Saturday, 25 June 2011

Tour de France à la Voile : Oman's BAE Systems all set

M34 BAE Systems (Oman). Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images.

by Mohammed Al Eissa

Oman Sail’s offshore racing team, BAE Systems, is in the final preparations for the forthcoming Tour de France à la Voile (TDV) which starts on Saturday 25 June in Dunkerque, northern France. The TDV is one of the biggest events in the French sailing calendar, and one of the world’s most challenging races.

Oman crew in action. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images.

Oman Sail will compete against 15 world class international teams, in the M34 class, a new class of boat for the 2011 TDV. The TDV is one of France’s most prestigious offshore sailing events, which takes in 12 stops, covering 1000 miles of inshore and offshore routes, with racing taking place onboard identical boats. The route takes in the length of France before finally finishing on the 25 July in La Seyne sur Mer in the Mediterranean.

In preparation for the TDV, the Omani offshore team have been competing in a number of regatta’s , including the inaugural Sailing Arabia The Tour – an event based on the format of the Tour de France à la Voile which saw six teams racing around the Arabian Gulf in February this year. The team has also competed in a number of regatta’s in France, which has seen them secure a number of solid performances, securing a ninth place at the the La Trinité sur Mer during the Spi Ouest France, before going on to claim victory at the and the Grand Prix of Douarnenez.

Omani crew member Yassir in action. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images.

As part of the training programme for the Omani recruits, this year has also seen a 100% Omani crew represent the Sultanate in the West for the first time, a huge milestone in Omani’s Sail’s history, when Oman Sail entered two boats into the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale which took place at the end of May, in Brest, West France.

The team's coach, Alistair Moore, commented:

"The event in Brest was a very important step for the team and a huge achievement for Oman Sail. The ultimate goal is to have a 100% Omani team competing in major events in Europe, such as the TDV, and this means we are a step closer to that. The event was really valuable preparation for the TDV, and gave the Omani sailors the opportunity to really test their maneuvers, tactics and motivation. We can see the significant progress that is being made."

The most recent test for the team came at Normandy Sailing Week in early June, where the team sustained damage to the boats mast after strong winds during an offshore race, resulting in the team missing the final round of races. Despite this the BAE Systems team went on the finish in fifth position.

Oman's BAE Systems M34 racing. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images.

This is the second year Oman Sail has competed in the TDV, having secured an impressive fifth place finish in 2010. For this latest addition, French skipper Cédric Pouligny will be the man in charge of the boat, with a crew that is comprised of 50% Omani sailors - a testament to the progress made by Oman Sail and the dedication of the Omani recruits.

In addition to their support of the Oman Sail offshore team, BAE Systems are also committed to developing young Omani talents through their sponsorship of Oman Sail’s Try Sailing, a programme which has already given over 2,000 young Omanis the opportunity to get out on the water and learn to sail.

Crew List

Omani Crew

Abdullah Al Farsi (Oman)
Nawaf Al Gheedani (Oman)
Yassir Al Rahbi (Oman)
Ali Al Balushi (Oman)
Mohammed Al Ghailani (Oman)
Fahad Al Hasni (Oman)
Ahmed Al Ma‘amari (Oman)

International Crew
Cédric Pouligny (France)
Gérald Véniard (France)
Nicolas Bérenger (France)
Alexandre Pallu de la Barrière (France)
Leigh McMillan (GB)
Shane Hugues (IRL)
Nick Blake (IRL)

Oman Sail
Tour de France à la Voile

Round the Island Race : Video of the Start

JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race

Giraglia Rolex Cup : Foxy Lady Wins

Dominique Heyraud, Owner of FOXY LADY and co-skipper Michel Heyraud, overall winners, receive a Rolex timepice. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

by Anna Maria Gregorini

The surprise overall winner of the 59th Giraglia Rolex Cup is the 37ft-Foxy Lady (FRA), co-skippered by brothers Dominique and Michel Heyraud. Foxy Lady finished the race in a time of 48 hours and four minutes, at 12:08 CEST today, and went on to win on corrected time by 11 minutes, 30 seconds ahead of a fellow 37-footer Jeminy (FRA) with Calima (ESP), overall winners in 2009, finishing in third place.

Dominique Heyraud was surprised and elated in equal measure: "It's absolutely a great feeling because we did not expect it at all. It is a very prestigious race that counts a lot in the Mediterranean. We had the feeling that we managed the race quite well, that we sailed properly, and also that we were lucky in some situations regarding our decisions. It was a very interesting and challenging race."

"The funny part about it, is that each night 'the cards are mixed'," continues Heyraud, "in the evening you see boats around and in the morning at sunrise there are different ones there and you wonder if you have gained or lost in the race, if you have chosen the best option. We thought we could be well placed in IRC but we never thought we could win on handicap."

Heyraud reveals the moment when he realised that the dream may become reality: "I was going for bread in the kitchen downstairs and then my colleague showed me on the screen of his mobile the list of the results, saying: there is something I would like to show you. I asked him, what's this all about, and when he enlarged the list saw: '1st Foxy Lady'. It really took me a while to realise that it was really the results of the Giraglia Rolex Cup and not from another local race in the Mediterranean we had done before. "

Boats passing the Rock. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Brother Michel was equally ecstatic: "I would like to thank Rolex for having "re-energised" great and mythical offshore races like the Giraglia, the Fastnet, the Sydney Hobart. Sailing is such a wonderful sport and it is great to have such support. To win the Giraglia Rolex Cup of course means a lot for us. It is not exactly the same as winning the 24h of Le Mans but quite similar, since it is the biggest race in the Mediterranean."

And, why the evocative name Foxy Lady, for this twenty year old yacht? "It was the name it had when we bought it," continues Dominique, "we kept it because we thought it fits very well. It was also a play on words because very often the X-Yachts have a name with an X and so it has a double meaning because it is also a song by Jimi Hendrix. We like very much the stern of this boat and we said to each other: "this boat is a sexy lady and we keep the name because we like her".

As winner of the Rolex Challenge Trophy, Foxy Lady collected her Rolex Submariner Rolesor as IRC Overall Winner on corrected time during a ceremony this evening at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa.

Other awards were presented to Pietro Supparo's Gianin 6 (ITA), the self-proclaimed 'slowest yacht of the fleet', as winners of Class ORC on corrected time. Canard 41 Aurora (ITA) picked up the Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy based on a combined score across all of the races that took place during the week.

Flying Under One Flag

Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) were always the strong favourite for the line honours title and whilst the metrological conditions thwarted the crew's ambition of breaking the course record of 18 hours, 3 minutes and 15 seconds, the 28-man crew were delighted with their performance at the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

As an Olympic gold medallist and America's Cup winner, skipper Jochen Schümann has seen it all in the world of sailing. Post-race, he provided an expert analysis of the 243-nautical mile challenge: "The beginning was the most exciting for the crew, as we started behind the other classes and it was like sailing an obstacle race through the small boats. From then on we were in the lead and in good control and fulfilled our strategic plan, up until the first night when the wind died. It then became a gamble where the next breeze would be. Things changed in front of the Giraglia rock, as a building breeze from south arrived. We managed to sail past the rock with almost no wind but just around Giraglia we got a good southerly for a perfect finish into Genoa."

"We are very happy to have claimed line honours," closes Schümann, "There was some great teamwork, we did a good job in keeping moving, needing some zig-zags in the night to find breeze."

Tactician Sidney Gavignet added: "It's a great pleasure to work with this European team, with all the different languages and cultures. Communication is very important and the navigation and tactics went very well. It was important to be patient and a pleasure to cross the line ahead of so many boats."

Gian Riccardo Marini (CEO of Rolex SA), Igor Simcic (owner of ESIMIT EUROPA 2) and Carlo Croce (President of Yacht Club Italiano). Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Owner Igor Simcic is proud of the crew's development: "Without such a great team it would not have been possible to succeed. The team represents Europe, with crew members from different countries. Seeing this great job is our message: all Europeans, together on the same boat, winning." Simcic highlighted the role of navigator Juan Vila, another key addition to the afterguard: "It was very interesting to work with him, understand his thought process and how he gets access to the right information."

Tales From The Chasing Pack

Alegre (GBR) were the second boat to finish, capping an impressive Giraglia Rolex Cup after they won their class in the inshore races. "We stuck to our plan and went round the rock probably with the most breeze of the whole race," explains owner/skipper Andres Soriano, "and indeed in the three times I have done the race. We had a good run into the Genoa harbour, which is usually the slowest part of the race."

The Japanese crew of the 39-ft Donna J have considerably less Giraglia Rolex Cup experience than Soriano's Alegre, and in recording a time of 46 hours, 50 minutes and 53 seconds, thoroughly enjoyed participating. "It is our first time here," explains skipper Kawakami Seiji, "and we found it all so exciting, particularly rounding the Giraglia rock. We will definitely try and come back next year."

Yan Trouven of Ker 53 Cruiser-Racer Dralion (MLT) reflected on his team's time of 43 hours, 32 minutes and 46 seconds: "It was quite a long race with not too much wind and during certain stages on the GPS we were going backwards."

Unlike many other crews, Dralion, though, enjoyed a relatively comfortable rounding of the Giraglia rock. "We had some good wind during the turn so we came out of it well whereas other boats were parked next to it," added Trouven, closing with his mantra for the race, "the two important things were keeping the boat going and the maintaining the crew's concentration."

The overall winner two years ago, the S&S 43 Calima (ESP), finished in third place in 2011, although owner Javier Pujol has his regrets this time around: "It was a very nice race, but technically we made a tactical mistake between La Fourmigue and the Giraglia. We were very well positioned until this point but with this error, rounded the rock with no advantage. It is a shame because on paper the conditions were better than in 2009." Given Calima's impressive overall standing, that tactical decision may have proven costly.

Giuseppe Tadini's Dufour-34 Bachiottinho (ITA) has not had as far to travel as the aforementioned yachts and for the young crew, the race had its ups and downs as tactician Stefano Rusconi reveals: "We raced well up to the Giraglia and had a good position in the handicap standings. The second part of the race was more difficult though as the wind changed and forced us to lose a lot of time. However, we're happy as for us it is a week's holiday in June and being in Saint-Tropez was amazing."
Whilst many of the crews will now be thinking of rest and recuperation, for others such as Alegre (GBR), Lucky (USA) Near Miss (SUI) and Pace (GBR) preparations are beginning for the Rolex Fastnet Race, taking place between 14-20 August.

2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Winners
Class IRC: Foxy Lady (FRA), Dominique Heyraud
Class ORC: Gianin 6 (ITA), Pietro Supparo
Line Honours: Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), Igor Simcic
Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy: Aurora (ITA), Paolo Bonomo/Roberto Bruno

Giraglia Rolex Cup

Another Texel Dutch Open win for Heemskerk/Tentij

2011 Dutch Champions Heemskerk and Tentij. Image copyright Thom Touw.

by Diana Bogaards

On Friday, June 24, 2011 Dutchmen Mischa Heemskerk and Bastiaan Tentij won the Texel Dutch Open again. They prolong their Dutch catamaran title with today's three bullets. Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser from the Netherlands take silver, followed by the Australians Adam Beattie and Jamie Leitner. Meanwhile, the favourites for line honors prepared their racing machines on the Texel beach. Tomorrow, the 34th Zwitserleven Round Texel Race will start and the entry list has 440 registered teams.

'It was a very nice day", gloats Heemskerk (NED). 'After the starting debacle yesterday (black flag) we wanted to make sure to be master of our own destiny today. We only started on the safe side and searched for the ends of the line. Rather be at the less favourite side of the line. That worked out fine." Also on the course it went well: 'In the first race we were in third position when we saw a beautiful cloud coming at the right hand side. We went for that and that worked out well." The first bullet of the day was in the pocket.

In the last match it became really thrilling. Heemskerk: 'Jason Waterhouse turned just before us around the off set mark. I thought he had made the full turn, but suddenly Bastiaan yelled 'oh sh*t'. I looked around him and saw the Aussie hanging in a wave and we were speeding into him. I just could steer up to stay clear of him. Luckily we didn't sail into his boat, that would have been ugly. We had some 20-21 knots of speed (38 km/h)." About their chances in the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race Heemskerk says self-assured: 'If the wind tomorrow is like today, then we're on."

Disappointment for Thijs Visser

Silver medallists De Koning and Visser. Image copyright Thom Touw.

After his gold medal earlier this week the silver of today is some less sweet taste for Thijs Visser (NED). 'It was okay", he reacts carefully. 'But we couldn't pass Mischa. At the last start we had some bad luck. There was a boat blocking our way and there was no room for us. We had to fight our way forward." After twice a second position today Coen de Koning and Thijs Visser concluded the championship with a fourth place, which brought them a second position overall.

Accordingly Visser is satisfied about the whole series: 'We lost quite some places in the first race due to equipment failure. Then our cross bar broke lose of the rudder. We lost some time, so that was a pity. And Mischa also had a black flag yesterday. We were almost equal until the last race."

Battle for third place

Bronze medal winners Beattie and Leitner in action. Image copyright Thom Touw.

The Dutchmen Pim Nieuwenhuis and Ferdinand van West could not afford themselves another discard anymore, as they had an OCS in the first race. However, they scored a nineteenth in race seven, so they dropped from the podium. With one more match to go, the Britons Piggott and Garcka were winning bronze. The Aussies had to beat them with three boats between them to take the bronze, which they did. Adam Beattie: 'We had to make up on Grant today. We were not match racing him. We just had to beat him, so we did our own thing. Jamie Leitner: 'It was tough racing. This morning it was a bit lighter and it built in the afternoon. The condition of the waves was hard, but we had a lot of fun. We are pretty ecstatic to have won a bronze medal." Their performance is a direct result of their sailing at home in Australia: 'We haven't stopped sailing. I think that is paying off", says Beattie.

Home team wins Open II class

The Texel team Dirk Pool and Anna van der Duim wins the Open II class for catamarans with a rating of 105 and more. The all girl team Dominique van Asselt and Ingrid Bakker climbed to a second place, followed by Alfred de Jong.

Record attempt

Sunnucks and Egan hunting for the record. Image copyright Thom Touw.

Around 14.30 hour three teams began a record attempt around Texel. Mitch and son Taylor Booth on the Nacra carbon 20. Xander Pols and Sascha Larsen on a similar boat and William Sunnucks en Oliver Egan on the M20 Vampire. Still sailing on the Northsea the two Nacra's had to resign, after they both bore themselves unmercifully hard into a wave. The spinnaker poles broke, so there it ended for today. But tomorrow they just are on the hunt for line honours again.

Sunnucks and Egan in the end were only two minutes away from setting a new record sailing around Texel. They finished in two hours and nine minutes, so the fastest time still is in the hands of Herbert Dercksen and Mark Bulkely. Although Sunnucks and Egan set a new record for this years Zwitserleven Sailing week , the TNG record, that's not what they aimed for. 'We're pissed of," reacts William Sunnucks straight from the heart. 'Only two minutes!" The Brits had to stop four times in their record attempt, which obviously slowed them down. They are indeed good candidates for line honours, which Sunnucks already won in 2009.

Mr. Wing favourite?

Wing sail in preparation. Image copyright Olivier Schilling.

Olympic sailor Herbert Dercksen and Mark Bulkely (GBR) are stealing the show this week in the pit lane. Their Zwitserleven red wing sail is an innovation in the world of beach catamarans and blown over from the America's Cup. Dercksen: 'We wanted to see if we could have the first beach cat with a wing sail to go through the surf out on the sea. It took us six months to build it. Each day you find out new things. So yes maybe the Round Texel Race of tomorrow is a bit too early. But if you're not trying, you will never know. If the wind is stronger, it's actually easy. We already noticed that. With light breeze we're still searching. But the proof of the pudding is the eating. Our goal for tomorrow is to finish in one piece. If we come to that, the experiment actually is successful." So it is the question whether the line honours are at hand.

The weather

The weather forecast for tomorrow is a lot more positive than last year when the Zwitserleven Round Texel Race couldn't be continued. On Saturday June 25 2001 there will be a strong breeze with a increasing southerly to southwesterly wind. That direction only causes less problems in the surf and provides a spectacular start between 12.30 and 13.30 hours.

Mitch Booth and son Taylor in difficulties during their record attempt. Image copyright Thom Touw.

Top five Texel Dutch Open 2011:

NED - Heemskerk/Tentij, 11 points
NED - De Koning/Visser, 21 points
AUS - Beattie/Leitner, 38 points
GBR - Piggott/Garcka, 39 points
NED - Nieuwenhuis/Van West, 48 points
Top three Open klasse II (7 contestants)
NED - Pool/Van der Duim, 13 points
NED - Van Asselt/Bakker, 21 points
NED - Alfred de Jong, 44 points

Zwitserleven Sailing Week 2011

The Zwitserleven Sailing Week brings together multiple championships and races. The entire event commenced on Monday, June 20 with the Nacra Championships, including the official 2011 Nacra Infusion Worlds. The Nacra races lasted until Wednesday morning, because that afternoon the Dutch Open Catamaran Championship begins. The Dutch Catamaran Champions will be crowned on Friday, June 24. In addition, the Shorttrack Races will take place on Friday. For the recreational sailors there are tours on Thursday and Friday. The Slalom Windsurfing Worlds have their finals on Saturday, June 25, the day on which hundreds of catamarans sail around Texel.

The entire Zwitserleven Sailing Week is to be followed via the website, Facebook and Twitter.

Besides the title sponsor Zwitserleven, the Round Texel race is also made possible by the following sub sponsors VVV Texel, Paal 17 events, Treffers / Kappa, Teso, W&H Leibherr, TNG Watches and Mondriaan Onderwijsgroep.

Zwitserleven Sailing Week

ORCi World Championship : TP52 Aniene 1a Classe - regate da Leoni, un vero peccato la rottura di Calypso 4

Aniene 1a Classe. Supplied image.

di Gabriele Cutini

Il tp52 "Aniene 1a Classe" inizia la giornata visionando i siti internet più attendibili dedicati alle previsioni meteo. Previsioni di bora nel tardo pomeriggio, la mattina un po' di incertezza accoglierà i regatanti sul campo di regata dell'ORC International World Championship che si tiene a Cres, in Croazia dal 18 al 25 giugno 2011, con la convinzione di poter far bene. L'imbarcazione che batte guidone del Circolo Canottieri Aniene 1892 con il supporto dello sponsor1a Classe Alviero Martinideve mettere in paniere delle buone prestazioni per rimanere in gruppo con i primi.

Il campo di regata viene posizionato alle undici, iniziano a "sbuffare! le prime raffiche di bora, non sono costanti e questo metto in crisi i tattici, dove partire?? Aniene 1a Classe sceglie la sinistra, il pin potrebbe essere una buona soluzione. Attenzione a Marina Kastela che stringe verso il controstarter, succede di tutto, contatto. Ci sarà una protesta, ma nel frattempo bisogna rimontare e allora? fuori gli attributi. Salti di intensità, è un terno al lotto, secondi sulla linea d'arrivo che si traduce in quarti in tempo compensato, ben fatto. Sale ancora l'intensità della bora, è una gara ad eliminazione diretta, in due partenze "false" sono ben 15 le imbarcazioni squalificate. E' un occasione da non perdere, Gabriele Benussi al timone di Aniene 1a Classe porta al massimo il Tp52 "bianco", è una bella battaglia con Calypso4 di Vasco Vascotto, sino all'ultima strambata. Secondi sulla linea e primi in compensato, giornata da Leoni. Si avvicina la sera, ma le condizioni di vento forte fanno gola al Comitato per portar a casa la terza prova di giornata. L'anemometro segna quasi 30 nodi, regata "Maschia", Aniene 1a Classe mette il turbo, si plana, Calypso4 da del filo da torcere, il duello tra i due campioni triestini Benussi e Vascotto scalda gli animi di fotografi e Tv. Bordo su bordo strambata su strambata, Calypso4 prende la testa, e proprio nelle ultime fasi, succede l'irreparabile, si rompe l'albero proprio all'altezza della crocetta bassa, un vero disastro, nessun ferito per fortuna, a Vasco e tutto il team di Calypso il massimo dell'onore. Nel frattempo Aniene 1a Classe balza in testa alla classifica generale, c'è una protesta "pendente" per un danno procurato ad un altra barca. Il legale del Team, Roberto Emanuele de Feliceè fiducioso sul risultato della "causa pendente" che verrà ridiscusso. Domani si regata dalle nove del mattino per l'ultima giornata di questo mondiale, la bora dovrebbe "azzittirsi" ed entrare un vento più leggero, staremo a vedere.

"Giornata molto difficile per le condizioni di vento instabile e a tratti forte - sono le parole di Gabriele Benussi, timoniere di Aniene 1a Classe - l'equipaggio ha lavoro molto bene e di conseguenza abbiamo avuto ottimi risultati"
"E' una giornata maschia - gli fa eco Alessandro Maria Rinaldi - sono state regate intense e di difficile interpretazione, il team battente guidone del Circolo Canottieri Aniene ha regatato alla grande, regalando grandi emozioni"

Aniene 1a Classe
ORCi World Championship

ORCi World Championship : Aniene and Low Noise New Class Leaders in ORCi World Championship

Finally, strong shifty winds bring plenty of action in three races, though controversial black flag penalties take class leaders nearly out of contention

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

by Dobbs Davis

In stark contrast to the previous four days of light air, todayʼs northeasterly Bora winds varying from 8 to 12 knots in the morning and topping out to near 25 knots at dayʼs end brought plenty of action to the fleet on the water in the penultimate day of inshore racing at the 2011 ORCi World Championship. But the increase in breeze brought also an increase in aggression, and just as seen in previous races, the unruly behavior of the large classes (56 entries in Class A and 63 entries in Class B) at their starts prompted race managers to hoist the Black Flag, where any boat over the line within one minute of the starting signal would be disqualified for that race.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

Usually when this is hoisted, the fleet behaves and there are no problems, but not today. In the dayʼs second race, a large wind shift to the right kept Class A piled up close to the signal boat, with many jostling for the inside position at the favored end. But soon after the starting signal, Principal Race Officer Bojan Gale had the General Recall flag hoisted, yet was still able to identify five boats as being BFD (Black Flag Disqualified), and therefore ineligible to start the next race. The right shift held and the next start saw a similar pile-up at the signal boat end, prompting a General Recall once again and an announcement of yet another 10 boats caught in the net. Class A was now down by 15 boats, including some top contenders, like Riccardo di Bartolomeoʼs GS 42R05 Man, Roberto Montiʼs GP42 Airis, Mate Arapovʼs GS 56R Marina Kastela, and Sandro Panicciaʼs Scuderia 50 Altair 3. All had top three finishes in the past two races and were in contention for the series lead before this disaster struck.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

In Class B the Black Flag plague was not quite as extreme, catching only four boats each in the second and third races of the day, but two caught in the net were contenders in this class too: Pietro Saccomaniʼs X-35 Spin One did poorly in the distance race but had a 1-3 going into the second race, and Francesco Siculianaʼs GS 40R Alvarosky, reigning Class B European Champion, was lying in fourth place before their disaster happened in the third race.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

Between these controversial decisions and a lot of right-of-way incidents around the track, the International Jury is assured of a long night, and the results accumulated thus far would are therefore considered provisional.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

But as of now, the Action Team APDʼs TP52 Aniene 1er Classe, skippered by Gabrielle
Benussi, is leading Class A on 49.75 points, while Alberto Rossiʼs Farr 40 Enfant Terrible is runner-up on 66.5 points.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

And in Class B, Giusseppe Giuffreʼs M37 Low Noise is in the lead on 41 points, while Gianfranco Ciocceʼs Comet 38S Scricca Indeco is runner-up only three points behind.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

With the overnight Bora forecasted to die off around Noon tomorrow, event organizers have decided to get the fleet off to a start two hours earlier at 09:00 local time, in the hope of having two more races completed for the completion of the championship series.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

And while the addition of 57 points to the scores of Man, Airis, Marina Kastela and Altair 3 have not helped them in Class A, with two races left anything could happen, since without a throwout possible (7 inshore race scores would have been needed) then a mistake by any of the current leaders could turn over the scorecard once again.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

The same is true in Class B, but the points totals are much tighter: nearly anyone in the top ten could emerge tomorrow as the new World Champion.

Image copyright Max Ranchi.

Tragically, Piero Panicciaʼs Cookson 50 will not be among the contenders tomorrow, even after a being runner-up in the series after the dayʼs second race: on the final run of the final race today, a strong 25-knot puff hit during their final gybe for the turning gate to the finish and the mast collapsed.

ORCi World Championship

Bol d'Or Mirabaud : Bis Repetita............

par Michel Glaus

Suite au bug de samedi passé, c'est reparti pour un Bol d'Or Mirabaud Virtuel, le n°1.

Nouveau départ : Samedi 25 juin à 10h00, avec la météo réelle du jour

Au classement du BOM Virtuel BIS, parti jeudi 23 à 10h00, Teo Jakob a fini 373ème...

Pour jouer cliquer ici

Note from SailRaceWin: We understand that, due to a bug, the same options were not open to everyone in the original virtual race, so "sporting equity was broken", as Virtual Regatta put it.

Virtual Regatta

Block Island Race Week : Finish on a High Note

VESPER: IRC East Coast Championship Clarion Partners Trophy winner. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

by Barby MacGowan

Two races provided a solid finish today for the Storm Trysail Club’s (STC) biennial Block Island Race Week XXIV presented by Rolexand determined IRC, PHRF and One-Design winners in 14 classes along with titlists for the 2011 IRC East Coast Championship, the J/122 National Championship and the J/109 East Coast Championship. After a slow start on Monday and Tuesday, when light wind conditions postponed racing until late afternoon, officials cancelled racing altogether on Wednesday but then amped up again on Thursday with a lively running of the event’s traditional Around the Island Race. Light air was the soup of the day again today, but none of the more than 1,000 sailors here seemed to mind—they just wanted one final chance to make some power plays and enjoy their last moments on tiny Block Island at one of the country’s most beloved and classic of sailing competitions.

Jim Swartz’s (Park City, Utah) IRC 52 Vesper won IRC 1 class on the merit of five victories in six races and the 2011 IRC East Coast Championship by having the fastest average corrected speed from among all IRC-rated boats competing. The team’s only performance flaw seemed to come in yesterday’s Around the Island Race when it fouled a boat from another class at the start, did its penalty turn, and slugged to fifth. In the meantime, Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s (Newport, R.I.) JV 52 Interlodge won the race to move into third overall and today made a heroic bid at dethroning Vesper but only managed to move itself to second overall with finish positions of 2-4 while Vesper won both races.

Powerplay was lying second after four races. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

“In our class we had all 52 footers, so the competition was side-by-side a lot,” said America’s Cup veteran Gavin Brady (Annapolis, Md.), who stepped in today to drive when Swartz had to leave the island early. “Today, we won the start of the first race, so that was pretty easy, and we won the race by two to three minutes. The second race was closer, and it was only on the third leg that we took the lead. We all finished within one and a half minutes of each other, so after an hour of sailing, that’s pretty close.”

Brady added that Swartz is especially pleased with becoming the 2011 IRC East Coast Champion. “He has spent a lot of time on this 52 program, and it fits well with us right now...the team...the chemistry...all stars are in line at the moment.”

Peter Cunningham’s (George Town, Grand Cayman, CAY) PowerPlay, fell from second to third after today’s action, equal on points with Interlodge but losing to a tiebreaker. Interlodge was awarded a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner timepiece for its top IRC performance in the Around the Island Race while Vesper received the IRC East Coast Championship Clarion Partners Trophy.

Lawrence Dickie’s (Greenwich, Conn.) Ker 43 Ptarmigan had a perfect four-race score line up until today, when it finished 2-2; however, the performance was still good for a victory in IRC 2 with a whopping 15-point margin over John Cooper’s (Springfield, MO) Mills 43 Cool Breeze. Dickie was awarded a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner timepiece for turning in the best performance in Red Fleet, and his team manager and crew member Chad Corning (Larchmont, N.Y.) called the team’s results, “the best we could ask for.”

Barleycorn. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

The J/122s competed for their national title while sailing in the IRC 3 class, and while it was Mike Bruno/Tom Boyle/Jim Callahan’s (Irvington, N.Y.) Wings that moved into the top three after day two to finish second and snatch that trophy, it was Craig Albrecht’s (Sea Cliff N.Y.) Farr 395 Avalanche that topped the class overall, which was no small achievement with 13 boats competing.

Bill Sweetser (Annapolis, Md.) was admiring his trophy for winning the J/109 East Coast Championship even before the Awards Presentation. “We brought it with us because we won it last year,” he said, “so I guess we deliver it back to the organizers and they turn around and give it back to us. This is the first time anyone has won it twice in a row.” Sweetser’s entry Rush led the 15-boat J/109 class from day two and entered this final day with eight points over Donald Filippelli’s (Amagansett, N.Y.) Caminos. “After the first race we put one more point between us and Caminos, and in the second race we knew if we were conservative and stayed close to them we could win.” Sweetser appreciated the tough competition and said it was great preparation for the J/109 North Americans in Annapolis in October, adding, “We’d love to see all these boats there.” Sweetser also was presented with a Rolex timepiece for best performance among boats competing in the Blue and White Fleets combined.

Jim Richardson’s (Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I.) Farr 30 Barking Mad took a tumble today in Farr OD class when Preben Ostberg/Todd Olds/ Bud Dailey’s (Rockville, Md.) Farr 40 Tsunami finished 2-1 to its 1-4 and replaced it at the top of the scoreboard. “We were one point behind Jim going into the day and two points behind him after the first race, so it was exciting,” said Todd Olds. “And especially because Jim is a Farr 40 (multiple world) champion, he sets the standard.” Olds explained that with Tsunami having a longer waterline, his team had an advantage of going faster and sailing in clearer air, but Barking Mad frequently corrected out ahead of them, like he did in race one today. “The ratings are amazingly close, and we knew we had to win the second race to win the regatta. We did that and then learned that Jim had one of his worst finishes.” (Both teams had three victories in six races and no finishes worse than fourth.)

Damian Emery’s (Shoreham, N.Y.) Eclipse won the J/105 class, with 13 boats competing. His main trimmer and tactician George Ryan (East Northport, N.Y.) said the victory was far from easy. “We started dead last in the Around the Island Race and had to work to third,” he said, also pointing out that today’s first-race victory was counterbalanced with a seventh.

Jeffrey Willis’s (Huntington, N.Y.) Challenge IV finished 4-1 today in J/44 class to keep its place at the top of the scoreboard. The team had a total of four victories in its six-race series and led from day one. “We tend to be better when the wind blows harder,” said Willis, “but everyone can have their day.” Counting back, Willis revealed he won this event in 2009 as well as 2007. His closest competition here was William Ketcham’s (Greenwich, Conn.) Maxine.

Ken Colburn (Dover, Mass.), skipper of Apparition, said any one of the top five boats in NYYC Swan 42 class could have won the regatta on this last day. His team managed the overall victory by winning the first race “for some breathing room” and then “digging back hard” in the second race (for a fourth). “We won here in this class two years ago, too, but it was harder this time; the competition was superb, any errors were costly,” he said, adding that teams here are preparing for July’s North Americans and September’s New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, the latter for which Apparition is hoping to win a U.S. berth. “Those are reasons there is strong class representation here, but also it’s a well-run class with a Corinthian spirit that is the right package for a lot of people.”

Another return winner is Brad Porter (Westbrook, Conn.) in PHRF 2, skippering his Carrera 280 XLR8. In fact, this is his third Block Island Race Week in a row that he has won (he won in 2007 with the same boat), but the victory was hard fought. “After Tuesday, Whirlwind was one point ahead of us and we were tied with Freight Train on points for second,” said Porter, explaining that by winning the Around the Island Race his team then moved into first. “We only won two races for the week, so that shows it was tough.”

IRC 3 yacht Georgetown III. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

In Cruising Non-Spinnaker, with one race today, Greg Slamowitz’s (New York, N.Y) Manitou edged past yesteday’s leader, Jim Goldman’s (West Hartford, Conn.) Patience, to win.

Winning handily in IRC 4 was Tom Rich’s (Middletown, R.I.) Peterson 42 Settler, while PHRF 1, 3 and 4 were won respectively by Tom Lee’s (Essex, Conn.) Melges 32 Jammy Beggar; John and Tony Esposito’s (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) J/29 Hustler; and John Storck Jr.’s (Huntington, N.Y.) J/80 Rumor

Today was Prestige Toyota Race Day, and UK-Halsey Sailmakers hosted the post-racing party under the “Big Top” Race Week tent, where nightly awards and daily highlight videos by were enjoyed. The daily highlights are also broadcast on-line at and each night by 9 p.m.

Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week XXIV Presented by Rolex
June 20-24, 2011
FINAL, Top-three Results

Cruising Non-spinnaker (PHRF - 5 Boats)
1. Manitou, C&C 110, Greg Slamowitz , New York, NY, USA - 2, 2, 2, 1, ; 7
2. Patience, C&C 36, Jim Goldman , West Hartford, CT, USA - 3, 1, 1, 4, ; 9
3. Crackerjack, Cambria 40, Alan Krulisch , Arlington, VA, USA - 1, 3, 4, 3, ; 11

PHRF 3 (PHRF - 10 Boats)
1. Hustler, J 29, John & Tony Esposito , Mohegan Lake, NY, USA - 1, 2, 5, 3, 2, 1, ; 14
2. Mighty Puffin, J 29, Steve Thurston , Bristol, RI, USA - 5, 1, 4, 2, 1, 2, ; 15
3. Rival, Taylor 38, David Curtis , Marblehead, MA, USA - 3, 6, 1, 1, 3, 5, ; 19

PHRF 4 (PHRF - 10 Boats)
1. Rumor, J 80, John Storck Jr , Huntington, NY, USA - 1, 2, 6, 1, 1, 4, ; 15
2. Project Mayhem, Santana 30, Doug & Amy Stryker , Cranford, NJ, USA - 7, 1, 1, 9, 2, 3, ; 23
3. Stealth, Evelyn 26, Jay Greenfield , Groton, CT, USA - 4, 6, 7, 2, 5, 2, ; 26

IRC 1 (IRC - 7 Boats)
1. Vesper, TP 52, Jim Swartz , Park City, UT, USA - 1, 1, 1, 5, 1, 1, ; 10
2. Interlodge, JV 52, Austin and Gwen Fragomen , Newport, RI, USA - 5, 2, 5, 1, 2, 4, ; 19
3. PowerPlay, TP 52, Peter Cunningham , George Town, Grand Cayman, CAY - 3, 3, 2, 2, 7, 2, ; 19

IRC 2 (IRC - 9 Boats)
1. Ptarmigan, Ker 43, Lawrence Dickie , Greenwich, CT, USA - 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, ; 8
2. Cool Breeze, Mills 43, John Cooper , Springfield, MO, USA - 2, 2, 6, 2, 5, 6, ; 23
3. High Noon , CTM 41, Steve & Heidi Benjamin , Norwalk, CT , USA - 4, 8, 3, 4, 1, 5, ; 25

IRC 3 (IRC - 13 Boats)
1. Avalanche, Farr 395, Craig Albrecht , Sea Cliff, NY, USA - 2, 5, 1, 2, 2, 1, ; 13
2. Wings, J 122, Mike Bruno / Tom Boyle / Jim Callahan , Irvington, NY, USA - 7, 1, 4, 1, 7, 2, ; 22
3. Sarah, X 41, Gregory Manning , Warwick, RI, USA - 5.5, 2, 2, 11, 1, 4, ; 25.5

IRC 4 (IRC - 10 Boats)
1. Settler, Peterson 42, Thomas Rich , Middletown, RI, USA - 1, 2, 1, 3, 2.5, 1, ; 10.5
2. ACT ONE, Summit 35, Charles Milligan , Newport, RI, USA - 3, 6, 4, 1, 1, 6, ; 21
3. Troubador, Express 37, Jamie Anderson , New York, NY, USA - 2, 1, 3, 6, 7, 5, ; 24

NYYC Swan 42 (One Design - 13 Boats)
1. Apparition, NYYC Swan 42, Kenneth Colburn , Dover, MA, USA - 5, 1, 5, 2, 1, 4, ; 18
2. Daring, NYYC Swan 42, John Hele , Newport, RI, USA - 4, 2, 3, 7, 2, 3, ; 21
3. Blazer, NYYC Swan 42, Chris Culver , New York, NY, USA - 1, 3, 6, 8, 3, 7, ; 28

Farr OD (PHRF - 8 Boats)
1. Tsunami, Farr 40, Preben Ostberg/Todd Olds/ Bud Dailey , Rockville, MD, USA - 1, 1, 3, 4, 2, 1, ; 12
2. Barking Mad, Farr 30, James Richardson , Boston, MA, USA - 2, 4, 1, 1, 1, 4, ; 13
3. Nightshift, Farr 40, Kevin McNeil , Annapolis, MD, USA - 3, 2, 2, 2, 5, 2, ; 16

J 44 (One Design - 5 Boats)
1. Challenge IV, J 44, Jeffrey W. Willis , Huntington, NY, USA - 1, 3, 1, 1, 4, 1, ; 11
2. Maxine, J 44, William Ketcham , Greenwich, CT, USA - 2, 1, 2, 2, 5, 3, ; 15
3. Resolute, J 44, Don and Rick Rave , Huntington Bay, NY, USA - 4, 2, 3, 3, 2, 2, ; 16

J 109 (One Design - 15 Boats)
1. Rush, J 109, Bill Sweetser , Annapolis, MD, USA - 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 5, ; 13
2. Caminos, J 109, Donald Filippelli , Amagansett, NY, USA - 7, 4, 2, 1, 3, 1, ; 18
3. Storm, J 109, Rick Lyall , Wilton, CT, USA - 5, 5, 8, 4, 1, 2, ; 25

J 105 (One Design - 13 Boats)
1. Eclipse, J 105, Damian Emery , Shoreham, NY, USA - 1, 1, 1, 3, 1, 7, ; 14
2. Jouster, J 105, Bruce Stone Julian Croxall , San Francisco, CA, USA - 2, 3, 3, 1, 7, 2, ; 18
3. Shakedown, J 105, Jordan Mindich , Huntington Bay, NY, USA - 5, 2, 2, 2, 4, 3, ; 18

PHRF 1 (PHRF - 7 Boats)
1. Jammy Beggar, Melges 32, Tom Lee , Essex, CT, USA - 1, 1, 3, 1, 1, 4, ; 11
2. Partnership, J 111, David / MaryEllen Tortorello , Fairfield, CT, USA - 2, 2, 2, 3, 3, 1, ; 13
3. Wicked 2.0, J 111, Douglas Curtiss , South Dartmouth, MA, USA - 4, 4, 1, 2, 4, 2.5, ; 17.5

PHRF 2 (PHRF - 9 Boats)
1. XLR8, Carrera 280, Brad Porter , Westbrook, CT, USA - 1, 3, 5, 1, 2, 3, ; 15
2. Freightrain, Frers 36, Dick Hyde , Belmont, MA, USA - 7, 1, 1, 5, 3, 5, ; 22
3. Swift, Navy 44, Graham Tyson , Annapolis, MD, USA - 2, 7, 2, 4, 7, 1, ; 23

Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex

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