Archive | October, 2008

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Meanwhile in Valencia…

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Valencia Sailing

A few days before the start of the 2nd Desafío Trophy, Desafío’s shore crew are putting night shifts in order to have the team’s two America’s Cup yachts ready for racing. According to their press release, the newest green boat, ESP-97, will be used by the Spanish challenger, while the older one, ESP-88, will be chartered by Team Origin. ESP-88 should be launched by Monday and on Wednesday Team Origin will carry out their first test sail on Valencia’s waters.

Unfortunately, it was already dark to take any decent shots of the Luna Rossa and Alinghi bases, both closed and with most lights turned off. Most probably, SUI-100 is tucked up in the warm inside the Alinghi base but it must come out soon since the Swiss defender will race it next week.

As for the Italian boat, we have heard they will be sailing ITA-94 but there was no visible activity and the shed’s door was closed. Still, according to the Italian website Sailing Revolution, Luna Rossa’s crew will consist of Robert Scheidt, Flavio Favini, Peter Holmberg, Nacho Postigo, Ciccio Celon, Manuel Modena, Daniele Bresciano, Marco Montis, Paolo Bassani, Giovanni Cassinari and Lele Marino.

Last but certainly not least, a personal comment. While I was shooting the photos from outside Desafío’s boatshed, the usual schmuck from the team’s shore crew saw the flash and got out of the base, yelling and threatening they would call the police because it was illegal taking pictures. The America’s Cup (or at least activity related to it) is in Valencia for almost 5 years now and there is still this idiotic mentality that team bases are some sort of secret nuclear missile silo. I hope that the next time Competitors meet in Geneva, Agustín Zulueta, Desafío’s general manager, doesn’t suggest teams installed a 20,000-volt wire around the bases so that any evil tourist or journalist that dares to come close gets electrocuted on the spot.

The Desafío base, on Friday early evening. ESP-88, left, is masted and apparently ready to be launched, while ESP-97 is still in the shed. Valencia, 31 October 2008. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Letter from eleven America’s Cup teams to BMW Oracle Racing

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] The following teams entered in the 33rd America’s Cup, gathered at the Société Nautique de Genève on Thursday 30 October, formally ask BMW Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate Yacht Club to drop their law suit and join the fair and constructive process of reviewing the applicable documents and schedule that will allow the America’s Cup to return to the water as soon as possible, along with the challengers and the Defender:

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Letter from eleven America’s Cup teams to BMW Oracle Racing

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] The following teams entered in the 33rd America’s Cup, gathered at the Société Nautique de Genève on Thursday 30 October, formally ask BMW Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate Yacht Club to drop their law suit and join the fair and constructive process of reviewing the applicable documents and schedule that will allow the America’s Cup to return to the water as soon as possible, along with the challengers and the Defender:

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Terry Hutchinson leads Melges 24 North American Championship

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: International Melges 24 Class Association] The Race Committee stepped up the pace today at the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship, running four excellent races (race four to seven in the 12 race series) in winds ranging from 10 – 15 knots. Terry Hutchinson on USA 751 Quantum Racing made his intentions clear for this regatta by moving into a seven point overall lead. Gabrio Zandona on ITA 777 Joe Fly had a mixed day on the water but won the first and last races to sit in second place tonight. Chris Larson on USA 655 West Marine Rigging / New England Ropes put in a steady performance to claim the final podium place, eight points behind Zandona.

Zandona came out punching in race four, winning the start and rounding the first mark well in the lead. His charge faltered a little down wind when he got out of phase with the shifts and dropped to third at the gate behind Bruce Ayres USA 747 Monsoon and Othmar von Blumencron USA 679 Gannet. Zandona hit the afterburners on the next beat however and scorched back into a lead he was able to hold to the end of the race. David Dabney USA-626 Wireless also made the best of the conditions to move from sixth to second. Ayres initially looked to have suffered badly on this leg but recovered to round third.

Down the final run, nobody’s place was secure with the premium on keeping heads out of the boat and staying in the veins of pressure. With Zandona securely across the line with a win under his belt, the chasing pack were involved in a gybing frenzy which resulted in Flavio Favini SUI 521 Blu Moon catapulting himself from fourth to second. Simon Strauss on also pulled up to take third ahead of a disappointed Ayres, whilst Dabney had to be content with fifth.

Race five was all about Chris Larson who led around every mark to take a convincing win. Behind him a tight knot of boats including Shane Vowels GER 624 I’m with Stupid, Hutchinson, von Blumencron and Ayres, were involved in a prolonged fight for second place. This was only eventually resolved close to the finish, with Hutchinson taking second and von Blumencron third. Yesterday’s overnight leader Dave Ullman kept his title hopes alive with a fourth.

Race six was also dominated by a single boat. Simon Strauss USA 757 Simplicity found some of his true form for the first time this regatta, winning the start and taking control of the race from the off. In shifty conditions he played an excellent tactical game, gaining leverage on the fleet with every tack and gybe. Stuart McNay on USA 620 had his work cut out holding off a sustained challenge from Favini throughout the whole race but eventually prevailed to take second. On the final run Favini had to break off his attack to close off an advancing Jamie Lea GBR 569 Team Barbarians who crossed the line on Favini’s transom to take fourth. Corinthian David Dabney clocked up a solid fifth.

With light airs forecast for tomorrow, the race team wisely opted to put one in the bag by running a five leg fourth race. Perhaps it was fatigue or enthusiasm, but no less than twenty boats were called OCS at the start of race seven. Significantly, several boats failed to return to exonerate themselves, including Morgan Reeser USA 750 M-fatic, Ullman and Favini. Zandona had no such worries and having rounded ten lengths clear at the windward mark he went on to give the fleet an absolute sailing master class. Hutchinson had a difficult job on his hands getting past Kristen Lane, but finally wrested second from her at the start of the final beat. With Zandona and Hutchinson finished, a couple of big shifts at the end of this leg upset the running order, allowing Peter Lane USA 539 Brickhouse 539 to move up into third and Argyle Campbell USA 630 Rock n’ Roll to take fourth ahead of Ayres.

The new championship leader, Terry Hutchinson, is understandably happy to be leading but was critical of his own performance. “Everyone on this boat is sailing really, really well. That being said, I feel like the weakest link as I’m struggling a little with my time and distance. We set a goal that if we could come out with a fifth and above we would be happy. We had a tough first race, but had a great come back to ninth.” He also had this to say about the conditions in store for tomorrow “Tomorrow will be a hard day, really hard. Third day of an event like this with a cold front, we can expect light and shift conditions. Very interesting conditions are definitely on the way.”

Corinthian division leader Othmar von Blumencron is also pleased to have extended his lead on second placed David Dabney. “We are an amateur team and so don’t get much time to practice. That usually results in us getting better as the regattas go on but this time we have made a good start so our challenge is maintaining our performance.”

Racing at the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship continues tomorrow and runs through to Saturday with five more races scheduled. To follow the racing live as it happens visit the IMCA’s from the race course blog at http://blog.melges24.com.

TOP TEN RESULTS (Preliminary, After seven races)
1.) Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing – 4, 2, 4, [9], 2, 6, 1 = 20
2.) Gabrio Zandona/Giovanni Maspero, Joe Fly – 9, 6, 2, 1, [12], 8, 1 = 27
3.) Chris Larson, West Marine Rigging/NE Ropes – 8, 8, 7, 6, 1, 7, 6 = 35
4.) Dave Ullman, Pegasus 505 – 1, 3, 3, 12, 4, 17, [50/DCS] = 40
5.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon – 5, 9, 8, 4, 10, [15], 5 = 41
6.) Flavio Favini/Franco Rossini, Blu Moon – 2, 7, 1,2, 29, 3, [50/DNF] = 10
7.) Othmar Blumencron, Gannett – 13, 12, 9, 7, 3, [14], 10 = 54
8.) Stu McNay, USA-620 – 11, 5, 10, 14, [16], 2, 14 = 56
9.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle – 6, 10, 6, 10, 5, 24, [25] = 61
10.) Jamie Lea, Team Barbarians – 7, 11, 14, 11, [18], 4, 17 = 64

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Terry Hutchinson leads Melges 24 North American Championship

Posted on 31 October 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: International Melges 24 Class Association] The Race Committee stepped up the pace today at the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship, running four excellent races (race four to seven in the 12 race series) in winds ranging from 10 – 15 knots. Terry Hutchinson on USA 751 Quantum Racing made his intentions clear for this regatta by moving into a seven point overall lead. Gabrio Zandona on ITA 777 Joe Fly had a mixed day on the water but won the first and last races to sit in second place tonight. Chris Larson on USA 655 West Marine Rigging / New England Ropes put in a steady performance to claim the final podium place, eight points behind Zandona.

Zandona came out punching in race four, winning the start and rounding the first mark well in the lead. His charge faltered a little down wind when he got out of phase with the shifts and dropped to third at the gate behind Bruce Ayres USA 747 Monsoon and Othmar von Blumencron USA 679 Gannet. Zandona hit the afterburners on the next beat however and scorched back into a lead he was able to hold to the end of the race. David Dabney USA-626 Wireless also made the best of the conditions to move from sixth to second. Ayres initially looked to have suffered badly on this leg but recovered to round third.

Down the final run, nobody’s place was secure with the premium on keeping heads out of the boat and staying in the veins of pressure. With Zandona securely across the line with a win under his belt, the chasing pack were involved in a gybing frenzy which resulted in Flavio Favini SUI 521 Blu Moon catapulting himself from fourth to second. Simon Strauss on also pulled up to take third ahead of a disappointed Ayres, whilst Dabney had to be content with fifth.

Race five was all about Chris Larson who led around every mark to take a convincing win. Behind him a tight knot of boats including Shane Vowels GER 624 I’m with Stupid, Hutchinson, von Blumencron and Ayres, were involved in a prolonged fight for second place. This was only eventually resolved close to the finish, with Hutchinson taking second and von Blumencron third. Yesterday’s overnight leader Dave Ullman kept his title hopes alive with a fourth.

Race six was also dominated by a single boat. Simon Strauss USA 757 Simplicity found some of his true form for the first time this regatta, winning the start and taking control of the race from the off. In shifty conditions he played an excellent tactical game, gaining leverage on the fleet with every tack and gybe. Stuart McNay on USA 620 had his work cut out holding off a sustained challenge from Favini throughout the whole race but eventually prevailed to take second. On the final run Favini had to break off his attack to close off an advancing Jamie Lea GBR 569 Team Barbarians who crossed the line on Favini’s transom to take fourth. Corinthian David Dabney clocked up a solid fifth.

With light airs forecast for tomorrow, the race team wisely opted to put one in the bag by running a five leg fourth race. Perhaps it was fatigue or enthusiasm, but no less than twenty boats were called OCS at the start of race seven. Significantly, several boats failed to return to exonerate themselves, including Morgan Reeser USA 750 M-fatic, Ullman and Favini. Zandona had no such worries and having rounded ten lengths clear at the windward mark he went on to give the fleet an absolute sailing master class. Hutchinson had a difficult job on his hands getting past Kristen Lane, but finally wrested second from her at the start of the final beat. With Zandona and Hutchinson finished, a couple of big shifts at the end of this leg upset the running order, allowing Peter Lane USA 539 Brickhouse 539 to move up into third and Argyle Campbell USA 630 Rock n’ Roll to take fourth ahead of Ayres.

The new championship leader, Terry Hutchinson, is understandably happy to be leading but was critical of his own performance. “Everyone on this boat is sailing really, really well. That being said, I feel like the weakest link as I’m struggling a little with my time and distance. We set a goal that if we could come out with a fifth and above we would be happy. We had a tough first race, but had a great come back to ninth.” He also had this to say about the conditions in store for tomorrow “Tomorrow will be a hard day, really hard. Third day of an event like this with a cold front, we can expect light and shift conditions. Very interesting conditions are definitely on the way.”

Corinthian division leader Othmar von Blumencron is also pleased to have extended his lead on second placed David Dabney. “We are an amateur team and so don’t get much time to practice. That usually results in us getting better as the regattas go on but this time we have made a good start so our challenge is maintaining our performance.”

Racing at the 2008 Melges 24 North American Championship continues tomorrow and runs through to Saturday with five more races scheduled. To follow the racing live as it happens visit the IMCA’s from the race course blog at http://blog.melges24.com.

TOP TEN RESULTS (Preliminary, After seven races)
1.) Terry Hutchinson, Quantum Racing – 4, 2, 4, [9], 2, 6, 1 = 20
2.) Gabrio Zandona/Giovanni Maspero, Joe Fly – 9, 6, 2, 1, [12], 8, 1 = 27
3.) Chris Larson, West Marine Rigging/NE Ropes – 8, 8, 7, 6, 1, 7, 6 = 35
4.) Dave Ullman, Pegasus 505 – 1, 3, 3, 12, 4, 17, [50/DCS] = 40
5.) Bruce Ayres, Monsoon – 5, 9, 8, 4, 10, [15], 5 = 41
6.) Flavio Favini/Franco Rossini, Blu Moon – 2, 7, 1,2, 29, 3, [50/DNF] = 10
7.) Othmar Blumencron, Gannett – 13, 12, 9, 7, 3, [14], 10 = 54
8.) Stu McNay, USA-620 – 11, 5, 10, 14, [16], 2, 14 = 56
9.) Brian Porter, Full Throttle – 6, 10, 6, 10, 5, 24, [25] = 61
10.) Jamie Lea, Team Barbarians – 7, 11, 14, 11, [18], 4, 17 = 64

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BMW Oracle replies to Alinghi statement

Posted on 30 October 2008 by Valencia Sailing

Statement of Tom Ehman, Jr.
Spokesperson, Golden Gate Yacht Club
10-30-08

We have offered repeatedly to drop our lawsuit if Alinghi commits to fair rules, and our offer still stands. We would like nothing better than to have a fully competitive multi-challenger America’s Cup on the water by 2010. We stand ready and willing to meet with Alinghi and all of the other competitors to discuss the future of the Cup, but without unreasonable pre-conditions.

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BMW Oracle replies to Alinghi statement

Posted on 30 October 2008 by Valencia Sailing

Statement of Tom Ehman, Jr.
Spokesperson, Golden Gate Yacht Club
10-30-08

We have offered repeatedly to drop our lawsuit if Alinghi commits to fair rules, and our offer still stands. We would like nothing better than to have a fully competitive multi-challenger America’s Cup on the water by 2010. We stand ready and willing to meet with Alinghi and all of the other competitors to discuss the future of the Cup, but without unreasonable pre-conditions.

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Eleven challengers attend meeting called by Alinghi and ask BMW Oracle to drop its law suit and join the process

Posted on 30 October 2008 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] Eleven challengers entered in the 33rd America’s Cup and the Defender, Alinghi, met today at the Société Nautique de Genève, for the first of several Competitor Meetings to discuss returning the competition to the water as soon as possible. The meeting was called for by the Defender’s event organising entity AC Management and chaired by Alinghi skipper Brad Butterworth.

This initial get together follows a series of individual discussions between Alinghi and the challengers. At the top of the agenda was the need for a financially sustainable model that includes cost-containment measures, such as a one-boat campaign and the creation of a new class of race yacht; faster and more spectacular than the Version 5.0 used for the 32nd America’s Cup, but cheaper than the AC90 originally intended for the 33rd edition.

33rd America’s Cup Competitor Meeting. Geneva, 30 October 2008. Photo copyright Chris Schmid / Alinghi

The new class will mean affordable participation for all existing teams, including the most recent entries, and will provide motivation for potential new challengers to join the 33rd America’s Cup, expected to take place in 2010.

At the end of the meeting, the eleven challengers present and the Defender signed a joint request addressed to BMW Oracle Racing and the Golden Gate Yacht Club asking them to withdraw their law suit and join the fair and constructive process of reviewing the applicable documents and schedule that will allow the America’s Cup to return to the water as soon as possible.

The entered teams and their yacht clubs, present at the Competitor Meeting were:

- Alinghi, Société Nautique de Genève, Switzerland – Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup

- Desafío Español, Club Náutico Español de Vela, Spain – Challenger of Record

- Shosholoza, Royal Cape Yacht Club, South Africa

- TeamOrigin, Royal Thames Yacht Club, United Kingdom

- Emirates Team New Zealand, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, New Zealand

- Team Germany, Deutscher Challenger Yacht Club, Germany

- Green Comm, Challenge Circolo di Vela Gargano, Italy

- Ayre, Real Club Náutico de Dénia, Spain

- Victory Challenge, Gamla Stans Yacht Sällskap, Sweden

- Argo Challenge, Club Náutico di Gaeta, Italy

- French Spirit, Yacht Club de St Tropez, France

- Carbon Challenge, Royal Belgian Sailing Club, Belgium

Brad Butterworth comments on the Competitors Meeting. Geneva, 30 October 2008. Video copyright Alinghi

33rd America’s Cup Competitor Meeting. Geneva, 30 October 2008. Video copyright Alinghi

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