Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rhum Punch

Route du Rhum - Mark Lloyd Images

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Preparations nearly complete for Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai

The final Louis Vuitton Trophy event is scheduled to start in Dubai on November 12th, featuring six of the top international sailing teams in the world.

With the regatta just over two weeks away, staff from the World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA), a co-organiser of the event along with Louis Vuitton and the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC), are on the ground and hard at work building the Race Village and preparing the race boats.

“There is a huge amount of activity surrounding the Louis Vuitton Trophy at DIMC and the arrival of the four America’s Cup Class boats certainly increased the enthusiasm of everyone involved,” said Saeed Hareb, CEO of DIMC.

“We have installed a very large, two-storey chalet between the clubhouse and the race department, which will house the event media, TV, VIP lounge, offices, shops and reception and forms a focal point of the village. Watching it all take shape has been fascinating, especially as every day someone new is arriving on site from either the teams, the organisation or press and the scene is being set for a really exceptional event.”

Racing will take place in four equalised ACC yachts, the type of boat used in the America’s Cup from 1992 to 2007. Nearly 50 shore-crew are already on site to get the yachts unloaded and upacked, rigged, tested and ready to race.

The match racing regatta will consist of a double round robin, followed by semi final elimination rounds, before a new champion is crowned in the final, a ‘best-of-five’ clash between the two top teams, scheduled for the 26-27 November.

This is the last of four Louis Vuitton Trophy events before many of the teams shift their focus to multihull racing ahead of the next America’s Cup.

“We’re really looking forward to bringing top level sailing to Dubai and enjoying the great racing conditions on offer there at this time of year,” said Paul Cayard, the Chairman of the WSTA, co-organiser of the event, as well as the skipper of the Swedish Artemis team.

“These teams comprise many of the best sailors in the world, so the competitive spirit is always high, and the racing is among the best we do. It’s close, it’s hard-fought, and we all want to win.”

The five other competitors include BMW ORACLE Racing, which won the America’s Cup earlier this year, as well as Mascalzone Latino, the current challenger of record.

The Russian Synergy team, a finalist in the previous event in La Maddalena, Italy will be hoping to improve on that result while the French-German team, All4One, will look to continue its steady improvement over the course of the four regattas.

Meanwhile, Emirates Team New Zealand, the most consistent performer in the three Louis Vuitton Trophy events to date will be looking to add to its previous wins in the Auckland and La Maddalena races.

Outside of the competition, the Dubai event is sure to be interesting. One of the highlights come on heritage day, November 20, when many of the team members will be invited to compete in the local dhow racing. These modern versions of traditional craft enjoy some very competitive racing of their own, and foreigners are usually barred from competing. This will mark the first time outsiders are invited to race.

In addition, the Louis Vuitton Junior Trophy will allow 40 budding sailors the opportunity to compete in the harbour for a chance to race as a special guest on board one of the ACC yachts during the final.

The Race Village will provide daily entertainment through a range of activities while the action from the water is beamed in live over a giant screen television. Those unable to attend in person can follow all of the racing live through

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai begins on 12th November with the opening of the Race Village and the opening press conference and is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Emirates Airline, Principal Sponsor of the event.

Racing is scheduled to start on Sunday, November 14th.

About WSTA
The World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) was founded in 2009 by a group of professional yacht racing teams to develop regular high-level match race regattas in large and complex racing yachts. The WSTA is jointly owned by its nine shareholders (the teams) and represents the interests of those teams in the pursuit of fair and highly competitive racing. The WSTA, in conjunction with title partner Louis Vuitton, co-organises the Louis Vuitton Trophy.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Ships in storm


Photo credit: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo

Nearly 48 hours into the Rolex Middle Sea Race, and it’s clear that the record set in 2007 by George David’s Rambler – 47h, 55m, 3s – will remain intact for at least another year.

The current race leader, Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), passed Pantelleria at 06.00 this morning, currently nearing Lampedusa, and is expected to finish in the early evening tonight. Approximately 45 nautical miles astern is the maxi ICAP Leopard (GBR), which rounded Pantelleria at 09.30 doing 12.8 knots and is desperately trying to narrow the gap. But the lighter northwesterly breeze – around 10-15 knots – was more suited to the Slovenian maxi.

Mike Slade, owner of Leopard, emailed in, “What a merry dance Esimit Europa is leading us. Since she got the jump on us in the Strait (of Messina) and extended across the top of Sicily, we have been waiting for the wind gods to shine on us. Sadly, all too late we pick up 15 knots of breeze as we come past Pantelleria and we have just touched 20 knots of boat speed as we head down for Lampedusa. Can we pull back a 40-mile lead in the remaining 200 miles? A big ask! All good on board, we have just had garlic sausage for breakfast (remind me to sack the chef). Our current heading is 150 degrees and wind speed is 19 knots with TWA 140 carrying our big A1 kite.”

Further back, at the island of Favignana, is the mini-maxi Alegre. Will Best, navigator onboard emailed last night: “It has been a really tricky race so far, not all of our pre-race strategy has quite gone to plan. We were caught out on the wrong side of a cloud leading up to Messina which is where we lost touch with the 100 footers, and since then we’ve been focusing on staying ahead of the forever closing pack of E1 and the TP52’s who are having a great race.

“Spirits onboard are all good, at the moment we are just getting through the lee of Alicudi just a few miles ahead of E1 and Pace. We haven’t anything to loose now by trimming a few corners and hope this light southerly gets us to Trapani in time for the front that’s forecast for our fast finish.”

John Brinkers, watch leader on the Volvo 70, E1 (RUS) also reported in last night: “So here we are drifting along the north coast of Sicily. Its 11pm Sunday night and we're drifting along in less than two knots of wind just off Isole Eolie.

“The other watch is trying to coax the light asymmetric along, making sure it stays filled. It’s a pretty mundane job when all you've got to look forward to is 1.5 knots of boatspeed; a far cry from this morning when we were blasting along at 22 knots. The forecast is for the breeze to eventually fill in from the west, so we are trying to get there as fast as we can.

Just after 10.00 this morning, a further update came in from Brinkers, “Well, what a night. We were totally becalmed a few times and then eventually got going but the regular crew were complaining about a lack of speed and I must say the boat felt totally wrong when driving it.

“Eventually this morning we had a good look over the side and saw the cause of the problem, a fisherman's buoy wrapped around the rudder with a stack of net hanging off it. Our Slovenian crew Tosh volunteered to hang off a halyard, and with the upwind sails sheeted on in 15 knots, and swing keel fully canted out the wrong way (to leeward) the boat laid on its side in irons. It allowed Tosh to 'walk' down to the rudder and clear the debris. What a hero!

“With him back on board and us back on the pace we are once again in pursuit of Alegre, about 10miles ahead. It’s a shame having had that buoy hanging off the rudder, we're started having speed problem at nightfall, so it was there all night!”

At the Stromboli checkpoint, it was going to the wire in Class Three. Sonke Stein’s J/133, Juno was leading, but only just, four minutes ahead of Jaru and Argo from Malta and Italy respectively, who are inseparable on corrected time.

Stein said, “Although Juno is registered in Hamburg, she is based in Malta. This is my first Rolex Middle Sea Race with the boat, but personally this is my ninth race. The crew is mainly Maltese and has done the race many times. We hope to win, but the competition is very strong, we are looking forward to more exciting conditions ahead and above all to enjoy quality time with good friends.”

Nisida (GBR), racing in Class Two, reported in 50 miles west of Stromboli. The 52-foot Bill Lee-designed light displacement yacht is crewed by members of the London Corinthian Sailing Club who travel all over world to compete in races, which have included nine Rolex Fastnet Races.

Crew member Hillary Cook emailed, “North of Sicily it feels like we have sailed into a different climate zone. Gone from deck is the stash of sun cream and water bottles, to be replaced by thermals, oilskins and pleas for cups of hot tea. Porridge for breakfast this morning was very welcome after a challenging night, battling heavy rain and a wind which refused to make up its mind whether it was still southeasterly or the promised westerly, and at times settled for being zero.

“After we resorted to hoisting our spinnaker it finally did decide on being the westerly and we are now beating our way towards the half way point, hoping for some enjoyable surfing conditions once we make it round Favignana. But as ever with this race, it's great fun!'

The 45-footer Comrade (RUS) turned back at Stromboli, retiring at 07.30 with rudder problems and was heading to Messina to effect repairs; at 09.00, the Dufour 40, Bonito (ITA) retired and was also heading to Messina.

The race fleet can be tracked online at

George David's Rambler (USA) established the current Course Record of 47 hours, 55 minutes, and 3 seconds in 2007. 
To break this record, a Class 1 leader would have to finish on Monday morning before 11.35am.

The final prize giving is at 12.00pm on Saturday, 30 October at the Mediterranean Conference Center in Valletta.

For a full archive of photography, media releases and audio files covering the Rolex Middle Sea Race, visit

To follow on TWITTER, go to

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reigning champion Gitana 11 returns to Saint Malo

Route du Rhum 2010

Almost 24 hours ahead of the deadline set by the organisers, the maxi-trimaran Gitana 11 made her entrance into Saint Malo’s Bassin Vauban this morning, after a calm delivery spanning around fifteen hours. It represented the final trip for the multihull fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild prior to the much awaited start of the Route du Rhum on 31st October 2010. However, it also heralds the start of ‘festivities’ in Saint Malo for both the Gitana Team and skipper Yann Guichard.

Wednesday 20th October was reminiscent of a transhumance in the Breton port of La Trinité-sur-Mer, where some of the future participants in the Route du Rhum 2010, including Gitana 11, have been berthed throughout the past year. Following confirmation of gentle, to overly gentle weather conditions over the coming days, the skippers unanimously decided to cast off to make the corsair town within the time limit. As such, throughout the course of the afternoon, the passage of a steady flow of racing yachts continuously livened up the sleepy port.

As such, Yann Guichard and his men left their port of registry yesterday - Wednesday – shortly after 1500 hours, with a coastal sail on the menu, taking them along the Breton shores, past the famous Raz de Sein and the Chenal du Four, which links the Iroise Sea to the English Channel. And so it was in the early hours, in a misty, wintry atmosphere, that Gitana 11 presented herself at the foot of the Vauban’s ramparts: “For this delivery trip I chose to be accompanied by Jean-Baptiste Levaillant, the master sailmaker, and Pierre Bourcier, with whom the Gitana Team has been working for several months to set up and fine tune the automatic pilots, among other things. It was the boat’s last session on the water prior to the start so it was our very last opportunity to adjust certain details which can only be done at sea, so it was an important stage. From today, Gitana 11 will be immobilised for 10 days in the port of Saint Malo. The next time we go through the lock gates will be on the afternoon of Saturday 30th, when we make for the mooring installed for us off Dinard.” Indeed, the day prior to the start, certain yachts from the Ultimate category, will leave the port of Saint Malo to spend their last night tied to a mooring at the foot of the neighbouring town of Dinard.

Ready for the crossing

“Gitana 11 is all ready to go and we could take the start of the Route du Rhum tomorrow if need be. The shore crew has already put the safety gear and spare parts aboard and solely the food supplied by the Mont d’Arbois restaurant is left to be embarked in St Malo in the final days.” Clearly the maxi-trimaran in the colours of the Edmond de Rothschild Group is in the starting blocks then, but we know less about the skipper, Yann Guichard, who is preparing to race in his first single-handed transatlantic race aboard an ocean-going multihull: “All’s going well for me, with my focus now on recuperating. I’m making the most of these last few days on shore to sort out the day-to-day matters and rack up some sleep before the start. I’m also beginning to have a more regular look at the forecasts from Météo France, though it’s still too early to find out what weather awaits us and to be able to analyse things more precisely. However, together with Sylvain Mondon, who will be my router throughout the race, we’re discussing what trends are taking shape. This weekend however, we’ll begin to get down to the nitty-gritty!” said Yann Guichard assuredly, before adding a few words about the programme which awaits him over the coming days: “The ten days’ wait promises to be long, especially as Gitana 11 is immobilised until the start and it will be impossible for me to go sailing… This period mixing obligations from the organisation and media meetings is all part of the process and I’m ready for it. Added to that, I’ll be able to lie low, far from Saint Malo, from Sunday through to next Wednesday.”

With Gitana 11 tied alongside in Saint Malo and the race start getting ever closer, the countdown is very much on and the atmosphere is gradually changing with every day that passes. For the members of the Gitana Team and Yann Guichard, who have been preparing for this Route du Rhum 2010 for nearly two years, the home straight represented by the coming days is coloured by a mixture of excitement and impatience: that of seeing the reigning champion show off her true racing potential once again.

La Route du Rhum – La Banque Postale 2010…
Ø Start on Sunday 31st October 2010 at 1302 hours
Ø 87 registered yachts, 9 of which are in the Ultimate Category
Ø 3,540 miles to cover between Saint Malo and Pointe-à-Pitre

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gone Sailing

Alex and Taru World Tour - Want to see more click here....


Alexandre Caizergues a battu le record du Monde de vitesse absolu à la voile avec une moyenne de 54,10 nœuds (100,19 km/h) sur les 500 mètres du canal de Luderitz (Namibie). Le jeune provençal est le nouveau recordman de vitesse toutes catégories. Il détrône les 51,36 nœuds de l'hydroptère.

Images Band Originale, montage


Sunday, October 17, 2010


Copyright onEdition 2010©

VELUX 5 OCEANS Skipper Derek Hatfield onboard his yacht, Activehouse, on the first of 5 Ocean Sprints in the VELUX 5 OCEANS around the world race.

Derek Hatfield is Canada's most experienced offshore solo yachtsman with a podium finish in 2003 in the VELUX 5 Oceans (formerly called Around Alone), he also competed in the 2008 Vendee Globe and has over 90,000 miles of offshore experience. Derek, from Aurora, Ontario, Canada, a former Canadian Mounted Policeman, he has plastered the hull of his Eco 60 yacht Spirit of Canada, with the names of every single person who helped him in his campaign.

The VELUX 5 OCEANS is the oldest single-handed round the world yacht race.
Run every 4 years since 1982, the race is the longest and toughest event for any individual in any sport. The race is a series of five high-pressure ocean sprints within a marathon circumnavigation. The 30,000 route is La Rochelle to Cape Town, then onto Wellington, Salvador, South Carolina before finishing in La Rochelle.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Coutts wins RC 44 fleet race Worlds at Puerto Calero - Spithill overall winner

Yacht 17 takes overall title after BMW ORACLE Racing wins feet racing
LANZAROTE, Canary Islands (16 October 2010) – Australian Jimmy Spithill, Anders Myralf of Denmark and the international crew of the yacht 17 concluded a banner week in the Canary Islands by winning the inaugural RC 44 World Championship for the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup.

After three days of match racing at the outset of the week, the regatta wrapped up today with the conclusion of the fleet racing, which counted 10 races in total. The yacht 17 won the match racing and finished second in the fleet racing to claim the championship.

Spithill, Myralf and the 17 crew entered the day in the lead, but an early start in one race and penalties in the other two nearly scuttled their regatta.

“We’re feeling great,” said Spithill, 31, of Sydney, Australia. “It was a tough day on the water for us. We tried to stay clean but got tangled up a couple of times. It was really unpredictable on the water, but at the end of day we hung tough and got it done.”

Heading into the final heat of the fleet racing portion of the regatta the top three boats – No Way Back, BMW ORACLE Racing and 17 – were within 1 point of the title.

No Way Back and 17 each had to perform penalty turns in the race, which allowed BMW ORACLE Racing, led by tactician Russell Coutts and local helmsman Jose Juan Calero to claim the win.

“I’m very grateful to Russell Coutts and Mr. Ellison for giving me an opportunity to steer the boat,” said Calero, whose family hosted the regatta at the Puerto Calero Marina. “It means a lot for me because we organized the event as well. It was very stressful at times, but big fun at the end of each race.”

No Way Back, led by owner Pieter Heerema of The Netherlands and tactician Ray Davies of New Zealand, finished third in the fleet racing with 55 points. Coupled with their sixth-place finish in the match racing, they placed third overall.

“It was a great event. I love Lanzarote and Puerto Calero,” said Heerema, last year’s RC 44 season champion. “Being third makes me very happy. We’ve struggled a bit this season. We’ve just never sailed to our level. We were feeling we were sliding down, but to be a strong contender before the last race makes us feel good.”

Top honors on the final day of racing went to Chris Bake’s Team Aqua, with New Zealander Cameron Appleton calling tactics. Team Aqua posted the low score of 6 points on finishes of 1-1-4, a welcome day after two days of struggles.

“We redeemed ourselves a bit; finally figured out the racecourse and got our boat figured out,” said Bake, who swept all three titles at the previous RC 44 event in Valencia. “It was massively difficult out there with the shifts and the bias in the course. It felt good to be leading the pack again.”

With just the Miami RC 44 Cup remaining on the schedule, BMW ORACLE Racing leads the season standings with 8 points, followed by No Way Back with 10 points, 17 with 12 points, Artemis with 12 points and Team Aqua with 15 points.

The Miami RC 44 Cup is scheduled Dec. 7-12.


Fleet Racing (after 10 races)
1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Jose Juan/Russell Coutts – 2-5-2-3-5-4-11-10-4-3 – 49
2. 17 (USA) Anders Myralf/Jimmy Spithill – 3-11-1-1-7-3-2-7-12-7 – 54 points
3. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 5-6-8-2-4-1-10-4-6-9 – 55
4. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 4-1-12-10-1-9-7-9-3-2 – 58
5. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 13-7-10-5-2-7-3-5-5-1 – 58
6. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 11-8-3-6-3-10-4-3-7-6 – 61
7. Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 10-3-5-4-8-8-6-2-9-8 – 65*
8. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 6-10-7-8-13-12-9-1-1-4 – 69*
9. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 1-9-9-9-10-5-14-13-2-5 – 79*
10. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 8-13-4-11-6-13-1-11-8-11 – 86
11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 7-2-13-13-9-6-8-8-11-12 – 89
12. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 12-4-6-7-12-2-14-12-13-10 – 92
13. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 9-12-11-12-11-11-5-6-10-13 – 100
(*Points total includes 2-point penalty for on-water infraction)

Final Standings (including match and fleet racing)
1. 17 1-2 – 3 points
2. BMW ORACLE Racing 3-1 – 4
3. No Way Back 6-3 – 9
4. Katusha 4-5 – 9
5. Artemis 2-7 – 9
6. Sea Dubai 8-4 – 12
7. Ceeref 7-6 – 13
8. Aqua 5-8 – 13
9. Mascalzone Latino 9-9 – 18
10. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team 10-10 – 20
11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero 11-11 – 22
12. Peninsula Petroleum 12-12 – 24
13. Synergy 13-13 – 26

Photo Copyright: Nico Martinez / RC44 Class.
1. BMW ORACLE Racing, helmed by José Juan Calero, had to wait until the last race to grab the RC 44 fleet race world championship title

2. James Spithill, Anders Myralf and their team 17, winners of the RC 44 World Championship overall title (fleet and match combined)

RC44 World Championship 2010 / Day 5 Video

Friday, October 15, 2010

A new leader at the RC 44 Fleet Race Worlds

Stronger winds shuffle the standings and make the docks resemble pit lane
LANZAROTE, Canary Islands (15 October 2010) – BMW ORACLE Racing skipper Jimmy Spithill and amateur helmsman Anders Myralf of Denmark rode the strength of all single-digit finishes to push their yacht 17 in the lead for the RC 44 Fleet Race World Championship for the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup.

Spithill, who today was named Australian Male Sailor of the Year by the Australian Yachting Federation, and Myralf posted finishes of 1-7-3-2 to overtake the previous leader, BMW ORACLE Racing, with local sailor Jose Juan Calero helming and Russell Coutts calling tactics.

On a day when good winds – southwesterlies between 8 and 16 knots – returned to the racecourse, there were four different winners of today’s heats: 17, Harm Müller Spreer and Sea Dubai, Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back from The Netherlands and Rene Mangold’s AEZ RC 44 Racing of Austria.

Myralf guided 17 to victory in the first race of the day, Race 4 of the series.

“It was quite hard to find the right lanes today, but Jimmy and the crew did a fantastic job finding those lanes,” said Myralf of Denmark. “We were leading that race at the first top mark, but then lost out on the finish line and placed seventh. It only shows how close this racing is; it’s so close.”

Müller-Spreer helmed Sea Dubai to victory in Race 5, guided by tactician Markus Wieser. Müller-Spreer is helming his third regatta, but finds himself in fourth place with a day to go.

Müller-Spreer won perhaps the most exciting race of the day. Sea Dubai was running third at the final windward mark, but gained the win in the final jibe to the finish.

“We had a good race, the one we won,” said Müller-Spreer. “We came from a bad position on the first upwind leg, but we fought hard the whole time and we caught up to first on the finish line.”

After recalling the win, Müller-Spreer went on to say that they need to become more consistent. Prior to the victory, they finished 10th in Race 4.

“I’m satisfied with the result because I’m sailing this boat for only the third time, but we have to do it a bit better because we had some bad results in between,” said Müller-Spreer.

Mangold and the AEZ crew can attest to that. The Austrians preceded their Race 7 win with finishes of 11-6-13. Sometimes it takes a last to forget worrying about the fleet and just go sailing.

“We had a good start, and then sailed well around the course,” said Mangold. “For us it’s better when there’s more consistent wind. We lost the race before it, and when that happens you feel freer, you can sail your own race and not worry about things.”

The conditions seemed to wake everyone up from the week-long slumber. After Monday’s opening day, the winds have rarely blown above 8 knots. The stronger winds put a premium on quick reflexes, otherwise collisions resulted. And there were a few.

The docks resembled a pit lane with damaged bows and stern scoops removed to be replaced by new pieces. The desire to win a world championship comes at a price.

Tomorrow’s final day of racing is scheduled to begin with a warning signal at 1130 local.

The event can be followed online at the class association’s web site,, and the event site,

RC44 Worlds - Lanzarote

A very good day for Katusha today. We scored 2, 3, 5, 7 in the four races held in 10-15 knots of steady Southerly wind. A combination of good starts, good speed and minimizing maneuvers were the keys to a great day.

We moved from 12th place overall to 7th, just three points out of 4th. Sea Dubai is on 44, Cereef is on 45, Artemis on 46 and Katusha on 47. There is a bit of a gap ahead and behind our group.

USA 17 and BMW Oracle continue to dominate the racing and lead the standings overall. Third is the Dutch team No Way Back.

It was a beautiful day today...prototypical for the near tropics. Crystal clear, 27C and a moderate breeze and smooth seas.

There were a few collisions, but fortunately none involved Katusha.

Three more races are scheduled tomorrow. The forecast is for 10-15 knots, so it should be another nice day for sailing.

For complete results go to


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Class40 Groupe Picoty prepares for a big Route du Rhum send-off

Jean-Edouard Criquioche and Groupe Picoty: ready for the Route du Rhum - Photo Bertrand Duquenne

In mid-June this year, the Class40 Association President, Jacques Fournier and his Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) co-skipper, Jean-Edouard Criquioche, took delivery of a new Finot-Conq Design Class40, Groupe Picoty. While the French duo are fully focused on the GOR circumnavigation, the forthcoming, single-handed Route du Rhum from St. Malo to Guadaloupe provides 40 year-old Criquioche with an opportunity to fully test and develop new systems on Groupe Picoty and move ahead of the game.

Since taking delivery of their new Pogo S² Class40 at the Structures yard in Bénodet, Brittany, Fournier and Criquioche have been occupied familiarising themselves with the boat: “You can never sail enough,” confirms Criquioche. “We’ve spent more time tuning and adjusting the boat than actually sailing her,” he admits. However, some pre-Route du Rhum offshore tuition was achieved: “Despite everything, we had a good session of race training in Lorient with Tanguy Leglatin, so everything’s good.”

For Criquioche the transition from an older generation Class40 to a third generation boat has been a massive leap in terms of performance: “The first impressions that come to mind are the boat is very strong, aggressive to sail and very fast,” he reports. “I’m really, really super-happy with the boat, especially compared to the older generation. The new boats are much stiffer and each slam into a wave reverberates over the entire length of the boat. So, sailing the boat is fairly violent and very physical.” Criquioche is also astonished by the boat’s re-acceleration capability: “As soon as you slam into a wave there’s an immediate impact which slows down the boat. But before the wave disappears behind the transom, we’re off again picking up speed rapidly.”

There are 46 Class40s entered in the Route du Rhum representing 50 percent of the entire race fleet with numerous third generation Class40s on the start line. In addition to Groupe Picoty, there are three other Pogo S² entries, all launched this year: Nicolas Trousell’s Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne; Régis Guillemot’s Regis Guillemot Charter and Damien Grimont’s Monbana. Meanwhile, Akilaria are fielding three, third generation Akilaria RC2 boats: Thierry Bouchard with Comiris - Pôle Santé Elior launched last year; Pete Goss on DMS (Tony Lawson’s Concise chartered for the Route du Rhum) and Philippe Fiston’s Territoires Attitude. Fellow GOR entry, Conrad Colman from New Zealand, has also chartered Peter Harding’s new, 2009 Owen Clarke Design Jaz40 Mk2 40 Degrees for the Route du Rhum.

read more

2010 RC 44 World Championship-Lanzarote

2010 RC 44 World Championship-Lanzarote
Paul Cayard

One final race was held this morning in the Petit Final and Final of the Match Racing. Unfortunately, both Artemis and Katusha lost to the BMW Oracle boats, so we finished 2nd and 4th respectively.

For the overall World Championship, the results of the Match Racing will be combined with the Fleet Racing. So Artemis is in a good position to win. The fleet racing will be determinant in case of a tie in the combined scoring.

In the afternoon we had the fleet racing practice race. Our helmsman Guenaddi was not here yet so Bob Little drove Katusha. Torbjorn Tornqvist was here to steer his Artemis.

It was a light air afair as the whole day was with Southeasterly winds of 5-7 knots.

Team Aqua and BMW Oracle were first and second, Artemis third and Katusha made a huge comback after the first leg to finish 4th.

Tomorrow racing gets underway at 1130. The forecast is for light to moderate winds of 7-12 knots. The sun is out here and it feels like fall but still the temps are around 27C or 80F during the day. Very pleasant.

For complete results go to


Monday, October 11, 2010

RC44 Worlds

RC44 Worlds - Report by Paul Cayard

October 11, 2010

A good day for Katusha. We won three and lost two. We were just 6 seconds away from being 5-0.

We beat BMW Oracle, Ceeref and Mascalzone Latino and lost to No Way Back and Team Austria both by three seconds.

The wind was blowing off the land today and this made things very tricky with large puffs and lulls mixed with big windshifts.

In our two losses, we led around all the marks of the course and got passed in the final meters of the races on shift and gusts that favored the other boat.

Our race against Cereef and Rod Davis...the battle of the over 50s.....was a battle Royale. We shut them out at the committee boat at the start but they managed to hang close and rolled us on the first run. We went to opposite gates and we got a good shift out of the left that brought us back to even. They got a penalty for tacking to close. They led us by just one length at the top mark and decided for the tactic of trying to get a penalty on us. So neither boat set the spinnaker...they were waiting to set a trap on us and we were trying to keep clear. We swerved and gybed all the way down the run, each going as slowly as possible. I realize this is hard for some of you to understand.

Finally, we got far enough down the run that we had to sail upwind to the finish line. We managed to turn ahead of them and started to reach over them. They luffed and we were penalized with a red flag meaning ours was immediately due. But we were actually on the finish line and we both had to make the penalty turn. I think they realized this later than we did.

We managed to work off the penalty and beat Cereef by the narrowest of margins.

The format here is that the fleet is divided into two groups for the match racing. The first half of the schedule, each team only races other teams in his group. If the weather is good and it looks like it is possbile to complete the full round robin, then on the second day, each team will race the teams of the other group.

At this morning's briefing the race committee suggested that the forecast for Tuesday was not good so we would most likely race in two mini round robins today with the top two boats from each group going on to the semi finals and finals tomorrow. All others would race in knockouts for place 5-13.

So our 3-2 record today put us in a four way tie for first place in our bracket. We ended up winning the tie breaker and BMW Oracle came through second.

Tonight the race committee said they would wait until tomorrow to decide if we go to the semi finals or if they try to finish the round robin by having each team race the teams of the other group.

For complete results go to


Ainslie wins King Edward VII Gold Cup

Hon. Paula Cox MP JP presents Ben Ainslie with the King Edward VII Gold Cup
By Talbot Wilson - Argo Group Gold Cup

Ben Ainslie and his TeamOrigin crew with the King Edward VII Gold Cup

Ben Ainslie, Great Britain’s four-time Olympic medalist won the Argo Group Gold Cup and the $50,000 cash prize for the second year in a row. He and his TeamOrigin crew defeated Denmark’s Jesper Radich 3-1, a victory that has lifted Ainslie to 3rd in the World Match Race rankings.

Ainslie used classic match racing tactics to continually attack Radich and his Gaastra Racing Team whose second place finish earned the team $20,000. Ainslie is only the second skipper to win the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy in two successive years since the event was reformatted in 1984. Russell Coutts also pulled a double in 1992 and 1993.

As expected, the action on the water was tense and aggressive. Radich took the first race, extending his winning streak to thirteen races in this Argo Group Gold Cup, but that was his unlucky number.
Ainslie got down to business. He shut out Radich the rest of the day, taking three straight races to seal the deal. At the end of the final two-lap race, Ainslie led across the finish by close to half of the leeward leg. He dropped his spinnaker 50 yards from the finish and hugged his mates as they crossed the line to the tune of boat horns and cheers from the spectator fleet.

“We made it hard for ourselves all week, but we were battle hardened and I think it helped us today” Ainslie said, adding. “Today’s final was classic match racing all the way and it was fantastic sailing against Radich. “

“We did put the match in the umpires hands. All of us know that when you play at this level, the race is sometimes decided by the umpire. We were lucky in both the third and the final race that the call went our way.

“There were plenty of flags in the final. Both teams made some mistakes and it was very tight. That is match racing. Some of our calls went our way at the right times.

“It has been a tough week for all of our guys from TeamOrigin and the win has been great for us. The day before we flew out from England, we learned that Sir Keith Mills had taken TeamOrigin out of the Cup. It has been hard on all of us. I have to thank the team for making the best of things this week.”

Gracious in defeat, Jasper Radich said, “It has been an honor racing against the best in the world. Ben and his team are definitely that. I have to say I highly disagree with the umpire in the last race. It was a tough way to end the finals. I would have liked to have gone to the full five races.

“Agreeing with Ainslie he also added, “When you race at this level it can come down to umpires calls..

“I have to say that with conditions like we have had in Bermuda all week, match racing can't get any better. Sailing here is ideal. The boats have a certain momentum and it gives you the opportunity to really go on the attack. I am proud to be able to give them a fight. As I said, Ainslie and his team are the best in the world.”

Earlier in the day, 2008 Gold Cup winner Johnie Berntsson of Sweden won the Petite Finals to take third place and $10,000 over Eric Monnin’s Swiss Match Race Team two wins to nil. Monnin’s fourth place finish earned him $7,000 for the week.

Saturday Matches had already determined fifth through eighth places. Adam Minoprio (NZL) was fifth for $5,500, Taylor Canfield (USVI) was sixth winning $,4000, Reuben Corbett (NZL) who was seventh took $2500 and Torvar Mirsky (AUS) at eighth won $1,000.

Click here for biographies of skippers, details for Argo Group Gold Cup and a full schedule for events.

Click here for more information on WMRT.

Argentine´s Snipe Championship Day 2

Video by Sebastian Garcia Rios

Into the red

Onboard Sodebo around Brittany with Skipper Thomas Coville preparing for La Route du Rhum La Banque Postale 2010 :

Loa: 32m 105ft
Beam: 16.55m 54ft 4in
Displacement: 12t 26455lbs
Sail area: 379sq m 4079sq ft
Launched: 2007
Class: Record-breaker

Photos by Christophe Launay

Sunday, October 10, 2010

America's Cup Village San Francisco

SF America's Cup Village Renderings by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP Partner Craig Hartman. - Some pretty cool drawings on what the future village of the America's Cup might look like if it ends up in San Fran instead of Valencia. - Never seen the bay so calm! ; )

Inaugural RC 44 Worlds set to commence in Canary Isles

A fleet of 13 boats are on hand for what is expected to be a windy event
LANZAROTE, Canary Islands (10 October 2010) – The inaugural RC 44 World Championship is set to commence tomorrow with 13 boats contesting the Islas Canarias Puerto Calero Cup off this Spanish archipelago in the eastern Atlantic Ocean.

The RC 44 Class Association gained ISAF World status in June during its fourth season of competition.

“It’s great to have ISAF recognize the class,” Coutts said. “Obviously they provide a lot of help with the on-water umpiring and race officials and so forth, so it’s great that we’ve been able to achieve world championship status with ISAF. It’s going to be a fantastic regatta.”

The world championship event holds added significance because it is also the fifth of six events that constitute the 2010 season championship. BMW ORACLE Racing leads the standings with 6 points, but three other crews are just 1 point behind.

Included in that mix is Torbjorn Tornqvist’s third-placed Artemis, led in the upcoming match racing portion of the regatta by Terry Hutchinson of the U.S. Hutchinson arrives in Lanzarote fresh off winning the TP 52 World Championship.

“It would be extremely nice and gratifying to have back-to-back world championship wins, but we’re aware there are new teams to the fleet and the competition is getting better and better,” Hutchinson said. “Our big-picture goal is to finish on the podium to keep our season championship hopes alive.”

Team Sea Dubai holds sixth place overall, but is just 7 points behind the season leader. Professional skipper Markus Wieser of Germany said his team is relaxed and confident going into the match racing and the key to their performance will be how they begin the regatta.

“If you start strong then you feel strong and you can beat whoever comes next. But if you lose the first few races and start thinking about what you’ve done wrong, then you risk missing the point in the next race,” Wieser said. “It’s like tennis or football. When you’re under pressure you make mistakes. It’s a lot of psychological and mental errors that can work for you or against you in match racing.”

The class also welcomes newcomers Synergy Russian Sailing Team and Peninsula Petroleum.

Synergy skipper Maxim Logutenko raced in the RC 44 Valencia Cup as guest helmsman aboard BMW ORACLE Racing in the fleet racing portion of the regatta and placed fifth.

Peninsula Petroleum is led by John Bassadone of England. The crew has raced extensively in the GP 42 Med Cup Series this year.

The weather is shaping up to be windy and wet. According to noted meteorologist Chris Bedford, the weather gods got word that a regatta is going on this week and are arranging an unusual weather pattern.

“Winds are expected to become somewhat fickle and changeable this week as a series of weather systems moves across the central Atlantic and toward southwestern Europe, disturbing the normally reliable trade winds that blow across Lanzarote,” Bedford said.

According to Bedford, tomorrow is expected to be unsettled as a cold front moves across the racing area. Rain squalls and very gusty winds are forecast in the morning followed by a drying period in the afternoon with moderate northerly winds.

The match racing portion of the regatta is expected to begin tomorrow with the first warning signal scheduled for 1130 local.

Photo: Copyright Ignacio Baixauli / RC 44 Class - BMW ORACLE Racing, current leader of the RC 44 Championship Tour

Argentine Snipe´s Championship in Salta, at Dique Cabra Corral

For more information of the event you can visit:

Day 2: Big breeze and big action as Guichard retains top spot in the final…

© Paul Wyeth/ OC Event
Day 2: Big breeze and big action as Guichard retains top spot in the final…
The second day of the final round of the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series™ in Almeria delivered exactly what it says on the tin… Extreme racing, on the limit of control, with an abundance of thrills and spills. The thousands of Spanish public who flocked to the race village today were enthralled as the boats flew past within touching distance of the stadium walls: “It was unbelievable, the crowds give you a real buzz, it’s fantastic,” said Dean Barker, Team Emirates New Zealand skipper.

A consistent 20+ knots of breeze saw the Extreme 40s ‘fly’ along at boat speeds in excess of 30mph (46kmph). Today was about staying in control, minimizing mistakes and staying out of trouble… The race management decided that in light of the forecast the fleet would race in groups with no more than four boats on the race course at one time, set inside the tight confines of the port. Each group was determined by the current rankings after yesterday’s racing.

In the end, it was Yann Guichard’s crew on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who did it best, winning three out of their four races, and increasing their lead to 59 points at the top of the leaderboard: “The committee made a wise choice by splitting the fleet,” said Guichard. “We showed that we had to be reckoned with even in strong winds, I think yesterday Paul said these were his conditions, but we proved they were ours too. We're in the match and I'm sure it will all go down to the last race of the last day, just like last year."

The Ecover Sailing Team posted two first places, a second and a third and this consistent performance keeps them in hot contention, just 6 points from the top spot: “It was very difficult today, conditions were very puffy, although we kept control throughout there was definitely the potential for either a nasty crash or worst still a capsize,” said Ecover Sailing Team skipper, Mike Golding. “It is nice flat water here which helps to keep the boats on their feet, but I think what is extreme here is the space, or lack of space! You make a mistake, you’re going into a concrete wall so it’s good to be back on the dock all in one piece.”

Yesterday The Wave, Muscat skipper Paul Campbell-James was relishing the prospect of stronger breeze but today their aggressive sailing nearly ended in disaster on two occasions - one a near high-speed collision with a wall and another near collision with teammates Oman Sail Masirah skippered by Loick Peyron: “We were three up coming into the downwind mark [Masirah, The Wave and Rumbo Almeria] and we were pushing hard to get the overlap,” explained Campbell-James. “We didn’t quite get it but we were in a position that we couldn’t really do anything else but go in there […to the mark]. We managed just at the very last minute to miss Masirah’s stern basically with our rudders out of the water before spinning round the mark. I’m looking forward to seeing the footage!” His team stay in third place but remain confident: “We didn’t make the most of today, it was windy and we’re normally pretty good in that stuff but we just didn’t sail very well, it’s as simple as that. But we’re still within punching distance and that’s the main thing.”

The first three races were set over a windward/leeward course of three laps – even with the mainsails reefed and no gennakers, the Extreme 40s flew round the tight course, each race taking only 6-7 minutes, each leg approximately 60 seconds! Just watching was exhausting and nerve-wracking for the public; for the sailors the adrenalin was pumping and it proved hard to control their competitive drive as the crowds witnessed some aggressive tactics. Roman Hagara, Red Bull Extreme Sailing skipper: “The boats were really exciting today especially for the spectators. The guys love it too because there is so much action on the boat, so much speed.” In their penultimate race, Hagara and his crew caught the top buoy dragging it at least 200 meters off target – their competitors complied by rounding the ‘re-set’ mark on the final lap!

Franck Cammas seemed to relish the conditions today nailing two wins early in the day until a bad mark rounding and an OCS (on course side) upset their day: “It was intense, and a good thing to race four boats at a time otherwise the starts would have been a catastrophe for everyone. It was important to start well and to manage the moments of crisis, notably the bearaways which are always tricky on these boats. We are rather fast in those conditions, but today we made two mistakes, touching a mark and starting too early, which really doesn't help on such short courses."

The forecast for tomorrow is for less wind but that won’t take the heat off the skippers as they head into the penultimate day of the final round of the season.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dream Symphony - Worlds largest sailing yacht

At 462-foot Dream Symphony will be the largest sailing yacht ever built On 23 September Dream Ship Victory signed a contract with Dykstra & Partners for the Naval Architecture and Ken Freivokh Design for the design and styling of Dream Symphony. At 141m loa (462ft) she will be the largest sailing yacht ever built.

Dream Symphony will not only be the largest, but she will also be of all wood construction. Dream Ship Victory, with the same naval architecture and design team, already have considerable experience in large scale all wood yachts and the three yachts currently in build total 162m.

Mikhail Vorontsov, at 65 metres, is now being fitted out in Holland and work is progressing on Princess Maria (55 m) and Imagination (42 m).

Contracts were signed between Valeriy G. Stepanenko, owner of DSV and responsible for the project concept, Gerard Dijkstra and Thys Nikkels on behalf of Dykstra & Partners, and Ken Freivokh on behalf of KFD. An initial concept was presented at the Monaco Yacht Show on the Dykstra & Partners stand and construction will start in 2011.

TP52 Worlds - Valencia

Sander van der Borch / Artemis

5 October 2010

A good start to the Championship for Artemis today with a 3, 5, 2. We had to wait for a while this morning for the Southeasterly seabreeze to fill in but when it came in, it built nicely up to 17 knots in the second and third races.

The race course just North of the America's Cup Harbor was pretty open with no one side being favored. Artemis helmsman Torbjorn Tornqvist, working with bowman Andy Fethers, got us three good starts and that certainly helps.

The Russian team of Synergy had the best day winning two of the races and Quantum had the second best day with a win in the first race.

Matador is right there too. The points are very tight as usual in this fleet at this early stage.

Tomorrow is forecast to be a Northeast gradient wind which will make the water a bit choppy.

For complete information and results go to