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Phaedo3 breaks RORC Caribbean 600 multihull record, Rambler 88 takes monohull Line Honours

Posted on 25 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: RORC Caribbean 600] Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70, Phaedo3 crossed the finish line in Antigua at 20:35:30 AST on 24th February 2015 in an elapsed time of 1 day, 9 hours, 35 minutes and 30 seconds.

Phaedo3 has broken the multihull race record set by Claude Thelier and John Burnie’s ORMA 60, Region Guadeloupe by 6 hours, 35 minutes and 35 seconds.

“Fast, really fast,” commented a shattered looking Lloyd Thornburg as Phaedo3 tied up in Falmouth Harbour. “Sailing with Michel Desjoyeaux has been an incredible experience. When I was driving, he pushed me out of my comfort zone and then got the guys to wind on the sails even more and the speed just kept climbing and my confidence and experience with it. Surfing at over 30 knots for hours is just an incredible experience. A big thank you to Brian Thompson for putting this all together in such a short period of time. This is right up there; a totally amazing experience!”

Jules Verne record holder, Brian Thompson spoke dockside: “We only left France two weeks ago so this has been a whirlwind preparation for the race, but I always knew that a MOD70 would be an absolute weapon on this course and what a welcome when we arrived; the superyachts blasting their air horns and hundreds of people on the dock making a lot of noise. It was like finishing the Vendee Globe!”

Phaedo3, Lloyd Thornburg's MOD 70 © Richard and Rachel/Team Phaedo

Phaedo3, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70 © Richard and Rachel/Team Phaedo

Michel Desjoyeaux has never done the RORC Caribbean 600 before: “I had never heard of this race before, but it is a great course for multihulls and I hope to be back. It would be even better if there were a number of multihulls racing, that would make it really special. As we rounded Redonda, I saw some yachts heading for Guadeloupe, they were only half way to the finish and I thought about the Figaro teams who have so far to go – aaaagh! – That must be hard for them.”

Hundreds of spectators packed the dock on Falmouth Harbour, Antigua with the party continuing well into the night to celebrate Phaedo3′s magnificent achievement.

George David’s Juan K designed Rambler 88 was the next boat to finish, at 06:35:12 AST on 25th February 2015, taking Monohull Line Honours for the RORC Caribbean 600. Rambler 88 was approximately four hours short of the monohull race record, set by George David’s Rambler 100 in 2011.

As with every competing yacht in the RORC Caribbean 600, Rambler 88 was met at the dock with a big cheer and cold beer by the Antigua Yacht Club volunteer team. George David, commented dockside.

As with every competing yacht in the RORC Caribbean 600, Rambler 88 was met at the dock with a big cheer and cold beer by the Antigua Yacht Club volunteer team. George David, commented dockside. “Rambler 88 was ahead of the monohull race record for some time, but the wind angle on the long leg to Guadeloupe was tighter than in 2012. Back then in Rambler 100, we were reaching, hitting a speed of over 20 knots, but this year that wasn’t possible due to the wind angle. Rambler 88 is probably faster on every point of sail than the previous Rambler, but the weather really didn’t work for us this year. Rambler 88 is an exciting boat to race, powerful and really wet on deck. We have moved a step closer to harnessing that power and the wet conditions are easily managed with good foul weather gear! A special course and a very well organised race. The RORC should be congratulated once again for producing a great event.”

Multiple America’s Cup winner and Rambler 88 tactician, Brad Butterworth spoke dockside: “This is the first time I have done this race and it is an interesting course from a tactical and navigational point of view. The islands are really beautiful but we didn’t get much time to appreciate the scenery. However, apart from a few minor breakages, the boat has stood up very well and the different wind speeds and wind angles on this course have given us a lot of data and ideas which will go towards improving our performance. We have a big season planned and we have the potential to have a great 2015.”

George David's Rambler 88 at the start of the 2015 RORC Caribbean 600 ©Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

George David’s Rambler 88 at the start of the 2015 RORC Caribbean 600 ©Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

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Another large turnout for the 2015 ORC World Championship

Posted on 19 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: ORC] The Real Club Nautico Barcelona (RCNB) and the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) announces that with passing of the first pre-entry deadline last weekend, 72 teams from 17 countries on four continents have already registered for the 2015 ORC World Championship being held at RCNB over 27 June – 4 July. Organizers thus anticipate a fifth consecutive year of over 100 entries at this annual offshore World Championship, sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF).

To maintain a high-quality event on and off the water, not just anyone can come to this year’s Worlds: there is an entry limit imposed of 120 boats, with invitations extended to Pre-Entries based on the yacht’s and its skipper’s racing records, particularly in previous ORC Championships, as well as the chronological order received.No additional Pre-Entries will be allowed after the pre-entry closing date of 15 May, but any Pre-Entries cancelled or not confirmed can be replaced from the waiting list the organizers will create for those not accepted at the initial entry closing date.

The 2015 ORC World Championship will feature two days of measurement and practice racing, followed by six days of inshore and offshore racing off the coast of Barcelona. The fleet is divided into three classes, with racing within each class to determine three new offshore World Champion teams. Corinthian prizes are also offered in each division for the top-ranked all-amateur teams.

World Champions from previous years will be coming to Barcelona to fight for their 2015 crowns, with one being 3-time winner Alberto Rossi from Italy. His Enfant Terrible team won Class A on his TP 52 last year in Kiel, and on his Farr 40 in 2011 in Cres, Croatia and again in 2012 in Kiel, Germany. Rossi’s quest to be the only 4-time champion in the 16-year history of the event will not be easy – already there are 20 registered pre-entries from 11 countries in Class A, with another past World Champion among them: Christian Plump from Germany, who was the Class A World Champion in 2010, and is now racing his Swan 45 Elena Nova.

For the first time in many years there are also pre-entries registered for the ORC World Championship coming from both North and South America. Notable among them is Bill Coates’s Ker 43 Otra Vez, the first entry to come from the USA to race in an ORC championship in over a decade. Coates and team raced last month to second place in the IRC2 Class and third in the HPR Class at Quantum Key West, will compete in a few more regattas in the Caribbean in the coming months, and then ship their boat to Barcelona.

“We have never raced in an ORC event,” said Coates, “but we have heard a lot about these championships, and are very much looking forward to preparing and racing in Barcelona.” The ORC Worlds will be the start of a summer season of Mediterranean racing for the team, who also plan to compete in the Copa del Rey and in the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

Classes B and C already have their share of strong contenders too, including two-time Class B World Champion Vincenzo de Blasio from Italy on his NM 38S Scugnizza, racing now in Class C, and 2013 ORC European Champion Ott Kikkas from Estonia racing another NM 38S, Sugar 2.

Porto Carras site of 2016 ORC European Championship

The ORC Offshore Classes and Events Committee has recently approved the proposal bid presented by the Nautical Club of Thessaloniki for the 2016 ORC European Championship to be held in Porto Carras, Greece. Final approval will be made by the ORC Congress at the Annual General Meeting in November in Sanya, China. Dates are still to be determined, but may likely be at the end of June or early July, 2016.

“Porto Carras is a fantastic resort marina complex, and has a proven track record of experience hosting numerous other regattas and events,” said Akis Tsalikis, Chairman of the Hellenic Offshore Committee. “The perfect weather conditions, excellent facilities, and close proximity to Thessaloniki make this in ideal location to host a major championship regatta like the ORC Europeans. We look forward to working with ORC to create a world-class regatta that attracts entries from the Eastern Mediterranean, throughout Europe and beyond.”

“It is very encouraging to see our championship events attracting such strong interest from sailors, even from as far as the USA,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. “Organizers as well seem to be very interested in hosting our regattas, since we now have both our major events determined for 2016 as well and bids for events out as far as 2018. This is a great message for sailors that there is such stability and strong interest in offshore sailing.”

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RORC Caribbean 600: Sensational fleet gathers in Antigua

Posted on 19 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: RORC] An amazing fleet of yachts from around the globe have come together for a spectacular Caribbean rendezvous. Fort Charlotte, Antigua will be the starting and finishing point for a sensational 600-mile yacht race around 11 Caribbean islands. Since 2009, the RORC Caribbean 600 has been growing in popularity and the seventh edition boasts an astounding fleet of yachts: record breaking high performance racers, magnificent schooners, elegant classics and fast production yachts. World class sailors will be taking part, rubbing shoulders with royalty, captains of industry and passionate Corinthian amateurs.

The course meanders through the stunning central Caribbean affording amazing scenery, but the RORC Caribbean 600 is not just a joyride. Competitors can expect little sleep as the myriad of corners create many manoeuvres. The racing is electric but the high speed action in tropical heat can be exhausting. At the finish, the welcome party for the crews has become legendary. Every boat is cheered in, regardless of the hour, for a cold beer and a warm welcome.

The monohull course record for the RORC Caribbean 600 (40 hours 20 mins 02 secs) was set by George David’s Rambler 100 in 2011. The quality and depth of the fleet in this year’s race means that the quest for line honours will be the most dramatic in years.

The overall winner is decided by the RORC IRC rating system and the calibre of the fleet is such that this year’s winner is almost impossible to predict. Teamwork, tactics, and a share of good luck will decide the winner. Over the past six editions, only one 100-footer has won the race overall: Rambler 100. High performance yachts ranging from 50-72 feet have won the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy on four occasions.

This year three projects, new to the race, will fit into that category: Bryon Ehrhart from Chicago, Illinois, will be racing Reichel Pugh 63, Lucky. Piet Vroon’s newly acquired Ker 51, Tonnerre 4, from Breskens, Netherlands and British TP52 Sorcha, sailed by Peter Harrison, make up a trio of yachts that will be amongst the favourites for overall victory under the IRC rating rule.

The seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 has entries from over 14 different nations and crew from many more. Throughout the fleet there is a myriad of class champions from famous yacht races around the world.

United States of America

George David’s brand new hi-tech 88ft Rambler is now in Antigua, hoping to lower the bar for the course record for the RORC Caribbean 600. Previous Ramblers still hold course records for: RORC Caribbean 600, The Transatlantic Race, Newport to Bermuda Race and Rolex Middle Sea Race. Amongst Rambler’s international crew are numerous world champions including three well-known sailors from New Zealand: Multiple America’s Cup winner, Brad Butterworth and Volvo Ocean Race winners, Stu Bannatyne and Brad Jackson.

Yachts from the USA have won the RORC Caribbean 600 overall on three occasions, more than any other nation. From Boston, Massachusetts, Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer, was the overall winner under IRC in 2013 and the American team is back for their fifth race, having won IRC Canting Keel last year. From Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hap Fauth will be racing his world championship winning Maxi 72, Bella Mente, the overall runner up for the race on two occasions. This year Bella Mente’s crew includes Mike Sanderson, Terry Hutchinson, Ian Moore and Adrian Stead. Bella Mente will be hoping it will be third time lucky in their quest for first place.

Two American flyers will be making their RORC Caribbean 600 debuts: Doug Baker from Orange County, California will be racing Kernan 47, True, and from Houston, Texas William Coates’ Ker 43, Otra Vez, will have Volvo Ocean Race sailors George Peet and Luke Molloy on board. Stefan Jentzsch’s German Carkeek 47, Black Pearl, also makes its debut, with South African America’s Cup navigator, Marc Lagesse, amongst the crew.

Three American classic yachts will be on the start line on February 23rd: James Grundy of Oxford, Maryland will be racing the 84 year-old Alden schooner, Summerwind. The 1938 S&S Yawl Black Watch will sailed by Joseph Robillard of Short Hills, New Jersey and Frank Eberhart from Vinalhaven, Maine will be racing for the third time with the 1970 classic, Hound.

Italy

Volvo 70 Maserati is skippered by the legendary Italian sailor from Milan, Giovanni Soldini. Maserati is designed to break records and holds the Cadiz-San Salvador, New York-San Francisco and the Cape Town-Rio de Janeiro race records. On board for the RORC Caribbean 600 will be Pierre Casiraghi, eldest son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, fourth-in-line to the Monegasque throne and a passionate sailor. Maserati’s owner John Elkann will also be racing. The Grandson and heir of Giovanni Agnelli, John Elkann is the President of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles which owns the Maserati brand, as well as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and many others.

Great Britain

Yachts from Great Britain make up the largest number of yachts by country for the seventh edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.

London based property developer Mike Slade’s Canting Keel Maxi, Leopard, set the course record in the inaugural race and holds numerous speed and race records, including two current Transatlantic races. This year, Leopard has been chartered by UK-based businessman Chris Bake, winner of five RC44 Tour Championships. The core Leopard crew, including Australian skipper Chris Sherlock, will form a formidable partnership with Bake’s Team Aqua. The all-star crew includes America’s Cup winner Cameron Appleton from New Zealand and Volvo Ocean Race winner Jules Salter from Gurnard, Isle of Wight.

RORC Admiral and London surgeon, Andrew McIrvine will be taking part in his sixth race and skippers Southern Wind 94, Windfall. The vast majority of Windfall crew will be RORC members, including Dublin based RORC Commodore, Michael Boyd as navigator. Two RORC Rear Commodores will also be on board: Justin Slawson from Wimborne, Dorset and Adrian Lower from Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex. Windfall should have a fascinating battle with PY100, Liara, owned by Tony Todd from St. Peter Port, Guernsey and sailed by John Walker from Romsey, Hampshire. Liara’s crew include a number of Hampshire’s most experienced yachtsmen including Peter Morton and Kelvin Rawlings from Cowes, Isle of Wight and navigator, Nat Ives from Hamble-le-Rice, Hampshire.

British Volvo 70 Monster Project will be skippered by Andy Budgen from Greenock, Scotland. Monster Project took Line Honours for the Canting Keel Class last year and is a real flyer in Caribbean conditions. Monster Project is one of 10 specialist race charter yachts competing. Well over 100 passionate amateur sailors will be taking up the challenge against the professionals, racing on performance charter yachts.

Last year First 40 Lancelot II, skippered by Chris Jackson from Fareham, Hampshire, was the winner of IRC Two which contains the bounty of race charter yachts. Ross Applebey from Wallingford, Oxfordshire will skipper Oyster 48 Scarlet Oyster, which has won class in the RORC Caribbean 600 on two occasions. Racing for the sixth time, Andy Middleton from Cowes, Isle of Wight will skipper First 47.7 EH01.

Antigua

Antigua is the Caribbean home of two of the world’s most famous schooners. Athos and Adela will continue their gentlemen’s duel in the Spirit of Tradition class. The Dykstra-designed Adela is the smaller of the two magnificent yachts at 182ft and over 200 tons. The sails and systems on board Adela are advanced, but manoeuvres such as handling her giant red 1000m2 masthead spinnaker can require up to 30 crew. Athos is the largest yacht competing this year’s RORC Caribbean 600. The 203ft Hoek design weighs 370 tons, her rig is over 200ft high and she can hoist over 3000m2 of sail. Adela has won the Spirit of Tradition and Superyacht Classes for the last three years, but Athos provided exhilarating competition last year, finishing less than 39 minutes behind after two and a half days at sea.

By sharp contrast with the two largest yachts racing, local dentist Bernie Evan-Wong will be racing one of the smallest, his new Reichel Pugh 37 Taz. Bernie has competed in every RORC Caribbean 600 race since it started in 2009. The RORC Caribbean 600 race captured my imagination the first time I heard about it, exclaimed Bernie Evan-Wong. The thought of full-on racing, night and day in tropical waters for 600 miles was a challenge and an adventure I just could not resist! If you love sailing and are a serious sailor, you have to put the RORC Caribbean 600 on your itinerary.

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2015 of PROtect tapes has begun with a series of successes, from the VOR to the ISAF World Cup and beyond

Posted on 09 February 2015 by Reporter

[Source: PROtect tapes] While at the Boot in Duesseldorf thousands of people visited the PROtect tapes booth, where the news 2015 products were on display, including the LoopXS, teams and athletes were winning on the water in many races, including the most important of this beginning of 2015.

In the Volvo Ocean Race, PROtect tapes won the stage from Abu Dhabi to Sanya as Sole Supplier of *Dongfeng Race Team*. “The PROtect tapes range is a one stop shop for all chafe/impact protection area required around the boat, whether on deck, rig or below deck. It’s tough as old boots, so I know it’s capable of being able to stand up to the rigorous of the Volvo Ocean Race… and keeps my job list down when the boat arrives!” Graham Tourell – Boat Captain Dongfeng Race Team.

No less interesting was the Moth Worlds held in Australia, where the top 3 are using PROtect tapes as well 15 of the top 20 competitors. Congratulations to the reigning World Champion Peter Burling, to the deputy Nathan Outteridge and bronze medalist Josh McKnight.

The US maxi Bellamente and cat GC32 Swiss Armin Strom Sailing Team have stood on the top step of the podium in their respective classes at the Key West Sailing Week, while Tonnerre 4 has finished second in IRC2.

A little further North, in Miami, has just concluded the first stage of the 2015 ISAF World Cup, with all the best athletes racing in the Olympic classes. PROtect tapes went up on the top step of the podium with Nacra 17 catamaran, thanks to the Italians Bissaro- Sicouri. PROtect tapes won also gold and silver in the 49er with the Austrians Delle Karth-Resch and Australians Turner-Jensen. A silver medal too from Australia comes in 470 from Belcher-Ryan. Congratulations to everybody!

In addition to the products for racing, where they receive the most severe tests in order to develop and continuously improve, PROtect tapes has developed custom solutions for the megasailers.

More information about www.protect-tapes.com

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Ready to Race at Quantum Key West Race Week 2015!

Posted on 19 January 2015 by Reporter

[Source: Premiere-Racing] Key West has been a flurry of activity for the last four days as sailors swarmed into town for the annual race week that is being held here for the 28th year. Quantum Key West 2015, which begins Monday on the aqua waters off the southernmost point of the United States, has attracted 115 boats in 10 classes and competitors have been busily preparing and practicing.

Curious tourists looked on with interest as crew members loaded huge sail bags onto the mini maxis that are berthed at the docks in front of the Hyatt. Bella Mente and Shockwave are powerful 72-foot racing machines that require a crew of 18 professionals to race. They will square off in IRC 1 along with Numbers, a 66-footer that returns to the regatta for the first time in several years.

Minneapolis skipper Hap Fauth and his team on Bella Mente will be seeking to repeat as class champs. Veteran pro Terry Hutchinson, who was just named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year for the second time in his illustrious career, joins the team as tactician and is one of many new crew members on Bella Mente Hutchinson has helped owners to victory in the Farr 40 and TP52 class at this regatta, but this will be his first time racing a maxi off Key West. He will rely heavily on the recommendations of navigator Ian Moore as Bella Mente draws 17 ½ feet. “It’s going to be different because there are certain areas of the race course that we cannot go,” Hutchinson said. “That affects your decision-making as a tactician. Half the challenge is to not run aground.”

Shockwave is hoping to avoid the difficulties that prevented it from finishing one race and competing in two others a year ago. Skipper George Sakalleris shook his head when recounting the mishaps, which began with hooking a lobster pot on the way out to the race course. Paul Cayard, a member of the National Sailing Hall of Fame, is the new tactician aboard Shockwave. “That’s one of the wonderful things about having this program, it gives you an opportunity to race with some great sailors,” said Sakalleris, a resident of Framingham, Mass. “Paul Cayard is certainly one of the best and we are very happy to have him aboard.”

Numbers was a regular competitor in Key West for many years under owner Dan Meyers, who steered the boat to victory a few times. Work commitments have prevented Meyers from participating the last few years, but he has chartered his boat to Gunther Buerman for Quantum Key West 2015 Buerman is grateful to have also gotten many members of the old Numbers crew, including renowned tactician Brad Butterworth. The four-time America’s Cup winner knows the boat extremely well and was eager to get her sailing again.

Sakalleris said Shockwave and Bella Mente cannot afford to get into any match racing battles and forget about the smaller boat. “There might be situations when (Numbers) can hurt either one of this. If we pick a fight with each other, she could sail right past us.” Continued Premiere Racing volunteers working the crane at Truman Annex are busier than usual this year as the four high-tech catamarans in the GC 32 class are dry-sailing, meaning they are hauled out of the water at the end of each day’s racing.

These are foiling catamarans capable of doing 30-40 knots in the right conditions. One mistake could lead to a catastrophic capsize and testament to the danger of racing in the GC 32 class is the fact the sailors wear helmets. “The level of stability is so much lower from what you have in a keelboat. You have to make fine adjustments in everything you do in order to keep the boat under control,” said Jason Carroll, skipper of Argo. “Whenever you’re going that that fast there is a chance you can hurt yourself if something goes wrong. We’re still learning this boat so there is a chance we could stick the nose in the water.” Most of the boats competing in Quantum Key West are berthed at Historic Seaport, either at The Galleon docks or Conch Harbor. Walking the long and winding floating piers at The Galleon is like going to a boat show as the slips are filled with Melges 24s, J/111s, Swan 42s and such sleek designs as a Ker 43, Mills 43 and J/125.

Those latter three are among 11 boats competing in IRC 2 with the Swan 42s and High Performance Rule entries also being scored separately as a sub-class. Spookie, a Carkeek 40 sailed by the husbandwife team of Steve and Heidi Benjamin is defending champs in HPR. They will be challenged this year by two newcomers – Tonnerre 4 and True. Skipper Peter Vroon recently took possession of the Ker 51 previously known as Varnua, which he said had a solid track record. The Netherlands resident said he wanted a slightly larger platform than Tonnerre de Breskens, which he successfully campaigned the previous six years. True is a Kernan 47 that that is farly new to skipper Leo van den Thillart of Newport, R.I. This will be the first round-the-buoys regatta for van den Thillart since modifications were made to the boat, which enjoyed some success under the name of Katana.

“This year is a bit different since we have combined with the IRC fleet. We’ll have more varied competition between the two boat types, which I think is good,” Benjamin said of the HPR entries. The Melges 24 class has doubled in size since last year and will feature 13 entries, including six from foreign countries. Michigan skipper Thomas Ritter steered Tramp to second place at Quantum Key West 2014 and admitted it will be tough to repeat that performance with several strong programs joining the fleet this year.

“I think the two Norwegian boats will be very serious competitors. Mikey (Kevin Welch) has historically done well while Steven Boho has been very religious about campaigning The 300,” Ritter said. “Of course, there’s always a surprise. You get here and think you have the fleet figured out, but as the week develops something completely different happens.”

J/70 is the largest class in the regatta with 54 boats and features a who’s who of top professionals. This is the third year the popular sport boat has competed in Key West and Tim Healy is the two-time defending champ. The North Sails executive is the clear-cut favorite again after capturing both the J/70 World Championship and North American crown. “We have another real strong fleet down here this year and I think there are a number of boats that are capable of contending,” Healy said. “The class is maturing and people are learning how to sail the boats better.”

J/111 and J/88 are new one-design classes in Key West and feature seven and six boats, respectively. Cleveland skipper Rob Ruhlman steered Spaceman Spiff to victory in PHRF 1 class last year and is looking forward to racing exclusively against sister ships. “Most people would rather race one-design as opposed to PHRF or any other rating system. Coming from a Lightning background, that is certainly my preference,” said Ruhlman, who hasn’t done enough J/111 racing to handicap the fleet here. “There just hasn’t been enough one-design competition in this class to be able to say there is a clear favorite.” continued PHRF 1 features a pair of hot new designs in the Farr 280 and C&C 30. Those two speedsters will be challenged by more established designs such as a J/122 and Farr 30. Robin Team sailed his J/122 to victory in this class two years ago while finishing second in 2014.

PHRF 2 features another past winner in Tangent, a Cape Fear 38 owned by Gerry Taylor of Annapolis. Taylor missed Key West last year for the first time since 2004 and is thrilled to be back racing off the Conch Republic. “I’ve always loved sailing in Key West,” Taylor said. “The competition is top-notch, the regatta management is first-class and you can’t go wrong with high wind and warm weather.” It doesn’t hurt to almost always be in contention as well. Taylor captured class honors in 2011 and 2013 while finishing second several times. That history makes Tangent one of the pre-regatta favorites in PHRF 2 class, which includes such divergent designs as a C&C 121, J/105 and J/80. “There are some different boats in the class than we have seen in the past so it will be interesting to see how we match up,” Taylor said.

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Sailing Champions League 2015 is taking up speed

Posted on 24 December 2014 by Reporter

[Source: Sailing Champions League] One week before Christmas 20 representatives from eight nations met at the office of the SAILING Champions League in Hamburg to discuss the future of the international club competition. Among them top representatives of leading sailing clubs, associations, agencies and sailing teams. A main part of the meeting was to enable the start of national sailing leagues following the model of the German league “Segel-Bundesliga” as well as to define the structural framework for the cooperation between the national leagues and the SAILING Champions League.

A complex of rules was passed and an international Steering Committee established. Interests of the national leagues were bundled, the rule set defined and the worldwide expansion of the vision of the sailing leagues was pushed forward.

The Steering Committee was elected by the club representatives in Hamburg: Six countries will be representing the interests of the league for the season 2015 – Germany, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy and Great Britain.

An overview of the role and responsibilities of the Steering Committee of the SCL:
– Licensing of national leagues
– Qualification for the SCL as well as the distribution of “Wild Cards”
– Definition of the SCL event schedule
– Sending a “Technical Delegate” to ensure the quality of the events on site
– Supporting the search for sponsors
– Access to associations and clubs

A simple “Rule Book” will be created to be used as a guideline, how to carry out national sailing leagues. This includes the essential principles, that have to be fulfilled by a national sailing league to qualify for the SCL. But the leeway will be big enough for the countries to create a league with the local resources and conditions. Examples: minimum number of clubs, one design boat classes, number of sailing league events per year, on-water judging, short race formats – pretty much the characteristics of the innovative league format.

At the moment, three potential clubs presented themselves as organizers for a SCL event: the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Porto Cervo on Sardinia, the Royal Thames Yacht Club in London and this year’s host, the Kongelig Dansk Yachtklub in Copenhagen.

Following Germany and Denmark, nine further countries are probably establishing a league: Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Austria, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.

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Entries open for 2015 ORC Championship events

Posted on 24 December 2014 by Reporter

[Source: The Offshore Racing Congress] The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) is pleased to announce that final approvals by national authorities have been made so that the Notices of Race and the entry process is now open for the 2015 ORCi World Championship in Barcelona, the 2015 Volvo Estonia ORC European Championship in Parnu, Estonia and the 2015 ORC Sportboat European Championship at Lake Balaton, Hungary.

Over 27 June – 4 July 2015, the Real Club Nautico de Barcelona (RCNB) will host the 2015 ORCi World Championship from its base in Port Vell in the historic heart of the world-class city of Barcelona. Organizers anticipate this ISAF-sanctioned event to be extremely popular, so to retain a high level of quality both on the race courses and at the venue, a limit has been imposed of 120 boats eligible for Pre-Entry.

Invitations will be extended to Pre-Entries based on the yacht’s and its skipper’s racing records, particularly in previous ORC Championships, as well as the chronological order received. No additional Pre-Entries will be allowed after the initial entry closing date of 15 May, but any Pre-Entries cancelled or not confirmed can be replaced from the waiting list the organizers will create for those not accepted at the initial entry closing date.

Registration fees for each class are at a discount for pre-entries until 15 February 2015, then they increase until 31 March, at which time they increase again until entries close on 15 May. Pre-registration is now available on the event website at www.barcelonaorcworlds2015.com.

Three classes will be formed using the ORC’s new CDL system of class divisions, with Class A entries being between 17.00 m and 11.60 m, Class B between 11.60 m and 9.70 m, and Class C being between 9.70 m and 8.50 m. Each class will have its own start and separate results will yield a World Champion in each class.

“This club is 140 years old, and we have a long history of hosting world-class racing. So we are very excited at having the ORC championship fleet come to Barcelona,” says Joaquin Barenys, Chairman of the Organizing & Events Committee of RCNB. “We are going to have some new and innovative features to offer, such as a reliance on web-based solutions for registration, scoring, and other functions to make these processes fast and efficient. We think this will be a very popular regatta, and encourage all interested entries to pre-register early to be part of this great event.”

With its beautiful bay and beaches on the Baltic Sea, Pärnu is the official Summer Capital of Estonia and will be the host of the Volvo Estonia ORC European Championship held over 10-16 August 2015. Organizers from Pärnu Yacht Club and the ESS Kalev Yacht Club have been in the planning phases on this event for over a year already, and are ready to welcome a strong turnout of 70-80 entries from throughout Europe.

Class divisions will be using the same CDL system as described above for the World Championship, with three classes competing for each of three 2015 European Champion titles, except boats eligible to compete in Class C will have to be between 9.70 m and 8.00 m in the CDL scheme. Pre-Registration is open now at www.orceuropeans2015.com, with a discount on registration fees offered until 31 May 2015, then increased until 11 July, and then doubled from the early discount rate after 11 July.

“Pärnu has so much to offer visiting sailors,” says Jüri Sõber, Commodore of Pärnu Yacht Club. “We welcome teams to come and experience the great sailing conditions, the excellent facilities of our club, and the warm hospitality of the town.” More information about Pärnu and its surrounding region can be found on the event website.

After a 5-year hiatus, the ORC Sportboat European Championship has been revived with organizers from the Balatonfüredi Yacht Club hosting the event for 19-24 May 2015 in Balatonfüred, the touristic, cultural and sailing center of Lake Balaton, Hungary. The Balatonfüredi YC is one of the oldest sport clubs in Europe, dating back to 1867, and each year organizes numerous national and international regattas.

Entries to the ORC Sportboat European Championship must comply within the ORC Sportboat Class rules, which state the boats to be between 6.0 – 9.0 m in length, weigh less than 2.0 tons, have a displacement/length ratio in measurement trim (DSPM/LSM0^3) of less than 4.50, and have a crew which is at least 50% ISAF Group 1 (amateur) sailors.

“We are excited about hosting this championship, and invite all sportboats to come to Lake Balaton for what we expect to be a fantastic few days of racing,” said Gábor Csernussi of the Balatonfüredi YC. The NOR, entry information, and more details about the event can be found on the event website at www.orcsportboateuropeans2015.byc.hu. Entries received before 31 March 2015 are eligible for a €200 discount on the registration fee.

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Key West Race Week 28th edition begins January 18

Posted on 18 December 2014 by Reporter

[Source:Premiere Racing] High-speed foiling catamarans, powerful 72-foot Maxi yachts, innovative High Performance Racing designs and large classes of exciting sport boats are heading to the Florida Keys. Quantum Key West Race Week 2015 will once again showcase the full spectrum of sailboat racing amid the beautiful setting of aqua-colored waters and warm sunshine.

Many of the world’s best sailors will come to the Conch Republic for the 28th edition of Key West Race Week, being held Jan. 18-23. For the fourth consecutive year, Quantum Sail Design Group will serve as title sponsor of the iconic event, which is organized by Premiere Racing.

“One important thing Key West has done for Quantum: It’s brought us closer to our clients,” said Farley Fontenot, a managing partner for the international sailmaking company. “We are a company that wants to help sailors achieve their goals. A week in Key West gives our professionals a great opportunity to get out on the docks and interact directly with clients and do whatever possible to help them improve their boat’s performance.”

Fontenot will be on hand to provide coaching for Doug and Dalton DeVos in the Melges 32 class and will be joined in Key West by Quantum professionals sprinkled throughout the fleet, which will feature as many as 11 classes consisting of boats ranging from 23 to 72 feet.

A touch of the America’s Cup will come to Key West for the first time with the addition of the GC 32 class. GC stands for ‘Great Cup’ and the state-of-the-art foiling catamarans mimic the larger models used in the most recent America’s Cup by providing an airborne racing experience. “These boats are fun and fast,” said Chad Corning, program manager for skipper Jason Carroll and the Argo team. “The GC 32 can achieve speeds of 40 knots in 20 knots of breeze going downwind, which is exhilarating.”

“Key West is a really good venue for these boats because it has generally flat water along with big breeze,” Corning said. “Aboard Argo, we are still learning the boat and refining our techniques so this event is a crucial steppingstone in our preparations.”

From a spectator standpoint, the most majestic racing machines in Key West will be those racing in the Maxi 72 class, which typically requires a crew of 17 to race. Minneapolis-based skipper Hap Fauth and his crew aboard Bella Mente return after capturing class honors in 2014 and will do battle with a pair of familiar foes in Numbers (Gunther Buerman, Highland Beach, Fla.) and Shockwave (George Sakellaris, Framingham, Mass.).

Terry Hutchinson, a veteran of multiple America’s Cups and a former Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, recently joined the Bella Mente as tactician. Hutchinson, who has competed at Key West almost every year since 1991, has spent most of the past decade calling tactics aboard a TP52 and Farr 40 at this regatta.

“This is the first time I’ll be racing a boat of this size in Key West so it will be interesting,” Hutchinson said. “We’re going against two strong programs loaded with great sailors so it will be fun, challenging racing. If it’s light air, we’ll have our hands full with Shockwave, which won in those conditions off Copa del Rey.”

One-design racing continues to increase in popularity worldwide and there will be several strong classes at Quantum Key West 2015. For the third straight year, J/70 will be the largest class in Key West with a whopping 38 boats entered so far. Jud Smith (Africa, Marblehead, MA), Mauricio Santa Cruz (Bruschetta, Brazil) and Carlo Alberini (Calvi Network, Italy) are among many well-known skippers that will be competing this year.

One of the nice storylines of the regatta is the resurgence of the Melges 24 class, which is showing a significant increase in entries over last year – a positive sign for this iconic sport boat class. “The Melges 24 is experiencing a grass roots revitalization and Melges sailors are always excited about sailing in venues such as Key West, which has long been popular with the class,” said Peter Craig, President of Premiere Racing.

Brian Porter (Lake Geneva, WI) and his team on Full Throttle have enjoyed significant success on the Melges 24 circuit for a sustained period of time and will certainly be a favorite in Key West. Bora Gulari (Detroit, MI) is another accomplished skipper and a threat to win any class in which he competes. Premiere Racing is very pleased to have a pair of J/Boat classes making one design debuts at Key West Race Week. To date , the J/111 has attracted seven boats while J/88 has six on the scratch sheet. Cleveland skipper Rob Ruhlman steered Spaceman Spiff to victory in PHRF 1 last year and is looking forward to one design racing against other J/111s.

“I think it’s absolutely outstanding that we have a one-design start and we are very excited about the
caliber of competition,” Ruhlman said. “It’s really a great class because the boats are so evenly matched.” This will be the 13th Key West for Ruhlman, who is president and CEO of Preformed Line Products. Ruhlman started coming to the Conch Republic in 1994 with a Tripp 26 and has also raced a Mumm 36, Farr 40 and 13D5 in the regatta. “It’s January and I get the heck out of Cleveland!” Ruhlman said when asked what he loves most about
Key West. “Seriously, the whole event is just fantastic. I think the format has greatly improved over the years. Not much has changed on the water… the race management is still top-notch. However, some of the off-water tweaks the organizers have made over the years have been for the better. There is a sense of camaraderie at Key West that you don’t find at other big events.” The Farr 280 will make their Key West debut next January. Four boats will battle for one design subclass trophies within a larger PHRF class.

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