Monthly Archives: April 2013

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Robertissima clinches Caribbean Championship title by 1 point

 

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 photo c Joy Dunigan, IM32CA

 

OtterBox Melges 32 Caribbean Championship

 

Congratulations to Roberto Tomasini Grinover aboard Robertissima, as he is the first ever and newly crowned 2013 OtterBox Melges 32 Virgin Island Sailing Series (M32VISS), Caribbean Champion Tomasini Grinover was accompanied by tactician Vasco Vascotto and crew comprised of Gaetano Figlia di Granara, Giovanni Cassinari, Gunnar Bahr, Armin Raderbauer, Pablo Torrado and Nevio Sabadin.

Second overall in the Series was Dalton DeVos on Delta with tactician Jonathan McKee, followed by Ryan DeVos with Ed Baird as tactician on Volpe in third.

The last day of racing concluded in the British Virgin Islands under simply gorgeous conditions. A beautiful 8-10 knots held steady for the teams to squeeze in four final races, in which the youngest DeVos, Dalton claimed bullets in race 4 and 7. Other race winners included the BVI’s own Mark Plaxton on INTAC who ended up in third overall at the event. Alex Jackson’s Leenabarca championed Race Five.

 

Caribbean Championship Results:

 

 

Pos Sail No Boat Skipper R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Pts
1 SUI 1 Robertissima 1 Roberto Tomasini Grinover 1 4 1 2 3 5 3 14
2 USA 1215 Delta Dalton DeVos 3 1 5 1 4 6 1 15
3 IVB 007 INTAC James Mark Plaxton 2 3 6 7 2 1 6 20
4 PUR 11 Smile and Wave Jaime Torres 5 2 2 5 5 2 4 20
5 USA 174 Leenabarca Alex Jackson 4 5 3 3 1 7 5 21
6 USA 180 Volpe Ryan DeVos 6 6 4 4 6 4 2 26
7 PUR 113 SOCA Luis Juarbe 7 7 7 6 7 3 7 37

 

 

Virgin Islands Sailing Series results [PDF]

 

By International Melges 32 Class Association

 

 

German teams on top after 4 races

 

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 All photos © SAP / Christophe Favreau /www.christophefavreau.com

 

 

Day 2 – SAP 505 World Championships in Barbados 

 

Race three of the SAP 505 World Championship was a reminder that, while crunching the best data, and executing appropriate strategies, in sailing as in business you need to keep a weather eye out for what the legal team refers to as an ‘Act of God’.

The waters off Bridgetown, Barbados on Sunday were bright, turquoise in the shallows, then darkened almost-suddenly by a great, grey cloud that jiggered all the trend lines right out of their grooves. What didn’t change is that, two days running, German teams topped the leaderboard in this very international event where 69 boats made the start. The German team at the top — that changed.

Claas Lehmann and crewman Leon Oehme, the new fleet leaders, pushed hard on first-day leaders Stefan Boehm and Gerald Roos in the early going of race three, then both lost out to the Aussie team of Sandy Higgins and Paul Marsh. Lehmann led going away in race four. But that cloud…

 

 

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Off Carlisle Bay, Bridgetown, the Worlds fleet has found that, almost always, the left side develops the better trends and produces the better outcomes. And that’s where our heroes found themselves when the big black cloud came through and, as one wag had it, “the gasping gang on the right was suddenly off life support and ready to boogie.” Or as Lehmann had it, “Sometimes you can be too fixed in your ways. We stuck to the left and lost ten boats.”

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about how you recover, and with scores of 2-4-14-1, Lehmann and Oehne are the leaders of the moment, with five more races to be sailed.

Lehmann, a surgeon, is emerging from a long German winter and five months without sailing. Apparently it’s like bicycling. You don’t forget how. But, displaying his bandaged right hand, Dr. Lehmann was prepared to allow that, “If your surgeon is a sailor, you don’t want to schedule a procedure on Friday, because he’s itching to go sailing. And you don’t want to schedule for Monday, because he’s been sailing.”

Racing continues through Friday, with a single race on Monday and a day off on Tuesday.

By Kimbell Livingston

 

Full race 4 results [PDF]

 

 

Moth Europeans get underway with speed record

 

Moth speed record

 Chris Rast (SUI 3990) recorded a top speed of 32.2 knots and an average of 29.1 – photo © Martina Orsini

 

International Moth European Championship in Marsala, Sicily 

 

New world speed record for the class

A few days ago 36 Moths from 9 countries (3 continents) arrived at the quick waters of Marsala. The crews taking part in the Kuehne + Nagel European Championship 2013, came early to become familiar with the race course and complete the settings on their boats.

All 6 different languages that can be heard on the parterre of the Sailing Club Marsala talk about the incredible conditions encountered here in Sicily. Marsala, which was already known as a special location for racing, but has now become the location of a class speed record.

In the morning of Saturday, April 27, Chris Rast (SUI 3990) established the world speed record for the Moth class of 32.2 knots maximum speed with an average of the best 10 seconds at 29.1 knots!

Almost all of the Moths are equipped with a Velocitek instrument that in addition to providing real-time information such as speed, heading, distance from the starting line and shifts, keeps track of all the navigation and keeps track of the maximum and the average of the best 10 seconds allowing you to see the two measures on the display. The Velocitek recorded speeds are trusted by the Moth sailor community.

 

Practice race

18 knots of Sirocco wind (south-east) with gusts up to 23 greeted the mothies competing in the Moth European Championships 2013. Marsala has a particular coastline shape, thanks to the cape Lilybeo, that allows a race course sheltered from the sirocco to have almost flat water.

Under these conditions,  only 16 of the 36 participants completed the practice race. As a tradition, the practice race is not addressed with the same competitive spirit as a standard race and does not really show real values and predictions. The best sailors tend not to be aggressive at the start and do not care much about the tactics focusing more on speed and manoeuvers. Despite this you can see who is fast and who is not, there may be 4/5 knots of difference.

For Italians the only one to finish the race was the great Stefano Rizzi, team leader of the italian Mothies, with a respectable fourth place, he has hinted that this year he has found the pace. Lanulfi Mark, Luke and Thomas Rizzotti Freddi, the other Italians, abandoned the race before the end not to risk the equipment in a race without points.

The European championship trophy is on display at the sailing club Marsala, the name of Chris Rashley, reigning European champion, was already engraved twice. Since 1955 the trophy changed hands and on it are inscribed the names of sailors like Simon Payne, Mark Thorpe, Rohan Veal: they are famous not only for the Moth but for the active contribution given to the world of sailing and its evolution.

For the first day of racing the forecast is that there will still be a sirocco with intensity between 20 and 30 knots. The Kuehne + Nagel 2013 International Moth European Championship has begun and for 6 days, the foils of the Moth will blast the Marsala waters.

 

For more details see:  www.moth.it/european2013/

By Domenico Boffi as amended by Grand Prix Sailing

 

 

Tokolosh VI to challenge for the record

 

Freo Bali race Limit Leads the charge at the start of the 2011 Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle Bali Race – photo c Rick Steuart

Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally

 

 

Fremantle to Bali Race gets underway on Saturday 4 May 2013. A fleet of 33 boats is ready and set to fill their sails with the winds which will take them 1440 nautical miles north to the Benoa Harbour in Bali.

Race and Rally Chairman Terry Baker confirmed that the entries closed on 14th April 2013 for the 33 competent skippers and their crews who are all compliant in every aspect with the ISAF RRS rulings and special regulations.

Up to 65 entrants registered expressions of interest to participate in the race and rally however many have had to mothball their plans, for the next event scheduled in two years time.

The biennial Wonderful Indonesia Fremantle to Bali Race and Rally will set sail on 4 May 2013 and this year for the first time, has attracted an entry from one of the sailing world’s super maxis Tokolosh VI which joins the race fleet for an all out assault on the race record of 6 days 5 hours set in 2011 by Alan Brierty’s yacht Limit.

Spectators are encouraged to join the fun and festivities from 8.00am at the Fremantle Sailing Club where you can meet the sailors, see the boats and from 10am to 2pm, visit and enjoy the culinary delights of the Indonesian Bazaar exhibits and booths.

At 9am the Governor of Western Australia, His Excellency Mr Malcolm McCusker, Representative of Indonesia Ministry of Tourism & Creative Economy and Commodore Kucera will bid the fleet fair winds and inspect the yachts accompanied by the Fremantle Sailing Club band.

At 10am the flotilla parade of participating boats escorted by boats from the Fremantle Sailing Club VIP and spectator fleet will leave for the Fremantle Inner Harbour where they’ll commence their Parade of Sail before heading out to the start line off the North Mole.

The start gun for the race will be fired at 12 noon closely followed at 12.05pm by the rally gun which will offer a Sydney style spectacle of the flotilla heading to the first mark which they’ll round before hoisting their spinnakers (wind permitting) in a final salute to the spectators to fly up the WA coast.

Spectator boats are welcome however all spectator boats must monitor Channel 73 (VHF) and follow directions of the Marshall boats and should keep well clear of each turn mark. A diagram of the sailing area is available on the website.

Post the presentation celebrations at Aerowisata Sanur Beach Hotel on 18 May, the Beyond Bali Cruise organised by the Director of Rally Operations Ralph Newton, departs for a great adventure exploring the Indonesian archipelago with its more than 17,500 islands and welcoming people, cultures and exotic locations.

This year’s race theme is Fair Breezes, Warm Friendship – a powerful good will gesture between the people of Indonesia and Western Australia.

 

By Western Australia Yachting & Freemantle Sailing Club

 

 

 

Hyères titles decided in the rain

 

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 Waiting in the rain for enough wind for the medal races – photo c Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

 

Medal Races – ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères

 

The medals were decided across the ten Olympic events as ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères brought the 2012-13 World Cup series to a close. Thirteen nations share the 30 medals available across ten Olympic events.

An up and down breeze that never truly filled in at any point, accompanied by unseasonal rain showers, ensured for close knit racing on the final day in the south of France.

Although Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) brought an 18 point 49erFX lead into the final day there was no room for complacency as three double point Medal Races could have brought dramatic changes.

Keeping out of trouble they posted a steady 5-4-5 to take their second ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta win of the 2012-13 season.

“We’re happy that we’ve won our first World Cup event in Europe,”said Maloney, who with Meech won the inaugural 49erFX event at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne. “It was quite stressful out there with it being so light and shifty and the lead changed all the time.”

There is room for optimism with the girls, however they know the road to Rio will take time,“It’s just beginning,”said Meech.“Most of the girls are quite new to the boat so there’s a long way to go and it’s going to keep getting harder.”

Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook (GBR) take silver and Dutch team Annemiek Bekkering and Claire Blom had a great day to take the final podium spot.

 

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Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) win their first European regatta – photo c Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

 

Great Britain’s Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign got the job done the 49er with a 2-1-3 score line. Having come into the day with a joint lead Fletcher and Sign couldn’t have asked for much more in tricky conditions. David Evans and Ed Powys made it a British top two and Carlos and Anton Paz (ESP) rounded off the top three.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) christened her return back in the Laser Radial after London 2012 with a well-deserved gold medal. Leading the first Medal Race from start to finish Bouwmeester established a seven point advantage over Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) and Alison Young (GBR) who were tied for silver.

“I just had to focus on myself and sail a good race,”said the Dutch sailor.“When it is light and tricky it’s a bit easier because you can only focus on yourself and I won the first race and made it a bit easy. The other two girls started racing each other in the second race so it was easy for me,”she said with a smile.

“I didn’t really have it as a goal to win a medal. I had a big break and came out here to see how it goes and it went a lot better than I expected,” Bouwmeester added.

At the start of the final Laser Radial Medal Race Tenkanen found herself ahead of Young and made sure she kept her at bay,“I didn’t get a very good start on upwind but I climbed a bit on the first downwind and chose the better gate mark,” said Tenkanen. “I was before Alison and because Marit was so far in front I decided to ensure Alison stayed behind so the rest of the race I tried to cover her.”

Finishing in ninth and tenth place Tenkanen and Young could not be caught so Young, who won gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma took bronze.

 

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Bryony Shaw’s medal race scores wins her the gold – photo c Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

 

Charline Picon (FRA) lost a substantial Women’s RS:X lead after she was OCS in the first Medal Race. This put Bryony Shaw (GBR) and Blanca Manchon (ESP) in the driving seat going into the second Medal Race making it winner takes all.

Ahead of racing on the final day Shaw said,“I’m really happy to be windsurfing. I had a good World Championship finished second and I want to keep the momentum going from that. That’s why I’m happy to be here and doing all the World Cups.”

Shaw has been prevalent on the World Cup circuit with a fourth in Miami and a second in Palma to move to world #3 in the current rankings and showed she is one of the best at the moment by taking the final race win in Hyères to seal gold.

Manchon finished third to take silver whilst a seventh for Picon meant she won bronze.

 

Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) came back into the Men’s RS:X with a bang and notched up double bullets to claim gold. Compatriot Piotr Myszka came through in silver medal position and Julien Bontemps (FRA) concluded the podium.

“It was pretty hard and I’ve not trained a lot in the light conditions,” said Miarczynski, London 2012 bronze medallist, “I didn’t expect to be so good in the light winds but preparing a lot in the winter time was helpful here.”

Poland boasts a strong RS:X contingent personified by them taking the top two spots in Hyères and Miarczynski is reaping the rewards, “This is very good because we train together and it’s really helpful. We also have Pawel Tarnowski and he’s also very good and we’re three competing against each other so it’s very nice.”

 

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Andrew Mills becomes the best Brit in Hyeres to win his first gold medal – Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

 

Andrew Mills (GBR) overcame Giles Scott (GBR) in the Finn to take gold. Going into the last race the pair had secured the top two spots so it was winner takes all. “We both needed to get a result in to secure silver at least in the first race and then the last race was just a match race between the two of us. It was whoever did the best would win, “Mills said.

Coming in third Mills was ahead of Scott who finished at the back of the pack and Mills was pleased to overcome his countryman, “Giles is hard to beat at any point so to beat him and put myself up there is great.”

New Zealand’s Josh Junior had a great week and sailed himself to the bronze knocking Pieter-Jan Postma (NED) out of the medals.

 

Tom Burton (AUS) put his ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma woes behind him in Hyères to claim a hard earned gold medal. Burton lost a commanding lead in Palma but chipped away at Tonci Stipanovic’s (CRO) advantage to come from behind and take Laser gold. Stipanovic (CRO) fell to third whilst Robert Scheidt (BRA) tastes silver on his Laser return.

“I was always coming from behind here whereas in Palma I was always in the front,”said Burton.“It doesn’t make up for it but it’s good to learn from my experience and improve on it this.”

Daniel Mihelic (CRO) had a superb day on the water taking both race wins but being too far behind to take a medal he ended up fourth overall.

 

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Brazil’s smiling Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan seal gold again – photo c Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

 

Brazil’s Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) turned their overnight Women’s 470 lead into another ISAF Sailing World Cup gold medal making it three in a row after Miami and Palma wins. “It was so difficult today,” said Oliveira. “We didn’t do good races and our starts were so bad. We are happy with the result and it’s good to win again. We’re going to have some days of rest, relaxing at home and then we’ll start training again.”

Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA) took the silver medal and Great Britain’s Sophie Weguelin and Eilidh McIntyre took their second consecutive World Cup podium spot in third.

 

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Mat Belcher and Will Ryan remain unbeaten – photo c Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

 

Double bullets on the last day for Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) secured them their fourth gold medal together since teaming up. For Belcher his unbeaten Men’s 470 run, that stems from November 2011, continues, “To come into these events having won them last year and with a new partnership there’s high expectations, “said Belcher. “To come away with another win with today’s condition and finish off by winning both Medal Races was fantastic.”

Ryan added, “There’s been a full range of conditions and a lot of the top sailors have really come through. Everybody has had a few bad races along the way and I think every fleet saw really close racing so it’s been a really great event.”

Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) maintained their spot in second place and London 2012 Olympic bronze medallists Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG) complete the top three.

 

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Sweden’s Tim Shuwalow and Hanna Klinga (SWE) prevail in fickle breeze – photo c Thom Touw

Anything was possible on the final day in the Nacra 17 as just five points divided the top five.

The fleet were delayed due to fickle breeze and testing conditions that were prevalent on the course. Once racing got underway it was Sweden’s Tim Shuwalow and Hanna Klinga (SWE) who prevailed. They ended up tied on 59-points with Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) but based on the combined score of the Medal Races the Swedes took gold to win on count back. Matias Buhler and Nathalie Brugger complete the podium.

Regattas in Melbourne, Miami, Palma and Hyères have made up the 2012-13 ISAF Sailing World Cup circuit with some great racing seen along the way.

With a busy summer of World Championships for the ten Olympic events attention will turn back to World Cup duties starting at Qingdao, China in October 2013.

 

By FFVoile, for full results see: swc.ffvoile.com

 

 

 

IMOCA Offshore racing circuit goes global

 

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The former winners of the IMOCA championship crown François Gabart 2012 champion –

Photo © Vincent Curutchet / DPPI / OSM

 

 

This Friday, IMOCA class skippers, sponsors, organisers of single-handed and double-handed round the world yacht races, and major international sports bodies gathered in Lausanne to celebrate the winners of the IMOCA World Championship and to officially launch OSM, responsible for the global circuit’s commercial and international development.

François Gabart, the 30 year-old winner of the 2012 IMOCA World Championship and recent winner of the Vendée Globe, was celebrated by fellow skippers and 150 distinguished guests at the Beau Rivage Hotel on the shores of Lake Geneva.

The event was an opportunity for Sir Keith Mills to officially launch OSM, the company created in January 2013 in Lausanne, to manage IMOCA’s commercial rights and international development. Sir Keith Mills, as Chairman of OSM, outlined the ambition for the collaboration between OSM and IMOCA:

“We want to attract the best skippers and teams from around the world. By creating a new World Championship circuit and investing in new technologies, we will be able to bring the inspiring stories from the races to fans, young aspiring skippers and enthusiasts. We have yet to maximise the potential media appeal of these remarkable sailors, who practice a sport that is one of the most respectful of the environment”.

In keeping with the ethos of openness and sharing, the skippers spent the afternoon racing Optimist dinghies with their young fans from the local sailing club, providing plenty of memorable moments for participants and spectators alike.

Luc Talbourdet, president of IMOCA, the association that represents the skippers, commented: “By celebrating the prize-giving in Lausanne with representatives from the greatest sporting bodies in Europe and a host of international journalists, OSM and Sir Keith Mills are sending a clear signal to the offshore racing community. We knew we had potential, but now we have the means to exploit and develop it”.

2013 Programme

August: Fastnet Race
November: Transat Jacques Vabre, from Le Havre (France) to Itajai (Brazil)

2014 Programme

Spring: Double-handed Transat
Summer: a 1,000 miles long race
November: Route du Rhum
31 December: Barcelona World Race

The OSM team is lead by its Executive Vice Chairman Georgio Pauen, who made his career in international business. His managing director Peter Bayer was in charge of the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck before joining OSM.

 

By IMOCA

 

 

Open game ahead of final race day

 

D5 470W fleet ma An impressive run by Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) in the women’s fleet – photo c Mick Anderson

 

 

Day 5 – ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères

 

 

The Medal Race slots were decided on the penultimate day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères as sailors jockeyed for the perfect position ahead of the final day.

Tricky conditions have been evident throughout the week and the fifth day of racing was no different as an early morning easterly breeze faded as the day progressed.

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) had a wonderful start to his day taking the penultimate race win in the final series to open up an 18 point Laser lead. One to keep things interesting Stipanovic finished 25th in the final race of the series, and having already discarded a black flag he counted the score which let Robert Scheidt move into top spot after the Brazilian had a steady down on the water.

“Tonci really impressed me a lot this week with the way he has been sailing in light winds and strong winds with solid starts,” said leader Scheidt. “He got a bit unlucky because he got a black flag and one bad race today so otherwise he would have been far from us in the points so he made things a bit more exciting. So tomorrow it will be between him, myself and Tom Burton who is also a very strong sailor.

“I had a good series and consistent every race with not too many big mistakes,” added Scheidt. “I’m happy with the way things are going and tomorrow we have got two Medal Races so a lot can change.”

 

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A solid performance by Croatias Tonci Stipanovic all week in the Lasers – photo c Mick Anderson

 

Tom Burton (AUS) took the days other race win to continue his climb up the leader board and remains wary going into the final day having lost a 16-point lead at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma, “It was a pretty good day. In the first one I thought I was going to win but I missed a shift at the top and ended up in the bunch but finished ninth which is solid anyway and got the last guy on the run in the second one so was nice to finish off with a win.

Marit Bouwmeester (NED) held onto her lead in the Laser Radial but with only three points separating the Dutch sailor, Alison Young (GBR) and Tuula Tenkanen (FIN) the game is wide open ahead of two Medal Races.

 

 

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Marit Bouwmeester holds off the challenging pack – photo c Mick Anderson / Sailingpix.dk

 

ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and Palma victors Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) have established a 16-point lead in the Men’s 470. The penultimate day of racing was tricky for the all of the fleet but the Australians put in a steady ninth and sixth to lead Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) and Pierre Leboucher and Nicolas Le Berre (FRA).

“It was really difficult today,” said Belcher. “The last two days were quite unexpected and we were expecting quite a lot more breeze out there and I think in one point of the race we had 1-2 knots. The last day of finals adds a bit of pressure for everyone to try and get two good races.

“The French probably had the most consistent week out of anyone and today had two really bad races so anything can happen.”

With such a substantial lead Belcher and Ryan go into the final day as the favourites and Belcher knows more than anyone how to approach the Medal Races, “You can’t worry about too many people other than yourself,” he exclaimed. “First Medal Race try and get the best result you can and then reassess. We’ve got a lot of experience and been in this position before so we couldn’t be any better prepared coming into tomorrow.”

Belcher is on an undefeated Men’s 470 run that stems back to November 2011 but it’s not something that he strives to conserve, “I try not to think about it because certainly it’s going to end at some point. From a team and pressure point of view it’s probably better if it ends earlier than later but with our experience and what we’ve developed it’s a great feeling and confirmation of our program.”

 

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Unpredictable conditions have dogged fleets at this years Hyeres regatta – photo c Mick Anderson / Sailingpix.dk

 

 

Also on an impressive 470 run is Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) in the women’s fleet. Taking victories at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami and Palma they have a perfect record in 2013 and go into the Medal Races nine points ahead of Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron (FRA).

British sailors occupy all of the top spots in the 49er with David Evans and Ed Powys and rivals Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign sharing the lead on 53 points. Stevie Morrison and Ben Rhodes sit third ahead of the three double point stadium races on the final day in Hyeres.

 

 

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British crew of Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook enjoy a successful week – photo c Mick Anderson / Sailingpix.dk

Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) sailed themselves into the 49erFX lead on the penultimate day taking two bullets and a second. “It was quite close racing,” said Meech. “Not as much breeze as we were expecting but it was nice and we had good speed. The starts were a bit tricky so we had to focus on getting a good lane.”

Eighteen points separate them and Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook (GBR) but three Stadium Races follow, a format that is relatively unknown to the 49erFX fleet, “We had our first one in Palma so we’re pretty new to it,” said Maloney. “Right now it’s about keeping it clean and trying to stay calm under pressure because it’s pretty intense especially for the crews as they’re up and down gybing so it’s quite physical.”

With eight 49erFX and 49er teams taking to the water on the final day anything could happen with 48-points being fought for.

 

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Close racing in the Nacra fleet sets up tense medal races – photo c Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI / FFVoile

 

France’s Billy Besson and Marie Riou have moved into the Nacra 17 lead after a steady day on the water but with very little splitting the top teams anything can happen, “We lead just before the Medal Races so we are very happy,” said Besson. “There are six boats that can win because the first five boats have only five points separating them and it’s possible to finish 10-10 and get 40-points so tomorrow it is a really big day for all.”

Elke Delnooz and Coen de Koning (NED) took the final Medal Race spot by one point as Argentina’s Cecilia Carranzo Saroli and Esteban Blando and New Zealand’s Gemma Jones and Jason Saunders missed out.

 

D5 Finns GBR claireGiles maintains his lead in the Finns – photo c Claire ADB

 

The day’s Finn bullets went the way of Giles Scott (GBR) and Pieter-Jan Postma (NED). Scott maintained his lead whilst Postma pulled back into medal contention. Andrew Mills (GBR) is second.

Double bullets for Ivan Pastor (ESP) pulled him back into the Men’s RS:X lead as he bids to make it three World Cup regatta victories in a row. Louis Giard (FRA) is just one point behind the current #1 and Piotr Myszka (POL) sits third.

Remaining consistent as ever in the Women’s RS:X is Charline Picon (FRA) who picked up another 1-2 score line on the day. Bryony Shaw’s (GBR) day of 12-3 meant she discarded the 12th and counts her eighth allowing Picon to take an 11 point advantage into the Medal Races.

 

Racing on the final day at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères gets going at 10:00 hrs local time across three race courses with a chance of showers and a light 9-10 knot breeze with gusts of 13 knots.

 

Paralympic honours decided at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères

 

Racing in the Paralympic classes came to a close in Hyères as Heiko Kroger (GER) and France’s Bruno Jourdren, Eric Flageul and Nicolas Vimont-Vicary took the 2.4mR and Sonar honours.

Kroger impressed all week in Hyères winning five of ten races after a shaky start that saw him OCS in Race 2. Having overcome his early wobbles three race victories in a row saw him open an advantage and a final day second and bullet sealed the deal.

London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas (GBR) was back in the boat for racing in Hyères and christened her comeback with a silver medal. Compatriot Megan Pascoe rounded off the 2.4mR podium

Three French smiles were prevalent in the Sonar as Jourdren, Flageul and Vimont-Vicary celebrated victory back on shore taking gold ahead of Jens Kroker, Robert Prem and Siegmund Mainka (GER).

Coming into the final day the French trio were tied on 13 points with Aleksander Wang-Hansen, Marie Solberg and Per-Eugen Kristiansen (NOR). The Norwegians could not find their mid-week form that brought them into contention for gold as a third and a fifth meant they slipped to third.

By FFVoile, for full results see: swc.ffvoile.com

 

 

Ocean racers turn to Nacra 17 racing

 

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Photo © Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / FFVoile

 

 

The last time Franck Cammas (FRA) and Iker Martinez (ESP) sailed against each other they was on Volvo 70’s racing around Galway, Ireland at the Volvo Ocean Race climax on 7 July 2012. Less than one year later they’re back at it, but on the Olympic multihull, the Nacra 17.

Cammas and Martinez are no strangers having fought vigorously over the gruelling 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race that saw Martinez take an early advantage only for Cammas to push ahead, take the lead and claim a victory. They sailed together on Luna Rossa in the America’s Cup World Series but their attentions have now turned to reaching the Olympic Games.

“For now my goal is to race at the highest level possible, it’s why I am on the Nacra 17,” said Cammas.

“We didn’t have the opportunity with Groupama to do a new Volvo Ocean Race and the catamaran is back in the Olympic Games so it was an opportunity to try this class. Four years ago I did the F18 World Championship and it was very fun.”

 

D1 N17 FRA jml Photo © Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / FFVoile

 

Cammas finished second at the 2008 F18 Worlds but has limited knowledge of the Olympic circuit, an area that Martinez knows very well having won gold in the 49er at Athens 2004 and silver at Beijing 2008.

“I know Iker enjoyed the Olympic class a lot and even in-between two legs of the Volvo Ocean Race he trained in the 49er so I think it’s funny for us to compete again,” added Cammas. “I like him a lot and it’s always very interesting to race against him. We were also, a few months ago, in Luna Rossa in the same team so I know him very well and very happy to compete against him.”

Cammas enjoyed early success at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères in the light breeze with crew Sophie de Turckheim as they finished second in the qualification stage but had to retire from the competition as de Turckheim sustained a back injury.

The Frenchman added, “I have a lot of work to do on this boat especially in the wind as it’s tough. There is a lot of things to do and manage on this boat because it is very complicated. We have to manage this but it’s hard and interesting.”

Martinez is on the up and with Tara Pacheco they took their first Nacra 17 bullet on the fourth day in Hyères and Martinez is enjoying racing against Cammas again, “It’s always going to be difficult to sail against Franck because he is a very talented sailor but this is something completely different,” exclaimed Martinez, “I am sure that he is going to do a very good campaign because he has the talent, a very good crew and support from sponsors and everything. We will see.”

 

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photo c Jesus Renedo / Sofia Mapfre

 

The Spaniard teamed up with Pacheco ahead of ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and believes he has a fantastic team mate, “She is one of the best sailors in Spain right now,” said Martinez. “She’s very competitive and a World Champion. No one gives a World Championship to you and you have to work hard to get it so I’m more than happy. Now we have to keep going.

“We can see now that the power in the boat is very important, the technique is also very important and there are a lot of different points that we have to be focused on. At least we’re here, we’ve already started and now we can only get better and better.”

As for now Martinez is fully committed to the Nacra 17 cause but in Palma he wouldn’t rule out another offshore campaign in the Barcelona World Race, whilst Cammas balances a couple of other projects, “My long term project is to do a team for the America’s Cup,” said the Frenchman. “First we have to find money and create a team. We will also do the Tour de France à la Voile which is very slow compared to this [Nacra 17]. I think next year will be better for us with some training in the winter.”

By Daniel Smith, ISAF

 

 

Buzzing in Antigua

 

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Photo © Ted Martin

 

27 April – 3 May – Antigua Sailing Week

 

It’s buzzing in Antigua as Falmouth Harbour and Nelson’s Dockyard are filling up fast with racing yachts from all over the world. Antigua Sailing Week’s racing programme kicks off with the Guadeloupe to Antigua Race, followed by the Yachting World Round Antigua Race on Saturday. Racing at the 46th Antigua Sailing Week will commence on Sunday, April 28.

Current weather forecasts are predicting winds of around 15 knots all week with a significant sea state providing some big waves to surf down in the sunshine. Lighter winds than last week are due to the Azores high being squeezed south by a low-pressure system centred over Iceland. However, the low-pressure system may move during the week and this could bring a change in the weather. Class splits have now been confirmed, here is a run down on some of the runners and riders.

The big race boats will be making a splash at Antigua Sailing Week, however Peter Harrison’s mighty Farr 115, Sojana is undergoing repairs but the team will be racing RP78, Whisper for the regatta. Simonas Steponavièius Lithuanian team racing Volvo 60, Ambersail could be in contention but Ambersail will be sure to have a great battle with another Volvo 60, Cuba Libre sailing under the Austrian flag. Christian Potthoff-Sewing’s German Judel & Vrolijk 53, Auliana II is making her Antigua Sailing Week debut.

Hector Velarde’s Peruvian NM92, Locura is one of the largest yachts but by no means the quickest. Jose Arozamena’s American Farr 73, Maximizer will be difficult to catch but former Antigua Sailing Week winner, British CNB 90, Bristolian owned by Patrick Wynn with Antiguan expert John Burnie as crew boss, could well be the boat to watch. Venezuelan Oyster 82, Starry Night of the Caribbean will be impeccably sailed.

This year Antigua Sailing Week features a variety of fast surfing bowsprit boats. Philip Lotz’s American Swan 42, Arethusa is a proven race winner. However Arethusa might struggle to keep up with some of the smaller rocket ships including Ian Hope-Ross’ Melges 32,Kick ’em Jenny 2 from St. Maarten and the National Sailing Academy’s turboed Cork 1720, Digicel Challenger. RP37 Peake Yacht Services Slippery from Trinidad could also be one to watch. However, Richard Wesslund’s J/120, Florida-based El Ocaso cleaned up at Antigua Sailing Week last time out and will be a favourite for class honours.

Twelve similar performance cruisers are grouped together. Lucy Reynolds’ British First 40, Southern Child has had a great season and should have a close tussle with British sister ship, Lancelot II skippered by Chris Jackson. Five First 40.7s will have their own private sparring match including: Sea Gal, Spirit of Athena, Coyote, Caipirinha and Visiooptik. Also Jonty Layfield’s British J/39 Sleeper may well feature after time correction.

With over a dozen displacement cruisers 51ft or under, you could call the selection the battle of the light heavyweights. Antiguan resident, Carlo Falcone will be racing Caccia alla Volpe but Christian Reynolds’ British Swan 51, Northern Child will be a force upwind in waves. Several other elegant Swans will be trading places on the race track, including Shane & Basil Diethelm’s Australian Swan 48, Sumatra, Valerio Bardi’s well-travelled Italian Swan 46, Milanto and Swan 44, Selene skippered by Adrian Lower, Commodore of the Royal Burnham Yacht Club. Philippe Falle’s Deep Blue Racing Team on Quokka should feature – the British Grand Soleil 43 is a weapon in light airs. Karl James, head coach of Antigua’s National Sailing Academy has selected Cliff Andrews to join the Quokka crew. Without doubt the favourite in the displacement light heavyweights is Ross Applebey’s British Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster. Ross will be sailing with the same crew as last year, all from Guernsey in The Channel Islands.

Antigua Sailing Week is a truly international event with yachts coming to Antigua from all over the world and is also an occasion when Caribbean yachts race each other to settle the season’s bragging rights. Thomas Mullen’s USVI J95, Shamrock VII has had an excellent season and is sure to have a great battle with a clutch of Antiguan boats including Stephen Carson’s Dehler 34, Hightide, Geoffrey Pidduck’s converted six metre, Biwi Magic, Tanner and Shari Jones’ J/30 Blue Peter, Sandy Mair’s Beneteau 35, Cricket and Rick Gormley’s Beneteau 38, Elethea.

Thirty-two Bareboats and five Multihulls will be competing at Antigua Sailing Week but the last word must go to Antigua’s sailing icon, Sir Hugh Bailey, who once again will be proudly flying the Antiguan flag spinnaker on CS40, Yougo. Antigua Sailing Week would not be complete without Sir Hugh’s Antiguan flag spinnaker!

If you are coming to Antigua Sailing Week, you are going to have the time of your life. For those who can only stay tuned, there will be daily reports, pictures and videos of the racing action and the parties on the official website and on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information including a full list of over 100 entries go to: www.sailingweek.com

 

 

Competition heating up in Hyeres

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Giles Scott makes his move – photo c Mick Anderson / sailingpix.dk

 

Day 4 – ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères

 

As the fourth day of the Final Series came to the midway point the big winds that were forecast never truly came true as a shifty 14-15 knot breeze prevailed across the six race courses that host ten Olympic and two Paralympic events.

Giles Scott (GBR) swooped into the Finn lead after an excellent day on the water that included a bullet and a second. After 12 sailors were black flagged in Race 5, including early front runners Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and Vasilij Zbogar (SLO), Scott benefited largely to open up a five point advantage over compatriot Andrew Mills (GBR).

“A first and a second – I couldn’t really ask for much more than that,” said Scott. “There were a few of the guys who’d been up there all week got a black flag in that second race as well, which is helping us out a little bit but I’d imagine it’s still pretty tight up at the top.”

Scott very rarely lets an advantage slip shown by taking gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma and he remains on course to make it a World Cup double, “The approach is much the same really,” he added, “just trying to be consistently up at the top.  There’s still the double Medal Races to go, as well as two more gold fleet races before that, so we’ll see.  I’ll just try and take it steady like I did today.”

 

 

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The British Finn squad shine on day 4 – photo c Claire ADB

 

Postma had led overnight but slipped down to fourth overall after being black flagged and is ten points behind Scott at the top, “Giles is sailing steady and fast,” said Postma. “Downwind he has a got an edge. There were three OCS in the top five so that has influence. It’s still all close but [Andrew] Mills and Giles have an edge now with a five point lead or so and it’s all to play for tomorrow.”

The Dutchman finished behind Scott in Palma and knows where he has to improve to beat the Brit, “I’ve struggled with my technique and my speed is a little bit off. I’m happy with my strategy and starts but I feel it’s not come together yet. Later on in the season if it comes together with the starts and the strategy then I’ll be really happy.”

Andrew Mills (GBR) won the days other race to climb to second overall whilst New Zealand’s Josh Junior (NZL) rounds off the top three.

 

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Nacras still flying in medium airs – photo c Thom Touw

 

Across the Nacra 17 fleet there is a blend of female and male helms with sailors finding out what works best for them. A formula that is working well is Switzerland’s male helm, Matias Buhler and female crew Nathalie Brugger who picked up two seconds and a third to move into the lead. On what works best Brugger said, “The Dutch would say its girls crewing and maybe I understand why they thought that because it’s quite physical but a boy being a skipper is really good for the start because they are quite aggressive.

“It’s hard to say which balance is right but I am happy with the boy skippering as he’s doing an awesome job on the starts.”

Buhler and Brugger bring very little multihull experience into their Nacra 17 campaign as Buhler previously campaigned in the Men’s 470 and Brugger sailed Laser Radial at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. Nonetheless they are working well and find themselves at the top, “For us it’s a bit surprising as it’s only our second regatta in this boat and we’ve both sailed Olympic boats before but not really catamaran experience and we’re happy to be here.

“We just want to learn as much as we can in this boat and we still have to try things. If we get a podium we are happy but it was not the goal of this regatta.”

Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA) are second in the Nacra 17 whilst overnight leaders Tim Shuwalow and Hanna Klinga (SWE) drop to third.

 

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Alex Maloney and Molly Meech with a bit on – photo c Mick Anderson / Sailingpix.dk

 

Charlotte Dobson and Mary Rook (GBR) backed their double bullets on the third day up with consistent sailing to maintain their lead. However in Race 7 a victory from current #2 pair Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) pulled them to within one point of the Brits.

Very much like the third day Carlos and Anton Paz had two good races at the front of the 49er fleet and one towards the rear. Discarding an 18th and taking a bullet and a third they move to the top of leader board, one point ahead of Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) and four ahead of ISAF Sailing World Cup Palma winners Erik Heil and Thomas Ploessel (GER).

In the Men’s 470 Mat Belcher and Will Ryan (AUS) made it three wins from four races in the Final Series to open up a nine point lead over Pierre Leboucher and Nicolas Le Berre (FRA).

 

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Matt Belcher and Will Ryan start to extend in better breeze – photo c Mick Anderson / Sailingpix.dk

 

 

An eighth and a fourth by some team’s standards would be a job well done on the water, but not for Women’s 470 current #1 pair Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan (BRA) who by their own admission struggled on the water, “Today was so difficult for us,” said Oliveira. “We made some mistakes at the beginning of the first race and it took a long time to get better during the race so we finished eighth and fourth in the second.

 

 

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The Brazilians, Americans and French crews battle in the womens 470 – photo c Mick Anderson / sailingpix.dk

 

“The wind was changing a lot, shifting and different from yesterday. Even if it was the same direction it was changing to the other side so it was a little bit hard to understand how everything was going.”

Oliveira and Barbachan maintained their eight point lead as France’s Camille Lecointre and Mathilde Geron moved up to second overall and the Brazilians remain focused on the task ahead, “Tomorrow we need two good races and let’s see what happens,” added Oliveira. “We need to think about the two races tomorrow and then we’ll think about the Medal Races.”

 

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Marit Bouwmeester getting into her stride – photo c Mick Anderson – sailingpix.dk

Despite only stepping back into the Laser Radial for ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères Marit Bouwmeester (NED) has taken the overall lead after a second and a bullet and is simply enjoying her time back on the water, “I had a really fun battle with Alison [Young] and it was just a lot of fun being out there,” said Bouwmeester. “I’m still a bit wild with everything so I’m just focusing on myself and seeing if I can get back to the level I left at the Games.”

 

Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) continues to hold off the Brazilian charge in the form of Bruno Fontes and Robert Scheidt in the Laser whilst a bullet for World #1 Laser sailor Tom Burton (AUS) has brought him into contention for the medals.

 

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Robert Scheidt back in Olympic competition in the Laser – photo c Jean-Marie Liot / DPPI

 

Louis Giard (FRA) and Przemyslaw Miarczynski (POL) shared the spoils in the Men’s RS:X with a bullet and a second each. Giard has a two point lead over the Polish London 2012 bronze medallist whilst Spain’s Ivan Pastor is within touching distance in third.

Making it a top day of French RS:X racing was Charline Picon who fended off Bryony Shaw (GBR). Blanca Manchon (ESP) moves into third.

Friday 26 April is the penultimate day of racing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères as sailors fight for the top spots ahead of Saturday’s Medal and Stadium Races.

 

By FF Voile, for full results see: swc.ffvoile.com

 

 

 

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