Monthly Archives: December 2015

Balance declared winner of 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

 

SHR Balance win

 

After a long day and overnight wait, Paul Clitheroe’s TP52 Balance was this morning declared the overall winner of the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Clitheroe’s major rival for the Tattersall’s Cup, Quikpoint Azzurro gliding over the finish line in Hobart at 07.37.59 hours this morning to claim third place.

A belated birthday present for Clitheroe, who turned 60 in July, this is the first time he has won the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race, but not the boat’s first time. As Quest, it won the 2008 race for Bob Steel, and aboard again were two of his winning crew, sailing master Mike Green, a veteran of 37 Hobarts, and Adam Brown, a veteran of 29 races.

Green also won on a previous Quest in 2002 and took line honours on Ninety Seven in the storm ravaged 1993 race. Brown, was with Green in 2008 and 1993, with an additional overall win on Ragamuffin in 1992.

CYCA director Paul Clitheroe purchased his fifth Balance mid-last year and it has won two Sydney Hobarts from just five attempts. The 10 year-old Farr designed yacht has represented great value for her various owners, with other great results to her credit.

“It’s an absolute honour to win this great race. I thought the little boat had beaten us, until the Derwent River decided otherwise,” Clitheroe said.

“When you put a dumbo like me on a boat as good as this, it’s easy to win. In fact Greeny and Brownie are relieved when I leave the helm,” Clitheroe said, understating his value.

Of the conditions, the Sydney yachtsman said: “We had the hell beaten out of us on the first night and then it was pretty light in Bass Strait. The boat would launch into the air in the first 24 hours and you would count one, then two and if you get to three, (a crew member interjects: ‘You get the cheque book out’.

Clitheroe’s other crew are: Nick Scott Perry, David Keddie, David Taylor, Jason Dock, Matthew Craig, Max de Montgolfier, Tom Brewer, Michael Slinn, Andrew Cribb and Clinton Evans, who becomes the first Norfolk Islander to win the race.

For a full list of overall standings see: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

 

 

Comanche takes line honours after drama packed race

 

SHR line honours ka

Photo c Kurt Arrigo / Rolex

 

 

2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

 

 

When Comanche crossed the finish line of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race at Castray Esplanade in Hobart, Tasmania, at 9:58:30 hours on Monday night, history was created, because Kristy Clark became the first female owner to take line honours in the blue water classic.

Kristy, who raced aboard the yacht while co-owner husband Jim stayed ashore, was thrilled to take line honours in her first foray into the race. The yacht represents the New York Yacht Club and

Jim was on the water to greet the Ken Read skippered Verdier Yacht Design and VPLP yacht as it made its way up the Derwent River to the finish line.

It is the first time, possibly with the exception of the early years, that a boat has retired, her crew sail 30 odd nautical miles back towards Sydney, before deciding to continue on racing and go on to win.

And the locals loved it. As Comanche zigzagged close to shore, trying to find pressure on the River Derwent, at Blackman’s Bay lights were being flashed on and off from hundreds of houses and those in cars at Blackmans Bay Beach flashed their lights on and off, making an unforgettable impression against the last light of the day.

But it was at the dock, where Comanche arrived, that one of the largest crowds in living memory had gathered. There was not a square inch to be had around the piers and wharfs surrounding Hobart where thousands cheered the American victory.

Comanche’s finish was impeded by the breeze which came and went at whim as the yacht rounded the Iron Pot. At one stage she was powering at 15 knots, then down to 8.5 knots. Her finish time of 2 days 8 hours 58 minutes 30 seconds was outside the record of 1 day 18 hours 23 minutes 12 seconds set by Wild Oats XI in 2012.

But it did not matter. The last American to take line honours in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s race was Larry Ellison’s Sayonara, 17 years ago in the fatal 1998 race, so Comanche’s efforts was quite some achievement, even if their quest of beating Wild Oats XI was not to be.

 

For all latest standings see: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com 

More rudder blowups as Comanche bites back

 

SHR D2 Com sg

Photos © Rolex / Stefano Gattini

 

2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

 

As the leading yachts reach the halfway mark of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the US supermaxi Comanche has made, arguably, the greatest comeback since Lazarus.

She closed on race leader Rambler, also from the US, and resumed the lead in the race for line honours. Comanche was in deep trouble off the NSW south coast after midnight, when it appeared she would have to withdraw completely after, as skipper Ken Read put it, she “probably hit something”. That “something” all but wiped out a rudder and daggerboard on one side of the boat (she has a rudder and daggerboard on each side).

But in the spirit of its pursuit of this Holy Grail of a Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours victory, Read chose to sail on, albeit with fewer appendages: to continue into Bass Strait and chase down Rambler. It took 13 hours.

“We decided to punch on through. We think we can get to Hobart safely,” Read said. “I don’t care if we limp over the line. We are going to finish this damned race.”

And finish it in style, if she can.

While Comanche is back in the lead and the southerly buster, which has taken out more than 20 per cent of the fleet, is expected to abate over the next 48 hours. On paper, the much lighter conditions expected in the bottom half of Bass Strait and along the Tasmanian coast later this afternoon and tonight favour the less beamy Rambler. So a fascinating duel could develop off Tasmania tonight.

Another great duel is taking place 30 miles astern between Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 and Giovanni Soldini’s smaller Volvo 70 Maserati. They are separated by three miles after Soldini took a wide arc around the troubled fleet off the NSW south coast.

The morning has seen a steady stream of retirements from the race, many with rudder and mainsail damage. They include the maxis Wild Oats XI, Perpetual Loyal, Brindabella and the 2013 overall winner Victoire.

At 1330 hrs local time, there had been 23 retirements. They include another international casualty, Haspa Hamburg and her eager young German crew.

 

SHR D2 Rambler sg

 

Battle of the walking wounded

 

But by the afternoon, Comanche staged a dramatic comeback, slowly reeling in her smaller rival, and eventually regaining the lead.

What was happening?

Had the guys on Comanche pulled off some sort of miraculous jury rig?

Not quite. Somehow, in the vast sweep of Bass Strait, Rambler had found her very own submerged object, twisting and bending her starboard side daggerboard.

“We have no idea what we hit, we couldn’t see it,” Rambler’s Australian navigator Andrew Cape said by satellite phone a short time ago. “It might have been marine life or flotsam, but it was a solid hit. It shook the boat.

“Our port tack performance has been badly affected, and it is all upwind to Tasman Island, so we have a lot of pain to come.”

Cape estimates that they have lost about 10 percent of their speed on port tack and, because they can’t lift the daggerboard, they are losing a bit on starboard tack as well.

“It’s tricky,” Cape says, “A serious structural problem impeding our boat speed.”

“I don’t know what will happen overall. We’ll just try to get the shifts right and do our best.”

So right now we have an American two-horse race, and both horses are running with broken legs. The same broken leg.

Meanwhile, the last standing Australian super maxi, Ragamuffin 100, is slowly closing in. At 30 miles astern of the race leaders this afternoon, her close duel with the Italian V70 Maserati looked to be a fight over third place. Rags has cut the deficit to 26 miles, and there is still a long way to go to Hobart.

Will the Americans stagger up the Derwent side by side?

Will Ragamuffin 100 pull off a home-town upset? Or could Maserati?

Is there a malevolent sunfish roaming Bass Strait, looking to strike again?

If it was in a movie you wouldn’t believe it.

For current standings see: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

 

 

Wild start as nothing goes to plan

 

SHR start sg

Photo © Rolex / Stefano Gattini

 

 

2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race start

 

 

If the start of the 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart is any indication, this race is going to have more twists and turns than any Broadway murder mystery and nothing will pan out the way we think it will.

The drama began an hour before the start when the official start boat began taking on water. Those on board, who should have had a box seat of the start, were hastily deposited on the Zoo wharf, a good two kilometres from the super maxis milling about on the front start line.

But the race must go on, and at 1pm, a hooter rather than the traditional cannon, fired from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s usual start vessel, sent the fleet on its way.

Instantly it became clear that the brisk northerly breeze, with surprisingly little east in it, was going to provide for an epic tactical start. There was no short line to the first mark. The boats would have to tack across each other at least two or three times to get there.

Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards always favours the western side of the start line, and just one boat lay between the flying super maxi and the pin end buoy. It was a perfect start, and within seconds Richards threw the Oatley family’s boat onto a daring port tack and began crossing the fleet, passing a good three to four boat lengths ahead of Comanche, which quickly tacked too.

Oats, Comanche, Ragamuffin 100 and Rambler tacked over towards the eastern spectator fleet. Only Perpetual Loyal hung onto her initial starboard tack towards the western foreshore, and when she finally tacked back across, it appeared that her persistence had been a terrible mistake as she ducked behind one after another of her rivals.

Wild Oats XI’s starting plan was working a treat. She had an extra boat length on Comanche when they crossed a second time, and when they turned to cross the Harbour again on port tack, Richards seemed in total command of the Harbour.

But then Perpetual Loyal re-appeared from nowhere on starboard. Richards realized he did not quite have the room to cross in front of the charging Loyal and peeled away on a huge ark to avoid her.

Comanche threw in an emergency tack and found herself in the lee of Perpetual Loyal’s massive mainsail. By the time Oats regained her footing, she was in an unusual third place, and nothing was going to stop Perpetual Loyal leading the fleet out of the Harbour.

Comanche trailed Loyal by a boat length or two as Perpetual Loyal, Comanche, Wild Oats XI, Ragamuffin 100 and Rambler settled onto the tight reach through the Heads towards the sea mark and the turn to Hobart.

Then an astonishing thing happened. Comanche unfurled her big spinnaker, pressed the turbo button and took off. She surged to the lead. An arrogant display of raw, unmatchable power.

But more was to come

Rambler looked to be right where she needed to be, snapping at the heels of her bigger rivals, but about halfway through the Heads, someone hit the American’s afterburners. First Rags, then Oats and then Perpetual Loyal fell by the wayside as George David’s American 88 footer raced through the lumpy, jarring seas as though she was at a flat water regatta.

 

SHR D1 fleet ka

 

Jaw dropping

And still the drama was not over. As Comanche, Rambler, Ragamuffin 100 and Wild Oats XI unfurled their giant Code Zeros for the run south Perpetual Loyal continued out to sea. Twice her Code Zero refused to burst open.

Behind the super maxis things were going more to plan for Black Jack, Chinese Whisper and Ichi Ban, but further back in the fleet Maserati, the world beating Italian V70 had managed to ensnare one of the buoys separating the race and spectator fleets. The big ocean racer finally left Sydney surrounded by small fry. But there is a long way to go.

Further back, Ark 323, the Chinese TP52, was in a collision with another TP52, Ragamuffin 52. “We were dipping down to avoid Rambler, but the boat below us (Ragamuffin 52) did not give us enough room. We have a big crack in our deck,” crew member Faris Bin Aznan, alleged back at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia dock, following her retirement.

Also back at the CYCA were Jeremy Pilkington’s RP78, Lupa of London, and Anthony Lyall’s TP52, Cougar II from Tasmania. They, too, were involved in a collision that left Cougar II’s starboard transom stove in and broken, with damage to the bow of Lupa of London.

Cougar II’s crew were too shattered to speak, the disappointment clearly written on every crew member’s face.

On Lupa, tactician Laurent Pages told of their devastation. “We were sailing on starboard tack from the start and three boats got locked together – we were in the middle with nowhere to go.

“We were left with the decision to run into the boat above us, or the one below us,” Pages said. “This was the worst thing – the worst feeling – a stupid accident.

“The race director was very clear at the briefing this morning. The race committee told us all to take it easy at the start – there was a whole race to go. If everyone listened, this would not have happened. We are shattered – we came a long way. It seems so unfair,” Pages ended.

M3, Peter Hickson’s TP52, is also out of the race, suffering a shattered forestay. They initially thought they would return to the CYCA and try to fix it and re-start. Anthony Lyall kindly offered them the forestay from his Cougar II.

“Despite how they were feeling, Cougar II made us a generous offer, but we subsequently had a crew meeting and looking at tonight’s forecast for a harsh southerly, we decided to retire,” M3’s skipper, Brent Fowler said.

An extraordinary start, but three hours into the race, God appeared to be back in his heaven, normalcy restored.

Comanche is approaching Jervis Bay in the lead, reveling in the brisk northerly. “We have the hammer down, doing 29 knots,” skipper Ken Read reported

“We’ve got to go fast in these conditions that suit us and put distance between us and the rest.

“The southerly is due in four to five hours. If it is sailable, we should still have the advantage, and take more miles out of the others.”

Read isn’t at all surprised that Rambler is in second place, not one of the Australian 100 footers.

“We have raced them a few times and they we have made them better. And they have made us better.”

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the live stream of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race start was unable to be broadcast internationally. We apologise for any inconvenience and frustration that this has caused international followers.

 

Breaking news – Favourite out with torn mainsail

 

SHR D1 Wild Oats mc

Wild Oats out – Photo c Michael Chittenden

 

Supermaxi yacht, Wild Oats XI, has been forced to retire from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race with a torn mainsail.

Early reports indicate that the sail tore in half when the yacht was hit by a 40 knot squall that accompanied a southerly change off the NSW south coast.

The front hit the front runners around 2130hrs AEDT, close to the time predicted. The race fleet was expected to have a difficult time with the dramatic wind change from a fresh NE breeze to a southerly front accompanied by rain.

Top navigator Will Oxley,sailing on board Ichi Ban reported the the winds peaked at 41 kts before settling down to an average of 35kts as the front steadied.

Wild Oats XI is returning to Sydney. All her crew are reported to be safe.

 

And yet more dramatic news

 

SHR D1 Comanche mc

Comanche breaks rudder – Photo c Michael Chittenden

 

Whilst leading the race, US supermaxi, Comanche has suffered a broken rudder and is desperately trying to effect emergency repairs.

The incident occurred about an hour after the race leader had been hit by a southerly front which she appeared to pass through in good shape.

However at 2300hrs EDT the yacht reported to race control that she had broken a rudder.

Currently leading the race is Rambler.

 

For current standings see: www.rolexsydneyhobart.com

 

 

 

 

RC44 class celebrates 10th year with two new venues

 

 

RC44 venue Bermuda gh

Photo © Gavin Howarth

 

Following a brilliant end to the season in the British Virgin Islands with an overall victory for Team Nika after spectacular racing at the RC44 Virgin Gorda Cup, the RC44 Class is pleased to announce it will celebrate its tenth year in 2016 by visiting two new world class venues.

The RC44 Class will make its first-ever visit to Bermuda to kick off the 2016 season before competing at some of Europe’s most celebrated sailing venues, including a return to the beautiful Sotogrande, Spain, where an early World Championship will be held. Marking the half-way stage of the Tour with a debut in Gosport/Portsmouth, United Kingdom, the teams will then revisit Cascais, Portugal, an old Class favourite, before heading back to Valletta, Malta to finish off the season in the historic ‘City of the Knights’.

With ideal sailing conditions on offer, Bermuda was an easy venue choice for the Tour. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s Regatta Chairman, Andy Cox, explained why Bermuda is looking forward to welcoming the teams: “Bermuda is honoured to be the latest host location in the RC44 series. Our island is globally recognized as providing some of the most challenging, as well as beautiful, waters for sailing competition and we hope the RC44 teams will enjoy the experience.”

Taking place just inside the Mediterranean, close to Gibraltar on Spain’s Andalucian coast, Peninsula Petroleum Sailing Team will play host for the RC44 Sotogrande World Championship. Gibraltar-based owner John Bassadone commented:

“It’s very special to have the Worlds in Sotogrande. We were there last year and got quite lucky with the wind. It’s great to sail where you spend a lot of time and I think everyone had a lot of fun. For it to also be the World Championship this year, it’s fantastic.”

Gosport/Portsmouth will provide a home-water advantage for five-time RC44 Championship Tour winner Team Aqua. Owner Chris Bake, who will be hoping to regain the championship title in 2016, said: “It’s a class that has a lot of appeal, not only because of the dynamic sailing, but also because of the events we go to and the social element to the class. There are some pretty good people involved and I think by bringing it to the UK, which will be the first time ever for the class, hopefully we bring some attention to potential UK owners who don’t know the class or haven’t really looked at it that much.”

The Tour is also excited to be returning to Cascais, Portugal and Valletta, Malta – both venues that have previously delivered challenging and exciting conditions for the sailors.

The competition within the Class is at an all time high. Every team has the ability to win races and many are capable of challenging for the overall victory. Proven by the fact that a different RC44 team won each of the five events this season. Embraced by owners and the world’s most talented sailors alike, the 2016 RC44 Championship Tour line up is looking as strong as ever.

 

 

2016 RC44 Championship Tour Schedule:

2-6 March, RC44 Bermuda Cup, Bermuda

10-15 May, RC44 Sotogrande World Championship, Spain

13-17 July, RC44 Portsmouth Cup, UK

21-25 September, RC44 Cascais Cup, Portugal

23-27 November, RC44 Valletta Cup, Malta

 

For more info see: www.rc44.com

 

 

World Match Racing Tour reveals 2016 schedule

 

WMRT in M32s

 

The World Match Racing Tour seeks to transition to catamaran racing in the M32 for a short four month season that concludes at the new venue for the World Finals in Marstrand in July, will together create a total prize purse of over $2 million US$ to the teams. The current Finals venue is the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia, which concludes the current season January 26-30, 2016.

 

2016 short season Championship Events venues

Fremantle, Perth, Australia, March 2nd-7th

Long Beach, Los Angeles, USA, April 5th-10th

Undisclosed Venue, April 18th-23rd (TBC)

Copenhagen, Denmark, May 9th-14th

Newport, RI, USA, May 31st-June 4th

World Championship Finals, Marstrand, Sweden, July 4th-9th

 

 

Port of Fremantle

Freemanlte, WA will be the first stop – Photo c City of Fremanlte

 

 

All events will use the M32 catamaran except for the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, which will continue to use the Catalina 37s which have been part of the event for over two decades. At each WMRT Tour Level Event, the top three teams will qualify to a WMRT Championship Event.

The full line up of 10 Tour Card Skippers will kick off the start of the 2016 World Match Racing Tour season in Perth, Australia from 2 – 7 March. They will be joined by a further 10 teams at each event on the Tour schedule, those teams gaining entry through a series of ‘World Tour Event’ qualifying regattas

 

 

2016 Tour Card Skippers:

Ian Williams, GBR

Björn Hansen, SWE

Taylor Canfield, ISV

Keith Swinton, AUS

Phil Robertson, NZL

Eric Monnin, SUI

Yann Guichard, FRA

Mattias Rahm, SWE

Sally Barkow, USA

Nicolai Sehested, DEN

 

For more details see: www.wmrt.com

 

 

Rob Greenhalgh wins with 3 bullets on final day

 

IMR Ber RG boPhoto © Beau Outteridge / Amlin International Moth Regatta

 

 

 

Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda

 

Rob Greenhalgh stamped his dominance on the inaugural Amlin International Moth Regatta hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Lying in second overall entering the day, Greenhalgh won all three races to win the championship and the winner’s share of $5,000 of the $10,000 prize purse.

“The week has been fantastic,” said the 38-year-old Greenhalgh of Hamble, England. “It’s been good to come to a new venue. Everyone’s been very hospitable. I hope it keeps going.”

With the wind 6 to 12 knot winds right in Greenhalgh’s wheelhouse, he dominated the three races. His first victory was by nearly 1 minute and the second was by 1 minute, 30 seconds. He left little doubt as to who the best sailor was this week.

“Sailing is a game of boatspeed, there are no two ways around it,” said Greenhalgh. “If you can go faster than the other guys, then you’re halfway there.”

In a near repeat of last summer’s European Championship, Greenhalgh overcame regatta leader Chris Rashley for the victory. Rashley led Greenhalgh by 1 point entering today but finished 8 points in arrears in the final standings after placing 10-4-4. The 10th wound up being one of Rashely’s discards and he won $2,000 for finishing second.
“I had a bad start in the first race,” Rashley said. “There was a left hand wind shift just before the start and I couldn’t get up on my foils. I was pleased with how I sailed in the next two races.

“It was nice to lead for a couple of days but I expected Rob to win today. He really excels in those conditions. He’s quicker in the mid-range stuff,” said Rashley.

After the two leaders a pair of America’s Cup sailors battled it out for third and fourth. Paul Goodison of Artemis Racing wound up nipping Chris Draper by 2 points for 3rd place and won $1,500 while Draper won $1,000 for fourth place. Fifth-placed Simon Hiscocks won $500.

“I finished where I deserved,” said Draper. “I’ve only sailed a Moth seven days in the past six months, but I felt like my boat handling was better today. I’ve got some work to do on my setup.”

Greenhalgh dominated in part because he’s put in a lot of work on his setup. Today he was riding on his large foils because of the lighter winds. With the large foils it’s easier to get up on them and stay on them through tacks and jibes. As soon as a boat drops off the foils it loses significant speed.

Greenhalgh also used a canting rig system today. The system doesn’t cant the rig to windward. Instead it allows the rig to stand up straighter, which generates more boatspeed.

“A more vertical rig gives more horsepower,” said Greenhalgh. “It’s good in conditions like today, early foiling conditions, the 9 to 11 knot range. It’s definitely an advantage, but you need to know how to use it because it affects things like boom vang tension and tacking and how the boat handles.”

Final days action video

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfNauo9Z8e8

 

 

Overall results (Top 10)

1st GBR 4340 Robert Greenhalgh 13 pts
2nd GBR 4 Chris Rashley  21 pts
3rd GBR 4341 Paul Goodison 31 pts
4th GBR 5 Chris Draper 33 pts
5th GBR 42 Simon Hiscocks 46 pts
6th GBR 3982 Ben Paton 51 pts
7th GBR 3942 Jason Belben 68 pts
8th AUS 4302 Kyle Langford 75 pts
9th ISV 9 Anthony Kotoun 83 pts
10th VEN 4166 Victor Diaz de Leon 100 pts

 

For full results & more info go to: www.bermudamoths.com

 

 

Rashley retains overall lead after Greenhalgh capsizes

 

IMR Ber D4 bo

Chris Rashley (yellow bib) and Rob Greenhalgh trade tacks – Photo © Beau Outteridge

 

 

Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda

 

The inaugural Amlin International Moth Regatta is primed for a showdown between Chris Rashley and Rob Greenhalgh. At stake is $5,000.

Three races are on tap on Friday and it’s anyone’s guess as to who’ll come out on top of the event hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

With the wind blowing 18 to 25 knots today, Rashley retained the overall lead but only after Greenhalgh capsized in the day’s third race, the eighth of the series.

Greenhalgh had opened a 2-point lead in the overall standings after placing 1-2 in the day’s first two races to Rashley’s 2-3. In the third race, Greenhalgh found himself out of control after the end fitting on the push rod controlling the main foil broke.

“I was going really well in the first two races. I won the first race going away and had great speed in the second race, probably could’ve won that one too but had to do an extra jibe and that allowed Goody (Paul Goodison) to win,” said Greenhalgh.

“I’m not sure when the fitting broke, maybe between the second and third race. After it broke I could go upwind alright but had a massive capsize on the run near the leeward gate,” Greenhalgh said. Greenhalgh placed 13th in the third race, which is one of his discards, while Rashley won it.

The day started off with those who have a choice of rig setups debating what to go with. The forecast called for the wind to build but some doubted it, believing that forecast heavy rain would dampen the wind strength.

“I used my flat sail, soft mast, large main foil and small rudder,” Rashley said. “It was an odd set up but I thought there would be a lull in the wind before the storm. As it turned out the forecast was spot on.”

For others, such as Chris Draper of SoftBank Team Japan, there was no choice. He only has one mast but he was left wanting for a softer one.

“I’m lighter than those guys (Rashley, Greenhalgh) so I could use a softer mast,” said Draper. “A softer mast would allow the sail to depower more. I can’t quite hike with those guys.”

Draper had been the top scoring America’s Cup sailor in the fleet, but after dropping to 5th today that honour now belongs to Paul Goodison of Artemis Racing. Goodison, who was 3rd at the European Championship last summer, placed 3-1-3 today and now holds 3rd overall, 11 points behind Rashley.

Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for 10 to 15 knot winds from the northeast, which should be ideal for another Rashley-Greenhalgh showdown. Rashley has revenge on his mind after Greenhalgh wrested the European Championship away last summer in the final race. Rashley had led from the start.

“Greenhalgh is stronger than me in the conditions that are forecast, so I just have to sail my best. That’s all I can do,” said Rashley.

 

Standings (top 10 after 8 races, with one discard)

1 Chris Rashley GBR (4)-2-3-1-1-2-3-1 – 13 points

2 Rob Greenhalgh GBR 1-4-1-3-2-1-2-(13) – 14 pts

3 Paul Goodison GBR (Artemis Racing) 2-3-2-(13)-10-3-1-3 – 24 pts

4 Simon Hiscocks GBR 3-8-(59/DNF)-2-3-7-5-2 – 30 pts

5 Chris Draper GBR (SoftBank Team Japan) 5-1-7-4-7-(8)-4-5 – 33 pts

6 Kyle Langford AUS (Oracle Team USA) 6-(16)-4-9-5-4-6-6 – 40 pts

7 Ben Paton GBR 7-7-8-12-4-9-(18)-4 – 51 pts

8 Jason Belben GBR (13)-5-11-5-8-10-8-7 – 54 pts

9 Anthony Kotoun ISV 8-19-12-7-6-5-7-(21) – 64 pts

10 Tom Johnson  USA (Oracle Team USA) 20-12-10-8-11-20-(21)-11 – 92 pts

 

(For a complete list of results, please click here.)

 

For more info go to: www.bermudamoths.com

 

 

America’s Cup racing returns to the Big Apple

 

DECEMBER 07: Americas Cup Trophy in New York City.

Jimmy Spithill carries the Americas Cup Trophy in New York City.

Photo – Rob Tringali / America’s Cup

 

 

America’s Cup racing will return to New York for the first time since 1920 with Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing on May 7-8, 2016.

The New York event is one of six events planned during 2016, each featuring thrilling, high-speed competition, as six America’s Cup teams, with top sailors around the world, vie for points that count towards the final competition for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.

 

Watch the video here

 

This year, Emirates Team New Zealand’s star helmsman, Peter Burling, the youngest in the fleet, led his team to the top of the standings over current America’s Cup champion Jimmy Spithill’s Oracle Team USA, and the highly touted Land Rover BAR team led by Olympic hero Ben Ainslie.

But the competition was close. In fact, the opening three Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events in 2015 featured three different event winners, and four different individual race winners. The 2016 calendar promises more hard-fought racing on the foiling AC45F catamarans that fly above the water.

“Everyone is going to want to start the New Year off well,” said Oracle Team USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “But all the other teams have been out training with the same goal in mind, so nothing will come easy this year.

“The New York event is going to be spectacular. Racing on the lower Hudson River, in front of that Manhattan skyline, will be a huge hit. New Yorkers are massive sports fans and I think this will be something very special: thrilling, top-level racing right in the heart of the city. It’s going to be a great event for the America’s Cup and a great event for New York.”

 

Practice racing in New York is on May 6, with point-scoring races on the weekend of May 7-8.

 

Four events on the 2016 schedule have been announced to date:

Muscat, Oman – February 26-28, 2016;

New York, USA – May 6-8, 2016;

Chicago, USA – June 10-12, 2016;

Portsmouth, UK – July 22-24, 2016;

 

 

Two additional Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events are anticipated to complete the calendar, likely in Europe in mid-September and in Asia in mid-November.

“With six events around the world in 2016 our fans will have more opportunities to enjoy America’s Cup racing and follow their favourite teams and sailors as we build towards the finals in Bermuda in 2017,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup.

“We’re excited to be able to add the new venues of Oman, New York and Chicago to the calendar, giving more fans a chance to experience the America’s Cup in person.”

The New York event is an historic milestone of sorts. America’s Cup racing was held in New York harbour and environs for 50 years, representing the first 13 challenges for the oldest trophy in international sport.

From 1870 through 1920 racing took place off New York. Beginning in 1930, the competition was moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where it remained until the United States finally lost the Cup in 1983, ending the longest winning streak in sport.

Since that time, racing for the America’s Cup has taken place in Perth (Australia); San Diego (USA); Auckland (New Zealand); Valencia (Spain); and San Francisco (USA).

In May/June 2017, the next America’s Cup will be raced for in Bermuda.

 

 

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series standings (after three events):

Emirates Team New Zealand – 122 points

Oracle Team USA – 112 points

Land Rover BAR – 109 points

Artemis Racing – 105 points

SoftBank Team Japan – 100 points

Groupama Team France – 82 points

 

About the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York

This event will take place from May 6-8, 2016, with official practice racing on the Friday and point-scoring races on Saturday and Sunday.

The Event Village will be in the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza, while the racing will be on the lower Hudson River off the Battery Park City Esplanade (between the Pier 25 basin to the north and The Battery to the south).

The technical areas for teams, race management and America’s Cup TV production will be based at Liberty State Park and Liberty Landing Marina, across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

 

 

 

Chris Rashley celebrates his birthday in style

 

 

IMR Ber CR bo

Photo © Beau Outteridge / Amlin International Moth Regatta

 

Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda

 

 

Chris Rashley from Southampton, UK, celebrated his 27th birthday by winning Races 4 and 5 on day two of the Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda.

Rashley overcame strong winds and near-blinding conditions, punctuated by a squall with gusts topping 30 knots, to take over the lead of the $10,000 regatta.

“David (Campbell-James, the principal race officer) made an excellent decision to go out today,” said Rashley. “There were a lot of hesitant people and at times you couldn’t see because the rain was in your eyes, but we started on time and the racing was proper.”

Rashley will wear the yellow bib recognizing the overall leader at the regatta. After day two victories Rashley is tied with day 1 leader Rob Greenhalgh of the UK with 7 points, but owns the tiebreak advantage because he won the last race sailed. (With five races completed, the regatta now discards each competitor’s worst score.)

“I had a good day,” said Greenhalgh, who finished 3-2. “But Rashley’s just too strong in those conditions.”

With the wind blowing 18 to 24 knots as the fleet sailed to the racecourse on Great Sound some never even made it to the first start. By the end of the day at least half a dozen boats were brought back to shore on RIBs after suffering broken masts. Others suffered breakdowns that included broken booms, tillers and tiller extensions and other controls such as boom vangs and cunninghams.

“The thing with these boats is that we have all the control lines in front of us, so if you pitch pole (capsize over the bow) you tend to take that stuff with you as you fly out of the boat,” said Tom Offer of the UK., who is placed 16th overall after enduring such an incident. “It was on the edge today.”

 

You Tube video from day 2 or racing:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kgz7VE86iQM

 

The strong winds resulted in some blistering speeds for those who could handle the conditions.

“I crossed the finish line doing 28.8 knots,” said Benoit Marie of France in his heavy accent. “I think I was doing over 30 knots at some points, but I wasn’t able to look at the speedo all day, you know? It was crazy.

“But I feel good about today,” Marie said of his 23-20, which has him placed 15th overall. “At the beginning of the year I couldn’t sail in these conditions. But I’ve made some adjustments and am very happy with how I went today.”

Rashley said he was doing 28 to 30 knots on the runs, but had to slow down to 22 to 25 knots approaching the leeward gate to keep in control. The runner-up at last summer’s European Championship and the 2014 Worlds, Rashley is one of the class’s all-time tinkerers, developing sails, masts and foils to near perfection over the past five years.

Before coming to Bermuda last week for practice he fashioned a new paddle for the wand that controls the height of the Moth on its hydrofoils. Hoping to make a paddle that doesn’t bounce off the water too much, which would lessen the movement of the flap on the main foil and provide a steadier ride, he had a paddle fashioned from a 3D printer that was painted bright pink. During a windy practice day, it suddenly went missing.

“I was sailing upwind and doing 16 to 20 knots last week when a fish bit the paddle right off the wand,” said Rashley. “I’m not a fisherman and don’t know anything about fish, but I’m told it was a barracuda. The paddle’s a tiny thing, but that’s what the class is about now. Everything else is so well developed.”

 

 

Light winds force postponement on day 3

 

Rashley, Greenhalgh and Hiscocks retain top three places after a day of no racing

 

Day 3 or racing at the Amlin International Moth Regatta was postponed due to light winds. After an idyllic day on Monday and challenging conditions on Tuesday, Wednesday brought yet another set of conditions to the regatta hosted by the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Since no racing was completed Chris Rashley of the U.K. remains in the overall lead of the $10,000 regatta, with $5,000 earmarked for the winner.

Principal Race Officer David Campbell-James got Race 6 underway as scheduled at 11 am. Irishman Rory Fitzpatrick aced a port-tack start on his foils and rounded the windward mark in the lead. But the race was abandoned about halfway through when the wind died away to 5 knots or less.

No other racing was conducted as Great Sound became glassed over, inhibiting the sailors from getting on their hydrofoils.

“The fleet was foiling off the start line in winds around 10 knots. After about 35 minutes of racing we had only 22 boats complete one lap, so we made the decision to abandon the race and postpone for the day,” said Campbell-James.

“Tomorrow’s forecast looks to be windy again and Friday looks very good so we’re hoping that we’ll get at least another five races before the end of the week, which would give everyone a second discard,” Campbell-James said.

Rashley has the low score of 7 points. Although he is tied with fellow Briton Rob Greenhalgh, Rashley owns the tiebreak advantage by virtue of winning the last race sailed.

Simon Hiscocks retains 3rd place with 16 points and is followed by Chris Draper and Paul Goodison, who are tied for 4th. Each has 17 points, but Draper holds the tiebreaker by placing 7th in Race 5 to Goodison’s 10th. Draper, of SoftBank Team Japan, also is the top placing America’s Cup sailor in the fleet.

 

 

You Tube Video or race day 3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6UyHirST3uk

 

 

Results after Day 3: (Top 10 of 56 boats after 5 races, with 1 discard)

1. Chris Rashley, GBR, 7 points

2. Rob Greenhalgh, GBR, 7 pts

3. Simon Hisccocks, GBR, 16 pts

4. Chris Draper, GBR, SoftBank Team Japan, 17 pts

5. Paul Goodison, GBR, Artemis Racing, 17 pts

6. Kyle Langford, AUS Oracle Team USA, 24 pts

7. Ben Paton, GBR, 26 pts

8. Jason Belben, GBR, 29 pts

9. Anthony Kotoun, ISV, 33 pts

10. Victor Diaz de Leon, VEN, 40 pts

 

 

For full results and more info go to: www.bermudamoths.com