Thursday, June 25, 2009
For the Farr 40 class its game on in the waters off Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Today saw day 1 of racing in a solid Mediterranean breeze and BARKING MAD achieving the best scorecard of 1-6-4 to sit 3 points ahead of MASCALZONE LATINO and JOE FLY who are tied for 2nd
Aussie Guido Belgiorno-Nettis sailing TRANSFUSION had a great first day with a 9-7-1 scorecard and is currently 5th in the rankings. 2008 Australian Olympic Laser representative Tom Slingsby is tactician and great to see he is mixing in some big boat sailing to further his experience.
Read the day one report here.
Tom Atkin's, Flash, and his crew weathered the bumpy ride south with some minor damage. Veteran Transpac navigator, Jay Crum, was among the Flash team. Crum set the double-handed Transpac record with Howard Gordon on Etranger and he played a major part in Bill Turpin's Alta Vita claiming the King Kalakaua Trophy for being first overall in the 2003 Transpac. Crum has sailed more than a dozen Transpacs. His son, Joe, will be sailing his second Transpac on the same boat as his father.
As they aired out sleeping bags and Med-tied Flash in front of Gladstone's and Club Transpac in Long Beach, Jay joked, "Last time it worked out well. He taught me a lot." The apple doesn't fall far from the tree and Joe, a full-time college student, is also an accomplished skiff sailor.
This father-son duo will be on opposite watches during the Transpac. Quipped Jay, "I sleep well knowing that Joe is on deck." Joe's summer vacation is aboard Flash. He has been helping to prepare the TP 52 for the Transpac and will be working the bow and the mast with Paul Allen.
Another father and his offspring are lined up for Flash. Paul Cayard and Danny and Allie, his son and daughter, are part of the 10-person crew. This will be America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race skipper's second Los Angeles to Hawaii Transpac. His first was aboard Sayonara in 1995. The Cayard threesome sailed together in last year's Pacific Cup from San Francisco to Hawaii.
Said Paul of Danny and Allie's Pacific Cup participation, "It was their first offshore experience. They loved it and it was neat for me to see how they changed over the nine days at sea." He continued, "Offshore Sailing has given me a lot, sense of self reliance, the belief that I will always find a way to survive and rebound from a bad moment. These are great character attributes for life and I wanted my kids to be exposed to that at a young age. Also, it is an adventure that we will share forever."
Generations of Transpac sailors will be sharing in Transpac '09 events that kick off on Friday, June 26th with the 4:00 pm Opening Ceremony at Club Transpac.
Follow the lead up to Transpac '09 at www.TranspacRace.com, the official website for the 2009 Transpacific Yacht Race. Become a fan on Facebook.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
A Triumphant MRT - photo by Wander Roberto
It seems to have been a long time coming, but the Mirsky Racing Team blasted through the final stages of the Troia Portugal Match Cup yesterday to take out the title 2-0 over ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing of New Zealand. After being picked by the top qualifier, Mathieu Richard of the French Match Racing Team for their semi final showdown, MRT came into the day with all guns blazing - taking the French team down in the first 2 races, and qualifying for the finals.
Adam Minoprio of ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing also qualified, taking down current World Champions Bahrain Team Pindar in the third and final race of their semi final series, giving MRT the final they had been hanging out for. "We have a great rivalry with Adam and his team" said Torvar, "and both our teams have wanted to race off in a Tour final for a while now, so it was really a dream come true to get to race them and take them down!"
Although the scorecard doesn't show it, the racing was incredibly tight, with both teams throwing everything they had at it. Thesecond race saw ETNZ/BlacMatch Racing come off the line with a slight advantage, but MRT maintained the starboard advantage, and managed to squeeze ahead at the first top mark with the kiwis snapping at their heels. "On the final downwind, we were making some big gains." said Dave Swete of ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing "we knew we didn't have enough to win it, but it was good fun to give the guys a scare."
This is the first World Match Racing Tour win for the young Aussies, but with Match Cup Sweden coming up next week in theirfavoured boats - the DS37's, it could be just the first of many.
MRT proudly supported by Line7, Harken and the Royal Perth Yacht Club.
1st Mirsky Racing Team (Torvar Mirsky) AUS
2nd ETNZ/BlackMatch Racing (Adam Minoprio) NZL
3rd Bahrain Team Pindar (Ian Williams) GBR
4th French Match Racing Team (Mathieu Richard) FRA
5th French Match Racing Team (Philipe Presti) FRA
6th Yanmar Racing (Peter Gilmour) AUS
7th French Match Racing Team (Sebastien Col) FRA
8th Team OnBoard (Bjorn Hansen) SWE
9th Waka Racing (Phil Robertson) NZL
10th Seth Sailing Team (Alvaro Marinho) POR
11th Team Proximo (Ian Ainslie) RSA
12th (Andrew Arbuzov) RUS
MIRSKY RACING TEAM
Monday, May 11, 2009
A thick "pea soup" engulfed the fleet during the in port racing in Boston.
Telefónica Blue ruled the day on Saturday afternoon scoring two wins from two starts. Read the full article here.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
[source: Audi MedCup]
Star campaigner Marazzi, who finished fifth in 2008 in Qingdao and fourth in Athens and is looking ahead to 2012 the Olympic regatta at Weymouth and Portland, England has formed the Audi MedCup Circuit’s first Swiss team, sailing under the flag of the Gstaad Yacht Club, forming the biggest Swiss sailing project since America’s Cup winning Alinghi.
Marazzi will skipper and helm the TP52, which finished fourth overall last season as Geneva based Swedish businessman Torbjorn Tornqvist’s Artemis. The team, under the guidance of Schuemann and Finn Olympic bronze medallist John Cutler, includes well known Swiss sail trimmer Christian “Blumi” Scherrer, an America’s Cup winner with Alnghi in Auckland, and Marazzi’s Star crew Enrico de Maria.
Since taking on the boat the team have managed to complete six days of intensive training off Valencia prior to final training before the first Audi MedCup Circuit event, the City of Alicante Trophy regatta starts next week.
Jochen Schuemann, who won the America's Cup twice with Alinghi, said: “During the last couple of months we have worked very hard to get this young and ambitious project under way. I’m very happy to help Flavio Marazzi to establish a new Pro Team and to share my experience in sailing and in managing a sailing team. MARAZZISAILING combines the experience and professionalism of established America's Cup sailors with the “freshness” of Olympic talents. I’m very much looking forward to participating again in the Champion’s League of Sailing.”
Private individuals are backing this new Swiss TP52 project from the Gstaad Yacht Club. The team’s ambitious objective is to generate further interest and backing from this first event with a top finishing place as the catalyst to secure the future participation of the highly motivated Swiss team through additional partners and sponsors.
Flavio Marazzi commented: “I’m very proud to sail the Audi MedCup together with Sailing Legends like Jochen Schümann and John Cutler. For me the MarazziSailing TP52 Project is an important step on my way to the Olympic Games 2012. As a Star boat sailor sailing within a team of 14 people is a real new challenge and I am convinced that our team will show a good performance in Alicante already.”
RIGHT TO PLAY is the social partner of the MarazziSailing team. It is an international humanitarian organisation, which uses games and sports programmes around the world to help children suffering from war, poverty and illnesses, in order to promote their health and education and to improve their quality of life in a sustainable way.
Flavio Marazzi, who has children, has been an ambassador of RIGHT TO PLAY for several years.
The 2009 Melges 32 North American Championship hosted by the SAUSALITO YACHT CLUB (SYC) on September 6-8 will deliver three great days of awesome racing. The Notice of Race (NOR) has officially been released and online registration is open.
VISIT THE OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF THE 2009 MELGES 32 NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has announced today that the Experimental Kiteboarding Competition Rules have been released and published on the ISAF website.
The Appendix BB -- Experimental Kiteboarding Competition Rules have been published to provide a consistent global framework for kiteboarding competition. The Experimental Rules were produced by members of the ISAF Racing Rules Committee and ISAF Windsurfing Committee in collaboration with a group of kiteboarding enthusiasts in Europe and the USA.
These Kiteboarding Competition Rules are called “experimental” because they will be revised from time to time in response to feedback, comments and suggestions sent to ISAF by sailors, event organizers and judges who use them. Ultimately, it is expected that a revised version of Appendix BB will be put forward to be considered by the ISAF Racing Rules Committee and the ISAF Council for inclusion as a new appendix in a future edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing, the rules which govern the sport on the water worldwide.
The Experimental Kiteboarding Competition Rules were developed from the Windsurfing Competition Rules in Appendix B of The Racing Rules of Sailing. They are freely available to download from The Racing Rules of Sailing pages on the ISAF website at www.sailing.org/rrs or via the link below
Click here to download Appendix BB -- Experimental Kiteboarding Competition Rules.
David TILLETT (AUS), Chairman of the ISAF Racing Rules Committee, said, “ISAF is delighted to introduce the Experimental Kiteboarding Competition Rules. These Experimental Rules provide a great starting point for competition in this exciting new area of our sport. I would like to thank the members of the group that developed these rules, and in particular Dick Rose, Chairman of the Racing Rules Working Party, and Kamen Fillyov, Chairman of the Windsurfing Committee, for their work in producing the Experimental Rules.”
The ISAF Council welcomed kiteboarding into the ISAF family in November 2008, when it approved the International Kiteboarding Association as an ISAF International Class Association at the ISAF Annual Conference in Madrid.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
[source: CYCA / Infinity Communications & Consultant]
There was no stopping CYCA Commodore Matt Allen's Beneteau 44.7 Ichi Ban and his Aussie crew including wife Lisa Allen and Michael Spies. Five wins out of five races secured them the Racing Class title in the Top of The Gulf Ragatta and added further silverware to the trophy cabinet.
Racing continues in other classes today and you can follow the regatta here.
Looking through the entry list, I can only see one lone Aussie - Doug McGain sailing "Code Violation". Doug's an ex-laser sailor and we wish him the best of luck in this World Championship.
Follow the regatta here.
Monday, May 04, 2009
Race One of the 2009 Audi Winter Series was sailed today in 8-10 knots of south easterly breeze. Racing for the fleet of 125 yachts started on time with a full course being sailed.
Dick Cawse’s Vanguard finished first in Division A, with Bob Steel’s Quest second and Geoff Morgan & Andrew Bank’s You’re Hired third.
For the full race report click here and full divisional results click here.
The Spirit of Bermuda is the only sail training vessel on this side of the pond. Sail training vessels from many other nations including Russia, France and Great Britain will be racing her to Bermuda and other vessels from North and South America will converge on Hamilton in the beginning of June to join the Tall Ships Festival and the country's Anniversary celebrations.
You can follow the Spirit during the first leg on www.WorldRegattas.com and www.tallshipsraces.com/atlanticchallenge.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
[source: Audi MedCup]
The same rigorous approach, regular attention to development and detail and the considered, careful strategies on the water, always with an eye to long term game are once again the key, core values for reigning Audi MedCup champions Quantum Racing as they embark on the challenge of becoming the first crew ever to successfully defend the MedCup TP52 title.
Quantum Racing's skipper-helm Terry Hutchinson and crew are already doing their utmost to unfold a programme which will give them the best possible chance of becoming the first team yet to win the Circuit two year in succession.
The full team have just completed 12 good days of training, tuning and testing off Valencia in preparation for the first regatta of the Audi MedCup season, and will log six more training days in Alicante before racing starts there on May 12th for the TP52 Series.
The hull shape and keel of the Botin Carkeek designed Quantum Racing remain unchanged on last year, other than small refinements and some structural improvements.
Their main strategy has been to continue to get more speed from the 'aero package' - the rig and sails.
We have sailed for twelve days now in Valencia and it was all good", US Sailor of the Year Hutchinson reports this week. "I think I made a comment to someone that it is nerve racking because everything is going so smoothly, and so you kind of wonder what is out there that we are missing, but we have an extra 14 months with the boat under our belts as we start this season, and that makes a big difference."
"We sailed four days with the Spanish team, doing practice races and all, and that was really, really good. We did not change the boat at all, not any hull modifications. We did do some structural stuff, and upgraded the hydraulics and a lot of little things.”
The Quantum Racing team's immediate goal is to leverage maximum advantage from their accumulated knowledge of their proven, winning boat in the early part of the season:
"Everything we have seen in pictures of the new boats is what you'd expect them to be." Says Hutchinson, "At this early time in the season while they are still figuring out their boats it is going to be pretty even racing, but as the season wears on you would expect the new boats to be better."
The only personnel changes to the triumphant Quantum Racing line up on the water is the loss of bowman Jeremy Lomas (back to his native Emirates Team New Zealand). He is replaced by Dave Tank (USA), while Robert Hopkins (USA) will fill in as navigator for Ian Moore (IRL) for the first three Audi MedCup regattas.
"It is always a little bit of a war of attrition. It is not necessarily the races that you win, but those that maybe you get round the top mark in 10th and then get a fifth from which are important. It is about keeping yourself in the hunt until the end of the series."
Hutchinson and the team were a formidable force in 2008 and all the signs are that they will be equally tough to beat on this 2009 Audi MedCup Circuit.
Monday, April 20, 2009
The halfway point on leg six of the Volvo Ocean Race has been reached and long-term leader, Telefónica Blue is in the enviable position of being able to watch the battle unfold over 100 miles behind them.
“We have been keeping pace with the guys behind which gives us some comfort, although we are still pushing hard to maintain our position,” noted helmsman Simon Fisher.
Telefónica Blue is at the same latitude as the island of Trinidad, but 1000 nm to the east and 1100 nm from the Caribbean island of Antigua. Behind them, the closest racing is between Ericsson 3, now in third place, just holding off Ericsson 4 who is a mile behind, and PUMA who is three miles behind. Thirty-three miles back, Telefónica Black and Delta Lloyd are also engaged in combat with just eight miles separating the two, while Green Dragon is threatening, just two miles behind.
During the last three hours, the chasing pack has been averaging approximately a knot faster than Telefónica Blue has and it is PUMA who has covered the furthest distance since 1300 GMT yesterday, sailing 486 nm.
PUMA’s skipper, Kenny Read, describes the sailing as beautiful but wet, reaching in 18 – 20 knots of wind in the northeast trades, a band of wind about as predictable as any in the world. According to Kenny, it leads to a different style of sailing. “Not the ‘sail-changing world championships’ we have bad over the past week, this is more the ‘throw up all the rag you can and hold on’ style of sailing,” he says.
Ericsson 3 has made some gains on the fleet in the last 24 hours, moving up to second place. “We even gained on Ericsson 4, something almost unheard of,” explained navigator Aksel Magdahl. “We know what sails to use and have set the boat up nicely. We also have very strong helmsmen and trimmers, who can tweak a few tenths of a knot extra out of the boat,” he explained.
Leg Six Day 9: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)
1. Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) DTF 2,449 nm
2. Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) +104 nm
3. Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +105 nm
4. PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +107 nm
5. Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) +140 nm
6. Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermúdez/ESP) +148 nm
7. Green Dragon IRL/CHN (Ian Walker/GBR) +150 nm
8. Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Portofino Rolex Trophy is a new regatta that will be celebrating its inaugural edition this year in one of Italy's most iconic port villages. From May 7-10, 2009, the picturesque port of Portofino, on the Ligurian coast, will be the venue of choice for a series of races dedicated to the "barca d'epoca," vessels that have helped make sailing history, namely the classic yachts.
Open to the 23-Metre, 12M and 8M classes, the Portofino Rolex Trophy is an invitation-only regatta that promises spectacular racing along with a host of onshore activities. Read on…
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Magnus Olsson and his team of Nordic sailors onboard Ericsson 3 rounded the legendary Cape Horn at 1222 GMT today in pole position and in daylight, gaining maximum points at the scoring gate.
Ericsson 4 (Torben Grael/BRA) will be the next boat to round the Cape, which marks the border between the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. At the time of Ericsson 3’s rounding, Ericsson 4 was 36 miles astern, a gap that has now closed to 18nm.
“It looks like the Ericsson 3 boys have managed to hold us off – and fair play to them – they played a good move early after the last scoring gate, a move which none of the rest of us were brave enough to play,” said Ericsson 4’s MCM Guy Salter.
For every sailor, the achievement of rounding this notorious Cape, which is the tip of one small island with a lighthouse, situated in one of the most remote areas in the world, is never diminished, no matter how many times they do it.
Spain’s Guillermo Altadill, who has rounded the Cape six times, describes the experience:
“I can only imagine it must be similar to a marathon runner on arrival at the stadium, with only 400 metres left after his epic 26 miles, to look up and see the public awaiting him. Except that, on that rock there is no public. And when you are lucky enough to get close enough, and on a clear day, you look up at that black rock with its lighthouse and all the legends that surround it, and it makes you think that whatever happens from that moment onwards, you have fulfilled your objective: to arrive in one piece.”
For Ericsson 3, Cape Horn almost lived up to its notorious reputation, producing 25 knot winds and massive seas, but Ericsson 4 is expecting full storm conditions when they round next in line. The crew is looking forward to it.
“There has been a chat about rights earned for passing the Horn: earrings, feet on the table at meal times, and tattoos of tall ships under full sail,” says Salter in anticipation.
All Ericsson 3 has to do now is to turn north and keep the fleet at bay. No easy task, when the skipper of the chasing Ericsson 4, Torben Grael, is one the golden boys in Olympic sailing and close quarter, tactical racing is what he excels at. They now face a long battle of over 2,000 nm to the finish in Rio.
Cape Horn Scoring Gate
(boat/rounding time/gate points)
Ericsson 3: 1222 GMT: 4 points
Distance to Cape Horn at 1222 GMT
Ericsson 4 - 36.91nm
PUMA - 141.21 nm
Green Dragon - 229.49 nm
Telefónica Blue- 766.86 nm
Leg Five Day 32: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
(boat name/country/skipper/nationality/distance to finish)
Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) DTF 2264 nm
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +18
PUMA Racing Team USA (Ken Read/USA) +119
Green Dragon IRL/CHI (Ian Walker/GBR) +210
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +746
Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermudez/ESP) DNS
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DNS
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS
Volvo Ocean Race
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Adam Minoprio of Blackmatch Racing took out the Marseilles International title over France’s Mathiu Richard. Although going down in the semi finals, MRT managed to win the petit finals convincingly to secure 3rd place in the first event on the 2009 World Match Racing Tour.
“We are slightly disappointed, but the field was really strong so we are happy to have come such a long way. Adam and his team performed really well throughout the series, and they rightly deserved to win… It’s a great start to our season, and hopefully we will only get better as the year goes on”.
The next event of the World Match Racing Tour is in Germany this May. MRT will be returning to Australia to continue their training program, and continue preparations for the rest of the 2009 season.
A special thanks to Line7, Harken and the Royal Perth Yacht Club for their support.
MIRSKY RACING TEAM
Saturday, March 14, 2009
[Source: Di Pearson, Audi Etchells Worlds media manager]
Ross Wilson, the principal race officer of the 2009 Audi Etchells World Championship hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Victoria, was forced to abandon Race 6, the last of the nine race series on Port Phillip today when thunderstorms and unstable conditions pervaded the course, meaning the overall placings from yesterday’s overall scores stand.
The Championship was won yesterday, by Queensland’s Jason Muir and crew members, as their score could not be beaten. Second and third places have gone to two local Melbourne entries; Damien King/Simon Cunnington/James Ware/Andrew Butler who finished just two points ahead of John Bertrand/Ben Ainslie/Andrew Palfrey.
It was a fairly relieved Simon Cunnington that came off the water this afternoon. “We’re not that sorry the last race was abandoned. Thinking about having to go head to head with Ben Ainslie was a bit daunting,” he said laughing.
Cunnington, who co-owns his boat ‘Barry’ with skipper King, said the crew were rapt with their second place. “Realistically, to finish anywhere in the top 10 would have made us happy. We haven’t done much racing – we didn’t do the Nationals or the States. As I said before, we had Adrian Finglas (Olympic coach) coaching us and that made all the difference.
The Sandringham sailor named tactician Andy Butler as a major factor to their second place: “He was great at picking the pressure up the first beat and from there you are well on your way.”
Cunnington said the crew used ‘Predict Wind’, a fairly new product being used by America’s Cup crews as their weather model.
On the competition coming into the Championship: “John Bertrand’s crew were obviously favoured and we always thought Jason (Muir) would be strong. They were the smartest sailors out there and I reckon we’re 18 months or so behind them in terms of Etchells sailing.
“It was a pretty humbling experience to beat John Bertrand’s crew – we all (on Barry) feel that way. Everyone who finished in the top eight are amazing sailors; Chris Busch, Jud Smith – so to finish second is special.
Busch and Smith finished fourth and fifth overall.
And how did they settle on ‘Barry’ for the name of the boat: “It was the worst nautical name we could think of!”
Obviously John Bertrand was disappointed the final race had to be abandoned, but as he said: “that’s yacht racing.”
Bertrand described their worst day of the series, yesterday, in which they scored 12th and 32nd placings in Races 7 and 8 respectively: “It was very different in terms of unstable winds. Local knowledge became irrelevant. If you weren’t on the right side of the shift, you were gone - the shifts were long.
“We got good starts and went left, but the breeze freshened from the right and we were stuck in the boondocks. Once you get buried, that’s it, and with one drop, there’s no way back.
Ainslie: “The changes in wind happened at different times of the day. It has been extraordinary conditions over the last week, but I’ve enjoyed having the opportunity to sail an Etchells and sailing with John and Dog.”
Bertrand had high praise for his crew: “Ben and Andrew – sailing with these guys – they were a joy to be involved with. It was a fabulous experience to be plugged into the latest Olympic thinking and technology – there was so much knowledge on our boat.”
“These guys are so on top of everything, so the boat was remarkably quiet, we didn’t need to talk much. Ben ran the tactics, while Dog (Palfrey) ran the mechanics. They have such a great sense of awareness around them. My job was to concentrate on steering the boat, and I was able to do that.
“The three of us were like well-oiled machinery, which is a very rare thing. I have only felt this once before, and that was with the Australia II team – that’s the last time it’s happened until now. Some people never know the pleasure – it’s a rare and real privilege.
Ainslie, who now heads off to contest the Congressional Cup and rejoin his Team Origin America’s Cup crew, said of the Audi Etchells Worlds: “It’s been fantastic racing, especially with 85 boats on the start line.”
Competitors could not say enough about the organisers, Jake Gunther (who also sailed the event and finished 27th) event-coordinator, Amanda Coates (who worked long hard hours and kept the smile on her face the entire time) and the on-water race management team, headed by Ross Wilson.
Coates had this to say: “I think it’s gone remarkably well. Everyone feels the racing has been good – I’ve had no negative comments at all, so that’s really pleasing.
“We are very lucky to have the Wilsons (brothers Ross and Kevin) and their team; Bill Bell and Paul and Danielle Pascoe. They are all locals and just get on with their jobs and the Etchells guys are a great bunch, it’s been a great event.”
The 2009 Audi Etchells World Championship was organised by the Melbourne Etchells Fleet in conjunction with the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.
Top 5 results:
1 MUIR, Jason, AUS874 - 43 points
2 KING, Damien AUS924 - 63
3 BERTRAND, John AUS1383 - 65 (Masters Seniors)
4 BUSCH, Chris USA969 - 73
5 SMITH, Jud AUS1377 - 79 Masters
Audi Etchell Worlds 2009
After a long day out on the water, the round robin has been completed and the Quarterfinals pairing have been decided. MRT managed to just scrape through, winning the final race of the round robin to put them on 6 wins, finishing in 7th position.
The higher qualifying teams were given the power to choose who to race in tomorrow’s do or die quarterfinals, and reigning two time world champion Ian Williams of Bahrain Team Pindar chose to race the Mirsky Racing Team. The choice doesn’t come as much of a surprise as Williams managed to beat MRT in the round robin stage, however with the scores so close after the first stage, anything could happen.“We’re looking forward to building up the momentum that we had today in tomorrow’s quarterfinals. We always aim to peak on the final day, and our performance has picked throughout the regatta, so we hope to continue it on right through to the end.”
STANDINGS FROM THE ROUND ROBIN
Ed Baird – 8 wins
Paolo Cian – 7 wins
Damien Iehl – 7 wins
Ian Williams – 6 wins
Sebastien Col – 6 wins
Adam Minoprio – 6 wins
Torvar Mirsky – 6 wins
Mathiu Richard – 6 wins
Pierre Morvan – 3 wins
Bjorn Hansen – 3 wins
Ian Ainslie – 3 wins
Follow the action on http://www.mirskyracingteam.net/ or http://www.worldmatchracingtour.com/
MIRSKY RACING TEAM
[source: Di Pearson, Audi Etchells Worlds media manager]
Jason Muir and his crew of Paul Wyatt, Matthew Chew and Bucky Smith (AUS) have outclassed the rest of the 85-strong field at the 2009 Audi Etchells World Championship to win the title a day before the Championship finishes.
Heading into today’s two races, the Queensland friends were five points behind America’s Cup hero John Bertrand and his Olympic crew of Ben Ainslie (British four time medallist) and Australian Olympian and coach Andrew Palfrey (AUS).
With no disrespect to this crew, Muir and co. were not named among the Championship favourites pre-event. However, Fellow Queenslander, Mark Bradford, did say the four “were more than capable of winning a couple of races.”
Ironically, Muir did not win a single race, but what his crew did do, was to sail consistently at the top of the fleet throughout, their worst result a 10th place in Race 1. From there, the four did not finish outside ninth place. Their best result was a trio of fifth places.
In Races 7 and 8, Muir scored ninth and eighth places, while Victorian Bertrand and his crew had their worst day on the course with 12th and 32nd placings, dropping them down the board to third overall with only one race remaining.
“I don’t think our win has quite sunk in yet; it’s unbelievable,” said Muir whose crew will not sail tomorrow’s final race, choosing instead to watch the race.
On beating Bertrand and his crew, Muir said: “These are the three guys you really look up to. I’ve always looked up to John Bertrand since I was a kid and he won the America’s Cup – and we’re all big Ben Ainslie fans. Bucky used to sail a Finn and he’s always been a big fan. They were such a great crew – three Olympians on one boat.”
On their two races: “We didn’t have good starts today. We had to duck 30 odd bows each time to find a lane and get into clear air.
“We didn’t have it easy, believe me, it was a difficult day. We made a mistake in Race 7. We were in fourth place at the top mark the first time and should have followed the guys in front, but we broke away. Our race plan went out of whack a bit there – we thought the breeze would flick back to the right – but it didn’t, so we had to take our medicine.
“After that race, we discussed that tomorrow was supposed to be a big breeze and we looked at whether we should attack John, but we looked at their record and thought we would probably lose if we match raced them or we’d end up in the protest room so we decided to sail our own race.”
On when they realised they had won: “Once we crossed the finish line, we counted back to where John finished (he was 32nd) and realised we’d won,” said the 36 year-old Brisbane sailor.
Twenty-five year old Matthew Chew from Wellington Point joked: “I’m giving up sailing.” The reality is, Chew is also a gun triathlete and is aiming at that world championship. “I’m stoked with our win – I still can’t quite believe it.”
Paul Wyatt, a 39 year-old from Grange said: “This is the top level; there are multiple Olympic champions, America’s Cup sailors, you name it, they’re here. To beat them is massive. We were pretty low profile here. We won the Nationals in 2008, but we haven’t been to many of the other regattas.”
For Maroochydore’s 32 year-old Bucky Smith, whom Muir has the hugest amount of respect and praise for, it was a dream come true. “It hasn’t sunk in for any of us really, but to go out and race against and beat someone the standard of Ben Ainslie is a big deal.”
A second Melbourne crew is now in second place. Damien King/Simon Cunnington/James Ware/Andrew Butler have moved up the board into second place following their seventh and fourth placings in Races 7 and 8.
Said Cunnington this afternoon: “We fell out of contention when we scored a 38th place in Race 4. We learnt a lot from that 38th! We changed our strategy a bit after that.
“We have been lucky to have Adrian Finglas (Australian Olympic coach) coaching us the last six weeks. Roughly we thought we would be in the mix, but Adrian has made all the difference in every way you can imagine: nutrition, preparation, course management, crew optimisation – everything. We can’t say enough.”
Both he and King are talented sailors though. King was one of Australia’s top 470 sailors during the ‘90’s and prior to that, a 420 champion, while Cunnington has represented at the America’s Cup, Whitbread Race and contested many Sydney-Hobart races.
The Melbourne crew is just two points ahead of Bertrand, so will have to remember all that Finglas’ has taught them tomorrow.
Not only do they face Bertrand, but there are two other crews within reach of King’s crew; Chris Busch/Chad Hough/Chuck Sinks/David Hughes (USA) are 10 points behind them and Jud Smith/Mark Johnson/Nik Burfoot (AUS) are16 points behind. And as we saw today, anything could happen.
Only two crews here have won two races, both of them clocking up their second wins today. Robert Goddard (GBR) won Race 4 and then Race 7 today. Due to an inconsistent series, they are 42nd overall. The British skipper went from a rooster to a feather duster when he broke the start in Race 8, having to fight his way back to the line and re-start to finish 80.
Graeme Taylor/Grant Wharington/Ben Morrison Jack won Race 6 and today won Race 8, but are 13th overall and like Goddard, cannot finish on the podium. Taylor’s crew struggled early in the series, but found their form yesterday.
“Shame we left it this late to come good,” said Taylor’s crew Wharington tonight. “We did much better in the heavier breeze yesterday and I think the flat water helped us today. We haven’t been sailing well in the chop on Port Phillip.”
Wharington also admitted: “We got a couple of lucky breaks today. We went right at once stage and the breeze went right with us and we lifted right up. Starting mid-line, we were in a good position, but then a couple of boats spat us out, but then a couple of other boats let us through and we were able to sail in clear air.”
Race officials had another tough day. Winds arrived late again, as they can do in March. Eventually the wind filled in to around 8-10 knots and shifted between 160-175 degrees throughout the day, so moving marks became part and parcel of the game and racing got underway after 1.30pm.
As Principal Race Officer Ross Wilson has said every day at the Audi Etchells Worlds, “we have to give them good and fair racing. All of us have to have our heads out of the boat at all times and be vigilant.” And they were.
The final race, to decide second and third places overall, will be sailed tomorrow on Port Phillip starting from 12.00pm, weather permitting.
The 2009 Audi Etchells World Championship is organised by the Melbourne Etchells Fleet in conjunction with the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.
Audi Etchell Worlds 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
MRT performed well throughout the day despite only managing to get 2 wins from 5 races. The team was able to find speed throughout the day; however some minor tactical errors caused them to be on the back foot, and in some incidents races were put in the umpire’s hands. “We felt comfortable in all 5 races today, but with some small shifts not going our way we unfortunately didn’t come away with as many wins as we would have liked, but tomorrow is a new day and the field is extremely tight so we will just keep focused on improving as a team”.
STANDINGS AFTER DAY ONE
Paolo Cian – 7 wins 0 losses
Matthiu Richard – 4 wins 2 losses
Ed Baird – 3 wins 0 losses
Phillipe Presti – 3 wins 2 losses
Sebastien Col – 2 wins 2 losses
Pierre Morvan – 2 wins 2 losses
Torvar Mirsky – 2 wins 3 losses
Adam Minoprio – 2 wins 3 losses
Ian Williams – 2 wins 3 losses
Damien Iehl – 1 win 4 losses
Ian Ainslie – 1 win 4 losses
Bjorn Hansen – 1 win 5 losses
Follow the action on http://www.mirskyracingteam.net/ or http://www.worldmatchracingtour.com/
MIRSKY RACING TEAM
Thursday, March 12, 2009
OC Events, organisers of the award-winning iShares Cup Extreme 40 Sailing Series, has announced that prestige watch company Omega is to renew its association as the Official Timekeeper to the series for the next three years. This is a real stamp of approval for a sports entertainment product which is providing strong commercial returns for team and event sponsors, at a level of budget very much appropriate for these tougher economic times.
Omega has worked with parent company OC Group since 2001, when it began its support of a young Ellen MacArthur. Omega has also been a key partner in other events belonging to OC, including as the main partner to The Transat in 2004, and as official timekeeper to the 2008 edition, The Artemis Transat. It was the first partner to sign up to the iShares Cup in 2007 when it was created. Read on…
[source: Volvo Ocean Race]
Down at 50 degrees south, Green Dragon has seen ice. Three bergs, that skipper Ian Walker estimated were 100 metres across and the size of a football pitch, were spotted shining in the darkness.
The boat passed two bergs to windward and one to leeward. “I noticed this morning that a few more people are now wearing survival suits and we have made a point of closing all the water tight doors,” Ian noted.
Daylight came as a relief to the crew who have now gybed north towards the safety of the gate that was supposed to keep the fleet away from ice.
“Whilst I would love to see an iceberg in the daylight, I will be more than happy not to see any more ice in this race,” reported Ian.
Along with rounding Cape Horn, the sighting of an iceberg is something of a highlight of the Southern Ocean. Onboard Telefónica Blue, Spaniard Jordi Calafat is longing to see a berg.
“Cape Horn and seeing an iceberg will make this trip around world complete for him,” said skipper Bouwe Bekking.
For rookery New Zealander Chris Main, a helmsman on Green Dragon, the marathon leg five of the Volvo Ocean Race has been something of an adventure. Having never sailed a Volvo Open 70, Main arrived in Qingdao two days before the start, hoping, at least, to have two days sailing before the start of the 12,300 leg to Rio, but it was either too foggy or too windy.
“The start day turned out to be just right for my first ever sail on a Volvo Open 70, and with 40 days to Rio, the boys reckoned I’d have plenty of time to learn the ropes and be well and truly ready to get off,” Main says.
Life onboard the Green Dragon has been full of ‘extremes’. “Beforehand you think about the sailing, the speed of the boats big waves and night time sail changes, but the real extreme experience is living in one of these ocean racing beasts while hurtling around the world’s oceans,” he explains.
On PUMA, skipper Ken Read reports that the crew are commenting on how thin each is looking. “It is interesting how you can especially feel your legs getting weaker, being in such a confined space for days and weeks on end,” he said.
According to Rick Deppe, PUMA’s MCM, the crew are devouring all the food he can put in front of them, but still disappearing before his eyes.
“No sooner are the day snacks put out than they disappear up on deck never to be seen again. I’ve witnessed people using a finger to get the last of the spaghetti sauce out of the bottom of the serving cooler,” he observed.
Meanwhile, in the drag race to the ice gate, Ericsson 3 - the freight train at the head of the fleet - is beginning to slow as she too drops off the weather system that abandoned the chasing pack yesterday.
Her average speed is down to 13 knots allowing small gains to be made by Ericsson 4, PUMA and Green Dragon.
“The next week of sailing has the potential to be the most exciting of the whole race,” says Ken Read. “We are in a neck and neck race with Ericsson 4, and, as for Ericsson 3, well anything might happen.”
Read reports that PUMA is blasting along between 18 and 24 knots and that the boat is jumping around and banging in the most violent way imaginable.
Not so for Telefónica Blue who is trapped by light airs in the south. “Another day in paradise. It could have been so nice if we had some boats around us,” said Bouwe Bekking.
Helmsman Simon Fisher adds, “Sadly, it has been another slow day for us and things seem to be set to stay that way as a ridge of high pressure is extending out in front of us, putting up a wall between us and the leaders.”
Telefónica Blue continues her fight, but is averaging only 10 knots and is now nearly 800 nm adrift of the leaders. “Even with all the optimism in the world, it is starting to get a little frustrating now,” Fisher said.
As soon as the leading pack are clear of the ice gate, the race south will begin and with it, for them, will come some tactical options.
Leg Five Day 26: 1300 GMT Volvo Ocean Race Positions
Ericsson 3 SWE (Magnus Olsson/SWE) DTF 4,326 nm
Ericsson 4 SWE (Torben Grael/BRA) +259
PUMA USA (Ken Read/USA) +287
Green Dragon IRL/CHI (Ian Walker/GBR) +565
Telefónica Blue ESP (Bouwe Bekking/NED) +799
Delta Lloyd IRL (Roberto Bermudez/ESP) DNS
Telefónica Black ESP (Fernando Echávarri/ESP) DNS
Team Russia RUS (Andreas Hanakamp/AUT) DNS
The line up to this year’s first World Tour is outstanding, with 9 of the top 10 ranked skippers competing, along with the two qualifying skippers - Ainslie and Morvan who are ranked 12th and 13th respectively. Then of course, who could forget the America’s Cup champion Ed Baird who has committed to the 2009 World Match Racing Tour.
Follow the action on www.mirskyracingteam.com or www.worldmatchracingtour.com
MIRSKY RACING TEAM
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
John Bertrand and his crew of Ben Ainslie and Andrew Palfrey (AUS) have lived up to their ‘race favourites’ tag, taking the Day 1 lead of the Audi Etchells World Championship following two light and shifty races being sailed on Port Phillip today.
Hosted by Royal Brighton Yacht Club in Victoria, racing on the two lap windward/leeward course was delayed until winds finally filled in, finally getting underway shortly before 3.30pm after a general recall, which was repeated in Race 2.
Sailing on his home turf, Bertrand, and his crew placed third in Race 1 and 11th in Race 2, enough to give them a one point lead over Brisbane’s Jason Muir/Matthew Chew/Paul Wyatt (AUS) with a further four points to a second Melbourne crew, Damien King/Simon Cunnington/James Ware/Andrew Butler (AUS). Read on…
The event has an all star line up with Ian Williams trying to defend his World Championship, a number of America’s Cup teams, including the current holder of the world’s oldest trophy – Ed Baird from Alinghi, and some newcomers who are set to cause some upsets.
The first day of racing commences on the 11th. Follow the action either on www.mirskyracingteam.com or www.worldmatchracingtour.com
MIRSKY RACING TEAM
Friday, March 06, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
The stage is set for a vicious battle on this year’s World MatchRacing Tour as a number of heavyweights in the sailing world have beengiven the chance to compete for the championship- including Alinghiskipper and America’s Cup champion Ed Baird, 3 time gold medallist BenAinslie, and 2 times defending World Champion Ian Williams, along witha number of America’s Cup teams and young up and comers.
It all kicks off next week in Marseilles as the Tour’s newest eventgives 12 teams a chance to get some early points in the fight for theworld title. With 5 months intense physical preparation in the lead upto the 2009 season and a good record in the event’s J80 boats, MRTlooks to be in good shape to perform. The team will be travelling toFrance for some final training with defending champion Ian Williamsand Alinghi’s Ed Baird in the J80’s. “It is exciting for us to becompeting together again” said Torvar as the dates for the MarseillesInternational Match Race close in. “We feel like we have had a goodlead up to the event with two physios working closely with our teamand getting us in good shape for this year’s Tour. We have never felt better!”
Follow the action at www.mirskyracingteam.com or www.worldmatchracingtour.com
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Gold medals are on the minds of Australia’s top sailors as they begin the long campaign towards Olympic glory in London with the announcement of the 2009 Australian/AIS Sailing Team.
Reigning Olympic champions, silver medallists and new pairings headline the 2009 Australian/AIS Sailing Team.
Beijing champion Malcolm Page begins his third Olympic campaign with a new skipper, as Mathew Belcher joins him in the 470 class. The new pairing has gelled instantly with Page and Belcher winning the recent Australian 470 National Championship.
“The time Mat and I have spent together so far has been phenomenal and the level we’re at has exceeded our plans,” said Malcolm.
“Mat and I are focused on this year’s World Championships and we’re after a medal. We’re not too concerned about the colour but Gold always looks good. We’re both looking forward to going up against the best 470 crews in the world,” he said.
Darren Bundock, who claimed a silver medal in Beijing, has put the demise of the Tornado class behind him, seeking a new challenge in a 49er with Ben Austin.
“After three Olympic campaigns in a Tornado, the change to a 49er for London 2012 is a refreshing and exciting change,” he said. “The 49er is just like sailing a Tornado on ice! I’m fortunate enough to be sailing with the current 49er World Champion crew to make me look good.”
“Our new campaign is just like Dancing with the Stars, I’m now the clumsy new comer with two left feet and Ben is the star teaching me all the steps,” said Darren.
Australia’s other Gold pairing of Elise Rechichi and Tessa Parkinson begin their London 470 campaign refreshed and ready to hit the waters of Europe in a few months time.
Australian Sailing Team head coach Victor Kovalenko sees a lot of potential in the 2009 Australian Sailing Team.
“This is a transition year for us but we still have a number of goals to achieve,” he said. “Goal number one is to gain experience and goal number two is to be a leading squad in our sport at the various World Championships.”
Laser sailor Tom Slingsby has put his Beijing disappointments behind him as he looks to return to the form that took him to victory at the 2007 and 2008 World Championships and finish 2008 ranked number one in the world.
Australia’s leading R:SX competitor Jessica Crisp will hit the water again after a strong fifth placing in Beijing as she heads towards her fourth Olympic Games.
In 2009 the Australian/AIS Sailing Team will feature a second 49er crew and a third new pairing with Nathan Outteridge set to compete with Australian Sailing Development Squad member Iain Jensen.
The Australian/AIS Sailing Team will maximise the benefits and expertise available through the world renowned AIS scholarship program. These AIS sailing athletes will continue to be well supported through the sophisticated AIS coaching, training and competition program as well as individualised sport science and medicine support.
As recently as this week the Team returned from a successful training camp at the AIS Canberra campus where they undertook intensive off water physical performance education and training sessions.
In the coming months team members will begin heading to Europe to contest a number of major international championships in their classes.
In 2009 the team will also have their first hit-out on the Olympic course at Weymouth in the Sail for Gold Regatta this September.
The Australian Sailing Team is proudly supported by major co-sponsors Audi and Hamilton Island.
2009 Australian/AIS Sailing Team
Mathew Belcher & Malcolm Page – 470 Mens
Elise Rechichi & Tessa Parkinson – 470 Womens
Darren Bundock & Ben Austin – 49er
Tom Slingsby – Laser
Jessica Crisp – R:SXNathan Outteridge & Iain Jensen (Development) – 49er
2009 Australian/AIS Sailing Team – selected but deferring until 2010
Tony Walls and his 'Acuity' team of Mal Page, Roger Perret, Paul Gudmunson, Andrew Toon, Sam Davidson, Jason Greenway, Justin Lambeth and Chris Dawson have won the Line 7 Australian Sydney 38 Championships held off Sydney heads last weekend.
'Acuity' won five of the eight races with their worst place being a fourth. Chris Way's 'Easy Tiger' finished second and Alan & Thomas Quick’s 'Outlaw' finished third.
Sydney 38 Class Association
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Nathan and Malcolm's Coach Victor Kovalenko won Coach of the Year.
Monday, February 23, 2009
In what was said to be one of the "craziest" races on Sydney Harbour, Southern Cross finished fourth in the final race, taking the championship by one point from Active Air-2UE (Matthew Searle, Dan Wilsdon, Archie Massey), with Gotta Love It 7 (Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton, Tom Clout) three more points adrift in third place.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
I sailed Flying Elevens myself (many years ago) and thinking back now there were always a couple of girls just off a podium place, but now Olivia and Maddie have change history, Congratulations