Itajai stopover.In-port Race. 20 April (Photo ©  Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race)

Itajai stopover.In-port Race. 20 April (Photo ©
Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race)

MAPFRE takes a close win over team AkzoNobel and Dongfeng Race Team in Brazil In Port Race, while SHK/Scallywag race the clock to be on the start line on Sunday…

Itajai stopover.In-port Race. 20 April

Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race

The Spanish team MAPFRE won the Itajaí In-Port Race on Friday in Brazil, after battling with team AkzoNobel for the lead on the first of three laps of the race course.

A large spectator fleet was on hand to watch the racing in a moderate 10 knot sea breeze and after taking the lead on the first downwind leg, MAPFRE protected well the rest of the way.

The win allows skipper Xabi Fernández and his team to extend their advantage in the In-Port Race Series over Dongfeng Race Team who finished in third place on Friday.

“It was a good race for us today, right from the start, but the key for us was being able to pass AkzoNobel on the first downwind,” Fernández said. “From there we could stretch.

“Being the series leader is always good. We know how tight the overall race leaderboard is where we’re just one point behind Dongfeng, so this could be important at the end of the race and for that we are happy today.”

Team AkzoNobel was a close second place in Itajaí, which secures their third place position on the series leaderboard.

“When we looked at the conditions and the race course today we knew the start would be critical and we had a very good start with pace,” skipper Simeon Tienpont said. “But MAPFRE did a really good job. We were waiting for them to make a mistake but they did the best race today and we’re very happy with second place.”

Dongfeng Race Team was also content with a podium result.

Itajai stopover.In-port Race. 20 April, 2018. (Photo © Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race)

“We didn’t have a good start but we were able to use the mistakes of the others to get back near the leaders,” skipper Charles Caudrelier said. “We sailed the rest of the race well but there was not so much opportunity.”

Turn the Tide on Plastic scored their best finish of the series with a fourth place result and has moved off the bottom of the series leaderboard.

Team Brunel had a promising start on Friday but was undone by a sail handling error at the top mark, which dropped them from challenging for the lead to battling with Vestas 11th Hour Racing at the back of the fleet.

Team SHK/Scallywag didn’t take the start on Friday, with the boat still out of the water being prepared to take the start of Leg 8 on Sunday. It’s a race against the clock to get the boat ready in time.

Itajai Stopover. Press conference. 20 April, 2018. (Photo © Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race)

Earlier, at the skippers’ press conference, Scallywag’s David Witt spoke poignantly about the loss of his friend and teammate John Fisher:

“We started together 12 years ago and he was always the first guy picked… the biggest compliment I could give John is that he was the best team player I’ve ever seen. He put everyone else first.

“For me, he was my best mate. Sunday will be a bit weird – it will be the first time I’ve gone to sea without him in 12 years…

“But we’ve had amazing support from within the Volvo Ocean Race family. The character of the people in this race has been exemplified by the way we’ve been supported by the other competitors in this race… I’m sure John would be very proud about that.

“The best thing we can do in John’s memory is get on with the job on Sunday… If he was standing behind be right now he’d be telling me to harden up and get on with it and that’s what we’re going to do on Sunday.”

 

Itajai Stopover. Press conference. 20 April, 2018. (Photo © Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race)

Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island, starts on Sunday 22 April.

Itajaí In-Port Race — Results
1. MAPFRE – 7 points
2. Team AkzoNobel – 6 points
3. Dongfeng Race Team – 5 points
4. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 4 points
5. Team Brunel – 3 points
6. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 2 points
7. Team SHK/Scallywag – did not start

Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Leaderboard
1. MAPFRE – 44 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 39 points
3. team AkzoNobel – 33 points
4. Team Brunel – 29 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 18 points
6. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 15 points
7. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 15 points

 

Itajai stopover.In-port Race. 20 April (Photo ©  Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race)

Itajai stopover.In-port Race. 20 April (Photo ©
Pedro Martinez/Volvo Ocean Race)

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (Photo © Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race )

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (Photo © Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race )

 

March 10, 2018 02:00 UTC
Written by Peter Rusch

Dongfeng Race Team earned a spectacular come from behind win on Saturday afternoon in New Zealand

Dongfeng Race Team showed great concentration and resilience in winning the New Zealand Herald In Port Race in Auckland, New Zealand on Saturday.

Conditions were extremely light, shifty and patchy on the Waitematā Harbour, making for plenty of lead changes over the course of the one hour race.

Team AkzoNobel finished in second place, while early leaders MAPFRE completed the podium to retain the overall lead in the In Port Race Series.

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (Photo © Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race )

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (Photo © Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race )

“It was very tricky, very difficult,” said Dongfeng skipper Charles Caudrelier following the race. “We had a terrible start but there was so much happening during the first leg that it wasn’t always good to be in the lead as you just showed the others where the light spots were. We were able to pick up on that and sail around the leaders.

“We worked hard on our speed, and managed to come back slowly.”

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (Photo © Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race )

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (Photo © Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race )

The race started in spectacular fashion, considering how light the wind was. MAPFRE positioned well to leeward of the fleet, was first across the line, with David Witt’s Scallywag barging through with speed ahead of a big group clustered near the pin end.

But in fact, it was Team Brunel who were causing the pile-up at the pin, forcing three boats outside of the start line, with Dongfeng, Turn the Tide on Plastic and team AkzoNobel all required to re-start well behind the leaders.

That left MAPFRE and Scallywag as the early leaders, charging up what appeared to be a one-tack leg.

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (photo © Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race )

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (photo © Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race )

But as they approached the top third of the leg, the wind died, and the trailing boats were able to sail around the leading pair on both sides, with AkzoNobel and Vestas 11th Hour Racing squeezing through just ahead of Dongfeng Race Team and Brunel Sailing.

On the nominally downwind second leg, AkzoNobel and Dongfeng found a vein of pressure to grab the lead, and on a shortened two-lap course, it was Dongfeng who were able to ease ahead and hold on for the win.

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (photo © Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race )

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 10 March, 2018. (photo © Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race )

“It was a good team win,” said Caudrelier. “Very good for the mood of the team.”

The results mean MAPFRE retains the overall lead in the series, with Dongfeng reducing the gap to second place and team AkzoNobel leapfrogging Brunel to take third.


Current Volvo Ocean Race In-Port Race Series Leaderboard

1. MAPFRE – 37 points
2. Dongfeng Race Team – 34 points
3. team AkzoNobel – 27 points
4. Team Brunel – 26 points
5. Vestas 11th Hour Racing – 18 points
6. Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag – 15 points
7. Turn the Tide on Plastic – 11 points

Auckland Stopover. The New Zealand Herald In-Port Race. 09 March, 2018. (Photo © Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race )

 

#volvooceanrace #dongfeng #auckland #inport

Auckland Stopover. (Photo © Jesus Renedo/Volvo Ocean Race )

eg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 17, Photo by Amory Ross/Volvo Ocean Race. 18 January, 2018.

Leg 4, Melbourne to Hong Kong, day 17, Photo by Amory Ross/Volvo Ocean Race. 18 January, 2018.

The Volvo Ocean Race can confirm Vestas 11th Hour Racing, one of the teams competing in the 2017-18 race, has been involved in a collision with a non-race vessel before the finish of Leg 4, near Hong Kong.

The team has retired from Leg 4 and is proceeding to Hong Kong unassisted and under its own power.

Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:23 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:23 local time on Saturday morning).

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC) and undertook a search and rescue mission.

HKMRCC has informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a tenth crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital.

All of the crew on Vestas 11th Hour Racing are safe. Their boat suffered damage and the team has officially retired from the leg, but the team is able to motor to shore.

The Volvo Ocean Race is deeply saddened to inform that the collision between Vestas 11th Hour Racing, a team competing in the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18, and a fishing vessel has resulted in a fatality of a crew of the fishing vessel.

On behalf of the Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing, we offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.

The incident occurred approximately 30 miles from the finish of Leg 4, outside of Hong Kong waters. Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:23 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:23 local time on Saturday morning).

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team, none of whom were injured in the collision, issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC) and undertook a search and rescue mission.

HKMRCC informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a tenth crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital. HKMRCC has since confirmed the death of the air-lifted crew member.

Volvo Ocean Race and Vestas 11th Hour Racing are now focused on providing immediate support to those affected by this incident.

All involved organisations are co-operating with the authorities and are fully supporting the ongoing investigation.

Gryphon Solo 2  by George Bekris Atlantic Cup

 

The 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing Winner Gryphon  Solo 2

Gryphon Solo  2 Winner 2014 Atlantic Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

Gryphon Solo 2 Winner 2014 Atlantic Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

 

 

#39 Pleiad Racing wins the inshore Series and secures 3rd place overall.

Atlantic Cup 2014 George Bekris - Copy

 

 

#116 JeffreyMacFarlane.com secures 2nd place in team’s first race together in Class 40

116 JeffreyMacFarlane_com by George BEkris

 

NEWPORT, R.I. – #106 – Gryphon Solo 2 skippered by Joe Harris and Patrick O’Connor, held on to first place overall in the 2014 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing after a tight weekend of inshore racing. Both Gryphon Solo 2 and #116 – JeffreyMacFarlane.com were tied at the end of racing today, however per the Notice of Race, all ties are broken in favor of the boat with the most points earned among the two offshore legs, which was Gryphon Solo 2. The weather on day 1 of the inshore series delivered wind speeds consistently in the upper teens, but in day 2 the wind was variable from 7-12 knots making for a challenging two days of inshore racing in Narragansett Bay. #39 Pleiad Racing dominated the inshore series by winning three of the five races, en route to securing third overall.

 

Gryphon Solo 2 bested the field during the first offshore leg (Charleston, S.C. to N.Y. Harbor) and placed 3rd in the second leg (N.Y. Harbor to Newport, R.I.). JeffreyMacFarlane.com finished 1st in the second leg and 4th in the first leg. Both teams finished the overall racing with 31 total combined points. However, per the Notice of Race, the tie is broken in favor of the team scoring the most points in the offshore legs, which was Gryphon Solo 2. With the victory Gryphon Solo 2 claims $4,000 of the $15,000 purse, one of the largest in sailing in the United States.

 

106-Gryphon Solo 2 Skipper Joe Harris: “It feels great, we really got off on the right foot by winning leg one. Going into the inshore series, I was nervous because the boat is very fussy; less than 8 knots and she doesn’t want to go more than 8 knots and she gets up and starts flying. This is my third Atlantic Cup, I got third place in 2012, 4th last year, so to have a win this year is terrific, the level of competition was extremely high, so it’s a really satisfying win”

 

Jeff MacFarlane, Skipper of #116 – www.JeffreyMacFarlane.com said, “I was really impressed with the boat and our crew, we didn’t make a lot of bad decisions this weekend. I’m happy, the boat was going fast especially considering after the first leg where things weren’t looking good overall, but we really were able to get it going. It’s tough to lose in a tie-break, but it this is good overall.”

 

Hugh Piggin, Manuka Sports Event Management Founder and Atlantic Cup Race Director – “Once again we are very proud to have a terrific team with us to put together another successful event. A huge amount of effort goes into making this event a success from all of our sponsors, volunteers and staff. Every year I think competition can’t get any closer, but it does which goes to show how great this style of racing really is. We congratulate all of the competitors especially Gryphon Solo 2 in winning one of the closest grand prix regattas in the U.S.”

 

 

 Flatline Crew by Geroge Bekris

2014 ATLANTIC CUP FINAL CLASS 40 STANDINGS
Team Offshore Legs In Shore Races
1 2 1 2 3 4 5 Inshore Points TotalPoints PrizeMoney
1 106 – Gryphon Solo 2 10 6 3 4 4 4 3 15 31 4,000.00
2 116 – JeffreyMacFarlane.com 4 10 4 5 3 3 5 17 31 4,000.00
3 39 – Pleiad 6 4 5 3 5 5 4 19 29 3,500.00
4 54 – Dragon*** 8 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 3,000.00
5 25 – Flatline 0* – DNS 2 2 2 2 2 2 8 10 500.00
Highlighted Score equals dropped score from Inshore Series*Flatline missed the start in Charleston and was scored 0
**Ties are broken in favor of the boat with the most points earned among the two offshore legs.***Dragon hit a rock during day one of the Inshore Series and was unable to complete any inshore races

 Dragon 2014 after hitting rock by George Bekris

About the 2014 Atlantic Cup

The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is a dedicated professional Class 40 race held annually in the U.S. that focuses on being environmentally responsible and aims to be completely carbon neutral. The five-team field will depart Saturday, May 10 from Charleston, South Carolina and race double-handed 685 miles offshore to New York City. Following a brief stop-over in New York, teams will depart from North Cove Marina Saturday, May 17 to race 240-miles to Newport, R.I. The Atlantic Cup is the longest offshore race along the east coast of the United States. In Newport, competitors will take part in a two-day inshore series with a crew of six. The crew with the combined highest score from all three legs will be the Atlantic Cup Champion. For more on the Atlantic Cup and its Green Initiatives, visit www.atlanticcup.org.

 

Flatline Atlantic Cup by George Bekris

 

 For More Images of the Atlantic Cup 2014  PHOTOS by George Bekris Click HERE

 

 

 

Bodacious Dream, Winner of the 2013 Atlantic Cup Race (Photo by George Bekris)

#118 Bodacious Dream wins
The 2013 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing

 

Bodacious Dream 2013 Atlantic Cup Winner (Photo by George Bekris)

#116 Icarus wins the inshore Series and secures 3rd place overall.  #121 Lecoq Cuisine in the team’s first race together and first race on their new boat claims 2nd place.

 

NEWPORT, R.I. – #118 Bodacious Dream (USA), skippered by Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl, held on to first place overall in the 2013 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing after a tight weekend of inshore racing that saw Bodacious Dream and #121 Lecoq Cuisine trading places. The weather over both days delivered wind speeds consistently in the upper teens and twenties with gusts up to 30 knots, making for a challenging two days of inshore racing in Narragansett Bay. #116 Icarus dominated the inshore series by winning three of the five races, finishing second in the other two, en route to securing third overall.

Bodacious Dream was equally impressive during the offshore competition, besting the field during the first offshore leg (Charleston, S.C. to N.Y. Harbor), and second leg (N.Y. Harbor to Newport, RI). Bodacious Dream finished with 51 total combined points for the offshore legs and inshore races in Narragansett Bay, Lecoq Cuisine finished with 45 total points. With the victory Bodacious Dream claim $5,500 of the $15,000 purse, one of the largest in sailing in the United States.

Bodacious Dream co-skipper Dave Rearick: “We are ecstatic. We really wanted to win the racing and do well in the inshore series…today was a bit of a challenge with the high winds, but we managed to hang on. Obviously Lecoq Cuisine was our closest competitor and we really wanted to best them, which we did today, so that was terrific. ”

 

Ken Read, North Sails President and Former Volvo Ocean Race Skipper for Puma Ocean Racing, who sailed on board Icarus Racing today said, “These guys sailed this boat very, very well, so it’s pretty easy just to go along for the ride. It was good fun and this is what sailboat racing is supposed to be all about. These race courses were fantastic…but it’s just fun to sail with a bunch of young guys who are really into the sport and just go rip around the race course, it doesn’t get any better than [The Atlantic Cup].”

Hugh Piggin, Manuka Sports Event Management Founder and Atlantic Cup Race Director – “We are very proud to have a terrific team with us to put together another successful event. A huge amount of effort goes into making this event a success from all of our sponsors, volunteers and staff. This year exhibited extremely tight racing in both the offshore and inshore legs with final positions not decided until the final minutes. We congratulate all of the competitors especially Bodacious Dream in winning one of the closest grand prix regattas in the U.S.”

The 2013 Atlantic Cup, the first carbon-neutral sailing event in the United States, featured an international fleet of 7 teams with competitors from the USA, France, New Zealand and Great Britain, the most Class 40s to ever compete in the United States. The teams set sail from Charleston, S.C. on Saturday, May 11 en route to New York Harbor for the second leg of the competition and a Pro-Am event (May 15-17) before departing on May 18 for the final leg of competition held in Newport, R.I. this weekend (May 25-26).

 

Mare, Winner of the 2012 Atlantic Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

Mare, Winner of the 2012 Atlantic Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

#115 Mare wins The 2012 Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing

Mare dominates a record setting fleet of 15 competitors, including #118 Bodacious Dream (2nd place) and #106 Gryphon Solo 2 (3rd place) to claim the second annual Atlantic Cup Championship and $15,000 in prize money

NEWPORT, R.I. – #115 Mare (GER), skippered by Jörg Riechers, Ryan Breymaier (offshore) and Charles Euvrete (inshore), continued its Atlantic Cup dominance by winning three of the five inshore races, finishing second in the other two heats, en route to claiming The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing over a record setting international fleet of 15 Class40 yachts. Mare was equally impressive during the offshore competition, besting the field during the first offshore leg (Charleston, S.C. to N.Y. Harbor), and coming in second behind overall Atlantic Cup runner-up #118 Bodacious Dream (USA), skippered by Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl. Mare finished with 11 total combined points for the offshore legs and inshore races in Narragansett Bay, Bodacious Dream finished with 27 total points. With the victory Mare claims the champion’s share, $15,000, of the $30,000 overall prize purse, one of the largest in sailing in the United States.

Bodacious Dream took Second Place in the Atlantic Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

Bodacious Dream took Second Place in the Atlantic Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

Only three points separated the remaining top-five finishers with Gryphon Solo 2 (USA), skippered by Joe Harris and Tristan Mougline (39 points) in third, winning a tiebreaker with Campagne De France (FRA), skippered by Halvard Mabire and Miranda Merron, (39), in fourth, and Initiatives (USA), skippered by Emma Creighton and Rob Windsor, (42), finishing fifth.

Mare co-skipper Jörg Riechers: “I’m very happy winning, it was a great event, we thought it would be a close battle between us and Talan Bureau Veritas but as it turned out Bodacious Dream was our stiffest competition and they raced a terrific race.”

Bodacious Dream co-skipper Dave Rearick: “This has been a terrific event, we couldn’t be happier in our first race. We will take some of this prize money and donate back to the Atlantic Cup so we can support this great event and keep racing!”

Gryphon Solo 2 co-skipper Joe Harris:  “The fact that we made third, I was thrilled, we were clinging by our fingernails and we managed to pull it out which is fantastic!”

Hugh Piggin, Manuka Sports Event Management Founder and Atlantic Cup Race Director – “The Atlantic Cup congratulates Mare on their well-earned victory over a record-setting international field of 15 Class 40 boats. We are very proud of the top-notch sailing, ecological efforts and sportsmanship exhibited by all of the teams and appreciate the contributions from our sponsors, volunteers and staff in making the event a success on all fronts.”

The 2012 Atlantic Cup, the first carbon-neutral sailing event in the United States, featured an international fleet of 15 boats from the USA, France, Germany and Great Britain, the most Class 40s to ever compete in the United States. The teams set sail from Charleston, S.C. on Friday, May 11 at 6:25 p.m. EDT en route to New York Harbor for the second leg of the competition and a Pro-Am event (May 14 – 19) before departing on May 19 at 11:05 a.m. for the final leg of competition held in Newport, R.I. this weekend (May 26 – 27).

COMBINED FINAL POINT STANDINGS AFTER ALL THREE LEGS OF COMPETITION  INSHORE                TOTAL POINTS

#115       Mare – GER (Jörg Riechers, Ryan Breymaier, Charles Euvrete)                                   2,1,1,1                    11

#118       Bodacious Dream – USA (Dave Rearick, Matt Scharl)                                                   5,5,6,3                    27

#106       Gryphon Solo 2 – USA (Joe Harris, Tristan Mougline)**                                              4,3,2,8                    39

#101       Campagne De France – FRA (Halvard Mabire, Miranda Merron) **                          8,9,9,3                    39

#30         Initiatives – USA  (Emma Creighton/Rob Windsor)                                                       1,2,4,5                    42

#54         Dragon – USA (Michael Hennessy, Merf Owen) **                                                      7,3,2,1                    47

#105       Eole Generation – GDF SUEZ – FRA (Sebastien Rogues, Jeffrey McFarlane) **       6,4,5,4                    47

#109       Talan-Bureau Veritas – FRA (Stephane Le Diraison, Jesse Naimark-Rowse)             3,6,5,6                    52

#116       Icarus Racing – USA (Tim Fetsch, Ben Poucher)                                                             10,11,7,4               58

#73         Toothface – USA (Mike Dreese, Ken Luczynski)                                                            9,8,7,9                    69

#113       Partouche – FRA (Christophe Coatnoan, Ari Sebag)                                                      13,7,10,12             82

#17         Transport Cohérence – FRA (Benoît Jouandet, Jorge Madden)                                  11,13,13,11          84

#20         Sevenstar Yacht Transport -FRA (Jean Edouard-Criquioche, Anna-Maria Renkin   14,14,14,14          88

#85         Groupe Picoty – FRA (Jacques Fournier, Jean Christophe “JC” Caso)                         12,12,12,13          89

#90         *40 Degrees – GBR (Hannah Jenner, Peter Harding)                                                                                    DNF

*40 Degrees retired during Leg #1 after suffering a broken mast and did not start offshore leg 2 or compete in the inshore series.

** Ties are broken in accordance with RRS A8

 For More Images of the Atlantic Cup 2012 Newport Inshore Racing by George Bekris Click HERE

 

Cutlass and Icarus (Photo by George Bekris)

Cutlass and Icarus (Photo by George Bekris)

That’s right sports fans it’s halftime. 2500 miles down and 2500 miles to go. If we actually knew how long the race was going to take would we have even left the dock? You bet, but it doesn’t mean we haven’t started to miss simple things like ice and a full night sleep on a bed thatdoes not crash and bang. This race is all about endurance. Keeping the pressure up 24 hours a day, day after day, takes its toll after a while. Both of us are looking forward to just being able to chill out and not worry about boat speed for 5 minutes.

 

After two days floundering around in the bottom of a high-pressure system, we broke free yesterday morning and have had an action packed run since. The breeze piped up good and proper and we spent the night surfing down big waves with sustained boat speeds in excess of 20 knots. When these boats get really juiced up they are a high adrenaline experience. It makes for some big grins.

 

Sprits onboard are high, even though it has been frustrating to watch some of our competition to the north hook into a different weatherpattern and put some crucial miles on us that we will spend the rest of therace trying to whittle down. We have been running 4-hour watches, which is on the long side, but enables the off watch person to have some proper down time. We have enough variety of freeze-dried food onboard that things are still interesting. I’m not sure how we are going to feel about that in another 10 days. There is only so much freeze-dried chili a man can eat. We also think some barking spiders snuck onboard in the freeze dried bags because we keep hearing them barking after meal-time. They must just like the freeze-dried.

 

The Hydro-Generator has been a really great addition to the boat and has generally supplied all the power we need and more. So much more, in fact, that it has opened up discussion about any number of 12 volt appliances that might be brought onboard. Ice cream machine?  Bread machine? Why not?

 

All in all it’s been a good 2500 miles. There has been some good weather and some bad. Some really fun times and some times when all we want to do is pull our hair out (flopping around with no wind and lots of rain can do that). The ups and downs are part of ocean racing. Its all about the journey.

 

One of my biggest impressions so far has been with the shear amount of water out here. It sounds silly but even after spending so much of my life on the water, this trip has impressed upon me just how much water there really is on the planet. We have seen one or two boats in the last week, a whale, a couple birds, and a bunch of flying fish. But mostly it’s day after day of water and clouds, as far as the eye can see. It really is amazing.

 

Now our sights are firmly set on Costa Rica and that first rum drink. I can almost taste it now. First we have a few boats we need to try and beat to the finish line.

 

Signing Off,

Nick and Hugh

24  58.57 N

046  20.28W

 

More interviews, updates and photos on Halmos and Piggin’s campaign are available via Cutlass Racing’s website and TheAtlantic Cup’s facebook and twitter pages.

 

About Nick Halmos

Nick Halmos, 32 and a Palm Beach Florida native, currently residing in Santa Cruz, CA is one of two Americans entered in the Transat Jaques Vabre. Halmos was the captain of the Brown University sailing team and has been campaigning the Class 40 Cutlasssince he brought the boat to the United States in 2009. Since then he has won the 2009 Bermuda 1-2, the Halifax Race and the Ida Lewis Distance Race among others. Halmos, has always been keen to race in something longer. He states, “if you are an American and want to get better at short-handed ocean racing at somepoint you will have to race with the French. The Transat Jaques Vabre is one of the great ocean races and if you’re into short-handed sailing this is one of the top races in the world to do.”

 

About Hugh Piggin

Hugh Piggin, 36, is no stranger to the short-handed sailing scene. Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, he is the only Kiwi competing in this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre. Piggin has logged over 100,000 miles, 7 Transatlantic crossings, 4 Newport-Bermuda races, a Transatlantic record attempt, a Cross Channel record and Two Northern OceanRacing Trophy titles. In 2008, he co-founded Manuka Sports Event Management and is now the race director for The Atlantic Cup, the only dedicated Class 40 race in the United States. He has twice prepared boats for the Transat Jaques Vabre, including class winner Gryphon Solo in 2007, however, this will be his first attempt as a competitor.

 

About 11th Hour Racing:

11th Hour Racing, a program of the 11th Hour Project, establishes a dynamic new platform for public education about the responsible use of energy and resources in the context of an exciting recreational and competitive sport.

 

Through our sponsorship of winning sailing teams and clean regattas, we work to advance sailing practices that improvethe energy profile and performance of racing boats, and increase the personal investment of sailors in the health of our waters.

 

About the boat – Cutlass/11th Hour Racing:

Cutlass/11th Hour Racing is 4 years old and is a first generation Class 40. She is an Owen-Clarke design and built by Jazz Marine – England. This will be her 5th transatlantic crossing.

 

11th Hour Skippers Nick Halmos and Hugh Piggin (Photo courtesy of 11th Hour Racing)

Nick Halmos and Atlantic Cup Founder Hugh Piggin to co-skipper

 Focus on environmental sustainability throughout the race

 Le Harve, France – With just five days until the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre, 11thHour Racing teammates Nick Halmos and Hugh Piggin are making final preparations for the 4,730nm double-handed race from Le Havre, France to Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. Piggin and Halmos will co-skipper the Class 40 Cutlass/11th Hour Racing. Cutlass/11th Hour Racing won the inaugural Atlantic Cup held in May of 2011.  Their campaign sponsored by 11th Hour Racing will demonstrate better ways to race for performance and the environment.

 

11th Hour Racing is committed to advancing sailing practices that improve the energy profile and performance of racing boats, and increase the personal investment of sailors in the health of our waters. Advancing winning sailing practices one degree at a time, Halmos and Piggin will not use any plastic water bottles, all cleaning products are biodegradable and carbon offsets were purchased to cover the crew’s transportation.

Furthermore, Cutlass/11th Hour Racing is outfitted with a hydro-generator, which will be utilized to provide all on-board energy needs during the race. Hugh Piggin stated, “the goal is to not burn a single ounce of fossil fuel from when the boat leaves the dock in LeHarve until it arrives in Puerto Limon. Up until recently it was unheard of to cross an ocean without burning any fossil fuel and with 11th Hour Racing’s partnership, this and other sustainable practices on the water are becoming a reality.”

11th Hour Racing Program Director Jeremy Pochman stated, “Our purpose is to promote the widespread usage of new technologies, both environmentally conscious and performance enhancing on the racecourse. In their TJV campaign, Cutlass/11th Hour Racing is acting as a role model to demonstrate that smart choices benefit the performance of the boat and the marine environment.”

 

The TJV will also offer a unique opportunity to test Cityblooms technology in the harsh environment of the mid-Atlantic. Cityblooms is an urban farming start-up founded by Nick Halmos. Halmos stated that, “Hugh and I will be putting to sea with what might be the world’s first carbon fiber hydroponic system”. By using the hydro-generator to produce fresh water, the duo will attempt to grow a fresh arugula and broccoli microgreen salad in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. In doing so they will demonstrate sustainable organic farming with techniques that are light enough to be used aboard a high-tec racing yacht without a sacrifice in performance.

 

Hugh Piggin, 36, is no stranger to the short-handed sailing scene. Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, he is the only Kiwi competing in this year’s Transat Jacques Vabre. Piggin has logged over 100,000 miles, 7 Transatlantic crossings, 4 Newport-Bermuda races, a Transatlantic record attempt, a Cross Channel record and Two Northern Ocean Racing Trophy titles. In 2008, he co-founded Manuka Sports Event Management and is now the race director for The Atlantic Cup, the only dedicated Class 40 race in the United States. He has twice prepared boats for the TJV, including class winner Gryphon Solo in 2007, however, this will be his first attempt as a competitor.

 

Nick Halmos, 32, a Palm Beach Florida native, currently residing in Santa Cruz, CA, is one of two Americans entered in the TJV. Halmos was the captain of the Brown University sailing team and has been campaigning the Class 40 Cutlass since he brought the boat to the United States in 2009. Since then he has won the 2009 Bermuda 1-2, the Halifax Race and the Ida Lewis Distance Race among others. Halmos, has always been keen to race in something longer. He states, “if you are an American and want to get better at short-handed ocean racing at some point you will have to race with the French. The TJV is one of the great ocean races and if you’re into short-handed sailing this is one of the top races in the world to do.”

 

With the village open in Le Havre and the start fast approaching, Halmos and Piggin discussed their goals on the upcoming race.

 

Nick Halmos

“ The energy in the race village is infectious as the teams prepare for the coming adventure. I can look around and tell that we are surrounded by fierce competitors yet that common trait creates a great atmosphere of camaraderie. While our number one goal is to get to Costa Rica intact, we also must sail a very smart race in order to finish well. A little luck won’t hurt either.”

 

Hugh Piggin

“The scene in France thus far has been nothing short of spectacular. The public interest is phenomenal and it is great to be among some of the top short-handed sailors in the world.

But, my attention is focused on the race and performing as best as possible. There are three major challenges to doing a race like this: getting to the start line, getting to the finish and leaving as few miles on the course as possible. Our number one goal is to get to Costa Rica, but while we’re racing we need to sail well enough to beat our competitors. We’re going to sail the boat as hard as we can and try to keep it in one piece, but as this is our first Class 40 race of this scale we have no yardstick to determine how we’ll do against our competition, however we’re going out there and we’re going to give it hell!”

 

Cutlass and Icarus (Photo by George Bekris)

Cutlass and Icarus (Photo by George Bekris)