Saturday, 10 October 2009

RIWKC: No Wind - No Sailing, but Bingo instead!


Waiting for wind off Rochester on Lake Ontario. Image copyright Joanna Tunnicliffe.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

Racing again was cancelled here in Rochester, NY at the US Sailing's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championships . The forecast was for light winds today. The race committee sent us out in the morning and we sat on the water for a couple of hours before they sent us in for the day.

The race committee did provide us with some on the water entertainment. They came around and gave each boat leftover apple strudel from last night's German dinner, and a bingo card. They then called numbers over the radio until they had two winners. We didn't win.

Tomorrow is the last day of racing for the event. Hopefully we will get in at least three races, but we will find out later tonight or tomorrow morning what they intend to do. The forecast is for the breeze to be good in the morning and then to slowly decrease throughout the day.

Anna Tunnicliffe
Rolex International Womens Keelboat Championships

WMRT: Match Point for BlackMatch Racing in Quarterfinals


A few too many 'dark and stormy's? Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by David Swete

The morning started off on the dock for BlackMatch, as we kept a close eye on the repechage series that would decide the remaining two places in the quarterfinal. After a morning of very shifty conditions, Torvar Mirsky and local sailor Blyth Walker eventually won their way through over some stiff competition and the final 8 were decided.

We were to race former world number one Mathieu Richard and in the tricky conditions managed to get a 2 nil advantage over the Frenchman before the race committee surprisingly called a halt to racing for the day. Poised on match point it was disappointing not to have the chance to close it out today and although we sailed extremely well, we know we have to come out firing tomorrow. Memories of Korea Match Cup when we were in the same position against Paolo Cian and he came storming back to win 3 races in a row are in the back of our minds, however we learnt a big lesson back then and will be focused to get the single victory needed.

In our second match against Richard we nailed the start and extended throughout the race to take a decisive victory however this was not the case in our first match. Adam managed to force a penalty on Mathieu in the prestart but we let the French team off the hook and they held a 2 boat length advantage off the start line. Despite this deficit we picked some good shifts up the first beat and never looked back, winning by a long margin while they also still held a penalty.

All of the matches went to 2 nil today with Ben Ainslie leading Torvar Mirsky, Ian Williams up against reigning champion Johnnie Berntsson and Eric Monnin with the advantage over Blyth Walker. It was a little bizarre they called racing off early today and Ben was quick to bring this up in the press conference, stating that there could be a few ‘red faced’ officials tomorrow, as there are very light airs forecast. We certainly hope this is not the case and are looking forward to some great racing.

BlackMatch would like to thank our sponsors FedEx Express. To the RNZYS and Emirates Team New Zealand, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: MRT Take on GBR's Golden Boy

Failing to qualify straight through to the quarter finals, MRT were left to battle it out for the remaining two spots, and in a display of dominance they breezed through undefeated only to be met by Britain's golden boy Ben Ainslie


Mirsky Racing Team win the repechage in Bermuda. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Kyle Langford

Two races of the quarter final series were completed this afternoon, and despite going through the repacharge undefeated, MRT went down in both races against three time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie.

The first race saw MRT leading Team Origin throughout the race, but the umpires made a controversial decision and penalised MRT because they thought they had infringed with a boat from another match. This meant that they had to slow the game down and try to wipe their penalty on the final run, but Ainslie worked into a strong position and took the win.

With MRT up against the ropes, the racing was postponed until tomorrow which gives the team a chance to regroup and regain focus.

"It's a tough position to be in" said tactician Kyle Langford "but we still have to do the same thing as we did this morning. We are sailing really well, but the long day out on the water brought out some small mistakes and the Origin guys didn't let us get away with anything."

With tomorrow's forecast predicting much of the same as today, MRT will be looking to turn up the heat and take down the sailing giants from Origin, and continue taking steps towards holding the Argo Group Bermuda Gold Cup above their heads.

Mirsky Racing Team
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: Ainslie Continues to Shine



by Talbot Wilson

Ben Ainslie (GBR) is still undefeated as Argo Group Gold Cup quarter-final racing got underway Friday afternoon with just two flights being completed. Current World Match Race Tour leader Torvar Mirsky (AUS) must win three matches in a row tomorrow to keep his team on the top of the Tour leader board.

Ainslie was behind Mirsky once today in their first race, but put a penalty on him at the second windward mark and went on to win that flight. “The conditions were tough,” Ainslie said. “In the light shifty winds we just had to keep the boat moving.”

Ian Williams (GBR) was behind Johnie Berntsson (SWE) in both races, but managed to come back and win both. “We were on the wrong side of the course several times,” Williams said, “but managed to minimize the losses. When we got the correct side we had stayed close enough to pass.”

After two flights in the quarters today, Eric Monnin leads Blythe Walker in Match 1 by 2-0, Ben Ainslie leads Torvar Mirsky 2-0, Ian Williams leads Johnie Berntsson by 2-0 and Adam Minoprio leads Mathieu Richard 2-0 as well. It is now do or die for all the trailing skippers who face a ‘knockout’ when their opponent scores three wins.

There was a pause in match racing Friday afternoon when the quarter-final stage of the World Match Racing Tour event was postponed until Saturday morning. Principal Race Officer David Campbell-Jones explained that the wind was just too light and shifty to have fair racing so late in the day.

So the focus turned towards the the Argo Group Gold Cup Pro-Am fleet racing regatta. The overall winner was Argo Group CEO Mark Watson and Ian Williams sailing with the Argo Group Team of Diana Mitchell and Ryan Brown. Earlier this summer Watson represented the Royal Bermuda YC at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup regatta in Newport Rhode Island.

Looking back to Friday morning, Repechage Flights 3, 4 and 5 were sailed first to decide the final two of the eight teams that moved up the ladder toward the $50,000 first place prize or even a share of the $100,000 total purse.


Torvar Mirsky wins the repechage in Bermuda. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team came through that round robin with a perfect 5-0 score. For that he faced the unbeaten Ben Ainslie in the Match 2 quarter-final. Mirsky is the top ranked skipper on the world Match Racing Tour. Course conditions saw an early light and shifty northerly breeze fill in nicely as the morning racing moved into the second flight of the day. Mirsky was in top form then. He now needs to open his trick bag to win three in a row tomorrow to move past Ainslie.

Bermudian Blythe Walker and his Max Re team pulled a stunning gybe at the finish of his final repechage match against the young Kiwi Phil Robertson. Walker won by just a meter and went 3-2. He faces Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch who was first in Group 1 in the first quarter-final Match. Monnin now has two quarter-final points on the board, so Walker also needs three consecutive wins tomorrow to stay on the water.

Quarter-final Match 3 features two Gold Cup champions, Johnie Berntsson and his Berntsson Sailing Team and Ian Williams Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group. Williams is the reigning champion of the World Match Racing Tour and Berntsson is the reigning Gold Cup champ. Williams jumped out to a clean 2-0 lead to put the defending champion’s back to the wall.

Match 4 of the quarter-finals pits Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing skipper Adam Minoprio (NZL) against 2007 King Edward VII Gold Cup winner Mathieu Richard (FRA) representing the French Match Racing Team. Minoprio is the top skipper in the ISAF rankings. Richard finds himself down 0-2 and like the other 0-2 skippers, he must do some fancy sailing to stay alive.


Ben Ainslie vs. Seb Col in Bermuda. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

The quarter-final rounds consists of head-to-head match races, with the first skipper to gain three wins, moving into the semifinals. It’s filet of feathers from this point on in the Argo group Gold Cup.

Quarter final standings:
QF1 Eric Monnin 2 - Blythe Walker 0
QF2 Ben Ainslie 2 – Torvar Mirsky 0
QF3 Ian Williams 2 – Johnie Berntsson 0
QF4 Adam Minoprio 2 – Mathieu Richard 0

Results from Day 4

Group 4- Repechage
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 5-0
Blythe Walker (BER) 3-2
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 2-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 2-3
Dave Perry (USA) 1-4
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 1-4

Results from Day 3

GROUP 1
Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch 6-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 6-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4-3
Reuben Corbett (NZL) 3-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-5
Ian Evans (USA) 1-6
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1-6

GROUP 2
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 7-0
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 4-3
Dave Perry (USA) 4-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 4-3
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge 4-3
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 3-4
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 2-5
Paula Lewin Crews (BDA) 0-8

GROUP 3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 6-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 6-1
Blythe Walker (BDA) 4-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 4-3
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 3-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-4
Charlie Enright (USA) 1-6
Donald Wilson (USA) 1-6

World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: Quarterfinalists Decided in Bermuda



It’s filet or feathers from this point on. Walker (BDA) v. Monnin (SUI), Mirsky (AUS) v. Ainslie (GBR), Williams (GBR) v. Berntsson (SWE) and Richard (FRA) v. Minoprio (NZL) battle it out in the ‘knockout’ first-to-three quarter-finals

by Talbot Wilson, with results update from SailRaceWin

From this point on, Argo Group Gold Cup action centres on the knockout first-skipper-to-three, quarter, semi and final stages. Repechage Flights 3, 4 and 5 were sailed first today to decide the final two of the eight teams that moved up the ladder toward the $50,000 first place prize or even a share of the $100,000 total purse.

Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team came through that round robin with a perfect 5-0 score. and now faces the unbeaten Ben Ainslie in quarter-final Match 2. Mirsky is the top ranked skipper on the world Match Racing Tour. Course conditions saw an early light and shifty northerly breeze fill in nicely as the morning racing moved into the second flight of the day. Mirsky was in top form and will need to continue at that level to move past Ainslie

Bermudian Blythe Walker and his Max Re team pulled a stunning gybe at the finish of their final repechage match against the young Kiwi Phil Robertson. Walker won by just a metre and went 3-2. He will face Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch who was first in Group 1 in the first quarterfinal Match.



Quarter-final Match 3 will feature two Gold Cup champions - Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group. Williams is the reigning champion of the World Match Racing Tour and Berntsson is the reigning Gold cup champ.

Match 4 of the quarter-finals features Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing skipper Adam Minoprio (NZL) against 2007 King Edward VII Gold Cup winner Mathieu Richard (FRA) representing the French Match Racing Team. Minoprio is the top skipper in the ISAF rankings.

Competition in Stage 2 quarter-finals, begins immediately, following the boat draw scheduled for 11:30 a.m. The quarter-final round consists of head-to-head match race sailing with the first skipper winning three points to knock out the other and move into the semi-finals.

Results Update

Currently, in the quarterfinals, Monnin is 2-0 up against Walker; Ainslie 2-0 up against Mirsky; Williams 2-0 up aganist Berntsson, and Minoprio 2-0 up against Richard.

World Match Racing Tour

TP52 Worlds: A Tough Day on Artemis


Artemis did not enjoy the light conditions off Palma, Mallorca. Image copyright Pedro Martinez/TP52 World Championship.

by Paul Cayard

A tough day on Artemis today. We had just one race in very light conditions. We had a bad start really never recovered from that and finished 8th. Bribon won the race and now leads the Championship with Quantum second and we are third.

While there were moments when we were threatening to make a good comeback, we seemed to meet other boats who were plenty happy to thwart our progress as we were regatta leaders this morning.

Tomorrow's forecast is a bit better with a Northeast wind forecast around 10-12 knots.

We will race the coastal race tomorrow which is basically a lot of zig zagging around the Palma bay. The race has a 1.5 factor so it is important to have a good one.

Cayard Sailing
TP52 World Championships

TP52 Worlds: On Top of the Worlds



Local favourites Bribón lead the TP52 World Championships after winning Race 5 today on their home waters

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

As 2007 champions Artemis (SWE) made a lacklustre start and could only salvage an eighth in the light, sticky conditions today Bribón moved four points at the top, clear of the current champions Quantum Racing (USA) who scored a useful fourth.

After making a strong start double Olympic Star class medallist, tactician Ross MacDonald along with navigator Marcel van Triest (NED) read the shifting breeze at the top end of the first beat precisely, calling a good layline which allowed them to ease away around the windward mark ahead of Matador (ARG) which over-stood slightly.

In 6-7 knots of breeze Bribón were able to extend on the downwind leg to build themselves a comfortable margin, winning by 1 minute and 24 seconds, well clear of a dramatic finish behind them as Synergy (RUS) gained more than half a minute on the last run. Their hitch out to the left brought them extra wind pressure which allowed them to steal across the bows of Quantum Racing and Matador to wrest second palce.

Second at the final windward mark, the Argentinian boat just made third, getting the better of Quantum in a heart-stopping finish.

Only one second was judged to be the difference between the two.

Highlighting once again how tight this TP52 fleet is, and how much one error can cost, the overnight leaders Artemis (SWE) were forced right early after a modest start and could do no better than eighth around the course to the finish, dropping to third overall.

On their home waters, with possibly the best known race boat to fly the Real Club Náutico de Palma colours, there is no doubt that the crew of Bribón have redoubled their efforts since the end of the Audi MedCup season to ensure they give their best here.

They have kept several key sails fresh for these world championships and recruited Gonzalo Araujo (ESP), who has just raced round the world on Spanish entry Telefonica Black, and was previously skipper-helm of Balearia on the MedCup Circuit before, to take the steering wheels here. Seeking to streamline their languages and communications, there is also a downside in that Araujo had only sailed a couple of days on the boat prior to Tuesday’s start of the regatta.

Talk of a home waters advantage is cheap and easy. The reality is that the breezes have been very different to the ‘usual’ Bay of Palma fayre.

“ Some of the guys have specific knowledge here, but we really are not putting too much into that, it just becomes a little too risky doing that.” Cautions MacDonald.
“Being in the best pressure was the most important thing today. Under 10 knots of breeze the pressure makes such a big difference in these boats, especially in the tacking angles.

“ We never had high expectations here, we just wanted to operate at a better level here than we have this season and that has been our main goal.

“ Before we were maybe speaking four or five different languages on the boat, now its down to two or three..., and I’m the outsider, for sure!” grins the Canadian.

Bribón’s project manager and trimmer Ignasi Triaiy (ESP) adds:

“Like I have been saying all season, these are the conditions for this boat, flat water, light winds, and finally I think we are sailing it much closer to 100% than we have been than before.

“This proves to us that we are sailing the boat well, to have a three years old boat and be where we are, but to be at the top is difficult. I am happy but we are not reading too much into it, there are two days to go.”

Tomorrow’s re-scheduled coastal race carries a 1.5 points multiplier.


Bribon leads at the end of Day 3. Image copyright Pedro Martinez/TP52 World Championships.

TP52 World Championship 2009
Palma de Mallorca (Spain)
Overall Standings after Day 3, 5 races


1. Bribón (ESP, Gonzalo Araujo), 7+2+2+3+1= 15 points
2. Quantum Racing (USA, Terry Hutchinson), 5+1+3+6+4= 19 points
3. Artemis (SWE, Torbjorn Tornqvist), 8+3+1+2+8 = 22 points
4. Synergy (RUS, Sergey Pichugin), 2+4+7+7+2= 22 points
5. Audi TP52 Powered by Q8 (ITA, Riccardo Simoneschi), 4+6+5+4+5= 24 points

Cameron Dunn (NZL), tactician Synergy (RUS):
"It was a surprisingly steady wind race for these conditions. We were almost expecting no race today. The first beat was important. We didn't get in close contact with any boat so we could just sail free and fast and could manage fourth at the first mark.

"We stayed close with the boats in front of us and had a nice gap behind us that made it easy, and in the last downwind just got a little more pressure than Matador and Quantum, and we had a few nice gybes at the bottom. The guys did really some nice crew work and we managed to sneak across and get them by a two boats length or something, so it was a very nice day specially after yesterday. We have not had a good coastal races this season so we hope we can turn that around".

Alberto Roemmers (ARG), owner-helm Matador (ARG):
"We made a mistake that cost us a lot. We went to the right, there was little wind there, and we wanted to go straight to the mark and the tactician has asked for a boat length to the layline but we got seven boat lengths away. So we were coming back and we caught Bribón, and they tacked two and a half boat lengths behind us and we were sailing along Quantum, otherwise we could have been first. Tomorrow we have the coastal race, we did a good one in Copa del Rey, and we hope we can do it again tomorrow".

TP52 World Championships

iShares Cup: This Is It… The Final Showdown at the iShares Cup Almeria


Fleet start in the practice race off Almeria. Image copyright ThMartinez/Sea&Co/OC Events.

by Emily Caroe

On Friday the ten Extreme 40 teams competing in the final of the 2009 iShares Cup were out racing within the confines of the Almerian harbour in the official practice session. In the build up to the final, many of the teams have already been out training in earnest, not least the top three podium contenders of Oman Sail Masirah and Renaissance, and Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild. These three teams are vying to claim the overall iShares Cup and any small advantage they can gain at this stage in understanding the conditions of racing here in Almeria are key.

Even if the all skippers do not readily admit it, the pressure is on and tensions will be running high out on the water: “What’s our plan for this weekend? We are just going to try and keep out of trouble. It’s hard not to pile the pressure on any more than it already is, so will be treating every race in the same way as we did with the first or second event. Keep calm and stay out of trouble,” said Masirah helmsman, Chris Draper. Further down the leaderboard, expect to see a similarly hard-fought battle for fourth and fifth place. Groupama 40, BT, Team iShares and Holmatro are all in the running for the runners-up spot depending on their performance here.

It will be the pinnacle event for the sailors and it will also be the pinnacle event on shore of the 2009 season. The iShares Cup Almeria will boast the largest programme of activities and entertainment for the thousands of the public expected to attend over the holiday weekend.

From the skippers today:

Franck Cammas, Groupama 40:
"The race course in Almeria is rather similar to what we had in Amsterdam. We won't have long tacks, so once again starts will be essential. Yet we're expecting a bit more wind, so we're delighted to have Fred Lemaistre back with us. Of course, winning the Series does not seem like an option anymore, but we will fight until the end to get the best possible result, and why not win this event. In any case, it's great training for next year!"

Yann Guichard, Gitana Extreme - Groupe LCF Rothschild:
"We do not have a specific strategy for this finale. The racecourse is rather enclosed, even if it's only a breakwater separating us from the sea. Conditions are rather light, and it should be a good spectacle. True, Gitana plays for the championship title here but I think we'll only concentrate on that the last day. For the time being, we will try and sail correctly, avoiding to make mistakes. We fight against ourselves before fighting against the others."

Pete Cumming, Oman Sail Masirah:
“Forecast is looking like we are going to have a nice bit of wind each day. The race area is smaller than we thought and it’s going to be a little bit like Amsterdam with lots of features on the course, like little outcrops of pontoons and the harbour wall, so it’s going to be a really different kind of racing rather than a traditional up and down on one area of water. We’re feeling a bit of nerves but that’s good because if you don’t get fired up you won’t perform at the top of your game. But the guys are used to this - Chris and Mark have been at the Olympics, Freddie has done the America’s Cup, they are used to the pressure, it is second nature for them.”

Shirley Robertson, Team iShares;
"Being the only woman in the fleet should have some advantages, but the boys don't let me pass in front of them, they have such bad manners! More seriously, I love to be here, I think Almeria is a brilliant venue: for the past 3 days we've had sun and wind, the conditions are perfect. I just can't wait for it to start."

The non-scoring practice races today revealed three different winners – Franck Cammas/Groupama, Loick Peyron/Oman Sail Renaissance and the new team on the block, Fernando Echavarri/Rumbo Alermia [see separate story Go Almeria!].

The weather forecast for the next three days is predominantly light with stronger gusts building in the afternoon due to the thermal effect of the land heating up in the high temperatures here in Almeria. Today the boats raced in around 12-13 knots of southerly breeze – plenty to get the hulls flying. Saturday is expected to bring the lightest conditions of the whole event with the breeze increasing Sunday and Monday.

Go Almeria!


Rumbo Almeria (Fernando Echavarri, ESP) flying a hull in Almeria port. Image copyright ThMartinez/Sea&Co/OC Events.

Fernando Echavarri: "I think it’s a great opportunity for us to have a Spanish boat here in Almeria. It’s the last event in the circuit so we have to make a team who are mostly people I’ve been working with in the past few years, like Anton Paz who was my partner in the Olympic Games; Jime Arbones one of the best bowman in the world – he’s been in four America’s Cup and two Volvo Ocean races, the last one with me as Watch Leader on Telefonica Black; and my other new crew member is Fernando Rivero has a lot of experience in big boat sailing so he is being introduced to this new world!

"We’ve been sailing just twice the day before and I was a bit involved in this project in the beginning in 2005 and I sailed once! It’s basically a big Tornado, a bit more heavy because it is a strong boat, and it makes the boat quite radical when the speed comes up and sometimes a bit dangerous. Yesterday we had 13 knots of wind and 20 knots of boat speed, really smooth sailing, but we could feel as soon as it comes up to 15-16 knots, power reaching and it gets dangerous! So I hope we don’t have more than 20 knots because then the public are going to have a big show of collisions, crashes, people flying along!

"The reality is that in the last years in Spain we’ve seen the most important events in sailing, like the America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean race start, so we are pushing all the time to make big events. The iShares Cup is probably the one which is going to be more close to the public which is a really important thing. Here in Almeria we have a really good harbour to make these races and the boats will be really close to the public so it is different to the other sailing events. Here the sponsors, the public and the people who want to see the race everything is going to be more close than anything we’ve seen before. So Almeria has worked hard to bring this event here and Andalucia has worked a lot also, and here we have the world’s best sailors from multihulls and the teams working together to make the show as good as possible. I think here in Almeria we will have the most important sailing event of the year in Andalucia."

iShares Cup

WPNSA: Dakine Speed Week Approaches in Weymouth, UK

by Katie Doerr

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is gearing up for the Dakine Weymouth Speed Week which commences on Saturday, 10th October. With over 100 competitors the WPNSA team are set for a busy week.

The objective of Dakine Weymouth Speed Week is for competitors to sail as fast as they can over the 500m course and beat the world record, which stands at a current absolute speed of 51.36 knots l’Hydroptère, the French foiling trimaran in September 2009.

An interesting array of sailors from all over the globe will be competing at the event including Nick Dempsy, local windsurfer and Bronze Medallist, whose record breaking attempts will be closely watched. The 2008 Dakine Weymouth Speed Week saw Anders Bringdal set a new harbour record by achieving a speed of 38.48 knots, a record which Anders will return to defend.

Chris Knight, Business Manager at WPNSA comments, ‘Dakine Weymouth Speed Week is always an exciting week for us here at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. It is great to welcome so many competitors from all over the world. WPNSA are delighted to host this again and following last year’s new harbour records we are really looking forward to this year.’

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

VOR: Volvo Open 70 Rule and 2011-12 Notice of Race Revealed



by Lizzie Green Ward

The new look Volvo Open 70 Rule, published today along with the Notice of Race, confirm changes set to enhance the fleet racing in the 11th Volvo Ocean Race, which will start from its new home base of Alicante in Spain in the autumn of 2011.
The changes come as a result of extensive analysis carried out over the past 12 months by the Rule Management Group led by technical expert Ken McAlpine (Volvo Open 70 Rule) and rules expert Bill Edgerton (Notice of Race) in consultation with previous competitors.

“This is the first time the race organisation has had a process in place to draft the Rule together with the sailors and teams to this extent,” commented Volvo Ocean Race CEO, Knut Frostad. “What we have come up with, I believe, are the right changes at the right time,” he said. “What this Rule does is limit what it takes to win the race, therefore making winning it more achievable and entry into race more attractive to a larger number of teams,” he explained.

Changes include a move to furling or hanked headsails – no headfoils are allowed and a reduction from 24 to 17 race sails per boat. A single-boat team can only build 15 new sails prior to the race, and a team using a new boat and a second generation boat can build only 23 pre-race sails. Stacking of sails and equipment is restricted to the mid section of the boat below deck.

There are also strict limitations on masts and appendages. The total weight of the yacht has now been increased so that it must fit into the weight range of 14,000 - 14,500 kg, and a maximum keel fin and bulb weight has been set at 7,400 kg.

“Everything has to meet the safety test,” said Race Director Jack Lloyd. “Nothing we have changed in the new fin arrangement and the weight of the fin and bulb will take us back to the keel issues of 2005-06. The biggest message that came back from the designers and sailors was ‘don’t change too much’. The boat is fast and it is strong. The furling headsails we have introduced are aimed at keeping crew off the foredeck as much as we can. That is a major danger area given the weight of water coming across the bow,” Lloyd said.

The limit of the construction of only one new boat per team is a new feature; however, a team is permitted to campaign an additional second generation boat. There is a total ban on two-boat testing before the race and if a single-boat team is using a separate second generation training boat, which they do not enter in the event, the team is limited to only 110 sailing days during 2010.

In addition to the 2,000-nautical mile qualification run, which has been a feature of the Notice of Race for some years, each team must now compete in a new 600-nautical mile qualification race, which will be held prior to the race start in Alicante.

The crew limit for an all-male or mixed team remains at 11, including the Media Crew Member (MCM), but new this time is the requirement for three crew members to be born on or after 1 September 1980. A female team can, however, comprise a crew of 14 including the MCM, representing three additional crew members over an all-male crew. No additional crew members are permitted onboard for in-port racing, which this time will be held in each stopover port.

The points system has also been overhauled and points for offshore legs will now be multiplied by five, and scoring gates multiplied by two. The in-port races will not attract a weighting and points will continue to be awarded for the best performances over two races to be held on each in-port race day.

Frostad confirmed that the key objectives when drafting the Volvo Open 70 Rule and the Notice of Race were:
• to reduce costs for participating teams
• to ensure improved safety and reliability of the boats
• to ensure that the Volvo Open 70 Class maintains its status as the fastest and most spectacular offshore racing monohull
• to ensure that an entrant can be competitive with a second generation boat from the 2008-09 race.

New documents are available under the noticeboard.

Volvo Ocean Race

RIWKC: Tunnicliffe in Lead After Day of Shifty Winds


Start of the second race. Image copyright Joanna Tunnicliffe.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

We had a good start to the regatta, finishing the day's three races with a 3, 6, 1 to have a 2 point lead over Canada's, Jen Provan. Third place is Dominique Provoyeur from South Africa with 14 points.

We initially pushed off the dock around 8:40, but while pulling up the main halyard, I stepped off the boat and fell in the water. I was OK, but a bit wet and cold, and my crew found it very funny. Luckily, I had a spare change of clothes in the car and did a quick change into dry clothes and then headed out to the race course.

The first race of the day, we had a great start at the pin end and worked the left side of the course. We rounded the top mark in the top 5 and then sailed the wrong way down the first downwind leg. We lost a lot of boats, but caught up on the second beat to fifth and then caught two more boats on the last downwind to finish 3rd.


Close racing. Image copyright Joanna Tunnicliffe.

The second race was a similar story. Again we made a big mistake at the top mark by gybe setting. We lost about 12 boats within the first minute of that leg, but again climbed back up the second beat to cross the line in 6th. The last race of the day was our biggest comeback of the day. We had a great start, but then got stuck on the wrong side at the top and lost a lot of boats. We sailed a very good second beat and caught up to third on a big left shift. We made a big move on the second downwind leg and passed the two boats ahead of us to take the lead and hold onto it until the finish.

It was a good start and a lot of cobwebs have been blown away. It has been a long time since our whole team has been fleet racing so it took a while to get used to the big picture of fleet race tactics. We are looking forward to tomorrow's racing. Again we have three races scheduled with a slightly lighter wind forecast.

Anna Tunnicliffe
Rolex International Womens Keelboat Championships

WMRT: BlackMatch Through to Quaterfinals at the Bermuda Gold Cup


BlackMatch Racing competing at the Gold Cup. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by David Swete

Teams were held ashore for two hours Thursday morning as the remainder of a nasty weather system passed over Bermuda, but when racing finally got underway it was well worth the wait and 6 of the 8 quarterfinalists were decided. We managed to qualify directly for the quarterfinals with 4 wins and 3 losses, however a tiebreak was needed to decide who went through due to the fact that four teams in our group had the same scorecard.


Adam keeps an eye on Bjorn Hansen. Image copyright Jenny Warner.

Tied with Bjorn Hansen, Sebastian Col and Dave Perry, we only progressed as we had beaten both Dave and Bjorn in our matches, while they all had only one win to their name against each other. This was not the best way to go through and a devastated Col came out worst, dropping into 5th position in our group and failing to even qualify for the repechage.


BlackMatch trail TeamOrigin around the mark. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

Topping our group was the legendary Ben Ainslie, who is the only skipper in the entire event to still be unbeaten and is showing excellent form. We had a great tussle with Ben in our match and it was very close, however we received a penalty in our match after the umpires deemed that we had sailed above our proper course on the first downwind and we never managed to recover as the Brit sailed to victory.


Battle of the bowmen (against Seb Col). Image copyright Jenny Warner.

Our final match of the day and what we understood to be a must win match against Sebastian Col went down to the wire. After an even start the French team etched out a small advantage but were handed a penalty when we luffed just after the start. They continued to show good boat speed around the course, however we managed to stay in touch and on the final downwind they held a four boat length advantage. Touch and go whether they would be able to complete their penalty turn, they waited right until the finish line and as we charged down the course they just managed to undertake their turn and cross the line inches in front of us.


Approaching the finish - Col has a penalty. Image copyright Jenny Warner.

Although we felt we were sailing very well today, the scoreboard didn’t quite reflect this and all be it not the most convincing way to qualify, we have to be happy with making our second Argo Group Gold Cup Quarterfinal. Tomorrow we will face Mathieu Richard who has only suffered one defeat so far this week, an unenviable task but we have a great track record against the Frenchman and are looking forward to an exciting quarterfinal.

BlackMatch would again like to make a special mention to Mark Watson who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Argo Group. Mark yet again invited us to spend the day on the VIP boat and it was a great day to watch the matches we were not involved in. We would also like to thank our sponsors FedEx Express. To the RNZYS and Emirates Team New Zealand, thank you for your support. A special mention also has to made to my better half Jenny Warner who not only is the team's photographer, but has also been entertaining our friends from FedEx this week.

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: MRT Given a Second Chance in Bermuda Gold Cup

MRT scrape through to the repechage round of the Bermuda Gold Cup


Mirsky Racing Team in action at the Bermuda Gold Cup. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Kinley Fowler

After a disappointing second half of the round robin, MRT failed to qualify immediately for the quarter finals after losing three straight races.

The final race of the round, a derby match against Black Swan Racing, Keith Swinton from South of Perth Yacht Club saw MRT receive a penalty in the prestart, Black Swan Racing had the advantage off the line but MRT fought back to take the lead.

Unable to extend and clear their penalty, Swinton narrowly sneaked in on a mark trap laid by MRT to end their chances of fasttracking to the next stage.

Nevertheless, MRT managed to have enough points to go into the 'second chance' repechage round where the top two teams will make up the deciding two spots in the quarter finals.

"The repechage round allows us to have an extra five races, so if we can make it through this round it will put us in a good position going into the quarter finals" commented Spence.

Keen to find some form, MRT came out in the first two races of the repechage with victories, comfortably defeating America Dave Perry then inflicting a black flag on France's Damien Iehl.

With three races remaining in the repechage, MRT need to secure at least two more wins in order to stay in the fight for the Gold Cup title.

Mirsky Racing Team
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: WAKA Racing Eye the Prize


WAKA Racing protest as they are pushed on to the buoy. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Garth Ellingham

Competition here is fierce and the format is ruthless. With 3 groups of 8 we needed to qualify in the top 4 in to go through to the next stage. The top two spots in each group automatically qualify for the quarter finals and the next two move to a repechage round to fight for the remaining two spots in the top 8. We drew a very hard group, Peter Gilmour, Jonny Berntsen and Mathieu Richard have all won the regatta in the past, with Blythe Walker and Mattias Rahm also making the semi finals at in the competition a couple of years ago.

Our solid day yesterday set a great foundation to work off today. We had two wins on the board and knew we needed at least two more to move through. We made quick work of this by taking down Charlie Enright and Don Wilson in our first two races putting us in a good spot on the points board. We then had a slightly disappointing race against Walker, coming off the line behind and with a penalty, the team did a fantastic job catching up. We set up a trap to get rid of our penalty but unfortunately copped another in the process and couldn't come back from there.

With 4 wins, 3 losses on the board we finished 4th in our group and moved through to the next stage ahead of Peter Gilmour and Mattias Rahm. A great achievment for the team to beat them both considering it is our first time competing here in these difficult boats.

The repechage round started with one race for us this afternoon which was unfortunately a loss. We got pinned out in the start and couldn't quite gain enough ground to attack Bjorn Hansen who crossed the line first. Four tough races to go tomorrow which we are all amped for and have our eyes set on making the quarter finals.

Thanks for all you support and encouragement.

From the 'Island of Love',

The Wakas:
Phil Robertson
Garth Ellingham
James Williamson
Sam Bell

WAKA Racing
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: Ainslie at 7-0... Perfect So Far



Ben Ainslie and his TeamOrigin crew sail through to the quarter final stage of the Argo Group Gold Cup undefeated


TeamOrigin at the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Talbot Wilson

Great Britian’s Ben Ainslie has won a lot of gold, but never the King Edward VII Gold Cup. Today he moved into the quarterfinals of the Argo Group Gold Cup with a perfect 7-0 record thus far. That’s the first step toward the cup but Ben needs to learn a lesson from Ian Williams who was also 7-0 at this stage in 2008 and didn’t make it into the finals.

Today, Ainslie defeated Seb Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K-Challenge, Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team on another flawless day of sailing for the multi medal Olympian. Ainslie and his Team Origin crew of Iain Percy, Christian Kamp and Matt Cornwell have not been able to do as much match racing this as they would have liked however the talented team appear to do it well when they get the opportunity.

All of the top two teams in each group automatically moved up to the quarterfinal stage. Joining Ainslie in the quarterfinals in second place at 4-3 is Adam Minoprio. Group 1 is represented by Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch in first at 6-1 and Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar presented by Argo Group also 6-1. The top two in Group 3 were last year’s Gold cup winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team at 6-1 and 2007 Gold Cup champion Mathieu Richard (FRA) and His French Match Racing Team.

The remaining slots in the quarter finals will go to the top two in the repechage round robin which is yet to be completed. The third and fourth finishers in each group made into the six-team round robin that will finish Friday morning.

Organizers had hoped to get all of the round robin racing completed today but a frontal passage with possible lightning and a departing cruise ship in Hamilton Harbour delayed the start. Once racing began around 10:30hrs local time, the committee banged of start after start in short order. Winds were fresh out of the northwest at about 18-20kts most of the day.

As usual, the competition was fierce. Umpires handed out multiple penalties. Peter Gilmour (AUS) and Paula Lewin (BER) each got flagged today, and Damian Iehl got his second black flag of the event. This brings the total to eight black flags for the regatta and it is only about half way through.

Racing continues Friday at 9:00AM with the last flights of the repercharge followed by quarter final action.

Results from Day 3

REPECHAGE
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 1-1
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 0-1
Blythe Walker (BDA) 1-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) 1-1
Dave Perry (USA) 0-1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) 2-0

GROUP 1
Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch 6-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 6-1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4-3
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4-3
Reuben Corbett (NZL) 3-4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2-5
Ian Evans (USA) 1-6
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1-6

GROUP 2
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 7-0
Adam Minoprio (NZL) Emirates Team New Zealand/BlackMatch Racing 4-3
Dave Perry (USA) 4-3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 4-3
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Match Racing Team/K Challenge 4-3
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 3-4
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 2-5
Paula Lewin Crews (BDA) 8-0

GROUP 3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 6-1
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 6-1
Blythe Walker (BDA) 4-3
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 4-3
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 3-4
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3-4
Charlie Enright (USA) 1-6
Donald Wilson (USA) 1-6

World Match Racing Tour

TP52 Worlds: What a Difference a Day Makes!


Preparing Artemis for racing. Image copyright Nico Martinez/TP52 World Championship.

by Paul Cayard

What a difference a day makes!

Artemis scored a 1, 2 and moved into first place over all in the world championships today. We are actually tied with Bribon for that honor, with Quantum Racing one point behind.

Again, we did not get the first race of the day under way until 1500. Light, fickle winds were on the menu again. We had two great starts today and just sailed for clean lanes with little maneuvering.

The first race was very tight all the way. We did a great job of getting to the inside of the one of the gate marks on the first run, as all the boats arrived at the same time. This jumped us out to a bit more comfortable second windward leg. We rounded the top mark second and gybe set as the pressure was on that side. We passed Valars with the gybe set and later, just prior to the finish, put a fake gybe on Bribon and Quantum to shake them off our tail.

Race number two was a bit easier, actually. We had a good first windward leg and rounded the first mark first. Down the run we gybed early with most of the fleet. Matador went straight on starboard and was just ahead of us at the gate. We were neck and neck up the second windward leg. We were in a foot race with them out to the right with us to leeward. As it came time for us to tack near the layline, they were able to just get a lee bow on us and force us away. But the both of us had a huge lead over the rest of the fleet by this time. We had a tacking duel of 4 or 5 tacks each and they were able to stay in front of us. The run was uneventful and we got our second place in that one.

So, it was a very good day on Artemis. Due to just four races having been completed at this point, the coastal race has been postponed to Saturday and tomorrow will feature windward leewards again.

The forecast is for 10-15 knot from the west tomorrow.

Cayard Sailing
TP52 World Championships

TP52 Worlds: Nothing In It



Clean, safe and fast were the watchwords on Artemis today and the 2007 double champions stuck by them to lead in Palma but local favourites Bribon are in contention on the same points aggregate

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

A first and a second from two difficult races today on the Bay of Palma sees the 2007 world champions Artemis (SWE) emerge with only the slimmest possible lead after four races have now been sailed at the 2009 TP52 World Championship.

The Swedish flagged team are tied on points with local favourites Bribón (ESP). José Cusí’s crew from the host club, with round the world racer Gonzalo Araujo (ESP) on the helm, also erred on the conservative, safe side where possible and posted a second and a third..

In the flat water, short beats and modest wind-speeds it was day for clear thinking and concise decision making, especially at the busy, often frenetic first windward mark roundings.

When they made strong start off the pin end of the line in Race 4, overnight leaders Quantum Racing (USA) looked to be well set to at least consolidate on the two points lead that they held.

But at the first windward mark approach, while Artemis squeezed only away a few metres ahead, they were suddenly trapped on their port tack approach, as the starboard tack line up lifted and they had to bail out to the back of the queue. .

Choosing prudence and dipping hard, Quantum Racing the current champions managed to come back from tenth round that first buoy to rescue a sixth place finish, but they slid to third overall, still only two points off the leading pair’s aggregate.

“It was all created by a bit of miscommunication about what we were going to do, but that was set up from four minutes out. We made the wrong decision. But instead of sticking it in there and fouling everybody we made the proper decision, and we got on with it and got back into the race.” Grimaced Quantum Racing’s skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson, “But the fact that we did not take ourselves completely out of it today is good.”

While the champions snared themselves only once, Artemis’ ability to sail clean and fast was outstanding among their virtues today, while Bribón – sailing on their home patch – are clearly quick enough in these 10 knots average breezes and flat water

With Paul Cayard (USA) calling tactics for Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE), backed up by Hamish Pepper (NZL) and Chris Nicholson (AUS), Artemis sailed smart in the difficult, unsettled breezes. With small changes in wind pressure and direction through both races - the SSW’ly breeze at between 9 and 12 knots - there were ample opportunities to make gains, and losses

“It was a matter of metres if you could cross people or not, because they were short beats and very smooth water. And so I guess we just got clean, we were able to cross most of the people and approach the mark from the starboard side, which is great because you avoid all the ducking, yelling and screaming behind you. So we kind of played it to the conservative side.” Noted Artemis’ tactician Cayard.

Matador, who were disqualified from Race 2 after a protest, to some extent bounced back today. Though they lead at the windward mark in the first race they could only make an eighth but then went on to win the second race today. They are seeking to have the protest re-opened.

The regatta schedule has been altered to allow more windward-leeward racing Friday with the 1.5 points coastal race scheduled for Saturday.


Artemis on Day Two of the TP52 Worlds. Image copyright Nico Martinez/TP52 World Championships.

TP52 World Championship 2009
Palma de Mallorca (Spain)
Overall Standings after Day 2


1. Artemis (SWE, Torbjorn Tornqvist), 8+3+1+2 = 14 points
2. Bribón (ESP, Gonzalo Araujo), 7+2+2+3= 14 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA, Terry Hutchinson), 5+1+3+6= 15 points
4. Audi TP52 Powered by Q8 (ITA, Riccardo Simoneschi), 4+6+5+4= 19 points
5. Cristabella (GBR, John Cook), 1+8+6+6+5= 20 points

Quotes:

Paul Cayard (USA), tactician Artemis (SWE):
“I think in the first race we got a little lucky really. We gybe set and Valars looked like they were quite a bit ahead of us, but the wind was all on the shore side and we went right around them. Generally the breeze was right at the top, and left at the bottom. It was not quite as simple as that…because there were oscillations and so you really had to pick and choose your moments. I think what was most important was to have a clear start at full speed and then just get in a lane, any lane where you could sail your boat at full speed, then near the top of the beat, maybe try a couple of shifts depending where you were. Early in the beat it was just about sailing at full speed.”

Ross McDonald (Can), tactician Bribón (ESP)
“ We had a really good day,alltough there aren't many oportunities. This is the first time Gonzalo races with us, we've only sailed with him on Saturday and the day before the event. It's good for us to have him. But also we’ve worked hard all season on learning what makes the boat go well, so it makes it easy for him too. We've saved the new sails for this event. We've tried not to use them before because this is Bribon's home. We want to do it as well as we can. Gonzalo has just raced around the world so he knows how to keep the boat going fast.”

Johan Barne (SWE), navigator Matador (ARG):
" We were leading at the top mark in both races but it was very tricky in the downwind in the first race with big wind holes, We didn't play it out so well in the end of the downwind and there we came round in the middle of the fleet.”

TP52 World Championships

Friday, 9 October 2009

GP42 Global Cup: The Fleet Readies for Puerto Calero, Canary Islands



With less than one week to go, anticipation and excitement levels are running high for next week's 2009 GP42 Global Cup, held over 13-17 October in Puerto Calero. Eight teams from five countries are entered to date, with possibly two more to join in the action next week. Among the teams are numerous veterans of past America's Cups, Olympic Games, Volvo Ocean Races and World Championships of all types who will bring an extremely high level of sailing talent to this resort destination on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

“We had a tremendous event here last year with this class, but are really happy to have attracted new and broader interest among a wider variety of teams,” said Daniel Calero, principal host and organiser of the event. Calero is also owner of one of the nine competing entries, Islas Canarias Puerto Calero, his Botin & Carkeek-designed GP42 which has just come from Cartagena, Spain where he won the overall GP42 Series with just one point to spare in this year’s Audi MedCup Circuit. “While they may not be on new boats, some of these teams are brand-new to the class, so we’re happy they’re showing strong interest to want to come and play.”

Other teams entered to date include Calero’s runner-up rival in the MedCup, Filippo Faruffini’s Farr-designed Roma 2 (ITA), along with four other alumnists from the MedCup GP42 Series: Javier Goizueta’s B&C-designed Caser-Endesa (ESP), Jose Maria van der Ploeg’s B&C-designed Turismo Madrid (ESP), Roberto Monti’s Felci-designed Airis (ITA), and Goncalo Esteves’ B&C-designed Quebramar-Xacobeo 2010 (POR), sailed in the MedCup as Iberdrola. Airis was last year’s winner here at the Trofeo Puerto Calero, and Quebramar-Xacobeo 2010, sailed as Desafio, was the overall season champion in 2008. These MedCup teams would have to be regarded as among the favorites for this year’s Global Cup, having competed not only in the 39-race GP42 Series, but for some the 4-day GP42 Owner-Driver Championship in August in Cascais as well.


GP42s. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

But the competitiveness of the class, the hospitality of Puerto Calero and the ideal sailing conditions here has also attracted two confirmed new teams to GP42 racing at this year’s Global Cup. John Bassadone is leading a Gibralter-based team on his Farr-designed Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), ex-Roma 1. This is a first-generation GP42 design, but still has plenty of potential. And the first-ever team from Scandinavia will be making a GP42 class debut: Team Nordic (SWE) will be competing on the Cognit-designed ex-Totalboats with a crew led by Magnus Olsson and the Ericsson team who trained for months here in Puerto Calero while getting ready for last year’s start of the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race.

Two more new teams are scrambling to try to also make the entry list, with their status to be confirmed in a few days’ time.

The format for the event will be practice racing to be held on Tuesday, 13 October, followed by windward/leeward course racing to start on Wednesday, 14 October and resume daily through Saturday, 17 October. The race management team will be led by America’s Cup PRO Peter “Luigi” Reggio, whose team will be challenged in their course-setting duties by the deep water off the island, but experienced from prior years of experience with other high-calibre events held here in Puerto Calero.

GP42 Global Cup

TP52 Worlds: A Mediocre Day for Artemis on Day One


Artemis on Day One of the TP52 Worlds. Image copyright Pedro Martinez/TP52 World Championship.

by Paul Cayard

A mediocre day at best for us on Artemis. With an 8, 3 we are in 6th overall.
We waited until 4 pm to get the first race underway as the wind was light and variable all day. Finally 8 knots of wind filled in and we were off.

We had a good start to the left side as that has been favored here and usually is. We got around the front of everyone and tacked looking good. Shortly thereafter the right most boat, Cristabella, came across with a big starboard lift and pressure.
They came all the way over to us and tacked on us naturally as we were second. By now, everyone was realizing that the right had more pressure so our clearing tack to the left hurt us. Next Valars was able to come over and make us tack off to the left again and then finally Matador came and pounded us on the port layline. Needless to say, we were deep at this point.

On the final run we were the meat in a sandwich between Bribon and Weapon of Choice. Bribon gybed on us and tolled us and we some managed to pass Weapon.

Anyway, it was a painful race.

In the second race which started at 6:05pm, we had a great start and were inches from being second at the top mark again fighting with Bribon. Quantum had taken the left and had a slight lead on both of us.

It stayed that way all the way around the track although Matador closed in on us at the finish and made it a bit tense.

Tomorrow's forecast is for a westerly wind as a front is due to pass during the night.

Cayard Sailing
TP52 World Championships

RIWKC: Day One Blown Out


Wind and rain on day one of the Rolex International Womens Keelboat Championships. Image copyright Joanna Tunnicliffe.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

Racing was cancelled today at 8:30am due to high winds here in Rochester, NY at the US Sailing's Rolex Women's Keelboat Championships. We woke up this morning to rain and winds, already gusting into the high 20kt with the forecast for it to get windier throughout the day. Racing will resume tomorrow at 10am with at least three races scheduled.

It was unfortunate that we couldn't get racing in today, as it always feels better to get the races started, but we can't control the weather. Tomorrow's forecast is for the wind to be around 10kt, so it should be a very pleasant day for sailing.

The team is using today as a chance to relax, in order to get ready for the rest of the regatta and our upcoming busy schedule of events in the rest of this month and November.

The event has a dinner scheduled tonight at the Eastman House. The Eastman House is the International Museum of Photography and Film, and combines the world's leading collection of photography and film with the stately pleasures of the landmark Colonial Revival mansion and gardens that George Eastman called home from 1905 to 1932. The Museum is a National Historic Landmark. Mr Eastman, the founder of Easman Kodak Company, is heralded as the father of modern photography and the inventor of motion picture film. The event should be very cool and we are looking forward to seeing the museum.

Anna Tunnicliffe
Rolex International Womens Keelboat Championships

WMRT: WAKA Racing Report from Day Two of the Gold Cup


Young New Zealander Phil Robertson and his WAKA Racing team take a race from match racing veteran Peter Gilmour. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Garth Ellingham

After no racing for us on Day One (due to lack of wind) we finally got onto the water racing today. We had four races against the top four ranked skippers in our pool. The conditions were a puffy strong breeze that made the International One Designs (IOD) quite a handful, with two of the races being sailed with no kites.

First race was against Mattias Rahm where we got a solid windward start with gauge that enabled us to lead around the top mark. Fortunately for us when he turned around the mark his boom clipped the top mark and the umpires gave him a penalty. Then at the bottom with him right behind us he was judged to have hit us from behind and was given another penalty. The final straw came when he didn't do this second penalty immediately and was given the "black flag". First win on the board.

Second race was against the defending champion from last year Johnie Berntsson. We dominated the first part of the pre-start forcing a penalty on him in the dial up but then got ourselves into trouble allowing Johnie to pin us and get us slow to convincingly win the start. We fought hard all race to minimise the gap so he couldn't do his penalty turn but he sailed well and managed to do it and win the race.

Third race was against legend Peter Gilmour whom we had a close race against at the Danish Open. After a tough pre-start in the big breeze Peter came off the line with a windward start and nearly rolled us. We did a nice move luffing him to stop this and forced him to tack off. We then picked a couple of nice shifts to get back to bow to bow with him and when he lee-bowed us we pounced. Managing to partially roll him and take height. Now we had him locked and led around the top mark. With kites back in action the downwinds proved to be ver hairy but the team held its nerve and managed to pull off a close victory that we were very happy about.

The final race against Mathieu Richard proved to be a bit of a disappointment as we had him pinned above the line for most of the pre-start but a boat handling cock up allowed him to break free. Also putting us in a bad situation that we infringed in giving ourselves an soft penalty. We tried hard all race to get rid of the penalty but Mathieu sailed well keeping clean.

Overall the team is pretty happy with the day. If you told us at the beginning of the day we would have two victories against the top four we would definately had taken it. However we know we could have done better. Tomorrow we have three races to finish off our pool with another windy day forcasted. The boys are all keen and ready to go with three wins a must!

Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters for all the encouragement.

The WAKA Boys
Phil Robertson
Garth Ellingham
James Williamson
Sam Bell

WAKA Racing
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: Tough Day for MRT in Bermuda


Mirsky Racing Team on Day One of the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Kinley Fowler

A lot of boat breakages and strong winds kept competitors on their toes and with regatta organisers doing well to catch up on the missed flights of yesterday racing is now on track.

Facing Frenchman Damien Iehl, MRT was unable to make any significant gains in the blustery 20knot breeze and took their first loss for the regatta.

Keen to avenge their result in race one, MRT then faced current world champion Ian Williams and his team, Bahrain Team Pindar. After dominating the prestart MRT made a judgement error and was called OSC.

Sailing strongly MRT made big gains and at the last top mark trailed Team Pindar narrowly, unfortunately they could not pass on the downwind and Pindar took the win.

"We sailed well to catch back up, but with the strong winds the race committee put up the no spinnaker flag which meant it was very difficult to pass on the downwind" said Graeme Spence.

With one final race in the round robin, MRT must secure a win in order to proceed to the next stage of the competition and keep their hopes alive for the 2009 Gold Cup.

Results after Day Two:
Group 1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4/2
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar by Argo Group 6/1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4/3
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2/3
Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch 4-1
Reuben Corbett (NZL) 3/3
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1/5
Ian Evans (USA)1/5

Group 2
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 3/1
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Team/K Challenge 3/1
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 4/0
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 3/1
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 1/3
David Perry (USA) 2/2
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 0/4
Paula Lewin Crews (BDA) 0/4

Group 3
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4/0
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3/1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 3/1
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 2/2
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 2/2
Blythe Walker (BDA) 1/3
Donald Wilson (USA) 1/3
Charlie Enright (USA) 0/4

Mirsky Racing Team
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: BlackMatch Report on Day 2 in Bermuda


Argo Group Gold Cup provides testing conditions for teams ETNZ/BlackMatch and USA's Dave Perry. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by David Swete

Day two of racing and the wind that was promised certainly delivered, as racing got underway early this morning in blustery conditions that often saw gusts of 30 knots. We had two action packed victories over Rasmus Viltoft from Denmark and the USA’s Dave Perry, while we suffered our first defeat of the regatta, going down against Portuguese sailor Alvaro Marinho.


Pre-start circling. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

In our race against Viltoft we received a penalty in the pre-start dialup. Although we were the leeward right of way boat, the umpires deemed the Dane was doing all he could to keep clear and as he drifted onto us a collision occurred that saw us surprisingly receive a penalty. Despite this we were in a better position off the start-line and after a good first beat we held the lead around the first top mark. The decision was made to try and extend throughout the race and complete our penalty turn on the final upwind, we did so nearing the top mark but now only had the slimmest of leads. The final run to the finish was very exciting as Viltoft brought good wind pressure up from behind, he threw everything he had at us and we had to defend, luffing hard out of gybes as both boats rumbled toward the finish line barely in control. We did a great job of controlling our position and while the Danish team ‘wiped out’ on the approach to the finish, we bore away to take the win.

Despite our loss to world number 15 Alvaro Marinho today, we still have the chance to top our group in our three remaining races, however we are racing arguably 3 of the toughest competitors at this years Argo Group Gold Cup. First up we have Ben Ainslie, followed by Bjorn Hansen and Sebastian Col, a tough line up but we are looking forward to the challenge tomorrow.


BlackMatch Racing and Fedex Express watch the racing in Bermuda from the VIP boat. Image copyright Jenny Warner.

BlackMatch would like to make a special mention to Mark Watson who is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Argo Group. Mark is not only the title sponsor of the Argo Group Gold Cup, but is also an avid sailor. Mark and his team have played host to BlackMatch’s sponsor Fedex Express, entertaining them on the magnificent 110ft Motor Yacht Venetian, which provides the best seat in the house for the action on the water, thank you Mark for all of your help this week. We would also like to thank everyone from Fedex Express who joined us on the water today, we hope you all enjoyed your day and hope we can deliver the goods tomorrow. To the RNZYS and Emirates Team New Zealand, thank you for your support.

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: Ainslie, Richard and Williams Lead the Charge in Bermuda




Peter Gilmour (AUS) and Phil Robertson (NZL) smashing down the race course. The Kiwi WAKA Racing team beat the Aussie match race veteran. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by Talbot Wilson

British Olympic Gold medal winner Ben Ainslie was first out of the box in the first match of flight 2 for Group 2 at the Argo Group Gold Cup Wednesday morning. He took the win from Bermuda’s Olympian Paula Lewin-Crews. Ainslie went on to win three matches today. With another first in Tuesday’s dying breeze, he stands at the top of Group 2 with 4-0, four wins and no losses.

Following Ainslie in Group 2 with 3-1 records are Adam Minoprio (NZL), Seb Col (FRA), and Bjorn Hansen. Dave Perry (USA) is 2-2, Alvaro Marinho (POR) stands 1-3 while Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) and Paula Lewin Crews (BER) are winless at 0-4.

Group 3 took to the water after the 4th flight for Group 2 and also completed four flights after a slight pause to allow a powerful wind and rain squall to pass. They raced the two pre-squall with jib and main only, but the rainstorm dampened the wind enough to allow the boats to sail with spinnakers. Group 2 and 3 will complete their round robin on Thursday, weather permitting.

Former Bermuda Gold Cup champion Mathieu Richard was in perfect form taking all four of his matches today to stand 4-0 going into the group’s last three flights scheduled to be completed along with Group 3’s final three on Thursday. Last year’s champion Johnie Berntsson lost one match today to Chicago, Illinois skipper Don Wilson and is tied for second in the group with three time Gold Cup champ and past World Tour champion Peter Gilmour (AUS) at 3-1. Gilmour lost his Flight 3 race to Phil Robertson (NZL).

Group 1 then returned to the water late in the afternoon and after several breakdowns were repaired the racing was about to get underway in 22 knots of wind when Eric Monnin (SUI) and Torvar Mirsky (AUS), undefeated on Tuesday, tangled rigs. The jumper struts on Mirsky’s rig were damaged and he could not sail so he returned to the Royal Bermuda YC. His Match 1 Flight 5 with Keith Swinton will be sailed Thursday.

In Group 1, Flight 5 Match 2, between Ian Evans (USA) and Eric Monnin, Evans got a black flag for too many outstanding penalties and the win went to Monnin.

Then in match 3 reigning World Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR) and Damian Iehl (FRA) had a battle down to wire. Iehl was ahead but had to make a penalty turn before finishing. He made the turn but came out on port and did not keep clear of Williams. He was penalized again and the win went to Williams.

Williams’ next match was short lived after Keith Swinton (AUS) broke his boom at the vang fitting doing a gybe during the pre-start. With Swinton unable to start the umpires black flagged him handing the win to Williams. Williams then went on to defeat Torvar Mirsky in the final match of the day and leads Group 1 with six wins.

The other matches in that flight turned into survival tests with the boats taking one death roll after another coming downwind in blustery 25 knot gusts. Damian Iehl gave Torvor Mirsky his first defeat of the competition, and taking one final roll right at the finish, Rueben Corbett (NZL) defeated Ian Evans.


Matthias Rahm (SWE) and Don Wilson (USA) in Bermuda. Image copyright Charles Anderson.

Match racing action in the Argo Group Gold Cup, Stage 8 of the World Match Racing Tour, continued Wednesday with the one-hour early 7:00AM skippers meeting and the 8:00AM first warning for Flight 2 for Group 2. With the sun barely up in Bermuda, in a breeze that built all morning with gusts in the low twenties, spinnakers were only used for the first flight of the day. Group 2 flights 3 and 4 were non-spinnaker matches.

Penalty flags flew everywhere just like the matches on Tuesday, every match in Group 2 Flight 2 garnered a penalty or two. In Group 3 racing later in the day there was even a collision between Don Wilson (USA) and an umpire boat, a collision between boats racing and rumors of a boat colliding with the harbour wall. Mattias Rahm was black flagged in Flight 1 of Group 3 against Phil Robertson (NZL), getting an immediate disqualification for three simultaneous penalties.

This was the second black flag DSQ in the 2009 Argo Group Gold Cup.

The third black flag came out in the Group 1, Flight 5 Match 2, between Ian Evans (USA) and Eric Monnin (SUI) with Monnin getting the automatic, instant win. The fourth black flag came out in the Group 1 Flight 6 Match 4, between Swinton and Williams with the win going Williams way.

Racing will get underway on Thursday at 9.00am weather permitting. The forecast is for 40 knots of wind to come through so there might be some waiting around before the action starts again.

Results after day 2:

Group 1
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4/2
Ian Williams (GBR) Team Pindar by Argo Group 6/1
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4/3
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 2/3
Eric Monnin (SUI) Search.ch 4/1
Reuben Corbett (NZL) 3/3
Robbie Allam (GBR) 1/5
Ian Evans (USA)1/5

Group 2
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 3/1
Sebastien Col (FRA) French Team/K Challenge 3/1
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 4/0
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Alandia Sailing Team 3/1
Alvaro Marinho (POR) Seth Sailing Team 1/3
David Perry (USA) 2/2
Rasmus Viltoft (DEN) 0/4
Paula Lewin Crews (BDA) 0/4

Group 3
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 4/0
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3/1
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 3/1
Mattias Rahm (SWE) Stena Bulk Sailing Team 2/2
Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing Team 2/2
Blythe Walker (BDA) 1/3
Donald Wilson (USA) 1/3
Charlie Enright (USA) 0/4

World Match Racing Tour

Thursday, 8 October 2009

TP52 World Championships: Form a Queue



Quantum Racing lead the TP52 world championships after a testing opening day on the Bay of Palma

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

The autumn evening sun was already dipping low in the sky as Quantum Racing (USA) took the winning gun for the second of two races today at the TP52 World Championships off Palma, Mallorca. Their win, paired with a fifth from the first heat ensures the current world champions lead overall by a single point.

Even if the sea breeze took its time to build and only peaked with short spells offering 11 knots and mostly averaged around 6-8 knots, it proved a tricky afternoon over which the usual Palma tactical conventions did not always hold true, and consistency in the ten boat fleet across these first two windward-leeward races proved elusive.

After two races Quantum Racing (USA) lead the Russian team on Synergy who took a second and fifth and are matched on the same seven points tally by Alberto Roemmers’ current Copa del Rey champions on Matador (ARG) who took a third and a fourth.

Real Club Nautico de Palma member John Cook on the helm of Cristabella - which last year won the Copa del Rey as Iberdrola with Terry Hutchinson as tactician - triumphed in the first race. The British crew, with Manchester export John Cutler (NZL) as tactician, recognised the additional wind pressure and small shift to the right of the course on the first beat, and after a modest start, were able to cross the fleet two thirds of the way up the leg. They led at the windward turn by a clear 40 metres from Synergy and went on to win by 22 seconds with Matador third.

It proved a morale boosting opening for the British owner Cook who is current chairman of the TP52 fleet and has been a member of the host club for more than 15 years, where he has based six different Cristabella yachts, three TP52’s since 2005.

Previous to this the Cristabella crew’s most memorable victory was in 2006 when the they won one of the most exciting coastal races ever of the MedCup Circuit, racing around Formentera in 2006. And it is Cristabella’s best World Championships race yet, after a second placing in 2007 in Porto Cervo.

It was after 1800hrs in the early evening when Quantum Racing’s afterguard of Morgan Larson (USA) and Mark Mendelblatt (USA) conspired to read the opening beat of the second race to best effect, calling the favourable left shift on the left of the track ahead of the slight extra pressure on the right. The current champions were ahead at the windward mark to lead local favourites Bribón across the finish.

With Gonzalo Araujo steering, the Spanish boat was well placed off the pin end of the start line and also profited to the left on the first beat, able to hold off the 2007 champions Artemis who took third.


Quantum Racing lead after day one. Image copyright Nico Martinez/TP52 World Championships

TP52 World Championship 2009
Palma de Mallorca (Spain)
Overall standings after Day 1


1. Quantum Racing (USA, Terry Hutchinson), 5+1= 6 points
2. Synergy (RUS, Sergey Pichuguin), 2+5= 7 points
3. Matador (ARG, Alberto Roemmers), 3+4= 7 points
4. Bribón (ESP, Gonzalo Araujo), 7+2= 9 points
5. Cristabella (GBR, John Cook), 1+9=10 points

Morgan Larson, tactician, Quantum Racing (USA):
“ It proved to be every bit as challenging today as Palma can be. Sometimes it is like that where the right looks windier but everyone knows about that geographical left shift. I think the race committee did a nice job of making the right hand a little favoured so it was enticing and so Cristabella got it right. We thought it would be about one in ten times when the right paid out big and it happened, they did a nice job.

“ Second race was great for us. It was still a challenge because we knew the fleet was thinking right and the pressure looked to be on the right, but we were happy to go for the left shift. That made it easy to take the pin and it paid out.

“ The MedCup you are building points throughout and so you are trying to podium each event and you are always thinking about the overall, this is the world championships and so no one is sailing conservative, everyone is going all out to win.

“ And it has a nice atmosphere, it is nice to be finally at a yacht club and Palma is always a nice City to come to, and it is also really nice to see a couple of new boats to the fleet, some new faces out there.

“ We don’t really think of it as being here to defend our title, it’s a world championship. If you can win a world championship you’d be happy, and this was a good way to begin. I am sure there will be some tricky days ahead.”

TP52 World Championships

WMRT: Gilmour says his '97 Gold Cup win was the most challenging


Peter Gilmour (AUS) and Adam Minoprio (NZL) approach the start at St Moritz Match Race 2009. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/myimage.ch

Courtesy of the Bermuda Sun

by Colin Thompson

Peter Gilmour is one of the most feared sailors on the World Match Racing Tour.

The Aussie is a four-time World Match Racing Tour champion as well as a three-time Argo Group Gold Cup winner.

Gilmour has competed in five Americas Cup challenges and was victorious with the Alinghi syndicate in 2007.

He is currently in Bermuda taking part in this week's Argo Group Gold Cup with Yanmar Racing Team where he hopes to celebrate a first win on the World Match Racing Tour since capturing last year's Monsoon Cup in Malaysia and a first Gold Cup since 2003. Gilmour is currently fourth in this year's World Match Racing Tour championship points standings. Here he speaks with the Bermuda Sun's Colin Thompson.

Q: What are your impressions on Bermuda?

A: I love Bermuda and think it has this really unique place in the world of sailing generally. The first time I came we stayed with 'Shorty' Trimingham who was an old Olympic sailor from way back. It just sought of typified what Bermuda is. It is sort of a mix of societies and cultures.

In terms of the island itself and the beauty of people and natural resources, there is a genuine beauty about this place. This is a perfect arena for sailing and is absolutely what the world match racing tour is all about.

Even though it's expensive to get here all the top teams come here and they love the racing and camaraderie.

Q: Do you enjoy sailing in the international one-design racing sloop?

A: Absolutely! These style of boats probably suit the style of match racing that I do, which is more of what I call the traditional style.

Q: Of the lot, which of your Gold Cup triumphs do you cherish most?

A: Certainly 1997 would have been very significant because I would have had an all-Japanese crew and that was pretty challenging back then.

We had different languages and a whole different philosophy and way of thinking. It certainly would have been a very big year for us.

Q: Has the sport evolved much since you first began competing?

A: Certainly. What you are seeing today is a far more disciplined approach to it. A lot of teams now bring their coaches along with them and they are very well organized.

The level has certainly gone up and there is also a lot more physical training going in to it and as a result it's not good enough to just come along to a regatta and think you are going to do well.

You need to really prepare well for it and there's a lot of psychology involved in the game. Typically all 24 teams are equal as we sit here on opening day but as we get down towards the closing day the pressure comes on and everybody starts thinking about winning some money to cover their airfares or whatever else.

Q: As a sailing destination, how do you rate Bermuda?

A: I rate Bermuda as an absolute top sailing destination. If you look back 20 years ago Russell Coutts (multiple Gold Cup winner) was begging to get invited to become a competitor of the Gold Cup and now he's won the Americas Cup three times. That's what these type of events do; they launch these talents onto the world of sailing.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Junior Gold Cup?

A: I think the Junior Gold Cup is fantastic because importantly you must have youngsters aspire to where this is all going. You can't just have an elite level sport and not have it to do something to actually have a deep effect on the community.

Q: What advice would you give to any young aspiring sailor?

A: The first advice you give to a young sailor is to follow your dreams because situations change and evolve and suddenly doors open up where you didn't think they were.

I think following your dreams is the first good bit of advice although it's a difficult notion to explain to kids because they are looking for instant gratification. Sailing is a sport for life.

Sailing is a sport whereby you can't expect results quickly; you have to be patient and chip away over the long term to achieve results. It's really important to take a steady as it goes kind of approach. You also have to happy competing inside your own skin.

Q: Given Bermuda's reasonable success on the world stage, are you surprised the island has yet to medal at the Olympics?

A: Not really because if you look at the size of the population it's just a numbers game. Look at how well China can throw a billion people at the problem and it is solved.

I think Bermuda is already punching way beyond its weight on a per head basis. But if you go back to what I said about following your dreams, I generally think those dreams are attainable.

Q: What would be your most memorable achievement in the sport?

A: That's such a hard one because I have had so many memorable occasions. I can go all the way back to winning my first World Championship when I was 21 years old and then winning my first World Match Racing Tour championship when I was 30.

Q: How do you compare today's Gold Cup to those of yesteryear?

A: I think if you go back ten or 15 years the Gold Cup was a lot bigger than what it actually is now. I would say that as an event it probably has flat lined a bit.

Q: As a kid growing up, did you participate in other sports?

A: Yes, I actually played cricket and Aussie Rules football. However, sailing always got in the way.

Q: How did sailing become your first passion?

A: My interest in sailing really came from growing up around the water in Perth. I lived very close to the water and used to paddle around in little dinghies and explore - which is probably something every kid here gets to do at some point.

Q: What does it take to compete on the World Match Racing Tour?

A: It really just takes dedication, application and focus to be able to do it. You also need the support of a sponsor to be able to move around and compete at these different events."

Talbot Wilson
World Match Racing Tour