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America's Cup World Series Lands in Plymouth September 10-18
The team bases have been built, the shore side facilities are nearing completion and some teams have already started training on site. With just one week to go until the first race of the America's Cup World Series - Plymouth, all of the pieces are falling into place.
For some of the British sailors sprinkled throughout the crew lists, the opportunity to sail at home in the UK is very welcome: "It will certainly be great to be sailing on 'home' waters and to have the support of family and friends, and the venue looks to be a natural amphitheater which should be great for spectators to watch the racing," said Chris Draper, the British skipper of Team Korea.
The nine crews representing seven countries will arrive in Plymouth ready to renew rivalries in the new AC45 wing-sailed catamarans, which have proved to be the perfect tool in delivering close, exciting, adrenalin-filled racing.
This is the second stage in the America's Cup World Series. In the inaugural event in Cascais, Portugal, last month, ORACLE Racing Spithill won the match racing title, while Emirates Team New Zealand came out on top in the first 'Super Sunday' fleet race to grab the overall win.
Here's the current leaderboard for the 2011-2012 AC World Series:
- Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), skipper Dean Barker
China Team has a new skipper in Charlie Ogletree, who has been promoted from the role of tactician in Cascais. Andreas Hagara, an experienced and decorated multihull sailor from Austria, joins the team as helmsman.
To follow the live action, viewers can tune in to the America's Cup YouTube channel. Featuring a multi-screen player, viewers can choose from live onboard footage, a graphical overview or an eagle's eye view, as well as from expert sailing or standard sports commentary as part of the daily livestreaming. The racing is also available on demand at www.youtube.com/americascup
Harken UK Laser National & Open Championships
The Harken sponsored UK Laser Championships attracted a total entry of 302 boats to the National Sailing Academy at Portland, Dorset, venue for the 2012 Sailing Olympics, during the last week of August.
Although some of the British Olympic squad were missing there were entries from ten other countries, including Australia, the U.A.E. and St. Lucia in the West Indies. There were three Olympians entered; Rutger van Schaardenburg (2008 Dutch Standard), Nathalie Brugger (2008 Swiss Radial) and Evi van Acker (2008 Belgian Radial) and it was the continental challengers that were too strong for the home sailors.
In a week of varying conditions, when only one day was lost to calm, the Dutch team dominated the Standard fleet, occupying the first four places with van Schaardenburg taking the overall Open title. Youth sailor Jack Wetherell finished in 6th place behind Switzerland's Christan Steiger to take the UK title.
In the Radial fleet the first four days were spent in a qualifying series with the final two days sailed in Gold & Silver divisions. The Belgians sent a very strong team and it was their sailor Jeroen Belis who narrowly defeated the Czech lady Veronika Fenclova to the Open title. Jon Emmett finished top of the UK team in 4th place overall to secure his 5th National title. The final series was slightly spoilt by the withdrawl from the event of Evi van Acker through illness, she had finished the qualifying series in 2nd place.
The smallest rig, the Laser 4.7, is sailed by the youngest group and is normally the preserve of the British youngsters. However this year a Belgian lad and a girl from St. Lucia took part and they also proved to be too much for the home team. Benjamin Wempe counted seven wins and a 3rd in his scorecard and Stephanie Devaux-Lovell had a win, four 2nd places and a 3rd to beat Britain's Matt Whitfield to 2nd overall. Matt's consolation was to win the final race of the regatta and secure the National title.
Apart from the disappointment of the British sailors for not winning everything it was a very good week's regatta at a wonderful venue. A fitting way to celebrate 40 years of Laser sailing. -- Eddie Mays
Farr 30 Pre-Worlds A Husband Vs. Wife Showdown
Conditions for the first race of the day were sporty, with around 18 knots of wind coming from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Teams have traveled from as far away as Kiel, Germany, for a chance to race on the intense playing field that is San Francisco's 'Berkeley Circle' for the hotly contested World Championship, while crews hail from as far off as Auckland and Brisbane.
Five of the entries hail from the active Southern California fleet, including Jim Murrell's Redondo Beach-based Huckleberry 2. "Our goal is to enjoy our time here while trying to finish in the top half of the fleet, and we know we've got our work cut out for us in this fleet" said Huckleberry tactician and noted match racer Brian Angel.
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Maltese Falcon Victorious at the Perini Navi Cup
The following prizes were awarded during the closing ceremeny held in Piazza Azzurra:
- Pommery award - Fair Play Award: Selene
The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's regatta calendar continues with the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship from 5th September to 10th September.
1. The Maltese Falcon, 1, 3. 4
Kieran Cotter and Jerry Smith Named Afloat's Sailors of the Month
When Rambler's canting keel snapped off on the evening of Monday August 15th shortly after this mega-machine had rounded the Rock, she was powering at full speed towards the turning buoy, crashing into the lumpy seas which often arise where the steep land juts into the open ocean.
Despite the difficulty of clambering onto the ultra-smooth underside of the huge hull, fifteen of the crew managed to get themselves up to the minimal handhold of the dagger board. But five of those who had been below - some of them off watch asleep - had drifted away from the boat after the monumental struggle of escaping from a small world turned upside down.
The five in the water roped themselves together, but things had taken an ominous turn, as the mist in which the big boat had rounded the Fastnet had now thickened into fog and night was drawing on.
It was the Baltimore lifeboat with Kieran Cotter in command which was first on the scene. Taking off the crew was a challenge, but all fifteen on the upturned Rambler were safely rescued, though an impact between lifeboat and white hull resulted in a streak of lifeboat blue on the yacht which was to be immortalised as "Kieran's kiss".
But that was later, not until after a needle-in-a-haystack search found the other five adrift together in the water, with one already on the edge of coma. They were found by the lifeboat deputy mechanic Jerry Smith, on patrol with a Fastnet Race film crew in his dive boat Wave Chieftain.
Today, we celebrate the achievement of Kieran Cotter and Jerry Smith, whose seamanship provided the successful focus for a network of rapid work by skilled technologists ashore.
Banque Populaire and Cheminees Poujoulat Relaunched
Armel Le Cleac'h's Banque Populaire monohull suffered damage during a training session earlier this summer, when a crack appeared in the hull. After a very quick repair job over the past month, the monohull was returned to her base in the Keroman harbour in Lorient last Wednesday. Armel le Cleac'h and his co-skipper Christopher Pratt are now going to have to make up for lost time carrying out training sessions off Lorient, following courses at the Port la Foret centre and taking part in the Atlantic Grand Prix on the weekend of 23rd-24th September.
After being taken out of the water on 23rd August, Bernard Stamm's yellow and black monohull was relaunched last Friday. Her mast was stepped after she was lowered into the water and she was returned to her pontoon in the Chateau Marina in Brest where Bernard's team will continue to work on her. Bernard Stamm: "We have tried to make her more comfortable and modified a few things, such as the sheet attachment and the water intake on the engine, which didn't work right when the boat was heeled over. We still have a few details to sort out before we get back out there sailing. It's all falling into place slowly but surely."
Red Letter Day for Camper in the UK
London, England: CAMPER's designer-red sails cut a striking profile against England's grey autumn sky as the Volvo Ocean Race competitor took a more laid-back approach to sailing, cruising under the iconic Tower Bridge to awaiting fans.
Camper CEO and six-time Whitbred and Volvo Ocean Race competitor Grant Dalton said his experienced team, which boasts no less than 22 round-the-world races between them, was good to go.
"We did three-and-a-half really solid months at home in New Zealand in the winter and sailed an awful lot, so if the race started tomorrow we could basically start,'' he said.
Standing on the shores of the Thames a nostalgic Dalton described today's sail as "an historic moment" while recalling it was almost two-decades since he skippered his Whitbred winning yacht New Zealand Endeavour down the river.
"As far as I'm aware no Volvo Ocean Race boat has been brought up the Thames under the bridge since New Zealand Endeavour in 1993. It's a long time ago now, so it's quite historic really.''
Not even the inclement weather could dampen the spirits of the crew, who are relishing the shake-down sail after their Volvo Open 70 was refitted at England's Felixstowe last month following a lengthy container ship trip from her home base at Auckland, New Zealand in July.
The CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand team will enjoy brief celebrations with locals before it farewells London tonight and sails to Lorient, France, where a rendezvous with French foes Groupama Sailing Team is set for September 8.
CAMPER and Groupama 4 will part ways only momentarily ahead of lining up against PUMA Ocean Racing powered by BERG Propulsion, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team Sanya and Team Telefònica at the first Inshore Race of the 2011-12 installation of the world's greatest ocean race begins in Alicante, Spain on October 29.
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Mistral Halts Maxi Yachts in Porto Cervo
Principal Race Officer Peter Craig had no regrets about today's decision to abandon racing which was taken at 1.30 p.m. after support boats on the course consistently registered approximately 30 knots at sea level. "Today's decision was not a difficult one, the breeze was much stronger than most of the forecasts we had. We had no choice but to sit and wait as some of the models we consulted showed the wind falling off a little later in the day, but the wind stayed pretty constant at 28 to 32 knots with much higher gusts. Given that this was the first day of a Rolex championship event we didn't want to see a lot of equipment breakages creating problems for the rest of the week and I think the majority of the sailors here agreed with the decision."
On his hopes of starting racing tomorrow Craig was optimistic: "Tomorrow's forecast predicts a situation similar to today in the late afternoon with more than 30 knots of north-westerly wind. The good news is that earlier in the day we should have 18 to 25 knots and for this reason we have moved the start forward and intend to get these boats racing."
Racing tomorrow, 7th September, has been moved forward to 10.30 a.m. and all divisions will be set a coastal race.
Live tracking will be available on www.yccs.com during the event.
America's Cup World Series to be Held in Venice
In 2012, the real action will heat up May 17-20, as teams compete for top honors in both match and fleeting racing championships as well as the overall winner-take-all title. Similar to other AC World Series venues, Venice offers both great sailing conditions and proximity to the racing, allowing spectators to see the world's top sailors compete just off the shore.
Planning is underway for the racing area, and will include spectator access along numerous points on the waterfront, including the team bases in the Venetian Arsenal. Dating back to the 1100s, Arsenale di Venezia was originally a shipyard and naval depot, providing a uniquely historic home base for the world's top sailors throughout the event.
The 2011-2012 AC World Series kicked off in Cascais, Portugal this past August and is traveling to Plymouth, UK September 10-18. The circuit will complete its 2011 stops in San Diego, California November 12-20.
Global Ocean Race Round-the-world Chilean yachtsman, Felipe Cubillos (1962-2011), was among the 21 passengers and crew of a FACH (Chilean Air Force) plane that went missing off the Juan Fernández Islands, 515 miles off the Chilean coast on Friday 2 September. The 49 year-old sailor, entrepreneur and philanthropist was part of group heading to the islands for an official ceremony to celebrate the completion of reconstruction work following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in February last year.
Cubillos was representing Desafío Levantemos Chile (Rise up Chile) - a charity that has been a driving force in reconstructing Chile since the national disaster in 2010 - and was travelling with five colleagues from the charity. Other passengers included representatives of the Chilean Air Force; members of the Consejo de Cultura (Cultural Advisory Department) and a team of five from Television Nacional de Chile (TVN).
According to Grupo 10 of FACH, the plane was approaching the island having circled twice before landing. On its final approach, the plane disappeared off the radar. Strong winds were reported in the area and may be the cause for the plane's disappearance. Two civilians that were waiting for the plane saw it circling over the runway and saw it veering away to the right. Rescue teams including a Hercules C-130 were sent to the missing plane's last known position immediately.
As bodies were recovered by the island's fishermen and the rescue force, it soon became clear that there would be no survivors from the flight.
Felipe Cubillos burst into the international ocean racing scene in 2008, teaming up with fellow Chilean co-skipper, Jose Munoz, in the double-handed division of the round-the-world, Class40 Global Ocean Race 2008-09 racing the Guillaume Verdier-designed Desafio Cabo de Hornos - a yacht decorated with the distinctive body-painting designs of the Tierra del Fuego Indians. Felipe and Jose entered the record books as the first Chilean team to complete a round-the-world race - finishing the circumnavigation in second place, just two hours and 25 minutes behind the victorious German duo of Boris Herrmann and Felix Oehme with Beluga Racer after 145 days, five ocean legs and 29,000 miles of racing.
An excellent cruiser/ racer with a great sail-wardrobe and a competitive IRC rating of 0.900. Substantial improvements were carried out in 2006/ 2007 and she is currently looking particularly smart. A recent survey is available to view on request.
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