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)