Monday, March 31, 2014

Light Breezes On Day 1 at ISAF World Cup in Palma de Mallorca

Light breeze on the opening day of racing at the fourth of five 2013-2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup regattas in Mallorca, Spain meant conservative racing for the 1,130 sailors from 55 nations taking part at the Trofeo Princesa Sofía.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
Sailors in one Paralympic and ten Olympic events competing at ISAF Sailing World Cup Mallorca – Trofeo Princesa Sofia ensured that their mistakes were kept to a minimum with fleets split in eight Olympic events.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Jesus Renedo/Sofia
A light sea breeze came in around 11:00local time and remained between 5-6 knots with gusts of 7 knots on the seven race courses being used in Palma Bay. Racing in opening day of the qualification series commenced shortly after 12:00 with many international and national battles that have been evident throughout the 2013-2014 series continuing.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Jesus Renedo/Sofia
Mens 470

Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente (ARG), Sofian Bouvet and Jeremie Mion (FRA) and Anton Dahlberg and Fredrik Bergström (SWE) share the lead in the Men’s 470 on four points apiece after three races.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
The Argentineans controlled the blue fleet picking up a seventh, a third and first whilst the French stood out in the yellow taking two seconds and a seventh. The Swedes sailed consistently in the blue fleet to add their name to equation.Despite strong results the Argentineans admitted to sailing with caution on the opening day.

“You only have one discard in 11 races. So the most important thing is to be conservative. We are starting conservatively but we are really fast so we’ve managed to get on top after three races,” de la Fuente said.

“We are now thinking about doing something safe on the second day. We know we have to keep our strength for the rest of the regatta because it will be more difficult. Especially in Mallorca where everybody is really close.We’ll keep some energy for the third day,” Mion said.

The qualification series wraps up on Tuesday 1 April with two further races. Gold fleet racing commences on 2 April.

Women’s 470

The Women’s 470 fleet were the first off the water and it was Camille Lecointre and Hélène Defrance (FRA) who came ashore with the brightest start.

Lecointre and Defrance picked up a race win and a fifth from two races and having set the early pace Lecointre was content with her day, “The conditions were not easy. The wind was unpredictable so we just tried to go as fast as we could and guess the shifts so it was okay in the end.”

With 47-boats on the start line the racing has been tough, Lecointre added, “It has been a long time since we raced in a big fleet. It’s not easy when you have a bad start and the level has increased once again.

“With the conditions set to change at the end of the week there’s a long way to go.”

With the discard coming in after two races the French pair share the lead with Ukraine's Anna Kyselova and Anastasiya Krasko who took the second race win. However the Ukrainians finished down in 18th in the opening race.


Thomas Le Breton (FRA) started strong in the 92-boat Finn fleet with a second place and a bullet to take an early lead.
Le Breton (FRA) Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Jesus Renedo/Sofia
The Finn fleet is split up into two fleets of 46 boats and Le Breton was the stand out sailor of the day racing in the blue fleet, “I was quite fast today with nice starts, but sometimes you also have to be a bit lucky as well. I just tried to get a good start and have clear air and then stay in the pressure.”
Finn fleet Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Jesus Renedo/Sofia
Le Breton finished over a minute behind Race 1 victor Andrew Mills (GBR) in the opening race and enjoyed a close fought second with Tapio Nirkko (FIN), “It was a nice race. I had a good start and I had a nice fight with Tapio. We were both quite quick I think. We had a good gybing battle to keep the inside lane to the last mark, but I managed to keep the lead.”

In the Yellow Fleet Luke Lawrence (USA) took the opening race win with Ivan Kljakovic Gaspic (CRO) coming through to take the second bullet.


World #1 Martine Grael and Kahena Kunze (BRA) showed their worth in the 49erFX fleet taking two seconds and a race win.

The Brazilians have been the most active 49erFX racers on the international circuit and continue to produce when it matters. After the opening day they have three points and share the lead with Ann Kristin Wedemeyer and Pia Sophie Wedemeyer (GER) and Sarah Steyaert and Julie Bossard (FRA).

“It’s a great start to the first day of the World Cup,” said Grael ashore after racing. “We wanted to start the World Cup quite conservatively by not doing an OCS or by getting any letters on our score. That was the key point for the start.

“Tomorrow is also another day of qualification so we will try to have another low risk day.”

Having taken in ten regattas in just 16 months Grael has seen first-hand the progression of some of the girls and continues to push forward herself, “The class is now more than one year old and you can see a big difference between this year and last year. You can see all the teams have been training and working really hard.”

Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Jesus Renedo/Sofia
Diego Botin and Pablo Turrado (ESP) lead the 49er fleet after three races. Sailing in the yellow fleet the Spaniards race cool, calm and collected and recorded a fourth, a bullet and a second.

Mathieu Frei and Yann Rocherieux (FRA) follow in second with Dylan Fletcher and Alain Sign (GBR) occupying third overall.

Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
Australian sailors Ashley Brunning and Jeremy O’Connell demonstrated their light wind expertise on the opening day in Mallorca as they occupy the leading positions.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
Brunning sits atop of the 144-boat Laser fleet, that’s been split into blue, yellow and red fleets, following a 16th, a bullet and a second. O’Connell follows on four points with a 12th, a first and a third.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
Great Britain’s Elliot Hanson and Croatia’s Tonci Stipanovic are tied on four points with O’Connell. Nicolas Heiner (AUT), Daniel Mihelic (CRO), Philipp Buhl (GER), Emil Cedergardh (SWE) and Giovanni Coccoluto (ITA) all follow on five points.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
Laser Radial
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
Marit Bouwmeester (NED) picked up two race wins and leads the Laser Radial fleet. Racing in the yellow fleet the Dutch sailor took two close victories over Chloe Martin (GBR) in Race 1 and Tina Mihelic (CRO) in Race 2. Bouwmeester finished second in the third race of the day to solidify her leading position. Martin got the better of Bouwmeester in the final race and sits second.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
In the blue fleet, race victories went to ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao gold medallist Dongshuang Zhang (CHN), China’s Min Gu and Sweden’s Josefin Olsson. The Swedish sailor sits on three points tied with Martin and Zhang.
Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Martinez Studio/Sofia
Men’s RS:X

China’s Chunzhuang Liu came out flying on the opening day of Men’s RS:X racing taking bullets from the first two races and adding a fourth in the final race of the day. The ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne silver medallist was devastatingly quick in the light breeze and leads on two points having discarded his fourth.

Hong Kong’s Ho Tsun Leung sits second overall on three points with Liu’s compatriot Chuakun Shi (CHN) third on four points.

Women’s RS:X

China’s Peina Chen opened up her week with two race wins and an eighth in the 56-boat Women’s RS:X fleet. Chen took gold at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao and bronze at ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne and continues her good form in Mallorca.

Chen leads on two points followed by Charline Picon (FRA) on five. Blancaa Manchon (ESP) is third on seven points.

Natalia Kosinska (NZL) took the days other race win but with two results out of the top ten she is down in eighth.

London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Marina Alabau (ESP) makes a return to the Women’s RS:X fleet having become a mother in September. She sits fifth.

Nacra 17
Cammas/ de Turckheim (FRA) Photo: Trofeo S.A.R. Princesa Sofia 2014/Jesus Renedo/Sofia
Franck Cammas (FRA) showed why he is one of the finest sailors in the world at the moment by taking two bullets and a fifth to lead the Nacra 17 with crew Sophie de Turckheim.

The 73 registered Nacra 17’s are split up into two and racing in the blue fleet Cammas and de Turckheim were dominant in the light breeze. Federica Salva and Francesco Bianchi (ITA) remained consistent alongside the French pair in the blue fleet and sit second, a point behind.

World #1 Ben Saxton and Hannah Diamond (GBR) are in third followed by 2013 Nacra 17 World Champions Billy Besson and Marie Riou (FRA).


Helena Lucas (GBR) opened her regatta up with double bullets in the 16-boat 24mR flee. Compatriot and ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami gold medallist Megan Pascoe trailed Lucas in both of the opening day’s races to pick up two seconds.

Norway’s Bjornar Erikstad is third on seven points.

Trofeo Princesa Sofia Media

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Thurlow Fisher Lawyers Win By A Split Second

18ft Skiffs Club Championship, Race 11
Sunday, 30 March 2014, Sydney Harbour

Michael Coxon, Dave O’Connor and Trent Barnabas came with a brilliant finish in Thurlow Fisher Lawyers to grab a one sec. victory in the Australian 18 Footers League’s Race 11 of the Club Championship on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Today’s win also consolidated the team’s victory overall to take out the Club Championship by twelve points from the JJ Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers defeated Jack Macartney, Mark Kennedy and Peter Harris on Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel, with an unlucky Mojo Wine (Trevor Barnabas, Mike McKensey and Ricky Bridge) a further 35 seconds back in third place.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League (Micah Lane) finished fourth, followed by Yandoo (John Winning) and Smeg (Nick Press).
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Thurlow Fisher Lawyers finished the championship on 40 points, Gotta Love It 7 on 52, Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel was third on 61, Smeg 67, Mojo Wine 75 and Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson on 79. John Winning, Andrew Hay and Jim Beck won the club’s Season Point Score by six points from Thurlow Fisher Lawyers.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
The 8-10-knot south east breeze provided competitors with good conditions for the final race of the season and spectators were treated to a great finish in a dying breeze.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Five times JJ Giltinan champion Trevor Barnabas replaced Chris Nicholson as skipper on Mojo Wine and showed he had lost none of his ability to take a lead at the first windward mark. The Mojo Wine team continued to lead throughout the course with margins from as little as 2s. to as much as 55s. over Coopers 62-Rag & Famish Hotel.
Photo: Frank Quealey/18 Foot Skiff League
Mojo’s margin was still 42 seconds at the final rounding mark off Robertson Point and it looked a formality for Mojo and The Rag to record a one-two finish. While the pair watched each other they were caught out by Michael Coxon and his Thurlow Fisher Lawyers team which picked up a more favourable breeze to grab a great win.

Frank Quealey

Friday, March 28, 2014

Cammas and Turckheim Ready To Kick Butt in Palma

After a first year of Olympic preparation, which culminated in victory at the French Olympic Week in October 2013, Franck Cammas and Sophie de Turckheim will be attacking the first event of the 2014 season aboard the Nacra 17 Groupama in Palma de Mallorca.
Photo: Courtesy of Groupama
With the Omani leg of the Extreme 40 only just complete, the French duo set a course for the Balearics to join up with the members of the French Olympic Sailing Team and its coach, Franck Citeau. After the long weeks of winter training in Agadir, it's now time for the World Cup, which will have a stopover in Palma from 31 March to 5 April.

This event will serve as the qualifier for the World Championships in Santander in September and the Rio Test Event this coming August.

The stakes are high since only the top two French crews will qualify for Rio and the top three for Santander. When you're familiar with the level of the French team, which has monopolised the podiums since the arrival of this new Olympic series, you can well imagine how intense the racing will be.

"It kicks off on Monday and Sophie and I are ready. Palma's race zone is well suited to Olympic sailing and is renowned for being very open. We've been training here for some days and it's not going too badly," Cammas said.

"Since last year, everyone has made progress with the handling of the Nacra 17. You're always finely balanced and never far from a capsize. It's very technical," he added.

"We're just back from a training session with the French Team. We worked on speed and finished with a short race, which we won. We're quick downwind. Franck and I never start a race without wanting to win it. We complement each other and we're pretty versatile, even though we've still got some progress to make in breezy conditions in excess of 20 knots," de Turckheim said.

Up against World Champions Besson-Riou, as well as Vaireaux-Audinet and Ogereau-Vandame, the Groupama crew will have to up their game. This Franco-French battle mustn't overlook the overseas competitors too of course, among whom we find one of the favourites, Spaniard Iker Martinez, as well as the Australians, the British, the Swiss, the Italians and also the Austrians.

"On Monday light airs are forecast, but it could really pick up over the following days. The problem is that we're setting sail from the beach. As such, if the seas are too big, we won't be able to get out on the water due to the rollers," concluded Sophie de Turckheim.

The French are well represented with another five  Nacra 17 crews competing that include:

• Billy Besson - Marie Riou
• Moana Vaireaux - Manon Audinet
• Audrey Ogereau - Matthieu Vandame
• Flora Laugier - Valentin Bellet
• Ingrid Petitjean - Olivier Backes

Groupama Media Team

Trofeo Princesa Sofía Kicks Off in Palma de Mallorca on Sunday

Almost 1,200 sailors from 60 nations will descend on Palma de Mallorca to compete in the 45 Trofeo Princesa Sofía, the fourth and next stage of the ISAF Sailing World Cup, that kicks of don Sunday.
Ryan and Belcher (AUS) Photo: Nico Martinez/44 Trofeo Princesa Sofia
In the 470 men fleet, Mathew Belcher, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics together with Malcom Page, continues to be one of the favourite teams for Río 2016 despite that he has only been sailing his new crew Will Ryan for the last year.
Nacra 17 fleet Photo: Nico Martinez/44 Trofeo Princesa Sofia
The Australian team has shown they are at top level and are now at the top of the ranking lists. French sailors Sofian Bovet and Jeremie Mion as well as Argentinian team Lucas Calabrese and Juan de la Fuente will be the battling teams joining the Australians who are sailing under the supervision of coach Victor Kovalenko.
Ivan Pastor (ESP) Photo: Jesus Renedo/44 Trofeo Princesa Sofia
New Zealand team Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie, Olympic Gold at London 2012 and 2013 470 women World Champions have an excellent opportunity in Mallorca to show they continue to be at high level. Aleh and Powrie did not sail in the past Princesa Sofia and Brazilian team Fernanda Oliveira and Ana Barbachan claimed a comfortable victory over the rest of the fleet.
Baad Nielsen and Thusgaard Olsen (DEN)Photo: Jesus Renedo/44 Trofeo Princesa Sofia
The Bay of Palma will witness an interesting battle for victory in 49er. The top three classified teams in the world ranking lists will prove their value at the Sofia. Jonas Warrer (Gold in Beijing 2008) and Peter Lang, from Denmark, arrive on the Island after winning in Miami, in which the current number one team in the class, British sailors Stephen Morrison and Chris Grube finished third overall. France brings the other strong team of the fleet with sailors Julien D’ortolli and Noé Delpech, who were fourth in Miami and won the Semana Olímpica de Andalucía held last February.

The 49er FX comes with lots of surprises. The women’s skiff is a new class, with only one year of history and with big names at the starting line. Brazilian sailor Martine Soffiatti Grael, the daughter of five times Olympic medallist Torben Grael and Kahena Kunze are third in the class world ranking lists. They are followed closely by Italian sailors Giulia Conti (Olympic diploma in London 2012 on board the 470) and Francesca Clapcich (Olympic Laser radial sailor at London 2012).

One of the other new classes from last year is the Nacra 17, a mixed multihull that will have its Olympic debut in Río 2016. In the fleet, we find renowned names such as French sailor Franck Cammas, recordman and triple winner, among others, of the Transat Jacques Vabre (2001, 2003 and 2007) and the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 as skipper of the Groupama Sailing Team.

On the other hand, Spanish team Iker Martínez and Tara Pacheco gain strength in the class. Martínez holds a gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics, silver in Beijing 2008 and three 49er class World championships. These impressive career awarded him in 2011, together with Xabi Fernández, the title of ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year. Pacheco was the 2011 470 women World and European champion and represented Spain in the same class at London 2012 with Berta Betanzos.

Ben Ainslie’s retirement from Olympic Sailing gives way to new names. Ainslie has been up to now the best Olympic sailor in history with four Olympic Gold and one silver medals, eleven World championships, nine Europeans and one America’s Cup. Australian sailor Oliver Tweddell, the current leader of the Class World rankings as well as British sailor Andrew Mills are two of the candidates to take Ainslie’s place in the class. Not to forget young British sailor Giles Scott, winner of the last edition of the Trofeo Sofia in the class and always on the podium places of the latest Olympic classes events.

Big changes in the Laser standard fleet since the London 2012 Olympics. Pavlos Kontides, silver for Cyprus at the last Olympics is currently in fourth place of the class ranking list and battling against Tonci Stipanović (Croatia), Tom Burton (Australia) and Bruno Fontes (Brazil) towards Río 2016.

The battle for the Laser Radial podium places will be among three sailors that have long experience on being at the top of the leader board at the ISAF Sailing World Cup events. Dongshuang Zhang from China won gold at the 2013 Qingdao ISAF Sailing World Cup event in China; Tatiana Drozdovskaya from Byelorussia finished first at the ISAF SWC held in December 2013 in Melbourne (Australia); and US sailor Page Railey arrives in Mallorca after winning in Miami last February.

The RS:X men looks for a new Olympic champion. Brazilian sailor Ricardo Santos, Spanish sailor Iván Pastor and Ho Tsun Leung from Hong Kong are at present the big three names in the fleet.

In the RS:X women all the interest will be focussed on the return of Marina Alabau to the fleet. The gold medallist in London 2012 will sail again the RS:X after having her first child and hoping to achieve enough level to repeat the Olympic victory. Her closest rivals will be British sailor Bryony Shaw and Italian sailor Flavia Tartaglini, the current number one and two of the class world rankings.

Helena Lucas, London 2012 Paralympic champion, will take part in the Trofeo Princesa Sofia in the 2.4mR class, with a fleet of 19 sailors.

Trofeo Princesa Sofia Media

Moths Set To Rip Up Italy

The foiling week, a week totally focused on 'flying boats', will have three different events: the Moth Open National Championship, the TFW Core Event with Forums, Races and on water Tests and the final Full Foiling Catamaran Racing. We can now announce the venues for each event.
Photos: Courtesy of The Foiling Week
The International Moth Eurocup and the Italian Championship will be the competitive event with which we start the foiling week from 4th to 6th July at Circolo Vela Torbole, in the north of Lake Garda, the windiest spot in southern Europe, considered by many a natural sailing gym. The yacht club based on Benaco lake top end is known throughout the world for his great organizational skills, always able to deliver successful events.
Torbole Photo: Courtesy of The Foiling Week
The Forums and on water tests will be held at Fraglia Vela Malcesine from July 7th to 9th, right in the middle of the east coast of the lake, where the wind is blowing but there’s usually no waves. Fraglia Vela Malcesine water spot is thought to be the paradise for foilers, at least according to Bora Gulari, Moth World Champion 2013.
Fraglia Vela Malcesine Photo: Courtesy of The Foiling Week
Here, the program includes lectures, panel discussions and Q&A sessions with the audience. During the afternoons, there will be friendly competitions in all of the classes attending, from the Kite Hydrofoil to Catamarans. The same boats will be available for on water testing!

Fraglia Vela Malcesine is home to some of the world's best sailors, who come here to train and it is right here that many of the medals won at the Olympic Games and at World Championships, were built step by step. 

Russell Coutts, Paul Cayard, Dean Barker, James Spithill, Robert Scheidt, Torben Grael, Fredrik Loof, Ben Ainslie, Iain Percy, Xavier Rohart are familiar with the waters in front of the new clubhouse that is totally eco-integrated with a grass covered roof.

Full Foiling Catamaran Racing will also be held in Fraglia Vela Malcesine, from 10-12 July 2014 where the spectacular flying catamarans will battle it out on the water during the last weekend.

The Foiling Week Media

Chuny Joins Abu Dhabi Crew For Volvo Ocean Race

Cascais, Portugal – March 27, 2014

Spain’s Roberto ‘Chuny” Bermúdez, one of the most experienced and talented sailors in the history of the Volvo Ocean Race, has been recruited by Abu Dhabi to complete their eight-man line-up for the 2014-15 edition starting in October.
Photo: Justin Chisholm/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
The 44-year-old will be contesting his sixth race giving him the most appearances in the race by a Spaniard. He competed as skipper for Delta Lloyd in 2008-09 and was also in the CAMPER team in the last edition in 2011-12 when he famously avoided a whale while steering.

‘Chuny’, as he is universally known in sailing, brings a wealth of experience to skipper Ian Walker’s already talented line-up.

He represented his country at the Athens 2004 Olympics and raced for Spanish teams in the America’s Cup and the Audi MedCup. His Volvo Ocean Race track record features podium finishes in four out of the five races he’s competed in dating back to 1993-94.

“Chuny’s Volvo Ocean Race experience is remarkable,” said Walker. “As well as being one of the most sought after professional sailors around, he’s also a thoroughly nice guy and fits perfectly into our line-up.”

Now taking on the race for a remarkable sixth time, the Spaniard is gunning for victory and says he joined ADOR because he believes it has what it takes to bring the Volvo Ocean Race trophy to Abu Dhabi.

“I know all the crew and I have sailed with many of them before,” he said.

“I’ve only ever raced against Ian and have a lot of respect for him and the rest of the crew as fierce competitors. That’s how I know this is a good strong team and one I’m proud to be a part of.”

As a member of the Camper team during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, Chuny saw at first hand the welcome the fleet received on its arrival into Abu Dhabi, and the Spaniard is looking forward to a similar reception when he arrives into the UAE capital in December as part of the home team.

“Abu Dhabi was such a special part of the Volvo Ocean Race last time around and I have really fond memories of the time we spent there,” he said.

Like most Volvo Ocean Race competitors, Bermúdez says the hardest part about racing around the world would be spending time apart his family, his wife Lola and their children, Lola (11), Carlos (9) and Pepa (7).

“I’ll miss my family of course,” he said. “But I don’t like to be distracted by thoughts of home. In a race like this you have to concentrate 100 per cent.”

Bermúdez, along with British double Olympic silver medallist Walker and the rest of the ADOR crew, Justin Slattery (Ireland), Phil Harmer (Australia), Simon Fisher (Britain), Luke Parkinson (Australia), Andrew McLean (New Zealand) and Adil Khalid (United Arab Emirates), will be based in Cascais for the next two and a half months as they train and prepare their new Volvo Ocean 65 ‘Azzam’ for Abu Dhabi’s second consecutive Volvo Ocean Race challenge.

Volvo Ocean Race Media

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Annika Rose Crowned Queen of the Harbour With Yandoo

18ft Skiffs Queen of the Harbour
Sunday, 23 March 2014 Sydney Harbour

Annika Rose became the 18ft Skiffs’ Queen of the Harbour when she teamed with John Winning Jr., Andrew Hay and Tom Slingsby on Yandoo to take out the annual race on Sydney Harbour today.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Yandoo led from the first set of 3-buoy windward marks but had to withstand a race long challenge from Asko Appliances (James Dorron, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Jeronimo Harrison and Odette Rushton) before taking the victory by just 6s.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Third place went to Fisher & Paykel (Grant Rollerson, Peter Nicholson, Niall Kinch and Sonya Hagarty), which was a further 3m16s back. Thurlow Fisher Lawyers (Dave O’Connor) was fourth, followed by Smeg (Nick Press) and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs (Jonathan Whitty).
Photo: Frank Quealey
The race was sailed in a light North East breeze which faded during the race.
Photo: Frank Quealey (Nathan Wilmot) and Thurlow Fisher Lawyers won the start at the pin end of the line then shared the battle for the lead with Yandoo, Asko Appliances and Mojo Wine (Andrew Divola) in the early stages of the race.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Yandoo edged away from the rest of the fleet down the first spinnaker run and held a 30s margin over Asko Appliances at the bottom mark. Fisher & Paykel had established a clear third place at the point ahead of Pure Blonde (Nick Daly),, Thurlow Fisher Lawyers and De’Longhi-Rabbitohs.
Photo: Frank Quealey
Asko Appliances matched Yandoo up the next windward beat but Yandoo edged away again due to the difference in the 3-buoys rounding. The three leaders had clearly established their positions by the end of the second lap where Yandoo was 1m35s ahead of Asko with Fisher & Paykel another 35s back behind Asko.
Photo: Frank Quealey
As the breeze continued to drop it was a tough day for all teams. Yandoo still held a 30s. lead at the final mark so Asko Appliances gybed inside the leader.Spectators were compensated for the lack of speed with a really tight finish as Asko Appliances almost nailed Yandoo near the finish.

Frank Quealey

Nilaya, Freya and Moonbird Take The Spoils in Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. 22nd March 2014

After three days of picture perfect sailing Nilaya (Class A), Freya (Class B) and Moonbird (Class C) have been crowned winners in their respective divisions at the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous 2014.
Nilaya Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Superyacht Media
Second place in Division A went to the J-Class Rainbow, on equal points with the 50 metre Fitzroy sloop Ohana in third. Division B runner up was the 57.5-metre ketch Twizzle ahead of the 55-metre Vitters ketch Marie.
Freya crew Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Superyacht Media
Division C silverware went to the 31-metre Dubois-designed sloop Sarafin, just one point behind the winner Moonbird, while the 27.4 -metre Tempus Fugit, built by Arkin Pruva, took third place. The Boat International Media Trophy for the event went to the 34-metre Nilaya, designed by Reichel-Pugh and built by Baltic Yachts.
Moonbird Photo Carlo Borlenghi/Superyacht Media
The YCCS Race Committee set a custom course for today's third and final race which took the fleet west from the start off Necker island to round the Dog Islands to starboard before heading further westward and rounding back to Necker and the finish.

The 40 metre Rainbow, chartered by Pier Luigi Loro Piana and with Francesco de Angelis and Brad Butterworth on board, took victory in today's race among the division A boats. Nilaya claimed second place leaving her with an impressive 1-1-2 scoreline and overall victory.

Filip Balcaen of Nilaya was pleased with the result despite some difficulties in today's race: "It is a fantastic place to race, good winds, nice competition, incredible boats so we really enjoyed it although today we had a bad race. We had a big problem at the upwind mark so downwind we were not able to hoist our code zero. Anyway the good thing was we only lost 3 minutes and in the end we came second which is not that bad and we won the whole regatta in our class."

In division B the Frers-designed Swan 90 Freya took her second bullet today and notched up an equally impressive 1-2-1 scoreline while Twizzle claimed second place today and overall.

Owner Don Macpherson was thrilled with Freya's win: I couldn't be happier. One year ago we were here and we came in last! Over this past year we have worked very hard and for us to come in first today was just so rewarding, we're delighted. The crew has really pulled together, we've kept the same core guys and I take my hat off to our tactician Mike Toppa who has been a great help."

The 37-metre Fitzroy Yachts sloop Moonbird, with designer Ed Dubois on board, also claimed her second bullet today, sealing the fate of the 31-metre Sarafin which placed second in today's race and the division overall.

Moonbird's owner thoroughly enjoyed the event: "My first reaction is to thank everyone for organizing such a beautiful regatta and for getting together such an exceptional gathering of superyachts. We had very friendly and super professional racing so I really enjoyed it, it was really fantastic. What we like here is the flat water, 15 to 20 knots, ideal for most of us."

Prizes for the top three boats in each division were awarded by Riccardo Bonadeo, YCCS Commodore, Pier Luigi Loro Piana, Roberto Kerkoc, Vice-President of the Board of Directors of YCCS, and Tony Harris of Boat International Media.

At the final prizegiving ceremony YCCS Commodore, Riccardo Bonadeo, expressed his satisfaction at the week's proceedings: "Each year we think this event simply cannot get any better, but I am happy to report that each year we are proved wrong! I feel honoured to say that I have received a great number of compliments from owners and crew here on the docks. Excellent race organization, perfect sailing conditions and superb social events have made this an unforgettable week for everyone involved. Alongside our title sponsor Loro Piana, my thanks go to the YCCS management and staff whose hard work continues to make this, along with Porto Cervo, one of the best race venues in the world. We look forward to welcoming all of these boats for the Mediterranean event in June."

Pier Luigi Loro Piana was equally happy: "We had a fantastic regatta, fantastic weather and great sea conditions, the best possible ones for racing. It's a pleasure, as a sponsor, to see this event growing. There are more boats, more people and the level of technical skills is really high, my compliments and my thanks go to the real stars of this event, the sailors who participate."

The Loro Piana Superyacht Regatta will take place at the YCCS in Porto Cervo from June 3rd to 7th.

For a complete daily race report please visit

For full results visit

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous Media

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Wave Muscat Wins On Home Turf - Extreme Sailing Series - Muscat, Oman

It was a sweltering hot day in Muscat, Oman, for the final showdown at the Extreme Sailing Series™, where the Arabian peninsula saved the best for last, with winds that blasted across the course at a steady 20 knots, with gusts of 26, before a final race shoot out.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Four teams were gunning for the top spot and there was no room for error, with just four points between them – and 20 points on the table for the taking. The defending champions and home team on The Wave, Muscat made a real statement of intent from the gun, with an aggressive start that saw them lead the fleet of the line.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler and Nasser Al Mashari didn’t look back, snatching the win from the hands of the Kiwi, Swiss and Danish teams, to claim not only the Act win, but putting them top of the overall Series leaderboard after two Acts.
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“It was too close for comfort, that’s for sure,“ said an elated McMillan after racing. 
Photo: © Lloyd Images
“Today we had a fight on our hands, we knew we had to be exceptional and raise our game. I was just enjoying the sailing, the challenge of it, the situations that were tight and it all worked out for us. The wind came in and it was absolutely amazing sailing out there, absolutely perfect for the Extreme 40s.”

Today’s racing was all about brute power and strength, requiring a huge shift in mindset for the teams, who have raced in light breeze all week. The fleet of 11 Extreme 40s and their 55 elite level crew members powered off the start line, blasting to the windward mark and wrestling their boats around the course, before unfurling their gennakers and flying downwind, trying to maximize power and speed. 

One team who had the formula nailed were Emirates Team New Zealand, with two race wins and a third place in the final race enough for them to claim second overall, bettering their fourth place finish from Act 1, Singapore, which for skipper Dean Barker, was the objective this week. 

“We wanted to improve after Singapore, we wanted to sail well and get on the podium here, and we’ve achieved it. There’s still a lot we can improve on but in saying that everyone struggles with the conditions and the guys remained very positive throughout even when things didn’t feel like they were going our way. We had a good chance to get onto the podium, and to get a second place we’re really happy,” Barker said.

Overnight leaders Alinghi came out of the blocks with a win in the first race of the day, but couldn’t replicate the performance, and a fourth place in the last race left the Swiss settling for third, one point behind the Kiwis. 

“We should be pleased with the result in such a tough field but we were quite disappointed with how we sailed today. We need to do a better job staying out of the fray and we didn’t achieve that today and The Wave, Muscat did and you’ve got to hand it to them, they earned the win. It’s a long season ahead and if we can keep on the podium this year we’ll have a shot at the title at the end of the year, this will be our objective,” said helmsman Morgan Larson.

The Danish match racing experts on SAP Extreme Sailing Team came heartbreakingly close to a podium position, leading the pack for most of the day, but found themselves stuck in the tussle mid-fleet in the final race, and unable to make a clean break, with a sixth place in the final race putting them in fourth position overall. The team however, have showed a marked improvement from Act 1 in Singapore, where they finished tenth, and co-skipper Jes Gram-Hansen was quick to talk about the learnings from the Act,

“Of course we’re a little bit disappointed not to be on the podium, we sailed a great regatta which literally came right down to the last race. In hindsight I think we sailed well, which is what we will take away from this. It was a difficult day today with good breeze but it was a bit up and down for us. We were a little unlucky at times but overall we sailed pretty well. I think we have a great team, a good boat and the pace to match the best teams in the Extreme Sailing Series.”

The Russian skipper on Gazprom Team Russia Igor Lisovenko seemed to have a point to prove today, and the team, helmed by two-times Series winner Paul Campbell-James, were moving through the gears, and up the leaderboard, with a string of consistent results elevating them to fifth place overall – topping their eighth place from Act 1, Singapore. Campbell-James commented: “We got another bullet today, and we almost won the last one but Leigh (McMillan) just managed to sneak around us on the second leg. Today was the best day of racing this year with a good bit of breeze, it got really exciting there in the middle where the leaderboard was constantly changing and it was just really fun.”

Realteam finish the event in sixth place, five points behind the Russians, leaving them a solid fourth place on the overall Series leaderboard, with Red Bull Sailing Team in seventh on 145 points, one point ahead of Groupama sailing team. 

Heading into the final day, J.P. Morgan BAR were within touching distance of the podium but the Brits struggled under the building breeze, before a hydraulics failure in the penultimate race forced them to retire for the day, dashing their podium dreams. Oman Air and GAC Pindar struggled for consistency in the testing Omani conditions, but both showed moments of brilliance, posting a handful of results in the top half of the fleet over the course of the four-day event.

Muscat has delivered some incredibly hard fought racing over 29 races, and the fleet have just under six weeks to regroup, debrief and prepare themselves for Act 3 of the 2014 global tour in Qingdao, China, presented by Land Rover, one of the most notoriously tricky racecourses on the circuit, 1-4 May.

Extreme Sailing Series™ 2014 Act 2, Muscat standings after Day 4, 29 races (22.03.14)
Position / Team / Points

1st The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Kinley Fowler, Nasser Al Mashari 188 points.
2nd Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) Dean Barker, Glenn Ashby, James Dagg, Jeremy Lomas, Edwin Delaat 180 points.
3rd Alinghi (SUI) Morgan Larson, Anna Tunnicliffe, Pierre-Yves Jorand, Nils Frei, Yves Detrey 179 points.
4th SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Peter Wibroe, Nicolai Sehested 176 points.
5th Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Paul Campbell-James, Alister Richardson, Pete Cumming, Aleksey Kulakov 158 points.
6th Realteam by Realstone (SUI) Jérôme Clerc, Arnaud Psarofaghis, Bryan Mettraux, Thierry Wassem, Nils Palmieri 153 points.
7th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Roman Hagara, Hans-Peter Steinacher, Mark Bulkeley, Nick Blackman, Stewart Dodson 145 points.
8th Groupama sailing team (FRA) Franck Cammas, Sophie de Turckheim, Tanguy Cariou, Thierry Fouchier, Devan Le Bihan 144 points.
9th J.P. Morgan BAR (GBR) Ben Ainslie, Nick Hutton, Paul Goodison, Pippa Wilson, Matt Cornwell 137 points.
10th Oman Air (OMA) Rob Greenhalgh, Tom Johnson, Will Howden, Hashim Al Rashdi, Musab Al Hadi 123 points.
11th GAC Pindar (AUS) Seve Jarvin, Troy Tindill, Ed Smyth, Sam Newton, David Gilmour 94 points.

Extreme Sailing Series Media

Dongfeng Race Team Set Their Sights on Success in Auckland

Charles Caudrelier led his team out of Serenity Marina, Sanya, China today as ‘Dongfeng’ set sail for Auckland. The journey, officially described as a Training Leg, will allow Charles to analyse and test the six Chinese Race Squad sailors onboard. It is also one of the deciding factors that will aid Caudrelier when he makes the final crew selection for the Volvo Ocean Race.
Photo: © PSI/Dongfeng Race Team
The enormity of what lay ahead, not just on the offshore training voyage but the race itself, was uppermost in the sailor’s minds. “You can only do so much preparation for this onshore,” said crew member Jin Hao Chen.
Photo: © PSI/Dongfeng Race Team
“There comes a time when you just have to get on and do it. When I watch videos of this leg during the last edition of the race I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared but if you ask me if I think I’m capable the answer is yes,” he added.
Charles Caudrelier Photo: © PSI/Dongfeng Race Team
The team's departure from China is a key milestone for the crew who have been training for the past month at Serenity Marina, the team’s Official Training Base in Sanya. For the sailors it is also emotional as they will not return to Chinese shores until January 2015 on the official race stopover.

But the professionalism of the team allows no time for sentiment as skipper Charles Caudrelier focuses on the next chapter: “The six Chinese sailors onboard will be pushed to their limits during this training leg,” Caudrelier said.

“Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race is one of the toughest legs of all and although these sailors are incredibly talented inshore sailors, sailing offshore for 21 days on a leg like this is a whole different story. Some guys will naturally cope very well and others will not. I already have a good idea of who will do well from our training in Sanya but you can never be too sure which is why training legs like these are essential.”

For Jin Hao Chen (Horace), Liu Ming (Leo), Ying Kit Cheng (Kit), Liu Xue, Jiru Yang (Wolf) and Yiran Zhang this won’t only be their longest offshore sailing experience, Sanya to Auckland is 5,264 nautical miles, but also be their first time crossing the Equator.

Donfeng Race Team Media

Nilaya and Freya Continue to Dazzle in Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. 21st March 2014.

Following yesterday's clockwise circumnavigation of Virgin Gorda, Day Two of the Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous saw the 20-strong super yacht fleet complete a second round-the-island race, this time sailing counter clockwise around the BVI's third-largest land mass. 
Photo: Jeff Brown/SYM
The YCCS Race Committee set a 29 mile course for divisions A and B, while division C sailed a slightly shorter course of around 27 miles, cutting inside Ginger Island at the westerly tip of Virgin Gorda.
Photo: Jeff Brown/SYM
Conditions were once again ideal with the south-easterly breeze holding at around 14 to 17 knots. The 34-metre Baltic yachts Nilaya, boasting Volvo Ocean Race campaigner Bouwe Bekking on tactics, and the 27.7-metre Frers designed Freya, with tactician Mike Toppa, provided consistent performances in divisions A and B respectively to hold on to the top spots they gained yesterday. 
Photo: Jeff Brown/SYM
Division C saw yesterday's winner Tempus Fugit take fourth place while the 37-metre Dubois-designed Moonbird claimed her first bullet to move up to first place overall in the division on equal points with Sarafin. Racing in the event, organized by the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Boat International Media, is set to conclude tomorrow, 22nd March.

Don MacPherson, owner of Freya, was satisfied with today's second place finish which, combined with yesterday's bullet, leaves the Swan 90 with a four point lead over the 54.6-metre Marie in second.

"It was just a delightful day today. Flat water and consistent wind, a lot of great boats and really a lot of fun. It's wonderful here in the Virgin Islands, it's the best, there's nothing quite like it. Virgin Gorda is a fantastic island, we've raced it clockwise and counter clockwise and to be here at YCCS is just spectacular, it's one of the best yacht clubs I've ever been to," MacPherson said.

Asked of his hopes for tomorrow's final race, he remained cautious: "Each day is a new day so you've got to work it from the very beginning, we hope for the best and we'll get up early and do it again."

America's Cup veteran Francesco de Angelis, racing aboard the 40-metre J-Class yacht Rainbow with Mr. Pier Luigi Loro Piana in division A, gave an insight into the tactics involved in today's race.

"It was a downwind start so something that you usually don't practice too much and you have to make sure you don't make any mistakes there. Tactically, each boat has its own problems given the size and the start order," de Angelis said. 

"Sometimes you have to understand how best to deal with bigger boats overtaking you, and the other thing is around the corners, sometimes there are islands like the one we rounded after the first leg, Ginger, which is quite tall so you have to negotiate the shadow. Other than that it was pretty straight forward. It's a fantastic venue: the Race Committee can make different custom courses every day, the venue is fantastic, very enjoyable," he added.

Exciting on-the-water action continues to be complemented by an exclusive social programme with owners, guests and crews attending a Beach Party at the nearby Oil Nut Bay resort this evening. Participants will then enjoy the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda's impeccable hospitality once again at the final prize giving ceremony scheduled for 4 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday 22nd March.

For a complete daily race report please visit

For full results visit

Loro Piana Caribbean Superyacht Regatta & Rendezvous Media