Supermaxi Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

A mixed bag of IRC delights on offer at this month’s RORC Caribbean 600 Yacht Race

February 19, 2015

Set to kick off in the fantastic Antigua yacht charter location on Monday, February 23, the upcoming RORC Caribbean 600 will be attended by over 60 yachts and is a good example of the diversity of yachts enjoying racing under IRC.  The IRC rating system is the choice of state-of-the-art yachts such as the Maxi 72s, TP 52s, Wally Yachts, as well as 100 foot Maxis, comprising the latest superyacht Ragamuffin 100 from Australia and sailing yacht Comanche constructed in Maine.

George David's superyacht Rambler 90 on the IRC Class 0 start line of last year's RORC Caribbean 600. Photo by Tim Wright photoaction.com

George David's superyacht Rambler 90 on the IRC Class 0 start line of last year's RORC Caribbean 600. Photo by Tim Wright/photoaction.com

Holding an IRC rating allows these yachts to compete for top honours in races such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Fastnet and Middle Sea Races, and regattas run under the auspices of the International Maxi Association including their World Championship.

The highest currently rated boat under IRC is the Reichel/Pugh Maxi yacht Wild Oats XI at 1.974 closely followed by Comanche at 1.958 and much has been written about the battle between these two in the 2014 Sydney Hobart both for line honours and corrected time, and it is very exciting to see boats like this racing under IRC.

The upcoming RORC Caribbean 600 boasts an entry of over 60 boats and is a good example of the diversity of boats enjoying racing under IRC.  It illustrates how IRC allows designs like the Volvo Open 70 (Monster Project & Maserati, 2008) to continue racing competitively, and gives a new lease of life to older racers – Volvo 60s (Ambersail & Spirit of Adventure, 2001) and classics (Cuilaun, 1970 McGruer 55; Black Watch 1938 S&S 68 yawl). Meanwhile superyachts such as charter yacht Athos (56m) and superyacht Adela (46m) add a different dimension and glamour to the fleet.  However, reflecting IRC’s main constituents, it is production boats between 37 and 50 feet that form the core 50% of the entrants.

RORC Caribbean 600 provides a mixed bag of IRC delights,says RORC Rating Office Technical Manager, Jenny Howells.

There’s something for everyone within IRC

The exciting, glamorous boats are of course important in IRC, not least because so many of us aspire to compete in the high profile glamorous regattas in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. However, it is also important to remind the general racing fraternity that it is the core fleet that has kept the rating rule afloat for over thirty years. Looking at the last couple of years, the lowest rated boat is a 1964 Kroes en Zonen Classic Blue Eagle of Tonbridge at 0.740 while the average IRC rating for the worldwide IRC fleet is 1.035.

Far from the dizzy lengths of superyachts, the average boat length is 11.5 metres, or around 38 feet.  With the recession of the last few years, there are many more sailors racing smaller boats and having just as much fun as those who are fortunate to own and race the glamour boats. IRC rating encourages a huge variety of sizes and types of boats to compete in events from local club racing to international offshore events, allowing everyone to enjoy mixed fleet racing no matter what their budget.

RORC Caribbean 600 to host sensational fleet of yachts

February 17, 2015

An impressive fleet of yachts from all over the world have gathered for an amazing Caribbean rendezvous – RORC Caribbean 600. Fort Charlotte, nestled in the fantastic Antigua yacht charter location, will be the starting and finishing point for a popular 600-mile yacht race around 11 Caribbean islands, set to start on February 23, 2015.

Overall runner-up in two editions of the RORC Caribbean 600. Hap Fauth's Maxi 72, Bella Mente (USA)  aim to make it third time lucky  © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Overall runner-up in two editions of the RORC Caribbean 600. Hap Fauth's Maxi 72 yacht Bella Mente (USA) aim to make it third time lucky © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Since 2009, the RORC Caribbean 600 has been growing in popularity and the seventh edition boasts an astounding fleet of yachts: record breaking high performance racers, magnificent schooners, elegant classics and fast production yachts. World class sailors will be taking part, rubbing shoulders with royalty, captains of industry and passionate Corinthian amateurs.

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

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

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

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

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

Sailing yacht Adela and charter yacht Athos, the mighty schooners battle it out in the last RORC Caribbean 600 © Tim Wright Photoaction.com

Sailing yacht Adela and charter yacht Athos, the mighty schooners battle it out in the last RORC Caribbean 600 © Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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

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

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

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

ITALY

Volvo 70 Maserati is skippered by the legendary Italian sailor from Milan, Giovanni Soldini. Maserati is designed to break records and holds the Cadiz-San Salvador, New York-San Francisco and the Cape Town-Rio de Janeiro race[BB2]  records. On board for the RORC Caribbean 600 will be Pierre Casiraghi, eldest son of Princess Caroline of Monaco, fourth-in-line to the Monegasque throne and a passionate sailor. Maserati’s owner John Elkann will also be racing. The Grandson and heir of Giovanni Agnelli, John Elkann is the President of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles which owns the Maserati brand, as well as Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and many others.

GREAT BRITAIN

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

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

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

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

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

ANTIGUA

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

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

Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary Regatta to host legendary competitors

February 16, 2015

The yachts to compete in the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Bicentenary Regatta will enjoy the summer of sailing in the popular Solent yacht charter location, nestled in England. Expected to be a spectacle of timeless classic versus cutting edge modern, the event is set to run from July 25 to 31, 2015.

Royal Yacht Squadron start line

Royal Yacht Squadron start line

Three majestic J-Class Yachts, sailing yacht Velsheda, charter yacht Ranger and superyacht Lionheart, will line up alongside other historic legends including the 48ft Tomahawk built in 1938 and 52ft Dorade, built in 1929. Both are Sparkman and Stephens designs. From the breathtaking charter yacht Eleonora at 160ft to the two 8 metre yachts Helen and Enchantement born 1936 and 1923 respectively, the event has been a magnet for the most immaculate and competitive classics in Europe and beyond.  Several, including Dorade herself, are racing across the Atlantic from Newport, Rhode Island, to take part in this Royal Yacht Squadron’s 200 years celebration.

J Class Yacht Lionheart ©  Marina Johnson

J Class Yacht Lionheart © Marina Johnson

The event is set to be a mecca for grand prix yachts too – entries to date include the mighty 120ft Briand designed sloop Bristolian, mini-maxi Jethou and many well known names in the performance IRC fleets including Ker 46 Tonnere of Breskens, Elan 40 Flair, TP 52 Gladiator, and Grand Soleil 43 Quokka.  The Swan class will be represented too – entries include Swan 57 Noonmark VI, which will also be taking part in the Transatlantic Race, and Swan 44 Rosy Pelican.

Several clubs from around the world including one from each of the east and west coast USA, three from Europe, and the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club have already paid their entry fees for the Level Rating Class, whose teams will race in chartered Beneteau First 40s.  More are expected to follow.

Royal Yacht Squadron image © Rolex

Royal Yacht Squadron image © Rolex

The historic Royal Yacht Squadron, whose castle sits at the entrance to Cowes, looking across the Solent, will play host to the five day event, 25-31 July 2015, which includes daily inshore racing and a race around the Isle of Wight clockwise.  This latter will also be joined by other yachts too big to take part in the Solent races.

J Class Yachts to return to the America’s Cup

February 12, 2015

The J Class Association (JCA) is excited to announce that the J Class has accepted an invitation from the organisers of the 2017 America’s Cup to take part in a J Class regatta during the AC35 event. All eight J Class yachts are expected in Bermuda, with a minimum of six anticipated to participate in the J Class regatta – the first time in history more than five J Class yachts have ever raced against each other.

J Class Yachts to return to the America’s Cup

J Class Yachts to return to the America’s Cup

“The J Class era of the America’s Cup is widely recognised as being among the high points in Cup history,” said Russell Coutts, director of the America’s Cup Event Authority (ACEA).

“When racing for the America’s Cup in the 1930s, the J Class boats embodied grace and power with cutting-edge design and engineering. Having the J Class join us in Bermuda will create a spectacular blend between the old and new.”

Berthed at the centre of the Race Village, the J Class fleet will showcase the heritage and tradition of the America’s Cup. The yachts will also be at the heart of the action with their own exclusive four day regatta.

Louise Morton, Secretary of the J Class Association (JCA) commented: “The America’s Cup Organisers have offered the J Class a unique opportunity to be part of the America’s Cup for the first time in 80 years. On behalf of the Owners, Captains and crew, we are delighted to accept their kind invitation and look forward to being part of this spectacular event.”

Racing in the J Class regatta will be organized by the America’s Cup race management team with the final two days of racing expected to straddle the opening weekend of the America’s Cup Match.

The current J Class fleet comprises seven yachts, including two of the original Js that raced for the America’s Cup. The seven J Class yachts sailing are: superyacht Endeavour, Hanuman yacht, sailing yacht Lionheart, luxury yacht Rainbow, charter yacht Ranger, charter yacht Shamrock V and super yacht Velsheda. Sailing yacht J8 is due to be launched in May 2015, taking fleet strength to eight – the first time that eight Js have been sailing since 1934.

J Class fleet racing is one of the most spectacular sights on the world sailing circuit. The Class continues to expand and the fleet is warmly welcomed by regatta organisers around the world.

Dramatic finale to 4th Superyacht Challenge Antigua

February 11, 2015

Lighter shifty conditions provided for a dramatic finale to the 4th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua, which was hosted by the fabulous Antigua yacht charter destination, nestled in the Caribbean, from January 19 to February 1, 2015. The overall winner was decided on the last leg of the final race and by just two seconds.

Superyacht Challenge Antigua - Photo credit to Cory Silken

Superyacht Challenge Antigua - Photo credit to Cory Silken

Superyacht Unfurled nailed the pin end of the line with just a second to spare, the German Frers 112′ sloop was at full pace and the crew knew they had a chance of overall victory. Before the final six mile beat, Unfurled was up to fourth in pursuit of the leaders and played the current in Rendezvous Bay to great effect to stay in touch with the bigger, more powerful yachts and take the lead. A smart, tack bare away set, at Nelsons and Unfurled extended the lead and managed to hold off the chasing pack. Unfurled took the gun and then had to wait for the time correction to be factored in, the result was astonishing. The Superyacht Challenge Antigua delivered one of the closest finishes in the history of superyacht racing.

126′ Schooner, sailing yacht Gloria finished the regatta in style scoring their second bullet to elevate the team into third overall, but only just, Gloria was tied on points with 180′ Hoek designed ketch, superyacht Marie. Gloria took the podium place ahead of Marie by virtue of two first places in the regatta.

182′ Dykstra Schooner, luxury yacht Adela was runner up to Gloria in Race 4, assuring the the Adela team of second place overall, just a point ahead of both Marie and Gloria. In the last race, Adela beat Unfurled by just 2 seconds after time correction. Significantly if Unfurled had beaten Adela, the 112′ sloop would have tied for an overall victory for the regatta. However, the overall winner of the 4th edition of the Superyacht Challenge Antigua was the 102′ Ketch, sailing yacht Marama by a single point from Unfurled.

The Superyacht Challenge Antigua Prize Giving was held at the Copper and Lumber Store in Nelson’s Dockyard and true to the event’s traditions there was not much pomp or ceremony, just several hundred good natured, lovers of yachting, getting together for a big laugh and congratulating each winner as they went up to the stage.

Sailing yacht COMANCHE and RAMBLER 88 Yacht to compete in Les Voiles de St. Barth 2015

February 11, 2015

Set to run in the fantastic St. Barth yacht charter location from April 13 to 18, this year’s 6th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth will host sailing yacht Comanche and Rambler 88 yacht. When it comes to the popular Caribbean regatta headlines, nothing beats having superyacht Comanche and sailing yacht Rambler 88, the yachting world’s two newest and most sophisticated racing machines, compete head-to-head for the first time ever.

Superyacht Comanche and sailing yacht Rambler 88 to compete in the 2015 Les Voiles de St. Barth

Superyacht Comanche and sailing yacht Rambler 88 to compete in the 2015 Les Voiles de St. Barth

Super yacht Comanche, designed by the French team of VPLP Design/Guillame Verdier, and Rambler 88 superyacht, designed by Argentinian Juan Kouyoumdjian, were launched in late 2014 at Hodgdon Yachts and New England Boatworks, respectively. Both yachts sport state-of-the-art carbon fiber hulls and rigs, but each has special features that, although tested on previous boats, have been combined with other innovations on these yachts for the first time. For instance, Comanche’s monolithic (as opposed to sandwiched honeycomb) construction in its forward hull sections certainly qualifies as “beyond normal,” but to keep up, Rambler 88’s rudders seem to have been nibbled on by sharks around their leading edges.

“When it comes right down to it,” says Comanche yacht’s helmsman Ken Read, “the general concepts of the two yachts are very similar; they are big wide boats that rely on canting keels and width for their stability. The biggest difference is sheer size. Comanche is a big 100 footer, while Rambler looks to be a much more manageable-sized 88 footer. But don’t let the size fool you. Being manageable is all relative, and each will be a handful when the breeze kicks in. Both boats have their versions of ‘unusual,’ but whether it’s the size and shape of Comanche or the sabre tooth rudders on Rambler 88, the underlying part of the story is that these boats were born to go fast, and their owners are both huge promoters of innovation.”

Rambler 88 yacht’s owner George David has made headlines before (at Les Voiles and regattas elsewhere around the world) with his previous Ramblers, a 100 footer and a 90 footer, and it was his love of the latter boat that convinced him to settle on a smaller rather than a larger design this time around. The strategy served him well when he finished second in his shakedown competition: January’s Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race. In December, Comanche, which launched only a month earlier than Rambler 88, completed the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, finishing second to line honors winner Wild Oats and giving a sneak peek, like Rambler 88 did, of her possibilities once she has her legs fully under her.

“There were some conditions where Wild Oats and Comanche, two boats that look nothing alike, were actually remarkably close in speed,” said Read, adding that he expects the same can happen between Rambler 88 and Comanche. “It’s horses for courses; each boat will have its condition one time or another and succeed in it. But the bottom line is wide boats like breeze, which Les Voiles has, so you’re going to see two really cool boats blazing around the island of St. Barth.”

Read reiterated that both boats were designed to let loose in the middle of the ocean, so why around-the-buoys racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth? “For the pure fun of it,” he said. “Comanche’s owners (Jim Clark and Kristy Hinz-Clark) did a lot of sailing on the boat in Sydney and just had a blast. They couldn’t think of a place that was more fun to sail than St. Barth. They’ll bring three, four, maybe five friends on board racing each day, and we’ll most likely put a couple of them on the handles and get them into the action.”

Recognition of Esimit Europa Project by United Nations Secretary-General

February 09, 2015

Igor Simčič, founder of the Esimit Europa project, has been received by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, on the official meeting at the UN headquarters in New York as a sign of recognition of endeavours of the project. This has already been connecting nations, countries, as well as people in pursuit of common success for 20 years.

The Secretary-General with Mr. Igor Simcic (Founder, Esimit Europa Project) - Photo by UN Photo Evan Schneider

The Secretary-General with Mr. Igor Simcic (Founder, Esimit Europa Project) - Photo by UN Photo Evan Schneider

With the reception of the founder of the project, Igor Simčič, by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Esimit Europa has received an illustrious recognition for being a good example of the implementation of the United Nations’ values.

The Esimit Europa project was founded with the aim of uniting people and promoting stronger collaboration between the European countries, as well as with a vision of building bridges between the worlds of sports, diplomacy, social responsibility, culture and business.

The recognition of the project, represented by the Esimit Europa 2 yacht and its multinational crew, by the Secretary-General proves that the project is a good example and a unique platform for a cooperation of different spheres, growing into a worldwide dimension.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, was enthusiastic about the concept behind the Esimit Europa project, which he believes includes all the most important values that are also embraced by the United Nations such as collaboration, responsibility and mutual trust.

During the official meeting on 6 February 2015 that was carried out in a friendly atmosphere, H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon showed his respect and interest in the project by stating: “I am very much interested in your project and how the United Nations can help you and how you can help the United Nations. What you are doing is very important since you are helping us a lot in obtaining peace, development and harmony. I wish you all the best with the implementation of the project also on other continents.”

The Esimit Europa project is proud to represent one such example and to help to deepen United Nations’ values with the help of the unifying power of sport for the last 20 years.

“H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s appreciation of the Esimit Europa project’s achievements with the help of the unifying power of sport, is a great motivation for us to carry the Esimit Europa project one step further by spreading our message also to other continents like Australia, Asia and the Americas.” Igor Simčič, founder of the Esimit Europa project, said at this occasion.

Sailing yacht COMANCHE with unique custom solutions by KZ Marine Group

February 09, 2015

Jim Clark’s new 30m maxi sailing yacht Comanche was undoubtedly one of the most talked-about superyacht launches of last year. Constructed for speed as well as performance by Hodgdon Yachts, superyacht Comanche boasts all the latest build technologies. She is expected to be a formidable competitor on the race course as her close second place line honours at the last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race proves.

Jim Clark's new 30m maxi sailing yacht Comanche underway

Jim Clark's new 30m maxi sailing yacht Comanche underway

“KZ Marine first got involved in the Comanche project after being approached by her project manager and boat captain who had worked with us on previous Volvo Ocean Race projects,” says Keryn McMaster.

KZ furler during training on board superyacht Comanche

KZ furler during training on board superyacht Comanche

KZ Marine worked with the Comanche yacht build team to help develop big custom furlers to ensure a safe working load. Other work included a range of custom parts in titanium and other exotic materials, with the KZ Marine design team developing these unique custom solutions for the project. Since her launch, KZ Marine has remained closely involved with the team, even providing last minute service support on non-KZ parts prior to the Sydney-Hobart race commencing.

Registration for Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous to close on January 30

January 29, 2015

The Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous will welcome an impressive fleet of superyachts to the fabulous British Virgin Islands yacht charter destination for the fifth edition of this exclusive event, hosted by Boat International Media as well as the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Registration for this year’s regatta is to close tomorrow, on January 30, 2015.

Wisp will join the 2015 fleet for three days of competition on the water in the idyllic conditions of the BVI

Superyacht Wisp will join the 2015 fleet for three days of competition on the water in the idyllic conditions of the beautiful British Virgin Islands yacht holiday destination

Running from 11 – 14 March, the regatta continues to attract a diverse collection of the world’s finest superyachts. Set against the British Virgin Islands’ spectacular coastline, the three-day event offers owners idyllic sailing conditions, the unrivalled hospitality services of the world class Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and an exclusive programme of social events, for which Boat International Media is renowned.

The event, which takes place 11 – 14 March 2015, boasts a competitive fleet of sailing superyachts set to take to the start line for three days of racing on the azure seas of Virgin Gorda yacht charter destination.

The organizers are pleased to welcome back to the start line a number of veteran participants, including three stunning Vitters builds; the sleek 46m performance sloop Ganesha by Dubois Naval Architects, Marco Vögele’s striking 33m performance sloop Inouï, and the elegant 55m modern classic superyacht Marie.

Luxury yacht Inoui under sail - Photo by Carlo Baroncini

Luxury yacht Inoui under sail - Photo by Carlo Baroncini

The 60m charter yacht Seahawk – the first yacht in Perini Navi’s 60m series – and the Briand/Perini Navi-designed 38m fast cruiser charter yacht P2 also join the 2015 regatta fleet.

Making her Loro Piana regatta debut is Royal Huisman’s stunning 48m sloop Wisp, designed by Andre Hoek. The owner’s brief called for “a supremely comfortable cruising yacht that may also indulge in some gentleman’s racing”.

Perini Navi P2 -  Main

Perini Navi P2 - Main

In addition to the thrilling sailing yacht programme, motor yacht owners are invited to join the line up at YCCS Marina and participate in the fun-filled regatta festivities taking place around North Sound.

Registration closes on 30 January and there are limited berths now remaining at YCCS Marina. Owners yet to register are encouraged to do so as soon as possible to secure their place in the fleet. The Notice of Race and Registration Form are available to download from the event website.

The regatta welcomes sailing and motor yachts with an LOA over 80ft.

Sailing yacht SILENCIO becomes the overall winner of NZ Millennium Cup 2015

January 23, 2015

The NZ Millennium Cup 2015 concluded in the fabulous Bay of Islands yacht charter location today, on January 23, and with more beautiful weather and close racing it was the perfect end to exciting three days in New Zealand. Following her victories on day one and two, sailing yacht Silencio was chasing the hat trick on the final day of racing, but it was not to be as superyacht Sassafras took line honours.

Sassafras, winners of day three – credit Jeff Brown

Luxury yacht Sassafras, winners of day three – credit Jeff Brown

The final day of racing at the New Zealand Millennium Cup 2015 – NZ Marine Race Day – dawned sunny and with winds of 18 knots. With two wins under her belt 50m Silencio (Perini Navi) was the clear leader on the scoreboard, but with 39.7m super yacht Janice of Wyoming (Alloy Yachts), 37m charter yacht Bliss (Yachting Developments) and 33.8m luxury yacht Silvertip (Yachting Developments) all tied in second place you could almost taste the levels of competition in the air, and 34.2m Sassafras (Royal Huisman) was not giving up without a fight either. In the sub-30m Pacific Cup Division, with one win apiece, it was to be a case of the winner takes it all between Antaeus yacht and Steinlager 2.

The course set for the day was the longest of the event, totalling 30nm. Once again Silencio was first to cross the line at 11:30, but with a much shorter lead was quickly followed by Antaeus at 11:48, Sassafras at 11:49 and Janice of Wyoming at 12:07. Soon after Steinlager 2 crossed at 12:11 and Bliss at 12:12 and Silvertip at 12:19. As she powered her way across the line Silvertip’s distinctive hull was flanked by dolphins diving in and out of the waters beside her.

Silvertip, flanked by dolphins – credit Jeff Brown

Super yacht Silvertip, flanked by dolphins – credit Jeff Brown

The wind had been steadily building and all yachts moved fast on the run towards the first mark. With much closer start times the racing grounds soon saw various battles for leads emerging. Around Motuterakihi Island buoy the fleet began the beat for the next mark at Red Head buoy with the formation beginning to incrementally uncoil.

By Mark 3, Nine Pin Island, Sassafras had claimed a lead on Silencio, moving into first place. Over the next few marks in the middle of the fleet Bliss was pushing Janice of Wyoming, with both yachts overtaking Silencio on the second rounding of Nine Pin Island, before Bliss also charged ahead of Janice to move into second place. With this new order set, it was held all the way around the remainder of the course.

Silencio – credit Jeff Brown

Superyacht Silencio – credit Jeff Brown

Bliss pushed to catch Sassafras, making steady gains, but in the end Bliss crossed the line just 31 seconds behind her. The first place was an amazing way for Sassafras to close their first ever regatta and the result embodied their fighting spirit and sailing skills. Two minutes later, third across the line was Janice of Wyoming followed two minutes later by Silvertip who had kept the pressure on to gain ground throughout.

Steinlager 2 was fifth on the line, to win the Pacific Cup, followed by Antaeus and finally Silencio, which had lost ground after struggling to unfurl their spinnaker at an earlier mark. Bliss set to celebrating the end of the regatta immediately, unleashing their sound system to party their way back into port for the final time.

Sassafras moves to overtake Silencio – credit Jeff Brown

Sassafras yacht moves to overtake luxury yacht Silencio – credit Jeff Brown

And with that, the racing was over. After heading back to moor up, owners and their crew made their way to the prizegiving, held together with the Bay of Islands Sailing Week prizegiving. The results of the NZ Millennium Cup were the first to be announced and Peter Montgomery, the voice of New Zealand yachting, took to the stage as MC telling the hundreds of onlookers that “The Bay of Islands Sailing Week has been taken to new levels in 2015 with the addition of the Millennium Cup, with exciting and spectacular action on the water.”

Montgomery’s first presentation of the night was a team spirit award, recognising a special contribution and long-term commitment to the NZ Millennium Cup. The award was very deservedly presented to the owners of Silvertip and Janice of Wyoming, who have provided such support to both the event and the New Zealand marine industry over the years.

Bliss rounds Ninepin Island - credit Jeff Brown

Charter yacht Bliss rounds Ninepin Island - credit Jeff Brown

Next were the results, with the Pacific Cup division announced first. After the day’s divisional win Steinlager 2 were the winners of the Pacific Cup division, followed by Anateus in second place. For the Millennium Cup fifth place went to Sassafras, winners of line honours on day three, followed by Silvertip in fourth place. Third went to a delighted Janice of Wyoming, with Bliss in second place.

But, it was Silencio’s owner and crew who were the ones to lift the coveted trophy, with the group spraying the crowd with champagne in celebration. “Congratulations to the worthy winners, who set such a hot standard on the first and second days,” said Montgomery. “We have loved having you here and look forward to welcoming you back.”

Concluding the Cup, organisers thanked all those who made the event possible, particularly sponsors, but most of all the owners for their crucial part in making the regatta such a success.