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Yachting News December Part 4

Dec 13, 2008 No Comments by


Greetings yachties

L’Hydroptere – Capsize,

YNZ – Kiwis at Sail Melbourne,

Paul Holmes interview with Dennis Conner,

Peter Harken – Ice yachts,

Thomas Coville – half way around the world 105-foot maxi-trimaran Sodeb’O,

Luna Rossa – Mini Maxi,


L’hydroptère capsizes after reaching speed peaks of 61 knots

more here

Seven podium finishes for Kiwis at Sail Melbourne
Date released: 22 December 2008
From: Zoe Hawkins

The prestigious Sail Melbourne regatta, part of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, has concluded with New Zealanders claiming podium finishes in nearly every class entered, as well as a number of top ten successes.

Andrew Brown won the International Moth division, winning three races. He was three points ahead of second placegetter Robert Gough of Australia.

Mike Bullot placed second in the Laser Full Rig class, after two wins in the eleven race series. The division was won by Matias Del Solar of Chile. David Weaver and Max Andrews of New Zealand placed seventh and eigth in the 39-strong fleet.

In the RS:X Men’s boardsailing class, Antonio Cozzolino placed second, two points behind the Frenchman Nicholas Le Gal. Antonio won four of the eleven races during the regatta.

Kate Ellingham placed third behind Blanca Manchon of Spain and Jessica Crisp of Australia in the women’s division, and Benjamin Mackay was fifth in the RS:X Youth class.

Three New Zealanders in the top five in the Laser Radial Men’s – Tim Coltman was third, Josh Porebski Fourth, and Jackson Macfarlane was fifth.  Sara Winther placed sixth in the Laser Radial Women’s division. She was set up on points for a third placing but an OCS in the final race cost her the podium finish.  Team-mate Rachel Basevi placed ninth.

17 year old New Zealand disabled sailor Joshua McKenzie-Brown was third in the 2.4m class, and David McDiarmid and Andrew Archibald placed third in the 49er class despite missing four races.

“Kiwi sailors have preformed creditably at this event on whole… the performance is on par with our expectation and in some cases has exceeded it,” says Yachting New Zealand’s High Performance & Youth Director Martin Watson.

Laser Coach Clifton Webb says of Mike Bullot’s second placing, “The objectives were simply to get some much needed race practice after a bit of a break late in 2008. So far so good, everything seems to be on track, however there is a long road ahead to the World Championships next year.”

Dave Robertson, who coaches the RS:X Class, praises Kate Ellingham for her achievement. “Kate has had her chances at this regatta but given her level of experience, I think she has performed well.” Kate had the opportunity to beat Australian Jessica Crisp and claim the silver medal going into the final day, but finished third.

Flash Back

HMAS Arunta, the frigate which rescued the injured Generali Skipper, Yann Eliès yesterday, has made a rendezvous this morning with the dismasted Ecover 3 and supplied Mike with 200 litres of fuel, meat and some fresh bread.


20 December, 2008 2:40:00 PM AEDT
Drama for CYCA Commodore Matt Allen in Rolex Trophy Passage Race

In a 20-25 knot sou’east breeze, CYCA Commodore Matt Allen’s Jones 70 Ichi Ban had its Rolex Trophy Passage Race to Botany Bay cut short after sustaining damage to one dagger board just six days out from the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Ichi Ban, which was leading the Passage Series fleet at the time, is now on its way to the super yacht marina at Roselle where it will be hauled out of the water so the damage can be properly assessed.

“We tacked and heard a big crack as a block exploded, then one of the (dagger)boards went down too far, beyond its stopper,” said Allen this afternoon.

“We started taking water, it was just a trickle, nothing a couple of buckets won’t fix,” he added while motoring back to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia following their race retirement.

“We’ll have to take the boat out of the water, dry it and grind out the cracks. We have a guy ready to fix the board and the centreboard casing and hopefully tomorrow we can put the carbon in.

“I don’t think there is any major damage to the hull, but we’ll know more when we get her out of the water,” Allen added.
During last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Ichi Ban’s port rudder blade snapped however they managed to nurse the 70 footer to the finish line and hold onto third over the line.

In the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart Ichi Ban finished second to Wild Oats XI.

Peter Harken:

Regarding speed and ice

Peter Harken
(December 16, 2008) The upper management at Harken Yacht Equipment opens each issue of Scuttlebutt, worried if the iconic Peter Harken has been given the opportunity to rant about something. We like Peter, not just because he produces great products, but because he is often right, and he is not afraid to say it how it is. Here he comments about speed and ice:

“I’ve been asked to respond regards the speed of iceboats in regards to the controversy surrounding what are legitimate sailing speed records. The Kiteboard controversy has been settled as a legitimate “sailing” (as we know the term) record of 50 knots plus … and good for them! I have read in Scuttlebutt that the kite and windsurfer runs are in very shallow water, where they also may possibly gain a ground effect. True or not, makes no difference in that the record stands, a truly great effort on those people nuts enough to stand on a wee board going 50 knots – especially in very shallow water, because what if you do a face plant, ugh?

“Okay, the E-Skeeter, the Ferrari of ice boats, is an open builder’s class designed for coarse racing and not speed records, of which I have at least 4 plus one busted good along with me in it resulting in a 6 month bone repairing rehab program. None of them are now fast enough to be on the podium, or far more likely and truthfully, my incompetence of getting them there.

“We have been clocked by police radar, yes, curious cops who couldn’t quite believe what they were seeing blazing across the ice. Anyway, they’ve read 120 mph as we bored down towards the leeward pin. It’s not the speed getting to the leeward pin that makes me change my pants between every race, it’s my outright fear of rounding the pin with several other boats all aiming at the same spot and no one letting up on the gas pedal – insane idiots!

“For all the years I’ve done it, anywhere between 90 mph and upwards into the leeward pin with other boats alongside makes my heart pound bloody hell! For example, I once had my starboard runner break off as I was rounding the pin and the next nano instant I had spun 180 degrees and was facing 4-5 oncoming going likety-split boats aiming at me sitting dead on the ice next to the pin! I had resigned myself to a Sitka Spruce and carbon fiber crashing death, but the big ice kahoona in the sky made my executioners all miss, bless their terrified souls! There are lots more of these type of stories from my comrades in this idiotic sport that we usually embellish with copious amounts of beer while racing our sport in a Wisconsin tavern because conditions outside stink which is normal, but I’ll save you from them!

“Have these boats gone faster? Probably as they can do 5 to 6 times the speed of the wind, but I haven’t seen it in all my years because we’re not really interested in records, we’re coarse racing and that for me is fast enough, thank you! There have been faster claims, but accurately measured, uh maybe! Hey, our speed is greatest when there is a little water on the much deeper “hard water” to juice up our runners – so would that count as a legitimate “sailing boat” speed?”

Thomas Coville:

Taking it as it comes

Thomas Coville
(December 16, 2008) Thomas Coville aboard the 105-foot maxi-trimaran Sodeb’O has reached the midway point in his solo circumnavigation, now entering the Pacific Ocean. Despite setting a new record holder for the most distance covered in 24 hours*, his attempt to set a new around the world record has been thwarted by unfavorable weather in the south Atlantic and Indian Oceans. Now nearly 1700nm behind Francis Joyon’s record pace, Coville comments on his situation and the Vendee Globe:

Your reaction to Mike Golding being dismasted in the Vendée Globe.
“We all live with the fear of breakage. I can feel that my boat is suffering, so I’m obviously tense, wondering ultimately what is going to give up the ghost. Sailing is a mechanical sport above all else. Knowing when you are just on the limit and when you’ve gone beyond it is very tricky.”

Your analysis of Michel Desjoyeaux’ startling comeback.
“An irritated, angry Michel Desjoyeaux is forearmed! Having been neck and neck with him, it’s difficult to keep him behind. He was shrewd and benefited from some very favourable weather conditions. He is capable of being above average for the duration. He knows how to be a machine and make headway without asking himself too many questions. For me, this viewpoint is often a source of reference.”

Why are you maintaining such a northerly trajectory?
“Last year, an enormous sheet of ice measuring several kilometres long came free from the Antarctic bound for the Pacific and it has since split up. We aren’t gladiators. We aren’t in a circus and when we have information about a risky zone we seek to avoid it. This is one of the reasons that I’m making a more N’ly course than that of Francis at the moment.”

How will you tackle the second stage of the circumnavigation?
“I’ll take it as it comes, with this deficit. We knew that Francis’ trajectory up till now was exceptional and that the second half is where I’m going to have to make gains. Doubtless there’s fairly little I can do in the Pacific but it’s on the climb up the Atlantic where I have a chance of making up my deficit. We estimate that there is between 3 and 4 days to be gained over this section. The boat will have to be in perfect condition and I will have to be in sufficiently good shape to get the most out of her.”

What is your psychological state?
“At times we had a tendency to say that all you have to do to succeed is to attempt these records but the performance to beat today is indicative of the sporting value of this record. Ellen and Francis had a big lead over me at this stage. Unlike me, they didn’t have to battle with the deficit, which is making me work a great deal on myself so as to continue to be as determined as I am. To have the strength of character to come back is the sign of great champions and I’m telling myself that it’s worth hanging on in there and gritting my teeth.”

How’s your boat prior to entering into the Pacific?
“Sodeb’O is my primary satisfaction. I feel very good aboard. The better it is the more we become one. We have become good friends who are keen to complete this circumnavigation together! Both of us are in good condition despite this chaotic sea. I get a real sense of pleasure at having brought this boat to life with the whole team.”

* 628.5 covered by the Maxi Trimaran Sodeb’O at an average speed of 26.19 knots on 7th December 2008 in the Indian Ocean.

Coville’s comments were from a radio session today – Translated by Kate Jennings.

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