Archive | January, 2011

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America’s Cup Race Management announces San Francisco racing area

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

As required by Article 24.3 of the Protocol of the 34th America’s Cup, race organizers published today the outer boundaries of the area within which race courses may be set. The Challenger Selection Series, the Defender Series (if held) and the America’s Cup Match will be raced within the area on San Francisco Bay, as shown on the map:

Outer boundaries of the race area in San Francisco Bay

It is still not known whether any racing will take place in San Francisco this year but according to the America’s Cup organizers, the brand new AC72′s will make their racing debut in San Francisco some time next year.

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Ninth day of Banque Populaire’s round-the-world record attempt

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Ninth day of Banque Populaire’s round-the-world record attempt.

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AC45 sailed at the “upper limits”, wing suffers minor damage

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: America's Cup] There were heavy conditions on the Hauraki Gulf on Monday and many of the city’s boating community were out on the water for the Anniversary Day Regatta, an annual tradition that dates back to 1840 – older than the America’s Cup itself.

Given the opportunity to push the limits, the AC45 test crew put the boat through its paces in the strongest breeze to date.

“It was big breeze today – a good day for us,” said Matt Mason. “We pressed the boat as hard as we have so a real good test for it.

“We put the bow in a couple of times at 30 knots and loaded everything up. We were on our toes the whole time and it was great for the boat and the crew to come out of it relatively unscathed.”

The boat received some minor damage to the trailing edge of the wing in the first gybe of the day out of the Viaduct Harbour but nothing to get in the way of a 30-mile sail in up to 30 knots as the crew opted for a circumnavigation of the iconic Rangitoto Island.

Skipper Jimmy Spithill said sailing in 25-30 knots of wind speed was, “a hell of a test for the boat. We were right on the edge.”

ACRM boat captain Troy Tindill was happy to see the shore support crew handle the craning out of the boat in 30 knots. “It was good to know we can manage the boat at these upper limits.”

The brand new AC45 sailed at upper wind limits. Auckland, 31 January 2011. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / America's Cup

The brand new AC45 sailed at upper wind limits. Auckland, 31 January 2011. Photo copyright Gilles Martin-Raget / America's Cup

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Virbac-Paprec 3 still leading Barcelona Word Race, Mapfre has better VMG

Posted on 31 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Barcelona World Race] Virbac Paprec 3 are still 373 miles from the east extremity of the Crozet gate at 0500hrs UTC this morning and their prospects don’t look to have improved any in terms of the nasty low which is going to be hitting that point by Tuesday night.

“Every 12 hours we look at the files to see how best to manage this little monster ready in front of us and the gate of the course is right in the middle: do we go over or under or in the middle? To go fast or slow down? 1000 questions which we don’t really have answers to to at the moment. As good sailors we will just have to be patient. Meantime we have a beautiful starry sky. Long live the Indian.” Remarks Jean Pierre Dick from the boat last night.

Virbac Paprec 3’s lead is at 582 miles this morning over MAPFRE. The Spanish duo are sailing the much more direct course to the gate in more favourable breeze, hence consistently their VMG has been better, and their gains have been consistent against the leaders who have been sailing fast but on this classic loop south and north between the last gate and this Crozet gate. Typically this morning Virbac Paprec 3 show a speed of 17.3kts average but a VMG of just 12.8kts, while the direct route of MAPRE ensures a VMG nearly two knots better which accounts for their gain of nearly 30 miles overnight to Iker Martinez and Xabi Fernandez.

And MAPFRE have also managed to extend again on third placed Estrella Damm who were just 29 miles behind yesterday morning and this Monday morning it is more like 99 miles.

Groupe Bel have gained from having more breeze in their position which is more to the north of Estrella Damm, and are now just 20 miles behind the Spanish pair Alex Pella and Pepe Ribes, making another 15 miles overnight. By comparison Groupe Bel look to have around 14-20 kts of breeze and Estrella Damm 10-15 kts.

Now closing towards the west end of the Agulhas gate are Mirabuad and Neutrogena. Dominique Wavre and Michèle Paret  passed the longitude of Cape of Good Hope yesterday afternoon at between 1600hrs  and 1630hrs UTC with Neutrogena at 2120hrs UTC. Working their way over the top the high pressure off the south of South Africa, this duo are back in very light SE’ly breezes, just 8-10kts.

GAES Centros Auditivos are 170 miles to Cape of Good Hope and the prospects of a long, long upwind slog is not filling Dee Caffari and Anna Corbella with much joy this morning. Dee Caffari notes in her e-mail:

“ A cloud of doom and gloom has accompanied the good ship Gaes today. With this morning’s grib files we tried everything possible but still could not change the routing the software came up with. We had to face the fact that we were destined to sail upwind for the next few days. This course will take us north so adds to the distance sailed and while we do it we have to watch those just ahead that we have tried so hard to keep in touch  with sail away. They get to enjoy a more southerly course with downwind conditions and look to gain about 600 miles from the whole episode. So resigned to our fate we have worked hard to shift the cloud of despair from above us and focus on the positive sides to this story.

1. We had clear skies and sunshine today.
2. We go north so do not need to worry about the ice.
3. The temperature will rise, both air and sea temperatures.
4. we get to tack a few times so will do lots of stacking of gear and
therefore have lots of exercise so we can eat the chocolate without any

There is a long way to go and we will make a come back, you have not seen the last of the girls!!

And behind them the good news for the Hugo Boss duo is that they have got themselves into ninth place on the rankings, while Central Lechera Asturiana report a problem with a spinnaker which went over the bow, snapping two stanchions and tearing the sail.

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HyRaii flight at Saint Moritz Match Race

Posted on 30 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

HyRaii is a student project from ETH Zurich. For more information visit

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Highlights from the 2010 World Match Racing Tour

Posted on 29 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

The highlights from the World Match Racing Tour’s 2010 season. This show takes a look back at the key moments from all 9 regattas.

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Sixth day of Banque Populaire’s round-the-world record attempt

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Sixth day of Banque Populaire’s round-the-world record attempt.

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Banque Populaire V crosses equator

Posted on 28 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source:  Banque Populaire] It was 5.56 am (Paris time) this morning when the Maxi Trimiran Banque Populaire V crossed the Equator, just 5 days 17 hours 44 minutes and 15 seconds since leaving Ushant. The maxi trimaran skippered by Pascal Bidegorry recorded the second fastest time in history on this section of the record attempt (Ushant to Equator). In doing so they have covered 3575 miles, at an average of 25.9 knots, keeping a slight advantage on the reference time of the Jules Verne. The crew is now recovering after a difficult crossing of the Doldrums and before the next challenging obstacle: The Saint Helena High.

Crossing the Equator
Crossing the equator is a not just a geographic area of note, but it also remains a true religion for sailors and the passage of this imaginary line has been celebrated as it should be on board the Maxi Banque Populaire V. The fourteen men have were glad to ease off the pressure they were under through the Doldrums and enjoy the mixture of superstition and tradition.

Three crewmen (Ronan Lucas, Xavier Revil and Pierre-Yves Moreau), who were crossing it for the first time, qualified as rookies for the traditional ‘crossing the line’ ceremony. For this impromptu party, Yvan (Ravussin) made a mixture of olive oil, tea, Tabasco, soya sauce, lemon, nuts, pepper and coffee!  “I asked them to wake me up to celebrate it altogether” explained Xavier. “Yvan’s preparation was really tasty! I am sure he put everything he could find on board! But it was important to share this moment as we had been fighting hard for the past 24 hours to reach the Equator! And the sailing conditions were perfect to do so, at 28 knots under gennaker: rather exceptional apparently.”

It was then Neptune’s turn to be celebrated. For Brian Thompson, who was crossing it for the thirteenth time, this moment was particularly important : “ I made an offering to Neptune of some of France’s finest saucisson, something I would have enjoyed , but better to propitiate the god of the sea, just in case, and to keep the tradition. This is my 13 crossing now, so it has worked so far!”

The Santa Helena dilemma
Getting through the Doldrums was not an easy task for the Maxi Banque Populaire V as the skipper, Pascal Bidegorry, explained: “It’s liberating to get out of there! It was pretty tense yesterday as it is not obvious how to sail in under 2 tiny knots of wind! We should gradually reach better conditions and we are now sailing at 27 knots in 15-17 knots of wind with full mainsail and solent. The wind still oscillates a little, but should stabilize in few hours with a clearer sky.” Such conditions give the crew some time to recover a little, before having to tackle another tricky system.

Indeed, the weather situation is not very clear off the Brazilian coast. With the Saint Helena High blocking the shortest route to the Cape of Good Hope, Banque Populaire V might have to get round this high pressure area spread out from East to West. “The situation is not very clear for now but we might have to go around the northern side of it, which would imply taking a big detour to reach Good Hope. We are attentively looking at the satellite images received every hour. One certain thing is that we do not have a crystal ball to look into but we definitely won’t let any opportunity go, and make everything we can to increase our lead on the reference time” concluded Pascal.

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