Monthly Archives: July 2015

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Foiling goes full circle in return to San Francisco


San Fran Bay JH


Three years ago, fans watching America’s Cup boats race along the City Front were treated to a sailing spectacle like none before: 72-foot racing multihulls literally flying across the bay lifted above the water by a foil system located beneath the hulls.

About the same time, world champion kiter Johnny Heineken was also “flying” around the bay albeit on something a whole lot smaller — a five-foot kiteboard also with a foil system attached beneath the board.

Heineken, 27, from Larkspur, was just one of a few local kiters foiling then — the expense of the foils and the skill required to maneuver a foil left the “wannabees” sitting it out waiting for the new discipline to become more mainstream. They didn’t have to wait long. This week, an international kite-foiling event with 70-plus competitors kicks off on the bay, proving just how popular the sport has become.

The event is the third stop of the 2015 KiteFoil GoldCup tour (July 30-Aug 2). Competitors will launch from Crissy Field and race along City Front, kites flying high while riders blast along some three to four feet above the water lifted by the hydrofoil beneath their boards. Heineken’s sister Erika, also a world champion kiter, is the top-ranked female in the tour, as well as Regatta Chair.

Erika’s a contender to win this year’s tour and excited to be sailing on her home turf with other Marin kite-foilers, most of whom will be competing in their first international kite event. “Johnny’s and my time has faded … bring in the new blood,” the 29-year old quipped.

Enter 15-year old Hadyn Fischer from nearby Mill Valley. As the youngest male competitor, the 10th grader has kited since age 8. In the past year he’s regularly competed in the Thursday night foil race series held at Crissy Field, organized by the St. Francis Yacht Club.

While the Gold Cup is his first international foil event, he recently participated in the Delta Board Meeting non-foiling competition where he took first in the downward slalom and second in the freestyle strapless surfboard events.

“The Thursday night races have been incredible training as they have pushed my limits,” said Fischer, a team rider for Axis and Live2Kite.

He says that tacking and gybing maneuvers are among the most challenging aspects of kite-foiling, the objective being to complete a maneuver while keeping the foil on a plane. Whether it’s an AC72 or a kite-foil, a successfully completed maneuver ensures time or energy is not wasted to getting the foil back on plane.

Nicolai Sponholtz, 19, from Sausalito, will also be competing in his first major kite-foiling event. An aspect of the sport he finds challenging is maintaining the foil at the right elevation.

“It’s tricky up and downwind but especially difficult on the downwinders because the board is just moving so fast — the crashes are spectacular because you’re falling from a height,” Sponholtz said.

Sponholtz, who will start as a freshman at Cal in late August, is currently working as a sailing instructor at the St. FYC. Together with his brother Sebastian and Fischer, he recently took a foiling clinic with Michael Gebhardt, a five-time Olympic windsurfer who helped the local kiters tune their gear and improve racing techniques like race strategy and kite control. “I’ve been trying to train after work every day and am spending as much time on the water practicing maneuvers and speed as possible,” Sponholtz said.

Kite-foiling is not a sport for the faint at heart, as Sponholtz describes.

“It can really be nerve-racking,” he said. “There’s always the danger of crashing and destroying gear, and with the shipping traffic right along Crissy Field, the last thing anybody wants to do is drop a kite in front of an oncoming vessel. Kiters can seriously hurt their shoulders or chest on a downwind crash, or slice open a foot if they accidentally kick the foil underwater.”

The right equipment for the job is key, especially foil choice says Fischer. A typical foil “mast” length is about 3 ½ feet and the objective is to keep it deep enough to minimize cavitation of the wings on the bottom of the foil. Throughout a racecourse the foil mast will ride up and down based on swell height, wind and current. Riding upwind the foil tends to stay deeper in the water with less than half the mast above water.

Two types of foils are available — high aspect foils are designed primarily for racing while low aspect foils are used for free riding and wave riding. The three main brands that will dominate the scene at this week’s event will be Sword, Spotz and F4. Fischer is currently riding a Sword 2, while Sponholtz will be on a Spotz 2 foil.

“It’s a pretty good foil upwind but it’s awesome downwind,” Sponholtz said. “It’s nice and stable, more so than many other foils I’ve ridden, so for me, it’s a perfect combo between speed and stability.”

Fischer will be racing on new kites, the Ozone R1 and Chrono, which has him on edge just a little, but mainly he says, the stoke factor is running high in the Fischer household, as his mom, dad and 11-year old sister are also kiters.

“Who could not be stoked for the Gold Cup and the world’s first-ever junior nationals?,” Fischer said.


Event details, tracking and web cams here.


By Michelle Slade, Marin Independent Journal published in Scuttlebutt Europe



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Consistency pays off


D2 Marstrand fleet

Photos © Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio



RC44 Marstrand Cup in Sweden



Sweden lived up to the tourist brochures on day two of fleet racing (day three overall) at the RC44 Marstrand Cup. The boats headed out to the west of Marstrand Island where they were treated to three races in a 8-14 knot northwesterly, less tide, and with it a flatter sea state, and sun and warm temperatures from the outset.

However the wind remained shifty and it was day that severely tested tactician’s risk versus reward decisions. Today the only team not to put in a ‘big’ result was Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec Sailing Team, with a 1-3-3 scoreline, causing her to prise the overall lead off Team Nika in the final race.

“We were very conservative,” said Liubomirov, who won the RC44 World Championship here last year. “This is the goal for this event for us – never to take risks. These conditions were good – sunny, windy and not too wavy. Of course the wind was shifty and it was very difficult to get the proper direction, but most important for us is that we were consistent.” The problem is that in this 10 strong fleet, all the crews feel the same. And so, not surprisingly, today there were three different winners, bringing the total number of winners up to five from six races.


D2 Bronenosec ms


After winning Tuesday’s match racing, Bronenosec has only finished off the podium in one fleet race, which Italian tactician Michele Ivaldi puts down to a combination of going the right way, his skipper steering well and good boat speed, thanks to trimmers Paul Westlake and Maciel Cicchetti. “They did a fantastic job – we had clean starts, clean lanes upwind and the speed did most of it. We got a few good shifts and all the manoeuvres were done flawlessly from the crew.”

They won the first race after tacking away following a mediocre start and sailing all the way out to the starboard layline, then controlling for the rest of the race.

Trailing Bronenosec in the overall results are Team Nika, Artemis Racing and Charisma, all of whom had one big score today.

Nico Poons’ Charisma for example finished last in the first race, but won the second. Their first race result was largely due to a penalty, “We hardly knew for what. We had to make a turn going into the last downwind leg, so it was hard to recover,” as Poons put it. However lying fourth, just six points off the lead and with two days of racing ahead of him, equalling or bettering Charisma’s second place here last year is still more than possible. “You have to keep away from shockers like tenth places – that’s the name of the game!” Poons concluded.

The penalty in the first race was for tacking too close near the top of the second beat. In the second race Charisma went hard right out of the start and as tactician Ray Davies put it “stayed away from all the other boats.”

After an uncharacteristically average start to this regatta’s fleet racing, Peninsula Petroleum finally upped its game to claim today’s final race with the biggest margin seem so far here in Marstrand.

“It was a great feeling to finally have a good race,” admitted skipper John Bassadone. “We haven’t been sailing so well over the last couple of days, so it’s definitely lifted the spirits. It’s very close, the competition is fierce.”

Bassadone said that they had been struggling for speed during the first race but had made a few changes afterwards only to be over early in the second. Even so, the tuning had made all the difference and from being last, they picked up to fifth. In the final race they put it all together and after a good pin end start headed to the port layline, to lead at the top mark and from then on. Peninsula Petroleum led the ten RC44s on a spectacular run back into Marstrand Fjord where a special finish line had been set up immediately off the island.


D2 Charisma ms


On Artemis Racing, local host Torbjörn Törnqvist had a 3-2, sandwiching a ninth, caused by the Swedish RC44 starting prematurely. “We never recovered from that, never really got into phase again. But that is the way it is: It doesn’t take much and you are down there,” admitted Törnqvist.

Törnqvist is very much enjoying the completion on his home waters and observes that the quality of the RC44 fleet continues to rise every year. He believes that in today’s fleet the majority of boats at the present standard would have been clear overall winners five years ago thanks to the constant progress within the class.



Results after 6 races:


Pos Team R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Tot
1 Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18) 3 3 5 1 3 3 18
2 Team Nika (RUS 10) 5 1 1 2 2 8 19
3 Artemis Racing (SWE44) 1 5 2 3 9 2 22
4 Charisma (MON 69) 2 2 4 10 1 5 24
5 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) 4 6 6 5 5 1 27
6 Artemis Racing Youth (SWE 4) 7 4 7 4 8 9 39
7 Team Aqua (GBR 2041) 10 10 3 6 7 4 40
8 RUS ‑ 7 Anywayanyday (RUS 7) 8 9 8 7 4 7 43
9 Katusha (RUS 21) 6 8 11 9 6 6 46
10 MAG Racing (POL 44) 9 7 9 8 10 10 53



For RC44 Championship Tour results visit



By RC44 Class media:




Team Nika bounces back with two bullet day


Marstrand D2 msPhotos © Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio



RC44 Marstrand Cup in Sweden



Just one point separates the top three teams after the opening day of fleet racing at the RC44 Marstrand Cup.

Three races were held today in 10 -15 knots winds with grey overcast conditions in the morning giving way to a summery afternoon, similar to yesterday, only with an uncomfortable lumpy sea state. At the close of play Team Nika leads on seven points, ahead of Artemis Racing and Charisma on eight.

For Team Nika, it was a classic tale of ‘pulling victory from the jaws of defeat’ after what Russian skipper Vladimir Prosikhin described as his worst match race day ever yesterday and beginning today with one of his worst fleet racing starts:

“We rounded the first upwind mark second last and it seemed to be going like yesterday – we had this depressing feeling. But finally we picked up – especially downwind – it became a bit easier and when it is easier it is encouraging, you pass a couple of boats, you feel like you are a better sailor, so you are more confident, more focussed and the team started working together. And finally we finished fifth.”

From there Team Nika went on to win the second and third of today’s three races. But both were hard fought, come-from-behind affairs.

In Marstrand, Team Nika is sailing with Match Racing, Etchells and Melges 20 World Champion, American Bill Hardesty. This is Hardesty’s first occasion racing the RC44 and he is impressed:

“They are great boats, with lots of power and good balance and they can really get going, but they can catch you off. And the class is nice. Having the umpires out there really helps.”

Today Hardesty really earned his keep, playing the shifts to perfection. In race two Team Nika managed to edge her way ahead of Bronenosec Sailing Team and Charisma and into the lead on the final metres of the second beat. In race three it was a close tussle between her and Artemis Racing, with the Swedish boat leading around the top mark and once again Team Nika only managed to get ahead in the final tacks of the second beat.

The other star performer of the day was the RC44 Marstrand Cup’s host Artemis Racing.

Torbjörn Törnqvist’s team won the first race after the bold call was made to go right off the line, a move that paid handsomely.

“Then it was really simple,” admitted Törnqvist. “It is easy when you are on top and you can control the fleet. It is great to be here in Sweden and do well. This is the first day, of course, but it is nice. It was a good day, the crew worked well in a calm way in terms of boat handling and tactically.”

Let down by a fifth in the second race, Artemis Racing started well and worked hard to gain the lead on the first beat of the day’s third and final race only to lose to Team Nika.

“It was a much better day – we enjoyed it,” said Artemis Racing tactician Iain Percy, who heads Törnqvist’s Swedish America’s Cup challenge. “It was quite a cloud-driven day. Everyone did a good job and Torbjörn was driving the boat well. It was a nice day out.”

For Nico Poons and the crew of his Monaco-flagged Charisma it was disappointing not being able to convert their good sailing into race wins, but with a 2-2-4 scoreline they were the most consistent team today.

“It was pretty shifty conditions, a tricky race track, but it was ideal for these boats with a few nice surfing waves downwind,”

recounted Charisma’s tactician, Ray Davies.

“The teams that sailed well as a group came out on top today – crew work was really important, working the boat downwind, dealing with the waves and the different modes you had to sail from one gybe to the other. There were some nice gains to be made downwind.”

Matters might have been different had Charisma not picked up a penalty in the final race for tacking too close to another competitor.

“That dropped us back into about sixth and then we got back to fourth,” recounted Davies. “Nico [Poons] is doing well. In these tricky conditions at times with the waves, you have to be very precise with the helming and he is doing a really good job with it.”

Fleet racing continues on Thursday at the RC44 Marstrand Cup, starting at 11:30 CET. Follow the live blog on and live tacking with TracTrac.



Results after Day 1:



Pos Boat Name (Sail No) R1 R2 R3 Pts
1 Team Nika (RUS 10) 5 1 1 7
2 Artemis Racing (SWE44) 1 5 2 8
3 Charisma (MON 69) 2 2 4 8
4 Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18) 3 3 5 11
5 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) 4 6 6 16
6 Artemis Racing Youth (SWE 4) 7 4 7 18
7 Team Aqua (GBR 2041) 10 10 3 23
8 Katusha (RUS 21) 6 8 11 25
9 MAG Racing (POL 44) 9 7 9 25
10 RUS ‑ 7 Anywayanyday (RUS 7) 8 9 8 25


For RC44 Championship Tour results visit




Bronenosec fends off match racing opposition


Marstrand D1

Photos © Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio



RC44 Marstrand Cup – Match Racing Championship



Bronenosec Sailing Team once again demonstrated its boat-on-boat skills, enabling the Russian team to consolidate its lead in the 2015 RC44 Match Racing Championship following the first day of competition at the RC44 Marstrand Cup.

A chilly overcast morning with light winds turned into a brilliant summer’s afternoon with 15 knots for the racing, held off the popular holiday island of Marstrand on Sweden’s west coast.

As usual the regatta started with a day of match racing, continuing this year’s RC44 Match Racing Championship that rolls from event to event across the season’s five regattas.

Today’s standout performers were Bronenosec Sailing Team and Team Aqua, which both posted a 6-1 win-loss. This confirmed the Russian team’s position at the top of the 2015 RC44 Match Racing Championship leaderboard, now up to two points ahead of second placed Artemis Racing.

Bronenosec skipper Vladimir Luibomirov played down his team’s performance:

“We feel very comfortable: No rushing, no yelling, just sailing for fun. The goal is to do the same in the fleet racing – this is our secret weapon! We came here to win and for sure we will try.” 

This venue has previously proved lucky for the team, which won last year’s RC44 World Championship here.

Team Aqua got off to a slow start. Chris Bake’s team, on which Swede Richard Göransson is helming for this regatta, was over early in the first flight against Artur Kasner’s MAG Racing and was unable to recover.

“We just got a little too excited, it being the first race of the day,” admitted tactician Cameron Appleton.

Appleton said that today was some of the best match racing on the RC44 Championship Tour, with penalties, passing and a chance to try most of their playbook.

“We had a really tight race with Artemis Racing, Charisma and Peninsula Petroleum. And with Bronenosec we had a really close tussle too. There was little bit of yelling, a little friendly rivalry! But it was nice to get one up on them.”

“The key was pushing hard, having a good game plan and just adapting to some of the small shifts and where the start line favour was and trying to think one move ahead. Richard [Göransson] was really good at listening and understanding what we were trying to do and the guys did a fantastic job, just getting all the basics done really well.”

Today’s result elevated Team Aqua from fourth to third overall in the RC44 Match Racing Championship.

Nico Poons’ Charisma got off to the best start, unbeaten in the first five of the seven flights that Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio laid on. This performance elevated the Monaco-based RC44 from seventh to fourth in the overall standings.

Artemis Racing, the RC44 Marstrand Cup’s co-hosts with sponsor Stena, also scored five wins and two losses. In contrast to Nico Poons’ Charisma, the Swedish team dropped its first two races, but then won the next five.

“Unfortunately these things happen,” explained Artemis Racing Team Principal, Torbjörn Törnqvist. “There are so many good boats out there, I am quite happy. There were nice sailing conditions and there was no rain – as promised…!”

While Törnqvist is based in Geneva, he enjoys returning to his home country. “It is always nice to come back here. It is special for me to be able to sail here.”


Marstrand D1 ms



As with Cameron Appleton, Törnqvist said today provided some top-notch match racing. “Overall I felt good. There were interesting and fun situations and we got the best out of most of them.” He singled out the final race of the day against Team Nika and skipper Vladimir Prosikhin, a very close tactical race that had seen them get into a luffing match on the first beat, culminating in their opponent picking up a penalty. “It was good quality racing, with good crew work and good communication and most of it went our way,” concluded Törnqvist.

Nico Poons’ Charisma got off to the best start, unbeaten in the first five of the seven flights that Principal Race Officer Peter Reggio laid on. This performance elevated the Monaco-based RC44 from seventh to fourth in the overall standings.

Another team punching above its weight today was Kirill Podolsky’s RUS – 7 Anywayanyday. To date this year the Russian team has recorded just two wins at each of the match racing days, but today doubled that.

“We are quite happy, but during the third race we broke one of our winches and had to do without it for the rest of the day,” said tactician Serguei Chevtsov. “That’s why it was very difficult to hoist the gennaker and do the manoeuvres. It was a challenge. Without this problem we could have maybe won another two races. Otherwise it was a good day and we are happy.”

Four days of fleet racing at the RC44 Marstrand Cup start on Wednesday at 1130 hrs CET. Follow the blog on and live tacking with TracTrac.



RC44 Championship Tour Match Racing Results: (after 3 events)


Pos Team Valletta Cup Porto Cervo Cup Marstrand Cup Pts
1 Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18) 4 4 6 14
2 Artemis Racing (SWE44) 3 4 5 12
3 Team Aqua (GBR 2041) 2 3 6 11
4 Charisma (MON 69) 4 1 5 10
5 Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1) 4 3 3 10
6 RUS ‑ 7 Anywayanyday (RUS 7) 2 2 4 8
7 Team Nika (RUS 10) 4 1 2 7
8 TEAM CEEREF (SLO 11) 2 3 0 5
9 Katusha (RUS 21) 2 2 1 5
10 MAG Racing (POL 44) 0 3 2 5
11 Aleph Racing (FRA 17) 0 3 0 3
12 Artemis Racing Youth (SWE 4) ‑2 0 1 ‑1


For full results visit



By RC44 Class Association


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Second day of racing abandoned


Sat BAR rt

All Photos c Rick Tomlinson



Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series at Portsmouth



America’s Cup World Series Racing was abandoned on Sunday at Portsmouth at 11:30 hrs. Gusts reaching 35+ knots and a very rough sea state created particularly difficult conditions at Portsmouth Harbour entrance.


Sat TNZ rt


The abandonment of the final two races leaves Ben Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team as winners of the first America’s Cup World Series event. In second place are Emirates Team New Zealand and third Oracle Team USA.


Sat Ora rt


ACWS Portsmouth – Overall after 2 races

1. Land Rover Team BAR 19 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand 18 points
3. Oracle Team USA 16 points
4. Groupama Team France 14 points
5. Softbank Team Japan 13 points
6. Artemis Racing 11 points


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Ainslie’s BAR opens with a narrow lead

25th July 2015. Portsmouth, UK. America's Cup World Series.

Photo c Ian Roman

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series at Portsmouth


Ben Ainslie, the most decorated Olympic sailor of all time, and the man who is leading the British challenge for the America’s Cup, holds a narrow lead after the first day of racing at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Portsmouth.

Ainslie led his team to a win and a second place finish in the two races held on Saturday afternoon on the waters off Portsmouth.

Nearly 50,000 fans were cheering him on from the venue ashore (with many more stacked along the waterfront outside the ticketed venue). Over 15,000 fans were on some 2,000 boats ringed around the race course area.

“You couldn’t ask for anything better,” Ainslie said. “Fantastic conditions, so many people coming out to support the teams. I’m so happy for Portsmouth and for our team. We have so many people on shore working on our behalf and cheering us on. For them to see this level of support is brilliant.”

25th July 2015. Portsmouth, UK. America's Cup World Series.

Photo c Ian Roman

Ainslie’s Land Rover BAR team leads Emirates Team New Zealand by a single point, the Kiwis posting a win and a third place finish. Rookie helmsman Peter Burling was pleased with the result.

“It was a great day for us to be able to put together a good start and a run in both races and be in the lead at the bottom mark in both races,” he said. “We’re pretty green in these foiling boats so we’re happy to come out of the day in the shape we’re in.”

The man he replaced at Team New Zealand, Dean Barker, is now the CEO and skipper of SoftBank Team Japan. Barker says the new team, sailing together for the first time in Portsmouth, is undergoing a learning process. Today saw the team finish on equal points for fourth place with Groupama Team France.

“We’re working hard to improve but it takes a certain amount of time,” Barker said. “These other teams have been doing a lot of sailing together in different boats, so we have to work hard on making improvements and eliminating mistakes to get closer to the front of the fleet.”

Sat Ora & TNZ gmr

Oracle Team USA, the defending champion, had a challenging day, ending the afternoon in third position, with second and fourth place scores on the day. Artemis Racing struggled to a fifth and sixth place

Saturday delivered glamour conditions on the Solent, to mark the return of America’s Cup racing for the first time in nearly 165-years. Sunshine returned after a day of heavy rains. Wind conditions of 10 to 14 knots allowed the teams to demonstrate their skill on the new foiling class of catamaran, the one-design AC45.

In Race 1 Emirates Team New Zealand took the early lead, but Land Rover BAR overhauled them on Leg 4 and extended away to take the win to a thunderous reception from the crowds onshore. Oracle Team USA came through to take second, powering away from the penultimate mark at 30 knots, while Emirates Team New Zealand finished third.

25th July 2015. Portsmouth, UK. America's Cup World Series.

Photo c Ian Roman

In Race 2 Land Rover BAR were among the early leaders, but after the first mark Emirates Team New Zealand opted to sail along the shore side and picked up better wind to take a big advantage. Groupama Team France hunted them around the course in second, until Land Rover BAR overtook them at the fifth gate mark, to finish in second. The French team held on for third.

Racing continues on Sunday, with double points on offer for the two races. First start is 1340 hrs local time in Portsmouth. However the unsettled forecast is for a lot more breeze with guts 30+ knots so it will be touch and go if racing takes place.


ORACLE Team USA – Photo c Carlo Borlenghi

Provisional Standings (after two races):

1. Land Rover BAR – 19 points
2. Emirates Team New Zealand – 18 points
3. Oracle Team USA – 16 points
4. Groupama Team France – 13 points
5. SoftBank Team Japan – 13 points
6. Artemis Racing – 11 points

For more info see:



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Sailing stars prepare to take flight


20/07/2015, Portsmouth (GBR), 35th America's Cup, Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series Portsmouth 2015, Training Day 1

Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget



Americas Cup World Series at Portsmouth, UK


The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth kicks off  on Thursday 23 July.

One of the biggest and most prestigious sporting events in Britain this year, the spectacular four-day competition sees America’s Cup racing back in the Solent for the first time since the inaugural regatta in 1851. Six international teams will compete, in high-speed AC45 catamarans which ‘fly’ several feet above the water on hydrofoils, and the action is expected to be intense.


Oracle USA training ir

 Oracle Team USA – Photo © Ian Roman /



Entries include America’s Cup Defender, Oracle Team USA, skippered by the Cup-winning skipper Jimmy Spithill. Spithill is on the helm, Kyle Langford at wing trim, Tom Slingsby as tactician, Kinley Fowler trimming and Louis Sinclair as bowman.

“There’s a lot of history here. It’s great that there’s such a push from everyone in England to get the Cup back. It’s crazy to hear how excited people are… It definitely gives you a boost when you’re sailing close to the shore and you can hear the crowd cheering you.” Kinley Fowler


BAR training ir

Land Rover BAR – Photo © Ian Roman /



They will face home team Land Rover BAR, skippered by Sir Ben Ainslie, who will be flying the Union Jack and looking forward to putting on a good show in front of a home crowd, with their team base in Portsmouth. Ben Ainslie will helm. Other sailing team members are Paul Campbell-James, Jono Macbeth, Freddie Carr, Matt Cornwell, Nick Hutton, Giles Scott and Andy McLean.

“As a sailing team, we’re ready to go. It really is the ultimate line-up of sailors and there’s just no way you’re not going to be taking it to the limit. Do I think we can win it? Yes, we can. But I think all the other six teams can as well.” David ‘Freddie’ Carr


16th July 2015. Solent, UK. America's Cup World Series Portsmouth. Pre event training day.

Artemis Racing – Photo © Ian Roman /


There’s likely to be plenty of British support for Artemis Racing, skippered by GBR’s Iain Percy, in a Swedish-backed team with numerous Olympic gold medallists. Artemis Racing will be helmed by Nathan Outteridge with his 49er crew Iain “Goobs” Jensen on wing trim. Chris Brittle, Freddie Lööf, Paul Goodison and team leader Iain Percy round out the Artemis crew.

“We’ve got an amazingly talented squad with a number of Olympic medals that have all come from a fleet racing background so I think that probably plays into Artemis’s hands. It’ll be exciting to watch. Everybody is focusing all their efforts really strong and hard on getting a result here.. The intensity is ramping up. Everyone wants to win here” Paul Goodison


ETNZ training sr

ETNZ – Photo © Shaun Roster

The hugely popular Emirates Team New Zealand, who came so close to winning the America’s Cup in 2013, will be back with an all-star cast that includes 49er champion Pete Burling skippering. Emirates Team New Zealand has signed up Toyota again as a sponsor, joining Emirates and Omega. Peter Burling will helm with his 49er crew Blair Tuke trimming the wing. Ray Davies will be tactician.

“I think it will be absolutely full-out, I don’t think there will be anyone holding back. This event will effectively be the first foiling fleet race of an America’s Cup World Series – or ever, basically! There could be some different manoeuvres and people trying different things. I think this first event could be one of the most exciting AC45 World Series events ever seen!” Glenn Ashby, Sailing Director at ETNZ


16th July 2015. Solent, UK. America's Cup World Series Portsmouth. Pre event training day.

SoftBank Team Japan – Photo © Ian Roman /



One of the newest names on the circuit, Softbank Team Japan, has also brought a talented squad skippered by Cup legend Dean Barker (NZL). Softbank Team Japan signed Jero Lomas and Derek Saward, both ex-ETNZ. They will join helmsman Dean Barker, tactician/wing trimmer Chris Draper and bowman Kazuhiko ‘Fuku’ Sofuku.

“In the World Series previously, with the boats non-foiling it was all very exciting. Now with them foiling it’s going to double the excitement level. It will be phenomenal and a lot of fun. “If we know that we’re sailing the boat well and feel fast then we can come away feeling pretty happy.” Dean Barker


07/05/22015, Lorient(FR), 35th America's Cup, Groupama Team France AC45 1st Sail, (Skipper: Franck Cammas). ©Yvan Zedda/Groupama

Groupama Team France. ©Yvan Zedda/Groupama

Groupama Team France is headed up by the hugely talented Franck Cammas. Team France has now signed Groupama as their title sponsor for the full AC campaign. Franck Cammas will be on the helm in Portsmouth, with Arnaud Psarofaghis as tactician. Joining them on board will be bowman Devan Le Bihan, wing trimmer Thierry Foucher and headsail trimmer Arnaud Jarlegan.

“Groupama Team France is now in full working order to attack the Cup and its competitors, who rank among the best in the world. What drives us is winning the toughest competition, going from one stage to the next and the striving for excellence. In sailing, the apex is the Cup.” Franck Cammas


Programme of events

The sailing action kicks off on Thursday, 23 July with a Parade of Sail. The famous America’s Cup trophy itself will also be paraded through the crowds. Friday, 24 July is known as ‘Fast Friday’, as the teams begin their tune-up races, while the crowds are also entertained by the famous RAF Red Arrows.

On Saturday, 25 July racing things get serious with the first of two point-scoring races that count towards the prestigious America’s Cup World Series. The six AC45Fs will be racing just off the shore at Southsea Common, and are expected to be flying just inches apart. On Sunday, 26 July the final two races take place, to determine the winner of the LV ACWS UK, and there will be no holds-barred between the six hugely competitive skippers.

Visit the Race Village

Enjoy the incredible atmosphere and watch all the action live at the shoreside spectator village on Southsea Common. Due to unprecedented demand, organisers have expanded capacity of the Waterfront Festival Arena ticket, and free day passes are now available on all four days (Thursday 23-Sunday 26). The Waterfront Festival Arena also features a host of family-friendly activities, including hands-on sailing simulators, the America’s Cup cinema experience, the Big Wheel, and much more.

Sport fans wanting the extra special experience should book their place at the Fanzone Arena, with superb views of the AC45F catamarans flying neck-and-neck just metres from the shore, and a host of features on the teams, their sailors, and the amazing technology that goes into an America’s Cup (tickets are still on sale for the Fanzone Arena, although grandstand seating for Saturday and Sunday has now sold out).

For access you must register or purchase tickets:


The pit lane

Don’t forget to take a stroll down to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, where the teams’ technical zones are based in the city’s naval dockyard within HM Naval Base Portsmouth. This is the equivalent of an F1 pit-lane, and a great chance to get up-close to these amazing boats.

If you’re in Portsmouth, grab a copy of the special souvenir Event Programme, with a full guide to the entire weekend, all the runners and riders, key sailing terms explained, and much more. The Programme will be on sale within the Race Arena’s, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.


Watch on television

Watch all the races from the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series UK live via BT Sport, the UK Live Host Broadcaster for the 2015-2017 America’s Cup. During the 2015 Portsmouth event BT Sport will be showing all the racing action live on television. The BT Sport presentation team will be Jake Humphreys, Shirley Robertson and Hannah White. The live Race commentary team will be America’s Cup veteran and legendary sailor Ken Read, and host Tucker Thompson.

Then on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 July the BBC will be hosting a half-hour evening highlights show, as well as a special hour-long programme on Monday, 27 July featuring all the highlights from the entire event. The BBC is the UK Highlights Host Broadcaster for the 2015-2017 America’s Cup.


Live Race Radio commentary

You can also listen live to full Race commentary on the radio via Portsmouth

Live Radio on 93.7 fm. Expert sailing commentators from Steve Ancsell & Matt Sheahan will broadcast live each day. Radio coverage begins 30 minutes before racing and will include previews, reviews and interviews throughout the build-up plus a blow-by-blow commentary from out on the race track. Portsmouth Live Radio on 93.7 FM covers the region from Southampton to Chichester or online.


Download the App

There is also an America’s Cup APP – follow your favourite America’s Cup sailors while you’re on the move with all the latest news and photos, as well as up to the minute results from the water. Subscribe to AC+ to unlock special bonus content features. The AC App is available for iOS and Android devices.


Official website:


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Blue heaven as Azzurra win 2015 TP52 world title


Onboard Azzurra2

Photos c Pedro Martinez / Martinez Studio


TP52 World Championship at Puerto Portals, Mallorca


Azzurra won the 2015 TP52 World Championship with a race to spare, finishing 14 points clear of second placed Platoon while only one point separated third from fifth, Provezza taking third step on the podium only by virtue of a tie break with both Alegre and Rán Racing

As the final points table confirms racing was incredibly close and tight for the world title of the world’s top grand prix monohull class. Azzurra conclusively proved the most consistent, keeping their scoreline in single figures throughout the five days, seventh being their worst score across the 10 race series on the Bay of Palma.

52 Super Series champions and 2014 World Champions Quantum Racing slid off the podium with an unexpected 12th in the final race, biggest victims of a big, heading windshift down the final run to the finish line.

The American flagged team seemed to have improved progressively through the regatta which was the first time in four years that skipper-helm Ed Baird had raced with tactician Adrian Stead, and the first regatta of the three 52 Super Series regattas so far that Baird has steered. But the final leg of the final race provided a cruel blow. Quantum Racing may have finished sixth but –remarkably – were only two points shy of third.

In winning his first TP52 world title Azzurra’s tactician Vasco Vascotto clocked up his 25th major world sailing championship title. Charismatic Vascotto started with his first world title in the quarter ton class with Jonathan VI in Chioggia by Venice in 1992. Among his subsequent titles are the J24, Mumm 30, Melges 32, Farr 40 and the Maxis. Typically defensive about the milestone, he paid a rich tribute to the whole Azzurra family team and to their sail designer Juan Garay who missed the regatta because of a family bereavement. Skipper Guillermo Parada dedicated the world title to Garay who had to fly home suddenly.

Vasco Vascotto smiled:
“I am obviously proud of what I have done in the past but today it is right to focus on this team. I am happy to have somehow helped the boat this result. But this is what we are celebrating today. Not 25! Our team has worked so hard over the last two years, not just the sailing team but the shore crew, and thanks to the Roemmers family and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. We have been through some tough days together as a team in the last two years. We have worked hard this season to solve some of the mistakes we made these last two seasons.
We changed some things with the preparation of the boat. Me? I am still the same, a little older but as Pasquale Gondolfi said to become old is not a bad thing, it is also a good thing. I think about things more and the speed is helping. When the boat has good speed it makes the tactician a little better. Last year we were not so fast and so the tactician was not so good.”

The return of the TP52 Class to Puerto Portals for the first time in seven years proved a popular one. On shore the atmosphere was second to none, the infrastructure fantastic and the sailors enjoy the compact, chic, upmarket regatta site right at the heart of the marina. And the Bay of Palma delivered ten good races on a track which was usually perfectly set on a neutral axis between the two breezes, both sides of the course paying on different occasions. That Azzurra is based out of Portals marina only added to their feelings of comfort and confidence.

Indeed Provezza won the first race of the final day, battling nicely from the right side of the course in very light 5-7kts sea breeze, pipping Alegre on the finish line after leading early on. Azzurra made a key gain at the windward mark when skipper-helm Parada threaded Azzurra through the fast approaching line up of starboard tackers to round fifth. In so doing Quantum Racing, also approaching on port, had to duck four sterns. And although Baird and the Quantum Racing team recovered, finishing behind Azzurra ensured that the emblematic team of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda won the championship with a race to spare.


Onbaord Platoon


And on the final start Harm Müller-Spreer Platoon team made a facsimile of their first race start, off the pin end of the line and going left. They won the first race gun to gun and won the last race gun to gun, gaining their first podium of the season with three race wins in their scoreline, and one 12th. Harm Müller-Spreer won the Zenith watch as the top owner-driver.

Three wins – including two in one day – were the foundation of Provezza’s third but they, typical for most of the fleet, had a ten and 11 finish in their final tally.

In the end Ergin Imre’s Provezza (TUR), Andy Soriano’s Alegre (GBR) and Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing (SWE) all finished tied up on 56 points, tie breaks declaring them third, fourth and fifth respectively. But Quantum Racing landed up with 57 and Sled 58.

“This is just great racing, it is so incredibly close with any one of ten boats able to win races and regattas. This is the TP52 52 Class at its best yet.” Commented Zennström, the Class President.

In the overall 52 Super Series standings after three regattas Azzurra stand 34 points clear of Takashi Okura’s Sled now up to second place with Quantum Racing in third. Bronenosec slipped from second to fourth.


Provezza 3rd


TP52 World Championships at Puerto Portals, Mallorca,

Overall after 10 races

  1. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo & Alberto Roemmers ARG)  (2,7,2,3,2,1,5,3,5,6) 36pts
  2. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (1,5,6,12,8,3,1,6,7,1) 50pts
  3. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (11,6,1,1,10,7,6,8,1,5) 56pts
  4. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (7,2,7,10,1,6,3,10,2,8) 56pts
  5. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (5,4,5,6,11,10,2,1,10,2) 56pts
  6. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,11,3,9,3,4,4,2,6,12) 57pts
  7. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (6,1,12,7,7,8,7,4,3,3) 58pts
  8. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,3,10,2,5,2,10,5,11,11) 68pts
  9. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,12,4,4,4,12,9,9,9,4) 71pts
  10. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (10,9,11,8,9,5,12,12,4,9) 89pts
  11. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (DNF/13,10,9,5,6,11,8,11,12,7) 92pts
  12. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,8,8,11,12,9,11,7,8,10) 92pts


52 Super Series Season Rankings Overall after 3 Regattas

  1. Azzurra, ITA 110pts
  2. Sled, USA 144pts
  3. Quantum Racing, USA 148pts
  4. Bronenosec, RUS 151pts
  5. Alegre, GBR 155pts
  6. Provezza, TUR 161pts
  7. Platoon, GER 168pts
  8. Rán Racing, SWE 171pts
  9. Gladiator, GBR 230pts
  10. Paprec FRA 242pts
  11. Xio/Hurakan, ITA 265pts
  12. Interlodge, USA (Austin/Gwen Fragomen USA) 279pts
  13. Phoenix, BRA 284pts


By 52 Super Series,



Azzurra stick to their guns as world title beckons


D4 Azzurra ms

Photos © Pedro Martinez / MartinezStudio



TP52 World Championship at Puerto Portals, Mallorca



Carrying a 14 points lead going into the final day of the TP52 World Championships, Azzurra need only two solid results Saturday to be sure of collecting the title. But so intense and closely matched is the 12 boats fleet racing in these sea breeze conditions on the Bay of Palma, Mallorca, the outcome is not yet certain, as Azzurra’s skipper-helm Guillermo Parada cautions: “It’s not over until it’s over.”

Azzurra’s 5,3 for the day held intact the same 14 points margin that they had started Friday with, now having held the overall lead for three days. That they were beaten twice today by the defending champions Quantum Racing’s 4,2 heated up the rivalry which has been on the back burner a bit this regatta, but the American flagged team moved up to second overall having been languishing in ninth overall two days ago. And fiercely superstitious Italian tactician Vasco Vascotto was pleased to ride out Friday 17th (which compares with the Anglo Saxon Friday 13th) with no disasters.

Top performers of the day were Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing. The winners of the Valencia regatta in May bounced back from Thursday’s painful 21 points stinker to pair together a 2,1 and promote themselves to fourth overall, two points behind Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon which won the first of today’s two windward-leeward races which were both contested in 8-12kts sea breezes.

The team which is leading the title charge are resolute that they will change nothing on the final day. Azzurra skipper Parada said they stuck by their ‘blue book’ today, working to their usual, hard wired routines and belief systems that have served so well for them so far, and will stick by their processes Saturday. First race today they did have to recover from tenth at the first top mark to rescue a fifth, even if they were passed by Quantum Racing down the final run relinquishing fourth. And second race Azzurra were again passed by the 52 Super Series champions battling it out in the wake of Rán Racing over a course which was marked by a big shift in the breeze to the left.


D4 Platoon ms



Platoon’s Markus Wieser and Seb Col along with Morgan Larson and Adam Beashel on Rán Racing called the first beat of Race 7 best, working the right hand side closest to the land effect which creates a starboard tack lift. Platoon won handily with Rán second and Allegre third. Key was the choice of the right on the upwind, a decision Rán’s navigator Steve Hayles explained: “We had a long line up and had a long chat about our history here as a team and we have done a huge amount here and on this occasion it was right. But that does not make us smart. We got plenty wrong yesterday but we were strong on that side, we made a good call.”

“It is very subtle. It is not about 20 or 30 degree shifts it is about three or four degrees here and there and a little more pressure. But we had sailed a long way up there and looked at the computer track and what people thought. But we are not trying to be clever because we got it hopelessly wrong the day before.”

Of their rollercoaster ride 21pts Thursday and three today he said:”We were ninth overall after yesterday. We had doubled our score in just one day. It is very, very tough here, but we know we are a good team, we won the first event and obviously today was fantastic. But we are a good team at bouncing back. The key is not to change too much. The key is to come out and trust yourselves as a team which is good, which has a history and all the work that has gone into making it good.

For sure everyone will be a bit more upbeat, a bit more chirpy tonight. You can’t change that. It is human nature. Yesterday there was some honesty but really everyone wanted to get to bed and forget about it and start a new day today.”

Meantime as they contemplate what would be their first world title as Azzurra – although many crew won as Matador in 2009, and a world title which would rank as tactician Vasco Vascotto’s 25th major world title, Azzurra’s Parada concludes:

“We will stick to our rules to go racing just like it was the first day of the regatta, keeping an eye on our closest rivals not just for here but for the season overall. It is a little bit of a cushion but it is not over until it is over.”


D4 Ran ms



Results after eight races:

1. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,7,2,3,2,1,5,3) 25pts
2. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,11,3,9,3,4,4,2) 39pts
3. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (1,5,6,12,8,3,1,6) 42pts
4. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (5,4,5,6,11,10,2,1) 44pts
5. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (7,2,7,10,1,6,3,10) 46pts
6. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,3,10,2,5,2,10,5) 46pts
7. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (11,6,1,1,10,7,6,8) 50pts
8. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (6,1,12,7,7,8,7,4) 52pts
9. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,12,4,4,4,12,9,9) 58pts
10. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (DNF/13,10,9,5,6,11,8,11) 73pts
11. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,8,8,11,12,9,11,7) 74pts
12. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (10,9,11,8,9,5,12,12) 76pts


By 52 Super Series,



Azzurra pull clear on another long hot day on the bay of Palma

Thu Azz coastal

Photos © Pedro Martinez / MartinezStudio


TP52 World Championship at Puerto Portals, Mallorca



From a long and hot day on the Bay of Palma, Azzurra increased their overall lead at the top of the leaderboard of the TP52 World Championships thanks to a second in the windward-leeward race which was a mere sprint compared to the 20 miles coastal race which they won comfortably ahead of Bronenosec.

Azzurra stepped out to an impressive 14 points margin ahead of sister-ship Bronenosec, steered by Russian owner-driver Vladimir Liubomirov as the regatta today past the midpoint.

The Bay of Palma may deserve its reputation for one way traffic, often a binary decision is all that is required, but today with the mercury again rising above 32 or 33 degrees on land and the race course axis nicely positioned, there were many subtle, hard to read changes in the sea breeze which was mostly in that critical 8-11kts range where any small changes in wind pressure and direction make a proportionately bigger difference to the speed and angles the 52s sail relative to each other.

Azzurra’s tactician Vasco Vascotto admits he has forgotten how many regattas he has sailed back to back at this stage in the summer, but he is surely riding a wave of success and confidence. Although they were squeezed out of the start they wanted in the windward-leeward race they were able to get straight into a beneficial wind shift to chase Andy Soriano’s Alegre around the track. Alegre won their first race since Valencia in May and by the end of the day had moved themselves up to third overall, just two points behind Bronenosec which went 5,2 for the day.




The tightly grouped points aggregates reflect just how close and even the racing is and how hard it has been to stay consistent. Azzurra is the only team of the 12 TP52 crews to have stayed strictly in single figure finishes all the way through the six races sailed for far.

Indeed, while Azzurra moved away in the overall lead – Vascotto promising to hold on to the key feelings of confidence, patience and coolness which is clearly working for them – a seven points tally for the day for each of Bronenosec (5,2), Alegre (1,6) and Quantum Racing (3,4) promoted each to second, third and fourth overall today, chasing the runaway Italian flagged team which is skippered by Argentina’s Guillermo Parada. And from second to sixth the differential is still only six points.

The 20 miles coastal did not start until mid-afternoon and the sea breeze proved streaky in places. A short upwind-downwind saw the Italian team on Xio make the early pace until they succumbed to Azzurra on the second, three miles long windward leg.

Platoon made a nice gain on the long downwind back to the Marivent mark in front of the Palma harbour west breakwater, working closer to the shore to find some extra pressure and move clear of Quantum Racing, giving Harm Müller-Spreer’s team a useful third place.

Meantime Vascotto is doing all he can to rein things in and keep the feelings cool among a crew which have their moments as fiery, feisty Latins: “It is better to forget what has happened today because it is easy to overreact to the good things that happened. Today we are happy but we need to forget if we want to maintain these kind of results. We need to sail clean and nice. I say that to myself every day!”

And the finer points of communication are gelling now at the back of Quantum Racing where Adrian Stead and Ed Baird are improving their understanding of each other, this being the first time they have sailed together as tactician and helm for a couple of years. It is certainly onwards and upwards for the world champions and 52 Super Series champions.



Hightlights of the day



Results after six races:

1. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo & Alberto Roemmers ARG) (2,7,2,3,2,1) 17pts
2. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,3,10,2,5,2) 31pts
3. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (7,2,7,10,1,6) 33pts
4. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,11,3,9,3,4) 33pts
5. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (1,5,6,12,8,3) 35pts
6. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (11,6,1,1,10,7) 36pts
7. Phoenix, BRA, (Eduardo de Souza Ramos BRA) (4,12,4,4,4,12) 40pts
8. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (6,1,12,7,7,8) 41pts
9. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (5,4,5,6,11,10) 41pts
10. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (10,9,11,8,9,5) 52pts
11. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (DNF/13,10,9,5,6,11) 54pts
12. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,8,8,11,12,9) 56pts


By 52 Super Series:



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