Monthly Archives: September 2015
Photos c Laura Carrau
Nacra 17 European Championship in Barcelona
Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis of Australia (2,3,7) enjoyed the conditions and climbed into second place, equal on 21 points with Saxton and Groves (6,5,12). The French pair Franck Cammas and Sophie De Turckheim moved into third when they were able to discard their 26 from day 1, five points behind the two leading crews.
The second day of the championship in Barcelona saw wind speeds that went from 12 to 17 knots from the NE and rather big waves and floating logs that caused some damage. There were a number of retirements and some will be working to repair their boats for Wednesday.
Luke Ramsay and Nikole Girke of Canada won the first race (race 4) with Bundock and Curtis second and the Danes, Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Lubeck third. Ramsay and Girke broke their rudder in the second race and were forced to miss the final race.
In race 5, Brits Tom Phipps and Nicola Boniface won ahead of Thomas Zajac and Tanja Frank of Austria in second, with Bundock and Curtis in third. Phipps and Boniface picked up a black flag in the final race which dropped them to 12th overall.
The final race Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri of Italy finished a good day with a win, ahead of Cammas and De Turckheim (FRA) with Zajac and Frank in third.
The third British pair, Lucy Macgregor and David Evans, were unable to build on their good opening day, despite dropping their 22 from day one, they are 13 overall.
Half the fleet will have to check this evening their daggerboard profiles and rudder blades because of the logs. As it happened to the Danes Allan Norregaard and Annette Viborg, who after finishing third in the first race suffered some damage because of the logs, but we will have the boat fixed for tomorrow”.
The Barcelona’s Nacra 17 Europeans is the first of the three scoring competitions to select the Danish representative for the Olympic Games in Rio, so Norregaard and Viborg, now seventh overall, go for gold: “The feelings are good, but it won’t be easy since both Annette Viborg and I, as well as Lin Ea Cenholt and Christian Peter Lübeck have options”.
Italians Vittorio Bissaro and Silvia Sicouri also had the same problems, although the skipper wanted to highlight the fun part of it: “Like everyone else, we had the problem of the logs. We had to be very careful in the water to see them. Because of the logs four or five boats capsized. But it was fun at the same time”. The Italian team scored a first in the final race of the day, which allowed them to climb on the leader board and are now standing on ninth place.
Podium placed Spaniards Echavarri and Pacheco were also affected by the logs on the race course. “In the second race we were ahead but eleven boats overtook us because we were struck by a log. Now we have to check that the daggerboard is not damaged.”
Wednesday will be the third day of six that make up the European Championship. The forecast is for strong winds, so the Olympic sailing show will offer pure adrenaline once again.
For full results see: www.nacra17barcelona2015.com
By Sailweb as amended by Grand Prix Sailing
Photo © Nico Martinez / www.MartinezStudio.es
RC44 World Championship in Cascais, Portugal
Twelve strong and seasoned RC44 teams are prepared to contend for the 2015 RC44 Cascais World Championship, taking place from the 30 September to 4 October at the Clube Naval de Cascais.
A favourite among sailors for the reliable wind conditions and challenging race area, not to mention the local hospitality, the RC44 Class is returning to the Bay of Cascais for the fourth consecutive year.
This week MAG Racing will be supported by Portugal’s finest. Joining the Polish team for the RC44 Cascais World Championship is Olympic bronze medallist Nuno Barreto, whose experience and local knowledge will provide a competitive edge. The added talent of fellow Portuguese sailors Gilberto Conde and Luis Brito, will certainly make MAG Racing ones to watch.
The World Championship also features as the fourth round of the 2015 RC44 Championship Tour, which has demonstrated an unprecedented level of competition, highlighted by the fact that a different team has been at the top of the podium at each event so far.
With tactician Ray Davies on board Nico Poons’ Charisma, the Monaco-based yacht started off the year by laying claim to the RC44 Valletta Cup. A taste of victory has left the team restless for a repeat performance, while champions of the Audi RC44 Porto Cervo Cup, Team Aqua are eager to welcome back owner Chris Bake, helming in Cascais for the first time this season.
Tactician Cameron Appleton said: “It’s nice to know we are finally entering into an event with our team leader, the glue. We’ve already had a couple of great days sailing with Chris, getting back in the flow. It’s pleasing for him and us and this week is just about settling down into a rhythm and back into what we know we are about.”
The added advantage of have the old guard back together will ensure the four-time RC44 Tour Champions are a force to be reckoned with, however it is Vladimir Luibomirov’s Bronoesec Sailing Team that may yet prove to be the biggest threat to the rest of the fleet. Going from strength to strength, the defending World Champions also happen to be the winner of the most recent event, the RC44 Marstrand Cup.
While Luibomirov suggested that he is keeping his expectations in check, the Russian owner did offer up some fighting talk, “Cascais is a lovely place, but not easy – it’s wavy, it’s on the ocean and it may be more difficult, not much, but a little bit more difficult than Marstrand. Because it’s the World Championship, everybody should be ready, but we will be ready too.”
While Team Nika has yet to secure an event title this year, a high level of consistency displayed over the past three events has positioned them as current Tour leaders, meaning that for the first time since joining the Class, the ‘Golden Wheels’ have been fitted to Vladimir Prosikhin’s RC44.
“It was a long way to go to get the golden wheels,” Prosikhin explained. “Somehow I didn’t even consider it – in Marstrand we were focused on good starts, good upwinds, good tacks, good approaches to the mark, good laylines – things like that. The golden wheels were a bit unexpected. Of course it is a pleasure! It is huge an achievement in such a competitive fleet with such good rivals.”
Prosikhin continued on to describe the greater objective, “So far year this year, nobody has been able to keep them for more than one regatta, so that’s the challenge! This is where we have to do it!” A feat that will hopefully be supported with the return of Team Nika tactician and America’s Cup sailor Dean Barker after a one event hiatus.
Another strong contender, Artemis Racing stepped up their performance on home waters last month in Marstrand and subsequently they have high hopes for this week. Torbjörn Törnqvist commented, “Going into Cascais. We have a lot to build on. Marstrand was our best regatta for a while, a lot of things were working better than they have at other times, so we are going into this event with great expectations.”
With just seven points between the top five teams, and only two events remaining for the 2015 RC44 Championship Tour, the stakes are high.
A day of practice racing tomorrow will give the teams a chance to test the waters before the RC44 Cascais World Championship begins on Wednesday 30 September with the standard day of match racing, followed by four days of fleet racing.
Follow the racing at www.rc44.com.
Teams Competing at the RC44 Cascais World Championship:
Aleph Racing (FRA 17)
Hugues Lepic (FRA)
Ed Baird (USA)
Artemis Racing (SWE 44)
Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE)
Francesco Bruni (ITA)
Artemis Racing Youth (SWE 4)
Gustaf Lidvall (SWE)
Paul Goodison (GBR)
Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18)
Vladimir Liubomirov (RUS)
Michele Ivaldi (ITA)
Charisma (MON 69)
Nico Poons (NED)
Ray Davies (NZL)
Katusha (RUS 21)
Alexander Novoselov (RUS)
Andy Horton (USA)
MAG Racing (POL 44)
Krzysztof Krempec (POL)
Tomislav Basic (CRO)
Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1)
John Bassadone (GBR)
Vasco Vascotto (ITA)
Team Aqua (GBR 2041)
Chris Bake (GBR)
Cameron Appleton (NZL)
Team CEEREF (SLO 11)
Igor Lah (SLO)
Adrian Stead (GBR)
Team Nika (RUS 10)
Vladimir Prosikhin (RUS)
Dean Barker (NZL)
RUS 7 – Anywayanyday (RUS 7)
Kirill Podolsky (RUS)
Igor Lisovenko (RUS)
2015 RC44 Championship Tour Results: (after three events)
|Pos||Team||Valletta Cup||Audi Porto Cervo Cup||Marstrand Cup||Pts|
|1||Team Nika (RUS 10)||2||4||2||8|
|2||Bronenosec Sailing Team (RUS 18)||3||6||1||10|
|3||Team Aqua (GBR 2041)||4||1||5||10|
|4||Charisma (MON 69)||1||8||3||12|
|5||Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team (GBR 1)||7||2||6||15|
|6||Artemis Racing (SWE44)||9||7||4||20|
|7||TEAM CEEREF (SLO 11)||5||3||13||21|
|8||Katusha (RUS 21)||6||9||7||22|
|9||RUS ‑ 7 Anywayanyday (RUS 7)||8||10||9||27|
|10||Artemis Racing Youth (SWE 4)||10||11||8||29|
|11||Aleph Racing (FRA 17)||13||5||13||31|
|12||MAG Racing (POL 44)||11||12||10||33|
For full RC44 Championship Tour results visit www.rc44.com/results/fleet-racing/2015
RC44 Championship Tour Match Racing Results: (after three events)
|Pos||Team||Valletta Cup||Audi RC44 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 www.rc44.com/results/match-racing/2015
Photos c Laura Carrau
Nacra 17 European Championship in Barcelona
British teams, Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves lead the scoreboard, while Lucy Macgregor and David Evans are in fourth place after three races on the opening day with 42 boats from 23 countries taking part, based at the Barcelona International Sailing Center (BISC)
After waiting on shore for around an hour, the fleet launched for the start of the first race at 1300 hrs. There was 10-12 knots of wind speed from the East, dropping to 8-9 knots from the SE and ESE for races 2 & 3.
British team, Ben Saxton and Nicola Groves showed their superiority on the opening day, starting with a 7th, a 2nd and a finally a bullet to top the leader board. They are now 6 points ahead of the Spanish team Fernando Echavarri and Tara Pacheco.
Ben Saxton sailing in Barcelona for the first time said: “Good day today, we had a lot of fun. It’s been the first day we’ve sailed here properly. We sailed steady”.
The Spanish team has not been sailing together for very long, but Fernando Echávarri was the last Olympic champion in the Tornado class and his experience showed finishing with a 4,5 & 7.
The Spanish sailor was quite pleased with the results of the first day, but admitted that there is room for improvement: “The feeling on the water was good, but the truth is that we were not very inspired on the first few upwind legs. We managed to recover, especially in the last race, where we were not doing very well, but we have not used the discard yet. This, in a championship like this one is very important. In any case, if there is more wind and waves we are still missing some training hours. We still feel a bit green, but in the fleet we are not doing so badly. ”
Darren Bundock and Nina Curtis complete the provisional podium. The Australian team who has a total of three Olympic medals is three points behind Echavarri and Pacheco. Bundock and Curtis finished 5,10 & 4.
Eight points behind the Aussies, and in fourth place, are British team Lucy Macgregor and David Evans, who have been somewhat inconsistent: they won the first race, finished 4th in the next one and then 22nd in the last race of the day.
The scoreboard is really tight from fourth to 11th place, with just 4 points apart. Once there are two more races sailed then the first discard will be applied, so Tuesday can bring some important changes. The French team of Franck Cammas and Sophie De Turckheim are 8th after finishing 3rd, 26th and 6th; if the discard is applied then they would probably get into the fight for the podium.
Nacra 17 – European Championship (Top 10 after 3 races) (42 entries)
1 GBR 254 Ben Saxton / Nicola Groves 7 2 1 10 pts
2 ESP 028 Fernando Echavarri / Tara Pacheco 4 5 7 16 pts
3 AUS 242 Darren Bundock / Nina Curtis 5 10 4 19 pts
4 GBR 42 Lucy Macgregor / David Evans 1 4 22 27 pts
5 DEN 281 Allan Norregaard / Annette Viborg 10 1 17 28 pts
6 SUI 220 Matias Bulher / Nathalie Brugger 11 15 3 29 pts
7 GBR 120 Tom Phipps / Nicola Boniface 19 3 8 30 pts
8 FRA 077 Franck Cammas / Sophie De Turckheim 3 26 2 31 pts
9 DEN 282 Lin Ea Cenholt / Christian Peter Lübeck 2 14 15 31 pts
10 GER 211 Paul Kohlhoff / Carolina Werner 14 12 5 31 pts
For full results see: www.nacra17barcelona2015.com
All Photos © Matias Capizzano
Snipe World Championships at Talamone, Italy
Sportsmanship wins in Tuscany, after the nail biting finish brings the record-breaking 83-crew & 18-nation Snipe World Championship to a close on Saturday after a week of blustery weather and drama on the race course.
Brazilians Mateus Tavares-Gustavo Carvalho (Yate Clube de Bahía) are the 2015 Snipe World Champions with 51 points having managed to close the gap with Louis Soubie-Diego Lipszyc (ARG), who had led the standings for the entire week and finish second at 59 points. Third on the podium, Alvaro Martinez-Gabriel Utrera (ESP) at 61 points.
“This is an incredible joy” stated with the Islands of Giglio, Montecristo and Elba etched on the horizon the 2015 World Champion skipper and helmsman Mateus Tavares still on the water with 17-year old Gustavo Carvalho.
Blustery conditions provided plenty of drama
“Our goal in Talamone was to finish in the top ten and we never expected to win the World Championship! The week was quite challenging, but at one point, the provisional scoreboard showed an opening and we realized we had a chance. Today in the final race, keeping our opponents in check or attacking was very difficult. We decided to give it all that we had and when we saw that Louis Soubie was buried in the second half of the fleet, we focused on stretching our lead, hoping that he would not be able to close the gap. It all worked out and neither Gustavo nor I can believe we are 2015 Snipe World Champions!”
Immediately after crossing the finish line in 23rd position, Argentinians Louis Soubie- Diego Lipszyc heartily congratulated Tavares-Carvalho on their victory while the Brazilians were celebrating with fellow compatriots by diving in the crystal clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea. A mark of true sportsmanship.” The fact Louis came over to shake our hand meant a lot to us”, stated Tavares.
The final race, Race 8, was sailed with a westerly breeze between 7 and 9 knots that later in the day shifted to the left. Soubie-Lipszyc had to defend the 12-point lead but after sailing on the left side of the course, the Argentinian duo rounded mark 1 in 14th position while Tavares-Carvalho were fourth at the end of the beat. Down the first run, the Brazilians move into the lead while the Argentinians lose positions, rounding the left mark at the leeward gate more or less 20th. The rest of the race was all about Tavares-Carvalho controlling the fleet on the one hand and about Soubie-Lipszyc desperately attempting to recover positions to cut the finish line in 13th place or better, which would have ensured their victory of World Title after a week spent at the head of the provisional leaderboard. Game over for Argentina with Brazilian Tavares-Carvalho who cross the finish line in 2nd place and start counting the number of boats between them and Soubie-Lipszyc. Two, three, ten, fourteen… Soubie-Lipszyc (ARG) cut the finish line 23rd and Tavares-Carvalho (BRA) are 2015 Snipe World Champions.
Snipe legend Mats Gothlin from Stockholm (SWE), who celebrated his 70th birthday and 10th Snipe Worlds competition, commented on the 2015 edition stating,
“Sailing Snipe is a great way to travel around the world and in my opinion Talamone is among the top locations I have ever raced in. Perfect weather conditions, unparalleled organization on shore that worked like clockwork and immediate assistance at sea. Bravo Circolo Vela Talamone!”
Gothlin, who was National Secretary for the Snipe class in Sweden for 25 years, also commented on the growth of the Snipe class. “Over the years the competition has become stiffer. When I took part in my first Worlds in 1971 in Rio de Janeiro, only one boat per nation was allowed on the starting line. The Talamone edition was record breaking with 83 crews from 18 nations at the gun. Hard to resist racing in Tuscany!” he added.
Open Snipe World Championship – top 5:
1. BRA Mateus Tavares / Gustavo Carvalho, 51pts
2. ARG Luis Soubie & Diego Lipszyc, 59pts
3. ESP Alvaro Martinez & Gabriel Utrera, 61pts
4. BRA Rafael Gagliotti & Henrique Gones, 65pts
5. BRA Mario Urban & Daniel Seixas, 66pts
For full results see: www.snipeworlds2015.com
Photos © NicoMartinez / MartinezStudio
52 Super Series Cascais Cup – Overall
Azzurra are crowned 2015 52 Super Series champions Quantum Racing win the Cascais Cup
Cascais, Portugal is set to be painted a particular shade of blue tonight after Azzurra are crowned the 52 Super Series champions of 2015. The team which wears the iconic colours of Sardinia’s Yacht Club Costa Smeralda eclipsed Quantum Racing over the five regattas circuit which started in May in Valencia and finished in typically perfect Portuguese sunshine.
Gilt edged consistency has been the biggest single factor in the Azzurra title win. Skipper Guillermo Parada points to a pledge made at last summer’s Copa del Rey to make a step change for the 2015 season in order to secure more regular results.
They have raised their game in every area as evidenced not just by their tally of 12 race wins from the 46 race starts over the five venues, but they only visited the basement placings twice over the season, one ninth in Valencia and their biggest wobble – as they clinched the title yesterday – one 10th place.
Key personnel changes which have contributed to their winning set up have been bringing in Giovanni Cassinari as mainsail trimmer, thereby adding a second sail designer to their team as well as a world class sailor, Kiwi America’s Cup winner Grant Loretz as headsail trimmer – whose anglo saxon, steadying influence has been the ‘glue’ which has held the team on winning form according to Parada and bringing in performance coach Marco Capitani to develop a much more empirical approach to data collection and analysis. But the core of their team dates back to a bunch of young Argentinian guys who Alberto Roemmers Sr put his faith in more than 20 years ago.
Azzurra only finished off the podium in Valencia where – in fourth – they were still the team which won most races. They won the Settimana delle Boche regatta on home waters in Sardinia, triumphed in the World Championships off Puerto Portals and second in Palma and Cascais.
Their average score over all the season’s races is 3.8pts.
There was no mistaking their joy as they arrived back at the Marina de Cascais, Parada grinned:
“It’s been a long way, this is something that we planned many months ago, we have worked very hard and somehow we have over-achieved our target so because winning at home in Porto Cervo and winning the Championship, winning the season with a race to spare, winning the last race of the season, winning Palma Vela, I think it’s been a great season for us and this is something we will remember for a long time. Obviously we have to thank the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda for their support. Having their colours on-board is something we take with a lot of responsibility and a lot of pride. We are also very grateful for the whole Roemmers family and especially to Alberto senior who gave us a group of young Argentinians 20 years ago the chance to be what we are now. And for sure he has changed the history of sailing in Argentina.”
“The reality is that we are a complete team, the shore crew are part of our team.They suffer when we have a bad day and they enjoy it when we have a good day so all in all we are very close together.”
Second overall for the season Quantum Racing have profited from integrating owners Doug and Dalton DeVos into their sailing programme, the father-son duo sharing the helm across three of the five regattas, culminating in their win at Copa del Rey in August. But the 2014 champions drew level with Azzurra today in terms of regatta wins when they added the Cascais Cup title, thanks to a great last two days. They finished with a consistent string of 1,3,2,3 from the final four races of the season to sign off their 2015 with an important morale boosting finale, leaving the new 2015 champions trailing in their wake eight points behind. In effect Azzurra had their highest scoring day of the year as they dropped over the championship winning finishing line Saturday just as Quantum Racing raised their game on cue to win in Cascais.
Tactician Ado Stead commented:
“It is great to finish the season with back to back regatta wins. Last couple of regattas we have really shown our true mettle. It was good winning the Copa del Rey and here we have sailed very consistently and ended up with a nice eight point lead at the end. Our goal today was two solid races and we achieved that nicely- a second and a third, a few more points on Azzurra. Last race just taking it easy and making sure we got round and so got a very nice third to win the regatta.”
Talking of their second overall for the season Stead concluded:
“We were a little slow out of the blocks, a little late in terms of getting the boat ready and a little behind. It’s all those little things that you’re looking for that hurt you. I think that the strength of a good team is to be able to recognise its weaknesses and work on them and keep plugging away and that’s exactly what Quantum Racing has done this year and I’m incredibly proud of the year, second place, winning the last two regattas. We know that we are in the right place and heading in the right direction.”
The highly charged three cornered fight for third overall on the 52 Super Series podium went the way of Takashi Okura’s Sled. This battle required the last race of the season with Platoon starting with a two points cushion. But with Ross MacDonald on tactics and Hamish Pepper strategy they were able to finish fourth to Platoon’s ninth and Bronenosec’s eighth and so secure third overall for the season.
MacDonald summed up: “The podium is huge but more important was the owner-driver category and so it was a double win for us. We never expected to be on the podium but we definitely wanted to be one of the contenders in the owner-driver category so it’s a great result. I have to add that it is a little bit difficult when you are sailing to try and finish in these positions because normally you go to a regatta and you try to win or finish on the podium and here you’re dealing with a lot of math, high numbers. To go eight or ten races on the defense is a little bit difficult.”
And fast and sailing loose with nothing to lose in their one and only appearance at the 52 Super Series with several of the Rán Racing crew on board, proved a successful formula for American visitors, Jim Swartz’s Vesper. They won the first race of the regatta and the first of two today, finishing third overall. So their podium success record is 100% after their European cameo outing in Capri last year saw them second, a great result for the 2007 built ex Quantum Racing.
52 Super Series – Cascais Cup Overall Results:
1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,3,1,1,4,6,1,3,2,3) 27pts
2. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (5,2,2,2,1,1,5,10,6,1) 35pts
3. Vesper USA (Jim Swartz USA) (1,6,4,3,10,8,6,2,1,5) 46pts
4. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (9,4,3,9,2,4,4,1,8,6) 50pts
5. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (4,5,7,6,3,3,7,5,9,9) 58pts
6. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (12,10,11,4,5,2,3,8,10,2) 67pts
7. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (7,8,9,5,11,7,9,6,5,4) 71pts
8. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (6,9,6,10,7,9,8,7,4,8) 74pts
9. Spookie, USA (Steve Benjamin USA) (2,1,8,8,13,13,12,4,11,7) 80pts
10. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (8,7,12,12,9,5,2,12,12,11) 90pts
11. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (10,11,10,7,6,10,11,9,7,10) 91pts
12. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (11,12,5,11,8,11,10,11,3,12) 94pts
2015 52 Super Series Season Rankings: (after five regattas, 46 races)
- Azzurra 175 pts (BOTIN PARTNERS DESIGN/NORTH SAILS)
2. Quantum Racing 202 pts (BOTIN PARTNERS DESIGN/QUANTUM SAILS)
3. Sled 259 pts (1st owner driver) (BOTIN PARTNERS DESIGN/NORTH SAILS)
4. Platoon 262 pts (VROLIJK/NORTH SAILS)
5. Bronenosec 263 pts (BOTIN PARTNERS DESIGN/NORTH SAILS)
6. Alegre 266 pts
7. Provezza 269 pts
8. Gladiator 386 pts
9. Paprec 396 pts
10. Ran Racing 397 pts
11. Xio 422 pts
12. Spookie 482 pts
13. Vesper 485 pts
14. Interlodge 505 pts
15. Phoenix 510 pts
Photo © Pierrick Contin / www.pierrickcontin.com
A resounding victory for the Groupama team in the Little Cup, the International C Class catamaran championship which was held this week on Lake Geneva at the Société Nautique de Genève. And first and foremost a technological win for energy efficiency and the sharing of science in the “Little America’s Cup” which has nothing to envy of its big sister!
Groupama Sailing Team simply breezed through the competition the whole week, holding on to the trophy, unrivalled. The team’s C Class yacht is extremely well honed, flies with her foils and rigid wing as if she were a carbon bird. Above all else, it is the sheer hard work put in by the Cammas/Viat crew which makes its mark on the Little Cup, before turning to the big one, the America’s Cup.
Challenged by the Swiss team Axon Racing on a boat based on the Archimedes principle (a planing design which does not fly), the final was fought in Friday’s light wind over 2 rounds of match racing. The championship came to an end with that score due to lack of steady wind on Lake Geneva this Saturday. The key to success and the challenge for Groupama this year was taking off as soon as they hit 5½ knots, maintaining high performance with their C Class cat able to fly 3 times faster than the wind. Specialists agree that it is, without any shadow of a doubt, currently the most innovative racing craft in the world.
“It’s a pity. We’d like to have seen this through to the end”, commented competitor Benoît Marie, alongside his fellow crew Benoît Morelle of Axon Racing, disappointed by the absence of racing on Saturday. The light wind, forecast by the meteorologists had been much hoped for by the Swiss as it would have played into their hands and provided a little bit of suspense.
Same thing on the French team, who regret not having been able to finish in style, but who were pleased, if not relieved, to win once again. As Franck Cammas said, “It’s one thing to be favourite, winning is another matter. Louis Viat and I really enjoyed racing together on what remains a really difficult course to sail”.
As for the third place fleet race playoff, the Swiss on Norgador take third place just ahead of the German team Sentient Blue.
After having waited on the Lake until the 16h deadline set by the Jury, all the teams made their way to the Société Nautique de Genève for the prize-giving ceremony, marking the end of this highly eventful week, during which lots of exchanges took place in the village both between the teams and the general public, who turned out in number. Franck Cammas and Louis Viat were presented with the Little Cup by Patrick Odier, Associate of the Lombard Odier group, a committed principal partner of the Little Cup 2015, which, according to Steve Clark, C Class President, “has entered a new era” and who “would like to extend thanks to the Hydros Foundation and Jérémie Lagarrigue in particular for the perfect organisation”.
The Hydros Foundation wished to present a Special Prize to the Canadian student team Rafale – ETS for their passion, hard work and tenacity in this high level competition. Starting from scratch, the team made it to Geneva two years later with a functional flying Class C which finished the competition in spite of a memorable capsize. “This is precisely the values to which we attach importance in the Hydros Foundation and which we have been supporting within our family for the past 10 years in the Hydros programme” enthused Alexis Lombard, founding member of the Geneva based foundation, a recognised association of public interest.
The Little Cup 2015 ends with all participants being rewarded collectively by their participation in an event combining leading edge technology, top level sport and the sharing of knowledge for the benefit of a more energy efficient and environmentally friendly future.
Highly conscious of matters relating to energy efficiency and twice winner of the Little Cup, Franck Cammas is a fine ambassador of the “Little Cup” spirit.
We are already looking forward to the next edition of the Little Cup!
Photos © Nico Martinez / MartinezStudio
52 Super Series Cascais Cup – Cascais, Portugal
Azzurra clinched the 2015 52 Super Series title today at the Cascais Cup, reaching their mathematical finish line with a day to spare. Their points margin over 2014 champions Quantum Racing rendered them unbeatable. It is the second time that the crew which wear the emblematic colours of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda have won the overall title after triumphing in the circuit’s first year in 2012.
With a maximum points yield of 26 from a possible two races Sunday, the crew lead by skipper-helm Guillermo Parada with tactician Vasco Vascotto have a points aggregate of 168 points, 29 points ahead. Azzurra complete the TP52 class’s dream double adding the 2015 Series title, won over five months and five regattas to the TP52 World Championships title they took with a runaway victory in Puerto Portals, Mallorca in July.
Azzurra have won two regattas this season, the Settimana delle Boche on their home Costa Smeralda waters in June and the world title. And they remain firmly in the fight for a third, now lying four points behind Quantum Racing with one day of racing left at the Cascais Cup in Portugal.
Theirs is a triumph attributable to a complete team effort, from the unflinching support and passion of the Roemmers family to an excellent technical design and build programme, experienced sailing team the line-up of which was tweaked very slightly for this season with some key additions, and a committed and talented shore team which has ensured their programme has been breakdown free for the whole season.
“The job is done.” Vascotto smiled, pointing to the main reason they won as….”I think that this team is a real team, for number one (reason why they won). The team is a team that has stayed together for many years, we have a couple of new guys on board but the heart of the team is the same for many years. The Roemmers family and Guillermo Parada the skipper are the key of this success and the crew work is always fantastic.”
“We have had, maybe today, a couple of mistakes but I think that that is something that comes out just when we had found out that the work was done. It’s the classic mistake that when you have done the job, you have done what you need to you are relaxing a little more. But, again, today is about today and winning. I cannot have a different emotion than happy after the season that we have done.”
“I am very, very proud of all of the Azzurra guys, they did a fantastic job and I hope that we have a next season that is the same.”
“I think that we built the success of the season in Valencia (the first regatta of the season) because we there figured out that we were in the wrong direction with some sails and we analysed that we had to change straight away and this is what we did. Guillermo, after Valencia, we had very good starts during the season. It’s good that he took more confidence every single event and makes my life easier to call tactics.”
Their substantial and prolonged celebrations remain on ice as Azzurra seek to finish with their preferred flourish. Vasco Vascotto admitted later that the high emotion attached to completing their task today contributed to a less than perfect pair of races today. After two wins Friday today they could only make a fifth and tenth. Up against Quantum Racing’s 1,3 from the two windward-leeward races, contested in 15-18kts, slightly smaller seas and beautiful sunshine, Azzurra will start the final day of the season looking to overturn a six points deficit. The impetus is the with the 2014 champions who are seeking to add their second regatta title in a row after winning the showcase Copa del Rey Mapfre last month.
The battle for third overall for the season twists and turns. Platoon and Bronenosec were both over the start line in Race 7 and had to return and restart together. That seemed to let key rival Sled off the hook, but Takashi Okura’s crew fouled Alegre on the approach to the leeward gate and were forced to take a penalty. Platoon finished seventh, Bronenosec eighth and Sled ninth.
Platoon maintained their advantage after Race 8 and Harm Müller Spreer’s crew go into the last day of the season with a lead of six points ahead of Sled with Bronenosec one point behind.
And the podium challenge for the Cascais Cup is wide open too after Provezza complemented their Friday aggregate of six points with a five points tally today, now lying third four points up on Jim Swartz’s Vesper.
Highlights of Day 4 of the Cascais Cup
Results after Day 4: (eight races)
1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,3,1,1,4,6,1,3) 22pts
2. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (5,2,2,2,1,1,5,10) 28pts
3. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (9,4,3,9,2,4,4,1) 36pts
4. Vesper USA (Jim Swartz USA) (1,6,4,3,10,8,6,2) 40pts
5. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (4,5,7,6,3,3,7,5) 40pts
6. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (12,10,11,4,5,2,3,8) 55pts
7. Spookie, USA (Steve Benjamin USA) (2,1,8,8,13,13,12,4) 62pts
8. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (7,8,9,5,11,7,9,6) 62pts
9. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (6,9,6,10,7,9,8,7) 62pts
10. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (8,7,12,12,9,5,2,12) 67pts
11. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (10,11,10,7,6,10,11,9) 74pts
12. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (11,12,5,11,8,11,10,11) 79pts
52 Super Series 2015: (provisional, after Race 8 of Cascais Cup)
1. Azzurra 168 pts
2. Quantum Racing 197 pts
3. Platoon 244 pts
4. Sled 250 pts
5. Bronenosec 251 pts
6. Alegre 254 pts
7. Provezza 255 pts
For live coverage see: www.52superseries.com
Photos © NicoMartinez / MartinezStudio
52 Super Series Cascais Cup in Cascais, Portugal
Two beautifully composed, accomplished race wins in strong breezes and big waves today off Cascais highlighted once again why Azzurra are 2015’s champions elect for the 52 Super Series title.
Their double bullet, dream day, as they count down to their season’s title winning line, also gives them an overall lead of five points over Quantum Racing in the regatta standings for the Cascais Cup. The perfect double is on for the Roemmers family team winning the circuit and winning the fifth and final regatta of the season. If they can it would be their third regatta win, after Sardinia and Puerto Portals.
Azzurra proved how comfortable they are in the big breezes when they clinched Settimana delle Boche regatta title in Sardinia on a day when the wind scale rose to 30kts before racing was canned. There, on their home waters, they were in a class of their own. And so it pretty much was again today, tactician Vasco Vascotto confirming they saw 28 knots in the gusty NW’ly breeze today.
Quantum Racing had their own double win on Thursday. But they could only reinforce that today with a hard won fourth – which came after a start line penalty left them languishing in the dark depths of the pack on the first beat – and then a sixth. Their choice of the early right from the start line was not as profitable as previously. The breeze proved stronger offshore, a fact identified by the super confident, on form Vasco Vascotto, and Quantum Racing were on the back foot early on in what proved a very tightly compacted first beat.
And there is just no let up in the utterly compelling battle for third step on the 52 Super Series podium. Platoon substantially enhanced their claim today with a pair of solid, well deserved third places today. Ergin Imre’s Provezza crew took six points for the day with a 4,2. But fortunes were not so rosy for Sled – who broke their outhaul on the start line of the first race and could only struggle to 11th place – and for third place rivals Bronenosec which exploded a spinnaker – at least their third, if not their fourth of the season – on the first run of Race 5.
Provezza started well in the first race and got to the right side early, ahead of Azzurra. But Azzurra found substantially more breeze down the first run, erring to the left closer to the shore and were ahead by the leeward gate. Despite a last second kite glitch they still pipped Platoon to second on the line while Azzurra crossed the line a long way ahead.
The race area was moved slightly for the second race of the day. With some bias on the pin end of the line Azzurra were happy to push for this early gain which very quickly allowed them control of the fleet. Andy Soriano’s Alegre worked hard for a good second place, accelerating their climb up the leaderboard after a nightmare opening of 12,10,11. They showed their true mettle today with a 5,2 to lie sixth overall.
Patience may not always be perceived as one of the virtues most readily associated with Azzurra’s tactician Vasco Vascotto but he claims he does not mind exactly when their title is sealed, be it tomorrow Saturday or Sunday, as long as it comes….
“I don’t care if its tomorrow or the day after the important thing is that it happens because for us, I think the Roemmers family have put a lot of effort to try to win this circuit and if that happens it will be fantastic for us, we will have a nice night all together.”
Today, Friday, might prove to be the breeziest day of the Cascais Cup. As is often the case the stronger winds and big waves exposed any late season weaknesses. Spookie, leaders after the first day, are reported to have torn two mainsails and the mechanical breakdowns for Sled and Bronenosec may yet prove pivotal.
And so the last two days of the 52 Super Series 2015 look set to deliver a completely engaging range of human emotions, from ecstasy to deep frustration. But for sure when the season hits the buffers Sunday afternoon there will be no doubts that this has been a great year for the TP52 Class.
Cascais Cup (day 3 after 6 races):
1. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (5,2,2,2,1,1) 13pts
2. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,3,1,1,4,6) 18pts
3. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (4,5,7,6,3,3) 28pts
4. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (9,4,3,9,2,4) 31pts
5. Vesper USA (Jim Swartz USA) (1,6,4,3,10,8) 32pts
6. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (12,10,11,4,5,2) 44pts
7. Spookie, USA (Steve Benjamin USA) (2,1,8,8,13,13) 45pts
8. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (7,8,9,5,11,7) 47pts
9. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (6,9,6,10,7,9) 47pts
10. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (8,7,12,12,9,5) 53pts
11. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (10,11,10,7,6,10) 54pts
12. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (11,12,5,11,8,11) 58pts
Provisional 52 Super Series Rankings – after Day 3 of Cascais Cup
- Azzurra, 153 pts.
- Quantum Racing, 193 pts
- Platoon, 232 pts
- Sled, 235 pts
- Bronenosec Gazprom, 236 pts
For live coverage see: www.52superseries.com
Photos © Pierrick Contin / www.pierrickcontin.com
2015 Little Cup in Geneva, Switzerland
The qualifying phase of the Little Cup 2015 is nearly over. After 6 fleet races run over 4 days, it is no surprise that Groupama has qualified and will be defending its title in the final against the Swiss team Axon Racing on Friday.
Setting the tone from the very 1st day of the competition, the Cammas/Viat Team kept its promise and sailed its way to the final without any difficulty. Its clear superiority was confirmed from one round to the next, as the crew clocked up win after win from Monday through to Wednesday.
After making short work of the first 5 rounds, the team got a little ruffled by the light wind which favoured the displacement craft and highly motivated teams on the 6th and last round.
Right in the middle of the race, the wind suddenly dropped, meaning the course had to be shortened, which played into the hands of Team Allemand on Sentient Blue who had got off to a particularly good start. A fine win which chuffed Thomas Paasch, Filip Walczak and their shore team, serving as a reminder – the day before the final phase – that no-one is invincible.
The battle for 2nd place and a ticket through to the ‘match races’ against Franck Cammas and Louis Viat, was a particularly hard fight for the two Swiss teams. Neck and neck throughout the week, by Wednesday evening just one single point separated Axon Racing and Norgador after a day of fickle conditions. The teams were still very close in the 6th and final round today, but the “Benoîts” on Axon finished ahead of Norgador, bagging their place in the final.
“The final will be playing Icarus against Archimedes with Aeolus as judge out on the Lake”, according to Christophe, a fine connoisseur present in the Village.
For the enthusiastic Benoît Marie, skipper of the Swiss Axon Racing team: “A whole new race starts over tomorrow, certainly the most difficult one of my life, but we’ll do everything we can to win!”. And Franck Cammas, conscious that it’s not won yet, rounds off with: “If we are to beat Axon Racing, we need wind to fly, so we hope we’re going to get more than 6 knots!”
The little final of the Little Cup will also sort out who’s who between the teams Norgador and Sentient Blue. Conditions should be a little better, but a (little) wind could completely reshuffle the pack in the Little Cup 2015.
- Friday and Saturday: final and third place playoff
- Sunday: Geneva Fleet Race at 11h on Lake Geneva in front of the SNG
For more info see: www.littlecup.org
Photos © NicoMartinez / MartinezStudio
52 Super Series Cascais Cup – Cascais, Portugal
Although strong sunshine made a welcome return and added a late season sparkle to the crests of the big Atlantic rollers, the breezes remained uncharacteristically light and so the challenge for the helms and sail trimmers stayed equally acute all the way through Race 3 – a windward leeward – and Race 4 which was a short, upwind downwind Coastal Race out just around Cabo Raso and back.
Quantum Racing were on devastating form. Page 1, Line 1 of their Thursday playbook required great starts and the ability to get right early. Ed Baird on the helm delivered nicely off both start lines and so the 2014 overall champions were able to make an early jump on the fleet.
Under these testing conditions which require the teams to work in perfect harmony, in sync with the rhythm with the big waves, especially downwind, being in front affords the freedom to sail optimum angles more of the time. As such Quantum Racing could extend steadily and in the coastal race had equipped themselves with a margin of more than 500 metres by the time they crossed the finish line set within a couple of hundred metres of the Marina de Cascais breakwater.
Tactician Ado Stead offered an insight into Quantum Racing’s downwind speed in these exacting conditions: “We certainly settle quickly. We settle, we look for the first wave and try to find the rhythm and the rhythm might be different from jibe to jibe. Even after you jibe you just have to settle into that mode, get the boat going, get the crew weight up and just get the thing going, get the apparent wind forward. I think as soon as you have to start watching someone else or sailing to someone else’s mode then that’s when you’re losing VMG. If you sail out in a nice clear lane then you’re in good shape.”
He adds: “We managed to lead from the start we’re really pleased with how it went today, our goal, ‘plan A’ was committee boat end first and early on to port. There was a bit more current relief on the right and it certainly seemed to work.”
Azzurra worked no less diligently, arguably risking a little less. Their strategy is simply to close out the season title and so the team’s main drivers are staying out of trouble, starting simply and relying more on their good boat speed and solid boat handling from a team which has remained largely unchanged over the course of the season. In fact only in Porto Cervo was one team member substituted due to a prior commitment. It is true to say then that the team line up which started in Valencia in May will be exactly the same as finish the season on Sunday.
With just six to nine knots of NW’ly breeze still containing holes and small puffs of additional pressure Azzurra sailed the top third of the first beat well in the first race to round second behind Quantum Racing with Provezza third. All three gybe set and with the course relatively one sided then that was the order through the finish line.
In the longer race Azzurra made sure of their second place when they outfoxed Vesper on the long downwind back from Cabo Raso, working the inside, inshore lane to get themselves into an attacking position before the wily Vasco Vascotto pressed home a clever move which got them up to second. Vesper, with a 4,3 for today hold third place on the Cascais Cup podium with this morning’s leader Spookie dropping to fourth, ballasted down by two eighth places today.
The battle for third overall for the 2015 season intensifies by the day. Bronenosec got themselves back into third after Race 3, but a penalty turn not long after the start line – punished for a port starboard crossing with Xio – annulled what was otherwise a strong opening to Race 4. Sled are in third overall but just three points up on the Russian team.
Results after Day 2: (four races)
1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (3,3,1,1) 8pts
2. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (5,2,2,2) 11pts
3. Vesper USA (Jim Swartz USA) (1,6,4,3) 14pts
4. Spookie, USA (Steve Benjamin USA) (2,1,8,8) 19pts
5. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (4,5,7,6) 22pts
6. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (9,4,3,9) 25pts
7. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (7,8,9,5) 29pts
8. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (6,9,6,10) 31pts
9. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (12,10,11,4) 37pts
10. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (10,11,10,7) 38pts
11. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (11,12,5,11) 39pts
12. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (8,7,12,12) 39pts
For live coverage go to www.52superseries.com