Archive | May, 2009

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Ben Ainslie and Damien Iehl to meet in Match Race Germany final

Posted on 31 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] As the battle of Britain continued this morning in the quarter final rounds it was Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin that secured his spot in the semi finals. With Ian Williams winning the third match and the scores tied it came to the final match to decide who would advance to the semi final. The match wasn’t decided until the finish line where Ainslie had an outstanding penalty to complete. It was a very close finish.

The other quarter final match saw reigning Match Race Germany champion Damien Iehl (FRA) French Team defeat Francesco Bruni (ITA) 3-1.

The semi finals pitted a fascinating mix of talents against each other, with four time world match racing champion Peter Gilmour (AUS) Yanmar Racing facing three time Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin. Where as in the other semi final pairing it was a case of ‘de ja vous’ Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Team found him self in familiar territory as it was to be a repeat of last years all French affair when he chose fellow country man Damien Iehl (FRA) French Team as his opponent.

Highlights from the fourth day of Match Race Germany 2009. Langenargen, 31 May 2009. Video copyright 1080 Media

Ben Ainslie took the first two races in his semi final match, even after clearly losing the start in the first race against Peter Gilmour, only for Gilmour to comeback and tie the score going in to the final fifth match. The racing was tight and Gilmour and his Yanmar Racing crew never gave up they just kept coming back. “The stakes are high and we wanted to win,” Gilmour stated after the racing finished.

The final race was a good reflection of the pair’s whole semi final with multiple lead changes and whenever either team was behind, they seemed to have the tenacious ability to get right back into the race. The two teams were overlapped at both the first windward mark and then overlapped again as they rounded at the final bottom mark, leaving the match wide open until the final windward leg, where Gilmour split to the right side of the course with Ainslie headed to the left. The wind gradually shifted to the right and when they converged Ainslie had a tidy lead which he was able to hang to until the finish.

When asked to reflect on today’s racing Peter Gilmour said “Ben and his crew sailed really well. I think the end result comes down to us messing up a couple of starts. In their first couple of races they sailed really confidently however we were able to pull a couple back and it came down the last race. In the final race they were able to get ahead and stay ahead as simple as that.”

Ben Ainslie beat Peter Gilmour in the semifinals. Langenargen, 31 May 2009. Video copyright Richard Walsh / Match Race Germany

“It’s been a long 10 hours out on the water today. We had some intense racing with Ian Williams this morning and some further full on racing with Peter Gilmour this afternoon.” Reflecting upon why his semi final win came down to the last match Ainslie put it down to two things “We sailed really well in our first two races however this momentum was disrupted when there was a short break for a corporate fleet race. This gave Peter the opportunity to regroup and take the next couple of races. The second issue was exhaustion. In the final match we won the start and Iain Percy did a fantastic job at calling tactics and we just held the lead the whole way round.”

The second semi final, the tasty all French match up of Richard versus Iehl, was also a five match nail biter with neither team willing to lie down and concede defeat. When asked about how he felt about choosing Damien Iehl, Richard said “To be the one to choose is not an advantage. I would not like to race Peter Gilmour but I do not see much of a difference between Damien and Ben.” After four feisty encounters the score was two wins a piece with the two teams swapping wins and the semi final looking to go into a fifth match decider. However the umpires handed a ½ point deduction to Richard’s team as he was adjudged to have fouled Iehl in collision which resulted in damaged to the boats. This meant Richard would have to win two more races to reach the final, as it was first to three points wins, which undoubtedly put a little more pressure onto his team. Although the fifth match was a tense affair, Iehl was able to put Richard away and secure his place in tomorrows final against Ainslie.

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Team Aqua wins RC44 Austria Cup

Posted on 31 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: RC44] It went down to the last hurdle between No Way Back, Artemis and Team Aqua, separated by two points only before the ninth and last regatta of the event. No Way Back wins the fleet race ranking – on a tie with Artemis – whilst Team Aqua conquers the overall title thanks to its victory in the match race.

The sun was finally shining today and the wind blowing like it should in a sailboat race, allowing the Race Committee to launch four races and reshuffle the cards in the overall ranking of the RC 44 Austria Cup.

After a last race sailed this morning in this week’s typical gray, cold and unstable weather, the sun and the breeze came back for the final showdown, allowing the Race Committee to launch three fantastic races in Ebensee, at the other end of the lake.

Pieter Heerema and his team No Way Back were looking good at this stage thanks to their victory in the day’s first race. But the racing in Ebensee is all different, with the boats sailing as closely as possible to the cliffs in order to benefit from the land effect.

Closing day of the RC44 Austria Cup. Traunsee,31 May 2009. Photo copyright GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC 44 Class Association

Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis was the best at adapting to those conditions, starting race 6 at the pin end of the line, going as closely as possible to the land in order to benefit from a good lift and tack ahead of the pack to take the lead. Alternating the worse and the best throughout the week, Team Sea Dubai also had an excellent regatta, finishing second just a couple of seconds behind Artemis after a fantastic dual. Other teams had ups and downs, with BMW ORACLE Racing finishing third despite sailing without their bowsprit, Team Austria ripping a spinnaker and Organika incurring a penalty at the windward mark. Team Aqua finished 4th and No Way Back 7th, closing the gap dramatically at the top of the leaderboard before the last races.

The next regatta turned out to be the most exciting one of the week, with a pre-start collision between Team Sea Dubai and Ceeref and further penalties for the same Ceeref as well as Organika and Team Austria in a hairy leeward mark rounding. Team Aqua benefited from this chaos to grab the lead and win ahead of No way Back and Organika.

The scenario couldn’t have been any better before the start of the last race of the event, with No Way Back sitting just two points ahead of Team Aqua and Artemis. The three teams knew the situation, and said after the regatta that they sailed “their own race”, without looking too much at the others.

No Way Back twisted a sheet in a winch one minute before the gun and was forced to start at the Committee end of the line when the middle and pin end were clearly favoured. Artemis started as usual at the pin end, but a touch too late. As for Aqua, it took an average start in the middle of the line, momentarily taking the lead of the “race in the race” despite sailing in BMW ORACLE Racing and Team Sea Dubai’s wake. The Team from the UAE seemed to have the regatta under control until Artemis – on great form today – made the best of the land effect to grab the temporary third place, just ahead of Aqua and No Way Back. The three teams sailed the last run in each other’s wake, trying to attack ahead without taking too much risk behind. BMW ORACLE Racing’s beautiful win and Team Sea Dubai’s second place were anecdotic compared to this fight for the overall victory. Artemis finally crossed third, Aqua fourth and No way Back – threatened until the last meters by the brave Austrians – in fifth, grabbing the fleet race ranking title on a tie with Artemis. Team Aqua concludes the fleet regatta in third but grabs the overall RC 44 Austria Cup title ahead of Artemis and No way Back, and increases its lead in the Championship Tour.

The next regatta will take place on July 8-12 in Malcesine, Lake Garda.

Closing day of the RC44 Austria Cup. Traunsee,31 May 2009. Photo copyright GEPA pictures / Marie Rambauske / RC 44 Class Association

They said:

Pieter Heerema, owner, No Way Back: “We had a fantastic first race this morning; all worked out perfectly for us. We had such a lead that we had to stop before crossing the line to make sure that there was not too much time between us and the others. The other races this afternoon at Ebensee were fantastic. The last race was very close. We had technical problems that prevented us from starting where we wanted but ended up with our direct competitors and had a very close race.”

Torbjorn Tornqvist, owner, Artemis: “We deliberately chose to start all races at the pin end of the line because we thought it was favoured and it usually proved to be the case. Of course this sent us right to the mountainside with other boats just behind and to windward as we had to tack, but I wasn’t scared to sail so close from the cliffs; I am used to sail in the archipelago and we do this all the time. During the downwind legs we didn’t use the coastal effect enough and lost some ground. We should probably have protected our position better. All in all, it was a great and very interesting regatta.”

Cameron Appleton, tactician, Team Aqua: “I am very proud of our result. We fought until the last race and it was amazing to see the top three boats sailing so close from each other in this last regatta. We had control over the situation half way through, but then I didn’t manage to prevent Artemis’ come back.”

Russell Coutts, BMW ORACLE Racing: ”This was a great event, and a huge success. We had our moments as a team, but I am quite happy with our fourth place. It wasn’t easy for our new helmsman to fit in, but he did a good job. It is great that No Way Back had such a good regatta; they worked very hard and sailed very consistently. It is interesting to note that the winning boat’s average place is approximately fourth and that five different teams have managed to win races. It says a lot about this Class.”

Christian Feichtinger, event organiser: Last year was our premiere and this year is our break through. We have clearly promoted our sailing event in a new dimension, by proving that we can run an entire match race round robin, eight fleet races and the DHL Trophy on our lake. We are very happy that the Class committed to come back next year.”

RC 44 Austria Cup overall ranking
(Ranking, team, owner, match race, fleet race, points)

1) Team Aqua, Chris Bake, 1, 3 – 4 points
2) Artemis, Torbjorn Tornqvist, 3, 2 – 5 points
3) No Way Back, Pieter Heerema, 6, 1 – 7 points
4) BMW ORACLE Racing, Russell Coutts, 5, 4 – 9 points
5) Team Organika, Maciej Navrocki 2, 7 – 9 points
6) Ceeref, Igor Lah, 4, 6 – 10 points
7) Team Sea Dubai, DIMC Markus Wieser, 7, 5 – 12 points
8) Team Austria, René Mangold, 9, 8 – 17 points
9) Puerto Calero Islas Canarias, Daniel Calero, 8, 9 – 17 points

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Further rule changes for the 2011 Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 31 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] With 62,000 people in the race village and nearly 60,000 more taking in the racing from the sea wall between Salthill and Barna along the Northern shores of Galway Bay, Saturday’s In-Port Race in Galway was a great success. On Sunday morning the Volvo Ocean Race looked again to the future and particularly the next race which is due to start in 2011.

The occasion was the third in a series of ‘round table’ meetings where future plans for the race are presented and explained. The Galway sessions follows similar presentations held in Rio de Janeiro and in Boston. In Ireland, special guests invited to attend included, amongst others, French multihull ace Franck Cammas, solo sailors Rolans Jourdain and Jean-Luc Nelias and noted French America’s Cup sailor Luc Gelluseau.

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad opened his presentation by explaining again why and how the race must embrace changes so as to become more successful in the future.

“Just like any sailing project the more time we have to prepare ourselves, the better the chances are we have of doing a good job,” he said. “Our number one objective is to increase the number of competitors in the next race. We know that we need a larger fleet in the future for the race to be able to reach its full potential.”

According to Frostad there are three pillars to work on to get more teams on the water in the future. The first element is a technical cost containment and reduction programme, the second an increase on the value to teams, sponsors and ports involved in the race, and the third is to keep the race seriously attractive to the best sailors in the world.

“An important element in achieving more boats on the start line in Alicante in 2011 is a reduction of costs and an increase in value for the teams. In the short term, whilst the race is going on and whilst everyone has it fresh in their minds and is focused we have to work on the cost reduction side of the equation. To that end, changes already announced include a reduction in crew members, from 11 to 10, and nearly a 40% reduction in race sails,” Frostad outlined.

Today, Frostad and his team which includes renowned racing class technical expert Ken McAlpine and rules expert Bill Edgerton, explained further elements of change.

They included the crew make-up for the next race. In an effort to encourage female participation, the new rule will allow ‘female’ teams to carry 12 sailors, including the media crew, two of whom may be men. This represents two extra crew members over an all male crew.

In terms of the Volvo Open 70 Class Rule, the maximum weight for the keel fin and bulb will be set at 7,400 kgs in the future. There will also be a minimum keel fin weight to be defined at a later date. The fin will be required to be solid, with no fairings permitted.

The weight of the yacht is to be increased so that it may fit into the range between 14,000 kilograms and 14,500 kilograms, compared to a range of 13,860 to 14,000 in the current edition of the race.

The combination of these two adjustments is an attempt to create a common righting moment for the whole fleet which will yield closer racing between the existing and future fleets of Volvo Open 70s and stop the expensive research and long slow builds that result in maximized bulb weights. Teams with less time and funding have been compromised with the stability of their boats and hence competitiveness.

Headfoils will be banned, headsails will either be set on furlers or with hanks. Stacking of the boats, the movement of sails and loose stores, spares and equipment inside the boat, will be limited to the centre section of the hull.

On the energy side the overall weight of each yacht’s batteries will be reduced by 100kgs. This reduction will allow design and build teams to put the same 100 kgs into the primary and secondary structure of the hull without increasing the weight of the boat. Currently very few of the fleet carry any solar panels so each Volvo Open 70 will also be required to carry a renewable energy source capable of generating 80 Watts of electrical power.

Further discussion centred around two-boat testing. The organisers are seeking to ensure that a team needn’t build two boats to be competitive in the next edition of the race. With that in mind, no two-boat testing will be permitted until after the ‘race’ boat has been launched, or after a yet to be defined date, which may be as late as the race start. There will be more information on this at a later date.

The next ‘round table’ session is scheduled for 22 June in Stockholm.

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Further rule changes for the 2011 Volvo Ocean Race

Posted on 31 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] With 62,000 people in the race village and nearly 60,000 more taking in the racing from the sea wall between Salthill and Barna along the Northern shores of Galway Bay, Saturday’s In-Port Race in Galway was a great success. On Sunday morning the Volvo Ocean Race looked again to the future and particularly the next race which is due to start in 2011.

The occasion was the third in a series of ‘round table’ meetings where future plans for the race are presented and explained. The Galway sessions follows similar presentations held in Rio de Janeiro and in Boston. In Ireland, special guests invited to attend included, amongst others, French multihull ace Franck Cammas, solo sailors Rolans Jourdain and Jean-Luc Nelias and noted French America’s Cup sailor Luc Gelluseau.

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad opened his presentation by explaining again why and how the race must embrace changes so as to become more successful in the future.

“Just like any sailing project the more time we have to prepare ourselves, the better the chances are we have of doing a good job,” he said. “Our number one objective is to increase the number of competitors in the next race. We know that we need a larger fleet in the future for the race to be able to reach its full potential.”

According to Frostad there are three pillars to work on to get more teams on the water in the future. The first element is a technical cost containment and reduction programme, the second an increase on the value to teams, sponsors and ports involved in the race, and the third is to keep the race seriously attractive to the best sailors in the world.

“An important element in achieving more boats on the start line in Alicante in 2011 is a reduction of costs and an increase in value for the teams. In the short term, whilst the race is going on and whilst everyone has it fresh in their minds and is focused we have to work on the cost reduction side of the equation. To that end, changes already announced include a reduction in crew members, from 11 to 10, and nearly a 40% reduction in race sails,” Frostad outlined.

Today, Frostad and his team which includes renowned racing class technical expert Ken McAlpine and rules expert Bill Edgerton, explained further elements of change.

They included the crew make-up for the next race. In an effort to encourage female participation, the new rule will allow ‘female’ teams to carry 12 sailors, including the media crew, two of whom may be men. This represents two extra crew members over an all male crew.

In terms of the Volvo Open 70 Class Rule, the maximum weight for the keel fin and bulb will be set at 7,400 kgs in the future. There will also be a minimum keel fin weight to be defined at a later date. The fin will be required to be solid, with no fairings permitted.

The weight of the yacht is to be increased so that it may fit into the range between 14,000 kilograms and 14,500 kilograms, compared to a range of 13,860 to 14,000 in the current edition of the race.

The combination of these two adjustments is an attempt to create a common righting moment for the whole fleet which will yield closer racing between the existing and future fleets of Volvo Open 70s and stop the expensive research and long slow builds that result in maximized bulb weights. Teams with less time and funding have been compromised with the stability of their boats and hence competitiveness.

Headfoils will be banned, headsails will either be set on furlers or with hanks. Stacking of the boats, the movement of sails and loose stores, spares and equipment inside the boat, will be limited to the centre section of the hull.

On the energy side the overall weight of each yacht’s batteries will be reduced by 100kgs. This reduction will allow design and build teams to put the same 100 kgs into the primary and secondary structure of the hull without increasing the weight of the boat. Currently very few of the fleet carry any solar panels so each Volvo Open 70 will also be required to carry a renewable energy source capable of generating 80 Watts of electrical power.

Further discussion centred around two-boat testing. The organisers are seeking to ensure that a team needn’t build two boats to be competitive in the next edition of the race. With that in mind, no two-boat testing will be permitted until after the ‘race’ boat has been launched, or after a yet to be defined date, which may be as late as the race start. There will be more information on this at a later date.

The next ‘round table’ session is scheduled for 22 June in Stockholm.

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Puma overall winner in Galway in-port races

Posted on 30 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] PUMA won the in-port race series in Galway today after two thrilling races were held on Galway Bay. This is the first time that PUMA has been on top of the podium for the Volvo Ocean Race and it brings her closer to second place in the overall standings. Telefónica Blue, second today, maintains second place overall, but only by one point and Ericsson 4’s slightly disappointing performance shaves her overall lead from 14.5 points to 13 points.

In race one, Team Telefónica clearly dominated in what started out as perfect conditions, with blue skies and a building breeze. While local heroes, Green Dragon, opted for a committee-boat start followed by Delta Lloyd, Athens Olympic Gold Medallist Iker Martinez (49-er) quickly steered Telefónica Blue to the left of the course and into a clear lead, which he held until the finish gun. Telefónica Black, with America’s Cup helmsman and syndicate head Pedro Campos in charge, made it a one-two for the Spanish team in conditions that clearly suited the two Farr Yacht Design boats.

PUMA put in a good performance to take third, from Ericsson 4, just as the wind began to die and seriously shift. A big cloudbank swept across the racecourse sucking the breeze with it and causing a headache for the race committee who had to reposition the windward and leeward marks several times during the course of the race.

Ericsson 3, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon all had their problems during the race and found themselves trailing the leaders on the procession to the finish line after the windshift.

After a short postponement, race two got underway and the clouds parted to allow the blue sky and sun to shine through. A new westerly breeze of around 10 knots meant a new course was set, slightly closer to the shore.

Delta Lloyd made a blinding start at the pin end of the start line and led the fleet early. Telefónica Black was on course side and had to dip back behind the line and re-start, but made quick recovery. Green Dragon tacked, dipping behind the whole fleet and headed out to the right hand of the course.

Good work from Kenny Read and his men onboard PUMA meant they rounded the first mark in the lead from Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4. The order at the front of the fleet remained unchanged at end of the first downwind leg, while, further back, Telefónica Black overtook Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon, who was struggling in the lighter conditions.

On the second beat, Telefónica Black came right back into contention and followed Telefónica Blue through the mid course gate to the right hand side of the course. Green Dragon also chose the right hand side, nearest the beach.

The fleet converged on the windward mark for the last time with PUMA leading the fleet safely round. Second place was very close with Ericsson 3 coming in from the left hand side and the two Telefónica boats approaching from the right. Ericsson 3 got the better of the two Spanish boats and rose up through the fleet from fourth place to round the mark in second place, from Telefónica Blue, Ericsson 4 and Telefónica Black.

On the final spinnaker leg, PUMA remained in control to complete the second race in first place, confirming her win today on a tiebreak, which takes the results of the second race as the decider. Ericsson 3 remained in second place and Telefónica Blue finished third in front of Telefónica Black.

Overall, it was a team affair, with PUMA taking maximum points today, followed by Telefónica Blue and Telefónica Black, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon.

The final in-port race will be held in Stockholm, Sweden on 21 June, and leg eight from Galway to Marstrand, Sweden will start at 1300 local time (1200 GMT) next Saturday.

Galway In-Port Race Results (Provisional)
1. PUMA: 4.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue: 3.5 points
3. Telefónica Black: 3.0 points
4. Ericsson 3: 2.5 points
5. Ericsson 4 : 2.0 points
6. Delta Lloyd: 1.5 points
7. Green Dragon: 1.0 points

Overall Leaderboard
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 94.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 81.0 points
3. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 80.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 62.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 53.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 39.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 31.0 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points

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Ian Williams leads Match Race Germany quarterfinals in chaotic day

Posted on 30 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] In contrast to yesterday’s shifty conditions, today’s match racing action was fast and furious in a 20+ knot breeze. The amazing sailing conditions have been the hot topic of conversation on everyone’s lips this week. The sailors are in their element and the spectators are enjoying the show they are providing for them. The Round Robin was completed allowing the Quarter Finals to begin at Match Race Germany, Stage 2 of the 2009 World Match racing Tour.

The sixth quarter finalist was not known until the very last match of the last flight. Reigning Match Race Germany champion Damien Iehl (FRA) of French Match Racing Team sailed through to the next round when he defeated Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing. Both teams needed the win but it was the French man that sealed his advancement.

Highlights from the third day of Match Race Germany 2009. Langenargen, 30 May 2009. Video copyright 1080 Media

Iehl was joined in the last six by Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar, Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Joe Fly, Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin, Mathieu Richard (FRA) French match racing Team and Peter Gilmour (AUS) Yanmar Racing. As Richard and Gilmour finished first and second respectively, they advanced straight to the semi finals, leaving the remaining four to race against each other in the quarter finals for the last two spots in the semis.

The Quarter Finals got underway this afternoon with Francesco Bruni choosing Damien Iehl as his opponent which left British rivals Ben Ainslie and Ian Williams to go head to head.

The all British encounter between Ainslie and Williams looked likely to be a feisty encounter and the two sailing heavy weights didn’t disappoint. The two matches they completed saw 5 penalties awarded, multiple collisions, a man overboard and a black flag disqualification for one of the teams. The first match was a tight encounter with multiple lead changes and the teams were neck and neck until the final lap when Ainslie’s crew were undone by sailing to the wrong weather mark when in the lead. Unfortunately for Williams he was docked ¾ of a point for damaged caused during a port and starboard collision to which he was deemed to be in the wrong.

In the second race Williams edged the start but Ainslie was right on his tail all the way up the first beat. As both boats rounded the weather mark, Williams was hanging on to a slender lead. Half way down the run disaster struck for Ainslie again when hit by one of the bigger gusts of the day, resulting in a spectacular wipe out which laid the rig horizontal. To compound the ensuing chaos, during the broach Ainslie’s tactician, Iain Percy fell overboard and, although he was picked up by the umpires and put back onboard, this signalled race over for the team as they were awarded a black flag disqualification.

Tough times aboard Bahrain Pindar team. Langenargen, 30 May 2009. Photo copyright Richard Walsh

“It may have looked spectacular but it didn’t feel good. Iain Percy went overboard and the water certainly was warm enough for a swim,” Ben Ainslie commented after the incident. Ian Williams, on the other hand, was worried about being hit by Ainslie’s mast. “All I remember was Ben’s spinnaker all over me and my initial concern was where his mast was. We all hit the deck for cover,” he said.

The second quarter final pairing of Bruni against Iehl was a much tamer affair but still not free from drama. In a carbon copy situation to Ainslie’s team, Bruni sailed around the wrong weather mark on the second and final lap of the first race whilst in the lead which handed the win to Iehl. In the second race Bruni took the lead early on and was able to put enough distance between him and the pursuing French team to comfortably sail home in first place.

There will be more excitement to look forward to tomorrow as the four quarter finalist take to the water again to fight for their place in the semi finals. Then we will see the start of the semi finals themselves in the afternoon and with the vastly experienced crews of Richard and Gilmour already through to that round, there promises to be some mouth watering encounters.

Ian Williams leads Ben Ainslie in the Match Race Germany quarterfinals. Langenargen, 30 May 2009. Photo copyright Richard Walsh

Quarter Final Results
(after 4 matches)
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Team 1-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Joe Fly 1-1
Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar 1.25 – 0
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 0- 2

Round Robin Results
1st Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Team
2nd Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
3rd Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Joe Fly
4th Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar
5th Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin
6th Damien Iehl (FRA) French Team
7th Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing
8th Sébastien Col (FRA) French Team/K-Challenge
9th Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Team Onboard
10th Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
11th Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Search.ch
12th Carsten Kemmling (GER)

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Puma overall winner in Galway in-port races

Posted on 30 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] PUMA won the in-port race series in Galway today after two thrilling races were held on Galway Bay. This is the first time that PUMA has been on top of the podium for the Volvo Ocean Race and it brings her closer to second place in the overall standings. Telefónica Blue, second today, maintains second place overall, but only by one point and Ericsson 4’s slightly disappointing performance shaves her overall lead from 14.5 points to 13 points.

In race one, Team Telefónica clearly dominated in what started out as perfect conditions, with blue skies and a building breeze. While local heroes, Green Dragon, opted for a committee-boat start followed by Delta Lloyd, Athens Olympic Gold Medallist Iker Martinez (49-er) quickly steered Telefónica Blue to the left of the course and into a clear lead, which he held until the finish gun. Telefónica Black, with America’s Cup helmsman and syndicate head Pedro Campos in charge, made it a one-two for the Spanish team in conditions that clearly suited the two Farr Yacht Design boats.

PUMA put in a good performance to take third, from Ericsson 4, just as the wind began to die and seriously shift. A big cloudbank swept across the racecourse sucking the breeze with it and causing a headache for the race committee who had to reposition the windward and leeward marks several times during the course of the race.

Ericsson 3, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon all had their problems during the race and found themselves trailing the leaders on the procession to the finish line after the windshift.

After a short postponement, race two got underway and the clouds parted to allow the blue sky and sun to shine through. A new westerly breeze of around 10 knots meant a new course was set, slightly closer to the shore.

Delta Lloyd made a blinding start at the pin end of the start line and led the fleet early. Telefónica Black was on course side and had to dip back behind the line and re-start, but made quick recovery. Green Dragon tacked, dipping behind the whole fleet and headed out to the right hand of the course.

Good work from Kenny Read and his men onboard PUMA meant they rounded the first mark in the lead from Telefónica Blue and Ericsson 4. The order at the front of the fleet remained unchanged at end of the first downwind leg, while, further back, Telefónica Black overtook Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon, who was struggling in the lighter conditions.

On the second beat, Telefónica Black came right back into contention and followed Telefónica Blue through the mid course gate to the right hand side of the course. Green Dragon also chose the right hand side, nearest the beach.

The fleet converged on the windward mark for the last time with PUMA leading the fleet safely round. Second place was very close with Ericsson 3 coming in from the left hand side and the two Telefónica boats approaching from the right. Ericsson 3 got the better of the two Spanish boats and rose up through the fleet from fourth place to round the mark in second place, from Telefónica Blue, Ericsson 4 and Telefónica Black.

On the final spinnaker leg, PUMA remained in control to complete the second race in first place, confirming her win today on a tiebreak, which takes the results of the second race as the decider. Ericsson 3 remained in second place and Telefónica Blue finished third in front of Telefónica Black.

Overall, it was a team affair, with PUMA taking maximum points today, followed by Telefónica Blue and Telefónica Black, Ericsson 3 and Ericsson 4, Delta Lloyd and Green Dragon.

The final in-port race will be held in Stockholm, Sweden on 21 June, and leg eight from Galway to Marstrand, Sweden will start at 1300 local time (1200 GMT) next Saturday.

Galway In-Port Race Results (Provisional)
1. PUMA: 4.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue: 3.5 points
3. Telefónica Black: 3.0 points
4. Ericsson 3: 2.5 points
5. Ericsson 4 : 2.0 points
6. Delta Lloyd: 1.5 points
7. Green Dragon: 1.0 points

Overall Leaderboard
1. Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA): 94.0 points
2. Telefónica Blue (Bouwe Bekking/NED): 81.0 points
3. PUMA (Ken Read/USA): 80.0 points
4. Ericsson 3 (Magnus Olsson/SWE): 62.5 points
5. Green Dragon (Ian Walker/GBR): 53.0 points
6. Telefónica Black (Fernando Echávarri/ESP): 39.0
7. Delta Lloyd (Roberto Bermudez/ESP): 31.0 points
8. Team Russia (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT): 10.5 points

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Richard romps through to Match Race Germany Quarterfinals

Posted on 29 May 2009 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] The weather gods sent beautiful sunshine and a testing, shifty 8-10 knot breeze which enabled the race committee to complete a further 8 flights of the round robin on Day 2 of Match Race Germany.

The morning began with Francesco Bruni maintaining his winning form by taking his first two matches from the only German competitor Carsten Kemmling and the Swiss entry Eric Monnin. It was not until his next match that Bruni failed to maintain his clean scorecard. It was Frenchman Mathieu Richard who managed to skilfully take a win from the consistent Italian. Bruni was also deemed responsible for a collision during the match which resulted in damage to Richard’s boat and so the umpires inflicted a further 0.5 point deduction to his score line. However Bruni was not deterred by this defeat and went on to win a further two matches against current Tour leader Adam Minoprio and defending Tour Champion Ian Williams.

“We were not expecting so many points in the first two days of racing, for sure we are happy. It was a challenging match against Richard but a good start and winning the right side was key for winning in today’s conditions.”

Mathieu Richard had a successful day winning all three of his matches taking his winning tally to seven and solidifying his position as the leader on the scoreboard. The French man was rightly pleased with the days results.

Highlights from the second day of Match Race Germany 2009. Langenargen, 29 May 2009. Video copyright 1080 Media

“Today was a good day although I feel we were a little bit lucky with the shifty conditions. We were behind Monnin and Bruni but a combination of the wind shifts and some luck enabled us to get ahead. The team is doing a great job and we feel good with our performance. A good performance increases our confidence and our motivation to win. I hope it will last until the end of the week but we will have to see. ”

Old master Peter Gilmour of Yanmar Racing team put on a typically aggressive display in all three of his matches today, securing three wins in the process and edging him closer to the Quarter Finals. However he was deducted 1/3 of a point after the umpires decided that he shared some of the responsibility for a collision with Damien Iehl which resulted in damage and for which Iehl himself was deducted 2/3’s of a point.

Mathieu Richard leads Match Race Germany. Langenargen, 29 May 2009. Photo copyright Tobias Stoerkle

When asked to reflect about the jury’s decision to deduct a 1/3 of a point, Gilmour was very diplomatic “Any decision that goes to the jury we as sailors know anything can happen and the only guarantee is an outcome. The jury can see things differently and I may not agree. I respect the jury and the umpires have a difficult job and I appreciate what they do.”

While Bruni’s and Richards impeccable scores today assure them a place in the Quarter Finals, no one else in the field have yet secured such a certain outcome.

So the pressure is on for all teams to perform in every match and, with three races remaining for each team, the final six is still unclear at this stage.

The umpire team were kept busy all day, adjudicating on levels of aggressiveness not seen thus far in the competition. Whereas penalties yesterday were relatively few and far between, with half being for benign infractions like hitting marks, today the intense boat-on-boat action resulted in numerous penalties.

Tomorrow should provide a further spectacle for all the visitors that greet the shores of beautiful Lake Constance.

Current World Tour leader, Adam Minoprio and BlackMatch will have to race flawlessly in order to make it to the quarterfinals. Langenargen, 29 May 2009. Photo copyright Tobias Stoerkle

Results
Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Team 7-1
Francesco Bruni (ITA) Team Joe Fly 6.5-1
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 5.66-2
Ian Williams (GBR) Bahrain Team Pindar 5-3
Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 4-4
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Team Onboard 4-4
Sébastien Col (FRA) French Team/K-Challenge 4-4
Ben Ainslie (GBR) Team Origin 3-5
Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 3-5
Damien Iehl (FRA) French Team 2.33-5
Eric Monnin (SUI) Team Search.ch 2-6
Carsten Kemmling (GER) 0-8

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