AC34, BIRW and Clagett reports—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

21/06/2013 - San Francisco (USA,CA) - 34th America’s Cup - Luna Rossa and ETNZ training
In America's Cup-related news, the United States Coast Guard has granted the event the necessary Marine Event Permit, which removes a significant hurdle. Given the terrible events that unfurled on May 9-when Artemis Racing suffered a tragic capsize that cost the life of crewmember Andrew 'Bart' Simpson-some had gone so far as to speculate that the USCG might not grant the permit. Fortunately, those fears are now laid to rest, at least as far as the USCG permit is concerned (other worries still remain-read about those inside!).

'This is an important and necessary step for the America’s Cup,' said Iain Murray, Regatta Director for the America’s Cup. 'I’d like to thank the United States Coast Guard and all of the other organizations and agencies who have helped the America’s Cup get to this point where we are ready to conduct racing, starting with the fleet parade and time trials on July 5, and the first race of the Louis Vuitton Cup, America’s Cup Challenger Series, on July 7.'

Interestingly, word recently spread that the America’s Cup and the AC45 class catamarans will be featured on the BBC’s ever-popular TV show, 'Top Gear'. Sir Ben Ainslie and his Oracle-flagged teammates (the 'cat' crew) will go head-to-head against a professional automobile driver (the 'car') in the show’s 'The Cat vs. Car' episode.

Get the latest AC news, including info on the 'Top Gear' program, and be sure to stay tuned to the website throughout the Louis Vuitton Cup for the latest AC72-racing action.

2013 Block Island Race Week- J 111 Andiamo mixes with some J 44s

And on the East Coast, sailors are still recovering from another epic week of racing at Block Island Race Week (BIRW), the fabled biennial affair that takes place on off years from the Newport-Bermuda Race. According to reports, the final day of racing held some upsets, perhaps most notable in IRC 1, where Steve Benjamin and his 'Spookie' crew (a Carkeek 40) beat out the U.S. Naval Academy’s TP 52, 'Corsair,' which was skippered by Andy Beeler, in the final, fog-delayed race.

HPR Midwinter Championship 2013 Day 3 - Spookie

'It was tricky today but so great they got in the race,' reported Benjamin. 'We were waiting a long time for it, but we were eager to have a championship race, and to their credit the race committee stuck it out. By the time we started around two o’clock we could see both ends of the starting line and about a quarter mile up the course.'

Sarah Everhart-Skeels and crew Gerry Tiernan lead the SKUD-18 class at the C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta
Clagett/Thornton Cohen.

Also in Rhode Island, the 11th annual C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta recently wrapped up at the iconic Fort Adams. Here, 36 disabled sailors had the chance to sail and race aboard 23 boats in three Paralympic classes on Narragansett Bay. 'When it’s your first time on this boat, you do well because you just sail it,' said Puerto Rico’s two-time Paralympian sailor, Julio Reguero. 'It’s when you start playing around with things and start pulling ropes and adjusting things to go faster that you go backwards.'

2013 World Champions
Mat Belcher & Will Ryan

And in the Midwest, the Chicago Match Race Center's Chicago Match Cup Grade Two Qualifier took place this weekend, giving sailors plenty of great match-racing action on the waters of Lake Michigan. According to reports, the breezy and engaging affair gave all sailors plenty to think about. 'We had a tough beginning yesterday,' said Nathan Hollerbach. 'Today, the crew-work clicked, and they gave me every single ounce of effort they had.' Get the full report, inside this issue.

Prince de Bretagne

Also inside, get the full One Design-racing report from Kieler Woche, check out the nail-biting finish to the Route des Princes, and don’t miss the latest news from the RC44 class’ Sweden Cup.

May the four winds blow you safely home,