Saturday, 20 August 2011

Extreme 40 : Extreme Sailing Series Act 5, Cowes

Local boy, Leigh McMillan, wins on The Wave, Muscat

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five: no racing

Day Six

Day Seven: Big Finish to the Week

Extreme Sailing Series

AAM Cowes Week : Yacht dismasted by Supertanker seen from Egypt Point at the Extreme Sailing Series

Cowes online
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Extreme 40 : Artemis and Gitana Crash at Act 5, Cowes

Extreme Sailing Series

Extreme 40 : Aberdeen Asset Management Capsizes at Act 5, Cowes

Extreme Sailing Series

Detroit Cup : Aon Racing still in the hunt on Day 2 of the D-cup

by Aon Racing media

Aon Racing has made it to the Detroit Cup (affectionately known by locals as the D-cup).

Aon Racing has had a slightly better than average first two days, which is not bad going considering the light fickle winds and strong current that have featured at the venue. We are now on 5 wins from 8 races, with three races still to go in the round robin.

It will most likely take 6 wins to make the quarters, or 7 wins to make the semis if the wind forces the race committee to shorten the regatta format. This means the team will need to post some more wins tomorrow to ensure that their title hopes stay alive.

The racing will be broadcast live with fantastic commentary at Racing is scheduled to start at 10am tomorrow, local time in the eastern USA.

We would like to thank our principal sponsor, Aon Insurance Brokers, as well as Club Marine and Allianz for their support. Thanks also to our home club, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Aon Racing is Reuben Corbett (Skipper), Adrian Short (Main) and Tom Bentham (Bow).

Aon Racing
Detroit Cup

Detroit Cup : FMJ Racing Update

FMJ Racing at the Detroit Cup 2011. Supplied image.

by Will Tiller

Over the past couple weeks we have had an intense sailing and travelling schedule, taking us from France to Spain and over to America.

We started off with the Grade 1 event in Pornichet France, without the uses of Geeza we imported Garth Ellingham from Waka Racing to jump on the mainsheet and Brad was thrown onto the bow. Struggling to gel as a team our decision making wasn't as clear-cut as it had been, but we still managed to come through the round robin with 6 wins and 5 loses, having us meet Eric Monin from SUI in the quarter finals. Through some tough and close matches Eric managed to come out on top, after this we sailed off for the minor places and unluckily we drew the 'slow' boat and slipped right down to 8th. It was a disappointing result but we were starting well and are coming to grips with gennaker tactics.

After this Brad and Will competed in the Spainish Copa Del Ray regatta in the highly competitive Melges 32 fleet, racing with the likes of Don Cowie, we learnt a lot and really enjoyed the challenges of fleet racing and Palma is not a bad place to hang out. While Brad and Will were enjoying the sites of Palma Harry was helping out at the Oakcliff Sailing Center on Long Island, New York.

Our next regatta was the first event on the US Grand Slam Series, Chicago Grade 2 Invitational, held off of Navy Pier, Chicago. Dan Pooley has flown over from New Zealand to compete in the Grand Slam Series consisting of 4 events - Chicago, Detroit, Manhasset Bay NY, Oyster Bay NY. Dan is the teams expert mainsail trimmer, with Will helming, Harry on trim and Brad staying up on bow.

Full Metal Jacket Racing led the first two days of the three day event, the final day bought wind speeds of 18-25 knots, the team was confident with how we were going. Qualifiying 2nd into the semifinals we were paired to race Bill Hardesty fresh from winning the Etchell World Champs in San Diego, after winning the first race of the semis we were looking good to rap it up in two races with a textbook start by Will but we could not keep up with Bill's teams speed in the windy conditions and ended up with going down 2-1. This had us sailing off for third against Taylor Canfield who we beat comfortably to take the third spot.

We are now competing in the Detroit Cup and are into our second day of racing, this regatta is three up so we have Brad on the bow and Dan Pooley on the main. On the first day we were undefeated but today we have had a shocker dropping 4 races only winning against Laurie Jury. We now have 6 races off before finishing off our last three races of the round robin. Fingers crossed they hold quarter finals and we can pick our game up and sneak into the semis.

FMJ Racing
Detroit Cup

America's Cup : Flying on Water - The AC45 Catamaran

America's Cup

America's Cup : Day 7 Onboard Action from ACWS Cascais

America's Cup

America's Cup : Uncovered !

America's Cup

2011 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship - NEW WORLD CHAMPION STEVE BREWIN (AUS)

Mike Drummond was top Kiwi in 9th overall; Australians filled the top five places overall

Stewe Brewin - 2011 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Champion. Image copyright Kristoffer West/Sailing Aarhus.

by Thomas Capitani

The 2011 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Champion is Steve Brewin (AUS)
“This has been my best win ever! I stood up and delivered,” said Steve Brewin in a live interview few minutes after crossing the finish line.

After eight successful races in weather conditions ranging from clear blue skies, with 4–6 knot breezes, to harsh, rainy days with up to 22 knot gusts, the 2011 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship was finally settled today.

The excitement of this last day’s racing was further underlined by the fact that PRO Andreas Kuchler, following today’s first race (the eighth overall), put the AP over H (postponement on shore), sending the sailors back to shore due to the rough conditions. The sailors had to endure nearly one hour of tension, not knowing whether to ready themselves for a ninth race or to get changed and pack their gear.

Steve Brewin in action during the 2011 Worlds. Image copyright Kristoffer West/Sailing Aarhus.

At 14.00, after having been in dialogue with the meteorological Royal Danish Airforce Base in Karup, PRO Andreas Kuchler decided to fire one shot and pull down the postponement pennant, calling the sailors onto the water for a ninth race.

By 14.45 the wind had dropped to a steady 17 knots and there was some sunshine, so PRO Andreas Kuchler set the starting time to 15.05. As the sailors were still facing relatively rough conditions, though, many stayed on shore, either for fear of damaging their gear or due to their poor overall rankings.

The ninth race was started at 15.10 and was an action-packed drama, with live video streaming commentated on by an energetic Jack Punch (father of Jack Benson), who provided enthusiastic coverage of the hectic battle between the all-Australian leaders, Steve Brewin, Scott Andersson, Jack Benson and Andrew Landsberg. Steve Brewin had to make at least third place to win, but ended the race with a spectacular first place and, hence, the title of 2011 World Champion in front of Scott Anderson (AUS) and Jack Benson (AUS).

“This has been my best win ever! I stood up and delivered,” said Steve Brewin.
The last day of the 2011 Ronstan A-Catamaran World Championship thus ended with the mixture of both drama and action that characterizes the spectacular A-Cat. All that remains is the prize-giving ceremony and barbecue, where many sailors will doubtless linger in the bar, despite their tiredness, consuming plenty of beer and recalling the events of recent days with the well known “hand sailing” attitude.

How-to review all the #acat2011 coverage
Like previous years, Sailing Aarhus had teamed up with Active Institute of the University of Aarhus in order to cover the event online via internet which integrated GPS tracking , online video streaming from the race course, live morning and afternoon interviews with daily winners, twitter feeds from the committee boat as well as countless, exiting photos. If you want to review all the excitement please look here

Start of Race 4 on Day 2. Image copyright Kristoffer West/Sailing Aarhus.

The 2011 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship is organized by Sailing Aarhus in association with Kaløvig Sailing Center. The event is supported by the City of Aarhus and Sport Event Denmark and is sponsored by Ronstan, Volvo Cars Denmark and Henri Lloyd.

Overall Results (top 12)
2011 Ronstan A-Class Catamaran World Championship
Sailing Aarhus - Kaløvig Sailing Centre
Sailed: 9, Discards: 2, To count: 7, Entries: 96, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Nat SailNo Name R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Points

1 AUS 4 Steve Brewin (6.0) 1.0 (37.0) 4.0 3.0 4.0 1.0 1.0 2.0 16.0
2 AUS 902 Scott Anderson 1.0 2.0 5.0 1.0 1.0 (11.0) 4.0 4.0 (97.0 DNF) 18.0
3 AUS 13 Jack Benson 2.0 7.0 (21.0) 8.0 5.0 1.0 (39.0) 2.0 1.0 26.0
4 AUS 308 Andrew Landenberger 5.0 9.0 1.0 2.0 (25.0) 6.0 (21.0) 9.0 13.0 45.0
5 AUS 10 Brad Collett 9.0 5.0 (16.0) 7.0 9.0 3.0 (11.0) 8.0 6.0 47.0
6 ESP 1 Manuel Calavia 3.0 10.0 (33.0) 12.0 2.0 10.0 (16.0) 7.0 5.0 49.0
7 USA 11 Ben Moon 7.0 6.0 3.0 15.0 4.0 7.0 (97.0 BFD) (97.0 DNC) 8.0 50.0
8 AUS 25 Steve Brayshaw 8.0 (48.0) 12.0 13.0 10.0 2.0 3.0 (16.0) 15.0 63.0
9 NZL 245 Mike Drummond 14.0 8.0 8.0 9.0 13.0 (22.0) 10.0 (97.0 OCS) 7.0 69.0
10 GER 14 Bob Baier (27.0) 4.0 13.0 23.0 8.0 9.0 2.0 (97.0 OCS) 11.0 70.0
11 GBR 7 Chris Field 4.0 11.0 4.0 18.0 (32.0) 19.0 (33.0) 5.0 12.0 73.0
12 NED 7 Mischa Heemskerk (97.0 DNC) 35.0 (48.0) 19.0 6.0 5.0 9.0 3.0 3.0 80.0

Ronstan A-cat Worlds 2011

Team Jolly Update on their 470 Campaign after the pre-Olympics in Weymouth

Breezy reaching. Supplied image.

by Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie

The overall result was not what we were looking for, obviously we went to Weymouth looking to win, and after some a) Weird boat things, and b) Rather poor decision making at times, we came away with a 4th, which was a little surprising, considering how badly we sailed at times, we were happy to just make the medal race!

We went into the regatta feeling good, but had an absolute shocker of a first race, just in the wrong place every leg, and just couldn't seem to catch back up. We followed that one up with a slightly better race number two (which we later found was a black flag - over the line early - so actually even worse), but still didn't feel quite on the pace.

When we got in, we did a full check of all the settings, and discovered that our rig was looser than we had thought (the rig tension is controlled by the front stay - forestay) and we had checked it the day before racing started, so we were a little confused, as we had not changed anything. So we decided to just come down early the next day and do a full check to make sure nothing was playing up again.

It was lucky that we did, as just after re-doing all the settings we discovered that one of the wires that makes up the forestay was snapped half through, so it was a rush job to change it out with a new one, and then once again re-do all the settings. We made good time, and got out to the race course with no change to our normal schedule, sailed a good first race, then had a bit of a shocker in the second race when the wind got up a bit and we felt extremely slow upwind, and just couldn't seem to get the boat going (our call for this is 'where's the bucket???' as it just feels like we are dragging a bucket around.. but we did check, and there was nothing there...).

So once again, when we got ashore it was time to recheck all the settings (I think we set a record for the number of rig checks..) only to find that this time our numbers were out, and the mast was raked further forward than we thought, so we had been in the wrong setting all day - hence the bucket call. More annoying was that we had checked all this before we went out, so either we didn't check well enough, or something was up with the rig (sadly looking back, most likely a 'didn't check well enough' problem.

Watching from the Nothe, Weymouth. Supplied image.

So by day three we were just determined to actually have the boat set up right, and finally start sailing a little better. There was a good 18-25 knots of wind, and we were racing in Portland Harbour (which was a little limited in size - as we were doing four laps instead of the normal two) so the water was very flat. We sailed two good races, slowly chipping away at the boats ahead to finish the day with two 3rds - a bit more what we were looking for!

Day four was the killer for us, we made a terrible decision on the first leg, to round the first mark in the last four boats, then followed that up with nothing better, to place 17th, which was pretty much the end of our chance of a medal. We did at least bounce back in the second race of the day, with a 4th, but from here on out it was all too little too late..

The last day of normal fleet racing was great fun, we were out in the ocean course, and there was a rather solid breeze - which built throughout the day, and some rather impressive waves. We owned the first race, sailing fast and smart, and were all ready to do it again in the second race, where we rounded the first top mark in third, then had a complete fail in boat handling, capsizing on the first downwind leg, to put us back to 17th. We tried to race back up the fleet, but eventually ran out of runway, and finished 7th, not quite the day we had wanted, but it was at least enough to get us in the medal race!

We finally got our act together for the medal race, and sailed a great race, in the top four for the first two laps, then taking the lead on the last upwind leg to sail away with the win, luckily for us the boats in front of us in the overall standings all had bad races, and we jumped up the leader board from 7th to 4th, about as good as we could have hoped for with the way we started off the event.

Once we had finished we were lucky enough to have time to watch a few of the other kiwis in their medal races - from our little NZ flagged area on the Nothe (a big grass area up on a hill, near an old castle, that overlooks the medal race course), and still get the boat and all our mountains of gear packed up in time, and put in a container bound for Perth.

Then it was time to head home, where we are all set for a bit of a break from sailing, and a return to the planning board, to make sure we learn from this regatta, and ensure that we won't be making the same mistakes in the future!

Thank you to our supporters and suppliers:
SPARC and the New Zealand Academy of Sport, Yachting New Zealand, Donaghys, Kaenon Sunglasses, Harken, Lynn River, Mackay Boats and Quantum Sails.

And a special thank you to Nathan Handley, the third member of Team Jolly, and the one who made sure we kept chipping away even though we were having a shocker!!

Thank you all for your support!

Jo & Polly
Team Jolly

Team Jolly Racing

2011 Knickerbocker Cup Brings International Match Racing to Western Long Island Sound

Reuben Corbett (Aon Racing, NZL) with the winning teams at the Dennis Conner – Ed du Moulin Junior Match Race. Left to right: Gregory Stebbins, JP Ohanessian, Meredith Krim, Coleen Stack, Anne Wachowitz, Diana Weston, Krissy Weston, Champion Jack Parkin, William Logue, and Alex Delbello with Reuben Corbett, Aon Racing, NZL, guest clinic teacher. Supplied image.

by Andrea Watson

This being August, it’s just about time to welcome the international match racers from around the world to the 2011 Knickerbocker Cup, hosted by Manhasset Bay YC. The Knickerbocker CUP is a qualifier for the World Match Racing Tour, with the winner gaining an automatic entry to the Argo Gold Cup, one of the most prestigious match racing events on the Tour. Twelve teams from around the world have been invited to compete in this year's event. From Thursday through Sunday, Aug 24-28, Manhasset Bay, in western Long Island Sound, will be filled with match racing from mid-morning to late afternoon. And from matches leading up to the CUP, both internationally and in the United States, viewers will be treated to some of the best match racing in recent years.

Teams that have been invited to this year’s event, listed in order of their ISAF ranking: Reuben Corbett, Aon Racing, (NZL), is leading the pack with an ISAF ranking of 14, is back again to reprise his 2009 win. William Tiller, Full Metal Jacket Racing (NZL) ISAF 22, is back for his second year at the KCUP, and he is one to watch closely, for last year his downwind skills had everyone taking notice. Laurie Jury, Zoke Kiwimatch (NZL), ISAF 27, took some time away from the Knickerbocker CUP and is returning this year and from his matches out at the Chicago Match Race Center, he is going to be giving these teams some good competition. Taylor Canfield, Team CMRC, (ISV), at ISAF 32, Intercollegiate Match Race Champion, won the Trifecta (the 2010 equivalent of the GRAND SLAM), and received an automatic entry in the Congressional Cup, the only Grade 1 match race in the United States. Olli-Pekka Lumjarvi, Siragusawa Sailing Team, (FIN), ISAF 33, is new to the Knickerbocker Cup, but after a strong spring racing season, he will be ready to take on the competition. Nicholai Sehested, TRE-FOR Match Racing (DEN), ISAF 43, is back again this year to vie for the CUP, and from the looks of the competition in Chicago, matches between Sehested and Jury are not to be missed. Jordan Reece, True Blue Racing (AUS) ISAF 48, is somewhat of a newcomer, as he formed his team only last year – with the goal of making the World Tour by 2013. Rising to 48 on the ISAF ranking is a clear indication that this team means business. Shawn Bennett, Team Bennett (USA), ISAF 56, won the United States Match Racing Championship (USMRC) last Sept. at the Bayview YC which gave him automatic entry into the 2011 Knickerbocker Cup – he is another one to watch carefully. Jon Singsen, USMMA Kings Point Sailing (USA), ISAF 58, is our local entry who has risen in the ISAF rankings substantially, and is ready to take on the competition. Robbie Allam, Allam Sailing Team (GBR), ISAF 78, has won two of his events so far this year in Europe and is looking forward to strong results in the US Tour to take his team to the next level. Sally Barkow, Team 7 Match Race (USA), ISAF 159, is returning again this year with her all –female team to try again for the CUP and another one to keep an eye on as she has been doing well in her recent match races. Bruce Stone, Vela Club el Porvenir (USA), ISAF 195, has garnered big wins in fleet racing, and is somewhat new to the match racing scene, but with his long history of wins and years of experience, don’t count him out.

This year the Knickerbocker Cup is part of a series of four consecutive match races (last year it was a 3-series event called the Trifecta). Event organizers from Manhasset Bay YC (MBYC) along with Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC), Bayview YC (BYC) and Oakcliff Sailing Center (OSC) announced in early spring the inaugural North American GRAND SLAM Match Racing Series for 2011. The team with the best combined scores from match racing events raced at each venue will receive an invitation to the 2012 Congressional Cup at Long Beach YC, the oldest ISAF Grade 1 prize money event in the United States. Four competitors will race in all four events: Taylor Canfield (ISV), Laurie Jury (NZL), Nicholai Sehested (DEN) and William Tiller (NZL). Five teams have an outside shot at the Grand Slam as they are competing in two events: Robbie Allam (GBR), Mike Buckley (USA), Olli-Pekka Lumjarvi (FIN), Dave Perry (USA) and Shawn Ryan (USA).

“This growth in interest has been phenomenal,” said US SAILING’s Match Racing Committee Chairman and US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics match racing coach Dave Perry. “We’ve been fortunate to have some enthusiastic clubs and patrons help support the game, including forming some new match racing centers around the U.S. Plus we have had great response from sailors who see match racing as an exciting form of the game that can lead to more and more competition through a series of qualifiers to the big events.” Perry continued, “The integration of these regattas will make it much easier now for sailors to compete in their local and regional areas to improve their game and gain valuable ISAF Ranking Points, and as their ranking improves they will have the opportunity to race in higher level events, and maybe even get onto the World Match Racing Tour.”

As a lead up to this year’s Knickerbocker Cup, Manhasset Bay Yacht Club hosted the Dennis Conner-Ed du Moulin Junior Match Race, which was open to all Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound (JSA-LIS) members. With a full day of clinic with on-the-water practice, these young teams were ready to try their new skills out. Reuben Corbett (NZL) who won the 2009 Knickerbocker Cup and is back again this year to try to win it again, stopped by the clinic and spent a good bit of time sharing his match racing experiences with the group, which added significantly to their understanding of the skills involved in match racing. At the end of the day, Jack Parkin of Riverside YC prevailed in the finals over Meredith Krim, MBYC. The Parkin team will receive their trophy on Sun., Aug 28 at the Knickerbocker Cup Awards Ceremony, where they will have a chance to be “up close and personal” with the international teams.

The Knickerbocker Cup Foundation is happy to extend an invitation to the community again this year to watch the races on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 27-28. Boat tours are free and open to the public on a first come, first served basis. Enjoy some time on the water, take in the beauty of Manhasset Bay and catch the action as teams from around the world duke it out to claim the title of the 2010 Knickerbocker Champion. To be part of the excitement, email:

For more information about the 2010 Knickerbocker Cup, go to: and select Knickerbocker Cup.

Rolex Sydney-Hobart : The CYCA pays tribute to Gary Ticehurst

Gary Ticehurst flying one of his helicopters in to a commanding position for on board photographer Ian Mainsbridge to capture images during the Rolex Trophy Series 2010. Image copyright Andrea Francolini.

by Peter Campbell

The flying skills of ABC helicopter pilot Gary Ticehurst brought ocean yacht racing, with its the dramas and the exhilaration of sailing on the open sea, into the living rooms of millions of people around the world, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore Harry Linacre said today.

Flying at extraordinarily low heights he placed his cameraman in a position to get remarkable images of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which were then featured on the evening news bulletins throughout the nation between Christmas and New Year.
“Over a quarter of a century he played a significant role in expanding the media coverage of our great ocean race, the Rolex Sydney Hobart, a race for which he developed a personal passion,” Commodore Linacre said.

“In particular, Gary will be remembered for his professional calm during the tragic storm that hit the 1998 Sydney Hobart fleet; he reported the positions of so many yachts in distress, resulting in the rescue of at least 25 yachtsmen from sinking vessels or life rafts, “the Commodore added.

Commodore Linacre joined many yachting administrators, media colleagues, friends and yachtsmen who have paid tribute to Gary who died, along with ABC colleagues, journalist Paul Lockyer and cameraman Ben Bean, when their helicopter crashed near Lake Eyre in remote South Australia early Thursday evening.

“Gary covered 25 Sydney Hobart Yacht Races, always demonstrating a passion for the ocean classic,” Commodore Linacre added. “His understanding of the sport and the way yachts performed in all types of conditions allowed him to place his chopper in positions that allowed his cameramen to capture some of the most remarkable images of offshore yachting in Australia.”

Commodore Linacre stressed the key role that Gary had played in the 1998 race. “His calm professional skills in flying and communications saved the lives of at least 25 yachtsmen in that tragic storm that unfortunately saw the loss of six men at sea,” he added.

“At that time there was a transition going on between analogue and digital telecommunications and because the marine radio network was being inundated with mayday calls; Gary used his mobile telephone to give the co-ordinates of yachts in distress directly to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in Canberra which was co-ordinating the search and rescue operation.

“Flying dawn to dusk he continued the search for Winston Churchill and her crew who had taken to liferafts, spending long hours flying low over the sea, at times when waves where reaching between 75 and 100 feet.

“I understand the American Helicopter Pilots Associations gave Gary a special award for his involvement in the rescue efforts.”

In an interview before the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart, Gary Ticehurst recalled being able to fix the position of each yacht in difficulty in the 1998 race and direct the search and rescue operation to the scene. “We were there to reassure the yachts that help was on the way,” the veteran pilot said. “Even today, a mayday over the radio sends shivers down my spine.”

Ticehurst and his flying partner Richard Howe, through their company Film Helicopters Australia, covered the race each year for the ABC television network, also providing the ‘pool feed’ of race footage to other television networks in Australia and overseas.

Ticehurst also assisted the CYCA on many other occasions during the Sydney Hobart, including standing by when the maxi yacht Skandia capsized in 2004 and the vintage yacht Koomooloo foundered in 2006.

He hovered over the yachts to ensure that all crew had taken to their liferafts, co-ordinating the rescue efforts between AMSA and the Tasmanian water police.

Former Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race media director Peter Campbell also paid tribute to Ticehurst. “The media team would regularly talk to Gary during a race as he passed on news from out on the Tasman Sea…he was a great pilot who had a passion for ocean racing, but only from the air. I don’t think we could ever get him on a yacht.”

Friend and print media photographer Ian Mainsbridge said: “He was a great friend, a fearless pilot and a legend in the film industry in assisting with helicopter stunts.
“I have not only flown many miles with Gary but also flown in the News Limited chopper alongside the ABC aircraft and knew his extraordinary skills as a pilot who knew exactly where to get the best possible news shots.

“He pioneered the tricky manoeuvre of lifting cans of film from yachts which were carrying a cameraman during the Sydney Hobart, bringing the bluewater classic to the television screens for the evening news bulletins.

“It is ironic that a pilot who had so many hours flying over the ocean had died in the desert of inland Australia,” Mainsbridge added.

ABC journalist Scott Alley, who flew with Ticehurst in four Sydney Hobarts, said: “He had no peer in his operational flying skills …and he had an absolute passion for the Sydney Hobart.”

Gary learned to fly helicopters with the Australian Army, later helping set up the NSW Police flying wing. He was a technical advisor for several films and is believed to have been the only pilot to land a helicopter in Sydney’s Martin Place.
“On behalf of the CYCA and its members, we extend our deepest condolences to Gary’s wife Theresa and their children Michael and Michelle, and to the families of Paul Lockyer and John Bean.”


VOR : Volvo Open 70s in the Rolex Fastnet Race - Podcast

VO70 Azzam (Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing) won the class in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

Ben Jacobs and Pierre Orphanidis review the performance of the Volvo Open 70 entries in the 2011 Fastnet, talking to record-breaking skipper Ian Walker on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Franck Cammas on Groupama and Mike Sanderson on Team Sanya. We also chat with media crew members Yann Riou, Nick Dana and Frankie Leonard.

Listen to the Volvo Sailing Podcast here

Volvo Ocean Race

MOD70 : Véolia Environnement off Concarneau

Véolia Environnement

Rolex Fastnet Race : RAN Runs Away with Back-to-Back Handicap Victory

Rán - First Back to Back Victory in 50 Years

RAN - handicap winner. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

by Trish Jenkins

For the first time in more than 50 years, the Rolex Fastnet Race has a back-to-back handicap winner. Following on from her victory under IRC in 2009, this afternoon the Royal Ocean Race Club has confirmed that Niklas Zennström's Rán (GBR) is once again the overall winner of the Rolex Fastnet Race and the prestigious Fastnet Challenge Cup.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Past double winners of the race include Jolie Brise (1929 and 1930), yacht designer Olin Stephens' Dorade (1931 and 1933), John Ilingworth's Myth of Malham (1947 and 1949) and most recently Richard Nye's Carina II (1955 and 1957). It should be noted that Carina II is not the same boat as the one of this same name being campaigned in this year's Rolex Fastnet Race by American Rives Potts.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

The Judel-Vrolijk designed 72ft Rán finished in Plymouth on Tuesday at 12:53:44 and even then she was looking like a strong contender for the overall prize, but this afternoon her win was officially confirmed by the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Under IRC, Rán's time corrected out so that she beat ICAP Leopard (GBR) by 4 hours, 38 minutes and 18 seconds, and Mike Slade's 100 foot supermaxi in turn a massive 10 hours, 40 minutes ahead of third placed Vanquish (USA), the Oakcliff All American Offshore Team's STP65.

RAN finishes off Plymouth. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

"It's fantastic. It's still hard to believe almost. Everyone on the team is very, very happy and very pleased," said Zennström of his second consecutive Rolex Fastnet Race victory, adding that defending their title was one of his sailing team's primary objectives for the year. "You may say 'we're going to race to win', and that is really what we were going for, but also these races have so many different variables that you cannot really take into account. Its great when it works out."

Rounding the Fastnet Rock at night. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

Navigator Steve Hayles agreed: "We like the Fastnet Race and it has treated us well again on Rán. It was a bit of everything and felt like a pretty tough race at times. It was great."

Veolia Environnement, MOD70. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

While their campaign in 2009 was well planned, this year Zennström says he tried to take their campaign to a new level. "The way we sailed as a team - we've never sailed better and because we were very well prepared, I think we executed very well. We sailed the boat very hard, we were never relaxed, we were very focused all the time and we pushed the boat a lot. When we rounded the Rock, on the way back, we pushed the boat as hard as we could, and I think that we pretty much held our time on the water. I think we lost maybe 40 minutes or even less on Leopard on the way back, so we sailed very, very well. The strategy was great, well-implemented and we didn't have any crew mistakes. The team did a very good job."

Banque Populaire V passes Land's End. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Rán herself has seen a marked change compared to her two year old self with 500kg shed from her keel bulb at the beginning of 2010. Since then there haven't been any major changes, although the team have been constantly making small refinements.

Gitana 11 passes the Fastnet. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

According to Zennström, the boat is now well-developed and the crew very comfortable sailing her. "This is the third year we have been racing the boat, and we have done quite a few offshores and I think that is important because not only do we know the boat very well, but we also have very, very good confidence. Having done two Sydney Hobarts with the boat, and one Fastnet Race, and one very windy Middle Sea Race without breaking, we knew even if it was rough the boat could take it and we were confident we could push harder and harder. So that is very important: sometimes not making so many changes in a boat can be a good thing, because you feel the boat is in very good trim."

Team Sanya, VO70, rounds the Fastnet Rock. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

Navigator Steve Hayles felt the forecast, while favouring the upper echelons of the Rolex Fastnet Race fleet, wasn't quite as favourable for them as compared to two years ago. "We knew there was a bit more reaching, and our boat is better upwind. We had to work hard on getting out of the Solent and the Channel and that went pretty well and then we hung on for dear life to be close as we could."

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Their main competition had been Karl Kwok and Jim Schwartz's Beau Geste, and there was some friendly rivalry between the two boats as Gavin Brady skippered the Farr 80, but is also acting as tactician this year on Zennström's TP52 in the Mediterranean. "He slammed (tacked) on us a couple of times in the Solent and once down the Channel. It was a good race," recalled Hayles.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

So will Rán be back to defend her title for a second time? Zennström says it is too early to decide at this stage, but it is something they would certainly strongly consider. "The achievement of winning two back-to-backs is pretty amazing and more than we could have hoped for. After the first win - and when we started to think about this year's planning - this was the thing we had to go for."

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Rolex Fastnet Race

MOD70 : Le MOD70 FONCIA mis à l’eau jeudi 18 août

- Le MOD70 FONCIA, est le troisième de la série monotype
- Le mâtage et les tests de sécurité ont lieu dans la foulée de la mise à l’eau
- Entre Décision 35 et MOD70, le programme multicoque de FONCIA est dense

Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Team Foncia.

par Laurence Dacoury

Une fois n’est pas coutume : c’est d’un produit fini dont Michel Desjoyeaux prend livraison sans y avoir apporté sa patte personnelle. Mais le plaisir de pouvoir se mesurer sur un terrain exclusivement sportif compense largement le fait de n’avoir participé que de loin à la construction du troisième exemplaire de la série des MOD70. Objectif maintenant : naviguer encore et encore...

La règle du jeu est simple sur le circuit MOD70. Chaque skipper dispose d’un bateau clé en main, jusqu’aux longueurs d’écoute et la fourniture des voiles. Sur le bord du ponton devant la Cité de la Voile, à Lorient, Michel Desjoyeaux a attendu que le numéro 3 de la série des MOD70 ait touché enfin l’eau pour se l’approprier immédiatement. Entretien au bord de l’eau avant les premiers essais.

Ce retour au multicoque, c’est un vrai plaisir ?

Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Team Foncia.

« J’ai toujours dit que les multicoques sont les plus belles machines de course au large. Je me suis concentré un temps sur un autre objectif, le Vendée Globe 2008-2009, mais j’avais toujours ancré cette passion du multicoque… La création du circuit des MOD70 a été plus qu’une opportunité, puisque nous avons été, avec FONCIA, un des premiers à annoncer notre intention d’y participer. Ce sont des machines fabuleuses et de plus c’est un beau moyen de faire partager à d’autres notre passion de la voile de compétition. »

C’est à dire ?

« Quand on part pour une aventure comme le Vendée Globe, on fait vivre notre histoire par procuration. Sur un multicoque comme le nôtre, avec une plate-forme aussi large, on peut embarquer plusieurs personnes, même totalement néophytes et leur faire toucher du doigt les sensations que l’on peut éprouver à bord. Le multicoque est, en ce sens, un fantastique vecteur de communication. »

Pour quelqu’un dont on connaît la passion pour la conception des bateaux, la monotypie n’est-elle pas frustrante ?
« La monotypie, je sais ce que c’est... J’ai quand même passé pas mal d’années sur le circuit Figaro. Donc, je ne pense pas être celui qui soit le plus opposé à la monotypie. Se battre à armes réellement égales est quand même très satisfaisant sur un plan strictement sportif. Cela donne plus d’importance aux marins, on replace l’homme au cœur de l’action. La différence se fera sur l’utilisation de la machine. Et c’est un des meilleurs moyens pour attirer sur ce type de bateaux des compétiteurs étrangers qui ont été échaudés dans les années précédentes. »

Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Team Foncia.

A priori, quel regard portez-vous sur ce nouveau monotype ?
« Il est à la fois plutôt élégant et plus simple que les 60 pieds ORMA. On n’aura pas le niveau de recherche technologique que l’on avait sur les 60 pieds, mais tout le monde est logé à la même enseigne. Ce sera un bateau un peu plus sage ; on risque de souffrir un peu dans les tous petits airs. Mais à partir du principe où tout le monde est à la même enseigne… Les étraves inversées ont de l’allure et je pense que les premières navigations en flotte devraient donner vite de belles images. L’idée est quand même d’avoir des bateaux performants puisque l’on passe l’essentiel de notre temps à naviguer... Les premières impressions suite aux quelques heures de navigation que j’ai pu faire à bord du bateau de Steve Ravussin ou Roland Jourdain sont que nous avons affaire à des bateaux très sains, à bord desquels on ne devrait pas manquer de sensations. »

Comment constitue-t-on une équipe autour d’un tel projet ?
« Il y a deux aspects. Sur le plan sportif proprement dit, on a déjà constitué un noyau de base autour de l’équipage qui navigue actuellement sur le Décision 35 dans le cadre du Vulcain Trophy. D’autres navigateurs risquent de nous rejoindre, mais la composition définitive sera annoncée en octobre. Sur le plan technique, tout le travail d’entretien du bateau pourra être assuré au sein de l’équipe de Mer Agitée. Avoir une structure de cette nature, c’est aussi réconfortant en cas de coup dur. Je sais que je peux compter sur la réactivité de l’équipe, j’ai déjà eu l’occasion de l’expérimenter...»

Dans l’immédiat le programme de FONCIA...

« Durant, le mois de septembre nous allons être fortement mobilisés par les deux dernières épreuves du Vulcain Trophy en Décision 35, dont nous sommes les leaders provisoires, qui ont lieu en Méditerranée à Beaulieu-sur-Mer (1er au 4 septembre) et à Antibes (22 au 25 septembre). Il faut donc que l’on profite des quinze derniers jours d’août pour naviguer le plus possible sur le MOD 70 avant la première confrontation, le Krys Match à la Trinité sur Mer (6 au 8 octobre). »

Michel Desjoyeaux. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Team Foncia.

Est-ce qu’il est prévu des sorties d’entrainement en commun avec les autres monotypes ?
« Avec Roland Jourdain, on est quasiment voisin. En ce qui concerne les bateaux qui seront à Lorient, il ne faut pas oublier qu’entre les deux baies, c’est une heure de navigation à 25 nœuds de moyenne. Donc, on ne va pas se priver... »

Interview de Franck David, directeur exécutif Multi One Design SA

« On est forcément ravi. La mise à l’eau suit son rythme. Tous les trois mois, c’est une nouvelle unité qui sort du chantier. Sur ce numéro trois, on est d’autant plus content que Michel et FONCIA ont été les premiers à s’être engagés dès 2010. Cette mise à l’eau intervient en même temps que l’annonce d’Oman Sail de rejoindre le circuit. C’est notre volonté d’internationalisation qui se confirme. On devrait avoir d’ici peu l’annonce d’un concurrent anglo-saxon… On est dans la bonne voie. »


Août : essais du bateau et navigations comparatives notamment avec le MOD70 n°2 de Roland Jourdain.
Septembre : Vulcain Trophy sur Décision 35. Grand Prix de Beaulieu sur Mer (1er-4 septembre) et Antibes (22-25 septembre).
6 au 8 octobre : La Trinité sur Mer : premier Krys Match opposant les trois premiers MOD70 et le trimaran Gitana XI.
Juillet 2012 : Krys Ocean Race New York – Brest

Team Foncia
MOD 70

VOR : Change of Route due to Piracy Concerns for the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012

Volvo Ocean Race course 2011-2012.

Article in English and French

PUMA. Image copyright Dan Armstrong.

by Sophie Luther

The escalating security problem caused by piracy in the Indian Ocean has forced Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 organisers to redraw the second and third leg routes in the 39,000 nautical mile round-the-world challenge.

The competing boats were due to have sailed through an East African corridor in the Indian Ocean on the second leg from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi and again in the third leg from Abu Dhabi to Sanya in China.

After taking advice from marine safety experts Dryad Maritime Intelligence and the sport's governing body, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), race organisers decided that sticking to the original route would put crews at too much risk.

Instead the boats will race from Cape Town to an undisclosed ‘safe haven’ port, be transported closer to Abu Dhabi, and then complete the leg from there. The process will be reversed for the third leg before the race continues on to Sanya, the fourth of 10 host ports in a race that will not finish until July 2012.

On board Groupama 4. Image copyright Groupama.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision,” said Volvo Ocean Race Chief Executive Knut Frostad. “We have consulted leading naval and commercial intelligence experts and their advice could not have been clearer: ‘Do not risk it.’

“The solution we have found means our boats will still be racing into Abu Dhabi and competing in the in-port race there.

“Abu Dhabi is a very important part of our plans, a real highlight being the race's first-ever stopover in the Middle East, and we will now have a really exciting sprint finish to the emirate over the New Year period as well."

Piracy is a well-organised and highly lucrative business and it has expanded into a vast area off the coast of Somalia. In 2010 a record 1,181 seafarers were kidnapped by pirates, according to figures supplied by Dryad.

The most recent vessels released endured hijackings lasting an average of 213 days and it has been estimated that last year $150 million was paid to pirate gangs in ransoms for ships, cargoes and crews.

Frostad emphasised that the race would still be a round-the-world challenge. "We continue to be the only continuous sporting event to visit five continents over nine months of gruelling sailing," he said.

Race director Jack Lloyd, also a senior ISAF official and respected Olympic and America's Cup umpire, described the change as a "bump in the road which has to be negotiated, albeit a very expensive bump" rather than a race-changing suspension in the action.

Abu Dhabi will host the race from December 30 to January 14 with a purpose-built race village at its Corniche waterfront site and a headline New Year's Eve concert amongst various festivities set to provide a spectacular welcome to more than 100,000 visitors.

“We have a long-standing relationship with Volvo Ocean Race and have been comprehensively involved in its risk management process since the last race in 2008-09,” said Karen Jacques, COO of Dryad Maritime.

“We will be working closely with the Volvo Ocean Race team to ensure that only essential disruption is needed.”

ISAF´s position is that sailing in waters badly affected by piracy is too risky.

“The measures taken by the Volvo Ocean Race are very much in li ne with the advice that the International Sailing Federation has been giving for some time.” said ISAF Secretary General Jerome Pels.

“The ISAF strongly urges all yacht skippers intent on sailing anywhere in the area to seek an alternative, which the Volvo Ocean Race is now providing.”

About Volvo Ocean Race

The Volvo Ocean Race is the world´s premier offshore sailing challenge. The 2011-12 edition will cover over 39,000 nautical miles, starting in Alicante, Spain on October 29 and finishing in Galway, Ireland in July. The race dates back to 1973 when it began life as the Whitbread Round the World Race.

About Dryad Maritime

Dryad Maritime is a specialist maritime intelligence company helping seafarers to quantify, mitigate and manage the threats from piracy, terrorism and other waterborne crime

Telefonica. Image copyright Maria Muina/Team Telefonica.

Q&A on the decision to redraw the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 route because of piracy threats

Why have you made this decision?

After a great deal of consultation it is clear that it is not possible to reduce the security risk in the Indian Ocean to a suitable level while the boats are sailing. We have considered all security and routing options for sailing the yachts without satisfactory result. This has been a very difficult decision but we are satisfied that it was absolutely necessary to take it.

The race starts in less than 80 days. Why leave this decision so late?
The situation in the Indian Ocean is dynamic and this decision has in fact been taken very early. We will not know until the SW Monsoon abates and the NE Monsoon becomes established in late October/early November how the piracy situation will develop this season so while this decision appears logistically late it is in fact tactically early.

How will you be transporting the boats to Abu Dhabi?

The boats will be shipped on a specialised boat transport ship. The boats and the crews will be transported separately.

Where will the ‘safe haven’ be?
We understand there is lots of speculation about this but in the interests of operational security, these details will be released at a later date when it is appropriate.

Where will the race start again?

This will not be decided until the tactical situation at the time has been fully assessed but contingencies will be in place to provide logistical support to different options.

How can you guarantee the safety of the boats in the transport ship which is carrying them?
Piracy is still a crime of ‘opportunity’. Yachts are (relatively) slow and low with few opportunities to apply tactical defensive countermeasures and as such are considered a ‘soft’ target. Larger vessels with higher consistent speed, a higher freeboard and defensive measures are a much ‘harder’ target. Desperate pirates will still ultimately look for the line of least resistance. There are no guarantees in this particular from of criminality but the probability o f an incident is reduced from the outset in the selection of a different transportation method.

Team Sanya by the Needles. Image copyright Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race.

How will you allocate points with the new arrangement?
We are looking at options, however we do not envisage adding to the total number of points on offer in the race as it stands.

How big a problem is piracy in the Indian Ocean?

Piracy in Somalia has come a long way from the days when angry fishermen used rubber dinghies to harass foreign fishing vessels in the seas just offshore in the aftermath of the country’s 1990 civil war. In 2005, piracy was still sporadic. In 2006, the Union of Islamic courts almost brought Somalia-based piracy to an end but when Ethiopian forces overthrew the Union in December 2006, piracy re-established itself. The problem has since grown year by year in fr equency, distance off shore and sophistication. Last year, an estimated $150 million was paid in ransoms for ships, cargoes and crews to pirate gangs, while a record 1,181 seafarers were kidnapped.

How much will it cost to transport the ships?

Expense was not a driver in this decision, with the safety of our teams far outweighing the financial implications. Volvo Ocean Race has taken this decision based on social and corporate responsibility and is prepared to take equally difficult decisions in future races.

In French : Préoccupée par la piraterie, la Volvo Ocean Race redessine son parcours

CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand. Image copyright Chris Cameron.

par Anne Massot

L'escalade des problèmes de sécurité générés par la piraterie dans l'Océan Indien a contraint les organisateurs de la Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 à redessiner les deuxièmes et troisièmes étapes de son parcours de 39 000 milles autour de la planète.

Les concurrents devaient initialement naviguer dans l'Océan Indien dans un corridor à l'est de l'Afrique pour la 2ème étape de Cape Town à Abu Dhabi et à nouveau au cours de la 3ème étape, entre Abu Dhabi et Sanya, en Chine.

Après avoir pris conseil auprès des experts de l'agence de renseignements maritimes, Dryad Maritime Intelligence, et auprès de l'instance sportive de tutelle, l'International Sailing Federation (ISAF), les organisateurs de la course ont décidé que les équipages étaient trop exposés aux risques si on s'en tenait au tracé initial de la course.

A la place, les concurrents vont naviguer en course de Cape Town à un port "refuge" encore non communiqué. Ils seront ensuite transportés non loin d'Abu Dhabi afin de finir l'étape en course. Le procédé inverse sera utilisé pour la 3ème étape qui arrive à Sanya, le 4ème des 10 ports d'accueil de cette course qui s'achèvera en juillet 2012.

"Cela a été une décision très difficile à prendre, a précisé Knut Frostad, le directeur général de la Volvo Ocean Race. "Nous avons consulté les plus éminents experts du renseignement naval et commercial et leurs conseils ne pouvaient pas être plus clairs : "Ne prenez pas le risque."

"La solution que nous avons trouvée implique que nos bateaux arriveront en course à Abu Dhabi et disputeront là-bas la régate in-port.

"Abu Dhabi a une part très importante dans notre stratégie, c'est un réel point culminant puisque c'est la première fois que la course fait escale au Moyen-Orient. Avec ce nouveau parcours, nous aurons toujours un sprint final haletant vers les Emirats, au moment du Nouvel An."

La piraterie est très organisée. C'est un business hautement lucratif qui s'est développé sur un vaste territoire au large de la Somalie. En 2010, un record de 1 181 marins ont été kidnappés par des pirates, selon les chiffres fournis par Dryad.

Les navires délivrés dernièrement ont enduré un détournement d'une moyenne de 213 jours et on estime à 150 millions de dollars les rançons payées aux gangs de pirates pour délivrer les équipages, les bateaux et les cargaisons.

Frostad souligne que l'épreuve demeure une course autour du monde. "Nous restons le seul événement sportif continue qui visite les 5 continents sur plus de 9 mois de navigation épuisante."

Le directeur de la course, Jack Lloyd, également officiel sénior de l'ISAF et juge-arbitre respecté des Jeux Olympiques et de la Coupe America, compare ce changement à "un dos d'âne sur la route qui doit être négocié même si c'est un dos d'âne couteux, et non comme une suspension de course en pleine action."

Abu Dhabi accueillera la course du 30 décembre au 14 janvier 2012 avec un village Destinations spécialement construit sur le front de mer et un concert pour la nuit du Nouvel An, parmi les nombreuses festivités offertes aux plus de 100 000 visiteurs attendus.

Azzam at the start of the Fastnet Race. Image copyright Rolex/Daniel Forster.

"Nous sommes en relation depuis longtemps avec la Volvo Ocean Race et nous avons été impliqués de façon importante dans la gestion des risques depuis l'édition 2008-09, a rapporté Karen Jacques, directrice des opérations de Dryad Maritime.

"Nous surveillerons la progression des bateaux pendant la course, en travaillant étroitement avec l'équipe de la Volvo Ocean Race pour assurer que seule, une intervention essentielle est requise."

La position de l'ISAF est que la navigation dans les zones très affectées par la piraterie est trop risquée.

"Les mesures prises par la Volvo Ocean Race sont tout à fait en ligne avec les conseils qu'a donnés l'International Sailing Federation depuis un moment", a souligné le secrétaire de l'ISAF, le général Jérome Pels.

"L'ISAF engage vivement tous les skippers qui vont naviguer dans cette zone de chercher une alternative. Alternative qui est désormais offerte par la Volvo Ocean Race.

Au sujet de la Volvo Ocean Race
La Volvo Ocean Race est la plus importante des courses au large. L'édition 2011-12 se disputera sur 39 000 milles nautiques. Elle commencera à Alicante en Espagne le 29 octobre 2011 pour s'achever en juillet 2012, en Irlande. Les origines de l'épreuve remonte à 1973 quand elle a commence son histoire sous le nom de Whitbread Round the World Race.

Dryad Maritime est une entreprise de renseignements maritimes au service des gens de mer pour les aider à quantifier, minimiser et gérer les menaces de la piraterie, du terrorisme et des autres crimes maritimes

Groupama passes Team Sanya during the Fastnet Race. Image copyright Frankie Leonard/Team Sanya.

Questions/Réponses sur la décision de redessiner le parcours de la Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 en raison des menaces de piraterie

Pourquoi avez-vous pris cette décision ?
Après de très nombreuses consultations, il apparaît qu'il n'est pas possible de réduire le risque sécuritaire dans l'Océan Indien à un niveau acceptable au moment où les bateaux seront en course. Nous avons donc étudié toutes les options de sécurité et les routes possibles pour les concurrents, sans trouver de solutions satisfaisantes. Cela a été une décision très difficile à prendre mais nous sommes sûrs que c'était absolument nécessaire de la prendre.

La course commence dans à peine 80 jours. Pourquoi avoir pris cette décision si tardivement ?
La situation dans l'Océan Indien est évolutive et en fait, cette décision a été prise très tôt. Nous se saurons pas exactement comment la piraterie va se déployer cette saison avant de connaître la fin de la mousson de Sud-Ouest et le début de la mousson de Nord-Est fin octobre/début novembre ; donc si la décision apparaît logistiquement tardive, mais elle a en fait tactiquement largement en amont.

Comment allez-vous transporter les bateaux vers Abu Dhabi ?
Les voiliers seront transportés par un navire spécialisé dans le transport de bateaux. Les VO70 et leurs équipages seront transportés séparément.

Quel sera le point de refuge ?
Nous comprenons qu'il y ait de nombreuses spéculations à ce sujet, mais pour des raisons évidentes de sécurité opérationnelle, les détails seront délivrés au moment approprié.

Où la course va-t-elle reprendre ?
Aucune décision ne sera prise tant que la situation tactique n'a pas été totalement évaluée, mais toutes les mesures d'urgence seront en place pour fournir le support logistique nécessaire aux différentes options.

Comment pouvez-vous garantir la sécurité des VO70 sur le bateau qui va les transporter ?
La piraterie reste un crime d'"opportunité". Les voiliers sont relativement lents, bas sur l'eau et ont peu d'opportunité d'appliquer des contre-offensives tactiques et en tant que tels, ils sont considérés comme des cibles faciles. Les vaisseaux plus importants, plus rapides, avec plus de franc bord, sont des cibles plus coriaces. Les pirates désespérés iront toujours chercher les proies les plus faciles. Il n'y a aucune certitude dans cette forme de criminalité, mais la probabilité d'un incident est réduite dès que l'on sélectionne un mode de transport différent.

Azzam leads Team Sanya during the Fastnet Race. Image copyright Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race.

Comment allez-vous décerner les points pour la classement dans ce nouvel arrangement ?
Nous étudions différentes options. Cependant, nous n'envisageons pas d'en ajouter au nombre total de points distribués actuellement sur l'ensemble de la course.

Quelle est l'envergure du problème de piraterie dans l'Océan Indien ?
La piraterie en Somalie a parcouru un long chemin depuis les jours où les pêcheurs en colère utilisaient des bateaux pneumatiques pour harceler les bateaux de pêche étrangers dans des eaux encore peu éloignées des côtes, au lendemain de la guerre civile de 1990. En 2005, la piraterie était encore sporadique. En 2006, l'Union des Tribunaux Islamiques (UTI) était presque venue à bout de la piraterie basée en Somalie, mais quand les forces éthiopiennes ont renversé l'Union en décembre 2006, la piraterie a repris d'elle même. Le problème, depuis, n'a fait qu'augmenter année après année, en fréquence, en distance et en sophistication. L'année dernière, on estime à 150 millions de dollars le montant des rançons payées à des bandes de pirates pour des équipages, des bateaux ou des cargaisons, avec un nombre de 1 181 marins kidnappés.

Quel sera le coût du transport des bateaux ?
Les coûts ne sont pas entrés en ligne de compte dans notre prise de décision. La sécurité de nos équipages pèse plus de les incidences financières. Volvo Ocean Race a pris cette décision sur les bases de ses responsabilités sociales et d'entreprise et est prête à prendre des décisions tout aussi difficiles dans les prochaines courses.

Volvo Ocean Race

Friday, 19 August 2011

Rolex Fastnet Race : Awesome SeaLaunay Images from the Race Start

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

by Lia Ditton

With over 75 years since it's first run, the Fastnet race is undeniably a legendary biennial feature in the sailing calender. This year, with an impressive line-up of 308 boats spanning 7 classes, an all-star cast jostled for the start line - from the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire to the new MOD70s; the big fully-crewed numbers to the small short-handed multis.

Yet with an upwind beat to the Needles in a building west-southwesterly, the sequence of shots from after the gun capture a scene more reminiscent of a Route du Rhum than a RORC race, with six IMOCA 60s and an entire micro fleet of (19) Class 40s out to prove their mettle.

If there was any doubt as to the forecast for "record-breaking" conditions, an ominous looking cloud line loomed over the mainland. If we dare to recall the gale force conditions of historic Fastnet races in 1931, 1979 and the capsize of 'Drum' in 1985... who wouldn't be apprehensive.

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

On board HUGO BOSS before setting off for the start. Image copyright Christophe Launay/Sealaunay @Sealaunay

More images from Sealaunay are available here

Lia Ditton
Alex Thomson Racing
Rolex Fastnet Race