Course Record Eludes Line Honours Winner
Passage at the Stromboli Vulcano for Luna Rossa. Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, http://carloborlenghi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Slade made no excuses on the dock after stepping ashore. He believes they raced as well as they could. He was quick to acknowledge that for every frustration they may have encountered this year, Rambler was sure to have suffered in some similar way herself in 2007. Asked if he could identify any points on the course they could have made up the wayward 30 minutes, he replied wryly, "at least twenty."
The wait for the next boat home was a short one. Just as during the Rolex Fastnet, Karl Kwok'sBeau Geste (HKG) had been shadowing her bigger rival for the whole course, waiting for a chink in the armour that might let her snatch the lead. Skipper Gavin Brady, tactician Francesco de Angelis and navigator Andrew Cape are a deep-filled talent pool, but even they found the conditions testing. Brady is a tough customer, but even he acknowledged the severity of the situation after Stromboli on Saturday night/Sunday morning, "up until then we had been concentrating on getting away from the competition, but when the weather struck we were glad to have some company. We were in survival mode for some time." The small boats have been reporting difficulties with sail changes at night as bandit squalls struck without warning. Cape confirmed Beau Geste had struggled with this too, particularly as they turned the corner at Favignana, "we had the wrong sail combination up, which caused us to lose a bit of time. In those conditions it can take around an hour to execute a sail change on a boat this size."
With two boats tied up in the harbour we have a yacht race. When Beau Gestecrossed the line at 15.28 she moved into pole position on handicap. Her moment in the spotlight was short lived. Alegre (GBR) finished at 18.33 and moved back into a lead that she has held since Stromboli. Neither Ran (GBR) nor Luna Rossa (ITA) were in a position to dislodge her when they finished. Intermatica VO70 (ITA) won the battle of the two Volvo boats, beating Ericsson (SWE) on handicap although not on the water.
The bulk of the fleet is still racing. 23 yachts have now retired citing various reasons, mostly sail and equipment damage resulting from the vicious squalls that persisted until midday today. Next boat home will be DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA), which is halfway between Lampedusa and Malta. After that we are in for a long wait as the competing yachts struggle down the western edge of the course.
Second Victory For Team Finland
Photo courtesy Clipper Ventures. Click on image to enlarge.
In a race which has been marked by light winds, Team Finland took an early lead out of La Rochelle but soon lost it by sailing into a wind hole as the fleet rounded Cape Finisterre. The fleet then headed on a westerly course towards the scoring gate south of the Canary Islands in an attempt to take the first points of Race 2. As weather forecasts indicated light winds across the 90 nautical mile long gate, Team Finland made the decision to bail out and focus on a ten point win into Rio. It proved to be the defining moment of Team Finland's race, as they regained the lead and held it all the way to the line.
Periods of light winds have dogged the fleet for the first trans-Atlantic crossing of Clipper 09-10. With virtually no wind at the start in La Rochelle, around the Canary Islands and for half the boats through the Doldrums, the normally reliable trade winds have also been lighter than expected. As the fleet neared its final destination of Rio de Janeiro, once again light conditions brought the leading boats to a near halt.
The Clipper 09-10 Race Committee has announced a shortened course for Race 2 from La Rochelle to Rio de Janeiro. The amended Sailing Instructions has given the teams 24 hours notice of the shortened course and the final positions will be taken at midday GMT on Tuesday 20 October. Those teams that have crossed the finish line will be awarded the relevant finishing position, while the others will be awarded the position based on their distance to finish at that time.
Once finished, the teams will make their way by fastest means, through a combination of using their engines and sailing, to the Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro, which will host the fleet for the duration of the stopover.
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Gold And Bronze for British Sailors at Disabled Worlds
British sailors picked up two medals from three classes at the IFDS Disabled Sailing World Championships in Athens on Sunday - including a first ever world title for the SKUD duo of Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell.
Rickham, 28, and 23-year-old Birrell, who finished fifth at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games, sailed a consistent series across the four days of competition to see them clinch five race wins from the nine races held, and seal victory by three points over USA rivals Scott Whitman and Julia Dorsett.
Skandia Team GBR's second medal of the Championships came via Helena Lucas, with bronze in the 2.4mR single-handed class.
It's the first IFDS Worlds medal for Lucas in three years, with the Southampton-based sailor "relieved" to have made the podium.
ISAF Sailing World Cup winner Megan Pascoe ended her Worlds campaign in fifth, just four points off of her teammate in the bronze medal position.
Final top three by class:
1. Thery Schmitter, NED, 15 points
2. Heiko Kroeger, GER, 24
3. Helena Lucas, GBR, 28
1. Jens Kroker / Robert Prem / Siggy Mainka, GER, 21
2. Dror Kohen / Arnon Efrati / Ben Vexler, ISR, 23
3. Christoforou Vadilis / Notaroglou Argiris / Aleksas Thodoris, GRE, 24
1. Alexsandra Rickham / Niki Birrel, GBR, 12
2. Scott Whittman / Julia Dorsett, USA, 15
3. John McRoberts / Brenda Hopkin, CAN, 21
Calm Before The Storm
Plain sailing in the Solidaire du Chocolat for the time being, but not for long. After having got off to s smooth start in clement conditions, the tone is set to change. A hefty low is on its way. Tonight the fleet is going to be given quite a shaking. At the moment, the experienced members of the fleet in the shape of Pole Elior Sante-Mistral Loisirs (Bouchard-Krauss) and Cheminees Poujoulat (Jourdren-Stamm), are heading west to avoid the worst, whereas Telecom Italia (Solidini-D'Ali) is heading due south.
Before entering into battle, the 24 crews have to make the best of what they have got to reel in the miles. The options are generally clear. Westward bound and out to the open sea. A race against the clock in on against the series of low pressure systems welling up over the Bay of Biscay. The wind is starting to strengthen (up to 28 knots this afternoon), cloud darkening the skies and waves starting to hit the deck. There is no denying that conditions are worsening. The Bay of Biscay is bearing its teeth and this is just for starters.
Some serious brain racking is going on to work out how best to manoeuvre in the rough ride ahead. The transition between the two systems offers a little respite to duck and dive to avoid getting caught off guard. And it is still worth pushing hard while the going is good. Cheminees Poujoulat has clocked up 15 knots recently, almost 16 for Initiatives-Novedia (De Lamotte-Hardy), in a rather interesting position of late. Her track produces a finely adjusted path between west and south.
Many are observing the option taken by the Italian pair Giovanni Soldini and Pietro D'Ali, clearly minded to head south straight for Cape Finisterre, with a terrible reputation for chaotic seas and violent winds whenever a front sweeps overhead. Perhaps they are just hoping to sneak through unnoticed beneath the fearsome vast system of low pressure. Currently lying 30 miles behind the leaders, they are sticking to their chosen course demonstrating truly independent thinking. Worth keeping an eye on considering the busy night ahead. Whether hugging the coast around Cape Finisterre or further out to the open sea, there is a battle brewing in the Bay of Biscay this evening.
From The "I Wonder If He Just Got A Big Campaign Contribution" File...
San Diego (AP) -- A California congressman has raised concerns about security at the Persian Gulf port that's scheduled to host the America's Cup showdown between U.S. challenger BMW Oracle Racing and defending champion Alinghi of Switzerland.
Edward R. Royce, a Republican from Orange County, sent a letter last week to the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism asking for an assessment of security in Ras al-Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. He also asked what U.S. government resources, if any, will be committed to the event. -- Bernie Wilson, hosted.ap.org
Thanks To North Sails And The Legends At The 2009 12 Metre Worlds
Photo by Meghan Sepe. Click on image to enlarge.
The Legends included: Russell Coutts, Halsey Herreshoff, Harold Cudmore, Ted Hood, Gianfranco Alberini, Charlie Dana, Lucy Jewett, Andy MacGowan, Skip Lissiman, Charlie Hovey, Sam Wakeman, Chris Wick, Jack Sutphen, Bob Connell, Tom Whidden, Rich DuMoulin, Jack Sutphen, David Pedrick, Bruce Kirby, Dick Enersen, Dan Nerney, Tony Chamberlain, John Rousmaniere, JH Peterson, Barbara Lloyd, Bill Koch, Harry Anderson, Dawn Riley, Dyer Jones and Sherman 'Pat" Morss.
The regatta hosts were New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, Seamen's Church Institute of Newport, Bannister's Wharf and Bowen's Wharf.
12 Metres...still elegant, still racing! Jobson's film about the Worlds will be aired on EPSN Classic on November 7 at 1pm. The Jobson film will preview at Newport, RI's Jane Picken's Theater at 6pm on November 6.
Stay tuned at www.goldenyear2009.com
Ancient Flying Pterosaur Also Sailed Seas
Click on image to enlarge.
However, researchers at Texas Tech University, the University of Kansas and University of Florida have found that the animal's strange body actually made it a masterpiece of nature's drawing boards. Not only could it walk and fly, but also it could sail across the sea.
Tapejara, a native coastal dweller of what is now Brazil, was an excellent flyer that also had an innate nautical knowledge of sailing, said Sankar Chatterjee, Horn Professor of Geosciences and curator of paleontology at the Museum of Texas Tech University.
Much like a Transformer, it could manipulate its body to match the same configuration as the world's fastest modern windsurfers and sail across the surface of the ocean in search of prey. Then, it could take off quickly if the toothy underwater predators of its time got too close for comfort.
"The free ride from the wind would allow these animals to cover a large territory in search of food," Chatterjee said. "Apparently, these pterosaurs knew the secrets of sailing that many novice sailors do not."
Chatterjee and his research team determined Tapejara's sailing ability by studying the aero-hydrodynamics of pterosaur wings through physics and computer simulation. He will present his findings Oct. 21 at the Geological Society of America's annual meeting in Portland, Ore. -- from Texas Tech University, by way of Physorg.com: www.physorg.com/news175183328.html?
... And It Probably Ate The Cow...
Click on image to enlarge.
The cow, which belongs to the King Harry Ferry Company, was on an environmental mission to raise awareness of the forthcoming Footsteps to Copenhagen procession due to take place in Truro on Tuesday, October 27.
It had been placed outside the cathedral by local boat-builder, Rory MacPhee, who had rowed up the river with the cow from the King Harry offices in Feock.
The cow had been bought by the Ferry Company as a replacement for 'Blue Lady', the cow the company sponsored as part of the Hall for Cornwall's Jack's Cows herd.
"As many people know we took part in the Jack's Cow campaign over the summer to raise money for the Hall for Cornwall's Loved to Bits campaign," said King Harry's Toby Budd.
"Blue Lady with her webcam was extremely popular and we estimated that over 60,000 saw her in her time with us.
"When she was sold at auction we all really missed her so we decided to replace her with a new cow.
"When we first heard she was stolen we thought it was a joke as Blue Lady went missing over the summer. But she was returned to us safely after being taken on a pub crawl". -- Practical Boat Owner, www.pbo.co.uk
See also www.kingharryscornwall.co.uk
Tornado By Dubarry: Touching Down Soon
If you were to design a way of testing how well a shoe grips, you'd probably design the deck of a racing yacht - wet, sideways, constantly moving and covered in tripwires. That's what we were thinking when we designed the Tornado boat shoe. It's light and supportive, grips like an anxious monkey, shrugs off the smell of sailing feet with its mesh ventilation enabling your feet to breathe deeply and relax instead of sweating and kicking up a fuss. The new Tornado by Dubarry, it always touches down.
New Global Ocean Race Entries
Jacques Fournier and Jean-Edouard Criquioche. Click on image to enlarge.
Having secured a three-year sponsorship deal with energy supplier, Groupe Picoty, Fournier and Criquioche have a well-funded campaign for the Global Ocean Race.
The French duo's campaign for the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 is already well advanced with a Pogo Version3 on order. Fournier and Criquioche will compete against each other in the single-handed Route du Rhum next year, both under the Groupe Picoty sponsorship, with Criquioche racing the current boat and Fournier the new one.
Fournier and Criquioche have now ensured their place on the start line and will join the seven international entries already signed-up for the Global Ocean Race 2011-12: Adrian Kuttel from South Africa; Patrice Carpentier from France; the Dutch solo sailor Nico Budel; British yachtsman Alex Alley; Belgian Yachtsman of the Year, Michel Kleinjans, and two entries from the USA and UK who wish to remain anonymous while their projects develop.
Pete's career in the marine industry spanned a period of 46 years, during which time he worked for Norsemann Gibb, Sparcraft, Barient, Barlow Gibb, Hunter Boats and Baron Instruments.
He began his career at Sparlight, one of the top spar makers in the world. As a junior salesman - and later, a sales manager - Pete sold spars to some of the top race and cruising boats of the time.
Pete split his time between his much-loved family - wife Kal and two daughters, Sophie and Zoe - and a huge passion for sailing, racing yachts at national and international level. Notable successes included representing the UK in three Admiral's Cup teams, the Southern Cross Series and UK Onion Patch team - sailing the only non-American boat ever to win the Newport Bermuda Race. He was also a class winner at Cowes on six occasions where he picked up the Britannia Cup twice and the New York Yacht Club Trophy three times.
The funeral service will be held in the South Chapel at Portchester Crematorium on Thursday 22nd October at 12.00. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to local children's hospice, Naomi House. Cheques should be made payable to 'Wessex Children's Hospice Trust' and donation envelopes will be provided at the service. For information about online and postal donations please visit www.naomihouse.org.uk
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.
* From Jim Champ: re German Frers comment" "in spite of the fact I was beginning to be a bit suspicious about the blinding speed predictions coming out of Holland."
Now isn't that, in particular, a rather interesting comment in a most valuable letter? Thank you Mr Frers. Those of us who have read John Bertrand's book, "Born to Win", will be familiar with the idea of blinding speed predictions coming out of Holland, and will reflect that what actually happened was rather different.
Unfortunately I can't lay my hands on my copy to quote page numbers, but as I remember there were predictions that what was to become Australia 2 would be winning races by 15 minutes. "Born to Win" is very much one man's viewpoint and emotions rather than a dispassionate historical document, but the parallel is very striking...
Musandam, formerly Dame Ellen MacArthur's world record breaking B&Q/ Castorama, has been the flagship of the Oman Sail project since its start last year. In March 2009 onboard Musandam, as part of a small crew Mohsin Al Busaidi succeeded in becoming the first Arab to sail around the world non-stop in a very respectable time of 76 days. Since then, Musandam has been fully refitted and is in excellent shape ready for more ocean racing and solo record breaking.
Musandam would be a fabulous boat to race in the Route du Rhum 2010, an excellent option for solo and crewed ocean record attempts, and a unique part of modern sailing history. She was launched in 2004, having been built by Boatspeed of Australia, and designed by Nigel Irens and Benoit Cabaret.
For details see:
The Last Word
The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. -- Alan Watts
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