Etienne Bourgois provides an up-date on the Tara Oceans Expedition: the program for the coming months before the return to Lorient, the missions and future of Tara.
The 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was notable for an unexpected winner of the coveted line honours trophy, a worthy overall winner and a slow passage home for the smaller boats.
ORC RULES now available
The Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) announces its 2012 rules are now available for download online at www.orc.org/rules.htm. These rules include the International Measurement System (IMS), the ORC Rating Rules (ORC International and ORC Club), the “Green Book” of ORC Championship Rules, GP Class Rules, the ORC Speed Guide, and ORC Stability and Hydrostatic Datasheet.
The ORC VPP Documentation will be updated in early 2012 once the final version of the 2012 VPP is beta-tested fully and ready for release by the International Technical Committee (ITC), and the Offshore Special Regulations for safety are also revised and available from the International Sailing Federation at www.sailing.org/37605.php.
Except for some areas of the Southern Hemisphere such as Australia, Argentina and Brazil, these rules go into effect after 1 January 2012.
“We’re very pleased that the ORC staff have once again finished their revisions taken from the Annual General Meeting of the Congress last month to make these rules available by the first of the year,” said Bruno Finzi, Chairman of ORC. “These rules not only represent the 40 years of accumulated experience at ORC, but they also show through the submission process how we can help the system evolve to be most accurate and relevant for the modern offshore sailor.”
Changes to the VPP in the 2012 Rules include the following:
- * New hydrodynamic treatments to address longitudinal crew weight positions, better calculations of L for manual single rudders, an output available for ‘light ship’ trim, and a better routine to treat declared displacements for ORC Club certificates;
- * Better treatment of the shape function to evaluate spinnaker heights, and a new twist function for depowering jibs;
- * A revised Dynamic Allowance reducing its effect on non-cruising boats;
- * A new formulation for the offshore single-number scoring coefficients;
- * Removal of anchor and chain weight gyradius credit;
- * Windward/Leeward courses are calculated now without wind averaging.
Changes to the IMS include:
- *Boats over 24 m in length may be measured with onboard equipment required for IMS but impractical for removal for measurement, with adjustments to freeboards and inclinations of about 1 degree allowed, subject to approval and verification by the Chief Measurer
- * Updated definitions have been made of rigging features such as Inner Forestay, Fiber rigging, Mainsail furler, and Genoa furler;
- * A clarification is made to prevent headsails and mainsails to be made with top girths greater than lower girths;
- * Use of LCF is introduced for the position of the two poles in the inclining test.
Changes to ORC Rating Systems include:
- * Spinnakers and Code 0’s may not be attached to the headstay;
- * Use of spinnakers and jibs on poles is clarified;
- * The definition of GPH is now used solely for reference purposes, not scoring.
Changes to the Green Book include:
- * New standards needed to host ORC championship events, with a new Checklist to use for guidelines;
- * New guidelines offered for Owner/Driver Trophies;
- * New offshore race scoring options to include one long offshore race having a 1.5 points score weighting, which includes a short offshore race of 1.0 points weighting; or two separate offshore races scored as 1.0 points each;
- * Measurement inspections will be conducted during events, with emphasis given to well-placed boats in the results.
The accumulated effect of these rule changes is minor – less than 0.5% on the ratings of most of the 2000 boats in the ORC test fleet – but they seek to further refine the accuracy of the rating system’s use worldwide. In 2011 nearly 8000 ORC International and ORC Club certificates were issued by rating authorities in 35 countries.
New and revised rules are indicated by margin bars in each rules documents, and a complete summary of the changes can be found at www.orc.org/minutes/AGM%
For more information on ORC news, events, local Rating Offices and ORC Sailor Services, visit the ORC website at www.orc.org.
MAXI-BOAT MATCH RACE
Wild Oats XI’s position as the fastest boat in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was being severely tested last night when at the 20:00 sched (local time, 09:00 UTC), Anthony Bell’s maxi Investec Loyal overhauled the five time line honours winner.
Crossing the Bass Strait yesterday Investec Loyal’s track south was some 20-30 miles east of Wild Oats XI’s. But early evening, when the wind backed from the southwest into the southeast, both boats tacked southwest, Loyal getting the better of the shift, aggressively bearing away towards her opponent. Making 14 knots compared to Wild Oats XI’s 9 knots, within an hour Investec Loyal had pulled ahead by 6 miles.
Overnight the lead duo in the Rolex Sydney Hobart have continued to round the northwest quadrant of an area of high pressure that, since yesterday, has been shifting east out into the Tasman Sea. With the wind continuing to back into the northeast so the duo at around 01:00 local time this morning on this occasion gybed southwest, allowing them to close on the east coast of Tasmania.
Ian ‘Fresh’ Burns, co-navigator on line honours leader Wild Oats XI reported this afternoon there being 10-15 knots of wind from the southwest and this was allowing them to point “around 20 degrees low” of the Tasman Light (marking the entrance to Storm Bay still some 250 miles away). As a result they were further east than they might otherwise be. “It has been pretty good so far. We haven’t been becalmed or even slowed down. This is pretty much the lightest wind we have seen so far this trip.”
However Burns added that they were preparing for a most difficult night ahead. “It is going to be really really tough because we have a patch of light wind to fight our way through to get to the Tasmanian coast.” This is likely to involve a hitch west, which will happen if, as forecast, the wind backs into the southeast. Burns says they will then be aiming for a narrow band of favourable northerlies off the Tasman coast. Alas, there is one problem. “Between us and them there is a large 50-60 mile wide stretch of no wind and how we negotiate that and how that moves is really going to decide what we get.”
In addition to this since leaving Sydney Harbour yesterday Wild Oats XI has had a constant thorn in her side in the form of Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal maxi. Over the course of today Loyal has dropped back to being 18 miles astern (in terms of distance to finish) but this is because she has been heading further east, with around 20 miles west-east split between the two yacht’s tracks this afternoon.
“It is going to be really difficult,” continued Burns. “Knowing the guys on Loyal as well as we do - Stan Honey and Michael Coxon - we know they will be throwing everything at us if it goes light, because when you are leading and the wind stops, the boat behind has a bunch of options to go around either side. I can see those guys plotting and scheming all evening to put us in a tough spot, but we will all be working our absolute hardest to keep things going. The guys are right now all concentrating on getting some rest while the boat is sailing along nicely to make sure we are in good shape tonight to throw everything at them that we need to.”
Tonight will be a lottery, or “nervous times” as Burns puts it. A couple of knots of difference in wind strength with a maxi can mean the difference of stuck at 0 knots or making 5 knots. Burns anticipates their arrival in Hobart tomorrow night before sunset, however if tonight does not go well then it could be Thursday morning, in which case Wild Oats XI’s seventh Rolex Sydney Hobart could also be her slowest ever.
Preparing for Bass Strait
Meanwhile the bulk of the fleet, from the 52 footers back, have spent the afternoon tight into the New South Wales coast. This is to enable them to set out into the powerful southwesterlies as they embark on their crossing of Bass Straight tonight, on the best possible course.
“Right now we have got about 16-18 knots and we are close reaching, with the no2 and full main, approaching Gabo Island, about another 40 miles from here,” reported Dirk Johnson, navigator on Rives Potts’ 1969-built Carina. “We have a number of boats around us, all paralleling each other, waiting for the southwesterly breeze to come around the corner.”
According to Johnson, last night was bumpy, but in terms of wind strength he doesn’t remember seeing more than 29 knots. “It was a little uncomfortable. There were some bigger waves than we are used to seeing, but everyone did good and we held on and we had a good night.”
Johnson was looking forward to getting into the favourable current offshore tonight, but anticipated the wind generally getting lighter while a large meteorological question mark hangs over the rest of the race. As he states: “The situation changes dramatically from day to night and depending on where you cross the Strait, at different points on the Strait you can have different conditions. We are ready for everything I guess.”
While earlier the maxis were leading under IRC, as they have slowed so the smaller boats have pulled up the handicap standings. With Carina – which just four and a half months ago on the opposite side of the world, won her class in the Rolex Fastnet Race - up to third, so Roger Hickman’s 1985 Farr 43 Wild Rose is back in front again, from Stephen Ainsworth’s much tipped Reichel Pugh 62, Loki in second. The Beneteau 40 footers - Lunchtime Legend, Balance, Two True and Victoire - currently just north of Eden this afternoon, remain in the top 10.
Fans of 18 year old Australian solo round the world sailor Jessica Watson will also be pleased to hear that her teenage team on Ella Bache is the top Sydney 38 under IRC (albeit fourth in class). Her crew of eight, including fellow youth solo round the world sailor, Britain’s Mike Perham, have been training for the Rolex Sydney Hobart for the last three months, a schedule that included a dry run, sailing their pink boat from Sydney to Hobart and back three weeks ago.
“We are quite excited because the forecast is similar to the forecast we had for our practice run,” says Watson, shortly before leaving yesterday. “So we’ve experienced almost those exact same conditions.”
This afternoon has seen four more retirements, leaving 81 boats still racing. The GP42 Duende pulled out after crewman Tom Wormald suffered a dislocated shoulder and was dropped ashore. Later Sam Chan’s Hong Kong-based TP52 Ffreefire 52, skippered by Anthony Day, headed back to Sydney after suffering mainsail problems. Finally Matthew Percy’s Beneteau First 44.7 Alacrity suffered rigging damage and was putting into Eden while Jonathan Stone’s Davidson 34 Illusion had hull damage and was returning to Sydney.
How To Follow Event
Further information on the Rolex Sydney Hobart may be found at www.rolexsydneyhobart.com
Björn Ingemanson new President of Volvo Penta
Björn Ingemanson, 53, has been appointed new President of Volvo Penta. Björn Ingemanson is currently President of Volvo Trucks’ International Division and will assume his new position on April 1, 2012, when he will succeed the current President Göran Gummeson, who will retire next year.
Björn Ingemanson has a long history at the Volvo Group and his past positions include CFO of Volvo Trucks and European head of the Group’s customer financing company, Volvo Financial Services. Volvo Penta’s current President Göran Gummeson, who turns 65 in February, will remain as President until March 31, 2012.
Björn Ingemansson will not be replaced in his current role since Volvo Trucks’ international division will be moved up into the new regional truck organizations in sales and marketing in conjunction with the introduction of a new organization at year-end.
Following the reorganization, Volvo Penta will remain a business area in the Volvo Group, with responsibility for development and sales of engines and drive systems for marine and industrial applications.
Green Comm Racing partners with the Region of Lombardy in its Challenge for the 34th America’s Cup
With the presence of the key Officers of the Lombardy Region, the President of the Real Club Nautico de Valencia, Manuel Pons, the President of Circolo Vela Gargnano, Lorenzo Rizzardi, Green Comm Racing and its Executive Chairman, Francesco De Leo, a major milestone was reached, by securing the institutional support of the Lombardy Region in promoting the first European Challenge for the 34th America’s Cup.
The Region of Lombardy, Italy’s industrial and technological heartland, and one of Europe’s most dynamic regions, has teamed up with Green Comm Racing to launch the first America’s Cup challenge which aims at tapping the innovation and research capabilities of two nations, Italy and Spain, by promoting a global sustainability agenda.
Green Comm Racing and the Real Club Nautico de Valencia (RCNV) have engaged with Circolo Vela Gargnano (CVG) to reinforce the ties between Italy and Spain, and promote the first European Challenge in the history of the America’s Cup.
With a budget of 54 million Euros for its 34th America’s Cup campaign, Green Comm Racing is now working on the development of the AC72 multihull, which will be launched on the waters of San Francisco at the beginning of 2013.
The new class of AC72 multi-hulls is a de-facto platform for innovation, a combination of state of the art technology, science and research. The Region of Lombardy is one of the leading innovation hubs in the world, with a tradition of technological excellence and entrepreneurship, which spans across a number of scientific domains which are keys to building up a successful America’s Cup campaign. Among them:
1. Advanced materials
2. Yacht design and construction
3. Electronic and sensors
5. Sustainability and renewable energy
Green Comm Racing is building up the youngest team ever to compete in the America’s Cup, engaging a new generation of European athletes, selected from Olympic sailing trials, tapping a new wave of young European entrepreneurs, which are bringing together breakthroughs in technology and innovation to promote sustainability across the World.
Commenting on the launch of the first ever European Challenge, which aims at tapping the best young talents in sports and technology, Francesco De Leo, Executive Chairman of Green Comm Racing, said: “We are delighted and proud to have been chosen by one of Europe’s most dynamic regions to tap and enhance the entrepreneurial spirit, the technological prowess and the athletic excellence of a new generation of Europeans.
Promoting the values of sustainability is not an issue relegated to one single country or region of the world. We are not just Italian, Spanish, or French.
We are first and foremost Europeans and we need to inspire and engage the new generation to take charge in addressing one of the most critical challenges of our times: climate change and sustainability.
The America’s Cup with its innovative format and its focus on pushing the edge of technology and innovation is the best platform and test ground for new talents and opens up the opportunity to engage a young and dynamic global audience by sharing the journey towards a more sustainable planet.
San Francisco and the Bay Area are the most iconic venues for a world class event, such as the New America’s Cup: California is The Hub for innovation in green tech and the ties to Lombardy, Valencia and Europe will be greatly enhanced by reaching out to a new generation of young entrepreneurs which are feeling at home across both sides of the Atlantic.
In the end, the New America’s Cup is not just a next generation, top class sport event: this time, more than ever, it will inspire and ignite a new wave of innovation, with an enduring impact on our progress towards a more sustainable world.
It’s time for Europe to come together to address the challenge of building on each other’s strengths, and rebuilding trust across diverse constituencies: sport can play a role, and the America’s Cup provides a great opportunity to reach out to a new generation of young Europe.