Monthly Archives: October 2015

Surf and Turf


TJB D3 tri

Arkema © Vincent Olivaud



Transat Jacques Vabre – Day 3


The leading pair of Ultime multihulls, opening the 5400 miles Transat Jacques Vabre course from Le Havre to Itajaí, are fighting through light winds just a few miles off the West African coast between Western Sahara and Mauritania while the last of the Class 40s are contemplating another Biscay bashing still 220 miles NW of Cape Finisterre.

In the IMOCA Class, Britain’s Alex Thomson and Spanish co-skipper onboard Hugo Boss reported that after unsuccessfully attempting a repair for several hours at sea, they have made the difficult decision to proceed to Vigo. This partial repair will not allow the duo to cross the Atlantic serenely. The technical team is currently en route to Vigo, Spain, to join the crew and try to consolidate repairs.

As the leaders of the IMOCA class passed the latitude of Cape Finisterre late Wednesday afternoon, hopefully with the worst of the weather left behind in Biscay, the leaderboard has a very familiar look as the teams from the Pole Finisterre occupy the top four places.

Yann Eliès and Charlie Dalin on Queguiner-Leucemie Espoir lead PRB 4 by 12 miles with Armel Le Cléac’h and Erwan Tabarly up to third on the new Banque Populaire VIII as they reach again in WNWly winds.

The foil assisted Banque Populaire was quickest this afternoon by 1.5 to two knots, 16 miles behind Queguiner. And so to date Banque Populaire is the only one of the latest ‘foil’ generation to have not reported any technical issues so far.

A broad swathe of light airs caused by an elongated Azores high pressure ridge has forced Sodebo Ultim’ and Macif to the skirt the coast to avoid the no-go area which bars the most direct route.

On Wednesday afternoon the race leaders, Thomas Coville and Jean Luc Nélias on Sodebo Ultim’ were only three miles off the beach, gybing downwind in 10-12kts of SE’ly breeze. They are south of the latitude of Madeira, still making good speeds. In the lighter airs the newer, lighter Macif had caught back some miles on Sodebo Ultim’ but Francois Gabart and Pascal Bidégorry were still over 34 miles astern and on the opposite gybe from the leaders. Both will almost certainly pass east of, or through the Canary Islands.

Life may appear easier for the two leading giants. They have done their time scything through the depressions to their north, indeed largely outrunning the worst of the conditions, but the smaller Class 40s still have bad weather to come before they can escape Biscay.

After the retirement of Team Concise with structural damage this morning it was their French sparring partners Nico Troussel and Corentin Horeau who confirmed they have had to retire. Persistent problems with the autopilots on Bretagne Credit Mutuel Elite had rendered the duo exhausted.

Class 40 has been pared back to a head to head match race at the front of the 12 boat fleet. 2011 winner Yannick Bestaven on Le Conservateur with Pierre Brasseur have Maxime Sorel and Sam Manuard on the 2015 Manuard design V & B five miles off their starboard hip but seeming to be significantly quicker on the mid afternoon position report.

For current updates and tracker positions see:



Hard graft as the going gets tough in the Transat Jacques Vabre


TJV start

Photo c Yvan Zedda / BPCE



Transat Jacques Vabre – Le Harve to Itajai



Last weekend marked the start of the 5,400-mile Transat Jacques Vabre (TJV), which takes 42 double-handed teams on the coffee route from Le Harve, France to Itajai, Brazil.

While the TJV is now in its 22nd year (and its eleventh edition), this biennial event has historically rotated the location of its finishing lines, with this year’s finish in Itajai representing the longest of the various transatlantic races.

While this Grand Prix event is almost always contested by large percentages of French skippers, there are some interesting international entrants, Briton Alex Thomson with Guillermo Altadill, Phillipa Hutton-Squire (RSA) and Pip Hare (GBR) in the Class 40 Concise 2 and Australian born Jack Bouttell with Frenchman Gildas Mahe.

North America is well represented this year, with Eric Holden and Morgan Watson racing O Canada across the Pond, and American offshore great Ryan Breymaier, who spent his spring and summer busting-up longstanding offshore records as skipper of the 105-foot trimaran Lending Club 2-teaming up with Nicolas Boidevezi (FRA) aboard the IMOCA 60

Racing began Sunday (October 25), with 42 boats crossing the starting line. Of these contestants, 14 were Class 40s, 20 were IMOCA 60s, four were Multi 50s and four were racing in the Ultim class of monster trimarans, including the brand-new, 30-meter (100 foot) Macif, which is being co-skippered by Francois Gabart-the runaway winner of the last Vendee Globe aboard an IMOCA 60 also called Macif-and his countryman Pascal Bidegorry (FRA).

On Monday night the two Ultims-Sodebo Ultim (Thomas Colville and Jean-Luc Nelias) and Macif were leading the charge, followed by the Multi 50s, the IMOCA 60s and the Class 40s.

It was a hard night and there was a rash of retirements and gear problems. Jeremie Beyou, skipper of the IMOCA 60 Maitre Coq reported forestay issue and a stop over to assess the damage. Sébastien Josse and Charles Caudrelier, the Volvo Ocean Race Dong Feng skipper reported they were retiring their foiling Mono 60, Edmund de Rothschild to Lorient.

Prince de Bretangne’s Lionel Lemonchois and Roland Jourdain advised race control their 80 foot trimaran had capsized while they were 140 miles off La Coruna.

Australian born Jack Bouttell with Frenchman Gildas Mahé Team Concise headed to Cork with damage, while Morgan Lagravière and Nicolas Lunven from the IMOCA 60 Safran heading for Brest after sustaining damage.

While this year’s TVJ is shaping up to be a long and competitive transoceanic event, the IMOCA 60s in particular are using this race as an important dress rehearsal for next year’s Vendee Globe.


TJV Gitana

Gitana Team’s Foiling IMOCA 60 – Photo c Gitana Team


The IMOCA class changed their rules for this Vendee Globe cycle to allow skippers to fit L-shaped foils onto their boats that are intended to help lift some of the boats’ displacement while sailing off-the-breeze, and the newest of the IMOCA 60s that are competing in this year’s TJV carry these appendages.

And while last summer’s Fastnet Race was the first time that multiple IMOCA 60s lined up to test their new foil packages, conditions didn’t allow these foils to shine on that particular course (additional drag while sailing to weather), all eyes will be on the TJV fleet to see how these fancy new foils stack up against their more ‘traditional’ (if such a word even applies to a development class such as the IMOCA 60s!) Open 60 rivals.

For Holden and Watson aboard O Canada, and for Boidevezi and Breymaier aboard, semi-lifting foils won’t be a concern, as both of these boats (with launch dates circa 2006 and 2007, respectively) use older-generation IMOCA 60 designs, foils, sails and technologies.


TJV Hugo Boss ml

Hugo Boss IMOCA 60 – Photo c Mark Lloyd


Last night Alex Thomson (GBR) and Guillermo Altadill (ESP) were leading the IMOCA 60 charge aboard Thomson’s 2015-generation Hugo Boss, which benefits from the new L-shaped foils, followed by Kito de Pavant (FRA) and Yann Regniau (FRA) aboard the 2010-built Bastide – Otio, and Bertrand de Broc (FRA) and Marc Guillemot (FRA) aboard the 2007-generation MACSF; O Canada was sitting in 19th place, while was sitting in 18th place.


By Sail-World

For more info and current positions see:

Speed sailors Peina Chen and Pierre Le Coq crowned champions


Worlds RSXW 1&2 jr

Photos © Jesus Renedo / Oman Sail


RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Oman


Peina Chen, the 26 year-old super-fit Chinese sailor confirmed her overall win of the Women’s World Championship, while an eighth place for Frenchman Pierre Le Coq in the Medal Race was enough for him to retain his leading position and secure the Men’s title.

The championship couldn’t have finished on a better note with winds in the mid teens resulting in planing conditions that made the Medal Races in the afternoon particularly exciting.

Peina Chen commenting on her win said: “It feels amazing to be world champion. For me today’s race was about trying to keep out of the way of the other girls whose results were important. I just enjoyed the day and the good wind.

“This event has taught me to focus more on myself and how to control my mind. I know that downwind I am faster than all the other girls, and upwind I am also good, so I now just need to trust myself because I know I can perform well.”

The race for the silver medal was intense but a fourth place for British Olympic bronze medallist, Bryony Shaw (32), in the Medal Race, was enough to lift her up the ranks and secure the title a clear 8 points ahead of Lilian de Geus (NED) who took bronze.

Shaw commented: “I had a really fun day today in those conditions and I am very happy to win the silver. I am very impressed with Peina from China and really pleased she won because she is amazingly fast.”


Worlds win FRA plc jr



Pierre Le Coq, 26, was unstoppable this week and led the men’s division from start to finish. In his typical relaxed style, he was delighted with his result.

“It is incredible, I am the world champ and I am so happy. The conditions today were perfect. We had good planing conditions and I really enjoyed racing with the top guys. I put my win down to training. I think I lived every day for the last three months for this world championship and it has paid off. Also, the French team are very strong and it is thanks to them, and the way they have pushed me that I am in this position today.”

Aichen Wang (CHN) who finished today’s Medal Race in sixth place, and just one point behind Le Coq overall, took the silver medal, while Olympic gold medallist Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) won the bronze.

World Championship action returns to the Sultanate of Oman from 19-26 November with the Laser Radial World Championships!


Overall Results: (top ten)

1. FRA-77 Pierre Le Coq
2. CHN-1 Aichen Wang
3. NED-8 Dorian van Rijsselberge
4. CHN-8 Zhichao Zhang
5. POL-82 Piotr Myszka
6. SUI-36 Mateo Sanz Lanz
7. ESP-7 Pastor Lafuente Ivan
8. FRA-1 Louis Giard
9. ITA-88 Mattia Camboni
10. CHN-6 Chunzhuang Liu

1. CHN-81 Peina Chen
2. GBR-94 Bryony Shaw
3. NED-3 Lilian de Geus
4. POL-8 Zofia Noceti-Klepacka
5. POL-21 Malgorzata Bialecka
6. ESP-5 Marina Alabau Neira
7. FRA-4 Charline Picon
8. ESP-1 Blanca Manchon
9. CHN-9 Jiali Sun
10. RUS-271 Stefania Elfutina

For full results see:



Top 10 emerge from gripping final series


RS:X WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, October 17th-24th Al Mussanah Sports City, Sultanate. 4th day of racing, golden fleets 22.10.2015 Credit Jesus Renedo/Oman Sail

Photos © Jesus Renedo / Oman Sail


RS:X World Windsurfing Championships at Mussanah, Oman


The Final Series at the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman, concluded with the top 10 from each Gold fleet – Men and Women – now confirmed for the Medal Race on Saturday.

Although she still needs to contest the Medal Race on Saturday, Peina Chen the super-fast Chinese sailor who has a clear 22-point lead, looks set to take an overall win of the Women’s World Championship.


RS:X WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, October 17th-24th Al Mussanah Sports City, Sultanate. 4th day of racing, golden fleets 22.10.2015.CHN  81 Peina Chen Credit Jesus Renedo/Oman Sail

 Peina Chen (CHN) –  Photo c Jesus Renedo/Oman Sail




Chen, who has dominated the fleet for most of the regatta, and has produced exceptional speed throughout, particularly downwind, says although she is fit, she is now looking forward to a rest once the Medal Race is over.

“It has been tough for everyone. Today the conditions were up and down and shifty and I feel very tired. I was happy with my performance though because I just focused on myself, and even if I had a relatively poor beat, I was able to gain places again downwind.”

Chen’s closest challenger this week was Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) who snatched the overall lead yesterday but had a relatively poor day today. She now has to include a 17th in her score line.


RS:X WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, October 17th-24th Al Mussanah Sports City, Sultanate. 4th day of racing, golden fleets 22.10.2015.GBR 94 ShawBryony Credit Jesus Renedo/Oman Sail

Bryany Shaw (GBR) – Photos © Jesus Renedo / Oman Sail


The conditions were challenging with the wind shifting back and forth so it was a case of staying completely focused throughout. The Women enjoyed generally fresher conditions in the afternoon, which is where Bryony Shaw (GBR) really came into her own. Shaw, bronze medalist in Beijing 2008, and winner of the RS:X European Championship earlier this year, posted a 4 & 5 and finished the day with a 1st, enough to lift her to 3rd overall in the Final Series.

In the Men’s division, Pierre Le Coq (FRA), the 26-year-old dentist from Brest, Brittany, managed to secure a win in the Finals Series, but the Chinese really gave him a run for his money.

In the light, shifty airs he struggled to keep pace while the Chinese duo Aichen Wang and Zhichao Zhang were unstoppable. Wang and Zhang finished the Finals Series in second and third place respectively and will be serious challengers in Saturday’s Medal Race.


RS:X WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, October 17th-24th Al Mussanah Sports City, Sultanate. 4th day of racing, golden fleets 22.10.2015. FRA 77 Le Coq Pierre Credit Jesus Renedo/Oman Sail

 Pierre Le Coq (FRA) –  Jesus Renedo/Oman Sail



Le Coq commented: “The Chinese were on fire particularly in the light winds, planing downwind at great speeds. I also did some good races but physically I found it very tough today.”

Looking ahead to tomorrow Le Coq added: “My plan is to not match race, I just want to go out there and sail my best.”

The plan for Saturday is to run a double-points scoring Medal Race for the top 10 in both the Men and Women fleets to determine the overall winners of the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships.

The remaining Gold fleet and Silver fleet competitors will race one fleet race to determine the final overall positions including the results of the 2015 Oman RS:X Under 21 Windsurfing Championship.


RS:X Women: (medal race contenders)
1 CHN 81 Peina Chen 20 pts
2 POL 21 Malgorzata Bialecka 42 pts
3 GBR 94 Bryony Shaw 43 pts
4 NED 3 Lilian de Geus 48 pts
5 POL 8 Zofia Noceti-Klepacka 53 pts
6 ESP 5 Marina Alabau Neira 54 pts
7 FRA 4 Charline Picon 54 pts
8 CHN 9 Jiali Sun 65 pts
9 ESP 1 Blanca Manchon 66 pts
10 RUS 271 Stefania Elfutina 78 pts


RS:X Men (medal race contenders)
1 FRA 77 Pierre Le Coq 42 pts
2 CHN 1 Aichen Wang 45 pts
3 CHN 8 Zhichao Zhang 45 pts
4 SUI 36 Mateo Sanz Lanz 48 pts
5 ESP 7 Pastor Lafuente Ivan 52 pts
6 POL 82 Piotr Myszka 52 pts
7 NED 8 Dorian van Rijsselberge 57 pts
8 FRA 1 Louis Giard 72 pts
9 ITA 88 Mattia Camboni 74 pts
10 CHN 6 Chunzhuang Liu 86 pts


For full results see:



Intensity rises in the final series


Worlds D3 mstart jr

Photos © Jesus Renedo / Oman Sail


RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman


The RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman, delivered another cracking day of competition for the opening races of the Final Series.

Thirteen knots of wind, mid-afternoon, was enough to create thrilling speeds for the men’s fleets both upwind and down and impressive tactical racing. The newly formed Gold and Silver fleets – determined by rankings from the Qualifying Series earlier in the week – really raised the intensity today. Given the fact that for many of the countries and sailors competing in Oman, this event acts as an Olympic qualifier, the competitors are fighting for every inch.


Worlds D3 wstart jr


After a postponement due to lack of wind, the women were first off and managed to complete two races in generally light conditions.

Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) posted two second places to slip into the lead of the Women’s World Championship ahead of Peina Chen (CHN), event leader so far.

Bialecka, who has been constant in her performance, said the key to success at this event is fitness and consistency.

“It is a very tough event, very physical, so it is important to be fit and to build up consistent results. I think the break we had yesterday made me come alive again, because I felt I had a lot of power today.”

Peina Chen (CHN) who started the week well with a string of first places, and won the first race of the day, also had to settle for a seventh place to count, which puts her in second place overall, just one point behind Bialecka, the new leader.

The tempo has increased in the Men’s Gold Fleet too with new faces appearing at the front including 27-year-old Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) – gold medallist at London 2012. Van Rijsselberge reveled in the freshening breeze and snapped up the first two races of the day. Although Pierre Le Coq (FRA) still retains the overall lead, there are now just six points between him and Piotr Myszka (POL) who is in second.

Le Coq, who was blocked in at the start of the second admitted it was not an ideal scenario.

“I probably started completely last in that one and although it looked promising at the start of the third race, the wind dropped and I didn’t sail well in that one either. Thankfully I had a good first race.”

Myszka, who spent the last month training at the Millennium Resort in Mussanah, said he really feels the benefit.

“For us this event is a country qualification for the Olympics, so we are not only concentrating on the medals at the worlds but also qualification to Rio. My aim is to be in a medal position. To achieve that it is a case of being in tip top condition, and achieving

There are three remaining races in the Final Series on Friday, starting at 12:00 hrs local time (CET+2). The top 10 from the Gold fleets (Men and Women) in the Final Series will then go forward to Saturday’s double points-scoring Medal Race to determine the overall winners of the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships.


Top 5 men’s gold fleet:

1 Pierre Le Coq, FRA, 25 points
2 Piotr Myszka, POL, 31
3 Mateo Sanz Lanz, SUI, 36
4 Aichen Wang, CHN, 41
5 Dorian van Rijsselberge, NED, 42


Top 5 women’s gold fleet:

1 Malgorzata Bialecka, POL, 15 points
2 Peina Chen, CHN, 16
3 Zofia Noceti-Klepacka, POL, 33
4 Marina Alabau Neira, ESP, 33
5 Bryony Shaw, USA, 33


For full results see:



B2 overall winner by 7 seconds


MSR B2 win cb

Michele Galli’s TP52, B2 – Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Rolex



Rolex Middle Sea Race finish in Valetta



One the most dramatic finishes in the history of the Rolex Middle Sea Race as two yachts finished within sight of each other vying for the overall win in IRC for the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy after over 600 miles of intense racing.

Michele Galli’s TP52, B2, crossed the finish line outside the Royal Malta Yacht Club just before midnight, to take first position in the overall rankings but there was a nervous look about the crew. They scanned the darkness outside Marsamxett Harbour, looking for the masthead light of Vincenzo Onorato’s, Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino. As their Italian rivals came into view, the tension was obvious on board B2. Mascalzone Latino crossed the finish line just after midnight and stopped the clock. After three and half days and nights at sea, B2 corrected out to beat Mascalzone Latino by an astonishing seven seconds.

Michele Galli’s TP52, B2 is now the provisional overall leader of the IRC fleet, vying for the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy. Some of the fleet are still racing but it is most likely that the corrected time, set by B2, will not be bettered.


MSR Mascalzone Latino cb

Vincenzo Onorato’s Mascalzone Latino – Photo © Carlo Borlenghi / Rolex


Mascalzone Latino’s navigator, Ian Moore, was obviously disappointed with the result but upbeat about the performance of the team.

“This is the first time we have sailed together as a team for over a year and we put in a great performance, so we can be happy with that but to be beaten by such a small margin is never nice.” commented Ian Moore. “Our team and the boat performed well over a broad range of conditions, and we especially made big gains in the light winds. B2 was always going to be quicker than us in a straight line and they did well in the transition zones at Stromboli and Capo San Vito. We did catch up 14 miles on the first night going past Mount Etna, which was a big gain for us. On the leg from Lampedusa to the finish, there were a lot of thunderstorms and we saw one wind shift of 50 degrees, which we got spot on. Of course there were lots of occasions we could think about where we could have gained those precious seconds but this was an exciting race for us and tactically extremely difficult.”


For full results see:



New faces challenging the leaders


Worlds D2 CHN jr

Peina Chen of China – Photos © Jesus Renedo / Oman Sail



RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman



Peina Chen (CHN) and Pierre Le Coq (FRA) continue to lead their respective fleets at the RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman, but light tactical conditions made for some challenging racing on day two.

The wind, when it did fill in, was lighter than expected with a high of 8 knots that led to an exceptionally physical day for the sailors with skilful pumping playing a major part in success on the racecourse.

With three more qualifying races per fleet (men and women), racing got underway promptly at 12:00 local time (CET+2). The men were first off and enjoyed some of the best breeze of the day.

While Le Coq managed to maintain his overall regatta lead with another couple of wins to add to his already impressive score line, he didn’t have it all his own way today in the 85-strong fleet. In the second race of the day Ivan Pastor Lafuente (ESP) sailed well, overtook Le Coq in the closing stages, and notched up his first win of the week. Zhichao Zhi (CHN), sailing his first ever world championship, also showed super-fast all round speed today, closing the qualifiers with a score line of 4-1-2 that put him in second place overall.

“This is the first time I have sailed abroad, and at a world championship, so I am delighted to be here and I am really happy to be doing so well,” said Zhichao Zhi.

“I think the reason I am fast in these conditions is because I am so light. The aim now is to continue to do well by sailing normally without too much pressure. I am really keen to learn from the other guys and to keep improving.”

Pierre Le Coq added a word on the challenging conditions: “Three races in those conditions is very hard for us. Very challenging to be in front and to be consistent so I am really happy and I am ready for the rest of the week.


RS:X WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, October 17th-24th Al Mussanah Sports City, Sultanate of Oman.Practice race Credit Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy

Photo c  Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy


“It was very important to make good starts and good choices early on today because in these 20 minute races, it is difficult to come back if you make a wrong decision. Thankfully my speed was still fine, but some of the other guys are really fast too so I need to keep an eye on them.”

In the women’s fleet 26-year-old Peina Chen (CHN), retains the overall lead but said she found the racing extremely tough, particularly having to do penalty turns in the first race of the day for a start line incident.

One of the most notable performances on day two came from Charline Picon (FRA). Picon, who won the Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta (Rio 2016 Test Event) two years in a row (2014 and 2015) and the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships in Santander, showed her true colours today with a stunning performance. In the closing stages of race 1, in the last short reach to the finish, she out-pumped race leader Zofia Noceti-Klepacka (POL) and, in fine style, snatched first place. She then went on to score another first place and a second, which lifts her up the rankings to second overall.

“I had a very good day today but it is tough here,” she said. “Last week we had planing conditions but this week it is light and physically demanding. Also, because there are a lot of sailors and countries using the event as an Olympic qualifier, it is extremely competitive. Peina Chen from China, for example, is in very good shape.

“From here on it will be even more tough because we’ll be racing only the best girls in the gold fleet where every point is important.”

Peina Chen commenting on Picon’s speed said: “She really sailed smart in race two and on the last tack of the race I lost my lead to her. She then pipped me to the post for second in race three!”

On her performance elsewhere, Chen added: “Doing turns in the first race was not ideal but I tacked too fast, into Marina’s [Alabau Neira] water so naturally had to do something about it. I have to say it is really great racing because it is so close. I am however, looking forward to a rest tomorrow.”

Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) who won the final race of the day, retains third place overall.

The fleet can now relax and enjoy a well-earned day of rest tomorrow (reserve day). Racing resumes on Thursday 22 October at 12:00 local time (CET+2). Men and women’s fleets will be split in to gold and silver fleets, according to overall rankings from the first two days (six races). The final races and medal races will take place on Saturday 24 October.


For full results see:



First finishers home in Middle Sea Race


Phaedo3 rj

Photo © Rachel Jaspersen



36th Rolex Middle Sea Race



Multihull Line Honours for Phaedo3


Lloyd Thornburg’s American MOD 70, Phaedo3, co-skippered by Brian Thompson, crossed the finish line of the 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race at the Royal Malta Yacht Club to take Multihull Line Honours at 00.09.41 CET on Tuesday 20th October in an elapsed time of 2 days 11 hours 29 minutes and 41 seconds. Lloyd Thornburg, and his elated crew, were greeted at the Royal Malta Yacht Club by Commodore, Godwin Zammit.

After crossing the finish line, Lloyd Thornburg commented dockside at the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

“We were repairing one of the beams the night before the start, we were repairing a bit of damage sustained from setting some of our records, so we didn’t get to do our normal practice and preparation.

The start of the race went really well and we had a very nice sail up to Sicily, then in the Messina Strait, we found a wind hole, which was a bit of a battle to get out of. It was a wonderful race with Rambler for much of the way, they made a better call in Messina going inside and it took us a while to get back from that. The conditions were light with lumpy seas, which we don’t do so well in but towards the end we finally got our legs and were able to show the speed we are capable of.

Taking multihull line honours in this race has been a dream come true, we have been talking about this race for about four years. It is one of the classic 600 mile races and now we have done them all except one. I had heard that this is a beautiful race and I have found it incredible, especially passing Stromboli and coming into the finish, the surrounding are just amazing. It is unusual to do a 600 mile race and always be in sight of land, even at night you can see the city lights, which is kind of cool. I am now looking forward to seeing some of Malta while I am here – This race has lived up to my expectations and beyond.”


MSR Rambler cb

Photo © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi


Rambler 88 takes monohull line honours

George David’s American Maxi, Rambler 88, crossed the finish line  to take monohull line honours at 04.48.43 CET on Tuesday 20th October in an elapsed time of 2 days 16 hours 18 minutes and 43 seconds. George David was greeted by Godwin Zammit, Commodore of the Royal Malta Yacht Club.

George David was presented with a Rolex Yachtmaster I Rolesium at the line honours prize giving held at the Royal Malta Yacht Club before day break this morning.

Rambler 88 is a far cry from George David’s Rambler 90, which set the Rolex Middle Sea Race record in 2007 (47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds). Rambler 88, on the design numbers is 20% faster than Rambler 90. Rambler 88 has an enormous sail area and features five metre vertical daggerboards, as well as three metre horizontal foils, which lift the boat when sailing at top speed. The canting keel also produces significant righting moment, allowing the boat to carry a huge amount of sail area aloft and still remain in control.

The super light conditions over the first two days of the 2015 Rolex Middle Sea Race, scuppered any chance of breaking Rambler 90s record. On the other hand, to finish over 100 miles clear of eleven other canting keel yachts was proof of the immense power of Rambler 88.

“We broke the record in 2007 but that has not been broken this year, so it is nice to keep that one intact.” commented George David. “This was a slow race, although we did have incredibly varied conditions, we saw zero to 23 knots of wind speed and everything in between and every cardinal point of the compass for wind direction and wind transitions of up to 90 degrees. On one of those, we went from the drifter sail to the J4 heavy weather jib. In respect of the record, the first half of the race killed any chance and in the second half we had 160 miles dead up wind from Trapani to Lampedusa.

Maxi 72 Momo finishes on day 4 or the race


Dieter Schön’s German Maxi 72, Momo, finished on the fourth day of the race, setting the bar for the IRC fleet to beat. Whilst well over 100 yachts are still racing. Momo’s time, corrected by their IRC rating, is potentially a race winner. There were no celebrations on board but the international crew of professional sailors did make their way into the Royal Malta Yacht Club to a warm round of applause and an ice cold drink. Momo’s owner, Dieter Schön, knows too well that overall victory could still be won by several other yachts still racing.

“The start went well for us and I think we performed perfectly all the way to Sicily but as expected, the first night was very difficult to find the right way. We parked a few times but we passed through the Strait of Messina very well and we were super downwind to Stromboli. In front of Palermo, we parked for maybe five hours. We got going again but came to another stop at Lampedusa, so there were a lot of parking lots around, which made it a difficult race to sail. However, racing in IRC, you have to wait for the last boat before you can win, perhaps we have won our class.”

In IRC Two, the biggest threat to Momo’s overall lead is from two Italian yachts, Michele Galli’s TP52, B2 and Vincenzo Onorato’s Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino. However, Momo’s performance in the second half of the race is exemplified by the fact that at Favignana, Momo was just minutes ahead of the two Italian yachts. By the finish, Momo was one hundred miles ahead. Mascalzone Latino and B2 are expected to finish the race late tonight or in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

In IRC Three, the Turkish team racing Ker 40, Arkas Flying Box, was leading the class at Favignana and is currently winning the battle with the young Dutch team, racing Bastiaan de Voogd’s Sydney 43, Coin Coin.

The vast majority of the fleet have made slow progress along the north shore of Italy; only 18 yachts had passed Favignana by this afternoon and no yachts from IRC Class 4, 5 or 6 had passed this northwest corner of the course. The early part of the Rolex Middle Sea Race had favoured the smaller yachts, that scenario has now changed.

Fresh pressure is expected to come from the northwest by Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning, but every cloud has a silver lining. Weather models are predicting a Mistral, the cold northerly wind that is created by the Alps, and with it, there could be a significant increase in pressure, similar to last year’s storm force finale.


To follow the race, visit the official Rolex Middle Sea Race web site.



Strong start for Chinese & French windsurfers at Worlds in Oman


RS:X WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2015, October 17th-24th Al Mussanah Sports City, Sultanate of Oman.First day of racing 19.10.2015 Credit Jesus Renedo/Oman Sail

Photos © Jesus Renedo/Oman Sail



RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman



The RS:X World Windsurfing Championships in Mussanah, Oman, got off to a spectacular start with all six scheduled races completed in 10-11 knots of breeze.

Racing for the 145 athletes is split into two fleets – men and women – and each fleet has a Blue and Yellow group selected according to daily rankings. Each group contests three races per day in the opening qualifying rounds.

On the opening day, the 60-strong women’s fleet was first off and Peina Chen (CHN), was unstoppable. The lightweight, 26-year-old who recently finished second at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao, led all three races including the last which she won by an impressive 1 minute 6 seconds. She goes into day two with a three-point lead over Bryony Shaw (GBR) – world Number 1-ranked women’s windsurfer. In third place after day one is Malgorzata Bialecka (POL) with 10 points.

A delighted Peina Chen gave some insight on her edge today: “My increased fitness and my ability to sustain the pumping played a big part. Also, I have spent the last two weeks here in Oman training so I am familiar with the conditions, including the hot air. It is a great venue for this sort of event because everything is so convenient and easy and the sailing conditions are superb.”

Racing was exceptionally close in the 85-strong men’s fleet although the 9-10 knot shifty breeze proved a tactical challenge.

Pierre Le Coq (FRA) who finished the day with two firsts and a second is the overnight leader of the men’s fleet. Le Coq, from Brest, Brittany, said it was technically quite difficult on the race course so he was pleased with his consistent performance.

“I was happy that I managed to be quite fast upwind, and downwind I sailed deep. Also it was the conditions I like, so I felt very comfortable,” he said.

“Getting a good start was very important today. I opted for the middle and it seemed to work.”

Le Coq now leads Piotr Myszka (POL) by two points, with Mateo Sanz Lanz (SUI) in third.

Racing continues Tuesday at 12:00 hrs local time (CET+2) with three more qualifying races for both fleets. After the concluding qualifying races, competitors will discard their worst race score and will then be split into Gold and Silver fleets determined by overall positions.


RS:X Women – World Championship – top 6 after 3 races (59 entries)
1st CHN-81 Peina Chen 1 1 1 – 3 pts
2nd GBR-94 Bryony Shaw 2 3 1 – 6 pts
3rd POL-21 Malgorzata Bialecka 3 2 5 – 10 pts
4th FRA-22 Eugenie Ricard 5 1 6 – 12 pts
5th ESP-5 Marina Alabau Neira 4 5 3 – 12 pts
6th NED-3 Lilian de Geus 6 2 5 – 13 pts


RS:X Men – World Championship – top 6 after 3 races (82 entries)
1st FRA-77 Pierre Le Coq 1 2 1-  4 pts
2nd POL-82 Piotr Myszka 1 3 2 – 6 pts
3rd SUI-36 Mateo Sanz Lanz 5 3 2 – 10 pts
4th CHN-1 Aichen Wang 3 4 3 – 10 pts
5th ESP-7 Pastor Lafuente Ivan 2 1 8 – 11 pts
6th CHN-8 Zhichao Zhi 2 9 3 – 14 pts


For full results see:



Artemis Racing and Bermuda share spotlight on Super Sunday


Ber Art1 svd

Photo © Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing



Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series in Bermuda


Artemis Racing grabbed the lion’s share of the spotlight, writing an epic comeback story on Sunday at the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in Bermuda.

The host venue of Bermuda was also shining bright, offering up perfect racing conditions, a large but controlled spectator fleet, and an enthusiastic public. It was a tremendous opening event in the home of the 2017 America’s Cup.

On the race course, the three double-point races had three different winners with Artemis Racing proving the most consistent performer on the day to take the win.

“This event meant a lot to us. We’ve always known we had the potential, but we’ve been tripped up by mistakes,” said Artemis Racing skipper Nathan Outteridge, his sailing kit dripping with celebratory Moët & Chandon champagne.

But this was an unlikely victory. Not only did the Swedish challenger arrive at the event in fifth place out of the six teams, but in the pre-start ahead of race two, the team was involved in a collision with an umpire boat, incurring serious damage.

After a strong second place finish in the first race, it appeared Artemis Racing would be knocked out of the event. In the moments before the starting gun fired, the team ducked behind the Japanese boat, and as Outteridge turned up towards the line, he was confronted with an umpire boat heading directly towards him. The closing speed would have been in excess of 25 knots.

“At that point we couldn’t go anywhere,” Outteridge explained. “He went straight between our bows but thankfully nobody was hurt. There was a serious amount of damage to our boat though.”

In work worthy of an F1 pit crew, the Artemis Racing squad stripped off the broken bow sprit and the now useless Code Zero sail in record time. After a quick check for reliability and with less than two minutes to spare, the team was lining up for the next start. Incredibly, they blasted of the starting line with more speed than anyone else and won not only the start but the second race.

“We owned that start… It was huge payback for all the hard work from the guys who stripped the gear off, checked the boat, and got us ready just in time.”

In the third and final race, the Swedish team needed to make a pass on the last leg to grab a fourth place finish and secure the points needed to win the regatta. It was a popular and well-deserved event win for Artemis Racing.


Ber Ora 3rd rp

Photo © Ricardo Pinto


It was a less satisfying day for Oracle Team USA, who won the first race, but then posted a third place and fifth place finish, settling for third overall.

“We just had a bad third race,” said skipper Jimmy Spithill. “We got a terrible start, and were on the back foot for the entire race. Artemis was able to slip past us near the finish and that cost us second place here and won them the regatta. We made too many mistakes in that race and that took us out of the running for the win.”

Emirates Team New Zealand, with an impressive win in race three, extends its advantage on the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series leaderboard.


Ber Tnz 2nd rm

Photo © Rob Melotti


“We’re absolutely stoked to have been able to put together some good performances this year,” said Kiwi helmsman Peter Burling. “We haven’t done too much sailing in those types of conditions. To win the last one by the margin we did was really satisfying.”

The racing wasn’t the only thing on display this weekend. This event marked the first racing at the host venue of the next America’s Cup and Bermuda delivered in style.

Over 10 000 people were on the water to watch the racing as near 2000 spectator craft ringed the race course. The crowds on shore were equally impressive and enthusiastic.


Ber BAR li

Photo © Lloyd Images


“This was a fantastic day,” said Dr. Grant Gibbons, the Minister for Economic Development. “There is a lot of local excitement now. People were out cheering for their teams today. Friday night there was a good buzz here. Front Street was as excited as I’ve seen it in a long time… A fantastic weekend overall.”

“We’ve seen Bermuda come out and put its arms around this event and I think it shows this is going to be a great event in 2017,” said Russell Coutts the CEO of the America’s Cup Event Authority.

“We had three races and three winners today. We’ve had three events now with three different winners. The racing is competitive and that makes it compelling. I wouldn’t even be surprised if we had another winner in our next event. That’s how close it is.”


Image licensed to Lloyd Images The Louis Vuitton Americas Cup World Series. Hamilton. Bermuda. Pictures of the LandRover BAR team skippered by Ben Ainslie (GBR) in action during the final days racing on "Super Sunday" Credit: BAR/Lloyd Images

Photo © Lloyd Images


Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Bermuda Results:

1. Artemis Racing: 2 – 1 – 4 – 52pts
2. Emirates Team New Zealand: 5 – 2 – 1– 50pts
3. Oracle Team USA: 1 – 3 – 5 – 48pts
4. Land Rover BAR: 3 – 6 – 2 – 44pts
5. SoftBank Team Japan: 4 – 4 – 3 – 44pts
6. Groupama Team France: 6 – 5 – 6 – 32pts


Full results are available at