Pity, RAK Looked Soooo Inviting...
The New York Supreme Court today ruled that the 33rd America's Cup, scheduled in February 2010, must take place in a venue in the Southern Hemisphere as per the strict reading of the competition's governing document, the Deed of Gift, or in Valencia, Spain, as the only exception to that rule.
"This is a disappointing result as we were certain that Justice Cahn's May 2008 decision allowed the Defender to chose Valencia or 'any other location'," said Lucien Masmejan, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) legal counsel. "Ras Al Khaimah has put enormous time and effort into this 33rd America's Cup project. We thank them and feel sorry for this unexpected result out of the New York court".
"We are satisfied, however, as Justice Kornreich confirmed that the Deed of Gift Match will be conducted under SNG rules as she had already ruled in a previous court order," added Lucien Masmejan.
We're pleased with the court's decision today. that Alinghi's choice of the venue for the 33rd America's Cup was not allowed under the Deed of Gift.
We look forward to Justice Kornreich's decision later this week regarding two additional issues.
First, we hope she will agree with our position that Alinghi cannot add additional ballast, equipment or sailors to the boat after it has been measured for compliance with the Deed of Gift's restriction on length along the load water line. Enabling any team to add additional weight after measurement - thus lengthening its load water line and increasing its speed - violates the Deed of Gift, decades of sailing practice, and the spirit of the rules that govern the America's Cup.
Second, Justice Kornreich understands the need for a fair and impartial jury. Our position is that the sailing jury must have the normal powers to adjudicate. We remain motivated to negotiate all remaining issues with Alinghi to ensure a fair, competitive and successful America's Cup in February 2010. We took a big step towards this goal today.
* America's Cup View doesn't pull many punches in their assessment of the situation:
SNG, their legal team, and sailing team Alinghi, represented in the courtroom by Skipper Brad Butterworth (NZL), must feel like stunned mullets.
Shown respect by Justice Kornreich for their perspective on security matters, but only briefly, officials from Ras Al Khaimah are now left with a half-completed facility in the desert which, if ultimately completed, will enhance their resort but will not host an international sailing event.
At least, not any time soon.
Given the definitive outcome, curious observers could be forgiven for wondering why on earth SNG and Alinghi felt that Ras Al Khaimah was the perfect location for AC33 in the first place; how they possibly could have expected GGYC to support this bizarre decision; or how their understanding of the plain language of the venerable Deed of Gift could be so badly informed.
The image we have in our mind is of a wild and reckless 17-year-old on a Hobie Cat, tearing along on a scorching breeze, on a direct line for the marina and the vessels moored there, with absolutely no idea how to turn, slow, stop, or avoid the imminent catastrophe.
He looks a lot like Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI). -- americascupview.blogspot.com
Mini Sailor Missing... And Found
The organisers of the Charente Maritime Bahia Transat 6.50 are concerned for the safety of French skipper Alexandre Scrizzi, 43, who's yacht, Phoenix, has been sailing an erratic course since Sunday morning and has since overshot the finish at Salvador de Bahia. The latest sched from the race has Phoenix 310 miles to the southwest of Salvador de Bahia.
The organisers have altered the Brazilian rescue authorities and yesterday morning hired a plane to go and investigate. The Brazilian rescue authorities have since scrambled the Brazilian Air Force. On this second flight they reported seeing something in the cockpit. A Brazilian ship is expected to arrive at Phoenix this afternoon.
It should be remembered that while Minis are fully equipped with EPIRBs and other safety equipment to broadcast distress messages in an emergency, their two way radio communication is limited to VHF and they carry no two way satellite communications. This aspect we hope will be re-appraised following this incident. -- from The DailySail.com, thedailysail.com
* As expected the boat of the Brazilian Navy connected at midday with Alexander Scrizzi (Phoenix). He is on board and he is fine. After talking with him, he says he has not had GPS since the Northern Hemisphere and thought he was 400 miles further north than his current position. With the authorization of the Brazilian Admiralty, he is allowed to return to Salvador and remains under the military escort that is currently in the zone. He is expected on Thursday the 28th of October around 10:00 am local time.
The organization wishes to thank once again the commander Paes of the Brazilian Navy, Captain Tenente Fernandes of Capitaihia de Salvador, Jose Arcesio of La Feneb, Yves Niort and Forca Aeria Brasileira.
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Retiring And Roughing It
Although Tuesday was a pleasant day after the series of storms which have swept through the fleet, Wednesday will mark the start of another spot of bad weather. The mainsail attachment on Thierry Bouchard and Oliver Krauss' boat has borne the brunt of the bad weather, forcing the team to deviate to Horta (Azores).
At first, the team thought they would be putting into Horta to make repairs and then set out again. As it turns out, the situation is more serious that it appeared at first sight. They have officially announced their decision to retire. Bad news after having been extremely well placed for the first week or so on a northerly route which is likely to pay off in the next few days. Their Class 40 an Akilaria was just launched this summer has turned out to be a fast machine in strong head winds. More details of the damage will be given once they arrive in the port of Faïal.
For partisans of the more or less direct route to Saint Bart's, today offered some pleasant sailing after the gusts, the squalls, rain and heavy seas of late. Fewer nasty waves, steadier winds. The chance to recover a little, even if it has been necessary to manœuvre a lot to adjust the canvas to this radical change in conditions. But this is nothing more than a brief let up. A cold front is about to sweep its way through the northern part of the fleet tonight. The wind is to shift south-west followed by violent squalls with a rotation afterwards west-north-west. Two or three reefs in the main, staysail ready. Same old story. All eleven boats are going to have to put up with this to gain west, which is likely to reduce the distances between the leaders. Tanguy de Lamotte and Adrien Hardy (Initiatives-Novedia) who were slumming it in a windless zone this afternoon along with their closest rivals, Damien Seguin and Armel Tripon (Cargill-MTTM), the Italians Giovanni Soldini and Pietro d'Ali (Telecom Italia) in the extreme north, Bernard Stamm and Bruno Jourdren (Cheminees Poujoulat) and the Finnish team, Jouni Romppanen and Sam Ohman (Tieto Passion), are going to have to take this on the chin.
The leaders have lost a great many miles in just 24 hours. Twenty or so for those behind them. The idea of heading south to avoid the worst meant that having sailed too close to the sun, they burnt their wings. No wind in sight.
First 5 boats at the 17h position read out (FR time)
1. Initiatives - Novedia, Tanguy De Lamotte / Adrien Hardy, 3564.65 miles
2. Cargill-MTTM, Damien Seguin / Armel Tripon, 22.57 miles
3. Telecom Italia, Giovanni Soldini / Pietro D'Ali, 28.62 miles
4. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bruno Jourdren / Bernard Stamm, 45.11 miles
5. Tieto Passion, Jouni Romppanen / Sam Ohman, 77.02
The Carnival Is Over
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: From one mountain to another... the ten yachts competing in the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race have started the next leg of the epic 35,000-mile global challenge, leaving behind the iconic Rio backdrop of Sugar Loaf Mountain for the race towards Cape Town, where Table Mountain dominates the skyline.
The 3,300-mile Race 3 will take the teams across the South Atlantic, dipping south towards the Roaring Forties and the treacherous seas of the South Atlantic, before approaching the notorious Cape of Good Hope at the end of the course.
The Brazilian sunshine which had shone so strongly all week was absent as the teams departed the Iate Clube do Rio and headed out into Guanabara Bay. With 12 to15 knots from the south, low cloud cover and heavy rain, the crews donned their waterproofs and hoisted their sails in preparation for the race start.
The race to Cape Town should be much faster than the last one to Rio and the teams will be able to take advantage of the mountainous South Atlantic rollers to speed them on their way - provided they avoid the centre of the South Atlantic High Pressure system. After the light winds of Race 2, the skippers and tacticians will be very wary of getting too near to any wind holes that could slow them down.
With just two of the 14 individual races that comprise Clipper 09-10 completed, the race standings show that the competition is still wide open. The Formula 1-type scoring system, which awards points according to the results achieved on each race, means all ten crews have an equal chance of a place on the podium in Cape Town.
Standings after Race 2
1. Spirit of Australia, 21 points
2. Team Finland, 20
3. Jamaica Lightning Bolt, 14
4. Cork, 14
5. Cape Breton Island, 14
6. Hull & Humber, 11
7. Qingdao, 7
8. Uniquely Singapore, 7
9. Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, 5
10. California, 3
Barcelona World Race Competitors’ Benefit Package
Photo by Thierry Martinez, www.thmartinez.com. Click on image to enlarge.
Entries are currently open for the second edition of the doublehanded Barcelona World Race, which begins on December 31, 2010.
Race organisers Fundacio Navegacio Oceanica Barcelona are providing an extensive benefits package for IMOCA 60 competitors who pre-enter before December 31 2009, intended to reduce costs by an estimated 20 per cent and maximize sponsor returns. These include return shipping from Guadeloupe to Barcelona for competitors in the Route du Rhum, logistics areas and free team and guest accommodation, as well as a spectator boat for start day.
Race organizers will also provide targeted advertising for each entry in their own country or preferred territory.
Full details, part of the preliminary Notice of Race, can be found at www.barcelonaworldrace.org
Media Commentary on the VOR Rule
Safety, reliability and close competition, have been the priorities for Jack Lloyd, the Race Director and his team in drawing up the 2011-12 Rule and Notice of Race. Cost containment has also been focused on heavily. These are challenging objectives in any sport and the new regulations have produced a variety of reactions from sailors to yacht designers and media.
Today, it's the turn of the media to have their say ...
"I think it is an unusual combination of consultation without giving up direction," said Stuart Alexander, sailing correspondent of the British broadsheet newspaper, The Independent in a reference to the extensive process of seeking input from race stakeholders throughout the 2008-09 edition.
"The race organisation has retained control of its own destiny, while at the same time being able to talk to all the competitors about improvements along the way."
Alexander points out that cost containment is on the lips of every sporting event. "I think tackling costs is a problem with this game but also with every other game I've ever been involved in and people will always find a way of spending more money.
Pedro Sardina, Spanish newspaper ABC's sailing correspondent, also believes that the race is moving in the right direction, "The new Rule is right. Not only is the cost containment a good idea, but also the goal of close racing. We are going to see more teams of a similar level. The teams are also going to be more equal regarding the technology used."
The new Rule aims to make it easier for teams with smaller budgets to be competitive, which in turn makes the race more attractive to sponsors.
James Boyd, founder of The Daily Sail said: "Costs have been spiralling upwards over the past few races and now that we are in the depths of a global recession, for this sort of sport, it is important for sponsors to get return on investment.
"Whether the return is from corporate hospitality or media presence the best return must be provided. You can either up the value you receive or reduce your investment, so I think the new goals are much needed.
"I think Knut (Frostad) has made some wise choices investing in the Boston Consulting Group's work to audit the team's last race and consulting everyone within the race. Will this have the desired effect to get lots of boats on the start line? Well this is hard to tell and will this be because the budgets will be smaller, because the race is being promoted better or because there are a few disgruntled teams leaving the America's Cup? Time will tell.
Full interviews by Sophie Luther and Helena De La Gandara at
ISA Match Race Nationals
The Irish Sailing Association Match Race Nationals 2009 were sailed over the weekend of October 24-26 hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club. This is an ISAF Grade 3 Match Race and skippers gain ranking points for places on the World Match Race Ranking ladder. The twelve teams each sailed eleven races in a full Round Robin of sixty-six races.
Racing on Saturday was postponed due to gale force winds in the area with storm force winds forecasted to be imminent. The time was not wasted as a meeting was held by the skippers which agreed to the setting up of an Irish Match Racing Association.
With the overnight clearance and ending of summertime the sails were set on the ISA SailFleet J/80's by 08.30 on Sunday morning for the first signal at 09.30.
The first two flights gave a taste of what was to come with Maurice O'Connell, Tom Fitzpatrick, John Sheehy and Ben Duncan winning their races. Following a short postponement to allow the gusts to moderate flight four saw O'Connell beat Fitzpatrick while Duncan beat Andrew Deakin to share the lead but lost to Sheehy in five. By the end of the day Sheehy was in a comfortable lead having beaten the main contenders for the title, Fitzpatrick, Duncan and Andrew Fowler.
The Round Robin continued on Monday morning and was completed in dense fog in the late afternoon. The weather conditions lead the Race Committee to cancel a planned knockout stage. Overnight leader John Sheehy maintained his unbeaten record into the second day to win with a perfect score of 11 wins and no losses. Second was Ben Duncan with 9 wins and third was Tom Fitzpatrick on a tie break from Andrew Fowler with 8 wins each.
The Chief Umpire was Michael O'Connor IU/IJ. -- Ed Alcock
Solo Racing Festival 2010
The fourth annual Solo Racing Festival will take place at the Solent University Conference Centre Saturday 6th March 2010.
The Festival has moved to a bigger venue in Southampton to accommodate the growing numbers of International Solo Racing enthusiasts attending this unique event.
Racing skippers of all levels, race organisers, yacht designers and builders are all welcome to the comfortable social setting at the Conference Centre.
The large auditorium and big screen will enhance the exciting presentations and delegates will be able relax between seminars in the adjoining suite and enjoy the hospitality provided at the venue.
The established format of race reports by skippers in all the major solo races such as Ostar2009, Mini Transat and Figaro Le Solitaire events will be expanded to include a Master Class on single-handed boat handling and a Forum discussion with the panel of experts.
The recent 2008/09 Portimao Global Ocean Race was a great success and race director Josh Hall will be describing the exciting opportunities for the next edition, the Global Ocean Race 2011/12.
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 Ted Jones: My thanks to Colin Curtis for bringing the late Lars Bergstrom into the discussion of the B&R rig. Lars was the "B" in B&R (his partner Sven Ridder was the "R"), and I had known him since the 1968 SORC when he made a pier head jump aboard the prototype C&C 35 aboard which I was privileged to sail. We remained friends for all those years until his untimely death 10 years ago. Lars showed me the aircraft in which he was to die a few weeks before his fateful flight. It was truly revolutionary in concept and execution. Lars crashed after successfully completing the series of scheduled flight tests while in radio contact with Sven on the ground. It is doubtful that the aircraft was at fault. Lars widow, Mary, believed that he simply fell asleep, having been under considerable stress before the flight. It was a double tragedy that day, losing Lassa and terminating the testing of his plane, a powered version of his record breaking sailplane which I would have loved to have the opportunity to fly.
On my first visit to Lars' impressive facility, he gave me a tour of the place which included a full machine shop, complete woodworking shop, rigging loft (capable of producing America's Cup boat masts and rigging), fiberglass shop, testing laboratory, and large assembly hall. We stopped at a small room which contained shelves of packaged "Windex" masthead windvanes. "This", Lassa told me, "makes all the rest possible."
It was indeed a privilege to know the genius Lars Bergstrom and to be able to call him my friend. Thanks, Colin, for reminding us all about some of his many outstanding achievements.
A leading page of Italian sailing sport story: apart the hundreds times winner, on 1973 she sailed the first edition of the Whitbread Around the World Race, 18 boats in competition, she was the smallest but she finished 5th overall. She is maintained in pristine perfect condition.
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Complete listing details and seller contact information at
The Last Word
The Air Force is to be applauded for investigating technologies that may have value for national security, ... But wormholes, negative energies, warped space-time, etc., require futuristic technologies centuries to millions of years ahead of ours. The only thing going down the wormhole is taxpayers' money. -- Michio Kaku
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