Archive | October, 2007

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AC90 Rule is born

Posted on 31 October 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Click here for the entire rule in PDF

[Source: America's Cup Management] Today AC Management, as scheduled, published the AC90 Rule marking an exciting milestone in the path to the 33rd America’s Cup. This rule has been crafted over the past six weeks through a design consultation process with all entered challengers, the Defender, and headed by Tom Schnackenberg as the class rule and competition regulations consultant for ACM.

Designers from all six entered teams have met regularly since the design process began on 15 September. Tom Schnackenberg comments on the sessions: “The process has been an invigorating one with the challengers helping enormously in making improvements to the rule. It is amazing how inventive people are in this environment, bouncing ideas off each other, these past six weeks have been a very enjoyable experience.”

The AC90 Rule, in brief, will be 90ft overall maximum length, 6.5m in draft whilst racing and will have a displacement of 23tons. This last parameter was defined by the challengers on their request. Tom adds some insight: “In writing the AC90 Rule we have used the experience gained in forming Version 5 of the America’s Cup Class rule. We have tried to keep it simple because of the short timeframe, while also taking care not to ignore the lessons of the last 18 years of the ACC. The rule is a box rule rather than a rating rule and differs greatly to Version 5 in that the yacht will be big, fast and much more demanding.”

Comparison of the America’s Cup yachts from the previous (left) and current editions

Juan Kouyoumdjian, principal designer for British challenger, TEAMORIGIN, comments on the result of the design sessions: “To sit in a series of meetings chaired by Tom Schnackenberg and write a class rule for something as significant as the boat to be used for the America’s Cup has been an honour for me personally and a really inspiring experience. The profile of designers, engineers and naval architects representing the challengers and the Defender is, as always, really special. This has been an efficient and productive process and the boat itself will be spectacular: challenging to design, to sail and to race.”

John Cutler, technical director for Desafío Español, adds his take on the result: “We are happy with the process. It has been a lot of hard work for all the teams, the challengers and the Defender, and there have been a lot of changes. The boat will be exciting to sail, a challenge to design and also a challenge for the crew to master. It will provide exciting racing.”

As far as the next steps towards the 33rd America’s Cup are concerned, Tom Schnackenberg will continue the dialogue with the challengers and the Defender to finalise the Competition Regulations for a 2009 event.

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AC90 Rule is born

Posted on 31 October 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Click here for the entire rule in PDF

[Source: America's Cup Management] Today AC Management, as scheduled, published the AC90 Rule marking an exciting milestone in the path to the 33rd America’s Cup. This rule has been crafted over the past six weeks through a design consultation process with all entered challengers, the Defender, and headed by Tom Schnackenberg as the class rule and competition regulations consultant for ACM.

Designers from all six entered teams have met regularly since the design process began on 15 September. Tom Schnackenberg comments on the sessions: “The process has been an invigorating one with the challengers helping enormously in making improvements to the rule. It is amazing how inventive people are in this environment, bouncing ideas off each other, these past six weeks have been a very enjoyable experience.”

The AC90 Rule, in brief, will be 90ft overall maximum length, 6.5m in draft whilst racing and will have a displacement of 23tons. This last parameter was defined by the challengers on their request. Tom adds some insight: “In writing the AC90 Rule we have used the experience gained in forming Version 5 of the America’s Cup Class rule. We have tried to keep it simple because of the short timeframe, while also taking care not to ignore the lessons of the last 18 years of the ACC. The rule is a box rule rather than a rating rule and differs greatly to Version 5 in that the yacht will be big, fast and much more demanding.”

Comparison of the America’s Cup yachts from the previous (left) and current editions

Juan Kouyoumdjian, principal designer for British challenger, TEAMORIGIN, comments on the result of the design sessions: “To sit in a series of meetings chaired by Tom Schnackenberg and write a class rule for something as significant as the boat to be used for the America’s Cup has been an honour for me personally and a really inspiring experience. The profile of designers, engineers and naval architects representing the challengers and the Defender is, as always, really special. This has been an efficient and productive process and the boat itself will be spectacular: challenging to design, to sail and to race.”

John Cutler, technical director for Desafío Español, adds his take on the result: “We are happy with the process. It has been a lot of hard work for all the teams, the challengers and the Defender, and there have been a lot of changes. The boat will be exciting to sail, a challenge to design and also a challenge for the crew to master. It will provide exciting racing.”

As far as the next steps towards the 33rd America’s Cup are concerned, Tom Schnackenberg will continue the dialogue with the challengers and the Defender to finalise the Competition Regulations for a 2009 event.

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CNEV’s annual regatta has its notice of race

Posted on 30 October 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Once again, our friend Jaume Soler has interesting news concerning the Club Nautico Español de Vela (CNEV), the newly-formed yacht that challenges Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup.

The CNEV being the Challenger of Record has the obligation, according to the Deed of Gift, to organize an annual regatta. Once again, we will not argue whether the regatta must have been held before the challenge was filed or if this can be done at a later stage. This is the core issue of the litigation in New York and Judge Cahn will rule within a couple of weeks.

There are now more details on that regatta, given the fact its Notice of Race, dated 8 October, has been made public. First of all, we now know its precise date and location, as it will take place here in Valencia, from November 23 to November 25. The boats will be cruisers and will be divided into 3 classes according to their rating. Organizers hope to have a minimum of 10 boats per class.

Soler goes on to claim that the RFEV (Spanish Sailing Federation) clearly breached its own rules by designating this event as “Alto Nivel” (Upper level), given the fact the normal procedure would have required the regatta to be submitted for approval before 30 June 2006!! Soler was the Federation’s press officer for almost a decade and we suppose he’s well documented.

Once thing that surprises though is the time of the day racing has been scheduled. On the opening day racing will start at 3pm and in the two following ones the starting gun will be fired at noon!! We really don’t know what kind of wind organizers expect to have in Valencia, at noon in late November!!

You can read the NoR (in Spanish) here. At least, this time it is publicly available before the race!

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Can one become member of the Club Nautico Español de Vela?

Posted on 29 October 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Imagine you wanted to join the yacht club whose privilege is to be the Challenger of Record in the world’s oldest and most prestigious sailing competition in order to show off at your friends and boast about over dinner talk. According to the story that Jaume Soler’s blog runs today, this is next to impossible.

Macarena Lainez, a well-known sailing journalist in Spain and director of the monthly magazine “Barcos a Vela”, wanted to write an article on the required procedure in order for someone to become member of the CNEV (Club Nautico Español de Vela) and inform the general public about the organization, activities and services of the yacht club that challenges Alinghi in the 33rd America’s Cup.

Nevertheless, what was supposed to be a simple task, gather some basic information, turned out to be an odyssey. Lainez finally had to talk to the CNEV’s president, Manuel Chirivella, mostly because the club has only a handful of members; Manuel Chirivella (President), José María Martín Puertas (Vice president), José Ángel Rodríguez (Treasurer and Secretary) and Luis Merino (Director), all of them vice presidents of the RFEV (Spanish Sailing Federation).

According to Soler, Lainez started her inquiry by calling the phone number that appears on the website of the Sailing Federation of the Valencia Region, apparently, the only place where one can find the club’s contact information. After letting the phone ring many times, the call was picked up by Desafío Español’s telephone operator [Note: CNEV's legal address is the Desafío Español base]. She asked whether she could talk to somebody from the CNEV and the reply was negative. After several intents and unanswered calls it turned out the phone number appearing as CNEV’s is apparently Agustín Zulueta’s, general manager of the team, personal number in the base.

As a result, Lainez contacted the communications department of Desafío Español in order to also get additional information on the regatta the CNEV will organize in November in order to fulfill the requirements of the Deed of Gift. There as well it was impossible to answer her questions and she was told she had to call Manuel Chirivella, president of the CNEV. And call him she did.

According to Chirivella, they are “working” on the issue of the club’s organization and their aim is to have all of Spain’s yacht clubs as affiliates of the CNEV, adding that it was not born in order to compete with them. As for the issue of having private members, Chirivella said they were “studying” it but at some stage the club will have private persons as members.

The full story, in Spanish, will appear on the December issue of Barcos a Vela.

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Tom Ehman and Hamish Ross talk to PJ Montgomery on Radio NZ

Posted on 27 October 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Earlier today, PJ Montgomery, one of New Zealand’s most prominent sailing journalists, interviewed Tom Ehman from BMW Oracle and Hamish Ross from Alinghi on Radio NZ.

It was quite a long and interesting interview, although both men repeated most of the arguments their teams have publicly stated in the last couple of months. It seems the last hurdle before any deal can be made is for BMW Oracle to be convinced Alinghi doesn’t have a head start on the design of the new boat.

Listen to the entire 22-minute interview, using the following media player:

PS: Our apologies if the file is slow. We are experiencing server problems due to huge traffic and had to use a temporary server. Since the beginning of October Valencia Sailing is consuming every 4-5 days its total monthly bandwidth allowance.

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Tom Ehman and Hamish Ross talk to PJ Montgomery on Radio NZ

Posted on 27 October 2007 by Valencia Sailing

Earlier today, PJ Montgomery, one of New Zealand’s most prominent sailing journalists, interviewed Tom Ehman from BMW Oracle and Hamish Ross from Alinghi on Radio NZ.

It was quite a long and interesting interview, although both men repeated most of the arguments their teams have publicly stated in the last couple of months. It seems the last hurdle before any deal can be made is for BMW Oracle to be convinced Alinghi doesn’t have a head start on the design of the new boat.

Listen to the entire 22-minute interview, using the following media player:

PS: Our apologies if the file is slow. We are experiencing server problems due to huge traffic and had to use a temporary server. Since the beginning of October Valencia Sailing is consuming every 4-5 days its total monthly bandwidth allowance.

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Statement from America’s Cup Management

Posted on 26 October 2007 by Valencia Sailing

With the continued aim of organising the 33rd America’s Cup for 2009 in Valencia with pre-regattas in 2008, a Competitors Meeting took place this morning to continue work on the Class Rule.

At the end of a constructive meeting the competitors left with a complete draft of the Class Rule and further meetings have been scheduled over the next few days in order to finalise this document and comply with the 31st October deadline for issuing the Rule.

For the competitors and AC Management this is a fundamental milestone and the focus of all our attention. As organisers of the 33rd America’s Cup we certainly welcome any other challenger to come and join the process for the last few days of Class Rules development and for the consultations on the competition and event regulations.

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Pindar Open 60 dismasted for the second time

Posted on 26 October 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Team Pindar] Pindar, the Open 60 built and owned by print and electronic media company Pindar, last night dismasted off the coast of Le Havre, France. Skippered by Brian Thompson, the Open 60 racing yacht was en route to Le Havre, prior to the start of the transatlantic race, the Transat Jacques Vabre, in which she was due to compete in eight days time. The mast fell backwards and then to windward onto the boat and the crew, however there were no injuries and the crew are all safe and well. The mast, rigging and sails were cut free from the hull, which suffered minimal damage, to allow the crew to motor safely into Le Havre.

The dismasting took place nine miles north west of the entrance to the harbour of Le Havre, at 18.15 BST on Thursday 25th October. The boat was sailing close-hauled on port tack, in 12 knots of wind, sailing at a speed of 11 knots. The mast suffered one clean break, just under halfway up the 30 metre high mast, in a slightly lower position than the first breakage suffered by the boat during the Artemis Challenge at Skandia Cowes Week earlier this year. Despite the structural repairs made to the mast, followed by extensive testing in the Solent and Atlantic including Brian Thompson and Will Oxley’s 1000 nautical mile qualifying sail for the TJV race, it appears that a further structural weakness in the mast remains. Having lost the mast, sails and rigging overboard by cutting them free last night, the team will now further inspect the hull. Brian, Will and the remainder of the Team Pindar Open 60 team will remain in Le Havre, supporting Pindar 40, Pindar’s second entry in the TJV race, skippered by Jo Royle and Alexia Barrier.

Team Pindar Open 60 dismasts for the second time. Le Havre, 26 October 2007. Photo copyright Mark Lloyd

Brian Thompson, skipper of Pindar commented
“The dismasting is a huge set back to our race campaign, forcing us out of the Transat Jacques Vabre race which was due to begin on Saturday 3rd November. My co-skipper for the race, Will Oxley, and crew of Boat Captain Nick Black, Pindar match racing sailor Ian Williams and Team Director Nick Crabtree, amongst others, showed fantastic teamwork in dealing with the dramatic event and it’s a huge relief that no one was hurt. We are incredibly disappointed not to be able to compete, especially so close to the start of the race, and as the team has put in so much hard work to get the boat to this point. Whilst we begin looking into our next options for a new mast, and preparing Pindar for our next competition, the Artemis Transat, in May 2008, Team Pindar will dedicate time to supporting Jo and Alexia in their preparations for the TJV, and we will be following and learning as much as we can from watching other Open 60’s during the race itself.”

Team Pindar Open 60 dismasts for the second time. Le Havre, 26 October 2007. Photo copyright Mark Lloyd

Andrew Pindar, Chairman of the Pindar Group commented:
“The news overnight that the rigging on our new Open 60 Pindar has failed for a second time is very disappointing indeed. It is all the more saddening, that this failure has come so close to the start of the Transat Jaques Vabre race, a race that has always been so important to us, over the eight years that we have been associated with the event, and in which Brian and Will were set to excel. We will work to solve the mast’s structural problems that Pindar has experienced as soon as possible, with safety always at the forefront of our minds. It is a great shame for Brian and Will to have to pull out of the TJV race, the only consolation being that such an incident has taken place close to land and a safe harbour, rather than halfway across the Atlantic Ocean.”

“It is important however to reflect that ocean racing is always a challenge for the teams who compete. That is a challenge to the crews, to the teams and the owners. Those challenges require commitment, courage and determination, from all concerned. Remaining competitive requires investment of time, energy and finance. Our new boat, Pindar, has been developed to meet those challenges at she will be at the forefront of this sport in the near future. We have great confidence in our boat, which has shown superb speed and winning potential, and with a new mast will continue to compete with the best.”

Team Pindar Open 60 dismasts for the second time. Le Havre, 26 October 2007. Photo copyright Mark Lloyd

Pindar 40, Pindar’s second entry in this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre race in the Class 40 fleet, is currently making last minute preparations for the prologue race this Saturday. Skippered by Jo Royle and Alexia Barrier, Pindar 40 is the only all female entry in the 33 boat Class 40 fleet. Ian Williams, Pindar’s top British match racing sailor, will be onboard Pindar 40 calling tactics during the prologue race this Saturday. Currently top of the World Match Racing Tour, which culminates in December, Ian will return to the UK following the race to concentrate on preparations for the final two Tour events in Brazil and Malaysia.

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