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The Commentators Tried...
Photo by Chris Cameron, www.chriscameron.co.nz. Click on image for photo gallery.
One has to give credit to Andy Green and Tucker Thompson for a valiant effort today in the TV production commentary. Only one boat sailed the course in the first race of the Louis Vuitton Series as Luna Rossa boycotted the first race, awaiting the International Jury to hear its protest. One boat, no racing. That said, just watching an AC72 at over 40 knots one is a bit awe struck, mostly with feelings of "good God these things are scary fast, no wonder they're all wearing crash helmets. I sure hope there are no more deaths or injuries." You have to be a very brave person to sail these beasts.
* Emirates Team New Zealand scored the first point in the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America's Cup Challenger Series, today when it completed the nearly 16-nautical-mile course in 46 minutes, 27 seconds.
The crew took Aotearoa onto the racecourse doing 30 knots boatspeed and riding on its hydrofoils. The top speed was around 42.8 knots and the crew averaged 20.7 knots around the course.
Max Sirena, skipper of Luna Rossa Challenge 2013:
"I want to clarify the reason for which we are not racing today. As everybody knows we have protested the introduction of new Class Rules without the unanimous agreement of the competing teams. By racing under these rules, enforced by the Regatta Director with Race Notices 185 and 189, we would somehow silently approve them. This is not the case. Therefore we have no choice but to stay ashore until the International Jury has reached a decision on the matter. We have been forced into this position. We did not come to San Francisco to watch races, but to race."
Kiwis Are As Good As Brits At Understatement...
Prime Minister John Key admits taxpayers who put up tens of millions of dollars for New Zealand's America's Cup challenge are probably tiring of the courtroom games.
In farcical scenes today, Team New Zealand were racing themselves after Italy's Luna Rossa refused to take the start line for the opening race of the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger elimination series.
The Italians are awaiting a jury hearing over their protest about rule changes.
Key distanced National from the decision to contribute $36 million toward New Zealand's challenge, saying that had been decided by the previous government.
"If they could win the cup and bring it back to New Zealand there's no question that's a brilliant thing for Auckland and New Zealand and a great way to promote the country," he said.
"But you gotta say a sport that spends as much time practising as it does in the courtroom is a bit tiresome for everyone really".
Hat Trick For Hansen
Photo by Brian Carlin / AWMRT, cubeimages.com. Click on image to enlarge.
Marstrand, Sweden: Champagne flowed again for Bjorn Hansen and his eWork Sailing Team, after a long day on the water resulted in the local heroes winning Stena Match Cup Sweden for a second year in a row. This takes Hansen's victories to three at Scandinavia's top match racing event, the third event on the 2013 Alpari World Match Racing Tour, ahead of Russell Coutts and Dean Barker's two victories apiece, but behind Peter Gilmour's seven wins.
All was not going well for Hansen early this afternoon as he found himself 2-0 down against New Zealander Phil Robertson's WAKA Racing. But in the 10-12 knot winds and with brilliant sunshine that had encouraged the inhabitants of Marstrand, along with legions of corporate guests, to turn out in force, the defending champion seemed set on extending the racing as long as possible.
But it was the fifth and deciding match that proved the hardest for Hansen as Robertson was fastest out of the blocks.
However in just one of numerous encounters on the race course today between the two equally aggressive finalists, a dial down on the second beat resulted in Robertson taking the lead only for him to lose it again just as they came into the top mark for the final time.
Among the estimated 30,000 strong crowd lining Marstrand's rocky shoreline, a massive cheer went up as Hansen regained the advantage and then proceeded to fend off Robertson down the run to take the deciding point and victory at Stena Match Cup Sweden.
In the Petit-Final between Keith Swinton's Black Swan Racing and Simone Ferrarese's team it was the Italians who prevailed to take third place - well deserved, the Congressional Cup winner having led out of Qualifying.
The Alpari World Match Racing Tour resumes across the Atlantic on 6th August, with the Chicago Match Cup.
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team beat Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing 3-2
Petit Final Results
Simone Ferrarese (ITA) Ferrarese Racing Team beat Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-0
Overall Results Stena Match Cup Sweden
1. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) eWork Sailing Team, 31 points
2. Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, 28
3. Simone Ferrarese (ITA) Ferrarese Racing Team, 24
4. Keith Swinton (AUS) - Black Swan Racing, 20
5. Ian Williams (GBR) - Team GAC Pindar, 17
6. Adam Minoprio (NZL) Team Alpari FX, 15
7. Staffan Lindberg (FIN) Alandia Sailing Team, 12
8. Johnie Berntsson (SWE)- Stena Sailing Team, 10
9. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) - Vannes Agglo Sailing Team, 5
10. Mathieu Richard (FRA) GEFCO Match Racing Team, 3
11. Taylor Canfield (ISV) USone, 0
12. Henrik Eyerman (SWE) Team Henrik Eyerman, 0
Even The Little Guys Need The Right Safety Inventory
The fiercely competitive Quarter Ton class has a busy calendar of racing and at around 26 ft long they are crewed by a team of five. Safety equipment has to conform to ISAF Category 4 so the quarter tonner needs to properly equipped. Ocean Safety is setting the standard by delivering a full inventory of life saving products to one of the fleet, Bad Toad GBR 9827.
The Ocean Safety logo will be visible on Bad Toad's mainsail next month at the Quarter Ton Cup 15th - 17th July at Cowes.
"Our partnership with Ocean Safety has given us access to the largest range of safety equipment available," comments co-owner Jo Assael. "Their expert advice means the boat is fully equipped to the regulations, whilst their innovative products minimise weight and storage volume, critical on a small racing yacht. Our Kru lifejackets are effortless to race in, extremely comfy, and the unique neck/yoke design means the crew aren't stuck on the rail during tacks any more.
Bad Toad, an MG 26 built to IOR in 1992, and now optimized to IRC, has already enjoyed success this year with wins at the Royal Southern Yacht Club's Friday night series. "It's good to get the safety message out to this active fleet," says Ocean Safety's Charlie Mill.
Marc Guillemot New Title Holder Of The North Atlantic Record
On Saturday 6th June, Marc Guillemot smashed the solo North Atlantic record for a monohull with a time of 8 days, 5 hours, 20 minutes and 20 seconds; 15 hours, 48 minutes and 11 seconds less than the previous record set by the British skipper Alex Thomson in July 2012. Finishing at 0439hrs UTC (0639hrs CET), the skipper of Safran covered the 2880 miles of the distance between New York and The Lizard at an average speed of 14.59 knots. He is now on his way back to his home port of la Trinite-sur-Mer in Brittany.
The skipper of Safran, who previously smashed the record twice with a crew on a multihull (in 1984 and 1988), has done it again on his first attempt sailing solo on a monohull.
There was a race within the record and Marc Guillemot has also won his duel with the Polish skipper, Zbigniew Gutkowski. He moved ahead thanks to better timing with a gybe as he moved up towards Ireland. "This battle against Gutek was a source of additional satisfaction. Unlike most record attempts, I wasn't just racing against the clock," stressed Marc.
Marc Guillemot will be competing in the Fastnet Race in August racing double-handed with Pascal Bidegorry. A good way to prepare for the Transat Jacques Vabre that the two men will take part in on Safran next November.
49er and 49er FX European Championships
Thusgaard Olsen are Denmark's latest sailing sensations after they became the SAP 49er FX European champions on Sunday on the bay where they learned to sail as seven year olds 13 years ago.
It was a momentous day for the 49ers and Olympic sailing generally too with a fantastic example of the 'theatre style' racing close to the shore. Aarhus's weather gods delivered on cue with a sea breeze allowing the short course, 500 metres long by 200 metres wide, to be laid perpendicular to the long promenade where the crowd basked in glorious sunshine. For the spectators and for television it made what can seem a remote sport exciting and understandable. Sport Event Denmark, Sailing Aarhus and Sport Aarhus Events have yet to confirm whether are bidding for the 2018 ISAF world championships, but if they do, this will provide a powerful case study.
There was a dramatic backdrop too as the Aarhus has been simultaneously hosting the start of The Tall Ships Race. The compact city has happily handled the hundreds of thousands of people flooding into the harbour over the weekend.
The men's races went down to the wire. But after their capsize, New Zealand's Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, the Olympic silver medalists, showed champion calm and skill. They won the next race and with the points level with Britain's Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign going into the last race, they got a good start and were able to get ahead of the British and manage them for the whole race. The French pair of Julien d'Ortoli and Noe Delpech took bronze. It was the second New Zealand medal of the day after Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech won a hard-fought bronze in the women's FX.
SAP men's 49er European Championships
1. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke, 89 points
2. Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign, 93
3. Julien d'Ortoli and Noe Delpech, 112
SAP women's 49er FX European Championships
1. Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen, 87
2. Martine Soffiatti Grael and Kattena Larsen Kunze, 104
3. Alexandra Maloney and Molly Meech, 108
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Quantum Racing's Royal Cup Success in Ibiza
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Quantum Racing made it a second 52 Super Series regatta win in a row when they crossed the last finish line of the Royal Cup Marina Ibiza today in second place, completing a 1,2 final day to run out regatta winners by seven clear points ahead of Tony Langley's Gladiator. The crew which is skippered by Ed Baird for owner Doug DeVos add the giant silver Royal Cup to the Conde de Godo Trophy they won last month in Barcelona.
In Ibiza's predominantly light and challenging conditions the Quantum Racing afterguard of Terry Hutchinson and Spain's Olympic gold medallist Jordi Calafat did the best job of keeping in the strongest wind pressure, complementing their assured tactics with good all round boat speed in what were certainly the lightest conditions to prevail all the way through a 52 event for a number of years.
Quantum Racing won four races from nine starts.
Tony Langley's team, with Chris Larson calling the tactical shots, completed their best 52 SUPER SERIES regatta result yet when they took second step on the podium, one point up on the third placed 2012 52 SUPER SERIES champions Azzurra. Gladiator could make no impression on Quantum Racing in the first race today and finished second and ended up on the wrong side of Quantum Racing when a favourable shift came during the second race to cross fourth.
Final standings after nine races:
1 Quantum Racing, USA, Doug DeVos, 21 points
2 Gladiator, GBR, Tony Langley, 28
3 Azzurra, ITA, Alberto Roemmers, 29
4 Ran Racing, SWE, Niklas Zennstrom, 43
5 Provezza, TUR, Ergin Imre, 47
6 Interlodge, USA, Austin and Gwen Fraogmen, 51
7 Rio, USA Manouch Moshayedi, 52
8 Paprec, FRA, Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, 53
First Start of 2013 Transpac Tomorrow
Los Angeles, California, USA: Tomorrow at 1:00 PM local time, the first of three waves of offshore yachts will start their 2225-mile journey to Honolulu in the 2013 Transpacific Yacht Race, aka the Transpac. This epic biennial race, in its 47th edition and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club, this year features 59 entries from eight countries spread into 9 divisions.
The slowest of these two divisions, Divisions 7 and 8, will start tomorrow, with 15 entries crossing the starting line off Point Fermin, just west of Los Angeles Harbor. These include more modern cruiser-racers, like Michael Spies and Patinyakorn Buranrom's Tripp 40 Sansiri and their mixed team of Thai, American and Australian crew, and classic yachts, such as Matt Brooks's classic 1930 S&S 52-foot yawl Dorade and its all-pro mixed Anglo-American crew. The smallest boat in the race, Edward Sanford's J/105 Creative, will also be starting the race tomorrow, with a lean group of four crew.
In tomorrow's Division 7 start will be the highest percentage of international entries of any class in the race, with four of seven from outside the US. These include Sansiri from Thailand and three teams from Japan: Kazuhiro Nakajima's Reichel/Pugh 44 Gefion, Hioshi Kitada's X-41 KIHO, and Yuichi Takahashi's First 40 Ten Quarter. In all there are six entries in the race from Japan.
At yesterday's Skipper's and Navigator's Meeting, participants learned the weather forecast for this fleet looks good, at least for the beginning phase of this race. Well-established at 1029 mb, the center of the Pacific High lies 900 miles west of San Francisco and will drive 10-20 knot northwest winds along the southern California coastal waters for the next three days, with higher speeds offshore, allowing this early fleet to get a fast start to their southwesterly tracks towards Hawaii.
And while these entries in the first start are not fast enough to break any course records, they may still win racing under the ORR system that uses a special Transpac course model to equalize the boats under handicap for this race. -- Dobbs Davis
183 F18 catamarans from 29 countries join forces in Grossetto in Italy for the 14th International Formula 18 Association World Championship when measuring starts on July 6th/7th with the first of 15 races starting on 8th July.
The mix of sailors are Olympians, past and present, those wishing to gain large fleet competition as they plan their Nacra 17 bid for the Olympics and corinthian Club sailors.
Despite the stressful economic conditions in many countries, 183 teams from 29 countries represents a record, showing this large ISAF International Class is growing at a pace. Substantial growth is coming from South America with Argentina, Chile and Uruguay all being represented in Italy.
The Class started in 1993 as a "box design" in Brittany, (17sqm main, 4.15 sq jib, 21 sqm spinnaker, 180kg min. boat weight and 150kgs min crew weight) quickly spread across France and Europe, then the World gaining ISAF International status in 1996.
The 2014 World Championships are scheduled for Northern Ireland , while Denmark, Germany, Oman and Argentina battle out the rights to hold the 2015 regatta. -- Don Findlay
* From Alan Sefton: So, according to the Race Director, both the cats designed and built by ETNZ and Luna Rossa "are fully able to comply with the AC72 Class Rule. They can race on the first day, Sunday, June 7, with their equipment as it is now because it already meets the minimum requirements set out in my Safety Rules".
His "Safety Rules", which started out as "recommendations", have no status in this event, so, why should he (illegally) seek to change the class rules, "in the interests of safety", just a few days before the event is due to start?
Iain know better than this.
If two of the challengers can design and build boats to the Class Rules as they exist and meet his personal (meaningless) safety requirements, so can his masters, Oracle.
To paraphrase William S, something is rotten in the state of Denmark, and you can smell it all the way to New Zealand!!!!
And, the lengths to which Iain is going to explain his ill-considered course of action to attempt to completely neuter the International Jury, prompts another William S. Quote: "Methinks thou dost protest too much".
* From Adrian Morgan: It's always the good guys who get bamboozled. Ian Murray has a spotless reputation, which is probably why he was chosen for his role and why it is so tragic that he has been caught up in what can only be called a classic America's Cup scandal. He genuinely believes that he has formulated rules based solely on safety. Who did he listen to when the question of rudder winglets was raised? What persuaded him? And now he threatens the Nuclear Option unless everyone toes the line. And the winners are? Certainly not the public solely for whose entertainment this event, we are told time and again, has been staged. If you believe that...
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