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BWA Yachting as an Operational Partner of the America’s Cup Superyacht Program

January 31, 2012

The America’s Cup and BWA Yachting are delighted to announce that BWA Yachting has been chosen as an Operational Partner of the America’s Cup Superyacht Program. BWA Yachting, a worldwide leader in marine agency services, specializing in shore side support and VIP concierge to the superyacht industry, will partner with the America’s Cup to promote and sell bespoke packages to the superyacht community permitting superyacht owners, guests and charterers to be an integral part of the America’s Cup, with unprecedented access to the races and special tailored events.

BWA Yachting as an Operational Partner of the America's Cup Superyacht Program

BWA Yachting as an Operational Partner of the America's Cup Superyacht Program

The exclusive packages will provide a unique superyacht experience and will include priority berthing and flagged spectator locations along the race course, access to the America’s Cup VIP hospitality venue, VIP functions, seminars and special events, along with BWA’s unprecedented level of 24 hour onshore support and concierge services.

“We are thrilled to be able to announce this partnership with the America’s Cup. With a storied 160 year history, this is the most prestigious worldwide sporting event today and we look forward to providing our superyacht clients with the opportunity to have an up close and personal experience at the America’s Cup events over the next two years. The new wing-sailed catamarans, along with innovative race courses that bring the action closer to the public than ever before, and revolutionary television coverage, have created an atmosphere of unrivalled competition and prestige and we are honored to be a part of the excitement,” Stefano Tositti, C.E.O. – BWA Yachting.

“The America’s Cup welcomes BWA Yachting,” said Iain Murray, C.E.O. – America’s Cup Race Management. “Our aim is to unite the pinnacle of competitive sailing with the height of yachting luxury, and provide owners and charterers with an unprecedented America’s Cup participant experience. Our specialist superyacht division is dedicated to making the America’s Cup an easy and memorable experience for superyacht owners, guests, captains and charterers.”

BWA will offer packages beginning with the America’s Cup World Series event in Naples in April 2012 and then for the following events in Venice (May 2012), Newport, Rhode Island (June 2012) and San Francisco (August 2012). Bespoke packages for superyachts will also be available for the Louis Vuitton Cup, America’s Cup Challenger Series, scheduled to be held in San Francisco in July and August of 2013, and the America’s Cup Finals in San Francisco from September 7th – 22nd 2013.

2012 RORC Caribbean 600 yacht race with start on 20th February

January 27, 2012

With less than one month to go, to the fourth edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 2012 programme starts with a sensational cast in Antigua. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a truly international affair, with well over 500 competitors from at least 24 different nations taking part. More than 30 beautiful yachts are expected to participate in a high-speed, action-packed yacht race around 11 Caribbean islands.

Setting off from Antigua in the 2011 RORC Caribbean 600 Credit Tim WrightPhotoaction.com

Setting off from Antigua in the 2011 RORC Caribbean 600 Credit: Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

There can be few sporting events that can boast such a worldwide appeal with sailors taking part from all over the world including: Antigua, Australia, Austria, Canada, Cayman Islands, Croatia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, St. Lucia, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey and the United States of America.

This astounding diversity of nationalities is matched only by the astonishingarray of yachts and personalities. The largest yacht competing this year is the magnificent sailing yacht Hetairos with a waterline length of 200′. Hetairos superyacht is the world’s largest carbon composite sailing yacht. The 29 crew on board is composed of many Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup and Jules Verne around the world veterans. The luxury yacht Hetairos is among the favourites to take line honours, but there are several other yachts more than capable of finishing in front.

67m Sailing yacht Hetairos - Credit Baltic Yachts

67m Sailing yacht Hetairos - Credit Baltic Yachts

In 2011 American George David skippered Rambler 100 yacht to smash the monohull course record, taking line honours and overall victory. David’s team is back, this time with the Reichel Pugh 90, Rambler yacht and they are unlikely to give up the title without a fight. The Spanish Volvo 70, Gran Jotti will be dwarfed by the super yacht Hetairos, but the former Telefonica Black has a venomous turn of speed and is quite capable of out pacing the entire fleet. On board there is a huge wealth of talent in the form of Spanish America’s Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors. These three are likely to be contenders for line honours, but overall victory under IRC is far more difficult to predict. A hot contender is Niklas Zennstrom’s Judel/Vrolijk 72 Rán yacht, which will be making its debut in the RORC Caribbean 600.

Rán navigator, Steve Hayles is one of the world’s most experienced offshore sailors but this will be the first time he has tackled the intricate course around the central Caribbean, “For me it’s very refreshing to tackle a new race and the Caribbean 600 is a real fascination,” explained Hayles. “It’s unlike any other offshore race in that the average leg is only about 40 miles and for a navigator there is a lot to consider. Normally, a race is all about the weather and strategy but in addition to all that, this race takes you back to the basic problem of navigating around so many rocks and islands. Looking through all the legs, there is a broad mixture of sailing angles; there is a fair bit of reaching, but it is wrong to think that is not a challenge, especially with the speed sensitivity of modern high-performance boats. The course is more like a whole stream of complex coastal races. I have to say that it is a pretty unique race.”

Niklas Zennstrom's JudelVrolijk 72 Rán Credit Jody Sallons DayAntigua Sailing Week

Niklas Zennstrom's JudelVrolijk 72 yacht Rán Credit: Jody Sallons Day/Antigua Sailing Week

A dazzling variety of yachts crewed by some of the world’s finest will be racing this year. However, not all of the competitors are seasoned professionals. One of the smallest yachts competing this year is J/39 Sleeper, which will be raced two-handed by a father and son team. Jonty Layfield and son Jack are both RORC members and hale from Brighton, UK.

Last year with a full crew, Jonty’s won class at Antigua Sailing Week, “Sailing Two-Handed with my son, I don’t expect to be very competitive, we are not going to go flat out but treat the race more like a delivery trip,” admitted Jonty. “I have raced double-handed with my son back in England and I have been sailing with Jack since he was about five years old, we are more like friends than father and son. The great thing about sailing is that you have to get on with it; you can’t have any histrionics. Jack is working in Brazil at the moment and the RORC Caribbean 600 is a great way to spend a few days together.”

Close duels are expected right through the fleet, none more so than in the Class 40s where a hard fought and close encounter is expected. Tradewind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class 40s, with long reaches and downwind legs, these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots. Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees yacht has Hannah Jenner as skipper, the only female to skipper the Clipper Round the World Race.

Hannah Jenner on Peter Harding's 40 Degrees in the 2011 Transat Jacque Vabre Credit Alexis Courcoux

Hannah Jenner on Peter Harding's 40 Degrees yacht in the 2011 Transat Jacque Vabre Credit: Alexis Courcoux

Hannah was in fine form last year, gaining a podium position in the Class 40 Transat Jacques Vabre, “Antigua is a beautiful place to start the season with some winter sunshine and I have heard that Antigua Yacht Club provides a great party!” smiled Hannah. ” The race course has plenty of activity with sail changes and the competition should be really close. Making the right tactical decisions will also be very important if we are to be the fastest Class 40 around the track. I am really looking forward to the race.”

RORC Chief Executive Eddie Warden Owen believes that the RORC Caribbean 600 is especially attractive to larger yachts, however the ethos of the club maintains equal status to every participant.  “A wide spectrum of yachts and competitors has decided that this is an event that is not to be missed. The club is delighted that people from all over the world want to take part. There is a mixture of world class sailors and corinthian enthusiasts, but they all have one thing in common, a passion for offshore racing.”

“This average length of yacht for this year’s entry is over 70′. When the Royal Ocean Racing Club started this race in 2009, we felt it would appeal to larger yachts and that has proved to be the case. This year we have a significant number of Racing Maxis, Super Yachts and Spirit of Tradition yachts. However, every yacht competing in the RORC Caribbean 600 is governed by the same set of rules. All of the competitors receive a warm welcome from the Antigua Yacht Club, regardless of their finish time or place. Since 1925, The Royal Ocean Racing Club has promoted offshore racing for all and in many ways the RORC Caribbean 600 typifies that cause.”

176th Australia Day Regatta: Century of Yacht Design on Show

January 25, 2012

This Thursday’s 176th Australia Day Regatta on Sydney Harbour will be presenting more than a century of Australian yacht design and construction as well as a near century of development by Sydney’s iconic 18-foot skiffs.

176th Australia Day Regatta preview - Weene sailing on Sydney Harbour Photo Andrea Francolini

176th Australia Day Regatta preview - Weene sailing on Sydney Harbour Photo: Andrea Francolini

More than 140 sailing craft including state-of-the-art ocean racing yachts, harbour racing keelboats, classic yachts, many gaff-rigged, along with state-of-the-art modern 18-footers and replicas of the skiffs that raced on the harbour early last century, have entered the regatta with racing on the harbour and offshore.

The 176th Australia Day Regatta is the oldest continuously-conducted sailing regatta in the world. First held in 1837 to celebrate the founding of the Colony of New South Wales, it has been held every year since, including through times of war, with Sydney Harbour today the centre of celebrations of Australia Day throughout the Commonwealth of Australia.

The Australia Day Regatta Inc management committee, headed by John Jeremy, organises the regatta, with three Sydney Harbour clubs whose own history dates back to the 19th century,  Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Sydney Flying Squadron and Sydney Amateur Sailing Club, still involved in the on-water conduct of the regatta. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron this year is celebrating 150 years of conducting yacht racing on Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Flying Squadron began running skiff races in 1891, while ‘The Amateurs”, as it is fondly known, has officially existed since 1872.

Antares won the Classic Yachts division of last year’s 175th Australia Day Regatta Photo John Jeremy

Antares yacht won the Classic Yachts division of last year’s 175th Australia Day Regatta Photo: John Jeremy

The 2012 Regatta will comprise the traditional Sydney Harbour races, a short ocean race to Botany Bay and return, as well as keelboat and off-the-beach regattas on the Parramatta and Lane Cove Rivers, on Pittwater, Botany Bay, Lake Macquarie, and Lake Illawarra and at Port Hacking and Gosford, more than 600 boats are expected to take part in New South Wales.

There is also a link with another traditional regatta, the Australia Day Sandy Bay Regatta on the Hobart’s River Derwent, first held in 1849. Australia Day Regatta medallions will be presented to dinghy class winners at the Sandy Bay Regatta.

In a further connection to early sailing on the Derwent, among the entries in the Classic Yachts division of the 176th Australia Day Regatta is Weene, a Tasmanian One Design yacht launched in Hobart 101 years ago and still racing competitively.

Weene is the oldest boat among the fleet of more than 30 yachts in the Classics division, among the line-up being the 1966 Sydney Hobart winner sailing yacht Fidelis and other former ocean racers Anitra IV and Mister Christian.

176th Australia Day Regatta preview - Australia Day Regatta president Charles Curran’s 60-footer Sydney Photo John Jeremy

176th Australia Day Regatta preview - Australia Day Regatta president Charles Curran’s 60-footer yacht Sydney Photo: John Jeremy

The Classics also includes the gaff-rigged sloop Ranger whose octogenarian skipper Bill Gale has sailed in every Australia Day Regatta since he was a young lad.

At the modern end of yacht design are the recently launched, state-of-the-art ocean racers, Ed Psaltis’ Ker 40 AFR Midnight Rambler yacht and Warwick Sherman’s Occasional Coarse Language, heading a fleet of nearly 30 boats entered for the City of Sydney Sesquicentenary Cup as part of the Grant Thornton Short Ocean Point Score. Among these and other yachts that contested the bluewater classic, the recent Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, is the Corby 49 Vamp, skippered by Cruising Yacht Club of Australia commodore Garry Linacre.

The SOPS fleet, together with another 26 boats entered for the Grant Thornton Short Haul Series, will set sail from Sydney Harbour at 11am, with the return leg retracing the short voyage of the First Fleet on from Botany Bay to Port Jackson on Australia Day 1788 to found the colony that was to become the Commonwealth of Australia.

Heading the 176th Australia Day Regatta fleet racing on the Harbour will be the 60-footer Sydney yacht, owned by Regatta president Charles Curran, with the yacht being skippered by David Kellett, treasurer and executive member of the International Sailing Federation.

As president, Curran will be entertaining special guests aboard HMAS Sydney which as Flagship is maintaining the strong link between the Australia Day Regatta and the Australian Defence Forces, with the Royal Australian Air Force and the Royal Australia Army also participating in events in the air and ashore.

Racing on the Harbour for more than 90 keelboats, a dozen or so modern 18-footers and seven historic skiffs will start from a line near the flagship, with the warning signal at 1.15pm. Division 1 of the Classic Yachts will head off first on a course around fixed harbour marks. The finish line will be in a similar position near the Flagship.

76th Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race

January 25, 2012

Six records were broken and six skippers won their weight in Extra Old Mount Gay Rum when the Barbados Cruising Club successfully presented the 2012 Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race on Saturday 21st January 2012. Ideal conditions out on the water saw the round Barbados records tumble.

The Reichel Pugh Maxi 78’ Idea Yacht Credit Bim Media Group - Bim.bb

The Reichel Pugh Maxi 78’ Idea Yacht - Credit: Bim Media Group - Bim.bb.

The race attracted 28 entries from around the world with one yacht arriving just the day before the event having sailed from Italy directly to Barbados. That effort was rewarded as the crew collected their skipper’s weight in Mount Gay Rum.

The Reichel Pugh Maxi 78’ Idea yacht is skippered by Tony McBride, who attended last year’s event and had vowed to return with something bigger to break the Absolute Monohull Record and he easily achieved that goal, breaking the previous record, held by Ron Joyce and Destination Fox Harb’r by 17 minutes, in a time of 5 hours 3 minutes 34 seconds.

Sailing yacht Idea - Credit Bim Media Group - Bim.bb.

Sailing yacht Idea - Credit: Bim Media Group - Bim.bb.

Silver Bullet, Roberts 30’ yacht Supercat, skippered by Barbados Cruising Club member Bryn Palmer, took 16 minutes off the existing Absolute Multihull Record in a time of 4 hours 24 minutes 27 seconds.

Rappajam with captain Ralph “Brugga” Johnson established a new class record for yachts 60 foot and under, while sister yacht Bruggadung, captained by Paul Johnson set a new class record for yachts under 35 foot.

New records were also set in both the single handed and double handed classes with Immigrant, skippered by David Staples and crewed by Dr John Duckhouse setting a new record for a double handed yacht. Five yachts started the race double handed, and all beat the previous double handed record.

Roberts 30’ yacht Supercat - Credit Bim Media Group - Bim.bb.

Roberts 30’ yacht Supercat - Credit: Bim Media Group - Bim.bb.

Two double handers, Matador and Deliverance were ‘live aboard’ yachts recently arrived in Barbados after their Atlantic Crossing. Captain Peter Hoad also established a new record for a single-handed yacht on his J24, Jabulani in a time of 9 hours 49 minutes 58 seconds.

Trading Brigantine Tres Hombres was the last yacht to finish, safely returning a group of children from the Barbados “Kids At Sea” youth sailing programme back to Carlisle Bay shortly before 10 pm at night.

This was the first year that use was made of the inner basin of the Careenage as a place to moor the yachts and also it was a first for the setting up of a yacht regatta village.

The yacht regatta village is a new concept to Barbados and sets up well for the world class event which Barbados will be hosting in December when yachts will arrive for the finish of the Classic Transat 2012.

Sailing yacht Supercat - Credit Bim Media Group - Bim.bb.

Sailing yacht Supercat - Credit: Bim Media Group - Bim.bb.

This event has so far attracted 33 entries and with seven months to go before the start, the organizers expect a further 12 yachts bringing the total to 45.

The Barbados Cruising Club wishes to thank the event sponsors, Mount Gay Rum, The Barbados Tourism Authority, LIMEtv, The Loomba Foundation, The Beach House, Miele, Indigo Island, Port Louis Marina and Diamonds International.

The Mount Gay Rum Round Barbados Race will return on January 21st 2013.

175th Anniversary Yacht Racing Festival hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club

January 25, 2012

A part of this Summer’s line-up of 175th Anniversary events being hosted and run by the Royal Southern Yacht Club is the Club’s 175th Anniversary Open Regatta, supported by Mount Gay Rum, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, Gaastra and Swarovski Optik.

175th Anniversary Yacht Racing Festival hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club

175th Anniversary Yacht Racing Festival hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club

This 16-day racing festival commences with registration on Friday, May 25th, the Titanic themed Crew Ball on Saturday, 26th  and, with an occasional reserve day built in, works its way through to the overall prizegiving on Sunday, June 10th.

The Royal Southern 175th Anniversary Regatta, incorporating both its regular May and June Summer Series Regattas, comprises 16 days of activity ashore and afloat, encompassing all classes of day boats, keelboats and ocean racing boats that regularly support the Club and even introduces some spectator-friendly model boat racing.

This Regatta is also the ideal platform for the Club to showcase its expertise in running major sailing events. Beneteau, Contessa, Farr, Impala, J-Boats, Laser SB3s, Sigmas, Quarter Tonners, Mini Tonners, Six Metres, Sportsboats, Foxers, XODs, IRC classes, Club classes and more  are all embraced in the amazing racing schedule.

To date the Royal Southern is anticipating that 33 classes and over 500 sailors will participate in what will be the largest gathering of competitive yacht racing ever run under its burgee.

50th Cowes-Deauville Race

The 175 Anniversary Regatta programme also includes the 50th running of the Cowes-Deauville Race, June 1st-2nd, organised in conjunction with the Royal London Yacht Club, Deauville Yacht Club, the Junior Offshore Group and, for the first time, the Royal Ocean Racing Club.

With VIP guests and sailors from both sides of the Channel participating and with some J80 in-shore team racing also taking place in the Solent and in the Baie de Seine, the 50th Cowes-Deauville promises to deliver a vintage year in both quantity and quality of competing yachts.

Red Caps at the Southern

The Royal Southern is delighted to announce that Mount Gay Rum, ‘the rum that invented rum’, has awarded the 175 Anniversary Regatta Red Cap status and will be supporting various events during this Anniversary year as a Corporate Partner.  The Anniversary Regatta will be rounded off in style with a fabulous Mount Gay Rum Red Cap Party on Saturday, 9th June. Mount Gay Rum will also host pre-event cocktail receptions for the 50th Cowes-Deauville Race and the Biscay 2012 Offshore Race in September, supplying Mount Gay Rum Eclipse and Mount Gay Rum Extra Old to wet the palate.

Alvin Saal, Brand Manager for Mount Gay Rum, is delighted with the brand’s association with the Royal Southern’s 175th Anniversary in 2012, commenting: “We are very happy to be involved in the Royal Southern’s Anniversary events and to enjoy such a great opportunity to extend our international yachting events support and celebrate with the UK sailing community in this way.”

Mount Gay Rum joins the Royal Southern’s growing family of 175th Anniversary corporate partners including Piper-Heidsieck champagne, Gaastra yachting wear, and Swarovski Optik.

Extensive support for Superyachts in the UK in 2012 offered by Burgess Marine

January 24, 2012

Burgess Marine Ltd is a UK based Ship Repairer, including both planned works and emergency support. Technical teams work internationally, and have extensive as well as proven Superyacht experience, supporting Pendennis, SYS, and HYS in the UK. Recently Burgess Marine has worked onboard the motor yacht Bystander, the sailing yacht Velsheda, the Hetairos superyacht, and the charter yacht Infinity as well as a 44m Feadship and a 64m Classic Motor Yacht.

Motor Yacht BYSTANDER - Photo Credit JFA Yachts

Motor Yacht BYSTANDER - Photo Credit JFA Yachts

Burgess Marine has two core areas of expertise; steel and aluminium repairs and renewals, and slow, medium and high speed diesel engineering; secondarily Burgess Marine routinely provides Technical Support and bespoke project management, as and when required, for all forms of structural and / or mechanical problems.

Superyacht Support Infrastructure in 2012:

As a primary partner of BAE Systems Surface Ships Ltd the company has contractual approval to utilise the dry-dock infrastructure within HM Naval Base Portsmouth for Superyacht projects, support and dockings.

67m Sailing yacht Hetairos by Baltic Yachts - Credit to Baltic Yachts

67m Sailing yacht Hetairos by Baltic Yachts - Credit to Baltic Yachts

Burgess Marine and BAE Systems entered into a formal agreement in 2009, governed by a Memorandum of Understanding, which allows Burgess Marine to either act as a primary contractor and / or a preferred supplier; hence allowing the yacht, yacht management company, or owners representative to either contract Burgess Marine, or BAE Systems, for their marine engineering works and / or dry-docking within the Portsmouth naval footprint.

Luxury Charter Yacht Infinity

Luxury Charter Yacht Infinity

The footprint offers six useable docks; 2 x dry docks 255m x 30m, 1 x dry dock 186m x 28m, 1 x dry dock 140m x 24m, 1 x dry dock 133m x 24m and 1 x dry dock 121m x 21m, and has excellent availability throughout the 2012 season. The facility is state of the art, and all external sub-contract parties are free to work on the site. Burgess Marine will be available to support the Superyacht Cup, the J Class regatta, and the Superyacht fleet on, and around, the Thames, in partnership with MGMT, during the summer 2012 Olympic period. The Portsmouth facility is ideal for both planned Class certified dockings or emergency repairs.

2012 MOD70 European Tour to start on 29 August

January 24, 2012

On Monday 23 January, at the Dusseldorf Boat Show, the much anticipated 2012 MOD70 European Tour was presented. Starting on 29 August, five weeks of intensive racing will see the six competing MOD70 yachts race nearly 5,000 miles in a mix of offshore competition, and races in the heart of five cities in five countries: Germany, Ireland, Portugal, France and Italy.

2012 MOD70 European Tour

2012 MOD70 European Tour

The six MOD70 yachts are helmed by skippers with some of the biggest hauls of oceanic medals – Michel Desjoyeaux, Sebastien Josse, Sidney Gavignet, Roland Jourdain, Steve Ravussin and Yann Guichard. The teams will be setting off from Kiel in Germany, on the Baltic Sea, towards the east coast of Ireland, after a rather unfamiliar passage via the North coast of the Shetland Islands which will see the teams reach 60° North – as far north as Cape Horn is south.

After stopping off in the Emerald Isle, the teams will tackle the descent of the North Atlantic, heading for Cascais in Portugal, for an eight-day stopover before heading east.

Beyond the Pillars of Hercules, the MOD70s will cross the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea to tie up at the feet of the Bonne Mère in Marseille (France), while the final leg of the European Tour 2012 will take the MOD70s on a big looped circuit around the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, prior to climbing up to an Italian port looking out onto the Ligurian Sea…

At the end of this tour of Europe, the fleet will have covered 5,000 miles and crossed seven seas and one ocean.

Start: Kiel, Germany,  2 September:
Steeped in maritime tradition, Kiel is the city which played host to the Course de l’Europe during the first edition back in 1985, and again in 1997, for the 4th leg. For this 2012 edition of the MOD70 European Tour, the local authorities were the first to commit themselves wholeheartedly to the project. Alongside KIEL.SAILING CITY, the online gambling company, Betfair, will be present at both the legendary Kiel Week, to be held in June 2012, and the German stopover for the MOD70 European Tour 2012.

Uwe Wanger, Managing Director of Kiel Marketing GmbH, “In collaboration with Betfair, we’re proud to play host to the first leg of the European Tour, an event that forms part of the MOD70 circuit, for their first race in Germany. These spectacular boats represent technology at its highest level – a point they have in common with our new partner Betfair. With this stopover, we’ll be punctuating a series of prestigious sailing gatherings and we’re hoping for between 50.000 and 80,000 spectators at the heart of Kiel to witness the racing.”

Marco Simeoni, President of MOD Ltd., “Today we’re happy to be able to present the first edition of the race around Europe, aboard MOD70s. Since 2009, we’ve been working on putting together a one-design class and a coherent circuit for racers, boat owners and our partners. With the current economic context colouring Europe, things haven’t been easy but we’ve managed to pull it off. The cities of Kiel, Marseille and Cascaïs are the first three cities to have signed up alongside us and the contracts with the remaining two cities involved in this project will be signed in the coming days. Featuring 5,000 miles, 5 countries, 5 host venues and 5 City races, this MOD European Tour will be the setting for a competitive and cultural oasis! Thanks to the one-design format, which guarantees sporting equity, we’re sure to witness some great on-the-water confrontations between the MOD70 crews competing in this 2012 season.”

Hervé Favre, Event Manager OC ThirdPole, “To organise a European tour is an opportunity to revive the great moments in the history of oceanic multihulls, but it’s also a genuine challenge in every possible way. This is true in logistical terms first of all, as not all the ports in Europe can accommodate 6 or 7 trimarans measuring 22 metres long and 17 metres wide. It’s also true in sporting terms, with the need to construct a balanced circuit and some interesting legs, with around 3 days spent at sea between cities. Finally there’s the marketing aspect, with our desire to select cities whose image and notoriety are recognised on the international playing field, and who are keen to communicate their outward-looking attitude to the sea. We’ve also endeavoured to involve the Teams and their partners, who have guided the final decisions. Launching a new event is never easy, particularly today, but we’re proud of this very fine course, which will support the increase in power of the new Multi One Design Class”.

Michel Desjoyeaux, skipper of the MOD70 Foncia, “This MOD70 version of the European Tour 2012 will be the second event of the season. It will be longer and more intensive than the Krys Ocean Race, but I bet you that the crew of Foncia will be very much into their stride! Added to that, the European Tour isn’t a complete unknown for me as I raced aboard Crédit Agricole, the winning boat in the first edition back in 1985. I sailed it again in 1993, aboard La Poste. It’s always a real thrill because there are a number of intriguing passages to be negotiated. The race zone really deserves to be highlighted! Alternating between offshore legs and inshore events appeals to me since it’ll give us the opportunity to show our different guests what the MOD 70 Foncia is all about during the stopovers. These moments of sharing and exchanges aboard our fantastic machines are always rich and interesting.”

Sidney Gavignet, skipper of the MOD70 Oman Sail, “Our MOD70s are capable of covering great distances in a short space of time so they’re really cut out for this type of course around Europe! For my part, I’ve already had the opportunity to compete in European races in 1993 and 1997. I have some very fond memories of them with some great battles on the water. I expect nothing less in this edition. This European Tour really ties in with the agenda that my partner OMAN had in mind, which involves promoting tourism among the European public across the sultanate.”

Yann Guichard, skipper of the MOD70 Spindrift racing, “I’m more familiar with transatlantic events and this will be my first participation in a European Tour. I’m very enthusiastic about the idea of helming my MOD70 Spindrift Racing over this course, which will enable me to discover the race zones, particularly as regards the first leg between Kiel and Ireland. Another first for me is alternating between offshore and inshore races, especially over the course of a month! It’s going to be raced at a steady pace and we’ll have to be consistent and perform well, whatever the race format.”

Roland Jourdain, skipper of the MOD70 Veolia Environnement, “It promises to be an enthralling sail… Already at the time of the multihull, and also the monohull, all the racers adored the race. On a sporting level, it’s a superb mix of offshore and coastal courses. On a multihull we’re sure to have a ball!”

Stève Ravussin, skipper of the MOD70 Race for Water,  “Germany is a great country for sailors, as it has a particularly important place on the map of Europe. As such I’m very happy and proud to be part of this first European Tour in Kiel. Adventure, speed and adrenalin, a mixture of spectacular offshore races and city races on an equal footing… it is the epitome of everything I love about sailing! In addition to the sports competition, I’m delighted to be able to raise awareness amongst adults and children about problems relating to water… Indeed, with the MOD 70 Race For Water, ambassador for the Multi One Attitude Foundation, we’re going to spread this message to the four corners of Europe as well as battling to sail some fantastic races!”

Sébastien Josse, skipper of the MOD70 Edmond de Rothschild Group, “The European Tour is proposing an ambitious programme and it will be a difficult race. For three weeks we’re going to link together a series of offshore and city race formats at a steady pace and the team will have very little time to catch their breath. This second event of the 2012 season will showcase the crews’ stamina and their ability to adapt to the switches in format. The North-South route of the race is likely to provide us with some highly varied conditions. The northern part may give us some really lively conditions at that time of year, whilst the second part, in southern Europe, should prove to be milder. However, that’s just a hypothesis as the Mediterranean is never short of surprises and could very well dish out an entirely different scenario. The European Tour will be intense with a line-up of six honed crews after the Krys Ocean Race.”

The MOD70 European Tour 2012 in brief :
- First edition of the European Tour in MOD70s.
- 6 competing sailing teams (6 crew members per MOD70)
- 5,000 miles
- 5 countries visited: Germany (Kiel), Ireland, Portugal (Cascaïs), France (Marseille), Italy.
- 5 offshore races and 5 inshore events (city race and speed match)

Stopover schedule :
Kiel (Germany) from 29 August to 2 September
Ireland from 5 to 9 September
Cascaïs (Portugal) from 12 to 20 September
Marseille (France) from 23 to 30 September
Italy from 3 to 7 October

The multihull and the Course de l’Europe :
1985 :
- 1st edition of the Course de l’Europe created by Gérard Petipas with the support of the European Community
- Start on 9 August
- 8 legs: from Kiel (Germany) to Porto Cervo (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Philipe Jeantot on Crédit Agricole
1987 :
- Start on 12 July
- 8 legs from The Hague (Holland) to San Remo (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Daniel Gilard on Jet Services
1989 :
- Start on 17 July
- 6 legs from Hamburg (Germany) to Toulon (France)
- Victory for Serge Madec on Jet Services V who won 5 of the 6 legs.
1991 :
- Start on 12 May
- 6 legs from Lorient (France) to Santa Marguerita (Italy)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Laurent Bourgnon on R.M.O, just 93 seconds ahead of Mike Birch
1993 :
- Start on 23 May
- 6 legs from La Rochelle (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
1995 :
- Start on 20 May
- 7 legs from Venice (Italy) to London (England)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
1997 :
- Start on 1st June
- 5 legs from Cherbourg (France) to Stockholm (Sweden)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuji
1999 :
- 2 legs from Genoa (Italy) to Lorient (France)
- Victory aboard a multihull for Loïck Peyron on Fuj

Dates to remember: 2011 / 2012
25 January 2012:    Launching of the MOD70 SPINDRIFT RACING
12 april 2012:    Launching of the MOD70 OMAN SAIL
January to May 2012:    Launching of the MOD70 nr.7

Race Programme: 2012 / 2014
7 July 2012:    Start of the KRYS OCEAN RACE
2 September 2012:    European Tour
June 2013:    European Tour
November 2013 – April 2014:    Ocean World Tour (6 stopovers, 5 oceans, 12 racing teams)
August 2014:    KRYS OCEAN RACE

2012 Landmark Year for Wally – Wally//Cento, Wally/50m and Wally//Ace Yachts scheduled for launch this year

January 23, 2012

2012 will be a landmark year for Wally Yachts with the launches of three important new classes of vessel: Wally’s first ever displacement motor yacht Wally//Ace, the first ever mega sailing yacht Wally//50m and two of the Wally’s newest and highest performing cruiser-racer sailing yachts, the Wally//Cento.

26.23m Motor Yacht Wally//Ace

26.23m Motor Yacht Wally//Ace - Image courtesy of Wally

Wally//Ace
Motor yacht Wally//Ace is a vessel like no other, with huge open spaces and a degree of light and quality of design unmatched by any yacht in her class. The unique owner’s suite aft has direct access to a terrace on the sea, while the social spaces blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living.

A huge onboard garage stores a 6m yacht tender plus all the usual water toys and an unusually spacious galley and crew quarters mean that the guests can be pampered in the greatest style. Whisper-quiet, fuel-efficient diesel engines can take them non-stop from the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, while an exceptional hull design and gyroscopic stabilisation ensure a smooth and stable ride.

Sailing Yacht Wally//50

Sailing Yacht Wally//50

Wally//50
Sailing yacht Wally//50 is the first megayacht of her size built entirely in advanced composites. This stunning sloop is designed to combine Wally’s trademark performance and ease of handling with all the modern comforts and amenities of a luxury megayacht. In order to boost performance she features a lifting keel that increases the draft from 4.2m to 6m when sailing, PBO rigging, and water tanks that double as water ballasts.

100ft sailing yacht Wallycento

100ft sailing yacht Wally//Cento

Wally//Cento
The 100ft sailing yacht Wally Cento combines high-tech racing performance with spacious and comfortable interiors. The Wally//Cento superyacht, which is based around a lightweight carbon composite hull, was designed by naval architect firm Judel Vrolijk.

Additionally, the 2012 edition of the FT Wally Grand Prix Series will feature five yacht regattas packed with action and excitement, showcasing the world’s largest fleet of maxi-yachts crewed by talent from the America’s Cup and Olympics.

6th Extreme Sailing Series held in Muscat, Oman to start on 28 February

January 23, 2012

With the sixth edition of the Extreme Sailing Series™ kicking off in just five weeks in Muscat, Oman, a top quality team line-up has been announced from the Dusseldorf Boat Show where Marinepool, official clothing partner to the Series, launched their very cool new range of merchandise.

Feet racing, Muscat, Act 1, Extreme Sailing Series 2011

Feet racing, Muscat, Act 1, Extreme Sailing Series 2011

An impressive set of sailors from all over the globe with an extraordinary set of CVs including skippers Ian Williams (GBR), Roman Hagara (AUT), Pierre Pennec (FRA), Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI) and Morgan Larson (USA) and a host of strong commercial brands, will set out on their quest to win the Extreme Sailing Series. Eight pro teams, meeting the objective of organisers OC ThirdPole for 2012, will be on the starting grid in Muscat on 28 February. An impressive high level fleet that will face additional strong competition event by event from several wildcard entries during the year, including Artemis Racing, and local ‘home’ teams, meaning the grid will be full with 8 to 10 yachts at all the Acts.

Whilst the economic situation inevitably makes it harder to raise sponsorship funds for new and existing teams, the interest in the award-winning stadium sailing global circuit has never been stronger with many potential teams for 2013 already working actively to kick off their campaigns during the 2012 season – a mark of the maturity of the event as a high quality commercial sports property.

Sailing yacht Oman Air, Act 1 Muscat 2011

Sailing yacht Oman Air, Act 1 Muscat 2011

Seven of the teams on the start line in Muscat are returning teams – Alinghi, Oman Air, The Wave Muscat, Red Bull Sailing Team, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, ZouLou and GAC Pindar have competed in one or more seasons already. “It is a very positive indication of the sporting integrity and commercial value of the circuit to see so many of the highly competitive and high-profile teams sign-up again for 2012,” said Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of OC ThirdPole, the organising company and creators of the Extreme Sailing Series.

“Going into our sixth year, the level of competition will step up yet another gear, and we can expect the racing to once again be incredibly tight with Act winners only known in the closing minutes at each venue. As organisers, our mission will be to also continue to increase the commercial return for all the stakeholders, and whilst ensuring the very best racing, develop further the fan entertainment package and media value which already stepped up markedly in 2011.”

Team New Zealand racing in Muscat, Oman 2011

Team New Zealand racing in Muscat, Oman 2011

A new name for 2012 is ZouLou, headed up by Frenchman Erik Maris. It is not Maris’ first Extreme 40 experience though as he competed in the same yacht as ‘Luna’ in the 2009 series, and this time will be ably supported by an experienced multihull crew with the added caché of French sailing superstar Loick Peyron, recently returned from setting a new Jules Verne round the world record, as helmsman for at least the first two events in Muscat and Qingdao.

The all French team of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, runners-up in both 2011 and 2010, will return for a fourth season of competition, and will again be led by skipper and helmsman Pierre Pennec, “We finished last season 2nd overall and we missed victory by a whisker,” said Pennec who is a seasoned campaigner and a skilled multihull sailor. “We are coming back to the circuit more motivated than ever and with the objective of winning the championship. This is not going to be easy considering the line-up announced for 2012 and to be able to do it we must keep improving. This season will also mark the arrival of a new talented crew member on board Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.”

Fleet racing from onboard The Wave yacht, Act 1, Muscat, 2011

Fleet racing from onboard The Wave yacht, Act 1, Muscat, 2011

Two teams will be representing Oman – The Wave, Muscat and Oman Air – at the helm of The Wave, Muscat is Olympic Tornado sailor Leigh McMillan whilst newcomer American Morgan Larson, with three America’s Cup campaigns under his belt, will take the helm of Oman Air. “This year I have had the chance to put my own team together which is a great opportunity,” said McMillan who took over the helm of The Wave, Muscat from Torvar Mirsky after Act 3 last year, to finish in 4th place overall with Omani sailor Khamis Al Anbouri on bow. “It is exciting to be sailing with a new team, and I think we definitely have the potential to get some good results. Our aim is to try and win the Series this year. We are looking forward to some great racing this year, and in some really exciting new venues – it’s going to be a fantastic year.”

The Swiss team of Alinghi return again for a third season (winners in 2008) after finishing in 5th place overall last year, but this time there will be a new man at the helm. Ernesto Bertarelli will be both skipper and helmsman in his first full season of Extreme 40 competition.

The Austrian duo of Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, the successful Olympic Tornado partnership that brought home two Olympic gold medals to Austria, will once again be leading Red Bull Sailing Team, “We are looking forward to the new season,” said skipper Roman Hagara. “It was a short break and we have just been training in the gym. Our shore crew will work hard on the set up of our Extreme 40 in the next weeks to get ready for the first Act in Oman.”  The team finished 6th overall in 2011 and will be happy to repeat their opening performance of 2011 that saw them take the 3rd spot on the Muscat podium.

British skipper, Ian Williams, and three-times ISAF World Match Racing Champion (2007, 2008 and 2011) will lead his team for a second season on GAC Pindar.  Williams came to the Extreme 40 circuit fresh last year, swapping one hull for two, and was on a fast and sharp learning curve from capsizing in Act 2 in China to leading Act 8 in Almeria up until the penultimate day. The British team will be out to prove they can cut it with the ‘big boys’ this season.

In addition to the strong line-up above, an eighth entry will be announced separately by the team sponsor early February, and a number of wildcard entries will also be accepted in 2012 as per the Notice of Race, which allowed for up to 8 teams for the season plus a maximum of 4 wildcards at each Act. At all the Acts, there will also be local ‘home team’ entries, meaning that each Act will have a minimum of 8 to 10 top teams competing to win.

Five weeks and counting – the 2012 Extreme 40 battle will commence…

2012 NZ Millennium Cup: Inshore courses will ensure close-up views of spectacular Superyacht fleet

January 20, 2012

Members of the public, even those on shore, will this year be able to enjoy close-up views of an impressive fleet of luxury superyachts as they race in the 2012 NZ Millennium Cup, held in February 16-18.

New Zealand Millennium Cup

New Zealand Millennium Cup

Racing on the three days of this prestigious event will take place close to shore, in the Waitemata Harbour and inner Hauraki Gulf. This means those on vantage points at Devonport, North Head, Bastion Point, on the East Coast Bays and Whanagaparoa Peninsula, as well as along the Motutapu and Rangitoto shorelines, will be able to see all of the action as these luxurious 30-metre-plus vessels battle for supremacy.

NZ Millennium Cup organisers have designed courses that start and finish off Viaduct Harbour, ensuring there will also be good viewing at both ends of the races for those working in the CBD.

“Those watching, wherever they are, will be treated to a real spectacle,” says organising committee chairman, Stuart Robinson. “These are some of the world’s most spectacular yachts and, when they fly their spinnakers, some will be carrying more than 1000 square metres of sail!

“Most people will never have seen anything like this before!”

Racing in this year’s NZ Millennium Cup will get underway on Thursday, February 16 with a harbour race. This will be followed on Friday and Saturday with races from Viaduct Harbour to the inner Hauraki Gulf islands and back. Racing on the three days gets underway at 11am.

While the NZ Millennium Cup does have an active social component, Robinson stresses that the racing is taken very seriously by the vessels’ owners, their guests and crews, and by the organisers.

“All of the races in the 2012 NZ Millennium Cup will be run by race management experts such as Ross Marwick and Hal Wagstaff from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

“These are the same race management teams that will be in charge a few weeks later, when the Volvo 70 Fleet arrive in Auckland, compete in their inshore race and then head away on the next leg of their race around the world.”

When not racing, the superyacht owners and their guests will be given the chance to experience some of New Zealand’s finest food and wine in a mixture of casual and formal settings. These will range from a “Kiwi bach” themed post-race function in the Floating Pavilion to a formal gala dinner and prizegiving in The Cloud on Princes Wharf, complete with a charity auction to raise money for Coastguard.