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Energy Team On Top
Consistency was the key for the French Energy Team who won the third of three races on Wednesday afternoon to top the table at the end of the seeding races for the San Diego Match Racing Championships at the America's Cup World Series.
New skipper Yann Guichard posted three race finishes inside the top five to end the day one point clear of Emirates Team New Zealand. ORACLE Racing Spithill, plagued by penalties and starting trouble all day, recovered strongly in each race to hold on to third place.
Those top three teams on today's ranking are seeded through directly to the Semi Finals of the Match Racing Championship. The remaining six teams will be paired up to race in Thursday's qualifying matches, competing in a knockout format to earn the fourth and final Semi Final berth.
Conditions couldn't have been better for racing on Wednesday. The winds were in the 9-13 knot range with flat water in San Diego Bay, leading to boat speeds near 20 knots. The sun was out, and it was a warm November day, allowing the sea breeze to build early and stay in force throughout the afternoon.
After the fleet races, the teams brought the show to the crowds perched on Broadway Pier for the AC 500 Speed Trials, which took place just yards from the pier. Emirates Team New Zealand, in the very first run, posted what would stand up as the quickest time down the 500-meter runway. The two ORACLE Racing entries, Spithill and Coutts were second and third respectively. Artemis Racing was in fourth place in both the seeding race standings and the Speed Trials.
Results - San Diego Match Racing Championship (seeding fleet races)
1. Energy Team
Results - AC 500 Speed Trials
Emirates Team New Zealand - 21.22 knots
Singapore Retires from Clipper Race 5, Qingdao Diverts to Hobart
Following Singapore's diversion to Queenscliff at the mouth of Port Philip Bay near Melbourne to fix their primary steering system, skipper Ben Bowley, has informed the Race Committee of his intention to retire from Race 5.
Ben's reason for retiring is to make sure that his team gets to New Zealand in plenty of time to prepare for the start of Race 6 when they will resume racing from Tauranga to Gold Coast, Australia. The Race Committee has reluctantly accepted the request.
Retirement will allow the Singapore team to use their auxiliary engine in the expected light winds and take an alternative route around New Zealand; over the North Island or via the Cook Strait. This will cut several hundred miles off of the distance to Tauranga and ensure they arrive in time to prepare for Race 6.
On Friday Singapore experienced problems with its primary steering system approximately 1,300 miles into Race 5 from Geraldton, Western Australia, to Tauranga, New Zealand, prompting Ben Bowley and his team to switch to their back-up steering system.
Upon arriving in Queenscliff at 1300 local time (0200 UTC), an upbeat Ben thanked the support shown by their many followers as good progress is made on their repairs.
Another team who have been unfortunately required to divert to land is Qingdao, after an injury to a crew member needed medical attention.
Qingdao made the decision to divert to Hobart after crew member, Jo Sandford, sustained a shoulder injury and bruising around the coccyx after falling on deck as on board medic, Joan Clancy, recommended hospital treatment.
After yesterday's warning of worsening conditions, skipper of Derry-Londonderry, Mark Light, reveals the low pressure system has now passed over.
Positions at 0900 UTC, Wednesday 16 November
Boat - Distance to leg finish - Distance to leader
Driving the White Tiger
That said, if you had told Draper that after two ACWS events Team Korea would have more match racing points than fleet racing points, he would have thought you were daft.
"We haven't really pulled together as much as we would have liked in the fleet racing," said Draper.
"We've been working so hard to improve our match racing that we've let the fleet racing slide a little bit, so it's important that we get the balance back. But we're really pleased to be where we are -- we're under no illusions of where we are actually at. We're very aware that those are pretty good results and we're pleased with that.
"The ethos of the team, as it develops, is youth and enthusiasm backed up by solid experience. At the moment, we haven't got as much of the latter, though we've got Magnus Holmberg coming in to help us and he's been a great help. But it's been a steep learning curve for us all and that's going to continue -- and it's going to be even more so when we get into the 72s. There's plenty to learn and we're trying to learn as fast as possible.
The full interview by Diane Swintal in Cupinfo.com:
A special numbered limited edition signed by the authors to make the perfect Christmas gift The Whitbread Round the World Race - now the Volvo Ocean Race - spans 40 years, ten races and more than 300,000 miles across the most inhospitable seas. From gentlemanly competition in yachts designed more for graceful living than screaming around Cape Horn, the race has progressed to purpose built craft with few creature comforts, crewed by fanatical, professionals.
Millions have been spent, legends created and six men have died. No one takes the race lightly and no one tells the story better than journalists, Bob Fisher and Barry Pickthall who have been there for every race from the first in 1973. They mark the anecdotes, highlight all the major stories, and provide biographies of sailing's greatest names from the first handicap and line honour winners, Ramon Carlin and Sir Chay Blyth, to double winner Conny van Rietschoten, French legend Eric Tabarly, those great New Zealand rivals Sir Peter Blake and Grant Dalton, through to the latter day Volvo race winners. They also detail the awesome advances in design and construction that make today's yachts formidably tough, surfing greyhounds capable of hitting 40knots + and sustaining 600 mile daily runs. The book also lists every crewmember to have taken part.
176 pages. 128 colour pictures and illustrations.
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Artemis Racing Seeks Clarification on ETNZ/Luna Rossa Collaboration
Artemis Racing believes that it is in the best interest of all competing teams to understand if all of the elements of the agreement are permissible before any party makes a significant investment.
KSSS/Artemis Racing welcome the involvement of Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 in the 34th America's Cup events and look forward to competing against the Italian team.
Geoff Evelyn Memorial Trophy
Robin Eagleson, Irish J24 President and Vice-Chairman of the International Class Association (IJCA), was recently awarded the 'Geoff Evelyn Memorial Trophy' - for outstanding service. The trophy is awarded annually to the member who, in the opinion of the IJCA, has made the greatest contribution to the J/24 Class in the past year.
Jim Farmer, Chairman of the IJCA, presented the trophy to Robin Eagleson at the J/24 World Council Meeting, held recently at Rochester Yacht Club in New York, site of next year's J/24 World Championship.
According to Farmer, "Robin has over the past year gone above and beyond the call of duty to address issues which were critical to the continued stability and success of the International J/24 Class Association. His persistence, diligence and superb communication skills enabled him to attack these issues straight on and offer a solution that no one else had the ability to do".
The next meeting of the J/24 World Council is scheduled to be held on October 13, 2012 at Howth Yacht Club, the host club for the 2013 J/24 World Championship.
Team Aqua Acheives the Double
The British flagged teams' day did not go completely to plan. They lost their first match to Artemis Racing who, with owner Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) at the helm, was on a mission to climb onto the podium. Team Aqua conceded two further races to the Russian duo Team Nika and RUS 7 powered by anywayanyday.com.
But their three wins were enough to fend off Katusha (RUS) by one point and lift the trophy for the second year in a row.
With Paul Cayard, Katusha's regular match race helm and tactician, in San Diego for the America's Cup World Series, Francesco Bruni (ITA) was drafted in and he showed why he is the current ISAF World ranked number one match racing skipper winning six out of their seven matches. The team retired from the final match of the day to effect repairs to their mast ahead of the start of tomorrow's RC44 World Championships.
Their six wins were enough to lift Katusha into second place overall.
The improver prize in the match racing has to go to one of the two new Russian entrants, Team Nika. Having missed the first event the in San Diego, the team joined the Tour in Austria. Owner Vladimir Prosikhin was ecstatic in Austria to win two out of their four match races sailed, however they have improved significantly throughout the season, winning six out of their seven matches today, moving up to sixth overall in the overall match race rankings.
The RC44 World Championships hosted by Puerto Calero in Lanzarote start on Thursday 17th November, with racing due to start at 12.30 GMT. Will Team Aqua be able to pull off the treble? Follow the action unfold at http://www.rc44.com with the live blog.
RC44 Championship Tour Match Racing Overall Ranking
Dubarry Storm - Sailing Style In On The Street
Dubarry Storm - the calm within the Storm.
* From Jim Champ re: "My problem you see is that I work for a sailmaker and as such am classified by ISAF as a 'professional' which in turn prevents me from taking part in many events that I would otherwise compete in, regardless of how good I am, regardless of my ability to influence the performance of the boat, and despite the fact that I don't get paid to be out there on the water."
The trouble is Ian, in the days when no professional sailors were allowed on boats at all, many of the major lofts employed sailmakers who appeared not to know one end of pair of scissors from another, but strangely were always available, just as one 'friend' to another, to sail with other 'friends' who just happened to be major customers of that sail loft, and who never seemed to have 'friends' they wanted to sail with who were customers of different sail lofts.
So I fear you are paying for the sins of your predecessors. The methods used to evade the amateur regulations in the old days were varied and ingenious, and frankly, were often no more than outright cheating. Many of the ISAF folks are, like me, old enough to remember it, and I suspect are of the opinion that the next generation will be no less ingenious at evading the regulations than their contemporaries were. So now we have regulations that are difficult to evade, but cast too wide a net. I'm sure if anyone can come up with a better way of making the distinction ISAF would like to hear it, but it has to be a method that's proof against the evasions, lies and even forgeries used in the past, otherwise its not worth having at all.
There's a simple solution though: build and buy yourself an International Canoe with your own money and come and sail with us in the only major international sailing events that are not administered by ISAF but by the International Canoe Federation and you'll be safe from ISAF rules...
* From Euan Ross: In response to Ian's heart-felt letter; in my defence I did conclude 'It's only a Game' with the comment that the definition of 'professional' needs a bit of work. In the very different world of 1985 at the Siam Gold Cup, I ripped sponsor's 'Citizen' decals off my event-supplied board and was promptly disqualified. Things have moved on since, but the ISAF seems no further forward. At the top of the game I guess the situation is clear enough. The necessary distinction is at the second tier, between: on the one hand, ordinary guys (many extremely talented amateur sailors)who work for industry suppliers and who actually build boats and sails, and on the other, professional sailors who are employed by boat-builders, sailmakers, etc to race their equipment.
This still leaves the guys in the middle who own and represent small bespoke sailmakers: Mike McNamara, for instance, used to win everyone's championships and today there's the likes of Steve Goacher doing the same thing. Should they be excluded - probably not, though I would suggest that's a matter for individual class associations. For the big boys I would say: sure let them race, but not be eligible for the prize-list. Then have them start a minute behind the fleet, so that we can watch and learn as they pass swiftly through. Whether the owner steers or doesn't clearly makes no difference when there is a maestro in overall charge.
* From Ian Finlay: I find it quite amazing that this discussion is still going on some 20 or so years after I first saw reference to it in a 'letters to the editor' in Yacht & Yachting magazine!
In response to the arguements laid down way back then in history and revived by Mr Ross, there are two points I wish to make:
1. Our sport is one of the very few that due to the nature of it not being as elitist as, say athletics, Formula 1 or football (the latter being curse of so many other 'marginalised' sports), offers the opportunity for every sailor to actually compete on the same race course as the real stars of our sport. Even in the London Marathon (and the other World Class Marathon events worldwide) the 'average Joe' doesn't actually compete against the elite athletes as they start from a different point and some way ahead of the 'masses', many dressed in their respective, deep sea divers outfits, postboxes, carrots, emus, et all!
In our beloved sport we do actually have quite a unique opportunity in sport that from time to time to race on a pretty level playing field with names such as Spithill, Coutts, Ainslie, the sailors of the Ran sailing programme, etc. to name a very selected few. It is good that we don't crowd their startlines for their most important events such as the Olympic Sailing Event (or the ISAF World Series), the America's Cup or the Audi TP52 Medcup as that would be stupid but on other days we can jostle with them. We can enter the JP Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race (Ben will, as long as he has the title sponsor he has for his Olympic endeavours, be present on a yacht racing against all the other competitors), Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week or the Rolex Fastnet Race and line up against a few of the best in their field.
I have fantastic memories of crossing tacks with Russell Coutts in a Melges 24 World Championship (unfortunately for him he was in the middle of the fleet and Spithill was long gone and won the event comfortably). I also have traded places with Terry Hutchinson and many other great sailors on many race tracks around the world. I have even have the memory of sailiinig with a young Ben Ainslie after he'd just won the ISAF Youth World Championship back in 1995. It was his first competitive outing on a racing yacht (as I understood at the time) during a pleasant Cowes Week. I also sailed with Paul Goodison on his first foray into keelboats. Beyond that, I have benefitted from sailing with many people at the top of this sport and this has given me some of the greatest learning opportunities as well as memorable moments, too!
What I feel Mr Ross is missing is the fantastic opportunity to learn from these people who have chosen to dedicate their life to the sport we all love so much. When crossing tacks with a truly professional team or drag racing off the startline, you can look into the methodology employed by people who are professional sportsmen, up close and personal, they put in the hours and hard work to suss out what will make a boat go quick and then we get the benefit (if we want to) of seeing it for ourselves and perhaps adopting some of what we've seen into our own way of racing. If you don't enjoy the challenge of getting better then perhaps you should just go away and do something else!
And on top of this these guys, the pro's, are the ones that tend to be the most open and approachable on the dockside or in the bar afterwards, freely offering suggestions of how to get more out of your boat, tweaking the rig tune, the settings, the sails, the crew work....would you REALLY want to have this amazing free coaching resource removed from your armoury? Surely not! Or do you just find it difficult to hide behind the truth that you just aren't prepared to do what it takes to give yourself the best opportunity to improve your results? I for one will always welcome professional sailors onto the startline of any event as it will only serve to enhance the quality of racing for every other 'mere mortal' that enjoys our sport.
2. My second point refers to how ISAF consider someone to be a professional and how they may have the 'ability to influence the performance of the boat'. In my opinion, in very rough terms we should all be considered as professionals because you can be damned sure that if any one of us wasn't there, sat hiking hard off the startline, we would certainly be influencing the performance of the boat!
Every active team member of a racing yacht will influence the performance so long as they are trying hard to do their job as best they can. Even our wives and children have influence upon the outcome, on an individual basis, of our performance since they help provide the state of mind and freedom from chores (occasionally, but usually only just deferred in time) so that we can go down to the boat, work on it, sail it, race it...by loose interpretation of the definition in the rule I say that if any one of us wasn't on that boat we'd be affecting performance so we therefore affect performance by being there.
I have no solution to offer here as I am not interested in a solution to this unrealistic rule. Many of us are aware that certain one design classes have restricted the number of professionals on board successfully on paper but in truth there were methods employed by some to gain an 'unfair' advantage that the rule makers hadn't accounted for and to my mind, that wasn't necessarily a fair way of playing. It also meant that some owners were spending much more than they otherwise might have done.
At the end of the day there will always be someone prepared to spend more than the next man (unless it's Ellison or Bertarelli, perhaps!) so you have to pay your money and take your choice, I guess. Maybe the Pro rule should be dropped altogether. It really isn't a 'police-able' rule anyway. A number of strict one design classes have kind of proved that...
Mr Ross, for some, this game is their livelihood, let us all learn from them and let's not marginalise them.
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