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Transatlantic Race 2011: A Great First Day onboard Superyacht Maltese Falcon

July 01, 2011

The 289ft Perini Navi designed superyacht Maltese Falcon which is one of the largest privately-owned sailboats in the world had a fantastic start to the 2011 Transatlantic Race on the 29th of June, as described in Jeremy Smith’s blog, a Deckhand onboard sailing yacht Maltese Falcon.

Transatlantic Race 2011 A Great First Day onboard Superyacht Maltese Falcon

Transatlantic Race 2011 A Great First Day onboard Superyacht Maltese Falcon

“Yesterday afternoon, we had a fantastic start for the Transatlantic Race 2011. We were thrilled to see so many yachts and spectators come out to see us off! We started against Phaedo, the orange 66′ Gunboat catamaran, and they managed to sneak in front of us for now. After all, they weigh less than just one of our three rigs! Luckily, they aren’t too far ahead and we still have plenty of time to try and catch them. As of 1945 EST, S/Y Jazz is just off our starboard bow.

Transatlantic Race 2011: A Great First Day onboard Superyacht Maltese Falcon

Transatlantic Race 2011: A Great First Day onboard Superyacht Maltese Falcon

We had a great first 24 hours, covering about 320 nm with an average speed of 13.3kts, with 15-20kt winds and pretty flat seas. We have seen several whales and a few dolphins, and everybody is adjusting well to our life at sea.

We’ll keep you posted on our progress!”

Jeremy Smith
Deckhand

Phaedo and Maltese Falcon at the Transatlantic yacht race 2011 - Richard Langdon

Phaedo and Maltese Falcon at the Transatlantic yacht race 2011 - Richard Langdon

Transatlantic Race 2011: Racing Machines Readying For Battle

July 01, 2011

Since 1866, the cornerstone of offshore yacht racing has been transatlantic races, due, in part, to legendary yachts sailed by icons of the sport.  Few, however, would disagree that the impending showdown between Rambler 100 and sailing yacht ICAP Leopard ranks right up there with the best battles of all time.

ICAP Leopard Supermaxi Race Yacht will be one of the final six boats to depart in the Transatlantic Race 2011 when the starting cannon fires this Sunday, July 3.

ICAP Leopard Supermaxi Race Yacht will be one of the final six boats to depart in the Transatlantic Race 2011 when the starting cannon fires this Sunday, July 3.

Sunday, July 3, the third and final start for the Transatlantic Race 2011 will commence at 1350 Eastern Daylight Time, when the warning signal is fired at Castle Hill Lighthouse.  Six yachts will then begin this historic and epic race across the wilds of the Atlantic Ocean.  The following day as 4th of July celebrations are underway ashore, the action out on the race course is sure to be every bit as explosive.

While Rambler 100 and ICAP Leopard, sailed by George David (Hartford, Conn.) and Clarke Murphy (New York, N.Y.), respectively, are likely to contest for line honors in the Transatlantic Race 2011, the other combatants are not just filling out the numbers.  The conditions will play a big part in deciding the overall class winner in IRC Class One and the victor will claim the Cape May Trophy, which James Gordon Bennett – winner of the first-ever Transatlantic Race in 1866 — presented to the New York Yacht Club in 1872.

Super Maxi Sailing Yacht Rambler 100

Super Maxi Sailing Yacht Rambler 100

For sailing yacht Sojana, whose owner Peter Harrison (London, U.K.) is a member of New York Yacht Club, the Transatlantic Race 2011 is an opportunity to resolve unanswered questions.

Sail yacht Sojana's skipper Marc Fitzgerald (Gurnard, U.K.) is set to resolve unfinished business from 2005 when the 115' ketch departs on the Transatlantic Race 2011. (photo credit TR2011 Jan Harley)

Sail yacht Sojana's skipper Marc Fitzgerald (Gurnard, U.K.) is set to resolve unfinished business from 2005 when the 115' ketch departs on the Transatlantic Race 2011. (photo credit TR2011 Jan Harley)

“When they announced they were doing it again we were delighted to enter, because, for Sojana, it is unfinished business,” said skipper Marc Fitzgerald (Gurnard, U.K.).  “We had a dramatic race in 2005.  We had a medical evacuation when one of the crew broke his arm and we diverted to drop him off for surgery.  We were leading our class at the time and lost 36 hours in the race.  At that time we were on for the course record.  Obviously we had no hesitation in getting treatment for the injured crew, but this race is unfinished business.  That race was wet, windy and cold, which is not a problem on Sojana.  We have hot showers, comfortable beds and proper food.  If we have an advantage it will be in heavy air reaching and horrible conditions, simply because the conditions onboard the high performance race boats will be uncomfortable for their crew.  We are a superyacht in with the racing yachts.  We like playing with the big boys, but we are under no illusions, we are not even thinking about giving them a hard time.  However, we did beat Leopard on corrected time in the RORC Caribbean 600, so it’s not impossible.”

Mark Thomas (Perth, Australia), watch captain on sailing yacht ICAP Leopard, gave an overview of the 100’ canting keel super maxi as final preparations were being made dockside.

“ICAP Leopard has a 47m cathedral rig,” said Thomas.  “All of our mast locks are rated for 16 tons, which means the tack of the sail loads can take up to 14 tons.  Leopard has got to have locking halyards – they take compression out of the rig and without them you would need to have massive halyards.”

Thomas added that the rigging is made from an exotic material called PBO and solid thermoset carbon fiber from Future Fibres.  The running backstays cost roughly $8,000 each and are an essential part of trimming the sails, “however, the most important piece of equipment we have onboard is the toasted cheese sandwich machine.  It will be a dark day when we run out of bread, as the rest of our rations are freeze dried.”

The young sailors on the Oakcliff All-American Offshore Team are absolutely thrilled to be taking part in this race and are reveling in the thought of crossing the start line with some of the legends of the sport.  Sail yacht Vanquish, the Reichel Pugh 65, has two young women in crew — Kaity Storck and Molly Robinson – who are both in their twenties.

“Although I am just 65kg there is little I can’t do on the boat,” said Storck (Huntington, N.Y.), an Inter-collegiate Sailing Association All-American.  “These sails are heavy and need a group of people to drag them into place.  Weight distribution is also very important.  The pedestal grinders onboard are very efficient and most of the time fitness is more important than brute strength.  Also, when we need the weight off the rail, if one of the lighter crew comes down to trim the main, the boat doesn’t heel over as much.  I have done a lot of match racing and 470 sailing before and the basic principles are just the same.  One of the big differences is that when you race inshore, if you fall out with someone you can just walk away and resolve it later.  In the middle of the Atlantic that is not an option, everybody has to get along, all the time.  We all take part in many different roles onboard and for me to drive a 65’ racing yacht is fantastic.”

Sailing yacht Vanquish - A Reichel Pugh 65

Sailing yacht Vanquish - A Reichel Pugh 65

Prior to joining the Vanquish crew Robinson (San Francisco, Calif.) was primarily crewing on 29ers.  “This is a big step up for me and very different.  We might be bathing in sunshine now, but we could well be heading up into the northern latitudes where it will be cold and the weather can be pretty bad.  We all realize how lucky we are to be part of this program and we hope that the team will be able to carry on after this race and compete in others such as the Rolex Fastnet Race.”

The Farr 80 Beau Geste, skippered by Karl Kwok (Hong Kong), was in fine form in the Annapolis Newport Race, beating both Rambler 100 and ICAP Leopard overall after time correction.  Watch captain Gavin Brady (Auckland, New Zealand) is an America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veteran who has been sailing with Kwok for many years:  “The ideal conditions for us will be a variety of wind angles and wind speeds.  The other yachts will prefer one type of condition the whole way across.  Puma, for example, is half the weight of Beau Geste and will go better in light conditions.  All of the canting keel boats have dagger boards that give zero leeway and in heavy upwind conditions, that is a big advantage.  Virtually all of our competitors are extreme boats, but Beau Geste was designed for a variety of wind angles and if we get upwind, downwind and reaching conditions that would be our perfect scenario.  I also think that it is important to stress that this race rewards good seamanship, handling the boat well and pre-empting changes will be rewarded and that’s a good thing.  The overall winner will probably be the boat that is sailed the best; we should all get the result that our performance deserves.”

George David, skipper of Rambler 100, explained that his maxi yacht is a very complicated machine, and it takes a very high level of skill to sail it.  “It has been a lot of fun to take a boat like this and modify it to improve it,” said David.  “One of the biggest changes was to the sail plan.  The forestay is now out on a bowsprit, which has increased the foot of the headsails by over four feet making the headsails 30% larger.  The mainsail was reduced in size and these changes have allowed us to rebalance the boat, especially to get the bow out of the water to promote the boat onto the plane.  The sprit is also designed to deflect water off the deck.  In extreme conditions several tons of water can come down the deck; this affects performance and also can cause some serious problems for the crew.  Green water smashing down the deck at 30 knots is not easy to work with.”

According to Tony Mutter (Auckland NZ) watch captain on PUMA Ocean Racing’s Mar Mostro, “this is a very important race for us.  We will be racing with the full PUMA team and in full race mode.  Time on the water is very important, as the rules for the next Volvo Ocean Race do not allow us to test with two boats, so this race will be part of our learning process with the boat.  So far we have sailed about 3,000 miles in the new boat.  The Transatlantic Race 2011, followed by the trip to our training camp in The Canaries will double our time on the water.  We hope to get a variety of conditions to test the systems onboard and especially to look at a variety of sails.  This is all extremely valuable training, but so is racing.  Also with so many boats getting a head start it will give us something to go for.  I don’t think we can catch them all but it will be a good motivation to push as hard as we can.”

Sponsors of the TR 2011 are Rolex, Thomson Reuters, Newport Shipyard, Perini Navi and Peters & May, with additional support by apparel sponsor Atlantis Weathergear.

Transatlantic Yacht Race 2011: Supermaxi Sailing yacht ICAP Leopard prepares

June 30, 2011

ICAP Leopard, the record breaking 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, is making final preparations ahead of the Transatlantic Race in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. The boat will cross the start line at Castle Hill in Newport, Rhode Island on Sunday 3rd July at the beginning of the 2,975 NM journey on its way to Lizard Point in South Cornwall, UK.

ICAP Leopard Supermaxi Race Yacht

ICAP Leopard Supermaxi Race Yacht

Clarke Murphy will skipper a hugely experienced off-shore crew including veteran Australian Captain, Chris Sherlock. Sherlock was Captain aboard ICAP Leopard when the boat smashed the Transatlantic Speed Sailing record in 2008, finishing in 7 days, 19 hours and 21 minutes.

Sherlock said “Having competed in transatlantic races before, I know how tough the conditions can get in the Atlantic. Everyone in the team will have to pull together to ensure that we predict the weather conditions as best as possible, and that we react to them quickly to race the best possible tactical race”.

Negotiating complex weather systems will play an integral role in Sailing yacht ICAP Leopard’s latest transatlantic voyage which runs a different course to the record beating voyage. Hugh Agnew will be working with weather supremo Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham to negotiate what looks to be a testing scenario. Agnew commented: “On any transatlantic voyage, keeping a close eye on the meteorological conditions is vital. With the start being on a set date, it means that we don’t have the luxury of looking for the most favourable weather window, so we have to make sure that we look at the long-term weather patterns and use them to map out our route”.

Clarke Murphy said “After the Caribbean 600 and the Annapolis to Newport races, which saw close results on very different courses, we are well prepared for a great Transatlantic race. ICAP Leopard is a very good all round yacht that has proved itself in the North Atlantic having completed this type of voyage several times. The team’s experience will stand us in good stead to sail a tactical race.”

Mike Slade, owner of ICAP Leopard said “We are in second place overall in the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series. With the Transatlantic Race counting for 1.5 points it is all to play for. We have a proven team who relish the challenge and never give up.”

Ocean Theatre, Dramatic Spectacle in the Transatlantic Race 2011 This Morning

June 30, 2011

Newport, R.I. USA – This morning, the tension was mounting dockside as 14 yachts made final preparations before they took the second start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 in a spectacular scene full of drama.

Phaedo and Maltese Falcon at the Transatlantic yacht race 2011 -  Richard Langdon

Phaedo and Maltese Falcon at the Transatlantic yacht race 2011 - Richard Langdon

With a huge number of spectator boats gathered to see the fleet off, the breeze started to build just as the first warning signal sounded from the Castle Hill Light at 13:50 Eastern Daylight Time.  A freshening southwesterly caught several competitors off-guard, resulting in three boats — Scho-ka-kola, Concise 2 and Jazz — being called over the line at the start.  Scho-ka-kola returned almost immediately, however, Concise 2 and Jazz continued to race and it was nearly half an hour before these two yachts returned to cross the line correctly.

Concise 2 is one of two Class 40s in the fleet, and the eagerness of its young crew gave Dragon, which is being sailed double-handed by Michael Hennesy (Mystic, Conn.) and Rob Windsor (East Northport, N.Y.), an early lead in the class – by the time Concise restarted, Dragon was 4.5 miles ahead.  No doubt the Concise crew will be digging deep to make up for lost time.

Jazz, the Cookson 50 skippered by Nigel King (Lymington, U.K.), came back very strongly after their premature start.  Navigator Mike Broughton (Hamble, U.K.), speaking dockside just an hour before the start, believes it will be an interesting first night.  “The cold front should come through as we go around the Nantucket Shoals, and how we play that could be pretty much a key area.  I am seeing a bit of coastal racing for this ocean race.  This is a fascinating racecourse and has been for hundreds of years.  The conditions are the same now as they have been for all those years…the jet stream, the low pressure systems, the Gulf Stream.  Many of the grand prix offshore events can be broken down into a series of legs, but this one is more like trying to hit a moving target; trying to work out where you want to go and when that pressure will get there.”

In IRC Class Two, Christoph Avenarius and Gorm Gondesen’s Shakti and Jens Kellinghusen’s Varuna have begun their battle within the race.  Both yachts are from Germany and have exactly the same hull, however, there are subtle differences between the two yachts as Shakti’s tactician, Bendix Hügelmann (Hamburg, Germany) explained before the start.  “Varuna has more sail area and weight in her keel, which should give them an advantage in heavier conditions.  However, we recently raced each other and there was little difference in speed between us.  Two days ago, the crews of both Shakti and Varuna had dinner together.  We hope to make each other go faster by our close competition, rather than slow each other down.  It is also very useful to have another yacht close by, should we need assistance in an emergency.  We will be pushing Shakti to win, but safety is always the most important aspect of any yacht race.”

In IRC Class Three, the Reichel Pugh 66 Zaraffa made the best start.  Owner Huntington Sheldon (Shelburne, Vt.), at 80 years of age, is believed to be the oldest competitor in the Transatlantic Race 2011, and has a crack crew on board including Axel Maghdal (Norway), Richard Mason (New Zealand), Jens Dolmer (Denmark) and Matt Humphries (England), all of whom have all competed in the Volvo Ocean Race.  “This is a professionally run team and Zaraffa won the Transatlantic in 2003 and a lot of people said that was a fluke,” said a defiant Sheldon just hours before the start.  “I aim to prove those people wrong.”  From the way Zaraffa started it looks as though the team mean business.

Second Start Fleet - Amory Ross

Second Start Fleet - Amory Ross

The team on the Volvo 60 Ambersail is proud to be the first-ever Lithuanian yacht to compete in a Transatlantic Race.  “To see the Lithuanian flag at the New York Yacht Club was very special,” said skipper Simonas Steponavicius (Vilnius, Lithuania) just hours before the start.  “The sail number of Ambersail is LTU 1000, which was chosen as it signifies one thousand years of our country’s history.  This is a very proud moment for the crew and also for our country.  We wish all of the competitors good luck and fair winds for the race.”

Notably absent from the starting area was Chris Frost’s (Durban, South Africa) Prodigy.  The 54’ canting-keeled yacht, which took line honors in the 2011 Cape to Rio yacht race (easily breaking the record set 40 years ago by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Ocean Spirit), developed a technical problem just minutes before the start.  The issue seems to have been resolved, however, as Prodigy set off on the race within an hour of the rest of the fleet.

While the first start of the day produced some high drama, the start for the two yachts in the Open Class was just as extraordinary.  As the magnificent 298’ Maltese Falcon unfurled acres of canvas and entered the starting area, the Gunboat 66, Phaedo, owned by Lloyd Thornburg (St. Barthelemy) was dwarfed in comparison. Go here for more images of the charter yacht Maltese Falcon under sail.  Catamaran Phaedo is one of the world’s most head-turning maritime creations and the carbon fibre, Lamborghini-orange catamaran has become one of the most well-known yachts on the regatta circuit – some more pics here.  However, the spectacle of the Art Deco giant, Maltese Falcon, dominated the proceedings, announcing its intentions with a bone-rattling blast of colossal air-horns to warn spectator yachts that they were about to tack for the line.  It was a full five minutes before the three rotating rigs, each weighing 30 tons, completed their revolutions and Maltese Falcon heeled over bound for the start of the Transatlantic Race 2011.

Phaedo, however, was far more exuberant and timed the approach to perfection, coming up under Maltese Falcon.  At first they were caught in the enormous wind shadow of their leviathan nemesis, but as Phaedo came out of the wind hole, gasping for air, the crew onboard hauled in the sheets.  Pulling the trigger, Phaedo accelerated away from the opposition, but not for long.  Weighing in at an unbelievable 1110 tons, Maltese Falcon soon overhauled Phaedo and the rest of the fleet in today’s start, achieving a boat speed of over 14 knots.

Today’s starters have a lot of ground to make up just to catch up with the six yachts that started on June 26.  The yachts in IRC Class 4 and the classic yacht Nordwind have a 400 mile head start.  Star of the show in the leading pack is the McCurdy and Rhodes 48, Carina, skippered by Rives Potts, Jr. (Essex, Conn.).  Carina is the closest yacht to The Lizard finish – albeit with 2360 miles to go to finish this epic race.

Sponsors of the TR 2011 are Rolex, Thomson Reuters, Newport Shipyard, Perini Navi and Peters & May, with additional support by apparel sponsor Atlantis Weathergear.

Gunboat 66 catamaran

Gunboat 66 catamaran

Gunboat 66

Gunboat 66

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2011: Video Photos and Audio

June 30, 2011

The overall winner of the 59th Giraglia Rolex Cup is the 37ft-sailing yacht Foxy Lady (FRA), co-skippered by brothers Dominique and Michel Heyraud. Foxy Lady finished the race in a time of 48 hours and four minutes, at 12:08 CEST today, and went on to win on corrected time by 11 minutes, 30 seconds ahead of a fellow 37-footer Jeminy (FRA) with Calima (ESP), overall winners in 2009, finishing in third place.

Sailing yacht FOXY LADY, overall winner of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht FOXY LADY, overall winner of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

As winner of the Rolex Challenge Trophy, Foxy Lady collected her Rolex Submariner Rolesor as IRC Overall Winner on corrected time during a ceremony at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa, Italy.

Igor Simcic, owner of ESIMIT EUROPA 2, Jochen Schuemann (skipper) and Lionel Schurch, Rolex SA

Igor Simcic, owner of ESIMIT EUROPA 2, Jochen Schuemann (skipper) and Lionel Schurch, Rolex SA

Other awards were presented to Pietro Supparo’s Gianin 6 (ITA), the self-proclaimed ‘slowest yacht of the fleet’, as winners of Class ORC on corrected time. Canard 41 Aurora (ITA) picked up the Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy based on a combined score across all of the races that took place during the week.

Sailing yacht JETHOU, GBR

Sailing yacht JETHOU, GBR

Sailing yacht AEGIR, GBR

Sailing yacht AEGIR, GBR

Sailing yacht ALEGRE, GBR and EDIMETRA, ITA

Sailing yacht ALEGRE, GBR and EDIMETRA, ITA

Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) won the line honours title and whilst the metrological conditions thwarted the crew’s ambition of breaking the course record of 18 hours, 3 minutes and 15 seconds, the 28-man crew were delighted with their performance at the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2011 Video

2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Winners

Class IRC: Foxy Lady (FRA), Dominique Heyraud

Class ORC: Gianin 6 (ITA), Pietro Supparo

Line Honours: Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), Igor Simcic

Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy: Aurora (ITA), Paolo Bonomo/Roberto Bruno

24m Hoek Sailing Yacht Drumfire wins the Superyacht Cup Palma 2011

June 29, 2011

The Owner and crew of 24m Hoek Design sailing yacht Drumfire were crowned Overall Winner of the 2011 Superyacht Cup in Palma. A spectacular prize giving ceremony at the Es Baluard Museum overlooking the Bay of Palma marked the end of the 16th edition of the popular superyacht regatta.

24m Hoek Sailing Yacht Drumfire wins the Superyacht Cup Palma 2011

24m Hoek Sailing Yacht Drumfire wins the Superyacht Cup Palma 2011

After showing an early dominance in the regatta with two wins over the first two days, the crew of S/Y Drumfire took to their stride on Day 3 having to settle for second position in the final race behind fellow Hoek Design, the 43m sailing yacht This Is Us. But on overall points, Drumfire’s convincing wins on Day 1 and 2 were enough to clinch the overall prize 7 points ahead of 24m Heartbeat.

Hoek Sailing Yacht Drumfire won the Superyacht Cup Palma 2011 - Credit Hoek design

Hoek Sailing Yacht Drumfire won the Superyacht Cup Palma 2011 - Credit Hoek design

The crew were awarded the famous ‘Big Bent Cleat’, the perpetual trophy of the Superyacht Cup since the start of the event.

Sailing yacht Ranger wins J Class Regatta Newport

June 29, 2011

The J Class Newport Regatta finished on Sunday 19th June with a thrilling final race; a wonderful tactical exhibition that showcased the very best of the J Class yachts superyachts and the very best of sailing. Thousands of enthralled spectators were at Fort Adams, Castle Hill, and the headlands around Newport Bay over five days, to watch as sailing yacht Ranger won four races to S/Y Velsheda’s one race.

Sailing yacht Ranger wins J Class Regatta Newport - Ranger on Day 1. Photo©2011 Daniel Forster go4image.com

Sailing yacht Ranger wins J Class Regatta Newport - Ranger on Day 1. Photo©2011 Daniel Forster go4image.com

However the results do not reflect the closeness of many of the races. For example, Yacht Ranger won the first race by just one second on corrected time based on the new J Class Association handicap system.

Sailing yacht Ranger & Velsheda - Credit J Class Regatta Newport

Sailing yacht Ranger & Velsheda - Credit J Class Regatta Newport

The regatta was superb, with excellent facilities and charming Newport was a perfect venue for this event with such a rich maritime history and the location of the first America’s Cup event in Js. The welcome from locals was overwhelming and many Newport sailors turned out to help manage and assist. It is hoped that the fleet will return to Newport for further regattas in 2014.

The Newport Regatta was the first showcase of the JCA handicap system, created by the Wolfson Unit at Southampton University. This new system is based on VPP calculations and was validated from towing tank results achieved from the 1930s prepared for Harold S Vanderbilt, who went on to commission the 1937 “RANGER”. Sparkman and Stephens USA office made this comprehensive document available to the JCA and the information provided the vital cross-check required for the Wolfson Unit to complete the figures for accurate handicapping of the Js in the interests of fair racing and good sportsmanship on the race course.

Sailing yacht Ranger leading on Day 1, winning by 1 minute 19 seconds elapsed time, but by just 1 second on corrected time.

Sailing yacht Ranger leading on Day 1, winning by 1 minute 19 seconds elapsed time, but by just 1 second on corrected time.

J Class Sailing yacht Velsheda comes second in the 2011 J Class Regatta Newport- Credit J Class Yachts

J Class Sailing yacht Velsheda comes second in the 2011 J Class Regatta Newport- Credit J Class Yachts

Ratings are issued for three wind bands, 0-9 Knots, 10-14 Knots, plus14 Knots above, and two types of courses, Circular Random and Windward Leeward. This set of ratings offers the fairest measure of boat on boat performance.

Corum Watches presented a wonderful perpetual trophy to Ranger, the overall winner, who also won a unique timepiece – a Corum Tide Watch.

The next big J Class event is in Falmouth in June 2012 followed by The Solent in July 2012, finishing with the ‘Hundred Guinea Cup’ race around the Isle of Wight on the original America’s cup course.

J Class enthusiasts and fans of these iconic racing yachts can also look forward to the prospect of a re-run of the 1934 America’s Cup races between the original yacht ENDEAVOUR and the new replica sailing yacht RAINBOW when she is launched.

2011 Superyacht Cup in Palma – Quotes

June 28, 2011

There’s no doubt that the 2011 fleet of the Superyacht Cup in Palma was nothing short of superb, with a collection yachts to rival any gathered here before or elsewhere. Certainly, Andre Hoek and his many collaborators must be extremely proud of the twenty-five years of floating excellence and a distinct style which we’ve been treated to with his eleven yachts racing here together.

Hoek 115 F Class Classic Sailing Yacht FIREFLY by Claasen Yachtbouw

Hoek 115 F Class Classic Sailing Yacht FIREFLY by Claasen Yachtbouw

Yet any superyacht race is as much about the people who own, design, build, service and crew these beauties as it is about the vessels themselves. Hailing from all over the world, the people of yachting are an international brother hood and sisterhood of markedly independently-minded individuals who are fortunate enough to have dedicated themselves to this unique and wonderful little universe of sailing.

In their own words, here are some of the players of yachting from the Superyacht Cup 2011.

James Pleasance, organizer of the Superyacht Cup:

“The Superyacht Cup is becoming more popular each year as a  friendly, informal event with a family style atmosphere combined with competitive racing. With a 21 strong fleet of boats this year, it’s a great testimony to the success of the event”

Richard Watson, General Manager of Pascoe International, builders of ultra-high quality, new technology, super-fast yacht tenders:

“This is such a good opportunity to show our products to captains and crew – the people who use them and enjoy them. Its amazing and so wonderful  to view these yachts in action!”

Scott Zebny of North Sails Palma, who gear is onboard sailing yacht Fire fly, S/Y Lionheart, Scorpione and hundreds of top sailing yachts worldwide:

“Great to see our customers having so much fun, enjoying the beautiful sailing and the warm hospitality of Palma. My daughter Alicia looks forward to the fiesta every year!”

Colin Squire, publisher of Yachting Matters magazine: 

“Over 23 years of sailing, Palma has become my second home, and the Superyacht Cup is a focal point in my yearly calendar. It’s a special place for special people, and I always look forward to visiting my many friends on island, and especially those who gather for this great sailing event.”

Ben Golff, owner of marine fashion business Gaastra, Gold sponsors of the Superyacht Cup and other regattas, and owner of 34m sailing yacht Highland Breeze:

“These are some of the most beautiful and prestigious yachts in the world, making themselves available to sail together in a lovely environment, while being able to compete in an extremely well-organized event. My company Gaastra is proud to be accepted and to participate as a Gold Sponsor.”

Capt. Greg Norwood-Perkins, long time yacht racing veteran of countless events, and skipper of yacht 55m yacht Adela:

“Whats’ good about this year is there are lots of big boats, lots of schooners – which we are – so it’s great competition. This is a well-run regatta, very crew friendly, and which the owners also enjoy.”

Toby Allies of Pendennis shipyard, whose creations have adorned many Superyacht Cups, and other large-yacht races, this year including Adela and charter yacht Nostromo:

“It is a fantastic opportunity for owners to use their boats in a different way and meet other like-minded owners in a very relaxed environment. There’s a great atmosphere here – for the crew, industry, designers and builders, which allows us to showcase what the superyacht industry is all about.”

Capt. Joe Jackson of Fishman Productions, well-known skipper who has sailed the seven years, and recently settled on Palma, working as a rigger:

“It’s been a blast! I got blamed for a mistake on the bow – which wasn’t my fault even though I’m the bowman – but it’s all good, great seeing all my friends gathered together.”

Capt. Patrick Whetter, Superyacht Cup founder, and helmsman on 43m Holland Yachtbouw, S/Y This Is Us, another of the Hoek Designs 

I’m having the most fun driving the best boat I’ve ever driven! I’m very lucky that Robin lets me drive his absolutely superb Andrew Hoek designed yacht.

Paul Dielemans, General Manager of Rondal, part of the Royal Huisman family, sailing on 62m Athos, the largest yacht in the fleet:

“This puts us on a professional playing field, and is the perfect mix of serious sailing, information gathering, meeting everybody, and having fun at the same time. We are very happy to sponsor the Superyacht Cup.”

Louis Hamming, CEO of Vitters Shipyard, whose spectacular 55m yacht Marie is still yet another of the Hoek designs here this year, and which also sailed in the St. Barths Bucket:

“What is most important is for the owners to use their yachts to their maximum capabilities, seeing their full potential.  It’s not about winning – although everyone likes to win – it’s about competing against yachts of similar size and caliber. The fun factor is that the ratings offer transparency, giving owners understanding of what’s happening on the race course – it’s also important.”

Michael Kurtz and Imme of Panteanius, leading international marine insurance firm, and sponsors of the Superyacht Cup:

“We started from the very first Superyacht Cup as sponsors, and we like to stick by our old friends. We like to be close to our clients as they enjoy themselves, and if they need us, they know that Panteanius is always stays by your side.”

Rachel Harrison, of Integrated Marine Group, all the way from New Zealand for her first Superyacht Cup:

“Fantastic way to see Palma for the first time, with some of the best sailing superyachts in the world – and hopefully we can entice some of these beautiful yachts to come to our Millenium Cup in NZ next February. Thanks for inviting me!”

Peter Craig, well-known racing professional, and Principal Race Officer of the 2011 Superyacht Cup:

“2007 was my first superyacht event ever – I sailed on the mighty Meteor but didn’t even know how to spell superyacht then – but had a wonderful time! Four years later, superyachts dominate my life. I love being here in this capacity, because the owners are looking for, and deserve, a good, well-run regatta. We take it seriously, and it’s rewarding to give them a really good regatta like this one.”

Jim Teeters, whose Bucket Ratings system has become the industry standard for yacht racing worldwide:

“Fantastic racing today! We had a lot of boats finish within twenty minutes of each other, and that’s as much as you can ask for.”

Norma Trease (Salamanca Marine), Gloria Harvey (Lloyds Private Banking), Abi Wallace and Nichol Southwood (Crew Advantage Network):

“Let’s make sure the women are included too!”

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2011: Sailing yacht Foxy Lady Wins

June 27, 2011

The surprise overall winner of the 59th Giraglia Rolex Cup is the 37ft-sailing yacht Foxy Lady (FRA), co-skippered by brothers Dominique and Michel Heyraud. Foxy Lady finished the race in a time of 48 hours and four minutes, at 12:08 CEST today, and went on to win on corrected time by 11 minutes, 30 seconds ahead of a fellow 37-footer Jeminy (FRA) with Calima (ESP), overall winners in 2009, finishing in third place.

Sailing yacht FOXY LADY, overall winner of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht FOXY LADY, overall winner of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Dominique Heyraud was surprised and elated in equal measure: “It’s absolutely a great feeling because we did not expect it at all. It is a very prestigious race that counts a lot in the Mediterranean had the feeling that we managed the race quite well, that we sailed properly, and also that we were lucky in some situations regarding our decisions. It was a very interesting and challenging race.”

“The funny part about it, is that each night ‘the cards are mixed’,” continues Heyraud, “in the evening you see boats around and in the morning at sunrise there are different ones there and you wonder if you have gained or lost in the race, if you have chosen the best option. We thought we could be well placed in IRC but we never thought we could win on handicap.”

Heyraud reveals the moment when he realised that the dream may become reality: “I was going for bread in the kitchen downstairs and then my colleague showed me on the screen of his mobile the list of the results, saying: there is something I would like to show you. I  asked him, what’s this all about, and when he enlarged the list saw: ’1st Foxy Lady’. It really took me a while to realise that it was really the results of the Giraglia Rolex Cup and not from another local race in the Mediterranean we had done before. ”

Brother Michel was equally ecstatic: “I would like to thank Rolex for having “re-energised” great and mythical offshore races like the Giraglia, the Fastnet, the Sydney Hobart. Sailing is such a wonderful sport and it is great to have such support. To win the Giraglia Rolex Cup of course means a lot for us. It is not exactly the same as winning the 24h of Le Mans but quite similar, since it is the biggest race in the Mediterranean.”

And, why the evocative name Foxy Lady, for this twenty year old yacht? “It was the name it had when we bought it,” continues Dominique, “we kept it because we thought it fits very well. It was also a play on words because very often the X-Yachts have a name with an X and so it has a double meaning because it is also a song by Jimi Hendrix. We like very much the stern of this boat and we said to each other: “this boat is a sexy lady and we keep the name because we like her”.

As winner of the Rolex Challenge Trophy, Foxy Lady collected her Rolex Submariner Rolesor as IRC Overall Winner on corrected time during a ceremony this evening at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa, Italy.

Other awards were presented to Pietro Supparo’s Gianin 6 (ITA), the self-proclaimed ‘slowest yacht of the fleet’, as winners of Class ORC on corrected time. Canard 41 Aurora (ITA) picked up the Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy based on a combined score across all of the races that took place during the week.

Igor Simcic, owner of ESIMIT EUROPA 2, Michel Heyraud and Dominique Heyraud owners of FOXY LADY, winners of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup     Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Igor Simcic, owner of ESIMIT EUROPA 2, Michel Heyraud and Dominique Heyraud owners of FOXY LADY, winners of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Flying Under One Flag

Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) were always the strong favourite for the line honours title and whilst the metrological conditions thwarted the crew’s ambition of breaking the course record of 18 hours, 3 minutes and 15 seconds, the 28-man crew were delighted with their performance at the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

Sailing yacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 at the finish line in Genoa, line honours winner Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 at the finish line in Genoa, line honours winner Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

As an Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner, skipper Jochen Schümann has seen it all in the world of sailing. Post-race, he provided an expert analysis of the 243-nautical mile challenge: “The beginning was the most exciting for the crew, as we started behind the other classes and it was like sailing an obstacle race through the small boats. From then on we were in the lead and in good control and fulfilled our strategic plan, up until the first night when the wind died. It then became a gamble where the next breeze would be. Things changed in front of the Giraglia rock, as a building breeze from south arrived. We managed to sail past the rock with almost no wind but just around Giraglia we got a good southerly for a perfect finish into Genoa.”

“We are very happy to have claimed line honours,” closes Schümann, “There was some great teamwork, we did a good job in keeping moving, needing some zig-zags in the night to find breeze.”

Tactician Sidney Gavignet added: “It’s a great pleasure to work with this European team, with all the different languages and cultures. Communication is very important and the navigation and tactics went very well. It was important to be patient and a pleasure to cross the line ahead of so many boats.”

Owner Igor Simcic is proud of the crew’s development: “Without such a great team it would not have been possible to succeed. The team represents Europe, with crew members from different countries. Seeing this great job is our message: all Europeans, together on the same boat, winning.” Simcic highlighted the role of navigator Juan Vila, another key addition to the afterguard: “It was very interesting to work with him, understand his thought process and how he gets access to the right information.”

Tales From The Chasing Pack

Alegre (GBR) were the second boat to finish, capping an impressive Giraglia Rolex Cup after they won their class in the inshore races. “We stuck to our plan and went round the rock probably with the most breeze of the whole race,” explains owner/skipper Andres Soriano, “and indeed in the three times I have done the race. We had a good run into the Genoa harbour, which is usually the slowest part of the race.”

Sailing yacht Alegre Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht Alegre Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

The Japanese crew of the 39-ft Donna J have considerably less Giraglia Rolex Cup experience than Soriano’s Alegre, and in recording a time of 46 hours, 50 minutes and 53 seconds, thoroughly enjoyed participating. “It is our first time here,” explains skipper Kawakami Seiji, “and we found it all so exciting, particularly rounding the Giraglia rock. We will definitely try and come back next year.”

Yan Trouven of Ker 53 Cruiser-Racer Dralion (MLT) reflected on his team’s time of 43 hours, 32 minutes and 46 seconds: “It was quite a long race with not too much wind and during certain stages on the GPS we were going backwards.”

Unlike many other crews, Dralion, though, enjoyed a relatively comfortable rounding of the Giraglia rock. “We had some good wind during the turn so we came out of it well whereas other boats were parked next to it,” added Trouven, closing with his mantra for the race, “the two important things were keeping the boat going and the maintaining the crew’s concentration.”

The overall winner two years ago, the S&S 43 Calima (ESP), finished in third place in 2011, although owner Javier Pujol has his regrets this time around: “It was a very nice race, but technically we made a tactical mistake between La Fourmigue and the Giraglia. We were very well positioned until this point but with this error, rounded the rock with no advantage. It is a shame because on paper the conditions were better than in 2009.” Given Calima’s impressive overall standing, that tactical decision may have proven costly.

Giuseppe Tadini’s Dufour-34 Bachiottinho (ITA) has not had as far to travel as the aforementioned yachts and for the young crew, the race had its ups and downs as tactician Stefano Rusconi reveals: “We raced well up to the Giraglia and had a good position in the handicap standings. The second part of the race was more difficult though as the wind changed and forced us to lose a lot of time. However, we’re happy as for us it is a week’s holiday in June and being in Saint Tropez was amazing.”

Whilst many of the crews will now be thinking of rest and recuperation, for others such as Alegre (GBR), Lucky (USA) Near Miss (SUI) and Pace (GBR) preparations are beginning for the Rolex Fastnet Race, taking place between 14-20 August.

Sailing yacht JETHOU, GBR rounding the Giraglia Rock Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht JETHOU, GBR rounding the Giraglia Rock Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Winners

Class IRC: Foxy Lady (FRA), Dominique Heyraud

Class ORC: Gianin 6 (ITA), Pietro Supparo

Line Honours: Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), Igor Simcic

Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy: Aurora (ITA), Paolo Bonomo/Roberto Bruno

Panerai British Classic Week and HERO combine forces

June 27, 2011

Sixty classic yachts and sixty classic cars will come together in Cowes on the Isle of Wight in July during Panerai British Classic Week when Officine Panerai, the British Classic Yacht Club and The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO) will host an event for classic yacht and car enthusiasts.

HERO Summer Classic Reliability Trial & Tour

HERO Summer Classic Reliability Trial & Tour

The week-long sailing regatta, (16th-23rd July), whose participants include some of the world’s finest vintage and classic yachts will also be the venue of this year’s HERO Summer Classic Reliability Trial & Tour taking place on Thursday 21st July.

For the second year the regatta forms part of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Series, the international regatta circuit which includes some of the world’s leading classic yacht regattas, such as the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and the Régates Royales in Cannes. Between April and September over five-thousand people, among them yacht owners, professional sailors and sailing enthusiasts will come together at the ten events in the series’ calendar.

During Panerai British Classic Week two members of the Naval Service will participate in the HERO Summer Classic and Reliability Trial and Tour and the sailing events in support of members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines serving on operations worldwide and will help raise money for the Royal Navy & Royal Marines charity, who support serving and former naval personnel to make their lives that much better

They will drive a Land Rover in the event and on the regatta’s final day of sailing they will sail on-board one of the competing yachts. In addition to the event’s organisers the participants in both events will be invited to make donations to the charity.

The reliability trial will begin at 9.30am on July 21st with a car leaving Cowes Yacht Haven every minute until 10.30am. Each car will take part in a manoeuvrability test before continuing reliability trial around the Isle of Wight with cars returning to the yacht haven throughout the day. The classic cars, including more than a dozen teams from all over Europe will leave the Island that evening to continue the trial, which will conclude on Saturday 23rd July with a black-tie presentation awards dinner in the Goodwood area.

Members of the public are invited to the Panerai event village in Cowes Yacht Haven to observe this rare spectacle and soak up the event’s atmosphere. Among the sixty cars competing is a DB6 Aston Martin owned by Sir Paul McCartney and a 1937 Jaguar SS100. Harbour-side the public will be able to see the iconic yacht Gipsy Moth IV on which Sir Francis Chichester sailed single-handed around the world in 1966-7 as well as Mikado, the 42ft Fife & Sons yacht built in 1904. People wishing to stay to see the yachts return to the harbour at the end of the day will be able, to enjoy live musical entertainment and food and drink from local artisan producers in the Panerai event village open between 3pm-8pm throughout the regatta and until 11pm Wednesday- Friday.

Patrick Burke and Tomas de Vargas Machuca, Directors of HERO, comment: “HERO is delighted to be invited to host the Summer Classic Reliability Trial and Tour at the Panerai British Classic Week. It is the first time that a classic car and classic yacht event have come together to create a hugely exciting and visual event. HERO is going from strength to strength and collaborations like this really show what a positive direction the organisation is moving. HERO’s aim is to help focus up and coming young talent to show that endurance rallying is an extremely thrilling sport.”