The second edition of the Rolex Volcano Race concluded in true Caprese style as fifteen international crews toasted a week’s enthralling sailing during the Rolex party and prizegiving at La Canzone del Mare on Friday 25 May. A combination of envious views of Capri’s Faraglioni rock formations and a famous venue once owned by Anglo-Italian singer Gracie Fields, and treasured over the years by glitterati and thespians alike, provided a fitting finale to a magnificent week.
During the ceremony, the crew of Sir Peter Ogden’s Mini Maxi Jethou (GBR) received the week’s most coveted prize – the Rolex Trophy and timepiece – awarded to the overall winner of Leg Two of the 400-nautical mile offshore race which started and finished in Capri and comprised a pulsating journey through the Aeolian Islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The fastest boat on the water over Leg Two – Filip Balcaen’s 112-foot Supermaxi Nilaya – was awarded a Rolex timepiece after claiming line honours in a time of one day, two hours and five minutes.
The two celebrating crews have much in common: both are formed by an enthusiastic owner and a group of friends who have sailed together for a number of years, comprising mainly amateurs in addition to handpicked and highly-skilled professional sailors. Their respective paths to victory are the result of hard work and perseverance.
Ogden’s 60-ft Jethou has frequently been the bridesmaid at Rolex yachting events, missing out on the prizes with luck deserting her at key junctures, from crew members falling overboard to split-second defeats. It seems this team of predominantly Corinthian sailors may have finally found the winning formula. Ogden commissioned an upgrade to his Mini Maxi over the winter, drawing on the advice of professional tactician Brad Butterworth. Jethou is now more powerful following a slight lengthening and the development of a new mast and sail plan. While the yacht’s enhanced prowess has rendered her faster and more responsive in light airs, the crew’s obvious bond and unity is an equally key component in this long overdue success.
The bulk of the Jethou crew is made up of Ogden’s friends and family, the professionals onboard playing a key role in helping develop the team’s confidence and skills. America’s Cup legend Butterworth brings a wealth of experience. “I’ve sailed with other famous sailors and he is one of the guys,” reveals Ogden. “He encourages the crew, shouts at them, but they love him. It is great to have someone who really knows what he is doing. He sees things in 3D that nobody else sees.” Ogden also pointed to the contribution of professional navigator Mike Broughton; “he got us round very safely and was excellent on weather predictions.”
The sailing was a riveting affair. Jethou reached consistent speeds of 26 knots around the Aeolian Islands, the crew knee deep in water as the Mini Maxi flew past these ancient geological wonders almost like an aeroplane. At one stage, incredibly, she was ahead of two titans in Nilaya and Claus-Peter Offen’s 100-ft Wally Y3K (GER). Eventually, on the home stretch and as the wind speed picked up, these two larger yachts gained a narrow advantage over Jethou by virtue of their superior waterline length. However, Ogden’s Mini Maxi finished an impressive 41 minutes behind the first boat home, enough to help her triumph on handicap, marking an impressive week which saw the crew claim the windward/leeward race in Gaeta and second place overall in Leg One of the offshore race, which ran 100-nm from Gaeta to Capri. In the combined scoring for the three events of the week, Jethou also came out on top. An emphatic winner.
For Ogden victory crowned a memorable week, which he concluded by celebrating his 65th birthday: “It is not a professional crew. I sail for sixty days a year, and they can’t all commit to this, so we have a roster and rotate, although they’ve all been with me a long time.” According to Broughton, who steps down as navigator for the forthcoming Giraglia Rolex Cup: “They are a great bunch to sail with, there’s lots of banter and they’re very happy as we’ve now won our last two races.” With her recent success, Jethou has thrown down the gauntlet to her Maxi rivals ahead of a competitive summer.
Sir Peter Ogden, owner Jethou
Terrific team spirit
Onboard the largest, heaviest and arguably most complicated yacht – the 112-ft Nilaya – the workings of the 16-man team are down to a tee. Cajoled by Volvo Ocean Race veteran Bouwe Bekking, who calls the shots and acts as the team’s commander-in-chief, the crew of predominantly Belgian and Dutch sailors are on an upward learning curve.
Owner Filip Balcaen is proud of the progress his largely amateur crew of friends have made over the past 15 years, having started out with little or no sailing experience. “Everything we have learnt and do today comes from the professional sailors,” admits Balcaen. The crew now almost function on autopilot. “A good crew should not talk a lot when something is happening as it is used to working together and in the case of an unexpected event should know what to do. This is the advantage we have of sailing a long time.”
Balcaen and Bekking’s relationship began back in 2003 during a successful Swan European regatta in Cowes. Ever since, Bekking has been the sounding board and inspiration for the crew, which includes four other professional sailors, all Volvo Ocean Race veterans. “The crew has progressed from a 56-ft yacht to an 80-ft yacht, and now this 112-ft yacht, and we know how to communicate,” adds Bekking. “Furthermore, it is a different relationship than that often found on other boats; we call each other up in between races and talk about a lot of things aside from sailing. We have a lot of respect for each other. If people make a mistake, we speak about it calmly and nine out of ten times it doesn’t happen again. It is about giving everyone self-confidence.”
The crew’s approach to sailing Nilaya has been marked by a gradual evolution and a lack of fear at sailing such a large yacht. Bekking concludes: “A lot of people are impressed by size but the good thing about these guys is that they still approach their sailing as if on a small boat – that way they get the most fun out of it.” In a thrilling tussle during Leg Two of the offshore race, Nilaya pulled clear of Y3K and Jethou to claim a hard-fought and deserved line honours title. The entire crew stayed awake for the 26-hour journey, tired eyes and warm smiles greeted the sunset finish in Capri. Enjoyment clearly breeds success. And vice versa.
* A dedicated feature story provides further details about how the team onboard Nilaya operates.
Boat Sail No.
Sir Peter Ogden GBR 74 1
Claus-Peter Offen GER 6060 3 3.00 4 6.00 3 6.00 15.00 2
Marco Rodolfi ITA 18989 4
Filip Balcaen GBR 112 8
Alex Shaerer USA 60666 9
Vladimir Liubonirov RUS 2460 2
TWIN SOUL 6
Luciano Gandini ITA 19951 6
Escuela Mediterranea de Vela ESP 9933
Giuseppe Puttini ITA 13993 12
Michele Galli ITA 88888 10
The Newport Yachting Center will be decorated with a collection of world-class yachts for the 30th Annual Newport Charter Yacht Show (June 18-21), which has garnered great enthusiasm from the marine industry under the show’s new owner, Newport Harbor Corporation. The four-day show, which will take place in historic downtown Newport, R.I., is the only one of its kind in the U.S. and caters to not only the charter trade but also consumers (attending with brokers) who can learn more about charter options in New England and world-wide through access to luxury yachts from 50 to 200 feet, industry focused seminars and ancillary goods and services.
“We have 24 yachts signed up to-date, and our number of on-site exhibitors has doubled from last year,” said Event Chair and Director of Newport Exhibition Group Tom DeLotto, adding that this year the show is directly preceding the America’s Cup World Series in Newport. “Everything is really coming together, and we could not be more pleased with the industry support from brokers, agents and marine businesses.”
Nicholson Yachts is one of the local firms that will be participating this year and currently has five yachts registered to appear at the show. “I’ve seen so many positive changes already, “said Owner and President of Nicholson Yachts Karen Kelly-Shea (Newport, R.I.) who has participated in the show since 1992. “The Newport Yachting Center is a great venue for the yachts and the perfect showcase for ‘selling’ charters starting in Newport, the sailing capital of New England.” Kelly-Shea explained that seminars at the show will focus on chartering in New England as an exciting, budget-conscious option to the Mediterranean and Caribbean.
“Having the show in Newport with tourism representatives from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine will help brokers from other parts of the country book summer charters,” said Kelly-Shea. “As far as local support goes, local charter brokers I’ve talked with are very positive about the changes, and the list of exhibiting vendors includes some of the best marine businesses on Aquidneck Island. After the show finishes I look forward to lots of emails and phone calls from brokers ready to book yachts in Nicholson’s charter fleet!”
Delotto added that the cost for a week-long charter in New England can be as low as $8000 for three couples. “You don’t have to charter a mega yacht for $100,000, though we do represent those options at the show. Brokers have all sorts of options, including vacations on charter yachts in the 40-50 foot range.”
Rikki Davis Yachts at Churchill Yacht Partners has five yachts listed in the show this year. “The main benefit of having the show in Newport is the experience the brokers get from being in this great city where they can glean first-hand knowledge of the location they will be selling to their charter clients,” said Maggie Vale (Newport, R.I.), a charter yacht broker for the company, who has been attending the Newport show for the past eight years. “In this industry we are selling a location as well as a product.”
DeLotto said that the supporting marine businesses, which include Gold Sponsors AERE’ Docking Solutions and The Private Journey, are “extremely vested” in the event. The week kicks off with a Welcome Cocktail Reception, sponsored by The Hinckley Company and IGY Marinas (Monday, June 18 at 5:30 p.m.), in the Hospitality Tent (open daily from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.), which is sponsored by West Marine Megayacht Supply, and starting off each day of the show are the industry-focused seminars (8:15 a.m.) sponsored by ClearStone Coating.”
Supporting Sponsors to-date are American Yacht Charter Association, Bluewater Books & Charts, BURGER, Come Sea U.S., Crown Bay Marina, GYF Global Yacht Fueling, Maritime Professional Training, Ocean Medical International, Oversee Yachts, Providence Jet Center – Quonset, U.S. Superyacht Association, Ward’s Marine Electric, Westrec Marinas and Yacht Insiders Guide, while Media Partners are Boat International Media, Dockwalk and ShowBoats International. The Charitable Partner of 2012 is YachtAid Global.
Spotlight: Culinary Competition
Chefs aboard participating charter yachts will go whisk-to-whisk on Wednesday, June 20 for the Newport Charter Yacht Show’s Culinary Competition, which has been split into two classes: the Grande Class, for chefs on yachts 100 feet and above, and the Premier Class, for chefs on yachts 99 feet and under.
For the Grande Class, the morning of the event, chefs will be provided with a “mystery basket” full of ingredients along with a short list of ingredients that can be used from their pantries. They will then return to their respective galleys to prepare four servings of a meal of any cuisine, and local restaurant chefs will determine a winner.
For the Premier Class, the chefs will prepare seafood chowder, the quintessential dish of New England and have free reign over the ingredient choices. Once the dishes are complete, show attendees will be invited to visit every competing yacht’s galley to taste the creations. Ballots will be provided onboard each yacht and the winner determined after results are tallied.
The winner of both the Grande and Premier Class will be announced at the Chef’s Awards Ceremony in the main tent that day at 4 p.m.
When the third annual Les Voiles des St. Barth gets underway this April 2-7, there will be more that meets the eye than the simply stunning panoramic views of the colorful French West Indies island that hosts the event and the expansive blue Caribbean ocean that surrounds it. Competitive sailors and, for that matter, local residents and visitors alike will have the privilege of also indulging in the indelible impressions left by the aesthetically unmatched designs of some of the world’s finest yachts participating as well as the passion of their owners.
Among the 60+ entrants registered to date is what many call the world’s most famous yacht of all time: the 52’ (15.8 metre) yawl Dorade. Purchased in 2010 by Matt Brooks (San Francisco, Calif.), Dorade was designed by the late Olin Stephens and originally launched in 1930. She influenced nearly all developments in yacht design for the next three decades and was hugely successful in distance racing, taking overall victory in the 1931 Transatlantic race and the 1931 and 1933 Fastnet races, among others. Now, Brooks, who has spent the last year overseeing a refit and major restoration of Dorade, is utilizing Les Voiles de St. Barth as a platform for both yacht and crew preparation, with the goal of entering Dorade in her first major modern ocean race this summer: the Newport to Bermuda Race, in which she finished second in both 1930 and 1932.
“We are assembling and training a crew with the right skills, chemistry and experience to race Dorade and win,” said Brooks, who is a world champion in the Six Meter class as well as an accomplished mountain climber and world record-holding jet pilot. “We also are toughening up Dorade herself, readying her for the kind of long-range sailing she hasn’t seen in decades, keeping in mind that while she may be game, she is also an 80-year-old lady.”
Dorade will sail in the Classics division against such other standouts as Kate, an Intel 60 (18.2 metre); Cruinneag III, a 63’ (19.4 metre) ketch, and Marie Des Isles, a Gran Shpountz 65 (20 metre). Among Dorade’s crew will be John Burnham, an IOD World Champion and Shields ClassNational Champion; legendary Bermudian sailor Buddy Rego; Jesse Sweeney, Dorade’s navigator and a member of the Camper Emirates Team New Zealand’s meteorology team for the Volvo Ocean Race; and Jamie Hilton, a two-time 12 Meter World and North American Champion, who also was a member of Brooks’s team when it won the 2011 Six Meter World Cup.
“St. Barth is a legendary destination and a beautiful place to sail, and we are expecting great wind, great camaraderie among the competitors, and a good test of the new and improved Dorade,” said Brooks.
Another remarkable yacht that will be seen in St. Barth is the Hoek 115’ (35.2 metre) Firefly, the recently launched prototype for the new one-design F Class. The superyacht was designed to hold her own against larger (130’/39.7 metre) J Class yachts and sports some similarities such as a towering rig and long bow and stern overhangs to those massive yachts, which were built in the 1930s and have experienced a rebirth.
According to her designers, Firefly is a perfect mix of classic lines and retro-design details, optimizing her for the Spirit of Tradition classes hosted by some regattas, but at Les Voiles de St. Barth she will depend on her high-performance racing characteristics to prevail against eight other yachts thus far signed up in Maxi class (yachts 75’/22.86 metres and longer).
“The concept is to have a beautiful, classic-looking boat with a modern underbody, using the latest technologies in deck gear and rigging solely for use as a racing boat and/or daysailer,” said Mark van Gelderen, who supervised Fireflys nine-month building process and has been the captain since she splashed in June of 2011. Having headed straight to the Med to compete in a handful of maxi events, Firefly was further optimized to improve performance before heading to the Caribbean.
“We have a relatively young crew combined of professional sailors, very good amateurs and friends of the owner,” added van Gelderen, who will be skippering and driving together with the owner. “Within the crew we have Olympic, Volvo Ocean Race, big boat and dinghy experienced sailors a great combination of very motivated guys!”
Van Gelderen also explained that St. Barth will offer a great place for guests and crew to be entertained when not participating in racing. “There are beaches, great restaurants, shopping and peace and tranquility, all within close proximity,” van Gelderen said. “It’s the perfect combination.”
While three other Maxi Class boats — the 112′/34 metre Baltic Nilaya, the 112′/34 metre Swan Highland Breeze, and the 115’/35 metre Farr Sojana — are nicely matched size-wise to Firefly, no one is quite sure how they or five smaller Maxis in the class are going to compare speed-wise. Certainly all eyes will be on the 90′ (27.4 metre) Reichel/Pugh Rambler, which won the inaugural Les Voiles de St. Barth and has been brought out of retirement by its owner George David (Hartford, Conn.) after its successor, Rambler 100 (which won last years Les Voiles de St. Barth with David steering) lost its keel and capsized in the 2011 Fastnet.
“These races invariably start a mile or two off Gustavia (the main harbor and capital of St. Barth), which means in any kind of a northeasterly trade it is a shifty first leg to a weather mark just outside the harbor,” said David, who most recently finished second overall and second in class with Rambler at the 2012 RORC Caribbean 600. “Then there are a couple of miles reaching either way across the south side of the island, so it’s a parade after that first weather mark, and you don’t want to get there second. Our ride last year, Rambler 100, got us there first every time with boat lengths to spare. It wont be so easy in the 90 footer.”
David noted that 15 of Ramblers crew sailing in the Les Voiles de St. Barth were present at the now-famous Fastnet incident, and a majority of them have sailed in the last two runnings of this regatta.
In addition to the Classic and Maxi classes at Les Voiles de St. Barth, there will also be a Racing Class with divisions for Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, 52-Footers, and Multihulls. Other notable entries include the Tripp 75 Blackbird, the Carkeek 40 Decision, the X 65 Karuba 5, and the Irens 63 trimaran Paradox.
With a Tuesday (April 3) through Saturday (April 7) schedule that includes four days of intense racing and a lay day on Thursday (April 5), the regatta kicks off on Monday, April 2, with opening ceremonies and cocktails at the festive Race Village on the Quai General de Gaulle overlooking Gustavia Harbor, where the event is headquartered. Lay day events planned for Nikki Beach include lunch and a surprise sporting challenge for all crews. Evening activities include off-site parties as well as post-racing bands and entertainment in the Race Village.
Organizers unveiled the official limited edition Les Voiles de St. Barth 2012 poster by well-known St. Barth artist Antoine Heckly. Only 300 posters will be printed, with the original artwork to be auctioned off during the crew party –hosted by the real estate agency, Sibarth — at Shell Beach on Wednesday, April 4. Proceeds from this auction will be donated to FEMUR (Foundation for Emergency Medical Equipment) to fund the purchase of a CT scanner to be installed in the new Radiation Center in the island’s Hopital de Bruyn.
It has been a busy 24 hours at the Antigua Yacht Club. At dawn on the fifth day of the RORC Caribbean 600, only three yachts were still at sea vying to complete the course before tonight’s Prizegiving celebrations and all of the class winners are now provisionally decided. The bar at the Antigua Yacht Club has been in full swing, buzzing with stories between the crews and songs in a myriad of different languages.
Team Selene skippered by Benjamin Davitt finished yesterday morning. The Swan 80 sailed an excellent race to claim third place overall and will lift the prestigious Swan Caribbean Challenge Trophy later this evening.
Without doubt, the closest racing for this year’s event was in IRC One. Colin Buffin’s Swan 62, Uxorious IV, was first to finish, but the team did not celebrate a class win. Buffin and his young team knew that Amanda Hartley’s Swan 56, Clem, was extremely close to eclipsing their corrected time. Just over three and half hours passed before Clem crossed the finish line to win the class by just 21 seconds on corrected time. There were ecstatic scenes dockside as the Spanish crew of Clem celebrated their class win. The entire crew of Uxorious IV including Colin Buffin sportingly applauded their rivals. Amanda Hartley spoke of their win.
“‘We had no idea until we crossed the line and turned on our phones which went crazy with people calling in from Spain. By our calculation we thought we had lost out by five minutes. We got stuck at Guadeloupe for four hours and we could only sit and watch Uxorious get away. We are obviously extremely delighted and really appreciate Colin and his team coming over to give us such a lovely welcome back to Antigua.”
Jaime Torres’ Puerto Rican First 40, Smile And Wave, finished shortly after midnight last night to claim third in IRC One.
Scarlet Logic, co-skippered by Ross Applebey and Tim Thubron, finished the RORC Caribbean 600 shortly after 2300 last night. The Oyster 48 has been vying for the overall win for the last two days. In the end Scarlet Logic missed out, but the team had put in an incredible effort and have been rewarded with a convincing win in IRC Two. Scarlet Logic has the best corrected time in IRC One, Two and Three and as a result will be awarded the fantastic prize of a week’s accommodation at the luxurious Inn at English Harbour.
“Fantastic, elated but bloody tired,” admitted Tim Thubron, co-skipper of Scarlet Logic. The weather lined up nicely for us and we were aware that we were in with a chance of beating the big, well funded professional teams and that really spurred us on and made us push even harder. A lot of credit must go to the whole team, especially Ross Applebey. Scarlet was immaculately prepared and we hardly had a single breakage, however we did need to drop the main to replace a sail slide. The job was done and the main back up in eight minutes, that to me says it all.”
There was joy and pain for both IRC Canting Keel and the Class40s. Ernesto Cortina’s Volvo 70 Gran Jotiti finished the race in just over two days. The Spanish team is racing the yacht formerly known as Telefonica Black in the last Volvo Ocean Race. Ernesto spoke about his team shortly after finishing. “This has been a great experience, even though our result was badly affected by a lot of sail damage. Many of the sails are tired from thousands of miles of racing. However, the crew have been a joy to sail with and this race is helping us build for the future. Gran Jotiti’s aim is to create a world class amateur Spanish offshore sailing team and we have learnt a lot through this race.
Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer, showed exceptional pace and boat handling throughout. Unfortunately the American team failed to start correctly and accepted a 10% penalty from the race organisers resulting in Gran Jotiti being declared winner of IRC Canting Keel.
The Class40s turned into a battle royale between Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche and Christof Petter’s Vaquita. The two Class40s were locked in a heroic tacking duel for the final push to the finish line, a 40-mile beat from Redonda to the finish in Antigua.
Vaquita crossed the line just after sunset beating Partouche by a slender margin, just 15 minutes in a race lasting over 3 days. However, Vaquita failed to start the race correctly and to the Austrian crew’s disappointment, the class win was awarded to Partouche: “It was a tough race and we had a couple of moments that really slowed us down,” commented Christophe Coatnoan who raced two-handed with Eric Calmard. “We picked up a fishing float after Nevis without realising and we probably lost 8 miles before we knew it was there. Later at Guadeloupe, I had to dive into the water to free Partouche from yet another fishing buoy. The race was an excellent test for our new design especially for our sails as I think we used every one of them during the race.”
Vaquita’s Andreas Hanakamp commented: “Obviously we are disappointed to have been penalised but we were delighted with our performance. Partouche is a brand new Finot design, whilst Vaquita is a 2006 Akilaria. The RORC Caribbean 600 is a testing race course and a very tough race, exactly what we needed to prepare for our main competition of the season, The Atlantic Cup later this year.”
The latest competitor to finish the RORC Caribbean 600 is Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Falmouth Harbour exploded with noise as the smallest yacht in the race tied up right outside the Antigua Yacht Club. Thunderous blasts from megayachts, superyachts and foghorns literally shook the dock as the whole of the sailing community in Falmouth heralded the arrival of local hero Bernie and his crew.
“I said we would be here tonight but I always like to be early for appointments,” joked the Antiguan dentist. “It was a hard but satisfying race and the beat from Redonda to the finish seemed to take forever. We could see Antigua but it just didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, however a few miles out a massive rain squall hit and veered the wind favourably for us to speed our way to Antigua. After last year’s dismasting, I think maybe someone was looking out for us!”
Tonight the RORC Caribbean 600 Prizegiving Ceremony will take place at the Antigua Yacht Club. The two yachts still racing are Igor Zaretskiy’s, First 40.7 Coyote II and the RACYC Offshore Racing Team – White Knight’s Spirit of Venus. Both are expected to make tonight’s party, which should be a momentous occasion.
The 4th RORC Caribbean 600, starts at 1100 on Monday 20th February. There isn’t a single hotel room left near Antigua Yacht Club, as competitors fly in to the magical island of Antigua from all four corners of the world – Falmouth Harbour is filled to the brim with astounding yachts.
Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán, and George David’s RP90, Rambler, are the hot favourites for the RORC Caribbean Trophy, but the two highly impressive yachts are almost hidden in Falmouth Harbour. Rán were out practicing today and Navigator Steve Hayles reports that conditions were a bit lighter than usual, but he expects 15-20 knots of trade winds for the race with their weather routing predicting that they could finish the race in 48 hours, may be less.
RORC member, Stan Pearson has lived and sailed the sublime waters around Antigua for over 20 years. He was one of the creators of the RORC Caribbean 600 and will be racing this year on Adela, the 181′ twin masted schooner:
“I can’t remember ever seeing Nelson’s Dockyard and Falmouth Harbour with so many impressive yachts but I know why they are here; there is nowhere in the world quite like Antigua and the ’600 is a real celebration of all that the Caribbean has to offer. The sailing is just fantastic; constant trade winds, warm water and air temperature in the high 20′s provides brilliant sailing, but this is a tough race. The course has a lot of corners and there is a lot of activity for the crews. Looking at the fleet, there are going to be some great duels going on, it is going to be a very competitive race.”
For the first time, a Volvo Open 70 will be competing in the RORC Caribbean 600. Some might suggest that the canting keel carbon fibre flyer could have been designed for this course. Ernesto Cortina’s Gran Jotiti has a highly talented Spanish crew and could well be a contender for line honours and an overall win.
IRC Zero has 16 entries and may well be the class to watch for the overall winner. George David’s Rambler 100 is the trophy holder and George David’s all-star crew will not be giving it up without a fight.
With a combined water line length that would soar 500ft above the Eiffel Tower, there are some truly amazing yachts in IRC Zero. The 214′ ketch Hetairos is an impressive sight. The crew of 36 have been out practicing all this week and on board there are enough sails to cover a full size football pitch. Sojana is expected to have a Superyacht duel with 124′ Pernini Navi, P2, owned by businessman and philanthropist, Gerhard Andlinger. Sojana was on mark laying duty today. The only laid mark of the course is the North Sails mark, off Barbuda. No doubt the crew, will be using the exercise to practice the first 45 miles of racing.
In the Spirit of Tradition class Adela will line up against Windrose. This will be the first time these magnificent yachts have raced against each other offshore, however Adela did get the better of Windrose in The Superyacht Challenge inshore regatta. A close battle with these two powerful yachts fully off the leash is a mouth-watering prospect. Past RORC Commodore, Andrew McIrvine and a team of 11 RORC members including current Commodore, Mike Greville, have chartered the 145ft Windrose.
The multihull record for the RORC Caribbean 600 has not been beaten since the inaugural race in 2009. The 63′ Trimaran, Paradox, skippered by Olivier Vigoureux says the six crew on board are out to ‘beat the current record’. The American, French and British crew members have raced in the Figaro Race, Transat Jacques Vabres, America’s Cup and Mini Transat.
Anders Nordquist’s Swan 90, Nefertiti, has an international crew including Rolex Middle Sea Race winner, Christian Ripard from Malta. They should have a close battle with Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80, Selene, and Irish entry, RP78, Whisper.
There are a huge variety of yachts racing in IRC One, including Hound, skippered by Hound from Maine USA. The 60′ classic will be competing in the Caribbean 600 for the first time with a family crew of avid racers. Hound has competed in the last 8 Newport-Bermuda races, winning her class twice.
Ondeck’s 40.7 Spirit of Venus is chartered to the Royal Armoured Corp Offshore Racing Team. The majority of the 11 strong crew are part of the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank Regiment which returned from Afghanistan last spring.
Lt Col Paul Macro RTR: “Soldiers have to work together as a team, under time pressure, when cold, wet and tired, in difficult and even dangerous conditions. The adventurous team spirit required by a successful offshore racing crew is the same as that required by the crew of a tank or any other armoured vehicle.”
There are four Class40s competing. Close duels are expected right through the fleet, but a hard fought and close encounter is expected in this class. Trade wind sailing provides perfect conditions for Class40s, with long reaches and downwind legs, these pocket rockets are capable of surfing at speeds of up to 25 knots. Class40s from America, Austria, France and Great Britain are taking on the 600 mile Caribbean odyssey; Tim Fetch’s Icarus Racing, Christophe Coatnoan’s Partouche, Andreas Hanakamp’s Vaquita and Peter Harding’s 40 Degrees, co-skippered by Hannah Jenner. The Class40s will be level-racing under their own rules. First to finish will claim the Concise Trophy; a full barrel of English Harbour rum.
IRC Two includes the smallest yacht in the fleet, Bernie Evan-Wong’s Mumm 36, High Tension. Antiguan dentist, Bernie has competed in all four RORC Caribbean 600 races, however last year, High Tension did not finish the race.
“It is definitely a case of unfinished business,” said Bernie. “We have actually used our downfall to modify the rig, so we have made something good out of the incident. Like many Antiguans, I am amazed how this race has developed since 2009, I have been sailing in the Caribbean for over 50 years and what has been really missing is a well-run, exciting offshore race. The RORC Caribbean 600 has provided that and made my dreams come true.”
Organisers of the Superyacht Cup are preparing for one of their biggest years in 2012 as the entry lists for the popular Palma regatta and the brand new Superyacht Cup Cowes, UK have surged over the last two months.
Currently over 20 superyachts have registered for the special edition of the Superyacht Cup in Cowes, UK from 22-25 July 2012 to take place just a few days before the start of the 2012 London Olympics. Meanwhile, the Palma Superyacht Cup (20-23 June 2012) has already received 15 entries with just 5 spaces left for yachts wanting to moor at the Muelle Viejo dock.
The first ever Superyacht Cup Cowes is gathering momentum and at the current time many of the registered yachts have found suitable moorings in Cowes quite a task when you consider the vast size of some of the participating yachts. The Cowes Harbour Commission have been instrumental in accommodating the needs of the fleet and understanding the importance of the yachts being able to have easy access to Cowes and the Royal Yacht Squadron. “We are used to having large fleets of yachts visiting Cowes at one time but the size and draft requirements of the Superyacht Cup fleet has given us a new challenge” commented Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Habour Master. “But I am pleased to confirm we have so far found berths for all the enquiries, and expect to accommodate many more. We have the option of laying additional moorings and a limited number of berths are still available at various locations in the vicinity of Cowes. It will certainly add to the atmosphere of the event to have the fleet together.”
The Royal Yacht Squadron will be the central base for the regatta with the race office, registration, opening cocktail reception and prize-giving all taking place in the spectacular setting of the club pavilion with views over the Solent. David Aisher, the Rear Commodore Yachting, expressed his support and enthusiasm for the regatta. “We have been delighted with the positive response from both the owners of these magnificent yachts and their captains. 2012 will be an exceptional year for the Club with more than our usual number of spectacular sailing events, such as this one, celebrating both her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee and the Olympics. Seeing the fleet of Superyachts sailing in the Solent really will be an event not to be missed by anyone at all interested in sailing. We look forward, very much, to welcoming all the participants to the Castle in July.”
Confirmed sponsors for both Cowes and Palma Superyacht Cup regattas include Elvström Sails and Pantaenius, whilst the Palma event has confirmed Silver sponsorships from ZIS, McMaster Yachts, Reckmann, Astilleros de Mallorca, Pendennis and the Rolling Stock Group.
Yachts wishing to enter either regatta are encouraged to contact the Superyacht Cup office as soon as possible as places are limited. Contact Kate Branagh firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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.
A vintage WWII Airshow featuring the Texas Flying Legends will follow racing at the ninth annual Newport Bucket Regatta on Saturday, August 27 and Sunday, August 28. From 4:30 to 5 p.m. on each of those days, the Coast Guard will literally stop boat traffic off Fort Adams and Castle Hill as the public enjoys the spectacle. The Newport Bucket Airshow celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Bucket Regattas (held in Newport and St. Barth’s); it will feature six rare WWII vintage aircrafts including Last Samurai, one of only two Japanese Zeros still flying in the world; the FG-1D Corsair Whistling Death; the P-40K Aleutian Tiger; two P-51D Mustangs Dakota Kid II and Little Horse; and the Mitchell B-25 Bomber Betty’s Dream.
“We’re always trying to think outside the box and figure out how to make the Bucket Regattas exciting for participants and spectators,” said Tim Laughridge, co-founder and director of the Newport Bucket Regatta. “In the past, the Bucket Regattas have been much more private events, and this year with the Texas Flying Legends making a debut in Newport, we can get the local community down to the waterfront and more involved than ever before.”
The Newport Bucket is the sister regatta to the St. Barth’s Bucket held each Spring and is known for a legendary combination of thrilling big-boat racing and memorable shore-side celebrations set in the spirit of the Corinthian ideal. With 20 yachts registered to compete in Newport – including J Boats Velsheda and Ranger, the 37 meter Dubois/Fitzroy Moonbird, 42 meter Frers/Royal Huisman Hyperion and 35 meter Fontaine/Holland Jachtbouw Whisper – the regatta will once again live up to its reputation for hosting some of the world’s finest yachts afloat. Ironically, they are competing not for a fancy silver trophy but for bragging rights and a highly-sought-after tin bucket. The event is open to yachts over 100 feet LOA with the exception that those in the Demi Class can be 76 feet or over for 2011, in recognition of the earlier days in the regatta when the yachts competing were smaller.
A public viewing will be available at the Quonset Air Museum from noon to 7 p.m. both days of the Airshow and will include access to the planes and pilots along with a viewing of the launching (approximately 4 p.m.) and recovery (approximately 5 p.m.).
Best vantage points for spectators are Fort Adams, Castle Hill and Brenton Point State Park in Newport, R.I.; Fort Wetherill and Beavertail in Jamestown, R.I..
History of the Newport Bucket Regatta:
The first Bucket regatta was organized in Nantucket, Mass., in August, 1986. Between 1986 and 2001, the Nantucket Bucket flourished, becoming a premier Mega Yacht Regatta that invited owners and crews of the world’s largest sailing yachts to sail to peak performance in a safe venue, in the spirit of wholesome competition. The concept of pursuit racing was brought to life by the Bucket, with each yacht assigned its own start time on a clear starting line for safety, and the start time calibrated to induce the yacht’s speed handicap. Consequently, the first yacht to cross the finish line, wins. Following the announcement that 2001 was to be the last Nantucket Bucket, the founders passed the torch to the present Bucket Organizing Committee: Hank Halsted (Exeter, R.I.), Ian Craddock (Italy) and Timothy Laughridge (Newport, R.I.). The summer venue was shifted in 2002 to Newport, R.I., where the event has since been hosted by the Newport Shipyard.
Preparations are well underway for the 2011 Superyacht Cup regatta from 22-25 June in Palma. So far, 16 yachts have registered for the event including five brand new entries that have never competed in the event before. Space at the Muelle Viejo only allows for a maximum of 20-22 entries.
Returning to defend their 2010 title is the 29m Tony Castro designed Jongert ‘Scorpione dei Mar’. Other past Cup competitors coming back to Palma in June include Ganesha (39m Dubois), Saudade (45m Tripp), Tenaz (39m Dubois), Drumfire (24m Hoek) and Gliss (35m Phillipe Briand). Gliss won the 2009 Palma Superyacht Cup and returns this year under new ownership.
This year also sees the biggest number of first-time entries to the event. Joining the fleet are two stunning modern classics, the 55m Adela built in 1995 by Pendennis Shipyard, and Marie, a 55m Hoek design launched last year by Vitters Shipyard in Holland. Other newcomers are Genevieve (37m Dubois), Nilaya (34m Reichel Pugh/Nautor), Nefertiti (27m, Nautor), and Heartbeat (35m Hoek).
Now in its 15th year, the ever-popular Superyacht Cup is the longest running superyacht regatta in Europe and is a favourite event with Owners and crews at the start of the summer season in the Mediterranean. Famous for its relaxed atmosphere and fabulous sailing conditions in the Bay of Palma, the Superyacht Cup is very much a family affair with its trademark barbecues, dockside parties, and a spectacular outdoor gala evening overlooking the Bay of Palma on the final evening.
There are also plans for a Superyacht Cup Golf Day this year, on the day following the event, Sunday 26th June.
“Its fantastic to see so many new yachts coming to the event this year,” commented new 2011 Event Director James Pleasance. “We look forward to welcoming these and all the other competitors to Palma in June and showing them what the Superyacht Cup is all about!”
For more information and images from previous Cup regattas in Palma and Antigua, visit www.thesuperyachtcup.com