One of the world’s largest sailing events and one of Britain’s largest sporting events with 16.000 competitors and 1.580 boats took place in the past weekend. This is by all means a true festival of sailing, where legends compete together with amateurs.
The longest day of the summer came close to delivering the longest J.P.Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race ever, as winds ranging from zero knots to painfully light tested the patience of crews. The high performance catamaran Team Richard Mille emerged as line honours winner with a time of 08.51.37, which is the slowest elapsed time for a 'line honours boat' ever in Race’s history.
The Gold Roman Bowl was awarded to......a Nordic Folkboat, Madelaine skippered by Edward Donald, who hasn't quite achieved the record four wins of the Gold Roman Bowl by Edward Heath, but he's nearly there having won it individually three times.
Most of the 1,585 entries started the race around the Isle of Wight in around three knots and bright sunshine. As the hours went by, temperatures rose but wind speed dropped leaving hundreds of boats becalmed and a large proportion of the 16,000 crew desperately seeking ways of making their boats go faster or resorting to stretching out on deck to enjoy the sunny conditions. There were 715 finishers and 791 retirees, and it is always regrettable to have more retirees than finishers but a very positive response from the majority of competitors nonetheless, a great day on the water for the sailors and a great event.
The 'war of words' between Oracle Team USA and New Zealand continues, and especially an article in a New Zealand newspaper made Russel Coutts react with a series of comments, in order to correct what he says is inaccurate interpretation of the Protocol. Russel is quite direct in his statement and expresses it this way:
'I have watched as the New Zealand media, and the New Zealand Herald in particular, have continued to publish inaccurate interpretations of how the next America’s Cup will be organized. While no one is obliged to support the America’s Cup, it seems to me that at the very least, journalists have an obligation to their readership to provide honest reporting. Regrettably, that has been in very short supply in your newspaper’s coverage of the America’s Cup of late.'
Read the articles at Sail-World.com. And isn’t it something that happens every time a new protocol is published. And still, none of the European Challengers have spoken a word about their interpretations of the protocol.
On Thursday this week Extreme Sailing Series global tour heads to Russian waters for the first time, the teams are preparing for what is expected to be a tactically challenging event. Russia’s second largest city, Saint Petersburg, will be the host city for Act 4 and with 12 teams confirmed to compete on the stadium racecourse - that is only 300 metres wide at its narrowest point - the Race Director is predicting a tough competition.
2008 Olympic gold medalist Paul Goodison of the all-British J.P. Morgan BAR team give his thoughts. 'You can get an amazing feel for a venue with Google earth, and there’s a good amount of weather and tide data on the internet. However, nothing beats standing on the shoreline with your team and looking at the wind move over the water. The picture will change quickly and the crews that can communicate their tactics and change their plans the best will be the teams that sail through the fleet.'
The fleet will race on the River Neva, 26-29 June, in the heart of the city, against the backdrop of the iconic Saint Peter and Saint Paul cathedral. The full team line-ups will be announced on Thursday, 19 June, as 60 of the world’s most elite sailors prepare for four days of close-fought Stadium Racing in front of the Winter Palace.
And finally, be sure to spend some time scrolling through the great image galleries from the Superyacht Cup Palma, compliments of ace shooters Ingrid Abery and Jesus Renedo, as well as imagery from the Giraglia Rolex Cup, compliments of Carlo Borlenghi. Enjoy!
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