Archive | January, 2007

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First day of Alinghi’s “UBS Dubai Defender Trials”: Holmberg beats Baird 2-0

Posted on 31 January 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] Round 1 of the “UBS Dubai Defender Trials” begins: Holmberg (SUI-91) 2 – Baird (SUI-64) 0

Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi syndicate head, and Brad Butterworth, team skipper, kicked off Round 1 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials this morning at a press conference in Dubai. Both helmsmen, Ed Baird and Peter Holmberg, attended the event.

Race results:

* Race 1, with just one windward-leeward, got away with a slight delay in 9knots, Holmberg, helming SUI91, won the first start against Baird on SUI-64, held the lead to the first mark and extended downwind to finish four boat lengths ahead. It was a light air race and the boat coming in from the right had an advantage that they kept.

* Race 2, started in 10-12 knots with the boats starting together on starboard tack. SUI64 had to tack away as the wind split between the two boats, lifted them both and took them to opposite sides of the course. SUI-91 came out ahead and finished 1 minute ahead of SUI-64.

Peter Holmberg, SUI-91, comments on the first day: “With very little practice I think both crews did a great job today. We had some intensive racing and both teams sailed pretty smart and clean and well so it was good quality racing.”

Don’t forget to check the America’s Cup Defender’s website for complete coverage of the races. Click here

Alinghi’s SUI-64 and SUI-91 at the start line of the first race of the “UBS Dubai Defender Trails”. Dubai, 31 January 2007. Photo copyright Ivo Rovira / Alinghi

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ITA-99 launched in Valencia

Posted on 30 January 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Here are the first pictures of ITA-99, launched two hours ago. The first impression, even if it is difficult to judge, is that she looks quite similar to ITA-90, the first new boat of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team. We will certainly keep an eye on these two Italian rockets..

According to Vicenzo Onorato, head of the Italian syndicate, “when we started to race here, back in June 2005, I said that our job was to be competitive. Now I can confirm that we have created a team that can and will do well. I promised then, that we would throw our hearts into it, and that is exactly what we have done, every single one of us.

“The team is here, determined and ready. We have the boats and the technical support necessary to compete. Many, in these days, ask me what my predictions are as to where we expect to arrive…but as a good Neopolitan citizen, I prefer not to say. I can only say that the job has been done, and is complete. We have built two new boats, we have never stopped sailing, and our team is formed of people with great value. In short, we are aiming high…”

Launch of ITA-99. Valencia, 30 January 2007. Photo copyright Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team

Launch of ITA-99. Valencia, 30 January 2007. Photo copyright Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team

Launch of ITA-99. Valencia, 30 January 2007. Photo copyright Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team

Launch of ITA-99. Valencia, 30 January 2007. Photo copyright Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team

Who said you can only have 17 sailors and a guest aboard an America’s Cup yacht. I count more than 30 team members on the deck of ITA-99, let alone the good looking blonde and the beautiful smiling brunette! Valencia, 30 January 2007. Photo copyright Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team

Launch of ITA-99. Valencia, 30 January 2007. Photo copyright Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team

Launch of ITA-99. Valencia, 30 January 2007. Photo copyright Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team

Launch of ITA-99. By the way, ITA-99 is the boat on the foreground, whose stern is on the right. The boat in the background is ITA-90. Valencia, 30 January 2007. Photo copyright Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team

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Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team to launch ITA-99 today

Posted on 30 January 2007 by Valencia Sailing

ITA-99, the brand new boat of Italian America’s Cup challenger Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team, will be launched later today, exactly one week after her arrival in Valencia.

Unfortunately, the press will not be invited to this launch and as a result, I doubt we’ll be able to have our own pictures. Still, stay tuned for the pictures the team will send us, published as soon as we get them.

After this launch, three America’s Cup boats remain to be launched, CHN-95 of China Team, SWE-96 of Victory Challenge and, of course, Alinghi’s SUI-100 that reached Valencia just a few days ago.

ITA-99 the night of her arrival at the Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team base. Valencia, 22 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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In the meantime Victory Challenge continue their training in Dubai

Posted on 29 January 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Victory Challenge] Victory Challenge have now carried out three and a half weeks of winter training in Dubai. This totals 19 days of sailing, three days of maintenance and three days off.
“It has not been difficult to motivate the sailing team since there has been so much racing,” says Magnus Holmberg, skipper and helmsman.

It is Sunday at Victory Challenge’s temporary base in Dubai but also a working day for everybody in the team. It is the third day for maintenance of boat and equipment. According to Magnus Holmberg, skipper and helmsman, the experience has still far exceeded his high expectations: “The sailing has been superb, and we have had really excellent racing with the two boats. As they are very similar in speed the competition is very fierce.”

Örn (SWE 63) and Orm (SWE 73) have coped well under the strain.

“There is a frightful amount of wear on the boats when they are raced this much. We have of course been a bit nervous but we have some extremely good boat-builders who have patched them up every time something has broken. Luckily nothing serious has happened.

Video: Victory Challenge in Dubai (Note: We think Victory Challenge is the America’s Cup team that produces the best multimedia content, by far. Obviously, part of it is pure PR but it there is always interesting footage).

Magnus Holmberg said last Friday: “We have been able to sail whenever we want, and give it our all. We have had 8 -15 knots every day, sea breeze and a variety of sea conditions. The only thing we have been missing is a day with a slightly stronger breeze, up to 20 knots. But I am sure we will get days with really strong winds too.”

The strong wind came during the week. Although the team took out the boats every day, training had to be interrupted one of the days due to too strong winds.

The hard training – combined with the fact that some of the sailors went to Valencia for short periods to finish off SWE-96 – has taken its toll on the sailing team. Even Magnus Holmberg has had injuries.

“There have been some minor injuries, some have taken ill, which is natural enough when pushed this hard. We used temporary sailors, who did a terrific job”.

The wind conditions are the reason Victory Challenge – just like Alinghi, the America’s Cup Defender – has sited its winter training in the United Arab Emirates. They are more or less like the winds expected in Valencia when the Louis Vuitton Cup starts on 16 April and the eleven challengers compete for the place to meet Alinghi in the America’s Cup Match.

“Sailing conditions in Valencia are very poor at this time of the year. We therefore decided to have our winter training here; we felt we needed to have as many sailing days as possible since the Louis Vuitton Cup starts soon.”

While the two-boat training during September to December in Valencia with Örn (SWE 63) and Orm (SWE 73) was more focused on tests and development for building the new boat SWE 96, the training in Dubai is regular sailing training, from starts, to manoeuvrings to tactics, and tough situations which may arise in match racing duels during the Louis Vuitton Cup.

“The sailing is completely different from when you carry out tests and mainly sail straight ahead,” says Magnus Holmberg. This is also a way of testing the crew. “Therefore winter training in Dubai is also an important part of the process of identifying who will be sailing when it is time for the Louis Vuitton Cup,” says Magnus Holmberg.

There will be a more complex team selection process now than for the pre-regattas within the 32nd America’s Cup in which Victory Challenge participated during 2005 and 2006.

At that time the team consisted of around 20 people. Everybody was needed in at least one race as the boat had a crew of 17, and strains and injuries are common. Now, after extensive supplementary recruitment carried out for the two-boat training, the team has grown to 39 people of 11 different nationalities.

“Through the training we are doing at the moment, it becomes more and more clear who should be selected for the onboard team in the Louis Vuitton Cup”, says Magnus Holmberg.

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Peter Gilmour to coach Alinghi !!

Posted on 29 January 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] Peter Gilmour, Australian match racing veteran, will be sailing with Alinghi periodically over the next few months to sharpen Alinghi’s match racing edge in the lead up to the America’s Cup Match that starts on 23 June in Valencia, Spain.

Brad Butterworth, team skipper, has raced against him on the match racing circuit for years: “We look forward to having Peter Gilmour on board as a consultant to provide us with a fresh, objective analysis of our performance,” he says, adding: “when you race in-house as regularly as we do, it is vital to measure yourself against outside competitors and as there is just a fleet race left before the Match, we won’t have this opportunity. Therefore we are seeking an objective point of view and bringing in an outsider of Peter’s calibre will hopefully bring some new ideas and a critical analysis of our match race skills.”

Helmsmen Ed Baird and Peter Holmberg are both familiar competitors of Gilmour and value his match racing expertise. Baird comments: “It will be great to have Gilly with us to help train. I’ve had some great matches against him over the last 15 years, and I know he’ll spice up our preparation for the Cup.” Holmberg adds his view: “This is another step in our preparation to the Cup. We hope that having Peter on board will bring some fresh ideas to our match race game.”

Gilmour comments on being a consultant to the Defender: “I am really looking forward to this role with Alinghi in preparation for their first defence of the America’s Cup. There is a formidable line up of challengers vying to get themselves into the Match. As a team, Alinghi was the most admired and complete group in the 2003 Cup and has maintained this pre-eminent position in the world of sailing. Hopefully I should be able to add one or two new items to the repertoire of the team.”

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Peter Gilmour to coach Alinghi !!

Posted on 29 January 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] Peter Gilmour, Australian match racing veteran, will be sailing with Alinghi periodically over the next few months to sharpen Alinghi’s match racing edge in the lead up to the America’s Cup Match that starts on 23 June in Valencia, Spain.

Brad Butterworth, team skipper, has raced against him on the match racing circuit for years: “We look forward to having Peter Gilmour on board as a consultant to provide us with a fresh, objective analysis of our performance,” he says, adding: “when you race in-house as regularly as we do, it is vital to measure yourself against outside competitors and as there is just a fleet race left before the Match, we won’t have this opportunity. Therefore we are seeking an objective point of view and bringing in an outsider of Peter’s calibre will hopefully bring some new ideas and a critical analysis of our match race skills.”

Helmsmen Ed Baird and Peter Holmberg are both familiar competitors of Gilmour and value his match racing expertise. Baird comments: “It will be great to have Gilly with us to help train. I’ve had some great matches against him over the last 15 years, and I know he’ll spice up our preparation for the Cup.” Holmberg adds his view: “This is another step in our preparation to the Cup. We hope that having Peter on board will bring some fresh ideas to our match race game.”

Gilmour comments on being a consultant to the Defender: “I am really looking forward to this role with Alinghi in preparation for their first defence of the America’s Cup. There is a formidable line up of challengers vying to get themselves into the Match. As a team, Alinghi was the most admired and complete group in the 2003 Cup and has maintained this pre-eminent position in the world of sailing. Hopefully I should be able to add one or two new items to the repertoire of the team.”

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Shosholoza unveils overhauled RSA-83

Posted on 28 January 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Shosholoza, the first ever America’s Challenger from South Africa, unveiled this morning in cold and windy Valencia their overhauled yacht, RSA-83. Despite being the oldest of the America’s Cup yachts competing now in Valencia, it has undergone such a major modification that one could very well consider it as a “new” yacht, sporting a new bow, stern, appendages, mast as well as new sails.

According to Captain Sarno, head of the South African challenger, the team is very satisfied with the performance of the modified yacht. Despite this being her public presentation, Shosholoza’s crew has been testing RSA-83 for a few days. Shosholoza decided in September 2006 to modify their existing boat instead of building a new one and after months of design, testing 23 models of 7.5 meters and more than 250 appendage combinations, the overhauled boat made her public debut this morning.

It is worth mentioning that all modifications were carried out right inside the team’s base in Valencia, the only exception being the mold of the bow. An oven was installed in the boat shed and while sailors were enjoying their Christmas holidays boatbuilders built the new parts, cut the old and reassembled the yacht.

In order to achieve optimum design for all details of a boat, as many different scenarios as possible must be simulated and the boat’s maximum loads have to be computed. For example: How does the load distribution in the sails change at different wind conditions? To what extent do the forces affect the mast, and how must it be fixed to the hull under these conditions? The development of the force in the sails and the width of the hull require a certain weight and design of the keel bulb in order to stabilize the boat.

Extremely-fast computers are required in order to simulate all these details with thousands upon thousands of influential factors and millions of possible models in order to gradually move towards a boat design which is as close to optimum as possible. In conjunction with other companies and institutions, T-Systems runs one of the ten most powerful computers anywhere on earth, and is therefore in the position to offer Team Shosholoza ideal support. This Supercomputer for Research and Businesss uses simulation programs which are used mainly for aircraft such as the Airbus A380. With the hww supercomputer’s computation ability of around 25 teraflops (one teraflop is a unit of computing power equal to a trillion floating point operations per second), each and every detail – irrespective of how tiny it may be – can be included in the simulation and can be taken into consideration in the design process.

The new bow of RSA-83The most visible change in the yacht was obviously of the bow because of the extent of the modifications and the presence of a bowsprit (unlike Desafío Español this is a real one).

The new bow of Shosholoza’s modified RSA-83. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The new bow of Shosholoza’s modified RSA-83. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The extent of the modification on the bow is considerable. The modified bow starts more or less over the letter T. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Closeup of new bow and bowsprit of Shosholoza’s modified RSA-83. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The old bow of RSA-83In order to grasp the extent of the modifications it was interesting to check the old bow.

The original bow of RSA-83. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The modified stern of RSA-83The stern of the boat was also modified but the changes were significantly smaller than the bow.

The modified stern of Shosholoza’s RSA-83. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Closeup of the modified stern of Shosholoza’s RSA-83. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Modified RSA-83 sails outAfter a short speach by Captain Sarno and a brief photo session in the base, the team docked out and went on with their usual daily training activities. A small calibration took place inside the harbor and after sails were hoisted, RSA-83 sailed off to a day of testing and training with excellent wind conditions. Due to the very low temperatures and unsuitable clothing, most photographers couldn’t stand the cold and the tender boat had to return ashore. We promise we will have more photos of the South African rocket soon.

Shosholoza’s crew calibrating instruments inside the main harbor before sailing. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Shosholoza’s modified RSA-83 sailing with brand new sails as well. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Shosholoza’s modified RSA-83 sailing with brand new sails as well. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Shosholoza’s modified RSA-83 sailing with brand new sails as well. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Shosholoza’s modified RSA-83 sailing with brand new sails as well. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Shosholoza’s modified RSA-83 sailing with brand new sails as well. Valencia, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Dean Barker wins Auckland Match Racing Cup

Posted on 28 January 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Dean Barker won his second Auckland Match Racing Cup title today amid fierce competition from some of the world’s top skippers.

His back-to-back successes in the Auckland Match Racing Cup framed a win in the New Zealand Match Racing nationals late last year. He won the inaugural Auckland Match Racing Cup this time last year.

“It makes a nice start to our year, defending this title,” Barker said after he had beaten British challenger Ian Williams 2-1 in the final. “It is nice to know that when it gets tough we can come out on the right side with a win.”

Event organiser Dave Stewart said the event had been a success and it was a great achievement for so many of the world’s best skippers to be in Auckland. He thanked the many people who have supported this year’s Auckland Match Racing Cup. “Planning is already underway for next year’s Auckland Match Racing Cup, which looks set to be held in the last week of February, 2008.”

It was a tough final day of racing with Barker and his Emirates Team New Zealand crew of Terry Hutchinson, Don Cowie, James Dagg and Jeremy Lomas first having to dispatch Adam Minoprio and his crew of young guns in the best-of-five semi-final.

Minoprio proved a worthy contender, taking the first match from start to finish and then shutting Barker out of the start in their third encounter. But small mistakes proved costly and Barker clinched his place in the final with a 3-1 win over Minoprio.

Dean Barker and his Emirates Team New Zealand team, winners of the 2007 Auckland Match Racing Cup. Auckland, 28 January 2007. Photo copyright Ivor Wilkins / Auckland Match Racing Cup

The 21-year-old mechanical engineering student was disappointed, but philosophical. “We were pleased to make it this far,” he said. “This is only the second Grade One event we have done and to make it to the semi-final is quite satisfying. It gives us confidence going forward because we know we have beaten some of the big guns and can do it again.”

In the other semi-final, the world’s second and third ranked match race skippers went head to head as Williams and Frenchman Mathieu Richard slugged it out in a series that went all the way to five matches before it was decided.

Richard was 2-1 up and needing just one more win to advance to the final, when Williams and his crew staged a remarkable come-back. The British skipper won the next two in a row and took a come-from-behind win in a series of matches that had the umpires busy dishing out more penalties than they had for the entire regatta.

The day began with light airs and then a lengthy delay as the wind settled into a building north easterly, rising to 20 knots by the end of the afternoon.

In the final, Williams took first blood. The British skipper led around the top mark and then Barker attacked from behind on the downwind run, establishing an overlap and looking set to overtake. However, as the yachts charged into the leeward mark, Williams luffed hard, forcing Barker away. Barker was unable to mount another attack and Williams took the win.

However, Barker and his crew were not to be denied. They came back with guns blazing to win the next two encounters, both of which featured spirited tacking duels, and take the title.

“We had a great final,” said Williams, who sailed with a pick-up crew of local New Zealand sailors. “It was great to get one match under our belt. Dean was smoother through the tacks than we were and a little bit faster, but we threw plenty of tacks at them and never gave up.

“We were close all the way round the track, but couldn’t quite get the jump on Barker.”

In the petite final, Richard secured 3rd place with a 2-0 win over Minoprio, who finished 4th.

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