Saturday 26 February 2011

Rolex Farr 40 Worlds: No Confusion, It's Transfusion!

The crew of Transfusion celebrate their Worlds win against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour. Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

by Lisa Ratcliffe

What a day, what a finish. The nail-biting ended at 4pm, when the Italian yacht Nerone crossed the line three boats behind the Australians on Transfusion. The separation was enough to give Transfusion’s owner Guido Belgiorno-Nettis revenge for last year’s defeat at the hands of the Massimo Mezzaroma and Antonio Sodo Migliori. More importantly it gave him the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship title.

A three-year voyage successfully completed: for Belgiorno-Nettis a dream moment, “It was fantastic, what a challenge. Right down to the wire, we never gave up. Today was a really good day for us. We were lucky, but we worked hard and we got it right.”

Conditions were not always easy, the first race was held in 8 knots of north-easterly, the second in around 12-15 knots. The emphasis was on tactics and remaining calm. Hard-won lines would be hard to hold, passing lanes would be open as both races showed. Nerone won the first race of the day, with Transfusion in second – although that is only half the story. In the second and final race, Jim Richardson’s Barking Mad (USA) crossed the line first, with Transfusion hot on her heels. Nerone could only finish sixth. Not enough to retain her title, Transfusion closing the deal by two points. Barking Mad’s final day results were sufficient to move her up into third, ahead of Helmut & Evan Jahn’s Flash Gordon (USA) and Lisa & Martin Hill’s Estate Master (AUS).

Transfusion on her way to victory. Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

At the prize giving this evening, Belgiorno-Nettis will receive the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship trophy and a Rolex Yacht-Master for his and his crew’s sterling efforts.

Course Notes

Race nine was a true classic. True gun-slinger style, Nerone took the committee boat end of the line, owning it like no one else was on the course or entitled to the spot. She was not fast, but she was certain and certainty often wins. Transfusion was towards the middle. By the windward mark it appeared game over. Nerone rounded first with a significant gap to second-placed Flash Gordon; Transfusion was stuck in traffic midway down the fleet. Her tactician, John Kostecki, did not get to be a winner of an Olympic medal, the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race by chance. Tactical acumen, self-belief and never-say-die take an awful lot of beating.

Whilst Nerone stood on after the windward rounding, Transfusion stuck in a quick gybe. As the downwind leg unwound, Transfusion popped up in fifth place. She was not yet finished. By the second windward she was in second place. Nowhere close enough to challenge Nerone for the lead, but certainly enough to keep the rubber alive into the final race. In previous Rolex Farr 40 Worlds it has usually been Vascotto pulling rabbits from hats. Kostecki had just proved to the mercurial Italian that he not alone in playing a hand of high-stakes poker well.

Into the tenth and final race of the series: two-points separated the main protagonists. Flash Gordon in third, some twenty-two points behind were not even an outside threat in the fight for top honours. Anyone hoping for a gladiatorial match-race would be disappointed. Transfusion had no choice but to sail her best race and hope Nerone would implode or at least match one of her poorer performances of the week. Transfusion needed two boats between them and Nerone.

Off the start life looked good for the Australians. This time it was Nerone all snarled up in the bad air. Sailing in the crowd is not good for boat speed and by the first windward mark Transfusion was in second behind Barking Mad and Nerone in eighth. Could Nerone do a Transfusion and comeback from the dead? Not on the first leeward run. The Italians went backwards, deeper into trouble rounding in twelfth.

Nerone, second overall. Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

The pressure was all on the defending champions. Transfusion had plenty of distance between her and the fleet. All she could do was hope that the boats in between her and Nerone were in enough of a fighting mood to hold off any last-chance challenge.


This has been an event of the highest calibre. Some of the top names in sailing joined with some of the most competitive, skilled amateur owner/drivers in the sport. The line between professional and Corinthian blurred in terms of spirit, application and ability.

With the likes of James Spithill, John Kostecki, Adrian Stead, Grant Simmer, Tom Slingsby, Hamish Pepper, Tom King and Vasco Vascotto amongst the tacticians it was always going to be fast and fiery. With the defending champions and two former world champions in the fleet, speculation on potential winners was rife from the outset. Nerone arrived as the form boat having won the Rolex Trophy in December and the Australian Championship immediately before the worlds. History is history; only what happened in the Worlds themselves would count.

The Australians had defended home turf last time the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds were held here in 2005. Could they do so again? It looked good at the start as first Estate Master and then Transfusion led the standings. But on the third day the lone Italian crew proved they had not come to make up the numbers, grabbing the overall championship lead.

Race start on the last day of the competition. Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

The twists and turns off fortune kept everyone guessing to the last. The standard of the sailing on the final race raised the pulses of spectators. Goodness knows what it did to the crews on board the two leading yachts.

Five different boats won races during the series. Surprisingly, Nerone won five in total, while Transfusion won only once. But the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds has always been about consistency and minimizing damage. Transfusion never dipped below a seven, with all other results in the top five. The Italians posted a ten as their worst score, and could not keep in the top five for the rest. Still, for both to average under four-points per race is an extraordinary achievement in a fleet of twenty boats. Barking Mad in third could only average six.

Noted & Quoted

Asked how he pulled off the recovery on the penultimate race, Kostecki laughed and asserted, “we just happened to go the right way” when gybing early on the first downwind run. “That was a really good race for us, coming back from so far away.” Belgiorno-Nettis’ reaction was clearer on the mental effort, “yacht racing is an amazing thing. You never know what’s going to happen. We dug deep and kept going.”

Of his win, Belgiorno-Nettis was understandably thrilled, ”it was such a privilege to be part of this fleet. I would like to thank the organization, the Farr 40 Association, all of the owners, and particularly Nerone who were tremendous competitors and very gracious in defeat.”

Of the second race, Vascotto rued an error just before the gun, “we were in crowded place on the line and thought we had ten seconds to kill. Then we discovered we had only five seconds and we lost control of the start.”

“Then, my goal was to be really close to be Transfusion. At one point we were only one and half boat lengths behind. Unfortunately, at the marks, in that one or two boat lengths were seven or eight boats.”

Always one for humour in defeat, Vascotto’s final remark tells a lot about the spirit in which the Rolex Farr 40 Worlds is raced, “Sydney is a fantastic place. It was fantastic yesterday when we were leading, it is still fantastic after we finish second.”

Off the wind

Barking Mad: third overall. Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

The next major event on the Rolex Yachting Calendar is the inaugural Rolex Volcano Race, which starts on the 24 May 2011. The course is a 400-nautical mile offshore race from Gaeta, Italy, south to the volcanic island of Stromboli off Sicily, and then north to the finish off Capri. The race is open to all maxi yacht classes, and will be organized by the International Maxi Association in conjunction with the Comitato Vela nel Golfo di Gaeta and the Yacht Club Capri. The race forms part of Rolex Capri Sailing Week.

The next Rolex Farr 40 Worlds will be held in Chicago in the summer of 2012.

2011 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship

Place, Boat Name, Country, Owner-Helm, R1-R2-R3-R4-R5-R6-R7-R8-R9-R10, TOTAL

1) Transfusion, AUS, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis, 4-4-2-1-7-4-4-5-2-2, 35
2) Nerone , ITA, Antonio Sodo Migliori & Massimo Mezzaroma, 2-1-10-8-1-1-6-1-1-6, 37
3) Barking Mad, USA, Jim Richardson, 15-10-5-9-2-3-10-2-5-1, 62
4) Flash Gordon, USA, Helmut & Evan Jahn, 11-2-9-2-8-5-11-3-4-9, 64
5) Estate Master, AUS, Lisa & Martin Hill, 1-8-1-5-9-10-12-12-8-4, 70
6) Goombay Smash, USA, William Douglass, 9-6-17-10-11-16-1-63-3, 82
7) Kokomo, AUS, Lang Walker, 19-5-4-7-5-9-3-7-9-14, 82
8) Hooligan, AUS, Marcus Blackmore, 13-3-6-4-16-14-8-4-6-8, 82
9) Struntje Light, GER, Wolfgang & Angela Schaefer, 3-13-3-21-4-13-2-8-11-7, 85
10) Voodoo Chile, AUS, Andrew Hunn & Lloyd Clark, 5-9-8-15-3-2-15-16-12-5, 90

The crew celebrate their Farr 40 Worlds win on board Transfusion. Image copyright Rolex/Kurt Arrigo.

The Rolex Farr 40 World Championship 2011 is organised by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron and the Farr 40 Class Association. Racing was held in the waters off Sydney from Wednesday, 23 February to Saturday, 26 February.

Rolex Farr 40 Worlds

Musto Wellington Match Race Cup: Black Sheep 100%

Black Sheep Racing in action at the Musto Wellington Match Race Cup. Image copyright RPNYC.

by Black Sheep Racing media

The team went up another gear today, winning all six races. This was due to great team work and communication which enabled us to adjust our approach to suit the varying conditions.

We finished the round robin series in first place followed by Josh Junior (Wellington Spirit), William Tiller (Full Metal Jacket) and Tim Coltman (Wellington Youth) respectively. Finishing atop has earned us the right to choose our opponent for the semi finals. We have decided to take on Tim Coltman and his team which leaves Tiller and Junior to fight it out in the other semi final. So it’s all on tomorrow as the winning team will receive an invitation to one of nine World Tour events this year.

Black Sheep Racing would like to say a special thanks to SLAM New Zealand for their great sailing apparel and the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for their continued support.

Black Sheep Racing is Reuben Corbett, Tom Bentham, Brad Farrand, Tom Blampied and Benny Butcher.

Black Sheep Racing
Musto Wellington Match Race Cup

Extreme 40: Images of the Celebrations at the end of the Series from Carlo Borlenghi

Pierre Pennec is raised on high by his crew in celebration of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild's win of Act One in Oman. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Not so much wind for racing on the final day off Muscat. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Pierre Pennec is sent for a swim by his crew, in celebration of their victory. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Pierre Pennec gives the thumbs up for winning the series in Muscat. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Prizes all round - for Nice for You. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Prize for Luna Rossa. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Presentation to the winners. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Gitana Team, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, receive their prizes. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Dancing as part of the festivities in Muscat. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Celebrations in Muscat at the end of Act One of the Extreme Sailing Series 2011. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Nice for You. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Alinghi. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Alinghi. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/

Carlo Borlenghi
Extreme Sailing Series

America's Cup: Team Australia Try Out the AC45

Team Australia comprises a mix of experiences straddling technical backgrounds, business skills and passionate sailing enthusiasts. The team's vision is to create a structure that will allow Australia to have an ongoing competitive presence in America's Cup competition.

Note from SailRaceWin: Peter Baker is the main backer of this challenge. They are challenging for the America's Cup through the Multihull Yacht Club of Queensland.

Team Australia
America's Cup

America's Cup: AC45 in Auckland with Artemis Racing

AC45 back on the water in Auckland with Artemis Racing. Image copyright Artemis Racing.

by Paul Cayard

It was a fantastic day today on the Hauraki Gulf in the new AC45 prototype catamaran. Blue sky and 15 knots of wind from the Southwest made for a great training day for Artemis Racing.

Following a strange incident on Monday whereby the hard wing sail was damaged, the Artemis team worked alongside the ACRM team and Core Builders to get the new generation America's Cup yacht back out on the water.

I was particularly pleased the boat was ready today as this gave me an opportunity to sail the boat before heading to the airport for my flight back to San Francisco tonight.

My impressions are that the boat is nothing less than spectacular. I am not a multihull sailor, but I was able to steer the boat around a couple of laps on the Hauraki Gulf under the watchful eye of Santiago Lange, two time Silver medalist and Artemis Racing team member.

The boat seemed very balanced and the typical multihull peril of leeward bow submersion was non existent. We easily skipped along at 20+ knots downwind and about 12 knots upwind. The crew (and helmsman) hike out just like on a Laser.

Hats off to Oracle Racing and Core Builders for taking this boat from concept to sailing in just 4 months!

Artemis will be sailing the prototype for three more days. Then we begin the assembly of our own boat for a mid-March training session down here in Auckland. The first AC45 World Series event will be in July.

It really struck me today that there is a new era of America's Cup coming and I was very happy to be part of it!

Artemis Racing
America's Cup

BWR: Breeze ON !!!

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

by Barcelona World Race media

Virbac-Paprec 3 and MAPFRE have fulfilled the Mid Pacific gate as of yesterday morning and have 600 miles to the West Pacific gate. The leading duo have been fast reaching in 20-25kts and remain very evenly matched in these conditions, with Virbac-Paprec making only 0.5NM on their Spanish adversaries since last night's 1900hrs ranking. Virbac-Paprec 3's margin is 14.5 miles over MAPFRE at 0400hrs UTC this morning with both making between 16.5-18kts.

Renault Z.E Sailing Team have 200 miles to make the W. Pacific gate and have between 30 and 35 kts of NW'ly, making around 16.5 kts on average.

Neutrogena have carried their speed well through the night averaging 17.3kts and were just over 63 miles behind Renault Z.E this morning and hold a lead of 184 miles on Mirabaud.

Groupe Bel and Estrella Damm have pushed through to the east side of the system ex Atu. The weather files show winds of 55kts and more in the gusts, but the seas will still be their biggest problem. Kito De Pavant said in his mail this morning:
"Upwind in 40kts with gusts of 50, big, short seas and torrential rain. That's the post card for us just now. It is tough and we have a painful 24hours then hard reaching. We stopped in Wellington to repair our downwind sails because?"

Hugo Boss are in SW'ly 35 kts slowed on the other side of the system, while GAES Centros Auditivos have been making a more northerly course, slowing back to let the worst of the low pass, their very northerly route diverging from the rhumb line accounting for their 3.5kts VMG.

Moving at speed: Mapfre's wake. Image copyright Mapfre.

FMC have 700 miles to the Cook Strait entrance and still expect to make their technical stop in Wellington Monday morning, making a good 14kts this morning. Central Lechera Asturiana have 20-25kts W'ly and their speed has picked up in recent hours as the wind pressure builds for them, while We Are Water have only 600 miles of the Pacific left.

Barcelona World Race

Musto Wellington Match Race Cup: Corbett and Hazard on Top Form

Will Tiller's (RNZYS) FMJ Racing picked up, but Reuben Corbett (RNZYS) leads the men's event at the end of the second day, after four round robins, at the Musto Wellington Match Race Cup. Image copyright RPNYC.

by Matt Steven as updated by SailRaceWin

At the half way point of the 2011 Musto Wellington Match Racing Cup racing is extremely close. With New Zealand’s top up and coming talent sailing on Wellington harbour it was never going to be anything but tight!

In the women’s regatta pre event favourites and New Zealand Sailing Team members Stephanie Hazard and Sam Osborne dominated the leader board in the round robins. However, Hazard chose to race Osborne in the semi-finals, and defeated her 3-0, so Osborne has been relegated to the petit-final. In the other semi-final, Danielle Bowater (RNZYS) defeated the RPNYC's Anita Trudgen 3-1, to join Hazard in tomorrow's Finals.

In the men’s event, Wellington Spirit, Black Sheep Racing and Full Metal Jacket Racing were all tied on 6 wins each after 3 round robins. With Wellington Spirit skippered by Josh Junior (World match race ranking 45, Laser Olympic class ranking 15), Black Sheep Racing skippered by Reuben Corbett (World match race ranking 12) and Black Sheep Racing skippered by William Tiller (World match race ranking 35) the racing is very close with penalties flying and plenty of lead changes in each match.

However, a fourth round robin separated them out, and Corbett emerged with 9 wins, to Junior's 8 and Tiller's 7. The local RPNYC youth team (Coltman) didn't manage to break their duck. Corbett gets to chose his opponent in the semi-finals tomorrow.

This event incorporates both the men’s and women’s racing into one. The women are sailing in the Elliot Sixes which are the Olympic women’s match racing yachts whilst the men are competing in MRX’s.

For the men the teams are looking to prove themselves as New Zealand’s best up and coming match racers and are also preparing for their campaigns in Europe throughout the year. The winner of the event will receive the added bonus of a wild card entry to Match Race Germany in the 2011 World Match Racing Tour.

The Women are vying for selection into the NZL Sailing Team’s Olympic Squad. There are spots up for grabs and with the Olympics only two years away, the prospective Women sailors will need to be firing at this year’s event.

Results to Date

Women (after 3 Round Robins) wins-losses

Stephanie Hazard (Koru Match, RNZYS) 11-4
Sam Osborne (Silver Sails, RNZYS) 9-6
Danielle Bowater (RNZYS) 6-9
Anita Trudgen (RPNYC) 4-11
Hannah Maguire & Amanda Hargreaves have no wins
It appears that Hargreaves pulled out of the event at the start.

Women's Semi-Finals

Hazard (RNZYS) 3 - Osborne (RNZYS) 0 : Stephanie Hazard through to Finals
Bowater (RNZYS) 3 - Trudgen (RPNYC) 1 : Danielle Bowater through to Finals

Men (after 4 Round Robins) wins-losses

Reuben Corbett (Black Sheep Racing, RNZYS) 9-3
Josh Junior (Wellington Spirit, RPNYC) 8-4
Will Tiller (FMJ Racing, RNZYS) 7-5
Tim Coltman (RPNYC Youth) 0-12

Musto Wellington Match Race Cup

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: Giltinan 2011 Preview - David Witt Heads Queensland Challenge

David Witt accepts Giltinan 1999 ribbon. Image copyright Frank Quealey.

by Frank Quealey

One of Australia’s best known 18ft Skiff sailors from the 1990s, David Witt has made a comeback in the class to represent Queensland with a serious Giltinan Championship campaign.

David was not only one of the best skippers in the 18s but UK’s Tim Robinson had “Witty” on board when he won the 1999 Giltinan in Rockport.

In this campaign, David is joined by long time crew and champion sailors Alan Mansfield and Barry Flannigan. The trio will be one of the heaviest (if not the heaviest) teams in the regatta and will certainly be one to watch in strong wind conditions.

Alan Mansfield said that recently, during one of their training sessions on Waterloo Bay, they completed the day without a single capsize in around 35-knots.

Their skiff is a former Gotta Love It 7 and Smeg hull and they have added two brand new rigs on the skiff, which will race as Queenslander 1 (Q1).

David Witt came originally into the 18s (from the Cherubs) as a 17-year-old and quickly established himself as a very fine, talented sailor and quite a character off the water.

His transition from the Cherubs was so successful that it quickly led to an influx of other Cherub sailors into the Australian 18 Footers League fleet.

Two of Dave’s former team mates, who followed him from the Cherubs will be competing against him in this regatta. They are Andrew ‘Noddy’ Hay (Yandoo) and Dave ‘Gil’ Ewings (Smeg).

He also sailed successfully with Grand Prix Sailing in the 1990s and represented sponsors Ericsson, AAMI, Nokia and Pace Express.

Over the past 18 years, he has been involved in major sailing projects all over the world.

Aside from his 18ft Skiff achievements, he has competed in 16 Sydney-Hobart races (all as skipper or primary helmsman), Whitbread Round-the-World (now known as Volvo), Maxi World champion, Fastnet races, Melbourne-Osaka (teo-handed) and Round Europe race.

His roles often included that of project manager (as well as primary helmsman/skipper) on boats from 30ft to 100ft, and managing budgets from tens of thousands up to multi-million dollar projects.

The team are not only looking for success in the 2011 Giltinan, but see their challenge as a boost to re-establishing an 18ft Skiff fleet in Queensland.

“We want to help develop the talents of young Queensland sailors and believe our knowledge and experience will help these young sailors as well as lift the Queensland profile in sailing”, David said.

Aussie 18 Footers League

BWR: Attack... the Best Form of Defence

* MAPFE unable to break the lead of Virbac-Paprec 3
* Leaders on French TV
* 24 difficult hours start for Groupe Bel, Estrella Damm, Hugo Boss and GAES Centros Auditivos.
* FMC will stop in Wellington

Stormy weather ahead, as seen on board Mirabaud by Dominique Wavre. Image copyright Mirabaud.

by Barcelona World Race media

MAPFRE have so far been unable to make any further impression on the lead of Virbac-Paprec 3 as the Barcelona World Race’s two leading IMOCA Open 60’s play their angles downwind towards the Mid Pacific ice gate, now over half way from Wellington NZ to Cape Horn.

Though the two leaders had become increasingly isolated at the head the fleet, with nearly 1200 miles now between Virbac-Paprec 3 and third placed Renault Z.E Sailing Team, the third to fifth placed peloton were back up to full speed this afternoon after extricating themselves from a persistent zone of light winds emerging into stronger northerly and NW’ly winds this morning.

The lead of Jean-Pierre Dick and Loick Peyron shrunk to as little as 8.3 miles this morning as Spanish duo gybed and headed SE but after Virbac Paprec 3 gybed later the long time leader have been quicker on every count today, making ten miles on Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez, proving that when it comes to a downwind sprint to the next ice gate attack is the only form of defence.

Speaking live today Loïck Peyron, co-skipper of Virbac-Paprec remarked that the gulf between second and third was almost bizarre, having a match race between two boats so close together and so evenly matched, separated from the body of the fleet by so much.

Peyron was on typically rhetorical form today, describing the course that the fleet sails:
“When we watch our courses we sometimes ask ourselves if we are not like a flea circus, making little, trained jumps from gate to gate!”

But the gap certainly does nothing to modulate the frenetic pace of the duel. Neither duo has it in their genetic make-up to consider anything other than first place as their target: for today, tomorrow, not at Cape Horn late next week nor in the longer team future. Other ocean races may feature skippers speaking of the importance of simply being with the vanguard and in shape to make the final push to win.

Dick and Peyron were reunited on the airwaves today in a French link up with former adversary Michel Desjoyeaux on BFM TV. Desjoyeaux could not resist the opportunity to spar with the Virbac-Paprec 3 duo:

Peyron: “Yes, when it’s not you, it’s one of your boats annoying us !”

Desjoyeaux: “ We didn’t want you to get bored so we called up our Spanish friends to put the pressure on you.”

Peyron: “That’s nice of you. A great idea! We missed you.”

The leaders opened up a little more on their relationship aboard:

“Loïck is very easy on board. It is great times for me to live through this race with him. Of course there are moments when you would rather have your space. The same for him no doubt. I can be a bit head in the air, and I leave my socks around. Living three months together can be a big challenge.” Said Dick.

The four duos who are dealing with the difficult low pressure system which was formerly Atu have been bending to their task since this morning. After discussing strategies several times Estrella Damm and Groupe Bel have taken slightly different approaches, with Estrella Damm looking to be well placed up to the north of the centre of the system late this afternoon, giving them good options to emerge on its NE side, while Groupe Bel were more to the south and east but almost equally well positioned in terms of having options to get east. Windspeeds may have been downgraded but the chaotic, huge seas created by the passage of the strong winds from changing directions over a relatively small area and a short space of time, were likely to be the biggest problem.

Citing problems with their water-maker which could not be fixed at sea, Gérard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor indicated this afternoon that they will make a technical stopover in Wellington on Forum Maritim Catala, expecting to arrive early Monday (UTC).

Boris Herrmann (GER) Neutrogena: “For the last six hours we have been into really good breeze and are making 21-22knots. We had a transition zone to get into this northerly breeze and so we were between gennaker and Code Zero all the time, tacking and trying to get the boat moving, and we had a two hours period when we had no speed at all. It is was half mile we made in three hours, something like that. But we can be happy, it stays the same way outside – rain and drizzle all the time – but we have 25 knots and are doing 20 knots of boat speed and it is fabulous.

I discovered today when we had a full check of the boat that we have Neutrogena shower gel on board and that makes me very happy because I cant wait to have a shower some time. The boat is well but we still have a small problem with the ballast system which leaks from windward to leeward, and so we have to drain the leeward side quite often and to refill windward often but that does not really slow us down very much.

They have a little bit of a closer angle to the wind and so that should allow us to catch up on them. At the moment I don’t think anyone in this area is going faster than us. I have just seen 22 knots on the GPS. It is awesome, relatively flat water. I just stacked everything at the back, all the sails, the food bags, everything and so the bow is up and we are surfing very nicely. It is one of the strong points of this boat, it gets the nose out easily and it can be very nice and smooth.

We have come along well and we get on well. Still it is a long race. It is amazing how we still get to know each other better and better, even after such a long time, we can distinguish the moods better and more precisely. I can see when Ryan has a good day, when he has a normal day and when he is a bit calmer today, things like that. For most of us our moods change with the weather. Since New Zealand it has been grey, grey, grey…no light, no sun. That is a bit depressing but now I am excited about our speed.

Xabi Fernandez (ESP) MAPFRE: “We are more or less at the layline to the gate. Virbac-Paprec 3 gybed a little earlier than us. We expect a shift and so we are waiting to see if they have to gybe again. We are close all the time, although we did this last gybe a little late. And we are a little behind, but... we are 100% all the time. We used the pilot before and took the chance to rest a bit, but it has been hard recently. We have between 25 and 35 kts and gybe after gybe with hardly any rest. But we are on it!”

Selected quotes from the BFM broadcast:

Kito De Pavant (FRA) Groupe Bel : “Seb looks like a smurf, he’s got bruises everywhere. I didn’t have time to see a doctor in Wellington. In any case he would have recommended rest, which wouldn’t have been much use. For a fortnight I could not do any stacking or hoisting. So Seb did everything. Good practice for the Vendée Globe...”

J-P Dick (FRA) Virbac-Paprec 3: “ There are bound to be times when you’d like a moment to yourself. Loïck can be... I tend to forget things and leave my socks everywhere... It’s a challenge spending three months together.”

Loïck Peyron (FRA) Virbac-Paprec 3: When it’s not you, it’s one of your boats annoying us !

Michel Desjoyeaux :”We didn’t want you to get bored so we called up our Spanish friends to put the pressure on you.”

Peyron: That’s nice of you. A great idea! We missed you.

Loïck Peyron (FRA) Virbac-Paprec 3: I always wear something on my head. All the old people are like that, but it is getting a bit cold. And with two people on board, we get a lot of condensation.

Michel Desjoyeaux: So if your desalination unit packs up, you can get plenty of fresh water...

Water pouring down the windows. Image copyright Virbac Paprec 3.

Loïck Peyron : Yes, it’s streaming down the windows.

Michel Desjoyeaux : How fast are you going?

J-P Dick : 18 knots at the moment.

Michel Desjoyeaux: That’s why Loïck thinks you’re not going very fast. He’s used to sailing multihulls.

Rankings at 1400hrs Friday 25th February 2011

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 at 9278 miles to finish
2 MAPFRE 23 miles from the leader
3 RENAULT Z.E at 1196 miles
4 NEUTROGENA at 1260 miles
5 MIRABAUD at 1420 miles
6 GROUPE BEL at 1704 miles
7 ESTRELLA DAMM Sailing Team at 1750 miles
8 HUGO BOSS at 1855 miles
10 FORUM MARITIM CATALA at 3256 miles
12 WE ARE WATER at 4356 miles

In French:

Week-end rugissant aux quatre coins des Quarantièmes

- Le match-race s’intensifie entre Virbac-Paprec 3 et MAPFRE
- Neutrogena à moins de 50 milles du 3è, Renault ZE
- Forum Maritim Catala annonce sa prochaine escale à Wellington
- Groupe Bel et Estrella Damm se préparent à affronter la tempête « Atu »

Rainbow seen from GAES Centros Auditivos. Image copyright GAES Centros Auditivos.

Au 56è jour de course, la flotte de la Barcelona World Race ne cesse de faire le grand écart avec des petits paquets de bateaux confrontés à des problématiques radicalement différentes. A chacun son destin, ses objectifs et ses adversaires sur le parcours autour du globe qui mêle les ingrédients de la navigation extrême au sel de la compétition. Avec le « mano a mano » qui oppose Virbac-Paprec 3 et MAPFRE, et le face-à-face avec la tempête « Atu » auquel se préparent Groupe Bel et Estrella Damm, la course promet encore de redoubler d’intensité. Le week-end s’annonce aussi mouvementé qu’agité dans les eaux survoltées du Pacifique Sud …

Entre deux portes comme entre trois bouées

« Lay line », « positionnement », « au contact », « à 100% »… Le vocabulaire employé à bord de Virbac-Paprec 3 et de MAPFREen dit long sur l’intensité et le niveau d’exigence de la compétition qui se joue sur la crête des vagues du Pacifique Sud.
A terre, les observateurs se plaisent à calculer entre deux classements le nombre de milles gagnés par les champions olympiques, ou ceux repris par les solides patrons de la course. Ces derniers ne se voyaient d’ailleurs pas à pareille fête, dans le feu de l’action et de la compétition, depuis le démâtage de Foncia, son meilleur ennemi en approche du cap Bonne-Espérance. Depuis Wellington, au prix d’une navigation aussi précise que combative, Iker Martinez et Xabi Fernandez n’ont en effet cessé de reprendre du terrain, au point de revenir ce matin à l’aube, à petits 8 milles dans le tableau arrière du bateau bleu. Quelques heures plus tard, Jean-Pierre Dick et Loïck Peyron, plus prompts à empanner pour rejoindre la porte de sécurité de la mi-Pacifique, ont redressé la barre pour ramener l’écart à 24 milles. Avec des vitesses de progression qui vont aller crescendo dans les jours à venir, tout porte à croire que le cap Horn, distant de 2 400 milles environ, s’inscrive sur les tablettes des bords pour le milieu de la semaine prochaine.

Bataille pour la 3è place

Voilà pour tête de flotte, où l’ambiance n’a rien à envier aux duels de match-racing dans les plus belles règles de l’art de la régate « full » contact. Pour autant, ils ne sont pas les seuls à batailler pour une place d’honneur et défendre le moindre lopin de mer au milieu de nulle part. 1200 milles en arrière, Pachi Rivero et Tonio Piris sur Renault ZEdoivent surveiller leurs arrières menacés par Neutrogena. A bord de l’ancien bateau de Roland Jourdain, Boris Hermann et Ryan Breymaier tirent profit de leur position plus au nord pour déjouer les pièges et les méandres d’une zone de transition entre deux systèmes et trouver un peu plus de pression. Résultat : les voilà revenus à moins de 50 milles derrière les Cantabriques, aux prises par ailleurs avec leur gouvernail qui les oblige à remettre les mains dans le cambouis et le nez dans la boîte à outils.

« Atu », y es-tu ?

Pour les quatre bateaux qui suivent le trio des échappés du détroit de Cook, l’ennemi du jour se nomme « Atu ». Cette dépression d’origine tropicale promet de lever des vents soutenus de 35-40 nœuds, 55 dans les rafales, avec une mer très désordonnée et chaotique. Depuis 48 heures, les équipages de Groupe Belet Estrella Dammne font pas mystère des appréhensions et des craintes suscitées par la perspective de ce rendez-vous avec le Grand Sud de très méchante humeur. Cependant, après avoir bien étudié l’évolution de ce phénomène De Pavant-Audigane et Ribes-Pella se préparent à courber l’échine et faire le dos rond. D’après les dernières prévisions, c’est demain samedi à 6h TU qu’ils devraient essuyer le plus fort de ce coup de tabac qui déboule du nord.

Quant à leur deux poursuivants, Gaes Centros Auditivoset Hugo Boss, ils font actuellement cap au nord. L’objectif pour eux est de décaler du centre, et de positionner sur le bord supérieur de cette dépression très active, là où - hémisphère sud et loi de Cariolis obligent - elle génèrera un fort flux de vents portants.

Cook-stop pour FMC

A l’arrière, dans le « far west » austral au regard le la position de la tête de flotte, les esprits se tendent vers le détroit de Cook, perçu avant le Horn comme un premier cap de la délivrance. Tout particulièrement à bord de Forum Maritima Catala, qui progresse actuellement en mer de Tasmanie. Gerard Marin et Ludovic Aglaor ont en effet annoncé cet après-midi leur prochaine escale à Wellington. Ils doivent réparer leur dessalinisateur et remplir les cambuses du bord. Pointés à moins de 900 milles du détroit de Cook, ils sont attendus à partir de lundi prochain dans le port de la capitale néo-zélandaise.

Sleeping on board Mapfre. Image copyright Mapfre.

Classement du 25 février à 15 heures (TU+1) :

1 VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 à 9278,3 milles de l’arrivée
2 MAPFRE à 23,7 milles du leader
3 RENAULT ZE à 1196,7 milles
4 NEUTROGENA à 1260,9 milles
5 MIRABAUD à 1420,2 milles
6 GROUPE BEL à 1704,8 milles
7 ESTELLA DAMM à 1750 milles
8 HUGO BOSS à 1855,1 milles
9 GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS à 1906,2 milles
10 FORUM MARITIM CATALA à 3256,2 milles
12 WE ARE WATER à 4356,9 milles

Ils ont dit:

Jean-Pierre Dick, Virbac-Paprec 3
: « Nous sommes quasi aux antipodes. Il y a une bataille assez féroce avec MAPFRE. Le bateau des Espagnols est revenu après notre escale. On a buté dans l’anticyclone. Nous essayons de relativiser, la course est longue. Le vent monte irrégulièrement. Malheureusement, suite au démâtage de Michel, nous avons moins ressenti de pression à bord tout simplement. On allait plus à l’économie. Maintenant avec MAPFRE, nous refaisons un peu tout le début de course. Cela rajoute du piment, c’est plus sportif. »

Kito de Pavant, Groupe Bel : « Nous ne sommes pas encore dans le vif du sujet, mais cela ne devrait pas tarder. Nous sommes passés au sud du phénomène Atu et le vent commence à rentrer doucement. Pour l’instant ça va encore, mais nous allons passer 24 heures assez pénibles. Les mers du Sud et le Pacifique ne sont pas très sympathiques avec nous pour l’instant. On s’apprête à vivre une tempête au reaching avec 40 à 50 nœuds, je n’espère pas plus. On a préparé le bateau pour du très mauvais temps. Les ris sont prêts. Les voiles sont sur le pont. On espère que ça va être gérable, même si on n’a pas très envie de se sentir comme des balles de ping-pong dans une machine à laver. »

Ludocvic Aglaor, Forum Maritim Catala : « C’est sympa. Nous sommes juste derrière un centre anticyclonique et nous allons toucher un vent de nord. Nous sommes à moins de 900 milles du détroit de Cook. Je me pose la question quant à un arrêt à Wellington (confirmé plus tard dans un mail à la direction de course, ndlr). Pour des raisons de nourriture, car pour nous les conditions météo sont longues. On a fait un point et c’est un peu limite. Et nous avons aussi des dysfonctionnements concernant le dessalinisateur. On était parti avec 14 semaines de nourriture, et je sens que c’est limite. Nous n’avons pas envie de manquer. Nous sommes entre 11 et 12 nœuds, à 115 degrés du vent depuis 4 heures. C’est mou, et nous attendons le vent de nord pour pouvoir débouler au reaching vers le détroit de Cook. »

Boris Herrmann, Neutrogena : « Nous sommes dans un flux de Nord ici. Il y a un gros anticyclone au Nord. Nous faisons cap vers l’Est, Renault Z.E. est plus au Sud sur un cap plus serré. Donc, il devrait être moins rapides que nous. Pour nous, l’opportunité de prendre la 3è place se confirme. Notre objectif est de faire une bonne course, avec une 5e place au général à la fin, à Barcelone. Maintenant être 3e pendant quelques jours serait top. Mais, on ne perd pas de vue qu’ il y a des bateaux très forts derrière nous : Goupe Bel, Estrella Damm et Hugo Boss. »

Barcelona World Race

BWR: Mapfre is not giving in and Continues to Apply Pressue to the Leader

Battle of gybes between the French and Spanish in the middle of the South Pacific

Mapfre. Image copyright Maria Muina/Barcelona World Race.

by Helena Paz

A veritable gybing duel is taking place between the “MAPFRE” skippers, Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández and “Virbac Paprec 3”, and a mere glance at their progress proves that. There's an anxious wait for each position report, with attention firmly focussed on the mileage gap between the French and Spanish crews, just over 14 miles (26.2 km) having cut that down to 8 miles (14,8 km) with Dick and Peyron during the European night.

It's a rubber band situation between the Barcelona World Race leader and main rivaly hot in pursuit: “MAPFRE” with Iker and Xabi. From the 15.9 miles between the two entries during the 19:00 GMT position report yesterday the gap was reduced to 8 during the early hours of the morning, creeping back up to 14 in the 09:00 GMT position report.

One hundred per cent the whole time

Knowing Martínez and Fernández, it's not hard to imagine that sleep time on board “MAPFRE” has been reduced to the point of almost disappearing, with resting hours sacrificed for the many manoeuvres carried out. Gybing with just two crew slows things down, taking about an hour if things go smoothly. There's also the need to push the boat to the maximum constantly that also requires a hand always at the helm.

“We're going at one hundred per cent the whole time," Xabi Fernández explained in an email. “On the days we were beam reaching we used the autopilot, as it did the job well and gave us a chance to rest but as soon as things got rockier, a couple of days ago, it's been tough. We've got between 25 and 30 knots of breeze, so it's gybe after gybe non-stop. We are getting there!”

“We are 180 miles from the Mid Pacific Gate and more or less exactly on a layline towards it”, pointed out Xabi Fernández. "Those on ‘Virbac Paprec 3’ gybed just before us. In any case, a change of direction of breeze is expected and we are waiting a bit to see if they have to gybe again or not to get past the gate...”.

Iker and Xabi's great progress since passing Cook Strait has allowed the pair to notch up a personal best for a 24 hour run, of 493 miles, between 04:00 GMT on the 23rd February and Thursday 24th February.

Cape Horn in a week

If there's no change to Iker and Xabi's forecasts, the pair should reach Cape Horn in a week approximately. The plan on board “MAPFRE” is to be in the South Pacific as short a time as possible: “The safest thing in the Pacific is to be in it for as little time as possible, so we are pushing to the maximum because on the one hand we have ‘Virbac Paprec 3’ and on the other hand we want to get out of here as quickly as possible as strong storms are moving in. If you can get out quicker by going faster, perfect!".

The difference with the other entries in the fleet is still increasing. “Renault Z. E” and “Neutrogena Fórmula Noruega”, now past the New Zealand gate are heading to the West Pacific and are 1,187.8 and 1,258.7 miles respectively from “MAPFRE” have seen the first and second placed entries get away although the distance between them is less than 70 miles between one another.

Day 56 - 9:00 GMT

1. VIRBAC-PAPREC 3 (Jean Pierre Dick - Loïck Peyron) FRA, 9,360.9 miles from finish
2. MAPFRE (Iker Martínez - Xabi Fernández) ESP, 14.2 miles
3. RENAULT Z. E. (Pachi Rivero - Antonio Piris) ESP, 1,202 miles
4. NEUTROGENA FÓRMULA NORUEGA (Boris Herrmann - Ryan Breymaier) NOR, 1,272.9 miles
5. MIRABAUD (Dominique Wavre - Michéle Paret) SUI, 1,403.8 miles
6. GROUPE BEL (Kito de Pavant - Sebastien Audigane) FRA, 1,661.9 miles
7. ESTRELLA DAMM SAILING TEAM (Alex Pella - Pepe Ribes) ESP, 1,691.1 miles
8. HUGO BOSS (Wouter Verbraak - Andy Meiklejohn) GBR, 1,799.6 miles
9. GAES CENTROS AUDITIVOS (Dee Caffari - Anna Corbella) GBR/ESP, 1,838.2 miles
10. FÒRUM MARÍTIM CATALÀ (Gerard Marín - Ludovic Aglaor) ESP, 3,224.3 miles
11. CENTRAL LECHERA ASTURIANA (Juan Merediz - Fran Palacio) ESP, 3,566.1 miles
12. WE ARE WATER (Jaume Mumbrú - Cali Sanmartí) ESP, 4,326.7 miles
** FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux - François Gabart) FRA, RACE ABANDONED 26th January
** PRÉSIDENT (Jean le Cam - Bruno García) FRA/ESP, RACE ABANDONED 12th January.

Barcelona World Race

BWR: « Bataille féroce »

Jean-Pierre Dick a bord de Virbac Paprec 3. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

par Anne Charlotte Meyer

J+56. Depuis leur retour en course après leur escale technique à Wellington vendredi dernier, Virbac-Paprec 3 mène une bataille féroce contre Mapfré dans l’Océan Pacifique. Cette semaine, les conditions météos ont nettement favorisé les champions olympiques espagnols qui sont revenus dans le tableau arrière du monocoque bleu. Au classement de 15h, Jean-Pierre Dick et Loïck Peyron devancent le duo ibère de 24 milles. Les deux tandems vont continuer à croiser le fer jusqu’au Cap Horn. Qui passera le Cap mythique en tête ? Réponse dans moins d’une semaine…

Comment vivez-vous cette pression de l’équipage espagnol ?
JP : « Nous essayons de relativiser, la course est longue. C’est vrai que cela met la pression. Nous menons une bat aille assez féroce avec Mapfré. Cela ajoute du piment, c’est sympa de naviguer au contact comme ça, mais c’est plus sportif. Depuis que les conditions sont plus égales, nous sommes allés un peu plus vite que Mapfré au grand portant hier, nous avons fait une belle journée, maintenant cela se joue à pas grand choses. »

Loïck : « Cela fait bizarre de se bagarrer très proche avec un autre navire alors que les autres poursuivants sont relégués à plus de 1000 milles derrière. Apparemment cela devrait continuer ainsi, nous devrions avoir des conditions assez exceptionnelles jusqu’au Horn alors que cela ne devrait pas être le cas pour ceux qui sont derrière malheureusement. »

Quand allez-vous passer le Cap Horn ?
JP : « Nous devrions &ecir c;tre au Cap Horn dans moins de 7 jours maintenant, vers le 2 ou 3 mars. Nous déboulerons en Atlantique dans une semaine !»

Quels sont vos petits plaisirs à bord ?
JP : « Avec Loïck nous partageons de bons moments ensemble notamment notre rituel du thé au miel vers 17h00. Loïck est quelqu’un de très agréable à vivre à bord, c’est un super moment pour moi de vivre cette course avec lui. Il y a forcément des petits moments difficiles où on aimerait avoir son intimité. Mais nous avons pas mal de recul sur les choses. Vivre trois mois là-dedans à deux, c’est un beau challenge ! »

Classement à 15h
1.Virbac-Paprec 3 à 9360,9 milles de l'arrivée
2.Mapfre à 23,7 milles du leader
3.Renault à 1196,7 milles du leader

Virbac Paprec 3
Barcelona World Race

BWR: Turbulent Halfway Point for the GAES Girls

GAES Centros Auditivos. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

by Jo Uffendell

Having passed through the Cook Straits on Thursday morning (local time), Caffari and Corbella are now 11,199 miles from the finish line of the Barcelona World Race placing them within touching distance of the half way point into their voyage around the globe. The all female duo aboard GAES Centros Auditivos were delighted to be greeted outside of Wellington by the race organisation RIB and briefly posed for photographs before continuing their journey out into the Pacific.

The GAES girls are breathing a sigh of relief as the anticipated cyclone Atu has now been downgraded to a strong low pressure system. It was previously thought that the cyclone would create winds of up to 80 knots and whilst that seems unlikely now, a confused sea state is still expected and they are agreed that safety and boat preservation must take precedence over a potential loss of miles against competitors.

Commenting yesterday, Caffari said:

“It is just the sea state around it which will be hard on the boat and so it is just making sure we don’t do anything silly and we get this obstacle out of the way. You might lose some miles with these kind of situations but if you and the boat remain in good form then it is easier to make those miles up again than if you have issues and are constantly battling all of the time.”

GAES Project Manager, Harry Spedding, added:

“Tropical storm Atu may have been downgraded but around the centre of this depression there will still be strong winds, just below hurricane force at around 60 knots. Dee has been tracking the movement of the storm, initially different weather models showed different paths, but these are now all starting to align. There is a difficult weekend ahead as GAES Centros Auditivos sails into the western side of the depression and then aims to sail over the top of the low pressure, avoiding the stronger winds closer to the centre.”

Virbac-Paprec 3 continue their lead in the Barcelona World Race with Mapfre just 14 miles behind and Renault Z.E. maintaining their position of third. At the 0900hrs ranking today, Caffari and Corbella onboard GAES Centros Auditivos were in 9th place, 39 miles behind Andy Meiklejohn & Wouter Verbraak on Hugo Boss.

GAES Centros Auditivos
Barcelona World Race

RORC Caribbean 600: Coming of Age for the New Offshore Classic

Sunset over Antigua. Image copyright Tim Wright/

by Louay Habib

Day 4: The RORC Caribbean 600 has been a special event for all of the competitors. Last night the closest battle in any class was decided and the two remaining yachts racing showed great fighting spirit. This provided a fitting finale to racing in the beautiful, but sometimes brutal waters of the central Caribbean.

Late yesterday evening, the Army Sailing Association’s A40, British Soldier crossed the finish line. The team largely consists of British soldiers on leave from active duty in Afghanistan, but not entirely. Two of the crew were from the Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force and had no offshore sailing experience. The Antiguans put there hands up for the trip and were shown the ropes by some of the more experienced members of the crew. British Soldier had a blistering start to the race and sailed intelligently around the track to claim a well deserved win in Class Two, showing dedication to duty, but also allowing the soldiers a relaxing shakedown from their vital role.

British Soldier had a cracking race but by the end they were fighting off a rear guard action from Christian Reynolds Swan 51, Northern Child. Christian charters his pride and joy at sailing regattas all over the world: “Northern Child is all about the experience of sailing and enjoying time away from the stress of life. We were a little deflated at the end losing out by so little, but I think I can speak for all of the crew by saying that this has been a thought-provoking adventure not to be missed,” commented Christian Reynolds.

There was another great tussle between several yachts finishing in Class One. Andy Middleton’s First 47.7 EH01 claimed second overall in class with Richard Balding’s Swan 60, Fenix third. Philippe Falle’s First 50, Hydrocarbon Logic and Ondeck’s Farr 65, Spirit of Minerva also finished this lively race which was a great achievement.

First 40.7s Spirit of Athena skippered by AYC (Antigua Yacht Club) and RORC member John Duffy and Coyote skippered by RORC member Peter Hopps, finished the RORC Caribbean 600 on Friday afternoon, wrapping up a fantastic event. Coyote were the last boat to cross the line but beat Athena on handicap. The two boats had been locked in a private battle all the way around the course. Not everybody gets to race a ballistic maxi, but there are many races within the event, which are just as important. The two production yachts had their own private gentleman’s duel from start to finish.

The third edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 could be described as a ‘coming of age’ of a new offshore racing classic. Already interest is pouring in from future competitors. The race around 11 Caribbean islands provides some of the most spectacular racing conditions and scenery anywhere else in the world. It has attracted a huge variety of yachts and competitors and there is almost unanimous agreement, the RORC Caribbean 600 is a tough race with big wind and waves. It is exciting and a joy to experience.

Tonight all of the competitors will be joined by the race management team and dedicated volunteers from the Antigua Yacht Club at the closing party. Rock band, Itchy Feet will play out the event after winners collect there prizes, not everyone will end up on the podium but anybody involved with the RORC Caribbean 600 can rightly feel a sense of pride, this race has most definitely come of age.


Full results for all classes can be found at:


Sail No. BoatType Owner Elapsed Handicap Corrected

1 USA25555 Rambler 100 JK 100 George David 1 - 16:20:02 1.865 3 - 03:13:22
2 CAN84248 Vela Veloce Southern Cross 52 Richard Oland 2 - 08:47:46 1.376 3 - 06:09:05
3 GBR115L Sojana Farr 115 Peter Harrison 2 - 05:19:53 1.538 3 - 10:01:25
4 AUS5299 Jazz Cookson 50 Chris Bull 2 - 12:27:03 1.359 3 - 10:09:10
5 GBR1R ICAP Leopard Farr 100 Mike Slade 1 - 21:17:1 1.820 3 - 10:25:26


1. USA25555, Rambler 100, JK 100, George David
2. AUS5299, Jazz, Cookson 50, Chris Bull
3. GBR1R, ICAP Leopard, Farr 100, Mike Slade


1. CAN84248, Vela Veloce, Southern Cross 52, Richard Oland
2. GBR115, Sojana, Farr 115, Peter Harrison
3. GBR22N, Aegir, Carbon Ocean 82, Brian Benjamin


1. NED46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, Ker 46,Piet Vroon
2. GBR4778R, EH01, First 47.7, Global Yacht Racing, Andy Middleton
3. GBR9660R, Fenix, Swan 60, Richard Balding
4. GBR50L, Hydrocarbon Logic, First 5, Sailing Logic Ltd, Philippe Falle


1. GBR1429L, British Soldier, A 40Army Sailing Association, Nick Bate
2. GBR5951T, Northern Child, Swan 51, Christian Reynolds
3. GBR9042T, Coyote, First 40.7, Peter Hopps


1. GBR93, Concise 2, Class 40, Tony Lawson/Ned Collier Wakefield
2. FRA99, Fitz, Class 40, David Ducosson


1. USA25555 Rambler 100 George David
2. CAN84248 Vela Veloce Richard Oland
3. IRL5005 Lee Overlay Partners Adrian Lee
3. GBR115L Sojana Peter Harrison
5. GBR1R ICAP Leopard Mike Slade


1. 399BC, Phaedo, Gunboat 66, Lloyd Thurnborg
2. GBR737741, Wondeful, Yapluka 70, Wonderful Yacht Holdings Ltd, Warren East

RORC Caribbean 600

Musto Wellington Match Race Cup: Day Two Report

Josh Junior and crew were top on the first day of the men's competition in the MRXs in Wellington. Image copyright RPNYC.

by SailRaceWin

Two round robins were completed on the first day of the men's competition in MRXs at the Musto Wellington Match Race Cup. Competitors had to wait a while for the breeze to fill in before racing got underway from the Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club's committee boat.

Local sailor, and Olympic Laser campaigner, Josh Junior finished with the best scoreline: 5-1. Will Tiller (FMJ Racing, RNZYS) was second at the end of the day, on 4-2, while fellow RNZYS sailor, Reuben Corbett (Black Sheep Racing) finished on 3-3. The RPNYC youth team, skippered by Tim Coltman, did not win any races on day one.

The women had started racing, in Elliot 6 metres, one day earlier than the men. The two Olympic campaigning teams, Stephanie Hazard (Koru Match) and Sam Osborne (Silver Sails) were clearly ahead of the other four womens teams. Osborne had the lead after day one, but two round robins later, Hazard heads the scoreboard with 11 wins to Osborne's 9. Another Auckland team, that of Danielle Bowater, lies third with 6 wins, while Anita Trudgen is the only other scorer, with 4 points on the board.

Musto Wellington Match Race Cup

Musto Wellington Match Race Cup: Report from Black Sheep Racing on Day One

Black Sheep Racing competing in the Musto Wellington Match Race Cup. Image copyright RPNYC.

by Black Sheep Racing media

Black Sheep Racing are currently in Wellington for the Musto Match Race Cup. There are four teams at this event with a lot to play for. The winner will receive an invite to Match Race Germany which is the second event on the World Match Racing Tour.

After the first day racing at the BSR are placed third with 3 wins and 3 losses.

The day started with an extremely shifty northerly which provided some tough racing and had some very large winning margins. The first round robin we only managed to notch one win against Tim Coltman.

There was a large delay and a shift of the course before the next round robin was able to get underway in a building southerly. We lost the first race of this to our club mates of FMJ. In the remaining two races we had solid starts and kept a tight cover to win both, over the two local teams.

The plan is to sail two more round robins tomorrow, with semi-finals and finals on Sunday.

We would like to thank our yacht club, The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron for their continued support and, as always, family and friends!

Black Sheep Racing is Tom Bentham, Tom Blampied, Reuben Corbett, Benny Butcher and Brad Farrand.

Black Sheep Racing
Musto Wellington Match Race Cup

America's Cup: Artemis Racing Team Video

Artemis Racing
America's Cup

Aussie 18 Foot Skiffs: Video - Race Day at the League

Aussie 18 Footers League

Extreme 40: (R)Oman Hagara and Crew End Season Opener on the Podium!

Red Bull Extreme Sailing leads the fleet downwind in Muscat. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Chili Sports Communication.

by Mario Schoby

On the final day of Act One of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series in Oman, skipper Roman Hagara (with Hans Peter Steinacher, Will Howden, and Craig Monk) faced the world's most successful sailing syndicates. Red Bull Extreme Sailing sailed into 3rd place overall, and not even a collision on the final day was able to stop them. The red-white-red two-time Olympic champions continue their success on the large boats

MUSCAT/OMAN. The final day began and ended with great emotion for the 8500 spectators in Muscat's sailing stadium and on board Red Bull Extreme Sailing. "In the first race we were hampered from the start and finished in 9th place. In the fifth race, we took a hit on the hull from another team and we thought we were done for," exulted Steinacher, who after the collision had a few choice words for GAC-skipper Ian Williams. "We stuck to the plan," enthused skipper Roman Hagara, "and we were rewarded. For us this is a dream come true. To survive after facing all these teams is not a cakewalk."

Red Bull Extreme Sailing was able to put in a consistent performance over the course of five days. The match race victory over two-time America's Cup winner Alinghi (SUI) and another 14 top-three finishes (in 32 races) laid the groundwork for their third-place overall win behind Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA/skipper xxx) and Artemis Racing (SWE/skipper xxx).

Act Two of the prestigious sailing series begins on April 13th in the Olympic Village in Qingdao, China. Red Bull Extreme Sailing's 40-foot-catamaran is being transported directly by cargo ship from Oman to China. On Sunday the crew is traveling to Salzburg, Austria. Physical training and tests are on the agenda.

Extreme 40 sailing in Oman. Image copyright Sabine König/Chili Sports Communication.

World Series 2011:

Act 1: 20-24 February, Muscat, Oman
Act 2: 13-17 April, China
Act 3: 25-29 May, Istanbul, Turkey
Act 4: 30 June – 4 July, Boston, USA
Act 5: 6-12 August, Cowes, UK
Act 6: 14-18 September, Trapani, Italy
Act 7: 28 September – 2 October, Nice, France
Act 8: 12-16 October, Almeria, Spain
Act 9: 7-11 December, Singapore

In German:

(R)Oman Hagara und Crew beenden Saisonauftakt am Podium!

Am Finaltag des ersten Stopps der Extreme Sailing World Series 2011 im Sultanat Oman nahm Skipper Roman Hagara (mit Hans Peter Steinacher, Will Howden, Craig Monk) die erfolgreichsten Segelsyndikate der Welt auf die Hörner. Red Bull Extreme Sailing segelte auf den 3. Gesamtrang, konnte am Finaltag nicht einmal von einer Kollision gestoppt werden. Die rot-weiß-roten Doppel-olympiasieger setzen auch auf Großbooten ihren Erfolgslauf fort

Red Bull Extreme Sailing off Muscat. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Chili Sports Communication.

Emotionsgeladen begann und endete der Finaltag vor 8500 Zusehern im Segelstadion von Muscat und an Bord von Red Bull Extreme Sailing. „Im ersten Rennen wurden wir vom Start weg behindert und landeten am 9. Rang, im 5. Rennen fuhr uns auch noch ein Team an der Tonne in den Rumpf. Wir dachten, es ist alles vorbei“, jubelte Steinacher, der sich nach der Kollision mit GAC-Skipper Ian Williams (UK) ein ordentliches Wortgefecht lieferte. „Wir haben trotzdem nicht aufgehört, unseren Plan durchzuziehen und wurden belohnt. Für uns ist heute ein Traum in Erfüllung gegangen. Gegen all diese Teams zu bestehen, war kein Spaziergang“, jubelte Skipper Roman Hagara.

Über fünf Tage bot Red Bull Extreme Sailing eine konstante Leistung. Der überlegene Matchrace-Sieg gegen den zweifachen Americas-Cup-Champion Alinghi (SUI) sowie weitere 14 Podestplätze (in 32 Rennen) legten den Grundstein für den dritten Platz hinter Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA/Skipper Piere Pennec) und Artemis Racing (SWE/Skipper Terry Hutchinson).

Roman Hagara and Crew (Hans Peter Steinacher, Craig Monk and Will Howden), after finishing third in Muscat. Image copyright Sabine König/Chili Sports Communication.

Der zweite Stopp der prestigeträchtigen Segelserie findet ab 13. April im Olympiarevier vor Qingdao/China statt. Der 40-Fuss-Katamaran von Red Bull Extreme Sailing wird per Frachtschiff, direkt aus dem Oman, nach China transportiert. Die Crew wird am Sonntag in Salzburg (AUT) erwartet. Sportmedizinische Test und Einheiten in der Kraftkammer stehen am Programm.

World Series 2011:

Act 1: 20-24 Februar, Muscat, Oman
Act 2: 13-17 April, China
Act 3: 25-29 Mai, Istanbul, Türkei
Act 4: 30 Juni – 4 Juli, Boston, USA
Act 5: 6-12 August, Cowes, GBR
Act 6: 14-18 September, Trapani, Italien
Act 7: 28 September – 2 Oktober, Nizza, Frankreich
Act 8: 12-16 Oktober, Almeria, Spanien
Act 9: 7-11 Dezember, Singapur

Red Bull Extreme Sailing
Extreme Sailing Series

Extreme 40: Resounding Victory for Edmond de Rothschild Group in Muscat

The Gitana Team celebrate their win on board Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OCThirdPole.

by Kate Jennings

The 2011 season has begun on a high for Gitana Team. Winner of the first Grand Prix of the year for the past two seasons, Venice in 2009 and Sète in 2010, the Extreme Edmond de Rothschild Group has once again proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the opening event. Indeed history has repeated itself but this victory in the Muscat Grand Prix was certainly not a mere formality. Pierre Pennec and his three crew – Hervé Cunningham, Thierry Fouchier and Christophe Espagnon – had to fend off stiff competition for five days of competition. Finally, after thirty-two races on the Omani race zone, the catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild got the better of some of the world’s best sailors. The crew of Artemis Racing, who made life especially difficult for the men of Gitana Team, took second place, while Roman Hagara and his team complete the event podium.

Leading the way from the very first day of racing, the crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group managed to keep their rivals at a safe distance until the last race of the Grand Prix. However, the minute they crossed the finish line of this last race, the four sailors that make up Gitana Team exploded with delight: “What a day! Clearly I’m very happy with the result, though I’m especially proud of the way we won this Grand Prix. We managed to play it so that we were relatively consistent, even though the third day of racing didn’t go quite as well as the others. I’m incredibly lucky to sail with such a crew. I really enjoyed helming Edmond de Rothschild Group, and the breezy sailing on Monday in particular. In the short courses there was a massive amount of pressure and I was a little tenser. I couldn’t afford to put a foot wrong, not with a crew like mine. Hervé, Thierry and Christophe are as strong technically as they are tactically. They have a very good feeling and they are physically powerful. I have a dream team,” said Pierre Pennec in tribute to his crew, before continuing with great emotion: “This victory makes me feel extremely emotional… It’s been ten years since I’ve been entrusted with the helm of a catamaran. Baron and Baroness de Rothschild, along with Gitana’s team manager Cyril Dardashti, have given me an incredible opportunity. They believed in the potential of this crew and it was daring challenge. I cannot thank them enough.”

A loyal member of the crew on the catamaran in the colours of the Edmond de Rothschild Group, a usually reserved Hervé Cunningham, couldn’t conceal his delight this evening after five days of competition where the tension and pressure were constant: “I don’t think the competition necessarily expected our crew to be up at this level of the game, but we race for a family which has a history steeped in sailing and on a boat which has already performed very well over the past two seasons, that the pressure on our shoulders was massive. However, it also came as a great benefit because it pushed us into working very hard prior to this first meeting.

The Extreme Sailing Series is an atypical circuit and even though we had confidence in our team and our potential, there was still an unknown element in how long we would need to adapt to Pierre, our new skipper, and to perform well in this highly unique championship. He was fantastic, right on top of his game and competitive from the very first race. We had a tough day on Tuesday and that could have unsettled us but we joined forces, as has been the tradition on this boat since we began racing on this circuit. We talked to each other a lot, without mincing our words and we knew just what to do to adjust our aim the following day. Our weakness related to the start phases and Pierre took on his responsibilities as skipper-helmsman to reverse the trend,” assured the bowman of the boat.

This first Grand Prix of the season was very hotly contested and the calibre of the line-up lived up to expectations. With eight events remaining, the men of Gitana Team know this evening that it will be a complicated season, but the foursome are relishing the challenge ahead: “When we see the intensity there was in this Muscat Grand Prix and knowing there are still eight stages to go, it promises to be a very fine season. We’re going to have to continue working as the learning curves of the crews who are pursuing us are still long. However, that’s exactly what is driving us on and what will make this 2011 circuit so enthralling.”

The Extreme Sailing Series teams will now be heading to Qingdao, China, where racing takes place from 13 to 17 April for the second act.

The crew speak out:

Thierry Fouchier, headsail trimmer
: “We had to hunt down this victory: the race format is more complicated than last year. There are a lot of boats on the race zone with a fleet of eleven competitors in total and the level has gone up a notch. We knew we had potential but we had to apply it on the water, which isn’t always very easy. We just had to take it one race at a time and above all not give up when we got a poor result. The strength of our crew lies in the trust we have in each other. Pierre relies on us a great deal and we rely on his a lot as ultimately the decision about trajectory is down to him. Aboard the boat, we managed to put in some good moves and some not so good moves, but even in the tricky moments, we managed to remain united and optimistic. We still have a lot of progress to make and we’re going to have to put more work into raising our game as the event goes on. This past week of racing has been a very steep learning curve for us.”

Christophe Espagnon, mainsail trimmer: “I’m obviously happy because, in addition to pulling off a win, the fact that I’m a newcomer to the team enabled me to really get a lot of enjoyment from the experience. Pierre and I have known each other for 20 years but it’s the first time we’d sailed together. We’re friends in life but we were adversaries in the Tornado competition for many years. This understanding, which is based on mutual trust, naturally facilitated my integration in the team. These past five days of racing have been really intense, especially as we went straight from one race to the next in the afternoons. In fact I’d be incapable of saying how many races we’d raced in total. This first place was something that was built on each day. We took one race at a time without focusing on the yo-yoing of the points and the ranking. I think that this was the right way of going about it to ensure we were as confident and calm as possible.”

Ranking for the Muscat Grand Prix on 24 February (after thirty-two races)

1. Edmond de Rothschild Group (Pierre Pennec) – 253 points
2. Artemis Racing (Terry Hutchinson) – 243 points
3. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (Roman Hagara) – 239 points
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (Dean Barker) – 236 points
5. Luna Rossa (Max Sirena) – 234 points
6. Alinghi (Tanguy Cariou) – 217 points
7. The Wave, Muscat (Torvar Mirsky) – 208 points
8. Oman Air (Sydney Gavignet) – 188 points
9. Team Extreme (Roland Gaebler) – 140 points
10. Niceforyou (Alberto Barovier) – 95 points
11. Team GAC Pindar (Ian Williams) – 62 points

Ranking for the Extreme Sailing Series 2011 after the Muscat Grand Prix

1. Edmond de Rothschild Group (FRA) – 11 points
2. Artemis Racing (SWE) – 10 points
3. Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT) – 9 points
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZ) – 8 points
5. Luna Rossa (ITA) – 7 points
6. Alinghi (SUI) – 6 points
7. The Wave, Muscat (OMA) – 5 points
8. Oman Air (OMA) – 4 points
9. Team Extreme (EUR) – 3 points
10. Niceforyou (ITA) – 2 points
11. Team GAC Pindar (GBR) – 1 point

The crew of Edmond de Rothschild Group

Pierre Pennec - Helmsman, skipper
Christophe Espagnon – Mainsail trimmer, tactics
Thierry Fouchier – Headsail trimmer
Hervé Cunningham - Bowman

Gitana Team
Extreme Sailing Series