Friday, 30 October 2009

TJV: City of Le Havre Trophy - Paul Vatine: a prologue in the heart of the city

Harbour racing for the competitors in the 9th Transat Jacques Vabre

by Transat Jacques Vabre media (in translation)

Saturday October 31 and Sunday 1st November, the Eure Basin will welcome the Trophy City of Le Havre – Paul Vatine by way of prologue to the Transat Jacques Vabre. The competitors will sail against each other in a closed basin, with equal weapons and in the heart of the city. This is all for the pleasure of the spectators. Thus, there will be no prologue at sea; the boats will remain at the quayside while the skippers will race each other on board one design Bénéteau 7.50 and 6.50s.

It is sometimes healthy to break with tradition: while the boats become sophisticated, the sailors always have an apprehension go out to sea and to take risks with the boats on the eve of the departure of a transatlantic race; for a race without true athletic issues, but that it is useful to organize: the prologue.

For this 9th edition, the competitors of the Transat Jacques Vabre will sail against each other in groups of five, between two buoys and in the form of sausage legs. The winners of every pool will next face the others in the final.

The course for the harbour racing in the city of Le Havre prior to the Transat Jacques Vabre. Supplied image.

Included in this prologue, orchestrated by la Ligue de Voile Haute Normandie, will be live commentary in the presence of other racers. Swift boats, the challenge reduced to technical issues, and the public that will be able to view the spectacle from all around the pool: the ambience should be guaranteed during this weekend. Child of the city of Le Havre, which is deeply attached to the popular character that led to the development of its sailing, Paul Vatine surely would have liked this type of festive and popular demonstration. This is also an excellent manner in which to pay him homage.

Programme for the prologue:

Saturday October 31:
- 10H to 13H, crew arrival
- 14H to 16h45: qualifying races in four pools
- 17h30: results of the 1st day in the bar of the Transat

Sunday 1st November:
- 10H to 12h45: qualifying races in four pools, return
- 14H to 16H: final races in three rounds
- 16h30: prizegiving on the stand of the City of Le Havre

Transat Jacques Vabre

TJV: Images of Artemis Ocean Racing with Sam Davies and Sidney Gavignet

Sam Davies and Sidney Gavignet: teamwork on board Artemis. Image copyright Lloyd Images.

Sidney Gavignet on Artemis. Image copyright Lloyd Images.

Sam Davies on Artemis. Image copyright Lloyd Images.

Artemis stretches her legs. Image copyright Lloyd Images.

Artemis on silvery seas. Image copyright Lloyd Images.

Artemis at full chat. Image copyright Lloyd Images.

The team waves from the bow of Artemis. Image copyright Lloyd Images.

Sam Davies on the bow of Artemis at sunset during the Fastnet Race. Image copyright Artemis Ocean Racing.

Lloyd Images
Artemis Ocean Racing
Transat Jacques Vabre

TJV: Ten Days to go to the Start of the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre

Artemis Ocean Racing IMOCA 60 in Le Havre and Ready to Race!

Artemis Ocean Racing IMOCA 60. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images.

by Artemis Ocean Racing

One transatlantic race 'done and dusted' for the Artemis Ocean Racing team as Ollie Bond completed the solo Mini Transat on board his tiny 21-foot Artemis Mini, finishing in 10th place overall.

Meanwhile, Sam Davies and Sidney Gavignet, co-skippers on board Artemis Ocean Racing's 60-foot IMOCA monohull arrived in Le Havre (France) last night with ten days to go until the start of their 4,720-mile transatlantic race from Le Havre to Puerto Limon in Costa Rica.

The duo of top British IMOCA 60 sailor Samantha Davies, who has been nominated for the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Award, and French skipper Sidney Gavignet, will be racing against the very best in the IMOCA 60 class in the pinnacle event of the year that starts on Sunday, 8th November. They left Port La Foret on Tuesday after weeks of meticulous preparation as Artemis skipper, Sam Davies, reported: “We left Port La Foret yesterday afternoon (Tuesday), heading for Le Havre and the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre! The conditions were great and we set off under spinnaker hooning along at 20+knots of boat speed, which is pretty unusual for a delivery trip! We took the “coastal route” and passed through the Raz de Sein and Channel du Four, which was fun as we had to gybe a lot to get through the narrow passages. Good gybing practice in the dark in 20+knots of wind!

“There are three of us on board - Erwan, Sidney and I - so we have also done a lot of “bunk testing” and the competition is hot for the ‘golden blanket’ award! It is wonderful to get great sleep as Artemis is zooming along, and Sidney and I are making the most of it, as we will not have that luxury for the first few days (or more) of the race!

“We have even eaten well, thanks to Sidney, who was tasked to do the food shopping for the trip - always dubious to leave that task in male hands I think!”

This weekend Sam and Sidney will compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre prologue in Le Havre for the ‘Trophee Ville du Havre Paul Vatine’ - the TJV skippers competing in the prologue will race on board Bénéteau 7.5 boats. Then the Artemis Ocean Racing skippers will have a couple of days off before they are back in ‘pre-race’ mode, studying the weather, going over their final preparations and dealing with many media requests as they countdown to start day.

Artmeis Ocean Racing
Transat Jacques Vabre

America's Cup: Statement from Russell Coutts, Skipper and CEO, BMW ORACLE Racing

by Russell Coutts

Valencia is the best option to get the America's Cup back on track as soon as possible. This is what sailing fans from around the world are waiting for.

Both BMW ORACLE Racing and Alinghi still have bases in the Port America's Cup. The infrastructure created to the specification of the Swiss defender is in place, available and ready to recreate the atmosphere of the previous America's Cup in 2007.

Last week Cristobal Grau, Director of Sport for Valencia City, said it would only take a few weeks to have Valencia back in action. Today the Mayor of Valencia, Rita Barbera, said her city would welcome the Cup back with open arms.

In her ruling at the New York Supreme Court on Tuesday, Justice Shirley Kornreich confirmed the primacy of the governing Deed of Gift document for the America's Cup. This means that Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) must choose a Deed-compliant location. Although Valencia is in the Northern Hemisphere, it is possible to hold the 33rd Match there in February because both SNG and Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) had agreed to it by mutual consent.

Were SNG to propose a location in the Southern Hemisphere instead of Valencia, we ask the defender to name it as soon as possible so that we have the maximum opportunity to make an informed assessment. We say this noting that nearly three months of the court-ordered six month minimum notice period for the venue has gone already.

We again confirm our willingness to sit down immediately with SNG/Alinghi for talks to resolve the outstanding issues surrounding the 33rd America's Cup.

There is no reason why SNG should not ask the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) to appoint an independent, neutral jury with the usual duties and powers of an international sailing jury, and to do this immediately. In that way any future disputes involving sailing rules and related issues could be referred to the jury instead of needing to go back before the court.

GGYC and BMW ORACLE Racing are eager to race in the Match, starting on 8 February 2010. Our BOR 90 is back in the water in San Diego, more refined than ever and there are further technical developments in the pipeline that we are very excited about.

Golden Gate Yacht Club

Thursday, 29 October 2009

America's Cup: Golden Gate Yacht Club Statement, 27th October 2009

by Tom Ehman

We're pleased with the court's decision today that Alinghi's choice of venue for the 33rd America's Cup was not allowed under the Deed of Gift.

We look forward to Justice Kornreich's decision later this week regarding two additional issues.

First, we hope she will agree with our position that Alinghi cannot add additional ballast, equipment or sailors to the boat after it has been measured for compliance with the Deed of Gift's restriction on length along the load water line. Enabling any team to add additional weight after measurement - thus lengthening its load water line and increasing its speed - violates the Deed of Gift, decades of sailing practice, and the spirit of the rules that govern the America's Cup.

Second, Justice Kornreich understands the need for a fair and impartial jury. Our position is that the sailing jury must have the normal powers to adjudicate.

We remain motivated to negotiate all remaining issues with Alinghi to ensure a fair, competitive and successful America's Cup in February 2010. We took a big step towards this goal today.

Golden Gate Yacht Club

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

America's Cup: New York Supreme Court orders 33rd America's Cup to be Deed compliant

by Alinghi media

The New York Supreme Court today ruled that the 33rd America's Cup, scheduled in February 2010, must take place in a venue in the Southern Hemisphere as per the strict reading of the competition's governing document, the Deed of Gift, or in Valencia, Spain, as the only exception to that rule.

“This is a disappointing result as we were certain that Justice Cahn's May 2008 decision allowed the Defender to chose Valencia or ‘any other location',” said Lucien Masmejan, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) legal counsel. “Ras Al Khaimah has put enormous time and effort into this 33rd America's Cup project. We thank them and feel sorry for this unexpected result out of the New York court”.

“We are satisfied, however, as Justice Kornreich confirmed that the Deed of Gift Match will be conducted under SNG rules as she had already ruled in a previous court order,” added Lucien Masmejan.


WPNSA: 1000 Days Countdown to 2012 Olympics Marked with Revive Portland Halloween Event

Getting ready for the 1000 day Halloween prize giving on the podium, Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy Chief Executive, John Tweed with Assistant Chief Executive, Rachel Sadler. Image copyright Revive Portland Project 2009.

by Cailah Leask

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) will be marking the 1000 day countdown to the Games with a local ‘Revive Portland Project’ Halloween event involving the whole of Dorset in an evening of outdoor events on October 31st. It is now a year since the award winning, world class sailing venue celebrated full completion, followed by a memorable Royal visit by Her Majesty the Queen and it is now fitting that the landmark 1000 days countdown starts with a local community event inspiring the people of Weymouth and Portland to start their celebrations leading up to London 2012.

The 31st October trick or treat weekend event will be free to the entire South West, including a lantern procession starting at 18:00 from Portland Castle, fanfare of ship’s sirens and magnificent water based firework display at 20:12 hours, all followed by fancy dress and lantern competitions with plenty of legendary local Dorset food, drink and music. Rachel Sadler, Assistant Chief Executive of WPNSA will be on the judging panel for the spooky themes.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, venue for the sailing competition at the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, will be supplying the prize giving rostrum for the Halloween event. The rostrum has a history of international sailing and windsurfing stars receiving world titles on the original steps as well as the upcoming youth level and South West aspiring sport talents. The rostrum will act as a centre point for the event prize giving where gold, silver and bronze medals will be presented across a range of Halloween themed categories.

Rachel Sadler, Assistant Chief Executive, WPNSA:
‘It is now a year ago since the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy was finished, becoming the first London 2012 venue to be fully completed. After a summer marked by a memorable Royal visit by Her Majesty the Queen and numerous international sporting events, we are delighted that 1000 days is being marked in Weymouth and Portland by a local community event that will inspire us all and start the important local celebrations leading up to the Games.’

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

Telecom 2009 New Zealand Match Racing Championships

Image from an earlier New Zealand National Match Racing Championships. Image copyright Anne Hinton.

by Barry Davies

The 2009 New Zealand Match Racing Championships, sponsored by Telecom, are less than three weeks away and with a line up of top New Zealand match racers this event will host some highly competitive racing!

While last year’s winner Dean Barker is unavailable to defend his title due to Emirates Team New Zealand commitments, there will be plenty of sailors aspiring to the title. Rueben Corbett from The Royal New Zealand will be one to watch out for but he will face keen competition from sailors such as Laurie Jury, Simon Minoprio and Wataru Sakamoto from Japan. Rueben and his RNZYS crew recently won the prestigious Knickerbocker Cup in New York.

There will also be three female skippers with all female crews. Jess Smyth the current New Zealand Women’s Match Racing Champion will be battling it out up against Samantha Osborne, (winner of the recent Buddy Melges Women’s Match Racing Regatta in Sheboygan Wisconsin) and Stephanie Hazard who was third at the same event. These three ladies are not to be underestimated, and after having competed at this level previously, should give the boys a run for their money!

In addition, two youth teams are in the field. The Squadron’s Lion Foundation Youth Training Programme skipper Will Tiller and his crew will face-off against their counterparts from Wellington’s Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club, led by Josh Junior. Tiller was the winning skipper at the 2009 Governor’s Cup Match Racing Regatta at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club last July. These teams will be out there to place their mark on the National match racing field; it will be interesting to see how they go!

With umpires coming from Australia, America and Russia, the participants’ are likely to see some intense racing on the beautiful Waitemata Harbour. Fantastic viewing can be found along the Westhaven Marina seawall and from the decks of the Squadron.

Anything can happen in match racing, and this event is no exception, as we eagerly await the racing to commence!

Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron

RC44s: Sea Dubai RC44 Gold Cup - The Final Showdown

The last event of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2009 will take place in one month in Dubai (UAE). The leading teams are merely separated by a handful of points whilst the regatta counts double. The contest will reach its conclusion from Wednesday, 25th November to Sunday, 29th November.

RC44 Portoroz Cup. Image copyright Ales Fevzer/RC 44 Class Association.

by Bernard Schopfer

The last regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour 2009 will take place next month in Dubai. The ten RC 44 teams involved in the Championship Tour will participate in the event and fight hard to maintain or better their position in the rankings.

The Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup is the season’s most important regatta: four titles will be awarded at the end of the regatta and the points count double. The titles at stake are: the overall championship title, the match race and fleet race season titles as well as the DHL Trophy.

The RC 44 match race has become the toughest in the world over the years, with three times America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts sailing against Team New Zealand's helmsman Dean Barker, Cameron Appleton, Paul Cayard, Ray Davies, Karol Jablonski, Markus Wieser and many more. During the last regatta, held in Portoroz in September, the three leaders of the annual ranking (Barker, Col & Appleton)finished no better than fifth, sixth and seventh, illustrating the level of the competition and leaving precious points to Karol Jablonski’s Organika and Paul Cayard’s new team Katusha. Nothing’s acquired yet in this contest: four team are still in a position to win the title: Artemis (9 points), Ceeref (11 points), Team Aqua and No way Back (12 points).

In the fleet race ranking, Torbjorn Tornqvist and Dean Barker’s Artemis sit two points ahead of Chris Bake and Cameron Appleton’s Team Aqua whilst third placed BMW ORACLE Racing and No Way Back are in their wake, with three more points. Vincenzo Onorato will be at the helm of BMW ORACLE Racing in this event whilst Pieter Heerema, Torbjorn Tornqvist and Chris Bake will steer their boat as usual.

The DHL Trophy ranking is even hotter, with four teams separated by four points: Artemis (7 points), Team Aqua and No Way Back (8 points) and BMW ORACLE Racing (9 points).

The most coveted title is the overall Championship Tour ranking. Team Aqua leads this contest with a three points margin over Artemis (9 points), No Way Back (13 points) and BMW ORACLE Racing (14 points).

Organised by Dubai International Marine Club, the Sea Dubai RC 44 Gold Cup will start on Tuesday 24 November with the practice Race and media day. The match race event will take place on 25 and 26 November whilst the fleet regatta will take place from Friday 27 November till Sunday 29 November.

The teams involved:
(Name of team, owner, pro sailor)

Team Aqua, Chris Bake / Cameron Appleton
Team Ceeref, Igor Lah / Rod Davis
Sea Dubai, Yousef Lahej, DIMC / Markus Wieser
BMW ORACLE Racing, Vincenzo Onorato / Russell Coutts
Team Organika, Maciej Nawrocki / Karol Jablonski
Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero / Jose Maria Ponce
Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist / Dean Barker
No Way Back, Pieter Heerema / Ray Davies
Team Austria, René Mangold / Christian Binder
Team Katusha, Paul Cayard


America's Cup: Statement from Société Nautique de Genève on GGYC fiduciary challenge

by Alinghi media

“By filing their eighth legal action against the Defender of the America's Cup in two years, Larry Ellison and his Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) have demonstrated yet again that their true intention is to win sailing's most prestigious trophy in court instead of on the water. After failing in their attempts to circumvent the terms set in the governing Deed of Gift, Ellison is now seeking to snatch the Cup from Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) with a new round of baseless allegations,” said Fred Meyer, Société Nautique de Genève Vice-Commodore. “As two-time winner of the America's Cup and organiser of what was widely considered the most successful America's Cup event ever in Valencia, Spain, in 2007, SNG and Alinghi will continue to fight for their legitimate rights in order to promote the sport of sailing around the world. We hope that GGYC will abandon this unsportsmanlike conduct and either join the competition on the waters off Ras Al Khaimah this February or let other teams who want to participate challenge for the Cup,” he concluded.

Alinghi team skipper Brad Butterworth said: “BMW Oracle should clean up their unsportsmanlike behaviour with a dose of saltwater and sunshine and challenge for the Cup on the water. Otherwise they should stand aside and let other teams compete.”

"The complaint is an affront to the America's Cup, to the UAE, to our country's relationship with an important ally, and to the judicial process. It is just a PR stunt. There is nothing in the complaint that hasn't been the subject of prior or pending legal proceedings. Basically, GGYC doesn't want to race SNG on the water after it disenfranchised 19 other clubs from competing in an elimination series and dislocated hundreds of sailors and participants in the sailing industry,” concluded lead counsel for the Société Nautique de Genève, Barry Ostrager of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Société Nautique de Genève

America's Cup: Breach of Fiduciary Suit Filed Against America's Cup Trustee

by Jane Eagleson

Reckless and repeated disregard in its stewardship of the America's Cup by the Société Nautique de Genève (SNG) has prompted the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) to ask the New York Supreme Court to remove the Swiss yacht club from its position as Trustee in a Breach of Fiduciary Duty complaint filed Monday, 26th October.

In its place, GGYC - the Challenger of Record of the 33rd America's Cup - has requested the Court to appoint a faithful, fit and proper substitute to oversee the next Match to be sailed in 2010, starting 8 February.

A new Trustee would provide equitable terms for both competitors, something SNG has denied GGYC by its orchestration and manipulation of the rules and processes designed to ensure that the defending sailing team, Alinghi, cannot lose.

GGYC, and its sailing team, BMW ORACLE Racing, remain committed to sailing the Match on the date in February 2010 set by the Court. There is no desire by this action to change Alinghi's role as SNG's sailing team and defender.

Foremost among a catalogue of failures of SNG and listed in a Breach of Fiduciary Duty complaint are:

. Offering the America's Cup hosting rights in order to extract secret commercial deals
. Repeated attempts to seize control of the rules and officiating processes to ensure that Alinghi cannot lose
. Moves to disqualify GGYC's yacht despite assurances to the New York Supreme Court that this would not happen
. Selecting Ras Al Khaimah for the 33rd Cup to further its own business interests whilst exposing GGYC to unnecessary danger

"Winning the Cup bringd not just honour and pride, but responsibilities too. The honour may have gone, but the responsibilities remains," said Russell Coutts, Skipper and Chief Executive of GGYC's challenging team, BMW ORACLE Racing.

"The America's Cup is meant to be hard to win, not impossible to lose," added Coutts.

The complaint slaos states that the America's Cup was used as a powerful bargaining chip to extract enormous commercial benefits through secret and complex side deals in selecting Valencia and Ras Al Khaimah as host venues for the 32nd and 33rd Matches.

It is clear that entities associated with Ernesto Bertarelli levraged the America's Cup for gain.

"SNG says it has the right to change the rules for the America's Cup races at any time and select all the umpires. It's like letting the Phillies change the rules for the World Series after it starts and select all the umpires," said David Boies, chairman of Boies, Schiller & Flexner.

"Basic fairness and sportsmanship require that a contest be played with set rules and judged by umpires free of interference. The Courts have already had to stop SNG for negotiating unfair rules with a sham competitor orchestrated by SNG. We hope that SNG will now abandon its efforts to win with rule manipulations and back-room deals. Let the best boat win on the water," added Boies.

GGYC is also contesting SNG's choice of Ras Al Khaimah in a separate case before the New York Supreme Court because it is in direct contravention of the Deed of Gift's clear stipulation that the Cup can only be sailed in the Northern Hemisphere between 1 May and 1 November.

Nevertheless as Trustee, and in breach of its duty, SNG did not consult GGYC at any stage in selecting Ras Al Khaimah, a location it knew did not meet the clear language of the Deed of Gift and one which exposes the American challenger to unnecessary danger.

SNG's actions since winning the America's Cup in 2003 and defending it in 2007 have brought a clamour of complaint from the sailing community around the world.

"Ernesto Bertarelli has taken advantage of the Cup holder's inherent competitive balance in the Deed of Gift to absurd and obscene levels. By his actions on land he has tried to make sure that he cannot be beaten on the water," commented Bill Koch, whose America^3 team was the successful defender of the America's Cup in 1992.

Italy's Vincenzo Onorato, a three-time challenger, said of Alinghi's proposed rules for the next Cup: "This is the most unsporting document ever done."

The America's Cup has prospered for 158 years, despite the American Civil War, two World Wars and several economic depressions.

The oldest international trophy in sport is now in peril because of the selfish and self-serving acts of the Swiss yacht club, its representative sailing team Alinghi, America's Cup Management (both controlled by Ernesto Bertarelli) and other affiliates.

Golden Gate Yacht Club
Breach of Fiduciary Duty complaint

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

LVT: Host Team ALL4ONE Gets Ready for Louis Vuitton Trophy - Nice!

by Stephanie Nadin

All the ALL4ONE team members will gather tomorrow in Nice, to get ready for the Louis Vuitton Trophy. An exciting moment for this new French-German team which is looking forward to start racing in the famous “Baie des Anges” as the host team of the competition.

The team already got the chance to sail together in Valencia two weeks ago (October 14-18), and the results were really positive.

Jochen Schümann, ALL4ONE's Sports Director and Skipper, comes back on the first team's sea trials session in Valencia: “we had five good sailing days in very challenging conditions between 5 to 20 knots of breeze, with big waves and swell. The big swell has cost us a few spinnakers – but FRA93 proofed to be solid, and there were no further damages”.

FRA93 actually arrived safely in Nice last Tuesday, after having been towed from Valencia to Nice, together with TeamOrigin's GBR75.

Jochen adds about the crew: “The ALL4ONE team is growing together quickly, based on lots of America's Cup experience from different teams. We are really looking forward to the Louis Vuitton Trophy – Nice! But first we will do sea trials this week to equalize boats with TeamOrigin. We hope to have the good Nice November weather on our side to do so.”

Sebastien Col, ALL4ONE's Helmsman also comments: “the team we managed to gather looks really promising after this first session together in Valencia. Jochen is bringing a lot to the team with his charisma and management methods. We start to feel really confident, which is very good for a new team like us, and we look forward to racing against the other teams”.

Seven other teams will then join ALL4ONE from November 2nd for official practice races: Azzurra (ITA), BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Swedish Challenge Artemis (SWE), Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), TeamOrigin (GBR) and Team French Spirit (FRA).

The Louis Vuitton Trophy – Nice will take place from 7 to 22 November, and the public will be able to enjoy the races right in front of the famous “Promenade des Anglais”, making of Nice Côte D'Azur an unique venue for spectators coming to enjoy the show!

Louis Vuitton Trophy

'Alfa Romeo' Smashes 13 Year Kiwi Race Record en Route to Rolex Sydney Hobart

On board Alfa Romeo during the race. Image copyright Murray Spence.

by Edward Rowe

Neville Crichton’s super maxi, Alfa Romeo, is leaving a trail of smashed race records across the Pacific as she heads towards a head to head battle with Australian maxi ‘Wild Oats’ in December’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, with the Kiwi yacht demolishing the race record at the weekend (23 October 2009) in New Zealand’s HSBC Coastal Classic, following annihilation of the TransPac Race Record in July

Alfa Romeo set HSBC Premier Coastal Classic history when she crossed the finish line in Russell, in the Bay of Islands to set a new race record of 6 hours, 43 minutes and 32 seconds.

Starting at Devonport Wharf in Auckland, and finishing at Russell Wharf in the romantic Bay of Island township, the boat wiped more than 36 minutes off the 13-year old record held by the pink multihull Split Enz, achieving an average speed of 17.9 knots on the course.

The 30m boat owned by New Zealander Neville Crichton, has already accumulated 142 line honours victories, marking her return to New Zealand with her 143rd line win, all with Neville Crichton at the helm.

Apart from a very early challenge put on by the 9m trimaran, Timberwolf, the supermaxi commanded a lead from very early on, taking advantage of the strong South West conditions to stretch her legs and power up the coast, reaching Flat Rock soon after 11am, about 15 minutes inside record time, and the Hen and Chicken Islands at around 1.30pm, 25 minutes inside record time. By the time they rounded Cape Brett the boat was an astonishing predicted 80 minutes ahead of the time she needed to set history.

Sailing a rhumb line course apart from a slight detour outside the Hen and Chicken Islands, she reached the last milestone, at approximately 3pm, passing inside the infamous ‘Hole in the Rock’, where she slowed down briefly, dropped from a Jib Top and Staysail down to a Jib, and tacked into the Bay doing speeds of around 12 knots.

Owner/skipper Neville Crichton, a member of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who takes pride in sailing under the New Zealand flag, says that by carrying a spinnaker on the first leg to Kawau they were able to put sufficient distance on the multihulls, so that even though the 25 knot beam reach from Tutukaka to Brett was better suited to the multis, they didn’t have time to make the required gains before the beat from Brett.

“We are very happy and it’s a nice homecoming to New Zealand,” he said at the finish.”And it was a perfect preparation for the Rolex Sydney Hobart, our next major challenege!”

Top Finishers on Line:

Boat name Elapsed time
ALFA ROMEO 06:43:32
TAEPING 07:30:59
X-FACTOR 07:37:03
ATTITUDE 08:01:06
DIRTY DEEDS 08:16:00
EXODUS 08:16:11
LUCIFER 08:32:17

Alfa Romeo finishes into Russell in record time. Image copyright Edward Rowe.

Skipper: Neville Crichton

October 2009 HSBC Coastal Classic Line Honours, Race Record
July 2009 TransPac Line Honours, Race Record

Oct 2008 Barcolana Race Line Honours
Sept 2008 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 4 x Line Honours, 2 x Corrected time wins
June 2008 Boat International SuperYacht Regatta 3 x Line Honours, class & event wins
June 2008 Rolex Giraglia Race Line Honours, new race record
June 2008 Rolex Giraglia Cup 3 x Line Honours, 2 x Handicap win
May 2008 Rolex Capri Race Week Maxi Class Event Win, 2 x Line Honours
May 2008 Pirelli Cup Maxi Class Event Win, 4 x Line Honours

Oct 2007 Barcolana Line Honours, race record
Sept 2007 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 5 x Line Hons, 1 x Handicap
August 2007 Rolex Fastnet Retired
August 2007 RYS Trophy, Scandia Race Week Line Honours, Class win
June 2007 Superyacht Cup 1 Line Honours Win
June 2007 Rolex Giraglia Cup Offshore Race Line Honours
June 2007 Rolex Giraglia Cup Regatta 2 x Line Honours to take event
April 2007 Hublot Palmavela Regatta 5 x Line Honours to take event

October 2006 Rolex Middle Sea Race – offshore race Line Honours
October 2006 Barcolana Race Line Honours
Sept 2006 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 4 Line Honours, event win
June 2006 Rolex Giraglia Cup Offshore Race Line Honours
June 2006 Rolex Giraglia Cup Regatta 2 Line Honours, 1 Handicap win
April 2006 Hublot Palmavela 4 x Line Honours wins

Dec 2005 Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2nd Overall
Dec 2005 Rolex Trophy Regatta Win
Dec 2005 CYCA Big Boat Trophy Line Honours
Dec 2005 Savills Short Ocean Championship Line Honours/Handicap win
Nov 2005 Cabbage Tree Island Race Line Honours
August 2005 South Molle/Daydream Islands Race Line Honours/Handicap win
August 2005 Edward Island Race Line Honours
August 2005 Lindeman Island Race Line Honours/Handicap win

Alfa Romeo
HSBC Premier Coastal Classic

Monday, 26 October 2009

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: Mick Scully Trophy

Delonghi - the winner. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

With six of the fleet still missing due to their delayed return from the San Francisco regatta, the Australian 18 Footers League decided to reverse the scheduled events for this Sunday and next Sunday.

As a result of that decision, the Mick Scully Trophy 3-buoys race was sailed on Sydney Harbour in an almost total lack of worthwhile breeze.

John Winning, standing in as replacement skipper for Simon Nearn, teamed with Craig Ferris and Chris Cleary to master the conditions and record an all the way victory in Delonghi.

The experienced trio crossed the finishing line just 18 minutes inside the allowed three hours time limit for the race to win by 9m8s from Andy Budgen’s Project Racing.

Sponsor Wanted (Euan Mc Nicol) was another 8m8s in third place followed by Smeg (Nick Press), Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Cuddihy) and Asko Appliances (Archie Massey).

The race start was delayed to allow all teams to reach the line in time as they battled in the windless conditions.

Then a continuation of these conditions saw an extremely slow work to the windward buoys where Delonghi held the lead from Project Racing, Smeg and Fisher & Paykel.

Project Racing and Asko. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

It took almost one hour for the fleet to reach the wing mark before any breeze began to appear.

By the end of the first lap, Delonghi was two minutes ahead of Fisher & Paykel with Project Racing third, Smeg fourth and Asko fifth.

The breeze was now coming from the opposite direction and teams set spinnakers for the run back to what would have been the second windward buoys.

Delonghi defied all challengers on this run and from that point was never in danger of defeat in the ever changing ‘breeze’

Most interest centred on the battle for the minor placings which involved five or six boats constantly changing positions.

Two of the new teams showed some potential in a testing afternoon.

Boatmate, skippered by Jason Waterhouse, came from well back in the fleet to be placed seventh at the end of the second lap.

Coldwell Banker New Homes. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Coldwell Banker New Homes (Mark Kennedy) also showed good form although the team had a mark rounding problem at one stage.

Race 1 of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship will now be sailed next Sunday when a full fleet of 23 skiffs will, hopefully, line up for the first time this season.

Australian 18 Footers League

Rolex Osprey Cup 2009: Final Results

Anna Tunnicliffe's team at the Rolex Osprey Cup 2009. Image copyright Renee Athey.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

Our team finished in second place overall today at the Rolex Osprey Cup here in St. Pete, FL. We had some great races against eventual winner Giulia Conti from Italy, but in the end she got the better of us with a 3-1 record to win the series.

The morning started with light winds, but we were sent out anyway as the winds were forecasted to strengthen as the approaching cold front got closer. When we got to the course, we had perfect conditions, and racing started on time. Our first race of the day was against Karin Hagstrom from Sweden. We were still completing the semi-finals this morning, and our team needed one more win to wrap up the series. Off the line, Karin had the lead, but we put ourselves in great positions up the beat to be neck and neck with her at the top mark. We managed to get inside of her after we both tacked to get around the mark, which then set us up for the pass downwind. We took the lead at the bottom mark and held on to it to take the win and advance to the finals against Giulia.

The finals provided some exciting and tense racing. In the first race, at the first mark, Giulia had the lead, and then at the bottom mark we had the lead. On the last downwind leg, Giulia had the advantage of being in the attacking position, but we thought we could hold her off. We held her past the layline to the finishline pin, but gybed half a boatlength too early, which allowed her to hang on just enough. Both boats crossed the line at almost the same time, and given that it took the race committee a couple of seconds to put up the flag of the first boat, it must have been a tough call. Anyway, the call went to Guilia, so we were now one race down.

The second race, we led her off the line and held on until the finish to even up the score line, even though it was a tight race the whole way. The third race, we made a couple of mistakes as a team which put us in difficult positions. We started a couple seconds early which meant that we had to play catch up from the start of the race. We managed to catch up to the point of rounding the last mark right behind her, but ended up with a twist in our spinnaker which allowed her to pull ahead just enough to take the win. With the series now 2-1, we had to win the next race to stay alive.

The next race, we drew a penalty on her at the start of the race, but the race was called off right after the start gun, so we attempted it again. We stuck to our game plan, but now the cold front had come through and the wind had shifted to an offshore breeze which meant that it was really shifty and puffy. Guilia and her team sailed a great race in the shifts and took the lead early and maintained throughout the race to take the race win and the overall win for the regatta.

It was great sailing today. We had a lot of close races and we again, as a team, learned many valuable lessons. We are all looking forward to our next event which is the US Women's Match Race National Championships in November.

Tomorrow, I am doing Laser training with my fellow USSTAG teammate, Paige Railey, in Clearwater and team coach, Leandro Spina. It is three days of training, which should be fun, then I get to go home for a couple of day's recharge.


Giulia Conti (ITA)
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)
Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA)
Karin Hagstroem (SWE)
Samantha Osborne (NZL)
Katy Lovell (USA)
Jo Ann Fisher (USA)
Jen Provan (CAN)
Rachael Silverstein (USA)
Lisa Ross (CAN)

Anna Tunnicliffe
Rolex Osprey Cup 2009

Sunday, 25 October 2009

RMSR: The Triumph of Recognition

Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy & Rolex Chronometer presentation to IRC Overall Winner Andres Soriano (ALEGRE). Left to right: Malcolm Lowell Sr. and Malcolm Lowell Jr. (Edwards Lowell Co. Ltd.), Andres Soriano (ALEGRE) and Georges Bonello Dupuis (Commodore RMYC). Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

by Giles Pearman

If your senses have been under siege at sea for an extended period, what better place to unwind than the Sacra Infermeria. Dating from 1574, the venue for the prize giving of the 30th Rolex Middle Sea Race was built by the Knights of St John as a hospital to care for its sick and injured brethren. The Royal Malta Yacht Club hosted its deserved guests in this medieval vault and divided up the spoils from a truly tremendous race.

The prize giving ceremony at the end of this 606 nautical mile adventure is always emotional. One last chance for the sailors to recount tales from the race track before returning home, a last chance for the Royal Yacht Club members to say thank you to the international contingent that help set this race apart from others of its kind.

Top prize of the event, the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy and Rolex Yacht-master Chronometer for finishing first overall under IRC Handicap went to Andres Soriano, skipper and owner of the 69-foot Mills designed Alegre. For a successful businessman and seasoned offshore sailor, Soriano is openly thrilled to have won this year's race. He has beaten the whole fleet and significantly, within his Class, he has beaten some of the best sailors in the world sailing on some of the world's best grand prix racing yachts. Soriano acknowledged the organisers work in putting on the race and described not just the winning, but also the taking part in this edition as "the experience of our lives." Continuing, he thanked the Royal Malta Yacht Club for being such generous hosts.

Winners were varied and from throughout the fleet. Sean Borg, aged 16 and a half, sailing on Strait Dealer was awarded the Youth Cup by Bernard Vassallo, CEO of the Malta Sports Council. Strait Dealer, as first Maltese skippered yacht across the finish, was awarded the Malta Maritime Authority Trophy by Mr Mark Portelli, Chairman of the MMA - a body which had bent over backwards to assist with the start arrangements in Grand Harbour, including clearing tugs, barges and other service ships from immediate environs. Lee Satariano and Artie won the Starboard Trophy, for first Maltese boat on handicap.

One of the biggest cheers of the proceedings went to Cambo III and cousins, Steven and Michael Clough who won the John Illingworth Trophy for being first boat on corrected time in the Double Handed Class, despite being last boat home more than 24-hours after the penultimate finisher. The Nations Cup went to the United Kingdom after Alegre, Rán and ICAP Leopard combined for the best three-boat score under IRC. Winner of the Boccale del Mediterraneo Trophy for top boat overall under ORC was Luna Rossa.

Notable IRC Class winners were Elusive II Medbank and Arthur Podesta (Class 3), Podesta celebrating his thirtieth race in style. As someone whose DNA is inextricably linked with the history of this great race, Podesta considers himself a winner every year he gets to the start line, particularly so nowadays racing with his three children. Anonino Fava and Velado from Marzamemi in Sicily took the laurels in Class 4, on this first his Rolex Middle Sea Race venture. Matt Hardy's Nikata, which earlier in event had taken the plaudits for best on-course menu, took home Class 2.

The presentation of the RLR line honours trophy and the Malta Tourism Authority trophy for first non-Maltese yacht home to ICAP Leopard, was followed by a moving tribute by the RMYC to Paul Ripard who died earlier this year. The name Ripard is another intertwined with the legend. With a son, Christian, and a nephew, Sebastian, participating this year Paul's legacy is a living one.

Commodore Bonello DuPuis's opening remarks in which he thanked the network of committee members and volunteers that make the event possible were echoed by Malcolm Lowell of Edwards, Lowell Ltd representing Rolex S.A. Malta is an island that for centuries has enjoyed a significance out of proportion to its size. Each year, the Royal Malta Yacht Club organises a race that punches well above the club's apparent weight. This year no less than others. Former British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, perhaps encapsulated Malta and its spirit best when describing it as "that tiny rock of history and romance." Such a sentiment could equally apply to the Rolex Middle Sea Race, which has plenty of both.

The 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race will start from Grand Harbour on Saturday, 23 October 2010.

Rolex Middle Sea Race

Rolex Osprey Cup 2009: Day Three - Close Racing

Dial-up. Image copyright Renee Athey.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

Friday was a long day at the Rolex Osprey Cup, given that we only did five races. For our team, we had a great day, winning all five races, although they were close races. The wind was up and down all day long again, giving us an extra long lunch break as the gradient breeze died out and the sea breeze filled in.

We wrapped up the second round robin first thing after lunch, maintaining the lead in the regatta with an 18-0 record. We had some very good races, including a very tight race with Samantha Osborne (NZL) that came down to half a boat length at the finish line.

The race started with Samantha having a penalty in the pre-start, for luffing too quickly. We led the way up the course and around the top mark, with Samantha close on our tails. We made a bad decision on our boat and gybed too late for the layline, whereas she gybed right on it to take the lead downwind. Upwind on the second beat, we stayed within two boat-lengths of her which was our goal so that she wouldn't have enough room to spin her penalty turn and still keep the lead. She spun her penalty turn at the top mark giving us the lead, but leaving her in the powerful position downwind of being right behind us. We defended her most of the way down until about six boat-lengths from the finish line, where she caught up right to us and sailed to leeward of us. She sailed slightly above her proper course, earning her another penalty. In a last ditch effort to draw a penalty back on us, she did a couple of gybes, but at that point it was too late and we managed to cross the line just ahead of her. It was a great race, and given that it was our first race of the day, it shook us awake and got us going for the rest of the day.

After finishing the round robins, we started racing the semi-finals. We are seeded against Karin Hagstrom (SWE). We completed two races in the semi's before we were sent in for the day. The races were close and a lot of fun. In the first race, we called a bad layline to the pin end of the line, missed it and ended up about two boat lengths behind, off the line. We caught up on the upwind leg and ended up taking the lead at the top mark. Downwind, we got into a tight battle, where we ended up sailing past the leeward mark then sailing back to it under jib and main on a tight reach. We rounded ahead and maintained the lead for the remainder of that race to take the first race in the best-of-five series. The second race had an interesting start. After a huge misunderstanding, we found ourselves behind on the upwind leg, but worked exceptionally hard as a team, pulled ahead and held on to win that race too.

Saturday we will finish the semi-finals and then go onto the finals and petit-finals.

Results up to the end of Friday's racing

Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) 18pts
Giulia Conti (ITA) 15pts
Anne-Claire Le Berre (FRA) 13pts
Karin Hagstrom (SWE) 13pts
Samantha Osborne (NZL) 10pts
Katy Lovell (USA) 7.75pts
Jo Ann Fisher (USA) 5pts
Jen Provan (CAN) 5pts
Rachael Silverstein (USA) 2pts
Lisa Ross (CAN) 0.75pts

First to 2 win sail-offs determined the 5th-10th places, with all scores 2-0:
5th Samantha Osborne
6th Katy Lovell
7th Jo Ann Fisher
8th Jen Provan
9th Lisa Ross
10th Rachael Silverstein

Part-results for the semi-finals:
Anna Tunnicliffe 2 - Karin Hagstrom 0
Giulia Conti 2 - Anne-Claire Le Berre 0

Anna Tunnicliffe
Rolex Osprey Cup 2009