Monthly Archives: March 2014
ISAF Sailing World Cup – Trofeo Princesa Sofia in Palma
Light breeze and a sloppy sea on the opening day of racing at the fourth of five 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas in Mallorca, Spain meant conservative racing for the 1,130 sailors from 55 nations taking part at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía.
Sailors in ten Olympic and one Paralympic events had to ensure that their mistakes were kept to a minimum with fleets split in eight Olympic events.
A light sea breeze came in around 11:00 hrs local time and remained between 5-7 knots on the seven race courses being used in Palma Bay.
Racing in opening day of the qualification series commenced shortly after 12:00 noon with many international and national battles that have been evident throughout the 2013-2014 series continuing.
Franck Cammas (FRA) showed why he is one of the finest sailors in the world at the moment by taking two bullets and a fifth to lead the Nacra 17 with crew Sophie de Turckheim.
The 73 registered Nacra 17’s are split into two fleets and racing in the blue fleet Cammas and de Turckheim were dominant in the light breeze. Federica Salva and Francesco Bianchi (ITA) remained consistent alongside the French pair in the blue fleet and sit second, a point behind.
Current world #1 Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) are in third followed by 2013 Nacra 17 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA).
Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG), Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) and Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström (SWE) share the lead in the Men’s 470 on four points apiece after three races.
The Argentineans controlled the blue fleet picking up a seventh, a third and first whilst the French stood out in the yellow taking two seconds and a seventh. The Swedes sailed consistently in the blue fleet to add their name to equation.
Despite strong results the Argentineans admitted to sailing with caution on the opening day,
“You only have one discard in 11 races,” explained de la Fuente, “so the most important thing is to be conservative. We are starting conservatively but we are really fast so we’ve managed to get on top after three races.”
With gold fleet racing on his mind Mion added, “We are now thinking about doing something safe on the second day. We know we have to keep our strength for the rest of the regatta because it will be more difficult. Especially in Mallorca where everybody is really close.”
The qualification series wraps up on Tuesday 1 April with two further races. Gold fleet racing commences on 2 April.
The Women’s 470 fleet were the first off the water and it was Camille Lecointre and Hélène Defrance (FRA) who came ashore with the brightest start.
Lecointre and Defrance picked up a race win and a fifth from two races and having set the early pace Lecointre was content with her day,
“The conditions were not easy. The wind was unpredictable so we just tried to go as fast as we could and guess the shifts so it was okay in the end.”
With 47-boats on the start line the racing has been tough, Lecointre added, “It has been a long time since we raced in a big fleet. It’s not easy when you have a bad start and the level has increased once again.”
“With the conditions set to change at the end of the week there’s a long way to go.”
With the discard coming in after two races the French pair share the lead with Ukraine’s Anna Kyselova and Anastasiya Krasko who took the second race win. However the Ukrainians finished down in 18th in the opening race.
Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014 – c Jesus Renedo / Sofia
World #1 ranked Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) showed their value in the 49erFX fleet taking two seconds and a race win.
The Brazilians have been the most active 49erFX racers on the international circuit and continue to produce when it matters. After the opening day they have three points and share the lead with Ann Kristin Wedemeyer and Pia Sophie Wedemeyer (GER) and Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard (FRA).
“It’s a great start to the first day of the World Cup,” said Grael ashore after racing. “We wanted to start the World Cup quite conservatively by not doing an OCS or by getting any letters on our score. That was the key point for the start. Tomorrow is also another day of qualification so we will try to have another low risk day.”
Having taken in ten regattas in just 16 months Grael has seen first-hand the progression of some of the girls and continues to push forward herself,
“The class is now more than one year old and you can see a big difference between this year and last year. You can see all the teams have been training and working really hard.”
Diego Botin and Pablo Turrado (ESP) lead the 49er fleet after three races. Sailing in the yellow fleet the Spaniards race cool, calm and collected and recorded a fourth, a bullet and a second.
Mathieu Frei and Yann Rocherieux (FRA) follow in second with Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) occupying third overall ahead of two other British teams.
Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014 – c Jesus Renedo / Sofia
Thomas Le Breton (FRA) started strong in the 92-boat Finn fleet with a second place and a bullet to take an early lead.
The Finn fleet is split up into two fleets of 46 boats and Le Breton was the stand out sailor of the day racing in the blue fleet,
“I was quite fast today with nice starts, but sometimes you also have to be a bit lucky as well. I just tried to get a good start and have clear air and then stay in the pressure.”
Le Breton finished over a minute behind Race 1 victor Andrew Mills (GBR) in the opening race and enjoyed a close fought second with Tapio Nirkko (FIN),
“It was a nice race. I had a good start and I had a nice fight with Tapio. We were both quite quick I think. We had a good gybing battle to keep the inside lane to the last mark, but I managed to keep the lead.”
In the Yellow Fleet Luke Lawrence (USA) took the opening race win with Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) coming through to take the second bullet.
Australian sailors Ashley Brunning and Jeremy O’Connell demonstrated their light wind expertise on the opening day in Mallorca as they occupy the leading positions.
Brunning sits atop of the 144-boat Laser fleet, that’s been split into blue, yellow and red fleets, following a 16th, a bullet and a second. O’Connell follows on four points with a 12th, a first and a third.
Great Britain’s Elliot Hanson and Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic are tied on four points with O’Connell. Nicolas Heiner (AUT), Daniel Mihelic (CRO), Philipp Buhl (GER), Emil Cedergardh (SWE) and Giovanni Coccoluto (ITA) all follow on five points.
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) picked up two race wins and leads the Laser Radial fleet. Racing in the yellow fleet the Dutch sailor took two close victories over Chloe Martin (GBR) in Race 1 and Tina Mihelic (CRO) in Race 2. Bouwmeester finished second in the third race of the day to solidify her leading position. Martin got the better of Bouwmeester in the final race and sits second.
In the blue fleet, race victories went to ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao gold medallist Dongshuang Zhang (CHN), China’s Min Gu and Sweden’s Josefin Olsson. The Swedish sailor sits on three points tied with Martin and Zhang.
The Asian sailors shined in the light breeze with China’s Chunzhuang Liu coming out flying on the opening day of Men’s RS:X racing taking bullets from the first two races and adding a fourth in the final race of the day.
The ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne silver medallist was devastatingly quick in the light breeze and leads on two points having discarded his fourth.
Hong Kong’s Ho Tsun Leung sits second overall on three points with Liu’s compatriot Chuakun Shi (CHN) third on four points.
China’s Peina Chen opened up her week with two race wins and an eighth in the 56-boat Women’s RS:X fleet. Chen took gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and bronze at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and continues her good form in Mallorca.
Chen leads on two points followed by Charline Picon (FRA) on five. Blanca Manchon (ESP) is third on seven points.
Natalia Kosinska (NZL) took the days other race win but with two results out of the top ten she is down in eighth.
London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Marina Alabau (ESP) makes a return to the Women’s RS:X fleet having become a mother in September. She sits fifth.
Helena Lucas (GBR) opened her regatta up with double bullets in the 16-boat 24mR fleet. Compatriot and ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallist Megan Pascoe trailed Lucas in both of the opening day’s races to pick up two seconds. Norway’s Bjornar Erikstad is third on seven points.
Racing resumes at 11:00 hrs on Tuesday 1 April and continues through to Saturday 5 April.
For full provisional results see: http://www.trofeoprincesasofia.org/en/default/laregata/vertodoslosresultados
By Neus Jordi as amended by Grand Prix Sailing
Trofeo S.A.R Princesa Sofia 2014 c Jesus Renedo / Sofia
ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma de Mallorca
Thomas Le Breton (FRA) heads the 92 boat Finn fleet after four tricky races were sailed on the opening day of the ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca. Le Breton took the final race of the day, while other race wins went to Luke Lawrence (USA), Andrew Mills (GBR) and Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO).
An early postponement to wait for the bay to fill with wind was rewarded with 5-8 knots of patchy and shifty breeze that mixed up the fleet and made for some tough racing. The fleet was split into two colour groups and two out of the three scheduled races were sailed. With windward-leeward courses, it was a tough day for some while others found some amazing consistency.
First up was the Yellow Fleet starting in a very light onshore wind. The pressure was clearly stronger on the right but the deciding shifts came from the left. Race winner Luke Lawrence said, “I started off in the first race by fouling Bambi [Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic] and doing a couple of spins, but after I got that over with I found a clear lane out across ducking a few boats. I stuck my nose out clean and came back across to the left and managed to control it from the left from there. It seemed to be left favoured, so I just tried really hard to make sure nobody got to my left at all and I locked it up.”
Lawrence was third at the first top mark behind Zsombor Berecz (HUN) and Caleb Paine (USA). “They gybed and split from me downwind so I took my own pressure down the outside of the course and rounded the gate in front of both of them.”Lawrence then led round the remaining lap to take the first winning gun of the event.
In the Blue fleet Andrew Mills (GBR) had to fight for his win until the final mark. “It was a very tricky day with the breeze swinging between a gradient and a sea breeze. There was some big pressure differences and some big shifts out there as well. In the first race I thought I would be rounding about 15th or so after the first beat and then I nailed a couple of shifts absolutely perfectly. The pressure differences and shifts were that big that you could round everyone and go from 15th to first. That was the main gain and I fell back to second at one point, but then got the French guys back on the last run.”He won from Le Breton and Jonathan Lobert (FRA). He then got a fourth in the second race. “I was just trying to get off the line without too much risk and stay in middle and keep my options open.”
The second set of races started very quickly with a very slight increase in wind. Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) has come back this year with renewed enthusiasm and led the race from start to finish. He said, “It was quite a difficult day. In the second race a couple of minutes before the start I was looking at the pressure and there was a big righty, but everyone was at the pin end. So I started at the committee boat in a big right hand shift clear with no one around me. I had a really nice beat keeping clear of everyone and got control in the first half of the race. The rest was just about completing the task.”
“Actually in both races I did really well. In the first race I started clear at the pin end and played the shifts on the left and it turned out really good. I was top five at the first mark. Everything was really nice and I was quite happy for a while, as I knew it was going to be a really difficult day and quite oscillating. I was trying to keep a simple and clear game, but unfortunately on the last run I got a penalty, which was quite a surprise for me as I was clear of the group behind.” He ended up eighth in that race.
The final race for Blue fleet ended with a thrilling match race between Le Breton and Tapio Nirkko (FIN) into the final mark. Le Breton said, “It was a nice race. I had a good start and I had a nice fight with Tapio. We were both quite quick I think. We had a good gybing battle to keep the inside lane to the last mark, but I managed to keep the lead.”
Speaking on the pressure differences across the course he said, “I was quite fast today with nice starts, but sometimes you also have to be a bit lucky as well. I just tried to get a good start and have clear air and then stay in the pressure.”
More wind is forecast for Tuersday, building as the week goes on. After four races the fleet will be split into gold and silver fleets for the final three days before the medal racenext Saturday.
Results after 2 races with 1 discard
1 FRA 29 Thomas le Breton 1
2 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 1
3 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 1
4 USA 40 Luke Lawrence 1
5 FIN 218 Tapio Nirkko 2
6 RUS 6 41 Arkadiy Kistanov 2
7 HUN 40 Zsombor Berecz 2
8 GBR 41 Giles Scott 3
9 EST 11 Lauri Vainsalu 3
10 FRA 112 Jonathan Lobert 3
Full results: http://www.
By Robert Deaves – IFA
Photo © Matteo Littardi
Gazprom International Dragon European Championship in Sanremo
The Yacht Club Sanremo organised Gazprom International European Dragon Championship drew to a successful conclusion at Sanremo with the Danish team made up of Lars Hendriksen, Kleen Frithjof and Anders Bagger taking the 2014 Dragon European Champion title aboard Debutant.
After a mixed bag of sailing conditions and a number of big place changes during the championship, the weather conditions were excellent for the last day of racing which saw the sixth and final race take place under sunny skies in a fresh 18 to 20-knot north-easterly wind. The participants tackled a 12-mile course: the first boat across the line was Sophie and her Swiss crew (Pedro Andrade, Martin Westerdahl, Diogo Cayolla) followed by Alfie of Great Britain (Lawrie Smith, Adam Bowers, Joost Houweling) and Drago of Portugal (Jose Sotto Mayor, Gustavo Lima, Frederico Melo).
Overall Results: (top seven)
1st Debutant (DEN): Lars Hendriksen, Kleen Frithjof and Anders Bagger – 28pts
2nd Bunker Queen (UAE): Marcus Wieser, Sergey Pugachev and Georgii Leonchuk – 30pts
3rd Bunker Boys (UAE): Yevgen Braslavets, Igor Sidorov and Sergiy Timokhov – 33pts
4th Agtivists (MON): Philipp Malte, Michael Kurtz, Thorsten Imbeck – 45pts
5th Annapurna (Russia): Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko, Alexander Shalagin – 50pts
6th Sophie (Switzerland): Pedro Andrade, Martin Westerdahl, Diogo Cayolla – 63pts
7th Cloud (Italy): Giuseppe Duca, Jean Sebastien Ponce, Vittorio Zaoli – 66pts
The Virginie Henriot Cup will be awarded to the helmsman of the winning boat and is an award for the nationality of the latter rather than the boat.
Corinthian Results: (non-professional crews, top three)
1st Tergeste (Italy): Nando Colaninno, Guido Antar Vigna, Mauro Grandone – 77pts
2nd The Knucker (Norway): Martin Palson, Goran Alm, Per Arne Nilsen
3rd Dejavu (Ukraine): Sergiy Pichugin, Sergiy Scherbakov, Igor Severyanov
The complete standings are available online at www.yachtclubsanremo.it
Moth foiling on Lake Garda – Photo © The Foiling Week
The foiling week, a week totally focused on “flying boats”, will have three different events: the Moth Open National Championship, the TFW Core Event with Forums, Races and on water Tests and the final Full Foiling Catamaran Racing.
The International Moth Eurocup and the Italian Championship will be the competitive event with which will start the foiling week from 4th to 6th July at Circolo Vela Torbole, in the north of Lake Garda, the windiest spot in southern Europe, considered by many a natural sailing gym. The yacht club based on Benaco lake top end is known throughout the world for his great organizational skills, always able to deliver successful events.
Photo © Circolo Vela Torbole
The Forums and on water tests will be held at Fraglia Vela Malcesine from July 7th to 9th, right in the middle of the east coast of the lake, where the wind is blowing but there’s usually no waves. Fraglia Vela Malcesine water spot is thought to be the paradise for foilers, at least according to Bora Gulari, Moth World Champion 2013. Here, the program includes lectures, panel discussions and Q&A sessions with the audience. During the afternoons, there will be friendly competition in all of the classes attending, from the Kite Hydrofoil to Catamarans. The same boats will be available for on water testing!
Fraglia Vela Malcesine is home to some of the strongest sailors in the world, who come here to train and it is right here that many of the medals won at the Olympic Games and at World Championships, were built step by step. Russell Coutts, Paul Cayard, Dean Barker, James Spithill, Robert Scheidt, Torben Grael, Fredrik Loof, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Xavier Rohart are familiar with the waters in front of the new clubhouse, built following the latest dictates of architecture, totally eco-integrated with its roof covered with grass.
Full Foiling Catamaran Racing will also be held in Fraglia Vela Malcesine, from 10th to 12th july. The spectacular flying catamarans will battle on the water during the last weekend.
For constantly updated news on the website see: www.foilingweek.com
By Rachele Vitello
World’s best ready for ISAF Sailing World Cup in Palma, Mallorca
From 31 March to 5 April 2014 882 sailors from 55 nations will race at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca – Trofeo Princesa Sofia.
The fourth of five ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas will see the world’s top competitor’s race across one Paralympic and ten Olympic class events.
Mat Belcher and Will Ryan’s (AUS) unbeaten Men’s 470 run came to an end at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami. Current world #3 Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) spoilt the Australian party by taking gold in Miami,
“That was a good feeling, for sure,” said Mion, “but that was not the goal of the year. We are thinking more about the World Championship and the test event in Rio. So yes we were happy, but now we are going back to work because there is a lot to do.”
An experienced 80-boat fleet will compete in Mallorca and Mion knows the racing will be tight, “There are a lot of boats who can be really good there and we know that everybody will be very close. It’s going to be a good fight. The French teams will be good this week and the Argentineans are also in a good period but there are a lot of good teams.”
The French have reason to see a threat in Argentina’s Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente as the current world #2 pair come into ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca in good form. De la Fuente said,
“We came to Palma early to race in the Training Camp Regatta. It was a pretty good level and we managed to win the regatta so a nice way to start the season.
Belcher and Ryan will be back in Mallorca to defend their 2013 title and get back to winning ways. They will be joined by World #4 Sime Fantela and Igor Marenic (CRO) and world #5 Luke Patience (GBR) who is joined by new crew Elliot Willis.
Forty nine Women’s 470 boats are down to compete in Mallorca and the fleet features 2013 ISAF Rolex World Sailors of the Year, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie (NZL), 2012 Olympic Silver medallists, Hanah Mills and Saskia Clark (GBR) and current world #3 crew Anne Haeger and Briana Provancha (USA).
Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Luiza Barbachan (BRA) blew the Women’s 470 field apart throughout the 2012-2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup series taking three victories from three events. The Brazilians have been out of action since July 2013 after Oliveira became a mother so they will be hoping to make an impression at their first major event of 2014.
The 80-boat 49er fleet features several familiar faces including 2013 World Champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke (NZL) and ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallists Jonas Warrer and Peter Lang (DEN).
The familiar face of Lauri Lehtinen (FIN) will be present within the 49er fleet but after five years of racing with Kalle Bask the two have split ways with the retiring Bask replaced by Miikka Pennanen.
Lehtinen and Bask took in 12 ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas over five years and finished seventh at London 2012 and Lehtinen knows the early days will be tough with Pennanen,
We have a lot to learn and we are still in the beginning of our campaign. Mallorca will be our first regatta and we will use it to benchmark ourselves against the others. It’s always a good regatta with good quality racing and big fleets. That is exactly what we need at this stage.
“After Palma we will know what we need to improve before Santander. It is still our main goal for this year to qualify Finland for the games. We feel that with hard work and great passion we can achieve this goal. Time is our biggest enemy at the moment.”
After the international debut of the 49erFX fleet at 2012 ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne several crews have established themselves as front runners. A 51-boat fleet in Palma will see the top 49erFX sailors face off once again. World #1 Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA), 2013 World Champions Alex Maloney and Molly Meech (NZL) and 2014 Miami Sailing World Cup champions Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard (FRA) will all sail in Mallorca.
Also returning to Palma are the Italians Giulia Conti and Francesca Clapcich fresh from a second place finish in Miami and last year’s Princesa Sofia champions and current European Champions, Ida Marie Baad Nielsen and Marie Thusgaard Olsen (DEN).
A pot of past and present champions will go head to head again in the 99-boat Finn fleet in Mallorca.
Fresh from rejoining the pack ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami Finn gold medallist Giles Scott (GBR) is back in action but is up against returning big names including 2012 bronze medallist Jonathan Lobert (FRA) and past class champions, Ivan Gaspic (CRO), Deniss Karpak (EST) and Vaslij Zbogar (SLO).
Miami bronze medallist and 2013 World Champion Jorge Zarif (BRA) will provide stiff opposition as will the regular Brit pack of Andrew Mills, Mark Andrews and past Gold Cup winner, Ed Wright.
One hundred and sixty Lasers have registered to sail in Mallorca, making it the biggest fleet. The top ten sailors in the Laser ISAF World Sailing Rankings will be joined by a number of strong development squad racers who will all be aiming for the podium places.
Multiple Olympian Robert Scheidt (BRA) continues his journey in the class where he made his name but he faces hot competition from some sailors almost half his age.
In the 2013 edition New Zealand’s Andy Maloney came from behind on the final day to claim gold ahead of Tom Burton (AUS). Following a break after the 2013 Laser World Championship in Musannah, Oman the defending champion is looking forward to taking to the water in Mallorca. “I am always buzzing to get back over to Europe this time of the year, and get back into racing against all of the best,” commented Maloney.
“The thing that makes the Laser Class so appealing to me is the tight racing, this is what excites me about the class and I can’t wait to get back into that competitive racing.”
Maloney has seen his competitors, current world #1 Tonci Stipanovic (CRO) and world #2 Tom Burton (AUS), take top honours at ISAF Sailing World Qingdao, Melbourne and Miami but as a consistent performer throughout 2013 he comes in ready and poised to strike,
“I am always confident that I can win any event going into it. I feel very prepared after three months training in NZ focussing on key areas to improve and am excited to line up against the other top guys again.
The Kiwi racer will be joined by a whole host of newcomers and seasoned professionals which will make for high calibre racing come the first warning signal.
A fleet of 106 Laser Radials have signed up to race in Mallorca with all three Laser Radial gold medallists from the 2013-2014 Sailing World Cup registered. ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao victor Dongshuang Zhang (CHN), Melbourne gold medallist Tatiana Drozdovskaya (BLR) and Miami winner Paige Railey (USA) will all compete in Palma Bay.
They will be joined by 2013 Laser Radial World Champion Tina Mihelic (CRO) and London 2012 medallists Marit Bouwmeester (NED) and Evi Van Acker (BEL).
Racing in the 58-boat Women’s RS:X fleet will be highly charged with 17 of the world’s top 20 racers set to compete in Mallorca. Current world #1 Bryony Shaw (GBR) will undoubtedly be one of the favourites having taken eight podium spots from ten outings since January 2013 and comes into Mallorca off of victory at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami.
Whilst Shaw comes in with good form, one to watch will be Israel’s Maayan Davidovich. The Israeli was consistent throughout 2013 and picked up a bronze at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao.
One of those eyeing a podium spot will be Charline Picon (FRA). Picon raced at ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, finishing sixth, but it wasn’t all about the result for the French sailor,
“I went to Miami for physical training, but not technical,” commented Picon. “It was a bit difficult but interesting to see what I need to work on this year. After Miami I had some great training in Rio and Buzios and then some physical training in the French Alps. I feel good for Palma.”
Men’s RS:X current world #1 Ricardo Santos (BRA) and world #2 Ivan Pastor (ESP) will meet for the first time since 2013 ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyeres in Mallorca. The pair have jostled for the world #1 spot throughout 2013 and it will up for grabs once again.
Santos and Pastor will be part of an 81-boat Men’s RS:X fleet that includes 2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallist Byron Kokkalanis (GRE), current world #3 Ho Tsun Leung (HKG) and British Olympic silver medallist Nick Dempsey.
The Nacra 17 continues to throw up different winners at every regatta and with 74-boats entered the race for podium spots will be wide open.
Top entrants include ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne victors Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis (AUS), Miami winners Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri (ITA) as well as World #1 Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR).
The Nacra 17 has also attracted some of the big names from offshore sailing in Franck Cammas sailing with Sophie de Turckheim (FRA) and local favourites, Iker Martinez and Tara Pacheco (ESP).
Other multihull champions to watch out for include Billy Besson sailing with Mari Riou (FRA) and Thijs Visser and Nicole van der Velden representing Aruba.
Racing commences on Monday 31 March across ten Olympic events and one Paralympic event at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca.
Regatta website: www.trofeoprincesasofia.org
The Wave leads the fleet in the final race shoot out – Photos © Lloyd Images
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 2 in Muscat, Oman
It was a sweltering hot day in Muscat, Oman, for the final showdown at the Extreme Sailing Series™, where the Arabian peninsula saved the best for last, with winds that blasted across the course at a steady 20 knots, with gusts of 26, before a final race shoot out. Four teams were gunning for the top spot and there was no room for error, with just four points between them – and 20 points on the table for the taking.
The defending champions and home team on The Wave, Muscat made a real statement of intent from the gun, with an aggressive start that saw them lead the fleet off the line, and Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler and Nasser Al Mashari didn’t look back, snatching the win from the hands of the Kiwi, Swiss and Danish teams, to claim not only the Act win, but putting them top of the overall Series leaderboard after two Acts.
“It was too close for comfort, that’s for sure,” commented an elated McMillan after racing. “Today we had a fight on our hands, we knew we had to be exceptional and raise our game. I was just enjoying the sailing, the challenge of it, the situations that were tight and it all worked out for us. The wind came in and it was absolutely amazing sailing out there, absolutely perfect for the Extreme 40s.”
The final day’s racing was all about brute power and strength, requiring a huge shift in mindset for the teams, who have raced in light breeze all week. The fleet of 11 Extreme 40s and their 55 elite level crew members powered off the start line, blasting to the windward mark and wrestling their boats around the course, before unfurling their gennakers and flying downwind, trying to maximize power and speed. One team who had the formula nailed were Emirates Team New Zealand, with two race wins and a third place in the final race enough for them to claim second overall, bettering their fourth place finish from Act 1, Singapore, which for skipper Dean Barker, was the objective this week.
“We wanted to improve after Singapore, we wanted to sail well and get on the podium here, and we’ve achieved it. There’s still a lot we can improve on but in saying that everyone struggles with the conditions and the guys remained very positive throughout even when things didn’t feel like they were going our way. We had a good chance to get onto the podium, and to get a second place we’re really happy.”
Overnight leaders Alinghi came out of the blocks with a win in the first race of the day, but couldn’t replicate the performance, and a fourth place in the last race left the Swiss settling for third, one point behind the Kiwis.
“We should be pleased with the result in such a tough field but we were quite disappointed with how we sailed today. We need to do a better job staying out of the fray and we didn’t achieve that today and The Wave, Muscat did and you’ve got to hand it to them, they earned the win. It’s a long season ahead and if we can keep on the podium this year we’ll have a shot at the title at the end of the year, this will be our objective,” commented the team’s helmsman Morgan Larson.
The Danish match racing experts on SAP Extreme Sailing Team came heartbreakingly close to a podium position, leading the pack for most of the day, but found themselves stuck in the tussle mid-fleet in the final race, and unable to make a clean break, with a sixth place in the final race putting them in fourth position overall. The team however, have showed a marked improvement from Act 1 in Singapore, where they finished tenth, and co-skipper Jes Gram-Hansen was quick to talk about the learnings from the Act:
“Of course we’re a little bit disappointed not to be on the podium, we sailed a great regatta which literally came right down to the last race. In hindsight I think we sailed well, which is what we will take away from this. It was a difficult day today with good breeze but it was a bit up and down for us. We were a little unlucky at times but overall we sailed pretty well. I think we have a great team, a good boat and the pace to match the best teams in the Extreme Sailing Series.”
The Russian skipper on Gazprom Team Russia Igor Lisovenko seemed to have a point to prove today, and the team, helmed by two-times Series winner Paul Campbell-James, were moving through the gears, and up the leaderboard, with a string of consistent results elevating them to fifth place overall – topping their eighth place from Act 1, Singapore.
Realteam finish the event in sixth place, five points behind the Russians, leaving them a solid fourth place on the overall Series leaderboard, with Red Bull Sailing Team in seventh on 145 points, one point ahead of Groupama sailing team. Heading into the final day, J.P. Morgan BAR were within touching distance of the podium but the Brits struggled under the building breeze, before a hydraulics failure in the penultimate race forced them to retire for the day, dashing their podium dreams. Oman Air and GAC Pindar struggled for consistency in the testing Omani conditions, but both showed moments of brilliance, posting a handful of results in the top half of the fleet over the course of the four-day event.
Muscat has delivered some incredibly hard fought racing over 29 races, and the fleet have just under six weeks to regroup, debrief and prepare themselves for Act 3 of the 2014 global tour in Qingdao, China, presented by Land Rover, one of the most notoriously tricky racecourses on the circuit, 1-4 May.
Standings after Day 4: (29 races)
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, 188pts
2nd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, 180pts
3rd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, 179pts
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), 176pts
5th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, 158pts
6th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, 153pts
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, 145pts
8th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, 144pts
9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, 137pts
10th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, 123pts
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, 94pts
Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Standings: (after Act 2)
1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) 19pts
2nd Alinghi (SUI) 18pts
3rd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 16pts
4th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) 13pts
5th Groupama sailing team (FRA) 9pts
6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) 9pts
7th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) 9pts
8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) 8pts
9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) 6pts
10th Oman Air (OMA) 3pts
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) 2pts
By Extreme Sailing Series, www.extremesailingseries.com
Photo © Jesus Renedo / Sofia Mapfre
45th Trofeo Princesa Sofia – ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca
The 45 Trofeo Princesa Sofia – ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca is about to become a record edition. Only a week to go to the start of the Majorcan regatta, to be held in the bay of Palma from 29th March to 5th April, an astonishing number of entries have been received to confirm that the Princesa Sofia is a must event in the calendar of sailors from all around the world despite the financial problems caused by the loss of the main sponsor only a few weeks ago.
With entries still open in some classes and increasing day after day, the 45th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia, next to last stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, has 623 boats entered which add to a total of 882 sailors from 55 nations.
High participation in classes Laser, Finn and Nacra 17. With 70 boats entered, the Nacra 17 fleet, the new mixed multihull class, is a big surprise.
Furthermore, all Olympic classes will be present this year in the bay of Palma as it happened last year following some editions in which some class was missing due to a clash in the calendar with its Class event. The 2.4mR Paralympic class will also come again to Mallorca with a new venue at Real Club Náutico de Palma.
“We are very satisfied with the number and quality of entries received this year at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia –explains Ferran Muniesa, Race Manager -. We have gone through very tough weeks following the loss of our main sponsor, to whom we are grateful for their six-year sponsorship. The number of participants gives us the energy to continue working to deliver one of the best editions ever and confirms we are the favourite event for all sailors”.
“I would like to thank all the team and the Organizing Clubs, Arenal, Can Pastilla and Palma, for the enormous effort they are undertaking despite the forced budget restrictions, to make sure the Princesa Sofia continues to be one of the best events in the world”, adds Muniesa.
As in previous years, a large number of International teams are already training in the bay of Palma with view to the Trofeo Princesa Sofia. German, Polish, British and Danish teams, among others, have chosen Mallorca as winter training venue before the start of the European sailing season. Within this training programme, the Arenal Training Camps Trophy was held from 13th to 16th March.
In fact, the Sofia is the starting gun of the European calendar. It is also the next to last stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, following the event in Asia (Qingdao, China), Oceania (Melbourne, Australia) and America (Miami, United States). The next and last stop will be the ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères, in France at the end of April. From that moment, all teams will focus on the ISAF Sailing World Championships to be held in Santander in September, an event to decide half of the nation slots for the Rio 2016 Olympics.
By Neus Jordi, www.trofeoprincesasofia.org
International Moth anhedral-angle rudder foils rendering – Photo © Mach2
‘Evolution, not revolution.’ This has been the mantra adopted by the International Moth class ever since the complete sea-change that came about with the introduction of hydrofoils over a decade ago. Since then, evolution has been gradual, with refinements in foil and sail technology.
Because of the Moth’s necessary emphasis on vertical lift, some of the developments within the class have been inspired by sailing’s faster, often flashier cousin: aviation. The associations are by no means new: those who grew up watching the VHF of ‘Awesome Aussie Skiffs’ will remember the commentary team describing Nokia’s downwind performance on a fresh-to-frightening Auckland harbour as ‘Top Gun, jet fighter stuff; ready for take-off’.
Now that dinghies have quite literally taken off, in the Moth fleet we are starting to see ‘fighter jet’ technology visibly trickle down onto production foilers. A particularly intriguing example is the recent partial adoption of anhedral-angle rudder foils (the foil horizontals slope downwards). For years, the majority of fighter jets have been designed with the wings mounted at an anhedral angle (in other words, the wings slope downwards from the fuselage). This serves a number of functions, one of them being to give the jet more maneuverability. If you imagine a jet with anhedral wings pitching to the right, for example, the port side wing will gain increased lift as it comes closer to horizontal, while the starboard side wing will lose lift, helping the jet to effectively fall into the turn.
The application of this effect on the International Moth has nothing to do with maneuverability, but in fact helps the Moth go faster in a straight line. Many will be familiar with the sight of the Moth heeled to windward when going upwind. The effect of the anhedral rudder horizontal is that, with the boat heeled to windward, the leeward part of the foil comes closer to horizontal and gains lift in the vertical plane, while the windward side drops away from horizontal, thus losing vertical lift. This makes the boat want to ‘fall’ to windward, giving the sailor more righting moment.
This comes as a response to a problem that has been facing Moth designers – indeed, boat designers in any class – of how to make their boat go faster: they must either increase the power going into the boat or reduce its drag. With only 8 square metres of sail allowed under class rules, increasing power is difficult. The average sailor weight has remained at a reasonably modest 75-80 kilograms; much more and Moth sailors often struggle in lighter conditions. As such, the anhedral rudder foil is an elegant solution to the problem of how to increase effective righting moment without increasing overall weight.
The anhedral rudder foil was made available to sailors of the Mach 2 – currently the most popular International Moth design, and brainchild of Australian Andrew Mcdougall – just before the 2012 Moth World Championships on Lake Garda. It was used that year by four of the top ten finishers; by the following year over half of the top 40 were using anhedral rudders.
The obvious popularity and success the anhedral rudder has enjoyed in the Mach 2 begs the question as to why other Moth designers have not yet employed it. Simon Payne, former Moth World, European, and National champion, and Mach 2 Sales Manager, fully expects them to: “There is a lot of inertia sometimes, and when someone else has introduced it first, it is natural not to want to follow unless you can see why there is an advantage or it is totally proven to be faster.”
He cites the case of the Mach 2’s predecessor, the Bladerider. In 2006, Mcdougall added a torpedo-shaped bulb to the join between the foil verticals and horizontals, and saw a marked reduction in drag and corresponding increase in performance. ‘It took four years for other Moth designers to take it up and has taken eight years for it to be accepted as an advantage outside the Moth, with Oracle Team USA introducing it to great effect in the middle of the last America’s Cup event’.
We might therefore expect to see anhedral rudder horizontals on other Moth designs in the future, and can wonder where else this technology might be used. It seems obvious that the next step for the Moth is to extend this clearly successful technology to the main foil horizontal. This is not currently possible, Payne tells me, for one reason. While the rudder horizontal is an individual unit, the main horizontal must incorporate the flap that, attached to the wand at the bow of the boat, controls the Moth’s ride height. Making this foil anhedral would involve splitting the flap, and it’s not something they feel they can currently realise in a reliable and cost-effective way.
And further afield – will this particular technology also filter down to other classes? There are a number of monohull classes that use winglets on their rudders, such as the Cherub, International 14 or National 12. Cherubs or 14s are designed to be sailed as flat as possible, and so the introduction of an anhedral angle on their winglets would not be of any advantage. The National 12s have been experimenting with considerable success for a number of years with dihedral rudder winglets, which help to counteract the moment of the boat heeling to leeward in breeze.
What’s certain is that the International Moth, with its alternative approach not just to boat design, but to sailing itself, will continue to be an exciting act to follow. This year’s World Championships in Hayling Island, already with well over a hundred boats entered, will surely be one of the highlights of the coming season.
By Finbar Anderson
Reproduced from www.yachtsandyachting.com
Photos c – Tom Bushell-ADOR/Rick Tomlinson-SCA/Victor Fraile-DRT
Not just a coat of paint
So we’ve talked lots about naval architecture and technical specifications over the past few months. But what you first notice about our Volvo Ocean 65 fleet are the designs on the hulls and sails, right? All boats look different and they all represent something different, too. Here is a look at the symbolism behind the paint job.
The first time Dongfeng Race Team went for a sail after their christening a couple of weeks ago in China, a swallow flew straight into the boat, landed on one of the DFCV employees and then hopped into the cabin.
Now that could just be a nice naturalist story, but there is more to it. Dongfeng’s boat is covered with funky patterns actually representing swallows. These are highly symbolic birds in China and the sponsor’s main logo consists of two swallows. It could have been a coincidence – but in a country fond of symbols, this can very well be a sign of luck.
The red colour of the boat can also be found everywhere during the Chinese New Year and other holidays: it stands for luck and happiness.
There is red too on Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, along with yellow and silver. The Emirati boat left Green Marine’s shed on Wednesday and its hull graphics were finally unveiled.
The red is taken from the flag of Abu Dhabi, the sunset yellow reflects the Emirati climate and the sunrise over the desert and the platinum silver reflects the Bedouin tradition of collecting silver.
We love a good mix of colours, but the strongest feature will be the falcon on the boat’s sails. The falcon is the national bird of the UAE – you’ll find it on UAE bank notes. Falconry is a well-known desert sport and the best bird can be traded for millions of dirhams.
Also, coming back to the boat, their Volvo Ocean 65 is once again named Azzam, which means determination and is a popular name for high performing falcons.
You cannot see that falcon yet, but “just wait until you see the full effect when the sails are up,” said ADOR’s skipper Ian Walker. And you will do next week, when the boat hits the water for the first time.
Nature inspired Team SCA’s graphics too. If you look closely at their deck plan, you can see grass, pine trees and dandelions painted in pink and white. They reflect the eco-friendly values of the global hygiene company sponsoring the all-female team, and they are all tough and resistant species vital to the eco-system. A sign that women sailors will be as tough as the plants decorating their racing machine?
By By Agathe Armand – Volvo Ocean Race media
Azzam trials in the Solent
Photo c Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing media
Azzam, the new 65-foot carbon racing yacht in which Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR) will contest the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, has sailed for the first time with the crew, led by British double Olympic silver medallist Ian Walker, conducting sea trials along the English south coast.
By Abu Dhabi Media
Will a Volvo 65 beat the 24 hour monohull record?
Team Brunel training in Lanzarote – photo Sander van der Borch / Team Brunel
The Volvo Ocean 65 is a brand new boat, a one-design class specially built for the next two editions of the race. We did lots of calculations and ran velocity prediction programmes but who knew how fast that boat was really going to be?
Team Brunel has just sailed 540 miles in 24 hours between the UK and the Canary Islands at the beginning of March.
540 nautical miles in 24 hours – that’s 56 miles short of the 596.6nm world record established by the Volvo Open 70 Ericsson 4 in 2008. 540 miles in 24 hours – that’s a speed average of 22.5 knots (42 km/h).
‘That’s pretty good,’ admitted even Bouwe Bekking, a man renowned for keeping a lid on his emotions.
by Agathe Armand, Volvo Ocean Race
Ellison outlines his vision for the future
As the sailing fraternity eagerly await the release of the 35th America’s Cup protofol, Larry Ellison has revealed that he wants Hawaii to stage the 35th America’s Cup and is keen to model the event on the Formula One motor-racing championship.
Ellison, speaking in an excerpt run by the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper from new book ‘The Billionaire and the Mechanic: How Larry Ellison and a Car Mechanic Teamed Up to Win Sailing’s Greatest Race, the America’s Cup, Twice’, detailed his vision to revamp the America’s Cup concept for its 35th edition in 2017. He said he would like to attract a wider audience to the sport of sailing and to the 163-year-old regatta.
“We’re going to start with two years of globe-trotting, Formula One-style racing in AC45s,” Ellison said. “AC45s are inexpensive to build, transport, and sail. You can throw an AC45 and its support equipment and chase boats into a couple of containers and ship them to regattas all over the world: Shanghai, Tokyo Bay, Marseilles, the Port of Rome, anywhere. By using AC45s, we keep the costs to a manageable level, so we expect to have 12 teams entered in the 35th America’s Cup. The teams will be divided up into two divisions: Atlantic and Pacific. The Atlantic division will have teams from France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Sweden, and Switzerland. The Pacific Division will have teams from Australia, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and San Francisco, USA.”
Under Ellison’s vision, the top four finishers in the AC45 races during 2015 and 2016, two from the Atlantic group and two from the Pacific, would qualify to race in division championships in the spring of 2017. The division championships would be contested in the new AC60s, which are bigger than the AC45s and just as fast as the AC72s which were raced in the 34th America’s Cup, but not as expensive. An Atlantic Division championship regatta would be held in Rome and the Pacific Division championship in Shanghai before the two division winners race in Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, for the Louis Vuitton Cup. The Louis Vuitton winner would stay in Hawaii to race against Oracle Team USA in the 35th America’s Cup.
Ellison enjoys a strong relationship with Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie and bought 98 per cent of the island of Lanai in 2012. However, he admits Oracle Team USA chief executive Russell Coutts remains in talks with other venues, from San Francisco and San Diego to Newport, Rhode Island, should his vision not come to fruition. Ellison said:
“We have a lot of work to do. We have to make deals with all the cities where we want to hold races. It’s not going to be easy to pull this off. All that, plus we have to get an agreement with the Challenger of Record, the Hamilton Island Yacht Club of Australia.”
Ellison outlined his belief that the tradition of holding most of the races in one city doesn’t make commercial sense. “The previous practice of going to only one city, Auckland or San Francisco or Valencia, and being in the same location for months at a time is not the best way to get fans all over the world excited about our sport,” he said. “It should be more like Formula One, where you have races all around the world and all of the races count toward the championship. People want to see Team China racing in Shanghai and Team Japan racing in Tokyo Bay. Now that’s exciting. But we have to keep the costs down to make sure that there is a Team China and a Team Japan.”
Ellison is also keen to create a worldwide brand around the America’s Cup, adding he remains convinced he can transform sailing into an “exciting and popular professional sport.” However, he admitted:
“A lot needs to change. We want to keep the best of the past and combine it with modern technology. We want to create a 21st century sports business that will support sailing professionals and their families. Businesses that don’t make money are not sustainable. Sports that don’t make money are just hobbies for rich guys.”
AC Regatta Chatter – The search for the big bucks
Prada to back Luna Rossa AC challenge
Prada has confirmed it will back Luna Rossa’s challenge for the next America’s Cup and has agreed to contribute €50 million to its next challenge. Prada will be cap its spend to a maximum of €25 million in the period until January 2015, €24 million in 2015, €9 million in 2016 and €4.5 million until January 2018.
Ainslie claims significant progress with British team
Sir Ben Ainslie has revealed that his drive to win the America’s Cup with a British team for the first time in the trophy’s 163-year history is ‘in a good place’ and that he has made significant progress towards raising the $US100m (£60.8m) required to try.
The four-times Olympic gold medallist said a final decision would be made in the spring, once the rules had been published.
Former Team Origin backers Sir Keith Mills and Charles Dunstone, involved in the previously failed bid to launch a British America’s Cup team, are among those involved as well as ‘two or three’ other private investors. Ainslie hopes to raise around half of the $100m required from private backers, with the rest from commercial sponsorship.
AC Regatta Chatter – more crew and team announcements
Mat Belcher named as Team Australia Skipper
Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC) has set sail on its four-year Australian Challenge for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, with the announcement of Olympic Gold Medallist and ISAF Rolex Sailor of the Year, Mathew Belcher as its skipper and the christening of Team Australia’s AC45 catamaran.
In parallel to these training sessions, Team Australia sailors will race on the global Extreme Sailing Series under the GAC Pindar banner.
Team Australia Crew
Source: Team Australia
Americanising the Defender
The America’s Cup defender, Oracle Team USA, took the first step toward the 35th Match by announcing the crew participating in the team’s first training camp of the new America’s Cup cycle.
Skipper Jimmy Spithill will be joined by Australian countrymen Tom Slingsby (tactician/sailing team manager), Kinley Fowler, Kyle Langford, Joey Newton; Americans Andrew Campbell and Rome Kirby; and Kiwi Joe Spooner.
Yes, that’s two Americans!
Campbell, 30, is a 10-time national champion who represented the United States at the 2008 Olympic Games in the Laser class. This will be his first America’s Cup team.
The sailing team is scheduled to be on the water from March 7-16, training in the AC45, which will include sparring on Sydney Harbour with Team Australia. Philippe Presti will be returning to the team as coach.
Source: Oracle Team USA
Mr Multihull commits his future to Artemis Racing
Artemis Racing has announced that French sailing legend Loïck Peyron has committed his future to the Swedish team as a member of the design group and helmsman. Following his role as technical coach and helmsman during the 34th America’s Cup, Loïck brings his renowned versatility and unparalleled experience to Artemis Racing.
On rejoining the team Loïck commented
“I have been involved in two America’s Cups, but always just for the final year of the campaign. What’s great about today is that I’m with a team I really like, at the beginning of the game, when there is a blank piece of paper and everyone’s heads are burning with excitement. With Alinghi I had the chance to spend the final 12 months with a team that had dominated the America’s Cup for a number of years; and with Artemis Racing; it feels like I’m now involved with a team that will be the dominant force of the future”.
By Artemis Racing