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Sailing yacht Ranger wins J Class Regatta Newport

June 29, 2011

The J Class Newport Regatta finished on Sunday 19th June with a thrilling final race; a wonderful tactical exhibition that showcased the very best of the J Class yachts superyachts and the very best of sailing. Thousands of enthralled spectators were at Fort Adams, Castle Hill, and the headlands around Newport Bay over five days, to watch as sailing yacht Ranger won four races to S/Y Velsheda’s one race.

Sailing yacht Ranger wins J Class Regatta Newport - Ranger on Day 1. Photo©2011 Daniel Forster go4image.com

Sailing yacht Ranger wins J Class Regatta Newport - Ranger on Day 1. Photo©2011 Daniel Forster go4image.com

However the results do not reflect the closeness of many of the races. For example, Yacht Ranger won the first race by just one second on corrected time based on the new J Class Association handicap system.

Sailing yacht Ranger & Velsheda - Credit J Class Regatta Newport

Sailing yacht Ranger & Velsheda - Credit J Class Regatta Newport

The regatta was superb, with excellent facilities and charming Newport was a perfect venue for this event with such a rich maritime history and the location of the first America’s Cup event in Js. The welcome from locals was overwhelming and many Newport sailors turned out to help manage and assist. It is hoped that the fleet will return to Newport for further regattas in 2014.

The Newport Regatta was the first showcase of the JCA handicap system, created by the Wolfson Unit at Southampton University. This new system is based on VPP calculations and was validated from towing tank results achieved from the 1930s prepared for Harold S Vanderbilt, who went on to commission the 1937 “RANGER”. Sparkman and Stephens USA office made this comprehensive document available to the JCA and the information provided the vital cross-check required for the Wolfson Unit to complete the figures for accurate handicapping of the Js in the interests of fair racing and good sportsmanship on the race course.

Sailing yacht Ranger leading on Day 1, winning by 1 minute 19 seconds elapsed time, but by just 1 second on corrected time.

Sailing yacht Ranger leading on Day 1, winning by 1 minute 19 seconds elapsed time, but by just 1 second on corrected time.

J Class Sailing yacht Velsheda comes second in the 2011 J Class Regatta Newport- Credit J Class Yachts

J Class Sailing yacht Velsheda comes second in the 2011 J Class Regatta Newport- Credit J Class Yachts

Ratings are issued for three wind bands, 0-9 Knots, 10-14 Knots, plus14 Knots above, and two types of courses, Circular Random and Windward Leeward. This set of ratings offers the fairest measure of boat on boat performance.

Corum Watches presented a wonderful perpetual trophy to Ranger, the overall winner, who also won a unique timepiece – a Corum Tide Watch.

The next big J Class event is in Falmouth in June 2012 followed by The Solent in July 2012, finishing with the ‘Hundred Guinea Cup’ race around the Isle of Wight on the original America’s cup course.

J Class enthusiasts and fans of these iconic racing yachts can also look forward to the prospect of a re-run of the 1934 America’s Cup races between the original yacht ENDEAVOUR and the new replica sailing yacht RAINBOW when she is launched.

2011 Superyacht Cup in Palma – Quotes

June 28, 2011

There’s no doubt that the 2011 fleet of the Superyacht Cup in Palma was nothing short of superb, with a collection yachts to rival any gathered here before or elsewhere. Certainly, Andre Hoek and his many collaborators must be extremely proud of the twenty-five years of floating excellence and a distinct style which we’ve been treated to with his eleven yachts racing here together.

Hoek 115 F Class Classic Sailing Yacht FIREFLY by Claasen Yachtbouw

Hoek 115 F Class Classic Sailing Yacht FIREFLY by Claasen Yachtbouw

Yet any superyacht race is as much about the people who own, design, build, service and crew these beauties as it is about the vessels themselves. Hailing from all over the world, the people of yachting are an international brother hood and sisterhood of markedly independently-minded individuals who are fortunate enough to have dedicated themselves to this unique and wonderful little universe of sailing.

In their own words, here are some of the players of yachting from the Superyacht Cup 2011.

James Pleasance, organizer of the Superyacht Cup:

“The Superyacht Cup is becoming more popular each year as a  friendly, informal event with a family style atmosphere combined with competitive racing. With a 21 strong fleet of boats this year, it’s a great testimony to the success of the event”

Richard Watson, General Manager of Pascoe International, builders of ultra-high quality, new technology, super-fast yacht tenders:

“This is such a good opportunity to show our products to captains and crew – the people who use them and enjoy them. Its amazing and so wonderful  to view these yachts in action!”

Scott Zebny of North Sails Palma, who gear is onboard sailing yacht Fire fly, S/Y Lionheart, Scorpione and hundreds of top sailing yachts worldwide:

“Great to see our customers having so much fun, enjoying the beautiful sailing and the warm hospitality of Palma. My daughter Alicia looks forward to the fiesta every year!”

Colin Squire, publisher of Yachting Matters magazine: 

“Over 23 years of sailing, Palma has become my second home, and the Superyacht Cup is a focal point in my yearly calendar. It’s a special place for special people, and I always look forward to visiting my many friends on island, and especially those who gather for this great sailing event.”

Ben Golff, owner of marine fashion business Gaastra, Gold sponsors of the Superyacht Cup and other regattas, and owner of 34m sailing yacht Highland Breeze:

“These are some of the most beautiful and prestigious yachts in the world, making themselves available to sail together in a lovely environment, while being able to compete in an extremely well-organized event. My company Gaastra is proud to be accepted and to participate as a Gold Sponsor.”

Capt. Greg Norwood-Perkins, long time yacht racing veteran of countless events, and skipper of yacht 55m yacht Adela:

“Whats’ good about this year is there are lots of big boats, lots of schooners – which we are – so it’s great competition. This is a well-run regatta, very crew friendly, and which the owners also enjoy.”

Toby Allies of Pendennis shipyard, whose creations have adorned many Superyacht Cups, and other large-yacht races, this year including Adela and charter yacht Nostromo:

“It is a fantastic opportunity for owners to use their boats in a different way and meet other like-minded owners in a very relaxed environment. There’s a great atmosphere here – for the crew, industry, designers and builders, which allows us to showcase what the superyacht industry is all about.”

Capt. Joe Jackson of Fishman Productions, well-known skipper who has sailed the seven years, and recently settled on Palma, working as a rigger:

“It’s been a blast! I got blamed for a mistake on the bow – which wasn’t my fault even though I’m the bowman – but it’s all good, great seeing all my friends gathered together.”

Capt. Patrick Whetter, Superyacht Cup founder, and helmsman on 43m Holland Yachtbouw, S/Y This Is Us, another of the Hoek Designs 

I’m having the most fun driving the best boat I’ve ever driven! I’m very lucky that Robin lets me drive his absolutely superb Andrew Hoek designed yacht.

Paul Dielemans, General Manager of Rondal, part of the Royal Huisman family, sailing on 62m Athos, the largest yacht in the fleet:

“This puts us on a professional playing field, and is the perfect mix of serious sailing, information gathering, meeting everybody, and having fun at the same time. We are very happy to sponsor the Superyacht Cup.”

Louis Hamming, CEO of Vitters Shipyard, whose spectacular 55m yacht Marie is still yet another of the Hoek designs here this year, and which also sailed in the St. Barths Bucket:

“What is most important is for the owners to use their yachts to their maximum capabilities, seeing their full potential.  It’s not about winning – although everyone likes to win – it’s about competing against yachts of similar size and caliber. The fun factor is that the ratings offer transparency, giving owners understanding of what’s happening on the race course – it’s also important.”

Michael Kurtz and Imme of Panteanius, leading international marine insurance firm, and sponsors of the Superyacht Cup:

“We started from the very first Superyacht Cup as sponsors, and we like to stick by our old friends. We like to be close to our clients as they enjoy themselves, and if they need us, they know that Panteanius is always stays by your side.”

Rachel Harrison, of Integrated Marine Group, all the way from New Zealand for her first Superyacht Cup:

“Fantastic way to see Palma for the first time, with some of the best sailing superyachts in the world – and hopefully we can entice some of these beautiful yachts to come to our Millenium Cup in NZ next February. Thanks for inviting me!”

Peter Craig, well-known racing professional, and Principal Race Officer of the 2011 Superyacht Cup:

“2007 was my first superyacht event ever – I sailed on the mighty Meteor but didn’t even know how to spell superyacht then – but had a wonderful time! Four years later, superyachts dominate my life. I love being here in this capacity, because the owners are looking for, and deserve, a good, well-run regatta. We take it seriously, and it’s rewarding to give them a really good regatta like this one.”

Jim Teeters, whose Bucket Ratings system has become the industry standard for yacht racing worldwide:

“Fantastic racing today! We had a lot of boats finish within twenty minutes of each other, and that’s as much as you can ask for.”

Norma Trease (Salamanca Marine), Gloria Harvey (Lloyds Private Banking), Abi Wallace and Nichol Southwood (Crew Advantage Network):

“Let’s make sure the women are included too!”

Giraglia Rolex Cup 2011: Sailing yacht Foxy Lady Wins

June 27, 2011

The surprise overall winner of the 59th Giraglia Rolex Cup is the 37ft-sailing yacht Foxy Lady (FRA), co-skippered by brothers Dominique and Michel Heyraud. Foxy Lady finished the race in a time of 48 hours and four minutes, at 12:08 CEST today, and went on to win on corrected time by 11 minutes, 30 seconds ahead of a fellow 37-footer Jeminy (FRA) with Calima (ESP), overall winners in 2009, finishing in third place.

Sailing yacht FOXY LADY, overall winner of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht FOXY LADY, overall winner of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Dominique Heyraud was surprised and elated in equal measure: “It’s absolutely a great feeling because we did not expect it at all. It is a very prestigious race that counts a lot in the Mediterranean had the feeling that we managed the race quite well, that we sailed properly, and also that we were lucky in some situations regarding our decisions. It was a very interesting and challenging race.”

“The funny part about it, is that each night ‘the cards are mixed’,” continues Heyraud, “in the evening you see boats around and in the morning at sunrise there are different ones there and you wonder if you have gained or lost in the race, if you have chosen the best option. We thought we could be well placed in IRC but we never thought we could win on handicap.”

Heyraud reveals the moment when he realised that the dream may become reality: “I was going for bread in the kitchen downstairs and then my colleague showed me on the screen of his mobile the list of the results, saying: there is something I would like to show you. I  asked him, what’s this all about, and when he enlarged the list saw: ’1st Foxy Lady’. It really took me a while to realise that it was really the results of the Giraglia Rolex Cup and not from another local race in the Mediterranean we had done before. ”

Brother Michel was equally ecstatic: “I would like to thank Rolex for having “re-energised” great and mythical offshore races like the Giraglia, the Fastnet, the Sydney Hobart. Sailing is such a wonderful sport and it is great to have such support. To win the Giraglia Rolex Cup of course means a lot for us. It is not exactly the same as winning the 24h of Le Mans but quite similar, since it is the biggest race in the Mediterranean.”

And, why the evocative name Foxy Lady, for this twenty year old yacht? “It was the name it had when we bought it,” continues Dominique, “we kept it because we thought it fits very well. It was also a play on words because very often the X-Yachts have a name with an X and so it has a double meaning because it is also a song by Jimi Hendrix. We like very much the stern of this boat and we said to each other: “this boat is a sexy lady and we keep the name because we like her”.

As winner of the Rolex Challenge Trophy, Foxy Lady collected her Rolex Submariner Rolesor as IRC Overall Winner on corrected time during a ceremony this evening at the Yacht Club Italiano in Genoa, Italy.

Other awards were presented to Pietro Supparo’s Gianin 6 (ITA), the self-proclaimed ‘slowest yacht of the fleet’, as winners of Class ORC on corrected time. Canard 41 Aurora (ITA) picked up the Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy based on a combined score across all of the races that took place during the week.

Igor Simcic, owner of ESIMIT EUROPA 2, Michel Heyraud and Dominique Heyraud owners of FOXY LADY, winners of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup     Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Igor Simcic, owner of ESIMIT EUROPA 2, Michel Heyraud and Dominique Heyraud owners of FOXY LADY, winners of the 2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

Flying Under One Flag

Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) were always the strong favourite for the line honours title and whilst the metrological conditions thwarted the crew’s ambition of breaking the course record of 18 hours, 3 minutes and 15 seconds, the 28-man crew were delighted with their performance at the Giraglia Rolex Cup.

Sailing yacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 at the finish line in Genoa, line honours winner Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 at the finish line in Genoa, line honours winner Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

As an Olympic gold medallist and America’s Cup winner, skipper Jochen Schümann has seen it all in the world of sailing. Post-race, he provided an expert analysis of the 243-nautical mile challenge: “The beginning was the most exciting for the crew, as we started behind the other classes and it was like sailing an obstacle race through the small boats. From then on we were in the lead and in good control and fulfilled our strategic plan, up until the first night when the wind died. It then became a gamble where the next breeze would be. Things changed in front of the Giraglia rock, as a building breeze from south arrived. We managed to sail past the rock with almost no wind but just around Giraglia we got a good southerly for a perfect finish into Genoa.”

“We are very happy to have claimed line honours,” closes Schümann, “There was some great teamwork, we did a good job in keeping moving, needing some zig-zags in the night to find breeze.”

Tactician Sidney Gavignet added: “It’s a great pleasure to work with this European team, with all the different languages and cultures. Communication is very important and the navigation and tactics went very well. It was important to be patient and a pleasure to cross the line ahead of so many boats.”

Owner Igor Simcic is proud of the crew’s development: “Without such a great team it would not have been possible to succeed. The team represents Europe, with crew members from different countries. Seeing this great job is our message: all Europeans, together on the same boat, winning.” Simcic highlighted the role of navigator Juan Vila, another key addition to the afterguard: “It was very interesting to work with him, understand his thought process and how he gets access to the right information.”

Tales From The Chasing Pack

Alegre (GBR) were the second boat to finish, capping an impressive Giraglia Rolex Cup after they won their class in the inshore races. “We stuck to our plan and went round the rock probably with the most breeze of the whole race,” explains owner/skipper Andres Soriano, “and indeed in the three times I have done the race. We had a good run into the Genoa harbour, which is usually the slowest part of the race.”

Sailing yacht Alegre Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht Alegre Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

The Japanese crew of the 39-ft Donna J have considerably less Giraglia Rolex Cup experience than Soriano’s Alegre, and in recording a time of 46 hours, 50 minutes and 53 seconds, thoroughly enjoyed participating. “It is our first time here,” explains skipper Kawakami Seiji, “and we found it all so exciting, particularly rounding the Giraglia rock. We will definitely try and come back next year.”

Yan Trouven of Ker 53 Cruiser-Racer Dralion (MLT) reflected on his team’s time of 43 hours, 32 minutes and 46 seconds: “It was quite a long race with not too much wind and during certain stages on the GPS we were going backwards.”

Unlike many other crews, Dralion, though, enjoyed a relatively comfortable rounding of the Giraglia rock. “We had some good wind during the turn so we came out of it well whereas other boats were parked next to it,” added Trouven, closing with his mantra for the race, “the two important things were keeping the boat going and the maintaining the crew’s concentration.”

The overall winner two years ago, the S&S 43 Calima (ESP), finished in third place in 2011, although owner Javier Pujol has his regrets this time around: “It was a very nice race, but technically we made a tactical mistake between La Fourmigue and the Giraglia. We were very well positioned until this point but with this error, rounded the rock with no advantage. It is a shame because on paper the conditions were better than in 2009.” Given Calima’s impressive overall standing, that tactical decision may have proven costly.

Giuseppe Tadini’s Dufour-34 Bachiottinho (ITA) has not had as far to travel as the aforementioned yachts and for the young crew, the race had its ups and downs as tactician Stefano Rusconi reveals: “We raced well up to the Giraglia and had a good position in the handicap standings. The second part of the race was more difficult though as the wind changed and forced us to lose a lot of time. However, we’re happy as for us it is a week’s holiday in June and being in Saint Tropez was amazing.”

Whilst many of the crews will now be thinking of rest and recuperation, for others such as Alegre (GBR), Lucky (USA) Near Miss (SUI) and Pace (GBR) preparations are beginning for the Rolex Fastnet Race, taking place between 14-20 August.

Sailing yacht JETHOU, GBR rounding the Giraglia Rock Photo credit Rolex  Carlo Borlenghi

Sailing yacht JETHOU, GBR rounding the Giraglia Rock Photo credit Rolex Carlo Borlenghi

2011 Giraglia Rolex Cup Winners

Class IRC: Foxy Lady (FRA), Dominique Heyraud

Class ORC: Gianin 6 (ITA), Pietro Supparo

Line Honours: Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), Igor Simcic

Marco Paleari Challenge Trophy: Aurora (ITA), Paolo Bonomo/Roberto Bruno

Panerai British Classic Week and HERO combine forces

June 27, 2011

Sixty classic yachts and sixty classic cars will come together in Cowes on the Isle of Wight in July during Panerai British Classic Week when Officine Panerai, the British Classic Yacht Club and The Historic Endurance Rallying Organisation (HERO) will host an event for classic yacht and car enthusiasts.

HERO Summer Classic Reliability Trial & Tour

HERO Summer Classic Reliability Trial & Tour

The week-long sailing regatta, (16th-23rd July), whose participants include some of the world’s finest vintage and classic yachts will also be the venue of this year’s HERO Summer Classic Reliability Trial & Tour taking place on Thursday 21st July.

For the second year the regatta forms part of the Panerai Classic Yachts Challenge Series, the international regatta circuit which includes some of the world’s leading classic yacht regattas, such as the Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta and the Régates Royales in Cannes. Between April and September over five-thousand people, among them yacht owners, professional sailors and sailing enthusiasts will come together at the ten events in the series’ calendar.

During Panerai British Classic Week two members of the Naval Service will participate in the HERO Summer Classic and Reliability Trial and Tour and the sailing events in support of members of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines serving on operations worldwide and will help raise money for the Royal Navy & Royal Marines charity, who support serving and former naval personnel to make their lives that much better

They will drive a Land Rover in the event and on the regatta’s final day of sailing they will sail on-board one of the competing yachts. In addition to the event’s organisers the participants in both events will be invited to make donations to the charity.

The reliability trial will begin at 9.30am on July 21st with a car leaving Cowes Yacht Haven every minute until 10.30am. Each car will take part in a manoeuvrability test before continuing reliability trial around the Isle of Wight with cars returning to the yacht haven throughout the day. The classic cars, including more than a dozen teams from all over Europe will leave the Island that evening to continue the trial, which will conclude on Saturday 23rd July with a black-tie presentation awards dinner in the Goodwood area.

Members of the public are invited to the Panerai event village in Cowes Yacht Haven to observe this rare spectacle and soak up the event’s atmosphere. Among the sixty cars competing is a DB6 Aston Martin owned by Sir Paul McCartney and a 1937 Jaguar SS100. Harbour-side the public will be able to see the iconic yacht Gipsy Moth IV on which Sir Francis Chichester sailed single-handed around the world in 1966-7 as well as Mikado, the 42ft Fife & Sons yacht built in 1904. People wishing to stay to see the yachts return to the harbour at the end of the day will be able, to enjoy live musical entertainment and food and drink from local artisan producers in the Panerai event village open between 3pm-8pm throughout the regatta and until 11pm Wednesday- Friday.

Patrick Burke and Tomas de Vargas Machuca, Directors of HERO, comment: “HERO is delighted to be invited to host the Summer Classic Reliability Trial and Tour at the Panerai British Classic Week. It is the first time that a classic car and classic yacht event have come together to create a hugely exciting and visual event. HERO is going from strength to strength and collaborations like this really show what a positive direction the organisation is moving. HERO’s aim is to help focus up and coming young talent to show that endurance rallying is an extremely thrilling sport.”

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2011 Wrap up report

June 27, 2011


After a day dominated by the weather which threw everything it had to offer at the record-breaking fleet that competed in Saturday’s 80th Anniversary J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, the last of the 1900+ yachts home, Pendragon of Dartmouth, a Jeanneau Sun Fizz 40, made it across the finish line a mere three seconds before the line closed officially at 2200hrs, bagging themselves the ‘Tenacity Trophy’ at today’s Prizegiving at the Island Sailing Club.

The Gold Roman Bowl went to the delighted crew of Sundowner, entered by Jo Hutchinson (left) and Nick Rogers (far right), flanked by Roger Thompson, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Ben Ainslie at today’s Prizegivi

The Gold Roman Bowl went to the delighted crew of Sundowner, entered by Jo Hutchinson (left) and Nick Rogers (far right), flanked by Roger Thompson, J.P. Morgan Asset Management and Ben Ainslie at today’s Prizegivi

Some 16,000 sailors faced wind speeds of up to 28 knots and there were huge swells to contend with off the Needles and at St. Catherine’s as the record-breaking fleet of 1,900 yachts undertook this most famous 50 nautical mile westabout Island circumnavigation on Saturday. A number of incidents were reported to the Coastguard, including ‘Man Overboard’ reports and capsizes as well as dismastings. There was a lot of sail damage across the fleet that ranged from high tech racers through to many smaller boats competing. However, a spokesman for the Race Management team at the Island Sailing Club, stressed that some of these incident reports were not attributable to the Race and were involving spectator boats rather than competitors.

Dave Atkinson, Assistant Principal Race Officer of the day said, “It was a successful race for the Island Sailing Club and we have received many compliments on running a great but challenging event. We’re looking forward to welcoming competitors in 2012 for another record-breaking year.”

Thousands of weary but generally happy sailors returned to Cowes and the marinas along the South Coast of England from mid afternoon yesterday, all feeling justifiably proud of their immense achievement in getting round the Island safely in tough conditions for even the most experienced and hardened sailor.

Nick Rogers, who usually sails a 470 with partner Chris Grube, helmed the Contessa 26 Sundowner to victory at the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race.

Line Honours went to French skipper Lionel Lemonchois and his 50ft multihull Prince de Bretagne who were first to cross the finish line in 3hrs 49m and 58s.

The final number of boats to cross the finish line in Cowes was 1,302 and there were 438 retirements and 16 DSQ (disqualified) and/or OCS (on course side).

The Race has become progressively more high profile as enhanced technology and communications has helped spread the scale and excitement of the Race farther and more widely around the globe. On Race Day, the total number of page impressions on the Race website amounted to 393,000 which is 100,000 up on 2010’s site visitors. The Race Viewer, allowing online spectators to track boats of their choice, was downloaded by over 32,000 people. The interactive Race Progress Blog produced by the Media Centre and Race Control attracted 17,762 visitors over the course of twelve hours with appreciative comments coming in from as far away as Australia, the Philippines, Mexico and the US.

The Island Sailing Club, the Title Sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management, and the Race Partners Britannia Events, Haven Knox-Johnston, Henri Lloyd, Nautica Watches, Old Pulteney Whisky, Raymarine, Red Funnel, Small Luxury Hotels of the World & Volvo Car UK, look forward to welcoming everyone to next year’s Race taking place on Saturday 30th June.

Race Facts & Stats

About the Race

Every year in June, over 1,800 boats and 16,000 sailors come from all over the UK and mainland Europe and from as far away as the USA and Australia to converge on Cowes, Isle of Wight, for a one day yacht racing spectacular. They are there to compete in the famous J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race, organised by the Island Sailing Club, and to follow its notorious 50 nautical mile course around the Island.

From a Race that had its first outing in 1931 with 25 yachts entered, this yachting extravaganza can rightfully claim its 21st century place as the 4th largest participation sporting event in the UK.

Whatever the age, gender or level of ability, amateurs and professionals, first timers and old timers, this Race means something to everyone who enters it.

Today, the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is a festival of sailing that is as keenly followed ashore as it is afloat.

Race Facts & Stats

•            The Round the Island Race was first established in 1931
•            2011 Race marks the 80th year of this iconic race being held
•            This year’s Race takes place on Saturday 25th June with the first class start at 0600
•            The Race starts and finishes in Cowes, Isle of Wight, the centre of British yachting
•            The current monohull race record was set by Mike Slade (ICAP  Leopard) in 2008 at  3.53.05
•            The multihull race record still stands at Francis Joyon’s 2001 time of 3.08.29.
•            The Island Sailing Club is grateful for the continued support of the Race Title Sponsor,  J.P. Morgan Asset Management and the Race Partners
•            The 2011 Event is J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s 7th year as title sponsor and they  retain title sponsorship up to and including 2012
•            Race Partners in 2011 & 2012: Britannia Events, Haven Knox-Johnston, Henri Lloyd,  Nautica Watches, Old Pulteney Whisky, Raymarine, Red Funnel, Small Luxury Hotels of the World & Volvo Car UK
•            This is an all-encompassing event that caters for and embraces first timers, families, amateurs and professionals competing at the highest level
•            The event strapline is ‘Britain’s Favourite Yacht Race’
•            The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race is the 4th largest participation sporting event in the UK after the London Marathon and the Great North and South Runs, with around 16,000 sailors taking part over the course of one day
•            2010’s Race had 1,754 entries and 1,607 finished the Race. This is the highest-ever recorded number of finishers in the history of the Race. There were 47  retirements and 16 disqualifications/OCS (On Course Side of the starting line)
•            The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust is the Official Race Charity for 2011 and 2012.

Southern Wind Sailing Yachts at The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

June 25, 2011

The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta (LPSR) was an amazing week for Southern Wind – full of fun, at the sea as well as ashore.

Southern Wind Sailing Yachts THALIMA SW 110 at The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta - - PH. C. Baroncini

Southern Wind Sailing Yachts THALIMA SW 110 at The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta - - PH. C. Baroncini

Crew Party at The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Crew Party at The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

SW 110 Thalima - best Southern Wind classified - The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

SW 110 Thalima - best Southern Wind classified - The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

It took place in Porto Cervo, from June th 7th to 11th. The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta (LPSR) is an annual event co-organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media.

Yacht Lady Thalima and crew

Yacht Lady Thalima and crew

A fleet of 27 superyachts competed in the windy and spectacular water of Arcipelago della Maddalena.

Loro Piana Owners' Beach Party at Hotel Romazzino - The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Loro Piana Owners' Beach Party at Hotel Romazzino - The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Sailing yachts Acaia Four, I-Sea, Thalima and Lady Thalima well represented the Southern Wind fleet.

LPSR 2011 - SW 100 DS Sailing Yacht I-Sea

LPSR 2011 - SW 100 DS Sailing Yacht I-Sea

Particularly, Thalima SW 110, had a great opportunity to show her performance and seaworthiness. She finished always with one of the best elapsed time against even larger yachts ! Despite she was at her first race, with no professional crew on board and in a definitely cruising asset, Thalima was third in the Cruising A Class and fourth in the general Overall cruising class results.

SW 93 Lady Thalima - The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

SW 93 Lady Thalima - The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

The Southern Wind current flagship was also awarded with the Special prize as best classified Southern Wind. Second and third place for the two SW 100 DS, Acaia Four and I-Sea. Special thanking to Crispin and Sue Tweddel, owners of Lady Thalima, SW 93, to her captain Charles and all the crew for their enthusiastic participation.

Porto Cervo Marina

Porto Cervo Marina

For the second year, Southern Wind Shipyard was LPSR Silver Sponsor and takes this opportunity to invite all the SW Superyachts owners to schedule their participation in the XI SW Trophy which will be hosted during the 2012 LPRS, early June 2012 in Porto Cervo.

Photos by C. Baroncini

Yacht Acaia Four

Yacht Acaia Four

SW 100 DS I-Sea 2

SW 100 DS I-Sea 2

SW 100 DS I-Sea The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

SW 100 DS I-Sea The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

SW 100 DS sailing yacht I-Sea at The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

SW 100 DS sailing yacht I-Sea at The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

SW 100 DS yacht Acaia Four The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

SW 100 DS yacht Acaia Four The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta - SW 100 DS Acaia Four

The 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta - SW 100 DS Acaia Four

Sailing Yacht Thalima

Sailing Yacht Thalima

Transatlantic Yacht Race 2011: History In The Making

June 25, 2011

Tomorrow, at Newport, R.I. USA cannon fire from the iconic Castle Hill Lighthouse will signal the beginning of a historic ocean adventure when six yachts are sent off on the Transatlantic Race 2011.  The warning signal for the first of the three staggered starts is at 1:50 p.m. on Saturday, June 26, and will be replicated on Wednesday, June 29, and Sunday, July 3, with the ideal result that the vessels – ranging in size from 40’ to 289’ – will finish off The Lizard on the South Coast of England in close proximity to one another.

2011 Transatlantic Yacht Race

2011 Transatlantic Yacht Race

The New York Yacht Club has hosted 11 of the 28 North Atlantic races that have been held since 1866, and few have had more entries than the 2011 edition.  Modern ocean racing began with the first transatlantic race, won by James Gordon Bennett Jr.  Three NYYC members entered that inaugural race, each wagering $30,000 in a winner-takes-all dash across the ocean in bitter winter conditions.  Bennett’s Henrietta finished the race on Christmas day to win the equivalent of more than $2 million dollars in today’s money.

More importantly, the inaugural event created a new, exciting and captivating sport, which embraces the values of devotion to duty, technological development and unquestionable sportsmanship.  Those values still remain to this day and over the next few weeks triumphant yachts and characters of the sport will join the honor roll for this highly prestigious and historic sporting event.

2011 Trans Atlantic Race Dinner at NYYC Harbour CourtDan Nerney Photo

2011 Trans Atlantic Race Dinner at NYYC Harbour CourtDan Nerney Photo

Hosting the majority of the 26 yachts — representing ten different nations from the four corners of the globe — entered in the TR2011, Newport Shipyard is a spectacular sight and a hive of activity as crews prepare themselves and their yachts. The 289’ Perini Navi Maltese Falcon is nearly three times the length of any other entry and her revolutionary three masted rig dominates the skyline.  The numerous and fantastic maritime creations waiting their opportunity to depart on the race span seven generations and include classic and modern examples of ocean going yachts.  From high performance canting keel Maxis to pocket rocket Class 40s, as well as traditional spirit of tradition yachts from days gone by, it is a truly rare sight to see such a fleet gathered together in one place.

Last night, the sailors put aside their dockside labours to attend a very special occasion.  Following the Captain’s Meeting and a reception hosted by Thomson Reuters, honored guests and TR 2011 competitors enjoyed a dazzling opening dinner at Harbor Court, the magnificent waterside clubhouse of the New York Yacht Club in Newport, Rhode Island.

NYYC Commodore Robert C. Towse, Jr. was delighted to address the ensemble, with a special mention for representatives of the organising yacht clubs in attendance.  “We are privileged tonight to welcome Royal Yacht Squadron Vice Commodore David Aisher, Royal Ocean Racing Club Commodore Andrew McIrvine and Storm Trysail Commodore Eric Kreuter. T his race is the result of the dedication and hard work of the steering committee, which is composed of members of all four clubs, co-chaired by George David and Stephen Frank and I would like to thank them all.”

2011 Trans Atlantic Race Dinner at NYYC Harbour CourtDan Nerney Photo

2011 Trans Atlantic Race Dinner at NYYC Harbour CourtDan Nerney Photo

“This is a big ocean race, 26 yachts racing just shy of 3000 miles,” continued Towse.  “The North Atlantic will be wet and cold in June just has it has been for the 482 boats that have raced before, crewed by 6750 sailors in the history of the race and, as ever, this race will bring together generations to build character and to reaffirm values that they believe are true.  The cold climate of the North Atlantic may test that purpose, but at The Lizard finish those boats and their crews will have earned one of the hardest of sailing distinctions.  We wish you all the best of luck.”

During dinner NYYC Trustee Clay Deutsch gave a passionate review of the race and colorful description of the competitors on behalf of the organising committee.  Every team was given a rousing reception, each in turn rising to the toast.  Deutsch summed up the wide-ranging diversity of the entries: competitors include aspiring young sailors, veteran Corinthian amateurs and some of the world’s greatest professionals of the offshore discipline.

The quantum leap in maritime communications since the first race in 1866 will make the Transatlantic Race 2011 riveting viewing for spectators the world over.  All of the competing yachts are not only fitted with hi-tech Yellowbrick tracking devices, but also have the capability of sending back stories of life on board via email and phone via the latest in satellite communication technology.

Sponsors of the TR 2011 are Rolex, Thomson Reuters, Newport Shipyard, Perini Navi, and Peters & May.

More about the Transatlantic Race 2011
The Transatlantic Race 2011 charts a 2,975 nautical mile course from Newport, R.I., to Lizard Point, South Cornwall, England.  Pre-start activities will take place at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, while awards will be presented at the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Cowes Castle clubhouse on the Isle of Wight.  Three separate starts – June 26, June 29 and July 3 – will feature 30 boats ranging from 40 to 289 feet in length.  In addition to winners in seven classes (IRC Class 1 Racer, IRC Class 2 Racer, IRC Class 3 Racer/Cruiser, IRC Class 4 Racer/Cruiser, Classic, Class 40, and Open), whichever yacht finishes the course with the fastest elapsed time will set the benchmark for a new racing record from Newport to Lizard Point, to be ratified by the World Speed Sailing Council.  Rolex watches will be awarded to the record holder and the overall winner (on corrected time) under IRC.

The Transatlantic Race 2011 is also the centerpiece of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series (AORS), which includes the Pineapple Cup – Montego Bay Race, RORC Caribbean 600, the Annapolis to Newport Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Biscay Race and the Rolex Middle Sea Race.  Of the seven races in the AORS, three races, including the TR 2011 must be completed to qualify for a series victory.  Each race is weighted equally in overall series scoring with the exception of TR 2011, which is weighted 1.5 times.  All entered yachts are scored using their two best finishes in addition to the TR 2011.  Awards for the AORS will be presented in November, 2011, at the New York Yacht Club’s Annual Awards Dinner in Manhattan.

The extremes of crossing the Atlantic Ocean will be experienced very differently by crews on the longest and shortest yachts competing in the upcoming Transatlantic Race 2011 (TR 2011). This adventure challenge, which aims to add 2,975 nautical miles to its participants’ log books, is co-organized by the Royal Yacht Squadron, New York Yacht Club, Royal Ocean Racing Club and Storm Trysail Club. The TR 2011 starts off Castle Hill in Newport, R.I. (on Sunday, June 26; Wednesday, June 29; and Sunday, July 3) and expects to greet its first finisher off Lizard Point in South Cornwall (UK) sometime in mid-July, depending on many things, not the least of which are the lengths of the boats making the crossing.

Perini Navi designed Maltese Falcon, at 289 feet

Perini Navi designed Maltese Falcon, at 289 feet

On the one hand there is the Perini Navi designed Maltese Falcon, at 289 feet, one of the largest privately-owned sailboats in the world. On the other there are two Class 40s, which at 40 feet are specially designed for short-handed offshore and coastal racing. These extremes are punctuated by the fact that Maltese Falcon looks every bit the world cruiser, with stem-to-stern luxury incorporated into its design, while the Class 40s seem relatively stark–even like dinghies–in comparison. But each team at either end of the spectrum has its reasons for undertaking the TR2011 challenge, and each team intends to succeed, if not win.

“The experience of sailing on Maltese Falcon is incredible,” said the boat’s longtime captain Chris Gartner (Antibes, France). “Since there is no other boat in the world like it, it’s really a one-off. Every time I go sailing on her and we get her wound up, I’m almost in awe just looking up at the rigs.”

The yacht’s three self-standing and rotating carbon fiber masts, which carry 15 sails with a combined sail area the size of three and a half tennis courts (25,833 square feet), are of such an imposing height–190 feet, in fact—that recent visitors to Newport have experienced “the Falcon” at almost eye level as they’ve crossed the 206’ high Claiborne Pell Bridge, which serves as the gateway to Narragansett Bay and its adjacent Newport Harbor. With its long waterline and such magnificent sail power, Gartner thinks Maltese Falcon has a good chance to win, but “it’s hit or miss with the weather,” he says. “If we get good pressure coming up behind us and we stay with it, we could finish this race nicely.”

Gartner added that logging 500-mile days would make Maltese Falcon’s voyage about six days, but longer is more likely. “If we do it in less than 12, I would be very happy,” he said, noting that the World Sailing Speed Record Council will ratify a new Newport to Lizard Point race record based on the fastest yacht’s elapsed time.

And while Maltese Falcon will be dry and comfortable, and sailing with a large crew, the two Class 40s will be roughing it with minimum comfort, eating freeze-dried food and sailing with anywhere from two to six onboard.

Team Concise was set up four years ago by owner Tony Lawson (Haslemere, UK) specifically to encourage and develop young British offshore sailors and will be entered in the TR 2011’s challenge for the Youth Trophy. His team of six (the maximum for the Class 40) will be skippered by Ned Collier-Wakefield (Oxford, UK).

“We sail six-up when allowed simply to give the largest number of young sailors a chance to do these big races,” said Lawson, explaining that the Class 40, built to a box rule and considered the world’s fastest growing offshore class, is designed for short-handed sailing, but several of the events on the class’s calendar are fully crewed. “So far, Concise teams have won the Class 40 World Championships, broken the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race record for a 40-foot boat, and twice set a new Class 40 course record at the RORC Caribbean 600.”

“Just me and one other guy (co-skipper Rob Windsor) – less people to get along with,” joked Hennessey, adding seriously, “We’ll be on deck at the same time for sail changes, but otherwise it’s typically two hours on, two hours off.”

dragonnycSailing double-handed in the Class 40 division will be Michael Hennessey (Mystic, Conn.) on Dragon

dragonnycSailing double-handed in the Class 40 division will be Michael Hennessey (Mystic, Conn.) on Dragon

Hennessey was encouraged that in April of this year a Class 40, skippered by Eric Defert, sailed from Ambrose Light (off Sandy Hook, NJ) to Lizard Point (a distance of 2880 miles) in 11 days and 11 hours.

“That sort of sets the benchmark at the bottom end of the range; however, Eric was able to pick his weather system,” said Hennessey. “I would be thrilled with anything less than 12 days. I’m realistically expecting 13 to 14 days, and upper end who knows? It’s up to the weather gods.” As for plotting Dragon’s course relative to the rest of the fleet scheduled for the June 29 start (that includes Maltese Falcon), Hennessey said, “We’ll be most conscious of where Concise 2 is, as she is our pace horse, if you will. For the rest of the fleet, I think it really depends on how the IRC (handicap rating) spread looks.”

There are 26 entries sailing in the TR 2011, with the U.S. fielding 10 teams, Germany six, the UK four, and South Africa, St. Barth’s, Italy, Monaco, China and Lithuania one each. The yachts will be tracked with Yellowbrick Trackers, self contained units that transmit the position of each boat at regular intervals using GPS and Iridium (a global satellite phone network). Synchronized position reports will be available to the public by using the Race Player Application at the www.transatlanticrace.org website, where regular race reports will appear and Facebook and Twitter accounts are linked. As well, throughout their journeys, many of the boats will be posting blogs and sending back photos and videos to the race website, so race fans can be further assured of an up-close and personal experience with the teams and the racing action.

Tidetech Tidal stream data for Round the Island Race

June 21, 2011

Tactical racing oceanographic data specialist Tidetech is making its Solent and Isle of Wight tidal model available to all competitors in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race at no cost.

The Solent and Isle of Wight model is a ground-breaking hydrodynamic model using over half a million individually-calculated points to describe the tidal flow in the Solent and around the Isle of Wight in incredible detail. The model operates at 100m resolution in 15-minute time steps and is constructed using the same technology as Tidetech’s model of San Francisco which is to be used in the 2013 America’s Cup.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race - photo by TH Martinez

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race - photo by TH Martinez

Tidetech’s models are available in GRIB format (used in conjunction with navigation software) and the company has recently developed an image player allowing users to view the data online on a PC, iPad or smartphone. Users can make a customised tidal atlas by selecting and downloading the images as a PDF for viewing offline and those such as dinghy and sportsboat sailors (who might worry about their electronics taking a swim) can print and laminate their customised tidal atlas for taking onboard.

Tidetech director and co-founder Penny Haire said the company had spent the past two-and-a-half years surveying key racing areas and developing accurate visualisation tools for navigators and competitors.

“Now we have the image player and custom tidal atlas generator in place, our data is available to anyone with an internet connection,” Ms Haire said.

“We’re hoping that competitors in the JP Morgan Round the Island Race will try the model and image player to get an idea of the accuracy of the data, but also to see how easy it is to use in the tools we have developed.”

The model will be available via general subscription from early July in both GRIB format and in the new image player/tidal atlas maker.

JP Morgan Round the Island Race - I Cap leopard

JP Morgan Round the Island Race - I Cap leopard

Tidal models are constructed using detailed bathymetric data (depths) and knowledge of local tidal constituents. Complex calculations are then used to calculate how water moves from one part of the model area to another. The team behind the data is made up of pre-eminent government research scientists specialising in coastal oceanography and tidal/storm-surge modelling.

Tidetech has developed models for many active racing locations worldwide including San Francisco Bay, Weymouth Harbour, Sydney Harbour and Bass Strait. The company is providing support to many future regattas and events including the Rolex Fastnet Race, the RORC calendar, Rolex Sydney to Hobart, San Francisco Big Boat series, and is in discussions with the Volvo Ocean Race.

Abu Dhabi building “Destination Village” for Volvo Ocean Race

June 21, 2011

A specially designed “Destination Village” is being built on the Abu Dhabi Corniche breakwater to host the Volvo Ocean Race fleet and its fans this New Year.

Infrastructure work is due for completion this September. Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the company appointed to develop the 55,000m2 site, will dredge a section of the Corniche lagoon to allow for the 4.5m draft of the Volvo Open 70. The final phase of installing more than 130 containers for team gear, hospitality and equipment will take place in December.

Abu Dhabi building “Destination Village” for Volvo Ocean Race

Abu Dhabi building “Destination Village” for Volvo Ocean Race

The site will then serve as a sailing centre once the Volvo Ocean Race fleet sails out of the UAE capital.

“This will ensure that our hosting leaves a lasting legacy for the Emirate and will also boost our long-term ambitions to be recognised as a compelling winter sailing and watersports destination,” said His Excellency Mubarak Al Muhairi, Director General, Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and Managing Director, TDIC.

The size of eight football pitches, the village will open free-of-charge to the public daily from December 30 this year to January 14, next year. ADTA is expecting more than 100,000 visitors.

It will be packed with activities and entertainment including exhibitions, shows, simulators, hospitality, game zones, food & beverage outlets and merchandise shops. International tour operators, hotels, airlines and other stakeholders are working on developing compelling New Year Volvo Ocean Race packages to the Emirate.

“It will be the place to be at the beginning of 2012 and will be marked by a sensational New Year’s Eve celebration,” said Al Muhairi. “It will also allow visitors to connect with our rich maritime heritage as well as the history of the Volvo Ocean Race and to discover more about sailing.”

Dedicated team wet and dry areas will be enhanced by a specialised pontoon design, which will allow fans to get up-close to the boats and their crews following their 5,430 nautical mile journey from Cape Town.

A special area dedicated to Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing will also be developed. The team’s shore base will be located in the heart of the village. It will have see-through walls and scaffolding cradle. The sail loft will be open to visitors – an interactive experience for the public to fully engage with the Volvo Ocean Race. 

“This, we hope, will be the start of a renaissance in the uptake of sailing locally,” said Al Muhairi. “The sea is in our blood and we want to encourage residents, nationals and expatriates alike, to get out onto the water.”

2011 Superyacht Cup in Palma

June 21, 2011

The 16th edition of the Superyacht Cup in Palma (June 22 – 25th), starts tomorrow with a full fleet of superyachts entered and several new sponsors.

Among the fleet of 20 yachts heading to Palma, Spain in are 12 entries making their Superyacht Cup debut. Sailing yacht Firefly, a 35m Hoek design, will be leaving Holland to sail straight to the Mediterranean from the Claasen Jachtbouw shipyard, following her launching earlier this year. Claassen Shipyards have joined the Superyacht Cup as Silver Sponsor and will be showcasing many of their current projects at the regatta. Also making their debuts at the event this year are the two 55m modern classics Adela and sailing yacht Marie, as well as the 43m Hoek Design sailing yacht This Is Us.

2011 Superyacht Cup in Palma - A full fleet of superyachts entered and several new sponsors.

2011 Superyacht Cup in Palma - A full fleet of superyachts entered and several new sponsors.

A new supporting partner this year is leading international sportswear brand GAASTRA, who come in as Gold Sponsor. First established as a sail making company in 1897, GAASTRA became a well-known international windsurfing brand during the 70′s and 80′s before launching two clothing brands in 1996 – Gaastra Sportswear, and Gaastra Pro. The Superyacht Cup joins a long list of events sponsored by Gaastra including Les Voiles des St Tropez, which the company has sponsored since 1995.

Returning as Silver Sponsor to the event is Europe’s largest sail maker Elvstrøm Sails. The company, based in Aabenraa Denmark and with a loft facility in Palma, has developed a separate Superyacht division led by Josh Gilchrist to provide a custom service for superyachts. Their customized, layered sails in this range have built-in UV protection and internal battens.

The Superyacht Cup runs from 22nd-25th June at the Muelle Viejo in central Palma. Racing will take place from 23rd-25th June with daily social events in the regatta village, including a ‘Hawaiian’ themed dockside barbecue, live music, cocktail bar and much more.