A spectacular start to the 2015 RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua as IRC Zero and Canting Keel class, including George David's Rambler 88 and John Elkann's Volvo 70, Maserati cross the line (Photo  ©Tim Wright/Photoaction.com)

A spectacular start to the 2015 RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua as IRC Zero and Canting Keel class, including George David’s Rambler 88 and John Elkann’s Volvo 70, Maserati cross the line (Photo ©Tim Wright/Photoaction.com)

A spectacular start to the 2015 RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua as IRC Zero and Canting Keel class, including George David’s Rambler 88 and John Elkann’s Volvo 70, Maserati cross the line ©Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

 66 yachts started the 7th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600, with hundreds of race fans watching the impressive fleet from Fort Charlotte and Shirley Heights. Thousands more are now glued to the tracker and social media feeds. After a classic start in 15 knots of easterly trade winds, the fleet powered past the Pillars of Hercules, heading for Green Island where they will bear away and accelerate towards Barbuda, the only mark of the 600-mile course around 11 stunning Caribbean islands.

 

Phaedo3, Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70 © Richard and Rachel/Team Phaedo

Lloyd Thornburg’s MOD 70 Phaedo3, with Michel Desjoyeaux and Brian Thompson on board, had a conservative start with Petro Jonker’s cruising catamaran, Quality Time crossing the line first. Phaedo3 lit the blue touch paper at Green Island, blasting through the surf at well over 30 knots. The lime-green machine reached Barbuda in less than two hours, well ahead of record pace and eight miles ahead of Peter Aschenbrenner’s Irens 63, Paradox.

In the second start, 19 yachts in IRC Two and Three started the 600-mile race. For most of the crews racing in the smaller yachts it will be three or four days before they complete the challenge. Ed Fishwick’s Sunfast 3600, Redshift, skippered by Nick Cherry, got a great start at the pin-end with Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48, Scarlet Oyster, judging the inner distance mark to perfection. Andy Middleton’s First 47.7, EH01 and Scarlet Oyster were the first yachts in IRC Two to reach Green Island and it is likely that these two will be neck-and-neck for the duration of the race. In IRC Three, Peter Scholfield’s HOD 35, Zarafa was leading on the water at Green Island. However the Two Handed team racing Louis-Marie Dussere’s JPK 10.10, Raging Bee was the leader in class after time correction.

 

Scarlet Oyster, Ross Applebey’s Oyster 48 ©Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Jonathan Bamberger’s Canadian J/145, Spitfire and Joseph Robillard’s S&S 68, Black Watch got the best start in the 15 strong fleet racing in IRC One. However, Jose Diego-Arozamena’s Farr 72, Maximizer, revelled in the upwind start to lead on the water at Green Island. Oyster 625, Lady Mariposa, sailed by Daniel Hardy had a great leg to Green Island as did James Blakemore’s Swan 53, Music which was leading after time correction.

The penultimate start featured 21 yachts racing in IRC Zero and Canting Keel, arguably the best fleet of offshore sailing yachts that has ever been seen in the Caribbean. A highly competitive start saw Piet Vroon’s Ker 51, Tonnerre 4, win the pin, while Ron O’Hanley’s Cookson 50, Privateer took the island shore route to perfection. Farr 100, Leopard sailed by Christopher Bake, also had a great start, controlling the boats to leeward heading for the Pillars of Hercules.

 

Hap Fauth’s Maxi 72, Bella Mente had a sensational first leg of the race, rounding Green Island first out of the IRC Zero class, but all eyes were on George David’s Rambler 88, as the powerful sled turned on the after burners. George David’s new speed-machine could well break his own monohull course record; at Barbuda Rambler 88 was almost five miles ahead of the ghost track of the record set by Rambler 100.

 

George David’s Rambler 88 ©Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

Two of the world’s most magnificent schooners were the last class to start. Athos and Adela started their match race in the pre-start and there is no doubt that the battle of the titans will continue throughout the race. Athos won the pre-start in some style, chasing Adela downwind and away from the line, before rounding up onto the breeze and crossing the line over a boat length ahead of her rival. However, Adela was far better suited to the beat up to Green Island and led as the two schooners continued their rivalry towards Barbuda.

 

Note: Liquid, Pamala C Baldwin’s J/122 and Quality Time, Petro Jonker’s Du Toit 51 catamaran retired at the start following boat damage. All of the crew are well.

Bella Mente, Hap Fauth’s ©Tim Wright/Photoaction.com

RACE MINISITE:
Follow the race web site: http://caribbean600.rorc.org

( Entry list HERE)

 

 

THE RACE: 

  • RORC Caribbean 600 website: http://caribbean600.rorc.org
  • The RORC Caribbean 600 starts from Antigua on Monday 23rd February 2015
  • The 600nm course circumnavigates 11 Caribbean Islands starting from Fort Charlotte, English Harbour, Antigua and heads north as far as St Martin and south to Guadeloupe taking in Barbuda, Nevis, St Kitts, Saba and St Barth’s
  • Past Results: RORC CARIBBEAN 600 TROPHY – IRC OVERALL
  • 2014 – George Sakellaris, RP72, Shockwave (USA)
  • 2013 – Ron O’Hanley, Privateer, Cookson 50 (USA)
  • 2012 – Niklas Zennström’s JV72, Rán (GBR)
    2011 – George David, Rambler 100, JK 100 (USA)
    2010 – Karl C L Kwok, Beau Geste, Farr 80 (HKG)
  • 2009 – Adrian Lee, Lee Overlay Partners, Cookson 50 (IRL)
Brunel leadt the fleet out of Alicante at the Start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15

Brunel leadt the fleet out of Alicante at the Start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15

 

Team Brunel leads fleet out of Alicante

– Around 50,000 flock to dockside to wish sailors fair winds

– Opening night 20-knot winds and rain to greet sailors

– Follow the race all the way with our new app

ALICANTE, Spain, October 11 – The seven-strong fleet of the 12th Volvo Ocean Race raced out of Alicante on Saturday for the punishing first leg to Cape Town with rains and strong winds forecast to greet them in the opening eight hours.

The Start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 (Photo by Davis Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race )

The Start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 (Photo by Davis Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race )

Team Brunel took the honours after the fleet bade farewell to a memorable Alicante nine-day stopover before heading out to the Mediterranean, through the Straits of Gibraltar and then into the Atlantic during the first week of a nine-month, 38,739-mile marathon.

Skippered by Bouwe Bekking, the Dutch boat headed the seven-strong fleet out of the Spanish coastal city which hosts the Race HQ and has given the 66 sailors competing in Leg 1 an incredible send-off with tens of thousands visiting the Race Village every day.

They were hotly pursued by both Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and MAPFRE.

Memories of the last “salida” (departure) from Alicante three years ago will still be fresh for many – Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing and Team Sanya were forced to limp back to shore with crippling damage within 24 hours after an opening night storm in the Med wrought early havoc.

Goodbye hugs (Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race)

Goodbye hugs (Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race)

There’s no such carnage predicted this time but Race meteorologist Gonzalo Infante suggested it will be “messy” from about 2200 local time (2000 UTC) on the first leg when rains are likely to drench the fleet and winds could pick up to around 20 knots.

Traditionally, boats who have won Leg 1 have gone on to win the entire race but Groupama bucked that trend in 2011-12 when they finished last of only three boats who managed to complete the 6,487 miles to Cape Town.

The French team, led by Franck Cammas, took time to get into their stride but eventually emerged as deserved winners by the time the fleet reached their home port of Lorient, the penultimate stopover.

Another close race is predicted again for 2014-15, especially with the new one-design Volvo Ocean 65 levelling the playing field, but for the 50,000 or so who packed the Alicante Race Village to wave the fleet on their way, the event has already proved a winner.

The Start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 (Photo by Davis Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race )

Boats ready fpr the Start of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 (Photo by Davis Ramos/Volvo Ocean Race )

Groupe Bel damage from collision that forced abandonment of the race by Kito de Pavant (Photo by Groupe Bel / Kito de Pavant)

 
• Kito De Pavant is second abandonment of the Vendée Globe

• Le Cléac’h up to second

• Competition and duels through the fleet

• First strategic choices of the race


“I am cursed. The Vendée Globe is not for me.” That was the conclusion of the bitterly disappointed Kito de Pavant this Monday afternoon, despairing at the harsh reality that his challenge to complete the Vendée Globe is, again, very prematurely over.

For the second successive edition of the race this charismatic, twinkle eyed skipper from Port Camargue in the Mediterranean is having to withdraw.

His Groupe Bel suffered serious damage when he was hit by a fishing trawler whilst racing in 11th place, around 45 miles off the Portuguese coast about 75 miles NW of Cascais at around 1000hrs CET this morning.

De Pavant described it as a ‘stupid accident’ grabbing some minutes of sleep when he was awoken by a bang. With damage to Groupe Bel’s outrigger – the deck spreader which supports the rig – losing his bowsprit and sustaining a hole in the hull and deck he announced his retirement this afternoon.

The Groupe Bel skipper’s second attempt at the Vendée Globe effectively ended a little more than 68 hours after the start, a cruel reprise after he lost his mast within 24 hours of the start of the 2008-9 race.

He is unhurt and was making to Cascais where he was expected to arrive this Tuesday evening.

“ All of that energy spent over months and years to prepare, all this is terrible. There is no bowsprit, there is a hole in the front of the hull but the boat itself is safe.To leave the Vendée Globe again, after just two days of racing, is not even possible, not even possible.” De Pavant told his team this afternoon.

A snapshot of life’s extremes
This Monday, two full days into the race, has been nothing more than a snapshot of life through the fleet. The huge disappointment of De Pavant, the second skipper of 20 starters to abandon, is contrasted sharply with the simple joie de vie of both Sam Davies and Tanguy de Lamotte aboard their respective IMOCA Open 60’s in 15th and 16th places. (Neither had heard the news of De Pavant)

Davies was positively singing in her daily video report from Savéol and Lamotte’s pleasure at being well settled on his evergreen Initiatives Couer into his dream race which he had previously worked as shore support crew for Ellen MacArthur and Nick Moloney.

While the relative distances between the groups are opening still more through the fleet, so too the private duels and races within the races are starting to take shape.

At the top of the standings since Saturday night François Gabart has extended again with his VPLP Verdier Macif with his regular ‘running mate’ Armel Le Cléac’h now up to second on the near identical sistership Banque Populaire. The closely matched duo raced cheek by jowl all the way across the Atlantic in last year’s Transat Jacques Vabre with Le Cléac’h finishing less than two hours ahead after 16 days of racing.

Gabart leads by 13 miles this afternoon, gaining nine miles over the course of today. The three leading boats, Macif, Banque Populaire and PRB were separated laterally by about 52 miles as they slanted south west.

Into the pack Arnaud Boissières on eleventh placed Akena Vérandas was happy to be duelling with Louis Burton on Bureau Valley. On similar Owen –Clark designs Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso was less than a mile behind Mike Golding, though the British skipper had passed Jean Le Cam to gain eighth place this afternoon. And speaking to the radio vacs this afternoon Polish skipper Zbigniew Gutkowski confirmed tha,t even though his Energa was in light winds and well to the back of the fleet, he was taking on De Lamotte who was just a handful of miles ahead in terms of distance to the finish.

With a low pressure system building to the NW of the fleet the options to get west and use it and to avoid a roadblock of light, unsettled winds between the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands are being taken through the middle of the fleet. This first strategic choice of the race so far may reshape upper middle order.

THEY SAID…

PRESS OFFICE
Liliane Fretté Communication

MEDIA CENTER
Tel: +33 (0)1 46 53 53 19
Tel: +33 (0)1 46 53 53 20

FRENCH PRESS
pressefrance@vendeeglobe.fr

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
intpress@vendeeglobe.fr
Skype: sabinamollartrogerson
Tel: +33 (0)6 38 62 09
+34 666 759 530

At 1500hrs UTC Monday 12 November 2012

1 – François Gabart, FRA
[ Macif ]
23313 nms to finish
2 – Armel Le Cléac’h, FRA
[ Banque Populaire ]
+8.1 miles to leader

3 – Vincent Riou, FRA
[ PRB ]
+ 16.9 miles to leader

4 – Bernard Stamm, SUI
[ Cheminées Poujoulat ]
+29.9 miles to leader

5 -Jean-Pierre Dick, FRA
[ Virbac-Paprec 3 ]
+34.9 miles to leader

> FULL RANKING

I am very happy with the beginning of the race, even though the start isn’t the most important bit. There has been quite a lot of wind and waves, but it should get calmer later today. I am not too tired. I had some good sleep, it was so dark so it wasn’t really worth staying at the helm, the autopilot was on. And so I feel well rested.
I’ll stay in this north northwest wind for a few hours and then I’ll see what to do.
I was expecting more traffic, there were still a lot of cargo ships at Cape Finisterre.
I really do enjoy being the leader, I have good feelings on MACIF.
I am currently at 22 knots, but that is irregular, dropping back to 15kts at times.

François Gabart, FRA, Macif

Right now we have light winds. There are two different sets of GRIB files but they both tell me I have to go west. It is not possible for me to go south like the others. I have to go west and find the low pressure. I’ll get past the centre of the low pressure and then be able to go directly south. There is no chance for me to go directly with the fleet. Right now I have had good sleep and have been eating well. I got two hours because it is really light conditions. And the wind direction is stable. And so it is good for me and it has given the boat a rest and I have been able to check over everything. For me the boat is quite new, so I have to learn a little bit more and don’t want to make a maximum risk going at the same speed as the others. I just want to keep going and be looking to the future. Right now the winds are light but I find I go better when there is more wind.

Zbigniew Gutkowski, POL, Energa

Right now we are getting south at a good pace. The weather is looking a little bit tricky over the next 24 hours, I am in the middle with some good boats and so I am happy so far. I started pretty well and then I took the wrong decision to go a little bit south. But now I am here with everybody and so it is good.

Javier Sanso, ESP, Acciona 100% Eco Powered

I heard guys shouting but it was too late. I jumped on deck trying to save the rig. At least we managed that much. It is important the rig does not come down, so we saved that at least, but – hey – it is not much good. I am not angry at the fisherman but at me because it should not have happened. You can’t anticipate this happening, but I went down at just the wrong time. Of course there is always the risk of a collision when you are solo, with cargos, with fishermen. It can happen off Portugal, Senegal, Cape Verde or off Brazil. Everywhere. The boat is very damaged. All of that energy spent over months and years to prepare, all this is terrible. There is no bowsprit, there is a hole in the front of the hull but the boat itself is safe. There are no problems. I have secured the rig. There are between 17 and 18 kts of wind. I’m on a direct course for Cascais. I expect to be in by night. After that we’ll think what to do. To leave the Vendée Globe again, after just two days of racing, is not even possible, not even possible.

Kito de Pavant, FRA, Groupe Bel

 

2012 Vendée Globe Skippers

2012 Vendée Globe Skippers last press conference before race start. (Photo courtesy of 2012 Vendee Globe Race)

• 20 skippers line up in the press conference room
• The magic continues in the Les Sables d’Olonne sunshine
• British skippers relaxed and ready

 

With an audience of more than 200 media, Bruno Retailleau, the President of the Vendée General Council, accompanied by Louis Guédon, the mayor of Les Sables d’Olonne, Patricia Brochard the Co-President of the Sodebo and Denis Horeau, Vendée Globe race director presented the 20 skippers who will take part in the imminent Vendée Globe.

Highlighting how the Vendée Globe race has remained true to its core values, Retailleau emphasized the universally high level of the entries for this edition. “Getting 20 entries on the start line is an unexpected result” He said.
Denis Horeau, Race Director, praised the high quality of the entries, how well prepared the boats are and the professionalism of the teams involved in this 2012-13 edition.
The Mayor Les Sables d’Olonne recalled some of the history of the race while Patricia Brochard of Sodebo praised the entrepreneurship and enterprise which is inherent in each of the IMOCA Open 60 campaigns.

After the formalities the skippers spoke in turn, at once humorous, relaxed and insightful, an uplifting atmosphere before they join each other on the start line on Saturday 13h02 hrs.

The magic continues…..

The Vendée Globe magic continues. As the countdown continues to Saturday’s start of the solo round the world race each new day brings bigger and bigger crowds to Les Sables d’Olonne, to the pontoons where the 20 IMOCA Open 60’s are primed, ready for the emotional dock out. Teams are still refining the small details on board, adding the little luxuries and comforters which can lift the skipper’s mood when times are hard. But at three days before the start the tension is now palpable as the start gun beckons.

There are many skippers who have enjoyed the unique ambiance of the final countdown in Les Sables d’Olonne before. Bertrand de Broc (Votre Nom autour du Monde avec EDM) was here in 1992 and 1996 and says the passion for ocean racing is still the same. So, also, confirm Dominique Wavre and Mike Golding who are both back for the fourth time. The visitors come from all over Europe. Les Sablais strain at the guardrails on the pontoons to see their local heroes Arnaud Boissières, past winner Vincent Riou and the Italian skipper Alessandro di Benedetto who has adopted Les Sables d’Olonne as his home. There may be favourite solo sailors among the crowds which have queued sometimes for more than one hour to make their pass down the pontoons, but each skipper is offered the same universal respect.

“What is unique about the Vendée Globe is seeing three generations of a family all there to pay respect to the skippers whoever they are and the very strong relationship between the skippers and the public. It surpassed competition. They realise the dangers the skippers face and the fragility of their world. That is the strength of the Vendée Globe.” Said Bruno Retailleau, President of the Vendée Council.

But, for all that, there is also the simple, enjoyable sport of spotting and chasing down skippers for autographs, collecting posters and enjoying the massive Vendée Globe race village which for the last two days has been bathed in warm sunshine.

For the ocean racing cognoscenti the heroes of the sport are widely accessible. Vincent Riou (PRB) and Jean-Pierre Dick (Virbac-Paprec 3) have been on their boats regularly. The poster boys, Vendée Globe rookies Louis Burton (Bureau Valley) and François Gabart (Macif) set female hearts aflutter, while the characters who have engaged the race audience in the past, like Jean Le Cam (SynerCiel) and the race’s only female Samantha Davies (Saveol) who illuminated the 2008-9 race with her effervescent joie de vie, her tenacious spirit and her astute sailing. And the likes of Kito de Pavant appeals to all ages, the laughing cow entertaining the kids, whilst travails of the sanguine skipper from the south of France are well known, not least his heart breaking retirement from the last race, breaking his mast less than 36 hours in.

The British skippers have been impressively relaxed. He had to battle to make the start line last time after his Hugo Boss was hit by a fishing boat on its arrival in Les Sables d’Olonne but at today’s press conference Alex Thomson joked:

“This is my third Vendée Globe and it is the first time I have been ready. The last time I was in Les Sables d’Olonne it was less enjoyable. This has been great fun this time. But we sit up here and take all the glory and go on the boat, but I need to say thank you to my team. If I can put in 50% of the effort they have done then I will get to the finish this time.”

Mike Golding (Gamesa) is more relaxed than he as ever been, now just wanting to get out on to the race course:

“When you’re here the first time you’re full of excitement for the unknown. When you come the second time you’re full of anticipation of what you’re going to achieve and now it’s becoming even more enjoyable as it’s getting closer. The wait to get to the start of the Vendée is very long and when you’ve done it three previous times it’s even longer, sometimes you just want to get on with it. But for all that my motivation is improving not waning.”

Bruno Retailleau: “The Vendée Globe has taken on a more popular dimension in the village. What has impressed me is the capacity and passion of the public. There has not been so much of a queue as a procession. People wait patiently, talking quietly, look at the boats and share the dream. You sense a certain harmony, forming a communion between the event and the public. There is something which develops between the public and the skippers. People want to see them because they are heroes. The concept of the race is so simple that everyone can understand it, you don’t have to be any kind of sailor. I think mostly it is a beautiful, simple story, a legend. It is more than a competition, a race. This is the story of a confrontation between man and nature. Man in a world in which he is fragile faces nature which is big and dangerous. But whether you are French, Brazilian or Japanese you can live this race. And the race is gaining an even more international dimension.”
 
  THEY SAID… 
 
 
 
 
PRESS OFFICE
Liliane Fretté Communication

MEDIA CENTER
Tel: +33 (0)1 46 53 50 25
Tel: +33 (0)1 46 53 50 19

FRENCH PRESS
pressefrance@vendeeglobe.fr

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
intpress@vendeeglobe.fr
Skype: sabinamollartrogerson
Tel: +33 (0)6 38 62 09
+34 666 759 530
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“These three weeks in Les Sables d’Olonne have been amazing, I have loved it, we do not see this atmosphere anywhere else. ”

Sam Davies, Savéol
“The Vendée Globe is a global race already as we go around the world solo. ”

Tanguy de Lamotte, Initiatives-Coeur
“I wish my 19 rivals three months at sea which are as great as the three weeks before the start! ”

Kito de Pavant, Groupe Bel
  “Team Plastique “I’m really excited to go, we still have a little work, it will be ready in two days …”

Alessandro Di Benedetto
“It is important that each of us enjoy our Vendée Globe and sail safely carefully, because it is a long course. ”  

Mike Golding, Gamesa

Yann Guichard and The Spindrift Racing Crew celebrate inagural win on the MOD70 Championship (Photo by Lloyd Images)

Yann Guichard and The Spindrift Racing Crew celebrate inagural win on the MOD70 Championship (Photo by Lloyd Images)

 

Winners of the Krys Ocean race in June and second overall in the MOD70 European Tour, Yann Guichard and the Spindrift racing crew triumph in the 2012 Multi One Championship. 
 
Yann Guichard and Léo Lucet appreciate the results all the more because a year and a half ago, the Spindrift racing project was a sporting, technical and logistical idea jotted down on a blank sheet of paper. The boat is solid and reliable, the technical team is competent and expert, and the pure talent of the heavyweight sailing team are the ingredients of certain success. The sleek black and white trimaran showed its mettle throughout the different exercises, from the transatlantic race to the long coastal races, through speed runs and inshore courses. Léo Lucet, executive director of Spindrift racing and Yann Guichard are more than satisfied with this resoundingly successful entry into a class that they sincerely hope will develop and grow internationally.
 
Victors of two of the five legs, two City Race victories, Speed Match victories and bonus points at the departure of each leg, as well as a New York-Brest transatlantic crossing that was achieved in a record time… the whole team on sea and land can be complimented on a remarkable job. “The human aspect of the project is amazing,” states Yann Guichard. “It was a collective adventure, gathering together competencies on the water and logistical talent on land, and it all worked according to the high standards I set. No individual egos or guest stars in this group. I have built a story with people who are engaged and committed to the project, who share my drive and motivation and way of working.”
 
The program for this first MOD70 season was ambitious, with the Krys Ocean Race and the European tour, made to measure for the international potential of a new class of boats that must seduce a host of new partners. “This format is fantastic,” claims Léo Lucet. “It’s an exceptional international communications tool which worked wonderfully in New York and at every European tour city stopover. VIPs and journalists alike were able to sail with us, and the general public, a stone’s throw away from the boats, really enjoyed the show. The objective, which we reached, was to make the discipline spectacular to demonstrate the excellent visibility it offers to sponsors and partners.”
 
“It was a real sporting pleasure,” adds Guichard. “Exhausting, demanding – exactly what we, sailors, want.” Guichard, Lucet and the whole sailing team on the black and white catamaran, Pascal Bidégorry, Yann Eliès, Erwan Tabarly, Jacques Guichard, Sébastien Marsset, Jean-Baptiste Levaillant, Devan Le Bihan, Thierry Douillard, Kévin Escoffier, Christophe André, Frédéric Brousse, Nicolas Charbonnier as well as the team on land, Philippe Echassoux, Tim Carrie, Florent Le Gal, Nicolas Débordès and Astrid van den Hove rose to the 2012 challenge.
 
With its solid team, proven knowhow and indisputable talent on the water, Spindrift racing has climbed the charts in record time. The most immediate next challenge for the young company is to find a partner for MOD70 Nr 05, in order to share strong and motivating values. “Given our results, our media successes and the public’s enthusiasm for this new class, we hope to succeed in this too,” comments an optimistic Guichard.
 
The five trimarans all finished the races brilliantly, with no more serious incidents than the usual encounters with unidentified floating objects. This year Spindrift racing will have sailed some 15,000 miles, with an astounding mean speed of 28 knots last summer. No small feat and quite a reference in terms of dependability.
 
We still aim to progress further”, concludes Guichard, “in all areas – sports, technical, human. We are optimistically and impatiently looking forward to 2013.

Spindrift Racing in Newport (photo by George Bekris)

General classification Multi One Championship 2012
1 – Spindrift racing EUR (Yann Guichard, FRA)
2 – FONCIA, FRA, (Michel Desjoyeaux, FRA)
3 – Groupe Edmond de Rothschild, FRA (Sébastien Josse, FRA)
4 – Race For Water, SUI (Stève Ravussin, SUI)
5 – Musandam, Oman Sail OMA (Sidney Gavignet FRA)

Rank Krys Ocean Race 2012
1- Spindrift racing (Yann Guichard) 
2- Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) 
3- FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux) 
4- Musandam, Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) a
5- Race For Water (Steve Ravussin) 

Rank MOD70 European Tour 2012
1- FONCIA avec 284 points
2- Spindrift racing avec 282 points
3- Race For Water avec 244 points
4- Musandam-Oman Sail avec 242 points
5- Groupe Edmond de Rothschild avec 228 points

 
 

MOD70 2012 Speed Trials in NYC (Photo by George Bekris)

Sidney Gavignet and Musandam Crew Celebrate 3 Wins (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / S.A.MOD70)

Sidney Gavignet and Musandam Crew Celebrate 3 Wins (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / S.A.MOD70)

Musandam-Oman Sail, skippered by Sidney Gavignet with his international crew became the third different team to win City Race series in successive stops of the MOD70 European Tour when they triumphed in the sixth race in Cascais, Portugal.
 
Musandam-Oman Sail won three of the six races sailed over three days, almost all in light breeze, which proved somewhat contrary to Cascais reputation for reliable strong winds. Smarting after losing second place to FONCIA in the final half mile to the finish of the offshore stage from Dun Laoghaire at dawn in very light airs early on Wednesday morning, Gavignet and his crew realised then they had a small deficit in speed to Michel Desjoyeaux’s crew. They made changes accordingly and, aligned to steady starting and some strong tactics from Jean Francois Cuzon, have remained very consistent, complementing their three wins with two thirds and a fifth to win ahead of Yann Guichard’s Spindrift racing.

Musandam-Oman Sail collect 12 precious points in the chase for the MOD70 European Tour while second place for Spindrift racing ensures they increase their overall lead in the general classification. 

Race 5
From a race which was contested in only a very light and patchy SW’ly breeze that never topped more than 6kts and faded to almost nothing in areas, Yann Guichard’s crew on Spindrift racing took the winning gun for Race 5 of the City Race series. With Musandam-Oman Sail finishing fifth, Spindrift racing temporarily had the overall series lead by a single point. Although it was Sébastien Josse’s team on Groupe Edmond de Rothschild who made the best start and lead to the first offset mark, on the upwind leg, they ran out of wind pressure in the middle right of the leg.

Spindrift racing and FONCIA chose to stay closer to the Cascais shore where they found some localised acceleration of the wind and were able to round the top mark in first and second.

With the breeze fading and developing big holes, although the MOD70’s moved with impressive efficiency in the light winds, Race Direction chose to halt the race after one round of the triangle course.  This time the triangle course was upwind-downwind as opposed to the downwind-upwind format of yesterday and Friday.

Race 6
It was in Race 6, the final inshore contest of Cascais, that cemented the overall Cascais City Race series for Musandam-Oman Sail, winning by two points ahead of Spindrift racing.

Three boats were called over the start line early, FONCIA, Race for Water and Groupe Edmond de Rothschild.

Musandam-Oman Sail emerged from with the lead and were able to stay ahead around the two lap course.

Race for Water restarted smartly and made a smart good recovery at the top end of the first windward leg. In the end they were able to push Musandam-Oman Sail hard at the finish line.

Results after six City Races
1- Musandam-Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) : 10+10+12+12+8+12 = 64 points
2- Spindrift racing (Yann Guichard) : 11+11+9+10+12+9 = 62 points
3- Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) : 12+9+10+9+9+10 = 59 points
4- Race for Water (Stève Ravussin) : 9+12+8+8+10+11 = 58 points
5- FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux) : 8+8+11+11+11+8 = 57 points

MOD70 European Tour Standings. After two offshore stages and three City Race series.
1- Spindrift racing (Yann Guichard) 11+47+12+52+11 = 133 points
2- FONCIA (Michel Desjoyeaux) 12+53+10+46+8 = 129 points
3-Groupe Edmond de Rothschild (Sébastien Josse) 10+44+11+41+10 = 116 points
4- Musandam-Oman Sail (Sidney Gavignet) 9+34+8+42+12 = 105 points
5- Race for Water (Stève Ravussin) 8+38+9+35+9 = 99 points

Sidney Gavignet, FRA skipper Musandam-Oman Sail (OMA): “ We are happy, we won three races from six which is pretty good.  It is great, just great. What is good is that we just work on making progress and we did not need to make big progress, but to just keeping making progress step by step all the time wherever you start from and we started pretty low. We lost crew on the first race in Kiel. We broke the daggerboard in Dublin, so we were starting from quite low, and had some problems. But we kept working. We kept the positive spirit and little by little we get more cards to play the game with. What we learned here, if we had those two cards on the way in, we would have been second from Dublin. One is easy we could not pass the battens across in the light winds and the other is speed with the gennaker. So for sure we are making progress and growing in confidence and that affects the others who lose in confidence, we need to keep progressing.
We have a contract with ourselves, we said our goal was to finish mid fleet, so a podium, and it is start. The points for winning here are not much compared to winning offshore, but it’s a step in the right direction. So we are kind of into our stride. We are better organised.
Jean Francois Cuzon is the tactician and does it all. I am just the helmsman. We are still not at 100% confidence and sometimes we are just looking at the others to see how to go fast. I think one thing we have done well is if you want the tactician-strategist to do the job well you have to leave them the space to do it well. For the Omani’s I am sometimes a bit hard on them, over their shoulders, and that is not good because I am not doing my job so well. And I am putting pressure on them, So on the first day we regrouped a little, and each one is doing their job well. Now I let everyone do their job. »

General Results
http://www.mod70-europeantour.com/en/general-results.html

Latest Audios
http://www.mod70-europeantour.com/en/audio.html

Latest Videos
http://www.mod70-europeantour.com/en/videos.html

Latest Photos
http://www.mod70-europeantour.com/en/pictures.html

For media: all content (video, photo and audio bites) are available for download in the press area:
http://www.mod70-europeantour.com/en/press-centre.

www.mod70-europeantour.com
17/09 
8h30   : Skippers’ Briefing
11h00 : Start Leg 3
18/09  : Arrival Leg 3
20/09  : Start Leg 4 Cascais – Marseille
FONCIA Crew Celebrates Leg 1 Win in the MOD70 European Tour  (Photo by David Branigan / MOD70 S.A.))

FONCIA Crew Celebrates Leg 1 Win in the MOD70 European Tour (Photo by David Branigan / MOD70 S.A.))

 

From an incredibly close finish which saw all three top teams arrive at the Dun Laoghaire, Dublin line within 77 seconds of each other, it was Michel Desjoyeaux and his crew of FONCIA which stole victory on the MOD70 European Tour first leg of the from Kiel to Dublin.

In a heart stopping race to the line in very gentle breezes the winners were no more than 200 metres ahead of second placed Yann Guichard and crew on Spindrift racing with Sebastien Josse and the crew of Groupe Edmond de Rothschild no more than 300 metres behind.
The 1238 miles leg which started Sunday afternoon in Kiel was decided almost on the finish line.
FONCIA finally seized the lead with less than 15 miles to the finish, overhauling Guichard’s Spindrift racing which had lead consistently since last Monday morning when they passed Desjoyeaux’s crew on the NW Danish coast. In the final hours the two leaders were only 3-500 metres apart, with FONCIA only just holding on to win.
Finish times Dun Laoghaire (GMT)
1-Michel Desjoyeaux (FONCIA) 23h 19m 09s Wed 5th September
2-Yann Guichard (Spindrift racing) 23h 19m 41s Wed 5th September
3-Sébastien Josse (Groupe Edmond de Rothschild) 23h 20m 26s 5th September

Oman Sail and Foncia MOD 70s (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

Oman Sail and Foncia MOD 70s (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

Winds averaging 15 knots, with some stronger gusts, provided ideal conditions for competitors at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and for a record-breaking circuit of the Isle of Wight.

The start for the SB20 (formerly SB3) class was in relatively light winds, but the fleet encountered big gusts and lulls only a few hundred metres to the west. After the start it was the overall leader, Jerry Hill’s sportsboatworld.com, and Mark Devereux’s Tobias that emerged from the pack first, with the boats closest to shore  Boysterous of Wembley and Paul Wood’s Ausis One  also looking well placed.

Hill, a length ahead of the fleet, was the first to sail into the stronger pressure, accelerating a useful few lengths clear. However, it was Colin Simonds’  Doolalli, sailing with a family crew, that played the gusts and lulls to perfection. Four minutes after the start he was in a commanding position, a nose ahead and two or three lengths to windward of Hill.

With the wind increasing during the day, the class enjoyed some super-fast downwind legs, planing at speeds into the mid to upper teens. With Simonds having been forced to retire, on the long final run to the finish, the contest at the front of the fleet was between sportsboatworld.com and Space Docker, the second-placed boat overall.

The lead changed several times as the pair gybed downwind, staying as close to the shore as possible to escape the strongest of the adverse tide and delighting spectators on the Green. At the finish they were only nine seconds apart, with Sportsboatworld.com taking the winning cannon, nine seconds ahead. It was to be another eight minutes before the next boat, Dave and Zorana Bull’s Australian entry Jester 3, finished.

Record breaking
The Artemis Challenge at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week started heading west from the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS) line, with two IMOCA 60 monohulls and two giant MOD70 one-design trimarans racing anti-clockwise around the Isle of Wight.

Cowes  Barry James Wilson

Cowes Barry James Wilson

Michel Desjoyeaux’s Foncia and Mike Golding’s Gamesa were side by side at the gun, with both boats in the other team, Artemis Ocean Racing and Oman Sail, four to five lengths behind. The two IMOCA 60s had reefed mainsails, looking very under powered in the lee of the hill behind the RYS, but well heeled as they emerged into clearer wind and the stronger gusts.

Foncia at Cowes 2012 (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

Foncia at Cowes 2012 (Photo by Barry James Wilson)

Just before 1220 the giant rig of Foncia appeared from behind the headland at East Cowes and came storming past the RYS, flying two hulls, on the completion of her circuit of the Isle of Wight. Oman Sail was about one-third of a mile behind and finished 88 seconds later. Despite having to tack several times on the first leg to the Needles, both were more than 10 minutes inside the record time set by Playstation 11 years ago. Foncia’s new record stands at 2 hours, 21 minutes, 25 seconds.

Oman Sail at Cowes 2012 (Photo by  Barry James Wilson )

Oman Sail at Cowes 2012 (Photo by Barry James Wilson )

Playing it safe
By the time of the later White Group starts, the ebb tide was running fast, with many competitors struggling to stay the correct side of the line. Tom Holbrook, Ed Glanville and Angus Mayhew’s Mermaid Naomi was one such casualty, but Chris Cotterell and Will Caws’ Adastra approached from behind with speed to make the best start at outer end of the line. However, it was the boats inshore  Anthony Eaton’s Dragonfly and Kate Broxham’s Miranda that came out ahead, with Dragonfly to windward and with more speed building a big early lead.

Eaton retained this at the finish, but by the tightest of margins? three further boats finished within the following 36 seconds. Next was Terry and Matthew Kavanagh’s Scuttle, just one second ahead of Charles Glanville’s Rosemary. A few lengths later John Edwards’ Zara crossed the line to take fourth.

The next start was for the Victory class, with everyone staying well back from the line and almost every boat still pointing away from the first mark with only 20 seconds to go. Delphine Freeman and Andrew Terry’s Minx appeared to be best placed at the gun, but again it was the boats closest inshore  Mark Dennington’s Ziva and Graham Stone’s Unity ? that came to the fore a few minutes after the start.

Unity sailed low and fast to come out just ahead of the main pack, while Ziva stayed high, building a considerable windward advantage. At the finish she was five and a half minutes ahead of Geoff and Sarah Dixon, Maxine Reeves and Hugh Winter’s Zelia, giving Dennington an unbroken run of first places this week. Kim and Sally Taylor’s Zest finished third, only six seconds behind Zelia.

A big win
The 83-strong XOD fleet started on a longer line than the other classes, with a bias that favoured the offshore end a little more strongly than the fixed line used for earlier classes. As with the Victorys, every skipper took a very conservative approach to the start with one minute to go all but a handful of boats were still pointing away from the line, with many as much as 200-300 metres away. When the line was called all clear at the start, a cheer went up on the RYS platform.

Jeremy Lear, John Tremlett, Richard Bullock and Richard Jord’s Lass started mid-line on starboard, tacking offshore onto port at the start, two and a half lengths astern of Alastair and Jackie Ashford and Richard Neall’s Foxglove, but ahead and to windward of Ado Jardine’s Lucrezia. Jardine’s brother Stuart’s Lone Star also looked good further inshore, while closest to shore were the two boats leading the fleet after the first four races: Steve & Peter Lawrence and Paddy Smart’s Catherine and Andy Shaw’s Phoenix, the latter a little to windward but two lengths further back.

After a couple of minutes, Foxglove emerged at the head of the fleet, but gradually fell back, with the advantage passing to Lass. There were many sharp gusts at this stage, with boats only a few lengths apart alternately heeling sharply and depowering in gusts at the same time as their neighbours were standing upright in a lull.

The inshore boats that had the benefit of relatively flat water, even though they were in a weaker tidal stream, again did well. Paul Kelsey’s Anitra was the first of the leaders to tack on to starboard, off Egypt Point, passing astern of Lass and Phoenix, but forcing Catherine into an expensive short tack inshore. Lass was able to continue to extend her lead, keeping out of the many close tussles between the boats in her wake, finishing more than three and a half minutes clear of the rest of the fleet. Fraser Graham and Tim Copsey’s Astralita just secured second place, three seconds ahead of Willy McNeill and Ted Tredrea’s Lara.

Catherine finished twenty seconds later to take fourth, a sufficiently good result to retain her place at the top of the leaderboard, three points ahead of Lass. With only four points separating the top three boats in this big fleet, the final two days of the regatta promises the most exciting racing to be found in any fleet.

Early winners
Black Group yachts starting off the RYS headed to the east, with many boats hoisting spinnakers. Pavlova lll was first to go for the spinnaker at the start of the Sigma 38 class, with a very smooth hoist. However, Kevin Sussmilch’s Mefisto came out well and went on to win today’s race by a margin of more than four minutes over Pavlova lll.

Having now notched up three firsts and three second places, Sussmilch wins the class overall with a day to spare. Similarly, a fourth place today for Chris and Vanessa Choules  With Alacrity was enough to secure second place overall, with total of 19 points. However, there?s still a tight battle for third place overall, with six boats in contention and separated by only a handful of points once the discard is applied.

Two other Black Group classes now have both first and second places sewn up. In the Contessa 32, where Ray Rouse’s Blanco has a total of eight points and Eldred Himsworth’s Drumbeat 11. A fifth win for Jonathan Calascione and Jonny Goodwin’s J/109 Harlequin puts them in an unassailable position at the head of the class?s overall standings, while a fifth place for Christopher Sharples and Richard Acland’s Jolene ll was sufficient to secure second overall. However, half a dozen boats are still in contention for third.

In IRC Class 0 a first place today for Peter Cunningham’s TP52 Powerplay  his fourth of the week  seals his overall victory. In the normally very competitive First 40.7 fleet, Calvin Reed’s Elandra won a sixth successive race, to win the class with a day to spare. There is, however, still intense competition for second and third places overall.

In IRC Class 3 Bernard Olesinski’s X-40 Xinska won her fifth race of the week to secure class victory with a day spare, while a third place did the same for Grant Gordon’s J/97 Fever Glenfiddich in IRC Class 5.

Today was also the regatta’s Ladies Day, with the trophy this year awarded to Annie O’Sullivan of Girls for Sail in recognition of her selfless contribution to women in sailing.

Report by Rupert Holmes

.