Volvo Ocean Race fleet takes the Leg 1 start | Drama and then more drama | Russians dominate Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series kick-off | VOR Breaking News: Dutch national TV says Tienpont has won the arbitration | Team AkzoNobel Statement | Mascalzone Latino wins Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Rolex Middle Sea Race: The Calm Before The Storm | The World Sailing Show | The Wirth M. Munroe Race Is On! | Letters to the Editor | Featured Brokerage
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Volvo Ocean Race fleet takes the Leg 1 start
Dongfeng Race Team powered its way into an early lead on Sunday, pushing penalties on its two closest competitors, in hard-fought racing as the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 got underway.
Conditions couldn't have been better for the start in Alicante, Spain on Sunday afternoon.
The fleet of seven of the best sailing teams in the world started Leg 1, a 1,450 nautical mile sprint to Lisbon, Portugal in bright sunshine and a 15-20 knot Easterly breeze
They were treated to some of the most intense racing ever seen in the opening minutes of a Volvo Ocean Race. The highlight came on the approach to the final turning mark before leaving the bay, when Dongfeng Race Team came screaming in on a collision course with Team Brunel and MAPFRE, both of whom were forced into a quick gybe to avoid the right of way Chinese boat.
Separated by less than a meter at times, as they went through their manoeuvres, the on water Umpires judged neither Brunel nor MAPFRE had kept sufficiently clear and penalised both, pushing them back down the fleet.
After winning round one of the fight, Dongfeng then sped off with the lead, with Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, Vestas 11th Hour Racing and Turn the Tide on Plastic in close pursuit. All three would thread their way through the spectator fleet, at times within an arm's length of the astonished guests, before finding a clear passage out to sea
Drama and then more drama
The Volvo Ocean Race Leg One started with drama and its continued all day.
On land, overnight Simeon Tienpont was reinstated as skipper on AkzoNobel, but at the cost of his navigator and watch captains.
On water, Charles Caudrelier's Dongfeng forced penalties on his two closest rivals, Xabi Fernandez' Mapfre and Bouwe Bekking's Team Brunel at the final Alicante mark before heading out on the 45,000-nautical mile circumnavigation.
Dee Caffari drove Turn the Tide ide on Plastic into second place, ahead of the David Witt skippered Sun Hung Kai Scallywag, with Mapfre sailing back towards to sixth place. But another dramatic charge from the Spanish team who reeled in her rivals one by one and then took the lead from downwind specialists Dongfeng.
But it's incredibly tight racing with regular lead swaps. Team Vestas took the lead shortly thereafter and AkzoNobel was close behind in third place as the fleet streamed south from Alicante on Leg One, towards the Andalucian corner Capo de Dongfeng.
This Leg has a notional distance of 1450 nautical miles (nm) or maybe more to Lisbon Portugal, via Porto Santo, a small island to the northwest of Madeira, 490 nm from Lisbon, well off the Morocco coast.
The fleet is scheduled to arrive in Lisbon next Saturday afternoon, highly desirable from a Corporate perspective.
Rob Kothe's full editorial: scuttlebutteurope.com
Russians dominate Monaco Sportsboat Winter Series kick-off
Consistency paid off for the Russians on Art Tube who handled the conditions to perfection, winning five of the six races in the J/70 class. Winners last season, the team led by Valeria Kovalenko set the pace from the start, finishing 12 points ahead of newcomers Oman Sail 1, helmed by Stevie Morrison, 5th in the 49er class at the London Olympics. The Italian Sport Cube completed the season's first podium.
The Monegasque team of Cesare Gabasio (TinnJ70) came 4th, and Remi Piazza (Levante), a youngster from the YCM's Sports Section won first prize in the amateur category. "It is important we encourage amateurs to race," says Michel Boussard, President of the Monaco J/70 Class Association, delighted to see that 20-plus J/70 teams are already signed up for the next regatta 10-12 November 2017.
In the Melges 20 class, the Russian Alex Team won ahead of their compatriots on Leviathan, with Gone Squatching helmed by Pietro Loro Piana pipping the YCM's Ludovico Fassitelli on Junda to the post to take 3rd.
Organised once a month from October to March by the YCM, in partnership with technical clothing supplier SLAM, on the initiative of Valentin Zavadnikov, the Series has proved a big success since it launched in 2013. As evidenced by the two Omani teams, the series continues to attract newcomers keen to prepare for the season ahead.
Final rankings - J/70
1st Dennis Rozhkov - RUS (Art Tube) - 5 points
2nd Stevie Morrison - MON (Oman Sail 1) - 17 points
3rd Germano Scarpa - ITA (Sport Cube) - 19 points
Final rankings - Melges 20
1st Alexander Mikhaylik - RUS (Alex Team) - 11 points
2nd Maxim Titarenko - RUS (Leviathan) - 15 points
3rd Pietro Loro Piana - ITA - (Gone Squatching) - 15 points
VOR Breaking News: Dutch national TV says Tienpont has won the arbitration
According to the NOS (Dutch national TV) website in the Netherlands, Simeon Tienpont has won the arbitration case that he brought against team sponsor AkzoNobel and will return to Alicante to skipper the yacht when Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race starts tomorrow off Alicante, Spain. Here is a Google translation of the original article posted a few minutes ago:
"The Dutch sailor Simeon Tienpont has won the arbitration case he had tried against AkzoNobel. Tienpont wants to return as a skipper to the team that starts at the first stage in the Volvo Ocean Race on Sunday in Alicante. Tienpont was fired by AkzoNobel last week, one day before the first in-port race, due to breach of contract by Tienpon's management company STEAM. The team had chosen Brad Jackson as a new skipper.
The 35-year-old Tienpont went to the Dutch Arbitration Institute and received a favorable decision. He travels to Spain today to discuss his return on the boat with the crew. The first stage of the Volvo Ocean Race starts in Alicante on Sunday.
AkzoNobel has responded briefly to the current state of affairs. "We are evaluating the current situation and working with Simeon Tienpont," said AkzoNobel spokesman Joost Ruempol."
This comes as no surprise to your Ed. given how long the arbitration panel, that started Friday morning, took to reach and announce it's decision (just now, Saturday afternoon CET). Had it been an open and shut case in favor of AkzoNobel, one would have expected a rather faster decision. -- Tom Ehman
Team AkzoNobel Statement
Following extensive discussions, we are pleased to announce that team AkzoNobel will be starting the Volvo Ocean Race today under skipper Simeon Tienpont.
Team AkzoNobel's crew list for Leg 1 is:
Simeon Tienpont (NED) - skipper, watch captain
Brad Farrand (NZL)
Antonio Fontes (POR)
Martine Grael (BRA)
Luke Molloy (AUS)
Ross Monson (GBR) - navigator
Emily Nagel (GBR/BER)
Nicolai Sehested (DEN) - watch captain
Brad Jackson (NZL), Jules Salter (GBR) and Joca Signorini (BRA), have decided not to sail the first leg and are considering their future plans whilst ensuring that the boat is ready to race today and assisting AkzoNobel to achieve its goal. Rome Kirby (USA) has also decided not to sail
Tienpont commented: "This has obviously been an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved since we arrived here in Alicante just 10 days ago. I have now reached an agreement with AkzoNobel and all parties now want to put this behind us and focus on our campaign for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18.
"I would like to thank Brad Jackson for stepping up at such a challenging time to keep team AkzoNobel moving forward with our preparations for the race. Thanks also go to Joca Signorini and Jules Salter for their contributions to the campaign so far and also to Rome Kirby. We are grateful to Sun Hung Kai Scallywag team owner Seng Huang Lee and skipper David Witt for loaning us Antonio Fontes for this first leg.
Mascalzone Latino wins Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race
Vincenzo Onorato's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino sailed into Nha Trang last night at 18h 46m 31s to take the win in IRC Racer 0 and IRC Racer Overall. The Italian boat was 2h 49m 55s ahead of Joachim Isler and Drew Taylor's Ambush who are 2nd place in IRC Racer Overall.
Mascalzone Latino owner Vincenzo Onorato commented on the Race on arrival, "It's the very first time we have joined the Volvo Hong Kong to Vietnam Race. It was amazing because we did the Race in 53h 26m 31s and we did around 770nm actual distance sailed - unbelievable! The only 'low' of the race was to just keep drinking water, there was no beer on board. The biggest high - we had a top speed of 30kts; unbelievable."
Mills 41 Ambush takes the win in the IRC Racer 1 division after an epic run which saw Ambush punching above her weight keeping her up with the 50 footers for most of the Race and clocking an impressive elapsed time of 61h 27m 59s.
3rd in IRC Racer Overall and 2nd in IRC Racer 0 is Hong Kong's FreeFire a TP52 owned Sam Chan with a corrected time of 78h 27m 30s. The IRC Racer 2 fleet - which started 25 hours before the IRC Racer 0 and 1 divisions - began to arrive in Nha Trang last night. Russian entry, Alexander Vodovatov's First 40 CR No Applause, sailed in at 20h 04m 46s - shortly before Nick Southward's J-109 Whiskey Jack at 21h 27m 33s with Whiskey Jack taking the win with an elapsed time of 83h 19m 14s.
A worthy legacy
Twenty years on Ian Walker remembers his great friend and Olympic medal-winning partner Jonny Merricks and reflects on the work carried out by the sailing trust created in his name
The caravan moves on
Rob Weiland looks at the quite different immediate prospects for the TP52 and Maxi72 fleets and debates the likely consequences of an America's Cup switch back to monohulls
Small steps (but important steps)
Joe Lacey asks JND 39 Lann Ael skipper Didier Gaudoux how last year's tailender transformed into this year's runaway Fastnet winner
Seahorse build table - Fine pedigree
The Fastnet-winning La Rochelle design office of Nivelt-Muratet is firing on all cylinders - Teasing Machine 3 and now another IRC flyer
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Rolex Middle Sea Race: The Calm Before The Storm
George David's American Maxi, Rambler 88, has made the best of the light breeze dominating the first 24 hours of the 38th Rolex Middle Sea Race to build a commanding lead over her rivals. Pressing on through the sticky conditions, Rambler had reached Stromboli this afternoon with the majority of the fleet still to pass through the Messina Strait. While the going has been slow so far, gale force winds are still forecast to arrive from the northwest during the small hours of Monday morning. This threatened increase will play a large part in determining the race outcome.
By the end of the first night at sea, the 2017 Rolex Middle Sea Race fleet had passed Capo Passero, on the south eastern corner of Sicily. As expected, the moderate easterly wind enjoyed at the start faded yesterday evening and yachts struggled to maintain their early brisk pace. Headway during hours of darkness proved difficult, testing patience at skill. At Capo Passero, the overall leader under IRC was Dieter Schon's German Maxi72 Momo. Vadim Yakimenko's Russian TP52 Freccia Rossa was leading IRC Two, Eric Daher's French Ker 46 Tonnerre de Glen was leading IRC Three, Jamie Sammut's Maltese Solaris 42 Unica was leading IRC Five, and Igor Rytov's Russian JPK 1080 Bogatyr was leading IRC 6. The standings will undoubtedly change as the yachts continue to play snakes and ladders before exiting the narrow confine of the Messina Strait.
At 1200, on the second day, many yachts were enjoying a blade of fresh northerly breeze on their approach to the southern end of the infamous strait.
The majority of the fleet in the Rolex Middle Sea Race is expected to pass through the strait by the end of today. Overnight, strong to gale-force winds will build from the northwest. For those on the passage from Stromboli to Favignana, the wind will be on the nose and leave crews facing a tough beat across the top of Sicily. Once around the next corner, the course will open onto a potentially wild sleigh-ride. 40 knots of wind and a significant sea state are expected to push the yachts south to Lampedusa and the eventual turn back towards Malta.
104 yachts started the Rolex Middle Sea Race. So far, six boats have officially retired: Proteus (USA), Hispaniola (LTU), Jings! (GBR) Vamos Adelante (ITA), Wind (RUS), Xpresso (MLT). All crew are safe and well.
The World Sailing Show
Seven boats, seven hungry teams and one clear goal, to win the Volvo Ocean Race. Having trawled through team biogs, walked the boards and tapped into the dockside gossip, its time to set out the World Sailing Show form guide to the 45,000 mile race.
The blueprint for the 36th America's Cup has been revealed, but its not what many might have expected. We look at the key details on the future of the Cup.
As the Fast 40+ fleet locked horns for the prestigious 1 Ton Cup, we took a guided tour under the skin of one of these carbon machines.
Plus, we visit stunning Sardinia to watch some of the world's Maxis and Super Maxis do battle.
- Volvo Ocean Race Form Guide
- Rolex World Sailor of the Year nominees
- New Blueprint for America's Cup revealed
- Under the skin of a Fast 40+
- Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup in stunning Sardinia
The Wirth M. Munroe Race Is On!
The Sailfish Club of Florida is pleased to report that the 61st Wirth M. Munroe Race will proceed as planned on Friday, December 1, despite ongoing clean-up efforts in South Florida related to Hurricane Irma. The 60-mile race, which begins off Government Cut in Miami and finishes off the Palm Beach Inlet, is a true test for sailors of all stripes, from Grand Prix racers to club cruiser-racers. All entrants will be rewarded with the legendary hospitality of the Sailfish Club of Florida and will have the opportunity to attend the post-race buffet dinner and awards ceremony.
"We have conferred with our partners in the Organizing Authority and are confident that the facilities necessary to run and support the race in Miami and Palm Beach are fully functional and the enthusiasm is high," said Event Chairman Tom Bowler. "We encourage all sailors to take part in this historic staple of the winter racing season. We look forward to seeing you on the starting line and at the buffet table."
Once again this year, the Sailfish Club of Florida is partnering with the Storm Trysail Club to sponsor the race. The Biscayne Bay Yacht Club has joined the Organizing Authority and will host the Skippers' Meeting on Thursday, November 30 at 1830. SORC and Sailfish Club of Florida will oversee Race Management. The Wirth M. Munroe Race will be scored as part of the SORC's Islands in the Stream series, which also includes the Miami to Nassau Race, the Lauderdale to Key West Race and the Miami to Havana Race.
For more information on the Wirth M. Munroe Race, please go to www.sailfishclub.com/munroe/details or contact
To enter the race, please go to yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=4439
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The Last Word
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