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Americas Cup World Series in Cascais: Emirates Team New Zealand double winners

August 08, 2011

Five teams crowded the podium on Sunday at the America’s Cup World Series – Cascais as the opening weekend ended with some champagne sailing across the two events. On Sunday, large crowds on the beach and in the spectator fleet enjoyed front row seats with the racing just meters from the shore.

Americas Cup World Series in Cascais Emirates Team New Zealand double winners - Photo © ACEA (2011)  Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Americas Cup World Series in Cascais Emirates Team New Zealand double winners - Photo © ACEA (2011) Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

While both Asian teams took podium positions during the AC 500 Speed Trials, Emirates Team New Zealand were double winners on the day, claiming top spot in the AC Cascais Preliminaries after four fleet races and then going on to record the fastest run in the AC 500 Speed Trial.

“We are happy how it went,” said skipper Dean Barker. “But we know we have a lot to keep up with. It’s nice; a good feeling to start the week, but there is a lot we need to improve on.”

ORACLE Racing Coutts won today’s long fleet race, stealing victory from Emirates Team New Zealand after a member of the crew fell overboard. The Kiwis did their best to hang on, but Coutts managed to grind down the shorthanded New Zealand crew just a few hundred meters from the finish, giving the American team victory in the race and second place overall, with Sweden’s Artemis Racing in third spot.

In the AC500 Speed Trial, the top three teams needed their third and final runs to record their fastest speeds. The Kiwis, after a disappointing first two tries, had a perfect set-up for their final attempt, screaming down the track at an average speed of 42.35 kph.

They were followed closely by Team Korea (39.28) and China Team (37.43), two of the newer, less-practiced teams in the AC45 catamaran. Despite a relative lack of time on the boats, China Team’s skipper shared his philosophy for recording a fast run: “There are only two speeds to these boats,” said Mitch Booth. “Flat out, and stopped!”

But the headline incident on the day was the man overboard on Emirates Team New Zealand.

Winston Macfarlane, one of the big grinders on board, was washed overboard during a fast maneuver at a turning mark halfway through the race. Macfarlane was grinding a winch when the winch handle snapped, meaning he lost his balance as the boat accelerated out of the turn. While Macfarlane swam to safety and hauled himself on to the nearby mark-boat, Barker’s crew was obliged to sail the rest of the course short-handed.

Sailing the second half of the race with just four men meant their crew work was slower and they had less weight on the side of the boat to balance the power of the wing rig. ORACLE Racing Coutts could smell blood and attacked the vulnerable Kiwi crew on the final beat to the finish, finally stealing victory in the final moments of the race.

Despite the loss in the race, Emirates Team New Zealand could claim an historic double win on the day, launching their campaign for the 34th America’s Cup in style.

AC Cascais Preliminaries – Leaderboard

Place Team RACE #1 RACE #2 RACE #3 RACE #4 TOTAL POINTS
Place Points Place Points Place Points Place Points
1 Emirates Team New Zealand 3 8 2 9 2 9 2 9 35
2 ORACLE Racing Coutts 4 7 3 8 5 6 1 10 31
3 Artemis Racing 1 10 4 7 3 8 7 4 29
4 ORACLE Racing Spithill DSQ 0 1 10 1 10 3 8 28
5 China Team 6 5 6 5 6 5 4 7 22
6 Team Korea 5 6 7 4 4 7 6 5 22
7 Energy Team 2 9 8 3 8 3 5 6 21
8 Aleph 7 4 5 6 9 3 8 3 16
9 Green Comm Racing 8 3 9 3 7 4 9 3 13

AC 500 Speed Trials

Place Team (km/h)
1 Emirates Team New Zealand 42.35
2 Team Korea 39.28
3 China Team 37.43
4 ORACLE Racing Spithill 37.16
5 Artemis Racing 35.10
6 Aleph 35.02
7 ORACLE Racing Coutts 34.05
8 Energy Team 30.99
9 Green Comm Racing 24.77

Sailing Yacht ANNAGINE available to charter at Les Voiles de St. Tropez

August 05, 2011

Sailing Yacht ANNAGINE is a Dijkstra & Partners designed 34 metre (111 ft) superyacht, built by J.O.M. in the Netherlands and launched in 2011. S/Y ANNAGINE is available for the prestigious event – Les Voiles de St. Tropez at the special rate of EUR 60,000 + expenses p/w – this rate for up to 6 guests includes 4 extra racing crew & 5 double rooms in the Hotel Sube in Saint Tropez.

Superyacht Annagine is a fast and comfortable sailing yacht with beautiful traditional yachting lines and styling. She is the second Annagine yacht built by the same yacht owner, the first being the beautiful 76ft modern classic of the same name.

This beautiful sloop is sailed by the charter experienced captain Ian Savage who can’t wait to outrace the competition with you!

Super Yacht ANNAGINE

Year:2010   L.O.A.:33.90m (111' 2")  Beam:7.10m (23' 3") 
Max Speed:11 knots  Cruise Speed:0 knots  Engines:200 hp Volvo main engine  
Cabins: Charter Guest: Crew:

Book the yacht or view more charter info on Super Yacht ANNAGINE.

Win an Audi at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

August 04, 2011

Travelling at around 40 knots while steering is an enthralling experience every competitor at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week can enjoy during this year’s regatta, which starts August 19. And, the same experience could result in that sailor’s yacht being named the winner of a stylish Audi A1. This highly anticipated contest is on land – it’s the Audi Drive Challenge – and it will be held on the regatta lay day, Wednesday 24 August.

Win an Audi at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Credit Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

Win an Audi at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week - Credit Audi Hamilton Island Race Week

All sailors at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week will have the chance to pit their driving skills against all-comers while at the helm of an impressive Audi RS5 coupe on a circuit at Hamilton Island airport. They simply need to harness the 331 kilowatts of unbridled power of this exciting sportscar – which can sprint from 0 to 100km in just 4.6 seconds – and do their best around the small and entertaining course.

The host for the competition will be Top Gear Australia’s dynamic presenter and driving expert, Steve Pizzati.

The Audi Drive Challenge requires more than sheer speed from participants: maintaining accuracy and consistency will win on the day.

This year there is also more to the Drive Challenge than before with Audi having decided to broaden the opportunities to win.

As in previous years, it will be the yacht that wins its division at Race Week, and whose crew member scores the best time driving the RS5 sportscar, that will take away the regatta’s ultimate prize – the Audi A1.

The Audi A1 is the ultimate prize at this month’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. - Hamilton Island Race Week

The Audi A1 is the ultimate prize at this month’s Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. - Hamilton Island Race Week

Additionally, there will be two more prizes open to all competitors this year. Even if your yacht doesn’t win its division, you only need to drive the RS5 in the challenge to be eligible:The best time recorded by a yacht owner will carry with it an experience that money can’t buy: a Master Class cooking demonstration with legendary chef Matt Moran, of ARIA restaurant. This prize will include a sumptuous three-course lunch for two with sommelier-selected wines and a signed Matt Moran cookbook – and a chauffeur driven Audi service!

Additionally, the Drive Challenge competitor who records the fastest single lap will be presented with a limited edition Audi Design timepiece.

All indications are that there will be plenty of men and women lining up for the Audi Drive Challenge this year as there are now nearly 180 yachts registered to race at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week.

Whale and Kokomo Sailing Yacht - Hamilton Island Race Week Australia

Whale and Kokomo Sailing Yacht - Hamilton Island Race Week Australia

Rob Mundle

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2011: The bold and the beautiful set for Porto Cervo, Sardinia.

August 04, 2011

Come early September and as the height of the Mediterranean summer season passes with the grace of a fading sunset, the eyes of the sailing world will be focused firmly on one stand-out attraction: the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. This annual meeting of the bold and the beautiful, elegance and finesse, onshore refinement and offshore adventure, takes place in Porto Cervo, Sardinia.

Maxi division sailing yachts head upwind - Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Maxi division sailing yachts head upwind - Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Event organisers the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) are expecting a record presence for the 22nd edition, which takes place from 5-10 September. It represents a trend. Last year’s competition welcomed 49 of the world’s most state-of-the-art yachts. Forty-two yachts from 12 countries and territories have already committed to taking part this time around. Whilst the event’s appeal has always been unquestioned, the growth in popularity of the Mini Maxi yacht and the subsequent birth of the competition within a competition, the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship (open to yachts from 18.29-24.08 metres), have led to the mushrooming of the regatta. This year promises to be an eye-catching feast.

Irish whispers

Close attention will be paid to the second running of the Mini Maxi Rolex Worlds. Whilst the final list of entries is still to be confirmed, several impressive campaigners will be attacking the waters of the Costa Smeralda. Niklas Zennström’s Rán 2 (GBR) and Andres Soriano’s Alegre (GBR) finished first and second last year. Intriguingly, 2010’s third placed yacht is also returning albeit under new ownership. The 72-ft Reichel Pugh Shockwave (USA) has changed hands from serial regatta winner Neville Crichton to George Sakellaris, who previously campaigned the CM60 Captivity. Shockwave has been preparing for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Palma.

Sailing yachts TITAN 15, SHOCKWAVE and RAN - Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yachts TITAN 15, SHOCKWAVE and RAN - Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

The crew of Whisper (IRL) have long been captivated by the lure of Porto Cervo. Michael Cotter’s 78-footer has become a fixture at the event and won the Racer/Cruiser division in 2009. The experienced crew have been focused on the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup for quite a while, as captain Mark Dicker explains: “Whisper’s preparations for the Maxis started in January and this will be our sixth participation. We have a good set up and hope to be on top of our game in Porto Cervo. Over the past winter the boat undertook a large refit with the upgrade of many of its racing systems. We then did a ‘shake down’ regatta at Easter in Palma so we feel confident the boat will be in great shape for the Maxis. Currently Whisper is completing a cruising period around Greece before heading back to prepare for the event and two days training.”

The Irish crew, competing in the Mini Maxi Rolex Worlds, have always performed impressively on the Emerald Coast. Dicker reveals the key to yacht’s success: “The Whisper team have been campaigning the boat for six years with a core crew mostly of Irish sailors, who are happy to keep on coming back. The owner is very competitive, but a laid back approach seems to help the boat stay in good form and even the small handful of professional sailors onboard relish a week’s sailing on Whisper. Certainly the secret to the event is consistency, the conditions around Porto Cervo are very challenging and any mistakes can quickly end a regatta.”

For the crew of Whisper, like many others, the appeal of the event is obvious. “Within the Med there is certainly no other regatta like the Maxis,” closes Dicker, “from the picturesque scenery to the high level of competition returning year after year. Racing up Bomb Alley and round the islands is certainly like no other race course we embark on.” Following on from the Maxis, the Whisper crew will take part at another Rolex supported event – Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez.

Sailing yacht RAN, Niklas Zennstrom - Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht RAN, Niklas Zennstrom - Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

The rest of the best

Completing the global gathering of competing nations are the Danish crew onboard the 61-ft Vertical Smile, the 78-ft All Smoke (GBR), owned by the German businessman Günter Herz, the 60-ft Arobas (FRA) and Caol Ila (USA), fresh from an impressive performance at the Giraglia Rolex Cup. Sir Peter Ogden’s 60-ft Jethou (GBR) will also be in attendance, having campaigned at both the 2009 and 2010 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

Italian presence is guaranteed with the involvement of six yachts. Alessandro Rombelli’s Baltic-65 Stig finished second behind Aegir in the Racer/Cruiser division last year. She will face stiff competition from Riccardo de Michele’s H20 and Adriano Calvini’s 61-ft Itacentodue, both race day winners in 2010. Completing the elenco of Italian entrants are the 60-ft Aleph-Aniene 1° Classe, the 61-ft Tyke and Enrico Gorziglia’s Good Job Guys.

Homeward bound

Outside of the Mini Maxi Rolex Worlds, racing will be equally intense in the prestigious and long-established Maxi (24.09-30.5m yachts), Supermaxi (those in excess of 30.5m) and Wally competitions.

The Swan-90 DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA) will compete in the Maxi category and has enjoyed a demanding season in the Mediterranean, taking part in the inaugural Rolex Volcano Race in addition to the Giraglia Rolex Cup, where she was the fifth boat to finish on elapsed time. The yacht has miles in her sails. Fortunately, the Maxis require less travelling for the crew. Owner Danilo Salsi is a member of the YCCS and Porto Cervo happens to be DSK’s crew base. “We like the race area and feel we have good local knowledge,” explains team manager Andrea Casale, “the big challenge for us is to take advantage of this.”

DSK Pioneer Investments triumphed in Porto Cervo at the Rolex Swan Cup in 2010, although the crew realise that repeating their success on the Costa Smeralda in the Maxi division will be a tough challenge. “The Swan Cup was a completely different scenario,” continues Casale, “as we were not competing against the likes of Esimit Europa 2. The yachts in our division this time around will be faster than us on the water so they will be more difficult to beat. We have to be very smart and wise with the tools that we have at our disposal.”

After the gruelling ocean challenges earlier in the season, Casale and the crew are focused on a different type of racing at the Maxis: “We are pleased with the two offshore races, but the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is going to be a very different game. ‘Day racing’ requires more manoeuvring and decision-making in a short space of time. We are adding some new crew members to our standard roster to save time when changing sails. In addition we are ‘tuning’ our rating certificate. Hopefully it will all help.”

Meanwhile, the Wally division is already shaping up to maintain its recent trend of intense battle. Claus-Peter Offen’s Y3K (GER) and Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet (GBR) have winning experience in Porto Cervo although the divisional crown is sure to be contested to the very last nautical mile of the final race. The impressive fleet comprises100-footers Dark Shadow (MON) and Kenora (GBR) as well as slightly more slender but equally impressive campaigners such as Jean Charles Decaux’s J One (GBR), winners in 2007, and Thomas Bscher’s Open Season (ESP).

Sailing yacht ALEGRE, Andres Soriano - Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht ALEGRE, Andres Soriano - Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

On The Agenda

Racing commences on Tuesday 6 September and concludes on Saturday 10 September. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, along with title sponsor Rolex, will provide a lavish array of first class social events including Saturday’s final Prize Giving Ceremony, where the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cups and Rolex timepieces will be awarded.

YCCS Press Office Jill Campbell

BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2012

August 04, 2011

Like a snow ball rolling downhill, the momentum is already building as plans take shape for the 2012 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, March 26 – April 1 2012.

The promotional kick off takes place this week at the longest running and perhaps the biggest yachting event in the world, Cowes Week.   Joining forces with Sunsail, Nanny Cay and Gill, BVI Spring Regatta will launch its annual campaign to make sure that the thousands of  sailors and visitors to Cowes mark their calendars that in eight short months, the action will be on the other side of the pond.

BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2012

BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival 2012

With the successes of last year’s 40th Anniversary, three new videos are on line.  The first highlights the inaugural Gill BVI International Match Racing Championship;  the second features Sir Richard Branson sharing his enthusiasm for the BVI and this event and the third is the 2012 promotional video featuring ten reasons why the BVI Spring Regatta is a ‘must do’ event.

According to event director, Judy Petz, “Somehow each year we squeeze in just a little more. This year we will expand the International Yacht Club Challenge raced with Sunsail’s fleet and include intercollegiate sailing teams among the yacht club teams from around the world”

Bob Phillips, Chairman, is pleased to continue the addition of Level three match racing, “Sponsored by Gill, match racing provides the purest type of racing with one-on-one competition in equal boats. It’s a different type of racing and we’re excited to offer this fast-paced competition right off the beach at Nanny Cay”   Those that were lucky enough to watch last year, not only were entertained but also had the opportunity to pick up a few tips as Denise Holmberg, Peter Holmberg’s wife, provided enlightened commentary.

Seven days of racing, five separate events, and loads of fun in the Caribbean.  Sounds like a regatta and party you wouldn’t want to miss.

Warm Water – Hot Racing. Guaranteed.

Held annually on the first weekend of April, the BVI Spring Regatta & Sailing Festival will be celebrating its 41th anniversary. The BVI Spring Regatta and the Sailing Festival is now one of the top three Caribbean sailing events, with an average of 125 yachts per year with eighty percent of the competitors from overseas. The week encompasses seven-days and features five separate events, The Sailing Festival comprised of The Bitter End Cup, the Nations Challenge and The Nanny Cay Cup; the Gill BVI International Match Racing Championship and the BVI Spring Regatta.

The BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival is presented by Nanny Cay Resort and Marina with top sponsors the BVI Tourist Board, Bitter End Yacht Club, LIME, First Caribbean International Bank, Heineken, The Moorings, Mount Gay, SOL, Sea Hawk Nautical Coatings and Gill.  Contributing sponsors are Clearwater, Sunsail, Tortola Yacht Services and Meridian Construction.

Visitors can fly to the Bristish Virgin Islands through San Juan, Puerto Rico with American Airlines, Cape Air and LIAT. Flights are also available through Antigua, St. Maartin and Barbados and there is ferry service from St. Thomas and St. John.

Ewan McGregor, Zara Phillips and Natalie Pinkham to Race for Charity at Artemis Challenge

August 03, 2011

The fifth edition of the Artemis Challenge is set to continue the tradition of attracting big name stars as Ewan McGregor, Zara Phillips and Natalie Pinkham take to the water in 2011. The Artemis Challenge, a high adrenaline 50 mile race around the Isle of Wight to claim a £10,000 charity prize fund, will take place on Wednesday August 10th in the middle of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the world’s largest sailing regatta and one of the UK’s biggest sporting events.

Ewan McGregor to Race for Charity at Artemis Challenge - Photo Credit Artemis Challenge

Ewan McGregor to Race for Charity at Artemis Challenge - Photo Credit Artemis Challenge

Hollywood A-lister Ewan McGregor, who will join British round-the-world skipper Alex Thomson onboard Hugo Boss, said, “I’m excited to experience the thrill of yacht racing from the very deck of the boat and I’ll be doing my best to help Alex win so that we can donate the prize money to UNICEF’s East Africa Appeal. There’s never been a more important time to support the children of the region who so desperately need our help.” Zara Phillips, former world champion equestrienne, will be racing her third Artemis Challenge on Artemis Ocean Racing, skippered this year by record-breaking yachtswoman Dee Caffari.

TV and radio presenter Natalie Pinkham will sail with Zara and Dee, racing to support Toe in the Water, a non-profit organisation which uses sailing as a vehicle to re-inspire injured servicemen and women, all of whom have been profoundly wounded, some sustaining loss of limb/s and who are currently being treated at Headley Court, the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre. Dee Caffari said, “It is great to be back on the helm of Artemis Ocean Racing to try to win £10,000 for Toe in the Water.

The Artemis Challenge is a great spectacle for the IMOCA 60 yachts and with Zara and Natalie onboard I’m sure we will make a great team.” The Artemis Challenge, sponsored by Artemis investment Management, one of the UK’s leading investment companies and the largest British sponsor in offshore sailing, is recognised as one of the key events of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and is a magnificent spectacle, showcasing the best of offshore racing within easy reach of spectators.

The start line this year already features a world class line up of five latest generation IMOCA 60s, the same racing machines that compete in the legendary non-stop round the world Vendée Globe solo race, and the Artemis Challenge is the only UK-based IMOCA event. The race follows the classic America’s Cup route around the Isle of Wight, starting at 10 AM on the Royal Yacht Squadron Line. The winner will be the IMOCA 60 that takes line honours after completing the 50 mile sprint back to the Royal Yacht Squadron Line (weather permitting), winning £10,000 for the charity of choice of the skipper.

Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2011: Sailing yacht Living Doll wins

August 02, 2011

Victorian sailing yacht Living Doll (Michael Hiatt) has today been declared the IRC overall winner of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 26th Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, while S/Y Loki (Stephen  Ainsworth), last year’s winner, came in second and yacht Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer) was placed third.

Sailing yacht Living Doll confirmed as the overall winner of the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2011 - Photo Credit Ian Grant

Sailing yacht Living Doll confirmed as the overall winner of the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2011 - Photo Credit Ian Grant

Hiatt, from Melbourne, celebrated his 59th birthday last evening, but was cautious about celebrating winning the race too early. “There are still some small boats out there that could knock us off. I don’t know if they’ll get enough breeze, so we’ll stay low key until we know for sure,” he said last night.

Today was different. Hiatt said of the Farr 55 named after his clothing label: “The boat excels in the conditions we got; the weather suited us.”

The Royal Yacht Club of Victoria yachtsman said the win should also be attributed to his crew. “Everyone had a part to play, they were all very good at their jobs,” he said.

Loki’s owner, Stephen Ainsworth, commented: “You can’t be disappointed with second. We sailed the best we could and we really enjoyed the race.”

2010 winner of the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, sailing yacht Loki finished second overall in 2011 -  Photo Credit Andrea Francolini - Audi ©

2010 winner of the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, sailing yacht Loki finished second overall in 2011 - Photo Credit Andrea Francolini - Audi ©

The top TP52 in the race was Ragamuffin and the reward was third place overall and victory in the ORCI category, of which Fischer is a proponent. “It was a trialling race – it was very changeable throughout – but the crew enjoyed it and they did a really good job.

“I had a mix of old and young crew and everyone worked very well together. Vanessa Dudley and our young 49er sailor, Clinton Wade-Lehman, did a great job on the helm, along with our two other drivers and Steve McConaghy did a good job with the tactics. We mainly stayed on the rhumbline course; others took risks going out to sea that didn’t pay off,” he said.

Of his ORCi win, Fischer said: “I like winning ORCi and I’d like to see more owners getting into it.”

There are still 31 yachts at sea in 384 nautical mile race at 3.45pm this afternoon, of which 10 are not expected to finish until tomorrow. Due to time constraints, Andrew Cochrane’s Pendragon is the latest retirement, bringing the total to eight.

Jessica Watson trimming the kite of SY Another Challenge - Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2011 - Photo Credit Jonno Bannister - yacht Another Challenge

Jessica Watson trimming the kite of SY Another Challenge - Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race 2011 - Photo Credit Jonno Bannister - yacht Another Challenge

The next yacht due in is Chris Lewin’s Another Challenge, with solo round the world sailor Jessica Watson aboard. The Melbourne-based Sydney 38 is due at the Southport finish line sometime after 5.00pm. 

Those yachts in the vicinity of Ballina and Byron Bay are sailing in a pleasant 8-10 knot easterly, so at least would be enjoying the ride. It was not so easy for some earlier on, who were in stop-starting mode at the whim of the wind gods.

From ‘Dr Darryl’ Hodgkinson’s Beneteau 45 Victoire this morning, a few hours before they finished the race, being at sea so long was making the crew a bit crazy.

CYCA:  “Morning Danny (McConville) what’s happening out there today?
Victoire: Danny’s busy sleeping for his country.
CYCA: OK, so who’s manning the Skype?
Victoire: Phil the legend in my own lunchtime Eadie (navigator)
CYCA: So what’s the plan for the day Phil?
Phil: Well, lunch, I suppose.
CYCA: I mean race plans.

Phil: “It’s a bit light; we’re just working to finish before the breeze backs (and maybe lightens more).

Meanwhile, Geoff Lavis reported lots of whales from UBS Wild Thing, even during the night, which has provided a visual feast for crews throughout the long race.

The Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race is the penultimate event of the Audi IRC Australian Championship, and once the remaining yachts have completed the race, results will be known before yachts head to the final event, Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, to be held from 19-27 August.

The official prize giving for the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race will be held at Southport Yacht Club at 11am tomorrow morning.

By Di Pearson, CYCA Event media

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week: Technological Developments Announced

August 02, 2011

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week has a new online presence for this year’s regatta which starts on Saturday 6 August. With funding support from Aberdeen Asset Management, the event’s fresh, new-look website has been designed and built by technology partner, NGR, and features special user zones for competitors, visitors and press and improved navigation to make the site easier to use. A mobile-friendly version of the site has also been created to give smartphone users instant access to results, news, start times, courses and entertainment schedules during the regatta. The design of the new website has taken into account feedback received from competitors and online visitors. 

Technology Developments at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Technology Developments at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Aberdeen is also providing support for a live GPS boat tracking system trial at this year’s regatta. The ‘ngTrack’ system, also developed by NGR, uses competitors’ own smartphones instead of expensive dedicated tracking devices to monitor the locations of boats taking part. Position data is transmitted in real-time to regatta HQ and is available to view online through a simple, easy-to-use viewer. The system is being trialed with the IRC Class 0, Dragon and Multihull classes this year, but Aberdeen hope to extend the facility to the wider Cowes Week fleet in 2012.

Commenting on this year’s tracking trial, CWL Chief Executive, Stuart Quarrie commented:”I have been keen to secure a tracking solution for the regatta for some time and this trial bodes well for a total solution in future years. Being able to track the fleet will be a huge bonus from both a spectator and race management viewpoint”.

Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management said: “The new tracking system is something we’re really pleased to have been able to support in our first year at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. At Aberdeen we are aiming to help enhance the event and hopefully this cutting-edge GPS tracking system trial will do just that for all those taking part. We are very much looking forward to receiving feedback from these initial trials to find out if this initiative has been the success we all hope it will be so that we can look to extend it to the whole fleet in 2012.”

Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week: Traditional Favourites and Exciting New Developments

July 31, 2011

Excitement is building in the final approach to Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week (6-13 August) and, with little more than a week to go; organisers are pleased to confirm the full shore-side and entertainment schedule. In addition to the traditional favourites, there are several new and exciting developments too. Highlights for this year include:

Red Arrows take to the skies at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

Red Arrows take to the skies at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

The return of the Red Arrows – Saturday 6 August

The sensational Red Arrows will perform their jaw-dropping display at 19:30 on Saturday 6 August (the first Saturday of the event). The Red Arrows are pleased to make a return to the skies above Cowes after a disappointment in 2010 when the display had to be cancelled due to poor weather and visibility.

A day for the whole family – Sunday 7 August

To help parents and children get the most out of their time at the regatta, a range of family-friendly activities and group offers have been introduced exclusively for Family Day which will take place, for the first time, on Sunday 7 August. The special free events include:

•             A children’s flag-making competition (11am – 2pm) in the Ondeck VIP area at Cowes Yacht Haven.

•             Viewings aboard the iconic Gipsy Moth IV off Trinity Landing (11am – 2pm).

•             Viewing aboard the Sea Cadets training ship, TS John Jerwood, off Trinity Landing (1pm – 5pm)

•             Remote-controlled model-boat racing (5pm – 7pm) off Trinity Landing, Cowes Parade.

•             A village fete throughout the day at Northwood Park.

•             “Wonders of the Universe” stargazing evening courtesy of the Islands own astronomer (9.30pm – 10.30pm). Arrive from 7pm for canapés and cocktails from the pay bar at Northwood House.

•             Spot prizes awarded on the water to families racing together, courtesy of Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare and Bainbridge International.

In addition, hour-long sailing lessons with the UKSA are available to families of four for a special discounted price of just £15 on Family Day (book at the Try Sailing Unit on Cowes Parade).

More adventurous families can enjoy a “Rock up and RIB” outing with Ondeck who are offering a special discounted ticket price of £95 for a family of four, or, for a slower-paced spectator experience, the spectator boat service has a significantly discounted family ticket price of £20 for 2 adults and 2 children, exclusively for Family Day.

Ladies Day, in association with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation – Tuesday 9 August

For the last five years, Ladies Day at Cowes Week has provided a celebration of the outstanding successes of women in sailing. This year, a partnership with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation continues that tradition but also recognises the wider achievements of the country’s sportswomen and a number of personalities from across the world of sport will be in Cowes in support of the Ladies Day celebrations. 

The main focus of the Ladies Day celebrations will be an evening reception on the Pier at Shepards Wharf Marina during which the Ladies Day Trophy will be presented – an award that recognises an outstanding contribution, commitment or achievement of a woman in sailing. Nominations for the Ladies Day Trophy can be made on the event website (www.aamcowesweek.co.uk) until midnight on Friday 5 August.

Ladies Day also features a range of celebratory activities for women, including:

-              On-the-spot prizes awarded at random out on the water to female sailors.

-              10% discount on all Gill purchases for female shoppers in the Aquatogs store in Cowes as well as at the Gill retail unit at Cowes Yacht Haven.

-              Free entry to Club Infernos for ladies before 00:30 (subject to capacity).

Toe in the Water Curry Night – Wednesday 10 August

A crew curry night will be held at Shepards Wharf Marina on Wednesday 10 August. Island Ales have brewed a special ‘Toe in the Water’ ale which is available at the Toe in the Water Crew Bar, and chefs from the Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistics Regiment will provide the food and military pipers!.

The Official Mount Gay Red Cap Party – Thursday 11 August

The infamous Mount Gay Red Cap party will take place on Thursday 11 August at Shepards Wharf Marina at which there will be a chance to gain one of the most cherished mementoes of any regatta – the coveted Mount Gay Red Cap! A free Red Cap will be given to the first 500 people to buy a ticket and tickets will be available from the Toe in the Water Crew Bar at Shepards for just £5.

TALISKER® Single Malt Scotch Whisky Presents the World’s First Ever Sail-In Cinema – Friday 12 August

TALISKER, the Single Malt Scotch Whisky-Made by the Sea, is hosting the world’s first Sail-In Cinema off Cowes Esplanade at 7pm on Friday 12 August.

The screening of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World will be shown on a giant screen and boats arriving in the Solent just off Cowes for the fireworks will be able to enjoy this unique form of entertainment. The choice of film was selected by Facebook fans and Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week competitors.

Fireworks – Friday 12 August

A highlight of the event each year is the world-renowned fireworks, which take place on the final Friday of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. Tens of thousands of spectators enjoy the spectacular display over the Solent.

Both the event organisers, Cowes Week Limited, and Aberdeen Asset Management as the title sponsor of the event have committed sizeable contributions to the display this year. However, additional funds are still needed, and a fundraising campaign involving the local community continues to work hard to secure funding. Donations can be made securely online and any surplus funds will contribute towards the 2011 display.

Clipper Round the World Race crews trained by Hyde Sails

July 31, 2011

As they geared up for the start, Clipper Race crews were treated to some invaluable sail repair training as part of the ongoing support from Hyde Sails. The one day sail repair course was run by two of Hyde’s highly experienced team, Martin Newman and Paul Austin.

Specialist sail repair training is given to Clipper race crews © Hyde Sails

Specialist sail repair training is given to Clipper race crews © Hyde Sails

As the official sail supplier for the Clipper 09-10 Round the World Yacht Race, Hyde has been closely involved with the boats as they prepared for their round the world test, helping the crews to train in sail repair and maintenance, which will be a necessary part of their trip.

Hyde Sails will power all ten of the Clipper yachts as they race round the world. Over the course of ten months and 35,000 miles of racing, the yachts and their sails will face some of the most testing sailing conditions possible, including the challenges of the Southern Ocean.

Specialist sail repair training is given to Clipper race crews © Hyde Sails..

Specialist sail repair training is given to Clipper race crews © Hyde Sails..

Martin and Paul, who have over 35 years of sailmaking experience between them, trained 20 crew members in the art of how to use the onboard sewing machines to repair spinnakers and how to carry out hand sewn repairs to their fore and aft sails. Crews will need these skills in case of sail damage during a leg, when they will need to undertake any essential repairs to their sails in order to finish a leg.

At each stopover specialist support will also be available to service the fleets’ sails and perform more permanent repairs where necessary. For more details and to follow the story of Hyde’s Sails in the race.

Hyde Sails Hyde is one of the largest volume sail producers worldwide. Backed up by 45 years of expertise, Hyde has consistently placed itself at the forefront of sail technology, design and production for everything from Optimists to ocean racing yachts.

About the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race

 The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race was founded in 1996 by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the first man to sail solo and non-stop around the world. So that others could follow in his footsteps he set up the Clipper Race enabling ordinary people to become ocean racers and achieve the pinnacle in ocean yacht racing, a circumnavigation.