Tag Archive | "SUI-91"

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Meanwhile in Valencia… it’s rainy, windy and very cold

Posted on 26 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

After a long marathon that lasted more than 3 years, the America’s Cup in Valencia has reached what could be the last kilometer. The stadium can be seen but the last hundreds of meters and the laps inside it will be tough and will need great effort and sweat. This must be the situation the challengers are facing right now and all of them (with the exception of Emirates Team NZ) together with the defender went training today in an unusually rainy, cold and windy day.

Thirteen degrees centigrade in late March could be business as usual for our Danish or Swedish readers but here in Valencia it’s damn cold. Still, it’s not the low temperatures that could make sailors worry but the volatility in weather conditions, although after all it’s spring and such abrupt changes are to be expected. Paul Cayard’s words that “to get to June, you have to survive April and May”, are being verified. It will be very interesting to see what kind of weather next week will bring.

Commenting on the individual teams, the base of Emirates Team New Zealand was the only one with no apparent sign of activity. According to what Grant Dalton, the team’s general manager, stated in various press interviews, the six-day holiday ends tomorrow Tuesday. On the race courses, there was lots of intensive races between the various teams and most of the action, surprisingly, took place fairly close to the beach.

Alinghi’s SUI-91 being towed out of Port America’s Cup for training with SUI-100. Valencia, 26 March 2007. Photo copyright, Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Alinghi’s SUI-100 being towed out of Port America’s Cup for training with SUI-91. Valencia, 26 March 2007. Photo copyright, Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Time for some stretching aboard China Team’s Longtze on their way out of the canal. Valencia, 26 March 2007. Photo copyright, Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

ESP-97 of Desafío Español towed out of the canal. Valencia, 26 March 2007. Photo copyright, Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

ITA-99 of Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team towed out of the canal. Valencia, 26 March 2007. Photo copyright, Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

GER-89 of United Internet Team Germany towed out of the canal. Valencia, 26 March 2007. Photo copyright, Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

Alinghi prepare for an in-house race with SUI-100 and SUI-91 while in the background Areva Challenge on FRA-93 is racing against Mascalzone Latino Capitalia Team on ITA-99. Our apologies for the quality of the picture but it was taken from the beach. Valencia, 26 March 2007. Photo copyright, Pierre Orphanidis / Valencia Sailing

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Alinghi’s SUI-91 flies back to Valencia

Posted on 05 March 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] SUI-91 arrived in Valencia yesterday afternoon on an Antonov plane from Dubai. SUI-64 is due to follow by ship.

This is the first time during this campaign that the Swiss Defender has flown a racing yacht, the last being in 2001, when the team flew SUI-64 from Geneva to Auckland where they successfully won the America’s Cup in 2003.

The plane for the occasion was the Antonov AN-124, one of 56 built and introduced in 1986. It can carry up to 150tonnes and 88 passengers, although they rarely take more than a few due to limited pressurisation in the fuselage. Six crew members fly the 68.96m plane – which stands 20.78m high and has a wing-span of 73.3m – at a maximum speed of 865km/h and a cruising speed of 800km/h.

The Antonov landed in Valencia on Sunday, late afternoon and SUI91 will be transported to the Alinghi base during the course of Monday. Sailing is on schedule for mid-March.

SUI-91 lands at Valencia’s airport from Dubai. Valencia, 4 March 2007. Photo copyright Ivo Rovira / Alinghi

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UBS Dubai Defender Trials: Helmsman selection for LV Act 13? “Too close to call…”

Posted on 19 February 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] Ed Baird and his crew win Round 2 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials

As Alinghi wraps up the winter training at the Dubai International Marine Club, the foreseen announcement of the helmsman for Louis Vuitton Act 13 has been postponed. Syndicate head Ernesto Bertarelli and team skipper Brad Butterworth explained at a press conference, also attended by Grant Simmer, managing director and Jochen Schuemann, sports director, that “it was too close to call” and Alinghi has scheduled further racing in Valencia before the team makes a decision on the helmsman.

This was on the final day of Round 2 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials, a two round affair that saw Ed Baird and Peter Holmberg and their respective crews go head to head with SUI64 and SUI91. Baird and his crew won Round 1 on a 3-all tie-breaker and they also went on to win Round 2, but as the decision of a helmsman is not based on the points, it has been postponed. Butterworth explained: “The racing has been very, very close. For us it is a tough decision and this time it has been too close to call, plus we are really keen to keep this healthy in-house competition going when we get back to Valencia. When we get back we’ll be launching SUI100 and racing her against SUI91 and the team is committed to this in-house racing process, so we’re going to keep it going as we think this is good for our team.”

Ernesto Bertarelli, team syndicate head, gave his thoughts: “This is the end of a very nice chapter of the Alinghi story for the 32nd America’s Cup. We have really enjoyed our stay in Dubai and have greatly benefited from being here. I am particularly pleased that by coming here, we have been able to touch another part of the world, having sailed in San Francisco and Newport, then later the Louis Vuitton Acts in Marseille, Sweden and Trapani and now back in Valencia. I think this is especially important since the Cup is a very old and extremely international trophy – if we can open new windows to our sport in locations such as this one here, then we can all be proud of what we have achieved. Of course, none of this would have been possible without UBS, our Main Partner, and the Dubai International Marine Club with their logistical support.”

Race day 4 – a shifty day
The last race of the event was delayed due to unstable conditions, but when it finally got away, the boats had a split tack start. SUI64 took an early lead in a big shift off the start line. Holmberg and the crew of SUI91 clawed Baird back downwind, closing the gap. But it was not enough and Baird finished 35 seconds ahead bringing the score to 4-1.

Dubai – a good choice
Dubai has been a valuable choice for Alinghi’s winter training. “The conditions here have in general reflected the conditions that we expect in Valencia in June, so we did a lot of testing before turning our focus on racing,” explained Butterworth. “The racing has been great, the level of in-house competition has been high and the team is pushing hard. With the winter training now over, the team starts the breakdown of the compound immediately to get the boats on the ship back to Valencia where training will resume in mid-March.”

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UBS Dubai Defender Trials, Round 2, Day 3: Races cancelled due to lack of wind

Posted on 18 February 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] With the scoreboard 3-1 to Ed Baird (SUI91) at the beginning of Race Day 3, there was everything to play for. Peter Holmberg and Baird swapped boats for the second half of the regatta, but unfortunately, the conditions were against them and racing was cancelled due to light airs.

Tomorrow, Monday 19 February, is the final day of racing and will define the winner of Round 2 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials. The prize-giving at 16:30 will be followed by a press conference at the Alinghi compound in the Dubai International Marine Club. This conference will wrap up Alinghi’s winter training in Dubai before the team returns to Valencia, Spain, to continue training for the America’s Cup Match in June.

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UBS Dubai Defender Trials, Round 2, Day 2: Ed Baird (SUI91) 3 – Peter Holmberg (SUI64) 1

Posted on 17 February 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] Racing got away in a steady 10-11 knot breeze on day 2, with Ed Baird at the helm of SUI91 and Peter Holmberg on SUI64. The boats started on opposite tacks, with Baird tacking over to follow Holmberg out to the right. When Holmberg came back Baird and SUI91 had found more pressure and crossed ahead. SUI91 led around the top mark and although the boats came together on the first downwind leg with more pressure from behind, by the next topmark Baird had almost doubled the lead and went on to win by 49 seconds.

Race 4 was just one lap. Holmberg started to the left of Baird and when the boats came together a few minutes after the start Holmberg showed a small advantage but couldn’t cross and tacked. SUI91 tacked away. SUI64 rounded the topmark a boat length ahead and on the downwind leg both boats were even with SUI64 finding a bit more pressure on the left handside to finish 41 seconds ahead.

Peter Holmberg, helmsman (SUI64): “Our group’s sailing really well, the afterguard made a lot of good decisions, the middle of the boat is putting in a lot of horse-power and the bow is doing a good job, so when we do have a victory, I think it is important to credit the whole team.“

Ed Baird, helmsman (SUI91), at this point during Round 1, was holding 1 win to Holmberg’s 3. For Round 2, he is holding the 3 wins to Holmberg’s 1: “It’s nice to know that we can have a three race streak as well. The boats are awfully close and the teams are both great. We know that no-one will win straight, we just have to do our best in each race and I think the guys have done that. They sailed a really nice race in the last one that we lost today. We just kept putting pressure on the other team, we kept close, we were pushing, we were right there at every opportunity and it didn’t work, but that’s match racing.”

As always, don’t forget to check the dedicated section on Alinghi’s website, here, with yet more excellent video footage.

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Décision SA on Valencia Sailing

Posted on 08 February 2007 by Valencia Sailing

As of today, we are happy to include Décision as advertizer on our website. The credentials of the Swiss high-end boatyard are very hard to beat since they are the ones that built Alinghi’s SUI-64 and SUI-75, the winning boat of the 31st America’s Cup in Auckland. They have also built the Defender’s two new boats, SUI-91 and SUI-100, and as a result have all the chances of having two consecutive wins in the world’s most prestigious sailing competition.

If you want to advertize on one of the most popular sailing websites, just send us an email: info (at) valenciasailing (dot) com

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Ed Baird (SUI-91) wins Round 1 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials

Posted on 03 February 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] Ed Baird (SUI-91) and his crew won two races today to draw even on points with Peter Holmberg. In order to break the tie, the race committee reverted to the boat that won the last race.

Racing got away in 8-10 knots on day 4 of the UBS Dubai Defender Trials, Peter Holmberg (SUI-64) was over the line at the start, he commented: “That was a big mistake on my part, I had the start won and I got a little greedy. I had set a trap for him to come in there and got a little slow and he came in and hooked me and put me over the line.”

With just one windward-leeward, Baird crossed the line 59 seconds ahead to raise his points to 2, edging closer to Holmberg’s 3. In race 6, the last of Round 1, Baird and Holmberg got away to an even start with both boats sailing a long time on port tack. When they met again SUI91 had a small advantage which they maintained to the topmark and downwind to finish 37 seconds ahead.

Baird reflected on what he can take away from this 1st round: “All the guys are being reminded that it’s the simple basic things that you have to do correctly time and time again to be successful. As a team, every time we get into a high pressure race, it’s the basics that win it.”

Team skipper and tactician, Brad Butterworth, gave his take on the event as a whole: “We’ve been sailing with each other a lot over the last few months and the standard of crew work and the way that we sail the boats has improved since we started racing. There’s a winner and a loser in these regattas and it puts a lot more pressure on the crew. We’re trying to emulate a Louis Vuitton Cup and this is the best we can do. I think it is everything that we have asked for and I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Don’t forget to check the America’s Cup Defender’s website for complete coverage of the races. Click here

One minute to go before the start of the last race of Alinghi’s UBS Dubai Defender Trials. Dubai, 3 February 2007. Photo copyright Ivo Rovira / Alinghi

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Racing abandoned on Day 3 of UBS Dubai Defender Trials

Posted on 02 February 2007 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Alinghi] Lightening and torrential rain forced the race committee to abandon racing on day 3 of the Defender Series in Dubai. Ed Baird – today racing SUI-91 – started a little ahead to leeward of Holmberg. Both boats sailed out to the right-hand layline, Holmberg (SUI-64) managed to get across Baird (SUI-91) and round the topmark ahead. Holmberg jibed straight away in a left-hand shift, snatching the lead before racing was abandoned for safety reasons.

He comments on the call to jibe: “Juan Vila, our navigator stood out as really strong on a day like today, when it’s stormy and a bit wild, he has sailed around the world a few times and deals with this a lot,” he goes on: “He saw the storm system coming and felt that it would continue to shift and it paid off.” Butterworth gives his views on the racing so far: “I think we have got to get a bit better, I don’t think we’re sailing the boats to their optimum yet, we can always get better and that applies to both boats. I think we’re not a long way away from where we want to be at Cup time, but we have got quite a bit of work to do.”

Don’t forget to check the America’s Cup Defender’s website for complete coverage of the races. They have also added some excellent video footage and we just wish the rest of the teams did the same. Click here

Peter Gilmour, match racing supremo and consultant to Alinghi, started his work with the defender of the America’s Cup today. Dubai, 2 February 2007. Photo copyright Ivo Rovira / Alinghi

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