Archive | April, 2008

Everything is ready for the first event of Quebramar GP42 Cup 2008

Posted on 30 April 2008 by Valencia Sailing

Santa Margherita Ligure, 30 April 2008: A few hours separate us from the start of the Regate Pirelli – Trofeo Carlo Negri in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, organized by the Yacht Club Italiano, the opening event of the Quebramar GP42 Cup 2008.

The line up for the inaugural event of the Quebramar GP42 Cup 2008 is impressive and scores of America’s Cup and Olympic sailors will be racing on the waters of the beautiful bay of Santa Margherita.

All boats are now side by side on the Italian city’s yacht club pier and despite the cold and rainy weather, shore crews are putting the final touches on the GP42 yachts in order to have them race ready for tomorrow, Thursday, first day of the event.

There are great expectations for this season’s newcomers in the class, Roma GP42.2 and Airis from Italy, Near Miss from Switzerland and MADRID from Spain, that have decided to have a new boat designed and built in order to participate in this growing class and that will undoubtedly use every minute before the races in order to fine tune their yachts and crew.

The GP42 fleet getting ready for the Trofeo Pirelli. Santa Margherita, 30 April 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / GP42

The Italian boat Roma GP42.2 will be helmed by top match racer Paolo Cian, freshly arrived victorious from the Brazilian stage of the world match racing circuit, while another world-class match racer, Sébastien Col, will be calling tactics. At the same time, Roma GP42.1, a vintage 2006 boat and the very first one of the class will be helmed by its owner and class president, Filippo Faruffini. Sandro Montefusco and Roberto Benamati, both world-class Olympic sailors, will be leading the crew of Airis. The fourth Italian team, Seawonder 007, will continue last year’s excellent performance, second overall, with Argentinean 470 Olympic medallist Javier Conte.

The America’s Cup crowd will also have a strong presence here, among them Alicia Ageno, the only woman and navigator aboard Canarias Puerto Calero, the Spanish team that despite a late start in last year’s season showed a very promising performance. It goes without saying that last year’s champions, Spanish EL DESAFIO, will once again aim at the top spot, with a modified boat and an all-America’s Cup crew lead by helmsman Laureano Wizner and tactician Santiago Lopéz-Vasquez. The third Spanish team, MADRID, is making its debut in the GP42 class, skippered by Finn and Star champion and Olympic medallist Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg.

Last but certainly not least, a Swiss team will make its debut in the GP42 class. Near Miss, flying the colors of Société Nautique de Genève, will hit the waters of the Santa Margherita bay with Bertrand Pacé at the helm, Tanguy Cariou calling tactics and Alinghi’s Tom Schnackenberg as navigator.

The level will undoubtedly be very high and all 8 boats will have to race smartly and efficiently from Thursday, May 1st. A maximum of 3 upwind/downwind races are scheduled for the opening day, starting at 11am.

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Everything is ready for the first event of Quebramar GP42 Cup 2008

Posted on 30 April 2008 by Valencia Sailing

Santa Margherita Ligure, 30 April 2008: A few hours separate us from the start of the Regate Pirelli – Trofeo Carlo Negri in Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy, organized by the Yacht Club Italiano, the opening event of the Quebramar GP42 Cup 2008.

The line up for the inaugural event of the Quebramar GP42 Cup 2008 is impressive and scores of America’s Cup and Olympic sailors will be racing on the waters of the beautiful bay of Santa Margherita.

All boats are now side by side on the Italian city’s yacht club pier and despite the cold and rainy weather, shore crews are putting the final touches on the GP42 yachts in order to have them race ready for tomorrow, Thursday, first day of the event.

There are great expectations for this season’s newcomers in the class, Roma GP42.2 and Airis from Italy, Near Miss from Switzerland and MADRID from Spain, that have decided to have a new boat designed and built in order to participate in this growing class and that will undoubtedly use every minute before the races in order to fine tune their yachts and crew.

The GP42 fleet getting ready for the Trofeo Pirelli. Santa Margherita, 30 April 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / GP42

The Italian boat Roma GP42.2 will be helmed by top match racer Paolo Cian, freshly arrived victorious from the Brazilian stage of the world match racing circuit, while another world-class match racer, Sébastien Col, will be calling tactics. At the same time, Roma GP42.1, a vintage 2006 boat and the very first one of the class will be helmed by its owner and class president, Filippo Faruffini. Sandro Montefusco and Roberto Benamati, both world-class Olympic sailors, will be leading the crew of Airis. The fourth Italian team, Seawonder 007, will continue last year’s excellent performance, second overall, with Argentinean 470 Olympic medallist Javier Conte.

The America’s Cup crowd will also have a strong presence here, among them Alicia Ageno, the only woman and navigator aboard Canarias Puerto Calero, the Spanish team that despite a late start in last year’s season showed a very promising performance. It goes without saying that last year’s champions, Spanish EL DESAFIO, will once again aim at the top spot, with a modified boat and an all-America’s Cup crew lead by helmsman Laureano Wizner and tactician Santiago Lopéz-Vasquez. The third Spanish team, MADRID, is making its debut in the GP42 class, skippered by Finn and Star champion and Olympic medallist Jose Maria Van Der Ploeg.

Last but certainly not least, a Swiss team will make its debut in the GP42 class. Near Miss, flying the colors of Société Nautique de Genève, will hit the waters of the Santa Margherita bay with Bertrand Pacé at the helm, Tanguy Cariou calling tactics and Alinghi’s Tom Schnackenberg as navigator.

The level will undoubtedly be very high and all 8 boats will have to race smartly and efficiently from Thursday, May 1st. A maximum of 3 upwind/downwind races are scheduled for the opening day, starting at 11am.

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Valencia Sailing goes to Santa Margherita for the Quebramar GP42 Cup

Posted on 29 April 2008 by Valencia Sailing

Valencia Sailing is in Santa Margherita, Italy, for the inaugural event of the Quebramar GP42 Cup.

The line up is impressive, with a number of America’s Cup sailors and Olympic medalist ready to battle for the second year of racing of the up and coming GP42 class.

Among the favorites are last year’s champions, EL DESAFIO, entirely crewed by America’s Cup challenger Desafío, sailing on their modified boat.

Among the newcomers in the class are Roma 02, building upon the success of Filippo Faruffini’s first GP42 yacht, Roma. Roma 02 will be helmed by Paolo Cian, freshly arrived victorious from Brasil Sailing Cup while another start match racer, Sébastien Col, will be calling tactics.

Société Nautique de Genève, Alinghi’s yacht club, will be also represented for the first time in this class by Franck Noël’s Near Miss. The Swiss boat will certainly be a tough competitor, helmed by BMW Oracle’s former navigator Bertrand Pace and crewed by AREVA Challenge sailors.

Racing begins on Thursday and ends on Sunday.

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Valencia Sailing goes to Santa Margherita for the Quebramar GP42 Cup

Posted on 29 April 2008 by Valencia Sailing

Valencia Sailing is in Santa Margherita, Italy, for the inaugural event of the Quebramar GP42 Cup.

The line up is impressive, with a number of America’s Cup sailors and Olympic medalist ready to battle for the second year of racing of the up and coming GP42 class.

Among the favorites are last year’s champions, EL DESAFIO, entirely crewed by America’s Cup challenger Desafío, sailing on their modified boat.

Among the newcomers in the class are Roma 02, building upon the success of Filippo Faruffini’s first GP42 yacht, Roma. Roma 02 will be helmed by Paolo Cian, freshly arrived victorious from Brasil Sailing Cup while another start match racer, Sébastien Col, will be calling tactics.

Société Nautique de Genève, Alinghi’s yacht club, will be also represented for the first time in this class by Franck Noël’s Near Miss. The Swiss boat will certainly be a tough competitor, helmed by BMW Oracle’s former navigator Bertrand Pace and crewed by AREVA Challenge sailors.

Racing begins on Thursday and ends on Sunday.

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Larry Ellison meets local authorities in Valencia; proposes 34th AC in 2010

Posted on 29 April 2008 by Valencia Sailing

It was rumored, at least here in Valencia, that right after the end of the RC44 Cagliari Cup, Larry Ellison would drop by the city in order to meet local authorities and discuss the possibility of holding the 34th America’s Cup here, if of course BMW Oracle wins the 33rd edition against Alinghi.

If one is to believe Las Provincias, Valencia’s main newspaper, the American billionaire was indeed in Valencia on Monday and held a secret meeting with Francisco Camps, the president of the Valencia Region, and Rita Barberá, the city’s mayor. The meeting was held in Camps’ office and lasted an hour and a half, always according to the newspaper.

Las Provincias has a mainly right-wing orientation, as do the two governments (local and regional) and as a result, it enjoys a very good relationship with both of them and has the privilege of accessing very reliable high-ranked officials. If the information comes from within the local authorities, it is very reliable.

There are very few, if any, details in the article about what Ellison discussed with the two politicians. It appears that BMW Oracle’s owner came to Valencia with a proposal for holding the 34th edition in 2010, based on the assumption the 33rd edition takes place next October. Of course, this is purely theoretical, given the legal uncertainties but it shows Ellison’s intention to move on as quickly as possible once the 33rd America’s Cup is out of the way.

Last but not least, there is a brief mention in the article of the financial terms the city proposes. According to the article, Valencia’s politicians are thinking of offering BMW Oracle what Alinghi proposed a couple of weeks ago. That is 50 million euros for the 33rd edition and 75 to 100 million euros for the 34th. According to the newspaper, no matter who organizes the 34th edition, Valencia will offer exactly the same financial considerations and rights. This isn’t only related to the cash amount but also advertising and television rights, the marina as well as the commercial exploitation of the entire America’s Cup complex.

No matter how you do the math, it is impossible to justify the 50 million for a race between two boats that will not last more than a week while a regatta involving up to 10 teams and lasting almost two years is valued at only twice that amount. If Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi’s owner, gets that deal, then he’s a hell of a negotiator.

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Larry Ellison meets local authorities in Valencia; proposes 34th AC in 2010

Posted on 29 April 2008 by Valencia Sailing

It was rumored, at least here in Valencia, that right after the end of the RC44 Cagliari Cup, Larry Ellison would drop by the city in order to meet local authorities and discuss the possibility of holding the 34th America’s Cup here, if of course BMW Oracle wins the 33rd edition against Alinghi.

If one is to believe Las Provincias, Valencia’s main newspaper, the American billionaire was indeed in Valencia on Monday and held a secret meeting with Francisco Camps, the president of the Valencia Region, and Rita Barberá, the city’s mayor. The meeting was held in Camps’ office and lasted an hour and a half, always according to the newspaper.

Las Provincias has a mainly right-wing orientation, as do the two governments (local and regional) and as a result, it enjoys a very good relationship with both of them and has the privilege of accessing very reliable high-ranked officials. If the information comes from within the local authorities, it is very reliable.

There are very few, if any, details in the article about what Ellison discussed with the two politicians. It appears that BMW Oracle’s owner came to Valencia with a proposal for holding the 34th edition in 2010, based on the assumption the 33rd edition takes place next October. Of course, this is purely theoretical, given the legal uncertainties but it shows Ellison’s intention to move on as quickly as possible once the 33rd America’s Cup is out of the way.

Last but not least, there is a brief mention in the article of the financial terms the city proposes. According to the article, Valencia’s politicians are thinking of offering BMW Oracle what Alinghi proposed a couple of weeks ago. That is 50 million euros for the 33rd edition and 75 to 100 million euros for the 34th. According to the newspaper, no matter who organizes the 34th edition, Valencia will offer exactly the same financial considerations and rights. This isn’t only related to the cash amount but also advertising and television rights, the marina as well as the commercial exploitation of the entire America’s Cup complex.

No matter how you do the math, it is impossible to justify the 50 million for a race between two boats that will not last more than a week while a regatta involving up to 10 teams and lasting almost two years is valued at only twice that amount. If Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi’s owner, gets that deal, then he’s a hell of a negotiator.

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First test sail for AUDI TP52 Sailing Team powered by Q8

Posted on 28 April 2008 by Valencia Sailing

One by one, the TP52 teams are getting ready for the imminent start of the 2008 Audi Medcup circuit. On Sunday afternoon it was the turn of Ricardo Simoneschi’s AUDI TP52 Sailing Team powered by Q8 to hit the waters for the first time ever.

The yacht, a Vrolijk design, was built by Hakes Marine in Wellington, New Zealand and launched a month ago. After fitting her out, the team presented it in Genoa during the weekend and immediately thereafter carried out the first test sails under sunny skies and light spring winds. The AUDI TP52 Sailing Team powered by Q8 will now train onboard the “Silver Surfer” for a few more days before she is transfered to Alicante, for the inaugural event of the 2008 season, from May 12 to 18.

Ricardo Simoneschi will be at the helm of the Silver Surfer while the rest of the crew reads like a who’s who of top professional sailing, with a number of a America’s Cup pedigree sailors. Tommaso Chieffi will be calling tactics, Philippe Presti will trim the mainsail and a number of ex Luna Rossa sailors will hold the key positions, such as Manuel Modena, Massimo Gherarducci, Michele Cannoni or Paolo Bassani.

First test sail for AUDI TP52 Sailing Team powered by Q8. Genoa, 27 April 2008. Photo copyright AUDI TP52 Sailing Team powered by Q8

First test sail for AUDI TP52 Sailing Team powered by Q8. Genoa, 27 April 2008. Photo copyright AUDI TP52 Sailing Team powered by Q8

Ricardo Simoneschi at the helm of the Silver Surfer. Genoa, 27 April 2008. Photo copyright AUDI TP52 Sailing Team powered by Q8


Launch of the brand new Silver Surfer. Wellington, 17 March 2008

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Vasco Vascotto’s TP52 Mutua Madrileña is getting ready in Valencia

Posted on 27 April 2008 by Valencia Sailing

Despite the fact the America’s Cup is currently in a limbo, there is increasing activity going on in Port America’s Cup. In addition to BMW Oracle and Alinghi, a score of other teams are using the existing facilities for various TP52 and GP42 projects. One of them is Vasco Vascotto’s Mutua Madrileña, whose brand new yacht arrived from Italy last Monday.

This is the third TP52 boat for the Italians sailor. Vascotto was in fact one of the founding pillars of the TP52 fleet in the Mediterranean since he sailed in its racing circuit from 2005, the year it was established. He grabbed the inaugural title of the circuit, called Breitling Medcup until last year, on Pisco Sour, a Botín & Carkeek design. In 2006 his mainly Mascalzone Latino crew took a break from the TP52 circuit in order to focus exclusively on the America’s Cup.

In 2007, and with the arrival of Spanish insurer Mutua Madrileña as title sponsor, Vascotto returned to the Breitling Medcup aboard a new Botín & Carkeek design. Taking into consideration the fact Mutua Madrileña was aiming for the top spot in the circuit, last year was a clear disappointment. Mutua Madrileña finished 6th, the result of a 14th place in Puerto Portals and a 12th in Portimao.

The brand new Mutua Madrileña TP52 being fitted out in the Mascalzone Latino base. Valencia, 27 April 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Vascotto was busy in the Mascalzone Latino base, sweating under the strong Valencian sun and working with the rest of the shore crew in order to get their brand new boat in tip top shape for the racing season. This year, Mutua Madrileña will be competing with a boat designed by Rolf Vrolijk.

I talked to him briefly and the obvious question concerned the decision to have the new boat designed by Rolf Vrolijk. According to Vascotto, they “have always had an excellent relationship with Marcelino Botín. I think that last year he designed a boat more oriented towards light winds, probably the fastest one in light conditions. This year we decided to change because the events that take place in the Mediterranean almost always seem to have stronger winds. This year we feel more confident with a boat for heavier winds although of course Botín’s new designs might prove to be better and beat everybody else”.

The brand new Mutua Madrileña TP52 being fitted out in the Mascalzone Latino base. Valencia, 27 April 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

The obvious question was why didn’t they then stick with Botín and asked him to design such a boat that would outperform the rest under the conditions they considered more likely. Or is it that only Vrolijk can design a winning TP52 yacht? Vascotto was quick to answer that Botín was a “genius”, an excellent designer but in life you have to take decisions and that was one they took. Vascotto decided to take the risk with Vrolijk and true to his Italian flair, he wished all other designers the best for next year’s season…

The work schedule for the period leading to the first event of this year’s circuit is very busy. The final measurement of the boat will take place on Monday or Tuesday and after that she will be taken out for her first test sail. After a couple of days of testing, Vascotto has assigned three spare days in order to make all the necessary adjustments and from May 5th, Mutua Madrileña will be in Alicante in order to train.

The new Mutua Madrileña TP52 has a three-spreader mast from Hall Spars. Valencia, 27 April 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

While Vasco Vascotto and the rest of the Mascalzone Latino crew were putting the final touches on the Mutua Madrileña TP52, their neighbors, the Spanish Desafío, trucked their modified GP42 to Italy earlier last week, for the opening event of the 2008 Quebramar GP42 Cup, while their brand new TP52 (another Vrolijk design) took her first sail on Thursday. Terry Hutchinson’s Quantum Racing should also be coming to Desafío’s green base shortly while this year’s big guns, BMW Oracle, Artemis and Mean Machine are due in Valencia any time now.

On Sunday, we also spotted the modified Caixa Galicia carrying out as well their first (to the best of our knowledge) test sail. The Spanish TP52 boat was mainly going up and downwind not far from the Malvarosa beach, taking advantage of the day’s excellent northern breeze.

The deck of the brand new Mutua Madrileña TP52. Valencia, 27 April 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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