In This Issue
Light Conditions Challenge Orc Worlds Fleet In Offshore Races | Star World Championship - Back on the water again | What is The Nations Trophy? | First Start Of 2017 Transpac | Williams firing on all cylinders at GKSS Match Cup Sweden | What's in the Latest Edition Of Seahorse Magazine | Corfu Challenge | Argo runs away with the GC32 Villasimius Cup | Letters to the Editor | Featured Brokerage
Light Conditions Challenge ORC Worlds Fleet In Offshore Races
Photo by Max Ranchi, www.maxranchi.com. Click on image for photo gallery.
Trieste, Italy: In conditions that yesterday and last night tried the patience of both competitors and the Race Committee, today the fleet of 116 teams finally limped across the finish line near the base venue at Porto San Rocco to complete the first phase of competition at the ORC Worlds Trieste 2017. Winds were light and got lighter on and off throughout the day and night as teams in three classes made slow progress on their respective courses laid out in the Gulf of Trieste with a turn south down the Slovenian and Croatian coasts, and back.
For example, defending Class A World Champion Feccia Rossa, Vadim Yakimenko's TP 52 with the same Russo-French team that won a similar light-air championship in Copenhagen last year, looked strong to repeat the same with a win scored at the race first scoring gate of 51.4 miles for this class. But the slower boats overtook them on the final leg to the finish after 121 miles where Maurizio Poser's Swan 42 Sheraa YCH from Italy took the win and Freccia had to settle for 12th.
Sheraa's 5th in the first race puts them in a solid lead in Class A on 6 points, with Klaus Diederich's Swan 45 Fever and an international crew that includes Volvo navigator Wouter Verbraak and helmsman Andy Beadsworth tied with Vincenzo Onerato's Cookson 50 Mascalzone Latino on 11 points each.
In Class B there is a surprising leader, one who has not been among the local Italian or Baltic-based favorites going into the event but maybe now will have their rivals take notice. On the strength of their scores of 3-13, Sergey Kolesnikov's mostly Russian team on his X-41 Technonicol leads Class B by only one point over Diego Zanco's Croatian team on another X-41/
In Class C to say an Italia Yachts 9.98 is winning would not be very surprising: teams sailing this Matteo Polli design have won the last two World Championships in this class. Both seasoned and new teams did well last night on 9.98's, winning both of the races on the 31.5 and 99 mile courses.
On Wednesday inshore windward-leeward racing will start, with Classes A and C competing on a course area to the south of Porto San Rocco, and Class B by itself to the west. All teams will no doubt enjoy a quiet evening of rest tonight before the battle starts again tomorrow, with two races planned.
Star World Championship - Back on the water again
Troense, Denmark: After yesterday's cancellation of the sailing, due to strong winds, the majority of sailors were eager to race again.
In consideration of today's weather forecast, with risk of winds like on the first race day, five crews decided to postpone their competing until the next race to protect their rigging and sails and did not start.
Today's race was postponed for 2 hours, due to strong winds, but at 13.30 o'clock and after a restart, the race was on with 59 boats on the start line.
Despite wind conditions like in the previous race, there were no broken masts today.
Nine boats did not finish the race due to damages on sails or rigging and after a very challenging competition the final battle for stepping on the podium was between boats from Argentina, Germany and Norway.
The winners of race no. 2 are:
1. Facundo Olezza Baza / Juan Pablo Engelhard, Argentina
2. Reinhard Schmidt / Paul Sradnick, Germany
3. Eivind Melleby / Joshua Revkin, Norway
Aged 23 years old, today's no. one winner Facundo Olezza Baza is the youngest helmsman of all in this World Championship, a very optimistic sign for the Star Class!
What is The Nations Trophy?
The first edition of The Nations Trophy will be held from 10 - 14 October 2017 in Palma de Mallorca hosted by the Real Club Nautico Palma and is open to three Swan One-Design classes: ClubSwan 50 and ClubSwan 42, which will also be competing for their European Championship; and, Swan 45, which will also be contesting its World Championship.
The Nations Trophy is reminiscent of events popular during one of the golden ages of international yacht racing. The Admiral's Cup, launched in by the RORC in 1957, was the catalyst for number of nation versus nation team events including the Sardinia Cup in Italy (first held in 1978) and the Clipper Cup (later Kenwood Cup) in Hawaii (first held in 1978). Other events include the Southern Cross Cup (Australia, 1967) and even the Onion Patch Trophy (USA, 1986).
While a number of these events have fallen by the wayside as trends in yacht racing have changed, the sentiment that nation versus nation competition should be a strong part of the sailing world has never wavered. The Nations Trophy is a small step towards reinvigorating this element of the sport.
Enter while you can. Charter yachts are available, but you need to be quick!
First Start Of 2017 Transpac
Los Angeles, California: Seventeen yachts in three divisions set off yesterday in the first wave of three starts to the 49th edition of the 2017 biennial Transpac Race. Under sunny skies and light winds the fleet left the start area promptly at the start signal of 1:00 PM local time to head west towards the finish at Diamond Head in Honolulu 2225 miles away.
The weather at the start featured a pleasant westerly sea breeze and enough sun to reduce the chill of the coastal water, which for the teams will get colder as they head west into the first few nights of the race. The long-term forecast for this fleet is for the typical northwest coastal winds to start out to be moderate in strength, and as the fleet moves south and west it will bend more towards the northeast and become the famous downwind slide to Hawaii, and while the wind speeds in the current forecast do not show to be very strong, the pattern does look more typical and normal to this time of year than that experienced in the unusal El Nino conditions experienced in the last race in 2015.
The next start for Divisions 3 and 4 will be Wednesday July 5th at 1:00 PM, also at Point Fermin.
The YB tracking can be found at yb.tl/transpac2017#
Williams firing on all cylinders at GKSS Match Cup Sweden
Marstrand, Sweden: Qualifying at GKSS Match Cup Sweden concluded in magnificent conditions on Marstrand Arena today with northwesterly winds gradually building to 15 knots by mid-afternoon. With the teams divided into three groups of six teams, all sailed five races and the stand-out performer was Ian Williams' Team GAC Pindar. The British six time World Match Racing Tour champion scored consecutive bullets in the first three races with no result off the podium.
Elsewhere competition was much closer.
In their group Australian Matt Jerwood came out on top, but tied on points with two time Tour champion Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands. Jerwood enjoyed three race wins, but consistency failed them.
The tightest group was the last to race and ended up topped by three antipodean teams - Phil Robertson, Chris Steele and Torvar Mirsky - all tied on points.
Wednesday and Thursday will be the first-to-three Super 16 elimination round, while the three bottom-ranked teams from Qualifying will race to decide the 16th team to go through: Harry Price will face Eric Monnin, the victor then lining up against Evan Walker.
Qualifying - results
1. Phil Robertson, NZL, China One Ningbo, 14
2. Chris Steele, NZL, 36 Below Racing, 14
3. Torvar Mirsky, AUS, Mirsky Racing Team, 14
4. Pieter-Jan Postmam NED, Sailing Team NL, 17
5. Mans Holmberg, SWE, Team Sweden, 19
6. Evan Walker, AUS, KA Match, 27
1. Matt Jerwood, AUS, Redline Racing, 11
2. Taylor Canfield, USVI, US One, 11
3. Sam Gilmour, AUS, Neptune Racing, 16
4. Sally Barkow, USA, Team Magenta 32, 20
5. Nevin Snow, USA, 13FIFTY Racing, 21
6. Harry Price, AUS, Down Under Racing, 28
1. Ian Williams, GBR, GAC Pindar, 8
2. David Gilmour, AUS, Team Gilmour, 14
3. Yann Guichard, FRA, Spindrift Racing, 14
4. Johnie Berntsson, SWE, FLUX Team, 20
5. Nicklas Dackhammar, SWE, ESSIQ Racing Team, 22
6. Eric Monnin, SUI, Albert Riele Swiss Team, 27
The rise of the Mini scow is proving relentless, a new Vendée Globe 'launching', the ultimate Transat rivalry, skiffies on top, tough (Olympic) decisions and New York gets out the cheque book. Patrice Carpentier, Ivor Wilkins, Rob Kothe, Dobbs Davis
Now this one just became very interesting...
IRC - Less than obvious
Or why a one-design can be easier to draw
Design - A (very) different task
Stephane Leveel has travelled a long way during a successful international career in yacht design. His current task is (literally) the biggest
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Corfu, Greece: The 2017 Corfu Challenge Maxi 72 class regatta kicked off with an official practice day. Prior to leaving the dock, Father Alex Karloutsos came down to bless newly named Evniki, as well as the entire fleet. Teams then zipped out to the racecourse in a sunny, 20 knot north westerly wind. Breeze remained consistent throughout the day, only decreasing briefly near the windward mark in front of Mount Pantokrator. "Conditions today were relatively straight forward to drive [the boat] to. It was mostly about angle of heel because the telltales and instruments delay in breeze." Cannonball owner/driver Dario Ferrari, ITA.
Principal Race Officer Ariane Mainemare ran two practice starts before the windy two mile, two lap practice race. MOMO, Cannonball, and Proteus were all on the line, each showing moments of speed throughout the day. Racing was close, and it was MOMO who won the race with a lead change after the second windward mark. Both Evniki and Bella Mente also spent time on the water to ensure everything was setup for race day.
Bella Mente's tactician Terry Hutchinson: "Racing for the week is going to show a little bit of breeze early on, and then easing as the week goes, probably into a more typical Corfu, Greece condition. I suspect it will be tricky with five strong teams!". All five boats are in line on the dock and ready for the 1300 start tomorrow, where conditions will determine whether races will be around the buoy laps or a costal race.
Argo runs away with the GC32 Villasimius Cup
Jason Carroll and Team Argo were unstoppable at the GC32 Villasimius Cup after the American crew foiled to victory on a beautiful final day in Sardinia. The breeze started around 10 knots from the west and built to 18 knots by the end of four windward-leeward races that saw the fleet charging downwind at speeds approaching 30 knots. It was the perfect conclusion to the second round of this season's GC32 Racing Tour.
Carroll didn't win a race today but throughout the 10 races he never finished outside the top three, demonstrating a level of consistency that no other crew could come close to matching.
For an Owner Driver competing against Olympic medal winning helmsmen such as Iker Martinez on Movistar-Ventana Group and Erik Heil on Armin Strom, Carroll's feat is all the more remarkable.
The battle for second place was a three-way battle that all came down to the final race. Martinez seized victory in race 10 and almost made his way on to the podium. Movistar-Ventana Group finished tied for third with Mamma Aiuto! but it was Naofumi Kamei who edged out Martinez in the tie-break and made it to the podium.
Racing at the GC32 Villasimius Cup took place over 28th June-1st July, with the competition also featuring the GC32 Racing Tour's new Anonimo Speed Challenge.
GC32 Villasimius Cup - The Teams
Team Argo (USA) - Jason Carroll
ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) - Flavio Marazzi
Team ENGIE (FRA) - Sebastien Rogues
Malizia - Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) - Pierre Casiraghi
Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) - Naofumi Kamei
Movistar - Ventana Group (ESP) - Iker Martinez
Realteam (SUI) - Jerome Clerc
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* From Malcolm McKeag:
So Dr Grant Gibbons, Bermuda's Minister for Economic Development, tells us and the world that thanks to AC35 "Bermuda received extraordinary visibility on the world stage as the Cup was broadcast to 162 countries with millions of people watching. "
I wonder whence comes this estimate. From the same agency that tried to tell us that Donald Trump's inauguration attracted bigger crowds than did Barrack Obama's perhaps. As Barry Pickthall has already pointed out once Ben was eliminated AC35 was all-but invisible on British television (and while Ben was still in the coverage - naive and ill-informed as it was - was all about Land Rover BAR and its programme, not of Bermuda and AC35).
It was a similar story in print, where yesterday our local round-the-island race warranted a front page photograph in the Times but last week New Zealand lifting the America's Cup was buried to the point of invisibilty.
Undoubtedly AC35 with its assorted sideshows, from Js to Juniors (where GBR's excellent performance was all-but ignored here) did much for Bermuda's tourist trade and was no doubt hugely enjoyed by those present in person but any sort of global event, or rivetting television spectacle, it was not.
I am not one who shares the view that foiling multihulls have no place in the America's Cup which has always been about eye-wateringly rich people and their profesionals pushing the limits, technical and human, of all aspects of racing wind-powered craft across water.
But if the Kiwis want to bring the 36th iteration of the event that began in 1870 in New York harbour to 'millions of people' they will need to do a much better job than did the recent defenders. As will the broadcasters, magical graphics notwithstanding.
* From Bengt O. Hult, Lidingo Sweden, Ex IJ:
Three cheers for New Zealand who did what most of the sailing world was hoping for. And how they did it! It was a great joy to see them smash Oracle to pieces. Thank you. Now hopefully even Ellison has realized that money does not reign.
Now I sincerely hope that you keep your promise to make the next America´s Cup a real match race and not a drag race as this time. Using the so called boats that Ellison introduced for match racing is ridiculous. In them the crews had to concentrate on keeping them up on the foils and to stay away from the other boat. It had practically nothing to do with match racing where tactics is all important, tacking, covering and so on.
One more thing. According to the Deed of Gift AC should be a competition between nations. What was Ellison´s bought foreign legion representing? Not America, that is for sure. Next time I hope that the crew members will be born in the country they represent. Then we would get something that reminds of the real America´s Cup.
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The Last Word
I have used movies to go to sleep at night. You flip from channel to channel to channel and see just enough to make your brain mushy and go to sleep. -- Kip Thorne