The Winged Keel... Again...
When the yacht Australia II stormed through the America's Cup fleet to win the coveted cup in 1983 it created the biggest wave in the iconic race's history.
For the first time in 132 years, a non-American yacht had dominated the race, and as stunned Americans faced up to the disappearance of their trophy from its place in the New York Yacht Club, Australians danced in the streets.
Now that historic win is being challenged by a Dutch naval architect who claims that he designed the legendary winged keel that propelled the boat to victory, and not Ben Lexcen, the Australian boat designer who has been famously credited with the design.
Peter van Oossanen, whose Dutch design team worked with Mr Lexcen and the Dutch aerodynamics expert Joop Sloof on the design of Australia II, has told Australian media that Mr Lexcen played only a minor role in the boat's design and was not even present during the "eureka moment" in the keel's development.
Dr Van Oossanen told the Sydney Morning Herald that he was breaking 26 years of silence over the authorship of the design because he has grown tired of what he believes is an air-brushing from history of the Dutch role in the boat's victory.
"Ben was a nice guy," he told the paper. "He had a flair for things, a flair for shapes. But he wasn't a scientist and he wasn't able to understand the full physics of what was going on."
Mr Lexcen, who died in 1988, contributed only five or 10 per cent to the design, he said.
Full article by Anne Barrowclough in the Times Online: www.timesonline.co.uk
... We Didn't Cheat!
Mr Bertrand jumped to the defence of his late friend, who died of a heart attack in 1988, saying he had been "mucking around with ... wings on rudders on 18 foot skiffs" long before Australia II.
"There is only one person that I knew who had the brilliance, he was like the Leonardo da Vinci of this country in so many ways," he told the Seven Network.
"Benny pulled the whole design package together, he was the spark of genius that was required of that part of the design process."
Yachting great and Australia II reserve helmsman Sir James Hardy confirmed Lexcen had been experimenting in the 1950s.
"I think Peter is no doubt saying what he believed happened but I can tell you Benny's hull shape and everything, and his ability to make sails, you wouldn't know which piece of coal made the whistle blow," he told ABC Radio.
"Ben, it was his third or fourth go at a 12 metre and I think he really knew what he was on about, but the upside down keel, as Peter van Oossanen has said, no doubt they did do work on that.
"All I can say is I remember when Ben got back from Holland ... under secrecy, he showed me two designs, and the hull forms were the same but the keel on one of them was upside down and Ben said, 'Look I saw them testing wing tips for aeroplanes'."
Mr van Oossanen hit back at Sir James' comments, saying the former director was a senior part of the team who "was fully aware of the situation".
"In 1983 Jim was partly my roommate ... we spent many occasions together when we discussed this and that ... and to blatantly say what he said and actually wrote is very upsetting," he told Fairfax Radio Network. -- Excerpt from Stuff.co.nz, www.stuff.co.nz
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Turismo Madrid Takes The Early Lead In Lanzarote
Photo by Nico Martinez / Puerto Calero GP42 Global Cup. Click on image to enlarge.
Through a great display of consistency not yet seen in this year's racing, Jose María van der Ploeg's (ESP) Turismo Madrid (ESP) has taken the early lead after three races in today's Day One of the 2009 GP42 Global Championship. Led by tactician Philippe Presti (FRA), the team amassed a 2-1-4 scorecard to lead Filippo Farufini's runner-up Roma 2 (ITA), driven by Paolo Cian (ITA) by two points. This is the first event of the year that Madrid has taken the lead after a day of racing.
The day's racing started on time at Noon in a very light 6-knot east-southeast breeze. Principal Race Officer, Peter "Luigi" Reggio, laid a modest four-lap 5-mile course in the hopes the breeze would fill to the predicted 7-11 knots.
Trouble started right off the start, as John Bassadone's Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) and Javier Goizueta's Caser-Endesa (ESP) did penalty turn, and Bassadone ignored an OCS call to return to restart. The boats that then went left towards the beach to stay out of the current came out ahead, but as the breeze died to as little as 4 knots on the final run it was Goncalo Esteves' Quebramar - Xacobeo 2010 (POR) that repeated what they did to win in yesterday's practice race: get ahead and extend.
This all changed in Race 2, however, as after a brief delay awaiting for something more solid a very steady easterly managed to fill to 8 and building to 10 knots by the finish.
With a building breeze on the horizon, Reggio extended the first leg length to 1.4 miles, and just as in the previous race the start was dominated by those that were able to get and stay left.
To the delight of the assembled spectator fleet, the local Canarias team managed to hold off the pack and take their first win, a good recovery from their mediocre 5-5 start to the series.
Windward-leeward course racing will resume tomorrow, with another three races planned in a 12-race series starting at 1200 local time. -- Dobbs Davis
Top five results after day 1:
1. Turismo Madrid (ESP, Jose María van der Ploeg), 2+1+4= 7 points
2. Roma (ITA, Paolo Cian), 4+2+3= 9 points
3. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP, Jose María Ponce), 5+5+1= 11 points
4. Airis (ITA, Roberto Monti), 3+3+6= 12 points
5. Quebramar (POR, Felipe Regojo), 1+7+5= 13 points
Meanwhile, Back In RAK
An adviser to the sheik of Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates, filed a brief in a New York court Tuesday countering claims by U.S. challenger BMW Oracle Racing that the Persian Gulf port is not a safe venue for the America's Cup because of its proximity to Iran.
Khater Massaad, the CEO of the Ras al-Khaimah Investment Authority, wrote that RAK is safe and has the infrastructure to host powerhouse sailing teams BMW Oracle Racing and defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland and their massive multihulled boats.
The friend of the court brief filed with the New York State Supreme Court is in response to BMW Oracle Racing's motion asking a judge to reject RAK as the port for the best-of-3 showdown beginning Feb. 8 for the oldest trophy in international sports.
"If we perceived even the slightest threat to the security and success of the 33rd America's Cup, we would not have pursued this opportunity, as RAK stands to lose the most were there to be any disruption to the event," Massaad wrote in the brief. -- Bernie Wilson in the Associated Press, see www.google.com/hostednews/ap/
Managing Director and co-founder, Sabrina Malpede reflects on the past five years by saying, "SMAR-Azure was founded to bring innovative and effective solutions into the Yachting Industry and has maintained that focus throughout our five year history. Our enthusiastic team, experience and positive results have been an integral factor in our success, and our clients value these traits."
AzureProject, the unique integrated software application to design, fiber layout and optimise any type of sail ( www.smar-azure.com/azure_project.html ), has already been adopted by over 80 sail designers worldwide. Sails designed with AZUREProject have won medals at the Olympic games, World and European championship in various classes (most recently at the Platu 25, ORC and X-35 Championships). We enjoy the business of working as technological partners to meet the needs and requirements of individual designers, racers and naval architects.
At SMAR-Azure, Aerospace engineers and Software developers work alongside sail designers, racers and naval architects to push the technological frontier forward. The company offers customised software solutions and high value-added optimization services.
MEET the SMAR-Azure team at the METS2009 ( www.metstrade.com ) 17-19 Nov 2009 Stand 03.322
All4One: A New Team is Born
Another French-German connection is turning a vision to reality. Two sailing enthusiasts, Stephan Kandler (CEO of K-Challenge) from France and three times Olympic Champion and two times America's Cup winner Jochen Schumann from Germany, teamed up to create the sailing campaign ALL4ONE.
ALL4ONE has the goal to take up the most challenging and demanding achievements of international team sailing. And the story starts now with the participation of ALL4ONE in the Louis Vuitton Trophy.
Stephane Kandler, K-Challenge's CEO : "This is an important step in our history after 20 years of investment and involvement in sailing first through K-Yachting our charter company created in 1989 and then K-Challenge who has participated in the last America's Cup. We know each other with Jochen since a long time and finally we realized that we had a close vision and that we were complementary. France and Germany have many good sailors and those two countries have always been the leaders for European major projects, so we are now on the way to launch the foundation of a new international sailing force based on French-German background. This is why we decided to join forces: He will manage the technical and sailing area and I will take care of the management part. With our assets from the last America's Cup, our common experience and all the other people working with us (like the French Sailing Federation, FFV), ALL4ONE is a trustful and powerful platform offering new opportunities for sponsors in our sport. And we are proud that our historical partners Canal+ and Saint Honore watches are now joined by adidas, which is one of the biggest brands in sport."
The team has set priorities on four international sailing circuits - Louis Vuitton Trophy, TP52, RC44, World Match Racing Tour.
ALL4ONE's crew will be formed of :
Jean-Marie Dauris FRA - Bow (2 America's Cup campaigns)
Christophe Andre FRA - Mid-bow (1 America's Cup campaign, French Match Racing Team)
Michi Muller GER - Mast (1 America's Cup campaign, Volvo Ocean Race)
Albert Jacobsoone FRA - Pit (7 America's Cup campaigns)
Gilles Favennec FRA - Pit Assist (2 America's Cup campaigns, French Match Racing Team)
Carlo Castellano ITA - Grinder (3 America's Cup campaigns)
Jorge Ondo ESP - Grinder (1 America's Cup campaign)
Virgilio Torrecilla ESP - Afterguard Grinder (2 America's Cup campaigns)
Christian Scherrer SUI - Jib Trimmer (3 America's Cup campaigns, 1 win, Whitbread)
Matti Paschen GER - Spinnaker Trimmer (1 America's Cup campaign)
Peter van Niekerk NED - Mainsail Grinder (2 America's Cup campaigns, 2 wins)
Yann Gouniot FRA - Mainsail Trimmer (5 America's Cup campaigns, 1 win)
Jordi Calafat ESP - Traveller (1 America's Cup campaign, 1 win, Volvo Ocean Race, Olympic Gold Medalist)
Sebastien Col FRA - Helmsman (2 America's Cup campaigns, French Match Racing Team)
John Cutler NZL - Tactician (5 America's Cup campaigns, Olympic Bronze Medalist)
Philippe Mourniac FRA - Navigator (3 America's Cup campaigns, multihull)
Jochen Schumann GER - Skipper and Strategist (3 America's Cup campaigns, 2 wins, 3 times Olympic Gold Medalist, and 1 Silver Olympic medal)
Andrea Pavan ITA - Grinder (1 America's Cup campaign)
The team arrived today in Valencia, Spain, where the team members will take up a one week session of sea trials and testing with FRA93. The French-German team's boat will be teamed up with GBR75 to sail as a pair in the Louis Vuitton Trophy - Nice from 7 to 22 November.
Weather Makes Its Mark On Preparations
Valleta, Malta: Twenty-three yachts from the 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race took part in a 15 nautical-mile warm-up race today. Starting from the Royal Malta Yacht Club line off Ta' Xbiex, the fleet raced out of the confines of Marsamxett Harbour, turning south past the entrance to Grand Harbour, and down to Delimara Point at the south-east tip of Malta, before heading back to the finish off the RMYC. For a variety of reasons, not least of them the weather, this short race proved a good shakedown ahead of the main-event. The two class winners were the pro-team on Luna Rossa (ITA), with Olympic medal winners Torben Grael on tactics and Robert Scheidt on the helm, and owner/driver Arthur Podesta's more Corinthian crewed Elusive II Medbank (MLT). Luna Rossa took the overall fleet win and with it the Malta Rolex Cup.
Kevin Dingli, owner of Fekruna (MLT) must surely be the most disappointed man in Malta tonight. Having spent the last six months preparing to skipper his yacht in the Rolex Middle Sea Race for the first time, a moment of extreme weather has put him out of contention just two days from the start. "We could see the waterspout developing some way away. It was huge. It kept moving about, changing direction. At one point we gybed away from it, but it came back," explained Dingli. "It all happened so quickly. When we realised we were going to be hit, we let go sheets. Then the wind caught us. We felt as though we were being lifted up, about to be thrown over, and then the mast snapped at deck level." Dingli and his crew are understandably feeling completely flat. The relief that the incidence ended without injury, is tempered by utter disappointment that the dream of taking part in the offshore race has been dashed.
For the other crews in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, this was a salutary reminder of the dangers of offshore racing. There are two days left to finish up preparations for the main event and any crew contemplating cutting a few corners will certainly be rethinking the sense in that. This area of the Mediterranean is notorious for its changeable weather conditions at this time of year. As David Franks, owner of Strait Dealer (MLT) remarks, "I've done this race five times and seen every type of weather. Sometimes at different points in the same race!"
The 2009 Rolex Middle Sea Race starts from Grand Harbour at 11.00 CEST on Saturday, 17 October.
George David's Rambler (USA) established the current Course Record of 47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds in 2007.
Visitors to the show, are invited to go along and meet with Danish Yachts, where experts will be on hand for advice on large and superyacht new build, as well as refits on existing vessels, including retrofit systems.
Danish Yachts currently have a 38m Espen Oeino designed jet propelled high speed day boat in build, which is due to launch next Spring.
Telephone: Jonathan McDonnell Senior Technical Salesman +45 222 411 84
Inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia Announced
OC Events, organisers of the award winning iShares Cup, the European Extreme 40 Sailing Series, has announced today the creation of the inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia to be staged between November 2009 and March 2010. The first year of the Asian series will include events in Hong Kong, Singapore and Oman with the possibility of a fourth venue to be confirmed, and with a plan to grow this to a six-event series by 2011/12. Bids have already been received for the future series from a number of other venues across Asia.
After the finale of the six-stage European iShares Cup circuit last weekend in Almería (Spain), five of the boats were packed up to be shipped directly to Hong Kong.
Each event will consist of five days of racing, combining the established format of short, easy to understand races, a media day, VIP sailing days and special events. The Extreme Sailing Series Asia Notice of Race has been issued today and the announcement of the first of the competing teams will follow imminently. Five boats have already committed to the Asian circuit, as in the first year of the iShares Cup series in Europe.
The first event in the Extreme Sailing Series Asia will take place over the 20th-24th November in Hong Kong, supported by the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, to coincide with their annual 'Around the Island Race' on the 22nd November. With over 200 entries the Around the Island Race is Hong Kong's largest and most inclusive sailing event. The RHKYC is well equipped to support the series given its long time presence in Hong Kong waters as the premier sailing club.
The circuit will then move on to Singapore from 11th-15th December where sailing has become synonymous with sporting excellence in the region, after multiple medal success at the Asian Games and the ISAF Youth World Championships. One of the country's key objectives is to make Singapore a key hub for sailing competitions.
Muscat, Oman will host the third event over the 1st to 5th February just before the America's Cup in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, subject to the current legal dispute.
* Belgian skipper confirmed as the second competitor in the promising Eco 60 Class
Offshore racer Christophe Bullens today confirmed that he will compete in the VELUX 5 OCEANS 2010-11. The Belgian skipper, an experienced yachtsman who sails over 10,000 miles per year, will attempt his first solo circumnavigation of the planet in the new Eco 60 Class of the classic ocean race.
Christophe (48) has been racing in competitions since 1979. Over the course of his career, he has won the North Sea Championship six times, as well as the Belgian Championship (IOR Class 13m). Since 2000, he has been skippering Kriter V (a 21 metre monohull famous for her second place in the 1978 Route du Rhum), Kriter VIII (a 23 metre monohull) and Pen Duick III, Eric Tabarly's fabled winning yacht. 2008 saw Christophe claim first in the Transat Quebec-St. Malo in his FICO Class and in 2009 he competed against some of the top Open 60 skippers in the Rolex Fastnet Race. -- velux5oceans.com
* Belgian Yachtsman of The Year, Michel Kleinjans, was honoured by civic and sailing officials in his home town of Antwerp.
Celebrations of Kleinjans' winning solo circumnavigation in The Portimao Global Ocean Race 2008-09 began at the historic building of the National Bank of Belgium in Antwerp where a reception for some 200 VIP's was hosted by Luc Muylaert, Director of the National Bank's Antwerp branch and his wife.
"Keeping his mast upright despite broken chain-plates on Leg 1, turning back into Southern Ocean conditions to standby Nico Budel aboard his stricken yacht on Leg 2 and surviving a collision with a cargo ship on Leg 4 are all examples of the talent, determination and fortitude of this remarkable sailor," said Race Director Josh Hall. "We are so proud of you, the whole of Belgium is proud of you and we wish you the very best in all that you and your wonderful family do together in the future."
The celebrations then continued at the beautiful riverside Club House of the Royal Yacht Club of Belgium, where a formal dinner for 170 guests was held.
Kleinjans was presented with a beautiful painting of his yacht "Roaring Forty" approaching Cape Horn by local artist Ivan Good and was deservedly made an Honorary Life Member of the famous Club. -- www.portimaoglobalrace.com
* Britain's top Paralympic Classes sailors are in confident form ahead of the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships, which get underway in Athens on Wednesday (14 October).
Buoyed by their recent podium performances at the Skandia Sail for Gold Regatta, and in the overall ISAF Sailing World Cup series, British crews in the three Paralympic class boats are determined to continue their winning ways along the road to 2012.
And with all seven Skandia Team GBR sailors set to compete for World Championship glory in Athens this week, more silverware is already within their sights.
Racing at the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championship gets underway on Wednesday 14 October. An 11-race series is scheduled, with the regatta concluding on Sunday 18 October. -- www.skandiateamgbr.com
On deck you can see that she has been set up to race but she is very easily sailed by a small crew when not on the race course. A very well laid out cockpit and excellent transom access makes her a pleasure to sail. Down below she has three large double cabins all with new mattresses and an enormous saloon which is ideal for entertaining. The quality of fit out on these earlier Beneteau s is legendary and this yacht will be looking good for many years to come.
Brokerage through Lee Marine Co.,Ltd.: www.yachtworld.com/leemarine/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
Do you know what Margaret Thatcher did in her first Budget? Introduced VAT on yachts! It somewhat ruined my retirement. -- Edward Heath
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