yacht racing Luxury Yacht & Superyacht News

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race: Day 14 – Half of the fleet completed the Ocean Sprint

April 27, 2012

Day 14 of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race saw half of the racing fleet finishing the Ocean Sprint as they head to Panama.

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race Credit: Abner Kingman/onEdition

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race Credit: Abner Kingman/onEdition

Since Welcome to Yorkshire set the time to beat yesterday, Geraldton Western Australia, Gold Coast Australia, De Lage Landen and Visit Finland have crossed the line respectively. Currently Geraldton Western Australia has the advantage to take the bonus point on offer, completing the sprint in 32 hours and 42 minutes, beating De Lage Landens time by just 30 minutes and 50 seconds.

Gold Coast Australia is currently in the lead in their three way dog fight with De Lage Landen and Visit Finland, overtaking the Dutch entry by a whisker of six miles, narrowing the distance between the three teams by 23 miles.

In the 0600 report to the Race Office skipper, Richard Hewson, reports, “Gold Coast Australia worked very hard to make up ground on the leading yachts last night in very light and unpredictable winds.  At first light we had the leading yacht De Lage Landen in our sights.

“Light winds tending north during the morning allowed us to sail tighter angles and make ground to the north east and overtake De Lage Landen.  Whilst the distance between the start and end of the sprint was officially only 90 miles, Gold Coast Australia travelled just short of 300 miles as most of the time we were trying to make ground to the northern side of the course by sailing east.  Our time for the Ocean Sprint is unlikely to turn any heads as we had earlier decided to forgo the possibility of one point for the sprint in exchange for a better overall result.

“Throughout the day the wind began to fill in and we sailed downwind to make the most of the fresh breeze, placing a loose cover on De Lage Landen and experiencing some fantastic sailing conditions as we sailed down the Mexican coast, with the breeze cooling the boat nicely.”

De Lage Landen is currently reporting to the Race Office twice daily due to incurring several IT problems over the past few days, which means they don’t have any functional laptops to send blogs and videos back. This is set to be resolved in Panama.

Advising the Race Office by telephone this morning, skipper Stuart Jackson says, “It’s getting extremely hot, but we intend on keeping our concentration and regaining the miles lost to Gold Coast Australia.  It will be difficult as we both seem to be making the same speed but there is still time to gain the top spot.”

Describing the close knit racing between the three teams, Visit Finland skipper, Olly Osborne, says, “We had a good run today and a chance to chase down the two boats ahead. Sailing in the same airs as them will make the miles hard to regain, but we are feeling positive, and there are still a number of tactical options that could make the difference. The afternoon breeze is becoming more of a regular feature now, and this afternoon treated us to some great spinnaker sailing. At night however it is often tricky with the breeze being frustratingly variable and inconsistent.

“The heat is now a big factor and it is a conscious effort to stay hydrated and to avoid sunburn. This will become more and more of a challenge as we head south, and trying to maintain focus on light airs spinnaker trim under the beating sun is not easy. But the racing is still as exciting as ever and we will be hot on the heels of the teams ahead during the coming days.”

Meanwhile, in the middle of the fleet Geraldton Western Australia have set a new time to beat in the Ocean Sprint. Determined to maintain this lead and move further up the leader board, skipper Juan Coetzer, reports, “This morning we finished our Ocean Sprint and now we have sailed through our first mandatory gate.

“Today we have had another day of gybing and sailing the best angles for the next gate. We peeled from the medium kite to the light weight as it was not holding its shape that well, and a butterfly was over taking us, and this was unacceptable.

“Dehydration and the sure heat is a big issue, as the crew are consume large amounts of liquids. On deck, the quest for shade is an on-going battle as crew are rotated every 30 minutes.Below decks, the fans are continuously running in the ‘Ghetto’ as crew try and get some sleep. Sun set is welcomed by crew as the temperature drops to something bearable.”

With wind speeds increasing for the more southerly positioned yachts, there is still frustration over lack of wind for the more inshore part of the fleet. Singapore’s skipper Ben Bowley, reports, “Today has been one of quiet reflection aboard the ‘Big Red Bus’.

“The heat has been truly stifling and this has done nothing ease our frustration at being in a weaker band of wind than our competitors over that last 24 hours.

“Once again, last night we were forced to sail fairly high on the wind to keep the boat moving and although we now have a steady breeze to move us further down the track; we have waited a long time to get it.  This has allowed the boats ahead to pull away from us opening up a lead that will be tricky to assault given the fact that the race will inevitably be called short in the coming few days.

“The crew are in good spirits however and laughter and banter still abounds on deck.  We are still striving hard to make up the lost ground as we know all too well that kite wraps can happen at any time and there is always the chance to leap-frog one of the back markers before the race is called!”

The second phase of this race is heating up in more than one way, and as the teams vie for supremacy grappling with the varying conditions to eke out every last knot they can, the temperatures are starting to soar with sees the teams taking on a second challenge competing with the heat.

“Today has been the hottest day of the race so far, here on Welcome to Yorkshire.” Reports skipper, Rupert Dean.

“Our electronic barometer, which also measures temperature, recorded 37.4 degrees Celsius at 1415 hours local time this afternoon. Needless to say conditions feel rather uncomfortable during daylight hours, with all of us looking forward to cooler more pleasant temperatures at night.

“To race competitively in an environment like this requires considerable self-discipline. Every fine adjustment to the helm and trim has major ramifications on boat speed, making total concentration essential. To facilitate this, our athletes are ensuring they wear plenty of sunblock, covering up and drinking plenty of water. Wherever possible, the active watch on deck are racing the boat from areas shaded by sails from the sun.”

“So, as we dream of air-conditioned rooms, ice creams and cold beers, we soldier on in this intense heat, battling to the finish wherever that turns out to be.”

Derry-Londonderry skipper Mark Light, agrees with the English entry, announcing, “ “The combination of perfectly clear skies, long days of sunshine and very little wind is proving to be very frustrating! When the wind fills in, the whole situation changes for the better and attitudes on board fully reflect this.  To be gliding along under lightweight spinnaker at around eight knots SOG (Speed Over Ground) on a flat azure blue sea is lovely, and to be doing this in the right direction is fantastic!

“Something else that has changed on this race has been the quantity of food being consumed per day. We are not eating anywhere near as much as we first thought and there is much more call for our fresh food stuffs. Canned drinks have also become a very high source bargaining amongst some crew and with a ration of six apples and four oranges there is a large amount of inter crew trading going on. I have five apples and four oranges still remaining so im just beginning to be seen in a position of power due to the fact that my fruit trade relations are very good at the moment!”

On board Edinburgh Inspiring Capital, skipper Flavio Zamboni reports that despite seeing their position drop ninth in the crippling conditions, the team is in good spirits.

“After yesterday’s good few hours sailing, today has seen a much slower progress trying to make the most of the light airs we’ve had.

“The weather is glorious although, by now, it has become seriously hot. Coping with dehydration and the heat, above and below deck, has become such an important factor that it will greatly affect the team’s performance overall and will reflect in the final results.

“Morale on board is high. Everybody is enjoying the sailing, is working together really well and, since racing is so tight and conditions variable, we still feel we can improve our position in the standings. It’s a really long race and keeping up the pace at all times is a big challenge.”

Also hoping to improve their position in the standings is Qingdao, and the Chinese entry has forfeited the opportunity of the Ocean Sprint bonus point in a bid to glean back miles lost.

Skipper Ian Conchie, explains, “As we continue heading down the coast towards the finish we are trying to keep our speed as high as possible.  The next question will be where will the wind fill in from next and will the boats to the south get the advantage or not?  We decided to focus on race strategy rather than going for the sprint as have a chance we would have needed to head much more south which could have cost us in the overall race.

“In the meantime there is a lot so debate as to how far will the wind last will we make the finish in time and when will we arrive in Panama?

“Today has also been the hottest so far with the crew trying to hide from the sun and all patches of shade on deck being at a premium!  Despite this we have serviced some winches and repaired a spinnaker all the normal jobs to keep the boat in the best condition we can.”

The Race Committee is keeping an eye on the current progress of the fleet in the light airs in order to ensure it traverses through the Panama Canal in advance of the canal’s planned maintenance.

Race 10 has provision for four additional finish lines to accommodate the potential need to shorten the course and reach the scheduled canal transit time.

The inaugural MOD70 trans-oceanic KRYS OCEAN RACE set for July 7, 2012

April 27, 2012

The inaugural MOD70 class’ first ever trans-oceanic race will be kicked off from New York on Saturday July 7th, with attendance of Race for Water (Steve Ravussin), Foncia (Michel Desjoyeaux), Edmond de Rothschild Group (Sebastien Josse), Spindrift Racing (Yann Guichard) as well as Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet). The MOD 70 KRYS OCEAN RACE will host the new one design, high speed 70ft trimaran yachts, facing the 2950-mile race course. Skippers Ravussin, Desjoyeaux, Josse, Guichard and Gavignet will be in the lead of their five professional crews across the North Atlantic to the finish line in Brest, France.

The official launch of the KRYS OCEAN RACE at the French Consulate in New York

The official launch of the KRYS OCEAN RACE at the French Consulate in New York

Officially launched at the French Consulate in New York, yesterday Thursday 26th April in the presence of the Consul M Philippe Lalliot and renowned American sailor Dawn Riley, the American program which forms the prelude to the MOD 70 KRYS OCEAN RACE promises a full complement of activities between June 28 and July 7 shared between Newport and New York.

From Newport to New York City

Ahead of this first true ocean challenge, a short prologue from Newport to New York should prove an exciting initial taster of what is to come, followed in New York by an afternoon of all-out sprints, the Speed Match. A full menu of action and excitement is promised for the class’ inaugural visit to the USA, where the fleet musters in strength for the first time ever.

History in the making in Newport and New York

Though the MOD 70 KRYS OCEAN RACE will start from New York, the fleet will first establish itself in historic Newport, Rhode Island where the MOD70’s will be based at the Newport Shipyard marina between June 28th and July 2nd, not far from where the AC World Series finale runs 26th June to July 1st.

While based in Newport, the boats will be put through all their safety and technical scrutineering, vital checks which are all the more important given that once they are docked at New York’s North Cove Marina, the MOD70’s will be in full race mode, with no further work allowed to the boats beyond stocking them for the passage.

Prologue

For the five high speed trimarans, the 120 miles prologue races starts on Monday July 2nd from Newport – the world renowned sailing centre synonymous with America’s Cup – to a finish line off New York’s iconic Statue of Liberty where they would be due to finish July 3rd.

From the eve of the USA’s Independence Day, through the July 4th festivities, the fleet will have their home at Manhattan’s tranquil North Cove Marina.

Then on the afternoon of July 5th the fantastic five match up to see who will be New York’s sprint kings on the Hudson River, when Race for Water, Foncia, Spindrift Racing, Edmond de Rothschild Group and Oman Sail will take part in a speed match virtually at the foot of the Statue of Liberty. Race Director Jacques Caraës will be supported by the very active Manhattan Sailing Club under Commodore and Race Committee Chairman Michael Fortenbaugh.

The Race is On

But the excitement will peak for sure on July 7th at 1100hrs (LOCAL) when the French Consul in New York, Philippe Lalliot will be joined by the Mayor of Brest François Cuillandre to fire the start gun which will set off the KRYS OCEAN RACE across the Atlantic to Brest.

The gun marks the start of the first great oceanic adventure for the MOD 70’s and the 30 crewmembers, making history as the world’s first fleet of identically matched ocean racing one design multihulls goes head to head.

Over a course measured at 2950 miles, some of the world’s best ocean racers – some who are already winners of the biggest offshore races and records in the world – will finally compete at thrilling high speeds, on even terms over the ensuing six or seven days, fighting to be first across Brest’s finish line, into the very heart of the historic Tonnerres de Brest nautical festival.

Philippe Lalliot, Consul General of France in New York City: “The world of sailing, synonymous with epic journeys, but also with perseverance and endurance, is certainly one of those worlds that fire your imagination the most. Suspense and emotions will no doubt be part of this new, nautical adventure. I look forward to its opening impatiently and wish it the greatest success.”

Dawn Riley, Chief Executive Officer Oakcliff Sailing New York: “The MOD70 class already is full of French Rockstars and I hope that we will see an American Team joining them shortly. We are all very excited that these multihull machines will be in New York.”

Michael Fortenbaugh, Commodore Manhattan Sailing Club: “We have this incredible symbol which is the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the French.  We always dreamed that someday there would be a race that would start from beneath it and connect with France, which New Yorkers are so closely linked to.  This has great symbolic meaning and is the benchmark for future races.”

Franck David, Chief Executive Officer Multi One Design S.A.: “Multi One Design’s ambition is to build the ultimate sailing class of reference in the world…To start the MOD70 story with the KRYS OCEAN RACE in New York City is the exact representation of what we want to buil : an international circuit, with exiting host venues, combination of City Races and Offshore sailing adventures!”

The U.S. program for the KRYS OCEAN RACE 2012:

Newport:
June 28: Deadline for arrival of MOD70
July 2: Start of the prologue

New York City:
July 3: Finish of the prologue
July 5: Speed Match
July 7 11:00 local: Official start of the first edition of the KRYS OCEAN RACE

Estimated arrival at Brest between 13 and 14 July 2012.

Swan yachts attended the Mapfre PalmaVela yacht regatta

April 27, 2012

The winners of the 7th edition of the Mapfre PalmaVela yacht regatta were encouraged by four days of ideal sailing conditions. 115 yachts coming from countries such as Spain, Italy, Ireland, Russia, Virgin Islands, England and Sweden were hosted by the Real Club Náutico de Palma. With this event officially starts the Mediterranean sailing season.

Luxury sailing yacht SWAN 80

Luxury sailing yacht SWAN 80

The fourth and last day of the races of the 2012 Mapfre PalmaVela regatta started in tactically demanding conditions of 6 to 8 knots of Northeasterly wind and light overcast skies which prevented the breeze from pushing through until 14:00 hours, when a nice Southerly breeze stabilised in the bay of Palma.

The magnificent Maxi fleet had its coastal race on the last day which was shortened from 24 down to 12 miles due to the shifty and light winds which prevailed in the morning. Johan Killinger’s owned and helmed Emma finished third thus claiming the same position in the overall classification.

The Swan 60 team aboard the newly launched sailing yacht Bronenosec, sponsored by Gazprom finished their first international regatta in 7th place within the Maxi class. With a combined style of racing required for their first regatta requiring both tight inshore racing and longer distance coastal racing within a range of wind conditions, the event has proven to be an ideal season opener for the team.

A steep learning curve for all of the crew working from testing breezy conditions at the beginning of the week to lighter shiftier conditions over the last 2 days of racing, Mapfre PalmaVela has been an excellent test bed for the Yacht Club of St. Petersburg’s competitive campaign.

The prize-giving ceremony took place at the facilities of the RCNP, which has once more been able to gather some of the best sailors and yachts in the world.

3rd – Emma, Swan 60, Dr. Johann Killinger
7th – Bronenosec, Swan 60, Alpenberg S.A
9th – Alpina, Swan 80, Alpina by Finimmo

Yachting World Round Antigua Race to kick off on Saturday 28 April

April 27, 2012

Besides some realy awesome sailing conditions, crew of the Yachting World Round Antigua Race will experience some magnificent views of Antigua‘s fascinating coastline, with more than 20 knots of warm trade winds forecast for this Saturday’s competing. 43 yachts will battle with the 55 nautical mile course and crews from more than 20 different countries are ready for the Caribbean thrill of a lifetime.

The Devil's Bridge, just one of the stunning vistas for the Yachting World Round Antigua Race Credit: Louay Habib/Antigua Sailing Week

The Devil's Bridge, just one of the stunning vistas for the Yachting World Round Antigua Race Credit: Louay Habib/Antigua Sailing Week

Peter Aschenbrenner’s 63-foot trimaran yacht Paradox, completed the circumnavigation in less than four hours back in January. Since then the ballistic multihull has been ripping it up at several Caribbean sailing events and the crew and yacht are fully tuned up for the Yachting World Round Antigua Race. Paradox will have America’s Cup and round the world legend Cam Lewis on board for Antigua Sailing Week and Paradox is odds-on to take line honours in the Yachting World Round Antigua Race.

“Given the current forecast, I think that Paradox is capable of going around Antigua in three hours, it is achievable but heavily dependent on sea state,” commented Cam Lewis. “The reach around the windward side will be a blast; Paradox just loves trade wind conditions and should be able to really get up and go. Most of the course is off the wind but the last few miles should be upwind, which will also be a factor in the elapsed time.”

Peter Harrison’s Farr 115 charter yacht Sojana will be hoping to secure line honours for the monohulls and also has the potential to set a new record. Sojana completed the race in 4 hours, 37 minutes and 43 seconds in 2009 at an average speed of just over 12 knots. Since then Sojana has been modified with a retractable bowsprit flying an enormous 800 square metre spinnaker with 25% more sail area than before.

“Given the current weather forecast, Sojana is capable of surfing at up to 20 knots on the windward side of Antigua – that’s a lot of inertia for a yacht of well over 100 tons,” explained Skipper Marc Fitzgerald. “On board we have an international crew from Denmark, Antigua, France, Great Britain and New Zealand including: Poul Hoj-Jensen, Karl James, Mo Gray, Luc Poupon, Jonny Malbon, Ian Budgen and Fraser Campbell. Our primary goal is to take line honours but given the forecast we could well break our own record for the course.”

Farr 115 superyacht Sojana may well be in the reckoning for the overall win on corrected time, however several other yachts may well be in the running including: German skipper Stefan Lehnert helming his Tripp 53, Passion 4C and American Jan Rupert, skipper of Tripp 75 yacht Blackbird.

The first warning signal to start the Yachting World Round Antigua Race will fire at 0800 local time on Saturday 28 April.

Venice America’s Cup World Series, May 15-20, 2012

April 27, 2012

Following the racing in Naples, Italy, the America’s Cup World Series now leaves for Venice, Italy, for the penultimate yacht regatta in the inaugural AC World Series. Race will be held from May 15 to 20 and will be part of a sailing festival taking place from May 12 to 20. The race course is one of the narrowest as well as most difficult in competitive sailing.

Venice, Italy © 2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Venice, Italy © 2012 ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget

Having just won their first regatta in front of home country fans, first-time competitor Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy) anticipates tough competition in Venice.

“Naples showed us that any of the teams can win on any given day,” said Luna Rossa’s skipper Max Sirena. “The racing is so close that you can’t afford to be off the pace for even one race or you will fall down the leader-board. Venice will be exceptionally tight putting a premium on boat-handling.”

More than 500,000 fans turned out during the week’s racing in Naples to watch the regatta. 70 hours of live coverage was broadcast globally, while over 350 media were accredited on site to cover the event, resulting in coverage in more than 850 media outlets.

Although Luna Rossa Challenge won the fleet racing competition, and Artemis Racing prevailed in the match racing in Naples, ORACLE Racing Spithill is now the AC World Series overall point leader overtaking Emirates Team New Zealand by just 1 point.

Venice will produce the narrowest race course yet at any AC World Series venue, and the backdrop to the racing will be the entrance to the Grand Canal, the Doge’s Palace and St. Mark’s Square.

“The magnificent waterways of Venice and its stunning Grand Canal will provide an exceptional arena for the AC45s,” said Regatta Director Iain Murray. “The mix of courses and the tricky winds will provide more challenging racing than ever.”

Event preparations are well underway in what will be a spectacular venue. “Venice has a great maritime heritage and we look forward to welcoming the world’s best sailors to our waters,” said Venice Mayor Giorgio Orsoni.

The racing area includes spectator access along numerous points on the waterfront, including the team bases in the Venetian Arsenal. Dating back to the 1100s, Arsenale di Venezia was originally a shipyard and naval depot, providing a uniquely historic home base for the world’s top sailors throughout the event.

The innovative regatta format includes a mix of speed trials, head-to-head match racing, and all-out fleet racing with identical AC45s on the line. The forerunner to the next generation of America’s Cup yachts, the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran is the official boat of the AC World Series. While capable of closing speeds more than 35 mph, the AC45 remains nimble enough to handle the tight, tactical race course.

Racing Program and Schedule
The ACWS Venice Race Village opens to the public on Saturday May 12. The City of Venice will host an invitational event “the City of Venice Regatta” over the opening weekend. America’s Cup teams are invited to compete, but the results will not count toward the ACWS Venice scoring.

America’s Cup World Series racing begins on Tuesday, May 15, and runs through Sunday, May 20.

Racing will be held from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. alternatively on two courses: one in the open sea, in front of San Nicolo del Lido (the Lido Race Course), and one in the lagoon (the San Marco Race Course), between the island of Lido, the basin San Marco and Punta della Dogana.

The event will feature nine boats from seven countries, including: Artemis Racing (Sweden), skipper Terry Hutchinson; China Team (China), skipper Fred Le Peutrec; Emirates Team New Zealand (New Zealand), skipper Dean Barker; Energy Team (France), helmsman Loïck Peyron; Luna Rossa Challenge (Italy), with two boats, helmsmen Chris Draper and Paul Campbell-James; ORACLE Racing (USA) with two boats, skippers James Spithill and Darren Bundock; and Team Korea (Korea) with skipper Nathan Outteridge.

Ocean Village Marina to welcome the Clipper 11-12 Round the World yachts

April 26, 2012

MDL Marinas is pleased to host the Clipper Round the World yachts back to Ocean Village Marina on Sunday 22nd July 2012. This superyacht marina has played host to many round the world arrivals and this news additionally demonstrates its position as the number one destination for sailing events on the South Coast.

MDL´s Ocean Village Marina - view from above

MDL´s Ocean Village Marina - view from above

The Clipper 11-12 fleet are currently en-route to Panama and MDL Marinas, Clipper and Southampton City Council have already started planning in preparation for the return of the ten-strong international fleet in three months time. Ocean Village Marina has played host to round the world arrivals from Ellen Macarthur and Dee Caffari, and the arrival is set to be another great event for boat owners, residents, spectators and the general public.

This is more great news for Southampton following the announcement last week that planning consent has been given for a £50m luxury hotel and spa, along with 82 waterfront apartments, restaurants and retail premises at Ocean Village.

Dean Smith, Marketing Director at MDL Marinas, commented: “We had a spectacular send off with thousands of spectators when the fleet left last July. We have enjoyed a number of race arrivals at Ocean Village and it’s the perfect setting for everyone to get involved in the celebrations. The crews have taken on some of the world’s toughest oceans and achieved so much, and we are looking forward to giving them a spectacular welcome to the marina when they arrive in July.”

The yachts will have travelled almost 41,000 miles by the time they return to the Solent, having completed the world’s longest ocean race, visiting 14 ports on six continents. Around 500 people from all walks of life will have participated, completing a full circumnavigation, or one or more of the eight legs the race is split into.

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race: Day 13 – “A day of Champagne sailing”

April 26, 2012

In order to describe the last 24 hours at sea featuring a clear sign of joy of the ten fleet as winds start to pick up, Day 13 of the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race has been called by one of the skippers competing in this world´s longest race as “A day of Champagne sailing”.

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race Credit Abner KingmanonEdition

Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race Credit: Abner Kingman/onEdition

The past 24 hours has seen speeds going back up into double figure knots, especially for the more southerly positioned yachts, while there is still frustration over lack of wind for the more inshore part of the fleet.

New York have gone into their second Stealth Mode, meaning their position won’t be visible for anyone else than the Race Office until 0000UTC (27 April). “It may be time for a re-think of our tactics as we get towards the end of this race,” says the American entries skipper, Gareth Glover.

The Ocean Sprint also continues with the English entry Welcome to Yorkshire was first to complete and set the time to beat of 36 hours 8 minutes 53seconds, as the whole fleet is now in the Ocean Sprint area.

Overall Race10 front runners, De Lage Landen, Visit Finland and Gold Coast Australia remain unchanged since yesterday with Gold Coast Australia narrowing in the distance to the Finnish entry by 17 miles compared to the 0900 UTC position Wednesday.

In the 0600 report to the Race Office skipper Olly Osborne from Visit Finland says, “It has been an exciting 24 hours as the racing steps up a gear in some stronger breeze. We had a great run throughout the afternoon and enjoyed having the boat fully powered up under the medium weight spinnaker. The De Lage Landen team are still a little beyond our reach, but it is great to be able to maintain a position toward the top of the leader board after a run of poor results in the last few races.

“For the moment we are back to ghosting along under our lightweight beneath a bright starlit sky, and are hoping to sail the least miles possible throughout the night as we gybe our way through the fickle airs.”

De Lage Landen has over the past few days incurred several IT problems, which means they don’t have any functional laptops to send blogs and videos back. This is unlikely to be resolved until Panama. The Race Office is still in telephone contact with the Dutch entry and providing a safety cover.

Advising the Race Office by telephone this morning, skipper Stuart Jackson says, “The conditions, which remain light, continue to make sailing difficult. We have had slightly more breeze this evening which has refocused our attention. We are very pleased with their current position and are keeping pushing to keep ahead of the boats further offshore.”
Currently in third position is Gold Coast Australia skipper, Richard Hewson says, “Gold Coast Australia has sailed with good wind throughout the night and into the morning making good speed down the Mexican coast.  Unfortunately our speed was not as good as the yachts closer inshore and they made a few miles on us over night.

“Light winds plagued us for the majority of the morning but as the wind shifted further to the west it began to increase again, and in the afternoon we had to change to our medium weight spinnaker which we held until just after sunset.”

The Australian entry also found time to continue to honour Australian Anzac day yesterday – remembering the Australian and New Zealand Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen who fought gallantly and have devoted their lives for the freedom of Australia.

“As the sun rose into Anzac day we paid our thoughts and Wayne Reed conducted a short service as we hoisted the Australian Ensign and lowered it to half-mast and observed two minutes silence,” continues Richard.

With crew from over 40 nationalities, the race is also an opportunity for crew to learn more about each other’s cultures. Qingdao’s skipper Ian Conchie says, “We also celebrated Anzac day with a homemade wreath and Phil Culpan our kiwi crew member explaining the day and laying the wreath.”

The Chinese entry has also enjoyed the more favourable inshore conditions at sea, despite a hick-up with their spinnaker.

“Last night the light airs continued and we managed to rip a spinnaker when it got caught around the bow roller but a quick change and repair and it was all sorted.

“Well after days of light airs sailing today was most definitely a day of Champagne sailing!  This morning the wind started to fill and by mid day we have to change down to our medium weight spinnaker as the wind built to a steady ten knots apparent.  The wind continued to build through the afternoon and saw us getting the boat speed into double digits for the first time in many days!

“Now we just have to hope it continues.  The wind dropped after sunset as normal but we hope it will return tomorrow.  We have managed to recover some of the ground we lost today so if the wind continues we are hopeful that we can keep our recovery going.  We have had had New York on the horizon today so it’s nice to see they have also finally got the benefit after we both stuck to the inshore route.”

Describing the last 24 hours at sea New York skipper Gareth Glover says, “It has been a much better days racing on New York as the wind build over the morning and speeds in double figures for a few hours, this means we gained some miles and moved back up the leader board for the time being. But the lead yachts also had a good days racing and they stay the same distance to finish from us.”

Entering their second Stealth Mode of Race 10, meaning their position won’t be known to anyone else than the Race Office until 0000 27April.

“We have now playing are Stealth Mode as we have being working the shore for the past five days and not getting closer to the top yachts it may be time for a re-think of our tactics as we get towards the end of this race.”

Meanwhile Welcome to Yorkshire has finished the Ocean Sprint at 01:30:19 UTC this morning setting the time to beat at 36 hours 8 minutes 53seconds. The fastest yacht through 90 mile Ocean Sprint will get a vital additional point.

Skipper Rupert Dean says, “Another day of relentless heat and elusive wind on Welcome to Yorkshire. With our ‘Ocean Sprint’ over, our new focus is on the approaching compulsory gates, any one of which could be selected as the finish by the Clipper Race Team.

“Considering our position out west, we have quite a dilemma on our hands. Do we gybe east towards stronger breeze, or do we focus on minimising distance and maximising Velocity Made Good to each gate? The former risks losing miles to those remaining on the making gybe. The latter risks being outflanked by competitors to our north east who, over the next few days, are forecast to have stronger winds. Time will tell.”

However, on board Singapore the situation is more frustrating as they have seen their position drop to tenth. Skipper Ben Bowley says, “It’s not been our best day aboard Singapore today.  We have watched our position fall to tenth due to our offshore position and according to the new weather, we need to get further inshore to maximise this small band of slightly stronger breeze properly.

“The heat and humidity have cranked up another notch and although still preferable to being trashed in the north pacific, it is getting a little oppressive now!  On the positive side, we have had some good breezes today that have raised our boat speeds to more respectable figures than we have seen for some time.  Hopefully this shall means the race shall not be called short just yet and we get the chance to improve on our not so great position over the coming few days!”

Also hunting down more wind is Derry-Londonderry. Skipper Mark Light reports, “Great effort over the past 24 hours, but a disappointing result. Despite all our hard work we have slipped down the leader board over the last few position reports. We did well last night to make our way south in the hope of finding the elusive wind but although the forecasts pointed to more wind initially further south we found that the boats further north had more favourable conditions and were sailing at between nine and ten knots almost all day.

“Our leader board position is all based on distance to finish figures so ninth position is not great but it is by virtue of us being so far to the south. We know that we are more than capable of hunting down the other Clipper Race yachts and we also know that this race has over 1400 miles to go.

“We are well aware that this race may be called at any time due to lack of wind so it is up to us to make sure that we get ourselves in a decent position in preparation for that. Everybody on board, however, would prefer to be able to race all the way. One last thing…….we are currently in ‘sprint’ mode having entered the Ocean Sprint yesterday afternoon.”

Meanwhile in the middle of the fleet is Geraldton Western Australia. Skipper Juan Coetzer reflects on hoe experienced the crew has become after over nine months at sea.

“Morning once again started off with a drift. As the wind began fill in, it shifted 15- 40 degrees. So, trying to maintain a proper course meant we had to constantly gybe. Back in training days, a kite gybe would almost take up to onehour. These days it takes less than ten minutes, from putting up the new pole to lowering the old and tiding the deck. As the wind fill, our boat speed picked up, so much so that a kite peel was required. Not a problem for the Geraldton Western Australia crew as they ROCK!”

Moving up a place on the leader board is Edinburgh Inspiring Capital. Skipper Flavio Zamboni says, “Good day sailing today. After losing the breeze last night, it came back just before dawn this morning. Since then it has been building consistently and we’ve made good progress although it seems the guys inshore got it first.
“We’ll see how we come out in the rankings after tonight. It was certainly good getting sailing again and hopefully this breeze we’ll stay with us for a little longer.”

The Race Committee is keeping an eye on the current progress of the fleet in the light airs in order to ensure it traverses through the Panama Canal in advance of the canal’s planned maintenance.

Race 10 has provision for four additional finish lines to accommodate the potential need to shorten the course and reach the scheduled canal transit time.

Champagne Lanson – a New Official Champagne of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week

April 26, 2012

Cowes Week Limited is pleased to present Champagne Lanson, one of the oldest Champagne Houses in the world, as the new Official Champagne of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, running from 11 to 18 August, 2012.

White Label Champagne Lanson will be enjoyed at many of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week's social event

White Label Champagne Lanson will be enjoyed at many of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week's social events

Champagne Lanson, established in 1760, is the second largest Champagne in the world and is proud of its rich heritage, tradition and quality. The use of special fermentation processes gives the Champagne a delicate, fresher and fruitier taste – the perfect accompaniment for the early evening social events that are a signature part of the après-sail activity at the world-famous regatta.

Commenting on the announcement Gemma Wills of Lanson International said: “Champagne Lanson is very excited to be adding Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week to its schedule of events and associations with the sailing world. We’re very much looking forward to sharing our Champagnes with everyone at the regatta, especially our new White Label product which we will be introducing at this year’s event.”

Michelle Warner, Sales & Marketing Director for Cowes Week Limited added: “Throughout the Week there will be plenty of reasons for celebration, particularly in this special ’Best of British’ year.  Among those racing, there’s a strong sense of teamwork and achievement after a hard day out on the water, and we’re thrilled that we have the perfect partner in Champagne Lanson to help Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week competitors and visitors celebrate their own personal triumphs in style”.

White Label, Black Label, Rosé Label and Gold Label Vintage Champagne Lanson will be available throughout Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, which takes place 11 – 18 August 2012.

Superyachts invited to compete in Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012

April 26, 2012

The organisers of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, running from August 17 to 25, invite superyachts to compete in the 29th edition of this top keelboat event in Australia. This popular race is sailed on the tropical, island-laced waters of the Whitsunday region off the coast of Queensland.

AHRW 2012

Hamilton Island sits as the centrepiece of the Whitsundays, a very special place for both cruising and racing. Within a 40-mile radius of Hamilton Island you have 74 beautiful islands, 68 of which are uninhabited and unspoiled. Then, within that same radius, you have the amazing Great Barrier Reef – one of the seven Natural Wonders of the World.

Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is considered to be among the world’s best regattas when it comes to both the racing and the superb party scene on shore. The island – which is owned by Bob Oatley, owner of the 30-metre Sydney Hobart race record holding supermaxi yacht Wild Oats XI – has been acclaimed nationally and internationally for many of its features, including its high level of unique accommodation, the remarkable Hamilton Island Yacht Club, the championship-standard golf course and its services, including a commercial jet airport.

The regatta’s party agenda is also considered second to none. There are memory-making dinners and functions to be experienced at Hamilton Island Yacht Club and the island’s Five Star retreat, qualia; fashion parades debuting new-season ranges from some of Australia’s best designers; the legendary Moet & Chandon lunch; and supreme culinary events hosted by leading Australian chefs.

Race Week’s standing as a world class sailing regatta was well recognised when 30-year America’s Cup veteran, Tom Ehman, attended the series last year. He experienced the event from every quarter before declaring: ‘Hamilton Island Race Week is the best kept secret in the world of yachting. The organisers of any major race week should look at how Hamilton Island makes this more than a sailing event: it’s also a social and cultural happening. Through resources, imagination and hard work it has really come into its own.’

30.2m Hodgdon sailing yacht WINDCREST placed third in St. Barth´s Bucket

April 26, 2012

Following 3 days of classic Caribbean competing, the 30.2m (98´) sailing yacht WINDCREST launched in 2006 by the well known US builder Hodgdon Yachts, placed 3rd in the Elegantes class as well as 3rd overall in the largest St. Barth’s Bucket fleet of 47 superyachts. The Ted Fontaine designed WINDCREST superyacht finished 22nd on day 1, 2nd on day 2 and 3rd on day 3 for a 3rd place out of 13 and an excellent 4th overall out of 47.

30.2m sailing yacht WINDCREST by Hodgdon Yachts

30.2m sailing yacht WINDCREST by Hodgdon Yachts

The 98ft superyacht WINDCREST is built of advanced cold molded wood construction and features a Hodgdon-designed and built interior. True to the characteristics of a Fontaine design, WINDCREST combines cruising comfort with impressive performance.

While Hodgdon’s new builds today are more commonly of infused carbon-kevlar composite construction, the legacy and heritage of nearly 200 years of boatbuilding goes into every new Hodgdon as it did on the luxury yacht WINDCREST.

Hodgdon congratulations to the owners and crew of WINDCREST.

Main Characteristics of the 30.2m sailing yacht WINDCREST

Designer: Ted Fontaine
Builder: Hodgdon Yachts
Launched: 2006
LOA: 98′