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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2013 attended by 7 McConaghy yachts

January 09, 2014

Written by zuzana

Marked by its usual range of challenging conditions as well as ups and downs, the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart was another amazing race, attended by seven McConaghy yachts.

Superyacht Wild Oats XI at the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Photo by Meredith Block

Superyacht Wild Oats XI at the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Photo by Meredith Block

Elation for Bob Oatley’s Reichel Pugh designed superyacht Wild Oats XI which delivered yet again, in a riveting race with Anthony Bell’s luxury yacht Perpetual Loyal from the moment the start gun fired. Wild Oats has now equaled the remarkable record of 7 line honours victories Sydney Hobart  history. Congratulations to Mark Richards and the Wild Oats crew who were under intense pressure to overhaul extremely well sailed Perpetual Loyal on the second day of the race. “We just got faster and faster compared to the other boats – it was a really cool experience.” Said Ricko, Quick to praise the crew, he added, “It’s hard to explain how good the chemistry is on that boat…there is a lot of passion.”

McConaghy Boats can now lay claim to 15 overall victories in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, delivering 15 Rolex Time Pieces to their owners since Rolex have supported the event.

Disappointment however for Tony Kirby and his crew on the newly launched Ker 46 Patrice, who after negotiating the light airs and windless holes, experienced an exciting down wind ride in the building northerly breeze, only to face the ferocious southerly change that would be their undoing. After slamming into steep choppy waves for 4 hours, one particularly bad crash caused a ring frame to crack in the bow of Patrice. Tony elected to retire from the race rather than risk further damage to the new yacht as the wild crossing of Storm Bay lay just around the corner. The southerly change bought winds of 50kts with gusts of 60kts and the steep cold waves rolling in from the south combined with the northerly swell that had built over the last day or so to create steep punishing waves out at sea where Patrice was positioned well away from the shelter of Tasmania. Disappointment would be an understatement for Tony, who was leading the race on corrected time, even though the 4 hours of head winds had slowed the boats progress compared to the larger and faster boats positioned closer to Hobart when the front hit. Regardless, Tony was still elated with the boat and its performance in a range of conditions but particularly enjoyed the hard running, posting an awesome video of the better moments of his race. Remaining up beat Tony has already committed to the 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart and having a go at claiming the elusive Rolex in his new Patrice

Patrice is now in Hobart, and after reviewing the structural design with Ker Design the McConaghy team have fabricated a new strengthened section of ring frame which will be fitted the yacht in time for Tony to continue with his plans to compete in the Geelong Festival of Sails later this month.

Bill Wild’s Reichel Pugh 55 Wedgetail also suffered disappointment at about the same time as Patrice when their carbon fiber mast came crashing down off Tasman Island. Wedgetail was also well positioned for a great result under IRC. Bill and his crew had been nipping at the heels of the highly fancied 60 footers who were lucky to get the right weather window to round Tasman Island with minimal upwind work.

Elation though for Tam Faragher and his Ker 50 cruiser racer Kerumba, who exceeded his and his crews expectations with a 6th overall on IRC and  4th overall ORCi, “a great result for a bunch of amateurs on a cruiser racer” according to Tam. “There has been a lot of preparation over the last 18 months to get to the stage that we can now say with confidence Kerumba is a truly magnificent and special boat. We had our usual crew who have worked hard to increase skills to match the boat which paid off”. “The SW front hit us at 40 knots half way down the Tassi coast but we had some shelter and continued under number 4 headsail and 2 reefed main. Rounding Tasman Island we hit a further storm which was typically 40-50 knots and we saw several 70 knot gusts. Although wanting to reduce sail to storm jib,  the boat was balanced and working to windward at 8 knots when wave action allowed. It was deemed too risky to put anyone on the foredeck unless we had too, if the number 4 blew, we would address it then.”

The Ker 40 Midnight Rambler also features in the same Rolex video looking solid in the wild conditions with storm jib up. Owners Ed Psaltis, Bob Thomas and Michael Bencsik drove the boat hard in the building northerly across Bass strait, and unfortunately blew out all their spinnakers which set them back significantly compared to their competition. Ed and his crew have a reputation for excelling in the tough Hobart’s, having won the gale swept ‘98 Hobart race in their previous 35ft Midnight Rambler, but this year did not favour the smaller boats who were slowed by the strong southerly whilst the bigger boast were tucked away safely in Hobart.

Roger Hickman sailing in his 37th Hobart race, and his Farr 43 Wild Rose did not disappoint however. The well sailed 28 year old original Wild Oats kept the overall IRC results in limbo until the fifth day of the race, threatening to upset Victoire, but the timing of the southerly gale made sure that this was not a race for the 40 footers. Wild Rose saw 50 knots off Flinders Island. Hickman recalled, “The wind was howling, it was really rough, very rough.”

Wild Rose’s speedo pegged 18.5 knots sailing downwind. Hickman said, “I’ve never seen that from an old boat. You’re just on a knife-edge. But they do say if you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space! And we said we were not leaving anything on the table. Wild Rose won Division 4 – and managed to beat all the boats in Division 3 as well.

Congratulations to all McConaghy Boats skippers and crew for battling through another tough Hobart race.

Additional images of 40m Perini Navi sailing yacht STATE OF GRACE (hull C.2180)

January 09, 2014

Written by zuzana

Delivered by the leading Italian shipyard Perini Navi last year, sailing yacht State of Grace (hull C.2180) is the first yacht in the new Perini Navi 40m Fast Cruising series, built at the Perini Istanbul-Yildiz shipyard in Turkey. Designed by the yard’s in-house team in partnership with renowned Ron Holland, superyacht State of Grace made her world debut at the 2013 Monaco Yacht Show, alongside the 60m Perini Navi mega yacht Seahawk (hull C.2193). She has been recently announced as one of the finalists for the prestigious ShowBoats Design Awards 2014. Below are some additional exterior and interior images of this beauty.

40m Perini Navi superyacht State of Grace (hull C.2180)

40m Perini Navi superyacht State of Grace (hull C.2180) - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

Luxury yacht State of Grace under sail

Luxury yacht State of Grace under sail - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

Sailing yacht State of Grace - aft view

Sailing yacht State of Grace - aft view - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

Luxury yacht State of Grace - Exterior

Luxury yacht State of Grace - Exterior - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

Sailing yacht State of Grace - Wheelhouse

Sailing yacht State of Grace - Wheelhouse - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

Superyacht State of Grace - Interior

Superyacht State of Grace - Interior - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

State of Grace Yacht - Dining

State of Grace Yacht - Dining - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

State of Grace Yacht - Cabin

State of Grace Yacht - Cabin - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

State of Grace superyacht - Twin cabin

State of Grace superyacht - Twin cabin - Image courtesy of Perini Navi

New 32m sailing yacht 3200P under construction at Jongert

January 08, 2014

Written by zuzana

Jongert Yachts in the Netherlands is currently working on the new 32-metre sailing yacht 3200P. Scheduled for delivery in 2015, superyacht 3200P is the first of the new range of performance yachts that mix up stylish design, excellent performance levels, as well as the distinctive Jongert standards of comfort and quality. The performance line will eventually be consisting of a 28, 32, 36 and 40 meter models.

Rendering of Jongert 3200P Yacht

Rendering of Jongert 3200P Yacht

Evolved from the Jongert Modern Line, the Performance Line is an exciting performance addition to the Jongert range. The exceptionally sleek lines of these distinguished super yachts are sure to steal the hearts of future owners, while the underlying design is also created to lead the way in regatta courses, whichever you choose. With a Performance Line yacht you can circumnavigate the world and win races along the way… The Jongert way!

Jongert 3200P superyacht running

Jongert 3200P superyacht running

Successful design studio Rhoades Young, which has been involved in many of world’s most successful projects in recent years, is responsible for the exterior and interior design of luxury yacht 3200P. The hull lines are drawn by Doug Peterson, one of the world’s foremost designers with an impressive portfolio and a long and highly successful history of working with Jongert.

Jongert sailing yacht 3200P - Wheelhouse

Jongert sailing yacht 3200P - Wheelhouse

Jongert luxury yacht 3200P - Wheelhouse

Jongert luxury yacht 3200P - Wheelhouse

Ingenious innovations
The Jongert 3200P yacht is packed with sophisticated innovations: With a lifting keel and performance-oriented hull shape these yachts have the potential to excel at every super yacht regatta. Or enjoy breath-taking views with the 360 degree Panoramic outlook from the wheelhouse. Wake up to stunning views in the master stateroom of the yacht, with direct access to a private beach platform. The ingenious transformer provides safe and easy access to shore while it also functions as a swimming platform. The fore ship pool and aft deck seating arrangements ensure exquisitely high comfort standards.

Jongert 3200P Yacht - Owners cabin

Jongert 3200P Yacht - Owners cabin

Jongert superyacht 3200P - Owners cabin

Jongert superyacht 3200P - Owners cabin

Interior Design
The New York apartment-feel, tailored to the individual. Textured woods, leather paneling and soft furnishings create a crisp and clean aesthetic. The Jongert 3200P superyacht is all about style. Your style.

Jongert 3200P Yacht under construction

Jongert 3200P Yacht under construction

Jongert 3200P superyacht in build

Jongert 3200P superyacht in build

The layout of the 3200P yacht includes a full-beam owner’s suite featuring an aft-facing bed that provides stunning views to the horizon and gives access to a private beach deck. Symmetrical guest cabins and an open plan lower saloon and dining area, with room for a third guest cabin. The open plan layout of the deck saloon with large glass doors provides instant access to the cockpit. All the spaces fuse into one large and spacious area. Full of natural light.

Jongert 3200P Yacht - Profile deck

Jongert 3200P Yacht - Profile deck

Designer Jonathan Rhoades comments: Rhoades Young Design are delighted to be working with the prestigious Jongert shipyard on the launch of their impressive new range of performance sailing yachts.

A highlight of the design is the large amount of glass area which increases the interaction between the inside and outside of the yacht, exemplified by the full-beam Owners Suite which opens onto the large aft beach deck via large glass doors.  An assortment of exterior seating locations also enables a variety of experiences to be enjoyed whilst on-board, be it dining in the main cockpit, navigating from the helm stations or relaxing on the aft-beach deck, yachts of the Jongert Performance line provides for every occasion.”

A comprehensive video featuring a 3D animation of both interior and exterior of the new Jongert superyacht 3200P plus a spectacular construction timelapse can be found here.

Technical Specifications of Jongert 3200P Yacht

Delivery: 2015
Category: Performance
Type of yacht: 3200P
Length over all (m): 32
Beam (moulded): 7.87
Draft: 4.00 – 6.00
Displacement: 97.55 tons at light ship
Main Engine: Yanmar
Speed: 12.6 knots hull speed
Rig: Sloop
Naval Architect: Doug Peterson
Designer: Rhoades Young
Interior Design: Rhoades Young
Hull material: Alustar®
Superstructure Material: Aluminium
Masts: Carbon
Booms: Carbon
Main Sail: 292 m2
Jib: 250 m2
Code Zero: 463 m2
Staysail: 109 m2
Gennaker: 731 m2

Below is a selection of the superb charter yachts built by Jongert.

Royal Huisman signs Taiwanese order for a 43m sailing yacht ‘SEA EAGLE’

January 07, 2014

Written by Eva Belanyiova

The prestigious luxury yacht builder Royal Huisman, together with Naval Architect Germán Frers and interior styling architect Rhoades Young, are pleased to announce the signing of a new order for a 43,5m (143ft) sailing yacht ‘Sea Eagle’ (once christened), for an Owner from the ever-expanding South East Asia region. The signing took place on December 31st, 2013. The 43m Royal Huisman superyacht Sea Eagle, the first for Royal Huisman in this region, represents a stylish Luxury Sloop  – a luxurious yet performance-oriented Germán Frers design, providing exceptional potential for individual customisation.

Royal Huisman shipyard - Photo by Cloudshots

Royal Huisman shipyard - Photo by Cloudshots

Distinguished not only for it’s design and engineering merits the order is the direct result of the yard’s long-term commitment to developing business in the region. Over the past several years the team has worked hard to increase awareness and understanding of the Royal Huisman brand into the dynamics of South East Asia. They have also sought to develop an industry network by appointing Regional Liaisons including Bart J. Kimman, director of Northrop & Johnson Asia, who, following introduction acted as liaison between the client and shipyard during the negotiations to secure this order. As a very experienced yachtsman the client, a Taiwanese national has made clear his intentions to attend future Superyacht regattas with this new yacht that will be christened as “Sea Eagle”.

Mr. Kimman will continue to provide an active on-the-ground presence in support of Royal Huisman’s presence in the region by providing future clients with expert advice and guidance, especially those who are new to the world of custom superyachts and to sailing. More specifically, this means an ability to emphasise a fundamental message: that the name of Royal Huisman represents the pinnacle of Dutch quality in superyacht building; and that despite outward appearances, there is a clear distinction between “what looks good” and “what seriously is good” in superyacht building.

There is no doubt that the Royal Huisman brand has begun to build a following among well-informed and aspirational business leaders in the South East Asian region. As a result the Royal Huisman team see today’s announcement representing not just that of “a valued new order” but of “a firm foothold in a valued new market”.

A great success of Southern Spars-rigged yachts at Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

January 07, 2014

Written by zuzana

Southern Spars-rigged yachts have taken Line Honours win in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart for nine consecutive years, with superyacht Wild Oats XI coming in on top for the 7th time, marking a record equalling feat. What is more important to note is that Southern Spars-rigged yachts have reached all of the podium spots for the past five years and top five in the past two years.

Southern Spars rigged superyacht Wild Oats XI at the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Image credit to Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Southern Spars-rigged superyacht Wild Oats XI at the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Image credit to Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

“This grand prix racing is what Southern Spars was built on and it is great to see that the company is a step above the rest, dominating the Sydney to Hobart since 2005. These great results are a direct link to the company’s high performance composite spars and rigging,” says Director Mark Hauser.

2013 saw three new Southern Spars Thin Ply rig packages and one complete refit get stepped in preparation for the Rolex Sydney to Hobart; Bob Oatley’s 100’ superyacht Wild Oats XI, Anthony Bell’s 100’ luxury yacht Perpetual Loyal (ex- Speedboat), Matt Allen’s 60’ Ichi Ban and a complete refit on Karl Kwok’s 80’ sailing yacht Beau Geste’s rig. All four projects were ordered at the same time and needed to be delivered by the end of November in preparation for the race. “This proved to be a challenge for our design and production team, but with true Southern Style we delivered all of the packages on time, ensuring that they were all at the start line on Boxing Day,” says Hauser.

“What is also important to note is that our EC6 carbon rigging has been on all of the winning yachts since 2005 and all four of the 2013 packages chose to utilize EC6,” says Hauser.

This year’s Sydney to Hobart shaped up to be one of the most exciting editions on record, with the battle of the giants taking centre stage. With the newly refitted Wild Oats XI and Perpetual Loyal going head to head, it was a battle never to be forgotten, with lead changes along the way. However it was Wild Oats XI who managed to push a little harder, pulling ahead and holding a 26 nautical mile lead over Loyal until the finish. Dockside Skipper Mark Richards was amazed at how well Wild Oats went when it got windier and windier, and commented, “We just got faster and faster compared to the other boats – it was a really cool experience.”

“The Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht race is the largest and most well respected ocean race in the Southern Hemisphere. For that reason it is held deeply in the heart of the company, with many of the team at Southern Spars having made the historic crossing through the Bass Straight. Congratulations to the all of the owners and crews on board Southern Spars rigged yachts that competed in the 2013 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, with special mention to Gerhard Ruether and his superyacht Zefiro which is currently half way through a round the world circumnavigation,” says Hauser.

2013 Line Honours results (top five all Southern Spars rigged yachts)

Wild Oats XI
Robert Oatley NSW
FINISHED     02:06:07:2711.6
28 Dec, 07:07:27 PM

Perpetual LOYAL (ex-Speedboat)
Anthony Bell NSW
FINISHED     02:09:19:5611.0
28 Dec, 10:19:56 PM

Ragamuffin 100 (ex-Maximus)
Syd Fischer NSW
FINISHED     02:10:48:0010.7
28 Dec, 11:48:00 PM

Black Jack (ex-Telefonica)

Peter Harburg QLD
FINISHED     02:15:09:349.9
29 Dec, 04:09:34 AM

Beau Geste
Karl Kwok Hong Kong
FINISHED     02:15:10:459.9
29 Dec, 04:10:45 AM

Another record edition of Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race attended by 94 yachts

January 06, 2014

Written by zuzana

The recently concluded 69th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was one of the most exciting editions on record. The 94-yacht fleet was composed of five 100-foot maxi yachts, three Volvo 70 yachts, seven former race winners, as well as a seriously competitive lineup across the fleet.

Crowds on south head enjoy spectacular start to the 69th Rolex Sydney Hobart - Photo by Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Crowds on south head enjoy spectacular start to the 69th Rolex Sydney Hobart - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Several newly-launched boats came to the race as ‘dark horses’, having not yet competed or in relatively few races, and with veteran crew who had the experience to make them a threat; among these were Anthony Bell’s sailing yacht Perpetual Loyal (ex-Speedboat, Rambler 100), Karl Kwok’s Botin 80 superyacht Beau Geste; Matt Allen’s Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban, and Jim Delegat’s Volvo 70 Giacomo.

An International Fleet

The iconic 628-nautical mile offshore race is on the bucket list of offshore sailors worldwide, and this year’s race was no exception as it included 22 international entries from Germany, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Cyprus. The German yacht Varuna competed in the major Caribbean regattas last winter, followed by the 2,225 nautical mile Transpac Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu, after which the Ker 51 was shipped to Australia. For owner/skipper Jens Kellinghusen, the trip to the Rolex Sydney Hobart was inevitable, he said, “It’s one of the top events in the world, and it was on our dream list.” Superyacht Zefiro, a Farr 100, is on a round-the-world cruise westward from its homeport in the island country of Cyprus and came to Sydney to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Following the race, Zefiro will continue back to the Mediterranean via Indonesia.

All of the months of planning and preparation culminated in Sydney, as the fleet filled the docks at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Rushcutter’s Bay. At the pre-race weather briefing, tacticians and navigators tweaked their race strategies, as the forecast called for a 10-15 knot southeasterly that would increase as the fleet made their way south.

Though by late on 28 December, a low pressure system moving east through Bass Strait and across Tasmania was forecast to bring a strong to gale force westerly – and while the frontrunners would likely miss that, the mid-sized to smaller boats would likely encounter the system head on. Roger Hickman, skipper of Wild Rose, dockside before the start of his 37th race predicted, “Tonight and tomorrow should be quiet, and then I believe we’re going to get a real pasting in Bass Strait: fresh to frightening, gale-force winds. But that’s the way it is.”

Maxi yachts at the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

Maxi yachts at the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

First day game plans
With a bit of luck, by the Boxing Day race start on 26 December, a low pressure system had moved out to sea leaving behind picture perfect conditions: a 15-18 knot southeasterly, sunshine and blue skies. The Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge provided a stunning backdrop to an extraordinary start venue, with hundreds of thousands of spectators watching from shore, as well as live television and streaming web coverage watched by an impressive TV and on-line audience worldwide.

With their remarkable power and speed, the 100 foot maxis never fail to impress. This year’s race featured five of them: six-time Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours and two time overall winner Bob Oatley’s superyacht Wild Oats XI; Perpetual Loyal, the newly modified Speedboat/ Rambler 100 yacht, Ragamuffin 100 yacht with skipper, Australian yachting icon, Syd Fischer – who celebrated his 86th birthday while competing in his 46th race – Wild Thing yacht, and Zefiro. The size and pace of the top end of this year’s fleet – which all got off under the same starter’s cannon – required a change to three staggered start lines inside Sydney Harbour. The bigger boats set their giant code zero headsails and were off quickly: Wild Oats XI and Perpetual Loyal leading the fleet out past Sydney Heads, closely followed by Beau Geste, Ragamuffin, and Wild Thing, along with the Volvo 70s, Black Jack and Giacomo.

Superyacht Wild Oats XI passing Tasmania's iconic Organ Pipes

Superyacht Wild Oats XI passing Tasmania's iconic Organ Pipes - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Second day strategies
The forecast held true over the first night into 27 December, during which time Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal made the strategic move to head further offshore. Loyal’s tactic worked, as they eked out a gain of close to 14 nautical miles in front of Wild Oats XI, surprising even Loyal’s navigator Stan Honey, who said, “We’re pleased to still be in the hunt, as light air is not our strong point.” By midday though, Wild Oats XI got into her performance groove and started to reel Loyal in and finally overhauled and passed her to take the lead. Ten miles back, Ragamuffin 100 was a close third and briefly led the fleet on handicap. Syd Fischer’s latest boat had a respectable pedigree, originally built as Maximus, it took the line honours win in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart as Investec Loyal. The rest of the fleet eked its way down the coast slowly given the light breeze.

Third day running
The frontrunners reached across Bass Strait, and despite the light breeze, they began to separate from the rest of the fleet. By sunrise, Wild Oats XI had stretched her lead to 26-nautical miles over Perpetual Loyal. Further back, the two Volvo 70s, Giacomo and Black Jack, were pacing each other down the course along with the 80-ft, Beau Geste. All were geared for stronger conditions and struggled to stay in touch with the leaders in the lighter winds.

Later in the day, the northeast breeze increased in advance of the westerly change that would come later that evening. Wild Oats XI reveled in the building downwind conditions, making the most of her most recent modifications, including the much talked about hydrofoil wing, nicknamed the “ironing board”, that kept the bow from nose-diving. The crew was kept busy with constant sail changes – skipper Mark Richards later reckoned they made at least fifty. Wild Oats XI ‘s lead grew to 50 nautical miles, and while Perpetual Loyal was able to claw back some of those, it wasn’t enough. Finally, Wild Oats XI sailed up the Derwent River, and close reached to the finish line and crossed with an elapsed time of 2 days, 6 hours, 7 minutes, 27 seconds. Richards and crew took their seventh line honours win, which tied the amazing record held by the yacht Morna, later renamed Kurrewa IV, one that has held for over 50 years.

Dockside Richards was amazed at how well Wild Oats went when it got windier and windier, and commented, “We just got faster and faster compared to the other boats – it was a really cool experience.” Quick to praise the crew, he added, “It’s hard to explain how good the chemistry is on that boat…there is a lot of passion.”

Sailing yacht Victoire - 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Overall Winner

Sailing yacht Victoire - 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Overall Winner - Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster

Fourth day dramas
The sharp change in weather conditions over night took its toll, with five yachts retiring, including the British yacht Henri Lloyd, which was east of Cape Barren Island when it lost its rudder bearing, and Wedgetail dismasted off of Tasman Island. Despite a forecast that was spot on as to timing, many were surprised by the speed of the southwesterly front. Conditions off the Tasmanian east coast proved treacherous for many in the fleet – though not terribly unusual for the Rolex Sydney Hobart – most notably at Tasman Island, where the rhumbline course required the fleet to harden up and face the brunt of the building southwesterly wind and massive seas.

The yacht Kerumba found a steady 40 – 45 knots off Tasman, with a peak of 57 knots. Navigator Rob Buchanan described a sea state that was manageable: big south Atlantic swells, four to five meters high. He recalled, “We had waves break over us a couple of times, but it wasn’t inordinately rough. We were probably slightly over pressed, a number four jib and a main with two reefs; we took the view that we needed the power in the troughs to get through it.”

Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire had the pedal down on their wild ride south, and when the Cookson 50 crossed the finish line at 8am AEDT, it took the overall handicap lead. The Sydney based skipper would credit tactician and strategist, Sean Kirkjian – veteran of 17 races – and said “He’s a wizard who’s just playing ‘ocean chess’ all the time.” But Victoire would had to wait overnight to see if any competitors could reach Hobart in time to unseat them.

Hobart in a festive mood between Christmas and New Year's Eve

Hobart in a festive mood between Christmas and New Year's Eve - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Fifth day respite
Overnight the weather conditions moderated slightly to 20 – 25 knots. For Roger Hickman’s Wild Rose, any chance of upsetting Victoire as overall handicap leader was not to be. The 37-time race veteran later recalled, “If we could have gone in a straight line at six knots we could have gotten there. But the wind was howling…it was a really a tough, and rough, race.”

By mid-morning the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia confirmed Victoire as the official Overall Winner of the 69th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. At a dockside presentation, Hodgkinson was presented with the Tattersall’s Cup and a Rolex timepiece. Hodgkinson bought the boat as a birthday present to himself with a two-year plan to win the Rolex Sydney Hobart – which he fast tracked, succeeding on his first try with the new boat.

The ebullient skipper recalled Victoire’s tough race, “When we got that heavy northeasterly, there were moments when we had to believe in ourselves and our yacht. We knew this boat had won before, so we let it run. We were only going to win if we pressed really hard…we couldn’t let our foot off the pedal. There were some moments when the foot was right down and it was like ‘oh, this is a ride’.  We were thrilled!”

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) on Christmas Eve

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) on Christmas Eve - Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

Sixth day all in
On 31 December, the final yachts trickled in with last yacht Namadgi, arriving just before 11pm AEDT. As they motored to their berth, they were cheered by tens of thousands of New Year’s Eve revelers lining the shore – just in time for Hobart’s brilliant fireworks display. From a total of 94 race starters, 84 yachts finished the race, and despite some of the most challenging conditions in recent years, only ten yachts retired, a testament to the depth of experience and skill of the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet.

Interest is building in advance of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, which will be the 70th edition. Already maxis Wild Oats XI and Perpetual Loyal are among the competitors that have confirmed they intend to be on the start line, which will be sure to attract the most competitive sailors and yachts from all corners of the world.

boot Dusseldorf 2014 to start next week

January 06, 2014

Written by zuzana

Preparations for the boot Dusseldorf 2014 are well underway. Bookings from the exhibiting sector of the economy give reason to expect good occupancy for the 17 trade fair halls, with their total exhibition space of 213,000 square meters. From January 18 to 26, 1,650 exhibitors from more than 60 countries will showcase their new yachts, new watersports equipment, as well as maritime services at this well known trade fair.

boot Dusseldorf 2013 - Photo credit to Messe Duesseldorf

boot Dusseldorf 2013 - Photo credit to Messe Duesseldorf

Maintained great prior-year levels

“With this result, we’ll definitely be able to build on last year’s great result and strengthen our position in the international trade fair market. The next few months will show whether our expectation of a slight increase will pan out or not. One thing’s clear already: The sector is concentrating its budgets on boot in order to leverage the international clientele with strong buying power offered by Düsseldorf, the central marketplace in Europesays boot Director Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel in a show preview. “We expect a top-notch event that will showcase everything – especially in boating and yachting – a sophisticated audience would rightfully expect, including a large number of repeat exhibitors.”

Each year, boot Düsseldorf attracts some 50,000 visitors from outside Germany. Moreover, there’s the potential of the German market itself, which is rather robust when compared to others in Europe and continues to offer a stable foundation for good business thanks to positive key economic indicators such as  growth and low unemployment.

Diversity of international brands

Visitors from Germany and abroad can expect a rich diversity of international brands in almost every segment offered in boot 2014’s halls. More than 650 exhibitors will hail from abroad, accounting for nearly half the exhibition space. The list of countries ranges from A to Z. The largest non-German exhibitor nation will be the Netherlands, with 135 shipyards, suppliers and service providers, followed by Italy, France, Poland and Great Britain.

Besides individual stands presented by exhibitors from abroad, country exhibits organised by major ship-building nations such as Finland, France, Great Britain, Poland and the Netherlands are also expected.

Boats and yachts: One-of-a-kind indoor presentation

Eleven of the altogether 17 exhibition halls at boot Düsseldorf will be dedicated to boats and yachts powered by sails, engines or even muscle power. A total of 440 shipyards, distributors and importers will show a range of 1,700 boats and yachts there, from canoes and dinghies to luxury yachts and even floating antiques, in a unique indoor exhibit that can’t be found under the roofs of any other trade fair.

A picture-perfect sailboat exhibit will be staged in Halls 16 and 17, featuring 150 international shipyards, distributors and importers. Oyster from Great Britain will bring the Oyster 825 yacht, the largest vessel under canvas at next January’s event.

The special multihull segment in Hall 15 has become a permanent fixture in Düsseldorf, with 20 exhibitors presenting catamarans and trimarans in all sizes, including big names such as Catana, CNB Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot. A Cat Lounge with food and beverage service will be available for exhibitors and visitors making deals or exchanging know-how. Information revolving around the topic “Sailing with catamarans and Trimarans” will be presented at the Multihull Forum, which offers a comprehensive, professionally organised lecture programme on each of the trade fair days.

A representative overview of motorised recreational boating will be offered by 250 exhibitors in Halls 4, 5, 9, 10 and 15. On 1,600 square meters of exhibition space in Hall 9 at boot 2014, U.S.-based Brunswick Group will stage an exhibit of famous brands such as Sea Ray, Bayliner or Quicksilver. The “Big Five” motor yacht manufacturers with their new models will be concentrated in Hall 4 of the show: Bavaria, Bénéteau, Jeanneau, Galeon and Nimbus. Steel-yacht building, a Dutch speciality, will be showcased as part of a group exhibit in Hall 15 entitled “Port 15.”

Upward momentum for luxury segment

More than 40 large and luxurious yachts as well as high-end boats and tenders will again lift up the quality level of the offerings in Hall 6 just a bit further. Be it Azimut, Ferretti, Princess or Riva: The world of luxurious yachts is counting on Düsseldorf! Around 30 of the largest yachts at boot 2014 will arrive at the trade fair by water and will be heaved on shore by the “Big Willi” lift.

Sunseeker and Princess will put forward broad model ranges in the very large yachts segment. Alpha Marine will bring the Performance, Marquis Yachts and Carver brands to Hall 6. Jeanneau will display its elegant Prestige line. Dominator from Italy – last year represented with an image stand – is planning on once again showing a live yacht, the Dominator 640.

The Brits are winning the race in terms of having the most highlight in their range: Princess is setting the standard with two motor yachts in the 30-metre class. Van der Valk from the Netherlands will showcase the 26-metre steel yacht Continental III.

The top-class customers of the sector will once again be able to use the blue motion Lounge in Hall 6, where they will find terrific food, a comfortable space for customer talks and negotiations and an opportunity to shop at exclusive boutiques.

The Düsseldorf Superyacht Show in Hall 7a will be well attended, with 70 exhibitors demonstrating their capabilities in the completion of exclusive yacht-building projects, presenting current plans and models at their info stands and providing details about sector-relevant services.

New: Refit Center

The supplier market at boot is benefiting from a trend to invest in the value-retaining maintenance of yachts and boats. In Halls 11 and 12, 350 international exhibitors will show everything that’s required and possible for refitting boats or making them more comfortable: on-board electronics, motors, accessories. Functional clothing and marina fittings round off the range of offerings in those halls.

The new Refit Center in Hall 11 will offer information and guidance concerning all aspects of retaining and increasing boat values. “Do-it-yourself is not always the best idea in this regard. What can you do yourself, and when is it more sensible or even necessary to hire a specialised provider? That’s the central question to be explored at the Refit Center,” says Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel as he explains the concept.

Trend sports, diving and more

Trend sports, diving, paddling and tourism on water and on shore will be the boot 2014 topics featured in Halls 1 to 3 as well as 13 and 14.

Even though Egypt, the pacemaker for the diving equipment market, will continue to be missed, the world’s largest consumer show for diving sports will be in excellent shape with some 350 exhibitors in Exhibition Hall 3. Direct sales bookings are increasing. The amount of stand space hired by manufacturers and exhibitors from the tourism sector is on par with last year’s. The Philippines, the Maldives, Indonesia, Italy and Turkey will participate in large group stands promoting their countries as diving destinations. Despite an instable political situation at home, Egypt will be represented with ten exhibitors at boot 2014. With PADI, SSI, the International Aquanautic Club (IAC) and the German Sport Divers Association (VDST), all major diver training organisations will be on hand.

The Water Pixel World serving the entire film and photography segment has become well-established in the adjacent Exhibition Hall 4. The presentation is very well-received not just by divers but also by watersports enthusiasts of all stripes as well as active amateur photographers. Minox, Gopro, Rollei, Sealux and Underwater Kinetics will be among the 25 exhibitors and brands introducing their imaging products and photo and film innovations.

In Halls 1 and 2, 70 exhibiting manufacturers and distributors will present the new products for the 2014 season along with an opportunity for visitors to get all geared-up in trend sports such as wakeboarding, stand up paddling, kite-surfing and surfing.

Those in need of a holiday will be enticed by the maritime travel market in Halls 13 and 14. Be it Turkey, Croatia, Italy, the Baleares or the inland waters of East Germany: Anyone looking for the right travel destination for next summer, or those who’d like to charter a boat or attend a training course, will surely find just the right provider among the nearly 300 international charter companies, tour operators, tourism organisations, clubs and associations.

The range of offerings for canoeing enthusiasts is getting broader. Held two years ago, the “World of Paddling” featured a canoe test course and was very effective in attracting new exhibitors, for example from the canoe touring sector. Everything paddlers require for their sport will be on hand at boot 2014, presented by 15 manufacturers and distributors.

“Experience 360° watersports” continues

Intense preparations are underway for boot Düsseldorf, the major watersports event with the “Experience 360° watersports” theme. Two additional experience and theme worlds will enhance the programme in 2014. Existing successful projects such as Beach World, Diving Center, World of Paddling and the relaunch of the Sport Fishing Center will be joined next January by the Refit Center and the boot Sailing School.

The Sailing School, set up in an indoor pool in the middle of Hall 14, will offer sailing fun in Optis and dinghies under the watchful eye of a professional trainer. Wind machines will deliver the necessary breeze. This experience world is primarily geared towards children and young beginners.

“Even though sailing plays a central role at boot, there have never been any explicit join-in activities. It’s high time we changed that. The new theme world will give us an opportunity to involve the numerous exhibiting sailing schools and clubs in order to actively and jointly promote this attractive water sport,” says Jungmichel.

Visitors coming to boot 2014 will have a chance to educate themselves in a total of 18 theme and experience worlds and to experience and try out virtually every type of water sport up close: wakeboarding, skimboarding, stand up paddling, sailing, diving, canoeing and fishing.

“Experience 360° Watersports” is Düsseldorf’s successful response to a future challenge facing the boating and watersports sectors: coping with demographic changes and generating excitement for watersports among new target groups, especially young people and families!

boot 2014 will be open to visitors from 18 to 26 January, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm each day. Additional information and tickets are available on the Internet portal, which also hosts the Ticket Shop. Admission tickets can be printed out directly after the purchase and used for free travel to and from the event on public transport marked VRR (Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr) within price level D, South region.

New 85m sailing mega yacht Hull Y711/Hull 3069 by Oceanco and Vitters

January 06, 2014

Written by zuzana

The end of the year 2013 saw the arrival of the hull and superstructure of an 85m sailing mega yacht at Oceanco’s facilities in the Netherlands. The impressive 85-metre all-aluminium ketch-rigged sailing yacht is the result of collaboration between two leading Dutch shipyards, Oceanco and Vitters. The vessel is known as hull Y711 at Oceanco, and as hull 3069 at Vitters.

91.5m mega yacht Project PA164 (hull Y709) - the latest superyacht launched by Oceanco

91.5m mega yacht Project PA164 (hull Y709) - the latest superyacht launched by Oceanco - Photo credit to Bertus Munneke and Peter Stam -

The hull of the 85m Oceanco and Vitters superyacht Hull Y711/Hull 3069 was built by Zwijnenburg, while her superstructure is by Aluship. She features both naval architecture as well as exterior design by Bill Tripp and her interior design is by Dolker & Voges. The 85m jewel will now be completed at Oceanco, with delivery scheduled for 2015.

Photos of Wally 100 sailing yacht INDIO with new Stratis ICE sails

January 03, 2014

Written by zuzana

Doyle Sails New Zealand has released the photos of the Wally 100 sailing yacht Indio, featuring a full set of new Stratis ICE sails. Launched in 2013, ICE is an entirely new and unique UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethelene) fibre, developed by the Doyle Stratis team, following the market demand for a creep free and highly durable sail membrane. The photos from sea trials and some sailing shots of the 30,5-metre superyacht Indio will follow.

Wally 100 superyacht Indio with Stratis ICE Sails

Wally 100 superyacht Indio with Stratis ICE Sails

Aboard Wally 100 luxury yacht Indio

Aboard Wally 100 luxury yacht Indio

Wally 100 Yacht Indio

Wally 100 Yacht Indio

A little teaser from sea trials of Indio superyacht in Hauraki Gulf - Photo by Matthew Bridge

A little teaser from sea trials of Indio superyacht in Hauraki Gulf - Photo by Matthew Bridge

The Superyacht Challenge Antigua 2013 Video

January 03, 2014

Written by zuzana

Taken place in Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua from January 25 to 27, the Superyacht Challenge Antigua 2013 hosted nine spectacular vessels, competing in Antigua’s rough, windy racing grounds. These included Adela, charter yacht Leopard 3, Marama, charter yacht P2, charter yacht Panthalassa, charter yacht Sojana, Timoneer, Unfurled and Visione, all enjoying ‘Bucket rules’ pursuit racing and an amazing social calendar. Below is a video from the 2013 Superyacht Challenge Antigua, made by Acquafilms.