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Danish Champion Takes On New Challenge
Sailors from Denmark, Germany, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden have come to Antigua to escape the icy conditions in Northern Europe. Amongst them is double Olympic Gold Medallist, Jesper Bank.
Racing on Class 40, Vaquita, Jesper Bank is one of Denmark's most outstanding athletes, winning two Olympic Gold medals and a Bronze. Besides his Olympic achievements, Jesper has also been at the helm for Swedish and German teams in the America's Cup and he is a former winner of the coveted ISAF World Match Racing Championship. However offshore racing is a new concept to the Dane.
"I have been friends with Andreas Hanakamp for many years, he invited me on board for the race promising fantastic sailing conditions. He has tried to persuade me that the '600 is like 15 short races linked together but I think he is understating things just a little! Even though the sea and air temperature is fantastic, sailing a 40-foot boat that distance will be very tough, especially upwind. I have not sailed in the Caribbean for over 15 years and I have never raced more than 140 miles before, so this will be the longest race I have ever done and totally different to my past.
Jesper Bank will be competing on board, Christof Petter's Austrian Class 40, Vaquita for the RORC Caribbean 600, which starts on 18 February from Antigua, WI.
Winning Group 2013 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, Race 2
While Mojo Wine, skippered by two times Australian 16 Footer champion James Dorron, took line honours, the 18s rookie skipper and his crew of Ricky Bridges and Mike McKensey were totally dismayed when they failed to get the judge's verdict as they crossed the line.
The team had sailed the entire course not knowing they had been recalled for an on course start.
With Mojo Wine being declared a non-starter, race honours went to the Thurlow Fisher Lawyers crew of Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas and Dave O'Connor, who took the official result by 22s from first race winner and defending champion Gotta Love It 7.
Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage, Peter Harris) held a narrow advantage over Thurlow Fisher at the final windward mark but could not hold off the Thurlow Fisher burst on the spinnaker run home.
A four lap windward-leeward course had been set and at the end of the first lap there was very little separating the first four skiffs with Mojo Wine just ahead of Events Clothing, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Pica.
Team Daly was also extremely fast downwind and was a nearby fifth.
On the next lap, Team Daly edged out her more fancied opposition to lead as the fleet approached the leeward mark.
When the skiff hit a wave and slowed dramatically, she was hit by another craft following the race and the resulting damage to her transom forced the skiff to retire.
Race 3 will be sailed on Tuesday with further races on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday 24 February. -- Frank Quealey, Australian 18 Footers League, www.18footers.com.au
Live Tracking: www.tractrac.com
Video Coverage and 'Pick-the-Podium': www.jj18footerstv.com
For all official race results, race reports and photographs: www.18footers.com.au
Coverage is also available at www.18skiff.com
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Tanguy De Lamotte Finishes Tenth
Tanguy de Lamotte crossed the finish line of the Vendee Globe on Sunday at 10hrs 58min and 10 seconds (French time). He finished in 10th place with a race time of 98 days 21 hours 56 minutes and 10 seconds. He has travelled 28,160 miles on the water at an average speed of 11.9 knots.
This was his first Vendee Globe and the third time for his Marc Lombard-designed Open 60 boat, which was launched in 1998. But this is the first time the boat has finished. (Note: the first entery was as Catherine Chabaud's Whirlpool in the 2000-01 edition, dismasting 500 miles from the finish, then as Marc Thiercelin's Pro-Form stopping in New Zealand with technical problems).
De Lamotte's race goal was to match the top times from the same generation as his boat in the 2000-01 race and despite his multiple problems in the North Atlantic, his time would have been good enough for fourth place in the race. The campaign objective was to generate interest and clicks to save children with heart disease. By the early hours of Sunday morning he had passed 175,000 clicks - enough for 14 operations - and rising fast.
Twice Initiatives Cœur suffered a collision with a UFO, the first causing major damage to the daggerboard and rudder. Close to exhaustion, it took many hours in the water and in the bowels of his boat to successfully clear the blocked daggerboard, plug the hole and install a pump to drain the water.
The last collision with a UFO damaged his rudder even more, making navigation on port tack very difficult. After passing near Flores in the Azores and a good progression towards Cape Finisterre, de Lamotte finally needed to add patience to his humour and handyman skills. An anticyclone in the Bay of Biscay gave him a little bit more time than he wanted to plan his arrival and worry about the busy maritime traffic. His time from the Equator to Les Sables of 17d 11h 48min was tenth fastest and almost four days slower than the next man.
Francis Joyon Has Smashed the Columbus Route Record
With a race time of 8 days, 16 hours, 07 minutes, 05 seconds, Francis Joyon shaved more than 1 day and 4 hours off his own record set back in 2008 (9 days 20 hrs 35 mins). Over the 3884 miles of the Great Circle route, the theoretical route, he sailed at an average speed of 18.66 knots (distance actually sailed 4379.5 miles at an average speed of 21.04 miles).
Francis Joyon left Cadiz (Spain) at 12 hours, 50 minutes 25 seconds GMT on Wednesday 6th February. He in fact improved on his previous record by 1 day, 4 hours, 27 minutes and 58 seconds. Indeed he becomes the first sailor ever to take the bar for the Columbus Route to less than 9 days.
An exceptional performance, when we see that Francis Joyon looked after his own strategy out at sea without any routing assistance or outside help.
The next challenge for Francis Joyon on IDEC will be an attempt at the North Atlantic record between New York and the Lizard. He is due to go on stand-by in the spring.
Team AISM Claims Second Leg To Abu Dhabi
At 159 miles, this leg from the Qatari capital, Doha was the longest of EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour, the region's only long distance offshore race. It was sailed in 20 knot northerlies and for the crews competing aboard their one design 30ft yachts, it proved to be drama-laden with their boats pushed to the limit, resulting in numerous broaches in the brisk conditions and an incident for the Abu Dhabi team who were airlifted after running aground.
At the front of the fleet a competition was going on between the three world-class heavyweights - the Bertrand Pace-steered and Dubai-based AISM, Sidney Gavignet's team on EFG Bank (Monaco) and Cedric Pouligny on team BAE Systems. Gavignet's team lost the lead when their yacht suffered problems with their electronics to be overtaken by Tuesday's triple in-port race winner, AISM. Into Abu Dhabi Team AISM continued her winning streak, with Team BAE Systems second and EFG Bank (Monaco) dropping to third.
The course itself was also taxing on the navigators who had to remain constantly on high alert with exclusion zones around oil fields on either side of the race track and several other obstructions to avoid en route.
The first boats to suffer were Team Renaissance and Team Delft Challenge, who, racing alongside each other, both ran aground, but were able to extract themselves and continue racing.
The fledgling crew sailing with Adil Khaled on Team Abu Dhabi was not so fortunate, they were sailing a course to the south of their opposition yesterday evening when rudder damage caused them to run aground to the north of Halat Tinah island, some 73 miles from the finish. They were unable to get their boat off and because of the depth, the race committee boat that shadows the fleet, could not assist them, so given the weather conditions, the UAE coastguard was asked to assist. Some five hours after the incident the crew was successfully transferred to their life raft from where they were airlifted to safety.
Leaving Manama on February 10th, EFG Bank Sailing Arabia - The Tour calls at Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Khaimah, Dibba and Mussanah and ends February 25th in Muscat. The racing will include in-port racing at selected locations.
In search of the ultimate
It starts with the systems
QED - Part 1
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Zefiro Takes Line Honours on the First Day of the NZ Millennium Cup
Racing to the International Superyacht Rule, a few points were emphasized at the briefing.
Racing would take place on a longer path, of several options, and would see yachts speed up past Auckland's northern suburbs to Gulf Harbour, circle Rakino Island and dash back toward the city. For every minute a yacht was forward of the start line, there'd be a ten minute penalty and distance between yachts was to be kept to 40metres.
S/Y Sea Toy was first off the line, followed by Southern Wind-built Zefiro. Janice of Wyoming was next to fly past the starter marker, with two time winner Silvertip following her and newly-launched Ohana charging up the harbour in pursuit.
Zefiro who was the star of the day, slipping over the line comfortably with all the grace she'd displayed throughout the race. Marking herself as one to watch for the remainder of the regatta, Zefiro's crew, sportsmanship and approach to the spirit of the regatta is sure to cement her as a favourite.
New HH 42 Nears Completion
The HH 42 is a fully optimized very high performance racing yacht. Designed by world, renowned Judel Vrolijk Yacht Design, the HH 42 is simply made to be the fastest in its size around the race-track, yet be competitively raced to win on IRC as well as HPR. It will have limited offshore capability to ensure it's always a leading feature at such classics as The Fastnet, The Rolex Sydney to Hobart and Rolex China Sea Race.
It will have full option packages to suit different racing styles for the world's different regions, including but not limited to, retracting propeller, wheel steering, carbon rigging, and deck gear packs with a variety of winch options. -- Jim Bolland
Running The Rhumblines
Wallis regarded by his rivals as a crafty skipper who is difficult to roll when he gets in front has been forced to battle it out in disturbed wind and water to record unfamiliar results in recent racing on Pioneer Bay.
Normally both he and his Reignition crew would have the recently revamped Murray Burns and Dovell designed 41 racing in the front of the fleet contesting corrected handicap honours but this has not been the case during the months of January and February.
However skipper Wallis seems to be the least concerned about what appears to be a slump in form with Reignition presently placed out of contention to win the Whitsunday Sailing Club Twilight sprint race championship.
There is no evidence to suggest that the championship winning Reignition crew are 'sand-bagging' in view of being allocated a favourable handicap when they line up against a high standard fleet to defend their 2012 Telcoinabox trophy in August.
Wallis a long term sail maker and a talented helmsman has the experience to manage and ultimately solve his problem with boat speed.
Sure while he is not happy with reading the names on the stern of the 2013 front runners Treasure V111 (Harold Menelaus). Rising Farrst (Tim Osborne) and the Damien Suckling helmed Another Fiasco the aging Reignition will probably have a secret 'go-fast ' sail when the crew line up to defend their title later this year.
Meanwhile their Whitsunday Sailing Club rivals are also aware that Reignition is yet to race with the rig which her crew have identified as the 'money bags' after they recorded their popular Telcoinabox trophy win over the Geoff Lavis helmed Sydney sloop UBS Wild Thing and the Damien Suckling skippered Another Fiasco last August.
While their title defence is a little under six months away skipper Wallis still has the time to show that Reignition will be on the pace but at the moment both he and his talented crew who presently hold 8th place on progressive points need to show an improvement or face a stiffer task to win back the respect and the ranking as the masters of racing over the tactically demanding Whitsunday Sailing club's short course 'torture track'. -- Ian Grant
Boris Jacobson, 1937-2013
In the 1960s Boris was one of the best sailors in the Finn class. He was born in Uppsala where the Finn itself was born and was a product of Rickard Sarby's team in Uppsala. Boris was the European champion in 1962 and 1963, and was the runner-up at the Finn Gold Cup, also in 1962 and 1963. "Boran" was the Swedish champion no less than five times.
He represented Sweden at the Olympics in 1964 - Enoshima, Japan, where he placed 14th.
Many current sailors probably remember him as presenting the prizes at the Finn class 60th Anniversary Regatta in Uppsala in 2009.
Swedish sailing has lost one of its greatest Finn sailors and the Finn class has lost a former champion.
She participated to the five first Vendee Globe Challenges (under the names Fleury Michon X, Votre nom autour du Monde, Aquarelle, and Roxy), successively handled by Philippe POUPON (1989,1993), Bertrand de BROC (1997), Simonet BIANCHETTI (2001) and Anne LIARDET (2005).
After having received a thorough refit in 1998 (at yard MAG under management by yacht designer Marc LOMBARD), and received a sloop rig (she was orginally a ketch) and equipped with a canting keel and two asymetric daggerboards, she established a east-to-west circumnavigation with French skipper Philippe MONNET (under the name Uunet)!
Legendary canadian skipper Mike BIRCH also took her in the 2002 Route du Rhum and the 2003 Transat Jacques Vabre.
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