Wednesday, December 25, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Kyle Langford Interview Transcript - Winning The 34th America's Cup with ORACLE Team USA

At 23, Wing Trimmer Australia's Kyle Langford, is the youngest member of the ORACLE Team USA crew and played a crucial role in the team winning the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco in September. Here he shares his thoughts.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Jury Decision

"It was a huge distraction. Dirk de Ridder and I are the two main wing trimmers so the decision it impacted the team greatly. Sam Newton and I were both prepared to step into the role and I only had a couple of days of training on the boat beforehand so I had been preparing before the decision was made and we lost Dirk.
Oracle Team USA Photo: Lulu Roseman
"When I was told that I’d be stepping in to trim the wing for the AC34 finals I was pretty excited but it was also pretty nerve-wracking.

"I was feeling all OK in the lead up and then when we went out to start the first race and about five minutes before the pre-start it hit me like a ton of bricks and was thought to myself ‘what are you doing here’?"

Emirates Team New Zealand
Photo: Lulu Roseman
"I didn’t really think about what was going on in that race where the Kiwis were leading and they exceeded the time limit. It wasn’t until I heard it over the radio that the race had been abandoned. It must have been devastating for them to be in that position of being so close to winning and I felt bad for them. But on the other hand it was good for us. I don’t know any of those guys and have never sailed with any of them."

The Pressure
ORACLE Team USA and ETNZ Photo: Lulu Roseman
"I felt the pressure at the start of the regatta when we were slower and it was a bit terrifying because I just wanted to do a good job. Once we made the changes to the boat I gained more confidence in the boat and in my ability. When we started winning races and got in a better position to win I came into my own and just relaxed and enjoyed it."

Langford with Torvar Mirsky, World Match Racing Series Photo: Pierre Orphanidis
"Ever since I was 15, my goal was to get involved in the America’s Cup and it was not so much about winning it. So I got serious about becoming a professional sailor. I won my first World Championship on a Hobie 16. From there I joined the World Match Racing circuit which is a breeding ground for America's Cup sailors. Then I met Jimmy Spithill and he asked me to race in the RC44s with him, John Kostecki and Joe Newton and all those guys.
Photo: RC44
"Once it was decided that the 34th Cup would be on multihulls I got into the Extreme 40s to gain more catamaran experience and from there I joined OTUSA. I did the America’s Cup World Series AC45 with Russell Coutts."

On Winning
Kyle Langford and Tom Slingsby Photo: Lulu Roseman
"When we crossed the finish line it was a sense of relief that went through my mind. The most rewarding thing for me after we won was when the whole team got together with their families, who have made many sacrifices, to celebrated our win."

Living in San Francisco

"Being the youngest guy in the team I hung out with the younger guys and we really got into kite surfing in our spare time. San Francisco is such an awesome place for doing outdoor activities and we spent quite a bit of time down at Santa Cruz which is great for kiting."

Lulu Roseman

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Parko Gets An Early Pressie From Santa - A Spot On A Volvo Boat, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE - 21 December 2013 - Australian Luke Parkinson has been recruited by Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing. The 23-year-old Perth sailor is joining the team skippered by Ian Walker in the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15.
Photo: Rupert Townsend/Abu Dhabi Racing
Parkinson will be one of Abu Dhabi’s Under-30s crew members*. Turning 24 in February, this 49er sailor was selected by skipper Ian Walker after coming highly recommended within sailing circles and passing a series of testing trials.

"I sailed with Luke on this year’s Hong Kong to Vietnam Race in very testing conditions," said Walker, Britain’s twice Olympic silver medallist. "I was very impressed with his attitude and his skills as both a bowman and offshore helmsman. He is a multi-tasker which will be essential in the next race sailing the new Volvo Ocean 65 with only nine crew members in total, including the onboard reporter.

"Everything is going to be harder on deck. I have a very good feeling about Luke who I believe is hugely committed to producing his best for the team."

For the young Aussie, who goes by the nick-name Parko and is qualified in sail making, first aid, sea survival and as a radio operator, this appointment is a "dream come true."

"This is quite simply the best Christmas present ever! I can’t remember being this excited going into a new year," he said. "The Volvo Ocean Race is the challenge I want to work hardest towards. To me, doing the race is the biggest all-round challenge that provides the best sense of achievement and enjoyment. I just want to thank Abu Dhabi for giving me this chance – I will not let them down.

"For as long as I can remember I‘ve had a passion for sailing. From racing as a young child, I decided to continue to base my lifestyle around trying to make the best go at it that I can. I love the different challenges sailing brings to people and I believe it brings out true personalities when life is at its toughest."

And life will certainly be tough for the young, single Aussie as he tackles the 39,379 nautical miles race starting in October 2014 from Alicante, Spain.

Parkinson will start teaming up with Walker in December. The two will sail the Sydney-Hobart race with legendary Aussie sailor Syd Fischer on board his 100-foot Ragamuffin. The race starts on Boxing Day and Walker says it’s not going to be a push over.

“It will be a great experience for Luke and good offshore training for me too. It will is another excellent training exercise towards our long-term goals. We’re in for a white knuckle ride but will give our best."

Next up for Parkinson will be a February trip to Abu Dhabi – which will host the Volvo Ocean Race fleet over Christmas 2014 and New Year 2015 - to get to know his crew mates and the destination he’ll now represent. He is looking forward to meet his fellow Under-30 Adil Khalid. In 2011-12, the 25-year-old Emirati became the only Arab sailor to complete the Volvo Ocean Race with Abu Dhabi.

"I’ve never been to Arabia before and I’m keen to learn more about it," said Parkinson. "I’m really looking forward to meeting Adil and swapping experiences. I’ve great admiration for him for setting role model standards for his fellow nationals – that’s the only way to build a sailing following – showing what can be done, the benefits it brings not only for the individual but for the community."

* According to the Notice of Race, each team will have to race with two sailors under the age of 30 at all times.

Volvo Ocean Race Media

Dongfeng Goes For a Test Drive - Volvo Ocean Race 2014/15

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cornelis van Rietschoten 1926-2013 - Memories of a Great Man

Cornelis van Rietschoten 1926-2013
Cornelis van Rietschoten, skipper of Dutch yacht Flyer 1977-78 Photo: Volvo Ocean Race / By Agathe Armand Onne van der Wal/PPL
Journalist Barry Pickthall knew very well Conny van Rietschoten, who died on Tuesday aged 87, and watched him finish triumphant in successive Whitbread Round the World Races in 1973-74 and 1981-82. Here he pays a tribute to the man who changed the face of the event for good.
Photo: Bob Fisher
Cornelis van Rietschoten (Conny) was Holland’s most famous yachtsman, dominating ocean racing during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Photo: Barry Pickthall-PPL ©
He made his mark in the Whitbread Round the World yacht race, winning the event as skipper in 1977-78 and 1981-82 and setting two world records: the fastest Noon-to-Noon run of 327 miles and the fastest circumnavigation of 120 days.

Conny was first introduced to sailing aged 3, joining his father Jan Jacob aboard the family’s 12-metre yacht Copeja in races run by the Royal Maas Yacht Club in Rotterdam.

After the 2nd World War he moved to England to study engineering. A win on the football pools funded the purchase of a Dragon class keelboat Gerda and with a friend aboard, he developed a taste for long-distance sailing.

One of the earliest journeys was from Cowes, UK to Arendal, Norway, to compete in the 1948 Dragon Gold Cup world championship. They didn’t get anywhere near to winning, but Crown Prince Olaf of Norway proclaimed the two Gerda crew the best sailors at the regatta for sailing by far the furthest distance.

Conny continued to sail while focusing on developing a successful business career and went on to compete in several Fastnet and Santander races.

But it was not until 1977 that the world of sailing really got to know about this shy, private, fiercely competitive Dutchman. Retired by age 45, he had been intrigued by newspaper reports about the first Whitbread Race in 1973. A circumnavigation was something his father had always wanted to do and seeing it as the opportunity of a lifetime, the determined Conny grabbed it with both hands.

With enough money to fund a full-on campaign, Conny was ahead of the established sailing names at the time. But just as importantly, he brought a degree of professional management far above the level of the amateur gung-ho ocean racing entries, changing the sport forever.

It’s now standard procedure but in 1977, Van Rietschoten was the first skipper to undertake extensive trialling and crew training before the race and funded research to improve crew clothing, rigs and the first computerised forecasting techniques.

Out on the course their greatest rival was Skip Novak’s Kings Legend. Racing was so close in the first leg from Portsmouth to Cape Town that the two crews cross-tacked within sight of each other 1,000 miles from the finish until Flyer pulled ahead to win by just 2 hours.

But leaks and wipeouts thwarted King’s Legend’s chances and it was all over by the time the fleet rounded Cape Horn on Leg 3, giving victory on handicap to the Dutchman and his crew.

Van Rietschoten returned for the 1981-82 Whitbread with a new Flyer and was matched against Peter Blake’s Ceramco New Zealand. The Kiwi yacht dismasted during the first leg, handing Flyer a run-away victory on this first stage to Cape Town, but from there on, the two yachts raced neck-and-neck around the rest of the world.

It was at the height of this competition that Conny displayed the steely side of his character. He suffered a heart attack and swore his crew to secrecy, even though Ceramco had a cardiologist onboard and was just a few miles behind.

“The critical period after a heart attack is always the first 24-36 hours, and the nearest port (Fremantle, Australia) was 10 days away”, Conny recounted later.

“Ceramco was already breathing down our necks. If they had known that I had a health problem, they would have pushed their boat even harder. When you die at sea, you are buried over the side. If that happened, the Ceramco boys might then have spotted me drifting by… and that, I was determined, would be the only thing they would see or hear from Flyer on the matter!”

Ceramco won that stage on handicap but the race from there was one of constantly swapping places. Half way across the Pacific the two yachts were within sight of each other, and rounded Cape Horn together before Flyer edged ahead on the windward leg up to Mar del Plata.

Conny and his crew finished first again back at Portsmouth, taking both line and handicap honours for the race, to date still the only crew to achieve this.

In 2011, seventeen of Flyer’s crew came from all corners of the globe to celebrate with their rivals on Kings Legend and Ceramco at the 30th anniversary of Conny’s second victory during the Legends Regatta at Alicante. Sadly, the great man was too ill to join them, but sent his best wishes.

Conny’s death follows the announcement that his first Flyer will return to Holland to be restored to her former glory as a lasting legacy for future generations. There are even plans to race her again against King’s Legend, and that pleased him very much.

Barry Pickthall

Veuve Clicquot Set To Add Sparkle to Voiles de Saint-Barth

From 14th to 19th April 2014, St. Barth will be host to the fifth edition of the Voiles de Saint-Barth. More than seventy boats and 1000 sailors are expected to attend the event, which in just four editions has become a must for those who enjoy racing in the Caribbean. Owners, sailors and partners have got it right. The historic partners will in fact be joined this year by Veuve Clicquot, the world famous champagne house.
Photo: Tim Wright / Les Voiles de St Barth
Once again, this year we can look forward to a fantastic line-up in St. Barth. Five months before the starting gun is fired, forty boats have already registered in the five classes that are available: Maxi yachts, Spinnaker class, Non Spinnaker class, IRC 52s and Multihulls. “This is clear progress, as usually at this time of year, we have only had around thirty boats registered. So I think it is quite reasonable to look forward to seeing more than seventy boats lining up this time,” declared François Tolède, the organizer of the Voiles de Saint-Barth alongside Luc Poupon.

Rambler, Bella Mente, Ocean Phenix, Caol Ila R
Photo: Christophe Jouany / Les Voiles de St Barth
High performance sailing out on the water and a friendly atmosphere ashore, and all within the magnificent setting of St. Barth. The concept attracts the world’s finest yachts, includingRambler, George David’s famous Maxi-Yacht, already confirmed to be returning to the event. Once again this year, we will be able to admire the elegance and speed of this Reichel-Pugh designed 90-foot boat. Selene, Wendy Schmidt’s Swan 80 will also be attending, as will Ocean Phoenix, the Spanish Humphreys 77 skippered by Juan Luis Serra Lalaurie. 
Photo: Tim Wright / Les Voiles de St Barth
Staying with the Maxi yachts, for the first time we shall be able to enjoy the sight of Bella Mente, Hap Fauth’s mini-maxi (designed by Judel/Vrolijk) with her crew of 26, including Mike Sanderson and Dee Smith, the Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup heroes. One of their major rivals will be Caol Ila R, Alex Schaerer’s Mills designed 68-foot boat, a stand out performer last summer, when she won the Rolex Capri Sailing Week Volcano Race, achieving line honours and first place under corrected time ahead of thirteen other maxis.
Photo: Tim Wright / Les Voiles de St Barth
Among the many interesting features of the racing in St. Barth is that we are looking at an island. In other words, it is always possible to come up with a race course, where the sailors will be more or less exposed to the trade winds. On top of that, the many smaller islands offer ideal race marks to Luc Poupon (the Race Director) and his team, who make the most of this to ensure the most enjoyable racing possible for those competing and watching the event. This explains why crews from around the world compete with 70% of them coming from English-speaking countries.
Photo: Tim Wright / Les Voiles de St Barth
Many nationalities can be found aboard the boats and on the pontoons in Gustavia: Americans, Australians, the British, Spanish, New Zealanders, Italians, Belgians, Swiss, the French and of course, race enthusiasts from around the Caribbean. We should add that this fifth edition of the Voiles de Saint-Barth will be welcoming a fine group of TP52s, sailing here in the IRC 52 category. 

On board there will be top professionals from the America’s Cup and the world’s leading crewed races. Franck Noël’s Near Miss will be one of the overall favourites in this highly spectacular series, where the boats are pushed to their impressive performance limits. There’s going to be some fantastic racing, just as in the three other Voiles classes: Spinnaker, Non Spinnaker and Multihulls.

A dazzling display of elegance, at sea and ashore, a subtle mixture bringing together competitive racing and a friendly atmosphere all perfectly organized and there you have what explains the ever-growing popularity of the Voiles de Saint-Barth and the loyalty shown by its partners. 

Richard Mille, Gaastra, La Banque des Antilles Françaises, the St.Barth local authority will be joined this year by the major champagne house, Veuve Clicquot, part of the LVMH Group. A sign of confidence and an additional indicator showing how everyone know recognizes the Voiles de Saint-Barth. 

Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

Team Aqua Makes It Three In A Row in 2013

Winner of the RC 44 Championship Tour for the third consecutive year, Team Aqua reached most of its objectives in 2013. Team owner Chris Bake and tactician Cameron Appleton look back at a great season, and discuss their plans for the future.
Chris Bake's Team Aqua is one of the founding members of the RC44 Class. The team won the Championship Tour for the first time in 2007, and then back-to-back in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
The team won this year’s Tour in style, conquering both the match race, fleet race and overall season title. For team owner Chris Bake, it has been an incredibly good season.
“We have a lot to be proud of. The entire team, managed by Cameron Appleton, did a fantastic job. I am also very proud on a personal note, because I steered three match race events and we won the overall title. This means a lot to me, and I feel that my general understanding of everything that happens on the boat has increased a lot since I started in the Class,” Bake said.

“Chris has definitely raised his game and understood how important he is to the success of the team. Our results in the match race reflect his capacity to succeed as well in sports as he does in business. The team benefits from what all team members bring from a sports and competitive perspective, but also from Chris’ input in terms of organisation and decision making. As for our third consecutive win, it is a great reward for the hard work every single team member has been putting into this project, and I am very grateful to each one of them for their involvement,” Appleton said.

In 2013, the team has once again given the opportunity to young sailors from most of the countries visited to compete at the highest level the sport can offer, developing a great network of young, passionate and competent sailors worldwide. 

"It's been fantastic to have these young sailors join the team. I think this is an important step to keep boosting yachting and make sure we all have new and talented indviduals coming into our sport."

Team Aqua has good reasons to be proud of its accomplishments in 2013. However, the team would also have loved to win the RC44 World Championship in Lanzarote. 

“It was actually our target. And it is quite disappointing that we didn’t reach it. But the fact is we didn’t sail as well as we could, whilst Team Ceeref sailed an exceptional race and totally deserved to win the title,” Bake admitted.

For Appleton, this title would have meant a lot: he had already won the Melges 32 and Farr 30 world titles earlier in the year, and winning a third title would have been very special. “We can only have regrets because we played a dominant role throughout the season”, he says. “However, the level is very high, and there were seven teams in a position to win. It would have been beautiful, but it’s something you can only dream to achieve...”

Team Aqua will once again compete in the RC 44 Championship Tour 2014, with very competitive objectives. “We will try to do as well as this year”, specifies Appleton. “And winning the World Championship will definitely be one of our main goals. In parallel, we want to look at different horizons, and explore new territories. We are currently finalising a three years plan that includes some offshore regattas such as the Fastnet Race or the Middle Sea Race, with a structure very similar to the one we have now. Adding new events on different types of boats is a great way to reinforce our motivation.”

“One of the great strengths of our team is that it has remained very similar to what it was when we started,” Chris Bake said. 

“All the credit goes to Cameron: he can really be proud of the way he runs the team. I am looking forward to next year: obviously, the season opener in the Virgin Islands will be nice, but we also want to explore new horizons and move on to other classes. I want to do some offshore sailing, and compete on bigger boats whilst obviously keeping the desire to be highly competitive.”

Team Aqua carries the colours of the World Land Trust and 2041. The World Land Trust is an international conservation charity that works to preserve rainforests and other threatened wildlife habitat. The World Land Trust also participates actively in raising awareness and improving understanding of the importance of wilderness conservation through education and information programs.

2041 is an organisation founded by polar explorer, environmental leader and public speaker Robert Swan, OBE, the first person in history to walk to both the North and South poles, and dedicated to the protection of the poles.

Team Aqua offsets its carbon footprint and promotes sustainable development by following the challenges set by 2041. The team has - amongst others - developed an innovative system aimed at saving water and reuse water bottles, that led to a drastic decrease of consumption of plastic bottles.

Maxcomm Comunications

Monday, December 16, 2013

Abu Dhabi Appoint Onboard Reporter for Volvo Ocean Race

Experienced multi-media broadcaster Tom Bushell landed the first onboard reporter position for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 on Wednesday. The sport presenter saw off a long list of challengers for one of the toughest assignments in the media.
Photo: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
Back in January, the race launched a social media campaign to find talented media professionals to take on the role of reporter for each boat in the fleet.

Despite labelling it as “the best - and worst - media job in the world”, the event’s Alicante HQ was flooded with more than 2,000 global applicants.

Rick Deppe, who leads the onboard reporter (OBR) project for the event, has drawn up short lists for each of the teams announced so far. Bushell came up tops for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing after a series of trials on land and at sea overseen by skipper Ian Walker.

“There are not many journalistic jobs around the world when you’re actually doing the event itself with the guys. This is one of the very few, if not the only media job in the sport world, where you are in the thick of it,” said Bushell.

“When you report on football, you can see a player gets angry because he missed a goal but you don’t really live it with him. And that’s the challenge and the key to this job with the Volvo Ocean Race and Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing – you’re actually living it with them.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the race. I’m looking forward to the good times and in a weird way, I’m looking forward to the tears.”

Bushell, 31, is quitting his prestigious role as Head of Sport of the Arabian Radio Network to take up his new post from February 2014. He has impressive credentials in the media world and is also a sports anchor for the City 7 TV station in the region.

Dubai-based Briton Bushell will begin full training from February ready for the 12th edition of the nine-month, 39,379-mile round-the-world sailing marathon that starts in October 2014.

“We are convinced Tom has the right skills and personality to take on this most demanding role,” said Volvo Ocean Race communications director Jon Bramley.

“It’s like being a war correspondent with no chance of escaping the firing line until you reach dry land. That’s why we described it as being the best – and worst – media job in the world. But what an assignment!”

The OBRs have been challenged to show the rest of the world what life is really like on the Volvo Ocean 65s and how the men and women who sail them manage to produce such incredible performances in life-threatening conditions day in day out for nine months.

“These sailors have tended in the past to let their seamanship do the talking. This time, we want to get under their skin and speak about their doubts, fears and setbacks as well as their moments of glory,” added Bramley.

“We want to see them as real, fallible humans who are doing something that takes years of experience and talent to achieve and for that we need skilled media professionals to tell the full story of their existence on board these cramped 65-feet ocean racing machines.”

Each onboard reporter will provide daily video, audio, photograph and text feeds to help the race build its extensive fan-base beyond the traditional core audiences through television, digital, social media, radio, newspapers and magazines. They are not allowed to sail the boat in any way.

In the last two editions, each boat carried a man on board to provide media content but it was decided at the end of the 2011-12 race to lift the qualifying standard to ensure only proven professionals would be eligible as OBR.

So far, four teams have been announced for the 2014-15 edition: Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Team SCA, Dongfeng Race Team and Team Brunel.

Volvo Ocean Race Media

Ninkasi Crowned 2013 Audi Melges 20 World Champion

Key Largo, Florida, USA

Congratulations to 2013 Audi Melges 20 World Champions John Taylor, owner of Ninkasi, tactician Bill Hardesty and Joey Mello on the bow. After ten races, against 52 of the world's greatest Audi Melges 20 teams, Taylor cashed in big time at the finish line on Saturday to win the first World Championship Title for the class.
Ninkasi Photo: JOY : Joy Dunigan
Taylor has never won an Audi Melges 20 regatta, nor any other regatta for that fact. "I guess if I'm going to win one, this was the one to win." said an elated and very happy Taylor at the daily awards. "I am honored to be in the presence of so many great owners and fellow sailboat racers. This is by far the best class, with the best owners in the world."
Photo: JOY : Joy Dunigan
Finishing second overall, 2013 Audi Melges 20 Corinthian World Champion Marcus Eagan on Cajun Underwriting along with his dad Marc and brother Andrew swept the awards. They are the only team to place in the overalls as well as the Corinthian Division.
Photo: JOY : Joy Dunigan
Falling further from grace, was third place finisher Travis Weisleder on Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team. It was do or die on the final day of racing as he stood only a few points out of first place. A second place finish in Race Nine gave way to a glimmer of hope, but an OCS in Race 10 left little that he could win the event.
Photo: JOY : Joy Dunigan
Alessandro Rombelli's STIG claimed fourth, while fleet first-timer Jason Michas on Midnight Blue took fifth.
Photo: JOY : Joy Dunigan
To close out the event, a huge dinner gala was held at Ocean Reef's Town Hall to celebrate the championship. Congratulations were given to all winners including Top Master, which went to John Kilroy aboard Samba Pa Ti and best boat with female crew was collected by Leo van denThillart's Team True Racing.
Photo: JOY : Joy Dunigan
Corinthian Heat

To know one's shock and surprise, the Eagans claimed first, followed by John Brown on Blind Squirrel in second and Olli Luebker on Miss Betty in third. Paul Currie's Wild Deuces came fourth, Frank McLaughlin's CAN-254 was fifth, and Bo Boje Pedersen on UpUpUp finished out the division in sixth.

Top Ten Results (After ten races, one discard - Final)

1.) John Taylor/Bill Hardesty, Ninkasi; 1-11-[31]-4-14-1-5-1-1-10 = 48
2.) Marcus Eagan/Marc Eagan, Cajun Underwriting; 6-[27]-13-2-7-5-11-3-4-5 = 56
3.) Travis Weisleder/Scott Nixon, Lucky Dog/Gill Race Team; 2-9-4-5-1-12-13-21-2-[38/ZFP] = 68
4.) Alessandro Rombelli/Paul Goodison, STIG; [29]-4-6-3-20-3-6-6-25-9 = 76
5.) Jason Michas/Mark Mendelblatt, Midnight Blue; 4-1-[20]-13-13-11-4-8-17-8 = 79
6.) Richard Davies/Charlie McKee, Section 16; 20-15-2-17-8-9-1-5-7-[53/DNF] = 84
7.) Jeff Ecklund/John Kostecki, STAR; 17-7-[27]-7-3-26-3-4-5-12 = 84
8.) John Kilroy/Jeremy Wilmot, Samba Pa Ti; 9-2-[32]-1-27-13-10-12-6-14 = 94
9.) Jim Richardson/Terry Hutchinson, Barking Mad, 15-5-19-9-5-22-7-[27]-3-9 = 94
10.) Michael Kiss/Chris Rast, Bacio; 11-14-17-12-[35]-10-8-10-11-6 = 99

Top Three Corinthian Results (After eight races, one discard)

1.) Marcus Eagan, Cajun Underwriting
2.) John Brown, Blind Squirrel
3.) Paul Currie, Wild Deuces

Joy Dunigan

Sunday, December 15, 2013

18ft Skiffs NSW Championship, Race 2 - Sydney Harbour

A decision made by the Gotta Love It 7 team shortly after the start was a critical factor in the skiff’s easy victory in Race 2 of the NSW 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today. The Gotta Love It 7 crew of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage sailed brilliantly in very testing conditions to win by 1m43s and establish a clear lead in the championship.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Dave Witt, Tom Clout and Keagan York finished second in Sydney City Marine, with Dan Phillips, Gary Phillips and Dave Ewings third in Smeg, a further 26s behind Sydney City Marine. Gotta Love It 7 heads the pointscore on 2 points, followed by Sydney City Marine on 6, Smeg 6, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) 8, Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson) 11 and Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) on 14.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Today’s race was sailed in a fluky 7-knot ENE breeze over a four-lap windward-return course. After an even start, although Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) returned to restart when the skiff hadn’t been recalled, the ‘7’ crew made their successful move.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
While most of the fleet sailed a middle course or went left, Jarvin and his team elected to go to the RHS of the course where they picked up the best breeze and quickly opened up a 30s break over Smeg at the windward mark.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Sydney City Marine was another 30s back with the rest of the fleet floundering in extremely light air off the buoy. Once in front the polished crew on Gotta Love It 7 quickly extended the lead to 1m20s at the bottom mark, then to 3m20s at the following windward buoy.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Smeg’s margin over Sydney City Marine was now down to just 10s and the interest was obviously on that battle.With the wind changing direction many times, the positions behind 7 were also changing regularly. By the third windward mark, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers got to within 1m30s of 7, followed by Fisher & Paykel, Sydney City Marine, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Smeg.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With second place seemingly at her mercy down the final spinnaker run to the finish, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers took a ‘swim’ and the crew had to watch the fleet sail by before she could recover for a disappointing sixth place.

Frank Quealey

Video - Premier Composite TechnologiesTP52 Southern Cross Cup 2013 Round 4 - Day 3 - Pittwater, Sydney

Beau Geste Blows Cougar II and Quest Out Of The Water at PCT TP52 Southern Cross Cup

Karl Kwok’s Team Beau Geste dominated Cougar II on the final day of the Premier Composite Technologies Australian TP52 Southern Cross Cup to win not only the three-day Pittwater regatta, hosted by the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club at Newport, Sydney but the series.
Beau Geste ploughing downwind Photo:
With Shogun V out of the game after losing her rig during the first upwind leg of Race 4 the previous day, Kiwi helmsman Gavin Brady was not taking no chances.
Team Beay Geste  Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
The 52-footer was stacked to the rafters with some of the hottest sailing talent around including helmsman Gavin Brady, Jamie Gale, Emirates Team New Zealand America's Cup grinders Chris Ward and James Dagg, as well as Volvo Ocean sailors Rob Salthouse, Tony 'Trae' Rae, Phil Jameson and Mike Sanderson.
Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
Today’s three bullets and a first, second and third on IRC handicap tallied with their five previous results gave Beau Geste a grand total of 15 points for the Premier Composite Technologies TP52 regatta, six points clear of Tony Lyall’s Cougar II (TAS) in second. Beau Geste also won the round on PHS.
Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
James Dagg, who trimmed the jib and gennaker onboard Beau Geste during the regatta, was impressed with Pittwater, which he said reminded him a little of Marlborough Sound in New Zealand's South Island.
Team Beau Geste's Tony Rae, Mike Edmonds, Mike Sanderson and James Dagg Photo: Lulu Roseman
"This is the first time I have sailed here and it is a fantastic venue with good breeze. I'm a but rusty on  a monohull but it's just like getting back on the bike. The offshore racing was pretty tight but we managed to make the most of the lumpier conditions and Saturday was a good day for us and we didn't have any shockers."
Cougar II chases Frantic Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
Today’s three bullets and a first, second and third on IRC handicap tallied with their five previous results gave Beau Geste a grand total of 15 points for the Premier Composite Technologies TP52 regatta, six points clear of Tony Lyall’s Cougar II (TAS) in second. Beau Geste also won the round on PHS.
Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
Bob Steel’s Quest (NSW), with Jamie MacPhail on the wheel and Kiwi America’s Cup sailor Ed Smyth calling tactics today, finished third in the round. They lost a protest for a mark infringement during the eighth race of the day and copped a disqualification from that race that cost them second place overall.
Photo: Crosbie Lorimer
Cougar II picked up two IRC handicap wins and Quest one. The rest belonged to Beau Geste who coolly and methodically picked their victim then pinned them by the wings. Rob Hanna’s Shogun V (VIC) finished second on IRC overall in the Cup, despite being unable to compete in the remaining races of Round 4 four after dismasting in heavy seas off Barrenjoey Headland on Saturday during Race 4.
Team Beau Geste Photo: Lisa Ratcliff
Cougar II finished third overall in the IRC results and also won the PHS division.

Lulu Roseman

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Quest Rains On Beau Geste's Parade - PCT TP52 Southern Cross Cup at Pittwater, Sydney

Team Beau Geste from Hong Kong, skippered by Karl Kwok and helmed by Gavin Brady, is striving for a series whitewash in Australia’s inaugural TP52 Southern Cross Cup. But the pesky new kid in town is causing ripples for the international visitors.
Team Beau Geste (HKG) Photo: Peter Andrews /
Two more bullets offshore today, Saturday 14 December, and Team Beau Geste is leading the way in the Premier Composite Technologies TP52 Southern Cross Cup regatta, the closing round of the four-part series.
Shogun (VIC) and Quest (NSW)  Photo: Peter Andrews / 
Bob Steel’s Sydney based Quest is shadowing TBG, only two points adrift. “Quest is on a roll, they are the new kid in town,” acknowledged Brady this afternoon.
Shogun V (VIC) Photo: Lulu Roseman
Rob Hanna’s Shogun V was his main adversary until the TP52 from Geelong in Victoria snapped her mast in today’s opening race on Palm Beach circle course, sadly ruling them out of contention.
Cougar II (TAS) Photo: Peter Andrews /
“Tomorrow we have to sail our own race and not fall into any traps like we did the first day,” said Brady. “We had a tough time shaking off Quest today and tomorrow inshore we expect they’ll sail confidently to the shifts on flat water.”
Vamos (NZL) Photo: Peter Andrews /
Brady suffered his first injury as helmsman in today’s short, steep seas off Barrenjoey Headland. “Normally helmsmen only suffer emotional injuries, but I took a fall and I’ve twisted my knee.”

Kwok’s boat preparation is meticulous and Team Beau Geste, the last boat standing of the newer generation TP52s that began the series back in February, has suffered the least amount of breakages.

“These boats are pushed to the edge and where we are is a tribute to Karl’s preparation,” praised the owner’s long-term driver.

Quest missed the first two rounds of the Southern Cross Cup on Port Phillip Bay back in February and April, and exited round three early with damage, making them ineligible for the overall Cup win. Bu their impact on the scoreboard in round four is still worrying Team Beau Geste.

Northern Beaches local, Jamie MacPhail, Quest helmsman for owner Bob Steel. He says the capable crew of Sam Newton, Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Andrew Pearson among others are still figuring out how to sail fast with a new rig and fat head mainsail. He warned there is plenty more in the tank for the offshore racer now configured for regattas.

“I think Bob will be happy where the boat is in the fleet as we do have the second oldest hull here,” said MacPhail. “We are just happy we got through today unscathed.”
Not so lucky was the Tasmanian TP52 Cougar II, skippered by Anthony Lyall. By the end of race four they had blown out three spinnakers and one headsail and were shouting for the spare chute.

Coming into the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club, Cougar’s engine cut out and the boat needed to be stopped before it crashed into the marina. Crewman John ‘Spud’ Drummond lassoed a cleat and saved Quest from certain damage, named by the thankful crew as hero of the day, relayed tactician David Chapman.

On the cost of repairing or replacing all the torn sails, Lyall, a doctor at Beaconsfield in northern Tasmania said, “It’s the only reason I work.” Cougar II is third on the leaderboard after five races.

Rob Hanna’s Shogun V dismasted mid-tack on the upwind leg of the day's first race. In a rolling ocean the crew worked furiously with hacksaws to free the rig, with both mainsail and headsail still attached, from the windward side of the boat before it potentially swung in and pierced the hull.

Fellow TP52 owners empathised with Rob Hanna’s misadventure. “I really feel for the Shogun guys,” said Vamos skipper Connel McLaren. Brady added, “It was incredibly unlucky for Rob, this was his day”.

Vamos (NZL) finished cleanly in fourth place overall, McLaren ruing the fact Quest has trumped them in every race, “Tomorrow will have to be our day,” he cautioned.

The RPAYC race committee, led by PRO Stephen Merrington, was hoping to hold three races but after taking into consideration the conditions, a nasty 1.5 metre swell and 15-22 knot southerly, and the dismasting of Shogun and recurring sail damage on board Cougar II, crews packed up after two races.

The remaining five TP52s will race inshore tomorrow, Sunday 15 December. At the 0955hrs warning signal the fleet will be in sequence for the first of two races that will be held to the north of Scotland Island in Pittwater. The forecast is for southerly winds 10-15 knots turning south-easterly late morning.

Lisa Ratcliff

Carnage On The Race Course at PCT TP52 Southern Cross Cup at Pittwater, Sydney

In 18 knots of southerly breeze, Rob Hanna’s TP52 Shogun V was dismasted off Palm Beach on Sydney’s Northern Beaches on day two of the Premier Composite Technologies TP52 Southern Cross Cup Regatta, Saturday 14 December 2014.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
The black carbon fibre mast was 26 metres tall at the midday start of race four on the course area called Palm Beach circle, to the east of Barrenjoey Headland. Less than half way to the top mark there was only 6 metres left, the failure happening mid-tack just as the 52-footer levelled out.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
In a rolling ocean the predominantly Melbourne based crew worked furiously with hacksaws to free the three-year old rig, with both mainsail and headsail still attached, from the windward side of the boat before it swung in and punctured the hull.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Amazingly there was no other damage to the grand prix racer, the current Audi Australian IRC Champion. More importantly there were no injuries during the ordeal.
Quest hunting down Team Beau Geste Photo: Lulu Roseman
“My first thought was making sure everyone was OK,” said Hanna back at the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club. “We think one spreader went, which loaded up the mast. We don’t really know and the net result is the same.”
Shogun V Photo: Lulu Roseman
Shogun V is for sale and even at a difficult time Hanna retained his sense of humour, “It’ll be easier to ship now.” He sees this as an opportunity for a new owner to build a mast more in keeping with IRC handicap rather than TP52 class racing.
Shogun V Photo: Lulu Roseman
Hanna wished the organisers and competitors well for the remainder of the final round and congratulated Karl Kwok and Gavin Brady, owner/skipper and helmsman respectively of the Hong Kong based Team Beau Geste, who are inching closer to a whitewash in the inaugural four-part series.
Cougar II Photo: Lulu Roseman
Two more bullets has Team Beau Geste leading this round on progressive points, and in command of the overall TP52 Southern Cross Cup as winners of rounds one and two at Sandringham Yacht Club in February and April, and round three on Sydney Harbour in November.

For full results see>>>

About the TP52 Southern Cross Cup:

The TP52 Southern Cross Cup is a four-part IRC handicap regatta based on TP52 class racing. The age of the boats range from 2004 to 2011 - an age allowance is applied to create a more level playing field for the earlier generation boats. The crew limit for boats aged 2001-2007 is 15 with no more than six professionals. For the newer hulls the maximum crew is 13 with the same pro cap. Each owner may be required to carry a guest while racing.

Lisa Ratcliff/TPSCC Media