Miami Sailing Week

Conditions were near perfect as 51 teams of Star sailors headed out on Biscayne Bay for the first day of racing in the 85th BACARDI Cup.

Headlining BACARDI Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank, the Stars will race alone through Thursday, March 8, after which they will be joined by the Viper 640, Audi Melges 20, Melges 24 and J/80 classes. Racing will conclude for all classes on Saturday, March 10.

The Star class has only one race scheduled each day and today's series opener took place under cloudy skies with a northerly breeze in the mid teens. The Austrian team of five-time Olympian Hans Spitzauer, sailing with Gerd Habermueller, who had raced in Miami during the Rolex Miami OCR in late January, determined that they wanted to be on the right side of the course today. As the scoreboard attests, it proved to be a good move right from the start.

"Excellent day of sailing due to the winds, just perfect for the first day of this Bacardi Cup anniversary event!," said a very happy Spitzauer after racing today. "We made a really good choice, and extended to take the lead. Today was a really good race for us, we had a great lead, we were pushed by others but today was our day."

Finishing second were 2011 US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) members Andrew Campbell (San Diego, Calif.) and Ian Coleman (Annapolis, Md.), who finished 14th at the Star World Championship in Australia this past December. Third across the line was the Ukranian team of Arthur Anosov and Vitali Kushnir, followed by 2006 Etchells World Champion and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jud Smith (Marblehead, Mass.) who is racing with Brian Fatih (Miami, Fla.). Fatih, a member of the 2012 USSTAG, will represent the U.S.A. at the 2012 Olympic Regatta in England as crew for Mark Mendelblatt.

During the event sailors can enjoy the hospitality lounge, BACARDI Rum tastings, as well as the daily prize giving for the top-three finishers, plus the final awards dinner. The work of Rhode Island-based award-winning nautical photographer Onne van der Wal will be on exhibit in the North Hall of the Coconut Grove Convention Center, along with "150 Years of BACARDI," a collection of information, photos and artifacts from the BACARDI museum. The exhibits will be open to the public from noon to 7:00PM daily and are free of charge. The prestigious Coral Reef Yacht Club is coordinating on-water activities in collaboration with Biscayne Bay Yacht Club and Coconut Grove Sailing Club. The U.S. Sailing Center and Shake-A-Leg Miami are also supporting the event. Racing will be held on three separate courses approximately two miles out on Biscayne Bay.

Full results, photos and additional information on the 85th BACARDI Cup and BACARDI Miami Sailing Week is available at www.MiamiSailingWeek.com and www.BacardiCup.com.


North wind blows on the Primo Cup

Strong breezes and bright sunshine marked the first weekend of the 28th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, which saw five very competitive series racing from Friday to Sunday: Dragon, Surprise, J24, Star and Platu 25

Sixty-five international teams from all over Europe faced tough conditions, with winds up to 30 knots from the north-east to south-west, providing an excellent early start to the regatta season in demanding rather wintery conditions. "I take my hat off to all the participants, some of whom braved traffic problems caused by the wintery weather to get here, and while it was a bit chilly this year there was sunshine and wind in the bay of Monaco," said a delighted Thierry Leret, Race Committee President, at the prize-giving when all the winning crews are presented with SLAM clothing and a pair of waterproof binoculars with compass from Bernard Optic.






No fewer than six races were held for the one-designs, still the best format for the most seasoned sailors when it comes to competing on a level playing field. Apart from the Platu 25 class, dominated by the German Jens Ahlgrimm (Grün-Farrbarz) who raced to six easy victories, the other four series went to the wire with the overall winner being decided in the final race. Dragons: Russian domination The three Russian crews put on a great show throughout the weekend in this very international series where nine nations were represented.

These were delicate conditions for the Dragons with their slender hulls. It took three races before Primo Cup newcomer Dmitry Samokhin and his crew on Strange Little Girl adapted to the vagaries of Monaco sea conditions. The Pirogovo Yacht Club member won the last three races just ahead of his two compatriots, the Muscovite Anatoly Loginov (Annapurna), who was still leading the class at the end of the fifth race ahead of Victor Fogelson (Sunflower). Surprise: duel right up to the final few metres In the best represented series, with 23 boats on the water, the majority coming from Switzerland, an overall winner did not emerge until the final race. A Société Nautique de Genève member, CER 3 Aprotec was third in the fifth race and crossed the line one little point ahead of his compatriots in Mirabaud 1 and CER2 Geneve Airport, both equal on points and in the vanguard throughout the weekend. Having led the fleet at the end of the second day, Olympic were not able to pull it off on the last day. "The very changeable wind conditions we had today took us quite by surprise. It's a pity as we so wanted to get a better result for our sponsor, ERI, who is very involved in the Primo Cup organisation," said a disappointed Gastone Farolfi.

J24: sights set on the J24 European Championship in Monaco in 2013 With several series dominated by the "northerners" it was good to see the "southerners" clinch victory in the J24s. The crew from St Andrews Securities, with François Brenac as tactitian, fought off the attacks by the Swede Marianne Schoke and her team on Julia. "I've been competing regularly in the Primo Cup for the last seven or eight years with members of the Yacht Club de Monaco. The Primo is a fantastic event to kick-start the season and prepare for the big regattas later in the year. And I am delighted to learn that Monaco will be hosting the J24 European Championship from 6 to 12 October 2013," said Marianne, who is also president of the European Class Association. Topo Too, helmed by Claude Rodelato, finished third but the skipper was very satisfied with the result. He had a totally new team who came together specially for the Primo, as his brother Jean and Blandine Medecin are currently among the leaders of the Transquadra double-handed transatlantic between Cascais (Portugal) and Le Marin (Martinique). Star: neck and neck in the Olympic class The Stars were back in the Primo Cup after a four-year absence, with victory at the finish going to Filippo Orlando (Acciuga) in the last race having been tied on points and victories with the Swiss Urs Infanger (Kalafati).

The Stars were very comfortable today, even overtaking the Dragons who had started five minutes earlier. Only a few seconds separated the first from the last on the finish line. All eyes on the second week-end A very high standard of competition is expected for the second weekend of the 28th Primo Cup – Trophée Credit Suisse, with four other series due to take part, namely 13 Longtze Premiers, 11 Smeralda 888s, 7 Esse 850s and more than 20 IRC cruisers coming to race for the first time in the Principality. The dates have already been announced for the 29th edition: 1-3 and 8-10 February 2013.

Final rankings
Dragon after 6 races (5 counted) (13 registered)
1 – Dmitry Samokhin, Strange Little Girl, Russia, 8pts
2 – Anatoly Loginov, Annapurna, Russia, 9pts
3 – Victor Fogelson, Sunflower, Russia, 12pts

Groupe J24 after 6 races (5 counted) (20 registered)
1 – St Andrews Securities, Monaco, 8pts
2 – Mariane Schoke, Julia, Sweden, 11pts
3 – Claude Rodelato, Topo Too, Monaco, 12pts

Groupe Surprise after 6 races (5 counted) (23 registered)
1 – Alexa Bezel, CER 3 Aprotec, Switzerland, 14pts
2 – Arnaud Psarofaguis, Mirabaud 1, Switzerland, 15pts
3 – Jérome Clerc, CER 2 Genève Airport, Switzerland, 15pts

Groupe Star after 6 races (5 counted) (8 registered)
1 – Filippo Orlando, Acciuga, Monaco, 7pts
2 – Urs Infanger, Kalafati, Switzerland, 7pts
3 – Mario Orlando, Filance, Monaco, 16pts

Groupe Platu 25 after 6 races (5 counted) (7 registered)
1 – Jens Ahlgrimm, Grun - Farrbarz, Germany, 5pts
2 – Sébastien Sturm, Gamberro, Germany, 11pts
3 – Ulivier Ryhner, Le Cactus, Switzerland, 24pts

photo: Carlo Borlenghi

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.

London 2012 Olympic Games

ISAF Launch London 2012 Olympic Games Website

With 177 days until the London 2012 Olympic Games, the International Sailing Federation has launched their Olympic website.

The website will be the home of Olympic Sailing during London 2012 with all the information, stories, results and multimedia that teams and spectators will need.

As Member National Authorities start to name their sailors for London 2012, the ISAF Olympic Games website will be the one stop shop to find out who has been selected to sail for their nation at Weymouth and Portland, Great Britain.

Tim Sewell, ISAF Head of Marketing, said, "With some exciting feature pieces and sailor profiling lined up in the build up to the Olympic Games, the new website will provide all the latest and relevant content relating to the Olympic Sailing Competition."

Alongside the multimedia and qualification material all the relevant documents, equipment information, general information, historical data and more are available.

Click here to view the new website.

London 2012 Games Olympic Sailing Competition

The London 2012 Olympic Games Sailing Competition will take place at the Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy and Portland Marina, located in Dorset on the South Coast of England and will feature 380 athletes competing across 10 events.

Racing is scheduled to take place from 29 July to 11 August.

At the 2012 Games sailing will introduce women's match racing for the first time. The racing format will be a single round-robin, quarter finals, semi-finals and then the finals. The nine fleet racing events will all sail an opening series before the top ten in each event contest a double-points Medal Race to decide the final positions. The Medal Races have a target time of approximately 30 minutes and will take place close to the shore at the Nothe to allow spectators ashore to get close up to the action.

2012 London Olympic Games Website - www.london2012.com

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


European Yacht Awards

Each year Europe's best in the boating industry are rewarded with the "Oscars of watersports": The international "European Yacht of the year 2012" award is being presented in 4 categories. The jury consists of editors-in-chief and yacht test conductors of Europe's top eighteen Sailing- and motoryacht-magazines. Traditionally the awards are presented during boot Düsseldorf at the industry meeting of Delius Klasing publishing house and the trade fair Düsseldorf. This year, publisher Konrad Delius and director of boot Goetz-Ulf Jungmichel welcomed about 400 guests from the European Watersport industry to the award presentation.


Every year up to 100 new sailing boats emerge on the European market, but only four yards are being honored with the "European yacht of the year" award. "This year's tests in Ijmuiden/Holland and Barcelona were characterized by a lot of wind. During the boat tests, storms of up to 50 knots hit the North Sea, resulting in waves up to four meters high. And over the Catalanian coast, winds blew with up to 6 Beaufort, creating a chaotic sea. There had never been such winds at the test dates before, a real endurance test for the boats, that all of them mastered well, some even exceptional.", says Jochen Rieker, editor-in-chief of YACHT. "In general, more emphasis was put on sailing performance. Not just the winners but every yacht we tested was fun to sail. Furthermore, there is a very consequent development in several directions, such as comfort in the category of family-cruisers, or speed and fun in the category of performance-cruisers and special-yachts. All in all it was a great year", Rieker resumes.

"European Yacht of the Year" in the category of Family Cruiser went to: Oceanis 45 (Bénéteau)

Bénéteau Oceanis 45
Dufour 445 Grand'Large
Elan 210
Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 379
RM 1060.

"European Yacht of the Year" in the category of Luxury Cruiser went to:
Oyster 625 (Oyster Marine)

Amel 64
Bénéteau Sense 50
Bestewind 50
Hallberg-Rassy 64
Oyster 625.

"European Yacht of the Year" in the category of Performance Cruiser went to:
Pogo 12.50 (Pogo-Structures)

Dehler 41
Grand Soleil 50
J 111
Pogo 12.50

European Yacht of the Year" in the category of Special Yachts went to:
Esse 750 (Josef Schuchters Sportboot AG)

Dinamica RS 940
Eagle 44
Esse 750
Keus 22
Tarac 33

Source: Delius Klasing



Rolex Fastnet Race: Records set to Fall

Edition 46 of the Rolex Fastnet Race commences in a month’s time. In the year...