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Yachting News 31st July 2009

Jul 31, 2009 1 Comment by

Top Spinnaker Trimming Tips From North’s Nigel Young

www.melges24.com1
Photo © Paul Todd
31 July 2009

North’s Nigel Young gives Justin Chisholm the low down on choosing and using your spinnaker.

We all know that good downwind speed is all about communication between the spinnaker trimmer and the helm. What sort of information do you think is important communicate to your helm?

You are right that spinnaker trimming really is all about communication. Effectively the trimmer is steering the boat in most conditions until you are planning at max speed. Once that happens, the trimming communication becomes a little less important as it is obvious to all concerned what is happening!

In the lighter stuff it’s all about pressure in the spinnaker sheet, verses the fastest way to the bottom mark or the best VMG the boat can make.  I have not used a speedometer on a Melges 24 as yet but I know quite a few teams do.  Having sailed the boat for fifteen years now and trimmed the spinnaker for about 10 of those you tend to get quite a good feel for it.

My main line of communication in all conditions will be to relay the feeling of load in the sheet to the helmsman.  Depending on how good they are will determine how much chat you need to give them.  I have been really lucky over the last eight years to be sailing with top class helms who only really need to know when the pressure is too light in the sheet. Occasionally I will also encourage them to sail a little lower when I feel the pressure in the sheet is too high.

As a trimmer concentration on the spinnaker at all times is obviously vital but which bits of the sail do you focus your attention on? What are you looking for?

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Breaking precedent, New York judge allows engines on America’s Cup yacht

By IBI Magazine

Judge Shirley Kornreich ruled yesterday that America’s Cup defender Alinghi can use an engine for trimming sails and other functions. Opponent BMW Oracle, which objected to the engine in the New York State Supreme Court, welcomed the clarification, but said it was a “sad day” for the America’s Cup.

In her ruling, Judge Kornreich said that an engine used to propel the boat would “violate” the Deed of Gift, the longstanding rules governing America’s Cup racing. The Deed “does not, however, contain my restrictions on ballast or design features regarding trimming the sails,” she wrote.

The New York judge said that Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC), the club BMW Oracle represents, did not submit evidence disputing the rules interpretation by Alinghi’s club, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG). “Golden Gate’s arguments based on sportsmanship and fairness are equally unavailing, as well as ironic in light of both parties’ displayed lack of adherence to the Deed’s condition that the America’s Cup race be a ‘perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition’,” wrote the judge.

Fred Meyer, SNG vice commodore, said the club was “very pleased” with the ruling. “This decision reflects her clear understanding of the Defender’s rights under the Deed of Gift, which makes it the duty of Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) to set the rules for the upcoming 33rd America’s Cup,” he said in a statement. “The judge’s order also validates the agreement entered into by SNG with the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), demonstrating that SNG is committed to returning the competition to the water where it belongs.”

Tom Ehman, spokesman for GGYC, said he was “pleased” that the judge gave “clarity” regarding the design rules, but disputed the decision. “For the first time in the Cup’s history, engines will be permitted to trim the sails, and computers can be used to control and steer the yachts,” he said in a statement. “While we are pleased with the design-rule certainty, we are disappointed that the Court has said that SNG can change the other racing rules at any time up to the start of the Match. We do not believe this is what the Deed says, nor what the donors intended, and are currently reviewing our options in this regard.”

The two teams will compete for the America’s Cup in a best-of-3 matchup next February. Both teams have unveiled 90-foot multihulled yachts that are capable of sailing two to two and a half times the speed of the wind. But BMW Oracle cried foul to the New York court last month after Alinghi unveiled its yacht. The 90-ft. trimaran had, according to some descriptions, what looked like a snowmobile engine to assist with lifting sails and moving ballast.

The two teams will return to court August 10 concerning Alinghi’s demand that BMW Oracle Racing turn over a measurement certificate, or Custom House Registry, for its trimaran.

Alinghi has said it will name a venue for the America’s Cup races by next Thursday. It is considering Turkey, Italy, UAE and Valencia, Spain, where the previous Cup was held.

(31 July 2009)

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Australia’s SOUTER Takes Gold At ISAF Women’s Match Racing Worlds

09_WMRWC_Souter_cel_360
Photo ©Dan Ljungsvik/LWM

ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship 2009
Lysekil, Sweden

Nicky SOUTER of Australia is the 2009 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Champion, defeating home hope Marie BJÖRLING in the final in Lysekil, Sweden today.
The last day of the 2009 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship was full of surprises. The big sensation of the day was Australian Nicky SOUTER’s impressive dominance, beating the former World Champion Claire LEROY in the semi finals and taking three straight victories against Marie BJORLING of Sweden in the final. Swedish Anna KJELLBERG beat LEROY in the battle for third in two straight victories.

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West Marine’s net income jumps to US$34.5m for Q2

By IBI Magazine

West Marine today reported a jump in net income to US$34.5m for its second quarter ended July 4, 2009, compared to net income of US$4.4m a year ago. Earnings per share also jumped to US$1.46 compared to US$0.20 a year ago. The company earlier reported sales of US$215.4m for the quarter, down 5 per cent compared to the same period a year ago. Same-store sales were down by 1 per cent.

“We are extremely pleased with our operating results for the second quarter,” said Geoff Eisenberg, CEO, in a statement. “Our profitability and cash flow increased significantly, and we dramatically lowered debt.” Cash from operating activities year-to-date was US$45.3m, an increase of US$29.0m compared to last year. Its long-term debt at quarter-end was US$18.0m, a decrease of $33.0m, or 64.7 per cent, compared to the same period last year.

Eisenberg said a movement toward “do-it-yourself” projects among boaters and the “demise” of Boater’s World helped boost sales. He noted that sales in its wholesale Port Supply division to boat builders has been adversely impacted by a “soft” new boat market. “But the relative strength in retail, which has been better than we anticipated, positively impacted our results,” added Eisenberg.

At 10:30 EST, its shares traded at 8.01, a 15 per cent gain from the day’s opening of 7.55.

(30 July 2009)

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JEUDI 30 JUILLET 2009 – 14H51
Gildas Mahé et Banque Populaire en course vers La Corogne
C’est parti pour la 40ème édition de la Solitaire du Figaro ! A 13 heures, au large de Lorient, Jean-Michel Barrault le créateur de cette épreuve devenue mythique, a libéré les 52 concurrents en lice sur cette première étape qui les mènera du port de Bretagne Sud à La Corogne en Espagne. Quelques heures plus tôt, les solitaires avaient engagé la lente et traditionnelle procession pour quitter un a un les pontons qui les ont accueilli pendant une dizaine de jours. Tout sourire et manifestement heureux de la perspective de ce nouveau rendez-vous avec la concurrence, Gildas Mahé affichait enthousiasme et détermination. A la barre de Banque Populaire, il a désormais 345 milles pour faire valoir ses droits et surtout son talent au sein d’une flotte dont on ne cesse de rappeler que jamais elle n’a été aussi compétitive.

Tôt ce matin, une activité intense s’est emparée des pontons de la base des sous-marins de Kéroman à Lorient. Entre carénage des coques pour assurer une glisse optimale et consultation des dernières cartes météo, la concentration était de mise pour les skippers comme pour leurs préparateurs. A quelques heures du départ de la première étape, le moment était également propice aux confidences d’un Gildas Mahé impatient d’en découdre : « Je me sens vraiment bien. J’ai hâte de partir. Je n’aime pas trop les semaines de préparation. C’est toujours long. J’ai d’autant plus de plaisir à me dire que dans quelques heures je serai enfin sur l’eau ».

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En course pour le Record de l’Atlantique Nord depuis 00 heures 47 minutes (heure française) la nuit dernière, les hommes du Maxi Banque Populaire V n’ont pas tardé à trouver leur rythme. Avec une moyenne avoisinant les 36 nœuds, les sensations sont belles et bien là et la chasse au temps est lancée. A bord, la concentration est de mise depuis le passage officiel de la ligne de départ et les conditions de navigations sont venues corser la progression. Avec un brouillard épais et tenace, la vigilance est plus que jamais d’actualité pour Pascal Bidégorry et ses onze équipiers. Mais avec une avance de 21 milles sur le tableau de marche du temps de référence, la détermination des troupes est au plus haut pour tracer leur route atlantique.

A la mi-journée, avec quelques minutes de retard dans la visioconférence pour cause de changement de voile à bord du Maxi Banque Populaire V, Pascal Bidégorry visiblement satisfait de son début de record revenait avec force de détails sur cette entrée en matière entre le phare d’Ambrose et le Cap Lizard : « La nuit a été sympathique parce que nous avons bénéficié d’une mer relativement plate et de 30 nœuds de vent en continu. Nous allons vite et régulièrement avec une moyenne entre 35 et 40 nœuds. Depuis, nous sommes rentrés dans un brouillard à couper au couteau. Nous n’avons aucune visibilité, à tel point que nous avons failli percuter un chalutier faisant route sans feu. Cela rajoute un peu de piment à l’histoire. Mais nous avons tous pris notre rythme et tout va bien à bord ».

Heureux de son sort, Pascal Bidégorry ne pouvait que se réjouir de la cohésion d’un groupe qui consacre tout son talent et son énergie à la conquête du Record de l’Atlantique Nord. Au rang des bonnes nouvelles du jour, l’avance sur le tableau de marche de référence traçait un large sourire sur le visage du Basque qui restait toutefois prudent : « 21 milles d’avance ! Nous sommes contents mais il ne faut pas s’emballer non plus. Nous sommes surtout ravis du potentiel extraordinaire du notre bateau. Ca va vite, très vite. Nous avons enregistré 41 nœuds de vitesse au moment du passage de la ligne. Incroyable ! ».

Si ce premier volet de la campagne de record du Maxi Banque Populaire V se joue contre un temps à battre de 4 jours 3 heures 54 minutes 57 secondes, par la force des choses, un deuxième challenge s’est invité sur l’Atlantique. En effet, le départ de Franck Cammas et son équipage, deux heures et demi avant Pascal Bidégorry et ses hommes a donné à cette traversée des allures de duel océanique : « On est forcément tenté d’aller jeter un œil sur la route de Groupama 3. Nos trajectoires sont très proches et c’est très intéressant pour s’étalonner ».

Si le navire amiral du Team Banque Populaire pointe actuellement dans l’Atlantique Nord, en Bretagne Sud, le monotype aux couleurs de la Banque de la Voile, skippé par Gildas Mahé, vient d’entrer en course sur la première étape de la 40ème Solitaire du Figaro. Vainqueur de l’épreuve en 2000, Pascal Bidégorry ne pouvait manquer l’occasion de saluer certains des concurrents : « Je veux bien sûr adresser un clin d’œil tout particulier à Gildas. Mais je pense aussi à deux marins proches du Maxi Banque Populaire V, Yann Eliès et Erwan Tabarly et à deux autres avec lesquels nous avons partagé des moments forts, Charles Caudrelier et Jérémie Beyou. A eux et aux autres, bon vent ! »

Quelques heures après son départ de New-York, l’équipe du Maxi Banque Populaire se tient parfaitement dans les temps d’un nouveau record. Reste maintenant à négocier les Bancs de Terre-Neuve et à maintenir une trajectoire la plus fluide possible dans leur course vers l’Europe. Pendant ce temps le chronomètre tourne…. La suite promet d’être passionnante.

Temps à battre : 4 jours 3 heures 57 minutes 54 secondes

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Brief drop in pace at Sable Island

From New York to Lizard Point
Groupama 3 lost a little ground this Thursday afternoon as the SW’ly breeze dropped to less than nineteen knots for a few hours.

090730_groupama3_soir

Groupama 3 – © Yvan Zedda

Franck Cammas and his nine crew simply had to put up with it but the average speed picked up again at around 17:00 hours UT. Fortunately Sable Island was practically on their course and the steadier breeze enabled them to round the amazing bank, littered with wrecks, which is situated a hundred miles or so to the East of Halifax.

Groupama 3’s deficit on the reference time of around thirty miles is not a concern given that the routing showed this first day at sea as the slowest of the next three days. With 22 knots of wind at the tail end of this Thursday afternoon, the trimaran was again nudging a thirty knot average at around 17:00 hours UT, and the situation is set to improve over the course of the next few hours. Indeed the breeze will fill in early tonight (UT) to 25 knots, still from the South-West, and once the crew are past the Grand Banks of Newfoundland early Friday morning, the arrival of the cold front from Canada will boost the average speeds with 30 to 35 knots of wind!

The edge of this zone with less wind certainly slowed Groupama 3 and it is also likely to have an impact on Pascal Bidégorry and his crew who really benefited from the first few hours at sea to snatch back a few miles on Groupama 3’s transatlantic record time set in July 2007. However, having already devoured 650 miles since leaving New York on Wednesday at 20h 12′ 16” UT, Franck Cammas and his crew are still on the pace as they are just an hour down on the reference time. They’re now going to have to cope with rather mediocre visibility with thick fog, which is likely to condense over the Grand Banks of Newfoundland tonight. The analysis will certainly be easier during tomorrow’s 09:30 UT radio link-up with Shore HQ in Lorient. By that point they’ll be into the Atlantic with a wider range of opportunities since there will no longer be any physical obstacles to hinder Groupama 3 until Lands End, added to which the weather situation will be nicely centred for the next couple of days…

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MERCREDI 29 JUILLET 2009 – 12H31
Dispositif médias pour le départ, dans la nuit de mercredi à jeudi, du Maxi Banque Populaire V dans la tentative de record de l’Atlantique Nord

Après son passage en code vert hier, le Maxi Banque Populaire V et son équipage sont depuis dans les starting-blocks. Ils s’élanceront cette nuit à la conquête du mythique record de l’Atlantique Nord, détenu par Franck Cammas sur Groupama 3 en 4 jours 3 heures 57 minutes et 57 secondes.

Le bateau devrait couper la ligne de départ dans la soirée à New-York (phare d’Ambrose), donc au milieu de la nuit en heure française.

Quelques instants avant le départ, nous organiserons une visioconférence avec Pascal Bidégorry afin de recueillir ses dernières émotions. Cette visioconférence sera enregistrée et mise à disposition des TV et des sites Internet dès cette nuit sur le serveur vidéo (disponible depuis l’espace presse). Kévin Escoffier et Yvan Ravussin, navigants à bord du Maxi Banque Populaire V enverrons des images symboliques du franchissement de ligne qui seront également disponibles dans la nuit sur le serveur vidéo.

Je vous rappelle, que toute la banque images du Maxi Banque Populaire V navigant en baie de New-York est aussi téléchargeable à cette même adresse.

Pour les radios, le sonore de la visioconférence de départ sera envoyé à la presse et téléchargeables dans la rubrique « médiathèque » de l’espace presse http://www.voile.banquepopulaire.fr/espace-presse/Maxi-Trimaran-Banque-Populaire-V/audio.html.

Enfin, une news sera envoyée afin de vous informer de l’heure précise du franchissement de la ligne de départ.

Pour retrouver tout notre dispositif de communication pendant le record, merci de cliquer sur le lien suivant :

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