Saturday, 9 May 2009

VOR: Ready to Race in Boston

Crowds in the Volvo Ocean Race village at Fan Pier, Boston. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Sophie Luther

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is ready to race in Boston with seven boats set to compete on Saturday afternoon in the Boston In-Port Race. In preparation, on Friday, under bright, sunny skies, the teams took to the water for the practice race.

But first, the skippers met the media for a morning press conference ahead of Saturday’s racing.

Local hero Ken Read, the skipper of PUMA and an alumni of Boston University where he had a distinguished college sailing career, insisted his team wouldn’t have an undue advantage with local knowledge. He says most of his sailing was done up the Charles River, nearer to the school.

“It’s unfortunately a bit of a myth that we’ve sailed in these waters a lot,” he said. “I tried to convince the organisers to move the race course up the river; I’d sailed about a thousand races there at Boston University. But in Boston Harbor there isn’t much sailboat racing... So this is a bit of an unknown for us too. Yesterday was the third time I’d ever been in that body of water. So the idea that we have local knowledge, unfortunately, isn’t really true.”

The race course will be in Broad Sound, just outside Boston Harbor. The first of two scheduled races is to start at 13:00 on Saturday afternoon. The two races will be scored as a series, with the winner claiming 4 points towards the overall leaderboard. Second place on the day earns 3.5 points and so on.

Ian Walker’s Green Dragon crew will have a new helmsman for the in-port race, with Walker relinquishing the helm to veteran Neal McDonald.

“We're making some changes at the back of the boat. Ian Moore (the usual navigator) is back in the UK, so I'm going to do navigation and tactics and Neal McDonald is going to take the helm.”

In contrast, Ericsson 3 is making no changes. The team has performed very well offshore, but its position on the overall leaderboard is compromised by poor in-port race results. Watch captain Richard Mason explained:
“We’re not making any changes at all which some might see as a strange move...but we feel we’ve solved many problems with this team over the course of the race,” he said. “We felt we owed it to the team to resolve the problems with the in-port racing ourselves... We’ve had a couple of really good days out training and built some confidence in the crew and we hope to cut down the mistakes tomorrow.”

After it was pointed out to Delta Lloyd skipper Roberto ‘Chuny’ Bermudez that Mike Sanderson, who won the last race as skipper of the boat Delta Lloyd is now using, was in town, Chuny joked that he would track him down for some advice:
“Where is he (Sanderson)? I have to start looking for him. For sure he knows the boat very well and I’d have a lot of questions for him!”

Conditions are forecast to be quite light at race time on Saturday afternoon, with six to eight knots of wind expected. In the past, those light conditions have favoured the two Telefonica boats.

“People say it’s going to be light and tricky and normally we sail well in those conditions,” said Telefonica Blue co-skipper Iker Martinez. His thoughts were echoed by Telefonica Black skipper Fernando Echavarri: “I think we will have good conditions for the Telefonica boats.”

The overall race leader is Ericsson 4, who have built an increasingly comfortable 13-point margin on the leaderboard. But skipper Torben Grael said his team will fight as hard as ever.

“I think everyone wants to grab the points which are very important on the inshore races and we’ll do the same,” he said.

Volvo Ocean Race

VOR: Crew List for Boston In-Port Race

1. Roberto Bermúdez De Castro/ESP – skipper
2. Wouter Verbraak/NED – navigator
3. Sander Pluijm/NED – media crew member
4. Stuart Wilson/NZL – main
5. Nick Bice/AUS – pit
6. Andre Fonseca/BRA – tactician
7. Ben Costello/NZL – trimmer
8. Ed Van Lierde/NED – grinder
9. David Pella/ESP – pit
10. Gerd-Jan Poortman/NED – bowman
11. Morgan White/AUS – midbow
12. Marcelo Ferreira/BRA – grinder
13. Dave Miller/NZL - grinder

1. Torben Grael/BRA - skipper
2. Jules Salter/GBR - navigator
3. Guy Salter/GBR - MCM
4. Brad Jackson/NZL – mainsheet
5. Stu Bannatyne/NZL – tactician
6. Dave Endean/NZL - pitman
7. Horacio Carabelli/BRA - trimmer
8. Tony Mutter/NZL - trimmer
9. Joao Signorini/BRA - trimmer
10. Ryan Godfrey/AUS - bowman
11. Phil Jameson/NZL – bowman
12. Brian McInnes/CAN – grinder
13. Joe Spooner/NZL - grinder

1. Magnus Olsson/SWE – skipper
2. Aksel Magdahl/NOR - navigator
3. Gustav Morin/SWE MCM
4. Thomas Johansson/FIN - helm
5. Richard Mason/NZL - mainsheet
6. Magnus Woxen/SWE – trim
7. Eivind Melleby/NOR - trim
8. Martin Strömberg/SWE – trim
9. Jens Dolmer/DEN - pitman
10. Anders Dahlsjö/SWE - mastman
11. Martin Krite/SWE - bowman
12. Jann Neergaard/DEN – grinder
13. Rasmus Koster/DEN - tactics

1. Ian Walker/GBR – skipper/tactician
2. Neal McDonald/GBR – helm
3. Guo Chuan/CHN - MCM
4. Damian Foxall/IRL – mainsheet
5. Anthony Merrington/AUS – trim
6. Phil Harmer/AUS – trim
7. Andrew Mclean/NZL – pitman
8. James Carroll/IRL – pit assist
9. Justin Slattery/IRL – bow
10. Freddy Shanks/GBR – midbow
11. Scott Millar/IRL – Trav/Runners
12. Johnny Mordaunt/IRL – grinder
13. John Barnitt/USA - grinder

1. Ken Read/USA - skipper
2. Andrew Cape/AUS - navigator
3. Rick Deppe/GBR MCM
4. Sidney Gavignet/FRA – trimmer
5. Robert Greenhalgh/GBR – tactician
6. Rob Salthouse/NZL – pit
7. Justin Ferris/NZL – trimmer
8. Shannon Falcone/ANT – trimmer/pit
9. Casey Smith/AUS – bowman
10. Michael Müller/GER – grinder/sewer
11. Jerry Kirby/USA – bowman
12. Kimo Worthington/USA – main
13. Andrew Taylor/NZL - grinder

1. Bouwe Bekking/NED – tactician
2. Iker Martinez/ESP - skipper
3. Simon Fisher/GBR- navigator
4. Gabriele Olivo/ITA - MCM
5. Jonathan Swain/RSA – trim
6. Jordi Calafat /ESP – mainsheet
7. Xabier Fernandez/ESP - trimmer
8. Pablo Arrarte/ESP Spanish - trimmer
9. Laurent Pages/FRA – trimmer
10. Daryl Wislang/NZL - bowman
11. Pepe Ribes/ESP – bowman
12. Brian Sharp/USA – grinder
13. Ian Gordon/USA - grinder

1. Fernando Echavarri/ESP – skipper
2. Roger Nilson/SWE – media crew member
3. Anton Paz/ESP – grinder
4. Antonio (Ñeti) Cuervas-Mons/ESP – trim
5. Gonzalo Araujo/ESP – watch captain
6. Jaime Arbones/ESP – watch captain
7. Pablo Iglesias/ESP – trim
8. Javier de la Plaza/ESP – trim
9. David Vera/ESP - bow
10. Maciel Cicchetti/ARG – trim
11. Brad Nichol/USA – grinder
12. Luis Doreste/ESP – Tactician
13. Pedros Campos/ESP – helmsman for in-port racing

Volvo Ocean Race

Friday, 8 May 2009

VOR: Home Team PUMA Ready for Boston In-Port Race

Kenny Read on the field at the Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park. Image copyright Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing.

by Kate Fairclough

PUMA Ocean Racing, dubbed the Boston hometown team due to their ties with the Massachusetts city, are pumped up and ready for the fifth In Port race of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, to be held this weekend. The first of two races to be held on Broad Sound, just outside Boston Harbor will start at 1300 local (1800 GMT). Conditions are forecast to be favourable and the PUMA team will be gunning for much-needed points.

Currently sitting in third place overall on the leaderboard, the PUMA team are just 0.5 points behind second-placed team Telefonica Blue. In front of a home crowd, the PUMA team will be looking to secure top points for the day in order to overtake the Spanish entry. A maximum of four points can be earnt from the two short 50 minute races. In Port racing is designed to show off these incredible 70 foot racing machines to spectators both on the water and lining the shores of east Boston.

Sailing onboard il mostro for the In Port race will be PUMA’s Ocean Racing team of Ken Read, Skipper; Andrew Cape, Navigator; Justin Ferris, Trimmer; Sidney Gavignet, Trimmer; Jerry Kirby, Bowman; Kimo Worthington, Main; Michi Mueller, Grinder/Sewer; Rob Greenhalgh, Tactician; Rob Salthouse, Pit; Casey Smith, Bowman; Shannon Falcone, Trimmer/Pit and Andrew Taylor, Grinder. Rick Deppe, PUMA’s Media Specialist will also be onboard providing a live video stream straight from the boat, which can be viewed at in real time on race day.

Skipper Ken Read (USA) commented: “Almost two years ago to the day, we announced our PUMA Ocean Racing team programme and our intention to compete in this race, here in Boston. Almost exactly one year ago to the day, award winning actress Salma Hayek was here to christen our boat il mostro right here at the dock, and finally, this weekend we’re actually going to race here, in the waters of Boston. It’s been such a long journey to get to where we are, but we’re really looking forward to going out and doing what we do best, right here in Boston. It’s like home to us, with one of PUMA’s headquarters based just down the road; we hope we can put on a good show for all of Beantown this weekend.”

Kenny Read with his Boston Red Sox shirt. Image copyright Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing.

“In terms of points,Telefonica Blue and Ericsson 4 are our two closest rivals, for sure we always have our eyes out on those two guys, but on Saturday we’ll be racing against the whole fleet – round the cans out there anything can happen.”

Following the In Port racing, the PUMA Ocean Racing team will spend their final week in the States preparing for the start of leg seven from Boston to Galway, Ireland. Leg seven from Boston starts at 13:00 on Saturday May 16th.

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

VOR: The Volvo Ocean Race is Moving to Alicante, Spain

German Lopez, President Volvo Cars Spain, Knut Frostad CEO Volvo Ocean Race, Francisco Camps, President Region Valencia, Carlos Robles Fraga, Spanish Consul to Boston. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Lizzie Green Ward

The Volvo Ocean Race is to move its headquarters from the South Coast of England to Alicante, Spain. The Mediterranean city will become both the starting port and the home of the race for the next three editions.

The agreement has been signed today in Boston between the Volvo Ocean Race and the Spanish regional government of Valencia, following extensive negotiations that began last November.

“This is a great moment for the Volvo Ocean Race,” said Knut Frostad, CEO of the race organisers. “The support and hospitality we received from Alicante as the start port of the current race left a very positive impression with us.

“One of our goals, as we’ve looked ahead to the next race, has been to establish long-term relationships with our stopover ports, and, for economic reasons, to base our headquarters in one of the stopover ports. But this only makes sense when both parties can make a long-term commitment. And that’s the partnership we are announcing today with Alicante.

“Spain has played a significant part in recent editions of the race,” Frostad continued. “Spanish sailors outnumber all other nations in the current competition and Spain has shown consistently that it understands event culture, and how to organise sporting competition. The region has demonstrated many times that it excels as a sailing competition venue.”

Francisco Camps, President of the Region of Valencia said: “The impact of hosting the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in Alicante last October was very positive for the city, the region and all of Spain. Today’s agreement means Spain will build on its status as a centre of excellence for sailing for years to come.”

Volvo Ocean Race headquarters, which has been based in Whiteley, Hampshire since 1998, will begin the process of moving to Alicante following the conclusion of the current competition at the end of June. The Volvo Ocean Race will be based in Spain by the end of this year, where its headquarters will remain for the next three editions of the race.

“There are many other elements to the partnership with Alicante,” said Knut Frostad. “These include initiatives to ensure the participation of at least two separate Spanish teams in each of the next three races.”

Significantly, the agreement will also see the construction of a race museum and interactive exhibition that celebrates the 36-year history and heritage of the race. The first phase is scheduled for completion in 2010.

“The museum and interactive exhibition is very important for us,” said Frostad. “This race has a long and storied history. Over the years, many of the very best sailors in the world have earned their reputations racing through the ‘Life at the Extreme’ conditions that characterise the Volvo Ocean Race. The museum and interactive exhibition will celebrate that heritage and provide a link between our future in Alicante and our past racing around the world.”

In addition, the port of Alicante has agreed to make itself available as a home to any of the teams in the current race after the finish in St. Petersburg at the end of June. Other benefits to new and existing teams feature in the arrangement as well.

This announcement of the start port is separate from the bidding process which was recently initiated for international stopover ports for the next edition of the race. That process will finish by the end of the first quarter of 2010.

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet is currently in Boston after completing six stages of the 10-leg race. In the midst of the current competition, the race organisers set themselves the task of developing and evolving the race through a consultation process with stakeholders, with a particular focus on cost-cutting and increasing value from participating in the race.

In October, before the start of this race, it was confirmed that Volvo would maintain its support for the race. At the previous stopover last month, in Rio de Janeiro, Knut Frostad held the first of a series of ‘roundtable’ sessions where details of the next edition of the race and the results of this consultation process are revealed. The next session is scheduled for Sunday in Boston, when more of the proposed rule changes will be explained.

The Volvo Ocean Race began life in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race, when 17 teams from seven countries contested the first fully crewed race around the world. The race was subsequently run every four years and in 1998, when Volvo acquired the race, it was renamed the Volvo Ocean Race. The current edition is the third Volvo Ocean Race and finishes in St. Petersburg, Russia at the end of June.

Volvo Ocean Race

Audi MedCup: Swiss are 13th Entry for 2009

Swiss Olympic Star sailor Flavio Marazzi and Germany's four times Olympic medallist Jochen Schuemann will combine forces under the Marazzi Sailing colours to become the 13th entry on this season's 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit.

Marazzi Sailing trials against two other TP52s. Image copyright MarazziSailing Team.

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

Star campaigner Marazzi, who finished fifth in 2008 in Qingdao and fourth in Athens and is looking ahead to 2012 the Olympic regatta at Weymouth and Portland, England has formed the Audi MedCup Circuit’s first Swiss team, sailing under the flag of the Gstaad Yacht Club, forming the biggest Swiss sailing project since America’s Cup winning Alinghi.

Marazzi will skipper and helm the TP52, which finished fourth overall last season as Geneva based Swedish businessman Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis. The team, under the guidance of Schuemann and Finn Olympic bronze medallist John Cutler, includes well known Swiss sail trimmer Christian “Blumi” Scherrer, an America’s Cup winner with Alnghi in Auckland, and Marazzi’s Star crew Enrico de Maria.

Since taking on the boat the team have managed to complete six days of intensive training off Valencia prior to final training before the first Audi MedCup Circuit event, the City of Alicante Trophy regatta starts next week.

Jochen Schuemann, who won the America's Cup twice with Alinghi, said: “During the last couple of months we have worked very hard to get this young and ambitious project under way. I’m very happy to help Flavio Marazzi to establish a new Pro Team and to share my experience in sailing and in managing a sailing team. MARAZZISAILING combines the experience and professionalism of established America's Cup sailors with the “freshness” of Olympic talents. I’m very much looking forward to participating again in the Champion’s League of Sailing.”

Private individuals are backing this new Swiss TP52 project from the Gstaad Yacht Club. The team’s ambitious objective is to generate further interest and backing from this first event with a top finishing place as the catalyst to secure the future participation of the highly motivated Swiss team through additional partners and sponsors.

Flavio Marazzi commented: “I’m very proud to sail the Audi MedCup together with Sailing Legends like Jochen Schümann and John Cutler. For me the MarazziSailing TP52 Project is an important step on my way to the Olympic Games 2012. As a Star boat sailor sailing within a team of 14 people is a real new challenge and I am convinced that our team will show a good performance in Alicante already.”

RIGHT TO PLAY is the social partner of the MarazziSailing team. It is an international humanitarian organisation, which uses games and sports programmes around the world to help children suffering from war, poverty and illnesses, in order to promote their health and education and to improve their quality of life in a sustainable way.

Flavio Marazzi, who has children, has been an ambassador of RIGHT TO PLAY for several years.

Audi MedCup

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Audi MedCup: Images of the new Swiss TP52 Team from Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

Swiss TP52 team. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image.

Marazzi Sailing team. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image.

Sailing on board the Swiss TP52. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image.

Marazzi Sailing. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image.

Marazzi Sailing - Right to Play. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image.

Audi MedCup

VOR: Green Dragon Countdown to the In-Port

Lucy Harwood asks the team some questions:

What’s been going on since you arrived?
All the race crew have had a few days off, we are all back this morning for a bit of a shake down sail, and then training tomorrow and Friday before the big day on Saturday where we need to re-deem ourselves after Rio and get back on the score board again. The Green Dragon team is feeling punchy as normal so we are going to go out and give it heaps on Saturday.

Boston does have a strong Irish flavour to it, did you manage to see any of the sports going on such as the Basketball?
I saw it, I wasn’t actually at the game some of the team went though, it looked like a lot of fun and we are all now Celtics fans. Obviously there is a huge Irish link in Boston, it seems that every second building has some kind of Irish flag hung outside it has been nice to meet some of the locals and everyone is being very supportive of the Green dragon team here.

Any particular additional work you guys have had to do on the boat?
It is all pretty standard work, in general it is all service work and stripping everything down. I guess we are at a stage where we have done two long legs and we have completely stripped everything down and re-built it to make sure that everything is in good ship with the transatlantic coming up in two weeks time. It can often be one of the toughest parts of the race with some of the more extreme conditions so everything has got to be perfect for that and with that in light we are being meticulous about being able to finish the leg in good shape. I think once you have done that hopefully we are in with a chance of getting a good result.

What are you guys expecting from the conditions here, how well do you know this area of Boston?
Well it’s a bit like Ireland at the moment; it can be anything on any day. There are a lot of weather systems coming through, and they tend to come through very fast this time of the year across the states. Because the systems are coming off land they can also be very similar to home with a lot of rain clouds and everything else coming in. You can anything out there from a nice sea breeze day to a cold front coming over with lots of breeze, Saturday is coming up close so we will be having a close look at what the weather situation is.

What would be a good result for you guys?
First place, we want that more than anything

Green Dragon Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

VOR: PUMA Ocean Racing - Another Dream Come True

by Bridgid Murphy

All little boys growing up in New England love the Red Sox. They all want to play for the hometown team, they chant “Yankees Suck” and know the Sox were cursed by The Bambino until 2004.

PUMA's American skipper Ken Read is currently living his dream of sailing round the world in the Volvo Ocean Race but is about to have his other lifelong dream come true. 6th May, at 7:10pm local time in Fenway Park, Ken Read will be throwing the first pitch at the Red Sox Game.

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

Audi MedCup: Marazzi and Schümann to Start Together

Marazzi Sailing - the new Swiss TP52 for the Audi MedCup 2009. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image.

by Juerg Kaufmann

By participating in the 2009 TP52 Audi MedCup, Flavio Marazzi ventures to tackle the biggest Swiss sailing project since Alinghi. He is supported by the most successful Swiss Olympic sailor of the past years, the German sailing legend Jochen Schümann. The fist regatta will start on 12 May 2009.

During the past few years, the TP52 Audi MedCup has been developing to becoming the meeting point of the world’s best sailing professionals and is considered the Champions League of sailing.

In 2009, with the MarazziSailing team, a boat will be participating for the first time sailing under Swiss flag (Gstaad Yacht Club). Apart from helmsman and skipper Flavio Marazzi (31), two more Swiss are on board: Marazzi’s Starboat partner Enrico De Maria (31) and the experienced sailor Christian «Blumi» Scherrer (39).

The other team members are top sailors from 8 countries, led by the threefold Olympic winner and AC winner Jochen Schümann (54). A win-win situation with Flavio Marazzi’s talent and his urge to win teaming up with Jochen Schümann’s immense experience. The newly launched TP-52 campaign and the partnership with the sailing legend Schümann also serves the most successful Swiss Starboat sailor as an optimal preparation platform on his way to the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

At the Audi MedCup, the sailing sport’s Champions League, MarazziSailing competes with the “Who is Who” of international professional sailors: among them, the threefold America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts (NZL), Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Dean Barker and last year’s Audi MedCup winner and TP52 World Champion Terry Hutchinson (USA/Quantum).

Last week, the boat was launched in Valencia (Spain) and six days of intense training followed. The yacht, hardly 16 metres long, was not built from scratch, but could be chartered with the sails from Artemis (4th place at the 2008 Audi MedCup) for the event in Alicante.

First Stage of the Audi MedCup Will Start on 12 May
Next week things will be getting serious for MarazziSailing: from 12 to 17 May, the first Audi MedCup regatta will be sailed in front of Alicante. The new Swiss TP52 project will be financed by private persons involved in the Gstaad Yacht Club. The team’s ambitious aim is to draw attention with a top placement in Alicante and to secure the future of this top-motivated Swiss professional sailing team with additional partners.

RIGHT TO PLAY, as a social partner of the MarazziSailing team, also participates. The international humanitarian organization makes use of game and sports programmes around the world to reinforce children suffering from war, poverty and illnesses, in order to promote their health and education and to improve their quality of life in a sustainable way. Flavio Marazzi, who has children, has been an ambassador of RIGHT TO PLAY for years already.

Audi MedCup

Start of stand-by in Marseilles for Groupama 3 and Franck Cammas' crew

Groupama 3 on stand-by in Marseilles. Image copyright Claude Almodovar.

by Vincent Borde and Caroline Muller

Objective: Mediterranean crossing record, Marseilles / Carthage

Memo :
• The trimaran Groupama 3 on stand-by from 6th May to 2nd June 2009 in Marseilles, in the port of Estaque
• The time to beat: 17 hours 56 minutes 33 seconds
• The current record holder: Bruno Peyron aboard the catamaran Orange II on 25th September 2004 (average speed: 25.53 knots)
• The number of nautical miles to cover: 458 miles

With respect to the programme announced for Groupama 3, from Wednesday 6th May through to 2nd June, Franck Cammas and his crew are on stand-by in Marseilles, ready to set off on their attempt at the Mediterranean crossing record (Marseilles/Carthage). The seven sailors are now awaiting the most favourable weather conditions with which to begin their attack of this record spanning 458 miles. It is worth noting that the time to beat is 17 hours 56 minutes 33 seconds, a time held since September 2004 by Bruno Peyron aboard the catamaran Orange II.

The weather along the course or the `right window':
There is a single imperative for setting off from the city of Marseilles: a well established Mistral which extends beyond the Southern tip of Sardinia. In order to avoid overly built-up seas, it is best to set off as a N to NW'ly wind is forming, which gradually fills as it heads along the coast of Corsica, easing progressively the further South it gets...

Renowned for its short, breaking seas when the Mistral punches the air at over 40 knots, the Mediterranean makes the first third of the course particularly feisty and tricky, before things become more manageable as far as the south of Sardinia. It's the final third which is the most uncertain though, with the Mistral adopting a W'ly element to it between Sardinia and Tunisia, which can very quickly run out of steam. As far as the last thirty miles are concerned between Cap Blanc and Cap Carthage, you can but hope the calm conditions aren't reigning and that a thermal breeze kicks in: as such it's better to arrive in daylight hours.

Groupama 3 on stand-by in Marseilles. Image copyright Claude Almodovar.

The viewpoint of skipper Franck Cammas:
"Since we left Lorient, Brittany, on 17th March 2009, we've covered nearly 8,000 miles aboard Groupama 3. The crew know the boat well and we're ready to cast off. In order to be as fast as we possibly can be, there will be just seven of us onboard instead of the usual ten. The length of the record (17 hours) enables this as we won't require any watches to get rest. All we have to do now is to wait for a good Mistral. It's a really great record which sets off from a place where I began sailing over twenty years ago".

The course time, from Marseilles to Carthage: 458 miles
The start line lies abeam of the Pomegues lighthouse (43°15,7' N- 005°17,4' E), located at the exit from the harbour of Marseilles, on the islands of Frioul. The logical route takes you towards the Golfe de Tunis, leaving Corsica and Sardinia to port.

The finish line is positioned abeam of the Ras Quartajamah lighthouse, on Cap Carthage, near Sidi Bou Saïd (36°52.3' N - 10°20.9' E).

The departure procedures
Code Red Stand-by from 6th May
Nothing to report, no favourable weather pattern.

Code Orange Possible departure within the next 72 to 96 hours.
A possible departure to the site is taking shape

Code Yellow Departure possible within the next 48 to 72 hours.
Ready to head off to the site. Will be followed within the next 24 hours by a return to Code Orange or Red, or a switch to Code Green.

Code Green Departure possible within the next 24 to 48 hours.
The crew on stand-by on site, ready to leave within the next 24 hours.

Frédéric Le Peutrec, boat manager
comments on the management of the crew and the boat during these stand-by phases:

"As far as Groupama 3 is concerned, the trimaran is now ready to go in her record configuration, which means that she's had as much ballast removed as possible which was surplus to requirements: engine, needless sails, bunks, galley and so on... She's moored in the port of Estaque right out to the West of Marseilles, which will enable her to get out to the start line quickly downwind.

As far as the crew of Groupama 3 is concerned, we're all on stand-by at home or on various race zones. The only important thing is to remain contactable by email or mobile so as to receive warning about the current code in force! With code green, everyone must be on site, ready to leave. In fact the most active of us during this waiting period is Sylvain Mondon at Météo France, who consults grib files to find the best weather window!"

The crew of Groupama 3
1 - Franck Cammas (Skipper)
2 - Frédéric Le Peutrec (Helm)
3 - Stève Ravussin (Helm)
or Lionel Lemonchois (Helm)
4 - Loïc Le Mignon (Helm)
5 - Ronan Le Goff (No.1)
6 - Jacques Caraës (No.1)
7 - Bruno Jeanjean (No.1)
Onshore: Sylvain Mondon (Router)

A little history
The genesis of the Mediterranean record:

Founded by the Phoenicians of Tyre in 814 BC, Carthage was the dominant force on Mediterranean waters for nearly four centuries, particularly in the western section from Gibraltar to Sicily. However, confrontations with the Romans, who were extending their territory to the South, were given concrete expression in a series of three wars known as the Punic wars and ultimately led to the destruction of the town in 146 BC after a four year siege. Upon its ruins, Julius Caesar rebuilt a city which became the capital of Africa, prior to being conquered by the Vandals (in 439 AD), then regained by the Byzantines (533) and then the Arabs (698).

The commercial town and link between Africa and Europe, Carthage created bonds with Marseilles among other places, the latter its former rival against which it waged war to defend its fishing zones... The two towns forged trade links, despite the competition being tough, but the winds reigning over the western Mediterranean are favourable to sea routes, with numerous stopover ports and safe havens in the event of bad weather: Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily...

A record is born:
It's to celebrate this crossing between Europe and Africa that this sailing record was born, with François Boucher leading the chase on Marc Pajot's ex-Elf Aquitaine, a catamaran with a sprit rechristened Saab Turbo in 1988. Serge Madec's crew tackled this new reference time two years later on the formidable Jet Services V, completing the 458 mile course in under a day. However, boosted by their experiences in the Route du Rhum, Laurent Bourgnon and Florence Arthaud were preparing themselves in Marseilles at just about the same time in 1991: setting out a few days earlier RMO came within a hair's breadth of 22 hours, but Pierre 1er snatched the record by just 45 seconds!

The record stood for nearly eleven years as few skippers attempt what is a very tricky course on a 60 foot trimaran, as a result of the very short seas and the difficulty of starting out in a favourable wind and sticking with it all the way across. The construction of giant multihulls was to give new impetus to proceedings with an American record hunter, the late Steve Fossett, taking the start on the catamaran PlayStation and reducing the reference time to 18 hours 46 minutes 48 seconds... However, fresh out of the yard, Orange II was to improve on that time by a further fifty minutes at a speed of 25.53 knots, one of the best average speeds after the records of the Atlantic (Groupama 3 at 29.26 knots), Miami-New York (Groupama 3 at 27 knots) and Cowes-Dinard (Maiden 2 at 25.6 knots)!


Audi MedCup: City of Alicante Trophy Presented

The presentation of the City of Alicante Trophy took place Wednesday morning, 6th May, in the Alicante Town Hall. Image copyright Carmen Hidalgo/Audi MedCup.

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

The presentation was hosted by Sonia Alegría, representative for the Generalitat Valenciana (Regional Government of Valencia), Marta García Romeu (Tourism Councillor for the Alicante Town Hall), Vicente Sala (President of the Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo), Pablo Lahoz (President of the Alicante Port Authorities), Francisco Zaragoza (President of the Real Club Náutico de Regatas of Alicante) and Nacho Postigo (Technical Director of the Audi MedCup Circuit).

The City of Alicante Trophy regatta marks the start of what promises to be a particularly intense season. The Audi MedCup Circuit evolves on a number of levels this year with the introduction of the GP42 fleet and a Race Village with more interactive activities for visitors and spectators.

The official training day for the TP52 Series will take place on Tuesday the 12th of May with competition starting on the 13th. The GP42 Series will have an official training day on the Wednesday and starts racing on Thursday the 14th. Competition for both the Series will conclude on Sunday the 17th of May with the City of Alicante Trophy prize giving.

The Audi MedCup Village, on the Levante de Alicante port welcomes visitors, opening officially on Saturday 9th of May.

Audi MedCup

VOR: PUMA Ocean Racing - Burrito de Mayo

by Bridgid Murphy

Cinco de Mayo is a day where the Mexican people celebrate their victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. This day is a regional holiday in the state of Puebla, and has some recognition in other Mexican regions. And in Boston, it’s just another excuse to have a great party- think St. Patrick’s Day but with sombreros.

Last night the PUMA Ocean Racing team, along with Volvo, Ericsson and Green Dragon, competed in the PUMA Burrito de Mayo contest at Fan Pier. Basically, each team has to speed eat burritos, one giant burrito per player. The PUMA boys who participated were: Nick Dana, Shannon Falcone, Chris Hill and Richard ‘Scoob’ Kiff. Our boys were beat out by the Volvo Team, but it was a good effort put in by all. It’s a safe bet they won’t be eating anymore burritos anytime soon.

See PUMA Ocean Racing for photos!

VOR: PUMA Ocean Racing - Make New Friends

College sailing at Fan Pier. Image copyright Sally Collison/PUMA Ocean Racing.

by Bridgid Murphy

'Make new friends’. That is one of the mottos of PUMA Sailing. Our program wants to reach new people, sailors, non sailors, everyone on the planet. Over the weekend, we helped to sponsor US college semi-finals, bringing both the west coast and east coast University sailing teams to Boston. We hosted the skippers meeting off the second floor balcony of PUMA City, had Kenny speaking to the students during the dinner, and we were also out on the water with our PUMA Bladerider Moths.

The level of enthusiasm these kids brought to the race village was amazing. We had about 300 sailors really excited to get out on the water, and really excited that PUMA was playing the game. During the past seven months, PUMA has been traveling around the world with pro sailors who are at the top of their sport. With the college sailors, we were seeing how it all begins- sailing small boats around the buoys, in a protected piece of water. All of the guys on il mostro grew up learning to sail that way too. Whatever type of sailing you’re into, it’s about getting out there, day after day, just for the love of the sport. I bet if you ask the PUMA Ocean Racing crew, they’ll tell you some things never change.

PUMA Ocean Racing
Volvo Ocean Race

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Womens Match Racing Olympic Development Squad Announced

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Yachting New Zealand has announced a squad of nine female sailors selected to train for the Womens Match Racing discipline which debuts at the 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth, England.

26 women came forward for selection and recently 24 of those who expressed an interest came under the scrutiny of selectors. Individual interviews were conducted with each of the women followed by a weekend of racing on Auckland Harbour, closely watched by Rod Davis, Laurie Jurie and Graeme Sutherland.

Those selected for the Olympic Development Squad are...

Samantha Osborne
Jess Smyth
Stephanie Hazard
Miranda Powrie
Raynor Smeal
Carla Holgate
Anna de Fluiter
Aimee Famularo
Jenna Hansen

“We went into this thinking we wanted two teams of three,” explains Rod Davis who is overseeing the Women’s Match Racing programme. “But over the weekend it became obvious that we could field three really strong teams, and we felt that at this stage we could include an extra team without incurring extra costs.”

“Laurie Jury and Graeme Sutherland will be responsible for the day to day coaching. The group will sail together three times a fortnight, with a more intensive two to three day clinic every six weeks or so.”

The New Zealand designed Elliot 6s have been chosen by ISAF as the Olympic boat providing the kiwi team, who are familiar with the boats already, with a head start.

“The RNZYS (Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron) are an integral part of this,” continues Davis. “We have ten Elliot 6s right here in Auckland, nowhere else in the world has this advantage. We have the talent, we have the coaches and we have the boats.”

Talented keelboat sailor Raynor Smeal was excited to be named in the Women’s Match-Racing Olympic Development Squad.

“I’m thrilled to be included,” says Smeal. “And I’m looking forward to working with the talented sailors in the Squad, as well as coaches Rod, Graeme and Laurie. I can’t wait to start training and having us all become better sailors and ultimately developing a medal winning team for 2012.”

Yachting New Zealand

VOR: US Coach Ed Adams reinforces Team Delta Lloyd in Boston

Ed Adams. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/Volvo Ocean Race.

by Yvo Janssen and Diana Bogaards

US Sailing Coach Ed Adams (Newport) reinforces Team Delta Lloyd in Boston/USA. He will support the Dutch entry in the upcoming two weeks. That allows regular coach Maurice Paardenkooper (NED) access to valuable information about local circumstances. Adams is also familiar with the Volvo Ocean Race and he has an extensive record as professional sailor. Team Delta Lloyd also announced the return of Brazilian trimmer Marcelo Ferreira for the In-Port Race on May 9.

Adams knows the waters around Boston pretty well, as he comes from the region. He lives in Newport, which is about 80 miles south of Boston, and sailed many races in the area. He was tactician of the winning team illbruck in the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race and also joined the crew in two legs. More recently, Adams coached TP52 Team Caixa Galicia with Team Delta Lloyd's skipper Roberto Bermúdez de Castro (ESP), trimmer/pitman David Pella (ESP) and watch leader Stu Wilson (NZL) onboard. That is how the twofold Rolex Sailor of the Year (1987 and 1991) came into contact with the Dutch entry. Adams: "I am there to help the guys and Maurice as much as possible."

His first impression of Team Delta Lloyd was positive: "I have walked through the Volvo Ocean Race village for a hour and didn't see any sailors, except for the Delta Lloyd crew. All sailors are helping, which is good."

From Star to America's Cup
"Chuny - Roberto Bermúdez de Castro - sent me an e-mail just after they passed the scoring gate at Fernando de Noronha in third position", explained Adams how he got involved with Delta Lloyd. He has known the Spanish skipper since 1991, when both of them participated at the Pre-Olympics in the Olympic Star Class. Adams won the regatta, but lost the national selection for the Olympic Games to Mark Reynolds, who took gold in Barcelona and later again in Sydney. "I won the Pre-Olympics twice and the World title in 1987, but Olympic medals are missing", said Adams. After his sailing career in the Star, he continued as coach of the US Olympic Sailing team of 2000 and 2004. He also started to work as navigator/tactician on big boats. He participated at the 2000 America's Cup as navigator onboard of Young America. Two years later, he won the Laser Master Worlds in Hyannis/Massachusetts.

The Boston In-Port Race is scheduled for Saturday May 9 2009. On Monday May 4, the Delta Lloyd was put back in the water and the first training session will take place on Tuesday May 5.

Team Delta Lloyd
Volvo Ocean Race

Audi MedCup: Seven Days until Racing Starts at the City of Alicante Trophy

With only seven days left until the first races of the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit, the City of Alicante Trophy, the countdown for the 12 TP52s and six GP42s is now very much at the forefront of the minds of shore teams and sailing crews seeking to ensure they start the season's curtain-raiser regatta in the best possible shape.

Audi MedCup TP52s racing in 2008. Image copyright Nico Martinez.

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

Most of the TP52 Series fleet have been progressively assembling in nearby Valencia to complete measuring, but also taking the opportunity to tune up and test on the water before heading to Alicante later this week.

"To see all the boats training and the level of preparedness at this stage in the season is always exciting." Audi MedCup Circuit Technical Director Nacho Postigo remarks, "To have three new boats - Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis and Matador - making ready to compete in this fleet really impresses me. All are due to be on the water this week."

While the two New Zealand built boats will tune up for their first taste of European waters, Alberto Roemmers' Matador has been testing off Palma where the mainly Argentinian crew won at Palma Vela regatta and have spent time sail testing since. Audi MedCup champions Quantum Racing have already laid down 12 days of quality training off Valencia and should be putting a final polish on their crew training and speed work this week too.

On the water the action will be as tough as it ever has been but on land, there has been a concerted effort made by the Circuit organisers to engage more fully with visitors and spectators who arrive at the Audi MedCup Circuit regatta site at each host City, with a much more comprehensive entertainment package including a Race Village area dedicated to an Expo, cinema space, interactive games and the ability to follow races in real time on large screen.

Audi MedCup

iShares Cup: River Seine official launch for the 2009 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series

Groupama 40, iShares and BT Extreme 40s sailing on the River Seine. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co/OC Events.

- Official launch of the 2009 iShares Cup staged today in Sèvres - Paris.

- Extreme 40s sailing on the River Seine for the first time ever!

- Ten top teams, legendary skippers, and six premier European venues.

- Click here to take a look at the new Extreme Magazine packed full with features, reviews, team line-ups and fantastic images from the previous season.

by Emily Caroe

Today in Paris (5th May) the 2009 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series was officially launched with the top line-up of skippers and sailors in attendance alongside Rick Andrews, Head of iShares Marketing Europe at the Parc Nautique de l'île de Monsieur, Sèvres. And for the first time ever the Extreme 40s actually sailed on the River Seine, stopping passers by i n their tracks as the 40-foot catamarans raced by!

Nick Moloney (BT), Mike Golding (Ecover), Yann Guichard (Gitana Extreme - Groupe LCF Rothschild), Franck Cammas (Groupama), Loick Peyron (Oman Sail's Renaissance), Carolijn Brouwer (Holmatro), Shirley Robertson (iShares), Erik Maris (LUNA), Pete Cumming (Oman Sail's Masirah) and John Kostecki, representing skipper James Spithill, from BMW ORACLE Racing gave their impressions of the iShares Cup season ahead. Over 150 media and guests gathered at the Parc Nautique de l'île de Monsieur.

Gilles Chiorri, OC Events Director : "It has been great to officially launch the iShares Cup 2009 and we extend thanks to Voiles de Seine and very much appreciate the presence of François Kosciusko-Morizet Mayor of Sèvres, Deputy Mayor of Boulogne Billancourt, Pierre-Christophe Baguet and Jean-Pierre Champion President of the French Sailing Federation (FFV)."

Rick Andrews, Head of iShares Marketing, Europe said, "As the title partner to the iShares Cup, we have had a great two years so far and are looking forward to the third season of the Extreme 40 Series which we are sure will go to another level in terms of sporting competiveness and reaching an even wider audience. It's a great experience; for our clients to go out racing on the boats is really exceptional experience, the media coverage provides a great return - we even have a 60-foot billboard out racing on the water, so we are very happy. The iShares Cup is about teamwork, strategy and passion - that's what we believe in at iShares. To lead from the front, promoting cutting edge competition and a global presence - this sport and our business are well-matched."

The award-winning iShares Cup pan-European series will visit six major European destinations this season in Italy, France, UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain between May and October. Each regatta is made of up three days of competition with a media day held on the preceding day of each event. Up to 24 short and adrenalin-pumping races can be staged at each round, each race lasting just 15-20 minutes.

Attending the press conference today at the Parc Nautique de l'île de Monsieur, Sèvres, Francois Kosciukso-Morizet, the Mayor of Sèvres welcomed the skippers and international media, "I'm really glad to welcome the iShares Cup today at this fantastic venue dedicated to sailing in the heart of Paris. It's a great pleasure to have all these talented sailors and world champions with us today. I wish a great success to all of you for the season."

Forty sailors across 10 teams are now officially confirmed for the 2009 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series. The World's best sailors, who between them hav e over 50 World Championship titles, 27 America's Cup participations, 17 Round the World navigations and 14 Olympic campaigns will be aspiring to lift the iShares Cup Overall Trophy at the end of the season in Andalucia.

Also announced today were the final two venues on the 2009 circuit. The iShares Cup at Cowes Week (1-3 August) will host the UK round and Amsterdam, will see the penultimate event when the series returns for the third year to the IJ Haven Canal.

2009 iShares Cup skippers in front of the Eiffel Tower at the launch of the 2009 iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series: (L-R) John Kostecki, representing skipper James Spithill, from BMW ORACLE Racing, Nick Moloney (BT), Loick Peyron (Oman Sails Renaissance), Carolijn Brouwer (Holmatro), Yann Guichard (Gitana Extreme Groupe LCF Rothschild), Shirley Robertson (iShares), Pete Cumming (Oman Sails Masirah), Franck Cammas (Groupama), Erik Maris (LUNA) and Mike Golding (Ecover). Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co/OC Events.

Quotes from the iShares Cup Skippers:

Franck Cammas, Groupama 40:
I first discovered the iShares Cup in Marseille two years ago. I find it amazing straight away. The boats are fast and extreme, the venues are amazing and you can share all that with the public which is just a couple of meters away from the race course. We all have a lot of fun and I'm really glad that Groupama wanted to get involved.

Yann Guichard, Gitana Extreme 40 - Groupe LCF Rothschild:
Gitana Team is involved since a very long time with sailing and they participate in almost all the greatest oceanic race with multihulls, big or small. When we proposed the iShares Cup project to the Baron de Rothschild he was really enthusiastic and we just decide to do it and join this amazing event and line up.

Loick Peyron, Renaissance (Oman Sail):
I'm really glad to participate in the iShares Cup this season. The format of mixing the sport of sailing and the public is fantastic. The Extreme 40, well, it's a perfect name for the boat! They are perfect to deliver a close and crazy show to the public.

Nick Moloney, BT:
It's obviously difficult to pick out the two strongest teams especially from this line-up of skippers we have here today. I have a huge admiration for many sailors especially on the extreme side of the sport. But I guess for me, Loick Peyron and Franck Cammas are the two biggest threats on the circuit this season down to their pure knowledge of racing multihulls.

Pete Cumming, Masirah (Oman Sail):
We've spent the last six months training in Oman this winter with our Omani squad from Oman Sail. One of the key objectives of Oman Sail is to reignite the country's maritime heritage and to inspire Omanis to take up the sport of sailing. We will have some of the Omani squad shadowing us for the 2009 iShares Cup season, taking the 5th man spots when they can as we continue their Extreme 40 training with the aim of having an Omani racing onboard the Extreme 40 full-time next season.

Carolijn Brouwer, Holmatro:
I competed in the circuit in 2007 but not in 2008 as I was competing in the Olympic Tornado class but, for sure, the level has sky-rocketed since I started in the Extreme 40 class.

Shirley Robertson, iShares:
I'm really looking forward to this season. Racing for iShares this season, I have a new crew includ ing Hugh Styles who raced the boat last year and he is really my right-hand man and a veteran Tornado sailor so he is teaching me! The calibre of sailors just gets better and the venues just get smaller - it's going to be an interesting iShares Cup this year!

Mike Golding, Ecover:
Well, I definitely like a challenge and the iShares Cup will be one, for sure. I've watched the circuit grow and there really is not other circuit that exists in our sport like this one with such an eclectic mix of sailors on one race course. It's the perfect fit for Ecover and it goes to every target market so a great corporate fit. On a personal level, I thought it would be a great thing to do and I get a lot of pleasure sailing with a crew. Really looking forward to the iShares Cup Venice - I think it will be a sensory overload!

John Kostecki, BMW ORACLE Racing:
It's important to be the best we can be and we'll be racing against the top field here. It will be the best experience in the short period of time we have [until the start of the next America's Cup] and we definitely want to win the iShares Cup!

2009 Venues iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series:

Event 1 - Venice, Italy, 15th to 17th May
Event 2 - Hyères-TPM, France, 3rd to 5th July
Event 3 - Cowes, United Kingdom, 1st to 3rd August
Event 4 - Kiel, Germany, 28th to 30th August
Event 5 - Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 25th to 27th September
Event 6 - Almería, Andalucía, 10th to 12th October

2009 Entries iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series:

BMW ORACLE Racing (USA) - James Spithill (AUS)
BT - Nick Moloney (AUS)
Ecover (EUR) - Mike Golding (GBR)
Gitana Extreme - Groupe LCF Rothschild (FRA) - Yann Guichard (FRA)
Groupama 40 (FRA) - Franck Cammas (FRA)
Oman Sail's Renaissance (OMA) - Loïck Peyron (FRA)
Holmatro (NED) - Carolijn Brouwer (NED)
iShares (EUR) - Shirley Robertson (GBR)
LUNA (FRA) - Erik Maris (FRA)
Oman Sail's Masirah (OMA) - Pete Cumming (GBR)

iShares Cup

WMRT: Defending Champion Iehl Training Hard

Damien Iehl's winning French Match Racing team in the 2008 edition of Match Race Germany. Image copyright Richard Walch/World Match Racing Tour.

by Eberhard Magg

One year ago, they came, they saw and they conquered. Damien Iehl and his crew triumphed at the 11th edition of Match Race Germany in style, despite the fact that they had only just started their international Match Race career shortly before coming to Germany.

This year they will find themselves in the position of the hunted. That is the reason why the 33 year old defending champion from Nantes in France is busy practicing in order to prepare. “Our master plan includes practice on bigger boats, firstly here in France and then in Germany” explains the helmsman, who with big respect remembers the waters of Lake Constance “It is extremely difficult and challenging to sail there due to big wind shifts. But I really like southern Germany because of the great Match Racing event and the very good organisation”.

Some of his fellow Frenchmen at Germany’s only World Match Racing Tour Event have to be counted as his biggest opposition. America’s Cup helmsman Sébastien Col and Matthieu Richard, are number 1 and 2 on the ISAF rankings and will be challenging Damien Iehl for victory. At this point of the season the French are by far the strongest Nation with 3 skippers amongst the top 6 in the world rankings.

Matthieu Richard explained the secret behind the success “Damien and I began Match Racing approximately 10 years ago. Marc Bouet was our coach, himself a very successful sailor, who will also be present in Langenargen. We certainly have many talents in France, but there was always a healthy rivalry amongst our 3 teams. This competition made us all strong. The rivalry still exists, with the only difference being that we don’t race for youth titles in France but for the top spot at the ISAF and World Match Racing Tour Rankings.”

The list of entries at the 12th Match Race Germany is one of the strongest of all times. 4 times Match Racing World Champion and 3 times Match Race Germany winner Peter Gilmour (Australia) celebrates his comeback in the Tour on German waters and also 3 times Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie wants to score vital points against 11 teams from a further 6 nations for the World Match Racing Tour leader board. This leaves the only German entry Carsten Kemmling from Hamburg, currently ranked 38th in the World with a tough challenge. “For us it is a big honour and an outstanding challenge at the same time. We have local knowledge from Lake Constance with us and count heavily on the support of the huge crowds of fans in Langenargen.” Completing the entry list this week after a late withdrawal from America´s Cup helmsman and 2007 Match Race Germany winner Paolo Cian, will be Eric Monin of Switzerland.

Since 2000 the organisers Eberhard Magg and Harald Thierer have seen more than 30,000 spectators each year making their way to Langenargen to enjoy the highest level of match racing, paired with a huge range of entertainment on shore at the only German shining star on the World Match Racing Tour. Sportive Bavaria 35 match Yachts will be used to sail for a prize purse of US$50,000, a lot of prestige, as well as points towards the World Championship, The racing will be take place a stones throw from the shore. The host club is once again the Yacht Club Langenargen e.V. led by President Michael Nöltge and PRO Rudi Magg

The 60 year jubilee of Yacht Club Langenargen e.V. makes for a great reason for celebration in 2009. The club is the same age as the German republic. Michael Nöltge, a long term fan of match racing, and driving force in the club is looking forward very much to this year’s event “For our club it is a great pleasure and honour to host the best match racers in the world. With the support of wind god AELOS, we will surely once again be able to run through the full programme of approximtely150 matches sailed over the period of 5 days.” Nöltge realized the impact of the sailing highlight of lake Constance very early “Match Race Germany is motivating our kid’s and youth programme heavily, and has a great impact on the development of new talent.” This is one of the reasons why in 2009 the 1st TEAM RACE GERMMANY will take place. Children from the region will meet their idols. On top of that the Yacht Club offers those that are interested a chance to test their sailing skills in youth classes such as the Optimist and Laser.

With tradition, a world class line up, and the various “SailandTainment” options on shore, the organisers fight successfully against the worldwide recession. Well known brands such as Audi, Moet Hennessy with their brands Veuve Cliquot and Glenmorangie Single Malt Whiskey and Marinepool are new partners joining in times of troubled waters. “For us that is an incredible motivation” states a happy Harald Thierer, who together with the whole Team work almost day and night in the weeks before the event, to guarantee success for the partners, but also to bring a smile into peoples faces by hosting an event being a little bit different to what you are normally used to.

The opening ceremony in the picturesque water castle Montfort takes place on 28th of May. Live entertainment with great bands, as well as a variety of food from the region, as well as interactive tool and sponsor’s presentations will make a visit to Langenargen’s Match race Germany an unforgettable journey. Match Race Germany is where the sailors look forward to a bath in the crowd.

Current World Match Racing Tour Leaderboard (top eight teams after stage one of ten):
1. Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing, 25
2. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 20
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team, 15
4. Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team, 12
5. Ed Baird (USA) Alinghi, 10
6. Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, 8
7. Paolo Cian (ITA) Team Shosholoza, 6
8. Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar, 4 points

Match Race Germany
World Match Racing Tour

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Audi MedCup: Roma Team presents GP42 Series Project

GP42 Series team Roma was presented in the Circolo Canottieri Aniene to compete on the 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit. Filippo Faruffini, President of the GP42 Class and Roma ITA4202 team Owner has built a team made up primarily of America's Cup sailors to be led by Paolo Cian.

Team Roma. Image copyright Team Roma.

by Audi MedCup media

Like last year, Pierluigi Fornelli is tactician, Pierto Mantovani bowman and Pierluigi De Felice trimmer, all America’s Cup sailors together with Paolo Cian as helmsman. Enrico Zennaro, Guiuseppe Leonardo, Andrea Trani, Simon Rosier and the spanish Navigator Matías Picornel join to team for their first participation on the Audi MedCup Circuit.

“We have worked hard to improve the performance on last year when we suffered a lack of speed”, explains Paolo Cian. “We have a very experienced team, that mostly come from the past edition of the America’s Cup. We are very motivated and keen to start the Audi MedCup Circuit and go up againts our rivals.”

"I take this opportunity to thank our shore team and boat yard for all the work that has been carried out,” continues Cian, “they have created both this boat and it’s predecesor and have done a sterling job to carry out the improvements put forward by Farr and to complete on time.”

Audi MedCup Circuit Direct, Ignacio Triay, welcomed the Roma 2 team to the GP42 Series: "We are very pleased to see the GP42 Series join the Audi MedCup Circuit this year and it is evident from the high standard of entries that competition will be fierce among the teams. Roma 2, with some of the world's top match racing sailors on board, is going to be the team to watch closely."

Audi MedCup

Björn Hansen Wins Open de España Match Race

Björn Hansen and crew, winners of the Open de España Match Race. Image copyright Pierre Orphanidis.

by World Match Racing Tour media

Swedish match racer Björn Hansen and his OnBoard Sailing Team won the 6th edition of the Open de España Match Race in a convincing way and after a day that started with long delays waiting for the breeze, then light and shifty conditions and ending at 8:30pm with a 12 knots of easterly breeze.

When the first race got underway, both sailors went into an aggressive prestart that cost Ainslie a penalty. Nevertheless, the South African got the upper hand on the starting line and went off to the right with a slight advantage. Not only was he able to hold on to it, Hansen slipped back in the second beat, giving Ainslie ample room to offload the penalty at the finish line and win the first race.

Being one race down, Hansen showed his aggressive match racing skills in the second start, squeezing Ainslie behind the committee boat and holding him back. Ainslie threw a fierce tacking duel in the first beat but half way up, umpires judged he tacked too close to Hansen, handing him a penalty. From that point he was unable to recover and with a penalty turn to do he would have to wait for the third and final race to decide the winner.

Björn Hansen sails to victory in the second race of the finals, Calpe, 25 April 2009. Image copyright Pierre Orphanidis.

Before the start of the final race, and with night approaching fast, the breeze was rapidly dying down. Both sailors engaged in yet another close prestart whose clear winner was Hansen. He got the side the wanted and crossed the starting line with better speed. Ainslie stayed close behind him until the leeward mark, when sensing a left shift was coming, opted for the left side of the course while Hansen stuck to the right. The call didn't pay off for Ainslie because when the two Tom28 yachts converged once again after their huge separation, Hansen was several boat lengths ahead. The Swede sailed safely and won the race and the overall trophy as well as securing his place at St Moritz Match Race in September 1 – 6, 2009.

World Match Racing Tour

Monday, 4 May 2009

Seth Sailing Team Wins Swiss Match Race Tour Finals in Lugano

Close racing at the Swiss Match Racing Championships 2009. Image copyright Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image. All rights reserved. The Swiss Match Racing Championship uses the Blu 26 keelboat, as used in the St Moritz Match Race.

by Theo Naef

The final of the Swiss Match Race Tour 2008 saw an unexpected head to head between Portugal and the United States. Alvaro Marinho (POR) of Seth Sailing Team defeated Sally Barkow (USA) to gain his entry to the St Moritz Match Race.

After terminating the Round Robin at the end of Saturday’s racing, Eric Monnin (SUI), Ian Ainslie (RSA), Alvaro Marinho (POR) and Sally Barkow (USA) started the semi-finals at the Circolo Velico Lago di Lugano on Sunday morning with good weather conditions. Leading the Round Robin the young Swiss competitor had his pick of the bunch of the semi finalists and he chose to go up against Sally Barkow. A surprising choice considering he had lost against her in the previous round.

The Olympic Yngling sailor and her all girl team won the semi-final match, sending Monnin to the petite final. In the other semi final Ian Ainslie, the predominant favourite, lost his match against Portugal’s Alvaro Marinho to set up the Portugal vs USA final.

With the wind conditions failing the final was cut short and won by Alvaro Marinho and his Seth Sailing Team, defeating Barkow 2-0. The Portugese competitor will now go on to compete in the St Moritz Match Race in September where he will meet the best teams of the World Match Racing Tour.

World Match Racing Tour

WAKA Racing: Success in Rimini Match Racing

Phil Robertson's (RNZYS) WAKA Racing team with their cup and other prizes from their victory in match racing in Rimini, Italy. Image courtesy WAKA Racing.

by Garth Ellingham

The start of the regatta was a tricky one for the boys, with our 4th member Sam Bell joining us for the first time we were starting on the back foot. We forced to default the first race and rigging the boat in the pre start of our second we won 1 of 4 races that day putting us in a must win position for the rest of the round robin. The team pulled through convincingly posting 3 from 3 on the second day. The race committee pushed on and started the semis and finals.

After a slight miscalculation by the race committee, thinking we had not qualified, we corrected them and secured the 4th and final spot for the semis. This would see us up against top ranked skipper, Italian Jacopo Pasini. After losing to him in the first round we managed to find some good form putting him away 2-0.

Race one we got a penalty on Pasini in the pre-start and lead the whole race. The second race was the same with us getting another penalty on him in the pre-start. This time despite his attempt to clear the penalty in the second beat he still had the lead and a penalty. He tried numerous times to slow down and trap us on the final run but we defended well and crossed the line with him attempting his turn.

Our Finals opponent was the other Italian Simone Ferrarese. Conditions were perfect. 8kts of breeze with a consistent direction. We won the desired leeward start in the first race and burned him off for pace around the track. 1-0 in a best of three final series.

The second race didn’t go so well. With a boat swap, we found a lot of water in the boat before the start and despite bailing it couldn’t find the pace we had in the 1st race and kept it close loosing by a boat length. Finding more water after the race we decided to protest and apply for another boat. We got a new boat and the start we were after. Pushing hard we let him make the mistake of being over and had a big lead off the line. We maintained this lead during the race and won the race and the regatta!!

A fantastic win as it qualifies use for the Grade 2 in the same location at the start of June. The team was happy with the win and learnt some valuable lessons throughout the competition. Now we are going to stick around here for a couple more days and then head off to Hungry for a training week against world number 12, and in-form, Ian Ainslie.

More images of the Rimini event will be posted on the WAKA Racing site soon.

WAKA Racing