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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.

Impressive Lineup at the Giraglia Rolex Cup 2011

June 20, 2011

The 2011 edition of the Giraglia Rolex Cup: 194 entrants for the offshore race; 20 countries and territories in attendance; around 2,200 competitors; numerous, challenging hours at sea; 18 hours 3 minutes 15 seconds the line honours record to beat; Esimit Europa 2 (SLO), the largest yacht on the roster at 30.5-metres/100-feet and the Vismara 34 Manida (ITA), one of the smallest.

Sailing yacht MOANA -  Photo credit Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht MOANA - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

The 59th Giraglia Rolex Cup, organised by the Yacht Club Italiano in conjunction with the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, promises to maintain the finest traditions of this historic race as an eclectic fleet battle for one of the Mediterranean’s top sailing prizes. Three days of inshore racing will take place from 19 to 21 June before the offshore marathon commences on 22 June.

Sailing yacht ALEGRE - Photo credit Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht ALEGRE - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

On the entry list there’s a healthy mix of consistent Giraglia campaigners such as Andres Soriano’s Alegre (GBR), Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou (GBR), and Leonardo Ferragamo’s Cuordileone (ITA); plus there is a bigger, faster Near Miss (SUI) for Franck Noël, an awe-inspiring new arrival in Brian Benjamin’s Maxi Racer/Cruiser Aegir II (GBR), a star-studded defending line honours champion in the aforementioned Esimit Europa 2, and, heavy-weight challengers in the 27.46m/90ft Med Spirit (FRA) and the 25.7m/85ft Roma (ITA), along with a host of smaller yachts harbouring ambitions of claiming the overall handicap prize.

Sailing yacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2  -  Photo credit Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht ESIMIT EUROPA 2 - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Sea God’s Med Debut

For the crew of Aegir II, a brand new, 25.1m/82ft, state-of-the-art yacht constructed using cutting-edge aerospace technology and entirely in carbon, the event provides a significant challenge in preparing a relatively untried yacht for such fierce competition. Aegir II follows in the path of her sister project Aegir (GBR), last year’s Mini Maxi Cruising winner at the event. Team Leader Guy Barron and the Aegir II crew are in the midst of intense preparations: “We plan to have three days practice before the first race – Aegir is still new to us, consequently, we have many jobs to do and things to learn about the boat.”

The yacht has been constructed for both leisure and competitive racing. The transition between modes will prove one of the more challenging aspects for the crew. “We hope to make the change within three days,” explains Barron, “but as she is so new it may take about five days – we do not want to scratch the interior, so we have to be very careful removing tables and doors.”

Whilst the yacht will be making its event debut, most of the crew have experience in competing at the Giraglia Rolex Cup, which should make life a little easier. “We won the cruising class last year in our old boat, so we have a lot to live up to within our own team,” continues Barron, “we are hoping to see the boat’s real performance potential and are all looking forward to the regatta, knowing that competition is normally close during both the inshore and offshore races.”

Ambitious Afterguard

The 100ft Esimit Europa 2 is the favourite to defend her line honours title. The yacht’s technology has been adjusted and improved and the personnel significantly refreshed, in particular the afterguard. The multi-titled Jochen Schümann is the team’s new skipper and will work in tandem with Juan Vila as navigator and Sidney Gavignet as tactician. Esimit Europa 2 will boast one of the most prestigious crew rosters ever to appear at the event.

Gavignet is enthusiastic about this new chapter in his proud sailing career: “There are two things I am looking forward to in my future on board Esimit Europa 2 – the technical challenge and the people. On one side, I am obviously excited to sail on such a special boat; on the other, I am looking forward to working with people whom I have known for years, but have never sailed with yet. I feel that the mutual respect we have for each other can be a very good basis for successful collaboration”.

Endurance And Endeavour

Immediately following the inaugural Rolex Volcano Race, an offshore adventure between Capri and the Aeolian Islands, the Giraglia Rolex Cup is another significant battle of endurance in the Mediterranean waters, a test of stamina which fittingly commences a week after another top draw Rolex-sponsored event culminated. The 24 Hours of Le Mans took place between 11-12 June and the parallels with the Giraglia Rolex Cup are perhaps more poignant than they may first appear.

For the 243-nautical miles covered at the Giraglia Rolex Cup, read the potential 3,350 miles covered by each team finishing the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The two events are true tests of endeavour and require participants to organise themselves with military-esque precision for their respective examinations. Both events involve pushing hard through the night, and adapting to the perils of the weather. Teams must conquer these elements before worrying about their competitors.

Andres Soriano, owner and skipper of Alegre, line honours and overall winner at the Rolex Volcano Race, and former line honours winner of the Giraglia Rolex Cup, explains his approach to the trial: “I think it is keeping the concentration and focus at the maximum throughout the race; it is accepting that in most offshore races there is a bit of a snake and ladders situation and it is imperative to claw back lost ground. Getting proper rest and staying hydrated are a must.”

Esimit Europa 2’s crew is equally aware of the need to last the pace. “They end up not sleeping for the whole duration of the race,” reveals owner Igor Simcic, “the last hours are the most crucial in order to achieve success: here lies the big challenge.”

Perhaps no current competitor can articulate the perseverance, discipline and preparation it takes to master endurance disciplines quite like Luc Alphand, former French Olympic and World Cup skier, Paris-Dakar and Le Mans driver, who has now turned his attention to the world of sailing. Alphand will line up with Marc Thiercelin on the IMOCA DCNS 1000 (FRA) and will no doubt make history when adding this third feather to his distinguished sporting cap. Alphand has adjusted his sporting orientation after having to admit defeat in a battle against injury following a serious motoring accident in 2009. The Frenchman has transformed that disappointment, fully immersing himself into becoming a top-class sailor.

Sailing yacht NEAR MISS -  Photo credit Rolex  Kurt Arrigo

Sailing yacht NEAR MISS - Photo credit Rolex Kurt Arrigo

Middle Ground

One crew that regularly combines impressive performances across the inshore and offshore races is the Swiss team on Near Miss. Last year, Franck Noël’s crew took the overall prize for combined scoring in the inshore and offshore competitions. This year, on a new boat, this seasoned team are looking to build on that impressive result.

“For the crew of Near Miss, the Giraglia represents a historic course in the waters of Saint Tropez, which is significant for the team as Near Miss is a member of two clubs, one of which is the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez,” explains Benoit Briand, Project Manager. “We’re working on developing the boat and will have a day’s training ahead of the regatta to get the boat back in the water and check the various modifications made. Ahead of the offshore race we will monitor the rotation of posts including the helm and the trimmer.”

“Our ambition is, of course, to win but also to continue to discover this new boat and lead her to 100% of her total potential, rendering her as sailable as possible for upcoming events.”

Underdogs, Not Overwhelmed

They may not have what it takes to compete with the greyhounds of the sea for the line honours title, but there is every chance that a smaller yacht could claim the overall prize on corrected time. Should the right conditions prevail, the event could witness a repeat of the 33ft Ala Bianca’s (ITA) triumph in 2006. For the smaller yachts, there is very much a race within a race. Their crew’s experience, intricate knowledge of their boats and the course, particularly its changing weather patterns, should not be underestimated.

For Roberto Bruno, co-owner and helmsman of the Canard 41 Aurora (ITA), winners on corrected time of the ORC division in 2009, the event continues to hold a particular appeal: “Mine is a crew of non-professionals who are greatly experienced both in navigation and in competing in regattas, qualities necessary when facing this demanding competition.” Bruno, who has competed at the event over 20 times, is all too aware of the significance of the arrival at the Giraglia rock: “It is an intense moment of great emotion whether it happens at dusk or dawn, a sign that the final stretch leading to the finish has arrived and you to start to square up to your various tactical decisions.”

Another crew which relishes their underdog status is Giuseppe Koki Tadini’s 34-ft Baciottinho, another of the smallest yachts in the fleet. “The Giraglia has always been the most enjoyable and, often, most demanding races,” reveals Tadini, “sailing a yacht like Baciottinho is very exciting as the adrenaline of competing is supplemented by the task of trying to overtake the larger boats.”

For Bruno and the Aurora crew the tension does not subside immediately at the finish line: “The suspense of knowing the final result continues until the last boat arrives,” he continues, “the race can either be won by a large maxi or a small cruising boat, as the results over time have demonstrated.”

“The hope of us ‘smaller boats’ is to repeat what has recently happened very often,” adds Tadini, “when the final victory has often been the privilege of the smaller yachts.” There is no reason why this 59th edition should be any different.

Giraglia Rolex Cup Programme
Sunday 19 June: Inshore races
Giraglia Rolex Cup Crew Party at the Citadelle, Saint Tropez.
Monday 20 June: Inshore races
Tuesday 21 June: Inshore races
Prize giving Inshore Races at the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, Saint-Tropez
Wednesday 22 June: Start Giraglia Rolex Cup Offshore Race
Saturday 25 June: Prize giving Offshore Race at the YCI, Genoa

Transatlantic Race 2011: Perini Navi Sailing Yacht Maltese Falcon largest in fleet

June 16, 2011

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.

The 289-foot Maltese Falcon (shown here sailing in New York) will be the largest yacht in the 2,975 nm Transatlantic Race 2011.

The 289-foot Maltese Falcon (shown here sailing in New York) will be the largest yacht in the 2,975 nm Transatlantic Race 2011.

On the one hand there is the  Perini Navi designed sailing yacht 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 superyacht 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 S/Y 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.”

Sailing yacht Dragon, at 40 feet, will be the shortest yacht competing in the Transatlantic Race 2011 and will be sailed by a crew of two. Credit Billy Black

Sailing yacht Dragon, at 40 feet, will be the shortest yacht competing in the Transatlantic Race 2011 and will be sailed by a crew of two. Credit Billy Black

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

“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.”

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.transatlantic.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.

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

TR 2011 Roster of Entries

Yacht Name, Skipper, Hometown

Ambersail, Simonas Steponavicius, Vilnius, Lithuania
Beau Geste, Karl Kwok, Hong Kong, China
British Soldier, Lt. Col. Nick Bate, Falmouth, Cornwall, U.K.
Carina, Rives Potts, Essex, Conn., USA
Concise 2, Ned Collier-Wakefield, Oxford, U.K.
Dawn Star, William N. Hubbard III /William N. Hubbard IV, both New York, N.Y., USA
Dragon, Michael Hennessy, Mystic, Conn., USA 
ICAP Leopard, Clarke Murphy, New York, N.Y., USA
Jaqueline IV, Robert Forman, Bay Shore, N.Y., USA
Jazz, Nigel King, East London, U.K.
 S/Y Maltese Falcon, Elena Ambrosiadou, Monaco
Norddeutcshe Vermoegen Hamburg, Eike Holst , Hamburg, Germany
Nordwind, Hans Albrecht, Munich, Germany
Ourson Rapide, Paolo Roasenda, Vedano al Lambro, Italy
Phaedo, Lloyd Thornburg, St. Barthelemy
Prodigy, Chris Frost, Durban, South Africa
PUMA Ocean Racing mar mostro, Ken Read, Newport, R.I., USA
Rambler 100, George David, Hartford, Conn., USA
Sasha, Albrecht Peters, Hamburg, Germany 
Scho-ka-kola, Uwe Lebens, Hamburg, Germany 
Shakti, Christoph Avenarius / Gorm Iver Gondesen, Hamburg, Germany / Flensburg, Germany
Snow Lion, Lawrence Huntington, New York, N.Y., USA
Sailing yacht Sojana, Peter Harrison, U.K.
Vanquish, USMMA Oakcliff All American Offshore Team, Kings Point, N.Y., USA
Varuna, Jens Kellinghausen, Hamburg, Germany
Zaraffa, Huntington Sheldon, M.D., Shelburne, Vt., USA

Esimit Europa 2 crew officially presented at the Yacht Club de Monaco

June 13, 2011

The crew of Esimit Europa 2, composed by extraordinary sailors from different European countries, has been officially presented in the Yacht Club de Monaco at the presence of HSH Prince Albert II – New initiatives have been announced in the framework of Esimit Europa, a project under the high patronage of José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission – The biggest Russian energy company Gazprom is the main sponsor of the project.

Yacht Esimit Europa 2 team - Image credit to Kurt Arrigo

Yacht Esimit Europa 2 team - Image credit to Kurt Arrigo

After a season of new acquisitions, featuring some of the best sailors from several different European countries, the Esimit Europa team is now ready to start with an exciting sporting season. The presentation of the crew, the first one to sail not for a nation, but in the name of a united Europe, has taken place in the Yacht Club de Monaco, Monte Carlo, at the presence of Prince of Monaco Albert II and other important personalities.

HSH the Prince of Monaco joined the Esimit Europa crew for a sailing trip, after welcoming them at the pier, where he delivered a key-note speech: “Sailing is a unique and noble sport; it promotes a strong and united team, encouraging dialogue between crew members. As President of the Yacht Club de Monaco I am proud that our members defend these core values of solidarity, friendship and cooperation. Today, on this special occasion of the launch of Esimit Europa 2, I wish the owner and his crew every success in realizing their future goals and to them representing a united and successful Europe at the largest regattas all over the world.”

The ambitious project has announced even further challenges for the future, in sports as well as in the field of diplomacy. Igor Simčič, the project founder and owner of the Esimit Europa 2 yacht, announced: “Going beyond Europe is among our long-term plans. For the moment, we will focus on doing our best to improve our results even further in Europe’s most important regattas. Furthermore, our efforts to foster collaboration among European peoples in ways other than sports continue. We are working on several projects and preparing our participation in the celebrations for the Cypriot presidency of the European Union.”

The team members appeared very united and eager to start the new season in full steam. They will be coming back to Monte Carlo later on this summer, defending the champions’ title at the Palermo – Monte Carlo regatta (18th – 23rd August).

Some of the team members’ comments have been:

Jochen Schümann (GER): “Sailing has always united peoples and continents. We are Germans, Slovenians, Italians, French, Spanish or whatever, but everyone is driving the same boat, the same Europe, and we are driving the continent together in this global development.”

Juan Vila (SPA): “This crew is composed not only by world-class sailors, but foremost by dedicated team players. Only highly motivated individuals, able to overcome their personal interests, can lead this boat to the top results.”

Sidney Gavignet (FRA): “Sailing, to me, equals to sharing: each time you sail, you share something with those you are working with and with those who are watching you. Thus, for me it is very important to be on a boat that does not only sail for victories, but also carries a greater message.”

Alberto Bolzan (ITA): “When you sail on the same boat, you become part of the same family. Despite our different backgrounds, there has never been the least problem of communication among us, as sports unites us.”

Vasilij Žbogar (SLO): “It is actually bewildering how it has been possible to gather a team with such a perfect synergy in a relatively short time.”

Sailing yachts Unfurled and Highland Fling win 2011 Superyacht Regatta

June 12, 2011

UNFURLED AND HIGHLAND FLING WIN A WINDY WEEK

Harry Macklowe’s Unfurled and Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling have been crowned the winners of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2011 in Porto Cervo.

With strong winds forcing today’s final race to be cancelled, Unfurled’s 1st and 2nd places from previous days earned victory in the Cruising Division by 1 point from Kora 5 of Portofino, with Hasso Plattner’s Baltic 147 Visione in 3rd overall.

Harry Macklowe commented: ‘Boat International and Yacht Club Costa Smeralda run a wonderful regatta, the weather is beautiful and the boats are gorgeous. Thank you for a wonderful time.’  Macklowe received a bespoke Chihuly glass artwork, specially commissioned for the regatta for his 1st place finish in the Cruising Division.

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

The strong winds that prevailed for the week suited the ultra-light planing hull of Irvine Laidlaw’s Highland Fling XI. The Reichel-Pugh 82 scored two 1st places to win convincingly ahead of Andrea Recordati’s Wally 101 Indio, with Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s My Song in 3rd overall. Photographer – Carlo Borlenghi

Principal Race Officer Peter Craig was sad not to be able to stage a final race for the 27 yachts, but it would have been a tough and dangerous day on the Costa Smeralda. ‘We were seeing all the forecast models predict 30 knots plus in the afternoon,’ he said.

This afternoon the prizegiving at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda brought the regatta to a close, with the wind still blowing hard but the sun beaming down on hundreds of sailors and guests.

In addition to winning the Performance Division, Highland Fling’s corrected time calculations under IRC, across all races in both divisions gave Lord Laidlaw the Loro Piana Prize Overall, the Silver Jubilee Cup by Boat International Media.

Highland Fling won further awards for the top classified YCCS Member and the top classified member of the International Maxi Association.

Lord Laidlaw said his greatest pleasure this week was: ‘Sailing with a great team who just didn’t make a mistake, and being part of that team. People are working hard all the time, and it all goes so smoothly. I love coming to Porto Cervo, we have a home here. We’ve been coming since 1982 and will continue coming here until I kick up the soil. I love the weather and I love the wind.’

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Other prizes went to Southern Wind’s 33.6 metre flagship yacht Thalima as the best classified Southern Wind yacht, and to Salvatore Trifiro’s 50 metre Zefira as the best classified vessel from the Fitzroy Yachts shipyard.  Ed Bosarge’s spectacular 56 metre ketch, Marie was presented with a beautifully framed, hand crafted light chart of the Bonifacio Strait by Latitude Kinsale for best representing the Spirit of the Regatta. The yacht sails with a grand piano below decks (sometimes played during racing), a full suit of armour, and a cannon which is fired every time Marie goes to sea.

YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo was understandably proud of the event’s success: ‘Despite difficult weather conditions this has been a great event. The racing was great as was the social side and the collaboration with Loro Piana and Boat International Media is a winning one, as shown by this spectacular fleet. I have never seen such a fleet of superyachts gathered together in the Mediterranean before. The new rules which ISAF has allowed us to apply, regarding safety measures for racing superyachts, are a step forward and I know organisers and participants alike are already looking forward to the 2012 edition.’

The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2012 will take place early June 2012.

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2011

Results:

LORO PIANA SUPERYACHT REGATTA 2011 RESULTS

Winner of the Loro Piana Prize Overall, The Silver Jubilee Cup by Boat International Media
Highland Fling XI

Other Prizes
Best Classified Southern Wind Yacht – Thalima
Best Classified Fitzroy Yacht – Zefira
Spirit of the Regatta – Marie
Top classified YCCS Member – Highland Fling XI
Top classified member of the International Maxi Association – Highland Fling XI

Cruising Division
Provisional Results as of 10 June 2011 at 15:53

PLACE
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19

Wally Sailing yacht Highland Fling at Superyacht cup 2011

Wally Sailing yacht Highland Fling at Superyacht cup 2011

YACHT
Unfurled
Kora 5 of Portofino
Visione
Thalima
Scorpione dei Mari
Zefira
Liara
Solleone
Acaia Four
I-SEA
Marie
Timoneer
Annagine
Ganesha
Django Too
Ivanka
Saudade
Twizzle
Lady Thalima

TOTAL Pts
3
4
6
7
10
15
17
18
18
19
21
22
27
31
31
32
33
33
40

Performance Division
Provisional Results as of 10 June 2011 at 15:06

PLACE
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8

YACHT
Highland Fling XI
Indio
My Song
Open Season
Y3K
Magic Carpet 2
Ryokan 2
Il Sovereign

TOTAL Pts
2
6
7
9
11
12
12
14

Wally Class
Provisional Results as of 10 June 2011 at 16:03

PLACE
1
2
3
4
5
6

YACHT
Indio
Open Season
Y3K
Magic Carpet 2
Il Sovereign
Ryokan 2

TOTAL Pts
3
6
7
9
9
9

2011 Race Calendar
Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous
Virgin Gorda,BVI | dal 16/03 al 20/03

Vela & Golf
Porto Cervo | dal 13/05 al 15/05

Coppa Europa Smeralda 888
Porto Cervo | dal 27/05 al 29/05<

Dubois Cup
Porto Cervo | dal 04/06 al 06/06

Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta
Porto Cervo | dal 07/06 al 11/06

Audi Invitational Melges 32
Sailing Series
Porto Cervo | dal 16/06 al 19/06

Settimana delle Bocche Farr 40
European Circuit
Porto Cervo | dal 29/06 al 02/07     Invitational Smeralda 888
Porto Cervo | dal 08/07 al 10/07

Perini Navi Cup
Porto Cervo | dal 01/09 al 04/09

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup / Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship
Porto Cervo | dal 05/09 al 10/09

Veteran Big Boat Rally
Porto Cervo | dal 12/09 al 15/09

Audi TP52 World Championship
Porto Cervo | dal 02/10 al 08/10

Transatlantic Superyacht Regatta/Transatlantic Maxi Yacht Cup
Tenerife-Virgin Gorda, BVI | dal 21/11

Sailing Yacht Highland Fling wins 2011 Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

June 12, 2011

The fourth and final day of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta in Porto Cervo, Italy on Saturday 11th June, 2011, saw westerly winds of up to 30 knots put paid to hopes of another spectacular race day off Porto Cervo. The event, co-organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media, took place from 7th to 11th June and hosted a spectacular fleet of 27 sailing superyachts.

Highland Fling wins Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2011 in Porto Cervo phot Credits - Guido Trombetta

Highland Fling wins Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2011 in Porto Cervo phot Credits - Guido Trombetta

With victories in both the coastal races held, Irvine Laidlaw’s Reichel Pugh-designed Highland Fling dominated in the Performance Division and also took overall victory and the Loro Piana Overall Prize: The Silver Jubilee Cup by Boat International Media. Harry Macklowe’s 34 metre Frers-designed Unfurled claimed first place among the Cruising yachts and Andrea Recordati’s Indio topped the leaderboard among the Wallys.

Macklowe was enthusiastic about all aspects of the event: “This event has terrific organisers and hosts. The sailing has been wonderful. Sardinia is terrific and we’ve enjoyed sailing with a group of wonderful boats as well as being with all of our colleagues, the place and the environment.”

Wally Sailing yacht Highland Fling at Superyacht cup 2011

Wally Sailing yacht Highland Fling at Superyacht cup 2011

Highland Fling, which had US veteran sailors Mike Toppa and Peter Holmberg aboard, was also presented with awards for the top classified YCCS Member and the top classified member of the International Maxi Association. Second in the Performance division was Indio and Pier Luigi Loro Piana’s My Song took third. Among the Cruising yachts Paolo Scerni’s Kora 5 took second place with Hasso Plattner’s Visione in third. Prizes also went to the 33.6 metre Thalima, owned by Holger Van den Heuvel, as the best classified Southern Wind yacht and to Salvatore Trifiro’s 50 metre Zefira as the best classified vessel from the Fitzroy Yachts shipyard.

YCCS Commodore Riccardo Bonadeo was understandably proud of the event’s success: “Despite difficult weather conditions this has been a great event. The racing was great as was the social side and the collaboration with Loro Piana and BIM is a winning one, as shown by this spectacular fleet. I have never seen such a fleet of superyachts gathered together in the Mediterranean before. The new rules which ISAF has allowed us to apply regarding safety measures for racing superyachts are a step forward and I know organizers and participants alike are already looking forward to the 2012 edition.”

The Yacht Club Costa Smeralda’s Regatta Calendar continues with the Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series from 16th to 19th July and the Club’s superyacht racing events continue in September in Porto Cervo and from November in the Caribbean.

Highland Fling wins Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2011 in Porto Cervo - Sponsors

Highland Fling wins Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2011 in Porto Cervo - Sponsors of the yacht race event

Winners of Fitzroy Race Day – 3rd day of Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2011

June 11, 2011

PORTO CERVO, SARDINIA – Yachts Kora 5 and Highland Fling win Day 3

Sailing yachts Kora 5 of Portofino and Highland Fling were the winners on Fitzroy Race Day, the third day of the Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta 2011 in Porto Cervo.

The sun was strong and the wind blew hard, the wind gusting up to 24 knots. Wisely the race committee set a southerly race course away from the stronger breezes that funnel past La Maddalena island.

Kora 5 is one of the lighter boats in the Cruising Division, and was not expecting to fare as well as she did today, as owner/driver Paolo Scerni commented afterwards. ‘These were not the best conditions for Kora, but she still did very well.

‘I saw that one of our competitors Thalima had a problem with the spinnaker, and without that they might have beaten us. We had no real problems and sailed a good course around the track. Our tactician Lorenzo Bortolotti has done a great job, and so did the crew.’

Kora 5 now moves to just 1 point behind series leader, Harry Macklowe’s Unfurled, but Scerni knows that Unfurled are a class act. ‘They don’t make many mistakes, they are great sailors and really nice people. In the end all we can do tomorrow is sail our own race and see what happens.’ Photograph by Carlo Borlenghi

3rd day of Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

3rd day of Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta

Unfurled skipper Adam Bateman said he was ‘nervous and confident’ all at the same time, when looking to securing victory in the series tomorrow. He has big faith in the crew. ‘The majority have been sailing together for five years, so we have a lot of experience on board, and we work really well together as a team.’

Owner Harry Macklowe has been racing Unfurled in Porto Cervo for more than a decade, but keeps on coming back year after year. ‘The place, the people, the organisation are all wonderful. We really enjoy being here and the sailing today was sensational.’ For Macklowe and Unfurled, a regatta win tomorrow would be the icing on the cake.

Today’s contest had a lot to do with keeping the boat together. Others didn’t manage so well. Lady Thalima, Ganesha and Saudade all failed to finish, in Saudade’s case due to a broken mainsheet that snapped just before rounding Monaci. Liara sailed most of the race without a mainsail, but still managed a finish in 11th place.

Twizzle may not have finished high up the rankings, but the owners said they enjoyed themselves all the same. ‘It was a great race, nothing broke and no one was hurt. Safety takes priority in such winds, and we have learned a lot. We’re used to sailing in strong winds, but racing in strong winds is different.’

Irvine Laidlaw loves racing in strong winds, and proved it with an emphatic win in the Racing Division aboard Highland Fling. The 82-foot Reichel-Pugh design won by almost 14 minutes on corrected time ahead of Indio. ‘Upwind the boat is more or less the same speed as other boats in the class, but when we turn downwind, the boat is incredibly fast,’ he said. ‘It’s easy to helm, amazingly stable, and twice we saw the clock tip over 24 knots. But we do have a very good crew; at that speed things could get nasty very quickly. Today was just a lovely day on the water, a really great sail, and a great race.’

Pier Luigi Loro Piana may only have finished 5th in the race with My Song, but he was cheered all the way by title sponsor Loro Piana’s VIP guests, who enjoyed following the racing from the comfort of a Maxi Dolphin 50ft tender. My Song lies in 3rd overall behind Highland Fling and Indio.

This evening, owners look forward to an evening of delicious food, cocktails, music and dancing at the Owner’s Beach Party held in the beautiful grounds of the 5-star Hotel Romazzino, considered one of the world’s most beautiful resorts.  Guests will enjoy a reception on the lawn overlooking the enchanting beaches and jewel-coloured waters of the Costa Smeralda, before dancing the night away to music by top international DJ Oliver Fatemi.  Meanwhile, the 27 sailing teams are rewarded with a Crew Party in Porto Cervo Marina Piazza with food, drinks and live music courtesy of contributing sponsor Sardinia Yacht Services.

With a strong wind forecast set to increase throughout the day tomorrow, the race committee has pulled forward start time by an hour to 11:00 local time, with the intent of completing a short race before the breeze gets too strong for safe racing.

Race Day 3 Results:

Cruising Division
Provisional Results as of 10 June 2011 at 18:18

YACHT
Kora 5 of Portofino
Unfurled
Thalima
Visione
Scorpione Dei Mari
Marie
Zefira
Solleone
Acaia Four
Timoneer
Liara
I-SEA
Annagine
Django Too
Twizzle
Ivanka
Ganesha
Lady Thalima
Saudade

YARD
OY Nautor AB
Royal Huisman
Southern Wind
Baltic Yachts
Jongert
Vitters
Fitzroy Yachts
Nautor Swan
Southern Wind
Vitters
Southern Ocean Marine
Southern Wind
J.O.M. BV The Netherlands
Tréhard
Royal Huisman
Seaway
Fitzroy Yachts
Southern Wind
Wally

Performance Division
Provisional Results as of 10 June 2011 at 15:05

YACHT
Highland Fling XI
Indio
Magic Carpet 2
Open Season
My Song
Ryokan 2
Il Sovereign
Y3K

YARD
Goetz Custom Technologies
Wally
Wally
Wally
Cookson Boats
Wally
Wally
Wally

Race Day 3

Wally Class
Provisional Results as of 10 June 2011 at 15:03

YACHT
Indio
Magic Carpet 2
Open Season
Il Sovereign
Ryokan 2
Y3K