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The 18 skippers who sailed away from the Spanish city's spectacular send-off in November 2007 were taking part in a unique offshore event: the first ever double-handed round-the-world race. The pairings came from the world of Volvo Ocean Race crewed racing and solo Vendee Globe marathons, with 36 circumnavigations between them. And that trend looks set to continue.
The inaugural Barcelona Race winner and twice a winner of the TJV, Jean-Pierre Dick, explains: 'Double-handed racing is different from solo racing. Despite there being two of you onboard, it's at least as difficult, because in sporting and psychological terms the sailing is always so much more intense.
The course and unique dynamics made for a gripping first event, with audiences drawn to the challenges of keeping the Imoca 60s sailing at near 100 per cent capacity, as well as the drama of two skippers operating in such a tight partnership.
By working from a clean sheet, the co-creators of the first Barcelona World Race - British-based OC Events and Spanish organisers Fundacio Navegacio Oceanica Barcelona - were also able to create a race with an international feel from the outset. The nine competing teams last time included French, Spanish, English, American, Australian, Irish and Swiss sailors, with the winning duo onboard Paprec-Virbac made up of French short-hander Jean-Pierre Dick and experienced Irish offshore sailor Damian Foxall.
No non-French skipper may have so far claimed that other non-stop crown, the Vendee Globe, yet the Barcelona World Race is already a genuinely global competition - albeit with a healthy vein of Spanish passion running through it!
For the 2010-11 race FNOB take over as organisers; the race already has two main sponsors, 24 sub-sponsors and numerous suppliers have confirmed their involvement. As a result organisers are now looking beyond December 2010 to the third edition, scheduled for December 2014. Andor Serra, FNOB's director general, explains: 'Real proof of [the race's] success is that before the first race was finished it had been added to the Imoca calendar, where our race now alternates with the Vendee every two years.'
The full article on Seahorse magazine at seahorsemagazine.com/2010-January/barcelona.php
RAK Hopes Stay Afloat In Cup Bid
The Swiss team want to put the trophy on the line against BMW Oracle in UAE waters in February, but may be forced to hold the competition in Spain instead after legal objections from their American challengers.
Should Alinghi win the most prestigious trophy in sailing for a third time in the port city of Valencia - where the series will be held if the New York Supreme Court dismisses Alinghi's appeal this week - then Ernesto Bertarelli and his team will again nominate the Emirates as host of their next defence.
Under the terms of the deed of gift, which determines the rules for the oldest sporting trophy to still be contested, the race series must be held in the hemisphere where it is summer. That means proposing to hold the series in RAK in May or September may be permitted. -- William Johnson, The National, www.thenational.ae
Lemons For Breakfast
Almost all of the teams have been experiencing light winds uncharacteristic of the Southern Ocean and for the crew of Spirit of Australia it made for a particularly sour-tasting start to the day.
"Lemons at breakfast. An hour of lemons," writes skipper, Brendan Hall. He explains, "Lemons are what we call it when the boat speed reads 0.0. Two big, fat zeros, staring the helmsman in the face. There was not a lot more we could do. We had our lightest sails up and were trimming them constantly; there was just not enough wind to keep them full. The wind hole we have been driving north to avoid has swallowed us up and given us lemons. I just hope the rest of the fleet are getting some lemons of their own. We are just creeping along now, waiting for the wind to fill in."
The good news for the Aussie team, and equally frustrating for the others, is the light winds are affecting most of the leading pack, with perhaps the exception of Cape Breton Island whose eagle has been soaring up through the fleet, regaining places lost when they found their own wind hole in spectacular fashion a few days ago.
The first yachts are due to reach Geraldton between 14 and 18 December, with Cork and Hull & Humber due to arrive before Christmas.
Positions At 0900 UTC, Monday 7 December
1. Team Finland, Distance to Finish 1765 nm
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Blake's Daughter Sets Sail
Crewing on board the famous Kiwi yacht will be Sarah-Jane Blake, whose father, the late Sir Peter Blake, skippered Lion New Zealand to victory in the gruelling 1984 race.
The 24m yacht was built for Sir Peter; Lion New Zealand was his entry in the 1985-86 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.
It won't be his daughter's first time sailing on the yacht.
She was just a baby when in 1985 she made the epic journey from New Zealand to England for the aluminium sloop's delivery voyage,
Yesterday, Ms Blake joined Conrad Gundry and Sam Cray - whose fathers Simon Gundry and Godfrey Cray were also part of the winning team 25 years ago - to see the yacht off at the Viaduct in Auckland City, before they head to Australia some time soon. -- Dana Johannsen and Vaimoana Tapaleao in the New Zealand Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/
More Than 100 Entries
Entries to date total 102 and that includes representatives from Great Britain, Germany, Canada, Japan, the USA and a solid contingent from around Australia.
Current Australian I14 champion Brad Devine says he is looking forward to the regatta and plans to arrive with his new boat just after Christmas.
Devine has built a new Bieker 5 design he bought as a set of moulds from Canada and is pleased with the result.
Devine said he had to break his successful partnership with Ian "Footy" Furlong after the 108kg for'ard hand took up work on drilling rigs off the West Australian coast. He has however teamed up with Dennis Jones who has an impressive sailing record which includes coaching at Olympic level in the Int 470 class.
Devine is expecting Sydney Harbour to provide a mixed bag of wind conditions through late December and into January.
"We are expecting a lot in the 12kt range with some light days and a day of 20kts here and there," he said.
The I14 World event begins on 28 Dec with Teams Racing and then the CST Composites International 14 World Championship begins with the Invitation Race on 3 January 2010 and Heats from 4-11 January out of Manly 16ft Skiff Sailing Club, Manly, Sydney Harbour.
Dark Blue Book
At the time of the innaugural World Yacht Racing Forum last December, the DARK BLUE BOOK was just a concept. Twelve months on and the directory has been published to a warm reception from many in the industry. The 2010 edition will be bigger and better with over 100 new entries already submitted.
The DARK BLUE BOOK is today announcing a new promotion, giving people at all levels the opportunity to make the most of the 2nd Edition. The promotion works like this:
- Submit an individual listing (FREE) and go into the draw to win an organisational listing worth 75 GBP.
For advertising enquiries, please call David Fuller on +44 7900 975 413 or catch up with him at the World Yacht Racing Forum.
The promotion will run until Monday 14th of December.
Between 50-70 of the dynamic boats are expected to compete, all branded with the signature PUMA cat. The Moth Class draws sailors of Olympic and America's Cup caliber and is quickly becoming a premier dinghy class.
PUMA became involved with the Moth Class during the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009, having PUMA branded Moths sailed in port during each of the eleven stopovers around the world. During the adventure around the world, PUMA's Moths were sailed by ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year Anna Tunicliffe, US Laser sailor Brad Funk, former Moth World Champion Rohan Veal and Swiss Moth sailor Arnaud Psarofaghis. Both the Moth Class and PUMA bring a new enthusiasm to sailing, attracting top sailors and non-sailing spectators. -- www.yachtsponsorship.com
* PUMA has picked up the international prize at the European Sponsorship Awards for their PUMA Ocean Racing campaign in the 2008-09 race, the company's first serious foray into sailing.
Entries for the awards were received from 10 European countries and were assessed by an independent panel of expert judges.
The announcement was made at an awards ceremony which was held as part of the annual two-day European sponsorship conference, Future Sponsorship, at the Mayfair hotel in London.
In the international category, PUMA beat off opposition from Vodafone's sponsorship of the McLaren-Mercedes Formula One team which was given second place. PUMA was also highly commended in the business to consumer category which was won by Wrigley's Extra with Coca-Cola second.
PUMA combined competition with consumer activity. While the team's eye-catching Volvo Open 70 il mostro was skippered to second place overall by Ken Read, PUMA City, an innovative retail store constructed from shipping containers, was the centrepiece of retail activity in Alicante and Boston.
Sales in PUMA City on a single day in Boston topped daily sales in any PUMA store ever worldwide.
* With a huge investment in a new CNC machinery driven woodshop and a complete overhaul of its production areas, Beneteau USA Inc. is in the process of revamping its 250,000 square foot facility into the most modern big sailboat factory in America. Contractors, advisors from parent company Groupe Beneteau, and South Carolinian team members are scurrying to change the 25 year old factory from the past style of eight independent production lines into a new, single line, continuous flow, production facility comprising 20 operation positions. The outcome of this new way of building will allow shortened lead times, less work in process and greater flexibility in model mix. The Marion plant will be the only American sailboat plant able to build anything from 30 footers up to 50 footers, all in the same quick-flow process.
* Swiss-headquartered Gurit has acquired composite engineering and materials competitor High Modulus of New Zealand.
Management and marine experts at High Modulus will join Gurit to form SP/HighModulus, a composite specialist focussing on the marine industry.
Graham Harvey, general manager marine at Gurit, will be at the helm of the the combined SP/HighModulus marine business.
CEO of High Modulus Paul Goddard will continue to oversee Gurit's Asia/Pacific market. Co-owner of High Modulus Richard Downs-Honey will develop the business of B3 SmartPac, a material solution introduced by High Modulus. -- IBI news, www.ibinews.com/ibinews/newsdesk/20091104161949ibinews.html
* The search for the 2010 Young Designer of the Year is now well and truly underway and we have already received an in impressive number of entries from students and recent graduates who share our passion for big, beautiful boats.
Boat International Media are delighted to partner once again with Camper & Nicholsons International and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in the quest to uncover the talented yacht designers of tomorrow. Now into its third year, the Young Designer of the Year Award recognises the achievement of an outstanding young designer and the potential impact of their work on current or future superyacht design. The competition is open to anyone who is studying for a degree or other qualification in a subject related to yacht or small craft design, or who graduated from such a course within three years of the closing date for entries.
The winner will receive a prize of 5,000 Euros and will be invited to accept the prestigious Neptune Award at the World Superyacht Awards ceremony and gala evening at London's historic Guildhall on 22 May, where they will have the opportunity to network amongst the most prolific designers and builders in the superyacht industry.
Only a few weeks remain before the close of entries on January 31, 2010.
For further information on how to enter and full competition details, please click here or visit www.worldsuperyachtawards.com
* From Pip Sawyer: Does the YJA possibly think that if they "snub" Mike Perham they are discouraging young people from trying to be the youngest to circumnavigate in a yacht? What are they going to do if Jessica Watson continues to keep going out there as she is now. (Yes, I know she has only done the "easy" bit so far!) Surely the YJA would be better off using their ability with the keyboard to persuade the record makers to stop acknowledging these milestones - then the sponsorship might dry up and there would be nothing to go for except personal achievement and I, for one, could never knock that.
Mike Perham deserves to be recognised for his feat, his parents deserve to be acknowledged for being so carefully committed to their son's determination and most of all, the family as a whole needs to be applauded for taking the seamanlike option to go through the Panama Canal at that time of year.
* From Andy Dare: Just a few words in reply to Andrew Bishop WCC:
It would be impossible & silly to try to legislate & impose more & more rules, which I think is already at a high level. I think there is enough information out there for people to make thier own decisions, & this is one of the things I like about sailing the seas - in that you get to make you own choices.
I think the World Cruising Club has the balance about right too.
I have worked for many many organisations & companies in my sailing career, including WCC, and I have to say the ARC stands out as one of the best organised events there is. In fact, I have given some of those "Emergencies at Sea" lectures before, so know first hand their levels of help & information on offer, & this is why there are only so few incidents every year. I would encourage Skippers & Crews to take in the information on offer from all the sources, as the combined experience at WCC, is exceptional.
Every they are full to capacity with 225 yachts, & roughly 1,500 people - which would probably scare the most hardened of event organisers.
I think it would be interesting to compare the percentage if incidents on the ARC to the professional boats in Transatlantic races which take place roughly the same time each year. It will be very clear which statistically is the safer event...
Long live the ARC!
* From David Mackintosh: Interesting comments from Andrew Bishop, Director, World Cruising Club:
Looks like this particular yacht was 'built for performance' forgetting of course the first rule - To finish first first you have to finish.
Losing the rudder was obviously not something planned BUT attaching the tow rope to the bow cleats was planned.
Not sure if the ARC rules mean that the same crew that gets the boat to Gran Canaria are the same people who set off across the Atlantic but i suspect not - so it matters not that the boats start from CG.
Hindsight is wonderful of course but useless on the day BUT it would appear that the ARC needs to have a longer harder more in-depth look at the boats and the people competing.
I hate to say paperwork - but for the boats some form of serious survey including planning for emergencies being compulsory and for the people some proof of experience for at least a few key members of the crew - and boy do i hate writing that.
Surely it is behoden on the Orgnisers of the ARC to ensure (to the best of their ability) - that the boats and the people are fit to take on this journey - or is it all about earning money and going through the motions pretending to be responsible while saying it is up to each and every skipper to...............................the ARC are now running a race within this cruise in company across the Atlantic event so they have more responsibilities than just insisting that the boats carry safety gear to ORC Cat 1 regs.
Lots of weasel words like ORC Cat 1 and testing sail of over 1500 miles for most participants - This boat was only a hundred or so miles out from CG not thousands of miles surely even an (in)experienced crew could have organised and set some sort of jury steering system to sail/motor/motorsail back to (or very close to) GC without any need for a tow. For sure they should have had plenty of provisions so time was not an issue.
We are seeing more and more button pushing when things get tough - beam me up Scotty - i want to go home now - can only bring the sport and these events some serious bad publicity - this was hardly the roaring forties with lives at risk - twas a wee jolly across the Atlantic that did not go as planed - and there was no Plan B when Plan A went down the pan.
"Sometimes things go wrong, but it is the way that individuals cope which teaches them, and lessons will be learnt. That is what participating in a sport that pushes personal boundaries is all about".
Sounds like a pollytician speaking especially 'lessons will be learned" - By Who i wonder???? So what lessons will the ARC organisers learn and what lessons will anyone learn from taking part in the ARC and not sailing across in company with a few like-minded other skippers/boats in the best weather window - apart from a reduction in their bank balance and never sailing to anothers deadline?
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