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11 Crews, 55 Sailors and a New Format
The entry list of eight teams includes Artemis Racing (SWE), China Team (CHN), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Energy Team (FRA), J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR), Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 (ITA), ORACLE TEAM USA (USA) and Team Korea (KOR).
The fleet now numbers 11 boats with Artemis Racing, Luna Rossa Challenge and ORACLE TEAM USA each fielding two crews, and the return of China Team. At this regatta there are 55 sailors competing from 12 countries. (View the event crew list at ACWS San Francisco Crew List.)
The first day of the new season will see six of the teams contesting a series of match racing qualifiers with the three winners advancing to the Quarterfinal Round, scheduled Thursday and Friday, where they'll meet the top five seeds based on the standings from the 2011-12 ACWS Match Racing Championship.
One of the qualifier teams is newcomer J.P. Morgan BAR, skippered by Ben Ainslie. Ainslie joins the ACWS fleet with the long-term goal of leading an America's Cup challenge.
ACWS San Francisco will also see the debut of a second yacht from Artemis Racing, the Swedish Challenger of Record for the America's Cup. Artemis Racing Red will be helmed by Santiago Lange of Argentina, a two-time Olympic bronze medalist in the Tornado class, and is entered alongside stablemate Artemis Racing White, led by team skipper Terry Hutchinson.
Hutchinson's crew is the No. 1 seed based on last season's match racing championship.
Wednesday's racing schedule features No. 6-seed Team Korea vs. No. 11 J.P. Morgan BAR, No. 7 Luna Rossa - Piranha vs. No. 10 Artemis Racing Red and No. 8 Luna Rossa - Swordfish vs. No. 9 China Team. Each match is a best-of-three.
Racing continues Thursday with two pairs of the match racing quarterfinals and the first two fleet races.
* The Bay Bites Back
San Francisco Bay took a bite out of the AC World Series teams on Saturday as training intensifies ahead of Championship Racing next week. Nine of 11 race crews were on the water during the afternoon, in building conditions.
Team Korea was the first to capsize. Before leaving the dock, skipper Nathan Outteridge had spoken of the need to be conservative in the early stages of training, but said his team would likely be pushing more and more each day. Saturday, they found out what happens when you push too hard.
"We were in a little race with Energy Team and we were trying to sail past them, so were really on," Outteridge said. "And then I guess we found the limit of how far we can push it."
One of the crew, Mark Bulkeley fell through the lower section of the wing, but was unhurt. The team had the boat up and sailing within a couple of minutes. The wing needs repairs, but the team is expected to be ready for racing in a couple of days.
The second capsize of the afternoon was more damaging. Luna Rossa Swordfish went over later in the afternoon with the wind gusting over 20 knots. The boat remained capsized for over half an hour, and there was significant damage to the wing. All the flaps were removed and brought in by chase boat and the wing mast is damaged as well.
Earlier in the week, Artemis Racing also capsized during training.
Many of the sailors returning to base today from the other teams spoke of near misses as the crews continue to adjust to the strong winds and choppy waters of San Francisco Bay.
Team Wales Enters Extreme Sailing Series
Olympic silver medallist and one half of the successful British 470 women's duo Hannah Mills, will be flying the Welsh flag as part of Team Wales, a wildcard entry for Act 5 Cardiff. Team Wales will bring the tally of boats on the start line up to nine when the Extreme Sailing Series makes its Welsh debut as the high-octane centrepiece to the Cardiff Harbour Festival from the 30th August - 2nd September.
Team Wales, with the valuable backing of high performance shaving brand King of Shaves, will be led by one of Wales' most talented young sailors, Dave Evans, who at 26 years old will be the youngest competing skipper in the fleet. Cardiff born and bred Evans and his Skandia Team GBR 49er team mate Ed Powys narrowly missed out on selection for the London 2012 Olympics in the high-performance skiff, and both will make their Extreme 40 debut as part of Team Wales.
The duo is joined by a group of equally gifted young sailors, who between them already boast a number of impressive accolades. Anglesey born sailor Tudur Owen will bring a wealth of knowledge to the position of trimmer including match racing and America's Cup experience while rising Australian sailing star Torvar Mirsky, who provided some of the most exciting racing during his 2011 Extreme Sailing Series debut including a spectacular capsize in Qingdao, China, will return to the Extreme Sailing Series at the helm of the Welsh boat.
Team Wales will join the eight established Extreme 40 teams which include many of the world's best sailors, in the intense stadium format in the heart of Cardiff Bay over four days of racing. Will King, Founder & CEO of The King of Shaves Company Ltd., the British 'challenger brand' in high performance shaving and one of only three companies in the world that market world class wet shaving products said: "Hyperformance is at the centre of our global product strategy for 2012 and beyond. Following our backing of Team GB athlete James Ellington in the run-up to London 2012, we wanted to continue our association with demanding, exacting and technically challenging disciplines, and involvement at the Extreme Sailing Series event in Cardiff delivers this perfectly." James Ellington, who represented Team GB in the 200 metres at this summer's Olympic Games will be joining the Extreme 40s in Cardiff to take up the much-coveted guest sailor spot for himself.
Yendys Enjoying The View
An overall win in today's 30 mile race means the leading Audi IRC Australian Championship Class A boat is Geoff Ross' chartered TP52 Yendys, two points clear of Rob Hanna's Shogun V after four races.
Yendys, Michael Hiatt's Living Doll and Shogun settled a three-boat duel to the finish, which is indicative of the competitiveness that is spurring them on. Perhaps also driving them beyond their regular comfort zones are the international rock star tacticians and helmsmen, including Steve Cotton and Mike Sanderson on the Farr 55, Living Doll, Australia's own Steve McConaghy on Shogun V and recognised Kiwi sailor, Gavin Brady on Yendys.
Class B defending champion, Darryl Hodgkinson's Victoire is the leading Beneteau, sitting just two points ahead of the smaller Beneteau 40 Lunchtime Legend (Robbo Robertson), which is going to breathe hot air down Hodgkinson's neck right through to Saturday's closing race. Class C leader Jessandra II, Roland Dane's Queensland Corby 36, has extended her points lead, now well clear of second on the scoresheet, Paul Mitchell's Marsm 920, Here's Trouble. All three classes are competing for the glory of being named 2012 Audi IRC Australian Champion. The ultimate winner of class A, B and C will take away a brand new North Sails Code 2 spinnaker emblazoned with the Audi IRC Australian Championship logo, the first time Audi has offered such a prize for the Championship.
Sean Langman's Team Australia is 2-1 up on arch rival, Simon Hull's Team Vodafone, in the line honours and handicap stakes at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, the first time the two giant multihulls have gone nose to nose.
From the media boat, the day's highlights included the two Orma 60s trimarans lighting up with hulls flying on the Whitsunday waters and the convergence of five TP52s and Living Doll at a mark rounding with only seconds and a few feet dividing them and delighting the trigger happy photographers.
The Mark Richard's skippered Wild Oats XI breezed through today's 30 nautical miler around Anne and Cole Islands then Denman Island and to the finish in Dent Passage off the stunning Hamilton Island Yacht Club. -- Lisa Ratcliff
The Big Leap Off The Drawing Board
I'm happy to say that the new foil design is currently in transition from the drawing board to reality. It has been a long, frustrating but necessary path to this point. We have had to go back to school on this one.
There has been a big shift in understanding from the last blog to where we are now. Some things just didn't fit into the high speed sailing forensics puzzle and we refused to neglect them. We had been constantly told how thin foils were the only way to go... and yet our big, 'fat', Mk1 foil had repeatedly hit over 50 knots. When we applied the theories and associated numbers that sent us down the path to superthin foils to the old Mk1 foil it showed that we would be very optimistic to even achieve 40 knots. It was obvious that something was wrong and that other options were open to us that needed to be explored. We withdrew from the outside world of expertise and chose to resolve the problem in house using our own small core design team...
So, where are we? Well for starters the new foil is going to be a lot smaller than the original foils.
They are also going to be made out of carbon composite instead of the steel option we were previously looking at. The reasons for this are many and varied. A lot has to do with our own particular operating requirements i.e. in a perfect, flat, high speed world we could use much smaller foils still but the reality is we are punching through high frequency chop even on the brilliant Walvis Bay speed-strip and these ideally small foils would not cope. In the end we have had to pick a span/depth compromise that we felt comfortable with. I am glad that we did those brutal foil modifications in that last sesssion last year. Chopping 15cm chunks of the foil one after the other gave us some great insights into how forgiving VESTAS Sailrocket 2 can actually be. The fact that she got up and going at all with 45 cm removed was pretty impressive. Mind you, we were sailing in top end conditions and we hope we don't have to do that again.
So whilst the new foils should see the same loads as the old foils, the lower spans should mean that they have lower bending forces...
Paul's full report at sailrocket.com/node/518
Italy and Germany Claim Junior European Championship Titles
Teams enjoyed six days of racing on the challenging Lake Garda, in what were mainly breeze conditions, apart from Tuesday and Friday's lighter days. Seventy nine 470 Men/Mixed teams and 29 470 Women teams from thirty nations contested the Championship titles, which also welcomed teams outside of Europe from Argentina, Australia, Chile and USA.
A great outcome for Great Britain and France, with both nations having teams on the podium in the 470 men/mixed and women events.
470 Men - Final Top 10
1. Simon Sivitz Kosuta/Jas Farneti, ITA, 33 points
470 Women - Final Top 10
1. Annika Bochmann/Elisabeth Panuschka, GER, 25 points
Running The Rhumblines
He had heard so much about the friendly nature of the regatta the venue and the host club and simply had to come and enjoy the experience.
The former Rolex Sydney Hobart and Hamilton Island Race Week winner added another major trophy to his impressive career when his chartered TP52 Yendys scored a convincing perfect score win in the IRC class.
Yendys formerly raced in Europe under the royal battle flag of King Juan Carlos of Spain was unraced in Australia before her composite crew of top Australian and New Zealand sailors set the challenge in place to use the racing off Airlie Beach as a full scale evaluation trial.
They were totally unmatched in a varied range of winds when the nominated helmsman New Zealand Americas Cup sailor Gavin Brady steered Yendys to a most impressive performance winning the line and corrected handicap double in every race.
This was no fluke with the result achieved from a clever understanding and analysis on how to sail the percentages in the fast lane.
Shortly after completing a successful regatta at Airlie Beach skipper Geoffrey Ross, helmsman Gavin Brady and the talented crew headed off to test their speed against a high standard fleet at Hamilton Island.
Apart from some casual conversations about their form guide Yendys was in racing mode while Geoffrey Ross remarked "there is still room for improvement".
The Yendys crew have continued to show their class to lead what has been an exciting match race between the fastest TP52's racing in The Southern Hemisphere.
They have shown the potential to lead mid series and only need to remain consistent to ward off the challenges from the almost identical rival the Victorian yacht Shogun V and Brisbane's Peter Harburg owned and Mark Bradford skippered Black Jack racing with London Olympic Gold Medallist Tom Slingsby as tactician. -- Ian Grant
Sea Master Sailing August 2012
Audi Showdown 2012
More than 200 boats, ranging from Optimist dinghies to ocean racing yachts, are expected to contest the Audi Regatta over the weekend of November 2-4.
From late December to mid-January more than 850 junior, youth and adult dinghy sailors from around Australia and overseas will be in Hobart to compete in eight national and one world championships, followed by the Australian youth sailing championships.
"The Audi Showdown 2012 and the following Australian championships could well produce future Olympic sailors, in particular for the Olympic Laser and Laser Radial classes, the 470 and new women's 49er FX class," Graham Taplin, Commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania said today.
"The Audi Laser championships, in particular, likely to see current and potential Olympic sailors sailing on the Derwent," the Commodore added.
"The Audi Laser championships will be followed by Yachting Australia's OAMPS Australian Youth Championship, an annual regatta for various youth classes which in the past has produced a number of our Olympic sailors," he said.
The Commodore also announced that Audi Centre Hobart would sponsor the Australian championships for the International Laser Australian championships from December 28, 2012 through to January 4, 2013. The championships would include national titles for the Standard rig (Olympic men's singlehanded class), Radial (Olympic women's singlehanded class), 4.7 and Masters,
Tasmania's Minister for Sport and Recreation Michelle O'Byrne, in officially launching the Audi Showdown 2012, described it as a true state-wide regatta, programmed to coincide with the Recreation Day long weekend in the north of Tasmania.
The Audi Showdown 2012 will open with a twilight race for keelboats and sportsboats on the Derwent on Friday, November 2. The off-the-beach classes will join the regatta for racing on Saturday and Sunday, November 3 and 4.
A large fleet of keelboats is expected, with the Saturday being designated as one of the Combined Clubs Long Distance Races. One design yachts, such as Farr 40s and SB20s will contest harbour races on that day, while a new Cruiser race has been added to the program. -- Peter Campbell
* From Simon Grosser: I 100% agree with the sentiments expressed in your Guest editorial.
No question, that the match racing had huge spectator appeal, and kept us riveted to our seats until the bitter (for us Aussies !) end.
If ever there was a discipline of our sport that deserved it's place in the Olympics, it's this.
But it also begs the question.
If ever there was a discipline of any sport, which in which women and men could compete equally, then surely it's Match Racing?
So, let's rally around and make sure that Match Racing is part of the next Olympics.
May the best Man, or Woman, win...
I'm not trying to be controversial here, but surely this is one aspect of our sport that is unique, amongst all other sports. Why can't men and women compete on a level playing field? So why not promote it ?
Match racing is not necessarily, gender specific.
Ok, sure, if you sail classes where sheer brute strength will give you an advantage, then of course there needs to be some separation, but for match racing… set some weight limits, choose appropriate boats, and bring it on!
Truly Classic 56, Hoek Design sailing yacht and built by McMullen & Wing in New Zealand. A true beauty and a joy to sail. Her owner has maintained her like new. In 2009 she was sailed to the Netherlands and since then she has received new paint (Awlgrip H8002) including hull, mast and boom, new North 3DL sails (main, genoa and staysail) and new Raymarine electronics. Pushbutton sailing from the cockpit.
Brokerage through De Valk Yacht Brokers: www.yachtworld.com/devalkyb/
Complete listing details and seller contact information at uk.yachtworld.com
The Last Word
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