The morning air reverberated with the sound of cannon fire and boat horns as the international fleet, battle flags flying, paraded around Newport harbor and past the main dock of the New York Yacht Club where supporters were gathered to cheer them on for the final day of the 2015 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.
Out on the water, the fleet was sent up Narragansett Bay for the second consecutive day, where racing was held in an eight knot south-southwesterly breeze. The team representing the London's Royal Thames Yacht Club was in the most perilous position of the 17 competing teams. Having been in the lead, or tied for the lead, through the entire series, it was their regatta to win - or lose. In the first race of the day, an eighth-place finish put their nine-point cushion under pressure. With their closest competitor in the standings - Marblehead's Eastern Yacht Club - finishing fourth, the gap shrunk to five points.
Greenland said the team had a conversation to make sure they were in the right mindset going into the last race. They crossed the line 10th, with Eastern Yacht Club following in 12th; the Brits securing the win 71 points to Eastern's 78.
The New York Yacht Club's team, led by skipper Paul Zabetakis, concluded the series second overall after finishes of 3-6 were added to their score line for 77 points.
The only team new to the 2015 Rolex New York Invitational Cup, Australia's Middle Harbour Yacht Club, not only met their goal for the regatta, they exceeded it. Hoping to finish in the top-five, they were fourth overall with 81 points after finishes of 7-2 on the final day of racing. Just one point behind was the Japan Sailing Federation, after placing 2-5 today.
Blue Is The New Green
Cascais, Portugal is set to be painted a particular shade of blue tonight after Azzurra are crowned the 52 SUPER SERIES champions of 2015. The team which wears the iconic colours of Sardinia's Yacht Club Costa Smeralda eclipsed Quantum Racing over the five regattas circuit which started in May in Valencia and finished in typically perfect Portuguese sunshine.
Gilt edged consistency has been the biggest single factor in the Azzurra title win. Skipper Guillermo Parada points to a pledge made at last summer's Copa del Rey to make a step change for the 2015 season in order to secure more regular results.
They have raised their game in every area as evidenced not just by their tally of 12 race wins from the 46 race starts over the five venues, but they only visited the basement placings twice over the season, one ninth in Valencia and their biggest wobble - as they clinched the title yesterday - one 10th place.
Second overall for the season Quantum Racing have profited from integrating owners Doug and Dalton DeVos into their sailing programme, the father-son duo sharing the helm across three of the five regattas, culminating in their win at Copa del Rey in August. But the 2014 champions drew level with Azzurra today in terms of regatta wins when they added the Cascais Cup title, thanks to a great last two days.
The Final Scores
1. Quantum Racing, USA, Doug DeVos, 27 points
2. Azzurra, ITA, Pablo/Alberto Roemmers, 35
3. Vesper, USA, Jim Swartz, 46
4. Provezza, TUR, Ergin Imre, 50
5. Platoon, GER, Harm Müller-Spreer, 58
6. Alegre, GBR, Andres Soriano, 67
7. Sled, USA, Takashi Okura, 71
8. Bronenosec, RUS, Vladimir Liubomirov, 74
9. Spookie, USA, Steve Benjamin, 80
10. Gladiator, GBR, Tony Langley, 90
11. Paprec FRA, Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, 91
12. Xio/Hurakan, ITA, Guiseppe Parodi, 94
2015 52 Super Series Season Rankings after five regattas, 46 races.
1. Azzurra 175 pts
2. Quantum Racing 202
3. Sled 259 (1st owner driver)
4. Platoon 262
5. Bronenosec 263
6. Alegre 266
7. Provezza 269
8. Gladiator 386
9. Paprec 396
10. Ran Racing 397
11. Xio 422
12. Spookie 482
13. Vesper 485
14. Interlodge 505
15. Phoenix 510
Don't Miss The Yacht Racing Forum!
The annual conference and exhibition is turning into a "must attend: event, with confirmation of attendance from some of the sport's most engaged personalities and companies. Don't miss the opportunity!
The Yacht Racing Forum will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, on December 7-8. In order to benefit from the early bird registration fee, you need to register before September 30!
The Yacht Racing Forum will deliver ideas and concepts in three key areas that affect everyone in the yacht racing industry: Business & Marketing, Design & Technology and Risk Management & Safety.
Don't hesitate: this will be a great event, both informative and fun, and an excellent opportunity to network and do business!
Australia's Sam Gilmour Wins ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds
Sam Gilmour and Team Australia have won the ISAF 2015 Youth Match Racing World Championships held out of Swinoujscie, Poland.
With the Petit Final and Final held on the last day of competition it was a hard fight for the race to the title as well as occupying the final podium spot.
There were a few concerns about accuracy of weather predictions as only 7 knots were expected but thankfully there were 8-9 knots of breeze with the Race Committee setting courses in the channel in Swinoujscie.
The top four teams, Joakim Aschenbrenner (DEN), Gilmour, Marcus Ronnberg (FIN), and Nevin Snow (USA), assembled at the briefing in the morning and picked their boats. Competing in the Petit Final - Match 1 were Ronnberg and Snow with the first to two wins taking the final podium spot.
Aschenbrenner vs. Gilmour was Match 2 racing in the Final with a best of five, first to three wins.
The scores for the Final - Match 2 were Aschenbrenner 1/4 and Gilmour 3/4 after Gilmour beat Aschenbrenner in Flight 4 giving Gilmour 1st overall and Aschenbrenner 2nd.
Franck Cammas and Louis Viat Win The Littlecup
A resounding victory for the Groupama team in the Littlecup, the International C Class catamaran championship which was held this week on Lake Geneva at the Société Nautique de Geneve.
Groupama Sailing Team simply breezed through the competition the whole week, holding on to Trophy, unrivalled.
The championship came to an end with that score due to lack of steady wind on Lake Geneva this Saturday. The key to success and the challenge for Groupama this year was taking off as soon as they hit 5 1/2 knots, maintaining high performance with their C Class cat able to fly 3 times faster than the wind.
"It's a pity. We'd like to have seen this through to the end", commented competitor Benoit Marie, alongside his fellow crew Benoit Morelle of Axon Racing, disappointed by the absence of racing today. The light wind, forecast by the meteorologists had been much hoped for by the Swiss as it would have played into their hands and provided a little bit of suspense.
Royal Norwegian Yacht Club Wins Sailing Champions League
Porto Cervo, Italy: After three days of racing, a range of challenging sailing conditions and a host of social events, the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening -KNS) has been crowned victor of the Sailing Champions League 2015 and claimed the title of "Best Sailing Club". Second place went to the home team representing the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Russia's Yacht Club Navigator took third place. The event - held from 18th to 20th September in Porto Cervo, Sardinia - played host to 30 top sailing clubs from across Europe.
The final day of racing brought a change from the strong mistral breeze that teams had faced over the previous two days. As the wind moved to a more northerly direction and turned lighter and more shifty those competitors who thrive in light airs had a chance to shine in today's 12 races. There was little hope, however, of ousting the reigning KNS team who deservedly held on to first place thanks to seven victories and two second places out of 10 flights raced.
Second-placed Yacht Club Costa Smeralda flew the home flag high by chalking up six victories over the weekend while Yacht Club Navigator of Moscow claimed five wins to take third place overall.
Quantum Key West Race Week Extends Early Entry Deadline To October 1
A strong initial turnout for entries has prompted event organizers at the Storm Trysail Club to decide to extend the early discount deadline one month further to October 1st, 2015 for the 2016 edition of Quantum Key West Race Week. After October 1st, the entry fee increases by $4/foot of the overall length of the entered boat.
Already the majority of entries to the 2016 event have signed up for one-design competition in several classes: Melges 24, J/70, J/80, Farr 280, Viper 640, J/88, C&C 30, J/111, and J/122 classes. And there are other one-design classes also considering their entry plan to the event.
Among the handicap classes, IRC 1 and 2 have thusfar attracted 9 committed entries, with more expected, but the real growth is expected in three new class offerings at this year's event: ORC Club, Multihulls and Performance Cruisers.
Organizers are also exploring the option of having exhibition race classes at the event to give spectators on shore a taste of the excitement of competitive sailing.
Entry form and race documents:
Mini Transat: Fickle Winds Divide Fleet
The first night of the race has not been easy for the Mini Transat iles de Guadeloupe solo sailors. In light conditions or in practically no wind, the competitors tried as best they could to make progress, to keep their boats moving and to keep up the leading positions.
Some, foreseeing the wind veering to the North West, attempted a radical route, keeping well above the course to the West. Conversely, others sought a more Western route, with the aim of gaining a little ground. This option for now looks like it has paid off best because those furthest north have between 10 and 15-mile deficit on the fleet leaders.
Top five at 09/20/2015 21:00
1. Yann Claverie, MAP Product
2. Julien Pulva, Novintiss
3. Patrick Birod, Nescens
4. Sebastien Pebelier, Mademoiselle Iodee
5. Sylvain Michelet, A Cacun Son Everest!
Round The Island Race: A New Era From 2017
The Island Sailing Club invites tenders for title sponsorship of the Round the Island Race from 2017 onwards, as J.P. Morgan Asset Management announces the successful conclusion of its 12 year sponsorship of the Race in 2016.
Enjoyed by competitors and supporters alike from around the world, there have been many highlights and race-specific developments as a result of J.P. Morgan Asset Management's sponsorship over the years, including:
- Charitable fundraising amounting to over £500,000
- Entries reaching a record of 1,908 in 2011
- Support for new technology initiatives such as Race Tracking and Live TV
- Celebration of the 80th anniversary with an historic art & photographic exhibition
- Documentaries on RTI on BBC Countryfile and Channel 4
- Strengthened race profile in the press
"It's always sad to end a dynamic and long-standing relationship but, equally, as we all know, 'all good things come to an end'. However, it's not really the end. J.P. Morgan Asset Management and its team will leave behind a superb legacy for us to nurture, including some terrific friendships and working relationships that will survive on and off the water and a solid and positive platform for the Race Management and Marketing teams to take forward into a new era."
The 85th edition of this globally recognised Race is being held on 2nd July which will be J.P. Morgan Asset Management's final outing as Title Sponsor.
The Royal Torbay Yacht Club in Devon, England, is mourning the unexpected loss of one of its staunchest and most generous members. Joe Woods, who was also one of the club's most successful international sailors, died after on Friday 18th September after a very brief illness.
Joe will be remembered by the international sailing community for his string of successful campaigns in the Melges and Farr fleets. His series of boats mostly under the "Red" banner ranged through Melges 24 and 32, followed by the Farr 400 and 280.
Always an innovator, he was one of the early Melges 32 owners, having originally established his international reputation in the Melges 24. Team "Red" moved on to the Melges 32, then into the Farr 400 and most recently the Farr 280.
Joe started his sailing career in International Cadets back in the sixties at Royal Torbay Yacht Club, going on to be one of the great ambassadors for the club and the bay as a sailing venue. Successful in business, he was always happy to use his wealth to help and encourage local youngsters to achieve their goals.
His favourite regatta was Key West Race Week, which he has contested fourteen times since 1999, frequently finishing on the podium, and winning his class in 2012 and 2015. He was also a top competitor on the European circuit, and as usual keen to try something new, finishing third in the first J70 European championships.
The core of team "Red" was always Corinthian sailors from the Torbay area, though the list of top British Olympic sailors who joined him as tactician included Paul Goodison and Chris Draper. Draper, who is now with the Japanese SoftBank America's Cup team said, "People like him are such an incredibly rare breed, so successful yet so very humble. He was such a lovely guy and awesome person to spend time and sail with."
Joe's funeral will be held at Cockington Church, Torquay, on Wednesday 23rd September, at 16:00 followed by a gathering at the Royal Torbay Yacht Club. -- John Roberson
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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