Photo © Thierry Martinez / THE BRIDGE

 

The Centennial Transat – The Bridge – from Saint-Nazaire to New York started in uniquely spectacular fashion at 19:00 today, one hundred years after American troops arrived on the coast of France. 

This time the cannon shots were sounds of fraternity to begin the race between the Queen Mary 2 and four of the largest and fastest trimarans in the world. The start to ocean races are always emotive affairs but rarely are they so loaded.

On Saturday, many thousands lined the harbor and shore to welcome the Queen Mary 2 into the Brittany harbor where she was built. This Loire estuary was alive again as the only remaining ocean liner in the world weighed anchor and the four trimarans, equally impressive in their class, set sail in light airs under a cloudless sky.

The trimarans were unsurprisingly faster off the mark, but the Queen Mary 2 (1,132 feet/345m) is a very big favourite to the win 3,152-mile (5,837 km) transat and her arrival under the Verrazano Bridge in New York is expected at 08:00 on Saturday, July 1. The crewed “Ultime” class trimarans – Macif (François Gabart), Idec Sport (Francis Joyon), Sodebo Ultim’ (Thomas Coville) and Team Actual, (Yves Le Blévec) – which are all over 25 meters long, are expected to finish between one and two days later. As forecast, because the race is against the prevailing winds, the trimarans will be working their way upwind to the north, while the QM2 can power direct to New York.

“Initially, the wind will be very soft in the Saint-Nazaire channel. The small windshift from north-west with winds of less than 10 knots expected in the evening won’t allow for much flying,” Dominic Vittet, the race meteorologist said. “As soon as the trimarans have left the Grand Carpentier lighthouse (in Saint-Nazaire) to starboard, they will already have to make a crucial choice about how they round the anticyclonic ridge that has the Bay of Biscay under lockdown and is forming a wall that will be difficult to cross in the first 24 hours.”

The fleet includes the cream of French sailing – who continue to dominate this class and offshore sailing in general – both on the trimarans and on the QM2, where Jean Le Cam, Alain Gautier and Bruno Peyron, gave the official start from the bridge. There is only one Briton among the 22 sailors across the four boats, Samantha Davies, who is also the only woman. The 34-year-old Gabart and crew start as favourites to set a new reference time between these two cities. The 30-metre long Macif, launched in 2015, is the newest boat of the four and Gabart has already proved its pace by winning the TheTransat bakerly in 2016. But the older hands, Joyon and Coville, have so many oceanic records between them that they can never be discounted.

For more information, photos and videos:
www.thebridge2017.com

The Bridge is a transatlantic celebration of friendship and solidarity between France and the United States, marking one hundred years since the arrival of American soldiers on French shores in 1917 to join the Allies in World War I. It includes:

– the 4th FIBA 3X3 World Cup in Nantes (17-21 June)
– the return of the Queen Mary 2 to where it was constructed in Saint-Nazaire, escorted by an international armada (June 24)
– the Centennial Transat to New York (June 25-July 3)
– an original tribute across the ocean to a century of American music (June 23-July 1)

Emirates Team New Zealand (Photo © George Bekris)

 

In a thrilling winner-take-all final race, Emirates Team New Zealand unhooked itself from a starting buoy to win the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York with the high score of 52 points.

Another large crowd, estimated at 100,000, turned out on a sunny day and was treated to some very unpredictable racing. This after over 75,000 came out on Saturday.

Watch a recap here

 

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

No lead was ever safe on Sunday as the wind shifted through wide arcs from the west to the north and ranged anywhere from 5 to 20 knots.

“It was one of those series where everyone had good luck and bad luck, but we got our good luck at the end of the regatta,” said Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Glenn Ashby. “It was exciting and crazy at the same time. Today it was important to keep your cool and stay focused.”

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

The Kiwi crew, led by Ashby and World Sailor of the year and Red Bull Youth America’s Cup champion helmsman Peter Burling, was literally dead in the water at the start of Race 3. Crewman Blair Tuke had to jump in the water to unhook the starting buoy’s anchor line from the catamaran’s rudder. Making matters worse, the port hull was punctured by the buoy and water was leaking into the hull throughout the race.

“We saw the buoy coming at us with about 20 seconds to go,” said Ashby. “It wasn’t ideal but we were lucky in the end.”

 

The Kiwi crew’s luck came full circle on the next-to-last leg. They rounded the last windward mark in fifth place, about 42 seconds behind leading SoftBank Team Japan. But as all the crews began the downwind leg they sailed into a patch of no wind that engulfed the course.

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

As the leg was perpendicular to the southerly flowing current, some of the crews were being swept over the course boundary. Land Rover BAR, Groupama Team France and SoftBank Team Japan all were penalized for crossing the boundary in the current.

The Kiwis, further behind, held in the middle of the course and when the wind filled in the Kiwis took off on their hydrofoils at 16 to 20 knots boatspeed, leaving the rest of the fleet gasping in disbelief.

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

At one point during the final race ORACLE TEAM USA looked to be in position to win. Skipper Jimmy Spithill and crew won the start and led around the first two mark roundings. But Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan grabbed the lead by working the right side of the course while ORACLE TEAM USA struggled on the right side. In the end the reigning America’s Cup champion placed second in the race and second for the series.

“The crowd was insane,” said Spithill. “Today was great for the fans. In these conditions you have to roll with the punches and keep fighting. We wanted to win but we’ll take the second place. The Kiwis got a Hail Mary there at the end, but you have to take your hat off to them and congratulate them.”

Third went to Franck Cammas’ Groupama Team France, winner of Race 2. SoftBank Team Japan placed fourth, Land Rover BAR fifth and Artemis Racing sixth.

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

Illustrating just how challenging the day was on the short, confined racecourse, Nathan Outteridge’s crew won the first race going away but was then sixth in Races 2 and 3.

“We got a little bit of luck in the first race and managed to hold on, but we had some terrible moments in the last two races…” said Outteridge. “You can’t get people to come watch sailing if you don’t bring it to them. That’s what we’ve done here. When the America’s Cup is in Bermuda next year, in super high-tech boats, we’ll get some amazing racing.”

The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series now moves onto Chicago, June 10-12. After that it heads to Europe for events in the U.K. in July and France in September.

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York Final Standings

1. Emirates Team New Zealand – 52 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA – 50 points
3. Groupama Team France – 44 points
4. SoftBank Team Japan – 42 points
5. Land Rover BAR – 42 points
6. Artemis Racing – 40 points

 

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Overall Standings
(After six events)

1. Emirates Team New Zealand – 244 points
2. ORACLE TEAM USA – 236 points
3. Land Rover BAR – 227 points
4. SoftBank Team Japan – 203 points
5. Artemis Racing – 201 points
6. Groupama Team France – 194 points

 

Photo © George Bekris

Photo © George Bekris

 

SAILING - THE ARTEMIS TRANSAT - START - PLYMOUTH (GBR) - 11/05/08 PHOTO : VINCENT CURUTCHET / DPPI / THE ARTEMIS TRANSAT / OC EVENTS START

SAILING – THE ARTEMIS TRANSAT – START – PLYMOUTH (GBR) – 11/05/08
PHOTO : VINCENT CURUTCHET / DPPI / THE ARTEMIS TRANSAT / OC EVENTS
START

In just under 100 days time, a growing fleet of first-class ocean racers and fearless adventurers will set sail on the world’s oldest solo transatlantic race from Plymouth to New York – The Transat.

This year’s race has attracted a star-studded line up of offshore greats, from the likes of Vendée Globe competitors Sébastien Josse and Armel Le Cléac’h in the IMOCA60, to Transat Jacques Vabre winner Erwan Le Roux and Route du Rhum winner Thomas Coville on the flying multihulls and seasoned offshore competitors Miranda Merron and Thibaut Vauchel in the Class40.

The Transat is a nostalgic race steeped in history, full of adventure and touched upon by tragedy. Established in 1960 by Sir Francis Chichester and Blondie Hasler, Hasler’s legendary vision for the race is still as relevant today as it was then – The Transat is about “one man, one boat, one ocean.”

But while the principle behind the race remains the same, a new generation of ocean racing machines sees a classic reborn in 2016. Giant Ultimes, flying Multi50s, powerful IMOCA60s and hardy Class40s, helmed by some of the world’s finest solo sailors, could make for one of the fastest crossings yet.

“We are absolutely delighted by the turn out and the calibre of the skippers who are taking on the challenge of one of the greatest solo races in the sport,” said Hervé Favre, Offshore Events Director for OC Sport. “With the right conditions we could see records tumbling in all four classes.”

Paying homage to The Transat’s origins, the 14th edition will set sail from Plymouth – the first city to play host to the race. From Plymouth breakwater, the fleet will race 3,000 miles to Brooklyn in New York, where The Transat first finished 56 years ago.

Between the two cities, competitors will be alone faced with the towering waves of the Atlantic, blinding fog, ferocious winds and the danger of ice drifting down from the Arctic. The fleet will spend anywhere between eight and 18 days at sea, dependent on the boat. Racing upwind for the majority of the race, The Transat will be a hard slog for the skippers. Frequent rest, good nutrition and staying hydrated will be key to staving off fatigue and staying in the game.

The Atlantic is a dangerous playground and intelligent sailing will be the key to success in New York City, as Race Director Gilles Chiorri explained: “The Transat is the mother of all transatlantic races, it launched the trend for solo sailing. The Transat is the most challenging transatlantic to win. The race will be characterised by the low pressures and stormy conditions associated with heavy swell, sometimes within the vicinity of icebergs. The winner in each class (Ultime, IMOCA60, Multi 50, Class40) will step on the path of the previous winners, including Chichester, Tabarly, Colas, Poupon, Desjoyeaux, Joyon, and Loick Peyron, among others.”

With less than 100 days to the start of this epic, The Transat boasts an international fleet of almost 30 boats including three Ultimes, five Multi 50s, seven IMOCA 60s, 11 Class40s, two female skippers, two Brits, 21 French entries, one German and The Transat’s first Japanese entry.

You can read more into the colourful history of The Transat here and see the announced competitor line up below.

Entries for the 2016 Transat are open until 31st January. To enter, please click here.

Follow The Transat on Facebook, Twitter and find more on our website

 

The Transat 2016 will finish in New York (Photo© FreeImages.com/Dario Lucarini)

The Transat 2016 will finish in New York (Photo© FreeImages.com/Dario Lucarini)

 

DECEMBER 07: Americas Cup Trophy in New York City. (Photo by Rob Tringali / America's Cup)

DECEMBER 07: Americas Cup Trophy in New York City. (Photo by Rob Tringali / America’s Cup)

 

America’s Cup racing will return to New York for the first time since 1920 with Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing on May 7-8, 2016.

The New York event is one of six events planned during 2016, each featuring thrilling, high-speed competition, as six America’s Cup teams, with the top sailors in the world, vie for points that count towards the final competition for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017.

Watch the video here

This year, Emirates Team New Zealand’s star helmsman, Peter Burling, the youngest in the fleet, led his team to the top of the standings over current America’s Cup champion Jimmy Spithill’s ORACLE TEAM USA, and the highly touted Land Rover BAR team led by Olympic hero Ben Ainslie.

But the competition was close. In fact, the opening three Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events in 2015 featured three different event winners, and four different individual race winners. The 2016 calendar promises more hard-fought racing on the foiling AC45F catamarans that fly above the water.

“Everyone is going to want to start the New Year off well,” said ORACLE TEAM USA skipper Jimmy Spithill. “But all the other teams have been out training with the same goal in mind, so nothing will come easy this year.

“The New York event is going to be spectacular. Racing on the lower Hudson River, in front of that Manhattan skyline, will be a huge hit. New Yorkers are massive sports fans and I think this will be something very special: thrilling, top-level racing right in the heart of the city. It’s going to be a great event for the America’s Cup and a great event for New York.”

Practice racing in New York is on May 6, with point-scoring races on the weekend of May 7-8.

Four events on the 2016 schedule have been announced to date:

Muscat, Oman – February 26-28, 2016; 
New York, USA – May 6-8, 2016;
Chicago, USA – June 10-12, 2016;
Portsmouth, UK – July 22-24, 2016;

Two additional Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events are anticipated to complete the calendar, likely in Europe in mid-September and in Asia in mid-November.

“With six events around the world in 2016 our fans will have more opportunities to enjoy America’s Cup racing and follow their favorite teams and sailors as we build towards the finals in Bermuda in 2017,” said Harvey Schiller, the Commercial Commissioner of the America’s Cup.

“We’re excited to be able to add the new venues of Oman, New York and Chicago to the calendar, giving more fans a chance to experience the America’s Cup in person.”

The New York event is an historic milestone of sorts. America’s Cup racing was held in New York harbor and environs for 50 years, representing the first 13 challenges for the oldest trophy in international sport.

From 1870 through 1920 racing took place off New York. Beginning in 1930, the competition was moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where it remained until the United States finally lost the Cup in 1983, ending the longest winning streak in sport.

Since that time, racing for the America’s Cup has taken place in Perth (Australia); San Diego (USA); Auckland (New Zealand); Valencia (Spain); and San Francisco (USA).

In May/June 2017, the next America’s Cup will be raced for in Bermuda.

Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series standings (after three events):

Emirates Team New Zealand – 122 points
ORACLE TEAM USA – 112 points
Land Rover BAR – 109 points
Artemis Racing – 105 points
SoftBank Team Japan – 100 points
Groupama Team France – 82 points

About the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York

This event will take place from May 6-8, 2016, with official practice racing on the Friday and point-scoring races on Saturday and Sunday.

The Event Village will be in the Brookfield Place Waterfront Plaza, while the racing will be on the lower Hudson River off the Battery Park City Esplanade (between the Pier 25 basin to the north and The Battery to the south).

The technical areas for teams, race management and America’s Cup TV production will be based at Liberty State Park and Liberty Landing Marina, across the Hudson River in New Jersey.

About the America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is the oldest trophy in international sport, dating back to 1851, when the yacht America, after which the trophy is named, beat the best of the British fleet in a race around the Isle of Wight, U.K. The trophy won on that day was donated in trust through a Deed of Gift and has since become a symbol of immense achievement. It is perhaps the hardest trophy in sport to win. In it’s 165-year history, only four countries have managed to win the America’s Cup.

The America’s Cup is currently held by the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco, U.S.A.. On September 25, 2013, its team, ORACLE TEAM USA, completed the biggest comeback in sports to retain the trophy it had first won in 2010.

On December 2, 2014, Bermuda was named as the home of the 35th America’s Cup, with the iconic Great Sound as the race course area where the new America’s Cup Class boats (15-meter, foiling, wing-sailed catamarans) from each competing nation will race for the America’s Cup in May/June 2017.

The America’s Cup is honored to partner with Louis Vuitton as the title partner of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers and the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Challenger Playoffs. Louis Vuitton is also the presenting partner of the 35th America’s Cup Match, presented by Louis Vuitton.

The America’s Cup is also proud to be supported by BMW, Bremont, ORACLE, Sail Racing, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Gosling’s and XL Catlin; as well as: Appleby, BF&M, Butterfield, Butterfield & Vallis, Moët & Chandon, PwC and the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club.

America’s Cup updates are also available on your mobile device. Go to the App Store to download the official America’s Cup App.

For more America’s Cup and Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series racing visit The America’s Cup Website

 

 NY_to_BCN_pic (1)

A new era for the IMOCA 60ft monohull class begins in less than three months with the OCEAN MASTERS New York to Barcelona Race. This will be the first event run by Sir Keith Mills’ Lausanne-based Open Sports Management (OSM), commercial rights holder to the IMOCA class and will be supported by the Fundacio per la Navegacio Oceanica Barcelona (FNOB) and the Royal Spanish Sailing Federation (RFEV). It is also the first event to count towards the new OCEAN MASTERS World Championship.

The double-handed New York to Barcelona is the only race scheduled this summer for IMOCA, allowing teams ample time to prepare for this autumn and winter’s other major OCEAN MASTERS World Championship events – the Route du Rhum and the Barcelona World Race.

“New York and Barcelona are two of the most iconic cities in the world today and are both perfect venues for the first new race under the Ocean Masters World Championship brand,” explains Sir Keith Mills. “This is part of OSM’s plan to internationalise the IMOCA class and take it to the next level by introducing new events, new venues and attracting new skippers, teams and sponsors.”

The event kicks off with a prologue on Saturday 24th May. Competitors will sail from Newport, Rhode Island on a 142 mile overnight race to New York Harbour.

photo © 2014 IMOCA OCEAN MASTERS

photo © 2014 IMOCA OCEAN MASTERS

In New York for the next week, the boats will be berthed at Manhattan’s North Cove Marina, close to the World Trade Centre site in Battery Park. On Thursday 29th May, they will compete in the ‘Hudson River Race’, allowing spectators a bird’s eye view from Manhattan’s western shore. The day will conclude with a reception in the New York Yacht Club’s magnificent Model Room.

The start of the transatlantic race itself will be off North Cove Marina on Sunday 1st June. Competitors will sail pass the Statue of Liberty before exiting New York Harbour. The 3700 mile course crosses the North Atlantic, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Mediterranean, where crews will have to negotiate a tactical 525 miles along the Spanish coast before reaching the finish.

The prize giving will be held in Barcelona on 20th June. En route competitors will be out to better the 12 days, 6 hours and 3 minutes course record set by Alex Pella, Pepe Ribes and Stan Schreyer aboard the IMOCA 60 Estrella Damm in 2010.

Five teams are officially entered, although more are expected:
Hugo Boss: Alex Thomson (GBR) and Pepe Ribes (ESP)
Neutrogena: Guillermo Altadill (ESP) and José Muñoz (CHI)
Safran: Marc Guillemot (FRA) and Morgan Lagravière (FRA)
GAES Centros Auditivos: Anna Corbella (ESP) and Gerard Marin (ESP)
Spirit of Hungary: Nandor Fa (HUN) and Marcell Goszleth (HUN)

Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thomson finished second in the first Barcelona World Race and famously was third home in the last Vendée Globe. His co-skipper is Pepe Ribes, one of Spain’s most capped offshore sailors with four Volvo Ocean Races to his name. They will be sailing the latest Hugo Boss, previously Jean-Pierre Dick’s 2010 generation VPLP-Verdier designed Virbac Paprec III.

Thomson looks forward to the race: “There was an opportunity in the calendar this year, so OSM decided to introduce an event that would raise the profile of the circuit and also could support the Barcelona Race. They wanted an international race, so it was natural to go from somewhere in America – transatlantic – back into Barcelona, double-handed. It is also great training for the Barcelona World Race.”

Spain’s most capped offshore sailor is Guillermo Altadill, with six circumnavigations behind him. He will skipper Neutrogena Sailing Team with Chilean José Muñoz, who raced a Class40 around the world doublehanded in 2008/09. They will sail the 2007 generation Farr design that Thomson took to third place in the last Vendee Globe.

“It is going to be a good race for the Ocean Masters programme,” says Altadill. “This will be our first race together. To have this transatlantic race a few months before the start of the Barcelona World Race, we can use it to train, test the boat and sail together. It is perfect preparation.”

The most experienced skipper in the fleet is Safran skipper Marc Guillemot. The French aerospace and security company is starting its third Vendée Globe campaign, but the team is in transition with Guillemot, 54, in the process of passing over the helm to talented 27-year-old Figaro and Olympic 49er sailor, Morgan Lagravière, who will be co-skipper for the race. The duo will sail their highly developed 2007 generation VPLP-Verdier design while their new IMOCA 60 is in build in Brittany.

“I am delighted to participate in this first race between New York and Barcelona,” says Guillemot. “This new race is a very good initiative by the class and it is very much in our interest to participate in it because the strength of the IMOCA class is that its boats can sail in different events like this.”

The local Barcelona team, fielded by the Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona, will be that of Gerard Marin and Anna Corbella. Corbella is returning to the race course with GAES Centros Auditivos, who backed her last Barcelona World Race campaign. Marin sailed that same race aboard Fòrum Marítim Català.

Hungarian solo offshore racing legend Nandor Fa will sail with co-skipper Marcell Goszleth, on Spirit of Hungary, a brand new IMOCA 60 due for launch imminently.

“The New York to Barcelona Race will be my first with this brand new IMOCA 60, it’ll be our first trial,” says Fa. “We’ll take it as an opportunity to gather some information on the performance of the boat, and we’re confident that she will be safe and competitive.”

Andor Serra, CEO of FNOB, is pleased once again to link together New York and Barcelona through an ocean sailing event, “The OCEAN MASTERS New York to Barcelona Race strengthens the sports and cultural ties between the two cities, and the ocean ‘highway’ that links them is the perfect sports ground for this new and exciting challenge. This event is vital for us all as it prepares for and adds value to the Barcelona World Race which starts on 31st December 2014.”

Source: Leslie Greenhalgh, Open Sports Management; March 10, 2014

About Ocean Masters World Championship
Ocean Masters is the World Championship series for the IMOCA class. The first Ocean Masters World Champion will be crowned in 2015 after the Barcelona World Race and a new World Champion will be recognised every two years after this. The commercial, marketing and event management rights of the Ocean Masters World Championships are managed by OSM.
www.oceanmasters.com

About IMOCA
Founded in 1991, the International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) is the body that manages the 60ft monohulls that compete in its events such as the Vendée Globe. The association has more than 30 skipper members and many other stakeholders, including sponsors, team managers, designers, builders from all over the world.
www.imoca.org

About Barcelona World Race
The Barcelona World Race is the only double-handed (two crew) race around the world for the IMOCA class. The first edition took place in 2007/08, the second in 2010/11 and the next edition starts on 31st December 2014. The course is from Barcelona to Barcelona via the three ‘Great’ capes: Good Hope, Leeuwin and Horn, Cook Strait, leading Antarctica to starboard.
www.barcelonaworldrace.com

WDW_3614

IDEC in New York (Photo by George Bekris)

IDEC in New York Before Record Attempt in 2011 (Photo by George Bekris)

 Francis Joyon is leaving. In a few days, he will address the prestigious  North Atlantic record.  Success would make him the first skipper to win the incredible “Grand Slam” of records.  Joyon will be on stand-by in New York from May 15.  Yesterday evening the skipper  was in Paris for a great evening presentation at Pershing Hall in the presence of three of the four  solo Atlantic  record holders Florence Arthaud, Thomas Coville and Bruno Peyron, current record holder.  His record will be challenged shortly by the skipper of the Maxi-trimaran IDEC.

Florence Arthaud ,Francis Joyon,Patrice Lafargue, Thomas Coville and Bruno Peyron© Aurimages / Groupe IDEC

© Aurimages / IDEC Group

Hold 21 knots average for less than 5 days, 19 hours and 29 minutes. Alone.  On the demanding North Atlantic.  That’s the challenge with the high bar set by Thomas Coville in July 2008.   Francis Joyon will sail between the Statue of Liberty and the English Cornwall.  To be precise between Ambrose Light in New York and that the Lizard in the south of England .  In that in-between are heavy waves, winds and icebergs to content with while sailing at breakneck speeds.

Francis Joyon aboard IDEC in NYC May 18, 2013 awaiting a weather window for the North Atlantic Record (Photo by George Bekris)

There is a very short list of sailing legends who dared to challenge alone, on multihulls, the North Atlantic and all it’s all dangers.  More people have walked on the moon than have accomplished this feat!  Sailors who have attempted this can be counted on the fingers of one hand. The names of the woman and four men who have accomplished this have forged in the wind the imagination of us all: Bruno Peyron, Florence Arthaud, Laurent Bourgnon, Thomas Coville, Francis Joyon. 
 Francis Joyon is one of them. The IDEC skipper already holds the same record, in July 2006 (6 days and 4 hours), when he shattered the  one day a time established eleven years ago by Laurent Bourgnon. 
In twenty-six years of 1987 to the present day, only six attempts were successful. Bruno Peyron has won twice, in 1987 and 1992. Francis Joyon If successful, it would become the second two-time winner of the North Atlantic. It is also the only sailor to claim the Grand Slam absolute record since the driver of the maxi-trimaran IDEC is already the fastest solo sailor around the world (57 days 13h), the fastest of 24 h (668 miles or 27.83 knots average) and the fastest on the Atlantic from east to west, namely the Discovery Route, between Cadiz and San Salvador, he sprayed record this winter and 8 days 16 h.
 108 years after Charlie Barr North Atlantic … its mysterious mists, its whales and the famous single or almost that needs surf at full speed between the New World and the Old Continent depression … so here’s the ultimate challenge address to access this unique status. Francis Joyon, who has already won this clock in 2005 aboard the first trimaran IDEC is well aware of tackling a real maritime myth. He commented: “If we put notes to records according to their importance, I would say the most important is the World Tour. The North Atlantic is the number two because of its long history related to the schooner Atlantic Charlie Barr and his crew of 50 men who inaugurated the year 1905, and then to Eric Tabarly was the first to resume still crew, 75 years later. The solitaire version belonged to me a few years ago, it was taken over by Thomas (Coville) … and so it falls to me to take it again! ” Simple like Joyon on who should not rely for the ease . “Average to keep approaching 21 knots. So have a good weather is essential, but should not be either drop regime. It must be thoroughly all the time for 5 and a half days … “On board a multihull 30 meters at full speed, the exercise is not within reach of anybody. This is also perhaps no coincidence that the few sailors to have held the famous record were present in Paris on Thursday, April 25 with Francis Joyon for presenting this event. Only they know … 
They said:
 Patrice Lafargue,Chairman of the IDEC Group “Francis Joyon IDEC supports for over a decade now. We are proud to support one of the greatest sailors of the planet in its hunting records, Francis gave us so much emotion around the world and on every ocean … With this attempt on the record of the North Atlantic, it is a new challenge that we propose. Of course we are wholeheartedly with him and fingers crossed for it to succeed this Grand Slam that nobody has succeeded before him. Beyond the sporting aspect, exciting, this is a man with whom the IDEC Group shared values ​​of innovation, competition, respect for the environment … Good luck Francis ” 
Bruno Peyron ‘s record solitary Inventor 1987 (11 days and 11) Winner again in 1992 (in 9 days and 21h) catamaran Explorer “This record is a true success story: it combines a legendary course, recall illustrious ancestors as Charlie Barr … and requires a total commitment.Initially, in 1987 I wanted to start this record with a simple idea: fight alone the historical time of Charlie Barr and his crew of fifty men. Since the bar is mounted and the record of the North Atlantic has become the second largest after the clock tower in the world. On the first, in 1987, all the ingredients were there for a good story, simple and effective. We left New York in fratricidal duel: Loick with Lada Poch against me on Explorer. I keep a mixed memories of fun, commitment and a rare arrival, asphyxiated on the English coast, to rebuild around Land’s end to cut the line. The second solo record, I have a less playful memory because lack of resources the boat was almost abandoned in an old shipyard in Newport. I bought in Florence (Arthaud) a big old sail that was too small. Initially, I got a storm anthology off New York that I saw in the lightning. Then, the weather was good and I’ve made ​​the crossing being a conservative suspicion … But the story was launched and I knew others would with sharper weapons and unfailing determination. The main difficulty is to find the perfect weather window, that is to say one that can cross with a single pressure system, with the potential of current machines. To be honest … I would go back! I love this course where the commitment is total. This is probably the same one where, with sails adapted, could lead alone my catamaran 120 feet to 90% of its potential. ” 
Florence Arthaud Winner record in 1990 (9 days, 21h 42m) trimaran Pierre 1er ” I keep a special memory of this record, including my arrival in Brest, where I was greeted by thousands of cut flowers thrown on my boat which was found covered with roses … It was beautiful. Especially since I had a difficult end of the course because I had a concern about the headsail and there was more wind: sailing under mainsail alone and wind is not ideal when we want to go as fast as possible! 
Francis Joyon on IDEC ( Photo by George Bekris )
The departure of New York is fabulous, I had that record the return of Two Star to train for the Route du Rhum and it has served me well! The problem is that I do not have much time to choose the best time to time, then wait the ideal window is a key to success with having boats that go fast enough stay ahead of the depression. I remember to Newfoundland I thought it would not happen … and then it happened. I also remember that this is one of the few courses where I have not had any problems with my autopilot. Records are made ​​to be broken … and that Francis deserves to beat this one too … ” 
Thomas Coville Taking the record in 5 days 19 hours 29 minutes and 20 seconds on the trimaran Sodebo “I made ​​a first attempt without success. From New York is something very clear: this is a very special feeling to be at the heart of this megalopolis at the foot of Manhattan … and a few minutes later, to be alone on your big boat ocean around the front of the bows. The transition is very sharp. I remember I put a lot of pressure: there is traffic, fog, whales, sometimes even ice cream! The start is difficult, complicated and sometimes dangerous when you do not even see the bow of the boat and you feel fishermen around. Then it’s a real tussle trying to stay ahead of the depression … and a standoff that lasted four days! The boat fuse crosswind, it is not constrained by the sea is unique as it … In the end, finally, it must almost fall on the line, lowering his head, after one or gybes in little time, as it often ends up in the wind a little soft or downwind. He must have kept some energy for that and it is not the easiest. I had gone to Northern Ireland before jibe! “
Francis Joyon on IDEC in New Your prior to record attempt in 2011 (Photo by George Bekris)

Francis Joyon on IDEC in New Your prior to record attempt in 2011 ( Photo by George Bekris)

 

Bodacious Dream # 118

Bodacious Dream # 118 Winner of Leg 1 from Charleston to New York (Photo courtesy of the Atlantic Cup)

#118 Bodacious Dream wins First Leg, Charleston, SC to New York Harbor,
of The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing
 

Fleet to dock in NY Harbor until Pro-Am on May 17, followed by
Final Leg to Newport, RI on May 18 and In-shore Series, May 25-26
 
NEW YORK, NY. – With a fleet of seven Class 40s competing in The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing #121 Bodacious Dream, skippered by Dave Rearick and Matt Scharl, crossed the finish line first at 21:06:15 ET on Tuesday, May 15, with an elapsed time of 78:55:13 to complete the 642 nautical mile first off-shore leg of the Atlantic Cup from Charleston, S.C. to New York Harbor. The race, the first carbon neutral sailing event in the United States, saw USA’s Bodacious Dream finish 8 minutes 28 seconds ahead of #121 Lecoq Cuisine (79:09:43), followed by the English team of  #90 40 Degrees (79:56:12).
 

Lecoq Cusine finishes in NYC (Photo courtesy of the Atlantic Cup)

The race began at 2:05 p.m. on Saturday, May 11th from the Charleston Maritime Center with international competitors from the USA, France, Great Britain and New Zealand competing extremely closely for the three-day, first leg. The teams left Charleston harbor with #116 Icarus jumping out in front of the fleet for the second year in a row with the best start.

3rd Place finishers Harding and Jenner on 40 Degrees celebrate (Photo courtesy the Atlantic Cup)

While tightly packed together, the fleet experienced severe the weather the first night that included heavy lightning and thunderheads with sustained winds of 25kts and a confused sea state. After rounding Cape Hatteras the fleet was mostly in agreement to heads towards shore as the forecast called for a wind hole and the land breeze would keep them moving. The critical point in the race came at the timing of the gybe in towards shore and those that picked right established a small lead and the challenge was to defend the rest of the way. The leading four teams traded positions in the run up to New York where ultimately first through fourth were separated by a mere 1 hour and 26 minutes.
 


“The race was pretty intense and as we all thought ahead of time it was a very tactical type thing, we had a lot of intense tactics. Matt had some great calls and some great time spent playing out different scenarios,” said Bodacious Dream skipper Dave Rearick.
 

“We worked really well as a team, I was not feeling very well for the first 24 hours and Dave really carried the load initially and I feel really good right now so we were able to trade off as a team and it worked out really well, it’s probably the best team race we’ve had since we’ve started, “said Bodacious Dream co-skipper Matt Scharl.
 

 PROVISIONAL RESULTS FROM THE FIRST LEG OF THE 2012 ATLANTIC CUP:                           TIME                         POINT     FINISH
#118        Bodacious Dream – USA (Dave Rearick, Matt Scharl)   79:01:15                                    14             1
#121        Lecoq Cuisine – USA (Eric Lecoq, Conrad Colman)                  79:09:43                                    12             2
#90           40 Degrees – GBR (Hannah Jenner, Peter Harding)                                 79:56:12                                    10             3
#116        Icarus Racing – USA (Tim Fetsch, Ben Poucher)                                                80:27:36                                    8                4
#106        Gryphon Solo 2 – USA (Joe Harris, Tristan Mougline)                                     81:02:29                                    6                5
#54           Dragon – USA (Michael Hennessy, Merf Owen)                                                 81:06:57                                    4                6
#39           Pleiad Racing – USA (Ed Cesare, Chad Corning)                                                  83:08:00                                    2                7
 

 

SCORING SYSTEM
Points & Prize Money
Scoring for the 2013 Atlantic Cup will be based upon a “High Point” scoring system. Each boat’s overall score will equal the total points earned in both offshore legs plus points earned from the inshore races. At the conclusion of the event, the boat with the total highest score will be declared the winner.
 

To determine the podium winners, the “High Point” scoring system combines all three legs of the race into the boat’s overall score. The points for individual race scores are based upon the number of entrants (unless disqualified or retiring after finishing). The points for each leg are allotted as follows; 1st place will be awarded points equal to the number of entrants, 2nd place points equal the number of entrants minus 1, 3rd place points equal the number of entrants minus 2, 4th place points equal the number of entrants minus 3, and so on.

For two the offshore legs, points awarded will be weighted by a factor of 2. For each inshore series, points will be weighted by a factor of one. The inshore series will consist of a maximum of five races, should four or less inshore races be completed; all races will count toward the boat’s overall score. If five inshore series are completed, a boats overall score will consist of the four best inshore races. In the event of a score tie between two or more boats, the tie will be broken in favor of the boat with the most points earned amongst the two offshore legs.
 

The competitors have a chance to win prize money in all portions of the race. The $15,000 purse will be split between the three legs with $5,000 available per leg. The prize money for each leg will be divided as follows: 1stwill receive $2,000, 2nd, $1,500, 3rd, $1,000 and 4th place receives $500.
 

Some additional 2013 Atlantic Cup highlights include:
Viewing Opportunities for fans to see LIVE Sailing Competition in Each City:
With host cities chosen specifically to enhance the fans onsite viewing experience, the Atlantic Cup will offer opportunities for the general public to watch the race LIVE on-shore in New York (Saturday, May 18 at 2 p.m.) and the event’s inshore racing conclusion in Newport (Saturday/Sunday, May 25/26 at 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.).
 

Atlantic Cup “Living on the Edge” Eco-Evening on Thursday, May 16:
On Thursday, May 16, a special Atlantic Cup “Living on the Edge” Eco-Evening will be held from 6 – 9 p.m. in NYC, highlighting the event’s commitment to the environment. The event brings together a spectrum of well-respected voices to explore the sailing industry’s commitment to the environment and recognize the changing climate effects on New York City, into a provocative panel discussion entitled “Telltales.” Global Green USA’s President Matt Petersen will moderate the conversation. Sailors for the Sea’s founder David Rockefeller, Jr. will provide opening remarks. Panelists include Dr. Ben Strauss, CEO of Climate Central, Hannah Jenner, skipper of 40 Degrees Racing, and Chip Giller, President and Founder of Grist.org. Tickets are $115/ticket, or a “boatload” for $100/person for ten tickets. Tickets are available for purchase. For additional information, please call 401-619-4840.
 

Pro-Am Event in New York Harbor on Friday, May 17:
Many of the best Class 40 sailors in the world will add new crew members as sailing hopefuls get to experience the rush of sailing firsthand as they compete against each other in New York Harbor on Friday, May 17.  The Fleet will be at the Marina from 9 a.m. – Noon, before departing for the Pro-Am race.  The Boomer Esiason Foundation is the official charity of the Atlantic Cup, with a portion of the proceeds from the event going to help fight the battle against cystic fibrosis.
 

Special Screening with newportFILM of The Last Ocean on Thursday, May 23
On Thursday, May 23, newportFILM in association with the Atlantic Cup will present a screening of The Last Ocean, an environmental documentary from New Zealand filmmaker Peter Young at the Casino Theater in Newport. Do you know where the Ross Sea is? Six years in the making and completed late last year, the documentary celebrates the Ross Sea, Antarctica, regarded as the most pristine eco-system on Earth. It also chronicles the race to protect it before it is destroyed by commercial fishing. A breathtaking look at one of the last untouched places on the planet, this film is not to be missed. Double Cross Vodka cocktail reception from 6-7, with the movie starting at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased online at www.newportfilm.com
 

Education program in conjunction with the Rozalia Project
The Atlantic Cup is extending its education outreach by partnering with the Rozalia Project. Rozalia Project for a Clean Ocean’s mission is to find and remove marine debris, from the surface to the sea floor, through action, technology, outreach and research. During the Atlantic Cup, Rozalia will be on site underwater trash-hunting with the ROV and educating children in grades 3 – 12 about marine debris, which will include the opportunity for students to get on board the Class 40s and meet some of the skippers. Rozalia Project is unique and action based taking trash out of the water, rather than just pointing at it, and operating nationwide from docks and shorelines. They connect people of all ages to their underwater world and inspire them to be part of the solution by using underwater robots (ROVs) and sonar as well as nets to locate and remove marine debris.
 

About The 2013 Atlantic Cup
The Atlantic Cup presented by 11th Hour Racing is a dedicated professional Class 40 race held annually in the U.S. with a focus on running an environmentally responsible event. The 2012 edition of the Atlantic Cup starts Saturday, May 11th in Charleston, South Carolina and will showcase some of the top Class 40 sailors in the world as they race a 648 nautical mile off-shore leg double-handed from Charleston around the infamous, Cape Hatteras then north to New York City. Once in New York there will be a brief stopover before competitors start the coastal leg of the race. The coastal leg will take competitors along the same course as the past two years: 231 nautical miles, south out of New York to a turning mark off the New Jersey coast before heading north to Newport. Once in Newport, competitors will race a two-day, inshore series with a crew of six. The combined overall winner of both stages will be the Atlantic Cup Champion. The prize purse will be $15,000, making it again one of the largest purses for sailing in the United States. For more on the Atlantic Cup and its Green Initiatives, visit www.atlanticcup.org.

Dragon Headed for finish with the New York skyline backdrop (Photo courtesy of the Atlantic Cup)

Tara docked at North Cove in Battery Park NYC (Photo by by Julien Girardot / Tara Expeditions)

Tara docked at North Cove in Battery Park NYC (Photo by by Julien Girardot / Tara Expeditions)

by Vincent Hilaire

Tara docked in NYC at the foot of Freedom TowerSunday morning around 6:30, with the brilliant sun scarcely compensating for the 2° C  temperature, Tara began her final approach to New York City. The first skyscrapers began to appear on the horizon, breaking the surface of the ocean where we’d seen no construction for eleven days.  We were still 25 nautical miles from New York, about 45 kilometers.Excitement on deck, first photos taken, but the Big Apple kept us waiting impatiently. A white-bearded pilot came aboard to escort us through the labyrinth of New York’s islands. Then the Manhattan skyline began to be clearly visible.Several of us were experiencing their first arrival in this part of the east coast of the United States, and to make it even more special – arriving by sea.We passed the Verrazano Narrows Bridge (the second time for Tara), but now Loïc Valette is the skipper. With little wind but a rather strong current, the approach was made smoothly. This was the occasion for the pilot, Captain Thomas G. Britton, to learn more about Tara’s history and be impressed by the itinerary already completed since the beginning of Tara Oceans, and by the previous Tara Arctic expedition (from 2006-2008).Being careful to enter the Hudson River without getting caught up in the traffic of ferries sailing between Staten Island and Manhattan, Captain Britton passed around cigars in sign of his admiration.Then on deck we heard “Statue of Liberty!”  That’s all that was needed to stir up enthusiasm among the paparazzi on board, otherwise slowed down by the very cold morning temperature. A series of photos in front of the world-famous American symbol, and Tara headed up the East River.The Brooklyn Bridge, then a passage in front of the United Nations headquarters in mid-town Manhattan, for an historic souvenir photo.Finally, we came back down the East River, took down the sails, and headed towards Battery Park, North Cove Marina. The tourist trip was over, and we started preparing for the final manoeuvre, installing fenders and mooring lines. The strong current complicated our entry into the small Marina at the foot of Freedom Tower. After going around once to check out the situation, Loïc Valette and the pilot entered the Marina. A last port side turn, and Tara was rapidly moored along the wooden dock, at the foot of Ground Zero. We will stay here throughout our stopover, before leaving for Bermuda on February 12th. 

The 118-foot schooner is sponsored by private sponsors and a scientific consortium including the French National Centre for Scientific Research and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory. This research expedition is taking place under the auspices of the United Nations Environmental Program and in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.

Researchers from Tara will be sharing their message of a sustainable future for all at the United Nations Rio+20 Conference in June. Scientists on board Tara are investigating the role played by plankton in the earth’s life-support system; the effects of climate change on this critical base to the marine foodchain; the preservation of marine biodiversity and ways of combatting pollution and overfishing. Artists and journalists on board are helping to promote public awareness of these important issues. Twenty-one laboratories in 10 countries are collaborating with the mission, and research findings are published immediately on free access databases.

“Tara’s visit to New York is a great opportunity for us to think deeply and raise awareness of the issues that will be discussed in Rio,” said Kiyo Akasaka, Under-Secretary General and head of the United Nations Department of Public Information. “The aims of the Tara Oceans expedition are completely in tune with our own campaign for The Future We Want and they will resonate with everyone who cares about the ocean and the environment.”

For More Information on Tara  along with photos and videos

of her travels visit  Tara Oceans Expeditions

 

Scientific ship Tara is arriving in NYC and passing in front of Manhattan

Scientific ship Tara is arriving in NYC and passing in front of Manhattan