There were no surprises in the finishes posted by the 17 Twelves who completed only a single race today at the 2009 12 Metre World Championship. After sailing out to the old America’s Cup racecourse off Brenton Point, the wind speed took a nosedive as it changed direction from WSW to NNW, leaving the competitors drifting for close to two hours. With one race completed, the four divisions were given a combined start for the Candy Store Cup, sending them on a course back into Newport Harbor to the finish line at Bannister’s Wharf. The wind, however, continued to be uncooperative and the race was abandoned when the Twelves were unable to make the time limit for the race.
Yesterday, racing in the Modern division was quite contentious, with the outcome of numerous protests resulting in Challenge 12 and Courageous each picking up a DSQ when the jury decisions did not go in their favor and causing a complete shake up in the results for that division. Unscathed by the protests, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.) at the helm of Victory ’83 is reaping the benefit of having assembled a crew that includes several who have sailed together for close to 30 years, including Heart of America veterans Wally Henry (San Diego, Calif.) and Jim Gretzky (Storrs, Conn.), along with three father and son pairs – Jerry and Rome Kirby, Bill and Randy Shore (all Newport, R.I.) and Larry and Matt Mialik (both Madison, Wisc.), making for a well-oiled effort as evidenced by the 1-1-2 they posted on day one.
Peter Stalkus (Newport, R.I.), navigator aboard Victory ’83, has the distinction of having been navigator with four America’s Cup campaigns (’80 Clipper, ’83 Defender, ’87 USA 61 and ’97 Young America). His take on Victory ‘83’s impressive performance here is that Dennis Williams, its owner, has been meticulous in his approach. “The boat is well prepared and it shows,” said Stalkus after the team picked up their third win in four races. “It has good speed and we’ve practiced ahead of time.”
While the fallout from the protest decisions catapulted Intrepid from fifth into second and Freedom from fourth to third, today’s result did not do much to help either. Intrepid added a fifth-place finish today and dropped back to fourth overall, while the Freedom’s fourth-place finish held them in place. For Courageous, who had slipped from third to fourth overall after the protest, their second-place finish today moved them up to second overall. Challenge 12, dropping from second place to fifth after the protest results, was third in today’s race and did not move in the overall standings.
Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), on Kiwi Magic, leads the Grand Prix division, while tied on points – six each – with Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) on Wright on White. In the Traditional division, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.) on Weatherly leads with six points, three ahead of American Eagle being driven by Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.). Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.) on Northern Light is leading by one point over Gleam, driven by Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), in the Vintage division.
Images By George Bekris
(click on image to enlarge)
Legends Forums – The Legends Forums are a unique sidebar to the 2009 12 Metre Worlds, bringing together the biggest names of the America’s Cup 12 Metre era for question-and-answer sessions moderated by Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.), who won the America’s Cup with Ted Turner in 1977 and went on to become the voice of sailing for television. Held after racing each day dockside at Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves, with a finale forum planned for Sunday, as well, at the awards ceremony at Harbour Court, the forums are designed to include representation from a varied – and knowledgeable – group of personalities in the categories of Syndicate Representative, Crew, Design, Journalist and Other Notables. On opening day, the panel included Skip Lissiman (AUS), Gianfranco Alberini (ITA), Russell Coutts (NZL), and Americans Charlie Hovey, Harry Anderson, Dave Pedrick, Andy MacGowan, Bill Koch and Dick Enerson. The questions ran the gamut from “Who was the best 12 Metre skipper?” (all of them who won, it was decided in consensus) and “What was the best Twelve ever?” (Intrepid for being the biggest departure, changing all future designs) to “What will win the next America’s Cup, a trimaran or a catamaran?” (that one was a toss-up). Clearly, the audience was enjoying the up close-and-personal encounter, and they lingered to talk about the exchanges long after the luminaries had left, some even discussing what questions would be best to ask a different group tonight.
Racing resumes tomorrow, Friday, September 25, and concludes Saturday, September 26.
2009 12 Metre Worlds Results for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009
Place, Boat Name-Sail Number, Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points
Division I – Grand Prix
1. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1-1, 6
2. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2-2, 6
3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3-3, 12
4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-DNF-4, 17
Division 2 – Modern
1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2-1, 5
2. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 3-2-DSQ-2, 13
3. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 4- 5-1-4, 14
2. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 2-3-4-5, 14
5. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), DSQ-4-3-3, 16
Division 3 – Traditional
1. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1-2, 6
2. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), 4-2-2-1, 9
3. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3-3, 10
4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4-4, 15
5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-DNS-5, 21
Division 4 – Vintage
1. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1-2, 6
2. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), 3-1-2-1, 7
3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-DNF-DNS-3, 13
(click on image below to view gallery)
Athena, the 295′ Huisman yacht and this year’s race committee boat, was even hard to make out in the foggy start conditions on Saturday for the first race start . Soon after the start the sea breezes kicked in and blew the fog out leaving a beautiful New England summer day. The breeze held for the afternoon at around 20kts. The 19 boat Bucket Regatta fleet flew around the course in the ideal conditions.
Timoneer, the 147′ DuBois/Vitters Ketch, dominated the day. Her seasoned crew racing flawlessly and furnishing first by 5 minutes. The new Perini Navi Performance 125′ Sloop, P2, came in second.
The two J Class yacht entries Ranger and the newly launched Hanuman (Endeavour II) were reminiscent of the old America’s Cup days with their beautiful long lines. The New Hanuman took third place after a close contest between the two boats. They beat Ranger ,who placed fourth, by only 38 seconds. Avalon finished fifth, followed 13 seconds later by the Swan 100, Virago in 6th, and the Swan 80, Selene 36 seconds later in 7th.
(click on images to enlarge)
Broken down into classes the results were: Les Gazelles des Mers (Racing Division), P2 finished first, Hanuman second, with Ranger in third place. Among Les Grandes Dames des Mers (Cruising Division), Timoneer is in first place, Avalon in second and Taza Mas in third place.
It was hard to tell which boat team won the party following the race. Clearly a great time was had by all the crews.
In another Bucket first, the 156′ Pendennis Shipyards, MITSEAAH, engineered to power at over twenty knots and sail with respectable performance, was challenged on day one in keeping up with the racing yachts on the upwind leg. Respecting the fact that the Bucket is also here to showcase the best attributes of each yacht while cultivating good racing, MITSEAAH was invited to start the race under full power, then execute a high speed 360 degree turn and roar off to the windward mark, where she re-converted to a sailing yacht, shut down the power and got into the race! Her left-field handicap worked well too; she crossed the finish line in fifth position.
Sunday’s racing started out with Mitseeah blasting across the start line at 20 kts without a bit of sail up.
The racing started out with light wind but sea breezes filled in during the afternoon. Summer Wind placed first, followed by Taza Mas in second , Sea Diamond took third for Sundays racing.
Jerry Kirby must not have gotten enough sailing time in during the Volvo Ocean Race. He was onboard Hanuman as Bowman.
These awards, first through third, are presented for the best performance overall for combined results, all classes, all races
Les Gazelles (Racing Class)
3rd Wild Horses
Les Grand Dames (Cruising Class)
2nd Taza Mas
All Star Crew Award presented by Holland Jachtbouw
(also presented by The Yacht Report and Crew Report Magazines)
At each Bucket Event, every yacht is asked to cast a ballot for the yacht crew among the fleet that demonstrates the most professional service in all tasks, while maintaining the best voie de vivre, camaraderie, teamwork and respect among the crew. This is the crew that displays the pinnacle of the profession and has the most fun at it – the yacht that everyone wants to work aboard. Because the award is earned by peer recognition, it has earned serious stature within the marine industry.
Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy
The Vitters Seamanship Trophy is awarded to the yacht that demonstrates the best seamanship and sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course. All participants in the Bucket acknowledge that superyachts have serious limitations operating safely in close quarters and therefore, the RC has always valued safety well above performance. This award will recognize the yacht that best demonstrates that understanding. It also goes to prove that nice guys don’t always finish last!!
The Chippewa Bomb
The South China Sea became an obstacle course on day three with shoals and debris ever-present on the passage to Qingdao. Dodging and weaving is de rigueur for the navigators.
This leg was billed as a step into the unknown and Telefonica Blue’s Simon Fisher underlined the fact when he spoke of the booby traps confronting the fleet in an email this afternoon.
”It is a little stressful as we had to weave our way through some nasty shoals,” he said. “I think it probably made it worse that I had taken the time to read the Admiralty Sailing Directions which described them as both ‘badly charted’ and ‘possibly in error by many miles’.
“Giving lots of distance away to take the easy way round wasn’t really an option after fighting for every inch, so as a result it was a nervous few minutes as we passed through the worst of it watching the depth sounder drop to just a few metres several times over.
“Having escaped unscathed, hopefully, our more northerly path through as compared to our rivals, has set us in good stead.”
Ericsson 3 navigator Aksel Magdahl was struggling to see the wood for the trees. “At the moment we are making a slalom turn every now and then to avoid huge logs floating in the water. Apparently they float down the rivers in Sabah, Borneo, and some of them end up out here.”
Meanwhile, for Green Dragon, yet more obstacles. “Right now the wind is down and we are preparing to thread our way through a thousand reefs,” reported skipper Ian Walker. “This is definitely the calm before the impending storm.”
For now conditions are benign as the fleet continues upwind in 10-12 knots and moderate seas. They are lurking in a transition zone, eyeing an anticipated wind shift and an option for tacking onto starboard.
A glance at our 2D race viewer, shows the pack separated by 21 nautical miles from first to last and less than 10 miles across a north/south divide.
By the 16:00 GMT Position Report, PUMA led the way with Ericsson 4, to the south, second at +2 miles Distance To Leader and Telefonica Blue (+4) in third.
In close company were Telefonica Black and Ericsson 3 (tied on +16), Green Dragon (+17), the furthest north, and Delta Lloyd (+21).
Topical as ever on Inauguration Day, PUMA’s, Rick Deppe delivered his own state of the nation address from the South China Sea.