Lars Grael won the final race and his second Bacardi Cup in a row. Lars's success is even more remarkable as he is an amputee, missing his right leg. He is a model of resilience. Young Jorge Zarif with Bruno Prada crewing put in a good performance to finish second in the regatta with Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl finishing third.
Brian and I did not have a good week. Some times we were on the wrong side of the course, sometimes we weren't going fast enough. We finished 11th. For sure the competition was good. The Brazilian Navy was in full force. I think they had 4 boats in the top 10.
The next event for the Stars is the Western Hemisphere Championship April 16-19 again on Biscayne Bay. -- Paul Cayard
Final top five
1. Renata, Lars Grael / Samuel Goncalves, BRA, 18 points
2. Al Hamed , Jorge Joao Zarif / Bruno Prada, BRA, 20
3. Quantum, Mark Reynolds / Magnus Liljedahl, USA, 27
4. Miisca, Alessandro Pascolato / Henry Boening, BRA, 34
5. 8465, Augie Diaz / Arnis Baltins, USA, 36
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The second day of the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta produced more thrilling action for the international fleet of yachts racing in gorgeous conditions off St.Maarten. All classes, but the Lottery Class, had at least two races today. In comparison to the last two days, a breeze of about 20 knots was more of a comfort zone but the racing was no less spectacular with close racing right through the fleet.
In CSA 1, Doug Baker's Kernan 47, True won both of today's races to secure pole position for the class. In CSA 2, Greg Slyngstad's J/125 Hamachi has now scored four straight bullets. In CSA 3 Alan Edwards Swan 65, Spirit is top of the class, having scored their fourth podium finish. In CSA 4, last year's winner of the 'most worthy performance, Richard Wesslund's J/122, El Ocaso is second in class. S'investir en Guadeloupe LIPTON, skippered by Charret Philippe is leading the class by three points. Ross Applebey's Scarlet Oyster is the runaway leader in CSA 5, six points clear at the top. Gunboat 62, Elvis scored two bullets today to set up a dramatic finish to the Gunboat showdown tomorrow.
Three Volvo 60s are enjoying a tremendous battle in CSA 1 and all three crews come from countries which are literally freezing at the moment; Spirit of Adventure is from Canada, Ambersail is from Lithuania and Cuba Libre from Poland. After three races, Cubre Libre is winning the battle between the trio.
Farr 40 Midwinters To Enfant Terrible
Alberto Rossi and his crew aboard Enfant Terrible have ended each day of racing at the Farr 40 Midwinter Championship on the top of the scoreboard. In a class where consistency is key, Enfant proved day after day to be the most consistent competitors in the class. The Italian crew raced a beautiful regatta against some very serious competition, and now they will head into the rest of the Farr 40 circuit as the Midwinter Champions.
Going into the final race of the regatta, four points separated Plenty from the coveted top spot. A disappointing 9th place in Race 10 knocked Struntje light below Flash Gordon 6, leaving Plenty and Enfant as the two contenders for the crown.
Ultimately, Enfant finished 5th and Plenty finished 6th. John Demourkas and the Groovederci crew saved their best race for last, finishing 1st in the final race. Close behind them was Helmut Jahn's Flash Gordon 6 in 2nd place.
In an incredible debut regatta, newcomer Rick Goebel is the Corinthian class Champion.
The Farr 40 circuit will continue May 27th - May 30th at the West Coast Championship, hosted by Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club.
Final top five
1. Enfant Terrible, Alberto Rossi, ITA, 32 points
2. Plenty, Alex Roepers, USA, 37
3. Flash Gordon 6, Helmut Jahn, USA, 44
4. Struntje Light, Wolfgang Schaefer, GER, 49
5. Groovederci , John Demourkas, USA, 58
Bernard Stamm and 'King' Jean make for the dominant pairing, the TP52s start to get organised in Auckland, Team Vestas begin to put Humpty Dumpty back together again, Burling the magnificent, and a little too much whining in Key West? Blue Robinson, Ivor Wilkins, Giuliano Luzzatto, Patrice Carpentier, Dobbs Davis
Terry Hutchinson suffers a 'hump' day in Key West while Andy Rice catches up with Volvo Race sensation Charles Caudrelier
And it's a wonder that today's America's Cup crews can actually stand up and walk to their boats
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One Ton Revisited - Fitting Finale
Auckland, New Zealand: The inaugural One Ton Revisited event came to a hard-fought climax yesterday with winds of more than 30 knots in the Hauraki Gulf.
The S&S 36 Rainbow II had sewn up victory on IRC corrected time by winning the double point long race on Thursday. But she left no doubt as to the form boat of the five-race series with a second in points-and-a-half, 25-mile finale, even though her spinnaker pole gave up the ghost under compression load on a willing spinnaker run back into the harbour in a northerly squall gusting 32 knots.
The Farr 40 Pacific Sundance (Bernard Hyde) go the gun for the fifth time in a row. But, on this occasion, she failed to break away from the determined Farr 36 Revolution (Tony Wallis/Max Cossey) which crossed the line just 5 minutes behind the gun boat to snatch the race win from Rainbow II by an impressive 2m 41s on IRC corrected time.
Third on IRC was the Carter 39 Wai Aniwa (Roger Foley) which was dueling with Rainbow II and the Lidgard 34 Impact (Kevin Kelly) on the spinnaker ride home but lost any chance of pipping her rivals when she sailed the wrong side of a channel marker and had to correct her mistake.
Chris Bouzaid told the gathering that discussions were already under way with the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron to stage the event again in 12 months' time, on a bigger scale.
Points & Placings
1. Rainbow II, 39 points
2. Revolution, 27
3. Wai Aniwa, 26
4. Impact 3, 25
5. Pacific Sundance 1, 17
6. Result 6, 13
Hosting Of Cup Regatta In Jeopardy
Team New Zealand's bid to host the America's Cup qualifiers has hit a further snag, with crisis meetings held yesterday over problems with the proposed locations for the team bases.
An announcement confirming Auckland had secured the qualifying regatta in early 2017 was originally planned for yesterday but has been pushed back to next week as Team NZ try to put some distance between the fallout over Dean Barker's axing.
In the meantime, Auckland Council bodies are struggling to agree on the waterfront locations to house the team bases after the preferred site at Westhaven Marina was found to be unsuitable within the short timeframe.
Plans to build a causeway between the end of Westhaven Drive and a seawall in two stages have encountered geotechnical and practical problems.
The first stage of building the causeway and starting repairs on the seawall is sufficient to accommodate two syndicate bases, but completing the second stage to accommodate three more syndicate bases is estimated to cost an unbudgeted $10 million to $15 million.
Dana Johannsen in the New Zealand Herald:
New Zealander Stu Bannatyne, one of the Volvo Ocean Race's most experienced and toughest competitors, is joining Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) for Leg 5, the toughest stage of the event.
Bannatyne is the ideal addition to the young crew for the treacherous Southern Ocean leg, with six races under his belt including three victories.
He takes over from bowman/trimmer Seb Marsset (FRA), who will help out with the shore crew for the leg and is scheduled to return for the following stage to Newport, Rhode Island.
Team Alvimedica have already made an impressive start to their debut Volvo Ocean Race campaign, earning a podium place with third in Leg 3 and fourth in the next stage from Sanya to Auckland.
The leg, the fifth of nine, begins at 1400 NZ time/0200 CET on Sunday. In all, the boats will cover 38,739nm, visiting 11 ports and every continent before the conclusion of the race in Gothenburg, Sweden on June 27.
The Bunching Of The Fleet
With four Legs sailed and four different winners, the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race is not a Round the World Race of yesteryear.
In the new Volvo Ocean Race, no boat has won more than one In Port race, further underlining the evenness of the one design Volvo 65.
The margins are contracting too, with the now-six boat fleet finishing inside six hours at the end of Leg 4 - 5200nm of intense racing.
At the skippers media conference following Leg 4, two factors were identified - the one design and AIS (Automatic Identification System).
'I think the one design makes a big difference', says Bouwe Bekking, skipper of Team Brunel and now on his seventh Volvo Ocean race and its predecessor. 'In the past, the guys with the fastest boats did very well, but I think AIS has a big impact because everyone is just looking at it. On the last leg, everyone was just watching AIS waiting for someone to move and take the northern course option, and in the end we left it too late.' -- Richard Gladwell
Irish Sailing Awards
The outstanding performance of Anthony O'Leary in the 2014 Commodore's Cup and O'Leary's consistent pursuance of sailing excellence brings him and his team to win the celebrated 2014 ISA / Afloat Sailor of the Year Award at the 2014 Irish Sailing Awards, hosted by the Irish Sailing Association at the Royal College of Surgeons on Friday 6th March 2015.
In July 2014 Cork's Anthony O'Leary and team emerged overall winners of the Brewin Dolphin Commodore's Cup with a 174 point winning margin over 2nd place in this incredible 9 team event.
The Commodore's Cup would be considered the premier "Team Championships" for IRC racing and not an easy event to win. In addition to winning overall winner of the prestigious Commodore's Cup with Antix, a Ker 39, they also won the award for best in the inshore series, best individual boat and the Edward Heath Cup for a European team.
Anthony also brought the coveted trophy for the 2014 ISA All Ireland Sailing Champion back to his home club, Royal Cork Yacht Club in July 2014.
O'Leary and team were winners of the Afloat Sailor of the Month in June 2014 and stood for nomination for the 2014 ISA / Afloat Sailor of the Year Award alongside 12 other sailors and sailing teams.
The outstanding performance of Ireland's aspiring Olympian Finn Lynch in 2014 saw him win the title of ISA Youth Sailor of the Year. Finn brought the Under 19 Laser Standard World Sailing Champion back to his home club of National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.
The 2014 ISA Mitsubishi Motors Club of the Year goes to the Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) for a year of incredible sailing programmes from high performance events to grass roots initiatives.
2014 ISA Training Centre of the Year goes to Mayo Sailing Club.
Nine New TP52s
In total nine shiny new-generation, freshly built boats are expected to take the start line in Valencia in May (18-23rd) for the first of the five regattas which comprise the 2015 52 Super Series. Up against them will be four existing TP52s which raced during the 2014 season, sporting existing or new team colours, making an expected entry of 12-14 boats.
The trend for 2015 is definitely towards owner-driven boats. Of the 14 boats which will race, eleven will be steered by the owner.
To build in the Southern Hemisphere allows earlier sail trials in reliable summer conditions. But it incurs shipping time, and - usually - stress. Building in Europe makes the construction process accessible and allows first sea trials and training to dovetail into the regatta season. This time three boats have been built outside Europe. Launched on Thursday March 5th in Auckland is Ergin Imre's new Vrolijk designed Cookson built Provezza.
The middle of this month is about to see the majority of the European launches.
Doug DeVos' Quantum Racing have their new Botin design going to the water now from Longitude Cero in Burriana, Spain. It is the third Quantum Racing 52 to be built there. After initial sea trials the crew will train out of Palma, Mallorca for the week just before Easter. Doug and Dalton DeVos are expected to play a more active role in their programme this season.
Quantum Racing's hull sister Alegre is close behind and will be launched off Burriana the week 5-8th April. They will test off Valencia 13th-17th April and then head to Palma for nine or 10 days of training leading into Palma Vela.
2015 Race Calendar:
- Valencia Sailing Week, Valencia (Spain), May 19th - 23rd
- Week of the Straits, Porto Cervo (Italy), June 9th - 13th
- TP52 World Championship, Puerto Portals (Spain), July 14th - 18th
- Copa del Rey, Palma de Mallorca (Spain), August 4th - 8th
- Cascais Cup, Cascais (Portugal), September 16th - 20th
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Pieter van der Weide
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The Last Word
I enjoy inventing things out of fun. After all, life is a game, not a career. -- Brion Gysin