Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Red Hot Olympic Talent Joins Artemis Racing

Alameda, CA - February 25, 2013

Artemis Racing announced today the addition of 2012 Olympic medalists Iain Jensen (AUS) and Andrew Simpson (GBR) as well as 2016 Olympic hopeful John Gimson (GBR). The newcomers will join the team's decorated Olympians Percy, Lange, Outteridge, and Monk.
Gimson  and Jensen Photo: © Artemis Racing/ Sander van der Borch
Jensen and Gimson will provide sailing and training support for the team including maintenance and logistics for the team's AC45 and F18 fleet, while Simpson will provide weather and tactics support to the afterguard.
Iain Jensen Photo: © Artemis Racing/ Sander van der Borch
“The experience we have on the sailing team, balanced with the youth and enthusiasm John, Iain and Andrew bring to the team is a good mix for us,” said Sailing Team Director Iain Percy.

Australian Iain Jensen, as crew for Nathan Outteridge, won the Gold Medal in the 49er class in last summer’s games in London. Iain is a 49er world champion in 2009 and 2011 and a 49er European champion in 2011. His accolades include winning “Sail for Gold” in 2009, 2010, and 2012.
John Gimson Photo: © Artemis Racing/ Sander van der Borch
John Gimson is campaigning to represent Great Britain in the Nacra 17 in the Rio 2016 Olympic games. He has received many podium finishes ranging from the TP52 and Extreme 40 class to the Star, Etchells and Melges 24s.
Andrew Simpson Photo: © Artemis Racing/ Sander van der Borch
Andrew Simpson medaled in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics in the Star Class as crew for Artemis Racing Sailing Team Director Iain Percy winning a gold and silver medal. Simpson brings his experience from +39 Challenge and Team Origin America’s Cup teams to his role with Artemis Racing.

“As an America’s Cup team, we are investing in the team’s future with guys like Andrew, Iain, John and Nathan,” said Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard. “These young sailors bring talent and enthusiasm to our team. They are the future of the America’s Cup.”

Artemis Racing Team Media

Monday, February 25, 2013

Red Bull Youth America's Cup - Five Teams Selected - RBYAC Selection Series

Five Teams Selected For Red Bull Youth America’s Cup in September

Five of the best youth sailing teams in the world have qualified for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup following a grueling two-week Selection Series in San Francisco. The 12 crews, from 11 countries, were pushed to the limit as they fought for the right to compete in September’s races.
Photo: © Balazs Gardi / Red Bull content pool
National crews from Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland, made the cut to advance to the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup where they will meet five crews supported by current America’s Cup teams.
Photos: © Balazs Gardi / Red Bull content pool
Double Olympic Gold medalists Roman Hagara and Hans-Peter Steinacher, the Sports Directors for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, made the selections after closely monitoring the teams on and off the water during the two back-to-back selection weeks. With the high talent level and extreme motivation of the crews, there were hard choices to make.
Photo: © ACEA 2013/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
“This has been very difficult,” Hagara said. “The level of each team is much higher than we could have hoped for, which is good. But only five of them are able to race with us in September so today’s decision wasn’t easy to make.”
Photo: © ACEA 2013/ Photo Gilles Martin-Raget
Race results made up 60-percent of the selection criteria. Teams were also evaluated on professionalism on and off the water, as well as on the training programs they have set up to develop their skills further between now and September.

“We always said we were looking for the best of the best,” said Steinacher. “And that’s what we have now. I believe any of these five teams will be capable of winning in September.”

The teams proved their mettle in challenging winter conditions on San Francisco Bay, one of the most challenging race venues in the world. Cold and strong winter winds made taming the AC45 catamarans, with their towering wing sails, difficult. But the youth sailors, aged 19-24, were up to the task.

“We went into this with a plan not to let them sail in over 15 knots of wind and to keep the teams inside the Bay Bridge,” Steinacher said. “We broke both of those rules on the very first day! Fortunately, the teams have shown us they are able to handle the boats in conditions that are on the limit.”

The five teams selected today have now qualified to race in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup from September 1-4, in a fleet that includes five additional youth crews supported by current America’s Cup teams.

In their own words:

Lucien Cujean (SUI), skipper, Team TILT: “It feels good, very good. It’s great news. Even though we won the racing portion of the selection series, that’s not the only criteria. So we were nervous about the selection.”

Bernardo Freitas (POR), skipper, ROFF/Cascais Sailing Team: “We’re excited for the announcement. Excited for September. I believed we’d have a chance. In the racing we showed we’re a good team and we have good skills on the water.”

Will Tiller (NZL), skipper, Full Metal Jacket Racing: “We’re pretty psyched. It’s about 5:00 in the morning (the team is in Oman training ahead of an X40 regatta) and we were all sitting around the phone, nervous. But we’re very happy to have made the selection. The opportunity to race the RBYAC is fantastic, but now the hard work begins. We have to put together a training program.

Philipp Buhl (GER), skipper, STG/NRV Youth Team: “It was a brilliant week. We didn’t expect to be first, but we stayed grounded through the week and kept improving. We really improved our maneuvers and team work. In the end, we learned not to talk so much. Everyone learned to do their job and just did it.”

Jason Waterhouse (AUS), skipper, Objective Australia: “It was a mind-blowing week. We learned so much. It’s our first time racing together as a crew, but we gelled well… Our preparation was sound.”

Jimmy Spithill, skipper, ORACLE TEAM USA, and a driving force behind the Red Bull Youth America's Cup: “My pathway to the America’s Cup was one of good luck. When I was a youth sailor there wasn’t a clear pathway to the Cup. But the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup gives these guys a great opportunity, and the game’s opened up to much wider participation. The level of organization from these teams is impressive.”

Russell Coutts, CEO, ORACLE TEAM USA, and a driving force behind the creation of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup: “The Red Bull Youth America’s Cup is meant to be a way for youth sailors to show their talents and make it to the pro sailing ranks. This (on the AC45 wing sail catamaran) is some of the best and most fun racing I’ve done in years. I’m sure they’ll enjoy it too.”

Selection Series Teams advancing to Red Bull Youth America’s Cup:

Australia – Objective Australia
Germany – STG/NRV Youth Team
New Zealand – Full Metal Jacket Racing
Portugal – ROFF/Cascais Sailing Team
Switzerland – Team TILT

Youth crews supported by America's Cup World Series Teams:

France – Energy Team/Name TBC
New Zealand – Emirates Team New Zealand/Name TBC
Sweden – Artemis Racing/Swedish Youth Challenge
USA – ORACLE TEAM USA/American Youth Sailing Force (SFO)

America's Cup Media

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Farr 40 NATIONALS DAY 3 - Sydney Harbour

2013 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship - Race 7 - Sydney Harbour

Sunday, 24 February 2013
Sydney Harbour

Gotta Love It 7’s Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris became the 2013 champions when they took out Race 7 of the Winning Group JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Following yesterday’s wipe out in Race 6 of the championship it all came down to today’s final race in a strong North-East wind with Gotta Love It 7 and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel level on eight points.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Allowing for discards being introduced, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney, David Witt and Mark Kennedy) had to finish within the first three placings today and ahead of Gotta Love It 7 to win the title.
Photo: Frank Quealey
A great start by the ‘7’ crew saw the red flying machine quickly take the lead from The Rag as the fleet sped off towards Bradleys Head.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Gotta Love It 7 maintained her advantage over Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, and when the latter team capsized near the Beashel Buoy the title was as good as won by ‘7’.
Photo: Frank Quealey
With their main challenger out of contention, the ‘7’ crew appeared to sail more conservatively (if you can sail an 18 conservatively in a 25-knot North East wind) as Thurlow Fisher Lawyers led the fleet down the spinnaker legs back to Clarke Island.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Spectators aboard the two club controlled ferries and others in a variety of vessels following the race were treated to some of the most spectacular action the 18s can provide.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Trent Barnabas, Dave O’Connor) led until the final rounding mark at Rose Bay but put on a performance to be remembered. They had capsized on the second windward leg but came back to lead the fleet home, before a spectacular capsize on the gybe as the crew ‘gunned’ it hard.
Photo: Frank Quealey
7’s crew saw the swim and quickly pulled their kite down for the run between the islands to the finish. New Zealand’s C-Tech (Alex Vallings, Josh McCormack and Peter Burling) finished 34s behind Gotta Love It 7, with Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel coming home another 3m15s back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey
The final placings in the championship gave Gotta Love It 7 (9 points) a two points victory over Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel, with Thurlow Fisher Lawyers third on 19 points. C-Tech also finished the series on 9 points but lost to Thurlow Fisher on a countback.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) was fifth on 21 points and Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane, Paul Montague, Tom Anderson) sixth on 34 points.
Frank Quealey

Transfusion Takes Out Farr 40 Australian Championship

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion was today declared the winner of the John Calvert-Jones Trophy and named the Aberdeen Asset Management Australian Farr 40 Champion for the 2012-13 season.
Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40

Transfusion won all three lead-up state titles and this afternoon collected the clincher, the nine-race national one-design regatta sailed over two days on a blustery Sydney Harbour. This is Belgiorno-Nettis’ fourth national title in the class, having also been crowned in 2012, 2010, 2009, and in 2011 he won the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship in Sydney.
Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
“We were progressively losing points in the first two races today so we thought we’d better pull up our socks, which we did in the seventh race then the next two races we sailed ordinarily again,” Belgiorno-Nettis said.

“We crossed the finish line thinking we’d lost to Kokomo, the three lead boats were so close at the finish line it was hard to see who was in front. It was right down to the wire, the tension on our boat was amazing.
Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
“Today was very testing, we were right on the edge of our comfort zone and we were wondering how some of the other crews were handling the heavy conditions. We had a debate with the PRO Rob Ridley after race eight and he asked us whether we wanted to go into a fifth and final race. The consensus was to go ahead and complete the program.”

Second by one point was Lang Walker’s Kokomo (25 points) and third overall and first Corinthian Farr 40 was Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark’s Voodoo Chile (26 points) from Tasmania.
Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Kokomo’s crew found their rhythm early in the fresh to frightening breeze, which was a solid 25 knots gusting up to 30 plus. The windier it got the stronger Walker’s classy outfit performed with two early bullets while Transfusion’s crew struggled .

It was tit-for-tat all day between Transfusion and Kokomo, Voodoo Chile inching closer to the top of the scoresheet with each race. At the end of race six Kokomo was level-pegged with Transfusion and ahead on a countback. A fifth in the next race put them back to second by four points. By the end of race eight the pair was two points apart.
Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
“We knew we had to come out guns blazing today. Unfortunately we didn’t make the gybe or the layline in the last race, which was a disappointing finish as we had to win that final race to break the tiebreak," said Kokomo’s UK based tactician Adrian Stead.

“Certainly it was our best day of racing on Kokomo, our best team effort and Lang did bloody well steering for five races. I don’t think I’ve ever done an entire regatta where we’ve had nine races with heavy weather jibs up,” he pointed out.
Voodoo Chile Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Third overall and first Corinthian Farr 40 was Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark’s Voodoo Chile, the slick red-shirted brigade flying the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s burgee on a Farr 40 chartered from Lang Walker.

“That would have to be the best result we can expect and we are absolutely delighted," Hunn said. "We were a lot better for last weekend’s run, better again for the run Friday and it came together beautifully today. Lang might be a bit miffed now that he chartered his boat to us. We are very thankful, he made our regatta possible.”

Five races were completed in quick succession today, two laps of the course set off Clarke Island, near Double Bay, per race. They were hard windward works to the top marks laid off Nielsen Park at Vaucluse and lots of crash gybing and kites flogging in the following breeze once the fleet turned the corner.

The remnants of the low pressure system that has wreaked havoc across Sydney all weekend continued to dictate conditions for the curtain closer, a strong wind warning, warm north-east breeze, declining sea state, 74% humidity and heavy cloud cover creating a surreal scene on a hazy and almost empty Sydney Harbour.

Teams were strapped in for some hairy rides as the 10 Farr 40s threw up plenty of wake running downwind at 18 knots. The sprints didn’t end well for some including Ivan Resnekov’s iMpi and the crew were forced to cut through the spinnaker halyard to prevent their kite pulling them on to the rocks at Bradleys Heads after a spectacular wipe-out laid the boat over in race six and forced their retirement.

At the top mark rounding in race five Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master wildly broached then rounded up the other way, an unplanned manoeuvre that cost them a couple of places and turned a few hairs grey. The Hills finished fourth overall, unable to lock Hunn and his young ace tactician, David Chapman, out of the top three.

This weekend’s national one-design series was dedicated to the class’ forefather and the first Australian Farr 40 World Champion, John Calvert-Jones.

Sam Hill, owner/skipper of Forty has been instrumental in the uniting active Australian Farr 40 owners and putting together a hard-fought series in Brisbane, Hobart and finally Sydney where the NSW state titles led into this weekend’s nationals, conducted by the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron at Kirribilli.
Forty was crewed by a mostly young team including the brother and sister duo of Will and Sasha Ryan, back from their Olympic 470 duties and Stacey Jackson, who manages the pocket maxi Black Jack for Peter Harburg and recently tried out for the all-women Volvo Ocean Race team.

“Conditions today were at the upper extreme of the class but we came through. We certainly built the team over the regatta as we are a relatively new crew. The culture on this boat is that we are there to enjoy it, if we can mix it with the big boys and make it difficult for them then that’s what we will do. We hope to be back next year,” said Forty’s tactician Will Ryan.

Lisa Ratcliff

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Slingsby Set To Take The Helm - America's Cup World Series - Naples

When the America’s Cup World Series circuit resumes, Australia's Tom Slingsby will take the helm for Oracle Team USA. The Olympic gold medalist will skipper the team’s entry into the spring regatta, which runs April 16-21 in Naples, Italy.
Photo: Guilain Grenier/ Oracle Team USA
“I've been in the tactician role, but now to steer in an America's Cup World Series event, I can't wait,” Slingsby said. “I saw my name on the wing the other day, and there was a realisation that it's going to happen. Having been the tactician and calling a lot of the shots on the water, it shouldn't be too hard of a transition. Obviously our priority is the AC72 now, but hopefully we’ll get some good training time in.”
Photo: Guilain Grenier/ Oracle Team USA
The Naples regatta will mark Slingsby’s first ACWS event as skipper. He served as tactician onboard the AC45 with Oracle Team USA COUTTS for the ACWS San Francisco in October 2012, and he was in the same role at the 2012 ACWS in Naples and at the ACWS San Diego in November 2011.
Photo: Guilain Grenier/ Oracle Team USA
Alongside Slingsby, the Oracle Team USA crew in Naples will feature San Newton (wing trimmer), Kinley Fowler (jib trimmer), Rome Kirby (runner) and Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bowman). Newton, Kirby and van Nieuwenhuijzen were also members of COUTTS crew in San Francisco.

Slingsby joined Oracle Team USA in October 2011. In 2010 he was voted the International Sailing Federation’s World Sailor of the Year Award and he’s won six world championships. Last year, he captured the gold medal in the Laser class at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Over the next two months, the five-member crew will balance training on the AC45 for Naples and sailing the AC72 in preparation for the America’s Cup Final in September 2013.

The city of Naples hosts the grand finale of the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series. It marks the final regatta for the team prior to the 34th America’s Cup. Naples also hosted an ACWS in April 2012.

Oracle Team USA Crew List

Tom Slingsby (helmsman), San Newton (wing trimmer), Kinley Fowler (jib trimmer), Rome Kirby (runner), Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (bowman)

America's Cup Media

Team Australia Makes History With New Sydney To Hobart Course Speed Record

Sean Langman’s radical 60-foot trimaran Team Australia took the Tasman Sea express lane and this evening smashed the previous fastest time from Sydney to Hobart by a whopping 12 hours and a half hours.
Photo: Jane Austin
They set a new elapsed time of 29 hours 52 minutes and 23 seconds, bettering the previous time set last December by Wild Oats XI by 12 hours 30 minutes 49 seconds.
Team Australia greeted in Hobart by a Moth Photo: Jane Austin
Ahead of a 12-15 knot NE breeze, Team Australia coasted past the Castray Esplanade finish box, recording an unofficial finish time of 16:51:20 or 4:51pm. This time will be verified by the recording device installed on the boat by World Sailing Speed Record Council representative John Brooks prior to leaving Sydney Heads yesterday morning.
Photo: Jane Austin
Their start time from between North Head and the Hornby Lighthouse on South Head was 10:58:57 Friday morning, February 23, and average speed for the 630 nautical mile stretch was 21 knots.
Peter and Sean Langman Photo: Jane Austin
An exhausted Sean Langman this evening said they never took their wet weather gear or lifejackets off, “we were always on the edge, that’s what sailing these boats is like.” On their time he reckons there is still potential to take the record even lower. “We’ll have another go when someone else breaks ours.”
Team Australia crew Photo: Alastair Douglas
After an hour’s sleep broken up into two 'cat naps' he was understandably drained as he spoke to Hobart media and well-wishers who have been following the trimaran’s progress via satellite tracking.

While Bob Oatley’s 100ft supermaxi Wild Oats XI will remain the Sydney Hobart yacht race record holder with their time of 42 hours 23 minutes and 12 seconds, the ORMA 60 trimaran Team Australia will be added to the WSSRC’s list of sanctioned passage records.

After a shaky start in the angry backwash off the cliffs at South Head yesterday morning, the seven crew, including skipper Sean Langman, son Peter Langman, Larry Jamieson, Shaun McKnight, James Ogilvie, Aaron Hampo and Josh Alexander rode the strong nor’easter across Bass Strait to arrive waterlogged into Hobart on a sunny summer’s afternoon.

With the passage record comfortably clinched, Team Australia’s new target this afternoon was to finish in less than 30 hours and they scraped in by a matter of seven and a half minutes.The multihull’s top speed was recorded today.

“We hit 39.6 knots and we are coming home hot” said Josh Alexander.

The optimal weather window was no fluke, Langman and Alexander worked closely with world renowned marine forecaster, Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham, in the lead-up to the attempt to hand pick the start time.

As well as optimum winds and sea state, they timed the run ahead of the whale migration north to minimise the possibility of hitting a giant humpback or causing major damage.

Langman’s greatest worry was hitting a submerged object or marine life at breakneck speed. In the end all they broke was one mainsail car, a small and relatively insignificant piece of plastic and a surprising outcome given the extreme sustained loads on the boat and gear.

The former French-owned trimaran was more than capable of withstanding the rigours of the passage to Hobart having in her former life been raced hard repeatedly across the North Atlantic and won the double-handed Transat Jacques Vabre from France to Brazil.

Lisa Ratcliff

No Racing In JJ Giltinan Championship - Sydney Harbour

All sailing on Sydney Harbour was cancelled today and officials of the Australian 18 Footers League left their decision for as long as possible before deciding whether or not to race.
Photo: Frank Quealey
With Race Six of the Winning Group 2013 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship holding so much importance they were keen to make it happen. Despite the terrible conditions in Sydney, spectators were lining up at the club and having their names recorded for the spectator ferry just in case the race was going ahead.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Race officer Garry Linacre and his team were on the water and monitoring conditions as winds gusted to more than 30 knots. Crews were put on standby and it was decided that additional time would be given to try and achieve a start.
Photo: Frank Quealey
When conditions hadn’t improved by 5:00pm, Linacre had no choice but to call the race off for today. Tomorrow’s race is the final and deciding race of the championship and will start at 3:00pm.

Frank Quealey

Friday, February 22, 2013

Team Australia Looking Good To Smash Sydney-Hobart Speed Record

Team Australia successfully crossed Bass Strait overnight and is now making its way down the Tasmanian East Coast. At 7:00am their Yellowbrick tracker had them doing 26 knots of boat speed off St. Helens with two thirds of their attempt and the worst conditions in their wake.
Photo: Andrea Francolini
North-east winds 20-25 knots and a following sea is the perfect combination for Team Australia to successfully complete its record attempt on the 630 nautical mile Sydney to Hobart passage record set by Bob Oatley’s supermaxi Wild Oats XI less than two months ago.
Photo: Andrea Francolini
“We are pretty wet and tired. It feels like we are drowning,” said the weary helmsman and navigator Josh Alexander via satellite phone this morning.

“There is water everywhere and it keeps coming in as the hatches leaking. The food’s been good though,” he added.

He’s also had opportunities to raid the Tim Tam jar given he hasn’t slept since they left their World Sailing Speed Record Council sanctioned start line at Sydney Heads just before 11:00am yesterday morning.

Amazingly Team Australia hasn’t broken any gear and “the boat is in great shape” assured Alexander.

Based on weather routing they anticipate reaching Tasman Light in 5-6 hours, around lunchtime or early afternoon, and the finish off Battery Point this afternoon. That would mean a course time of less than 30 hours. The current record is just over 42 hours.

“At this stage our ETA in Hobart is 3:00-4:00pm, depending on how we go around Tasman Light,” Alexander said this morning. We have to go upwind across Storm Bay and up the Derwent and that might slow us up a bit, but we will be in flat water. The sea really calmed down across the Strait and now it’s a pretty easy following sea, which is much more comfortable.”

Overnight with three reefs and a staysail up they were sitting on 30-35 knots for a good three hours Alexander was literally flying blind when he hit his top speed of 38 knots in the dark while in command of the tiller. 

“We were holding on and sending it. The boys are tired and wet but Sean [Langman] is happy with where we are going and we are on a good track to break the record.”

Skipper Sean Langman often refers to Tasmania as his “spiritual home” and in 2005 he bought a business on the Huon River. He has arrived in Hobart 23 times with the Sydney Hobart fleet on the biggest supermaxi, the smallest classic timber yacht and the famous oversized skiff, Xena, among others.

Now he’s looking at a very different arrival in Hobart with just seven crew on an imposing multihull and hopes of setting a new benchmark for the famous stretch of water.

To follow Team Australia’s record attempt go to http://my.yb.tl/teamaustralia/

Lisa Ratcliff

Wild Day For Farr 40s - John Calvert-Jones Trophy/Australian Nationals - Sydney Harbour - Day 1

The Ten Farr 40 crews had their stamina tested on the first day of the John Calvert-Jones Trophy, the class nationals being contested this weekend on Sydney Harbour.
Transfusion Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Last weekend’s Aberdeen Asset Management NSW State Title seems a distant memory with a polar opposite set of conditions blowing across the race course today. Crew overboard, spinnaker wraps and rips, Chinese gybes and round-ups, bumps and bruises and delaminating sails were all part of the opening day.

After four races starting off the host club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Guido Belgiornio-Nettis’ Transfusion is the leading point scorer thanks to their three wins and a fourth to end the day on seven points.
Voodoo Chile Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
“We love the pressure. Considering some are still getting their teamwork together, I thought everyone sailed really well today,” Belgiornio-Nettis said.
Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Second, third and fourth places are tied on 13 points, Lang Walker’s Kokomo leads Lisa and Martin Hill’s Estate Master and Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark’s Tasmanian entry, Voodoo Chile.Voodoo Chile’s tactician, Sydney based David Chapman said apart from a tear in the mainsail they came through today unscathed.

“Today was very different to last weekend,” said the young champion match racer. “We saw great boat handling from the Transfusion boys, and it’s nice to be within striking distance of them.”
Sputnik Photo: Dane Lojek/Farr 40
Not so lucky was the crew on the second Tasmanian boat, Sputnik (chartered by POW), with the bow person twice falling overboard in wipe-outs in race four, the boat subsequently retiring from that race.

Prior to the 11:00am scheduled start time the breeze was still flicking around 35 degrees. It settled in at 17-18 knots out of the ESE with gusts up to 23 knots. Over the afternoon the breeze climbed up to a 22 knot average, gusting up to 28 knots.

The course axis was 110 degrees and leg lengths 1.3 nautical miles and the top mark and offset mark were laid between Shark Island and Point Piper. Three races of three laps and one of two laps were completed.

The closest finish on corrected time was in race four, Kokomo getting the better of Estate Master by just eight seconds over a 56 minute harbour dash.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for easterly 25 to 30 knots tending east to northeasterly 15 to 25 knots in the middle of the day then tending northwest to northeasterly and easing. The talk among the yachties is that they may not get a start in, at least until later in the day. A class upper wind limit may decide whether racing goes ahead.

Day one results here.

Lisa Ratcliff

Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 National Titles 2013 - Day 1

Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 National Titles 2013 from Farr40_Australia on Vimeo.

Team Australia Is Barrelling Down the NSW Coast

Crew on the 60-foot trimaran Team Australia, which is barrelling south to Hobart attempting to set a new passage record for the 630 nautical miles between Sydney and Hobart, have described their journey so far as similar to being under a high-pressured fire hose.
Photo: Team Australia
“The boat is doing 22-25 knots in a strong easterly, our top speed has been 35 knots,” said crewman Josh Alexander this afternoon.

“All the boys are clipped in and taking a bath worse than having a fire hose turned on us. I think they sent four trucks to put us out, but we do not care, we are still on fire. This is one hell of a ride if it was at Luna Park the line would be long to get on," he added.
Photo: Team Australia
“The sea state is horrible, very rough wind from 080-090 E. There's a few holes in it out here so the range is from 20-35 knots. Dinner will be interesting, that’s if we can cook. It’s like a roller coaster inside without a seatbelt.”

On their plan for the night Alexander suggests, “Hold it together. Prudence would suggest throttle back a little, but I don't think that's going to happen.”
Photo: Team Australia
At 6:30pm this evening, 7.5 hours after their record chase started from between Sydney Heads, skipper Sean Langman was still driving his 5.7 ton trimaran. Larry Jamieson was meant to be emailing updates but was “too scared to let go of the sheet,” Alexander sad.

Sean’s 19 year-old son Peter was on the traveller, Josh looking after reefing sails, navigating and quotable quotes and Shaun ‘Kiwi’ McKnight was on the grinder with Aaron Hampo. James Ogilvie apparently had plenty on with the new Doyle Sails square top main.

On their start just before 11:00am this morning, Alexander said they had a few glitches getting off the line, nerves playing a part in their tentative sail choice which then meant they lacked sufficient power to push through a messy three metre swell at the Heads.

Once the seven crew settled down and the adrenaline subsided, they relaxed into a groove. Top wind speed so far has been 44 knots.

At 7.45pm this evening Team Australia was abeam of Bega tearing south at 25 knots and well on track to smash Wild Oats XI’s record of 1 day 18 hours 23 minutes and 12 seconds for the 630 nautical mile course.

To follow Team Australia’s record attempt go to http://my.yb.tl/teamaustralia/

Lisa Ratcliff

Team Australia Off To A Flying Start

The leash was firmly on Team Australia when it began its Sydney to Hobart record attempt this morning from between Sydney Heads, but once the giant trimaran made it through the worst of the nasty chop between Sydney Heads and hit open water, the speed machine was given its head.
Photo: Andrea Francolini
With an 18-20 knot sou’easter blowing, the Orma 60 trimaran began its passage record attempt conservatively, skipper Sean Langman slowly easing the boat through the huge swell and whitewater at Sydney Heads. With very little sail up Langman found he was short of power to drive through the swell so the reefs were soon shaken out of the mainsail and the boat freed.
Photo: Andrea Francolini
Spectator and friend Mike Fletcher was alongside, “The sea was horrendous due to wind wave on top of swell. They needed more grunt to get through it, once they had more sail up and were into proper ocean wave they were fine.”
Photo: Andrea Francolini
At the 1:30pm satellite report the boat was off Wollongong doing 12 knots, earlier they were running south at 23 knots. The official time for the start between North Head and Hornby Lighthouse on South Head, as recorded by World Sailing Speed Council representative John Brooks, was 10:58:57.

Dressed in sailing’s equivalent to battle gear - full wet weather gear, thermals and wearing PFD life vests - the crew left Berrys Bay this morning with stomachs churning and faces set. The record might be on their minds, but so is the safety risk of literally flying south at breakneck speed when the anticipated easterly breeze builds.

A south moving low pressure system off the northern New South Wales coast has created the sort of weather window the seven crew have been waiting for to make an attempt on the current passage record of 1 day 18 hours 23 minutes and 12 seconds set by Wild Oats XI in last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht race.

Team Australia has to average 14.83 knots and finish off Battery Point in Hobart before 5.30am on Sunday morning, 24 February, to better Wild Oats XI’s time for the 630 nautical mile course. The breeze is expected to swing towards the east this afternoon and strengthen to 20-25 knots, just what Team Australia needs to wind back up to well above record pace.

To track Team Australia’s record attempt go to http://my.yb.tl/teamaustralia/

Lisa Ratcliff

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Exclusive - Team Australia's Sydney - Hobart Speed Record Update with James Ogilvie

As the hours tick down for the start of Team Australia's Sydney to Hobart speed record attempt there are no butterflies in mainsail trimmer/rigger James Ogilvie's stomach.
Photo: www.saltwaterimages.com.au
The Sydney catamaran sailor got involved in Team Australia through friends and fellow sailors Grant Pellew and Katie Spithill and has been part of the crew since the ORMA 60 competed last year at Airlie Race Week and Hamilton Island Race Week.

“It’s always been on the cards to attempt this record. We just had to wait for the right conditions and delivery of a new mainsail from Mike Sanderson at Doyles in New Zealand. When we got the call from Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham on Monday to let us know that the right weather window had opened up we swung into action," Ogilvie said.

“This boat is designed for short handed sailing and given we are trying to beat the record set by Wild Oats XI last year (1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds) we expect to be offshore for not much more than 24 hours," he added.

With the adrenalin factor so high, the comfort onboard is a lower priority and there is limited space down below for the crew of seven to rest. There is just a workspace for the navigator and three bunks. It will be all hands on deck for the team for most of the journey fuelled by a diet high in carbs, sugar and Tim Tams.

Joining Ogilvie is Sean Langman (owner/skipper) together with his 19 year old son, Peter Langman, Josh Alexander (sailing master), Larry Jamieson (sail trimmer), Aaron Hampo (grinder, cook, comic relief) and Shaun ‘Kiwi’ McKnight (navigator).

“I haven’t been offshore before but the other guys have said that 45 knots would be the boat's absolute limit. We are expecting up to 30 knots and we only need to average 14 knots to break the speed record. With the south east pressure we expect to have two or three reefs in the main and two of the three hulls out of the water. The boat flies at 25-30 knots."

The Sydney start line will be set in between North and South Head and Ogilvie expects it be a reach out of Manly Cove.  

Forecaster Roger Badham is predicting maximum breeze at the start, ESE winds at 23-27 knots and off the far south coast of NSW, E-ENE at 18-23 knots. For the run across the Strait ENE winds 24-28 knots (maybe 25-30) are expected and NE 22-27 knots off the Tassie coast tending NNE-N/22-28 on the lower east coast.

"As a catamaran sailor this is a very exciting opportunity for me to be able to race offshore on a big trimaran. It certainly raises awareness of the excitement these larger multihulls could add to the future of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race."

Lulu Roseman