Hours of Suffering in the Doldrums
We will know who was right or wrong once the Doldrums crossed. Right or wrong, to sail in the West as Francisco Lobato (ROFF TMN) - new leader for series, as the South African Matt Trautman (Mini Mac) 3rd at 3:00 pm or as Remi Auburn (AT Children's Project) the extreme. Right or wrong for making the East as most competitors, including HP Schipman (Maisons de l'Avenir Urbatys) and Bertrand Delesne (Entreprendre durablement) who remain a few miles from Thomas Ruyant (Faber France), 1st at 3:00 pm. Last night was particularly difficult. One of the escort boats, the 60 feet Max Havelaar, explained: " There was very few wind with showers. The night was restless; the storms have succeeded each other without interruption."
Perhaps because they overslept a little, Nicolas Boidevezi (Defi GDE) and Olivier Avram (Cap Monde 2) lost several miles. The leaders still have a day with hard times before they will finally find a little wind. A southeast flow.
Then, Lobato winner for series? This is not for sure. He has certainly more pressure at the moment even if his speed shows that he is "fully in" the Doldrums too.
All the sailors who stopped at the Cape Verde islands, have returned to sea, they are all back in the race.
Ranking at 3pm, Wednesday the14th of October 2009:
1. Thomas Ruyant (Faber France) 1137 nm
2. Henry-Paul Schipman (Maison de l'Avenir Urbatys) 3.64 miles from the leader
3. Matt Trautman (Mini Mac) 5.39
5. Pierre Brasseur (Region Nord Pas de Calias-Ripolin) 12.6
1. Francisco Lobato (Roff-TMN) 1355 nm
2. Ricardo Apolloni (Ma Vie pour Mapei) 4.2 miles from the leader
3. Charlie Dalin (Cherche sponsor-charlindalin.com) 9.67
4. Xavier Macaire (Masoco Bay) 19.58
5. Fabien Sellier (Surfrider Fondation) 28.57
Roma Leads The Pack
Photo by Nico Martinez / Puerto Calero GP42 Global Cup. Click on image to enlarge.
On the strength of impressive 1-2-2 scores today, Filippo Faruffini's Roma 2 (ITA) has taken the lead after six races and two days of racing in the 2009 GP42 Global Championship. Led by skipper Paolo Cian (ITA), the team's consistency has paid off handsomely, with a four-point margin over new runner-up, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP).
But the most movement through the ranks came from Javier Goizueta's (ESP) Caser-Endesa(ESP), who on scores of 2-3-1 had a much-improved performance over their 7-4-2 scores of yesterday. Good starts, excellent speed, and clever positioning by this team led by skipper Juan Luiz Paez (ESP) has moved them from 6th to 3rd in the standings, just one point behind the local Canarias team.
The change in today's performances was due mostly to the change in conditions: the first race of the day featured a brisk 16 knots, the most seen yet here in Lanzarote, and the seasoned players from the Audi MedCup were able to break free on the upwind legs with just enough margin to get to the front and stay in front of the pack after the 1.8-mile windward legs set by race manager Peter "Luigi" Reggio. On these legs the more favorable pressure and less current found on the left side of the course set just north of the airport at Playa Honda made every race a race for this corner, with those getting there first always able to lead back in the lead.
Windward-leeward course racing will resume tomorrow, with yet another three races planned in a 12-race series starting at 1200 local time. -- Dobbs Davis
Puerto Calero GP42 Global Cup
1. Roma (ITA, Paolo Cian), 14 points
2. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP, Jose Maria Ponce), 18
3. Caser-Endesa (ESP, Juan Luis Paez), 19
4. Turismo Madrid (ESP, Jose Maria van der Ploeg), 21
5. Quebramar Xacobeo 2010 (POR, Felipe Regojo), 26
6. Airis (ITA, Roberto Monti), 30
7. Peninsula Petroleum (GBR, John Bassadone), 43
8. Nordic Team (SWE, Magnus Olsson), 36
Ullman Sails Welcomes Bull Sails to the Team
Ullman Sails is very pleased to announce that prominent Australian sailor and sailmaker Tony Bull of 'Bull Sails' in Geelong has joined the Ullman Sails team. Tony has over 30 years of sailmaking experience and a diverse sailing resume that includes successfully representing Australia at many World Championships as well as competing in almost every ocean race on Australia's eastern seaboard. Tony is now in demand as a "speed doctor," serving as sail designer, helmsman, race tactician, educator and author of many sailing articles online and in print.
Ullman Sails - Dedicated to your performance for over 40 years.
2009 RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championship
Forty eight teams of youth and junior sailors will go head-to-head this weekend to battle it out for the title of 2009 RYA Eric Twiname Team Racing Champions at Farmoor Reservoir, Oxford.
With entries open in the two age groups, under 16 and under 19, to teams of six sailors, the line-up of over 280 sailors spans a vast variety of abilities. For many teams the event will be their first taste of team racing and they will be sure to learn a lot.
The event will take on quite a different format to fleet or match racing calling on a mixture of contrasting sailing skills important in both.
The weekend will be divided into three stages; ranking, league, and knock-out rounds, with over 250 separate races scheduled before the Championship-winning teams are decided.
In the Junior (under 16) fleet which will be racing in RS Fevas, Welsh Union 2008 Champion team will be keen to defend their title however Royal Lymington YC will be hot on their heels with their strong team made up of members who competed in this year's Optimist World Championships. RS Feva RYA Volvo Zone champions Morgan Peach/Herbie Harford (SW zone) and Robert/Emma Loveridge (West Zone) will also be racing with their teams from Royal Torbay YC and Draycote Water/Shropshire YC eager to assert their authority.
Sailing in Fireflies, the Youth (under 19) fleet will see some similarly tight competition with Cameron Douglas of West Kirby Warrior SC - the 2008 Youth Champions - returning with a slightly different line up, keen to make it a double win. Entering three teams this year however, Sevenoaks School who have been historically extremely strong at the event and have produced some of the UK's top sailors in the past, will be doing all they can to knock them off course and claim the title themselves.
Dhows Start The Season
Click on image to enlarge.
The popularity of this class has grown steadily since the early 90's and has gone from being driven mostly by the older generation to become a passion of young Emirati sailors.
The start will be at 14:00 with a course between the World Islands and Jebel Ali Port with the finish line ultimately placed according to the wind speed.
Mohammed Al Majid Al Room, who is just back from winning the Class One Powerboat European Championship in Italy will be competing on Atlas with skipper Faraj Bin Buti Al Muhairbi who came third in the 43ft Dhow championship last season. The winner from last year was Rashid Mohammed Rashid Al Rumaithi on Barraq who will be looking to retain his title. There will be four rounds in total with the final heat on March 20th.
A Modern Twist on a Classic Look
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Portugal Ocean Race V Global Ocean Race
The battle to create the preferred round the world race for the Class40 continues. The original race, once called the Portimao Global Ocean Race, has now been renamed the Global Ocean Race and the upstart competitor is called the Portugal Ocean Race. So that's clear for all to understand. The competitors, sponsors, media and fans will be able to work that out.
There is no doubt in our minds that the Class40 is a great platform for a round the world race. It fits nicely into the offshore hierarchy as an 'affordable' stepping stone to the elite Open60, but can (should) the class support two races of this type?
A couple of weeks back, the Class40 Association gave their endorsement to the Global Ocean Race founded by Josh Hall. Today, the Portugal Ocean Race has released a statement quoting several offshore sailors in support of their event.
It's an interesting battle to watch. Looking in from the outside, the new Portugal Ocean Race seems to have a solid commercial footing, with backing from Portugal's tourism authorities and other government support. The new website is slick, with the beginnings of social media tools and flashy online materials. There's a long way to go, but the Portugal Ocean Race seems to be a bit short on competitors so far.
On the other hand, the Global Ocean Race has the backing of the Class 40 Association and several current sailors signed up to compete, but is currently lacking a title sponsor, though smaller deals are being done.
Perhaps there is room for both races. Though they will cannibalise each other's sponsors, competitors and fans, if they are significantly differentiated, then there might be scope for each to have success. It seems a shame that the resources can't be combined to create a truly great race though. -- Yachtsponsorship.com, www.yachtsponsorship.com
Photo by Nicolas Lieber. Click on image for photo gallery.
The northerly "bise" was blowing at over 25 knots when the SYZ & CO sailed out of the Societe Nautique de Geneve's harbour yesterday in an attempt to break the 1 km speed record, with two reefs in the mainsail and the jib.
After sailing upwind and showing that she was able to fly against the wind, the hydrofoil catamaran eased downwind to attack the record.
Unfortunately, as she was flying at 30 knots, she hit a rogue wave and the fore portion of her starboard hull suddenly snapped.
Fortunately, no one on board was hurt and the boat was kept afloat. -- Sandra Mudronja
In this current climate of austerity over ostentation new boat sales for 2009 have been understandably subdued. Perhaps postponing the purchase of the replacement, more owners have been looking to give their existing yacht a face lift rather than buying new. Responding to this new trend, carbon component manufacturer Carbonautica is one of several companies that have come out with a range of carbon upgrades which can be retro-fitted to older models of yachts. They offer carbon steering wheels in two designs, a carbon passerelle, carbon instrument boxes for the mast, a beautiful set of carbon boarding-steps that double as a bathing ladder, solid carbon deck organisers and even a carbon flagstaff.
"For the price of a new mainsail, we offer a package of carbon upgrades that give an older boat a new look. We have found that owners who perhaps don't want to take the plunge this year buying a new boat are still keen to upgrade their existing yachts and our package is proving popular in 2009" said Craig Dymock, Carbonautica's Sales Director.
One of the classes that have been particularly interested in these upgrades have been owners of Beneteau 40.7's.
"Following several requests from 40.7 owners in Europe and elsewhere, we have developed a Carbon wheel specifically for the 40.7 as a retro-fit"
For more information go to www.carbonautica.com
* The Island Sailing Club (ISC) has announced the appointment of Peta Stuart-Hunt as its Press Officer for the 2010 J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.
Following this year's race and after a span of seven years handling media relations on behalf of the Cowes-based ISC who organise this internationally acclaimed annual event, Flavia Bateson has retired and the reins have now been handed over to Peta. Peta previously served as Cowes Week's Press Officer between 2001-2008 and also heads up PR Works, a specialist marine leisure communications consultancy.
* Australian-owned textile manufacturing firm Charles Parsons has confirmed it is the new owner of Kiwi outdoor-wear brand Line 7.
Receivers were appointed to Line 7 in July after foreign exchange problems and the recession caused the sportswear, outdoorwear and casual clothing maker to run aground.
Yesterday Charles Parsons said it had bought the assets of Line 7, including the brand, intellectual property and all registered trademarks worldwide. It would continue the proud tradition of Line 7 by ensuring continuity of supply to the existing agriculture and marine customers, the company said.
Allard said there were "tremendous synergies" between the two companies as Charles Parsons had been a supplier to Line 7. Charles Parsons is a family-owned textile maker with 700 staff in 20 locations in Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Fiji.
Line 7 first began in 1963 making wet-weather gear for sailors.
Former owner Ross Munro bought it out of receivership 19 years ago and expanded into casual wear with 11 retail outlets. -- New Zealand Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/business
* The Global Ocean Race 2011-12 can announce a new Race Partner in the form of Peters & May Ltd/
Peters & May Ltd has been shipping yachts and associated marine goods since 1988. They currently arrange the shipping of some 8,000 vessels worldwide on an annual basis.
Marine Logistics Manager at Peters & May, Angus Bruce Jones describes the partnership. "We were very involved in the logistics for the last race and we are now delighted to formalise our relationship with the team of the Global Ocean Race 2011-12," he explains. "We will provide the organisers and all the race entries with the most cost-effective and reliable service for all their shipping requirements, whatever it is and wherever it needs to go".
Josh Hall, Race Director of the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 was equally pleased to announce the partnership. "I have worked with these guys for many years now and they are quite simply the best in the business." -- www.petersandmay.com
* Britain's second most popular sailing area - after the Solent - is under threat of being covered in concrete as London's Mayor, Boris Johnson, battles on with his plans for Heathrow-on-Sea. Oil-rich sheikhs from Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are reported to be interested in investing 40 billion GBP in Johnson's dream to replace the UK's major airport with runways in the Thames Estuary.
Deputy Mayor, Kit Malthouse, said the new 24-hours-a-day airport could be up and running within 10 years and plans show it would dwarf the area now occupied by Heathrow. A feasibility plan - to be published soon - will include two artificial islands holding six runways linked to terminals on the mainland by tunnels, and bridges.
The areas under threat include the Rivers Roach, Crouch, Thames, Swale and Medway as well as rare wetlands in Kent and Essex. -- International Boat Industry (IBI) news, www.ibinews.com
* Bavaria Yachtbau GmbH says Anchorage Advisors LLC and Oaktree Capital Management, which collectively control approximately 95% of Bavaria's 960m Euro debt facilities, signed a binding agreement to restructure the company's balance sheet on Saturday October 3.
The company says the restructuring will create an industry leading balance sheet through a capital injection of 55m in cash and the write-down of over 90% of the senior and junior debt tranches.
Anchorage and Oaktree have been working collaboratively with Bain Capital and look forward to Bain's continued involvement once the deal - which is subject to regulatory and anti-trust clearance - has been finalised. -- Boating Business, www.boatingbusiness.com
* Hinckley - which has been making boats since 1928 and is known for classically designed, beautifully constructed sailboats as well as sleek, easy-to-maneuver powerboats - is under financial pressure. It has significantly reduced its work force - from about 625 employees at its peak in mid-2008 to 305 at the end of August. The layoffs, in turn, have affected Southwest Harbor businesses, some locals say.
Like other yacht makers, Hinckley lost substantial business when the economy turned sour. But Hinckley's problems can also be traced to its sale to one, and then another, private equity firm over the last dozen years. With each sale, it took on more debt, which became onerous when business slowed. And the culture also shifted from a family-owned business to one controlled by outsiders.
Beginning early this decade, near the peak of demand, private equity buyers poured money into yachting, convinced - wrongly, it turned out - that the business could weather any economic storms because its wealthy clients would continue to buy. Several other boat makers have run into problems, including Ferretti of Italy and the MasterCraft Boat Company of Vonore, Tenn.
Hinckley may well survive this downturn, thanks to a strong brand name nurtured over decades of Hinckley family ownership and a loyal clientele, some of whom spend their summers near Bar Harbor. -- from a very long article in the New York Times, see www.nytimes.com
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* From Blue Robinson: claims that Ben Lexcen did not design the 12 metre Australia II have been cropping up for 26 years. Peter van Oossanen in the Sydney Morning Herald and Times Online claims' Ben 'had 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', and later adds ' Ben did things by feel and intuition, but in the America's Cup, that will get you nowhere. It is a very scientific thing.'
Well, you are wrong Peter, on both counts.
Firstly, way back in 1958 he was working on the problems of tip vortex so he fitted small wings on the 18 foot skiff Taipan's centerboard and rudder (also on his 5.5 metre, Catamaran and Moth). His designs included the Contender single-handed dinghy, Admiral's cup yachts Apollo II, Ginkgo, and Mercedes III (best individual boat in the 1967 series), plus Ballyhoo which beat Kialoa in the California Cup and San Francisco perpetual trophy races. The America's cup yachts began with Alan Bond's Southern Cross in 1974, then co-designed Australia in 1977, which also raced (modified) in 1980, Challenge 12 and Australia II in 1983, and Australia III and IV in 1987. Clearly he had a feel for what was going on in a hydro and aerodynamic sense.
Did van Oossanen say Ben saw the carriage system that was presented to him at the Netherlands ship basin in Holland didn't give the refinement that was required in lift and drag, so surrounded by dozens of PHD engineers who had worked there for years, Ben re-designed the towing tank facility for his testing program so the towing point was the centre of effort on the sail plan? No? Hmmm.
Secondly, as late as the 1995 America's Cup (according to Team New Zealand syndicate head Sir Peter Blake) the Kiwi Designer Laurie Davidson was still adjusting and refining their yachts designs with hand and eye. Throughout the history of the America's Cup, both beautiful and brilliant yachts were designed and constructed using experience, feel and intuition.
I wrote an article outlining all of this in the the August 2007 issue of Seahorse magazine. Feel free to run it, with acknowledgment to Seahorse magazine if you do. (Editor: See seahorsemagazine.com/2007-August/3.php )
One of the most common quotes that crops up about Ben Lexcen is how could he have designed Australia II, without a formal education. The brilliant Yacht designer Bruce Farr (much to his headmasters annoyance) left school at 16, and the maestro himself Olin Stephen's left MIT after one term (due to yellow fever) choosing not to return. Olin Stephens designed the winners of a total of eight of the nine America's Cup matches between 1937 and 1980. Nobody questions these brilliant individuals natural ability.
* From Daniel Charles, PhD: At the end of the summer 1983, while the other yachting journalists were basking in the sun at Newport, I buried myself in the building of the International Patent Office in Den Haag. The "secret" patent of the winged keel was there for everybody to see (readers of Scuttlebutt can check for themselves at v3.espacenet.com). I also went to the Marin tanktesting facilities in Waageningen where Peter van Oossanen was working. At the time Peter was very clear that Benny Lexcen had had the idea of a reversed trapezoidal keel ending with a foil shaped bulb, as per the patent.
The invention process can easily be reconstructed.
The International Rule was dictated by stability. In the IR, the longer and heavier the boat, the lesser sail area; the shorter the boat, and the lighter she is, the bigger the sail area she's allowed. However, the problem with a short, light, manoeuverable boat carrying a lot of canvas (all highly desirable things in the light airs of Newport) was that she lacked stability, as Valentijn had experienced with Magic. So to prepare for 1983, Lexcen went to Waageningen, with the idea to try a light boat with a big bulgy keel. He realized, with Van Oossanen help, that it was possible provided that the radius between hull and keel was kept to a minimum, and so Challenge 12 was designed. At the last minute, Benny had the idea (maybe in discussion with Van Oossannen or others) to go one step further: reduce the length of the joint between hull and keel with an appendage wider at the bottom than at the top. To prevent the flow from spilling from extrados to intrados at the free end, winglets where desirable -anybody with basic understanding of aerodynamics can see that. So Benny had the idea to have thick winglets, a wing shaped bulb which would extend the draft when heeled. Up to there, it is more a brilliant interpretation of the IR rule than pure aerodynamics, and there is no doubt in my mind that only Benny Lexcen could envision all the racing consequences of such a scheme. There is also no doubt in my mind that the Waageningen team was indispensable to apply that idea to practice, angle correctly the wings, etc. They had to work in a hurry by then: Lexcen took the hull of Challenge 12, shortened it, and there was the new boat. It was tested with the dynamometer invented by Peter Van Oossanen, which towed 1/3 scale models through their centre of effort, what nobody else did then.
So, here we are. The winged keel: idea and score by Ben Lexcen, adaptation and interpretation by Peter Van Oossanen. And anyway, the winglet-shaped bulb had been invented some ten years earlier by Lars Bergstrom on a Half-Ton design, and pictures had circulated in the press then!
With insight, the winged keel's main effect was "only" to shatter the defender's morale. Let's not forget that Australia II eventually won on a downwind leg, where the winged keel was an inconvenience more than an advantage: her superiority was in her sails calculated and designated by Tom Schnackenberg.
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