Posts Tagged ‘yacht’

super yacht

super yacht

Despite the set-back of not being able to hoist any mizzen sails, Sojana managed to hold-off the rest of the fleet and win the third and final race of The Superyacht Cup Antigua 2010. Bucket ratings expert, Jim Teeters worked out Sojana’s temporary sloop rating after they suffered a broken mizzen boom on the first day, and gave them a 4 minute start advantage over second starting boat, Rebecca and a 29 minute start on Visione.

It was another windy day with plenty of action for these immensely powerful superyachts, flying full mains and maximum downwind sails, they raced around the 24 mile course in just two and a half hours. The breeze picked up on the final beat to the high 20’s and Visione closed the gap on Sojana, finishing just 51 seconds behind her. An elated Peter Harrison, owner of Sojana, cheered as he crossed the line in first place, a much improved day out for him and his crew who have played as many rounds of golf on the island as sailing races in the past few days!

Ranger and P2 had a tight battle all day, crossing tacks several times. At one point P2 looked to be clear ahead, but Ranger gained on the last upwind leg, beating them by just over 3 minutes. Throughout the three days of racing the emphasis on sailing safe has been very high on everyone’s mind and the superyacht racing protocol has been put to the test by the experts, without incident or protest.

High priority on the agenda of this friendly superyacht regatta, the social program has been a huge hit; from Pirates of the Caribbean fancy dress, to last nights all important ‘cook-off’ between the yachts, the social competitions were just as fiercely contested as the sailing. Sojana’s Captain, Marc Fitzgerald, prepared a magnificent grilled halibut and vegetable risotto while Mirabella V crew barbecued up a storm carefully supervised by the Captain ‘Dr’ Rocka.

The event closed with a grand Prize Giving Buffet dinner at the Copper & Lumber Hotel in Nelson’s Dockyard.

Super Yacht Cup Results Overall:

1st Visione – 4 points
2nd Sojana – 10 points
3rd Ranger – 10 points

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Geoff Holt

Disabled Sailor Geoff Holt by OCVision

Record-breaking disabled sailor Geoff Holt is starting on his 2,700 mile journey to cross the Atlantic. Returning to the scene of the accident that paralysed him 25 years ago, Geoff is sailing across some of the most hostile waters in the world on his 60 foot catamaran sailboat Impossible Dream. If he makes it, he will be the first quadriplegic sailor to make the journey, unassisted in every aspect of the sailing.

This is not Geoff Holt’s first time in the spotlight. In 2007, Geoff sailed his way into the record books when he completed his Personal Everest when he became the first disabled yachtsman to sail single-handed around Great Britain.

Geoff says that this will be his first time he will be away from his wife Elaine and 7 year old son Tim at Christmas time, but he will not be spending it alone as whilst Geoff is a vastly experienced yachtsman he does need someone to help with his personal care. New Zealand born, Susana Scott who has specialist skills in caring for those with a high-level disability will provide care for Geoff, but will have no input into the sailing.

Geoff explains why this is such a personal challenge, ‘I’ve been living off the memories. I now want to relive the experience. It seems right to sail back to Cane Garden Bay in Tortola in the British Virgin Islands as this is where I had my accident. I will be returning as a quadriplegic yachtsman and it is a personal challenge where I feel I will be closing the circle from having my accident and returning again as a yachtsman.’

Read an interview with Geoff Holt here: Geoff Holt Interview

Middle Sea Race by Rolex/Alan Carville

Alegre Wins Middle Sea Race by Rolex/Alan Carville

Rolex Middle Sea Race

Without doubt the most productive finish line watch duty at this year’s Rolex Middle Sea Race was from 11.30 to 15.30 on Wednesday. Royal Malta Yacht Club watchkeepers, Clive and Mary Chipperfield, witnessed eleven yachts complete the course, equalling the number that arrived over the whole of Monday and Tuesday. The total number of finishers by 17.30 was thirty-seven, with one more through the Comino Channel and on the home stretch. An exciting day which saw Andy Soriano’s Alegre  (GBR) confirmed as Overall Winner of the 30th Rolex Middle Sea Race and David Franks’ Strait Dealer, skippered by David Anastasi, taking the trophy for first Maltese boat home on the water. A number of class trophies were decided, but with eight yachts still to finish there are one or two still in the balance.

Malta woke to a windless, clear sky with some mild humidity. A nice start to the day for a tourist, but not a good situation if you are clawing your way along the northern coast of Malta rather hoping to wrap a class victory with a fast finish. Klaus Diederich’s and Grant Gordon’s Swan 45 Fever (GBR) found itself in just this situation at sunrise this morning. The international crew including notables such as Andy Beadsworth, Gary Barron, Wouter Verbraak and Tony Rey really had to work to squeeze their steed over the line. In the end, the effort was not enough and currently Arthur Podesta and Elusive II Medbank (MLT) sit atop Class 3.

Co-owners Gordon and Diederich had enjoyed the race, as Diederich remarked, “the reach up to Messina was a fantastic experience. We were absolutely flying, touching 22 knots, it is the fastest we have ever been in the boat.” Gordon was in full agreement, “there are few Swan 45s that venture offshore but we love it. You get a totally different atmosphere to short course racing. The scenery for this race is also spectacular which adds to a great experience.”

After rounding Stromboli, Fever had encountered severe weather conditions as Olympic medalist and America’s Cup skipper, Andy Beadsworth explained, “the sail plan of a Swan 45 is not really designed for offshore racing, let alone 40 knots of wind, and we were forced to drop the main and deploy the storm try-sail. During the race, we used every sail on the boat, except for the storm jib.”

‘We built up a significant lead around the top of Sicily,” commented Volvo Ocean Race navigator, Wouter Verbraak. “But we completely ran out of breeze at Pantelleria and could only watch as the competition came from behind. However, after passing Lampedusa, we made a move to the left of the course and probably made a gain bigger than the loss at Pantelleria.”

The big noise of the morning, after the name of Alegre was stamped on the Rolex Middle Sea Race trophy, was the arrival of Strait Dealer. Another epic adventure that ended with a patience-sapping finish. One that was worth it though for owner David Franks, who was probably on his last lap of the racecourse. Franks was delighted to be back and to secure the prize of first Maltese boat home on the water, despite enduring some difficult times, “we had a good crew and I enjoyed the race very much. There were some very tough points, but we didn’t break too many things and we didn’t lose too many things. We got tangled up in a lobster pot and went through an ice storm. I’ve never had such a cold Rolex Middle Sea Race and this is my seventh.”

“The crew held up very well, David Anastasi had a lot on and did extremely well. Strait Dealer is a very wet boat, but everyone just got on with it,” continued Franks, who finished with some praise for the organisers. “This is a most fantastic race. It is so well organised, it’s so exciting, so many great boats come along, it’s very competitive and to top it all there’s a good social programme before and after.”

Skipper David Anastasi was pleased too, but admitted that their ambition had been to win first Maltese boat on handicap. Strait Dealer does better downwind than upwind and with more of her race being into wind, she was always going to be hard pressed to secure that prize and, indeed, tonight it is held by Artie. “We had a really good race up to Messina in conditions that the boat loves. From then on the wind was on the nose, which is very hard for us. Everything went well, the crew worked well together including the younger ones such as Sean Borg, Darren Cauchi and Alan Tabone.” Anastasi admitted that the biggest problem had been eating, even freezer-dried food that needs just boiled water adding to it, “the conditions were so bad, and it was practically impossible to cook since there was just too much going on below.”

Tactician, Nigel King, a veteran of the 2001 Volvo Ocean Race was also relieved to be back in one piece, “it was probably the toughest Rolex Middle Sea Race I’ve ever done. Quite a lot of storms came through, with squally showers. The guys had to work really hard to keep the boat moving. The most difficult bit was once we got round Stromboli. There were lots of squalls and showers and storms coming through. Lots of sail changes and fighting the occasional fire when they came a bit quicker that you expected. It was very hard at night because there was complete loss of visibility and it was much harder seeing the wind that’s coming. You’ve got to be a bit more pre-emptive in getting things done. The Mediterranean’s famous for days like that though.”

Other finishers today included Piet Vroon’s Tonnerre de Breskens III (NED), Sonke Stein’s BOV Kerisma (GER), Jonas Diamantino’s Comanche Raider Gasan Mamo (MLT), Edward Broadway’s Hooligan VI (GBR), Peter Hopp’s and Hilary Cook’s Nisida (GBR), Fillippo Lancelotti’s Sciara (ITA) and, of course, Elusive II.

Elusive II crossed the line at midday, all but four days after starting the race in Grand Harbour. Her arrival was smoother than the early birds. The wind had built over the day and whilst the leg from Comino to the finish was a beat, at least there was something to power the boats. Podesta has now completed thirty races. An unparalleled record and one unlikely to be matched for many years. His enthusiasm for the race continues to shine through, even when he has been in a battle, “this was as tough as the 2007 race, though perhaps not as treacherous. We hit our first major squall after Capo Passero and suffered an enormous broach. We recovered. eventually. and continued pushing forward. We had another enormous squall at Stromboli and then, all the way to Palermo, we had squalls every two or three hours. That made the race most tiring.” As reported by Maya Podesta during the race, much of the problem weather occurred during the pitch black of a moonless night and Podesta senior confirmed the added peril of hail and temperature loss referred to earlier by Franks.

A couple of hours after the finish and a good meal later, Podesta laughingly confirmed that he would be returning next year.

Five hours after Elusive, we saw the tightest finish to date as four yachts entered Marsamxett Harbour within a few minutes of each other. .Lee Satariano’s Artie (MLT) led the charge, followed three minutes later by Sandro Musu’s Aziza (MLT) and Antonio Fava’s Velado (ITA), separated by half a tack and five-seconds. About as exciting as it gets after 606 nautical miles of racing. Sneaking in just before press time to grab their piece of the limelight was Seawolf of Southampton (GIB). Eight yachts remain on the racetrack including the two double-handers who appear to be match-racing their way to Lampedusa and will probably continue to do so to the finish.

Read more about the Middle Sea Race here: Heavy Weather Sailing in the Middle Sea Race

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Sailing at the Argo Gold Cup by Charles Anderson

Sailing at the Argo Gold Cup by Charles Anderson

Sailing in Bermuda at the Argo Group Gold Cup

Team Pindar’s Ian Williams has got off to a strong start at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda. Six wins and just one defeat in the round robin stage have guaranteed him a place in the quarter-finals tomorrow, keeping his world title hopes alive.

Williams lost just one flight to Eric Monnin (SUI) on the first day of racing in light winds, finishing the day with a 3-1 scorecard.

On day two, the breeze built steadily during the morning, with gusts in the low twenties. The reigning Double World Match Racing Champion won a further three flights and enjoyed an exciting battle against Damian Iehl (FRA), who, whilst leading, had to complete a penalty turn. Despite completing his penalty and finishing ahead, he also infringed Williams in the process, resulting in a second penalty for Iehl and a win for Team Pindar. Williams’ next match was short lived after Keith Swinton (AUS) broke his boom during the pre-start and in the final race of the day, Williams defeated current tour leader, Torvar Mirsky (NZL).

Speaking from Bermuda, Williams commented, ‘We are really pleased to have confirmed our place in the quarter-finals already. Having completed all our matches in the round robin, we can spend today recharging our batteries and ensuring we are 100% prepared for tomorrow.’

The top two teams from three groups, plus the top two from a ‘repecharge’ round robin progress to the quarter finals on Friday, followed by the semi-finals on Saturday and final and petit-final on Sunday October 11.

Results from Day 3 at the Argo Group Gold Cup

REPECHAGE Argo Group Gold Cup
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 1-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 0-1
Blythe Walker (BDA) 1-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) 1-1
Dave Perry (USA) 0-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 2-0

GROUP 1 Argo Group Gold Cup
Eric Monnin (SUI) 6-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 6-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4-3
Reuben Corbett (NZL) 3-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-5
Ian Evans (USA) 1-6
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1-6

GROUP 2 Argo Group Gold Cup
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 7-0
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 4-3
Dave Perry (USA) 4-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 4-3
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge 4-3
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 3-4
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 2-5
Paula Lewin Crews (BDA) 8-0

GROUP 3 Argo Group Gold Cup
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 6-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 6-1
Blythe Walker (BDA) 4-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 4-3
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 3-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-4
Charlie Enright (USA) 1-6
Donald Wilson (USA) 1-6

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Jessica Watson on her Boat

Jessica Watson on her Boat

Jessica Watson Warned to Call off Sailing Trip

Jessica Watson, the 16 year old girl aiming to break a world record as the youngest to sail solo around the world, has reportedly been advised to cancel the trip by authorities in Australia. The Courier Mail revealed an alarming report this week, assessing Jessica Watson’s skills, or lack thereof, following the collision between her yacht and a bulk carrier during her test sail. The report states the Australian teenager most probably dozed off before her vessel hit and was dragged alongside the 63,000-ton cargo ship, didn’t activate a device to warn her of a potential collision, could not plot her journey, didn’t have a fatigue management plan, and had irregular latitude and longitude entries in her log book.

Acting Premier Paul Lucas last night said Jessica Watson should abandon her attempt to become the youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world. “I’ll be honest. On this evidence I don’t think she’s ready to do this,” Mr Lucas told the CM. “We all admire this young woman’s spirit, but sailing solo around the world is a demanding and dangerous venture. It’s not a task anyone young or old should undertake lightly.”

Jessica Watson plans to set sail on her voyage around the world in October if repairs to her sailboat Ella’s Pink Lady are completed in time.

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