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One Ocean Left To Devour
The rather peculiar conditions, which have been reigning over the Pacific, have not enabled Groupama 3 to beat the WSSRC record for traversing the largest ocean in the world. For sure there was wind, but too much, to the extent that the crew was forced to make a big detour to the North to avoid the worst of the seas generated by a nasty low. However, it proved necessary for Franck Cammas and his men to negotiate a rather light transition zone prior to approaching the coast of Chile… In the end, the crew devoured nearly 5,000 miles of the Pacific Ocean (Southern Tasmania to Cape Horn) in 8 days 19 hours 07 minutes, which amounts to just 59 additional minutes in relation to the reference time set by Orange 2 in 2005 (8d 18h 08').
However, there is still 7,000 miles to go before they reach the finish line off Ushant: Bruno Peyron and his crew took over eighteen days to climb up the Atlantic. And even though Groupama 3 is still a few miles ahead of the reference time right now, she is set to lose the majority of this advantage over the coming days. The headwinds reigning over the East coast of Patagonia will make a serious dent in the giant trimaran's capital.
Back in 2005 the champion Jules Verne Trophy catamaran had a superb climb to the equator (8d 05h 36'), but she struggled to make Ushant once she got into the northern hemisphere (9d 11h 15'). As such Groupama 3 is still on track to improve on the round the world record: fifty days is still within grasp. -- translated by Kate Jennings
Groupama 3's time between Tasmania and Cape Horn
Reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn
L'Hydroptere Plans To Circle The Globe
To reach this objective, the team with the help of the "papes" (retired engineers) and of their scientific adviser, The Swiss Technological Institute in Lausanne, decided to follow the same experimental process as that employed by Alain Thebault in the development of l'Hydroptere and to consider an intermediate step, that being to build on a reduced scale a test model i.e. l'Hydroptere.ch.
l'Hydroptere.ch will serve as a lab boat whose main purpose is to test geometries and behaviours in varied real conditions for the development of l'Hydroptere maxi.
As a Swiss-French project l'Hydroptere.ch is being built in two shipyards, one in Brittany and one in Switzerland. She should be launched beginning of summer 2010.
Photos of the flying catamaran in build:
"Alchemy" & "Horizon" Keep On Winning
Join the winning team, contact your nearest Ullman Sails loft, and visit www.ullmansails.com
Omega Auckland Match Racing Regatta
Two flights were completed before race officials sent the yachts off the race track, with Britain's Ben Ainslie strengthening his hold on the leaderboard. The triple Olympic gold medallist and his Team Origin crew won both their matches, the first over Sebastien Col and the second over New Zealand America's Cup veteran Chris Dickson.
Ainslie is alone at the top of the leaderboard on 8-2, with three teams, Dean Barker of Emirates Team New Zealand, world match race champion Adam Minoprio and Polish ace Karol Jablonski on 6-4.
The Omega Auckland Match Racing Regatta is the opening event of the Auckland Festival of Sailing, which comprises a series of on and off the water events. The Omega Auckland Match Racing Regatta is followed by the Louis Vuitton Trophy Auckland (where five of the skippers from the Omega regatta will also compete) and by the BMW Sailing World Cup Final. Also part of the festival is the Auckland International Boat Show.
Round Robin One Results after 10 Flights
Opening Day Action and Thrills
Regular shifts ranging as significant as 40 degrees kept tacticians on their toes as staying on the proper side of the course proved crucial.
Nerone tactician Vasco Vascotto was on his game Thursday and the Italian entry holds first place in Farr 40 class as a result. Nerone, the defending class champion here in Miami, hooked into a massive right-hand shift and took off from the rest of the 10-boat fleet in Race 1. However, Vascotto earned his money the rest of the day - making enough good calls to rally Nerone from last to sixth in Race 2 and from fifth to first in Race 3.
There was a surprise leader in the talent-laden Melges 32 class following the first day. Frenchman Jean-Francois Cruette and his crew aboard Teasing Machine took first place in two of three races to post a low score of seven points - nine better than second-place Red (Joe Woods, Great Britain).
This is only the fifth Melges 32 regatta for Cruette, a La Rochelle resident who got his first taste of the class by chartering for Key West 2009. Cruette was so enamored of the sport-boat he bought one and Teasing Machine placed 13th at Key West 2010. Christian Ponthies is tactician for Cruette, the Melges 24 Corinthian world champion in 2006.
Bliksem, the defending class champion for the Miami Grand Prix, holds third place in the 23-boat class - just one point astern of Red. Skipper Pieter Taselaar, tactician Jeremy Wilmot and team grabbed the gun in Race 1 and placed second in Race 2, but were hurt by a 14th in Race 3.
Class leaders after three races - March 4, 2010
IRC (6 Boats)
Farr 40 (10 Boats)
Melges 32 (23 Boats)
Daily results and photos: www.premiere-racing.com
Morris Yachts and USCGA To Present at MBBS March 21
Sidney Gavignet Joins The A100 'Majan' Crew
French sailor Sidney Gavignet will be joining Majan's crew in Cape Town and will sail onboard the new A100 for the final three stages of the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race. A very experienced offshore sailor, Sidney has just been announced as the skipper of Majan for the next edition of the solo Route du Rhum, starting from Saint-Malo in France this November.
Paul Standbridge and his five crew on board Majan left the paradise of the Maldives on 16th February for the 4,200m second leg, taking 13 days and 6 hours to reach the longitude of Cape Aguhlas at 16:02:57 GMT on Monday (1.3.10) marking the finish of leg two.
The big dive South proved eventful aboard Majan, after thousands of miles at sea, a crossing of the Equator with due respects paid to Neptune, a grinding halt due to the threat of a hurricane, Cape Agulhas in her wake, and up to 50 knots on the final night speeding Majan to the dockside below Table Mountain with her 'memories tank' brimming.
A fierce Indian Ocean weather system - Hurricane Gelane, to be precise - played with the sailors' nerves and forced them to take counter-intuitive measures. Paul Standbridge and his troops had no idea they would be forced to pull the handbrake on hard in order to avoid nature's wrath on their way South. But their caution paid dividends as they avoided the worst of the hurricane until she was downgraded to a tropical storm.
Oman Sail's Majan will remain in Cape Town until 9th March, then depart on the 4,800-mile Leg 3 for Fremantle, Australia, via Cape Leeuwin. Unfortunately for Oman Sail's 75-ft trimaran Musandam, a boat that took Oman Sail's crew non-stop around the world a year ago, was forced to return to Muscat. The intention was for Musandam to complete the entire course but technical problems with the mainsail prompted the decision to return to their Muscat base early to undergo a refit before handing the multihull over to a new owner who will also be competing in the Route du Rhum.
* Sidney Gavignet, a veteran of four Whitbread/Volvos, is delighted that France has been restored to the route following the announcement yesterday of Lorient as the penultimate stopover for the 2011-12 event.
In an interview with Gybe Talkin', the Volvo sailing podcast, the Frenchman said: "It's a very good thing for France. Knut Frostad has been working on bringing the French into the Volvo Ocean Race.
"French sailing is big in the sailing world and the Volvo is big in the sailing world but both haven't met very much for the past few years, so it's a very good thing for everybody."
Gavignet's first Whitbread was as part of Eric Tabarly's crew on the La Poste maxi-ketch in 1993-94. In 2001-02 he was with Assa Abloy and a member of the winning ABN AMRO ONE entry in the following race. In the 2008-09 edition, Gavignet was watch captain on PUMA.
Given that there is a French entry, Groupama, and a French port, Gavignet may well be tempted by another lap around the world once his commitments to the Route De Rhum have finished.
"The Route De Rhum is what I am going to work on," he said. "My philosophy is to work on what I am doing in the present and the future is another matter." -- volvooceanrace.org
ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final
The US SAILING Center Sheboygan will host the Grand Final of the sixth edition of the ISAF Nations Cup from 13-18 September 2011. Competition will be held on Lake Michigan in the Sonar (with a crew of three) for the men's event and the Elliott 6m (with a crew of three) for the women's event. The ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final is the culmination of an 18-month competition staged over a series of Regional Finals held across the globe to find the world's top match racing nation in both men's and women's events. The venues, dates and country allocations for the Regional Finals of the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup will be announced later this month.
Busan, Korea; Chicago, USA; Gdynia, Poland; and Sheboygan, USA all submitted bids to host the 2011 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, with the final decision made by the ISAF Match Racing Committee based upon the recommendation of the Nations Cup Working Party.
Sheboygan, situated on the western shoreline of Lake Michigan, 150 miles north of Chicago, is the second US venue to host the ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final, following on from San Francisco in 1995. Previous Grand Finals have been held in Porto Alegre, Brazil (2009); Crosshaven, Ireland (2006); Hoorn, The Netherlands (1993); and Barcelona, Spain (1991).
Conditions on Lake Michigan during September are ideal for match racing, with steady breezes and warm weather. The cool water temperatures of Lake Michigan and the warm September days make for reliable and predictable thermal breezes with average wind speeds in the 5-17 knot range with temperatures around 24C.
France is the current holder of the ISAF Nations Cup Trophy in both open and women's events.
Fred Meyer Responds To Harold Bennett
SNG as Organising Authority appointed Fred Meyer, Nicolas Grange and Marcel Beauverd to be the Race Committee for the 33rd America's Cup. Harold Bennett was appointed by ISAF - in agreement with SNG - as PRO. As such, he became the fourth member of the Race Committee.
Under ISAF racing rules of sailing (RRS), the Race Committee conducts the race and makes all decisions relating to it, such as designating the course to be sailed, setting the start line, starting or abandoning the race. The PRO has no specific prerogative and has to operate the race as decided by the Race Committee.
On Sunday 14 February, the wind for most of the day was shifty and uncertain. The sea state was not good as the waves to the North were still above 1m. At 16:00, the wind was gradually establishing from the East but was also dying out and the sea state was still not satisfactory.
At this moment, spectator boats were still in the middle of the start area and there was clearly not enough time to clear the area and launch the race in good conditions. There was a risk of finishing the race after sunset.
The three SNG Race Committee members expressed their opinion to Harold Bennett explaining that the race should not be launched for the following reasons: • The starting area was not clear of spectator boats • The sea state was improper (the waves were too high) • The certainty of racing during day light hours (the last possible warning signal as per the Notice of Race was 16:30) was being jeopardised putting at risk the security of the race yachts and spectator boats. Acting against the opinion of the Race Committee, Harold Bennett unilaterally launched the race. Rather than enforcing the Race Committee decision by physical means, the SNG Race Committee members decided to withdraw and wait below decks.
Launching the race in improper conditions resulted in (i) Alinghi being penalised before the start because it was disturbed by spectator vessels while making its way toward the starting line (ii) the Race Committee boat starboard lay line being impracticable for both racing yachts because of the presence of spectator vessels on the lay line and (iii) high load alarms on both boats sounding continuously during the first leg on starboard because of the sea state.
Fortunately no accidents occurred that day and neither of the boats was damaged. The three SNG Race Committee members however maintain that it was unreasonable, unnecessary and improper to launch the race at that moment. From a rules point of view, it is not even clear whether there was truly a race or not on that day. *
* Editor: re: The last sentence in this screed? Stunning, isn't it? Apparently Mr. Meyer has spent a lot of time rummaging around in the dumpsters at Sandoz Laboratories.
From Swiss Sailing News:
* From Jock Wishart: re: New Thames "A" Rater at the Dinghy Show:
Just to prove that "old design is still good design" please visit Jamie Stewart's Synthesize Yacht Design stand B14 at Alexandra Palace, this weekend, 6/7 March to see the Polar (ADVENTURER 11) on display.
Beautifully constructed by Jamie, following a design "workover" by Hugh Welbourn (who had the problem of translating a set of lines drawings from 1903 into the "real world"), we all hope that this will help rejuvenate the A Raters and show a "clean pair of heels" to many other classes in light airs.
In her Purple and Walnut veneer livery she will certainly stand out from the crowd and I am delighted with her.
I just hope my wife who it was all done for feels the same way!!
"Il mostro" Complete Turnkey Volvo 70 that just finished 2nd in the Volvo Ocean Race.
Brokerage through PUMA Racing Ltd.: http://www.yachtworld.com/pumaracing/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
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