Friday 22 April 2011

BWR: Livestream of the Finish of HUGO BOSS

Watch, live, on, Andy Meiklejohn (NZL) and Wouter Verbraak (NED) as they finish the 2010-11 Barcelona World Race on HUGO BOSS, in 7th place.

Live broadcast starts half an hour before arrival at finish on Thursday, 21st April 2011.

Finish currently due to be around 2200-0000 UTC / 1000-1200 Friday in New Zealand.

or watch it on the Barcelona World Race site by clicking here

Barcelona World Race

BWR: Safety first finish for Hugo Boss and FMC in strong winds

HUGO BOSS. Image copyright Chris Cameron/DPPI/Barcelona World Race.

by Andi Robertson

After more than 110 days of racing, Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak were making steady progress this afternoon with less than 100 miles to the finish concentrating on bringing Hugo Boss home across the finish line after a slow, problematic period during yesterday evening and this morning when they were often slowed to just 5-6kts.

The Kiwi-Dutch duo passed only six miles west of Dragonera, the west point of Mallorca, this afternoon and were sailing at just over 10 knots in a building easterly breeze.

In Barcelona the strong NE’lies have been blowing since last night and the duo are now expected between 2300hrs UTC tonight and 0100hrs on Friday morning, looking to cement seventh place from the 14 teams which started on December 31st.

Andy Meiklejohn (NZL), seated, and Wouter Verbraak (NED) on Hugo Boss. Image copyright Andy Meiklejohn/Alex Thomson Racing.

Just over 120 miles behind are Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor on Forum Maritim Catala. The Catalan-French pairing are expected Friday afternoon in Barcelona, but are also nursing their IMOCA Open 60 which has some rigging complications.

At just over 3000 miles from the finish, We Are Water ensured that when Hugo Boss finishes all of the remaining race fleet will be in the Northern Hemisphere after they crossed the Equator are 0845hrs UTC this morning.

“It was a time of great satisfaction and emotion after three months in the south, the East Indian, the Pacific and the big South and now every day feels like a day closer to home.” Wrote Jaume Mumbrú and Cali Sanmartí this morning.

The finish of Hugo Boss will be streamed live on, as will subsequent post finish interviews with Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak.

Note from SailRaceWin: HUGO BOSS' finish may also been seen on

Barcelona World Race

Thursday 21 April 2011

MOD70: With the KRYS OCEAN RACE, the KRYS opticians commit to the MOD70 circuit

MultiOne Design: Krys Ocean Race. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co.

by Sandra Mudronja

7 July 2012 will herald the kick-off of the first crewed race in the MOD70 circuit. Six one-design trimarans will set off from New York in the United States, bound for Brest in NW Brittany, where the planned mid-July finish will coincide with the start of the Tonnerres de Brest maritime festival. In this eastbound transatlantic race, the fleet of MOD70s will hoist the colours of a newcomer to the sponsor world: KRYS opticians.

KRYS, title partner to the 2012 and 2014 editions of the KRYS OCEAN RACE

Already involved in the cycling domain through its Vision Plus brand, Krys Group is boosting its activity in sport by selecting sailing and the burgeoning MOD70 circuit in particular. In this way the 2012 and 2014 editions of the KRYS OCEAN RACE will proudly sport the colours of the French leader of the eyewear market.

Set up in 1967, KRYS is the group’s reference brand; a brand whose notoriety among consumers is the most significant. Professionalism, accessibility and beauty define its positioning on the market. Krys, whose turnover increased by 3% in 2010, has its headquarters near La Défense in Paris, but is accessible in over 850 shops distributed across the whole of France, as well as in Belgium, Morocco and in the French overseas territories.

From New York to the Tonnerres de Brest Maritime Festival 2012...

The KRYS OCEAN RACE is the first event of the MOD70 circuit and aims to be a major meeting for the series. Two editions have already been scheduled for 2012 and 2014.

The KRYS OCEAN RACE 2012 is positioning itself in the wake of the first major transatlantic races, the most famous of which honoured Charlie Barr and the schooner Atlantic in the early 20th century. Since then a whole score of sailors, keen to reduce the transatlantic passage time, have battled to beat the reference time of this now famous course, but never in a formalised race.

The first six one-design trimarans in the running for this first edition will have to cover 2,950 miles to get from New York City, a cosmopolitan megalopolis, to Brest, where the fleet will be embraced by the Tonnerres de Brest Maritime Festival 2012 in full swing.

As such it’s from the foot of the New York skyscrapers that the starting signal for the first KRYS OCEAN RACE will be given by the members of the prestigious New York Yacht Club, which played host to and defended the famous America’s Cup for 132 years.

As for the finish, the outcome will be decided in the purest tradition of seafarers, right in the midst of the international maritime festival, to help it celebrate its 20th anniversary in style.

Six teams competing on equal terms across the Atlantic

With the MOD70 class respecting a strict one-design imperative, the launches of the various craft can only succeed one another at a predefined rhythm as the same yards are involved in the construction of each of the trimarans. Given this fact, just six MOD70s will be able to line-up for the start of the first KRYS OCEAN RACE. From then on the fleet will be regularly fleshed out to reach the restricted intake of 12 craft by the end of 2013.

Three French teams and three overseas teams comprising six sailors per boat, will do battle over the 2,950 miles that make up the course. The 36 competing sailors, alone, will make the difference. For the time being, we only know four of the six protagonists; and solely by reading the track records of the skippers involved thus far – Stève Ravussin, Roland Jourdain, Michel Desjoyeaux and Sébastien Josse – we can wager that it will be a choice affair to say the very least!

The KRYS MATCH in October 2011

With an enduring partnership firmly in their sights, the association with the KRYS brand begins this year with the KRYS MATCH, the first MOD70 show in real conditions, which will take place from 6 to 8 October 2011. This will be the first time the series will be together as a fleet.

Participants will be able to show what they’re made of during speed runs, as well as having the chance to challenge each other!

Arnaud Ploix, Managing Director of Krys Group:
“Beyond all the common values we share with sailing in general, it’s also interesting to be present at the genesis of a project. With a new class and a new partner in the maritime universe, we naturally have some fine human stories to write together. We’re going to rely on this fantastic race to share the really thrilling, inspirational moments with our customers and further unify our opticians.

"Furthermore, though we want to associate the brand’s image with the values of sailing, a single operation would only have little significance. It takes time to establish a successful collaboration. Our involvement in the first two editions of the KRYS OCEAN RACE is the first concrete proof of a partnership which Krys is keen to be part of over the long term.”

Marco Simeoni, President of the MOD S.A:
“The KRYS OCEAN RACE constitutes both a success and the start of the adventure. The various partners associated with this event - Krys, our title partner, as well as the cities hosting the start and finish, the cosmopolitan New York, and Brest with the fabulous Tonnerres de Brest maritime festival – all come together to provide some very promising elements in terms of notoriety and popular success for this first race, whose aim is to be a major event on the MOD70 circuit.”

Mr Cuillandre, Mayor of Brest
“The MOD70 project represents the future of offshore racing with one-design multihulls aboard which the crews will be able to pit against each other on equal terms on powerful, high performance machines. As such it is important for Brest to be associated with such a project, so as to bring to the fore its facilities, such as the new Port du Château and its network of businesses specialising in the sector of offshore racing and watersports. A race like the Krys Ocean Race is an additional opportunity to showcase Brest and its maritime excellence. Furthermore, a finish in the midst of the Tonnerres de Brest maritime festival 2012 further strengthens the link with the whole world of sea and sailors”.

Participating crews and boat owners
• MOD01: Launched on 25 March 2011 - Race For Water, Stève Ravussin (SUI)
• MOD02: Launch scheduled for June 2011 - Veolia Environnement, Roland Jourdain (FRA)
• MOD03: Launch scheduled for August 2011 - Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA)
• MOD04: Launch scheduled for October 2011 - Edmond de Rothschild Group, Sébastien Josse (FRA)
• MOD05: Launch scheduled for January 2012 - announcement to come
• MOD06: Launch scheduled for April 2012 - announcement to come

- Start: on 7 July 2012
- 2,950 miles from New York to Brest
- Opening of the race village in New York: from 30 June to 7 July
- Opening of the race village in Brest: from 13 to 17 July
- 6 competing MOD 70s
- 3 French teams, 3 overseas teams
- 36 sailors racing

In French:

Avec la KRYS OCEAN RACE, les opticiens KRYS s’engagent sur le circuit MOD70

KRYS Ocean Race. Image copyright Thierry Martinez/Sea&Co.

Le 7 juillet 2012 sera donné le coup d’envoi de la première course en équipage du circuit MOD70. Six trimarans monotypes s’élanceront de New York, aux Etats Unis pour rallier Brest, au moment même où débuteront les Tonnerres de Brest, l’arrivée sur les côtes bretonnes étant prévue mi-juillet. Sur cette traversée de l’Atlantique d’ouest en est, la flotte des MOD70 hissera les couleurs d’un nouveau venu dans le monde des sponsors: les opticiens KRYS.

KRYS, partenaire titre des éditions 2012 et 2014 de la KRYS OCEAN RACE

KRYS GROUP, déjà engagé dans le cyclisme au travers de son enseigne Vision Plus renforce ainsi son action dans le sport en choisissant la voile et plus particulièrement le circuit naissant des MOD70. C’est ainsi que les éditions 2012 et 2014 de la KRYS OCEAN RACE porteront haut les couleurs du leader français du marché de l’optique.
Fondée en 1967, KRYS est l’enseigne de référence du groupe éponyme ; celle dont la notoriété est la plus importante auprès des consommateurs. Professionnalisme, accessibilité et beauté définissent son positionnement sur le marché. Krys dont le chiffre d’affaire a progressé de 3% en 2010 siège près de la Défense mais est accessible dans plus de 850 magasins repartis sur l’ensemble du territoire national, en Belgique, au Maroc et dans les départements d’Outre Mer.

De New York aux Tonnerres de Brest 2012...

La KRYS OCEAN RACE est la première épreuve du circuit MOD70 et ambitionne d’être un grand rendez-vous de la série. Deux éditions sont d’ores et déjà programmées en 2012 et 2014.

La KRYS OCEAN RACE 2012 se positionne dans le sillage des premières grandes courses transatlantiques dont la plus célèbre, début XXème, a consacré Charlie Barr et la goélette Atlantic. Depuis, de nombreux réducteurs d’océan ont bataillé afin de faire tomber le temps de référence de ce parcours devenu célèbre; mais jamais en course formalisée.

Les six premiers trimarans monotypes en lice pour cette édition devront parcourir 2950 milles pour rallier New York City, mégalopole cosmopolite, à Brest où la flotte sera accueillie en plein coeur des Tonnerres de Brest 2012.
C’est donc du pied des grattes ciel new yorkais que le départ de la première KRYS OCEAN RACE sera donné par les membres du prestigieux New York Yacht Club qui a accueilli et défendu pendant 132 ans la célèbre coupe de l’America.
Quant à l’arrivée, elle sera jugée dans la plus pure tradition des gens de mer au beau milieu des fêtes maritimes internationales qui fêteront leur 20ème anniversaire.

Six teams engagés, à armes égales sur l’Atlantique

La classe MOD70 respectant une monotypie stricte, les mises à l’eau des différentes unités ne peuvent que se succéder qu’à un rythme prédéfini puisque les mêmes chantiers sont impliqués dans les constructions de chacun des trimarans. Partant de ce fait, seulement six MOD70 pourront être alignés sur la ligne de la KRYS OCEAN RACE. La flotte s’étoffera régulièrement pour atteindre le numerus clausus de 12 unités fin 2013.

Trois teams français et trois teams étrangers composés de six navigants par bateau se disputeront sur les 2950 milles que comptent le parcours. 36 marins en lice feront, seuls, la différence. Pour l’heure, nous ne connaissons que quatre des six protagonistes ; et, à la seule lecture des palmarès des skippers engagés – Stève Ravussin, Roland Jourdain, Michel Desjoyeaux et Sébastien Josse – nous pouvons gager que les débats s’annonceront relevés !

Le KRYS MATCH en octobre 2011

Avec l’enseigne KRYS, le partenariat qui se veut pérenne démarre dès cette année avec le KRYS MATCH, premier show grandeur nature des MOD70 qui aura lieu du 6 au 8 octobre prochain. Il s’agit là du premier regroupement en flotte de la série. Ces derniers s’exhiberont au cours de runs de vitesse et pourront ainsi se défier !

Arnaud Ploix, directeur général Krys Group
«Au-delà de toutes les valeurs communes que nous partageons avec la voile en général, il est intéressant d’être présent à la genèse d’un projet. Avec une nouvelle classe et un nouveau partenaire dans l’univers maritime, nous avons forcément de belles histoires humaines à écrire ensemble. Nous allons nous appuyer sur cette fantastique course pour partager avec nos clients de grands moments de frissons et du rêve et fédérer davantage nos opticiens.

De plus, si nous voulons engager l’image de l’enseigne autour des valeurs de la voile, une opération unique n’aurait eu que peu de sens. La naissance d’une collaboration prend du temps.. Notre engagement sur les deux premières éditions de la KRYS OCEAN RACE est la première preuve concrète d’un partenariat dans lequel Krys souhaite s’inscrire sur du long terme.»

Marco Simeoni, président de MOD S.A
«La KRYS OCEAN RACE représente un aboutissement mais également le point de départ de l’aventure. Les différents partenaires associés à cet événement - Krys, notre partenaire titre et les villes de départ et d’arrivée, New York, la cosmopolite et Brest avec le fabuleux événement les Tonnerres de Brest - sont autant d’éléments très prometteurs en terme de notoriété et de succès populaire pour cette première course qui ambitionne d’être un grand rendez-vous du circuit MOD70.»

Monsieur Cuillandre, Maire de Brest :
«Le projet MOD70 représente l’avenir de la course au large avec des multicoques monotypes sur lesquels les équipages vont pouvoir se mesurer à armes égales sur des machines puissantes et performantes. Il était donc important pour Brest d’être associée à ce projet afin de mettre en avant ses capacités d’accueil comme le nouveau Port du Château et son réseau d’entreprises spécialisées mondialement reconnues dans le secteur de la course au large et du nautisme. Une course comme la Krys Ocean Race est une vitrine de plus pour Brest et son excellence maritime. Et puis, une arrivée en plein Tonnerres de Brest 2012 renforce le lien vers l’ensemble du monde de la mer et des marins.»

Equipages et armateurs engagés
• MOD01 : Mise à l’eau 25 mars 2011 - Race For Water, Stève Ravussin (SUI)
• MOD02 : Mise à l’eau prévue en juin 2011 - Veolia Environnement, Roland Jourdain (FRA)
• MOD03 : Mise à l’eau prévue en août 2011 - Foncia, Michel Desjoyeaux (FRA)
• MOD04 : Mise à l’eau prévue en octobre 2011 - Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, Sébastien Josse (FRA)
• MOD05 : Mise à l’eau prévue en janvier 2012 - annonce à venir
• MOD06 : Mise à l’eau prévue en avril 2012 - annonce à venir

- Départ : le 7 juillet 2012
- 2950 milles de New York à Brest
- Ouverture du village à New York : du 30 juin au 7 juillet
- Ouverture du village à Brest : du 13 au 17 juillet
- 6 MOD 70 engagés
- 3 teams français, 3 teams étrangers
- 36 marins en course

Krys Ocean Race

BWR: Lining Up for the Finish

HUGO BOSS. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.

by Andi Robertson

Both Hugo Boss and Forum Maritim Catala have been relatively slowed overnight, but the British flagged boat with Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak seem to be well lined up for their sprint finish.

The development and exact timing of the tracking of the low pressure which is off the N. Coast of Algeria is still fairly undefined but with a high pressure up to the NE on the French coast, north of the Gulf of Lyon then for sure the rotation around the north sector of the low is compressed and strong NE’ly winds are already building along the coast and down to Barcelona and south to the Balearics. Though they were relatively slow last night, taking a 23 miles hitch to the east to get a layline through east of Ibiza, Hugo Boss should pick up speed this morning as the lift to a more right hand breeze comes in and accelerate in the afternoon for an estimated finish time between 1900hrs and 2200hrs local Barcelona time (1700-2000hrs UTC).

If anything the question is how hard both these duos will push? FMC were computed to be less than 100 miles behind Hugo Boss, but the real distance is closer to 120 miles and most is upwind, so the time differential is likely to be close to what was predicted yesterday.

Neither have anything to gain really and an hour or two after 110 racing days is but a drop in the ocean.

FMC do have the option to push east and possibly get slightly more favourable conditions but there is no certainty from either weather model and so probably Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor will stick with their westerly routing up closer to the Spanish coast.

We Are Water were getting their first sniff of the NE’lies early this morning, on the wind and emerging from the Doldrums, a matter of a couple of hours left in the southern hemisphere, but surely making ready for the long, upwind days of life heeled and slamming at least to the Canary Islands when there might be the next place there are strategic options

Barcelona World Race

Interview with Will Howden (GBR), Tornado Olympian, Extreme 40 and now also A-Cat Sailor

Will Howden (GBR). Image copyright Red Bull Extreme Sailing Photofiles.

Anne Hinton caught up with Will Howden (GBR) just before the Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 in Qingdao, China. Will had sailed on Mike Golding's ECOVER Extreme 40 in 2010, along with his former Tornado Olympian helm, Leigh Macmillian. This year he finished 7th in the Australian A-cat nationals in Queensland in January, prior to Extreme 40 sailing with Red Bull Extreme Sailing, skippered by Roman Hagara (AUT). Red Bull were on the podium at Act 1 of the 2011 Extreme Sailing Series in Oman.

AH: How did you come to do the Aussie A cat Nationals 2011, please?

WH: There was a big gap between the last X40 event in Almeria and the start of the 2011 season in Oman. I wanted to keep my hand in and go sailing, my friend Glenn Ashby (Team New Zealand) who is actually an AUS said come down live with us and we can go A Cat sailing, plans took off form there as AUS seemed like a good place to be over a cold British winter!!

AH: How long have you been in A cats (and why A cats)?

WH: I had not sailed one before, they always appealed but time did not allow me to sail them. The new boats like the DNA with the curved board are so cool, so much fun to sail that I was sold straight away. Its my sailing as well, in that its not a paid job its me sailing for fun and so some of the pressure is off and that's a good way (for me) to have fun!

AH: Will you do the A cat worlds?

WH: I would love too, I am not to sure if time will permit, my boat is getting shipped there but I will have to see..

Leigh Macmillian at the helm, with Will Howden, on ECOVER in the 2010 Extreme Sailing Series. Image copyright Anne Hinton - all rights reserved.

AH: Are you and Leigh Macmillan (GBR) possibly planning to get together again for a 2016 Olympic campaign, if there is a men's multihull, please? (Do you still have your Tornado?)

WH: I don't think so, we have not talked about it, I am getting a bit older and wanting to do different types of sailing like the X40's and AC. We have sold all of our boats. The next game is likely to be a mixed class so a male/female crew which would make it pretty hard for Leigh and I!!!

AH: How much training on multis are you doing, please?

WH: Mulithull is everything for me at the moment, even with the Olympics (in Multihull) I was still doing some monohull sailing, now with the AC in multihull everything is in catamarans. I am sailing the Extreme Sailing Series with Red Bull with is fairly busy especially at the end of the year. I am hopefully signing on with a AC team which will be very busy and then possible a few events in the A Cat to keep me fit and sharp on the small catamarans!

Red Bull Extreme Sailing. Image copyright Red Bull Extreme Sailing Photofiles.

AH: How do you think that the Extreme 40 circuit has developed this year, with more well-funded teams (AC ones), but perhaps less multihull expertise overall (no Cammas, Peyron)?

WH: I certainly don't think the level is less without Franck and Loick, their shoes have been filled by the best AC teams in the World!! The professional level has risen by the increased budgets the teams are brining to the circuit, this is with the quality of the sailors and shore crew outfits. I sail with Roman Hagara now. The best multihull sailor in the world.

AH: How do you see the level of competition in the X40 this year?

WH: I think its the highest we have ever seen, I think there are 6 teams that can still win the series, for me Alinghi have not got into first gear, for a first class set of sailors on that teams and to have had a 5th,6th shows how high the class standard is! Its going to be a tough year and as always it will be about being consistent!

AH: To what type(s) of sailing do you think that the X40 is best suited (stadium - fleet - match - etc), please?

WH: I think the stadium racing is really fun, its certainly different to what we were all brought up to learn and love about sailing. It keeps you sharp on boat handling and rules etc. Fleet racing is where its at for the public, but I can see the appeal of match racing.. At the end of the say for the sailors the boats are fun to sail so for us that's one of the main points!

Red Bull Extreme Sailing finish third in Act One in Oman 2011 (Will Howden is on the right). Image copyright Red Bull Extreme Sailing Photofiles.

AH: What do you get out of X40 sailing compared with other multi racing, please?

WH: I think the challenging locations make the racing exciting, some times scary and always extreme. I think because of the style of racing you are always on your toes, there is never down time which is fun and tiring, you never finish a days sailing and say that you had nothing to do!!

AH: Will you be doing the Ronde om Texel? If so, with whom and in what, please?

WH: Unlikely, again time does not really permit. I would like too, I won it a few years ago with Darren Bundock, if I do sail then it will probably be with him in a F18. There is one other option but that can be talked about right now!

AH: Are you doing any non-cat/multi sailing? If so, what, please?

WH: No plans to for most of the reasons above!

AH: In what direction(s) will you take your sailing career in the future (AC, etc), please?

WH: AC now it is multihull is very, very interesting for me. I would love to be involved with a few cycles if it stays in catamarans, we will see as its a hard game to get into!

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

Red Bull Extreme Sailing
Extreme Sailing Series

Extreme 40: Edmond de Rothschild Group in its rivals' sights

Gitana competing in Act 1 in Oman. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OCThirdPole.

by Kate Jennings

A month and a half after the Oman Grand Prix, which saw the men of Edmond de Rothschild Group brilliantlydominate the inaugural event of the 2011 season, the eleven Extreme Sailing Series crews are back together in China for the second act of the circuit. It’sin Qingdao, a city in the Shandong province, on the shores of the Yellow Sea to the SE of Beijing, that racing will start tomorrow, Wednesday 13 April. Pierre Pennec’s men, who opened the scoring in Oman,will be under close scrutiny from their adversaries during the five days ofracing involved in the Chinese Grand Prix. However, the sailors of Gitana Team aren’tafraid of pressure and are keen for battle to commence.

The radiant smiles of Pierre Pennec’s men at the end ofthe Oman Grand Prix aren’t so faraway... however, the four racersaren’t the type to rest on their laurels and the crew quickly got backdown to work with their minds focused on the second of the season’smeetings. At the end of March, they got together for a few days of studioustraining offshore of Lorient,aboard an Extreme 40 hired for the occasion. The skipper of the 40 foot Gitanaexplained the benefits of such a working session: “It was really very important to be able to sailtogether on the craft before heading out to China, especially as some of usrace on other types of boats between each event so you have to get yourbearings again! During these four days, we were able to get back into the swingof things with the Extreme 40, familiarise ourselves with the sensations again andsail in some breezy conditions (steady wind), the likes of which we’veseldom encountered thus far, and that got rid of any apprehension we had aboutsuch conditions. Our discussions and our working sessions mainly focused onboat speed according to the chosen conditions and situations, performing manœuvres and selecting the boat’s trim.”

Christophe Espagnon, from the Olympic Games to the Extreme Sailing Series

For several years, Qingdaohas been considered to be ‘the’ Chinese sailing city, a reputationit owes to the fact that its waters played host to the sailing events duringthe Beijing Olympic Games. Christophe Espagnon, who fulfils the role ofmainsail trimmer and advises Pierre Pennec in the tactics for the catamaran fittedout by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, is familiar with the Chinese race zone.Representing France in the Tornadoduring the Olympic Games 2008, the native of La Rochelle travelled to the site five timesfor training sessions which lasted over three weeks.

“I’m pretty happy to be back in Qingdao. The Extreme 40s are moored in the Olympic port and that naturally brings back a lot of memories for me. It’s obvious that, on a personal level, I’ve come here withless pressure on my shoulders than during my last event in the Games. However,as a group we have objectives and a great desire to regain the same sensations andeven the same results as we had during the Muscat Grand Prix,” admitted Christophe.“After several training sessions here in the Tornado and a preparationwhich was specific to the characteristics of this race site, I think I can saythat I have a sound knowledge of the Qingdao race zone.

"However, I’ve never come here in April before. With the Olympic Games being held in the summer, our main focus at the time was on thatperiod. As such there will be an element of discovery… I’m not theonly one who is familiar with Qingdaothough…” Indeed, among the sailors racing on the Extreme40 circuit this year, we have fellow Tornado specialists, who have alsorepresented their countries during the Olympic Games in China. These include Roman Hagara, skipperof Red Bull and double gold medallist, as well as Sebbe Godfroid and Glenn Ashby, who respectively sail with Team Extreme and Emirates Team New Zealand."

Arriving in China at the end of last week, the crew have been able to acclimatise to conditionson site and above all erase the fatigue of the six hour time differenceseparating France and Qingdao. In line with theregulations for the Extreme Sailing Series, Pierre, Hervé, Thierry and Christophehave been getting in some practice on the race zone since yesterday, whichamounts to a total of two days to get their bearings before things start to“get serious”. Indeed they are very much aware that it’s notgoing to be easy in China.Already, in Oman,the level proved to be extremely similar and it was necessary to wait until thelast race on the last day before it was possible to decide between the topthree boats. We can wager that their adversaries will also have made the mostof the few weeks’ break between the two events to train and further raisetheir game. As such the races promise to be closely contested, which perfectlysuits the temperament of the sailors on Edmond de Rothschild Group.

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 deRothschild Group

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

Extreme Sailing Series

Tour de Belle Ile: Seb Josse and Gitana 11 to Participate

Gitana 11. Image copyright AFP.

Seb Josse. Image copyright Yvan Zedda/Gitana SA.

by SailRaceWin

Further to information from Tour de Belle Ile media, Seb Josse's first race at the helm of Gitana 11 will be in the Tour de Belle Ile, Brittany, France, 7th May 2011.

Over 200 boats were entered in the fourth edition of this race on 31st March, and numbers have grown since this time.

Many names in French sailing will compete in the 44 nautical mile course. There will be an ORMA 60 (ex-Foncia), skippered by Alain Gautier, and both Lionel Lemonchois (Prince de Bretagne) and Franck-Yves Escoffier (Crepes Whaou!) will compete in the Multi50 class.

Barcelona World Race winner Jean-Pierre Dick will compete in the boat he has developed, the JP54. Arnaud Boissieres is competing in the IMOCA Akena Verandas.

The presence of many names and large boats does not belie the fact that this is the French equivalent of Britain's Round the Island Race, or the Swiss Bol d'Or, and the majority of participants are simply out for a day race in company, in a scenic setting, on their usual weekend sailing boat.

Tour de Belle Ile

VELUX5OCEANS: Derek Hatfield Claims Second in Sprint Four

Canadian skipper will enter final sprint tied on points with Polish race rival

Active House arrives in Charleston. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/onEdition.

by Sarah Hames

THE stage is set for a thrilling finale to the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world yacht race after Canadian ocean racer Derek Hatfield claimed second place in the penultimate sprint today.

The result, Derek’s first second-place finish of the event, means he will start the fifth and final leg of the epic 30,000-mile race tied on points with his race rival Zbigniew ‘Gutek’ Gutkowski, giving him a shot at second place overall. Breakages onboard Gutek’s yacht Operon Racing forced him to pull into the Brazilian port of Fortaleza to make repairs, all but cementing fourth position for the Pole.

“After the disaster of ocean sprint three when I expected to finish second and ended up fourth I am so pleased to have got this result,” an exhausted but jubilant Derek said as he stepped off Active House for the first time in more than three weeks.

“The VELUX 5 OCEANS is a long race so for the first three legs I was concerned with looking after the boat but for sprint four I knew I wanted to step it up. I’m really looking forward to the final sprint now. I wish Gutek well and hope he gets to Charleston in fine shape and ready to rumble. Chris is also really ramping it up. The last leg is going to be a really great finale to the race.”

Derek breaks open the champagne. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/onEdition.

Derek steered his 60ft yacht Active House into Charleston, USA, and across the finish line at 0736 EST (1136 UTC) just over 15 hours behind ocean sprint four winner and Charleston resident Brad Van Liew, who sailed into his home port yesterday evening. Throughout the sprint the 58-year-old veteran solo sailor piled the pressure on Brad and in the final few days of the sprint less than 100 miles separated the pair.

Shortly after crossing the finish line in Charleston Harbor Derek was reunited with his fiancé Patianne who helped bring Active House alongside at the city’s Seabreeze Marina. Waiting for him there were his children Sarah, 6, and Ben, 2, as well as his extended family and a host of wellwishers.

During ocean sprint four Derek sailed Active House just shy of 6,000 nautical miles at an average speed of 10.5 knots. He completed the leg in 23 days, 19 hours and 36 minutes.

Derek Hatfield (left) with sprint winner Brad Van Liew. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/onEdition.

Third-placed British skipper Chris Stanmore-Major was just 233 miles from the finish line at the 1200 UTC position report and is expected in Charleston in less than 24 hours. Gutek is also expected to restart ocean sprint four tomorrow leaving Fortaleza bound for Charleston.

Positions at 1200 UTC
Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to next boat (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)

Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: Finished 19.04.11 in 23 days 4 hours and 58 minutes
Derek Hatfield, Active House: Finished 20.04.11 in 23 days 19 hours and 36 minutes
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 233.2 / 0 / 141.8 / 5.9
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 3205 / 2971.8 / 0 / 0


WMRT: Video Preview for Match Race France 10-15 May 2011

Match Race France 2011 Promo from RedHandedTV on Vimeo

World Match Racing Tour

Hyères Geared Up To Host Fourth ISAF Sailing World Cup Regatta

France's winning 49er pairing from Palma, Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis, will compete in Hyeres. Image copyright Jesus Renedo/Princesa Sofia/MAPFRE.

by ISAF media

Hyères, France is all set to host the Semaine Olympique Française, the fourth regatta on the ISAF Sailing World Cup series.

The ISAF Sailing World Cup has seen some excellent racing in the Olympic and Paralympic Sailing Events at Sail Melbourne in December, US SAILING’S Rolex Miami OCR in January and the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE at the start of April.

The world’s most experienced sailor’s preparations for next year’s Olympic Sailing Competition are well underway and competition in this year’s ISAF Sailing World Cup has been tense. The 2011 Semaine Olympique Française should be no exception.

Dorian van Rijsselberge (NED) will be making the trip to France to sail in his third ISAF Sailing World Cup regatta this season. With victories in the Men’s RS:X in Miami and Palma the Dutchman leads the Standings with 40 points.

His nearest rival, Nick Dempsey (GBR) on 37 points, won’t be making the trip to Hyères but with World #1 Nimrod Mashich (ISR) and World #2 Piotr Myszka (POL) set to compete, van Rijsselberge will have his work cut out to maintain his perfect record so far.

Just like van Rijsselberge, Spain’s Marina Alabau has a perfect record in the Women’s RS:X. She won the Rolex Miami OCR and Princess Sofia to lead Charline Picon (FRA) by four points.

Alabau’s rivals in the Standings will have a chance to overtake her throughout the week as she won’t be sailing in Hyères. Despite Alabau’s absence, the field boasts ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Blanca Manchon (ESP), World #2 Bryony Shaw (GBR) and current holder of third place in the Women’s RS:X Standings Laura Linares (ITA).

At the Trofeo S.A.R. Princess Sofia MAPFRE Paul Goodison (GBR), Nick Thompson (GBR) and Tom Slingsby (AUS) all went into the Laser Medal Race with a chance of victory. Goodison came out on top of the three in Palma and all will be sailing against each other again in Hyères.

Thompson and Goodison lead the Laser Standings on 38 points with Slingsby third on 37 points.

World #1 and current 49er ISAF Sailing World Cup Standings leaders Nico Delle-Karth and Nikolaus Resch are one of the 65 crews set to compete in Hyéres. The Austrians won Sail Melbourne and came third in Palma.

Princess Sofia winners Manu Dyen and Stephane Christidis (FRA) will also sail in their home regatta alongside Erik Storck and Trevor Moore (USA) and Paul Brotherton and Mark Asquith (GBR).

Forty crews will sail the Star in Hyéres. Amongst the fleet will be the experienced Brazilian duo of Robert Scheidt and Bruno Prada, last year’s Star ISAF Sailing World Cup silver medallists Andy Horton and James Lyne (USA) and World #3 Johannes Polgar and Markus Koy (GER).

The Women’s Match Racing Competition has served up some excellent head to head sailing thus far with four points separating the top four in the Standings.

Sally Barkow (USA) leads with 38 points, Claire Leroy (FRA) and Anna Tunnicliffe (USA) are joint second on 37 points and Silja Lehtinen (FIN) is fourth on 34 points.

Of the top four only Tunnicliffe won’t be making the trip to Hyères, and with World #2 Nicky Souter (AUS) and World #3 Lucy Macgregor (GBR) also set to attend the competition is wide open.


BWR: Out of Africa to the Finish for HUGO BOSS

HUGO BOSS. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.

by Andi Robertson

Hugo Boss were pushing east this Wednesday afternoon investing in a route which took them some 20 miles off the Algerian coast where Wouter Verbraak and Andy Meiklejohn were intent on making their final 280 miles to Barcelona on something close to one long, brisk reach to finish their Barcelona World Race tomorrow night in seventh place.

“If you look at where the guys where way back when they passed out of Gibraltar and just after that, and said to us then they would be seventh I’d have taken it there and then, and here we are. Andy and Wouter have done a really great job getting to where they have and hats off to them for that. When you consider what even the first two weeks must have been like, there are many, many things that only I know how to do on the boat, practical things and I was not even around really to help them with that, so overall I think they have done really well,” said Hugo Boss’ ‘usual’ skipper Alex Thomson this evening.

While the Hugo Boss duo have taken every chance to get east fast to set up for what promises to be a brisk sprint finish, in gusty, strong ENE’lies and NE’lies which could top the high 20’s knots at Thursday evening’s finish off Barcelona, the FMC duo Gerard Marin and Ludovic Aglaor were pinned closer to the Spanish coast, close to Almeria with the Levant easterly due to build for them, and a low pressure off Algeria due to track NE, their final miles to Barcelona look set to be all the tougher, upwind on the west side of the low. While Hugo Boss is due in to Barcelona middle of Thursday evening it looks like FMC will take eighth place some 24 hours or more later.

In essence though the catch up for Marin and Aglaor – making more than 600 miles in six days – just redresses their losses in the South Atlantic to Hugo Boss, who left their Falklands stopover with lead of 120 miles on FMC who became mired on the South American coast in light upwind conditions for several days.

Speaking on today’s live Visio-Conference with Barcelona Marin, speaking with Anna Corbella said:

"I have reserves of stamina and drive still to come, but I'm counting the hours. Here, now it feels kind of like started yesterday but then you realise it’s already been four months and here we are going back home. I really want to be there and share the magic moments with you all.

"We are quite tight on food, I still have some things but as usual ..., the good things are finished and I have the things I don’t like left. But I have one dessert left but on Friday I hope I can eat the “buñuelos” (typical Easter pastry) that someone will bring me. A tortilla (potato omelette) would not be bad either. I miss homemade food a lot... I’m a bit tired of so much freeze dried and dehydrated stuff.

"This thing of going to the gym two days after finishing?....Well, we will have to negotiate I think that three or four days of holiday are in order first. Okay, I did notice that my body is not working very much and you lose a lot of muscle tone but that was more or less clear before leaving, but in two or three months it will be like before.

"We're doing 11 knots on course 60. Up the course we have 20 knots of wind and we are more or less 50 miles from Cabo de Gata. I believe that in 5-6 hours we can be there. Let’s see if the Levante holds a few hours more.

"The navigation routing says we will arrive on Friday at 4 am, but for sure we'll be delayed. If we arrive during the day on Friday ... I’d take that immediately, where do I sign!!

"We've really had a relatively easy passage through Gibraltar. We went in with Levante that shifted to the stern until half the Strait and then went forward and we sailed more in the south of the Strait, off the merchants channel. It was pretty easy, all the crossing of the Straits to Cabo de Gata. It is always stressful because the merchants are all lined up and go very fast, but this aspect it was easier than when we left.

“ The last few days have been very good. The last four days before Gibraltar we were reaching pretty fast, it was a very good farewell to the Atlantic. The last surfs of 20 knots were great. And now we have a Mediterranean that seems to be OK. Easterly wind and if in two days we are in Barcelona it will be just great.

"The forecast says the wind will go up 25 to 35 knots this evening. Let’s see if it’s true. At first it will be levante, hopefully we will have an upwind a bit more open to Cabo de Palos. It can be fast and from the Nao and Ibiza it will drop again with a direct reach so it will be very quick. But in the Mediterranean you never know, things change fast.

"With Ludovic we had some intense days but I learned many things from him because he spent many years sailing and that's always such a big plus. Yes, there has been tension and hard times, as in all professional and amateur relationships, but the outcome for me is a very positive one.

"To finish a round the world race is something to always celebrate. It is always an important moment and we must enjoy it.

"The comeback has been so intense, every day we saw him closer. But you have to be realistic. In the same way they got away 600 miles on the Falklands with a different system and with more pressure, in this case it is reversed. With a depression and downwind we were able to recover what they took in two days. "

Barcelona World Race

Extreme 40: Oman Sail head to China for round two of the Extreme Sailing Series

The Wave Muscat and Oman Air Masirah. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/Oman Sail.

by Nicky Moore

Round two of the global Extreme Sailing Series kicks off in the venue that hosted the 2008 Olympic sailing event, Qingdao in China. Five days of intense racing starts on 13th April, with both Oman Sail teams The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air looking to ensure there is an Oman flag on the podium at the end of the event.

Just six weeks ago, The Wave, Muscat successfully played host to the opening round of the Series, welcoming the 11 international teams to compete on the Oman Sail team’s home waters. Andrea Linehan, Marketing Manager at The Wave, Muscat commented “The Extreme Sailing Series was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase The Wave as a new and exciting destination and to put our marina on the world boating map. Al Marsa Village and the marina will be the center of a number of lifestyle, sports, retail and tourism offerings within The Wave, Muscat moving forward.” She continued, “It gives us immense pride to support Khamis Al Anbouri and the team on The Wave, Muscat boat and we are behind them 100% in defending their title for 2011!”

Since the event in Muscat, both the teams on Oman Air and The Wave, Muscat have been working hard in the gym and enjoying time with their families.For Omani sailor and bowman on The Wave, Muscat, Khamis Al Anbouri, the time between events has allowed him to spend time getting to know the new future talent of Omani sailing. “I have had time to work alongside the Oman Sail Sailing Schools which has been great. I have been sailing with the kids and went out with a group of girls who were taking part in the Try Sailing and it is amazing to be able to spend time with them. Oman Sail is also having a new recruit drive and I have been spending time with them down in Mussanah. They are all training hard and are starting to look really good – the training is tough, I remember going through that!!”

Following on from the close competition in Muscat back in February, the 11 Extreme 40 teams will all be vying for a good result in Qingdao. Tovar Mirsky, skipper on The Wave, Muscat commented, “We were pretty nervous going into the event in Muscat as it was our first Extreme 40 experience together as a team, but now we have that under belts we are feeling more confident. We learnt a lot at that first event about the boats and about the competition – it is always going to be tough on the water, but we also learnt that we have the potential to be competitive amongst the fleet, and believe that both The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air are teams to contend with”.

This is the first time the Series will visit the city of Qingdao, known as the ‘City of Sailing’ since staging the sailing during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. For Nasser Al Masahri, bowman on Oman Air, this is the second time he will sail in China, having made his debut as bowman onboard The Wave, Muscat during the Extreme Sailing Series Asia, in 2010. Nasser commented “I have sailed in Hong Kong before but I have never sailed in Qingdao and I am really looking excited to be heading back to China – I am really interested to see what the Olympic waters have to offer. We should have some great racing in Qingdao – at the minute it is looking like it will be quite windy so I am sure we can put on a good show for everyone watching”.

After the event in China, the Extreme Sailing Series will travel to Turkey, the USA, the UK, Italy, France, and Spain, before it’s conclusion in Singapore in December.

Oman Sail
Extreme Sailing Series

Extreme 40: Austria’s carbon bullet against America’s Cup teams

Extreme 40 racing in 2011. Image copyright Red Bull Photofiles.

by Mario Schoby

The second stop of the nine-race global Extreme Sailing Series starts on Wednesday in Qingdao (China), which was the venue for the Olympics 2008. At the first stop in Muscat/Oman the Team of Hagara/Steinacher (AUT), Craig Monk (NLZ) and Will Howden (UK) got the season off to a sensational start with third place. The Newcomers sailed their 14-meter long and 20-meter high multihull brilliantly, leaving distinguished teams in their wake including Alinghi (SUI), America’s Cup victors in 2003 and 2007, as well as the defending Extreme Sailing Series champion, The Wave, Muscat (Oman).

Qingdao (CHINA) - Hans-Peter Steinacher, the tactician on board for Red Bull Extreme Sailing, announced: “We managed to surprise people with third place in Oman. They’ll be watching us more closely now because we’ve broken what was expected to be the dominance of the A-Cup teams.“ The team Hagara/Steinacher/Howden/Monk will try to use their collective experience stand up against the daunting might of the opposition. Hagara/Steinacher as well as Will Howden (UK/trimmer) competed in the 2008 Olympics in China.

“We know these waters well,“ said skipper Roman Hagara. “We spent a lot of time here both before and after the Olympics in 2008.“ For the double Olympic champion, who will be competing in the Extreme Sailing World Series against 10 other teams with the best sailors from 15 nations, that means one thing: “But we’re looking to do well in every race because we want to have a say in the overall championship. Anyhow, we’re here to win.“

To achieve that goal the team is working hard on perfecting tactics. “I won the America’s Cup twice,“ said the new bowman, Craig Monk (NZL). “But this boat is just unbelievable. It’s brutally fast. It’s damn hard to sail.“

With five days of racing for each stop and thus a total of 35 days of competition, it will be essential for the team to preserve their strength for precisely the right moments. Monk said: “Every maneuvre feels like a 100-meter sprint.“

Including Sunday, there will be up to six races each day in Qingdao. The competition begins each day at 1 p.m. local time (8 a.m. Central European Time).

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, GBR
Act 6: 14-18 September, Trapani, Italy
Act 7: 28 September – 2 Oktober, Nice, France
Act 8: 12-16 October, Almeria, Spain
Act 9: 7-11 December, Singapore

Red Bull Extreme Sailing
Extreme Sailing Series

Extreme 40: Preview of Act 2 in Qingdao

A good line-up of Extreme 40s is expected in Qingdao. Image copyright Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OCThirdPole.

by Extreme Sailing Series media

The Olympic spirit is very much alive in Qingdao which hosted the sailing events of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, and some of the Extreme Sailing Series™ competitors have strong memories from three years ago when they represented their country in the Tornado catamaran class ... Red Bull Extreme Sailing Austrian duo Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher finished 10th, whilst their British crew man Will Howden came 6th with helmsman Leigh McMillan, who is in Qingdao coaching Oman Air. Argentinian Santiago Lange, who is skippering Artemis Racing in place of Terry Hutchinson for Act 2, reached the Olympic podium to secure Bronze and Australian Glenn Ashby, racing with Emirates Team New Zealand, went one better and returned home with Silver.

Luna Rossa helm, Paul Campbell-James, also recalled his time in Qingdao: “I was one of the tuning partners for Team GBR and was here for almost a month doing a lot of training where the Olympic racing was held just right out here. We’ve been sailing for two days and we’re just dying for the event to get started now. We were expecting there not to be much breeze but the last two days there has been about 12 knots - enough to get us flying and get some practice races in so its been pretty good.”

The teams are in the final stages of preparation, fine tuning their boats, discussing tactics and studying their weather files. Racing starts tomorrow (Wednesday, 13th April) for two days of non-public racing, allowing the race management team to set optimum race courses further offshore if required, before Act 2 opens to the public from Friday, 15th through to the final day on Sunday, 17th April when one of the 11 teams will lift the Double Star Cup. But its not just the teams who are putting the final touches to their campaigns, the organising committee of the Qingdao Yachting Association are putting the weight of their Olympic experience into hosting another high-profile sailing event as Leo Zhanglizhong, Project Officer, Qingdao Sports Bureau commented: “The host city is looking forward to this great event for a long time and we have all been busy preparing for the event here in Qingdao. All the citizens are very eager to see the exciting racing.”

An objective of Roland Gaebler’s Team Extreme has been to sail with a local sailor of the host venue and Chinese sailor, William Wu, has been training the team and is looking forward to the racing: “I am looking forward to getting more experience on large multihull racing boats racing against some of the best sailors in the world,” said Wu. “I have been racing in Qingdao so I have local knowledge of the area which will help with race strategy. However I will be the one learning the most from my team, particularly from my skipper Olympic medalist Roland Gaebler.” Wu is a relative newcomer to the sailing world who had his first taste of sailing in Shanghai in 2007. He progressed rapidly in the sport and now has his own Chinese sailing team, Whitewave, who are aiming to compete on an international level representing his country.

Phil Lawrence, Race Manager, outlines the weather scenario for Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series Qingdao: “The forecast looks quite promising for the next two or three days with a reasonable breeze in the afternoons, although its looking lighter for the weekend but we’re still quite a long way out. The boats are very light so even if the winds are light we can still race. The tides are very strong here and if we do have some stronger breeze the sea can get very rough, so we’re going to have some challenging conditions either way.”

For the Extreme 40 sailors they will adapt to whatever the weather situation and are used to racing at the Extreme Sailing Series venues that do not follow the conventions of other sailing events, racing directly in front of the public in city centres, on canals, off beaches or on rivers. The teams adapt quickly to their local environment and as we saw at Act 1 at The Wave, Muscat, the teams slower off the starting blocks were soon back in the mix, which was the case for Luna Rossa as Paul Campbell-James explained: “We were pretty happy after Act 1, results-wise we were hoping to get on the podium, but the way it went we were just off fourth place and we started pretty average and finished pretty well. We hope to carry that momentum into this event. It’s such a varied set of conditions that you get here and I still wouldn’t say one team is stronger than any other in the light so I’m backing ourselves!”

The people of the ‘City of Sails’ are going to witness five days of intense competition... Let the battle commence!

Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 Team Line-Up:
Team / Skipper & crew
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), Pierre Pennec / Christophe Espagnon / Thierry Fouchier / Hervé Cunningham
Artemis Racing (SWE), Santiago Lange / Rodney Ardern / Morgan Trubovich / Andy Fethers
Red Bull Extreme Sailing (AUT), Roman Hagara / Hans Peter Steinacher / Will Howden / Craig Monk
Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Dean Barker / Glenn Ashby / James Dagg / Jero Lomas
Luna Rossa (ITA), Max Sirena / Paul Campbell-James / Alister Richardson / Manuel Modena
Alinghi (SUI), Tanguy Cariou / Yann Guichard / Nils Frei / Yves Detrey
The Wave, Muscat (OMA), Torvar Mirsky / Kyle Langford / Nick Hutton / Khamis Al Anbouri
Oman Air (OMA), Sidney Gavignet / Kinley Fowler / David Carr / Nasser Al Mashari
Team Extreme (EUR), Roland Gaebler / Bruno Dubois / Sebbe Godefroid / William Wu (tbc)
Niceforyou (ITA), Alberto Barovier / Mark Bulkeley / Daniele de Luca Simone de Mari
Team GAC Pindar (GBR), Ian Williams / Brad Webb / Gilberto Nobili / Jono Macbeth

Extreme Sailing Series

Wednesday 20 April 2011

America's Cup: Competitor Activity Ramps Up

AC45s racing off Auckland. Image copyright Ivor Wilkins.

by Tim Jeffery

Beginning next week America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM) and America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA) are staging a two-week dress rehearsal in Auckland of race management and onboard media systems as preparation of the first-ever regatta for 34th America’s Cup teams at the inaugural America’s Cup World Series event in Portugal in August.

The pre-season testing is open to all competitors with or without an AC45 and two sessions are scheduled, Apr. 26-29 and May 2-6. On Apr. 28 ACRM will host the next Competitor Forum.

The pre-season testing event also coincides with the next steps following the close of entries. Per the Protocol, competitors will submit a bond of US$200,000 by Apr. 30 with the final payment of US$800,000 due by Dec. 31. Additionally, the entry fee of US$100,000 is due by June 1

Competitors should also have a signed a purchase agreement for an AC45 catamaran. Timely orders are necessary as entered teams need to have their boats ready to compete in Cascais in August.

Core Builders Composites, Ltd., the manufacturer of the AC45, has increased the price of the catamaran to €695,000 (US$1 million). CBC is confident of meeting the surge in AC45 orders but it will require working double shifts to complete the number of yachts anticipated.

America's Cup

VOR: Iker Martínez, Skipper of "Telefonica" in the Volvo Ocean Race

Team mate Xabi Fernández also joins the team for what will be his third Volvo Ocean Race

Iker Martinez (right) - skipper of Telefonica - and teammate Xabi Fernandez. Image copyright Chapi.

by Helena Paz

Following the press conference this morning in which Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández revealed what their sporting futures hold, Pedro Campos, CEO of the Spanish team in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012, has named Iker Martínez skipper on the Volvo Open 70 “Telefónica”. The Basque sailor is back in the Volvo Ocean Race to captain the project that also includes his colleague Xabi Fernández. Together they will form a more than prolific tandem battling to sew some fresh seeds of victory for Spanish offshore sailing.

Pedro Campos, CEO of the Spanish team said: "Ever since the finish of the last Volvo Ocean Race we have wanted to keep both options open to Iker and Xabi: offshore racing and the Olympic Games. Thanks to their exceptional sporting abilities and personal qualities, Iker and Xabi have managed to work excellently across both fronts, winning the 49er World Championships on the one hand last year, and directing the preparation for "Telefónica" in the Volvo Ocean Race, as well as finishing the Barcelona World Race in a fantastic second place with "MAPFRE". Today, with the decision to compete in the Volvo Ocean Race taken and the door wide open to the Olympic Games, it only remains for me to confirm that they will be taking the overall responsibility for the sporting and technical preparation of the boat; Iker as skipper and Xabi as a key member of the crew”.

Campos added: “Winning a round the world challenge is a box that Spain is yet to tick and we are preparing thoroughly to try to achieve this. I couldn't be any happier if that happened with a Spanish project, lead by Iker and with Xabi as crew. If they are also able to get another Olympic medal for Spain's archive of Olympic successes, I think that we'd not only be making history, but we would also be maximising the support received from our sponsors. We will therefore do everything in our power and provide all that we can to make this dream a reality."

Iker and Xabi: the legend grows

Iker Martínez, 33 years old, will be taking part in what will be his third Volvo Ocean Race. His first step into offshore sailing and into this event was the 2005-06 edition of the race, on "movistar" where he was tactician for the inshore races. In the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009 he co-skippered “Telefónica Blue”, taking third place on the podium and victory in the inshore race rankings.

Iker Martínez will be captaining a crew "that's a great team and we think we have a real chance of winning. It is a very important regatta, which Spain has yet to win, so doing so would mean so much to everyone."

The past 12 years of his sporting career have been intrinsically linked with those of fellow Spaniard Xabi Fernández, with whom he has notched up many successes. Along with a gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and silver in Beijing 2008, Iker Martínez and Xabi Fernández have 3 World Championships in the Olympic 49er class and three European Championships to their names. Their latest success is the runner up position in the overall rankings of the Barcelona World Race, the non-stop, round the world challenge, where they were also the first entry to complete the race with no stopovers on land, as well as the leading Spanish entry.

Less than seven months to go until the start

Following the announcement on April 12th that the Spanish team in the Volvo Ocean Race was back, "Telefónica", directed by Pedro Campos has been continuing to move towards the starting line on October 29th with the best possible guarantees. The first inshore race is on November 5th, with this edition kicking off in Alicante, before heading to Cape Town (South Africa) to complete the first leg.

Coming soon, the next step: the completion of the Volvo Open 70 “Telefónica” and the first training sessions on the water.

Volvo Ocean Race

VELUX5OCEANS: Four out of Four for Brad Van Liew in Home Sprint Victory

American ocean racer sails home to Charleston victorious

Brad Van Liew wins Sprint Four into Charleston. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/onEdition.

by Sarah Hames

AMERICAN solo sailor Brad Van Liew today made it an incredible four wins out of four legs in the VELUX 5 OCEANS solo round the world race as he sailed into his hometown of Charleston to a hero’s welcome.

The people of Charleston turned out in force to cheer on the 43-year-old as he brought an end to a gruelling 5,900-mile leg from Punta del Este in Uruguay. After a painfully slow and frustrating final few days at sea which saw him battle fluky, light winds on the approach to the finish, Brad steered his 60ft Eco 60 yacht Le Pingouin across the line outside Charleston Harbor at 1658 EST (2058 UTC). He completed the leg in 23 days, four hours and 58 minutes, and averaged 10.6 knots over the course of the sprint.

More than 20 spectator boats hit the water to welcome home Brad and Le Pingouin including the Charleston pilot boat Fort Moultrie, carrying Brad’s family as well as VELUX America president Tim Miller and dignitaries from the city. Brad was even treated to a fly-past in a light aircraft by his former airplane charter business partner.

With clear blue skies and the summer sun beating down, Brad finally arrived at Charleston’s Seabreeze Marina at 1900 local time. Among the crowds waiting for Brad on the dock were his wife Meaghan and his children Tate, 9, and Wyatt, 6, who he hasn’t seen since leaving Wellington, New Zealand, on February 6.

Stepping on to dry land for the first time in more than three weeks, Brad said: “For me winning this leg is so special. If I could have chosen just one leg to win it would have been this one. This is my home port, I am very involved in the maritime community in Charleston and all my friends and family are here. It would have been pretty disappointing to have won the previous legs and not win this one. I was very focused and very determined. I feel delirious and exhausted - it was a heck of a leg.”

Brad has so far won every leg of the 30,000-mile VELUX 5 OCEANS, known as The Ultimate Solo Challenge. With just one leg left Brad is the clear favourite to win the race overall. A former airline pilot, Brad is a veteran of two previous editions of the race, in 1998 and in 2002 when it was known as the Around Alone. In the 2002 edition Brad won every single leg in class two for yachts 50ft and under.

A win in the final sprint of the 2010/11 race would make Brad the most successful sailor ever to compete in the event. He already sailed into the history books during sprint three, becoming the only American ever to have raced around Cape Horn three times.

A well-known figure in Charleston, Brad was instrumental in the development of the South Carolina Maritime Foundation, a sail training charity which has taken more than 6,000 students sailing since 2007.

Brad’s closest rival, Canadian Derek Hatfield, is expected to arrive in Charleston on his Eco 60 Active House tomorrow to claim second place.

Positions at 0000 UTC

Skipper / distance to finish (nm) / distance to leader (nm) / distance covered in last 24 hours (nm) / average speed in last 24 hours (kts)
Brad Van Liew, Le Pingouin: Finished at 20:58 UTC on Tuesday April 20
Derek Hatfield, Active House: 111.6 / 0 / 137.9 / 5.7
Chris Stanmore-Major, Spartan: 333 / 221.4 / 83.8 / 3.5
Zbigniew Gutkowski, Operon Racing: 3205 / 3093.4 / 0 / 0

I feel delirious and exhausted - it was a heck of a leg. Derek really laid it down hard and it was a real boat race all the way to the finish. At one point Chris had Derek spooked and Derek had me spooked and it was wide open. It was much tougher than I thought it would be. Having done this race two times previously I have always favoured the left side of the course on this leg and it’s always been the way to go. This time it just wasn’t. It was a pretty scary few days when Derek was taking miles out of my lead. All he had to do was find a little passing lane and come left and that would have been it. Fortunately for me he wasn’t quite able to seal the deal and I worked really hard and was just able to stay between Derek and Charleston.

For me winning this leg is so special. If I could have chosen just one leg to win it would have been this one. This is my home port, I am very involved in the maritime community in Charleston and all my friends and family are here. It would have been pretty disappointing to have won the previous legs and not win this one. I was very focused and very determined.

The good news for me now is that mathematically winning over all is pretty much a done deal. The bad news is that I have to make it to La Rochelle to win. That will be my priority now. The reality is I will have to tell myself to focus on getting to La Rochelle in one piece.


BWR: Braking after the line in Barcelona might be the Boss problem?

HUGO BOSS ETA now 1700-1900UTC Thursday (5-7AM Friday in NZ)

HUGO BOSS charging along. Image copyright Alex Thomson Racing.

by Andi Robertson

Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak were this morning preparing for a fast, active final sprint to Barcelona, ready to be spurred to the line by an active low pressure system which will give them a fast, squally passage through the Balearics. At 0800hrs UTC this morning the Hugo Boss pair were 290 miles from the finish after a relatively tame night averaging just under 7 knots boat speed.

The low pressure which is off the Algerian coast is the weather feature which governs the final 36 hours of racing for Hugo Boss and the final 60-70 hours of the Barcelona World Race for Forum Maritim Catala.

This little active low will build and track NE’ly to become centred over the Balearics and that will produce a strong NE’ly to gale force in the Alboran and up to Cabo Gata which will leave a final sting for FMC but which Hugo Boss will be well ahead of. Indeed for Andy Meiklejohn and Wouter Verbraak if they stretch east further today then they seem like they will get a straight Northerly course towards Barcelona in fast ENE’ly winds. In contrast FMC are too late to take the same benefit and would just be run over by the low pressure.

And so for Hugo Boss it seems like a fast finish Thursday evening, now predicted to be between 1700hrs and 1900hrs UTC (1900hrs and 2100hrs Barcelona) with a strong NE’ly Gregal wind blowing, parallel to the Catalan coast, around 25kts. Their routing should bring them between Ibiza and Mallorca, possibly closer to Mallorca but certainly with no shortage of breeze, as the report this morning from Wouter Verbraak suggests:

“ Less than 300 miles to the finish, and in stark contrast with the light winds at the start of the race, we are going to have to reef down and hang on. A low pressure system is about to stir things up, and when things get windy in the Med, it gets hectic with violent squalls and very gusty winds.

“ So while we are booting it out in moderate winds to the east, to set up for these strong easterly winds later today and tomorrow, we are taking the opportunity to eat as much as we can – yes, we still have just enough food left – and prepare the boat for tonight. Storm jib up, loose items packed away, new batteries in the head torches, warm clothing ready to go, and power bars and sports drinks ready to go at the top of the food bag.

“ Most of the guys in front of us have had the common light wind struggle in the last miles to the finish. Our challenge will be to stop the boat AFTER the finish and get her safely moored in the harbour. We might just throw the keys to the valet parking guys and go inside for some refreshments while they deal with it? ”Just be gentle with the gas, she has a bit of a bite to it and gets quickly out of control. AND DON'T SCRATCH IT! It’s Alex’s ride, he will be very upset.”

And the consequent slow-down for FMC, forced on to the more upwind course up the west side of the track, means they will now likely be around 24 hours behind Hugo Boss at the finish.

Meantime We Are Water have about 140 miles of their Doldrums left. Jaume Mumbru and Cali Sanmarti have just hit their biggest pothole of the Doldrums so far with a slowdown to 1.4 to 2 knots around 0600hrs UTC early this morning but since then the We Are Water Duo have been moving relatively smoothly, making between five and nine knots. So perhaps 24-36 hours more in the Doldrums before they get into the NE’ly trade winds which adhere to the usual format at the moment.

Barcelona World Race

The Finn Under Water

Brigitte Devillerst sails her Finn. Image copyright Tosca Zambra.

by Mikko Brummer/WB-Sails

In a recent Finn sail development cycle, WB-Sails needed a 3D Finn model, with hull, cockpit, crew and all, to be able to simulate the sail performance more realistically. With the hull model there, they thought why not add a centreboard and a rudder and take a look under the water as well. Mikko Brummer from WB-Sails describes what they discovered.

The model was taken out of Gilbert Lamboley’s and Richard Hart’s work on digitising the original Finn plans, “Body lines definition and control”, from 2003. We inserted a roughly shaped cockpit and centreboard case, with the centreboard exiting from the bottom. The underwater flow model was simplified so that wave-making was ignored, representing the sea as a flat surface, because our aero-code does not support free-surface modelling. Wave-making drag cannot be modelled, but otherwise the free surface is not believed to have a major effect on the flow pattern and pressures over the hull.

When sailing at steady speed, the underwater and above water forces and moments must be in balance. Care was taken that the simulated sail forces, drive and heel, and heeling moment match with the corresponding underwater forces, and the righting moment by the sailor hiking. The real righting moment is easy to estimate from sailing photos, considering that from trapezing dinghies we know that the centre of gravity of a human being lies more or less at the height of his navel. The simulation was run for medium-heavy conditions of 18 knot true wind. With the sail forces solved, the attitude of the underwater hull was adjusted (leeway and rudder angle at the given boatspeed of 4.9 knots) until the underwater forces matched the sail forces. The sail shape was recorded with a masthead video on Lake Garda, in a steady sea breeze of 18 knots but with rather a nasty chop, hence the GPS recorded boatspeed less than 5 knots – on flat water the Finn can easily exceed 5 knots of speed.

Pressures on the bottom and the appendages. Blue/green is lower pressures (suction), orange/red indicates higher pressures.

A comparison was also made to a Finn VPP (velocity prediction programme) run: All three simulations, aerodynamic above water, hydrodynamic under water and the velocity prediction programme forces agreed surprisingly well. The total drive (equal to the total underwater drag) of the Finn in 18 knots of wind is 20.5 kg force, or roughly 45 pounds – it’s not much, a weight that you easily lift with one hand.

Streamlines coloured with flow speed around the centreboard and the rudder. Note how the flow bends down on the windward side of the centreboard.

A look at the results

The results of the analysis is best showcased by the accompanying computer screen dumps. The “Finn drag balance” pie-chart contains most of the information. “Drag” is here understood as a force in the direction opposing the motion of the boat. The largest portion of drag comes from the hull wave-making, predicted here by the VPP since it was not considered in the underwater CFD simulation. Nearly as big is the hull viscous drag, meaning the skin friction caused by water flowing along the hull surface. This includes also the pressure drag by the pressures varying from bow to stern, and also a bit of transom drag - the transom was modelled to lie a few centimetres under the sea surface, dragging some water along. The viscous drag was predicted to be exactly similar in the VPP and the underwater flow simulation.

Shear stress is due to skin friction. It serves well to indicate where the flow is separated, in dark blue areas where shear stress is close to zero. Here the rudder is stalled at 2/3 of its depth.

The centreboard proved to be more efficient than expected – the thin, triangular plate-like board is not what you would call a modern appendage, but it does its job quite well. The rudder, so refined on the real Finn, was not modelled very carefully but rather the profile was just drawn freehand. So maybe its drag component could be slightly less than in the simulation. The rudder angle was varied until the boat was longitudinally in balance with the sail yaw moment. The yaw moment wants to turn the boat into the wind or away from it, and it has to be balanced by the rudder so the boat moves in a straight line. This resulted in a positive rudder angle of 1.5 degrees which is not too unrealistic. The simulation shows, too, how sensitive yaw balance is to the traveller position (sheeting angle). The underwater hull also contributes to the side force, to resist leeway – nearly 10% of the total side force is from the hull.

Finn drag balance sailing upwind in 18 knot of true wind and rather a nasty chop. The largest source of drag is the waves generated by the hull moving through the water (28%, in green). The hull and crew air drag is the smallest at only 4% (in grey).

The drag due to seaway comes from the VPP. It means the additional drag caused by the (wind generated) waves. Finally, the smallest drag component, hull + crew air drag represents the aerodynamic drag of above water boat hull and the crew hiking, in the direction opposing the motion of the boat. At approximately 0.5 kg force the drag of sailor is twice as big as the drag of the Finn hull itself – Rickard Sarby designed the Finn also very aerodynamic. If you compare the hull air drag of about 250 grams to the total drag of 20,500 grams (20.5 kg), it is nil. Part of the reason for this is that close to the water surface the wind speed is much less, less than 10 knots, and this was allowed for in the aerodynamic simulation. So there is no reason for the sailor to dress in a downhill skier’s skin-tight suit, either.

The mast: to twist or not?

Flow field around the sail coloured with relative pressure. Inset in the lower left corner is about 1 m above the deck: Note how strong the suction on the leeward side of the mast is (the purple area). This gives the mast plenty of positive drive in the lower part. Close to the top of the sail (inset upper right), the low pressure area is shifted on the backside of the mast, creating drag instead of drive.

Now, if the mast were more twisted, the top part would present itself even more against the wind, creating more drag. On the other hand, twisting the mast will boost the sail efficiency a bit. Note also how the pressure difference in the top section is almost nil: The top of the sail is effectively depowered. Red shades are positive pressure, blue is negative or suction and yellow/green is neutral. 10 Pascals is about 1 kg per square meter.

Not too much can be revealed of the aerodynamic sail simulation here, but there is one interesting notion we want to share. It has been general thinking that mast twist is desirable: You would want the mast top to twist in the same direction as the sail, to better align the top part wing profile with the luff of the sail. This simulation contradicts that belief. In heavy winds, the upper part of the sail is more or less ‘feathered’, or twisted away, and does not carry much load. The wind hits the mast on its leeward side and the topmast is effectively drag. Now, the more you twist the wing-shaped mast top, the more it presents itself sideways to the local airflow and the more drag there is. Negative twist, if achievable, might actually be better.

Peter Mosny. Image copyright Tosca Zambra.

The Finn differs from regular, sloop rigged boats with its rotating mast – the mast is actually already ‘twisted’ about 12 degrees when you sheet the boom down to the gunwhale. It must be added that we have little knowledge about how much and in which way the mast top twists in reality – it’s difficult to measure and hard to judge even from masthead video.

Finn Class