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Rolex Volcano Race 2012 attended by Swan yachts

May 22, 2012

Written by zuzana

Marking the beginning of an amazing Mediterranean yachting season, the second edition of the Rolex Volcano Race is taking place these days, running from 19-25 May in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Swan 80 sailing yacht Berenice Bis Photo By Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Swan 80 sailing yacht Berenice Bis Photo By Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

In contrast to last year’s inaugural event when one race took place, three segments are contested, with the first started in the form of a day’s inshore racing on Saturday 19 May in Gaeta, a seaport on the Italian mainland located approximately halfway between Rome and Naples.

During the second segment, which began on Sunday 20 May, the fleet tackle Leg One of the 400-nautical mile offshore race, a 100-nautical mile voyage from Gaeta to Capri through the Pontine Islands. On arriving in Capri, the fleet berthed on the island for the night of Monday 21 May before attacking the most arduous segment of the week the following day.

A 300-nautical mile adventure around the volcanic, UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands awaits. The overall winner of this last section will take the plaudits at the finish line back in Capri, receiving the coveted Rolex Trophy and timepiece.

Of the 22 registered entrants, 11 different nationalities are represented. As is form at an International Maxi Association event, there is a significant presence of Swan yachts. Six are set to feature who will be battle for the coveted prize for the top-placed Swan. The array of international crews also features Swan 60 sailing yacht Bronenosec (RUS) and Swan 60 yacht Vertical Smile (DEN). Twelve Italian crews complete the roster including Marco Rodolfi’s elegant Swan 80 superyacht Berenice Bis featuring a crew that performed both at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup and the Rolex Middle Sea Race in 2011.

A fascinating contest is in a full swing, comprising a finely-matched, balanced fleet with navigators and tacticians – including former America’s Cup sailors of the calibre of Tommaso Chieffi on board the Bronenosec yacht.

Swan entries:

@robas, Swan 60, Gérard Logel
Berenice Bis, Swan 80, Marco Rodolfi
Bronenosec, Swan 60, St. Petersburg Yacht Club
Plis Play, Swan 80
Shirlaf, Swan 65, Giuseppe Puttini
Vertical Smile, Swan 60, Peter Lerbrandt

The first interior images of the 130ft J Class charter yacht ENDEAVOUR refitted by Yachting Developments

May 22, 2012

Written by zuzana

The first interior images of the newly refitted 77 year old J class sailing yacht Endeavour have now been revealed. Following the 18 month refit at the renowned Auckland-based shipyard Yachting Developments, the luxury charter yacht Endeavour is now simply magnificent.

130ft J Class charter yacht Endeavour - Image courtesy of Yachting Developments

130ft J Class charter yacht Endeavour - Image courtesy of Yachting Developments

More than 100,000 man hours have gone into the project and in excess of 40 tonnes of material was removed and replaced on the J class luxury yacht Endeavour during the refit.

There has been a long term philosophy of longevity and serviceability throughout the refit, ensuring the 130ft superyacht Endeavour will remain the historic icon she is today for future generations.

Superyacht Endeavour - Polish

Superyacht Endeavour - Polish Image courtesy of Yachting Developments

Through the use of 3D modelling it was possible to accurately create a space saving but serviceable layout in the under floor engine room and service areas. The refit included removal and replacement of the complete weather deck including all deck equipment. Steel deck framing has also been relocated to accommodate the new load paths of the new deck layout.  The number of deck winches was reduced from 28 to 14 and all dorades were removed in keeping with her original appearance.

Luxury sailing yacht Endeavour - Saloon

Luxury sailing yacht Endeavour - Saloon Image courtesy of Yachting Developments

Dykstra & Partners Naval Architects, were instrumental in the design of the new sail plan, deck layout and structural engineering.

Accommodation forward of the mast has been reconfigured by John Munford and Adam Lay and the new interior has been built in-house by Yachting Developments tradesmen.

130ft sailing yacht Endeavour - Hallway

130ft sailing yacht Endeavour - Hallway Image courtesy of Yachting Developments

The main engine, generators, hydraulic systems, winches, electrical system, electronics, bow thruster, and air conditioning have all been replaced.

The new carbon fibre mast was built by Southern Spars in Auckland and features EC6 standing rigging.

J Class luxury yacht Endeavour - Galley

J Class luxury yacht Endeavour - Galley Image courtesy of Yachting Developments

Absolute care has been taken throughout the refit to preserve as much of the vessel as practical while taking advantage of twenty first century sailing systems, enhanced performance and improved functionality.

The owner’s project management is by Jon Barrett Associates whom have had over 25 years experience in this role with the Endeavour yacht.

Endeavour superyacht - Engine Room

Endeavour superyacht - Engine Room Image courtesy of Yachting Developments

Recently the St Barths Bucket Regatta held in the Caribbean, hosted four J Class vessels. Indeed it was the first time ever that the 130ft charter yacht Endeavour,  the 138ft sailing yacht Hanuman, the 136ft charter yacht Ranger and the 129ft superyacht Velsheda had lined up and raced against each other in the same regatta. Endeavour’s refit was quickly validated with an outstanding performance and end result.

Swan 60 sailing yacht Bronenosec 9th in the Leg One of the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race

May 21, 2012

Written by Eva Belanyiova

The Swan 60 sailing yacht Bronenosec of Saint Petersburg Yacht Club took the 9th place today, in the finale of the Leg One of the 400-nautical mile race at the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race, taking place in Gaeta, Italy. Today’s course of 100 nautical miles took the racing fleet from Gaeta to the island of Capri, through the Pontine Islands.

St. Petersburg Yacht Club's Bronenosec Tackling Leg One of the 400-nautical mile offshore race at the Rolex Volcano Race (c) Rolex & Kurt Arrigo

St. Petersburg Yacht Club's Bronenosec Tackling Leg One of the 400-nautical mile offshore race at the Rolex Volcano Race (c) Rolex & Kurt Arrigo

Sailing Yacht Bronenosec, sponsored by Gazprom, finished the course in a time of 15 hours 25 minutes. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing as former America’s Cup Tommaso Chieffi explains; “We were expecting a good breeze to bring us to Capri but unfortunately that wasn’t the case and we started in very light conditions. We didn’t have a particularly good start, we think something might have gone wrong with the propeller which we need to check before the start of the next race. But then the wind eventually increased and we went from 270 at the start and went all the way to 135 so it was downwind to the first island in Ponza and then it was a reaching leg after that. So we were hoping for a very fast conclusion to the race but unfortunately it wasn’t to happen. In fact, we had seventeen sail changes in fourteen hours which is more than one every hour so there was a lot of work for the guy up on the bow. So it was a tiring race and luck wasn’t on our side. When we were fifteen miles from the finish the wind completely dropped so we were drifting downwind which wasn’t pleasant. It was pretty much a race that was not won on corrected time but on line honours because effectively it was impossible to catch the big boats on corrected time.”

Slipping slightly in their overall position after finishing second on the first day’s windward/leeward race, the team have their work cut out tomorrow with the second leg of the 400-nautical mile offshore race, commencing at 16:00 CEST as they fight for another scoreboard finish. Following an overnight stopover in Capri, Leg Two takes the fleet around the UNESCO-protected Aeolian Islands, the geological wonders in the Tyrrhenian Sea, before returning to Capri.

Rough conditions are predicted as the week develops, however, looking more cautious than initially forecast. Tuesday will be characterised by a low pressure system, with mostly cloudy skies and a risk of isolated thunderstorms bringing changeable winds. This may lead to very strong offshore winds between Tuesday and Wednesday of 25-30 knots with even stronger gusts. But lighter conditions are expected for the return stretch to Capri.

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race: Race 11 – Day 7: Panama to New York

May 21, 2012

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Further 24 hours of difficult racing for the ten international teams taking part in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, with light airs and calm seas continued to frustrate the fleet’s advancement.

Visit Finland’s tactical gamble to head on a westerly course has seen the team maintain its lead, whilst yachts Gold Coast Australia, De Lage Landen and Geraldton Western Australia strive to outdo one another, with seven miles separating the three teams.

On board the Dutch entry, skipper Stuart Jackson reports that the team is fighting hard to get some constant speeds in the light conditions and for Gold Coast Australia, constant sail changes are on the agenda in a bid to keep moving and to hold the emerging yachts from the east at bay until the wind fills.

Geraldton Western Australia yacht has also had a busy night of sail changes which has paid dividend as the team move into a podium position over sailing yacht De Lage Landen.

Sailing further east and experiencing marginally steadier conditions are Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and sailing yacht New York; both have entered Stealth Mode overnight, which allows them to race under a cloak of invisibility and conceal their positions from the rest of the fleet for a period of 24 hours.

Singapore yacht has taken a tactical gamble by sailing on a more easterly course in the hope of better conditions. The crew witnessed a rare meteorological phenomenon overnight when a water spout circled the boat.

The Race Viewer clearly illustrates how the fleet is beginning to spread out as it heads further north. With less than 1,000 miles to the finish line near New York it will be interesting to see which boats benefit most from their tactical decisions.

Sailing Yacht Berenice Bis wins first leg of the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race

May 21, 2012

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Winning leg one of the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race was the Swan 80 sailing yacht Berenice Bis (ITA) of Marco Rodolfi, sailing about 100 nautical miles from Gaeta – Southern Italy, to the popular Mediterranean island of Capri.

Sailing yacht Berenice Bis - ITA - Photo By- Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht Berenice Bis - ITA - Photo By- Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Berenice Bis yacht was the fifth boat to cross the finishing line in Capri, arriving at 03:53.04 CEST this morning and in the process ousting two Mini Maxis – Sir Peter Ogden’s sailing yacht Jethou (GBR) and Marton Jozsa’s Wild Joe yacht (HUN) – on overall handicap. As widely predicted, Claus-Peter Offen’s 100-ft Wally Y3K (GER) yacht sealed line honours, finishing the course in 11 hours, 37 minutes and 32 seconds. In a close-run contest, Y3K saw off a strong challenge from Filip Balcaen’s sailing yacht Nilaya (BEL), finishing just over three minutes ahead of her nearest rivals.

Sailing yacht Bronenosec - RUS - Photo By- Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht Bronenosec - RUS - Photo By- Rolex Kurt Arrigo

However, the plaudits belong to surprise winner Berenice. “We had a great race, making very few mistakes, navigating the islands very well, and when there was a change in the wind we were in the right place to take advantage,” explains Rodolfi. “It is still a surprise because there are many fast and strong boats.” This wind shift during the night enabled the all-Italian crew to close the gap on the boats ahead. Former America’s Cup sailor Tiziano Nava is Berenice’s tactician and reveals: “The strong winds arrived later than expected but the last stretch to Capri was quite fast as we reached up to 20 knots. We had the sensation of being close to the larger boats and the boats behind were penalised by the drop in wind after our arrival.”

Sailing yacht Jethou - GBR - Photo By- Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht Jethou - GBR - Photo By- Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Fifteen international crews completed the race. The last arrival was Giulio Simeone’s Nelson 67 ISMEF Pep (ITA), finishing at 12:40.13 CEST.

The fleet will berth this evening in Capri. Leg Two of the race is scheduled to commence tomorrow at 11:00 CEST and comprises a 300-nautical mile voyage around the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Conditions for the longer leg are currently looking more cautious than initially forecast, with stronger winds predicted for the rush down to the islands and lighter conditions for the return stretch to Capri.

The overall winner of Leg Two will receive the coveted Rolex Trophy and timepiece during the traditional Rolex party at the iconic La Canzone del Mare, held on Friday 25 May.

Port Louis Marina to host Oyster Caribbean Regatta in 2013

May 21, 2012

Written by zuzana

Camper & NicholsonsCaribbean flagship, Port Louis Marina in Grenada, is happy to announce that it has been chosen as the host venue for the Oyster Caribbean Regatta 2013 and the re-group stopover for the Oyster World Rally in 2014. After the success of the 2011 event, the prestigious UK-based builder Oyster Marine has chosen again Port Louis Marina as well as Grenada. The partnership is recognised as a natural pairing of two top brands firmly connected with a history of yachting excellence, superb quality as well as luxury lifestyle.

Oyster Regattas Grenada logo

Liz Whitman, PR & Marketing Director for Oyster Marine commented, “We are very excited to be returning to Port Louis Marina in Grenada for the 2013 regatta. They played a fantastic role as hosts in 2011 and both the organising team and competitors all received a very warm welcome.”

Scheduled for the 8th – 13th April 2013, the Caribbean Regatta will offer a full programme of events both ashore and afloat, while the Oyster World Rally Fleet will call into Grenada to re-group after their passage from Brazil in March 2014. Both events will allow for participants and their families to enjoy the delights of Grenada, the hospitality of the people, and serve to highlight Grenada’s position as the southern Caribbean’s home of yachting and a superb base for internationally renowned events.

Oyster Regatta 2011

Oyster Regatta 2011

Glynn Thomas, General Manager of Port Louis Marina added, “We are thrilled to have been asked to re-host the Oyster Regatta in 2013. We thoroughly enjoyed the 2011 event and the recognition of being re-selected by a brand like Oyster only further confirms that we have achieved what we set out to with Port Louis being recognized as a world-class marina. I am delighted that the hard work of Port Louis Marina and Le Phare Bleu alongside MAYAG (Marine & Yachting Association of Grenada) is being recognized at such a level.”

Port Louis Marina is a fully serviced, 160 berth, luxury superyacht marina, located south of the hurricane belt and only 5 miles from Maurice Bishop International Airport with direct international flights. Catering for yachts up to 90m, all berths are supplied with water, electricity, broadband internet and cable television and visitors can also benefit from duty-free shopping, swimming pool and bars and restaurants.

Oyster yachts competing in the Oyster Regatta 2011

Oyster yachts competing in the Oyster Regatta 2011

Rolex Volcano Race 2012: Heading to Capri

May 20, 2012

Written by zuzana

The Rolex Volcano Race 15-strong international fleet left the Italian mainland earlier today to start the first leg of the 400-nautical mile offshore race. The crews are heading to the famous Mediterranean island of Capri some 100-nautical miles from Gaeta.

Wally 100 superyacht Y3K Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Wally 100 superyacht Y3K Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

With light conditions prevailing, today’s 15:00 CEST departure from Gaeta was delayed by some forty minutes. A sombre sky and winds of five to six knots welcomed the eventual start. Yesterday’s inshore race winners Jethou (GBR), a 60-ft Mini Maxi yacht, began strongly becoming the fastest yacht to reach the race’s first mark, followed closely by the event’s largest boat, the 112-ft luxury yacht Nilaya (BEL) and the 100-ft Wally superyacht Y3K (GER).

By 20:00 CEST, the fleet had already spread out with these three leading boats in the process of rounding the island of Ponza. Filip Balcaen’s Nilaya, travelling at 6.5 knots, held a narrow lead over Jethou and Y3K. These three are set for a cat and mouse tussle throughout the night with further calm conditions forecast. Stacked further behind is Marton Jozsa’s Mini Maxi Wild Joe (HUN), currently on the approach to Ponza along with the fastest Italian yach, the 65-ft Twin Soul 6.

Mini Maxi yacht Jethou Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

Mini Maxi yacht Jethou Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

The fifteen yachts competing in Leg One comprise ten different nationalities and some renowned international sailors including Brad Butterworth on Jethou, Nilaya’s Bouwe Bekking whilst the 67-ft sailing yacht Caol Ila (USA) can count on the experience of Rolex Sydney Hobart winners Gordon Maguire and John Hildebrand.

The fleet are set to arrive in Capri throughout the day tomorrow before berthing for the night. Leg Two of the race commences at 11:00 CEST on Tuesday 22 May and comprises a 300-nautical mile voyage around the Aeolian Islands, including the volcanic island of Stromboli, the symbol of another challenging offshore adventure, the Rolex Middle Sea Race.

The overall winner of Leg Two will receive the coveted Rolex Trophy and timepiece during the traditional Rolex party at the iconic La Canzone del Mare, held on Friday 25 May.

Venice AC World Series Winner Becomes Energy Team

May 20, 2012

Written by zuzana

Energy Team led by Loïck Peyron showcased its form, winning on the final day of Venice America’s Cup World Series racing. Showing an amazing command of the Grand Canal race area, Peyron and his French crew have remained on the top of the leaderboard all four days this week.

 

America's Cup World Series Venice 2012 - Final Race Day © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

America’s Cup World Series Venice 2012 – Final Race Day © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

 

“I think the lighter conditions were good for us,” Peyron, the veteran multihull sailor, said. “I’m used to this kind of tricky game, trying to be as cool as possible. The pressure was in the red zone, but it made for an exciting race for sure. This was a big victory for us. We are a small team, and hopefully this is just the beginning.”

Winds were exceptionally light on Sunday, turning the San Marco race course into perhaps the most challenging one the teams have faced in the World Series to date. The smallest puffs of wind were rewarded with dramatic bursts of speed, leading to teams quickly moving up and down the race leaderboard on the first lap of the course, the positions changing from minute to minute.

Early in the race, on the first long downwind leg, Peyron proved to be the best at finding a clear lane and escaped clear ahead of the fleet, with ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill following suit a few moments later.

While the French built what seemed to be an insurmountable lead, Spithill kept the pressure on, closing the gap right down to the point where the result wasn’t secure until the final gybe on the finishing line. As the horn sounded to signal victory, Peyron collapsed on the trampoline of his boat in dramatic relief, while his crew celebrated around him.

In contrast to the leaders, the bulk of the fleet had trouble separating themselves and at one point became trapped in a very slow pile-up at one of the turning marks, with too many boats trying to squeeze between the mark and the nearby shoreline at the same time.

Energy Team celebrating their victory

Energy Team celebrating their victory © ACEA 2012/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget

Terry Hutchinson’s Artemis Racing popped out of that incident in third place, with Emirates Team New Zealand chasing them around the race course – even closing enough to incur a penalty for a slow motion collision – before Artemis regained the advantage to lead the Kiwis across the line.

Meanwhile the rest of the fleet was too far back to finish within the time limit and were scored as ‘did not finish’, earning no points on the day.

Earlier in the afternoon, and for the second consecutive event, Artemis Racing defeated Chris Draper’s Luna Rossa-Piranha to win the Match Racing Championship. In the light, shifty, and tricky conditions, Hutchinson and his crew won the start and protected a narrow lead early before stretching away in the middle of the race for a hard-earned victory.

“We’ve had a good result in Naples and now here, in quite different conditions,” Hutchinson said. “The nice thing about the match racing at these regattas is we’ve executed on our game plan. We’re starting to feel with the training in the boat that it’s paying off for us.”

The results in Venice see ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill gain some breathing room on the overall AC World Series leaderboard over Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis will also now be looking over their shoulders, with Artemis Racing closing in as well, nine points further back.

“We came here with a one-point lead over Emirates Team New Zealand. We’re leaving with a four-point lead,” said Spithill as he looked ahead to Newport. “That’s the important thing. I’m happy with how the team did. Obviously we’ve got a lot to work on but there’s no question we’ll be ready for Newport.”

The final event of the 2011-12 AC World Series will take place next month in Newport, Rhode Island from June 26 through July 1, 2012. At the conclusion of racing in Newport, the 2011-12 AC World Series champion will be crowned.

2011-12 AC World Series Overall Championship Leaderboard (after five of six events)
1.    ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…84 points
2.    Emirates Team New Zealand…80 points
3.    Artemis Racing…71 points
4.    Energy Team…65 points
5.    Team Korea…56 points
6.    ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…53 points
7.    Luna Rossa Piranha…34 points
8.    China Team…31 points
9.    Luna Rossa Swordfish…21 points

AC World Series Venice Fleet Racing Championship – Final Leaderboard
1.    Energy Team…74 points
2.    ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill…58 points
3.    Emirates Team New Zealand…54 points
4.    Artemis Racing…52 points
5.    Luna Rossa Piranha…43 points
6.    Luna Rossa Swordfish…43 points
7.    Team Korea…37 points
8.    ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock…22 points
9.    China Team…18 points

AC World Series Venice Match Racing Championship
Final Match: Artemis Racing defeated Luna Rossa – Piranha; 1-0
1.    Artemis Racing
2.    Luna Rossa Piranha
3.    ORACLE TEAM USA Spithill
4.    Energy Team
5.    Emirates Team New Zealand
6.    Team Korea
7.    Luna Rossa Swordfish
8.    ORACLE TEAM USA Bundock
9.    China Team
*The losers of the Semi Final and Quarter Final matches have been assigned final finishing positions (3rd through 9th) in the Match Racing Championship as per the Sailing Instructions.

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race: Race 11 – Day 6: A tactical gamble pays off for Visit Finland

May 20, 2012

Written by zuzana

Yet more challenging weather conditions waited for the 10 crews participating in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race over the last 24 hours, with sparse wind as well as intense heat influencing their position and mood.

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race

However, for Visit Finland a tactical gamble overnight has seen the yacht regain its lead and secure first place in Race 11.

After entering into stealth mode overnight, which allows the team to hide its position from the rest of the fleet for a period of 24 hours, Visit Finland has regained its lead and is currently in first place, around 40 miles ahead of its nearest rival Gold Coast Australia.

With only three miles separating second place Gold Coast Australia and third place De Lage Landen, the Australian entry’s skipper Richard Hewson describes his tactical approach to catch even the smallest advantage to help reclaim the team’s former glory, “In the last 24 hours we have had no less than thirty sail changes as the wind picks up to a few knots, changes direction and then drops back off again.

“Changing between wind seeker, Yankee 1, Staysail and light weight spinnaker is a full time job throughout the watch, and the deck regularly resembles a the floor at the end of an Italian dinner party, covered in a spaghetti of sheets, lines, halyards and sails.”

Sailing Yacht Bronenosec’s consistent day at Leg One of the Rolex Volcano Race

May 20, 2012

Written by Eva Belanyiova

The second part of the Rolex Volcano Race started today, not long after 15:00 local time. The fleet, including sailing yacht Bronenosec of Saint Petersburg Yacht Club was tacking the Leg One of the regatta – a race of 100 miles from Gaeta to the island of Capri, passing through the Pontine Islands, Italy.

Sailing yacht Bronenosec - RUS - Photo By- Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht Bronenosec - RUS - Photo By- Rolex Kurt Arrigo

As the fleet progress and approach the half-way mark the route thus far has been full of pitfalls and the tacticians have had their work cut out as the conditions have proved particularly tricky and the weather has been characterised by weak and unstable winds. This afternoon, in fact, the lack of wind delayed the race start by 40 minutes. The absence of the wind God, Aelous had the merit at least of being the same for all competitors; as the yachts now approach the Pontine Islands, they all have to deal with the calm conditions.

In addition to the unknown weather, Bronenosec will have to deal with some of the fastest and more established Maxi yachts on the international scene. However, the excellent steering of Vladimir Liubomirov also Commodore at the Yacht Club of Saint-Petersburg, always committed to the helm, has pulled in a steady performance in the 5-6 knots and Bronenosec currently sits mid-fleet as night-time falls off the Italian coast.

As the breeze sets to build slightly overnight to 10-13 knots with little gust variation the Swan 60 yacht, engineered for performance with a hull designed solely for racing, will spend the night pursuing and recovering the miles on the leader whilst countering attacks by opponents before the fleet arrive in Capri tomorrow morning.