Eric Bellion 9th In The Vendee Globe, First Rookie
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From one of the most prolonged and challenging storms encountered by any of the 29 skippers who left Les Sables d'Olonne on Sunday November 6th last year, French solo skipper Eric Bellion emerged triumphant, securing a remarkable ninth placed in the Vendee Globe solo round the world race when he crossed the finish line at 1658hrs UTC. Bellion took 99 days 4 hrs 56 mins for his actual 28,048 miles route, averaging 11.78 kts. He is the first 'rookie' solo skipper - someone who had never before started the Vendee Globe - to complete this eighth edition of the solo round the world race.
Although he is a vastly experienced sailor in his own right with a circumnavigation already to his credit, he only raced an IMOCA 60 foot race boat for the first time 15 months ago. For a skipper who set out largely to see if he could complete this race, one of the toughest challenges in global sport, his ninth place is well ahead of all his pre-start hopes and wildest dreams.
Bellion's odyssey is a classic tale, revealing a huge increase in personal confidence and solo racing ability but is a result which comes neither by luck nor by accident. An accomplished and inspirational leader who assembled an excellent support team in cooperation with double Vendee Globe winner Michel Desjoyeaux's company Mer Agitee, Bellion's Vendee Globe started relatively slowly but saw him faster and faster during his first time racing in the 'big south', dealing strategic and mental challenges of a slow, light wind South Atlantic climb, and the final big hurdle - a vicious four day North Atlantic storm which ripped a section of his mainsail mast track off and which left him racing the final miles upwind across the Bay of Biscay with just his J3 jib and no mainsail.
Gilmour & Jerwood Qualify For Sweden
Busselton, Western Australia: Western Australian skipper David Gilmour survived strong competition and very unpredictable conditions on the third and final day, to win the Geographe Bay Cup. Another local skipper, Matt Jerwood finished up, so both these team qualify for Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand, a championship level event on the World Match Racing Tour.
Today's racing started promptly, with a steady but light breeze of less than 10 knots, but this faded out after a couple of hours, making the race committee's job very difficult. By sheer perseverance and some swift course adjustments they managed to complete the round robin, and get a fair result.
Despite the light and shifty winds there were a few moments of drama during the day, with Olympic silver medallist Olivia Price, sailing with Evan Walker, falling overboard during a gybe. Some strong swimming and quick crew work got her back on board without losing the lead. The last time she abandoned ship was in the final of the women's match racing at the 2012 Olympics in England.
Torvar Mirsky just missed out of qualifying, finishing third, having been level with Jerwood on seven points, but losing second place on a countback. First overseas entry was Sweden's Mans Holmberg who finished fourth, beating Sydney's Evan Walker on a countback.
The next event on the World Match Racing Tour is the Perth Match Cup, another Tour level event from 16th to 18th March, followed immediately by championship level event Match Cup Australia, with both events hosted by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club on the Swan River. -- John Roberson
1. David Gilmour, AUS, 8 points
2. Matt Jerwood, AUS, 7
3. Torvar Mirsky, AUS, 7
4. Mans Holmberg, SWE 6
5. Evan Walker, AUS, 6
6. Lachy Gilmour, AUS, 4
7. Harry Price, AUS, 3
8. Gemma Jones, NZL, 2
9. Will Dargaville, AUS, 1
10. Robert Gibbs, AUS, 0.5
Same Features Smaller Package
The Morrelli & Melvin-designed HH 55 from Paul Hakes and Hudson Marine takes all the best bits of the same team's successful HH 66 to deliver an exceptionally attractive - and fast - new mid-sized package.
It's safe to say that high-speed offshore multihulls are no longer just a novelty enjoyed by a select few devotees. More and more of these craft are appearing around the world and builders are seeing a steady stream of interest and demand at various sizes for proper offshore yachts that are not only fast, but also comfortable, stable and versatile in use.
Last year's launching of Hudson Marine's HH 66 represented the introduction of the newest generation of offshore catamarans; the sleek 66-footer quickly demonstrated that luxurious and stylish cruising accommodation could now be delivered with an even higher level of sailing performance, the HH 66 beating more seasoned peers in the Mediterranean Multihull Cup last autumn. This success not only prompted more business for Hudson Marine - five HH 66s have been launched, are in build or are on the order books- but also some valuable feedback to influence the next big cat in the product line, the new HH 55, due out for sea trials this month.
Full article in the March issue of Seahorse:
World Sailing Unites Kiteboarding Governing Bodies
World Sailing has today signed a landmark agreement with the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the Global Kitesports Association (GKA) to unite the kiteboarding community and provide clarity of kiteboarding's governance structure.
World Sailing, the IKA and the GKA aim to promote, and expand interest worldwide in the sport of competitive kiteboarding and to regulate the management and responsibilities for kiteboarding. The parties have been in close consultation following the signing of a memorandum of understanding in November 2016 to achieve this.
Under the new agreement, the GKA has the right to run expression events at a World Level for Wave, Strapless Freestyle, Big Air (Twin Tip), Freestyle (Twin Tip) and Slider / Obstacle and the IKA will continue to be responsible for the racing disciplines. The GKA shall be responsible for the development of pathways for expression events but shall work exclusively with the IKA and its national kiteboarding associations.
The parties will work together exclusively on expression events below World Level and development of event officials. -- Daniel Smith - World Sailing
Ancient Shipwreck Exposed By Wind And Tide On Mayo Coast
Continued erosion on the Atlantic seaboard has exposed the remains of a shipwreck on the south-west Mayo coastline.
The wreck - already known about locally - is clearly visible at low tide at Tallaghbaun beach, just north of the mouth of Killary Harbour.
Archaeologist Michael Gibbons, who has examined the vessel, says it is a classic example of a wreck, but its identity is unknown. It could date from the late medieval period onwards and in an area replete with shipwrecks, he notes.
Tropical Conditions In Miami
Ryan DeVos and team XS Energy won the M32 Miami Winter Series Event #2 in the final race. A windy northerly for the practice day and two sunny hull-flying race days was enough to make competitors smile!
PRO Liz Shaw and team gave racers a run for their money on Biscayne Bay, completing 8 races Saturday and 7 Sunday in a glorious 6-10 knot easterly breeze. Racing was tight with several lead changes throughout the weekend. Sunday proved to be tricky and concentration was key.
Friday's practice day was a fantastic day to rip around Biscayne Bay with breeze in the teens. Wind funneled out of Bear Cut to the north and sailors were required to reef sails. Guest Skipper Jason Carroll and team Convexity was awarded with the watermelon trophy for winning the day.
Event #3 in Miami coincides with the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, March 9-12, which will take place in Regatta Park.
1. XS Energy, Ryan DeVos, USA, 42 points
2. REV, Rick DeVos, USA, 43
3. Convexity , Jason Carroll, USA, 47
4. 102BFAST, Charles Tomeo, USA, 48
5. Bliksem, Pieter Taselaar, USA, 56
6. Liftoff, Malcolm Gefter, USA, 79
Yacht rigging and inspection specialists Marine Results have agreed a sponsorship package with British Sailing Team duo Megan Brickwood and her crew Ellie Aldridge from Poole, to support their bid to represent the UK at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in the 49er FX class.
The pair are currently based in Cadiz, Spain with the British Sailing Team for winter training where squad camps are held each month to allow the sailors to gain time on the water with warmer temperatures and longer days than the UK would offer.
In March Ellie and Megan will be training in Palma and competing in the Princess Sofia Regatta there at the end of March, plus a number of other events, the focus of which is Kiel Week in June.
Both are part of the British Sailing Team Podium Potential Squad. Megan, who is from Hamble, has been in the program now for four years, recently moving to the FX to campaign with Ellie, from Poole, who joined the program in the summer of 2016.
Swedish company Sail Racing International has been appointed as official clothing partner to the World Match Racing Tour. The Sail Racing team will develop new limited collections in partnership with the WMRT, both technical race gear designed to the requirements of the high-performance M32 catamaran as well as official WMRT merchandise for fans and shore crew.
Sail Racing International is focused on technical products for high-speed sailing. Since the previous partnership during the 2010-2012 seasons, the World Match Racing Tour has taken a bold step into high-performance racing through the introduction of the M32. This leap forwards in the match racing game means that sailors demand much more from their clothing and equipment.
Together with the Tour, Sail Racing will develop merchandise collections over the next three years. These collections will soon be available at Sail Racing online store with shipping worldwide, and at several events during the seasons. In addition, Sail Racing will supply technical and shore side clothing to WMRT staff.
Henri Lloyd has announced changes to its board with former joint CEOs, brothers Paul and Martin Strzelecki, becoming chairman and CEO respectively.
Paul, while undertaking the chairmanship will continue to head the management of the marine division.
Martin as CEO will head the lifestyle and retail divisions and all the other aspects of the business will be under his executive direction.
Furthermore, Adam Leebetter has been promoted to sales director covering the UK lifestyle business to complement his international role on all wholesale and licensee business.
Once again, GAC Pindar and GAC companies around the world will be put to the test by the Volvo Ocean Race. The 2017-18 edition will be the second consecutive time that GAC serves as the official logistics provider for the world's premier offshore round-the-world race, after its successful collaboration in 2014-15.
The Group's marine sport and leisure logistics specialist, GAC Pindar, will work closely with GAC offices around the world to provide a wide range of services for the Race which kicks off in Alicante, Spain, on 22 October. That will include customs clearance and transportation of pavilions and hospitality infrastructure, broadcast and other support equipment to Host Cities across six continents.
It will be a repeat of the epic challenge presented by the 2014-15 Race, during which the GAC Pindar team clocked up more than 21,000 man hours working to ensure the smooth delivery of the event. It also played a key role in getting two of the competing crews and their boats back in the Race after disaster struck: assisting in the Dongfeng Race Team mast replacement after it snapped en route for Brazil; and moving Team Vestas Wind's stricken boat after it ran aground on the Cargados Carajos Shoals near Mauritius.
Since its establishment in 2011, GAC Pindar has become the go-to provider of marine leisure logistics, offering a complete range of services such as yacht transport, superyacht fuels, air ocean and land freight, yacht spares logistics, sailing even management and ship agency. The announcement of its appointment for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 follows the signing in November 2016 of a long-term deal making it the official provider of marine logistics and shipping services for World Sailing, the world governing body of sailing representing more than 140 member nations. GAC Pindar is also the official logistics provider for the Extreme Sailing Series, World Match Racing and the M32 Series.
Darrell and Leslie Allen are the new managing partners and majority shareholders for Hake Marine LLC, builders of Island Packet and Seaward Yachts, it was announced.
The Allen's first action was to roll back prices on the Island Packet models to 2008 levels. They have reduced the prices on the Seaward models as well. This is possibly due to a streamlined facility, good standing with vendors and a strong financial position. Buyers can expect the quality to remain at the highest standards and the warranty periods will not change.
The Allens own Suncoast Yachts in San Diego, which has been an Island Packet dealer for more than 20 years.
UK boatbuilder Oyester says plans are now being developed to expand the facilities at Saxon Wharf so that Oyster 118-03 can be built partly in parallel with 118-02 for a late summer 2020 delivery, with 118-04 being offered for delivery in 2021.
Oyster Yachts in the UK has announced the sale of a second unit of its Oyster 118. The new contract comes to fruition after months of discussion with the client on detailed specification and layouts. The second Oyster 118 is scheduled for delivery in spring 2020.
Hull moulding will start in the next couple of months in Oyster's dedicated facility at HMS Daedalus, near Portsmouth and fit-out will start in 2018 in Oyster's Custom & Refit shipyard at Saxon Wharf in Southampton.
According to data from the Global Order Book (excluding yachts 'on-hold') this contract means that Oyster achieves 30% market share of the global order book for projects in the 24m-36m range to be delivered in the 2017- 2020 period.
“Red” is a ‘turn key’ boat, ready to enter the Melges 32 class at the highest level in a boat that is 100% ready to race.
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Lovely example of the Maxi 1300. Complete with new electronics and a refurbished deck.
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Checkmate is a three-cabin Swan 45 and has recently been introduced to the brokerage market. Currently lying at the Nautor's Swan Service Center in Scarlino, Italy, she is offered for sale in VAT Paid status.
Nautor's Swan Brokerage - Jeremy Peek & Stefano Leonardi
See the RaceboatsOnly.com collection at seahorsemagazine.com/brokerage/
The Last Word
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. -- Isaac Asimov