Figaro Fleet Reaches Plymouth
Alexis Loison (Groupe Fiva) won his first ever leg of La Solitaire du Figaro - Eric Bompard Cashemire this afternoon as he crossed the line in Plymouth at 14:53:50. This is the Frenchman's second win in the city - he was victorious in last year's Fastnet race, sailing double-handed with his Dad. Loison's decision to stay East of the fleet as they raced from Roscoff to Plymouth paid off. When the wind died he had a better angle for the approach to Plymouth Sound.
Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) won the battle of the solo skippers who had opted for the direct route under tight spinnaker. He crossed the line 7 minutes after Loison and two minutes ahead of Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq). Beyou is chasing a third Solitaire win this year.
23 year old Sam Matson (Artemis 21) arrived in Plymouth at 15:52:39 in 12th place. An impressive result for the Plymouth University graduate in his first ever Solitaire leg. Matson finished as top British sailor and top of the 'bizuth' or rookie class for first time entrants.
This first leg saw the 38 solo sailors make three channel crossings over the 484 mile leg. Keeping the boat and themselves going was difficult at times.
This is the first time the race has ever been to Plymouth's Sutton Harbour and the first time in 11 years that it's been to the UK. The sailors were greeted with blue skies and a warm welcome. Time now for them to catch-up on some sleep before the start of Leg 2 on Saturday evening.
Order of arrival in Plymouth
1. Alexis Loison (Groupe Fiva) Arrived at 14:53:50
2. Fabien Delahaye (Skipper Macif 2012) 15:01:17
3. Jeremie Beyou (Maitre Coq) 15:03:32
4. Charlie Dalin (Normandy Elite Team) 15:06:06
5. Erwan Tabarly (Armor Lux) 15:08:24
6. Gildas Morwan (Cercle Vert) 15:09:34
7. Paul Meilhat (SMA) 15:10:26
8. Thierry Chabagny (Gedimat) 15:15:18
Order of arrival of British / Irish Sailors
12. Sam Matson (Artemis 21) 15:52:39
22. Henry Bomby (Red) 16:43:34
25. Jack Bouttell (GAC Pindar) 17:16:00
26. Alan Roberts (Artemis 23) 17:24:10
27. Rich Mason (Artemis 77) 17:31:33
28. David Kenefick (Full Irish) 17:31:41
31. Sam Goodchild (Team Plymouth) 17:35:28
32. Nick Cherry (Redshift) 17:41:57
37. Ed Hill (Macmillan Cancer Support) 16 miles to go.
Melges 32 Audi-Tron Sailing Series
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Talamone, Italy: It was a dramatic final day of racing in Talamone, Italy with Roberto Tomasini Grinover aboard Robertissima taking the fleet lead from beginning to end for his first big win on the 2014 Melges 32 Audi-Tron Sailing Series circuit. Accompanying Tomasini Grinover was the legendary Vasco Vascotto as tactician and crew members Federico Michetti, Giovanni Cassinari, Gunnar Bahr, Simone Spangaro, Stefano Nicolussi, and Armin Raderbauer.
Delivering a spectacular performance on the final day to finish second overall is Valentin Zavadnikov aboard Synergy GT. Zavadnikov left Day Two in eighth overall, but thanks to an impressive 3-2 Sunday score, he catapulted his team to a very proud podium finish.
Over the course of the weekend, Talamone and its people have fascinated all the participants, many of whom have never heard of the ancient Etruscan village located 160 km north of Rome. More than 400 individuals including sailors, technicians, journalists, coaches and chaperones welcomed its stunning conditions.
A very special thanks to Circolo della Vela Talamone for their impeccable hospitality at its unique headquarters based inside the lighthouse of Talamone, which dates back to 1865 and stands on the southern bastion of the walls of Talamone overlooking the sea. It was at this breathtaking location on Saturday, 7 June, the crews enjoyed a dinner hosted by the Circolo della Vela Talamone with typical food and wine of the Maremma.
With the Audi-Tron Sailing Series moving onward to Lake Garda for the 2014 European Championship on July 17-20 hosted by Fraglia Vela Garda in Riva, Zavadnikov takes the Series lead, just ahead of Mocchegiani and Edoardo Lupi's Torpyone in third. View The 2014 Melges 32 Audi-Tron Sailing Series Ranking.
Top Five Results (Final - After Eight Races, One Discard)
1. Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima, 25 points
2. Valentin Zavadnikov/Michele Ivaldi, Synergy GT, 36
3. Mauro Mocchegiani/Branko Brcin, Fratelli Giacomel Audi e-Tron, 37
4. Alessandro Rombelli/Freddy Loof, Azimut by STIG, 37
5. Fritz Homann/Nicola Celon, Wilma, 40
Race Round Britain & Ireland On A Volvo 70 - Are You Up To The Challenge?
Record-breaking Volvo 70 racing charter yacht Monster Project is offering amateur sailors a rare opportunity to join our team for the epic Round Britain & Ireland Race, held only once every four years. Racing on a 70 foot carbon fibre sailing machine with a huge square-topped mainsail, twin daggerboards and a canting keel, you'll be lining up against the professionals on Volvo 65s Abu Dhabi, Dongfeng and SCA and competing for line honours on a boat that circumnavigated the British Isles in 2008 in near-record time.
One of the world's most challenging offshore races, the RBI Race is an 1,800 nautical mile circumnavigation that stretches from the iconic Fastnet Rock in the south to the beautiful Shetland Isles in the north.
On Monster Project you can experience the thrill of sailing a high performance racing yacht as an integral part of the crew, pitting yourself against the elements and testing your mettle against some of the world's best professional yacht racers.
Our RBI Race package includes two qualifying races (11-14 and 26-27 July) where you'll be trained by our Professional Crew and Racing Skipper Andy Budgen, before we cross the start line on 10 August and the real adventure begins… Will you be there?
Serious French Turn-Out For The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Having fielded just one team for the last event in 2012, France is back with a vengeance for the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup this July.
Since Gery Trentesaux's French team stole victory from the powerful Irish in 2006, France has never finished better than third, but this year they intend to put this right.
To make the point, France is equalling the British line-up, bringing four teams to Cowes over 19-26th July for this year's Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup.
Jean-Philippe Cau, who raced the last Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup aboard Eleuthera and put together the selection panel for this year's French team, shares the French view of the event and why there is such a substantial entry: "I love the Commodores' Cup. I think it is one of the best regattas. The format is great - there are a lot of inshores, and the offshore are not too long, just 36 hours. Plus now you also have the Round the Isle of Wight Race which is a very, very good race. So it is a good mix of sailing. We also really enjoy racing in the Solent because conditions are never the same there."
The line-up of the four French teams is:
Herve Borgoltz, Grand Soleil 44r, Eleuthera
Olivier Pesci, Grand Soleil 40, Beelzebuth
Emmanuel Le Men, First 40.7, Pen Koent
Francois Lognone, J/122, Nutmeg
Philippe Baetz, Grand Soleil 37, Musix
Benoit D'halluin, A35, Dunkerque Plaisance
Bernard Gouy, Ker 39, Inis Mor
Jean-Claude Nicoleau, Grand Soleil 43, Codiam
Gilles And Samuel Prietz, A40rc, Vitaris-Goa
Eric De Turckheim, A13, Teasing Machine
Gilles Caminade, A35r, Chenapan 3
Eric Basset, Farr 30, Motive
Among these 12 are many repeat customers, including all three boats that competed in 2012 - Eleuthera, Beelzebuth 3 and Nutmeg IV. Of these it will be the third consecutive Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup for Francois Lognone's J/122 Nutmeg, while Beelzebuth won its class at the RORC's IRC National Championship last year.
The Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup 2014 will be held between 19-26 July 2014 at Cowes
Revival Classes Grow In Popularity
The Quarter Ton class, almost extinct 10 years ago, is now one of the most popular fleets at the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week regatta. Thanks to the dedication of a group of enthusiasts who recognised its potential, and who were keen to revive it as a racing class, there are often up to 20 boats on the start line.
One-off classes such as Limbos, H-Boats and Contessa 26s that have not yet reached numbers to warrant fleet status, race in IRC handicap classes. In IRC 7 for example competition is always intense. Last year the class was won by Jo Richards' 1979-built H-Boat - Woof, but some of the best competition was at the rear of the fleet with the likes of If - a 35-year-old Cowes based Mini Tonner Limbo battling it out with a couple of Folkboats.
The Squib class - now 46 years old - has always been popular at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Although it is not really a revival class, it is a perfect example of how an ageing class can really hold its own against modern day racing boats.
Lady Penelope, the Squib that won Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week overall last year, is relatively young at 13 years old. Her owner Malcolm Hutchings and crewman Andy Ramsey say that age is not an issue in the Squib class - it's all about keeping the fleet alive.
The full list of entries received by class so far is detailed on the event website at www.aamcowesweek.co.uk
The standard entry fee will apply until midnight on Sunday 27 July.
165 Boats Entered For 49th Newport Bermuda Race
Newport, RI: With the June 20th start of the Newport Bermuda Race fast approaching, 165 boats are entered for the 49th sprint to the finish off St. David's Head, Bermuda. The start will be off Castle Hill, in the mouth of Narragansett Bay.
Organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the 635-mile Newport Bermuda Race is sailed almost entirely out of sight of land and across the Gulf Stream. Explains race chairman Fred Deichmann, "We evaluate the crew and inspect the boats because, as the Notice of Race states, 'The Newport Bermuda Race is not a race for novices.'"
There are no novices here. Eighty-one of the skippers listed in the May 9 entry list competed in the very rough 2012 race, and 36 of the boats have already done five or more Bermuda Races. Yet there is also new blood, with 42 new entries. The average overall length of the boats on the list is 47 feet, one foot less than the average length in 2012.
Twenty-one states from Maine to California are represented in the fleet, with especially strong turnouts from New England (67 boats) and the Chesapeake Bay area (20). The 16 entries from outside the United States include one boat each from Austria, Germany, Russia, and Spain; three from Bermuda; four boats from the U.K.; and five boats from Canada.
In other news, the Onion Patch Series for three-boat teams, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is introducing the Navigators Race Series alongside its traditional series (more information is available at www.onionpatchseries.com -- John Rousmaniere
Terry Hutchinson loses a rig... but wins a regatta, Peter Holmberg wraps up another successful Caribbean season and James Boyd takes a look at the Ocean Masters Imoca series
New IRC designs shine in La Trinite, young chargers challenge in the Transat AG2R, Loick (Peyron) returns to his roots, a right royal dust-up in Auckland, the return of Big Red, a nice debut for Ran V - and Phoenix - at PalmaVela, the mighty McConaghy 38 and Atlantic Cup success. Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis, Carlos Pich
If you’re going to try something new then why not start at the very top of the scale...
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No Wind. No Race.
Around the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda today at the Audi TP52 World Championships patience was a required virtue, but in the end it was not rewarded. The gentle winds proved just too light to get the nine boat fleet from seven different nations out to compete on the scheduled coastal race course. With a good forecast for the following three days, the second regatta of the Barclays 52 Super Series should still enjoy one more coastal race and two days of windward-leeward races.
Standings remain unchanged since Tuesday's one coastal race which was won by Quantum Racing.
Tom Burnham (USA) strategist and pit Quantum Racing (USA): "The forecast looks really good for the next few days. Tomorrow we should see 12-15kts out of the west. I think Maria and the race committee should be able to run the classic coastal course that we have done a few times, out to Sparge and then back down inside again. So it looks good for that. And Friday and Saturday look really good, 20kts or more, for the two days of the windward-leeward races."
Sailing With Scottish Whiskey
In her centenary year, the classic West Country ketch Bessie Ellen will be very much keeping to her original role when she carries cargo, notably precious whiskey from Scotland to Drogheda for the Irish Maritime Festival held next weekend (13,14 and 15 June).
The whiskey is from the Bruichladdich Distillery on the Hebridean island of Islay and is also from where a cargo of barley will be carried to symbolise and re-establish the historical trading links between Drogheda's town quays and Islay.
It is fitting that Bessie Ellen which would have been the very type of vessel to be involved in this trade a 100 years and that of transporting thousands of tonnes of barley and grain exported from the Louth port to the distilling industry along the Scottish western isles.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie she was expected to take week-long voyage where people have an opportunity to sail on board one of the last surviving trading ketches from a fleet of over 700. She hails from an era when working sailing ships were an everyday sight seen trading in Irish ports and harbours.
Master distiller from Bruichladdich distillery Jim McEwan said "we are delighted to be associated with Drogheda Port and the Irish Maritime Festival. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to ship our whisky in the old fashioned way, by sail."
Afloat magazine: afloat.ie
Groupama 34 Wins Offshore Course In Normandy Sailing Week
Groupama 34, skippered by Franck Cammas, crossed the finish line today at 11h35m27s GMT. Oman Sail skippered by Sidney Gavignet and Courrier Dunkerque skippered by Daniel Souben complete the podium. Having flirted with the top spot several times last night, Bretagne - Credit Mutuel settles for fourth.
Accompanied by sunshine and around ten knots of north-easterly wind, two M34 duos crossed the finish line off Le Havre in quick succession. GROUPAMA 34 skippered by Franck Cammas was the first to cross at 1135 GMT, followed 10 minutes later by the Omani crew skippered by Sidney Gavignet (Oman Sail). Franck Cammas and his crew completed the 134-mile course in 27 hours 28 minutes at an average speed of 5.02 knots.
The second duo, made up of Courrier Dunkerque (skipper: Daniel Souben) and Bretagne - Credit Mutuel (Nicolas Troussel) had been neck and neck since 0630 GMT this morning and, after a bitter duel, crossed the finish line some 5hrs30m later at 1209 and 1210 GMT respectively! That ONE minute difference gave the Dunkirk crew the final step of the podium.
The M34 TPM Coych completed the course at around 1430 GMT and astern of it, ACEREL - NORMANDY Elite Team and Nantes St-Nazaire are continuing to battle it out as they too prepare to make the finish line.
With the offshore course just about complete, we turn our attention to the inshore racing! Tomorrow the seven Tour de France a la Voile one-designs will be embroiled in battle once more on the race zone off Le Havre. From Friday through until Sunday, the J80s, 7.5s and IRCs 1 to 4 will really flesh out the Normandy Sailing Week fleet in the Baie de Seine. -- Kate Jennings
Provisional offshore ranking at 1430 June 10
1. Groupama 34 (Franck Cammas) - Finished
2. Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) - Finished
3. Courrier Dunkerque (Daniel Souben) - Finished
4. Bretagne - Credit Mutuel (Nicolas Troussel) - Finished
5. Tpm Coych (Florian Simonnot) - Finished
6. Acerel - Normandy Elite Team (Baptiste Choquenet)
7. Nantes St-Nazaire (Jean-Baptiste Gellee)
Built as Hexagon HSBC for Graham Dalton to sail in the 2002 Around Alone,. After that race, the boat was purchased by Pindar for Emma Richards. In consultation with the Owen Clarke Design office significant development was undertaken with Mike Sanderson as skipper. This included a conversion from single central daggerboard to twin asymmetric boards, and conversion of rig to removable genoa with halyard lock system -now common amongst the fleet
Between 2006 and 2009 the boat was owned and managed by Artemis Ocean Racing. She was originally used as the race boat competing in the 2006 Route de Rhum and 2007 TJV. She was subsequently used as the corporate boat and was RORC Class Champion in 2008.
In 2010 the boat was purchased by the current owner and renamed Rusalka. The boat went through an extensive refit during which; in addition to general servicing, the decks, topsides, bottom and appendages were re-sprayed and the keel modified. Hydraulics overhauled, engine and saildrive replaced, interior redesigned and galley fitted, and much more.
Whitecap Associates Ltd., Simon Clay
+44 (0)7881 572970
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The Last Word
I'm full of dust and guitars. -- Syd Barrett