Ya​nn Riou​ Dongfen​g Race T​eam

Charles Caudrelier deep in thought (Photo by Yann Riou / Dongfeng Race Team

 200 miles to go. After 9 months and nearly 40,000 miles
Dongfeng slenderest of leads over main rivals Brunel and Mapfre, but seems like it will not mean much this evening.

Caudrelier: “For us its easy to go from 3rd place to 5th place (overall), and also to come back to second. Everything can happen still”

The podium of the Volvo Ocean Race might just come down to a total lottery tonight as wind forecasts predict a difficult transition as Charles Caudrelier describes “from the current strong southerly winds that have carried Dongfeng up the North Sea, to some light easterly winds that will should get us to the finish line. Its going to be stressful”.In between potentially little or no wind at all – during the early evening tonight in theory. The battleground will probably be between Hanstholm and Skagen, the two towns with a bay between them, that mark the northern tip of Denmark. But even now the compression is starting, from Yanndirect this morning “Still coming back from behind. Less than 4 miles, now. Nothing we can do about it. Not a nice feeling”. More often than not in ocean racing, the rich get richer – but this time its not going to work like that. The guys (and girls) behind are going to sail on in pressure as the boats in front that worked so hard to grind out their leads, will stop in the transition zone between the old and new winds.The warm front moving from the UK east, that has been chasing the fleet since they left, is going to slow down and stall before it gets to them, at least at surface level. Higher up in the atmosphere its forecast to continue east – this differential between up high and at the surface, will provide the conditions for a new low to form, bringing new winds – but the transition could be long – and in the meantime somehow the boats have to get from the old to the new. This in effect should allow almost all, if not all, the backmarkers to sail straight to the front, with the leaders helpless.

It will be tragic if the entire race comes down to luck, but then this is part of ocean racing. Since Dong Feng means ’winds from the east bringing freshness and energy’ and Aeolus being the Guardian of the Winds – on land we can only hope and pray to whatever Gods we believe in, that luck will be on our side, and that we will get the podium finish we deserve!

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June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

Skipper Sam Davies (GBR) and her Team SCA crew struck a resounding blow for women’s offshore sailing in the early hours of Thursday morning when they gloriously clinched Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

Leg 8
DTL

(NM)

GAIN/LOSS

(NM)

DTF

(NM)

Speed

(kt)

SCA1
SCA1 FIN – 03d 13h 11m 11s
VEST
VEST FIN – 03d 13h 59m 38s
ADOR
ADOR 0.3 10.9 3 11.1
MAPF
MAPF 0.8 11.3 4 11.7
TBRU
TBRU 1.8 11.5 5 12.4
ALVI
ALVI 2.3 11.7 5 12.9
DFRT
DFRT 5.5 11.7 8 13.2

Latest positions may be downloaded
from the race dashboard hereº MAPFRE given 2-point penalty Leg 5
Dongfeng Race Team, Team SCA & MAPFRE penalised Leg 7

– A resounding blow for women’s offshore sailing
– Team Vestas Wind bounce back for second place
– Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing nearing overall trophy win

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

LORIENT, France, June 11 – Skipper Sam Davies (GBR) and her Team SCA crew struck a resounding blow for women’s offshore sailing in the early hours of Thursday morning when they gloriously clinched Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The comfortable victory was the first leg win in offshore sailing’s toughest challenge since Tracy Edwards’ Maidenclinched two stage wins in Class D of the 1989-90 race, won overall by Sir Peter Blake’s famous Steinlager2.

At least as satisfying for the first all-women’s crew to enter the race in 12 years will be the opportunity to silence critics who suggested that they were looking outclassed in the current 12th edition by their experienced male rivals.

True, the Swedish entry had yet to win a podium place until now, but the crew has clearly improved leg after leg and many observers felt that a breakthrough performance was just around the corner.

The win was certainly no fluke in an upwind leg that tested seamanship to the full with an often heinous sea state and strong winds virtually throughout.

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

They grabbed the 647-nautical mile leg from Lisbon by the scruff of the neck on Monday, and strengthened that grip on Tuesday after taking an offshore course while most of their rivals hugged the Spanish and French coast approaching the Bay of Biscay.

It took them three days 13 hours 11 minutes and 11 seconds to grab their share of Race history.

“Thanks to everybody for all your support. It’s not really sunk in yet,” said a jubilant Davies. “It probably won’t hit us until we hit the dock and we see there aren’t any other boats there.

“It’s a reward for all the hard work we have done. It’s a great confidence booster. It’s going to be huge for us. We’ve had a mountain to climb to get here.”

June 11, 2015. Team Vestas Wind arrives in second position for Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

June 11, 2015. Team Vestas Wind arrives in second position for Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

Behind them, another fairy-tale was unfolding as Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) closed to a remarkable second-placed finish in their return to the race after six months out following a collision with an Indian Ocean reef on November 29 during Leg 2.

Nicholson had every reason for the huge smile on his face as he approached the port of Lorient following a near perfect race from Lisbon starting on Sunday.

He had simply hoped that his boat could negotiate the leg without mishap and be competitive – a high podium finish is almost beyond his wildest dreams.

June 11, 2015. Team Vestas Wind arrives in second position for Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

June 11, 2015. Team Vestas Wind arrives in second position for Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

“It’s a very special moment,” said the team’s Onboard Reporter, Brian Carlin (IRL), simply.

Astern of the leading pair, third-placed Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) were nearing an ever bigger prize than the handsome silver leg trophy claimed by Team SCA.

They needed simply to finish ahead of their nearest overall pursuers in the standings,Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) and Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA), with a boat in between, to be all but be sure of winning the 12th edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.

As Team SCA passed the finish at 0211 UTC/0411 local time on Thursday, that prospect looked very much on with MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández/ESP) in fourth, Team Brunel fifth, and Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) keeping Dongfeng Race Team at bay in the fight for sixth.

The boats will have a short maintenance period before Sunday’s SCA In-Port Race here in Lorient, before the fleet set sail for Gothenburg via a much-awaited pit-stop in The Hague, on Tuesday, June 16.

It promises to be a period of considerable celebration for at least three crews of very, very happy sailors.

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

June 11, 2015. Team SCA wins Leg 8 from Lisbon to Lorient (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

May 27, 2015. Team Brunel arrives to Lisbon in first position after Leg 7 from Newport. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

May 27, 2015. Team Brunel arrives to Lisbon in first position after Leg 7 from Newport. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

 

Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) completed a triumphant Leg 7 early on Wednesday to bolster their hopes of finishing with a podium place in the Volvo Ocean Race and also keep alive their hopes of overall victory

. MAPFRE arrives to Lisbon in second position after Leg 7 from Newport. MAPFRE Skipper Iker Martinez and Team Brunel Skipper Bouwe Bekking congratulate each other on stage. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race )

May 27, 2015. MAPFRE arrives to Lisbon in second position after Leg 7 from Newport. MAPFRE Skipper Iker Martinez and Team Brunel Skipper Bouwe Bekking congratulate each other on stage. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race )

Leg 7
DTL

(NM)

GAIN/LOSS

(NM)

DTF

(NM)

Speed

(kt)

TBRU
TBRU FIN – 09d 11h 09m 49s
MAPF
MAPF FIN – 09d 11h 31m 39s
ALVI
ALVI FIN – 09d 12h 50m 49s
DFRT
DFRT FIN – 09d 12h 51m 44s
ADOR
ADOR FIN – 09d 13h 24m 34s
SCA1
SCA1 FIN – 09d 15h 32m 38s
VEST
VEST Did Not Start

Latest positions may be downloaded
from the race dashboard here º MAPFRE given two-point penalty – read more

– Team Brunel edge home ahead in transatlantic leg
– MAPFRE chase them all the way into Lisbon
– Team Alvimedica beat Dongfeng in thrilling dogfight
– Team Vestas Wind are reunited with rest of the fleet

Team Brunel arrives to Lisbon in first position after Leg 7 from Newport. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

May 27, 2015. Team Brunel arrives to Lisbon in first position after Leg 7 from Newport. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

LISBON, Portugal, May 27 – Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED) completed a triumphant Leg 7 early on Wednesday to bolster their hopes of finishing with a podium place in the Volvo Ocean Race and also keep alive the possibility of overall victory.

Team Brunel arrives to Lisbon in first position after Leg 7 from Newport. (Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

May 27, 2015. Team Brunel arrives to Lisbon in first position after Leg 7 from Newport. (Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race)

The Dutch boat sailed a near faultless transatlantic stage, edging MAPFRE (Iker Martínez/ESP) into second, just under 22 minutes behind.

Behind them, Team Alvimedica (Charlie Enright/USA) edged out long-time leg leaders, Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA), after an enthralling dogfight over the final miles.

The Chinese-backed boat was caught by Enright’s crew in the early hours of Wednesday, but battled their way back and looked sure to overtake them again before a botched tack ruined their chances.

Leg 7 arrivals in Lisbon; Team Alvimedica and Dongfeng Race Team take the fight right to the finish line. (Photo by  Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race)

May 27, 2015. Leg 7 arrivals in Lisbon; Team Alvimedica and Dongfeng Race Team take the fight right to the finish line. (Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race)

They lost out by just 55 seconds after nearly nine days and 13 hours of sailing across 2,800 nautical miles (nm).

With overall leaders Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR) finishing fifth ahead of Team SCA (Sam Davies/GBR), the overall race standings are left finely poised.

The Emirati crew now have a five-point lead over Dongfeng Race Team with two short legs to sail, while Team Brunel are a point further adrift of Charles Caudrelier’s crew.

Leg 7 arrivals in Lisbon; MAPFRE come in to Lisbon in second place. (Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race)

May 27, 2015. Leg 7 arrivals in Lisbon; MAPFRE come in to Lisbon in second place. (Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez / Volvo Ocean Race)

Caudrelier made no attempt to hide his disappointment after leading the leg for so long and seeing a podium place disappear in the final miles.

“I’m feeling very bad, very upset and very sad,” he summed up. “We deserved better, but I guess that’s life.

“Most of all, I’m upset with myself because my crew did a great job and I made a huge mistake – and I don’t accept mistakes. We really missed a chance in this leg with Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing finishing fifth.”

Few sailors in the fleet will savour a win over one of the race’s trademark legs more than Team Brunel’s 51-year-old skipper, Bouwe Bekking, in his record-equalling seventh appearance.

 Team Brunel arrives to Lisbon in first position after Leg 7 from Newport. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race )

May 27, 2015. Team Brunel arrives to Lisbon in first position after Leg 7 from Newport. (Photo by Ricardo Pinto / Volvo Ocean Race )

He has certainly experienced the ups and downs of racing across the Atlantic. Few will forget the agonising position he faced in 2006 before he was finally forced to abandon his sinking movistar boat during the same stage of that Volvo Ocean Race.

Bekking insisted last week that he had not lost ‘a single night’s sleep’ over the incident and the confident way that Team Brunel sailed the leg would bear that out.

Team Brunel were harried all the way over the past 24 hours by both MAPFRE and Dongfeng Race Team, especially over the final few miles when the breeze dropped to almost zero in the Tagus River as they approached the Lisbon finish.

“We sailed a tremendous leg but just at the end when there was no wind, it was getting a bit gnarly,” said Bekking. “But we pulled it off.”

The victory was achieved with two newcomers on board, Adam Minoprio (NZL) and Timo Hagoort (NED), the latter replacing the injured Gerd-Jan Poortman (NED).

“It was good to have those young guys on board, they did a fantastic job,” added Bekking.

Team SCA crossed the line, some four hours and 22 minutes behind Team Brunel (see panel above), after an action-packed transatlantic leg in which they sailed within the pack for much of the nine days and at one stage threatened a podium finish after taking a bold strategic choice around the Azores High.

May 27, 2015. Leg 7 to Lisbon onboard Team SCA. Day 10. The team sit 8 miles out from the finish line in Lisbon with little to no wind.

May 27, 2015. Leg 7 to Lisbon onboard Team SCA. Day 10. The team sit 8 miles out from the finish line in Lisbon with little to no wind. (Photo by Anna-Lena Elled / Team SCA / Volvo Ocean Race )

The final two stages, to Lorient (France) and then Gothenburg (Sweden) via a pit-stop in The Hague (Netherlands), will once again be contested by seven boats.

Team Vestas Wind (Chris Nicholson/AUS) rejoin the fleet for the first time since November 29 when the boat was grounded on a reef in the Indian Ocean.

After a four-month rebuild in the Persico boatyard in Bergamo, Italy, the boat was transported by sea and road to Lisbon, arriving a few hours before the rest of the fleet in the small hours of Wednesday morning.

Over the next few days, the rig will be stepped ahead of the Danish-backed team’s competitive comeback on June 6 in the Lisbon In-Port Race. Leg 8 to Lorient, a relative sprint at 647nm, begins a day later.

The race concludes on June 27 with the In-Port Race in Gothenburg after nine months and 38,739nm of sailing, visiting 11 ports and every continent.

Current latest standings (low points wins, In-Port Race Series splits ties): 1) Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 16 pts, 2) Dongfeng Race Team 21, 3) Team Brunel 22, 4) MAPFRE 26, 5) Team Alvimedica 27, 6) Team SCA 41, 7) Team Vestas Wind (Denmark) 52 (DNS).

MAPFRE  Wins the Team Vestas Wind Newport  In-Port  Race (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

MAPFRE Wins the Team Vestas Wind Newport In-Port Race (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

 

Spanish boat MAPFRE, boosted by the return of their skipper Iker Martinez, claimed their first win of the Volvo Ocean Race in-port series on Saturday in front of thousands of spectators.

In a day of light winds and overcast skies, the start was all-important and MAPFRE were away to a beauty on the 9.2-nautical mile (17-kilometre) course.

With Martinez at the helm, the red boat raced to the first mark with a narrow lead over Team Alvimedica (Turkey/US) and gradually stretched their advantage in a race completed in just under an hour.

The result leaves the Spanish crew still trailing the fleet in the overall standings on 31 points, but they have closed the gap considerably after a string of largely disappointing performances prior to Saturday.

MAPFRE  Wins the Team Vestas Wind Newport  In-Port  Race (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

MAPFRE Wins the Team Vestas Wind Newport In-Port Race (Photo by Miranda Hoang)

Martinez, 37, was delighted to return to the winner’s circle having returned to lead the crew after missing the previous leg due to Olympic commitments.

The helmsman from San Sebastian won gold in the 2004 Athens Games and silver in Beijing 2008, but finished disappointingly down the field in the 2012 London Olympics.

He is determined to put that right in Rio de Janeiro next year, but his commitment to his preparation has led to his missing several legs in this edition of the nine-month Ocean Race which started last October.

“We are improving slowly and that’s the way we want to do these things,” said Martinez after the victory. “Today we were first and we’re feeling super good.”

Team Alvimedica, led by Newport local Charlie Enright, clung on to second place while Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing stole third position from the all-women crew of Team SCA, who made a damaging positioning error mid-race.

The result puts Abu Dhabi, led by Briton Ian Walker, back on top of the overall in-port race series standings on 19 points. The series will count towards a separate trophy and be used to split ties in the main offshore competition.

Volvo Ocean Race In-Port race fleet off Fort Adams, Rhode Island. Photo by Miranda Hoang)

The six boats in the fleet will begin the seventh leg, a 2,800-nautical mile (4,815km) trip to Lisbon, Portugal, on Sunday at 1800GMT.

Abu Dhabi lead by six points from China’s Dongfeng Race Team, with three legs to complete in the nine-month, 38,739-nautical mile (71,745km) marathon.

The race concludes on June 27 in Gothenburg, Sweden, having visited 11 ports and every continent.

Photo by George Bekris

Photo by George Bekris

 

Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race Newport results 

Course: 3 laps.
Bearing to top gate: 230
Distance to top: 1.4nm, extended to 1.8nm on the 3rd lap.
Total distance sailed: 9.2nm
TWD: 180-185
TWS: 8kts

Team Vestas Wind In-Port Race Newport Results:

1. MAPFRE 14:55:41 – 1pt
2. Team Alvimedica 14:56:39 – 2pts
3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing 14:57:38 – 3pts
4. Team SCA 14:57:57 – 4pts
5. Team Brunel 14:58:17 – 5pts
6. Dongfeng Race Team 14:59:09 – 6pts
DNS. Team Vestas Wind – 8pts

In-Port series Overall standings:

1. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – 19pts
2. Team Brunel – 20pts
3. Team SCA – 24pts
4. Dongfeng Race Team – 27pts
5. Team Alvimedica – 28pts
6. MAPFRE – 31pts
7. Team Vestas Wind  – 52pts

Volvo Ocean Race Village (Photo by George Bekris)

Volvo Ocean Race Village (Photo by George Bekris)

Crew List for Team Vestas Wind Newport In-Port Race:

Dongfeng Race Team Charles Caudrelier FRA Kevin Escoffier FRA Thomas Rouxel FRA Martin Strömberg SWE Chen Jin Hao (Horace) CHN Pascal Bidegorry FRA Sidney Gavignet FRA Jiru Yang (Wolf) CHN Yann Riou FRA (OBR)

Team Alvimedica Charles Enright USA William Oxley AUS Alberto Bolzan ITA Mark Towill USA Sébastien Marsset FRA Nick Dana USA Ryan Houston NZL Dave Swete NZL Amory Ross USA (OBR)

MAPFRE Iker Martínez ESP Xabi Fernández ESP Jean-Luc Nélias FRA Rob Greenhalgh GBR André Fonseca BRA Antonio Cuervas-Mons ESP Carlos Hernández ESP Guillermo Altadill ESP Francisco Vignale ARG (OBR)

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Ian Walker GBR Simon Fisher GBR Daryl Wislang NZL Adil Khalid UAE Luke Parkinson AUS Justin Slattery IRL Roberto Bermúdez de Castro ESP Phil Harmer AUS Matt Knighton USA (OBR)

Team Brunel Bouwe Bekking NED Andrew Cape AUS Jens Dolmer DEN Pablo Arrarte ESP Louis Balcaen BEL Adam Minoprio NZL Rokas Milevicius LTU Timo Hagoort NED Stefan Coppers NED (OBR)

Team SCA Sam Davies GBR Carolijn Brouwer NED Dee Caffari GBR Abby Ehler GBR Annie Lush GBR Elodie-Jane Mettraux SUI Stacey Jackson AUS Libby Greenhalgh GBR Liz Wardley AUS Sally Barkow USA Sophie Ciszek AUS Anna-Lena Elled SWE (OBR)

Photo by George Bekris

Photo by George Bekris

Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 fleet (Photo by Paul Todd / Volvo Ocean Race)

Newport, Rhode Island – 5 February 2013 – Newport, Rhode Island will host the Volvo Ocean Race for the first time after winning a place on the route for the 12th edition of sailing’s premier round-the-world challenge in 2014-15.

The Race will reach Newport, one of the world’s sailing capitals, around May 2015 after a stop in Itajaí, Brazil. From Newport, the teams will sail across the Atlantic for the final legs around Europe.

The Volvo Ocean Race has visited the United States in every edition since 1989-90 but despite Newport’s great sailing heritage, it has never before had Host Port status.

“I’m delighted to announce that we are bringing the world’s greatest offshore sailing event to one of the world’s great sailing cities,” Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad. said at a presentation at Rhode Island State House in Providence.

PUMA Ocean Racing in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race Photo by Amory Ross / Volvo Ocean Race)

“It’s about time the Race came to the city of Newport and we are looking forward to a real festival that will delight and inspire sailing fans and those who are new to the sport.”

Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State and for over 50 years Newport was the home of the America’s Cup. The city hosted a hugely successful stop on the America’s Cup World Series in 2012, with 65,000 people visiting over the four-day racing period.

Frostad was joined at the presentation by Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Newport Mayor Harry Winthrop, Sail Newport executive director Brad Read and other local and state officials. Volvo Ocean Race COO Tom Touber was also at the presentation.

“It gives me great pleasure and pride to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race to beautiful Rhode Island for the first time,” said Governor Chafee. “We have made significant strategic land and marine infrastructure improvements at Fort Adams State Park, paving the way for a new era of racing in Rhode Island and setting the stage for the world-class events we continue to host.

“We had a positive experience with the America’s Cup World Series last summer, and I look forward to welcoming the Volvo Ocean Race to Rhode Island. These large-scale sailing events draw impressive numbers of visitors to our state – visitors who make valuable contributions to our economy.”

Newport, a popular tourist destination, is the sixth Host Port for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 to be revealed so far. The Race will start in Alicante, Spain and visit Recife in north east Brazil. Later in the Race, the teams will race to Auckland in New Zealand before rounding Cape Horn and making a second Brazilian stop in Itajaí and then heading to Newport.

The Race will finish in the Swedish city of Gothenburg. The remaining stopovers on the 2014-15 route will be revealed over the coming weeks.

 

Volvo Ocean Race Miami in 2012 (Photo by Marc Bow / Volvo Ocean Race)

The upcoming edition of the Volvo Ocean Race will start in autumn 2014 and will be the 12th edition of the 40-year-old event, which started in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
The next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race will be contested in a new high-performance yacht, the Volvo Ocean 65, designed by Farr Yacht Design in the United States and built by a consortium of boatyards in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Switzerland.
The new 65-foot (19.8-metre) monohull racing yachts will be strictly One Design and delivered “ready to sail”. The boats incorporate the latest video, satellite and content production facilities to further enhance the Onboard Reporter programme that has been in place since 2008-09.
The all-female Team SCA were the first to announce their participation in the 2014-15 edition. Backed by SCA, the global hygiene and forest products company, they will be the first all-women’s team to compete in the race since 2001-02. A team from the state of Pernambuco, Brazil has also been announced.
The previous edition of the Volvo Ocean Race started in October 2011 in Alicante, Spain and was won by Groupama sailing team, skippered by Frenchman Franck Cammas.
The last race took the teams over 39,000 nautical miles (45,000 miles or 72,000 kilometres) and started in Alicante. The route featured stopovers in Cape Town (South Africa), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Sanya (China), Auckland (New Zealand), Itajaí (Brazil), Miami (USA), Lisbon (Portugal) and Lorient (France) before the finish in Galway (Ireland).

Victory '83 All Around and Candy Store Cup Winners (Photo by George Bekris)

Victory '83 Candy Store Cup Winners (Photo by George Bekris)

While history didn’t quite repeat itself today, it came pretty close.  The final races of the 2009 12 Metre World Championships were sailed on a sparkling Rhode Island Sound as helicopters buzzed and spectator boats jockeyed for front row seats to the action – evoking memories of 26 years ago to the day when the longest winning streak (132 years) in sporting history ended with the loss of the “Auld Mug” to Australia.  On this day, however, instead of just two Twelves there were 17 making their way around the old America’s Cup stomping grounds off Brenton Point and with many of the same spectators there to pay homage as the helicopters droned above.

Notable for traveling the furthest to be part of this largest gathering of Twelves since the Cup left Newport:  Challenge 12, which William Borel (Paris, France) had shipped from Europe early in the summer, and Australian Skip Lissiman who was onboard the Cup-winning Australia II in 1983.  “It’s fantastic to be back in Newport,” he said.  “I wanted to be back in particular for the anniversary and [to celebrate] I will be going down to O’Brien’s Pub where they have the original boxing kangaroo flag.  We’re going to exchange it with one that the entire crew signed last year when we celebrated the 25th and take the original flag back to the museum in Australia.”

For the final act of the world championships, two races were sailed in all four divisions – Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional and Vintage – before The Candy Store Cup was re-run after being abandoned on day two of racing. Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), on Kiwi Magic-KZ7, won the  Grand Prix division after adding finishes of 1-3 for a net total of seven points.  Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.), driving Wright on White-KZ3, finished 3-2 to place second overall in the division standings, one point back.

More Photos Of The Action Can Be Seen HERE

The Traditional Division saw the only real upset of the championship as Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift (both Newport), on American Eagle-US21, fought back from a three-point deficit with a 1-2 today to tie Weatherly’s Clay Deutsch (Newport) who finished 2-3.  With eight points apiece, the tie-break went in favor of American Eagle earning Swift a surprise swim off the dock at Bannister’s Wharf courtesy of the crew.  In the Vintage division, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), on Gleam-US11, was one point out of first when the day began and placed first in both races to win by three points over Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), on Northern Light-US14.

“In the Modern fleet, on any given day any boat can win, they’re all that close,” said Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla./Mashpee, Mass.) after winning that division on Victory ‘83-K22.  He explained that it was Courageous who was their biggest competition after they had “two good races today and in conditions that were really pretty crazy.  They had a first and second and I think we were two points apart with one throw out, so very close.  The wind was shifting left and right and the velocity was up and down …it was a very crazy day, it was not predictable.  Everybody worked hard trying to keep the boat on track with the shifting winds.”

In addition to winning his first world championship title, it was “nice to put a little icing on the cake,” said Williams about winning The Candy Store Cup which gave a single start for all divisions and sent them on a course back from Rhode Island Sound, past Castle Hill Light, and into Newport Harbor for a finish off Bannister’s Wharf where champagne was awaiting all the teams.  “It was great,” said Williams of the 2009 12 Metre World Championship.  “Everyone on the boat enjoyed it, we had a great time, great crew.  It was just fabulous.  The competition was great.”

2009 12 Metre Worlds Final Standings

Place, Boat Name-Sail Number, Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points

Division I – Grand Prix

1. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1-1-1-(3), 7

2. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2-2-(3)-2, 8

3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3-(3)-2-1, 12

4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-DNF-4-4-4, 20

Division 2 – Modern

1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Hobe Sound, Fla./Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2-1-3-(3), 8

2. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 3-2-(DSQ)-2-2-1, 10

3. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 4- 5-1-4-1-(5), 15

2. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 2-3-4-5-(5)-2, 16

5. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), (DSQ)-4-3-3-4-4, 16

Division 3 – Traditional

1. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), (4)-2-2-1-1-2, 8

2. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1-2-2-(3), 8

3. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3-3-3-(DNS), 12.5

4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4-4-4-(DNF), 19

5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-(DNS)-5-5-1, 21

Division 4 – Vintage

1. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), (3)-1-2-1-1-1, 6

2. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1-2-3-(3), 9

3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-DNF-(DNS)-3-2-2, 13

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Freedom Approaches The Finish Of The Candy Store Cup (Photo by George Bekris)

More Photos Of The Action Can Be Seen HERE

12 Metre Boats Racing Off Breton Point (Photo by George Bekris)

There were no surprises in the finishes posted by the 17 Twelves who completed only a single race today at the 2009 12 Metre World Championship.  After sailing out to the old America’s Cup racecourse off Brenton Point, the wind speed took a nosedive as it changed direction from WSW to NNW, leaving the competitors drifting for close to two hours.  With one race completed, the four divisions were given a combined start for the Candy Store Cup, sending them on a course back into Newport Harbor to the finish line at Bannister’s Wharf.  The wind, however, continued to be uncooperative and the race was abandoned when the Twelves were unable to make the time limit for the race. 

Yesterday, racing in the Modern division was quite contentious, with the outcome of numerous protests resulting in Challenge 12 and Courageous each picking up a DSQ when the jury decisions did not go in their favor and causing a complete shake up in the results for that division.  Unscathed by the protests, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.) at the helm of Victory ’83 is reaping the benefit of having assembled a crew that includes several who have sailed together for close to 30 years, including Heart of America veterans Wally Henry (San Diego, Calif.) and Jim Gretzky (Storrs, Conn.), along with three father and son pairs – Jerry and Rome Kirby, Bill and Randy Shore (all Newport, R.I.) and Larry and Matt Mialik (both Madison, Wisc.), making for a well-oiled effort as evidenced by the 1-1-2 they posted on day one. 

Peter Stalkus (Newport, R.I.), navigator aboard Victory ’83, has the distinction of having been navigator with four America’s Cup campaigns (’80 Clipper, ’83 Defender, ’87 USA 61 and ’97 Young America).  His take on Victory ‘83’s impressive performance here is that Dennis Williams, its owner, has been meticulous in his approach.  “The boat is well prepared and it shows,” said Stalkus after the team picked up their third win in four races.  “It has good speed and we’ve practiced ahead of time.” 

While the fallout from the protest decisions catapulted Intrepid from fifth into second and Freedom from fourth to third, today’s result did not do much to help either.  Intrepid added a fifth-place finish today and dropped back to fourth overall, while the Freedom’s fourth-place finish held them in place.  For Courageous, who had slipped from third to fourth overall after the protest, their second-place finish today moved them up to second overall.  Challenge 12, dropping from second place to fifth after the protest results, was third in today’s race and did not move in the overall standings.  

Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), on Kiwi Magic,  leads the Grand Prix division, while tied on points – six each – with Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) on Wright on White.  In the Traditional division, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.) on Weatherly leads with six points, three ahead of American Eagle being driven by Charlie Millikin and Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.).  Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.) on Northern Light is leading by one point over Gleam, driven by Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), in the Vintage division.

Images By George Bekris

(click on image to enlarge)

Legends Forums – The Legends Forums are a unique sidebar to the 2009 12 Metre Worlds, bringing together the biggest names of the America’s Cup 12 Metre era for question-and-answer sessions moderated by Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.), who won the America’s Cup with Ted Turner in 1977 and went on to become the voice of sailing for television.  Held after racing each day dockside at Bannister’s and Bowen’s Wharves, with a finale forum planned for Sunday, as well, at the awards ceremony at Harbour Court, the forums are designed to include representation from a varied – and knowledgeable – group of personalities in the categories of Syndicate Representative, Crew, Design, Journalist and Other Notables.  On opening day, the panel included Skip Lissiman (AUS), Gianfranco Alberini  (ITA), Russell Coutts (NZL), and Americans Charlie Hovey, Harry Anderson, Dave Pedrick, Andy MacGowan, Bill Koch and Dick Enerson.  The questions ran the gamut from “Who was the best 12 Metre skipper?” (all of them who won, it was decided in consensus) and “What was the best Twelve ever?” (Intrepid for being the biggest departure, changing all future designs) to “What will win the next America’s Cup, a trimaran or a catamaran?” (that one was a toss-up).  Clearly, the audience was enjoying  the up close-and-personal encounter, and they lingered to talk about the exchanges long after the luminaries had left, some even discussing what questions would be best to ask a different group tonight.

intrepid

Intrepid (Photo by George Bekris)

Racing resumes tomorrow, Friday, September 25, and concludes Saturday, September 26.  

2009 12 Metre Worlds Results for Thursday, Sept. 24, 2009
Place, Boat Name-Sail Number, Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points

Division I – Grand Prix

1. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1-1, 6

2. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2-2, 6

3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3-3, 12

4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-DNF-4, 17

 

Division 2 – Modern

1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2-1, 5

2. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 3-2-DSQ-2, 13

3. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 4- 5-1-4, 14

2. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 2-3-4-5, 14

5. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), DSQ-4-3-3, 16

 

Division 3 – Traditional

1. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1-2, 6

2. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), 4-2-2-1, 9

3. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3-3, 10

4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4-4, 15

5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-DNS-5, 21

 

Division 4 – Vintage

1. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1-2, 6

2. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), 3-1-2-1, 7

3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-DNF-DNS-3, 13

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Easterner Rounding The Mark Just Ahead Of American Eagle (Photo by George Bekris)

 Some of the competitors at the 2009 12 Metre World Championship are certainly experiencing déjà vu as a veritable “Who’s Who” of sailing walked the docks at Bannister and Bowen’s Wharves this morning as the first day of this long-anticipated event got underway.  From current America’s Cup poster boy Russell Coutts (Auckland, NZL), who is sailing on Kiwi Magic with Cup patron and skipper Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.), to Dawn Riley (St. Clair Shores, Mich.) who broke ground as team leader of the first women’s entry in the Cup, to noted British sailors Harold Cudmore (Cowes, GBR) and Andy Green  (Lymington, GBR), there is a surfeit of recognizable faces.  Twenty-six years ago when the America’s Cup was won by Australia (in 1983) in Newport, it ended the longest winning streak in sporting history (132 years).  Four years later, two more milestones in the event’s history were marked:  Dennis Conner became the first person to lose and then win the Cup, and the Twelves were sailed for the last time as the America’s Cup yacht of choice after 29 years.  

“It’s wonderful to wander about the docks at Bowen’s and Bannister’s Wharf and see the 12 Metres here again, where they were in ’83, many of them with their same crews from then,” said Robin Wallace (Newport, R.I.) who was a member of Race Committee for the Challenger Series in ‘83 and is the Principal Race Officer for this event.  “With the current legal squabbles going on, people have become disenchanted with the America’s Cup, but this is like a re-awakening of the class, a reinvention of a competition that celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the 12 Meters first being used in the Cup.”

Divided into four divisions – Grand Prix, Modern, Traditional and Vintage – the 17 competing yachts sailed three races today, all in different wind levels in the Twelves old stomping grounds off Brenton Point.  The southwesterly breeze went from light, increasing to 12 knots for race two, and into the mid-teens for the third race, with a relatively flat sea state until race three.  

french-supporters-for-challenge-12

French Supporters Cheer On Challenge 12 ( KA 10 ) As They Head Out For Race One (Photo by Donna Erichsen)

 We broke a couple of sails,” said Dawn Riley who came to the event to participate in the Legends Forums and wound up racing on America II.  “But, we’re kind of a slower boat in the Grand Prix so we were happy to beat one of the boats to the top mark and almost to the bottom mark.  And, we improved from the first race to the second race and everybody on board had fun.  The bad news is you break sails and you can’t race, the good news is it was full-on physical, athletic, screaming, swearing . . . and everyone came out with smiles.”

All Images By George Bekris

(click on image to enlarge)

 

 
 2009 12 Metre Worlds Results 

Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2000, 3 races sailed (3 races total)

 Place, Boat Name-Sail no., Skipper (Hometown), Finish positions, Total Points

 Division I – Grand Prix

1. Wright on White-KZ3, Lexi Gahagan (Wilmington, Del.) 1-1-2, 4

2. Kiwi Magic-KZ7, Bill Koch (Palm Beach, Fla./Osterville, Mass.) 2-2-1, 5

3. USA-US61, Richard Matthews (W. Mersea, GBR), 3-3-3, 9

4. America II-US46, Michael Fortenbaugh (New York, N.Y.), 4-4-WDR, 13

 

Division 2 – Modern – Protests Pending

1. Victory 83-K22, Dennis Williams (Mashpee, Mass.), 1-1-2, 4

2. Challenge 12-KA10, William Borel (Paris, FRA), 2-4-3, 9

3. Courageous, US26, Stephen Glascock (New York, N.Y.), 4-2-4, 10

4. Freedom-US30, Ernest Jacquet (Boston, Mass.), 5-1, 11

5. Intrepid-US22, Jack Curtin (Toronto, CAN), 3-3-5, 11

 

Division 3 – Traditional

1. Weatherly-US17, Clay Deutsch (Newport, R.I.), 2-1-1, 4

2. Columbia-US16, Alain Hanover (Weston, Mass./Palm Beach, Fla.), 1-3-3, 7

3. American Eagle-US21, Charlie Millikin/Carol Swift (both Newport, R.I.), 4-2-2, 8

4. Nefertiti-US19, Sears Wullschleger (Nantucket, Mass.), 3-4-4, 11

5. Easterner-US18, Paul Callahan (Ft. Meyers, Fla./Newport, R.I.), 5-5-DNS, 16

 

Division 4 – Vintage

1. Northern Light-US14, Kip Curren (Middletown, R.I.), 1-2-1, 4

2. Gleam-US11, Einar Sissener (Oslo, NOR), 3-1-2, 6

3. Onawa-US6, Morten Kielland (Geneva, SUI), 2-WDR-DNS, 10