Gabrio Zandona Edges Chris Larson Into Second Place
Annapolis, Maryland, USA: For the competitors arriving at the City Dock this morning on day three of the Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis 2009 Melges 24 World Championship, the chances of racing taking place seemed unlikely, with Annapolis shrouded in low cloud and no evidence of any wind whatsoever. Despite the gloomy outlook, Principal Race Officer Jeff Borland put all trust in his local knowledge and led the fleet out on to the race area. This forthright strategy was eventually rewarded, when after a prolonged delay, a fitful breeze finally developed and racing got underway. As a further bonus the quickly clearing skies soon bathed the competitors, race management fleet and the many spectator boats in some welcome warm sunshine. With winds peaking at no more than seven knots, by no stretch of the imagination could the racing today be described as high adrenaline, but nevertheless the conditions did produce some fascinating tactical battles at the front of the fleet.
With the single discard for the twelve race series is now in play, Gabrio Zandona and the 'Joe Fly' crew have moved up to become the new Championship leaders, by just one point from Chris Larson on 'West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes'. Sixth race winner Eivind Melleby on 'Full Metal Jacket' eases into the final podium position at this stage with Bill Hardesty on 'Events Clothing/Atlantis' discarding a final race thirty-eighth to take fourth. Carlo Fracassoli on 'Gullisara' continues to impress and is in fifth place overall.
Provisional Overall Top Ten After Six Races
1. Gabrio Zandona - Joe Fly - 15 points
2. Chris Larson - West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes - 16
3. Eivind Melleby - Full Medal Jacket - 22
4. Bill Hardesty - Events Clothing/Atlantis - 38
5. Carlo Fracassoli - Gullisara - 41
6. Brian Hutchinson - Quantum Racing/Gill Race Team - 42
7. Lorenzo Bressani - Uka Uka Racing - 43
8. Brian Porter - Full Throttle - 43
9. Nicola Celon - Fantastica - 44
10. Flavio Favini - Blu Moon - 50
Setting Sail Towards Irrelevancy
Ernesto Bertarelli and Larry Ellison's quest for the Auld Mug via the New York court system is achieving little but to push the world's most prestigious sailing event towards irrelevancy.
The rare one-on-one showdown in massive multihulled boats now appears headed to Valencia, unless the bitter rivals can agree on another port that complies with the Deed of Gift. In that case, it would have to be in the Southern Hemisphere.
Auckland has been mooted as a possible venue, but in reality the chances of that are very slim.
The Swiss syndicate would never even consider bringing the showdown to Auckland for the bitter aftertaste from the awful BlackHeart campaign in 2003 still resonates. Nor have Alinghi forgotten their treatment at the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series earlier this year (although the Swiss syndicate's behaviour here did little to generate public goodwill).
Before Alinghi consider other venues you can bet they will appeal against yesterday's ruling.
Louis Vuitton has seized on the vacuum created by the legal fight between Alinghi and BMW-Oracle to start an international series of regattas for America's Cup class boats that could well supersede the cup as the world's premier sailing event. Building on the successful blueprint of Louis Vuitton Pacific Series hosted by Emirates Team New Zealand in Auckland earlier this year, an extended world series was created to give those syndicates that don't have billionaire backers, and depend on corporate sponsorship to remain afloat, some certainty and direction.
The series begins in Nice next weekend.
It won't be about which team has the biggest budget, or are the most technologically advanced, but rather the best sailors that will win. Isn't that a novel idea. -- Dana Johannsen in the New Zealand Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/
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Which Side Are You On?
Upwind again, bad weather again, squalls and uncertainty. The northerners are having to keep a low profile again after the passage of a rather violent front. There are important decisions to be made bearing in mind how the situation is likely to evolve two days from now. Off the Canaries, the southerners are still praying for wind. The 16 strong Class 40 fleet is as spread out as ever.
You have to be on your toes all the time and be prepared to change directions all the time. That was the case when the Azores option had to be decided upon, ditto the decision to dive south or not. The fleet split in two from Cape Finisterre onwards. Same again on the approach to the Azores. Some headed south-west, others persevered west in search of the low pressure systems. Make your mind up time yet again. With a low coming in from the south-west at the end of the week, crossing the Atlantic over to Western Europe, the competitors once again have two options to choose from. Either sneak underneath the rough spot against more or less manageable head winds, although with rough seas, or stick to the direct course in the hope of passing above the low and picking up on strong downwinds in seas which will not be that easy to negotiate.
In the meantime, a steady northwest flow is still present for the three most northerly positioned boats, in the image of the new leaders, Italians Giovanni Soldini and Pietro d'Ali (Telecom Italia). Reaching in almost ten knots, they are progressing south-west and squeezing their fellow competitors out of the market. This places them further ahead, although on the same latitude.
1. Telecom Italia, Giovanni Soldini / Pietro D'Ali, 3389.38 nm to finish
2. Initiatives - Novedia, Tanguy De Lamotte / Adrien Hardy, 16.61nm to leader
3. Cargill-MTTM, Damien Seguin Armel Tripon, 56.32
4. Cheminees Poujoulat, Bruno Jourdren / Bernard Stamm, 62
5. Tieto Passion, Jouni Romppanen / Sam Ohman, 134.72
6. Palanad 2, Tim Wright / Nicko Brennan, 159.99
7. 40 degrees, Peter Harding / Miranda Merron, 181.81
8. Desafio Cabo de Hornos, Felipe Cubillos / Daniel Bravo Silva, 230.32
9. Groupe Picoty, Jacques Fournier Jean-Edouard Criquioche, 324.72
10. Plan les enfants changeront le monde, Denis Lazat / Frederic Nouel, 409.01
Coutas vs. IOR
Click on image for photo gallery.
On the afternoon of Friday the 30th October a very special sailing event will take place on the waters of Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia. Two of the greatest Ocean racing yachts from the 1960's will sail against two fishing boats designed about 100 years ago. They will race off scratch, ie the first boat over the finish line will take home the Guineas Trophy and AUD$1000 for their team. This is event is the brain child of Martin Ryan who devised it over a quality bottle of red in a Queenscliff pub earlier this year, after stepping ashore from racing against some of Melbourne's famous Couta Boats and beening astounded by their speed.
Now at first sight this might seem like a gross mismatch. The two ocean racers are the mighty "Mercedes III" and her smaller sleeker relative "Boambillee".
Mercedes III, off the drawing board of the legendary Bob Miller (Ben Lexcen) and Ted Kaufman, was the standout boat in the 1967 Australian team which won the Admiral's Cup on the Solent. Since then she has sailed numerous Sydney-Hobarts and competed all round the South East of Australia....and what's more she is fresh out of the shed after a major spit and polish.
Boambillee was one of the first cold-molded ocean racers, built to the ORC racing rule and designed by the legendary Olin Stephens. She was part of the NSW Southern Cross team which won in 1968 and since then has been raced hard for most of her 39 years. She is still competitive at club level and AMS rule. She is "gun boat" (most line honours) currently in the classic fleet.
So we have two beautiful yachts designed 40 years ago to be the fastest possible in their Class......what about the sailors.? The owners (Martin Ryan and George Fisscher/Chris Chapman) have added a sprinkling of world and national champions to their regular crew just to make sure there are no mistakes.
Surely two old 26 ft fishing boats won't stand a chance! But they are not just any fishing boats, these are Victoria's world famous "Couta Boats"
The Couta boat fishermen sailed more miles in a year than most yachtsmen do in a lifetime. They worked in one of the most inhospitable seascapes in the world. Speed was a matter of survival.
This year the two Couta boats sailing against the yachts are "Nepean" and "Romy", recently built but to 80 year old designs. They will be skippered by two of Australia's best sailors. Nigel Abbott skipper of "Romy" is a past world Champion in Fireballs and part of Alan Bonds original team that contested the America's Cup. His Match Racing team Member, Peter Gale, will be skippering "Nepean", Peter has been a team member on two Australian Olympic squads and won a world Championship in OK dinghies. Their crew don't like losing.
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.
Fishermen Find Their 'Mystery Yacht'
Stories abound of yachts who by their own ineptitude or the force of weather need rescuing, but when the lives of three British fishermen in the Solent were saved by a mystery sailing boat that arrived like a guardian angel in the night and departed again, all the shocked fishermen were left with was the memory of the name of the boat - Mange Tout.
An appeal to the local newspaper Daily Echo, who published the story, has eventually led to the owner of Mange Tout, experienced sailor Rob Gower, 44-year-old IT consultant and his friend Danny Long, a 22-year-old student, who were returning from a journey to France when they saw a red flare nearby.
Paul Mortimer, 38, and his brothers-in-law Paul and Pete Madgwick, were left neck-deep in the frigid water for more than an hour after their 14ft dinghy capsized, and were on their last flare when it was sighted by the crew of Mange Tout.
The trio had gone out for the first time on a fishing expedition and had anchored halfway between the mainland and the Isle of Wight. But their boat was upturned by an undercurrent as they tried to lift their anchor , briefly trapping Paul Mortimer underneath.
The two rescuers then said it was a twist of fate that led them to save the three fishing enthusiasts. Had they not run short of fuel and been forced to return to Cherbourg, they would not have been in the 'right place at the right time' to effect the rescue.
Father of two Paul Mortimer, said: "They were heroes. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be here." -- Tara Russell, This is Hampshire/Sail-World, www.sail-world.com/cruising/
* A replica of the J-Class Rainbow, the famous American yacht which won the 1934 America's Cup, has started building at Bloemsma Aluminiumbouw at Makkum in Holland. It is no surprise that Bloemsma should be selected to produce the hull as the yard has previously built hulls for the J yachts Lionheart and Atlantis. The replica re-build of this original design by William Starling Burgess will be under the supervision of Dykstra & Partners, who have more than 20 years' experience with J Class and have been responsible for the re-builds and refits of: Shamrock V, Endeavour, Velsheda, Ranger and the new Hanumann (Endeavour II Project).
The new Rainbow will be constructed in aluminium, combining lightweight construction with high overall stiffness to improve sailing performance. Below deck the interior will represent 1930s styling, yet with all modern comforts for 8 guests and 8 crew.
Rainbow has a well respected pedigree. The original W. Starling Burgess design was launched on 15th May 1934, at the Herreshoff Yard in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA. She was built to defend the America's Cup against "Endeavour". The first 2 races were tough for Rainbow, yet she beat Endeavour in the last four races to win. In 1937 she was sold and then challenged for the Cup defence. Sadly for her, Ranger won and Rainbow was sold for scrap in 1940.
J Class enthusiasts and fans of these iconic racing yachts can look forward to the prospect of a re-run of the 1934 America's Cup races between the original Endeavour and the new replica Rainbow when she is launched.
* After four months of assembly in Oman's southern most port of Salalah, skipper Paul Standbridge has been stretching the legs of Oman Sail's new Arabian 100 (A100) trimaran during sea-trials off the Omani coast. Now named Majan, after the ancient name for Oman, Oman Sail's new flagship is now operational and is heading into the Gulf and a tour of neighbouring countries.
Based on the proven design of another trimaran, Sodebo, which is the holder of the solo North Atlantic crossing record, the design has been tailored for the needs of Oman Sail and their objective of training and developing Omani sailors to compete on the international stage.
Majan will sail with a crew of seven: 50% of the sailors will be Omani offshore trainees joined by three international professional crew and a cameraman providing the one-on-one training that the recruits require at this early stage of their career. The first chapter will be a 'Tour of The Arabian Gulf' starting on 26th October from Muscat, which will include stops in UAE, Kuwa it, Bahrain, Qatar before Majan joins the Dubai-Muscat race back to Muscat one month later. -- www.omansail.com
* The new J/111 features an optimized E-glass/vinylester laminated hull and deck, a two metal, low-VCG keel, a retractable carbon sprit, rail mounted shroud terminals, and a low-profile jib furler. Particular care is paid to centralizing and lowering weight both above and below decks. All laminates are engineered and built to exceed ISO international structural standards as well as ABS & ISAF.
The main cabin features an open layout with L-shaped galley, forward facing nav station, a wet locker and two full length settee berths with option for additional fold-up sea-berths. Six can comfortably sit for dinner. Two quarter berths aft are standard, as well as a private forward head and removable V-berth. -- www.jboats.com
LOA - 36.50 ft / 11.10 m
LWL - 32.70 ft / 9.97 m
Beam - 10.77 ft / 3.28 m
Draft - 7.00 ft / 2.13 m
Displacement - 8,600 lb / 3,901 kg
Ballast - 3,515 lb / 1,595 kg
RM 1 - 830 ft/lb / 115 kg/m
Sail Area (100%) - 656 sqft / 60.94 sm
Max A-Sail - 1410 sqft / 130 sm
DSPL/L - 110
SA/DSPL Upwind - 28
SA/DSPL Downwind - 69
* The Sultanate of Oman, at the Eastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, is going through a renaissance of its maritime heritage. Taking it one step closer to their goal is the Jewel of Muscat project, which now nearing completion.
The project is an historical and cultural initiative launched by the governments of Oman and Singapore that involves the reconstruction of a 9th-century ship and sailing it from Oman to Singapore. The ship's design is based on the archaeological findings of the Belitung Wreck, which was discovered in 1998 in Indonesia.
It will represent a major feat of maritime engineering: the hull is being sewn together with coconut fibre; Built without nails to seal the hull, each timber will have to fit perfectly; the wood will be protected by a layer of goat fat mixed with lime; and the sails will be square and made from palm leaves.
Once built, the ship is expected to sail from Oman to Singapore, which is presumed to have been a key stopping point of the Belitung ship, in its journey westwards before it was wrecked. It will travel along the same route as those described by Arab geographers, using the same knowledge as Arab seamen.
The team on the ship will use 9th-century navigation techniques, plotting the course for the 18-metre ship with a "kamal" (a small block of wood connected to a piece of string that can calculate latitude), and the stars and the sun. Observation of the sky and sea colour, marine and bird life, and wind direction will also be used as aids to navigation. Modern instruments will only be used to check the navigation techniques.
Construction is expected to take between 10 and 12 months. The journey is expected to begin in February 2010, with the ship reaching Singapore by June 2010. -- from Yachting World, www.ybw.com
See also www.jewelofmuscat.tv
Kai Mana (ex Flash Gordon2) was built by the Cookson Boat Yard in New Zealand (known for very high quality yachts) out of carbon fiber (construction that lasts) under the architectural design and specifications of Farr Yachts in 12/1994. Her electronics, mast and sails were finished in early 1995, upon which she was campaigned on the world-wide Grand-Prix Circuit. In the Mid 90's competing at the height of grand-prix racing won the Rolex Cup, 3rd in the Southern Ocean Racing Conference, won the Chicago Nood, won the Chicago-Mackinaw, Second at Kenwood Cup, won the Rolex IMS Championship and won Key West Race Week and was voted 1995 Boat of the Year.
Brokerage through Yachtfinders / Windseakers: www.yachtworld.com/yachtfinders/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at
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