Saturday, December 25, 2010

Live feed Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

To follow the fleet in the Rolex C go to and click on Yacht Tracker. Seven Network will broadcast the start live from 12.30pm AEDT and webcast via Yahoo!7 The Australia Network will also broadcast the start program through 45 countries throughout Asia, Indian and the Pacific including Australian troops serving in Afghanistan.


December 24, 2010

Meteorologists have predicted that this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be a “classic” with conditions forecast to be rough all the way south to Hobart — one of the signatures of this challenging international offshore yacht race. The adverse weather means that yachts will not necessarily attempt to break records, they will just try to keep from suffering any breakdowns in the predicted tumultuous seas and high winds. Almost all participants have indicated that just getting to Hobart will be their main goal.

At this morning’s official race briefing at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia – compulsory for each boat entered – the Bureau of Meteorology provided a race outlook to skippers and crews, telling them that they should prepare for tough conditions. Michael Logan from the Bureau said, “Things will change very dramatically on Monday evening with the arrival of an old fashioned southerly buster off the New South Wales coast.”

For those without local knowledge, the southerly buster is a phenomena caused by the east Australian current running at one to two knots against the southerly breeze, very quickly resulting in a confused sea state and big waves.

Logan continued, “There is a 20-30 knot southerly wind expected to be around Wollongong at 8pm [on the first night] and that will herald a period of strong winds and rough seas for the next 36 hours or so.”

The notorious Bass Strait – where cold wind from the Southern Ocean meets the warm water and air of the Tasman Sea – should be in full force when the front-runners approach on Monday. Conditions should temper by Tuesday, which would slow the boats at the back of the fleet, potentially taking away their chance to be rewarded for the hard slog south, once finishing times are corrected to produce the overall winner.

Conditions aside, this year’s race, like nearly all before, sees a wide range of international yachts and sailors joining the offshore challenge. One such participant is world-famous yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston. In 1969, he became the first man to complete a single-handed non-stop circumnavigation of the globe, doing so in his 32-foot (9.8-meter) boat Suhaili.

Surprisingly, this will be Sir Robin’s first Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. He revealed, “It’s one of the major races that I haven’t competed in and I’ve always wanted to do it. I mean, after all, the Rolex Sydney Hobart is one of the world’s toughest and well-known classic yacht races.”

Knox-Johnston thinks he and his crew aboard the British registered Swan 68 Titiania of Cowes definitely have a challenge on their hands. The salty, grey bearded sailor explained, “We’re a cruising boat, not a racing boat. If the winds are favorable to our type of vessel we’ll do well. If the winds are against us, it will be hard going.”

When asked how old he was, Sir Robin gave a smile and asked, “You mean how young am I?” About whether age is a problem, the 71-year old added, “No, not at all— age is all in the mind. Besides, I keep fit. I love the challenge. Remember, it was only four years ago that I sailed around the world.” (In 2006 he became, at 67, the oldest yachtsman to complete a round-the-world solo voyage in the VELUX 5 Oceans Race.)

Another international team joining the 66th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart are the father and son team Bill and Will Hubbard. Bill Hubbard’s son, Will, sailed their Baltic 46 Dawn Star from San Diego last February to be in Sydney for the race. This will be the first Rolex Sydney Hobart for the pair.

The American sailing duo has always wanted to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Bill said, “There are a couple of reasons. My grandfather was Australian and we have a number of relatives here. Over the last ten years we’ve competed in a number of world-class races, including the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge and the Newport Bermuda Race, and have done well. The Rolex Sydney Hobart was a natural and we thought we must add this race. It’s one of the premier, if not the premier, rough ocean passage races of the circuit. We thought, what the heck, let’s do it.”

Asked if the weather conditions predicted for this race are a cause for concern the younger Hubbard said, “It doesn’t worry me too much.” With a slightly worried look in his face, Will’s 76-year-old father added, “I’ll fare less well than him.” The 26 year-old Will continued, “And the boat will fare better than all of us. Dawn Star is built to a standard that has been long forgotten. She’s probably stronger than 90 percent of the fleet out here. She’ll look after us better that most boats would. Don’t worry, we’ll get there.”

Another international racing team joining this year’s race is the Russian entry Vamp (Corby 49), which sees an unlikely alliance in champion Australian offshore yachtsman Roger Hickman and well-known Russian International Dragon sailor Mikhail (Misha) Muratov. This will be Hickman’s 34th Sydney Hobart while it will be Muratov’s first.

The two sailors met while racing Dragons in Europe and became close friends. When Hickman announced he was participating in this year’s race he invited Misha to join him. Muratov explained, “As an ocean sailor, the Rolex Sydney Hobart is one of the world’s most well-known races. I had to do it. To bring your own boat from Europe to Australia is not cost effective and takes a long time. By teaming up with Roger, he offered us a turnkey solution that would allow us to participate in this race.”

Hickman said about the conditions, “Even though I’ve done 33 races so far, I haven’t seen all the conditions, just the ones I’ve been in.” He continued, “One of the sayings the yachties’ have is ‘to win the Rolex race to Hobart, first you have to get there.’ It sounds like a silly statement, but this race is so tough that just getting there is an achievement, let alone winning it.”

While the Rolex Sydney Hobart has an international appeal it is not easy to forget that this is an Australian event. Most punters are betting on the Australian maxi yacht and four-time winner Wild Oats XI as a good bet for Line Honours, because of her seasoned, professional crew.

One of those experienced crew aboard the 30-metre maxi is Adrienne Cahalan, professional sailor and veteran of 18 previous Rolex Sydney Hobart races. The internationally acclaimed ocean-racing navigator, Australian Yachtswoman of the Year 2004-2005 and mother of two, is one of the most experienced and qualified sailors in this race. She sees this Rolex Sydney Hobart as, “definitely a big challenge.”

When asked what it is like to be one of only two women aboard Wild Oats XI’s crew of 17 she said, “Oh, we all have our jobs. I don’t do much heavy lifting but take care of navigation and the electronics; we all get along really well. We’re a well-oiled team.”

Asked if she’s worried about the squalls, giant waves and high winds, that have been forecast for this year’s race, Cahalan explained, “To be honest, yes. It can be a little terrifying at times, but still I’m looking forward to the race. While we won’t be trying to break any records, we will be trying to keep the boat in one piece during our race south.”

Three boats have retired, Wild Rose, Sassy and Pappilon, bringing the total of entries to 87 yachts that will be on the start line in Sydney Harbour at 1300 AEDT, on 26 December 2010. The Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet will include six international entries from the USA, UK, Italy, France, as well as two partly-crewed Russian boats and entries from seven of the eight Australian states and territories.

Official race website
To view the complete list of entries go to

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

First Kiwi 40FC Class40 completes 180 degree inversion test

The first KIWI 40FC Class40, Peráspera, was launched at Pier 21 in Auckland in late September. The brainchild of Lapo Ancillotti and Francesco Piva of BT Boats, the latest Class40 design is the result of a collaboration between Farr Yacht Design and Cookson Boats and on Friday 17 December, after three months of sea trials and test sailing, the boat successfully completed the mandatory 180 degree inversion test demanded by the double-handed, Class40, Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR).

The two-man crew for the inversion was Francesco Piva of BT Boats and regular Peráspera crewmember, Luca Zaccoli. Initially, strong breeze across Auckland Harbour threatened the safety of the controlled inversion and the delicate operation was delayed. Lapo Ancillotti explains: “Wind conditions improved earlier than expected and the whole team was on stand-by and ready to go,” he reports. “So, with less than one hour’s notice, we were all on to it.”

From inversion until the boat self-righted took just 24 minutes and splashdown was celebrated by a chorus of fog horns from the yachts moored in Viaduct Basin. “There were no problems, no dramas,” Ancillotti confirms. “The boat came upright and rolled easily with one ballast tank full and one still only half full. There was no need to fill up the forward compartment,” he continues. “Full credit to Farr for the design and Francesco and Luca did a great job inside the boat.”

Peráspera is the second of the GOR entries to complete the 180 test with Class40 Association President, Jacques Fournier, and his co-skipper, Jean-Edouard Criquioche carrying out the same test on their new Pogo 40S² Groupe Picoty in Bénodet, Brittany, in mid-June. A second Kiwi 40FC Class40 is currently in-build at Cookson Boats for Belgian sailor, Michel Kleinjans, and is also entered in the GOR.

View video of the self-righting test here

read more

Sunday, December 19, 2010

First all-female GOR team is confirmed

British yachtswoman, Hannah Jenner, has confirmed that her co-skipper for the double-handed, Class40, Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR) is German sailor, Anna-Maria Renken. Jenner and Renken are currently the only all-girl GOR team.

Hannah Jenner secured her GOR entry in April this year and had originally planned to take advantage of the GOR’s Team Entry option and swap co-skippers at each stopover. “When putting together a global race campaign that relies on external funding, you really need a unique selling point,” explains the 30 year-old, professional sailor. “I started with the idea of a team entry with the focus on taking young sailors with me, but, in the back of my mind, I also really liked the idea of entering as an all girl team,” she continues. “It was just a question of finding the right girl!”

Meanwhile, 20 year-old German sailor, Anna-Marie Renken, was simultaneously planning a GOR campaign with a female co-skipper, but when Renken’s co-skipper was forced to withdraw, she contacted Jenner in October and suggested joining forces. “When I first wrote to Hannah, I wasn’t sure what her reaction would be to the concept of an all-girl team,” admits Renken. “It was a really positive response that came back and we discovered that we had a lot in common and wanted to achieve the same things from the race.” Communications between the duo were exciting and intense. “After many emails, Skype video calls and finally a meeting in Hamburg, we are convinced that we will work very well together and I am really looking forward to getting out on the water and sailing with Hannah,” adds Renken.

Between them, the duo has sailed over 200,000 nautical miles including valuable ocean racing and shorthanded sailing experience. At 28 years-old, Jenner was the first female skipper in the Clipper Round the World Race and took her team to a podium finish, while Renken has moved to sailing from a windsurfing and semi-pro swimming background as one of the very few female sailors in the German offshore racing circuit and she skippered and trained a German team in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race. Most recently, Renken was the first German woman to participate in Sweden’s extremely demanding, double-handed Watski Skagervak 2 Star. The Anglo-German duo are now expanding their hunt for a title sponsor: “We are fully aware of the marketing potential of an all-girl team and are seeking a sponsor who shares our ambition, energy and commitment to standing out amongst the crowd,” Jenner concludes.

With 19 teams already confirmed for the race, Josh Hall, Race Director of the GOR, is delighted by the latest news: “There is no doubt that this entry will be highly competitive in the GOR,” Hall believes. “We believe that the GOR and Class40 offer a quality platform for every sailor to showcase their talents in a round the world race with manageable boats and achievable budgets,” he continues. “Hannah and Anna-Maria have individually achieved great success in offshore racing and as a duo they will be formidable – watch out boys!”

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Farr 30 Worlds are coming to San Francisco!


The Farr 30 International One Design Class Association is pleased to announce that the prestigious St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, California will host the 2011 Farr 30 World Championship in conjunction with the renowned Rolex Big Boat Series, September 8th to 11th.

This will mark the first time in the history of the Class that they will see a World Championship held on the west coast of the United States. San Francisco Bay, with her notorious breeze and strong current is an ideal venue to showcase what the Farr 30 was built for.

“I am truly delighted to have the pleasure of working with the St. Francis Yacht Club and Race Manager John Craig on this historic event. The St. Francis Yacht Club have a long history of hosting world class events with generous hospitality and this is an honor. Racing on the Bay is always a challenging and exciting venture and I couldn’t be happier about the venue” said Farr 30 International Class President Deneen Demourkas.

As further information becomes available it will be posted on the Farr 30 International Class website

2010 470 Junior World Championships

2010 470 Junior World Championships, 16-22 December 2010, Doha, Qatar
Event Preview

The sailors are ready, 40 brand new 470s are lined up in the boat park, the Championship has been officially opened and racing will get underway tomorrow, Friday 17 December, for the teams gathered in Doha, Qatar ready to do battle for the 2010 470 Junior World Championships.
Organized by the Doha Sailing Club and the Qatar Sailing and Rowing Federation, the 2010 470 Junior World Championships is a “pay and play” event. The competitors who have flown in from around the world will be competing in gleaming new 470s supplied by the Organizing Committee. The concept of supplied equipment is a first time experience for many of the teams, but one which the 470 Class is keen to promote. With supplied equipment, all teams will compete on an equal footing with only minor adjustments allowed to settings as the boats will be rotated between the two fleets. Teams got on on the water today for some boat familiarization – and there were many smiling faces as they enjoyed the new boats supplied by BlueBlue of Poland.

In the men/mixed fleet, hot favourites are the seemingly unbeatable team of Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA). They are the defending 470 Junior World Champions and reigning 470 Junior European Champions and have enjoyed their position as the world's top junior 470 team. A successful Worlds title defence is certainly on their wish list to add to their every growing trophy cabinet. We have seen the Trophies prepared by the Organizing Committee – and they are big and shiny! "We have a good feeling about the Championship," commented Mion. "We like the idea of supplied equipment and feel happy after the training day yesterday," he continued. The pair are already a force to be reckoned with on the senior 470 circuit and hold a world ranking of #12. Whilst there is always room for others to move on up, any team with serious intent on winning the 2010 Junior World Championship title will have to put in a world class performance from the outset to take the World Championship away from Bouvet and Mion. According to Mion, they will approach this Championship the same as others, "We will aim for some good results on the first day, with three races. If we do well at the start of the Championship, it makes it easier!"


The legendary Peyron Brothers on the move

Loick, Arno & Bruno at Delivery in Le Pouliguen (La Baule )(pic by Jean Marie Liot)
Loick wants a new chance at the cup after sailing with Alinghi 5, with his brother Bruno they'll try to challenge BOR in the game these two top multihull sailors know best. More info from the Peyron bros below by Arno.

We've been following the DNA since day one, in fact at a given time CSN was the only place where you could get info about it, the same with Alex Udin and SI and other cat projects.
Now the DNA has become almost a OD design inside the A-Class, the top 3 A (& Australian) sailors and 15 of their mates will race them in next Nats in January, currently the DNA is THE boat to buy in the A-Class. A truly great achievment for Arno and PJ, right now they've made the perfect boat, something that in other box rules classes the Tiger has achieved in the past, but now the F18 has at least 3 top competitive designs, clearly the F18 has reach a stall point as pont by Fischer too, while that stage will be reached by the A-Class with the new designs to come that will try to emulate or impove the DNA.... lets wait to see if Martin Fischer new A can match it-

Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret’s yacht Mirabaud christened today by Ainhoa Arteta

Friends and supporters of the Franco-Swiss team were in Barcelona today to take part in the christening of their yacht Mirabaud by the famous Spanish singer.
Barcelona, 18th December 2010 – With only two weeks to go before the start of the Barcelona World Race, Dominique Wavre et Michèle Paret’s yacht was officially baptised ‘Mirabaud’ this evening by Spanish singer Ainhoa Arteta.

Mirabaud & Cie, banquiers privés, have been involved in competitive sailing for many years. From 2003, the bank has also been an avid supporter of classical music, in particular through the ‘Mirabaud Concerts’ at the Lauenen Chamber Music Festival and in their partnership with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

As Mirabaud Associate and CEO Antonio Palma explains, “This christening ceremony brings together two of Mirabaud’s great passions. We are extremely proud to have Ainhoa Arteta as the yacht’s godmother and we are sure she will bring our team plenty of luck.”

Ainhoa Arteta attended the San Sebastian Conservatoire and later studied at the Actor’s Studio in New York before her debut at the Palm Beach Opera in Florida. She is hailed as one of the Iberian Peninsula’s greatest classical singers. "My career has offered me the opportunity to live moments of exception such as this one, and to meet extraordinary people like Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret", she said. "I wish you good luck for this extraordinary adventure."

On the 31st of December, Mirabaud will line up for the start of the Barcelona World Race: the non-stop double-handed race around the globe. Following a long period of boat development and sea trials, Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret are raring to go. “It’s a poignant moment for us,” Wavre explained during the christening. “Having Mirabaud’s backing has meant we have been able to prepare exactly as we wanted for this latest round the world race. We finished third in the last Barcelona World Race, and we intend to at least match that position for this edition. I’m really looking forward to getting started as I think we’re very well prepared; we have an excellent boat and all the elements on our side for a successful race.”

Thanks to the support of Mirabaud, Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret have been able to carry out major improvements to their boat. The keel box has been replaced, in addition to many modifications designed to improve the balance, and therefore the performance, of the yacht. An improved chart table has been designed and fitted, and a new lighter engine installed in the bilges.

All that remains now is to provision the boat for three months at sea and check a few final details before casting off for what is shaping up to be one of the most exciting round the world races ever.”
- END -

Wednesday, December 15, 2010



Chris Nicholson, skipper of the CAMPER campaign for the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race has today confirmed the line up of the sailing team and key shore team members.

Collectively the CAMPER team, which is being run by Emirates Team New Zealand, brings a wealth of experience to the race. Team members have between them no less than three Olympic campaigns, 17 America’s Cups, 22 Volvo/Whitbread races and numerous world championship titles.

Alongside the initial crew announcements the team features America’s Cup and Volvo/Whitbread Race veterans Stuart Bannatyne, Tony Rae and Rob Salthouse, renowned offshore navigator Will Oxley and up and coming young talent. Nicholson also announced two key shore team roles: Neil Cox as CAMPER shore manager and world respected meteorologist Roger Badham as the team’s weather expert.

CAMPER Sailing Team
Skipper: Chris Nicholson (AUS)
Watch Captain: Stuart Bannatyne (NZL)
Navigator: Will Oxley (AUS)
Driver/Trimmer: Roberto Bermudez de Castro (ESP)
Driver/Trimmer: Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Driver/Trimmer: Rob Salthouse (NZL)
Driver/Trimmer: Tony Rae (NZL)
Bow/Boat Captain: Mike Pammenter (RSA)
Bow/Sailmaker: Daryl Wislang (NZL)
Pit/Trimmer: Andrew McLean (NZL)
Media Crew Member: Hamish Hooper (NZL)

Just six months ago Camper, the Spanish footwear brand, announced that it would take part in this historic race, with Emirates Team New Zealand to manage the campaign. Camper is a family-owned company that started making shoes on the island of Mallorca in 1877. This is the company’s first entry in the Volvo Ocean Race and a big step onto the international sports sponsorship stage.

Dalia Saliamonas, Project Director, CAMPER in the Volvo Ocean Race, says: “Six months after announcing our participation, it is fantastic to announce this exciting team. We are incredibly proud to be working with such a talented, experienced and passionate crew, and we are looking forward to the journey ahead.”

Skipper Chris Nicholson said of his crew: “This is one of the hardest events to win in sailing and we set out to bring together the best sailing team possible.

“We have a great mixture of experience and youth; I have been lucky enough to sail with most of them over the years and we have a team that will work really well together.

“The spirit within the CAMPER team, and by that I mean everyone, from the design, office, management, build, sponsors, reflects a real genuine passion to achieve. I believe that we have created a team that can win the Volvo Ocean Race. We have a great sponsor in Camper and we are looking forward to sharing this race with them.”

Since announcing the entry, CAMPER and Emirates Team New Zealand’s principal designer Marcelino Botin and the build team at Cookson Boats have begun construction of the CAMPER yacht in Auckland. The build is currently well underway with the hull now complete. The team plan to have the boat in the water by late April 2011 where it will undergo sea trials before being shipped to Spain.

Chris Nicholson
Age: 41
Nationality: Australian
Position: Skipper
Overview: An electrician by trade, Nicholson has been sailing professionally for over 20 years. He has represented Australia at two Olympic Games (2000 & 2004), and has won no less than six world championships across the 49er and 505 classes. Nicholson is a veteran of three Volvo Ocean Races, his first as a watch captain in 2001-02 on Amer Sports 1, which was skippered by Grant Dalton. In 2005-06 he was a watch captain on board Spanish entry Movistar and in 2008-09 he was watch captain onboard Puma, which finished second.

Stuart Bannatyne
Age: 39
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Watch Captain
Overview: Stuart Bannatyne has been a professional yachtsman for 16 years, specialising in ocean racing. In addition to five circumnavigations he has competed on the Grand Prix regatta circuit for 15 years, winning numerous inshore championships and ocean races. He has sailed on yachts that have broken the 24-hour world record distance for a monohull on five separate occasions (the most by any person). He is the only person to have won the Volvo Ocean Race, previously the Whitbread, on three different classes of yacht – maxi ketch (New Zealand Endeavour), Volvo Ocean 60 (illbruck) and VO70 (Ericsson 4). He was named New Zealand Sailor of the Year in 2009.

Will Oxley
Age: 45
Nationality: Australian
Position: Navigator
Overview: A marine scientist by trade, Will spent 18 years working on the Great Barrier Reef, and other coral reefs of the world. He is respected offshore sailor with more than 200,000 nautical miles of ocean racing on his CV, including the BT Global Challenge (2000-01)skipper Compaq NonStop finishing second overall Oryx Quest Non Stop RTW (Doha 2005/6), Brunel Synergy as navigator (Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06), and Puma as the team’s land based navigation consultant (Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09).

Roberto Bermudez de Castro
Nationality: Spanish
Position: Driver/trimmer
Overview: An industrial engineer, Roberto (Chuny) has a wealth of sailing experience on his CV, including two America’s Cup Campaigns (1995 & 2000) and representing Spain at the Athens Olympics in 2004. He has notched up four circumnavigations of the planet, most recently as skipper of Delta Lloyd in the 2008/09 Volvo Ocean Race, and also as watch captain on Brazil 1 (2004/05) and onboard the Spanish entry GaliciaPescanova in the 1993/94 Whitbread race. This will be his fifth Volvo Ocean Race.

Adam Minoprio
Age: 25
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Driver/trimmer
Overview: Minoprio has been a rising star in yachting. In 2009 he made his mark by winning the World Match Racing Tour as skipper and helm of the BlackMatch team. He led the young team to victory after only two years on the professional circuit. Minoprio and his team were recently named 2010 Singapore Airlines Sailor of the Year, this will be his first Volvo Ocean Race.

Rob Salthouse
Age: 45
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Driver/Trimmer
Overview: Rob, a sailmaker by trade, has a sailing career spanning more than 25 years. He has taken part in no less that eight Sydney Hobart races, five Admiral’s Cups, and four America’s Cups as part of Emirates Team New Zealand. This will be his third Volvo Ocean Race; his first was with Tyco in 2000/01 and most recently with Puma in 2008/09.

Tony Rae
Age: 49
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Driver/Trimmer
Overview: Tony Rae brings a wealth of experience to the CAMPER team, he has a professional sailing career spanning over 20 years. He was onboard Steinlager 2 during the 1989 Whitbread where the crew won every leg of the race, in 1993-94 he raced on board the winning maxi New Zealand Endeavour. A core team member of New Zealand America’s Cup campaigns since 1987, he was part of the winning team in 1995 and 2000.

Michael Pammenter
Age: 27
Nationality: South African
Position: Bowman
Overview: A finance and economics graduate, his first experience of the Volvo Ocean Race was in 2008 when he joined Telefonica Blue as one of the new “under-30s” and was the youngest sailor in the race. Mike has sailed on a range of big boats and holds several records including smashing the round the Isle of Wight record at Cowes Week aboard the 98ft super maxi Maximus. He was also crew onboard the Groupama Volvo 70 setting a new Round Britain and Ireland Course and Race record in 2010.

Daryl Wislang
Age: 29
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Bowman
Overview: A sail maker by trade, Daryl started sailing when he was ten and it is a passion that has turned into a career. His previous race history includes being sailmaker and part-time in-port racer with Movistar in 2005-06, and as bowman alongside fellow CAMPER crew member Mike Pammeter on board Telefonica Blue in 2008-09. In 2006 he won the Rolex Middle Sea Race onboard Morning Glory and in the same year also became world champion in the maxi class with the Wally 95 Magic Carpet. He was also a key member of the sail management team in the 32nd America’s Cup with United Internet Team Germany.

Andrew McLean
Age: 31
Nationality: New Zealand
Position: Pit/Trimmer
Overview: A qualified mechanical engineer, Andrew was part of the winning Emirates Team New Zealand team during the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger elimination series in 2007. He took part in his first round the world race onboard Green Dragon in the last edition of the Volvo Ocean Race. Since completing the race, he has competed in the Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas, sailed on board ECOVER Extreme 40, and on big boats such as Leopard and Ran during 2010. When he isn’t sailing professionally he works as an engineer for Southern Spars New Zealand.

Hamish Hooper
Age: 32
Nationality: New Zealand’
Position: Media Crew Member
Overview: Hamish had a background in TV commercials and advertising but a slight turn of fate one day found Hamish being involved in sailing television work. This was to change the direction of his professional career and he has been involved in filming sailing events and working alongside teams ever since.

Neil Cox
Age: 41
Nationality: Australian
Position: Shore Manager
Overview: Coxy has three Volvo Ocean Races to his name, he was boat captain of the winning entry ABN AMRO ONE in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006, and most recently Shore Manager for PUMA Ocean. He participated in the 1995 America’s Cup with One Australia and was build manager and shore crew team member on Aloha Racing in 2000. He is an accomplished sailor having served as boat captain for the Maxi Z86 Windquest and has competed in many offshore and inshore regattas around the world.

Roger Badham
Nationality: Australian
Position: Weather consultant
Overview: Roger Badham, or ‘Clouds’ as he is more commonly known, is a world respected meteorologist who specializes in sailing projects. He has been involved in numerous Whitbread Round the World Races and Volvo Ocean Races, four BOC races, as well as many major international ocean races, including the Admiral's Cup, Kenwood Cup, Sydney-Hobart, Transpac, Bermuda, Capetown-to-Rio, Melbourne-to-Osaka and the Global Challenge. He has been the Australian and New Zealand Olympic Yachting Team meteorologist and worked on many America’s Cup campaigns. He has been with Emirates Team New Zealand since 2001.


Monday, December 13, 2010

BMW ORACLE Racing clinches RC 44 season championship

The crew – including Russell Coutts (tactician), Dirk de Ridder (mainsheet), Ryan Godfrey (bow), Ross Halcrow (trimmer), Revelin Minihane (pit), Colin Orsini (grinder) and Chris Schirmer (trimmer) – placed second in the fleet racing portion of the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami.

Coupled with their sixth-place finish in the match racing portion, BMW ORACLE Racing placed fourth overall in the event. They also won the RC 44 Austria Cup in April and the RC 44 Copenhagen Cup in June and finished with a 2-point advantage over Artemis Racing in the season championship.

“We knew the season was hanging in the balance,” said Ellison. “Everyone was intense, but Russell did a great job of calling tactics and the whole crew did a fantastic job. We didn’t make any cataclysmic mistakes and we used our opportunities to pass boats. We did OK.”

The RC 44 World Champion yacht 17, with guest helmsman William “Doug” Douglass and tactician James Spithill, won the fleet racing portion of the regatta with the low score of 39 points.

“Today was a little windy and we saw how the boats could get wicked up and go,” said Douglass, a veteran of the Farr 40 and Melges 32 one-design classes. “We were a little asleep today.”

The crew – including Jonas Hviid Nielsen (trimmer), Kyle Langford (grinder), Joe Newton (trimmer), Philippe Presti (mainsheet), Bryce Ruthenberg (match racing trimmer), Piet van Nieuwenhuyzen (bow) and Matt Von Bibra (pit) – led the fleet racing throughout the three days.

They survived today despite a couple of mishaps in the final race, including an early start, twisted spinnaker and the temporary loss of van Nieuwenhuyzen overboard on the first downwind leg. He was recovered without incident.

“I think it was impressive for Doug to come in the first time and win,” said Spithill. “It took us time to get him up to speed, but he did a great job. Full credit to the guys for hanging in there.

“Today was very shifty and hard to read,” Spithill continued. “It was also a bit warmer, so Piet went for a swim. We kind of broached and he fell off. It took forever to get him back aboard.”

Like 17, BMW ORACLE Racing, which also won the 2010 Fleet Racing Championship, had an early start, but the crew was able to dig its way out of trouble to prevent the points from accumulating, especially on the downwind legs.

“We probably won it downwind today,” said Coutts. “We didn’t make any big errors and were able to pass boats because of the shifts and puffs. That was the winning factor.”

RC 44 2010 Season Championship

1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – (8)-1-1-4-2-4 – 12 points

2. Artemis Racing (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 1-(8)-4-2-5-2 – 14 points

3. 17 (USA) William Douglass/James Spithill – (11)-3-5-3-1-3 – 15 points

4. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 2-2-3-5-3-(6) – 15 points

5. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 4-6-2-1-(8)-5 – 18 points

6. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 3-4-6-7-6-(9) – 26 points

7. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 6-5-(8)-6-4-8 – 29 points

8. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 5-7-7-(9)-7-7 – 33 points

9. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 11-(12)-12-11-9-1 – 44 points

10. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 7-9-10-8-(11)-11 – 45 points

11. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 9-10-9-10-10-(14) – 48 points

12. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 11-12-12-(13)-13-10 – 58 points

13. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 11-12-12-(13)-12-12 – 59 points

14. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams – 11-12-12-13-(15)-13 – 61 points

ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami Final Standings

(Boat, match racing-fleet racing – total)

1. Mascalzone Latino, 3-3 – 6 points

2. Artemis Racing, 2-5 – 7 points

3. Yacht 17, 7-1 – 8 points

4. BMW ORACLE Racing, 6-2 – 8 points

5. Team Aqua, 1-9 – 10 points

6. No Way Back, 8-4 – 12 points

7. Ceeref, 10-6 – 16 points

8. Katusha, 9-7 – 16 points

9. Sea Dubai, 5-11 – 16 points

10. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 4-12 – 16 points

11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 13-8 – 21 points

12. Peninsula Petroleum, 12-10 – 22 points

13. Ironbound, 11-13 – 24 points

14. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team, 14-14 – 28 points

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Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE Racing
Gilles Martin-Raget / BMW ORACLE Racing

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

RC 44 Miami

Paul Cayard
Friday, December 10, 2010

Yesterday we finished up the match racing with a win on Katusha over Cereef. Aqua was the overall winner of the match racing beating Artemis in the one race final.

Today was the first day of fleet racing and four races were held in 9-12 knots of wind from the north. The temperature has come back to normal here in Miami with 76 degrees and sunshine today. The wind was fickle and very challenging.

We had medium day today with most of our finishes mid fleet. Artemis had a great day winning one race and is in second place over all one point behind "17" with James Spithill as tactician.

Tomorrow's fore cast is for a rather light northeasterly sea breeze. 6 more races are scheduled over the weekend.

For complete results go to


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

youtube sailing

ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami off to rollicking start

Strong winds dismast Islas Canarias Puerto Calero while others tear sails

MIAMI (7 December 2010) – The RC 44 class made its debut in American waters today in conditions that make Miami a renowned racing venue: a northwesterly breeze gusting over 20 knots and the boats planing around the racecourse north of Government Cut at speeds of 17 to 20 knots.

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami commenced today with the 14-boat fleet split into two groups of seven for preliminary match racing. If time permits by mid-Thursday, semifinals and a final will be held for the top two from each group.

Wintertime racing off the southeast coast of Florida has long been a sailor’s playground. The sun is brilliant, the water is warm and the conditions usually challenge the best of crews.

Although the Northern Hemisphere winter is still officially two weeks away, chilly temperatures this morning had the sailors thinking it came early. The passing of a cold front helped stir up the strong northwesterlies, and the fleet completed eight flights of five matches for 40 races in total.

In Group Alpha, Cameron Appleton has Chris Bake’s Team Aqua tops in the group with a 5-1 record, followed by Harm Müller-Spreer and Markus Wieser in Team Sea Dubai. Sea Dubai actually posted a 6-0 record, but had penalty points applied by the umpires.

In Group Bravo, Terry Hutchinson guided Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis to the top of the group with a 5-1 record. Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino enjoyed its best day since returning to the class and is second at 4-1 with one flight to complete the round. BMW ORACLE Racing, with Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts, is third at 4-2.

The conditions taxed many of the crews, who were sore from being thrown about the light-displacement yachts, but none other than Daniel Calero’s crew aboard Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. The Spanish crew from the Canary Islands was forced out of action with a broken mast before morning had turned to afternoon.

Islas Canarias had just completed a jibe in its Flight 1 race when the mast broke about five feet above the gooseneck, where the boom attaches to the mast, and the spar went over the port side.

“We had just completed our jibe when we heard a big crunch," said Calero. “There wasn’t much we could do to save the mast."

Crewman Carlos Hernandez jumped into the warm Atlantic Ocean to help the crew recover some of the sails and disassemble the rigging so the mast could be brought back aboard the yacht for the motor to the harbor.

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero returned to shore where the crew began stepping a spare mast that the RC 44 Class Association has available at each regatta for just such an incident.

“This is the good side of this class, there’s a mast ready to go and we’ll be ready to race tomorrow," said Calero. “We were enjoying the great conditions today and can’t wait to get back out tomorrow."

ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami Day 1 Quotes

Cameron Appleton, Team Aqua: “We came off the water with one loss and that was good on a day like today. It was very shifty. Wind started out with puffs up to 28 knots or more, we saw the first rig come down in the class, and everyone seemed to be handling the conditions in different ways. It was a good test for the crews. A really good crew was rewarded today by sailing the boats well. Today was tricky because of a little cross swell and change in pressure. It kept us all on our toes.

Francesco Bruni, Mascalzone Latino: “We’re very happy, obviously. We had four good starts. We’re making big progress from Valencia to here and are now starting to win some races. We’re learning the boat more and more. It’s normal to struggle in the beginning, but now we’re learning again. We had 20 knots, sunny and breezy. It was puffy, shifty, a very nice challenge. It was just a bit too cold, but everything else was brilliant."

Pieter Heerema, No Way Back: “Today was exciting, a beautiful wind but tough. Lots of people had problems in boathandling. That makes the sailing exciting. We had an up and down day. We sailed well, no problems with the boathandling, but we didn’t always grab the opportunities we created for ourselves. At a certain point you just have to nail it."

Terry Hutchinson, Artemis: “It was an incredibly difficult day. Our guys sailed very well. This was our first regatta since Dubai where we had any training prior to the first day of racing and it showed. Sailing north of Government Cut (the channel leading to Miami Harbor) was pretty good. The course gave options for both sides to work."

Harm Mueller-Spreer, Team Sea Dubai: “We had six wins, good boatspeed and very good starts. We had a bit of bad luck in the second to last race because we hit the Russians (Synergy Russian Sailing Team). But our boathandling is good, the maneuvering is good and the feeling for the pre-start is good. I feel very comfortable. First off we had not so much wind and then it increased to 25 knots or more and slowly decreased all afternoon."

Ian Williams, Ironbound: “The boat’s fantastic. The best thing is that you only have eight guys and lots to do. Everybody needs to pull their weight and be aware of what’s going on, doing right things at the right time. It makes it a great challenge as a team to do well."

ORACLE RC44 Cup Miami Provisional Results
(Through 8 flights)
Group Alpha
1. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 5-1, 5 points
2. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 6-0, 4 points*
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 2-3, 2 points
3. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 4-2, 2 points*
3. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 2-4, 2 points
6. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 1-4, 1 point
7. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 0-6, 0 points
(* penalty points applied)

Group Bravo
1. Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 5-1
2. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 4-1
3. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – 4-2
4. 17 (USA) William Douglass/Jimmy Spithill – 4-2
5. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 2-4
6. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams – 1-4
7. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 0-6

Photo: Copyright Nico Martinez / RC 44 Class. Artemis leads David Murphy’s Ironbound, who makes its debuts in the RC 44 Championship Tour.

Some San Diego Sailing

Monday, December 6, 2010

RC 44 class debuts in American waters off Miami Beach

Ellison, Coutts, BMW ORACLE Racing hope to secure season championship

MIAMI (6 December 2010) – In style befitting a class brimming with talent, the 2010 championship of the RC 44 Class will be decided this week at the season’s final event, the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami.

Leading the fleet after the first five events is BMW ORACLE Racing, led by Larry Ellison and Russell Coutts. The crew has the low score of 8 points and leads Pieter Heerema’s No Way Back, last season’s champion, by 2 points.

Two crews are tied for third, James Spithill’s 17 and Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing, while Chris Bake’s Team Aqua holds fifth with 13 points.

With such a tight grouping and a windy forecast over the next few days the standings could well see a shuffle. A cold front that has pushed across the South Florida region brought with it cooler temperatures and strong northwesterly winds.

“We haven’t changed our setup since the previous event in the Canary Islands,” said BMW ORACLE Racing mainsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder of the regatta where BMW ORACLE Racing placed second overall. “We have used all our sail cards and are ready to slide back into action.”

Ray Davies, the pro helmsman and tactician for No Way Back, sees many opportunities to overtake the leader. The racecourse will be to the north of Government Cut instead of the south, which will make the predicted offshore breeze shiftier.

“It’s good that it’s all come down to the wire, it’s all on,” said Davies of New Zealand. “And with a few more boats in the class there’ll be plenty of opportunities to make up the 2 points we’re behind.”

The ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami represents the class’s first foray into U.S. waters. The fleet is the largest ever for an RC 44 event with 14 boats on the entry list including newcomer David Murphy and Ironbound.

“We have entered this fleet because it represents the highest level of competition in sailing today,” said Murphy, who has attracted an all-star crew including pro helmsman Ian Williams of Great Britain, a match racing specialist, and tactician Kevin Burnham of the U.S., a gold medalist at the 2004 Olympic Regatta in Greece.

Another American, William “Doug” Douglass, is set to helm the yacht 17 in the fleet racing portion of the regatta, which requires amateur helmsman as classified by ISAF, the world governing body for sailing.

Led by Spithill, 17 won the RC 44 World Championship in October and now Douglass, a veteran campaigner of the Farr 40 and Melges 32 one-design classes, will try his hand later this week.

“We’re looking forward to working him in the crew,” said Spithill, the skipper of 17. “The fleet is loaded.”

ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami Entry List
(Based on overall season standings)
1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – 8 points
2. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 10 points
3. 17 (USA) William Douglass/Jimmy Spithill – 12 points
3. Artemis (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 12 points
5. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 13 points
6. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 19 points
7. Katusha (RUS) Bob Little/Paul Cayard – 21 points
8. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 26 points
9. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 34 points
10. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 38 points
11. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 43 points
12. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 47 points
13. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 48 points
Debutante: Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams
Note to media: The event's opening press conference will take place tomorrow at 5:00 PM in Miami Beach Marina, on the yacht Miami Lady

Rod Jabin Wins Second Consecutive Melges 32 Gold Cup Title

05 DECEMBER 2010

Rod Jabin Wins Second Consecutive Melges 32 Gold Cup Title

Three races and stunning conditions conclude the 2010 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. - Three final races at the 2010 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta, hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC) enabled Annapolis' Rod Jabin on Ramrod to win his second consecutive Melges 32 Gold Cup title. This is also the first time ever that anyone has won the event two years in a row. Jabin's team consisted of tactician Chris Larson and crew of Richard Clarke, Curtis Florence, Ray Wulff, Scott Holmgren and Vann Walke.

"This is pretty special. Unbelievable really, but I have to give credit where credit is due. The crew work this weekend has been awesome." said an ecstatic Jabin after racing. "Thank goodness for a third race. The Ramrod program is really coming together and we now feel like we're making some progress. Our only expectation for this event was to be competitive. My crew, they worked so hard and never gave up. That's what this win is about."

In second overall, one slim point behind was Steve Howe on Warpath and tactician Morgan Larson. Overnight leader Ryan DeVos and tactician Ed Baird on Volpe struggled in Sunday's three races leaving them to settle for third.

"The Gold Cup certainly delivered some great racing. I think the Melges 32 fleet has really come into its own." said newly elected North American Fleet President, John Taylor on Ninkasi. "Getting 21 boats in Fort Lauderdale for a little wind and sun, a great time and plenty of Heineken makes it a spectacular event."

Sunday's original schedule called for only two races, but after Saturday's light air conditions, the impeccable LYC race committee delivered the goods and fulfilled every owner's hopes for three more heats. Gorgeous sunshine and a pleasant 10-15 knots of breeze was pumping for the start with Jeff Ecklund putting his signature gold STAR on the first two races of the day. His lead was not instant, but well-earned beating out Jabin, Taylor, Bob Hughes helming Dalton DeVos' Delta and Howe with brilliant upwind performance and fantastic downwind speed.

Race three of the day sealed the deal on victory for some, while others, such as Ecklund, ended with tragic results. Three attempts were made to start race three, but the fleet couldn't come up with anything better than general recalls. The race committee put the black flag into effect. Ecklund simply couldn't hold the reigns back, being called OCS and forced out of the race. As if the first two races of the day weren't disastrous and disappointing enough for the young DeVos, he too was called OCS in race three. Instead, Lanfranco Cirillo's Fantastica pulled ahead of the fleet and looked fast as he extended his lead with each passing beat of the five-leg race. Cirillo won easily, miles ahead of second place finisher Hughes and third place finisher Jabin.

The International Melges 32 Class Association would like to extend a very special thanks to the Lauderdale Yacht Club, race committee and the dozens of volunteers that helped ensure the success of such an amazing event, in particular Mark Smith, Lisa Friesecke, Bob Meagher and Mike Toppa who organized the league of youth sailors for Take A Junior Sailing Day. The list goes on. Thanks to Melges USA and Melges Service whose unwavering support is incredible. Additional thanks to Team Ninkasi and Heineken Beer for all the beer each day after sailing.

All during the event, friends, family and fans of the Melges 32 were able to tune-in and enjoy the racing action and developments from a distance, special thanks to Sail 22’s all new Sailing Updates. Thanks Sail22 for making this happen!

Photo galleries are now online:
View JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association Gallery
View John Payne Gallery
View Sail 22 Gallery

Each daily race report, press release and tons of photo galleries are available at the official website of the International Melges 32 Class Association. Stay in touch with the Melges 32 by subscribing to the IM32CA RSS Feed or visiting the Official Melges 32 Blog. The Melges 32 can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL, After eight races)
1.) Rod Jabin | Chris Larson, Ramrod; 4-2-1-12-8-2-[18]-3 = 32
2.) Steve Howe | Morgan Larson, Warpath; [8]-8-1-5-4-8-3-4 = 33
3.) Ryan DeVos | Ed Baird, Volpe; 3-2-3-1-5=14=11=[22/BFD] = 39
4.) Joe Woods | Paul Goodison, Red; 6-[11]-5-9-6-5-6-7 = 44
5.) Jeff Ecklund | Harry Melges, III, STAR; 15-6-8-8-7-1-1-[22/BFD] = 46
6.) Dalton DeVos| Chris Rast, Delta; 11-9-12-3-[12]-7-2-2 = 46
7.) Lanfranco Cirillo | Michele Paoletti, Fantastica; 7-19-4-2-14-[22/OCS]-4-1 = 51
8.) Alex Jackson | Rob Greenhalgh, Leenabarca; 1-7-7-15-1-12-[17]-11 = 54
9.) Joel Ronning | Bill Hardesty, Catapult; 5-15-13-6-10-4-9-[17] = 62
10.) Jason Carroll | Dave Ullman, ARGO; 10-10-6-7-9-[18]-12-8 = 62
View Full Results
View Full Crew List
2010 Melges 32 Gold Cup Official Event Website

Friday, December 3, 2010

World Match Racing Tour – Monsoon Cup Quarter Finalists decided

On day 3 of the Monsoon Cup, the final event of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour, the World Championship was still wide open. Tension was high as this was a make or break day for several of the World Championship contenders.

A 12-15 knot northerly breeze greeted competitors, with one knot of current running down the Terengganu River.

There were many pivotal matches in this busy day, with the current ISAF World Match Racing Tour leader Mathieu Richard (French Match Racing Team), Adam Minoprio (ETNZ/ BlackMatch Racing), the 2009 World Champion and dual Monsoon Cup winner Peter Gilmour (YANMAR Racing) all in danger of missing the quarter finals.

It did not start well for Gilmour when in flight 11 Bjorn Hansen (Hansen Global Racing) beat Gilmour by just one heart breaking second.

Ben Ainslie (TEAMORIGIN) and Adam Minoprio (ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing) met in the next match.

Ainslie won the start but closing on the top mark Minoprio managed to lee-bow Ainslie and luffed up hard. Firmly in control Minoprio accelerated away to victory.

Next up Francesco Bruni (Team Azzurra) defeated Minoprio leaving the World Champion pensive at the stern of his boat, rubbing his trademark stubble.

The afternoon session started with Flight 13. The wind was blowing eight knots, with current down the river on the right so PRO David Tallis moved the start line to equalise the course.

Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) on 5-3 and Richard was an important match for both skippers. Richard was tied in knots and early in the pre-start. Mirsky was fast away on the right and in pressure and extended for a big win. The luckless Richard recounted ‘We made a mistake in the pre-start, we were definitely too early, they did a good job.’

Mathieu Richard (French Match Racing Team) had to defeat Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing) or his regatta was over.

Down the last run Robertson and his crew were faster and closing as the finish line loomed Robertson gybed and it looked like Richard faked but that’s not what happened as Richard explained dockside. ‘We were going to follow when he gybed, I started to but felt the solid puff and made a snap decision to go with the pressure and it paid off.’

So came the climax of the day. It was in flight 15 that Richard met Minoprio. Both were on three wins and six losses, the loser would miss the quarter final cut.

A sensational start as Richard was penalised just 10 seconds before the start and was over early - a dream for Minoprio. On the first cross Minoprio was ahead but Richard had more speed and then the tables turned. Richard rounded and with a fast hoist was three boat lengths ahead.

However the race stayed close until the second bottom mark was reached and Richard rounded in pressure while Minoprio stalled. A giant gain for the Frenchman who sailed away and was able to do his penalty comfortably at the finish line.

A jubilant Richard said ‘A great win for us. Our start was a disaster but we did not give up. We stayed focused on our sailing and we managed enough of a lead to take the penalty and win.’

Adam Minoprio is leaving the ISAF World Match Racing Tour having crashed out of the Monsoon Cup and World Championship contention. He will have three months to get over this result before he joins the Emirates Team New Zealand Volvo Ocean Race campaign.

Immediately after the finish of the Richard v Minoprio match, Race Commentator Andy Green cruelly or cheekily (you decide) asked Minoprio ‘Three qualifiers, Phil Robertson, Keith Swinton and Jeremy Koo, as well Minoprio look to have missed the cut. Was last year’s World Championship win a fluke?’

A wry smile from the defeated Minoprio as he replied, ‘That race was very disappointing. We had a great pre-start, but we missed a left hand wind shift on the first beat and that was all Richard needed.’

Reflecting on his defeat, a downcast Minoprio commented ‘This is the number one disappointment in my sailing career. We are shattered not to have made it through to the last eight and be out of the World Championship. Perhaps we should’ve gone to Perth. This will bug me for a while - it’ll take three months to get over this. We’ll take some time out to reflect on this now.’

In the next match Peter Gilmour and his YANMAR Racing crew forced Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) over early, then sailed away to an important win for the four times World Champion, who made the quarter finals with that result.

A big smile from Gilmour as he said ‘Folks like us from the Facebook generation (NOT) are fighters. It all starts again now.’

There are still two flights to finish the round robins of the Monsoon Cup.

The final comment of the day came from Adam Minoprio. ‘You learn more from losing than winning (often) and today we’ve learned a great deal.’

Monsoon Cup - Day 3 Leader board

Quarter Finalists are:
Ian William (Team GAC Pindar) 8-1
Ben Ainslie (TEAMORIGIN) 8-2
Jesper Radich (Gaastra Racing Team) 8-2
Francesco Bruni (Team Azzurra) 6-3
Bjorn Hansen (Hansen Global Team) 6-4
Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) 6-5
Peter Gilmour (YANMAR Racing) 4-5
Mathieu Richard (French Match Racing Team) 5-6

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Update from ALEX AND TARU

Photos from

So finally comes the day when we're able to leave also Gibraltar behind us. We both were thinking this day might never come - when looking at the weather and the list of things we had to finalize. It is never ending, isn't it. To live on a boat. Especially now in the beginning of this journey. And it is most definitely a full time job. A sometimes painful but oh so rewarding job. Because what else could we do, that could possibly give us more satisfaction in life than this? Nothing.

Tomorrow there is a good weather window which we'll take advantage of and hopefully we'll be safe over in Rabat, Morocco some 25-40 hours thereafter. Cannot wait to stroll around on African land and get the hell out of Europe.

Rounding off the day today with a glass of an aromatic Ripasso di Valpolicella and some beautiful Corsican classical tunes. Alex is reading for me from an Atlantic passage guide and life is just how it is supposed to be. Us two, on our boat - our home, sweet music in the background and some rustic wine. What else could I ever ask for? Not even the cold and the rain seem to bother me in this very moment.

By the way, we are so sorry if we have been late in responding emails or comments, but we've been so extremely busy over here and at the same time super dizzy and tired from all of the vaccinations.. Will catch up on it all very soon. Thanks for taking your time to write to us! /T
We got escorted out from the Gibraltar strait by a big pod of dolphins this afternoon. Hello Atlantic! It is by the way the first day in a week that the sun decided to show up for real and give some heat so it was a good time to leave and get out on the sea again. Plus a wonderful day to try our new sexy sails. Beautiful that jib, isn't it?

Goodbye for now Gibraltar and Europe and hello Morocco! We will arrive in Rabat tomorrow afternoon, inshallah. Follow our journey here if you'd like. /T&A - Read more at

Melges 32 Fleet Readies For Gold Cup Competition

01 DECEMBER 2010

Melges 32 Fleet Readies For Gold Cup Competition

Twenty-one teams have registered to compete at the 2010 Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta, hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club, December 3-5.

Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. -
On December 3-5, the International Melges 32 Class Association (IM32CA) will proudly usher in yet another classic Gold Cup Regatta, hosted by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (LYC). The red carpet has been rolled out for this first-class event welcoming every owner and competitor, promising the best in Melges 32 competition, racing conditions and camaraderie.

Twenty-one teams have traveled from all across North America, Great Britain and Italy to compete. Among those poised for victory are defending Gold Cup champion Rod Jabin (Annapolis, Md.) on Ramrod with 2009 Melges 24 World Champion Chris Larson serving as tactician. One of Jabin's top adversaries, 2010 Winter Series and European Champion Joe Woods (Torquay, UK) with tactician, Olympic Gold Medallist Paul Goodison on Red is also in attendance. "The pressure is on." said a very relaxed and smiling Jabin prior to Wednesday afternoon practice. "Our team is a little different this year, but we're looking forward to some great racing, so it should be fun." Jabin debuted in the Melges 32 class at the '09 event beating Woods by a single point.

Other teams expected to excel and do well include Kip Meadows (Rocky Mount, N.C.) and tactician, multiple match racing champion Andy Horton on roXanne; the young and energetic 2010 U.S. National Champion Ryan DeVos (Macatawa Bay, Mich.) on Volpe pairs up with the extraordinary Ed Baird on tactics; East Coast Champion Alex Jackson (Riverside, Conn.) on Leenabarca will be assisted by Volvo Ocean Racer Rob Greenhalgh's tactical expertise, and Lanfranco Cirillo (Torri del Benaco, Verona, Italy) on Fantastica employs the incredible talents of the legendary Michelle Paoletti.

The IM32CA would like to welcome fleet newcomers Alexis Michas (New York, N.Y.) with tactician Mark Mendelblatt on VIVA; A Scow-boy Joel Ronning (Excelsior, Minn.) on Catapult with tactician Bill Hardesty and Oscar Strugstad (Bournemouth, Dorsett, UK) will be joined by tactician Andy Beadsworth on Dawn Raid.

"The class is thrilled to be back in Ft. Lauderdale for Gold Cup." commented International Chairman and Class President Jeff Ecklund (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), who will take the helm of STAR. "This is the best fleet of grand prix performance yachts to be a part of right now. Our World Championship in San Francisco produced a record-breaking 32 Melges 32s further proving the health of the class. It’s really awesome to see a fleet as robust as this, and it seems that with almost every event we see new faces."

"We are also quite excited about our Take A Junior Sailing Day program at Gold Cup." continued Ecklund. "Twenty-one lucky youth sailors will get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on Saturday, December 4 to sail with and against the very best in the sailing world." Ecklund has been a strong supporter and advocate of the Lauderdale Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program, as well as a driving force behind its integration with the Melges 32 Gold Cup Regatta. A complete list of junior sailors and the boats they will sail on will be published shortly.

Full Entry List
1.) Phil Lotz | Dalton Bergan, Arethusa
2.) Jason Carroll | Dave Ullman, Argo
3.) Michael Dominguez | Anthony Kotoun, Bronco
4.) Joel Ronning | Bill Hardesty, Catapult
5.) Malcolm Gefter | Jon Mollicone, Celeritas
6.) Oscar Strugstad | Andy Beadsworth, Dawn Raid
7.) Dalton DeVos | Chris Rast, Delta
8.) Lanfranco Cirillo | Michele Paoletti, Fantastica
9.) Bob Hesse | Brad Boston, Lake Effect
10.) Alex Jackson | Rob Greenhalgh, Leenabarca
11.) Steve Rhyne | Charlie Smythe, Mojo
12.) John Taylor | Andrew Campbell, Ninkasi
13.) Rod Jabin | Chris Larson, Ramrod
14.) Joe Woods | Paul Goodison, Red
15.) Kip Meadows | Andy Horton, roXanne
16.) Geoff Pierini | Max Skelley, Shakedown
17.) Jeff Ecklund | Harry Melges, III, STAR
18.) Stuart Simpson | Nigel Young, Team Barbarians
19.) Alexis Michas | Mark Mendelblatt, VIVA
20.) Ryan DeVos | Ed Baird, Volpe
21.) Steve Howe | Morgan Larson, Warpath

View Full Crew List
2010 Melges 32 Gold Cup Official Event Website

Brits Lead The Charge

The Monsoon Cup, the prestigious final round of the 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour being sailed in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia has turned the hard fought world of top level match racing upside down.

Two British sailors are leading the event after a tough day two out on the water.

Ian Williams (Team GAC Pindar), the 2006 and 2007 World Match Racing Champion, was a distant fifth on points going into this event. Today he sailed outstandingly, showing great skill in the light and very tricky conditions, qualifying for the quarterfinals with a 7-0 scorecard.

Ben Ainslie (TEAMORIGIN), the triple Gold Olympian is close on Williams’ heels having lost just one match yesterday to Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing). After two days of racing Ainslie sits at 5-1, having completed one less match than Williams.

Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team), the West Australian skipper who is also mathematically in the World Championship running, is close behind the leaders, having suffered just two losses from seven matches (5-2).

Mirsky went down to Williams and Francesco Bruni (Team Azzurra) in hard fought matches.

The leaders can only look back in amazement at the chaos behind them.

In the middle of today, the World Match Racing Championship tour leader Mathieu Richard looked anything but relaxed, seemingly suffering a serious form slump in this event.

Down, Richard did not seem to be making good decisions. In the critical match against Francesco Bruni (Team Azzurra) Richard just won the start on the pin, in light and shifty conditions. After a slow tacking duel Richard was three lengths ahead. On the left Bruni was in pressure and reduced Richard’s lead to less than one length. A bad tack from Richard and a gain on a shift from Bruni, meant a lead change before the top mark. Richard struggled back and into the lead down the run but Bruni went hunting for pressure and shifts. Richard inexplicably did not cover, the number one match racing rule, and so conceded the match to Bruni.

The afternoon did not improve for Richard and a loss to Ben Ainslie(TEAMORIGIN) left him 0-4 and in 11th place. But clearly the determined Richard was not yet ready to give up the Championship title dream and things turned a little his way. Richard finished the day 5-3 and in seventh place.

Looking despondent the French skipper explained ‘We have not been sailing well. We still have a lot of work to do, we need six wins to be sure to get into the quarterfinals and we have to beat Minoprio (ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing), Mirsky and Robertson to get there. Right now it does not look good.’

In match racing mind games abound and Ben Ainslie is not adverse to loading on the pressure.

When asked why some of the favourites were not going so well, Ainslie replied ‘It’s the conditions more than anything. It’s very tough out there. There can be just metres between a win and a loss in these very light conditions; it’s hard for the whole team just calling the breeze.

‘Mathieu would be no doubt be doing better if there was a steadier breeze, so it’s more about match racing.

‘Yesterday and today the results have been coming more from general sailing ability - finding the pressure, picking the right side of the course and it’s probably easier for dinghy sailors than for some of the match racers. (Particularly those with three Olympic Golds and one Silver it seems.)

‘It’s going to be difficult for Richard from 3-5 but there is time yet, and it’s going to be hard for Adam Minoprio too… maybe harder.

‘They are very good sailors so they will probably claw their way into the quarters, but if they don’t it would be a dream for us’ concluded Ainslie.

Adam Minoprio (ETNZ/Black Match Racing) had a horror day on the water.

They were defeated soundly by Jesper Radich and suffered a second loss to Peter Gilmour and YANMAR Racing. Then Ian Williams inflicted a third defeat on Minoprio, leaving the reigning World Champion smarting with three losses in five matches.

The race against Williams said it all today. The Kiwi skipper picked up a penalty in the pre-start and crossed the line prematurely, allowing Williams to get away with a good lead.

Minoprio fought back strongly, closing what had at one stage appeared to be an invincible lead for Williams to just six seconds at the finish, but wasn't able to get ahead of the Brit.

It’s clear that all is not well in the Minoprio camp.

Asked whether this was because it is Minoprio’s last season, (he is joining the Team New Zealand Volvo Round the World campaign), the defending World Champion replied ‘We should be over that; we should be concentrating on getting on with this event.’

The skipper continued. ‘We just have not yet hit our straps. We’ve been making amateur mistakes and yes there’s been some frustration.

‘We are 2-4 so its crunch time now. Today we just had a succession of poor starts … we are just glad today is over.’

Tomorrow the task is ahead of the ETNZ/Black Match Racing Team who have to win at least four races against this list of opponents - Richard, Bruni, Ainslie, Hansen and Koo - a tall order the way they are currently sailing.

The harsh reality is that unless there is a big lift in spirits and concentration, it could be unhappy final match racing days for the 2009 ISAF World Champion.

At the end of day Press Conference, a confident Ian Williams subtly applied the pressure on Richard and Minoprio.

Williams stated ‘We are pleased with 7-0… into the quarterfinals. The guys are keeping me calm and focused and we are looking forward to the finals.

‘Right now there is a bunch of sailors doing their best to make sure Minoprio and Richard have to fight all the way.’

‘Both times I won the World titles I did it from eighth place in the round robins. Losing races is a valuable learning experience. You have to just not lose too many and you do make the cut.’

So the mind games continue.

Looking at the leader board Williams has plainly qualified and Ainslie, Mirsky and Radich look comfortable.

Behind them it seems there are six crews fighting for four quarterfinal placings.

Monsoon Cup - Day 2 Leader board

Ian Williams (Team GAC Pindar) 7-0
Ben Ainslie (TEAMORIGIN) 5-1
Torvar Mirsky (Mirsky Racing Team) 5-2
Jesper Radich (Gaastra Racing Team) 5-2
Francesco Bruni (Team Azzurra) 4-2
Bjorn Hansen (Hansen Global Team) 3-3
Mathieu Richard (French Match Racing Team) 3-5
Peter Gilmour (YANMAR Racing) 2-4
Adam Minoprio (ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing) 2-4
Keith Swinton (Black Swan Racing) 2-4
Phil Robertson (WAKA Racing) 2-5
Jeremy Koo (Koo Racing Team – Evernew) 0-8