Monday, 8 October 2007

Some 'normal' TP52s...

Take a look...

Close finish: Mean Machine Valle Romano just gets ahead of Patches, with Artemis close behind

CxG Corporacion Caixa Galicia surfing

CxG Corporacion Caixa Galicia on the wind

Mean Machine Valle Romano turns downwind

Patches follows downwind

Mean Machine Valle Romano on an offset leg at the top of the windward/leeward course

TPs head downwind

Artemis takes off

Artemis plunges into a wave upwind

Breitling MedCup 2007 TP52s

High resolution images are available from

Team New Zealand Band to go On Tour

by Anne Hinton

Team New Zealand afterguard member and bass guitar player, Ray Davies revealed recently that the Team New Zealand band wants to go and tour Northland, the region of New Zealand north of Auckland, when the sailors return home. “We want to play in a few of the pubs around Northland”, said Ray.

“We’ll play a few songs that people can sing along to; a few good old Kiwi songs, U2, and so on. I’m not very good, though”, said Ray, modestly. “Trae’s a natural [lead singer Tony Rae]. Trae’s family is quite musical. Mine aren’t at all! Trae’s a very good singer. The band’s a lot of fun.” See a profile of Ray Davies in Boating New Zealand this month for a background to his sailing and music playing.

Sailing journalist turned music critic, Tim Jeffery gave the band quite a write-up in Valencia, commenting that Trae has “a hell of a voice”. The Team New Zealand band performances should be well worth going along to.

However, the timing of the tour is still up in the air. “I’m not sure when we’re going to fit it in”, said Trae. Many of the Team New Zealand sailors are tied up with sailing and family commitments. Some have just finished sailing on the European TP52 circuit, others are on to the RC44s this week, and several will be sailing Farr 40s in Florida next month. While the sailing is in full swing, the band members practice informally, jamming on acoustic guitars.

Trae and guitar in France

Note: The band is not an official part of Team New Zealand. It is organised on an ad hoc basis by team members themselves.

What you didn't hear about the Breitling MedCup TP52s...

by SailRaceWin

Level on points going into the final event, the Hyères Trophée, Artemis, owned and driven by Torbjörn Tornqvist, with Russell Coutts as tactician, and CxG Corporación Caixa Galicia, owned by Vicente Tirado, with John Kostecki calling the shots, were keeping a close eye on each other throughout the event.

Artemis pulled the most punches, from the start of the first race onwards. In a private match race within the fleet racing proper, Artemis covered Caixa Galicia fairly closely up the beats, and extended a little downwind. Racing was over two laps of a windward/leeward course, with the exception of a double-point scoring coastal 'round the islands' race on the penultimate day.

In race two, Caixa Galicia pulled a fake gybe, sending Artemis off to the right (looking upwind). However, Artemis was still well ahead at the leeward gate. The left being favoured, both boats picked the lefthand mark to round at the leeward gate. In the interests of slowing her rival down, Artemis hung on the rounding, parallel to the wind, with her bow at the mark, for just long enough to ensure that Caixa Galicia had to make a long and ungainly rounding, sailing wide around both the full length of Artemis and the mark. One up to Coutts!

The diagram shows a very rough sketch of the leeward gate situation.

And so it went on all week. Artemis gradually extended her lead, enjoying the stronger breezes more than her rival, but also winning the light airs, double-point scoring, coastal race, to have a comfortable point margin going into the final day’s racing. Relaxing her guard somewhat on the final day, she finished 8 points clear of Caixa Galicia overall.

At the end of the regatta, the Mean Machine Valle Romano crew kept their record of winning the final race at every venue in the 2007 Breitling MedCup. Approaching the windward mark for the first time, with CxG Corporacion Caixa Galicia to weather of Mean Machine Valle Romano, Cristabella tacked and tucked in beneath Mean Machine Valle Romano to leeward.

Mean Machine Valle Romano put the squeeze on Caixa Galicia, forcing them to fall back, while, themselves, rounding the windward mark outside Cristabella.

After another lap of the windward/leeward course Mean Machine Valle Romano had established themselves in the lead, ahead of Caixa Galicia, and extended slightly downwind to cross the line first.

Coming into harbour rather later than her rivals after the final race, Artemis was greeted by applause from the whole fleet, in a gesture of good sportsmanship. The team then relaxed with beers onboard, before the official dockside handover of champagne.

The champagne was initially sprayed on owner/driver Tornqvist, who then turned on the photographers with a bottle himself!

The cameras did not record that, after a “debate” amongst the crew on the foredeck, several members of the Artemis team took (fairly elegant) dives into the briny. The basis for the decision as to who got wet and who didn’t is not known at time of writing...

Neighbours of the Kiwi/international, Swedish-registered, Artemis crew, the Dutch/Kiwi/international team on Mean Machine Valle Romano, who had won the MedCup in 2006, applauded Artemis again at the dockside ceremony.

Many members of Team New Zealand – past and present – were on both crews. However, the Dutch origins of Peter de Ridder’s Spanish-sponsored, Monacan-registered, Mean Machine Valle Romano team are clearly to be seen in the green bottles that many members of the team are holding in the team photo below.

The Mean Machine Valle Romano team was chasing boatspeed this year, as the 2007 TPs are definitely quicker. Most developments in the TP52s have been with the design and construction of the boats themselves. The December 2007 issue of Australian Sailing will carry a fuller account of this.

TP52 Mean Machine Valle Romano as you have never seen her before!

I bet you never knew that TP52s had really bendy masts and hulls – and I mean REALLY bendy – did you?!

The images show Mean Machine Valle Romano in action at the 2007 Breitling MedCup Hyères Trophée...

Peter de Ridder sails the 'bubble' that is Mean Machine Valle Romano

What happens when a big cat goes fishing…

by SailRaceWin

Mike Slade’s maxi, ICAP Leopard 3, ‘caught’ a shark on her way to the Fastnet Rock in this year’s Fastnet Race, from Cowes (England) to the Fastnet Rock (off southwest Ireland) and back to Plymouth (southwest England). Hungry for victory, and keeping her crew in good spirits with hot, fresh, food from a microwave and toasted sandwich maker (the latter described by one of the team as “one of the best features I’ve seen on an offshore boat for a long time”), Leopard clearly decided that the menu should be spiced up yet further with shark’s fin soup... or that’s one way of looking at it!

A shark got itself wrapped around the rudder. “It created a huge cavitation effect”, said Ray Davies, who was one of the helmsmen on Leopard. “We had to do a backdown and we lost a lot of time.”

The team initially tried swinging the canting keel and moving dagger boards up and down to free the beast. Moving everything at once resulted in blowing a hose in the hydraulics, which took half an hour to fix. Had it not been for this, Leopard would undoubtedly have been first at the Rock, rather than three seconds behind Rambler.

A brave Aussie, Hawk (Adam Hawkins), dove overboard to free the beast. Davies reckons that the shark was about five and a half feet long. With everyone interested in looking at the very dead shark, Leopard was beginning to get under way again before Hawk had climbed back up her high-sided hull. His bravery was nearly rewarded with a rather longer swim in the Irish Sea than he had reckoned!

In the end, despite the unscheduled stop, making a record time for the Fastnet Race of 44 hours, 18 minutes and 53 seconds, gave a well deserved line honours victory to the crew of Leopard.

Fastnet Race 2007

A proto-TP 52 excels in the Transpac

by SailRaceWin

The Transpac race in July, from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Hawaii, had several TP52 entries, two of which, Morning Light and Samba Pa Ti, spent much of their time match racing each other across the Pacific. However, the winning TP52, Samba Pa Ti, was only about 8 minutes ahead of a forerunner to the TP52 class, Pendragon IV, on corrected time.

California-based Kiwi Scott Dickson, youngest brother of Chris, and winner for the umpteenth time this year of the Ficker Cup match racing in California, helped to organise the crew and sailed on Pendragon IV for the Transpac. Pendragon IV is a Laurie Davidson design, without many of the features of modern TP52s, but was a prototype for the box rule class. Pendragon IV finished second in her class on corrected time; a very creditable performance.

Dean Barker was one of the Kiwi and international crew on Disney’s canting keel 94 footer, Pyewacket, which took overall line honours in the 2007 edition of the Transpac. What did he think of the sail on Pyewacket, at up to 28 knots? "I REALLY enjoyed that!", said Dean.

Well done to both teams!

Transpac 2007