At the end Audi Azzurra Sailing Team glided serenely across the finish line of the one final race of the season in a gentle sea breeze and perfect September sunshine off Valencia to secure the overall 52 Super Series title.
When they started Race 8 of the Audi Valencia Cup, all that the team which races under the flag of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda had to do was simply cross that last finish line in any place to ensure the season-long title was theirs.
In so doing they also won the Audi Valencia Cup, counting five first places, a second, third and fifth. Their only regatta win of the four this season, Barcelona, Sardinia, Palma and Valencia, was achieved by a margin of seven points ahead of Jochen Schuemann’s Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One.
Niklas Zennström, the newly elected president of the TP52 class, steered Rán to a win this final contest of the season. With Quantum Racing finishing third, that was enough to give Zennström’s crew third step on the Audi Valencia Cup podium, and also third overall for the season.
The celebrations may have started early for the Audi Azzurra Sailing Team, having virtually wrapped up the title yesterday, but after seven years of trying the emotions and jubilation overflowed on the dock in front of the emblematic Veles e Vents building.
“We are very proud.” Grinned tactician Vasco Vascotto, “ It was a huge challenge, the standard is so high and so we are happy for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, for the Roemmers family (boat owners), for everybody involved it is such an important result.”
“But we need to start working tomorrow again, because I am sure that next year it will be harder and the teams will be ready to beat us. This is still a sport and so we have to always think not only how we won this year, but also how we lost in the past.”
Simon Fry, the British trimmer on board the winning Audi Azzurra Sailing team summarised:
“I think the team has really endorsed the ‘leave nothing to chance’ philosophy. I think we have just been a little more diligent. I think the boat preparation has been excellent. And I think that on top of that we had the human element of a really, really steely focus. It was ‘the time has come, we have to deliver’. We have had the hardware in the past and failed to deliver. So there was a bit of personal pressure on, and a bit of peer pressure, this was the year we had to deliver.”
For Quantum Racing, the American flagged team which won the class title in 2008 and 20011, letting the 52 Super Series slip from their grasp at the last regatta is a bitter pill to swallow, but skipper Ed Baird stated they will learn from the experience:
“ Every race is a practice race for the next one. You have to learn from every mistake you have made and add it to your bank of knowledge for the next. And we certainly have learned a lot this week.”
The 52 Super Series concluded its inaugural season with three different boats winning regattas, Quantum Racing, Rán and Audi Azzurra Sailing Team. The programme for next season’s 52 Super Series is already in place, starting in January in Key West.
Audi Valencia Cup
1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team 15pts
2 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One 22pts
3 Rán 25pts
4 Quantum Racing 26pts
5 Gladiator 32pts
52 Super Series final results
1 Audi Azzurra Sailing Team ITA 74.5pts
2 Quantum Racing USA 79.5pts
3 Rán Racing SWE 94.5pts
4 Gladiator GBR 125pts
5 Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One GER 132.5 pts
US 52 Super Series
Quantum Key West Race Week: January 20-25th
52 World Championships, Miami, March 5-9th
52 Super Series
Trofeo Conde de Godo, Barcelona, May 23-26th
Royal Cup, Ibiza, July 2-6th
Copa del Rey, Palma Mallorca, July 29th – Aug 3rd
Audi Week of the Straits, Porto Cervo, Sardinia September 10-14th
Vasco Vascotto, Audi Azzurra Sailing Team
“We are very proud. It was a huge challenge, the standard is so high and so we are happy for the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, for the Roemmers family, for everybody it is an important result. And we need to start working tomorrow again, because I am sure that next year it will be harder and the teams will be ready to beat us. This is still a sport and so we have to always think not only how we won this year, but also how we lost in the past. It means a lot to me. This is part of my heart. We are still a young team in the sailing circles and we want to win more together. I have won other things but this is important to win because the team have been trying so hard for so long.”
Ed Baird, Quantum Racing:
“Obviously we are disappointed. We never want to drop boats, we never want to do that. We are still learning and trying our hardest and I have full faith in the group here. One of the things that has gone on all week, is that despite how frustrating it has been to make decisions that seemed like they were the ones, and then have them go wrong, the group was always very positive and always fighting. I appreciate that from a team.
Adrian Stead, Rán Racing:
“We sailed the boat really well, we changed gears really well in the conditions. I think it was shifty enough and puffy enough that as long as you could be under the right breeze at the right time for longest, that gave you the speed and the advantage. We have come a long way. We have improved. We were weak in the light stuff an have improved there.”
Stephane Kandler, Audi Sailing Team powered by All4One:
“We are very happy with our season, we started late and with only little means. So we are quite happy to get two podiums over the season and won the Copa del Rey. So we are pleased to have done the season. Congratulations for the season to Azzurra who did a great job.”
Tony Langley, owner-driver Gladiator:
“It has been a good season for us. I am quite happy with the way things have gone and with the progress we have made. We had better results in Porto Cervo but we have been sailing the boat quite well. The other guys are coming after us now. We were tacked on three times today. We are doing things fairly right now.”
“Today we had good start, a bad shift, and then we were back in it again. And in the end we finish by taking a scalp off a team with a few gold medals between them and that’s great, that’s quite something.” “We are packing everything up now and heading to the US for the first events of next season. We are already really looking forwards to Key West and Miami.”
- 9 events confirmed for 2011 circuit spanning North America, Europe, Arabia and Asia.
- Mix of venues from iconic cities and unconventional ‘stadiums’, to established sailing destinations and emerging sailing markets.
- 10 top class teams representing 8 nations, and a dozen different nationalities of sailors.
- 5-day events offering a unique mix of ‘open-water’ racing and with high octane ‘stadium’ racing – high sporting integrity, but entertaining non-sailors and sailors alike too.
- Fleet racing, figure of 8 duels, time trials, match racing and other formats of racing will continue to be used – but always short, sharp and punchy!
- ‘Money can’t buy’ VIP experiences on and off the water – pioneering 5th man spots remain a key value of the event.
- 8-hour programme of entertainment (on and off the water) on every public-facing day.
- 12 x Optimists, 8 x 49ers, and at least 3 other classes of ‘support act’ over the season including windsurfers, kiteboarders,…
- 5-year vision and key developments planned for 2011
In Detail: Changing the way sailing is seen
On the eve of the World Yacht Racing Forum in Estoril (Portugal), the Extreme Sailing Series™ unveiled a great package of interesting and varied host venues, and top level professional sailing teams and skippers for 2011. The award-winning and ‘ISAF Special Event’ circuit is going truly global as it enters its fifth year, with 9 events spanning 3 continents, over 11 months and 10 teams representing 8 nations. A core objective of the event remains to be the most commercially sound way for brands and host venues to benefit from the great offer that professional sailing can present. This philosophy has been at the heart of the product since its inception in 2006, with the vast majority of teams since 2007 being sponsorship funded. The 2011 package provides a global sponsorship platform, at a very accessible budget level, and with a queue of sailors keen to compete.
“The circuit has come a long way since 2007 when we had just 4 European events and 5 teams,” commented Mark Turner, Executive Chairman of organisers OC ThirdPole. “We continue to attract new top sponsored teams, sailors and, importantly, major new venues where we can showcase the sport with our game-changing ‘stadium’ format. The choice of venues for 2011 has been our core commercial team focus since the end of 2009. We are getting closer to the perfect mix of established iconic cities, premium venues, great sailing destinations and emerging (sailing) markets.
“We continue to maintain the mix of sporting integrity and entertainment. We have shown inshore sailing can actually be fun to watch for the non-sailor as well as the sailor! Part of the DNA of the circuit since the beginning, our 5th man spot remains one of the sport’s greatest assets – be it for sponsors clients, media, TV cameramen, or prizewinners drawn from the general public,” he concluded.
The 2011 global circuit, which kicks off in Muscat in February 2011 and concludes in Singapore in December, is entering a new phase of development as part of a five year vision, after a challenging but successful 2010. Turner explains, “iShares was acquired by BlackRock at the end of 2009, which meant an end to the founding partnership of the event. We committed to running a test event in Asia and what was another successful European season in 2010 without a main partner. That was a big investment for our OC ThirdPole business, but one we believed in,” said Turner.
“Going forward we now have some meaningful host venue partnerships, strong teams, and a long term business plan with funding in place which will allow us to continue to develop the Extreme Sailing Series™ across all areas over the next five years – on the water, the shore-side public entertainment package and the media platforms,” he promised.
In addition to the host venue partnerships, and local sponsors for each event, OMEGA returns as Official Timekeeper, Marinepool join as Official Technical Clothing Supplier, and Pol Roger as the Official Champagne Supplier for the series. Further partners at both series and local level to be announced in the New Year.
A circuit spanning North America, Europe, Arabia and Asia
The 2011 Extreme Sailing Series™ kicks off in the Sultanate of Oman in February, as part of the annual Muscat Festival, before heading to China for Act 2 (location to be announced separately). The gateway between Europe and Asia, and European City of Sport for 2012, Istanbul, will host the third Act before the Extreme 40 fleet travels to the United States of America for the first time, to Boston’s waterfront in time for the July 4th celebrations.
Cowes Week welcomes the Extreme 40s for the fifth consecutive year for Act 5, ahead of a return to the Sicilian port of Trapani, for the second consecutive year. The French round will be staged on Mediterranean waters in Nice before Almería, in Andalucia, Spain hosts the penultimate event and the 2011 circuit will be decided in Singapore in mid-December.
10 Teams Representing 8 Nations, with sailors from more than 12 countries, and from diverse backgrounds (Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup, Olympic Gold medalists, World Match Racing Tour etc..)
Diversity and quality are once again hallmarks of the Extreme Sailing Series line upTwo-times runner-up Groupe Edmond de Rothschild returns (skipper as yet unknown); new entry Luna Rossa has snapped up last year’s winning skipper Paul Campbell-James as helm, with the boat skippered by America’s Cup winning sailor, Max Sirena. Oman Air Masirah, returns, skippered by French Volvo Ocean Race veteran Sidney Gavignet; double Olympic Gold Medallist Roman Hagara enters for the second season with his Red Bull Extreme Sailing team.
Britain’s Ian Williams, two times winner of the World Match Racing Tour joins Team GAC Pindar; another new Italian entry, Team Nice, led by Alberto Barovier and 2010 winners, The Wave, Muscat return to defend their title, this time skippered by emerging star Torvar Mirsky.
Alinghi returns to the fleet after winning in 2008, skippered by experienced Extreme 40 tactician Tanguy Cariou; Paul Cayard’s Artemis Racing is skippered by American Terry Hutchinson and finally, new to the 2011 circuit will be Emirates Team New Zealand, skippered by Kiwi America’s Cup winner, Dean Barker, who experienced Extreme 40 racing for the first time at the final event in Almería this year.
Event Format and new Class Rules
In 2011, each Act will generally consist of five days of racing as opposed to four days in 2010, and three in 2009. Each Act will be true to the core aspirations of the Extreme Sailing Series™ ethos – mixing ‘open-water’ racing with ‘stadium’ short-course racing in front of the public, including all the various disciplines and courses used already from fleet racing to match racing, straight line duels and speed trials. A large investment will be made again in the on-water umpiring – essential for ensuring the fans know the results as they watch, rather than wait for post-event protests.
Turner confirmed, “We are committed to maintaining the highest sporting integrity, as we have done since 2007. Recently taking control of the Extreme 40 Class from the creators, TornadoSport, has allowed us to also develop the rules of both event and boats in unison, to ensure a more equal chance to win, and also drive down many of the costs for the teams. We’ve limited sails (and dropped the price), decreased support costs with a central Tech Zone and team, and are managing all shipping logistics centrally as well as a host of other detail changes that all affect both return on investment for team sponsors, and ensure sporting equality regardless of budget size.”
The new Class rules are published this week. A typical full budget for a competitive year long campaign will range between 450k and 650k Euros, plus a boat at c.100k Euros per year (charter or depreciated purchased cost over 4 years).
Developing further the public events side, the organiser has committed to providing an eight-hour mix of entertainment on ‘public’ days. On the water a number of support acts, like the Olympic 49er class, windsurfing and kiteboarding, will build up to the main Extreme 40 headline act. A strong local community and charity campaign in each venue will see children given the chance to get on the water each morning. Wrapped around the on-water competition will be a comprehensive on-shore entertainment programme within the race village from interactive entertainment to music, alongside bars and food outlets. Music acts will also take centre stage under the Extreme Sailing Series ‘Sailing Remixed™’ banner at a number of the venues.
A global event such as this has a significant ‘footprint’. The environmental audit of the 2010 event is nearing completion, and will be used as the benchmark to improve all aspects of the event’s energy, waste and water footprint going forward. Initiatives from 2010, such as minimizing bottled water, are being analysed and evolved for 2011. This particular challenge has no finish line, but the race has begun.
And for the fans off-site, live commentary and audio from the boats will be streamed online, with possibility of live TV in some venues still under consideration. A new iPhone ‘app’ will also be launched during Q2, complementing a wide range of communication channels used by the event. Video online will continue to feature strongly, via YouTube and syndicated channels – especially for the short action clips the event is best known for. The current global TV programming platform will continue to be developed, but now also in HD format.
In 2010 Extreme Sailing Series has attracted coverage in over 120 countries in 13 languages including on CNN (Intl), UK Terrestrial station Channel 4, Bloomberg (Intl), Sky Sports (UK, NZ), Fox Sport (Australia), Sport+ (France) and ESPN (Brazil), with over 60hours of airtime for each programme in the five part series.
2011 Calendar & Host Venues:
Act 1: 22-24 February, Muscat, Oman (20-21 ‘open-water’ racing*)
?Act 2: 15-17 April, China (13-14 ‘open-water’ racing)
Act 3: 27-29 May, Istanbul, Turkey (25-26 ‘open-water’ racing)
?Act 4: 30 June – 4 July, Boston, USA (all days public event)
?Act 5: 6-12 August, Cowes, UK (all days public event)?
Act 6: 16-18 September, Trapani, Italy (14-15 ‘open-water’ racing)?
Act 7: 30 September – 2 October, Nice, France (28-29 ‘open-water’ racing)
?Act 8: 12-16 October, Almeria, Spain (all days public event)?
Act 9: 9-11 December, Singapore (7-8 ‘open-water’ racing)
* ‘open-water’ racing means that the Race Manager can use whatever part of the arena is best for racing – once the public village is open in ‘stadium’ mode there are sometimes constraints in this respect in order to ensure the fans can see all the action.
2011 Confirmed* Teams & Skippers:
Team Name/ Nat Skipper Name (Nat.)
Alinghi/ SUI – Tanguy Cariou (FRA)
Artemis Racing/ SWE – Terry Hutchinson (USA)
Emirates Team New Zealand/ NZL – Dean Barker (NZL)
Groupe Edmond de Rothschild/ FRA (As Yet Unknown)
Luna Rossa/ ITA – Max Sirena (ITA)
Oman Air Masirah/ OMA – Sidney Gavignet (FRA)
Red Bull Extreme Sailing/ AUT – Roman Hagara (AUT)
Team GAC Pindar/ GBR – Ian Williams (GBR)
Team Nice/ ITA – Alberto Barovier (ITA)
The Wave, Muscat/ OMA – Torvar Mirsky (AUS)
*initial entry period closed today, 13 December, however late entries may be permitted under the Notice of Race, up to a maximum of 11 boats, plus three wildcards for use by the organisation. The annual objective of Extreme Sailing Series™ is 8 quality teams.
After wishing for more boatspeed following the match racing portion of the RC 44 Valencia Cup, Anders Myralf of Denmark guided James Spithill and the 17 crew to three first place finishes today to wrest control of the fleet racing portion of the regatta.
The 17 crew won the first, third and fourth races, and placed fourth in Race 2. Their low score, however, is 8 points due to a 1 point penalty imposed by the International Jury.
Second place is held by Chris Bake and Team Aqua, winners of the match racing portion of the week-long event, with 14 points on finishes of 2-3-5-4.
Third place is held by Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis at 20 points (5-7-2-6).
“It’s incredible to come down here from Copenhagen and jump into a boat that is so organized and well sailed,? said Myralf, an amateur sailor who races aboard the Farr 40 Nanooq with the Prince of Denmark. “I’ve never seen such a good crew. I’ve got the easiest job on the boat.?
The southeasterly sea breeze that marked the match racing didn’t materialize today until the fourth race, but it lacked its typical punch. Instead, the fleet sailed in mostly an easterly wind between 8 and 10 knots. Only in Race 4 did it shift to the southeast and increase to 12 knots.
The new conditions made consistency hard to achieve. Instead of trusting the right side of the racecourse, some found the left side of the course favorable. Aside from the top two, the rest of the fleet had at least one, if not two finishes out of the top five.
“We were able to stay in the top five, and in this fleet that’s saying something,? said Bake of Team Aqua. “The field was fairly mixed up.?
Another marked difference from the match racing portion are the amateur helmsmen, as required by class rules. In most cases that is the owner driving the light-displacement yacht.
Completing the top five are a pair of Russians: Guennadi Timtchenko and Katusha, placed fourth with 20 points on finishes of 9-1-8-3, followed by Maxim Logutenko aboard BMW ORACLE Racing with Russell Coutts at 22 points (finishes of 10-6-4-2).
For Timtchenko, this is just his third regatta. Ever. He’d never raced before joining the RC 44 Class, but got into it due to Tornqvist, a friend and business associate.
“I raced with Torbjorn aboard one of his boats,? said the 57-year-old Timtchenko. “The RC 44 is the right class for me. It’s an interesting boat, fast and maneuverable. I make a lot of mistakes, but my crew gets me out of trouble.?
Marring an otherwise great day, 17 was penalized 1 point by the jury after a protest from Islas Canarias Puerto Calero and owner Daniel Calero.
At the start of Race 4, Puerto Calero was the windward yacht with 17 overlapped to leeward. Puerto Calero alleged that Spithill, the professional helmsman, took the helm. Class rules state that the professional may take the helm only on safety grounds.
Puerto Calero maintains that Spithill took the helm to help push them over the line early. Puerto Calero was on the course side at the start.
According to International Jury chairman Bill Edgerton, Spithill said in the protest hearing that he had a hand on the wheel, but only to help turn the yacht down to avoid potentially hitting Puerto Calero.
“We didn’t want to have them disqualified, but we wanted to raise the issue that it is against the rules,? said Daniel Calero.
RC 44 VALENCIA CUP
(Fleet racing provisional results)
1. 17 / Anders Myralf (USA) 1-4-1-1, 8 points*
2. Team Aqua / Chris Bake (UAE) 2-3-5-4, 14 points
3. Artemis / Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE) 5-7-2-6, 20 points
4. Katusha / Guennadi Timtchenko (RUS) 9-1-8-3, 21 points
5. BMW ORACLE Racing / Maxim Logutenko (USA) 10-6-4-2, 22 points
6. No Way Back / Pieter Heerema (NED) 8-2-7-5, 22 points
7. Ceeref / Igor Lah (SLO) 6-11-3-7, 27 points
8. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero / Daniel Calero (ESP) 3-9-9-10, 31 points
9. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team / Rene Mangold (AUT) 4-10-10-8, 32 points
10. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team / Vincenzo Onorato (ITA) 11-5-6-11, 33 points
11. Team Sea Dubai / Harm Mueller-Speer (UAE) 7-8-11-9, 35 points
(* includes 1 point penalty by International Jury)
Small jibs and loose boom vangs were the order of the day as the RC 44 Valencia Cup got underway here in a pumping sea breeze that topped out at 20 knots.
Despite the strong wind off Malvarrosa Beach, the professional crews threw the light-displacement boats around with seeming ease.
In a day that saw seven flights and 28 match races completed, three crews made it through the first five flights undefeated. But only Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis escaped unscathed.
“We started well enough today and the boat was going well through the water,? said Artemis skipper Terry Hutchinson, who finished the day at 6-0. “We had our best day boathandling, and we needed it today.?
Three other teams finished the day with 4-1 records including Russell Coutts and the BMW ORACLE Racing team, Cameron Appleton’s Team Aqua and James Spithill’s 17. Rounding out the top five is Igor Lah’s Ceeref at 3-1 with Rod Davis as skipper.
“We had a good day considering we weren’t able to practice yesterday,? said Davis, who suffered a slight injury when the mainsheet grazed his head. “We went in loose and are quite happy. The boys have been on the boat a long time and that was helpful today.?
The day started mild with an east/southeasterly wind around 12 knots. But with the temperature inland topping out at 90 degrees, it quickly turned wild when the wind shifted to the southeast and built to 16 to 18 knots, with gusts up to 20 knots.
The race committee ordered the small jibs for the fourth flight of races, and VIP spectators were no longer allowed aboard to avoid the risk of injury during transfer from chase boat to race boat.
Corresponding with the increase in wind strength was an increase of incidents. Upwards of eight penalties were issued, three spinnakers ripped, one jib battered and one steering system damaged.
A couple of crews were forced to retire from races due to the damage, but for those who finished you would think the day was a walk in the park.
“This was one of the windiest days we’ve had match racing, but they’re spectacular boats. They come alive downwind,? Hutchinson said.
“My guys did a great job getting me out of trouble today,? said Appleton. “I was the one causing the trouble.?
The match racing portion of the RC 44 Valencia Cup continues tomorrow with another seven flights planned. Thursday is a scheduled practice day for the fleet racing portion of the regatta, which runs Friday through Sunday.
RC 44 VALENCIA CUP
(Match racing, after seven of 14 flights)
1. Artemis / Terry Hutchinson (SWE) 6-0
2. BMW ORACLE Racing / Russell Coutts (USA) 4-1
2. Team Aqua / Cameron Appleton (UAE) 4-1
2. 17 / James Spithill (USA) 4-1
5. Ceeref / Rod Davis (SLO) 3-1
6. No Way Back / Pieter Heerema and Ray Davies (NED) 3-3
7. Team Sea Dubai / Markus Weiser (UAE) 2-4
8. Katusha / Paul Cayard (RUS) 1-3
9. Mascalzone Latino Audi Team / Tommaso Chieffi (ITA) 1-4
10. AEZ RC44 Sailing Team / Christian Binder (AUT) 0-5
10. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero / José Maria Ponce (ESP) 0-5
Estrella Damm set the New York Barcelona Record at 12 days 6 hours 3 minutes 48 seconds
· W Hotels’ around 50 miles behind, perhaps due to finish around 0700hrs UTC
12 days, 6 hours, 3 minutes and 48 seconds, is the mark for the sailing record books. Estrella Damm, the IMOCA Open 60, and the crew of Alex Pella (ESP), Pepe Ribes (ESP) and Stan Schreyer (USA) set the first record for the 3670 (orthodromic) miles passage under sail from New York to Barcelona very early this Wednesday morning when they crossed the finish line in front of the Catalan capital’s 26 story iconic glass W Hotel, at 00:37:06hrs UTC/ 02:37:06 local time Barcelona. They sailed an average speed of 12.48 knots
From the top storey of the avant garde new landmark, the blinking navigation lights of Estrella Damm could finally be slowly seen becoming more distinct through an otherwise foggy evening and night. As the trio crossed the finish line, set effectively by the transit of the peak of the sail-shaped hotel and the historic Tibidabo church, they finally brought to an end a passage which comprised two stages which contrasted sharply: a very fast crossing of the Atlantic and an almost painfully slow, exacting climb up the Mediterranean in capricious spring breezes, ending with a crawl to the finish line.
And as the upbeat, relieved Estrella Damm team stepped ashore close to the hotel which was built last year, one of the chain which bears the name of their New York to Barcelona record rivals, the eponymous IMOCA Open 60 with Pachi Rivero, Toño Piris and Peter Becker on board, was still making very slow progress, some 50 or so miles further out to sea.
While the Estrella Damm crew were pleased to have got home first there was considerable disappointment for the W Hotels team who put up a close fight all of the way across the Atlantic, mostly within 20 miles of their rivals until they were struck two successive body blows last Thursday and Friday.
First their port rudder mechanism was damaged by a wave, when they were in big winds to the north of Madeira, on the edge of a malicious low pressure system. Then, while they were repairing it, they were knocked over by a big wave as W Hotels broached.
As a result they lost more than 130 miles to be 168.5 miles behind on the 1700hrs GMT position report last Friday (16th). But the tenacious Piris, Rivero and Becker fought back on the approach to and into the Mediterranean, closing the gap again to 53.9 miles on by last Sunday lunchtime (18th).
But they were never able to get back on terms with Estrella Damm which had lead across the start line at Ambrose Light, and for the final one third of the route, they were always on the back foot.
Two boats, two seas, one record.
One of the targets of the New York – Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record challenge was to join the two cities by establishing a record route. The weather patterns which characterize both seas have proven a worthy challenge, and the record which has been established sets the bar at a high level.
In the Atlantic Estrella Damm and W Hotels enjoyed fast hand-to-hand combat, matching each other closely, high speed reaching only a few miles apart, pacing each other to high mileages. At first they rode the front of a low pressure system in classic style, in SW’ly winds before having a simple, slow but brief respite transiting a high pressure ridge, then moving to benefit from the boisterous conditions generated by a cut-off low pressure system situated between Madeira and the Iberian peninsula.
The duo left Ambrose Light led by Estrella Damm at 1833hrs UTC/(1433 NY Time) on Thursday April 8th in conditions more reminiscent of summer, light winds and sunshine as they departed New York but were soon fast reaching out into the Atlantic in 18-25 knot winds. The first few days allowed high averages, regularly in the realms of 20 knots, and between the 9th and 11th April they surpassed 400 miles in 24 hours reaching 462 miles on the first Saturday, only 38.7 miles off the 24 hours world record set by Alex Thomson and Andrew Cape during the 2007 Barcelona World Race.
It was the ability to cross the high pressure ridge in a single day as much as the speed on the depressions which contributed to their very high speed to Gibraltar. The average of more than 15 knots was set for the passage to Gibraltar, crossing the Atlantic in a time which compared favorably with 2925 miles Ambrose Light to the Lizard passage 60 footers record, held at 7 days and 23 hours by Bernard Stamm (SUI). They were around a day quicker for the same mileage and surpassed Stamm’s 13.79 knots average considerably. That was until the Mediterranean slow down.
While the best run was in excess of 460 miles in 24 hours, by comparison it took about three days and 10 hours to cover the 528 miles to from Gibraltar to Barcelona. But a new record has been set, a new chapter in sailing history opened with the New York – Barcelona Transoceanic Sailing Record, and both cities have contributed to an exciting new ocean racing benchmark which could prove hard to beat.
(All times are provisional and subject to ratification by WSSRC
Adios New York!The crews of the Open 60’s Estrella Damm and W-Hotels could not have wished for better weather as they departed New York’s North Cove Marina heading ultimately for home, 3750 miles across the Atlantic through the Straits of Gibraltar and up the Mediterranean to Barcelona.08/04/2010 06:07
Adios New York!The crews of the Open 60’s Estrella Damm and W-Hotels could not have wished for better weather as they departed New York’s North Cove Marina heading ultimately for home, 3750 miles across the Atlantic through the Straits of Gibraltar and up the Mediterranean to Barcelona.08/04/2010 06:07 Indeed were it not for the imposing, iconic Manhattan skyline as a constant reminder this is New York, you could have been forgiven for thinking the warm spring, shirtsleeves weather was much more reminiscent of the Catalan capital, Barcelona.
The mood was quietly relaxed and without major fanfare. The farewell was warm and passionate from families, friends, supporters and organisers in the pleasant spring sunshine.
Around the compact yacht harbour on the edge of New York’s financial district, the beating heart of the city which never sleeps, and one which has witnessed very many historic sailing departures over the year, there was scarcely a breeze but the crews of both boats know that brisk winds were awaiting them as soon as they traverse the lower Bay. The scene, one of quiet anticipation as the six co-skippers said their farewells and headed out for the Atlantic.
“It has all been going very well and now we are just ready to get on with it. The weather is looking very good for us, just what we wanted. We are leaving with a good frontal system which will give us some fast sailing. We are very happy with it, perfect conditions really.” Smiled Pepe Ribes (ESP) co-skipper of Estrella Damm. “We are looking forward to sailing with Stan. We have made a watch system where he will play an equal part for the first few days, we will be looking at how he goes, so we will see how we get on with that.”
The two American co-skippers, one on board either boat, could not wait to get going. Their respective experiences are very different. Estrella Damm’s Stan Schreyer (USA) is much more of a inshore racing sailor, with a two Tornado catamaran Olympic campaigns under his belt, but this adventure will be new to him, W-Hotels Peter Becker is a dyed in the wool ocean racer including experience of many of the world’s blue water classic offshores
“We are ready. I feel really good, I slept really well and today, yes, there are a couple of butterflies there in my stomach, but I know I am in very good hands. The forecast for the first four days look quick and I am just fine with that. I had a nice meal last night, took in a little baseball. I am kind of going into this a little dumb, not really knowing what it’ll be like, but I am cool with that.” “The freeze dried food is really not too bad, but Alex was taking some off the boat yesterday and we only have food for 18 days and so we had better get there quick!”
Peter Becker (USA), despite his many ocean racing miles, sounded just as excited with the prospects of what lies ahead on W-Hotels: “The mood is really just fantastic. It is always a bit nerve wracking in any ocean race until you are off the dock and the sails are up, and from there it all falls into place. We will be pushing really hard..” “These are two boats which are owned by the same ‘family’ if you like, but it’s a competitive family, which is really great. So we will be pushing each other really hard, but it is always good to know there is another boat out there with you.” “Stan and I are from very different backgrounds and there is a friendly rivalry between us. But, we have been sharing what we can with each other. If there is anything that I feel he might want to know, or would be useful to him that he knows, then I have shared what I can with him” “But,” Becker closes ominously, “this is a horse race and we are out to win.”
Anna Corbella from Spain and Dee Caffari from Great Britain team up with GAES Solidaria to be the first all female crew to enter the double-handed Barcelona World Race 2010
Following the company’s successful experience with the sponsorship of Anna Corbella in the Transat 6.50 2009, GAES takes a step further into the world of ocean racing sponsorship.
Barcelona, 16th March 2010.- Britain’s Dee Caffari and Spain’s Anna Corbella have confirmed their entry in the Barcelona World Race as the GAES Solidaria Team and will join the fleet on the start line on the 31st December 2010. Following the successful sponsorship of the Spanish Mini Class sailor in the recent Transat 6.50/ La Rochelle – Salvador de Bahia, Barcelona’s GAES Hearing Centres are venturing further into the world of top-level ocean racing, by entering the first all female crew of the race.
Anna Corbella and Dee Caffari started their training by delivering Dee’s Open 60, the former Aviva, from England to Spain last week. This Owen Clarke Design, built in New-Zealand by Hakes Marine and launched in January 2008 is sister-ship to Mike Golding’s Ecover and has already proved her reliability and potential by finishing all the races she entered in the top 10!
Antonio Gassó, Managing Director and CEO of GAES, speaking about their support of the first all-female crew to enter the Barcelona World Race said:
“Our sponsorship is a further commitment to the company’s relationship with the world of sport and reinforces company values such as teamwork, overcoming adversity and the power of effort”.
The GAES support of sailing began in 2007 following the development of a sophisticated and unique onboard communication system for the only Spanish entry in the 2007 America’s Cup, the Desafío Español.
According to Antonio Gassó, the new sponsorship has come about at a time when the company is not only showing support for sport and the natural environment, but also for an entirely female crew, the first to take part in this competition, hosted by Barcelona, the city where the GAES headquarters are situated and the city where the company came to life, over sixty years ago.
Anna Corbella has on many occasions expressed that one of her ambitions was to take part in the Barcelona World Race and she has been involved in the technical and logistical preparation of other IMOCA Open 60 projects such as Pakea Bizkaia and Educación sin Fronteras.
The skipper from Barcelona is about to make her dreams come true, and hopes to learn from another extraordinary yachtswoman. The Catalan sailor declared:
“This is my first round the world race, so I’m very excited about facing the challenge. I’m sure this project’s going to go very well, as we are all very excited about it”.
Corbella added: “For both Dee and myself, it’s a great challenge to be the only female team, to be able to compete on equal terms and to prove that out at sea, in extreme conditions, there is no difference between the sexes. We are a strong and very good team”.
For Anna Corbella (Barcelona, 1976) the Barcelona World Race is the pinnacle of the most exciting two years of her life! Anna became the first Spanish woman to complete a solo Transatlantic regatta in 2009, when she sailed in the gruelling Transat 6.50, finishing in 13th place onboard GAES Solidaria 385 ,a 2002 design, finishing in front of many last generation boats. With the Barcelona World Race, she could become the first Spanish woman to race around the world.
· Anna has a degree in Veterinary studies from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona as well as a Masters degree in Scientific Communication from the Pompeu Fabra University. She began her sailing career in dinghy sailing. Corbella has conquered two Spanish World Championships (470 and 420) and has been part of the Spanish Olympic training team for two seasons. Following a tough Mare Nostrum regatta in 2001, Anna decided to officially enter the world of offshore racing by entering the Mini Class. She finished fourth in the Mini-Med 2004, fifth in the Mini-Med 2006 and won the Taylor Woodrow Trophy regatta in 2007. She also finished sixth in the Mini-Barcelona 2008 and fourth in the Mini-Empuries 2008, before her extraordinary 13th placein the Transat 6.50 2009.
Record setting solo British yachtswoman, Dee Caffari, said:
“I am really excited about taking part in the Barcelona World Race with Anna later in the year and look forward to collaborating with our sponsor for the race, GAES Solidaria. I am also delighted to have the continued support of Aviva as Founding Partner of my ocean racing campaign and am sure that competing in a race that takes me back down into the Southern Ocean will give me an edge for my ultimate goal of competing in the Vendée Globe 2012.”
Dee Caffari MBE
In 2006 Dee Caffari MBE became the first woman to sail solo, non stop, around the world against the prevailing winds and currents. In 2009, Dee’s 6th place finish in the notorious Vendée Globe race secured her a double world first as she became the first woman to sail solo, non-stop around the world in both directions
In 2012, Dee intends to be on the start line of the Vendée Globe once again with the intention of securing a podium position. Dee Caffari’s race to the start line has now begun and she is currently searching for a new title sponsor to help fund her ambition to compete in the 2012/13 Vendée Globe.
“At the coin toss, SNG/Alinghi were asked to call heads or tails. They thought they had won and asked for the starboard entry into the start box. GGYC/BMW Oracle subsequently won the toss, and spoilt Alinghi’s plans by asking for starboard!” Gareth Reported.
Tens of thousands of visitors swarmed the signature Veles e Ventes building and the surrounding area of the America’s Cup Park to enjoy the festivities on an otherwise tranquil Sunday afternoon of mild temperatures.
Race director Harold Bennett (NZL) set the coin spinning in the air, watched by Pierre-Yves Firmench (SUI), commodore of the Société Nautique de Genève, the yacht club of the Defender of the 33rd America’s Cup and Marcus Young (USA), commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club of San Francisco.
The American team will therefore take what is commonly held to be the initial advantage, entering with right of way, on starboard tack.
On the water there was scarcely enough wind to create ripples, but in the distance the lack of breeze was scarcely a worry for one of the giant multihulls, which with its towering rig still paced the horizon, making best use of the final hours of practice and tuning before racing is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning around 1000hrs
The opening festival was brought to a noisy crescendo with a barrage of mascleta, firecrackers which increased in size and noise.