Monthly Archives: February 2014

Line honours for Bella Mente in close finish



Bella Mente takes line honours by 10 minutes – Photos © Tim Wright /



RORC Caribbean 600



Hap Fauth’s JV72, Bella Mente crossed the finish line in Antigua to take monohull line honours for the 2014 RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 26th February, in an elapsed time of 48 hours, 5 mins, 44 seconds. George David’s RP90, Rambler crossed the finish line in second place, just 10 minutes later and was followed by George Sakellaris’s RP72, Shockwave which finished third on the water and just over two minutes after Rambler.

Bella Mente, Rambler and Shockwave had an intense battle for 48 hours, with the lead changing on numerous occasions around the 600 mile course. After time correction, Shockwave leads the race overall with Bella Mente second and Rambler third. Shockwave must wait for more yachts to finish the race before an overall winner can be announced.

Hap Fauth was all smiles on the dock even though Shockwave had beaten Bella Mente after time correction. Bella Mente was first IRC Yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered (without either variable or moveable ballast) and will be awarded the Bella Mente Trophy as well as the Line Honours award.

“Oh yeah, we had lots of funky wind and, you know, all kinds of stuff: a lot of storms, a lot of thunder cells going through, crazy shifts,” commented Hap Fauth dockside.

“We got caught under a couple of thunder cells and sat for 45 minutes, if you can believe that, until the breeze came back in. But the back of Guadeloupe – Bella Mente was 100%. We studied it and the result was perfect. I will have to think about it, but I don’t think that we’ve had a closer offshore race than this. It was back and forth, back and forth – obviously you guys watched that on the tracker. But it’s a hell of a race! Those guys, (Shockwave and Rambler) they can get up and go and cover a lot of ground. The last beat coming in, we just basically sat in front of them and made sure they never got away from us. So, it was a classic match race, they tack, we tack – tack and pick up and go.”

George Sakellaris was delighted with the team’s performance dockside: “An excellent race, the wind, the intensity of the racing. It was a very close race. In the big picture, the winds were favourable to us. The first half of the race had wind angles that suited Bella Mente but we knew that we would have our strengths in the second half. Great racing against very well sailed boats and, at the end of the day, winning yacht races is all about the team performance more than anything else.”

George David was philosophical about the performance of Rambler. “Just look at the difference in hull shape between Rambler and the Mini Maxis. Rambler is now 12 years old and we haven’t sailed the boat since September. Rambler has been a great boat, but we were well beaten on handicap in this race. We were disappointed not to take line honours, but there was no way we were going to let both 72s beat us! I would like to congratulate the RORC on producing a fantastic race that has grown incredibly in a very short time period. We will be back next year with the new boat and we feel, given the right conditions, the new Rambler will be able to challenge the record we set in 2011 with Rambler 100.”




By Louay Habib,



Barclays become naming rights partner for the 2014 52 Super Series


40 Trofeo Conde de Godó - 52 Super Series - Day One

Photo c Xaume Olleros / 52SuperSeries

The four regattas in Europe which constitute the series, Capri, Costa Smeralda Sardinia, Palma and Ibiza will be known as the ‘Barclays 52 Super Series’. Barclays and the 52 Super Series have signed an agreement which will see the bank become the naming rights sponsors for the 2014 season in Europe.

The alliance was confirmed at a press conference in Madrid, Spain this morning (Wednesday 26th Feb) hosted by Agustin Zulueta, CEO of the 52 Super Series, Benedek Vasy, Director of Marketing Strategy of Retail Banking for Barclays in Europe.

Since the 52 Super Series was launched at the start of the 2012 season, it has gone from strength to strength. It continues to represent the best grand prix monohull racing series in the world drawing some of the best professional sailors in the world including America’s Cup winners, Olympic medallists, round the world race victors.

“It is important to note that Barclays 52 Super Series now has realised a strong and passionate following with more boats racing than when the preceding MedCup was in force. Considering the global economic environment that is a very satisfying platform to build from.” Comments Agustin Zulueta (ESP), CEO of the 52 Super Series.

“This is a significant boost in the pursuit of to our goal which is to consolidate the future of the best monohull racing circuit in the world. This is a key choice for Barclays because the Barclays 52 Super Series is a competition circuit which reflects ‘pure performance’  featuring  grand prix boats of the same class racing in real time. The support and passion of three of the most respected owners and sailors in the world, Doug DeVos, Niklas Zennström and Alberto Roemmers ensures continuity and sound financial foundations of the circuit and now, Barclays add the perfect balance to this mix.”


The Barclays 52 Super Series 2014 is a calendar of four European regattas. They complement the US 52 Super Series which comprise Quantum Key West regatta which took place January in Key West ( USA) and is followed by a regatta in Miami 5th to 9th March. After the Miami regatta , which begins on March 5 , the competition will move to Europe , where four regattas are contested, two in Italy and two in Spain:


  • Rolex Capri Sailing Week , Capri , Italy , 20-24 May
  • TP 52 World Championship , Porto Cervo , Italy, 10-14 June
  • Copa del Rey, Palma, Spain , August 4-9
  • Royal Cup Marina Ibiza , Ibiza, Spain , 17-21 September


By 52 Super Series,


Rambler opens up a lead in overnight squalls


C600 Rambler

 George David’s Rambler – Photo © Tim Wright /



RORC Caribbean 600 



At 0700 hrs local time, on day two of the RORC Caribbean 600, George David’s RP90, Rambler, had opened up a four mile lead on the water from Hap Fauth’s JV72, Bella Mente. Rambler’s water-line length is a big advantage on the longest reaching leg of the course and the American Maxi is expected to extend that advantage during the day, on the water at least.

Overnight, Bella Mente had stretched six miles ahead of George Sakellaris’ RP72, Shockwave, to lead IRC Zero on corrected time by 15 minutes. Johnny Vincent’s Pace was in a solid third place in class and will be hoping that the lead boats will run out of breeze at some stage of the race so that the British TP52 can press home their rating advantage.

During the first night, squalls were ripping through the race course at regular intervals, bringing cold rain and erratic wind; both in speed and direction, testing the mettle of the 60 strong fleet. One of the smallest yachts in the race, Hot Stuff, crewed by Girls 4 Sail, was approaching St.Kitts. The rest of the fleet, bar Rambler, Bella Mente and Shockwave, were negotiating the chicane at the top of the course, weaving through the stunning islands that make the RORC Caribbean 600 one of the most beautiful offshore races in the world.

The twin masted schooners, Adela and Athos, have covered over 230 miles in just 20 hours. Athos is just a mile ahead of Adela on the water but, after time correction, Adela leads the Superyacht Class. The two largest yachts in the race are about to enter the narrow confines of the Anguilla Channel and a tacking duel of epic proportions is the likely outcome.

In IRC One, Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, has covered over 200 miles of the course in just 20 hours and continues to lead the class, both on the water and on corrected time. Behind Tonnerre are two displacement Swans: Colin Buffin’s Uxorious IV, and Todd Stuart’s White Rhino. Taking into account time correction, the beat through the Anguilla Channel and the reach down to Guadeloupe may favour the two heavyweight competitors, especially as the current wind speed is sub 15 knots which is too little for the light displacement Tonnerre to use her planing ability.

In IRC Two, all 12 yachts have averaged close to eight knots since the start, providing a highly competitive fleet. Peter Sowrey’s First 40, Lancelot II, has been punching above her weight, no doubt aided by the talents of solo round the world sailor, Alex Thomson. On the water, Global Yacht Racing’s First 47.7, EH01, and Bernie Evan Wong’s Grand Soleil 43, Quokka 8, are having an intense battle for line honours in the class, with Lt Col Paul Macro’s Royal Armoured Corps team on Southern Child, just a mile behind the on-the-water leaders.

In IRC Three, Classic S&S 52, Dorade, has stretched out a five mile lead on the water and leads the class after time correction. Adrian Lower’s Swan 44, Selene, has taken an absolutely flier. After rounding Saba, Selene tacked and bore away to take up an extreme offshore position, looking to lay St.Barths in one tack: Banging the Corner. Presumably, Selene feel that this tactic will pay off but it is quite a gamble.

To tune into the action visit


By Louay Habib



RORC Caribbean 600 starts in Antigua



Photo © Tim Wright /



RORC Caribbean 600 starts in Antigua



High above the Pillars of Hercules, the magnificent international fleet of yachts enjoyed a sparkling start of warm trade winds, Caribbean swell and brilliant sunshine. Ahead of the yachts lies a breath-taking course around 11 islands with more twists and turns than the Monte Carlo race track.

Two hours into the race and the entire fleet have passed Green Island and are now cracking sheets for the sleigh ride to Barbuda with Hap Fauth’s JV72, Bella Mente leading the charge, pulling the trigger, spearing through Atlantic waves at 18 knots towards the only mark of the course.


CSA, Multihull and Class40

Nine boats were in the first start of the race and virtually the entire fleet chose to start at the outer distance mark. Gonzalo Botin’s Spanish Class 40, Tales II, with highly experienced navigator Nacho Postigo on board, got away to a cracking start followed by Derek Hatfield’s Canadian Volvo 60, Spirit of Adventure.


IRC 2 & 3

With 18 yachts, this was the biggest start of the race; Bernie Evan Wong’s Trustmarque Quokka 8 and Lt Col Paul Macro’s Royal Armoured Corps Yacht Club, on Southern Child, had a very close battle for the line, which resulted in Quokka being over and having to return to the line. Lancelot II, EH01 and Ballytrim were in the front row of the starting grid.



Despite sharing breakfast this morning, Piet Vroon’s Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens III, and Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV, were both in an aggressive mood before the starting gun, engaging in a game of cat and mouse at the pre-start. However David Southwell’s Morris 486, Kismet, had a perfect timed run and led the class at the start.


IRC Zero & IRC Canting Keel

Even before the start the expected battle of the Mini Maxis was on with Shockwave hunting Bella Mente. Shockwave, Bella Mente and George David’s RP90, Rambler, were all in a perfect line hitting the start line at max speed with the Botin ITC 65, Caro; also a fast starter to leeward of this group. Johnny Vincent’s TP52, Pace, was also a front runner looking to get inshore and stay out of the way and out of trouble.



The last start of the day produced the hair-raising sight of two enormous schooners match racing each other in the last few minutes to the start, bearing down towards the Pillars of Hercules at full speed, only a boat length apart. The 182ft Adela called for water from 203ft Athos, which duly obliged, putting in a smart tack, and all 300 tons of her went through the wind. The spritely 200 ton Adela smoked through the line with height and pace to effectively win the start – magnificent!

RORC CEO, Eddie Warden Owen was on the start line watching avidly: “This was amazing to watch, just incredible. The way they all have been pushing for the line. Especially Athos and Adela; with only a minute to go to the start, they were only a boat length apart. It is so impressive to see these two beautiful boats in these conditions: 18-20 knots of wind, big seas, crashing through the waves – it’s spectacular.

The Class Zero start was unbelievable as well – they were really close, going all the way into the cliffs, calling water on each other. We could hear the screaming from the above the cliffs so there was a lot of adrenalin going on, a lot of aggression too. With the quality of this fleet it is exactly what we expected at the start; a top fleet and they’re off, in some fabulous conditions. We wish them good sailing, and good luck.”

Eddie Warden Owen continued, “This race has grown in stature and it is not just the boats but the number of professional sailors that are here. This gives you an idea of how important it is to win this race. However we’ve now got more local boats, more boats crossing the Atlantic from Europe and yachts coming down from America. 60 yachts starting the RORC Caribbean 600 – that’s pretty impressive for a race that’s only six years old.”

To tune into the action visit


By Louay Habib




International fleet line-up for crack at the JJ Giltinan’s


JJs CST fq

Photos © Frank Quealey


International challenge at the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship



With the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, proudly presented by Sydney City Marine, due to start later this week, the international competitors have begun arriving at the Australian 18 Footers League club in Sydney.

With four UK teams, four from New Zealand, two from USA and one from Denmark, set to take on 21 of Australia’s best from NSW and Queensland, local followers are looking forward to watching the biggest international contingent for many years.

The strength of the international challenge shows a lot of quality with Alex Vallings’ C-Tech, New Zealand, a real contender for the title following his international successes over the past 12 months.

Two other New Zealand teams Yamaha (David McDiarmid) and Knight Frank (Riley Dean) are also strong contenders and represent New Zealand’s best chance of taking the title since Terry McDell and his Travelodge New Zealand team in 1974.

Former two times JJ Giltinan champion, Howie Hamlin of the USA is back with his CST Composites skiff while European champion Jarrod Simpson has teamed up this year with two locals in the Black Dog.

Howie and German newcomer to Sydney Harbour, Friedrich Renner in EuroLink, took no time getting their boats ready and were immediately mixing it by invitation with the local fleet in Sunday’s last race of the NSW Championship.

Magic Marine’s skipper Norbert Peter hadn’t yet arrived in Sydney so one of his team, Finn Mrugalla, also grabbed the opportunity to hop on board the local Pure Blonde skiff for the race.

The build up in the rigging area this week will become frantic as Saturday’s first race of the championship proper approaches.


The International Teams:

New Zealand
C-Tech – Alex Vallings, Chris Kitchen, Joshua McCormack
Yamaha – David McDiarmid, Andrew Archibald, Mark Overington
Knight Frank – Riley Dean, Matt Coutts, John Little
Maersk Line – Graham Catley, Matt Randell, Brad Collins

Haier Appliances – Rick Peacock, Tristan Hutt, Nick Murray
Pica – Jamie Mears, Stewart Mears,Matt Searle
Black Dog – Jarrod Simpson, John Sweeny, Daniel Nixon
Hyde Sails – Jack Grogan, Sam Caslin, Michael Banks

CST Composites – Howie Hamlin, Mike Martin, Nick Catley
CT Sailbattens – Skip McCormack, Jody McCormack, Joe Penrod

Magic Marine – Norbetr Peter, Finn Mrugalla, Eike Dietrich
EuroLink – Friedrich Renner, Christian Meissner, Thomas Eggersdorfer

Original Chia – Flemming Clausen, Soren Clausen, Kez Cameron


Race Dates:

  • Friday 28 February – Invitation Race
  • Saturday 1 March – Race 1
  • Sunday 2 March – Race 2
  • Tuesday 4 March – Race 3
  • Wednesday 5 March – Race 4
  • Thursday 6 March – Race 5
  • Saturday 8 March – Race 6
  • Sunday 9 March – Race 7


The Australian 18 Footers League will also introduce live video coverage and continue Tracking of all races.

The site will provide full information, race reports and progress point scores throughout the championship.


By Frank Quealey



Resounding victory for Alinghi in crash fest at Singapore


Ex40s Singapore ml

 Photos © Lloyd Images



Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 1, Singapore – Overall



The opening Act of the Extreme Sailing Series™ lived up to all the pre-season hype and expectation, where the new teams got stuck in on the Singapore stadium racecourse – but couldn’t quite topple the old order – with three returning teams from 2013 taking honours.

Ernesto Bertarelli’s Swiss team Alinghi sailed a near perfect regatta, with Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei and Yves Detrey, finishing more than 50% of the 29 races in the top three. The team had the Act wrapped up before the final double-points race – a feat rarely seen on the circuit.

“We couldn’t have dreamed for a better start,” commented an ecstatic Larson after racing. “It was challenging here and with the level of competition a couple of notches higher this season, I think we just carried on from last year and we’re the only team that hasn’t changed any of our crew. We will try and build on from last year and enjoy this victory!”

The outcome of who would be stood to the left and right of the Swiss team on the podium was not so clear-cut, with Emirates Team New Zealand, The Wave, Muscat and Realstone all vying for glory. The Kiwi’s came flying off the start line in the final race, but it all went wrong for Dean Barker and his team shortly after that, and a penalty in the first beat for a port-starboard incident against The Wave, Muscat, lost them not only second place to the Omani boat, but third place to the Swiss. Barker commented: “It’s the first time we have raced together in five months, and our first time back on the circuit since 2011, and for sure we wanted to get a podium here, but couldn’t get away with it. We’re still rusty and have to focus our thoughts, but we’ll get there. We definitely had a great time here in Singapore.”

The reigning champions on The Wave, Muscat have a new line-up this year, including double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton – one of five women competing in Singapore. Skipper Leigh McMillan, who has been a dominate force in the Extreme 40 class for the last two years, looked ahead to what is shaping up to be a fantastic year of competition.

“I think it’s great that we are proving the quality of the fleet for the last two years and how competitive it has been. But by no means do we think it will remain that way and we are going to have a lot on our hands in the upcoming events. We are just delighted to finish in second place and kick off the season with a great result.”

The Swiss team Realstone led the regatta after day one, and even missing a days racing after a collision earlier in the week couldn’t stop Jerome Clerc and his men, with a third place in the final race enough to clinch third place overall.

“This is our best result since our debut in the Extreme 40 Racing. It wasn’t easy at all and we have been through every emotion this week but we have finished really strongly. It proves that we are working in the right direction, although there are obvious improvements we can make – well done to Alinghi who just dominated over the event.”


X40s crashfest ml


While the regatta in Singapore may have gone to the old-guard, the new teams pushed them the whole way, with eight of the 12 boat fleet sailing to race victories over the course of the last four days. While some of the new faces struggled for consistency, they all showed moments of winning brilliance, and the battle mid-leaderboard was fierce, with Groupama sailing team and their multihull expert skipper Franck Cammas, who last competed in the Series in 2010, clinching fifth place from the experienced hands on Red Bull Sailing, by just four points. Ben Ainslie’s team, J.P. Morgan BAR, which includes some of the UK’s top sailing talent, finished the regatta on a high, winning the final double-pointer to bring the Act home in seventh place. Eighth and ninth went to two previous Series winning helms, who finish the Act tied on points – Gazprom Team Russia, with two-times Series winner Paul Campbell-James on the tiller and Russian Igor Lisovenko as skipper, and winner of the inaugural Series, Rob Greenhalgh, with his team Oman Air. The Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team brought home the event in tenth place.


The local boat Team Aberdeen Singapore, supported by Host Venue Partner Aberdeen Asset Management, made an extraordinary comeback after yesterdays’ huge crash with Groupama sailing team, to be back on the racetrack today, and even upgraded their position on the overall standings to eleventh place ahead of GAC Pindar. Skipper Moloney summed up the atmosphere, and the feeling amongst the fleet this week.

“We’ve had an amazing and spectacular time in Singapore. This venue is the encompassment of the stadium format – wind, bumps and scrapes. It’s amazing for spectators and really difficult to sail with all the wind shifts around the buildings. No spot in the world lets us sail like this. For the sailors it was completely full on.”

The Act in Singapore will be remembered as one of the most action packed Acts in the eight-year history of the elite level Stadium Racing circuit. The next stop is Muscat, Oman – in just over three weeks time.


Standings after Day 4: (29 races)

1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 217pts
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 193pts
3rd Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Sebastien Stephant 178pts
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 168pts
5th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Pierre Leclainche, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 160pts
6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 156pts
7th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 152pts
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 128pts
9th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 128pts
10th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 126pts
11th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 82pts
12th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 59pts


By Extreme Sailing Series,



Pete Melvin reveals a glimpse of the new America’s Cup Class Rule


Pete Melvin rg

Pete Melvin racing at the A Class Worlds in Takapuna – photo c Richard Gladwell


For the 34th America’s Cup, American Pete Melvin’s design firm, Morrelli & Melvin, were the lead designers in writing the America’s Cup class rule for the AC72 catamaran.

Melvin has again been hired by the Defender and Challenger of Record of the 35th America’s Cup and tasked with coming up with the class rule for a second consecutive time.

Motivated to reduce budget costs, yet still intending to design a foiling catamaran of similar to the AC72, the new class rule is expected to be released in March, 2014.

In an interview at the A-Class World Championship, Melvin offered a glimpse of what to expect. Here are some of the bullet points:


* Adjustable rudder angle: The AC72 restricted active adjustment of the rudder angle while sailing, which affected foiling efficiency. The new class of boat will allow active adjustment, which will improve foiling ability both upwind and downwind.

* Stored energy: The AC72 allowed no stored energy, and while all systems were human powered, there were peak times on the race course when the grinders were heavily taxed. It is expected the new boat again will again rely solely on human power for the systems, but there may be a provision wherein some power can be held in reserve to lessen the peak periods.

* Manpower: The class of boat is to be in the 60-65 foot range, which will reduce the crew needed to sail it, and the shore team required to launch and service it. Fewer people needed should reduce team budgets.

* Performance: The design brief was for the new class to be no slower than 10% of the AC72 speeds. Tests indicate the new class could be similar in speeds downwind as the AC72, but a bit slower upwind. Melvin expects the speed difference to be visually difficult to discern, and the new class may even appear faster given its smaller size.

* Foiling: Expect the new class to foil both upwind and downwind.

* One Design: In the interest of cost savings, it is likely the wing will have some one design restriction. Of the major components, it is believed the wing provided the least amount of performance gain per dollar spent on design and construction. It is believed that the hull and foil systems will remain open and restricted only by the class rule.


From interview by Richard Gladwell

Reproduced from Scuttlebutt online news




Team Aqua snatch victory


VGC D5 fleet ms

Last day of fleet racing at the Virgin Gorda Cup – Photos ©



RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup in British Virgin Islands


Peninsula Petroleum had led the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup since day one, for the final day all they needed to do was stick with the same format; consistency and staying out of trouble. But the day didn’t go to plan for the Gibraltar based team, allowing Chris Bake’s Team Aqua to snatch victory on the final race of the event.

Racing was again inside Virgin Gorda’s North Sound. As the fleet got underway Peninsula Petroleum were given a red flag penalty off the startline of the day’s opening race, putting them to the back of the fleet. Vasco Vascotto calling the shots for John Bassadone got the team back in touch with the fleet by the second beat. But a port-starboard incident with Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, saw the Russian team head back into the dock with a gaping hole in the side of their RC44 and retire from racing.

Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge’s owner driver Vladimir Liubomirov spoke on the dock after limping ashore,

“It’s really shifty on the race course today, the lead changing every minute. On the last upwind leg we were in about fourth position, maybe third, sailing on starboard; Peninsula Petroleum were on port, and it was just a classic situation. They couldn’t avoid us and now we have a big hole in our boat, so it is not possible to race for the rest of the day. We lose two races, which for us is not good, but sometimes it happens, it’s all part of racing.”


VGC D5 collision

The moment Peninsula and Gazprom collided – Photos ©


Peninsula Petroleum fitted a new crash box to their bow and got back onto the race course, but now counting a DSQ (black flag disqualification) and three extra penalty points, putting Team Aqua on equal points with the leaders. Bombarda’s race win, moved the Italian team up, within two-points of the leading pair.

Team Aqua relish a comeback, and having got themselves back within touching distance of the lead, they turned the pressure dial up on their competitors. A safe start in the middle of the line followed a close first beat where the whole fleet approached the windward mark on the port layline. Chris Bake’s team squeezed round in front of Artemis Racing, then led to the finish line. Their main opposition Peninsula Petroleum finished fifth, Bombarda blowing their kite out on the final run, took eighth.

Going into the final race Team Aqua had a four point lead over Peninsula Petroleum with Bombarda and Synergy tied five points adrift.

Neither Bombarda or Team Aqua got the best of starts in the final race. Peninsula rounded the top mark fourth, Aqua two places back. As Lunajets Aleph extended their lead at the front of the fleet, Peninsula was on a charge, up to second by the final windward mark, Aqua trailing in seventh. Down the final run, Aqua went for the early gybe, Peninsula seemed caught up in traffic, losing three places down the run, handing Aqua the win in Virgin Gorda, by just two-points.

Team Aqua have two new crew members this season, the team seem to have gelled straight away. Owner Chris Bake plans to keep the close knit team together for the whole season.

“We’re going to try and keep the team solid, it’s important because when the racing is this close it’s all about the crew work, everyone has to pull together and work well together. Both Jono (Swain) and Simon (Johnson) have stepped into the team and performed really well.”

Peninsula Petroleum’s disappointed owner, John Bassadone, summed up his team’s day.

“We crashed in to Gazprom Youth; we were bearing away, the main got stuck, didn’t release and we went straight into them. We feel terrible for them because they had to retire and a complete disaster of a day really, especially as we were in control of the regatta with a bit of a cushion. We had a penalty at the start of that first race, got back to fourth position so everything was going well and then one big mistake and we gifted it away.”

Synergy Russian Sailing Team’s second in the final race, gave last season’s runners up the final podium position from Andrea Pozzi’s new Italian RC44 team, Bombarda.

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda has been a perfect host this week in Virgin Gorda, a venue the class will sure be looking to return to in the near future.


RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup

Winning line-up Team Aqua – Photos ©


“Were lucky to be racing here, it’s one of the most incredible places in the. To be racing RC44’s here, they have one of the greatest formats and are one of the greatest classes around; it makes it even more special.” Cameron Appleton, Team Aqua’s match race helm and tactician.

The RC44 class now move back across the Atlantic to Cascais, Portugal for the second event of the 2014 Tour from 23-27 April.


RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup Overall Fleet Race Ranking: (after 12 races)

1. Team Aqua, 9 4 5 2 4 5 3 1 3 2 1 7 – 46pts
2. Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team, 2 6 1 3 1 6 1 3 2 DSQ 5 5 (3) – 48pts
3. Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 6 2 6 4 2 1 4 8 7 6 3 2 – 51pts
4. Bombarda Racing, 1 3 3 6 5 4 7 2 9 1 8 8 – 57pts
5. Artemis Racing, 4 8 7 1 6 9 2 7 4 5 2 3 – 58pts
6. Lunajets Aleph Racing, 5 5 8 5 3 3 6 4 8 3 7 1 – 58pts
7. Katusha, 7 9 2 9 8 2 5 5 6 4 6 4 – 67pts
8. Gazprom Youth Sailing Challenge, 8 1 4 8 9 7 8 6 5 RDG RDG RDG – 71pts
9. Team Nika, 3 7 9 7 7 8 9 9 1 7 4 6 – 77pts


By RC44 Class Association



Nathan Outteridge explains his foiling package


Australian 49er gold medallist and Americas Cup 72 skipper Nathan Outteridge has been competing at the 2014 A Class Cat World Championships at Takapuna, Auckland.

In this video Nathan explains about the foils that helped make him to become one of the fastest competitors out on the water.

Video produced by Beau Outteridge


Glenn Ashby wraps up eighth world title


D3 Glenn Ashby rg

Glenn Ashby seals 8th world A Class title – photo c Richard Gladwell



A Class World Championship at Takapuna, Auckland


Australian Olympic silver medallist Glenn Ashby had to wait almost three hours, but there was never any doubt that he would win his eighth A Class World Championship title. Taking a lead of 15 points into the last race of the regatta, he led from the start until almost the finish, when he was run down by compatriot Nathan Outteridge.

The race committee sent the fleet out for an 11am start and after bobbing about on the glassy ocean off Takapuna Beach in Aucland, the AP over H was raised and everyone headed back to shore. As is so often the case, the wind immediately filled in from the east.

Anxious to finish, most of the 80 competitors were over the line when the gun went and the black flag was raised for the re-start.

This time everyone behaved and Ashby was seen climbing out of the field at the pin end, covering his closest rival and ETNZ teammate, Blair Tuke. He continued towards the left while most tacked onto port, looking for the stronger pressure.

Obviously Ashby knew something they didn’t, and he was well in command by the first top mark. The wind had all but died by the time he reached the bottom of the course, where he drifted across ahead of Pete Melvin (USA) and Tuke.


Blair Tuke rg

Blair Tuke takes 2nd in front of team mate Pete Burling – photo c Richard Gladwell



The battle for third place overall was heating up, with Peter Burling a place ahead of Andrew Landenberger at this point.

Ashby continued to favour the left-hand side and continued to build his lead. It wasn’t until the breeze built a little and Outteridge could get his Exploder (which has bigger foils) up on the plane, that Ashby was forced to watch another boat fly past.

But he had done enough to etch his name on the magnificent trophy for an eighth time. “It all worked pretty well,” was his usual modest response. “I went looking for a bit more pressure over there (the left) and just stayed out of trouble.”

The large contingent of ETNZ members both sailing and watching were obviously very satisfied with the result. Burling put enough boats between him and Landenberger to clinch third place, giving the Kiwi America’s Cup team the trifecta.

Landenberger was the first ‘non foiling’ boat, finishing in fourth overall with another member of the ETNZ squad, Ray Davies taking fifth spot after a very consistent regatta.

Ashby will now head to Singapore where he will crew for Dean Barker in the Extreme Series and then he hopes to get a holiday in the Bay of Islands. It will be well-deserved.


For full results see:


By Roger McMillan,