The Action has now swung firmly Down Under and both New Zealand and Australia are staging major sailing events over the coming weeks.
The Kiwis opened their championship season with the RS:X Nationals which attracted many of the top international sailors who are preparing for the RS:X Worlds in January off Takapuna Beach. In a great boost for the home side, Tom Ashley and Barbara Kendall took the titles ahead the strong European entry.
In Australia it is the Sydney International Regatta and althought only a few GBR teams are taking part they are making their presence felt, particularly in the much hyped face off between Ben Ainslie and Ed Wright for the Finn Olympic berth. Ainslie opened with double wins only for Wright to come back with a win in race three - all to sail for.
In the Clipper World race, the fleet has reached Fremantle at the end of leg four, with Durban 2010 and Beyond taking victory ahead of westernaustralia2011.com.
The Barcelona World Race has suffered some damage, with three boats out and one making repairs, but Alex Thompson and Andrew cape on Hugo Boss have found new speed and closed to within 120nm of leader Paprec-Vibrac 2.
The big one for the Aussies is the Rolex Sydney to Hobart race starting Boxing Day and it seems that even before the race gets underway the strain is telling. New Zealand super maxi yacht, Maximus, in transit to Sydney for the race had to call for assistance after a loud crack was heard from the keel. A Police launch has gone to meet the yacht and assist them into Sydney.
This past weekend has been an action packed one so make sure you check the links to catch-up with all the sailing news.
Gerald New - UK Editor
SIRs Day 2 results: Brits take wins at Sydney Di Pearson, British competitors were in winning mood on day 2 of the Sydney International Regatta. Ed Wright came back into the reckoning with a win in race 3 of the Finn event and Leigh McMillan/Will Howden took their first win in the Tornado series. In the Radial class Andra Brewster is battling for the lead with top Aussie Sarah Blanck... [more]
Sojana in turnover win at Superyacht Cup Event media, The third and final race of the Superyacht Cup in Antigua proved to be the closest sailing so far, with all the yachts finishing within 10 minutes. That may not sound close for some yacht racing, but with a fleet varying in size from 29m to over 44m and a range of displacements of over 180 tonnes, close racing would normally be hard to achieve... [more]
Rolex Sydney to Hobart build-up Maximus Update Rob Kothe, The Maximus crew initally contacted Taupo Marine Radio and Sydney Maritime Authories. A merchant ship the ANL Yarrunga was first boat on the scene and stood by, while Sydney Water Police sent out a Police Launch in case the keel broke away and the boat capsized. The Police Launch 'Alert' has been in company with Maximus for the last few hours. Maximus is now around 60 miles from Sydney Heads... [more]
Team Aqua on top at the Dubai Gold Cup Event Media, With two fleet race bullets and an epic match against Russell Coutts’ Team Omega, Chris Bake and his boys are clearly back at the top after a difficult start in the Dubai Gold Cup. The third day of the Dubai Gold Cup proved to be another intense day, with the last three fleets of the match race event followed by three fleet regattas... [more]
Wright in fight back at SIRS Finn event Di Pearson / Sail-world.com/uk, Ed Wright came back into the reckoning at the Sydney International Regatta when he won race three of the Finn event, with great rival Ben Ainslie finishing fourth. Wright is currently in fifth place, 13 points adrift of his Olympic adversary... [more]
Kiwis win New Zealand RSX in grandstand finish Richard Gladwell, Sail-World, 2008 New Zealand Olympic representatives, Tom Ashley and Barbara Kendall have scored convincing wins in the 2007 RSX NZ National Championships sailed off Takapuna Beach. Although both only won by narrow points margins, they dominated the final two days of racing, with Ashley scoring four wins and Kendall five respectively in the nine and eight race series... [more]
Will the Leopard catch the Gazelles Rob Kothe, Mike Slade’s Super heavy super-maxi City Index Leopard, will be hoping for a different Boxing Day weather forecast to her three 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart 98 foot, 30 metre super maxi rivals.... [more]
Storm in a paperback - The Storm Prophet Gerald New, Moses, a young South African foresees the future and is whisked away to Australia by a rich bank owner and top off shore sailor, to unwittingly aid the launch of her new bank. The Storm Prophet is set during the running of the Sydney Hobart race, recalling the storm that struck the race of ´98... [more]
Hugo Boss gains dramatically on Paprec-Virbac 2 Barcelona World Race media, Hugo Boss, the second placed boat in the Barcelona World Race fleet has made a dramatic gain over the past 24 hours. Paprec-Virbac 2 has sailed up to a slightly warmer latitude, decreasing the odds of seeing another iceberg.... [more]
Ainslie two up on Wright after SIRS Day One Di Pearson, Ben Ainslie started his Finn Olympic campaign in fine style this afternoon winning two from two at the Sydney International Regatta on Sydney Harbour, giving Ed Wright, his rival for the Olympic berth a caning.... [more]
Clipper win for Durban 2010 and Beyond Event media, Durban 2010 and Beyond has won the fourth race of the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race from Durban, South Africa to Fremantle, Western Australia. In second place were local team westernaustralia2011.com... [more]
Images from SIRS Regatta Day 1 Crosbie Lorimer, It was no day for the nervous on Sydney Harbour today with ferries and club yachts weaving amongst the numerous participants in the various fleets of the SIRS Regatta.... [more]
Images from Rolex Rating Series Day 3 Crosbie Lorimer, By comparison with the frenetic activity of the SIRS regatta in the harbour today, life offshore was a deal calmer. Racing on the Manly Circle, the Rolex Trophy Rating Series fleet enjoyed two commodities that have been rare over recent weeks; sun and a northeaster.... [more]
Ed Wright is convinced he can beat Ben Ainslie Hampshire Net, Ed Wright is convinced he can prove the sailing community wrong by beating Hampshire star Ben Ainslie to a place in Britain's Olympic team this weekend. Wright, currently ranked fifth in the world, says he has 'nothing to be scared of' in the regatta which runs from tomorrow to Tuesday... [more]
Merchant ships and superyachts - the age of sail? Roger Boyes, The age of sail could be staging something of a comeback as part of an attempt to cut greenhouse gases on the high seas. German engineers have devised a way of tugging merchant vessels and superyachts along with huge, computer-steered kites, known as SkySails that catch the ocean winds.... [more]
Bernard Stamm takes 6th in Transat Ecover-BtoB Event media, Cheminées Poujoulat crossed the finish line at 06h 24' 34'' UTC this Saturday morning after a long beat from the Raz de Sein, the easterly breeze dropping right off inopportunely throughout the night. Bernard Stamm thus takes sixth place after 15 days 16 hours 24 minutes 34 seconds of racing. Next to finish should be Samantha Davies and Roxy... [more]
Gambling on the Sydney Hobart race Rob Kothe, Australians will bet on anything, two flies climbing a wall, the Anzac Day coin tossing game called Two Up and naturally the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart race. At Australia’s online betting agency Centrebet 10 days before the Boxing Day race start, the dual Hobart line honours winner, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI was the short price favourite at $1.75... [more]
Paprec-Virbac 2 continues blistering pace Barcelona World Race media, Estrella Damm has been forced to retire from the Barcelona World Race following its diversion to Cape Town to repair a problem with its rudders. Hugo Boss has jumped up to second place because Veolia Environnement has elected to make a pit-stop in the Kerguelen Islands.... [more]
Hugo Boss into second place in Barcelona Race PR, British yachtsman Alex Thomson and his Australian co-skipper Andrew Cape have moved into second place on day 34 of the Barcelona World Race. A technical problem on the French boat Veolia Environnement, which has forced it to divert to the Kerguelen Islands, has allowed HUGO BOSS to move up the leader board.... [more]
Estrella Damm retires from Barcelona World Race Myrrh Walker, Although it has been possible to repair the rudder system, it has become evident to the team that it will not be possible to test the rudder system fully and get Estrella Damm back in the race to stay in contention with the remainder of the fleet within a reasonable timeframe.... [more]
America's Cup hit by Perfect (legal) Storm Richard Gladwell, Overnight came re-confirmation that the Defender of the America's Cup, Societe Nautique de Geneve (SNG) had engaged a new legal team to both Appeal the decision of Justice Herman Cahn, and also seek a Delay in the settlement order he is about to sign.... [more]
The 22nd ARC is marred by tragedy Rodney Bay, John Thompson, a lawyer from Bangor, Northern Ireland, sustained serious head injuries in an accident onboard his yacht late on Friday 7 December 2007. The Directors of World Cruising Club express their deep sorrow at the death.... [more]
Hugo Boss passes the Watery Grave PR, One year after tragically losing his yacht Hugo Boss during the Velux 5 Ocean Race, British round the world sailor Alex Thomson has passed the point where he was rescued by Mike Golding as he blasts through the Southern Ocean... [more]
Clipper yachts stop to transfer medical supplies Clipper event media, Jamaica and Uniquely Singapore, two of the yachts participating in the Clipper 07-08 Round the World Yacht Race, met this morning to transfer medical supplies. The transfer took exactly ten minutes to complete, and the whole operation, including starting the engine and motoring towards Uniquely Singapore then returning to the original position, took 38 minutes... [more]
New boat waiting for becalmed Caffari PR, Dee Caffari received some welcome news from her shore team as they announced the completion of her brand new Open 60 Aviva in New Zealand. Caffari is currently becalmed in the middle of the Atlantic competing in the Transat Ecover B to B in her 10 year-old Aviva... [more]
ISAF hits new low with 2012 Olympic Events Richard Gladwell, The 2007 ISAF Annual Conference in Estoril, Portugal, produced an unprecedented backlash against the world sailing body. While never too well regarded by your average sailor, the perception of Council, as a governing group out of touch with their sport, was confirmed in the minds of many. The Hot Topic was the always contentious slate of Events and Classes to be sailed at the 2012 Olympics.... [more]
Desafio Espanol has a wah-wah on Cup woes Sail-World, The ex Challenger of Record, Desafio Espanol has called for common sense to prevail in the current America's Cup crisis. Desafio Espanol are, of course, the initiators of the current impasse when they allowed their team to be associated with the five man yacht club, formed specifically to be the Challenger of Record for the 33rd Match for the America's Cup.... [more]
Multihulls on the March Anthony Duchatel, The recent decision by ISAF to drop the Tornado from the 2012 Olympics has galvanised the sailing world. In Great Britain the Royal Yachting Association has led the charge to have the decision reconsidered by ISAF. In America the multihull members of US Sailing are actively working to change the decision. Yachting Australia has written to ISAF expressing disappointment at the decision.... [more]
RYA report following death of Laser 4000 crew RYA, The RYA has released the report following its investigation in to the tragic death of a Laser 4000 crew during the National Championships in July this year. The report confirms that the tragedy was the result of the crew being unable to free himself from the rigging of his Laser 4000 dinghy when the boat capsized and inverted, despite the efforts of both the helm and the safety boats on the scene... [more]
Brits chase Fastnet - Sydney Hobart double Kate Fairclough, Ocean Marine, the British sailing team owned by Mike Slade will race City Index Leopard, the 100 foot super maxi yacht, in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. City Index Leopard will be looking to take line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, making her the first boat ever to take line honours in both the Rolex Fastnet Race and the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in the same year... [more]
Ian Walker to skipper Volvo entry The Green Team PR, Double Olympic medalist, Ian Walker is to skipper the Volvo entry The Green Team. As skipper of the Green Team entry, Walker will oversee both the design and build programme along with crew selection. Walker will get his first taste of sailing on a Volvo Open 70 in this year’s Sydney Hobart Race.... [more]
Delta Dore is dismasted in Barcelona World Race Event Media, Sylvie Viant, Race Director of the Barcelona World Race, has been notified by skipper Jérémie Beyou onboard the fourth-placed IMOCA 60 Delta Dore that his boat has been dismasted. Both he and co-skipper Sidney Gavignet are unhurt and safe onboard and the boat itself is structurally intact... [more]
Wild Oats XI Prove Winners in SOLAS Challenge Crosbie Lorimer, There is little doubt that the uncertainty over the reasons for the loss of Wild Oats' mast earlier this year has proved unsettling for Richards and his team, so today’s successful, breezy sprint around Sydney Harbour in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge would have helped settle the nerves a little. 'It was nerve racking; we had new sails and there was a fair bit of breeze, but in the end it was a real... [more]
BMW Oracle Racing: Defender’s Decision Needed BMW Oracle Racing Media, The Golden Gate Yacht Club (GGYC) today made a renewed call for the America’s Cup Defender to confirm whether it will agree to a mutual consent challenge so that planning for the next regatta can go ahead. 'We have heard Ernesto’s vision, but what we really need is his decision,' Larry Ellison said.... [more]
Valencia Life: Offers to America's Cuppers to stay Valencia Life Network News, By far the most interesting aspect of the meeting was the declaration by the Minister that important financial benefits would be granted to those syndicates that maintained a permanent base in Valencia, where or not future editions of the event take place in Valencia. Miss Salgado added that she had had a meeting in this regard with Larry Ellison, the Chairman of BMW Oracle Racing.... [more]
Fireball plan active pre-worlds winter sailing Tim Saunders, The UK Fireball fleet are planning an active winter, with the World Championships in Thailand in March 2008, there will plenty of activity from those looking to get in some racing practice before the boats go in the container... [more]
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