Archive | May, 2006

Russell Coutts: Punta Ala, some of the best racing I’ve ever done

Posted on 31 May 2006 by Valencia Sailing

The first event in the TP52 Breitling MedCup 2006 attracted 19 boats. It proved to be some of the best racing I’ve done in this style and size of boat for many years, in fact it may be the best racing yet!

Dean BarkerHelmsman of Emirates Team New Zealand

Click for more info
and some of his Emirates TNZ sailed Warpath in a very consistent manner in what was a very difficult regatta to win by six points.

Our team on Lexus did not fare very well, finally finishing 11th and I must confess that Punta Ala has become a bit of a bogey for me over the years. I’ve had some of my worst results at this venue and this one was no exception! In many of the races, to be in the top group you simply had to pick the correct side and push pretty hard into the corner. Unfortunately I regularly had the wrong corner. Sailing can be a frustrating sport when that happens but it’s a wonderful sport when everything goes right!! However, I figure that every result (good or bad) makes somebody happy and I’ve no doubt our poor results made plenty of our competitors smile!

Despite having the same hull design and sails as Warpath we also did not manage to extract the same speed. That just shows how important tuning and sailing techniques are. I imagined that if we had of sailed very well, perhaps we could have finished in the top three but I am not sure we could have won. That raised many questions within our team and I certainly finished the regatta with more questions than when I started, so our plan before the next event is to do three days of two boat testing to try to figure out our sailing modes and sail settings with a little more precision and confidence.

It was an interesting regatta from a design standpoint. Certainly the three spreader rigs on the first three boats were not slow. The newer hull designs dominated the leading results but there did not appear to be massive differences in speed (except two sail reaching with maximum heel with the G0).

However, it only takes small differences to influence results and I suspect that with more time, the newer boats will improve more than the older versions and I could easily see two distinct fleets developing.

Still the Breitling MedCup is generally raced in light wind venues and judging by the hull shapes, I suspect the biggest differences will be in stronger winds, so while the wind stays light, the fleet could be relatively even.

The sails are of course a very important factore and there is still a very wide variety of concepts, particularly in the downwind sails. Even knowing how to use a sail correctly and learning the optimum wind ranges is extremely important.

The tight reaching sails have definitely improved a lot from last year but I still feel there is plenty of development left in the VMG type running sails.

The next event will apparently attract even more boats. What a great series this will be. In the next event Paul Cayard comes onto the Lexus boat which will be a great experience. I’ve never sailed with Paul before so that will be a great oportunity. I’m also looking forward to hearing more about the Volvo Race.

Russell

Comments Off

Tags:

Russell Coutts: Punta Ala, some of the best racing I’ve ever done

Posted on 31 May 2006 by Valencia Sailing

The first event in the TP52 Breitling MedCup 2006 attracted 19 boats. It proved to be some of the best racing I’ve done in this style and size of boat for many years, in fact it may be the best racing yet!

Dean BarkerHelmsman of Emirates Team New Zealand

Click for more info
and some of his Emirates TNZ sailed Warpath in a very consistent manner in what was a very difficult regatta to win by six points.

Our team on Lexus did not fare very well, finally finishing 11th and I must confess that Punta Ala has become a bit of a bogey for me over the years. I’ve had some of my worst results at this venue and this one was no exception! In many of the races, to be in the top group you simply had to pick the correct side and push pretty hard into the corner. Unfortunately I regularly had the wrong corner. Sailing can be a frustrating sport when that happens but it’s a wonderful sport when everything goes right!! However, I figure that every result (good or bad) makes somebody happy and I’ve no doubt our poor results made plenty of our competitors smile!

Despite having the same hull design and sails as Warpath we also did not manage to extract the same speed. That just shows how important tuning and sailing techniques are. I imagined that if we had of sailed very well, perhaps we could have finished in the top three but I am not sure we could have won. That raised many questions within our team and I certainly finished the regatta with more questions than when I started, so our plan before the next event is to do three days of two boat testing to try to figure out our sailing modes and sail settings with a little more precision and confidence.

It was an interesting regatta from a design standpoint. Certainly the three spreader rigs on the first three boats were not slow. The newer hull designs dominated the leading results but there did not appear to be massive differences in speed (except two sail reaching with maximum heel with the G0).

However, it only takes small differences to influence results and I suspect that with more time, the newer boats will improve more than the older versions and I could easily see two distinct fleets developing.

Still the Breitling MedCup is generally raced in light wind venues and judging by the hull shapes, I suspect the biggest differences will be in stronger winds, so while the wind stays light, the fleet could be relatively even.

The sails are of course a very important factore and there is still a very wide variety of concepts, particularly in the downwind sails. Even knowing how to use a sail correctly and learning the optimum wind ranges is extremely important.

The tight reaching sails have definitely improved a lot from last year but I still feel there is plenty of development left in the VMG type running sails.

The next event will apparently attract even more boats. What a great series this will be. In the next event Paul Cayard comes onto the Lexus boat which will be a great experience. I’ve never sailed with Paul before so that will be a great oportunity. I’m also looking forward to hearing more about the Volvo Race.

Russell

Comments Off

World Tour Regatta Announcement

Posted on 30 May 2006 by Valencia Sailing

MATCH RACE GERMANY

What — Match Race Germany, Stage 7 of the 2005-’06 World Match Racing Tour
Where — Langenargen, Germany
When — June 1-5, 2006
HostYacht Club Langenargen
Prize Purse — 20,000€, 1st place: 4,800€
Boat — Bavaria 35 Match
Racing Area — Bodensee (Lake Constance)
Who’s Entered — Five of the top eight skippers of the World Tour; reigning World Tour champion and Match Race Germany champion Peter Gilmour

Entry List

Ian AinslieAfterguard of Team Shosholoza
– Team Shosholoza – Afterguard for South Africa’s America’s Cup challenger
Jesper BankSkipper / Helmsman of United Internet Team Germany

Click for more info
– United Internet Team Germany – Placed 2nd at Match Race Germany ’05; skipper of Germany’s America’s Cup syndicate.
Tino Ellegast – Placed 8th at Match Race Germany ’04
Peter Gilmour PST – Aiming for third consecutive Match Race Germany championship
Björn Hansen – Placed 3rd at Monsoon Cup last December
Michael HastbaekStrategist of United Internet Team Germany

Click for more info
United Internet Team Germany – Strategist for America’s Cup challenger Team Germany
Staffan Lindberg Alandia Sailing Team – Placed 8th at Match Race Germany ’05
Sten Mohr BMW Oracle Racing – Placed 6th at Match Race Germany ’05
Eric Monnin – Ranked 31st on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Evgeniy Neugodnikov – Ranked 9th on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Mathieu Richard – Ranked 8th on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Ian Williams Williams Sail Racing – Placed 7th at Match Race Germany ’05

About Stage 7
Match Race Germany is one of three events that has been part of every World Tour schedule. This year it celebrates its 10th anniversary of its founding, but is the ninth running overall. The 1999 event had to be canceled when the combination of heavy rain and an unusually large quantity of snowmelt in the Alps led to major flooding along the Bodensee, or Lake Constance, which borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

At Stage 6
Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson won his first World Tour event in six starts with an impressive display of boatspeed. Berntsson and his Team Semcon crew were the fastest all week and won with a 24-5 record. World Tour leader Peter Gilmour placed third, missing a chance to win his 10th career World Tour event but extending his overall lead to 18 points. Gilmour is the reigning champion of Match Race Germany and a win would give him three consecutive titles along with his 10th career victory.

Comments Off

Tags:

World Tour Regatta Announcement

Posted on 30 May 2006 by Valencia Sailing

MATCH RACE GERMANY

What — Match Race Germany, Stage 7 of the 2005-’06 World Match Racing Tour
Where — Langenargen, Germany
When — June 1-5, 2006
HostYacht Club Langenargen
Prize Purse — 20,000€, 1st place: 4,800€
Boat — Bavaria 35 Match
Racing Area — Bodensee (Lake Constance)
Who’s Entered — Five of the top eight skippers of the World Tour; reigning World Tour champion and Match Race Germany champion Peter Gilmour

Entry List

Ian AinslieAfterguard of Team Shosholoza
– Team Shosholoza – Afterguard for South Africa’s America’s Cup challenger
Jesper BankSkipper / Helmsman of United Internet Team Germany

Click for more info
– United Internet Team Germany – Placed 2nd at Match Race Germany ’05; skipper of Germany’s America’s Cup syndicate.
Tino Ellegast – Placed 8th at Match Race Germany ’04
Peter Gilmour PST – Aiming for third consecutive Match Race Germany championship
Björn Hansen – Placed 3rd at Monsoon Cup last December
Michael HastbaekStrategist of United Internet Team Germany

Click for more info
United Internet Team Germany – Strategist for America’s Cup challenger Team Germany
Staffan Lindberg Alandia Sailing Team – Placed 8th at Match Race Germany ’05
Sten Mohr BMW Oracle Racing – Placed 6th at Match Race Germany ’05
Eric Monnin – Ranked 31st on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Evgeniy Neugodnikov – Ranked 9th on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Mathieu Richard – Ranked 8th on ISAF Open Match Race Rankings
Ian Williams Williams Sail Racing – Placed 7th at Match Race Germany ’05

About Stage 7
Match Race Germany is one of three events that has been part of every World Tour schedule. This year it celebrates its 10th anniversary of its founding, but is the ninth running overall. The 1999 event had to be canceled when the combination of heavy rain and an unusually large quantity of snowmelt in the Alps led to major flooding along the Bodensee, or Lake Constance, which borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

At Stage 6
Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson won his first World Tour event in six starts with an impressive display of boatspeed. Berntsson and his Team Semcon crew were the fastest all week and won with a 24-5 record. World Tour leader Peter Gilmour placed third, missing a chance to win his 10th career World Tour event but extending his overall lead to 18 points. Gilmour is the reigning champion of Match Race Germany and a win would give him three consecutive titles along with his 10th career victory.

Comments Off

Brand new boats in Port America’s Cup

Posted on 29 May 2006 by Valencia Sailing

Alinghi

As we mentioned on Friday, Alinghi’s brand new boat SUI-91 made her maiden sail in Valencia last Wednesday. We captured the Swiss “rocket” on her way out of Port America’s Cup for Monday’s two-boat training session with SUI-75.

Alinghi’s brand new SUI-91 being towed out of Port America’s Cup. Valencia, 29 May 2006. Photo by Leah Shalom / Valencia Sailing

Alinghi’s brand new SUI-91 being towed out of Port America’s Cup. Valencia, 29 May 2006. Photo by Leah Shalom / Valencia Sailing

Alinghi’s brand new SUI-91 being towed out of Port America’s Cup. Valencia, 29 May 2006. Photo by Leah Shalom / Valencia Sailing

Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team

To the best of our knowledge, ITA-90, the brand new boat of the Italian challenger Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team, has not sailed yet in Valencia. Still, we were able to get one shot of her in some maneuvers inside Port America’s Cup.

ITA-90, the brand new boat of the Italian challenger Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team, inside Port America’s Cup. Valencia, 29 May 2006. Photo by Leah Shalom / Valencia Sailing

Comments (3)

Tags:

Brand new boats in Port America’s Cup

Posted on 29 May 2006 by Valencia Sailing

Alinghi

As we mentioned on Friday, Alinghi’s brand new boat SUI-91 made her maiden sail in Valencia last Wednesday. We captured the Swiss “rocket” on her way out of Port America’s Cup for Monday’s two-boat training session with SUI-75.

Alinghi’s brand new SUI-91 being towed out of Port America’s Cup. Valencia, 29 May 2006. Photo by Leah Shalom / Valencia Sailing

Alinghi’s brand new SUI-91 being towed out of Port America’s Cup. Valencia, 29 May 2006. Photo by Leah Shalom / Valencia Sailing

Alinghi’s brand new SUI-91 being towed out of Port America’s Cup. Valencia, 29 May 2006. Photo by Leah Shalom / Valencia Sailing

Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team

To the best of our knowledge, ITA-90, the brand new boat of the Italian challenger Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team, has not sailed yet in Valencia. Still, we were able to get one shot of her in some maneuvers inside Port America’s Cup.

ITA-90, the brand new boat of the Italian challenger Mascalzone Latino – Capitalia Team, inside Port America’s Cup. Valencia, 29 May 2006. Photo by Leah Shalom / Valencia Sailing

Comments (3)

Johnie Berntsson wins the ACI Adris Match Race Cup

Posted on 28 May 2006 by Valencia Sailing

The 34-year-old Swede was the embodiment of one of Berry’s signature songs, Johnny B. Goode, in winning the 20th anniversary ACI Adris Match Race Cup, Stage 6 of the 2005-’06 World Match Racing Tour.

Berntsson, from Stenungsunds Segelsallskap, Sweden (near Gothenburg), completed a wire-to-wire event victory with a 3-1 defeat of Frenchman Mathieu Richard in the final. Berntsson won the round robin with an 18-2 record and his semifinal round 3-2 for an overall record of 24-5.

Berntsson and his Team Semcon crew — Johan Bäckman, Johan Karlsson, Björn Lundgren and Martin Strömberg — won the ACI Match Race Cup Trophy, 20,000€ of the 50,000€ prize purse and joined a five-way tie for eighth on the World Tour leaderboard with 25 points.

“I feel great, so great,” said Berntsson. “We have won the Swedish championship and Scandinavian championship, but this is the highest-ranked win.” Listen to Johnie Berntsson commenting his victory by clicking here

Team Semcon holds a healthy lead over Saba Sailing Team in the final of the ACI Match Race Cup. Rovinj, 28 May 2006. Photo Copyright: World Tour / Guido Cantini

Richard, whose runner-up placing was his best career finish on the World Tour, was complimentary in defeat.

“I think Johnie and his team sailed very well, during the final of course but also during the whole event,” Richard said. “I was very impressed because they managed to keep a very high level all four days, and that’s very impressive. Congratulations to them, they were very good and it’s a very nice victory for them.”

Richard, 29, Nantes, France, and his Saba Sailing Team crew Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, Jean Philippe Saliou and Yannick Simon finished with an 18-10 record and won 10,000€.

Richard won the first match of the final. He trailed at the windward mark by about 8 seconds and then gained the lead near the bottom of the first run. Both crews jibed to starboard but Richard was to windward and simply rolled over Berntsson.

The French team led by about six feet at the leeward mark and extended to more than 20 seconds at the second windward mark. Berntsson closed up to within two boatlengths by the finish, sending a signal that they were far from done.

Johnie Berntsson (2) and Paolo Cian work downwind in Flight 4 of their semifinal match, won 3-2 by Berntsson. Rovinj, 28 May 2006. Photo Copyright: World Tour / Guido Cantini

Indeed. Berntsson and crew won the next three races going away, by no less than four boatlengths. Berntsson’s week wasn’t based on sound match-racing tactics, although he didn’t make many mistakes. His genius lay in boatspeed. His team had blistering speed all week and impressed the likes of Peter Gilmour, the all-time event champion who placed third in his quest for a 10th career World Tour victory.

“It was an exceptional week for them,” Gilmour said. “I think back and can’t recall when I’ve done as well in the round robin, semifinal and final. Well done to them.”

Berntsson got to the final after defeating Paolo Cian 3-2 in the semifinals. Berntsson held a 2-1 lead after yesterday’s opening matches, but Cian evened the series this morning to set up a sudden death match for the final. Berntsson, however, refused to get rattled.

“We were so satisfied coming to the semifinals so we were like OK, we try to do our best all the time,” Berntsson said. “Paolo did perfect starts. We had to try to be even with him and when we did that we managed to beat him. We knew that OK, we sail like it’s zero-zero all the time and we have to win the next match. I think all the guys [fought] hard to win the next match and not get stressed. And I think that’s a key.”

Richard got to the final after becoming the happiest man in Croatia. He took down Gilmour 3-1 in the semis in a come-from-behind win in the deciding race. Gilmour got Richard on the course side before the start gun in Flight 4, which gave him an early lead. But it was short-lived.

Richard quickly got back into the match halfway up the first leg. Then he got a penalty on Gilmour on the second leg, which turned the match in his favor. He went on to win the match, finishing a half length ahead of Gilmour, which was his highlight of the week.

“I’m very happy because yesterday we were very good at the beginning of the semis, we were leading 2-1, but we had to finish job and that’ not easy against such a good team,” Richard said. “We did it this morning. It was incredible because we had a very bad start, I was too early on the start; we were maybe three or four boatlengths behind. We managed to sail back and give him a penalty and get to the finals. That was the greatest thing of the week, to beat Peter Gilmour.”

Comments Off

Tags:

Johnie Berntsson wins the ACI Adris Match Race Cup

Posted on 28 May 2006 by Valencia Sailing

The 34-year-old Swede was the embodiment of one of Berry’s signature songs, Johnny B. Goode, in winning the 20th anniversary ACI Adris Match Race Cup, Stage 6 of the 2005-’06 World Match Racing Tour.

Berntsson, from Stenungsunds Segelsallskap, Sweden (near Gothenburg), completed a wire-to-wire event victory with a 3-1 defeat of Frenchman Mathieu Richard in the final. Berntsson won the round robin with an 18-2 record and his semifinal round 3-2 for an overall record of 24-5.

Berntsson and his Team Semcon crew — Johan Bäckman, Johan Karlsson, Björn Lundgren and Martin Strömberg — won the ACI Match Race Cup Trophy, 20,000€ of the 50,000€ prize purse and joined a five-way tie for eighth on the World Tour leaderboard with 25 points.

“I feel great, so great,” said Berntsson. “We have won the Swedish championship and Scandinavian championship, but this is the highest-ranked win.” Listen to Johnie Berntsson commenting his victory by clicking here

Team Semcon holds a healthy lead over Saba Sailing Team in the final of the ACI Match Race Cup. Rovinj, 28 May 2006. Photo Copyright: World Tour / Guido Cantini

Richard, whose runner-up placing was his best career finish on the World Tour, was complimentary in defeat.

“I think Johnie and his team sailed very well, during the final of course but also during the whole event,” Richard said. “I was very impressed because they managed to keep a very high level all four days, and that’s very impressive. Congratulations to them, they were very good and it’s a very nice victory for them.”

Richard, 29, Nantes, France, and his Saba Sailing Team crew Greg Evrard, Olivier Herledant, Jean Philippe Saliou and Yannick Simon finished with an 18-10 record and won 10,000€.

Richard won the first match of the final. He trailed at the windward mark by about 8 seconds and then gained the lead near the bottom of the first run. Both crews jibed to starboard but Richard was to windward and simply rolled over Berntsson.

The French team led by about six feet at the leeward mark and extended to more than 20 seconds at the second windward mark. Berntsson closed up to within two boatlengths by the finish, sending a signal that they were far from done.

Johnie Berntsson (2) and Paolo Cian work downwind in Flight 4 of their semifinal match, won 3-2 by Berntsson. Rovinj, 28 May 2006. Photo Copyright: World Tour / Guido Cantini

Indeed. Berntsson and crew won the next three races going away, by no less than four boatlengths. Berntsson’s week wasn’t based on sound match-racing tactics, although he didn’t make many mistakes. His genius lay in boatspeed. His team had blistering speed all week and impressed the likes of Peter Gilmour, the all-time event champion who placed third in his quest for a 10th career World Tour victory.

“It was an exceptional week for them,” Gilmour said. “I think back and can’t recall when I’ve done as well in the round robin, semifinal and final. Well done to them.”

Berntsson got to the final after defeating Paolo Cian 3-2 in the semifinals. Berntsson held a 2-1 lead after yesterday’s opening matches, but Cian evened the series this morning to set up a sudden death match for the final. Berntsson, however, refused to get rattled.

“We were so satisfied coming to the semifinals so we were like OK, we try to do our best all the time,” Berntsson said. “Paolo did perfect starts. We had to try to be even with him and when we did that we managed to beat him. We knew that OK, we sail like it’s zero-zero all the time and we have to win the next match. I think all the guys [fought] hard to win the next match and not get stressed. And I think that’s a key.”

Richard got to the final after becoming the happiest man in Croatia. He took down Gilmour 3-1 in the semis in a come-from-behind win in the deciding race. Gilmour got Richard on the course side before the start gun in Flight 4, which gave him an early lead. But it was short-lived.

Richard quickly got back into the match halfway up the first leg. Then he got a penalty on Gilmour on the second leg, which turned the match in his favor. He went on to win the match, finishing a half length ahead of Gilmour, which was his highlight of the week.

“I’m very happy because yesterday we were very good at the beginning of the semis, we were leading 2-1, but we had to finish job and that’ not easy against such a good team,” Richard said. “We did it this morning. It was incredible because we had a very bad start, I was too early on the start; we were maybe three or four boatlengths behind. We managed to sail back and give him a penalty and get to the finals. That was the greatest thing of the week, to beat Peter Gilmour.”

Comments Off





 

Sailing Calendar