Tag Archive | "Team Origin"

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New monohull event to rival America’s Cup?

Posted on 18 January 2011 by Valencia Sailing

Update 5:30pm Valencia Time: I guess this doesn’t come as a surprise but the official reply from Team Origin and its principle, Sir Keith Mills, is “no comment”.

Update 4:45pm Valencia Time: The official reply from both Alinghi and Luna Rossa is “No comment”. We will update as soon as we have an official statement from any of the other teams mentioned in the story.

Rebellion in the America’s Cup, that’s how the Spanish newspaper El Mundo chose to call the reports that a group of “big magnates”, including Sir Keith Mills (TeamOrigin), Ernesto Bertarelli (Alinghi), Patrizio Bertelli (Luna Rossa) or Grant Dalton (Team New Zealand), are working towards the creation of an alternative to the America’s Cup.

According to the article that was published on Monday, a group of syndicates is seriously planning to launch in 2013 a new and ambitious competition, able to “throw a shadow” over the America’s Cup. The logic behind this planned event, according to the article, is that the current edition of the world’s oldest sports trophy is too radical, too expensive and without the consensus the American team had promised before becoming the Defender.

There are very few details given in the article about this project other than that races would be held in AC90′s, the yacht initially proposed by Alinghi for the 33rd America’s Cup, and that Rolf Vrolijk has recovered his drafts. In addition, Grant Simmer, former Alinghi member and now CEO of Team Origin, is working on the project as a link between the technical and sport area and the event promoters.

The project is still in its initial phase and in some kind of soul-searching. According to the article, the philosophy of the event hasn’t still been established. Given the fact there is no event in the sailing world that can match the tradition and notoriety of the America’s Cup, the event’s creators are assessing whether it would be commercially viable or funded by private capital from the owners. According to the article, various syndicates that took part in the 32nd America’s Cup have been approached in order to have a approximate idea on the number of teams that would race on the AC90′s in this future event.

We have contacted the teams mentioned in the article for comments on the story.

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King Ben talks to Valencia Sailing

Posted on 07 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Shortly after clinching the ISAF World Match Racing Championship, “King” Ben Ainslie talked to Valencia about his victory, what it meant and what the future has in store for Britain’s most acclaimed sailor.

Valencia Sailing: Is this the happiest moment in your sailing career?
Ben Ainslie: Without any doubt it’s one of them. It’s very hard to compare with the success in the Olympics personally. I think that the interesting thing with personal success and success with a team is that it’s actually more rewarding with a team because you have guys to share it with you. It’s a collective effort. If you win in the Olympics or in something on your own you are obviously proud of yourself but it’s just your own effort. Here it’s fantastic to be able to share something like this with friends, mates and a very strong team. It’s kind of a different feeling but after what has been a very difficult year for us it’s a very good way to end things.

Valencia Sailing: The “difficult year” has been something you have repeatedly referred to during the press conferences in the Monsoon Cup. Why is it so?
Ben Ainslie: Our goal as a team, and the real reason we were match racing or sailing in the TP52′s, was the buildup to the America’s Cup. We wanted to have a strong team, working with designers building TP52′s, with the sailing team in that class and then in the World Match Racing Tour developing our match racing skills. For that all to be taken away was obviously extremely disappointing. It’s been a tough call for us to come here and turn the tables on Minoprio and Richard in the World Championship and the Monsoon Cup. This says a lot about a team in a very positive way to end the season. A lot of people would have just walked away from it after Sir Keith decided we weren’t going to go ahead. We stuck with it and we now are world champions.

Valencia Sailing: Sir Keith Mills obviously had his reasons when he decided not go ahead with a challenge in this Cup. Do you share his opinion it is extremely difficult to beat BMW Oracle?
Ben Ainslie: I believe it is very, very difficult and I would be incredibly surprised if anyone could beat them in this cycle of the Cup. Just simply because they obviously have the resources and the time is very, very tight. We did a lot of research and we thought we could it but you are already late now! There is only one other team so far that have confirmed their entry. Unfortunately, it’s going to be extremely difficult to beat them and I understand they want to hold on to the America’s Cup. They are the defender and they want to take into a new exciting future with multihulls and wingsails. Honestly, my true feeling is that I don’t know whether they will be successful but I actually hope they will because for me and the rest of the guys here our sailing careers have quite often depended on the America’s Cup. So, it’s very important for us they are successful and they turn it into a great event once again.

King Ben and the Team Origin crew sail towards their first World Match Racing Championship. Kuala Terengganu, 5 December 2010. Photo copyright SubZero Images / World Match Racing Tour

Valencia Sailing: If they do have success and it becomes a very successful event for the foreseeable future will that mean you will also personally sail, at some stage, on multihulls?
Ben Ainslie: Absolutely. I don’t know about the rest of the guys but speaking for myself it’s the plan I have. I’m focused on the 2012 Olympics but also to get involved with multihull sailing and start learning about that class of boat and that style of sailing. That’s very important because more than likely the America’s Cup will be on multihulls for the foreseeable future.

Valencia Sailing: Does this mean you will join some Extreme 40 sailing team in the near future?
Ben Ainslie: Yes, I’ve been talking to a couple of teams and I might do some of the racing in 2011 although I will really focus on the Finn sailing next year and try to qualify. It’s going to be very tough in the UK. It is possible though I might end up doing a few of the Extreme Sailing Series.

Valencia Sailing: Have you ever match raced on an Extreme 40?
Ben Ainslie: No, never. but I think it’s going to be a very different type of match racing. I don’t think you’ll see this sort of tight, close, contact situations we had here. The start will be pretty critical and I think there will be some pretty big gains and losses off the start line and from there it will be all about defending your lead. The pressure differences in multihulls make a much bigger difference than they do in monohulls so their might be some opportunities for the boat behind downwind but I think that the start and the first beat will be super critical, only the distances between the boats will be greater.

Valencia Sailing: If again it turns out to be a very successful event, not only in this edition but for a number of editions, do you envisage a “DNA shift” in the sport of sailing where their “environment” is not made up of Optis, Finns or TP52′s but Hobie cats, Tornados and Extreme40′s?
Ben Ainslie: I don’t think so because the multihulls aren’t something new, neither is the wingmast.

Valencia Sailing: Definitely, but it is the very first time they are in the sport’s pinnacle event.
Ben Ainslie: That’s correct but you know people that want to be involved with the America’s Cup will have to learn those boats and skills but most kids, when they are learning to sail the first thing they are looking forward is grabbing the youth championships and the Olympics. Multihulls might come into the Olympic games but in total they will be in monohulls in the foreseeable future. I don’t see a huge shift in the sport.

Valencia Sailing: Talking about the Olympics you didn’t sound overly optimistic about your position in the UK team. Did I get that wrong?
Ben Ainslie: Well, your place is never guaranteed. It isn’t the America’s Cup. Just because you won the Olympics it doesn’t mean you have a guaranteed entry. We have a very strong squad in the UK with 4-5 guys in the top 10 of the world and it’s going to be tough. I’m obviously optimistic and I’m very positive about the next 6 months and the fitness, training and racing I have to do in order to get back to the top level for the regattas next summer which are going to be key to my qualifications.

Valencia Sailing: Last but not least, is it too early too talk about the 2016 Games?
Ben Ainslie: Yes, very early! However, I love sailing in Rio, I have sailed there a few times for Finn and Laser championships and I loved it.

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Ben Ainslie wins ISAF World Match Racing Championship and Monsoon Cup

Posted on 05 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Britain’s Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN has won his first ISAF Match Racing World Championship title by winning the Monsoon Cup on a day of high drama in Malaysia. The three-time Olympic gold medalist was in imperious form at the deciding regatta having staged a stunning late season charge to snatch the title from the clutches of long time series leader Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team.

In what was the most enthralling ever finish to the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) the Ainslie v Richard duel went to the very final day of the final event of the season. Having turned the screws on Richard all week, Ainslie knew that if he won his Semi-Final and Richard failed to win his play-off race then the title would be his.

Ainslie’s illustrious crew has been in such pressure situations many times before and the experience clearly showed. Their 2-0 victory over Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team sparked celebrations among the TEAMORIGIN crew, which includes two-time Olympic gold medalist Iain Percy, Christian Kamp, Mike Mottl and Matt Cornwell.

Highlights from the final day of the Monsoon Cup. Kuala Terengganu, 5 December 2010. Video copyright World Match Racing Tour

With the World title in the bag there was still unfinished business with the Tour’s richest final at stake. Ainslie and his crew kept their composure for an epic final against Australian star Torvar Mirsky of Mirsky Racing Team. The confident young skipper reached the final with consummate ease, defeating Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing 2-0 in their Semi-Final.

It was a fitting finale to an enthralling 2010 World Match Racing Tour, with nail-biting match racing that went to the wire: Mirsky recovered from a shaky start to take the first race by a comfortable margin. But Ainslie was 11 seconds ahead at the finish of the second. After four races the score was again even, leaving everything hanging on the fifth, which went in Ainslie’s favour.

Commenting on his landmark victory, Ainslie said: “It was obviously a great way for us to end as a team. It was very tough out there today but it was a united effort and we’re really happy all round. For the whole team this has been massive for us. We’ve enjoyed been on the Tour an incredible amount.”

For Richard it was a disappointing end to what had been a fantastic season in which he led the Tour from the opening race at Match Race France in April. Two further wins followed at the Korea Match Cup and the St Moritz Match Race. However a mid-season blip and a stuttering finish to the year with poor performances in Bermuda and then finally Malaysia have cost Richard dearly, leaving him in second place in the Championship.

Richard reflected: “Obviously it’s a huge disappointment to have finished second in the Championship, having been first all season. Ben has a very strong team and they really deserve to be World Champions. I was happy with our preparation for this event and we sailed a fantastic season, making the podium five times. It’s a year we can be really proud of.”

“King” Ben and his crew are the kings of the world. Kuala Terengganu, 5 December 2010. Video copyright World Match Racing Tour

A stellar season
The tone for the stellar season was set back in April at Match Race France when the two Championship contenders locked horns in a tense final. It was the Frenchman who landed the first blow of the season, winning his home title and setting the early pace in the race for the Championship.
Richard continued his excellent form to build a formidable lead in the Championship. The Frenchman followed up victory in his home country with a third place at Match Race Germany before going on to land his second win of the year at the Korea Match Cup, beating Britain’s two-time World Champion Ian Williams, Team GAC Pindar.

It was an impressive start, however the Championship is based on skippers’ five best Tour results, plus their Monsoon Cup points – so he needed to keep his momentum. It was at the next stage at the Portimao Portugal Match Cup that the Frenchman then showed his first signs of weakness with a poor result, managing only seventh.

It was this juncture that Ben Ainslie really upped his game started his in a bid to realise his title ambitions. The Englishman made his intentions clear by beating former Tour Champion Jesper Radich in the final while Richard’s mid-season malaise continued with another seventh place.

As the Tour moved on to the stunning mountains of St Moritz, the Frenchman bounced right back to form, winning the event with a key victory over Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing, while Ainslie had to settle for fourth. With Ainslie having lost ground in the mountains, his title hopes took a major body blow in Denmark when the Englishman suffered his worst result of the season with his own seventh place finish.

Ainslie’s mind may well have been elsewhere at the Danish Open as the event coincided with the deliberations as to whether his TEAMORIGIN would pull out of the running for the America’s Cup. However, having regained his focus, Ainslie hit straight back at the next regatta in Bermuda. Reflecting on that period of the Tour, Ainslie said: “Denmark was one of those events at which nothing seemed to work for us, but we’ve always liked Bermuda – both for the boats and the venue – and were looking forward to doing well there.”

The island has been a happy hunting ground for the 33 year-old who won his second consecutive Argo Group Gold Cup to propel himself back into the reckoning with just the Monsoon Cup to go.

With the chips down and knowing that nothing but success would do Ainslie has once again proved why he is one of sailing’s most decorated skippers. With the WMRT trophy joining the multitude of accolades in Ainslie’s bulging trophy cabinet the Monsoon Cup brings down the curtain on another fantastic season for the World Match Racing Tour.

Final World Match Racing Tour Standings:
1. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 126
2. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 111
3. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 106
4. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 90
5. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar 87
6. Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team 82
7. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 65
8. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 60
9. Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team 45
10. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Victory Challenge 29

Final Monsoon Cup placings:
1. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN
2. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team
3. Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team
4. Björn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team
5. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar
6. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra
7. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing
8. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team

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Ben Ainslie, brand new ISAF World Match Racing Champion

Posted on 05 December 2010 by Valencia Sailing

Ben Ainslie and TEAMORIGIN – Iain Percy, Christian Kamp, Matthew Cornwell and Mike Mottl showed world-class match racing skill in the tricky conditions presented by the Terengganu River this morning, to win the coveted 2010 title.

Having knocked Mathieu Richard out of the semifinals yesterday, Ainslie had the best possible chance of winning the Championship. His chances got even better when this morning, Richard was beaten 2-0 by Bruni in the 5-to-8 knockoffs and was renegaded to 8th place in the Monsoon Cup overall leaderboard.

All the British had to do was beat Björn Hansen in the semifinal and they did just that. They went on to take both races in a commanding way and advanced to the finals. Regardless of the outcome of the Monsoon Cup finals against Torvar Mirsky, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Christian Kamp, Matthew Cornwell and Mike Mottl are the world’s best match racing crew in 2010.

It’s a pity we won’t witness what could be a clash of titans in 2013 between Ben Ainslie and James Spithill at the 34th America’s Cup.

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Ben Ainslie: Disappointing to be out of the Cup – Great to be back Finn Training

Posted on 02 November 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Ben Ainslie] The decision to pull TEAM ORIGIN out of entering and competing for the Americas Cup was obviously extremely disappointing. For some of us it has been three years of work, getting the team to a position where we had a strong core group to move forward, with enough talent and experience to have a realistic shot at winning. Personally, the biggest disappointment is losing the opportunity to work with such a strong group of people and despite the relative failure it has been a huge learning experience. The Cup is still a huge ambition of mine and the lessons learnt from this period will definitely be of use in future campaigns.

It was a bold move by BMW Oracle to move the America’s Cup into the realm of multihulls with wing sails; I believe a large part of this decision was to do with the ongoing commercialisation in the sport of sailing. This is something that sailing, like other sports, is going through and whilst I fully accept the need to make our sport more spectator friendly and commercially viable, there is also a danger of taking away the essence of the true sporting challenge. There is a very fine balance between the two and I honestly hope the 34th America’s Cup manages to develop great racing which encapsulates the media and sailing audience. It will be a new era for the Cup, it’s vital that the teams involved are properly supported to give the event the credibility that it badly needs.

Obviously, not challenging for the America’s Cup has made my life a lot simpler with regard to my goal of racing in the 2012 Olympics. Before we knew what the plans for the next Cup were, I had tentatively talked about Finn training in Southern Europe during this winter with the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in late January probably my next event. However, the unexpected change means I’m now heading to Australia next week to train and compete at the Perth International Regatta in November as well as at Sail Melbourne in D ecember.

Great to be back Finn Training

I have always really enjoyed going back into the Olympic environment and trying to be successful in 2012 is very much my focus now. With my coach David Howlett and Mark Andrews we’ve had a few days’ Finn training at Weymouth and Portland, which has been great. We’ve been trying out new bits of kit and just getting used to the boat again as I’ve not been in a Finn since Sail for Gold Regatta in early August. There is genuinely always something a bit special about sailing at Weymouth, knowing that every time you get out on the water you are picking up as much information as you can about the conditions and what is going on around you. Weymouth’s always a difficult place to sail so the more time you can spend there the better. Saying that it is getting pretty cold now and I need to get out on the water as much as possible, so being able to spend a couple of months in the breeze in Australia is going to be the best way for me to get my hiking legs and sailing fitness back up to where it needs to be for the Finn.

My British teammates Ed Wright and Giles Scott have both sailed really well this season, with Ed winning the World title and Giles winning Skandia Sail for Gold. These two guys in particular are going to be really tough to beat but competition of that level gives you an extra focus. I have some hard yards ahead of me to get to the required levels of sailing and fitness but there is something satisfying about pushing yourself harder with an end goal in sight. I’m fortunate to have a great coach in David Howlett and some fantastic sponsors like J.P. Morgan Asset Management behind me, support like that makes a huge difference.

Retaining the Gold Cup

It was nice to go out to the World Match Racing Tour event in Bermuda and retain our Argo Gold Cup. The team was Iain Percy, Christian Kamp, James Stagg and myself. The regatta started just days after the TEAM ORIGIN announcement, which was pretty tough as we were all still pretty disappointed. I was really pleased with how we dealt with the frustration and although we didn’t sail brilliantly in the early rounds we saved our best sailing for the final.

That victory also means we can still win this year’s World Match Racing Tour. The final event is in Malaysia at the start of December and we will go there sitting third in the standings. We have an outside chance of coming out on top and will be pushing hard for a good result at our final event under the TEAM ORIGIN colours.

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Ben Ainslie Rallies His Team to Victory in the Argo Group Gold Cup

Posted on 11 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: World Match Racing Tour] Triple Olympic gold medalist Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN put in a sublime performance to add a second Argo Group Gold Cup to his team’s trophy cabinet after a scintillating final against Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team in Stage 8 of the World Match Racing Tour.

The final had all the hallmarks of a classic with Radich showing consistently good form throughout the week with 12 wins out of 13, while Ainslie and his crew had been gaining momentum day by day. For added spice, Radich was seeking retribution for his final defeat at the hands of Ainslie in stage 5 of the Tour – Stena Match Cup Sweden.

In the first race, having eye-balled each other on the start line waiting for one another to flinch, both skippers breathed down each other’s necks on the first run. Having rounded the leeward mark, they soon came together once more with Ainslie dialing down to duck below Radich’s stern. The Dane then held a tiny advantage approaching the second windward mark on port tack to clear just inches ahead of Ainslie and re-take the lead, which he held to the finish.

The world’s best match racer? Hamilton, 10 October 2010. Photo copyright Subzero Images/ World Match Racing Tour

Ainslie had a tantalizing wait to get his revenge, as dozens of Optimists flocked onto the race course for the RenRe Junior Gold Cup final, featuring young sailors from each of the competitor nations at the Argo Group Gold Cup. He used it to good effect though, as Ainslie rallied his team to take full advantage of the 10-12 knot breeze in his next race.

Having masterfully controlled Radich in the pre-start, Ainslie was a nose ahead at their first cross, which he held to round the windward mark in pole position. With his trusted tactician, Iain Percy at his side, the Briton switched to protect the right hand side of the course on the second beat. It paid off as their boat picked up a left-hand wind shift to take an unassailable lead to the finish.

The umpires worked at a frenetic rate in match 3, as Ainslie and Radich repeatedly crossed tacks, resulting in contact and a penalty for Radich. After a thrilling rounding of the windward mark, Radich threw in a dummy gybe, then followed it with a full gybe, hoping to cross ahead of Ainslie. Unfortuantely for the Danes, it forced Ainslie to change course handing Radich a red flag immediate penalty and effectively a second victory to Ainslie.

The excitement builds

It was do-or-die now for Radich if he wanted to take the Gold Cup and a US$50,000 winner’s cheque home. Ainslie himself knew that for his ISAF Match Racing World Championship ambitions, a win in Bermuda would leave him only two points behind second-placed Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/Black Match Racing and 17 adrift of current Tour leader, Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team going into the Monsoon Cup finale in Malaysia.

Radich had the nose on Ainslie as they approached the first mark, a lead which the Brit tried to take by sticking his bow inside Radich’s boat in an attempt to round first. It was an overzealous move that collected him a penalty. The spectators, who by now had formed an armada of vessels within Hamilton Harbour, could sense the tension as the two teams, watched closely by the umpires, went toe-to-toe: a dramatic luff saw both spinnakers flogging and a penalty against Radich that leveled the score. A double gybe and another huge luff from Radich raised blue and yellow flags, indicating both boats had infringed the rules. The next penalty was against Radich for sailing Ainslie past the layline to the leeward mark. Then, with Ainslie luffing hard, Radich took a final blow, picking up a further penalty that gave Ainslie a big enough cushion to effectively enjoy a victory lap of the course.

Reflecting on his triumph, Ainslie said: “We made it hard for ourselves and had a battle all the way through but maybe what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. We had fantastic racing against Jesper – it was classic stuff, as good as match racing ever gets.”

Radich was modest in defeat: “It was fantastic to be in the final with ideal conditions today. I’m really happy to have been able to put up a strong fight against Ben’s team – at the moment, they are the best match racing team in the world.”

The focus on the sailing world now turns to the final event of the World Match Racing Tour, the Monsoon Cup in Malaysia. The outlook has become bleaker for Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team and Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo Group. They are now 29 and 33 points behind overall leader Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team respectively, with their fate lying in the hands of Richard, Ainslie and Minoprio. Richard will no doubt be pleased that his overall lead remains intact, with Minoprio only closing the gap by two points. After a challenging week Ainslie’s team will have been buoyed by their emphatic victory in Bermuda and the opportunity to take the overall Match Racing World Champion title in Malaysia.

Overall Results at the Argo Group Gold Cup
1. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 25 Points
2. Jesper Radich (DEN) Gaastra Racing Team 20 Points
3. Johnie Berntsson (SWE) Berntsson Sailing Team 15 Points
4. Eric Monnin (SUI) Swiss Match Racing Team 12 Points
5. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 10 Points
6. Taylor Canfield (USA) 8 Points
7. Reuben Corbett (NZL) Black Sheep Racing 6 Points
8. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 4 Points

2010 ISAF World Match Racing Tour Standings
(After Stage 8 of 9)

1. Mathieu Richard (FRA) French Match Racing Team 105 Points
2. Adam Minoprio (NZL) ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing 90 Points
3. Ben Ainslie (GBR) TEAMORIGIN 88 Points
5. Torvar Mirsky (AUS) Mirsky Racing Team 76 Points
5. Ian Williams (GBR) Team GAC Pindar sponsored by Argo Group 72 Points
6. Jesper Radich (DEN) Radich Racing Team 60 Points
7. Francesco Bruni (ITA) Azzurra 53 Points
8. Peter Gilmour (AUS) YANMAR Racing 51 Points
9. Bjorn Hansen (SWE) Hansen Global Team 33 Points
10. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) Sigma Racing Team 29 Points

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TEAMORIGIN DECIDES AGAINST AMERICA’S CUP CHALLENGE

Posted on 01 October 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: Team Origin] TEAMORIGIN, the yacht racing team established by Sir Keith Mills, and skippered by triple Olympic Gold Medallist, Ben Ainslie, announced today that it will not be challenging for the next America’s Cup scheduled for 2013.

The team, which was set up in 2007, has been waiting for three years to enter the America’s Cup, which was delayed when the US team, BMW ORACLE Racing, took the Swiss team, Alinghi, through the US courts. The US team won the court battle and won the 33rd America’s Cup Match to become the America’s Cup Defender in February this year. The new US Defender has recently announced the format for the next America’s Cup, including the rules and type of boat to be raced. TEAMORIGIN has also been briefed by the Defender and has made numerous comments on both the regatta rules and class rule.

Having now had a chance to analyse the race format, the proposed fixed wing catamaran boat, the timetable, rules and costs, Sir Keith has concluded that the 34th America’s Cup is neither viable commercially, nor an attractive sporting contest for TEAMORIGIN. Therefore he has decided that the team will not submit a challenge when the challenge period opens on 1 November.

Sir Keith Mills, TEAMORIGIN Team Principal, “After three years of waiting in the wings to enter a British team in the America’s Cup I am bitterly disappointed that we will not be competing. However, the format and timetable decided by the Defender, BMW/Oracle, is simply not viable for TEAMORIGIN. We have assembled an outstanding team, led by Grant Simmer and Ben Ainslie, and I am personally very sorry that they won’t now get the chance to race for a British team in the next America’s Cup”.

Over the next couple of months TEAMORIGIN will be considering whether it will compete in other yachting events over the next few years.

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TP52′s have first training race in Cagliari under light and shifty conditions

Posted on 18 September 2010 by Valencia Sailing

[Source: AUDI Medcup] Light to moderate breezes, overcast skies and humid late summer temperatures gave the ten 52 Series teams which took to the waters off Cagliari, Sardinia a good work out in the lower reaches of the wind range but most teams will be looking forward to a diet of stronger winds for this Region of Sardinia Trophy, such as this venue has delivered on all three previous occasions.

But for this key finale of the 2010 Audi MedCup Circuit all bases need to be covered, all weather possibilities prepared for.

So today’s reconnaissance practice racing, a refresher for many of the 52 Series teams who have been here before, may have been a head-scratcher at times with some big wind shifts, but it is all valuable experience as the countdown to Monday’s 52 Series Practice Race, and Tuesday’s regatta racing, ticks away.

There is still plenty for teams to gain, and to prove. Britain’s TeamOrigin are keen to finish their debut season on the Audi MedCup Circuit on a high note but also face up to a tussle with world champions, Alberto Roemmers’ (ARG) Matador (ARG) for the third step on the season’s podium.

It’s very light and shifty in the first day of TP52 training. Cagliari, 18 September 2010. Photo ocpyright Ainoa Sanchez / AUDI Medcup

It is the British 52 Series team’s first visit to Cagliari. Double gold medal winner Iain Percy’s last visit to these waters, he admitted with a wry grin today was 17 years ago, when his four times Olympic medal winning skipper Ben Ainslie won his first Laser Radial European title at the same regatta.

The absence of Melges 24 World title winner Lorenzo Brassani means that the helm of Luna Rossa (ITA) has been handed to Trieste’s young Alberto Bolzan (ITA) who steered Pisco Sour at some regattas last season.

With Sunday also offering free practice, the winds look to be a little stronger for the final informal warm up.

Ashore, the Audi MedCup Public Village opened at 1100hrs this morning and has been the focal point of the day, going through to this evening’s reggae band Zaman who kick off a full week of musical entertainment into each evening. Tomorrow it is the Rocket Queens.

This evening, with all of the 52 Series boats assembled pristine and race ready, the Audi MedCup Public Village opens the pontoons to public for visitors to see these high tech machines up close.

The Audi MedCup Public Village is open each day with free access from 1100 to 2100hrs.

Quotes of the day:

Iain Percy (GBR), tactician of TeamOrigin (GBR): “It’s my first time back here for, I think, I’m embarrassed to say, 17 years. So I realized how old I was, I did the Laser European championships here when I was very young. But it was great out there today, the sea-breeze was almost wanting to come in, and then went, and then came in again. But the racing I think can be really fun. Overall I think of all the cities we’ve been to this season have all been really fantastic. This place has such a nice feel, and it feels good with where we are. We’re looking forward to this last event. But it’s funny you never quite know what the conditions are going to be. It can surprise even what you think yourself is going to happen.”

Francesco Bruni (ITA), tactician of Matador (ARG): “Today conditions where funny by usual Cagliari standards. Winds here are usually pretty constant, either sea breeze or mistral are the main wind directions. But today we’ve had a mix of both of them with 40 to 50 degrees shifts in two minutes. We’ve played the role of race committee today on the water, so to speak, and it’s been difficult. The clouds we’re not helping the wind settle. Seven or eight boats ‘raced’, the rest were practicing on their own.”

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