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Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai: All4One wins the dhow race

November 22, 2010

The All4One team found success on the waters off the Dubai International Marine Club on Saturday afternoon, winning the traditional dhow race on Heritage Day at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai.

Louis Vuitton Dhow racing with all the skippers in crew. © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Louis Vuitton Dhow racing with all the skippers in crew. © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Each of the six Louis Vuitton Trophy crews was assigned a local dhow, one of the traditional craft that used to ply these waters as essential modes of transportation and trade. Today, dhow racing is among the top events on the local sporting calendar and Saturday’s race marked the first time foreigners were allowed to actively participate in a race.

Each dhow was manned by 11 crew from the LVT teams, along with six of the boats’ regular sailors. The dhows set up for the start with an anchor off the bow and stern and the sails down. When the starting gun fired, the sails were heaved up, the anchor lines cast off, and the boats started reaching towards the finish line, some six miles downwind.

At the finish line, it was All4One, taking the win over Emirates Team New Zealand and BMW ORACLE Racing. Getting a good, fast start proved to be critical.

“You need to come off the starting blocks fast. We picked a good angle and it worked out well for us,” said Jochen Schumann, the multiple Olympic medallist who was sailing on the All4One dhow.

While Schumann acknowledged there are many differences in how these boats sail, he says some of the essential tactics and strategies remain the same. “In many ways, I think these boats are similar to other sailboats; ‘Do you sail higher and faster or lower and a little slower?’ I think we did well to gybe only once, because those are expensive, and in the end, we did well and had a lot of fun. We’d love to do it again.”

That final sentiment was shared by many of the skippers.

“It was fun and it was good to do it. I’ve seen video and photos of these boats before so it was neat to be able to try it,” said Gavin Brady, the helmsman for the Mascalzone Latino Audi team, who missed out on a podium finish, but enjoyed the afternoon nonetheless.

Louis Vuitton Dhow racing finish line next to Burj al Arab © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy.

Louis Vuitton Dhow racing finish line next to Burj al Arab © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy.

Also racing on Saturday was a gaggle of local junior sailors, who competed in the Louis Vuitton Junior Trophy. Racing on O’pen Bics in the lagoon off the DIMC, the junior sailors were vying for a chance to sail as 18th man with the finalists of the main event, on November 27th.

It’s back to business for the Louis Vuitton Trophy teams on Sunday when racing resumes in Round Robin Two.

Four races are scheduled, with the event leading BMW ORACLE Racing matched up against All4One in the first pairing. Artemis then faces Synergy, Emirates Team New Zealand is against Mascalzone Latino Audi and the final match will see Artemis race BMW ORACLE Racing.

The earliest time for a warning signal is 1245.

Provisional Results after Day One of RR2:

  1.  BMW ORACLE Racing, 10-1, 11 pts
  2.  Emirates Team New Zealand, 6-5, 6.5 pts *
  3.  Artemis Racing, 5-6, 5 pts
=4.  All4One, 4-7, 4 pts
=4.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 4-7, 4 pts *
=4.  Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 4-7, 4 pts

* A scoring penalty has been assessed by the umpires

In Round Robin One, each team sailed every other team twice, with each win worth one point.

In Round Robin Two, each team will sail every other team once, with each win worth two points.

At the conclusion of Round Robin Two, the top four teams will advance to the semi finals. The bottom two teams are eliminated.

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the principal sponsor of the event.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai: Day 6, Kiwis Defeat Sweden to Retain Second Place

November 22, 2010

After the end of racing on Day 6 of the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai the top of the leaderboard remained unchanged from yesterday. However it stayed that way only because Emirates Team New Zealand redeemed itself in the last race of the day with a double-points victory against Sweden’s Artemis Racing.

Race day 6 Emirates Team New Zealand © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 6 Emirates Team New Zealand © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Earlier in the day, the Kiwi boat skippered by Dean Barker, had dropped to third place after losing at the hands of fellow Kiwi Cameron Appleton steering Artemis Racing. Their match, the opener of the day, was the last single-points race in Round Robin One.

In Round Robin Two competition the USA’s BMW Oracle Racing, Italy’s Mascalzone Latino Audi and ETNZ all won their matches and posted double points.

Conditions for racing off the Dubai International Marine Club were ideal with a shifty northerly breeze that built to 14 knots and flat seas.

Serene and seemingly untroubled, the American boat skippered by America’s Cup winner James Spithill, now has an 11-point record, four and a half points clear of the New Zealanders. The rest of the field remains tightly bunched with only two and a half points between second and sixth boat.

“Spithill’s doing a fantastic job,” said Rod Dawson, tactician for the Synergy Russian Sailing Team that lost to Oracle. “He certainly got the better of us in the pre-start today. “Being behind with a deficit is one thing but carrying a penalty as well is just about impossible.”

Ian Moore, navigator for the American team, provided a glimpse from the inside. “We’re a lot more prepared than the last two regattas we did, with more practice time. Practice makes perfect. There’s no doubt about that.

“One of the things you’re seeing is that we’re starting very well. Everyone’s firing on all cylinders. It makes my life easy because you know what’s going to happen next. Everything is running smoothly. It’s a joy to behold, really. However you’ve got to keep that intensity and momentum up. You can’t let it go.”

Speaking of their second match against Emirates Team New Zealand, Artemis tactician Iain Percy said: “We had a pretty even start and backed ourselves in a big shift. In the end it became almost too good because we overstood and gave away that gain. At the top mark it came down to a few metres and unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough.”

Ray Davies, tactician on the Emirates boat said: “The start is very important on this course. We wanted to be to the right and we were to the right.  It was close at the top mark but we had a piece of them by a couple of metres.”

There will be no Louis Vuitton Trophy racing tomorrow. Instead, the skippers and ten crew members from each of the International America’s Cup Class boats will join Arab sailors to compete in a 60-foot traditional dhow race. 

Organized by the Dubai International Marine Club, it will be the first time that outsiders have ever competed in the sleek, lateen-rigged craft that celebrate centuries of Arab commerce, fishing, and pearl diving.

The six dhow skippers attended a special press conference and joined their counterparts, taking part in the draw to decide choice of boats for the race that will start tomorrow afternoon.

Flight One, Race One, Artemis Racing def Emirates Team New Zealand, 00:27 -
The Swedish boat steered by Kiwi Cameron Appleton won handsomely, claiming second place overall for Round Robin One, half a point ahead of Emirates Team New Zealand, his opponents in this race. The New Zealand afterguard performed dismally in the pre-start, gifting the race to the Swedish team. The Kiwis were trailing Artemis on starboard 20 seconds before the gun when Dean Barker tacked onto port. He was late. Unable to lay the committee on port, he tacked onto starboard on the line three boat lengths behind Appleton, losing the right-hand advantage and any chance of redemption. From there, it was a procession.

Flight Two, Race One, BMW Oracle Racing def Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 00:48 -
Oracle’s James Spithill held Francesco Bruni away from the start line as the seconds ticked down. At the start gun the boats were still luffing head to wind well below the committee. The Russians made an attempt to hook Spithill and the umpires flagged a penalty. Spithill took another 43 seconds to gather momentum and cross the start line, with the Russians tucked away three boat lengths astern. Bruni never got close and finished still carrying the penalty.

Race day 6 ALL4ONE vs Mascalzone Latino Audi Team © Paul Toddoutsideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 6 ALL4ONE vs Mascalzone Latino Audi Team © Paul Toddoutsideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Flight Three, Race One, Mascalzone Latino Audi def All4One, 00:24  -
Gavin Brady skippering the Italian boat held Sebastien Col above the start line before circling the committee, making a perfect start and claiming the right side of the course. Col and the French/German boat were delayed getting back and conceded a boat length as racing started. Col drew level in fresher conditions at the top mark but Brady was again able to push him away from the mark to round first. Col kept it close on the run and was only one a half boat lengths behind as they gybed for the bottom mark. Then the French/German spinnaker pole went overboard in an untidy spinnaker drop that left sail plastered all over the foredeck. 

Flight Four, Race One, Emirates Team New Zealand def Artemis Racing, 00:32 –
After losing their first race today to Artemis Sailing, Emirates Team New Zealand lined up for their second start side by side with the Swedish team. Both boats were head to wind nine seconds before the start and they started together on starboard with Artemis to leeward. Dean Barker had claimed the right side of the course and he quickly split away. When they met again at the weather mark the Swedish boat had slightly overstood and Barker used his starboard tack advantage to herd Cameron Appleton away from the mark. The delta was ten seconds. 

Provisional Results after Day One of RR2:

  1.  BMW ORACLE Racing, 10-1, 11 pts
  2.  Emirates Team New Zealand, 6-5, 6.5 pts *
  3.  Artemis Racing, 5-6, 5 pts
=4.  All4One, 4-7, 4 pts
=4.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 4-7, 4 pts *
=4.  Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 4-7, 4 pts

* A scoring penalty has been assessed by the umpires

In Round Robin One, each team sailed every other team twice, with each win worth one point.

In Round Robin Two, each team will sail every other team once, with each win worth two points.

At the conclusion of Round Robin Two, the top four teams will advance to the semi finals. The bottom two teams are eliminated.

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the principal sponsor of the event.

Cabbage Tree Island Race: Sailing yacht Wild Oats XI claims new record

November 22, 2010

Bob Oatley’s 100ft supermaxi Wild Oats XI, with Mark Richards at the helm, has smashed the Cabbage Tree Island Race record today, finishing the 180 nautical mile race at 10:13:35am, slicing more than two hours off the time set by Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 Loki in the race last year.

Sailing yacht Wild Oats XI claims the Cabbage Tree Island Race Record in a time of 14h,13m,35sec. - Photo Credit Rolex Daniel Forster

Sailing yacht Wild Oats XI claims the Cabbage Tree Island Race Record in a time of 14h,13m,35sec. - Photo Credit Rolex Daniel Forster

It was a tidy day’s work for Wild Oats XI; a Reichel/Pugh 100 that sails under the burgee of the Hamilton Island Yacht Club, setting a new time of 14 hours, 13min, 35 sec to best the 63 foot Reichel/Pugh designed Loki, by two hours, 19 mins 12 sec in variable conditions.         

A very pleased Mark Richards said that it was a great night out on the water and great preparation for the supermaxi, prior to her taking to the start line on Boxing Day, in an attempt for claim a fifth line honours win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

“The boat performed beautifully well in the conditions…but it was a tough last four to five hours going dead upwind and luckily the breeze didn’t die out completely,” Richards said. “Our weather modelling had us finishing a few hours earlier than this, but that’s the vagaries in the weather for you – whatever will be will be. We can’t be unhappy with taking the record.”

With his focus directed at securing a fifth line honours win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Richards said there is still lots of training and preparation to do yet. “This race is an important part of our program before starting the Hobart on Boxing Day, and we will be out there practising and racing to ensure we are match fit,” he added.

Although the Bureau of Meteorology predicted southerly winds of 10-20 knots, it was a different story on water.

The fleet of 36 yachts, one of the largest in recent history for this race organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, got off to a clean start yesterday evening at 8.00pm, in 11 knots of south sou’west breeze. Wild Oats XI stayed close to the pin end of the start line, with Richards putting the boat in a perfect position to have a clean run up the western channel of the harbour and out of the heads.

Hoisting their huge Code 0 sail, Oats streaked away from Lahana who was hot on her heels. Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki opted for the middle of the start line and led the smaller boats up the harbour, with many unfurling their spinnakers, making the most of the inshore breeze.

At the 0700hrs sked this morning, Bruce McKay’s Sayer 12 Wasabi reported “It was an excellent kite ride up the coast with the normal fare of dolphins joining in the ride and bright moonlight. AFR (Midnight Rambler) as always is close by.”

“We rounded the Island just after 5.30am – everyone has enjoyed breakfast of toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches and fruit, with the crew now sitting on the rail with coffee and praying for the wind to go east as forecast,” McKay said. 

Julie Hodder, navigator on Rob Reynolds’ DK46 Exile, said “We were very happy to get out of Sydney Heads not far from Lahana and we had a great run up the coast to Port Stephens. From there to Cabbage Tree Island the conditions got very sloppy and slow.”

“We rounded the Island with Krakatoa II, but as they are not suited to going to windward, we overtook them and made our way out to sea. AFR Midnight Rambler and Kerisma tacked away after rounding the Island and they fared a little better.” Hodder added.

Shortly after 07:30hrs, Exile was wallowing in a hole in the breeze near Stockton Bight, having experienced many changes in the direction of the breeze. With just over 72 nautical miles to go and maintaining a boat speed of just 2 knots, the crew were beginning to cancel their social engagements for this evening, but were pleased that the sun was out, with Hodder quipping she had packed her bikini top!

Danny McConville, crew boss on Darryl Hodgkinson’s Beneteau 45 Victoire, also reported a favourable night’s sailing with a kite run all the way to the Island, but getting parked once they rounded the Island.

“The crew dined on some excellent pasta and have just been re-fuelled by breakfast, whilst waiting for the breeze to kick in, but at least the sun is out! What more could you want?” McConville noted.

And shortly after that, the much anticipated breeze kicked in at 9 knots from the south west bringing Victoire alongside AFR Midnight Rambler just near Stockton Bight. A slight mishap on a tack saw AFR get caught in the current, losing all wind and doing an unplanned 360⁰.

Just one retirement had occurred overnight – Minerva, the DK43 owned by Tim Cox and skippered by Edward Cox, retired due to steering problems. She has safely returned to her home port.

The next boats expected to cross the line is the 98ft Bakewell-White designed Lahana, owned by Peter Millard and John Honan, closely followed by Wild Oats X and last year’s race record holder Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 Loki.

An updated report will be sent out once the 36-boat fleet has finished the race and overall positions are known.

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) 2010: Gran Canaria to Saint Lucia.

November 22, 2010

The 25th Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) started in spectacular style  as 233 yachts from 26 nations sailed across the start line off Las Palmas de Gran Canaria heading for their final destination, 2,700 nautical miles away in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia. 

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) start in Las Palmas, Canaries. - Credit  World Cruising Club ©

Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) start in Las Palmas, Canaries. - Credit World Cruising Club ©

The early morning rain and dark clouds cleared away, to be replaced by bright sunshine and the light NE wind filled to provide a reaching start.  For the thousands of spectators ashore and afloat it was a picture perfect start to the 25th ARC.  After crossing the start line in 8-10 knots and light swell, a colourful display of spinnakers were hoisted to help the yachts on their way.  The forecast is for the light north easterlies to continue for the next few days.

Racing Yachts Start First
19 yachts competing in the IRC Racing Division, run under the auspices of the Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC), were first to start, crossing the line towards the south west.  The start made for great viewing for spectators ashore, as the yachts passed between committee boat, Spanish naval ship Vancedora, and a laid mark inshore.

The racers made the most of the reaching conditions, and all flew spinnakers for the start.  First across the line was Beneteau First 47.7, Alcor V (ITA), followed by Caro (GER), Marisja (NED), We Sail for the Whale (AUT) and Nibani (ITA).

Starting 10 minutes later were the larger boats competing in the 8 strong Invitation Racing Division, also under IRC, and the 6 yachts in the Open Divisions.  The Invitation Racing and Open Divisions are for vessels longer than 18.3m (60 feet).  Classic 1920s schooner Texel (GBR) crossed the line in stately fashion with multiple sails set, followed by Invitation Racing Division yachts Hagar II (ITA), Venonmous (GBR), Berenice (ITA), Fenix (GBR) and round-the-world veteran Steinlager II (GBR).

Cruising Fleet Make Spectacular Sight
At 1300, the cruising yachts, forming the majority of the fleet, created the now familiar ARC spectacle as 200 boats set off towards Saint Lucia. Almost every popular boatbuilder of the last 40 years is represented in the Cruising Division, including the smallest yacht in ARC 2010, Honningpupp II (NOR) a Comfort 32. 

Catamaran First Across the Line
The Cruising Division made a conservative start, hanging back and ensuring each boat had room to manoeuvre.  The first yacht to cross the line was catamaran Galop I (FRA), followed by Swan 55 Rita (GER) under spinnaker, Flying Swan (NED), Derbisolar (BEL), Mariposa (GBR) also under spinnaker.

Excitement and Emotion
There was an air of excitement and celebration throughout the marina this morning, as crowds of spectators waved off the fleet. The days of preparations, lists and decisions were finally over, and the crews were ready to do what they came to do; sail across the Atlantic.

The dock was full of well-wishers in carnival mode, cheering and dancing to the loud music blaring out in celebration from Don Pedro’s Texaco dock. Yachts were bid farewell from Las Palmas via loud speakers around the port and Banda Guayadra provided by the Ayuntamiento de Las Palmas (City Hall) marched around the marina serenading every pontoon to add to the festival atmosphere.

Before making their way to the start line the yachts passed through a ‘gate’ so each could be identified.  To the delight of the thousands of spectators along the shore, some crews provided entertainment – a Mexican wave from Albatros (GER), bagpipes on Caduceus (GBR), and most popular of all, Croatian yacht Dora left the marina and passed through the ‘gate’ in reverse, while singing Croatian songs accompanied by guitars and maracas.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai: Day 5, Split Races Bunch Leaderboard

November 18, 2010

Competition between Sweden’s Artemis Racing and the French/German team All4One in today’s matches epitomized the character of racing at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai today.

Race day 5 Artemis Racing vs ALL4ONE - © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 5 Artemis Racing vs ALL4ONE - © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

 

Race day 5 Artemis Racing vs ALL4ONE - © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 5 Artemis Racing vs ALL4ONE - © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Racing against each other twice, each team won once and lost once. It was a pattern repeated in all but one of the other pairings, leaving the leaderboard bunched in the middle.

With just one match remaining in the first round robin, BMW Oracle Racing is unassailable at the top of the leaderboard with nine points. After that, the fleet is tightly grouped with just half a point separating the next four boats. Emirates Team New Zealand is in second place with 4.5 points. Sweden’s Artemis Racing, Synergy Russian Sailing Team and the French/German team All4One remain third-equal on four points. Italy’s Mascalzone Latino Audi team is sixth with two points.

Race day 5 BMW ORACLE Racing. © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 5 BMW ORACLE Racing. © Paul Todd outsideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Only Artemis Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand have a chance to improve their standing. They will race tomorrow in the final match of the first round robin. A victory for Artemis would see them overhaul the Kiwis to take over second place.

Racing in round robin two will begin following the ETNZ vs Artemis match. In the second phase of the regatta, each team will sail the other just one time, but a victory is worth two points. The top four teams at the conclusion of round robin two will advance to the semi final.

Kevin Hall, navigator for Artemis, is looking forward to the last race of the round tomorrow against Emirates Team New Zealand.

“What we’re seeing out here is very good racing so we were happy to go one and one. All the teams are going to have to be happy with one and one by the looks of it. It’s tough racing and the teams are close.”

Jochen Schumann, three-time Olympic gold medalist and skipper of All4One had praise for his team’s win against Artemis after fighting off multiple attacks in their second race.

“I thought our strategy and our teamwork was good,” he said. “Obviously all the teams are getting better day by day. We’re all getting ready for what’s to come. Next round robin it will be two points for a win, so that will make a difference.”

Ray Davies, tactician for Emirates Team New Zealand, said that their one win and one loss came down to what happened in the starts. “We were over in the first and gave Synergy a big jump. In the second race we pushed them over at the start. It was great work by Deano (skipper Dean Barker) and we got a big lead out of that and we only had to cover them for the rest of the race.”

For every one of the Louis Vuitton Cup matches, a VIP guest sails aboard as the 18th man, riding in the back of the boat, right behind the skipper and experiencing the tactics and action up close.

Today’s guests included English cricket ace Freddie Flintoff and Kiwi cricketer Chris Cairns. Flintoff rode with Emirates Team New Zealand today and was filled with praise for their smooth teamwork.

Race day 5 Chris Cairns, New Zealand cricketter, as the 18th man on Mascalzone Latino Audi Team during the 1st race. - © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 5 Chris Cairns, New Zealand cricketter, as the 18th man on Mascalzone Latino Audi Team during the 1st race. - © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Although not a sailor, it’s not the first time he’s sailed on a Cup boat. “I sailed on the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand in 1992 and it was cold and wet and windy,” he recalled. Dubai conditions were not the only difference. “I got stuffed in Auckland. I got put on grinding duty. I didn’t make that same mistake today. I very quietly declined.”

Flight One, Race One, Synergy Russian Sailing def Emirates Team New Zealand, 00:14 - Synergy’s light nudge into the safety wands extending from the stern of the Kiwi boat was all it took to give an initial advantage to Emirates Team New Zealand in the pre-start. Kiwi skipper Dean Barker went for a start at speed at the committee boat end, only to be called back for breaking the line a split second too soon. Francesco Bruni sailed away carrying a penalty but led around the course, eventually increasing his lead enough to expunge his black mark with a penalty turn on the finish line.

Flight One, Race Two, BMW Oracle Racing def Mascalzone Latino Audi, 00:41 - James Spithill exploited a starboard entry to lead off to the left at the start with a half boat length lead over the Italian boat. Gavin Brady split away and took Mascalzone Latino off to the right but there was no magic there and Spithill was never really threatened.

Flight Two, Race One, Emirates Team New Zealand def Synergy Russian Sailing, 00:33 – After a long dialup, Barker chased the Russian team off to the pin end of the start line, hooking his bow below their port quarter to control and push Francesco Bruni over the line early. The Kiwi skipper tacked and started at speed as Bruni returned to start properly before trailing 100 metres in the wake of the New Zealanders. After that, Synergy never got close. 

Flight Two, Race Two, BMW Oracle Racing def Mascalzone Latino Audi, 00:45 – Gavin Brady wanted the left and sailed off to an early lead as Spithill and the American team split away on the right, where they found more wind pressure, to eventually round the top mark half a boat length in front. BMWOR led at every mark, extending on the final run to win by 200 metres.

Flight Three, Race One, Artemis Racing def All4One, 00:05 - Cameron Appleton split away at the start of the closest race of the day. He took Artemis out to the right side of the course but the French/German boat made early gains before it fell into his wake. Sebastien Col, steering All4One, kept the pressure on and this was anything but a procession. At the leeward mark the boats were overlapped but Col couldn’t break through.

Flight Four, Race One, All4One def Artemis Racing, 00:37
- The first half of this race was very tight. The boats split at the start, with Artemis again going right. When they closed for the first cross, All4One on port tack feinted and drew level to claim a safe weather berth as Artemis tacked below them. The French/German team proceeded to sail the Swedish team out beyond the starboard layline and led by eight seconds around the top mark.  Cameron Appleton pulled back alongside approaching the midline gate but again Col held him out, sailing past the mark before leading back. Col’s margin was still only ten seconds at the leeward gate but after that, the French/German team pulled away on the beat.

Provisional Results:

   1.  BMW ORACLE Racing, 9-1, 9 pts
   2.  Emirates Team New Zealand, 5-4, 4.5 pts *
 =3.  Artemis Racing, 4-5, 4 pts
=3.  Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 4-6, 4 pts
 =3.  All4One, 4-6, 4 pts
   6.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 3-7, 2 pts *

* Scoring penalty deducted by Umpires

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the principal sponsor of the event.

Carbon Ocean 82 maxi sailing yacht Aegir II

November 18, 2010

Brian Benjamin’s new Carbon Ocean 82 maxi sailing yacht Aegir II, is just days away from being launched in Newport, Rhode Island. The Cruiser Racer Aegir II is in the final stages of systems and hardware checks, prior to extensive sea trials before spending the winter months in the Caribbean. The sailing yacht Aegir II will replace Benjamin’s Maxi Dolphin Aegir that this season won its class at the 2010 Giraglia Rolex Cup and took the World Championship for Mini-Maxi cruiser/racers at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup.

Carbon Ocean 82 maxi sailing yacht Aegir II - Credit Carbon Ocean Yachts

Carbon Ocean 82 maxi sailing yacht Aegir II - Credit Carbon Ocean Yachts

The Carbon 82 sailing yacht Aegir II is a new generation of Cruiser Racer combining comfort, style and high performance – a balance often proving hard to achieve in a yacht of this size. Her elegant lines, Med-style cockpit and contemporary interior makes her the perfect fast cruising yacht and is guaranteed to turn heads wherever she goes.

Sailing yacht Aegir II was beautifully designed and built for comfortable cruising even in light air and competitive racing in all conditions. Friends and family can cruise for a fortnight on S/Y Aegir II yet it can be transformed into a competitive IRC racing boat for upcoming events such as the Caribbean 600, the Heineken Regatta and the Giraglia Race.

The build of the yacht was nearly derailed in the collapse of Goetz Custom Boats. In salvaging the project, Benjamin and key people working on the Aegir II project formed Carbon Ocean Yachts, which came with several contractors’ claims and lawsuits. Fast forward 30,000 man-hours later and Carbon Ocean Yachts is launching Benjamin’s cruiser/racer, Aegir II.

Carbon Ocean 82 maxi sailing yacht Aegir II - Credit Carbon Ocean Yachts

Carbon Ocean 82 maxi sailing yacht Aegir II - Credit Carbon Ocean Yachts

Sailing yacht Aegir II is constructed entirely from pre-preg carbon utilizing the latest aerospace technologies.  In race-mode, velocity prediction analysis suggests an upwind speed of 10.5 knots and a capability of 20 knots downwind. Carbon Ocean 82 sailing yacht features elegant lines and her three spreader carbon rig, towering 35 metres above the deck, will be sure to provide some serious horse-power. The masthead asymmetric kite is 650sqm.

The design has been in development for over a year and Rogers Yacht Design have transferred many of the technologies used in their racing yachts to guarantee a light, stiff and robust structure. An extensive tank testing and CFD program has been completed, to optimize the hull form for the IRC rating rule, making her a perfect choice for the new Cruiser Racer class for the Med circuit.

Carbon Ocean 82 maxi sailing yacht Aegir II - Credit Carbon Ocean Yachts

Carbon Ocean 82 maxi sailing yacht Aegir II - Credit Carbon Ocean Yachts

Considerable effort has been spent on ensuring that all the sail handling systems are fit for racing and every maneuver can be achieved with minimum effort, whilst the aesthetics of the design are also respected and comfort maximized for extended cruising.

Sailing yacht Aegir II’s interior is light and contemporary and allows the owner to occupy the whole yacht from the saloon forward and gain a high degree of privacy, whilst also being able to create two separate cabins forward when cruising with guests. The saloon is spacious with an open plan layout, with the galley off to one side that leads to the crew cabin aft, with an additional guest cabin on the opposing side. The flexible interior offers future owners the ability to specify a bespoke arrangement to suit their individual aspirations.

Externally the Carbon 82 has several distinctive features, the most significant being her large lazarette with direct deck access via her cockpit bomb doors (not via the transom). The lazerette can house a 3.25m Williams Jet tender with ample additional space for equipment. The movement of toys is easily achieved with the provision for a removable, electric Atlas Carbon Davit. Her deck layout is clean and simple and at a glance, her racing pedigree is clear; balance this with her spacious and comfortable super-yacht interior and you have the Carbon 82 a true Performance Cruiser Racer.

The design is available for future production in a semi-custom format, allowing clients to optimize the yacht for their specific requirements.

Benjamin explains that he can’t wait to get on the water in his new boat: “A Beauty and a beast. An enormous amount of time and effort has gone into refining Aegir II, to deliver immense power and performance but also a yacht that can be cruised in style. Carbon Ocean Yachts have been meticulous in the build programme.

“Aegir II is state of the art, incorporating the latest in construction techniques from the top of the rig, to the tip of the keel. I like to cruise in style as well as race and probably as much thought has gone into the interior as anywhere else.

“After the sea trials, Aegir II will be in the Caribbean and I am delighted to say that the yacht’s first duty will be as a wedding carriage for my daughter’s honeymoon. The first time Aegir II will be raced will be in February, competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. I can’t wait to put her through her paces, on a race course that will really show her true potential.”

Before Benjamin’s racing team crosses the starting line, luxury yacht Aegir II is transformed to a racer. The bomb doors open and the tender is removed from the garage. The shower stall in the master suite, the coping around the mast base, tables and the prod’s anchor cassette are removed to make the racing gear accessible and drop to racing weight. The replacement of the Park Avenue boom and the cruising sails complete the conversion.

Carbon Ocean Yachts will be announcing new and exciting designs to complement the Carbon 82 in the near future.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai: Day 4, Kiwis One-Second Victory

November 17, 2010

Emirates Team New Zealand exposed the first cracks in the armor of the dominant BMW Oracle Racing team at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai today.

The New Zealanders split race wins with the regatta leader, winning their second match by a nail-biting one-second margin over the fast advancing Americans.

Race day 4 BMW ORACLE RACING vs Emirates Team New Zealand - © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 4 BMW ORACLE RACING vs Emirates Team New Zealand - © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Oracle skipper James Spithill had won the pair’s first match, preserving his team’s no-loss record after four days of racing off the host Dubai International Marine Club and putting the Kiwis on the back foot.

In an about-face, New Zealand’s Dean Barker grabbed control at the start of the second race and led the Americans around the course.

It was a must-win for the Kiwi team flying the flag of the United Arab Emirates. Down two races before today, and docked half a point for a collision on the opening day, they ideally needed two wins to put a dent in the winning performance of the team that holds the America’s Cup.

The scoreboard now has BMW Oracle Racing on seven points and Emirates Team New Zealand in second place with 3.5 points. Sweden’s Artemis Racing, Synergy Russian Sailing Team and the French/German team All4One are third-equal on three points. Italy’s Mascalzone Latino Audi team is sixth with two points.

Race day 4 Mascalzone Latino Audi Team vs Artemis Racing - © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 4 Mascalzone Latino Audi Team vs Artemis Racing - © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Expectations were heightened at the end of the day when old Louis Vuitton Cup foes America and New Zealand lined up for their first start.  Oracle’s Spithill won the start and claimed the favored right hand side of the course. The Kiwi boat led early but better conditions on the right favored the Americans.

Barker kept it close and there were two confrontations at the top of the first leg with flogging sails, shouts and protest flags. The combatants narrowly avoided collisions and all the protests were green-flagged by the on-water umpires.

In the second race Barker was pinned by his rival in the pre-start but got out of jail with a minute remaining before the start gun. The right was favored and the Kiwi skipper grabbed it like a drowning man.

Barker exploited his edge all around the course, remaining a couple of boat lengths clear of the attacking Americans. However the Oracle team’s favorable gybe on the last leg almost robbed ETNZ of their sorely-needed point.

“It was another good close race,” said Emirates tactician Ray Davies. “Obviously we’re going to see a few more races like this so better get used to it. In the last race there was some favorable line bias and pretty much the reversal of what we saw in our first race. It was a bit tricky on that run to the finish but, very happy with the final result.”

At least a day’s racing remains in the First Round Robin.  All the teams each have two races still to sail.  ETNZ and Artemis have a third match, with the promise of a one-point advance on the score table for the winner.

Race day 4 ALL4ONE vs Synergy Russian Sailing Team - © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 4 ALL4ONE vs Synergy Russian Sailing Team - © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Flight One, Race One, Synergy Russian Sailing def All4One, 00:08

 – Synergy Russian Sailing team earned a come from behind win with a pass on the first run. But they were given a scare on the short downwind sprint to the finish on the second lap of the course as All4One made a gain with a smoother rounding at the top mark, and some good crew work on their downwind gybes. Although the French-German team was able to pull into an overlapped position halfway down the run, Francesco Bruni and his Synergy crew held their nerve to earn a narrow victory.

Flight One, Race Two, Artemis def Mascalzone Latino Audi, 00:39

 – This match was all but over before it began as Gavin Brady, at the helm of the Italian boat, picked up a penalty one minute before the start. Attempting to dive down to leeward of Artemis, which was leading back towards the starting line, the bow of the Italian boat clipped the safety wands extending from the transom of the Swedes. Carrying the burden of his penalty all the way around the track, there was nothing Brady and his team could do to recover. An easy victory for Artemis.

Flight Two, Race One, All4One def Synergy Russia Sailing, 00:11

 – A good start by Seb Col on All4One saw him win the right hand side of the course with his nose forward of Synergy. Bruni, at the helm of the Russian boat, was forced to luff hard to clear the pin end of the starting line, handing the early lead to Col. A tacking duel ensued, with All4One always holding the advantage on the right, which translated into a seven-second lead at the top mark. On the run, Synergy was able to position itself well for the gybe towards the leeward gate and rumbled past All4One to an 11-second lead. But on the second beat, the duo of Seb Col and tactician John Cutler engineered a pass for All4One, successfully fending off a lee-bow tack by Synergy, allowing them to sail the Russian team out past the layline before leading back to the mark and holding on to the finish for an important win.



Flight Two, Race Two, Mascalzone Latino Audi def Artemis, 00:38

 – A nice timed run start by Mascalzone Latino saw them tight to leeward of Artemis and hitting the line with speed, forcing the Swedish boat to tack away. The Italian team rounded the top mark with a lead of just one length but gained on the run to have a comfortable margin the rest of the way around.

Flight Three, Race One, BMW Oracle Racing def Emirates Team New Zealand, 00:19 – James Spithill and BMWOR won the start, and the right side of the course. Dean Barker and the Kiwis split away to the left for an early advantage but more pressure on the right drove the American boat ahead. Racing was close, close enough for a dial down confrontation at the top of the first beat and a series of protest flags at the top mark, all green flagged. Barker stayed within two boat lengths on the run and attacked with a series of muscle-punishing tacks upwind but Spithill dominated and won comfortably.

Flight Three, Race Two, Emirates Team New Zealand def BMW Oracle Racing, 00:01 – James Spithill controlled the start until the last minute when Dean Barker got under his guard and pushed BMWOR away from the favored right hand side. The Kiwi boat controlled comfortably with a two boat lead until the final leg when a crucial gybe saw the Americans advancing to trail by just five metres at the finish.

Provisional Results:

   1.  BMW ORACLE Racing, 7-1, 7 pts
   2.  Emirates Team New Zealand, 4-3, 3.5 pts *
= 3.  Artemis Racing, 3-4, 3 pts
= 3.  Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 3-5, 3 pts
= 3.  All4One, 3-5, 3 pts
   6.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 3-5, 2 pts *

* Scoring penalty deducted by Umpires

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the principal sponsor of the event.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai: Day 3, BMW Oracle Racing Extends Dominance

November 16, 2010

James Spithill, the youngest skipper to win the America’s Cup, continued an unbroken record today at the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai as his BMW Oracle Racing team posted two more victories in close match racing.

Race day 3 BMW ORACLE Racing - © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy.

Race day 3 BMW ORACLE Racing - © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy.

Race day 3 BMW ORACLE Racing - © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 3 BMW ORACLE Racing - © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

The American team’s record is 6-0 and six points. Their nearest competition is Emirates Team New Zealand in second place with 3-2 and only 2.5 points after an jury penalty on Sunday.

Spithill was merciless in his opening match against Italian Francesco Bruni steering Synergy Russian Sailing. Spithill waited until the last minute of the pre-start before swooping in to attack.

Seconds later he’d grabbed a controlling position on Synergy’s port quarter and pushed the Russian boat above the start line as the gun went. The Russians had to go back and start property while Spithill increased his lead on every leg, finishing 300 metres ahead, the biggest margin of the day.

Race day 3 Synergy Russian Sailing Team vs BMW ORACLE Racing - © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 3 Synergy Russian Sailing Team vs BMW ORACLE Racing - © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Spithill’s second race against the Russians was a different story. BMW Oracle Racing tactician John Kostecki described the race as “quite tight.” The Americans rounded the top mark first but Kostecki said the first beat was touch and go.

“We got to them just about at the layline,” Kostecki said. “They had to bail out and we were able to roll them. They had to do two tacks at the top mark. I think we played that right. It was real close though. It could have gone either way.”

Spithill finally got control of the race after a hair-raising leeward mark rounding when the Russian team came charging back into contention and rounded inside the American boat, claiming and getting an inside overlap.

“We managed to get them to tack away and incur a penalty,” Kostecki said. “Out of that we got the starboard advantage and got ahead on the last beat and ended up winning the race. It was a good race. It feels good to be 6-0.”

Emirates Team New Zealand only had one race, against the Swedish team Artemis Racing. Kiwi skipper Dean Barker claimed a small advantage at the start but Artemis skipper Cameron Appleton enjoyed the starboard side advantage and bounced ETNZ away every time they met in a series of tacks.

When Barker tried to duck his opponent and get right, Appleton bore off in a classic dial down. Barker tacked back and the boats narrowly avoided collision in a flurry of protest flags and shouting.

“We could have cut them in half,” said Grant Dalton, ETNZ CEO who also crews on the boat. “We wanted a red flag penalty but the umpires didn’t agree.”

Flight One, Race One, All4One def Mascalzone Latino Audi, 00:22 – Gavin Brady’s race with Sebastien Col was over before it started when  Mascalzone Latino Audi jumped the gun as she grazed past the race committee boat on port tack in a split tack start. Col, at the helm of the French/German boat All4One, set out with a 90 metre lead that turned into a 38 second advantage at the top mark. A messy spinnaker drop cost All4One valuable time at the leeward mark but she was still 100 metres in front at the finish gun.

Race day 3 ALL4ONE vs Mascalzone Latino Audi Team  - © Paul Todd ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 3 ALL4ONE vs Mascalzone Latino Audi Team - © Paul Todd ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Flight One, Race Two, BMW Oracle Racing def Synergy Russian Sailing, 00:58 – At BMWOR’s helm, James Spithill swooped down on the Russian boat inside one minute to the start as both boats approached on starboard tack. Hooked by the American boat, Francesco Bruni was pushed over the line as the seconds ticked down and Synergy Russian Sailing was forced to return and start.

Flight Two, Race One, All4One def Mascalzone Latino Audi, 00:13 – Gavin Brady started the Italian boat at speed on starboard with a safe leeward on All4One. The French/German boat tacked away and Brady followed, taking them out to the starboard layline before leading at the top mark by a boat length. Half way down the run, the Italian spinnaker pole went in the water on a bad gybe. Sebastien Col seized the lead and held it to the finish.

Flight Two, Race Two, BMW Oracle Racing def Synergy Russian Sailing, 00:15 – Russia’s Francesco Bruni came close to wrecking James Spithill’s so-far perfect record in Dubai, overtaking the American boat on the inside at the leeward mark only to be penalized for failing to keep clear as they sailed away from the mark. Spithill had made a safe leeward start on starboard and controlled the race to the weather mark, leading by a boat length and opening the lead only to see it evaporate as Bruni closed at the end of the run, successfully claiming the inside overlap.

Flight Three, Race One, Artemis Racing def Emirates Team New Zealand, 00:21 – The Swedish boat skippered by Cameron Appleton claimed the right at the start and bounced Kiwi skipper Dean Barker back to the left on six successive tacks. When Barker bore off and attempted to duck his opponent, Appleton, on starboard, dialed down and forced Barker away before hardening up take a clear lead. Barker kept it close but the race was Appleton’s

Flight Three, Race Two, Mascalzone Latino Audi def Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 00:15 – On their third race of the day against the Russian team, Gavin Brady and Mascalzone Latino finally prevailed and put their first point on the board. Brady made a perfect start at speed at the pin end of the line and led by eight seconds at the top mark. Francesco Bruni and the Russians clawed back within two seconds as they rounded opposite ends of the leeward gate but Brady maintained control and the lead.

Results:
   1.  BMW ORACLE Racing, 6-0, 6 pts
   2.  Emirates Team New Zealand, 3-2, 2.5 pts *
= 3.  Artemis Racing, 2-3, 2 pts
= 3.  Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 2-3, 2 pts
= 3.  All4One, 2-4, 2 pts
   6.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 2-4, 1 pts *

* Scoring penalty deducted by Umpires

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the principal sponsor of the event.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai: Day 2, Russians and Kiwis Come From Behind

November 16, 2010

The Synergy Russian Sailing Team and Emirates Team New Zealand both featured in come-from-behind victories during close competition today at the Louis Vuitton Dubai.

Race day 2 BMW Oracle Racing rips their spinnaker going down wind against Artemis Racing.© Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 2 BMW Oracle Racing rips their spinnaker going down wind against Artemis Racing.© Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Their efforts put the Kiwis and Russians second and third respectively in the standings after Day Two but it is James Spithill’s American team BMW Oracle Racing that enjoys first place with a perfect 4-0 score.

Weather played a role in curtailing racing, forcing the race committee to postpone one match until tomorrow.

The start of racing was delayed as the race committee waited for the sea breeze to fill in.  One hour before the scheduled start at noon there was barely a breath of wind as the temperature hit 30 deg. C on its way to a forecast high of 32 deg.

Racing got under way an hour and a half later in a building northerly breeze. Later in the afternoon a gusty, dusty breeze off the desert heralded an easterly wind shift and briefly postponed competition before racing restarted in 15-knot northeaster.

The Synergy team, which narrowly missed winning the Louis Vuitton Trophy La Maddalena earlier this year, pulled out all the stops in their race against Mascalzone Latino Audi, the challenger-of-record for the 34th America’s Cup in 2013.

Synergy’s helmsman Francesco Bruni went for the jugular in the prestart, only to be penalized for hitting the safety wands on the stern of his opponent’s boat. Undaunted, he eked out a 120 metre lead by the top of the second windward leg and completed his penalty turn to round in company with Mascalzone.

Race day 2 Synergy Russian Sailing Team vs Mascalzone Latino Audi Team © Paul Todd/outsideimages.com/Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 2 Synergy Russian Sailing Team vs Mascalzone Latino Audi Team © Paul Todd/outsideimages.com/Louis Vuitton Trophy

Now the Italians led but only until their spinnaker parted company with its halyard and fell in the sea. Game set and match to the Russians.

“We had quite a mixed pre-start,” said Synergy tactician Rod Dawson, with masterful understatement. “Then we came off the start line with a small edge and capitalized on that. We extended up the beat and throughout the race. We were sailing really well.”

There were lead changes too in the contest between Emirates Team New Zealand and the French/German boat All4One.  Dean Barker won the start only to surrender the lead half way up the first beat as his opponent Sebastien Col pulled off a risky port tack cross.

Race day 2 Emirates Team New Zealand vs ALL4ONE start © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy.

Race day 2 Emirates Team New Zealand vs ALL4ONE start © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy.

Closing the leeward mark, the Kiwis rolled their opponents and grabbed an inside overlap plus the lead at the mark, despite an untidy spinnaker drop that threatened to put the brakes on their advance.

“It was a tricky little race,” said ETNZ tactician Ray Davies. “It was a very difficult course with quite big wind shifts and the game was changing all the time. It looked straightforward but it wasn’t.”

Flight One, Race One, Emirates Team New Zealand def All4One, 00:23 – At the gun, Dean Barker steered the Kiwi team to a perfect start to leeward of the French/German boat, eventually forcing Sebastien Col away. At the weather mark ETNZ led by 12 seconds but had to work hard to hold off the opponents nipping at their heels.

Flight One, Race Two, BMW Oracle Racing def Artemis Racing, 00:27 – Artemis tactician Iain Percy called for a pin end start, while Oracle was well up the line as they started together. At the top mark James Spithill had the American boat 17 seconds ahead but they went through the downwind gate side by side. Oracle shredded a spinnaker approaching the leeward gate and Artemis’ Cameron Appleton closed, only to be denied an inside overlap protest.

Flight Two, Race One, Emirates Team New Zealand def All4One, 00:17 – ETNZ enjoyed an early lead before Col pulled off a close port tack cross half way up the leg. All4One controlled the right and rounded the top mark 10 seconds in front. Closing the leeward mark the Kiwis rolled their opponents and went on to win.

Flight Two, Race Two, BMW Oracle Racing def Artemis Racing, 00:37 – Skipper James Spithill wanted the left and grabbed it after taking Cameron Appleton and Artemis out into the spectator fleet in a lively and noisy circling duel. Spithill led back and tacked onto port right at the pin end of the line. When Appleton eventually came back on starboard, the American boat was already 60 metres clear ahead and pulling away.

Flight Three, Race One, Synergy Russian Sailing Team def Mascalzone Latino Audi, 01:19 – Aggressive tactics before the start cost Synergy a penalty as Francesco Bruni attempted to hook Gavin Brady’s Mascalzone. Brady started at the committee and went right but Bruni got up on his hip and held the Italian boat above the starboard layline to lead at the next two marks. Synergy had a 120-metre edge as the breeze softened on the second beat. A penalty turn put the Russian boat back into contention but Mascalzone rounded the weather mark just three seconds in front. The Italian boat’s voyage to victory ended when the spinnaker came off the halyard and went in the water.

Provisional Results:

  1.  BMW ORACLE Racing, 4-0, 4 pts
  2.  Emirates Team New Zealand, 3-1, 2.5 pts *
  3.  Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 2-1, 2 pts
  4.  Artemis Racing, 1-3, 1 pt
=5.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 1-2, 0 pts *
=5.  All4One, 0-4, 0 pts

* Scoring penalty deducted by Umpires

Note:  Racing will start tomorrow, Tuesday at 1:00 pm local time.

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the principal sponsor of the event.

Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai: Day 1 America’s Cup Winner BMW Oracle Racing Leads

November 16, 2010

James Spithill, winner of the 33rd America’s Cup and defender of the 34th America’s Cup, topped the standings on the opening day of racing in the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai.

Race Day 1 Emirates Team New Zealand collides with Mascalzone Latino Audi Team. The Kiwi pole impaled through the Italian hull before breaking off. © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Race Day 1 Emirates Team New Zealand collides with Mascalzone Latino Audi Team. The Kiwi pole impaled through the Italian hull before breaking off. © Bob Grieserousideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

The young Australian skipper steered BMW Oracle Racing to a 2-0 record over the French/German boat All4One while the other four boats in the contest posted 1-1 records.

Racing was close and eventful on the short windward-leeward courses tucked into gulf waters between Dubai Creek and the palm-tree shaped man-made islands of The Palm Jumeirah.

There were two collisions, one serious, when Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand speared its spinnaker pole through the side of Mascalzone Latino Audi steered by Gavin Brady. No one was hurt but Brady was penalized twice in the incident and race officials asked Brady to withdraw to avoid further damage to the Kiwi boat.

Race Day 1 Repair work will be carried out overnight in order to have the boats ready to sail tomorrow © Paul Toddoutsideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Race Day 1 Repair work will be carried out overnight in order to have the boats ready to sail tomorrow © Paul Toddoutsideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Cameron Dunn from Mascalzone said his team was head to wind when the New Zealand boat tried to turn inside them and their spinnaker pole sliced into the brittle carbonfiber topsides of the Italian boat.

“It went straight through the carbonfiber,” Dunn said. “It’s not a very thick skin at that point. It’s not designed to take impacts on the side. We’re lucky it wasn’t much worse. It could have been considerably worse. I’m surprised the bow didn’t hit. Luckily it was just the spinnaker pole. No one was hurt. It was pretty exciting for the 18th man in the back, and the television cameraman.” 

Ray Davies, tactician on ETNZ said: “It was pretty dramatic. Obviously not what anyone wants. A lot of damage, a broken spinnaker pole and a big hole in a boat. It’s not a good way to start but the guys are working on repairs and it should be OK for tomorrow.”

Following a jury hearing into the collision, Mascalzone Latino Audi was docked one point while ETNZ lost half a point.  Before racing started, race officials had warned sailors about actions that might render boats incapable of racing.

In the other incident, young French helmsman Sebastien Col flicked the bow of his French/German boat All4One into the safety wands on the stern of BMW Oracle Racing. The contact earned him a penalty flag and he lost the race.

Dubai skies were clear, hot and sunny skies as racing got under way after a short delay. The sea breeze came in at 6-8 knots and built to 14 to 15 knots as the afternoon wore on. Boats raced twice around a windward-leeward course with a mid course start finish line that also served as a gate for all legs.

Flight One, Race One, Mascalzone Latino Audi def Emirates Team New Zealand, 00:27 – At the start ETNZ split away on port tack while Mascalzone bore off on starboard with an early lead. Gavin Brady, skippering the Italian boat seized the early advantage and controlled the race, leading at every mark and fending off the New Zealanders as they threatened to overtake at the leeward mark.

Flight One, Race Two, Artemis Racing def Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 00:30 – It was all over before the start gun as Cameron Appleton on Artemis threatened to push Synergy above the committee boat as they approached on starboard tack. Francesco Bruni elected to squeeze into the narrowing gap between his opponent and the committee to. Seconds later the umpires signaled a red flag penalty requiring an immediate penalty turn. The Swedish boat led comfortably and finished 122 metres ahead.

Race Day 1 Artemis Racing © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Race Day 1 Artemis Racing © Bob Grieser ousideimages.com Louis Vuitton Trophy

Flight Two, Race One, Emirates Team New Zealand def Mascalzone Latino Audi, ret – This race ended with a bang. Dean Barker carried Gavin Brady far above the wrong side of the weather mark before the boats collided after rounding. The Kiwi spinnaker pole speared through the side of the Italian boat leaving Brady with two penalties for the mark rounding scuffle. Minutes later Mascalzone Latino was asked to withdraw to avoid further damage. Barker sailed on to take the point.

Flight Two Race Two, Synergy Russian Sailing Team def Artemis Racing, 00:31 – Both boats wanted the right at the start but it was Artemis who controlled and split off on port to claim the right hand advantage. Half-way up the first leg, the Russian boat clawed back to take a narrow 11 second lead at the top mark before extending and protecting their lead for the rest of the race.

Flight Three, Race One, BMW Oracle Racing def All4One, 00:17 – James Spithill landed a penalty on the French/German boat and led it off the line with a 60-metre advantage after a spirited pre-start exchange. All4One helmsman Sebastien Col had attempted to duck below his opponent and hook him as they approached the line but as his bow pinged the safety wands on the American boat’s stern, the umpires’ flag went up. Col kept it close but the race belonged to Spithill.

Race day 1 BMW ORACLE Racing vs ALL4ONE © Paul Toddoutsideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Race day 1 BMW ORACLE Racing vs ALL4ONE © Paul Toddoutsideimages.comLouis Vuitton Trophy

Flight Four, Race One, BMW Oracle Racing def All4One, 00:24 – The Americans wanted the right and controlled the start but Sebastien Col started perfectly to leeward and the margin was seldom more than a metre either way as they sailed for three and a half minutes out to the layline. BMW Oracle rounded eight seconds ahead, gradually extended on the following legs and finished 85 metres ahead.

Results:

  1.   BMW ORACLE Racing, 2-0, 2 pts
=2.  Artemis Racing, 1-1, 1 pt
=2.  Synergy Russian Sailing Team, 1-1, 1 pt
  4.  Emirates Team New Zealand, 1-1, 0.5 pts *
  5.  Mascalzone Latino Audi Team, 1-1, 0 pts *
  6.  All4One, 0-2, 0 pts

* Scoring penalty deducted by Umpires

The Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai is under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, the principal sponsor of the event.