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Hyeres, France: The continuing battle between Brazil's Robert Scheidt, reigning Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy, and Britain's top sailors ramped up another notch in Hyères today as Scheidt, with crew Bruno Prada, snatched the world championship of the Star keelboat class from Percy and crew Andrew Simpson.
In a hectic final race in Qingdao in 2008 the British pair pushed Scheidt into the silver medal place on the podium and they will face each other again off Weymouth in just over two months. The competition will be fierce.
In Hyères, on the coast near Toulon, Percy and Simpson had led for most of the week but in a topsy turvey final race came 39th to Scheidt and Prada's 38th. Both discarded what had been their worst results but Percy then had to count a fifth race 17th while Scheidt restored a 10th. -- Stuart Alexander in The Independent, his full report at www.independent.co.uk/sport/general/sailing/
Top ten after six races, one discard:
1. Robert Scheidt / Bruno Prada, BRA, 30 points
2. Iain Percy / Andrew Simpson, GBR, 32
3. Michael Hesbaek / Claus Olesen, DEN, 33
4. Peter O'Leary / David Burrows, ITA, 40
5. Fredrik Loof / Max Salminen, SWE, 43
6. Flavio Marazzi / Enrico De Maria, SUI, 44
7. Hamish Pepper / Jim Turner, NZL, 49
8. Emilios Papathanasiou / Antonios Tsotras, GRE, 50
9. Xavier Rohart / Pierre Alexis Ponsot, FRA, 44
10. Mateusz Kusznierewicz / Dominik Zycki, POL, 29
Full results on the event site: www.starworlds2012.com
Seiko 49er Worlds
Photo by Nikola Sisko. Click on image for photo gallery.
Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen secured history by winning the 49er World Championship, although under not as joyful times as they would have liked. News arrived as sailors awoke in Croatia that Frank Bethwaite (91), father of Julian and an instrumental partner in the design and continued development of the 49er, had passed away overnight. While many of the current sailors may not have known Frank, they certainly were enjoying his product and more than likely many had read one of his books on high performance sailing.
Two races were held in the morning for the silver and gold fleets and the bronze fleet results stood on the previous days score. Six to eight knot winds mixed the fleet up a bit as last attempts were made to make the medal race. As a tribute, the medal race winners carried a black card in their sails in memory of Frank Bethwaite. Young guns Marcus Hansen and Josh Prebski (NZL) sailed a brilliant medal race to move them up in the standings with the medal race held directly in front of the S.C. Uskok to the delight of the crowds that had gathered on the beach and pier to cheer on the sailors.
Second overall was the team of Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) who had incredible speed and amazing ability to pick the right shifts on the water all week. Danish Olympic team members Allan Norregaard and Peter Lang moved into the bronze medal position by having two great races earlier in the day and finishing 4th in the medal race.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup
Photo by Mark Lloyd, www.lloydimages.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
The opening day of the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Finn Gold Cup in Falmouth, UK produced a mixed bag of results for many sailors with a shifty offshore breeze. After two races Ed Wright (GBR) leads Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Deniss Karpak (EST), while many sailors picked up high scores in the tricky conditions.
The fleet was initially held ashore but there was a further delay on the water as the wind clocked round to the west before a line was set. The first race finally got going under black flag at around 14.00 with one boat disqualified; Egor Terpigorev (RUS) led at each and every mark but unfortunately for him he crossed the finish line in silence as the winner's gun went to Ben Ainslie (GBR).
Ainslie commented, "It's great to be racing in Falmouth on home waters in an event as important as the Finn Gold Cup. We had a great day on the water with good breeze. However, it was coming off the land so it was quite difficult and hard work tactically to take the right side of the course. Overall, I'm pleased with my day, the first race I managed to get near the front of the fleet and had a great race with the Russian sailor. Unfortunately, he was over the line at the start so he was disqualified from the race, but it was a good race and he sailed very well."
Racing continues Monday with two more races scheduled from 11.00, and with stronger winds forecast, it should prove to be another great day of racing in Falmouth.
Top 10 after two races
1. Edward Wright, GBR, 3 points
2. Ben Ainslie, GBR, 4
3. Deniss Karpak, EST, 10
4. Andrew Mills, GBR, 12
5. Piotr Kula, POL, 19
6. Christopher Cook, CAN, 20
7. Rafal Szukiel, POL, 23
8. Jonas Høgh-Christensen, DEN, 23
9. Jonathan Lobert, FRA, 27
10. Tapio Nirkko, FIN, 28
Full results: www.falmouthfinnfestival.com/goldcup-results/C1
Running The Rhumblines
High performance Brisbane small boat designer Allan Carwardine set a high standard in Australian Sports Boat racing when he introduced his super fast Stealth 8 to the regatta racing scene.
Stealthy which he skippered to a high list of impressive results in major events on Moreton Bay and during the Airlie Beach Race Week has continued to show her class under her present owner the Lake Macquarie Yacht Club skipper Bob Cowan.
Skipper Bob Cowan who regards the Airlie Beach Race Week as the best place to test your pace is again among the early entries to contest the 2012 class championship over the Whitsunday Sailing Club courses from August 10-16.
They will not be alone in their chase to reaffirm Stealthy as the class pacesetter with Stealth rivals Guided Missile (John Rae) and Raptor (Mark Buchbach) also entered for what promises to be a very exciting series.
As expected the battle for the champion sports boat sailing team at the 2012 Airlie Beach Race Week has attracted another highly competitive standard including the Graham Sherring skippered 2012 Bay to Bay champion the New Zealand designed Leech 650 Stay Tuned. Southport Yacht Club skipper Graham Sherring is no stranger to racing on Pioneer Bay having scored a runaway win in the Sports Boat series with his 'baby' Egan designed Quantum Sails in 2008.
During that series 4 years ago he and his principal helmsman cousin Neil Sherring had a decided advantage of sailing in their own space but that will not be the case later this year with Noosa Yacht and Rowing Club's Bob McCamley also lining up with his Leech 650 Slingshot. However the result from Stay Tuned winning her very first race in the Bay To Bay classic suggests this impressive performance recorded in light winds will be a good form guide when Australia's best Sports Boat crews from West Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland compete for the class championship in the warm tropical Whitsunday Island waters later this year.
Meanwhile Victoria's Royal Geelong Yacht Club skipper Cam Rae skippering the exciting Shaw 650 Monkey Business also promises to race in the fast lane when rival New South Wales Shaw 650 Tickety Boo (Mike Hinchey) enter the tactical arm wrestle against Stay Tuned and Slingshot for the honour of being crowned the fastest 650 at Airlie Beach Race Week 2012. -- Ian Grant
Maserati Clears Newfoundland Ice
Click on image to enlarge.
After three days navigating the icy waters southeast of Newfoundland, Maserati has a "virtual" advantage of 200 miles on the 140 foot Mari Cha IV (the maxi yacht that set the NY-Lizard Point speed record with a time reference of 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds). Giovanni Soldini and his international crew have been pushing hard, and the results show. Maserati has been flying at 20 knots through the fog, floating ice, and 2.3° Celsius water, eating up the miles.
Although Maserati is clear of the most dangerous ice zone, the crew faces new challenges. Compared with the weather forecasts before the start in New York, the situation between Newfoundland and Great Britain has noticeably changed. Before the start, the forecast showed that Maserati would face north westerly winds taking the boat straight to Great Britain at a fast pace, with an advantage of one day and 11 hours on the time reference set by Mari Cha IV. As things stand now, the arrival of the Azores high pressure could put the plans in jeopardy.
"Up to now everything was working out okay," said Soldini. "But now the weather patterns have changed: behind the cold front there is no longer a north-west wind but the high pressure. The only thing we can do is to choose a northerly route and try to catch the north-westerly wind we were expecting to find along our original route. If the high pressure moves east slowly, we will be able to break the record anyway, even if without such a large margin. But if the high pressure moves faster, we will end up sailing in dead calm and we will have to wait until it's over. Everything will be decided between tonight and tomorrow: just moving 10 miles east or west could be enough to break the speed record. The weather forecasts keep changing, sometimes it seems we will be able to escape east, sometimes it looks like we will end up in dead calm. We'll have to take our chance without giving up, as we always do. Every mile we gain north or east is of vital importance." -- Meaghan Van Liew
Artemis Racing Win The Sprint to St. Mark's Square
Photo by Luna Rossa / Carlo Borlenghi. Click on image for photo gallery.
Terry Hutchinson's Artemis Racing crew flew into St. Mark's Square on Sunday afternoon to claim the invitational Arzana City of Venice Trophy along with €30,000 in prize money. The two Luna Rossa crews, Piranha and Swordfish, took the other podium positions.
Strong winds brought wild conditions to Venice overnight and into Sunday, forcing the Race Committee to postpone racing until 16:00 and abandon the last two races of the Fleet Racing Series. Racing took place in winds between 16-20 knots, presenting a major challenge to the crews as they navigated down the very narrow channel to the finishing line of the historic St. Mark's Square.
With no additional races in the Fleet Racing Series on Sunday, Chris Draper's Luna Rossa Piranha crew finish on top of that leaderboard following their standout, three win performance on Saturday and win the top prize, with the Swordfish crew and Energy Team also in the money.
The Arzana City of Venice Trophy is a prologue regatta, organized by the Compagnia della Vela di Venezia.
The AC World Series - Venice runs from Thursday May 17 through Sunday May 20. Teams will have Monday off before practice training resumes on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The RYA South Zone Scoop the RYA Eric Twiname Shield
Harriet Ward, Topper fleet. Photo by Paul Wyeth / RYA. Click on image for photo gallery.
The RYA South Zone have been crowned 2012 RYA Eric Twiname champions today as their sailors reigned victorious at Rutland Water this weekend (Saturday 12 & Sunday 13 May) as the 'Battle of the Zones' came to a thrilling finish.
Some 325 sailors in 285 boats representing the nine RYA Zone and Home Countries took to the water in an attempt to wrestle the coveted Eric Twiname Shield from the grasp of 2011 event winners the RYA West Zone - and with dominant performances across all fleets the South Zone walk away proud winners.
With a light breeze on the opening day of the Championships (Saturday 12 May), stronger winds gusting a maximum of 15 knots and spells of sunshine throughout today (Sunday 13 May) enabled the nation's finest Junior sailors to compete in exhilarating conditions out on Rutland Water.
In clinching their prestigious victory the RYA South Zone also won the Eric Twiname Dinghy Trophy, awarded to the Zone performing best from the top two dinghy classes out of the five, while the North Zone for a remarkable third year running retained the Eric Twiname Windsurfing Trophy, awarded to the Zone scoring best from two of the four windsurfing classes.
Full results at www.ryaracingevents.org.uk
The 63rd Wilson Trophy will be remembered as the sunniest and windiest on record, but also for being the first time, in as long as anyone can remember, that competition at West Kirby Sailing Club's British Open Team Racing Championship had to be cut short mid-way through the quarter finals.
Because of this the final results reverted to the last complete round, or round 16 of the Wilson Trophy's Swiss league, where local favourites West Kirby Hawks had come out on top, followed by New Forest Pirates.
Racing today started at 0800 in 12 knots, the wind having backed into the west overnight. This enabled the race management team to bring the number of rounds completed up to 16, or an amazing 240 races sailed for the thirty teams taking part. Unfortunately, just as the final rounds were starting, the wind built significantly. The teams were sent back to fit smaller mainsails and the quarterfinals eventually got underway with the gathered crowd on the stadium seating adding their own unique commentary to the proceedings. Sadly the wind continued to build and with this came damage - jib tensioners and main halyards parting company and a broken rudder.
The big conditions were forecast, only for later in the afternoon, as Principle Race Officer Adam Whittle explained: "The wind came in a lot earlier than it was meant to. It was gusting 36 knots at Hilbre [the weather station nearby] and it just wasn't feasible to continue. We were having break downs and people were getting injured. It wasn't team racing – it was survival. Having sailed 16 rounds in perfect team racing conditions, I thought it would have been wrong of us to carry on."
Having suffered defeats to a US team in the last two Wilson Trophy finals, West Kirby Hawks finally came out on top for the first time since 2009.
The Under 21 trophy was won by Schull Youth Team, who finished the event half way down the leaderboard on eight wins. The team comprises four 18-year-olds and two 16-year-olds, all from Schull in southern Ireland, where team racing is part of their school curriculum. They competed at the ISAF Team Racing World Championship on home waters last year where they were narrowly beaten by West Kirby One (it came down to a penalty turn at the end of the deciding race). At the Wilson Trophy it was Schull Youth's turn. -- Report from Sailing Intelligence, www.sailingintelligence.com
Event site: www.wksc.net/wilsontrophy/
Camper Announce Crew Change Due To Injury
CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand today announced a crew change ahead of Volvo Ocean Race Leg 7. South African bowman Mike Pammenter will step down for the leg due to a prolapsed disc in his back. Mike sustained the injury during the sixth leg from Itajai to Miami. Reserve crew member Nick Burridge will move into the role for the transatlantic leg from Miami to Lisbon starting on May 20th.
"Our team physio Paul Wilson has carried out a full assessment on Mike, as with any injury of this nature the biggest issue can be time, so we are keen to make sure he has the time to rest and recover so that he can rejoin the team as soon as possible.
A sailor and rigger, Nick has worked on many of the most successful maxi and mini maxi yachts in the racing world including Alpha Romeo, Investec Loyal and Shockwave. He has competed in several Sydney Hobart and Fastnet races, as well as six Maxi World Championships. He has been a rigger for Emirates Team New Zealand since 2009.
Atlantic Cup Report
We have just rounded Cape Hatteras, under sunny skies and mellow southerly breeze of about 10-12 knots. Hatteras was our first goal and turning mark to head North to New York City, so it feels good to get around, although we not as far up in the fleet as we would like. All we can do is keep trying our best and hope that a little good luck flows our way. We are in the gulf stream, so we now have a 3 knot current boost to our speed, so we are travelling about 10 knots through the water and about 13 knots over the ground. I imagine most of the boats are in the same position, so the big question is how long to stay in the fast current of the gulf stream heading northeast before turning left and heading on a more northerly course to the entrance to NY harbor.
It is a time-speed-distance equation and everyone has to estimate the trade-off of extra speed while headed slightly away from the mark versus heading straight at the mark at slightly slower speeds. While we do have routing software to help crunch these numbers, ours does not have the gulf stream current data, so it would like us to go straight up the Delaware and NJ coasts. Time will tell with over 300 miles left to go.
Meanwhile, all is well on the good ship GS2, with no breakages or malfunctions thus far, knock on plastic. We have noticed that our bow sprit is flexing a bit more than it should side -to-side, so we are not loading up the big reaching kites as much as we would like as we really do not want to blow up the sprit. It is a bit frustrating to be going downwind under solent jib instead of our A3 masthead gennaker, and I am about to go on deck to make the change and hopefully see the speedo jump. After being right next to 40 Degrees when her mast cracked and went over the side after the start, we are not anxious to see splintering carbon. -- Joe Harris aboard Gryphon Solo 2
2007 J/ 133. EUR 275,000. Located In Bretagne / Brittany, France.
A very smart example of this capable cruiser racer with few miles under her keel. Nicely kitted for racing or fast cruising. Significant price reduction for July 2011 - owner's age beginning to tell!
These boat details are subject to contract. Note: Offers on the asking price may be considered.
Brokerage through Boatshed St Malo: www.yachtworld.com/boatshedstmalo/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
The Last Word
What a world of unseen visions and heard silences, this insubstantial country of the mind. -- Julian Jaynes