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Yachting News 24th August 2009

Aug 24, 2009 2 Comments by


Greetings Yachties,

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

Emirates Team New Zealand

Hamilton Island

Melges 24

Mike Perham

Archipelago Raid

Portimao Global & Class 40


Maxi Yacht 2009 sans logo



Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 © ROLEX/Daniel Forster

August 24, 2009

When the 20th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup gets underway in two weeks, expect nothing less than a medieval scrap between various latter day warlords and their trusted retainers. The mightiest contest is expected in the Mini Maxi division where eight of the latest exponents of this growing class will be brushing up on Sun Tzu’s Art of War ahead of the season’s highlight Maxi yacht event, which begins on 6 September and is organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda. Equally, compelling contests will unfold elsewhere in the forty-four boat fleet, which features some battlefield goliaths including Albert Buell’s 45.19 metre (148 foot) Saudade (MLT), only marginally outstripped on the size front by Hasso Plattner’s 45.52 metre (149 foot) Visione (GER).

Only one division champion from 2008 is returning to the scene of their triumph. Lindsay Owen Jones’ 28.8 metre (94 foot) Magic Carpet 2 (GBR) will be defending her Wally Yachts’ title. Owen Jones has won his division at this event on four occasions with two different yachts, but even he will be anticipating a tough few days. Jean Charles Decaux and the 24.4 metre (80 foot) J One (FRA) (the former two-time winning steed of Owen Jones) vanquished all opposition in 2007, whilst Claus Peter Offen, a victor in 2005, is returning with a brand new 30.5 metre (100 foot) Y3K (GER). This latest Y3K features a trim-tab fixed keel, PBO rigging, a high modulus carbon-fibre mast and a three-metre bowsprit. Weighing in at 57 tonnes she incorporates a luxurious interior and is no stripped-out flyer, but Offen is a competitive yachtsman and looked to the America’s Cup Class design world when selecting the keel and rudder combination.

Y3K will not be the only yacht making its Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup debut. There are a host of Mini Maxis getting ready to engage in battle on the waters off Porto Cervo for the first time. Niklas Zennstrom’s 21.9 metre (72 foot) Rán 2 (GBR), flush with success from the 2009 Rolex Fastnet where she took the overall win, is heading into the fray. Zennstrom will expect no quarter from Patrizio Bertelli’s all-star cast on the STP 65 Luna Rossa (ITA) or Udo Schütz’s STP 65 Container (GER) – both newcomers too. Schütz is a former Admiral’s Cup winner and is unlikely to be fazed by any of the other formidable weaponry on display. Hap Fauth’s 21 metre (69 foot) Bella Mente (USA) is another freshman hoping to prove her mettle along with Sir Peter Ogden’s Jethou (GBR). At 18.3 metres (60 foot), Jethou is the smallest combatant amongst the IRC oriented Mini Maxis and the crew will have their work cut out to keep pace on the water with some of their competitors. However, first home is not first on the podium. Corrected time is the all-important determinant of who receives the spoils.

Whilst the newest Mini Maxis are expected to replicate an on-water cavalry charge around the courses, a 2006 division winner will be taking the contest at a more leisurely pace. The 38.25 metre (125 foot) Hetairos (CAY) was built in 1993, but is absolutely classic in appearance. Often, at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, she appears to adopt a field-marshal’s role observing the mêlée from afar and then delivering the crushing blow come results time. Another expected to follow this model is the 39.92 metre (131 foot) Maria Cattiva (MLT). Launched in 2003 by the Dutch yard Royal Huisman, Maria Cattiva is a Bruce King design, just like Hetairos, and is also a modern interpretation of a bygone era.

This year’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup also forms the final showdown in the Swan Maxi Class. The 2008 circuit winner, Roel Pieper’s Swan 80 Favonius (NED) (winner of the Rolex Swan Cup in the same year), comes to the arena with a solid track record on the Costa Smeralda. Pieper will expect no quarter from the Swan 90s Solleone (ITA) or DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA), the Swan 82FD Grey Goose (GER) or the Swan 601 @robas (FRA) all of whom will be looking to unseat him.

Leaving aside the warlike analogies for the moment, the event is shaping up to be memorable one particularly if the wind plays its part and allows organisers the chance to put on a full-week of competition. With competing yachts from 16 different nations, including Karl Kwok with Beau Geste from Hong Kong and Neville Crichton with Alfa Romeo 3 from New Zealand, it will be an international occasion. One other thing for certain, the intensity of activity on the water will be matched by the intensity of the social schedule ashore, as owners and crews mix together to trade war stories each evening.

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2009, organised by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda takes place from 6 to 12 September. Racing commences on Monday, 7 September and concludes with the final prizegiving on Saturday, 12 September. From the most luxurious, through the most traditional, to the most advanced monohulls afloat today, the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is nothing if not an astonishing line up of sailing power.

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Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 © ROLEX/Daniel Forster


Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 © ROLEX/Kurt Arrigo


Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2008 © ROLEX/Daniel Forster

First ever MedCup Hat Trick for Emirates Team New Zealand


Portugal Trophy, 23 08 2009 Photo © Carlo Borlenghi/Audi MedCup

Emirates Team New Zealand became the first team ever to win three consecutive MedCup Circuit regattas when they clinched the Portugal Trophy for the TP52 Series today off Portimao, winning by just 1.5 points from Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis.

With wins in Marseille, Cagliari and now Portimao, the Kiwi team, skippered by Dean Barker, now lead the Audi MedCup Circuit by 52 points heading to the final regatta of the season, next month in Carthagena, Murcia Spain.

The GP42 Series saw the first regatta win this season for Caser Endesa (ESP), skippered by Juan Luiz Paez. Their third place today was enough to secure the Portugal Trophy on countback from Roma Mk2 (ITA), but Islas Canarias Puerta Calero (ESP) still lead the Series.

Seventh for Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) to Artemis’ (SWE) disappointing tenth in today’s one and only race was enough for the Kiwi team to prevail, but the final contest was a difficult one to call throughout with a streaky 5-9 knots of sea breeze mixed with some north westerly gradient wind, especially towards the windward mark.

With a 1.5 points lead in the regatta Artemis, missing tactician Paul Cayard (USA) for the final day, could only make a modest opening at the pin end of the start line, while Bigamist 7, the Portuguese entry lead to the windward mark.

On the first downwind the Russian pair Valars and Synergy mined the left, inshore line and passed the Portuguese team with the Synergy winning from Valars, the first time the two Russians have taken the top two places.

The key move for Emirates Team New Zealand was on the second beat when they were able to halt the recovery of Artemis, tacking on top of them and bouncing them above the lay line, but even down the final run the breeze looked shaky, ready to shift or collapse at any minute.

Relief, once again, rather than elation was the mood among the hard working New Zealand outfit. As the time limit expired at 1600hrs and with it the chances of a second race, general satisfaction with another job well done was evident. The steely, professional face drops when the champagne comes on board, and they are getting rather used to it.

With Artemis in second for the regatta, Terry Hutchinson’s Quantum Racing finished in third, just 1.5 points ahead of Bigamist 7, who finished fourth overall for the third time this season.

Emirates Team New Zealand lead the Audi MedCup Circuit, 52 points astern are Matador (ARG) on 170.5 points but only five points behind them are Quantum Racing, third, and Artemis, fourth, both on 175.5 points.

Winning skipper Dean Barker (NZL) commented that throughout the regatta they had never felt like they were sailing as well as last month’s win in Sardinia, confirming that they still have plenty to work on before Carthagena, Murcia, a venue which proved extremely challenging last year.

CEO and mast-man Grant Dalton (NZL), agreed:
“We are relieved. It was a pretty tough regatta. I think we identified that as soon as we got here, that this was going to be tough, and I think we also identified Artemis as the boat which could beat us. And it felt that all the way. So we are just pleased to have got through another one really.”

He continued: “It’s a big lead now, but we know what can happen, you can still sail badly, it changes pretty quickly. There are always improvements to be made and we made plenty of mistakes in this regatta.”

GP42 Series: Endesa wins the battle

Today’s single race in the GP42 Series was never easy to predict, as the lead changed several times depending on who was where on the shift cycle, the game of tactical chess, and lanes of leftover pressure in the dying seabreeze.

Caser-Endesa (ESP), for example, seemed to have a horrid start, late on the line by three lengths and having to tack early to port. But that move may have been fortuitous, as a right shift on the first beat got them right back into the game. That very same shift benefited Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP) even more, as they vaulted beyond the tacking duels into a commanding lead at the top mark, one that would never be challenged except by Roma 2 (ITA) on the final fluky run into the finish.

And Roma’s runner-up finish was remarkable in itself, as they were no better than last around the first top mark, redeemed only by having split from the pack to the left on the second beat to vault into second.

Caser-Endesa’s two victories to Roma’s one wins them the Portugal Trophy, but Islas Canarias Puerto Calero’s win gets them tied up in the war for the lead in the overall GP42 Series. With one event left, Roma 2 and the Kids from Canarias are now tied on 82 points, making for a final showdown at Stage 5 in Cartagena.

“We think for the excitement of the circuit, this is a really good scenario,” says Daniel Calero (ESP), owner of Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. “But it means the pressure will really be on in Cartagena!”

Audi MedCup Circuit 2009
Portugal Trophy

TP52 Series
Overall – Final
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 2+3+6+3+1+3+7= 25 points
2. Artemis (SWE), 3+4+2+2+4+1,5+10= 26,5 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 1+1+4+8+3+6+6= 29 points
4. Bigamist (POR), 5+5+1+1+8+7,5+3= 30,5 points
5. Bribón (ESP), 6+2+3+7+8+10,5+5= 40,5 points

GP42 Series
Overall – Final
1. Caser Endesa (ESP), 3+1+3+2+1+3= 13 points
2. Roma (ITA), 2+2+2+1+4+2= 13 points
3. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 1+3+1+5+5+1= 16 points
4. Turismo Madrid (ESP), 4+5+4+3+2+5= 23 points
5. Airis (ITA), 5+4+5+4+3+4= 25 points

Audi MedCup Circuit 2009
Overall (4 events)

TP52 Series
1. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 38+27,5+28+25= 118,5 points
2. Matador (ARG), 36+47,5+42,5+44,5= 170,5 points
3. Quantum Racing (USA), 40+41,5+65+29= 175,5 points
4. Artemis (SWE), 37+62,5+49,5+26,5= 175,5 points
5. Bigamist (POR), 46+55,5+57+30,5= 189 points

GP42 Series
1. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 20+23+23+16= 82 points
2. Roma (ITA), 22+17+30+13= 82 points
3. Caser-Endesa (ESP), 33+27+26+13= 99 points
4. Airis (ITA), 21+38+28+25= 112 points
5. Turismo Madrid (ESP), 35+35+43+23= 136 points

Complete results:

Quotes of the day:
Dean Barker (NZL) skipper Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
“The regatta, it did not feel like we sailed as well as we did in the last two regattas, so I think we are satisfied to win the event, but we could do a much better job in the way we sailed. I think we really worked hard to gain places where we could.”

“It was a tricky day and it was always going to be, marginal on the forecast that we would race. But I think the results today show the strength and depth we now have in the fleet. All the teams can win races, and the improvement rate that has been most impressive this season has been Bigamist. They are tough competitors out there now.”

Ray Davies (NZL), tactician Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL):
“It’s a big relief. Artemis were leading going in to the one and only race and conditions were such that it was always going to be tricky. And we found ourselves in front of them (Artemis) and were able to tack on them on the second beat and they had to make two tacks. But anything could have happened. We gained another two points and we could be happier with the regatta, every race we have extended overall. You could not ask for more that.”

“ Now we need to keep the same processes going. It is possibly good that the next three boats are so close together, and they will be battling among each other as much as trying to hurt us.”

Torbjorn Tornqvist (SWE), owner-helm Artemis (SWE):
“ Today’s result was a bad day, obviously. We did not perform at our best but it was close all the time, round the top mark and so on. Anyway I am pleased with the regatta, we really feel like we are moving forwards. That is most important thing. Maybe it made a little bit of a difference at the start (not having  Paul Cayard) but we have speed on the boat and second, by just one and a half points is good.”

Moises Farias (ESP), grinder Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP):
“ There’s been a nice battle this week, but it’s a pity that our spinnaker went into the water on the second day. But the racing is like this and we’ve kept on working hard and we got the last race. But each trophy event is like a different competition, things change completely so we have to wait to the last one.”

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2 new links on yachtyakka, check them out, more later



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Même en Chine le Mini Pavois !

Course qualificative pour La Charente-Maritime/Bahia Transat 6,50, le Mini Pavois organisé par GPO a connu un succès médiatique intéressant. Et le bilan presse allez-vous demander ? Et bien, nous pouvons comptabiliser 1 dépêche AFP arrivée, 6 sujets TV dont un Tout le sport sur France 3 en nationale,  35 sujets radio, 80 articles en presse quotidienne régionale et presse quotidienne nationale dont l’Equipe, 11 articles en presse spécialisée, 77 articles en presse web de langue française et 89 articles en presse étrangère web et écrite. Sans parler du bilan presse espagnol que Puerto Deportivo Gijon nous a remis il y a quelques semaines avec une vingtaine d’articles de presse écrite et une bonne trentaine de sujets web… Mais cette dépêche pour montrer que le Mini Pavois a même eu des retombées presse en Chine avec un superbe article dans Yacht Chine que vous trouverez ici. Et oui : le Mini Pavois en Chine : Enormeeeeeeeee !

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Scarlet Runner moves into the lead and rating office error costs Wild Oats X

Results for yesterday’s opening race for the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week IRC grand prix division 1 boats shuffled overnight following arbitration between Wild Joe and Wot Now, and the discovery of a rating office error that has affected Wild Oats X’s handicap placings.

Using the correct handicap rating, Wild Oats X’s first in yesterday’s opening windward/leeward race didn’t stick, Bob Oatley’s RP66 skippered by Mark Richards and flying the Hamilton Island Yacht Club burgee moving to third on the ladder then back up to second after Graeme Wood’s JV 52 Wot Now was penalised for a port/starboard with Steven David’s Reichel Pugh 60 Wild Joe.

This shuffle gave Robert Date’s new Victorian Reichel Pugh 52 Scarlet Runner, with Graeme Taylor helming and famed Australian navigator Will Oxley aboard, the win on corrected time by the slimmest of margins – just three seconds separating Scarlet Runner from Wild Oats.

On the division 1 progressive series scoresheet after three races Scarlet Runner leads Alan Brierty’s RP63 Limit and Ray Roberts’ Cookson 50 Evolution Racing, both sailing for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Date has stepped up from Sydney 38 one design racing to join the strong fleet of 50-footers racing out of Melbourne.

“The 50 somethings in Melbourne are a good group…Living Doll, Cougar, Shogun. That’s the main reason we have stepped up to a bigger and faster boat,” said Date, who will share the driving with Taylor later in the week when the Trade Winds revisit the area.

“In the light stuff we have got to hit the groove straight out of the blocks, I’ve made the decision to pull back for now. The last couple of days have been challenging for everyone, it’s hard having to put crew off. We are sailing with 12 in the light stuff but when the breeze picks up we’ll go to 16,” Date added.

On his end of year plans, Date says he’s considering signing up for the big one, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, but first needs to fill a couple of key crew spots.

Wot Now took a heavy penalty for its port/starboard with Wild Joe, sliding backwards from the top of the IRC pile in yesterday’s first windward/leeward race to seventh, a result that could figure at the end of the week when the Audi IRC Australian Championship is decided.

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Collisions, Crash Gybes and Forty-Feet Swells – 24 08 09

What a day! It really feels like I’m certainly not having an easy last week in at the moment. Things went really pear-shaped this afternoon.

I was standing on deck, leaning on the coachroof, gazing out across the sea when suddenly WHACK! we hit something. The tiller started to jar about and the autopilot was really, really struggling to control it. ‘What on earth,’ I thought? Had I broken a rudder? Was something caught on the rudder? Was the shaft bent?

I jumped in the stern and noticed that the mount for the autopilot ram was partially torn away and I could hear that not-so-lovely noise of cracking fiberglass. Incredible how one second everything is fine, the next everything is going wrong!

I turned off the pilot and then manually tested the rudders, how they were behaving with the tiller – still loads of jarring! I peered over the back but couldn’t see anything amiss.

I needed to change over the ram to the other side with the other good mount for my other ram. I had to slow down a bit for this job in case anything went wrong and so I furled away the solent and put a reef in the main for good measure.

With the pilot off and the tiller being nudged and kicked from one side to the other by me making alterations every now and again, was weaving quite dramatically.

I knocked out the pin for the ram, hoisted it over to the other side and started to set it up. All the while I was steering by ‘feel’. But I was down for a little too long and I couldn’t feel the boat well enough. We suddenly plunged into a nice crash gybe which I had no chance of pulling out of.

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Peter (aka Mike’s Dad)

“Edge of your seat”, eh?

When I open up the web page each morning to get Mike’s latest blog, and read that he’s been up the mast whilst cracking on at a pretty healthy rate of knots, I already know that he’s back down and safe. Even so, I still get an adrenaline rush imagining his dangling on a rope 60ft above the ocean – and a some butterflies in the tummy when that image is reinforced by the photos.

You, on the other hand, get a phone call from your young son to say that he’s about to embark on this excursion and then have to wait an hour or so to hear the phone ring again. So, when I read of such activates, I find myself not only thinking about Mike tackling this daunting task, but I also find myself thinking about yourself, and others back home, during that time.

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Team Thule Winners of the Archipelago Raid 2009
Swedish Team Thule with helmsman Martin Strandberg and crew Johan Örtendahl was first to cross the finishing line at Lidingö, Stockholm today at 14.22, becoming winners of the Archipelago Raid 2009. They kept a good lead all the way to the finish and managed to catch up with their main rivals in the overall standings. French Team Citus Proust/Motteau where close to their goal of being the first crew to repeat victory to win two Archipelago Raid competitions in a row. They have also had a tough competitor in British Team Audio Network Sunnucks/Farren, third overall that only lost their chances yesterday after some technical problems.

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more images here

Race logo white



Race Director, Josh Hall, explains the NOR for the 2011-12

Global Ocean Race

Josh Hall, Race Director of the 2008-09 Portimão Global Ocean Race and the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race, explains the Notice of Race for the next event and reveals the exceptional interest in this unique, round-the-world challenge including details of Team Entries and the increased safety measures that are being applied.

For full details of the 2011-12 Global Ocean Race NOR, please contact Race Director, Josh Hall, via or the event’s Media Manager, Oliver Dewar, via

In issuing our NOR for the Global Ocean Race 2011-12 we are quite simply stating that this race will indeed happen and that the entry list is now open. We remain in negotiation with numerous ports to host the start and finish of the event but everything else is in place. We fully expect to be announcing the final details before the end of 2009.

We are limiting the number of entries to 20 boats plus five boats that may be invited by us as organisers. So, a total of 25 boats is the maximum. In order to firmly secure a place on the start line an entry must have paid their entry fee and completed their qualification passage of 2,000 miles aboard their race boat. Thereafter there will be a waiting list. Judging by the level of interest we are receiving from potential entries we recommend early sign-up from competitors.

In fact, we already have five committed entries.

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