahead and the boats started beating to windward, most of them close to the rhumb line with the evident aim of finding a favorable eddy that’s been spotted on satellite images.

“Everyone seems to be going the same direction!” reported Steven Thing from the Communications-Safety escort ketch Comfort. Boats are so closely bunched that it’s impossible to determine who’s winning on corrected time except that the small boats are very close to the big ones. All that’s sure late on Saturday afternoon is that the iBoattrack display shows the big Speedboat with her stern ahead of a great swarm of boats, and the boats tacking often as they look for the warm water of the eddy that will boost their speed by 2 or more knots. The leaders should be in the Gulf Stream Saturday night.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

184 Boats to Start Bermuda Race

By John Rousmaniere
Dateline: NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND - 17. 06. 2010:
A good wind is predicted for the early stages of the 47th Newport Bermuda Race, which starts Friday off Newport, R.I. The 184-boat international fleet is the third largest in the race’s 104-year history. Nearly 2,000 sailors will compete. The course runs 635 miles from the mouth of Narragansett Bay into the Atlantic Ocean and across the Gulf Stream to the finish line off St. David’s Head, Bermuda. The race should take two to three days for the largest boats, over 80 feet long, and four to six days for the smallest ones of 33 to 40 feet.
Photo: Barry Pickthall/PPL

“We expect a fine afternoon sea breeze of 10 to 15 knots to get the boats out into the Atlantic,” said Bjorn Johnson, chairman of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee. “It may get lighter as the boats sail out into the Atlantic, but there will be a strong favorable current in a Gulf Stream meander carrying the boats toward Bermuda.”

The thousands of spectators at the start will include Bermuda’s Governor, Sir Richard Gozney, and Premier, Dr. Ewart Brown. When the first starting gun is fired at 2 p.m. EDT, the two officials will be looking on from a motor yacht with Commodore Sheila McCurdy of the Cruising Club of America and Commodore Peter Shrubb of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the race’s two sponsors.

The 184-boat fleet is divided into five divisions whose final standings will be determined by factoring handicaps into the boat’s elapsed times. The largest with 103 boats is the St. David’s Lighthouse Division for predominately amateur racing crews. If the two-time defending champion, Peter S. Rebovich’s Sinn Fein, wins her third straight St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy, she will tie a record set in 1954-60 by Carleton Mitchell’s Finisterre.

The Cruiser Division is the second largest with 39 boats. Its winner will receive a prize carrying Mitchell’s and Finisterre’s names. Professional racing crews compete in the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Division (13 boats) for a trophy named for Bermuda’s tallest lighthouse. Three boats with cant keels and other innovations will race in the Open Division for the Royal Mail Trophy.

There also is the 26-entry Double-Handed Division for boats sailed by just two sailors. They sail for the Phillip S. Weld Prize and Moxie Prizes. In addition, the top boat in the IRC rule standings will receive the North Rock Beacon Trophy.

The five divisions are broken down into a total of 16 classes, determined by the boats’ size and type.

The race for first to finish will very likely be between the largest boats in the fleet, the 99-foot Speedboat in the Open Division and the 90-foot Rambler in the Gibbs Hill Division.

In a statement to the sailors, Commodores McCurdy and Shrubb said, “Hundreds of sailors and thousands of supporters make this race a major international sporting event every two years. Ocean racing is a marathon of endurance and finesse. Some experienced crews may make this year’s race look easy: Others will learn more than they thought they would. The challenges can be both stressful and satisfying.”

They added, “The fleet is first class, and the hospitality and facilities of the New York YC in Newport, and in Bermuda are unsurpassed. The members of our two clubs have volunteered countless hours of planning and preparation. Now we are all ready to let the fun begin!”


Photo credit: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
By sunset, which left the sea off San Remo in a smooth golden light, only 8 boats had crossed the finish line on the second day of the Giraglia Rolex Cup offshore race. The 12 to 15 knots breeze, that has accompanied the bigger yachts under blue sky the last few hours toward to coast, slowly fell asleep with the day’s end. At the same time, the Giraglia Rock checkpoint reported a large quantity of boats rounding the small islet off the northern tip of Corsica, with its Genoese tower, with its magic touch and impressive ancient history of the Mediterranean Sea.

This morning, after rounding the Giraglia rock at 07.00, the Swan 90 Solleone reported to have seen “lots of wonderful dolphins… but no croissants for breakfast”. These beautiful companions of the sea, which delight the toughest seaman’s heart have been following the yachts during the troublesome ride with wind shifts, thunderstorms, and sail changes from the Rock toward the finish line.

Sir Peter Ogden, owner / skipper of Jethou, enjoyed a romantic candle lit dinner on board with his crew, the evening before the start, due to a terrible thunderstorm that led to a complete loss of electricity in Saint-Tropez. And he experienced a romantic Giraglia rock rounding at night, after a great experience during the first part of the race: “this was the fastest we have been on the boat, 20 knots, but also the wettest we have ever experienced on the boat. Two people on board were always down below bailing water. It just filled up all the time. It was brilliant, unbelievable, it was just so fast all the way to the Giraglia Rock, the very best, the most fun we ever had.”

The Giraglia Rolex Cup keeps attracting sailors from all the parts of the planet and leaving them with all kinds of achievements related to their battles with the elements.

Flavio Favini, the skipper of Esimit Europa, which secured line honours this morning, gave an insight to his experience: “this race was very promising in the beginning for the first ride to the Giraglia, but a couple of problems on the beat to La Fourmigue, we broke the tack of the headsail. The headsail came off and it was quite difficult to recover because we had come back, but the boat is very fast and we had a very nice ride to the Giraglia, but when we were at the Giraglia Rock the wind dropped off. During the night the wind was very light and shifty, so it has been quite difficult to get from the Giraglia rock to San Remo, but anyway, for us it is the first long race with this boat, we have learned a lot of things and we still have a lot of things to learn about the boat, about how to sail to get a 100 % out of it. We have a very good team and every body is eager to learn.”

Marton Jozsa from Hungary, Skipper of Wild Joe, gave an overview of his experiences: “This was our first Giraglia Rolex Cup race, a great experience. We have done the last two Rolex Middle Sea Races but with a smaller boat. This new boat has been launched in Australia and we have done some practising, but not more than two weeks in total. Wild Joe has a great crew, mostly former Olympic and high competitive dinghy sailors. We match, it’s fun and we still can learn a lot to improve. We had a great time sailing this Giraglia race, mostly the first part from to the Giraglia rock. After the rock rounding we were still very close to the big boats but then we got unfortunately caught in a wind whole, that was shortly after spiced with a thunderstorm, carrying wind gusts up to 50 knots.

Most of the 220 participating yachts are still on sea, every boat and crew with their own story, with their own goal and passion. But a race like the Giraglia Rolex Cup units them all.

The prize giving for 2010 Giraglia Rolex Cup will be held at 13.00 CEST on Saturday, 19 June at the Yacht Club San Remo.

Further information on the Giraglia Rolex Cup may be found at

Monday, June 14, 2010

Esimit Europa 2: Line honours again on day 2

Photo by: Stefano Gattini - Esimit Europa 2
With 19 knots of wind, the conditions were ideal for Esimit Europa 2 (EUR) on the team’s second day of racing during the inshore portion of the Giralglia Rolex Cup. The bright blue, 100 foot maxi flying the European flag is the largest yacht competing and towers over the fleet of 221 boats. The competition is strong as some of the best known professional sailing teams such as Jethou (GBR), Shockwave (NZL) and Container (GER) prepare for the Giraglia Rolex Cup which starts on Wednesday.

Esimit Europa 2 was quick off the start line today, second around the first mark and took the gun at the finish line with a lead of several minutes over the next boat, mini Maxi Alegre (GBR). But these are early days for the experienced crew of 25 onboard Esimit Europa 2, which has ambitious goals both on and off the water.

“Every time you hoist a sail that you have never used, you can’t know what to expect. But things are going well onboard. What is important is that the crew instinctively knows what they need to do. The crew is calm and every time we leave the dock, we improve,” said Owner Igor Simcic.

Skipper Flavio Favini added; “Each day we discover more about this boat. The inshore races are like an accelerated training programme and we have plenty to learn. Esimit Europa 2 is big and powerful and we want to be as prepared as we can be for the start of the Giraglia Rolex Cup on Wednesday.”

Shoreside the excitement and interest in the team is building. “It’s amazing, this boat, its colours, the crew and the message attracts a great deal of attention. There is a very positive energy about the project. A boat that is so fast, has energy real energy that you can feel and the message is being heard,” added Igor Simcic as he stepped off Esimit Europa 2 to be greeted by the intrigued spectators lining the quay of the Old Port of St Tropez.

Racing continues tomorrow in the confines of the Bay of St Tropez with the prizegiving for the inshore regatta at the historic Citadelle in the evening. All this in preparation for the start of the 58th edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, the 241 nautical mile race from St Tropez, which takes the fleet around the Giraglia rock and up to the finish in San Remo.


For more information, photos and video, please visit

Abby Sunderland: Aboard the Ile de la Reunion

Wild Eyes rendezvous, Southern Ocean, 12 June 2010 -
By Abby Sunderland
Everything is going well out here. I'm still getting used to walking around on board and it takes both hands to keep myself from falling up and down the narrow halls. I'm still having trouble typing on this key pad but I've got a few more days to get the hang of it.

Everyone on board has been really friendly. They have come a long way out of their way to help me and I am so thankful that they did. My mom has told me about all that the different rescue groups did to help find me. So thank you to all of you. I had only hoped that a ship would pass by me within a few weeks. I am really in awe. Thank you to everyone involved.

The captain is a big, friendly, bald guy with a big beard. He speaks English pretty well and he says, "Is no good to worry about the boat. Is just a boat, you is safe. You should not think about the past." Which is true, but its hard to keep my mind off everything that's happened.

Everyone in the bridge has been fending off the press and I'm very grateful for that. I really don't want to start doing interviews quite yet.

I have started writing. At first I decided that I wasn't going to write a book. But then I started to think about all the good times Wild Eyes and I have had together. All that's left of the voyage of Wild Eyes are my memories, eventually they will get fuzzy and I won't remember all the details. I don't want that to happen. Wild Eyes and my trip have been the best thing I have ever done or been through and I don't ever want to forget all the great times we have had together, or the bad ones for that matter.

The story of Wild Eyes is over, but my story is still going. I'm still out on the ocean headed to a little island called Kerguelen and then will be on another boat for ten days up to an island near Madagascar. From there I will eventually make it home.

So, on goes my adventure!

Abby -

Nesbitt claims second Butler Cup victory

2010 Butler Cup Series: Written by: Rick Roberts 06/13/10

LONG BEACH, Calif.—Giving full credit to his crew Chris Nesbitt of Balboa Yacht Club claimed his second win in as many years in the 2010 Butler Cup match race series Sunday hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.

“My team really pulled it out for us,” said Nesbitt. “I made a few errors during the weekend. But they really saved it and deserve all the credit.”

Nesbitt’s tactician, Jack Franco, doesn’t normally sail with the team but signed on for this weekend at Nesbitt’s request.

“The guys were really good,” Franco said, “and did a great job. You know, these are all BYC members [pointing to the team]. You don’t usually see that in an event like this… all from the same yacht club! I didn’t do this event last year, but these guys have a lot of time in the boat [Catalina 37s] and it showed.”

Dustin Durant, LBYC, took second in the regatta but struggled when it came to racing against Nesbitt.

“All of our races were close,” Durant said, “and we were always gaining on Nesbitt in tacking duels, always within striking distance, but… [smiling and shrugging].

“We were always in the hunt in every race and the team did really well keeping us there. I thought we out maneuvered everyone, sailing upwind really well.”

When asked if he would consider coming back if invited, Durant replied with a smile, “Oh, I’m coming back next year.” Payson Infelise from Newport Harbor Yacht Club finished third in the regatta. He would have finished second had it not been for an unfortunate occurrence.

Payson explains, “One of our crew members didn’t show up on Saturday. Everyone had already weighed in except for him. We knew we were probably alright on our [total] weight so we weren’t really worried. Because the original crewman didn’t show, we used a substitute… but forgot to weigh him until this morning [Sunday]. After we weighed him we were about 15 pounds over our limit. 15 pounds!”

Because of not meeting the requirements in the Notice of Race on maximum allowed crew weight, the Chief Umpire made the determination that none of Infelise’s wins on Saturday would count toward his overall points for the series. Disheartened but not defeated, Infelise apologized to his crew and moved on to the business of match racing winning four out of his six races on Sunday.

“I take full responsibility and it was unfortunate because these guys really sailed their hearts out. But they pulled it all together and I think we learned a lot throughout the regatta. “We kept it in perspective and we were happy to be invited here and really had fun. That’s what it’s all about.”

Nesbitt’s team also had challenges during the weekend, specifically in a match Saturday against, ironically, Infelise. “We were coming down to the finish and were carrying a penalty,” Franco explains. “We started to do our 270 [turn] but couldn’t complete it because Payson was there, and ended up fouling him again. That meant we had two turns to do. We did one turn, then were doing a second when we incurred another penalty.

“We ended up doing five attempted turns and four good turns to finally absolve ourselves of the penalty[s]. “Other than that, we had really good races. But now I’m going back to Houston [Tex.] and leaving all this to the younger guys. The event is named for Frank Butler, founder of Catalina Yachts, who in 1990 designed, built and donated the 11 Catalina 37s used for all the match races held at LBYC. These same boats are also used for fleet race events and are available for charter through the Long Beach Sailing Foundation.

Final Results

1. Chris Nesbitt, BYC; 10 wins 2 losses
2. Dustin Durant, LBYC; 6 - 6
3. Payson Infelise, NHYC; 4 - 8
4. David Storrs, PYC; 3 - 9
5. Dave Hood, LBYC; 1 - 11
6. Tony Adrid, DRYC; 0 - 12

Event information and final results available at

Rick Roberts

Sunday, June 13, 2010

RC44 Copenhagen Cup / Day 6

RC 44 Copenhagen Cup
Paul Cayard
Sunday, June 13, 2010

We had a pretty good day on Katusha. The winds were 15-20 knots from the west and very shifty. Fun downwind! Guenaddi had to leave last night so we had a guest helmsman, Maxim Logutenko who is also Russian. In the first two races we did very well passing boats downwind in the planing conditions to score a 3 and a 4. Then in the third race of the day, we were involved in a collision at the windward mark with Cereef. Cereef was penalized for being on port tack in the collision, while we were on starboard tack. Fortunately, these boats are built with a "false" bow and transom so no major damage was done as we hit bow to stern.

We are now ashore and going to have hearing with the jury to ask for redress as we could not sail the last race due to the damage to our bow. We are asking for the average of our points at that time in the regatta, as a score for the last race. There will also be a hearing for damage and if one of us could have avoided the contact.

Update: The hearings are over: Cereef got penalized 1 point for not avoiding the collision and one more for damage. We got redress; 7th in the 7th race and average of our scores in the last race which is 5.3 points.

The scores are not final and I have to run, but I am sure we did not score that well in this regatta. I think that BMW Oracle won the fleet racing and combined with their second place in the match racing they may win the event overall.

I have to head to the airport for the flight to Marseille.

For complete results go to


Cayard Sailing Website

Golison Wins 2010 North American Championship

Sailing Videos on Sailgroove

San Diego, CA (June 12, 2010)

Etchells sailors gave everyone a great show today, the last day with 2 races of the 2010 Etchells North American Championship. 41 boats were greeted with beautiful skies, decent seas, and a steady breeze of 12-15 knots all day. With tough and fluky conditions on days 1 and 2, today was a perfect ending, and the sailors provided great competition with the regatta winner not decided until the last race of the event.

The first race of the day, Race 7, started clear with beautiful skies and a steady 13 knots of breeze. The race was tight early on with packed mark roundings and exciting hoists. Bruce Nelson began to extend his lead, winning his first race of the regatta. With Race 7 in the books, competitors were able to drop their worst race from their scores, which really shook things up! With Golison dropping a 20th place finish and earning 3rd in the race, and Campbell dropping a 27th place finish but getting a 19th, Golison took the lead for the first time in the regatta.

Many times competitors on the water are not able to calculate finishes and scores after a drop is allowed, making for an even more exciting Race 8 which started in about 15 knots of breeze. Sailors again provided some great mark rounding action for spectators with the entire pack of boats close at the first mark rounding. Nelson again took the lead and kept it throughout the final race, being the only competitor of the regatta to win 2 races, and back to back at that.

Nelson's strong finish, though impressive, wasn’t enough to win the championship. Bruce Golison needed to finish the last race with a 13th or better in order to win. Cutting it close with a 12th, Golison took the 2010 Etchells North American Championship. We were the lucky ones to inform him and his crew of Jud Smith, Bill Lynn, and Dina Corsi shortly after he crossed the line.

The regatta proved to be great practice for the 2011 World Championship next summer, as competitors saw almost any condition that San Diego could throw at them. With the 2010 North American Championship in the books, qualifying racers can now set their sites on the World Championship next summer at San Diego Yacht Club.

Butler Cup II Update

Long Beach, CA - Catalina 30's - by Chris Nesbitt

After the completion of 8 flights with 5 teams, Team Nesbitt sits atop the leader board going1into day 2 (Sunday) of Butler II. The winner gets an invite the the 2011 Grade 2 Ficker Cup. The winner of Ficker Cup 2010 gets an invite to Congressional Cup, the only USA hosted Grade 1 event. Early morning saw building breeze, but the Organizing Authority chose to wait until 1 PM to start when the wind stabilized around 11 knots from the south (150'), to get the first matches underway.

By 4 PM when the last flights had started the breeze had become more patchy and less stable while gradually shifting to the right with puffs to 10 knots followed by lulls @ 7 knots. The pin end of the starting line was favored almost every start all day but due to short beat length boats could sometimes start to the right and still lead at the top mark due to the right shift and pressure. The only loss we suffered today came from an RC call.

After earning a penalty in the pre-start maneuvers we managed to win the pin end of the line which was favored at the time only to get crossed from the right by our opponent on a shift. We ground back and passed them on the second beat only to attempt the penalty turn on the starboard layline and during the process of clearing our first penalty managed to earn a second. Leading around the second windward mark, still with a penalty, we chose to extend and attempt the second penalty turn try just above the boat end of the line, from starboard to port due to the pressure.

As luck would have it we had just finished our second penalty turn of the race only to earn a double penalty at the anchor line on a port starboard encounter with our competitor. This resulted in the umpires issuing us a double penalty but in addition our competitor went by the incorrect side of the committee boat as there was no room for them to fit between us and the RC boat at the time of the incident. While we were still able to complete two more full turns with just the main up and still finish ahead of our competition, we were informed after the race by the umpires that the RC had somehow retroactively determined we had not gotten the entire boat back onto the course side after our last penalty turn prior to finishing. Needless to say we lost the race/point and will be giving the line more space tomorrow should that scenario develop again.

Tomorrow will be the completion of the second and third round robins to determine who advances to the 2011 Ficker Cup.

Congratulations to my former roommate Dina Corsi who sailed on the winning team at the E22 North American's and to Bruce Nelson for winning both races today in a stacked fleet!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Emergency rescue effort is launched for teen sailor Abby Sunderland

By: Pete Thomas,

A rescue effort has been launched in hope of finding Abby Sunderland, 16, who set off her emergency beacon locating devices from the southern Indian Ocean early this morning.

Sunderland, who had been attempting to sail around the world alone, endured multiple knockdowns in 60-knot winds Thursday before conditions briefly abated.

However, her parents lost satellite phone contact early this morning and an hour later were notified by the Australian Coast Guard that both of Sunderland's EPIRB satellite devices had been activated.

One is apparently is attached to a survival suit or a life raft and meant to be used when a person is in the water or aboard a life raft.

Abby's father struggled with emotions and said he didn't know if his daughter was in a life raft or aboard the boat, or whether the boat was upside down.

"Everything seemed to be under control," Laurence Sunderland said. "But then our call dropped and a hour later the Coast Guard called."

Abby is hundreds of miles from land. The nearest ship was about 400 miles away. The rescue effort is being coordinated by the French-controlled Reunion Islands and Australia. Sunderland had been sailing in 50- to 60-foot seas and it was dark when the EPIRB devices were activated.

The Sunderlands are asking people to pray for their daughter, a high-school junior from Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Charlie Nobles, executive director of the American Sailing Assn., said, "We're all praying for her and our thoughts are with her. If she's got the survival suit, and she's got the EPIRB and she's in pretty good shape, she's just got to try to hang on. And when they get there, these guys... they're going to hopefully send the best that they've got to try to do a rescue and it's definitely possible. They're amazing people who do those rescues. They know exactly what they're heading into."

Nobles said a scenario whereby a sailor has to abandon ship might go like this: Water flooding the vessel automatically inflates the life raft, which is tethered to the sailboat. The sailor, if the sailboat is sinking, would grab the boat's EPIRB device and stuff it into a ditch kit, take the ditch kit and deploy and climb aboard the life raft. The sailor would only cut the tether if the sailboat is sinking, pulling down the lifeboat.

Abby was for several months one of two 16-year-olds attempting to sail around the world alone. Australia's Jessica Watson completed her journey last month, just days before turning 17.

Abby's brother Zac, who graduated from high school, completed a solo-circumnavigation last summer at 17.

The timing of Abby's trip was criticized by some because it was going to place her in the middle of the Indian Ocean when the stormy Southern Hemisphere winter was at hand.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Light, Cool Day for Day 1 of the 2010 Etchells North American Championship

Sailing Videos on Sailgroove

Photo by Chris Love
San Diego, CA (June 9, 2010)

San Diego welcomed 42 Etchells teams with cloudy skies and cool temperatures, not quite hitting double digits for breeze on day 1 of 4 for the 2010 Etchells North American Championship.

Race 1 saw a fairly steady breeze of 6-9 kts from the South-Southwest. The 5.9 mile race finished downwind with Andrew Whittome and crew Paul Terhaar taking a first place in just under an hour and 30 minutes. Shannon Bush, one of 3 female skippers in the fleet, took 2nd with her crew Mark Foster and Charlie Dickey. SDYC native Chris Snow with crew Gary Mitchell and John Rudderham finished 3rd. There was no place movement among the top 3 teams in race 1 at each mark rounding, with the 3 leaders extending their lead throughout the race.

The racers were given a short and sunny lunch break before starting the second and final race of the day at 13:33. The breeze lightened up a bit between 5-8kts, however there was plenty of time in the day to get in a 7.7 mile race. Argyle Campbell with his crew Jamie Hardenbergh and Bill Mais took race 2 with a decent lead over the fleet. SDYC sailor Kjeld Hestehave with crew Dave Koenig and Andrea Andriany finished 3rd.

The results after 2 races put Newport Harbor Yacht Club sailor Argyle Campbell in the lead with a 3 point cushion, after taking a 10 and a 1 for the day. Consistency pays off for current 2nd place holder Bruce Burton and crew Glenn Burton and Jon Easley of Bayview Yacht Club with a 5 and 9 finish. With only 2 points separating places 2-4, the regatta is off to a great and competitive start! Forecast for tomorrow will be similar to today with morning fog and light breeze up to 10 kts in the afternoon.

The 2010 Etchells North American Championship is sponsored by SLAM, Point Loma Outfitting, North Sails One Design, Sailing Supply, Kaenon, CFO Connect, BusinessBooks, Etchells Fleet 13, and Harrington Studios.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Team Aqua unbeaten on day one of the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup

Seven flights got completed today in perfect conditions. Unbeaten, Cameron Appleton and his Team Aqua lead the contest ahead of Ceeref (Rod Davis) and five teams on a tie in third.

June 8, 2010 – Sailing for the first time in Northern Europe, the RC 44 Class benefited from great sailing conditions today. Seven match race flights got completed in winds ranging from 8 to 18 knots.

The winner of the day is Team Aqua, unbeaten after six matches and sailing very consistently throughout the day. Cameron Appleton’s day started with a tough match against the America’s Cup winner James Spithill, sailing on a boat called 17. There was no such thing as an observation round: the pre-start was very intense, and led to a premature start by Spithill that allowed Team Aqua to win a fairly easy point. The team from the UAE then aligned the victories with great confidence, finishing the day unbeaten and without being seriously threatened.

The Slovenian team Ceeref, with Rod Davis at the helm, also had a smooth ride, winning its first four matches of the day and only loosing to James Spithill’s 17 in the last flight of the day. Five teams are on a tie in third: Team Sea Dubai, No Way Back, Artemis, BMW ORACLE Racing and 17.

The weather was fine all day, with the wind blowing up to 18 knots in the middle of the afternoon. Some great matches took place, including a spectacular dual between Ceeref and Team Sea Dubai (with Danish skipper Jes Gram Hansen at the helm), separated at most by one boat length during the entire regatta. Other hot moments included Katusha smashing and sinking the arrival mark, BMW ORACLE Racing getting stuck in the windward mark, Terry Hutchinson testing his vocals against the referees and several teams going (herring?) fishing with their spinnakers…

The weather forecast for the coming days is variable, with some rain forecast tomorrow and a slight improvement in the coming days. As for the wind, it is usually not an issue here. Not surprising in a country that produces 20% of its energy through windmills!

They said:

Cameron Appleton, helmsman, Team Aqua: “We had a very good day today and I am very pleased with our crew work and the tactical choices we made. I have already sailed here several times, and it is always a pleasure."

Russell Coutts, tactician, BMW ORACLE Racing: “It is great to sail in Northern Europe after having visited Dubai and an Alpine lake in Austria earlier in the same season. It really makes this Class special and it is one of our objectives. Our next plan is to move to the United States and organise some events there."

Rod Davis, helmsman, Ceeref: “The conditions were the best we’ve had so far this season for match racing. It led to very close and interesting matches. Copenhagen has a huge sailing history and it is a very good place to sail in."

Match-race, provisional results after seven flights:
(Ranking, name of team, helmsman, No of victories / defeats, points)

1) Team Aqua (Cameron Appleton), 6/0 - 6 points
2) CEEREF (Rod Davis), 4/1 - 4 points
3) Team Sea Dubai (Jes Gram Hansen), 3/2 - 3 points
3) Team No Way Back (Ray Davies), 3/2 - 3 points
3) Artemis (Terry Hutchinson), 3/3 - 3 points
3) 17 (James Spithill), 3/3 - 3 points
3) BMW ORACLE Racing (Russell Coutts / Larry Ellison), 3/3 - 3 points
9) Katusha (Paul Cayard), 1/4 - 1 point
9) Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (José Maria Ponce), 1/5 - 1 point
9) AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (Christian Binder), 1/5 - 1 point

Photo: Copyright Per Heegaard / RC 44 Class : The winner of the day, Team Aqua, with Cameron Appleton at the helm.

Mark Watson takes Genuine Risk to Bermuda

by Talbot Wilson

HAMILTON, BERMUDA June 7, 2010: After putting his signature on the sponsorship agreement, Mark Watson called his friend and North Sails advisor Ken Read and said, “Ken, I think I’ve gone and done something kooky.” Kenny replied, “Knowing you, I don’t think so, but tell me what you’ve done.”

Watson replied, “I’m going to sponsor and skipper Genuine Risk in the Bermuda Race.”
Read quipped back, “Now that’s kooky.”

Mark Watson is excited and anxious about this ride in the Newport Bermuda Race that starts June 18 in Newport Rhode Island. He has stepped up as the sponsor and skipper of the US Merchant Marine Academy cant-keel, offshore rocket, the Dubois 90 Genuine Risk.

No novice to offshore racing, Watson owns the Swan 42 Tiburon. He won the 2008 Swan 42 National Championship. Once again he is looking forward to racing with and against some of the best sailors in the world. It’s a genuine risk, just not the kind he is used to.

“This is really as close as we can get to a Corinthian campaign,” Watson said. “We are joining three racing teams, amateurs who have sailed with me before, a few pros who know the boat well to handle its complex systems and five Merchant Marine Academy cadets and one recent graduate who have also sailed her. This is my way of passing on the spirit of offshore yachting to the next generation.”

Newport Bermuda will be quite different for Watson. It has been one of his dreams to do the race. He has been invited, but unable to fit the time into his schedule as CEO of Argo Group, based in Bermuda.

“Fellow Royal Bermuda Yacht Club members had teased me about not doing the race.’ he remarked. “And after I sailed the Fastnet Race aboard the TP52 Lucky, I decided this was the year for Newport Bermuda.

Ben Nichols from Bermuda, who sails aboard Tiburon with Watson, will join him on the 90-footer. He commented on the adventure, his first Newport Bermuda Race. “I am very much looking forward to sailing aboard Genuine Risk with Mark, Nichols said. “Mark’s passion for sailing comes a close 3rd behind his family and his work as President and CEO of the Argo Group. “

“Despite my extensive sailing experience, this race aboard Genuine Risk will be my first ocean race, and what a boat to be doing it on!” Nichols said. “This radical boat was designed and built in 2004, but remains at the forefront of sailing technology today. The fleet assembling for the 2010 Newport Bermuda contains some of the World’s most talented sailors; a great friend of mine, Tim Powell is skipper of a race favorite Ran,” Nichols concluded, “so I hope we can beat them across the finish line even if it is not on corrected time!”

Jim Marshall will be the navigator. Marshall has a lengthy sailing CV and worked for North Sails from 1976 through 1984 and for Ockham Instruments from 1984 to 1995. He was part of the Young America team for the America’s Cup challenge in 2000. Since then, Jim has regained his amateur status and has been navigator and trimmer for some top amateur racing projects. He has sailed eighteen Newport Bermuda Races, four Fastnets, a Trans Pac, Admiral’s Cups and much more.

Andreas Josenhans joins the crew as a project manager and watch captain. He is busy in the last days before the race, putting the crew together and making sure the boat is measured, inspected, ready and provisioned for the race. Andreas. a world-class keelboat racer in the likes of Solings, Stars, and Etchells, is a North sailmaker by trade.

Ralfie Steitz, sailing director for the Merchant Marine Academy, will also be aboard with five cadets and one recent graduate. Steitz named some of the crewmembers, “Charlie Enright was a watch captain on Morning Light in the TransPac and brings valuable offshore experience to the team. Mitch White from Australia is a talented and experienced bowman. Peter Tans is the electronics expert who will keep the power on and the canting keel’s computer running.”

Ralfie comment on the speed potential for Genuine Risk. “During the recent delivery from Ft. Lauderdale to Baltimore,” he said, “the shorthanded crew using delivery sails in a cruising mode guided Genuine Risk to over 650 miles in under two days. With the right wind that translates into a record run to Bermuda,”

Genuine Risk will have to out-smart and out-sail some big, tough competition in the Open Division. Alex Thomson’s 100 foot long Speedboat, first to finish in 2008, hopes to repeat this year in record time. Ken Read on the V70, Il Mostro [Puma], that was second overall in the Volvo Ocean Race, has the race record in sight as well. The Open Division record was set in 2004 by Hasso Plattner’s Morning Glory with a time of 48 hours, 28 minutes and 31 seconds.

See for complete Newport Bermuda Race details.

For information about the Newport Bermuda Race® contact
John Rousmaniere: email +1 646 573-2024

Talbot Wilson: email
Tel: +1 970-453-8823 Mob: +1 850 217-7138

PHOTOS available from PPL Photo Agency.

Tel +44(0)1243 555561 E.mail: Web:

Monday, June 7, 2010

Joe Woods Wins...

Carlo Borlenghi
Joe Woods Wins 2010 Audi Melges 32 European Championship
After four days of incredible racing and high powered competition, Joe Woods aboard Red with Paul Goodison as tactician alongside crew members David Lenz, Shane Hughes, Paddy Bettesworth, Jamie Binmore, Chris Cooper and Mark Williams, is the very first Melges 32 European Champion! Six races in all were completed, despite the fierce mistral to reveal not only Woods as champion, but also Lerici champion Lanfranco Cirillo on Fantastica as runner-up and Luca Lalli on in third.

Thank You. The off-the-water festivities were nothing short of spectacular. A very special thanks to Roberto Pardini, owner of the Janas Melges 32, Yacht Club Cagliari and Melges Europe for making the European Championship the best ever!

View Full Results

Day 8 - ICAP Leopard Transatlantic Record

Saturday 05 June:

Shut down, shut off, shut out!!!!

I am afraid whichever way we look at our situation we have next to zero wind and are going nowhere, let alone fast. Despite a great days sail yesterday at around 02.00hrs this morning the mighty wind gods switched the fan off for us and left us wallowing around with 420 odd Nm to the finish at lands end.

No matter how many times we look at different weather models (forecasts) or speak to Roger Badham our weather router we cannot find a way through this ridge of high pressure. When we departed NY we always knew that there was the chance of this ridge blocking the entry to the UK and we were prepared to take the risk. There are three parts in my view to a Trans Atlantic record attempt: 1) the departure 2) the middle and 3) the finish. If you can get all three in one window, bearing in mind by the time you go green ('let's go') in NY and get the crew from all over the world, you are relying on weather data looking forward 9-10 days. The further you look forward the less accurate the forecast becomes – hence the element of risk! Sometimes the cookie crumbles your way and sometimes it doesn't! We felt we had two out of the three we needed, otherwise you wait forever.

Obviously as a team we are disappointed not to have achieved our goals but have no excuses or blame on anything or anyone - we were lucky enough to have a terrific bunch of guys on the yacht who pushed the yacht to limits it has never seen and yet again this fantastic machine has come through pretty much unscathed. We had a blast with some unbelievable sailing.

What now? As I sit looking at the computers with Hugh Agnew (navigator) we have 390 NM to Lands End and we are motor sailing in order to get there as quick as possible to get six of the guys off the yacht in Falmouth into waiting taxis to Heathrow in order to get them to their next regatta in Sardinia starting on Tuesday. We will take on some fuel before heading to Southampton and hopefully arrive around Monday night or early Tuesday morning for the remainder of the guys to fly home.

What next? Leopard will be competing in the JP Morgan Round The Island Race on June 19th followed by the Cowes - Dinard/St Malo on July 2nd , 6 weeks of corporate sailing and then our UK season closure will be the Round Great Britain and Ireland yacht race starting on August 23 (with a tracker installed) before heading off to the Med and then the Caribbean before being back in New York for the same time next year where we may just try and do it all over again?

Signing off... a huge thank you to our great Boss Mike Slade for letting the "Renegades" take his 100 foot toy for a gentle spin around the North Atlantic!! Unfortunately Mike couldn't be with us this trip as he had business commitments during the final week of our weather window for departure from NY. Another big thank you to our long time friends and sponsor, ICAP, who have been a fantastic support and have been with us since the beginning when we launched ICAP leopard in June 2007 and last but not least a huge thanks to Louise who looks after all of the logistics, website, sales and marketing for the yacht. She works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that the whole operation runs smoothly & so it has been a really manic month for her!

This has been a great adventure and half of the fun is knowing so many people enjoyed following our progress. (25,000 hits and counting!!)

Thank you,

Over and out!

Chris and the crew of ICAP Leopard

Rope Burn!

This is what happens when the mainsheet catches the helmsmen gyping a Farr 40 in 30 knots! Thankfully, Mikkel lived to show us the results. In his own words: "Got entangled in mainsheet and a split second reaction avoided fatal disaster... "

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Louis Vuitton Trophy-La Maddalena

Paul Cayard
Sunday, June 06, 2010

Credit: Sander van der Borch

No wind this morning meant no Petit Final for Artemis.

Instead the race committee had to move straight into the finals when the wind filled around noon.

In the first race of the day, the Russians on Synergy kept their winning ways from yesterday and took control right from the start, made it look easy and won by about a minute over Team New Zealand.

So, with the Russians up 2-0 in the first to win 3 final, the Kiwi's had their back against the wall in race 3. The Russians once again had the better of the start and immediately got control and the lead. With a 25 second lead at the first mark and the southeasterly breeze now well filled in at 11 knots and reasonable steady, it looked like it was going to be a short day.

But the Kiwis found a bit more pressure on the very short side of the course they were give and the Russians failed to cover. The Kiwis closed to near equal at the leeward gate and then the Russians botched the spinnaker drop. Race over. Now it was 2-1 in favor of the Russians but the Kiwis had been given a second life.

The first windward leg of final two races were almost virtual replays of each other with the Kiwis holding the narrowest of leads around the first windward mark. In the 4th race, the Russians were patiently waiting for the Kiwi's to gybe and executed a perfect "match" and rolled the Kiwis. But the Russians got a bit greedy at the end of the run and tried to push down on the Kiwi's as windward boat. The Kiwis flagged the Russians for sailing below proper course and the umpires penalized Synergy. The Russians led up the second windward leg but could not get enough distance in front to complete the penalty turn. On the final run to the finish, the Russians tried to engage the Kiwis in an effort to get them an offsetting penalty but the Kiwis managed to stay clear and go in for the win.

Race 5 was for all the marbles. Reply of race for up the first windward leg. Kiwis stayed in front all the way by the narrowest or margins. The Russians got a small tear in their gennaker on the final hoist. A few gybes ensued as the Russians tried to apply pressure to the Kiwi's. Then the Russian gennaker exploded and that was all she wrote.

So in a miracle of sorts, the Russians found a way to lose after being up 2-0 and with set point in the third.

Team New Zealand remains the standard in the Louis Vuitton Trophy. They do have the teamwork element down. But some of the new teams are getting close to knocking them off and the trend line for these new teams is very steep indeed.

Next Louis Vuitton event will be in Dubai in November. Following Dubai we will be in Hong Kong in January.

For many of us, we are on our way to Copenhagen tonight for the RC 44 event this coming week. Practice tomorrow and then straight into the match racing part on Tuesday. I will take tomorrow off from the reports and pick it up again Tuesday after racing


Cayard Sailing Website

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Artemis leads and BMW Oracle Racing leaves

Sander van der Borch / Artemis
Sweden's Artemis climbed to the lead of the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena today with a victory over Emirates Team New Zealand.

After six races in winds ranging from 15 to 20 knots the scoreboard now shows Artemis first with six points, and Emirates Team New Zealand and SYNERGY Russian Sailing Team equal second with five points. Only eight teams will qualify for the quarter finals.

With just four races remaining in the round robin, America’s BMW Oracle Racing and the French ALEPH Racing Team, with ninth and tenth places respectively, are on the outside, looking in.

James Spithill and Oracle, the winners of the America’s Cup, decisively won races today against Italy’s Mascalzone Latino and Azzurra, but the late improvement in form still left them in ninth place. With all their races complete the Americans are effectively eliminated.

The mistral winds had eased and conditions were perfect for racing this morning under sunny skies. The first race of the day started in 15 knots of northwest wind after a short delay. The breeze continued to build but after Oracle beat Azzurra in winds that gusted over 20 knots, organizers ordered a delay until conditions eased.

Flight Nineteen, Race Two: BMW Oracle Racing def. Mascalzone Latino, 00:26 – James Spithill on Oracle pushed Mascalzone Latino below the committee on the starboard layline and landed two penalties in quick succession on Italy’s Gavin Brady as they circled tightly in 14 knots of wind. Oracle led across the line by nearly two boat lengths and left the Italian boat in their wake as Brady was forced to complete the first of his penalty turns. Mascalzone trailed by 180 metres as they set off in pursuit. The Italians still trailed by 26 seconds at the finish and the umpires waived the penalty turn to minimize wear and tear on the jib.

Flight Twenty, Race One: Mascalzone Latino def. ALEPH Sailing Team, 00:01 – Gavin Brady steering Mascalzone Latino snatched victory by one second from France’s ALEPH in the closing metres of an intense chase by the Italian boat. Bertrand Pacé dominated a split tack start and led by 18 metres as he started ten seconds after the gun. Brady kept it close through four legs. There was seldom more than one boat length between them. The Italians closed on ALEPH when the French boat botched the last gybe for the mark and conceded their lead.

Flight Fourteen, Race Two: Luna Rossa def ALEPH Sailing Team, 01:45 – Trailing at the first leeward mark, ALEPH sailed through the gate and below the committee boat as the French crew struggled to hoist the the jib and get the gennaker down. Bertrand Pacé had fought for the right at the start but a pin end bias conferred a 30 metre lead to Ed Baird and Luna Rossa.

Flight Thirteen, Race Two: BMW Oracle Racing def. Azzurra, 00:15 – Azzurra steered by Francesco Bruni gave this vital race away with a slow start, trailing by 114 metres off the line. Oracle’s James Spithill went for a pin end start on a heavily biased line and Bruni appeared to be lining up for a port tack start at the committee on port but ducked and tacked, losing valuable time before he crossed on starboard to follow.

Flight Nineteen, Race One: Azzurra def. TEAMORIGIN , 01:03 – Great Britain’s Ben Ainslie took TEAMORIGIN aross the line first at the favored pin end, bow forward by 18 metres . Francesco Bruni in Azzurra gradually gained and tacked just to leeward of the British boat on the port layline as Ainslie called for water, close to the shoreline. From there Bruni gradually squeezed up on Ainslie for a 14 second lead at the top mark and extended from there.

Flight Three, Race Two: Artemis def. Emirates Team New Zealand, 00:18 – After a lively pre-start Terry Hutchinson and Artemis led back to the line, starting to leeward but bow-forward of ETNZ. They were level-pegging for the first third of the leg until Hutchinson forced Kiwi helmsman Dean Barker away. Coming into the weather mark the Swedish boat lost its gennaker pole overboard but retrieved it intact. Repeated protests from the Kiwi boat were green-flagged and the Swedish crew never looked back.

Round Robin Provisional Results after Tuesday Racing

=1. Artemis, 6-2, 6 points
=2. Emirates Team New Zealand, 5-3, 5 points

=2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 5-4, 5 points
=4. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 5-2, 4 points *

=4. All4One, 4-3, 4 points

=4. Azzurra, 4-5, 4 points

=4. TEAMORIGIN, 4-3, 4 points
8. Luna Rossa, 3-6, 3 points
9. BMW Oracle Racing Team, 3-6, 3 point
=10. ALEPH Sailing Team, 2-6, -2 points *

* Penalties deducted by Jury/Umpires

Live streaming web coverage of the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena is available on the event website, The official site (in English, French, Italian and Russian) is also rich in team content, as well as features, audio, video and images. Racing starts at 0900 local time (GMT+2).

Team Go Sail finishes 8th at Delta Lloyd Regatta

After sailing in wintry northern Holland for the past two weeks, we are happy to return home to Summer (and a break from wearing our dry suits)! We’ve just completed the Delta Lloyd Regatta in Medemblik, Netherlands, stop #5 on the ISAF World Cup Circuit. We finished 8th of 46 Women’s teams, earning our fourth consecutive appearance in the medal race. After a rocky start on the opening day, we clawed our way back into the top 10 with consistent scores. For more of the details, please read on!

Some of the best advice we’ve gotten from an anonymous veteran racer was, You can’t win a regatta on the first day, but you can lose it. Unfortunately, that is what we did. Day #1 was just one of those days on the racecourse where it seemed nothing went our way. Despite a clear pre-race strategy to get to an edge of the track, we let ourselves become stuck in the middle. Sailing on the IJsselmeer is similar to lake sailing: surrounded by land where even the thermal winds are offshore. This lends itself to massive shifts, which require committing to a side early and staying on the edge of the fleet. We scored a frustrating 29, 21. To round out our first day fiasco, a broken main halyard forced us to retire from the third race. After three races of a ten race series, we were stuck in 38th place!

With our work cut out for us, we were determined to climb back to a respectable finish. A streak of blazing starts and great boat speed allowed us to execute our original game plan of getting to an edge. Once committed to a side, we did a much better job of playing the local shifts while gaining leverage on the fleet. In races 4 through10 we scored: 6, 5, 4, 14, 5, 6, 6. This was enough to move us from 38th to 8th overall in just 3 days of racing and boost us into the medal race. The breeze ranged from 5-25 knots, so this was an excellent test across a range of conditions.

As a lighter team, we were particularly happy with our upwind speed in the big breeze. The most important lesson learned from this regatta was how to keep poised and focused after what could have been a devastating start. We are very pleased with the consistency of top 7 scores after the first day.

We return the Netherlands at the end of June to begin a training camp before our World Championships. This time we will be sailing out of The Hague in South Holland. We would like to thank US Sailing Team Alphagraphics.

Sarah and Amanda

Team Russia GPEN SB3 Eurocup champions, GBR third.

Olympic silver medalist Rodion Luka skippered the newly formed team – along with crew Oleg Zherebtsov, founder and backer of the Team Russia Volvo Ocean Race squad, Maria Rudskaya and Alexander Lebedev – to win 5 of the 11 races, discarding two 5th places to count no result worse than a 3rd.

After an evening enjoying the hospitality of Morgat, with free meals and drinks provided for competitors, the 20-strong Laser SB3 fleet took to the water for an early start this morning in overcast conditions and a 10-15 knot westerly. TEAM RUSSIA went into the final day with a six-point advantage on nearest rivals DIRECT SAILING (Thomas Rouxel, FRA), and opened with another win, overhauling early leaders ROLA-TRAC (Peter Saxton, GBR), who finished second.

Race 10 of the series also saw DOOLALLI (Colin Simonds, GBR) and RIGGING GURUS (Mark Richards, GBR) pushing hard as both were in contention for the final podium place. DOOLALLI came out better in Race 10, finishing 3rd ahead of RIGGING GURUS in 5th – this put RIGGING GURUS just two points ahead of DOOLALLI overall, leaving 3rd still to play for going into the final race.

In the final Race 11 the sole Irish contenders SERIOUSLY BONKERS (Martin Ceppage) enjoyed an early lead, with the Russian crew taking things easy back in sixth. However, the Bay of Crozon Morgat dealt the fleet another roll of the dice, with boats on the left losing a lot of ground by the time they reconvened at the bottom mark. DIRECT SAILING took the lead, with TEAM RUSSIA back up to 2nd at the finish. British helmswoman Sarah Allan had her best result of the regatta in third with SAILBOAT SPARES.COM

Further back in the fleet RIGGING GURUS were working hard to defend their third overall position against the Simonds brothers on DOOLALLI, starting close to them in an attempt to keep them down the fleet. The tactics paid off and RIGGING GURUS crossed the line 9th, two places ahead of DOOLALLI, to take the final podium position in the GPEN Laser SB3 Eurocup.

After four days of superb racing and hospitality, the fleet had an early final prizegiving giving the visiting boats plenty of time to travel home. Next year is the 10th anniversary of the Grand Prix Ecole Navale in Morgat, which takes place from June 2-5, and the SB3 fleet are expected to return for another fantastic event next summer.

The peninsula of Crozon and the Grand Prix Ecole Navale have now welcomed the SB3 class to their high quality racing waters for the past four years. Responding to the competitors’ enthusiasm for the venue, and the tradition of welcoming British visitors to the peninsula as a holiday destination, the Nautical Center of Crozon-Morgat is bidding to organise the 6th edition of the Laser SB3 World Championships in 2013.

QUOTES (GBR unless mentionned)

Rodion Luka (TEAM RUSSIA / RUS):

“I’m very happy. In the last race we could have been 6th, easily - the whole team was more relaxed because we knew we were first overall and could have not raced the last, but just for practice we raced and it was good, we were second by the last downwind mark. Over the week we sailed more or less conservatively, and had good speed so it’s quite easy to be in the top 5. We’re very happy with the whole event, really enjoyed the racing. The race committee did a really good job, and we’ve been very surprised by the help from the people here. When we hit a rock on the first day we got much help taking the boat out so within a couple of hours we had fixed everything, which was just perfect.”

Oleg Zherebtsov (TEAM RUSSIA / RUS):

“I’ve been really surprised by Brittany, it is our first time here. I like the fact that everyone is trying to help, people are constantly providing spare parts and little things to try to keep us in good racing condition. They’ve all worked really hard – it is only the supermarkets that are not open on Sunday here!”

GPEN - Laser SB3 EUROCUP after races 7, 8 and 9 today (7 to count.)
Details of each race HERE / Teams are GBR unless mentionned
1: "Team Russia", Rodion Luka (RUS) 14 points (Races: 1,5,2,1,5,3,2,1,1,1,2,)
2: "Direct Sailing", Thomas Rouxel (FRA) 22 points (Races: 7,3,1,6,1,1,3,2,12,4,1,)
3: "Rigging Gurus", Mark Richards 33 points (Races : 4,2,3,7,4,5,1,6,3,5,9,)

More information on the Grand Prix Ecole Navale (new URL)

Vendée – St-Petersburg Heading south

Farewell to St-Petersburg. It was at 2019hrs local time that the fleet of nine Multis50s set sail off Kronstadt Island, which marks the entrance to the city. Sunshine and light airs are due to accompany the sailors for the first stretch out into the Gulf of Finland, before the wind freshens in the Baltic .

The stopover in St-Petersburg will certainly have left its mark on the Multi 50 sailors. Very different from the classic destinations on the other side of the Atlantic, the competitors were able to discover here a culture stretching back over the centuries, a people undergoing a transformation and an incomparable architecture, considered to be among the most beautiful in the world. They were able to sail on the Neva, discover the bewildering charms of the white nights, strolling in the maze of streets of this city with its four million inhabitants, but which still manages to keep its provincial air. Philippe de Villiers, President of the Vendée Council, who came along to thank his Russian hosts, has already announced there will be another edition of the race in four years time, so the sailors know they will be back again. The memories are now behind them, as they are now focusing on returning to the south.

Uncertain atmospheric conditions

In theory, they can look forward to some great speeds during the first days of racing as they make their way across the Baltic, pushed along by a strong east-north-easterly wind. The passage through the Oresund, where they will probably have to tack upwind, looks rather more complicated. As for the North Sea, it is currently under the influence of a north-westerly air stream, which is set to fade away leaving unreliable light airs behind. So it is likely we will be watching a race with many different episodes, where the frontrunners one day may well see their advantage melt away, and where there will be a number of weather hurdles to deal with. Whatever happens, taking into account the fleet’s performance on the voyage up to St. Petersburg in what were after all very unfavourable conditions, it is highly likely that we can look forward to a faster reference time… And who knows? Maybe the first boats will finish in Saint-Gilles Croix de Vie next weekend.

Reminder: rankings of the first leg between St-Gilles Croix-de-Vie and St-Petersburg
- 1 Crêpes Whaou ! 3 (FY Escoffier) finished on 24th May at 05h31mn49s GMT
- 2 Actual (Y Le Blévec) finished on 24th May at 05h33mn04s
- 3 Crêpes Whaou ! 2 (L Féquet) finished on 24th May at 22H08mn00s
- 4 Région Aquitaine Port-Médoc (L Roucayrol) finished on 26th May at 09h32’10s
- 5 FenêtréA-Cardinal (E Le Roux) finished on 26th May at 10h37’50’’
- 6 Naviguez Anne Caseneuve (A Caseneuve) finished on 26th May at 10h49’26’’
- 7 La mer révèle nos sens (P Hingant) finished on 26th May at 12h08’00’’
- 8 CLM (H Cléris) finished on 26th May at 13h53’23’’
- 9 π R2 (E Hochédé) finished on 27th May at 05h36’10’’

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