Archive for the ‘sailboat race’ Category

Womens Match Racing

Womens Match Racing sailing by Chris Davies / WMRT

Some of the world’s top female match racers have been sailing on the waters of Sweden’s Marstrand Fjord at an event known as the Stena Match Cup Sweden, the fifth stage of the World Match Racing Tour.

The women’s class racing kicked off the event with a showcase of skill and talent as the teams went head to head in the identical Elliot 6m yachts, the same boat that will be sailed at the London 2012 Olympics. The women’s division at Stena Match Cup Sweden provides the Olympic hopefuls with one of the most important opportunities to hone their skills in the run-up to the Olympic selection trials.

Today’s Semi Finals saw American Olympic gold medallist Anna Tunnicliffe overcome Great Britain’s world number one female match racer Lucy Macgregor 3-0 in tricky, shifting conditions.

“We had a great day of racing today,” Tunnicliffe said. “Conditions out there were pretty tough, racing was tight and a lot of fun. We have been sailing really well and we hope we can keep up our form going into the final tomorrow.”

Macgregor, who along with sister Kate and crew Annie Lush are currently the number one choice to represent Team GBR at the London Games, added: “It is disappointing to lose in the Semis to Anna but it is all great training for the Olympics. Everything is very much on course for London 2012.”

Tunnicliffe will face world number two Claire Leroy from France in the Final tomorrow, after Leroy defeated last year’s women’s division winner Ekaterina Skudina from Russia in the other Semi Final match.

Following the action from the women’s class it was time for the men’s teams to hit the water for a practice session ahead of the first qualifying session tomorrow. Fourteen teams – including all nine Tour Card Holders – will clash over 23 flights of four matches to determine which eight crews will progress through to the next stage of Stena Match Cup Sweden.

Having made the finals of the last three Tour events and with a 23-point buffer at the top of the World Match Racing Tour standings, Francesco Bruni (ITA) Bruni Racing is among the favourites for glory in Marstrand. Bruni has been the standout skipper on the Tour so far this season with impressive consistency and strike rate. However, life at the top is by no means easy.

“With three good results under our belt I think there is now quite a bit of pressure on us to win here in Sweden,” Bruni admitted. “At the same time, the feeling that we are sailing well eases that pressure.  It’s a good feeling to be ahead in the Tour, it was our goal but we didn’t expect to be this far ahead. We’re really excited about racing here in Marstrand, we want to do well and we’re putting all our energy into it.”

Among those looking to upset Bruni’s crusade will undoubtedly be the Swedish contingent of Tour Card Holder Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing, Tour regular Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team and Matthias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar comes to Marstrand off the back of a win at the Portimao Portugal Match Cup but the double match racing world champion has had no time to rest, travelling straight to Sweden from the American stage of the Extreme Sailing Series.

 

Women’s class Semi Final results:
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) Team Tunnicliffe beat Lucy Macgregor (GBR) Match Race Girls 3-0
Claire Leroy (FRA) Mermaid Sailing Team beat Ekatherina Skudina (RUS) Yacht Russia 3-2

Women’s class Qualifying results:
1 Ekatherina Skudina (RUS) Yacht Russia 7-2
2 Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) Team Tunnicliffe 7-2
3 Claire Leroy (FRA) Mermaid Sailing Team 6-3
4 Lucy Macgregor (GBR) Match Race Girls 6-3
5 Anna Kjellberg (SWE) Team Anna 5-4
6 Nicky Souter (AUS) 5-4
7 Mandy Mulder (NED) 5-4
8 Trine Abrahamsen (DEN) 2-7
9 Lotte Melgaard Pedersen (DEN) Match Race Team 2-9
10 Caroline Sylvan (SWE) 0-9

 

At 12:00 GMT on December 31st, record breaking British yachtswoman Dee Caffari and her Spanish co-skipper, Anna Corbella, crossed the start line of the 25,000 mile Barcelona World Race onboard the IMOCA 60 yacht GAES Centros Auditivos. This is Caffari’s first round the world race since the epic Vendée Globe which saw Caffari finish sixth out of 30 starters to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, both ways around the world.

As the only all-female crew in the competition, both Caffari and Corbella are keen to put in a consistent and competitive performance and showed their enthusiasm as they rounded the North buoy in third position 26 minutes after crossing the start line. Before leaving the dock, Caffari spoke about the first stage of the race:

“The Mediterranean is complicated and we’ve practised here a lot but we’ve got 500 miles of it to start and finish with and honestly this is the part I dread the most. In stark contrast, Anna knows the Med well but has never sailed in the Southern Ocean so hopefully we can support each other and draw on our strengths in each area.”

After Alex Thomson’s forced retirement from the race due to an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday, Dee Caffari will be the only one flying the flag for Great Britain in the race.

Good luck ladies!

 

Read more at:  Barcelona World Race

Sailing Sydney

Sailing Sydney

Word around Sydney Australia is that Oprah may alter the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge sailing course.  The annual SOLAS Big Boat Challenge maxi yacht fleet may for the first time in 17 years have to shift their finish line from off the Opera House if a sizable fleet of spectator craft hoping to catch a glimpse of the talk show Queen, Oprah Winfrey, creates a traffic jam on the water.

Tuesday December 14 is Oprah’s filming day at the Opera House in Sydney and also the Rolex Sydney Hobart lead-in race around Sydney Harbour when the line honours hopefuls get to show off their might to the public, and perhaps gain the mental edge with a race win.

CYCA sailing manager Justine Kirkjian says “with the huge interest in Oprah we’ve made an allowance for the race committee to shorten the course if the big boats don’t have enough running room amongst the spectator fleet to finish at speed and then drop their sails off the Opera House.

“After the 12.30pm race start from Steele Point we’ll monitor the number of vessels in and around Farm Cove and make the call mid-race,” Kirkjian added.

Entries for the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge stand at 17 with today the final day for skippers to accept entry to the invitation-only event.

Headline acts Wild Oats XI and Investec Loyal are the biggest of the bunch at 100 feet with Lahana and Wild Thing coming in a shade under at 98 feet.

In the grand prix 60 foot range, Stephen Ainsworth’s all-conquering RP63 Loki will once again be in the ring with Alan Brierty’s near sistership Limit. The pair has each achieved success this year, Loki locally and Limit abroad and Tuesday will reveal the results of their separate preparations. Both are amongst Kirkjian’s top picks for potential Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner.

The tight 14 nautical mile course will start off Steele Point at 12.30pm and will take the fleet around the harbour two and a half times passing many of Sydney’s famous landmarks including Fort Denison, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and the Sydney Opera House, which usually backdrops the finish line.

Last year some skippers expressed concern at having to navigate their way through the flotilla of pleasure and commercial craft generated by the popular pre-Christmas harbour event. Responding to their concerns, and with the added on-water traffic due to Oprah-mania, mariners are asked to be cautious and remain well clear.

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Sailing in Phuket Thailand

Sailing in Phuket Thailand

With high winds bringing the 2010 Phuket King’s Cup Regatta to a slightly premature end participants were left toasting what has been one of the most competitive series of races in Thailand sailing regatta history.

The global financial downturn did not stop an incredible 108 boats from entering the 24th Phuket King’s Cup Regatta. The fleet featured entrants from all over the world with Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Switzerland, Russia, England, Holland, Spain and Canada all represented.

The last day’s racing had to be abandoned in the interests of safety. Some unusually high winds created dangerous sailing conditions but fortunately the Phuket King’s Cup Regatta series had already been concluded the previous day. Unfortunately it means the IRC and OMR Challenge Trophies, new for this year, were unable to be sailed.

The Racing Class tends to dominate the headlines and once again Ray Robert’s Evolution Racing and Neil Pryde’s Hi Fi went head-to-head. The competition between the two boats was so intense that race six actually ended in a dead heat once the times had been adjusted. In the end, however, it was Evolution Racing which prevailed but competition throughout the class was competitive with a number of new entrants including Song Xia Qun and her all Chinese crew on Jelik V. They have only been sailing together for a few months and as they gain valuable race experience are sure to be even more competitive in future regattas.

The IRC 2 Class is always guaranteed to provide plenty of thrills and spills and this year was no exception. Once again Peter Dyer’s Madame Butterfly, racing as Sea Bees, and CPO.1 Wiwat Poonpat’s Royal Thai Navy 1 went head-to-head. Last year Royal Thai Navy 1 took the series after a dramatic final day but this time around it was Sea Bee’s turn to taste victory courtesy of a first place finish in the penultimate race.

The Phuket King’s Cup also provides a much needed boost to the local economy and gives tourists a unique opportunity to enjoy a week’s competitive sailing off the coast of the beautiful Andaman island. The bareboat charter class continues to grow from strength-to-strength and this year attracted an impressive 22 entrants. Ilya Ermakov’s Sarawadee, one of a number of boats in the class chartered by Russians, was the overall winner.

While no expense is spared in optimizing the performance of many of the ultra modern boats the classic class featured some more old fashioned and elegant entrants. Richard Macfarlane’s Aida was the series winner finishing ahead of Barry Elsbury’s Apsara courtesy of a bullet in the final race.

Veteran journalist Peter Cummins has covered all 24 Phuket King’s Cup Regattas and his reports this week have been appearing every day in the Bangkok Post. He is amazed by how quickly the event has grown, “I remember the first regatta. There were only a handful of entries and they were almost all local, I don’t think anyone could have imagined that this event would one day grow to become the biggest and best regatta in all of Asia. The racing seems to get more exciting every year and this year’s parties were some of the best in memory. The sailing has barely finished and I am already looking forward to next year’s regatta and the 25th anniversary,” he said.

RC44

Sailing RC 44 by Nico Martinez

Larry Ellison and his BMW Oracle Racing crew wrapped up the 2010 RC 44 Season Championship with a second-place finish sailing in the fleet racing portion of the RC 44 Cup Miami.

 

Coupled with the team’s sixth place in the match racing portion of the regatta, BMW ORACLE Racing placed fourth overall in the Miami regatta, which equated to a 2-point victory over Artemis Racing for the season championship.

“We were up and down. We’ve had good regattas and sometimes things didn’t go so well, but overall the team did a great job sailing,” said Ellison. “We came first in fleet racing and first overall. We had a rough match racing regatta here in Miami, but the fleet was good enough and we’re happy with the result.”

Ellison and crew, including tactician Russell Coutts, finished 3-4-3 today but had to pull a few rabbits out of their collective hat.

They started one race early and found themselves constantly battling back on a day with very shifty winds. In particular they gained a few places in the last half of the runs to the finish that kept their score low enough for the championship.

“We do better when it’s breezy,” said Ellison. “There are more opportunities to pass downwind. I’ve got a lot of experience sailing on San Francisco Bay and we love the breeze.”

While Ellison got the spoils for the season championship, Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino won the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami title.

Mascalzone Latino showed great improvement at this regatta after rejoining the class in July. The Italian crew placed third in both the match and fleet racing for the overall victory with the low score of 6 points.

“Winning this event is special meaning for me because the past three years have been difficult for me in my life and in sailing,” said Onorato, a six-time world champion in yacht racing.

“Russell asked us to come back to the class and we couldn’t be happier with this result. We’ve worked hard to regain our form and we will do our best in the future to perform in this class,” Onorato said.

Yet a third winner today was William “Doug” Douglass aboard the RC 44 World Champion yacht 17. Douglass, sailing with Australian James Spithill as tactician, won the fleet racing portion of the ORACLE RC 44 Cup Miami with the low score of 39 points.

“The class seems extremely well organized. It was good, we had a lot of fun out there,” said Douglass, a veteran of the Farr 40 and Melges 32 classes. “Today was a little windy and we saw how the boats could get wicked up and go.”

The 2011 RC 44 Season Championship begins in March in San Diego, California.

RC 44 2010 Season Championship
1. BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) Larry Ellison/Russell Coutts – (8)-1-1-4-2-4 – 12 points
2. Artemis Racing (SWE) Torbjorn Tornqvist/Terry Hutchinson – 1-(8)-4-2-5-2 – 14 points
3. 17 (USA) William Douglass/James Spithill – (11)-3-5-3-1-3 – 15 points
4. No Way Back (NED) Pieter Heerema/Ray Davies – 2-2-3-5-3-(6) – 15 points
5. Team Aqua (UAE) Chris Bake/Cameron Appleton – 4-6-2-1-(8)-5 – 18 points
6. Team Sea Dubai (UAE) Harm Müller-Spreer/Markus Wieser – 3-4-6-7-6-(9) – 26 points
7. Katusha (RUS) Guennadi Timtchenko/Paul Cayard – 6-5-(8)-6-4-8 – 29 points
8. Ceeref (SLO) Igor Lah/Rod Davis – 5-7-7-(9)-7-7 – 33 points
9. Mascalzone Latino (ITA) Vincenzo Onorato/Francesco Bruni – 11-(12)-12-11-9-1 – 44 points
10. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) Daniel Calero/Jose Maria Ponce – 7-9-10-8-(11)-11 – 45 points
11. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team (AUT) René Mangold/Christian Binder – 9-10-9-10-10-(14) – 48 points
12. Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS) Maxim Logutenko/Evgeniy Neugodnikov – 11-12-12-(13)-13-10 – 58 points
13. Peninsula Petroleum (ESP) John Bassadone/Inaki Castaner – 11-12-12-(13)-12-12 – 59 points
14. Ironbound (USA) David Murphy/Ian Williams – 11-12-12-13-(15)-13 – 61 points

ORACLE RC 44 Cup Final Standings
(Boat, match racing-fleet racing – total)
1. Mascalzone Latino, 3-3 – 6 points
2. Artemis Racing, 2-5 – 7 points
3. Yacht 17, 7-1 – 8 points
4. BMW ORACLE Racing, 6-2 – 8 points
5. Team Aqua, 1-9 – 10 points
6. No Way Back, 8-4 – 12 points
7. Ceeref, 10-6 – 16 points
8. Katusha, 9-7 – 16 points
9. Sea Dubai, 5-11 – 16 points
10. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 4-12 – 16 points
11. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, 13-8 – 21 points
12. Peninsula Petroleum, 12-10 – 22 points
13. Ironbound, 11-13 – 24 points
14. AEZ RC 44 Sailing Team, 14-14 – 28 points

atlantic rally for cruisers

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers Sailing Across the Atlantic

The 25th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) started in spectacular style on Sunday as 233 yachts from 26 nations sailed across the start line off Las Palmas de Gran Canaria heading for their final destination, 2,700 nautical miles away in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia.

The early morning rain and dark clouds cleared away, to be replaced by bright sunshine and the light NE wind filled to provide a reaching start. For the thousands of spectators ashore and afloat it was a picture perfect start to the 25th ARC. After crossing the start line in 8-10 knots and light swell, a colourful display of spinnakers were hoisted to help the yachts on their way. The forecast is for the light north easterlies to continue for the next few days.

Racing Yachts Start First
19 yachts competing in the IRC Racing Division, run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), were first to start, crossing the line towards the south west. The start made for great viewing for spectators ashore, as the yachts passed between committee boat, Spanish naval ship Vancedora, and a laid mark inshore.

The racers made the most of the reaching conditions, and all flew spinnakers for the start. First across the line was Beneteau First 47.7, Alcor V (ITA), followed by Caro (GER), Marisja (NED), We Sail for the Whale (AUT) and Nibani (ITA).

Starting 10 minutes later were the larger boats competing in the 8 strong Invitation Racing Division, also under IRC, and the 6 yachts in the Open Divisions. The Invitation Racing and Open Divisions are for vessels longer than 18.3m (60 feet). Classic 1920s schooner Texel (GBR) crossed the line in stately fashion with multiple sails set, followed by Invitation Racing Division yachts Hagar II (ITA), Venonmous (GBR), Berenice (ITA), Fenix (GBR) and round-the-world veteran Steinlager II (GBR).

arc

ARC

Cruising Fleet Make Spectacular Sight
At 1300, the cruising yachts, forming the majority of the fleet, created the now familiar ARC spectacle as 200 boats set off towards Saint Lucia. Almost every popular boatbuilder of the last 40 years is represented in the Cruising Division, including the smallest yacht in ARC 2010, Honningpupp II (NOR) a Comfort 32.

Catamaran First Across the Line
The Cruising Division made a conservative start, hanging back and ensuring each boat had room to manoeuvre. The first yacht to cross the line was catamaran Galop I (FRA), followed by Swan 55 Rita (GER) under spinnaker, Flying Swan (NED), Derbisolar (BEL), Mariposa (GBR) also under spinnaker.

Excitement and Emotion
There was an air of excitement and celebration throughout the marina this morning, as crowds of spectators waved off the fleet. The days of preparations, lists and decisions were finally over, and the crews were ready to do what they came to do; sail across the Atlantic.

The dock was full of well-wishers in carnival mode, cheering and dancing to the loud music blaring out in celebration from Don Pedro’s Texaco dock. Yachts were bid farewell from Las Palmas via loud speakers around the port and Banda Guayadra provided by the Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas (City Hall) marched around the marina serenading every pontoon to add to the festival atmosphere.

Before making their way to the start line the yachts passed through a ‘gate’ so each could be identified. To the delight of the thousands of spectators along the shore, some crews provided entertainment – a Mexican wave from Albatros (GER), bagpipes on Caduceus (GBR), and most popular of all, Croatian yacht Dora left the marina and passed through the ‘gate’ in reverse, while singing Croatian songs accompanied by guitars and maracas.

470

470

With the great mosques of Istanbul providing the most dramatic of backdrops, the outcome of the 2010 Open 470 European Championships remained in the balance until the final leg of the men’s Medal Race.

Just five points separated the top six men’s 470 teams going into the Medal Race, and it was going to take an outstanding performance to secure gold. The Greeks were greeted with their favourite conditions – strong and gusty winds – and Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis took up the early running just ahead of Israel, represented by Gideon Kliger and Eran Sela.

Israel seized the advantage a short way into the three-lap windward/leeward course, although with the wind shifting wildly from side to side, no lead was every secure. On the final leg the Greeks pounced on a couple of small tactical errors by Israel and Mantis and Kagialis powered across the finish line just seconds ahead of Kliger and Sela.

Mantis explained his strategy after losing the early lead: “I focused on staying close, we got the lucky gust, and we moved to the front again.” Kliger, twice the runner-up in past European Championships, said he was “happy and disappointed” to have won a third silver in his long 470 career. “Gold was in my hands, so I’m a little bit disappointed, but I missed the layline at the last windward mark and gybed too late compared with the Greeks, we didn’t stay enough between him and the finish.”

Still, Kliger was happy to have come away with silver after a challenging week. “This is the hardest medal I ever won, you were never in control at any point in any race.” Istanbul marks the conclusion of a successful season sailing with his new crew Eran Sela. While for Kliger this was a bitter-sweet moment, for the younger and less experienced Sela it was unbridled joy. “My first senior medal in the 470, so I am very happy.”

The British team – Luke Patience and Stuart Bithell – had gone out with the gold spot on their mainsail, signifying them as the series leaders. They elected to start on port tack behind the fleet to be first into the middle of the race course, as Patience explained: “Before the start we’d been watching the wind, and it was always coming down the middle of the course, never at the edges. But then – sod’s law – the breeze died in the middle and we got wrapped round on either size, and before we knew it we were 9th or 10th, scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

>From sitting in gold medal position suddenly Patience and Bithell were facing the prospect of coming away with nothing. “But we kept our heads cool and just chipped away,” said Patience, whose climb to 5th place gave them the bronze medal. “We would like to have won but we’re still happy to come away with a medal.”

The women’s leaderboard may not have been as tight as the men’s, although there was still plenty of drama and uncertainty on the race course, with capsizes and boats hitting marks keeping the finishing order uncertain until the last. While the Danes had fallen out of medal contention after an unsteady outing the previous day, Henriette Koch and Lene Sommer gave themselves the consolation of winning the Medal Race. They nearly threw it away on an unforced error, hitting the final windward mark, but managed to take their 360 penalty turn in a strong gust and still stay ahead of the British boat sailed by Sophie Weguelin and Sophie Ainsworth.

Series leaders Emmanuelle Rol and Helene Defrance also struck a windward mark and took a penalty, but apart from that sailed a controlled race ahead of their chief medal rivals. In the end the French won gold by 18 points, a dominant performance for such a tricky week’s sailing. “The conditions were a little bit tough,” said Rol, “but we enjoy racing in these conditions. I don’t know if we understood the wind but we enjoyed it. Istanbul has been great. After Holland and Great Britain it’s nice to sail in a sunny place!”

Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron had been lying in silver medal position at the beginning of the day, but a poor first beat left them way back in last, and they only managed to overtake the Israeli team who retired after a prolonged capsize. This relegated the French team to 4th overall, with last year’s European Champions Giulia Conti and Giovanna Micol taking silver and another French duo, Ingrid Petitjean and Nadege Douroux taking bronze.

Conti, who had looked so furious the previous day after letting any serious prospect of gold slip away, was all smiles again today having at least salvaged a silver from Istanbul. “Finally some success again, after a couple of days of blackout,” she said. “It has been a really tough race course, very tricky, but the French seemed to sail perfectly. They deserved this win, they made fewer mistakes than the others, and they have won this event by far. For us the silver medal is a very good result after a very good season. We have finished in the top three in almost every event, and now we go home for the winter to work out what we need to improve on for next year.”

Earlier in the day the remainder of the 92 competing teams who had not qualified for the Medal Races, completed one final fleet race. Reigning Junior World and European Champions Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion of France secured victory in the men’s Silver fleet.

This evening the prizegiving took place at Istanbul Sailing Club, before the sailors embarked on the long drive back to whichever corner of Europe they have come from. As for the new men’s 470 European Champion, Panagiotis Mantis predicted a night that would involve too much alcohol and not enough sleep. “And maybe when we get back to Greece we will break some plates!”

The 2010 Open 470 European Championships were organised by The Istanbul Sailing Club in co-operation with the International 470 Class Association and the Turkish Sailing Federation.

470

470


470 Men/Mixed – Final Top 10 (after 13 races)
Pos – SailNo – Crew

1. GRE 1 – Panagiotis MANTIS, Pavlos KAGIALIS
2. ISR 7 – Gideon KLIGER, Eran SELA
3. GBR 844 – Luke PATIENCE, Stuart BITHELL
4. GRE 165 – Panagiotis KAMPOURIDIS, Theodoros POLYCHRONIDIS
5. FRA 44 – Pierre LEBOUCHER, Vincent GAROS
6. CRO 83 – Sime FANTELA, Igor MARENIC
7. ESP 9 – Onán BARREIROS RODRÍGUEZ, Aarón SARMIENTO PADILLA
8. FRA 7 – Nicolas CHARBONNIER, Baptiste MEYER-DIEU
9. RUS 2 – Mikhail SHEREMETYEV, Maxim SHEREMETYEV
10. NED 77 – Steven LEFEVRE, Steven KROL

470 Women – Final Top 10 (after 13 races)
Pos – SailNo – Crew

1. FRA 12 – Emmanuelle ROL, Hélène DEFRANCE
2. ITA 23 – Giulia CONTI, Giovanna MICOL
3. FRA 4 – Ingrid PETITJEAN, Nadege DOUROUX
4. FRA 9 – Camille LECOINTRE, Mathilde GERON
5. DEN 143 – Henriette KOCH, Lene SOMMER
6. AUT 431 – Sylvia VOGL, Carolina FLATSCHER
7. EST 20 – Marjaliisa UMB, Elise UMB
8. GBR 840 – Sophie WEGUELIN, Sophie AINSWORTH
9. GBR 847 – Hannah MILLS, Claire CUMMING
10. ISR 311 – Gil COHEN, Dana MAMRIEV