Archive | May, 2011

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Onboard Groupama 4 – 24 May 2011

Posted on 31 May 2011 by Valencia Sailing

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World Match Racing Tour Unveils Seven New Leading Edge Yacht Designs

Posted on 31 May 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Presentation of the seven new boat designs

– Presentation of the seven new boat designs for the World Match Racing Tour

[Strong: World Match Racing Tour] The World Match Racing Tour today unveiled the seven officially approved new boat designs which will be made available to the Tour’s host venues. The designs form a key part of the series’ wider development plan which will see a further six new venues added to its current calendar of eight regattas by 2013.

The concepts were conceived and developed by pioneering boat design houses from around the world and are the result of a hard-fought competition to become one of the limited number of Tour approved boat designs. The new host venues will each pick the boat design that best fits their needs while existing venues will also be encouraged to update their fleet with one of the new designs.

The designers were presented with a tough brief, namely to create a robust, cost-effective boat that is capable of delivering exciting, tactical and fiercely-fought racing across a range of conditions, from variable winds to differing depths and unpredictable currents. The designers were further challenged by the fact the boats need to test performance sailors yet be versatile enough for corporate and club sailors to give venues a diversified income from them.

Terry Newby of Regatta International, who oversaw the submission of designs, said: “The World Match Racing Tour is delighted with the huge response it received to this brief and the fact it attracted some of the world’s best boat designers reflects the status of the Tour. Each finalist has shown a real understanding of the series’ strategic requirements and has produced a multipurpose design that will be an asset to both new and existing venues who invest in one of these designs.”

Hailing from the US, Russia, Europe and Australasia, the talented roster of designers includes: Fred Barrett, Roberto Biscontini, Adrien Jousset, Andrej Justin, Phil Kaiko, Vladimir Murnikov and Christian Stimson. Swedish designer Pelle Petterson’s MR40 design, which is based on his original SM40 boat that was created specifically for the Tour in 2005, is also amongst the designs being put forward to new and current host venues. The designers boast decades of experience in high-end boat design, including designs for the America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race. Each designer is aware that an agreement with one of the World Match Racing Tour’s event promoters will give them the best possible shop window in which to showcase their design.

Given the international status of the Tour, each designer has created concepts that can be tailored to the needs of more than one venue. Slovenian designer Andrej Justin has offered three different lengths of boat, while America’s Cup veteran Phil Kaiko submitted a Lego-like construction which can be adapted to suit varying local weather conditions and a wide range of skill levels.

With collisions an inevitable part of the close-quarter match racing circuit, the likes of Italian designer Roberto Biscontini proposed a boat that, if damaged, would not be laid up for long and would not require highly-paid specialists to repair it.

Of equal importance is the aesthetic appeal of the boats, something UK émigré Christian Stimson believes is vital if the Tour is to continue to attract media coverage and sponsors. He also stresses the importance of on-board camera positions to deliver fantastic video content to the Tour’s global fanbase, a view shared by Adrien Jousset: “Sailing needs to be more exciting to have better media. The World Match Racing Tour is now a great opportunity to inject that excitement.”

To control costs most designers have gone for shorter boats except for Vladimir Murnikov’s 48-footer, the MX Match, which incorporates a revolutionary bow system that he is also employing on his SpeedDream project.

The brief gave designers the opportunity to make their mark in match racing and for Tasmania’s Fred Barrett it’s allowed him to channel a lifetime’s passion and experience into his own distinctive design.

Regatta International’s Newby added: “We expect everyone to benefit. The designers will increase their profile while the Tour’s venues will be associated with world class sailors using the very latest match racing boats. For the Tour, it will continue to affirm its position to fans, broadcast partners and sponsors as the arena for exciting, innovative and compelling match racing.”

“Two potential host cities for a Tour event are already in deep discussions with their selected designers for their proposed events in 2012. With the number of potential host cities growing all the time, I expect the bidding for the available spots to be hard fought. It is also pleasing to see the level of interest from other outstanding venues which are planning ahead past the 2012 and 2013 seasons.”

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True Blue Racing struggles through the GKKS Spring Cup

Posted on 31 May 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: True Blue Racing] Being a well established and competitive match racing team on the youth match racing circuit over the past two years within Australia, America and New Zealand the team’s first European event on the DS37’s did go not as well as expected. The brutal format of a single round robin then straight to semi finals and finals and no practice day meant the 10 competing teams had to hit the ground running and couldn’t afford any easy loses. Coming into the event the team knew it was going to be a steep learning curve, having not sailed as a team before and not having sailed on a boat bigger than an elliot 6m for some years and no practice day to get up to speed the teams first few flights saw the team quickly come to grips with the boats. It looked like a promising start for the team when they lead the pre-regatta favourites Steffan Lindberg for the first lap of the race before the experts took control of the race half way up the second beat.

With strong winds and grey clouds all weekend it was boat handling and crew work which won races with racing very close between most teams. Although the team only managed one win the team had extremely close matches, leading most races before the more experience teams took control.

Some questionable umpire decisions also costed the team at least two races but coming away from the weekend team helsman Jordan Reece was happy with the team’s progress over the weekend and was surprised with how quick the team managed to learn to sail the boats and get up to speed. ‘We knew it was going to be a challenging weekend coming into the event, there were no soft teams here and it was a brutal format with only a single round robin and no practice day which really put us on the back foot coming into the first race’ commented Reece. ‘The team came up to speed very quickly though and the loses only came through little mistakes. But we did learn a lot and have de-briefed everything and know exactly what we have to do over the next few months to get to a level that we can be more competitive against these teams.’

The team now heads down to Ravenna, Italy for the Ravenna Grado 3. The event is sailed on the Platu 25 with a crew of four. The team will be looking for a better result in Italy as they get back into smaller boats. The event will be sailed out of the Marina di Ravenna from the 10th to 12th June with the team heading down on the 7th for two days of training before the event.

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Italian Sandro Montefusco on top at Platu 25 Worlds after the first day

Posted on 31 May 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Platu 25 Worlds] “Euz II” that won the II Act of the Platu 25 Alpen Cup in Ebensee on the Traunsee Lake last week end and has a Italian-Swiss crew made of talented and experienced Italian Sandro Montefusco (skipper) Swiss Markus Sigrist (tactician), Corrado Capece Minutolo(tailer), Francesco Lanera (piano), Elisabetta Picca (jocker) AND the Swiss Lukas Gerig (bowman), scored a brilliant first day, distancing their competitors by thirteen points.

The local Austrian team “La Burra” helmed by Thomas Laherstorfer, one of the favourites for the Worlds, had a good start with a third, a not so good second race and again a third in the last race of the opening day that place them in second on the provisional scoreboard with 23 points, followed by Spanish “Bribon Movistar” helmed by Marc de Antonio at 24 points. Thanks to a second place in the last race Italians on “Nanuk”, helmed by Luigi Ravioli are fourth.

The 2011 Platu 25 International World Championship officially started yesterday. At 11, the 46 crews that take part to the event, sailed to the race area, in front of the Schloss Orth, the ancient castle next to the organizing Union Yacht Club of Gmunden. Because of a very light breeze the Race Committee opted for a postponement and moved the course 6 miles South not far from the Segelclub Ebensee, where the crews were able to enjoy a constant 15 knots wind.

The first race was an all German affair as team “Kyra” owned by Hermann Müller and helmed by Lars Bähr got the opening victory, followed by “Falkone“ owned by Falko Knabe and helmed by Cornelius Heeschen while Austrian team “La Burra” with Thomas Lahertorfer as skipper took the third place.

The second test of the day was of a more international flavour, with a win by Spain’s Bribon-Movistar” helmed by Marc de Antonio, one of the most serious contender to the title. In second were Euz II Monella Vagabonda” and third Walter Lindinger’s “B 52”.

The third race and close race started at around 5 p.m. with, “Euk II Monella Vagabonda”, “La Burra” and “Falkone” fighting for victory to the very last metres to the finish line. Finally it was the German team of “Falkone” to score a first, followed by the Italians and the Austrians.

Today the first race is scheduled to star at around 11 a.m. and, given the high level of the fleet, it promises to be another fierce battle for the top positions.

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First sail of Groupama 4

Posted on 30 May 2011 by Valencia Sailing

First sail of Groupama 4

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Initial sea trials on Groupama 4: the crew’s reactions

Posted on 30 May 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Groupama Sailing Team] Since her launch on 14 May, Groupama 4 has revealed an additional element of her potential with every training session that passes. During her fifth outing last Thursday, Franck Cammas and his crew headed out for a 24 hour sea trial in some fairly rough conditions. It proved to be a great opportunity for everyone to see what the new Groupama monohull was made of.

Back from the first offshore sea trial, the smiles and enthusiasm were etched on the faces of the eleven crew. However, the course for this particular outing certainly didn’t go easy on them: 150 miles of close-hauled sailing with the wind reaching 30 knots over the course of the night, with a five metre swell generated by a depression off Ireland. Heading due West, the sailors were subjected to twelve hours of upwind sailing before turning back for home, which amounted to less than 6 hours, downwind.

Franck Cammas: “Upwind is the point of sail which puts the boat, the structure, the keel and the mast under the most duress. These twelve hours of sailing enabled us to test the boat’s structure. Even though we’re going to have to look in detail at her to see if she’s held up, from the outside we don’t appear to have encountered any problems.

These on-the-water training sessions are an opportunity for the crew and the skipper of Groupama 4 to take the boat in hand and gain in confidence. “Our ability to be able to exploit the boat’s true potential is a gradual process“, explains Franck Cammas. “We don’t want to push her to her maximum straightaway, even though the speeds reached are quickly greater than 25 knots downwind. Naturally there’s nothing extraordinary about that and you always feel like you’re going fast when you’re sailing alone, without fellow competitors. However, it’s the boat’s attitude above all else which you can observe in such instances, because it’s the kind of wind and sea conditions we’ll see a lot of during the Volvo Ocean Race.

Groupama 4 sets off for her first offshore sail. Lorient, 20 May 2011. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama Sailing Team

Thomas Coville, for whom this was the first offshore session aboard the Volvo Open 70 Groupama, couldn’t conceal his delight: “It’s really enjoyable to sail on a boat of Groupama 4’s calibre. I think everyone was apprehending this lively sea trial and anxious to see what she was made of. Today, we feel a deep sense of satisfaction and we’re extremely proud to see that after just a matter of days, we’re capable of pushing the boat in the way we did for twenty-four hours.

From the Morbihan region in SW Brittany, the sailor has a feel for the right formula and admits that “even though it’s very wet, even though it might seem crazy from the outside, I didn’t make a mistake, it really is exactly what I wanted to do!

Back in port, the sailors draw up their assessment with the shore team, noting the innovations which have been validated and the points to be improved on. “There are a multitude of details to be checked, as is always the case on a boat: you could spend your whole life on such things! ” said Thomas Coville ironically. In order to optimise the new monohull, which only came out of the yard about a fortnight ago, she has been lifted out onto the hard and had her mast unstepped. Groupama Sailing Team will also benefit from this spell out of the water to carry out a complete scrutineering session, which involves measuring all the boat’s specifications: length, draught and weight… so as to get as close as possible to the limits set by the rule.

From Wednesday, the monohull in the colours of Groupama will once again be afloat before being christened on Saturday 11 June 2011 at 1400 GMT in Lorient. Groupama 4 will then head off to do her 2,000 mile qualifier before taking part in her first race, the Fastnet Race (14-16 August 2011), where she will come face to face with another Volvo Open 70.

Groupama 4 sets off for her first offshore sail. Lorient, 20 May 2011. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama Sailing Team

Groupama 4 sets off for her first offshore sail. Lorient, 20 May 2011. Photo copyright Yvan Zedda / Groupama Sailing Team

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2011 Danish Open Cancelled

Posted on 30 May 2011 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] The World Match Racing Tour announces that the Kongelig Danish Yachtklub, organisers of the Danish Open and a longstanding member of the Tour, have confirmed to us that they are unable to fulfil their requirements to host the 2011 Danish Open. We have therefore accepted their proposal to terminate their contract and so the event is officially cancelled.

The World Match Racing Tour would welcome Denmark back on the Tour in improved circumstances, but in the meantime the cancellation opens a key slot on the 2012 calendar for the candidate cities currently vying for a place on the Tour.

All Tour Card Holders competing on the World Match Racing Tour are allocated six events. The Tour Card Holders allocated to Denmark this year will now receive average points for the event based on their performances in their other allocated events on the 2011 Tour.

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Volvo Ocean Race game: Get your access to the closed beta test here

Posted on 30 May 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Do you want to be part of the world’s largest sailing community and test drive the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race game? offers this unique opportunity to the first 100 readers that will contact us. All you have to do is send us an email with your name at info [at] valenciasailing [dot] com and you will receive your unique access code to try the second closed beta version of the game.

Together with your key you will also receive the corresponding URL to redeem it, register and then play.

Act now because we only have 100 access codes that will be given on a first-come first-served basis.

After the successful conclusion of the first closed beta, the second test race will start on Wednesday June 1st, 2011 at 13:00 CET. All available functionality is of course free during this test race so be sure to use as many options as possible! The current look and feel of the game is purely functional and will be improved and extended during the next couple of months.

Don’t forget to send your feedback using the corresponding form on the website!!

Note: You name and email will, obviously, NOT be distributed, sold or given to ANY party, directly or indirectly related to They are solely for internal use, to keep track of the players and their corresponding access codes.

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