Monthly Archives: March 2014

2014 Hobie 16 World Championship largest on record

 

Hobbie Cat worlds

Photos c – Hobie Cat Australasia

 

Hobie 16 World Championship 2014 held in Jervis Bay, NSW Australia became the world’s largest Hobie 16 World Championship.

This event, saw 901 Athletes from 24 countries travel from across the globe to Huskisson in Jervis Bay to compete in the 16 day regatta.

Hobie Cat Australasia built the 60 Hobie 16 catamarans sailed in the event, and Hobie staff and a crew of volunteers worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure the event went off without a hitch.

Five World Champions were crowned across five classes during the regatta. South Africans William and Lucinda Edwards took out the Hobie 16 Masters, Australians Rod and Kerry Waterhouse from NSW claimed the Hobie 16 Grand Masters title, Bella Zanesco and one time Jervis Bay local Jesse Dobie picked up the Hobie 16 Women’s crown, and Daniel Bjornholt and Felix Grech took the Hobie 16 Youth title home to Denmark.

 

Hobbie Cat worlds fleet

Gavin Colby and Josie Mark from Western Australia ultimately took the top prize in the Hobie 16 Open class with a 38 point lead over fellow Australians Cam Owen and Susan Ghent in second place and incumbent world champions Jerome Le Gal and Marco Iazzetta from New Caledonia who finished third.

Originating in Hawaii in 1976, the Hobie 16 World Championships are a One-Design class event that tests the skills of young twin hull catamaran sailors over 16 days in identical Hobie Cat 16 catamarans. The catamarans are rotated through the teams randomly to ensure no one boat and team ever has an advantage.

With the race won and beach back to its original pristine state, organisers are looking forward to the announcement of the 21st Hobie 16 World Championships, to be held in 2016.

 

Quantum Racing hit the front

 

52 US CHAMPIONSHIP 52 Super Series

 

US 52 Super Series in Miami

 

Posting a race win and a third place from two light wind races off Miami’s South Beach, Quantum Racing earned themselves an overall lead of one single point after the opening day of the 52 US Championship, the second regatta of the 2014 US 52 Super Series.

In streaky, gentle breezes which only troubled double figures for a short period in the second race, Quantum Racing – with Ed Baird on the helm – proved adept at reading the changeable wind pressure.  A pair of solid starts were the foundations for tactician Terry Hutchinson to build from the critical first windshift.

In the first race Rán Racing held the early lead before Quantum Racing were able to roll ahead of them on the first downwind. In the second windward-leeward 52 Super Series champions were also, again, one of the two boats to reap the benefit of the key first shift. Azzurra just managed to lead around the top mark first whilst Jim Swartz’ Vesper sailed a great run to promote themselves to second.

The Miami race course lived up to its reputation, delivering light, difficult to read breezes which were often accompanied by an awkward, slightly choppy sea. If Quantum Racing came ashore to a sunny afternoon on the docks of Miami Beach Marina with an air of quiet satisfaction, Azzurra’s tactician Vasco Vascotto acknowledged that theirs, too, had been a good opening day but he was kicking himself for a late call on the final downwind of Race 1 which he felt had handed a cheap point away to Interlodge.

That the blue boat which sails under the flag of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda finished the day one point behind the regatta leaders clearly irked Vascotto. But, for certain, their win bolstered confidence on Azzurra, even if their lead evaporated very quickly as they came under pressure from Vesper as their closed the finish line.

 

52 US CHAMPIONSHIP 52 Super Series

Vascotto recalled: “I did not make a good communication on one gybe and on that we lost one point that is important at the end of this day. The second one the plan was to go right and to start to windward. It was a good call and we had the start that we wanted, the speed was OK and so we had a quite good day.  That first is important for us.
Miami is an unpredictable place. You have to sail with what he gives you….and you need to make quick decisions as the conditions are always changing.
Usually I am good at that, but sometimes you make mistakes. You have to be patient when you have a bad result and try to save every point. That is the reason why I am a little disappointed in myself because I lost a point for not communicating when we were in a match against Interlodge.”

Consistency proved frustratingly elusive for Rán Racing which lead the first race and went on to take second, but they found themselves out of phase with the key shifts on the second race to finish seventh, lying fifth overall after the two races.

Standings after two races:
1 Quantum Racing (USA) Doug De Vos 1,3 4pts
2 Azzurra (ITA) Pablo A Roemmers (ARG) 4,1 5pts
3 Vesper (USA) Jim Swartz (USA) 5,2 7pts
4 Interlodge (USA) Austin and Gwen Fragomen (USA) 3, 5 8pts
5 Rán Racing (SWE) Niklas Zennström (SWE) 2,7 9pts
6 Hooligan (USA) Guenther Buerman (USA) 7,4 11pts
7 Sled (USA) Takashi Okura (USA) 6,6 12pts

Quotes:

Terry Hutchinson USA tactician Quantum Racing (USA): “Both races were good. We went out with the objective of coming off the water with six points or less and we came off with four points. So from that regard we are pretty good. First race we had a pretty good race going with Rán Racing. We were able capitalise when they set a little too deep at the top mark first time and we rolled them. It was not a straightforward race. Second race we executed a good start and going out to the right side in a big left hand shift and both boats – us and Azzurra – made nice gains on the group. It was then who beat who to the top mark. They tacked at a really good time for us to make a hard decision and we chose to get to the right hand side of them looking for a right hand shift which materialised but it went a little light and fluffy just for about 50 seconds with them to leeward of us and they might a nice gain. From the top a big right shift and Vesper is going about two knots faster downwind than the whole fleet downwind and so it is going to be tough to keep them behind us if we get into marginal planing conditions. They sailed a quite a good race and you can see the improvements to their boat. Big picture, though? A great day, hats off to our guys on board for managing their way through a difficult day.”  

Vasco Vasccotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA): “The first one was tough and personally I made a mistake, I did not make a good communication on one gybe and on that we lost one point that is important at the end of this day. The second one the plan was to go right and to start to windward. It was a good call and we had the start that we wanted, the speed was OK and so we had a quite good day. That first is important for us.
Miami is an unpredictable place. You have to sail with what He gives you….and you need to make quick decisions as the conditions are always changing.
Usually I am good at that, but sometimes you make mistakes. You have to be patient when you have a bad result and try to save every point. That is the reason why I am a little disappointed in myself because I lost a point for not communicating when we were in a match against Interlodge.
It was a good day but I am sad for having made a mistake which means we could have been better.”

Tony Rae (NZL) runners, grinder Vesper (USA): “It was not good for us in the first race, a lot better in the second. It is such close racing that is one thing doesn’t go your way you are in the pack, making extra tacks. That was the story a bit in the first race, you are dipping a couple of boats and cant quite get your pace up. We struggled a little around some of the marks and then had a little rip in the chute and recovered pretty well. Jim did a pretty good job and it was a good day overall.
We had nice pressure on the run in the second race and it just felt good. We just kept chipping away. Like all these series it is about trying to stay out of trouble and not have too many shockers.
It is interesting because with all the changes it is like a new boat to the regular guys on board, and with all the changes with a new keel and rig, it is a learning curve how the boat feels and weight fore and aft. There is a lot to learn and a lot to gain. That chop is not easy either. On starboard it was pretty lumpy at times and in the light with pressure up and down, it was about keeping the boat powered up and trying to make it feel good for Jim driving, that is a big part of it.

 

By 52 Super Series, www.52superseries.com

 

Grael and Gonzalves take 87th Bacardi Cup lead

 

BC Day2 cs

 Today’s winners Jack Jennings and Brian Sharp – Photos © Cory Silken / BMSW

 

 

87th Bacardi Cup in Miami

 

Setting the race course just off Matheson Hammock Park for day two of the 87th Bacardi Cup, the Race Committee’s search for breeze paid off as the second race of the series got underway in six knots from the east. With abundant sunshine and temperatures in the low 80’s, the 55 teams put the first-day jitters behind them and got down to business.

First around the weather mark was San Diego’s Mark Reynolds and Miami’s Magnus Liljedahl, who had won the opening race of the series. They were followed closely by Jack Jennings and Brian Sharp, who took the lead at the leeward mark and held it to win the race by 44 seconds ahead of Lars Grael and Samuel Gonzalves from Brazil.

“It was a pretty close first part of the race,” said Jennings who hails from Niles, Illinois. “I believe we had a bit of advantage at the start, made a good shift and tacked shortly after. We then worked the boat and managed the competition until the end. It was a tactical race today, but we brought it home.”

With four races remaining on the schedule, consistency will be the name of the game in the long run. “The start was very tactical,” said

Grael, explaining that there was better wind today. “We decided to go right and we were fifth at the first mark. On the first downwind we went the wrong way and lost two positions. We made up time on the second upwind leg and we rounded in second and managed to keep position till the end. We’re in first place [overall] but too far away to make plans; we’ll try to be as consistent as possible.”

Finishing third was Florida’s Brad Funk who is racing the Star for the first time with crew Mark Strube of Wisconsin.

“I’m here because of Mark,” said Funk who is well-known for racing in the Laser and Moth classes. “He suggested we enter the Bacardi Cup together as his skipper was unavailable. Five years ago we sailed a Star in a clinic event, but that was it. We never had an opportunity to race together until yesterday. Sailing a Star is a challenge for me, it’s more tactical and with less speed.”

Funk explained that there was more pressure than yesterday and that the duo had a good start. “Many boats went right as suggested by the forecast, and we went left. It was a good choice and we rounded in the top 10. We made progress on group until third position which we held until the finish. More breeze is expected tomorrow and it will be a totally different race.”

For Strube, it was a good move to invite Funk to sail. “We clicked right away,” he said, noting that Funk has a great personality and a positive attitude. “We’re a good match. When I decided to ask him sail with me I was pretty sure on the choice, I didn’t think it was a gamble and results are definitely positive.”

 

BC D2 fleet cs

 

Grael and Gonzalves have moved into the lead of the overall standings, with four points. In second and third overall, respectively, and tied on seven points each are Reynolds and Liljedahl, who finished today’s race in sixth, and Funk and Strube. Torben Grael and crew Guilheme Almeida of Brazil stand fourth overall with eight points, followed by American sailors Arthur Anosov and Brian Fatih with 15 points.

The fifth annual running of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG will run through March 8, 2014.

Regatta headquarters are at Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove. The six-day racing schedule is headlined by the Star class which is contesting the 87th Bacardi Cup. On the last four days of the regatta, the Stars will share Biscayne Bay with competitors in the Audi Melges 20, J/70, Melges 24, Viper 640 and VX One classes.

Full results can be found here while more information on the BACARDI Miami Sailing Week and the 87th BACARDI Cup is available at www.MiamiSailingWeek.com and www.BacardiCup.com.

 

By Jan Harley

 

 

Gotta Love It 7 grab back the lead

 

Start R5

 Photos © Frank Quealey

 

 

18ft Skiff 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour

 

The Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage grabbed the lead back in the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, proudly presented by Sydney City Marine, with a marvelous win in Race 4 on Sydney Harbour today.

After being buried deep in the pack at the start, the champion team were soon in contention and challenging the leaders half way up the windward beat.

Gotta Love It 7 took the lead on the following windward leg and edged away to take the honours by 1m 37s from a gallant Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson, Mike McKensey, Ricky Bridge), with Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) a further 1m 9s back in third place.

Race 3 winner C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ) was always in the leading group and came home in fourth place, ahead of fellow New Zealander Yamaha (David McDiarmid), Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson) and former series leader Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) in 8th place.

Points leader Gotta Love It 7 has a total of 15 points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 17, C-Tech on 22, Mojo Wine 26, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on28 and The Kitchen Maker (Will Phillips) on 32.

 

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Following some disappointing wind conditions over the earlier days, today’s race was sailed in a #2 rig North-East breeze.

Mojo Wine, C-Tech and Smeg were all well placed at the start and soon were vying for the lead, along with Fisher & Paykel.

At the Beashel Buoy, Mojo Wine held a narrow lead over C-Tech and Gotta Love It 7, with Fisher & Paykel, Smeg, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Yamaha close behind.

In the 18-knot wind, the 34-boat fleet made a magnificent spectacle as the skiffs raced downwind at great speed.

Mojo Wine still held the lead at the bottom mark but couldn’t hold off the Gotta Love It 7 challenge when the pair crossed off Clifton Gardens.

As the cloud built, the wind may have dropped a little but it made no difference as Team Seven continued to lead the fleet over the final lap of the course.

Race 5 of the championship will be sailed tomorrow (Thursday). The last two races will be sailed on Saturday, 8 March at 4pm and Sunday 9 March at 3pm.

For full results and video coverage go to www.18footers.com.au

 

By Frank Quealey

 

 

Open Season in Miami?

 

PR Ran ms

Ran takes the practice race win –  Photos © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series

 

 

US 52 Super Series in Miami 

 

Reigning 52 Super Series champions Quantum Racing may have had the upper hand in Key West in January when they won the first regatta of the US 52 Super Series but the official practice race prior to Wednesday’s start of the Miami regatta highlighted that this second event may be open for the taking.

Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing crew read the light, shifty breezes best off Miami’s South Beach Tuesday, on the waters where they secured the 52 World Championship title last year, winning the practice contest with Azzurra a good second. In a sense it reprised the finish order of the last race of the 2013 regatta here, augering well for Rán Racing perhaps?

But Jim Swartz’s highly fancied Vesper crew were very much in the mix before they chose to leave the course at the leeward gate, whilst champions Quantum Racing found themselves on the back foot early in the race.

After flying in last night to take the helm of Interlodge, Dean Barker admitted on the dock after the race to feeling slightly rusty, hardly surprising considering the double MedCup championship winning skipper-helm reckons this was his first monohull race in the best part of four years.

Having raced with the TP52s from 2006 to 2010, including early years finishing runner up on Warpath, Barker was visibly excited about getting back on the 52 regatta race course.

“I felt a bit rusty.” Barker smiled, “I think it is the first monohull racing I have done since 2010. It is good, nice to do some racing and some upwind starts for example which is a little bit of a novelty these days.”

“It is hard to turn down an opportunity to do some good racing like this. The racing absolutely is the appeal. I have been following this circuit and how it has been developing and going. I think some of the best sailing we did was in 09 and 10. It was great fun and so it is nice to be back out there and mix it up a little bit.”

 

PR Inter ms Deano back sailing monohulls for the first time in around 4 years – Photos © Martinez Studio / 52 Super Series

 

Winds for the first few days are expected to be light and the race course area offers a whole different group of challenges. As Quantum Racing’s Terry Hutchinson noted on Monday, Miami is a venue which does not often favour the risk averse, percentage afterguards. A frontal system Thursday is expected to yield stronger breezes.

Vesper’s tactician Gavin Brady is very much a fan of Miami:

“Typically here you have bigger waves for the wind strength because of the Gulf Stream and so it is a little bit more expensive here in Miami to do the extra tack, especially in the start where you can be caught slow.”

“That is one of the cool things about Miami. It is different. I think the key thing here is getting the lanes early. I find this class really interesting because you can really push the boats like a small keelboat, but they still weigh 7.3 tonnes and so you actually have to get lanes, and sail them somewhat like a small maxi boat, but then at the corners you can treat them like a sportboat and so you have to jump between these modes, especially here in Miami.”

Rán Racing narrowly won here last year, usurping Azzurra on the last race. Project manager and main trimmer Tim Powell considers they are in shape to win again here, but need improve their consistency.

“I think that every boat on its day is capable of winning and last year we had a fantastic week. I think we all know we are capable of being right up there.”

“I think from our point of view we need to keep the consistency going. In Key West we had a couple of bad results, one bad day. Here we need to look at the risk, gain and rewards. And that is very difficult here today in these kind of conditions.”

Their biggest change since last season is bringing on board double 470 world champion Nic Asher as strategist, a choice which might work well for them in Miami’s light, streaky and shifty winds.

“It (having a strategist to concentrate on the wind changes and big picture) does allow Ado to concentrate more on the tactical side of things and Nic and Steve Hayles can be a little more eyes out of the boat in terms of what we are expecting wind wise. Nic is great, a young guy learning lots and lots, but he is a world class sailor in his own right. We spoke about the need to have a strategist person and we looked around for the right person we thought we needed. He is a very talented sailor and has won two 470 world titles. What we felt, from Ibiza, is that we were missing out on a very good, natural sailor who can look up the course and see the wind. When you sail big boats a bit too long then maybe you lose that skill a little.”

Racing starts Wednesday with two or three races scheduled, first warning signal at 1230hrs local time.

Quotes of the day:

Gavin Brady (NZL) tactician Vesper (USA): “You can never have enough time out there practising against these guys, the Super Series is probably the highest level in the world, and so every minute you are out there with them is beneficial for the programme.”

“You never really know in the practice race who is using what, who is using good sails, who is trying something new. We were using pretty good race sails. The Vesper has always been a great TP52 which has been around for a long time now but she is still very competitive.”

“I think the key thing here is getting the lanes early. I find this class really interesting because you can really push the boats like a small keelboat they still weigh 7.3 tonnes and you actually have to get lanes, and sail them somewhat like a small maxi boat, but at the corners you can treat them like a sportboat and so you have to jump between these modes, especially here in Miami.”

“Typically here you have bigger waves for the wind strength because of the Gulf Stream and so it is a little bit more expensive here in Miami to do the extra tack, especially in the start where you can be caught slow. That is one of the cool things about Miami is it is different.”

“This year we have a new mast and boom. For sure things have moved on. We are really happy with Hall Spars and we have just been upgrading the boat. And Jim (Swartz) the owner still enjoys the process too, although the hull is older, the equipment and hardware is all new.”

“We have not been in Europe for a long time. The last time was with the STP65 and that seems like an age ago. I think we are all looking forwards to going to Capri, it will be a good event. Jim has some commitments when the worlds are on, and the North East (of the USA) is a big thing for him. It’s a yacht from Edgartown (Martha’s Vineyard) and you really want to spend the summer months there. So we are only doing the one event in Europe but are looking forward to it.”

Tim Powell (GBR) mainsheet and project manager Rán Racing (SWE): “We had got some good shifts at the top end of the first beat and that kind of got us a bit of a jump. And then we could hold on down to the bottom mark and then made a big extension on the second beat.”

“It is so changeable here and I think the forecast is for a bit of everything and so it should make for a pretty interesting week. We obviously did well here last year and want to repeat that here. I think that every boat on its day is capable of winning and last year we had a fantastic week. I think we all know we are capable of being right up there.”

“I think from our point of view we need to keep the consistency going. In Key West we had a couple of bad results, one bad day. Here we need to look at the risk, gain and rewards. And that is very difficult here today in these kind of conditions.”

“It does allow Ado to concentrate more on the tactical side of things and Nic and Steve Hayles can be a little more eyes out of the boat in terms of what we are expecting wind wise. Nic is great, young guy learning lots and lots, but he is a world class sailor. We spoke about the need to have a strategist person and we looked around for the person we thought we needed. He is a very talented sailor and has won two 470 world titles. What we felt, from Ibiza, is that we were missing out on a very good, natural sailor who can look up the course and see the wind. When you sail big boats a bit too long then maybe you lose that skill a little.”

Dean Barker (NZL) helm Interlodge (USA): “I felt a bit rusty. I think it is the first monohull racing I have done since 2010. It is good, nice to some racing and some upwind starts for example which is a little bit of a novelty these days.”

“I got a call from Kris and I just had to tidy up a few things at home but it is hard to turn down an opportunity to do some good racing like this. The racing absolutely is the appeal. I have been following this circuit and how it has been developing and going. I think some of the best sailing we did was in 09 and 10. It was great fun and so it is nice to be back out there and mix it up a little bit”

“I sailed with Dave Armitage, with Zach (Hurst) who was with us at Team New Zealand in 2004, I raced against Andy (Horton) a fair bit in the TP52s and know Andy Escourt from the RC44s but it is nice to be here and to sail with a different group of people but at the moment I am just trying to find my own way around! Your timing and starting takes time to get back, and obviously you are racing against guys who have never stopped and obviously the standard is very very high amongst the top guys. If the breeze stays light then I think all the boats are about the same speed.”

“You don’t want to have your best race in the practice race but we have some room to improve, but we are just getting to know each other and the boat. I am looking forwards to being out there racing. Rán and Azzurra had a pretty good race today. I sailed here a little in the Farr 40s but don’t really know the conditions that well. There is a lot going on out there.”

“It has been great at home. We are waiting to hear what the (America’s Cup) Protocol brings and that is supposedly mid March and so only ten days away, whether or not we see that will remain to be seen. It is very hard to know what will happen.”

 

By 52 Super Series, www.52superseries.com

 

 

 

Kiwi crews take first and second on another inconsistent day

 

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Slow progress downwind – Photos © Frank Quealey

 

 

18ft Skiff 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour

 

 

A lack of consistent breeze forced officials to delay the start of Race 3 of the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship by 45 minutes on Sydney Harbour today.

When the race finally got under way, after one recall, three teams (CST Composites, USA, Haier Appliances UK, and Fisher & Paykel, Aust.) were black flagged, which reduced the fleet to 31 boats.

Despite very light, variable wind, which forced the starter to move the windward mark, then shorten the course by one lap, the finish was a great triumph for the New Zealand team which recorded a 1-2 finish.

Alex Vallings, Chris Kitchen, Joshua McCormack reproduced the form in C-Tech, which saw them take the San Francisco International Challenge late last year as the grabbed a 35s. victory today.

Fellow Kiwi team Yamaha (David McDiarmid, Andrew Archibald, Mark Overington) was a gallant second, just 5s. ahead of Australia’s top team Lumix (Jonathan Whitty. Aron Everett, James Hozack).

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) was fourth and has now taken the regatta lead over defending champion Seve Jarvin’s Gotta Love It 7, which could manage only a distant 12th.

The top six placings on points going into tomorrow’s Race 4 is Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on 9pts., followed by Gotta Love It 7 on 14, C-Tech on 18 Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 19, The Kitchen Maker on 20 and Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) on 24.

 

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C-Tech glides down to the finish for a bullet

Conditions were a huge test of all teams on the leg to the windward mark off Watsons Bay where C-Tech held a narrow lead over Yamaha, Lumix and The Kitchen Maker (Will Phillips).

At the bottom mark Lumix had shown great light wind speed under spinnaker to grab the lead and was 28s. ahead of Yamaha, with C-Tech back in third place.

The trio had opened up a break over Mojo Wine, The Kitchen Maker and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, which were also well ahead of the following group.

At this point, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was in 8th place and Gotta Love It 7 was only 17th and a long way from the leading group. Lumix continued to lead Yamaha and C-Tech over the next lap of the course, as the trio clearly had the race to themselves.

After two laps, the starter was forced to shorten the course by one lap. At the final windward mark, C-Tech had picked up better breeze than her opponents to lead Lumix by 45s, while Yamaha had dropped back a little to 1m25s from the lead.

The three teams fought hard in little wind all the way down the final leg and produced a great finish for the spectators.

Race 4 of the championship will be sailed tomorrow (Wednesday) with the following races on each day, except Friday, until Sunday 9 March.

For full details on the championship, Race Reports, Results, Points and video coverage go to www.18footers.com.au 

 

By Frank Quealey

 

 

Gotta Love it 7 back in the winning groove

 

JJG D3 fleet fq

Photos © Frank Quealey

18ft Skiff 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship

 

Defending champion Seve Jarvin and the Gotta Love It 7 team Sam Newton and Scott Babbage scored their second win of the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship when they took out the re-sail of Race 1 on Sydney Harbour.

The win gives the team a great start in defence of the title, but the win was far from easy.

Grabbing the lead for the first time at the final windward mark, Gotta Love It 7 had to hold off strong challenges from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Trent Barnabas) and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison, James Dorron) before taking the honours by just 12s from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers. Asko Appliances was a further 11s back in third place.

Appliancesonline.com.au (Euan McNicol, replacing Micah Lane) finished fourth, ahead of UK’s Rick Peacock on Haier Appliances, Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson), Yamaha (David McDiarmid, NZ) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney).

With two races now comoleted, Gotta Love It 7 has a total of two points, followed by Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on five, Haier Appliances on 11, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel 12, The Kitchen Maker (Will Phillips) 15 and C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ).

A light shifting NE breeze was an improvement on the earlier days racing and the four lap windward-return course provided some close racing for the spectator fleet.

Asko Appliances took an early lead and was 8s ahead of Sydney City Marine (David Witt) at the windward mark. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers was next, followed by Haier Appliances with Gotta Love It 7 trailing the leader by 35s.

Most of the fleet elected to sail the southern shore while Haier Appliances and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers went to the north.

The move was a success as Haier momentarily led then trailed Asko Appliances by only 11s at the bottom mark, ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Gotta Love It 7.

There was little change in the leading group over the next lap of the course and it wasn’t until Thurlow Fisher Lawyers went to the east on the third windward leg that the lead changed.

Thurlow Fisher led the fleet down the third run but this time it was former Giltinan champion Euan McNicol, standing in for regular skipper Micah Lane. who won the tactical battle to move into second place on appliancesonline.com.au. With one lap to go, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers had extended her lead to 25s.

Asko Appliances was third just ahead of Gotta Love it 7 and a big group of challengers. Gotta Love It 7 was just 10s ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers as they turned for home and things were uncertain as the two leaders decided to come down separate sides of the harbour.

When they cross near the finish little had changed as Gotta Love It 7 still held a narrow advantage which she maintained to the line.

Race 3 of the championship will be sailed on Tuesday with the following races on each day, except Friday, until Sunday 9 March.

For full details on the championship, Race Reports, Results, Points and video coverage go to www.18footers.com.au.

 

By Frank Quealey

JJ Giltinan’s struggle with unseasonal winds

 

JJG D2 fq

 Photos © Frank Quealey

 

 

 

18ft Skiff 2014 JJ Giltinan Championship

 

Following yesterday’s anti-climax when race 1 was abandoned after two attempts to complete a full course, race 2 of the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, proudly presented by Sydney City Marine, went without major incident on Sydney Harbour.

More poor wind conditions forced the race officer to shorten the course (a sensible decision) when the boats were almost drifting as they went for the windward mark in Rose Bay.

Gotta Love It 7 had led from shortly after rounding the first windward mark and looked certain for victory on the second run to Obelisk Bay, but the lack of wind on the work back to Rose Bay saw a massive turn around.

At the finish, Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, Scott Babbage) took line honours by 48s form The Kitchen Maker but the result came down to just 20 metres in the dying stages.

Young Will Phillips only stepped onto The Kitchen Maker for this championship when regular sheet hand Darren McKavanagh was sidelined with a bad back.

Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page, who normally skippers the boat elected to move onto the sheet and brought Will in to skipper.

The race for third was even closer as only 4s separated the third placed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor, Trent Barnabas) and Jack Macartney’s Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel.

With a light S-SE wind, and little change predicted, all teams elected to go for their bigger No. 1 rigs.

The race to the first windward mark was amazing as two newcomer, young skippers led the fleet which included many world champions and experienced 18 Footer teams.

PB Towage, Josh Franklin from Brisbane, held a narrow lead from Will Phillips in The Kitchen Maker with Gotta Love It 7 close behind.

UK’s Pica (Jamie Mears) was fourth, followed by Sydney City Marine (David Witt), Pure Blonde (Nick Daly), Haier Appliances (Rick Peacock, UK), Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel.

The fleet produced a magnificent spectacle as the 34 skiffs raced from Clarke Island to Obelisk Bay with most boats racing in tight groups.

After working back to Rose Bay the first time, Gotta Love It 7 was leading from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Fisher Hotel, Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson), C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ), Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) and Sydney City Marine (David Witt).

The breeze fell away dramatically as the fleet finished the first lap back at Athol Bay.

The resail of Race 1 will take place Monday, 3 March on Sydney Harbour at 3pm.

For full details on the championship, Race Reports, Results, Points and video coverage go to www.18footers.com.au.

 

By Frank Quealey

Shockwave wins RORC Caribbean 600 overall

 

yandy104969

Photos © Tim Wright / www.photoaction.com

 

With all 60 yachts accounted for, the Royal Ocean Racing Club announces that the winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the best yacht, overall in IRC on corrected time, is George Sakellaris’ RP72, Shockwave. The trophy was presented to the Shockwave crew at the prize giving held at the Antigua Yacht Club.

“I have a great crew and it was an excellent race, lots of wind and the racing was very close,” commented Shockwave’s owner/driver George Sakellaris, shortly after finishing the race. “I have done many offshore races but this is the first time I have raced this one and it was against tough opposition. I think the winds were favourable to us and the Shockwave team used that to our advantage. At the end of the day, winning yacht races is all about the team performance more than anything else.”

“That is what ocean racing should be all about,” commented Shockwave tactician, Robbie Doyle. “Beautiful racing between three very tough competitors, all fighting it out the whole way. A heavy-weight battle without a doubt – no question. I have had great moments in sail boats, but that was as much fun as I can remember. For 600 miles we were always in touch with each other, either up a few minutes or down a few minutes, and it all came down to the last beat to finish. It was like an epic tennis match. Every sail change was race critical. Bella Mente is a magic bullet when power reaching; we knew that before the start, so we set about minimising the time lost.”

Robbie Doyle continued, “Bella Mente did a nice job getting through the lee of Guadeloupe by going inshore and at that time she had her time on us. All we tried to do was to stay in touch with her because we knew the race wasn’t over. The critical point in the race happened just after Barbuda when Bella Mente got under a cloud and literally stopped and we sailed right up to them. After that we knew that if we just stayed in touch, the win would go to Shockwave – that’s yacht racing for you, but what a fantastic experience.”

Shockwave Crew:

Richard Bouzaid (NZL), Jason Carr (GBR), Reginald Cole (USA), Robert Doyle (USA), Jim Gibson (USA), Scott Gregory (CAN), Peter Kingsbury (PRI), Sam Loughborough (USA), Brian McInnis (CAN), Mark McTeigue (AUS), Andy Meiklejohn (NZL), Mark Mendelblatt (USA), Eduardo Natucci (ITA), Liam Newman (SWE), Silas Nolan (AUS), George Sakellaris (USA), Guy Standbridge (GBR), Adrian Stead (GBR), David Swete (NZL), Andrea Visintini (ITA)

A full list of the finishers can be viewed on the RORC Caribbean minisite, caribbean600.rorc.org/blog/race-information/results/index.html