yacht racing Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

RORC Caribbean 600 – Yacht Hetairos reaches Guadeloupe as first

February 22, 2012

Leading yachts in the RORC Caribbean 600 were moving towards Guadeloupe last night, rising to 1,467m (4,813 feet) above sea level. The island generates the most significant wind shadow on the 600-mile racecourse. First to reach the island at sunset was the 214ft Baltic ketch Hetairos, powering thought the crystal clear waters at 18knots.

Sailing Yacht Hetairos

Sailing Yacht Hetairos

George David’s RP90 superyacht Rambler were just over a mile behind; the crew fully hiked with the big gear up, blast reaching after their monumental competitor. With no moon and substantial cloud cover, the two yachts were sparring for line honours in the pitch-black dark of night as they passed the Soufrière volcano. At first Rambler followed the leaders line but after passing Les Saintes, Hetairos tacked offshore and Rambler did not follow. The defining moment came as Rambler lost speed at La Desirade. Hetairos escaped into the open air of the Atlantic and gained 16 miles on Rambler, a lead that Hetairos is unlikely to give up. Rambler and Hetairos are expected to finish the race early this afternoon.

Handicap race leader and third on the water, Niklas Zennstrom’s JV72 Rán made it through the wind shadow of Guadeloupe with some precision last night. The wind in this region is subject to massive changes in direction and Team Rán went through a myriad of moves and sail changes.

Super Maxi Sailing Yacht Rambler

Super Maxi Sailing Yacht Rambler

By midnight, Peter Harrison’s 115ft charter yacht Sojana and Gerhard Andlinger’s 124ft Perini Navi, charter yacht P2 arrived at Guadeloupe and came close to a complete standstill for over two hours, however P2 managed to keep going and pass Sojana:”P2 did well to read the conditions,” conceded Sojana crewman, John Burnie by satellite phone. “They stayed just a little further offshore but made a big gain by remaining offshore, which is traditionally not the best route. We have some catching up to do but the long reach to Barbuda should suit Sojana more than P2 and we expect to overtake her once again.”

Last night, Olivier Vigoureux’s 63ft trimaran, Paradox may well have claimed a speed record for the RORC Caribbean 600. Screaming past Montserrat like a bat out of hell, the French trimaran took on a ballistic surge for half an hour, hitting close to 30 knots of boat speed.

Charter Yacht Sojana

Charter Yacht Sojana

Sad news for two yachts came to light this morning, Christof Petter’s Austrian Class 40, Vaquita failed to start correctly and as a result the provisional leader of the Class40 division is Christopher Coatnoan’s Partouche, which is also the only Class40 racing Two-Handed.

The Class40s are taxiing for take off at the top of the course for the long reach down to Guadeloupe. These pocket rockets are capable of speeds well in excess of 20 knots and the 150-mile leg to the south will give them ideal conditions top let loose. Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer also failed to start correctly which is gutting for the American team on Privateer as they have sailed a great race so far.

Perini Navi Charter Yacht P2

Perini Navi Charter Yacht P2

Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem has regained the lead on time correction in IRC One with Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV lying second. Both Swans are now on a tight reach south. Jaime Torres’ First 40.7, Smile and Wave should come into contention; the Puerto Rican First 40.7 is set to round Tintamarre later this morning.

IRC Two has Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Logic leading after time correction, however Christian Reynolds’ Swan 51 Northern Child is second, having made a marvelous recovery after turning back at the start and giving up over half an hour to the opposition.

Northern Child is chartered to Merkle, the American IT company has five employees on board, expenses all paid for by Merkle after one crew member chose the RORC Caribbean 600 as their dream vacation after winning an employee prize. Third after time correction in IRC Two is the smallest yacht in the race, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Bernie and his team are south west of St.Martin preparing themselves for a beat to the top of the course.

Just after 2200 last night, Alain Delhumeau’s 50ft trimaran, Rayon Vert reported in with steering problems and retired safely into Falmouth Harbour. A carbon fibre steering rod gave up in dramatic fashion near Rodonda. Taking just four hours to sail 80 miles from St.Barths to Redonda, the multihull was virtually airborne exceeding 25 knots of boat speed. Alain and his crew were understandably disappointed but vowed to return next year.

34th America´s Cup unveils its Race Course

February 22, 2012

The 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco has unveiled its race course area. Stretching across the city shoreline from Piers 27/29 out to near the Golden Gate Bridge, the course will enable to watch the action closer to shore than ever before in the 160 year history of the Cup.

The 34th America´s Cup Race Course

The 34th America´s Cup Race Course

“The input and cooperation we’ve received from Bay stakeholders and users has been invaluable in allowing us to reach this point,” says John Craig, the Principal Race Officer for the America’s Cup. “Now we can focus on setting up a race course that will allow the teams to compete and perform in a way that I think will really energize and excite this city.”

Tucked between Alcatraz and the city shoreline, the race course offers up-close viewing from any number of locations along the city front, with the Marina Green and Crissy Field among the prime locations. The exact location of the race course area will change slightly on any given day depending on weather conditions.

Environmental buffers and small boat access areas were prime considerations in setting up the racing box. A transit channel has been set up along the shore to allow ferry traffic, boats needing to transit in and out of the marinas as well as commercial fishing boats and other craft, to still operate safely during racing. The restricted area box is expected to be in place for three to four hours a day on scheduled race days.

“Following consultation with numerous Bay users, the Coast Guard have issued a draft Special Local Regulation (now in the 90-day public comment phase), that defines a restricted area where we can safely set up our race course area,” Craig says.

Racing in 2013 will take place in the catamaran yacht AC72 class; a new breed of America’s Cup boats, these wing-sailed catamarans are on the cutting edge of design, engineering and technology. Outrageously fast and requiring a crew with great athleticism as well as vast reserves of courage to sail, the AC72 yacht is designed for thrills and spills.

The 2013 racing season starts on July 4th, with the Louis Vuitton Cup, the America’s Cup Challenger Series, leading up to the America’s Cup Finals from September 7th-22nd.

The First America´s Cup catamaran yacht AC72 due to be launched in July

February 22, 2012

The first America’s Cup sailing yacht AC72 is due to be launched this July as expected by workers at the team’s base at Pier 80 in San Francisco, Core Builders Composites in New Zealand and Janicki Industries in the Pacific Northwest. America’s Cup rules allow teams to launch their first catamaran yacht AC72 after July 1.

The ORACLE Racing team Photo by G. Grenier/ORACLE Racing

The ORACLE Racing team - Photo by G. Grenier/ORACLE Racing

“No question the AC72 will be a big step up from the AC45 we are currently racing on the America’s Cup World Series circuit,” says team skipper James Spithill. “The AC45s have proven spectacular; the AC72s will be sensational.”

The AC72 yacht is the new class of America’s Cup yacht that is designed to a box rule, one that sets tight limits on parameters such as length, beam, weight and wingsail area.

The team has split production of its yacht between three sites because each is a center of excellence.

At Pier 80 in the 34th America’s Cup host city, the team builds the basic molds for the hulls and crossbeams of the catamaran. The molds are then shipped to Janicki Industries, north of Seattle, Washington, where the large structures are machined to fine tolerances.

In a process in which Janicki is a world leader, high-tech resin is applied to the molds and then machined to its final shape by a five-axis mill to tolerances finer than the thickness of a sheet of paper.

“We’ve worked with Janicki for nearly 10 years because every little fraction of accuracy you achieve accumulates. Greater accuracy means less material and less weight. That means the boat is built precisely as the designers conceived it,” said shore team manager Mark Turner.

The ORACLE team racing on their catamaran yacht AC45

The ORACLE team racing on their catamaran yacht AC45 - Photo by G. Grenier/ORACLE Racing

ORACLE Racing’s hull molds were refined at Janicki’s plant in the same mill that handles secret work for some of the largest manufacturers of civilian and military aircraft and aero structures in the world.

Once the finished molds are back at Pier 80, a boatbuilding team begins to laminate the high-strength, carbon-fiber cloths with epoxy resin.

Since last year teams have raced the catamaran yacht AC45 in the America’s Cup World Series, a circuit of events in Europe and the US. The AC45 is a one-design yacht, meaning that each is built by a single manufacturer to the same exact specifications. CBC built the fleet of AC45 catamarans that were designed as a means to fast-track teams’ understanding of wingsail technology. The AC45 yacht will continue on the World Series into next year.

The AC72 yacht will feature next summer in the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series, held from July 4 to September 1, 2013 and America’s Cup Finals, taking place from 7-22 September, 2013. The step up in performance will be phenomenal.

“In the AC45 class, the boats are the same so the results are often determined by the sailors who made the better decisions and handled their boat better,” said ORACLE Racing CEO Russell Coutts, the all-time America’s Cup winner.

“In the AC72, teams will develop their own design so technology plays a bigger role. Compared to any previous America’s Cup, the design rule is relatively tight. Technology will produce a faster, smarter boat, but not a ‘golden bullet’ design,” Coutts said.

Design comparison

The catamaran yacht AC45:

Hull Length               13.45 m (44 feet)
Maximum Beam       6.90 m (22.6 feet)
Wing Height              24.50 m (80.38 feet)
Maximum Draft         2.70 m (8.8 feet)
Displacement           1,400 kgs (3,086 pounds)
Wing Area                 93.7 sqm (1,008.58 square feet)
Jib Area                     30 sqm (323 square feet)
Gennaker Area         100 sqm (1,076 square feet)
Crew                           5@85 kgs/per (187 pounds)

The catamaran yacht AC72:

Hull Length               22.0 m (72.18 feet)
Maximum Beam       14.0 m (45.93 feet)
Wing Height              40.0 m (131.23 feet)
Maximum Draft         4.4 m (14.44 feet)
Displacement           5,900 kg (13,007 pounds)
Wing Area                 260 sqm (2,798 square feet)
Jib Area                     100 sqm (1,076 square feet)
Gennaker Area         400 sqm (4,305 square feet)
Crew                           11@92 kgs/per (203 pounds)

RORC CARIBBEAN 600: Superyacht Hetairos in front

February 22, 2012

The 214ft supermaxi sailing yacht Hetairos claimed poll position in the RORC Caribbean 600 at 1500 local time, passing to leeward of George David’s 90ft maxi yacht Rambler off the east coast of Montserrat.

S/Y Hetairos let loose on a broad reach, blasting through the Caribbean surf at a speed in excess of 22 knots. The Hetairos superyacht has twice the water line length and more than double the sail area of Rambler but the American maxi with RORC Chief Executive, Eddie Warden Owen on board, is not giving up without a fight. Rambler has put up every sail they can to “send it” and Hetairos are finding it difficult to shake them off.

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Rán off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February. Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Rán off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February. Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

Yachts Hetairos and Rambler will probably make the northwest corner of Guadeloupe well before dark and they are expected to finish the race tomorrow morning. However they are both unlikely to finish the race by Wednesday 0340 to break the course record set by Rambler 100 last year.

Sailing yacht Rambler’s navigator, Peter Isler blogged this from the boat:

“Hi from the weather rail of Rambler. We’ve been watching a sail on the horizon creep up on us over the past 5 hours – we are on the race’s longest (145 mile) leg and it’s a fast jib reach. The boat coming up from behind is of course Hetairos, the giant ketch. This is a leg perfectly suited to her strength; straight line reaching speed. It’s only a matter of a few hours and she’ll be past us unless things get tricky, which appears unlikely until our next turning mark Guadeloupe, one of the trickiest parts of this race track, as we sail below (downwind) of the biggest and tallest island on the course. Last year on Rambler100 we drifted for a few hours in Guadeloupe’s wind shadow and that sort of tricky sailing might give us a chance to make some gains on Hetairos… time will tell.”

Isler continues: “Beautiful sailing on deck, T-shirt, shorts and everyone but the helmsman grinders and trimmers hiking out. Lots of flying fish going aerial to get away from our bow wave. It’s plenty hot down below though; as most hatches are shut to keep spray from coming in. We just enjoyed our first freeze-dried meal, beef stew that was popular amongst the crew. The watch system is being strictly adhered to now; no sail changes in the last few hours so hopefully everyone will be charged up for the battle under Guadeloupe and the rest of the race. We’ve seen much shiftier and lighter winds than last year when the Rambler100 set the monohull course record that record is definitely secure until 2013 at the earliest.”

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Rán off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February - Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Rán off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February - Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

Niklas Zenstrom’s JV72, Rán is the new handicap leader after time correction. However, Rán is likely to arrive on the northwest corner of Guadeloupe after dark and experience a significant wind shadow. Second overall is Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem, which was rounding St.Martin at the top of the course at 1500 local time. Third overall is Scarlet Oyster, which is in good breeze south of St.Martin. The weather forecast for the next 48 hours shows a significant increase in wind strength, freshening to over 20 knots. This may well favour Scarlet Oyster and Clem but both yachts are heavy displacement and are unlikely to plain. Jaime Torres’ First 40.7, Smile and Wave is lying fourth overall and lining up for a wild sleigh ride tomorrow. As the Puerto Rican team come off the breeze and turn south for what promises to be a ballistic 150-mile surf to Guadeloupe.

Jonty and Jack Layfield are racing two-handed on J/39, Sleeper. The father and son team were approaching the Anguilla Strait at the top of the course at 1600 local time today. No doubt Jonty and Jack will be looking forward to a long reaching leg and possibly the first real rest they will have had since starting the race nearly a day and half ago. Perhaps Sleeper will be a very apt description of what the Layfields will be looking forward to the most.

The RORC Caribbean 600 has two magnificent schooners racing: Greg Perkins, skipper of sailing yacht Adela and yacht Windrose of Amsterdam, skippered by Alex Howard have barely been apart since the start of the race. Hugh Agnew, Adela’s navigator called in by satellite phone as the two Spirit of Tradition yachts rounded Tintamarre. Adela was on a tight reach, all 300 tons of her doing 13 knots:

“I don’t think there has been more than two miles between us since we began. It has been a fascinating encounter and one that is all about boat on boat tactics,” said Hugh. “We had an heroic tacking duel through the Anguilla Strait. The leg down to Guadeloupe looks like a tight reach in building breeze, classic conditions for these awesome yachts. We have just cracked off after rounding Tintamarre. We have an enormous amount of sail up and we have opened up a ¾ mile lead but no doubt Windrose will catch us up and we will have another bout of energy sapping sail manoeuvres on the south side of Guadeloupe in the early hours, I have to say this is a truly epic race.”

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Med Spirit under a rainbow off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February - Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

RORC Caribbean 600, 2012. Med Spirit under a rainbow off St Martin on Tuesday 21st February - Credit: RORC Caribbean 600/Tim Wright/Photoaction

2012 RORC Caribbean 600: The George David’s RP90 sailing yacht Rambler out in front

February 21, 2012

George David’s RP90 sailing yacht Rambler is currently leading in the battle for line honours in the 2012 RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race. Coming from the USA, the Rambler superyacht is over 20 miles ahead of the 214ft superyacht Hetairos, even though Rambler is less than half the size.

The George David's RP90 sailing yacht Rambler

The George David's RP90 sailing yacht Rambler Photo Credit: T. Wright/photoaction

The luxury yacht Rambler rounded the Tintamarre just after dawn this morning to begin the 160-mile power reach south to Guadeloupe. Rambler barely stalled for speed right through the night. The American maxi cut the corner at Nevis, as better than expected breeze hurried their progress. Except for dropping below ten knots in the wind shadow of St.Martin, Rambler has been absolutely launched. The supermaxi Hetairos may close the gap on the reach but the superyacht is now well behind Rambler. Rambler provisionally lead IRC Zero after time correction with Niklas Zennström’s JV72 yacht Rán lying in second place. Swan 80 yacht Selene had a good first night to take up third place on handicap.

In IRC Two, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 yacht Scarlet Logic is provisionally leading overall in the RORC Caribbean 600. Over night, the predicted fall in wind speed never materialized and Scarlet Logic maintained good boat speed throughout. After rounding Saba, Scarlet Logic was back on the wind and trucking along at seven knots. Smile and Wave, Jaime Torres’ First 40 found ballistic pace during the night and is in second. Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56 yacht Clem did not have such a good night and has dropped back to third.

As expected, the largest yacht in the fleet, Hetairos lead the five superyachts by some margin. The 214ft carbon fibre ketch was flying last night reaching at a speed in excess of 18 knots rounding St.Kitts. By midnight Hetairos was rounding Saba and beating north. However, none of the 36 crew will have retired below. In the dead of night, the tricky slalom course through St.Barths and past St.Martin would have required all hands. Behind Hetairos two monumental duels are playing out, the charter yacht Sojana and the luxury charter yacht P2 have enjoyed each others close company virtually from the start.

Race fans may have noticed however that P2 have completely split from the usual heading after rounding Saba. The 38m Perini Navi superyacht P2 looks to be ‘banging the corner’ going to the far extremity of the course. This morning P2 was on a beam reach at full speed heading to St.Barths, whilst Sojana was beating to windward. It will be interesting to see which tactical play wins out. The sailing yacht Adela and the superyacht Windrose of Amsterdam are enjoying a titanic sparring match and there is nothing between the two yachts on the water, however Adela does give Windrose a significant amount of time under IRC.

IRC One has a new provisional leader after time correction. The Smile and Wave yachts had great pace off the breeze during the night, however the beat around St.Barths should favour Spanish entry Clem. Colin Buffin’s Uxorious IV elected to take a more northerly course after Saba and the Swan 62 looks to be pointing higher than rivals.

Bernie Evan Wong has just cleared the wind shadow behind St Kitts. However, shortly after sunrise, the High Tension yacht made an unusual bare-away in the lee of St.Kitts, presumably to effect some sort of repair. It was almost exactly the same spot as High Tension dismasted last year. Happily, Bernie and his team are going well and enjoying the ride.

The launch of America´s Cup Business Connect

February 21, 2012

To facilitate connections, the America’s Cup Event Authority presented America’s Cup Business Connect, a web-based business portal that will serve as a one-stop shop for local companies to compete for America’s Cup business. The portal will be also used by event organizers to announce business as well as contracting opportunities and provide oportunity for businesses to engage.

America´s Cup Trophy Photo by Ch. Launay

America´s Cup Trophy - Photo by Ch. Launay

“We all keep hearing about the enormous economic benefits that are expected from the America’s Cup,” says Jim Lazarus, vice president of public policy for the San Francisco Chamber, former mayoral chief of staff, and general go-to guy for getting things done in SF.

“As the excitement builds, more and more businesses are asking how they can get in on the action. This is going to transform the economy, and local businesses want to be front and center when the teams, event organizers and spectators start shopping for services.”

“America’s Cup will bring people to the wharf – the race is right outside our door – and that’s what people are excited about,” said Kevin Carroll, Executive Director, Fisherman’s Wharf Community Benefit District. “Hosting events, people staying at hotels, eating at restaurants, tours & attractions. They’ll come for the races, watch the races, and enjoy themselves here before and after.”

A separate jobs board lists employment opportunities with the event organizers.

Jennifer Matz, director of the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), is glad to have AC Business Connect.

Matz says businesses need to start now to figure out how to capitalize on the increased economic activity, how to activate customers, how to advertise. “It’s not like a shipyard, or Candlestick Park, where you have one contract, one decision-maker. It’s lots of opportunities, and we’re figuring out how we help you make your pitch.”

For instance, she says, there are 250 local manufacturing businesses that belong to an industry group called SFMade. If an America’s Cup team needs custom AC belts, they can find a local supplier.

“The America’s Cup has attractive demographics for our businesses and so, most are excited, cautiously excited,” said Bob MacIntosh, President & CEO, Pier 39. “We are hopeful that if the People’s Plan accommodates the America’s Cup patrons, our local patrons and our visitors, this would result in [such] a positive impact. We’re passing along AC Business Connect to all of our shops, restaurants and attractions in hopes that they will register.”

Time will tell how well it works, but the initiative is off to a strong start. More than 150 businesses registered within the first week, with close to 1000 businesses listed to date.

The OEWD project director for the America’s Cup Michael Martin notes a further benefit. “We hope AC Business Connect is also part of a legacy of interactive tools and web apps to explore the city beyond the America’s Cup. It’s a double bank-shot.”

RORC Caribbean 600: A Dazzling send off to Start Class Zero

February 21, 2012

Right from the start of the 4th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 there was drama. Low cloud enveloped Antigua and a massive squall caused a torrential downpour. With the wind gusting up to 20 knots, the crew were scrambling for wet weather gear. The feisty conditions caused some hair-raising action under the cliffs of Fort Charlotte outside English Harbour. However, once the squall had passed bright sunshine lit up the race course and the highly impressive fleet was a spectacular sight.

IRC Zero Start - Sailing yacht Gran Jotiti, Rán, Whisper, Rambler and Hassebas during the RORC Caribbean 600 -Photo Credit Tim Wright/Photoaction

IRC Zero Start - Sailing yacht Gran Jotiti, Rán, Whisper, Rambler and Hassebas during the RORC Caribbean 600 -Photo Credit Tim Wright/Photoaction

First to start were the multihulls. Olivier Vigoureux’s 63ft trimaran, Paradox got the best start but by contrast, Michael Butterfield’s Super Rose had a very conservative beginning to their adventure. Super Rose’s crew is made up of just family and friends and their single goal is to enjoy a marvellous race round 11 Caribbean Islands.

63ft trimaran Paradox Credit RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

63ft trimaran Paradox Credit RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

Ten minutes later Classes One, Two, Three and the Class40s were away with Ross Applebey’s Scarlet Oyster having a good start. However, sailing yacht Northern Child was seen to return after missing the Outer Distance Mark at the start. Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension showed great local knowledge by getting inshore right under the cliffs of Fort Charlotte. High Tension has one of the lowest handicaps of the impressive fleet and may well benefit from increased wind forecast later this week. In Class One the two Swans, Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56 Clem and Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV enjoyed a very competitive start.  No doubt these two Swans will enjoy a close battle within their class. Clem won her class in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race and Uxorious IV won last year’s highly competitive St.Malo Race.

With 16 highly competitive yachts in Class Zero, fireworks at the start were always going to be a possibility and the crowd of spectators at Shirley Heights were not disappointed. Niklas Zennström’s JV72, yacht Rán nailed the line with precision to the right hand side of the course. Meanwhile, Mike Cotter’s RP78, Whisper yacht gained a lift on the left hand side. As Rán hardened up, Whisper tacked for depth and the two Mini Maxis had an extremely close encounter. Sergey Borodinov’s 90′ Supermaxi, Med Spirit went for a very late sail change and was bare headed just four minutes before the start. The team work on board was frantic as the crew affected an efficient sail change.

Tim Fetsch’s Icarus Racing got a great start midway through the line but 20 miles from Barbuda were overhauled by Peter Harding and Hannah Jenner onboard 40 Degrees.

The last start of the day was for the five yachts competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 that are 100ft and over. There was a fantastic spectacle as the 180′ superyacht Adela and the 154′ yacht Windrose went toe-to-toe. The two magnificent schooners were locked in a battle for the line. S/Y Windrose managed to hold their lane to windward of sailing yacht Adela to win the start, but Adela’s water line length advantage came into play to overhaul their grand competition. Peter Harrison’s sailing yacht Sojana had a fantastic start.

Superyacht Start - Windrose of Amsterdam, Adela and Hetairos make a magnificent sight at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

Superyacht Start - Windrose of Amsterdam, Adela and Hetairos make a magnificent sight at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

RORC member John Burnie called in from the rail of the fabulous 115′ ketch: “We had a great tussle with Gerhard Andlinger’s P2 during the prestart, all gentlemanly stuff but we managed to manoeuvre well and hit the line with pace, maybe just half a boat length shy, however yacht P2 is 125′ long and got a great head of speed up wind. Superyacht Hetairos went right in under Shirley Heights and stayed in past Indian Creek, we heard them radio P2 to call for water as they tacked out. However, the P2 yacht maintained their course and passed well ahead of Hetairos. At Green Island, P2 were the first monohull but I believe Hetairos will catch them as they bear away after Green Island but the sloop rig on P2, is very efficient upwind. On Sojana we have managed to get through a light patch of wind just before Green Island but looking up the track, it looks like the wind is freshening.”

The 214ft Baltic Custom sailing yacht Hetairos - the largest yacht in the fleet - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

The 214ft Baltic Custom sailing yacht Hetairos - the largest yacht in the fleet - Credit Tim Wright photoaction

The Royal Armoured Corp were late on parade, nearly half an hour late for the race. Their First 40.7 Spirit of Venus was not seen to come to the starting area. However, just as the fabulous five yachts over 100′ began to get up to full speed, the diminutive Spirit of Venus, charged out of Falmouth Harbour with the throttle fully down. A mighty squall had ripped their mainsail, quick thinking Ondeck charter skipper, Chris Jackson came to their aid, ribbing out a replacement. Spirit of Venus started the race with just minutes to spare before being counted out. Spirit of Venus then performed the required 720 turning penalty and sped off to start the RORC Caribbean 600. The team aboard Spirit of Venus are all serving members of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment returning from Afghanistan, perhaps their military training has enabled them to stay in the RORC Caribbean 600 race.

2012 NZ Millennium Cup won by the 34m Superyacht Silvertip by Yachting Developments

February 20, 2012

The 2012 New Zealand Millennium Cup regatta, which took place in Auckland has reported a huge success. The three day regatta offered a real spectacle with Superyachts sailing close in shore providing local residents and office workers of downtown Auckland with an appreciation of Superyacht sailing. Platinum sponsors of the annual event for the next three years, Yachting Developments was pleased to present its 34m (111ft) sailing yacht Silvertip as the winner of this popular regatta.

Yachting Development 34m superyacht SILVERTIP

Yachting Development 34m superyacht SILVERTIP

Reigning champion the superyacht Silvertip is a stunning composite sloop built by Yachting Developments and when launched in 2002 won both the International Superyacht Society award for Best Sailing Yacht and the Showboats Design Award for Best Sailing Yacht.

Since her launching the luxury yacht Silvertip has clocked many thousands of ocean miles and still with her original owner.

Yachting Developments would like to congratulate the Owner, Skipper, and Crew of Silvertip and look forward to the 2013 NZ Millennium Cup regatta.

4th RORC Caribbean 600 Crews Welcome by Antigua

February 20, 2012

The Antigua Yacht Club organised some legendary parties in the past, however last night’s welcome party for well over 500 sailors competing in the 4th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 was the biggest in recent history.

The 4th RORC Caribbean 600 Crews Welcome by Antigua Photo Credit T. Wright Photoaction

The 4th RORC Caribbean 600 Crews Welcome by Antigua Photo Credit: T. Wright/Photoaction

Mike Greville, Commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club will be racing on the sailing yacht Windrose of Amsterdam and he welcomed the huge crowd, “It is my first time in Antigua and I am amazed at the fabulous yachts moored in front us. We could not do this without the support of the Antigua Yacht Club. When the idea of running this race was first put forward, I was one of the sceptics who doubted that it would last. But the race continues to grow year on year and I am confident that it will be become one of the classic 600 mile ocean races. I would therefore like to put to rest any doubts that we will continue to support the race and so it is with great pleasure that I can announce that we will continue to run the race on an annual basis. Let me wish everyone a safe and fast passage in this year’s race.”

The Hon John Maginley, Minister for Tourism, Civil Aviation, Culture and The Environment gave a huge Antiguan welcome to competitors in the Caribbean 600, “Welcome to our wonderful Island and thank you so much for coming here. I remember that the crowd was much smaller in 2009, this race has grown significantly and The RORC Caribbean 600 is now very important to Antigua. We will listen to your needs and improve your enjoyment during your stay and I hope you will return with your family and friends and chose Antigua for a holiday.”

“We want to encourage young Antiguans to go sailing as it’s a wonderful sport and we have the most fantastic waters in which to do this. The National Sailing Academy offers the opportunity for young Antiguan school children to learn to swim and sail. Their local hero is Carl James, Antigua’s Olympic sailor. He will be on board the charter yacht Sojana once again for this race and Bernie Evan-Wong’s 36ft High Tension is the smallest boat in the race, but his determination to win is as big as the magnificent superyachts competing.”

The latest weather forecast for the start predicts consistent trade winds from the east, with a warm breeze of 15 knots providing near perfect sailing conditions with a moderate sea state. However, the wind speed is expected to increase during the race. By Wednesday, we could see well over 20 knots of wind providing fast surfing conditions in the RORC Caribbean 600.

The 2012 edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, organised by the Royal Ocean Racing Club and hosted by the Antigua Yacht Club, will start on Monday 20th February 2012.

34th America´s Cup: Ground on the Port of San Francisco’s James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 officially broken

February 20, 2012

The ground on the Port of San Francisco’s James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27 was officially broken on February 1 with a ceremonial mechanized punch through the roof of Pier 27, arranged by the City, Port and Event Authority officials. The cruise terminal and its surrounding area will represent a part of the America’s Cup Race Village in 2013, which will be the centre of activity, along with Pier 29, for the Louis Vuitton Cup and America’s Cup Finals.

Breaking ground on the Port of San Francisco’s James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27

Breaking ground on the Port of San Francisco’s James R. Herman Cruise Terminal at Pier 27

“We could not be more proud that the America’s Cup has enabled this long-awaited project to finally get off the ground after two decades; now we can see the economic impacts of the America’s Cup really begin to flow into San Francisco,” said Tom Huston, Chief Commercial Officer, America’s Cup Event Authority. “We are committed to delivering the best sailors on the fastest boats and showcasing the Bay Area on the world stage, and we are excited about this next phase, where we can really begin the hard work of preparing for the races later this year and in 2013.”

The Cruise Terminal project budget is estimated at $92 million, with approximately 600 jobs for various trades throughout construction. The terminal, an 88,000 square foot, two level facility, is slated to achieve LEED silver certification.

“The hard work by our partners across the City and at the America’s Cup Event Authority and Race Management, as well as by the America’s Cup Organizing Committee, combined with community input, has been key to ensuring that the 34th America’s Cup will be the most sustainable, exciting and financially sound series of events in San Francisco history,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee.

The cruise industry in San Francisco generated almost $40 million in 2011, with an average contribution per home-ported vessel call of $1.2 million. The cruise industry supports San Francisco’s robust top tourism industry but also maritime industries such as tug and tow operators, bar pilots, ship suppliers and longshore workers.

“I applaud the Supervisors and all our community members, for recognizing the high-quality work that has gotten us to this point in a very timely and transparent process,” San Francisco Organizing Committee Chairman Mark Buell.

“I also thank our partners at the America’s Cup Event Authority and America’s Cup Race Management, for their hard work in helping us get to this point. These remarkable achievements will be reflected in the events as well as the legacy projects, such as the cruise terminal, for San Francisco.”