Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chinese Team Announced For Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015

Wuhan, China – October 30, 2013 - A team from China backed by Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle and run by leading sailing experts OC Sport will race in the next edition of the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15.
Image courtesy of Volvo Ocean Race
Team Dongfeng will have the interests of Chinese sailing at its core with a significant number of Chinese in the final race crew as well as its support team.

Team Director Bruno Dubois announced the launch of the new campaign in the Hubei province city of Wuhan on Wednesday (Oct. 30).

Team Dongfeng is the third campaign so far to announce its participation in the 12th edition of the world’s leading crewed offshore race that starts on October 4, 2014 with the Alicante In-Port Race before the departure from Spain to Cape Town for the first leg a week later. The team will represent China.

Seven Volvo Ocean 65 boats are currently being constructed in readiness for the next race.

Huang Gang, General Manager of Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle Company, said: "Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle has become an important partner for the Volvo Ocean Race, which is an internationally renowned sailing event. This is also a key step in DFCV's global marketing strategy."

OC Sport, which will run all aspects of the campaign, is one of the most respected companies in the sport of sailing and responsible for the successful Extreme Sailing Series as well as numerous race campaigns over the past 15 years including those of record-breaking British female sailor, Dame Ellen MacArthur.

It is, however, the first time that OC Sport and its Executive Chairman, Mark Turner, has been involved in running a Volvo Ocean Race campaign and so fulfils a long-standing ambition for him, and for Team Director Bruno Dubois, who both competed in the 1989-90 race.

“We are aiming for a successful race entry with a Chinese team, not just a successful entry – this is an absolute at the heart of this very exciting and challenging project,” said Turner.

Dongfeng Commercial Vehicle will be the title partner of the campaign, but will be supported by a number of other commercial partners which OC Sport is now seeking to allow the campaign to realise its full potential.

These partners will have the opportunity to share a story that is expected to receive significant global exposure, in particular in China itself, through Team Dongfeng’s participation.

Team Dongfeng follow Team Sanya (2011-12) and Green Dragon (2008-09) as the third Chinese entry in the race’s 40-year history, the latter a joint-entry with Ireland.

Two Chinese sailors have previously participated in the Volvo Ocean Race – media crew member Guo Chuan in 2008-09 on Green Dragon and “Tiger” Teng Jianghe in 2011-12 on Team Sanya, predating China’s sailing success in the London 2012 Olympics with Xu Lijia winning gold in the women’s laser radial.

But this project, and the planned establishment of an academy, has the potential to provide a major boost to the development of professional, and indeed all types, of sailing in China.

Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad said on Wednesday that he expected Team Dongfeng to be a real contender. “I know there is a Chinese proverb saying: ‘Everything is ready and all that we need is an east wind’. Now we have the support from DFCV and Dongfeng means “east wind” in Mandarin.

“Team Dongfeng will be sailing in our new One-Design Volvo Ocean 65 like the rest of the fleet which means they will have exactly the same boat and competitive opportunities as anyone in the race, and they will be one of the first teams on the water,” he told reporters.

“The team will include a significant number of Chinese sailors and the search begins now to find the best in the country. They are sure to be the subject of huge media interest in China as Guo and Tiger were before them.”

Team Director Bruno Dubois highlighted the initial focus of the campaign. “Our priority is the recruitment and training of the Chinese sailors. This is very clearly the biggest challenge we have – to condense many years of experience of the average Volvo Ocean Race crew into just 10 months.

“But equally this process is at the heart of the project; we want to leave a real legacy that will both motivate the Chinese to want to embrace the sport of sailing, and be able to develop the talent so that, ultimately, a future campaign could be 100% Chinese. ”It had already been revealed earlier this year that the next race would again feature a stopover in China in the port of Sanya. The city in the Hainan Island province successfully hosted the event in 2011-2012, following Qingdao who became the first Chinese hosts in the previous edition of 2008-09.

Volvo Ocean Race Media

Monday, October 28, 2013

Voodo Chile Sings From The Rooftops and Wins Farr 40 2013 Queensland State Championships

The farthest team that travelled to Queensland surprised even themselves when they claimed top honours at the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Queensland State Titles.
Photo: Pete Bowden
Tasmanian owners Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark and crew on Voodoo Chile crossed three state boundaries to take up the reins on a Farr 40 not their own. Given the one design 40-footers are near to identical, the crew of eight Tassie born and two from Sydney quickly made themselves comfortable. Very comfortable.
Photo: Pete Bowden
Voodoo Chile, named after the 1968 Jimmy Hendrix track, dominated the three day series from the outset. On board the Farr 40 chartered from Lang Walker they racked up six wins from 10 races, sometimes only seconds separating them from the highly credentialed Guido Belgiorno-Nettis and Transfusion or Walker’s Kokomo.
Photo: Pete Bowden
“We had a good tussle with Transfusion, it was real nip ‘n tuck with them,” said Hunn, a Hobart based neurosurgeon after wrapping up the series yesterday, Sunday 27th October.

With a 10 knot average sou’easter blowing on a gorgeous spring Queensland day, the final two races ran as per the schedule on a course outside Moreton Bay’s Green Island. Voodoo Chile closed out the Australian Farr 40 class’ season opener on 11 points, Transfusion on 16 points and Kokomo on 21 points.

Crewman David Chapman granted Voodoo was lightning quick, and says this made his job as tactician much easier, “It was handy being fast, tactics are easier when you are going quickly”. He paid tribute to trimmers Mal Parker (main) and Richard Howard (headsail) for making him “look good”.

“Everyone is stoked, we didn’t expect to take out the regatta,” Chapman admitted. “We were punching above our weight against two multiple Farr 40 title holders. Hopefully we can keep the momentum going.”

He praised the combination of co-owners Clark and Hunn, “They have different styles but between them they create a fun, family oriented team. If the results come, they come.” Clark came late to the sport and Hunn has sailed since he was 12. Between them they’ve formed a successful seven-year partnership.

Hunn said the inaugural state win had given them plenty of confidence going into the next event on the calendar, the One Design Trophy on November 30th and December 1st 2013, at Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney.

Clark will steer Voodoo Chile at the next two regattas when a larger one design fleet is expected and Hunn warns, “Lloyd’s got form”.

Hunn has owned many boats and each have been christened with a rock‘n'roll name; Chicago, Foreigner, Yes, Voodoo Lounge.

The weekend victory was one highlight for the triumphant skipper, another was the presentation of trophies at host Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron by his childhood hero, the 1972 Australian Olympic gold medallist at Kiel in the Dragon class, John Cuneo.

“As a child I knew John from reading yachting magazines and I always looked up to him. It was a big thing having him present our trophies.”

Meeting Cuneo and reflecting on his own sailing background Hunn offered this sentimental pearl last night, “Sailing it still as fascinating to me as it was when I was a kid.”

Lisa Ratcliff

Sunday, October 27, 2013

18 Foot Skiffs 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 3 - Sydney Harbour

18ft Skiffs:
3-Buoys Challenge, Race 3
Sunday, 27 October 2013
Sydney Harbour

Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack and Aron Everett made it two-in-a-row victories when they steered their Panasonic-sponsored Lumix 18ft Skiff home an easy winner of Race 3 of the 3-Buoys Challenge series on Sydney Harbour today.

Photo: Frank Quealey
Lumix took the lead mid way up the first windward leg of the course then had little difficulty maintaining the lead for the rest of the course before scoring a 2m24s win from Race 1 winner Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) .
Photo: Frank Quealey
Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson, Peter Nicholson and Geoff Bauchop) was a further 1m7s back in third place, ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Jack Macartney), Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster) and Yandoo (John Winning).
Photo: Frank Quealey
Today’s windward-return course was set for a north-east breeze but the first of several wind shifts arrived shortly after the start and split the fleet into two distinctive groups.

Photo: Frank Quealey
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) won the start but Lumix and Fisher & Paykel took full advantage of the shift when they went to the southern side of the course.Mojo Wine’s crew saw the advantage being created and came back to mid stream while The Kitchen Maker (Darren McKavanagh) led those on the north.

Photo: Frank Quealey
Lumix also benefitted from the 3-buoys handicapping and went around the ‘red’ buoy to open up a lead of more than one minute. Fisher & Paykel was in second place ahead of Mojo Wine and Haier Appliances (Rick Peacock).
Photo: Frank Quealey
The spinnaker run back to the bottom mark was tight as the fleet battled the light breeze which was coming from the East-ESE. Smeg was the big improver as the skiff moved into third place just ahead of Haier Appliances and Mojo Wine.
Photo: Frank Quealey
With little work required over the next two laps of the course, the race became a little processional as Lumix set a cracking pace. At the bottom mark on the second lap her lead had been extended to 2mins as Smeg moved up into second place. The leading positions didn’t change over the final lap of the course.

Frank Quealey

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Aberdeen Farr 40 QLD State Title 2013/14 Day 2

Voodoo Chile Rocking The Farr 40 Fleet - Farr 40 2013 Queensland State Championships

Tasmanian Farr 40 Voodoo Chile made a clean sweep of day two at the Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Queensland State Titles, holding the fancied Sydney crews at bay and edging closer to an overall victory.
Voodoo Chile Photo: Peta Bowden
Today’s three bullets in the building NNE – NE 7-12 knot breeze means Voodoo Chile is a commanding six points clear of the nearest threat, a near impossible target for the chasing pack. The temperature might be substantially higher but to the hardy Hobartians the flat seas and shifty conditions on Queensland’s Moreton Bay feel like home.
Voodoo Chile Photo: Peta Bowden
“A mild chop and lots of wind shifts are the conditions we sail in on the Derwent in Hobart,” said leading skipper Andrew Hunn this evening, Saturday 26th October.

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion from Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney is holding onto second by three points from Lang Walker’s Kokomo.

“While it’s annoying for us I’m not surprised how well the Tasmanians are doing,” admitted Belgiorno-Nettis, the Australian Farr 40 class president and 2012-13 Australian titleholder. “Voodoo improved dramatically during the nationals in February and I felt they were hungry for a win here; they’ve been putting the time in, and it shows.”

Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page, tactician on board Kokomo said, “The Tasmanians had a clean slate today; they are very slippery”.

He did remind that Hunn and his crew are campaigning Lang Walker’s second Farr 40, “I think the charter fee might be going up,” he laughed.

“After an eight month break following the nationals last summer, this regatta is a familiarisation for us. Today’s two seconds were better than yesterday. Even the boss said ‘you realise how much training does for you’”, added Page.

There have been a couple of crew changes on Kokomo (CYCA), fifteen year-old 420 sailor Finn Gilbert following Page from the SB20 class to his first experience with the Farr 40s.

Dad Lachlan’s only instruction was not to spoil the youngster and the crew has followed orders. Finn’s role on the boat is on the kicker and in the ‘sewer’, pulling the enormous kite back into the boat. “We’ve got big hands downstairs in Finn,” said Page.

The small but quality fleet tried a new format today to mix things up, a middle gate for starts and to compress the one-design owner driven 40-footers on the upwind and downwind legs.

International Race Officer Louise Davis said the trial went smoothly, “Having a gate in the middle of the course squeezed the fleet and forced them in a direction they might not have gone, and it looked spectacular”.

Belgiorno-Nettis believes the gate put even more pressure on the starts. “The gate means if you don’t get a good start you are toast. Unfortunately ours weren’t great today.”

Aberdeen Asset Management’s managing director Brett Jollie was on the course area outside Green Island watching the day’s events unfold.

With their impressive scoresheet and the extra competition credits the Transfusion crew banked at the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship at Newport Rhode Island in August, Jollie thought the outcome for the current national champion at this state title a lay down misère.

“It’s great to see Voodoo Chile pick up where they left off at the nationals, and pushing the Sydney boats. It adds another element,” Jollie said. Voodoo Chile finished third overall at the last John Calvert-Jones Trophy Nationals in Sydney and first Corinthian boat.

On the upcoming season Jollie added, “We are excited to be back as principle sponsor and we are looking forward to another big series”.

Tomorrow, Sunday 27th October he will host 50 guests on behalf of Aberdeen Asset Management and in the afternoon he’ll present trophies to the placegetters at the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, event host and home of local Farr 40s John Leman’s Bobby’s Girl and David and Howard Lambourne’s Lambourdini.

For full results see>>>

Lisa Ratcliff

Aussie Yachtsman Wins Division Three at 2013 Rolex Middle Sea Race

Sydney yachtsman and professional photographer, Craig Grenhill, a three time Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race competitor, has tasted sweet success in his debut Rolex Middle Sea Race by finishing first in Division 3 onboard  the J133 Oiltanking Juno, owned and skippered by David Anastasi and co-skippered with Sonke Stein.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
"It was a great race and the first time I've ever raced for over three days. The scenery was wonderful , good boat, good blokes and we had a bit of luck on our side too," Greenhill said.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
The boat is registered in Germany but kept in Malta and crewed predominantly by Maltese sailors however for this race the inclusion of a Welshman, an Emirati and Greenhill made the crew truly international.
Photo: Craig Greenhill/
"The boat won because of the crew's local knowledge which is critical in this race. The race is one where you are always heading for the next mark to turn. It's kind of like a big around the cans race with volcanoes as turning marks. 
Photo: Craig Greenhill/

"Our crew used last year's failure to perform as a guide to win. They basically did everything the opposite to what they did during last year's race. The boat competes in all local regattas. Cigars are what keeps the crew awake on watches and  hardly an hour passes by without a cigar session. Our navigator caught a bug and was out of action for 24 hours, but after a day in the bow sleeping it off he came back to life with a new leaf. The boys focused on their night racing knowing that is where we could put some serious distance on our competitors."
Photo: Craig Greenhill/
This strategy worked, but only after the crew were hit by a massive hole at the top end of Sicily where 70 boats were parked up together in a line. Basically this was a total restart in a  race with two starts. Juno Oiltanking stayed in the centre with the pack, while those in the fleet that went out wide took off.
Photo: Craig Greenhill/
"We thought the race was over for us. However, by the next morning we had regained our lead leaving the majority of the fleet behind us, by picking the fickle winds around the many islands on the North Coast of Sicily." he added.
Photo: Craig Greenhill/
"We held off Big One, a Volvo 60, for three days, only to give them the lead when they big reached to Lampandusa under steady winds. The last leg from Lampandusa was exciting when Xp-act, an X44, charged at us and we were able to hold them off to the finish line and claim the Maltese line honors. 
Xp-act Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
"The highlight for me was the difficult Stromboli turning point where the fleet compressed. The volcano was active with steam pouring out of it and it wassuch an amazing sight. We were accompanied by about 12 dolphins, two turtles and one whale along the way. We won IRC 3, ORC 3, Maltese line honors and Maltese ORC."

For full results see>>>

Lulu Roseman

Aberdeen Farr 40 QLD State Title 2013/14 - Day 1

Aberdeen Farr 40 QLD State Title 2013/14 - Day 1

Aberdeen Farr 40 QLD State Title 2013/14 - Day 1

Friday, October 25, 2013

Corinthian Crews Show Mighty Courage in Rolex Middle Sea Race

Valetta, Malta
October 25, 2013

By midday on Friday, 85 yachts had completed the 34th Rolex Middle Sea Race, thirteen were still at sea and there had been just one retirement.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
While two large, professional-crewed yachts claimed line honours and the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy, a complete picture of the race is provided by the gallant efforts of the Corinthian crews in the face of long days and nights at sea. The rare statistic of just one retirement is testament to the excellent preparation that has gone into honing the boats for the race.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
 Venetian-based Massimo Juris and Pietro Luciani took part in the race for the first time, sailing the 40.7ft Blucolombre (ITA), which emerged as winner in the increasingly popular and highly competitive doublehanded Class. “We came into this race very low key with a lot of respect for people who have done it before,” explained Juris. “We really enjoyed rounding Stromboli and then suddenly seeing everyone else parked. There is a romantic appeal about the island. Unfortunately, as there is always something to do on the boat, you never have time to take pictures.”
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
As a local sailor Edward Gatt Floridia, Maltese skipper of J/122 Otra Vez, can draw on greater Rolex Middle Sea Race experience. “Racing in light airs is very tiring, to keep the boat moving requires the whole crew to concentrate, even the off-watch have to wake up and move their weight to the correct side of the boat. The critical point in our race was after Stromboli. There was virtually no wind and on that first night we took the main sail down and hoisted our wind seeker. The weather suited the bigger yachts this year.” Otra Vez’s tireless performance was recognized with victory in Class.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
On Wednesday Michele Galli’s B2, a TP52 from Italy, was confirmed as the overall winner of the 34th Rolex Middle Sea Race. Morning Glory, an 86-ft Maxi from Germany, claimed line honours on Tuesday morning completing the 606-nm course in 2 days, 16 hours, 12 minutes and 9 seconds.
Infanta Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Among the yachts still to finish this year’s race is the fleet’s oldest entrant – the 47-ft yawl Infanta, constructed in 1947. With 48-nm still to sail she will hope to arrive in time for the final prizegiving, taking place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta at 12:00 CEST on Saturday 26 October.

Regatta News

Tasmanians Rip It Up - Farr 40 Queensland Championships - Day One

Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark’s Tasmanian entry Voodoo Chile opened their Aberdeen Asset Management Farr 40 Queensland State Title challenge convincingly with two bullets and ‘boat of the day’ pinned to the proud skipper’s chest.
Photo: Peta  Bowden
“We are in with a chance, but so are Transfusion and Kokomo,” said Hunn, very conscious that an early one point lead is a cushion, but by no means a comfy one for the southerners.
Photo: Peta Bowden
Hunn paid tribute to his tactician David Chapman for being “on his game” and said making the most of the significant wind flicks plus crew consistency contributed to their lean progressive point score of just four points from a possible best score of three. “We are sailing with the same crew as last season and in one-design it often comes down to how the crew work together.”
Photo: Peta Bowden
Racing got underway close to two hours after the scheduled start. Given the 20 knot average sou’easter blowing on Moreton Bay proper, International Race Officer Louise Davis opted to hoist the AP (postponement) flag and keep crews ashore, a sensible decision backed by the five skippers.

Davis then elected to shift the track from the western side of Green Island into Waterloo Bay, adjacent to Manly Boat Harbour, where conditions were calmer, winds in the high teens and seas less choppy.

By the last race this afternoon a 13-15 knot ENE breeze and temperatures in the mid-20s made for genteel racing. Sort of.

Voodoo Chile won race 1 and 2 from Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion (NSW) by a relaxed margin. In race 3 Belgiorno-Nettis decided second wasn’t good enough, tightening the screws to take the win by just two boat lengths. Transfusion’s tactician Mark Bradford knows the local waters well and the champion crew is going will vigorously defend their overall state win last year.

Third in all three races was Lang Walker’s Kokomo from Sydney, none other than dual Olympic gold medallist Malcolm Page in the skipper’s ear as tactician.

Another overcast Queensland state title tested the five crews representing three states, but Howard and David Lambourne, owners of Lambourdini representing the host club, Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, got the real acid test.

A broken backstay before the first race commenced had them rushing ashore to make repairs before the second start. “They were re-tensioning the rig as they were lining up for the pre-start,” said the IRO.

In the second race they tore their kite on the first downwind run and in race 3 a poor bottom mark rounding cost them places and sent them to the back of the fleet.

Skipper David Lambourne was circumspect while enjoying a well-deserved ale this evening. “It’s a learning curve; the guys we are sailing against are at a whole new level. Everyone on the boat understands what we have to do tomorrow.”

Crew reaction time was well and truly practised. As Lambourdini headed to the harbour for repairs a spare backstay was being rushed to the dock by one of David’s employees. A quick repair job complete, they headed back to the course where more misfortune lay in wait.

When confirming David steered the boat today he did joke that, “at the moment you wouldn’t want me driving anything”.

Tomorrow’s forecast, Saturday 26th October, is for a light five knot start building to 10 knots from the NNE.

The three-day series will conclude Sunday 27th October.

Entries for the Aberdeen Asset Management QLD State Title;

1 Bobby’s Girl – John Leman (RQYS)
2. Kokomo – Lang Walker (CYCA)
3. Lambourdini – David & Howard Lambourne (RQYS)
4. Transfusion – Guido Belgiorno-Nettis (MHYC)
5. Voodoo Chile – Andrew Hunn and Lloyd Clark (chartering a Kokomo boat) (RYCT)

Lisa Ratcliff

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Italian 52 B2 Declared Overall Winner Rolex Middle Sea Race

Michele Galli’s B2, a TP52 from Italy, has been confirmed as the overall winner of the 34th Rolex Middle Sea Race.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
B2 is the first Italian yacht to claim the Rolex Middle Sea Race Trophy since 2005, emerging victorious from the largest and one of the most competitive fleets in the race’s 45-year history. Expertly guided by tactician Francesco de Angelis, B2 completed the 606-nm course on Tuesday afternoon in a little over three days. She was the eighth boat to cross the finish line in Malta.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
On corrected time B2 was propelled to the summit of the overall leaderboard and with the chasing fleet thwarted by extremely light conditions between Pantelleria and Lampedusa and unable to win their race against the clock, her triumph was confirmed at the Royal Malta Yacht Club on Wednesday afternoon.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
Success often tastes sweeter when it is hard fought. Not only did B2 see off the race’s record 99-strong international fleet, peppered with outstanding boats and dexterous sailors, she overcame several technical issues during the race. “We lost all of our electronics, I think due to water entering the boat during the second night,” explained navigator Nacho Postigo.
Photo: Rolex/Kurt Arrigo
“We tried everything to reboot the system, but it simply didn't work, all the displays went black. We were really worried about the last night, and therefore found a solution: we had all the cartography on a cell phone, and my smartphone is waterproof with a compass app. We combined both and attached the smartphone to the pedestal. In the end, it worked quite well.”

The impromptu solution forced the crew to rely more on their instinct.

“We raced B2 like a dinghy and Francesco had to call the strategy almost completely blind - I don't think he had more than two hours sleep,” Postigo added.

De Angelis preferred to reflect on the relentless effort of the crew composed of ten Italians and two Spaniards. “It was a difficult race, the first time this team has done a race this long together. To arrive ahead of almost 100 boats is a great achievement.”

Sailing an all out racing boat like a TP52 is not necessarily the most relaxing way to experience the race.

“We are very tired,” admitted de Angelis, “comfort is not really associated with a TP52 and we experienced everything: light, medium and some strong wind. Technically and physically it was a very challenging race. The key was not losing ground in the difficult moments or getting blocked during periods of light air.”

At 15:30 CEST on Wednesday afternoon, 23 boats had completed the race, 75 were still sailing and there had been just one retirement.

Regatta News

Sunday, October 20, 2013

First Yachts Round Stromboli - Rolex Middle Sea Race

Sunday, October 20, 2013

German Maxi Morning Glory continues to enjoy a narrow lead at the front of the fleet in the 34thRolex Middle Sea Race. At 11:00 CEST on Sunday morning, almost 24 hours into the race, Morning Glory was making steady progress along the north coast of Sicily. She was the first boat to round Stromboli at approximately 04:45 on Sunday morning.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
By 11:00 CEST on Sunday morning, 19 of the 99 competing yachts had rounded Stromboli while the bulk of the fleet was approaching the volcanic island having come through the Messina Strait.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Having enjoyed a consistent run to Stromboli and negotiated the notorious Messina Strait without complications, the leading boats are now facing the first light patch of the race. Morning Gloryholds a narrow 3-nm lead over Andres Soriano’s 72-ft Mini Maxi Alegre (GBR). 
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
In close pursuit is the Italian Mini Maxi Robertissima III, skippered by Vasco Vascotto. The leading boats are some 80-nm from San Vito Lo Capo on the northwest corner of Sicily, the virtual halfway point of the 606-nm course. Potentially the most tactically challenging part of the race is now ahead.
Robertissima III Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
“We got good speed through the night until it got very soft before the Messina Strait. We stayed low and away from the Italian side where there was much less wind. We went through at 10-11 knot,” explained Andrew McIrvine skipper of La Réponse (GBR), one of those boats now approaching Stromboli.
Oiltanking Juno Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo  
“This is always a very challenging race tactically. There are so many corners so you have to stay ahead of the game in terms of weather and course changes. It’s about making sure we shift gears quickly and put the right sails up at the right time,” said Stuart Bannatyne, tactician on the 65-ft Botin Partners Caro (CAY), currently in sixth.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
The race record stands at 47 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds, set by George David’s American Maxi Rambler in 2007. To beat the race record, the leading boat must arrive by approximately 11:45 CEST on Monday morning.

Regatta News

Stunning Conditions on Sydney Harbour for 18ft Skiffs: 3-Buoys Challenge, Race 2

After last Sunday’s strong winds which lashed Sydney Harbour on the opening day of the Australian 18 Footers League’s 2013-2014 Season, today’s Race 2 of the 18ft Skiffs 3-Buoys Challenge was sailed in near perfect conditions.
Yandoo Photo: Frank Quealey
The  three lap windward-return course gave patrons a great view of the entire course from the spectator ferry and the 16-boat fleet produced some great racing in the 15-17-knot north-east wind.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Jonathan Whitty, James Hozack and Aron Everett certainly reveled in the conditions as they took line by 56s in their Panasonic-sponsored Lumix skiff. John Winning, Andrew Hay and Jim Beck finished second in Yandoo, with Euan McNicol, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge third in Mojo Wine, a further 1m14s behind Yandoo.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Lumix led the fleet up the first windward beat to the 3-buoys rounding marks, and took full advantage from the handicapping system to increase the lead on the spinnaker run to the twin marks which completed the first lap of the course.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Asko Appliances (James Dorron) was in second place behind Lumix, followed by Pure Blonde (Nick Daly), Yandoo, and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Simon Nearn) which had recovered strongly after being recalled at the start.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Pure Blonde was relegated back to fifth at the bottom mark while the other leaders retained their positions. Lumix continued to set the pace upwind and increased her lead to 1m10s over Yandoo at the second set of windward markers.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Backmarker Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) had edged her way up into third place just ahead of Asko Appliances, which had an untimely capsize on the work. While Lumix and Yandoo were untroubled to hold their placings over the latter half of the course, the battle behind them held spectator interest until the end as the handicap system came into play.
Winner Jonathan Whitty and partner Maitena Celestin Photo: Frank Quealeyr 
Asko recovered from the mid race capsize to grab fourth place, ahead of De’Longhi Rabbitohs and The Kitchen Maker (Malcolm Page).

Frank Quealey

Bora Gulari Crowned 2013 Moth World Champion

Kaneohe Bay, HI (19 October 2013) – An early squall drenched the 80 competitors for the 2013 McDougall + McConaghy International Moth World Championship this morning as they prepared their flying carbon-fiber craft for the final day of racing. The rain and clouds brought with them an unfortunate side effect, cooling down Oahu’s Koʻolau Mountains and shutting down the building thermal breeze that might have allowed a final day of racing for the Moth World title.
Photo: ©ThMartinez/Sea&Co/Moth World Championship
After a tense three hour wait in the Kaneohe Yacht Club boat park, Race Officer Tom Pochereva reached for the treble horn that indicates the end to the regatta and within seconds, a dozen American racers lifted Michigan’s Bora Gulari in the air and tossed him into the club pool for the 2013 World Champion’s ceremonial dunking.
Photo: ©ThMartinez/Sea&Co/Moth World Championship
Gulari becomes the first American two-time Moth World Champion since 1959; he won the 2009 World Championship in Cascade Locks, Oregon. “It hasn’t really set in yet,” said Gulari, after drying himself off. “One thing I know for sure is that without Anthony, George, Brad, and pretty much the entire US Moth racing team, I would never be World Champion again.”
Photo: ©ThMartinez/Sea&Co/Moth World Championship
Gulari attributes his success to his Mach 2 Moth, which he says “is a perfect platform for this kind of sailing,” combined with the cumulative effect of dozens of small changes to the boat. “We’ve been working for a solid year in Detroit, refining and changing things bit by bit until they’re perfect,” said Gulari. He also gave credit to his sail package, adding “North Sails and specifically sailmaker Chris Williams came up with an extremely powerful sail design for this Worlds; I’ve never sailed with a faster sail since I bought my first Moth.”

2013 McDougall + McConaghy Moth World Championship Final Results:

1. USA 6, Bora Gulari, [18]-1-2-1-3-3-[7]-5-3-3- ; 21
2. AUS 3997, Nathan Outteridge, 1-2-1-[10]-9-1-8-2-[13]-5- ; 29
3. AUS 2, Scott Babbage, 4-4-[27]-[24]-1-12-1-4-5-13- ; 44
4. GBR 3982, Ben Paton, [15]-3-3-15-[23]-6-3-6-2-7- ; 45
5. GBR 4047, Robert Greenhalgh, 2-7-7-9-[19]-[13]-11-1-1-8- ; 46
6. AUS 3, Rob Gough, [17]-8-13-8-8-2-4-[38]-6-1- ; 50T
7. GBR 7, Chris Rashley, 3-[35]-6-11-7-4-13-[36]-4-2- ; 50T
8. AUS 8, Julian Salter, [12]-9-8-5-2-[29]-5-3-12-11- ; 55
9. USA 3931, Brad Funk, [24/ZFP]-5-4-3-5-5-18-10-21-[23]- ; 71
10. NZL 3991, Peter Burling, [40]-28-[52]-2-10-7-6-9-11-4- ; 77

Moth Worlds Media

Cracking Start For Rolex Middle Sea Race Fleet

The 34th Rolex Middle Sea Race is underway. Today’s race start, divided into six separate sequences, was conducted in front of a large crowd in sun-kissed Valletta, Malta. A steady twelve-knot southerly ensured the fleet made good progress from the start line in the Grand Harbour and out of the breakwater into the open sea.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
With 99 yachts from 19 different countries on the startline the 606-nm race, representing a race record and easily surpassing the previous best of 82 starters set in 2012. Three hours into the race, the Kristina Plattner-skippered 86-ft Maxi Morning Glory from Germany led the fleet on the approach to the southeast coast of Sicily. Travelling at a consistent 12 knots, and although early in the race,Morning Glory is currently on course to maintain her pre-race target of challenging the race record of just under 48 hours. As forecast, Morning Glory has the two 72-ft Mini Maxis – Alegre (GBR) and Robertissima III (ITA) for close company.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Before departure from the docks of the Royal Malta Yacht Club this morning, the general sentiment among the crews was that forecast conditions pointed to a fast race. “It’s a lot better forecast than last year and a lot of downwind which suits us,” explained Mitch Booth on the 42-ft Swiss entry Kuka Light which sails under the slogan ‘less fat, more speed’.
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
“We’ve spent the year optimizing the boat for lighter Mediterranean conditions,” continued Booth, “but this is a very challenging race with a lot of turns and interesting corners. We learnt last year that it’s not over until it’s over.”
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
Kuka Light was forecasting a strong performance as was the crew on B2, a TP52 from Italy. “It’s very difficult to find conditions that don’t suit this boat,” explained navigator Nacho Postigo. “She is strong in both heavy and light winds. It’s one of the most all round boats in the fleet along with the Mini Maxis. The start is important but the key point will be around Stromboli and San Vito Lo Capo when the fleet should come together.”
Photo: Rolex / Kurt Arrigo
“We love the 600-nm regattas, and Malta is a very special place to race,” enthused Amanda Hartley, skipper of Swan 56 Clem (ESP). “We raced here in 2010 and we loved it then. For the first time, we have a foiler, meaning our rating is better, and we have high expectations for the race. But this is our first regatta with this system, and honestly we still don't know whether it will work as expected.”

Regatta News