Archive | December, 2010

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SF Examiner: San Francisco selected as venue of the 34th America’s Cup

Posted on 31 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

According to the San Fransisco Examiner, “two people close to the America’s Cup negotiations have confirmed that San Francisco will be the host of the yacht race in 2013.”

The official announcement is expected to be made around 5pm San Francisco time (2am, January 1st in Europe)

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner here.

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Protest from Virbac-Paprec 3 in Barcelona World Race

Posted on 31 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Jean-Pierre Dick sent the following mail to lodge a protest, specifying Groupe Bel, Foncia and Hugo Boss as boats he believes to have missed the November, which was a mark off the entrance to Barcelona Harbour specified in a rider to Article 10.8 of the Sailing Instructions.

Jean Pierre Dick, skipper of Paprec Virbac 3: “This email is to protest against Groupe Bel, Foncia and Hugo Boss that have not passed November Mark to starboard as stated in the Rider 1 of the sailing instruction.”

” At least 1 other boat has not respected the mark but we have not been able to recognise it.”

“We have informed the commitee trough channel 72 and P 1 as soon as we have seen this situation.”

Virbac-Paprec 3 after rounding the first offset mark of the Barcelona World Race. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

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Groupe Bel and Foncia early leaders of the Barcelona World Race

Posted on 31 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Despite the cold and rainy new year’s eve day in Barcelona nearly 500 spectator boats crowded the race area of the 2010 Barcelona World Race to see the two French yachts take the early lead of the 14-strong fleet. It’s true there is still another 26,400 miles to the finish of the race but Groupe Bel and Foncia got off on a strong foot, rounding the offset buoy, set at 4 miles from the start, clearly ahead of the remaining yachts.

The starting gun was fired right on time at 1pm local time with a very light and capricious breeze, around 5-6 knots. From the onset Groupe Bel sped to the lead and sailed clearly faster to the first mark, rounding with a comfortable lead ahead of second-placed Foncia. However, a poor spinnaker hoist the took nearly 5 minutes, gave Michel Desjoyeaux and François Gabart the opportunity to close the gap.

The light conditions of the start are expected to follow the racing duos throughout the first night with variable conditions forecast Saturday before the skippers reach improved winds by Sunday or Monday. A low pressure zone is expected to develop across the Mediterranean this weekend, making for a slow exit from the Mediterranean.

Start of the 2010 Barcelona World Race. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Vsail.info

Groupe Bel builds comfortable lead in the first leg of the race. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Sébastien Audigane struggles with the spinnaker hoist after the offset buoy. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Groupe Bel still struggling with the spinnaker hoist. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Foncia had a flawless mark rounding and managed to close the gap with Groupe Bel. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

The two French yachts take the lead at the very early stages of the race. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

Virbac-Paprec 3 after rounding the first offset mark of the Barcelona World Race. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail.info

It certainly wasn't a great start for Leche Asturiana and Hugo Boss. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Vsail.info

The Spanish duo Pepe Ribes and Alex Pella on Estrella Damm. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Vsail.info

Dominique Wavre working hard on the spinnaker hoist onboard Mirabaud. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Vsail.info

Hugo Boss struggles in the light conditions of the race start. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Vsail.info

Spinnaker problems onboard Leche Asturiana. Barcelona, 31 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / Vsail.info

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Tricky conditions expected for Barcelona World Race start

Posted on 31 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Small scale weather features will make for tricky, changeable winds and some unsettled conditions for today’s start of the Barcelona World Race. By tonight, light and variable conditions are expected, before improving winds are encountered on Sunday and Monday. Current trends predict an average to slow exit from the Mediterranean.

A low pressure area has developed near Palma since late Tuesday and will gradually move east toward Sardinia. Eventually the low merges with a larger, more intense low pressure expected to develop across the central Mediterranean through the weekend. Meanwhile, a trough of low pressure extends from the low northwest to off Barcelona this morning. This tough is producing clouds and rain along the coast early this morning and will continue to focus this action until later today when it will weaken.

By tonight, the trough will continue to weaken, but a minor cyclonic flow is forecast to develop over the Gulf of Valencia. This may provide a NW tending N drainage/gradient flow along the coast on Saturday while it remains lighter offshore.

A W’ly wind will build to today through the Gibraltar Strait and into the Alboran Sea today and tomorrow as high pressure replaces weakening low pressure off Portugal through the weekend. A transition zone of light and variable winds is forecast between the W’ly flow and a N/NE wind developing out of the Gulf of Valencia on Sunday. From late tomorrow, the W’ly gradient weakens and new NE wind will start to spread into the Alboran sea through Sunday.

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Wouter Verbraak to substitute Alex Thomson in the Barcelona World Race

Posted on 30 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Alex Thomson will be able to be substituted for the start and join the Barcelona World Race when he is declared medically fit. The Alex Thomson Racing team held a press conference in Barcelona to announce the name of the substitute skipper.

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Wouter Verbraak to substitute Alex Thomson in the Barcelona World Race

Posted on 30 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Wouter Verbraak, substitute skipper of HUGO BOSS. Barcelona, 30 December 2010. Photo copyright Pierre Orphanidis / VSail

The participating skippers today agreed by an overwhelming majority to support the request of the Hugo Boss Sailing Team.

Wouter Verbraak will be the temporary substitute skipper who will partner Andy Meiklejohn on board Hugo Boss from the start.

This morning the regatta direction of the Barcelona World RACE has received and has passed directly to the jury the request of Hugo Boss Sailing Team for a temporary substitution of its skipper Alex Thomson who had a surgical intervention yesterday to remove his appendix.

This substitution would allow the boat Hugo Boss to start the race on Friday December 31st together with the rest of the fleet. The request included the permission for Alex Thomson, once he has received medical clearance, to board Hugo Boss and continue the race.

On the basis that there was no rule to which they could directly refer, as such a request is not directly covered by the Notice of Race, the International Jury referred the request to Regatta Organisation.

This Race Organisation decided to submit the request to the IMOCA Class for consultation, represented by all of the competing skippers. The skippers voted by an overwhelming majority to accept the request of the Hugo Boss team. In this way the British IMOCA Open 60 can make the start tomorrow December 31st with Andy Meiklejohn and a substitute for Alex Thomson.

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HUGO BOSS Sailing Team requests temporary substitution of Alex Thomson

Posted on 30 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alex Thomson Racing] First thing this morning the HUGO BOSS Sailing Team made a formal request to the Race Organisation for the temporary substitution of skipper Alex Thomson who underwent emergency surgery yesterday. This will enable the HUGO BOSS yacht to start the race on 31st December with the rest of the fleet.

The decision from the Race Organisation is expected this evening. If the request is approved then skipper Alex Thomson would join the boat after he receives medical clearance to take part in the race.

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Secret Men’s Business 3.5 is Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall winner

Posted on 30 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Rolex Sydney Hobart] Geoff Boettcher’s South Australian yacht Secret Men’s Business 3.5 was announced this afternoon as this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Overall winner. In a dockside presentation, CYCA Commodore Garry Linacre presented the Adelaide-based skipper with the Tattersall’s Cup for his race win, and Patrick Boutellier of Rolex Australia presented a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece as the holiday crowd thronged the surrounding Constitution Wharf docks.

Secret Men’s Business was the 14th boat across the finish line in a race where just finishing was an achievement. Severe wind and weather conditions contributed to the retirement of twenty percent of the fleet this year.

Boettcher was the second winner from South Australia in a row – and like last year’s winner Andrew Saie’s of Two True, Boettcher sails from the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia.

When asked how it feels to win the legendary Rolex Sydney Hobart race, Boettcher’s face lit up and he said, “As a kid it’s something you always dream of. Just doing the race is fantastic, but to be a winner is the ultimate in sailing for Australian blokes.”

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Handicap Winner: SECRET MENS BUSINESS 3.5. Photo copyright ROLEX / Daniel Forster

Last year, Boettcher modified Secret Men’s Business 3.5 to improve the 51-foot Reichel Pugh design’s upwind performance. The modification seems to have paid some handsome dividends. “We kept the rig, the deck, keel, rudder and electronics, but the hull was completely new. We added a metre to her length while we were at it,” Boettcher said.

About the boat’s performance in the race Boettcher commented, “It was great. We hadn’t really tested it. We’d taken it around to Sydney and Hamilton Island. Not a lot of miles and not in the real hard conditions that we had during this race, so we’re pretty proud — she hung in there nicely.”

A veteran of now 22 Rolex Sydney Hobart races, Boettcher summed up this year’s race conditions in one word: “Tough.” He explained, “It was a tough one with a little bit of everything. We clocked 50 knots of breeze out there on the track and the waves were damaging. I don’t know how many of the fleet have retired but I know it’s a big percentage. So it was hard, and to win one that was this hard is very gratifying.”

Asked what drives him to compete in what is more often than not, a gruelling offshore classic, the 64-year-old supermarket owner replied, “I suppose to have a win in your life, and the camaraderie of the really fantastic guys standing next to me. I think it’s a camaraderie thing of just getting there (to the finish) together.” He continued, “It’s something special to take your boat to Sydney and compete against all the rest. In Adelaide we don’t have the competition that’s put on here. The Rolex Sydney Hobart is the pinnacle and that’s the one we want to be in.”

Asked whether he’ll be taking part in next year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart race, Boettcher laughed and said, “It’s early stages yet. At my age we’re running out of runway for anything else!”

As of 1530, 36 boats had finished the race, 33 were still racing and 18 had retired. While today’s award of the Tattersall’s Cup has been made, for half of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet their race is, by any means, not over.

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