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Leg Two of the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race postponed to 18:00 CEST today

May 22, 2012

Written by Eva Belanyiova

The final act of the 2012 Rolex Volcano Race begin today at 18:00 CEST from Marina Piccola in Capri. The 15-strong Maxi fleet left for the 300 nm roundtrip through the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. Conditions were unusual for this region, with heavy rain prevalent for much of the afternoon before a blue sky and a beautiful rainbow ushered in the start of Leg Two of the offshore race.

Marina Grande - Capri -Photo By- Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Marina Grande - Capri -Photo By- Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Following Saturday’s inshore race in Gaeta, southern Italy, and Leg One of the offshore race which concluded yesterday following a 100-nautical mile voyage from Gaeta to Capri, Leg Two pits the fleet on another challenging course. They must head south to negotiate the islands of Salina, Vulcano and Stromboli before returning to Capri.

Jethou sailing yacht - Photo By - Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Jethou sailing yacht - Photo By Rolex Kurt Arrigo

The international fleet were eager to get going. “I think it is one of the nicest racing courses in the Mediterranean,” explained Wild Joe (HUN) owner Márton Józsa. “I am expecting an interesting race. Strong downwind conditions would suit us.” This is what is currently forecast.

Faraglioni - Capri - Photo By Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Faraglioni - Capri - Photo By Rolex Kurt Arrigo

“In these conditions we could be the first boat back although you can never make big predictions before the start,” revealed Filip Balcaen, owner of the 112-foot  sailing yacht Nilaya (BEL), Leg One’s second fastest boat.

Nilaya yacht - Photo By Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Nilaya yacht - Photo By Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Gordon Maguire was part of Stephen Ainsworth’s winning crew onboard yacht Loki at the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart and is currently skipper of the 67-ft Caol Ila (USA), one of the Rolex Volcano Race ‘s 11-strong Mini Maxi fleet. He was in expectant mood: “The interesting thing is that all the weather maps are showing contradictions which usually means the low pressure system creating the winds we are having at the moment is a lot more complex than the computers can model. We are not going out into a race where we know what is going to happen but that is always a little bit of fun. Sailing overnight to a group of islands I personally haven’t been round before is quite exciting.”

Rolex Volcano Race - Start of Leg Two - Photo By- Rolex : Kurt Arrigo

Rolex Volcano Race - Start of Leg Two - Photo By - Rolex : Kurt Arrigo

At 19:30 CEST, the leading yachts were travelling at approximately 10 knots with Sir Peter Ogden’s 60-ft Mini Maxi Jethou (GBR) marginally ahead of Y3K (GER) and Nilaya, and some 105-nautical miles from Salina.

Sailing Yacht NILAYA - Photo By- Rolex : Kurt Arrigo

Sailing Yacht NILAYA - Photo By Rolex : Kurt Arrigo

As the fleet head into the night, current predictions are that the first yachts will be back in Capri sometime tomorrow evening, Wednesday 23 May. The overall winner of Leg Two will be awarded the coveted Rolex Trophy and timepiece during the traditional Rolex party at the iconic La Canzone del Mare, held on Friday 25 May.

Rolex Volcano Race – Today’s start postponed

May 22, 2012

Written by Eva Belanyiova

Storms passing over the Aeolian Islands today caused the start of Rolex Volcano Race to be postponed until 18:00 CEST. With strong mistral wind in Capri, the race committee confirmed the delay of today’s start of the offshore race taking place in the Mediterranean.

The diverse team on board Swan 60, Bronenosec at the Rolex Volcano Race (c) TonyCosta.it

The diverse team on board Swan 60, Bronenosec at the Rolex Volcano Race (c) TonyCosta.it

In its 2nd edition, the Rolex Volcano Race continues to draw a truly international cast of boats and crews. None are a more diverse mix of crew than Swan 60, sailing yacht Bronenosec entered by Saint-Petersburg Yacht Club. For many of the seven Russians on board their background is racing Dragon’s and this week’s racing has provided their first experience of offshore racing. Although in safe hands with the likes of former America’s Cup sailor, Tommaso Chieffi leading the team, it has still been a steep learning curve for the Russians as Vonogov Kirill, Chief Executive at Saint-Petersburg Yacht Club explains:

“My first experience of offshore racing on Bronenosec, I quickly realised that it is a ‘24 hour’ job. Even when I am resting I still have to be alert to a situation that may require my help so you can never fully relax. Big boat sailing also tends to take place in a more adverse environment, further from the shore and in deeper tidal water which offers huge thrills. This is only the second event on Bronenosec’s 2012 campaign so the team are also still learning how each other work but we are starting to understand much better and for me it is very exciting being part of a big team for the first time.”

The Rolex Volcano Race can be a gruelling and compelling competition with yachts facing at least one night at sea and ever-changing weather conditions. Today’s strong winds are a poignant reminder of this. Preparation for an offshore race like the Rolex Volcano Race requires long hours and strategic thinking, particularly for the navigators, who carry out detailed planning and forensic studying of meteorological charts ahead of the event. Francesco Mongelli, navigator on board Gazprom sponsored Bronenosec, is focused on the challenge and for a fully-charged race:

“It is going to be an interesting race for sure. We are going to have a pretty unusual sea state for what is the norm in the Mediterranean with a strong wind offshore that is not completely coming in so it will be a rough ride with a lot of waves. We are expecting to reach down to the island of Stromboli and reach upwind on the return as the wind drops. If we have the same wind as forecast it should be a thirty hour race otherwise 40 hours.”

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race: Race 11 – Day 8: Tactical move of Edinburgh Inspiring Capital

May 22, 2012

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

Tactical manoeuvres as well as unstable winds continue to disturb the fleet’s progress and shake up the leader board, bringing a busy 24 hours for the ten international teams competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race.

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital team

The Edinburgh Inspiring Capital team competing in the Clipper Race

Edinburgh Inspiring Capital has been busy celebrating after entering Stealth Mode overnight, knocking Visit Finland off the top spot, allowing it to claim first place for the first time in Race 11.

On board, skipper Flavio Zamboni reports the team’s desire to maintain its lead, “Outplaying the other teams will be long and hard but we’re up for the challenge.”

Geraldton Western Australia remains determined to hold onto third place, with only two miles separating it from nearest competitor De Lage Landen. As light fickle winds continue to frustrate Welcome to Yorkshire, De Lage Landen has been enjoying more consistent conditions as the fight for third position plays on.

Qingdao’s crew members were relieved to experience more consistent wind after a small rip in their lightweight spinnaker threatened to jeopardise their chance of challenging De Lage Landen for fourth place. The Chinese team were quick to hoist their medium weight spinnaker and hope to repair the damaged sail as soon as possible.

The Race Viewer clearly illustrates how the fleet continues to manoeuvre their way through the Bahamian Islands.

With  just over 800 miles to the finish line near New York for current fleet leader Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, thoughts  of seeing family and friends continue to spur the teams on as all three  podium positions for Race 11 are still up for grabs.

Rolex Volcano Race 2012 attended by Swan yachts

May 22, 2012

Written by Zuzana Bednarova

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 Bednarova

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 Bednarova

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 Bednarova

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.