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BMW Oracle Racing Wins The 33rd America's Cup
Photo by Thierry Martinez, www.thmartinez.com. Click on image for photo gallery.

America's Cup Valencia, Spain: BMW ORACLE Racing, the American challenger, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club, won the 33rd America's Cup Match on Sunday in Valencia, sweeping past the Swiss defender, Alinghi, to a 2-0 victory.

This was an historic race for the oldest trophy in international sport, featuring two of the most innovative boats on the planet. BMW ORACLE Racing's trimaran, USA, powered by the largest wing sail ever built, proved to be the faster of the two multihulls, overpowering Alinghi's catamaran in both races.

After a long postponement on Sunday afternoon, racing started at 16:25 in 7-8 knots of wind. There was an unusual start to the race, with Alinghi entering the start box very late. In fact, they were on the wrong side of the start box at the 5-minute gun, forcing the Umpires to assess a penalty.

BMW ORACLE Racing started with more speed, but Alinghi held held the right hand side of the race course and prospered early when the wind shifted to the right. At one point, the advantage line was as big as 600-meters to the Swiss.

But before the top mark, the BMW ORACLE Racing crew made a perfect layline call. After tacking on the line to the mark, BMW ORACLE Racing saw Alinghi cross ahead, but cede the inside position at the mark to USA, and that was all the advantage the challenger would need to lead around the mark by 28 seconds. From then onwards, the powerful USA boat extended its lead, to cross the finishing line ahead by 5.26.

At one point, Alinghi was flying a red protest flag, but the team quickly confirmed after finishing there would be no protest.

With the win, BMW ORACLE Racing becomes the first U.S. challenger to win the Match since Dennis Conner hoisted the Cup with his Stars & Stripes team in Fremantle, Australia in 1987. Today also marks the first win for an American team since 1992 when Bill Koch's America3 successfully defended the Cup in San Diego.

BMW ORACLE Racing crew list for Race Two of the 33rd America's Cup:

Brad Webb (NZL) - Bowman - 1st America's Cup win
Simone de Mari (ITA) - Pitman - 1st America's Cup win
Ross Halcrow (NZL) - Jib Trimmer - 2nd America's Cup win (1995, 2010)
Dirk de Ridder (NED) - Wing Sail Trimmer - 1st America's Cup win
Joey Newton (AUS) - Wing Sail Caddy - 1st America's Cup win
John Kostecki (USA) - Tactician - 1st America's Cup win
James Spithill (AUS) - Skipper/Helmsman - 1st America's Cup win
Matteo Plazzi (ITA) - Navigator - 1st America's Cup win
Thierry Fouchier (FRA) - Aft Pit - 1st America's Cup win
Matthew Mason (NZL) - Mast - 3rd America's Cup win (1995, 2000, 2010)
Larry Ellison (USA) - Afterguard - 1st America's Cup win

americascup.com
bmworacleracing.com
alinghi.com

* Brad Butterworth, Alinghi team skipper and tactician. Photo by Photo: Carlo Borlenghi, Luca Butto Gudo Trombetta/ALINGHI. Click on image for photo gallery.

 

Brad Butterworth

"We were a bit disappointed the whole thing is over in two races, but you have to hand it to Oracle. What they wound up with is like a plane, not a boat. So they deserve to beat us. They went very fast and sailed well. Give all credit to them."

On the pre-start penalty: "We had a little problem; the start line was difficult to get to at our end. There were a lot of boats near the port end and we had to gybe around and were late to the starboard end. And that was full of boats too. We were a couple of seconds late and got a penalty, but that wasn't going to decide the race."

On the last 10 years: "It's always been good. Tonight's a bit of a disappointment because we lost, but we've been sailing together since 2001 and here it is 2010. We've had a fantastic record. I've always enjoyed this team. The people we've had are fantastic. It'll be some of the best memories forever."

* Even when you thought it could not get any worse - it did. The defense club - Societe Nautique De Geneve's (SNG) - had their Race Committee actually go on strike and refuse to start Sunday's race ordered by ISAF approved PRO Harold Bennett. To begin the second race of the Match, Bennett was forced to draft Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) observer Tom Ehman and a Guardia Civil cop on board the RC boat and ordered them to run the flags as Bennett counted down himself.

In the face of the SNG RC's intransigence, Bennett's solution was to draft Ehman and the Guardia Civil cop and order them to run the flags. The race was started at 4:25, just 5 minutes before the deadline and over the SNG RC's strike. Without Bennett's decisive action, the Cup would still be on hold for days, if not weeks. -- Cory E. Friedman in our sister publication, his reports at www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/07/cf/

* Bob Fisher confirms the report in Sail-World.com:
On board the committee boat, the members of the SNG refused to handle the flags. It was left to the Golden Gate YC representative and a chase boat driver to assist Harold Bennett. The reason for the SNG spat was unclear, but it has been suggested that they would have preferred not to race. The GGYC representative said: 'I will not comment on it, except to say that it was the most disgraceful behaviour I have ever encountered.'

Funny Headline

www.sail-world.com

* An hilarious mixup of headlines... from our old friend Nigel Cherrie in Auckland:
"See the headline to The Vicar's article - I know the Cup has been painful, but tortuous?" Click on the image to enlarge.


18ft Skiffs Giltinan Championship
Photo by Christophe Favreau, www.christophefavreau.book.fr. Click on image for photo gallery.

Giltinan Championship Sydney Harbour: The UK Project Racing team totally dominated Race 2 of the Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship to score an impressive 2m2s win on Sydney Harbour today.

Project Racing's team of Andy Budgen (Scotland), James Barker (England) and Matt Mc Govern (Ireland) grabbed the lead shortly after the start and were never headed as they powered away from the world's best 18 Footer crews.

As the winner crossed the finishing line at Clarke Island the second placed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas) had just gone around the final wing mark off Shark Island.

The finish for the next four placings was a highlight of the race as Rag & Famish Hotel (John Harris, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris) came from a seemingly hopeless position on the first lap to finish third, 35s behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.

Australian champion Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin) was fourth, followed by Benny/PSP Aust-Asia (Rob Greenhalgh) and Smeg (Nick Press).

Only 10s separated those four boats after a hectic two sail reach between Shark and Clarke islands.

After today's race, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers holds the lead on 4 points, followed by Gotta Love It 7 on 7 points, Project Racing on 8, Benny/PSP Aust-Asia 11, Yandoo (John Winning) 16 and appliancesonline.com.au and Slam (Grant Rollerson) on 19.

Monday is a lay day. Race 3 of the championship will be sailed on Tuesday.

A complete list of competitors and an online copy of the championship program are published on www.flying18s.com

More images will be published on www.flying18s.com and www.18footers.com.au

Video coverage of the race will also be shown on www.18footers.com.au -- Frank Quealey

Iceland - In The Wake Of Viking
Click on image to enlarge.

Iceland Midnight Sun Race Are you looking for a new and fun place to visit this summer? If so, then Iceland is the answer. And it's closer than you might think: the distance from Scotland is just 440 km.

Viewed from offshore, the snow-white glaciers sparkle alongside landscapes of ruggedly awesome beauty. The sea surrounding Iceland is home to various species of whale, and seals are found in abundance resting or sunning on skerries.

Iceland Midnight Sun Race 10th of July 2010

The Iceland Midnight Sun Race is a unique yacht race - the only one of its kind in the North Atlantic and is when the sun stays aloft around the clock!

The 75-nautical-mile race starts in the town of Siglufjörður in North Iceland, and winds around Grimsey Island, which is traversed by the Arctic Circle.

Further information www.icesun.is

Saint Petersburg Challenge
Click on image to enlarge.

Saint Petersburg Challenge SAIL & RACE is close to the final announcement of a great new offshore sailing event. a long distance non-stop race from Saint Petersburg (Russia) to Kiel (Germany) starting Sunday, July 18th 2010.

We look forward to calling press conferences soon at Saint Petersburg and Kiel/Hamburg to publish the Notice of Race and provide more information.

SAIL & RACE is working with an organizing group including the Russian Yachting Federation, the Yachting Union of Saint Petersburg, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein and the Kieler Yacht Club.

Expected Rules: IRC (ORC Club as a parallel ranking). Eligibility: Minimum LOA 40ft, minimum TCC 1,000. A maximum size may be decided at a level to include all current maxi-racers. Race records to be reported to the ISAF WSSRC (World Sailing Speed Record Council). The race to be listed for ranking in the hanseboot Baltic IRC Open and acceptable as a qualifier for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race 2010.

A full web site tracking service is expected with specialist beacons supplied to each boat.

Great social events are planned in Saint Petersburg and Germany at a level equal to or exceeding the best of the renowned parties enjoyed in the Baltic Sprint Cup!

Owners are welcome to email SAIL & RACE with indications of interest. All owners in previous Baltic Sprint Cups will automatically receive direct invitations as soon as details are known.

A new web site is being prepared and it is planned to release details shortly.

www.sailrace.org

Race Against The Front
Groupama 3 is approaching the Indian Ocean and the passage offshore of the Cape of Good Hope is still scheduled for this Sunday night. The favourable wind, which has been propelling Franck Cammas and his nine crew along for the past two days, is beginning to run out of breath. As such the giant trimaran is expecting to lose a little speed on Monday, prior to being hit by a N'ly gale.

The situation has been beginning to get increasingly manageable since Franck Cammas and his men hoisted the heavy airs gennaker around 1100 hours UTC, with one reef in the mainsail. In fact, the cold front that Groupama 3 hooked onto 48 hours ago hasn't managed to get past them. Indeed, because its progress has been slowing since 1200 UTC, the breeze is easing progressively without necessarily proving disadvantageous to the giant trimaran, which should be able to spend the rest of today at average speeds bordering thirty knots. Navigator Stan Honey, in collaboration with Sylvain Mondon from Meteo France, is reflecting on the best trajectory in which to enter into the next weather system: a stiff N'ly wind blowing across from the Mozambique Channel.

Even though the trajectory has proved to be particularly pure over the past two days, there have been a series of manœuvres aboard Groupama 3 to maintain this high speed. And there are likely to be even more over the coming hours with the forecast change in the weather for the start of the week. Fortunately the outside temperature and that of the water (13°C) remain fairly mild, which is always more pleasant, thanks to the N'ly winds dropping down from Africa. -- Translated by Kate Jennings

Day 11 (11th February 1400 UTC): 267 miles (deficit = 30 miles)
Day 12 (12th February 1400 UTC): 247 miles (deficit = 385 miles)
Day 13 (13th February 1400 UTC): 719 miles (deficit = 347 miles)
Day 14 (14th February 1400 UTC): 680 miles (deficit = 288 miles)

www.cammas-groupama.com

Practice and Coaching Regatta With Jim Saltonstall
Coaching Regatta With Jim Saltonstall Saturday 13th March 2010

Improve your personal performance. There are no scores and no prizes. The Club has been lucky enough to secure the services of Jim Saltonstall, one of the country's top coaches for the event on Saturday 13th March. This is a great opportunity for all Helms and Crews to get back into racing mode, before the first Warsash Spring Series race on the Sunday!

The day is planned to start with a briefing for all boat crews participating at 0930, then 5 hours intense activity on the water, and a debrief with video footage at the club before finishing at 1700. There is a maximum entry of 20 boats and an entry fee of just £35 per boat for members (£48 non-members).

Basically first come first served, although we may have to do a little selection if the boat types differ too widely. In bad weather, Jim will provide intense shorebased training instead. Afterwards supper (not included in the entry fee) will be available in the Club and Becks at £1.50 per pint until the barrel runs out!

To enter please download an entry from our Racing Page: www.royal-southern.co.uk

Or call Natalie (Sailing Secretary) on: 02380 450 302

First Cape, First Leg... Next Stop Cape Town
Oman Sail's new A100 'Majan' left Muscat (Oman) last Saturday (6.2.10) to begin the journey of tracing out the route of the new Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race course that links together the Middle East, Africa, Australia and Central Asia, ahead of the first official edition planned for Spring 2012. Alongside the 105-ft A100 multihull was Oman Sail's 75-ft multihull 'Musandam' - a boat that has already circumnavigated the globe under the Oman Sail banner.

It was a relatively short first leg, only 1400 miles from Oman to the Maldives, but included passing the first of the five great capes - Ras Al Hadd. Literally meaning 'the cape' in Arabic, it is the easternmost point of the Arabian Peninsula and Oman is very proud that this is the point where the suns first rays touch land on rising. Just short of 5 days of sailing Majan's crew, skippered by Paul Standbridge, and Musandam reached the island of Male, capital of the Maldives, on Thursday (10.2.10).

The Oman Sail multihulls received a great send off from Muscat and were rewarded on arrival in the Maldives by a small armada of boats flying Omani flags. The first leg of this challenging new course proved to be testing for both crew and boat: "Over the next six hours we sailed under eight different sail combinations to cope with the wind's fickle mood. We saw as much as 26 knots and as little as zero. Why is it in so many races and crossings the first night at sea, Mother Nature and King Neptune gang up and tries to catch you out?" wrote Mark Covell after the first day at sea. Navigator Thierry Douillard commented: "The weather for this first leg was not really ideal with High Pressure on the direct course, but we managed to cross and for the last two days, we were downwind with full main and gennaker - good fun."

The 'Majan' crew led by Paul Standbridge includes two Omanis - Mohsin Al Busaidi, who became the first Arab to sail non-stop round the world on 'Musandam' and Mohammed Al Ghailani, who as the pseudo-apprentice, continues to impress.

The Oman Sail crews will look forward to some rest as the shore team get to work to ensure the A100 is ready to depart for the 4,200-mile second leg from the Maldives to Cape Town, starting on the 16th February - the next chapter in the Indian Ocean 5 Capes Race and the infamous Cape Agulhas.

www.oceventsasia.com

Rolex China Sea Race
With the entry deadline a month away for entries to the Rolex China Sea Race, boats are already seeing to their safety preparations for this Offshore Category 1 Race. Organised by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (RHKYC) since 1962 as a biennial event, this is the 25th time that yachts will brave the 565nm between Hong Kong and the Philippines. Over the years the race has developed from a somewhat 'cruisy' event into one of Asia's finest offshore races, with entry now open only to IRC rated boats.

A tactically challenging event, the first night of the race is not for the faint hearted, with lumpy seas and a stiff 20 knots of breeze. Conditions usually improve the next day and, as competitors near the Philippine coast under brilliant blue skies, a game of 'cat and mouse' develops. The 'cat' is the variable and unpredictable coastal breeze, which often gives any line honours hopeful a dawn wallow on day three, or delays racers for a few hours in an inconvenient 'hole' on their way into the coast.

The race record of 47h 43m 07s, set by Karl Kwok on the Open 60 Beau Geste, still stands but with a strong IRC racing division which is likely to include the TP52's Strewth, Evolution Racing and FfreeFire 52, together with defending Line Honours holder, Neil Pryde on his modified Welbourn 52, Hi Fi, and evergreen Mills 51, EFG Mandrake, Kwok's 10 year old record could well fall this year.

Notice of race and entry form are available at www.rolexchinasearace.com

Letters To The Editor -
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 Owen Sharpe: Congratulations to the whole Oracle team for their stunning triumph.

Thank you Larry for sticking to your guns to insist on a fair fight. And for fronting with the money.

And thank you to Russell and your whole team for fearlessly following radical ideas and having the skills, knowledge and determination to win that way. You were the only people who could do it.

Will we see the formerly projected World Sailing League become a reality now the Swiss obstacle has gone? I could imagine a differentiated market with Louis Vuitton sponsoring their Cup in monohulls which are somewhat constrained (to one hull) and 'classic' as part of the traditional Americas Cup 'dance'. The WSL multihull concept with many events geographically spread every year, would be alternatively attractive to the mass of spectators and mass-market sponsors alike.

Will further WSL technology development allow me to one day soon buy a production 35 foot trimaran with a canting wing mast, a comfortable sized cockpit, saloon and accommodation for cruising in the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland's fabled sailing waters anytime soon?

* From Daniel Charles: re: The end of the America's Cup and of yacht design as we know.

Friday's first race in the 33rd America's Cup was a milestone in many ways.

First of all, there were some incredible records established. When I was a kid, the record of VMG to windward was some 10.8 kts (if my memory's correct) established in 1937 by the (super) J-Class Ranger - and this was deemed an unbeatable maximum! Today, USA did 15 knots, which is unheard of (C-Class cats do between 12 and 13). Then there is this upwind/downwind 40 mille course thrashed in some 2h 30min, at an average of 16kts as the bird fly, and probably 22 kts on the bottom: it doesn't look much compared to some 24h oceanic runs downwind, but this was done in a 7-kts whisper of a breeze. In other words the boats were constantly sailing at three times the speed of the wind - hard to believe even when you see it.

Beyond these amazing feats, Friday's race is a turning point in America's Cup and in yachting history. The Cup was designed as a design competition, a test of design skills, as it had been during this legendary race of August 22, 1851. Well, such races are condemned now. Spectators may remember that a trimaran vanquished a catamaran, but this is wrong: hulls and yacht architecture had nothing to do here. What happened is that a rigid foil triumphed over a soft rig. In the future, the platform design - the very root of the America's Cup! - will become secondary, a side issue compared to the problems of designing the "engine" (the rig) and the "tyres" (the foils). The hull designer, once the star of the show, will be reduced to the rôle of subcontractor (as is already the case in superyacht design). Sic transit...

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The Last Word
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