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Fast Track to Kinsale
Skippers left the pontoons from 11.00 waving goodbye to shore teams, families, friends and supporters ready to embark on the 349 miles of pure competitive sailing to Kinsale, together with La Belle Poule, the French Naval tall ship who hoisted her full set of sails, offering an spectacular and rare show for the gathered public out to watch the start.
At the Radio France mark, the much-appreciated first prize went to Francois Gabart on Skipper Macif 2010, who was followed by Thomas Rouxel on Credit Mutuel de Bretagne and Sebastien Josse on Vendee. Young Portuguese newcomer to the Figaro, Francisco Lobato on ROFF/TEMPO-TEAM had an excellent start to then round the mark in fifth, first among the rookies. Other non French skippers were reported to be in the second half of the fleet: Swiss Bernrd Stamm in 29th, Italian Pietro D'Alì in 36th, Jonny Malbon in 39th and Franco/German Isabelle Joschke in 43rd.
Shortly after rounding the Radio France buoy, Gabart ran onto the rocks whilst sailing very close to shore. He was forced to get off the boat and was then able to literally push the boat off the rocks without requesting outside assistance and immediately went back to racing.
Upon leaving Brest and the bay of Camaret, the fleet made course up to the Four Channel, which can prove to be a very complex stretch of the course, especially renown for the tough cross currents. The Molene archipelago and the isle of Ushant will have to be left to port side, then the Portsall plateau leaving the cardinal mark west Grande Basse de Portsall to port side. The leaders could get there, according to the latest ETA tonight between 8 and 9 p.m.
The fleet will then begin the second part of the leg that will take the skippers across the Channel towards Wolf Rock, which must be left to port. The fleet is expected to reach Wolf Rock around breakfast time Tuesday.
Louis Vuitton Trophy Hong Kong Cancelled
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club has been instrumental in the promotion and organisation of this unique event and regrets that it has been cancelled.
The world-class sailing event involving America's Cup Class boats and racing teams was scheduled to be held on Victoria Harbour in January 2011. However, it has become clear that many of the teams involved will now be focusing their resources on their preparations for the next America's Cup. A draft Protocol, which defines the terms for the 34th America's Cup, was released in recent weeks and includes between five and seven events in each of 2011 an 2012. This has made the Louis Vuitton Trophy Hong Kong schedule unfeasible to maintain for some of the competing teams.
The Louis Vuitton Trophy Hong Kong had been supported by the Hong Kong Government with an offer of funding from the Mega Event Fund and use of the new Pier 10 site in Central as a Race Village which was to be open to the public, free of charge. With the event in the planning stage only, no Mega Event Funding has been accessed and no work has been undertaken at Pier 10.
The Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, as on-water co-ordinator and one of the three organisers of the event, remains optimistic that other international sailing events will be staged in Hong Kong in the future.
The America's Cup winner, BMW ORACLE Racing, has indicated to the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club an interest in staging an America's Cup Championship event in Asia and will look at Hong Kong as a potential venue in that context.
Catamaran Champions at Ballyholme
Not well in the first race as one of the long curved dagger boards that try to lift the boat out of the water at speed burst apart under the sheer pressure of the water and they had to return to shore for a replacement. Ballyholme Yacht Club is most often associated with the Hurricane5.9 catamaran, having twice hosted the European Championships. Stephen Polly came out of catamaran retirement to lead the way amongst the Hurricanes, battling with Richard Swanston, also of BYC for line class honours.
The second race was marred by a 180 degree wind shift half way through, meaning that competitors could not use their colourful down-wind spinnakers at any point. The Nacra20 was back in the race now and was clearly the fastest boat on the course in the weakening winds. Even though the race was shortened to just one lap the two Dart16's from Galway, the least powerful boat in the fleet struggled to complete the course. This race was won by Adrian Allen with Andrew Gallagher second.
Sunday dawned and the wind looked more promising than that forecast. But it proved fickle in the fourth race as it died and shifted leaving those on the wrong side of the course in an impossible position. Jimmy McKee got the last race underway quickly and Stephen Broaders got a fantastic start to be fourth behind the Nacras of Elmo, Allen and Gallagher at the first mark, showing, as Simon O'Gorman had done in the previous race, that in the right hands the Hurricane is still a fast boat despite its older design.
The New Irish Open Multihull National Champions are Nick Elmore and Kyle Stoneham of Thorpe Bay. The Formula 18 Champions are Adrian Allen and Richard Gunning of Ballyholme. The Hurricane 5.9 National Champions this year are Stephen Polly and Andrew Henry of BYC. Well done to all and see you all again next year!
1. Nick Elmore/Kyle Stoneham, TBSC
Sorting The Tides
Is getting the best weather forecast important for winning races? Of course. There are plenty of available sources of weather data out there and some excellent meteorologists who specialise in forecasts for sailors. But just as important is the impact of tides and currents - ignore it at your peril or you'll find yourself spat out the back of the fleet and last up to the bar. Enter Tidetech who are now providing specialist oceanographic and tidal services for racing sailors.
Tidetech began with a chance meeting between Tidetech founders Penny Haire (Yacht racing navigation geek, ex RYA Chief Yachting Instructor who was looking for something new and interesting to do) and Dr Roger Proctor (research scientist, internationally recognised coastal oceanographer, consultant to the UK Olympic Sailing Team). Rog has long thought that it's a real waste that the institutions he worked for didn't have an interest in making the science he was producing available to the public in a useful way.
That was 18 months ago. Since then the pair have been compiling a comprehensive resource of tidal stream, sea temperature and ocean current info sourced from various institutions and authorities worldwide. They have also (this is the very cool bit) started building their own detailed tidal models for venues where there is clearly a need - such as The Solent.
Solent model specifics:
As shown in the gallery ) the level of detail is incredible. Of particular interest are some shoal patches where there is acceleration (Sturbridge, Shingles etc). This occurs when a body of water passes over a shoal patch and speeds up, due to the Venturi effect. Its particularly marked over the very irregular seabed off St Cats, where the model shows significant localised differences in speed. If the depth is v shallow (Brambles etc), frictional effects cause slowing, (so the acceleration only applies if the water depth isn't too shallow).
These models which are already being used by Team Origin will provide yachts with race winning knowledge that has previously never been available in this detail.
Martigues - Medals And Memories ......
It was particularly satisfying to see an increase in both age divisions, boys and girls, in the Techno 293 Championship - the class supported by all windsurfing classes for the junior (under 17 ) development pathway. Over 360 young windsurfers from 25 countries, representing 4 continents, assembled in Martigues , Provence , in the south of France. Many of those selected to represent their countries in the forthcoming Singapore Youth Olympics were present to hone their skills for the fortnight ahead.
The championship entry was made up from competitors in two further age divisions of the International Raceboard Class - Youth (under 20) and Masters (over 35). Masters windsurfing , as in many other sports, is growing in popularity and strength.
The venue for this event next year, San Francisco, USA, is sure to attract a large number of competitors in both classes. Bic Sport have extended their already generous support of the T293 class by committing to supply 150 charter boards and rigs to the USA event
Meanwhile - Martigues produced challenging conditions for all - competitors, coaches and race committee ! The unexpected weather pattern produced a very wide range of winds - very light to very strong "mistral"!
To read the daily reports on the racing, and to find the full results, visit the following websites:
Bressani Tightens His Grip
Provisional Overall Top Ten After Five Races
1. ITA787 - UKA UKA RAcing - Lorenzo Bressani - 12 pts
Provisional Corinthian Top Five After Two Races
1. NOR751 - Storm Capital Sail Racing Team - 13 pts
Full results: worlds2010.fi/results/
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18th-Century Ship Found at World Trade Center Site
By Wednesday, the outlines made it plain: a 30-foot length of a wood-hulled vessel had been discovered about 20 to 30 feet below street level on the World Trade Center site, the first such large-scale archaeological find along the Manhattan waterfront since 1982, when an 18th-century cargo ship came to light at 175 Water Street.
The area under excavation, between Liberty and Cedar Streets, had not been dug out for the original trade center. The vessel, presumably dating from the mid- to late 1700s, was evidently undisturbed more than 200 years.
News of the find spread quickly. Archaeologists and officials hurried to the site, not only because of the magnitude of the discovery but because construction work could not be interrupted and because the timber, no longer safe in its cocoon of ooze, began deteriorating as soon as it was exposed to air.
A 1797 map shows that the excavation site is close to where Lindsey's Wharf and Lake's Wharf once projected into the Hudson. So, no matter how many mysteries now surround the vessel, it may turn out that the ghost even has a name.
Full story by David W. Dunlap and a slideshow at the New York TImes City Blog: cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/18th-century-ship-found-at-trade-center-site/
RYA Team GBR Black Set to Compete at Rolex Commodores' Cup
RYA Team GBR is entering three teams in the event, with each team comprising one boat in three specified IRC class Rating bands, naming them, Team GBR Red, White and Black. Announced in June, GBR Red and White will be at the forefront of Britain's silverware charge, and as defending champions the Brits will be fired up and intent on keeping hold of GBR Red's 2008 title.
New edition to the British contingent, RYA Team GBR Black, will comprise of Cracklin Rosie (Corby 40), Artemis (Grand Soleil 43) and Encore (Beneteau First 40.7) and with the majority of the team making their debut at the event, the collective are focusing on sailing as well as they can, gathering as much experience as possible, and achieving the best result they can during the seven-day challenge.
Team Black have come together late in the season however, Artemis and Cracklin Rosie have already been out for an intensive practice session in the Solent and have plans for more training sessions in the couple of weeks when Encore will endeavor to join them as a whole team.
The biennial Rolex Commodores' Cup is a tough mix of inshore and offshore racing for IRC (endorsed) rated yachts and this year it will take place from Saturday 15 August to Saturday 21 August 2010.
Big Guns at the Ready
2010 marks the 21st edition of this annual autumn gathering and, as usual, the international fleet will comprise a mix of the latest launches and those well known on the racing circuit. The regatta features some of the most impressive sailing yachts in the world. The primary limitation on entry is length: minimum rather than maximum - all yachts must be over 18.29-metres (60-feet) in length. This year the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup forms the final act in the 2010 Rolex IMA Championship series and also includes the inaugural World Championship for the Mini Maxi fleet.
The list of returnees is strong, with a good showing of the gargantuan supermaxis, including the 45-metre Saudade (MLT) and Salperton (CAY), and Hasso Plattner's 44-metre Visione (GER), as well as the stunning classic-looking 42-metre J-Class, Ranger.
Back to defend their 2009 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup division titles are Neville Crichton's Shockwave (ex-Alfa Romeo 3) (NZL), Niklas Zennstrom's Rán (GBR), Michael Cotton's Whisper (IRL), and Claus-Peter Offen's Y3K (GER).
The Mini Maxi Rolex Worlds are open to all maxi boats between 18.29-metres (60-feet) and 24.08-metres (79-feet) in length, but for the World Championship Trophy itself there is a strict owner/driver requirement. Zennstrom's Rán has been on an impressive roll over the past year with a division win in the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, overall win at the 2010 Onion Patch Series and a class win in the 2010 Newport Bermuda Race.
Along the way, Rán and her crew have been trading wins with another aspirant for the world title, Hap Fauth's Bella Mente (USA), which has enjoyed a skilful season with class wins at Key West Race Week, New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta; 2nd in class in the Newport Bermuda Race, and an Overall Team win in the Onion Patch Series. The top boats in the Mini Maxi fleet are constantly being tweaked to find that extra bit of speed. Bella Mente is no exception. She underwent modifications in 2009, changing the hull shape and reducing displacement, dramatically transforming the potential of the 21-metre sloop.
Another American racing Mini Maxi is Titan XV, the 22.90-metre (75-foot) Reichel/Pugh design launched last year by Tom Hill. Bill Koch, winner of the 1992 America's Cup, has chartered Titan XV for this regatta.
A ready to go Americas Cup Charter Yacht, MCA Coded for 12 guests plus crew, professionally maintained from build and fully refit in 2007. She would make an ideal vessel for a start up charter company or an existing company looking to expand its fleet. PRICE RECENTLY REDUCED
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The Last Word
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