Archive | March, 2007

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Team Aqua finishes match-race event unbeaten in Portoroz Cup

Posted on 31 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44] Team Aqua accomplishes the hat trick by finishing the match race event unbeaten and setting up a new standard in the RC 44 Class. Cro-A-Sail finishes second, ahead of Team Omega. Tomorrow, the last fleet races will determine the overall winner of the Portoroz Cup.

“This is a fantastic boat to sail; it brings the right answers to everything that is lacking in the other one design classes.” Winner of the match-race series of the Portoroz Cup, and leader of the fleet race (to be completed tomorrow), Chris Bake (UAE) was all smiles on the pontoons this evening. Indeed, his team – led by kiwi pro Cameron Appleton – had just won the match race event of the Portoroz Cup, finishing unbeaten ahead of last year’s leading team Cro-A-Sail and Team Omega with Russell Coutts at the helm. A great achievement!

The day started under thick grey clouds and a light rain, but the sun was soon back together with a light thermal breeze, allowing a glorious conclusion to the match race event. Team Omega, Beecom and Ekipa 44, who were even after ten flights, put all their energy in the fight for third place during the last matches of the day.

This is when Team Omega, on great form, won a decisive match against the Croatian team, putting an end to their hopes of final victory. Indeed, Team Aqua had previously beaten Coutts’s team, taking a decisive leadership on the ranking.

Second day of match races at the Portoroz Cup. Portoroz, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Portoroz Cup

The last match of the day, between Team Aqua and Cro-A-Sail, confirmed the fleet’s hierarchy, Cameron Appleton dominating Tomislav Basic to end up with 12 victories / 0 defeats.

Another happy team is the Japanese entry Beecom, who finishes fourth with six victories. “We lost against the same teams during the first and second round robins”, commented Morten Henriksen, helmsman for the match race. “But we really feel that we have improved a lot, particularly our on-board communication, which is tricky with an international team such as ours.”

Tomorrow, the seven strong RC 44 fleet will conclude the fleet race event. The overall winner of the Portoroz Cup will be the team with the best combined results in the match and fleet races.

Second day of match races at the Portoroz Cup. Portoroz, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Portoroz Cup

They said:

Cameron Appleton, match race helmsman, Team Aqua:
“This is one of the most pleasurable matches I have sailed for a very long time. I love this kind of racing; the boats and the format are great. I think that it is the direction the sport should take. The parallel with America’s Cup boats is huge in the way we sail, handle the boat and crew. But of course the teams are much smaller and a campaign much simpler to handle.”

Mitja Margon, Ekipa 44:
“It is fair to say that we are the less experienced team in the fleet. We’ve had only six days to train before the event. We are a group of friends, but with many Olympic or very experienced sailors. We are improving every day. Our big advantage is that we live where the boat is moored. Unlike the other teams, we will be able to train a lot before the next race in Split.”

Alberto Leghissa, Magia Alikè:
“Our boat was very fast and we are happy with our trimmings. But we lack practice. We are improving a lot. Today, we lost against Team Omega and Cro-A-Sail. It’s not really a surprise. Personally, I haven’t sailed a match for over a year, so it is great to be able to win some matches…”

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Italian training derby one day before unveiling

Posted on 31 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

A mere three days before Louis Vuitton Act 13 and a few hours before the unveiling ceremony, a handful of teams trained off Valencia’s coast. Some teams chose to train far away from indiscreet eyes while there were a couple of match races, among them, the Italian derby between challengers Luna Rossa and Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team.

We cannot comment on the race or its result, but let’s say it was very interesting. According to what Paul Cayard stated it could well be the Louis Vuitton Cup final but of course it might have been a far fetched statement to please the Italian media. We’ll know in a few weeks.

ITA-94 of Luna Rossa and ITA-99 of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team racing during a training regatta, three days before the start of Louis Vuitton Act 13. Valencia, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Ignacio Baixauli / www.mmediapress.com

ITA-94 of Luna Rossa and ITA-99 of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team racing during a training regatta, three days before the start of Louis Vuitton Act 13. Valencia, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Ignacio Baixauli / www.mmediapress.com

ITA-94 of Luna Rossa and ITA-99 of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team racing during a training regatta, three days before the start of Louis Vuitton Act 13. Valencia, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Ignacio Baixauli / www.mmediapress.com

ITA-94 of Luna Rossa and ITA-99 of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team racing during a training regatta, three days before the start of Louis Vuitton Act 13. Valencia, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Ignacio Baixauli / www.mmediapress.com

ITA-94 of Luna Rossa and ITA-99 of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team racing during a training regatta, three days before the start of Louis Vuitton Act 13. Valencia, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Ignacio Baixauli / www.mmediapress.com

ITA-94 of Luna Rossa and ITA-99 of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team racing during a training regatta, three days before the start of Louis Vuitton Act 13. Valencia, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Ignacio Baixauli / www.mmediapress.com

ITA-94 of Luna Rossa and ITA-99 of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team racing during a training regatta, three days before the start of Louis Vuitton Act 13. Valencia, 31 March 2007. Photo copyright Ignacio Baixauli / www.mmediapress.com

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Longtze: A blitz design story

Posted on 31 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Daniel Andrieu, member of China Team’s design team, sent us this interesting report on the design of Longtze (Son of the Dragon), CHN-95, the first ever America’s Cup yacht to be built in China. Given the very limited resources of the Chinese challenger, the design group was forced to attack the matter with a blitzkrieg, hence the title of the article.

Without any doubt, Longtze will be the boat in Port America’s Cup not to need any unveiling ceremony because since his launch the Chinese team never tried to hide it:

Tomorrow, 1st of April, day of the “Unveiling Ceremony”, will mark exactly one year, day for day, that Luc Gellusseau, Chief Operations Manager of China Team, summoned us, Hervé Devaux, Philippe Pallu de la Barrière and myself, and asked us to constitute the “China Design Team”.

Goal: To design and have built the 1st Chinese ACC in history. Start of building in 3 months, the 1st of July, delivery on November 15, after 4½ months of construction in China.

The bet was crazy, we thus accepted it!

In a standard America’s Cup campaign, the Design and Engineering Team is made up very early, generally from the very start, that is to say 2 to 3 years before the Louis Vuitton Cup. It is made up of multiple specialists allowing in investigation the whole definite design field. It has the experimental means (CFD, Tank testing and Wind tunnel) ad hoc. It works in coherence with the Sport Team. It takes part in the development of the ACC of old generations. It thus has the time and resources to conclude its task: design and develop a maximum of 2 boats, able to reach the highest possible level of the competition.

Our adventure was quite different from this ideal process.

The smallest budget of the Cup, approximately 10 million euros, dictated its harsh reality: No time, few human and technical resources, no referring crew, no research and development!

The specification book was at the same time simple and constraining: “You have three months to make us the best possible boat, you are completely free, with the “simple” following conditions:
1. The deck and structure of CHN-69 will be cut out and re-used for the new boat;
2. The appendages and rigging spars will be those of CHN-69″

In addition to myself, 4 America’s Cups, China Design Team (CDT) is composed of two of the best specialists in the world in their respective fields, Hervé Devaux (HDS) for the structures, on his credit, 5 America’s Cups, the large majority of the Open 60′ and Multi 60′, the winner of the last Volvo Ocean Race, etc…, both for the hull structures and the spars, and Philippe Pallu de la Barrière (CRAIN), 6 America’s Cups, one of best in aerodynamics, hydrodynamics and CFD. This Design Team knows itself very well, having worked on many joint projects and is able to work in team, “without egos”. Each one with his privileged field, but also intervening in that of the others, since after all, work is common.


First sail of Longtze (press play to start video)

Time is in extreme short supply for us: three months to start construction, which translates into 2 weeks to decide strategy, to choose and validate the CFD tools, to organize and distribute work, 2 months of design, then 15 days of work to pass from virtuality to reality. With such a short lapse of time, we quickly decide the total strategy of the project. It is necessary to limit ourselves to the essential, to follow without compromise only one main idea. The arbitrations or trade-offs, delivered in real time, must be limited to those based on our common experience, because we will have neither the time, nor the means, to undertake complementary studies and/or parallel investigations.

To try to go to essence in the balance of the boat, dynamic behavior, the control and sinking of volumes of overhangs, stability, structural stiffness and simplification, while remaining compatible with the old appendages, deck and rigging.

The very “boxy” form of “Longtze” is the consequence of these choices without any compromise.

The boat was built in Dongguan in south China, on male mold, for financial reasons but also in order to save time, adding a hundred kilos to the weight of the hull.

The trade off from the “plastic surgery” undergone by the deck and the structure to adapt them to the new hull was an additional hundred kilos on the hull.

During autumn, a new mast finally could be manufactured at Lorima, which limits the overweight of the spars to an old boom, and gave us a better sail power control than the old mast.

The bulb, going back to 2002 for an ACC of 25 tons, was re-cut to adapt to the displacement of “Longtze”.

February 2007, “Longtze”, the Son of the Dragon, made its first splashes in the waters of Valencia.

CHN-95 launched in the water for the first time. Valencia, 16 February 2007. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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What is this?

Posted on 30 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Update: Apparently it was an easy one as well. It is John Buchan’s brand new TP52 Glory. She was designed by Judel/Vrolijk, built in Hakes Marine in New Zealand and launched last February. We will run a feature on this newcomer to the Breitling Medcup after the end of Louis Vuitton Act 13. Concerning the 2007 Breitling Medcup, mark Friday the 13th of April on your calendars. At that day, this year’s circuit will be officially presented in Alicante, city of the first event.

While here in Valencia the anticipation is rising with less than 36 hours left until all America’s Cup teams show the true face of their yachts, the rest of the major yacht classes around the world are getting ready for this summer’s racing action.

I once again hope this quiz isn’t solve in less than an hour. Can you identify the boat? Maybe the filename of the photo can give you a hint, as well as the backdrop.

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+39 Challenge will unveil “some of their boat’s secret” on Saturday

Posted on 30 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: +39 Challenge] A warm sun, after nearly a whole rainy week, welcomed the +39 Challenge team members today, allowing them to work on the new mast in the open air.

The rig was also fully measured by the official AC measurers. In the sail loft the sail makers went on with the finishing on the sails delivered by North Sails Argentina and designed by Juan Garay, also present at the base.

No sailing today, but further tests are planned for tomorrow and Sunday afternoon, after the official Unveiling ceremony of all the boats participating in the Louis Vuitton Cup.

Tomorrow night, Saturday, the base will be open for a very Italian “Risotto Party” during which the guests will have the opportunity to see more of +39’s secrets.

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Team Aqua and Cro-A-Sail dominate the Portoroz Cup

Posted on 30 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44] The team from the United Arab Emirates confirms its domination in the Portoroz Cup by winning the first Round Robin of the match racing event. With Cameron Appleton at the helm, Team Aqua (6 wins / 0 defeats) is however still under big pressure from Cro-A-Sail before RR 2.

Chris Bake’s Team Aqua carries on impressing – and dominating – its competitors in the Portoroz Cup. With Cameron Appleton at the helm, the team from the UAE won its six matches of the first round robin. One point behind is Cro-A-Sail, followed by another newcomer in the RC 44 circuit: Ekipa 44. Having won – and lost – three races, the Slovenian team is on a tie with Team Beecom (JPN) and Team Omega (IRL). But they take the third spot thanks to their results in the direct confrontations. Beecom finishes fourth whilst Team Omega, with Russell Coutts at the helm, ends up in fifth.

It was a grey day today in Portoroz, with winds ranging from 5 to 12 knots and a light rain at times. But this didn’t stop the racing from being extremely intense and the show impressive. Indeed, luffing matches, crew members falling overboard and tensed situations were frequent occurrences.

Round robin 1 of the Portoroz Cup. Portoroz, 30 March 2007. Photo copyright Portoroz Cup

Following their impressive performance in the fleet race, Team Aqua is collecting the dividends from two intensive training sessions in Dubai this winter. Their good results are also due to a hugely experienced crew, led for the match races by kiwi sailor Cameron Appleton. “I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had today”, he commented. “The concept is great; this class really is a breath of fresh air in the world of sailing.”

Sailing on a new RC 44 with three new crew members, Russell Coutts and his team still need to fine tune their boat and improve their maneuvers in order to be fully competitive. They also need to keep their crew members on board, two of them having tasted the temperature of the Adriatic… Also sailing under their potential, Mascalzone Latino’s sailors haven’t managed to win a single match today. But they plan to train hard and ambition to step the ladder soon.

Tomorrow, the teams will finish round robin two before sailing more fleet races on Sunday to conclude the event. The general ranking of the Portoroz Cup will be a combination of match and fleet racing.

Round robin 1 of the Portoroz Cup. Portoroz, 30 March 2007. Photo copyright Portoroz Cup

They said:

Cameron Appleton, match race helmsman, Team Aqua:
“This was the first match race we sailed together and my first match since over a year, so we didn’t have huge expectations. Our strategy was to try to concentrate on a clean, smooth, simple sailing. Obviously, we have over-exceeded our expectations.”

Gasper Vincec, Ekipa 44:
“We haven’t had much time to practice, so we can consider ourselves happy with our result although I am not surprised: I know how good our team is. I am personally a fleet sailor but I discover match-race and I love it. I also love the RC 44 class. The boats are like dinghies to sail: they are nervous, fast & fun. At the helm, they respond immediately. I think this is much more fun than fleet racing. I am only 25 years old. Match racing is certainly a direction I will explore in the future.” (Note: Gasper Vincec is one of the world’s best Finn sailors)

Matteo Savelli, Mascalzone Latino:
“The sailing is great but our results are not up to our expectations. The crew is very young; they are my friends. But we are obviously not at the right level. We have been doing a lot of mistakes during the manoeuvres and my starts weren’t always good. Vincenzo Onorato will join us once the America’s Cup is over and we will build a more competitive crew.”

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The first 2 King Marine GP42′s are on their way to Valencia

Posted on 30 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

The scheduled calendar of the five KING MARINE GP 42′s is advancing as planned, with the first two units having already been delivered. This joint venture between GRAND SOLEIL and Botin & Carkeek and built by KING MARINE, in their facilities in Buenos Aires, the first two units are aboard cargo ships on their way to Valencia’s harbor from where they will be transfered to KING MARINE facilities in Alginet. The boat builders will then fit out the boats before their launch.

The first of the five units belongs to Pedro Campos. She left Buenos Aires on the 15th of March and is expected to arrive in Valencia during the first week of April. The second of the five new GP42s belongs to Jan Santana, was shipped yesterday and is expected to arrive in Valencia during the third week of April.

The first GP42′s from King Marine are on their way to Valencia

Construction of the remaining yachts follows the predetermined schedule. The boat of Norwegian owner Peer Moberg will leave on the 15th of April to Rotterdam. The fourth boat, built for Portuguese owner Gonzalo Esteves, is scheduled to depart on the 15th of May, while the fifth delivery, for Sergio Llorca,will take place one month later.

Finally, given the interest expressed by various potential owners it is possible that the construction of additional first-generation King Marine GP42′s start in the near future. Undoubtedly these boats are set to dominate the first Spanish and international racing season of this new class.

The first GP42′s from King Marine are on their way to Valencia

The first GP42′s from King Marine are on their way to Valencia

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The first 2 King Marine GP42′s are on their way to Valencia

Posted on 30 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

The scheduled calendar of the five KING MARINE GP 42′s is advancing as planned, with the first two units having already been delivered. This joint venture between GRAND SOLEIL and Botin & Carkeek and built by KING MARINE, in their facilities in Buenos Aires, the first two units are aboard cargo ships on their way to Valencia’s harbor from where they will be transfered to KING MARINE facilities in Alginet. The boat builders will then fit out the boats before their launch.

The first of the five units belongs to Pedro Campos. She left Buenos Aires on the 15th of March and is expected to arrive in Valencia during the first week of April. The second of the five new GP42s belongs to Jan Santana, was shipped yesterday and is expected to arrive in Valencia during the third week of April.

The first GP42′s from King Marine are on their way to Valencia

Construction of the remaining yachts follows the predetermined schedule. The boat of Norwegian owner Peer Moberg will leave on the 15th of April to Rotterdam. The fourth boat, built for Portuguese owner Gonzalo Esteves, is scheduled to depart on the 15th of May, while the fifth delivery, for Sergio Llorca,will take place one month later.

Finally, given the interest expressed by various potential owners it is possible that the construction of additional first-generation King Marine GP42′s start in the near future. Undoubtedly these boats are set to dominate the first Spanish and international racing season of this new class.

The first GP42′s from King Marine are on their way to Valencia

The first GP42′s from King Marine are on their way to Valencia

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