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Yachting News 17th October 2009

Oct 17, 2009 No Comments by

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Greetings yachties,

GP42 Global Cup 2009

Baja California Residents Should Prepare for Hurricane Rick

RAK Attack

Vestas Sailrocket – update

Jessica Watson Prepared to leave Sydney on Sunday

Préparation du Trophée Jules Verne

Preparation Rolex Middle Sea

IBI News – Sail Racing opens first store

more as I find it, Enjoy

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Hurricane Season 2009: Tropical Storm Rick (Eastern Pacific)

Baja California Residents Should Prepare for Hurricane Rick

GOES-11 captured this infrared image of Tropical Storm Rick October 16 at 2:00 a.m. EDT The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-11, captured an infrared image of Tropical Storm Rick this morning, October 16 at 2:00 a.m. EDT (0600 UTC). Credit: NASA GOES Project
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Infrared AIRS satellite image of thunderstorms (purple) in Tropical Storm Rick as he was intensifying on October 16 at 4:41 a.m. EDT This NASA infrared AIRS satellite image captured high, cold thunderstorms (purple) in Tropical Storm Rick as he was intensifying on October 16 at 4:41 a.m. EDT (1:41 PDT). Credit: NASA JPL, Ed Olsen
› Larger image Based on computer forecast models, the residents of southern and central Baja California should prepare over the weekend for now Tropical Storm Rick. Rick formed late yesterday, October 15, and is expected to become a major hurricane over the weekend. NASA satellite imagery captured the storm this morning as a strong tropical storm off the western Mexican coast. NASA infrared satellite imagery suggests an eyewall forming indicating the storm is powering up.

Tropical Depression 20-E formed last evening (around 5 p.m. EDT) and rapidly intensified into Tropical Storm Rick. Rick is forecast to strengthen into a hurricane over the weekend, and may become a major hurricane (Category 3 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale) by the end of day on Sunday, October 18.

So what’s powering Rick? Warm sea surface temperatures and light wind shear are promoting Rick’s strengthening. Those conditions appear to be favorable for maintaining and strengthening Rick over the weekend (the next 2 or 3 days). Wind shear is light, with winds less than 11 mph (10 knots). Sea surface temperatures in Rick’s path are near 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). Tropical cyclones need ocean surface temperatures of at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit to maintain strength.

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RAK Attack: The Next Wave. GGYC Pressure SNG Over Terrorist Links.

The latest letter from the Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) to SNG, makes no mention of the Deed of Gift. Whether or not Ras Al Khaimah is a valid venue according to the ancient document or the New York courts (GGYC has always maintained that it is not), the new attack on SNG’s responsibilties as trustee of the Cup focusses entirely on reported terrorist links and activity in the UAE state.
The letter, which quotes mostly American news sources as well as UN reports, makes the row about the venue a purely political one. In 1887, when the deed of gift was written, the British were taking over Balochistan and ‘terrorists’ were being hanged in London in regard to the Haymarket Riot. The Deed of Gift makes no rules about the type of regime that must be in place for a Deed of Match venue and similarly makes no mention of political stability with regards to a race.
There is no doubt that the choice of venue is a strange one. RAK is obviously beneficial to Alinghi from the point of view of the prevailing winds and sea-state and perhaps SNG considered that an American team might find it uncomfortable to set up there, but the GGYC accusation that the choice is a breach of fiduciary duty by SNG could reasonably argued based on the venue not being in the best interests of the event, without bringing the terrorist links into the argument. For example,  it would be a harder to find a venue that is less well served by international airlines.
If the last 10 years are anything to go by, American interests are served well by whipping up hysteria around terrorism. Certainly the latest letter is getting the desired effect, with today’s DailySail headline reading – RAK – birthplace of 9/11 hijacker. The line will play well with the ‘anarchists’ and no-doubt will be accepted without question by many media outlets, however it is a very American-centric attitude.

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Fri, 16 Oct 09 10:41

Yesterday went well-ish. As I speculated before the outing… it was good to simply turn the teams mind to sailing rather than repairing. It was a strange day weather wise. The wind built to 28 knots whilst we held VESTAS SAILROCKET fully rigged at the top of the course. We held on and waited. It wasn’t the usual day… fat drops of rain had come down as we walked the boat down to the water. It could have gone either way. In the end the wind did moderate a little. As we are all about top end winds now I decided to go for it with a view to sailing with the wing slightly eased and no main flap on. I should be able to sail easily and safely in this configuration. Oddly enough the wind swung to a very unusual direction. It went more south and in the end the True wind angle on speed-spot was less than 90 degrees and thus forward of the beam for the run.

The run went smooth enough and the rudder settings were in the ‘ball-park’. By the end of the course the wind had dropped to high teens/low twenties. I decided to pack it up and go and digest the days data.

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Yachtyakka 50 knots here

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Jessica Watson to leave Sydney on Sunday!

Friday, October 16, 2009 – 10:30pm

Following a productive final week of preparations on her yacht Ella’s Pink Lady and a favourable weather window, Jessica Watson wishes to advise that she will set sail this Sunday, 18 October.

The 16-year-old will sail through Sydney Heads at approximately 9.30am (AEDT). Thousands of well-wishers are expected to throng the harbour and its foreshore to send her off, as she begins her attempt at becoming the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe solo, non-stop and unassisted.

With a large number of vessels expected to bid Jessica farewell, NSW Maritime will be escorting Jessica out of Sydney Harbour and will enforce a strict exclusion zone for safety reasons.

Please note that her departure from The Spit will be a private farewell with her family and no access will be permitted to the dock.

Jessica is unavailable for any more media interviews prior to her departure.

Thank you once again for your support.

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Yachtyakka Story here

Jessica to appear on 60 Minutes

This Sunday evening 18 October, Jessica will appear on 60 Minutes program in Australia.

During this in-depth television interview, Jessica tells reporter Charles Wooley that she’s determined to prove the critics wrong.

Jessica’s parents Roger and Julie also feature in the story sharing their views on Jessica’s voyage.

60 Minutes airs this Sunday night at 7.30pm (AEDT) on the Nine Network.

Middle Sea Race 2009 sans logo

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Photos credit: Rolex /  Kurt Arrigo

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Skippers Briefing

PREPARATION, PREPARATION, PREPARATION

October 16, 2009

The 70 crews finally entered in the 30th Rolex Middle Sea Race, which starts tomorrow morning from Grand Harbour, Malta, have spent their last day readying themselves for what looks to be a challenging race. The frontrunners are modelling course times between two and three days, with the likelihood of an extended period of 35-knots of wind on the topside of the course, to the north of Sicily. This is the Mediterranean, a notoriously fickle environment, this week more so than ever with a constantly evolving picture. The navigators and strategists throughout the fleet have been following intently the developing weather patterns over the past few days and talk of encountering heavy weather at some point. One word has kept coming up interviews over that past 24 hours. Preparation.

Australian Tom Addis was part of Team New Zealand in the last America’s Cup and was on the Telefonica Blue team during the Volvo Ocean Race. He knows a thing or two about preparation. He is sailing as navigator on Roger Sturgeon’s STP65 Rosebud/Team DYT (USA) with whom he also sailed when she won the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Addis competed in the storm-swept 2007 Rolex Middle Sea Race too. “This race is always very interesting. You don’t get many 600-mile races with this number of corners and land effects. Quick changes in conditions, very local changes especially going up through the Strait of Messina. There’s always something to be working on next with no big straight lines,” comments Addis, the afternoon before the start. “Conditions are not dissimilar to 2007, in some ways, in that we have a low pressure system just north of Sicily that we’re going to have to deal with. It looks like we’ve got pretty good pressure all the way, which makes for a good fast race.”

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Mike Slade, Owner/Skipper of ICAP LEOPARD

Malcolm Park, the Project Manager for Rosebud/Team DYT, is another who recognises the value of preparation and acknowledged the expectation of some tough conditions. “It is nothing we can’t handle. We’ve five or six guys on the crew who did the last Volvo. We all know what is required,” Park comments. “We’ve sat down and discussed our latest assessment of the situation. We’re taking appropriate steps such as ensuring all crew have short [safety] tethers and that the sails have redundant systems in case of failure at attachment points.”

Around the dock there is clear evidence amongst all crews that they anticipate experiencing strong winds. The presence of orange coloured sailcloth on the pontoons and foredecks being checked and packed, checked again and repacked, confirms not just the mandatory presence of storm sails, but that boats expect to use them. Mainsails with two or three reef points are being preferred to those with one. The smallest sized racing headsails are being included in the inventories.

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Karl Kwok BEAU GESTE Owner/Skipper

Another of the pro-teams is Karl Kwok’s 80-foot Beau Geste (HKG), led by Gavin Brady and Francesco de Angelis, with the highly experienced Andrew Cape as navigator. Kwok may be new to the Rolex Middle Sea Race, but he is also a Hobart race winner and holds the course record for the Rolex China Sea Race. Narrowly beaten by ICAP Leopard to line honours at this year’s Rolex Fastnet, Kwok’s hopes are high, but typically humble for this quietly spoken gentleman of the grand prix racing circuit. “Preparations have been pretty good. This morning we had a lot of wind out there, so we’ve been testing bits and pieces, including different sail configurations. It’s good wind, hopefully we’re going to have it throughout the race,” comments Kwok. “Of course everybody wants to be a winner, but not everyone can do that. I’ve heard of the Rolex Middle Sea Race for such a long time and my hope is that I finish it once in my lifetime,” he adds with a smile.

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Gavin Brady, Race Skipper for Beau Geste

Whilst Rosebud/Team DYT and Beau Geste representative of the elite professional end of the fleet, the 36-foot Otra Vez Fexco (MLT) is typical of the more Corinthian entry. Edward Gatt Floridia, the skipper, is embarking on his sixth race and his first as an owner. Floridia is just as conscious of the importance of preparation. “The hardest bit of this race is being skipper. Everything else is the same. We have the same crew exactly as in previous years; we’ve all sailed together, we all know what to do,” explains Floridia. “The only difference is that I am the skipper and have responsibility for boat and crew.”

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Robert Scheidt and Torben Grael onboard Luna Rossa

Floridia is taking this newfound responsibility very seriously, professionally in fact. “Boat preparation is very important so you are ready for any conditions that you might encounter whether they are very heavy or very light. You need to be prepared for any breakages you might have, especially those that can be repaired so you can continue the race. I don’t think there is any difference between the small and bigger boats in managing the crew. If the weather is rough, it is harder for certain and more uncomfortable. We have a set watch system and we will be flexible depending on conditions and needs on deck.”

Floridia is working on a six-day race, a stark contrast toRosebud where the expectation is 48 to 60 hours. “We’ve been following the weather patterns since the first forecasts for Saturday came out. They’ve been changing every day and in fact every hour. We think we know what we are going to get tomorrow, but two-three days ahead at this time of year is very hard to be accurate. However, it looks to be strong for a couple of days and light for a couple too. One thing for certain is that we’ll get a bit of everything. It never stays constant on this racecourse,” says Floridia.

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Maltese Skipper group photo Front Row, L-R: Kai Merten (REBEL), Peter Spiteri Gonzi (AIRMALTA FALCON), David Anastasi (STRAIT DEALER), Michael Montonaro Gauci (WHISTLER), David Pizzuto (GEISHA), Sandro Musu (AZIZA) Back Row, L-R: Lee Satariano (ARTIE), Kevin Dingli (MANANA), Mark Shranz (NEMESIS CREDAL), Matthew Sciclulna (AIRMALTA FALCON), Jonas Diamantino (COMANCHE RAIDER II GASAN MAMO), Arthur Podesta (ELUSIVE 2 MEDBANK), Oleg Evdokimenko (VIKESHA), Jonathan Gambin (TON TON SURFSIDE), Edward Gatt Floridia (OTRA VEZ FEXCO)

Aldo Quadarella is the skipper of Ricomincio da 3, a couple of feet shorter than Otra Vez and another of the more Corinthian entries. Quadarella finished in sixth overall last year, having been in the lead on handicap at Pantelleria. He is also taking preparations seriously, encouraged by their 2008 result, “last year it was going well until Pantelleria, when we got caught in some stormy weather. We were going fast, but more in the direction of Tunisia than Malta. The whole team wanted to do the race again. We are more familiar with the boat, have replaced some of the sails and even the rudder to be more competitive. We are well-prepared this year.” Ricomincio da 3 is another boat trusting in the powers of Parmigiano. Quadarella adds good coffee and pre-cooked pasta to his list of secret weapons.

The Rolex Middle Sea Race has proven over the years to suffer no fools. This year will be no exception. It is a strong fleet heading to the start line tomorrow, all the crews are capable of sailing well. The conditions will be testing and what will be demonstrated by the results at the end of the week is not only those that have sailed the best, but those that have best prepared themselves and their equipment.

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Sail Racing opens first store

By IBI Magazine/Lars-Åke Redéen

Sweden’s Sail Racing, part of the Gothenburg-based Sportmanship Group, has opened its first-ever store. The Sail Racing Club House covers 80m2 and is located in central Stockholm.

“We’ve found a very good location and a space that we can handle to show our collection and the best of our brand,” says Lars Bolin, marketing manager at Sail Racing. “This is the first step on the way to opening own stores with this concept, Club House. The next shop will be located in Gothenburg or Stockholm.”

The first Sail Racing Club House was opened on October 2 with a fashion show and party for specially invited VIPs.

In cooperation with sailing legend Skip Novak, Sail Racing has also designed five new Gore-Tex jackets for the autumn and winter seasons. Customers buying the jacket will be entered into a competition to win a two-week expedition in Tierra del Fuego onboard the Skip Novak boat Pelagic Australis.

The expedition, sailing April 22, 2010, will also travel around Cape Horn.

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more later, have to sort some details for the Hot Rods

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