Saturday 18 September 2010

Laser Masters World Championships: Day 5 - Leith Making his own Sunshine

Kiwi in command at the Laser Masters Worlds

Scott Leith (NZL). Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

by Andi Robertson

With another pair of well won first places today, Aucklander Scott Leith extended his lead in the Radial Apprentice Masters division at the Laser Masters World Championships off Hayling Island, England.

Now counting four wins and a second place from the six races sailed to date, discarding a second, Leith is pleased to be matching the very high standards he set himself since finishing second last year in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He leads his 24 boat fleet by six clear points.

His investment of significant time and resources in a pretty comprehensive training and preparation programme in the lead up to these World Championships is centred on his desire to make sure that he does not finish as title bridesmaid again.

In mainly light, difficult shifting winds, which kept the race management teams busy trying to stay in step with the sometimes radical changes, Leith was the day’s best scorer, the only sailor of the 350 helms in seven fleets to take two winning guns today.

His programme has included sailing five days a week, sometimes training with some of the established and up and coming women’s Laser Olympic talent at home, complemented by a planned strength and conditioning programme, and here he appears to be reaping the consistent dividend that is seeking.

An alumni of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron’s youth programme run by Harold Bennett, Leith did a 470 Olympic programme in 1976. After a spell sailing big boats in England, although he rode on the back of his father’s Laser as a three year old, he really got in to the Laser when he returned to New Zealand in 2003.

While Leith stayed supremely consistent, in the white hot Laser Standard Masters fleet, which today split into Gold and Silver divisions, Holland’s Arnoud Hummel clings on to a slender one point lead over defending champion Scott Ferguson.

Arnoud Hummel (NED). Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

The American kept up the pressure today with 1,3, whilst series leader Hummel could still smile, only just, when he returned ashore having sailed his discard, an 11th, in the second race, which slightly perversely came from his best start of the regatta so far.

Such was the shifty nature of racing in the two conflicting breezes out to sea on the Standards course, further out to sea which was perhaps more influenced by weak, late season thermal effect out on the Solent and a cross-offshore gradient.

Hummel leads Ferguson, but the Standard Masters leaderboard ascent of Olympic silver medallist John Bertrand continued today, with a fourth in the first race, and then his first win of the regatta, on the day when it starts to get serious.

He lies third now, but has ten points to close to his compatriot in second. But with a very light forecast for Saturday and predictions of a windy climax Sunday anything can happen.

In the corresponding Masters age-range on the Radial course, Brasilian Joao Ramos scored a first and second to draw closer to Hampshire local Steve Cockerill.

The three times Radials masters world title winner was just one of the many sailors who could not return equally good results. After his third in the first race, Cockerill now has seventh as his current discard, only just missing his target for the day of two top fives but staying two points clear of Ramos whose strength is certainly the light and shifty conditions.

But Cockerill has experience on his side and leads by two points.

Steve Cockerill (GBR). Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

There was a fearful symmetry to today’s pattern at the top of the Standard Apprentice Masters where the three sailors paired one good result to their discard. After series leading Greek Olympian Adonis Bougiouris was flagged from the course for excessive kinetics, his second offence, Sydney’s five times title winner Brett Beyer was unable to capitalise after winning the first race of the day.

His throwout 12th means both are tied on 11points and the Greco-Australian wrestling match which was won last year by Bourgiouris, continues.

Top scorer in this Apprentice Masters fleet was Skandia Team GBR Laser coach Chris Gowers who posted two second places.

Apprentice is not a prefix usually associated with Gowers – who finished 11th here at the Laser Europeans in 1994 - now lying fifth in class at his second Laser Masters Worlds.

The Standard Grand Masters only got Race 5 of their series away at the fifth attempt but Germany’s defending title holder Wolfgang Gerz made his mark by winning the first race. The fleet which seemed to have most trouble getting away to clean starts today saw Black Flag DSQ’s for both the USA’s Peter Vessella and Sweden’s Peter Sundelin.

Brett Beyer (AUS). Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Laser Masters World Championships

Standards standings after 6 races one discard

Grand Masters:
1 Wolfgang Gerz (GER) 10pts,
2 Peter Vessella (USA) 23pts,
3 Peter Sundelin (SWE) 37pts.

1 Arnoud Hummel (NED) 8pts,
2 Scott Ferguson (USA) 9pts,
3 John Bertrand (USA) 19pts.

1 Brett Beyer (AUS) 11pts,
2 Adonis Bourgiouris (GRE) 11pts,
3 Jykri Taiminen (FIN) 19pts

Great Grand Masters:
1 Keith Wilkins (GBR) 11pts,
2 Peter Seidenburg (USA) 23pts,
3 Stam (NED) 24pts.

Grand Masters:
1 Bruce Martinson (AUS) 14pts,
2 Alden Shattuck (USA) 17pts,
3 Lyndall Patterson (AUS) 19pts.

1 Steve Cockerill (GBR) 10pts,
2 Joao Ramos (BRA) 10pts,
3 Hamish Atkinson (NZL) 27pts.

Apprentice Masters:
1 Scott Leith (NZL) 6pts,
2 J-C Leydet (FRA) 12pts,
3 Ian Jones (GBR).

Scott Leith (NZL), overall leader Radial Apprentice Masters:
“It’s all a bit of a ‘bluer’. I can’t remember too much about the day I was concentrating so hard. The first race I was third round the top mark and the French guy had a good lead on me. I just dug deep, stayed calm and tried not to get rattled. I just slowly but surely gained in him downhill and got round the bottom gate just ahead of him. I went round the top mark with a little lead, cleared off downwind and won by about 30 seconds.
“The second one I started at the boat, pin end favoured and banged out to the right, came across to the top mark in second and sailed away, keeping between the mark and the guy behind and won by over a minute. And the French guy didn’t have a good second one, and so a little daylight now.
"It was a day for keeping fast and keeping your head out of the boat and not getting pinged (OCS). I have not got any yellow flags, staying very still in the boat.
“I have sailed my whole life, sailing the back of my dad’s Laser when I was three, went through some two handed boats, Opti’s, Starlings and Lasers, 470 campaign in 1976, to Olympic level at the time of Murray Jones and Jon Bilger, Dave Barnes and Hamish Willcox and spent some time in the New Zealand youth programme under Harold Bennett, at RNZYS after the 1987 America’s Cup in Fremantle and so that was a good training ground.
“I came to the UK from 1997 to 2003 and sailed big boats with Alex Thomson, did two Fastnets on Hugo Boss, went back to NZ in 2003, bought myself a Laser and got better and better over time and put in a serious training programme for this over the last four months, along with the Olympic girls, with the guidance of Andrew Murdoch, and Mark Howard (GBR) the Yachting NZ coach has helped me out a little as well.
"It has been this year because I came second last year and I did not want to come back and finish second again.
"Fitness has been pretty intense: I have sailed five days a week, I go to the gym three days a week, run, cycle and row. And go to the physio twice a week to look after my hip and shoulder, they are falling to bits.
"I structure my work so I can do it at night. I am in business consulting, helping people buy and sell businesses and do finance operations for them and I own a roading construction business. So that helps bring in some money.
"I am really happy with today. I felt solid, a bit more confident and smooth and relaxed in the shoulders.

Laser Masters Worlds at Hayling Island SC, England. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Steve Cockerill (GBR), overall leader Radial Masters:
“ It was a very interesting day. The shifts were quite extreme. On the first beat on our second race we went from almost laying the mark on port, three quarters of the way up the beat, to almost laying the mark on starboard. Which was interesting. I got a two and a seventh.”
“ For me the key today was trying to get two counting results so I have a series. If we do ten there is two discards. If we sail tomorrow, and I think tomorrow could be horrible, I need to say I can count both races today. And if it blows hard on Sunday I just wanted to get two top fives. I rounded the top mark in first in that first one, then was second, and then managed to sail from second to 12th on that run. You were quite capable of doing that. Anything was possible. My brain is scarred by that second race!
"On the first race I was half way up the course and they had decided to change the course and there was an orange mark in RIB going left, then it went right, and finally it was a yellow one! That was a little frustrating.
"Generally speaking the fast track was up on the left but you had to commit on the biggest gust to get to the right. So to not know where the mark was, was taxing.
I won in 2001 in Cork, 2002 in Hyanis and South Korea in 2006. I had a go in the full rig in Cadiz in 2007 and was second.”

Lyndall Patterson (AUS), third in Radial Grand Masters:
“I won the first one and then had a bad one. I think I would rather have two seconds than a first and a feather duster. I got a poor start and made poor options. It was quite light with the breeze flicking about. We had a black flag start and I was very buried, very third row – maybe even fourth row.
"I had a reasonable start in the first race and the breeze settled in to be about eight to 10 knots for half an hour and that was the best of the day, that seemed to suit me.”

Joao Ramos (BRA), second overall Radial Apprentice Masters:
“ I had a first in the first race and a second in the second race. In both races I started and tacked for the right. I think I had a little luck, because the fleet started to fall behind me. The second race was similar. But the second race was much more difficult because the wind was more crazy.
“ In Brasilia on the lake I sail on the wind shifts a lot but not like this. I think it was nice for me today, small waves.
“ I sail on the lake with no waves, typically 6,7,10 knots, not 20.
"I went to Halifax in Canada last year. It was hard. I think the waves there were a little easier than here. I am still second.
“ I have sailed the Laser all together for about eight years, sailing in other classes in the Europe. I did one championship but was not very good, it was very windy.
"But the Laser is a very simple boat. Anyone who sails in another class can get in the boat and sail well. We have about 20 boats on the lake.”

Chris Gowers (GBR), two seconds today, fifth overall Standards Apprentice Masters:
“ It was that kind of day when you go 40-50 yards further and start cursing, and then you gain another 50 metres. I certainly was not the fastest out there, that is for sure. I got two big lucky breaks, on both beats when the left paid hugely. You could see them coming but not 100 per cent. It was an interesting day. It is good fun catching up with all the old timers!”

John Bertrand (USA). Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

John Bertrand (USA), third overall Masters Laser Standard fleet:
“ It was a good day. The first race was pretty tricky I kind of went up the middle, and it seemed that the left kind of came in and I was more to the right but I was able to on the second beat get right when everyone was going left because of the first beat. I just did not go far enough. Actually that gained me between five and seven boats. I go a yellow flag in the first race which I was a bit surprised a bit and that put me back a bit, so the second beat really made it for me.
"The second race was a nice jump for me out of the start with a bunch of guys, on to port early and we looked really good at first. We looked really good at first, and then get knocked. Then the right started to come good. And so I had a choice to make. I could have gone with them and that what Scott Ferguson did in the first race he went a little bit to the left a little bit and ended up winning. I was thinking do I do it? But earlier I had seen that the breeze on the beach was good, and when it was good it was really good.
"I decided I am just going to keep going right, and let a number of boats pass me, and the guys on the left were winding up a little bit, so I was thinking whatever comes, comes…and finally it came off the beach and we were over the guys on the left, I rounded second or third and got in the lead on the run.
"What I learned today is you can’t be in between the two breezes. But having said that Scott made an early move. So it is hard to know when to cut your losses. I felt like I had to make a commitment and it just worked out.
"It definitely does, but maybe it evens out because I have not had the time on the water. The kid I am coaching in the Finn, I am a little more aggressive in picking a side. He is more up the middle. So in a sense I have learned from him, learning to make it work.
"That is something I used to do when I was younger. When you get into big boats it is so precise. You kind of go to that perfect spot, where the X is on the water. But it is fun.
"I had the greatest start of all but I did not get the shift from the right. I tried to get there but it did not work. I got to the mark in 15 or 20th but it was very hard to fight back for there.”

Scott Ferguson (USA), from San Francisco, second overall Standard Master:
“It was a very pressured sort of day. Being in and finding the pressure was absolutely key upwind and downwind. I did always have great starts but I did manage to stay in the pressure. And that really helped me.”

Laser Masters Worlds

Rolex Swan Cup: "Everything is completely open"

SAMANTAGA - DUVEL. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

by Jill Campbell

After an exhilarating day of racing yesterday, where the breeze reached close to 30 knots in the straits, conditions have turned inside out for the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship fleet racing off Porto Cervo today, and patience was the skill to have in spades.

With racing slated only for the Swan 45 fleet, as part of their Rolex Swan 45 World Championship, the nine-boat fleet was scheduled for a 12pm warning signal. Principal Race Officer Peter Craig and his race committee were on station and elected to postpone the start until 14.35 when the breeze steadied enough from the north-northeast at 7 knots to get the seventh race in the series off.

Vittorio Codecasa on Jeroboam Ca’Nova (ITA) scored a win in the only race today – windward/ leeward (1.5nm) twice around – with Tea Ekengren on Blue Nights (FIN) in 2nd, and defending World Champion Nico Poons on Charisma (NED) in 3rd.

Codecasa said, "Today was a short race but a complex one, especially at the start when the boats were all very close together, it was very technical and very interesting. We started well, although Charisma started better, and we rounded the top mark second. We were then able to choose the correct side of the course and came in first with a decent lead."

Poons recapped Charisma’s race, “We had a good start, we were first at the upwind mark by a minute or more and Jeroboam was second. Then we wanted to cover our opponents, EarlyBird and Samantaga, so we gybed, but Jeroboam and Blue Nights had a little bit more wind and arrived in front of us, since the race committee also shortened the course (to 1.2nm) because of a lack of wind, and so we finished in third. The first top boats are very close to each other. Everything is completely open.”

EARLYBIRD, from underwater. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Hendrik Brandis on Earlybird (GER) is leading after seven races with 24.50 points; Charisma is 2nd with 26.0 points, and Samantaga-Duvel (BEL) is 3rd with 27.0 points.
Racing concludes tomorrow for the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship. Three races are planned. With eight or more races, a throw-out is allowed; however, the Islands Long Race cannot be excluded.

The Swan 45 concept was born shortly after Leonardo Ferragamo acquired the company in 1998. Enrico Chieffi, Nautor’s Swan Commercial and Marketing Director, spearheaded the idea, he recalled, “This project was really built on passion. When I joined the company, I came from professional sailing and I was entering into a legend of sailing, which were the Swans. They had gone a little bit dated outside of the racing scene where they had belonged, if you think of Sayula II (Swan 65, winner of the 1st Whitbread Round the World Race) and other projects.

“So together with Leonardo, a very passionate sailor himself, we thought what is the project that could bring this brand back in the world of sailors, in the world of the guys who are really making sailing such a unique sport? The response was ‘let’s develop a one-design class’. But how can we merge such different things as one-design and Swan? The concept was very simple – one design is not made of the kind of boat you do, but on the concept that they are all identical, so why don’t we make the first one-design Swan ever, a beautiful, perfect cruising yacht? It’s possibly the most sportive one we’ve ever done. The dream was let’s make something that when we will look at this in 20 years time, she will still be a beauty.”

To date, 49 of the German Frers-designed, sporty racer/luxury cruisers have been built. The first boats were sailing in 2002 and there were four of them. The class continued to grow with 23 yachts at the 2008 Rolex Swan 45 World Championship; in between were World Championships in Capri, Key West, Cowes, and Porto Ercole.

The class is mostly concentrated in the Mediterranean, but now many yachts are migrating up north again and the strategy of the class for the future is being considered. The idea being put forward is to develop two class managements: one for north of Europe and one in the Med, totally coordinated, with one World Championship every two years, and one class event every year in each region.

The yacht is very successful in IRC, and has a very competitive rating – and Nautor has now developed a one-design IRC certificate. Swan 45s have raced competitively and successfully in many of the top ocean races in the world including Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (DSK Comifin, division winner 2006), and the Newport Bermuda Race (Alliance, class winner 2004).

TALJ, Swan 45. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

The Swan 45 fleet has a diverse group of owners. The Belgian boat, Samantaga-Duvel, has been co-owned since 2005 by Philippe Moorgat and Patrick Van Henr, friends from Brussels. Moorgat, Vice Chairman of the Belgian brewer, Duvel-Moorgat, said, “Since the beginning, two owners, this is our philosophy, we like to sail together and that’s the best way for us to do it well and have fun during racing. Our way is quite different than other boats; we are a team with only Belgian people on board, almost all are not professionals. The idea is to sail well and to have fun with the whole team together, and it works better and better, year after year. We share helming day after day, so each of us can have the same fun. Before we did it one event to one eve nt, but the one who is waiting is a little bit disappointed.”

Co-owner Patrick Van Henr said, “I personally love competition, when I was young I was a motorcycle racer and then a car racer. It’s something else, but it’s still competition and this type of level is the perfect level and we really enjoy it.”

Racing continues for all classes tomorrow through Sunday. For the Swan 45s racing concludes tomorrow with a prize-giving for the Rolex Swan 45 World Championship after racing at the Rolex Crew Party. The prize-giving for the Rolex Swan Cup is Sunday 19 September, after racing on the Piazza Azzurra.

Following racing there will be post-race refreshments on the Piazza Azzurra, as well as glamorous social events throughout the week, including the Owners' Dinner hosted by Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda tonight and Rolex Crew Party tomorrow, Saturday 18 September.

LUNA, Swan 45. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.


Place, Boat, Nation, Skipper, Race 1-2-3, Total Points

Maxi - Class A
1) DSK Pioneer Investment (ITA), Danilo Salsi, 3-1-5, 9.0 points
2) EMMA (GER), Johann Killinger, 1-4-7, 12.0
3) MYSTERY, Amadoo Int.Corporation, 4-2-6, 12.0

Grand Prix - Class B
1) SILVEREN SWAEN (NED), P.H.J. Bakker, 2-1-1, 4.0 points
2) CLEM (ESP), Amanda Hartley, 1-3-4, 8.0
3) CRILIA (GER), Heinz-Gerd Stein, 3-2-5, 10.0

Classics - Class C
1) MONSOON JAGUAR (GBR), Peter Simon, 1-1-3, 5.0 points
2) SHIRLAF (ITA), Giuseppe Puttini, 2-2-1, 5.0
3) DREAM (ITA), Francesco Persio, 3-3-7, 13.

Place, Boat, Skipper, Races 1-2-3-4-5-6-7, Total Points

Rolex Swan 45 World Championship (Class D)
1) EARLYBIRD (GER), Hendrik Brandis, 1-2-5-5-1-4.5-6, 24.5 points
2) CHARISMA (NED), Nico Poons, 3-4-1-1-5-9-3, 26.0
3) SAMANTAGA-DUVEL (BEL), Phillipe Moorgat/Patrick Van Henr, 6-3-3-3-4-3-5, 27.0

Place, Boat, Skipper, Races 1-2-3-4-5, Total Points

Swan 42 - Class E
1) KORA 4 (ITA), Enrico Scerni, 1-1-1-2-3, 8.0 points
2) CUOR DI LEONE (ITA), Leonardo Ferragamo, 4-4-2-1-1.5, 12.5
3) NATALIA (ROM), Kdf Energy Romania, 2-2-3-3-6, 16.0

Rolex Swan Cup

Delta Lloyd Regatta 2011 to be sailed over 6 days

In order to standardize all the ISAF World Cup events, the organizing committee of the Delta Lloyd Regatta decided to stage their yearly event for all Olympic Sail classes in Medemblik over 6 days. The event will also be open for the 2.4 mR class

by Arjun Rahusen

The Delta Lloyd Regatta, one of the world's leading events in Olympic sailing, has always been staged over 5 days. Due to the request of the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the 2011 edition of the Delta Lloyd Regatta will start on Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

The ISAF wants to standardize all the World Cups Events as much as possible and the same number of competing days is one of the topics. The advantage of sailing on the Ijsselmeer is the almost guaranteed presence of wind. Over the last 26 years we have only had 4 non-sailing days due to lack of wind or storms. 'For us it is not really necessary to add an extra day, but we feel the need to standardize with all World Cup events. On the other hand, we do see a problem for all our 300 volunteers, as they have to take an extra day off, but they will appreciate the decrease in number of races per day", says Arjen Rahusen, chair of the Organizing Committee. Other topics are standardizing the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions and Race Management.

One of the other decisions that has been made is to open the 2.4 mR classes for all sailors. Until now, the 2.4mR was only open for disabled competitors. IFDS World Champion 2.4 mR Thierry Schmitter from the Netherlands is extremely happy: 'This is an important step for the integration of Olympic and Paralympic sailing'.

The 2011 Delta Lloyd Regatta will be held from 24 - 29 May in Medemblik, Netherlands.

Delta Lloyd Regatta

Cap Istanbul: The winner of Hyères TPM Trophy is Nicolas Lunven (Generali)

Nicholas Lunven (Generali): winner. Image copyright Jacques Vapillon/

by Marie Le Berrigaud-Perochon

Low wind, grey sky, wet surroundings... At the prologue race held in Hyéres on friday, the light weather conditions were effective. This didn't stop Nicolas Lunven (Generali) from maintaining his spot in the front lines and finally finishing first, despite Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert) and Eric Drouglazet's (Luisina) pressing attacks. The famous open sea racer, Kito de Pavant was present. He wished luck to the fleet from the deck of his IMOCA 60. The sailors seemed to be racing to flaunt their talent in front of Pavant.

A cloudy and grey weather welcomed the WOW Cap Istanbul fleet, about to cover a course of 10 nautical miles around the peninsula of Giens.

The racers were so excited that the race committee had to announce several call backs before they were finally lined up for a clear start.

Eric Péron, Nicolas Lunven and Gildas Morvan had a strong start closely followed by Eric Drouglazet. The threesome eluded the rest of the fleet, managing to stay inside of a wind flux they discovered on the port side of the course.

Choosing to stay on the port side until they reached the windward mark, the first racers to make the turn were Gildas Morvan and Nicolas Lunven. Eric Drouglazet and François Gabart followed behind.

Hyères TPM Trophy (prologue). Image copyright Jacques Vapillon/

The leader opens the gap...

Although the kindling weather favoured the rest of the fleet, the leading group kept their distance well. Nicolas Lunven took better advantage of the reviving weather to open a growing gap between him and his rivals.

The first to cross the finish line was Nicolas Lunven. Gildas Morvan, Eric Drouglazet and François Gabart followed him. Eric Péron, Ronan Treussart and Erwan Tabarly came right after.

For the remaining fleet, the right of way rules at the mark, together with the wind that at times was refusing, at others pressing, were factors that affected the rest of the rankings.

Despite a weak start and turning last at the windward mark, Sébastien Josse (Vendée) made use of his vast experience to outpace half of the fleet. In the same way, at his first encounter with the masters of Figaro II, Turkish sailor Selim Kakış seemed pleased to leave behind over 10 boats.

To be fair, this race is far from providing a good picture for the upcoming race. It is easy to assume the racers paid more attention to their equipment and trims of their sails than use up their energy at the prologue.

Hyères TPM Trophy (prologue). Image copyright Jacques Vapillon/

The winners comment on the race...

Nicolas Lunven (Generali)
(Winner of Hyères - Toulon Provence Méditerranée Trophy)
"Today it didn't matter if I came last. I had opportunity to use my spinnaker for longer. But still, it feels good to win. I've been on the sea everyday since I came to Hyéres and I trained very well. Today I got the results of my hard work. After losing at the solo Figaro race, this trophy restored my confidence.”

Gildas Morvan (Cercle Vert)
(Runner up of Hyères - Toulon Provence Méditerranée Trophy)
"I can't say we raced under bad conditions. It was typical Brittany weather with 8-10 knots of wind. Apart from a little difficulty while sailing with my spinnaker, everything went well. Nicolas Lunven won the race. I have nothing to say to that. They say it's bad luck to win a prologue race. So, I try to see the positive side to this situation.”

Eric Drouglazet
(Third place for Hyères - Toulon Provence Méditerranée Trophy)
"This was a great opportunity to try out my new spinnakers. I don't believe the speed tests conducted under such volatile conditions are very reliable. There is only a short list of things to do now. Mainly technical details and regular inspection.”

Cap Istanbul

Friday 17 September 2010

America's Cup: Iain Murray (AUS) Appointed CEO and Race Director, America's Cup Race Management

Andy Hindley (GBR) is Chief Operating Officer, ACRM

Iain Murray. Image copyright Chuck Bradley.

by Tim Jeffery

America’s Cup experience and business acumen are the primary attributes of the new 34th America’s Cup Regatta Director, Iain Murray.

As Regatta Director, Murray (52, Sydney, Australia) heads up the new America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), holding the dual role of CEO of the independent organization.

This is the first time in the event’s 159-year history that the defender has divested management of the competition into the hands of a neutral body, a central part of its vision to move the America’s Cup into the future.

ACRM will have responsibility over a wide range of topics including budget, management of the new AC72 and AC45 classes, the Youth America’s Cup (slated for 2012), the International Jury, race committee, umpires and measurement committee.

ACRM also will oversee the operation of a meteorological and oceanographic data service, the establishment and management of the America’s Cup Village, and infrastructure at all America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) venues.

With the 34th Match slated for 2013, one of ACRM’s immediate priorities is getting the ACWS up and running. Three regattas are planned for next year beginning in June or July, and ACRM is responsible for selecting the venues and managing the logistics from event to event.

Murray, a figurehead in America’s Cup syndicates from 1983 to 1995, has held a vision of an independent management body for the past 20 years.

The sailor and designer in Murray make him excited about the new high-performance AC72 and AC45 catamarans introduced for the competition.

“I think the technology we saw in the 33rd America’s Cup makes it hard to go backwards. The trick we’ll have is to marry the commercial demands of modern sailing with the principles of the America’s Cup,” Murray said.

“It’s hard not to be impressed by the commitment BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts and Larry Ellison have made to fix this thing,” said Murray. “This is very dear to my heart. I’d move mountains to be involved.”

Joining Murray in ACRM as the Chief Operating Officer is Andy Hindley, former Race Manager of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Hindley (43, Hampshire, UK) managed the 2001-02 and 05-06 editions of the Volvo Ocean Race before becoming in 2008 the Race and Technical Director of Powerboat P1 Management, the offshore monohull powerboat championship, for two years.

Hindley’s personal racing background is based largely in round-the-world races. Hindley, who holds a degree in physics, has a strong background in logistics from his days with the Volvo Ocean Race and P1 Powerboats.

Both events are travelling road shows that place heavy emphasis on public race villages in multiple venues.

“Getting the ACRM team arranged as quickly as possible is going to be one of the biggest goals,” Hindley said. “Logistics, catering, entertainment, public events and sport are all under the remit of ACRM, and we can’t let any of them slip. They’re all inter-linked and what will create the unique experience of coming to a World Series regatta.”

Biography of Iain Murray

Iain Murray. Image copyright Chuck Bradley.

Iain Murray AM
Regatta Director and CEO,
America’s Cup Race Management

Hometown: Sydney, Australia
Date of birth: April 14, 1958
Wife: Alex
Children: Eliza, Lucinda, Imogen

Iain Murray began sailing on Middle Harbor, Sydney, as a 9-year-old in the Flying Ant class.

His greatest success came in Sydney’s iconic 18ft skiff class, in which he designed, built and sailed Color 7 to win a record six consecutive championships from 1977 to 1982. The association between Murray and Australia’s Channel 7 carries on today, 33 years later.

The success in the 18’ skiffs led Syd Fischer, Australia’s most regular and least successful challenger for the America’s Cup to select him as helmsman of his 1983 challenger Advance.

Murray joined with Kevin Parry’s Kookaburra syndicate for Australia’s defense of the Cup in 1987. Kookaburra earned the right to defend the Cup after a cantankerous defense series, but was vanquished in the 26th Cup Match by Dennis Conner’s Stars & Stripes.

That series off Perth, Western Australia, is widely regarded as the one of the best
America’s Cup regattas due to its openness and fantastic sailing conditions.

Murray also led the Spirit of Australia Challenge for the 1992 Challenger Series, which failed to advance out of round robin racing.

Murray has enjoyed a tremendous career as an offshore sailor, winning many of the world’s classic events. He’s logged 17 Sydney-Hobart Races, including two overall victories and four line honors wins. He also was on the winning Australian team at the last Champagne Mumm Admiral’s Cup, and took down Paul Cayard to win the 1988 match racing world championship.

As a one-design sailor, Murray ranks his Etchells World Championship in 1984 as one of his most satisfying victories. He also placed third at the 2005 Etchells Worlds.

In 2008 Murray competed in the Olympic Regatta at the age of 50 when he represented Australia in the Star Class.

Besides an illustrious racing career, Murray has achieved great success as a real estate developer and businessman. His company, Murlan, is a multi-disciplined property development firm that has undertaken a number of unique and diverse projects over the years.

In recognition for his achievements and meritorious service to sport and community, Murray was presented in 1992 the Order of Australia, AM, an order of chivalry established by Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia, in 1975.

Murray has contributed design input for the public sector on projects such as child care, retirement and marine rescue centers. His real estate development company manages several enterprises in Sydney.

He also consulted with noted Australian architect Wayne Barda on the design of the spectacular Hamilton Island Yacht Club.

Beyond the sailing accolades and business success, Murray says his greatest achievement is his close-knit family: “Watching my children laugh gives me the greatest pleasure in life."

Biography of Andy Hindley

Andy Hindley. Image copyright Javier Laguna Salinas /

Andy Hindley
Chief Operating Officer,
America’s Cup Race Management

Hometown: Curdridge, Hampshire, UK
Date of birth: July 15, 1967
Wife: Julie

Andy Hindley began sailing at the age of 14 and advanced to the national level. In his late teens he was sailing quarter- and half-tonners during the days of IOR racing.

He has twice sailed around the world.

In the 1992-93 British Steel Challenge he crewed aboard Hofbräu Lager for skipper Pete Goss, placing third overall in the “wrong way” race around the world.

Four years later he was back for the BT Challenge, this time as skipper of Save the Children. Once again, he placed third overall.

Following that success he re-joined with Goss as navigator for the ill-fated Team Philips, the radical twin-mast catamaran that broke apart in the Atlantic Ocean in December 2000.

Hindley has broad sailing experience. He co-skippered with Nigel Musto an Open 60 in the Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also completed the Round Europe Race aboard a 60-foot trimaran.

His ties to the America’s Cup stretch to the Fastnet Race, where he crewed with Australian John Bertrand aboard an Open 50. Bertrand skippered Australia II to an historic triumph in the 1983 America’s Cup.

In 2001 Hindley joined Volvo Event Management UK as Race Director for the globe-girdling race, a position he held until 2008 that included the 2001-02 and 05-06 races.

From 2008 to 2010 Hindley was the Projects and Operations Director for Powerboat P1 Management, managing the offshore monohull powerboat world championship.

Hindley holds a degree in physics and electronics from the University of Manchester – Institute of Science and Technology. His focus in astro and nuclear physics give him a unique take on the 34th America’s Cup.

“The next cup promises to be the flagship of sport,” Hindley said. “The vision, commitment and promises that are being made and delivered are fantastic.”

America's Cup

America's Cup: AC72 Class Draft Rule Published

Fast, spectacular, wingsail catamaran unveiled for the 34th America's Cup

The AC72. Image copyright America's Cup.

by Pete Melvin

The draft rule for the spectacular AC72 Class went public today, published on

Encapsulating the 34th America’s Cup – the best sailors in the world on the fastest boats – the AC72 will be a physically demanding boat capable of top speeds twice the windspeed.

The new AC72 class is the first-ever wingsail catamaran class for the America’s Cup and the fastest-ever class in the iconic 159-year-old competition. It replaces the ACC monohull class, which was created in 1988 and first raced in 1992 Cup.

The new boats will make their racing debut in the 2012 season for the America’s Cup World Series ahead of the 34th Match in 2013.

A catamaran was selected as one element to transform and enliven the America’s Cup for the future. A multihull is the ideal dynamic class, capable of being raced hard in winds from 5 to 30 knots to minimize racing delays due to winds too light or too strong.

AC72 design parameters:

LOA 22.0 meters (72 feet)
Beam 14.0 meters (46 feet)
Displacement 5,700 kilograms (12,500 pounds)
All-up weight 7,000 kilograms (15,500 pounds)
Wingsail area 260 square meters (2,800 square feet)
Wingsail height 40 meters (130 feet)
Wingsail chord 8.5 meters (28 feet)
Sail trimming Manual grinders
Configuration Twin-hulled catamaran
Crew 11
Sail trimming No mechanically powered systems
Sail area reduction Removable top sections/leech elements
Appendages Maximum of 2 rudders, 2 daggerboards
Construction Minimum 600 grams/square-meter outer-skin;
High-modulus carbon-fiber permitted in wingsail spar

The AC72 Class Rule was drafted by a distinguished group of consultants, chaired by Pete Melvin, on behalf of US SAILING.

Melvin, formerly a designer of aircraft for the McDonnell Douglas Corp. is a champion multihull sailor, having twice won the A Class Catamaran World Championship. Morrelli & Melvin Design & Engineering, Inc., also designed the record-setting maxi catamaran PlayStation.

Organizers of the 34th America’s Cup believed it was essential that the first new class of boat to be introduced since 1992 should be developed independent of any of the teams competing. A Concept Brief was published in June setting out the performance and operational requirements.

The AC72 is a “box rule.” This narrows down the design parameters so that while teams have freedom to create their own boats, they will be similar in dimensions in order to ensure close racing.

Hulls and beams will have to be assembled in two days and disassembled in one to allow America’s Cup teams to move efficiently between venues. Replaceable “crumple zone” bow and stern cones will allow for quick repair in the in the cut-and-thrust of racing.

To fast-track all teams to a common level of technology, a new, smaller class of identical wingsail catamaran, the AC45, will be used for the 2011 ACWS season while teams create their new high-performance catamaran.

To ensure the fairest possible competition for the 34th America’s Cup, the draft of the AC72 rule is being made available to teams for feedback before it is finalized. A similar process was used to create the Protocol for the 34th America’s Cup.

Not only does this give all teams a voice in the rule creation process, but they will have all competition rules finalized before entering the competition – another first in the America’s Cup.

Once finalized, the AC72 Class Rule will be administered by the newly created independent organization, America’s Cup Race Management.

America's Cup

Groupama Race: Team New Zealand - Ramada Plaza

The New Zealand entry. Image copyright Groupama Race/CNC.

by Florence Dhie (in translation by SailRaceWin)

The boat will be skippered by Jim Maloney. This kiwi sailor is known around the world. An excellent helmsman, he was, on eight occasions, USA champion in different classes (Laser, El Toro, International 14, 505, M24, Olson 25, Express 27 and Hawkfarm).

He has taken part in many ocean races and won two Transpac races between Los Angeles and Hononlulu. His three children, who he coaches, are sailors at the highest level. Alexandra, the youngest, is 420 World Champion. Andy, Laser Radial Youth World champion (2008), is campaigning for the London Olympics, and his eldest, Jimmy, is one of the best kiwi match racers.

At his side, Josh Tucker has won national titles in the Y88, Ross 930 and in Magic 25. He has more than 100 000 miles in ocean races. He has taken part in three Sydney Hobarts, two Auckland Nouméa, two Auckland Fiji, one Rolex Transatlantic between New York and London, one Fastnet, and one Cape Town Rio. He and his crew hold the record for the crossing from Hong-Kong to Hainan in China. He knows all the oceans in the world on this type of boat. He has, notably, also been a watch leader on a 90 foot superyacht for a season in Alaska around the Artic Circle. This man has experienced all types of conditions. He was dismasted on an Open 60 after the passage of Cape Horn.

Two other Kiwis, Richard Watsons and Scott Simpson, with CVs just as long CV are taking part in the adventure at the side of two from New Caledonia. Two years ago, Jim Maloney was also skipper of this boat. He finished fourth in actual time and third on handicap. You can be certain, even if this team just tells us that their objective is « to finish », it remains to be seen in which position, as the Kiwis, and especially this foursome, are good sailors.

In French:

Le bateau sera skippé par Jim Maloney. Cette figure de la voile kiwi est reconnue de par le monde. Excellent barreur, il a été sacré huit fois champions des Etats-Unis sur huit supports différents (Laser, El Toro, International 14, 505, M 24, Olson 25, Express 27, Hawkfarm).

Il a participé à de nombreuses courses océaniques et a remporté deux Transpacific Yacht Race entre Los Angeles et Honolulu. Ses trois enfants, qu’il entraîne, pratiquent la voile de haut niveau. Alexandra, la petite dernière est championne du monde de 420. Andy, champion du monde jeune de laser radial (2008), prépare sur ce support les Jeux Olympiques de Londres, et son aîné Jimmy est un des meilleurs kiwis en match racing.

A ses côtés, Josh Tucker a remporté des titres nationaux en Y88, Ross 930 et en Magic 25. Il compte plus de 100 000 miles en course hauturière. Il a participé à trois Sydney Hobart, deux Auckland Nouméa, deux Auckland Fidji, une Rolex Transatlantique entre New-York et Londres, une Fastnet, une Cape Town Rio. Il détient avec son équipage le record de traversée entre Hong-Kong et Hainan en Chine. Il connaît tous les océans du globe sur tous les types de bateaux. Il a notamment été chef de quart sur un super yacht de 90 pieds pour une saison en Alaska autour du cercle arctique. Cet homme expérimenté saura faire face à tous types d’avaries. Il a connu un démâtage sur un Open 60 après le passage du Cap Horn.

Deux autres Kiwis, Richard Watsons et Scott Simpson, avec des CV tout aussi élogieux s’engagent dans l’aventure aux côtés de deux Calédoniens. Il y a deux ans, Jim Maloney skippait déjà ce bateau. Il avait terminé, 4ème en temps réel et 3ème en temps compensé. Soyez en sûr, même cet équipage voudrait nous faire croire que leur objectif est « de finir », ils viennent nous montrer à quel point, les Kiwis, et notamment ces quatre là sont de bons marins.

Fiche technique
•Longueur HT : 11 m
•Largeur : 3,78 m
•Tirant d'eau : 2,10 m
•G.V. : 45 m2
•Spi : 140 m2
•Génois : 26 m2
•Année de construction : 1987
•Chantier : Rogerland
•Type de bateau : Young 11

•Skipper : Jim Maloney
•Tacticienne : Josh Tucker
•Embraqueur : Richard Watsons
•Régleur de Grand voile : Christine Gaillard
•Piano : Goulven Eduffe
•Numéro 1 : Scott Simpson

Groupama New Caledonia Race

Groupama Race: La Réunion Hopes to Win on Handicap

Left to right: Christophe Gallien, Philippe Mazard and Philippe Galais - the team from La Réunion. Image copyright Groupama Race CNC.

by Florence Dhie (in translation by SailRaceWin)

"It will be long, the rounding of New Caledonia takes five times as long as that of La Réunion."

Fourth in the last Tour de France à la Voile, with a stage victory between Dieppe/Pleneuf - Val andre (200 miles), the sailors of the Team La Réunion Pacifique Lagon Voyages are little used to long distance sailing, but perhaps extra-motivated. For Christophe Gallien "the hardest thing will be the watch management, tiredness and sleep."

A light handicap does not preclude them from aiming to win on corrected time. For the skipper, François Martin, "the boat – a Young 11 – and crew are well prepared and hyper. The new wardrobe (the sails!) are very good. The boat is at the top".

"We aim to win"

The objective of this crew of 8 people, of which 5 are Réunionnais, is thus very clear: "One aim for victory on corrected time, it is clear. As for the real time, that would create gossip! But you can be sure that we will give it our all" confides Christophe Gallien.

And this objective is realistic, the owner of the boat, Philippe Mazard, is a noted face in sailing in New Caledonia, who has prepared his boat with his serious intent. His list of awards is already long. In 2009 for example, the boat was Champion of New Caledonia cruisers, 1st in the Nouméa Ile des Pins, 1st Nouméa-Vanuatu, 1st in the annual regatta in actual time, ... And for this race they have been shopping. They have equipped themselves with new sails, not the biggest, or the quickest ones: "They are smaller than our competitors", allowing them to take advantage of a very favourable handicap... On the three other Young 11s engaged in the race, all will have to give time to Team La Réunion Pacifique Lagon Voyages.

Yesterday, a skipper of one of these boats even declared: "You will see, the winner in corrected time will be them".

Corrected time?

The classification in actual time determines which is the quickest boat: the 1st one to have crossed the finishing line. The victory in corrected time indicates the better sailors. The competitors are classified according to a formula: real time x coefficient modifying this (calculated according to the handicap).

This time handicap (x seconds/thousand nautical miles) is affected by the characteristics of every boat (size, year, equipment, sails. ..). The classification on corrected time therefore rewards the crew that, in proportion to their equipment, went the most quickly. [Note from SailRaceWin: It is also determined by the conditions encountered en route, as different yachts are favoured by different, for example, wind angles to produce better/not so good boatspeed.]

In French:

« Ça va être long, le Tour de Nouvelle-Calédonie c'est 5 fois celui de la Réunion ».

Quatrième du dernier Tour de France à la Voile, après une victoire étape entre Dieppe/Pleneuf –Val-André (200 miles), les marins du Team La Réunion Pacifique Lagon Voyages, sont peu habitués aux longues traversées mais pourtant ultra-motivés. Pour Christophe Gallien « le plus dur sera la gestion des quarts, de la fatigue et du sommeil ».

Un léger handicap qui ne les empêche pas de viser la gagne en temps compensé. Pour le skipper, François Martin, « le bateau – un Young 11 – et la carène sont hyper bien préparés. La nouvelle garde robe ( les voiles !) est très bien travaillée. Le bateau est au top ».

« On vise la gagne »

L'objectif de cet équipage de 8 personnes, dont 5 Réunionnais, est ainsi très limpide: « on vise la victoire en compensé, c'est clair. Quant au temps réel, cela ferait jaser. Mais soyez-en sûr on va tout donner » confie Christophe Gallien.

Et cet objectif est réaliste, le propriétaire du bateau, Philippe Mazard, est une figure de la voile en Nouvelle-Calédonie, qui a préparé son bateau avec son sérieux habituel. Son palmarès est d'ailleurs élogieux. En 2009 par exemple, il est Champion de Nouvelle-Calédonie croiseurs, 1er de la Nouméa Ile des Pins, 1er de la Nouméa-Vanuatu, 1er au challenge annuel en temps réel,... Et pour cette course il a fait des achats. Il s'est équipé de nouvelles voiles, pas les plus grandes, ni les plus rapides : « Elles sont plus petites que nos concurrents », lui permettant de profiter d'un handicap très favorable... Sur les trois autres Young 11 engagés en course, tous devront du temps à Team La Réunion Pacifique Lagon Voyages.

Hier, un skipper d'un de ces bateaux déclarait même: « tu vas voir, le vainqueur en temps compensé, ce sera eux » .

Temps compensé ?

Le classement en temps réel sacre la bateau le plus rapide : le 1er a avoir passé la ligne d'arrivée. La victoire en temps compensé sacre les meilleurs marins. Les concurrents sont classés en fonction de la formule : temps réel x coefficient modificateur (calculé en fonction du handicap).

Cet handicap de temps ( x secondes/milles marins) est affecté a chaque bateau en fonction de ses caractéristiques ( taille, année, équipement, voiles...). Le classement en temps compensé récompense donc l'équipage qui proportionnellement à son équipement, est allé le plus vite.

Groupama New Caledonia Race

France’s Groupe Bel will participate in the Barcelona World Race with Kito de Pavant and Sébastien Audigane

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

by Groupe Bel media

Never satisfied, always ready to take on new challenges with enthusiasm and ambition, Groupe Bel and his skipper Kito de Pavant will be racing in a new and particularly audacious adventure. At the end of the Route du Rhum next November, the red monohull bearing the image of La vache qui rit® (The Laughing Cow) will line up on 31 December for the Barcelona World Race, to attack a two-handed non-stop round the world race leaving from the Catalan capital. To keep him company during these three months of racing, the Mediterranean sailor has chosen the man from Brest, Sébastien Audigane, an experienced and talented sailor with whom he has already shared many experience at sea. Three oceans, two sailors and a very famous cow in this round the world - quite a program!

For three years now, between races and her sailing expeditions, the 60 foot Groupe Bel already has the equivalent of two round-the-worlds to her name. Nonetheless, neither the yacht nor the skipper have raced between the three capes and toyed with the South Seas. Although back in February, Bel Group and Kito announced they would take part in the Vendée Globe 2012-2013, their desire to compete in a big race round the world this winter is ever present.

Very good reasons

Since the start of their association in 2005, on board the Figaro and then the IMOCA 60 footer, Kito and Bel Group have set their hearts on using their sailing project as a means of communicating with workers of the Group the world over. Visits to subsidiaries, the “Thumbs up to Kito” operation and more recently, the “Sharing Smiles Regatta”, which united 200 workers from 31 countries, have all been opportunities to measure Bel’s adherence and team cohesion in relation to this adventure .

Bel is an international group, whose products are distributed in 120 countries and 80% of its turnover is made outside France. To compete in a really international event, such as the Barcelona World Race, is beneficial both in terms of external development and internal mobilization. “In the six years alongside Kito, we have shared both racing and human emotions, bringing us together in France, as well as in the 31 countries in which we are established”, explains Guillaume Jouët, communications manager of Bel Group. “We wish to offer our teams, as well as our customers and partners, a really exciting international adventure such as the Barcelona World Race. This is a coherent step up the ladder matching our Group, our sailing sponsoring program and our skipper, especially, since with Sébastien, the combination of skills and affinities is ideal."

With two years to the next Vendée Globe, it is go od training to sail a two-handed round the world race, and the Bel Group program is now mature for this kind of challenge. “I am extremely happy to participate in the great Barcelona World Race and I am incredibly lucky to have such an enthusiastic partner as Bel”, explains Kito. “Our 60 footer was designed for round-the-world racing. We prepared her for the Vendée Globe which came to an abrupt end (dismasting). Since then, we have optimized the yacht even further. Our team is now in its stride and very united. We feel well armed and in phase with such a challenge.”

Kito and Seb: mutual respect and friendship

Kito de Pavant and Sébastien Audigane. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/Groupe Bel.

To share the same yacht for 90 days in the most hostile seas in the world and under pressure from other contenders is already a test in itself. For a good duo, you need good casting and Sébastien Audigane is an obvious choice for Kito: "We sailed against each other in the Figaro, then together with Jean Le Cam, and then Seb joined us for the Istanbul Europa Race 2009 on board the Groupe Bel 60 footer. This is where the idea of racing the BWR together came to fruition. We then took part in the Transat Ag2r in the spring (in the Figaro class). We recognize human qualities and skills in each other, because you need to trust your partner completely. Seb is highly experienced and very good at sea. He is real sailor, in harmony with the elements, and he lives his yachting life on the ocean. He is easy to get on with, always calm no matter what the conditions and makes good decisions. Such people are few and far between.”

Sébastien is one of the most wanted crewmen in the world. An expert on large oceanic multihulls, he has already sailed in the Great South and is happy to return there with Kito on board Groupe Bel. “The Barcelona World Race is a wonderful race which enables top international sailors to race against each other in this round-the-world with a limited crew”, he explains. “For me, it is important from a competitive point of view, since I am thinking of racing in the next Vendée Globe. With Bel, Kito has built up a solid program, and to be able to share this experience with him is a real pleasure. We are not very talkative together; quick looks are how we work. We like to experience the same adventures at sea and share good times even when the conditions are difficult. A round-the-world is an adventure interspersed with pitfalls, which you have to work hard for. You need to set off with a friend, which is the case for Kito and me .”

Close timing

To follow the Route du Rhum with the Barcelona World Race, with so little time in between is already a major challenge. “We have four months to prepare this round-the-worl d with two transatlantic races in between”, continues the skipper. “I must first concentrate 100% on the Route du Rhum, an important objective in our program, and I’m not taking part as an extra! From Guadeloupe, Sébastien will deliver Groupe Bel to Port Camargue with a crew, to get the feel of her while I’m resting. We will also need to adapt the boat to be able to live on board together and configure her for a round-the-world before heading to Barcelona in mid-December. There is a lot to do, but I have a wonderful boat, and great sponsor and I’m very lucky to be able to take full advantage of this!”

The Barcelona World Race in brief

Two-handed non-stop round the world race on board IMOCA 60 foot monohulls

Start on 31 December from Barcelona at 12:00

Second race in the history of this event organized by the FNOB (Fundacio per la Na vegació Oceànica de Barcelona)

Course: 25,000 miles (46,300 kilometers), passing between the two islands of New Zealand.

Among the duos registered to date:
A.Pella/P.Ribes (Estrella Damm),
J.Merediz/F.Palacio (Central Lechera Central),
M.Desjoyeaux/Fr.Gabart (Foncia),
J.P.Dick/L.Peyron (Virbac- Paprec 3),
D.Wavre/M.Paret (Mirabeau),
I.Martinez/X.Fernandez (Telefonia),
A.Thomson/A.Meicklejohn (Hugo Boss), etc...

Groupe Bel
Barcelona World Race

Laser Masters Worlds: Back to Racing on Day Four

Bougiouris. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

by Andi Robertson

There was a whole different set of skills tested on the second day of racing at the Laser Masters World Championships off Hayling Island today.

Monday’s first two races were something of a baptism of fire, a rude awakening to Hayling Bay’s more gnarly waves and bigger winds.

After a two day hiatus, waiting for muscular westerlies to abate, for the 350 sailors from 30 different countries racing resumed with a pair of testing heats contested in shifty, puffy conditions varying from 5 knots to 15 knots with some leftover sloppy seas to contend with.

It was one of those never-say-die days, which occasionally made kings (and queens) of opportunists, but the shifty breezes also allowed those who made early mistakes to get right back into contention.

That was the pattern for Holland’s Arnoud Hummel.

Scoring a first and second today in the regatta’s biggest class, the 84 boat Standard Masters, the former Dutch Laser National champion leads, counting a perfect trio of first places – after discard.

But he came ashore to confess that he had made two bad starts today.

Both times he stayed cool and calm and worked his way through the fleet, taking each gain on the wind shifts and extra pressure.

His close rivals might be forgiven for wondering what the Flying Dutchman’s results would have been had he twice started smartly off the line.

He was well lined up for an early port tack gain at the second start but confirmed later that he simply fluffed his tack and could not quite execute as he had wanted. A penalty 720 turn was then required when he infringed a starboard tack rival and he was forced to mount another comeback.

But Hummel, who made a Finn Olympic campaign 22 years ago - long before the Laser became an Olympic class - still holds the edge over the American sailor he lost out in last year’s title fight to, current Laser Standard Master age group World Champion Scott Ferguson (USA).

Rhode Islander Ferguson was pleased to reaped a little good fortune to win the second race. But, he said “I’ll take it, it all helps.”

Making steady progress up to fifth place overall in this Standard fleet is double Laser world champion and Olympic medallist John Bertrand (USA). He lead the first race along with the Dominican Republic’s Ari Barshi after reading the first shift and extra pressure, finishing second behind Barshi.

Bertrand added a useful fifth in the second race.

Defending Apprentice Masters Standard champion Adonis Bougiouris (GRE) was pleased enough to emerge from his ongoing duel with Australia’s Brett Beyer with a lead of one single point. The pair lost boats on the final beat as they covered each other. Beyer, runner up last year, stepped up his challenge by winning the second race, the first time he has beaten his Greek rival this regatta.

And in the shifty, difficult conditions Auckland’s Scott Leith (NZL) scored a second and a first to ensure that his lead in the Apprentice Masters’ Radial class stands at three points, while Britain’s Steve Cockerill could not match his opening day gambit of two wins in the stronger breeze, but his two third places means he leads the Radial Masters by four points.

Thirty three years after she won the IYRU women’s worlds title here, Brisbane anaesthetist Lyndall Patterson held on to her overall lead in the Grand Masters today but only on countback.

Her 11th and seventh ties her on points with Bruce Martinson (USA).

Ferguson. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Laser Masters World Championships
Hayling Island, England
Standings after four races, inc 1 discard

Radial Rig

Apprentice Masters (35-44yrs):

1 Scott Leith (NZL) 4pts,
2 Jean-Christophe Leydet (FRA) 7pts,
3 Matthias Bruehl (GER) 8pts

Masters (45-54yrs):
1 Steve Cockerill (GBR) 5pts,
2 Jao Ramos (BRA) 9pts,
3 Carlos Eduardo Wanderley (BRA) 9pts

Grand Master (55-64yrs):
1 Lyndall Patterson (AUS) 7pts,
2 Bruce Martinson (USA) 7pts,
3 Kevin Pearson (GBR) 11pts

Great Grand Masters (over 65):
1 Keith Wilkins (GBR) 5pts,
2 Peter Seidenburg (USA) 9pts,
3 Kerry Waraker (AUS) 10pts

Standard Rig

Apprentice Masters:

1 Adonis Bourgiouris (GRE) 4pts,
2 Brett Beyer (AUS) 5pts,
3 Jyrki Taiminen (FIN) 9pts

1 Arnoud Hummel (NED) 3pts,
2 Scott Ferguson (USA) 5pts,
3 Andy Roy (CAN) 8pts

Grand Master:
1 Peter Vessella (USA) 3pts,
2 Wolfgang Gerz (GER) 6pts,
3 Peter Sundelin (SWE) 7pts

Scott Leith (NZL), from Auckland, 2,1 today leads Radials Apprentice Masters by three points:
“It was really patchy with big shifts, but the breeze, with a lumpy sea, died down to four or five knots and so you would just sort of crash and stop.
"I was going low and fast and most of the guys were going higher. And then downwind I was going fast. The French guy would get me uphill and then I would get him downhill. Downhill I was probably the fastest out there, I thought. I think he got two thirds, and so I was happy to get a first in the second one.
“ It was real head out of the boat day, looking for the next shift, sailing a few knocks to get over the bigger shifts and pressure. I pretty much ignored the tide all day to get to the pressure, just looking for pressure uphill and downhill. I am rapt really and my wife and kids are just arriving too!”

Jean-Christophe Leydet (FRA) from Marseille, second overall in Radials Apprentice Masters:
“ I made third and third but twice I was in the lead on the upwinds, but got passed on the downwinds. I chose badly. I made sixth overall two years ago.”

Adonis Bougiouris (GRE), leader of Standards Apprentice Masters:
“In the first race I passed the top mark in 14th and then there was a big left shift from the right, and a lot of guys passed from the right. I had a big fight again with the Australian and we were covering, and so in the first race we finished four and five. In the second race I was flagged and had to do my turns and finished second.
“So I will still be leading with the Australian second and the fight will go on.”
“It was very shifty. The clouds were passing and pulling the wind around and so the wind was not predictable. You had to have a lucky coin with you to flip and chose the side to go.”

Bertrand. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

John Bertrand (USA), back to back Laser World Champion, 2,5 today to move up to fifth overall in Standard Masters:
“It was pretty good. I had a 2,5 today which is an improvement on the first day. I think I am getting a little better. The first day was just a little shaky. I actually had good speed on the first day and then today I am racing a little more aggressively. First race I thought I was pretty close on the line and was leading at the first mark. So I am just getting back into the aggressive mode.”
“It was shifty, the wind was up and down, between eight and 12 knots, it was a lot easier on the body. I did not mind the two days off at all! And I should have improved my placing a bit. And I am loving it!”

Scott Fergsuon (USA), defending Standard Masters champion, from Rhode Island, 6,1 today:
“ I had a very lucky second race, but I’ll take it. I am not going to complain. I got flagged at the start and could not quite make the pin. I was bouncing around and they flagged me. I did a 720 and then kind of just bee-lined it for the right and figured there was little more pressure over there. But I had no other options. I went for it and that got me back into the top 10 around the weather mark. And then from there I just chipped away. It was kind of a weird race, not a great race at all.
“ First race was sixth. I did not have a great first beat, but I was able to get back to sixth which was good for me, I was pretty happy to have done that. But overall a decent day.”

Ari Barshi (DOM), won first race in Standard Masters, 24th in the second:
“ The first race we had nice wind all over the course. We saw some clouds coming from the left two boats so we had nice pressure and a shift and that more or less let us get away and tack to lay the mark. That one was not as big as the one which made boats lose so many boats in the second race, that was 30 degrees. This one was only five degrees but there was way more pressure, so John Bertrand and I were first and second the whole race. Second race we got a huge shift with a big puff from the right and anyone who went left was history. On top of that I fouled somebody and had to make a 720 turn and so that was a nice big score to discard.”

Hummel. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Arnoud Hummel (NED), 2,1 today, past Dutch Laser nationals winner, twice Laser Europeans runner up leads the 84 boat Standard Masters fleet:
“ I had a good day. But I started badly in both races. There was a lot of windshifts which allowed me to catch up.
"I had one bad start and then decided to just play the shifts and ended up in the middle. Then on that first windward leg I saw some wind coming from the left, went all the way over there, got the shift and could reach to the windward mark, second there and then passed Javier (Criado Munos) on the first downwind. I lost out then to Martin Koning another Dutch guy on the second beat, he went all the way right and I could not defend against everyone. The second race I had a good start, actually, at the pin end. I was pretty sure I could tack and cross everyone. But I tacked very badly and couldn’t cross and then had a port-starboard and had to do a 720 and then ended up at the back of the fleet again.
"I just did the same as the first race, just played the shifts upwind. And at about 70% of the way upwind I saw the guys on the right get a really big puff. I sheeted out, sailed low and fast to the shift and then could reach to the windward mark. It was incredibly shifty, a strange kind of day.
"I picked up Laser sailing again after about 20 years out of the boat, when my kids started sailing. That was about five years ago. My first masters was 2007 in Roses which I won. Then I had an accident with my knee and was in a wheelchair for some time and so I missed the 2008 worlds and it took me a year to recover. So I was back in Halifax last year. I came second there after Scott and we’ll see what happens here.
“I sailed a Laser in the beginning of the 1980’s and was Dutch national champion, twice third at the Europeans. I then went to the Finns because there was a lot of support then for the Olympic class and the Laser was not Olympic. I did the Finn for four or five years but was too light, never getting any heavier than 84 or 85 kilos, which is more of a Laser guy than a Finn. I did the trials for 1988 training with Roy Heiner, and Roy got to go. I have been sailing with Roy in big boats and match racing since then. And I had a career in business and IT then four years ago I stepped out of that and Roy is now my business partner again and we are working on team development within organisations, using regatta sailing as a metaphor, as a means.”

Vessella. Image copyright Paul Wyeth/RYA.

Peter Vessella (USA), 4,1 today, from San Francisco leads Standard Grand Masters overall:
“ I was very happy with a four and a one, considering the shifty conditions. It was pretty shifty on the first beat and then with some light spots. It was mostly right hand shifts and then on the second beat it kind of went left. I actually dropped a bit to tenth, but I went a little left of the group that went too far right and got most of those guys back. On the final little beat I passed two boats. I am not sure how I did that, but it turned out to be a decent race. Second race I was second at the first mark and I passed the Swedish leader on boat speed on the first run, I just had better speed and then I extended on the second beat a little. The second race, once it had settled in, was a good race.
“ I am very happy with my series so far. I think my boatspeed has been good allround, which probably comes from 30 years racing Lasers. I practiced a lot at home in San Francisco, where it is usually windy there. That really helped me the first day when it was really windy and I was really able to get out there and hike hard, to just do my thing from practicing. I have had about 25 days on the water over the last couple of months and that really helps. I am retired so I have plenty of time to practice. I am real near the water and can get out really quickly, but sometimes I go up to the San Francisco Yacht Club and go and practice with some of the other guys who are here. I have been third and fifth but this is my first year in Grand Masters. I think it always helps to be the young guy in the ten year age bracket.”

Laser Masters Worlds

A Year at the Top for BlackMatch's Skipper, Adam Minoprio

Adam Minoprio (NZL). Image copyright Charles Anderson.

by David Swete

With the latest ISAF World Rankings coming out yesterday, BlackMatch Skipper Adam Minoprio was again # 1 , signaling over a year at the top, as the Worlds Highest Ranked Skipper. Following an emphatic victory in BlackMatches latest World Tour Event in Denmark and a 3rd the week before in St Moritz, Adam was able to yet again hold off challenges from the #2 ranked Ben Ainslie and the current World Tour leader Mathieu Richard, who managed to claim the #3 ranking, displacing Danish Open runner up Torvar Mirsky.

Not only was last weeks win in Denmark a timely one for this ranking release, but we have managed to significantly close the gap on the early runaway leader of the World Tour, Mathieu Richard. Now trailing the flying Frenchman by only 17 points, a good result in Bermuda would see us drawing close to even and would mean going into the final deciding event in Malaysia with a very, very good shot at the overall title.

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. The ongoing support of our sponsors is helping make this opportunity possible for the BlackMatch boys and we would also like to thank Emirates Team New Zealand and Steinlager Pure.

BlackMatch Racing is Adam Minoprio, Dan McLean, Tom Powrie, David Swete and Nick Blackman.

BlackMatch Racing

Rolex Swan Cup:La Tour de Maddalena or Swans Go Along

Swan family faced hard conditions in the long race of the day. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

by Jill Campbell

The wind and sea gods conspired in a positive way today to deliver perfect 17-18 knot west-northwesterly conditions for the start of the traditional Islands Long Race at the Rolex Swan Cup off Porto Cervo. All classes in the close to 100-boat fleet of Swans sailed the ‘distance’ race today, including the one-design Swan 45s and ClubSwan 42s.

The big boats in Maxi Class A went off on a 63-nautical mile excursion that only a maxi could love: from the start off Porto Cervo, upwind to round Isle di Monaci to port, a reach down to Secca di Tre Monti, up around the corner of Maddalena, a reach up and around Barrettinelli di Fuori to port, reach back around Spargi to starboard, across to a mark south of Lavezzi to starboard than a long downwind ride out around the ‘back’ of La Maddalena archipelago down to round Mortoriotto, and up to the finish line in the Golfo Pevero.

ALPHA CENTAURI and SCARAMOUCHE. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Grand Prix Class B, Swan 45s and ClubSwan 42s classes were all sent on a shorter 47-nautical mile version of the Maxis route save for the leg up and back to Barrettinelli. The Sparkman & Stephens Class C (Classics) sailed a 36-nautical mile course around Monaci, down and around Secca di Tre Monti, up the channel out and around Barrettinelli, and downwind to the finish in Golfo Pevero. For the Swan 45s and ClubSwan 42s, the Islands Long Race is weighted at 1.5 points.

By 1330, the Maxi frontrunners – White Lie, Fantasticaaaniene, DSK Pioneer Investments – were rounding Barrettinelli for the first time, and the breeze up through the islands had built to 22-25 knots to speed the maxis along, and by 1500 these same boats were around Lavezzi and heading downwind and hoping for a fast ride home.

DSK Pioneer Investment, Danilo Salsi. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

At 1430, the Swan 56 Vanish 2 was leading the Grand Prix Class B; in the Sparkman & Stephens Class C (Classics) it was the Swan65 Monsoon Jaguar ahead; Kora 4 led the ClubSwan 42s.

The Swan 90 White Lie was leading the fleet downwind in the building breeze when they damaged their boom in a gybe. They were able to keep sailing, but at Motoriotto, DSK got by them to take the lead on the water. DSK might have had a chance on handicap as well, until the breeze shifted 180 degrees, allowing the boats behind to compress and make big gains. Still DSK leads Maxi Class A overall and owner Danilo Salsi clearly enjoyed their day, “It was the best race of the week, around the islands up to Lavezzi, down to Mortoriotto, so you can see all the islands of this area. The winds were strong – we had 25 knots in the straits.

“We did not have a good start; we had to go back to the start line, and start again, but now with all the big boats in front of us. At the first mark we were seventh, so we had to pass all the big boats. We only passed White Lie down by Mortoriotto. Down there it was a complete change in the programme because the scirocco from the south came up against the mistral. Because we were the first of the fleet, we stayed a long time changing from the spinnaker to the jib – it was a lot of work for the crew, so we are going to have a good dinner tonight!”

GINGER, Swan 70. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Third over the line, the Swan 80 Astro del Este won the Maxi Class A on corrected time. Tactician Rob McMillan said, “The conditions were fantastic, we saw basically zero up to 30 knots, but for the first three-quarters or seven-eighths of the race it was just beautiful sailing, flat water, big breeze, and it got up to about 30 knots, we were able to carry our spinnaker all the way around. Think we saw 19+ knots of boat speed, so pretty fantastic. Crew work was a difference-maker for us, because down at the bottom mark the wind changed from strong west-northwest to southerly, so spinnaker up, spinnaker down, jib up, jib down… the crew work was really terrific.”

Alvise Zanetti on his Swan 56 Vanish II, was first over the line for the Grand Prix Class B fleet. Zanetti said, “It was a very nice race, it was our conditions, a lot of tacking upwind. We had 27 knots of wind. But, it was a very stressful race, we broke two sheets.”

While first over the line, Zanetti didn’t save their time on handicap: “The boat has a high rating due to the carbon mast and deep keel, so we have some advantages in speed but only upwind, so it’s very hard to make up the rating difference.” Silveren Swaen (NED) leads Grand Prix Class B overall after three races.

MEREL FOUR, Swan 53. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Peter Houting is the skipper/owner of the Swan 65 Peak (NED), one of four of the sturdy 65s in the S&S Class C. Peak bought the boat in 2003 and keeps it in Scarlino, Italy which provides great access for cruising with his family to Sardinia and around the Med, and the occasional races with friends, such as at the Rolex Giraglia Cup and the last Rolex Swan Cup.

Racing the 65-footer with only nine crew was a challenge, Houting said, “We tried to keep things easy and not break anything, we’re only nine on the boat and have to be sure she goes around safely. We had over 30 knots in the channel, where it funnels. We had one reef in the main, the heavy genoa, and mizzen, and it was okay today, we have very good sails. Monsoon widened the gap when they put up a spinnaker and they really did a good job doing that, we weren’t able to (with limited crew). But we had a good time, no damage and we have Dutch beer now!” Monsoon Jaguar leads the S&S Class C overall after three races.

The nine-boat Swan 45 fleet – sailing their World Championship here – were closely grouped up to the top of the course, with Earlybird rounding Lavezzi first.

LUNA, Swan 45, takes off. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

On Jereboam (ITA), Swan 45 Class President Vittorio Codecasa said, “We had a very difficult race, we were fighting all the time with Earlybird, I think it was one of the best races in the last few years I did because the conditions were perfect and we had three boats (Jeroboam, Earlybird, Ulika) racing together with two boat lengths all the time. Unfortunately, the wind shift at Mortoriotto made big changes. We were 1strounding the island, but came 4th at the finish line.

But it was Tea Ekengren’s Swan 45 Blue Nights (FIN) that won for the day. Ekengren said, “We had a great day, very exciting. We had some problems with the speed, but improving along the way and finally we won the race. Half a mile before the end where everyone was stuck, our tactician, Jochen Schuemann put us in a perfect place, right were the wind started to come in. Actually we were expecting this shift as it happened the same yesterday and at the end we caught 6 boats, coming in first.” Hendrik Brandis’ Earlybird(GER) leads the Swan 45 class overall after six races.

In the ClubSwan 42 class, Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuor de Leone (ITA) that finished first in front of Enrico Scerni’s Kora 4 (ITA), but it is Scerni’s boat that leads the class after five races.

Tomorrow is racing for the Swan 45 only, while the rest of the fleet enjoys a layday. Racing for all classes continues Friday through Sunday (Saturday is final day for Swan 45s).

GERONIMO, Swan 651. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Following racing there will be post-race refreshments on the Piazza Azzurra, as well as glamorous social events throughout the week, including the Owners' Dinner hosted by Rolex and the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda on Friday and Rolex Crew Party on Saturday.


Place, Boat, Nation, Skipper, Race 1-2-3, Total Points

Maxi - Class A

1) DSK Pioneer Investment (ITA), Danilo Salsi, 3-1-5, 9.0 points
2) EMMA (GER), Johann Killinger, 1-4-7, 12.0
3) MYSTERY, Amadoo Int.Corporation, 4-2-6, 12.0

Grand Prix - Class B

1) SILVEREN SWAEN (NED), P.H.J. Bakker, 2-1-1, 4.0 points
2) CLEM (ESP), Amanda Hartley, 1-3-4, 8.0
3) CRILIA (GER), Heinz-Gerd Stein, 3-2-5, 10.0

Classics - Class C

1) MONSOON JAGUAR (GBR), Peter Simon, 1-1-3, 5.0 points
2) SHIRLAF (ITA), Giuseppe Puttini, 2-2-1, 5.0
3) DREAM (ITA), Francesco Persio, 3-3-7, 13.0

Place, Boat, Skipper, Races 1-2-3-4-5-6, Total Points

Rolex Swan 45 World Championship (Class D)

1) EARLYBIRD (GER), Hendrik Brandis, 1-2-5-5-1-4.5, 18.5 points
2) SAMANTAGA-DUVEL (BEL), Phillipe Moorgat/Patrick Van Henr, 6-3-3-3-4-3, 22.0
3) CHARISMA (NED), Nico Poons, 3-4-1-1-5-9, 23.0

Place, Boat, Skipper, Races 1-2-3-4-5, Total Points

Swan 42 - Class E

1) KORA 4 (ITA), Enrico Scerni, 1-1-1-2-3, 8.0 points

2) CUOR DI LEONE (ITA), Leonardo Ferragamo, 4-4-2-1-1.5, 12.5
3) NATALIA (ROM), Kdf Energy Romania, 2-2-3-3-6, 16.0

MYSTERY. Image copyright Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.

Rolex Swan Cup