Saturday 4 September 2010

Rolex Maxi Cup: Preparations Underway for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

Neville Crichton's Shockwave during measuring before the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship. Supplied image.

by Jill Campbell

Preparations for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup which will take place in Porto Cervo from 5th to 11th September are in full swing. Forty-nine yachts are due to take part in the annual regatta which has been organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda since 1980. Twenty-four of the participating boats will compete in the Mini Maxi division for the title of Mini Maxi Rolex World Champion 2010.

Throughout this inaugural edition of the Mini Maxi Worlds technical controls will be rigorous and each of the vessels must undergo weighing and measurement. Inspections have already begun at the nearby Portisco Marina using equipment and scales specially designed and constructed for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association for this regatta. For the first time each boat, some of which weigh as much as 20 tons, will be hauled out, fully exposing their hull and keel and providing precise data to determine the yacht’s handicap rating.

The Mini Maxis range from 18 to 24 metres and will line up on the quays of Porto Cervo Marina alongside the rest of the Maxi fleet, several of which are over 40 metres long. The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup regularly attracts some of the world’s top yachtsmen and women and racing is scheduled to start on Monday 6th September. The event will conclude with a final prize giving in the Yacht Club’s Piazza Azzurra on 11th September.


World Championships: Into the Business End

Racing continued overnight for the RS:X and Laser World 2010 titles where the NZL Sailing Team are battling it out with the world’s best

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Between the two regattas being staged in Denmark and Great Britain, New Zealand has six sailors placed within the top eight in their fleet all in with a shot at the podium as both regattas move into the business end of competition. Dogged international rivals are also sailing well and this means the kiwi team have the challenge to up their game from here to stand on the podium.


Currently occupying half of the top eight places at the 2010 Laser World Championships at Hayling Island, Great Britain, the kiwis are in third, fourth, sixth and eighth. Mike Bullot and Andy Maloney have ousted Josh Junior as are best placed of the team as the 159 strong fleet splits to Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets for the remaining three days.

Bullot was 3rd then 23rd last night, but wins out because his former discard race was better and he has a points total of 36. Andy Maloney has improved his standing further still, moving from seventh place up to fourth at the end of the qualifying rounds. He had his best day on the water yet returning a 3rd and a 4th. These two are now tied up for third place overall just two points behind the Beijing Gold medallist Goodison.

Tom Slingsby of Australia last night extended his leading margin on the chasing fleet and now holds a whopping 14 point lead over Paul Goodison (GBR) in second place with 34 points.

Andrew Murdoch placed 9th in last night’s first race then came rounded out the qualifiers with a win to hold sixth overall – up from eighth – and 41 points total. Josh Junior slipped from second place back to eighth suffering in the standings after a 29th in race eight of the series, which means he has to count a 22nd from day one.

The fleets now split and three more days of racing will determine the world champion. All seven of the NZL Sailing Team in attendance progress to the Gold fleet.


At the RS:X Men’s and Women’s World Championships in Denmark sailors have returned to the water after a mid regatta rest day and sailed two races overnight. Jon-Paul Tobin and Tom Ashley have slipped to fifth and sixth respectively both returning one average race result as the finals rounds got underway.

Just one point separates the kiwis with Tobin on 36 and Ashley on 37. Both now have some ground to make up on the leaders including Dorian van Rijsseberge (NED) out in front with 23 points, Poitr Myszka (POL) on 25 points and Nimrod Mashiah (ISR) on 27 points.

With two more days of racing remaining, tonight will determine the top ten sailors to be on the starting line for the medal race on the final day of the series – September 4th.

The NZL Sailing Team Laser sailors are supported by coaches Mark Howard and Jez Fanstone, while Dave Robertson and Grant Beck are coaching support to the RS:X sailors in Denmark. John Clinton is coach at the Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco.

2010 Laser World Championships, 30th August – 5th September
New Zealand’s provisional standings (Total feet: 159)

3rd =Mike Bullot (1, 2, 5, 13, 9, 3, 3, 23)
3rd = Andy Maloney (2, 22, 4, 10, 2, 11, 3, 4)
6th Andrew Murdoch (6, 4, 11, 2, 8, 22, 9, 1)
8th Josh Junior (3, 22, 1, 2, 7, 5, 8, 29)
17th Sam Meech (10, 46, 5, 14, 7, 13, 24, 2)
38th James Sandall (42, 7, 6, 14, 14, RAF55, 12, 5)
43rd Max Andrews (12, 41, 19, 7, 26, 8, 4, 34)

2010 RS:X World Championships, 29th August – 4th September
New Zealand’s provisional standings

Men’s Championship (111 sailors)
5th Jon-Paul Tobin (6, 6, 1, 2, 2, 17, 20, 2)
6th Tom Ashley (1, 5, 3, 5, 18, 2, 27, 4)
82nd (16th in silver fleet) Antonio Cozzolino (41, 39, 21, 24, 41, 58, 21, 16)

Women’s Championship (66 sailors)
34th (1st in silver fleet) Kate Ellingham (11, 14, 16, 18, 20, 1, 3)
36th (3rd in silver fleet) Stefanie Williams (14, 13, 14, 29, 18, 11, 1)
41st (8th in silver fleet) Natalia Kosinska (28, 22, 27, 15, 9, 4, 11)
4th (16th in silver fleet) Alice Monk (18, 20, 22, 26, 25, 21, 16)

2010 Finn Gold Cup, San Francisco, USA
Dates: 30th August – 4th September.
New Zealand’s provisional standings after sixraces (Total fleet: 87)

20th Dan Slater (32, 17, 28, 11, 26, 4)
34th Nik Burfoot (24, 33, 42, 30, 34, 31)
37th Matt Coutts (37, 48, 26, 20, 32, 52)
63rd Bradley Douglas (62, 88/DNF, 52, 61, 51, 60)
66th Rob Coutts (63, 57, 72, 62, 82, 65)
67th Ray Hall (61, 68, 65, 81DNF, 68, 58)

Yachting New Zealand

Finn Gold Cup: Wright and Trujillo Battle for Supremacy

Ed Wright. Image copyright Robert Deaves.

by Robert Deaves

After another two windy races, the top five at the Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco maintain their relative positions but Rafa Trujillo (ESP) who scored 1-2 and Ed Wright (GBR) who scored 2-5 increased their lead over the rest of the fleet. Giles Scott (GBR) hangs onto third place after placing 3-6, but it is fast turning into a battle for supremacy between Wright and Trujillo.

The big winds and close competition is also proving something of a hit on the internet with more than 9,000 internet users enjoying the live video stream provided by SailGroove this week.

Race seven got underway under black flag on the third attempt and again turned into a drag race to the right. Rafa Trujillo (ESP) made the best of the upwind to round just ahead of regatta leader Ed Wright (GBR), Andrew Mills (GBR), Marin Misura (CRO) and Thomas Le Breton (FRA). Wright chose the left side downwind and found more pressure to move past Trujillo but the Spaniard chose more middle ground in the second upwind to retake the lead when Wright went further right. Le Breton moved up to third, but then suffered gear failure on the reaches to the finish to drop to 10th while Giles Scott (GBR) took advantage of that to take third.

Trujillo again led to the top mark in race eight followed by defending champion Jonas Høgh Christensen (DEN), Zach Railey (USA), Wright and Jonathan Lobert (FRA). With the winds topping 22 knots and a very nasty sea running it was probably the toughest race so far, but also according to Trujillo the most fun.

Høgh Christensen (DEN) took the lead on the second beat and the Dane led until the final thrilling stages of the fast spray filled second reach. He rounded the wing mark still in the lead and with the line in sight dug deep to maintain speed and stamina for the final few hundred metres. But coming from behind was Daniel Birgmark (SWE). He had already take Trujillo to leeward and catching a few waves better than Høgh Christensen, surfed through his lee to take the race win by a couple of boatlengths. It was the closest and most exciting finish of the week.

Birgmark said, “I am really enjoying sailing here in San Francisco though I think I am not the fastest upwind. There are about 10-15 boats that are much faster than me upwind, but now in the last race when there was a little bit more shifty conditions I was able to take advantage of that and I was faster on the reaches.

Birgmark. Image copyright Robert Deaves.

“The last reach was a lot of fun. I like these broad reaches as it's quite tactical. You have to choose your track and take your chances to go down to get a good position to increase your speed. It's quite challenging. I passed both Rafa and Jonas to leeward and I managed to catch some really good waves to get good speed and I had a good track into the finish.”

“I don't remember winning a race at the worlds before, so I am very happy. Coming into the championship my goal was to be top three, but I had a cold at the beginning of the week and I didn't sail as well as I could have. I have still a lot of work to do but I hope to be top 10. ”

Trujillo said, “We had two really different races today. The first race was a really typical San Francisco race planning your start and trying to go as fast as you can to the right side. The second race was the most fun race of the week we had a lot of shifty conditions and you needed to play the middle. It was completely different and I enjoyed the second one much more than the first one, even though I didn't do as well. The first one was really hard for me with a hard fight with Ed.”

“I realised that the second race would be a key race because it would be easy to pick up a lot of points. I was leading but finished third, but that's OK as the objective for the day was two top 10s . I have a 35th and I cannot make any more mistakes. The legs were 1.8 miles long and Ed went to the left on the downwind and I stayed in the middle and he got better pressure and a shift into the gate and passed me. So I used this information on the second beat and passed him.”

“In the second race we had a lot more options and it was more fun, playing the shifts, looking forward, avoiding the holes. It was really fun.”

Australian growth

For the first time in more years than anyone can remember there is a substantial entry from Australia. An unprecedented eight Australians are competing this week, which is a reflection on the huge growth currently underway in the Australian Finn fleet.

As is often the case, the growth comes down to the enthusiasm drive and commitment of one person, in the case an ex-pat British Finn sailor, Rob McMillan (AUS).

McMillan, a three time British National Champion in the Finn is currently lying in 45th position after a 33 and 23 today, his best results so far this week.

“It's my first year back in the class. I had a 10 year break but the objective is steady sailing this year and back to full time sailing next year. But just to be out there competing and racing against these guys is for me an enormous privilege and I wouldn't miss it for the world.”

“We are currently building a really good fleet of Finns in Australia. I am importing Finns down there and we are certainly finding, especially with the Masters, that there is a real niche for the boat and encouragingly for people like Oliver Tweedell, at 19, at his first Gold Cup having come third at the Silver Cup last week and sailing really well in 35th place this week. It's great to see some Australian kids get into the boat.”

“There is a lot of fleet building going on. We have sold around 20-30 boats this year. Some of those are upgrades but some are new people and from a real diverse spectrum and I think we've certainly got the opportunity to sell another 25-30 this year alone. I am hoping we are going to see a Nationals this year with 40-50 boats which will be a massive step change from recent years.”

Greg Douglas. Image copyright Robert Deaves.

What keeps him coming back to the Finn, “Well, look, I have sailed the boat for so many years now. My first regatta in the Finn was at Hayling Island in the UK in 1983; I think it was the UK Nationals. There is no other boat like it. The evolution of the boat has been sensibly controlled. The advent of free pumping brings a level of athleticism that is unique to the Finn and the boat today is just such a pleasure to sail. You can still compete as long as you are reasonably fit, so what else would you want to be doing at the weekend or a couple of nights a week, but go sail a Finn. Sounds pretty good to me.”

Crucial races

The final two qualification races are scheduled for Friday before Saturday's medal race. The top five boats have created a 32 point cushion over the rest of the fleet, with just eight points separating the next five boats. Both Wright and Trujillo have a high score they will want to avoid counting so Friday's two races will be crucial for both of them, and with another 10 boats or so looking to make the cut into the top 10, it's going to be an exciting day.

Results after 8 races:
1 GBR 11 Edward Wright 16
2 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 26
3 GBR 41 Giles Scott 33
4 FRA 115 Thomas le Breton 38
5 USA 4 Zach Railey 38
6 SLO 5 Gasper Vincec 70
7 CRO 25 Marin Misura 72
8 GBR 85 Andrew Mills 73
9 GBR 88 Mark Andrews 75
10 AUS 1 Brendan Casey 78

Finn Gold Cup

RS:X Worlds: Olympic Legend Flies into the Lead

Alessandra Sensini (ITA) - in the lead in the Women's Worlds. Image copyright Vincezio Baglione.

by Henrik Møhl

Showing that experience pays in this class, so today veteran windsurfer and quadruple Olympic medallist Alessandra Sensini from Italy pulled into the lead at the RS:X World Championships, being held at Kerteminde, Denmark.

Following Wednesday’s layday, today was the first of the second round/final series with racing getting underway on time at 1100 local for the Men and Women’s Gold fleets in good breeze and sun, following a windless, overcast start to the morning.

While some of the top players in the Women’s fleet had high scores today including Poland’s Maja Dziarnowska, France’s Charline Picon, past leader China’s Sasa Sun, Sensini posted a valuable 3-1. “I had a good day - I am very happy because this was a very important day,” she said. “After the rest day it is always complicated going back into racing, but I had two good starts and I was very happy with my speed and my sailing.”

In the first race, held in 10-12 knots, Sensini had lost positions, but had managed to regain them. In retrospect, she was satisfied with her third place. Race two, held in 15-18 knot, fully planing conditions, was won by Spain’s Marina Abalau until unfortunately she was deemed to have been over early at the start and was disqualified.

“I am very happy because it is very easy to make small mistakes which can cost you lots of positions,” said Sensini. “My target today was not to get a discard worse than what I have. But it is very difficult - the girls are getting much, much better. There are many girls who can win and it is a very tough competition.”

Also on the rise today in the Women’s fleet were Israel’s Lee-el Korzits, who’s 4-2 elevates her to second overall, while in contrast to Abalau, her Spanish team mate Blancha Manchon is now up to third, after a slow start to the regatta.

“I was improving a lot, because the first day was my worst, so I changed my equipment a little bit and I am feeling better,” said Manchon. “I think now there are maybe five girls that are going the same speed so it is hard to be in front, but it is easy to be the last of this group. Now I have to focus on my speed, my tactics and try to do my best.”

Manchon is enjoying conditions at the RS:X Worlds this week in Kerteminde, although she says the wind direction and strength are totally different to when she trained here.

Does she expect to still be competing (like Sensini) when she is 40? “No - I started when I was really young, when I was 8. Maybe when I am 40 I will play golf and be relaxed.” Manchon’s mother Maria Antonia Dominguez doesn’t seem to be of the same opinion. She is bringing up the rear in the silver fleet. “She likes windsurfing. I did my first competition in my mother’s belly,” claims Manchon - a born windsurfer in every sense.

In the Men’s RS:X class, the Netherland’s Dorian van Rijsselberge continues to lead, although such is the level of competition that a 12th in today’s first race (non-discardable as he was black flagged in race one of the series) has allowed second placed Pole Piotr Myszka to close to within three points of him.

“I had a disastrous start,” admitted van Rijsselberge. “I came around the top mark in 43rd, but I managed to work my way back into the race which was really nice.” He followed up his 12th place with a win in race two, his fourth bullet in eight races. “The second one was just a glamour - a lot of speed and nice sunshine and a lot of waves.”

Van Rijsselberge is leading but is very aware of being in a similar situation at the World Championship in Weymouth last year when he ended up losing. “I was leading after the first two or three days and then going into the rest day I lost my focus, I lost the plot and took a whole lot of points which I didn’t need and pretty much lost the Worlds there,” he recalls, nodding frantically when asked if he has learned his lesson. So early to bed? “No, just keep on rumbling and having fun.”

While Lee-el Korzits is up to second in the Women’s class, Israel is also lining up to be on the podium among the Men where Nimrod Mashiah has moved up to third after posting a 5-3 today. Team mate the talented Shahar Zubari, doing so well at the start of this regatta, suffered today with a 48th in the opening race today, dropping him to 16th.

“In the first race, it was a bit tricky - after the start people were not sure about planing with daggerboard, but I believed in going planing and until the end of the first upwind it paid off,” recounted Mashiah. “The second race was whoever was the fastest. I managed to be pretty fast and I felt good.” His fifth in race one today was despite having broken his main batten prior to the start. The batten was replaced hurriedly between today’s two races.

Tomorrow, final series racing continues with the Men and Women’s Gold fleets setting sail at 1100 local time.

Sailmaker and windsurfing legend Neil Pryde, also the creator of the RS:X class, arrived in Kerteminde today from his home in Hong Kong, to take in the World Championship.

“From what I have seen so far, it is just fantastic,” said Pryde of the event. “It is great for the sport of windsurfing that we now have a discipline bringing the sport back into the mainstream sailing scene, whereas it has gone off and done its own thing over the years: For the future of windsurfing that is going to be very important.”

At present Pryde has much to discuss in terms of new boards. The RS:1 is due to go into production imminently. According to Pryde it is designed to be “an intermediate board, a stepping stone into the RS:X, little less expensive, more popular in design and style. The family resemblance is similar. It will still be a very good performing board and probably a little lighter than the RS:X we have today. Our aim is to create a second tier international windsurfing class.”

Further down the track, Pryde also hopes to introduce a new lighter version of the RS:X for use at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. The new board, at present without a name, will be 3kg or 20% lighter than the present board.

RS:X Worlds

Laser Worlds: Fired Up Slingsby Leads Laser Worlds into Finals

Tom Slingsby (AUS) leads the championships. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

by Andi Robertson

Overall leader Tom Slingsby carries forward his consistent momentum into the critical six race Finals phase of the Laser World Championships buoyed by his fourth race win and a fifth from the last day of Qualifying heats in Hayling Bay off Hayling Island.

The 159 competitors racing on the last day of the group stages could find little to fault with the sparkling English summer weather conditions as another day of sunshine, moderate 8-11 knots mainly E’ly and SE’ly breezes was complemented by a worthwhile swell to offer the downwind specialists the chance to shine.

But even if the winds looked ideal, appearances were deceptive as at least two of the top four sailors sailed their discards on this last qualifying day.

While Australia’s Slingsby retained his run of form, as did Kiwi Andrew Maloney who with today’s 3,4, promoted himself from seventh this morning to qualify in fourth, on equal points with third placed compatriot Michael Bullot, world champion Paul Goodison confessed later to a couple of ‘schoolboy errors’ in the first race, contributing to his 14th and hit the windward mark in the second race when he finished fifth.

Kiwis competing at the top of the Laser Worlds fleet. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

The Skandia Team GBR sailor, Olympic and World Champion, goes forward to the three days of Finals in second 14 points, behind Slingsby.

And Bullot, runner-up to champion Goodison last year in Halifax, returned ashore scratching his head after having had to recover more than 30 places in his first race to earn his third. But his powers of recovery deserted him in the second heat of the day and he, too, sailed his discard race on the eve of the Finals.

Slingsby admitted that he owes much of his revitalised attack this season to his lacklustre World Championships last year, when he finished 17th. After winning Skandia Sail for Gold regatta in Weymouth he said today that he is especially happy to have found an extra gear to his downwind speed, completing a package which he feels can win him the title, he won in 2007 and 2008, again.

He may have had a slightly nervous start to his day, discovering when he was rigging up that he had a crack in the top of his supplied daggerboard which was replaced with one which had been repaired, but he finished brimful of confidence and well set for the final stages.

Mike Bullot (NZL). Imgae copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Cyprus’ Southampton based Pavlos Kontides, a ship studies student, gave his confidence a leap when he posted to back to back wins to lie fifth into the Finals.

The strong New Zealand squad are certainly among the key contenders with two in the top four, three in the top six and four in the top eight.

After their rest day today the Junior World Championships resume their Qualifying with two scheduled races Friday before their four race Finals commence Saturday.

Laser Standard Senior Men’s World Championships
Hayling Island, GBR
Provisional Standings after 8 of 8 Qualifying Races, one discard

1 Tom Slingsby (AUS) 1,8,(29),3,1,1,5,1 20pts
2 Paul Goodison (GBR) 3,1,9,4,3,7,(14),7 34pts
3 Michael Bullot (NZL) 1,2,5,13,9,3,3 (23) 36pts
4 Andrew Maloney (NZL) 2,(22),4,10,2,11,3,4 36pts
5 Pavlos Kontides (CYP) 4,3,21,4,5,(27),1,1, 39pts
6 Andrew Murdoch (NZL) 6,4,11,2,8,(22),9,1 41pts
7 Nick Thompson (GBR) 2,3,(25),6,9,7,9,8 44pts
8 Joshua Junior (NZL) 3,22,1,2,7,5,8,(29) 48pts
9 Ashley Brunning (AUS) 12,9,10,12,3,3,1,(19) 50pts
10 Andreas Geritzer (AUT) (33),6,2,1,2,22,9,9 51pts

Paul Goodison (GBR): “We were on the inside course and it was a bit frustrating. I made a couple of schoolboy errors with the tide. In the first race I went around the bottom mark in fourth and expected there to be a tidal gain on the right, and ended up losing 10-12 places which was a bit frustrating. In the second race I got a pretty good start but got caught out in the middle when the wind went right a bit and then hit the windward mark, so a bit of a frustrating day. Second is a lot better than I thought it would be after today, almost putting a smile on my face again. There are still six races to go and I’m looking forward to going into the finals.”

Paul Goodison (GBR). Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Tom Slingsby (AUS): “The first race was really tricky. We were first off and we might have had the most patchy breeze. I was always there and lost one boat on the last run, so to get through with a fifth was pretty good. Second race was bit more steady, a bit more of boatspeed race. I got round third, second at the bottom and then first at the top.
"The first race Nick Thompson and I were doing OK in the middle and then a big group came in from the right and we went round in tenth or so and it was very tricky once you’re there. The top three were just gone, you are never going to catch them.
Second race the Kiwis were in first and fourth and I just gained and gained, I had a tiny edge in boat speed and so he did not want to stay with me.
"But basically it all changes now into the Finals. It all starts again but if you make one mistake rather than losing five boats you lose 20. The only thing I take forward is knowing that I am sailing quick and that if I sail well I can win the worlds.
“Doing poorly at last year’s worlds, finishing 17th, was a feeling I really did not like. I didn’t like telling people that I came 17th, I like saying I’m in the top two in the world. I just restarted over again at Sail for Gold last year and it’s been going well since then.”

Andrew Maloney (NZL): “The first race it was shifty and hard to pick the side I tacked straight off and played the oscillations and came around the top mark in second and so I was pleased with that, we had a jump on the pack. Second race the pin end was favoured, I started three up from the pin and backed my speed and sent it out towards the best side of the course with a group of about five other boats, and tacked across on a nice left shift, sent it out to the starboard lay-line and then we had a nice jump on the rest of the fleet.
"It’s not easy but much easier when you get a good start, which I don’t usually do, but it’s been better here, a bit more confidence, a bit more experience, just being a bit older.
"We have a great team, all going really well, but we have done a lot of hard work together, trying to work in places where the conditions are similar to these worlds, like down in Tauranga and inside the harbour in Auckland.”

Michael Bullot (NZL): “I was having real bad first beats today. The first race I was probably 40th around the top but came back to eighth. But in the second race I just did not come back, so I think I got a 30th, something like that, it was deep.
The second race I made too many tacks up the beat and really never ever got any leverage on the fleet, and just never really found my rhythm downwind. I really never made any gains. But that is pretty annoying leading into gold fleet with something like that.
"The conditions were perfect, beautiful 10-12kts, great waves downwind and I just never found my rhythm. It was not overly shifty but if you did not find a rhythm you got sucked back into the pack pretty quickly.
"I think we all get on well but of course you are always looking over your shoulder to see how the other Kiwis are doing, but there is a really good mentality within the group.”

Laser Worlds 2010

WMRT: Highs and lows on day two of St Moritz see MRT with an even scoreline of 4 wins 4 losses

MRT rounding the bottom mark. Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

by Kinley Fowler

The match of the day has to be given to MRT vs Aleph Sailing Team skippered by Bertrand Pace. The fiery frenchman was quick through the water, but MRT managed to fend off all of his attacks.

Pace conceded 3 penalties throughout the race, with Mirsky masterfully placing the boat to force the error on the french team who sit 1 point ahead going into the third day of racing tomorrow.

A disgruntled Mirsky. Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

MRT need to win two of their three races tomorrow if they want to be in with a shot at the title here in Switzerland, but with more time in the boats, the team is getting on top of the shifty conditions that are proving to be the winning factor up here in the mountain lakes.

Mirsky Racing Team
World Match Racing Tour

WMRT: BlackMatch still in the hunt, despite French bump in the road at St Moritz

Bottom mark rounding for BlackMatch. Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

by David Swete

Day two of the St Moritz Match Race saw us involved in only 3 matches and we could only manage a single victory over the local team, skippered by Jerome Clerc. We suffered at the hands of two French teams today losing out to veteran Betrand Pace and the ever consistent Damien Iehl.

The infamous shifty conditions of the St Moritz Match Race were in full force today, as shown in our match against Betrand Pace. Despite forcing a penalty on the wily Frenchman, he sailed very well around the course to etch out enough of a lead to complete his penalty turn. It was also very hard to defend your lead today and despite being almost 8 boat lengths in front of the local team at one stage during our match, they closed the gap right up at the top mark and we had to defend hard to protect our lead.

We have 3 races remaining in the round robin and with one more win needed to secure a spot in the next stage of the event, we still have a lot of work to do. Tomorrow we face arguably the three most formidable competitors in Britains Ben Ainslie and Ian Williams also the Frenchman Mathieu Richard. All three of these teams have been showing awesome form this week and their reputation precedes them, however we are confident we can get the wins needed.

We would again like to say a special thank you to our sponsors FedEx Express and Events Clothing/Line 7. Owen Rutter from Events Clothing has supplied us with new sailing gear this season, keeping the boys looking very sharp and also warm up here in the cold mountains. The ongoing support of our sponsors is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. We would also like to thank Emirates Team New Zealand and Steinlager Pure.

BlackMatch Racing this week is Adam Minoprio, Tom Powrie, David Swete and Nick Blackman.

Round Robin results after Day 2

Williams (GBR) 7-1
Richard (FRA) 6-2
Ainslie (GBR) 6-2
Minoprio (NZL) 5-3
Iehl (FRA) 5-4
Pace (FRA) 5-4
Hansen (SWE) 5-4
Mirsky (AUS) 4-4
Bruni (ITA) 4-4
Berntsson (SWE) 2-7
Monnin (SUI) 2-7
Clerc (SUI) 0-9

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour

D35s: The Décision 35s head for La Réserve

The penultimate stage of the Challenge Julius Baer, the Sogeti Cup La Réserve welcomes, this Saturday and Sunday, the twelve Décision 35s, for a taster of the passionate finale. At the Sogeti Cup La Réserve the teams will compete in a maximum of 8 races, each more important than the last for the sailors in the sixth season of the Challenge Julius Baer

In French:

Avant-dernière étape du Challenge Julius Baer, la Sogeti Cup La Réserve accueille ce samedi et dimanche les douze Décision 35, pour donner un avant-goût d’une finale qui s’annonce passionnante. Lors de la Sogeti Cup La Réserve les équipages disputeront un maximum de huit manches, toutes plus importantes les unes que les autres pour les marins engagés dans la sixième saison du Challenge Julius Baer

par Aurélie Fontanellaz

Après un Open de Crans qui s’est terminé sur un coup de théâtre (trois manches courues en deux heures), les douze Décision 35 se retrouveront pour la Sogeti Cup La Réserve avec bon espoir que la bise qui a soufflé cette semaine sur le Lac Léman tienne encore ce week-end. Les enjeux seront de taille puisque la finale aura lieu le 17 et 18 septembre et les équipages restent proches en terme de point. Mais la Sogeti Cup La Réserve fait la part belle aux amateurs de voile, puisque les deux matinées seront consacrées à des régates ProAm (professionnel et amateur). L’après-midi, les régates officielles reprendront.

Au classement général après 6 étapes, Pascal Bidégorry sur Banque Populaire mène la danse. Pour sa deuxième participation au Challenge Julius Baer, le Basque frappe fort. Il devance Foncia d’Alain Gautier, second du Challenge, de deux points.

Alinghi d’Ernesto Bertarelli, grâce à sa victoire à l’Open de Crans, remonte sur le podium à la 3ème place. A la 4ème place, mais à égalité de point avec Alinghi, Zoulou d’Erik Maris, nouveau venu sur le circuit, surprend les habitués du Challenge. Les surprises se suivent mais ne se ressemblent pas. Les Nyonnais de Nickel se classent actuellement 5ème. En délicatesse l’année précédente, l’équipage mené par Fred Moura a prouvé sa motivation en terminant deux fois sur le podium d’étape cette année. Dans la première moitié du classement, on retrouve à la sixième place Okalys-Corum barré alternativement par Nicolas Grange (propriétaire) et Loïck Peyron.

Pour les acteurs de la 7ème à la 9ème place, il y aura également du spectacle et de la lutte acharnée. En effet, ces trois bateaux comptabilisent exactement le même nombre de point (26). Ladycat de Dona Bertarelli a fait un bond en avant grâce à leur victoire lors du Bol d’Or Mirabaud et à leur 4ème place à l’Open de Crans. Ils sont donc 7ème à la veille de la Sogeti Cup La Réserve. Juste derrière, au 8ème rang, Ylliam de Pierre-Yves Firmenich retrouve son équipage habituel et notamment Arnaud Psarofaghis à la barre. Pouvant gagner gros ce week-end, Zen Too de Guy de Picciotto est classé à la 9ème place. Avec deux points de retard sur ce groupe se trouve Julius Baer de Philippe Cardis. Pour lui, rien n’est perdu car ce week-end risque fort de redistribuer les places de la seconde moitié du classement. Après un début de saison ponctué d’incidents, Veltigroup de Marco Simeoni a accumulé un retard important et occupe la 11ème place. Zebra 7, équipage de jeunes genevois mené par Loïc Forestier ferme la marche au 12ème rang.

Rendez-vous le 4 septembre 2010 pour la Sogeti Cup La Réserve, septième étape du Challenge Julius Baer!

Overall Classification after 5 of 7 events:

1 Banque Populaire 3-2-3-2-3 10pts
2 Foncia 1-1-5-5-6 12pts
3 Alinghi 2-7-6-6-1 15pts
4 Zoulou 8-4-2-4-5 15pts
5 Nickel 8-10-4-3-2 18pts
6 Okalys-Corum 6-5-1-10-8 20pts
7 Ladycat 11-11-10-1-4 26pts
8 Ylliam 5-3-9-9-12 26pts
9 Zen Too 4-6-8-8-11 26pts
10 Julius Baer 7-8-7-7-7 28pts
11 Veltigroup 10-9-13-12-9 40pts
12 Zebra7 12-12-11-11-10 44pts

Challenge Julius Baer

Friday 3 September 2010

Rolex Middle Sea Race: Maltese Task Force

AIRMALTA FALCON, Nicholas Sammut. Image copyright ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo.

by Giles Pearman

Whilst the major noise surrounding the 2010 Rolex Middle Sea Race will resonate around Esimit Europa 2’s anticipated assault on the course record, there is much more to the race than the maxi component. The Maltese participation is a crucial element in the success and popularity of the race. After watching foreign yachts secure overall victory in seven out of the eight races so far sponsored by Rolex, there is a feeling amongst the locals that it is time to redress the balance. When the 606-nautical mile race starts on 23 October, there will be a veritable posse of Maltese yachts chasing the seemingly elusive crown.

One of those yachts is even named Elusive II; the weapon of choice for Arthur Podesta, a thirty-time veteran of the race, which is now approaching its 31st edition. Podesta’s record is enviable. No other major 600-nm offshore course – Rolex Fastnet, Rolex Sydney-Hobart or Newport-Bermuda – can boast a participant that has competed in every race since its inception. Immensely proud of his continuing achievement, which includes being a three-time winner as crew, Podesta takes nothing for granted and is happy enough to make the start-line each year. Do not confuse that with lack of ambition. Podesta and his crew, which usually has its backbone formed by his three children - Maya, Aaron and Christoph - push as hard as anyone for the win. In 2008, they finished third overall, a mere forty-minutes off the corrected time pace.

Another family affair involves the last Maltese winners and a family name synonymous with the colourful history of Malta’s flagship sailing event. In 2002, John Ripard Jr and Andrew Calascione sailed Market Wizard to first overall. This year they are back again, with a neat twist as Ripard explains, “my brother-in-law Andrew Calascione and I will co-skipper Andrew's very recent acquisition Jaru, which is a J-133. We’ll have with us a crew comprised almost entirely of direct family, being: my two sons, Sebastian and Thomas; Andrew's two sons, Daniel and Marc; plus, my sister Rachel's son, Luke Scicluna, and, my sister Erika's son, Sam Pizzuto. My father, John Ripard Sr [winner of the inaugural race in 1968], will have six grandchildren on the same boat!” The remaining three crew are Benji Borg, Sebastian Ripard’s 49er Olympic campaign partner, John Santy from the UK and an Australian, Jordi Smith.

Another local with an eye on the main prize is Jonas Diamantino embarking on his tenth race and, once again, with Comanche Raider II Gasan Mamo. Diamantino exudes optimism ahead of each race; firmly believing he has the crew and the boat should the conditions favour them. This should not be seen as making excuses ahead of game-time for a poor finish. However good the handicap system, there is always an element of chance that the weather conditions will suit one end of the fleet or the other. That is the accepted nature of long-distance yacht racing. In recent years the big boats have held the upper hand. 2008 provides the sole glimmer of hope since 2002 for the smaller yachts, when the First 40.7, Spirit of Ad Hoc, took the crown.

Also in the same camp as Diamantino is Jonathon Gambin, with Ton Ton Surfside. Gambin sees nothing wrong in aiming high; seeking to test himself and his crew each time they cross the start line. Sandro Musu and Aziza have also come close to the Holy Grail, finishing fifth overall in 2004. Musu is as excited as ever heading into his seventh straight race.

Kevin Dingli and Fekruna will be satisfied to make the start line after last year losing his rig just before his debut race as skipper. Caught by a truly destructive waterspout during the inshore warm-up race, Dingli thought his race was over until his friend Peter Vincenti offered up his yacht, Manana. Edward Gatt Floridia, who has tasted the glory of being onboard the first Maltese yacht to finish, is skippering Otra Vez Fexco, one of the smallest boats in the fleet, for the second time. Another member of the Ripard clan will be on Lee Satariano’s J-122 Artie. Christian Ripard is a two-race winning skipper, once in 1996 and then again in 2001; coincidently, both times with J-Boats – maybe a good omen. Satariano, himself, came close to the ultimate prize in 2006, almost scooping the trophy from under the nose of the German maxi Morning Glory. Alfred Manduca and Allegra round out the Maltese roster.

Sonke Stein may be German, but he is as good as a local in the eyes of many. He and his exuberant crew, which includes seven Maltese, have been a feature of the race for a number of years. Stein loves the it, most of the time, and this year is entering a new boat, coincidently a J-133 just like Ripard and Calascione, “she’s named Juno and though she is registered in Hamburg, she is based in Malta. We have raced the boat a couple of times and are very happy with her performance. The crew is still a majority of Maltese, comprising my old team mixed with some others from the J-125 Strait Dealer [winning boat in 2001] crew. With experience from my earlier J-105 Oh Jee and the experience from Strait Dealer added to it we are looking forward to the race.”

Whatever the weather and whatever the eventual results, the Maltese crews may expect a crescendo of noise to match any surrounding their more celebrated foreign-counterparts. The crowds lining the Valletta bastions at the start and the Royal Malta Yacht Club deck at the finish will make sure of that.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race commences on Saturday, 23 October 2010. Entries close on 15 October. The final prize giving is on Saturday, 30 October. George David's Rambler (USA) established the current Course Record of 47 hours 55 minutes and 3 seconds in 2007.

Rolex Middle Sea Race

Thursday 2 September 2010

RS:X Class – Happy to be in Denmark

Image copyright Vincenzio Baglione.

by Henrik Møhl

It may be layday at the RS:X World Championships in Kerteminde, Denmark, but ashore various groups have been active, busily ironing out issues such as the future of the class, in meetings culminating in tonight’s AGM.

One issue under discuss is the calendar including the World Championships in 2012. “We ask people to bid to hold a championship,” says Mike Dempsey of how this process takes place. Dempsey is President of the RS:X Windsurfing Class and also father of Nick, the Athens silver medallist and defending RS:X World Champion.
Dempsey relates the criteria: “Normally they have either held a Worlds beforehand or they have held a Junior event. This venue, Kerteminde, is pretty unique in that it hasn’t done that, but they did hold the ISAF Youth Worlds just further up the coast [in Aarhus in 2008]. We know the infrastructure within the Danish Sailing Federation is pretty sound.”

Sitting in the VIP section of a large tented cafe in the heart of the race village right by Kerteminde Marina, Dempsey says that this is the most pleased he has been with a site layout at a sailing venue for many years. In addition the organisers are experimenting with a groundbreaking new Danish system for following the racing called ‘Sailstream – You Are the Producer’. This combines the TracTrac tracking system with several channels of video, including one with commentary on the racing by the RS:X class’ charismatic COO Rory Ramsden, streamed live from the water via a unique wide area wireless broadband network.

“We are half way through the week and everyone is happy. And the weather has been wonderful,”says Dempsey.

Dempsey senior, who originates from Edinburgh, came to his present position after being “dragged around the UK and Europe” by his aspirant son, who has been competing in windsurfing at a top level for more than 12 years now. He has been in the RS:X Class hierarchy since it started five years ago and he has been its chairman for the last two. Since the end of the 1990s Dempsey has also been the UK delegate to the ISAF Windsurfing Committee.

Aside from the calendar, tonight there are more profound issues to be discussed, many relating to the report by the ISAF Olympic Commission and the requirements this stipulates in terms of what sailing must do as a sport to stay in the Olympic Games. Then there is the perennial issue of trying to keep the place of windsurfing and the RS:X secure in the pantheon of Olympic sailing events.

“The main issue is that we have to make ourselves bulletproof so that we stay as an Olympic class,” says Dempsey. “We have to be proactive, staying in front of what the Commission is thinking up.”

One feather in the cap of the RS:X is new media and the class claims to have the most popular website of any Olympic sailing discipline, thanks to the efforts of COO Rory Ramsden.

Another objective is to get more female competitors. Dempsey counts that one reason for this is that they are still trying to get the Techno junior and youth board adopted more widely around the world. Dempsey has the objective of 40% of the RS:X fleet being women, but would ideally like to shoot for 50%.

Another proposal being voted on tonight is to get boards out to ISAF Member National Authorities (MNAs) in as many countries as possible that don’t have them at present. The class is going to encourage a trade-in of old equipment and surplus old stock and will have this reconditioned and possibly rebrand it up with a new name – Dempsey calls it the RS:R. “Then we can go to MNAs who are not currently racing RS:Xes and say ‘here are five, ten boards for a fraction of the new price. We don’t expect you to come to the Worlds and Europeans, but you can train and race nationally and the youths can race on this all over the world. And when you come to the Worlds, you have to race on equipment that is current at the moment.’ Then we will either give them free charter or a very good discount. So they can send someone and they can go and race. It gets the class there and gets them racing on good equipment.”

Also to be discussed tonight is the prospect of the RS:X Windsurfing Class joining the International Windsurfing Association. “The idea there is that we will have a joint Junior and Youth World Championship which is what we used to have in the late 1990s. Now we have the Techno which is fully supported by the RS:X class. We fought hard to get ISAF to recognise it as the world-wide junior board.”

Dempsey says that they wanted to make the pathway clear so that now sailors have to change their sail only four times and their board only twice between the age of 12 up to Olympic development squad level.

There will be more clarity on these issues later tonight.

Otherwise for the sailors it will be early to bed with the Men’s and Women’s fleets divided into Gold and Silver, racing for two days in this configuration leading up to the top 10 from each fleet going through to the medal race on Saturday.
Racing is due to get underway tomorrow at 1100 local (0900 GMT). 8-10 knots from the ENE is forecast.

RS:X Worlds

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis Claims Overall Victory

Artemis Ocean Racing skippered by Jonny Malbon, screaming along to victory in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. Image copyright Rick Tomlinson/RORC.

by Louay Habib

RORC Racing Manager, Ian Loffhagen announced:

"Whilst there are still yachts racing in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race. The unusual easterly winds are hampering their progress to the finish. There is no real possibility of a competing yacht eclipsing the corrected time set by Artemis Ocean Racing. Therefore, Artemis Ocean Racing, can claim victory in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race overall under IRC, as well as the course record for an IMOCA 60.

"Congratulations to Jonny Malbon and his crew on Artemis Ocean Racing."

Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race

Finn Gold Cup: Wright Takes Lead on San Francisco Bay

Giorgio. Supplied image.

by Robert Deaves

Ed Wright (GBR) has taken a comfortable lead at the 2010 Finn Gold Cup in San Francisco after another outstanding day, placing first and third in the two races. Rafa Trujillo (ESP) won the second race of the day to climb to second, while a string of top 10 placings leave Giles Scott (GBR) in third.

After a short postponement to allow time for the wind to clock round and build, the first race was sailed in 10-14 knots with Ed Wright leading at each and every mark. He rounded the top mark from the right with Michele Paoletti (ITA) rounding second from the left. Jonathan Lobert (FRA) rounded third.

Wright took off on the downwind to build a substantial lead with Lobert climbing to second and these two separated from the pack, and most of the fleet favoured the right hand track. Regatta leader Thomas Le Breton (FRA) recovered from a poor first beat to place third.

Race six was then sailed in 14-17 knots with Rafa Trujillo (ESP) leading from start to finish. He rounded the top mark ahead of Pieter-Jan Postma (NED), Paoletti, Zach Railey (USA), Bjorn Allansson (SWE) and Wright.

Not much changed on the first downwind but on the second upwind the left side was favoured for a change and while Trujillo and Wright favoured the right, a lot of boats made up a lot of distance.

Trujillo still maintained a narrow lead but Allansson had climbed to second in front of Wright with Giorgio Poggi (ITA) moving to fourth from the right. Trujillo made enough of a break early on the reach to be comfortable in the lead while the fight for second to fifth was very tight.

Poggi eventually found a route under Wright to claim second by a few boatlengths with Dan Slater (NZL) finally finding the front to take fourth on the line from Allansson.

With the drop now coming into effect, Wright now has a 13 point lead with four more races to sail before Saturday's medal race, while the next four boats are separated by only four points. The leader going into today Le Breton drops to fourth while Railey maintains his consistency to end up in fifth, just four points off second. While the points at the top are tight Poggi said, “Sailing in San Francisco is nice. These are nice conditions and I had a good day. The good thing is that races races are perfect with the wind and you can always gain some positions. In the first race I was about 35th on the first upwind and I finished about 12th as I gained a lot on the last downwind. In the second race I finished second so I am quite happy because I passed many boats on the downwinds and the last reach.”

On the second race, Trujillo said “The downwind was very difficult, the fleet very open and on the second beat the right was not paying at all. But to get out in front the starts are so important as the right side has so far mainly been favoured.”

Andrew Mills (GBR). Supplied image.

Lobert commented on his second place, “It was my first good start of the championship. So this week if you have a good start then you have done half of the job. Both Ed and Thomas have been getting good starts, they are always ready to get on the good tack to the right hand side. So this is what I did in the first race. I got out and went right and the further you go the better it gets.


The current European Junior Champion and the runner up last week in the Silver Cup Ioannis Mitakis (GRE) is lying in 28th place overall after a 33rd and a 61st today. He said he is finding it tough to keep sailing at this high level over three weeks. “I am really tired because we have been training hard and it doesn't stop blowing every day, so it's really tough. I enjoy sailing in the breeze but I prefer the lighter winds like we had at the Europeans. I have a hard time but it's OK. I can catch a lot of boats on the downwind legs, but to be good I have to be fast on the upwind too.”

“I am not in top shape at the moment but now I am fighting hard together with men and it's really hard. It's more complicated because you are not in front you have to make make better tactics but it's really good racing. We have over 80 boats, and you have to make space to be in the right place at the right moment and that's hard as well.”

The Silver Cup was sailed off the city front while the Gold Cup is being sailed in the Berkeley Circle. “This place is very different to where we sailed the Silver Cup. There is less current and the wind is more steady. But it's still really tough sailing here, really windy, still lots of current. I think you have to know the place very well to sail here. For the rest of the week I will keep my tactics the same and try and make something out of the races.”

Mitakis is also the leading junior so far this week, though Caleb Paine (USA) and Oliver Twedell (AUS) are very close to him on points. Tweddell is new to the class this year and really enjoying himself.

“It's a bit of learning experience for me, so I am trying to watch all the senior guys to see how they do it. I haven't been sailing the boat for that long and today I getting a bit of a mouthful from Rafa for not going fast enough. He gave me a few pointers on how to get the boat going better. Sailing here is very tough, very hard work, and I am struggling for speed, but downwind is good fun.

“I love sailing the Finn compared to the Laser. I can eat normally, the guys are really great and really keen to help everyone else get along. The Finn is a great boat and I can see myself sailing it for many years to come.

“My learning curve has been pretty steep so far. I learned a lot at the Silver Cup but at the Gold Cup it is even steeper. I started off slowly and have been learning a lot, so that makes it all much more fun.” After a 30th and 28th today Tweddell is lying in 30th place overall.

Upwind. Supplied image.

Power sailing

Sailing Finns in these conditions is all about power. Only the fittest, strongest and smartest survive in these testing waters. The effort to perform, to do well, is immense. After the finish of the free pumping final two races, with boats surfing and planing just metres apart, most of the sailors have to stop to catch their breath and regain their strength after 15 minutes of full on downwind sailing. It could be compared to running a 1500 metres sprint, but on top of two 20 minute upwind legs and a 20 minute flat downwind. No other class needs this level of power and stamina for such long periods as the Finn. If you want to go fast then you need to drive it hard. It is simply awesome to watch.

Racing continues Thursday with two more races scheduled for 13.00, with a one hour postponement already in place as the conditions are forecast for the same as today.

Results after 6 races:
1 GBR 11 Edward Wright 9
2 ESP 100 Rafael Trujillo 22
3 GBR 41 Giles Scott 24
4 FRA 115 Thomas le Breton 24
5 USA 4 Zach Railey 26
6 SLO 5 Gasper Vincec 36
7 CRO 524 Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic 49
8 SLO 573 Vasilij Zbogar 55
9 CRO 25 Marin Misura 56
10 GBR 88 Mark Andrews 57

Finn Gold Cup

WMRT: 2-3 Means Work to Do for MRT After St Moritz Day One

Misty morning in St Moritz. Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

by Kinley Fowler

After one and a half months break from the World Match Racing Tour with each of MRT's members pursuing different areas in fleet racing the first day of St Moritz match race got off to a shaky start with the team only winning 2 races.

The fickle mountain winds brought challenges for all the teams, but MRT found themselves on the wrong side of the shifts in most races.

The day was full of highs and lows, and the last race of the day against BlackMatch Racing saw plenty of both.

MRT lost the start and conceded a penalty, but with some neat shift work they managed to get themselves ahead at the top mark. Extending their lead around the track it looked as though they could wipe off their penalty and keep the lead, but now it was Minoprio's team who worked their way back into the game, and forcing the error at the top mark they sailed away to a comfortable win.

Thursday MRT will race the rest of the teams who are all fighting to be the King of the Mountain.

Mirsky Racing Team
World Match Racing Tour

NZL features strongly in top ten at Laser Worlds

Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

New Zealand continues to feature strongly among the leaders at the 2010 Laser World Championship on now at Hayling Island, Great Britain

by Jodie Bakewell-White

The NZL Sailing Team impressively hold four of the top eight places – Josh Junior is in second, Mike Bullot in fourth, Andy Maloney climbs to seventh and Andrew Murdoch is eighth after the third day of the series.

Six races have been staged over three days with another four days remaining at this important Olympic class regatta.

Australia’s Tom Slingsby has taken the lead spot after a perfect day on the water with two bullets – on 14 points he is sitting four points clear of Josh Junior and Paul Goodison (GBR) who share second place with 18 points.

Junior, just 20 years old from the Worser Bay Boating Club in Wellington was 7th and 5th in last night’s two races, just enough to see him retain second equal. Junior’s previous best at a Laser World Championships was in 2009 when he placed 11th, and in 2007 he won a silver medal at the prestigious ISAF Youth World Champs.

Mike Bullot, from Auckland’s North Shore is just two points behind Junior and Goodison on 20 after he placed 9th and 3rd overnight.

Andy Maloney continues his climb through the standings breaking into the top ten after the third day of competition to sit in seventh overall. In his first race last night he came home in 2nd, and followed it up with an 11th.

Olympian Andrew Murdoch rounds out the kiwi contingent featuring in the top ten. Despite scoring his poorest race overnight with a 22nd he doesn’t take a tumble down the ladder due to consistency over the initial days. He improves from ninth up to eighth after day three.

Four days of competition remain to complete the Championship with another eight races possible if the weather continues to co-operate. The titles will be decided on September 5th.

The NZL Sailing Team Laser sailors are supported by coaches Mark Howard and Jez Fanstone.

In Kerteminde, Denmark the RS:X sailors contesting their World Championships have enjoyed a rest day and therefore overall standings for the NZL Sailing Team remain unchanged. Racing resumes tonight.

Day three of the 2010 Finn Gold Cup is underway in San Francisco at the time of writing. The day’s results will be posted on the regatta website as they come to hand.

2010 Laser World Championships, 30th August – 5th September
New Zealand’s provisional standings after day three (Total feet: 159)

2nd Josh Junior (3, 22, 1, 2, 7, 5)
4th Mike Bullot (1, 2, 5, 13, 9, 3)
7th Andy Maloney (2, 22, 4, 10, 2, 11)
8th Andrew Murdoch (6, 4, 11, 2, 8, 22)
19th Sam Meech (10, 46, 5, 14, 7, 13)
43rd Max Andrews (12, 41, 19, 7, 26, 8)
52nd James Sandall (42, 7, 6, 14, 14, RAF55)

2010 RS:X World Championships, 29th August – 4th September
New Zealand’s provisional standings after day three
Men’s Championship (111 sailors)

2nd =Tom Ashley (1, 5, 3, 5, 18, 2)
4th Jon-Paul Tobin (6, 6, 1, 2, 2, 17)
73rd Antonio Cozzolino (41, 39, 21, 24, 41, 58)
Women’s Championship (66 sailors)
New Zealand’s provisional standings after day two

36th Kate Ellingham (11, 14, 16, 18, 20)
37th Stefanie Williams (14, 13, 14, 29, 18)
43rd Natalia Kosinska (28, 22, 27, 15, 9)
48th Alice Monk (18, 20, 22, 26, 25)

2010 Finn Gold Cup, San Francisco, USA
Dates: 30th August – 4th September
New Zealand’s provisional standings after four races (Total fleet: 87)

21st Dan Slater (32, 17, 28, 11)
30th Nik Burfoot (24, 33, 42, 30)
31st Matt Coutts (37, 48, 26, 20)
62nd Rob Coutts (63, 57, 72, 62)
68th Bradley Douglas (62, 88/DNF, 52, 61)
71st Ray Hall (61, 68, 65, 81DNF)

Yachting New Zealand

Laser Worlds 2010: Perfect Day Vaults Slingsby to the Top

Laser 2010 Worlds fleet. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

by Andi Robertson

On the strength of two impressive race wins in slightly stronger breezes today off England’s Hayling Island Australia’s double world champion Tom Slingsby stepped four points clear at the top of the Laser World Championships leader-board after six of the eight scheduled Qualifying Races have been sailed.

The gentle, and at times fickle minded sea-breezes of the two opening days of racing gave way to a more consistent, ESE’ly wind which averaged around 11-12 knots and peaked at around 14 to offer both fleets, the Standard Senior Men’s championship and the Junior Worlds, a brisker and more physical challenge.

But if the winds proved to be more settled in direction there was still no shortage of challenges and traps, not least managing the changing tidal flow of up to one knot. And the choppy, swell made for some fast, enjoyable downwind sailing.

Tom Slingsby (AUS) looks back at the fleet behind him. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Slingsby attributed part of his success today to his desire to stay super smooth downwind. After a yellow flag penalty for excessive kinetics on Tuesday he commented later that possibly the jury had done him a favour, the penalty was a key to him sailing very smoothly in the choppy waves, and in both races he was well clear of the pack when he took his second and third winning guns of the regatta.

Chasing hard in third overall Skandia Team GBR’s Paul Goodison was forced to press his ‘recovery mode’ into action again today. Deep in the pack in the second race the Olympic and World Champion pulled back to seventh, keeping his world title defence firmly on target with all six of his scores Top 10 finishes.

Goodison shares the same points tally as New Zealand’s second placed Joshua Junior who scored a seventh and a fifth today, retaining a level of consistency which he commented was ‘a bit of a surprise.’ With Michael Bullot lying fourth, the strong, tightly knit Kiwi squad now have four sailors in the top eight.

Austria’s Andreas Geritzer, 2004 Olympic silver medallist had taken the overall championships lead after a second in his Race 5, to go 2,1,2 but he was snared in the thick of a raft of boats at the start of the second race and could not get away off the line. After jumping from 50th after Day 1, to 5th last night, Geritzer lies ninth.

Giacoma Bottoli of Italy has managed to retain one of the most impressively regular set of scores so far. Lying fifth he is the only sailor other than Goodison to have scored the full half dozen top ten finishes.

In the Junior World Championships Italy’s Francesco Marrai retained his overall lead today after a fifth and a third, lying two points ahead of Denmark’s Thorbjoern Scheirup.

Paul Goodison (GBR). Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Paul Goodison (GBR):
“ It was a tricky day all in all. I thought with the breeze in that it was going to be a little easier today but it wasn’t. It was still quite shifty and the tide played a big part of it. The second race did not quite go quite to plan and I was in the 20’s but I had good speed downwind and played the shifts well up the second beat.
“I think with it being such a long regatta it is all about trying to keep in single figures and I’ve managed to do that so far. I think for me that has been about not taking too many risks and sailing the fleet, but that is not easy because if you do get caught in the middle and it comes in from one side or the other then you do end up in the teens.”

Tom Slingsby (AUS): “It was a really good day. There was a lot of current and everyone was really intimidated to get up on the start line but I had good transits and so I was able to start a boat length or two ahead of the boats around me. So I had really good starts, good speed upwind, but I was really fast downwind which is maybe a little out of the ordinary for me. I am usually an upwind specialist but today I was really quick. I am not too sure why. Yesterday I got a yellow flag and that maybe did me some good, I was trying to stay very still and today was a day about being very smooth and rocking really would not have helped you very much.”

Joshua Junior (NZL): “The biggest gains were downwind for sure and so if you got to the top mark quite deep then you could really smoke it downwind and pass heaps of boats which was really fun and awesome. I struggled a little upwind.
"It was a bit unexpected to do that well today again and really awesome to be up there and doing so awesome. Every regatta I am improving little by little, getting more consistent. Last year I was able to win races but still score the 30ths. Now I seem to be able to get back up to the top ten which is awesome. Over the winter we had some awesome training with seven of us, a couple of months in Auckland. Everyone is really close in training and works really hard.”

Competitors at the 2010 Laser Worlds off Hayling Island, UK. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Laser Standard Senior Men’s Championship 2010
Provisional Results after 6 races including 2 discards

1 Tom Slingsby (AUS) 1,8,(29), 3,1,1, 14pts
2 Joshua Junior (NZL) 3, (22), 1,2,7,5, 18pts
3 P Goodison (GBR) 3,1,(9),4,3,7,18pts
4 M Bullot (NZL) 1,2,5,(13),9,3, 20pts
5 Giacomo Bottolli (ITA), (9),4,3,6,3,8 24pts
6 N Thompson (GBR) 2,3,(25),6,9,7 27pts
7 A Maloney (NZL) 2, (22),4,10,2,11, 29pts
8 A Murdoch (NZL) 6,4,11,2,8, (22) 31pts
9 A Geritzer (AUT) (33) 6,2,1,2,22 33pts
10 L Radelic (CRO) 2,2,(42),1,18,10,33pts

Junior World Championships
1 Francesco Marrai (ITA) 2,3,(7),5,5,3 18pts
2 Thorbjoern Schierup (DEN) 3,36,(19),6,2 20pts
3 Keerati Bulaong (THA) (19),1,10,6,2,4 23pts
4 A Munos (FRA) (14),2,8,4,8,1, 23pts
5 M Kaeldo (DEN) 2,15,1,2,(16),16, 36pts

Laser Worlds 2010

WMRT: BlackMatch on the Pace in St Moritz

Misty morning in St Moritz. Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

by David Swete

Today was the opening day of the 2010 St Moritz World Match Racing Tour Event and with 4 wins from our 5 races, it was a great start for BlackMatch Racing. This event is the 6th leg of the World Tour and really marks the business end of the season. Held on a lake 1800 meters above sea level and with the Swiss Alps providing the back drop for the action on the water, it is without a doubt the most stunning event on the World Tour and also one of the trickiest.

"Tongue in action": Adam Minoprio's trademark concentration... Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

With temparatures plummeting to zero degrees Celsius overnight, we were greeted with an eerie mist over the lake this morning, however without a cloud in the sky and with the sun shining it was an amazing day of sailing, although extremely shifty. We had decisive victories over Torvar Mirsky, Francesco Bruni, Johnnie Berntsson and local talent Eric Monin, while our loss came against Swede Bjorn Hansen, who also finished the day with only a single loss.

We have 6 races remaining in the round robin with the format seeing the top 7 teams progressing through to the next stages of the event, while the top qualifier proceeds directly through to the semi final. This provides a great incentive to finish the round robin on top and avoid the 6 boat quarterfinal, while the magic number looks to be 6 wins to make the final seven.

Spectators have an awesome view of the racing on St Moritzersee. Image copyright Ian Roman/WMRT.

We would again like to say a special thank you to our sponsors FedEx Express and Events Clothing/Line 7. Owen Rutter from Events Clothing has supplied us with new sailing gear this season, keeping the boys looking very sharp and also warm up here in the cold mountains. The ongoing support of our sponsors is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys. We would also like to thank Emirates Team New Zealand and Steinlager Pure.

BlackMatch Racing this week is Adam Minoprio, Tom Powrie, David Swete and Nick Blackman.

Round Robin standings after Day One in St Moritz

Minoprio (NZL) 4-1
Williams (GBR) 4-1
Hansen (SWE) 4-1
Ainslie (GBR) 3-2
Richard (FRA) 3-2
Pace (FRA) 3-2
Mirksy (AUS) 2-3
Iehl (FRA) 2-3
Bruni (ITA) 2-3
Monnin (SUI) 2-3
Berntsson (SWE) 1-4
Clerc (SUI) 0-5

BlackMatch Racing
World Match Racing Tour

Interview with Reuben Corbett, Black Sheep Racing (NZL)

Black Sheep Racing with the National Congress Palace Cup, Sails of the White Nights, Russia. Image copyright Martin Kireev.

Reuben Corbett and Black Sheep Racing's entry onto the international match racing scene was marked by winning the Knickerbocker Cup 2009 at Manhasset Bay YC, New York, USA, in 2009. He was also runner-up to Laurie Jury at the New Zealand National Match Racing Championships in 2009. Black Sheep Racing are currently ranked 18th in the Open Match Race rankings; the second highest New Zealand team, after Adam Minoprio's BlackMatch Racing who lead the rankings. However, Corbett is particularly keen to promote team racing in sailing, for getting people involved in the sport.

In 2010 Corbett and Black Sheep Racing (crewed by Tom Bentham and Brad Farrand, plus various others, including Andrew Clouston) went to Europe, where they qualified for a Grade One event in fourth place, and proceeded to win the Grade One itself! The win at the Sails of the White Nights, in Russia, was significant for occurring in conditions ranging from calms to boat- and mast-breaking, and included victories over world top 5 ranked Damien Iehl (French Match Racing Team) and Eugeniy Neugodnikov (Synergy Russian Sailing Team). This qualified them for the World Match Racing Tour, where they had an excellent debut at Stena Match Cup Sweden, narrowly missing out on the quarterfinals in what turned out to be the match of the event, against Magnus Holmberg (crewed by Kiwis).

Following this, they wnet on to win a Grade 3 at La Rochelle in France, train against PAM (Pierre-Antoine Morvan) and then meet him again in the finals of the French National Match Racing Championships, the Trophee Manu Minard. Reaching the finals took them higher up the scoreboard than top French match racers Mathieu Richard, Damien Iehl and Philippe Presti, amongst others.

Black Sheep Racing during the finals of the Internationaux de France - the Trophee Manu Minard. Image copyright Bruno Bouvry/

Their marathon tour then took them on to North America, where they won the York Cup in Canada, and then finished as runners up in Chicago at the CMC Chicago Match Race. After a couple more events, they are currently enjoying a well-earned break before competing in Korea in September. Anne Hinton took the opportunity to catch up with Reuben Corbett to find out more about his background and intended sailing career.

AH: How, in what, and at what age, did you start sailing?

RC: At a very young age I was mystified as to how anything could float on water. I began to build my own model boats until one day uncle Mark (Mark Turner, BMW ORACLE Racing) bought my siblings and me an Optimist. Compared to most I was a rather late starter to sailing at the age of thirteen. From here, the journey began.

AH: What was your progression through boats/events?

RC: Fleet racing in the Optis before quickly moving onto team racing in the Sunbursts and 420s. Match racing took over in 2006 where we sailed Elliot 6m. Today, we sail a variety of small to medium sized keel boats.

Black Sheep Racing: Reuben Corbett (second from left) with Tom Bentham, Brad Farrand and Andrew Clouston, at the CMRC Chicago Match Race 2010. Image copyright CMRC.

AH: How did you get into team racing?

RC: My Secondary School (Kerikeri High School) has a strong back ground in team racing thanks largely to Derry Godbert. Derry offered me a spot in the school squad from where the fun began.

AH: When did you do the RNZYS youth programme and get into match racing?

RC: I joined the programme when I moved to Auckland for university studies in 2006. I completed three years in the programme before setting up Black Sheep Racing.

AH: Which people/teams have you competed against a lot?

RC: Phil Robertson, William Tiller, Laurie Jury, Eugeniy Neugodnikov, Taylor Canfield

AH: Please could you mention key results throughout your sailing career?

RC: 137th NZ Optimist Nationals second time I had ever been sailing
1st NZ Secondary Schools Team Racing Championships 2003
1st Interdominion Championships 2003
1st Lion Cup Match Race 2007
1st Knickerbocker Cup 2009
1st Sail of White Nights 2010

Black Sheep Racing match racing on the Neva River, prior to winning the Sails of the White Nights event. Image copyright Martin Kireev.

AH: What university/career have you had alongside the sailing?

RC: Beef farmer for five years and coaching sailing for four years. Studied a Bachelor of Commerce with Majors in Economics and Internationals Business

AH: What made you decide to take on match racing internationally?

RC: A simple passion for the sport and a desire to test ourselves against the rest of the world.

Black Sheep Racing with the York Cup. Image copyright Black Sheep Racing NZ.

AH: How do you see your sailing progressing into the future?

RC: I would like to continue the enjoyment factor whilst earning enough to support a reasonable standard of living.

AH: Of the major events – Olympics/Volvo/America’s Cup – which do you want to do (and why)?

RC: The America’s Cup! It’s the biggest event in sailing and the ultimate test in preparing the best team with all the facets like; team personale, design, build, testing, tweaking, sponsorship and then to have years of work all on the line for a couple of weeks. Creating a winning culture, sticking to your guns and achieving the goals presents challenges on a multitude of levels and the fun is in overcoming those challenges.

Black Sheep Racing during the finals of the Internationaux de France - the Trophee Manu Minard. Image copyright Bruno Bouvry/

AH: What support have you had in your sailing?

RC: Support from the Kerikeri Cruising Club and Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who have both provided facilities enabling us to sail. Family have provided the bulk of all our funding over the years. Two coaches have had significant influence on us including Derry Godbert and Guy Pilkington.

AH: Who have been the most influential people in your sailing?

RC: Mark Turner (of BMW ORACLE Racing), Harold and Susan Corbett, Derry Godbert and Guy Pilkington.

Black Sheep Racing match racing at the Internationaux de France - the Trophee Manu Minard. Image copyright Bruno Bouvry/

AH: Who do you most look up to in sailing in NZ/internationally, and why?

RC: Russell Coutts without a doubt. He consistently forms winning teams while remaining approachable.

AH: What sponsors have you had in your sailing?

RC: Parents, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and the Kerikeri Cruising Club.

Black Sheep Racing match racing at the CMRC Chicago Match Race. Image copyright CMRC.

AH: How did you develop the sailing programme of training/events to compete in for 2010?

RC: We targeted World Tour Qualifiers whilst filling in the gaps with other regattas that were convenient and had the greatest ranking points on offer. Of course, this was all within the confines of our team budget.

Black Sheep Racing on tour in North America. Image copyright Black Sheep Racing.

AH: What have been the highlights of racing over the past year for you?

RC: The development of our newly formed team and the direction we are heading. Results specific: Sails of the White Nights and the Manu Minard Regatta.

Video of Reuben Corbett (Black Sheep Racing, NZL) and Magnus Holmberg's (SWE, with Kiwi crew) decisive match for entry to the quarterfinals of Stena Match Cup Sweden:

AH: What plans do you have for racing in 2011?

RC: Our team only formalized plans for 2010 with our next meeting scheduled upon returning home. Depending on how 2010 pans out will determine what each individual and the team decide to do in 2011.

Black Sheep Racing on the Waitemata in 2009, where they finished runners up in the New Zealand National Match Racing Championships. Image copyright Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

AH: What developments in the sport of sailing would you like to see in the future – in NZ and internationally?

RC: (a) Increased use of technology for umpires and sailors in order to apply the racing rules of sailing.
(b) Some form of payment for umpires.
(c) Increased accountability for umpires’ performances.
(d) A better representation of sailing as a whole at the Olympics or at the very least, the world sailing championships.
(e) I would like to see team racing used as a tool to encourage more people to sail at a younger age as it is an enormous amount of fun. Team Racing has the potential to take sailing to another level in the form of television exposure.

AH: Thank you very much indeed for your time and all the best for your future sailing career.

Black Sheep Racing