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Team Aqua Wins A Tough Battle Against Artemis
Photo by Nico Martinez, www.nicomartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
The conditions were very difficult for the last day of the Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy RC 44, with a very shifty breeze blowing between 8-15 knots and a pale sky covered with sand and dust and a visibility reduced to half a mile.
With four points between Team Aqua and Artemis ahead of the last race, all remained possible. Ceeref was also still in a position to grab the second place from Artemis. However, a premature start in the last race immediately made this look unlikely.
This last race was a strange one. The wind had shifted by almost 180 degrees since the first regatta and the land couldn't be seen. Many teams looked disorientated and didn't manage to adopt their usual pre-start routine. Two boats started prematurely, whilst many were late.
No Way Back once again benefited from its tactician Ray Davies' fantastic understanding of the situation to win a second race in a row, ahead of Puerto Calero - also excellent today. Thanks to this achievement, No Way Back gains one place in the overall ranking ahead of Ceeref. "It's a shame, commented Ceeref's owner Igor Lah at the end of the day. "We miss the fleet race ranking podium for one point and this costs us three places in the overall ranking. We would have finished second and we end up fifth!"
The next regatta of the RC 44 Championship Tour will take place in very different conditions, in the Austrian mountain lake Traunsee, on April 20 - May 4.
Fleet race, final results after nine races: (Ranking, name of team, helmsman, results, points)
1. Team Aqua (Chris Bake), 27 points
2. Artemis (Torbjorn Tornqvist), 29
3. Team No Way Back (Pieter Heerema), 33
4. CEEREF (Igor Lah), 33
5. Team Sea Dubai (Raimondo Tonelli), 51
6. Katusha (Bob Little), 53
7. Team Austria (René Mangold), 55
8. Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (Daniel Calero), 57
9. BMW ORACLE Racing (Mike Perris), 67
Al Maktoum Sailing Trophy RC 44 final results:
1. Artemis, 5 points
2. Team No Way Back, 5
3. Team Sea Dubai, 6
4. Team Aqua, 8
5. CEEREF, 8
6. Katusha, 14
7. Team Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 14
8. BMW ORACLE Racing, 14
9. Team Austria, 16
The sailing conditions have become tougher over the past few hours as a low catches up with Groupama 3. Indeed the current aim for the giant trimaran is to try to stay at the front of this system until it rounds Cape Horn. To pull this off she will have to maintain a high speed to benefit from what is expected to be a NW'ly breeze as far as the Falkland Islands.
Still faster than Orange 2, the giant trimaran is having to cover more ground to reach Cape Horn and hence her lead continues to yo-yo today. When Groupama 3 switches onto a NE'ly course, she distances herself from the direct route, and when she gybes, as she did on Sunday evening, she makes gains. The upshot of this is that her lead over the reference time changes according to the manoeuvres, with dramatic fluctuations from one hour to the next. Ultimately though, Franck Cammas and his men still have a lead of nearly a day over Bruno Peyron and his crew.
The crew aboard Groupama 3 have been eating a lot more over the past few days due to the persistent cold reigning over the Pacific Ocean. The consumption of calories is considerably larger the longer you're at sea (one month on the water already) and the more the temperatures drop to close to zero degrees Celsius.
There is still some ice to watch out for too as the water temperature has dipped below 6°C. The ice isn't far off, but the satellite images confirm that the actual icebergs are further South. The crew is nevertheless remaining very attentive both on the radar and on watch on deck. Not surprisingly fatigue is beginning to set in onboard. -- Translated by Kate Jennings
Groupama 3's log (departure on 31st January at 13h 55' 53'' UTC)
(Number of miles covered in relation to the optimum course for the Jules Verne Trophy)
Day 25 (25th February 1400 UTC): 712 miles (lead = 371 miles)
Day 26 (26th February 1400 UTC): 687 miles (lead = 430 miles)
Day 27 (27th February 1400 UTC): 797 miles (lead = 560 miles)
Day 28 (28th February 1400 UTC): 560 miles (lead = 517 miles)
WSSRC record for the Pacific Ocean crossing (from the South of Tasmania to Cape Horn) Orange 2 (2005): 8d 18h 08'
'Meet The Experts' Yacht Club Road Show 2010
Following on from the success of 2009, Henri Lloyd, Hyde Sails, Tacktick and Spinlock will be offering yacht club members the chance to hear the latest in product innovation, top tips for the forthcoming season and information about new product launches. Experts from the manufacturers will be on hand to answer members' questions and queries as well as offering invaluable inside knowledge on how to get the best out of your equipment for the forthcoming season.
The series of free road shows will take the form of informal evening events with drinks and practical presentations from the marine specialists together with product demonstrations and the chance to win a goodie bag of manufacturers' prizes worth around £800.
Castle Cove SC, Weymouth, 24th February 2010
Royal Dart YC, Kingswear, 3rd March 2010
Royal Cornwall YC, Falmouth, 4th March 2010
Parkstone YC, Poole, 10th March 2010
Royal Southern YC, Hamble, 13th March 2010
Largs SC, Largs, 19th March 2010
RORC Caribbean 600: Offshore Heaven
Click on image for photo gallery.
The second edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club, attracted crews from over 20 countries worldwide.
Clear blue skies and crystal clear ocean typify the Caribbean and the competitors in the RORC Caribbean 600 were treated to some superb champagne sailing conditions, as they started the only offshore race in these waters.
The first boats crossed the start line for the 605 mile race on 22nd February at 12:30 local time, to start an adventure that would take them around 14 Caribbean islands, in what is regarded as probably the finest sailor's play ground.
By the morning of the second day, the wind direction had changed to southerly and windless spots were appearing all over the race course. Highly unusual for the region. The longest leg of the course from St.Maarten to Guadeloupe had become a beat.
Les Saints proved to be a nemesis for many boats that were caught in the wind shadow from the high mountains of Guadeloupe, the bigger boats managed to get through but the breeze was really beginning to tail off and the smaller boats became trapped. Marc Glimcher's J 122, Catapult, had been sailing a very intelligent race and were leading on handicap when the breeze died out and one of the smallest boats in the race, Richard Bamford's Swan 38, Dolfijn, lead the rankings for nearly 24 hours before they too succumbed.
Although Region Guadeloupe had slowed the flat water suited the trimaran and they were unable to break the course record, Claude Thelier & John Burnie's ORMA 60, Region Guadeloupe, finished the RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 24th February at 18:49:03 in an elapsed time of 2 Days 5 Hours 59 Mins 03 Seconds.
Just a few hours later Karl Kwok's Farr 80, Beau Geste, claimed monohull line honours in an elapsed time of 2 days 11 hours and 13 seconds
Danilo Salsi's Swan 90, DSK Pioneer Investments, finished the RORC Caribbean 600 on 25th February 2010 at 11:25:41. The magnificent Swan was the second monohull home but in the light conditions they were never going to beat Beau Geste to Antigua.
The breeze virtually shut down, right across the racecourse, causing many yachts to retire.
The prizegiving, held on Friday 26th February, was well attended and the undisputed star of the show was Karl Kwok. His Farr 80 Beau Geste picked up the monohull line honours trophy, Class Super Zero trophy and the RORC Caribbean 600 trophy for best yacht overall in IRC.
Due to the highly unusual weather conditions, there were many yachts that had to retire however, one yacht refused to throw in the towel and defiantly stayed at sea. On February 28th, having spent six nights at sea, Willy Bessaint and Benoit Reffe's Class 40, Tradition Guadeloupe were rightly proud as they crossed the finish line in the early hours.
Will Bessaint and his co-skipper Benoit Reffe picked up the Concise Trophy for the best Class 40 and the class trophy for IRC Zero. -- Louay Habib
Full results on www.caribbean600.rorc.org
Spider Hair Racing Surface??
University of Florida engineers have achieved what they label in a new paper a "nearly perfect hydrophobic interface" by reproducing, on small bits of flat plastic, the shape and patterns of the minute hairs that grow on the bodies of spiders.
"They have short hairs and longer hairs, and they vary a lot. And that is what we mimic," said Wolfgang Sigmund, a professor of materials science and engineering.
A paper about the surface, which works equally well with hot or cold water, appears in this month's edition of the journal Langmuir.
As a scientist and engineer, he said, his natural tendency was to make all his fibers the same size and distance apart. But he learned that spider hairs are both long and short and variously curved and straight, forming a surface that is anything but uniform. He decided to try to mimic this random, chaotic surface using plastic hairs varying in size but averaging about 600 microns, or millionths of a meter.
The results came as a great surprise.
Unlike many water-repelling surfaces, the UF one relies entirely on the microscopic shape and patterns of the material - rather than its composition.
In other words, physics, not chemistry, is what makes it water repellent. Theoretically, that means the technique could transform even the most water-sopping materials - say, sponges - into water-shedding ones. It also means that Sigmund's surfaces need never slough off dangerous chemicals. Provided the surface material itself is made safe, making it water repellent introduces no new risks.
Full article at www.nanotech-now.com/news.cgi?story_id=36971
IPC Media Seeks New Yachting World Editor
Before his recent illness, IPC Media, publishers of Yachting World had already started the search for a successor to Andrew Bray as Editor of Yachting World.
Eurobutt readers who believe that they possess the rare talents required to shape the future success of Yachting World magazine and its website www.yachtingworld.com are invited to contact Publishing director Simon Owen at
before March 12.
Chris Dickson Returns... Sort Of...
48-year-old Chris Dickson, one of the foremost names in New Zealand sailing, went to San Francisco last year and was back on the international trail. That, long story short, was how he has ended up among an impressive list of international skippers competing in the Omega match racing championship, which starts in Auckland tomorrow and which is the first event in the Festival of Sailing - followed by the Louis Vuitton Trophy series and the BMW Sailing World Cup final.
"The America's Cup is a very intensive game and, at that top level, it is all-consuming. I worked for Larry Ellison [the head of BMW Oracle and the new America's Cup holders after that intriguing giant multi-hulls challenge in Valencia this month] for 10 years and ran his America's Cup programme for five of them.
"At the end of Valencia, I thought that was it. It was time-out time. I'd done my quota of international yacht racing, I'd been in the America's Cup and a professional sailor for 10 years - it was time to hang up my boots."
But Dickson's appearance in the Omega match racing championships - the yachts will be identical Farr-designed MRXs - will likely not lead him back to the intensity and political cauldron of the America's Cup, even though Oracle's victory over previous holders Alinghi seems to have cleared the way for a multi-challenger regatta, which most assume will be in 2013.
Dickson modestly suggests he is only in the Omega regatta to "make up the numbers". Those who know Dickson's competitiveness and intense focus are entitled to doubt that, even though the man himself seems much more relaxed these days than the single-minded and sometimes prickly individual who inhabited the world stage.
"So then, having accepted the invite to race, it was a matter of finding a crew who can drag me round the course. I think we have done that - the crew are world class but their skipper isn't and they are going to have to find a way to drag me round the course now."
There is a strong Emirates Team NZ flavour to Dixon's crew for the regatta. Bowman Richard Meacham is well known and highly regarded internationally as are Chris Ward and Stuart Bettany from the ETNZ crew. The rest include Logan Fraser and tactician Laurie Jury. -- Paul Lewis in the New Zealand Herald, full article at www.nzherald.co.nz
It's 'Sally Forth' Against The Guys In Congressional Cup
Sally Barkow in last year's Ficker Cup. Photo by Rich Roberts. Click on image to enlarge.
Long Beach, California, USA: Nine of the world's best match racing skippers have accepted invitations to the 46th Congressional Cup March 23-27. A 10th will be Sally Barkow, who didn't wait to be invited.
Barkow, 29, of Nashotah, Wis., earned the privilege by winning last summer's Ficker Cup qualifier on the same outer harbor course off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier where she'll meet the men in the same Catalina 37s. It's the only Grade 1 Open match racing event in North America.
The rest of the lineup, alphabetically, with current International Sailing Federation (ISAF) rankings:
Johnie Berntsson (9), Sweden, Royal Gothenburg YC
Gavin Brady, Annapolis, Md./N. Zealand, Royal Hong Kong YC
Francesco Bruni (24), Italy, Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Simone Ferrarese (31), Italy, Yacht Club Cortina
Bill Hardesty, San Diego, Chicago Match Race Center
Damien Iehl, (3) France, APCC Voile Sportive
Eric Monnin (30), Switzerland, Yacht Club Immensee
Evgeniy Neugodnikov (20), Russia, Team Synergy
Dave Perry (45), Southport, Conn., Long Beach YC
The rankings are based on a sailor's best four results dating back two years. Brady and Hardesty have competed in only two and three events, respectively, in that time.
Berntsson is defending champion. Brady is one of three four-time winners. Perry won in 1983 and '84.
"We're really excited about it," Barkow said. "It was our goal going to the Ficker Cup."
But there's much more than that to the resume of the lady from the Pine Lake Yacht Club: Rolex (American) Yachtswoman of the Year in 2005 and 2007; three-time all-American at Old Dominion University, with a BS in psychology (that helps in match racing); in 2004, with Debbie Capozzi, Carrie Howe and Annie Lush of the UK, the ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship; Olympic skipper at Qingdao in 2008.
She will be only the fourth woman skipper in the Congressional Cup, following JJ Fetter Isler in 1993 and '96 and Betsy Alison in '99. Fetter was the only one to race with an all-woman crew. Barkow will have Dave Dellenbaugh as tactician and is arranging for alternative talent that will probably include a male-female mix of six or seven.
The crews will rotate daily on Catalina 37s owned by the Long Beach Sailing Foundation. Each team will race every other team twice. The top four qualify for the championship sailoffs on Saturday. -- Rich Roberts
Bainbridge International Sailcloth - A History Of Innovation.
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For more information and to request samples of our products, please email
LVT Auckland Attracts America's Cup Challenger Of Record
Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, the recently-annointed Italian Challenger of Record for the 34th America's Cup, joins seven other Cup contenders in Auckland next month to race on New Zealand's Waitemata Harbor for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland.
Inspired by last year's Louis Vuitton Pacific Series and sailed in former America's Cup boats, the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland is the second of five match race regattas. In France last November the Italian team Azzurra led by Francesco Bruni won the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d'Azur, defeating the favorite Emirates Team New Zealand and its skipper Dean Barker 2-0. Both teams are part of the eight-syndicate entry for Auckland.
The only syndicate from last year, other than Emirates Team New Zealand, is Great Britain's TEAMORIGIN, skippered by four-time Olympic medalist Ben Ainslie.
Four new teams are coming, all with familiar faces and powerful credentials. All four teams made their debuts in Nice. The French ALEPH Sailing Team is skippered by Bertrand Pacé. All4One is a combined French/German team with skipper Jochen Schümann. Artemis, from Sweden, has Paul Cayard as skipper. Russia's Synergy Russian Sailing Team is skippered by Karol Jablonski.
Racing will follow the format established in Auckland last year and adopted for competition in Nice last November. Racing starts Tuesday, 9th March. Teams will take turns racing the two boats in four matches a day to complete a round robin seeding series before a ladder elimination culminating in the finals on Sunday, 21st March.
Sports Sponsorship Up, But Is Sailing Getting Its Share?
According to figures from IFM Sports Marketing Surveys, sponsorship deals have risen in 2009, but it would be fair to say that sailing is not getting its share of the money. The publication of The World Sponsorship Monitor (TWSM) Annual Review show that the number of reported sponsorship deals have held up well in 2009.
New deals have risen 15% on 2008 whilst withdrawals have remained at 8%.
Though the survey reports that the sports sector still dominates with 88% of all deals in both number and value, many professional sailors are struggling to convince sponsors to back campaigns across all levels of the sport.
There is a timing issue, as several high profile events, including the Vendee Globe and Volvo Ocean Race are between cycles and of course the America's Cup sponsorship was well down due to the nature of the event, but sailing is not doing a good enough job of presenting its benefits against sports that are seen as a safer bet.
2004 137' Danish Yacht Cruising/Racing, US$20,000,000. Located in Antigua.
Ranger, a replica of the "J-Class" yacht which won the Americas Cup in 1937, was a labor of love by the current owner. While chartering Endeavour for a classic regatta, it came to him to build a replica of the "super-J" Ranger. A stellar team contributed to the successful build of 136' Ranger, finally launched by Danish Yacht in 2004. Naval architects Studio Scanu, Reichel-Pugh, and Fred Elliott worked with the original lines of Starling Burgess and Sparkman and Stephens to create a yacht that not only wins honors in regattas, but cruises in style as a proper luxury yacht. A departure from the original, she carries a central cockpit and doghouse as well as a splendid mahogany interior boasting 4 staterooms aft for owner and guests with 3 ensuite baths.
Brokerage through Northrop and Johnson: www.yachtworld.com/northropandjohnsonfl/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
The Last Word
In my country we go to prison first and then become President. -- Nelson Mandela