© ACEA (2011)/ Photo G. Martin-Raget
Kiwis continue to roll over the competition in Cascais
Emirates Team New Zealand is quickly becoming the star of the show at the America’s Cup World Series – Cascais. For the second consecutive day, the Kiwis earned maximum points, after beating Artemis Racing in a match racing duel for first place to conclude a full day of racing.
The Emirates team picked up where they left off yesterday, winning two of the three fleet races to qualify at the top of the pile for the match racing final. Then, they beat the Artemis Racing crew handily, when the Swedish team accumulated a series of penalties around the race course.
“It’s very satisfying for us to feel like we are really improving and starting to get more and more to grips with the multihulls,” said a very understated Dean Barker, the New Zealand skipper, when he returned to the dock.
The battle for third and fourth on the day was between ORACLE Racing stable mates Russell Coutts and James Spithill. But the highly anticipated match was nearly over before it began, as Coutts was forced to restart after he jumped the line ahead of the starting gun, handing an insurmountable lead to Spithill.
There were also flashes of brilliance from many of the teams further down the table, as Team Korea, Energy Team and China Team all performed well at various times during the day. The Koreans beat Energy Team for fifth place, while China Team led for much of the third fleet race before it all unraveled during the second lap of the course.
“It’s been a difficult day,” admitted China Team skipper Mitch Booth. “We sort of saw glory and ran the other way… In the last race we were leading for the first lap but then we had a crew handling error and that cost us from qualifying for the match racing. But we are happy with the team’s performance and the improvement. We are racing against the best teams in the world, so we are relatively happy.”
Among the guest racers on Thursday was America’s Cup legend John Bertrand, the skipper of Australia II, the first challenger to win the Cup in 1983. In the previous 132-years of America’s Cup competition, no visiting team had been able to pry the trophy from the defending teams of the New York Yacht Club. Bertrand’s team won a thrilling come-from-behind victory that changed the course of sporting history. He sailed in the Cup as recently as 1995, and has been a keen observer ever since.
“This was my first race on an AC45,” he said. “The boats are extremely physical and the racing puts the crews under tremendous pressure to make the right decision at the right time. There is no margin for error… We haven’t seen anything yet!”
Heading out for some yacht racing soon. Have a great weekend and I’ll see you on the other side 🙂 GO ETNZ.
In this issue:
ETNZ wins 1st match race against Oracle Racing Spithill & 2nd against Artemis,
InsightSailing.com – An adventure in a little boat,
The America’s Cup on tour – last week Cascais – this week here,
Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week – Ladies Day,
Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race – Gold Coast Australia wins 1st leg,
AC Match Race Championship – watch live racing here,
facebook and sailing,
Team Sanya first sail,
Team Vodafone Arrive Airlie Beach,
Class 40 D’aloys Le Claquin,
Scuttlebutt USA – latest issue here,
Sailing World News – latest update here,
Boating OZ – latest issue here,
Antigua Yaching Insider – issue 18 here,
Sail-World NZL – latest issue here,
Thursday 11th August
1140 – Iain Murray, Regatta Director: “We’re starting on time today. The forecast is for 10 knots building to 15 knots by the end of the afternoon.”
1030 – There is a Request for Redress underway for Aleph, who felt they were impacted on the race course by one of the support boats. We’ll let you know the result of the request as soon as we get it.
0945 – At the morning briefing for skippers, Principal Race Officer John Craig confirmed the forecast and that he intends to start on time at 1410 local time (GMT+1).
0835 – The forecast is for a return to more typical Cascais summer conditions for the rest of the week – North to Northeast winds in the morning, easing at lunchtime before building to Northwesterly sea breeze in the afternoon.Today by race time the crews can expect 12-15 knots at race time, building as high as 15-18 late afternoon with stronger gusts.
Top teams tangle in Cascais on first day of match racing championship
Emirates Team New Zealand is setting a torrid pace at the Cascais AC Match Race Championship, the third stage of the AC World Series competition, leading after the first day of the series.
Following a two-hour postponement due to unusually light and fickle winds in Cascais, the three seeding fleet races were packed with thrills and spills, the most dramatic of which was a start line collision between ORACLE Racing Coutts and the Kiwis.
The day would culminate with a one-on-one duel between the Emirates team and the American defender, ORACLE Racing Spithill – the first match race of the America’s Cup World Series. At stake was top spot on the day, and the race didn’t disappoint with the lead passing back and forth until late in the match.
Barker, the Kiwi skipper, stormed away off the starting line to lead at the first mark, only to see the American team find a shift on the opposite side of the race course. By the bottom gate, ETNZ was in the lead again. But approaching the halfway point of the race, there was an important cross between the two boats, which resulted in a classic match racing set piece, giving the advantage back to Spithill.
The ping-pong battle continued on the second lap of the course until Emirates Team New Zealand was able to hook into a favorable wind shift and finally shake the ORACLE Racing boat for good. The Kiwis would end the afternoon with top points on the day, with Spithill settling for second place.
Dennis Howard has sailed all over the world, but when an eye disease took away most of his sight a few years ago, he figured his days on the water were over.
Now he plans to sail around the world — alone.
Howard, 62, has only seven percent of his vision, and is legally blind.
On a recent visit to Howard’s boat in San Diego, “Early Show” co-anchor Jeff Glor asked Howard how much he can see.
Howard replied, “The way I like to describe it is that, if you cover your right eye, that one is blind completely, and then if you can imagine looking through a small drinking straw with the left, that’s what I see.”
Howard told Glor that, about three years ago, he was walking down the street when his right eye suddenly blacked out completely.
“For many, many years, I’ve known that I’ve had very high pressures that are related to glaucoma. … Walking down the street, I was a bloody mess,” he said. “I had fallen off of things, run into things, I embarrassed myself.”
With his right eye gone, and sight in his left eye getting worse by the day, his time at sea appeared just about done.
Howard said, “It was a moment where I wasn’t strong on that ‘don’t despair’ part and I thought, ‘Oh, it’s too bad I can’t sail anymore,’ and I just jumped to that conclusion, and it wasn’t true. I just had to think about it a little bit more.”
Tina Scott receives the Ladies Day Trophy from double gold medallist Sarah Gosling – photo Sarah Norbury
Ladies Day celebrations at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week
Ladies Day was introduced for the first time in 2006 to champion the role of women in sailing and the sheer number of women competitors racing at Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week. This year the event organisers teamed up with the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation (WSFF) which continues the tradition of Ladies Day and also celebrates the wider achievements of the country’s sportswomen.
Australian victory in first race of Clipper 11-12 – 09 August 2011
Gold Coast Australia, one of two Australian teams competing in the Clipper 11-12 Round the World Yacht Race, has secured victory in the first race from Southampton to Madeira, crossing the finish line at 1337 local time (1237GMT). For the final part of the 1,340-mile leg it has been a two-way battle for supremacy between the Gold Coast entry and Visit Finland. The Finnish team are set to take second place and are expected to cross the finish line later this evening.
Shortly after the team pulled alongside at the Quinta Do Lorde Marina, skipper of Gold Coast Australia, 31-year-old Richard Hewson from Tasmania, said, “I feel fantastic and I’m very happy with our result. It’s great to have a podium up on the board this early into the race. It’s a great feeling.”
1350 – Bertrand Pacé, Aleph, not sure that his match racing experience will count for much: “We haven’t practised on this kind of boat, so we are looking forward to see what ORACLE and New Zealand will do and what spithill will try to do at the pre-start. So far we have only practised five pre-starts. I don’t think match race experience counts for much at this stage. We need to understand the difference between the old game and the new one, and also the new boats.”
1325 – Mitch Booth, China Team, looking forward to getting a match racing lesson: “This is a new game for us. We’re going to play, but I’d say we’re going to be given a lesson. It’s a new game on this sort of boat [for everyone] but the match race moves and whole game plan is not something we’re familiar with. We’re going to be out there trying to learn as much as we can from these match racing experts.”
1315 – John Craig, Principal Race Officer, on a case of ‘it’s not normally like this’: “Cascais is a beautiful place and historically we’ve gone back six or seven years to look at the weather. Typically it’s a breeze place and historically it shows that. It’s one of those ‘it’s never like this’ days and hopefully the weather will come back this afternoon and we’ll have a good show.”
1225 – Iain Murray, Regatta Director, talking about the lack of wind today: “We’ve seen this coming for a couple of days and decided to delay racing a couple of hours [until 1600 hours]. We’re hoping we’ll have breeze coming from between 250 to 300 degrees, between 4 and 10 knots [wind speed]. Before that, the breeze is all over the place. The good news is the weather looks fantastic tomorrow. Should be back to regular tomorrow.”
1215 – Even though racing doesn’t start until 1600 (GMT+1), our live stream will begin at 1400, with a replay of Sunday’s fleet racing.
Winston Macfarlen goes for a swim. Cascais, 7 August 2011. Photo copyright Carlo Borlenghi
AC Match Race Championship
Following two days off from racing at the America’s Cup World Series – Cascais, the competition will resume on Wednesday with qualifying for the Cascais AC Match Race Championship. Over the next three days, all nine teams will participate in a mix of fleet and match racing to secure spots in Saturday’s Match Racing Championship.
Many of the teams elected to rest their sailors for at least one day to start the week, after the physical efforts the crews expended over the opening weekend.
“You can continue to practice, but if you show up ‘flat’ on Wednesday, it’s all wasted,” explained Artemis Racing skipper Terry Hutchinson. “If you show up a day less practiced, but more refreshed and switched on, that will be as much of a gain right there.”
Team Korea, who didn’t sail on Monday, was on the water Tuesday, after holding a traditional Korean ceremony to bless their boat in the morning. Skipper Chris Draper agreed with Hutchinson’s assessment about the value of giving his crew time to recover and process lessons learned over the first days of racing.
Facebook Generation Likes the Volvo Ocean Race
by Yacht Racing Business Editor
There are some statistics that might be flawed, but nevertheless when applied across time in a consistent manner, provide valuable insights. While the number of Facebook likes a particular brand or athlete has is not a rigorous test of popularity or marketing success, it provides a good proxy for who is managing to engage what one might call – the Facebook generation.
There has been no change in the top 10 yacht racing brands for whom we monitor Facebook likes. Average monthly growth for the properties monitored was 6.02%. The fastest growing property in percentage terms was once again Oman Sail (18.57%).
With 100 days to go, the Volvo Ocean Race continues to grow its Facebook fanbase at about 4% per month. The America’s Cup is growing at 11% a month, but off a low base. The real numbers are more interesting than the percentages.
In January, the Volvo Ocean Race had 35,187 likes. The America’s Cup had 3,521. The Cup has a stated aim to make Facebook a fundamental piece of the communications platform for the new format and have invested heavily in marketing and communications for a specific audience. However since January, the Volvo Ocean Race has acquired 9,832 new likes, while the America’s Cup has managed just 6,901. In the same period, Alex Thomson Racing, which also has a stated preference for developing social media, acquired 9,767 likes
In the first edition of the race back in 1973-74, contact with the fleet consisted of a weekly telephone call. Now, the boats are monitored 24 hours a day and to make sure the sailors are heard around the world USP Content has been appointed official audio broadcast provider to the Volvo Ocean Race.
USP will provide live and pre-recorded audio coverage directly from Race Headquarters in Alicante, ports of call en route and from on board the boats themselves.
Hundreds of radio stations across the continents are being accredited to update millions of listeners on the latest news, conditions and race standings – in multiple languages reflecting the diversity of nationalities taking part in the Race.
Adam Binns, Director of Radio & Television for the Volvo Ocean Race said: “We are delighted to be working with USP Content – a company with an outstanding track record in the field of sports broadcasting.
“In 1973-74 we had a weekly phone call to the fleet. Now our Race will be consumed when the listener wants, on all kinds of devices so it is essential we work with someone whose experience in live commentary, traditional radio and digital audio streams is unrivalled.”
USP Content masterminds BBC Radio 5 Live’s Formula 1 coverage, producing live and pre-recorded programmes, and podcasts for the entire race calendar.
USP Content will build a broadcast centre attached to the NASA-inspired Race Control room in the Spanish Race Headquarters. It will not only allow organisers to achieve better communications with the racing fleet, but also help USP to connect the media directly via live audio-conferences as the action unfolds. The temporary broadcast points at the ports of call will deliver content to a global audience and also to those visiting each of the 10 Race Village Experiences.
Now at Airlie Beach, Simon Hull’s bright red three hulled speedster has been measured and has received her Offshore Multihull Race (OMR) rating, which means she can race in the multihull division.
Owner/skipper Simon Hull commented ‘With our official handicap certificate we are stoked and we will be on the multihull division start line on Pioneer Bay on Friday morning.’
Simon further explained ‘We do 30 knots very regularly in our Wednesday night race on Auckland Harbour. We have touched 40. With steady Whitsunday trade winds around 20 knots and flat water we will smoke.‘