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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wedgetail Wins Overall Honours in Brisbane to Gladstone Race

Bill Wild's Reichel Pugh 55 Wedgetail has taken out handicap honours and the Courier Mail Cup in the Brisbane to Gladstone Race. Victory was sweet after Wild and his crew fought a close battle with Black Jack and Immigrant.
Photo: Rolex/Daniel Forster
Wild is a previous winner having tasted success in 2010 on his previous boat, a Welbourn 42, also named Wedgetail.

For most of the race, the smaller boats like Wistari were favoured to take out the overall honours but the fading breeze on saturday night saw their chances slip away. In the end it was the quicker yachts who were left to fight it out.

Wild's secret weapon among his crew was champion yachtsman and sail maker Neil Pryde who no doubt contributed to getting the maximum puff out of the sails when the wind turned light and fluky.

Lulu Roseman

Josh McKnight Cleans Up at 2013 Moth NSW Championships

The 2013 New South Wales Moth Championship has been won by Easy Tiger Racing Team’s Josh McKnight.
Josh McKnight Photo: www.2sail.net
"I'm super stoked with this result. It’s my first NSW Moth Title and it gives me real confidence in the lead up to defending my Moth World Title in Hawaii in October. It's taken a lot of hard work to achieve this result but it's so worth it," Josh McKnight said.
David Lister and AMACPhoto: www.2sail.net
Hosted by the St George Sailing Club, the three-day event kicked off on Good Friday with four races. McKnight led the regatta after day one thanks to his consistent results of 2,1,1,2 however local sailor David Lister and training partner Scott Babbage made sure the pressure stayed on the 21 year old 2012 Moth World Champion.
Scott Babbage, 7 Photo: www.2sail.net
Racing was delayed on the second day and the choppy sea state didn’t help matters. Lister leveraged his local knowledge to score three bullets and snatch the overall lead while McKnight managed 4,2,3 and Babbage scored 3,3,2.
Josh McKnight Photo: www.2sail.net
Despite light fluky conditions on the final day McKnight turned things around and his 2,1,1 score secured him the title. The fleet was brought ashore after the wind died out after the second race of the day and the final medal race was eventually held in a more suitable 15-20 knots.
Photo: www.2sail.net
“Today I just tried to think only about the next race and not have the end result in my mind. I worked hard at staying up there with the leading guys and I figured if I did that I’d be OK and still in it with a chance,” he added.
Luca Damic and David Lister Photo: www.2sail.net
"Racing today was very tight between David Lister and myself. He sails very fast and is always pushing hard. He beat me in the first race but I managed to return the favour in the second race in the very light conditions.
 AMAC Photo: www.2sail.net
"There was some very close racing between myself and Scott Babbage, David Lister and Andrew McDougall but I managed to hold them off in the last race. Racing on the St Georges River in Sydney's south was challenging given the range of conditions that we were dealt during the regatta. The one-way track follow the leader course meant there were very limited passing lane opportunities.”

For full results >>>

Lulu Roseman

ETNZ: Our 'Secret Weapon' revealed

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wild Thing Wins Line Honours in Brisbane to Gladstone Race

Wild Thing has claimed line honours in the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race for the second year in a row after crossing the finish line this afternoon (Saturday) at 16:05:43.
Wild Thing Photo: Andrea Francolini
Wild Thing's Skipper Grant Wharington and his crew were delighted with the result after spending much of the race in a cat and mouse battle with Black Jack who finished 22 minutes behind after over twenty nine hours of racing.

While Wild Thing secured the lead after departing Moreton Bay on Good Friday, a navigational error handed Black Jack the early advantage. After backtracking and correctly rounding the missed mark, Wild Thing powered up the Fraser Coast to overtake Peter Harburg's sleek Reichel Pugh 66.

As Wild Thing celebrated their Citizens of Gladstone win, the rest of the fleet continued their battle for the overall race win and the chance to get their hands on the coveted Courier Mail Cup.

Previous winners, Wedgetail, are currently well positioned to take handicap honours however it depends on tonight  conditions. Two local Gladstone boats, Wistari and Immigrant, are also keen to get their hands on the trophy.

Lulu Roseman

Monday, March 25, 2013

DeVos Crowned Champion at International Rolex Regatta, OtterBox® Melges 32 - Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands - The final day of racing at the 2013 OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series Event No. 2, held in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary edition of the International Rolex Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club (STYC) awarded 21-year old Dalton DeVos on Delta division honors. In addition to winning his first ever Melges 32 regatta, he also went home with one of four Rolex watches presented as International Regatta trophies.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
DeVos first sailed in the fleet at the raw age of 18, alongside of his father Doug. Now, some three years later, Dalton has driven his Delta Melges 32 to victory in St. Thomas accompanied by none other than world famous tactican Jonathan McKee and crew comprised of Morgan Reeser, Zach Hurst, Cody Schlup, William Sleeman, Linda Lindquist-Bishop and Nate Smith.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Finishing a proud second overall was Jason Carroll aboard Argo, followed by Richard Goransson's Inga From Sweden in third.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
The last triptych of races were held offshore in comparison to the previous days 'bay style' racing. Windward/leeward configurations, a solid 2-3 feet of chop and an absolutely near perfect 12-15 knots of breeze greeted the nine-strong fleet for the final Sunday afternoon showdown. From the very start, it appeared that boat speed would play a big part in the success of whoever came out on top. It would be an absolute necessity to win.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Ryan DeVos on Volpe came out with all guns firing upwind. After a great start, he took an immediate lead to round the mark in first, chased by Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima and Mark Plaxton on INTAC. Ryan extended throughout the race taking the win, Tomasini Grinover was second while Plaxton settled for third.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Race Two placed Carroll out front fast. He punched it on the starting line extending almost instantly. Ryan DeVos tried chasing him down but his effort was futile despite his own separation from the fleet in an effort to catch Carroll. Carroll easily took the win, followed by Ryan DeVos, and Tomasini Grinover finished up in third.

The stage was now set for a grande finale style face-off. Dalton DeVos had finished a disappointing sixth in the second race of the day. This result, combined with Carroll's bullet meant the two were tied in points - 24 each. It was going to be do or die, as every spectator held their breath for the start. Carroll was hot off the pin end, while DeVos took to the committee boat side, splitting the difference from the get go - Carroll left and DeVos right.

Tomasini Grinover beat the fleet to the top mark to take a solid lead ahead of Goransson in second. Carroll and Dalton DeVos battled hard as the two rounded almost dead last. DeVos found some clean air on the first run to the gate eventually leaving Carroll behind. Tomasini triumphed to take the race bullet, Goransson claimed second while DeVos rallied to finish third and won the overall regatta title and trophy.

Top Five Results (after ten races, one discard)

1.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 1-2-3-[6]-1-5-1-5-6-3 = 27
2.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; 7-4-1-3-6-2-3-4-1-[10/RAF] = 31
3.) Richard Goransson/Hamish Pepper, Inga From Sweden; 3-5-2-4-5-1-6-7-[8]-2 = 35
4.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe; [8]-3-5-5-3-3-7-1-2-7 = 36
5.) Roberto Tomasini Grinover/Vasco Vascotto, Robertissima; 6-6-4-[9]-2-6-8-2-3-1 = 38

Joy Dunigan

Sunday, March 24, 2013

18ft Skiffs Club Championship, Race 10 - Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs Club Championship, Race 10
Alice Burton Memorial Trophy
Sunday, 24 March 2013, Sydney Harbour

Gotta Love It 7 made a clean sweep of the 2012-2013 Season championships when she took out the final race and the Australian 18 Footers League Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
With regular skipper Seve Jarvin taking his place as forward hand today with regular crewman Peter Harris missing from the team, Easy Tiger Racing Team's 2012 World Moth champion Josh McKnight joined the Gotta Love It 7 crew for the race.
Seve Jarvin, Josh McKnight, Scott Babbage Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The skiff’s regular Sheet Hand Scott Babbage, who was defeated in the 2012 World Moth Championship by McKnight, skippered Gotta Love It 7 to victory today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Gotta Love It 7 grabbed the lead soon after the start in the 8-12-knot north east wind and took out the race by 2m57s from Appliancesonline.com.au (John Sweeny, Paul Montague, Tom Anderson).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones, Ash Rooklyn, Geronimo Harrison) was a further 40s back in third place. Gotta Love It 7 finished on 39 points in the championship, followed by Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) on 52.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Yandoo (John Winning) finished on 62 points each, Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) 68 and Mojo Wine (James Dorron) on 90. Asko Appliances took out the Alice Burton Memorial Trophy handicap section and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) won the Club’s Season Point Score series.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Babbage had Gotta Love It 7 one metre ahead at the first windward mark, with today’s placegetters Appliancesonline.com.au and Asko Appliances heading the rest of the fleet. It was a lead ‘7’ never looked likely to lose, but the race for the next six placings remained in doubt throughout.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Today’s race produced a first in the 120 years old class when three generations of one family comprised the entire crew of an 18 Footer. Trevor Barnabas, a five times Giltinan champion, his son Trent, also a Giltinan champion, and Trent’s two sons Zac and Jake, sailed Thurlow Fisher Lawyers into ninth place.

Frank Quealey

Delta Stays in Control at International Rolex Regatta, OtterBox® Melges 32 Virgin Islands Sailing Series

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands - Saturday, day two of the 40th Anniversary edition of the International Rolex Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club proved to be just as challenging as the first, this time not only for the nine participating Melges 32 teams, but also for the Race Committee.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Despite the hardships, Dalton DeVos aboard Delta delivered a 1-5-1 daily result to further secure first place overall with seven races now complete and one discard in effect. He sits six points ahead of Jason Carroll's Argo now in second, while Richard Goransson on Inga From Sweden slips back one slot to finish third.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
From the moment the teams stepped into the race arena, they could see it was not going to be an easy day. The breeze was funneling in essentially from two directions caused mainly by St. John's Island (which also influenced the fleet decision to do more windward/leeward configurations rather than distance races). The Race Committee put the fleet under immediate postponement, and eventually pulled up anchor from their original position to better accommodate the breeze angle. This enabled them to fire off the first race of the day.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
DeVos gave a carbon copy performance winning Race One. Roberto Tomasini Grinover's Robertissima appeared to be somewhat back on track finishing up in second and Ryan DeVos' Volpe took third.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
As the Race Committee worked to get the second race underway, the breeze took a huge swing in direction and not in favor of the fleet start. The Race Committee had no other choice but to abandon the race/start and relocate once more in a general offshore direction. Goransson got off the line fast in the 8-10 knots of breeze with a slight chop. He lead the fleet around the track for the win. Carroll hung in to claim second and DeVos' Volpe took third.
Photo: © 2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
For the start of final race of the day, the breeze was still unsettled. But, with a quick reset of the starting line, Race Three produced quite a traffic jam at the committee boat with several leaders getting caught up in the shuffle, Dalton DeVos and Goransson among them. 

Thanks to some quick thinking by DeVos' tactician Jonathan McKee, the Delta Team immediately found a right side hole at the start, port tacking out for some clean air. This one specific move put DeVos back out front at the top ahead of Tony Buckingham's Ngoni and Carroll. DeVos ran away with the lead, while Buckingham and Carroll battled for second, the two finishing respectively in second and third.

The final day of racing in St. Thomas will be nothing short of spectacular with more great racing expected on Sunday.

Top Five Results (after seven races, one discard)

1.) Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 1-2-3-[6]-1-5-1 = 13
2.) Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; [7]-4-1-3-6-2-3 = 19
3.) Richard Goransson/Hamish Pepper, Inga From Sweden; 3-5-2-4-5-1-[6] = 20
4.) Ryan DeVos/Ed Baird, Volpe; [8]-3-5-5-3-3-7 = 26
5.) Mark Plaxton/Richard Clarke, INTAC; 2-[9]-6-1-7-7-5 = 28

Joy Dunigan

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Young Gun Leads Melges 32 Rolex Regatta, Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, USVI - Friday marked the opening day at the 40th Anniversary edition of the International Rolex Regatta, hosted by the St. Thomas Yacht Club.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
PRO Dave Brennan fired off four amazing windward/leeward races placing the youngest helmsman in the fleet, Dalton DeVos aboard Delta in first place overall, ahead by two points. In second place is Richard Goransson on Inga From Sweden. Rounding out the top three is Jason Carroll on Argo.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Red hot off the starting line, DeVos launched off the pin end in Race One, establishing an almost immediate and impressive lead. In addition to having the hottest looking, smartly outfitted boat on the course, DeVos turned up the speed rounding the top mark in first with a comfortable lead.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
He held his own leaving an intense battle for second place to Goransson and Mark Plaxton's INTAC. While DeVos gradually put more space between himself and the fleet, Plaxton and Goransson fought aggressively, changing positions at every opportunity. DeVos finished in first, Plaxton took second place honors, while Goransson grabbed third.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Valentin Zavadnikov on Team Synergy took charge in Race Two, with DeVos hot on his heels. The difficult, very tricky light air and crazy current conditions took its toll on the fleet as Zavadnikov barely hung on to win. DeVos' Delta, who ended up settling for second, came inches within grabbing another bullet at the line. Dalton's older cousin, Ryan DeVos on Volpe came third.
Photo: ©2013 JOY | International Melges 32 Class Association
Carroll came on strong in Race Three winning the start and landing himself ahead of the fleet at the top mark. Carroll was constantly challenged by Goransson, followed by DeVos' Delta throughout the race. But Carroll was lucky enough to catch all the right shifts enabling him to stay out front and win. Goransson came second, while DeVos finished third.

The final race of the day gave way to more steady, yet continued challenging breeze conditions in Great Bay. Tony Buckingham's Ngoni got out front early on, wrapping the top mark in first, just ahead of DeVos and Plaxton.

They were tight and the two fought for position fiercely throughout the remainder of the race. In the end, Plaxton claimed ownership of the race followed by Buckingham. Carroll cleaned up for third.

Racing will continue on Saturday and conclude on Sunday.

Top Five Results (after five races)

1. Dalton DeVos/Jonathan McKee, Delta; 1-2-3-6=12
2. Richard Goransson/Hamish Pepper, Inga From Sweden; 3-5-2-4=14
3. Jason Carroll/Cameron Appleton, Argo; 7-4-1-3=15
4. Mark Plaxton/Richard Clarke, INTAC; 2-9-6-1=18
5. Tony Buckingham/Chris Nicholson, Ngoni; 4-7-7-2=20

Joy Dunigan

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Luna Rossa - Goodbye, Auckland, and thank you!

Luna Rossa Farewells Auckland...Next Up...Naples

After six months of training and racing in the austral summer  Team Luna Rossa leaves Auckland to resume its racing activity in Naples.
Copyright Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 – Photo by Brendon O’Hagan
The team will participate at the last event of the America’s Cup World Series, from 16-21 April with the two AC 45 catamarans Luna Rossa Piranha and Luna Rossa Swordfish, respectively steered by Chris Draper and Francesco Bruni.
Copyright Luna Rossa Challenge 2013 – Photo by Brendon O’Hagan
Luna Rossa Skipper Max Sirena had some pretty impressive moments on the AC72 catamaran sailing in the Hauraki Gulf. This is the class of boat that will be sailed in the Louis Vuitton Cup – Challenger Selection Series and the America’s Cup, starting in July in San Francisco.

Luna Rossa Media

ORACLE TEAM USA - Fun on Foils

Sunday, March 10, 2013

18ft Skiffs - NSW Championship, Race 5 - Sydney Harbour

Sunday, 10 March 2013
Sydney Harbour

Gotta Love It 7 became the 2012-2013 NSW 18ft Skiff champion when Euan McNicol (replacing regular skipper Seve Jarvin), Scott Babbage and Peter Harris took out the last race of the championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
After trailing Pure Blonde (Tom Clout, Rob Bell, Matt Wark) by two boatlengths at the first windward mark, Gotta Love It 7 edged away to a 30s lead downwind, then from that point were never likely to lose.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips, Dave Ewings) stayed in touch with ‘7’ over the first two laps of the NE course but couldn’t match the Giltinan champions over the final lap to go down by 2m52s. Pure Blonde were consistent all day after their early lead and finished a further 46s back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Jonathan Whitty’s Lumix was fourth, followed by De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Andrew Cuddihy), Yandoo (John Winning), Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and Mojo Wine (James Dorron).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Final pointscores in the championship were: Gotta Love It 7 on 10 points, Smeg 11 points, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers 15, Yandoo 16, Pure Blonde 17 and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel on 23.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The fleet was divided in rig choice with the NE breeze around 12-15-knots. Results proved that the smaller #2 rig was the correct choice.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
While Gotta Love It 7 had the edge over the rest of the fleet, there was plenty of close racing throughout the fleet.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
There was little between Smeg, Pure Blonde and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers for most of the journey while Lumix, De’Longhi-Rabbitohs and Yandoo were always in close contention.

Frank Quealey

Rán Races Off With Gaastra 52 World Championship Title

Niklas Zennström and the Rán Racing team secured the Gaastra 52 World Championship title on the final run of the last race of the series after a thrilling showdown off Miami’s South Beach up against 52 SUPER SERIES champions and former world champions Azzurra.
Photo: Xaume Olleros
Although Rán Racing started the three race finale with a lead of four points and increased that to six points after they placed second in the first contest of the day with Azzurra fourth, Zennström’s team then had what he later described as a shocker. Early in the penultimate race they missed the key windshift and could only manage seventh as Azzurra sailed away to a comfortable win.
Photo: Xaume Olleros
That left the pair tied on points going in to the final race. Head to head, the odds were perhaps stacked in favour of the Azzurra team with slightly more match racing experience. Sure enough when the start gun went Azzurra had hounded Rán out to the extreme left side of the line, almost into the spectator fleet. But the Swedish owner and his crew kept cool heads and did a great job of damage limitation.
Photo: Xaume Olleros
Azzurra retained control of Rán around the course but Zennström’s crew kept pushing and, in sixth and seventh place at the final top mark, the team which has lead the championship for longest were in a position to pounce.
Azzurra crew Photo: Xaume Olleros
As a small gust hit Azzurra appeared to broach and lose control allowing Rán to slide past only centimetres to windward. Reports as to what actually happened differ. Rán believe their rivals were trying to luff and force a penalty. Azzurra’s skipper Guillermo Parada later explained that it was a combination of small errors of timing which caused their costly broach.

Rán Racing’s coolness paid off and they held on to cross the line just ahead of Azzurra to clinch the title by one single point. Quantum Racing won the tenth and final race of the regatta, to take third place just one point behind Azzurra.
As Miami dealt up a great range of different wind conditions Zennström and his team can be considered very worthy champions. They become the third team in the history of the event to win the world title after Quantum Racing. 

“It is fantastic. I am relieved after one of the most stressful days of my life I think. We went into the day with a six points lead but we knew that anything could happen. We started with a very good second place and gained a few more points. Then in the second race it was a shocker," Zennström said.

"It came down to the last race and whoever would win between. In the pre-start Azzurra had their match racing helmsman on the start and they took advantage of that and they did a bit of a match racing trick on us. We don’t do match racing on our boats. But we managed to stay close and in a position to attack. They tried to luff is and broached out and we could just sail past them. They tried to trick us and force a penalty situation but they broached,” he added.

“It was a brilliant team effort from everyone in Rán Racing. We showed what we are made of. We kept fighting and came back from some tough positions. Coming out as world champions is just awesome. I love sailing here in Miami. We are only in early March in the season and we have won our first regatta of the year and it happens to be a world championship. We are ecstatic,” tactician Adrian Stead said of his third 52 World title.

Gaastra 52 World Championships, Results after 10 races.

1 Rán Racing (Zennström, SWE) 32pts (7,1,1,1,4,2,1,7,6)
2 Azzurra (Roemmers, ITA) 33 pts (1,2,3,5,2,5,3,4,1,7)
3 Quantum Racing (DeVos, USA) 34pts (3,4,2,3,3,4,6,3,5,1)
4 Vesper (Swartz, USA) 39pts (5,5,7,2,6,1,4,1,4,4)
5 Gladiator (Langley, GBR) 43pts (2,6,5,4,1,3,8,6,3,5)
6 Interlodge (Fragomen, USA) 49pts (4,7,4,7,5,8,2,8,2,2)
7 Rio (Moshayedi, USA) 61pts (8,3,8,6,8,7,7,5,6,3)
8 Gaastra-Pro (Blees, NED) 69pts (6,8,6,8,7,6,5,7,8,8)

52 World Championship Media

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rán Racing On Top Going Into The Miami Finale

Rounding off a long day on the sun drenched waters off Miami’s South Beach with their fourth race win from seven starts, Niklas Zennström’s Rán Racing lead the Gaastra 52 World Championships by four clear points going in to Saturday, the final racing day.
Photo: Xaume Olleros
Competition was brought forward by one hour to ensure three races formed a suitable finale and take full advantage of the forecasted brisk winds. Zennström’s team were, again, the best scorers of the day with their 4,3,1 in the three windward-leeward races held directly off South Beach in testing 7-12 knots winds.
Photo: Xaume Olleros
Two different breezes fought for supremacy, one offshore and one closer to the beach. Despite the balance of power changing constantly throughout the afternoon Rán Racing’s tactician Adrian Stead was on top of the game.
Photo: Xaume Olleros
The hallmark of a true world champion is as much their ability to climb through the fleet from a lowly early position and convert it to a useful score as the ability to win races. Rán Racing achieved that in the first race. Sixth at the top mark first time up, they were actually unfortunate to lose third to Quantum Racing in the final stages of the last run.
Photo: Xaume Olleros
Rán’s fourth race win of the series came with a text book start which allowed them to gain early control of what proved to be the favoured right side of the course where the wind pressure was strongest. Stead cautions firmly that there is still potentially 30% of the regatta left. Although they have four points in hand, their job is far from done, especially considering the winds are due to exceed 20 knots.

“We are achieving our goals of being in the top three each day so we go into tomorrow with a very good chance along with Azzurra and Quantum. We have made a couple of changes to the boat overnight which we are pleased with. I think tomorrow we will see different conditions again, slightly more wind pressure and with three more races there is still 30% of the regatta still to go," Stead said.

“We are all taking our chances. But being able to dig yourselves out is important to convert a fifth to a third, a sixth to a fourth. If you feel strongly about something in this fleet you have to go for it and go out and win races,” he added.

“We are pleased with how we are sailing. It is the best we have sailed since the Royal Cup last year, so hopefully we can round it off with a good day tomorrow.”

Both of Rán’s main rivals had one weighty score apiece today. Azzurra’s fifth – from the second race – and Quantum Racing’s sixth in the third race allowed Zennström’s team breathing space. Azzurra are four points adrift of Rán, whilst Doug DeVos’ Quantum Racing are now eight points off the lead.

The message from both Azzurra’s skipper Guillermo Parada, and Quantum Racing’s Ed Reynolds is that they need to come out Saturday and sail their own races, look for race wins and not be unnecessarily distracted by other boats.

“I think we need to go out tomorrow and win races and forget about the other boats. We need to make points and go for wins,” Parada said.

“Our plan tomorrow is to come out and sail our own races. Hopefully we get all three races in. It is do-able. It’s a big, big gesture but I like our group,” Reynolds said.

Race wins in this fleet are not exclusive to those lying in the top three overall. Jim Swartz’s experienced Vesper crew won the second race today following on from Tony Langley’s triumph in the first race. Indeed Langley’s Gladiator looked to be on course for a great day after a third in the next race, but they had to take a penalty in the last heat which resulted in an eighth.

Gaastra 52 World Championships, Results after 7 races

1 Rán Racing (Zennström, SWE) 17pts (7,1,1,1,4,2,1)
2 Azzurra (Roemmers, ITA) 21 pts (1,2,3,5,2,5,3)
3 Quantum Racing (DeVos, USA) 25pts (3,4,2,3,3,4,6)
4 Gladiator (Langley, GBR) 29pts (2,6,5,4,1,3,8)
5 Vesper (Swartz, USA) 30pts (5,5,7,2,6,1,4)
6 Interlodge (Fragomen, USA) 37pts (4,7,4,7,5,8,2)
7 Gaastra-Pro (Blees, NED) 46pts (6,8,6,8,7,6,5)
8 Rio (Moshayedi, USA) 47pts (8,3,8,6,8,7,7)

Quotes:

Adrian Stead, GBR, Tactician Rán Racing (SWE): 

“It was a good three race day for us. There was lots of stuff going on, a bit of current reversal, very shifty, very big holes in breeze. The first race we got ourselves back into it from a sixth or seventh we got the third. Quantum got us on the finish line which was tough, but then we got a 2,1 which was good. Last race we had a good feeling of what we wanted off the line. We got the right, apart from the breeze going light at the end it was good. We are very pleased with the day. We are achieving our goals of being in the top three each day for the day every day and so we go in to tomorrow with a very good chance along with Azzurra and Quantum. But we see Gladiator as very dangerous in the light stuff without the penalty they had they would be in the mix there too. 

"We made a couple of changes to the boat overnight which we are pleased with. I think tomorrow we will see different conditions again, slightly more wind pressure – three more races – that is still 30% of the regatta still to go. We are all taking our chances. But being able to dig yourselves out is important to convert a fifth to a third, a sixth to a fourth. If you feel strongly about something in this fleet you have to go for it and go out and win races. We are pleased with how we are sailing. It is the best we have sailed since the Royal Cup last year, so hopefully we can round it off with a good day tomorrow.”

Guillermo Parada (ARG), Skipper Azzurra (ITA): 

“It was a tricky day and I think the results show that the positions of the boats are changing in every race. We did not manage to get the results that we would have liked but we are still in second position and we have still three races to go and so we are looking to make it at least as far as we can with Rán. I think we need a little more detailing and have more of plan what we are doing on day like today. Trying to sail looking at the other boats is a little bit difficult and I think we need to go out tomorrow and win races and forget about the other boats. We need to make points and go for wins.”

Ed Reynolds USA, Project Director Quantum Racing (USA): 

“This is one of the tougher days we have had. Never say never but kudos to Rán Racing. Overall we don’t think of Rán as a boat which, when it gets lighter, it can just use its speed. They sailed incredibly well. They are all over it. Our plan tomorrow is to come out and sail our own races. Hopefully we get all three races in. It is do-able. It’s a big, big gesture but I like our group. We just seemed to on the outside of every shift on that last race. It was a little a frustrating because we have worked so hard on our downwind speed. Everybody on the boat is ecstatic that we are going so well. We have some of the best sailors in the world but they had a bad day. 

"There were two completely different breezes and there is a lot of timing in which side is going to come in strong. The left side just seems to suck you in. It looks positive, it looks positive and then it crashes and the right comes in strong up at the top. If you baled of the left hand shift early and could get across the pack before the right hander came in then you were in good shape. Our positioning off the starts did not give us the option to do that. We did not sail well."

52 World Championship Media

Oracle Team USA's Joe Newton on foiling - AC UNCUT

Swedish Youth Sailor Joins Artemis Racing in Naples

Alameda, CA - March 8, 2013 –– Artemis Racing announced today that Charlie Ekberg will join Artemis Racing White during the America’s Cup World Series (ACWS) April 16-21 in Naples, Italy.
Charlie Ekberg, left Photo:  © Artemis Racing/ Sander van der Borch
The move marks Artemis Racing’s investment in the next generation of America’s Cup sailors and Swedish youth sailing. Charlie (seen below on the left) is one of Sweden’s leading 49er helmsman.
Photo:  © Artemis Racing/ Sander van der Borch
“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime to sail with Artemis Racing. I’ve learned so much from training with the team on San Francisco Bay and I’m excited to represent Artemis Racing in Naples,” said Charlie Ekberg.
Photo:  © Artemis Racing/ Sander van der Borch
The line up for Artemis Racing includes Charlie Ekberg (SWE) as helmsman, Troy Tindill as wingman, Matt Cornwell as bowman, Peter Merrington as floater, Anthony Nossiter as trimmer, and Niclas During (seen above on the right) as a backup.
Photo:  © Artemis Racing/ Sander van der Borch
Niclas was the crew on Sweden’s 49er team at the London Olympics and is confirmed as wingman for the Swedish Youth RBYAC team along side Charlie who will helm. Ekberg and During will be part of the Swedish Red Bull Youth America’s Cup team competing in San Francisco later this summer.

“Naples is the perfect opportunity for Charlie to prepare for the RBYAC alongside ACWS veterans Troy, Matt, Peter and Anthony and this allows the team in Alameda to focus on preparing for the upcoming Louis Vuitton Cup,” said Artemis Racing CEO Paul Cayard.

Naples will be the final event in the 2012-13 America’s Cup World Series before the 34th America’s Cup kicks off on San Francisco Bay this summer.

Artemis Racing Team Media