Phaedo Brief

Phaedo Luxury Yacht Charter & Superyacht News

RORC Caribbean 600 Yacht Race: First yachts finish

February 20, 2013

Today, February 20, saw Mike Slade’s crew on charter yacht ICAP Leopard enjoy a cold beer in the Antigua Yacht Club. The Leopard’s owner, Mike Slade, was really enjoying winding down after a difficult competition at this year’s RORC Caribbean 600 in which sailing yacht ICAP Leopard took Line Honours for the second time.

Phaedo's Lloyd Thornburg invites Peter Aschenbrenner to enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne on board to toast the 63ft trimaran, Paradox as winners of the Multihull Class:  Credit: Ocean Images/Team Phaedo

Phaedo yacht's Lloyd Thornburg invites Peter Aschenbrenner to enjoy a celebratory glass of champagne on board to toast the 63ft trimaran yacht Paradox as winners of the Multihull Class Credit: Ocean Images/Team Phaedo

“That was definitely the toughest of the three races I have done, but I absolutely love this race; the course, the weather and the welcome we receive back in Antigua is just the best, anywhere. The RORC Caribbean is one of the premier yacht races worldwide and ICAP Leopard will definitely be back next year,” said Mike Slade.

Peter Aschenbrenner’s 63ft trimaran yacht Paradox has been announced as the winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 Multihull Class. Lloyd Thornburg’s Gunboat 66 yacht Phaedo was desperately close to taking the title for the second time but crossed the finish line at 13:31:09, less than an hour behind Paradox on corrected time.

“I have to say I was surprised that we beat Phaedo,” admitted Peter Aschenbrenner. “It is very difficult to rate multihulls because they are so different, but we have now raced Phaedo in light airs and heavier breeze and both times the corrected result has been mighty close, so I guess the rating must be working.”

Phaedo’s owner, Lloyd Thornburg, was delighted to see Paul Aschenbrenner dockside, as “Paradox is a quick boat, I noticed Peter didn’t have much of a suntan, he doesn’t get to spend too long in a boat that fast!”

Phaedo, Gunboat 66, Lloyd Thornburg - Credit: Ocean Images/Team Phaedo

Lloyd Thornburg's Gunboat 66 yacht Phaedo - Credit: Ocean Images/Team Phaedo

Filip Balcaen’s Baltic 112 superyacht Nilaya completed the race this afternoon. The crew included sailors from the Volvo Ocean Race including Bouwe Bekking calling tactics. Filip has been sailing with the same crew for many years, but this was his first RORC Caribbean 600.

“We have competed in quite a number of races, so we are all well used to each other,” commented Filip Balcaen. “We wanted to be conservative without much damage and we have done that. We always race to win but also to have fun and we laughed a lot during the race. I have to convince some others Maxi owners to come next year.”

Too close to call for overall
The overall winner of the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy which is raced under the IRC rating system is still undecided. Hap Fauth’s American JV72 yacht Bella Mente, finished the race just after noon local time and is currently in pole position. Hap Fauth competing in his first RORC Caribbean 600 was all smiles dockside, but the canny American knows that the champagne will have to be kept on ice.

Although several yachts have a mathematical probability of winning overall, Ron O’Hanley’s American Cookson 50 yacht Privateer, and superyacht Adela, skippered by Greg Perkins, have a realistic chance of beating Bella Mente to lift the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy.

RORC Caribbean 600 Yacht Race: US Entries

January 31, 2013

The Royal Ocean Racing Club’s 5th edition of CARIBBEAN 600 yacht race will kick off from a popular Caribbean yacht charter destination – Antigua on 18th February. There will be several American competitors and boats participating this year. The Race has now become a classic offshore competition, with a total number of 47 entries having signed up this year, while the 2012 edition attracted 39 entries. The yachts range from 203ft superyacht Athos to 39ft sailing yacht Sleeper.

2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Yacht Race - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com

2012 RORC Caribbean 600 Yacht Race - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com

American entries include: Privateer, Bella Mente, Locura, Blackbird, Hound, Lilla, Triple Lindy, Phaedo, Slim

PRIVATEER, Cookson 50, Ron O’Hanley (USA)

Ron O’Hanley’s American Cookson 50 yacht Privateer is back for a third attempt to win the RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy. Privateer came third overall in 2010 and had a fantastic race last year before a 10% penalty put them out of the running for the overall title. O’Hanley’s crew will consider this year’s race as unfinished business and charter yacht ICAP Leopard could face stiff competition for class honours.

Ron O’Hanley is President of Fidelity’s Investments Asset Management and Corporate Services divisions and has successfully campaigned his Cookson 50 yacht Privateer in the Caribbean and in/around Newport, New York Yacht Club Races etc. He’s on the Board of Sail Newport and IYRS (International yacht Restoration School in Newport, Rhode Island). Brad Read, Head of Sail Newport will also be onboard for the race. Sailed to Antigua from Florida (1200 nm) took 5 days. Been racing offshore around the waters of the Caribbean this year. 13 crew mainly from USA with one Aussie and NZ on board. Ron has been racing for many years in Antigua.

Luxury yacht Bella Mente - Photo by Billy Black

Luxury yacht Bella Mente - Photo by Billy Black

BELLA MENTE, Judel/Vrolijk 72 Custom,
Owner/Helm: Hap Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn./Naples, Fla, USA)

American Mini Maxi yacht Bella Mente can be considered a favourite for the overall Caribbean 600 Trophy.

When owner Hap Fauth is not competing on the water, he runs a number of businesses that span many industries from agriculture to aerospace. He brings many of the same principles and tactics that he uses in the boardroom to the development of his sailing campaign. This is the third boat under the Bella Mente name that Fauth has owned and raced.

Launched in Spring 2012, luxury yacht Bella Mente is a 72-foot Mini Maxi designed by judel/vrolijk: “It is a great opportunity to put the crew together in conditions conducive to crew distance training. We’ll have an opportunity to test some new sail work and crew co-ordination. Since we have never sailed this race, I am optimistic on podium results,” comments Rob Oullette, Racing Manager.

In 2013, their race calendar includes the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race but this is the only race they will enter in the Caribbean. A crew of 20 top sailors includes: Mike Sanderson (NZL), Ian Moore (GBR), Michele “Mickey” Cannoni (Bowman) and numerous other America’s Cup, Volvo Ocean Race and Olympic sailors.

PERUVIAN OWNER WITH CALIFORNIAN TRANSPAC CREW ON PERFORMANCE CRUISER
LOCURA, Nelson/Marek 92 Custom, Hector Velarde, PERU/USA

Locura yacht’s Peruvian owner, Hector Velarde is a member of Waikiki Yacht Club and the home port for the Locura superyacht is Lima, Peru. He purchased the yacht in 2012 and his crew are made up of amateur and ‘pro’ sailors from Southern California and include: Sailing Master Tom Corkett (Newport Beach, CA), Joe Lacey and William (Tad) Palmer III as navigator, 13 crew in total.

Luxury yacht Locura has cruised the Pacific, Tahiti and Mexico. The 2012 Antigua Sailing Week was Locura’s debut into racing in a regatta and she took a 2nd place in her division. Hector’s previous yacht raced in two Transpac Races from California to Hawaii and he’s bringing back the same crew to race in his first Caribbean 600.

“We signed up because of the course and the competition it offers, along with ideal sailing conditions. We are looking forward to the challenge and excitement of competing against world class boats and sailors from around the world,” Hector Velarde.

West Coast US: The boat captain, Tom Corkett is based in Newport Beach, California but the boat has a home port in Lima, Peru.

Blackbird yacht competing in RORC Caribbean 600 - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com

Blackbird yacht competing in RORC Caribbean 600 - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com

THE BIRD RETURNS
BLACKBIRD – Tripp 75, Owner: Michael Reardon (USA, New England)

Skipper: Michael Joubert (SA)

The 75ft carbon fibre yacht Blackbird, designed by Bill Tripp, raced in the RORC Caribbean 600 last year and will be back with a crack crew on board.

Family run and raced boat
HOUND, Nielsen 59 Custom, Frank Eberhart, (USA, Maine)

The 60-foot classic yacht Hound will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the second time with a family crew. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice.

Over the years the owners have used the boat to cross oceans with their four children, cruised the Baltic and competed in many races. The boat is a regular of the Caribbean, having sailed the area for the past 26 winters. In the summer months Hound can be found sailing the coast of Maine and points north, enjoying the Canadian Maritimes and her homeport in Penobscot Bay, the Island of Vinalhaven. Hound is a family run and raced boat.

Frank Eberhart
: “Hound has been sailing the Caribbean for nearly 30 years. This race is a unique opportunity to enjoy Caribbean sailing with a twist, while experiencing the beauty of the Leeward chain. This race is a fun addition to the boats racing resume.”

Lilla yacht under sail at St Barts

Lilla yacht under sail at St Barts

MULTINATIONAL CREW – SECOND C600
LILLA, C.N.B Briand 76, Simon & Nancy De Pietro (IRL)

Nancy De Pietro: “Team LILLA is a multi-national group of friends and family who love racing together. We have competed in 6 offshore races to date including Overall Winner in the 2011 Marion-Bermuda Race (current record holder) and Overall Winner Cruising Division in the 2012 Newport-Bermuda Race. This will be our 3rd RORC Caribbean 600. We hope to improve our performance and step-up to the challenge of a very competitive IRC Fleet. The challenging Caribbean course with All-Star Cast is irresistible racing.”

15 multinational crew members from UK, USA, South Africa, Canada, France. The core of the team is husband and wife owners, Simon & Nancy De Pietro, with friend Ian Martin who is LILLA’s Captain when Simon is off working. Simon makes a living developing wind and tidal energy projects and enjoys escaping to sail LILLA. Nancy manages the sailing/racing program and gets out on the water whenever possible.

Ian was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa winning a National Title for small keel boats at age 18. He went on to develop a very strong racing background including the Whitbread Round the World, Bermuda-Plymouth Race, double handed Plymouth-Newport, Fastnet, Newport-Bermuda, Marion-Bermuda, etc. The Caribbean has been Ian’s home for twenty years and he is no stranger to Antigua Race Week or the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.

From this background, Ian assembled a very talented team starting with son Jake Martin and fellow Caribbean sailors D. Randy West, Colin Campbell, Guillaume Bihet, Katherine Bieber, and Simon Spencer.  He also calls on childhood friend Andy Schwartzkopff who brings fellow Connecticut racers Mike Lebov, Bruce Kuryla (U.S. Offshore Champion), and Bruce Galaski. When available, we are lucky to include Ian’s brother John Martin on the helm (competed in 2 BOC single handed Round the World Races).

New to Team LILLA for the 2013 Caribbean 600 will be husband and wife Sophie and Petro Jonker who live and work in St. Maarten running a day charter business on “Quality Time”.  Last but not least we add avid sailor/racer/helmsman Jim Barnes who normally competes against team LILLA offshore and last year on Buzzard’s Bay during the Ensign Regional and Mattapoisett Yacht Club summer series. Will go on to do the Rolex Fastnet and Middle Sea Race later this year.

TRIPLE LINDY, SWAN 44, JOSPEH MELE (USA)

Joseph is a member of the City Island Sailing Club in New York and competed in this year’s Newport to Bermuda Race. Triple Lindy yacht is making her debut in the race.

Luxury yacht Phaedo - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com

Luxury yacht Phaedo - Photo by T. Wright/photoaction.com

Gunboat’s ready to battle it out
PHAEDO AND SLIM

There will be two Gunboat 66’s on the start line of the 2013 RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua on Monday 18th February. For Andrew Hearst’s Slim, this will be her maiden race before continuing a slow cruise around the world, but Lloyd Thornburg’s Phaedo yacht has a secret weapon on board in the form of racing legend, Brian Thompson. This will be their second race.

Maiden race for cruising cat on circumnavigation
SLIM, GUNBOAT 66

Owner: Austin Hearst (New York, USA)
Skipper/Helm: Travis McGarry (Durban, South Africa)
Flag: Marshall Islands, Northern Pacific Ocean
Yacht Club: Bikini, Marshall Islands
7 on board

Luxury yacht Slim is the last of her series, a Gunboat 66 designed by Morrelli & Mellivin as a fast Cruising catamaran. The boat left Cape Town on the 18th November ’12 and will be in the Caribbean for the winter season. Skipper, Travis McGarry says: “We are on a slow circumnavigation as we peel the miles away in comfortable speed exploring what the globe has to offer. We’ve set Slim up for both Tropical and High/Low latitude sailing.”

Travis McGarry is an Ultra Marathon runner and Triathlete that loves to sail: “For Slim’s maiden regatta we chose the RORC Caribbean 600 as we wanted a race where a bunch of friends could go out and have fun on the open ocean and enjoy what these magnificent boats do best. The Caribbean 600 met our needs perfectly. We are a group of friends crewing together to enjoy ourselves over the 600nm, while pushing the boat a little. We wanted and race that offered speed, tactics, open ocean and fits into busy work schedules. We couldn’t have picked a better suited regatta.”

Expectations for the race
: “Some exciting speeds, tactical sailing and memorable experiences with some great friends onboard.”

RECORD HOLDER AND PRO CREW aim for podium position
TEAM PHAEDO, GUNBOAT 66

Owner: Lloyd Thornburg (USA)
Captain: Paul Hand (Australian)
Flag: USA
Yacht Club: St Barth, Caribbean/Newport, Rhode Island
Supported by Bolle & Musto
8 crew: America, South Africa, British and Australian

Lloyd Thornburg (USA), Owner and creator of Team Phaedo yacht will be racing for the second time in the RORC Caribbean 600 along with Captain Paul Hand (AUS). He has a top crew on board for the race.

Crew includes: Brian Thompson, holder of 25 world sailing records including the Jules Verne Trophy for fastest boat around the world (just over 45 days) aboard the French maxi trimaran, Banque Populaire. He has more multihull sailing miles than any other Briton today and is a vastly experienced and successful offshore racer.

Brian Sharp (USA) – Competed in three America’s Cups, winning in 2007 with Team Alinghi. He has competed in many world sailing championships and has campaigned for a place on the USA Olympic sailing team in the Star Class.
Angus Roberts (GBR)– new this year and mate of boat
Sam Bason (AUS)– lives on St Barth and is old friend of Lloyd has done 99% of all races
Chris Robson (AUS) – new crew for this race

Racing Pedigree: Team Phaedo: 2011 – C600 5th on line, 1st in class, Heineken regatta 1st in class, Antigua Race week 2nd in Class, Transatlantic TR011, 4th over line, 1st in class, Fastnet 2011 – 1st at rock, 5th at finish
2012 – Les Voiles de St Barth – 2nd in class
2013 – C600 and Transpac

Lloyd Thornburg: “We have re-entered the C600 with the aim to do even better than before. The boat has had some R’nR and now has some nice new North Sails including a square top main. We have brought with us some new crew, including Brian Thompson to help guide us around. We are hoping for a podium position.”

I3D – Lighting design studio for luxury super yachts

January 02, 2012

At the beginning of December, 2011 we have posted an article about an interdisciplinary design consulting firm I3D Inc. (In3Design), which specialises in lighting design for luxury yachts. Designers focus on the unique identity and atmosphere of the given space, how it communicates with people, and how it changes to suit their needs. While almost every other detail is customized on yachts, lighting is frequently ignored. When the sun sets and the lights are turned on, one discovers the most generic illumination, often provided by outdated lighting technologies.

Lurssen Superyacht Pacific - Photo credit to Martin Groothuis

Lurssen Superyacht Pacific - Photo credit to Martin Groothuis

On most modern yachts, very little stands out at nighttime. They are undefined masses looking like ‘black-holes’ from shore when moored in a bay. The hours that exterior stylists spend on creating signature shapes disappear into darkness and are not represented at all. Private residences and restaurants often have more unique lighting than multi-million dollar yachts.

Emotional and unique approaches to yacht lighting create subtle moods and add both pleasure and value to a yacht by reflecting an owner’s personality. These lighting techniques put a signature stamp on form and function, adding sophistication to luxury. I3D sees the untapped potential for stunning new lighting designs for luxury yachts.

Interior lighting designed by I3D for super yacht PACIFIC - Image courtesy of I3D

Interior lighting designed by I3D for super yacht PACIFIC - Images courtesy of I3D and Lurssen

Beatrice Witzgall’s passion for performance sailing, combined with her lighting expertise, allows her to understand the opportunities that lie beyond the traditional lighting approaches. This combination leads to a deeper understanding of the practical challenges and requirements of yachts as far as realizing their design potential and opportunities.

At this point, I3D has worked on numerous yachts ranging from some of the most high-profile and prominent superyacht launches to high performance catamarans. I3D involvement ranges from full lighting design services, to technical consultancies, to support in architectural design aspects and development of graphics. I3D has worked extensively with many acclaimed designers such as Bannenberg-Rowell, Reymond Langton, German Frers and shipyards such as Luerssen, Abeking & Rasmussen, Nobiskrug, Hodgdens and Gunboat.

Super yacht Pacific in Harbour of Kiel - Photo courtesy of Ferdinand Rogge

Super yacht Pacific in Harbour of Kiel - Photo courtesy of Ferdinand Rogge

Luxury yacht projects that are included in I3D’s portfolio:

85m Lurssen motor yacht Pacific

PROJECT TEAM “JOSI”:

Delivery: November 2010

Interior: Bannenberg Rowell

Exterior: German Frers

Shipyard: Luerssen, Germany

Awards: Finalist for Superyacht Awards 2011 – Judges’ Commendation in the ‘BEST DISPLACEMENT MOTOR YACHT OF 1,300GT TO 2,999GT’

LIGHTING STATEMENT:

For PACIFIC, the owner’s brief was clear: “impress & surprise us showing something that hasn’t been done before on any yacht.” Therefore, I3D had the amazing opportunity to implement many of our unique design visions into this outstanding project. All spaces were defined by different light settings for the various user scenarios. Integrated lighting accentuated the multitude of complex materials and textures; and the complex and outstanding architectural design details. A mood-altering color scheme linked interior with exterior spaces and created a fluent spatial experience. Together, these and other innovative lighting features created PACIFIC’s unique signature look, pushing the envelope for innovative lighting design and setting a new industry standard.

60ft Gunboat catamaran Phaedo with Architectural Layout / Graphic / Lighting by I3D -  - Image courtesy of I3D

60ft Gunboat catamaran Phaedo with Architectural Layout / Graphic / Lighting by I3D - Photos Levin Trautmann / Team Phaedo

66′ Gunboat catamaran Phaedo

PROJECT DETAILS “6604”:

Delivery: October 2010

Shipyard: Gunboat, South Africa

Project Manager: Paul Hand

Architectural Layout / Graphic / Lighting: I3D, inc.

Client: Lloyd Thornburg

Awards: 2011 Best Boats: Flagship Multihull

This catamaran truly pushed the envelope and redefined what a fully equipped “performance cruising boat” nowadays can mean. Not only did it apply race boat technology, pushing weight

and performance to the limit without compromising or sacrificing luxury life-style elements in a highly designed loft-type space, but it also rethought every system, detail, and technological

addition. The result is a custom, modern, cleanly-designed, stylish and open penthouse space that has every feature of a fast, light-weight performance racing yacht. This 66’ Gunboat catamaran is equal in many aspects to an over 100’ Super Yacht in terms of space, speed, performance, and quality of finishes. However, it is optimized in terms of crew, maintenance costs, fuel, and energy savings. It sets new standards for catamarans, bringing the possibilities to a new level. This project represents I3D as truly an interdisciplinary firm with scope ranging from architectural layout to the styling and branding including graphics and the lighting design.

Lurssen mega yacht Pacific - Photo courtesy of Ferdinand Rogge

Lurssen mega yacht Pacific - Photo courtesy of Ferdinand Rogge


YACHTS – other design services: architectural design & GRAPHICS

• architectural design

I3D – In3Design are a strong believer in an integrated design approach that combines backgrounds and bridges disciplines, using a comprehensive understanding of a situation in order to create

new insights and see new potentials. Relying on their strong background in architecture, they created for PHAEDO an open loft-style modern space for this usually cluttered platform yacht. I3D focused on creating clean lines, alignments, and a continuity of space that connects the inside to the outside in order to create a seamless spatial experience.

• BOAT GRAPHICS & LOGOS

With I3D’s strong understanding of the various design disciplines, they understand the underlying design principles, concepts and themes enabling them to develop a representative brand. The graphics should strengthen and accentuates the identity and have a unique, but specific character. Graphics should reflect the overall design principles of the project.

YACHTS -  I3D’s confidential projects that make part of their portfolio

LIGHTING design CONSULTANCY – UNDISCLOSED details : I3D respect their clients wishes to keep project details confidential! Yacht projects are a combination of high-end individualized residential spaces with a strong hospitality aspect. Yacht projects deal technically with very challenging conditions. Their involvement extends from interior to exterior lighting, in which they specifically focus on creating a strong signature look. Due to the character of the industry, I3D unfortunately can’t share or disclose further project details and images of their work despite having had the great opportunity to work on some outstanding and unique designs. Some, but not all, of their yacht projects, are listed below.

Design proposals:

• EXTERIOR DESIGN for a very large Megayacht

Designer / Shipyard: N/A – confidential

• EXTERIOR DESIGN for a large Megayacht

Designer / Shipyard: N/A – confidential

FULL DESIGN SCOPE

• 24.5m M/Y exterior lighting

Designer / Shipyard: N/A – confidential / USA

Delivery: November 2010

• 78m A&R #6492 – mega yacht Amaryllis – Full Interior & Exterior

Designer: Reymond Langton Design

Shipyard: Abeking & Rasmussen, Germany

Delivery: Summer 2011

• 149’ explorer yacht - Interior & Exterior

Shipyard: N/A / USA

Delivery: 2011

TECHNICAL LIGHTING CONSULTANCY:

• 78m A&R mega yacht TITAN

Designer: Reymond Langton Design

Shipyard: Abeking & Rasmussen, Germany

Delivery: Summer 2010

• 74m M/Y #783 mega yacht Graffiti

Designer: Reymond Langton Design

Shipyard: Nobiskrug

Superyacht Lighting Design by I3D

December 01, 2011

I3D, inc. ( In3Design) is an interdisciplinary design consulting firm with a strong emphasis on lighting design. Its focus is on the unique identity and atmosphere of a space, how it interfaces with people, and how it transforms to meet their needs. Lighting design is an integral part of architecture and its design elements. It creates the intangible emotional feel of a space, but it also creates an iconic look, defining a signature identity or brand.

Lurssen 85m Mega Yacht PACIFIC with I3D light settings

Lurssen 85m Mega Yacht PACIFIC with I3D light settings

Award-winning designer Beatrice Witzgall established “I3D, Inc.” in 2007, basing the new company in NYC. The name originated from “In3Design”, Inc. a company founded in 2004 which also represented her interdisciplinary design approach and her background in fields such as architecture, graphic design, and interactive digital technologies. Combining art with technology, this interdisciplinary expertise enables her to think dynamically, seeing bold new opportunities for innovation in unexpected places. I3D not only offers individual design services in these fields, but also bridges these design ideas as a design manager, creating one comprehensive program, design strategy, and spatial identity.

Gunboat 66´ catamaran yacht PHAEDO with I3D light settings

Gunboat 66´ catamaran yacht PHAEDO with I3D light settings

I3D lighting techniques put a signature stamp on form and function, adding sophistication to luxury. Emotional and unique approaches to yacht lighting create subtle moods and add both pleasure and value to a yacht by reflecting an owner’s personality.

I3D sees the untapped potential for stunning new lighting designs for luxury yachts. Beatrice Witzgall’s passion for performance sailing, combined with her lighting expertise, allows her to understand the opportunities that lie beyond the traditional lighting approaches. This combination leads to a deeper understanding of the practical challenges and requirements of yachts as far as realizing their design potential and opportunities.

At this point, I3D has worked on numerous yachts ranging from some of the most high-profile and prominent superyacht launches to high performance catamaran yachts.

I3D involvement ranges from full lighting design services, to technical consultancies, to support in architectural design aspects and development of graphics.

Currently I3D is involved with several hospitality projects as well as commercial and private projects. Additionally, Witzgall’s passion for yachting has led her to work on various prominent and “Superyacht Award”- nominated Megayachts or performance sailing yachts with acclaimed designers such as Reymond Langton, Bannenberg Rowell, German Frers, RWD, DLBA, and shipyards such as Luerssen, Abeking & Rasmussen, Hodgdens, and Gunboat.

Transatlantic Race 2011: Superyacht Maltese Falcon and sailing yacht ICAP Leopard finish

July 14, 2011

Newport, R.I. USA (July 13, 2011) – Yesterday, as the sun was setting on the Cornish coast, ICAP Leopard, skippered by Clarke Murphy (New York, N.Y.), passed The Lizard to finish the Transatlantic Race 2011 at 20:42 UTC. Since the 4th of July when ICAP Leopard snapped its bowsprit, there has been no whinging from on board. Sailing yacht ICAP Leopard did not even report the breakage until several days after the incident. After the finish, Clarke Murphy was quick to praise the crew.

ICAP Leopard (shown at start) sailed the majority of the Transatlantic Race 2011 with a broken bow sprit.  It has now finished. (photo credit TR2011Billy Black)

ICAP Leopard (shown at start) sailed the majority of the Transatlantic Race 2011 with a broken bow sprit. It has now finished. (photo credit TR2011Billy Black)

“To break the sprit 36 hours into the race was a shock and incredibly frustrating. The first focus was to make sure we were still safe and then to keep us in the race. The sprit was bouncing into the hull, hanging off the bobstay, but after having recovered it and checked the hull, we were back racing again in 40 minutes. We had to change our strategy, think on our feet, and to cross the Atlantic in nine days was a great achievement from the position we were in. The crew has been outstanding in every department, and there has been no lack of humour in this crowd, or lack of ribbing. We still had a good time, and the chocolate thieves were caught eventually! This is an incredibly experienced group of people with great character who could adapt and keep us going.”

Superyacht Maltese Falcon during hte Transatlantic Race 2011. Image copyright Billy Black.

Superyacht Maltese Falcon during hte Transatlantic Race 2011. Image copyright Billy Black.

The superyacht Maltese Falcon received high praise from other competing yachts, and rightly so. The skill of the crew was there for all to see right from the start when the immense superyacht tacked in confined quarters to perfection, casting an enormous shadow on the spectator fleet. Later in the race, the crew on the Cookson 50 Jazz was aghast as the Maltese Falcon gybed their enormous three-masted rig time after time to stay in the pressure.

Last night, just after 0100 UTC, the Maltese Falcon arrived at The Lizard, and the magnificent 289’ Perini Navi sent a heartwarming message back from the racecourse, written by crewmember Sean Truscott.

Sunset from onboard sailing yacht Maltese Falcon, which has now finished the Transatlantic Race 2011

Sunset from onboard sailing yacht Maltese Falcon, which has now finished the Transatlantic Race 2011

 “A jubilant crew brings the Big Bird to the line at The Lizard, and the race has ended for us. This is no time to mourn our loss to Phaedo, which has our sincerest congratulations for their outstanding victory. With Maltese Falcon built not as a race boat but a large sailing super yacht, we are proud of our performance and proud to have been part of this spectacular event with all her challenges. Thank you to all the organisers, sponsors and participants. It was wicked!

“The remaining hours of our race presented us with an awe-inspiring seascape view of the setting sun over Bishops Rock. Tonight, as the props turn for their first time since the start, the moon sets to our stern, a large yellow orb. Sadly we cannot linger to enjoy the festivities and the camaraderie with the other crew, as our purpose and business hails us back to the Med, but we wish we were able to, and the fleet still at sea we wish the best.”

ICAP Leopard and Maltese Falcon may not have tasted victory at The Lizard, but their performance and attitude has been commendable and a credit to the sport.

Keep Calm and Carry On

For the remaining 19 boats yet to finish the Transatlantic Race 2011, progress is agonisingly slow. Most of the yachts out on the racecourse are approximately 250 miles from the finish, and looking at the tracker, it resembles the start line for a foot race, with the competitors waiting for the starting pistol.

Fair winds still elude the yachts; however, more wind is expected to arrive from the south or southwest in about 24 hours’ time, which should increase in strength, giving the yachts a roaring finish into The Lizard. Most of the yachts should finish the Transatlantic Race over the coming weekend.

The big decision at the moment is whether to try to make it to the southern coast of the island and pick up breeze from the land or to stay to the south, where the breeze should fill in first. Tony Lawson’s Class 40, Concise 2, skippered by Ned Collier-Wakefield (Oxford, U.K.) is heading for the Irish coast.  The young British team have seen their substantial lead over class rival Dragon, skippered by Mike Hennessy (Mystic, Conn.), evaporate to just a few miles. Similar anguish must be present on Carina, skippered by Rives Potts (Essex, Conn.). Their main rival, British Soldier, skippered by Nick Bate (Falmouth, Cornwall, U.K.) is now in a threatening position, but the British Army team does owe Carina a considerable amount of time in IRC Class Four.

The morale on board the yachts still racing will have become a very important factor towards their performance. After many days at sea, living in close quarters with the same people, tempers can and do get tested. Sleep deprivation and dwindling food supplies adds tension to the mix. “Keep calm and carry on” is an old phrase that has become popular again, especially with relevance to the late-2000 recession. These would be wise words for the competitors in the Transatlantic Race 2011 to cogitate, if they want to get the result that their performance deserves.

Sponsors of the TR 2011 are Rolex, Thomson Reuters, Newport Shipyard, Perini Navi and Peters & May, with additional support by apparel sponsor Atlantis Weathergear.

Transatlantic Race 2011: Magical Moments

July 12, 2011

Newport, R.I. USA (July 12, 2011) – Dreams — of deep sleep and wholesome food — have come true, as three more Transatlantic Race 2011 class winners arrived at The Lizard in the south of England today.  While the sailors have put to an end the days of going without, memories of the adventure will linger forever.

Zaraffa Reichel Pugh 66-footer at the start of Transatlantic Race 2011 Newport RI  Photo Credit TR2011 ©Billy Black

Zaraffa Reichel Pugh 66-footer at the start of Transatlantic Race 2011 Newport RI Photo Credit TR2011 ©Billy Black

Just after sunrise sailing yacht Zaraffa, a Reichel Pugh 65, passed The Lizard to finish the Transatlantic Race 2011 with skipper Huntington Sheldon (Shelburne, Vt.), who, at age 80, is believed to be the oldest competitor in the race.  S/Y Zaraffa completed the 2,975 nautical mile course in less than 12 days and was over 400 miles ahead of any other yacht in Class IRC Three, winning the class by a handsome margin.  Notably, on Zaraffa, Sheldon took both line honors and the overall win of the 2003 Daimler Chrysler North Atlantic Challenge, which also started in Newport, but finished in Hamburg, Germany [with a course time of 13 days, 15 hours, 7 minutes and 28 seconds].  He subsequently donated the yacht to the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Md.) and chartered it back for this event.

The Gunboat 66 Phaedo finishing the Transatlantic Race 2011 - Photo by Richard Langdon Ocean Images

The Gunboat 66 Phaedo finishing the Transatlantic Race 2011 - Photo by Richard Langdon Ocean Images

In the two-boat Open Class, Lloyd Thornburg (St. Barthelemy), skipper of the Gunboat 66 Phaedo, was ecstatic when the Lamborghini-orange multihull crossed the finish line in light air.  With a 100-mile lead, Phaedo was the victor in a David and Goliath battle with the magnificent 289’ superyacht Maltese Falcon.  

“It has been an epic adventure,” said Thornburg of the race via satellite phone.  “We enjoyed the RORC Caribbean 600 so much and it [the Transatlantic Race 2011] just seemed like the next step.  During the windy part of this race, we were screaming along in big seas.  That was pretty exciting and sometimes hair-raising, especially when flying a hull at night!  The last few days, however, were slow.  Fortunately, Phaedo has plenty of onboard entertainment — I think our movie count was 25 films.

“It has been a wild and amazing experience with some incredible memories.  The highlights for me were seeing water so clean it was the color of blue Gatorade; and, when we were becalmed, we had a shark circling the boat which was very eerie.  Crossing the Atlantic, you lose track of time and it gives you the feeling like you have gone into space.  Now we are heading back to life on land; we are all looking forward to sleeping through the night and we are all tired of freeze-dried food.  I think that we will all be tucking into a full English breakfast when we hit the dock at Southampton.  Our hearts really go out to the boats that are still out there, some of them must be having a real rough time of it, knowing that it will be days before they get in.”

Jazz, Chris Bull’s Cookson 50 which is being skippered by Nigel King (Lymington, U.K.), was the fifth yacht to finish the Transatlantic Race 2011 and appears to have won IRC Class Two.  “We set out with a clear goal to deliver a top sailing performance worthy of this team, regardless of the final result,” said King.  “The guys have never wavered from the challenge and have done so with smiles all the way.  Once again ocean racing shows to me why it is the ultimate challenge – it’s a total privilege to be the skipper of this team.”

As Jazz approached the finish, several of the crew reflected on the best moments of the race across the Atlantic.

Navigator Mike Broughton (Hamble, U.K.) described “a marvelous minute of offshore racing” in his first sighting of a blue whale and the sight of dolphins riding a bow wave.  “Uncharacteristically, I saw two of these magical mammals slightly misjudge their flight paths and tap the bobstay with their tails.”

Australian Brendan Garner (Victoria) felt privileged to have been given the opportunity to race across the North Atlantic.  “A new experience for me was helming at 20 knots of boat speed, pitch black at night, heavy fog, three degrees of water temperature and the crew on iceberg watch.  High adrenalin sailing.”

For Anthony “Ski” Haines (Cowes, U.K.), ocean racing at its very best was launching downwind in the mid-Atlantic at 20+ knots and “seeing the whole boat and crew working so well, to the point where we did not have to think about anything …except going as fast as possible.”

And, for a sailor making his first transatlantic crossing, it was a defining experience.  “I have climbed my mountain,” said Christian Ripard (Valetta, Malta) after sailing almost 3,000 miles.

There remain 21 yachts out racing on the North Atlantic Ocean, including the S&S 42, Sasha. With over 800 miles to the finish, the beautiful, sleek yacht likely has a week more at sea.  Skipper Albrecht Peters and his wife Erika (Hamburg, Germany) have owned and raced Sasha for over 30 years and have just two other crew onboard, Christine Beech and Ron Melton both from New Zealand.  For many people three weeks at sea is a long time; the Albrecht’s, however, have sailed Sasha through more than 110,000 miles of ocean and are very much at home.

Ocean Theatre, Dramatic Spectacle in the Transatlantic Race 2011 This Morning

June 30, 2011

Newport, R.I. USA – This morning, the tension was mounting dockside as 14 yachts made final preparations before they took the second start of the Transatlantic Race 2011 in a spectacular scene full of drama.

Phaedo and Maltese Falcon at the Transatlantic yacht race 2011 -  Richard Langdon

Phaedo and Maltese Falcon at the Transatlantic yacht race 2011 - Richard Langdon

With a huge number of spectator boats gathered to see the fleet off, the breeze started to build just as the first warning signal sounded from the Castle Hill Light at 13:50 Eastern Daylight Time.  A freshening southwesterly caught several competitors off-guard, resulting in three boats — Scho-ka-kola, Concise 2 and Jazz — being called over the line at the start.  Scho-ka-kola returned almost immediately, however, Concise 2 and Jazz continued to race and it was nearly half an hour before these two yachts returned to cross the line correctly.

Concise 2 is one of two Class 40s in the fleet, and the eagerness of its young crew gave Dragon, which is being sailed double-handed by Michael Hennesy (Mystic, Conn.) and Rob Windsor (East Northport, N.Y.), an early lead in the class – by the time Concise restarted, Dragon was 4.5 miles ahead.  No doubt the Concise crew will be digging deep to make up for lost time.

Jazz, the Cookson 50 skippered by Nigel King (Lymington, U.K.), came back very strongly after their premature start.  Navigator Mike Broughton (Hamble, U.K.), speaking dockside just an hour before the start, believes it will be an interesting first night.  “The cold front should come through as we go around the Nantucket Shoals, and how we play that could be pretty much a key area.  I am seeing a bit of coastal racing for this ocean race.  This is a fascinating racecourse and has been for hundreds of years.  The conditions are the same now as they have been for all those years…the jet stream, the low pressure systems, the Gulf Stream.  Many of the grand prix offshore events can be broken down into a series of legs, but this one is more like trying to hit a moving target; trying to work out where you want to go and when that pressure will get there.”

In IRC Class Two, Christoph Avenarius and Gorm Gondesen’s Shakti and Jens Kellinghusen’s Varuna have begun their battle within the race.  Both yachts are from Germany and have exactly the same hull, however, there are subtle differences between the two yachts as Shakti’s tactician, Bendix Hügelmann (Hamburg, Germany) explained before the start.  “Varuna has more sail area and weight in her keel, which should give them an advantage in heavier conditions.  However, we recently raced each other and there was little difference in speed between us.  Two days ago, the crews of both Shakti and Varuna had dinner together.  We hope to make each other go faster by our close competition, rather than slow each other down.  It is also very useful to have another yacht close by, should we need assistance in an emergency.  We will be pushing Shakti to win, but safety is always the most important aspect of any yacht race.”

In IRC Class Three, the Reichel Pugh 66 Zaraffa made the best start.  Owner Huntington Sheldon (Shelburne, Vt.), at 80 years of age, is believed to be the oldest competitor in the Transatlantic Race 2011, and has a crack crew on board including Axel Maghdal (Norway), Richard Mason (New Zealand), Jens Dolmer (Denmark) and Matt Humphries (England), all of whom have all competed in the Volvo Ocean Race.  “This is a professionally run team and Zaraffa won the Transatlantic in 2003 and a lot of people said that was a fluke,” said a defiant Sheldon just hours before the start.  “I aim to prove those people wrong.”  From the way Zaraffa started it looks as though the team mean business.

Second Start Fleet - Amory Ross

Second Start Fleet - Amory Ross

The team on the Volvo 60 Ambersail is proud to be the first-ever Lithuanian yacht to compete in a Transatlantic Race.  “To see the Lithuanian flag at the New York Yacht Club was very special,” said skipper Simonas Steponavicius (Vilnius, Lithuania) just hours before the start.  “The sail number of Ambersail is LTU 1000, which was chosen as it signifies one thousand years of our country’s history.  This is a very proud moment for the crew and also for our country.  We wish all of the competitors good luck and fair winds for the race.”

Notably absent from the starting area was Chris Frost’s (Durban, South Africa) Prodigy.  The 54’ canting-keeled yacht, which took line honors in the 2011 Cape to Rio yacht race (easily breaking the record set 40 years ago by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Ocean Spirit), developed a technical problem just minutes before the start.  The issue seems to have been resolved, however, as Prodigy set off on the race within an hour of the rest of the fleet.

While the first start of the day produced some high drama, the start for the two yachts in the Open Class was just as extraordinary.  As the magnificent 298’ Maltese Falcon unfurled acres of canvas and entered the starting area, the Gunboat 66, Phaedo, owned by Lloyd Thornburg (St. Barthelemy) was dwarfed in comparison. Go here for more images of the charter yacht Maltese Falcon under sail.  Catamaran Phaedo is one of the world’s most head-turning maritime creations and the carbon fibre, Lamborghini-orange catamaran has become one of the most well-known yachts on the regatta circuit – some more pics here.  However, the spectacle of the Art Deco giant, Maltese Falcon, dominated the proceedings, announcing its intentions with a bone-rattling blast of colossal air-horns to warn spectator yachts that they were about to tack for the line.  It was a full five minutes before the three rotating rigs, each weighing 30 tons, completed their revolutions and Maltese Falcon heeled over bound for the start of the Transatlantic Race 2011.

Phaedo, however, was far more exuberant and timed the approach to perfection, coming up under Maltese Falcon.  At first they were caught in the enormous wind shadow of their leviathan nemesis, but as Phaedo came out of the wind hole, gasping for air, the crew onboard hauled in the sheets.  Pulling the trigger, Phaedo accelerated away from the opposition, but not for long.  Weighing in at an unbelievable 1110 tons, Maltese Falcon soon overhauled Phaedo and the rest of the fleet in today’s start, achieving a boat speed of over 14 knots.

Today’s starters have a lot of ground to make up just to catch up with the six yachts that started on June 26.  The yachts in IRC Class 4 and the classic yacht Nordwind have a 400 mile head start.  Star of the show in the leading pack is the McCurdy and Rhodes 48, Carina, skippered by Rives Potts, Jr. (Essex, Conn.).  Carina is the closest yacht to The Lizard finish – albeit with 2360 miles to go to finish this epic race.

Sponsors of the TR 2011 are Rolex, Thomson Reuters, Newport Shipyard, Perini Navi and Peters & May, with additional support by apparel sponsor Atlantis Weathergear.

Gunboat 66 catamaran

Gunboat 66 catamaran

Gunboat 66

Gunboat 66