IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran crew members, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran crew members, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

September 28th, 2016
IDEC SPORT will once again be tackling the Jules Verne Trophy, less than a year after their last attempt, when Francis Joyon’s crew only missed out on the record by two days. For the first time in the history of the Trophy, the crew will remain the same. For this wild bunch of just six, there is the feeling that the job needs to be completed.
At the finish in Brest last February, the six sailors on IDEC SPORT, without exception, stated that they wanted to get back together and sail around the world. A lot of people thought it was just a statement, a desire expressed in the heat of the moment at the finish, particularly as it is never easy to bring together such world-renowned sailors, who are often hired for other adventures or other races. It seemed that the likelihood of setting off with exactly the same crew was remote… but that is exactly what is going to happen.
They will all be there again ready to sail around the world, as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Maybe in late October, but in any case, “as early as possible,” declared Francis Joyon. In particular, because “there aren’t many of these opportunities between October and February” and by setting off early in the season, there is a greater likelihood of moving from one system to another on the final climb back up the Atlantic. Taking advantage of their first round the world voyage together, when they pulled off some remarkable achievements (Indian Ocean record, in particular) but above all, experienced an extraordinary human adventure, the six sailors on IDEC SPORT are going to do it all over again, hoping that they will be luckier this time and grab the record held by Loïck Peyron’s crew since 2012 – 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds.
Francis Joyon portrait, skipper of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Francis Joyon portrait, skipper of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Francis Joyon presents…
Let’s leave the job of presenting the five sailors to Francis Joyon, who sailed 30,000 miles with them. They come from a range of backgrounds, but are all good all-rounders and motivated by the same goal – to become the fastest men around the world:
Alex Pella portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Alex Pella portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Alex Pella (SPAIN) 43
F.J.: “Alex was on watch with Bernard (Stamm) and they got on like a house on fire. You just have to watch the funny videos they did together to see that… Alex has a huge experience of sailing on all sorts of boats, in particular on 60-foot IMOCAs (the Vendée Globe boats). He is bringing us his wealth of experience from solo, double-handed and crewed racing. As there aren’t many of us, we don’t have defined roles on board and everyone needs to know how to do everything! Alex is a very good trimmer, helmsman, but is also good when carrying out manoeuvres on the bow…. In fact, I’m wondering what he isn’t good at!”
>Bon in Barcelona, the Catalan sailor began his career on a Mini 6.50 (2nd in the Transatlantic race) before winning the Route du Rhum on a Class40. He has also sailed a lot on bigger boats, in particular in the Barcelona World Race, in which he finished fourth in 2011.
xxxx portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

xxxx portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Boris Herrmann (GER) 35
F.J: “Befoere coming out with us, Boris had already sailed around the world on a small boat, a project he ran himself. He sails a lot with a crew, but also has a lot of experience sailing solo. He’s a nice, friendly guy, who knows how to do a lot of things. He is also a good all-rounder. Our crew is basically a group of solo sailors who complement and help each other. He fits in perfectly with those criteria.”
>In 2009, Boris Herrmann became the first German to win a round the world record: the Global Ocean Race. He can do anything, has sailed on small monohulls and giant multihulls and has the experience having faced the hostility of the Southern Ocean. Like a Swiss army knife, he is multi-purpose.
Bernard Stamm portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Bernard Stamm portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Bernard Stamm (CH) 52
F.J: “Out of all of this, it is Bernard, who has clocked up the most round the world voyages. He is our most determined helmsman. He knows how to speed the boat up, but keeps that speed going. During our last attempt, he gave us something extra in terms of strategy, navigation, finding the ideal route. It’s always worth listening to his advice. Having taken part in the Vendée Globe, where routing is not allowed, he has really worked hard on these matters. He is very clever at analysing satellite photos.”
Ø The only member of the IDEC SPORT gang, who has already held the Jules Verne Trophy (in 2005 as part of Bruno Peyron’s crew), Bernard has already won three round the world races on monohulls – the solo race, Around Alone twice and the double-handed Barcelona World Race once with Jean Le Cam. An impressive CV.
Clement Surtel portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Clement Surtel portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Clément Surtel (FRA) 37
F.J: “With Corentin (Joyon, his son) and me, Clément takes care of the boat throughout the year, and he did that before for the previous skippers. So, he is the one, who know the equipment best of all. Whenever there is a technical question, a risk of wear and tear or a part that looks like breaking, he is able to answer all our questions. He is a key figure, as he has known the boat for years. He’s a nice chap, who gets on with everyone, who has a great character. He loves trimming, carrying out manoeuvres and being at the helm. He has a wide range of talents, is a good all-rounder, but also an experience of solo sailing…”
Ø Fascinated by multihulls, Clément has a huge experience of giant trimarans. He was in charge of preparing the boat, when she was in the hands of Franck Cammas. Before going aboard IDEC last year for the round the world attempt, he was a member of the shore team for two Jules Verne Trophies in 2005 and 2010.
Gwenole Gahinet portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 - Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Gwenole Gahinet portrait, crew member of IDEC Sport Maxi Trimaran, skipper Francis Joyon, prior to their circumnavigation record attempt, in La Trinite sur Mer, France, on october 13, 2015 – Photo Jean Marie Liot / DPPI / IDEC

Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA) 32
F.J: “Gwéno is someone, who is appreciated by all the crews he has sailed with. He was maybe lacking in experience in comparison to the older guys, who accompanied him during the last round the world attempt, but now he knows the score as well as the rest of us. He spent a long time at the helm last year, carried out a lot of manoeuvres and trimming… He is another of those all-rounders, whom you can always count on.”
Ø Son of the late Gilles Gahinet,a legendary sailor, “Gwéno” is also an engineer in boat design and worked a lot with the VPLP design team that came up with IDEC SPORT. He is above all an excellent navigator, who achieved several major victories on a Mini 6.50 and in the Figaro class before tackling the round the world adventure.
Router back on dry land: Marcel Van Triest (NDL), 52
F.J: “A fantastic router… whom we hope to have sailing with us on IDEC SPORT in early October. This will be useful, as he will get a better idea of what life is like on board. We’ll be thinking of him a lot, as he works in the sunshine of the Balearic Islands, while we’re in amongst the ice in the Southern Ocean. It was like that several times last year (laughs).”
Ø The Flying Dutchman, as he has been nicknamed, is one of the top routers in the world. He will be trying to beat his own record, as he worked with Loïck Peyron in 2012. Another detail: Marcel is also a great sailor himself having clocked up five round the world races.
Francis Joyon (FRA), 60
F.J: “It’s never easy to present yourself… Let’s just say I’m the youngster in the crew! One of the most important things for me before our last attempt was to manage to experience a round the world voyage, where the sailors enjoyed themselves… because it’s more fun like that, but also because if you enjoy something, you do it well. I think we were successful from that point of view. The proof being that we only just missed out… and now they’re all returning. As there aren’t many of us, it is vital that we all get on well together. I leave them use their own initiative. The watch system for example is something they came up with, not me.”
Ø The only sailor in the world to have the four major solo sailing records at the same time – the Round the World record, the Atlantic record, the 24-Hour record and the Columbus Route record, Francis Joyon’s attempt with a crew was closely followed last year. He certainly passed the test. Will he become the first sailor to hold the outright round the world record sailing solo and with a crew?
In brief
The IDEC SPORT crew
Francis Joyon (FRA), skipper
Bernard Stamm (CH), helmsman-trimmer
Gwénolé Gahinet (FRA), helmsman-trimmer
Alex Pella (ESP), helmsman-trimmer
Clément Surtel (FRA), helmsman-trimmer
Boris Herrmann (GER), helmsman-trimmer
Marcel Van Triest (NLD), on-shore router
. The Jules Verne Trophy
Record to beat: 45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes and 53 seconds set by Loïck Peyron and his crew of 13 in January 2012 on the trimaran Banque Populaire V (40 m)
Average speed to beat: 19.75 knots
Course: around the world via the three capes, Good Hope, Leeuwin, Horn.
Great circle distance: 21,600 miles
Start and finish line between Ushant (Créac’h Lighthouse and The Lizard (Cornwall).
. The IDEC SPORT trimaran
Trimaran with foils
Designers: VPLP
Previous names: Groupama 3, Banque Populaire VII
Initial launch: June 2006
Length: 31.50 m
Beam: 22.50 m
Displacement: 15 t
Draught: 5.70 m
Mast height: 33.50 m
Structure: carbon-nomex
Working hard for the win on NORAUTO. Photo ©: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour.

Working hard for the win on NORAUTO. Photo ©: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour.

 

The warm Poniente westerly breeze was blowing around 14 knots at the start of the afternoon but later picked up to gusting 20 knots, with the fleet putting a reef in their mainsails after two of the five races. It didn’t matter what configuration the GC32s were racing in, however, NORAUTO was the master of all situations.

Even when Minoprio pulled the trigger slightly too soon at the start of Race 3, the French team completed its penalty efficiently and was already vying for the lead at the bottom of the first downwind leg. “The other boats rounded the first turning mark a bit wide and we managed a tighter turn which put us on the inside track before the first gybe,” said Minoprio, whose two years of solid training with Luna Rossa, the now disbanded America’s Cup team, has stood him in good stead for mastering the new science of high-speed hydrofoiling.


NORAUTO winning on day one in Sotogrande. Photo: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour

Team Tilt, with helmsman Sébastien Schneiter recently returned from competing at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, was looking sharp, coming second in three of the five races. However gear failure led to a retirement from Race 4 which has added expensive points to their score. However the Swiss still hold second place overall on the leaderboard, on equal points with third-placed Team ENGIE who sailed a great day, completing all races and finishing second in race four.

Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco also sailed a very solid day, coming second in the first race and finishing all races, refusing to allow a problem with their mast track defeat them as they limped across the finish line of one race a long way behind the rest of the fleet. Realteam got better as the day went on, Jérôme Clerc steering the Swiss boat to third place in the final two heats, and sitting in fifth overall. Flavio Marazzi was less happy with his outing on ARMIN STROM after the boat succumbed to equipment failure that put him out of the second and third races before getting back on the race course to complete the day. Normally Marazzi and his crew – which includes World Match Racing Champion Phil Robertson – love the big breeze so today will be seen as a missed opportunity for the Swiss crew.


Team ENGIE shows some foil next to Malizia.  Photo: Jesus Renedo / GC32 Racing Tour

For Naofumi Kamei, it’s early days at the helm of his GC32 called Mamma Aiuto!, and today’s strong winds were a big challenge for the team which is still short on training time. The crew is not inexperienced; it includes two 49er stars, former World Champion Javier de la Plaza and 2008 Olympic Champion Martin Kirketerp, but things happen quickly in the GC32 and there is no margin for error as De la Plaza explained: “We had just got on to the downwind leg in the second race and the boat was riding too high on the foil. We should have been running it lower so that the boat was riding lower to the water.”

The boat leapt out of the water before crashing back down at great speed, the boat rapidly decelerating from 32 knots to a dead stop. Kamei and crewman Manuel Weiller were thrown up in the air, over the top of the crew and past the front beam before they landed in the water. While Kamei escaped without injury, Weiller was taken ashore and to hospital to have an injury to his knee checked over. No major damage, although it looks unlikely Weiller will be part of the race crew for the next three days of the event.

On Friday the breeze looks lighter in Sotogrande which will come as a relief to some, although probably not NORAUTO who – at a top speed of 37 knots today – looked majestic and very much in command of the challenging conditions of day one. Friday’s racing begins at 1300 CET.

Teams competing at the GC32 La Reserva de Sotogrande Cup

ARMIN STROM Sailing Team (SUI) skipper Flavio Marazzi
Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco (MON) skipper Pierre Casiraghi
Mamma Aiuto! (JPN) skipper Naofumi Kamei
NORAUTO (FRA) skipper Adam Minoprio (NZL)
Realteam (SUI) skipper Jérôme Clerc
Team ENGIE (FRA) skipper Sébastien Rogues
Team Tilt (SUI) skipper Sébastien Schneiter

Provisional Results after Day 1

2016 GC32 Racing Tour – overall results after three events

Pos Team Riva Cup Malcesine Cup Copa del Rey MAPFRE Total
1 NORAUTO 1 2 1 4
2 Team Tilt 2 1 3 6
3 ARMIN STROM Sailing Team 3 6 2 11
4 Gunvor Sailing 4 3 9 16
5 Argo 7 4 5 16
6 Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco 8 5 4 17
7 Team ENGIE 5 8 8 21
8 Mama Aluto! 10 7 6 23
9 Realteam 10 9 7 26
10 Spindrift racing 6 11 11 28
11 Orange Racing 9 10 10 29

2016 GC32 Racing Tour – owner-driver overall results after three events

Pos Team Riva Cup Malcesine Cup Copa del Rey MAPFRE Total
1 Argo 1 1 2 4
2 Malizia – Yacht Club de Monaco 2 2 1 5
3 Orange Racing 3 3 4 10
4 Mamma Aiuto! 4 4 3 11
On board Vega Racing with British Olympian Nick Thompson on the second day of racing in the Madeira Islands. (Photo © Lloyd Images )

On board Vega Racing with British Olympian Nick Thompson on the second day of racing in the Madeira Islands. (Photo © Lloyd Images )

Extreme Sailing Series™ heavyweights Alinghi launched an assault on Act 6 leaders Red Bull Sailing Team on the waters of Madeira today as the regatta reached its halfway mark.

Arnaud Psarofaghis’ Swiss crew on Alinghi exchanged blows with Roman Hagara’s Austrian-flaggedRed Bull Sailing Team as both outfits made their bids to top the Act 6 table going into the penultimate day.

Light, shifty winds provided challenging conditions for the seven international teams as racing resumed in Funchal, the capital of Portugal’s stunning Madeira Islands, in front of the watching crowds.

With the breeze never getting above five knots the sailors were forced to rely on tactics more than ever, and it was Psarofaghis’ team that won the day, finishing on the podium in each of the four races to clock up more points than any other team. Meanwhile Red Bull Sailing Team, keen to capitalise on their win in the opening day’s only race, added another two victories to their tally. Crucially, however, they finished in fifth in the remaining two races.

The results leave the expert teams tied on 52 points, with Oman Air four points further back in third, tied with SAP Extreme Sailing Team. However with two more days of jam-packed racing still to go, and an increase in wind forecast, the Act is far from being tied up.

“After two days of racing we’re feeling really good because we haven’t lost too many points to anyone,” Alinghi helmsman Psarofaghis said. “We’re tied on points at the top of the leaderboard so we couldn’t ask for much better, especially as the conditions were so tricky today. But there are many teams that can win here and the racecourse is really challenging, so it’s going to be all on right until the end.”

Overall Series leaders Oman Air shot out of the blocks, winning the opening race in trademark fashion, but Morgan Larson’s men then suffered a string of penalties after being caught on the wrong side of the start line twice in succession. The Omani team had to settle for sixth place in the second race of the day, but a fantastic display of skill, jumping from last to second in the next race, salvaged their third-place position on the Act 6 leaderboard.

“It was obviously challenging out there today and I gave the team some work to do with a couple of bad starts from me,” Larson admitted. “I jumped the line a bit on a couple of occasions. It didn’t feel like we were being too aggressive but I guess we were just a little ahead of ourselves and that’s all it takes.

“Thankfully the second time it happened we managed to pull it back to get second place. In light airs sometimes it just works out that way. But it’s not ideal and we’ll definitely have to tighten up for tomorrow.”

Home team Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira delighted the watching crowds when they scored their best result of the Act so far with a second in the final race of the day. They go into the penultimate day with a three point buffer over Land Rover BAR Academy, who also scooped a podium spot, with wildcard team Vega Racing a further two points behind.

Land Rover BAR Academy’s Neil Hunter, who at 21 is the youngest skipper in the fleet, said his young crew are looking forward to more wind when racing gets underway once more tomorrow.

“It was a mixed day for us – it was light, super shifty and very frustrating,” Hunter said. “We banged in a couple of good results including a second and a fourth so there was potential there for sure, but we never really finished the job off properly. The talk is of more breeze tomorrow and we like those conditions so let’s see what happens.”

The third day of Act 6 commences at 1400 local time (1300 GMT) tomorrow. Fans around the globe can watch the racing live online on the official event website from 1530 to 1700 local time.

Extreme Sailing Series™ Act 6, Madeira Islands standings after Day 2, 5 races (23.09.16)
Position / Team / Points
1st Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans Peter Steinacher, Stewart Dodson, Adam Piggott, Brad Farrand 52 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Arnaud Psarofaghis, Nicolas Charbonnier, Timothé Lapauw, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 52 points.
3rd Oman Air (OMA) Morgan Larson, Pete Greenhalgh, James Wierzbowski, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 48 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Mads Emil Stephensen, Pierluigi De Felice, Renato Conde 48 points.
5th Sail Portugal – Visit Madeira (POR) Diogo Cayolla, Frederico Melo, Nuno Barreto, Luís Brito, João Matos Rosa 41 points.
6th Land Rover BAR Academy (GBR) Neil Hunter, Elliot Hanson, Will Alloway, Sam Batten, Rob Bunce 38 points.
7th Vega Racing (USA) Brad Funk, Tom Buggy, Nick Thompson, Zé Costa, Mac Agnese 36 points.

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016.  (Photo ©  Lloyd Images)

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016.
(Photo © Lloyd Images)

 

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016.  (Photo ©  Lloyd Images)

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016. (Photo © Lloyd Images)

 

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016.  (Photo ©  Lloyd Images)

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016. (Photo © Lloyd Images)

 

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016.  (Photo ©  Lloyd Images)

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016. (Photo © Lloyd Images)

 

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016.  (Photo ©  Lloyd Images)

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016. (Photo © Lloyd Images)

 

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016.  (Photo ©  Lloyd Images)

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016. (Photo © Lloyd Images)

 

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016.  (Photo ©  Lloyd Images)

The Extreme Sailing Series 2016. Act 6. Madeira. Portugal. 23rd September 2016. (Photo © Lloyd Images)

 

TP52 Worlds Day 2   (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP52 Worlds Day 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

(Thursday 15th September, Menorca) – From a difficult, and at times confusing second day of racing at the 52 World Championship 2016 on the beautiful waters off Menorca, Quantum Racing kept up their amazingly high level of consistency to extend their overall lead to 13 points at the top of the high calibre 12-boat fleet.

After four races, three windward leewards and a 17-mile coastal race, the American-flagged team have finished no worse than second, today recording a first and a second. They were by far the lowest scoring team today, second placed Azzurra being next best with an aggregate eight points for the day.

Wind conditions were lighter than Wednesday’s opening two races. The first windward-leeward saw 10-11kts on the start line. The coastal race that followed – essentially one small windward leeward then a longer beat, a seven mile run and a final windward leg to finish at the entrance to Mahón harbour – started in a light 6-9kts and was marked by a period of lighter airs. It finished in beautiful late afternoon sunshine and a more solid 10-11kts on the line.

Quantum Racing read the vagaries of the first beat of the first race best. There was a fine balance between using the starboard tack lift inshore and the stronger pressure offshore and Terry Hutchinson took the Quantum Racing crew faultlessly on this particular high wire beat. They led Niklas Zennström’s Rán at the top mark.

Of the three boats which were called over early on the start line, Azzurra made a special recovery to fourth at the top mark. While Quantum Racing and Rán held solid at the front in first and second, the second beat saw a right shift which Azzurra got on the outside off, losing four hard earned places to cross in seventh. Beneficiaries of the right shift included Provezza which made third and Peter Harrison’s Sorcha which got fourth.

Platoon led early in the 17-mile coastal race but on the longest leg they held too far offshore, looking for extra pressure perhaps. Harm Müller-Spreer’s crew took a big drop for their mistake. While the gains were inshore, very close to the land where the breeze was accelerating and heading nicely, they dropped back to a painful seventh.

The leading battle all the way around the course was really between Azzurra and Quantum Racing. This time the Italian crews’ defences proved impregnable and they crossed the finish line just under 200 metres ahead of Quantum Racing. Tony Langley’s Gladiator were unlucky to lose third to Takashi Okura’s Sled in an upwind drag race to the line, but Gladiator share the same points tally as fourth-placed Provezza, a notable improvement for the British team so far.

In the overall standings, Quantum Racing are 13pts clear at the top of the standings, Azzurra second and Platoon, 5-7 today, lie third.

Quantum Racing’s navigator Ian Moore commented:

“It was hard all the way through the day. But it was exciting all the way through too. In the coastal race it was changing all the time. One minute you were looking good and the next you were in the cheap seats.”

52 World Championship – Mahon, Menorca
Standings after Day 2, four races sailed.

1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (2,1,1,2) 6pts
2 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,10,7,1) 19pts
3 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,3,5,7) 20pts
4 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,7,3,6) 22pts
5 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (4,4,10,4) 22pts
6 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (9,2,2,10) 23pts
7 Alegre, GBR (Andy Soriano USA) (7,5,6,8) 26pts
8 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (3,DNF/13,8,9) 33pts
9 Sorcha GBR (Peter Harrison GBR) (12,6,4,12) 34pts
10 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (10,9,11,5) 35pts
11 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8,9,11) 36pts
12 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (11,11,12,3)  37pts
Quotes: 
Vasco Vascotto (ITA) tactician Azzurra (ITA):

“The first race was tough. We got up to third and I went left to control the boats which were fourth and fifth but the wind went for five minutes way to the right, numbers we never saw for the rest of the day, and so that unfortunately cost us. It was unlucky. The second race we were on a nice lift and crossed the fleet with Platoon and then luckily the choices we made were the right ones. But it is a tough race course. It is really, really tough. I think I aged ten years today. We need Quantum Racing to be making mistakes, but they are making a fantastic job. After a year not winning so many races then we have won two in two days. It will be tough to beat them. We are getting faster. But if the worst result they do behind us is second, then that makes it hard.”

Ian Moore (IRL) navigator Quantum Racing (USA):

“It was hard all the way through the day. But it was exciting all the way through. In the coastal race it was changing all the time. One minute you were looking good and the next you were in the cheap seats. So it was very exciting, tricky and shifty. You had to be where the puffs were otherwise you could from first to fifth or sixth very quickly.

We were looking for good, solid results today. We were not out to win the regatta today and so for example rather than going for first in the second race we were happy with second.

There is a big wind bend all the way round the island. We were all expecting that. But really just when we were expecting that today it stopped happening and there were some left shifts, especially at the top. And then the boats which went offshore on the run paid a penalty.

Mahón is fantastic. It is such a beautiful harbour. It is a bit more chilled out, more relaxed. We are having an amazing time here.”

The 52 World Championship will take place in Mahón, Menorca from 14th-18th September. Racing starts at 12:30 CEST every day, with live coverage for the remainder of the regatta. You can catch all the action at www.52SUPERSERIES.comor via the app.

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

tp52-worlds-day-two-ph-max-ranchi-3

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 World Championship Day 2 (Photo by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

(Wednesday 14th September, Menorca) – Quantum Racing did what they do best today to earn the early lead at the 52 World Championship in Menorca. They kept cool heads, sailed smooth and clean, and worked through the fleet to finish second in the championship after the first race (behind Azzurra), and then won the second race, pipping Rán Racing on the finish line to lead by five points.

Conditions improved across the two races culminating in a fast, enjoyable tussle through the Second heat in building seas and 18-22kts of breeze and sunshine. In the brisk conditions it was as important to stay out of trouble – to avoid mechanical breakdowns – as it was to sail fast, smart and consistent.

Quantum Racing came back from a positively lacklustre start to the championship, flatfooted off the start line, and worked hard to get second behind Azzurra. The defending champions Azzurra led from the first run and consolidated on the final run to keep Quantum Racing under wraps to the finish line. But Azzurra suffered in the second race, losing contact with Quantum Racing early on, they had a winch pedestal problem and then tore a kite to pair a weighty 10th to their first.

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

tp52-worlds-races-1-2-ph-m-ranchi-2

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

In the windy, wavy conditions Provezza shredded a kite near the leeward mark after leading round the first circuit and Paprec had to retire from the second heat after breaking their backstay. This was especially tough for the French crew which had just finished third in the first race.

Tony Langley’s Gladiator led the first race which started in 11-13kts of SW’ly breeze, and a difficult, leftover, sloppy sea. The confused, steep waves and chop were out of proportion to the modest early breeze and made it especially hard for helms and trimmers to work to their best. Gladiator did not manage to gybe early enough at the top mark, being held to the right of the downwind by the French. With a big shift to the right Azzurra profited from their early gybe set at the top mark and took the lead. Quantum Racing took places on each leg and were attacking hard at Azzurra by the finish. Paprec took third and Gladiator fourth.

The breeze had built for the second race. Ergin Imré’s Provezza and Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing were well placed to the right of the first upwind with the Turkish boat just leading Rán at the first turn. Rán stayed right (looking downwind) on the final run leaving Quantum Racing to the left, closer to the shore and the geographical header which allowed them to get passed the black hulled Rán just on the finish line.

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TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

Quantum Racing’s skipper Baird confessed:

“I did not do a good job of getting us off the starting line. But the team really rallied up and made some good manoeuvres and some good tactical calls to get us around. Terry [Hutchinson] picked us some really strong positions around the track and got us back in the game. There are a lot of good teams and you just don’t get a good start every race. And today was my day for that.”

Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon crew sailed a consistent day with their 5,3 to lie second on countback against Langley’s Gladiator and their 4,4.

tp52-worlds-races-1-2-ph-m-ranchi-5

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

Quantum Racing’s skipper Baird confessed:

“I did not do a good job of getting us off the starting line. But the team really rallied up and made some good manoeuvres and some good tactical calls to get us around. Terry [Hutchinson] picked us some really strong positions around the track and got us back in the game. There are a lot of good teams and you just don’t get a good start every race. And today was my day for that.”

Harm Müller-Spreer’s Platoon crew sailed a consistent day with their 5,3 to lie second on countback against Langley’s Gladiator and their 4,4.

tp52-worlds-races-1-2-ph-m-ranchi-6

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

52 World Championship – Mahon, Menorca
Standings after Day 1, Two Races
1 Quantum Racing, USA (Doug DeVos USA) (2,1) 3pts
2 Platoon, GER (Harm Müller-Spreer GER) (5,3) 8pts
3 Gladiator, GBR (Tony Langley GBR) (4,4) 8pts
4 Azzurra, ITA (Pablo/Alberto Roemmers ARG) (1,10) 11pts
5 Rán Racing, SWE (Niklas Zennström SWE) (9,2) 11pts
6 Alegre, GBR (Andy Soriano USA) (7,5) 12pts
7 Provezza, TUR (Ergin Imre TUR) (6,7) 13pts
8 Paprec FRA (Jean-Luc Petithuguenin FRA) (3,DNF13) 16pts
9 Bronenosec, RUS (Vladimir Liubomirov RUS) (8,8) 16pts
10 Sorcha GBR (Peter Harrison GBR) (12,6) 18pts
11 Phoenix, USA (Richard Cohen USA) (10,9) 19pts
12 Sled, USA (Takashi Okura USA) (11,11)  22pts
Quotes:
Ian Walker (GBR) tactician Gladiator (GBR):

“The first race we should really have done better than that. We lead around the top mark and did not have a good enough spinnaker set and then could not gybe because of Paprec. So that was disappointing but we did well to hang on to fourth. Second race we did well in the end because we had an absolutely shocking start. We picked boats off. We were in phase the whole race. One or two boats did not tack on us which was a first, making a world of difference. And the boat goes better when there is some wind. I think the wheels – it becomes an advantage, or less of a disadvantage when the wind is up, the Vrolijk hull shape I think is better uprange than downrange. And I think we sail it better in the breeze, maybe we have more learn to in the light. There are a number of reasons but at least we can compete when there is more breeze.

I am absolutely loving Menorca. I think everyone is friendly. The pace of life is a little slower. It is beautiful. The sailing is good. And gimme anywhere we don’t have to just smash a corner!”

Ed Baird (USA) skipper-helm Quantum Racing (USA):

“I did not do a good job of getting us off the starting line. But the team really rallied up and made some good manoeuvres and some good tactical calls to get us around. Terry [Hutchinson] picked us some really strong positions around the track and got us back in the game. There are a lot of good teams and you just don’t get a good start every race. And today was my day for that.”

Tony Rey (USA) tactician Provezza (TUR):

“We broke the kite in the second race in the worst possible place, approaching the leeward gate. It was a windy, wavy day and we quickly went from hero to zero. The good news is that we saved a few points. We were second to last at the leeward gate but got up to seventh and that is good in this fleet.”

Paul Cayard (USA) skipper-helm Phoenix (USA):

“We had a good day. I love how close the competition is. We made a big mistake at the leeward mark in the second race which was a shame because it was going well up until then. But we learn from it and we will be better tomorrow. We have a great team with sailors from big programmes – America’s Cup and so on. Most of us have some experience in this class but not for some years. And so we are just coming into the group which has been sailing against each other for a while, at least all this season. It is matter of inches, metres, seconds. We dealt with the pile up and the weather mark quite well, for example. There is a lot of opportunity out there but Quantum Racing just show us how to do it. They sail smooth and clean and stay out of trouble and just chip away.”

The 52 World Championship will take place in Mahón, Menorca from 14th-18th September. Racing starts at 12:30 CEST every day, with live coverage on the final three days. You can catch all the action at www.52SUPERSERIES.com or via the app.

 

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TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com  )

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

 

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi  www.MaxRanchi.com)

TP 52 Worlds Races 1 and 2 (Photos by Max Ranchi www.MaxRanchi.com )

 

 

 

 

siren-by-george-bekris

Siren (Photo by George Bekris)

Siren won both the Vintage Corinthian Class and the overall series award, based on a revised, adjusted score.

Siren is also the winner of the Overall PCYC Vintage Division and winner in Overall Best Performance Yacht, and thus, the winner of the Panerai watch.

The yacht Black Watch, owned by a syndicate, including Trevor Fetter who raced her in the regatta, had been awarded the Overall PCYC Vintage Division.

Halsey Herreshoff (Photo by George Bekris)

Halsey Herreshoff (Photo by George Bekris)

As had been reported by both the host and title sponsor, despite weather threats by Hurricane Hermine, The Newport Classic Yacht Regatta was a great conclusion to the Panerai series, including the move to town from Ft. Adams and onto the IYRS waterfront campus.  The spirit of Corinthian racing was evident throughout the weekend.

 (Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

Before Tropical Storm Hermine came to crash the party over Labor Day weekend, 45 classic yachts graced Narragansett Bay with the picture of classic elegance. Hosted by IYRS at the downtown Newport location on Thames Street, the

Before Tropical Storm Hermine came to crash the party over Labor Day weekend, 45 classic yachts graced Narragansett Bay with the picture of classic elegance. Hosted by IYRS at the downtown Newport location on Thames Street, the 37th annual Newport Classic Yacht Regatta, sponsored by Panerai, was another display of yachts who still command respect as they raced for coveted titles.

 

W-76 Wild Horses skippered by Donald Tofias (Photo by George Bekris)

W-76 Wild Horses skippered by Donald Tofias (Photo by George Bekris)

Local classic, Wild Horses, the 76- foot W-Class helmed by Donald Tofias, of Newport, won her division in the Grand Prix Yachts-Non Spinnaker.

As the oldest of the classics sailing, the New York 30 Amorita,owned by Newport’s Jed Pearsall, won the Vintage Corinthian Classic Non Spinnaker division from her sister ship, Cara Mia.

More photos of the Classic Yacht Regatta By George Bekris at George Bekris Photography

37th Annual Newport Classic Yacht Regatta Results 

Place, Yacht Name, Owner/Skipper, Hometown, Results, Total Points


Classic GRP – Non-Spinnaker (CRF – 3 Boats)
1. Windigo, Mark Treat , USA – -1 -1 ; 2
2. Seal, J. Joseph Bainton , USA – -2 -2 ; 4
3. Pandora, Gary Kilroy , USA – -4 -4 ; 8

Grand Prix Day Racers – Non-Spinnaker (CRF – 1 Boats)
1. Race Horse, Nathaniel Wilson , USA – 1 -1 ; 2

Grand Prix Yachts – Non-Spinnaker (CRF – 4 Boats)
1. Wild Horses, Donald Tofias , USA – 1 -1 ; 2
2. Valiant, Gary Gregory , USA – 3 -2 ; 5
3. Galavant, John Tagiuri , USA – 2 -3 ; 5
4. Arrluuk, Steve Frary , USA – 4 -4 ; 8

Vintage Corinthian Classics – Non-spinnaker (CRF – 10 Boats)
1. Siren, Peter Cassidy , USA – -1 -1 ; 2
2. Dorade, Pam Rorke Levy , USA – -3 -2 ; 5
3. Amorita , Jed Pearsall , USA – -2 -3 ; 5
4. Fortune (Class 2), John Taft / Tom Glassie , USA – -5 -4 ; 9
5. Neith (Class 2), Van Brown , USA – -4 -5 ; 9

Vintage Corinthian Classics – Spinnaker (CRF – 4 Boats)
1. Santana, Wendy Schmidt , USA – 1 -1 ; 2
2. Sonny (spin), Joseph Dockery , USA – 6 -2 ; 8
3. VAGABUNDO II, Robert Fabre , FRA – 6 -3 ; 9
4. Odyssey, Alfred Van Liew / David Brodsky , USA – 6 -5 ; 11

Vintage Day Racer – Non-spinnaker (CRF – 6 Boats)
1. Ruweida V , Joseph Huber , USA – -1 -1 ; 2
2. Mink, Brad Baker , USA – -2 -2 ; 4
3. Chance, Bill Kenyon , USA – -3 -3 ; 6
4. Tilly XV, Joerg Moessnang , GER – -5 -4 ; 9
5. Gamecock, Peter McClennen , USA – -4 -7 ; 11

Vintage Grand Classic – Non-Spinnaker (CRF – 2 Boats)
1. RUGOSA, Halsey Herreshoff , USA – -3 -3 ; 6
2. Ticonderoga of Greenwich, L.scott Frantz , USA – -3 -3 ; 6

Vintage Grand Classics – Spinnaker (CRF – 4 Boats)
1. Gleam, kip curren , USA – 1 -1 ; 2
2. Black Watch, Trevor Fetter / John Melvin , USA – 2 -2 ; 4
3. Marilee, Tim Rutter , USA – 3 -3 ; 6
4. The Blue Peter (spin), Mathew Barker , UK – 4 -4 ; 8

6 Metre CRF (CRF – 5 Boats)
1. Scoundrel, Eliza Richartz , USA – 2 -1 -1 ; 4
2. Lucie, Matt Brooks , USA – 1 -2 -2 ; 5
3. BELLE, Joe Loughborough , USA – 3 -4 -3 ; 10
4. Discovery (spin), Thomas Rodes , USA – 4 -3 -6 ; 13
5. Cherokee , Jerry Goldlust , USA – 5 -6 -6 ; 17

S Class (One Design – 6 Boats)
1. Swallow, Andrew McClatchy , USA – 5 -2 -1 ; 8
2. Osprey, Sheldon Whitehouse , USA – 1 -1 -7 ; 9
3. Surprise, Fred Roy , USA – 3 -3 -7 ; 13
4. Shona, Robert Hutchinson , USA – 4 -4 -7 ; 15
5. Aquila, Geoffrey Davis , USA – 2 -7 -7 ; 16

 (Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 (Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 

The Blue Peter (Photo by George Bekris)

The Blue Peter (Photo by George Bekris)

 

Vagabundo II (Photo by George Bekris)

Vagabundo II (Photo by George Bekris)

 

The Blue Peter (Photo by George Bekris)

The Blue Peter (Photo by George Bekris)

 

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 

(Photo by George Bekris)

(Photo by George Bekris)

 

Dorade (Photo by George Bekris)

Dorade (Photo by George Bekris)

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup (Photo by Carlo Borlenghi)

A record-sized fleet of the world’s largest performance yachts is readying itself in Porto Cervo, Sardinia for next week’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup. Organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association (IMA) with Rolex as title sponsor, this year’s event takes place over 4th-10th September and has 52 entries. Of these, 25 belong to members of the IMA, the body which since 1979 has been guiding and structuring maxi yacht racing globally, in collaboration with the world’s leading yacht clubs.

In terms of length, the fleet spans the giant 49.7m Ohana to entries at the shorter end of the IMA’s permitted size range – 60 footers such as Gérard Logel’s Swan 601 @robas and the Wally 60 Wallyño.

The biggest class at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup will once again be the Wallys (an associated class within the IMA), which features 13 examples of the modernist high performance luxury yachts. Leading the charge off the Costa Smeralda will be the two Wallycentos, Sir Lindsay Owen Jones’ Magic Carpet Cubed and the latest example launched last October, David Leuschen’s Galateia, plus the elongated version, (now 32.7m) Open Season of International Maxi Association President, Thomas Bscher.


Photo: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

The Supermaxi class has a formidable line-up including Irvine Laidlaw’s new Swan 115 Highland Fling 15, plus two Baltic Yachts-built high performance carbon fibre one-offs: the Nauta 115 Nikata and the Javier Jaudenes-designed Win Win – both making their Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debuts. This year sees the return of Sir Peter Harrison’s Farr 115 ketch, Sojana, following a lengthy refit.

The Js are back this year. Lionheart and Velsheda will match race their way around the race track.

The Maxi class (79-100ft) will see two high profile yachts making their Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debuts. Best known for her offshore program, Mike Slade’s Farr 100 Leopard 3 has travelled to the four corners of the earth to compete in races such as the Rolex Sydney Hobart, the RORC Caribbean 600 and the Fastnet Race, in which she has twice scored line honours victories.

Despite only being two years old, George David’s Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed Rambler 88, also has notched up thousands of sea miles. This year alone she has won the IMA’s annual Volcano Race (from Gaeta, Italy, south around the volcanic Aeolian Islands off northeast Sicily) and last week claimed line honours in the Palermo-Montecarlo race, the fourth and final event of the IMA’s inaugural Mediterranean Maxi Offshore Challenge.

The Maxi class also includes four entries from Southern Wind Shipyard, including the Farr-designed 100ft Blues and Michael Cotter’s Windfall. There are two SWS 82s: Massimilano Florio’s Grande Orazio was winner of the IMA’s Volcano Race in 2015, while Ammonite is brand new, campaigned by leading Australian skipper Marcus Blackmore.

Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship

As ever a major feature of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is the Rolex Maxi 72 World Championship. This year six examples of the ultra competitive, owner-driven, grand prix racers will be lining up, their challenge being to dislodge Hap Fauth’s dominant Judel Vrolijk design, Bella Mente. The reigning Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion  goes into this year’s Worlds straight from victories at Copa del Rey MAPFRE and the inaugural Maxi 72 North American Championship held in Newport, RI in June.

“This is our favourite regatta,” commented Fauth, who is President of the Maxi 72 Class, which is affiliated to the IMA. “There will be six 72 footers and competition will be fierce. It is always challenging conditions both for the around the buoys and the coastal race. It is normally all you want.”

As to Bella Mente being favourite for a third World title, Fauth added: “We have the oldest boat and I am the oldest helmsman, but we have got a very good team. Our execution over the course of a regatta has been good and if there is one reason why we might have a small advantage it is because of that. But it is a very small advantage: The margin of victory in this fleet is two or three seconds – the boats are very close.”


Photo: ROLEX / Carlo Borlenghi

 

The Mini Maxi class (60-79ft) also has a strong line-up. Roberto Lacorte’s Mark Mills 68 Supernikka returns to defend her title, while she will be up against another Mills 68, the more thoroughbred racer, Prospector, which as Alegre and then Caol Ila R was one of the most competitive boats in what is now the Maxi 72 class. Also to be watched will be American Bryon Ehrhart’s Reichel Pugh 63, Lucky. Winner of last year’s Transatlantic Race, Lucky in her previous life was Loki, winner of the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

In 2015 the Mini Maxi Racer-Cruiser class had one of the tightest finishes and the top four boats return this year, including winner, Riccardo de Michele’s Vallicelli 80 H2O, which finished on equal points with Giuseppe Puttini’s Swan 65 Shirlaf (which this year will face stiff competition from new IMA member Marietta Strasoldo’s Swan 651 Lunz Am Meer.)

Andrew McIrvine, Secretary General of the IMA commented: “It will be an exciting year with a number of new boats competing, especially in the SuperMaxi division where a new generation of more race-oriented boats are appearing. The challenge of manoeuvring these huge craft around the tight courses around the islands of the Maddalena makes for a great spectacle and keeps so many sailors coming back year after year.”

Racing will take place over a mixture of windward-leeward and coastal courses. As usual there will be a magnificent social programme including the annual International Maxi Association Dinner and parties sponsored by Rolex and Audi.

Entry List

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 Tracking

 

#sail #race #racing

 

Conch Republic Cup (Photo by Priscilla Parker )

 

KEY WEST, FLA. – When diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba were restored in 2015, the Conch Republic Cup was resurrected after a forced 13-year hiatus. From Tuesday, January 24 through Friday, February 3, 2017 the storied event, also known as Key West Cuba Race Week, is scheduled for its ninth edition, or if counting backward, its second consecutive running since U.S travel restrictions to Cuba were lifted. Designed as a full immersion, round-trip racing excursion from Key West to Cuba, the Conch Republic Cup is open to PHRF, cruising and racing monohulls and schooners with a minimum length of 26 feet as well as multihulls with a minimum length of 24 feet.

“The Conch Republic Cup is the only race with more than one stop that runs along the coast of Cuba,” said Conch Republic Cup Executive Director Karen Angle. “It is not just a race to Cuba; it is a series of races that includes a return race to Key West.”
The Conch Republic was resurrected in 2015
ConchRepublicCup_BrandLogo

Co-hosted by Key West Community Sailing Center (KWCSC) and Hemingway International Yacht Club (HIYC) of Cuba, the Conch Republic Cup kicks off in Key West with two days of welcoming festivities. “Distance Race 1” is from Key West toVaradero, Cuba where sailors will enjoy a welcome reception at Marina Gaviota before starting out the next morning, Thursday, January 26, on “Distance Race 2” from Varadero to Havana, Cuba.  After a lay day in Havana, the “Castillo Del Morro Triangle Race” will take place on Sunday, January 29, calling for a different skill set to navigate a coastal course of between four and ten miles around a combination of fixed marks and/or dropped marks. The day also includes a parade along theMalecon seaside walk where the Cuban people will welcome racers and an Awards Party at HIYC. After three days off to enjoy the island and socialize, competitors return home by way of “Distance Race 3” on Thursday, February 2.

Marina Hemingway 2
Canals and entrance: Marina Hemingway of Havana, Cuba.

“In 2016, 60 boats and 435 sailors, hailing from more than 25 states and five countries, participated in the Conch Republic Cup, making it the largest crossing to date,” said Peter Goldsmith, who started the race in 1997 with his partner, the late Michelle Geslin, and members of the Key West Sailing Center where he was Fleet Captain. It was a direct race to Varadero, since KWSC had already run two races to Varadero in the 1970s. It remained that way until 1999 when the format was expanded to include the leg from Veradero to Havana, creating the traditional triangle of the Conch Republic Cup.  Buoy racing was added in 2016, making it a four-race series.

A Colorful Past
Although travel restrictions to Cuba are now lifted and allow American sailors once again to legally race to Cuba, the U.S. government didn’t always look so kindly upon the Conch Republic Cup or its founders.

“Diplomatic relations had been severed since 1961 and the embargo was still in full force. So after 7 years of unsanctioned races, in 2003 the government had had enough,” said Peter Goldsmith.  According to Goldsmith, U.S. agents attended the skippers’ meeting in Key West with guns on their hips and made a speech about why the participants could not go to Cuba. “By then, we were used to going anyway, and no one was going to take away our right to travel. On the way to the start, we were escorted out of the harbor by several government boats and a helicopter, which was taking our pictures.”

image005
CRC Founder Peter Goldsmith and his partner, the late Michelle Geslin, were arrested in 2003 for “trading with the enemy” (photo courtesy of Peter Goldsmith); Castillo Del Morro is a famous landmark in Havana. (photo by Priscilla Parker)

The government boats did not stop the fleet, but for the first time in the seven-year history of the race, officials boarded most of the boats upon their return from Cuba and confiscated cameras, GPS systems, and charts. A Grand Jury was convened in Key West and competitors were subpoenaed to testify. Both Goldsmith and his partner, Michelle Geslin, were indicted, arrested and charged with “trading with the enemy.” They were freed after 1 ½ hours.  A year and a half later, when they were summoned to court at the Federal Courthouse in Miami, the case was tabled, giving the government three years to present a better case, which never happened.

“It’s wonderful to have the race series going again with the blessing of both governments,” said Goldsmith. “The Conch Republic Cup’s mission is to introduce as many as possible in the U.S. sailing community to Cuba as well as revitalize racing in Cuba, facilitating a cultural exchange through sport.”

Entries for the Conch Republic Cup are limited. Early registration deadline is September 15, 2016; regular registration deadline is December 15, 2016.  For more information, including the newly posted Notice of Race and full schedule, visitwww.conchrepubliccup.org or email Karen@conchrepubliccup.org.

Castillo del Morro ,Havana (Photo by Priscilla Parker)

Castillo del Morro ,Havana (Photo by Priscilla Parker)