Friday, 18 February 2011

Extreme 40: A Plethora of America's Cup Crews and Kiwi Accents in 2011

The Wave, Muscat, the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series champion training off Oman. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/Oman Sail.

by Anne Hinton

Whereas there was just the odd Kiwi accent (e.g. Fraser Brown or Andrew McLean) on the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series, until the participation of the three-quarters Kiwi crew of Emirates Team New Zealand at the final event in Almeria, they will be heard throughout the fleet in 2011.

Andrew McLean, with Mike Golding, on ECOVER Extreme 40 in 2010. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.

Emirates Team New Zealand's participation has again seen probably the least practice time in the fleet, potentially putting them on the back foot in Muscat, as coordinated crew work is extremely important in X40s. A training camp for many of the teams has been running for the last month in Mussanah, Oman, but Emirates Team New Zealand only came in at the very end of this.

Emirates Team New Zealand also has two different crew members from their participation in Almeria. Skipper Dean Barker and bowman Jero Lomas are, this time, joined by long-time Emirates Team New Zealand trimmer James Dagg, and their cat coach, also ex-BMW ORACLE Racing coach, Australian Glenn Ashby. Whereas Ashby is a multihull world champion and Olympic medallist, Daggy has no previous experience of Extreme 40 sailing.

Brad Webb of Team GAC Pindar. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

ORACLE Racing's Brad Webb, Jono Macbeth (who crewed for Shirley Robertson on Extreme 40s in the past) are also former Team New Zealanders and have Kiwi accents to complement Ian Williams' British accent aboard Team GAC Pindar; BMW ORACLE Racing's Gilberto Nobili completes that crew. Team GAC Pindar has, like Emirates Team New Zealand, had less practice time than many others.

Jono Macbeth of Team GAC Pindar. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/BMW ORACLE Racing.

Artemis Racing has an entry of its own with Terry Hutchinson in the driving seat, and Kiwis Morgan Trubovich and Sean Clarkson, plus Aussie bowman Andy Fethers, in addition to a presence on Red Bull Racing.

Artemis Racing has another sailor aboard Roman Hagara's Red Bull Racing, and Austrian accents will be diluted by Kiwi in the form of Artemis Racing's Star boat sailor Craig Monk (who is also currently doing an Olympic campaign with Hamish Pepper - Southern Star Racing) and British sailor Will Howden (ex Tornado Olympian, who sailed on the ECOVER Extreme 40 in 2010), as well as Hagara's former Tornado Olympic partner Hans-Peter Steinacher.

Luna Rossa. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images.

Max Sirena, Luna Rossa's Skipper, is a former member of the 2010 America's Cup winning team BMW ORACLE Racing... He has veteran Extreme 40 sailors, the 2010 champion´helmsman Paul Campbell-James and Alister Richardson on the crew, along with ex-49er sailor and Luna Rossa crew Manuel Modena.

Max Sirena of Luna Rossa. Supplied image.

Alinghi has a wealth of America's Cup talent in its crew too, with Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei and Yves Detrey, not to mention Ernesto Bertarelli himself. Tanguy Cariou and Yann Guichard's multihull experience and abilities are second to none.

The all-Italian entry Nice for You also has America's Cup experience on board, with Simone de Mari and Daniele de Luca, as well as multihull knowledge from Alberto Sonnino to complement the enthusiasm of skipper Alberto Barovier for the Extreme 40 circuit racing.

Scattered amongst the other teams are Tornado Olympians such as Roland Gaebler (Team Extreme) and Pierre Pennec (Gitana, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild), while the two Oman Sail boats are strong in practice time, and led by the very experienced Sidney Gavignet, and young Australian top international match racer Torvar Mirsky, respectively. The speed of development of Omani sailors is shown by their top placings internationally, including a runner-up placing to the runaway winner of the Tour de France a la Voile in the Sailing Arabia - Tour of Arabia earlier this month, and the victories of their Extreme 40 boats overall in the last two Extreme Sailing Series. (Kinley Fowler, from Torvar Mirsky's match racing team, mainsheetman on Oman Air, is also a Kiwi.)

Oman Air and The Wave, Muscat. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/Oman Sail.

Crews without America's Cup sailors on board do stand a very good chance of doing well too; the key to winning the Extreme Sailing Series is preparation and practice - something at which the Oman Sail boats excel, as shown by Masirah's overall win of the Extreme Sailing Series in 2009 and that of The Wave, Muscat, in 2010. As Dean Barker put it "the nature of this racing with very short courses and a lot of maneouvring puts strong emphasis on starting and boathandling so time in the boat is very important".

Bring on the racing!

Dean Barker: Kiwi Yachting Consultants
Extreme Sailing Series

Thursday, 17 February 2011

CentrePort International Youth Match Racing Championships, Wellington: Coltman & Galati Lead

by Matt Steven

The 2011 Centreport International Youth Match Racing Championships are underway. With three teams entered from Australia, one from Italy, one from Auckland and three more from Wellington it looks like the racing will be fast and furious.

Jay Griffen and his team from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia must enter as hot favourites having just won the Harken Cup in Auckland. His rival from acorss the harbour Jordan Reece, representing Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, will also be hard to beat entering this regatta on the back of four events in Australia and New Zealand. Rounding out the Australian trio is Stephanie Doyle and her team from Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club making her frst appearance as skipper on Wellington Harbour.

Codie Banks from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Valerio Galati from Lega Navale Italiana Trani both come to this regatta having competed in last week's Harken cup and should be on good form for the event.

The local derby is going to be interesting with Josh Porebski's team coming up against Tim Coltman and his team both representing the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club. Clubmate Anita Trudgen has entered a girls team to get some practice before next week's selection event for the Yachting New Zealand women's Olympic squad, but you can bet she will also be hard to beat in this event.

Racing has concluded for the day with 10 flights completed in perfect conditions. Up to date results are below. Check the Twitter feed @WgtnSpirit for live updates.

Note from SailRaceWin: After initial postponements due to light winds, racing got under way in 10-14 knots of breeze at the entrance to Evans Bay, Wellington, on day one.

Results after day one
Skipper (club, country) wins-losses

Tim Coltman (RPNYC, New Zealand) 4-1
Valerio Galati (LNIT, Italy) 4-1
Codie Banks (RNZYS, New Zealand) 3-2
Jay Griffen (CYCA, Australia) 3-2
Jordan Reece (RSYS, Australia) 3-2
Josh Porebski (RPNYC, Wellington) 2-1
Anita Trudgen (RPNYC, Wellington) 1-6
Stephanie Doyle (RPAYC, Australia) 0-5


BWR: Work in progress on Virbac Paprec 3 in Wellington

Video of work under way on Virbac Paprec 3 in Wellington, copyright Mark Hill, all rights reserved:

Virbac Paprec 3
Barcelona World Race

America's Cup: TEAM Australia Takes the AC45 for a spin

The AC45 in full flight. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

by Ivor Wilkins

Sporting team uniforms with the slogan ‘AUS AC 34’, the group of nine sailors rotated in various sessions on board – and their verdict afterwards was universally positive.

TEAM Australia has a strong emphasis on youth sailors coming out of multihull, skiff and moth sailing circles. Extreme sailing is in their blood and they took to the hardwing catamaran with enthusiasm.

Josh McKnight was bullish about the team’s chances. “There is no reason why we can’t win the America’s Cup,” he declared. “That is the great thing about the new catamaran. It is all brand new. Everybody starts from scratch, so everybody is in with a chance.”

Youth match racer, Lisa Chamberlin, has very little multihull experience, but described the AC45 as an “awesome boat.” Match racing in multihulls would definitely be a challenge, she said, but reckoned it was going to be great fun.

Jason Waterhouse, by contrast, has been sailing multihulls since he was four years old and is working towards an Olympic slot in the 2016 games.

“The boat is incredibly efficient,” he said, adding that he thought the Cup would see some exciting new moves introduced to match racing.

Despite some initial skepticism, veteran Australian match racer and Olympic sailor Neville Wittey was looking forward to the prospect of match racing in multihulls. “I would love to aim one of these things at somebody in real anger. It will be fantastic. This boat will elevate our sport. It is very athletic and exciting.”

Team sailing coach Adam South has a long history of offshore multihull racing and, although he has more grey hairs than most of the team, his enthusiasm was dialed right up the scale. “A sensational bit of kit,” was how he described the AC45.

He said the make-up of the fledgling team was a mix of young and old.

“The enthusiasm of the young guys will shine through and the wiser heads will keep a cap on that and make sure they don’t do anything too rash,” he said. “It is going to be an interesting prospect.

“Sailing with the wing will require learning some new techniques, but I was very impressed by how easily and fast the boat transitions through tacks. This is definitely the way the America’s Cup had to go. It is the most magnificent thing that has happened in sailing in 150 years.”

America's Cup (where images of Team Australia sailing the AC45 are available)

Sodeb'O: Thomas Coville is Determined that he can get the Record!

Thomas Coville on Sodeb'O; solo around the world. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Sea&Co.

"I can do it," says Thomas Coville, as he passes the Cape of Good Hope, determined to capture the solo around the world record from Francis Joyon and Idec

Audio, 16th February, 2011, from a link-up with Thomas Coville in English and French Audio copyright Windreport/Sodeb'O.

Thomas Coville on Sodeb'O; solo around the world. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Sea&Co.

Sodeb'O - Voile

BWR: New Zealand, New Opportunities

• Virbac-Paprec 3 docked in Wellington for a technical stopover
• Other teams consider their options: make gains on the leader or essential repairs?
• Spectacular footage and images of the first boat through the Cook Strait available

Virbac Paprec 3 sighted off the South Island of New Zealand. Image copyright Barcelona World Race.

by Barcelona World Race media

Virbac-Paprec 3, long-term leaders in the Barcelona World Race, are currently in dock in Wellington after yesterday evening’s surprise announcement that they would be stopping during the Cook Strait passage of the race to make key repairs.

Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron (FRA) reported their plans for the stopover to Race Director Denis Horeau yesterday evening after breaking two mainsail battens during their approach to New Zealand. Shortly after arriving alongside the pontoons of Chaffers marina this morning, Jean-Pierre Dick explained how they arrived at the decision:
“We would have had to finish the whole half of the world tour without any spares on board. With such a weak piece that was too dangerous, because it’s dangerous to sail without these cars. So I decided to stop and get some new ones, this is the reason as it’s not acceptable to sail without any spares.

“We also went through a few other little minor damages that we will repair – such as to the bubble on the roof. We were not planning at all to stop, which is why I don’t have any of my shore crew.”

Each stopover past 140 degrees East must be for a minimum penalty period of 48 hours, hence as Virbac-Paprec 3 arrived on the dockside in Wellington at 2311hrs (NZL local time, or 1011hrs GMT) they may not leave until 2311hrs (NZL) on Friday 18th February.

Before the team arrived in Wellington, they were met by a helicopter team who took some spectacular images and video footage of the boat sailing past New Zealand’s dramatic coastline – see the Multimedia section of the Barcelona World Race website.
Decisions, decisions...

When he won the inaugural edition of the Barcelona World Race in 2008 on Paprec-Virbac 2, Jean-Pierre Dick was one of only two entries not to stop in Wellington for repairs. So far just two teams have signaled their intentions to stopover in New Zealand this time – Virbac-Paprec 3 and Groupe Bel – however the potential benefits of 48-hours of repairs on land are making the decision hard for some skippers, as Alex Pella (ESP) of Estrella Damm explained during this morning’s live link-up:
“All the boats have wear and tear, and you have to be able to assess whether it’s worthwhile stopping and lose 48 hours, or carry on and know you're a little more disadvantaged or could have more technical problems.

“The truth is that it is very interesting, and many people just cannot decide whether to stop or not. It’s going to be a bit like a pit-stop in Formula 1: who’ll get more fuel and who changes their tyres...”

New opportunities?

Meanwhile other boats have been looking to make the most of opportunities on the water. MAPFRE have been chasing Virbac-Paprec 3 hard since the French duo took the lead on January 23, an advantage which they extended as far as 781 miles on February 7, 2011. Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez (ESP) have extricated themselves from a tricky high pressure zone around New Zealand’s South Island, and are currently making steady progress up the coast, 480 miles from Wellington.

Groupe Bel has gained 30 miles on third-placed Estrella Damm, who have tacked further offshore in search of for better pressure, and are now closer to Groupe Bel’s line, with the ‘laughing cow’ just 72 miles behind.

On board Groupe Bel. Image copyright Groupe Bel.

Meanwhile, Group Bel’s own planned stopover could present chances for Renault Z.E., currently 400 miles behind. Antonio Piris explained their dilemma: “I think we have to make the decision in the next couple of days. If we don’t stop of course of course there will be gains for us at the beginning.”

Mirabaud and Neutrogena retain their close connection: just 17 miles between the pair at this afternoon’s 1500hrs update. The most rapid boat on the course is Hugo Boss, averaging 15.9 knots since this morning’s report. Both Hugo Boss and GAES Centros Auditivos gybed this morning as they crossed a frontal system, with Andy Meiklejohn (NZL) and Wouter Verbraak (NED) currently about to enter the East Australian gate. The second fastest team was Central Lechera Asturiana, with Juan Merediz (ESP) commenting today on how hard he found it to believe their speedo, now showing two digits after many days at sub-10 knots.

Rankings at 1400hrs UTC Wednesday 16th February

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC at 11533 miles to finish
2 MAPFRE at 480 miles to leader
3 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at 702 miles
4 GROUPE BEL at 774 miles
5 RENAULT Z.E at 1167 miles
6 MIRABAUD at 1510 miles
7 NEUTROGENA at 1527 miles
8 HUGO BOSS at 1755 miles
10 FORUM MARITIM CATALA at 3720 miles
12 WE ARE WATER at 4469 miles


Jean-Pierre Dick (FRA), Virbac-Paprec 3:

“What has happened is that my mainsail track has some ‘receptacles’ [cars] which are linked to the battens, and these receptacles that move on the mast are not very reliable pieces unfortunately. We discovered this – we thought they were strong enough but in fact they are not, and we broke two of them this morning, and we’d previously broken one.

“We had two spares, and we just needed two more which meant we would have had to finish the whole half of the world tour without any spares on board. With such a weak piece that was too dangerous, because it’s dangerous to sail without these cars. So I decided to stop and get some new ones, this is the reason I decided with Loick to stop as it’s not acceptable to sail without any spares.

“So we went through a few other little minor damages that we will repair - to the bubble on the roof. We were not planning at all to stop, which is why I don’t have any of my shore crew. We just have some good relationships that I know for a long time, particularly with Luc Bartissol who was the technical manager of Paprec-Virbac 2.

“Now, we will try to relax. Have some good sleep, a shower, a shave maybe. And then of course our priorities are what is happening on the boat.”

Alex Pella (ESP) Estrella Damm:
“All the boats have wear and tear, and you have to be able to assess whether it’s worthwhile stopping and lose 48 hours, or carry on and know you're a little more disadvantaged or could have more technical problems.

“The truth is that it is very interesting, and many people just cannot decide whether to stop or not. It’s going to be a bit like a pit-stop in Formula 1: who’ll get more fuel and who changes their tyres...

“Today we have been becalmed and have been busy almost all day with maintenance: we repaired two sails, stanchions, the pulpit, a winch... all day has been dedicated to the boat, and knowing that there will be calm means you have a little opportunity to make repairs. Especially with regard to sails – we spread two sails out on deck to work on, which is a luxury because you have plenty of space, whereas to do so inside the boat is very tricky.”

Renault ZE. Image copyright Renault ZE.

Antonio Piris (ESP), Renault Z.E.:
“It’s been great for us [as fastest boat] because we were coming from a few days of probably being the slowest boat.

“I think it’s just down to meteorological considerations, so sometimes you can get pushed by the meteo, and sometimes you can get stopped. Right now the leaders are a little bit stuck in high pressure, so that’s why they’re slow. For a couple of days we’ve been a little bit more to the south of everyone and had a little bit more pressure, and that’s made us go fast. This ocean racing has some good days and some bad days and we’re happy to have had a couple of good ones.

“We are having a couple of issues here and we have to make the decision if we stop or not, I think we have to make the decision in the next couple of days. If we don’t stop of course of course there will be gains for us at the beginning, so that’s good for us. I think Bel had some problems with sails, and we’re okay with that.”

Juan Merediz (ESP), Central Lechera Asturiana:
"Finally, as I commented in my email today, the speedo is working well, and showing two figures now we have 20 knots. We are eager to get going. Now we have 24 knots of wind and we have a clear goal now, to reach the Fòrum Marítim Català.

"We have three fabadas [a Spanish cassoulet] on board, yesterday we ate one, maybe that is the reason for our speed today!

"As for the boat, we’ve realised that we don’t have enough foresail area, we particularly notice this when we have light winds - when there is plenty of wind we don’t detect it as much.

"It's tough when other boats take such a distance from you, we’re now 4,000 miles from Virbac-Paprec 3. I think people think that we will are not sailing as fast as we could be, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We – and We Are Water and Fòrum Marítim Català – we are all doing everything we possibly can and fighting to the fullest. But we're just not having any luck with the weather."

In French:

- Virbac-Paprec 3 est amarré dans le port de Wellington
- Jean-Pierre Dick et Loïck Peyron en repartiront vendredi à 11h11
- La question du pit stop est dans tous les esprits
- Pendant ce temps, de belles batailles se trament dans le Pacifique et l’Indien

We Are Water. Image copyright We Are Water.

La décision surprise de Virbac-Paprec 3 de faire une escale technique à Wellington risque de changer totalement la physionomie de la Barcelona World Race. En s’arrêtant 48 heures, les leaders vont d’abord concéder une grosse partie voire la totalité de leur avance à MAPFRE. A moins que leur décision ne soit contagieuse et ne déclenche une série d’arrêts au stand dans la capitale néo-zélandaise. Même dans ce cas, les différents scénarii météo en fonction des timing de (re) départ vont forcément bouleverser la donne. En bref, la hiérarchie de ce mercredi 16 février pourrait bien ne plus être du tout la même en début de semaine prochaine...

Les compteurs à zéro ?

Jean-Pierre Dick et Loïck Peyron se sont amarrés ce matin à 11h11 (heure française) dans la marina de Chaffers, en plein centre ville de Wellington. Ils en repartiront vendredi 18 février à 11h11 très exactement après 48 heures d’escale au cours de laquelle les chariots de lattes de grand-voile seront remplacés et une bulle de roof réparée… entre autres. Or, le même jour à la même heure, MAPFRE devrait avoir doublé la Pointe de Farewell au Nord de l’île du Sud, réduisant ainsi dramatiquement son retard sur le monocoque bleu (record atteint le 7 février avec 781 milles d’écart !).

Virbac-Paprec 3aconstruit sa suprématie en Atlantique Sud, lors de son contournement de l’anticyclone de Sainte-Hélène et depuis le 25 janvier, sa domination n’a plus jamais été contestée. Même si Dick et Peyron repartaient de Wellington quelques heures avant le retour MAPFRE, ils seraient désormais placés directement sous la menace de ces derniers. Mais une autre question se pose : quel est l’état du bateau d’Iker Martinez et Xabi Fernandez (ex Foncia) après 13 000 milles de course à pousser la machine à fond ? On sait qu’ils ont déjà cassé une dérive, réparée avec les moyens du bord. Ont-ils intérêt à s’arrêter à leur tour ?

Effet domino

Une course autour du globe ne se joue pas à gagne-petit. Pour monter sur le podium, il faut d’abord finir et pour finir il faut ne pas casser. Mieux vaut parfois accepter de perdre 48 heures et repartir avec une embarcation à 100% de ses capacités plutôt que de s’accrocher à sa position et hypothéquer ses chances de succès. C’est le choix opéré par Groupe Bel. Lors de l’édition 2007/2008, c’était aussi celui d’Hugo Boss et de Temenos, qui terminèrent respectivement 2e et 3e à Barcelone...

Aujourd’hui, ce dilemme taraude une bonne partie des équipages de tête. A bord de Renault Z.E (5e, au sud de la Tasmanie), Antonio Piris évoquait clairement la possibilité de faire un stop, de même qu’Alex Pella sur Estrella Damm (3e). La décision des leaders est contagieuse et pourrait bien déclencher une sorte d’effet domino avec un chassé-croisé de 60 pieds dans la capitale néo-zélandaise. Plus qu’un mal nécessaire, cette escale technique est devenue un paramètre hautement stratégique et il n’est pas dit que la Barcelona World Race ne se gagne pas finalement à terre, comme les courses de F1 lors des arrêts au stand (rappelons au passage que c’est la deuxième escale technique du monocoque bleu ! ).

Groupe Bel se rapproche d’Estrella Damm

Up the mast on board Groupe Bel. Image copyright Groupe Bel.

Sur l’eau aussi, il se passe des choses susceptibles de chambouler un classement figé depuis une semaine. C’est d’abord la position délicate d’ Estrella Damm pris dans les mailles de l’anticyclone en mer de Tasmanie. Ces dernières 24 heures, Alex Pella et Pepe Ribes ont perdu 100 milles sur leur prédécesseur MAPFRE et plus de 130 sur leur poursuivant Groupe Bel. Il est fort possible que les deux bateaux rouges arrivent de concert sur les côtes de Nouvelle-Zélande dans la journée de samedi ! En 5e position, l’équipage de Renault Z.E, entré ce matin dans l’océan Pacifique devrait lui aussi se rapprocher de la tête de course grâce à de forts (à très forts) vents de nord issus d’une vilaine dépression Tasmane
Derrière, le duel est d’une rare intensité entre Mirabaud (6e) et Neutrogena (7e) qui semblent calquer leurs traces en direction du Pacifique. Enfin, FMC, est bien parti pour semer définitivement ses petits camarades Central Lechera Asturiana et We are Water. Malheureusement, ces deux derniers bateaux vont redoubler de malchance et affronter une situation météo très complexe dont un passage douloureux dans une dépression stationnaire...

Classement du 16 février à 15 heures (TU+1) :

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC à 11533,1 milles de l’arrivée
2 MAPFRE à 480,2 milles du leader
3 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team à 702,6 milles
4 GROUPE BEL à 774,9 milles
5 RENAULT Z.E à 1167,2 milles
6 MIRABAUD à 1510,8 milles
7 NEUTROGENA à 1527,7 milles
8 HUGO BOSS à 1755,8 milles
9 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS à 1942,9 milles
10 FORUM MARITIM CATALA à 3720 milles
12 WE ARE WATER à 4469,4 milles

En bref :

Loick Peyron and Jean-Pierre Dick, with Virbac Paprec 3 moored in Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Jean-Pierre Dick et Loïck Peyron ont passé la longitude de Wellington ce matin à environ 8h45 TU. Ils auront donc mis 20 jours, 7 heures et 10 minutes entre le cap de Bonne Espérance et le détroit de Cook (Trophée de l’Ocean Indien qui récompensera l’équipage le plus rapide sur ce tronçon). Soit presque trois jours de plus que lors de la précédente édition (17 jours 13 heures et 50 minutes).

Ils ont dit :

Jean-Pierre Dick, Virbac-Paprec 3
: « La décision on l’a prise ce matin (hier soir heure française) très tôt. Nous avons dû prendre un ris et on a constaté que nos deux nouveaux chariots de lattes sur le mât étaient de nouveau cassés. Si on a plus ces chariots, la grand-voile s’écarte du mât et peut carrément se déconnecter et on peut démâter. Donc il y avait un réel enjeu d’abandon de la course et nous avons préféré assurer le coup et perdre deux jours. Nous aurons toujours toutes nos chances. Nous ne savons pas trop ce qui va se passer, mais on imagine que nous allons repartir globalement ensemble avec MAPFRE. Peut-être lui un peu devant nous, ou inversement. Les conditions nous sont relativement favorables avec l’anticyclone sur la flotte. Nous allons voir comment cela va se passer. Mais je vais essayer de ne pas trop regarder la météo, ça a tendance à me stresser, il faut que je me relaxe. Le départ de Wellington sera une bataille à deux qui va relancer un peu la course si on voit ça d’une façon positive. Mais ça reste une grosse frustration, car nous avions bien creusé le trou. Nous avions une énorme avance à la sortie de Cook. Là ce n’est plus pareil. »

Sunset from FMC. Image copyright Forum Maritim Catala.

Alex Pella, Estrella Damm:
"Tous les bateaux ont des problèmes à bord et il faut savoir évaluer la prise de risque, savoir s’il est intéressant de perdre 48 heures ou de poursuivre et savoir que vous êtes diminués ou que le problème technique peut s’aggraver. En fait, c’est très intéressant. Il y a de nombreuses personnes qui ne peuvent prédire à l’avance ce qui va se passer. C’est comme lors d’une épreuve de Formule 1. Qui peut parier sur le nombre d’arrêts, de changement de trains de pneus, sur le volume du plein d’essence ? »

Antonio Piris (ESP) Renault Z.E. :« Renault Z.E se porte plutôt bien, on a des petits problèmes que l’on va surveiller de près. Pendant notre route jusqu’en Nouvelle-Zélande nous allons réfléchir si l’on a besoin de s’arrêter ou pas. Pour l’instant ce sont des petites choses, mais si elles s’aggravent ça pourrait nous causer de vrais problèmes ! Revenir sur le groupe de tête dépendra des arrêts des autres bateaux et de notre arrivée sur la Nouvelle-Zélande. Visiblement il y a un anticyclone qui peut freiner les leaders, on verra bien si on le passe sans mal.Nous avons plusieurs tenues et heureusement car les premières commencent à être vraiment usées et à avoir des trous ! On va pouvoir mettre les nouvelles et on sera plus au sec avec du matériel neuf. On va mettre les anciennes en réserve à partir de maintenant.»

Barcelona World Race

BWR: Mapfre Holds Speed Despite the Calm

Mapfre. Image copyright Maria Muina.

by Helena Paz

The mystery surrounding the possible effects of the high pressure in the Tasman Sea where the regatta leader pack is sailing is slowly fading away. The anticyclone continues to move East and it looks like “MAPFRE” with Olympic champions Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández have crossed it through the middle at the right time, although they are not quite ready to let their guard down yet. The Basque pair continues in second place and are moving away from the third placed entry. They also received news yesterday of leader “Virbac Paprec 3”'s stopover in Wellington.

During the past five hours “MAPFRE” has been able to pursue her approach towards Cook Strait at 13.2 knots averages, compared with the 2.5 knots being notched up by most immediate rival “Estrella Damm” between 04:00 and 09:00 GMT.

Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández have gained a total of 81.6 miles on the IMOCA Open 60 crewed by Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella over the past 24 hours. In the Southern daytime, and Europe's night the rival Spanish crew found themselves halted by a lull, which gave the skippers a chance to thoroughly check the yacht and carry out some repairs before reaching Cook Strait.

“Groupe Bel” hasn't fared too badly either in the high, having stayed West of it and heading on an almost straight line course to Cape Farewell, to the North of the South Island of New Zealand, maintaining the pace of “MAPFRE” and even moving in 35 miles closer.

Another technical pitstop for the leader

Last night “Virbac Paprec 3” announced that they would be making a second technical pitstop in the regatta so far. The French entry has been in the New Zealand's capital port since 10:11 GMT to carry out some minor but fundamental repairs to the mainsail tracks, according to reports from the race organisers.

In the previous edition of the regatta three boats stopped in Wellington. In this race so far two entries officially plan to do so: “Virbac Paprec 3” and “Groupe Bel”. The pitstop incurs an automatic 48 hours penalty for a stop after 140º East, as indicated in the Race Instructions for the Barcelona World Race. That means Jean Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron won't be back racing until Friday at the same time GMT.

Meanwhile, “MAPFRE” and the rest of the fleet will have the chance to cut down the gaps. The last word, as ever, will be in the hands of the force of the breeze.

Day 47 - 09:00 GMT

1. VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 (Jean Pierre Dick - Loïck Peyron) FRA, 11,531.5 miles from finish
2. MAPFRE (Iker Martínez - Xabi Fernández) ESP, +508 miles from leader
3. ESTRELLA DAMM SAILING TEAM (Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes) ESP, +726.1 miles
4. GROUPE BEL (Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane) FRA, +829.6 miles
5. RENAULT Z. E. (Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris) ESP, +1,229.9 miles
6. MIRABAUD (Dominique Wavre - Michéle Paret) SUI, +1,572 miles
7. NEUTROGENA FÓRMULA NORUEGA (Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier) NOR, +1,597.4 miles
8. HUGO BOSS (Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn) GBR, +1.836.4 miles
9. GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS (Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella) GBR/ESP, +2,015.2 miles
10. FÒRUM MARÍTIM CATALÀ (Gerard Marín - Ludovic Aglaor) ESP, +3,792.7 miles
11. CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA (Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio) ESP, +4,109 miles
12. WE ARE WATER (Jaume Mumbrú - Cali Sanmartí) ESP, +4,499.8 miles
** FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux - François Gabart) FRA, RACE ABANDONED 26th January.
** PRÉSIDENT (Jean le Cam - Bruno García) FRA/ESP, RACE ABANDONED 12th January

Barcelona World Race

Rolex Farr 40 Worlds: Sydnney Waits With Baited Breath

Nerone. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

by Lisa Ratcliff

In a week’s time the 14th Rolex Farr World Championship gets underway in Sydney, Australia. A quick browse through the crew lists suggests this will be one of the most competitive championships in the history of this formidable one-design class. The standard of racing sailors warming up for the 2011 championship is as good as it gets. World-class helmsmen, A-list tacticians and motivated crew are joining forces, all packing plenty of ammunition, as the countdown to the four-day waterborne tournament enters its final phase.

Twenty Farr 40s representing Australia, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and the USA are set to contest the regatta from 23-26 February. A heightened interest reflects the longevity of a strict racing class that remains without peer in its size. That its crown jewel championship is able to move from continent to continent with ease, and continue to attract pedigree teams, is a legacy of the lasting appeal of the Farr 40 Class, whose central tenet remains the non-professional owner-driver rule.

The Rolex Farr 40 Worlds were last held in Sydney in 2005. Australia, in the form of Richard Perini and Evolution, came out top in a nail-biting encounter decided by a tiebreak after the final race. Australia has form in this class. John Calvert-Jones and Southern Star won the 2000 worlds in Newport, Rhode Island. Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion was in pole position at the 2010 worlds, held in the Dominican Republic, until his challenge unravelled at the last in the face of the eventual winner, Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio Sodo Migliori’s Nerone (ITA).

Whilst neither Perini nor Calvert-Jones are seeking to relive their former glories, several of their crew are: Grant Simmer and Adam Beashel (winners from 2000) have reunited and will be sailing on Marcus Blackmore’s Hooligan (AUS), alongside Jason Rowed and Tristam Eldershaw (winners from 2005). Hamish Pepper (another 2005 winner) has the unenviable task of filling Terry Hutchinson’s shoes on three-time Rolex Farr 40 Worlds’ winner Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad (USA).

Race start. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

And this may be the key this year. Familiar faces are all around, but are not necessarily surrounded by familiar fellow crew. Even defending Rolex Farr 40 World Champion, Nerone has played musical chairs with the return of Antonio Sodo Migliori to his position at the helm in place of Alberto Signorini; Signorini standing in whilst Migliori was recovering from an accident suffered just ahead of last year’s championship. The chopping and changing throughout the fleet may add spice to the already heady mix, as each team strives for the essential consistency required for an overall winning performance.

President of the Australian Farr 40 Class, Martin Hill, the co-owner of Estate Master with wife Lisa, is another who has rung some changes in the past twelve months. Retaining the services of most of his crew from 2010, he has added the recognized talents of 2010 ISAF Rolex World Sailor Tom Slingsby. Hill points to the expected conditions as another leveller in the battle for supremacy, “sailing both inside the harbour with tidal influence on flat water and with backwash off Sydney Heads, and then the washing-machine often experienced outside the harbour will make it a very testing event. It will produce a good mix of conditions, with speed, tactics and good old-fashioned luck playing important roles and guaranteeing some snakes and ladders on the leaderboard.”

Those with previous form in the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds will be aiming to stamp their mark early on the championship, even though they know that setting off at a fast pace is no prelude to success. Only a few leaders on the first day have carried the standard through to the finish. Belgiorno-Nettis has first-hand experience of this, ruing his final day loss to Nerone in the 2010 worlds, “we gave them a smell and they knocked us off the perch. You can’t underestimate them, or get too cocky.” As a statement of intent, Belgiorno-Nettis has added John Kostecki – Olympic silver medallist, Amercia’s Cup and Round the World Race winner, plus twice in the winner’s circle at the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds - to his afterguard.

Farr 40s downwind. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

Another Cup winner, one of Australian yachting’s favourite sons, is returning to race on local waters for the first time in a decade. James Spithill is tactician on Doug Douglass’ Goombay Smash (USA), trading the Southern Cross for the Star Spangled Banner as his battleflag. There are probably few better placed to judge the quality of the crews gathering downunder, “it’s an awesome turnout of some of the best guys in the world right now throughout the teams. I think it’s going to be a very tough regatta.”

There is a beacon of light for those with newcomers to blend in. There is precedent for change breeding success. In 2008, when Vincenzo Onorato won his third back-to-back title, he did so sailing with two different tacticians. One may have been John Kostecki, but neither were regular crewmates. The time for guessing and speculation will not end next Wednesday when racing commences, but we may be afforded a glimpse of what might come to pass.

The 2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship organised by the Farr 40 Class Association and hosted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron runs from 23 – 26 February. Ten races are scheduled. An invitational race around Sydney Harbour on Tuesday, 22 February will form a preview. The final prize giving takes place on Saturday, 26 February.

Rolex Farr 40 Worlds

New Vestas SailRocket 2 Aims for Sailing Speed Record

Vestas Sailrocket 2. Supplied image.

by Vestas SailRocket Team

The Sailrocket team launches its second-generation speed sailing boat from the Isle of Wight on 8 March, 2011. Vestas Sailrocket 2 is designed to be significantly faster than its predecessor, with the ultimate aim of breaking the ‘Outright World Speed Sailing Record’.

During the last 15 months, the Sailrocket team has been focused on building a better, safer and –above all – faster boat in Vestas Technology R&D’s facilities on the Isle of Wight. Now Vestas Sailrocket 2 will be launched to the public for the first time.

“Since we started pursuing the Outright World Speed Sailing Record 9 years ago, the record has been raised by exactly 9 knots. The current record holders, the kite surfers, have taken it out of the reach of all the previous contenders and it is going to take a very special boat to get it back. Vestas Sailrocket 2 is a boat that aims high. The only satisfactory outcome for us is the outright record,” Paul Larsen, pilot and project leader from the Sailrocket 2 team says.

With the record raised to the current level, the ambitious team behind Sailrocket is even more eager to develop a boat to break the Outright World Speed Sailing Record. In order to do that, conventional design has been left behind and everything is pushed to the limit.

“Many lessons have been learned since the first Sailrocket was launched in 2004. The first boat shows the scars of the many learning processes we have been through over the years. In the end it performed as predicted; although she briefly emerged as the fastest boat in the world, she never achieved the Outright record title. The record was like a mirage: as we got faster, so did the record,” Paul Larsen says.

“We learnt a lot with the first boat. The recent performance of the kite surfers vindicated our decision to build a new boat. I’m confident that Sailrocket 2 has the potential to take the record to new levels.”

Main Sailrocket sponsor Finn Strøm Madsen, President of Vestas Technology R&D, emphasises the Sailrocket team’s efforts in bringing knowledge about wind, design and sailing together in order to be the fastest in the world.

“Vestas has a deep interest in the Sailrocket project. By using innovation and technological breakthroughs you can harvest the power of wind with ever-improving efficiency. That is the key for both Vestas and Sailrocket. I look forward to seeing the new Vestas Sailrocket 2 push the boundaries of wind driven performance in the search of speed,” says Finn Strøm Madsen.

Launch details

Vestas Sailrocket 2 will be launched on 8 March at Venture Quays, in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight. Both Sailrocket boats will be shown to the public.

About Vestas Sailrocket

Vestas Sailrocket 2 is a speed sailing boat based on a unique, stabilising concept. Vestas Sailrocket has continuously pushed the limits for speed sailing and currently holds the B class world record for speed sailing. The sail and keel elements are positioned so that there is virtually no overturning moment and no net vertical lift. As a result, the only significant response to wind gusts is a change in speed.

For Paul Larsen and Malcolm Barnsley, design team member from Vestas, the Vestas Sailrocket 2 project is a realisation of their ultimate dream to design and sail the fastest boat on the planet.

Read more about Vestas Sailrocket at

About the ‘Outright world speed sailing record’

The Outright world speed sailing record is set by taking the average speed of a craft between two points set 500 meters apart. All records are observed and ratified by the sport’s governing body, the World Speed Sailing Record Council (WSSRC). It is open to all water borne sailing crafts from kite surfers to maxi multihulls.

In late October 2010, American Kite surfer Rob Douglas set the current record in Luderitz, Namibia with a speed of at 55.65 knots (64 mph, 104 kmh). In a month-long session the kite surfers took the record off the mighty French hydro-foiler Hydroptere and raised the record by over 4 knots. They are expected to go faster still in the coming year.

About Vestas

Every single day, Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the global fight against climate change. Wind power from Vestas’ more than 43,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by more than 40 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence.

Vestas is the world leader in wind technology, with a history of technological innovation and over 30 years of experience in developing, manufacturing, installing and maintaining wind turbines. Vestas was a pioneer in the wind industry and started to manufacture wind turbines in 1979. In 1987, the company began to concentrate exclusively on wind energy.

Today, Vestas operates in 66 countries, providing jobs for over 20,000 passionate people at our service and project sites, research facilities, factories and offices on six continents all over the world.

We invite you to learn more about Vestas by visiting our website at

BWR: Virbac-Paprec 3 amarré à Wellington

Virbac Paprec 3 moored up in Chaffers Marina, Wellington, 17th February 2011. Image copyright Bryn Heveldt/ - all rights reserved.

by Anne-Charlotte Meyer

J+47.11h11. Virbac-Paprec 3 vient tout juste de s'amarrer à Wellington et débute ainsi leur escale technique de 48h. Il pourra repartir vendredi matin à 11h11 (information officielle de la direction de course).

Jean-Pierre Dick et Loïck Peyron ont passé la longitude de Wellington ce matin à environ 9h45 (heure française), soit 46 jours 20h 45min depuis le départ de Barcelone. En 2007, Paprec-Virbac 2 avait mis 45 jours et 32 min.

Virbac Paprec 3 moored up in Chaffers Marina, Wellington, 17th February 2011. Image copyright Bryn Heveldt/ - all rights reserved.

Premières déclarations de JP à son arrivée à Wellington

Quel est le programme de l'escale technique ?
« Nous n'avons pas notre équipe technique mais nous avons tout de même quelques connaissances en Nouvelle Zélande. Luc Bartissol (ancien directeur technique de Paprec-Virbac 2) vit en Nouvelle Zélande. Il va nous rejoindre. Nous avons construit le bateau et le mât ici ; nous connaissons donc les chantiers, les fournisseurs... Nous nous sommes vite organisés pour réunir les compétences."

Quelles sont les autres bricoles à réparer lors de l'escale ?
« On a éclaté une bulle pendant une tempête dans l'Océan Indien qui est sur le côté du roof du bateau qui permettait de nous abriter et de barrer le bateau. C'est gênant car! maintenant il y a de l'eau qui traverse. Nous allons la réparer. Il y a aussi d'autres petites choses mais rien de très grave. "

Est-ce que vous allez en profiter pour vous reposer un peu ?
« On va essayer de se reposer. Nous allons suivre l'équipe technique et faire en sorte que l'on reparte dans les meilleures conditions. Effectivement le repos c'est important, se relaxer un peu, prendre une douche, se raser, les choses simples de la vie. »

Avez-regardé l'évolution de votre concurrent direct, Mapfré ?

« Je pense que l'on va repartir ensemble, peut être Mapfre devant nous, peut être nous devant eux. Les conditions anticycloniques sont relativement favorables pour que les concurrents n'avancent pas trop vite... On va voir comment cela se passe ? J'évite de trop regarder, cela a tendance à me stresser car nous avions une belle avance. Il faut que je me relaxe. De toute façon, on partira un ! peu comme avec Foncia lors de notre pitstop à Recife, une bataille à deux, c'est sympa !"

Audio en français avec Jean-Pierre Dick et puis Loïck Peyron à Wellington, 16.02.11

Virbac Paprec 3 moored up in Chaffers Marina, Wellington, 17th February 2011. Image copyright Bryn Heveldt/ - all rights reserved.

J+47. 19h00. Arrivés il y a 8 heures en Nouvelle-Zélande, JP et Loïck profitent d'une bonne nuit de sommeil après avoir listé les travaux à faire, répondu aux sollicitations des médias et réalisé les formalités de douanes. Ces derniers sont très pointilleux sur l'importation de nourriture fraîche mais ont vite compris que JP et Loïck n'étaient pas en faute quand ils leur ont montré les lyophilisés à bord !

Sur le port de Wellington, la journée commence sur Virbac-Paprec 3 orchestrée par Luc Bartissol sur place et Nicolas Abiven en France. Les différents fournisseurs sont arrivés de toute la Nouvelle-Zélande : Southern Spars pour le mât et les chariots de grand-voile, North Sails pour checker les voiles et Cookson, le constr! ucteur de bateau, pour le remplacement de la bulle du roof.

Virbac-Paprec 3
Barcelona World Race

VELUX5OCEANS: Rude Awakening for Derek Hatfield

Canadian solo sailor wakes to find Active House out of control doing 21 knots

Active House at full pelt. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/onEdition.

by Sarah Hames

WHEN you’re alone on a 60ft yacht in the depths of the Southern Ocean, thousands of miles from land or help, the last thing you want is to lose to control of your boat. But that was the situation facing Canadian Derek Hatfield last night when he awoke to find his Eco 60 Active House screaming along at a dangerously quick 21 knots, struggling to cope with a Southern Ocean squall.

The 58-year-old solo sailing veteran had been enjoying a rare moment of rest when he was woken from his sleep by the sound of Active House’s keel humming, a sign that she was travelling incredibly fast through the water. He scrambled on deck to find the wind had whipped up to 35 knots and Active House had accelerated from a comfortable 13 knots to 21.

“I was asleep when a squall came through and I woke to the sound of the keel humming,” Derek explained. “I put some foulies on quickly and went on deck to find Active House doing 21 knots. It was unbelievable, she was totally out of control. When you’re asleep and you wake up to that it’s a bit of a shock. It was the middle of the night, pitch black and quite disconcerting.

“I had to slow the boat down she was going so fast. It sounds funny that I would be trying to slow the boat down in a yacht race but it’s all about getting that balance between speed and safety.”

The incident took place near to Point Nemo, the most remote place on the planet, around 2,000 miles from land in every direction. “Going too quickly can get very dangerous very quickly and we are not in a place where you can afford for anything to go wrong,” Derek added.

Derek also revealed that he discovered a water leak in the mid compartment on Active House which he has been bailing out daily. He also had a scare when he went on deck to find the baby stay - the smaller, inner forestay – had disconnected from the deck. Luckily there was no damage and Derek managed to secure the stay using a spare bolt.

“I’ve been full on over the last few days trying to deal with all this stuff and race the boat at the same time,” Derek said. “I feel my speeds and tactics are suffering a little, but I’m doing my best to hang on to Brad and Gutek.”

The 1200 UTC position report polled Derek in third place just under 200 nautical miles behind sprint leader Brad Van Liew and less than 25 nautical miles behind second placed Zbigniew Gutkowski. At midday Derek was 200 nautical miles from the exit of the sprint three speed gate.

Ocean sprint three positions at 12h00 UTC:

Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: 3021.3/ 0/ 240.1/10
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 3193.2/171.9/210.2/8.8
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 3217.1/195.8/ 229.5/9.6
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 3351.2/ 329.9/ 263.4/ 11


TJV: Marc Guillemot and Yann Eliès form a team aboard Safran for the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre

Marc Guillemot/Safran with Yann Elies at the end of the Vendee Globe in Les Sables d'Olonne. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/DPPI.

by Soazig Guého

Marc Guillemot will be defending his title in the next Transat Jacques Vabre aboard the 60-foot monohull Safran with Yann Eliès as his co-skipper. A strong friendship developed between the two men after the former came to the help of the latter during the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe. But above all for both men, it is more a matter of setting up an efficient sporting partnership. Their goal? To do the double. Nothing less than that.

It will be Yann Eliès, who will accompany Marc Guillemot on Safran in the 2011 Transat Jacques Vabre, which will start in Le Havre on 30th October. No one can forget that emotionally charged moment, when Yann suffered an accident in the southern ocean during the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe. Marc was to change course to offer assistance to the skipper, who was seriously injured. Everyone remembers too that emotional moment, when they met up again in Les Sables d’Olonne, when Yann went to welcome Marco home on the night he finished the race. Taking part in this transatlantic race together will only strengthen this beautiful friendship while revealing a real winning pair.

First and foremost a sporting choice

Charles Caudrelier Benac, Marc Guillemot’s usual crewman aboard Safran, is taking part in the Volvo Ocean Race (as part of Franck Cammas’s Groupama team), so Marc was naturally attracted to the idea of sailing with Yann Eliès: “I need an efficient skipper, with whom I will enjoy sailing. Yann satisfies these criteria. Of course, our friendship has been very strong since everything happened in the Indian Ocean, but I have decided to set sail with Yann above all because he is very skilful.” Marc Guillemot added: “Yann is one of those skippers, who has achieved some excellent results, particularly in the Figaro circuit: a good performer, he is determined and intelligent… and looking beyond the race itself, he is someone, who enjoys being at sea. Sailing with people like him widens our horizons.”

Aiming for the double

The goals are clear: to confirm the status of the monohull Safran as one of the leaders in the IMOCA class; to carry on working to be at the top… and to do all they can to ensure they win the prestigious Transat Jacques Vabre twice in a row. “Roland Jourdain has acquired the habit of winning the Route du Rhum every four years… I’d now like to do the same every two years in the Transat Jacques Vabre,” smiled Marc Guillemot.

Ready to take up the challenge

French ocean racing champion in 2004 and 2006, winner of five legs and twice runner-up in the Solitaire du Figaro, Yann Eliès was also the helmsman on Orange and Orange 2, Bruno Peyron’s maxi-catamarans, which twice grabbed the Jules Verne Trophy. He was also considered to be one of the leading lights in the IMOCA 60 class before his accident. His amazing return to the Figaro circuit in the past two years has confirmed his status as a great French racer. At the age of 37, the sailor from St. Brieuc is returning to a 60-foot monohull and is particularly keen on the idea of competing alongside Marc: “Just like Lionel Lemonchois and Jean Le Cam, Marc Guillemot is one of those rare skippers, who never seems to have had enough, and who prove each day their high standards, which leads you to want to push that bit harder. It will therefore be a great team racing together on Safran, one of the best performing boats in the class, especially after what happened to us on the other side of the world. But above all this is a sporting partnership and a huge challenge we are taking up.”

Together in the Europa Race

Some intensive training lies ahead for the two men over the next eight months. They will be taking part in the sessions at the French training centre in Port-la-Forêt of course, but in particular, they will be racing too in the Europa Race (which starts in Turkey on 3rd July). They will also be carrying out a large part of the delivery trip from la Trinité-sur-Mer to Istanbul together “One thing we can be certain of is that we will have sailed a lot together on Safran before the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre,” explained Marc Guillemot. Remaining hard at work and continually proving themselves before claiming their place as leader is a recurrent method in the Safran Group. It also applies to their top-class sailors.

Safran Sailing Team
Transat Jacques Vabre

VOR: Gybe Talkin' - Volvo Ocean Race Podcast

Recent Volvo Ocean Race podcasts, led by Guy Swindells:

1st February 2011:
In this extended podcast we talk to the newly appointed Ambassador to the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta, Sir Chay Blyth, rising British Finn star Giles Scott, Norwegian sailing legend Peder Lunde and Cowes Week with Stuart Quarrie

18th January 2011:
We review the AC45's maiden voyage with Dirk de Ridder, discuss all things CAMPER and Emirates Team New Zealand with Chris Nicholson, finally catch up with Ben Ainslie and hear about former Team Russia media crew Mark Covell's remarkable new project

4th January 2011:
We look back at the Sydney to Hobart with the leading lady of navigation, Adrienne Cahalan, Matt Sheahan has news of the America's Cup and finds weird weather, while James Boyd tells us about the start of the Barcelona World Race

21st December 2010:
Rob Mundle previews the Sydney to Hobart, Pepe Ribes looks forward to the Barcelona World Race which starts on December 31st, John Dennis gives us the lowdown on ice sailing, and Matt Sheahan reviews the year

7th December 2010:
We talk World Match Racing Tour with Ian Williams, discuss the changing of the America's Cup guard with the likes of Grant Dalton and Paul Cayard, and find out what Volvo legend Neal McDonald is doing these days

23rd November 2010:
We talk to Groupama skipper Franck Cammas about the Volvo Ocean Race, Jules Verne and Route du Rhum; Matt Sheahan is in Dubai for the Louis Vuitton Trophy with Murray Jones, we have the latest from Andy Meiklejohn ahead of the Barcelona World Race

9th November 2010:
Sidney Gavignet describes his dramatic departure from the Route de Rhum, Paul Cayard talks about his Artemis team for AC34 and we hear from Daily Sail editor James Boyd and Yachting World's Matt Sheahan

29th October 2010:
With one year to go until the start of the next race, we hear from the Volvo Ocean Race CEO, the head of the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, the skipper of PUMA Ocean Racing and a 4-time Volvo veteran

26th October 2010:
We discuss the Rolex Middle Sea Race with ICAP Leopard's Guy Salter, Volvo and Route de Rhum with Groupama's Damien Foxhall and Matt Sheahan takes in Weymouth Speed Week

4th April 2010:
Ken Read describes PUMA Ocean Racing's return to the race and speaks of the tragic death of Peter Spike Doriean. Grant Dalton signs up Emirates Team NZ and Spanish partner Camper, while Stan Honey tells us about Groupama 3's record-breaking campaign

Volvo Ocean Race

VOR Legends: Charles Jourdan - Refitted and Ready to Race Again

by Sophie Luther

Refitted and ready to go, the immaculate Charles Jourdan is heading to Alicante this November to race against others in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends, the first official regatta and reunion.

“We are very excited about coming to Alicante,” says Peter Olsson, the boat captain and owner’s representative. “We have had her refitted, starting with replacing the sails, and she will be in first-class condition when we arrive Alicante. We plan to race in her original Charles Jourdan livery,” he adds.

Head to head with Charles Jourdan will be the maxi Rothmans, who also raced against her in the The Whitbread 1989-90. Like Charles Jourdan, Rothmans is also in immaculate condition. Joining them are the classic Swan 57 Berge Viking from 1981-82, the much-loved Copernicus from 1973 and Great Britain II, who in 1973-74 was the fast yacht around the world. Now known as Whitbread Heritage, she raced in the first five races under four different names.

Charles Jourdan was the sixth maxi yacht to finish the 1989-90 Whitbread, from a fleet of 23 starters, but she came close to not finishing at all after a collision with a whale on leg three.

“I was steering when I saw it dive,” remembers her French skipper Alain Gabbay, who will be reunited with the boat later this year. “The next time I saw it was when it came up, 15 metres ahead of me. We were sailing at 13 knots, so all I could do was turn the wheel. Our nose got past the whale, but not our side.”

Although the whale escaped unscathed, the collision punched a hole of 10 feet long and three feet wide in the hull of the boat. “You could see the sea through our hull,” Gabbay recalls. He told his crew to prepare to abandon ship. “It was a very big crash and I thought it was possible we might sink. I thought it best for everybody to be ready to leave the boat, but once the excitement passed, I went below deck a second time to inspect the damage. At that point I decided we could keep the boat floating.”

This escapade resulted in a number of interesting headlines in the world’s press including: “Enough to Make Him Blubber” and “Whitbread Skipper Has His Own Personal Jonah”.

After the completion of her circumnavigation, the boat was bought by two-time Whitbread competitor, Finland’s Ludde Ingvall. She was refitted and became very competitive, winning several high profile races including the Fastnet Race, The Round Gotland Race and Sydney to Hobart Race. She was bought by a Swedish family in 2000, refitted again, and has since then won several Nordic ocean races under the name Royal Blue.

The Volvo Ocean Race Legends in November this year will celebrate the long and varied history of the world’s premier ocean race and includes racing and social events in for all those who have competed or been involved in the event since its inauguration in 1973. It promises to be an occasion not to be missed, with many former sailors travelling from all over the world to take part.

The official Notice of Race is now available for download together with full information on how to take part and a preliminary schedule of events from:

About Charles Jourdan

• Charles Jourdan finished 6th in The Whitbread Round the World Race 1989-90 the fifth running of the event
• It was won by Steinlager 2/Peter Blake
• Charles Jourdan’s elapsed time was
• Her skipper was Frenchman Alain Gabbay, sailing in his third round the world race
• 23 yachts started the 1989-90 race, which began in Southampton, England on 2 September 1989
• Charles Jourdan famously collided with a whale on leg three, which seriously compromised the hull. They crew was able to continue.
• She is today 76’ long (in the race 70’) and originally sailed with a crew of 10-11
• She is a sloop, designed by Guy Ribadeau-Dumas

Entries in the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion

• Great Britain II/Whitbread Heritage (Maxi) took part in the first five races
• Copernicus 1973-74 (45’: the smallest boat ever to race)
• Rothmans 1989-90 (Maxi)
• Berge Viking 1981-82 (Swan 57)
• Charles Jourdan 1989-90 (Maxi)

About the Volvo Ocean Race Legends Regatta and Reunion

• The first ever official reunion of all who have sailed in the world’s premier ocean race since the inaugural race in 1973-74
• To be held in Alicante, Spain from 1-5 November 2011, week between Alicante In-Port Race and the Start of Leg One of the Volvo Ocean Race
• A full racing schedule over two days
• Will conclude with a departure ceremony and parade of sail to escort the Volvo Ocean Race fleet to the start line for Leg One
• A rich shoreside programme includes a regatta prizegiving, a gala dinner and a host of other social events
• Chat shows and forums after racing
• Legends entries open for public viewing
• 148 boats have crossed the start line in the 37-year history of The Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race
• 1974 crew competed in the first 10 events
• The first 31,250 nautical-mile race first took place 37 years ago (as the Whitbread Round the World Race 1973-74), testing the crews against some of the most ferocious elements that man can encounter
• The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 will be the 11th edition of the event

Lady Pippa Blake
Sir Chay Blyth CBE, BEM

Download the Notice of Race and Entry Form here

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BWR: Video and more Images of Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington

Video with aerial images of Virbac Paprec 3 approaching Wellington, 16th February 2011, copyright Barcelona World Race:

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Virbac Paprec 3 en route to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Loick Peyron and Jean-Pierre Dick alongside Virbac Paprec 3 moored at Chaffers Marina in Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/BarcelonaWorldRace.

Barcelona World Race

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

BWR: Images of Virbac Paprec 3 en Route to Wellington

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron both wave from Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 on her way to Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Barcelona World Race