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Artemis Racing is preparing its two AC45s

Cayard's Update

Artemis Racing is preparing its two AC45s for an upcoming training session in Valencia. In November, we bought a second AC45 in order to create a competitive environment in-house. The two AC45s will enable us to train in the same manner as Oracle Racing currently trains, and as will Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) and Luna Rossa later this month. We will have our complete sailing team and coaching staff on site by the end of January. The America's Cup World Series resumes in April in Italy.

At the same time, our first AC72 is well underway in Sweden, the culmination of many months of research by Juan K and his talented team.

Over the holidays, there was a lot of activity with the Jury. Most importantly, the Jury ruled on the collaboration agreement between ETNZ and Luna Rossa. The ruling, which was in response to questions raised by Oracle Racing, maintains some significant limits on the Kiwi agreement.

Terry Hutchinson and some of the Artemis Racing crew have just returned from Key West Race Week. They were racing with Doug DeVos on his TP52 Quantum Racing and won the their Class. I am sure it was fun for the boys to get out on a track that they know so well and mix it up with the great fleet down there.

2012 will be a defining year for the AC teams. Most of the important activities of the campaigns will take place this year. The first AC72s will launch on July 1st and each team has a limit of 30 days to spend training. It will be interesting to see the different strategies on how to use the 30 days.

Franck Cammas examines the special features of this race.

Franck Cammas |  Racing into the wind

This 3,000-mile leg between Malé (Maldives) and Sanya (China) will be very tactical: a great deal of upwind sailing, in a rather light, variable breeze, with tidal and oceanic currents, a large amount of shipping in the Straits of Malacca, some forbidden zones and some areas which aren't properly charted, boat-breaking conditions in the South China Sea and so on... Franck Cammas and Jean-Luc Nélias examine the special features of this race.

 

Franck Cammas, has the crew of Groupama 4 been able to enjoy a break whilst the boats were transported from Sharjah to Malé on a cargo ship?
"It was important to have a four-day break at this stage of the race because there won't be a lot of downtime between here and the ultimate finish: such a pause enables you to set off again fully motivated. The pace has been pretty intense since Alicante with the vagaries of the first two oceanic legs. All the rest phases have been shortened and this break has given us the chance to recharge our batteries."

This second part of leg three promises to be tricky on the water!

"It's a special leg because we'll essentially be sailing into the wind in light airs, which are conditions we won't necessarily have for the rest of the race. We'll rarely sail below 80° to the wind... The first section promises to be pretty direct between the Maldives and the Straits of Malacca: it's likely to involve a long port tack with little breeze and close-hauled sailing with the sheets slightly eased. Things get more complicated as we approach Sumatra, where the wind shadow from the islands will really come into play: there will be four days of speed where we'll have to choose the right angle in relation to the wind and the right sail configuration. It's sure to be a battle where we'll be in close contact and within sight of the others, which will be interesting for analysing the performances of our rivals."

Traversing the Straits of Malacca is pretty complicated...
"The second part is more random since we'll be sailing in a kind of tunnel with few options possible, but we'll have to really get a handle on the local phenomena such as the landforms, the thermal breezes and the tidal currents. We may even have to drop anchor!"

The climb up the China Sea is also very new!
"We're not used to sailing in a monsoon system, as we'll have to do over the third section of the course between Singapore and Sanya. The wind can be pretty strong as it may reach in excess of thirty knots, with a very choppy sea."

Will it be a race where the fleet remains extremely bunched together?
"There aren't really any tactical coups to be had, even though we'll have to choose sides over the end of the course along the Vietnamese coast, as the wind is likely to be coming right from where we're heading, before we end up on a starboard tack. There aren't likely to be any major options though as everyone will be trying to stick to the most direct route."

Has Groupama 4 been optimised for these specific conditions?
"Our recent results are encouraging when sailing with slightly eased sheets, but these aren't the kind of conditions which are shaping up for this next course! All the teams are still finding their feet a bit there and the close contact sailing will reveal any strengths and weaknesses. We're on an upward spiral but that's over short legs: we have yet to confirm our performance over a long course..."

So you've made some modifications to the boat?
"We're tried to play around with Groupama 4's longitudinal trim, as she's a boat which sits lower at the stern for sailing in breezy conditions with sheets eased. We also have some more powerful sails for light airs, as our boat is the stiffest under sail: we've modified our trimming so as to make gains in terms of performance in the light breeze."

A navigator's journey...

Jean-Luc Nélias, this leg is a combination of three very different phases...
"The course spans around 3,000 miles and is split into three sections: from the Maldives to Malacca, which equates to 1,300 miles of upwind sailing with eased sheets in around ten knots of breeze; then the period where we have to traverse the straight, which involves 630 miles of very variable, light winds, in a zone close to the equator and hence similar to the Doldrums, with some storms and squalls and above all some regions where there can be up to five knots of current! In addition to that there's a great deal of shipping, fishermen, objects floating in the sea, pirates and so on... We round off the leg with a climb up the South China Sea, which involves 1,200 miles of navigation in a North-Easterly monsoon, amidst islands which are poorly charted, into a general current of at least a knot which runs along the Vietnamese coast. As such there's a lot of navigation in view!"

The climb up the South China Sea will involve you sailing into a monsoon...
"The monsoon has the special characteristic that it is the only weather phenomenon that traverses the Doldrums. Right now the winter monsoon is in force which is synonymous with a North-Easterly wind generated by a large anticyclone centred over China. It's a fairly fluky breeze as it's cold air which blows across a warm sea, and as it's an omnipresent wind, that picks up very heavy seas."

When you refer to the equator, you refer to high temperatures!
"It's a leg which is essentially equatorial: as such it'll be very hot and as it's also a warm wind, and hence lighter, there's sometimes more wind at the masthead. For that reason we'll have to recalibrate the electronics and tinker around with the performance polars. Added to that there will always be six crew down below, which will make it like a good old boiler! Of course in the China Sea, it won't be possible to get air running through the boat, and there will be very little shade on deck... Conditions will be pretty hard to bear then, especially as we won't be sailing very fast! The final beat won't be very comfortable either."

Is the crew of Groupama 4 well prepared for this particular leg?
"We're feeling pretty confident: the boat is making better headway in the light airs, but the race will be about making small gains, as there are no major weather options to enable you to get away from the fleet. It's more about tactics, where you have to back a horse both ways to minimise the risks, and in the Straits of Malacca there will be some tricky sections. However, there's been a serious preparation phase for this leg: we have Jean-Yves Bernot's roadbook, written for the previous edition, we've carried out some statistical studies and met up with some sailors who are familiar with the area..."

 


Standing for the Abu Dhabi-Sharjah course
1-Ian Walker (Azzam) 6 points
2-Ken Read (Puma) 5 points
3-Franck Cammas (Groupama 4) 4 points
4-Iker Martinez (Telefonica) 3 points
5-Chris Nicholson (Camper) 2 points

 

Overall provisional standing after five races and the first part of the 3rd Leg

(In-Port Alicante, Alicante-Cape Town, In-Port Cape Town, Cape Town-Abu Dhabi, In-Port Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi-Sharjah)
1-Telefonica (Iker Martinez) 1+30+6+29+2+3 = 71 points
2-Camper (Chris Nicholson) 4+25+5+24+4+2 = 64 points
3-Groupama 4 (Franck Cammas) 2+20+2+18+5+4 = 51 points
4-Puma (Ken Read) 5+0+4+19+3+5 = 36 points
5-Abu Dhabi (Ian Walker) 6+0+3+10+6+6 = 31 points
6-Sanya (Mike Sanderson) 3+0+1+racing... = 4 points

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Jules Verne Trophy

Maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V takes possession of the Jules Verne Trophy

The fourteen sailors aboard the Maxi trimaran Banque Populaire V just entered history of offshore racing by becoming the fastest men around the globe with crew, after 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds of sailing*. Loïck Peyron and his crew improved the reference time of the Jules Verne Trophy held by Groupama 3 since March 2010 by 2 days 18 hours 1 minute and 59 seconds.

 

Historical record for Banque Populaire !
Departed on November 22nd at 09:31:42 Paris time (08:31:42 GMT), after having crossed the imaginary line between Ushant (Finistère-France) and Lizard Point (southern tip of England), the Maxi Banque Populaire V crossed the finish line of the Jules Verne Trophy at 23:14:35 Paris time (22:14:35 GMT) this Friday. She undertook this sailing around the world in 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds days at an average speed of 26.51 knots, covering a total distance of 29 002 miles.

Launched in August 2008 in Lorient (Morbihan-France),the giant trimaran holding the colours of Banque Populaire has also established several referenced time on various partials officially listed by the WSSRC for her first world tour:
Equator / Equator record in 32 days, 11 hours, 51 minutes and 30 seconds
Indian Ocean crossing record (Cape Agulhas / South of Tasmania) in 8 days 7 hours 22 minutes and 15 seconds

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Under the leadership of the skipper Loïck Peyron, Thierry Chabagny, Florent Chastel, Thierry Duprey du Vorsent, Kevin Escoffier, Emmanuel Le Borgne, Frédéric Le Peutrec, Jean-Baptiste Le Vaillant, Ronan Lucas, Pierre-Yves Moreau, Yvan Ravussin, Xavier Revil, Brian Thompson, Juan Vila and onshore router Marcel van Triest, are the new holders of the Jules Verne Trophy*.

Loïck Peyron, skipper of the Maxi Banque Populaire V : The feeling from the guys onboard : Emotion and Happiness ! We have filled a good part of the contract! We will now appreciate our victory between us and will return in Brest tomorrow morning to share this beautiful story with everyone. Our memories are full of wonderful images: the departure, icebergs, albatrosses, the Kerguelen Islands... When you sail around the world in 45 days, you see many things. The only one we did not get is Cape Horn but this frustration is quickly forgotten with the record we now have in hands. We are very proud !

Brian Thompson : "Everyone is really excited on board and we are looking forward to seeing everybody tomorrow morning. This has been an incredible trip around the planet, almost a dream ride. And that is because of the quality of the boat, of the preparation and most of all to the incredible crew on board. I am very fortunate to have sailed with Loïck, the best all round multihull sailor there is, and the rest of the team that are so talented, industrious, dedicated, fun and welcoming to an English guy with schoolboy French! It feels absolutely fantastic. At the same time, to become the first Briton to sail around the world non-stop 4 times, is just amazing and feels very special"

JULES VERNE TROPHY
Start date and time : November 22nd 2011 at 09:31:42 Paris time (08:31:42 GMT)
Arrival date and time at Ushant: January 6th 2012 at 23:14:35 Paris time (22:14:35 GMT)
Distance: 29 002 miles
Average speed : 26.51 knots
New reference time on the Jules Verne Trophy* : 45 days 13 hours 42 minutes 53 seconds
Time difference with Groupama 3's record in 2010: 2 days 18 hours 1 minute and 59 seconds
* Under the WSSRC approval (World Sailing Speed Record Council).

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Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

At 1640 local time (0540 UTC) the leading maxi boats in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race were just over half way across Bass Strait, having spent the day making reasonable progress in southwesterly winds that have been slowly dropping off from the 30 knots they saw last night and into this morning.

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