Editor's note: Yes, I missed an issue last night. That transgression involved a highway, a deer, a smashed car and a missed plane flight. Life got a bit less boring, briefly...
Argo Group Gold Cup
Photo by Charles Anderson. Click on image for event galleries.
Hamilton, Bermuda: Match racing action in the Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 8 of the World Match Racing Tour, continued Wednesday with the one-hour early 7:00AM skippers meeting and the 8:00AM first warning for Flight 2 for Group 2. With the sun barely up in Bermuda, in a breeze that built all morning with gusts in the low twenties, spinnakers were only used for the first flight of the day. Group 2 flights 3 and 4 were non-spinnaker matches.
Penalty flags flew everywhere just like the matches on Tuesday, every match in Group 2 Flight 2 garnered a penalty or two. In Group 3 racing later in the day there was even a collision between Don Wilson (USA) and an umpire boat, a collision between boats racing and rumors of a boat colliding with the harbour wall. Mattias Rahm was black flagged in Flight 1 of Group 3 against Phil Robertson (NZL), getting an immediate disqualification for three simultaneous penalties.
This was the second black flag DSQ in the 2009 Argo Group Gold Cup. The third black flag came out in the Group 1, Flight 5 Match 2, between Ian Evans (USA) and Eric Monnin (SUI) with Monnin getting the automatic, instant win. The fourth black flag came out in the Group 1 Flight 6 Match 4, between Swinton and Williams with the win going Williams way.
British Olympic Gold medal winner Ben Ainslie was first out of the box in the first match of flight 2 for Group 2 at the Argo Group Gold Cup Wednesday morning. He took the win from Bermuda's Olympian Paula Lewin-Crews. Ainslie went on to win three matches today. With another first in Tuesday's dying breeze, he stands at the top of Group 2 with 4-0, four wins and no losses.
Following Ainslie in Group 2 with 3-1 records are Adam Minoprio (NZL), Seb Col (FRA), and Bjorn Hansen. Dave Perry (USA) is 2-2, Alvaro Marinho (POR) stands 1-3 while Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) and Paula Lewin Crews (BER) are winless at 0-4.
Group 3 took to the water after the 4th flight for Group 2 and also completed four flights after a slight pause to allow a powerful wind and rain squall to pass. They raced the two pre-squall with jib and main only, but the rainstorm dampened the wind enough to allow the boats to sail with spinnakers. Group 2 and 3 will complete their round robin on Thursday, weather permitting.
Former Bermuda Gold Cup champion Mathieu Richard was in perfect form taking all four of his matches today to stand 4-0 going into the group's last three flights scheduled to be completed along with Group 3's final three on Thursday. Last year's champion Johnie Berntsson lost one match today to Chicago, Illinois skipper Don Wilson and is tied for second in the group with three time Gold Cup champ and past World Tour champion Peter Gilmour (AUS) at 3-1. Gilmour lost his Flight 3 race to Phil Robertson (NZL).
Racing will get underway on Thursday at 9.00am weather permitting. The forecast is for 40 knots of wind to come through so there might be some waiting around before the action starts again.
Results from Day 2
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4-2
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 6-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 3-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-3
Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch 4-1
Reuben Corbett (NZL) 3-3
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1-5
Ian Evans (USA) 1-5
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 3-1
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge 3-1
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 4-0
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 3-1
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 1-3
David Perry (USA) 2-2
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 0-4
Paula Lewin Crews (BDA) 0-4
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-0
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 3-1
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 2-2
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 2-2
Blythe Walker (BDA) 1-3
Donald Wilson (USA) 1-3
Charlie Enright (USA) 0-4
TP52 World Championship
Photo by Nico Martinez / TP52 World Championship. Click on image to enlarge.
The autumn evening sun was already dipping low in the sky as Quantum Racing (USA) took the winning gun for the second of two races today at the TP52 World Championship off Palma, Mallorca. Their win, paired with a fifth from the first heat ensures the current world champions lead overall by a single point.
Even if the sea breeze took its time to build and only peaked with short spells offering 11 knots and mostly averaged around 6-8 knots, it proved a tricky afternoon over which the usual Palma tactical conventions did not always hold true, and consistency in the ten boat fleet across these first two windward-leeward races proved elusive.
After two races Quantum Racing (USA) lead the Russian team on Synergy who took a second and fifth and are matched on the same seven points tally by Alberto Roemmers' current Copa del Rey champions on Matador (ARG) who took a third and a fourth.
Real Club Nautico de Palma member John Cook on the helm of Cristabella - which last year won the Copa del Rey as Iberdrola with Terry Hutchinson as tactician - triumphed in the first race. The British crew, with Manchester export John Cutler (NZL) as tactician, recognised the additional wind pressure and small shift to the right of the course on the first beat, and after a modest start, were able to cross the fleet two thirds of the way up the leg.
They lead at the windward turn by a clear 40 metres from Synergy and went on to win by 22 seconds with Matador third.
It was after 1800hrs in the early evening when Quantum Racing's afterguard of Morgan Larson (USA) and Mark Mendelblatt (USA) conspired to read the opening beat of the second race to best effect, calling the favourable left shift on the left of the track ahead of the slight extra pressure on the right. The current champions were ahead at the windward mark to lead local favourites Bribon across the finish.
Overall standings after Day 1
1. Quantum Racing (USA, Terry Hutchinson, 6 points
2. Synergy, RUS, Sergey Pichuguin, 7
3. Matador, ARG, Alberto Roemmers, 7
4. Bribon, ESP, Gonzalo Araujo, 9
5. Cristabella, GBR, John Cook, 10
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Makin' It Work
Alinghi 5 has been a designer-driven project, with the sailors off learning to race multihulls on various different regatta circuits. However, Rodney Ardern, a Kiwi member of the Alinghi sailing team, was intimately involved in the final months of setting up the giant Swiss catamaran. With four laps of the planet and five America's Cups behind him he is enjoying his latest challenge
Right: A second trip over now greying glaciers as Alinghi 5 heads to Genoa
Seahorse: What has been your involvement in Alinghi 5?
Rodney Ardern: This really has been a designer-driven programme, basically because not many of the sailing team have a lot of experience in these big multihulls, though we have sailed smaller ones. So for the past year or so the sailing team has been concentrating on how to sail multihulls while the designers have been focusing on the design of the boat and the systems.
The sailing team became involved more on the practical side later on, finishing off the boat over the final months in the shed. I have been involved mainly with the deck systems, the steering, the board lifting, the sheeting positions; things like that. There aren't actually too many systems onboard regarding ropes and blocks and winches, but of course there are a lot of hydraulics and electronics and they are quite complex.
SH: What have been the main challenges?
RA: For us the integration of the electronics, the hydraulics and the power system; that's something we've never experienced before as an America's Cup team. There are plenty of powered racing boats out there, but they're probably not as complex as this one!
SH: You do have some experience with hydraulic-powered systems, though?
RA: Yes, a little bit with Alfa Romeo, which has powered winches, and of course all the Volvo 70s have powered systems for canting their keels, with electro-hydraulic PLC-controlled systems. It's nothing new, it has been around for probably 10 years with a lot of the big cruising boats using these systems, along with a lot of the boats competing in the Maxi Worlds in the past few years, they've all had it. It's not new technology. I guess we are just bringing it to a higher level.
Full article at Seahorse magazine: www.seahorsemagazine.com/alinghi.html
Special Eurobutt reader price on Seahorse subscriptions, see www.seahorse.co.uk/shop/
Two More Entries for Louis Vuitton Trophy - Nice
The World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) and Louis Vuitton have announced the addition of two world-class sailing teams for the Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta to be held in Nice next month (7th to 22d November). This brings the regatta total to eight confirmed teams, which is the ideal number for end-of-summer expected weather conditions.
"We are extremely pleased to welcome TeamOrigin, the British team led by Sir Keith Mills, which becomes a preferential shareholder in WSTA and intends to compete at all of the Louis Vuitton regattas over the next 12 months," says Laurent Esquier, CEO WSTA.
TeamOrigin, skippered by three-times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie with two-times Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy as tactician and managed by round the world winning yachtsman Mike Sanderson, will also provide their training boat GBR-75 for the Nice event.
The second new entry sees the return of an iconic Italian sailing brand, the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's (YCCS) Azzurra. In 1983, Azzurra was Italy's first-ever America's Cup challenger. The new Azzurra team will be led by YCCS member Giovanni Maspero of Joe Fly, and on the water skippered by Francesco Bruni with Tommaso Chieffi as tactician, whilst managed by multiple Olympic medallist Alessandra Sensini and others.
The event in Nice, to be sailed over the dates 7th to 22d of November, is to be called the ''Louis Vuitton Trophy - WSTA - Nice". The event is sanctioned by the world authority of sailing based in England, the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).
Following the merger of Joe Fly with Azzurra, eight teams will compete for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice: Azzurra (ITA), BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), K-Challenge (FRA), Swedish Challenge Artemis (SWE), Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), TeamOrigin (GBR) and Team French Spirit (FRA).
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An Interview with Mike Urwin
Mike Urwin, RORC Rating office Technical Director, explains to Louay Habib some of the changes proposed to IRC, and the overall objective of the IRC rule.
LH: What is IRC's underlying philosophy?
MU: We want IRC to be a permissive rule. IRC Rules say it is for ballasted monohull keel boats with not more than two masts; those are the only fundamental restrictions we want to apply. So, if someone comes along with something novel, like water ballast or canting keels or asymmetric spinnakers, or bowsprits… we want to embrace that but until we get to understand what the new idea is all about, we try as hard as possible to be cautious in the way we rate the boats. If we don't know what the effect will be on the performance of the boat, we tend to over compensate. Do we always get that right? No. Do we then do something about it? Yes.
LH: How in practice is IRC managed?
MU: IRC does not rate individual boats, it rates the features of boats in general. We are not looking at individual boats but the whole fleet. So, as and when necessary, we make changes to the rule on an annual basis, it is very, very rare that we will make changes during the middle of a season. We run a research agenda and at the end of each year the IRC Technical Committee decides which things we want to change, which things need more work and which things are to be left alone, as they are perfectly alright. These changes all happen on a yearly basis; January 1st in the Northern Hemisphere, June 1st in the Southern Hemisphere.
We also look at what is going on, out there on the water, especially particular styles of boats that are doing well. At the recent UK IRC owners meeting, there was noticeable comment, from around the country that boats with bowsprits were doing perhaps rather too well. That fits with our own observation, so the likelihood is that there will be a small tweak to that next year.
For the full interview and more information about IRC:
Oyster Palma 2009 Regatta
Photo by Barry Pickthall, PPLmedia.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
This year's Oyster Palma 2009 regatta may have been weak on wind, but the warm sunshine eventually generated a sparkling sea breeze each day to make the racing just as much fun as the parties that followed this traditional end of season European series for these 23 crews representing Australia, Britain, Hong Kong, Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and USA,
In the final race for the Lewmar Trophy, the Spanish Sine Die crew led their class from start to finish. Not even a concerted spinnaker luff from John Marshall's Oyster 56 Rock Oyster put them off from their mission, and it was not until well into the second round that they eventually conceded the overall lead to the larger Class 1 yachts.
The two Oyster 56's Rock Oyster, and Ulrika of London owned by Jari Ovaskainen, took second and third, but were later split on corrected time by Aidan Millerick's evergreen Oyster 45 Tusitala - a performance that confirmed 2nd place in the overall class standings after their class victory in the down-wind passage race for the Dolphin Sails Cup from Andraitx back to Palma the previous day.
Within Class 1, two Oyster 655s, Heinrich Schulte' Anabasis and the Russian team led by Alexander Markarov on Solway Mist II, gave the Sotto Vento crew a determined run for their money in this final encounter, and though Anabasis eventually finished 2nd across the line behind Robert Gillespie's mighty Oyster 82 Sarita, her 7 second lead over Sotto Vento was reversed on corrected time. Solway Mist II also squeezed in ahead of Sarita on corrected time to give her Russian crew, who also won the passage race to Andraitx for the Pelagos Yachts Cup earlier in the week, something to celebrate in this, their first Oyster regatta.
1st: Sotto Vento - Oyster 655 - Richard Smith
2nd: Anabasis - Oyster 655 - Heinrich Schulte
3rd: Sarita - Oyster 82 - Robert Gillespie
4th: Flying Duckman - Oyster 655 - Chris Ducker
1st: Sine Die - Oyster 46 - Jesus Gasca
2nd: Tusitala - Oyster 45 - Aiden Millerick
3rd: Rock Oyster - Oyster 56 - John Marshall
4th: Ulrika of London - Oyster 56 - Jari Ovaskainen
Royal Thames Trophy (Overall combined)
1st: Sotto Vento
2nd: Sine Die
3rd: Flying Duckman
Garmin Hamble Winter Series
Photo by Paul Wyeth, www.pwpictures.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
On Saturday a strong but steady 250 degree wind produced exciting conditions for the first day of the Hamble Big Boat Series. With a few broken halyards, some crew injuries, and a collision between two yachts, the IRC fleet dwindled from seven starters to three by the third race. Demanding conditions perhaps, but spinnakers were flown throughout as the gusts topped 30 knots.
In the IRC class Neil Martin's J-133 'Jammy Dodger' scored three firsts from Ian Matthews' J-122 'Jinja'. The other J-133, Bill Blain's 'Batfish III' and Charles Ivill's 'John B' were forced to retire from Race 2 after a heavy collision. The 45ft Level Racing Class, now consisting exclusively of Farr 45's, saw Shaun & Emily Frohlich's 'Exabyte 4' as the most consistent, scoring 1,2,2 out of the six boats entered.
On Sunday morning a more moderate and shifty westerly breeze provided a perfect opener for the main Garmin series, with the midday high water providing an ideal scenario for the race committee. Black Group racing was set along the Brambles Bank with windward marks at the Air Canada and Flying Fish buoys, while the White Group set up closer to the mainland shore.
Next weekend (10/11th Oct.) also sees the Autumn Championships for Laser SB3, J-80, and J109, with the conclusion of the Hamble Big Boat Series the following weekend. -- Jonty Sherwill
Full results on www.garminhamblewinterseries.co.uk
Letters are limited to 350 words. No personal attacks are permitted. We do require your name but your email address will not be published without your permission.
* From Larry Sevitt: Hello the whole global warming thing has become sickening. 90% of the people involved are just interested in making money & not interested in saving the planet. Maybe because people are blotting it out of their minds as the problem is so vast they think it will go away, I have written many times before that I have for over 20 years lived on the sea as a new age sea traveller.
We are told eat omega 3 normally good for the human body unfortunately the same humans are dumping billions of tons on a daily basis of waste into the seas & oceans including streams rivers canals & lakes. the dumping includes chemicals metals etc. which is entering into the sea life systems it is that that is causing the coral reefs to die ( i.e. the great barrier reef ) it is also the gas from all this sewage that is entering the atmosphere & causing global warming. The same gases are warming the seas causing the ice caps to melt at an alarming rate. But the powers to be & the experts who suddenly have come out of the wood work ( I say this because since 1985 when I discovered when travelling the seas that the weather was not normal every where we went & asked the fishermen with generations of knowledge & would previously put their finger in the air & say what the local weather was going to be now they were hunching their shoulders saying they didn't know.)
I tried informing people that the planet was going through a colossal change I wrote then to the media but obviously then as for that matter now I was regarded as some kind of nut. When we want oil or gas we spend billions to build rigs & pipe lines to get get what we want. but when it comes to dumping our waste we dump it in the seas out of sight out of mind & ignore the consequences.
I am now a man of 70yrs. however I will leave with this... should pipe lines be built to carry the waste to for example to the sarah desert & then dumped on the sands allowing the sun to then purify (I have seen this done) then that could be re-used & be a source of income plus other derivatives to the indigenous peoples of these areas. Maybe there is out there a media source caring enough to really look into this.
* From Jason Hayman: I find it incredible that in the battle over the next America's Cup venue, and all the coverage it has received, no one has mentioned the money!
It is a well known fact that venues wishing to host large yachting events, whether they be Volvo stopovers, or America's Cup matches have to stump up for the privilege. Gone are the days when a yachting event venue is be chosen simply because it is a nice place to go yachting. Venues are chosen either because the event sponsor wants to market their wares there or because the host city itself wishes to attract the event, to further its own economic interests.
Why not make it so these deals have to be openly declared within the sport, then everybody will understand where they stand. Bernie has never been ashamed of it in F1...
If the rumours circulating are true, there is a very good reason why Alinghi has chosen RAK, and it has nothing to do with sailing.
The Beneteau First 44.7 is a fantastic Farr designed yacht, fully equipped for both cruisong and racing. This Beneteau First 44.7 has many new sails 2008, two new mains late delivered 2009 still in the bags. Twin track forestay for racing, new harken furling system for cruising.
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The Last Word
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