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Taylor Canfield Wins: sweeps Agro Group Gold Cup finals
Hamilton, Bermuda: Taylor Canfield (ISV) Team Chicago Match Race Center swept the finals of the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup etching his name on the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy and taking home a check for $50,000.He defeated Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 3-0.
Berntsson’s check for second place was $20,000. He finished second in 2010 and won the Gold Cup in 2008.
Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar, the current Tour leader, took third place over Eric Monnin (SUI) Oklays Corum Sailing Team 2-1. Williams won $10,000 and Monnin took home $7,000.
Canfield made it into the Finals Sunday morning through a tough match with Monnin in the Semi Finals. Canfield had won the first flight and lost the second on Saturday before the wind died. Sunday, in perfect match racing conditions, with winds at 8-10 kts, Monnin took flight three. Canfield with his back to the wall took the next two flights to win 3-2.
Canfield then sailed flawlessly in the finals. He took three starts from Berntsson and he led all around the track in the first two races. The sailing was only close on one downwind leg when Berntsson pressed Canfield into a luffing duel in an attempt to cross above him on starboard.
The video of matches this week can be replayed by clicking on the video replay icon on the home page.
Alpari World Match Racing Tour Standings - After 7 Stages:
Douglas Elmes of Ireland Wins Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup
Hamilton, Bermuda: Hamilton harbor set the stage for the final race of the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup today. Swiss sailor Damian Suri besting the fleet of 38 international and Bermuda sailors to win the 10th anniversary Renaissance Re trophy for his first place finish today.
Suri had a fantastic race in front of a huge spectator fleet. The race also featured sailors like American Audrey Giblin and Bermudian Chase Cooper very much in the hunt finishing in the top five today.
The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup, the overall top prize, went to Douglas Elmes of Ireland who won it after 11 races with 50 points. Second place finisher Tomas di Luciano of Argentina had 54 points.
As this was the 10th anniversary of the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup it seemed most fitting that a former junior Opti sailor who attended this event in 2003 won the Argo Group Gold Cup today. Taylor Canfield, who is from the US Virgin Islands and is in his early 20s, was brought here by Peter Holmberg when he was 14.
There is no doubt that the event stays in the minds of both the young sailors from overseas but it also raises the level of sailing for Bermuda’s youth sailors who would not normally get to meet world’s best. The support for youth sailing here has always been important to people like the late Dick Kempe and in his honor Chase Cooper was given the inaugural Dick Kempe award for being the top Bermuda sailor in this event. Cooper finished in seventh place overall.
The Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup has had the kind of support that enables sailors to dream of their own futures as sailors and for event chairman Somers Cooper they could not have done it without sponsorship support like this.
Full results at www.argogroupgoldcup.com/renre-junior-gold-cup/results
RS200 Champions Win Endeavour Trophy
Twenty-two year-old Saxton from Grafham Water Sailing Club, and Roberts from Hayling Island Sailing Class made an impressive start to the Topper-supported Endeavour championship at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club yesterday with three firsts and a third place, which put them in the overnight lead in the 25-strong fleet. They then went on to win the first of two races today before the wind finally disappeared. This left them five points clear ahead of last year’s Endeavour champions - Nick Craig and Toby Lewis - who took overall second place.
Saxton’s win was particularly impressive because until the Calltracks-sponsored Endeavour training day on Friday, he had never stepped foot in a Topper Xenon before. Although Roberts, his teammate, finished second place at the Endeavour championship as crew last year and was able to bring valuable experience to the team this weekend, the pair had never sailed together in a spinnaker boat before. Interestingly, they immediately gelled as a team and the combination of good starts, good sailing and being able to seek clear air to gain the all-important speed advantage in the super-competitive fleet, are what really gave them the winning edge.
Setting a course in today’s shifty, light winds and strong tidal conditions on the River Crouch was a race officer’s nightmare. Thankfully Kim Allen managed to make the best of the conditions and successfully completed two races before the wind died away altogether.
The final race winners in today’s light, taxing conditions were Jasper Barham and Graham Sexton representing the Laser 2000 class. They only had one race finish outside the top five, and a win in today’s final race was enough to secure a podium position after six races.
Christian Birrell, who won the event with Stuart Bithell in 2010, and then finished fourth overall last year representing the Enterprise class, finished this year’s event fourth once again, this time sailing for the Merlin Rocket class. He managed to beat his 2010 team mate Bithell, and Luke Patience (470 Olympic silver medallists), by four points.
Special thanks to the Endeavour Trophy sponsors which include the following: Topper, Allen Brothers, Calltracks, Hyde Sails, Selden, English Braids, Petticrows, Musto, Noble Marine, Sea-Sure and GJW Direct. -- Sue Pelling
Top five final results:
1. RS200, Ben Saxton / Alan Roberts, 7 points
ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill Wins Match Racing Championship at AC World Series San Francisco
The veteran crew, led by skipper Jimmy Spithill, overcame a spectacular capsize in Fleet Race 5 and later won the Match Racing Championship of the event sailed on San Francisco Bay. The U.S. Coast Guard estimated the spectator fleet at 1,000 vessels, while tens of thousands of people lined the shore.
ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL beat Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) by 18 seconds in a race that was decided on the start line. With less than 10 seconds to the start, Spithill dove to leeward of Barker and luffed his New Zealand opponent so hard that Barker wound up tacking to port to avoid a penalty.
The result was impressive considering that one hour earlier ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL lay on its port side. During the first fleet race of the day, the fifth in the series, Spithill was in second at the first reach mark and turning downwind in a mighty puff of approximately 20 knots. Spithill's bows dug in, the boat stood nearly vertical and then rolled onto its port side with the wingsail hitting the water.
None of the crew was injured in the incident, which forced them out of the race. They rebounded to place second in the day's second fleet race.
Spithill advanced to the championship after beating Artemis Racing - White (Terry Hutchinson) in the semifinals, while Emirates Team New Zealand beat Artemis Racing - Red (Nathan Outteridge).
In the fleet racing championship, J.P. Morgan BAR (Ben Ainslie) continued its strong showing with a 4-1. Ainslie has the high score of 63 points followed by Artemis Racing - White with 52 points, Emirates Team New Zealand with 47 points and ORACLE TEAM USA SPITHILL with 39 points, in a tie with Artemis Racing - Red.
The fleet race finale is scheduled for Sunday and will be broadcast nationally in the U.S. by NBC beginning at 1:30 pm PDT. The broadcast will include a replay of the match racing championship followed by the seventh and final fleet race, scheduled for 1:55 pm PDT.
AC World Series San Francisco Fleet Racing Championship (After 6 of 7 races)
AC World Series San Francisco Match Racing Championship
Guest Editorial: Henry Menin
It fulfilled all the dreams of even the most skeptical.
It provided "up close and personal" views of the most dramatic and exciting racing at the Olympic Games, where no race, no match and no series was assured to any competitor and where the odds makers surely must have lost a lot of money in trying to predict those who would finally ascend the podium to accept the Bronze, Silver and Gold medals.
In St. Petersburg, at the mid-year meeting, it was decided to eliminate from the Games in 2016 what has turned out to be the brightest star in the Olympic sailing firmament.
A Submission will be presented at the meeting in November to put Women's Match Racing back into the Olympics for 2016.
The logical reasons for having Women's Match Racing in the Olympics have been expressed many times:
- It has the best spectator factor of any of the disciplines
Cost has been raised as a negative factor, but in fact, the equipment cost is less than other disciplines where sails, spars, foils and even the boats themselves have to be replaced and transported to events around the world time after time during the 4 year period leading up to the Games.
For example, one cost saving measure going forward would be to remove the Women's Match Racing from the Sailing World Cup and to allow the women to compete in regattas which already feature the equipment they use in the Olympics (Sheboygan, St. Quay, Rio, etc.), where the entry fees are significantly less than the SWC events.
Also, using the Women's Match Racing Olympic Qualifiers as the seeding process for the Games would allow the Olympics themselves to eliminate the round robins, going directly to the quarter final knockouts and thereby reducing the number of racing days ...and cost of race officials, etc.... by approximately 1/2.
But there are other cost issues.
Is it cost effective, and even contrary to the stated position in Regulation 23.1.2, to now have MNAs that have invested in the match racing equipment cast it all aside and start anew by purchasing new equipment that will have to be replaced regularly during the 4 years leading to Rio?
Is it cost effective for MNAs to cast aside their investment in training programs, development of teams and coaches for women's match racing?
Is it fair, or even justifiable, to have the host country (which bid on the Games before this decision to change horses in mid-stream was made) to have to discard the investment they made in buying their Elliott 6Ms in preparation for the Olympics.
But cost is not and should not be the determining factor in your decision. The determining factor should be, "What is best for sailing in the Olympics?".
The answer to that question was made in Weymouth. Women's Match Racing was the center ring star of the event and portrayed Olympic sailing in the very best light. Does it really make sense to remove the "star" of the show from the next performance?
2012 RORC Season's Points Championship Winners Announced
The 2012 season, consisting of 10 offshore races, was host to unpredictable conditions ranging from the lightest of breezes to the roughest of seas. Many boats were pushed to their limits, particularly in the Myth of Malham Race when only 3 boats, one Two-Handed, held their nerve to finish. Father and daughter team, Simon and Nikki Curwen on Voador, won the race overall, beating the two other fully crewed finishers.
Two of the cross channel races had particular significance this year. The Cervantes Trophy Race was combined with the 50th Anniversary of the Deauville Race and attracted over 100 entrants from the five organising yacht clubs.
2012 was Nick Martin's year. The RORC member has raced his J/105, Diablo-J, Two-Handed through many RORC seasons, consistently finishing at the top end of the leader board.
Shorthanded racing has a growing number of devotees who take pleasure from the physical and mental demands of racing. Snatching mere moments sleep and going through manoeuvres other boats do fully crewed means that racing competitively against the main fleet requires stamina, grit and determination. Diablo-J's achievement cannot be underestimated: to win the Two Handed class is impressive, and to win IRC Three extraordinary, but to then place 3rd in IRC Overall is outstanding.
Diablo-J's 1st place in IRC Three follows a 4th placing in 2011 and they came through to beat the previous two time winner, Foggy Dew, into 2nd place. Foggy Dew, the JPK 10.10 raced by Noel Racine, raced to victory in class in the 50th Deauville Race/Cervantes Trophy but finished 27.2 points behind Diablo-J in season's points.
Full list of winners at www.rorc.org/2012-race-news/
40th Annual Weymouth Speed Week
The speed strip in the Portland harbour proves ideal due to its unique combination of flat water (created naturally) in the form of Chesil Bank and its angle to the prevailing South Westerly winds. With an all-sailors-welcome policy the WPNSA (which recently hosted the Sailing at the London 2012 Olympic Games) provides top of the range facilities and a friendly environment to ensure that the competitors, spectators and organisers can enjoy this special period of sporting history.
Chief Executive of the WPNSA, John Tweed commented, "We cannot express enough our excitement to once again host the annual Weymouth Speed Week event, particularly in this distinctive year - the 40th anniversary".
With the WPNSA hosting kite boarders, Wind surfers and Sailors reaching speeds of 35+ knots, there is no wonder why this event has proven so successful.
Held on Saturday the 6th to Friday the12th of October, its blend of fun, history and legendary status, is sure to prove Weymouth Speed week to be a great experience for those involved and all based within the prestigious Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
Planning A Route: In Search of the X-Factor
The numbers are being slowly whittled down, as organisers balance sailing, commercial and operational needs in search of the perfect route
"We invited cities to share their interests more than a year ago," explained Chief Operating Officer Tom Touber. "More than 60, 65 cities were actually interested."
The numbers are being slowly whittled down, as organisers balance sailing, commercial and operational needs in search of the perfect route.
"After the first round of applications, the team leading the process made a first assessment," Touber said. "Is the water deep enough - that's a hard criteria, of course - is it close to an international airport, etc. The level of backing from the local government is also checked.
"It all came down to 35 options, which are being thoroughly investigated. We sent out a team of three people, each visiting a different part of the world. They checked all operational facilities and the commitment of the organising committee and will return to the office by the end of next week."
It will then be time to debrief and cut down that list again with the help of data that is currently being crunched by Gonzalo Infante, the Spanish weather specialist who is assessing the viability of each possible route.
"My role is to quantify timing and elapsed times for the different options," said Infante. "In ocean racing, we're using routing tools to compute timing. It's a very well known algorithm, that tries to find the fastest route given a boat performance and a certain weather.
"I work with two sources of uncertainty: the first one is the weather and the second one is the boat performance. We need to use a lot of weather data to cover all the legs and all the climatic cycles. For example, you have years of El Niño or La Niña when the intensity of the trade winds changes.
"And remember that we are designing a new boat, that has not sailed yet. We have to manage that lack of real data through speed prediction software."
Such a complex equation takes time to be resolved but organisers are on course to have a finalised route by the end of 2012, with the announcement of the ports expected in January 2013.
'Skiff Chicks' Take on the 18s Big Guns
It was announced recently that Alexandra 'Alex' South (daughter of former Giltinan champion Adam South) would skipper an 18ft Skiff during the Australian 18 Footers League's 2012-2013 Season on Sydney Harbour.
19-year-old Alex has now named her ALL-GIRL TEAM of 23-year-old Frances Dargaville and 19-year-old Saskia Tidey, who are known as 'Skiff Chicks Racing'.
The trio will be only the second all-girl crew to attempt a season of competition in the 18s, which will begin with the $10,000 3-Buoys Challenge on 14 October.
Alex is confident her team will be more successful than the original. "The previous all-girl crew split up early in the season. We intend to become the first all-girl team to contest the Giltinan Championship since it began in 1938".
'Skiff Chicks Racing' has already attracted sponsorship interest. "We expect to be able to name a sponsor prior to our first race of the season", Alex added.
While the girls are confident of becoming the first all-girl team to contest the Giltinan, they also realize that taking on the world's best skiff sailors will be a tough task as most rookie teams have to overcome the lack of experience in such a demanding class.
That aside, the three girls are all talented young sailors and Adam South's experience as their coach will be invaluable.
The team will be one of 19 skiffs lining up for Race 1 of the 3-Buoys Challenge on Sunday 14 October. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League
Arrest Warrant Issued For French Sailor
An arrest warrant has been issued today for French solo sailor Marc Guillemot after he failed to turn up in court yesterday to face charges in the UK.
Guillemot faces prosecution for ignoring ship traffic separation schemes through the Dover Strait during an attempt to break the Round Britain record in June.
A statement was issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency states: 'Marc Guillemot is wanted in connection with two charges of travelling the wrong way in the Dover Strait and SUNK Traffic Separation Schemes."
This is quite a serious charge - the MCA has historically taken a dim view of professional mariners who flout international collision regulations in what is the busiest shipping route in the world. Those who have ignored them have been given hefty fines.
In the last sailing-related case the MCA brought to court in 2006, they prosecuted fellow French sailor Antoine Koch on a similar charge. He was fined £15,000 plus £2,600 in costs and the magistrates threw the book at him, saying he had put lives at risk. -- Elaine Bunting in her blog:
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