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Yachting News 9th September 2009

Sep 09, 2009 No Comments by


Greetings yachties

Cowes on line

Des Top News

Jessica Watson

BlackMatch – Thanks

Mike Perham’s next adventure

Australian Match Racing Championships


Melges 32


Maxi Yacht Regatta


Dire Straits







Solo sailor, 16, crashes first day out

Brisbane Times

JESSICA WATSON: A crash on her first day out of port was not an auspicious start for the youngster’s plan to sail solo around the world.

Australian schoolgirl skipper Jessica Watson, 16, has crashed her yacht on the first leg of her solo around-the-world voyage.

Watson’s sloop, Ella’s Pink Lady, hit a merchant ship near Stradbroke Island about 2.30am, less than 24 hours after leaving the Sunshine Coast for Sydney.

The Buderim schoolgirl contacted the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which was monitoring her journey, and was told to turn her motor on and head back to Southport on the Gold Coast.

The teenager was not injured in the collision, but her yacht’s mast and bow were substantially damaged.

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std_Jessica's yacht after the collision

Jessica Watson, 16-year-old who had set off from Mooloolaba to Sydney on a leg which was to be a precursor to her attempt to solo sail the world non-stop and unassisted, has hit a cargo ship less than 24 hours after leaving port.

The Sunshine Coast schoolgirl, who had set out with a year’s supply of Tim Tams in a bright pink 10.2m yacht now called Ella’s Pink Lady, has returned this morning to Southport.

A spokesman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority Tracey Jiggins said her yacht collided with a bulk carrier shortly before 2.30am, about 15 nautical miles due east of Point Lookout, on North Stradbroke Island.

‘The bulk carrier is believed to be heading north up the east coast and has allegedly failed to stop,’ said the spokesman.

‘She has contacted her parents who in turn called AMSA. She advised that her boat had suffered quite a bit of damage to the vessel and the vessel is dismasted but she herself is okay.’

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Hi all from BlackMatch,

Following our victory in St Moritz on Sunday, Black Match would like to send a special mention to their Sponsor Fedex Express, notably David Ross from Fedex who has been instrumental in our recent success. We would also like to thank Ross Munro for keeping us looking sharp in our Line 7 crew gear and also the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Emirates Team New Zealand for their incredible support throughout the years.

Getting past the legendary Peter Gilmour and current double World Match Racing Champion Ian Williams unbeaten in our quarterfinal and semi final match ups, we had gained momentum throughout the regatta and defeated Australian Torvar Mirsky in the final 2-1, with a great display of light airs sailing. After arguably our worst ever start to a regatta, we then went on to win 8 races in a row before dropping one against Torvar in the final.

The first race went to us when Adam did a great job in the pre-start and we held a significant advantage by the top mark. The Australians gained in on us on the first downwind when the breeze shut down but were handed a double penalty as they forced their way between us and the bottom mark when they clearly did not have an overlap, this essentially handed us the race.

Race two and again Adam did a great job in the start but nearing the top mark we had gained in on Ian Williams who was in a separate match, racing in the petit final. It was an unfortunate set of circumstances but the ultimate result was that Ian was going to a different top mark and was holding us out, we actually had to gybe to get around him and by the time we had reached the top mark, Torvar had gained the lead. We protested this race as we have seen redress given for far less severe interference from another match, however it was upheld and the result stood.

Perhaps this fired us up because we totally dominated the third and deciding match from start to finish to be crowned the 2009 St Moritz World Tour Champions.

Today the team has a layday in London before travelling to Denmark tonight for our next tour event. It is with great regret that Super Dan (Dan Mclean) has had to withdraw from this event having injured his shoulder while sailing with Francesco Bruni last week. Last night we were frantically looking for a replacement and we would like to welcome aboard Mads Elber from Denmark to our team this week. Mads is a great matchracer, currently he has an ISAF World ranking of 12 as a helmsman and we are hoping his local knowlege come into play.

Thank you also to all of our supporters and friends and also to our resident cameraman for the week Jenny Warner.

Team photo Adam on tippy toes

Blackmatch is Adam Minoprio, David Swete, Tom Powrie, Nick Blackman, Dan Mclean and this week Mads Elber.

David Swete




Bounty expedition beckons for Mike Perham

Australian adventurer Don McIntyre and teenage circumnavigator Mike Perham are to re-enact Captain William Bligh’s epic mutiny on the Bounty open boat voyage.

Perham Bounty boat pic

Don McIntyre and Mike Perham onboard Bounty Boat

Australian adventurer and solo round-the-world sailor, Don McIntyre has announced that Mike Perham, the world’s youngest solo circumnavigator, has signed up as second-in-command for the 2010 Bounty Boat Expedition.

This is a 4,000 mile re-enactment 221 years after Capt. William Bligh and his supporting crew were forced into an open boat by the mutineering crew on HMS Bounty and successfully sailed from Tonga to Timor in the Pacific.

McIntyre and Perham will face the same deprivations, with little food, no charts or toilet paper and only the limited navigation implements that were available to Bligh.

The search is now on for two extra crew to join this expedition, which has a serious scientific purpose, as well as aims to raise money for Motor Neurone Disease research. This opportunity of a lifetime to re-create history will cost each individual £10,000 to participate. Only those with an extreme sense of adventure need apply.

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Seve Jarvin and crew celebrate their victory
New Aussie champs (l-r) Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, Steve Jarvin and Graeme Sutherland celebrate their victory
©Tom Spithill

Australian Match Racing Championship 2009
Melbourne, Australia

Seve Jarvin and his crew of Sam Newton, Steve Jarvin and Graeme Sutherland, representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have won the 2009 Australian Match Racing Championship today on Pittwater.
The ISAF Grade 3 event, hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club in conjunction with Yachting Australia, was a fitting finale for Jarvin (AUS) who last contested this event in 2005 where he finished second to three time winner Michael Dunstan (AUS). This year, however, the positions were reversed and it was Jarvin who managed to get his hand on the trophy with a resounding victory of 3-1 in the best of five final.

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Another busy, if rather blustery day here in Hull.

C0910_JM JTB corp sail Hull_351
Hull & Humber and Jamaica Lightning Bolt were both on the water at 0800 this morning. On board the local boat surveying her domain was the Lord Mayor of Kingston-upon-Hull. As part of her title, Councillor Karen Woods has the honour of being Admiral of the Humber and as she took the helm of the local yacht in a stiffening breeze, she was clearly a natural.

“I enjoyed the experience so much, I actually wanted it to blow a bit harder,” she commented after stepping ashore. Clearly a potential crew member for the Clipper 11-12 Race!

Skipper Piers Dudin said, “We really enjoyed being able to return the Lord Mayor’s generous hospitality from yesterday and it was a privilege to be able to fly the Admiral of the Humber flag from our backstay.”

Meanwhile, on board Jamaica Lightning Bolt, local travel agents were entertained by the regional office of the Jamaican Tourist Board. They got skipper Peter Stirling firmly in the mood when they insisted he wore a Rasta hat complete with long dreadlocks, which flowed beautifully in the breeze.

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PHOTO CREDIT: ©2009 JOY International Melges 32 Class Association

Sausalito, Calif. (September 7) – Three more races were fired off at the 2009 Melges 32 North American Championship, hosted by the Sausalito Yacht Club leaving Don Jesberg (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-162 Viva the overnight leader. “I’ve been around this race track so many times. Today, we played the game pretty conservatively. Stayed middle of the course the whole way and had enough speed to hang in there,’ said Jesberg after racing. “I’ve got a really good group on the boat. We’re having so much fun.”

John Kilroy (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-13131 Samba Pa Ti slipped to second place, only out of first by one point. Stephen Pugh (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-158 Taboo is holding steady in third.

Racing commenced on time under clear skies, sunshine, temps in the low 70s, relatively flat water and light air conditions. From the moment the race committee said go, Jesberg’s Viva team looked confident putting their home turf knowledge to good use. Andy Lovell (New Orleans, La.) on USA-136 Rougarou edged out Jesberg at the first weather mark, Philippe Kahn (San Francisco, Calif.) on USA-166 Pegasus 32 rounded third. Jesberg was quick to jibe for clean air on the downwind run ultimately taking the lead. Through the gate, Jesberg rounded first, Kahn moved up for second and Lovell shuffled back to third. Jesberg led the charge to the finish, his Melges 32 was like a rocket for the win. Easily the fleet was clocking 15-18 knots downwind.

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Maxi yt cup velsheda

Photo credit: Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi

Britain’s Velsheda on form for day one of Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup

The Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda in Sardinia, Italy, from 6-12 September, got off to a flying start as the 42 participating yachts stormed around a 35 mile course in 20 to 25 knots of northeasterly wind.

J-Class, VELSHEDA – winner Day 1, Cruising/Spirit of Tradition.

Patrizio Bertelli’s Luna Rossa (ITA), with double Olympic medallists Robert Scheidt and Torben Grael (both won gold medals for Brazil in 1996 and 2004 in the Laser and Star classes respectively) took first place on corrected time in the Mini Maxi Racing division, while Michael Cotter’s Whisper (IRL) took victory in the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising Division. In the Wally division, France’s Jean Charles Decaux won with his J One, and Filippo Faruffini’s Roma – Aniene (ITA) came in first in the Racing/Cruising division. The 1933 J Class yacht Velsheda (GBR), with Team New Zealand’s Tom Dodson calling tactics, finished first in the Cruising/Spirit of Tradition division.

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Maxi Yacht 2009 sans logo



Day two of the 2009 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup dawned bright and clear. Early reports from the racecourse suggested a small change in conditions from yesterday. The wind had backed a little to the north, and was blowing a fresh 15 knots, but the sea state remained large and lumpy. Happy campers this evening were Luna Rossa (ITA) in Mini Maxi Racing; Y3K (GER) in Wally; Beau Geste (HKG) in Racing & Racing Cruising; Whisper (IRL) in Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising and Velsheda (GBR) in Cruising/Spirit of Tradition.

Peter Craig and the Race Committee had little sympathy for the crew on the Racing Mini Maxis and Wallys who might have sampled too much Sardinian hospitality last night. These two divisions were sent on a 47-nautical mile jaunt up the islet and rock strewn main channel of the Maddalena archipelago to Eceuil de Lavezzi, just off the southern tip of Corsica, followed by the now familiar open-sea reach down the back of the islands, this time extending down the Costa Smeralda to Mortoriotto before heading back up to the finish off Porto Cervo. There was much the same lack of sympathy for the remaining three divisions which raced a 39-nautical mile diet-version of the course which took them up to the vaunted Eceuil before heading home round the outside, albeit without the complication of Mortoriotto.

The Racing Mini Maxis, once again the first start pathfinders, were shorn of one of their number before the day began. Udo Schutz’s Container (GER) had headed off to Olbia early this morning to be lifted out of the water to properly inspect some damage suffered yesterday. The remaining seven leapt off the start line looking alarmingly similar to a startled group of blue marlin, all threatening bowsprits to the fore. Ràn (GBR), with Tim Powell as its principal helm, shrugged off yesterday’s woe and led from start to finish, delighting owner Niklas Zennström whose only complaint was having had to hike hard for most of the course. Ràn completed the route in just over three and a half hours, but corrected out a troublesome twenty-five seconds behind Luna Rossa. Once again the Brazilian double act of Torben Grael and Robert Scheidt putting one over their immediate opposition. Hap Fauth and Bella Mente (USA) won the battle of Mini Maxi owner/drivers finishing third on the water and handicap, snuffing out a sharp-looking Neville Crichton and Alfa Romeo (NZL), which had trailed Ràn around the course.


In the Racing & Racing/Cruising Group, Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste (HKG) with Gavin Brady and Francesco de Angelis masterminding the control centre seared round the shorter of the two tracks in just under three hours, roasting the opposition in the process to correct out ahead of Filippo Faruffini’s Roma-Aniene (ITA) and Danilo Salsi’s Swan 90 DSK Pioneer Investments (ITA). This is only Kwok’s second venture into Sardinian waters and the first on his own boat. He is certainly enjoying the sailing experience, “today’s conditions were similar to yesterday’s, but there were some patches of stronger breeze. Much of the time we were at 16-17 knots which was good. The boat loves long reaching legs and we were given some of these today. We’re happy in big seas and the crew work has been no problem. We’re looking forward to the rest of the week. I’m sure the weather will stay the same, but we’re hoping that so will the wind!”

In the Wallys, Magic Carpet (GBR) strode imperiously up the initial windward leg to lead Y3K and Open Season (GER) into the top mark. At one point, all three were line abreast looking more akin to battle cruisers steaming purposefully towards a fray. Certainly the foredeck crews could be forgiven for assimilating their situation to a war zone, getting a royal hosing as these powerful craft took on the still indecently sized seas just off Porto Cervo. Y3K won through in the end, both on the water and handicap converting a four-minute lead over Magic Carpet to a narrow one-minute victory over the much smaller J One (FRA), which had finished the race some forty minutes astern. Open Season looked to have lost out to Magic Carpet by a mere four seconds for the final podium slot, until a port/starboard protest between these two led to Magic Carpet’s disqualification rounding off a difficult two days for Lindsay Owen Jones and crew.


In the Mini Maxi Racing/Cruising, Idea might have taken the line honours gun, but it was Mick Cotter who must have kissed the Blarney Stone again this morning. According to Brian Benjamin on Aegir (GBR), the crew of Whisper put on another eloquent display of big-sea sailing through the Straits of Bonifacio where the fleet faced a stiff beat following a significant right-hand swing in the wind direction. Benjamin was home some twenty minutes after his Irish counterpart and just three and bit minutes shy on handicap, apparently Aegir’s best performance in four years to date. Sailing with Benjamin was Royal Ocean Racing Club Commodore Andrew Mcirvine, a newcomer to yachting’s Xanadu; “I’ve sailed in most bits of the world but never here. It’s absolutely stunning. Absolutely perfect conditions and the hardware out there is incredible. It’s wonderful watching huge boats go past you and, for me, we’re on a pretty huge boat already.”

The last start of the day was by no means the least spectacular, being reserved for yachts over 100-feet. The jousting giants include not just the largest yachts at the event, but some of the prettiest with examples appealing equally to those drawn by classic looks and those by ultra-modern. The purists will be pleased by Velsheda’s second victory in as many races and, even more so by Hetairos’ (CAY) second place on handicap despite finishing almost an hour behind first-home Visione (GER).

Visione is a gargantuan 45 metres or just a few euros short of 150 feet. By no means the biggest sailing yacht in the world, she still grabs the spotlight here this week. Big does not necessarily mean beautiful, but underway Visione is as graceful as she is potent. From the water she is a commanding presence. From the air she is spectacular. Vast swathes of deck patrolled by ants, handling massive areas of sail. Another eye-catching yacht is the strikingly turquoise-hulled Gliss (SUI), owned by Marco Vögele. Vögele has turned to Ireland for one of his professional talent this week, hoping that Harold Cudmore – a stalwart of the grand-prix America’s and Admiral’s Cup racing scenes for some decades – would add a touch of Irish luck to his campaign. Cudmore has seen it all and more, but still finds the racing here special; “today was a cracking day, just as yesterday. Up amongst the islands with these magnificent yachts in close company; into the Strait, the wind came up a bit, we’re all under a bit of pressure, there are things happening all around and it makes for a wonderful time.”

And he’s right. Listening to Cudmore’s lilting brogue it’s easy to imagine you “are sliding along at maximum hull speed or a little faster even, this land with lots of light on it passing under your sails.” As he says, “it really is something special.”

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more images here




WSTA – A Much Needed Voice For Pro Sailing?

A big day for sailing today as more news about the proposed Louis Vuitton World Series will be presented at a press conference in Paris later.

Perhaps more interesting than the series is the organisation that has been formed to help organise the event. The World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) is starting to look like the Formula One Teams Association (FOTA) but rather than be limited to one part of the sport, the WSTA is set to be made up of all the major teams from the last America’s Cup, the Volvo Ocean Race and Audi MedCupTP52 circuit.

It can only be a good thing for professional sailing. The top of the sport, outside of the Olympics, has suffered from a lack of cohesiveness with event organisers competing for limited dates in the calendar, media and sponsorship dollars.

With ISAF so reliant on the IOC for funding, the world body focusses a huge amount of its time and resources on Olympic classes and has relatively little control over professional Grand Prix events other than to provide umpires.

The WSTA could become a real force for the promotion of commercial interests in the business of professional yacht racing. Rather than compete with ISAF, the new organisation could be an extremely powerful lobby group.

ISAF Secretary General Jerome Pels said in The Telegraph (UK) that the WSTA posed no threat.

“We do not believe there is any intention by WSTA to work outside the system. They know the framework and are keen to strengthen it rather than weaken it.”

The press conference to launch the Louis Vuitton World Series and explain the WSTA will be held around 2pm…Valencia will attempt to stream the event live..

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