Archive | April, 2011

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Groupama 4 safely into port

Posted on 30 April 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama Sailing Team] This Saturday morning, at 0545 GMT, Groupama 4 left the Multiplast yard in Vannes, SW Brittany. After a delivery by road, Franck Cammas’ new Volvo Open 70 arrived at Groupama Sailing Team’s base in nearby Lorient at 0830 hours, a moment the whole team had been looking forward to.

After 40,000 man hours, the first Volvo Open 70 to be built in France emerged from the yard today. In the early hours of this morning, the members of Groupama Sailing Team gathered together to organise the special wide load comprising Franck Cammas’ VO 70.

Stéphane Guilbaud, Team Manager of Groupama Sailing Team, was responsible for the wide load from beginning to end: “We left at daybreak because we were keen to have a safe journey. The start of the trip, in Vannes, was pretty complicated to manage as there wasn’t a lot of room for manoeuvre. The trees prevented us from moving the boat initially. After that we had to traverse a zone were construction materials were stored. We also had to negotiate some ‘classic’ roundabouts which were complicated to get across. Despite all that the delivery trip went really smoothly…”

Indeed the transport of Groupama 4 should have taken three or even four hours, but the shore crew, with assistance from Volvo Trucks, managed to complete the transfer in just 2 hours 45 minutes.
Stéphane Guilbaud: “The whole team got together for the occasion… It’s a real high point: the end of the construction of the boat also means that the first sea trial is approaching. For all of us it’s the culmination of 11 months of work.”

Prior to the launch, scheduled for 10 May, there is still a substantial jobs’ list for Groupama Sailing Team, as the skipper of Groupama, Franck Cammas highlights: “This is a very fine stage in the history of the project: Groupama 4 has finally made it to the base and we have her in front of us! The team will be able to work on her day and night now to fine tune the VO70 with a view to her launch. It’s almost done: we have to finish the electrics and fit the keel, mast and deck hardware, even though the latter has already been pre-assembled.”

The crew still has some work to do then before the monohull is ready to criss-cross the oceans. Indeed the final steps must be performed by the sailors themselves because they’re the ones who will be tasked with Groupama 4′s upkeep during the various stages of the Volvo Ocean Race. Franck Cammas: “It’s really important that the boat is at the base with us as it really saves time: that will guarantee a quick launch. We’re happy to have such a fine engine almost ready to go sailing. She has some fine lines and we’re keen to trial her on the water. The Multiplast yard has really done a good job. It’s over to us now to finish it off…”

Ten intense days are in prospect then for Groupama Sailing Team but their spirits are high and the desire to go sailing is very much in evidence…

Groupama Sailing Team transport their new Volvo Open 70 from Multiplast to their base. Lorient, 30 April 2011. Photo copyright Pilpre A./Studio Zedda

Groupama Sailing Team transport their new Volvo Open 70 from Multiplast to their base. Lorient, 30 April 2011. Photo copyright Pilpre A./Studio Zedda

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Brand new Groupama 4 to leave Multiplast boatyard on Saturday morning

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source:Multiplast] After nearly 11 months of construction, it is by road that the monohull of Franck Cammas for the next Volvo Ocean Race will join the Groupama Sailing Team base in Lorient .

At 6:30 on Saturday morning, the exceptional convoy will set off to join the team base in Lorient (arrival around 9 pm). This departure is the culmination of more than 40,000 hours of work for 30 technicians in charge of building this prototype.

In fact, since December, the teams of Olivier Pavia and Fred Ehanno have been taking turns six days a week to complete the first French Volvo 70 ever to be built. This boat will carry with her the hopes of the entire boatyard in a race so far won only by Anglo-Saxons.

Down to the millimeter

Jean-Baptiste Mouton in charge of the project at Multiplast, commented: “The last few weeks have been obviously very dense but the fact we passed the measurements controls last weekend without any problem and down to the millimeter was a nice recognition of this boatyard’s knowhow.”

Pierre Tissier, in charge of construction supervision for Team Groupama, stated: “We have been working for several years with MULTIPLAST, we know each other very well and we have a seamless communication, and this is essential to build a reliable and efficient boat.”

The technical teams will now have to fit out the appendages (keel, daggerboard, rudders), rigging (mast, boom) and electronics collaboration with the crew before a launch planned in the second week of May.

The brand new Groupama 4 ready to leave the boatyard. Photo copyright Multiplast

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Women’s match racing fulfills the vision of sailing in the Olympics

Posted on 29 April 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Women’s match racing fulfills the vision of sailing in the Olympics

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Camper continue their tour of New Zealand in grueling conditions

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Camper continue their tour of New Zealand in grueling conditions

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Camper continue their tour of New Zealand in grueling conditions

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Camper] What ever happened to sunny Bay Of Plenty? Howling winds, cold & no shortage of rain. Just as well the people are so nice & warm here.

A massive first turn out of people to look over the boat yesterday, down below on CAMPER resembled Auckland rush hour on the motorway for most of the morning. A fine lunch at the Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club made me somewhat uneasy. I’m beginning to think the crews food expectations are becoming a little higher than what I will eventually be able to deliver on board!

Early start to set off to Gizzy this and I listen into the weather forecast from Will Oxley – no wind from the north too much wind from the south… Oh well I just hope to hold on to my lunch from yesterday.

We set off east across the Bay of Plenty making good speed, looking forward to a good trip around East Cape. I procrastinate going below to start my inaugural freeze dried meal preparation. Things went well for 15 minutes of banging around down there, all of a sudden boiling three jugs of water and stirring some sweet & sour chicken seemed like climbing Mt Everest.

I begin to sweat and race for the hatch…. 10 sets of eyes watching me crawl towards the stern, looking a lighter shade of green. Luckily I manage to hold the contents of my stomach, but that’s the end of my first attempt of cooking for the crew. A complete failure.

Will Oxley jumps to my aid and takes over cooking, Chuny comes and pats me on the back points at the horizon and gives me some advice which I won’t forget, nor should repeat. He is a funny Spanish man.

Trae (Tony Rae) emerges with a smile and a small white pill, I ask him what it is? He replies,”not sure – I think it’s for when you’re pregnant”. I take the pill.

White Island was a highlight, until the wind stopped, guess Will was right, no wind from the North. Engines on, towards the East Cape.

A bit calmer so I get into another attempt at ‘cooking’. Beef risotto this time. I get through the process of making it – elated with myself for achieving such an accomplishment. Not a lot of dinner eaten tonight for some strange reason, which I later find out was my ‘cooking technique’, translated to; I messed up the water quanities. Hate to think what Nico is thinking about the ‘cook’ he hired!

By the end of the night I am pretty sure the guys are thanking me they didn’t have much dinner- here is the 35-40 knots from the south Will also mentioned – he is right again! He is a good navigator- seldom wrong!

It’s dark, howling, Camper is slamming off and into wave after wave. I’m lying in my bunk wondering if the tortured sounds the boat makes are normal, and if it is meant to hit waves so hard, “Good engineers, good sailors- no problems.”

The first problem arises – how am I supposed to sleep? I decide it’s like trying to sleep on a camp stretcher, balanced on a bucking bronco, in a loud bar, with a running tap dripping water all over you. Oh well may as well give it a go…

It doesn’t go so well, so I start thinking again, “What other sport in the world do they just switch the lights out and expect you to keep playing your sport the same as when its daylight?”

They don’t kill the lights at half time in a rugby match at Eden Park and say, “carry on as you were.”

These mad men sailors just don’t slow down for darkness, its just a slight inconvenience. I stay in the bunk until daylight, emerge and see the seething conditions, which resulted in my sleeping difficulties. Wave hits – my left boot is wet again.

As we approach Gisborne, I can see the intensity on the guys faces grow – and see we have our hands full just to get into the port in Gisborne. Trusty Will Oxley is again pin-point accurate with his direction for Nico, amazing to think he knows every tiny detail of the bay and approach to the port and he has never been here in his life.

The shore guys are set in the chase boat to help in any way if we get in strife. Nico powers into the port with sails up and the engine at full tilt, huge swells to contend with and barely 100 metres to spin the boat on a dial, drop the sails and get back on course into the dock

He turns to me when we are safe and says, “That was a bit hairy!”. I thought it looked like he and the crew could have done it with their eyes shut. Guess that’s how true professionals react under pressure.

Hamish Hooper, Media Crew Member CAMPER

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New Dates for Monsoon Cup 2011

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Monsoon Cup] To ensure its position as the world’s premier sailing event, T-Best Events Sdn Bhd have successfully secured new dates for the 2011 edition of the international sailing event, the Monsoon Cup.

A long and detailed negotiation with the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) means the season-ending race, where the ISAF Match Racing World Champion will be crowned, will now be held from 29 Nov-4 Dec.

The Monson Cup was originally scheduled from 22-27 November but it clashed with the 26th SEA Games (11-22 Nov).

“After several weeks of negotiations, the WMRT and ISAF have finally agreed to our new dates. I would like to thank them for their cooperation and we will work hard together with the continuous support and guidance of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, as well as various events partners and members of the media to ensure the Monsoon Cup remains the nation’s premier sailing event,” said T-Best chairman Tan Sri Sabbaruddin Chik.

The Monsoon Cup is the world's premiere sailing event. Kuala Terengganu, December 2010. Photo copyright SubZero Images / World Match Racing Tour

“We felt the old dates were unsuitable as the build up to the Monsoon Cup would have been overshadowed by the 26th SEA Games. We are also lucky that the Langkawi International Maritime & Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA) which is usually held in the first week of December will now be held a week later so that it doesn’t clash with the Monsoon Cup.”

Tan Sri Sabbaruddin added the new Monsoon Cup dates fits perfectly with the Perth 2011 ISAF World Sailing Championships, which is scheduled from 3-18th December making it viable for foreign media intending to attend both events.

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Mitch Booth, helmsman and sports director for China Team talks about the first sail on the team’s new AC45

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Mitch Booth, helmsman and sports director for China Team talks about the first sail on the team’s new AC45

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Early indications positive from America’s Cup tests in Auckland

Posted on 28 April 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: America's Cup] “The purpose of what we’ve doing has been to test the equipment – prototype equipment – as a forerunner to what we’ll use in Cascais in August,” Murray said.

“Having the luxury of having six boats here in Auckland has been a great benefit to us… We’ve assembled our race management team and prototypes of our equipment and we’re putting it to real use out on the race course…”

Murray said that to date, the equipment has performed to spec with only minor failures. The system tracks the race boats to within two centimetres of their position on the race course and is the basis for what the Race Committee uses to set the courses. The Umpires work with the same information to assign penalties and it will also be used to generate next-generation television graphics.

The biggest challenge, Murray said, has been in getting the people comfortable with the machines and systems, which feed information back to the boats via a display the skpper can read for information and interact with to appeal for a penalty, for example.

“I think the largest difficulty we’ve had is everyone getting used to it,” he said. “It getting very much like Formula 1, where you have a steering wheel with hundreds of functions on it. This is all part of the technology that’s required (now) to sail these boats.”

Principal Race Officer John Craig spoke about some of the course configurations his team has been testing and said they’ll continue to experiment over the coming days.

“It’s a balancing act,” he said, describing the techniques the race committee is using to generate fair, close, and exciting racing. “We’ve still got a ways to go to figure out what’s going to work best.”

“I think it’s going to change according to the windspeed,” Murray added. “A light air race course is going to look very different to a windy day race course. The tacking and gybing angles of these boats vary a lot with the wind strength.

“A little leverage can turn into a big gain at times, so what might look like a big lead can turn into a loss very quickly… The emphasis on downwind sailing is becoming apparent and the short upwind with the long run seems to be a nice recipe.”

ACRM is continuing with its testing sessions on Friday. Next week, ACEA will take over in the test seat, with the focus shifting to television and on board media trials.

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