Sunday, March 21, 2010

ETNZ Win Race Two Of The Finals To Take Out The Louis Vuitton World Series Trophy

Racing today was delayed due to lack of wind and the originally planned best of seven races had to be reduced to a format whereby the first team to win two races out of three would be declared the overall winner. That put ETNZ in a favourable position with already one win under their belt from the previous day.

The race committee made the call early in the morning after consulting with weather guru Roger “Clouds” Badham. It is disappointing for both teams and spectators, but as they say, that’s yacht racing for you.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Bob Fisher joined the radio team as a guest commentator to call the race.

At the start line ETNZ on the right, Mascalzone Latino Audi on the left. ETNZ lead but ML Audi picked up a lift as they sail bow to bow up the first beat.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
ETNZ have the power of the right and again it is a very close race with these two boats locked together at the top mark with the Kiwis going around first eight seconds ahead followed closely by ML Audi. eight seconds ahead but as they sped down to the bottom mark, ETNZ created a distance of four boat lengths as they continued out to the left hand side of the course.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
In the closing stages of the second beat, ETNZ headed towards the left hand gate, coming in on starboard. Up went the genoa and the bow swung around while ML Audi milked their gennaker for as much as possible before coming around, 21 seconds behind.

In the very patchy wind it was not too easy for these teams. ETNZ went to the right and picked up a shift while ML Audi twent left with less pressure. ETNZ maintained their distance.

Tacking onto port ETNZ came along the left hand layline, did a perfect gybe set around the top mark that indicated that the wind had gone right. This looked good for ETNZ as the headed for the finish line 200 metres ahead of ML Audi half way down the last downward leg beat. And making no mistakes, ETNZ crossed the finish line to win the final 2-0.

Lulu Roseman

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Yendys Is Provisional Winner of Audi Sydney to Newcastle Race

While Wild Oats XI took line honours, Yendys is the provisional overall race winner under IRC while Quest is second overall and provisionally positioned to win the Blue Water Pointscore (BWPS).
Photo: Andrea Francolini/AUDI 
With Yendys’ owner/skipper Geoff Ross away on business, Chris Nicholson skippered the Reichel/Pugh 55 to its win. A world-class ocean racer, Olympian and three-time world champion in the 49er skiff,  Nicholson, from Lake Macquarie spoke to Ross who is delighted with the win.

“It boiled down to the ramifications of the strong current inshore versus the sea breeze. They both had risks and we managed the risks well,” Nicholson said.

The Yendys crew saw a peak of 17 knots early in the race, which was momentary and they sailed in 16-17 knots just before midday – all of it on the nose.
Photo: Andrea Francolini/AUDI 
“It was a really tactical race and we were passing boats that got on the wrong side of the current and I reckon they’ll be out on the course for another day,” he said.

Currently, Yendys leads the race overall under IRC from Quest, Loki, Ragamuffin. Stephen Ainsworth’s RP63 Loki has beaten Ragamuffin overall by a mere four seconds – four seconds that would have meant a tied BWPS first place for Ragamuffin with Quest. However, Steel would have won on count back due to his provisional second overall in today’s race.

Lulu Roseman

Emirates Team New Zealand 1 - Mascalzone Latino Audi 0 - Race 1 LVWS Final

Several lead changes made for an exciting start to the finals of the Louis Vuitton World Series but ETNZ pipped Mascalzone Latino Audi by just 12 seconds to take out the first race.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
After a close call on the on start line Dean Barker sped off off on starboard to lead the Italian team on the first beat, rounding the top mark 14 seconds ahead. Sailing tightly the Italians were on the hunt and took the Kiwi’s wind to get around the bottom gate first.

As both boats sailed to the top mark, ML Audi increased their lead as they made their way over to the right, ahead by 126 metres as the Kiwis sailed out to the left where the got a nice lift.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
New breeze came down the course and when these two crossed ETNZ reclaimed the lead by 50 metres and charged towards the top mark. ETNZ made some nice gains on the second half of this beat rounding 12 seconds ahead.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
It was a close battle, but with ETNZ out to the right hand side the Italians managed to reduce the distance to 30 metres to chase them hard. But ETNZ proved too strong and got the gun 12 seconds ahead.

Lulu Roseman

Kiwis Advance To Louis Vuitton World Series Finals

ETNZ were taking no chances on Saturday when they defeated Azzurra to advance to the finals against Mascalzone Latino Audi in the Louis Vuitton World Series.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
In a shifty 10 knot breeze the Kiwis got a good start before finding a right hand shift at the first cross to gain a two boat length lead. As they approached the top mark above the port layline, the Italians made close contact on a big left hand shift, but ETNZ’s Dean Barker luffed them momentarily before the mark before bearing away and opening a lead of several boat lengths that he never relinquished.

“We entered on port so we were already in a difficult situation. On the second beat the jib halyard come undone and we had to ease it and lost 20 seconds. God knows, if it was closer in the last part of the race, it may have been a different story but it wasn’t our day,” Tommaso Chieffi, Azzurra's tactician said.

Lulu Roseman

Friday, March 19, 2010

ETNZ Cause Heart Rates to Soar

The large spectator fleet was treated to a spectacular day of match racing in the semi finals of the Louis Vuitton World Series today. Despite the heavily overcast skies above Waitemata Harbour ETNZ raised the event to a whole new level by winning their second semi final race against Azzurra by just two seconds to even the score. In the last race of the day an unfavourable wind shift saw the race committee raise the AP flag and the decider will be raced first thing tomorrow.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
In the first race between ETNZ and Azzurra the Italians started well and dominated the first beat prior to rounding the top mark. Both boats went into a dial up position and with mainsails flapping, Azzurra made contact and copped a penalty. ETNZ rounded 21 seconds ahead and charged down the downwind beat towards the gate under kite, both boats favoured the right hand side. ETNZ rounded first but Azzurra got around quicker to take the lead.

ETNZ went right and didn’t do so well while Azzurra made some huge gains picking up a few puffy wind shifts. Azzurra managed to perform their penalty turn before they approached the top mark and maintained their leading position. The Italians kept the pace up as they headed down to the finish. ETNZ reduced the gap from 100 to 70 metres and while they had better boat speed it wasn’t enough to reign in the Italians who took the gun. The question of everyone lips at this stage was, will this be an all Italian final?

Race two was match point for Azzura and things weren’t looking so great for the Kiwis when they copped a penalty on the start line.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
An unfazed ETNZ held Azzurra off to round the top mark first and after a perfect hoist they led the charge in the first downwind beat with Azzurra hot on their tail. ETNZ went around the bottom mark first favouring the right hand gate and then sent their strategist up the mast.

Both boats approached the mark, ETNZ went first just 22 seconds ahead of Azzurra, and tried to build their lead enough to do their penalty turn on the finish line.

They picked the right hand side of the course and a gained a lead of 141 metres but the Italians weren’t far behind.

But in a thrilling finish that raised the blood pressure to new levels, Dean Barker spun the boat around the buoy at the pin end of the line to cross just two seconds ahead.

ETNZ and Azzurra both on one point, will now race a decider to decide the other finalist who will go into battle with Mascalzone Latino Audi who defeated Artemis 2-0.

Lulu Roseman

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cayard Crushes Team Origin

Swedish team Artemis with Paul Cayard and Terry Hutchinson on the wheel and the Italian Azzurra squad both won thrilling matches on Thursday at the Louis Vuitton Trophy - Auckland, to advance to the semi-finals and send their opponents packing out of the regatta.

The first race of the day was an absolute thriller between Team Origin and Artemis.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Light breezes and time limits reduced these races to a do or die format rather than the originally planned best of three races. In this round the four remaining teams are paired and race for the two remaining semi final berths, with the winner from each pair advancing and the loser eliminated.

Sailed in a 10-12 knot south s’westerly wind as prescribed by weather guru Roger Badham, these two fought tooth and nail for the left hand side. Team Origin helmsman Ben Ainslie won the start throwing in a few hellraising close tacks to bear down on the bow of Artemis twice right on the start line.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
But the unfazed Artemis helmsman, Terry Hutchinson leapt ahead. Half way up the first windward beat Artemis led before Team Origin crossed them again in what is some of the closest racing we’ve seen in this regatta. Ainslie led around the top mark first with pressure coming from Artemis who were ready to pounce.

Screaming down the downhill leg Team Origin lead by several boat lengths before Artemis gybed and started making small gains. The wind eased to 7-8 knots, and with both boats on starboard rounded the left hand side of the gate narrowing the separation to seven seconds. They split and Artemis went to the right and Team Origin to left before they crossed again with Team Origin going hard out to the left

Artemis crossed within one boat length near the top mark and reclaimed the lead as they went around and hoisted their spinnaker. Building their lead to 19 seconds Artemis were not home and hosed yet as both boats split and gybed. A tear appeared in their spinnaker and as the foot tape reinforcing flapped in the breeze Cayard and his crew held their nerve. Without having to gybe, they crossed the line five boat lengths ahead to book their berth in the semi finals. So it’s adios to Team Origin.

All4One and Azzurra

It was all but over before the start when the German/French boat, steered by S├ębastien Col, got trapped by Azzurra skipper Francesco Bruni and penalised for failing to keep clear. As both boats turned up for the line, Azzurra hooked in to the leeward of All4One and Bruni luffed his opponent, drawing the foul, with his aggressive tactics.

“I have been criticised during the round robin by my team for being too safe," he said afterwards. "Today I changed a little bit, but the optimum is probably in-between.”
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Azzurra sat in the box seat on the right of All4One as both boats sailed into a lefthand shift. Azzurra are in control as they poked the boat head to wind and let the boat go to the mark, bow down rounding first nine seconds ahead and both boats set their spinnakers, and sped down the course with 12 knots of boat speed. 

All4One drew dead equal as they head towards the bottom mark and tbegan sneaking further forward.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Both boats set their headsails ready for the rounding. Azzurra gybed away and went around the right hand gate 22 seconds first to speed away. The Italians sailed well increasing their lead to 148 metres as they sprinted up to the top mark for the final time.

Azzurrra lead comfortably on this leg which made it very tough for All4One to recover any ground given they had to do a penalty turn. Azzurra increased their lead by 56 seconds when they rounded, set their spinnaker and headed for home. Azzurra’s crew work was superior in this race and for All4One it is au revoir.

Lulu Roseman

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Synergy and Aleph Eliminated in the Louis Vuitton World Series

Elimination Round One

The autumn sunshine returned to Auckland today providing the perfect platform for a day or thrilling racing as the first of the Elimination Rounds got underway. The 20-22 knot south s’westerly breeze provided ideal racing conditions.

In this round the competitors sail a MacIntyre System knockout series using the rankings from the round robins so 1st vs. 8th, 2nd vs. 7th and so on. The two highest ranked (using the RR rankings) teams that win their matches in this round advance directly to the semi finals. The two lowest ranked teams (using the RR rankings) to lose their matches in this round are eliminated.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
In the first match of the day celebrated American skipper Paul Cayard led Artemis to a classy win against Azzurra. While the Italians won the start these two engaged in a tacking dual on the first beat up to the top mark. Artemis led but Azzurra made small gains and reduced the gap to 20 metres at one stage. It was tight but Artemis led around the top mark as both boats set up for a bear away gybe set.

Azzurra encountered spinnaker pole problems when they gybed and their spinnaker flew very high on the downward leg, this cost the Italians not only precious boat speed but widened the gap to 94 metres. Artemis led into the next gybe and Azzurra’s late response confirmed that something was up.

It turned into a cracker of a race with a nice kite drop from Artemis who approached the bottom gate on the left hand side while Azzurra was very late with their drop.This disaster allowed Artemis to build to a 31 second lead.

The talented crew of Artemis dominated this race and powered on down Waitemata Harbour to cross the finish line 32 seconds ahead. They played this race well,kept their cool and took advantage of Azzurra’s mistakes. They have been looking for their form during this event and will be happy with this point as they crossed the line 32 seconds ahead.

The next race paired Team Origin and All4One. James Spithill joined the commentary team to call the second race of the day. After a delayed start, these two put on one hell of a show doing the dance of death in the pre-start.

Team Origin took an early lead pushing All4One into the top mark, who found themselves trapped on the left hand side and running out of space. Both yachts rolled into a tack and after rounding the top mark, Team Origin managed to sprint away with a three boat length lead.

After a messy gybe All4One lost another boat length as these two charge down toward the bottom gate. Team Origin had a messy drop and chose the left hand gate with All4One trailing. Up toward the top mark for the last time Ben Ainslie maintained the separation of almost 150 metres between their French/German rivals.

Today Team Origin found form in this race and proved they are a force to be reckoned with to cross a solid 37 seconds ahead.

It was do or die for the ALEPH Sailing Team in the third race against Mascalzone Latino Audi Team and after ripping their headsail the Latin Rascals lead by Gavin Brady gave the French syndicate a valuable lesson in how to start a match race. But the advice came too late as the 59 second loss has seen Bernard Pace and his men bow out of the competition.

The breezy conditions caused a few headaches for the race committee who finally got the last race away between ETNZ and Synergy. On the first leg it was neck and neck with just half a boat length separating these two. Synergy who have yet to win a race, encountered problems with their spinnaker and as both yachts rounded the top mark ETNZ took advantage slipping into the leeward position to take control of the race.

As they made their way to the bottom gate ETNZ gybed on the starboard tack while Synergy carried on to the left hand side. The Russians were way outside the lay line and ETNZ had a clean drop as they went around the left hand bottom gate. It was text book sailing for ETNZ as the stayed on the left hand side of the course, before rolling into a tack and with just 55 metres separating these two it was nail biting stuff giving ETNZ a handy lead.

To their credit the Russians stuck in there and made a fantastic recovery by setting themselves to leeward slightly to the right hand side of the course. The breeze dropped down and ETNZ followed Synergy into a clean gybe as they turned the last leg into a drag race. ETNZ lead by 126 metres and effectively shortened the runway, to win the race and ending Synergy’s regatta.

Lulu Roseman

Artemis Are Pure Class

Photo: Lulu Roseman
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Photo: Lulu Roseman

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

ETNZ Back On Top in the Louis Vuitton World Series

Light south s’westerly winds might have postponed the first race of the day, but the Kiwis proved why they are the leading team in the round robins of the Louis Vuitton World Series.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Synergy got a nice start but ETNZ’s helmsman Dean Barker fought hard for the right hand side of the course. The Kiwis threw in two upwind tacks which could have cost them dearly. But having their strategist up the mast paid off when ETNZ crossed the Russians before rounding the top mark.

They then sprinted ahead on the downwind leg building a separation of 115 metres as they went around the bottom mark. By this stage the race committee had moved the top mark. ETNZ maintained their lead to fend off the Russians around the top mark 27 seconds ahead. From there it was textbook sailing from Dalts and his merry men, with a clean spinnaker hoist before jybing and storming towards the finish line to cross a full minute ahead.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
In the second race the breeze built to 10 knots and Azzurra chose the left hand side to claim the edge on the start line as both boats headed up to Cheltenham Beach on port tack. Azzurra lead Aleph around the top mark just 11 seconds ahead but these two stayed close to each other on the first kite run. Despite a messy gybe from the Italians that gave the French boat a slight advantage just 100 metres from the bottom gate, Azzurra managed to pick the right wind shifts. They sprinted up the course on the final leg where they increased their lead to 438 metres sailing away to an easy victory.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Artemis and All4One were paired together in the third race of the day which saw Paul Cayard’s team victorious over the French/German team.

Terry Hutchinson steered Artemis to lead by 22 seconds at the top mark in a building breeze but on the downhill run, All4One gained some ground snapping at their heels. As the gap narrowed Artemis did a gybe drop on the right hand side of the bottom gate while All4One ran into some trouble. They were looking very good but couldn’t get their headsail up as they went around the left hand side of the gate, giving Artemis an opportunity to reconsolidate their lead.

Artemis found more pressure on the second run up to the top mark, and while All4One made up some ground on the final beat when the wind shifted approximately 100 degrees, it wasn’t enough and Artemis crossed the finish line first.

The race course was moved further up the harbour for race four between Team Origin and Mascalzone Latino Audi, pairing two of the most daring helmsmen, Ben Ainslie and Gavin Brady. These two are not known for pussyfooting around in the pre-start dial up sequence but Brady took the left and won the start.

After the first cross Origin picked up a puff but ML Audi tacked across to the left where they managed to increase their lead by100 metres. As they headed upwind to the top mark both boats were tracking parallel, and rounded the top mark from the left hand side. ML Audi maintained her 100 metre distance and then increased her lead on the first downwind leg as the wind became puffy and increased to 12-13 knots.

There was nothing in this one as both boats rounded the bottom gate and sped up the middle of the course towards the top mark. ML Audi picked up a big right hander but the Brits were hot on their tail, narrowing the distance.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
When the boats rounded the top mark for the last time Team Origin picked up some pace and it was all on for young and old. The British made up some ground, about a boat length, to clearly take advantage of being of the left hand side where they made small gains as they headed to the finish line.

But the Italians did a good job holding them off to claim victory by the slimmest of margins, just five seconds.

Racing continued well into the early evening as organsiers made up the three races that were cancelled yesterday due to heavy winds. Artemis defeated Team Origin, Mascalzone Latino Audi defeated Azzurra and All4One defeated Synergy.

Lulu Roseman

Monday, March 15, 2010

French Kiss ETNZ Goodbye

ETNZ get a French Lesson

It just goes to show Mondayitis can affect anyone even those professional yachtsmen who have the pleasure of calling Waitemata Harbour their office during the final week of the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
The day started with a light sprinkle and the heavy grey skies didn’t hold much promise for sunshine to peek through.

In the first race between Aleph and Emirates Team New Zealand, Aleph won the start and extended their lead before the Kiwi’s gennaker broke, to lead around the top mark.

The tear in the kite on ETZN was visible during the hoist and while the crew had a second shoot ready, they had a few difficulties setting the sail free and eventually their chase boat picked it up. There is a second spinnaker halyard on these boats however by the time they got things sorted out they were too close to the mark and started raising the headsail.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
The French continued to build momentum and full credit to them however ETNZ made up some time after rounding the top mark for the second time, setting their spare kite to creep just 22 seconds behind Aleph.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
This is a good result for the popular French team who sailed a flawless race and after two wins they now only have one point on the board. A point was deducted due to a collison with TEAMORIGIN on Saturday when Aleph illegally altered course in the tight pre-start manoeuvring and was awarded a penalty by the on-the-water umpires. 
Photo: Lulu Roseman
This is one of the challenges of racing on the these shorter 1.2-1.3 nautical mile race courses as there is not a lot of water to recover when accidents occur and these errors get compounded. However, short course racing with four races per day is an adventure and more spectator friendly.

Race two between Artemis and TEAMORIGIN has been delayed because of too much wind, so for now we wait. 

Lulu Roseman

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Artemis Cops A Penalty

The day’s racing kicked off between the all French team Aleph and All4One, the German/French team skippered by Sebastian Col, who took control on the start line. With the advantage of having Kiwi tactician John Cutler on board, All4One picked the right wind shifts to win comfortably.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
ETNZ defeated Azzurra in the second race. (see previous post)

The third race of the day saw the Russians experience another shocker after an issue with their spinnaker drop gave TeamOrigin the perfect opportunity to widen the gap. The British boat then pounced 400 meteres ahead making it impossible for Synergy to catch them.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
In the final race of the day, Mascalonze Latino Audi and Artemis provided spectators with a spectacular pre start tussle that resulted in Artemis helmsman Terry Hutchinson copping a penalty for gybing too close.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Paul Cayard’s Artemis led off the line to control the first beat and was leading by less than a boat length at the top mark until a very messy situation occurred onboard ML Audi when the spinnaker flew loose from the tack. The Italian boat lost five boat lengths but made good ground to recover on the subsequent legs to overtake Artemis on the last run, surviving an Artemis protest as they sailed through the Swedish boat’s lee. They came to the line together with ML Audi one length clear ahead. The finish delta after the Artemis penalty turn stretched out to 1:03.

Lulu Roseman

Kiwis Whip The Italians

Auckland: Sunday 14 March 2010

Favouring the left hand side of the start line paid handsome dividends for Emirates Team New Zealand today, defeating Team Azzurra by 42 seconds in the second race of Flight Five on Day Six of the Louis Vuitton World Series.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Sailed in near perfect 12-14 knot south s'west conditions the Kiwis gave their closest rivals a run for their money to maintain their position on the top of the leader board.

Dean Barker fought for and won the left hand side of the start line then charged ahead of the Italians on the upwind beat creating a 1000 metre separation at one stage.

But it didn’t all go the Kiwis way even though they were 50 seconds ahead. As they rounded the first windward mark to set up for a gybe-set the spinnaker pole end dropped overboard at the hoist and broke as it wrapped around the shrouds. But the chute went up as planned and they sailed both runs with the spinnaker clipped to the bow.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
“It’s a routine manoeuvre and we’re still not sure the cause of the problem, but it might have been a jam in the halyard. The tip-end of the pole went into the water; the pole went into the shrouds and snapped," Barker said.

“We recovered well. The boys retrieved the pole and stowed it safely. From then we sailed a strong race and were never really threatened.”

Lulu Roseman

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Estate Master tames the Tiger in the Farr 40's

Image courtesy of Audi
It was neck and neck in the Farr 40‘s but was Estate Master skipper Martin Hill’s secret weapon in this year’s Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, America’s Cup tactician Hamish Pepper?

“Hamish has brought a lot to the team and has helped to make our starts brilliant. He has elevated us to a new level. We also have Darren “Twirler” Jones on the team as our technical coach,” the ever humble Hill explained.

Estate Master narrowly beat Transfusion skippered by Guido Belgiorno-Nettis followed by Chris Way's Easy Tiger in what was one of the closest margins in this small but hotly contested fleet.

“Going into the second day all three of us had had a win so it was always going to very tight,” Hill said.

“The dialogue that has developed between Nathan Outteridge and Hamish have been effective with Nathan now taking on more of a strategists role. In between races he climbs up the mast looking for breeze and we copped a bit of flack from the other boats for that, “ Hill said. “But match racing is what being in the Farr 40 class is all about.”

Hill’s involvement in this regatta goes beyond racing, he is also Commodore of the host club Miiddle Harbour Yacht Club.

“There is no other regatta in Sydney that also has such great onshore entertainment. You’‘ll see every one from race pros to club sailors chatting over a beer. Not only is it a festival of sail it is a festival of social and that is a good thing.”

“All the clubs cooperate to create this amazing event. In the beginning many of the clubs were apprehensive but we have been working together for five years now and it's a real higlight on the racing calendar. Where else can you party on the beach after sailing?”

Lulu Roseman

LOKI Wins The Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta

Without a doubt it was Steve Ainsworth’s regatta, with his Reichel Pugh 63 Loki taking line honours in both races in IRC 1. With the fastest boat speed around the course, Loki is just over a year old and made her debut in the 2008 Sydney to Hobart. Geoff Ross’s Yendys, a Reichel Pugh 55 finished in second followed Ginger, Leslie Green’s Swan 60.

Absent from the pointy end of the fleet was Wild Oats X skippered by Mark Richards who were plagued with mechanical problems and then shredded two kites on the second day.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
“It has been a progressive thing to get to this point. We are making small incremental steps and getting better all the time,” Ainsworth said at the post-regatta beach party.

“We sailed our own race and with six minutes between us and Yendys we must have been doing something right.”

Ainsworth said that the biggest change for Loki has been one in personnel with the inclusion of Ieading international yachtsman Gordon Maguire as helmsman.

“We have been working on the sails with Alby Pratt from Norths, and tuning our rig. We now have a flat head mainsail that is cutting edge and any improvement when running downwind helps.”

Entry numbers were down in the IRC 1 from last year with many yachts missing like Limit, Black Jack, Quest and Ragamuffin.

“We missed them this year. We always like to see more boats on the water as it makes it more interesting.”

Lulu Roseman

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Making Hay While The Sun Shines

Lauren Calder, Skipper of Audi Sunshine Girls is continuing to make waves in the Laser SB3 division.

Competing in her second Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta with her all girl crew (Lissa McMillan, Ali Blundell, Bec Bohling), Calder said she is getting more comfortable with managing the traffic on Sydney Harbour for what is undoubtedly one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Six races were sailed inshore over the two day event in nor’easterly conditions where gusts peaked at 25 knots on the final day.

“We finished sixth overall in the fleet which is a spot better than last year so we are improving. As with everyone in this class we are getting more familiar with the boat. We are a very competitive class but we also very social off the water,” Calder said.

Calder gained some valuable international experience in September last year when she raced in the Laser SB3 Worlds in Cascais, Portugal.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
“Since competing in Portugal I am making more tactical decisions downwind especially with the asymetrical spinnaker, winding it up and sailing harder. The overseas experience has also made me more comfortable racing amongst a larger fleet. We sailed conservatively and didn’t take too many risks.”

Calder’s mentor and sponsor Rod Jones finished at the top of the leaderboard on Club Marine Blue followed by Wagup and Dulon Polish.

Lulu Roseman

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Top Marks for Loki

Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta
IRC Division 1
The weather delivered the goods and in the hotly contested IRC Division 1, many 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart competitors including Yendys, Living Doll, Shortwave and Loki hit the start line.
Loki lead Wild Oats X out of Sydney Heads with Ginger and Yendys snapping at their heels. But it all went pear shaped for Bob Oatley’s RP66 after the first run due to mechanical failure which is required to drive the canting keel and hydraulic winches.

Their retirement paved the way for Loki (RP63) to take line honours ahead of their smaller rival Yendys (RP55), giving the Reichel Pugh designed yachts another great result with Leslie Green’s Swan 60, Ginger finishing third.
But the drama onboard Wild Oats X did little to dampen the spirits of her champion navigator, Adrienne Cahallan. 
“The sailing today was truly beautiful and everything was going to plan,” Cahallan said. 
“Then our engine stalled. We tried to jump start it before making the decision to pull the pin. There were a lot of boats around and it just wasn’t safe to continue.”
The boat returned to Woolwich Dock for repairs and Cahallan and her crew are looking forward to getting back out on the water tomorrow to give the fleet a run for their money.
“This regatta is really enjoyable. After the Sydney to Hobart and the Coffs Harbour  race things go a little bit quiet so this is a great chance to get back out on the water,” she said.
With Chris Nicholson, three time 49er world champion and Sydney 2000 Olympian on the helm, Yendys had a great day. While owner Geoff Ross was a fan of the three-lap windward/leeward course that started in Watsons Bay, went offshore and finished up the Harbour at Rushcutters Bay, his bowman Mitch White wasn’t as enthusiastic.
“For these kind of events perhaps a couple of shorter races would be better. The 23 nautical mile race was a one way track,” White said.
“The boat is going really well and this regatta is a great event for us. It allows us to keep up the team momentum for the next offshore race, the Audi Sydney to Newcastle Race coming up in two weeks,” he added.
Lulu Roseman

Matrix Gets The Gun In Her Debut Race


Saturday March 6, 2010

X Yachts

For the first time in the history of the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta, the X-Yachts have their own division. Andrew Parkes, skipper of the brand new X-41 Matrix gave Patrice Six and ToyBox a run for their money today among the eleven yacht fleet.

It’s a coup for Parkes who was recently appointed the agent for X-Yachts in Australia and steering Matrix to her first victory made the day even sweeter.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
“We got a nice start and managed to beat Patrice Six to take out line honours in the first race. In the second race we placed third. We’re pretty happy with our result as this is a new boat and a new crew,” Parkes said.

“To have our own division at this year’s Audi is pretty wonderful. It’s a great opportunity for many of the owners to benchmark their performance by match racing within the division and it makes for highly competitive and fun racing ” he added.

Over the last few years, Ian Box’ s ToyBox and Tony Kirby’s Patrice Six have been two of the most consistent X-Yachts competing in many of Australia’s regattas and offshore races.

Lulu Roseman

Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta

The sun is shining at the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Sydney Harbour is hosting 300 keel boats this weekend

The wind is blowing a brisk north easterly 13-15 knots and the boats are heading out to the start line. There are 24 divisions being sailed over the weekend across nine designated course areas around Sydney Harbour. The competition is expected to be fierce particularly between in the IRC fleet, Farr 40's Farr 30s and the SB3's. Join ReadyAboutYachting for all the action.