On the eve of the third running of Les Voiles de St. Barth, April 2-7, the palm-fringed port of Gustavia, St.Barthlemy quickly filled with an impressive array of race boats: ocean-racing maxis including the 90-foot Rambler and the Swan 112, Highland Breeze; classic beauties such the Olin Stephen-designed Dorade and the Fife-built yawl Mariella; a trio of IRC 52s, multi-hulls including the 66 Gunboat Phaedo, and two large racing classes with a mix of Melges, J/boats, and a mix of 40-footers, including the hot-off-the-press Carkeek 40, Decision.
Over 60 boats are registered for this years edition, up fromwith a large number of returning entries, proof that the regatta has filled the need for spirited competition towards the end of the winter season a time when tourism typically begins to wind down in the Caribbean. Though that was hard to tell yesterday, at the islands tiny airport, as the steady stream of small commuter planes landing were filled with a duffle bag-wielding collection of sailors from the ranks of the Americas Cup, round-the-world-ocean races, and Olympic competition, that included Gavin Brady (Vesper), Scott Vogel (Rambler), Bouwe Bekking (Nilaya), Cam Lewis (Paradox), Charlie McKee and Ross MacDonald (Mayhem), Tony Rey, Jeff Madrigali, and Nacho Postigo (Powerplay), and Dee Smith (Decision).
But its not just the professionals that flock to Les Voiles de St. Barth, the regattas program and mix of courses also appeals to a competitive group of amateur and family racers that hone their skills on the growing circuit of Caribbean regattas that take advantage of this sailing paradise.
While not the easiest of destinations to reach some U.S. west coast sailors logged 16+ hours in transit, while others from Europe only slightly less the island of St Barths itself is a welcome reward at the end of the road: a turquoise blue, crystal-clear sea, pristine white sand beaches, and an array of fabulous restaurants just payoff for a long days journey.
Francesco Mongelli, navigator onboard Jim Swartz IRC52 Vesper, is here racing in St Barths for the first time. The Italian sailor, who sails primarily in Europe, has been racing with the Vesper crew since last October, and was clearly keen to have touched down in this French paradise, Its a mix of all the best sailing places, together with perfect weather and good food. Having spent the afternoon in a tender carefully checking out the coastline and charted (and uncharted) rock outcroppings, Mongelli added, Its pretty similar to Porto Cervo, the difference is that there you more or less know where everything is, and the charts are accurate. You cannot take the same risk here that wed take in Porto Cervo.
Racing will run from Tuesday, April 3 Saturday, April 7 and will feature a mix of Olympic triangles, short coastal courses, and a 20-30 nautical mile round-the island race. The fleet will be split into seven classes: Maxi (> 21 meters), IRC52 (former TP52s that have been optimized for the IRC rule), Spinnaker I + II, Non-Spinnaker (racer/cruiser), Classic (vintage/traditional), and Multihull. Thursday is a layday at Nikki Beach, with lunch and a full afternoon of activities, including a paddleboard competition.
New this year, Les Voiles will offer real-time race tracking with 2D visualization via the internet. Waypoint-Tracking (www.waypoint-tracking.com) developed the system in close collaboration with ISAF. The site will allow enthusiasts to follow the daily racing action live or to replay at a later time.
Many of the competing boats are moored stern-to at the Quai General de Gaulle, site of the Race Village, where all of the daily breakfast and post-race activities and music take place. This evening, skippers and tacticians were on hand for the Skippers Briefing led by Loic Ponceau, Race Committee Chairman, and organizers Francois Tolede, Luc Poupon, and Annelisa Gee. Following that was Les Voiles St. Barth Opening Ceremony, where Bruno Magras, President of the Collectivit of St. Barth, welcomed more than 500 sailors to the weeklong event.
A regular and enthusiastic competitor in the Caribbean, Sir Peter Harrison was named the godfather or patron of this years Les Voiles. Harrison, owner of the 115-foot Farr-designed Sojana, told the crowd, As a visitor from England to this beautiful French island, one of the most beautiful in the West Indies, Im thrilled to be asked to the patron of Les Voiles. Bon vent Les Voiles de St. Barth, and good luck, everyone!
Also sailing on Sojana is Lionel Pan, who is also back for his third Les Voiles. He said, Obviously there are plenty of good reasons to be here, and to come back every year with the same enthusiasm: this place is made for sailing. In a very short time, Les Voiles de St. Barth has become the place to be, very much like Saint Tropez in the Mediterranean. And the word is spreading around. Shortly there will be a waiting list to be a part of the event!
The weather forecast for the next few days calls for light winds, though the breeze is expected to increase throughout the week. Racing is scheduled to start tomorrow, Tuesday, April 3, two miles northwest of Sugarloaf Rock off Gustavia; one race is scheduled with a start time of 12noon.
It has been a busy 24 hours at the Antigua Yacht Club. At dawn on the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, only three yachts were still at sea vying to complete the course before tonight’s Prizegiving celebrations and all of the class winners are now provisionally decided. The bar at the Antigua Yacht Club has been in full swing, buzzing with stories between the crews and songs in a myriad of different languages.
Team Selene skippered by Benjamin Davitt finished yesterday morning. The Swan 80 sailed an excellent race to claim third place overall and will lift the prestigious Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy later this evening.
Without doubt, the closest racing for this year’s event was in IRC One. Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV, was first to finish, but the team did not celebrate a class win. Buffin and his young team knew that Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem, was extremely close to eclipsing their corrected time. Just over three and half hours passed before Clem crossed the finish line to win the class by just 21 seconds on corrected time. There were ecstatic scenes dockside as the Spanish crew of Clem celebrated their class win. The entire crew of Uxorious IV including Colin Buffin sportingly applauded their rivals. Amanda Hartley spoke of their win.
“‘We had no idea until we crossed the line and turned on our phones which went crazy with people calling in from Spain. By our calculation we thought we had lost out by five minutes. We got stuck at Guadeloupe for four hours and we could only sit and watch Uxorious get away. We are obviously extremely delighted and really appreciate Colin and his team coming over to give us such a lovely welcome back to Antigua.”
Jaime Torres’ Puerto Rican First 40, Smile And Wave, finished shortly after midnight last night to claim third in IRC One.
Scarlet Logic, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron, finished the RORC Caribbean 600 shortly after 2300 last night. The Oyster 48 has been vying for the overall win for the last two days. In the end Scarlet Logic missed out, but the team had put in an incredible effort and have been rewarded with a convincing win in IRC Two. Scarlet Logic has the best corrected time in IRC One, Two and Three and as a result will be awarded the fantastic prize of a week’s accommodation at the luxurious Inn at English Harbour.
“Fantastic, elated but bloody tired,” admitted Tim Thubron, co-skipper of Scarlet Logic. The weather lined up nicely for us and we were aware that we were in with a chance of beating the big, well funded professional teams and that really spurred us on and made us push even harder. A lot of credit must go to the whole team, especially Ross Applebey. Scarlet was immaculately prepared and we hardly had a single breakage, however we did need to drop the main to replace a sail slide. The job was done and the main back up in eight minutes, that to me says it all.”
There was joy and pain for both IRC Canting Keel and the Class40s. Ernesto Cortina’s Volvo 70 Gran Jotiti finished the race in just over two days. The Spanish team is racing the yacht formerly known as Telefonica Black in the last Volvo Ocean Race. Ernesto spoke about his team shortly after finishing. “This has been a great experience, even though our result was badly affected by a lot of sail damage. Many of the sails are tired from thousands of miles of racing. However, the crew have been a joy to sail with and this race is helping us build for the future. Gran Jotiti’s aim is to create a world class amateur Spanish offshore sailing team and we have learnt a lot through this race.
Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer, showed exceptional pace and boat handling throughout. Unfortunately the American team failed to start correctly and accepted a 10% penalty from the race organisers resulting in Gran Jotiti being declared winner of IRC Canting Keel.
The Class40s turned into a battle royale between Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche and Christof Petter’s Vaquita. The two Class40s were locked in a heroic tacking duel for the final push to the finish line, a 40-mile beat from Redonda to the finish in Antigua.
Vaquita crossed the line just after sunset beating Partouche by a slender margin, just 15 minutes in a race lasting over 3 days. However, Vaquita failed to start the race correctly and to the Austrian crew’s disappointment, the class win was awarded to Partouche: “It was a tough race and we had a couple of moments that really slowed us down,” commented Christophe Coatnoan who raced two-handed with Eric Calmard. “We picked up a fishing float after Nevis without realising and we probably lost 8 miles before we knew it was there. Later at Guadeloupe, I had to dive into the water to free Partouche from yet another fishing buoy. The race was an excellent test for our new design especially for our sails as I think we used every one of them during the race.”
Vaquita’s Andreas Hanakamp commented: “Obviously we are disappointed to have been penalised but we were delighted with our performance. Partouche is a brand new Finot design, whilst Vaquita is a 2006 Akilaria. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a testing race course and a very tough race, exactly what we needed to prepare for our main competition of the season, The Atlantic Cup later this year.”
The latest competitor to finish the RORC Caribbean 600 is Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Falmouth Harbour exploded with noise as the smallest yacht in the race tied up right outside the Antigua Yacht Club. Thunderous blasts from megayachts, superyachts and foghorns literally shook the dock as the whole of the sailing community in Falmouth heralded the arrival of local hero Bernie and his crew.
“I said we would be here tonight but I always like to be early for appointments,” joked the Antiguan dentist. “It was a hard but satisfying race and the beat from Redonda to the finish seemed to take forever. We could see Antigua but it just didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, however a few miles out a massive rain squall hit and veered the wind favourably for us to speed our way to Antigua. After last year’s dismasting, I think maybe someone was looking out for us!”
Tonight the RORC Caribbean 600 Prizegiving Ceremony will take place at the Antigua Yacht Club. The two yachts still racing are Igor Zaretskiy’s, First 40.7 Coyote II and the RACYC Offshore Racing Team – White Knight’s Spirit of Venus. Both are expected to make tonight’s party, which should be a momentous occasion.
The 4th RORC Caribbean 600, starts at 1100 on Monday 20th February. There isn’t a single hotel room left near Antigua Yacht Club, as competitors fly in to the magical island of Antigua from all four corners of the world – Falmouth Harbour is filled to the brim with astounding yachts.
Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán, and George David’s RP90, Rambler, are the hot favourites for the RORC Caribbean Trophy, but the two highly impressive yachts are almost hidden in Falmouth Harbour. Rán were out practicing today and Navigator Steve Hayles reports that conditions were a bit lighter than usual, but he expects 15-20 knots of trade winds for the race with their weather routing predicting that they could finish the race in 48 hours, may be less.
RORC member, Stan Pearson has lived and sailed the sublime waters around Antigua for over 20 years. He was one of the creators of the RORC Caribbean 600 and will be racing this year on Adela, the 181′ twin masted schooner:
“I can’t remember ever seeing Nelson’s Dockyard and Falmouth Harbour with so many impressive yachts but I know why they are here; there is nowhere in the world quite like Antigua and the ’600 is a real celebration of all that the Caribbean has to offer. The sailing is just fantastic; constant trade winds, warm water and air temperature in the high 20′s provides brilliant sailing, but this is a tough race. The course has a lot of corners and there is a lot of activity for the crews. Looking at the fleet, there are going to be some great duels going on, it is going to be a very competitive race.”
For the first time, a Volvo Open 70 will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Some might suggest that the canting keel carbon fibre flyer could have been designed for this course. Ernesto Cortina’s Gran Jotiti has a highly talented Spanish crew and could well be a contender for line honours and an overall win.
IRC Zero has 16 entries and may well be the class to watch for the overall winner. George David’s Rambler 100 is the trophy holder and George David’s all-star crew will not be giving it up without a fight.
With a combined water line length that would soar 500ft above the Eiffel Tower, there are some truly amazing yachts in IRC Zero. The 214′ ketch Hetairos is an impressive sight. The crew of 36 have been out practicing all this week and on board there are enough sails to cover a full size football pitch. Sojana is expected to have a Superyacht duel with 124′ Pernini Navi, P2, owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger. Sojana was on mark laying duty today. The only laid mark of the course is the North Sails mark, off Barbuda. No doubt the crew, will be using the exercise to practice the first 45 miles of racing.
In the Spirit of Tradition class Adela will line up against Windrose. This will be the first time these magnificent yachts have raced against each other offshore, however Adela did get the better of Windrose in The Superyacht Challenge inshore regatta. A close battle with these two powerful yachts fully off the leash is a mouth-watering prospect. Past RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine and a team of 11 RORC members including current Commodore, Mike Greville, have chartered the 145ft Windrose.
The multihull record for the RORC Caribbean 600 has not been beaten since the inaugural race in 2009. The 63′ Trimaran, Paradox, skippered by Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board are out to ‘beat the current record’. The American, French and British crew members have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America’s Cup and Mini Transat.
Anders Nordquist’s Swan 90, Nefertiti, has an international crew including Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Christian Ripard from Malta. They should have a close battle with Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80, Selene, and Irish entry, RP78, Whisper.
There are a huge variety of yachts racing in IRC One, including Hound, skippered by Hound from Maine USA. The 60′ classic will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice.
Ondeck’s 40.7 Spirit of Venus is chartered to the Royal Armoured Corp Offshore Racing Team. The majority of the 11 strong crew are part of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Regiment which returned from Afghanistan last spring.
Lt Col Paul Macro RTR: “Soldiers have to work together as a team, under time pressure, when cold, wet and tired, in difficult and even dangerous conditions. The adventurous team spirit required by a successful offshore racing crew is the same as that required by the crew of a tank or any other armoured vehicle.”
There are four Class40s competing. Close duels are expected right through the fleet, but a hard fought and close encounter is expected in this class. Trade wind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class40s, with long reaches and downwind legs, these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots. Class40s from America, Austria, France and Great Britain are taking on the 600 mile Caribbean odyssey; Tim Fetch’s Icarus Racing, Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche, Andreas Hanakamp’s Vaquita and Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees, co-skippered by Hannah Jenner. The Class40s will be level-racing under their own rules. First to finish will claim the Concise Trophy; a full barrel of English Harbour rum.
IRC Two includes the smallest yacht in the fleet, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Antiguan dentist, Bernie has competed in all four RORC Caribbean 600 races, however last year, High Tension did not finish the race.
“It is definitely a case of unfinished business,” said Bernie. “We have actually used our downfall to modify the rig, so we have made something good out of the incident. Like many Antiguans, I am amazed how this race has developed since 2009, I have been sailing in the Caribbean for over 50 years and what has been really missing is a well-run, exciting offshore race. The RORC Caribbean 600 has provided that and made my dreams come true.”
Newport to host a nine-day event to run June 23 – July 1, 2012
Newport, RI was unveiled today as the final stop of the 2011-2012 AC World Series, which promises to be a dramatic finish to the first season of the new AC45 professional circuit. Designed to expose millions more people to the sport of high-performance racing, the new professional circuit was created to bring the America’s Cup experience to top international venues.
In addition to being the first American host of the high-tech AC45 wing-sailed catamarans in 2012, Newport also has the honor of seeing the first AC World Series circuit champion crowned. The highlight of each AC World Series stop is the spectacular, winner-takes-all, fleet race on final Sunday, where teams put points on the board to take the overall title, so the final race on Sunday, July 1 in Newport could be the ultimate decision maker for the AC World Series champion.
“Newport and Rhode Island have strong historical ties to the America’s Cup, dating back to 1930,” Governor Lincoln D. Chafee said. “Narragansett Bay, one of our state’s most spectacular assets, provides a perfect natural venue, and the ongoing infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams make Newport the ideal host for the final stop of the AC World Series. This exciting event will be a tremendous boost for the Rhode Island economy and continues the relationship between Newport and the America’s Cup.”
Synonymous with the name America’s Cup, the spectacular harbor of Newport, Rhode Island has played host to some of the most legendary America’s Cup battles in the competition’s 160 year-old history. Newport continues to attract the leading yachtsmen and women from around the world annually, hosting some of the world’s major sailing events on its waters. And now, the 2012 AC World Series Newport event brings the America’s Cup experience back to Newport after almost a 20-year absence.
Providing an opportunity to watch the world’s top sailors compete in the state-of-the-art AC45 wing-sailed catamarans, current plans call for holding the racing inside Newport Harbor, with the start/finish line just off the shoreline and spectator access along numerous points on the waterfront.
In addition to its world famous waters, Newport, Rhode Island is a top U.S. tourist destination for domestic and international visitors. Home to spectacular coastal scenery, awe-inspiring architecture, a thriving waterfront downtown, and welcoming hospitality, Newport is considered by many to be a shining gem in the coastal crown of New England. For those whose hearts lie in architecture, design, and history, Newport offers tours of opulent mansions, interesting museums, and a number of walking tours that reveal the Colonial and Gilded Age charm of the city.
“Newport is the cradle of the America’s Cup sailing, so we’re very pleased to bring the AC World Series to the city that first exposed the Cup to the world,” said Richard Worth, Chairman, America’s Cup Event Authority. “We are building upon that rich history through this new professional circuit to accelerate the global appeal of the America’s Cup.”
The AC World Series features tight, short racecourses designed to deliver close racing for the fans on shore as well as the online and TV audiences. The innovative regatta format includes a mix of speed trials, head-to-head match racing, and all-out fleet racing with 9 identical AC45s on the line. These events provide the fans the only opportunity to see all of the America’s Cup competitors racing together.
The forerunner to the next generation of America’s Cup boats, the AC45 wing-sailed catamaran is the official boat of the AC World Series. While capable of closing speeds over 35 mph, the AC45 remains nimble enough to handle the tight, tactical race courses planned by America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM).
The AC World Series Newport stop is the result of Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee’s leadership of interagency collaboration between the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, Department of Environmental Management and Department of Administration. The event will be supported by key public and private organizations including the City of Newport, Newport Chamber of Commerce, and the state’s hospitality, tourism, sailing and marine trades communities, as well many other organizations.
The Race: Created by the French sailor Bruno Peyron, The Race started on 31st December 2000, as a way to celebrate our arrival in the third millennium with a global ocean race. The Race was the first race around the world without limits, in other words it was open to boats without any size restrictions. The total freedom that was given to designers led to the birth of a new generation of sailboats, maxi-multihulls, now known as the G-Class.
For the first edition of The Race, the first giant multihulls ever built set out from the start in Barcelona to sail around the world via the three capes (Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn) before crossing the finish line in Marseilles.
The reference time for the race was set by the New Zealander Grant Dalton aboard the maxi-catamaran Club Med, which completed the voyage in 62 days, 56 minutes and 33 seconds.
Three times holder of the Jules Verne Trophy and creator of The Race, the non-stop crewed race around the world without outside assistance and without limits, Bruno Peyron has officially announced that he has decided to relaunch The Race. After several months of studies and some careful thinking and after consulting the main potential competitors, a second edition of the race around the world for the giant G-class boats is therefore planned for 2013-2014, starting from a port in Southern Europe.
Around ten giants
After talks with leading maxi-multihull G-class skippers, it transpires that out of the dozen giants that have so far been built, between eight and ten of them may be lining up for the start of The Race, and that is without counting any new boats, which may be built by then, in particular using moulds from the latest multihulls from the most recent generation.
The ultimate goal remains the same as when the first edition was launched: Bringing together “the ten fastest teams around the world.”
All lights are green
Bruno Peyron, who took some time to think about this before coming to a decision explains: “As I’ve been able to stand back and gain some perspective since I last took part in the Jules VerneTrophy, there are several things I noticed that led me to take this decision to relaunch The Race. First, since the recent America’s Cup that we have just seen, we can conclude that we French are no longer alone in the world of multihulls and that is excellent news. We are entering a new era.
We can see too that since The Race, 12 giant multihulls have been built, including four in the past three years. So today there are certainly enough boats of sufficient quality for us to propose this event relaunch to their skippers and partners, without counting any new multihulls, which may be built following on from this by 2013 or 2014.
I have noticed that some major brands have been looking at the possibilities offered by the Volvo Ocean Race, which I can fully understand, but this does indicate that there is simply no alternative international race for multihulls. And just to conclude, others around me have become aware of this and share this feeling and my discussions with the leading G-class skippers have led me to move things forward in this direction.
The new 100-foot class (of which three are already up and running and a fourth is about to be made ready) has shown what these innovative boats can do sailing around the world via the three legendary capes while budgets remain limited. So, in this respect, it is now much easier to be able to take part in The Race.
Why 2013 or 2014? To place the event in between two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race and to offer the main international challengers the possibility of taking part in the event. This time frame will enable teams to draw up their project and get things moving by attracting a group of ambitious and enthusiastic partners.”
The organising team is being formed
After talks with various agencies specialising in sports marketing, Bruno Peyron has decided to award the overall management of The Race event to Thierry Reboul. Former Head of Advertising for Air France and Head of Communications at Alcatel, Thierry Reboul was the founder of the Ubi bene agency, which specialises in promoting events.
He will in particular be in charge of organising and negotiating with the main partners and the official event sites.
A call for tender will be launched to complete the arrangements with an international team, which will be appointed as executive producers.
Grant Dalton, Winner of The Race: “When Bruno Peyron announced he was launching The Race, with my experience of round the world sailing, it immediately interested me. Although the Jules Verne Trophy was fascinating, what really attracted me here was the idea of a real race with other boats. Thanks to Bruno’s vision, I was able to experience the finest moment of my professional career. The maxi-catamaran Club Med was the first of her kind, measuring 108 feet and able to cover more than 600 miles day after day. She was a marvel and I was privileged to be on board. The Race opened the way to more extreme sailing. It pushed back the limits and allowed us to do what had previously been thought impossible. This race remains by far the highlight of my 25 years of professional sailing. The idea of relaunching The Race will move the world of sailing another step forward.”
Pascal Bidégorry, Skipper of the maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire V, holder of the North Atlantic record: “Since Banque Populaire V was built, taking part in The Race has seemed obvious to me. I experienced the first edition as a spectator and I can still remember the enthusiasm that surrounded this race. After a few years of sailing multihulls and when you are lucky enough to sail on a maxi-multihull like Banque Populaire, I can’t imagine taking part in all these record attempts without entering an event like The Race. These are fabulous boats and battling it out around the world in real time is incredible. I admire what they do in the Volvo Ocean Race, but from a race and sailing perspective, there’s nothing like The Race.”
Francis Joyon, the single-handed round the world record holder: “I think that any project, which gets our giant multihulls racing is something that needs to be looked at, particularly when the idea comes from Bruno, who has so much experience in this field.”
Lionel Lemonchois, winner of the last Route du Rhum and who was on board Team Adventure in the first edition of The Race: “It’s great to hear that Bruno is relaunching The Race. He is finally giving us an opportunity to race around the world aboard these incredible maxi-multihulls. Personally, this race led me to discover these fantastic machines and I have some great memories of it. With another challenge ahead, I hope to be there….”
For More information about The Race Click HERE
BMW Ocacle has fufilled a dream James Spithill, Larry Ellison, Russell Coutts , The BMW Oracle Racing Team and America as they win back the America’s Cup. For the first time in a Deed Of Gift race the challenger wins.. The one hundred and fifty nine year old cup has found her way back to America.
BMW Oracle wins by 5 minutes and 26 seconds.
Alinghi cross the finish line 5 minutes and 26 seconds after USA. The Swiss team were 24 seconds behind off the start line, 28 seconds behind at WW 1 mark, 2mins 44 secs behind at the gybe mark, Mark 2.
BMW ORACLE Racing, the American challenger, representing the Golden Gate Yacht Club, won the 33rd America’s Cup Match on Sunday in Valencia, sweeping past the Swiss defender, Alinghi, to a 2-0 victory.
This was an historic race for the oldest trophy in international sport, featuring two of the most innovative boats on the planet. BMW ORACLE Racing’s trimaran, USA, powered by the largest wing sail ever built, proved to be the faster of the two multihulls, overpowering Alinghi’s catamaran in both races.
Today marks the culmination of the San Francisco team’s 10-year quest for the America’s Cup, sailing’s pinnacle event. Founded by Larry Ellison (USA), the team is led by CEO Russell Coutts (NZL), now a four time Cup winner, and James Spithill (AUS), the skipper and helmsman of USA.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Spithill. “The amount of work the whole team has put into this boat and now to go two races without any issues – you just have to hand it to the shore guys, the boatbuilders and all of the support team and designers.
They gave us an awesome tool.”“It’s absolutely an awesome feeling,” added Larry Ellison. “I’m really proud to be part of this team. I couldn’t be more proud.”
After a long postponement on Sunday afternoon, racing started at 16:25 in 7-8 knots of wind.
There was an unusual start to the race, with Alinghi entering the start box very late. In fact, they were on the wrong side of the start box at the 5-minute gun, forcing the Umpires to assess a penalty. BMW ORACLE Racing started with more speed, but Alinghi held held the right hand side of the race course and prospered early when the wind shifted to the right. At one point, the advantage line was as big as 600-meters to the Swiss. But before the top mark, the BMW ORACLE Racing crew made a perfect layline call. After tacking on the line to the mark, BMW ORACLE Racing saw Alinghi cross ahead, but cede the inside position at the mark to USA, and that was all the advantage the challenger would need to lead around the mark by 28 seconds. From then onwards, the powerful USA boat extended its lead, to cross the finishing line ahead by 5.26.
“It was an awesome race. It was touch and go,” Spithill said. “We didn’t see that shift going as far right as it did and that made it pretty exciting early on.”
At one point, Alinghi was flying a red protest flag, but the team quickly confirmed after finishing there would be no protest.
With the win, BMW ORACLE Racing becomes the first U.S. challenger to win the Match since Dennis Conner hoisted the Cup with his Stars & Stripes team in Fremantle, Australia in 1987. Today also marks the first win for an American team since 1992 when Bill Koch’s America3 successfully defended the Cup in San Diego.
BMW ORACLE Racing crew list for Race Two of the 33rd America’s Cup:
Brad Webb (NZL) – Bowman – 1st America’s Cup win
Simone de Mari (ITA) – Pitman – 1st America’s Cup win
Ross Halcrow (NZL) – Jib Trimmer – 2nd America’s Cup win (1995, 2010)
Dirk de Ridder (NED) – Wing Sail Trimmer – 1st America’s Cup win
Joey Newton (AUS) – Wing Sail Caddy – 1st America’s Cup win
John Kostecki (USA) – Tactician – 1st America’s Cup win
James Spithill (AUS) – Skipper/Helmsman – 1st America’s Cup win
Matteo Plazzi (ITA) – Navigator – 1st America’s Cup win
Thierry Fouchier (FRA) – Aft Pit – 1st America’s Cup win
Matthew Mason (NZL) – Mast – 3rd America’s Cup win (1995, 2000, 2010)
Larry Ellison (USA) – Afterguard – 1st America’s Cup win
Alinghi 5 Racing crew list for Race Two of the 33rd America’s Cup:
Bow 1: Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (NED)
Bow 2: Curtis Blewett (CAN)
Bow 3: Jan Dekker (RSA/FRA)
Pitman: Rodney Ardern (NZL)
Trimmer upwind: Simon Daubney (NZL)
Trimmer downwind: Nils Frei (SUI)
Mainsail trimmer: Warwick Fleury (NZL)
Traveller: Pierre-Yves Jorand (SUI)
Helmsman: Ernesto Bertarelli (SUI)
Tactician: Brad Butterworth (NZL)
Strategist: Murray Jones (NZL)
Navigator: Juan Vila (ESP)
Floater: Loïck Peyron (FRA)
Pre-start: Peter Evans (NZL
Brief History of the America’s Cup
The America’s Cup is the world’s oldest continually contested trophy in any sport. In 1851 the New York Yacht Club sailboat America beat 15 British boats from the Royal Yacht Squadron, thus beginning the America’s Cup race history. The British challenged in 1870, but the Cup remained at the victorious New York Yacht Club. For roughly the next hundred years, every challenger was beaten in Cup races held every three to five years, first in New York, then in Newport.
In 1983 the Americans lost to the Australian team, and the Cup left the United States for the first time. In 1987 the American team under Dennis Connor brought the Cup back home, where it remained until New Zealand took it in 1995. In 2003 the Swiss team took it from New Zealand, kept it through the challenge in 2007, and is now being challenged by the American team BMW ORACLE.
Through almost 160 years of racing, the America’s Cup boats have undergone various design changes, and legal challenges have been waged over design elements as controlled by the original and amended Deed of Gift, the document that governs the race. Almost all races, however, have involved monohull sailboats of equivalent size and general design—with two highly notable exceptions. In 1988 the San Diego team of Dennis Connor defended with a catamaran, which easily beat New Zealand’s monohull, leading to a number of court battles and appeals concerning the legality of a catamaran, finally ending with the Americans keeping the Cup. The next five races involved more traditional matched monohulls, in the design often now called the “America’s Cup Class boats.” The 2010 race will again involve multihulls, a trimaran challenging a catamaran—the first race of its kind in the long history of the Cup. Despite the poor publicity the race received throughout 2009 because of repeated court battles, the race in February 2010 promises to be fast and dramatic and, Cup supporters hope, to restore the international prestige of this historic competition.
Six Extreme 40 catamarans, three countries, 24 sailors: all on a whistle-stop tour of Asia. The inaugural Extreme Sailing Series Asia finished on Friday 5 February with the 2009 European Champions Oman Sail Masirah being presented the new Series trophy by royalty in the Sultanate of Oman. DON’T MISS THE WORLD SPORT SHOW, CHANNEL 4, SATURDAY 13TH FEBRUARY (more info below)
Oman Sail’s Masirah night-sailing in Singapore during the Extreme Sailing Series Asia.
OC Events took the award-winning circuit to the region to demonstrate what a future full-scale circuit with shoreside entertainment, VIP hospitality and, of course, the on-water sailing, could deliver to the region. For this first Asian series, the objective was to engage with the media and commercial sectors, whilst at the third and final event in Muscat, a two-day ‘Extreme Beach Event’ took it up a level engaging the public as well.
The Extreme 40s set off at the start of the Around the Island Race in Hong Kong
Marco Hong/OC Events
The reach will increase from March 2010 when a 26-minute programme will be distributed and air on channels including Sky Sports (UK), Sport + (FRA), ESPN (Pan-Asia) and Fox Sport (pan-USA & South America).
Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team on Day 1 at Singapore
Thousands gather on the beach on the first public day of the Muscat event
Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OC Events
Beach Party’ with over 2,000 people gathering at Al Hail beach for a five-a-side football competition, volleyball matches, the Muscat round of the Red Bull Street Style competition as well as watching the racing, which took place in front of government statesmen and royalty for the Omani weekend.
Fleet racing on day 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series Asia at The Wave, Muscat.
Mark Lloyd/Lloyd Images/OC Events
Seventy journalists attended the three, five-day events, and when conditions allowed stepping onboard and racing in the fifth man positions onboard the six Extreme 40s. Andreas Tzortzis, from international magazine, Red Bulletin, raced with double Olympic Gold Medallist Shirley Robertson onboard Rumbo Almeria. “That was absolutely fantastic. You are absolutely in the thick of it and that is an experience you don’t normally have in sailboat racing unless you are racing yourself. As a spectator, or even as a journalist you don’t nearly get so close so it gives you an understanding of the amount of pressure they are under. It is absolutely astonishing.”
The six skippers competing in the Extreme Sailing Series Asia
Marco Hong/OC Events
Thierry Barot, skipper of China Team was impressed with his first venture into Extreme 40 sailing: “It was very impressive, right in front of the public but still this sport is very intense, delivery is very high in terms of tactics and strategies. I really believe it is the future of sailing. This is what sailing needs in term of development – the Extreme Sailing Series is a sport in itself.”
Alinghi welcomed the Valencia authorities to its base in the Dársena this afternoon to watch the Defender’s giant catamaran, Alinghi 5, be launched ahead of its first sail in Spanish waters. Ernesto Bertarelli, Alinghi team president, greeted Francisco Camps, the president of the region, and Rita Barberá, the Valencia mayoress, who presented him with the Valencia flag which was immediately raised on board Alinghi 5.
“We are ready for the Match!” declared Bertarelli to the media present. “The team is here, I am here and we are prepared for the America’s Cup Match on the 8 February,” he said. “All the pieces are in place for the event to begin, we have an agreement with the City of Valencia to run the shore based side of the 33rd America’s Cup, and we are just waiting for the blessing of the central government in Madrid.”
As the vast sails were lifted on to the catamaran with a crane, the latest lawsuit – BMW Oracle’s ninth – was discussed; Ernesto Bertarelli was firm on the subject: “Our sails are rooted in Swiss technology and they have been constructed in Villeneuve, Switzerland. This Swiss technology has been used by both defenders and challengers in the America’s Cup since 1995 and we have been through years of development in Switzerland to construct them. Should the American justice system outlaw their use, it would be like asking Roger Federer to defend his title without using his tennis racket. BMW Oracle would win the America’s Cup in court as, without our sails, we cannot race.”
As Alinghi 5 cast off, Ernesto hopped on board the catamaran and the guests boarded the support boats to watch Alinghi 5 go for a shake down sail ahead of the race training programme that begins tomorrow.