International insurance company Pantaenius has renewed a three year sponsorship agreement with the Superyacht Cup regatta in Palma. The agreement also includes sponsorship of the special Olympics edition of the Superyacht Cup Cowes, UK taking place from 22-25 July, a few days before the start of the London 2012 Olympics. Each regatta will feature a ?Pantaenius Race? with trophies awarded to each division.
“Pantaenius have supported the Superyacht Cup for over 10 years and I am very pleased to continue our sponsorship for another 3 years. The event is extremely valuable to us as we have the opportunity to spend time with our existing customers and meet new clients too. We look forward to the Superyacht Cup 2012 in Palma, and also to the special edition in Cowes UK too!” commented Martin Baum, Managing Director of Pantaenius.
For more information about Pantaenius, visit www.pantaenius.com
About the Superyacht Cup
Now in its 16th year, the Superyacht Cup is the longest running superyacht regatta in Europe. Traditionally held in Palma at the end of June to start the Mediterranean season, the regatta is held over 4 days with racing in the spectacular Bay of Palma. As well as competitive racing on the water, the event is as popular for its informal and fun atmosphere ashore with themed dock parties and cocktail receptions. In 2012, organisers will also host a special Olympics edition of the regatta in Cowes, UK from 22-25 July.
For more information visit The Superyacht Cup
PUMA Mar Mostro: 16:26:38
Rambler 100: 16:28:28
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.
Oman Sail Masirah has won the iShares Cup 2009, but it came down to the last leg of the last race on the last day of the last regatta at the iShares Cup Almeria in Spain, with Gitana Extreme-LCF Rothschild pushing Oman Sail Masirah right to the very last minute with a superb final performance. Pete Cumming and his crew held their nerve despite the strong comeback of Yann Guichard and the Gitana Extreme crew who took 2nd overall with Loick Peyron’s Oman Sail Renaissance completing the 2009 podium. Tens of thousands of spectators, the biggest stadium audience of the year, packed the port of Almeria to witness the heart-stopping tension of the final race of the season. No hull flying today, but heart stopping it still was!
Masirah completed a six-month trail of glory with a double victory in Almeria as thousands watched. All crew members put in a performance which overshadowed all efforts from other teams to not only take the victory in the Almeria leg of the iShares Cup but the title of 2009 iShares Cup champions!
Renaissance also battled hard until the last minute to take an admirable fourth overall in the Almeria leg ensuring a double Oman victory as they took third place in the 2009 iShares Cup series.
The culmination of six venues and 118 races all boiled down to the last race on the last day of the last venue as ten boats all lined up, but only three were in contention for the 2009 iShares Cup title. The electricity in the air from the 40,000 spectators, including Her Excellency Dr. Rajiha Bint Abdulameer Bin Ali, Oman’s Minister of Tourism, His Excellency Eng. Sultan Hamdoon al Harthi, Head of Muscat Municipality and the Municipal Council as well as His Excellency Oman’s Ambassador to Spain was flowing as the start gun went for the first race. Masirah got off to a near-perfect start and led all the way and maintained their lead throughout the day. In the final race Masirah had a marginal lead, but not enough to rest on their laurels. In the last race Masirah wisely opted to keep the only other contender for the top podium position at this stage, Gitana Extreme-Groupe LCF Rothschild, in their sights to ensure their overall win.
As the finishing horn was sounded for Masirah’s finish a huge cheer went up from the crowded waterfront as the new heroes were given a standing ovation and applause.
Renaissance sailed on the edge all day to score an equally credible third overall to bookmark the podium with the proud colours of the Oman flag. To have not one, but two teams, on the podium in such a high profile international event is testament to the support in Oman given to the teams and the aspirations of reigniting the maritime heritage of Oman. Her Excellency Dr, Rajiha Bint Abdulameer Bin Ali, was incredibly proud of both teams, “I am so proud to have been able to watch Oman Sail’s Masirah winning the series in front of thousands of spectators in Spain. I dedicate this victory to the wise leadership of His Majesty and his vision in bringing this project into fruition. I want to thank all the team in Oman sail and in particular the team on Masirah for reaching first place – it was not an easy victory. I didn’t realise how difficult this was until I came to Spain and watch Oman racing myself. My congratulations to the team.” His Excellency Eng. Sultan Hamdoon al Harthi was just as impressed by the victory that unfolded in front of him, “It is a matter of pride for Oman that Masirah and Renaissance dominated the iShares Cup, not just in Spain but also the entire series. To win first and third overall is a result of unprecedented performance.”
Two Omani trainees have supported the teams during the summer, both of whom will now be sailing for Oman Sail in the next series themselves. Masirah team member Khamis Al Anbouri summed up the mood of the team “Winning the iShares Cup is just one of Oman Sail’s steps in encouraging young Omanis to start sailing and showing them the hard work required to achieve success. I am very proud to be part of this team and I look forward to competing now in the next series as a full crewmember. I would also like to thank my wife for all her support and encouragement as I strive to become the very best and to make Oman a household name. Congratulations also to Ahmad Al Harthy for his result this weekend- a truly proud weekend for Oman!”
Oman Sail Masirah has won the iShares Cup 2009, but it came down to the last leg of the last race on the last day of the last regatta at the iShares Cup Almeria in Spain, with Gitana Extreme – LCF Rothschild pushing Oman Sail Masirah right to the very last minute with a superb final performance.
Almeria’s usually strong winds never materialized, with light winds adding to the nerves of the 10 teams challenging for the Andulician final event of this benchmark season for the Extreme 40 Sailing Series.
Tens of thousands of spectators, the biggest stadium audience of the year, packed the port of Almeria to witness the heart-stopping tension of the double points final race of the season. No hull flying today, heart stopping it still was!
iShares Cup Almeria:
1. Oman Sail Masirah 132 points
2. Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild 129 points
3. Groupama Extreme 112 points
4. Oman Sail Renaissance 96 points
5. LUNA 96 points
6. Team iShares 83 points
7. Holmatro 82 points
8. BT 79 points
9. Rumbo Almeria 73 points
10. Ecover 89 points
iShares Cup 2009 overall:
1. Oman Sail Masirah 53 points
2. Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild 52 points
3. Oman Sail Renaissance 42 points
4. Groupama Extreme 41 points
5. Team iShares 27 points
6. BT 26 points
7. LUNA 26 points
8. Holmatro 24 points
9. Ecover 10 points
While history didn’t quite repeat itself today, it came pretty close. The final races of the 2009 12 Metre World Championships were sailed on a sparkling Rhode Island Sound as helicopters buzzed and spectator boats jockeyed for front row seats to the action – evoking memories of 26 years ago to the day when the longest winning streak (132 years) in sporting history ended with the loss of the “Auld Mug” to Australia. On this day, however, instead of just two Twelves there were 17 making their way around the old America’s Cup stomping grounds off Brenton Point and with many of the same spectators there to pay homage as the helicopters droned above.
Notable for traveling the furthest to be part of this largest gathering of Twelves since the Cup left Newport: Challenge 12, which William Borel (Paris, France) had shipped from Europe early in the summer, and Australian Skip Lissiman who was onboard the Cup-winning Australia II in 1983. “It’s fantastic to be back in Newport,” he said. “I wanted to be back in particular for the anniversary and [to celebrate] I will be going down to O’Brien’s Pub where they have the original boxing kangaroo flag. We’re going to exchange it with one that the entire crew signed last year when we celebrated the 25th and take the original flag back to the museum in Australia.”
For the final act of the world championships, two races were sailed in all four divisions – Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional and Vintage – before The Candy Store Cup was re-run after being abandoned on day two of racing. Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), on Kiwi Magic-KZ7, won the Grand Prix division after adding finishes of 1-3 for a net total of seven points. Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.), driving Wright on White-KZ3, finished 3-2 to place second overall in the division standings, one point back.
More Photos Of The Action Can Be Seen HERE
The Traditional Division saw the only real upset of the championship as Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift (both Newport), on American Eagle-US21, fought back from a three-point deficit with a 1-2 today to tie Weatherly’s Clay Deutsch (Newport) who finished 2-3. With eight points apiece, the tie-break went in favor of American Eagle earning Swift a surprise swim off the dock at Bannister’s Wharf courtesy of the crew. In the Vintage division, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), on Gleam-US11, was one point out of first when the day began and placed first in both races to win by three points over Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), on Northern Light-US14.
“In the Modern fleet, on any given day any boat can win, they’re all that close,” said Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla./Mashpee, Mass.) after winning that division on Victory ‘83-K22. He explained that it was Courageous who was their biggest competition after they had “two good races today and in conditions that were really pretty crazy. They had a first and second and I think we were two points apart with one throw out, so very close. The wind was shifting left and right and the velocity was up and down …it was a very crazy day, it was not predictable. Everybody worked hard trying to keep the boat on track with the shifting winds.”
In addition to winning his first world championship title, it was “nice to put a little icing on the cake,” said Williams about winning The Candy Store Cup which gave a single start for all divisions and sent them on a course back from Rhode Island Sound, past Castle Hill Light, and into Newport Harbor for a finish off Bannister’s Wharf where champagne was awaiting all the teams. “It was great,” said Williams of the 2009 12 Metre World Championship. “Everyone on the boat enjoyed it, we had a great time, great crew. It was just fabulous. The competition was great.”
2009 12 Metre Worlds Final Standings
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.) 2-2-1-1-1-(3), 7
2. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2-2-(3)-2, 8
3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3-(3)-2-1, 12
4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-DNF-4-4-4, 20
Division 2 – Modern
1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla./Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2-1-3-(3), 8
2. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 3-2-(DSQ)-2-2-1, 10
3. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 4- 5-1-4-1-(5), 15
2. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 2-3-4-5-(5)-2, 16
5. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), (DSQ)-4-3-3-4-4, 16
Division 3 – Traditional
1. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), (4)-2-2-1-1-2, 8
2. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1-2-2-(3), 8
3. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3-3-3-(DNS), 12.5
4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4-4-4-(DNF), 19
5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-(DNS)-5-5-1, 21
Division 4 – Vintage
1. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), (3)-1-2-1-1-1, 6
2. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1-2-3-(3), 9
3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-DNF-(DNS)-3-2-2, 13
More Photos Of The Action Can Be Seen HERE
The best breeze of the day filled in for the final three races today producing some extreme racing – close calls, collisions, penalties and a nail-biting, final double-points race – entertaining the 10,000 strong crowd lining the IJ-Haven. There were seven different race winners in this penultimate event, that was more about tactics than boat handling. Gitana Extreme sailed brilliantly under pressure to win the penultimate iShares Cup Amsterdam event ahead of Oman Sail Renaissance, whilst Groupama fought back to win the final race and fill the last spot on the podium in third. Overall series leaders, Oman Sail Masirah, put their day 1 disaster behind them, finishing 5th in Amsterdam to retain their overall lead, ahead of Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild and Oman Sail Renaissance, going into the final iShares Cup event in Almeria only two weeks away…
The nine-boat Extreme 40 fleet saved the best till last at the iShares Cup Amsterdam event today to produce a thrilling three-lap finale that had the 10,000-strong crowd of spectators cheering the boats home all the way. The penultimate round of the six-stage European iShares Cup series, held on the confined IJ-Haven canal in Amsterdam, saw predominantly light airs but finally this afternoon, a good 8 knot breeze filled in to see the 40-foot catamarans lifting their hulls. It was perfect catamaran sailing – the excitement levels going into fifth gear for both sailors and spectators. As the breeze increased the size of the IJ-Haven racecourse seemed to decrease! The boats accelerating faster round the tiny racecourse and, not surprisingly, a number of collisions ensued.
For Oman Sail Masirah skipper, Pete Cumming, the team did the job they needed to do to keep the overall series lead, despite the unsettling experience of being seriously holed on the first day:
“That was a good day for us, we won the first and the fourth race and had average results in the three others. We have been up and down during the all events but I have to say that it’s hard to keep positive and motivated after the big crash we had on Friday. Our shore team did an amazing job to fix the boat. Tonight we are on equal points with Gitana in the overall series which keeps the pressure on for the last event in Almeria. The conditions will be very different to here, more like Cowes or Kiel and it’s what we like. It’s going to be a fantastic battle for the overall iShares Cup!”
The stage was set for the showdown between Gitana Extreme skipper, Yann Guichard, and Oman Sail Renaissance supremo, Loick Peyron, with Guichard coming out on top. “Since the first start today we were in the game and we sailed well despite the pressure of those last races. Once again, our teamwork was key to our success. That final race was under a lot of pressure, we knew that we could not let Loïck put more than two boats between us, and we finished right behind him! It was an ideal scenario, and we’re really happy with that new victory. As we foresaw, everything will unfold in Almeria. We really wanted to win in Amsterdam not to regret anything, and to fight for victory, The top three boats are now one point apart, and the fight between Masirah, Renaissance and ourselves will be amazing. I also wanted to congratulate the Oman Sail Masirah team, who came back strong despite their incident.”
Erik Maris’ crew on LUNA showed flashes of brilliance during round 5 scoring a race win and a second place that left them in 7th place; whilst Nick Moloney’s BT team struggled with boat speed and had to settle for 8th. Britain’s Mike Golding, who is gaining confidence in this extremely aggressive class, thrilled his supporters with a second place in the final race – Fraser Brown leaping to his feet rousing the crowd to cheer more! It was a great finish for this team who had such a traumatic time in round 4 in Kiel suffering an aggressive capsize that left their regular crew Bruno Dubois with a serious head injury.
The final round of the 2009 iShares Cup is only two weeks away, taking place in the Andalucian city of Almeria over the 10th-12th October. The finale promises to be best yet – read the story online.
Oman Sail Masirah and Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild are on equal points (43), Masirah in pole position based on winning three of the rounds so far compared to Gitana Extreme’s two victories, but Oman Sail Renaissance are just 1 point behind them and Groupama 10 points behind the leader. And there will be a big fight over the middle-ground with less than 3 points separating BT, Team iShares, Holmatro and LUNA. Don’t miss it!
Today, Groupama won the last race hands down, enabling the skipper from Aix en Provence to regain his smile as he snatched third place behind Yann Guichard and Loïck Peyron, who take first and second place respectively. As was the case in Kiel, the French sailors are at the front of the pack with a French triple in the top spots once again!
If we look in detail at the points separating the top five competitors in the final ranking, it is easy to understand the tension which was palpable throughout the day! With the wind still a little undecided as to whether it was going to fill their sails, today’s five races were rather convoluted to say the least and rather reminiscent of the four race yesterday. Franck Cammas: “One thing for sure after these three days racing in Amsterdam, is that with Groupama 40, we still haven’t worked out how to deal with light conditions. In light wind we’re not so at ease. We aren’t able to follow the others. This was my first participation in the light stuff on such a narrow race zone. We unquestionably need to make progress! The minute the wind kicked in, things went better. In fact on Friday, thanks to the breeze, it was a good day for us!”
The famous quote by competitors that says that “anything can happen in a race prior to crossing the finish line” is something that certainly applies to Franck’s crew this weekend: “With Groupama 40, we won the lottery in the last race. Our rivals weren’t as strong which enabled us to overtake two of them and make it to a podium finish, which certainly wasn’t something we could have envisaged at the end of the previous race!”
The skipper from Aix en Provence clearly already has his mind geared towards the last event of the season: “In Alméria, it’s likely to be windy and it will be a whole different ball game! Roll on Spain!”
Finally, it is important to salute the performance by Yann Guichard and his men, outright winner in this Dutch stage. Bagging three victories of the 17 races contested, Gitana Extreme- LCF Rothschild Group climbs to the highest step of the podium and above all is tied on points with Masirah in the general championship ranking.
Suffice to say that the next meeting for the Extremes 40s will take place in Alméria, Spain, on 10th, 11th and 12th October and it is going to have a decisive role in this championship! This sixth event will round off the iShares Cup 2009.
In race 4 of the first day of the iShares Cup Amsterdam, a collision between Oman Sail Masirah and BT on the first windward leg has put Masirah out of action. A port/starboard incident, saw BT trying to duck Masirah but to no avail. Oman Sail Masirah are waiting anxiously for the crane to haul them out. A big blow for Pete Cumming and his crew who are the overall iShares Cup series leader going into this penultimate round, and they will be looking for redress for the races they miss today. In the strongest breeze of the day so far, gusting over 10 knots, there was plenty of action from the start with LUNA, over the line at the start searching to go back made contact with BT, who had been forced to tack on top of them as Holmatro called starboard. On this tight racecourse here in Amsterdam the building breeze makes the racing even more fraught. Race 4 was won by Gitana Extreme with Franck Cammas on Guichard’s heels but this win puts them at the top of the iShares Cup Amsterdam leaderboard, halfway through today’s racing.
Pete Cumming takes up the story: “It was the first beat of race 4 and it was a clear case of port and starboard. BT were coming in on port and we could see from about 10 seconds out they were going to hit us. The wind had got up and we knew as they accelerated, the bows dug in and holed us under the waterline and the crack goes right underneath. The damage is about 2-foot forward of the back beam on the port hull and it compressed the whole side of the boat in – it’s quite a big job to rebuild that. We didn’t have our best races in the first couple today so we’ll get average points from those races – we’ll just have to see how it goes. It’s an unfortunate situation and we’ve ended up sitting on the shore with our boat full of water.”
A total of 8 races were staged today on the tiny IJ-Haven – the racecourse just 750-meters long and 250-meters wide – on the start line you could literally step from one boat to the next and then on to the canal wall! There is only just enough room for the nine-boat fleet to line up and as soon as they cross the line, the boats, just a few feet from the concrete walls, are yelling for water causing a domino effect across the fleet. The conditions were generally light but on a fairly regular basis the breeze built up to over 10 knots making the IJ-Haven become a hazardous place to be, although the crowds loved it! There were plenty of penalties and at least one other collision and probably a few more scrapes and close shaves that were not visible from the shore.
Team iShares skipper, Shirley Robertson, who scored a win in the penultimate race today and lies in 5th place overall: “Many of us remember the first year we came to Amsterdam… it was pretty windy and it brings back all of those memories of all the points around the canal where you had a few moments! You just have to sail slightly differently and be prepared to see things that you might not before – look for opportunities and be a bit punchy!” It was certainly a case of avoiding the wind holes and taking advantage of the gusts, which resulted in many place changes throughout the fleet. Two wins apiece for Oman Sail Renaissance (Loick Peyron)and Gitana Extreme – Groupe LCF Rothschild (Yann Guichard) and individual race wins for Holmatro (Mitch Booth), Groupama (Franck Cammas), iShares (Shirley Robertson) and LUNA (Erik Maris) have kept the points close on the Round 5 leaderboard. Only 2 points separate Loick Peyron from Guichard and Guichard from Cammas, and 1 point between Mitch Booth, Robertson and Maris (see leaderboard for full results).
Forecast is for slightly lighter winds tomorrow which may reduce the ‘incident’ rate but at this crucial stage of the race, no one is giving an inch and that counts here on the IJ-Haven!