Monthly Archives: June 2013
Photo © Tom Gruitt Photography / www.tom-gruitt.co.uk
Route des Princes final leg start at Plymouth
The winners of the Routes des Princes will be decided on a final offshore sprint to Morlaix. Following victory in the inshore race series on Plymouth Sound, securing a perfect inshore record on Saturday afternoon, Sébastien Josse’s crew onboard Edmond de Rothschild go into Leg 4, Plymouth to Morlaix, needing only to win the bonus points available at the La Roche Gautier mark, 43 miles from the finish, to be sure of triumphing in the MOD70 class. With a two points margin in the Multi50’s Yves Blevec’s Actual needs to finish ahead of Arkéma – Aquitaine Region to be sure of overall victory, or even just to take the bonus points.
Josse’s team has proven to be the sharpest inshore. For the winners in Valencia, Lisbon and now Plymouth who credit their intense weeks of pre-race practice, there are several arithmetical combinations, which can work for them. They start the 250 miles final stage with a lead of four points. The points multiplier for the finale to Morlaix is times 1.5 and so if they can take the bonus, effectively 1.5 points at La Roche Gautier then Sidney Gavignet’s Oman Air-Musandam can no longer catch them.
Conversely Oman Air-Musandam, the best team offshore with wins into Lisbon and into Plymouth but third placed finishers on the Plymouth inshores now have to the bonus points and, ideally, to win the leg if they are to wrestle the outright victory from Edmond de Rothschild’s grasp.
The 265 miles course for the MOD70’s takes the three adversaries back passed Eddystone, eight miles out from Plymouth, out to Wolf Rock at Land’s End, around 70 miles reaching and upwind, then across the channel to the Cardinal La Roche Gautier mark to the NE of Paimpol, with a final loop at the bay of Morlaix between Roscoff and the Le Crapaud Cardinal mark which builds in the capacity for the Race Officers to shorten the course. The target is to have the multihulls finish into Morlaix between midday and 1400hrs Sunday, closer to 1400hr being ideal. The leg from Wolf Rock across the western channel which is about 100 miles should be in a mainly W’ly breeze which is forecast to veer more to the N and fade as they close to the French coast, so once again the advantage maybe with the chasers rather than those in front.
The Multi50’a race a more direct course, missing out Wolf Rock but instead turning at the NW Miniquier mark which is deep in the east of the Bay of Morlaix, returning against the wind to the finish line.
Compared with the 600-950 miles long offshore races, which have been contested so far linking Valencia, Lisbon, Dun Laoghaire and Plymouth the last leg is a sprint. Crews were stocking up on sleep Saturday afternoon between the end of the inshore races and the evening start, knowing that there this final sprint will be contested at maximum intensity. At 18 hours of racing, approximately, there will be no sleep until the battle is over.
The arithmetical options may be many and varied, but for sure winning into Morlaix has got to be the best and simplest formula for all of the teams, and everyone is out to win.
Plymouth Inshore Races Results:
1. Edmond de Rothschild, 10 pts
2. Virbac-Paprec 70, 8 pts
3. Oman Air-Musandam, 6 pts
4. Spindrift, DNS 4 pts
Overall Standings going into Leg 4: (Plymouth-Roscoff)
1. Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) 136 pts
2. Oman Air-Musandam(Sidney Gavignet) 132 pts
3. Spindrift (Yann Guichard) 126 pts
4. Virbac-Paprec 70 (Jean-Pierre Dick) 104 pts
1 Actual 114 pts
2 Arkema – Région Aquitaine 112
3 FenêtréA-Cardinal 108pts
4 Rennes Métropole – Saint-Malo Agglomération 84 pts
By Route des Princes, www.routedesprinces.com
Team Aqua masters the strong conditions – All photos © www.MartinezStudio.es
RC44 Sweden Cup at Marstrand
The breeze really kicked in on for the final day of racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstrand. Forecasters had predicting anything from 12-30 knots from the south, east or west; as the 12 competing RC44 teams headed out to the race course no-one knew quite what to expect. Ironbound (USA) won the only race of the day before the breeze reached 30 knots and the fleet were sent ashore. Team Aqua’s (GBR) fourth place was easily enough for Chris Bake’s team to win their second event of the season, but the fight for the remaining podium positions went down to the wire.
Racing got underway on time in a 20 knot southerly breeze. Two teams, Peninsula Petroleum (GBR) and Katusha (RUS) were called over the start early. Synergy (RUS) looked like the early leader on the far left of the course until the rain came pouring down and the wind shifted 20 degrees to the right halfway up the first beat, switching the standings. Ironbound coming in from the middle right led at the top mark from Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing. The shift helped Katusha recover to fourth from their premature start. Early leaders Synergy rounded last with Team Aqua in ninth.
With the wind increasing Artemis Racing were first to suffer a broach down the run, a slow recovery saw the Swedish team drop from second to twelfth by the leeward gate. Team Nika were the next to fall, after fishing with their gennaker Vladimir Prosikhin’s team retired with ripped sail, two snapped battens and a broken hatch.
By the finish Ironbound had extended their lead to take their second win of the event, Beijing Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison calling the shots for owner David Murphy. Katusha, with Andy Horton calling the shots for Steve Howe, finished second followed by Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing (GBR) in third.
Cameron Appleton guided Team Aqua up through the fleet to finish fourth and win the 2013 RC44 Sweden Cup convincingly. Synergy’s recovery to seventh place was just enough for the Russian team to take second place overall, their best ever fleet race result in three seasons of competing on the RC44 Tour.
Speaking after their second event victory this season, Team Aqua’s owner driver Chris Bake knows they are the target and they need to continue to improve to stay ahead in this ever increasingly competitive fleet. “The team sailed phenomenally well this week, it’s interesting that there are so many boats that did really well at points this week and at other points they made mistakes, like being over early and blowing shoots out.” explained Bake. “I’m slightly in awe of all the other boats and how quickly they have come up to speed, with a little bit more work they’re going to be right there and it will be key for us to keep the pressure on ourselves.”
With second to fourth places all tied on 48 points, the count back went to Synergy then Aegir Racing. Early leaders Peninsula Petroleum (John Bassadone /Vasco Vascotto) were disappointed to just miss out on the top three.
Aegir Racing’s third place was their first ever podium position at an RC44 event since purchasing the ex Oracle Racing at the end of last year. Owner Brian Benjamin, who is maybe better known for competing on the mini-maxi circuit, gave this thought on the teams success in Sweden. “What impressed me most this regatta was our consistency, I think our worst result was an eighth so we were very pleased with that. This is Ian’s [Williams] second regatta so he took on a bigger role here, we’re hopefully settling into our stride, my driving is getting better but I think the conditions suited us, it was pretty windy but the waves were manageable most of the time.”
After three events in the 2013 RC44 Championship Tour overall standing, Team Aqua lead from Katusha and Synergy. The Tour now moves to Cascais, Portugal for the penultimate round of the season from 2nd-6th October.
RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Ranking – (After ten races)
1. Team Aqua 11 3 1 3 2 2 2 2 1 4 – 31
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 12 4 1 3 6 2 7 – 48
3. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 1 3 4 7 4 6 3 – 48
4. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 7 5 5 4 5 5 6 – 48
5. Ironbound 9 12 4 8 6 7 1 7 3 1 – 58
6. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 6 8 6 5 3 8 10 – 59
7. Katusha 12 5 5 4 9 9 13DNF 1 4 2 – 64
8. Team Italia 1 9 6 2 10 8 8 10 9 9 – 72
9. Aleph Racing 8 10 3 5 12 3 6 9 10 8 – 74
10. Team Nika 5 7 10 10 1 12 9 8 7 13DNF – 82
11. Bronenosec Sailing Team 4 8 12 9 11 10 13 DNF 12 12 5 – 96
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team 10 11 11 11 7 11 13 DNS 11 11 11 – 107
RC44 Championship Tour Overall Fleet Race Ranking – (After 4 events)
1. Team Aqua – 4
2. Katusha – 11
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team – 13
4. Artemis Racing – 13
5. Team Nika – 19
6. RC44 Team Ceeref – 22
7. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team – 22
8. Ironbound – 22
9. Aegir Racing – 23
10. Team Italia – 28
11. Aleph Racing – 28
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team – 32
13. MAG Racing – 40
14. Bronenosec Sailing Team – 41
By RC44 Class, www.rc44.com
All photos © Fiona Brown / www.fionabrown.com
Dragon Edinburgh Cup at Weymouth & Portland
Going into the final day of the 2013 Dragon Edinburgh Cup supported by Aberdeen Asset Management in Weymouth we anticipated an exciting sixth and final race with six boats all still in with a shout of victory, but little did we know that ultimately the day would exceed everyone’s expectations for drama, excitement and surprises.
Weymouth was at its best with sunshine and a decent north-westerly breeze which built from 8 to around 16 knots through the race. You could feel the tension in the air as the boats came to the line and the tacticians made their crucial decisions about where to start and how to attack the first beat. The leading group of Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen (20 points), Klaus Diederichs (21 points), Gavia Wilkinson-Cox (22 points), Lawrie Smith (24 points), Grant Gordon (31 points) and Julia Bailey (32 points) spread themselves across the line with Bailey and Smith furthest left and Wilkinson-Cox furthest right.
As they came round mark one Mark Dicker sailing with James Cameron and Drummond Sydenham headed the fleet, Ron James sailing with Julia Walsh and Mark Pettitt was second and Ted Sawyer sailing with Martin Payne and Pedro Arriaga was third. Behind them Bailey slotted into fifth with Gordon sixth and Wilkinson-Cox seventh. Smith was just behind in ninth but there was then a huge gap back to Diederichs who rounded in the mid 20s and Hoj-Jensen down in the 30s.
So all Wilkinson-Cox had to do was hold her position and she had it in the bag… Which is very much easier said than done in a Dragon fleet of this standard. By the second weather mark Wilkinson-Cox had dropped back to eleventh but Smith was up to third and Gordon was sixth as Diederichs continued to languish down in the mid 20s and Hoj-Jensen in the 30s. Smith now had the overall lead and it appeared to be between Gordon and Wilkinson-Cox for second and third with Diederichs and Hoj-Jensen potentially out of the running.
But with another run and beat still to sail there was plenty of room for losses and gains and places were changing every few seconds. As they came to the line everyone was on the edge of their seats and frantically counting off boats and adding up points.
Dicker led the fleet over followed by Mike Hayles, sailing with Monique Hayles and Julian Brooke-Houghton, and then Gordon crossed in third with Smith fifth. Bailey finished in eleventh to claim the Corinthian Trophy, but she was out of the running overall. On the final beat Wilkinson-Cox tried a left flyer in a desperate bid to claw back ground but it didn’t pay and she finished fourteenth, her worst result of the regatta. Diederichs on the other hand seemed to find the overdrive button and roared up the final beat going from 21st at the last gate all the way up to twelfth on the line.
After some 90 minutes of cutthroat racing and a lot of frantic points calculations it was confirmed that Lawrie Smith, sailing with Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavinor, had secured victory with 29 points and Klaus Diederichs, sailing with Andy Beadsworth and Jamie Lea, was second on 33 points. However, Grant Gordon sailing with Ruaridh Scott and Joost Houweling, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox sailing with Jean Sebastien Ponce and Vicente Pinheiro de Melo and Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen sailing with Andrew Norden and Hamish McKay were all tied for third place on 34 points and could only be separated on count back. It wasn’t until the boats got back ashore that confirmation finally came that Gordon had claimed the third place on the podium with Wilkinson-Cox fourth and Hoj-Jensen fifth.
Julia Bailey crowned Corinthian Champion
In the Corinthian Division victory went to Julia Bailey sailing with Graham Bailey, Keith Tippell and Will Heritage, Simon Brien sailing with Mark Brien and David Gomes finished in second place overall and Julian Sowry, sailing with Claire Sowry and Neil O’Hagan was third.
At the prize giving, which featured traditional British afternoon tea and cakes, a very happy Lawrie Smith thanked the organisers, his fellow competitors, the sponsors and particularly the excellent race committee for a great regatta. He also paid tribute to his crew Ossie Stewart and Tim Tavinor and acknowledged, in his own wry way, just how delighted they were to win the prestigious Edinburgh Cup saying, “As we crossed the finish line Tavs said to me ‘Thank [goodness] for that – I’ve been trying to win the [darned] thing for 30 years.'”. Also adding, “I am very very pleased to win the Edinburgh Cup, as you know its a very famous trophy and I used to read about it and now I’ve won it!”
The Dragon has always been a family friendly and equal opportunity class and it was wonderful to see no less than thirteen of the 41 competing teams included family crews with four lady helms and fourteen teams sailing with female crew members. It was also very encouraging to see that not only are the number of participants in the Edinburgh Cup going from strength to strength, but that the class is also attracting a lot of younger crews keen to enjoy the technical intricacies and competitive challenge of what is arguably the most historic and successful one design class in the World.
The International Dragon fleet will be back in Weymouth from 5-13 September 2013 for the Gazprom International Dragon World Championship when sailors from around the globe will come together to race for the right to be called the Best Dragon Sailor in the World.
For final results, video clips, tracking analysis and news reports from this event please visit the 2013 Dragon Edinburgh Cup Website.
Lawrie Smith, Tim Tavinor & Ossie Stewart win the Dragon Edinburgh Cup – photo c Fiona Brown
Overall Results: (top 5)
1. Lawrie Smith, GBR785 Alfie – 8,6,8,2,(42bfd),5 = 29pts
2. Klaus Diederichs, GBR758 Fever – 1,(15),7,6,7,12 = 33pts
3. Grant Gordon, GBR780 Louise – 7,7,16,(19),1,3 = 34pts
4. Gavia Wilkinson-Cox, GBR761 Jerboa – 10,8,12,1,3,(14) = 34pts
5. Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, GBR775 Danish Blue – 5,14,10,3,2,(28) = 34pts
By Fiona Brown, British Dragon Association
All photos © Mark Lloyd / Route des Princes
Route des Princes in port races at Plymouth
Sébastien Josse’s Edmond de Rothschild again proved to be the best Routes des Princes MOD70 inshore team around the short courses off Plymouth Sound on Friday but their advantage was much less obvious than it was in Valencia and Lisbon where they won both regattas.
In slightly fickle, shifty westerly breeze of between 9 and 21 knots Edmond de Rothschild did win two of the three short course races which were contested outside the breakwater, but they had to work hard for their wins. The team which have won in both Valencia and Lisbon had their hallmark consistency compromised when they tore their gennaker in Race 2 which resulted in their third place finish.
With the high ground of a headland directly upwind of the course area the wind split, different flanks of the course paying a dividend to no regular pattern. But in terms of making fewest mistakes and making the best decisions more often than not, it was Edmond de Rothschild – the only MOD70 team to take a specialist tactician for the inshore races in Sébastien Col – which did enough to finish at the top of the Plymouth inshore regatta standings.
In the first race Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac-Paprec 70 made the best first downwind to lead up the first beat. They looked to have extended enough to win, but they misjudged their angle to the top mark for the final time and let Edmond de Rothshchild slide round the final buoy to steal victory. In the second contest Virbac-Paprec 70 made no such mistakes and were able to win ahead of Oman Air-Musandam with the hobbled Edmond de Rothschild left to third.
The wind peaked at 21 knots prior to the third race which made sail selection tricky but the wind died right away to confound such decisions. Col and Josse made the right choice when they took Edmond de Rothschild into a gybe-set to move down the left side of the first run where they found the best pressure and wind angle. That was firm foundations for their second win of the day on a race course area which skipper-helm Josse described as ‘very tricky’.
On 26pts for their two wins and a third place Edmond de Rothschild lead the Plymouth series by two points ahead of Virbac-Paprec 70 with Sidney Gavignet’s Oman Air-Musandam third four points behind the leaders.
Saturday’s racing starts at 1115hrs local time with up to three races.
The Route des Princes decider for both the Multi 50’s and the MOD70’s will be the last offshore stage to Morlaix which starts at 2000hrs. For the MOD70’s the course is due to go to Wolf Rock off Land’s End and then to a mark Basse Portsall near Ushant, a course distance of 198 miles. The Multi50’s head to Wolf Rock also and then to Aman ar Ross mark, a distance of 186 miles. Both classes are offered one bonus point at Wolf Rock for the leader on a race which carries a multiplier of 1.5pts.
As it stands just now if Edmond de Rothschild win the inshore series here they would only need to win the bonus point or the race to be sure of winning overall.
Plymouth Inshore Series: (after 3 races)
1- Sébastien Josse, FRA, Edmond de Rothschild (1,3,1) 26pts 2- Jean-Pierre Dick, FRA, Virbac-Paprec 70 (1,2,3) 24pts 3- Sidney Gavignet, OMA, Oman Air-Musandam (3,2,2) 22pts
By Route des Princes, www.routedesprinces.com
Team Aqua (GBR 2041) sail away with a big lead – All photos © www.MartinezStudio.es
RC44 Sweden Cup at Marstrand
The penultimate day of the RC44 Sweden Cup challenged the 12 competing team’s crew work and punished small mistakes. Consistency has proved tough in Marstrand with eight different winners coming from the first eight races. Only overall leaders Team Aqua have been able to win two races, helping them increase their lead over the chasing pack to 14-points.
With the breeze touching 20 knots for the opening race, Team Nika was eager to get their day started and were called over the line early. Katusha looked to be leading the fleet up the first beat, when their runner block broke putting them out of the race. Hugues Lepic’s Aleph Racing took over the gauntlet and rounded the windward mark first, followed by Aqua and Ironbound. Aleph held onto their lead until the closing stages of the race when a broach resulted in a ripped kite, putting them back to sixth. David Murphy steering Ironbound had made a big gain staying hard left on the first run and took over the lead to take their first win of the event, Aqua crossed second and Synergy sailed another strong race to finish third.
The breeze dropped slightly for the second race of the day. With the tide pushing the fleet down the line, Team Italia lined up to leeward of the fleet ended up below the pin end layline, Ironbound stacked up next to them were forced to tack out behind the fleet. With the left favoured again Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing had the best first beat, but a costly broach on the first downwind gave Team Aqua the lead at the leeward gate. Second placed Katusha opted to split with Aqua and take the left hand gate to snatch the lead from the overall leaders. Katusha proceeded to match race Aqua up the second half of the beat, ensuring Chris Bake’s team had no clean air. By the top mark Katusha had given themselves a 30m buffer. The team steered by Steve Howe this week stayed ahead to take their first win of the RC44 Sweden Cup. Aqua picked up another second place, with Artemis Racing staying in contention finishing third.
Ironbound win the first race of the day – photo © www.MartinezStudio.es
The breeze moderated to 14-16 knots for the final race of the day, big gennakers were back up flying, Nika was called over early again along with Aleph. With the left side being so favoured, a clean lane off the start line and good boat speed up the first beat was imperative. Aqua nailed it and led from start to finish, only challenged for the lead by Synergy. Ironbound rounded off a good day finishing third.
The question of why the left is so favoured was put to Team Aqua’s tactician Cameron Appleton: “I’m still trying to find out myself why the left hand side is favoured, it’s just a geographical line, there might be a little less current and it’s the way you lead into the shore. Today a couple of times there were opportunities for right shift that we hadn’t seen, but the left was still the favoured place to be, more pressure, less current and a geographical influence from the rocks and the land as it bends around the coast. There’s nothing really obviously showing it’s there but it’s happening every race.”
In the overall classification, Team Aqua now has a 14-point lead over Synergy Russian Sailing Team sailed today by Valentin Zavadnikov, John Bassadone’s Peninsula Petroleum stay in third, one point behind the Russian’s. Brian Benjamin’s Aegir and Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing both stay in contention for a top three finish in Sweden.
The wind is due to increase for the final day of racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup on Saturday 29th June. Racing is due to start at 11.30 CET, see who will lift the trophy by the live tracking and blog at www.rc44.com.
RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Ranking (After nine races)
1. Team Aqua 11 3 1 3 2 2 2 2 1 – 27
2. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 12 4 1 3 6 2 – 41
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 7 5 5 4 5 5 – 42
4. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 1 3 4 7 4 6 – 45
5. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 6 8 6 5 3 8 – 49
6. Ironbound 9 12 4 8 6 7 1 7 3 – 57
7. Katusha 12 5 5 4 9 9 13DNF 1 4 – 62
8. Team Italia 1 9 6 2 10 8 8 10 9 – 63
9. Aleph Racing 8 10 3 5 12 3 6 9 10 – 66
10. Team Nika 5 7 10 10 1 12 9 8 7 – 69
11. Bronenosec Sailing Team 4 8 12 9 11 10 13 DNF 12 12 – 91
12. RUS7 Sail Racing Team 10 11 11 11 7 11 13DNS 11 11 – 96
By RC44 Class, www.rc44.com
Chris Bake at the helm of Team Aqua (GBR 2041) – All photos © www.MartinezStudio.es
Day 3 – RC44 Sweden Cup at Marstrand
The wind kicked in at the RC44 Sweden Cup in Marstrand for the third day of racing, with conditions not dissimilar to the Solent it was the British boats that excelled. Aegir Racing, Nika and Synergy all won races, but an excellent and consistent day from Team Aqua (GBR) took them to the top of the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the RC44 Sweden Cup, Team Aegir’s (GBR) top performance moved them into second overall and day one leaders, Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), slipped back to third.
After a general recall the fleet got away in a building 14 knot southerly breeze. The 12 strong fleet split in two up the first beat, as they converged as one at the top mark, it was the boats favouring the left who had the advantage. Massimo Barranco and Flavio Favini onboard Team Italia, rounded first closely followed by Brian Benjamin’s Aegir Racing. With the breeze increasing the British team took the advantage, Team Italia gybed inside Aegir at the leeward gate but were unable to get the overlap. Aegir’s tactician Ian Williams, who knows these waters well having match raced in the Stena Cup on many occasions, defended well for the rest of the race to finish just ahead of the Italians. Team Aqua recovered from seventh to third and Artemis Racing slotted in a sixth after trailing the fleet for much of the race.
By the start of race two the breeze had steadily increased to 16-18 knots with puffs over 20. Katusha were called over early at the start. After another close beat the first three round the windward mark were Team Nika, Aegir Racing and Team Aqua. Nika took advantage of some clear air and proved they have good speed extending their lead to over 200 metres by the finish line. Chris Bake’s experienced Team Aqua passed Aegir to take second. Brian Benjamin’s team hung on to post their second top three result of the day.
For the final race of the day, conditions remained unchanged, 16-18 knots of breeze and big swell. At the top mark Aleph Racing led from Team Italia who rounded overlapped with Synergy. The Russian team gybed early and tactician Ed Baird chose the favoured leeward gate to head right up the next beat, Aqua followed. Synergy took control to win the race. Team Aqua proved the most consistent team of the day, scoring 3,2,2, to giving them a six-point lead over fellow Brits, Aegir Racing, whose 1,3,4 scoreline moves them up into second overall on equal points with day one leaders Peninsula Petroleum.
On a day where the conditions tested the teams, Team Aqua tactician Cameron Appleton revealed even the most experienced of team’s were challenged. “We knew it would be tricky with the breeze building and the waves confused. Chris [Bake] had a good day on the helm; the crew did an excellent job of keeping the boat consistent. We got away unscathed damage wise today considering the conditions, but for sure you have to push hard and if you make one small mistake it can be disastrous. I think a couple of boats blew up shoots because of that. We had a small wipe out on the last run of the last race and we were lucky not to blow our shoot, but you have to push and be on the edge, but if you cross the line it can go bad.”
Racing continues in Marstrand until Saturday 29th June; follow the racing with the live tracking and blog at www.rc44.com.
RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Ranking: (top 6 after six races)
1. Team Aqua 11 3 1 3 2 2 – 22pts
2. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 1 3 4 – 28pts
3. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 7 5 5 – 28pts
4. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 12 4 1 – 30pts
5. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 6 8 6 – 33pts
6. Team Italia 1 9 6 2 10 8 – 36pts
By RC44 Class, www.rc44.com
The 2013 49er Class European Championships will be a wonderful championship for sporting fans. From July 2-7, 2014, the venue of Aarhus, Denmark, home base for Danish 49er sailors, is hosting the world’s best sailors and they are keen to defend their home waters.
This championship is special for a number of reasons. The 49er class, with our partners Seiko and SAP, are proud to announce there will be live coverage of the event both on the web and Danish TV. DN, the Danish National broadcaster, will be airing 4-5 hours of racing each day of the final series so Danish sailing fans will get to watch our champions emerge.
And what a battle it will be. The 2013 European Championship is the first big event of the Rio quadrennial. Teams are fighting hard to place themselves in championship conversation and get into the elite group of sailors in the world. Even within Team Denmark the battle will be intense, 2008 Olympic Gold medalist, Jonas Warrer and 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist, Allan Norregaard, are both vying to be the top Danes.
We also have the addition of the 49erFX event to the championship schedule. This class is familiar to sailing fans as the boats are identical to the 49er with an updated sail plan for lighter women’s teams. While it may look similar, the 49erFX is proving to be faster downwind in windy conditions, and the girls are loving it… when they’re not competing full on for the win that is. On the women’s side of Team Denmark, the Danish Battle will be equally intense. Danes placed first and third at the World Cup of Sailing event in Palma 2013, and both teams are busy training to win on home waters.
Live In-Person Viewing Experience
The championship racecourse is placed close to the shore in Aarhus, and fans will be able to watch the racing up close. The seawall is about 400m long and runs parallel to the typical wind direction in Aarhus. In the central square of that seawall we will have food and a beer garden, music, announcers, and probably even big screen TV’s for live and replay action.
There is a tall ships festival going on only 2 km away which expects 500,000 visitors to attend over the week. The 49er racing schedule is being put into the tall ship festival program and will be advertised on their big screens and over the PA, so visitors know to come and visit the 49er racing. We are hoping for great crowds, as we know the Danes love their sailors, especially their 49er sailors.
There is also a VIP ship to take out paying customers and sponsor VIP’s onto the racecourse during the event that will be fully catered and watered for those who prefer an on the water experience.
There will be a race course very close to the seawall for every day of the championship, July 2-7, 2013 from about 12:00-17:00 local time. Come down to the shore and have a look. The course will be especially close to the spectators on the final 2 days, with both days featuring smaller fleets and shorter races. It should be a fantastic viewing experience so join us on July 6 and 7.
Live TV Viewing Experience
The championship series (after qualifying) is taking place from July 5-7, and each day we will have all of the action live on TV and the web so sailing fans can watch the best fleet racing the world has to offer. July 5th is the gold fleet racing of 32 boats, and here is a link to the complete format information. Both the men’s and women’s fleets will have the top 32 team competing in 30 minute races. This is like the Olympic sailing many will have seen from the 49ers, except there are more teams and more good teams competing, so the racing is even closer. Racing starts at noon CET on July 5th.
On July 6th, we have the Semi Finals. The top 16 teams will move on and race 4 races each of a 20 minute duration. This racing should be particularly special. Putting the best 16 boats on a course with only 20 minutes per race to decide among them who is sailing well guarantees tight racing and should be particularly intense to watch. This format is a new change to our format schedule that holds huge promise for sailors and sailing fans alike. Racing starts at noon CET on July 6th.
The Finals and Petit Finals will be on July 7th. The top 8 will battle in Theatre Style racing, where both sides of the course are bounded to keep the sailors engaged with each other. These ‘Theatre’ races are particularly special, as the championship battle is fought in a series of short races right in front of the public. The racing is so intense that crews have had to modify their training to ensure they have the horsepower to compete with such intensity, and the result has been great battles on the water.
Schedule on July 7th:
- 1:00 pm CET – 49erFX petit finals
- 2:00 pm CET – 49er petit finals
- 3:00 pm CET – 49erFX finals
- 4:00 pm CET – 49er finals
For those of you wondering why the sailing is only on Danish TV, please know we are happy to make available the broadcast stream to any other TV broadcasters. If you have contacts in the TV world in your country, please pitch them on picking up the feed.
Live Web Viewing Experience
Everyone will be able to watch the racing live on 49er.org. Please set a reminder now in your calendars to tune in.
The viewing experience will be an enhanced experience. The live broadcast with English commentary will be available through a livestream. To complement the livestream, we will have SAP sailing analytics, a suite of tools that helps analyse the race in real time running for those who want to delve into the detail of how some teams are getting ahead. In addition, there will be a gps raceviewer so that a 2D and 3D representation of the racing is shown. Each boat will carry a gps tracking unit so we can watch the battles unfold in real time and replay at your leisure.
Taped TV Viewing Experience
The racing will also be taped and broadcast as an episode of Inside Sailing, the magazine sports show broadcast in over 100 countries is expected to generate 490 million impressions. The list of channels taking inside sailing is growing all the time and this 26 minute episode will be broadcast many times over.
Teams to Watch Out For
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke – NZL 49er
By 49er Class media
All photos © Guilain Grenier / Oracle Team USA
Oracle Team USA sails two AC72s in San Francisco
Oracle Team USA completed a first full day of two-boat testing today in San Francisco. Both of the team’s AC72 racing yachts spent the morning running through various tests and boat set-ups as they maneuvered around the San Francisco Bay.
“It was the best day of the campaign,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “It has taken a lot of work and a lot of energy to get two full crews operationally up to this level, to launch and have two boats ready to go. A lot of credit goes to the shore and build teams.”
“Now, we have two competitive boats,” Spithill continued. “That’s a good position to be in as you never know what’s around the corner. For us to have two boats, with two race wings, and have a lot of depth in our sailing team, it certainly gives us a chance to produce more boat speed. And, from a racing point of view, it allows us to really learn the race track and build a playbook.”
Spithill took the helm of one AC72 while Ben Ainslie was behind the wheel of the other AC72. Two full crews – 22 sailors combined – were onboard for the morning session. Following testing, one boat returned to the base while the other spent time on the race course.
“It was a big day for the team, and exciting in many ways to have two AC72s out on the Bay,” Ainslie said. “It was foggy at the beginning – it was a bit eerie as we were sailing together and at one point you couldn’t see the other boat. But, the fog cleared and we had some fantastic conditions. We learned a huge amount.”
Through two-boat training, the crews run through a list of tests between the boats – from different sails to different mode settings. While several tests were accomplished today, the team will continue the two-boat program as conditions allow while keeping both boats maintained.
The team re-launched its first boat in February, while the second AC72 was launched at the end of April. Training on both boats have alternated independently since both have been on the water.
Racing among the challengers begins on July 7 with the Louis Vuitton Cup. Oracle Team USA’s race schedule opens on September 7 with the first race of the 34th America’s Cup.
“One-boat testing is very difficult. And, when you try to do it in San Francisco – a dynamic place where the currents are always changing, the winds are shifting, the gradients different – its very tough. With two boats you have a benchmark and you can see the changes you make,” Spithill said. “Today was a very good day and has given us all a lot of confidence. There’s been a weight lifted off our shoulders, as we know we can go two-boat sailing. I think it will definitely make us stronger as a team, and more importantly, faster.”
Gorillas in the mist – All photos © Guilain Grenier / Oracle Team USA
By Oracle Team USA media
Vladimir Prosikhin at the helm of Team Nika (RUS 10) – All photos © www.MartinezStudio.es
Day 2 – RC44 Sweden Cup at Marstrand
Tricky conditions on the opening day of fleet racing at the RC44 Sweden Cup saw no one team able to finish in the top half of the leaderboard in all three races. There were race wins for Team Italia, Artemis Racing and Team Aqua, but the most consistent performers of the day were John Bassadone and Vasco Vascotto onboard Peninsula Petroleum. The Gibraltar based team scored two seconds and a seventh to take a two point overnight lead over Artemis Racing.
Race one started in seven knots, with the breeze from the north-west, but quickly increased to 12 knots as the rain increased. Aleph Racing, Katusha, Team Aqua and Ironbound were all called over at the start of race one and struggled to get back through the fleet. Massimo Barranco’s Team Italia with Flavio Favini calling the shots got the jump on the fleet to round the windward mark first, Artemis Racing (SWE) close behind and competing in their first ever RC44 fleet race was Bronenosec Sailing Team in third.
Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis Racing and Team Italia swapped positions throughout the race, but in the closing stages it was the Italian team who took the win. The Swede’s had to settle for third after letting Peninsula Petroleum slip into second.
Aleph Racing started at the committee boat on port in race two, Team Nika and Synergy also headed off to the right. A big left shift halfway up the first beat put the advantage to the boats on the opposite side of the course; Artemis Racing rounded ahead of Peninsula Petroleum and Aegir. The top two boats didn’t change for the rest of the race, only Team Aqua able to make a charge back through the fleet to finish third, climbing from ninth at the first mark.
In the third and final race of the day, it was Chris Bake’s Team Aqua who led from start to finish after starting at the favoured pin end of the line. Behind them places changed, Aleph Racing losing out to Synergy on the final run, Ironbound finished fourth. Peninsula Petroleum’s seventh place was enough to take the overnight lead, two points ahead of the home favourites, Artemis Racing. Synergy Russian Sailing Team are on equal points with Artemis Racing, finishing the day with a 7,4,2 scoreline. Team Aqua’s day may not have started well, but ended with a win and sit four points off the lead.
Overnight leaders Peninsula Petroleum form returned today after failing to win a race in yesterday’s match racing as John Bassadone explained. “We didn’t sail very well yesterday but that’s sailing for you. We’ve got good guys onboard and did very well tactically today; the boat is fast which showed.”
Joining the RC44 class in Marstrand is the Bronenosec Sailing Team from St. Petersburg in Russia, Vladimir Liubomirov, at the helm of his newly acquired RC44 gave his analysis of the day. “I’m happy with how the team sailed today; the first race was very good for us. The fleet is very compact when racing, two boat lengths is the equivalent to six places which is really exciting. The crew is in good condition so it is now my job to get a feel for the boat and see what we can do for the rest of the regatta.”
The fleet welcomed 12 young people from the Gothenburg Yacht Club’s (GKSS) youth squad to sail as guest racers onboard for the first race today. The Laser Radial and 29er sailors aged between 13 –20 were joined by their coach, Olympic Finn sailor, Daniel Bergmark who explained the importance of such experiences to the next generation of professional sailors.
“It was a great opportunity that the young sailors from the club got the chance to come here and sail with the RC44’s, It was a big inspiration for them to join the professional teams here and see how they work onboard and how the big boats are sailed, normally they are Laser and 29er sailors so hopefully this will be the future for these sailors.
Racing continues in Marstrand until Saturday 29th June. Follow the racing with the live tracking and blog at www.rc44.com.
Racing in the rain – photo © www.MartinezStudio.es
RC44 Sweden Cup Fleet Race Ranking: (top 6 after three races)
1. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team 2 2 7 – 11pts
2. Artemis Racing 3 1 9 – 13pts
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team 7 4 2 – 13pts
4. Team Aqua 11 3 1 – 15pts
5. Team Italia 1 9 6 – 16pts
6. Aegir Racing 6 6 8 – 20pts
By RC44 Class, www.rc44.com
Photo © Rodrigo Moreira Rato / Route des Princes
Route des Princes Leg 3 Finish
After winning two of the three offshore legs sailed so far on the Routes des Princes multihull race around Europe, Sidney Gavignet’s Oman Air-Musandam now lead the overall MOD70 standings by the smallest possible margin. With only Friday and Saturday’s inshore race series and the last offshore sprint to Morlaix-France still to be raced, they top the table only on tie break.
Oman Air-Musandam slid across the finish line on Plymouth Sound at 18h 53m 06s local time on a glorious sunny Wednesday evening, then threaded their way through the local sailing fleets engaged in their club racing, the international crew drained but contented after a nerve shredding, intense leg from Dun Laoghaire, Ireland which started on Monday morning.
They finished just 15 minutes and 27 seconds ahead of second placed Edmond de Rothschild, breaking the finish line 2 days 7 hours 53 minutes and 6 seconds after starting in Dun Laoghaire.
Third MOD70 to finish was Jean-Pierre Dick’s Virbac-Paprec 70 at 19h 45m 56s local time, 53 minutes and 50 seconds after the leg winner.
Oman Air-Musandam had initially lost out on the fast downwind slide to the first points scoring opportunity at Wales’ Bardsey Island, but then made initial gains when they held inshore at Tuskar Rock, off Wexford, cheating the adverse tidal currents but running something of a risk as the winds close to the land were, they felt, lighter than offshore.
But they got the equation right and were able to eke out a small lead on the SE and South Irish coast, leading around Fastnet Rock.
Although they all but left their two MOD70 rivals standing after Fastnet Rock, stretching out to lead by a substantial 47 miles at one stage, it was always expected that the breezes would die off again before Bishop Rock at the Scilly Isles.
But when it did, suddenly, the MOD 70 dropping from 30kts boat speed to one knot over a 30 minutes period, and their main rival Sébastien Josse’s Edmond de Rothschild crew, then reached up to them at speed, the Oman Air-Musandam still held their nerves and their focus when the re-start happened, crept away again to win the two vital bonus points at Bishop Rock.
Oman Air-Musandam won the first leg from Valencia to Lisbon thanks to an early breakaway move, but finished third, 33 seconds behind second placed Edmond de Rothschild into Dun Laoghaire. Skipper Gavignet admitted that they had learned from their disappointing final miles into Dublin Bay when they lost out by 33 seconds to Josse’s crew.
“We kept fighting and we made it.” Said Gavignet, “Thinking about the end of the last leg we were more vigilant this time”.
For a team which purports to have no specialist navigator, skipper Gavignet and offshore ace Neal McDonald combining their thinking to devise their key strategies, Oman Air-Musandam have established a very strong record offshore. Of the offshore points scoring opportunities, it is only at Bardsey Island that they have not taken the points as leg leaders.
“Sidney and Neal have done a great job at putting us in the right place, they work well together on strategy with clear ideas.” Explains Damian Foxall, ” The situation can change very quickly and literally in 5 to 10 minutes you can miss a breeze and find yourself in something totally different. We end up looking at the big picture to see not where the wind is now but where it is going to be in three or four hours and what is the low risk option, what are the advantages and potential losses and I think we are doing that well.”
Overall Standings after Leg 3:
1- Oman Air-Musandam, 126pts
2- Edmond de Rothschild, 126pts
3- Spindrift, 122pts
4- Virbac Paprec 70, 98pts
By Route des Princes, www.routedesprinces.com