Archive | May, 2010

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Day 3 of the Leopard transatlantic crossing record attempt

Posted on 31 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Day 3
Monday 31 May:

Yesterday was a pretty tough day! We always knew it was going to be to stay up to pace with the front we were riding to try and stay in the stronger SW wind. All day it was reef in, reef out, squalls, change spinnaker according to the wind and sea state due to the fact we were also in the gulfstream. (ie a large river of warm water that snakes along the USA eastern sea board and runs up to 6 knots from South to North)

It is very frustrating sailing trying to make decisions on sail plan to keep the boat rolling along safely but fast. In the early hours of this morning we went back to our A-5 spinnaker for a period but the drivers could not distinguish between the sea and the horizon as we had no moon or stars just as black as the inside of a cow! We were surfing along at 35 knots and decided to reduce sail as it was too risky. Right now we are on the north side of the front in a much better sea way in 20-25 knots of wind making good progress towards the UK with the odd surf up into the 30’s but generally sitting on mid 20’s. Not exactly where we planned to be on the race course but we have to deal with our circumstances and see how it all pans out.

The guys are doing a great job and four hours in the bunk after a fire hosing on deck for four hours goes pretty damn quickly especially after last night where we had all the crew on deck for eight hours changing sails etc… I am sure a few more hours sleep would not go astray but life on board is not too bad. Our freeze dried food is pretty good for freeze dried food and we have a toasted sandwich maker on board as a treat to supplement the FD food – the ham and cheese toasties are hard currency out here as they are not an endless supply!!

Will keep you posted…

Chris and The Leopard Crew

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Video: Highlights from Day 9 of the Louis Vuitton Trophy la Maddalena

Posted on 31 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Highlights from Day 9 of the Louis Vuitton Trophy. La Maddalena, 30 May 2010. Video copyright Louis Vuitton Trophy

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Video: Highlights from Day 9 of the Louis Vuitton Trophy la Maddalena

Posted on 31 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Highlights from Day 9 of the Louis Vuitton Trophy. La Maddalena, 30 May 2010. Video copyright Louis Vuitton Trophy

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The best seat in the house in Match Race Germany

Posted on 31 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Having guests, VIPs or sponsors onboard a competition sailing boat with one of the teams during an official race is nothing of a novelty in the top professional circuits and depending on the size of the crew, the privileged guest is called the 18th man, the 12th man or 11th man, etc. Due to the form of the racing yachts, the guests always sit at the stern, at the very back of the yacht.

Well, there is an exception and the following photo from Match Race Germany clearly shows it. During the semifinals, the lucky guests had the privilege of experiencing real racing with the world’s top match racers, sitting in the middle of the boat, right in the middle of the action.

I don’t know how much the gentleman in the photo knew about sailing but I doubt it’s an experience he will soon forget. He sure had the best seat in the house, right in front of the world’s number 2 match racer, Torvar Mirsky, and his crew.

During the Match Race Germany semifinals, guests were sitting INSIDE the racing yachts. Langenargen, 23 May 2010. Photo copyright Richard Walch / Match Race Germany

This photo onboard Peter Gilmour’s yacht isn’t from a training session. It was taken by the guest during the semifinals where the Australian match racing legend was beaten by young gun Torvar Mirsky. Langenargen, 23 May 2010. Photo copyright Audrey Lakai / Match Race Germany

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The best seat in the house in Match Race Germany

Posted on 31 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Having guests, VIPs or sponsors onboard a competition sailing boat with one of the teams during an official race is nothing of a novelty in the top professional circuits and depending on the size of the crew, the privileged guest is called the 18th man, the 12th man or 11th man, etc. Due to the form of the racing yachts, the guests always sit at the stern, at the very back of the yacht.

Well, there is an exception and the following photo from Match Race Germany clearly shows it. During the semifinals, the lucky guests had the privilege of experiencing real racing with the world’s top match racers, sitting in the middle of the boat, right in the middle of the action.

I don’t know how much the gentleman in the photo knew about sailing but I doubt it’s an experience he will soon forget. He sure had the best seat in the house, right in front of the world’s number 2 match racer, Torvar Mirsky, and his crew.

During the Match Race Germany semifinals, guests were sitting INSIDE the racing yachts. Langenargen, 23 May 2010. Photo copyright Richard Walch / Match Race Germany

This photo onboard Peter Gilmour’s yacht isn’t from a training session. It was taken by the guest during the semifinals where the Australian match racing legend was beaten by young gun Torvar Mirsky. Langenargen, 23 May 2010. Photo copyright Audrey Lakai / Match Race Germany

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Keith Swinton clinches spot at Match Cup Sweden

Posted on 30 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Today we took on Steffan Lindberg, of Alandia Sailing Team, in the semi-finals of the Spring Cup. We defeated Lindberg 2-1 to progress to the finals. Racing against Lindberg was tightly fought, but we managed to sail the shifty conditions very well. Our best moment came in the 3rd and deciding race, when we split off the start-line gaining a match-winning wind shift from the right side of the race course.

Progressing to the final, we took on local legend Mattias Rahm and his Stena Bulk Sailing Team. Rahm, a past winner of Match Cup Sweden proved to be a very difficult opponent. In our first race we held a small lead at the top mark after luffing Rahm on the lay-line. Unfortunately we didn’t have a strong spinnaker set allowing Rahm to gain the favoured down wind tack. He took this advantage but we kept it close and at the bottom mark we managed to squeeze inside Rahm. However, this didn’t go as planned, we were given a double penalty for going inside without having buoy-room. We took our first penalty immediately, and kept racing hard. At the top mark we had regained the lead but were unable to wipe off our second penalty, giving Rahm the win.

The second race was also tight. We set up well for the start, taking the windward position. From here the wind went left giving Rahm the advantage. It was bow to bow all up the first leg, with Rahm holding the advantage at the top mark. We tried hard to close up the lead but Rahm showed his skill holding his lead despite our best efforts to get back in the race.

Despite finishing second in the event we have still been invited to compete in Match Cup Sweden 2010. Being past winners of the event, Mattias Rahm and his team already hold entry . We are very excited to be competing in one of the biggest match racing events in the world!

“Today we sailed very well. The conditions were really difficult but it was fun because we managed to get it right more often than not. It was disappointing to lose the final, but we sailed well. It was just a few small things that cost us in the end some more training in the DS37 will certainly help. We are so happy to being sailing in Match Cup Sweden. It was one of our main goals for this year”, Keith Swinton helmsman Black Swan Racing.

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Emirates Team NZ beat BMW Oracle in day’s only race

Posted on 30 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Emirates Team NZ] Dean Barker won his re-match against BMW Oracle Racing in fine style on Sunday, forcing a red-flag penalty just before the third mark that decided the outcome of the match.

BMW Oracle took the penalty immediately but the umpires ruled that they had not completed the turn. That meant another shot at it and the loss of more ground as Emirates Team New Zealand powered away down the run to the finish, crossing 54s ahead.

The penalty put the result of what had been a close race beyond any doubt. With the wind at 20knots but the water flat, there was nothing in it for the first two legs. Emirates Team New Zealand led around the first and second marks but the margins were small – just 6s at both.

Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW Oracle in a luffing match on the second beat of their re match, the Americans were given an immediate penalty. La Maddalena, 30 May 2010. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team NZ

Approaching the third mark, with the yachts almost bow to bow, Dean Barker forced a penalty on BMW Oracle which emerged from the tussle in a controlling position.

The umpires made it a “red flag” penalty which meant BMW Oracle had to make the turn immediately. The umpires ruled that they did not complete the turn and they had to do another once they rounded.

The match was a re-sail of the match that ended in controversy when the umpires penalised Emirates Team New Zealand. The team protested the circumstances surrounding the penalty and, although redress was denied, the umpires and the jury recommended to the race committee that the race be abandoned.

Today’s race was the only one of six scheduled to be raced on Sunday. The building mistral wind brought a premature halt to racing. Racing tomorrow has been cancelled because the mistral will again dominate the weather.

Emirates Team New Zealand beat the Defender of the 34th America’s Cup. La Maddalena, 30 May 2010. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team NZ

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Emirates Team NZ beat BMW Oracle in day’s only race

Posted on 30 May 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Emirates Team NZ] Dean Barker won his re-match against BMW Oracle Racing in fine style on Sunday, forcing a red-flag penalty just before the third mark that decided the outcome of the match.

BMW Oracle took the penalty immediately but the umpires ruled that they had not completed the turn. That meant another shot at it and the loss of more ground as Emirates Team New Zealand powered away down the run to the finish, crossing 54s ahead.

The penalty put the result of what had been a close race beyond any doubt. With the wind at 20knots but the water flat, there was nothing in it for the first two legs. Emirates Team New Zealand led around the first and second marks but the margins were small – just 6s at both.

Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW Oracle in a luffing match on the second beat of their re match, the Americans were given an immediate penalty. La Maddalena, 30 May 2010. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team NZ

Approaching the third mark, with the yachts almost bow to bow, Dean Barker forced a penalty on BMW Oracle which emerged from the tussle in a controlling position.

The umpires made it a “red flag” penalty which meant BMW Oracle had to make the turn immediately. The umpires ruled that they did not complete the turn and they had to do another once they rounded.

The match was a re-sail of the match that ended in controversy when the umpires penalised Emirates Team New Zealand. The team protested the circumstances surrounding the penalty and, although redress was denied, the umpires and the jury recommended to the race committee that the race be abandoned.

Today’s race was the only one of six scheduled to be raced on Sunday. The building mistral wind brought a premature halt to racing. Racing tomorrow has been cancelled because the mistral will again dominate the weather.

Emirates Team New Zealand beat the Defender of the 34th America’s Cup. La Maddalena, 30 May 2010. Photo copyright Chris Cameron / Emirates Team NZ

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