Friday 4 February 2011

Important Time on the Water: Ben Ainslie

Ben Ainslie. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images.

by Ben Ainslie

I hadn’t competed in the Miami OCR regatta for 15 years but it felt very familiar and it was great to get some more good training time on the water in a good climate with fellow Brits Giles Scott and Andrew Mills before racing got underway.

The Regatta began with two days of reasonably strong winds and flat water. Giles started very well with four straight wins, making the best use of his great speed in these conditions. Both Giles and Andrew were really going well on the downwind legs where their fitness really kicked in and helped them to make the most of the ‘free pumping’ rule that was in place. I struggled a little in these conditions but felt that with every race I was developing the technique and getting stronger.

By day four conditions had lightened somewhat and this gave me an opportunity to start pulling back some point’s. My case didn’t end up being helped by the second yellow flag disqualification I picked up in race six for over-pumping and working the boat too hard (The free pumping rule having been removed as the wind strength was now under 10 knots). I hadn’t had a yellow flag for three years so to get two in as many days was disappointing but in some ways perhaps I needed it to find out where the line was in terms of how far you can and can’t push it.

Being penalised in a race, especially when you are disqualified, is always pretty tough psychologically because, as was the case in this instance, I suddenly went from being in a strong position overall to a precarious position. All you can do is get your head right and respond positively in the next race and so it was nice to go out and win the next race, finishing the day on a better note.

The Medal Race was a close affair. I won the race with Andrew Mills third and Giles Scott fifth. Giles fifth was just enough and he did a good job to hang on and win the Regatta overall.

Over the next two months I’m going to be spending a lot of time on and off in Palma before the Princess Sofia Regatta at the end of March just getting that all important time on the water and improving my sailing fitness even more. Much of the time will also be spent testing equipment. It was great to have Juan Garay out in Miami. Juan designs my sails and Miami gave us a great opportunity to discuss some changes we can make over the coming months and hopefully find an extra click of pace.
The smallest gains, are always the hardest part to eke out and it is those final few gains we will be working really hard on finding as we head into the most important regattas this summer.

Next Events

ISAF Sailing World Cup Event: Princess Sofia Palma Regatta 02 - 09 April 2010
ISAF Sailing World Cup Event: Hyeres Olympic sailing week 23 - 29 April 2010

About Ben Ainslie CBE

Ben Ainslie is Britain's most successful Olympic sailor, in total he has won three gold medals and one silver.

Ben won his first Olympic medal at just 19 years old - silver in the Laser class at the 1996 Atlanta Games. Four years later, he achieved every athlete's dream of Olympic gold on Sydney Harbour. For the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Ben switched to the larger Finn dinghy he again won Olympic gold. In August 2008 Ben proved his was still the best by winning his third straight Olympic gold medal.

Ben's sailing achievements are unprecedented not only is he a triple Olympic gold medallist, he is also a nine times World champion, eight times European Champion and three times ISAF world sailor of the year. Ben's next aspiration is to qualify for and bring back a historic fourth gold in the london 2012 olympics.

Ben is also the current 2010 ISAF World Match Racing Champion.

Sail Auckland: Day Two

Tight battles unfold at Sail Auckland

Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie. Image copyright Will Carver/

by Jodie Bakewell-White

Racing continued today at Sail Auckland 2011 as the ISAF Grade 1 Olympic classes regatta now hits the half way mark with some tight battles unfolding ensuring an exciting conclusion to the event over the weekend.

The westerly offshore breeze challenged the fleets once again with patchy pressure at times, but greater push today in the 15-18 knot range for the opening races, dropping slightly through the afternoon.


Tom Ashley continues to reign supreme in the Men’s RS:X fleet, sailing three races today, the Olympic champs leads the fleet but things are tight at the top of the board. Just three points separate first and fourth place after a total of five races.

With a 2-4-2 card today Ashley, on 7 points is just one point ahead of Dorian van Rijsselberge of the Netherlands, with Antonio Cozzolino and Jon-Paul Tobin just behind sharing third place 10 points each.

Kate Ellingham. Image copyright Will Carver/

For the NZL Sailing Team’s Kate Ellingham, Sail Auckland marks a return to competition after an enforced injury break. “I had had a really long break after the Worlds because of my back, and I’ve finally got that under control now, so it hasn’t been bothering me since November which is good, it’s really exciting.”

Ellingham won today’s two opening races in the RS:X 8.5 windsurfing, then placed second and has opened up a small lead on rival Natalia Kosinska two points adrift in second place. Justina Sellers is third.

Describing conditions today Ellingham said; “Offshore 15-18 knots for the first two races, 8-14 for the final race... heaps more that yesterday. I don’t mind, but I do enjoy the wind for sure, especially when it’s this gusty.

Dorian van Rijsselberge. Image copyright Will Carver/

“The first two I won, which was good. The final one I was winning most of the way around and then on the last upwind I tried to plane when the wind died and people came from behind to catch up... so that was disappointing, but I guess that’s what happens when it’s offshore and shifty like this.

“The whole plan of this regatta was to get good starts, so far out of five races I’ve had four good starts and one when I kinda got the pin a bit muddled up with the finish line, so I was over, but I went back and it was fine, I still won.”


Bullot and Murdoch. Image copyright Will Carver/

It’s all on between Andrew Murdoch and Mike Bullot, both NZL Sailing Team sailors, at the top of the 30-strong Laser fleet. With a 3-2-1 score card today Murdoch edges out in front – on 10 points he is just two clear of Bullot who also had solid results today with 2-1-4 in the three races sailed.

Australia’s Tom Burton is in third six points back.

Josh Junior. Image copyright Will Carver/

No change to the standings at the top of the Radial fleet with Michael Cate holding out Olympic campaigner Sara Winther for the lead. Cate is on 13 points, with Winther five back on 17 points.


Nick Rogers and Chris Grube of Great Britain extended their strangle-hold in the 470 division racing home with two wins and a 2nd today. They now have an eight point leading margin.

Paul Snow-Hansen and Jason Saunders improved their standing with a 1-3-2 today and moving up the ladder into 2nd place ahead of Mark Overington and Ben Goodwin.
Jo Aleh and Olivia Powrie are the best of the women placed fifth overall.


Dan Slater. Image copyright Will Carver/

Dan Slater still tops the leader board in the Finn fleet with a 2nd and two wins he is two points ahead of Rafael Trujillo Villar ESP, with Matt Coutts in third.

Laser finish. Image copyright Will Carver/

Results after day two – top three

Laser top three
1st Andrew Murdoch NZL – 10 points
2nd Mike Bullot NZL – 12 points
3rd Tom Burton AUS – 18 points

Laser Radial top three
1st Michael Cate NZL - 13 points
2nd Sara Winther NZL - 17 points
3rd Nicholas Croft NZL – 18 points

470 top three
1st Nick Rogers & Chris Grube - 6 points
2nd Paul Snow-Hansen & Jason Saunders – 14 points
3rd Mark Overington & Ben Goodwin - 15 points

Finn top three
1st Dan Slater NZL - 6 points
2nd Rafael Trujillo Villar ESP - 8 points
3rd Matt Coutts NZL – 13 points

RS:X Men top three
1st Tom Ashley NZL – 7 points
2nd Dorian van Rijsselberge NED – 8 points
3rd = Antonio Cozzolino – 10 points
3rd = Jon-Paul Tobin – 10 points

Kate Ellingham. Image copyright Will Carver/

RS:X Women top three
1st Natalia Kosinska NZL – 5 points
2nd Kate Ellingham NZL – 7 points
3rd Justina Sellers NZL – 11 points

49er top three
1st Marcus Hansen & Aaron Hume-Merry NZL - 9 points
2nd Chris Burgess & Rowan Swanson NZL - 19 points
3rd Kagan Weeks & Jake Weeks NZL – 33 points

RS:X 8.5 top three
1st Sven Pedersen NZL - 4 points
2nd Tony McKenzie NZL - 10 points
3rd Enzo Pla FRA - 10 points

420 top three
1st Alex Munro & Brad Moss NZL - 8 points
2nd Charlotte Corston & Vicki Francis NZL – 10 points
3rd Sam Mackay & Oscar Rovick NZL - 12 points

29er top three
1st Matthew Spary &Tyler Russell NZL – 9 points
2nd Jack Simpson & Logan Beck NZL - 17 points
3rd Stewart Dodson & Harry Hull NZL – 27 points

Sail Auckland

Fleet to have a crack at Loki in Flinders Islet Race

Ragamuffin presently secondly overall in IRC and leading ORCi Pointscore. Image copyright ROLEX/Daniel Forster.

by Di Pearson

Stephen Ainsworth and his Loki crew from Sydney will be looking to keep their excellent record going when they contest this evening’s 92 nautical mile Flinders Islet Race starting off Point Piper at 8.00pm.

Loki, a RP63, has an overwhelming 14 point lead over Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin in this penultimate race of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s (CYCA) Blue Water Point Score (BWPS), counting four wins from the five races held so far, including the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which counts as Loki’s worst result so far – a fifth place.

With a drop still to come in the series (the Rolex Sydney Hobart result is non-discardable), which finishes with the Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race starting at midday on April 8, Loki, representing the CYCA is close to unbeatable on paper.

The fight is well and truly on for second and third, with Ragamuffin (RSYS), Darryl Hodgkinson’s Beneteau First 45 Victoire and Pretty Fly III, the Cookson 50 owned by Colin Woods, all in the mix. Ragamuffin has a seven point lead over Victoire (CYCA), which in turn is eight points ahead of Pretty Fly III (CYCA) going into tonight’s race.

According to the forecast, the 14 yachts entered will get away in north easterly winds of 15-20 knots on an incoming tide.

Throughout the night and early Saturday morning, 15-21 knot winds varying between north and north-east, will swing north-nor-west at around 6.30am on Saturday morning for a short time, which will keep tacticians busy.

Pretty Fly III chasing Ragamuffin for the Cape Byron Pointscore win. Image copyright Andrea Francolini.

If the overwhelming series leader, Stephen Ainsworth (Loki) was looking to add another record to his growing collection, there will be opportunities on the way home to the Rushcutters Bay finish line, but heading to the Islet will be a windward slog with the additional battle of an incoming tide that turns at 10.27pm this evening.

Immediate past CYCA Commodore Matt Allen holds the race record of 8 hours 30 minutes 29 seconds, set in 2006 with his Jones 70, Ichi Ban.

Loki and her crew have proved the ones to beat in the last 18 months. Apart from race records, including the 2009 Audi Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race, which still stands, Ainsworth won the 2010 Audi IRC Australian Championship, taking home a new A5 Cabriolet 2.0 TFSI quattro S tronic valued at over $90,000.
Thrilled with his win, Ainsworth backed up at the shortened Audi Docklands Invitational series in late January to win the use of a new Audi A4 Avant for 12 months. Afterwards, the well-regarded yachtsman said: “We’ve had a great year, but we’re well-prepared always. We’re looking forward to finishing off the Blue Water Pointscore on a high note. It’s been a long time in the making!”

Separate to the BWPS are the Tasman (PHS) and Cape Byron (ORCi) Pointscore series’. Greg Zyner’s Radford 12, Copernicus, leads the Tasman Pointscore from Loki by nine points with Victoire a further six points adrift. Ragamuffin is the leader for the Cape Byron Pointscore over Pretty Fly III by six points, with Copernicus third, a further nine points down the table.

Syd Fischer has the most number of BWPS wins, with nine trophies in his cabinet. The ever-competitive 83 year-old finished a close second to Mr Beaks Ribs (David Beak) in the 2008/2009 edition and third on countback for 2009/2010. He looks likely to end his IRC campaign the same way this season, but would be pleased to win the ORCi trophy, having campaigned heavily for the ORCi rule for some time.
Results will be updated as yachts finish. Finish times will be displayed under the Progressive Results tab at the BWPS link on the CYCA website


Australian team named for Youth Sailing World Championship in Croatia

Angus Galloway and Alex Gough racing in the 420 class in 2010. Image copyright Volvo Ocean Race.

by Craig Heydon

The 2011 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team has been named with 12 sailors set to represent Australia at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Croatia from 7-16 July 2011.

The 2011 team was selected following the recent OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship and class-specific Australian Championships with almost every class not decided until the final qualification race.

The ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship will see sailors under the age of 19 from around the world descend on Zadar in Croatia to compete in eight events with Australia to have a representative in each, it’s the largest youth sailing regatta in the world and in 2010 350 sailors from 59 nations competed.

Australia has a proud history at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship having being the best placed nation four times, in 2000, 2001, 2003 and 2007, and has won the most Gold medals in the history of the event, 25, four ahead of France and Great Britain.

Yachting Australia High Performance Director Peter Conde is confident that the 2011 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australia Youth Sailing Team will continue the tradition of strong results this year.

“Historically, many of those who compete in the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships go on to participate in and succeed at Olympic and World Championship level,” said Mr Conde. “Australians who have done this include Elise Rechichi who won two Youth World Championships before her Olympic Gold medal and Nathan Outteridge who won three Youth World Championship Gold medals before winning two 49er World Championships. I believe that we’ve selected a strong team that can follow in the footsteps of these sailors.”

“All of the sailors have worked incredibly hard to get to where they are and I’m sure they’ll do Australia proud when they hit the water in Croatia this July,” he said.

The 2011 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team will feature sailors from across Australia with four states represented in the eight events with five sailors set to compete at their second ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship.

New South Wales sailor Paul Darmanin will be looking for back-to-back Gold medals in the open multihull class when he lines up in a Sirena SL 16 with crew, South Australian Alecs Vucic.

Darmanin won Gold in 2010 with Chase Lurati and since then has swapped from crew to skipper with instant success, winning every race at the 2011 OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship, just the second regatta that he and Vucic had competed in together.

Darmanin will also be keen to win a third straight multihull Gold medal for his family, after sister Lisa Darmanin and cousin Jason Waterhouse finished first in 2009 in Brazil.

Queenslanders Angus Galloway and Alex Gough return for their second shot at an ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship 420 boys medal after finishing fifth in 2010. The pair was in medal contention till the final race when gear breakage hampered their efforts but will be keen to hit the water against the best 420 youth sailors in the world this July.

Australian Sailing Development Squad member and fellow Queenslander Ashley Stoddart will also be sailing in her second ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship after traveling to Brazil in 2009 to contest the Laser Radial girls event where she finished sixth. Stoddart missed a spot on the team in 2010 but after a year interrupted by school work and injury is well on her way back to the top of her game.

Stoddart is getting plenty of Laser Radial racing in before traveling to Croatia and is currently racing at the second round of the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami.

Eamon Robertshaw is the final sailor returning to the team, with the West Australian winning selection in the boys windsurfer class, to be contested aboard the RS:X. Robertshaw finished 15th in 2010 and since then gained valuable experience racing at the 2010 RS:X World Championship in Denmark.

Robertshaw will be joined in the team by two other West Australian crews in the Laser Radial boys and 420 girls class.

Matthew Wearn will compete in the Laser Radial boys class with his selection in the team coming after an amazing run to the finish line at the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship where he won the last five races to overcome a slow start and book himself a spot on the place to Croatia.

Carrie Smith and Ella Clark will represent Australia in the 420 girls class following two wins in 10 days, firstly at the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Championship on Sydney’s Botany Bay and then at the 420 Australian Championship at Middle Harbour Yacht Club.

New South Wales sailor Annalise Gilbert will be making her ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship debut in the windsurfer girls class after her win at Georges River Sailing Club in the first week of January.

Also joining the team for the first time will be Queensland 29er crew Josh Franklin and Lewis Brake, who won the Australian Youth title by a point in the final race of the regatta in an incredibly close week long battle.

The team will be supported in their preparation and during competition by three experienced coaches, Belinda Stowell, Mike Fletcher and David Mann.

Belinda Stowell will be the team leader and 420 and windsurfing coach, along with assistant multihull coach. Belinda has been the Head Sailing Coach at WAIS since November 2004 and was a coach for the Australian Youth Sailing Team from 2005 to 2007 which included coaching Belinda Kerl and Chelsea Hall to their Gold medal in the 420 class in 2006.

Belinda has experienced international competition first hand having represented Australia on numerous occasions and winning a Gold Medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in the 470 class.

Mike Fletcher is the Laser Radial and Multhull coach and brings a wealth of experience to the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team. Mike is Australia’s most experienced sailing coach and has been involved in Australian Olympic sailing teams since the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.

Mike is the current Australian Sailing Team Laser Radial coach and works closely with OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team member Ashley Stoddart, including most recently at the ISAF Sailing World Cup in Miami. Mike’s Multihull experience speaks for itself, his most recent success guiding Darren Bundock and Glenn Ashby to a Silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

David Mann will act as the 29er and assistant windsurfing coach in Croatia, having a been a coach with the OAMPS Insurance Brokers Australian Youth Sailing Team for the past three years, including coaching Jason Waterhouse and Lisa Darmanin to their Gold medal in Brazil in 2009.

David has also had success at the highest level in the 29er class, coaching Steven Thomas and Jasper Warren to victory at the 2008 29er World Championship.

Yachting Australia

Sail Auckland: Day One Images

The 470 fleet. Image copyright Will Carver/

Andrew Murdoch. Image copyright Will Carver/

Josh Junior. Image copyright Will Carver/

Murdoch and the Laser fleet. Image copyright Will Carver/

Tom Ashley, RS:X. Image copyright Will Carver/

Sail Auckland

Sodeb'O: Que du bonheur à l'heure du p'tit dej' en terrasse à l'approche du Pot au Noir

Sodeb'O. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Sea&Co.

par Sodeb'O Voile media

Alors qu'il entame son cinquième jour de mer, le skipper solitaire ne cache pas ce matin sa satisfaction lors du live vidéo, tout en précisant qu'il a fallu tout de même qu'il se crache dans les mains pour arriver aussi vite aux alentours de l'équateur.

Golfe de Gascogne, Cap Finisterre, côtes portugaises, Madère, les Açores, les Canaries, le Cap Vert, Thomas a lâché les chevaux et avalé les milles depuis samedi dernier. « Si la trajectoire est jolie et le résultat satisfaisant et positif, la descente a été assez virile, » aux dires du skipper. « Dans une mer hachée avec une houle de travers qui envoyait le bateau à droite et à gauche. Pas facile dans ces conditions pour les pilotes. Il fallait faire attention de ne pas se faire piéger, ça va vite et en même temps c’est super safe, » racontait Tom qui, depuis le départ, navigue la télécommande des pilotes à la main.

Cette nuit, il n’a pas pu empêcher un départ du bateau à l’abattée dans un grain et s’est retrouvé gennaker et grand voile à contre, dans plus de 20 nœuds de vent. En remettant tout dans l’ordre, il s’est aperçu que le bout de l’enrouleur avait cédé. Tout est maintenant dans l’ordre et le bateau glisse sur une mer qui se calme à l’approche du Pot au Noir.

Malgré l’instabilité et l’humidité des grains qui sont le lot de la zone de convergeance intertropicale, Tom a enfin pu dormir : « Cela m’inquiétait car je n’arrivais pas à m’endormir depuis deux jours. Aujourd’hui, je me sens en pleine forme. Comme quoi, on arrive vite à récupérer, » confie celui qui profite de ces conditions pour se préparer un petit déjeuner à base de pains aux fruits et muesli que lui a préparé et mis sous vide la cuisine de Sodebo : « Mon alimentation de base, c’est le pain, les pâtes, les sandwichs, » raconte le skipper qui déguste ce moment magique en terrasse sous le soleil des tropiques alors que le bateau démarre sur une vague et part dans un surf à plus de 30 nœuds avec un vrai risque pour les poissons volants qu’il pourrait percuter !

L’avenir, c’est un vent mollissant à l’approche du Pot au Noir, avec des grains erratiques difficiles à anticiper. Le skipper connaît bien cette zone qui exige de la vigilance et qui est aussi synonyme de nombreux changements de voiles : « Il faut essayer de passer entre les nuages. C’est pas mal la loterie. J’ai suivi Banque Populaire qui n’a pas été verni mais le bateau va tellement vite que je leur souhaite de battre le record, » conclue le skipper.

Sodeb'O Voile

BWR: An Ever-Changing Rhythm in the Indian Ocean

It's wet on Neutrogena. Image copyright Neutrogena.

* The lack of constant rate and rhythm starts to be felt
* Catching up the leaders?
* The races within the race

by Barcelona World Race media

If there is one theme which has surfaced regularly so far in this second edition of the Barcelona World Race it is that there has been so few sustained periods of constant rate and rhythm. The trade winds from the Canaries to south of the Cape Verdes were more intense than usual, the South Atlantic was light, disorganised and at times chaotic and now the Indian Ocean is proving a challenging taskmaster all the way through the fleet.

The fleet’s most experienced circumnavigator Dominique Wavre, in sixth place on Mirabaud, not only reflected today that he feels more tired than during the first edition of the race at the same point, but that he sees little chance of a settled weather routine for their section of the fleet in coming days.

Mirabaud is under pressure on two counts. The young American-German duo Ryan Breymaier and Boris Herrmann are snapping at their heels on Neutrogena, as relative rookies perhaps unburdened by memories of the Indian Ocean of previous races. And the anticyclone which is chasing both Mirabaud and Neutrogena as they move east is producing especially unsettled conditions which is making trimming and holding a course in big, crossed seas, especially taxing. Resolute but tired, Wavre considered today that they may still be caught by the light winds of the anticyclone which would be especially tough due to the leftover sea state. With between 10 knots in the lulls and 30 knots in the gusts, it was already testing the Mirabaud duo, but less wind and the same kind of seas would be even more problematic.

There has been one constant recently and even that pattern is on the wane.

Sea & sky from Neutrogena. Image copyright Neutrogena.

Since 21st January the lead of Jean-Pierre Dick and Loïck Peyron on Virbac-Paprec 3 has been unchallenged, peaking at 746 miles. But their margin has progressively dropped, pressed by the hard driving peloton who are spurred by strong SSW’ly winds at the moment, making between 19 and 20 knots this afternoon compared to Virbac-Paprec 3’s 17-18 knots gained in 40-45 knot NW’lies and difficult seas. But the weather advantage which seemed to favour the French duo across the west of the Indian Ocean may dissipate slightly as high pressure builds up to the SW of Australia. It would not be unexpected to see Virbac Paprec 3’s lead halved from that peak delta over coming days.

After more than a month at sea, without doubt these changeable conditions do weigh heavily on skippers’ morale. Frustration manifests itself in different ways on the radio and video link-ups. Skippers speak of the desires to head south and pick up the fast moving lows that they remember from previous races, but these depressions are currently as far south as 50 deg and beyond and the safety chain of ice gates corral the fleet in the north. In such circumstances, when morale tips towards pessimism it is essential to fight.

Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella have been occasionally been making light of the tough conditions they have had, battling upwind for three days into what latterly became potentially boat-breaking, huge, confused waves which GAES Centros Auditivos was dropping off, and crashing through. But the monotony and stress on the boat was taking its toll on the duo and the boat.

Since tacking south east last night they fleet’s only all girl team were making good progress, searching to the south east for what promises to be some fast reaching conditions finally more commensurate with their expectations of the south. Caffari and Corbella sent a spectacular video this afternoon which graphically details their upwind battles in more than 30 knots of wind. (see link). And Hugo Boss, hard on the wind, had got to within 25 miles of the west end of the ice gate in very tough conditions.

This evening in the ‘red duel’ it is advantage Estrella Damm, as the Barcelona IMOCA Open 60 of Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella has opened up 12 miles over the course of the afternoon on their French rivals on Groupe Bel.

Co-skipper Ludovic Aglaor confirmed today that the choice of going into ghost mode on FMC was as much a bit of fun prompted by responses to his personal blog with which he stays in touch with friends and family at home in Lorient and around France.

And Central Lechera Asturiana are due to start their short Cape Town pit-stop this evening, ETA 2230hrs UTC.

Jean-Pierre Dick on board Virbac Paprec 3. Image copyright Loick Peyron/JP Dick.

Standings at 1400hrs UTC Thursday 3rd February:

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 at 15 944,8 miles to the finish.
2 MAPFRE at 424,8 miles to leader
3 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at 549,2 miles
4 GROUPE BEL at 561,3 miles
5 RENAULT Z.E at 764,9 miles
6 MIRABAUD at 1314 miles
7 NEUTROGENA at 1344,9 miles
8 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS at 1936,7 miles
9 HUGO BOSS at 2182 miles
10 WE ARE WATER at 2249,2 miles


Toño Piris (ESP) Renault ZE Sailing Team
: “I think if your mind is set to a longer period then you just keep going and try to keep the same rhythm, but it is a shorter leg and you are about to finish and then it is different, but now I am feeling well physically, I am eating well.

“It makes a world of difference. I would not be doing it if someone like Pachi had not asked. He knows the class, the boats and how they behave.

“I think that the two guys who broke their masts it was a pity they have gone, but all the guys who are in front of us they are guys who have made a good preparation and are really good sailors. To be close to them in the leading pack, even at the back end of the leading pack is pretty nice. If we have options to stay in the same system as them, I am very happy with that.”

Gérard Marin (ESP) FMC:“We took advantage of the last days to be in ghost mode to make it even more exciting.

"On Forum Maritim Catala we have a system to take salination samples because it is not easy to get here when boats are not racing, and then they do a study all the time.

"I feel very good. Compared to my other experiences in sailing which was much more monotonous and here it is very changeable, the sailing and the weather conditions.
Now at the start of the Indian Ocean the waves are building up, the weather is good and it is not too cold. We start to see what it’s like in the Indian, we are waiting for a change in the weather in two or three days. By the fifth of February we should be fast reaching and eating up the miles.”

Renault ZE. Image copyright Miguel Casanelles/Renault ZE.

Dominique Wavre (SUI) Mirabaud:“ I feel more tired than last time because of the weather pattern which is changing all the time and also the sea is very difficult. We have a different direction of waves and so at the moment the crew is a bit more tired it is quite a big difference to four years ago.

“The winds are unstable with gusts of 30 knots but lulls of 10 knots. We don’t stop pushing all the time, adjusting the ballast, the sails and the course, to keep our speed up. In these reaching conditions it is not easy for us because of the instability of the wind. The anticyclone is behind us and is going a bit quicker than us. We are trying to escape from it but it is gaining on us. We go from one anticyclone to the other. Usually you can go down south, you have more scope with the course and you can better set your course for the weather, but here with the weather everything feels wrong.

"The first month of food is finished and so we could move some bags and now have space on another bunk and so we are sleeping better. We are not suffering from the cold, but the boat is well insulated and we have good clothing. It is a bit cold on the hands in manoeuvres, but the temperatures are about right. In the next 24-36 hours the conditions will not improve. The wind will drop as the anticyclone catches us but surely not the waves. With the position of the gates I just don’t know when we will be able to surf and have downwind conditions.”

In French:

A la recherche du temps perdu

* La flotte n’a toujours pas trouvé totalement son rythme de croisière
* Derrière le quintet de tête, Mirabaud et Neutrogena cherchent à échapper aux hautes pressions
* Chacun attend les glissades aux allures portantes

We Are Water. Image copyright We Are Water.

Décidément les tandems de la Barcelona World Race ne sont pas à la noce dans cette première partie de l’océan Indien. Mer hachée, vents contraires, progression chaotique semblent au programme pour la majeure partie de la flotte. Pour l’heure, seul Virbac-Paprec 3 semble avoir trouvé des conditions propices à une navigation efficace et plutôt paisible.

A l’exception des leaders de la course, le reste de la flotte est victime du syndrome de la bouteille à moitié vide ou pleine c’est selon. Le quatuor lancé à la poursuite de Jean-Pierre Dick et Loïck Peyron affiche des moyennes plus qu’honorables, mais à quel prix ! De Renault ZE à MAPFRE, tous avouent des conditions particulièrement éprouvantes : mer cassante, vents fortement instables obligeant à des manœuvres incessantes, vagues submergeant régulièrement le pont des monocoques… Mais derrière, ce n’est guère mieux. Pour Mirabaud comme pour Neutrogena, l’enjeu, c’est de ne pas se faire croquer par l’anticyclone au sud de l’Afrique qui semble vouloir prendre ses aises par l’ouest. Les filles de GAES Centros Auditivos sont, quant à elles, contraintes de rallonger sensiblement leur route vers le sud, de même qu’Hugo Boss va tenter de rallier la prochaine porte des glaces sur un seul bord.


Ces conditions difficiles commencent à peser sur le moral des navigateurs. Même si tous s’efforcent de faire bonne figure, la lassitude transparaît tant au travers des vacations, qu’à l’occasion des petits messages envoyés à terre. On y trouve pêle-mêle des envies de piquer un sprint dans un pré, histoire de se dégourdir les jambes, la tentation de piquer plein sud accrocher le train des dépressions qui courent par 50°S au mépris des risques des glaces ou bien encore les légitimes prudences dès lors qu’il s’agit d’aller manœuvrer sur le pont. Dans ces conditions le harnais est d’autant plus de rigueur que la fatigue aidant, les gestes deviennent parfois un peu moins sûrs, les actions maintes et maintes fois répétées souffrent par moment d’imperfections. Or, dans les mers du sud, quand le bateau est malmené par plus de trente nœuds de vent, que les vagues déferlent et courent sur le pont du bateau, le plus petit détail compte. Savoir lutter contre le pessimisme est non seulement une force mentale, mais aussi un gage de performance.

Travailleurs de la mer

Après un peu plus d’un mois de compétition, il y a maintenant trois courses dans la course. En tête, Virbac-Paprec 3 tient la dragée haute à un petit quatuor franco-espagnol composé de MAPFRE, Estrella Damm, Groupe Bel et Renault ZE. Un deuxième groupe emmené par Mirabaud et Neutrogena tente de semer tout autant l’anticyclone qui leur file le train que de creuser un écart définitif sur GAES Centros Auditivos et Hugo Boss. Enfin, plus à l’arrière encore, We Are Water, Central Lechera Asturiana et Forum Maritim Catala mènent une course à la mesure du potentiel de leurs montures. La pression du résultat ne pèse évidemment pas de la même manière sur ces trois équipages qui doivent prendre leur mal en patience. L’humour est par essence, un excellent antidote contre les crises de foi, comme en témoignaient à la vacation d’aujourd’hui Ludovic Aglaor, tout en second degré, ou bien encore Gerard Marin et Cali Sanmarti dont l’enthousiasme communicatif avait les honneurs d’un duplex entre les deux bateaux. Entre le fantôme franco-espagnol (FMC est entré en mode furtif depuis hier au soir) et son homologue espagnol les piques volaient par dessus les vagues... Et si la bonne humeur pouvait générer des vents nouveaux ?

Mapfre. Image copyright Mapfre.

Classement du 3 février à 15 heures (TU+1) :

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 à 15 944,8 milles de l’arrivée
2 MAPFRE à 424,8 milles du leader
3 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team à 549,2 milles
4 GROUPE BEL à 561,3 milles
5 RENAULT Z.E à 764,9 milles
6 MIRABAUD à 1314 milles
7 NEUTROGENA à 1344,9 milles
8 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS à 1936,7 milles
9 HUGO BOSS à 2182 milles
10 WE ARE WATER à 2249,2 milles

Ils ont dit :

Dominique Wavre, Mirabaud
: « Le vent est très instable. On doit tout adapter, les ballasts les réglages de voiles pour garder de la vitesse. Pour nous c’est la course d’un anticyclone à l’autre, ce n’est pas très amusant. D’habitude, on est plus au sud, on peut adapter les trajectoires, là c’est un peu la galère météo. A part quand on manœuvre sur le pont, où on a froid aux mains, dans l’ensemble les températures restent correctes. On est dans un temps où il y a beaucoup de grains. Je ne sais pas à quel moment on va rencontrer des conditions de glisse, mais j’ai l’impression que pour l’océan Indien, c’est un peu raté. »

Ludovic Aglaor, Forum Maritim Catala : «On est en mode fantôme. On trouvait que c’était opportun de le faire juste derrière « We Are Water » en sortant de l’Atlantique. Le mode furtif ça met un peu de jeu, c’est rigolo. Je ne vous dirai donc pas sous quelle allure on est et à quelle vitesse on va. C’est le jeu. En tout cas on a un beau soleil et un bateau bien gité bâbord amure. Je peux même vous montrer comment c’est dehors, de toutes les façons, il n’y a pas de panneau indicateur pour donner notre position, ni de rond-point...

"Sur notre blog on a lancé un jeu interactif pour proposer de deviner quand on déclencherait le mode furtif, amener un peu de vie sur le blog. C’est l’occasion de converser avec les copains et amis à terre et de partager un petit peu le tour du monde avec eux. Tous mes copains naviguent et régatent dans le Golfe du Morbihan. Ça les intéresse vraiment. Avec les moyens qu’on a aujourd’hui on peut le faire facilement, c’est vraiment bien. Le mode de vie n’a pas changé, c’est calé. On a un rythme de quart sur 3 heures depuis un bon moment. On va accentuer les efforts sur la sécurité pendant les manœuvres, avec harnais et équipement de sécu dans la veste. »

Antonio Piris, Renault ZE : « Ce sont les conditions les plus dures que j’ai jamais rencontrées. Même sur la Volvo Ocean Race, je n’ai pas de souvenir d’une mer aussi formée. Si je pouvais, je sortirais du bateau juste histoire de m’offrir une petite course à pied dans un champ. On essaye de garder un petit espace du bateau bien au sec. Sinon, on change sans arrêt de voile. Trinquette, solent, prendre un ris, larguer un ris, ça n’arrête pas. Pachi est sur le pont avec son harnais. Si le vent continue de mollir, on va larguer un ris et il devra monter sur la bôme. Mieux vaut être harnaché pour ce type de manœuvre… On s’est fait un petit plaisir hier. Notre chargée de communication avait déposé dans le bateau un cadeau dont elle nous a révélé la cachette. On a pu partager une canette de bière en remerciement de notre disponibilité aux sollicitations des médias... »

Barcelona World Race

BWR: The Amsterdam Gate Ahead

Iker and Xabi. Image copyright Maria Muina/Barcelona World Race.

by Helena Paz

Holding strong in second place in the general rankings, Iker and Xabi's “MAPFRE” heads for the third gate on the South Indian Ocean stretch of the course
Having notched up the fastest sustained speed over a 60 minute period in this edition of the Barcelona World Race yesterday, some 26.8 knots (almost 50 km/hr), “MAPFRE” with Olympic champions Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández continues to progress along the Indian Ocean towards the next gate on the course: Amsterdam, named as such due to its proximity to the southern French territory island of the same name.

With the Crozet gate behind them, Iker and Xabi have been enjoying a front which has allowed them to devour miles over the last few days, putting them 424.8 nautical miles (786.7 km) from leader “Virbac Paprec 3”. They continue their course Southeast, which means that, if they haven't already hit it, they'll soon find themselves in a transitional zone.

As with the descent of the Atlantic, where the double Olympic champions opted for a middle route between the East and West options available, Iker and Xabi have chosen their own routing across the South Indian Ocean, and rather than follow the trail of the leader, they have chosen to stay further North to pass the gates of Crozet and Amsterdam. This option is most likely to have been motivated by the desire to push forward with South-Southwesterly winds and to find “more stable seas in the same direction as the wind”, as Iker said he preferred a few days ago.

With a lateral distance with “Virbac Paprec 3” of just over 100 miles, once the skippers are out of the squall transitional zone a better reading can be made of the tactical choice. It will be at the Amsterdam gate where we'll see who has come off best: those opting for the North (Iker and Xabi) or those choosing South (Dick and Peyron).

Whilst the “MAPFRE” skippers have continued to notch up average speeds of over 18 knots during the past 24 hours, a constant and high average which has allowed the Spaniards to cover 450.4 miles (834.1 km) on the last day's run, the second fastest average in the fleet was another Spanish entry with skippers Ribes and Pella.

Changes among rivals

In terms of the competition astern, “Estrella Damm” recouped third place this morning, pushing French entry “Groupe Bel” off the podium, although just 12.1 miles separate the entries, according to this afternoon's 14:00 GMT position report. It's still too early to say what strategies the entires will favour in terms of crossing the squall transitional zone, and it's a case of waiting to see how the competition plays out.

Day 34 - 14:00 GMT

1. VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 (Jean Pierre Dick - Loïck Peyron) FRA, 15,944.8 miles from finish.
2. MAPFRE (Iker Martínez - Xabi Fernández) ESP, 424.8 miles
3. ESTRELLA DAMM SAILING TEAM (Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes) ESP, 549.2 miles
4. GROUPE BEL (Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane) FRA, 561.3 miles
5. RENAULT Z. E. (Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris) ESP, 764.9 miles
6. MIRABAUD (Dominique Wavre - Michéle Paret) SUI, 1,314 miles
7. NEUTROGENA FÓRMULA NORUEGA (Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier) NOR, 1,344,9 miles
8. GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS (Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella) GBR/ESP, 1,936.7 miles
9. HUGO BOSS (Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn) GBR, 2,182 miles
10. WE ARE WATER (Jaume Mumbrú - Cali Sanmartí) ESP, 2,449.2 miles
11. CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA (Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio) ESP, 2,561 miles
12. FÒRUM MARÍTIM CATALÀ (Gerard Marín - Ludovic Aglaor) ESP, ** GHOST MODE**
** PRÉSIDENT (Jean le Cam - Bruno García) FRA/ESP, RACE ABANDONED 12th January
** FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux - François Gabart) FRA, RACE ABANDONED 26th January

Barcelona World Race

TJV: Banque Populaire V Damaged by Floating Object

Le Maxi Banque Populaire V a heurté un OFNI*

NEWSFLASH: Le Maxi BPV se dirige vers une zone de calme pour constater les dégâts de l'avarie.
The Maxi BPV is heading for a calm area to inspect the consequences of the damage.

Banque Populaire V. Image copyright B. Stichelbaut/BPCE.

par Virginie Bouchet

A 2 heures du matin (heure de Paris) la nuit dernière, alors qu'il naviguait à la vitesse de 37 nœuds au sud du 40ème parallèle, le Maxi Banque Populaire V a heurté un OFNI. Sous l'effet du choc, une partie de la crash-box de la dérive - partie fusible protégeant la pièce immergée – s’est brisée, imposant à Pascal Bidégorry et ses équipiers de se mettre à la cape pendant une heure afin de se rendre compte des dégâts occasionnés.

Joint par téléphone à 15h30 (heure Paris), le skipper du trimaran engagé dans la tentative de record sur le Trophée Jules Verne est revenu sur les circonstances de l'incident :

"Cette nuit, nous avons immédiatement ressenti l'effet du choc mais le Maxi Banque Populaire V ne s'est pas arrêté. En revanche, nous avons pris la décision de stopper la marche du bateau et de rouler les voiles. Nous avons passé une heure à la cape, mais dans la nuit noire, il n'était pas facile de se rendre compte des dégâts. Ce qui est sûr c'est qu'il manque un bout de la dérive et la crash-box est arrachée.

Peu après la vacation audio officielle aujourd’hui à 12h avec son PC Course, l'équipage a mis le Maxi Banque Populaire V sur un flotteur, afin de lever suffisamment la coque centrale et de vérifier l'évolution du problème. Suite à cette manœuvre, Pascal Bidégorry et ses hommes ont choisi la prudence :

"Nous avons constaté dans un second temps que le barreau de la dérive était cassé et qu’il manquait 40 cm de la dérive. Ainsi nous avons donc décidé de calmer un peu le jeu, de stabiliser notre vitesse à 25 nœuds et de laisser un minimum de dérive dans l'eau afin de ne pas aggraver les choses. Notre idée est de naviguer plus loffé qu'on ne l'avait fait pour être, demain au lever du jour, dans une zone avec moins de vent et moins de mer, afin de pouvoir lever les 600 kg de dérive et voir précisément ce qu'il en est. Mais nous maintenons un cap au Sud Est".

* Objet Flottant Non Identifié

Record à battre
Pour devenir nouveau détenteur du record, le Maxi Banque Populaire V devra être de retour au plus tard le 11 mars 2011 à 19 heures 55 minutes 37 secondes (heure de Paris).

Temps de référence
Groupama 3 (Franck Cammas) : 48j 7h 44min 52s

Avance/Retard à 16h00
456 milles d'avance par rapport au temps de référence

Banque Populaire V

America's Cup: The AC45 from Up and Under the Wing to Below the Hulls

From up the wing

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

From under the hulls

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

America's Cup

BWR: Smashing Upwind in 30 knots in the Southern Ocean

GAES Centros Auditivos
Barcelona World Race

Warren Jones: Not the Day of FMJ Racing this time

by Will Tiller

After qualifying second from the round robins, we were left facing Evan Walker in the semi final. In both races there were multiple lead changes but unfortunately only the last lead change counts on the score sheet, making it 2-0 to Walker. This left us racing in the petit finals against David Chapman, with the winner the first to two points.

We won the opener and were well in front in the second race with him carrying a penalty when our spinnaker halyard snap shackle (which was taped closed) caught and came off up the rig, leaving our spinnaker trailing in the water and our halyard at the top of the rig. After some close manoeuvring we ended up with our bow lodged in his stern quarter, much to the amusement of the crowds that were watching. We then re-launched the spinnaker on the genoa halyard, but lost the race´by less than a nose. To cap off a great performance we were then docked a full point for damage after a hearing.

We picked ourselves up to easily win the next race, and were ahead in the fourth (yes you can have four races in a best of three) when we picked up a penalty at the leeward mark. We were unable to clear our turn, leaving us a disappointing fourth place.

So things weren't going our way in the lovely city of Perth. However, they say you make your own luck and we will be training hard to make sure we have better luck next time.

Thanks to our Sponsors, Chris Meads of Full Metal Jacket and the RNZYS.

Note from SailRaceWin: Commentators noted that the boat handling was better on Tiller's boat than those of his Australian opponent in the petit-final, which may have been an issue with some of the penalties/contact.

FMJ Racing
Warren Jones regatta

America's Cup: Top 2 Young Kiwi Match Racing Teams Get a Taste of the AC45

Auckland’s young rising sailing stars had another chance on the AC 45 today

Top young Kiwi match racers crew for Russell Coutts on the AC45. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Top young Kiwi match racers crew for Russell Coutts on the AC45. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

by America's Cup media, as modified by SailRaceWin

In exchange for serving as night watch crew when the AC45 spent a night on the mooring last week, New Zealand's top two continuing match race skippers on the ISAF Rankings, Phil Robertson, 23, (Waka Racing) and Reuben Corbett, 23, (Black Sheep Racing) received a text today to come down for a sail.

“We were out training for the F18 Nationals and got the text,” said Reuben Corbett. Reuben and Brad Farrand are part of a team they call Black Sheep Racing.

Brad Farrand, from Black Sheep Racing, on the AC45. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Brad Farrand, from Black Sheep Racing, on the AC45. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

The pair, along with Tom Blampeid and Tom Bentham, are preparing for the F 18 Nationals here in a week. The young sailors took up the F 18s when they heard the next America’s Cup would be in multihulls. When the text came in they wasted no time in coming down to the Viaduct.

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

For Robertson, he was surprised at the ease of handling. “I was surprised at how balanced it all was and how easy it was to move around when doing 20-25 knots.”

Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Robertson is skipper of a match racing team called Waka Racing and his dream is to compete in the America’s Cup. The same applies to Corbett, and his Black Sheep Racing team.

The AC45 passes an Australian 470 competing in Sail Auckland. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

“It’s always been the goal and always been the dream,” Robertson said. “In 2000 the dream started when the Cup was here. To be able to sail with Russell (Coutts) and the rest of the guys is really, really cool.”

The AC45 passes Lasers at Sail Auckland. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

The AC45 passes Lasers at Sail Auckland. Image copyright Gilles Martin-Raget/

Note from SailRaceWin: It appears, from the images, that the AC45 visited the Sail Auckland, New Zealand's international regatta in Olympic classes, that is currently being held locally.

Black Sheep Racing
Waka Racing
America's Cup