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Yachting News 13th September 2009

Sep 13, 2009 1 Comment by


Greetings yachties


Jessica Watson

650 Mini – Transat,

Mark Foy Trophy – 18fters,


World Match Racing Tour – Denmark,

Istanbul – Europa,

Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup,

Rolex Big Boat Series – San Francisco

E-Scow National Champs

Enjoy 🙂

more foiling here


Getting Back on Track

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things are back on track already and that’s mostly thanks to Gold Coast City Marina and AMS Boat Building. Immediately after hearing the news of the accident, Gold Coast City Marina stepped forward and offered to repair the damage and see that Ella’s Pink Lady gets back on the water as soon as possible. Ella’s Pink Lady has been treated like royalty and we’ve all been made to feel completely at home at such a fantastic facility.

After coming out of the water and into a shed on Thursday, work is already well underway. The damaged rigging, lifelines and bow fitting have been removed and the first layers of fiberglass have been laid on over the damaged areas. All things considered I’m still marveling at how well we did come off. Talk about a tough little boat. As we’ve been going over Ella’s Pink Lady we’ve been discovering all sorts of unexpected things that did survive like the Hella navigation lights that worked perfectly despite a direct hit! I’ve also been thinking about how nice it was to be able to turn on my trusty Yanmar engine to get us home and to be able to use my Wichard knife to cutt away tangled lines. What a good job it did!

more here


La Charente-Maritime Bahia Transat 6,50 2009

we must admit that this is a funny idea…crossing the Atlantic alone on 6.50 meters sailboat.

Yet, for over 30 years, almost 800 sailors did it. Amateurs and professionals, and unknown futures stars. These men and women have made a lifetime’s choice: to participate to the most solo transoceanic.


They are ready to go…

A race, yes. An adventure and a travel, above all.

Their machine comes down to its lenght: 6.50 meters. When fresh water, food ans sails are aboard, it remains little more than two cubic meters to take cover. You would rather come to terms with the sky as your roof.

The history of each of them starts well before ending the sailing in the narrow channel of Charente. The first things were to find a boat or build her, tame her, shape her, to make her become an extension of your desire. Then come the first races: experience of her manoeuvring speed, her strategic choices and her ability to play with the elements.

If you are still impassioned, you will need to get a samplle of solitude while participating to the qualification’s course that all sailors who will start on the Atlantic must do: 1 000 miles nonstop across the Gulf of Lion or between Ireland and Ré Island.

more here

follow the race here

more 650mini here

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Hi all from BlackMatch,
Another very tough day of sailing and with the dubious task of winning all of our matches to qualify, a loss in our opening match against Mathieu Richard spelled the end for Blackmatch, as we bowed out of the 2009 Danish Open. After such a great fight back last week, the tough format with only the top 4 teams progressing simply did not allow for a slow start to the regatta and this did not help our cause. We also had a loss to fellow Kiwi Phil Robertson who had an excellent day and took a well deserved victory after winning the start and sailing a great race to extend away. In our other races we had wins against Sebastian Col and Torvar Mirsky but it was too little too late.
We are currently 1 nil up against Damien Iehl in a battle for the 7th and 8th positions and although minor placings it would be great to take out the French world number 6 in the first to 2 wins match up.
BlackMatch would like to congratulate the top four teams Peter Gilmour, Torvar Mirsky, Jes Gram Hansen and Matius Rahm and we look forward to seeing who will come out the victor. We are now looking forward to the Argo Group Gold Cup in Bermuda which is the penultamate event on the tour and a result here will put us in an excellent position for a shot at taking out the World Match Racing Tour.
A big thank you to our sponsor Fedex Express and also to the support recieved from Emirates Team New Zealand and our yacht club the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.




Image © Per Heegaard
Gillie tops round robins as tempers fray during a lengthy day on the water off Marselisborg Havn

Aarhus, Denmark, 12 September 2009 – An afternoon on the beach waiting for the wind yesterday, was followed by a long long stint on the water today for the crews competing in the Danish Open. The Royal Danish Yacht Club officials got racing under way at 0900, and a stronger northwesterly gradient breeze building through to afternoon to 15 knots, allowed them to speed through the remaining ten flights of the round robins and on to the opening flight of the first to three semi-finals.

Towards the end of the round robins much maths was going on to establish countbacks for the competitors potentially reaching seven wins. In the event the scoring turned out to be straightforward with America’s Cup veteran Peter Gilmour of YANMAR Racing clear winner of the round robins on a 8-3 scoreline and Mattias Rahm, Jes Gram-Hansen and Torvar Mirsky the remaining three left on 7-4, after Team Pindar’s Ian Williams had been effectively knocked out by Peter Gilmour, the same fate befalling Damien Iehl in his match against fellow Frenchman Mathieu Richard.


Image © Per Heegaard

Possibly following yesterday’s frustration, there were a huge number of penalties today to keep the on-the-water judges occupied.

In the match between Gilmour and Peter Wibroe for example, the young Dane picked up three penalties over the course of the race. “He was circling and circling! Equity-wise I thought he had done enough!” said a content Gilmour. In Gilmour’s final match of the round robin against Damien Iehl, the Frenchman incurred a penalty, as it turned out incorrectly, when his spinnaker snagged the flag on top of the leeward mark.

Gilmour received a penalty after a pre-start collision in his first semi-final match with his chosen opponent, local hero Jes Gram-Hansen. “I slipped start and ran into the back of him! It was one of those silly mistakes you make and the umpires had to penalise us.” Gilmour left his penalty until the finish line but his Danish opponent was just close enough to overtake in the race’s last breath, much to the delight of the spectators assembled on Marselisborg Havn breakwater.

Gram-Hansen came ashore all smiles. “It is always great to sail in front of your home crowd, so that is fantastic, but they are a tough team and there is a long way to go.”

One of the highlights of Gram-Hansen’s day was receiving and immediately offloading not one but two penalties in the second weather mark rounding in his match against young Kiwi Phil Robertson. “And we came out with the lead,” he added.

It was not all bad news today for Phil Robertson when he dispatched his Kiwi senior, Adam Minoprio, after winning the start and picking the shifts correctly up the first beat. “It was very satisfying,” said Robertson. “We did it a couple of years ago, but this was the first time in a while and at a big event.” Robertson only scored four wins in the round robin, equalling his record from Troia Portugal Match Cup. So, was he pleased? “Yes and no. We had the day of our lives today. We had some awesome winds, but we could have made it six wins today instead of three, if we hadn’t made a couple of little errors due to our lack of experience. But we are quite happy.”

Australian Torvar Mirsky admitted to having had a few incidents today including planting two penalties on Damien Iehl in the pre-start, one on Jes Gram-Hansen while he received two off Ian Williams during a top mark incident. They also managed to T-bone their Kiwi arch-rival Adam Minoprio.


Image © Per Heegaard
Mirsky recounted: “Before the mark we were a little bit behind, but we picked up a nice little right hand puff just as we were coming in and from about two to three boatlengths out we thought we had him. We came up quite late into him at the mark on starboard aiming at his mid-ships and we hit him as we turned inside him and went around the mark. But the umpires ruled in favour of Adam. They said that we came up too late, which we are upset about because we thought we had a piece of him. Instead we had a collision, hit the mark and got around, got a penalty and were behind. We thought we were in front and were surprised he got across. But that is the way you go with Adam, it comes down to such minor details.” In fact in the process they snagged the mark and could only watch as Minoprio sped off into the distance.

Aside from the numerous penalties today, there was an injury on board Mattias Rahm’s Stena Bulk Sailing Team. In their match against Phil Robertson the young Kiwi had planted a penalty on them in the pre-start, yet the Swedes had managed to sail away into the lead. As they circled to shed their penalty on the finish line, the spinnaker pole shot back, its end clouting trimmer Oscar Angerwall on the head. “We managed to win the race but he went to the hospital and got some stitches,” recounted Rahm. For their next two races they were able hurriedly to recruit Kristoffer Olesen from Peter Wibroe’s team for the final two races of the round robin. Angerwall expects to be back on board tomorrow.

Sunday is also likely to be a full day with the four final races of the semi-final to compete and then the final.

more here

more images here


Maxi Yacht 2009 sans logo



Photos credit: Rolex /   Carlo Borlenghi
September 12, 2009

Final day at the 20th Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup dawned with blue sky and a gentle north-easterly breeze between 8 and 10 knots. One more opportunity for those already at the top of the standings to prove themselves worthy of winning. Good news also for those yachts still within touching distance of the top. A race would mean opportunity and in yacht-racing opportunity is everything, but only if you are prepared to take it. Getting your name inscribed on the trophies at the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup is no easy feat. Only those most deserving achieve the feat. At close of play those truly in clover were: Ronald de Waal and Velsheda (GBR); Claus Peter Offen and Y3K (GER); Mick Cotter and Whisper (IRL); Filippo Faruffini and Roma-Aniene (ITA), and, Neville Crichton and Alfa Romeo (NZL). Flush with victory and the spoils associated – the Maxi Yacht Cup and a Rolex Yacht-master Chronometer.


VELSHEDA (GBR), winner Cruising/Spirit of Tradition class

If only it were so simple. In Cruising/Spirit of Tradition, Velsheda had wrapped up her division a day early by virtue of winning every race to that point. In Wally, Y3K was also impregnable, by virtue of having scored more firsts than her closest rival, Open Season (GER), which could only match Y3Ks score however badly Offen’s crew sailed the last race; a situation where count-back would favour Offen.

In Racing/Cruising, Roma-Aniene never seemed likely to be overtaken by DSK Pioneer Investments, but the door was still open if DSK could repeat yesterday’s result and finish ahead of Roma. The chances of this seemed slim given Roma had not given DSK a sniff all week until her mainsail issues of yesterday. The same scenario existed in Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising, where both Aegir (GBR) and OPS 5 (ITA) had a mathematical chance to overtake Whisper, should she finish seventh or worse, something Whisper had not done all week. She had had problems yesterday, though, finishing fifth. So a glimmer of hope flickered on. In both cases you had to think lightning does not strike twice.


ALFA ROMEO (NZL), Neville Crichton, winner of Mini Maxi Racing (Owner/Driver) class

The classification where the duelling would go closest to the wire looked to be Mini Maxi Racing. Tight battles looked likely in both Mini Maxi Racing (Owner/Driver) and the larger overall Mini Maxi Racing 00 group. The Owner/Driver contest was between Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo 3 (NZL) and Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente (USA). The stakes were high; the pressure was on. The maths were simple for Bella Mente, she had to come first. Anything less would not be enough. For Alfa, if she could win or prevent the American crew from winning she would prevail.


Gavin Brady, skipper and Karl Kwok, owner Beau Geste

The 00 group was also a two-way tussle and also involved Alfa Romeo, with the likes of triple Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie in the crew roster, along with Niklas Zennström’s Rán (GBR). With a three-point separation, the onus was on Alfa to win and hope Rán would finish no better than fourth. Heading out to the start there was every possibility that Crichton might be distracted by his battle with Fauth, since that was where the major prize would be awarded. At the beginning of the week, though, Crichton had stated his aim was to win both groups. Given his competitive streak is longer and wider than most, no one would bet against the New Zealander attempting to win outright from the front.

more here

more images here

VELSHEDA (GBR), Adam Bateman, skipper, winner Cruising/Spirit of Tradition class



Niklas and Catherine Zennstrom and RAN crew, winners of Mini Maxi Racing – 00 Class


Big Boat Series 2009 sans logo


September 12, 2009

After a large area of thunderstorms moved through this morning, the over 1,000 sailors competing in day three of the Rolex Big Boat Series were given a new challenge: light wind and minimum visibility through the dense fog hanging low on the water. As locals are apt to exclaim – ‘It’s never like this in San Francisco’ – a theory confirmed by spectators lined along the sea wall and second-story viewing bleachers at St. Francis Yacht Club.

An on-time racing start by the StFYC volunteer race committee, lead by PROs Kevin Reeds and Hank Stuart, gave the 97 competing boats two races for a total of six races. Tomorrow’s final race – known fondly as the Bay Tour – will cap off a solid four days on the water.

Photos credit: Rolex /   Daniel Forster


John Kilroy, Jr.’s SAMBA PA TI took the bullet in Race 6

Flash, the TP52 skippered by Tom Akin & Mark Jones, won the day’s first race, finished third in the second, and now stands in second overall in IRC A class, one point behind class leader Vincitore, the custom 52 owned by Jim Mitchell (Zurich, SUI) and driven by Chris Dickson. John Kilroy’s TP52 Samba Pa Ti finished 3-1 and is now in third overall.

The fastest boat around the IRC B racecourse today was Kjeld Hestehave’s 73-foot Velos. Since the very first race, the largest boat entered in this regatta continues to dominate the class. It now looks untouchable with six total points. Sy Kleinman’s Schumacher 54 Swiftsure is tied on 16 points with Dale Williams’s Kernan 44 Wasabi. “We are more than thrilled to be there,” said Williams, who figures he has competed in at least 20 Big Boat Series in his career, winning in 1999 with a previous boat named Wasabi. However, this Wasabi is brand new, designed by the same group who created Williams’ last boat the 70-foot Peligroso. “It’s really easy to sail,” he said. “We’re surprised how fast it goes. There’s a retractable sprit, but no spreaders, no runners, no reaching struts and no after guys. It’s fast at 12,900 lbs. with 6,700 lbs of ballast. It’s everything we thought it was and more.”


SWIFTSURE II Owner Sy Kleinman (green hat) with Steve Taft at the helm

Willims set up a StFYC duel for second place tomorrow between his Wasabi and Swiftsure, giving the overall nod toward Velos. “That is a very well-sailed boat,” said Woolery. “They deserve to be out front. It’s been a lot of fun and really nice to sail against them and Swiftsure.”

Soozal, the King 40 owned by Daniel Woolery, continues to lead the IRC C class, with James Bishop and the J/44 Gold Phoenix moving into second overall ahead of Tim Fuller and the J/122 Resolute.

“Today’s first race was a pivotal race for us. We didn’t know what to expect,” said Woolery. After corrected time, the relatively new boat took first place and then a second in the day’s second race. “The second one was a little more difficult,” continued Woolery. “Our jib goes up on a jib lock and it didn’t stay up on the lock. So, as we went to the bottom mark, our plan was to go into Alcatraz and through the Cone. We were behind Gold Phoenix and we thought ‘Let’s go into the cone.’ We were right behind them and immediately the jib fell down, and that forced us to tack over to clear it. We tacked back and as soon as we did, we realized we weren’t going to make the Cone, so we tacked over to the beach first. Phoenix did as well. When all was said and done we were seven seconds corrected in front of them. At that point the race became between us and TNT.


TUPELO HONEY has a solid set of six bullets in the IRC D class

“If TNT had gotten second and not us, then that would have brought Phoenix a little closer in the gap” said Woolery. “We were in great tacking duels, and managed to tack our way up to Phoenix. We were a minute and a half behind when that whole engagement started, and we put almost a minute and a half on them. Overall we’re feeling really good.” Soozal has a four-point lead over Gold Phoenix going into tomorrow’s final race. “We’re going to win tomorrow,” he predicted.

Gerard Sheridan’s Elan 40 Tupelo Honey continues to dominate IRC D class with two more bullets. The San Francisco-based boat won both of today’s races on corrected time and, barring any mishaps tomorrow, stands to take the overall win. “Tomorrow we will go out and race like we like to race, which is fairly conservatively,” said Sheridan. “We don’t want to take any major risks.” This is Tupelo Honey’s fifth Rolex Big Boat Series. It won its class in 2005 and finished second in the other years. “At the start of the year I decided I wanted to win Big Boat this year,” he continued. “It’s the premier regatta on the West Coast, and here at the St. Francis, the race management is impeccable.”


J105s STREAKER and ORION race past San Francisco

In the grand-prix Melges 32 class, vying for its National Championship this weekend, New Orleans-based Rougarou looked unstoppable blazing downwind. With two more wins today – to add to a series scoreline of 1-2-1-5 – the team lead by co-owners Bert Benrud and Andy Lowell needs to finish fourth or better to win the title. Philippe Kahn’s Pegasus encountered trouble in the first race and dropped out to expedite repairs. The team plans to be back in the race tomorrow. Local sailor Don Jesberg and his Viva is in second overall, with Stephen Pugh and Taboo in third.

Class leaders from yesterday that held onto the lead in other one-design classes include Pat Patterson and Summer and Smoke in the Beneteau 36.7; William LeRoy and Gone with the Wind in the Cal 40; Kame Richards and Golden Moon in the Express 37; and Chris Perkins and Good Timin’ in the J/105 class.


The other two one-design classes saw a change in leadership with Barry Lewis’ Chance gaining a slight edge over John Wimer’s Desdemona, now in second place, in the J/120 fleet, and Gary Boell and Diablita taking over from Alex Farrell and Alpha Puppy in the 1D35 class. Alpha Puppy fell to third place, while Ebb Tide, chartered by Masakazu Toyama (Tokyo, JPN), moved into second.

This evening competitors enjoyed the regatta’s traditional Saturday night crew dinner. Racing concludes on Sunday. For more information, visit the event website where fans around the world can go to view live video from the club’s web cam, photos from official event photographer Daniel Forster and real-time GPS tracking in the IRC fleet. Compliments of Rolex, daily highlights videos produced by T2P.TV are also available.

Regarded by sailors as one of the world’s premier sailboat racing events, Rolex Big Boat Series is part of the Rolex Yachting Portfolio that includes over 20 world-class sailing events that take place around the globe including the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Farr 40 World Championship and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. For more information visit the online press portal for Rolex yachting events.

more here

more images here



Kiwis in San Francisco


Father and son (Jim Mitchell Sr. Jim Mitchell Jr.} VINCITORE Sail Number: NZL 52001 Owner: Jim Mitchell Class: RP 52


VINCITORE leads after four races


The report after the second day of racing ended with …

“So, after a great party tonight, another fantastic dinner at the Waters and the hand off of the E scow class from Rick Turner to Art Brereton the fleet is ready to crown a new champion tomorrow.  Will it be Burton – will he continue his smart sailing? Or will Rogers or Vincent Porter, Jeff Bonanni and others stage a comeback and steal the championship?  We will see. It is the 2009 E scow national championship on Oshkosh – anything can happen!”

Blake Middleton called for a 9:00 warning signal for the last day in hopes there would be another morning breeze like the day before. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough for a decent race. The RC was on the water observing and reporting on the radio – we heard 3 mph and the direction was mostly north. The longer they were out the less optimistic they sounded about the wind.

At about 10:30 Blake announced it wasn’t going to happen. End of regatta. Tom Burton, Bruce Martinson, and Andy Fergusen are the 2009 Champions. results here

The Principal Race Officer, Blake Middleton, received congratulations from every competitor present. To be able to get three quality races in, given the weather  conditions for the three days, was a tremendous effort and accomplishment. He is clearly a sailor’s Race Officer. His priority was to get as many quality races in as possible – and three were all that was possible! He kept the competitors informed regularly while on shore waiting for the wind or when on the water trying to organize the next start. Excellent job!

Regatta chairperson Diana Isom, all members of the Oshkosh Yacht Club and the Wyman’s The Waters, went all out to make this an enjoyable event. More importantly they worked with Blake Middleton to make the regatta possible. They twice pushed back dinner plans a couple of hours to allow some twilight racing. Without a 6:00 PM start we would not have had the minimum three races to complete the regatta.

more here


more later, got to help the mermaid in the garden, earn some more brownie points for some more real life sailing 🙂

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