Endeavour hat trick for Saxton and Lewis | MAPFRE draw first blood in Volvo Ocean Race | Cowes Week Ltd seeks new Regatta Director | Guichard Victorious at Alicante Match Cup | Spanish Conquistadors | Guest Editorial: Magnus Wheatley | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Champagne for Zoulou, caviar for Realteam | Letters to the Editor | Featured Brokerage
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Endeavour hat trick for Saxton and Lewis
Annie Reid (RCYC Commodore) presents Ben Saxton (left) and Toby Lewis with the Endeavour Trophy. Photo by Roger Mant. Click on image for photo gallery.
Going into today's final three-race showdown, Saxton and Lewis were just one point ahead of Nick Craig and Holly Scott (D-One) but just minutes into the first race of the day, disaster struck for Craig/Scott when gear failure forced their retirement from that race. Thankfully a swift repair job to the gooseneck meant they were back in action for the penultimate race of the series.
In stunning summer-like temperatures and winds in the 16-18kt range, the 30-strong star-studded fleet enjoyed close tactical racing on the relatively sheltered waters of the River Crouch and Roach. As well as tip-top racing techniques required in the Phil Morrison-designed RS200, winning or losing was also down to gaining the best tidal advantage.
Although Saxton and Lewis ultimately won every race, it wasn't a complete walk over by any means, particularly in the second race of the day (race 7) when Steve and Sarah Cockerill (2000) sailed impressively to hang onto the lead for the majority of the race.
Roger and Jane Gilbert (International 14) quietly but confidently sailed a really impressive series to see them take third place overall
With eight races completed the fleet headed back upriver to the Royal Corinthian YC where the prizegiving marked the closure this unique, annual champion of champions' series for the Endeavour Trophy. -- Sue Pelling
Overall Results (after 8 races)
1. Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis (2016 Champion) 8 points
2. Nick Craig and Holly Scott (D-One) 23
3. Roger and Jane Gilbert (International 14) 34
4. Jon Gorringe and Emma Clarke (RS400) 34
5. Christian Birrell and Rob Henderson (470 m) 36
6. Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright (RS200) 49
MAPFRE draw first blood in Volvo Ocean Race
The local heroes on Xabi Fernandez's MAPFRE were a popular winner in the first point scoring race of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Fernandez and his team made a bold call at the start to duck behind the entire fleet in order to sail up what turned out to be the favoured right hand side of the course, coming from behind to earn a narrow lead at the first gate.
The Spanish team sailed a flawless race, in terms of strategy and execution, and were never threatened after grabbing the lead at the first mark.
But behind them, it was a hard-fought race. Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag was strong on the first leg, but dropped back over the course of the race. In contrast, Dongfeng Race Team fought up the fleet to grab second place, battling with Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Team Brunel who were trading places throughout the race.
MAPFRE In-Port Race Alicante -- Results
Position - Team - Elapsed Time - Points
1. MAPFRE, 54:38, 7
2. Dongfeng Race Team, 56:06, 6
3. Vestas 11th Hour Racing, 56:54, 5
4. Team Brunel, 57:13, 4
5. Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, 58:07, 3
6. team AkzoNobel, 58:31, 2
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic, 59:39, 1
Cowes Week Ltd seeks new Regatta Director
The Regatta Director role is a year-round, part-time post, and carries a responsibility to evolve the on-the-water side of the regatta in order to retain andon the yachting and racing circuit, has the vision to take the racing programme forward and can work with existing and potential entrants, class associations and organising clubs to ensure the event offers the best possible competitive experience.
The new Regatta Director will work as part of a small executive team and also with the member clubs of Cowes Combined Clubs through the regatta's Sailing Committee.
Guichard Victorious at Alicante Match Cup
Alicante, Spain: On a day when you couldn't have asked for better sailing conditions, Yann Guichard's Spindrift Racing rounded off a flawless display with victory at the Alicante Match Cup.
Guichard defeated Dutch two-time Olympian Pieter-Jan Postma in the final to maintain an impressive 100 per cent win rate during the four-day regatta, held in conjunction with the start of the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race.
The weather gods saved their best until last, delivering a 10-12 knot breeze and bright blue skies for the final day of action that saw the M32s able to really stretch their legs. Again the fleet of seven 65ft Volvo Ocean Race boats provided a stunning backdrop as they held their own Pro-Am racing just offshore from the M32 race course.
Spindrift Racing & Sailing Team NL qualify for opening event of 2018 WMRT Season A delighted Guichard said the result was just what his team wanted going into the 2017 WMRT Match Racing World Championship in Shenzhen, China, in under two weeks.
1. Yann Guichard (FRA), Spindrift Racing
2. Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Sailing Team NL
3. Jonas Warrer (DEN), Team Warrer
4. Markus Edegran (USA), E11even Racing
5. Nico Delle Karth (AUT), Chilli Racing
6. Sally Barkow (USA), Team Magenta 32
7. Quentin Delapierre (FRA), Team Lorina - Golfe du Morbihan
8. Lukasz Wosinksi (POL), Delphia Sailing Team
9. Sam Gilmour (AUS), Neptune Racing
10. Kim Kling (SWE), Caprice Match Racing Team
Photo by Carlo Borlenghi, carloborlenghi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
The individual championships were close-fought affairs. Earlybird (GER) assumed the lead of the 11-boat ClubSwan 50 Europeans on day three of the event, and the powerful German team played their cards perfectly today to maintain top spot. Porron IX (ESP) set aside her problems of yesterday and, today, reasserted control of the 9-boat Swan 45 Worlds. Nadir (ESP) had already proved unstoppable in 8-boat ClubSwan 42 Europeans.
It was Groundhog Day with a twist on the weather front. Too light to go racing at noon, but when the wind did come it was from a more easterly direction and offered the strongest conditions of the week at 12 - 14 knots.
The Nations Trophy 2017 - Final Results
(Position, Team, Country, Owner/Driver, Total)
ClubSwan 50 European Championship (11 Teams)
1. Earlybird (GER), Hendrik Brandis, 29
2. Bronenosec (RUS), Vladimir Liubomirov, 35
3. Cuordileone (ITA), Leonardo Ferragamo, 35
Swan 45 World Championship (9 teams)
1. Porron IX (ESP), Luís Senís, 29
2. Motions (NED), Lennard Van Oeveren, 31
3. Aphrodite (ITA), Pier Drancesco di Giuseppe, 31
ClubSwan 42 European Championship (8 teams)
1. Nadir (ESP), Pedro Vaquer, 18
2. Pez de Abril (ESP), Jose María Meseguer, 28
3. Far Star (ITA), Lorenzo Mondo, 30
The Nations Trophy 2017 (11 nations)
1. Spain (2)
2. Italy (6)
3. Germany (6)
Guest Editorial: Magnus Wheatley
Oh dear, lone voice time again. I've read all the naysaying after the event about just how downright awful those dreadful foiling cats were in Bermuda. Excuse me? I thought it was a terrific spectacle and well done to my Team NZ friends in out-thinking and out-smarting everyone.
That BAR vs TNZ race in the big breeze where Burling, behind at the time, said about Ben: "he's outta control" is my top pick on You Tube (which for you lot reading this is a video service on the interweb owned by a rather large company called Google.)
I have also read some really crass posts and sniping quotes about Larry Ellison with a sub-text that he was some kind of creation from Star Wars and a force of evil for the AC. Well I heartily disagree (about the evil bit) and I think that the sport should say a massive thank you to Larry for the endless millions he has pumped into the event - without which, the patient would have died from boredom around 2003.
It has been a terrific ride, a tremendous spectacle and the sport is poorer, a lot poorer, now that Lazza is hanging up his Dubarry's. Now we return to the snooze-fest proposition of foiling monohulls. Give me a break. This is completely shooting the sport in the foot just as we were ushering in a very bright new generation of F1 sailors.
The old stagers will be licking their fat chops as the chance to do another AC means the gravy train can continue. Yup, we've got lead mines on the horizon with 12 bored, overpaid crew but the great news is that the pompous middle class retirees who seem to have the voice now, can "understand" what the hell is going on and sit and watch 20 tack beats and spinnaker hoists.
Oh please, give me a break. If you want to kill all interest from the digital generation then carry on. Winding the clock back is plain daft and the next Cup, probably in Italy, will be as dull as ditchwater.
Leave the foiling monohulls to the astonishing offshore boys where the likes of Alex Thompson can stretch Boss's legs and rack up thousand mile days. Short course foiling in monohulls is plain ridiculous and won't appease anyone other than an extremely temperamental bankroller who got lucky by marrying a fashion genius and is busy spending her money on a vanity project and some daft notion that this is good for the sport.
Sure there were lessons that needed to be learnt from Bermuda - cyclors and oil anyone? - but these were easily solvable and Larry was so close to being bang on the button. Now we re-set and the AC goes backwards two generations in a stunning victory for the myopically challenged who secretly yearn for the J-Class to be reinstated and just can't understand why their grandkids don't get sailing and why their yacht club membership is dying.
What a shame but thank you Larry for trying.
France, France, France, the perfect reminder, muted celebrations in Barcelona, Parko moves to the back of the bus. Plus when should you leave it to the elders to drive progress? Ivor Wilkins, Carlos Pich, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis
Rod Davis - What now?
The multiple America's Cup skipper, helmsman, tactician and coach has a clear idea what lies ahead
Farewell, Bermuda... And long live the 36th America's Cup. Andy Claughton
Seahorse build table - A growing force
Now here's one you (probably) never expected to see in these pages. Or even expected to see at all
Sailor of the Month
Young blood and great expectations
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Champagne for Zoulou, caviar for Realteam
Victors were crowned on this final day of Marseille One Design, also the last day of competition on the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour.
Esteban Garcia's Realteam, skippered by Jerôme Clerc, is the winner of the 2017 GC32 Racing Tour. Following her victories at Riva and a 'come from behind' win in Calvi, Realteam's third place at Marseille One Design was enough for the Swiss team to claim the overall Tour prize in 2017. Six points behind was American Jason Carroll's Argo, just one ahead of Naofumi Kamei's Mamma Aiuto! from Japan.
The final regatta of the season had a clear and definite winner: Erik Maris' Zoulou. With 11 races sailed at Marseille One Design, the French team won all but two, including a perfect scoreline over the weekend. Today in winds of 8-9 knots, the boats were sailing upwind under gennaker and could foil fully downwind. In this, Zoulou led the seven GC32s around every mark on Marseille's Rade Sud.
Venues for the 2018 GC32 Racing Tour will be announced shortly and will include several of the five in southern Europe the flying catamaran circuit has visited in 2017
GC32 Racing Tour @ Marseille One Design overall results
1, Zoulou, 16
2. Mamma Aiuto!, 39
3. Realteam, 45
4. Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco, 48
5. .film Racing, 52
6. Team ENGIE, 53
7. Argo, 55
2017 GC32 Racing Tour championship overall results
1. Realteam, 10
2. Argo, 16
3. Mamma Aiuto!, 17
4. Team ENGIE, 24
5. Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco, 25
6. Zoulou, 34
7. Movistar, 34
8. ARMIN STROM Sailing Team, 38
9. .film Racing, 39
* From Euan Ross: The need for speed?
In the current Seahorse, Jack Griffin makes the case for 'speed' as the overriding objective in the selection of a suitable vessel to contest the America's Cup. But he deftly skips 100 years of absorbing competition which give lie to that assumption. And perhaps quoting J. P. Morgan's preference for "the fastest and most powerful vessel that can be produced" is not the most apposite pitch for a commercially viable competition. David Boyd's plea that the Cup should be raced for "in the biggest boats people can afford" seems to be a more common sense approach and indeed reflects the history of the event.
Through the heyday of the magnificent 90ft LWL boats, contenders did indeed become ever faster with longer overhangs and more sail. But then the 1914-20 event saw slower boats with a reduction to 75ft LWL. Speed potential gradually increased again with the relatively under-canvassed J Class reaching 87ft LWL before they were retired in 1937, still some way short of the speed and power of Reliance, in 1903, however. Then came the 12 metres in 1958 with a 45ft LWL representing a big step down in performance. The 'big boat challenge' in 1988 saw more speed, but in a pointless format, before the 60ft LWL America's Cup Class in 1992. Since 2007, distaining Froude, we have had quick and even quicker foiling multihulls. Overall however, a graph of speed by year since 1870 would rise and fall to reflect what was economically viable rather than what was possible.
As a postscript I see the eighth VO65 is for sale and available now. So I guess the repurposing of that class as a 'pay to play' event is dead in the water too, viz "The VO65s will themselves be recycled after the 2018 finish, with a leadership and development programme for Volvo Ocean Race affiliated companies, with an on-water component for employees and clients racing in the 65s". And clearly the value of a 'spare' following recent experience is not conceded either.
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The Last Word
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