27/05/2017 - Bermuda (BDA) - 35th America's Cup 2017 - Louis Vuitton America's Cup Qualifiers, Day 1,Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

27/05/2017 – Bermuda (BDA) – 35th America’s Cup 2017 – Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers, Day 1, Photo © Gilles Martin-Raget

 

– ORACLE TEAM USA win two from two

– Land Rover BAR collide with SoftBank Team Japan

– Artemis Racing, Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan win one and lose one race each

– Groupama Team France only team not to register a day one race win

– ORACLE TEAM USA and Land Rover BAR are joint top of Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers leaderboard after day one

Sir Ben Ainslie was forced to explain a highly dramatic collision in the first day of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers on Bermuda’s Great Sound.

Having already seen some thrilling and action-packed racing in the first five of the six races that were run on day one, particularly from ORACLE TEAM USA who claimed back-to-back wins, the drama really unfolded in the final race of the day between Land Rover BAR and SoftBank Team Japan.

In what proved the biggest flashpoint of the afternoon, both teams were looking for the advantage going into the start box, before the two boats collided at speed, resulting in a penalty being given to Sir Ben Ainslie and the British team. Damage was sustained to both boats, with the Olympic legend’s boat taking on water after the incident.

In scenes similar to the final week of practice racing, in which Land Rover BAR hit Emirates Team New Zealand, Ainslie again found himself having to defend his actions when questioned after racing.

“To be honest, to me it appeared six of one and half a dozen of the other,” said the Land Rover Bar helmsman, whose team suffered defeat in their second race of the day having enjoyed a morale-boosting win over Artemis Racing earlier in the day in race four.

“The collision was obviously unfortunate but these things happen when you are racing these boats.

“You don’t go out there intending to cause damage and so on that front it is was unfortunate to see both boats with damage.

“Unfortunately I’m not a boat builder so I’m not sure about the extent of the damage just yet, but no doubt both shore teams will be working incredibly hard to make sure we are both ready for tomorrow.

“However, for me it was fantastic just to see us competing and up to speed with all of the others. I believe we have silenced a lot of our doubters and I am just incredibly proud of all of our team.”

Meanwhile, SoftBank Team Japan helmsman Dean Barker, whose team suffered defeat to Artemis Racing in their first race of the day, bounced back with victory in race six and was relieved that none of his team had sustained any injuries in the collision with Land Rover BAR.

“We were incredibly lucky that there were no injuries sustained by the guys,” said the New Zealand native. “Maybe they were still in a bit of shock when we started racing but the way they regrouped and got back into things was fantastic.

“Ben has apologised. Clearly it was their mistake because they caused it but it doesn’t stop the guys in the shore team having to have a big workload tonight to put things right.

“You know what is about to happen. You can see it coming in slow motion but there is nothing you can do to stop it.

“What would have been worse is if their boat came a little bit higher over our hull, that would have been really dangerous.

“Fortunately we were able to carry on with the race and limp our way home. The guys did brilliantly to regroup in reply to what happened and get on with the race.

“The first race against Artemis Racing was disappointing. We had good pace and obviously tried hard to keep ahead but ultimately we couldn’t.

“However, what was pleasing was how we bounced back and got that victory in the final race.”

Meanwhile, it proved a highly positive day for the Defenders of the ‘Auld Mug’, ORACLE TEAM USA, who comfortably beat Groupama Team France in the opening race of the afternoon, before coming from behind to overcome Emirates Team New Zealand in what proved the highlight race of the day.

However, despite seeing ORACLE TEAM USA sit joint top of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers standings with three points, alongside Land Rover BAR, skipper Jimmy Spithill was left far from content as he refused to rest on his laurels ahead of day two tomorrow.

“The lads aren’t happy tonight. We can definitely sharpen up a lot ahead of tomorrow,” said the two-time America’s Cup winner.

“Of course it is good to end the first day with two wins from two races but we have got to sharpen up on what we do out there.

“Consistency is the key in a competition like this and so there is a lot for us to improve on.

“However, as I said, it is pleasing that we managed to finish this first day of competition and come away with two race wins.”

Another helmsman who was left with mixed feelings was Artemis Racing’s Nathan Outteridge, having seen his side claim a victory against SoftBank Team Japan, before somewhat surprisingly losing out to Land Rover BAR in race 4.

“It proved a very tiring first day of racing,” said Outteridge.

“Our first race we started slowly but you could see how hard we pushed to get back into the race and when the opportunity came, we took full advantage.

“The second race against Land Rover BAR, we just didn’t get any opportunity to pass them. It was disappointing to lose the race but we will look at ourselves and see what we can do to improve.

“However to get that first win on the board is really important. We had some strong performances in practice racing and so it was great to be able to bring that forward to today and get a first point banked.

“It was also pleasing to win in in the manner in which we did. We kept chipping away, put pressure on SoftBank Team Japan, and then, to get something, that feeling was really good.”

Emirates Team New Zealand helmsman Peter Burling was left satisfied with his team’s showing on the first day, having also taken one win from the day, overcoming Groupama Team France, before losing out to ORACLE TEAM USA in their second race of the day.

“It is really great for us to have got a win on the board,” said the youngest helmsman competing.

“Having taken that win, we always knew it was going to be tough taking on ORACLE TEAM USA. We put up a strong challenge and matched them throughout the race but they just edged us in the end.

“Having lost it late on was a little frustrating but I’m really happy with our first day on the water.

“We’re now excited to get back into action tomorrow and no doubt we’ll be racing hard again.”

Meanwhile, it proved a difficult day for Groupama Team France, who suffered defeats in both their encounters, losing to both ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand.

However, having faced two of the highly-fancied teams on the first day, helmsman Franck Cammas is remaining hopeful of an improved showing from the French team in the days to come.

“Today to have our first two matches against teams like ORACLE TEAM USA and Emirates Team New Zealand was a hard way to start the America’s Cup,” said Cammas.

“We knew those teams were among the best teams but we wanted to be closer to them than we were in the end.

“We have to work hard and try and understand why we weren’t fast today. We also need some big improvements in the maneuvers and so there is a lot to work on for us.

“We will try for sure to improve as quickly as possible. Every day is different and so we will see what tomorrow brings.”

Race results

Race 1: ORACLE TEAM USA beat Groupama Team France
Race 2: Artemis Racing beat SoftBank Team Japan
Race 3: Emirates Team New Zealand beat Groupama Team France
Race 4: Land Rover BAR beat Artemis Racing
Race 5: ORACLE TEAM USA beat Emirates Team New Zealand
Race 6: SoftBank Team Japan beat Land Rover BAR

 

2012 Newport Bermuda Race

Shockwave (R) and Bella Mente (L) should be locked in a battle for line honors in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race. Shockwave was first on corrected time in 2012 and won the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Trophy. Bella Mente came third behind Rambler. Rambler got line honors and smashed the Newport Bermuda elapse time record.
2012 Newport Bermuda Race
Copyright 2012 Daniel Forster/PPL

 

By John Rousmaniere

Newport RI, April 2, 2014). As of the April 1 deadline, 180 applications for entry have been received for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race that will start on June 20 off Castle Hill in Newport. Broken down by the biennial race’s five divisions, the entries are: St. David’s Lighthouse, 91 boats; Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, 10; Cruiser, 36; Double-Handed, 26; Open, 2. Fifty-one captains have indicated that this is their boats’ first Newport Bermuda Race. The 2012 race had 165 starters.

Officials of the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee advise that entry numbers and divisional assignments may change. Sixteen entering captains are undecided about which division to enter, and more applications for entry are expected at the race’s website, BermudaRace.com, at the Guide to Entry button. Late entries may be subject to a time penalty.

In the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, returnees include many 2012 prizewinners and the division’s winning boats in the last four races, Rives Potts’s Carina (winner in 2010 and 2012) and Peter Rebovich’s Sinn Fein (2006 and 2008). Also in this division are two highly competitive classic wooden yawls, Matt Brooks’s Transpac winner Dorade and 2012 Bermuda Race class winner Black Watch, commanded by John Melvin.

A close race is anticipated in the Gibbs Hill Division between George Sakellaris’ Shockwave and Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente. In 2012 Shockwave, pressed hard by Belle Mente, won both this division and the North Rock Beacon Trophy as the race’s top boat under the IRC Rule. Both boats broke the race elapsed time record.

Entries in the Cruiser and Double-Handed divisions are running ahead of their 2012 levels. Cruiser Division runner-up True, sailed by Howard Hodgson, Jr., will be back with other high finishers, including Brad Willauer’s Breezing Up and Chris Culver’s Cetacea. Returning in the extremely competitive Double-Handed Division are the 2012 race’s top four boats: Hewitt Gaynor’s Mireille, Joe Harris’ GryphonSolo2, Gardner Grant’s Alibi, and Jason Richter’s Paladin.

Jim Muldoon’s veteran Donnybrook has entered the Open Division. Spirit of Bermuda, a replica of a traditional Bermuda trading vessel and 2012 Bermuda Race entry, will return for another 635-mile sprint across the Gulf Stream.

An updated list of applicants for entry is at http://bermudarace.com/2014-race/race-applicants/ . For more information about the Newport Bermuda Race, visitBermudaRace.com.

Important dates on the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race calendar include the following:

Forms submitted and fees paid, May 16
Boat measurement data submitted, May 22
Crew information submitted, June 1
Boat inspection deadline, June 6
Onion Patch Series/Navigator’s Race Series, NYYC Annual Regatta, Newport, June 14-15
Check-in at race headquarters (NYYC Sailing Center, Harbour Court), June 15-18
US Sailing Sanctioned Safety at Sea Seminar, Newport, June 18. Register at safety@bermudarace.com
Gosling’s Rum Newport Shipyard Crew Party, Newport, June 18
Captains Meeting sponsored by Hinckley Yachts, Jane Pickens Theater, June 19
Newport Bermuda Race start, June 20
Onion Patch Series/ Navigator’s Race Series, RBYC Anniversary Regatta and Welcome Party, Bermuda, June 27
Newport Bermuda Prize Ceremony, June 28

2012 Newport Bermu Only one skipper has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three in a row in 1956-58-69. And Mitchell won those three races all with Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls. In 2010, Peter Rebovich was poised to repeat the feat in Sinn Fein (1818), his classic 51-year-old stock Cal 40, but a sterling performance by Rives Potts in his McCurdy & Rhodes 48 Carina swept away his chance for three St. David’s Lighthouse Trophies in a row. Rebovich had to rebuild Sinn Fein after Hurricane Sandy and now he is back as both he and Rives Potts each come to the line again looking for their third wins in the same boat. ©2012 Daniel Forster/PPLda Race


Only one skipper has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three in a row in 1956-58-69. And Mitchell won those three races all with Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls. In 2010, Peter Rebovich was poised to repeat the feat in Sinn Fein (1818), his classic 51-year-old stock Cal 40, but a sterling performance by Rives Potts in his McCurdy & Rhodes 48 Carina swept away his chance for three St. David’s Lighthouse Trophies in a row. Rebovich had to rebuild Sinn Fein after Hurricane Sandy and now he is back as both he and Rives Potts each come to the line again looking for their third wins in the same boat. ©2012 Daniel Forster/PPL

Bermuda is the Official Host of the Newport Bermuda Race. For details on all the excitement and events Bermuda has to offer, call your travel agent or visithttp://www.bermudatourism.com.

Gosling’s Rum is the Official Rum of the Newport Bermuda Race. Try a Dark ‘n Stormy®, the taste of Bermuda. For more information visit www.goslingsrum.com

Pantaenius American Yacht Insurance is the official lead sponsor of the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race’s tracker, which will be visible on the race’s web site:http://www.pantaenius.com/en/american-yacht-insurance.html/

Newport Shipyard is the Official Shipyard of the Newport Bermuda Race. Come get ready for Bermuda, swap strategies, and walk the docks among veteran sailors.http://www.NewportShipyard.com/

Vineyard Vines is the Official Newport Bermuda Tie Sponsor providing commemorative ties to the afterguard of the competing yachts. http://www.vineyardvines.com/

Brewer Yacht Yard Group is the Official Boat Preparation Resource of the Newport Bermuda Race. Experienced staff at Brewer yards from New York to Maine will help you and your crew plan and prepare for a successful race. http://www.byy.com/

Hinckley Yachts is the Official Sponsor of the Captains Meeting for the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race, and will provide the check-in boat and other boats for official observers. http://www.hinckleyyachts.c

OCENS is the Newport Bermuda Race’s Official Race Communications Partner. Satellite communications and weather information for the race and the world.http://www.ocens.com/nb

2012 Newport B Off to a lighthouse winning start, Rives Potts in Carina (L 315) gets his nose out in front in the start of Class 3 of the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Potts won his second St. David's Lighthouse Trophy. NA23, Defiance (blue & gold spinnaker, was 2nd in the division. Only one skipper has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three in a row in 1956-58-69. And Mitchell won those three races all with Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls. Potts has a chance to tie that record this year.  2012 Newport Bermuda Race Copyright 2012 Daniel Forster/PPLermuda Race


Off to a lighthouse winning start, Rives Potts in Carina (L 315) gets his nose out in front in the start of Class 3 of the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race. Potts won his second St. David’s Lighthouse Trophy. NA23, Defiance (blue & gold spinnaker, was 2nd in the division. Only one skipper has won the Newport Bermuda Race three times. Carleton Mitchell won three in a row in 1956-58-69. And Mitchell won those three races all with Finisterre, the most famous of the Sparkman & Stephens centerboard yawls. Potts has a chance to tie that record this year.
2012 Newport Bermuda Race
Copyright 2012 Daniel Forster/PPL

The Class 5 start of the 2010 Royal Bermuda YC Anniversary Regatta, stage 3 of the Onion Patch Series. In the 2-race regatta, the first race is a W-L in the Great Sound and the second is a 'Tour of the Island' starting in the Great Sound and finishing in Hamilton Harbour off the RBYC marina. The new Navigators Race will be a Tour of the Island with a new twist. Credit Talbot Wilson

The Class 5 start of the 2010 Royal Bermuda YC Anniversary Regatta, stage 3 of the Onion Patch Series. In the 2-race regatta, the first race is a W-L in the Great Sound and the second is a ‘Tour of the Island’ starting in the Great Sound and finishing in Hamilton Harbour off the RBYC marina. The new Navigators Race will be a Tour of the Island with a new twist. Credit Talbot Wilson

By Talbot Wilson 

To race the 50th anniversary Onion Patch Series, boats must race to Bermuda. The deadline for entry in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race (without a potential late-entry time penalty) is April 1st. Enter now at the race portal: http://bermudarace.com/entry/race-entry-portal/. For Onion Patch Series details seehttp://www.onionpatchseries.com/.

Hamilton Bermuda, March 23, 2014— As the three-event Onion Patch Series turns 50 this summer, organizers have decided to add a new, more relaxed Navigators Race Series format for the 25th running of the traditional series. The new series for more cruiser oriented race programs will be scored with ORR ratings. The traditional series raced for the Onion Patch Trophy and Henry B. DuPont Trophy will continue to be scored under IRC.

The new Navigators Race Series will allow those skippers not interested in racing intense windward-leeward courses in the New York Yacht Club 160th Annual Regatta or not interested in racing on a Great Sound course with the professional grand prix boats and more intense racers in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club‘s Anniversary Regatta to sail separate scenic and fun “round the buoys” races in their own series.

One Navigators Race will be scheduled each day for the June 14-15 NYYC Annual Regatta in Newport RI. The group will then sail to Bermuda in their regular Bermuda Race divisions and be scored against each other as an overlay event. On Friday June 27th, they will sail one race in the RBYC Anniversary Regatta around a scenic course following the start of the last regular Onion Patch Series Anniversary Regatta race.

All yachts racing in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race are invited to compete in this inaugural three-event Onion Patch Navigators Race Series. ORR Scoring will be used in Newport and in Bermuda for ‘Navigators’, so all yachts in the Newport Bermuda Race, which uses that system for all divisions, will be eligible. The traditional Onion Patch Series races under IRC ratings, so only the Newport Bermuda’s Gibbs Hill and St. David’s Division’s IRC entries may compete for those prizes. See http://www.onionpatchseries.com/.

The new series will have its own prizes for performance in the events and for the series. The top series prize will be dedicated to the late Richard “Dick” Kempe who was instrumental in establishing the Cruiser Division of the Newport Bermuda Race in 1990.

“We began planning for this new series last fall,” said series Chairman and past RBYC Commodore Brian Billings. “We had been talking about adding a fun-style race for boats in Royal Bermuda’s Anniversary Regatta. We wanted to do an event for our foreign friends that would get them out sailing locally and allow them to experience more of what Bermuda has to offer cruising sailors.”

“With the help of past Newport Bermuda Chairman John Winder,” Billings noted, “we approached the NYYC race committee with the idea. John had been discussing their use of ORR for two round the buoys races in their regatta. Steve Benjamin of NYYC supported the idea. So here we are 4 months later with a new addition to a historic series.”

“Our initial goal was to have 50 boats in the Onion Patch Series,” Billings added. “Maybe with this new Navigators Race series we should target for 75 boats. And remember, if you can’t make the whole series, you can still sail these fun Navigator Race courses in Newport or Bermuda.”

Of course, to race the Onion Patch Series boats must race to Bermuda. The deadline for entry in the 2014 Newport Bermuda Race (without a potential late entry time penalty) is April 1st. Enter now at the race portal: http://bermudarace.com/entry/race-entry-portal/.

Separate entry in the NYYC Annual Regatta, the RBYC Anniversary Regatta and the Series will be from the NYYC web site.

In 1962, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club donated the Onion Patch Trophy for the series and the first competition was held in conjunction with the 1964 Newport Bermuda Race. Now, in 2014, the series will be sailed for the 25th time. The series now consists of racing in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, the Cruising Club of America-Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Newport Bermuda Race and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta.

Include all three events in this tough triathlon of sailboat racing. It’s a hard-fought series sailed over a scant three consecutive weeks in June. Ask anyone who has done it… The Onion Patch is one tough series to win. It is a challenge to yacht, skipper and crew to prevail in these three spectacular events and venues.

Be in Newport June 14, 2014 for the NYYC 160th Annual Regatta and make the 50th Anniversary Onion Patch Series the biggest and best ever.

Randall Baldwin (Ridgefield Connecticut), sailing his Taylor 42 Cabady to the final finish of the RBYC Anniversary Regatta, took home the Henry B. du Pont Trophy for first place in the 2008 Onion Patch Series. Of Onion Patch boats, he finished second in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, first in the Newport Bermuda Race and ninth in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta for 2, 1.25, 9 and a total of 12.25 points. His boat and crew gave an all-round winning performance.  ©Talbot Wilson

Randall Baldwin (Ridgefield Connecticut), sailing his Taylor 42 Cabady to the final finish of the RBYC Anniversary Regatta, took home the Henry B. du Pont Trophy for first place in the 2008 Onion Patch Series. Of Onion Patch boats, he finished second in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, first in the Newport Bermuda Race and ninth in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta for 2, 1.25, 9 and a total of 12.25 points. His boat and crew gave an all-round winning performance.
©Talbot Wilson

 

Taylor Canfield won the Match Racing Association's 2nd annual  Jordy Walker Trophy as the most improved young match race sailor who competes in Alpari World Match Racing Tour events or other events that automatically qualify a skipper for a Tour event. Mary Walker made the presentation at the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup prizegiving at the Royal  Bermuda Yacht Club. (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

Taylor Canfield won the Match Racing Association's 2nd annual Jordy Walker Trophy as the most improved young match race sailor who competes in Alpari World Match Racing Tour events or other events that automatically qualify a skipper for a Tour event. Mary Walker made the presentation at the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup prizegiving at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. (Photo by Talbot Wilson)

By Talbot Wilson

Hamilton, BERMUDA: Oct. 10, 2012 – Taylor Canfield not only led his Chicago Match Racing Center team to win the King Edward VII Gold Cup at the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup, but he also won the second annual Jordy Walker Trophy as well. The Jordy Walker Trophy recognizes the most improved young match race sailor who competes in Alpari World Match Racing Tour events or other events that automatically qualify a skipper for a Tour event.

The Match Racing Association (MRA), formerly known as the World Match Racing Association (WMRA), donated the Jordy Walker Trophy in 2011. Mary Walker presented the trophy to Canfield in memory of her late husband B.W “Jordy” Walker.

“Taylor Canfield,” said Brian Billings, President of the MRA and Chairman of the Argo Group Gold Cup, “has earned this recognition through his performance in match race events like the Chicago Match Cup, the automatic qualifier events in the Grand Slam Series and his victory here at the Argo Group Gold Cup. With his 18-3 record over the world’s best match race sailors in the Gold Cup, Taylor is the clear winner of the Jordy Walker Trophy for 2012.”

“Winning the Jordy Walker Trophy is a highlight for me,” Canfield said, “and I’d like to thank the Match Racing Association for the award. Jordy has had a huge impact on youth development of sailing in Bermuda but also throughout the Caribbean.”

“One of the biggest examples of this,” Canfield added, “was his role in changing the Bermuda Gold Cup to the modern day format. [The Gold Cup has a 24-team format rather than 12 like many other events] This has allowed young match racers like myself the opportunity to compete against not only some of the best match racers in the world but also some of the greatest sailors of all time.”

“The passion of people like Jordy,” he concluded, “has raised the bar for modern day match racing. It is an honor to receive this award in Jordy’s memory.”

At 23, Taylor Canfield is one of the brightest stars to recently come out of the St. Thomas Yacht Club. He follows in the wake of Peter Holmberg who won the King Edward VII Gold Cup in 2001. Canfield came to Bermuda for the Renaissance Re Junior Gold Cup with Holmberg in 2003 and got his inspiration for match racing then.

Canfield led the Boston College sailing team to many collegiate championships and has now has devoted himself to match race sailing. He is the current sailing director at the Chicago Match Race Center. He was ranked 11th in the open ISAF rankings going into the Gold Cup.

He has recently won the four-event 2012 Grand Slam Match Race Series, winning the Chicago August Grade 2, coming second in the Detroit Cup, finishing seventh in the Knickerbocker Cup and taking second place in the Oakcliff International Grade 2 event.

Taylor has made his presence known on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT) and is now ranked 9th. He finished 12th at the 2011 Gold Cup. This year he finished 4th at the AWMRT’s new event, the 2012 Chicago Match Cup, and 3rd at the 2012 Congressional Cup. Taylor looks to continue climbing the rankings. He is hoping for an invitation to the AWMRT championship at the Monsoon Cup in December and will bid for a 2013 AWMRT Tour Card.

The namesake of the trophy, Jordy Walker, was a man who gave his heart and soul to sailing and the sport of sailboat racing. He used his time, money and talent to promote the sport he loved, to introduce the modern format of match racing to Bermuda. And, in fact, he brought match racing to the world in 1988 through the establishment of the WMRA (now the MRA) and its match racing championship events he helped establish around the globe.

The Jordy Walker Trophy is on permanent display in the King Edward VII Gold Cup Trophy display case in the entrance foyer of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

This year marked the 62nd staging of the King Edward VII Gold Cup, with previous winners including some of the greatest names ever to match race. Since the event was reformatted to be an event under the Match Racing Association in 1985, multiple winners include Chris Dickson (NZL), Russell Coutts (NZL), Peter Gilmour (AUS), and Ben Ainslie (GBR).

The 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup began October 2nd and ended with the Finals on October 7th. Spectator friendly racing was held in Hamilton Harbour, adjacent to the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Marina, a spectacular attraction for tourists and Bermuda residents alike.

The Argo Group Gold Cup was the penultimate seventh stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour, in which the teams compete for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. Match racing for The King Edward VII Gold Cup is recognized as one of the classic heritage events on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour.

Taylor Canfield won the Match Racing Association’s 2nd annual Jordy Walker Trophy as the most improved young match race sailor who competes in Alpari World Match Racing Tour events or other events that automatically qualify a skipper for a Tour event. Mary Walker made the presentation at the 2012 Argo Group Gold Cup prizegiving at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.

Wally Fleet Start 2011 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Wally Fleet Start 2011 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

A fleet of 34 international Maxi yachts are braced for tomorrow’s start to competitive action at the 2012 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, held in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Five days of racing are scheduled for the 23rd edition of this annual contest, open to Maxi yachts upwards of 18.29 metres. Boats representing fourteen different countries make up the entry list from the smallest competitor – the 18.30m Mini Maxi @robas  (FRA) – to the gigantic 66m Supermaxi  Hetairos (CY). A stunning spectacle is always guaranteed when the world’s most technologically impressive Maxis lock horns in the challenging and scenic racecourses offered by the Costa Smeralda and the Maddalena Archipelago.

Ever since its inception in 1980, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup has represented a rare for opportunity for Maxi yachts to engage exclusively in direct competition. It has also been synonymous with the latest developments in yacht design and technology. 2012 is no exception as three eagerly-anticipated new launches prepare to make their bow: Charles Dunstone’s 30.47m Wally Hamilton(GBR) and two new entries in the intriguing Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship: Hap Fauth’s 21.94m Bella Mente (USA) and the similarly sized Stig (ITA), owned by Alessandro Rombelli.
Edoardo Recchi, Sporting Director of event organizer the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS), believes a vintage edition is in store, revealing: “We are very happy to have a fleet of 34 boats with a number sailing here for the first time. The Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship, in particular, will be very competitive because all the Mini Maxis are, from a certain point of view, as good as new, with many having changed keels or rigs.” As Recchi confirms, the week will be a test of each crew’s resolve and endurance: “For the Maxis and Supermaxis five coastal races are planned and for the Mini Maxis and Wallys there will be three coastal races and four windward/leeward races.” Tomorrow, coastal races are scheduled for the event’s five classes (Maxi Racing, Maxi Racing/Cruising, Mini Maxi, Supermaxi and Wally).
A number of this season’s most successful boats are in attendance. Sir Peter Ogden’s 18.90m Mini Maxi Jethou (GBR) triumphed in May’s Rolex Volcano Race; Filip Balcaen’s 34.13m Nilaya (GBR) won line honours at that same event and returns to Porto Cervo to defend her Supermaxi class title. Igor Simcic’s 30.48m Esimit Europa 2 (SLO) has enjoyed a stellar year, smashing the race record at the recent Giraglia Rolex Cup before arriving in Sardinia in style, setting a new fastest time between Monte Carlo and Porto Cervo.

The third running of the Mini Maxi Rolex World Championship is likely to be one of the week’s most eye-catching contests. The previous two editions have been claimed by the 21.91m Rán 2 (GBR). Niklas Zennström’s fully professional crew start off as favourites, but the competition will be determined and races decided by the merest fractions. Strength in depth across the Championship is provided by the revamped Jethou, George Sakellaris’ 21.80m Shockwave (USA), Stig and the 21.01m Caol Ila R (USA), the former Alegre – second place finishers in 2010 and 2011 – as Alex Schärer and his crew make the transition from their racer/cruiser of the same name.

Ran 2  (Photo by Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi)

Ran 2 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Brand-new Bella Mente (USA), counting on the expertise of 2006 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Mike Sanderson, concedes nothing to Rán 2 in terms of length although the crew have the challenge of tackling the competition for the first time. “We’re really excited,” remarks Sanderson. “The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is one of the great events on the calendar, where the fascination is seeing all of the hardware together – a collection of amazing boats in terms of power and sail.” Sanderson is expecting a baptism of fire: “In the Mini Maxi class, the level is very high. The other guys currently have a bit more refinement and finesse including Rán who are a very polished act with a very consistent crew.”

Navigators are facing a difficult time predicting what the week’s weather will provide: “The forecast is really tricky,” confirms Sanderson. “There is a low settling off to the west of Sardinia. Some forecasts are saying 50 knots and others five! So we are in for a pretty changeable week.”

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and the International Maxi Association, prestigious organizations with close ties to Rolex. A first-class social programme is in store, including the Rolex Crew Party and the final Prize-Giving Ceremony, where the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cups and Rolex timepieces will be presented to the winners.

EVENT PROGRAMME

Sunday, 2 September
Inspections, registration and briefing
Welcome Reception

Monday, 3 September
Race(s)

Tuesday, 4 September
Race(s)

Wednesday, 5 September
Race(s)

Thursday, 6 September
Lay day or resail

Friday, 7 September
Race (s)
Rolex Crew Party

Saturday, 8 September
Race(s)
Final Prize-Giving

 

SHOCKWAVE (USA) AND RÁN (GBR), APPROACH THE LIGHTHOUSE AT MONACI (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

SHOCKWAVE (USA) AND RÁN (GBR), APPROACH THE LIGHTHOUSE AT MONACI (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)