Monthly Archives: May 2016
Photo c Eloi Stichelbaut – Norauto
GC32 Riva Cup at Lake Garda – Overall
Franck Cammas and his crew on Norauto have won the GC32 Riva Cup after a shifty, rainy final day on Lake Garda. After three sunny and windy days that brought the best of Garda, today’s rain prevented the Lake’s famous sun-powered wind machine from ever spluttering properly into life.
At least the nine-boat fleet had a chance to enjoy one last blast around the lake in the only race that could take place, in a brief half-hour of 14-15 knot winds. Appropriately enough, the top two places went to the two stand-out teams of the week, Norauto leading Team Tilt across the finish line.
“Team Tilt pushed us hard all regatta,” said Cammas at the prize giving at host club, the Fraglia Vela Riva. “We have certainly improved this week and so has all the fleet. Racing with nine boats on the start line was a big thrill. I guess it will be even more exciting with 10 boats for the next event.”
Helmsman of Team Tilt Arnaud Psarofaghis was pleased to have come 2nd even if gear failure prevented them from keeping the duel with Norauto as close as he would have liked. “We’re pretty new to the boat and we were getting better ever day,” he said. “By the third day we were sailing the boat about 1 knot faster upwind than at the start of the regatta.”
Team Tilt’s mainsheet main Glenn Ashby said the regatta had been the perfect mix of “business and pleasure”. He flies back to Auckland this evening having got 19 foiling races under his belt.
“Even a bad day on Lake Garda is a great day’s sailing anywhere else in the world,” he smiled. “Not sure if it will happen yet, but would love to come back and do some more with the boys on Team Tilt this season.”
Another top Australian professional Nathan Outteridge took a lot away from the week after steering Gunvor, the new Swedish entry on the Tour which finished 4th behind 3rd placed Armin Strom skippered by Flavio Marazzi.
“The GC32 is a great platform for getting some of our young Swedish sailors up to speed on foiling boats,” he said. “Having said that, it’s still a steep learning curve so you have to be careful how you do your learning, otherwise you can make some expensive mistakes very quickly. But the GC32 is certainly a good way into the foiling world.”
The teams that competed on last year’s Tour might have the greatest appreciation of just how good this week has been, after a 2015 season that didn’t manage to deliver as much foiling breeze as the fleet would have liked.
“Lake Garda is really good for racing the GC32,” said Seb Rogues, skipper of Team Engie which finished 5th this week in front of fellow French team Spindrift racing. “We’re really looking forward to come back to the Lake a few weeks from now. This is the right kind of place for these boats.”
This season the GC32 Racing Tour has been structured around five venues that aim to give the sailors the best possible chance of delivering awesome sailing conditions. Lake Garda and Fraglia Vela Riva have delivered that in spades. All the teams hit peak speeds in excess of 35 knots, and as Ashby said of Team Tilt’s current record of 39.7 knots set two days ago: “I don’t think that’s a record we’ll keep for very long.”
Argo beats Malizia to the Owner-Driver Trophy
Orange Racing was one of the newcomers to the fleet and it was a big learning exercise for Laurent Lenne and his Dutch crew. The battle for the Owner-Driver Trophy came down to a close duel between USA and Monaco, with Jason Carroll steering Argo to victory ahead of Pierre Casiraghi and Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco. Casiraghi is determined to get the better of his amateur rival at the next event. “Jason is a great sailor, he’s good enough almost to be a professional,” he said. “This week has been the best sailing I’ve ever done, and we can’t wait to get back into the GC32 a month from now.”
The next event takes the GC32 Racing Tour further along the shores of Lake Garda for the GC32 Malcesine Cup, which takes place alongside The Foiling Week from 7 to 10 July.
Overall Results: (after 19 races)
1 Norauto (FRA) Franck Cammas, 37pts
2 Team Tilt (SUI) Sébastien Schneiter, 50pts
3 Armin Strom (SUI) Flavio Marazzi, 79pts
4 Gunvor Sailing (SWE) Gustav Petterson, 86pts
5 Team Engie (FRA) Sébastien Rogues, 111pts
6 Spindrift racing (FRA) Yann Guichard, 112pts
7 Argo (USA) Jason Carroll, 121pts
8 Malizia (MON) Pierre Casiraghi, 127pts
9 Orange Racing (NED) Laurent Lenne, 160pts
1 Argo (USA) Jason Carroll, 121pts
2 Malizia (MON) Pierre Casiraghi, 127pts
3 Orange Racing (NED) Laurent Lenne, 160pts
52 Super Series at Scarlino, Italy – Overall
Displaying their hallmark high level of consistency at a challenging new venue for the 52 Super Series, Quantum Racing won the opening regatta of the season – the Scarlino Cup on Tuscany’s Golfo di Follonica. The Ed-Baird-skippered crew finished no worse than fourth over the eight race series to secure the title with a margin of six points over Andy Soriano’s Alegre.
Quantum Racing won the first race of the regatta in light conditions but closed out the first regatta of the season with a pair of second places gained in a 13-16kts breeze which produced the best race of the event; fast, powerful, tactical, upwind; and quick, exciting downwind rides with plenty of place changing. The second race was lighter, to the point that the left side of the track looking downwind collapsed almost completely.
The Scarlino champions’ consistency was hard earned. Terry Hutchinson, the winning tactician, acknowledges they have good speed, but their percentage sailing, mostly always on the right side of the risk/reward equation, was fundamental to their success. More often than not they were going forwards in the fleet, taking places even if their top mark rounding first time up was not in the top three.
They have seamlessly integrated three new team members aboard, all super high calibre. Ian Moore as navigator has sailed many events over the last 18 months on the Maxi Bella Mente with Hutchinson, Rodney Ardern in the pit won the America’s Cup with Baird on the Alinghi crew. He adds an excellent pair of wind spotting and reading eyes. James Dagg moves into a trimming role. But the second and third regattas of the season add a different dimension to the mix as team owner Doug DeVos steps into the hot seat as helm.
And while Quantum Racing lead from the start of the week there was never any question of them running away with the title. The standard of the 11-boat fleet is very much higher and much, much more even than one year ago when the 2015 season opened in Valencia. Rán Racing, victors then, made sixth overall this week and Azzurra, the world champions, and 52 Super Series champions made a cold start to their title defence finishing fifth overall.
Indeed the battle for the podium places was every bit as intense as the climax of last year. Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon went in to the last day four points behind Quantum Racing and two points ahead of Alegre. But dreams of a 1,2 in Italy for the newly formed Quantum powered “Scuderia” – Quantum Racing and Platoon, took a hit when Platoon started the penultimate race badly and could only manage an eighth. So too the challenge from Ergin Imre’s Provezza faded. Second overall earlier in the week, winning two races back to back they had a nightmare final day.
After battling up to challenge Quantum Racing for second at the windward mark second time up in the first race, they fouled the American flagged team, tacking much too close and had to take a penalty, dropping to a seventh. And in the final race Provezza dropped from second at the windward mark to a distant tenth on the final run when the breeze dropped away. Their 17 points on the last day drops them to eighth overall.
Andy Soriano’s second overall repeats their dream debut in Valencia one year ago when the Maxi world champion crew seemingly made a great transition to the circuit. But that was their best finish of the season. This time they sailed a very steady, smart regatta with only one lowly eighth as ballast which was counterweighted by two solid thirds on the final day. The result is a ringing endorsement for young Nick Asher the past 470 world champion. The 31 year old is the youngest tactician in the fleet and served his apprenticeship as strategist on Rán Racing. But he stepped on to Alegre in the middle of last year and now repays Andy Soriano’s desire to have a younger, open minded tactician in his team.
Image – Max Ranchi
Overall Results: (eight races)
1. Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (1,3,4,3,4,4,2,2) 23 pts
2. Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,5,8,5,2,3,1,3) 29 pts
3. Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,2,3,6,5,2,8,4) 35 pts
4. Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (6,1,9,8,8,1,6,1) 40 pts
5. Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (7,8,6,2,3,5,9,5) 45 pts
6. Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,6,2,7,1,9,4,8) 46 pts
8. Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,4,7,4,10,8,3,7) 46 pts
4. Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,9,1,1,6,10,7,10) 48 pts
9. Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,7,5,9,7,7,11,9) 63 pts
10. Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (10,10,10,10,11,11,5,6) 73 pts
11. Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (11,11,11,11,9,6,10,DNS/12) 81 pts
Yanmar Moth World Championships in Hayama, Japan
Its a one two three for the Brits at the Yanmar Moth Worlds in Hayama.
Paul Goodison is the 2016 International World Champion. Just one race was held on the final day in before the wind died.
There was no change to the top three after the 13th race at the Moth Worlds. Rob Greenhalgh pulled off his sixth win of the series, with Goodison second and Chris Rashley in third, but overall the positions remained the same.
With the wind failing, no further racing was possible and the championship was declared complete and Goodison was the new Moth World Champion. Rashley takes second and Greenhalgh third – An all British podium.
Its the first time in a long while that the infamous ‘Ashes urn’ returns to English shores.
Final Standings (Top 10 or 68 entries)
1 GBR4341 Paul Goodison Ulley Sailing Club 2 2 2 2 3 -6 1 1 3 3 1 -4 2 22 pts
2 GBR4 Chris Rashley Royal London YC 3 3 -5 1 1 2 3 2 2 2 -5 3 3 25 pts
3 GBR4043 Robert Greenhalgh Royal Southern YC 1 4 1 -69 -69 1 5 3 6 1 2 1 1 26 pts
4 AUS4304 Scott Babbage WSC -7 1 4 -6 2 3 2 4 1 4 4 5 4 34 pts
5 GBR4387 Ben paton TBA -9 7 3 4 -69 4 6 5 8 7 3 2 6 55 pts
6 AUS3 Josh Mcknight RPAYC -10 6 6 3 7 5 4 6 5 -14 6 6 7 61 pts
7 AUS4219 Rob Gough Derwent Sailing Squadron 4 5 7 5 4 7 7 7 4 8 -12 -26 10 68 pts
8 AUS3900 Andrew McDougall Black Rock Yacht Club -35 -23 16 9 5 8 9 8 9 6 8 8 13 99 pts
9 USA4228 Victor Diaz de Leon EVAV 8 10 8 10 10 -15 11 10 10 10 -21 9 14 110 pts
10 AUS3977 Harry Mighell SSCBC -15 -14 10 8 8 10 8 11 7 13 14 13 11 113 pts
For full results see: www.mothworlds.org/hayama
52 Super Series at Scarlino, Italy
Takashi Okura’s Sled won the only race of the 52 Super Series’ Scarlino Cup but a second place by Harm Müller Spreer’s Platoon takes the German-flagged team to within four points of regatta leaders Quantum Racing with one day of racing left.
Ed Baird steered Quantum Racing to another super consistent fourth place on a funky late afternoon race course on which tactician Terry Hutchinson admitted it would have been all too easy to shoot themselves in the foot. Although the 2013 and 2014 52 Super Series champions were caught slightly on the overall standings by their Quantum-powered sparring partners Platoon today, Hutchinson quips:
“I’d rather be sitting where we are than anywhere else.”
Losing a race today because of a sustained period of very light, fickle breezes on the Golfo di Follonica means that a final Super Sunday schedule of three races is targeted.
The long wait on the water for the breeze to build enough and to settle in direction was finally rewarded with a start at 1650hrs. With the breeze more from the west – as it was on day 1 – the right offered a persistent lift. Sled afterguard Ross Macdonald and Hamish Pepper nailed it and engineered a nice early jump for the white-hulled Botin design. They led all the way around the course.
The battle for the regatta podium saw Platoon and Provezza start on equal points but Platoon fouled their rivals in the pre-start. The resulting penalty meant Platoon crossed the start 20-seconds after the last boat. But they were quickly back into the fleet. Finding a good lane on the right they rounded sixth at the top mark. With the fleet all gybe setting Markus Wieser and Jordi Calafat chose to bear away and go straight, seeing more pressure down the right of the run and the group to their left slowing. By the gate they were already third. On the second beat they got inside Andy Soriano’s Alegre and so completed a remarkable comeback to take second gun.
Even with a deficit of only four points behind Quantum Racing and two points in hand over Alegre and the regatta podium seemingly in reach, Platoon tactician Wieser says their focus is not on the regatta standings but on the long term goal – steady, consistent scores.
“We don’t care about the points at all for the regatta. What we want to do is not lose too many points at this time in the season for the overall season championship and so far our overall average is quite stable. We are sailing very well. We are not making too many mistakes. But if we can sail tomorrow like we have sailed so far then it could be a nice event for us.”
Terry Hutchinson sums up:
“The goal for the day was three points a race or less and so we miss that goal by a point but neither did we shoot ourselves in the foot. This venue is proving to be quite challenging.”
Alegre have themselves a small cushion now, six points on Provezza, and might yet repeat the second place they scored on their dream debut in Valencia one year ago.
Gerry Mitchell, Alegre’s mainsail trimmer concludes:
“We were in a similar position last year. We seem to come out of the box pretty well. We trained a lot early last year and it paid. This year a lot of guys have been out there training early with us this year and so we’re pretty happy to be where we are.”
Standings after Day 4: (six races)
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (1,3,4,3,4,4) 19 pts
2 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,2,3,6,5,2) 23 pts
3 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,5,8,5,2,3) 25 pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,9,1,1,6,10) 31 pts
5 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (7,8,6,2,3,5) 31 pts
6 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (6,1,9,8,8,1) 33 pts
7 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,6,2,7,1,9) 34 pts
8 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,4,7,4,10,8) 36 pts
9 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,7,5,9,7,7) 43 pts
10 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (11,11,11,11,9,6) 59 pts
11 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (10,10,10,10,11,11) 62pts
Photo © Loris von Siebenthal
GC32 Riva Cup at Lake Garda – Day 3
After a dramatic capsize yesterday, Malizia came out all guns blazing to win the first race on day three of the GC32 Riva Cup.
“We had a change of approach,” said Pierre Casiraghi, skipper of the crew representing Yacht Club de Monaco. “We really went for it at the start and it worked.” It’s Malizia crewman Boris Herrmann’s birthday. “This morning we said we were going for the win to celebrate Boris’s birthday and it was great to give him his birthday present on the first race of the day.”
As one of the three Owner-Drivers in the nine-boat fleet packed with Olympic medallists and Volvo Ocean Race winners, Casiraghi can be proud of his performance against the professionals. But he wasn’t the only Owner-Driver to turn on the afterburners as Jason Carroll and his Argonauts came to the fore. The American skipper of Argo didn’t quite manage to match the race win of his rival from Monaco, but Carroll still managed to notch up a 2nd and 3rd from two of today’s six high-speed, high-wind races around the top end of Lake Garda.
Argo crewman Alister Richardson couldn’t wipe the grin off his face. For the ex-49er Olympic campaigner and former Luna Rossa sailor, the GC32 at full pelt is more thrilling than an AC72. “It’s like go-cart racing,” said the Briton after coming ashore. “There’s no hesitation. Turn and burn!”
At one leeward mark rounding Carroll steered the windward hull of Argo right over the top of the buoy. “Yeah, we missed it!” he yelled. There was a similar level of exuberance on board Malizia as the boat charged downwind at just in excess of 38 knots. “This isss Saaiilinnng!” was Casiraghi’s war cry. King Leonidas of Sparta would have been proud.
The speed is proving addictive, and even with one reef in the mainsail towards the end of the afternoon, the GC32 fleet was still flying downwind at speeds just over 35 knots. Team Tilt’s new record of 39.7 knots, set just 24 hours earlier, might not last for long.
Of greater concern to Team Tilt than a broken speed record, however, was missing out on the first two races of the day.
“We had the top of one of the foils break,” said Glenn Ashby who’s doing the mainsheet trim for Sébastien Schneiter’s Swiss crew. “It dropped out the bottom of the boat and we’re not getting that one back.”
Probably not, bearing in mind that Lake Garda is almost 200 fathoms deep. “We came ashore and Engie were kind enough to lend us a spare, so we got it turned around pretty quickly and got out there again. Shame to miss two races but just have to crack on with it.”
Miss two races they did, but Team Tilt’s blood was up as they shot off the start line to win the next two races. However, Franck Cammas and Norauto keep in slotting in good solid scores and Team Tilt’s absence from the race course – with no races allowed to be discarded – gives Franck and the French a 12-point cushion at the top of the leaderboard.
Meanwhile, a close battle is underway for 3rd and 4th place, as the all-star crew on board Gunvor Sailing gets to grips with its brand new GC32. The young 49er sailor Gustav Petersson is skipper of a crew that includes Olympic Champions Nathan Outteridge and Iain Percy, Volvo Ocean Race winner Luke Parkinson and super-crew Christian Kamp. “Today was so much fun,” said Petersson, “but I need to go to the gym some more. A lot more.”
Six hard back-to-back races around Garda can take its toll, but the tough guys on Gunvor showed superior stamina to win the last two heats in the strongest breeze of the afternoon. Those two wins bring the Swedes back to within striking distance of the Swiss on Armin Strom. There’s just a point in it.
Another battle ensues between two French crews duelling for 5th and 6th overall, with Spindrift racing having the slighter better day to pull 4 points ahead of Team Engie.
Tight fight for the Owner-Driver trophy
Both Argo and Malizia are improving at a similar rate, and the points gap sits at just 3 points apart with Team America just ahead of Monaco, and Orange Racing some way back as they still learn the ropes of the GC32.
Sunday is the final day of competition of the GC32 Riva Cup and with six races to go, plenty could yet happen on Lake Garda.
Results after Day 3: (18 races)
1 Norauto (FRA) Franck Cammas, 36pts
2 Team Tilt (SUI) Sébastien Schneiter, 48pts
3 Armin Strom (SUI) Flavio Marazzi, 75pts
4 Gunvor Sailing (SWE) Gustav Petterson, 76pts
5 Spindrift racing (FRA) Yann Guichard, 102pts
6 Team Engie (FRA) Sébastien Rogues, 106pts
7 Argo (USA) Jason Carroll, 118pts
8 Malizia (MON) Pierre Casiraghi, 121pts
9 Orange Racing (NED) Laurent Lenne, 153pts
1 Argo (USA) Jason Carroll, 118pts
2 Malizia (MON) Pierre Casiraghi, 121pts
3 Orange Racing (NED) Laurent Lenne, 153pts
Yanmar Moth World Championships in Hayama, Japan
Rob Greenhalgh (GBR) was back in the action on Saturday, winning two of the three races, with Paul Goodison (GBR) winning the other. Moth Worlds Saturday – Race 10 – 1st Greenhalgh, Race 11 – 1st Goodison, Race 12 – 1st Greenhalgh.
Greenhalgh put himself back in title contention with a 1,2,1 while Goodison, with a 3,1,4, keeps his overall lead by two points from Chris Rashley 2,5,3.
Greenhalgh is just five point off the leader with three races to go. He has dropped his two DNC but this leaves him vulnerable to any further incidents.
Australia’s Scott Babbage 4,4,5 drops to fourth and Ben Paton 7,3,2 is in fifth and Josh Mcknight 14,6,6 is sixth.
It looks like is going to be a ‘Battle of the Brits’ for the world title on the last day.
Standings after Day 4, 12 races (68 entries)
1st GBR4341 Paul Goodison 2 2 2 2 3 -6 1 1 3 3 1 -4 20 pts
2nd GBR4 Chris Rashley 3 3 -5 1 1 2 3 2 2 2 -5 3 22 pts
3rd GBR4043 Robert Greenhalgh 1 4 1 -69 -69 1 5 3 6 1 2 1 25 pts
4th AUS4304 Scott Babbage -7 1 4 -6 2 3 2 4 1 4 4 5 30 pts
5th GBR4387 BEN PATON -9 7 3 4 -69 4 6 5 8 7 3 2 49 pts
6th AUS3 Josh Mcknight -10 6 6 3 7 5 4 6 5 -14 6 6 54 pts
7th AUS4219 Rob Gough 4 5 7 5 4 7 7 7 4 8 -12 -26 58 pts
8th AUS3900 Andrew McDougall -35 -23 16 9 5 8 9 8 9 6 8 8 86 pts
9th USA4228 Victor Diaz de Leon 8 10 8 10 10 -15 11 10 10 10 -21 9 96 pts
10th AUS3977 Harry Mighell -15 -14 10 8 8 10 8 11 7 13 14 13 102 pts
For full results see: www.mothworlds.org/hayama
52 Super Series in Scarlino, Italy
Vladimir Liubomirov’s Bronenosec crew enhanced their reputation as the 52 Super Series’ kings of the coastal race discipline when they won the 28-mile uphill downhill passage at the Scarlino Cup on the Golfo di Follonica.
Since their debut on the circuit one year ago in Valencia – the team have won four of the six coastal races that the fleet has contested. They added the Scarlino win to coastal triumphs in Porto Cervo, Palma and Cascais and even finished runners up in Puerto Portals. Often victory has been theirs because they positioned themselves well enough to pounce on any small opportunity.
Key to their coastal triumph here was what proved to be a perfect first layline to the counterclockwise turn around the little island of Sparviero off Punta Ala. That allowed the blue-hulled, Russian-flagged team to get their noses in front and after that it was pure plain sailing.
With a big variation between the breeze at the bottom and top of the six miles windward-leeward loop – essentially from Scarlino to just south of Punta Ala and back – the leaders accelerated down into the building wind and protected on the one-sided beats and that made for a classic rich-get-richer gain.
Michele Ivaldi, the Bronenosec tactician who is supported this year by Adrian Stead, a sole Briton in the Italian afterguard, says:
“I don’t really know why we do so well on the coastals. It is not like we set up any differently to the windward-leewards days. There is maybe something about the longer courses we enjoy, but we take the same approach. There is no particular magic.”
On the left-side favoured track the action was on the pin end of the startline. After two wins yesterday, Ergin Imre’s Provezza looked to have done enough to win the key spot once again – the third time in a row – but unfortunately they hooked the pin boat’s ground tackle. From being launched at the gun in the prime position they had to slow immediately and rid themselves of the rope. Provezza fought back from 11th to sixth which keeps them second overall.
Quantum Racing made the best start and were quickly in control of the race with a small – but what looked to be significant – lead. But it was the top third of the windward leg which really set the order for the day. Along with Platoon they erred too far into the shore – where the breeze was lighter and more lifted. Further out, Bronenosec, Alegre and Azzurra read it just right, lifting to the layline in better pressure. At the slow, sticky turn around the rocky islet that was the order with Quantum fourth and Platoon fifth, a hierarchy which stayed set all the way around the remainder of the passage.
At the leeward gate there was always 12-13kts, when at the top there was as little as four or five knots at times. A final triangle out to a wing mark proved purely processional.
For Bronenosec it is a welcome improvement on their results over the first two days which included a 9,6,7 as well as a second. And it takes them to fifth on the regatta standings, one point up on 2015 Super Series champions Azzurra who finished third today but are still 11 points behind regatta leaders Quantum Racing.
Provezza and Platoon share the same points tally, 21, but with two more days of windward-leewards racing there is still only five points between second and sixth.
Quantum Racing go into the last two days of windward-leeward racing with a lead of six points – still effectively growing their points margin by one or two points each day – ahead of Platoon and Provezza. Azzurra are now five points off second and seem to have their mojo back and are moving up the leaderboard.
Standings after Day 3: (five races)
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (1,3,4,3,4) 15 pts
2 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,9,1,1,6) 21 pts
3 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,2,3,6,5) 21 pts
4 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,5,8,5,2) 22 pts
5 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,6,2,7,1) 25 pts
6 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (7,8,6,2,3) 26 pts
7 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,4,7,4,10) 28 pts
8 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (6,1,9,8,8) 32 pts
9 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,7,5,9,7) 36 pts
10 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (10,10,10,10,11) 51pts
11 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (11,11,11,11,9) 53 pts
Daily highlights video
Photo © Loris von Siebenthal
GC32 Riva Cup at Lake Garda – Day 2
While Norauto and Team Tilt were battling to be top cat at the GC32 Riva Cup on another strong wind day on Lake Garda, others in the hi-tech fleet were battling to stay in the game.
With nine boats on the course, it’s a new game, but one that has the crews – both amateur and professional – enthralled by the competition and the sheer amount of high quality racing. Six races a day was perhaps even a bit too much for Glenn Ashby, the Olympic medallist racing on board Team Tilt. “All the boys are under 30 except for me,” grinned the 38 year old. “Maybe one less race would be nice. But good fun out there, the last two days have been great sailing.”
The Swiss crew skippered by Sebastien Schneiter swept the board in the first three races, winning all three. But they were struggling to keep Franck Cammas and Norauto at bay. “They’re a lot more practised than us, and about 50kg heavier with extra crew weight,” said Ashby. “They’ve got the legs on us upwind. And then the cunningham broke – again!”
Coincidentally one of Cammas’ crew is called Hervé Cunningham, and it was Cunningham who observed what a difference a lack of cunningham can make. “They were leading us in today’s last race,” said the tall crewman, “but when their cunningham broke you could see what an effect it had on their performance. We were probably a knot faster through the water after that.”
And so Norauto matched Team Tilt’s early afternoon performance by winning the final three races of the day. It couldn’t be closer between these two, with Cammas holding a single point advantage over Schneiter, and with both boats a long way ahead of the rest of the fleet. Gunvor’s retirement has allowed Armin Strom to move into 3rd overall, with the Swedes in 4th. A close battle is underway for 5th and 6th between the two French teams, Spindrift Racing leading Team Engie by a point. Behind them are the three Owner-Driver teams.
Argo leads Owner-Driver Trophy
The war of attrition held up Argo’s and Malizia’s progress in the regatta today, although the USA team skippered by Jason Carroll holds a 9-point lead over the Monaco crew. The newest team on the block, Orange Racing, started to climb through the fleet towards the end of the day as skipper Laurent Lenne steered the Dutch boat to 8,7,6 finishes, only to fail to complete the final race of the day due to a Man Overboard incident. Still, the Dutch have the highest learning curve and sailed a pretty clean day to close the gap on the boats ahead.
A day of many dramas, and one capsize
The reaching starts on the GC32 Racing Tour are always moments to get the blood pumping, but today it was the leeward gate marks that proved to be the most challenging part of the course.
Malizia Yacht Club de Monaco was charging down the course on port gybe at high speed, with Armin Strom already having rounded and on her way up the next leg. Too late, the crew from Monaco responded to the collision course, helmsman Pierre Casiraghi forced to abandon a last-second gybe and steering the opposite way to minimise contact. The Malizia gennaker brushed over the top of Flavio Marazzi’s boat, but no real harm done.
However, while there was no injury to any of the crew, one of Malizia’s foils was damaged while being pulled upright by a chase boat and forced the team from Monaco to head for shore for the rest of the day. Even in adversity, though, Casiraghi manages to remain upbeat. “We might be up all night trying to fix the foil, but we will be positive,” he said. “It’s like a 1970s car rally where everyone is working on their cars to be race ready for the next day. It’s great!”
A protest was underway this evening at the Yacht Club Fraglia Riva to work out who was right and who was wrong at a couple of leeward mark incidents that caused minor damage to Team Engie, Argo and Gunvor Racing. Iain Percy already admitted responsibility for the Swedish error in turning too close behind Argo, causing a small chunk to be taken out of one of Jason Carroll’s rudders. “Sorry about that,” smiled Percy sheepishly as he handed over a few bottles of something alcoholic as some kind of peace offering, which was gratefully accepted by Carroll – even if they had a few more hours of sticky epoxy and carbon repair work ahead of them tonight. However it was bad news for Carroll in the protest room after Argo was disqualified for failing to keep clear of Team Engie.
Day 3 holds the prospect of more thrilling racing at the northern end of Lake Garda, which is proving to be every bit as good as the fleet had hoped for.
Results after Day 2: (after 12 races)
1. Norauto (FRA) 20pts
2. Team Tilt (SUI) 21pts
3. Armin Strom Sailing Team (SUI) 51pts
4. Gunvor Sailing (SWE) 57pts
5. Team Engie (FRA) 67pts
6. Spindrift racing (FRA) 70pts
7. Argo (USA) 86pts
8. Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) 89pts
9. Orange Racing (NED) 101pts
Owner-Driver Trophy: (after 12 races)
1. Argo (USA) 86pts
2. Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) 89pts
3. Orange Racing (NED) 101pts
Photos © Loris von Siebenthal
GC32 Riva Cup at Lake Garda
Franck Cammas steered Norauto to the top of the leaderboard after six high-speed races at the GC32 Riva Cup on day one, the first event of the GC32 Racing Tour 2016. The French offshore racing legend managed to squeak past Team Tilt after the Swiss team suffered from some gear breakdowns.
Sebastien Schneiter and Team Tilt took scores of 1,1,2,1 in the first four races, although when their cunningham system broke they were unable to sail the boat at full pelt on the reaches. The Swiss finished 5th in the next, and was on course for another victory in the final race of the day. But then their mainsheet strop snapped and Team Tilt slipped to 3rd while the crew hurried to repair the broken rope as quickly as possible. This allowed Norauto to win the final race of the day and take the top of the leaderboard.
Team Tilt is just two points behind. The mainsheet trimmer is Australian Olympic medallist Glenn Ashby. “Awesome racing today, six races maybe a bit much for us old boys,” he said. “We were pleased with how we were going, Arnaud [Psarofaghis] was steering the boat really well. Had a bit of gear failure but, all things considered, still a really nice day out on the water.”
Gunvor Sailing was also having a good day with helmsman Nathan Outteridge getting the best of the hectic reaching starts, even if the crew weren’t quite as fast around the track as the French or Swiss. But when skipper Gustav Petterson fell overboard in Race 4 during a high-speed turn at the leeward mark, the Swedes dropped back to 7th while they waited for an umpire boat to put Petterson back on board. The Swedes now sit in 3rd overall just 2 points in front of Flavio Marazzi and Armin Strom. “We had a 3rd in the first race,” said Marazzi, “but then we struggled to repeat that level for the rest of the day. We’re a pretty new team sailing together so we’ll start working out how to get things better throughout the week.”
A 2nd place in the last race of the day lifted Seb Rogues and Team Engie to 5th overall, 3 points ahead of Argo skippered by American owner Jason Carroll. Moth sailor Anthony Kotoun is crewing for Carroll and said the key to improving performance was improving crew communication. “Only trouble is, sometimes you can’t hear a thing over the screaming of the foils,” he said. “When the boat’s really going fast you can shout as loud as you like but probably no one’s going to hear you!”
Daily highlights video
There is a race within a race between the three owner-drivers at the GC32 Riva Cup. Currently winning the battle for the owner-driver Trophy is Pierre Casiraghi steering Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco. Argo is just 1 point behind the Monaco team, with Orange Racing in 3rd place and 9th in the overall standings. Casiraghi was still shaking his head at what an exhilarating day’s racing he’d just experienced. “That was crazy, amazing, so many close situations, a great finish with Armin Strom where they only just beat us by a couple of metres.”
In race 3 Malizia was lying in 2nd at the bottom of the course, looking good for their first top 3 finish. “I told Boris [Herrmann] to go forwards to help trim the boat,” said Casiraghi. “Suddenly, I don’t know why, the boat dropped off the foils and Boris didn’t have time to grab something, so over the side he went.” This dropped the Monaco crew back to 8th in that race, but they have at least had a glimpse of the front of the fleet. The learning curve for all these teams is very steep, and will remain so for some time to come. Lake Garda delivered exactly the conditions that the nine teams competing on the GC32 Racing Tour wanted. Friday’s forecast offers the prospect of more high-octane action.
Photos c Max Ranchi
52 Super Series in Scarlino, Italy
Broad smiles around the Marina di Scarlino told the story of Races 3 and 4 for the 52 Super Series’ Scarlino Cup and without doubt the most contented crew were that of Ergin Imre’s Provezza. Not only did the Turkish flagged team win both races but they led at every mark, even the margins at times were mere metres. It was a nice early season payback to the hugely supportive and enthusiastic owner Imre who invested heavily through this last winter, ordering a new, stiffer rig and new foils and enhanced their sail programme in a clearly defined quest to stand on the podium at the end of this season.
With the 9-13kts breeze round more to the south than day 1 there was an acknowledged advantage on the left side of the upwind, closer to the beneficial influence of the land. Provezza executed their game plan to the letter, staking an early claim to the pin end of the start line and fighting to maintain that key spot.
Their lead at the top mark in the first race was more conclusive, in the second it was down to a matter of a half a boat length on Azzurra and Quantum Racing. But the Provezza team stayed cool through the day and enjoyed their success, well knowing that they had been fortunate to make it to the start line.
They broke a deflector during the pre-race warm up and had to send a crew member aloft for nearly 30 minutes to make a fix. In fact this mishap rather cleared their heads, admitted tactician Tony Rey later, and they could do little more than focus on fighting for the pin and delivering on their game plan.
Andy Beadsworth, the GBR Olympian who steers Provezza commented:
“We have done a lot of work over the winter. Ergin has committed a lot of resources to try and improve the boat with a new rig, new foils, a few changes to the positions of the foils. We have made a few sail design changes and hopefully these things are coming together and we will see a general trend of improvement. A day like to today makes everything worthwhile.”
The two race wins promote Provezza to second overall after four races of this opening regatta of the 52 Super Series season four points behind Quantum Racing. If Provezza’s starts were pin sharp today Quantum Racing’s were not up to their usual high standards. They were fouled in the final minute of the second race and had to compromise on what they wanted to do. Second to last off the line they still battled to third by the windward mark. The first start was the better but they held fourth all the way around the track. Overall it was another consistent day for the Ed Baird skippered Quantum Racing, 4,3 giving them a lead of four points now, improved by one point on the morning’s standings.
Azzurra came back to the dock with smiles much more evident than their ‘nightmare’ start to the season yesterday. A good second in the second race of the day finally ignited their grins. They had their best start of the series so far, next boat to windward of Provezza and held second all the way around. This contrasted sharply with their first start of the day when they were ejected from the pin end sandwich and had to take a penalty. The Azzurra team were fully 40 seconds late in starting as a consequence but pulled through to sixth, what Vasco Vascotto, the Azzurra tactician, later described as “a little miracle”.
Consistency has been the Quantum Racing metier so far, Terry Hutchinson so far proving the fleet’s professor of risk management. This is especially evident on the start line where, as Hutchinson points out, they will not compromise the security of the big picture game plan by pressing for a high risk start. Don’t mistake this playoff between prudence and high stakes gambling as not pushing hard at the start:
“When I open the door in the morning I start pushing!” Hutchinson says emphatically.
Meantime rival Vasco Vascotto reaffirmed that nothing changed in the way they sailed the Azzurra, the 2015 52 Super Series championship winners, from yesterday’s high scoring opening to today’s very obvious improvement:
“I said to the guys on the boat ‘we change nothing’ we sail how we know we can sail and just remember there will be many ups and downs this season, that is how close this fleet is.”
Racing continues Friday with the coastal race planned.
Standings after four races:
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (1,3,4,3) 11 pts
2 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (4,9,1,1) 15 pts
3 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,2,3,6) 16 pts
4 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (3,4,7,4) 18 pts
5 Alegre, GBR (Andres Soriano USA) (2,5,8,5) 20 pts
6 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (7,8,6,2) 23 pts
7 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura JPN) (6,1,9,8) 24 pts
8 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (9,6,2,7) 24 pts
9 Xio/Hurakan, ITA (Guiseppe Parodi ITA) (8,7,5,9) 29 pts
10 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (10,10,10,10) 40 pts
11 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (11,11,11,11) 44 pts
Daily highlights video