Friday 6 November 2009

WMRT: Tour Skippers Head to Australia Prior to Monsoon Cup

Australia Cup action. Supplied image.

by Yvonne Reid

With final Tour positioning and considerable prize money at stake; skippers are keen to fine tune their crew skills and experience at the Sunseeker Australia Cup just one week prior to the final round of the Tour being the Monsoon Cup held in Malaysia. All racing will be on Foundation 36 One Design yachts, the same design for the final showdown in Malaysia.

The added bonus for competing crews of the 2009 Sunseeker Australia Cup is the well known performance of the regatta organising committee in creating exceptional match racing in one of the World’s more renowned and reliable sailing City – Perth.

The Sunseeker Australia Cup hot form guide (at a glance) consists of:

- Triple gold and silver Olympic medallist, Ben Ainslie from Great Britain, currently 6th in the Tour standings.
- 2nd in the Tour standings and Perth’s own rising superstar, Torvar Mirsky.
- Reigning double World Match Racing Tour champion, Ian Williams from Great Britan,currently 3rd in the Tour standings.
- Current leader of the Tour, Adam Minoprio from New Zealand.
- 4th in the Tour standings, Mathieu Richard from France.

Double World Champion skipper Ian Williams said it was fantastic to see the event back on the match racing circuit.

“The Sunseeker Australia Cup has a proud history where some of the world’s greatest skippers and crew have won as a lead up to the America’s Cup. The event provides critical match racing practice against the world’s best skippers,” he said. “Racing in Perth is always exciting, the weather, location and organising team always create a fantastic event and that is why the world’s best like coming back to Perth” Williams said.

Williams also recognised that many Sunseeker Australia Cup winners have gone on to participate in the America’s Cup. “The link between the two events is indisputable and with that in mind I will be doing my utmost to get my name on the trophy to join all the great names already there,” Williams said.

Officially launching the Sunseeker Australia Cup and supporting partner for the event, City of Perth Lord Mayor Lisa Scaffidi said having the world’s best yacht racing right on the city’s doorstep will provide spectators with the opportunity to see a mini America’s Cup on Perth waters.

“This is a unique event for Perth. It is the first time in 145 years an event for fixed keel yachts has been held on the city side of the Narrows Bridge,” Lord Mayor Scaffidi said.

“We are incredibly excited to be part of this exciting event attracting the best skippers and their crew from around the world. Yet another event that places the City of Perth on the world stage of sailing!” Lord Mayor Scaffidi said.

Royal Perth Yacht Club (RPYC) Vice Commodore, Mike Kilcullen said the Australia Cup was first held in January 1982 at RPYC to provide the best skippers from various countries the opportunity to build their match racing skills in preparation for the America's Cup.

“The Sunseeker Australia Cup is a prestigious match race in the sport of sailing and we are proud to once again have the best of the best to return to Perth,” Kilcullen said.

“The inaugural Australia Cup winner John Bertrand went on to win the 1983 America's Cup in Newport, Rhode Island onboard Australia II, breaking the longest winning streak which was 132 years in sporting history. The Australia Cup was a vital step in this historic victory,” Kilcullen said. Brand leaders in the Australian marine industry and main sponsors of the event, Sunseeker Australia’s Troy Barbagallo recognised the partnership as a perfect fit.

“As the leading luxury brand in the Australian marine market it is fitting that we support the leading match racing event in Australia. We are excited to be part of such a special event,” Barbagallo said. Swan River Sailing Executive Officer and former America’s Cup winner, Skip Lissiman said he had been continually asked by the world’s top yachtsmen when the Sunseeker Australia Cup was returning.

“Skippers have wanted to come back to Perth, so we are delighted to bring the prestigious Sunseeker Australia Cup back on the world racing calendar as the premier match racing event in Australia,” Lissiman said.

“Bringing racing to Perth Waters, which is at the foot of the vibrant city of Perth was important so we can show off the world’s best within close viewing range of the public,” he said. “In the past it was considered that the Narrows Bridge itself and relatively shallow water of the Perth Waters venue, ruled out such an event on this location, however recent trends in match racing events has been to squeeze these events into tighter spaces, so we decided to run the Sunseeker Australia Cup on the edge of the city in Perth Waters,” he said.

Lissiman said the course will cover an area of 200 by 600 metres which is considered a tight challenging space, especially in the expected fresh sea breeze conditions. All key racing will be held on Perth waters, although some racing will occur in Matilda Bay.

“There will be little margin for error for the skippers which will ensure fast action-packed sailing which makes it doubly exciting for those watching on the Perth shores,” he said.

The event is hosted by the Royal Perth Yacht Club and organised by Swan River Sailing. Main sponsor for the event is Sunseeker Australia and supporting sponsor is the City of Perth.

World Match Racing Tour

BlackMatch launch exciting live Monsoon Cup website and new 'build up' video

Adam Minoprio, Nick Blackman, Tom Powrie and David Swete win St Moritz Match Race 2009. Image copyright Loris von Siebenthal/

by David Swete

As we count down to the final event of the 2009 World Match Racing Tour the Monsoon Cup, BlackMatch are excited to announce some new innovative features that have been added to our website, as well the release of a new Monsoon Cup ‘build up’ promotional video.

Created by Hamish Hooper, the BlackMatch/Monsoon Cup website is now up and running, with features that give it more of a multimedia presence. Daily highlights videos and personal video updates from the team are among the new features, something that hasn’t been done before by any of the other teams on the tour. A podcast section where members of BlackMatch will talk about the racing as soon as we get off the water, will add more of a live feel to the site and allow BlackMatch supporters to follow the action as it happens on a more personal level.

Having secured a 12 point lead on the tour and with a shot at being crowned the 2009 World Match Racing Champions, we have released a promotional video for our build up to Monsoon Cup, also produced by Hamish. Please do visit our new youtube page to view this and other videos that crewmember Nick Blackman has compiled, or simply look up BlackMatch Racing.

With only 3 weeks until the Monsoon Cup, part of our preparations will be the Australia Cup Grade 2 Event in Perth. This event will have most of the world’s top teams competing due to its proximity to Malaysia and also the boats used are identical to the ones at the Monsoon Cup. We are hoping to shine at this event and hit the ground running when we arrive in Kuala Terengganu, so feel free to follow the action as it happens on

BlackMatch would like to send a special thank you to Hamish Hooper for all his efforts in producing our videos and now our Monsoon Cup live website. We would also like to thank our sponsor FedEx Express and acknowledge the amazing support received from Emirates Team New Zealand and our yacht club the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

BlackMatch Racing is Adam Minopiro, Tom Powrie, Dan Mclean, Nick Blackman and David Swete.

BlackMatch Racing

America's Cup: Summary of the Venue Situation

by SailRaceWin

Tom Ehman, Spokesperson, Golden Gate Yacht Club:

"The Appellate Division in New York has rejected the Swiss defender's request to freeze last week's Supreme Court decision that Ras Al Khaimah (UAE) did not comply with the Deed of Gift for the 33rd America's Cup.

"Golden Gate Yacht Club said Ras Al Khaimah was wrong all along. The Spureme Court said it was wrong last week. And the Appellate Division said no to a Stay today. The message is clear...

"SNG/Alinghi will try one more time to have Ras Al Khaimah re-intsalled in a fast-track expedited Appellate Division application due to be heard in the coming weeks.

"The race dates for the 33rd America's Cup remain unchanged, commencing February 8th, 2010.

"Justice Kornreich ruled from the Supreme Court bench on Wednesday October 27 tat Ras Al Khaimah was not Deed-compliant. There will be a further hearing before her this Friday. The Court will determine if Valencia (Spain) is confirmed as the venue - as both sides had previously agreed to this in Court - or if SNG?alinghi can still choose a Deed-compliant location in the Southern Hemisphere despite the expired six month notice of the venue that the Defender is required to give the Challenger."

Alinghi media: Alinghi offers Australian venue to unlock 33rd America's Cup and return the competitition to the water

"Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), the 33rd America's Cup defending yacht club, has proposed an alternative venue to the American challenger in a bid to end their continued litigation and return the Cup to the water

"Ahead of tomorrow's hearing at the New York Supreme Court, the Swiss Defender has proposed a solution to the legal impasse brought about by the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC). While the Defender's first choice for the Deed of Gift Match is Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, in order to achieve a Match in February SNG proposes to stage the 33rd America's Cup on the east coast of Australia, in the Southern Hemisphere, in compliance with the Deed of Gift. This is a venue that should be acceptable to both teams if, as expressed publicly, the true intention of BMW Oracle is to race for the America's Cup on the water.

"A specific race course in the Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Australia, with weather conditions suitable for racing in February, will be announced promptly should GGYC accept this offer and cease their legal strategy. The east coast of Australia offers several locations with ideal sailing conditions for the best-of-three match. A venue in this region would be approximately two and a half weeks away by ship from BMW Oracle's base in San Diego, while Alinghi's voyage from Ras Al Khaimah would take approximately three weeks.

"SNG is hopeful that this offer will be accepted and that the competition will resume on the water rather than in court."

Golden Gate Yacht Club
Alinghi media

TJV: Three Days to Go to the Start of the Transat Jacques Vabre

Artemis. Image copyright Lloyd Images.

by Artemis Ocean Racing media

Under grey skies and at times torrential rain, the Artemis Ocean Racing team is quietly going about their business... Ticking off the jobs list that is now relatively small, thanks to the great preparation the team did before arriving in Le Havre last week.

Artemis co-skippers Samantha Davies and Sidney Gavignet are spending their final days ashore studying the weather, re-checking the technical details onboard, taking time for some sport and carrying out media interviews to satisfy the demands of the media gathered here for the start of the pinnacle event of the IMOCA 60 seasons that will see 14 IMOCA monohulls take on this new TJV course, starting on Sunday, 8th November at 14h30 local time.

Today the team revealed their new giant spinnaker that can nearly cover two tennis courts! 485msq in total, 100msq larger than the average kite, Artemis Ocean Racing has the largest spinnaker in the IMOCA fleet to help gain an edge in speed on the downwind sections of the 4,730-mile race to Costa Rica:

“We need this surface area to pull Artemis along downwind as she is a bit heavier than some of the others. It is somewhat daunting, looking at the picture, but in training Sidney and I managed to deal with the hundreds of square metres of cloth, even when it is pretty windy! Looking forward to putting it up in the race!”

Yesterday Sam and Sidney attended the skippers briefing and now the focus of all the 28 skippers is firmly on the evolving weather situation which is looking slightly complex over the next few days. On Sunday the centre of the low pressure system should generate lights winds before a moderate Northerly breeze is expected to settle in the initial stages of the race.

The competition in the IMOCA 60 class will be fierce as all of the top teams are competing in 100% latest generation boats. Artemis Ocean Racing has undergone extensive refit work since May this year to improve her performance against the best speed machines in the fleet, and Sam and Sidney have put in as much training as possible since July to ensure they can eek out every last drop of speed. Nonetheless, it is going to be hard to get the edge on the pre-race favourites including Foncia (Michel Desjoyeaux/Jérémie Beyou) and BT (Sébastien Josse/Jean Francois Cuzon) and many in the top half of the fleet, who know their machines intimately and have spent more than two years refining their performance.

This year’s race has another new destination: Puerto Limon in Costa Rica. There will be two courses, one for the IMOCA 60s and one for the Open 50 multihulls – the monohulls leaving the Dominican Republic to starboard, the multis leaving Barbados to starboard, sailing approximately 300 miles further. If all goes to plan, the fleet leaders should arrive in Costa Rica at the same time. But before they get that far, the Transat Jacques Vabre presents numerous challenges to its duos. Sam and Sidney must stay constantly alert through the busy shipping lanes close to land before contending with the famous Bay of Biscay, which can deal up brutal conditions in early autumn.

In the 2007 edition of the TJV, Artemis Ocean Racing 1 was dismasted in rough seas just off Cape Finisterre. Team members Jonny Malbon and Graham Tourell were unhurt, but everyone will be hoping that this year’s fleet has a safe passage into the Atlantic. As they head south, the skippers next have to choose the right moment to head across the North Atlantic towards Central America. Should they take the most direct route, or dive further south to hook into the trade winds for a rapid express ride west? Getting this decision right is key, and the sailors will have to work together to plan their weather routing and tactics, all the while pushing their boat to full speed.

Artemis Ocean Racing
Transat Jacques Vabre

Bitter End Yacht Club - Visit to Anegada

Start of Second Leg of Race to the Baths. Image copyright Anna Tunnicliffe.

by Anna Tunnicliffe

After three days of racing at the Bitter End YC ProAm Regatta here in the British Virgin Islands, we have a lay day which includes a trip to Anegada. The six pro’s and nearly 40 guests participating in the event are taking the day off to relax, snorkel, and enjoy the beautiful Caribbean weather.

I was invited to participate in this event earlier this year, and after hearing what a great event it is, I committed to coming, and I have no regrets. I am one of the six pro’s here, along with Paul Cayard, Ken Read, Keith Musto, Zach Railey, and Wild Card entry Craig Albrecht.

The event started on November 1 when the guests participated in a half-day regatta which was a qualifier for the finals held later this week. That morning I went windsurfing to get in a bit of a workout, but competed in the racing that afternoon in a Hobie Wave.

The second day was a long distance race down to the other end of the island to an area called the Baths. There were multiple types of boats racing, but I was racing in one of the four IC24’s. Onboard I had my husband Brad crewing for me along with two other guests, Kat and Larry. We had a couple of great race down there and back, with the first three boats finishing the first leg within 15 seconds of each other. Zach took the low road the whole race, and stayed a bit more offshore than Keith and me. Despite being ahead of Keith for most of the race, he got the better of us on the last reach to the finish, as did Zach who pulled out the better pressure right at the end to take line honors. Once we reached the Baths, we moored our boats, swam to the spectator boats, had a lunch and snorkeled, and then started racing back to the BEYC at 2pm. The race back took a bit longer as it was mostly upwind the whole way. Luckily the waves were not too big and the wind wasn’t too strong, so it was quite a pleasant ride home. The race again came down to three boats. This time Craig was in the mix, rather than Zach, who had decided that he was going to try his offshore strategy again but this time it failed miserably. Craig took line honors, and Keith again, passed us in the last reach to the finish. We had a good time and were looking forward to the next day’s racing.

Kat and Larry Hard At Work. Image copyright Anna Tunnicliffe.

Yesterday was the start of the actual ProAm Regatta. The regatta has a racing format called triple racing. The idea of triple racing is to score a point by winning the race, however, there are only three boats racing at a time. Match racing and team racing are legal during the races, so second and third in the race can gang up on first to pass them back. We completed seven races yesterday, with three more scheduled on Thursday morning. I struggled a bit with the racing yesterday, but finally won the last race to put one point on the board for me. It was an important race to win too for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it was the last race of the day, and we wanted to win the race back to the dock, but also because it was against Paul and Kenny, two very talented sailors. My teams did a fantastic job all day long, and I had a great time with all of them.

It is a great regatta where the guests and pro’s are learning, and everyone is having a wonderful time. The top four from the triple racing advance to a match race final on Friday. I have a bit of work to do on Thursday to make it, but it is possible with a couple more wins.

This morning, Brad and I are off to go for a hike/run up one of the hills here on the island. It is quite a rugged trail, but a great workout, and great views along the way. Then off to Anegada.

On Sunday, Brad and I are flying to Korea for the ISAF World Sailor of the Year Awards.

Anna Tunnicliffe
Bitter End Yacht Club

Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands - Lay Day in Paradise

by Paul Cayard

No racing today at the Bitter End Pro Am. This was not due to lack of wind or too much wind or any court order. Just a day off to enjoy the place!

I got up at 6 with Allie who had an early ferry to catch to get back to California and school. After she left, I did my pull up, sit up, push up routine, then went for a nice swim. After breakfast I did a little work. I know...a cardinal sin. Then I took a nap before lunch. This is something I never do. The a salad and a long Laser sail around the sound. Then I joined in the local beer can racing. Now I am at dinner at the Carvery which is my favorite restaurant here. Tonight is a wine tasting evening sponsored by Penfold's wine. Aussie stuff but very good none the less.

A large contingent went out to Anegada for lobster, etc. Others went snorkeling. It is hard to have a bad time down here.

Tomorrow, racing resumes at 1000 with the conclusion of the round robin.

Tom Leweck, the original Curmudgeon, is down here with his lovely wife Barbara, and wanted me to tell you all that he will not be filing a report today. He is taking the whole day off.

If you can't tell, my batteries are getting recharged.

Cayard SailingBitter End Yacht Club

Thursday 5 November 2009

LVT: Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d'Azur kicks off Saturday

Teams training off Nice for the Louis Vuitton Trophy. Image copyright Frank Socha.

The inaugural event of the WSTA is scheduled 7-22 November

by Chloe Daycard

Although the 2009 sailing calendar is drawing to a close the action on the Mediterranean Sea will be heated over the coming weeks during the inaugural Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur, slated to begin Saturday, 7 November.

The eight teams entered in the match race regatta have been practicing this week while tents and scaffolding were being erected in the race village at the Port of Nice. A giant TV screen is in place so that spectators can watch the waterborne action from the shoreside.

While some of the teams will be familiar to race fans the sailors will be even more familiar. World and Olympic champions such as Ben Ainslie (TeamOrigin), Dean Barker (Emirates Team New Zealand), Paul Cayard (Artemis), Tommaso Chieffi (Azzurra), Russell Coutts (BMW ORACLE Racing), Karol Jablonski (Synergy), Bertrand Pacé (French Spirit) and Jochen Schümann (ALL4ONE) are skipper and/or helmsman of their respective teams.

Suffice to say they’re among the best of the best. Barker, Cayard, Chieffi, Coutts and Schümann are all past winners of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the trophy awarded to the winner of the Challenger Selection Series for the America’s Cup.

“Artemis is looking forward to competing against the best teams in sailing in Nice over the next two weeks,” said Artemis skipper Cayard, who won the Louis Vuitton Cup in 1992 and was a finalist in 2000. “We are a new team but we are keen competitors. We’ll see.”

Inaugural event of the WSTA

Bow action on an IACC ver. 5 boat training for the WSTA event in Nice. Image copyright Frank Socha.

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur is the inaugural event of the World Sailing Teams Association. Founded in September, the WSTA is a group of professional sailing teams that have banded together in an effort to create consistent exposure.

“Basically it has been an achievement to organise such an event in such a short time frame,” said Stephane Kandler, head of the ALL4ONE syndicate (née K-Challenge), a founding member of the WSTA and the host team for the regatta.

“The venue looks very good, very international,” Kandler continued. “We’re hoping for good weather conditions. Everything is very positive despite the fact it was completed in a short time frame. It will be a great event.”

Joining ALL4ONE are Artemis (SWE), Azzurra (ITA), BMW ORACLE Racing (USA), Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Synergy Russian Sailing Team (RUS), Team French Spirit (FRA) and TeamOrigin (GBR).

Four yachts in play

Training from the LVT off Nice. Image copyright Frank Socha.

The WSTA event is designed to be a cost-effective format for the teams. They do not bring their boats to the event. Rather, the four boats being used in Nice are on loan from three teams: ALL4ONE (FRA-93), Mascalzone Latino (ITA-90, ITA-99) and TeamOrigin (GBR-75). The boats have been equalised as much as possible to create a level playing field that will test the sailors’ skill more than their boat’s speed.

“We’ve mainly had to re-cut the mainsails and headsails,” said Laurent Esquier, chief executive of the WSTA for the event in Nice and a past manager of multiple America’s Cup syndicates. “We’re concerned each pair is as even as possible.”

In a move harkening to the Louis Vuitton Acts of 2005, the boats sit in their cradles without skirts shrouding the keels. Spectators quickly notice the lack of wings on the ballast bulbs. The wings add efficiency to the yacht’s performance, but have been discarded for the racing.

“The mainsails have been cut down so we don’t need the wings,” said Esquier. “It makes the yachts more affordable to maintain and less prone to damage.”

Two rounds robin are planned beginning Saturday before the fleet is split into groups for the semi-final and consolation racing. The final is scheduled 21-22 November.

Nice lends 200 bikes to the event

Miss Côte d'Azur Anais Governatori (fourth from left) and Nice Deputy Mayor Benoit Kandel (third from right) join members of the French and German team ALL4ONE at a ceremony handing over bicycles to the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d'Azur. Image copyright Frank Socha.

The City of Nice has provided 200 bicycles to the event for use by the sailors and event staff. Kandel thanked the teams for coming to Nice, which is hoping to gain prominence on the international yachting calendar. In September the IMOCA 60s made Nice a stopover in a race that originated in Turkey and finished in Brest, France.

“Louis Vuitton has a long history with the city of Nice,” said Troublé, who has organized the Louis Vuitton Cup, the Challenger Selection Series for the America’s Cup, since 1983. “Louis Vuitton opened its first store in Nice in 1908 and is very proud to host this event here in this wonderful town.”

Today also marked the opening of the International Media Center, which can accommodate journalists in four different languages; English, French, Italian and Russian.

Practice sessions today (Wednesday) were cancelled due to the strong winds from the west/west-northwest that blew between 20 and 25 knots. Organizers are concerned with the sea state such winds generate, which can create huge shock loads on the America’s Cup sloops.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice

Accolade for Caffari at Britain's Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year Awards

Dee Caffari with her Sunday Times Sports Award. Supplied image.

by Jo Uffendell

Record breaking solo round the world yachtswoman, Dee Caffari, was delighted to accept the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration yesterday when she attended the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards lunch.

Held at the David Beckham Academy in London, the awards are among the most prestigious and influential in the British sporting calendar and attended by leading figures within the world of sport and politics. As well as celebrating high-profile athletes – previous winners include Paula Radcliffe, Pippa Funnell, Kelly Holmes, Zara Phillips and Nicole Cooke – the event also recognises women at all levels of British sporting life including administrators working tirelessly behind the scenes, and those coaches, students and PE teachers nurturing future talent.

As a former PE teacher herself, Caffari, is well aware of the importance of grass roots sports development to encourage participation from an early age. On receiving the award Caffari said:
‘I am thrilled to have been acknowledged by the Sunday Times today and to have been there in person to collect the prestigious award. I think it is fitting that the awards honour both the achievements of elite athletes and the invaluable support network behind the scenes. Whilst I have picked up this award for my solo sailing exploits, the credit will be shared with the fantastic team of people that have helped me circumnavigate the globe in both directions and my sponsor behind the double world record, Aviva.’

In her relatively short sailing career, Caffari has achieved a great deal. In May 2006, Caffari became the first woman to sail around the world non-stop against the prevailing winds and currents. In February 2009, Caffari secured a double world first by crossing the official finish line of the Vendée Globe yacht race after 99 days to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop both ways around the world. Just a few months later, Caffari led an all female crew to set a new speed record for sailing around Britain and Ireland – 6 days, 11 hours, 30 minutes and 53 seconds

Aviva, the UK’s largest insurance group, has supported Caffari since 2005 and announced a new partnership with Caffari last month as the racing team’s founding partner. Dee is now actively searching for a new title sponsor to support her 2012 Vendée Globe campaign.

This coming Sunday, Caffari will be on the start line of the double handed Transat Jacques Vabre race from France to Costa Rica aboard her yacht Aviva.

In 2012, Dee intends to be on the start line of the Vendée Globe once again with the intention of securing a podium position. Dee Caffari’s race to the start line has now begun and she is currently searching for a new title sponsor to support her ambition to compete in the 2012/13 Vendée Globe.

Dee Caffari

LVT: TeamOrigin Announce Sailing Team Line-Up for Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Regatta

TeamOrigin. Image copyright Ian Roman.

by Leslie Ryan

TEAMORIGIN announced today the sailing team line-up for the forthcoming Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta in Nice Côte d'Azur which commences at the weekend. The TEAMORIGIN sailing team line-up includes many of the familiar world class sailors...along with a few new names.

Leading the team is Ben Ainslie, the team's skipper and helmsman and triple Olympic gold medallist; backed up by Iain Percy as tactician, Ian Moore as navigator, Andrew Simpson as strategist and Robert Greenhalgh as strategist/traveller - an impressive all British line-up for the afterguard.

The team includes 8 sailors from Great Britain, 4 from New Zealand, 3 from Australia, and 1 each from France, Denmark and Poland.

TEAMORIGIN SAILING TEAM for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Nice Côte d’Azur:

Matt Mitchell, NZL, Bowman
Julian Cressant, FRA, Mid Bowman
George Skuodas, GBR, Mastman
Craig Satterthwaite, NZL, Pit
Mark McTeague, AUS, Grinder
Pawel Bielecki, POL, Grinder
Chris Brittle, GBR, Grinder
Mike Mottl, AUS, Trimmer upwind
Christian Kamp, DEN, Trimmer downwind
Tony Mutter, NZL, Mainsail trimmer
Robert Greenhalgh, GBR, Strategist/traveller
Ben Ainslie, GBR, Skipper & Helmsman
Iain Percy, GBR, Tactician
Ian Moore, GBR, Navigator
Andrew Simpson, GBR, Strategist
Mike Sanderson, NZL, Runners
Anthony Nossiter, AUS, Runners/pit assist
Garry Bainbridge, GBR, Grinder back-up


Kelvin Harrap, NZL, Afterguard coach
James Stagg, GBR, Crew coach
Stevie Erickson, USA, Sailing Manager
Charlotte Harmer, NED, PA to Mike Sanderson

Mike Sanderson, Team Director, commented: “TEAMORIGIN is ready to go and looking forward to racing here in Nice. It is especially good to see GBR-75, our ACC training yacht, here on the water and looking in great shape – thanks to the work of our shore crew over the last few weeks. It promises to be a great event.”

Ben Ainslie, team Skipper and Helmsman, added "It is great to be back on the water with so many of the guys from the team squad that sailed together in the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series in Auckland – and a few extras that will surely add their expertise and skill to our team for this event. We are looking forward to the racing starting on Saturday and should have some exciting matches against some of the best teams in the world.”


Jules Verne Trophy: Groupama 3 Switches to Code Green

The crew of Groupama 3: Franck Cammas, Fred Le Peutrec, Stève Ravussin, Lionel Lemonchois, Thomas Coville, Loïc Le Mignon, Ronan Le Goff, Bruno Jeanjean, Jacques Caraës and Stan Honey. Image copyright Yvan Zedda.

by Vincent Borde and Caroline Muller

Less than a day since Groupama's announcement that it is renewing its partnership with the French sailor Franck Cammas until 2015, the skipper is announcing the switch to code green. This colour means that Groupama 3, on stand-by in Brest since 1st November, will set off on Thursday 5th November on her bid to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy, a round the world record attempt under sail.

50 days and 16 hours: this is the time to beat in order to snatch the record for the fastest yacht to circumnavigate the globe. Since 2005 the record has been in the hands of Bruno Peyron aboard the maxi catamaran Orange 2.

For his second attempt at the record, Franck Cammas has put together the perfect team to steer Groupama 3 through what is a hostile yet fascinating universe: "The time to beat is very quick. In order to succeed, besides an excellent boat, you need a crew which blends experience, performance and solidarity. As such a loyal and ambitious partner is required, which has been the case with Groupama for over twelve years. The renewal of our partnership until 2015 is an additional source of motivation in paying Groupama back for the trust they've shown in me" says the French skipper.

Accompanying him in this round the world adventure via the three capes are the loyal members of the Groupama team: Swiss sailor Stève Ravussin with whom Franck has already won two Transat Jacques Vabres, Fred Le Peutrec, Loïc Le Mignon, Ronan Le Goff as well as Jacques Caraës. Alongside them are some newcomers to the team in the form of Lionel Lemonchois, reigning champion of the Route du Rhum, Thomas Coville, solo Transatlantic recordman, Stan Honey, winning American navigator from the Volvo Ocean Race as well as Bruno Jeanjean, World Champion Match Racer.

This dream team has been preparing for the attempt in earnest since the start of the year, covering 15,000 miles or two thirds of a circumnavigation of the globe since that time: "We know each other well, we get on well and we're eager to go, even though we know it will be difficult. Circumnavigating the globe under sail as fast as we can isn't something you do everyday. We'll have to be quick without causing Groupama 3 to suffer and by manoeuvring her well. Added to that we'll have to choose the best course" adds the skipper.

Watching the weather for the past week, Franck Cammas, Stan Honey and Sylvain Mondon from Météo France appreciate the quality of the window opening up on Thursday: "There's going to be strong winds and big seas off Brest with 30 knots of breeze and five metre waves. We're going to be shaken about at the start but, from Cape Finisterre, the wind will become more favourable. We should then be able to smoothly hook onto the trade winds" wrote the skipper of skipper of Groupama 3 in an email to his nine crew yesterday.

This analysis is confirmed by Sylvain Mondon who will be accompanying Groupama 3 throughout his attempt from his office at Météo France in Toulouse: "The weather window expected for Groupama 3's Jules Verne Trophy attempt isn't exactly classic for this type of attempt. Indeed, by choosing to set off on Thursday 5th November, just after the passage of an active zone with numerous squalls and strong gusts in what are still big seas, Franck Cammas and his men haven't taken the easy option. This is evident in the strong NW'lies which are set to blow across the Bay of Biscay until Thursday morning, picking up big seas (waves in excess of 6m), calling for the crew to be prudent.

Though Groupama 3 is setting off in such conditions for the first 24 hours at sea, things are likely to be much more favourable for the next stage in the proceedings. The NE'ly tradewinds will notably be established and steady as far as the Cape Verde archipelago. This tradewind configuration is very different from the conditions Groupama 3 experienced in 2007 during the previous attempt with numerous remnants from recent storms originating from a low between the Canaries and the Azores.

As far as the Southern Atlantic is concerned, it is still too early to have an accurate idea of what awaits Franck Cammas and his crew. Nevertheless, the overall conditions can be described as favourable with established SE'ly tradewinds to the South of the equator and the Saint Helena High is expected to be a little closer to Africa rather than South America".

In Brest this evening for a final crew supper, the ten men on Groupama 3 intend to leave the quayside at the port of Le Château on Thursday at 1100 hours, in order to present themselves on the start line for the Jules Verne Trophy between 1600 and 1700 hours local time, in front of the Créac'h lighthouse on the island of Ushant.

The organisation aboard Groupama 3

Three watches of three people:
• Franck Cammas, Loïc Le Mignon, Jacques Caraës
• Stève Ravussin, Thomas Coville, Bruno Jeanjean
• Fred Le Peutrec, Lionel Lemonchois, Ronan Le Goff
• Stan Honey, navigator, off watch

Cammas - Groupama

Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands - Day Three

by Paul Cayard

Today was the first "real" day of racing here at the Pro Am. The skippers were assigned boats and amateur crews at this morning's briefing in The Pub. The racing format is three boat racing. Three boats start and only the winner scores a point.

There are two types of boats being used, the Caribbean J-24 and Hunter 21s. The skippers rotate through so that we sail 5 races in each type of boat with various crew combinations. Kind of complicated, but not important. They have handlers that figure that out for you.

Anyway, Team Cayard managed 5 wins out of 7 races today to share the lead with Ken Read who had the same score. Ken Read knows a thing or two about J-24's and was going fast this morning. However, in the last race of the day, Anna Tunnicliffe, beat both Ken and me. There was a loud cheer that went up from the spectator boats in the area as Anna crossed the line.

I sailed back to the dock with my daughter Allie who had sailed a Laser down to watch the racing. Allie was asking Anna (Gold Medal Laser Radial) for pointers between races. It is cool to see what an icon Anna is for young women in the sport.

After the racing, Tom Leweck hosted a panel with Zack Railey, Ken Read, Anna and myself. The subject varied from the Volvo to the Olympics and yes a bit of the AC.
But really, none of us know what is happening with the AC except that it is bad. Having said that, tomorrow should be an interesting day in court in New York as the judge has called in three "sailing experts" to help her sift through the muck.

The crowd had some good questions and listened attentively. I have to say, that the passion fell to Zack and Anna. They are the USA's two best prospects in our sport. Both in their early 20's, both with Olympic medals already. The world is theirs and they are going for it. Both are specifically training for the 2012 Olympics in England. We, the USA, really need to support these great athletes!

Tomorrow is a day off from the racing here which resumes Thursday. I am leaving Friday for Nice and the Louis Vuitton Trophy, so I will miss the semi finals and finals.

Going for some snorkeling and windsurfing tomorrow.

Cayard Sailing
Bitter End Yacht Club

Wednesday 4 November 2009

Auckland to Russell daysail part of 49er duo’s training

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Peter Burling and Blair Tuke update us on their continued campaigning in the 49er skiff:

They have trained through winter out of Royal Akarana Yacht Club in Auckland, competing in the NZ Youth Match Racing Nationals in Wellington during September, and a number of other events.

They now have a brand new Mackay 49er and are enjoying the precision of the stiff hull.

A big challenge was taking a shot as unofficial entrants at the 119nm course from Auckland to Russell on the same day as the HSBC Premier Coastal Classic yacht race.

Peter and Blair completed that course in 9.5 hours, much of it under a fantastic gennaker ride and two sail reaching, until Brett when the last 15nm was a gruelling beat into Russell.

Two pitchpole capsizes led to some great bruises, but they are now refreshed and ready to continue their race campaign, which includes the 49er World Champs in the Bahamas in January. The fitness and sailing training continues, while Peter finishes his University engineering exams, and Blair his last electrical exam in November. The pair will fly to Sydney later this month to train and race in the Australian 49er Nationals, and the Sydney International and Sail Melbourne Nationals.

Yachting New Zealand

Prime Minister’s Athlete Scholarships 2010

by Jodie Bakewell-White

SPARC is now calling for applications for Prime Minister’s Scholarships for 2010. Online applications for yachting close on November 20th.

Applications can be made via the high performance sport section of SPARC’s website at A sample application is available on the SPARC website currently to aid applicants in compiling the appropriate information.

Yachting New Zealand requires that applicants submit a four year plan to accompany their application. To be eligible it is expected that applicants are currently committed to competing at a high standard at international competition in Olympic, Paralympics or International Youth Classes and have an intention to compete at either the 2012 or 1016 Olympics or Paralympics in the sport of sailing.

Members of Yachting New Zealand Squads and Teams (Olympic Squad, Olympic Development Squad, Talent Development Squad, NZL Yachting Trust Youth Team, and YNZ National Youth Squad, Paralympics Talent Development Squad), carded sailors, and previous scholarship recipients are encouraged to discuss their application with Yachting New Zealand’s Athlete Life Adviser before making application.

Carolyn Donaldson will fill in for Karin Adelinger as Yachting New Zealand’s contact person until the beginning of November. Carolyn’s details are...

Carolyn Donaldson, Athlete Life Advisor/Administrator
NZ Academy of Sport North Island
Physical Address: 71 Merton Road, Glen Innes, Auckland 1072
Postal Address: PO Box 18444, Glen Innes, Auckland 1743
Tel: 367 7165 ext 1 opt 4
Fax: 09 373 7617

All yachting applications should be received by SPARC via the online application system by the close of business Friday 20th of November 2009. Four year plans should also have been received at Yachting New Zealand by this date. Plans should be emailed to

For full scholarship information, please refer to the scholarship programme guide (also available at ) under the high performance sport section.

Yachting New Zealand

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2009

Robert Oatley’s Wild Oats XI emerging from the shed after being lengthened to the maximum overall length for the race 100 feet. Image copyright Andrea Francolini.

by Lisa Ratcliff

An impressive fleet of 116 has been nominated for the impending Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, one of the world's most highly regarded ocean classics.

Last year's event attracted 113 nominations and of those 100 made it to the start line on Boxing Day with 92 crossing the finish line off Hobart's historic Battery Point having completed the gruelling Bass Strait crossing.

In 2004, 116 yachts sailed south for the 60th anniversary edition and prior to that 115 made it to the start line in 1998. It's likely that this year's fleet will finish up the second largest in more than a decade.

Expected to rendezvous in Sydney Harbour at 1pm on Saturday 26 December for the traditional blast of cannon fire will be seven maximum length heavyweights. Apart from a single scare last year, Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI crew has largely had things all their own way in the 628 nautical mile premier blue water event since they took the treble of line honours, the overall win and set a new race record in 2005.

But as Wild Oats XI stirs for a record fifth charge at line honours, the sharks are circling. At least four other similar sized maxis are capable of stemming Oats' amazing run says Neville Crichton, owner/skipper of Alfa Romeo who is riding high after his 143rd line honours win in New Zealand last week and one of those challenging.

In a hard upwind slog his money will be on Mike Slade's proven UK based ICAP Leopard, while in a running race he would back Wild Oats XI, Grant Wharington's modified 30 metre Skandia Wild Thing and Sean Langman's soon-to-be 100 footer LOYAL, and of course his own Reichel Pugh-designed champion.

Joining the super sleek and modern will be many of the race faithfuls, including three-time overall winner Love & War, Simon Kurts' 1973-launched S & S 47, and Mike Freebairn's 1968-built S & S 49 Ray White Spirit of Koomooloo, a 22-time entrant.
Ian Kiernan's 1958-built Tasman Seabird Sanyo Maris, which tonight is running first in the IRC handicap stakes of the Hempel Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race, will also add a touch of old world charm to the starter's list.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

America's Cup: A Tough Break - BOR 90's Mast Breaks

by Peter Rusch

Spare a thought for Jimmy Spithill. Moments after stepping off the boat he was front and centre for the assembled media. Here's what he said:

"We had a mast failure, the mast broke and came down. Nobody was hurt and that's the most important part. The crew are all safe and all of our support boats and contingencies that are built into the programme really showed today. I just commend the crew and all our support boats for swinging into action. Everyone is back on shore safe and we'll roll on forwards...

"The weather was actually quite nice. It was relatively light wind speeds and the sea state was quite flat. So until we delve into it and dig deep into our analysis tools, we don't know what the cause of the failure was...

"The real [sign of] heart in a team is the team that can come back from setbacks. This is a small setback but I have no doubt the team will bounce back… I'm sure we'll be fine for the race [in February]."

Within minutes of the boat reaching the dock, the sails and boom were being craned off. This day isn't over by a long shot. You can bet the team will be running the numbers overnight and into tomorrow to find out exactly what happened.


America's Cup: Statement from Tom Ehman, Golden Gate Yacht Club

by Tom Ehman

Along with sailing fans and followers around the world, we are disappointed that the defender - Société Nautique de Genève/Alinghi - has sought to de-rail the America's Cup once again.

In light of Justice Kornreich's clear ruling last week, this appeal is unwarranted and without merit.

On Friday Justice Kornreich decided that, in accordance with the Deed of Gift, a February match for the America's Cup cannot be held in the Northern Hemisphere other than in Valencia, a venue previously agreed by both the Defender and Challenger.

The Spanish host of the 2007 America's Cup Match remains the best choice for everyone. Its facilitise and infrastructure are proven and ready. Both teams maintain their permanent bases in teh Port America's Cup. The City is ready to welcome the America's Cup back.

Following her order on the venue last Friday, Golden Gate Yacht Club confirms Bryan Willis (GBR) as its nominee for the three man panel requested by Justice Kornreich to assist her determine the outstanding sailing and measurement issues over the 33rd America's Cup match.

GGYC was the first to put forward a name to the New York Supreme Court. SNG responded with Graham McKenzie (NZL) and the two of them mutually agreed the third member of the panel, David Tillett (AUS).

All three men are former members of America's Cup juries, as required by Justic Kornreich. Bryan Willis and Graham McKenzie are now in New York.

Bryan Willis is one of the most respected jurors in the sailing world. He has chaired International Juries at the Olympics, the Volvo Ocean Race and at the last three America's Cup. He has also sat on the International Sailing Federation's Racing Rules Committee for more than 30 years, chairing both it and the ISAF Racing Race Officials Committee.

We look forward to this resolution process moving forward in the coming days.

Golden Gate Yacht Club

Groupama to Sponsor Cammas in the Volvo Ocean Race and Until 2015

Simulation of a future Groupama VOR boat. Image copyright Jean Baptiste Epron Design.

by Vincent Borde and Caroline Muller

Committed to sailing since 1997 alongside Franck Cammas, the Groupama Group has decided to renew its trust in its skipper. Major protagonists in oceanic sailing aboard the Groupama trimarans, Groupama 2 and Groupama 3, and as a follow-up to the Jules Verne Trophy, the French insurer and sailor will be attacking the most closely contested and most international of crewed ocean races, the Volvo Ocean Race.

On stand-by in the port of Le Château in Brest since 1st November to set off on its bid to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy aboard the 32 metre maxi trimaran, Groupama and Franck Cammas today announced their participation in the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, formerly the Whitbread race, a crewed circumnavigation of the globe with stopovers.

"It's now been over 12 years as owner that we've been writing pages in our shared history with Franck Cammas and the Groupama team. Today, we've decided to continue this commitment by participating in the Volvo Ocean Race to inspire a more international dynamic in our common project. Indeed Groupama is developing strong links overseas - where we carry out nearly 30% of our business - and the Volvo Ocean Race is clearly the most suitable sports event to reflect our Group's new expansion" states Frédérique Granado, Director of External Communications at Groupama. "We trust in Franck to take up this new challenge as we appreciate his ability to create a team, manage a crew and also the design of the most high performance boats. These qualities will be decisive in the Volvo Ocean Race".

The duration of this commitment has enabled Groupama to become one of the most memorised French brands in the sailing world with some very strong attributes associated with the Group's image including audacity, openness, innovation and human commitment. All these values further add to the cohesion and the strong sense of belonging amongst the Group's 38,500 employees and 70,000 members.

Despite concentrating on his imminent departure on the Jules Verne Trophy, the skipper of Groupama is delighted: "Groupama is once again showing its trust in me at the very moment where we're committing to a new challenge, whilst a lot of sponsors wait for sports events to draw to a close before announcing that they're renewing a partnership. This is even more motivating for me within the context of the Jules Verne Trophy and makes me keen to pay Groupama back for the trust they have shown.

We're committing to the Volvo Ocean Race thanks to the support and trust demonstrated by Groupama, our loyal partner. For our team it's a huge responsibility that we're tackling with enthusiasm and determination.

I am very proud to be able to benefit from such commitment and such loyalty and I'd like to make the most of this opportunity to thank all the Group's representatives and colleagues for their unfailing support during what has been over 12 years."

Whilst he is sailing around the world in a bid to conquer the Jules Verne Trophy aboard his maxi trimaran, Franck Cammas will be able to count on his team to prepare for the Volvo: "We've already chosen the naval architect with whom our team will be working. It's Juan Kouyumdjian who has already collaborated with teams participating in the Volvo Ocean Race and won the last two editions of the race. He will be starting work with Stéphane Guilbaud and the team".

As regards the organisation, Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race is very pleased about the return of a French boat to the crewed round the world: "The French certainly have their place in the Volvo against the cream of the Anglo-Saxon and European crews. It's excellent news that the Groupama team is joining the race. I have known Franck Cammas and his team for a long time. They're formidable competitors, who are remarkably well organised. I wish them a warm welcome".

Cammas - Groupama
Volvo Ocean Race

Tuesday 3 November 2009

One Week Until 2009 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award Winners are Named

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year awards. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

by Giles Pearman

In just one week from today, on Tuesday, 10 November, Busan, Korea will play host to a spectacular ceremony and presentation where the male and female winners of the 2009 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards will be announced.

The Busan Yacht Club in Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea, is the venue for the 2009 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards Dinner and Presentation. It is a night to celebrate sailing, for sailors and by sailors. The evening will be hosted by legendary Danish sailor Jesper Bank, a triple Olympic medallist and winner of the ISAF Match Racing World Championship, himself a past nominee for the World Sailor Award.

HRH Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, an enthusiastic sailor and regular on the Farr 40 circuit, will announce the male and female winners of this year's Awards. The Crown Prince and Lionel Schurch of Rolex SA will present the winners with the unique marble and silver World Sailor Trophy and a personalized Rolex timepiece.

This year four female and six male nominees have been shortlisted for the Award, based on their achievements during the qualifying period of 1 September 2008 to 31 August 2009.

The 2009 nominees are:

Sam Davies (GBR)
Hilary Lister (GBR)
Blanca Manchón (ESP)
Anna Tunnicliffe (USA)

Pascal Bidégorry (FRA)
Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA)
Paul Goodison (GBR)
Torben Grael (BRA)
Nathan Outteridge (AUS)

The ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award is the highest award a sailor can receive in recognition of his/her outstanding achievements. The Awards are presented annually based on a worldwide selection process that incorporates an open invitation to nominations, followed by a vote amongst the 130 member nations of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

The Awards have been held every year since 1994 and past winners include Peter Blake, Ellen MacArthur, Robert Scheidt and Russell Coutts. In 2008 the Awards were presented to four-time Olympic medal winners Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Alessandra Sensini (ITA).

ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year

Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands - Day 2

Bitter End Yacht Club

by Paul Cayard

Monday was the Defiance Day race here in the epicenter of yacht racing. We started at 10:00 with the first race consisting of a 7 mile leeward course and a second race of a 7 mile windward leg. We did not have Gatorade or anything like that onboard. We had water but people were using that to clean their sunglasses. We had a golden beverage that had some bubbles in it. Not quite sure what it was but it seemed to make everything seem ok.

Apparently there has been a lot of angst over some race that is supposed to take place in Multihulls some time in the near future, or maybe not so near.... I am not clear on that. So the idea floated by all the hardcore "amateurs" in attendance here was, why not get that race over with so we can move on.

So Ken Read had his catamaran and I had mine. They were one design Cats and we had our guest crews onboard as usual. Onboard the "Leopard", we had a great run down to the Bath's winning the Catamaran division with Captain Jim at the helm. On the way back, Ken won and we finished third, so we tied. Not sure what we solved there but we finished off the contest in the Pub playing pool at the Mount Gay party. As the sun went down, everyone seemed happy and we agreed to meet again tomorrow for more racing.

There were about 15 yachts in the race, most of the "pro's" were in IC 24's which we will race in the rest of the week. Tom Leweck of Scuttlebutt fame actually won the Multihull division with two 2nds. Keith Musto of the UK won the IC 24 division. I note that the two skippers have a combined age of 150 years which goes to show you that experience counts in this sport.

For those of you who don't know the "Bath's", it is a very cool rock formation at the west end of Virgin Gorda. There are some caves and deep water pools formed by these massive granite boulders that look like someone placed them there. We had a bar-b-q down there in between the two races.

Sunday I had a lot of fun racing Hobie Cats with my daughter Allie. She was on the trapeze and I helmed. We managed to have the best score after three races. That was my first multihull racing experience. Today we obviously did not fair as well but the music was much better on the Moorings 4000.

Tuesday things start to get serious around here.... 3 boat racing. I have done this once before and am trying to remember how it works. I am not going to sweat it too much tonight though. Maybe tomorrow before the start I will have another think about it.

Cayard Sailing
Bitter End Yacht Club

America's Cup: Société Nautique de Genève to appeal decision on Ras Al Khaimah for 33rd America’s Cup

by Alinghi media

The Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup, Société Nautique de Genève (SNG), is to appeal New York Supreme Court Justice Kornreich’s decision of 30 October rejecting Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates as the venue for the 33rd America’s Cup. SNG has applied for an expedited appeal to avoid any delay to the February 2010 Deed of Gift Match.

The choice of Ras Al Khaimah was made based on the plain language of Justice Cahn’s (Kornreich’s predecessor) May 2008 Court Order that ruled the location of the 33rd America’s Cup Match to be in ‘Valencia or any other location selected by the SNG’.

The Emirati venue was selected by the Defender for several reasons: the suitability of the weather conditions for a February Deed of Gift Match; the infrastructure offered by the country and the experience the UAE brings in organising world class sporting events.

Société Nautique de Genève

America's Cup: Graham McKenzie nominated as SNG expert witness for NY Supreme Court hearing

by Alinghi media

Société Nautique de Genève has nominated Graham McKenzie (NZL) as an expert witness for the New York Supreme Court hearing on Wednesday 4 November.

McKenzie was a member of the 32nd America’s Cup Jury and has sailed both competitively and for leisure in New Zealand on a wide range of yachts.

He retired as partner from Bell Gully, a New Zealand law firm, in 2006 and is a Notary Public. McKenzie is a Barrister and Solicitor in New Zealand and Queensland, Australia, and is a Director of several public companies. He is also Deputy Chairman of Saint Kentigern Trust Board and a Trustee of the Bruce McLaren Trust.

McKenzie and the Golden Gate Yacht Club’s appointed expert will chose a third to assist Justice Kornreich with the technical issues still pending for the 33rd America’s Cup.

Note from SailRaceWin: It is our understanding that GGYC has nominated Bryan Willis (GBR) as their representative for the court.

Société Nautique de Genève

VOR: Spanish Castle to White Night Book

by Lizzie (Green) Ward

Eighty-eight men set off from beneath the ramparts of Alicante’s Castle of Santa Bárbara, but only 36 would journey the full 37,000 miles to finish in the White Nights of St Petersburg. Japan’s Black Tide, brutal weather, injuries, and even the credit crunch all took their toll.

Published today by dakini Media, London, and voted the Best Sports Illustrated Book at Sportel, Monaco in early October, this is the story of the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-09, ripping and roaring through the seven seas – from Spain, past Africa and on to Asia, round the Americas and back to Europe. It’s a story of endurance, deprivation and adventure.

This stunning book is written by novelist and navigator Mark Chisnell and is available in English and Spanish.

It charts the tale of some of the world’s best offshore sailors who left Alicante in October 2008 in pursuit of victory in the Volvo Ocean Race. It follows them through the ensuing nine months as they endured every possible emotion, their human story intertwined with the raw elements of nature and the extraordinary technology on which their success, and sometimes even their survival, depended.

It is illustrated with striking photography from a team that both followed and participated in the race, including Rick Tomlinson, whose work has been featured in National Geographic. A team of eight media crew members (MCMs) raced around the world capturing the drama as it unfolded and among them was Rick Deppe, PUMA’s MCM, who was also a cameraman for the Emmy Award nominated Discovery Channel documentary, Deadliest Catch.

Author, Mark Chisnell, said: “The latest Volvo Ocean Race was a fantastic event with so many memorable moments to bring alive in the book. It was quite a challenge to capture all of it in words, but I tried to apply the lessons about story-telling that I’ve learned from writing my novels. The book looks beautiful, the team did a great job on photography, picture selection, design and production and I want to thank everyone involved for their fantastic efforts”.

Also available in addition to Spanish Castle to White Night, is a special Nordic edition – High Seas High Stakes (English language) which includes an Ericsson Racing Team prologue and epilogue written by Sean McNeill, a sailing writer and active racer, and imagery by premier Swedish photographer, Oskar Kihlborg. Each book includes a race highlights DVD of over two hours, making it a must-have at €40 plus postage and packing.

Spanish Castle to White Night (English and Spanish) and High Seas High Stakes (Nordic edition) are available to buy online at for immediate delivery.

Volvo Ocean Race

TJV: Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson Ready to Race Across the Atlantic in the Transat Jacques Vabres

Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson prepare for the TJV on board Aviva. Image copyright The Press Association.

by Kelly Russell

On Sunday 8 November, British sailing duo Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson will start in the ninth edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre race from France to Costa Rica, onboard the Open 60 racing yacht Aviva. The Transat Jacques Vabre will be the first competitive race since the epic Vendée Globe round the world race which saw Caffari finish sixth out of 30 starters to become the first woman to sail solo, non-stop, both ways around the world.

Joining Caffari, Thompson and Aviva on the start line, will be 13 other Open 60 racing yachts of which 11 competed in the Vendée Globe and three are British. The 4800-mile course, following the historic coffee trade route, will be the first time Caffari and Thompson have sailed two-handed together having been rivals throughout the 2008 / 09 edition of the Vendée Globe.

Dee Caffari and Brian Thompson sailing together on board Aviva. Image copyright The Press Association.

Dee Caffari said:
“I can’t wait to be back out on the water racing Aviva and the opportunity to sail with Brian as co-skipper is fabulous. We were so close to each other during the Vendée Globe it’s as if we’ve already spent a lot of time sailing together. We’re determined to pull off a great performance for the British."

Brian Thompson added:
“We have a quick boat and get on well together so I believe we will be competitive out there. With so many new Open 60s racing it is going to be intense, but very exciting.”

The Transat Jacques Vabre has twenty entries in total assembled from two different sailing classes - the Imoca Open 60 monohulls and the Open 50 multihulls. Previous editions of the race have concluded in either Brazil or Columbia with Costa Rica added for the first time this year. The new route will take the fleet across the Caribbean Sea, requiring both tactics and the ability to adapt to changing weather conditions, with the possibility of a light wind finish in the Western Caribbean Sea or even the tail end of a late season hurricane.

Aviva, the world’s fifth largest insurance group, has supported Caffari since 2005 and announced a new partnership with Caffari last month as the racing team’s founding partner. Dee is now actively searching for a new title sponsor to support her 2012 Vendée Globe campaign.

Aviva Ocean Racing
Transat Jacques Vabre

Monday 2 November 2009

Olympics: 2010 International Team Access at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

The WPNSA 2012 Olympic sailing venue slipway in use by sailors. Image copyright Katie Doerr.

by Cailah Leask

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) has announced new information on international team training access to the venue during 2010. The opportunity for International teams to train at the venue was announced earlier in the season and teams from across Europe including Italy, Spain and Sweden as well as the more distant shores of Japan and Brazil have already been honing their skills on the waters of Weymouth and Portland. With just under 1000 days to go to the start of the Games, mapping training programmes and booking venues is an important element to campaigns.

A range of packages, depending on the size of the team has been developed and these are available either on a 12 monthly basis from July to June in the following year, or on an arrangement for the whole period to the end of June, 2012. The Academy has just announced that to assist teams to establish themselves at the venue prior to major European events next year, a new half year rate will now apply for access from January 1st to June 30th 2010. These packages are available from January to June, 2010 at 50% of the full year rate. Queries on access should be directed to Rachel Sadler at the venue and then interested International teams will be able to make training arrangements via their Member National Authority or other organisations recognised by the International Sailing Federation.

The packages will continue to include standard dinghy boat parking and launching, container storage, rib launching / mooring / storage and cranage for keel boats as well as full access to car parking, changing rooms and canteen.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is the first sailing venue in recent history to welcome international sailors to train and compete at the completed venue prior to the Games. This is an important step giving elite level sailors and windsurfers the opportunity to use the actual London 2012 on-shore facilities and race courses for training purposes that will ultimately be used by both the Olympic and Paralympic competitors.

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy

America's Cup: SNG’s Fred Meyer comments on latest NY court ruling

by Fred Meyer, Vice Commodore, Société Nautique de Genève

“Société Nautique de Genève continues to evaluate its options ahead of next Wednesday’s hearing. We hope that the pending issues will be resolved and that we will have certainty regarding the 33rd America’s Cup.

"It’s disappointing that Justice Kornreich took yet another unprecedented decision that diminishes the rights of the Defender under the Deed of Gift by considering that rudders are not part of the load waterline length measurement,” said Fred Meyer, adding: “The Deed of Gift Match chosen by Golden Gate Yacht Club is not a mutual consent match and is therefore ruled by the strict provisions of the Deed, which read: ‘These ocean courses [...] shall be selected by the Club holding the Cup; and these races shall be sailed subject to its rules and sailing regulations [...]’. We expect Justice Kornreich to recognise these rights and respect the Defender’s position.”

Société Nautique de Genève

Olympians Focus on 2009 Sail Sydney

Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen competing against each other at last year's event. Image copyright

by Di Pearson

Five Olympic sailors, including a Beijing gold medallist, are early entries for Yachting NSW’s 2009 Sail Sydney (previously known as the Sydney International Regatta), which will again be held on Sydney Harbour from December 5-8 off the host venue, Woollahra Sailing Club.

The only ISAF Grade 1 event in NSW, Sail Sydney will feature 470, 49er, Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, and RS:X all classes that will compete at the Olympics in London 2012.

Sail Sydney entry is also open to the junior 420, 29er, Laser 4.7 and Bic Techno 293 classes, feeder boats into the Olympic classes, along with the Hobie 16 and Moth classes, which will undoubtedly add colour and spectacular viewing to this year’s event.

Early entries for Sail Sydney include Australian Sailing Team members who represented at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; Tom Slingsby (Laser), triple Olympian Anthony Nossiter (Finn), Nathan Outteridge with his new crew Iain Jensen (49er skiff) and 470 gold medallist Malcolm Page, with his new skipper Mathew Belcher.

Page, from Sydney, won the gold medal with his former skipper Nathan Wilmot and the two went their separate ways after the Games to pursue different sailing dreams. Ironically, it was Page’s now skipper Belcher, from Queensland, who pushed the former pairing in the four years leading up to the Olympics, defeating Wilmot/Page at several major regattas.

“There’s no better place to sail than Sydney Harbour,” Page stated today, before starting training at the Institute of Sport in Canberra.

“Mat and I are keen to go sailing again and we’re both looking forward to SIRs, our first Olympic class regatta of the summer,” commented Page who says sailing with Belcher has: “given me a fresh perspective.”

Slingsby won two Laser world titles in succession in 2007 and 2008 and regained that form to win Gold at the Sail for Gold Regatta sailed at the new Olympic venue in Weymouth, England this past September.

Outteridge, too, can claim two successive world titles, winning the 2008 and 2009 49er Worlds. The 23 year-old changed crews after the Beijing Games to win his 2009 crown with Iain Jensen, whom he reconnected with after they scored world, national and state championship wins in junior classes during their youths.

The NSW pair has won each of the three Grade 1 Olympic events they have contested this year, and because of his outstanding results in the 49er and finishing runner-up at the 29er and Moth worlds in the last 12 months, Outteridge is the only Australian finalist in the 2009 World Sailor of the Year awards, to be announced on November 10.

Some of the country’s best Youth sailors will also take part. James Sly and Andrew Gillies will head-up the 29er skiff class. The current 29er Australian champions, they scored a major coup last week taking out the Junior Team of the Year at the Victorian Sport Awards.

Ashley Stoddart, the 2009 Australian Laser Radial champion, will head up the Female entries in the Radial. In August, the Queensland schoolgirl finished runner-up at the Laser Radial Youth World Championship in Japan, where she was crowned the Under 17 world champion. Prior to that, the 16 year-old finished sixth at the Volvo ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship, as a representative of the Australian Youth team.

Internationally, entries have already been received from Canadian Michael Leigh, a Beijing Olympian who continues his quest for an Olympic medal in the Laser class, and Ryan Seaton/Matt McGovern, who will represent Ireland in the 49er skiff.

“It’s gratifying to see so many Olympians return for this great annual event,” said Peter Hemery from Yachting NSW.

“Not only is it a good opportunity to earn valuable points for an Olympic campaign, it is also a great chance for up-and-coming young sailors to compete against some of the best sailors in the world. I can’t think of another sport where no matter what standard you are, you can come and compete against Olympians”.

Entries for the 18th edition of Sail Sydney, hosted by Woollahra Sailing Club, close on November 20.

Sail Sydney 2009

Bitter End Yacht Club, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

by Paul Cayard

I am down here at the world's best regatta. Why is it the world's best? Great sailing conditions, independent race management, fair rules, friendly environment, great shore side facilities, top level competitors.

The BEYC has welcomed me and my family here 10 times in the past 18 years. My daughter Allie joined me this time. The staff remember her being a little girl playing in the sand and flapping around the pool. Now she is writing college papers in her room before dinner, then ordering Rum Punch at the Pub after dinner, while we shoot pool and listen to Reggae. She also looks like a young woman, so I have to be quick to introduce her as my daughter because we have both gotten some nasty stares.

The trade winds blow here consistently between 10-15 knots. The sun is plentiful and the temperature is 82 degrees day and night. I know that is hard to take.

There was no time spent arguing about the rules or the Notice of Race. There was zero money spent on lawyers or travel expenses to a New York court. But we did spend some money on rum drinks.

Finally, the competitors. This is a Pro Am, the Pros skipper the boats and the hotel guests do the crewing. The Pros: Ken Read (what did her ever do?), Zach Riley (some kid from Florida who went on a trip to China last year to pick up a piece of metal), Anna Tunnicliffe (some chick who likes to sail and went to China as Zack's friend, saw his chunk of metal and decided to get a better one...just like a chick), Keith Musto who won a piece of metal in the 72 Oly's and yours truly who is a journalist masquerading as a sailor. There is a new addition to this year's skippers format; an amateur! One of the division winners from Block Island Race Week last summer won the right to race against the Pros and his name is Craig Albrecht. This should be a cool new innovation down here.

So the point is, the Bitter End Pro Am is a lot about what sailing is and should be; FUN.

Cayard Sailing

TJV: The Spectacle Begins

by Régis Lerat (abbreviated in translation)

The first rounds of the City of Le Havre Trophy - Paul Vatine were conducted in light winds in the Eure basin on Saturday, 31st October.

On Sunday the racing continued, in winds of 20 knots, gusting to more than 25 knots.

The three group winners, who form the finalists - Foncia (Michel Desjoyeaux and Jérémie Beyou), Brit Air (Armel Le Cléac'h and Nicolas Troussel) and Guyader pour Urgence Climatique (Victorien Erussard and Loïc Fequet) - will now race on Saturday, 7th November, at 1500.

Racing in the intial rounds of the City of Le Havre Trophy - Paul Vatine, on Saturday, 31st October. Image copyright Alexis Courcoux.

Results of the initial rounds

Pool A:
1st - Brit Air 5pts
2nd - Veolia Environnement 5pts
3rd - Actual 5pts
4th - Aviva 8pts
5th - DCNS 8pts
6th - 1876 11pts

Pool B:
1st - Foncia 3pts
2nd – Crêpes Whaou! 3pts
3rd - Artemis Ocean Racing 7pts
4th - W Hotels 8 pts
5th - Mike Golding Yacht Racing 9pts
6th - FenetreA- Cardinal 12pts

Racing in stronger winds in the City of Le Havre Trophy - Paul Vatine, on Sunday, 1st November. Image copyright Alexis Courcoux.

Pool C:
1st - Guyader pour Urgence 4pts
2nd - Safran 4pts
3rd - BT 6pts
4th - Hugo Boss 8pts
5th - Akena Verandas 9pts
6th - Groupe Bel 11pts

Transat Jacques Vabre

Ben Ainslie: 1,00 Days to London 2012

by Dan Wilkinson

On October 31 it was exactly 1000 days until London 2012 gets underway and I cannot wait for the excitement and buzz around the Olympics to really start ramping up as we get closer to the Games.

All the facilities will be in place but I really think it will be the atmosphere generated throughout the country that will make or break the Games and hopefully it will be better than anything I've ever experienced at any other Olympics.

The biggest Olympic Classes event I've ever done in this country was probably the Olympic Trials in 1995 so to compete at an actual Olympics in front of a home crowd in Britain would be very special.

To coincide with the release of my autobiography recently I did a few book signings around the country and it was great to meet so many people who just loved the Olympics and seemed genuinely excited about the Games coming to Britain.

I haven't been in a Finn since Beijing last year but I have a week's training with the rest of the British Finn squad scheduled at the start of December and in all honesty I fully expect the other guys to give me a good butt kicking!

It will probably be really windy and I'm a good six-seven kilos below my racing weight at the moment but that's fine and I'm looking forward to just getting back into the boat.

I'd like to do as much Finn sailing as I can in January and February and, although nothing's concrete yet, maybe look to do a couple of events next year too. But 2011 is the crucial year for me to really step it up while adding those extra kilos I need to sail the Finn.

It's great to be working with David 'Sid' Howlett again on my Finn campaign. Sid was my coach for Athens 2004 and he'll take a lot of the workload out of the logistics and planning meaning I know I can step back into the boat and i t will all be in great shape. His enthusiasm and knowledge are priceless, especially on the technical side, and he will be a great asset.

Earlier this month myself, Matt Cornwell, Iain Percy and Christian Kamp enjoyed a successful week in Bermuda winning the Argo Group Gold Cup. The event is part of the World Match Racing Tour and has in the past been won by some of the biggest names in sailing so to win the coveted King Edward VII Gold Cup was a very special moment for us all.

We had some tough racing during the event being pushed hard by Australian Torvar Mirsky, reigning champion and fellow Brit Ian Williams and Kiwi Adam Miniprio in the final knockout stages but with those three guys currently sat 1-2 and 3 in the overall Tour leaderboard after eight events it was a very satisfying victory.

It's frustrating to have only done four Tour events this year meaning we're not in line to land the World title but a good performance at the final round in Malaysia in December could still see us sneak on to the podium.

In November Team Origin will compete in the first Louis Vuitton Trophy Regatta in Nice. With the 33rd America's Cup solely the Deed of Gift Match between Alinghi and BMW Oracle Racing next February, a series of five Louis Vuitton Trophy events, sailed in America's Cup boats, have been proposed starting now and continuing throughout 2010. I think this is a really good thing and crucial if the interest level in the America's Cup is going to be maintained.

Finally huge congratulations to Jenson Button on landing the Formula One World title. I was a guest of Brawn GP at the European Grand in Valencia in August and they made me feel so welcome, even involving me in all the post-race briefs. It's a remarkable story and I'm really delighted for Jenson.

Ben Ainslie CBE

Australian 18 Footers League: Club Championships Race 1, Sydney Harbour

Great skiff action on Sydney Harbour. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

Following the return of the six skiffs which competed recently in the US, a fleet of 22 teams lined up in 20+ knot north easterly conditions to contest Race 1 of the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship on Sydney Harbour on Sunday.

The fleet took a battering in the conditions with only ten teams managing to complete the course.

Current NSW champions John Harris, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris handled the conditions superbly to bring their skiff Rag & Famish Hotel home a 2m13s winner from Sponsor Wanted, crewed by Michael Coxon, Aaron Links and Trent Barnabas.

Andy Budgen, James Barker and Matt McGovern finished third in Project Racing, a further 1m4s behind Sponsor Wanted.

Fisher & Paykel (Andrew Cuddihy) was next, followed by Smeg (Trevor Barnabas, standing in for Nick Press) and Yandoo (John Winning)

Former Giltinan champion Michael Coxon, returning to the 18s after a season lay off, showed that his team would again be a force when Sponsor Wanted took a 40s lead on the windward leg to the Beashel Buoy

Rag and Famish heads to victory. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Seve Jarvin’s Gotta Love It 7 was in second place, followed by Rag & Famish Hotel, Yandoo, appliancesonline (John Winning Jr), Smeg, Project Racing and Pure Blonde (James Francis).

Several skiffs capsized on the spectacular spinnaker run to the wing mark off Shark Island.

Among them were appliancesonline, Gotta Love It 7 and Club Marine (Marcus Ashley-Jones).

Sponsor Wanted continued to hold their lead to the bottom mark the first time although their margin had been reduced to just 15s by Rag & Famish.

This pair had opened up a break on the rest of the fleet which was headed by Smeg, Project Racing, Yandoo and Fisher & Paykel.

There was little change up the following windward beat. This time Sponsor Wanted gained marginally to lead Rag & Famish by 25s.

The leaders set a sensational pace down the spinnaker run to the bottom mark the second time, thrilling the large crowd aboard the spectator ferry.

Unfortunately for the Sponsor Wanted team, an untimely capsized near Clarke Island ended their winning chance as they watched Rag & Famish sail off to an unbeatable lead.

Over the final triangle of the course Rag & Famish Hotel was untroubled to maintain their advantage over the fleet and went on to record a comfortable victory.

Smeg capsized on the final spinnaker run to Shark Island. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

Behind the leader, however there was still plenty of action as Smeg and Yandoo both capsized on the final spinnaker run to Shark Island.

Next Sunday’s race is the first race of the NSW Championship and John Harris and his team showed today that they will be favoured to retain the title they won last year.

With today’s race under his belt, Michael Coxon and his ‘Sponsor Wanted’ team will also be a strong challenger in the NSW championship as well as the Giltinan Championship next February.

An ideal opportunity for somebody to sponsor a potential ‘world champion’.

Australian 18 Footers League