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Friday, February 28, 2014

Gotta Love It 7 Win Warm Up Race

18ft Skiffs, 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship
Friday, 28 February 2014, Sydney Harbour
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage showed why the Gotta Love It 7 team is favourite for the 2014 JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, proudly presented by Sydney City Marine, after a good win in the Invitation Race, sailed on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
In a race sailed in a weakening SE breeze, Gotta Love It 7 took the honours by 1m27s from UK skiff Pica, sailed by James Mears, Stewart Mears and Matt Searle, with Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson, Peter Nicholson, Geoff Bauchop) another 26s back in third place.

With the championship proper to begin tomorrow, today’s results were good for the international teams as four countries were featured in the first nine places of the 34-boat fleet.

Asko Appliances (Marcus Ashley-Jones) finished fourth, ahead of USA’s Howie Hamlin on CST Composites, Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), The Black Dog (Jarrod Simpson, UK), Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) and C-Tech (Alex Vallings, NZ).

Frank Quealey

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Bella Mente Takes Line Honours in 2014 RORC Caribbean 600

Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente crossed the finish line in Antigua to take Monohull Line Honours for the 2014 RORC Caribbean 600 on Wednesday 26th February, in an elapsed time of 48 hours, 5 mins, 44 seconds.
Bella Mente pictured here at Redonda - Photo: Tim Wright/ www.photoaction.com
George David's RP90, Rambler crossed the finish line in second place, just 10 minutes later and was followed by George Sakellaris's RP72, Shockwave which finished third on the water and just over two minutes after Rambler.
Rambler 90 at Redonda - Credit: Tim Wright/photoaction.com
Bella Mente, Rambler and Shockwave had an intense battle for 48 hours, with the lead changing on numerous occasions around the 600 mile course. After time correction, Shockwave leads the race overall with Bella Mente second and Rambler third. Shockwave must wait for more yachts to finish the race before an overall winner can be announced.
George Sakellaris' Shockwave en route to Redonda. Photo: Tim Wright/photoaction.com
Hap Fauth was all smiles on the dock even though Shockwave had beaten Bella Mente after time correction. Bella Mente was first IRC Yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered (without either variable or moveable ballast) and will be awarded the Bella Mente Trophy as well as the Line Honours award.

"Oh yeah, we had lots of funky wind and, you know, all kinds of stuff: a lot of storms, a lot of thunder cells going through, crazy shifts," commented Hap Fauth dockside. "We got caught under a couple of thunder cells and sat for 45 minutes, if you can believe that, until the breeze came back in. But the back of Guadeloupe - Bella Mente was 100% out of 100%.

"We studied it and the result was perfect. I will have to think about it, but I don't think that we've had a closer offshore race than this. It was back and forth, back and forth - obviously you guys watched that on the tracker. But it's a hell of a race.

"Those guys, (Shockwave and Rambler) they can get up and go and cover a lot of ground. The last beat coming in, we just basically sat in front of them and made sure they never got away from us. So, it was a classic match race, they tack, we tack - tack and pick up and go."

George Sakellaris was delighted with the team's performance dockside: "An excellent race, the wind, the intensity of the racing. It was a very close race. In the big picture, the winds were favourable to us. The first half of the race had wind angles that suited Bella Mente but we knew that we would have our strengths in the second half. Great racing against very well sailed boats and, at the end of the day, winning yacht races is all about the team performance more than anything else."

George David was philosophical about the performance of Rambler. 

"Just look at the difference in hull shape between Rambler and the Mini Maxis. Rambler is now 12 years old and we haven't sailed the boat since September. Rambler has been a great boat, but we were well beaten on handicap in this race. 

"We were disappointed not to take line honours, but there was no way we were going to let both 72s beat us. I would like to congratulate the RORC on producing a fantastic race that has grown incredibly in a very short time period. We will be back next year with the new boat and we feel, given the right conditions, the new Ramblerwill be able to challenge the record we set in 2011 with Rambler 100."

Race Report by Louay Habib

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rambler Smoking Bella Mente in RORC Caribbean 600 - Day 2

At 0700 local time, on Day Two of the RORC Caribbean 600, George David's RP90, Rambler, had opened up a four mile lead on the water from Hap Fauth's JV72, Bella Mente. Rambler's water-line length is a big advantage on the longest reaching leg of the course and the American Maxi is expected to extend that advantage during the day, on the water at least.
Rambler   Photo: RORC Caribbean 600 / Tim Wright / www.photoaction.com
Overnight, Bella Mente had stretched six miles ahead of George Sakellaris' RP72, Shockwave, to lead IRC Zero on corrected time by 15 minutes. Johnny Vincent's Pace was in a solid third place in class and will be hoping that the lead boats will run out of breeze at some stage of the race so that the British TP52 can press home their rating advantage.
Selena    Photo: RORC Caribbean 600 / Tim Wright / www.photoaction.com
During the first night, squalls were ripping through the race course at regular intervals, bringing cold rain and erratic wind; both in speed and direction, testing the mettle of the 60 strong fleet. One of the smallest yachts in the race, Hot Stuff, crewed by Girls 4 Sail, was approaching St.Kitts.
Hot Stuff Photo: RORC Caribbean 600 / Tim Wright / www.photoaction.com
The rest of the fleet, bar Rambler, Bella Mente and Shockwave, were negotiating the chicane at the top of the course, weaving through the stunning islands that make the RORC Caribbean 600 one of the most beautiful offshore races in the world.
Adela Photo: Tim Wright / www.photoaction.com
The twin masted schooners, Adela and Athos, have covered over 230 miles in just 20 hours. Athos is just a mile ahead of Adela on the water but, after time correction, Adela leads the Superyacht Class.
Athos Photo: RORC Caribbean 600 / Tim Wright / www.photoaction.com
The two largest yachts in the race are about to enter the narrow confines of the Anguilla Channel and a tacking duel of epic proportions is the likely outcome.

In IRC One, Piet Vroon's Ker 46, Tonnerre de Breskens 3, has covered over 200 miles of the course in just 20 hours and continues to lead the class, both on the water and on corrected time. Behind Tonnerreare two displacement Swans: Colin Buffin's Uxorious IV, and Todd Stuart's White Rhino. Taking into account time correction, the beat through the Anguilla Channel and the reach down to Guadeloupe may favour the two heavyweight competitors, especially as the current wind speed is sub 15 knots which is too little for the light displacement Tonnerre to use her planing ability.

In IRC Two, all 12 yachts have averaged close to eight knots since the start, providing a highly competitive fleet. Peter Sowrey's First 40, Lancelot II, has been punching above her weight, no doubt aided by the talents of solo round the world sailor, Alex Thomson. On the water, Global Yacht Racing's First 47.7, EH01, and Bernie Evan Wong's Grand Soleil 43, Quokka 8, are having an intense battle for line honours in the class, with Lt Col Paul Macro's Royal Armoured Corps team on Southern Child, just a mile behind the on-the-water leaders.

In IRC Three, Classic S&S 52, Dorade, has stretched out a five mile lead on the water and leads the class after time correction. Adrian Lower's Swan 44, Selene, has taken an absolutely flier. After rounding Saba,Selene tacked and bore away to take up an extreme offshore position, looking to lay St.Barths in one tack: Banging the Corner. Presumably, Selene feel that this tactic will pay off but it is quite a gamble.

Louay Habib

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Another Title for Gotta Love It 7 - 18 Foot Skiffs - Sydney

18ft Skiffs, New South Wales Championship, Race 5
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Sydney Harbour

Gotta Love It 7 became 2013-2014 NSW 18ft Skiff champion today after finishing second today behind Rabbitohs-Kenwood in Race 5 of the championship.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
In one of the closest finishes seen on the harbour for 2-3 seasons, Rabbitohs-Kenwood (Brett Van Munster, Joel Castle and Kurt Fatouris) came back in the final 100 metres to take the victory by just4s.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Sydney City Marine (David Witt, Tom Clout and Matt Wark) was 1m23s back in third place, ahead of Appliancesonline.com.au (Micah Lane), Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon) and Smeg (Nick Press).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Gotta Love It 7, with two replacement crew members, Dave Gilmour and Rhys Mara (for Seve Jarvin and Sam Newton), joining regular sheet hand Scott Babbage for the day, finished with a final total of five points to defeat Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Trent Barnabas) who finished second overall with 14points.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Smeg (Nick Press, Dan Phillips and Dave Ewings) also finished with a total of 14 points and was placed third behind Thurlow Fisher Lawyers on countback. Sydney City Marine was fourth on 15 points, followed by Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel (Jack Macartney) on 21 and Mojo Wine (Chris Nicholson) on 25.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Today’s last race of the NSW Championship was sailed in a 10-15 knot SE wind which produced a close race and a wonderful finish which had the crowd on the spectator ferry cheering wildly.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The first windward leg across the harbour from Taylor Bay to Rose Bay saw the fleet split into two groups. Most teams elected to sail the conventional (eastern) side of Shark Island while Rabbitohs-Kenwood led a small group which went to the western side.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
When the two groups met in Rose Bay, Rabbitohs-Kenwood led Gotta Love It 7 by 35 seconds, with The Kitchen Maker (Rob Bell) in third place ahead of Thurlow Fisher Lawyers, Pure Blonde (Nick Daly), Mojo Wine (Lee Knapton), Sydney City Marine, Lumix (Jonathan Whitty) and Haier Appliances (John Sweeny).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The Rabbitohs-Kenwood crew set their spinnaker soon after rounding the mark while most of those behind them elected to two-sail reach before going for their spinnakers.

It was a winning move as it allowed Rabbitohs-Kenwood to open up a lead of 1½m at the bottom mark. The breeze was a lot lighter at that part of the harbour and positions changed dramatically throughout the fleet.

Gotta Love It 7 showed far superior speed upwind and halved Rabbitohs-Kenwood’s lead at the Clarke Island buoy. Sydney City Marine was in third place, more than another minute behind ‘7’. On the next leg to Chowder Bay, Gotta Love It 7 set a spinnaker soon after rounding Clarke Island buoy while Rabbitohs-Kenwood went for the two-sail reach until late in the leg.

This proved to be the best method again for Van Munster and his team as they increased their margin to more than one minute over Gotta Love It 7. The two teams were having a great battle and things excited the crowd when ‘7’ got to within 10s with three legs of the course still to be sailed.

Rabbitohs-Kenwood created some breathing space at Rose Bay for the final time, but each team reversed their original decision on the first lap of the course for the run to the bottom mark. It was the first mistake by the Rabbitohs-Kenwood team and allowed Gotta Love It 7 turn for home with a 4s lead.

All looked lost for Rabbitohs-Kenwood as the two boats sailed leg for leg up the final work to the finish and it wasn’t until the last 100 metres before Rabbitohs-Kenwood regained the lead. The race had additional interest for local spectators as two of the visiting international teams (CST Composites USA and EuroLink Germany) took the opportunity of having a hit out prior to next week’s JJ Giltinan Championship.

Frank Quealey

Alinghi Grab Victory at Extreme 40s in Singapore

The opening Act of the Extreme Sailing Series™ more than lived up to all the pre-season hype and expectation, where the new teams got stuck in on the Singapore stadium racecourse – but couldn’t quite topple the old order – with three returning teams from 2013 taking honours.
An estimated 30,000 spectators watched over four days, as Ernesto Bertarelli’s Swiss team Alinghi sailed a near perfect regatta, with Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre Yves Jorand, Nils Frei and Yves Detrey, finishing more than 50% of the 29 races in the top three.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We couldn’t have dreamed for a better start. It was challenging here and with the level of competition a couple of notches higher this season, I think we just carried on from last year and we’re the only team that hasn’t changed any of our crew. We will try and build on from last year and enjoy this victory,” Larson said.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The outcome of who would be stood to the left and right of the Swiss team on the podium was not so clear-cut, with Emirates Team New Zealand, The Wave, Muscat and Realstone all vying for glory. The Kiwi’s came flying off the start line in the final race, but it all went wrong for Dean Barker and his team shortly after that, and a penalty in the first beat for a port-starboard incident against The Wave, Muscat, lost them not only second place to the Omani boat, but third place to the Swiss.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Barker commented: “It’s the first time we have raced together in five months, and our first time back on the circuit since 2011, and for sure we wanted to get a podium here, but couldn’t get away with it. We’re still rusty and have to focus our thoughts, but we’ll get there. We definitely had a great time here in Singapore.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The reigning champions on The Wave, Muscat have a new line-up this year, including double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton – one of five women competing in Singapore. Skipper Leigh McMillan, who has been a dominate force in the Extreme 40 class for the last two years, looked ahead to what is shaping up to be a fantastic year of competition.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“I think it’s great that we are proving the quality of the fleet for the last two years and how competitive it has been. But by no means do we think it will remain that way and we are going to have a lot on our hands in the upcoming events. We are just delighted to finish in second place and kick off the season with a great result.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The Swiss team Realstone led the regatta after day one, and even missing a days racing after a collision earlier in the week couldn’t stop Jerome Clerc and his men, with a third place in the final race enough to clinch third place overall. “This is our best result since our debut in the Extreme 40 Racing. It wasn’t easy at all and we have been through every emotion this week but we have finished really strongly. It proves that we are working in the right direction, although there are obvious improvements we can make – well done to Alinghi who just dominated over the event.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
While the regatta in Singapore may have gone to the old-guard, the new teams pushed them the whole way, with eight of the 12 boat fleet sailing to race victories over the course of the last four days. While some of the new faces struggled for consistency, they all showed moments of winning brilliance, and the battle mid-leaderboard was fierce, with Groupama sailing team and their multihull expert skipper Franck Cammas, who last competed in the Series in 2010, clinching fifth place from the experienced hands on Red Bull Sailing, by just four points.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Ben Ainslie’s team, J.P. Morgan BAR, which includes some of the UK’s top sailing talent, finished the regatta on a high, winning the final double-pointer to bring the Act home in seventh place. Eighth and ninth went to two previous Series winning helms, who finish the Act tied on points – Gazprom Team Russia, with two-times Series winner Paul Campbell-James on the tiller and Russian Igor Lisovenko as skipper, and winner of the inaugural Series, Rob Greenhalgh, with his team Oman Air. The Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team brought home the event in tenth place.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The local boat Team Aberdeen Singapore, supported by Host Venue Partner Aberdeen Asset Management, made an extraordinary comeback after yesterdays’ huge crash with Groupama sailing team, to be back on the racetrack today, and even upgraded their position on the overall standings to eleventh place ahead of GAC Pindar. Skipper Moloney summed up the atmosphere, and the feeling amongst the fleet this week.

“We’ve had an amazing and spectacular time in Singapore. This venue is the encompassment of the stadium format – wind, bumps and scrapes. It’s amazing for spectators and really difficult to sail with all the wind shifts around the buildings. No spot in the world lets us sail like this. For the sailors it was completely full on.”

The Act in Singapore will be remembered as one of the most action packed Acts in the eight-year history of the elite level Stadium Racing circuit. The next stop is Muscat, Oman – in just over three weeks time.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 4, 29 races (23.02.14)
Position / Team / Points

1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 217 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 193 points.
3rd Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Sebastien Stephant 178 points.
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 168 points.
5th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Pierre Leclainche, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 160 points.
6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 156 points.
7th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 152 points.
8th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 128 points.
9th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 128 points.
10th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 126 points.
11th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 82 points.
12th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 59 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Team Aberdeen Singapore Will Race On Final day After Crash - Extreme Sailing Series - Singapore

A full starting grid of 12 Extreme 40s will line-up for the final days racing in Singapore following this afternoon's crash between Groupama sailing team and Team Aberdeen Singapore – although it will be a demanding night in the pit lane as the shore crews rally together to make the repairs needed before tomorrows racing.
Four boats are out of the water tonight – but all are confident of returning tomorrow, for the climax of what has so far been an action-packed start to the 2014 season for the 60 elite level sailors competing this week. After colliding with a moored boat during the start of the second race of the day, the Danish SAP Extreme Sailing Team are also out of the water, after sustaining damage to their bow, as co-skipper Rasmus Kostner explained: “We took a bit of an impact, but we are working on it now. It’s going to be a standard repair with lamination of carbon and we will ensure we will get the boat in the water tomorrow morning to race again.”

Race Director, Phil Lawrence gave his assessment of the week so far. “The key factor in the incidents we have had this week are the gusty conditions. We have sailed these boats in much more wind than we have seen this week, but when its gusty like this, and the teams are pushing the boats so hard, we can see collisions on the water.”

At the top of the leaderboard, four returning teams from 2013 lead the charge, including long-standing rivals Alinghi, and The Wave, Muscat in first and second respectively.

Realstone, who missed todays racing but will be back ready for battle tomorrow, are third, after being awarded average points following yesterdays collision with Oman Air. But it was Red Bull Sailing Team who showed the winning form that saw them claim third place in the overall Series in 2013 today.

They sailed their best day of the regatta to climb from eighth, to fourth, overhauling the likes of J.P. Morgan BAR and Emirates Team New Zealand as they did. Traction Hans-Peter Steincher is relishing sailing in Singapore. “It was an amazing day, it’s the kind of conditions we expect in stadium racing in front of a city like this. Its what we come here for!”

With up to 80 points still up for the taking in the final battle of the bay, the fight for supremacy in Singapore is far from over. Join us live online from 1600 local time/0900CET to watch the final races as they happen – if this weeks racing so far is anything to go by – you don’t want to miss it!

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 3, 21 races (22.02.14)
Position / Team / Points

1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 163 points.
2nd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 132 points.
3rd Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Sebastien Stephant 130 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 117 points.
5th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 117 points.
6th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 104 points.
7th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 103 points.
8th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 95 points.
9th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 89 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 88 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 49 points.
12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 47 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Transfusion Rack Up Another Farr 40 National Championship: John Calvert-Jones Trophy

Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion team has pulled off a trifecta of Australian titles and claimed a record five National Championships: John Calvert-Jones Trophy crowns since the series’ inception in 2000.
Transfusion Photo: lulu Roseman
An OCS in the penultimate race 11 on a fickle Derwent River in Hobart wasn’t enough to slow the New South Welshmen’s march. They played the Joker card, took the right hand side of the course and won.
Photo: Dane Lojek / Farr 40
The title was in the bag but still they pushed on, finishing second in the final race 12, another three-lapper in the sou’wester averaging in the high teens with bursts over 25 knots and down as low as seven knots at times.
Photo: Dane Lojek / Farr 40
Lloyd Clark and Andrew Hunn’s Voodoo Chile (TAS) opened the Farr 40’s 2013/14 season in dominating form, claiming the Queensland state title last October and the One Design Trophy in December.Transfusion owned the NSW state title and Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master (NSW) took out the Tasmanian state title earlier this week.
Estate Master Photo: Lulu Roseman
All three professional campaigns were worthy of nabbing the major trophy. Transfusion proved the most worthy and effectively road blocked the other two with consistency at the highest level. A third was their worst result over 12 races in the no discard national series that wrapped up today.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Voodoo Chile slipped into second overall by eight points thanks to today’s fourth then a bullet. The Hills moved into third, a seventh and a fifth taking them out of silver medal contention. Belgiorno-Nettis, the Australian Farr 40 class president, gathered a remarkable crew for the Aussie summer and the class’ world championship later this year.
Transfusion leads the pack Photo: Lulu Roseman
Pre-season the crew worked on the mechanics of getting manoeuvres right in different modes, and put time into sail trim. Reuniting with tactician Tom Slingsby brought the next level of skill.
Tom Slingsby ( left) Photo: Lulu Roseman 
“Tommy was brilliant,” praised Belgiorno-Nettis. “He doesn’t go the Casino and take a bet; he works it out slowly and patiently and backs his intuition. He’s a wonderful addition to the team.”
On having the Transfusion name engraved five times on the silverware he said, “It feels great. It’s nice to finish the season on a high note and good to see everyone was challenged over the entire summer.”
Photo: Lulu Roseman
“Here in Hobart we just kept the boat on its feet. I would have to say the Derwent is probably the most challenging waterway I’ve sailed on. Today we had crazy wind shifts of 60 degrees and breeze seven to nearly 30 knots.”
Photo: Dane Lojek / Farr 40
First Corinthian boat, which means a cap of two professional sailors versus four, was Stephen Boyes’ Wired from the host Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania. “The deserved winner won without a doubt, they were just so consistent,” acknowledged Boyes.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Olympic gold medallist Nathan Wilmot made a noticeable difference to Wired’s overall season performance. “It’s been different having Nathan sail with us, he’s been a real asset,” said the skipper this afternoon as the Farr 40s docked and crews packed up for this afternoon’s official trophy presentation at RYCT.


Lisa Ratcliff

Friday, February 21, 2014

The Heat Is On at Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 - Singapore - Day 2

The pressure turned up a notch on the second day of racing at the Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 curtain raiser in Singapore, with the wind, and the heat from the city, cranking up.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The 12 elite level teams battled a huge wind range from three knots right through to gusts that peaked at 24 knots, using all their tactical prowess to muscle their Extreme 40s around the racecourse in a series of short, sharp races, which saw a reshuffle on the overall leaderboard.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Six races were sailed on Marina Bay and Alinghi stamped their dominance, with two race wins, and three second places to upgrade their overall position to first place. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Swiss, and in race 13 their Californian helm Morgan Larson did well to control the over-powered catamaran when the biggest gust of the day caught the team off-guard, bringing it back from the brink of a capsize.

“Coming into today we said we wouldn’t push it as hard otherwise we’ll end up in the water. But early on, we got lifted right up on one hull, and we just thought, if we were to go any further we’re definitely going to tip over. Things were definitely smiling in our favour today! There was no shouting onboard, we all kind of looked at each other and thought: we got lucky there," Larson explained.

“The winds are gusty and shifty, so it challenges you tactically. In a lot of venues, starting is crucial, but here I think it’s just getting away from the other boats and then picking your moments to build up the fleet,” he added.

Dean Barker’s Emirates Team New Zealand hadn’t competed together for five months before this week, and the team of Kiwi America’s Cup legends are quickly getting to grips with the stadium format of the Extreme Sailing Series. A string of results in the top half of the fleet, including a win in the fourth race of the day, promoted them to second place from yesterday’s fourth. 

The biggest upgrade of the day came for the defending champions The Wave, Muscat with three race wins bringing them within six points of the Kiwis. With two days left, McMillan’s attentions are already turning to the end result. “It was a pretty solid day and I’ll be pushing harder the next two days. We’re now in competition for the podium and that’s the most important thing for the first event.”

Realstone had a superb opening day yesterday, and were on form again today before a collision with Oman Air, which could be heard by the crowds around the bay, put an end to the Swiss teams winning run. Realstone’s skipper Jérôme Clerc explained what happened: 

“Oman Air tried to bear away behind us, and under the pressure, that isn’t always easy, so Rob (Greenhalgh) didn’t achieve his manoeuvre and hit us at the back of the boat. They smashed into the rudder and created a big hole, we started sinking but we pushed ourselves to finish that race,” said Realstone’s skipper Jérôme Clerc. 

With damage to their steering system, the Swiss were forced to retire and limped back to the pitlane, missing the final race of the day, while the Omani team made a quick repair on the water to their bow. Both boats will be craned out tonight, but expect them to be back ready to race tomorrow. Oman Air received a 45 second starting penalty in the next race, and Realstone will be seeking redress form the jury first thing tomorrow morning.

Red Bull Sailing Team are a familiar fixture on the Series, but this year are fielding a new line-up. The Austrian team, who finished third overall in 2013 and are currently eighth in Singapore, have had a mixed bag of results so far this week as they adapt to their new line up, but with just 40 points separating them from first placed Alinghi, their experienced skipper Roman Hagara spoke tactics for putting that right. 

“I think we just have to focus a little more on our starts, we had some really shocking starts today and then on the second downwind we made some major mistakes and we lost a couple of boats at times. We’ve just discussed this in our de-brief and that’s definitely what we have to look towards tomorrow.”

Even the most experienced of Extreme 40 sailors are struggling to be consistent with the unpredictable breeze on the tricky stadium racecourse. Paul Campbell-James, helm of Gazprom Team Russia, is a two-time Series winning helm, but admits stepping back into the Series for the first time since 2011 has been a challenge. 

“I’m really enjoying it but I am definitely showing some sure signs of rust! It is a bit of frustrating obviously, the last time I sailed an Extreme 40 was here in Singapore and we won with the event! It’s a bit harder to be at the back of the fleet. The main thing is the starting and that’s the thing we didn’t do well at all the last couple of days. We will get there. We’re still on a learning curve. Everything is positive.”

The local representative on Team Aberdeen Singapore drew the biggest cheers from the fans around the bay, and narrowed the gap over 11th placed GAC Pindar to just one point. The public are expected to be out in the droves over the weekend to watch the elite level racing, right in the heart of this high-rise city.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 2, 15 races (21.02.14)
Position / Team / Points

1st Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 111 points.
2nd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 90 points.
3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 84 points.
4th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 81 points.
5th Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Sébastien Stephant 81 points.
6th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 80 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 73 points.
8th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 71 points.
9th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 61 points.
10th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 56 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 32 points.
12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 31 points.


Top Three Set For Final Showdown - Farr 40 Australian Championship - Day 3 - Hobart

Anywhere else Transfusion’s four point break would mean a quiet confidence for the leading crew heading into the final day of the Farr 40 National Championships: John Calvert-Jones Trophy.
Photo: Dane Lojek / Farr 40
Rather the vagaries of Hobart Derwent River, known around the world as the place where countless Sydney to Hobart races have been won and lost, has Transfusion’s tactician Tom Slingsby talking down a foregone conclusion.
“At any other venue I would be quietly confident. Here not all. There’s all to play for the top three boats, us, Estate Master and Voodoo Chile. The team is sailing well. It’s a bit of snakes and ladders and a bit of luck," Slingsby said
Photo: Dane Lojek / Farr 40
“We are trying to do the small things right. As tactician you have to make the call and back yourself. We are picking it as well as anyone. As long as we stay clean and have two more good races the national championship is ours,” he added.
Voodoo Chile Photo: Lulu Roseman
If that eventuates it will be Transfusion’s fourth national crown and third on the trot, a new record. Transfusion now leads Martin and Lisa Hill’s Estate Master by four points. Third placed Voodoo Chile, skippered by Andrew Hunn, is well within striking distance just two points adrift of Estate Master.
Voodoo Chile and Transfusion  Photo: Lulu Roseman
Today’s cool south-westerly was in the upper range this afternoon with solid gusts up to 30 knots after starting out in the high teens. A couple of massive spills among the fleet provided plenty of ooh and aah moments, and took Trevor and Steven’s overpowered Local Mocean out of races nine and ten.

IRO Nick Hutton knows the river well and is watching the smart ones figure it out. The bottom end of the course is bumpy whereas the top offers the benefit of flat water, but the disadvantage of big shifts under Hobart’s Mount Wellington when there’s a westerly influence.

“The smart people will win the regatta, they always do,” he suggested this evening.

Tactician Rob Brown is one of Australia’s foremost sailors. He’s joined Michael Cooper, Craig Clifford and Richard Fader’s POW sailing for the host club, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.

“We had a few problems in Sydney and we were falling over a lot in the fresh conditions,” Brown recalled.

“I told the crew ‘today we are going to sail this boat like there is a beer sitting on top of the mast’. Unfortunately we drowned the beer with a huge wipeout in 30 knots of breeze.”

“Conditions were really testing. I enjoyed watching the lead boats going at each other in 25-30 knots and throwing gybes in, and the crews responding.”

The game has changed for tacticians and ‘Brownie’ is up against blokes less than half his age.

“Guys like David Chapman, Hamish Pepper and Tom Slingsby, their tactics are sharp. What they are thinking the crew carries off in maneuvers. This is the next generation. The game has changed.”

This afternoon at RYCT Brown organised for gold medallists Slingsby and Nathan Wilmot, tactician on Wired which is best-placed Corinthian boat, to speak to a group of young Flying 11 sailors then a room full of sailing families as well as some of the Farr 40 crews.

“The theme was ‘it doesn’t matter where you start sailing, you can get to the top’. The guys passed on some trade secrets and talked about the ups and down of their sailing careers. The response was excellent.”

This is Jeff Carter’s first time sailing in Hobart and the river’s changing mood is keeping it interesting for Edake’s crew.

“Today we saw breeze 170 to 210 degrees at 15 knots and gusts to 29. Downhill the Farrs were hitting 20 knots with full masthead chutes.

“Changing gears quickly is pretty critical and when you hit the flat water, so is driving away to keep the speed up.”

First Australian winner of a Farr 40 World Championship, John Calvert-Jones, travelled to Hobart to watch two of today’s three races joining Geoff Stagg, Farr 40 class manager and creator, in the viewing stalls.

Calvert-Jones spoke of the enthusiasm of the Australian owners and was impressed watching the one design fleet handling the gusty conditions. “They looked as good today as when the boats were first launched,” he said.

Two final races tomorrow, Saturday 22nd February 2014, will wrap up the series and the Aberdeen Asset Management 2013/14 Farr 40 season that began last October in Queensland.

For full results see >>>

Lisa Ratcliff

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Game On At Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Opening Day in Singapore

The much-anticipated opening Act of the 2014 Extreme Sailing Series™ began today in Singapore under the gaze of the cities soaring skyscrapers, where eight races produced six different winners.
Realtstone Photo: © Lloyd Images
The Swiss flagged Realtstone were the form team, executing a consistent strategy in the trying conditions, to finish the opening day of the global tour top of the leaderboard – their best result since joining the circuit last year. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Some of the newer teams struggled to get to grips with the stadium racecourse, posting a mixed bag of results and a crash between defending champions The Wave, Muscat and GAC Pindar will leave the Aussies with a night of repairs ahead.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Realstone, who after yesterday’s practice racing described themselves as ‘the underdogs’ played a low risk game, setting up for manoeuvres and executing them precisely to give themselves some breathing space on the packed racecourse. 
Red Bull Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We rotated the team a lot in 2013 to finally be in a position to chose the best people for the best positions and get here with an optimal configuration. We have sailed well with good starts, Arnaud made the boat go fast and we have followed simple schemes with starts on the same side and regular tacks in each leg. We noticed this worked out well so we have kept this strategy. It’s the first day, all the teams are warming up so we are still the outsiders,” said Skipper Jérôme Clerc
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Eight races were sailed – the first of up to 250 this year – and in the continually shifting breeze, which ranged from 4-10 knots with slightly bigger gusts, the teams tacticians had it all on. Groupama sailing team’s skipper Franck Cammas – who won the seventh race of the day, only to follow it up with a last place – explained how tough the conditions were. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“We have had more wind than expected so it was pretty hairy on the water. The wind flows in between the buildings and it all becomes very shifty. We had to take what we could. The teams who started well were not necessarily the teams who finished at the top. The key, in short, is a mix of a little bit of luck, be at the good spot, try to anticipate things and being opportunist.” 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
The French team finish the day tied on points with second placed Alinghi.

On such a compact course, and with such short, intense races, the mark roundings were nail bitingly close, and those on shore found themselves holding their breathe as the Extreme 40s seemingly created space where there was none. In the sixth race of the day, The Wave, Muscat and GAC Pindar found out just how tight the course is, when the Omani boat t-boned into the back of the Aussies in a port-starboard incident, leaving a significant hole in their boat and the team with a night of repairs ahead in the pit lane.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“GAC Pindar put in a tack, and at the last minute they looked like they weren’t going to avoid us. I tried to smash it into a tack but there wasn’t anywhere to go – plus I lost grip of the tiller and tripped over, and unfortunately went into them. We’ve had plenty of bad days and we will have to go back, look at the videos and take some lessons out of today and come back stronger tomorrow,” Leigh McMillan explained.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Many of the fleet struggled for consistency today, and none more so than newcomers Emirates Team New Zealand and J.P. Morgan BAR, who finished the day with two race wins a piece – but also a handful of last places. Olympic champion Ben Ainslie commented: “We’re all having to learn pretty quickly, and certainly in this tight venue – even for the experienced guys it’s pretty tough. It’s a really strong fleet, it’s one of the toughest fields we’ve ever had and we’re obviously very new to this so we really learnt a lot today.”
Photo: © Lloyd Images
There is little light on the leaderboard after day one, with just 18 points separating first placed Realstone from eighth placed Oman Air. The Wave, Muscat, Gazprom Team Russia, GAC Pindar and the local boat Team Aberdeen Singapore have a bit of catching up to do – and with up to 24 races still to come, there is plenty of opportunity to do it.

Marina Bay Reservoir will provide a temporary residence for the 12 Extreme 40s for the next three days of Stadium Racing, and if today’s racing is anything to go by, Act 1 could be anyone’s game.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 1, Singapore standings after Day 1, 8 races (20.02.14)
Position / Team / Points

1st Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bruno Barbarin, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri 56 points.
2nd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Stuart Pollard, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 48 points.
3rd Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 48 points.
4th Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 46 points.
5th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 44 points.
6th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Haylee Outteridge 43 points.
7th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 39 points.
8th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 38 points.
9th The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 29 points.
10th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 28 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, Alexandra South 20 points.
12th Team Aberdeen Singapore (SIN) Nick Moloney, Adam Beashel, Scott Glen Sydney, Tom Dawson, Justin Wong 17 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media