Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Congratulations to 2011 Melges 20 Miami Winter Series Champion Michael Kiss, with San Diegan Chris Rast calling tactics. More than 30 teams competed in the three part series ranking, with Kiss, successfully defending the title. Paul Reilly takes home a very deserving second place trophy. Tony Tabb on Elevation Racing was third, tied in points with Mary Anne Ward in fourth. International Audi Melges 20 Class Chairman Marc Hollerbach on FU rounded out the top five. PHOTO CREDIT: ©2011 JOY

International Audi Melges 20 Class Association

View The Full Series Ranking

Monday, March 7, 2011

Katusha wins inaugural RC-44 Cup before large crowds on San Diego Bay

It is hard to tell who was the biggest winner of inaugural Oracle RC-44 Cup of San Diego.
Katusha, with Bob Little driving and former San Diego resident Paul Cayard calling tactics, claimed the title of the four-day, 14-race event on San Diego Bay with a pair seconds and a protective eight-place finish in the series finale Sunday afternoon.
But the biggest winner might have been the sponsoring Sailing Events Association of San Diego.
The four-day "stadium" event with a start-finish line located within shouting distance of the Broadway Pier brought much larger than expected crowds to viewing areas stretching from the flight deck of the Midway Museum to the Broadway Pier to the Embarcadero to Harbor Island.
The Oracle RC-44 Cup was the first event landed by SEA-San Diego, which hopes to bring other spectator-friendly sailing events to San Diego Bay.
"We’ve exceeded our expectations for delivering a really good spectator friendly event," said SEA-San Diego president John Laun. "We hope to have the RC44s back every year, we’ve had a great time with them."
And the high-performance, RC-44 sloops apparently had a great time with San Diego in a series of close and exciting races over twice-around, 2 1/2-mile, windward-leeward courses on the bay.
"It’s been really nice sailing in San Diego," said Islas Canarias Puerto Calero owner-skipper Daniel Calero. "It’s like playing football with all the crowds behind you, screaming and clapping. San Diego Bay is amazing, great atmosphere."
The Russia-based Katusha took the series lead in the third race of the second day and steadily pulled away over the final seven races. Katusha all but clinched the title with second-place finishes in each of Sunday's first two races and finished with a seven-point margin.
The Larry Ellison-skippered Oracle, with America's Cup icon and class founder Russell Coutts calling tactics, won Sunday's opening heat and finished second in the final standings by a point over the Scott Young-skippered Team Aqua, which finished seventh in Sunday's opening heat after drawing a pair of penalties.
"We're very happy," said Coutts. "The San Diego is one of our best for sure, it was just a great venue, lots of variables on the race course, lots of people here and lots of interest, it’s been fantastic. We are hoping to be back here again.’
First-day leader Artemis, which won a series-best fourth race Sunday, finished fourth another point behind.
Katusha won only one of the 14 races. But it had five second-place finishes and three thirds to make it a special win for Cayard, who lived in San Diego for 12 years around three America's Cup campaigns.

"It’s been fun to be here this week," said Cayard. "It means a lot to win this regatta in a town that I spent so much of my life in, and it’s been fun seeing all of my friends from some time past."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

ARTEMIS & KATUSHA : RC44 Cup - San Diego Day 1

March 2, 2011 - A very good day for both Artemis Racing and Katusha with four wins each out of five races.

On Katusha we were happy with our results but I would not characterize our sailing as smooth. Yet, we got the job done.

For our first three races of the day, we had the "Curmudgeons" onboard as guests. First Craig for two races, including the all important Russian National Championship, then Tom for the third. As soon as the Lewecks left us, we lost. We pulled ourselves back together to win our last race of the day.

We ended up tied with four other teams, some of whom raced six races. There is no final scoring for match racing at each event this year, it just rolls on and the final score is tallied at the end of the year.

Tomorrow, starts the fleet racing which will see Bob "Peaches" Little on the helm and I will move to tactician.

The forecast for tomorrow is more of the same, Westerly winds at about 10 knots.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

ARTEMIS & KATUSHA : RC44 Cup - San Diego

March 1, 2001 - We just finished up two days of practice down here in San Diego. Beautiful, sunny but chilly both days with 10-17 knots of Northwesterly wind. The race course for this event is inside the Bay where it should be. The boats are berthed at the Broadway Street Pier. Looks like about 12 teams are here.

We had fleet racing practice yesterday which meant Bob (Peaches) Little was on the helm and I was tactician onboard Katusha. We competed in about three races with 10 other teams around a short 1.25 mile course. Today we had match race training with our friends on Artemis Racing in which Bob and I inverted our roles from yesterday. Tomorrow in the first day of racing and will be Match Racing and we are first up against the other Russian team Synergy in the first flight. The format of the regatta's is different this year with the match racing becoming just one day of the event and having only an annual score. So at each event competitors will work their way through a portion of a round robin and by the end of the season we will have completed about three round robins in total. The podium for match racing will be determined only at years end.

The remaining four days of each event will be fleet racing which features the owners as the drivers of the boats. Unfortunately neither Torbjorn Tornqvist (Artemis) nor Guenaddi Timtchencko (Katusha) could attend the event in San Diego this week. Sarah Gundersen is helming Artemis with Morgan Larson calling the shots.

It is fun for me to be in San Diego. I lived here for 12 years. My son was born here and both kids started school here. I have lots of friends here some of whom I am hoping to get to see this week. I raced in the finals of the two America's Cups held in San Diego in the early 90's. I went for a run along the bay front this morning down to where the Stars and Stripes base was in 1995 when I sailed with Dennis Conner and his team. The base is now a harbor for large boats and the Rowing Club restaurant is no longer a Chart House but a Crab Shack.

Things change. That's life.


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

San Diego gets ready for the RC44 class

San Diego is ready to once again put on a sensational sailing show as the opening round of 2011 RC44 Championship Tour gets underway in Southern California.

Eleven teams will go head-to-head for the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego between 2-6 March, as for the first time in its five-year history the RC44 Tour visits America’s West Coast.
San Diego is etched in yachting folklore having hosted the America’s Cup on three successive occasions from 1988 to 1995 and being home to some of the sport’s most iconic figures such as Dennis Conner, Lowell North and Malin Burnham.

With the event line-up reading like a who’s who of modern day sailing greats, the city again gets the chance to shine as a venue that attracts the best of the world’s top talent. This include's American yachting legend Paul Cayard, four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts and, joining the class for the first time in 2011, America’s 2004 Olympic 470 Class champion Kevin Burnham.

Olympic gold and silver medallist and multiple America’s Cup campaigner Rod Davis, who is coaching the crew of Igor Lah’s Ceeref, grew up sailing on San Diego waters. He is looking forward to seeing the RC44s doing battle in the Bay he knows so well.

“Some of my best memories are of my younger sailing days at the Coronado and San Diego yacht clubs with people like Chuck Hope, Jerry LaDow and Lowell North,” Rod reveals. “San Diego has a long history of yachting; it’s the culture that you compete at a high level when you sail here, it’s expected of you, which raises the level of everyone.

“You almost always get breeze in San Diego, and 80 per cent of the time it’s between 8-12 knots, which will suit the RC44 really well. The crew has a lot on to get the best out of the boat but all the crews are very good so you have to be at your best if you’re going to be competitive and your very, very best to win.”

The defining spirit of the RC44 Championship Tour is amateur owners racing alongside the biggest names in professional sailing on thoroughbred one-design racing machines. No-one gives an inch, with skippers pushing the boats and their crews to the boundaries of their extensive capabilities.

Over the five days in San Diego, the owners will be at the wheel for four days of fleet racing while the pro sailors get their chance to shine at the helm on one day of match racing. Three to four fleet races are scheduled per day with no discard, every race placing really counts.

Long Beach native Bob Little, an experienced one-design and offshore sailor, will helm Katusha for the fleet racing alongside Paul Cayard, who will steer in the match racing. He added: “I know San Diego will host a fantastic event. I expect a great result from Katusha as we’ve learned a lot sailing together in previous events and hope to build on that. I’m fortunate to be on a team with such great sailors.”

Racing will take place directly in front of the new, spectator friendly Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier, giving the audience a perfect view of the action in a natural amphitheatre.
For full information about the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego and the RC44 class visit www.rc44.com - view the full crew lists for San Diego here.

2011 RC44 Championship Tour dates:
2 – 6 March- Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego, USA
11 – 15 May- RC44 Austria Cup Gmunden, Austria
29 June – 3 July- Italy / France
17 – 21 August- RC44 Marstrand Cup, Sweden
28 September–2 October -Spain
15 – 20 November- 2011 RC44 World Championships, Puerto Calero, Lanzarote

List of entrants – Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego
AEZ RC44 Sailing Team (AUT)
Owner – Rene Mangold (AUT)
Professional Skipper – Peter Evens (NZL)

Artemis Racing (SWE)
Owner – Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE)
Professional Skipper – Morgan Larson (USA)

Ironbound (USA)
Owner – David Murphy (USA)
Professional Skipper – Kevin Burnham (USA)

Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP)
Owner– Daniel Calero (ESP)
Professional Skipper - Jose Maria Ponce (ESP)

Katusha (RUS)
Professional Skipper – Paul Cayard (USA)

No Way Back (NED)
Owner – Pieter Heerema (NED)
Professional Skipper – Rod Dawson (NZL)

Owner – Larry Ellison (USA)
Professional Skipper – Russell Coutts (NZL)

Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR)
Owner – John Bassadone (GBR)
Professional Skipper - Iñaki Castañer (ESP)

Owner – Igor Lah (SLO)
Professional Skipper –Michelle Ivaldi (ITA)

Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS)
Owner – Valentin Zavadnikov (RUS)
Professional Skipper – Evgeniy Neugodnikov (RUS)

Team Aqua (UAE)
Owner -Chris Bake (CAN)
Professional Skipper- Cameron Appleton (NZL)

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sailing regatta championship set for San Diego Bay

The following article was found today on www.signonsandiego.com, and written by Bill Center

Sailboat racing as a stadium sport comes to San Diego Bay this week with the inaugural RC-44 championship regatta.

The five-day event starts Wednesday and concludes next Sunday and will feature 11, high-performance RC-44 sloops.

While most San Diegans have no idea what an RC-44 is and who is actually racing, although one of the favored boats is owned by Larry Ellison of Oracle America’s Cup fame, the regatta will give event the most land-locked among us a chance to see close-quarter sailboat racing.

All the starts — and finishes — during the racing will be just off the end of the Broadway Pier.
Depending on the direction of the wind and the day of the racing, the courses will take the boats up along the Embarcadero or toward Harbor Island.

“I think this promises to be an exciting event even for those not into sailboat racing,” said John Laun, the president and CEO of the SEA San Diego responsible for bringing the RC-44s — and eventually other sailing events — to San Diego Bay. “The boats will be big enough to see from the shore because they are going to be close to shore. And the boats are exciting. They are very high-tech and very demanding to sail. They are capable of reaching speeds of 20 knots.”

And rather than sailing away from the shore, the RC-44s will be racing on very short courses close to the bayfront. Wednesday’s match races, for example, will likely be contested on a half-mile course with pairs going off every five minutes. The twice-around windward-leeward races (that’s back-and-forth for rank novices) will last around 20 minutes. And race officials are hoping to get in as many as four rounds starting at 11:30 a.m.

The program switches to fleet races Thursday through Sunday with each leg being 1 1/4 miles for a five-mile race. Officials expect the races to take 45 minutes apiece with hopes of getting in three to five rounds each day.

The 11 boats entered will represent nine nations. For those more knowledgeable of sailing, the list of skippers reads like a Who’s Who. Among the world-class skippers entered are Russell Coutts, the hero of New Zealand’s America’s Cup victory off San Diego in 1995, Paul Cayard, Coronado native Rod Davis, Kevin Burnham and Morgan Larson.

The series champion in 2010 was Oracle Racing featuring Ellison and Coutts.

Prime viewing areas will be the tip of the Broadway Pier, the Embarcadero (for Wednesday’s match races) and Harbor Island (for the longer fleet races Thursday through Sunday).

Perhaps the best viewing spot will be the flight deck of the Midway Museum. The viewing area will be free with a paid admission to the carrier museum.

What better way to spend a day?

Boating notes
•Five Olympic class boats numbering San Diegans as either the skipper or crew have been included on the US Sailing Team for 2011. The team includes at least two boats in each Olympic class. The Star class has a pair of boats skippered by San Diegans Andrew Campbell (Ian Coleman crew) and George Szabo (Mark Strude). San Diego’s Graham Biehl is crewing for Stu McNay on the top-ranked U.S. Men’s 470 boat while the San Diego team of Adam Roberts and Nick Martin are ranked second. San Diego’s Molly Vandemoer joins Debbie Capozzi as the crew for top-ranked Anna Tunnicliffe in the Women’s Keelboat class.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bill Hardesty Returning to San Diego

San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) and Etchells Fleet 13, co-hosts of Etchells Worlds 2011, today reported that hometown icon Bill Hardesty, (Etchells World Champion, Chicago, 2008), is returning to his home yacht club of SDYC to begin a concerted campaign to win the 2011 Etchells World Championships, to be sailed in Hardesty’s home waters off San Diego. Hardesty’s entry brings to five the number of former world champions who have been participating in the local regattas for purposes of tuning up for the world title (Dennis Conner,Judd Smith, Vince Brun, Dirk Kneulman). Hardesty plans to have Point Loma High School sailing coach Steve Hunt on board for the worlds. Hunt recently finished 2nd out of 47 boats while sailing Line Honors, hull number 979, on loan from Hardesty.

The Etchells is a fixed keel racing sloop which weighs 3250 pounds and is sailed by a weight limited crew of three or four. First designed in 1968 by world class boat designer Skip Etchells as a potential competitor in the Olympics, the Etchells class is known for its fiercely competitive yet close knit competitors. Despite beating the eventual Olympic selection, the Soling, the Etchells (then referred to as an Etchells 22 for its 22 foot long waterline), instead relied on grass roots growth and a strong commitment to its one design integrity. In addition to a timeless design and strong fleet organization, the Etchells class remains one of the few classes open to professional crew and weekend warriors alike. It remains a draw to the fleet that the weekend sailor can compete, and occasionally (and usually temporarily) prevail over sailing greats such as Dennis Conner, Gary Jobson, Ian Murray, Vince Brun, Judd Smith and Kenny Read.

The 2011 Etchells World Championships will draw approximately 75 boats from 12 different countries, from as far away as the UAE, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Australia. Although the event commences with boat measurements on June 2-4, and racing on June 5, thereare several feeder regattas for which sixty boats will compete. The SLAM Etchells Midwinters will be April 8-10, and the Sailing Supply Orca Bowl - Pre-Worlds will be on May 21-22. With some teams already taking up part time residence, the Point Loma area is abuzz with Etchells sailors and added economic activity has been welcomed by the local businesses. For more informationgo to www.etchellsworlds2011.com or call San Diego Yacht Club 619.221.8400 http://sdyc.org.

Monday, February 14, 2011


World-class sailing event on San Diego Bay, March 2 – 6, marks opening of the 2011 RC44 Championship

SAN DIEGO – The Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego, a world-class sailing regatta featuring the RC44 class fleet and sponsored by ORACLE, will take place on San Diego Bay, March 2 – 6, 2011. The regatta brings together the biggest names in international sailing and global business for the opening round of the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour.

After the inaugural U.S. event in Miami at the end of the 2010 season, and an outing at KeyWest Race Week, the class is now heading west to make its debut at the Oracle RC44 Cup SanDiego. The event features 11 RC44 teams representing nine nations.

The RC44 class was conceived and co-designed by four-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts. With an evenly split amateur and professional crew line-up, the class attracts some of the world’s leading business minds as their owner-drivers, along with many of the world’s top sailors.

Racing will take place over five days in San Diego, with four days of fleet racing, where theboats can only be driven by their owner, and one day of America’s Cup-style match racing, when the pro sailors can get their chance to shine at the helm. Spectator viewing is free from portions of Broadway Pier, Harbor Island and numerous areas along the downtown waterfront.

Among the top sailors set to compete on the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour are class designer Russell Coutts (NZL), American yachting legend Paul Cayard and San Diego native son Rod Davis, Audi MedCup winners Morgan Larson (USA) and Jose Maria Ponce (ESP), Olympic Gold medalist Kevin Burnham (USA), along with some of the world’s top match racing talent including Cameron Appleton (NZL).

The 2011 RC44 Championship Tour takes in six venues, including in Austria, France, Sweden and Spain, before coming to a close with the 2011 RC44 World Championships in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands in November.

With Coutts’ ORACLE Racing team, led by Larry Ellison, winning the 2010 RC44Championship at a thrilling Miami showdown in December, each of the 2011 teams – established and new – will be vying to topple ORACLE from its throne.

The Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego marks a poignant return to the city for Coutts, who won the first of his four historic America’s Cup titles in San Diego in 1995. He believes the 2011 RC44 Championship Tour is gearing up to be the most compelling and closely-fought yet.

“Last year’s Championship came down to the wire in Miami and with more owners coming into the class, the level and intensity of the competition is going to be greater than ever,” said Coutts. “It’s always great to race in San Diego, it will be a natural amphitheatre those watching from onshore. I’m looking forward to a great regatta.”

The Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego is organized by Sailing Events Association San Diego, a leading sailboat racing events organization, positioning the city as a top sailing destination by bringing world-class sailing events to San Diego. Racing will take place directly in front of the magnificent new spectator friendly Port Pavilion at the Broadway Pier, giving fans the chance to get close to the action.

“All of San Diego is looking forward to great racing on San Diego Bay," said JJ Fetter, Olympic silver medalist and event coordinator for the Oracle RC44 Cup San Diego. "This will be a unique opportunity to see such high-caliber America’s Cup talent, like Russell Coutts, Paul Cayard and Rod Davis, return to do battle on San Diego Bay, and we will be encouraging the public to come and watch the action for free from the Broadway Pier."

The RC44 Championship Tour was launched in 2007 and in its first four seasons visited multiple venues across Europe, the Middle East and the U.S.

For more information vist the regatta website: www.oraclerc44cupsandiego.com

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Estrella Damm, Shooting Stars

BWR: Nineteen miles is all the separates Estrella Damm from second placed MAPFRE, with the Barcelona duo Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella quicker over the final period of Tuesday and on the one hour speed-gun. They have gained a further seven miles, chipping away steadily at their Basque rivals Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez. Estrella Damm have been the fastest over the last 24 hours, making 464 miles.

Meanwhile the GAES Girls, between the Crozet and Amsterdam gates, are doing some nice work holding off the Hugo Boss duo Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak this evening, Hugo Boss gained only five miles this afternoon to 1900hrs UTC.

And here is the latest from Pachi Rivero on Renault Z.E Sailing Team. The duo have gained around 10 miles on Groupe Bel this afternoon, 141 miles behind Kito de Pavant and Seb Audigane

Hi From Renault Z.E:
First of all I would like to say thank you for all the incredible support we are receivingon board Renault Z.E things goes good; we are a Little bit isolated here but we had been taking care of our lady, Renault Z.E.. and here you never know….
Yesterday we left Amsterdam gate; another gate, another step forward.
Step by step, but without a switch off, we know in this Race all the sailors are great sailors and all of us want to get the situation difficult to the others. We had been heading South to look for other low, to look for faster downwind conditions

Now life on board had changed a lot since the last 2 or 3 days now it´s really good as soon as we stopped reaching. The boat was all time in 'submarine' mode with winds of 27-30 knots. It was like the boat was under the water half the time, it was pouring everywhere and it seems we got a huge river down the deck with waterfalls over the cockpit, dropping over Toño and me. Now we got have great days with sun, downwind (18-20 kts and gusts of 23-25) and with several squalls that shift the direction and the speed of the wind.We don´t seem to evenr stop trimming and the watches are quite intense. Now, that we are downwind we are helming all time. The automatic pilot works great but we think the Renault Z.E performance is best when we helm.

Toño has told me he thinks yesterday he had seen a seal. I hope to see more animals around but I don´t want to sea whales. I prefer to see these great animals when I am on holidays or on TV but not here!.

I love to see the Albatross; amazing birds.
You can see their eyes really clear and it´s amazing how they hold you in their gaze.. I can spend hours watching them it´s amazing their aerofoils and how they soar endlessly.

A big hug from the South Indian ocean (not so South) on board Renault Z.

Extreme 40: Full Team Line-Ups Unveiled

February 08th 2011
Full Team Line-Ups Unveiled


World Champions and ocean racing record holders, will be squaring up against Olympians and America’s Cup hotshots, in the impressive roll call for the Extreme Sailing Series™ this year. The full crew line-ups are unveiled today ahead of the first Extreme Sailing Series™ Act to be hosted in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman in February (20th-24th, stadium days 22nd-24th).

With a wealth of new teams and crew representing 15 nationalities, the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series season promises to be the most competitive yet with 11 boats manned with talent from every corner of competitive yacht racing – and the stats are impressive:

29 Olympians
12 Records set/broken
97 World Championships contended
11 Round the World navigations
69 America’s Cup sailed
4 Olympic Gold Medals
2 Olympic Silver Medals
2 Olympic Bronze Medals

You can find the full crew line-ups in the TEAM section of the website and the 2011 EXTREME magazine is now available to browse online.

Olympic and America’s Cup sailors dominate the teams this year - Terry Hutchinson (USA) Artemis Racing, Dean Barker (NZL) Team New Zealand, Roland Gaebler (GER) Team Extreme, Roman Hagara (AUT) Red Bull Extreme Sailing and Sidney Gavignet (FRA) Oman Air, are just some of the superstars for 2011 who will be raising the bar ever higher.

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) The Wave, Muscat will inherit the ‘young-gun’ title from the skipper he is replacing, Paul Campbell-James. Campbell-James’ unabashed and aggressive style saw him grab the 2010 title from the more seasoned skippers and, no doubt, his new Luna Rossa team will be hoping for a repeat performance. At the other end of the age spectrum the experience is mind-blowing - Olympian Roman Hagara has attended the Olympic Games six times, winning two gold medals and Team Extreme skipper Roland Gaebler won bronze. 2008 Yachtsman of the Year Terry Hutchinson and his Artemis Racing team have between them competed in the America’s Cup an impressive 15 times.

Terry Hutchinson onboard Extreme 40 Artemis Racing

Groupe Edmond de Rothschild will return for their third Extreme 40 season having finished second overall for the past two years, but this time the all-French team will be headed up by Pierre Pennec replacing Yann Guichard who is now driving for Alinghi. Pennec, who represented his country at the Sydney Olympics in the Tornado Class, has been instrumental in the team’s success to date and is relishing the chance of leading the team. Guichard, having made the switch to Alinghi, is in good company under the leadership of Tanguy Cariou (previously with Franck Cammas’ Groupama 40) and seasoned mulithull sailors Nils Frei and Yves Detrey. On team Niceforyou an all-Italian line-up, skippered by Alberto Barovier, will use their combined America’s Cup experience to the max. Team GAC Pindar will return for a full season in 2011, at the helm match racing supremo Ian Williams who is stepping from one hull to two in his first Extreme 40 venture. This diverse range of competitive skills and experience is going to turn up the heat on the 2011 circuit making the outcome almost impossible to predict.

Going into this season probably at least two thirds of the teams have the experience, talent and sheer nerve to win, and they could all climb on to the podium. Paul Campbell James, helmsman of the 2010 winning team, now signed with Luna Rossa gives his assessment: “Artemis Racing and The Wave, Muscat again will be strong. They [The Wave, Muscat] have Torvar, who has done a bit of 49ering and a lot of match racing and they have Nick [Hutton] and Khamis [Al Anbouri] back with them. You can’t rule out Alinghi and Team New Zealand. It is going to be wicked season!”

Torvar Mirsky and his 2011 team onboard The Wave, Muscat

Read the full Form Guide by DailySail editor James Boyd.

Join us on Facebook and Twitter for the 2011 season. Find out the news first on Twitter.

THE 2011 EXTREME MAGAZINE IS NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE... Find out more about the skippers and crews, read entertaining and insightful features by BBC Sport’s Rob Hodgetts, DailySail editor, James Boyd and YachtSponsorship.com guru, David Fuller. Packed with stunning photography and vital stats for the season ahead. To request a copy, please email media@extremesailingseries.com.

OMEGA Onboard as Official Timekeeper for a Fifth Season

OMEGA’s role as Official Timekeeper to the Extreme Sailing Series™ is confirmed for another season, making the Swiss watchmaker the longest-running official series partner since they came onboard at the inception of the circuit in 2007. OMEGA is proud of its nautical history and has an undeniable connection to the sea, being the only company ever to have produced a wristwatch that received marine chronometer certification. Its timepieces have long been the preferred choice of some of sailing’s greatest names. Last year, 2010 champion, Paul Campbell-James won the UK round at Cowes Week and was presented with an OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean watch. Find out more about Omega here.

Paul Cambell-James wearing his OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean watch

Monday, February 7, 2011

SLAM Shops and Point Loma Outfitting Announces US Super Yacht Collection from SLAM

SLAM Shops and Point Loma Outfitting offers the latest in sailing and foul weather gear from the SLAM. The New 2011 US Super Yacht collection from SLAM is Italian designed and inspired by Yachtsmen from around the world.

The US Super Yacht Collection for 2011 is a complete Re-Invention of the SLAM Clothing line from skin to shell. Fresh Italian designs for the 2011 SLAM line begins with new and updated technical fabrics offering better protection from the elements and body temperature control. SLAM's Italian designers utilize these fabrics to create comfortable, functional everyday fitting clothes for men and women that feel good and look great. Highlights of the 2011 SLAM US Super Yacht Collection are as follows:

New in the SLAM Foul Weather Line is the addition of the BOR Spray Top. This spray top was tested and worn by top sailing competitors and major competition winners. It is flexible, comfortable and best of all protects you from the environments.

SLAM Force 2 Inshore / Coastal Foul Weather Gear: The Force 2 Series offers Jacket and Pants combinations in Red, Steel and Grey. The SLAM Force 2 series coastal weight foul weather gear is very affordable for sailing crews. The Force 2 complements the current Women's New Racing Foul Weather Gear. Read more

Celebrating the AC45 in New Zealand

Auckland, New Zealand:, Monday, February 07, 2011
Boat One Officially Commissioned Upon Its Hand-Over to America’s Cup Race Management

With its technical shakedown now complete, it is handover day for the new AC45 wing-sailed catamaran, marking the beginning of the next era of the America’s Cup. America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) will now manage the logistics, care and maintenance of the prototype as competitors test the boat over the coming weeks. The AC45 is the forerunner to the larger AC72, which will be used in the 34thAmerica’s Cup.

A traditional Maori blessing will start the day as competitors, prospective competitors and New Zealand dignitaries converge to see the latest in America’s Cup technology and celebrate the tireless effort of the New Zealand marine industry to make this occasion possible.

“To see the AC45 come together from just a concept in September to a full-fledged racing machine by January is a true testament to the skill of the New Zealand marine industry,” said Iain Murray, America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) CEO and Regatta Director. “In particular we would like to thank the team at Core Builders Composites who have produced an incredible boat that is fast yet robust. They remain hard at work on the balance of the AC45 fleet, which will be delivered to the teams for testing through April, before we leave Auckland to compete in the 2011 America’s Cup World Series.”

Dignitaries in attendance include:

Len Brown, Mayor of Auckland
Jonathan Coleman, Associate Minister of Tourism
Ngati Whatua Orakei, an Auckland iwi (tribe)
Iain Murray, ACRM CEO and Regatta Director
Team members from Artemis Racing and ORACLE Racing
Jo Aleh, Olivia Powrie, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, top New Zealand youth sailors


February 8, 2011


America’s Cup Race Management Boat Shed, 101 Halsey Street, in the Viaduct, Auckland

Hard graft and total dedication for GOR Team Mabire-Merron

Global Ocean Race:
Of the 19 teams so far entered in the double-handed, Class40, Global Ocean Race 2011-12 (GOR), the campaign of the Franco-British duo, Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, is one of the most ambitious. In late September last year, the Finot-Conq Design Pogo 40S² hull #101 – the fifth, new generation Pogo - left Christian Bouroullec’s Structures Chantier Naval yard in Brittany and was transported 330 miles on a low-loader to Mabire and Merron’s boatyard-base in Barneville, Normandy. Since the yacht’s arrival, work has rarely ceased in the duo’s immaculate boatshed.

One of the first, major tasks, undertaken in mid-November, was installing the Lombardini engine: although slightly heavier and more compact than a French, back-row, international rugby player, Mabire compared this complex operation with manoeuvring the inert form of Sébastien Chabal through the companionway hatch and into the bilge. Once the L’homme des Cavernes (Caveman) was bolted in place, the duo focused on the ballast system: “The ballast tanks were built and fitted at Structures,” explains Mabire. “But we had to design and fit the plumbing, scoops and pump.” Recently, the duo has been concentrating on the deck layout: “It’s complicated to design a really efficient deck plan that suits us both,” he continues.

While Mabire’s professional background has been divided between racing and boatbuilding, the shed-environment is relatively new territory for Miranda Merron. “Halvard’s the expert here and I’m the apprentice,” she admits. “But I am learning many of the essential skills and can complete a number of the jobs myself,” Merron continues. “Right now we’re building the mainsheet track support.” However, Mabire is fully involved with the design process and this vital element eats into each day: “There really aren’t enough hours in a day to complete manual work on the boat and spend time developing the drawings for the mast, keel and so on,” says Mabire. The boat’s mast is currently under construction at Eric Duchemin and Philippe Boclet’s Axxon Composites facility in Romania, but this has barely reduced the workload: “It’s seven, long days a week, pretty much every week, just working on the boat and the project,” adds Merron.

While the duo was concentrating on their boat and campaign, four Pogo 40S²’s raced in the 44-strong, Class40 Route du Rhum fleet and Merron was following the competition. “I did manage to follow the race as I had a number of friends competing,” she says. Three of the latest Pogo’s were in the top ten finishers - Nicolas Troussel in 2nd with Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne; Damien Grimont in 5th on Monbana and GOR entry Jean-Edouard Criquioche in 7th with Groupe Picoty – and while this result is impressive, Mabire is pragmatic: “It is good, but they certainly had the right people driving those boats!”

read more

Thursday, February 3, 2011

AC45 - From the driver's seat

ORACLE Racing shows us what's like on board the AC45...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Entries Surge for 31st Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

Fleet Numbers Surpass “Century Mark” as Entries Surge for 31st Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

St. Maarten, N.A. (February 2, 2011) – With less than a month to go before the kick-off of the 31st St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, which this year runs from March 3-6, the entry list continues to grow at a rapid pace, and now surpasses over a hundred yachts (the “century mark”) competing in a half-dozen different classes. The numbers are also growing for the Gill Commodore’s Cup, the separate one-day event for hard-core racers that precedes the three-day St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. At the latest count, the Gill fleet rounded out at an even twenty boats.

As always, the more laid-back bareboat class is historically one of the largest divisions at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, and it appears that trend will continue for 2011. With nearly four-dozen entries thus far, the “bareboaters” will once again be in the thick of the action.

With over fifty entries to date, however, the lion’s share of entries will be racing in the CSA Monohull classes, and it’s a truly international field, with competitors flying home flags from France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Italy, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Turkey, the United States, and a host of Caribbean nations.

While the sailors themselves represent a wide and varied background, the respective yachts also form a diverse and eclectic fleet. At the smaller end of the spectrum are the Melges 24, Budget Marine/Gill, as well as a host of boats in the 30- to 35-foot range, including Tanner Jones’s J/30, Blue Peter; the Beneteau First 310, Americano Café; a pair of swift Melges 32s, David West’s Jurakan and Mark Plaxton’s Team INTAC; Todd Mahoney’s Sigma 33, Overtime; Schrijverke, a Victoire 34; No Face to Face, a J/105; and the radical Kiwi 35, Wild Devil.

On the other end of the scale, Sir Peter Harrison’s sensational Farr 115, Sojana, a perennial favorite at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, will once again be soaring around the racecourse. But Sir Peter will have plenty of company in the big-boat divisions in a fleet that includes another big Farr design, Peter Buckley’s 98-foot I-Sea; a Swan 100, Varsovie; a Swan 82 and 80, Nikata and Team Selene, respectively; a Carbon 82, Aegir II; and Bella PITA, a custom 75-footer designed by Bill Tripp.

In the middle ranges of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta field, Bill Alcott’s Swan 601, Aquarius, is always a dangerous presence. Puerto Rican Sergio Sagramoso, who was often a dominant competitor in his old Beneteau First 40.7, Lazy Dog, will be no less of a threat in the Grand Soleil 54 of the same name that he now campaigns. The popular 40.7 is still a favorite Caribbean racer/cruiser, and four have entered thus far: Coyote 2, Mystery, Smile and Wave, and Spirit of Venus.

In fact, some of the hottest action on the racecourse will take place among the 40-footers, which also include Rich Wesslund’s well-sailed J/120, El Ocaso; Wild T’ing, Lawrence Aqui’s Dufour 40; Lenjohn Van der Wel’s Class 40 flyer, Van Der Wel Racing; and Otra Vez, a J/122 skippered by William Coates. The “sleeper” in this competitive group, however, may well be Bob Read’s J/40, Nepenthe. The veteran New England sailor knows a thing or two about yacht racing, and is also the father of a couple of pretty good racers: sons Brad and Ken, both multiple World Champions in the J/24 class, and the latter a former America’s Cup skipper who now heads up the Puma Volvo Ocean Race campaign.

All in all, it’s shaping up to be another stellar year for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. And there’s still plenty of time to make sure you’re part of it.

For full information on the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup, Gill Commodore’s Cup and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, as well as entry lists, past results, photos, videos, party and band information, the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and much, much more, visit www.heinekenregatta.com.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

AC45 : testing the limits

Photos: Gilles Martin-Raget
30/01/2011 - Auckland (NZL) - 34th America's Cup - AC45 sea trial n ° 8 - Anniversary day - Round Rangitoto Island.
31.01.11 After participating in the Auckland Anniversary Day regatta, a race that took competitors around Rangitoto Island in the Hauraki Gulf, ORACLE Racing skipper Jimmy Spithill was confident he’d shattered the speed record for the prototype AC45.

Overnight analysis of the GPS logbook shows that confidence was justified. Spithill and crew topped out at 29.9 knots (approximately 34 MPH/55 km/h) in the race with winds blowing between 25 and 30 knots.

Although one-tenth of a knot shy of the 30-knot barrier, the new speed record surpasses the 28-knot mark set by Murray “The Captain” Jones last week.

When they got shoreside, some crewmembers thought that Jones had fiddled with the speedo, hindering its readings particularly off the wind. But there’s no denying the AC45 has speed to burn.

The AC45 surpassed 20 knots during its maiden voyage on Jan. 17. Two days later the crew was sailing comfortably at 25 knots. Then Jones set the 28-knot mark on Jan. 21.

Today’s outing proved that the AC45 is capable of handling extreme conditions.

“We put the bow in a couple of times at 30 knots and loaded everything up,” said Matt Mason. “We were on our toes the whole time and it was great for the boat and the crew to come out of it relatively unscathed.”

View the gallery, ‘Testing the Limits’.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Silver At US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR

Miami, FL - We finished the US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR regatta with a silver medal. We lost the women's match racing finals 3-1 to France's Claire Leroy and team, who sailed a very good series. The bronze went to our USSTAG teammates, Sally Barkow and team. We are happy with our overall performance this event. However, we do wish we could have back some moments in the finals.

Intense Concentration Photo: (c) John Payne 2011

The first two races of the series, Claire and team hit the shifts correctly up the first beat and launched into the lead and took the two races handidly. The next two races, however, were a different story; much more intense.

The third race, we were behind off the line and around the first lap but up the second beat, we sailed smart and took the lead and the race.

The fourth race was the most intense race of our whole regatta. There were four or five lead changes throughout the whole race.

Off the line, we were to the right and were ahead, but shortly thereafter, a big left shift came in and put Leroy into the lead by one length. Coming into and at the top mark, Leroy held the advantage, as well on the downwind leg. Up the next leg, Molly and Debbie found all of the correct shifts which then put us one length ahead at the top mark. By now the wind had died to about 6kts so we knew going downwind to the finish was going to be very tough. We took it in turns to roll over the top of each other and each of us took the lead several times. In the end, it came down to who could roll the other team last before the finish. Unfortunately for us, she rolled us just before the finish and we couldn't get it back in time. This gave her the third win of the series and the gold medal for the event.

Like I said, we were disappointed after the racing because we feel as though we gave away a couple of races, but after a debrief and evaluation of the whole regatta, now we are excited to have sailed well all week long and to come away with a silver medal.

Next up for us, we have two weeks off as a team. We are looking forward to our break before we start training again on February 14th.

We would like to thank Carmeuse and Trinity Yachts for their continued support of our women's match racing campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their support. Also, thank you to our private donors. Please remember that any and all donations/contributions to our campaign should be made payable directly to The Sailing Foundation of New York (tax deductible) memo'd Anna Tunnicliffe, or to Anna Tunnicliffe.

Sail Hard

Team Tunnicliffe

Friday, January 28, 2011

Getting to the South

It was 5.56 am (Paris time) this morning when the Maxi Trimiran Banque Populaire V crossed the Equator, just 5 days 17 hours 44 minutes and 15 seconds since leaving Ushant. The maxi trimaran skippered by Pascal Bidegorry recorded the second fastest time in history on this section of the record attempt (Ushant to Equator). In doing so they have covered 3575 miles, at an average of 25.9 knots, keeping a slight advantage on the reference time of the Jules Verne. The crew is now recovering after a difficult crossing of the Doldrums and before the next challenging obstacle: The Saint Helena High.

Crossing the Equator
Crossing the equator is a not just a geographic area of note, but it also remains a true religion for sailors and the passage of this imaginary line has been celebrated as it should be on board the Maxi Banque Populaire V. The fourteen men have were glad to ease off the pressure they were under through the Doldrums and enjoy the mixture of superstition and tradition.

Three crewmen (Ronan Lucas, Xavier Revil and Pierre-Yves Moreau), who were crossing it for the first time, qualified as rookies for the traditional ‘crossing the line’ ceremony. For this impromptu party, Yvan (Ravussin) made a mixture of olive oil, tea, Tabasco, soya sauce, lemon, nuts, pepper and coffee! “I asked them to wake me up to celebrate it altogether” explained Xavier. “Yvan’s preparation was really tasty! I am sure he put everything he could find on board! But it was important to share this moment as we had been fighting hard for the past 24 hours to reach the Equator! And the sailing conditions were perfect to do so, at 28 knots under gennaker: rather exceptional apparently.”

It was then Neptune’s turn to be celebrated. For Brian Thompson, who was crossing it for the thirteenth time, this moment was particularly important : “ I made an offering to Neptune of some of France’s finest saucisson, something I would have enjoyed , but better to propitiate the god of the sea, just in case, and to keep the tradition. This is my 13 crossing now, so it has worked so far!”

The Santa Helena dilemma

Getting through the Doldrums was not an easy task for the Maxi Banque Populaire V as the skipper, Pascal Bidegorry, explained: "It's liberating to get out of there! It was pretty tense yesterday as it is not obvious how to sail in under 2 tiny knots of wind! We should gradually reach better conditions and we are now sailing at 27 knots in 15-17 knots of wind with full mainsail and solent. The wind still oscillates a little, but should stabilize in few hours with a clearer sky.” Such conditions give the crew some time to recover a little, before having to tackle another tricky system.

Indeed, the weather situation is not very clear off the Brazilian coast. With the Saint Helena High blocking the shortest route to the Cape of Good Hope, Banque Populaire V might have to get round this high pressure area spread out from East to West. “The situation is not very clear for now but we might have to go around the northern side of it, which would imply taking a big detour to reach Good Hope. We are attentively looking at the satellite images received every hour. One certain thing is that we do not have a crystal ball to look into but we definitely won’t let any opportunity go, and make everything we can to increase our lead on the reference time” concluded Pascal. -

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Preparations underway for Alinghi’s busy 2011 season

The racing season is fast approaching for Alinghi as the Swiss team carries on with its preparations for the double multihull programme planned for 2011.

First to kick off will be the Extreme Sailing Series, with a busy calendar of nine regattas in nine different countries around the world and a very competitive field. Alinghi is returning to this championship, sailing with the X40 catamarans, after their victory in 2008. The Swiss team will be facing respected international teams such as Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, Luna Rossa, Oman Air Masirah, Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team, Team Extreme, Team GAC Pindar, Team Niceforyou and The Wave.

The other important competition in Alinghi’s schedule for this year will be the D35 series, which will travel abroad for the first time since its inception in 2004. The lightweight and innovatively designed catamarans will sail two regattas in open seas off the Mediterranean coast of France. A three-time winner of the D35 championship, Alinghi will try to regain the crown in 2011 against its traditional Swiss and French rivals which include many of the best multihull specialists in the world.

In total, Alinghi’s calendar for 2011 includes 15 events in 10 countries throughout 11 months.

Boat set-up and crew preparation for Alinghi began at the start of the year and the team will be ready for their first meeting, the debut round of the Extreme Sailing Series in Oman, on February 20-24.
The Alinghi crew for the 2011 season is made of a blend of Swiss and French sailors, with many of them playing a part inthe team’s adventures since its creation more than ten years ago. This year will see the addition of French X40 expert, Yann Guichard who will be teaming up with Ernesto Bertarelli, Tanguy Cariou, Yves Detrey, Nils Frei, Coraline Jonet and Pierre-Yves Jorand.

Extreme Sailing Series

20-24 Feb Muscat, Oman
13-17 April Qingdao, China
25-29 May Istanbul, Turkey
30 June-4 Jul Boston, USA
6-12 Aug Cowes,UK
14-18 Sept Trapani, Italy
28 Sept-2 Oct Nice, France
12-16 Oct Almeria, Spain
7-11 Dec Singapor


5-8 May GP Corum
21-22 May Realstone Cup
11 June Genève-Rolle-Genève
12-13 June Pro-Am Versoix
18 June Bol d’Or
1-4 Sept Beaulieu sur mer
22-25 Sept Antibes

Alinghi crew

Ernesto Bertarelli
Tanguy Cariou
Yves Detrey
Nils Frei
Yann Guichard
Coraline Jonet
Pierre-Yves Jorand

Wing walking

AC45 action video

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Maxi Banque Populaire V update by the crew

Day 3.75 0600 1545N 2923W - Update from Brian Thompson

15 degrees and 45 minutes North….quick calculation….15 times 60miles is 900 plus 45 makes a total of 945 nautical miles to the equator. That’s the first major milestone after the Ushant start. Looks like we will get there in a similar time to Groupama. We had a great run till yesterday afternoon when the NW wind dropped, and we trickled along waiting for the wind to shift to the typical NE winds of this latitude.

We are now in light tradewinds of around 12- 15 knots, but the wind feels much less powerful in this tropical air. However we should have a good wind angle soon as the wind swings more towards the East. The seas are very flat so only a couple of knots more wind and we will be flying again. The forecasts are not for much more wind than this though, and at this point Groupama was going fast in strong tradewinds.

But we are not perturbed by them catching up as if it was a real race in the same weather conditions - in the big picture we are within our target to the equator, in fact remarkably similar to the timings of the routing simulations we had at the start.

It was a great run till the wind dropped, a point to point 2,100
miles in 3 days, all VMG running with several gybes in there as well.

Incredible going. My best run before that was 697 on Maiden 2, the ex Club Med, which for several years was the record, that was a great trip and a story in itself with a great mixed team including Adrienne Cahalan and Sam Davies, in fact there were more girls than boys on board.

Out here life is good, everyone has change into their tropical wear of shorts and longsleeve shirts, with maybe a jacket at night.

Normally at this point; the first dry day, the boat would be looking a bit like a Caribbean laundry with clothes attached everywhere to catch the sun, but I put away my perfectly dry thermals ready to put on in about a weeks time..3 days of constant spray, 2100 miles and not a drop, thanks Musto!

Incredible stars again and was steering towards one called Canopus tonight…and in case you are wondering how I know…I do have an app for that!

Ok, lets hope the wind exceeds the forecast today…

A demain
Posted by Brian Thompson Sailing

US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR - Satisfactory Day Despite Wind Shift Delays

January 26, 2011
Miami, FL

It was a long day on the water for only three gold races, but it was a successful day finishing 2-1. The wind swung around as the cold front approached and moved through the Miami area, but the race committee of US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR did a great job in getting in as many races as they did given the conditions.

Looking For .....? Layline? Competitor?
Photo: (c) Amory Ross / US SAILING 2011

The day started with a light southerly ahead of the front, and then swung to the west as it approached. Group A finished their last race before the big swing and while the race committee waited for the breeze to settle in, a protest hearing was heard to determine who in group A would advance to the repecharge, and who would be in silver. Eventually the results were resolved, the wind settled and racing started again. The repecharge group completed three races and we quickly rotated into the boats to do our three races before sunset.

By 3pm, we were finally racing. Our first race was against France's Claire Leroy. In the pre-start, Leroy got a penalty for gybing too close in front of us. We had an even start at opposite ends of the line, us at the pin and her at the boat. When we came together half way up the leg, she was slightly ahead of us, but we held close and rounded right behind her at the top mark. Downwind, we hung tight and rounded again right behind her at the bottom mark. Upwind was the same story which inevitably, would lead to an exciting downwind leg to the finish, where she would try to draw a penalty back against us. Molly and Debbie did a great job controlling the boat and we waited for the opportune moment to gybe with the spinnaker and dive down to beat her to the finish line.

The second race was against our Finnish friends, Team Lehtiman. We had a similar start with them only this time with no penalties. At the top mark, we were bow to stern. The race was close all around until the last leg where we managed to roll over the top of her with our spinnaker, but didn't have quite enough distance to get around her before reaching the port layline. It was a tough loss because we had managed to take the lead, but we learned a few things from the race.

Our last race was against Ekaterina Skudina and team. At the start she earned a penalty. We rounded the top mark ahead of her and she accidently hit the mark as she rounded earning a second penalty which meant that she had to take one of them immediately. We extended on the leg and held on to the lead to take the win.

Tomorrow, racing begins at 9:30 with the repecharge group wrapping up their two races. Then we race our last two races to finish the seeding for the quarterfinals. The quarterfinal racing starts on Friday morning.

There are live twitter feeds online with updates. You can find results at the regatta website here.
We would like to thank Carmeuse and Trinity Yachts for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their support. Also, thank you to our private donors. Please remember that any and all donations/contributions to our campaign should be made payable directly to The Sailing Foundation of New York (tax deductible) or to Anna Tunnicliffe.

Sail Hard

Team Tunnicliffe

And as usual, don't forget, email us your questions and comments. We love getting them and sharing our love of sailing.

Barcelona World Race: Jan 26 - Virbac Paprec Videoconference

Short news - Barcelona World Race

Give or take a mile:

For Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron on Virbac Paprec 3 today has provided an unwelcome breather, thanks to the retirement of close rival Foncia. And with the looming arrival of a high pressure zone the French duo look set to experience another relative pause, as their pace begins to ease this evening to around 15 knots.

No doubt the Spanish teams of MAPFRE and Estrella Damm, now in second and third respectively, feel their promotions were equally unasked-for. However, both making the most of their opportunities as Estrella Damm claims the top speed this afternoon with nearly 18 knots average VMG since 1500hrs, while MAPFRE were sailing at a similar rate at this evening's 2000hrs sched. At that pace, the Spanish contenders are clearly keeping pace with the race leaders – Estrella Damm's mileage deficit has increased by less than 0.5 mile over the course of the afternoon, likewise Renault Z.E. in fifth by just 1.5 miles.

MAPFRE's Xabi Fernandez (ESP) explained how that pace translates into life on board: “We've been sleeping with our boots on for two days now, ready to jump up onto deck at any moment should our companion need a hand, a sail change or a squall moves in and the wind picks up lots. You can't be too careful down here. You've really got to watch out, whilst thinking about the race at the same time.”

Behind the leading trio, both the rankings and relative positions are virtually unchanged: Groupe Bel remains in constant fourth, Mirabaud and Neutrogena have each shed just 10-25 miles from the leader. The only marginally more significant mileage losses are for those boats currently placed 8th to 12th, still above the critical 40th degree line of strong breeze, with 30-50 miles lost to the leader.

3-1 Today Takes Us Into The Gold Fleet - Miami OCR

Miami, FL- We wrapped up the group C round robin today and had a successful day. We finished the day 3-1 making our round robin score 6-1, tied with Lucy MacGregor from Great Britain. We both advance onto the gold fleet that will seed us for the quarterfinals of the US Sailing's Rolex Miami OCR.

Close Quarter Calls
Photo: (c) Dave Hein 2011

We woke up to windy weather this morning and headed out under partly sunny skies to watch the last two races of group B's racing. The wind was up and down, 12-18kts, puffy and shifty. We hopped into our boats around noon and racing got underway soon after that. Our first race and win was against New Zealand's Stephanie Hazard. It was a good close race and got us warmed up and ready for the rest of our races for the day. Our second and third races were against France's Anne-Claire Le Berre, and our USSTAG teammates, Sally Barkow and team, with us taking the win in both races.

The last race of the day was against MacGregor, and it was by far our most exciting race of this regatta so far. We had a very good pre-start and we led her off the line after pinning her outside of the race committee boat. Up the first leg we were ahead by about a boat length leading to the right, but misjudged the layline. This put her in a powerful position on our hip and we ended up following her into the top mark.

Downwind, we were quite fast and almost got into a position to where we could pin her out past the layline for the leeward mark, but missed a wave. She pulled ahead and soaked down into the zone. We had a better mark rounding than her which gave us more speed, and in trying to round on the outside and force her to tack, we hit her and drew a penalty.

But we sailed fast upwind and again rounded just behind her. She had a slow spinnaker set and we were able to jump her and roll over the top of her to take the lead with the chance to burn our penalty. Shortly thereafter, she soaked inside of us so we gybed at her. We luffed, she broached, we caught a puff and a wave and surged ahead by a bit more. We slowed and tried to make a move right at the finish against her, but instead ended up drawing another foul and losing the race. It was a great race and a lot of fun, although our mistakes were rather silly which rather displeased us.

Tomorrow we start racing after group A finishes their last race, and the repecharge group completes three of their races. The forecast is for big breeze and rain; we are hopeful the rain holds off for a while, and we just have the wind.

There are live twitter feeds online with updates. You can find results at the regatta website here.
We would like to thank Carmeuse and Trinity Yachts for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their support. Also, thank you to our private donors. Please remember that any and all donations/contributions to our campaign should be made payable directly to The Sailing Foundation of New York (tax deductible) or to Anna Tunnicliffe.

Sail Hard

Team Tunnicliffe

Foncia describe their mast break and retire from the Barcelona World Race. - News - Barcelona World Race

The report was sent from Foncia’s Michel Desjoyeaux and François Gabart at 0659hrs this Wedenesday morning.

“ On January 26th 2011 at 0240hrs UTC positioned at 41°12,6 S and 8°59,8 E Foncia was sailing a course of 115 degrees at an average of 18 knots under Solent and one reef with the wind at 140 degree blowing at 25-30 knots, wind swell, and had the same conditions for around eight hours.

The mast broke above the solent hound, in other words around 25 metres above the deck (27.3m long tube). The rigging is still up held in place by the lower shrouds, the runners, the staysail stay and main jib stay. The broken sectiont is hanging down at 20m up and is still held in place by the halyards. The solent, unfurled, because in use when the damage occurred was twisted around the whole mast.

The mainsail is held by its halyard at the third reef. Everything has stayed on board, nothing lost overboard. I can’t hide our disappointment, but we are healthy except I have a little pain in my right thumb which I got when I was trying to get the Solent under control.

We do not ask for any assistance. We are currently trying to head for Cape Town under sail, around 600 miles off. Our current speed is 11 knots course 76 deg. The forecasts for the next few days show no risk (today 25 to 30 knots from the S, weakening and clocking W). In two days the passage of the anticyclone (bringing light winds). If the seas are slight then maybe we will have the chance to climb the mast to recover the pieces and to be able to drop the mainsail. After that we should see 20-25 knots from the SE in to Cape Town.

Our ETA Cape Town then should be 30th or 31st January. We retire from the Barcelona World Race.” - http://www.barcelonaworldrace.org/

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Going For the America's Cup

Blast from the Past... Dennis Conner on the cover of Time Magazine in 1987.

Tom Blackaller predicting the America's Cup in SF

Tom Blackaller talks about having an America's Cup in SF on Catamarans back in the 1980's!

Big Boats, Big Names Making Plans for the 31st Edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta

St. Maarten, (January 25, 2011) – As the anticipation mounts for the 31st running of the annual festival of sailing, music and parties known as the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta—this year’s event is scheduled for March 3-6—the entry list continues to grow…in more ways than one. Not only is the fleet of big boats growing daily, so is the roster of big-name sailors who will be making their way to the Caribbean for this next edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

For sailors seeking a long-distance challenge followed by the closed-course and point-to-point day races that remain a signature of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, the 2011 Caribbean racing season is shaping up as one of the best ever, with an intriguing and diverse series of events…all of which are conveniently centered around the 2011 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

First off, beginning on February 21st, is the 600-mile Caribbean 600 starting in Antigua. And following the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta later in March is Nautor’s ClubSwan Caribbean Rendezvous in the British Virgin Islands.

The Caribbean 600 is proving to be an ideal “feeder” race for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. A half-dozen strong entries have already entered both of these stellar races, and several more yachts—with a few interesting surprises—are rumored to announce plans to compete in both regattas in the weeks ahead.

The confirmed entrants for both the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta and the earlier Caribbean 600 range are an interesting mix, including Brian Benjamin’s Carbon Ocean 82, Aegir II; Meghan Grundy’s Custom Tripp 75, Bella Pita; a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 52, Great Escape of Southampton; Allie Smith’s Beneteau First 50, Hydrocarbon Logic; the Rob Humphrey-designed 54-footer, Oystercatcher XXVII; and Lloyd Thornburg’s spanking new Gunboat 66, Phaedo.

There are some big-name sailors in that diverse fleet, including several aboard Phaedo: professional sailor and Volvo Ocean Race veteran Mikey Joubert, American multihull legend Cam Lewis, and Jan Dekker of Club Med, America’s Cup and VOR fame. Speaking of offshore sailing heroes, one of the most accomplished long-distance sailors ever, five-time round-the-world racer Bouwe Bekking, will reportedly be competing aboard the Grand Soleil 43, Antilope. And behind the wheel of Oystercatcher XXVII will be one of the most accomplished British yachtsman/boatbuilders of this era, Richard Matthews.

A closer look at some of the big boats racing in both the 2011 St. Maarten Heineken Regatta fleet and the Caribbean 600 suggests the competition in the upper echelons of the field will be tight and dramatic. The all-carbon Aegir II, designed by Simon Rogers and sporting a carbon fiber, three-spreader rig, will easily make over ten knots sailing upwind; off the breeze, powered by a massive masthead asymmetric spinnaker spreading over 650 square meters of sail, the sleek 82-footer is capable of 20-knots speeds and more. Aegir II made a stunning debut last September, winning their class at the Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup.

Though somewhat smaller, given the right conditions, Bella PITA—a 75-foot Bill Tripp-designed Maxi Dolphin, which notched a third in the 2010 BVI Spring Regatta—could give Aegir II a run for their money. With its deep, lifting keel complimented by some 1,250 liters of water ballast, Bella PITA is an extremely versatile boat for cruising, short-handed passage making, and the fully crewed racing she’ll enjoy at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

When it comes to the sheer spectacle of sailing, however, it’ll be difficult for competitors and spectators alike to keep their eyes off the 66-foot, South African-built catamaran Phaedo, one of the newest offerings in the outrageous Gunboat line…and painted in an unmistakable Metallic Lamborghini Orange. In the three previous decades of racing at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, it’s safe to say there’s never been anything on the racecourse quite like Phaedo.

Once again, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will be making history. Shouldn’t you come to the Caribbean this March and make some history of your own?

For full information on the Budget Marine Match Racing Cup, Gill Commodore’s Cup and the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, as well as entry lists, past results, photos, videos, party and band information, the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and much, much more, visit www.heinekenregatta.com


San Francisco, Calif., Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Louis Vuitton Cup Starts In July, America’s Cup Match (Finals) In September of 2013

The 2013 race dates for the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup Match (Finals) were confirmed today by Regatta Director Iain Murray.

Since 1983, the Louis Vuitton Cup – the America’s Cup Challenger Series – has been held when more than one Challenger is vying for the right to race the Defender for the America’s Cup (as is the case for the 34th America’s Cup). The role of the Louis Vuitton Cup is twofold – not only to select the best Challenger, but also to help prepare that the team to race successfully against the Defender in the America’s Cup Match (Finals).

The winner of the Louis Vuitton Cup will race the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s (GGYC) defending team in the finals, a first-to-win-five (best of nine) race series known as the America’s Cup Match (Finals).

Louis Vuitton Cup: 13 July – 1 September 2013*
America’s Cup Match (Finals): 7-22 September 2013**

Under the Protocol Governing the America’s Cup, GGYC as the Defending Club has the responsibility to select the dates.

The official notice of these dates to the currently entered six teams, and other prospective teams, from Regatta Director Iain Murray is now available at www.americascup.com under the Gallery section.

San Francisco Bay

*subject to the final number of Challengers and the precise format of the racing TBD by the Challengers and Regatta Director.
**subject to the whether the America’s Cup Match (Finals) is won in five races, or goes the full nine races.

About the America’s Cup
Nearly 160 years old, the America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport. Initially a one-on-one competition between teams representing foreign yacht clubs, the America’s Cup has evolved into one of the world's leading sporting competitions – featuring the best sailors on the world’s fastest boats – the wing-sailed AC45 and AC72 catamarans. The 34th America's Cup Finals will be held in San Francisco in the fall of 2013, with the new America's Cup World Series beginning in 2011. For more information, visit www.americascup.com

Rolex Baltic Week

Photo credit: Rolex / Nico Krauss

The Metre yachts and Flensburg Fjord have always had a very special relationship, and next year it will reach new heights at the eighth Rolex Baltic Week, when both the Robbe & Berking 12-Metre World Championship and the Eights’ world cup will be held here. The event will even see His Royal Highness Harald V of Norway take part at the helm of his 8-Metre yacht “Sira”.
In conjunction with Kieler Yacht-Club (KYC), Flensburger Segel-Club (FSC) will welcome the crème de la crème of these classic vessels – including those participating in the Robbe & Berking 6mR Sterling Cup – from 28 June to 3 July 2011. The 12-Metre owners first staged their World Championship in Gluecksburg in 2008 after the 8-Metres held their Euro Cup there in 2005.

The first official entry for a sailing regatta is always very special, but when that entry is filed by a member of a European royal family, it instantly brings a little extra gloss to even a top class event. King Harald V of Norway, who has been known and loved for decades as an excellent offshore sailor and passionate competitor, will come to Flensburg Fjord from his Oslo Fjord home waters. Besides being the owner and helmsman of a number of top notch regatta boats named “Fram”, the Norwegian monarch will pay tribute to his love of classic boats by taking “Sira” (launched in 1938) with sail number NOR 33 to the starting line. Boat captain Kjell A. Myrann was responsible for dispatching the entry form for the seven-man crew skippered by the King, and he also announced a support boat. Whether it will be the Royal Yacht “Norge” who will come to the Rolex Baltic Week, remains as yet open.

Norwegian insiders have let on that as many as three 12-Metre yachts might accompany their royal team to Flensburg. The competition for the Twelves – an America’s Cup class from 1958 to 1987 – will take place on familiar waters for Gluecksburg’s two gems. Both “Sphinx”, built 1939 and relaunched in 2008 following extensive restoration, and “Anitra” (1928), which has been returned to its former glory after an equally lengthy makeover, have chosen Flensburg Fjord as their home ground. This means that in the midst of this top-notch fleet, we will see an exciting intra-club duel in this majestic class.

However, the number one favourite is “Nyala” (1938), with the American sail number US-12, which took the prize back in 2008. Owned by the Italian Prada boss Patrizio Bertelli, the Twelve is usually crewed by a professional team with America’s Cup experience. At the event two years ago, the fashion tsar beat “Trivia” (1937), belonging to Hamburg-based internet pioneer Wilfried Beeck. In 2010, “Trivia” won the Robbe & Berking 12mR Sterling Cup ahead of both “Sphinx” and Patrick Howaldt’s “Vanity V” (1936) from the Royal Danish Yacht Club Copenhagen (RDYC) in a thrilling conclusion to the Rolex Baltic Week.

Also expected to go head to head are Hamburg’s “Heti” and “Erna Signe” from Sandefjord in Norway. Both ships belong to the “Antique” division, meaning they date back to the early days of the Metre classes. The grand old lady from Norway will be celebrating her 100th birthday next year. What could be better than taking part in the World Championship to mark the occasion? Not to be outdone by “Heti”, “Erna Signe” is a mere 99 years old. “Heti’s” design and gaff rig sail plan alone give away her age, however, as the vessel has undergone years of restoration by the Hamburg Maritime Association as part of its youth training project “Jugend in Arbeit”. She has been back on the water with her historic rigging for several years.

Flensburg won over the race organisers from the International Eight Metre Association (IEMA) to be selected as their World Championship hosts, ahead of bids from France and Italy. “The 8-Metre class association was delighted to accept the FSC’s offer to host the World Cup. We were very impressed by our positive experiences both back in 2005 and at the Euro Cup during the Rolex Baltic Week 2010,” said Andreas Lochbrunner from Lindauer Segler-Club, who welcomed the fleet of Eights in 2006 for the World Championship on Lake Constance. He also praised the smooth collaboration between the two host clubs, FSC and KYC.

Lochbrunner, who is the owner of the 8-Metre “Elfe”, expects a large fleet of at least 15 boats to enter the Flensburg Fjord event. “With the Twelves holding their World Championship at the same time, the only problem is that it is more difficult for some owners to take part as they are active in both classes. We will do our best to organise charters to help out,” Lochbrunner promises. He certainly plans to enter with his unusual boat – the smart Abeking & Rasmussen design is the only double-masted Eight. The ketch also features a rare wishbone rig.

Once again, “Elfe” will face Richard Gervé’s “Sposa” in a Lindauer SC intra-club contest. Like “Elfe”, the gaff-rigged yacht was constructed in 1912 and is therefore classed in the First Rule division (vessels built between 1907 and 1919). Following the Rolex Baltic Week 2010, “Sposa” stayed up north, meaning she will be ready to race in 2011 without the need for land transport. Andreas Lochbrunner hopes that other First Rule division yachts will enter the competition. They could include “Lucky Girl”, built by William Fife III, which was completed in 1910 and is now shipshape again following refurbishment. Owned by Siegfried Buss, she sails under the British flag but is berthed on Lake Constance. Another candidate, “Edit” belonging to Wilhelm Wagner from Bodman, will turn 100 next year. She was also built in Finland in 1911 based on a design by Alfred Mylne for the Olympic Games, which were held in the Swedish capital Stockholm in the following year.

“Classic” Eights (vessels built between 1920 and 1966) will make up the largest division. “We fully expect to see a number of ships from Scandinavia. There are lots of classic Eights in Finland alone,” explains Lochbrunner. It goes without saying that the “Modern” 8-Metre yachts (built between 1967 and the present day) are expected to be the fastest on the regatta course. The organisers expect a field of three or four modern vessels in this attractive, classic design to pit themselves against their historic predecessors. Favourites include the Swiss “YQuem II” owned by Jean Fabre, which triumphed at the 8-Metre Euro Cup in summer 2010 during the Rolex Baltic Week in Kiel. Her greatest competitor is expected to be Iris Metten’s “Aluette” (constructed in 1995 and also from Switzerland), which bagged a third World Championship title in Toronto, Canada in 2010 – assuming the yacht is transported back to Europe from North America.

Approximately 20 Eights could line up under starter’s orders in Gluecksburg. They will sail windward-leeward courses within sight of the shore. The ORC World Championship races in September 2010 showed that the idyllic inner fjord between Germany and Denmark is an ideal venue. Both the Robbe & Berking 12-Metre and 8-Metre World Championships are due to consist of nine races, which will commence on 29 June. The FSC’s Principal Race Officer Claus-Otto Hansen is already looking forward to the competition: “The Rolex Baltic Week 2011 will be an outstanding event which will further establish Flensburg Fjord’s good reputation as a championship venue.”


America’s Cup-winning trimaran USA 17 bound for San Francisco

USA 17 has only ever competed twice, but she sailed the races of her life to dominate the Swiss defender, Alinghi, off Valencia, Spain, last year and win the 33rd America’s Cup.

The extraordinary carbon-fiber machine is being loaded onto the freighter M.V. Star Isfjord this week for the long delivery trip to San Francisco via the Panama Canal. The freighter carrying both USA 17 and her extraordinary 223ft wingsail is scheduled to leave Valencia on January 29 or 30 for the 7,900-nautical-mile passage to the Bay Area.

The estimated arrival in San Francisco, dependent upon on-time loading, sea conditions en-route and transit time in the Panama Canal, is March 1.

The trimaran’s arrival will mark the first time that USA 17 visits the city that ORACLE Racing calls home. She was launched in Anacortes, WA, in August 2008, and after initial testing there moved to San Diego, CA, for a further period of training before being moved to Valencia for the 33rd Cup Match last February.

Measuring more than 100 feet long and 90 feet wide and powered by a 20-storey tall wingsail, USA 17 is the fastest yacht to ever win the America’s Cup. It has been in storage in Valencia since winning the Cup on Feb. 14, 2010.

With the ORACLE Racing team fully focused on laying the groundwork for its 34th America’s Cup campaign in 2013, the provisional plan is to continue to keep USA 17 in storage after unloading. An announcement about the vessel’s sailing plans will be made later this year.

“The handful of us privileged to sail on USA 17 would love to sail her again in an instant. I dare say all those who never had this chance would like to as well,” said ORACLE Racing skipper James Spithill.

“But the stark reality is that every aspect of the boat, every component, was built right to the limit so that for every hour’s sailing USA 17 required 20 hours of painstaking and rigorous maintenance. For the time being the team’s focus will be on the America’s Cup ahead.”

Monday, January 24, 2011

Atlantic crossing - Day 7 and 8 - 2130 nm to go - The World Tour

Rain is gone. Although it took around 15 hours to get rid of. Fantastic how different the world can appear in different lights. We are now definitely in the tropics, with a position of N 19.20° W 24.55°, and finally have those warm nights arrived, making the watches much easier to go through. I'm thinking by the way of having a swim in the deep blue sea very soon as the heat is quite unbearable at times. Alex tells me there might be sharks and tries to scare me but I don't intend letting either him or the movie "The Reef" stand in between me and my mid Atlantic dive, for there can't be sharks in the middle of the deep Atlantic ocean, can there? And if there is, how great would the risk be to have a hungry one just around our boat when I dive in? The Reef was by the way a good movie, thanks for the tips whoever that was of our dear readers suggesting us to see it. A bit frustrating though to watch people taking such stupid decisions like the ones taken in the movie.

No flying fishes here yet as far as I am concerned, only a very strange fish swimming along with us next to the hull of our boat, just like a dog or some other type of pet following it's owner. Please let me know if anyone can identify this weird animal. Is it eatable?

We have now been out here for seven days and only two ships have we met. Definitely thought there would be a bit more traffic around here, although we do not mind the loneliness at all. Feels good to have the ocean all to ourselves. Definitely better for the tan as well, as we're able to be naked as much as we want to without curious eyes watching. Speaking of tan, the tone of my skin is slowly turning into something reminiscent of raisins, I might look like an old, dry grapefruit when we're done with this passage although everything is better than the pale white winter look I was sporting earlier.

Although we were earlier convinced that we had found those tradewinds, they quickly died out on us after a few days. It's been some slow and frustrating last 24 hours here with ultra light winds and terribly uncomfortable rolling seas. I can't believe I once was dreaming of dead calm mid Atlantic days, they are the worst to ever have to encounter. Especially when we've decided to not make a stop in Cape Verde to refuel. Will the fuel last all the way to the West Indies is the question of the day. Or no, that is actually not a question any longer, it just has to last as we do not have other options any longer. We're now heading further down SW to catch up with the established trades which we've found on the grib-files and we're having some 300 nm to go before we can turn completely to the West.

I can by the way see that we have +200 new friend requests on Facebook, unfortunately we can't accept them from here so bare with us for two more weeks, will you. Also we're sorry that we can't answer much emails and comments from the sea, will take care of it all when we're back on normal Wifi connection again.

/Taru -

New America's Cup AC45 wing-sailed catamaran : first sailing session in ...

Trophee Jules Verne of Banque Populaire : start on heaver weather

ALL4ONE announce three year sponsorship deal and new boat build to compete on the 2011 Audi MedCup

The Franco-German team, managed by Jochen Schümann, becomes “Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE”, following a new three-year agreement reached with title partner Audi. The team have confirmed the build of a new TP52 in Sydney, with which they aim to finish among the podium positions on both the Audi MedCup Circuit and at TP52 World Championship.
ALL4ONE introduce both a new name and a new boat in 2011 as a result of reaching a sponsorship agreement with main sponsor, Audi. The campaign, led by France’s Stephane Kandler, will be known as “Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE”. The team have confirmed they are building a new TP52 designed by Judel/Vrolijk at McConaghy in Sydney, Australia. Their objective is to finish the 2011 season on the Audi MedCup Circuit in a top three overall position, and then will compete on the TP52 World Championship in October.

The new boat launch is expected to take place in Valencia in May in time for the boat to be ready for training prior to the first Audi MedCup Circuit competition event.

Expectations for Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE crew and skipper, Jochen Schüman, triple Olympic gold medalist and two-time winner of the America’s Cup, are high:

"First, we are pleased that the new Audi contract allows us to take part next season in the Audi MedCup Circuit. With the new TP52 our goal is to finish among the top three in the overall standings and win one of the season’s five events," said the German skipper.

There will be no major crew changes from 2010 line up:

"Jochen Schumann (GER) will be our skipper and Sebastien Col (FRA) will continue as tactician. There is no reason to make big changes. The three-year collaboration with Audi and their confidence in our capabilities is great news for "ALL4ONE" and all this allows us to work in ideal conditions: continuity, a permanent base in Valencia, a media agreement and a competitive boat. This is the recognition of a great new team in 2010," said Kandler, whose team will continue to enjoy the support of the French television group, Canal +, partners since 2004, by following of Kiel Woche, the 2011 Audi MedCup Circuit and TP52 World Championships.

The Franco-German campaign will particularly encourage the integration of young talent to the team, which, in the words of Jochen Schumann “it allows for German sailors in the Audi Sailing Team Germany, the German national sailing team, to train with us and participate in the boat deliveries. This is a great scouting opportunity which could see between 25 and 30 young sailors sailing in TPs over the next years and maybe even a skipper to replace me.”

"ALL4ONE" is a pan-European team founded and directed by Stephan Kandler, ex-crew member of the French America's Cup syndicate K-Challenge, and Jochen Schumann, triple Olympic gold medalist and double America’s Cup winner, with crews members from France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Holland and Italy.

Day 1, Late Finish, 3-0, Good Day - US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR

Miami, FL - We have just gotten home from a late day of sailing, finishing up day 1 of US SAILING’s Rolex Miami OCR. Group C completed three races this afternoon hitting the dock at 6pm. We had a good day finishing with three wins in our three races. It was a beautiful day, cloudy, but the wind was up around 12-15kts and mostly flat water. The temperature was in the high 60's/low 70's which made it very pleasant.

Team Tunnicliffe Leading Dellenbaugh M3F15
Photo: (c) @RMOCR_CourseF
The day had a very relaxed start for us. We were not scheduled to race until the other two groups had completed three races each, which meant that we didn't have to leave the house until 12:30pm. We left and got to the club in time, changed and headed out to watch two of group B's races. We wanted to head out so we could see what the wind was doing on the race course to help get us clued in for when it was our turn.

We finally got into our boats, and after a bit of time to get ready we started racing. Our closest match was the last race against Sweden's Anna Kjelberg. In the prestart, we gave her a penalty, we maintained control and led her off the line. Up the first beat we were within half a boat length for a while and then we correctly hit a couple of shifts at the top to extend to a two length lead. Downwind, we sailed the shifts but coming into the leeward mark, Kjelberg rode a puff into us and rounded half a length behind us. Upwind again, we extended on the shifts and continued to increase our lead downwind to cross the line to take the win. At this point the sun was about 30 minutes from setting so the race committee sent us in for the day.

Tomorrow's racing starts at 9:30 for the match racers. Group B will start the day, and we will race second. The plan is for the RC to wrap up the round robins which means four flights for each group. Luckily the forecast is for 10-20kts tomorrow so there should be no problem in getting the races in.

There will be live twitter feeds online with updates. You can find results at the regatta website here.

We would like to thank Carmeuse and Trinity Yachts for their continued support of our campaign for the 2012 Olympics in London. We would also like to thank US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) and its sponsors for their support. Also, thank you to our private donors. Please remember that any and all donations/contributions to our campaign should be made payable directly to The Sailing Foundation of New York (tax deductible) or to Anna Tunnicliffe.

Sail Hard

Team Tunnicliffe

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wanna lose a little weight this year?

Foilfeed® has worked on a development project based on the Foilfeed® M1 for mainsails. Basically, the M1 can replace the traditional headboards and rivets, saving weight and time, still saving the mast and luff tapes from the tear and wear.

The focus of this development was aimed at small keelboats and dinghies, that - by tradition - sail around with traditional heavy headboard solutions in their mainsails, adding excess weight and material.

This is not to say, that headboards are redundant from now on, but merely that there is a useful and better alternative for the majority of one design classes around now, substantiated by the Foilfeed® M1. Especially if you're looking for margins like saving weight aloft, saving your spar and avoiding luff tape problems... lose weight at www.foilfeed.com

Saturday, January 22, 2011

SDYC Hoist Area Time Lapse Etchells Worlds Qualifier 1.8.2011

Jules Verne Trophy record attempt

The Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V left this morning on her first attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy record

The boat and the crew have been set for weeks. They set off this morning from the Port du Chateau in Brest and crossed the start line off Ushant at 11h11m45sec (UTC) for the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire’s first attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy. Pascal Bidegorry and his 13 crew have to be back in less than 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds in order to beat the record time established by Groupama 3 in March 2010.
A tricky window

It was just before 9 am this morning when the Maxi Trimaran left the dock, in the Port du Chateau in Brest. Between the excitement of leaving and the emotion of leaving families, the moment was really intense for the 14 crew.

Extremely focused on attacking this first attempt, the skipper Pascal Bidegorry is happy about leaving today, even though the weather conditions are not that clear: «we will be leaving downwind and sailing around a depression. Below this depression, we cannot hide from the fact that the forecast is not straight forward. However, we have been waiting for this moment for a long time and we cannot let this opportunity go. I am really excited to be going to sea and I really think that we deserve it. I am looking forward to tomorrow morning, tomorrow night or in two days time and realising: “that’s it ! We’re there!”. These stand-by periods are somewhat painful and I am really looking forward to saying that we are in the Jules Verne Trophy, the objective of the past four years. This is a great moment in my life. "

The Canaries, a central concern
Indeed, the weather situation is not that clear over the Atlantic, as Brian Thompson explained just before leaving the dock: “We are confronted by two different weather models: the European and the American ones. They are showing us different things so we decided to go for the pessimistic one, the European, in order to avoid falling in light winds. In fact, there is a low pressure off the Canaries which is going to kill the trade winds a little bit and then another massive low crossing the Atlantic. As this latter comes closer, it might completely kill the trade winds. We are just trying to sneak pass a little low over the Canaries, turn round that and get down to the South before the big depression comes over.”

It will be no mean feat for the Skipper, Pascal Bidegorry and his 13 crew onboard Banque Populaire V, and for them the 10th March will be highlighted in their diaries as the date to aim for as they attempt to sail into the record books.