Archive | August, 2012

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Richard Races into Contention for Qualifying Top Spot at St Moritz Match Race

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] In near-freezing conditions, Richard (FRA) Loire Atlantique Sailing Team took important wins against former Alpari World Match Racing Tour Champion Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing, current Tour leader, Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team and Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, who has struggled for consistency so far in Switzerland.

The result puts Richard on the brink of qualification for the Quarter Finals, and if manages to take top spot, direct passage to the Semi Final. Having lost his opening two matches of the regatta, Richard now sits third in the qualifying table with an impressive 6.5 – 3 record, having lost a half point for a collision with Hansen. He said: “We lost the first two and have managed to get a good number of wins in a row since but really we’ve changed nothing. I felt good on the boat at the start of the regatta and i said to the guys that the turning and the feel of the boat were good points for us so i thought that we could improve our results.

“I need to work on my starts, they haven’t been so good at this event because of my lack of match racing this year. I remember the first match we lost against Ian Williams, the start was like a nightmare.”

Richard believes his team have the ability to go all the way to victory at the Alpari World Match Racing Tour event, in what would be his third ‚‘King of the Mountain‘ title: “We’re here as a wildcard but i’ve won the event twice and believe we can get the result. We are competitive, even without a lot of match racing practice and i think we can take the title again.”

Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing also took some important wins on the third day of competition, having begun the day at the foot of the table. He recorded three wins in the morning session to take his total to 4 – 4, putting him in the chase to progress to the event’s knockout rounds. He said: “We had a tough day on the first day, no doubt. I think we actualy sailed ok but made some pretty significant mistakes which lost us at least 1 or 2 of those early races. I don‘t think we had to change much, just making sure we payed attention to the details which cost us previously. Our mistakes were pretty significant so that‘s always the easiest thing to fix!

“Today we did a good job of putting those results behind us and we came out feeling good. We continued to sail fast and clean today and it payed off as we knew it was really important to win all 3 to give us the best opportunity to stay in the competition.”

On a day which saw some of the most extreme weather on the Tour so far this year, Swinton, said: “Obviously i’m happy that we managed to get the wins today, especailly in the conditions we had out there. I don’t think I‘ve ever sailed in the snow before and with the steam coming off the lake it made finding the wind even harder.”

Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match Sailing endured a frustrating day, losing his opening match of the day to Bjorn Hansen but finishing the day on 7 – 3, having retained his event lead from this morning. A black flag awarded to his last opponent, Eric Monnin (SUI) Okalys Corum confirmed his second win of the day. Monnin was disappointed with his performance in the last race, saying: “We found ourselves in a bad situation in that one. It was all in one incident but they decided that it was so harsh that they would send me home directly. That was too much for the umpires.”

“It was especially disappointing as it was quite an open race against Jury but we took way too much risk. It was a misjudgement on our part and we are disappointed because it looks like the event is over for us now. I don’t think we can get the wins to go through. We weren’t good enough to be here today”

Johnie Berntsson continued his good start to the event, sitting alongside Jury on seven wins at the top of the qualifying table. With each of the top three within one point and a final match of qualification still to complete, it looks likely that one of Jury, Berntsson or Richard will top qualifying tomorrow.

The day also saw several of the skippers take to the water alongside the event’s VIP guests for the Corviglia Challenge. The race was won by Peter Gilmour with a crew of Kuoni Transporte.

The St. Moritz Match Race will resume for the remaining qualifying matches, followed by the Quarter Finals tomorrow, starting from 1000AM CET.

St. Moritz Match Race – Results after Qualification Round 3:
Laurie Jury (NZ) Kiwi Match 7 – 3
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 7 -3
Mathieu Richard (FRA) Loire Atlantique Sailing Team 6.5* – 3 (0.5 point deduction for boat collision)
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 4 -4
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 4 – 4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 4 – 4
Jerome Clerc (SUI) Team CER 4 – 6
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 3.5* – 4 (0.5 point deduction for boat collision)
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 3.5* – 4 (0.5 point deduction for boat collision)
Phil Robertson (NZ) WAKA Racing 3 – 5
Eric Monnin (SUI) Okalys Corum 3 – 7
Josh Junior (NZL) Wellington Spirit 3 – 7

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Action-packed start to Act 5 in Cardiff as Team Wales dismasts

Posted on 31 August 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Extreme Sailing Series] Breezy and gusty conditions on Cardiff Bay ensured that the opening day of Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff, Wales delivered an action-packed day for the nine Extreme 40s. Austria’s Red Bull Sailing Team blasted round the tight courses, reaching speeds of 29mph (25.4 knots) relishing the conditions that put Roman Hagara’s men at the top of the rankings at the end of day one. “This was racing on the edge up to 25 knots of wind but we never lost control of the boat. It’s nice to be in first place but there are still three days to go. We have to focus and to concentrate and we can win,” said Hagara.

For local entry, Team Wales, skippered by young Welsh talent Dave Evans and with Team GB 470 Olympic silver medallist Hannah Mills calling tactics, the day ended in drama when the 62ft mast came crashing down. A component failure in the rig caused the mast to fall but it remained intact and the team expects to be back on the water tomorrow – after what is sure to be a long night for their shore team.

Today was about supreme boat handling and minimizing mistakes and both Oman Air and GAC Pindar in the main did just that to end the day in second and third respectively. “It was a wild day, things happened quick and it was some of the tightest courses and some of the strongest wind we’ve had and that made it pretty exciting,” said US skipper Morgan Larson. “It was kind of hectic, there were tight corners, it was gusty, shifty, and basically we’re happy to have got through that day without any damage. The racing today was tactical, but boat handling was really the key today, that is really what got us through, sharp boat handling by all the guys.”

First day of racing in Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series. Cardiff, 30 August 2012. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

Eight short and sharp races were staged today, that saw the nine-boat Extreme 40 fleet power reach off the start, flying to the top mark. As always the start was key and The Wave Muscat skipper, Britain’s Leigh McMillan will be kicking himself for his false starts today. But the Omani team may be down but they are certainly not out as they are determined to make Act 5 their fourth straight win: “We’ve had lots of bad days and always bounced back. Sometimes you need a back day to sort yourself out,” said McMillan. “We’re going to make sure we’re on top again, particularly after today. It makes me more determined to come back and try to get back to the top.”

The nine strong Extreme 40 fleet were joined by a host of sports stars today that turned their hands to Extreme 40 racing for the first time. Ex-England cricket captain Michael Vaughan got extreme joining Andrew Walsh’s team on GAC Pindar, while some of Britain’s top sailing talent including Team Volvo sailors and Olympic silver medallists Luke Patience and Saskia Clark, 2008 Olympic gold medallist Paul Goodison and Team GB match racer Kate MacGregor traded in their dinghies for Extreme 40s!

Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 5, Cardiff, Wales, UK standings after Day 1, 8 races
1.Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT), 55 points
2. Oman Air (OMA), 50 points
3. GAC Pindar (GBR), 50 points
4. SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN), 44 points
5. The Wave, Muscat (OMA), 43 points
6. Alinghi (SUI), 39 points
7. Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA), 36 points
8. ZouLou (FRA), 22 points
9. Team Wales, 20 points

Locals Team Wales dismast on first day of racing in Act 5 of the Extreme Sailing Series. Cardiff, 30 August 2012. Photo copyright Lloyd Images

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Video: Oracle Team USA launch first AC72 yacht

Posted on 30 August 2012 by Valencia Sailing

Oracle Team USA’s first AC72 is wheeled from the build shed into the light. After a day of testing and a brief but all-important christening, she touches San Francisco Bay for her very first journey.

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Phil Robertson Finds Winning Formula in Second Qualifying Session of St Moritz Match Race

Posted on 30 August 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing finished yesterday’s opening qualifying session with a disappointing three losses from three but showed no signs of repeating those results, beating Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing and current Tour leader Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team before the wind became too light for sailing to continue.

Laurie Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match Sailing remains at the head of the qualifying table on five points, without having taken to the water on the second day of competition. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team remains in second despite losing his unbeaten record to compatriot Bjorn Hansen (SWE) in his first match of the day. Berntsson, said: “We picked up a penalty in the pre-start against Bjorn but the outcome of that didn‘t affect the overall race, i don’t think. It was very much about starting well and getting the left side.We didn‘t manage to close the gap and he was in a controlling position for most of the way around. He did a good job in keeping us behind.

Berntsson went on to beat Jerome Clerc (SUI) Team CER to take his tally to 4 points but is hopeful that conditions will allow a full qualifying stage to be completed: “We’re pleased to be 4-1 which puts us in a good positionafter two days but we would prefer to be back out on the water completing Qualifying. We’re here as dedicated sailors and want to race as much as we can, perform well, and win because we are the best on the day.”

Phil Robertson finds his form on the second day of St Moritz Match Race. St Moritz, 30 August 2012. Photo copyright Andrew carter / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Despite the loss to Berntsson, Clerc still feels that his team are in with a chance of qualifying for the Quarter Finals, having earlier beat rival Eric Monnin (SUI) Okalys Corum in their national battle on home water. Clerc, said: “We were very happy to beat Eric because it’s our third time at this regatta in St. Moritz and we haven’t beaten him before. He had a better start than us and was in front from the start but we got a good shift which allowed us to overtake and hold on for the win.

“We’re from Geneva, which is 6 hours away so it doesn‘t feel like a home event for us here. There isn’t a lot of pressure on us because we aren’t really one of the favourites so we’re here to learn and improve our match racing. So far i think we’ve done well because we have a new crew member for this event and if we can continue taking each match as it comes, we have a chance for the Quarter Finals.”

The St. Moritz Match Race will take to the water for the third qualifying session tomorrow, starting from 1000AM CET.

St. Moritz Match Race – Results after Qualification Round 2:
Laurie Jury (NZ) Kiwi Match 5 – 0
Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 4 -1
Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 3 -2
Mathieu Richard (FRA) Loire Atlantique Sailing Team 3 – 2
Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar 2.5* – 2 (0.5 point deduction for boat collision)
Jerome Clerc (SUI) Team CER 2 – 3
Eric Monnin (SUI) Okalys Corum 2 – 3
Phil Robertson (NZ) WAKA Racing 2 – 3
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) Vannes Agglo Sailing Team 2 – 3
Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team 2 – 3
Josh Junior (NZL) Wellington Spirit 1 – 4
Keith Swinton (AUS) Black Swan Racing 1 – 4

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Volvo Ocean Race gets new Chief Operating Officer

Posted on 30 August 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Volvo Ocean Race] Touber, 48, who has significant experience with the Race and within sailing generally, will report directly to CEO Knut Frostad and will assume operational responsibilities from Race headquarters in Alicante from September 3.

He managed both the winning ABN AMRO team in the 2005-06 Race as well as the Delta Lloyd campaign in the 2008-09 edition. In addition, he was also engaged as a consultant by Frostad in preparing stopovers for the last Race, the closest and most successful in the event’s history which was won by French boat Groupama 4 in July.

In 1997-98 Touber was an executive board member of Brunel International and responsible for the sponsorship of their participation in that edition of the Race.

“I am delighted to welcome Tom on board and I believe his experience, passion and dedication to our Race will further strengthen our position going forward,” said Frostad. “The Race is standing at one of the most exciting moments in its history, having introduced a new one-design class and several other measures to grow its fleet and improve the sponsor and audience experience even more in the next edition.

“A strong and dedicated team at the helm of the Race is essential and I am looking forward to grabbing this great opportunity with Tom on board which strengthens our top level management even further.”

Touber said on joining the management team: “After my first experience in the Volvo Ocean Race in 1997, I really got excited about the characteristics of the Race.

“The enormous challenge teams have to face to participate in this event, as well as the leadership and teamwork required to win provide a great platform to build and reinforce brands. Volvo Cars and Volvo Group and many of the team sponsors have shown how to do this by utilising the values of the Race.

“All projects that I was involved in brought more then we expected. I am really excited to be part of the Race Management now. I am sure that the new phase the Volvo Ocean Race is entering will enhance the competitiveness of the event and make it more attractive than ever.

“The fact that the barrier of entry for teams is lowered to 3 to 4 million euros per year makes this one-design ocean race an even better sponsor opportunity than ever. Shaping the operations around this new phase is my passion and I look forward to working with Knut Frostad and the rest of the team to make it happen.”

The 11th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, the longest and toughest professional sporting event in the world, finished in Galway, Ireland in July this year. The next edition, featuring a new high-performance one-design boat, will begin from Alicante in 2014.

The race, which dates back to 1973 and is regarded as sailing’s toughest and most prestigious offshore event, is a world class sporting property and a unique sponsorship opportunity. An all-women’s crew, backed by global hygiene and forest products company SCA, has already announced it will be competing in the next edition in 2014-15.

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Jury and Berntsson Unbeaten on Day One of St Moritz Match Race

Posted on 29 August 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alpari World Match Racing Tour] Laurie Jury made an early statement of his intentions at the St. Moritz Match Race in Switzerland today as he took five wins from five in shifty winds on Lake St. Moritz and put himself in a good position ahead of the second day of qualifying tomorrow.

Jury (NZL) Kiwi Match Sailing was in excellent form, taking victories against reigning Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR) GAC Pindar and two-time St. Moritz Match Race winner, Mathieu Richard (FRA) Loire Atlantique Sailing Team who gained a wildcard entry to the event. Jury finished the day by beating compatriot Josh Junior (NZL) Wellington Spirit, leaving himself on the brink of Quarter Final qualification.

Jury, said: “We’ve come away with five wins which is really good for us as a lot of them were really tight today. We had a race against Keith [Swinton] which we just won right on the finish line and a close one with Morvan and Ian [Williams] which came out of penalties so it feels like we’re sailing well but we’ve sailed the same way before, not had decisions going our way and lost all five. The level we are sailing at on the Tour, a good day and a bad day haven’t got much between them so we just need to keep focused and carry on doing what we’re doing.

We had a really good training sesison yesterday in a bit of breeze, put some pressure on ourselves and the guys did a really good job with the boat speed and the boat handling. I’d say that was what did it for us today.

When commenting on his plans for the remainder of the qualification round, Jury said: We’ve got to keep pushing ourselves and trying to learn as much as we can. It’s great to get a jump on the lead, especially as we missed out on the Quarters in the last two events. Ideal situation now is to take the first place and go straight through to the Semi’s.“

Laurie Jury leads the St Moritz Match Race on day one, unbeaten. St Moritz, 29 August 2012. Photo copyright Andrew Carter / Alpari World Match Racing Tour

Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team also made the most of the first day’s sailing, taking three commanding victories from three against Swiss crowd favourite Eric Monnin (SUI) Okalys Corum, who competes in his tenth St. Moritz Match Race, former Tour Champion Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing and young Kiwi Phil Robertson (NZL) WAKA Racing, who was condemned to a third defeat of the day.

Berntsson, said: “It was a perfect start for us, especially here at a venue which we know can have some of the trickier conditions. I think here you have to be prepared that you won‘t win all your races at this regatta, so it’s especially pleasing to come in unbeaten.”

Lining up against local skippers on the first day of racing is often seen as a disadvantage but Berntsson was confident ahead of his first match against Monnin, following their practice day on Lake St. Moritz, saying: “In the practice session yesterday we were on the water with Eric Monnin and we felt really good. We thought that there was an opportunity to take an advantage out of the start, which we saw today as his timing was slightly off and that helped us a lot. In that first match we got to choose our positioning and that was important for the win.

“Today overall it was that early control in the starts which was key, managing to get ahead or at least to an area where we got the first puff of wind. It was a bit shifty out there and in our second race we changed the decision on which side to take just 40 seconds before the start and managed to get a big puff out on the right, which made all the difference. That one could have gone either way.”

Mathieu Richard and Ian Williams also finished the day on three wins with two losses to sit third and fourth respectively in the qualification table after day one. Ian Williams carries 2.5 points through after having been deducted a half point for a collision between the two skippers in a match that Williams ultimately won.

Of the Swiss skippers, Eric Monnin secured good wins against Robertson and Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Mekonomen Sailing Team, to leave himself on two wins from three after the first day’s sailing. He said: “We have two wins already but we’re very aware that it doesn’t change a lot and it will take more than that to make it to the quarters. I think the totals needed will be quite high to progress, maybe five or six points from qualification. We hope to go through to the next round but we’ll continue tomorrow as one of the underdogs and try to win the matches we need to go through.

“It’s great for us to compete in our home regatta but we try every year to keep the pressure off ourselves because everyone is looking to us as a Swiss team. We’ve approached the event well this year, just aiming to enjoy each victory or take each loss one at a time.”

Phil Robertson knows that his team need to perform well in St. Moritz to keep the pressure on the top three going into the second half of the season. A disappointing session saw his team slump to three defeats from three, Robertson commenting: “We just couldn’t get anything right today. There wasn’t that much specifically that we need to change. We did a lot of things wrong but it was just standard sailing really.

“It was very, very shifty and quite hard to pick as well. We got two of the three starts we wanted but just couldn’t capitalize in the end.”

With everything still to play for, the St. Moritz Match Race continues with a second qualifying round tomorrow, starting from 11:00AM CET.

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Franck Cammas to coach Luna Rossa

Posted on 29 August 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Luna Rossa] Team Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 has finalized a technical and sports agreement with French sailor Franck Cammas, winning skipper of the 2012 Round the World Race and one of the greatest multihulls experts. Cammas will join the team in the role of coach.

Franck Cammas, born in 1972, is French from Aix in Provence. His career as a professional sailor started at the conclusion of his math studies.

At the age of 24 Cammas won the Solitaire du Figaro; one year later he took the helm of Team Groupama’s first trimaran. He was winner of six world championships in the ORMA class (trimaran 60 feet) in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007 and also won the World Championship Fico-Lacoste (Forum International de la Course Oceanique) in 2000 and 2004.

Cammas’ sports career also counts numerous records in multihull, among which the victory of the Trophée Jules Verne in 2010 (round the world record in 48 days, 7 hours, 44 minutes and 52 seconds) and the Transat Jacques Vabre, the crossing of the Atlantic ocean from Le Havre, France to San Salvador de Bahia, Brasil, that he won in 2001, 2003 and 2007.

In 2010 he won the Route du Rhum (single handed transatlantic) on board of the 31,50 meter trimaran Groupama 3. In 2012, at his debut in this event, he won the Volvo Ocean Race with the VOR 70 Groupama 4.

Franck Cammas, the master of the oceans, is now Luna Rossa’s new coach. Galway, 3 July 2012. Photo copyright Ian Roman / Volvo Ocean Race

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Oracle Team USA to launch first AC72 this week

Posted on 29 August 2012 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Oracle Team] ORACLE TEAM USA has started the countdown to launching its first AC72 wingsailed catamaran this week.

A Media Day is planned for Friday 31 August, the first scheduled sailing day for the boat that will play a central role in the San Francisco team’s bid to win the America’s Cup again next year.

Today, the giant 12 story high wing was lifted at Pier 80 in a successful test of the new ground handling systems.

“This was one tick in a very long check-list of essential steps before the boat can go into the water,” said Mark Turner, shore manager.

Upgrading from the identical one-design AC45s used during last week’s America’s Cup World Series event in San Francisco is going to be no small order; the AC72 is more complex, more powerful and entirely custom designed and built by ORACLE TEAM USA.

Oracle Team USA is ready to launch its first new AC72 yacht. San Francisco, 28 August 2012. Photo copyright Guilain Grenier / Oracle Team USA

“Compared to the AC45, the AC72 is twice as long, five times as powerful and 100 times more complex,” explained Dirk Kramers, one of the 25 strong design team who has worked for two years on the team’s first boats. “It will also be 25% faster, capable of speeds over 40 knots (45 mph).”

Constructed entirely from carbon fiber, the AC72 hulls were built at the team’s base in Pier 80, San Francisco. The cross beams connecting the two hulls, wingsail, appendages (rudders and lifting daggerboards) and other key structures were made in New Zealand by Core Builders Composites.

“This is one of the most intricately detailed racing boats ever built,” commented Tim Smyth of CBC. “Not only this, but it is also one of the most dramatic looking.”

The next step for the team is to lift and fit the 130-foot wingsail onto the hull. Once preliminary checks on shore are complete, the boat then touches Bay water for the very first time. The myriad mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems that control the steering, wing and sails have to be tested, and before sailing is attempted a team of engineers and boatbuilders must sign off on the structure after a series of structural and data read-outs are approved.

The first sail is scheduled for Friday, subject to constant review.

Oracle Team USA is ready to launch its first new AC72 yacht. San Francisco, 28 August 2012. Photo copyright Guilain Grenier / Oracle Team USA

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