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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stunning Start For Vende Globe Fleet

Nineteen of the 20 skippers competing in the seventh edition of the Vendée Globe solo around the world race hit the start line of the 24,048 miles, three months circumnavigation race at 1302hrs local time off Les Sables d’Olonne on Saturday.
Photo: Jean Marie Llot / DPPI / Vendee Globe 
After a minor collision with his support team’s rigid inflatable boat, Bertrand de Broc was forced to return to port before the start to make the necessary repairs to a small puncture in the hull of his IMOCA Open 60 Votre Nom Autour du Monde avec EDM Projets.
Photo: Jean Marie Llot / DPPI / Vendee Globe 
Starting in 12-14 knots of westerly wind under grey skies with rain threatening there was no quarter given on the start line. With the prospect of a direct, straight line 300 miles course to Finisterre and no real tactical options every early metre gained might be critical.
Photo: Jean Marie Llot / DPPI / Vendee Globe 
Poland’s Zbigniew Gutkowski on Energa and four French favourites including PRB (Vincent Riou), Macif (François Gabart) Groupe Bel (Kito de Pavant) and Armel le Cléac’h (Banque Populaire) all jumped the start gun early and had to turn back and recross the line.
Photo: Jean Marie Llot / DPPI / Vendee Globe 
Marc Guillemot on Safran opened up the course to forge ahead early in the close reaching conditions. Spain’s Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso on Acciona 100% Eco Powered, and the youngest skipper in the race 27 year old Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée and Tanguy de Lamotte on Initatives Couer all had their moments of early glory.  They formed the vanguard of the fleet as they headed out for the open sea among the huge spectator fleet.
Photo: Jean Marie Llot / DPPI / Vendee Globe 
Cheminées Poujoulat, the new Juan Kouyoumdjian design of Bernard Stamm steadily climbed through to the front of the fleet to be alongside Safran around one hour after the start gun. British skippers Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss and Mike Golding on Gamesa both made safe, solid openings.
Photo: Jean Marie Llot / DPPI / Vendee Globe 
Emotions were hight around the Port Olona pontoons even for the hardened skippers.Leaving his four months old baby son, also named Javier, was visibly difficult for Spanish skipper Javier ‘Bubi’ Sanso. Samantha Davies was pleased to finally find sanctuary from the intensity of the media and public interest when she boarded Saveol. British skipper Alex Thomson kept his sunglasses on throughout the dock out.
Photo: Olivier Blanchet / DPPI /Vendee Globe
There was massive euphoria of the legendary passage down the channel where hundreds of thousands lined the walls to bid adieu to the skippers. Among the heartfelt messages painted on bedsheets held up by the crowd were: ‘You Make Us Dream’ and ‘Whose turn this time?’
Photo: Olivier Blanchet / DPPI /Vendee Globe
Compared with previous races the Vendée Globe skippers this time are looking at a relatively straightforward first 24-36 hours. A fast course to Finisterre will test reaching speed but with the prospect of some brisk downwind sailing along the Portuguese coast with many manoeuvres, quite a lot of sail changes and intense trimming, skippers will have to carefully manage their own sleep and energy regime as they settle into race mode. By Wednesday there is the prospect of a low pressure system bringing some upwind conditions.

A fast passage to the equator appears to be possible, an essential component of any challenge to break the race course record of 84 days 03 hours 09 minutes set in 2009 by Michel Desjoyeaux.

Vendee Globe Media

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Ben Ainslie and Lijia Xu Named 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailors Of The Year

Ben Ainslie (GBR) and Lijia Xu (CHN) were named the male and female winners of the 2012 ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards at a ceremony held at the Mansion House, Dublin, Ireland this evening.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Four-time Olympic Gold medallist Ben Ainslie commented: “Winning the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award is a huge honour, especially for everyone who has helped me. There is a huge team in the background from family, friends, coaches and sponsors who helped make it happen. It is a huge honour to be part of such a group of exceptional sailors who were put forward for this award.”
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
It is the fourth time that Ainslie has been named ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year, following titles gained in 1998, 2002 and 2008. Ainslie is the most successful Olympic sailor of all time. The 35-year old’s achievement at London 2012 elevated him to five Olympic medals (four gold, one silver), surpassing Rolex Testimonee Paul Elvstrøm (DEN), winner of four gold medals between 1948 and 1960.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Lijia Xu, Laser Radial Gold Medallist at London 2012, expressed her delight at becoming only the second Asian athlete to be crowned ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year and spoke of her passion for the sport: “Sailing has given me the chance to chase my dreams and the stage to show my potential. It has provided me with the opportunity to see, feel and explore the world. Sailing leads me to a path of a better life, a life full of vitality, excitement and joyful experiences.”

In August, Xu became the first Chinese, and indeed Asian, sailor to win an Olympic Gold medal in a dinghy sailing boat.

Regatta News

Sunday, November 4, 2012

18ft Skiffs AEG 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 4 - Sydney Harbour

Giltinan champion Skipper Seve Jarvin and his Gotta Love It 7 crew Scott Babbage and Peter Harris were in superb form today to take out Race 4 of the AEG 3-Buoys Challenge in a 15-knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Gotta Love It 7 team grabbed the lead at the final bottom mark of the four-lap course then edged away to defeat Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague and Tom Anderson) by 56s with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, skippered by five times Giltinan champion Trevor Barnabas, a further 29s back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Andrew Chapman’s Fisher & Paykel was a further 38s back in fourth place, followed by Mojo Wine (James Dorron) and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The third placing of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers today was enough for the team to retain the series on 18 points, with Gotta Love It 7 next on 21, Fisher & Paykel 22, Mojo Wine 23, Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster) 29 and Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) on 30.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The series is now at the halfway point and there will be a one week break (for race 1 of the NSW Championship) before the 3-Buoys Challenge resumes on 18 November.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Most of the fleet elected to use their smaller number two rigs today with only The Kitchen Maker, skippered by Olympic Gold Medalist Malcolm Page, and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) electing to go with their bigger number one gear.

Malcolm Page was quickly into form in his first race back in the skiffs as The Kitchen Maker led the fleet from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers as spinnakers were set for the first run back to the bottom mark.

Appliancesonline.com.au was in third place ahead of Asko Appliances, Lumix (Euan McNicol), Gotta Love It 7, Mojo Wine and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel.

Thurlow Fisher grabbed the lead at the bottom mark and continued to lead on the next windward leg but Asko took over with the advantage of the nearer ‘red’ buoy rounding.

The racing was close and positions at the head of the fleet were continually changing over the next lap of the course.

Sporting their brand new number two rig, Appliancesonline was showing excellent pace and holding out Gotta Love It 7 before a slow mark rounding at the end of the third lap enabled the champion ‘7’ crew through for a well deserved victory.

Frank Quealey

ACCIONA 100% EcoPowered: Vendée Globe 2012 (EN)

Artemis Racing launch AC72

Artemis Racing Launches AC72

Alameda, CA. November 3, 2012 - The launch of Artemis Racing’s first AC72 catamaran marks a major milestone in the team’s quest for the America’s Cup. Thousands of design and build hours came together today when the Artemis Racing AC72 was launched at the team’s base in Alameda.
Photo: © Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing
Barbro Osher, Consul General of Sweden in San Francisco and Godmother of Artemis, christened the AC72 in the presence of the entire team and their families.
Photo: © Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing
Building an AC72 is an incredible design and construction feat, incorporating leading edge technology and materials. The Challenger of Record’s hulls were built in Sweden, trucked to the base in Valencia in spring of this year and then travelled by cargo ship to San Francisco only to arrive in August. The team’s first AC72 wing was built and tested in Spain but suffered significant damage in May during training. Artemis Racing overcame this setback and it is the rebuilt wing in its entirety, and it is this wing which will power the AC72.
Photo: © Sander van der Borch/Artemis Racing
Designed by Juan Kouyoumidjian and his team in Valencia, this is the first of two AC72 catamarans for Artemis Racing. From here the research and development will continue with the valuable input generated from training on the San Francisco Bay. Standing alongside the AC72, Kouyoumidjian said, “We are extremely excited to get out sailing with this first boat and the learning opportunity that it represents. Sailing here, in the realities of San Francisco Bay, makes the lessons hard, but extremely relevant.”

The first day of sailing for the Swedish team is likely to be next week. The team has completed its relocation from its first training site in Spain and is now 80 strong in Alameda.

“It’s been a tremendous team effort to design, build and launch the AC72. We are looking forward to valuable training time on the Bay in the coming weeks,” said team CEO Paul Cayard.

Artemis Racing Team Media

Friday, November 2, 2012

Loick Peyron Joins Artemis Racing

Alameda, CA - November 1, 2012 - Artemis Racing, Challenger of Record for the 34th America’s Cup, announced today that French multihull legend Loïck Peyron will sail with the Swedish team during this month’s AC72 training.
Photo: © Loris van Siebenthal
“It is fantastic to have Loïck join Artemis Racing. Loïck has no peer when it comes to large multihulls.” said Paul Cayard, CEO of Artemis Racing. “As we have seen, these AC72’s will be a real challenge here on San Francisco Bay and having someone of Loïck’s experience will certainly be advantageous.”

Peyron has an extensive background of achievements in multihulls in both inshore and offshore racing. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s he won the ORMA Championship four times, the Single-handed Transatlantic Race three times, and just this year won the Jules Verne Trophy setting the record for the fastest circumnavigation of the globe in just 45 days. Peyron has been the skipper for Energy Team France in the 2012 America’s Cup World Series (ACWS).

"I look forward to working with these great guys in San Francisco. Thanks to my new role with Artemis Racing, Energy Team will be gaining the experience of the 34th America's Cup at the highest level," said Loïck Peyron. The Peyron brothers and their Energy Team will continue with the AC45 on the ACWS circuit next year and are aiming to participate in the 35th America’s Cup.

Artemis Racing Team Media