Oman Air-Musandam stepped up her speeds at the Grand Prix Guyader this week edging the team closer towards training targets in their preparations for the Route des Princes 2013 around Europe next month.
Oman Air-Musandam stepped up her speeds at the Grand Prix Guyader this week edging the team closer towards training targets in their preparations for the Route des Princes 2013 around Europe next month.
Over a challenging four day programme of coastal races and timed runs across Douarnenez Bay in Northern France, French skipper Sidney Gavignet and his Oman-backed MOD70 crew which includes four new faces, identified and achieved a range of training objectives ahead of the Ar men Race later this week and the round Europe event for the Multi One Design boats starting in Valencia in June.
Oman Air-Musandam was one of a fleet of high-speed multihulls racing at the annual regatta. Another MOD70 Virbac-Paprec campaigned by Jean-Pierre Dick and Armel Le Cleach’s Banque Populaire, the largest racing trimaran in the world, were also gunning for Maxi class honours along with Lionel Lemonchois’ Prince de Bretagne.
“We won the last coastal race by a long way and although it wasn’t enough to beat Virbac-Paprec overall which was a shame, it was all very positive mainly because it was a light wind race and as a team, we have had no light wind sailing so far in 2013,” Gavignet said.
“This was more about integrating the crew than getting results and our crew work improved a lot during the week. Overall it was very good, including the shore team who are working well so all in all I am very happy. The atmosphere in the team was really good – good focus and good concentration which makes me confident for the future. I think we will do a good job together.”
Oman Air-Musandam was racing with three Omani sailors among its elite crew including MOD70 regulars Fahad Al Hasni and Mohsin Al Busaidi and young F18 professional Ahmed Al Hassani who was new to the boat.
“Mohsin had to go up the mast on the last day to make a repair and had to stay 25m up for the entire race – he did really well! Ahmed also did really well and fitted in nicely. He had very good input on tactics during the debriefs which was unusual and really helpful. Racing F18s means he is more aware about tactics and he made some very good points.”
The crew loved the timed run competition, which Oman Air-Musandam won. “The timed runs were good fun – they were new to us but it was a case of sheet off and away, sprinting over two and a half miles to see how fast we could go,” said British offshore sailor, Neil McDonald, helmsman onboard.
“We recorded a speed of 28.13 knots which was the fastest time for the maxis all week and of course the fastest in the entire fleet.”
Ahmed, one of the growing band of new talent emerging through Oman Sail’s unique sailing programme, gave his first experience of racing MOD70s the thumbs up after gaining an idea of what lies ahead for Oman Air-Musandam this summer.
‘’These boats are so fast and being new to the MOD70 it took me a while to get used to the speed but I really enjoyed it. The guys on the team especially Neal McDonald and Damian Foxall and of course Fahad Al Hasni from Oman have plenty of experience and already I have learned a lot from them.
‘’The next race will be a real test for them because it is almost 400 miles offshore. I won’t be joining them for that because they can only have six crew but I think they will do very well.’’
On Wednesday, a reduced six-strong Oman Air-Musandam crew take the boat 100 miles down the Brittany coast to La Trinite-sur-Mer where they will start the 360 nms Ar men Race on Thursday in competition with 120 other boats.
Testing weather conditions including gales have been forecast for the trip, which might force organisers to delay the start by 24 hours. The race is likely to take around 30 hours offering another chance for the team to bank some vital miles before the serious business of the Route des Princes gets underway.
Oman Air-Musandam’s crew for the Ar men Race is Sidney Gavignet, Neal McDonald, Damian Foxall, Fahad Al Hasni , Mohsin Al Busaidi and Thomas Le Breton.
Musandam-Oman Air MOD70 2013 race calendar
9-11 May: AR Men Race, La Trinité
6-30 June: La Route des Princes (Valencia-Spain, Lisbon-Portugal, Dun Laoghaire-Ireland, Plymouth-UK, Roscoff-France)
8 August: Cowes Week Artemis Challenge
11-13 August: The Rolex Fastnet Race
3 November: Transat Jacques Vabre
Musandam-Oman Air MOD70 2013 race squad
Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
Thomas Le Breton (FRA)
Fahad Al Hasni (OMA)
Mohsin Al Busaidi (OMA)
Neal McDonald (GBR)
Damian Foxall (IRE)
Ahmed Al Hassani (OMA)
Gilles Favennec (FRA)
#115 Mare wins The 2012 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing
Mare dominates a record setting fleet of 15 competitors, including #118 Bodacious Dream (2nd place) and #106 Gryphon Solo 2 (3rd place) to claim the second annual Atlantic Cup Championship and $15,000 in prize money
NEWPORT, R.I. – #115 Mare (GER), skippered by Jörg Riechers, Ryan Breymaier (offshore) and Charles Euvrete (inshore), continued its Atlantic Cup dominance by winning three of the five inshore races, finishing second in the other two heats, en route to claiming The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing over a record setting international fleet of 15 Class40 yachts. Mare was equally impressive during the offshore competition, besting the field during the first offshore leg (Charleston, S.C. to N.Y. Harbor), and coming in second behind overall Atlantic Cup runner-up #118 Bodacious Dream (USA), skippered by Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl. Mare finished with 11 total combined points for the offshore legs and inshore races in Narragansett Bay, Bodacious Dream finished with 27 total points. With the victory Mare claims the champion’s share, $15,000, of the $30,000 overall prize purse, one of the largest in sailing in the United States.
Only three points separated the remaining top-five finishers with Gryphon Solo 2 (USA), skippered by Joe Harris and Tristan Mougline (39 points) in third, winning a tiebreaker with Campagne De France (FRA), skippered by Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, (39), in fourth, and Initiatives (USA), skippered by Emma Creighton and Rob Windsor, (42), finishing fifth.
Mare co-skipper Jörg Riechers: “I’m very happy winning, it was a great event, we thought it would be a close battle between us and Talan Bureau Veritas but as it turned out Bodacious Dream was our stiffest competition and they raced a terrific race.”
Bodacious Dream co-skipper Dave Rearick: “This has been a terrific event, we couldn’t be happier in our first race. We will take some of this prize money and donate back to the Atlantic Cup so we can support this great event and keep racing!”
Gryphon Solo 2 co-skipper Joe Harris: “The fact that we made third, I was thrilled, we were clinging by our fingernails and we managed to pull it out which is fantastic!”
Hugh Piggin, Manuka Sports Event Management Founder and Atlantic Cup Race Director – “The Atlantic Cup congratulates Mare on their well-earned victory over a record-setting international field of 15 Class 40 boats. We are very proud of the top-notch sailing, ecological efforts and sportsmanship exhibited by all of the teams and appreciate the contributions from our sponsors, volunteers and staff in making the event a success on all fronts.”
The 2012 Atlantic Cup, the first carbon-neutral sailing event in the United States, featured an international fleet of 15 boats from the USA, France, Germany and Great Britain, the most Class 40s to ever compete in the United States. The teams set sail from Charleston, S.C. on Friday, May 11 at 6:25 p.m. EDT en route to New York Harbor for the second leg of the competition and a Pro-Am event (May 14 – 19) before departing on May 19 at 11:05 a.m. for the final leg of competition held in Newport, R.I. this weekend (May 26 – 27).
COMBINED FINAL POINT STANDINGS AFTER ALL THREE LEGS OF COMPETITION INSHORE TOTAL POINTS
#115 Mare – GER (Jörg Riechers, Ryan Breymaier, Charles Euvrete) 2,1,1,1 11
#118 Bodacious Dream – USA (Dave Rearick, Matt Scharl) 5,5,6,3 27
#106 Gryphon Solo 2 – USA (Joe Harris, Tristan Mougline)** 4,3,2,8 39
#101 Campagne De France – FRA (Halvard Mabire, Miranda Merron) ** 8,9,9,3 39
#30 Initiatives – USA (Emma Creighton/Rob Windsor) 1,2,4,5 42
#54 Dragon – USA (Michael Hennessy, Merf Owen) ** 7,3,2,1 47
#105 Eole Generation – GDF SUEZ – FRA (Sebastien Rogues, Jeffrey McFarlane) ** 6,4,5,4 47
#109 Talan-Bureau Veritas – FRA (Stephane Le Diraison, Jesse Naimark-Rowse) 3,6,5,6 52
#116 Icarus Racing – USA (Tim Fetsch, Ben Poucher) 10,11,7,4 58
#73 Toothface – USA (Mike Dreese, Ken Luczynski) 9,8,7,9 69
#113 Partouche – FRA (Christophe Coatnoan, Ari Sebag) 13,7,10,12 82
#17 Transport Cohérence – FRA (Benoît Jouandet, Jorge Madden) 11,13,13,11 84
#20 Sevenstar Yacht Transport -FRA (Jean Edouard-Criquioche, Anna-Maria Renkin 14,14,14,14 88
#85 Groupe Picoty – FRA (Jacques Fournier, Jean Christophe “JC” Caso) 12,12,12,13 89
#90 *40 Degrees – GBR (Hannah Jenner, Peter Harding) DNF
*40 Degrees retired during Leg #1 after suffering a broken mast and did not start offshore leg 2 or compete in the inshore series.
** Ties are broken in accordance with RRS A8
For More Images of the Atlantic Cup 2012 Newport Inshore Racing by George Bekris Click HERE
Mare holds a slim overall Atlantic Cup lead over Bodacious Dream (2nd) and
Campagne De France (3rd) heading into Newport Inshore Series May 26-27, Final Prize Giving
NEWPORT, R.I. –The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing completed its second and final leg of offshore racing with #118 Bodacious Dream, skippered by Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl, crossing the finish line first with an elapsed time of 38:06:34 on Monday, May 21, to complete the 231 nautical mile leg from New York Harbor to Newport, R.I.. The race, featuring an unprecedented international fleet of 14 Class 40s competing in the first carbon neutral sailing event ever held in the United States, saw Bodacious Dream beat out #115 Mare (38:39:41), followed by #101 Campagne De France (38:44:22) and #116 Icarus (39:04:33), with #30 Initiatives (39:36:00) finishing fifth.
The second leg of the Atlantic Cup set sail at 11:05 a.m. ET on Saturday, May 19th from New York Harbor en route to Newport Shipyard with international competitors from the USA, France, Great Britain and Germany. After starting in a light northerly, the teams raced the entire way down the Jersey Shore in short course fleet racing mode. After the turning mark, the boats that were patient and waited for the breeze to shift further east gained on the boats that went north towards Block Island. As a result, those choosing to round Block Island to the east saw that decision pay off. The last five miles to the finish were not without excitement as the tide was against the teams forcing them to tack their way to the finish with Bodacious Dream playing the shift perfectly en route to capturing the victory in the second leg.
Bodacious Dream skipper Dave Rearick: “(Co-skipper) Matt (Scharl) called some great tactics once again. I thought we were making a bee line for France and I kept asking when we were going to tack.”
Bodacious Dream skipper Matt Scharl: “I knew a week ago we were going to go that far out. We wanted to go east until every boat tacked and then go one mile further.”
Asked if they were surprised to be doing this well in their first race with their new boat, Rearick added, “We were hoping to be in the top five, so where we are right now is a real accomplishment. Matt told me a month ago, ‘Dave I’m going to leave you in first before I have to go to my sister’s wedding,’ so he knew.”
Video of the first teams to finish can be found here: http://youtu.be/9BroqGQzKy4, with comprehensive results available here: http://atlanticcup.org/race/results/
RESULTS FROM THE SECOND LEG OF THE 2012 ATLANTIC CUP: TIME POINT FINISH
#118 Bodacious Dream – USA (Dave Rearick, Matt Scharl) 38:06:34 2 1st
#115 Mare – GER (Jörg Riechers, Charles Euvrete) 38:39:41 4 2nd
#101 Campagne De France – FRA (Halvard Mabire, Miranda Merron) 38:44:22 6 3rd
#116 Icarus Racing – USA (Tim Fetsch, Ben Poucher) 39:04:33 8 4th
#30 Initiatives – USA (Emma Creighton, Rob Windsor) 39:36:00 10 5th
#109 Talan-Bureau Veritas – FRA (Stephane Le Diraison, Jesse Naimark-Rowse 39:44:04 12 6th
#106 Gryphon Solo 2 – USA (Joe Harris, Tristan Mougline) 39:58:16 14 7th
#73 Toothface – USA (Mike Dreese, Ken Luczynski) 39:59:25 16 8th
#105 Eole Generation – GDF SUEZ – FRA (Sebastien Rogues, Jeffrey McFarlane) 40:00:37 18 9th
#54 Dragon – USA (Michael Hennessy, Merf Owen) 40:08:47 20 10th
#113 Partouche – FRA (Christophe Coatnoan, Ari Sebag) 40:14:20 20 11th
#85 Groupe Picoty – FRA (Jacques Fournier, Jean Christophe “JC” Caso) 20 12th
#20 Sevenstar Yacht Transport -FRA (Jean Edouard-Criquioche, Anna-Maria Renkin 40:46:13 20 13th
#17 Transport Cohérence – FRA (Benoît Jouandet, Jorge Madden) 41:32:19 20 14th
#90 40 Degrees – GBR (Hannah Jenner, Peter Harding) DNS N/A
PROVISIONAL COMBINED POINT STANDINGS AFTER FIRST TWO LEGS OF OFFSHORE COMPETITION
#115 *Mare – GER (Jörg Riechers, Ryan Breymaier) 6
#118 Bodacious Dream – USA (Dave Rearick, Matt Scharl) 8
#101 Campagne De France – FRA (Halvard Mabire, Miranda Merron) 10
#106 Gryphon Solo 2 – USA (Joe Harris, Tristan Mougline) 22
#116 Icarus Racing – USA (Tim Fetsch, Ben Poucher) 26
#105 Eole Generation – GDF SUEZ – FRA (Sebastien Rogues, Jeffrey McFarlane) 28
#30 Initiatives – USA (Emma Creighton/Rob Windsor) 30
#109 *Talan-Bureau Veritas – FRA (Stephane Le Diraison, Jesse Naimark-Rowse) 32
#20 Sevenstar Yacht Transport -FRA (Jean Edouard-Criquioche, Anna-Maria Renkin 32
#54 Dragon – USA (Michael Hennessy, Merf Owen) 34
#17 Transport Cohérence – FRA (Benoît Jouandet, Jorge Madden) 36
#73 Toothface – USA (Mike Dreese, Ken Luczynski) 36
#85 Groupe Picoty – FRA (Jacques Fournier, Jean Christophe “JC” Caso) 40
#113 Partouche – FRA (Christophe Coatnoan, Ari Sebag) 40
#90 **40 Degrees – GBR (Hannah Jenner, Peter Harding) 52
*Protest pending between Talan-Bureau Veritas and Mare which, in accordance with the Sailing Instructions, will be heard in Newport, R.I. on Tuesday, May 21, 2012.
**40 Degrees retired during Leg #1 after suffering a broken mast and did not start offshore leg 2.
For more images of the NewYork City Start of Leg 2 click HERE
#115 Class 40 Mare Wins Leg 1, Charleston, South Carolina to New York Leg of 2012 Atlantic Cup
Fleet to dock in NY Harbor until Pro-Am on May 18, followed by
Final Leg to Newport, RI on May 19 and In-shore Series, May 26-27
With an unprecedented international fleet of 15 Class 40s competing in The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing #115 Mare, skippered by Jörg Riechers and Ryan Breymaier, crossed the finish line first at 1:20:13 a.m. ET on Tuesday, May 15, with an elapsed time of 78:55:13 to complete the 642 nautical mile first off-shore leg of the Atlantic Cup from Charleston, S.C. to New York Harbor. The race, the first carbon neutral sailing event in the United States, saw Germany’s Mare finish ahead of #101 Campagne de France (79:16:38), followed by two American boats in #Bodacious Dream (79:51:56) and Gryphon Solo 2 (80:48:05), with France’s Eole Generation – GDZ Suez (81:50:45) rounding out the top five.
The race began at 6:25 p.m. on Friday, May 11th from Charleston Marina with international competitors from the USA, France, Great Britain and Germany competing extremely closely for the three-day, first leg. The teams left Charleston harbor with #116 Icarus jumping out in front of the fleet with the best start. Shortly after the start #90 40 Degrees’ cap shroud failed leading to their dismasting andretirement from the first leg of the race. Boats were mostly in sight of each other until they rounded Cape Hatteras, where the fleet split into two groups. One group opted to go towards the shore where the wind was forecasted to be stronger and the other half opted to sail further east into the gulfstream to take advantage of the three knot push. Forecast winds didn’t eventuate for the group headed for the shore allowing the group in the gulfstream to establish and extend the lead over the inshore path.
“It couldn’t get any better, really. So first place and the second win in the second race for the boat, which is pretty cool and I think we had a really really good race, “said Mare skipper Jörg Riechers.
“We tried to make a plan long before the start and stick to it, and I think that helps when you don’t let other people in on what you’re going to do,” said Mare skipper Ryan Breymaier. “The weather conditions might change a little bit, but as long as you sort of stick with the plan you know is right from the beginning, it’s all going to work out in the long run.”
PROVISIONAL RESULTS FROM THE FIRST LEG OF THE 2012 ATLANTIC CUP: TIME POINT FINISH
#115 *Mare – GER (Jörg Riechers, Ryan Breymaier) 78:55:13 2 1
#101 Campagne De France – FRA (Halvard Mabire, Miranda Merron) 79:16:38 4 2
#118 Bodacious Dream – USA (Dave Rearick, Matt Scharl) 79:51:56 6 3
#106 Gryphon Solo 2 – USA (Joe Harris, Tristan Mougline) 80:48:05 8 4
#105 Eole Generation – GDF Suez – FRA (Sebastien Rogues, Jeffrey McFarlane) 81:50:45 10 5
#20 Sevenstar Yacht Transport -FRA (Jean Edouard-Criquioche, Anna-Maria Renkin 81:54:56 12 6
#54 Dragon – USA (Michael Hennessy, Merf Owen) 82:17:53 14 7
#17 Transport Cohérence – FRA (Benoît Jouandet, Jorge Madden) 82:46:10 16 8
#116 Icarus Racing – USA (Tim Fetsch, Ben Poucher) 82:50:28 18 9
#30 Initiatives – USA (Emma Creighton/Rob Windsor) 82:53:52 20 10
#109 *Talan-Bureau Veritas – FRA (Stephane Le Diraison, Jesse Naimark-Rowse) 84:19:20 20 11
#85 Groupe Picoty – FRA (Jacques Fournier, Jean Christophe “JC” Caso) 84:30:26 20 12
#113 Partouche – FRA (Christophe Coatnoan, Ari Sebag) 85:03:32 20 13
#73 Toothface – USA (Mike Dreese, Ken Luczynski) 89:38:23 20 14
#90 **40 Degrees – GBR (Hannah Jenner, Peter Harding) DNF 22 15
*Protest pending between Talan-Bureau Veritas and Mare. In accordance with the Sailing Instructions, the protest will be heard in Newport, R.I. following the conclusion of Leg #2.
**40 Degrees retired after suffering a broken mast.
Massive Omani celebrations at The Wave, Muscat as Oman Air and The Wave score a one-two, squeezing out the French team of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who had finished every day but the last on top
Going into the first Act of the Extreme Sailing Series 2012, the all-French team of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild led by Pierre Pennec were favourites on paper and few would have predicted the final outcome that saw Morgan Larson’s team on Oman Air triumph in their debut here in Muscat, Oman. Four teams were in contention for the podium going into the final double-points race – the new Danish entry, Team Trifork, won the race, but Oman Air did enough to secure victory after an intense battle with the favourites. Leigh McMillan’s team on The Wave, Muscat muscled their way into the two-way fight and raced brilliantly on the final day to finish 2nd overall ahead of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild with Austria’s Roman Hagara (Red Bull) in fourth, having been just one point behind the French going into the final race.
“It’s an amazing feeling! It was a challenging week and obviously our learning curve was quite steep,” said Larson. “But this was really hard racing and any team could have won going into those last couple of races and we were just lucky they went well for us.” Morgan Larson’s team that includes four-time Olympian Charlie Ogletree and Max Bulger from the States, Britain’s Will Howden and Omani Nasser Al Mashari competing in his second Extreme 40 season, held on to a marginal lead from the opening race today but in the fourth race of the day the pressure mounted… Pushed over the line at the start, Oman Air had to restart and trailed the fleet, Larson’s team finished 7th leaving them on equal points with The Wave, Muscat and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild 2 points adrift. In the next race, won by Loick Peyron’s team on ZouLou, McMillan’s team finished ahead of their teammates and pulled ahead by 1 point. By the end of the penultimate race the two Oman Sail teams were back on equal points going into the final double-point decider and Pennec’s team had to win the final race with Oman Air and The Wave, Muscat finishing no better than 6th place. It was too tall an order for the French favourites who managed to get ahead of their rivals to finish the race in 2nd but Oman Air crossed the finish line in 3rd to clinch overall victory after 4 days and 29 races.
“Surely I feel disappointed about not having sailed well today,” said Pierre Pennec, skipper, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. “But this is the nature of the sport and even if this sounds strange, I feel very happy about this week’s competition. I really enjoyed being on the water and despite the fact that this is my fourth year in the Extreme Sailing Series, we have learned a lot in these last few days. My new crew sailed here for the first time and they have shown great human, mental and technical potential. I think it’s fantastic that the two top crews here in Muscat are the local teams. They are going to be seriously competitive this season.”
It proved to be a thrilling opening Act to the season and, after five years of Extreme Sailing Series competition, there is a feeling that 2012 is going to be one of the closest yet. “It’s up to us to catch up and be competitive in China because the goal is to win overall. Third is still a good result – it could be worse! It’s a warning for us,” said Hervé Cunningham, tactician Groupe Edmond de Rothschild. Next stop China – Act 2, Qingdao 17th-20th April.
Extreme Sailing Series 2012 Act 1, Muscat, Oman standings after Day 4, 29 races (2.3.12)
Position / Team / Points
1st Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson / Will Howden / Charlie Ogletree, Nasser Al Mashari, Max Bulger 165 points
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Ed Smyth, Pete Greenhalgh, Hashim Al Rashdi, Rachel Williamson 159 points
3rd Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (FRA) Pierre Pennec / Jean-Christophe Mourniac / Hervé Cunningham / Bernard Labro / Adeline Chatenet 155 points
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Matthew Adams, Graeme Spence, Pierre Le Clainche 148 points
5th GAC Pindar (GBR) Ian Williams / Mark Ivey / Mark Bulkeley, Adam Piggot / Andrew Walsh 138 points
6th ZouLou (FRA) Loick Peyron, Philippe Mourniac, Jean-Sébastien Ponce, Bruno Jeanjean, Antoine Joubert 111 points
7th Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, Tanguy Cariou, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey, Pierre-Yves Jorand 109 points
8th Team Trifork (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Kostner, Pete Cumming, Simon Hiscocks, Jonas Hviid 95 points
Quotes from the sailors:
Morgan Larson, skipper, Oman Air: “It’s an amazing feeling! It was a challenging week and obviously our learning curve was quite steep. But this was really hard racing and any team could have won going into those last couple of races and we were just lucky they went well for us. I’m sure there was a bit of beginner’s luck to this one and we just dug in and focused hard but I know its going to be a challenging season and we’ll get tougher conditions thrown at us and for sure we’re going to have to eat a few of them and we’re just need to keep enjoying the sailing as I think that was the key to our success working together. We knew if we held our position things would be good but in these boats you never know what can happen so you just have to keep on pushing all the way to the finish.”
Leigh McMillan, skipper, The Wave, Muscat: “All day long – we had some really great races, posted a win and some second places, but we couldn’t get away as they all just putting in good results as well. It was really tight and we’re very happy to get second, it came down to a very close light wind race and we got sucked in to a fight mid-fleet and Oman Air got away. But we’re really happy they got their win and it’s great for Oman as a whole.”
Hervé Cunningham, tactician, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild: “Some days you have days like this when nothing comes your way. I’m not looking for excuses but on board today nothing comes our way, it’s not working, bad rhythm, you just wake up a feel like something is wrong and it just shows on the water. The result was not good – few OCS’, too many penalties and lack of confidence because the team is old but it is a new crew. Hats off to Oman Air and The Wave. I understand that we are favourites but inside the team it is a new crew so there is no miracle, we are not as good as we were last year and the other guys have done better than us. They managed to sail at a higher level than us so its up to us to catch up and be competitive in China because the goal is to win overall. Third is still a good result – it could be worse! It’s a warning for us – it’s not going to be easy this year.”
Pierre Pennec, skipper, Groupe Edmond de Rothschild: “Surely I feel disappointed about not having sailed well today, but this is the nature of the sport and even if this sounds strange, I feel very happy about this week’s competition. I really enjoyed being on the water and despite the fact that this is my fourth year in the Extreme Sailing Series, we have learned a lot in these last few days. My new crew sailed here for the first time and they have shown great human, mental and technical potential. I think it’s fantastic that the two top crews here in Muscat are the local teams. They are going to be seriously competitive this season.”
Ian Williams, skipper, GAC Pindar: “We’re a bit disappointed with the overall result of 5th as I think maybe we deserve better. We were way off the pace on day two and those were the 20 points we gave away to pretty much everybody and after that it was very tough to get back.”
Roman Hagara, skipper, Red Bull Sailing Team: “The team did a good job but we had a few problems with communications and boat handling. We always worked hard in the races and came up from the back for the last race was not the best for us in the end but that’s the sport.”
Ernesto Bertarelli, skipper, Alinghi: “It was fantastic, fantastic. For me it’s great, a different format but I learnt so much every day, every race, it’s what I’m here for. I’m here to experience something different, something the excitement of this format and I really enjoyed myself. It’s close, it’s not very different from a normal regatta, it’s just that everything happens so much faster. In a normal regatta you have close contact or tactical situation with a boat maybe every 10 minutes, here it is every 15 seconds!”
Fighting talk on the dockside, find out what the sailors expectations are ahead of the first day of racing for 2012 A new team in the form of Team Trifork from Denmark can finally be unveiled today as the 8th team in the starting blocks for the first Act of the Extreme Sailing Series™ 2012 in Muscat, Oman. The team will be co-skippered by Jes Gram-Hansen on helm and Rasmus Kostner, tactician, who both come from a World Match Racing Tour and America’s Cup background, alongside the youngest member of the team, 26-year-old Jonas Hviid-Nielsen on bow combined with the Extreme 40 race experience of Pete Cummings (skipper of the winning Extreme 40 team in 2009) and Simon Hiscocks from the UK. It has been a long journey for the Danish team that began a year ago as Jes Gram-Hansen explained: “Rasmus and myself went into different sailing programmes like RC44 and Farr 40 after the 32nd America’s Cup in Valencia but all the time our dream was to create our own team. We analysed what kind of circuit would be the one to go with, and with the changes to the America’s Cup and the Extreme Sailing Series being more and more the series to be in, we decided to try and build a team for the Extreme Sailing Series. So we invested all our money into buying a boat a year ago and then we spent most of the year in Denmark taking out business people from companies to show them what we love and what we think would be a good way to be involved in the project. We have long-support from Trifork (a software company) which we have in been a good relationship over the years along with our clothing partner, Simon Spurr, to help get us here to the start line in Muscat.” The team’s expectations are as you would expect for the ‘newbies’ to the tour: “We have a lot of respect for the guys who have been on the tour and some of them have sailed multihulls for a long time,” continued Jens. “We’re here to learn and I’m sure we will make some mistakes but we’ve got two great English guys with us, Simon Hiscocks and Pete Cummings, so, hopefully, they will keep us out of trouble! Hopefully, we’ll improve over the season with a longer term goal of overall victory in a couple of years time.”
After various stints of team training up the Omani coast at Massanah, the racing starts for real tomorrow, Tuesday, 28th February, in Muscat. The live race coverage will start at 1130 GMT on Wednesday (29th Feb), streaming on Thursday (1st March) and Friday (2nd March). Glamour conditions expected and the sailors are talking it up on the dockside…
Roman Hagara, skipper, Red Bull Sailing Team: “We’re starting with a new team here with 2 new crew members – new bowman, Graham Spence from Australia and an amateur sailor from France, Pierre, sailing as our 5th sailor for this event – so we’re looking forward it. We did some good training in Massanah and we’re ready for the first Act. We’ve capsized here before on the Asia Tour (09/10) then last year we made it to the podium. Our goal here is to make to the podium again.”
Morgan Larson, skipper, Oman Air: “We’re looking forward to having some fun with the new team and doing really well. We’ve gelled really well with Will, Charlie, Nasser and Max so I think we’ve got a really good team. The competition is the highest it’s been in a while I think but I think we’ve got some great sailors on board and we’re expecting to be up at the front every race!”
Leigh McMillan, skipper, The Wave, Muscat: “I think we’re in pretty good shape and we’ve done some good training races but we haven’t raced in anger against any of these guys yet. We hope to get on the podium and start the season well. I think on paper Groupe Edmond de Rothschild maybe favourites but we hope that by the time we get to the end of the season we’ll be challenging for overall victory.”
Loick Peyron, helmsman, ZouLou: “I’m happy to be back here after a couple of years… We are here with a new team, good friends, good sailors although we have not raced together and we have only trained for 3 days which is not nearly enough. But the game is so interesting and so exciting, and I think it will be more ‘open’ than last year. We will be quite safe – I am fast but not furious! Tanguy Cariou, Tactician, Alinghi: “We all know the stadium racing is a very different game and we will have some good races and some bad ones! We made two training sessions with Ernesto in Massanah. I would say it is a new boat for him, a new format but we are used to sailing together on the D35 on the lake. There are new faces, new people and not all the teams have had the same level of training – I’m pretty sure that in Qingdao and Istanbul the strong teams will emerge but for the first event I’m not so sure, it’s a shakedown.”
The Royal Canadian Yacht Club (RCYC) won today’s opening race in the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup and was pre-empted from showing its prowess in a second race when sailing had to be abandoned due to wind and technical difficulties. The race, sailed in lumpy seas and an 18-knot easterly on Rhode Island Sound, started the regatta off with lots of action, as the Canadian boat, helmed by Terry McLaughlin, battled most closely with the New York Yacht Club, Royal Cork Yacht Club (IRL) and Japan Sailing Federation for best position between the start and the first mark two miles to windward.
“Japan (with Makoto Uematsu steering) had the best start,” said McLaughlin “and we had a good lane, but a huge left shift made us overstand the mark. There were boats farther to our left, but the Japanese were not as affected and rounded first.” The Canadians passed the Japanese team on the run to round the bottom mark first and carried their lead to the finish. New York (Phil Lotz of New Canaan, Conn./Newport, R.I., skippering), Royal Cork (Anthony O’Leary skippering), and the Japan Sailing Federation finished second, third, and fourth, respectively, with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club (Mark Watson skippering) rounding out the top five.
L-R, 10, Royal Yacht Squadron, Oscar Strugstad; Mutiny, Yacht Club Italiano, Carlo A. Puri Negri;
16, Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, Mark Watson; 06, Royal Thames Yacht Club, John Greenland, and
15, Real Club Nautico de Barcelona, Jordi Tarré. Dan Nerney photo.
The Yacht Club Italiano’s skipper Carlo Puri Negri could have been happier at the end of the day. As it was, shortly after the start, the stitching at the head of his jib failed, causing the webbing to pull from the sail and render it useless. He was sitting in fourth, he said, at the time of the mishap. “We sailed the rest of the race with just a mainsail,” said Puri Negri. The same thing happened to the Nylandska Jaktklubben team (FIN), with Leonardo Ferragamo at the helm, and the jibs were promptly rushed to shore and repaired while the fleet moved from “outside” on the Sound to an “inside” course on northern Narragansett Bay where the waters are more protected.
“While the fleet waited for the second race to start, the wind increased to 22 knots,” said Swan 42 Class President Paul Zabetakis, explaining that this is the limit for constant winds in this regatta in accordance with the NOR, “Another jib had failed in the meantime, and that, coupled with the sustained wind strength, made it clear the racing needed to be abandoned.
“To North’s credit, they jumped right on the situation to fix the first two jibs, and tonight they will rework all the jibs so that racing can get underway again tomorrow,” said Zabetakis.
The regatta continues through Saturday (Sept. 19) when a Parade of Nations through Newport Harbor will precede the final races to determine the winner and will showcase the 19 teams from 14 countries competing here.
After a 6th position at the inaugural event of the iShares Cup in Venice, Nick Moloney and his team matched that again at the iShares Cup Hyères-TPM with another sixth place. This also leaves BT in 6th overall in the iShares Cup 2009 circuit going into Round 3 that takes place in the UK over 1st-3rd August at the start of Cowes Week.
BT had a strong first day, winning the final race: “It was awesome but also quite tricky at times. It was very aggressive out on the racecourse. We just tried to be consistent scoring thirds and fourths, then a win in the final race was good enough to put us second on the leaderboard at the end of the day. Our training session in Hyères a couple of weeks ago has really paid off – losing Darren was tough as you lose 25% of your consistency but Mitch has been the ideal replacement.”
Mitch Booth took over the helm of BT as Darren Bundock, regular driver of the BT Extreme 40, was forced to step down due to injury: “I have not sailed an Extreme 40 for three years,” explained Mitch who then summed up day two in succinct terms: “We did good on the first day before having a shocker yesterday! We had too many bad positionings, got locked out of the starts twice, and in that class once you’re out, you’re out! And every mistake is paid for in full.”
The racing for the 10 top international Extreme 40 teams was intense and aggressive. The conditions were near ideal with a similar weather pattern over the three days starting in light conditions before building during the afternoon – the bigger breeze piling on the pressure for the teams. In these conditions, the iShares Cup Race Committee staged 19 races in total, within view of hundreds of spectators – the finish line itself was set almost within touching distance of the crowds. The BT crew were ‘pumped up’ for the final day and quickly put two bad results behind them to get back in the game with a second place in race 17 and a fourth place in the final double points race.
Nick was pragmatic about BT’s result and not overly disappointed: “You have to remember here that we are racing against some of the top sailors in the world, so getting a 1st or a 2nd in a race is huge.”