Saturday, 12 March 2011

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan Race 6 Won by Gotta Love It 7


The winning crew on Gotta Love It 7. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

Defending champion Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 team of Sam Newton and Scott Babbage have grabbed the lead in the Winning Appliances 18ft Skiff Championship with just one more race to sail (tomorrow) but it will be an anxious wait as there is a protest pending on the result of today’s race.

Subject to any decision of the protest (to be heard tomorrow morning), Gotta Love It 7 holds a two points lead over Australian champions Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas in Thurlow Fisher Lawyers – the protesting boat.


Spinnakers. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Gotta Love It 7 took the lead shortly after the start and was not headed over the entire course before going on to a 1m2s win over Matthew Searle, Archie Massey and Mike McKenzie in Red Claw Wines, with Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) another 56s back in third place.

The provisional points are: Gotta Love It 7 on 9 points, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 11, SLAM (Grant Rollerson, WA-Aust) 21, CST Composites (Howie Hamlin, USA) 23, Red Claw Wines 25, and Smeg on 26.


Red Claw Wines. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Gotta Love It 7 led narrowly from Smeg up the first beat and went around the Beashel Buoy windward mark with a 12s advantage.

The pair had opened up a good break over the rest of the fleet as Red Claw Wines was 40s from the lead in third place.

SLAM was in fourth place, followed by Panasonic (Jonathan Whitty), Yandoo (John Winning), De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn), Peters & May (Jarrod Simpson, UK) and Brett Van Munster’s The Kitchen Maker.


Bottom mark. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

7’s downwind boat handling was superb in the light north-east breeze and her lead had been extended to 30s over Smeg at the bottom mark.

Red Claw Wines trailed Smeg by 25s with SLAM next, Yandoo fifth and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers sixth – 2m from the leader.

There was no change in the order of the three leading teams, however they had opened up a very big break over fourth placed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, SLAM, Hyde Sails (Andy Budgen, UK) and Yandoo.


Gotta Love It 7. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

With Gotta Love It 7 holding a 40s marging at the bottom mark the second time, the interest settled on the tight race for second placing.

Smeg and Red Claw Wines were separated by just a few secs. As they went around the Clarke Is. Mark and headed off for the final lap of the course.

The north-east breeze freshened a few knots over the final lap of the course and Red Claw Wines overhauled Smeg to take second place.


Appliances Online. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finished fourth, ahead of SLAM, Hyde Sails, Peters & May, Yandoo, The Kitchen Maker, CST Composites, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs, Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney), appliancesonline.com.au (Jeremy Wilmot), Queenslander 1 (David Witt) and Pure Blonde (James Francis).

The LIVE TRACKING will continue for tomorrow’s vital and deciding Race 7, which is due to start at 3pm (Eastern Daylight Saving Time).
DON’T MISS IT WHATEVER YOU DO on:
http://www.tractrac.com/index.php?page=eventpage&id=138


Asko. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

For the all important race tomorrow, the Australian 18 Footers League will have two spectator ferries leaving Double Bay public wharf. The first ferry is expected to start boarding at 2pm.

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: Winning Appliances JJ Giltinan Videos of the first 5 Races

Race 1 part 1



Race 1 part 2



Race 1 part 3



Race 2 part 1



Race 2 part 2



Race 2 part 3



Race 2 part 4



Race 3 part 1



Race 3 part 2



Race 3 part 3



Race 4 part 1



Race 4 part 2



Race 4 part 3



Race 4 part 4



Race 5 part 1 - not available at present

Race 5 part 2



Race 5 part 3



Race 5 part 4



Aussie 18 Footers League

Y's Cup Match Racing, Day Two, Marseille: Blown Off in the Morning

by Coralie Jonet (in translation by SailRaceWin)

Short attempt this morning: After 30 minutes on the water, the wind climbed to 25 to 35 knots. The race committee called everyone back to land.
The next briefing for the competitors will be at midday, without doubt to announce cancellation for the day and to fix the rendez-vous for tomorrow, Sunday.

In French:

Courte tentative ce matin : après 30 minutes passées sur l'eau, le vent est passé de 25 à 35 noeuds. Le comité de course vient de rappeler les concurrents à terre.
Prochain briefing coureurs à midi, sans doute pour annoncer l'annulation de la journée et fixer le rendez-vous pour demain dimanche.

Y's Cup, YCPR, Marseille

BWR: Cape Horn Passed and Two Positions Gained for Caffari and Corbella


Dee and Anna at Cape Horn. Image copyright Equipo GAES Centros Auditivos.

by Coralie Rassinoux

After 70 days of racing in the Barcelona World Race, record breaking British yachtswoman Dee Caffari and her Spanish co skipper Anna Corbella celebrated the rounding of Cape Horn in the early hours of this morning (GMT). For Caffari this is the fourth time she has passed the iconic landmark and the all-female duo had the added bonus of overtaking closest race rivals Hugo Boss as they make their exit from the notorious Southern Ocean. For Corbella this is her first time passing Cape Horn and a huge achievement as she endeavours to become the first Spanish woman to sail non-stop around the world.

Caffari said:
“I have passed Cape Horn four times now and each time has been quite different. The first was in the company of 17 other crew members on the Global Challenge, the second on my own during the Aviva Challenge when I encountered uncharacteristic mill pond conditions. The third was spent dodging a huge storm during the Vendee Globe and this time I am here with Anna who is celebrating her very first time around. They say variety is the spice of life and it is wonderful to share such a special achievement with her after working so hard together over the last two months or so.”

Corbella has been struggling with the cold conditions over the last few weeks and the passing of Cape Horn will be a much welcome morale boost to the Catalan sailor who is more accustomed to the warmer climes of Barcelona than the depths of the Southern Ocean.

Caffari added:
“It was actually quite emotional. I congratulated Anna on getting here and reminded her that not everyone achieves this. I am very proud of her and now she is the first Spanish woman to round Cape Horn. Way to go!! It is a huge achievement for anyone that gets round this corner and with it comes a sense of relief. Surviving the Southern Ocean and escaping its clutches, returning to the Atlantic and psychologically the big thing is to point the bow towards home.”

Over the last few days the GAES girls have managed to claw back some miles and at the 0500 hrs ranking were in 7th place, 5 miles ahead of closest race rivals Andy Meiklejohn & Wouter Verbraak on Hugo Boss. There has been no change at the head of the fleet with Virbac-Paprec 3 leading by 463 miles. After making a technical appraisal of the keel problem on their IMOCA Open 60, Kito de Pavant & Sébastien Audigane onboard Groupe Bel reluctantly made the decision last night to abandon the race. The Barcelona World Race fleet has now shrunk down to eleven from an original line up of fourteen.

Aviva has been a longstanding supporter of Dee Caffari and her inspirational record breaking sailing achievements, assisting her to three world records including becoming the first woman to sail solo, non stop, around the world in both directions. As Founding Partner of Caffari’s sailing campaign, Aviva is pleased to extend this support to Corbella and GAES for the Barcelona World Race.

GAES Centros Auditivos
Barcelona World Race

Marinassess Women’s Match Racing: Olivia Price Takes Commanding Lead




Olivia Price: in winning form. Image copyright CYCA staff.

by Pam Scrivenor and Jennifer Crooks

Olivia Price has taken a commanding lead in the Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta, hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, winning all her matches today.

The regatta started slowly this morning with a hint of a north easterly breeze looking like it was going to fill in to enable racing to commence on time at 1015 but as the teams gathered on the water, the harbour glassed out and the breeze disappeared. With the sun out and no sign of breeze, it was decided to send the teams ashore until the northerly filled in again at midday.

The schedule for Day 1 of the Marinassess Women’s Match Racing Regatta was to complete one round robin and finish the day with a fleet race. This regatta is the first competition for many of the sailors who have been attending the Youth Sailing Academy Women’s Match Racing Squad on Friday evenings since October last year. This squad has several members who have been sailing on keel boats for many years and have joined up to add match racing to their sailing talents.

The three CYCA Youth Sailing Academy (YSA) teams were skippered by Amanda Scrivenor, Tara McCall and Katie Abbott. Scrivenor has been match racing with the YSA for many years and along with several other Advanced Squad match racers, comes to women’s squad to continuing match racing over the summer months but also to help teach match racing skills to many CYCA sailors.

McCall, also an Advanced Squad sailor, is skippering her first match racing regatta this weekend and Abbott has been in Australia over the last few months to continue match racing in the summer season rather than the cold waters of her home in Canada. The YSA teams finished the day with Abbott finishing in 3rd place on 3 wins, Scrivenor on 2 and McCall on 1 win.

The match between Jessica Eastwell and Olivia Price was one of the close races of the day and was the matchup between the two Australian Women’s Match Racing Teams. Price finished the day in first place at the end of round robin one with 5 wins from 5 races and Eastwell, having only lost to Price, finished the day on four wins.

Stephanie Doyle, representing Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club has brought her team to the CYCA for this regatta having recently competed in both youth regattas in New Zealand. Despite having some close races today, she was unable to get a win on the board.

Round Robin One was finished today and all six teams then competed in a fleet race. This regatta was originally established as a fleet racing regatta but has been a match racing regatta for the last six years. The inclusion of the fleet race introduces a different platform for the teams with six boats instead of two on the start line, a change in start sequence and several racing rules and most important to remember, port roundings at the marks instead of the match racing starboard roundings. Lucinda Whitty took the helm on Jessica Eastwell’s boat for this race and finished the race in first place, closely followed by Olivia Price and Amanda Scrivenor.

It is the intention of the Race Officer, Denis Thompson to continue racing tomorrow with a second round robin and semis and finals should the weather permit. Racing will resume at 1015hrs, in the vicinity of Rushcutters Bay, with the Bureau of Meteorology predicting north to north-easterly winds of 5 to 10 knots, tending east to north-easterly around midday then tending north to north-easterly 10 to 15 knots with the chance of isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon. Live results will be available on http://www.cyca.com.au/editorial.asp?key=4227 from the commencement of the round robins.

Results

DAY ONE: Saturday 12 March, 2011

Flight One
Eastwell dft Doyle
Abbott dft Scrivenor
Price dft McCall

Flight Two
Abbott dft Doyle
Price dft Eastwell
Scrivenor dft McCall

Flight Three
Price dft Abbott
Eastwell dft McCall
Scrivenor dft Doyle

Flight Four
Abbott dft McCall
Price dft Doyle
Eastwell dft Scrivenor

Flight Five
McCall dft Doyle
Eastwell dft Abbott
Price dft Scrivenor

Olivia Price signalling her intentions early for this regatta taking a clean sweep on day one with a 5-0 slate.

Summary wins-losses
Price 5-0
Eastwell 4-1
Abbott 3-2
Scrivenor 2-3
McCall 1-4
Doyle 0-5

Marinassess Women's Match Race Regatta

Match Extreme Team Morbihan Training off Marseille Prior to Y's Cup

Video of Pierre-Antoine Morvan's crew, ISAF ranked 7, training on 8th March off Marseille before the Y's Cup this weekend:


Match Extreme Team Morbihan
Y's Cup, YCPR, Marseille

Victorian State A Cat Championships 2011: No Sailing on Day One



by Julian Jenkins

There was no sailing today on the first day of the 2011 Victorian state A-class cataraman championships at McCrae Yacht Club on Mornington Peninsula, in which Glenn Ashby, Dean Barker and other members of Team New Zealand are entered.

The light breeze of the early morning died off before the scheduled start time. Racing was postponed ashore until finally postponed until tomorrow at 5pm.

An inshore breeze was enough to tempt a few sailors out for a late afternoon sail, but was confined too close to shore to allow a course to be set.

The forecast for tomorrow is good, with racing scheduled to start at 10:30am.

The race commitee will be tweeting updates at http://mobile.twitter.com/mccraeyc

McCrae YC

Figaro: Change of Owner for the next Figaro...

French skipper Corentin Douguet sails his Figaro Beneteau in 55 knots:


The news is that Yoann Richomme has just bought this boat.

Solitaire du Figaro

BWR: The Passing of the Horn in Company...


Cape Horn. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.

by SailRaceWin

At about 0045 UTC on 13th March, HUGO BOSS reached the most southern point of South America, Cape Horn, and turned the corner into the Atlantic! "On the home straight now and heading back to Barcelona!" (The comment on facebook met with the immediate approval of Kirsten Meiklejohn, Andy's wife.)

GAES Centros Auditivos also went around the Horn about the same time, just 1.5 miles from HUGO BOSS. Both boats have seen hailstorms with hail the size of golf balls reported by GAES, and snow storms too, over the last 2-3 days, and very squally conditions. GAES is currently reported as about 5 miles ahead of HUGO BOSS.

It appears that Neutrogena and Sodeb'O started a trend earlier in the week; sailboat racing around Cape Horn is now to be done in company!

Winds are now light both at, and past, the Horn, which makes for slow going for HUGO BOSS as she has a reef in the mainsail. There should be an opportunity to fix the main track and resolve this issue in High pressure and flat seas (the latter are much needed for working up the mast) in the Atlantic, and this will allow HUGO BOSS to get up to full speed again. The top speed that she has reached so far during the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race is an awesome 40.7 knots!

Mostly there will be relief on board both boats, due to the freezing cold, wet, icy, conditions combined with uncomfortable sea state, sailing a lot of upwind, rather than down, and passing through the remains of tropical cyclone Atu, that they encountered in the most un-Pacific passage by racing sailboats boats since Dee Caffari went around the world in the opposite direction some years ago, being now behind them. Heading north means heading towards the equator and warmer weather, plus sunshine, should await them after the cold, grey, rollers of the south.

Interesting Developments Ahead

Apart from the St Helena High and low pressure systems developing, plus a lot of upwelling of cold water off Argentina in currents, which we won't comment on here, the three boats ahead of HUGO BOSS and GAES are having their own tussle.

Estrella Damm, who just passed Mirabaud, has now also overtaken the beleagured Neutrogena (who have keel issues to contend with). The three boats are within 15 miles of each other in 4th-5th-6th; GAES have moved up to 7th, with HUGO BOSS in 8th, on rounding the Horn, as Groupe Bel was forced to pull out of the Barcelona World Race in Ushuaia with keel issues. Groupe Bel is the third French boat to pull out of the race, the other two, President and Foncia, having had to do so due to mast breakages, so the leader, Virbac Paprec 3, is the only French boat remaining in the current edition of the Barcelona World Race.

Virbac Paprec 3 remain in first, Mapfre in second and Renault ZE in third, while at the other end of the fleet, Central Lechera Asturiana are tied up and making mast repairs in Wellington, while Forum Maritim Catala and We Are Water are progressing across the Pacific towards Cape Horn.

The race has taken longer than usual due to icing conditions necessitating the imposition of northerly ice gates to steer competitors away from bergs and growlers, and the La Nina conditions, which affect the patterns of water temperature and ocean currents, and thereby also the weather systems that develop associated with them. The first boat would not be expected back into Barcelona before the end of the month, at the very earliest, and April may well be more likely now.

In reality, most of the fleet still have the St Helena High to negotiate (an area of light winds), followed by the Doldrums (which seemed to be largely absent on the way down, but offer light winds and big squalls to trap the unwary, amidst sweltering humidity), and then the weather systems from the Cape Verde Islands to the Canaries and on to the Mediterranean itself, which proved very tricky to negotiate after the race start.

In short; interesting times, and plenty of opportunities to be created and taken advantage of, whilst boat maintenance is on the cards for everyone after sailing thousands of miles around the world. It could still be any boat's race!

Alex Thomson Racing
Barcelona World Race

Bacardi Cup: Irish Sailors Top the Star fleet

by Jan Harley

The air temperature cooled slightly, but not the action, for the penultimate day of BACARDI Miami Sailing Week presented by EFG Bank. A north-northwesterly breeze and calmer weather on Biscayne Bay allowed the Star class, competing for the 84th BACARDI Cup, to add two races to their scoreline.

With gusts, at times, to 20 knots, Sweden’s Fredrik Lööf and Max Salmiren took the win in the first race for the Stars. “We positioned ourselves off the starting line more or less in the middle of the fleet and it was a bit of a drag race because the mark was quite a long way to the right,” said Lööf. “At that point, most boats were right port tack and the sailors that positioned themselves too far to the left suffered a lot. We sailed quite aggressively toward the end and we positioned ourselves on the favored side with the wind coming in from the right. Still it was close, we lost a little bit, and then we came up and were across the finish line by no more than half a boat length. It was a good battle and an interesting, really close race."

Unfortunately, Lööf and Salmiren did not fare as well in the second race, placing 20th, which they attributed to a rough start. “If you're not in the front right away, you're struggling all the way through,” said Lööf. “A lot of those guys were pushing hard at the start." That second race was won by Alexander Schlonski and Matthias Bohn (Germany) who finished ahead of their fellow countrymen Johannes Babendererde and Timo Jacobs.

Only one Star team has recorded single-digit finishes over the course of the five races thus far. 2008 Olympian Peter O’Leary and David Burrows (Ireland) finished 8-4 today to move from fourth overall into the lead of the 89-boat fleet with 18 points. Guillaume Florent and Pascal Rambeau (France) are one point behind in second overall. Lööf and Salmiren and early series leaders Eivind Melleby and Petter Morland Pedersen (Norway) are third and fourth, respectively, with 24 points each. Andy Horton (South Burlington, Vermont) and crew James Lyne (Granville, Vermont) finished 3-6 today to move from ninth up to fifth overall with 25 points.

Results (5 races, 1 discard) - top ten:
Position - Country - Sail number - Skipper/Crew - Sail number - Fleet - Race 1 - Race 2 - Race 3 - Race 4 - Race 5 - Points Total (including discard)

1 IRL 8418 Peter O'Leary David Burones 8418 ISOL 7.0 2.0 5.0 8.0 4.0 18
2 FRA 8270 Guillaume Florent Pascal Rambeau 8270 VF 3.0 10.0 1.0 5.0 15.0 19
3 SWE 8428 Fredrik Loof Max Salminen 8428 Bk 28.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 20.0 24
4 NOR 8317 Eivind Melleby Petter Morland Pedersen 8317 NOR 1.0 8.0 4.0 94.0 [BFD] 11.0 24.0001
5 USA 8396 Andy Horton Jamie Lyne 8396 NB 8.0 17.0 8.0 3.0 6.0 25
6 NZL 8187 Hamish Pepper Craig Monk 8187 ISOL 14.0 3.0 10.0 2.0 18.0 29
7 BER 8442 Peter Bromby Lee White 8442 ISOL 53.0 19.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 31
8 GER 8140 Alexander Schlonski Matthias Bohn 8140 Lub 18.0 94.0 [DNS] 7.0 6.0 1.0 32
9 POL 8417 Mateusz Kusznierewicz Dominik Zycki 8417 ISOL 6.0 6.0 15.0 11.0 13.0 36
10 POL 8412 Maciej Grabowski Lukasz Lesinski 8412 ISOL 9.0 5.0 13.0 25.0 12.0 39

Bacardi Cup

Y's Cup Match Racing, Day One, Marseille: Danish/Kiwi Combination Dominates


Match racing in the Yacht Club de Pointe Rouge's J80s, Marseille. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/World Match Racing Tour.

by Laure Portier (in translation by SailRaceWin)

It is in the mist at end of winter, and a light breeze, that the 10 crews went to the race area as early as 8 a.m. this morning in front of the dykes of the Yachting Club of the Red Point.

This first day took place in optimum conditions even if the sun did not respond to the call! Very quickly a wind from the sector south, of 8 to 12 knots, installed itself to allow good competition.

Today, the objective was simple: to run the maximum number of races in order to validate the event in case we could not run races on Saturday and Sunday, because of the strong wind forecast (up to 42 knots!).

To that end, the organization raised the wager: to launch 45 starts in the round robin (so that every team meets once each of its opponents) in a single day instead of two! And guess what? They kept to the wager! The sailors did not ask about the number of races remaining after 10 hours on the water today!

Dimitri DERUELLE, the sports person in charge of the Y’s Cup, is happy tonight to have validated the round robin and to be able to announce the participants in the semi-final one and final. It is the 'Radich Racing Team' that dominated the day, winning all its matches!

This recently formed team is composed of Jesper Radish and Rasmus Kostner of Denmark and the New Zealand sailors Nick Blackman and David Swete. The skipper, Jesper, so impressive on the race course, holds, amongst others, the title of world champion in match racing (2003) and a participation in the America’s Cup of 2007 at the helm of the Spanish team Desafio.

Radich has surrounded himself with Rasmus Kostner, team member on Mascalzone Latino (America’s Cup 2007) and in the Volvo Ocean Race 2008 with Team Ericsson; as well as with David Swete and Nick Blackman, world champions in match racing in 2009 with Adam Minoprio.

In hoping that the promised conditions do not appear, we rendez-vous this Saturday 12 and Sunday March 13 for the semi-finals and final.

Results (top4):

1. Jesper Radich (DEN)
2. Bertrand Pacé (FRA)
3. Damien Iehl (FRA)
4. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)

Round Robin Results

1. Radich 9-0
2. Pacé 7-2 but lost 0.5 point for damage against Radich
3. Iehl 5-4
4. Morvan 5-4
5. Monnin 5-4
6. Chateau 5-4
7. Ferrarse 4-5
8. Durand 3-6
9. Lumijärvi 2-7
10. Aschenbrenner 0-9

As a reminder, the winner of the Y's Cup wins a ticket to Match Race France (10-15 May), first stage of the World Match Racing Tour 2011, organised in Marseille by the YCPR.

Flashback on the impressive CV's of the 40 participants in the Y’s Cup :
> 20 participations in the America’s Cup
> 1 participation at the Olympic Games in Sydney
> 2 World Championships (match racing)
> 2 Vice-World Champions (match racing)
> 2 Vice-European Champions (match racing)
> 11 French champions (match racing)
> Multiple winners of Grade 1 (match racing)
> 1 winner of the Admiral’s cup
> 17 winners of the Tour de France à la voile

In French:

C’est dans la brume de fin de l’hiver et une légère brise que les 10 équipages ont rejoint la zone de course dès 8 heures ce matin devant les digues du Yachting Club de la Pointe Rouge.

Cette première journée s’est déroulée dans des conditions optimales même si le soleil manquait à l’appel ! Très rapidement un vent de secteur sud de 8 à 12 nœuds s’est installé pour permettre le bon déroulement de la compétition.

Aujourd’hui, l’objectif était simple : réaliser un maximum de courses afin de valider l’épreuve au cas où nous ne puissions courir samedi et dimanche, à cause du fort vent d’Est annoncé (jusqu'à 42 nœuds !).

A ce jeu là, l’organisation a relevé le pari : lancer les 45 procédures de départ du round robin (afin que chaque équipe rencontre une fois chacun de ses adversaires) en une seule et unique journée au lieu de deux ! Et devinez quoi ? Pari tenu !
Autant dire que les marins n’ont pas demandé leur reste après 10 heures passées sur l’eau aujourd’hui !

Dimitri DERUELLE, responsable sportif de l’Y’s Cup, est heureux ce soir d’avoir validé le round robin et d’annoncer les tableaux des demis finales et finales.
C’est la ‘Radich Racing Team’ qui a pris largement le dessus aujourd’hui en gagnant tous ses matchs !

Cette équipe formée depuis peu se compose de Jesper Radish et Rasmus Kostner du Danemark associés aux marins de Nouvelle-Zélande Nick Blackman et David Swete.
Le skipper Jesper, au parcours impressionnant, détient entre autres un titre de champion du monde de match racing (2003) et une participation à l’America’s Cup de 2007 à la barre du Desafio Espagnol.

Il s’entoure de Rasmus Kostner, équipier sur Mascalzone Latino (America’s Cup 2007) et sur la Volvo Ocean Race 2008 avec le Team Ericsson ; ainsi que de David Swete et Nick Blackman, champions du monde de match racing en 2009 avec Adam Minoprio.

En souhaitant que les prévisions ne tiennent pas promesse, rendez-vous ce samedi 12 et dimanche 13 mars pour les demies-finales et finales.

Resultats (top 4 - semi-finalists)

1. Jesper Radich (DEN)
2. Bertrand Pacé (FRA)
3. Damien Iehl (FRA)
4. Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA)

Round Robin Results

1. Radich 9-0
2. Pacé 7-2 but lost 0.5 point for damage against Radich
3. Iehl 5-4
4. Morvan 5-4
5. Monnin 5-4
6. Chateau 5-4
7. Ferrarse 4-5
8. Durand 3-6
9. Lumijärvi 2-7
10. Aschenbrenner 0-9

Rappelons que le vainqueur de l’Y’s Cup gagne son ticket pour le Match Race France 2011 (10-15mai), 1ère étape du championnat du monde organisée à Marseille par le YCPR.

Flashback sur l’impressionnant palmarès des 40 coureurs de l’Y’s Cup :
> 20 participations in the America’s Cup
> 1 participation in the Sydney Olympic Games
> 2 World Championships (match racing)
> 2 vice-World champions (match racing)
> 2 vice-European champions (match racing)
> 11 champions de France (match racing)
> Multiple winners de Grade 1 (match racing)
> 1 winner of the Admiral’s cup
> 17 winners du Tour de France à la voile

With thanks to Pierre-Antoine Morvan (PAM) and Match Extreme Team Morbihan, and Damien Iehl and Wind-2-Win for information.

Y's Cup, YCPR, Marseilles

BWR: Groupe Bel Forced to Abandon the Barcelona World Race


Kito de Pavant on board Groupe Bel. Image copyright Groupe Bel.

by Barcelona World Race media

After arriving in Ushuaia on Wednesday evening Kito de Pavant and Sébastien Audigane and their team completed the full assessment of Groupe Bel’s keel damage The appendage itself and surrounding areas inside the hull are reported to be too damaged to allow any safe chance to repair them on site and resume racing.

And so the duo has decided to abandon the Barcelona World Race and officially informed the race management this Friday at 1736hrs UTC.


Groupe Bel. Image copyright Groupe Bel.

The Groupe Bel Team is now organizing the return of the IMOCA Open 60 to Europe by cargo ship.

“Our round-the-world ends at the far end of the world”, said De Pavant, “an unfortunate end after two months of racing, three oceans crossed and the rounding of three capes. Stopping the race is obviously as heartbreaking for us sailors, as it is for those who share their adventures every day through what they have written and their pictures. This difficult decision was made with the support of Bel Group, which puts the safety of its men first.

The great adventure since Barcelona


Groupe Bel's wake downwind. Image copyright Groupe Bel.

The duo’s resolution and motivation has held out to the end. They were in third position before their required 48-hour stopover in Wellington to repair their sails (gennaker and medium spinnaker), Groupe Bel then had to deal with the wrath of Atu a tropical low which the emerged from in good shape leaving Estrella Damm astern.

Just under 300 miles from Cape Horn, Groupe Bel was up to fifth place with the serious ambition of giving her all in the Atlantic battle. Only on Monday afternoon, abnormal noises coming from the keel-head alerted the dup, who noticed that it was moving forward and backward in a worrying manner.

The two following days were particularly stressful as they tried to get to Ushuaia harbor as quickly as possible, since the keel threatened to come away from the hull at any moment. Rounding Cape Horn on Tuesday, was nonetheless a poor but real consolation for the sailors, punctuating the effective crossing of three of the world's oceans.

Bringing Groupe Bel back from Ushuaia


Groupe Bel leaving Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Groupe Bel.

In Ushuaia, everything has been organized to take Groupe Bel out of the water. This operation could be carried out tomorrow during the day if the weather should permit (note that it was snowing in Ushuaia this morning). It is now a question of finding a cargo ship as quickly as possible to bring the boat back to Europe.

This is a complicated operation from the southernmost town in the world! Kito de Pavant's aim is to get Groupe Bel back sailing as quickly as possible and to continue the IMOCA season with the European Pro Tour with crew in sight, which will leave from Istanbul on the 3rd of July.

Groupe Bel is the third IMOCA Open 60 to retire from the Barcelona World Race, after President and Foncia which both sustained broken masts.


On board Groupe Bel. Image copyright Groupe Bel.

Quotes

Kito de Pavant:“This is a difficult decision to make. We are leaving most of the Barcelona World Race course behind us. Obviously, it is frustrating, since all that was left was the Atlantic and we had hopes of really continuing the fight to win the podium. However, we are also happy to be here, safe and sound. This whole story could have turned nasty! What's important now is to find a cargo ship quickly to return the boat to Europe, so that she can be ready for the start of the European Pro Tour in Istanbul on 3 July.

Sébastien Audigane: "It's not easy to abandon a race, and particularly a round-the-world! Sailing is a mechanical sport, so this kind of damage does happen. It's part of our job. The main thing is that we are now safe! Nearly 70 days at sea, is no small thing, particularly after crossing 3 oceans. This Barcelona World Race with Kito was a magnificent experience for me. Despite these last difficult days, there is only one thing I want to do. I want to set off again and take part in the Vendée Globe. I must be a bit crazy! For the moment, we are still in Ushuaia so I can't plan towards the future, but there are many other races I'm interested in for the rest of the season."

In French:

Abandon de Groupe Bel


Groupe Bel. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/Groupe Bel.

A 18h36 aujourd’hui, Kito de Pavant et Sébastien Audigane ont signifié à la direction de course de la Barcelona World Race leur abandon officiel. L’inspection de la quille du bateau après grutage a révélé des dégâts trop importants pour pouvoir reprendre la mer en toute sécurité.

Le tour du monde de Kito de Pavant et Sébastien Audigane s’arrête donc à Ushuaia. La course perd là un équipage des plus attachants, subtil mélange entre la faconde méditerranéenne de Kito et la sérénité discrète de Sébastien Audigane. Pour l’heure, l’objectif est donc de déquiller le bateau, de trouver au plus vite un cargo pour rapatrier le bateau en Méditerranée et faire que le Groupe Bel soit fin prêt pour le prochain grand rendez-vous de la classe IMOCA, l’Istanbul Europa Race.


Groupe Bel. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

Après un arrêt choisi en Nouvelle-Zélande pour réparer des voiles endommagées, Kito et Séb revenaient progressivement dans la course et s’apprêtaient à titiller le groupe des quatre en lutte pour la troisième marche du podium. Le coup est rude pour le skipper de Port-Camargue, déjà contraint à l’abandon dans la dernière Route du Rhum. Le skipper de Groupe Bel était parti sur la Barcelona World Race, entre autres pour se familiariser avec les mers du sud. Malgré ses déboires, Kito est tout de même devenu cap-hornier, quelques jours après avoir fêté ses cinquante ans.

Ce type de décision est toujours particulièrement difficile à prendre, mais elle rappelle que se comporter en bon marin, c’est aussi savoir ne pas se mettre en danger, ni risquer la vie des autres qui tenteraient de venir chercher un navire en difficulté.


Groupe Bel. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/Groupe Bel.

Kito de Pavant : "Cette décision est difficile à prendre. Nous laissons le gros du parcours de cette Barcelona World Race derrière nous. C'est évidemment frustrant car il ne restait plus que l'Atlantique et nous espérions vraiment continuer la bagarre pour accrocher le podium. Mais nous sommes également heureux d'être là, sains et saufs : cela aurait pu mal tourner notre histoire ! L'urgence maintenant est de trouver un cargo rapidement pour rapatrier le bateau en Europe, et d'être présent sur le départ du Tour de l'Europe à Istanbul le 3 juillet. "




Thumb marks on the mast of Groupe Bel. Image copyright Groupe Bel.

Sébastien Audigane : "Ce n'est pas facile d'abandonner une course et surtout un tour du monde ! La voile est un sport mécanique alors ce genre d'avarie arrive, c'est notre job. L'essentiel étant que nous soyons maintenant en sécurité ! Presque 70 jours en mer, ce n'est pas rien surtout après avoir traversé 3 océans. Cette Barcelona World Race avec Kito est une magnifique expérience pour moi. Malgré ces derniers jours difficiles, je n'ai envie que d'une chose : repartir et faire le Vendée Globe. Je dois être un peu fou ! Pour le moment, nous sommes encore à Ushuaia donc je ne peux pas me projeter dans l'avenir mais il y a beaucoup de courses qui m'intéressent pour le reste de la saison."


Groupe Bel leaving Wellington. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Groupe Bel.

Barcelona World Race

BWR: To Boss the Boss?


Hugo Boss. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing/Hugo Boss.

by Barcelona World Race media

After eighth placed Hugo Boss and ninth placed GAES Centros Auditivos round Cape Horn this Friday evening there will be just three of the Barcelona World Race fleet left in the Pacific, including Central Lechera Asturiana in Wellington where Juan Merediz and Fran Palacio await the repair of their broken mast.

Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak were expected to pass Cape Horn at around 2000hrs UTC this evening with the girls duo on GAES Centros Auditivos only around three hours behind them. Dutch co-skipper Verbraak, reporting to the Global Sports Forum’s live Barcelona World Race Visio-Conference today, confirmed that the duo have had a tough Pacific and were looking forward to the release of the ‘big left hand corner’ and the challenges and opportunities the Atlantic should bring them:

“It feels great for us to be getting there….I was only supposed to be going to the Cape Verdes, here I am at Cape Horn!” quipped Verbraak.

For both of them it will their third passage of the Cape of Storms. The complex pattern of multiple low pressure centres was giving them variable breezes, anything from 10 to 35 knots within minutes of each which was making it hard for the duo to find an ideal sail-plan.

Today’s prelude to their passage was the first time that either of the co-skippers have been contacted live on air since their exit from the Cook Strait because they have been very strictly rationing their energy use.

“The fuel situation is not that great. We’ve had generator problems where a coolant part of the generator has stopped working. This happened well before New Zealand, and thanks to the support and creativity of our shore crew we have managed to find a solution using another part on the boat and plumbing that in, which wasn’t straightforward but we managed to do it. But that was a big bonus, and means we don’t have to stop for fuel, but we do have strict strict rations so unfortunately we haven’t been able to go into the videoconference, which is big shame but it’s good to be talking now.”

Caffari and Corbella look like they might be able to reap a reward for their prudent strategy across the Pacific, but like Hugo Boss they are expected to have little time for souvenirs and tourism. Indeed it was shaping up to be unfortunate timing for Caffari’s Spanish co-skipper Anna Corbella. She may be set to become the first Spanish woman ever to race round Cape Horn and add to her honours as the first Spanish female sailor to race the Atlantic solo – finishing 13th in the 2009 MiniTransat – but with 104 miles to the rock at 1600hrs UTC it was shaping up very much like the girls would pass into the Atlantic during the hours of darkness.

It will be a considerable triumph for Corbella who disliked sailing when she started at four on her parents’ small yacht. It was only when she started racing in the 420 that the bug bit and since then she moved through into an Olympic 470 programme which she progressed She helped prepare Jaume Mumbrú’s MiniTransat and then was leant his boat to compete on her own. Considering she only stepped on an IMOCA Open 60 for the first time just over one year ago, hers is an achievement to be proud of.

But time will not be waiting for either Hugo Boss nor GAES Centros Auditivos as a high pressure system is set to develop off the Argentine/Uruguay coast which would effectively force them out on to an easterly routing up the Atlantic. Their most recent routing suggests they need to get north and west as possible, perhaps set to be the first boats to route west of the Falklands and maybe even through the notorious Le Maire Straits which separate Cape Horn from Staten Island.


Kito and Seb wave from the bow of Groupe Bel. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/Groupe Bel.

Standings at 1400hrs UTC Friday 11th March

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 at 4462,5 miles de l’arrivée
2 MAPFRE at 544,8 miles to the leader
3 RENAULT Z.E at 1308,2 miles
4 NEUTROGENA at 1706,6 miles
5 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at 1790,5 miles
6 MIRABAUD at 1796,4 miles
7 GROUPE BEL at 2394,7 miles
8 HUGO BOSS at 2500 miles
9 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS at 2544,2 miles
10 FORUM MARITIM CATALA at 4588,3 miles
11 WE ARE WATER at 6732,5miles
12 CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA at 7087,8 miles
ABN FONCIA
ABN PRESIDENT

Quotes:

Iker Martinez (ESP) MAPFRE:“The big picture for last few days was very hard for us, we’ve been floating not sailing. We have gone too much west in the high pressure, and we couldn’t do anything else. We have had to wait to hoist the spinnaker because we didn’t have this halyard and then we were too late. So we just try to manage the situation and now we’re happy because we’re sailing fast again. The leader is a little bit more far away, 500 miles, which is a lot but we’re moving so that’s good, and we’ll keep going.

On the video conferences: “It’s nice because you have a little contact with the world, and when we’re here sailing we almost don’t remember what’s going on outside. So we try to show a little to our family, and to know a little about what’s going on outside. It’s completely different compared to what happened for example in the Olympics where the press is pushing you were too much, and you just don’t want to deal with the press because you’re concentrating on your things, they’re pushing too much. Here it’s much nicer, it’s just a couple of minutes of enjoyment and I enjoy it quite a lot! I try to push Xabi to the videoconference but he doesn’t like it so much!”

Wouter Verbraak (NED) Hugo Boss:

“We’re pretty excited to have Cape Horn not so far away, but it’s not making things easier – we’ve had a lot of snow and hail storms through the night, and the wind really up and down. At the moment we only have 10 knots but some times in the squalls we have 35-40, so it’s pretty challenging times. It’s as if the Southern Ocean is desperate to show us it’s not over until we’ve really rounded Cape Horn.

“Cape Horn is a big milestone for this race, and obviously for Andy and myself it’s the third time so we know what it means to go around it. It influences a lot of more light airs and a warmer climate, so we’re excited to go into the Atlantic and make our way home.

“This next part, especially for the group ahead of us, there are some difficult weather situations for them to negotiate, whereas for us it looks pretty much downwind so we’re pretty happy with that. We’ve said all along, from the moment when we were in last place, this race isn’t over until we’re back in the Med and we’re still in contention, so we’re looking for any opportunity we can have and see who we can overtake.

“Andy and I myself are in good shape. One thing that has been really strong on our boat is that we’re a great team, we’re very balanced between ourselves and we have complementary skills that we learn from each other. And so we’re good in that sense, and I think that’s going to be a player in the way up the Atlantic.

[Fuel] “The fuel situation is not that great, so we’ve had generator problems where a coolant part of the generator has stopped working. This happened well before New Zealand, and thanks to the support and creativity of our shore crew we have managed to find a solution using another part on the boat and plumbing that in, which wasn’t straightforward but we managed to do it. But that was a big up, and means we don’t have to stop for fuel, but we do have strict strict rations so unfortunately we haven’t been able to go into the videoconference, which is big shame but it’s good to be talking now.

[Rounding Horn] “I was never meant to go past the Cape Verde islands! Normally there would be a bottle of strong liquor on the boat, but I think on this occasion there will be a lot of candy, maybe an extra delve into the supplies of chocolate!

“For us ever since New Zealand we’ve been bouncing into this low pressure system ahead of them, and as we all know the conditions just behind the low pressure system are not very ideal for sailing, so we’ll see what happens. We just crossed a line so we’re happy with that, and ahead there’s still some challenging times. It’s actually fun to have somebody to race against, and we’ll see when Groupe Bel comes out she’ll be another potential competitor that we’ll keep our eye on.”


Mirabaud. Image copyright Dominique Wavre/Mirabaud.


Alex Pella (ESP) Estrella Damm
: “Yesterday we spent more of our time clearing kelp and seaweed from under the boat, it was stuck everywhere. We were unlucky because we had to go backwards. We are pretty happy now because we are going north and the waves are smaller and the weather is pretty good. We are going upwind in 15 knots, with small waves and pointing home. It is a tricky part of the course, because there is no clearly defined route, it is a bit unstable. We have a big front in two days and we need to see how we do with that, how we can work with that and what the others do. It is quite uncertain how it will go and there are many options, but for sure the race for us is wide open.”

In French:

- Hugo Boss et GAES Centros Auditivos à quelques dizaines de milles du Horn.
- Voie royale pour Virbac-Paprec 3
- Central Lechera Asturiana dégage du port de Wellington pour échapper aux restes du tsunami


Bientôt, ils ne seront plus que trois à ne pas avoir encore doublé le cap Horn. Pour Forum Maritim Catala comme We Are Water, cette traversée risque de paraître d’autant plus longue que chaque équipage sait qu’en cas de problème, il ne pourra compter que sur lui-même, loin de toute terre et de tout autre concurrent.

Tous ceux qui ont eu la chance de devenir cap-hornier le disent : les derniers jours avant le franchissement du cap mythique sont souvent les plus durs. Comme si les barrières psychologiques qui ont fait que le physique comme le mental ont encaissé l’inconfort, les coups durs, la promiscuité sans broncher, tombaient toutes les unes après les autres. L’arrivée sur le cap Horn, c’est comme un mur sur lequel on se fracasse tous les jours avant d’enfin apercevoir le symbole de la délivrance. Hugo Boss et GAES Centros Auditivos devraient en avoir fini avec les mers du sud dans le courant de la nuit et pourront ensuite mettre cap au nord . D’autant que leur route idéale semblerait passer par le détroit de Lemaire pour laisser ensuite l’archipel des Malouines à tribord. Cette lassitude, certains la ressentent plus que d’autres, quand la perspective de la bagarre pour une place au classement, disparaît et que seule la solitude du grand désert liquide semble être la perspective des jours à venir.

Un podium très convoité

Pour les concurrents revenus en Atlantique, ces gamberges ne sont déjà oubliées. Avec le retour vers des latitudes plus clémentes et les batailles stratégiques qui se profilent, tous les équipages reprennent du poil de la bête. A la vacation, les conversations se font plus enjouées et certains commencent déjà à évoquer les bons et mauvais souvenirs des mers du sud. Le fait de laisser le cap Horn dans son sillage ôte, qu’on le veuille ou non, une sorte de chape de plomb qui pèse sur le moral des troupes. Et ce, d’autant plus que tout reste possible d’ici l’arrivée à Barcelone dans les derniers jours de mars ou les premiers d’avril.

En tête, le matelas confortable de Virbac-Paprec 3, est le résultat conjoint d’une vitesse plus qu’appréciable du plan Verdier-VPLP de dernière génération et d’une navigation d’une grande limpidité. Mais les deux Basques de MAPFRE n’ont en rien abdiqué et restent collés aux talons des leaders, attendant l’opportunité d’une attaque. Derrière ce duo de tête, la position de Renault Z.E. risque d’être plus inconfortable. Décalé dans le nord-est de leurs adversaires, ils ne peuvent rien faire pour empêcher le groupe de chasse de prendre la poudre d’escampette le long des côtes argentines. Le creusement d’une dépression au large des Malouines va permettre au trio composé de Neutrogena, Mirabaud et Estrella Damm, d’accrocher des vents portants qui devraient monter en régime et les propulser à belle vitesse jusqu’à la frontière brésilienne.

Nouveaux départs ?

Du côté des éclopés, l ‘équipage de Groupe Bel procède toujours à la révision de sa quille et doit s’employer à sortir le bateau de l’eau avant de décider de la suite des opérations. A bord de Mirabaud, Michèle Paret reprend des couleurs. La navigatrice a pu, pour la première fois depuis plusieurs jours, sortir de son réduit et participer à sa première manœuvre, même si elle n’a pas recouvré la totalité de ses moyens. Mais c’est de bon augure pour la suite et l’équipage, moral retrouvé, est bien décidé à jouer crânement sa chance dans la lutte pour le podium, d’autant que le bateau n’a quasiment pas souffert durant ce tour du monde. Autre bateau intact après deux mois de course, GAES Centros Auditivos, ce qui semblerait prouver qu’une présence féminine à bord est une bonne garantie de préservation du matériel. A Wellington enfin, Central Lechera Asturiana a quitté le quai où il était amarré pour se prémunir d’éventuelles conséquences du tsunami qui a ravagé le Japon ce matin. Pour les autres navigateurs dans le Pacifique, le passage de l’onde du tremblement de terre ne devrait se traduire que par un léger renflement de quelques vagues. Une fois de plus, la preuve est faite que le plus grand danger pour les marins, c’est bien la proximité de la terre...


Michele Paret. Image copyright Dominique Wavre/Mirabaud.

Classement du 11 février à 15 heures (TU+1) :

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 à 4462,5 milles de l’arrivée
2 MAPFRE à 544,8 milles du leader
3 RENAULT Z.E à 1308,2 milles
4 NEUTROGENA à 1706,6 milles
5 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team à 1790,5 milles
6 MIRABAUD à 1796,4 milles
7 GROUPE BEL à 2394,7 milles
8 HUGO BOSS à 2500 milles
9 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS à 2544,2 milles
10 FORUM MARITIM CATALA à 4588,3 milles
11 WE ARE WATER à 6732,5milles
12 CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA à 7087,8 milles
ABN FONCIA
ABN PRESIDENT

Ils ont dit :

Iker Martinez, MAPFRE : « Sur Virbac-Paprec 3, ils font une stratégie impeccable. Et c’est là la plus grande différence. Ils sont très très bons, ils étaient là où il fallait être dans les moments décisifs. Ils ont été justes au bon moment. Dans les hautes pressions, nous voulions être plus à l’est mais nous ne pouvions pas utiliser le spi tant que la drisse n’était pas réparée. Nous n’avons pas totalement réussi. Eux ils ont fait une route très propre. Ils ont contourné l’anticyclone impeccablement. Qu’est-ce que nous pouvons faire ? Ils sont géniaux ! Ils sont devant. Là maintenant nous attendons, il y aura peut-être une opportunité. Mais cela ne dépend pas que de nous. Il faudra compter sur la météo aussi et sur eux.. »

Wouter Verbaak, Hugo Boss : « On est plutôt excités à l’idée de savoir le cap Horn, plus très loin devant nous. Mais ça ne rend pas les choses plus faciles pour autant. On a eu beaucoup de neige et des grains de grêle la nuit dernière avec un vent très instable. C’est comme si les mers du sud avaient décidé de nous montrer que l’on n’en aura pas fini tant qu’on n’aura pas franchi le Horn. De plus, les modèles météo se présentent plutôt bien pour nous pour la remontée de l’Atlantique. On a toujours dit, même quand on pointait en dernière position, que la course n’est pas terminée tant qu’on n’a pas franchi la ligne d’arrivée. On guettera la moindre opportunité et on fera tout pour la saisir. On a eu quelques soucis de générateurs, du même coup notre provision de fuel est limite. On se rationne et du même coup, on a raté la visioconférence d’hier. »

Dominique Wavre, Mirabaud : « Michèle commence à refaire ses quarts et cette histoire de maladie, ça sera du passé nous n'en parlerons plus. En ce moment, on fait du près avec une mer qui s'assagit, mais là, on attend une toute jeune dépression et des conditions tempétueuses et tumultueuses dans les jours à venir. Question plaisir de navigation, c’est mitigé, car le souci de santé de Michèle reste en arrière plan continu donc c’est difficile de profiter à plein de la navigation, mais j'espère qu'avec l'embellie physique et morale qui arrive on va de nouveau prendre du plaisir. Le souci qu’on a de l'autre est sûrement amplifié dans un couple par rapport à une équipe de mercenaire. Au final, cette course est révélatrices des avantages et des inconvnients de naviguer en couple.»

Barcelona World Race

BWR: El Estrella Damm asciende al quinto puesto en el Atlántico Sur



- El barco español vuelve al top cinco con muchas opciones abiertas tras dejar atrás las Malvinas

- Alex Pella: “Estamos muy contentos y motivados porque hemos recuperado el ritmo de competición y vamos poco a poco rumbo a casa”



Estrella Damm. Image copyright Maria Muina/Barcelona World Race.

by David Ferrando

Cuando se cumplen 70 días de la salida de la Barcelona World Race, la vuelta al mundo sigue ganando emoción día a día, con mucho por decidir en el tercio final. El barco español Estrella Damm ha conseguido auparse de nuevo al quinto puesto, tras adelantar ayer por la tarde al Mirabaud suizo a la altura de las Malvinas, regresando a las posiciones de cabeza y metido de lleno en la pomada tras un accidentado Pacífico en que las averías, los temporales y las lesiones hicieron mella en la clasificación y pusieron a prueba la resistencia de sus patrones. Pero Alex Pella y Pepe Ribes jamás perdieron la cara a la regata y haciendo gala de su espíritu de superación se están sobreponiendo a los reveses, incluyendo una escala técnica, sendas contusiones en el costado y una rotura del menisco de Pepe Ribes. “Perdimos mucho el ritmo en la parada en Wellington y lo hemos recuperado. Estamos muy contentos y muy motivados”, aseguraba Alex Pella este mediodía.

“La parada en Wellington fue accidentada con todo lo que nos pasó antes y después: las averías, la calma al salir, después el ciclón… era una detrás de otra. Ahora el ánimo está alto. Con la compresión de la flota en Hornos con un buen grupo de barcos entre los que estamos luchando, aunque Groupe Bel ha tenido que parar y venía haciéndolo muy bien… es una situación mucho más competitiva a bordo. Es más agradable, te motivas mucho más y te dedicas a trimar, a cuidar de la velocidad y la estrategia, que es a lo que veníamos”, explicaba el patrón catalán.

Así las cosas, la regata está reñidísima. El Estrella Damm aventaja en sólo seis millas al Mirabaud, de donde esta mañana se ha recibido la buena noticia de que Michèle Paret está recuperada de su anemia, que la mantuvo en la litera varios días. Por la proa del barco español está el Neutrogena, a tan solo 84 millas tras la remontada de Pella y Ribes, que le han recortado 55 en las últimas 24 horas.

No sólo el ascenso en la clasificación anima a los patrones del Estrella Damm, sino que tras el duro Gran Sur, las condiciones que están viviendo en el Atlántico son más llevaderas: “La remontada anima porque va haciendo más bueno y la ola baja completamente. Se agradece mucho”, explicaba un risueño Pella, que explicaba las condiciones de navegación: “Ahora vamos ciñendo con 15 nudos de viento y sin mucha ola. Vamos poco a poco hacia casa”.

Para el catalán, esta ha sido su primera experiencia en los océanos del sur, tras una trabajada carrera. Pero por dura que haya sido la travesía, no será la última: “Todo lo que he aprendido en el Gran Sur os aseguro que lo voy a aprovechar, y lo voy a mejorar cuando repita. Porque seguro que voy a repetir”, aseguraba entusiasmado por estar cumpliendo un sueño largamente perseguido.

Pero la meteorología no va a regalar nada al Estrella Damm en el último océano de la vuelta al mundo. Las condiciones para estos días se aventuran complejas, tanto a nivel estratégico como de conservación del barco, por lo que los patrones de la embarcación española estudian cuidadosamente cómo afrontar los nuevos retos: “Este es un tramo siempre complicado. No hay una situación clara ni estable. Esta noche y mañana tendremos un frente de una baja presión y dentro de dos días otra más potente con viento duro. A ver cómo la sorteamos. Es bastante incierto, y en cuanto a la estrategia de regata está todo completamente abierto, con muchísimas opciones”, explicaba el patrón barcelonés.

Jardinería marítima


Son muchos los obstáculos que se tienen que salar cuando se navega, pero cuando es en competición muchos inconvenientes son más molestos si cabe, pues hacen bajar la marcha. Es lo que le ha pasado al Estrella Damm durante el jueves, como explicaba, siempre con buen humor Alex Pella en un e-mail de a bordo: “Hoy pasamos al través de las Malvinas. Ha sido increíble, ¡nos hemos pasado toda la tarde haciendo de rastrillo marino! Sí, sí de rastrillo marino. Hemos estado cogiendo algas toda la tarde. Dos veces en la quilla, obligándonos a parar el barco y hacer marcha atrás. Cuatro veces en la deriva y seis en los timones. De dos tipos, unas gordas y con bolas, ¡y otras como taggliateles gigantes súper largas!

Esperamos que nuestra sesión de jardinería marina se haya acabado”.

Clasificación provisional Barcelona World Race, 11 de marzo 2011 14:00 GMT (15:00 hora peninsular española):

1. Virbac-Paprec 3
2. Mapfre, a 544,8 millas del líder
3. Renault Z.E., a 1.308,2 millas del líder
4. Neutrogena, a 1.706,6 millas del líder
5. Estrella Damm, a 1.790,5 millas del líder
6. Mirabaud, a 1.796,4 millas del líder
7. Groupe Bel, a 2.394,7 millas del líder

Estrella Damm Sailing Team
Barcelona World Race

BWR: Groupe Bel Forced to Abandon the Barcelona World Race


Ushuaia. Image copyright Kito de Pavant.

by Julia Huve

Kito de Pavant and Sébastien Audigane, who arrived in Ushuaia on Wednesday evening, as well as their team, have safely assessed the keel problems of the monohull Groupe Bel, which they noticed on Monday in the Pacific. The appendage and the peripheral areas inside the hull are too damaged to have any hope of repairing them on site and returning to the race. The crew has decided to abandon the Barcelona World Race and officially informed the race management this Friday at 1830. The Groupe Bel Team is now organizing the return of the monohull to Europe by cargo ship.

“Our round-the-world ends at the far end of the world”, said Kito regretfully, after two months of racing, three oceans crossed and the rounding of three capes. Stopping the race is obviously as heartbreaking for us sailors, as it is for those who share their adventures every day through what they have written and their pictures. This difficult decision was made with the support of Bel Group, which puts the safety of its men first.


Partners: Kito de Pavant and Seb Audigane. Image copyright Kito de Pavant.

The great adventure since Barcelona

So technical problems have got the better of Seb and Kito's unfailing motivation, since they never let up during these last 70 days of racing. Since they left the Gibraltar Strait, the fight has been superb, particularly with Estrella Damm. In third position before their marathon 48-hour stopover in Wellington to repair their sails (gennaker and breeze spinnaker), Groupe Bel was then victim of the anger of ATU, a tropical low which the duo managed without incident, leaving Estrella Damm several thousand miles behind. Just under 300 miles from Cape Horn, Groupe Bel clocked in in 5th position with the serious ambition of giving her all in the Atlantic battle.

Only on Monday afternoon, abnormal noises coming from the keel-head alerted the crew, who noticed that it was moving forward and backward in a worrying manner. The two following days were particularly stressful as they tried to get to Ushuaia harbor as quickly as possible, since the keel threatened to come away from the hull at any moment. Rounding Cape Horn on Tuesday, was nonetheless a poor but real consolation for the sailors, punctuating the effective crossing of three of the world's oceans.

Bringing Groupe Bel back from Ushuaia

In Ushuaia, everything has been organized to take Groupe Bel out of the water. This operation could be carried out tomorrow during the day if the weather should permit (note that it was snowing in Ushuaia this morning). It is now a question of finding a cargo ship as quickly as possible to bring the boat back to Europe. This is a complicated operation from the southernmost town in the world! Kito de Pavant's aim is to get Groupe Bel back sailing as quickly as possible and to continue the IMOCA season with the European Pro Tour with crew in sight, which will leave from Istanbul on the 3rd of July.


Groupe Bel. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/Groupe Bel.

What they said:

Kito de Pavant
: “This is a difficult decision to make. We are leaving most of the Barcelona World Race course behind us. Obviously, it is frustrating, since all that was left was the Atlantic and we had hopes of really continuing the fight to win the podium. However, we are also happy to be here, safe and sound. This whole story could have turned nasty! What's important now is to find a cargo ship quickly to return the boat to Europe, so that she can be ready for the start of the European Pro Tour in Instanbul on 3 July.

Sébastien Audigane: "It's not easy to abandon a race, and particularly a round-the-world! Sailing is a mechanical sport, so this kind of damage does happen. It's part of our job. The main thing is that we are now safe! Nearly 70 days at sea, is no small thing, particularly after crossing 3 oceans. This Barcelona World Race with Kito was a magnificent experience for me. Despite these last difficult days, there is only one thing I want to do. I want to set off again and take part in the Vendée Globe. I must be a bit crazy! For the moment, we are still in Ushuaia so I can't plan towards the future, but there are many other races I'm interested in for the rest of the season."

Barcelona World Race in short
Two-handed non-stop round-the-world race on board IMOCA 60 foot monohulls.
Start at Barcelona on 31 December at 13:00
Second BWR event organized by the FNOB (Fundació per la Navegació Oceànica Barcelona)
Course: 25,000 miles (46,300 kilometers) passing between the two islands of New-Zealand
15 duos registered: 30 sailors, 8 nationalities, 3 women
Project website : www.sharingsmilestour.com
Official website: www.barcelonaworldrace.org

Group Bel is one of the world leaders in brand name cheeses

Its portfolio of different products on an international scale, such as La Vache qui Rit® (The Laughing Cow), Kiri®, Mini Babybel®, Leerdammer®, and Boursin®, as well as about twenty local brand names, enabled it to make a turnover of approximately 2.2 billion Euros in 2009. Nearly 11,500 workers divided among thirty international subsidiaries, contribute to the success of the group. Its products are developed on 25 production sites and distributed in nearly 120 countries.



"Thumbs up for Kito" campaign !


Since June 2007, 7,500 thumbprints were collected from the Group's 11,5 00 wor kers worldwide, in 25 countries, and placed on the yacht's mast as a sign of support for the skipper. And it's not over yet, the count is rising.

Groupe Bel
Barcelona World Race

Y's Cup Marseille Preview


Jesper Radich (DEN). Supplied image.

Ten teams are taking part in the Y's Cup in Marseille 11-13 March, as this Grade 2 event in J80s acts as a qualifier for the World Match Racing Tour's Match Race France (10-15 May) at Yacht Club de la Pointe Rouge, Marseille, France.

In French:

par Laure Portier

Pour patienter avant l’arrivée du Match Race France (10-15 mai), les match racers ont
d’ores et déjà rendez vous à Marseille ce week-end au Yachting club de la Pointe Rouge.

De niveau grade 2 (épreuve Internationale), l’Y’s Cup a gagné en qualité et accueille sur cette 6ème édition un plateau d’exception avec, entre autres, de nombreux membres de l’équipe de France de Match Racing .

De beaux duels sont attendus d’autant que l’épreuve est qualificative pour le Match Race France, première étape du championnat du monde de voile, série match racing.

En effet, 1 ticket d’entrée (wild card) est en ligne de mire pour l’équipage vainqueur de l’Y’s Cup, ce qui lui permettra d’affronter l’élite du 10 au 15 mai prochain !


Alber Team (FRA). Supplied image.

Competing Skippers/Teams
ISAF-RANKING SKIPPER NATIONALITy TEAM

7 Pierre-Antoine MORVAN FRA Extreme Team Morbihan
15 Damien IEHL FRA Wind 2 Win
18 Eric MONNIN SUI Okalys-Corum Match Race Team
20 Jesper RADICH DEN Radich Racing Team
21 Simone FERRARESE ITA Ferarese Racing Team
28 Olli-Pekka LUMIJÄRVI FIN Siragusawa Saling Team
38 Joachim ASCHENBRENNER DEN Aschenbrenner Racing Team
42 Cédric CHÂTEAU FRA Crea Saling Team
54 Bertrand PACE FRA Aleph Sailing Team
69 Mathieu DURAND FRA Alberteam


Cedric Chateau (FRA). Supplied image.

Programme :

Vendredi 11 mars
8.00 Confirmation des inscriptions
9.30 Briefing skippers et distribution des instructions de course
10.00 Premier signal d’avertissement
19.15 Cérémonie d’ouverture et conférence de presse suivis d’un apéritif
20.00 Dîner des équipages

Samedi 12 mars :
8.30 Briefing skippers
9.00 Premier signal d’avertissement
19.00 Apéritif

Dimanche 13 mars :
9.00 Premier signal d’attention
La remise des prix sera organisée au club dans l’après-midi dès la fin des matchs du jour

Yacht Club de la Point Rouge

Delta Lloyd Regatta Innovates and Listens



Sonar added to racing program


Marcelien Bos-De Koning in action. Image copyright Sander van der Borch, Delta Lloyd Regatta.

by Diana Bogaards

he Delta Lloyd Regatta 2011 continues the innovation in reporting and listens to the needs of participants. This year, a real time live stream and 3D tracking & tracing of the races will be available on the renewed website www.deltalloydregatta.org. The Medal Races are to be broadcasted live again and social media is fully integrated in the event's communications. The Dutch ISAF World Cup for Olympic and Paralympic classes in Medemblik remains driven in aiming for improvement. Meanwhile, the registrations are open.

'The power of social media has really taken off. Twitter and Facebook play an important role in reporting on sailing events. Besides, we also use the channels for community building prior to the start. We took a close look at it over the winter and integrated the social media in our communications. And we set the next step in live coverage of the racing. The 3D display gives a more realistic and therefore recognizable view", says Arjen Rahusen, Chairman of the organizing committee.

Sonar added

After the introduction of the Paralympic 2.4mR class in 2008, the Paralympic Sonar will make its debut at this year's Delta Lloyd Regatta. The 2.4mR competition will be open for the first time, which means that able-bodied and disabled sailors will race each other.

Marcelien Bos - De Koning

To better meet the needs and expectations of top sailors, the organizing committee invited Marcelien Bos - De Koning to be part of the team. The 470-triple World Champion, winner of Olympic silver and current RS:X windsurfer accepted the invitation and has become the voice of the participants. Rahusen: 'Marcelien is still at the heart of professional sailing, she is very dedicated, critical and open in her communication. Although the sailors opinion has always been taken seriously, it is a major improvement to have a current sailor in our organizing committee, especially someone with so much experience. This is another big step in boosting the quality of the Delta Lloyd Regatta. That is why we are very pleased Marcelien accepted our offer and is joining our team."

Six-day event

Unlike former editions, this year's Delta Lloyd Regatta will include six days, from 24 to 29 May 2011. The organizing committee of the Dutch World Cup in the Olympic and Paralympic classes decided to a one-day extension at the request of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). ISAF aims to standardize the World Cup circuit.

The following channels will report on the Delta Lloyd Regatta 2011:

Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/DeltaLloydRegat
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/#!/deltalloydregattaswc
Online TV - http://www.deltalloydregatta.tv

Delta Lloyd Regatta

AG2R La Mondiale s'Associe a la Transat Benodet Martinique




© Pen Duick

by Mélissa Bourguignon

Embarqué dans la voile depuis 1992 à travers la Transat AG2R LA MONDIALE, le Groupe a toujours placé le sponsoring sportif au coeur de sa communication, ce qui lui a permis de développer sa notoriété, de faire connaître ses valeurs et ses métiers et de contribuer à son développement commercial. Un choix de communication guidé notamment par son accessibilité, la voile étant l'un des rares sports dont le spectacle est gratuit pour le public, tout comme le cyclisme dans lequel le Groupe est également impliqué.

La Transat AG2R LA MONDIALE, unique Transat en double à armes égales, véhicule parfaitement les valeurs du Groupe : la première d'entre elles, la solidarité, mais également la ténacité et la performance.

AG2R LA MONDIALE devient tout naturellement partenaire de cette nouvelle Transat qui reliera Bénodet à Fort-de-France, et qui tout comme la Transat AG2R LA MONDIALE se disputera sur des bateaux identiques (Figaro Bénéteau), à la différence près que les skippers navigueront en solitaire. Ces deux courses sont les seules transatlantiques créées sur le concept « à armes égales » et se dérouleront en alternance, une année sur deux.


© AG2R LA MONDIALE

En 2010, la 10e édition de la Transat, partie de Concarneau le 18 avril, a vu la consécration du duo Armel Le Cleac'h / Fabien Delahaye arrivé en tête à Saint-Barthélemy le 11 mai 2010. Cette édition avait également été l'occasion de dévoiler le nouveau nom de la Transat AG2R LA MONDIALE ainsi que sa nouvelle identité visuelle, alliant les codes de la voile et le territoire graphique de la marque pour symboliser le lien étroit entre l'événement sportif et le sponsor.

A propos d'AG2R LA MONDIALE :

AG2R LA MONDIALE est un groupe d'assurance de protection sociale et patrimoniale qui allie performance économique et engagement social au travers des valeurs portées par le paritarisme et le mutualisme. En 2009, il a géré 13,7 Md€ de cotisations pour 8 millions d'assurés.

Transat Benodet Martinique

Audi MedCup: McConaghy's All In for ALL4ONE




Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE during their first Audi MedCup Season / Barcelona 2010. Image copyright Franck Socha.

by Stephanie Nadin

It was all hands on deck at McConaghy Boats in Sydney when they were commissioned to build the brand new TP 52 for Jochen Schümann and Stephane Kandler's ALL4ONE syndicate. Powered by the sponsorship from Audi this latest yacht to be built will compete in the 2011 Audi MedCup.

The yacht was masterly crafted by McConaghy Boats in record time taking an amazing 72 days to build! The order for the Rolf Vrolijk designed yacht was received in late November 2010.

Hull construction begun on January 5th and the yacht, was finished on the 8th March 2011.

Jochen Schümann commented overnight:
"We are very proud of the excellent work and coordinated effort of the build team at McConaghy. They have proven that it has been the right decision for a European team to build their new Race boat down under."

Boat Captain, Paolo Bassani commented whilst observing his brand new craft leaving the McConaghy facility.
"There has been a lot of effort that has gone into this yacht. It has been an incredible experience working closely with McConaghy's; they have a great team of skilled craftsman that worked very hard and long hours to finish this boat in time.
"Nothing has been compromised in the build, under enormous time constraints; they have done a superior job.
"We believe it will be a great boat, now it is up to us as a sailing team to make it fast on the race course!"

The normal build time for such a race boat is more like 5-6 months. General Manager of McConaghy's Richard Stanning said:
"It has been a very concerted effort by all of us here, it is a great achievement to build a boat in this amount of time and still maintain our high standards that will be required for a race boat of this calibre. That only occurs when you have a good supply of design drawings and a capable team to implement it".

McConaghy's Managing Director, Jono Morris added:
"The sailing team, design team and build team have done a remarkablejob on this project, it's a credit to everyone involved. We are looking forward to following the success of the Audi ALL4ONE team in the Audi Medcup over the next 3 seasons."

The clock is still ticking as the first race of the Audi MedCup starts on May 11th.
The sleek red hull, with the Audi logo emblazoned down the topsides, was carefully loaded onto a road transporter. It then left in the early hours of the morning through Sydney to Port Botany, where it will be shipped to Valencia, Spain, for commissioning.

Audi Sailing Team powered by ALL4ONE