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Yachting News March Part 5

Mar 16, 2009 No Comments by

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The top skippers in the world have been invited to the 2009 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Lysekil, Sweden held during Lysekil Women’s Match from 27 July-1 August.
With women’s match racing on the Olympic programme for the first time at the London Games in 2012, the World Championships this summer in Lysekil, on the west coast of Sweden, will be a key event in the sailing world. The world’s top teams will battle for the World Champion title and the biggest prize money in women’s match racing, 50,000 Euro, during the fifth edition of Lysekil Women’s Match, previously a world cup race.

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Media Release:

Steady progress towards Wynyard Quarter vision on Auckland’s waterfront

Sea+City Projects Ltd is making steady progress in Wynyard Quarter – the tanks are being removed; the upgrade of North Wharf will be completed this year; the design team for the first retail/entertainment precinct in Jellicoe Street has started work; and collaboration with the existing marine sector is achieving promising results. While it is early days yet, the concept plans for the public spaces along North Wharf hold some exciting prospects for fishing and the seafood markets.

Sea+City CE and Project Director, John Dalzell, says the management company is committed to Wynyard Quarter’s revitalisation, which will give Aucklanders a waterfront they can be proud of.

“At the moment we are taking advantage of a lull in the property cycle to get keen prices for some of the essential infrastructure work, and continuing with design and planning. We’re concentrating on the development of the first marine industrial sites, and we are starting to talk to prospective tenants for North Wharf. Then, as we get to a different stage of the property cycle, we will be well placed to vary our activity and investment levels to suit our perceptions of market conditions,” he says. Wynyard Quarter on Auckland’s waterfront, formerly known as the Tank Farm, will be transformed in stages over the next 25 years into a harbourside community with parks and plazas, apartments, shops and offices alongside the traditional marine and fishing industries.

More than 8ha of land has been cleared of tanks and buildings over the last five years. There are new vistas of the harbour and of Rangitoto that were not there before and more will be opened up as the redevelopment process continues.

In recent months, tens of thousands of Aucklanders have visited Wynyard Quarter, to enjoy major events and attractions as diverse as fashion shows, marathons, seafood festivals, international sailing regattas and boat shows.

While down here, many people discovered Halsey Street Wharf extension, where the Marine Events Centre will play a valuable role in staging events in future. A feature of the Louis Vuitton Pacific series was also a motorised pontoon bridge linking Te Wero Island with Wynyard Quarter, allowing people to walk to and from the nearby CBD, while still permitting boats to come and go from the inner Viaduct Harbour. Wynyard Quarter was effectively connected with the rest of the developed city’s waterfront,” says Mr Dalzell.

Whether they were aware of it or not, visitors who enjoyed all of these attractions were also generally visiting Wynyard Quarter itself, which will become one of the city’s major attractions in its own right.

Work has already begun on the first retail and entertainment precinct in Jellicoe Street. The western end of Jellicoe St will have a marine focus, and will be connected to the fishing-focused eastern end by a fantastic public space. A team of designers has been appointed to work in collaboration developing these areas and, importantly, the public space which frames these activities.

“On the western edge of Wynyard Quarter we are responding to the marine industry’s immediate need by endeavouring to facilitate development to stimulate economic growth and create more jobs. An early blueprint for the area is already out for consultation with sectors of the marine industry, and we hope to have all the feedback in and the overall plan finalised by June,” says Mr Dalzell.

The marine industry will have a home and facilities for superyacht commission, servicing and refit in Wynyard Quarter, which will help Auckland compete with Australia for this international business, and a cluster of related businesses to deliver a total package of services will be maintained. The Westhaven businesses will work co-operatively with a superyacht construction cluster established at Hobsonville. New vessels launched there can have their final fit-out work, commissioning and testing managed out of Wynyard Quarter.

As well as being home to the fishing industry, the eastern end of Jellicoe Street will have restaurants, bars and large public spaces. Fishing boats will come and go from North Wharf, which will become a retail and entertainment strip in time for the Rugby World Cup in 2011. The rebuilding of the wharf will be finished later this year.

“It’s a real milestone for us with this project to have appointed a talented team of designers for Jellicoe Street and North Wharf, who will help make ours a user-friendly and truly world-class part of Auckland’s waterfront. They are currently working through concept designs and have some great ideas,” says John Dalzell.

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The Emirates Team New Zealand TP52 is being tested in Auckland before being shipped to Europe to compete on the MedCup circuit.

At the end of March the yacht will be shipped to Spain to be prepared for the first race scheduled for May 12 at Alicante.

The second event will be held at Marseille, France, from June 9 – 14; event 3 Cagliari, Italy, from July 20-25; event 4 Portimao, Portugal, August 18-25; event 5, Cartagena, Spain, September 14-19.

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A fast blast to Cape Horn

Over the past 24 hours, the Portimão Global Ocean Race fleet have been riding north-westerly breeze of around 20 knots in their descent through the Furious Fifties towards Cape Horn. Furthest east, leading the fleet 180 miles off the Chilean coast, Felipe Cubillos and José Muñoz on Desafio Cabo de Hornos have dropped a handful of miles to Boris Herrmann and Felix Oehme on Beluga Racer since yesterday morning, with the two boats trading the highest speed average of 12 knots frequently throughout Monday. In the 0620 GMT poll this morning (17/03), the Chilean team maintain a 97 mile lead over the German duo with the yachts averaging identical speeds at 11 knots.

While the entire fleet have been on starboard gybe, heading south-east, furthest west in the double-handed fleet, Jeremy Salvesen and David Thomson opted to hitch eastwards on Monday afternoon, gybing Team Mowgli onto port and flat lining towards the coast for six hours at 51°S: a vital move that will pay handsomely in the long term, but a manoeuvre that has cost the British duo in distance to Desafio Cabo de Hornos and Beluga Racer and the British Class 40 now trails the race leader by 248 miles. Meanwhile, solo sailor, Michel Kleinjans remains west of the double-handed fleet, resisting the temptation to gybe his Open 40, Roaring Forty, towards the east and the Belgian yachtsman is shadowing Salvesen and Thomson 124 miles astern of Team Mowgli.

Current weather models predict that the wind will build and turn towards the west throughout today and into Wednesday morning, providing the fleet with a off wind sprint south-east to Cape Horn. “Over the next few hours, we will have a great many gybes as the wind shifts,” explained Felipe Cubillos from Desafio Cabo de Hornos earlier today. “In addition, the best wind pressure is coming from the north and this has favoured the Germans.” Herrmann and Oehme are west of the Chilean boat, but at almost the same latitude – just five miles separate the boats north-south – and as the wind works west, a gybing duel and fast run or reach south to the cape is looking likely.

As yet, however, Cubillos and Muñoz are leading the race in isolation: “The Volvo boats passed close to us with Green Dragon only 40 miles away, but we have not seen them,” reports Cubillos. “Here, the only thing that it is seen, besides water, are the albatrosses that always fascinate me.  They make flying look so effortless, but when they are trying to initiate flight….my God that costs them!” Watching the large birds heave themselves off the surface of the water, launching with giant wing beats, skimming the surface of the sea, legs paddling furiously in mid-air as they lumber skywards has initiated a Southern Ocean wildlife protocol on Desafio Cabo de Hornos: “It’s exhausting watching them take-off, so whenever we see one sitting in the sea off the bow, we bare away and duck beneath them,” explains the Chilean skipper. “This is their neighbourhood, so it’s the least we can do.”

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Winners Line & handicap RNZYS Ladies series Kite Division

Outrageous Fortune

ready for action

party time

more sailor chicks here

Liquidation applications against Sensation Yachts withdrawn

By IBI Magazine

Two applications to have Sensation Yachts were withdrawn last week. New Zealand’s Inland Revenue and a New Zealand haulage company withdrew their applications on Thursday at the High Court in Auckland.

The National Business Review reported that Inland Revenue received payment from the superyacht builder, and that Tranzcarr Heavy Haulage, which was disputing an unpaid bill, also withdrew its application. Several weeks ago, Sensation’s solicitor, Garry Pollack and Company, also withdrew its application to put the company in receivership after it received payment during the court proceedings.

Sensation’s future still seems to be a question mark. Its West Auckland boatbuilding facility has been put up in mortgagee sale. The New Zealand Court of Appeals has also recently ordered Sensation’s owner, Ivan Erceg, to pay US$21.5m to a former client for three unfinished superyachts.

(16 March 2009)

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Cape Horn – drama or dream?

When the fleet of four  boats in the Portimão Global Ocean Race round Cape Horn over the next few days, it will mark the first rounding by a race of 40ft yachts and the first race rounding by a Chilean team. A truly momentous achievement for the seven yachstmen.

Debate continues over the original discovery of the world’s southernmost cape: did Francisco de Hoces – the Spanish commander of the caravel San Lesmes – first site the rocky outcrop in 1526 after being swept south while trying to navigate the eastern entrance of the Straits of Magellan? If so, he predates the 1578 rounding of Sir Francis Drake by a little over half a century. However, since the Amsterdam merchant, Willem Shouten, formally named the place in 1616, Cape Horn has been a craved destination and right of passage for offshore sailors: a prime objective in sailing aspirations, part maritime bogeyman, part Holy Grail.

The Horn marks the northern limit of Drake Passage, a fearsome stretch of water between South America and the Antarctic continent where the Southern Ocean is squeezed through a narrow and relatively shallow gap: a concentration of wind and waves that can produce monstrous seas. The cape’s legendary status and fearsome reputation has filled the pages of many books, but the “Long Drag Shanty” conveys a true sense of dread that the area can inspire:

Round Cape Horn where the stiff wind blows,

Round Cape Horn where there’s sleet and snow.

I wish to God I’d never been born

To drag my carcass around Cape Horn

Cape Horn has wrecked countless ships and claimed the lives of many sailors attempting to round this barren, rocky, outcrop; the southernmost, drowned peak of the Andes Mountains chain. One survivor of a Horn gale was Charles Darwin during the voyage of exploration that formed his theories on evolution. This experience totally demoralised the brilliant naturalist: “The necessary discomforts of the ship heavily pitching and the miseries of constant wet and cold, I have scarcely for an hour been quite free from seasickness. How long the bad weather may last, I know not; but my spirits, temper, and stomach, I am well assured, will not hold out much longer.” more here

Horn Island viewed from the south-west in unusually benign conditions – Photo Guy Welborn

more images here


As the fleet heads down to 54 degrees south, Ericsson 3 has extended her lead in conditions that Green Dragon’s skipper Ian Walker describes as “brutal”.  The fleet is barrelling towards Cape Horn, just under 400 miles away and less than 24 hours ahead.

Ericsson 4 is now 48 nm behind Ericsson 3, dropping 15 nm in the last 24 hours as the teams battle through the Southern Ocean, pushing boats and people to the limits.  It’s far from just another day in the office; it’s the furious fifties in full force.

“It’s borderline of what boat and crew can take,” says Ericsson 3’s navigator, Aksel Magdahl.   Ericsson 3 has measured a wind speed of a steady 38 knots over the last hour, with frequent gusts of 46 – 50 knots.

“I think this is a record wind speed for Ericsson 3 so far.  We have had to throttle back completely, furl the headsail and are sailing with a bottom-reefed mainsail only,” explains Magdahl.  The boat is still reaching at 18 – 20 knots and the team will hoist a small staysail once the breeze and sea state settles. Magdahl describes the conditions as ‘terrifying’.

“The boat’s movements are violent, and one can feel how she twists in every gust or when landing after launching off a wave.” He says that the crew becomes very conservative for a long time after sailing in the conditions like this.

Ericsson 4 has been piling the pressure onto the Nordic boat for some days now, and the crew is showing signs of wear and tear from the constant salt spray and cold.  Navigator Jules Salter says that Ericsson 4 has had a good pasting from the Southern Ocean.

“In line with the forecast and from observations of the low we have been tracking, we met some of its mighty force today,” he said.  “This is when the crews dig deep to keep it all together in boat and people-breaking conditions,” he said.

Green Dragon is also sailing conservatively to avoid the peak winds of the low pressure.  Walker says that they have throttled back on several occasions as the slamming of the hull became intolerable.

“This will cost us precious miles, particularly as we are first to fall off the [weather] system, but it is a decision I am happy with.  Deep in the Southern Ocean, a thousand miles from anywhere is not the place for hoisting the ‘hero’ flag,” he said.

Telefónica Blue however, has not had any major gales in their part of the world, 795 nm from Ericsson 3, even though they too are in the ‘furious fifties’.

“It looks like the weather isn’t set to give us too much of a beating in the next few days on the way down to the Horn, which comes as a relief to everyone onboard,” said Bouwe Bekking.

However, Ian Walker sums up the conditions for the rest of the fleet when he says:

“We will remain cautious and respectful of where we are in the world and boat we are in.”

Leg Five Day 31: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions

more close racing in The last knight of Stewart34 sprints.

The first race had most of the yachts bunched up under the committee boat being squeezed by the pin end yacht, Promise. At the end of 20 minutes of racing the finishing times were 18:20:02 – 18:20:08 – 18:20:16 – 18:20:19 – 18:20:36 and In the non kite division some fisih times were 18:27:16 – 18:27:22 – 18:27:35 – 18:27:39 – 18:27:51

Winner Kite Division

Full results here

Crews enjoy a settling ale

15/03/2009 SLAM DUNK are the 2009 National Champions

In what has been typical of the highly competitive 5.9 National championships over the last 5 years, this years National title was decided on the last wave of the last run of the last race – with victory going to SLAM DUNK skippered by Cam Horne. In 3 days of excellent sailing in conditions ranging from 5knts to 30knt guts and a big chop, 12 races were held off Marsden Cove contested by a highly competitive fleet of 13 boats.

The regatta hosted by the Onerahi Yacht Club but run out of the excellent facilities at Marsden Cove, included several land based social activities, great scenery, and a well organised regatta with good courses set by the fleet Race Office Paddy.

On day one in challenging SW conditions of around 15-22knts and the occasional squall touching 30knt but a shifting breeze and in the afternoon steep waves against the tide, provided some brilliant downwind conditions for the fleet and trying racing. The heavies on Voodoo dominated the day with 4,1,1,1 placings, but subsequently a DSQ in race 4 put a dent in the day and ultimately the championship hopes. Others to feature were the renovated BRZO (although this hasn’t extended to a new paint job just yet!) and the ever consistent SLAM – who was handed the win in the last race as BRZO and Voodoo got up close and personal.

On day 2 it was more of the same with a tad more southerly in the breeze, a bit lighter between 12-20 knots but some massive shifts to give everyone a chance at glory and a very steep chop. The Voodoo boys continuing on from the previous day in conditions to their liking put out a 1,1,1,2 day, but equally impressive was the well sailed SLAM always getting back into hunt with a 2,2,2,1 day.

On day 3 – the decider, the forecast was for 25knt easterlies but the tow out was in flat calm conditions and the first race got underway in 5knts and a patchy breeze going anywhere from Se to E. The locals were immediately to the fore and Zoot Allures and Hobo The Butcher stand outs. Voodoo had a couple of bad ones -so the regatta was getting tight. In the 3rd of the day in a building breeze of 12knts Voodoo lead for most of the race – getting run down by Erotic on the last run. So to the last – Voodoo got to the lead just ahead of SLAM, as the two boats chased by Viper got a break on fleet. Voodoo led by 1.5 boat lengths at the top mark for the last time and set of down the run – in 12knts and surfing waves SLAM slowly edged closer gybing right on top of Voodoo in the run for the line. Side by side each boat tried to eek out a bow on the waves – eventually 3 boat lengths from the line SLAM with better technique got the one that counted -and surfed through for the win and the National title.
Congratulations to Cam, Glen and Graham as the 2009 National champions. After being so close for the last 4 years – the team sailed brilliantly in what has always been a very competitive fleet and this year the standard was higher again. SLAM is the 4th boat to win a Nationals in the 5.9’s in the last 4 years – proving how difficult it is to win in what could be considered to be New Zealands most competitive one design fleet.

Photos are coming soon

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photography from Lesley Stone who spent both days on the water recording events and
also ably assisted in the salvage of inverted Jollies.

It goes without saying that we all love having pictures of ourselves
sailing to see how our own boats look on the track and of course to
study and to analyse the form of the competition. So, a MASSIVE thanks
to Lesley for taking the time to come over and support the class
through her efforts.

Lesley has also asked me to thank her driver Renee who as I hope you
will agree has learnt the art of where to place the boat to get the
shot. We hope to crowbar Renee into a Jollyboat himself sometime soon.

Lesley’s photos are online here:

more here and here

story to follow, in the mean time some fantastic images form Lesley.

Shore crew

some of the crews

it all helps

start line action

the run


Sailors fight for New Zealand title at Titirangi’s French  Bay Yacht Club

Mark and Daniel Orams win Double-Handed Class, Steve Tennant tops Single-Handed Class in Jollyboat Champs

Mark Orams added his 14th New Zealand title to his list of sailing achievements this weekend when he won the Jollyboat Class Championships run out of French Bay Yacht Club in Titirangi.

The holder of three world masters sailing titles was part of Sir Peter Blake’s Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race winning crew aboard Steinlager 2, and a member of Team New Zealand’s two America’s Cup defences in Auckland.

Yet he says that sailing with his nine-year old son, Daniel, in the event held on 14-15 March, was a great learning experience – this time in the craft of fatherhood.

“We bought our Jollyboat on his birthday last year. It has been a brilliant way to get him to enjoy sailing,” says Orams. “He’s getting his confidence up, and he gets to helm sometimes. That’s what the class is all about.”

The Orams’ win came down to consistent sailing in what was a difficult regatta for the fleet of 25 boats. One race win and a handful of placings gave them 17 points to win overall, five points ahead of Maraetai’s Steve Tennant, who took out the title in the single handed division.

“The first day was a bit of a minefield,” says Orams. “It was very challenging with the tide, big holes in the breeze, and big shifts as well… Things were a little steadier on Sunday, but still very tricky.”

Steve Tennant, who started his sailing career in Jollyboats back in 1993, agrees that the conditions were tough. “If you made a mistake you had to pay for it.” Steve placed second in the regatta last year, and was second going in to the second day, but admits surprise at his win. “I knew it very much depended on the weather. If it blew up hard I’d struggle. But it didn’t,” he says.

The regatta was studded with some of the country’s top competitors: Mark Perrow is the current OK Dinghy Champion, and Graham Fleury a former Whitbread and America’s Cup sailor.

Both winners were full of praise for the volunteers working at French Bay Yacht Club, which is billed as one of the friendliest yacht clubs in Auckland .

“French Bay did a wonderful job. It was very professional, very well done,” Steve says.

Matt Hall-Smith and Hamish Hall-Smith were the best of the local crews, coming second in the double handed division, and Paddy Charles was the top Titirangi based single-hander, placing ninth overall.

French Bay Yacht Club, based at the end of Otitori Bay Road just five minutes from Titirangi Village , hosts racing with the tides throughout summer and autumn… Membership enquiries are very welcome. The Jollyboat New Zealand Champs and the French Bay Yacht Club are supported by the Western Districts Community Grants Board and a host of local businesses, including My Canvas, Dirty Byrd, Artisan Wines, Red Seal Natural Health, Earthbound Honey, Mamor Artisan Chocolates, Dynamic IT, La Vincci Café and Titirangi Pharmacy.

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