Big Boats Series report—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

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12 Sep 2012

Big Boats Series report—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

The annual Rolex Big Boat Series, hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, is easily one of the country's best regattas, and this year's event didn't disappoint. Racecourse conditions tested each crew's breeze-on acumen and the talent-rife fleet ensured world-class tactics across all classes.

'In my mind, sailing is all about teamwork, and we just have a fantastic team,' said Jim Swartz, owner of the TP52 'Vesper', the winner of the IRC A and the 2012 IRC North American Champions. 'It really helps the program immensely when you have a group of people who know how to take care of each other.' Check out the full Big Boat Series report, inside this issue.

J 105s ALCHEMY and BLACKHAWK - Rolex Big Boat Series 2012  © Rolex/Daniel Forster

Meanwhile, in America's Cup news, Cup and Olympics veteran Rod Davis offers some insight at how Emirates Team New Zealand has been taking advantage of shore time, so as to optimize their limited (30 days) days of AC72 sailing. 'The boys just have to tough it out as they run to the shed that houses the AC72,' writes Davis. 'We are doing the whole short-course drill inside [and on the boat], out of the weather but more importantly it does not count as one of our sailing days. When you are allowed only 30 days of sailing, you need to get creative in how you train.'

One person in the crowd in the Mixed Zone, but Bernie Wilson (foreground) (Associated Press) has a readership in the millions, if not tens of millions  Richard Gladwell

In Olympic circles, be sure to check out Richard Gladwell's up-close-and-informative look at the role that the media (and the media-sailor interface) played at the London Olympics 2012. 'In many ways the competitors run a media gauntlet, and the stop at each point is usually a couple of minutes or so, unless they really want to milk the media and lift the exposure for themselves and their sport,' writes Gladwell about the 'mixed zone' (sailors and media) dynamic. 'Other than maybe the TV stops, the gig is not compulsory. However you skip it at your peril. Very simply, you can either embrace the media or keep it at arms length.'

STARK RAVING MAD (USA), winner of the coastal race in the first day of racing - 2012 Rolex Swan Cup  © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

And for a glimpse at how the lucky ones live, check out the report from the ongoing Rolex Swan Cup, which is unfurling at the lovely Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, situated on Porto Cervo, Sardinia. 'It is by far the prettiest place I've ever sailed,' said James Madden, owner of the Swan 601 'Stark Raving Mad', after a good day of racing. 'It was very puffy with winds from 9-13 knots, which saw us flirting with going from an A1 to an A2. When we rounded the Maddalena on the backside it got really interesting with shifts of 60 degrees. We knew we were doing well but it was hard to assess on corrected time.'

Startline at the 2012 North Amnerican Etchells Championships, Bayview  John Payne ©

Also inside, get the latest news from the 2012 Etchells North Americans, the wrap-up reports from the Oakcliff Sailing Center's 2012 International Grade 2, and—in college-sailing circles—reports from the Pine Trophy and Fall Fury. And finally, don't miss lensman Leighton O'Connor's great image gallery from last weekend's Viper 640 North Americans. Enjoy!

2012 Viper 640 North Americans  Leighton O'Connor ©

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

Star Class North American Championship - First day of racing
Colin Jacobs,
The first day of racing at the 2012 Star Class North American Championship in Hamilton Ontario saw thirty-four Stars on the start line and a bright sunny day on Hamilton harbor. With winds between eight and twelve knots, it was the occasional gusts to 16 knots that saw Toronto area Star sailor Simon Van Wonderen losing his rig in the third and final race of the day.... [more]
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2013 St Maarten Heineken Regatta open for registration
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta,
The 33rd St. Maarten Heineken Regatta, taking place February 28th - March 3rd, 2013, is now open for registration. The Regatta is known as one of the 'must do' events in the Caribbean. It is the perfect combination of topnotch sailing during the day and fabulous parties at night. That is why we call it 'Serious Fun'!... [more]
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Rolex Swan Cup - Competition commences in Porto Cervo
In the first day of racing in the 2012 Rolex Swan Cup, light conditions prevailing over Porto Cervo, Sardinia forced the postponement of this morning's racing. With the Race Committee forecasting an upsurge in breeze around midday, the 55 competing crews waited patiently in the docks in anticipation of a new start time.... [more]
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Full Metal Jacket takes back to back wins in Grand Slam Series + Video
FMJ Racing,
The New Zealand match racing team, Full Metal Jacket Racing, have taken out the Oakcliff Invitational in Oyster Bay to win the last two events on the Grand Slam Series. Following on from the Knickerbocker cup, two bays over in Oyster Bay, Oakcliff Sailing Centre held the 2012 Oakcliff Invitational.... [more]
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Rod Davis: Working out in the shed - AC72 style
Rod Davis,
Double Olympic medalist and long time US and NZL America's Cup crew, skipper and coach, Rod Davis, looks at AC72 land base drills...The show must go on. The team programme calls for crew drills and we are looking to create an AC72 cat racing environment complete with tacking, gybing and rounding marks. Never mind the weather forecast is foul, we go anyway.... [more]
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NZL 1348 wins North American Etchells Championships

Andrew 'Willzy' Wills, Anatole Masfen and Dirk Kneulman won the North American Championships, hosted by the Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, MI from September 4-8, 2012. After discarding a ninth place in the seventh and final race, NZL 1348 finished with 14 points overall - less than half the points of second-placed Argyle Campbell in USA 1375 (29 points overall).... [more]
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Rob & Sandy Butler win the 3rd event in 2012 Audi Melges 20 LO series
Katie Nicoll,
he third event of the Audi Melges 20 Lake Ontario Series was held this weekend at Port Credit Yacht Club. The event had its share of varying conditions. Saturday the PRO, Paul Clissold, dodged the storm cells, getting the racers out onto the lake for two great races.... [more]
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Rolex Swan Cup - Fleet prepare for Porto Cervo battle
The 17th Rolex Swan Cup will get underway tomorrow, 11th September in Porto Cervo, Sardinia with a fleet of almost 60 Nautor's Swan yachts. The first of five days of racing commences tomorrow for all four of the week's classes: Maxi (18.29 metres/60 feet and above), Grand Prix (18.28m and below), Classic (models including those designed by Sparkman and Stephens) and Swan 45 One-Design.... [more]
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Viper 640 North Americans - Bliksem team sails to victory
Leighton O'Connor,
On the fourth day of the Viper 640 North Americans, Pieter Taselaar, Willem van Waay and Nick Thompson aboard Bliksem erased Saturday's two point deficit in Sunday's only race to win the title by four points over Glyn Locke's Fer de Lance program. The win is Taselaar's first in the Viper 640 NAs.... [more]
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Rolex Big Boat Series - Bristling showdowns on final day
Barby MacGowan,
On the Rolex Big Boat Series fourth and final day a majority of the eight classes competing had bristling showdowns to determine winners, while others held the line to establish early leaders as class victors, including IRC A's Jim Swartz (Park City, Utah) and his team aboard the TP52 Vesper, which also were named the IRC North American Champions for 2012.... [more]
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Oakcliff International Grade 2 - New Zealand's Will Tiller victorious
Molly Riley,
At the 2012 Oakcliff International Grade 2, Will Tiller and Team Full Metal Jacket sailed to a decisive win in the final over Krzysztof Rosinski of Poland who ended up second and Nicolai Sehested who came in third. Tiller is part of the youngest team in the top 20 on the World Match Racing Circuit.... [more]
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Gladwell's Line: 2012 Olympic Review - The Media - Friend or Foe?
Richard Gladwell,
Sail-World's Editor @Large looks at the issues of the 2012 Olympic Regatta in Portland and Weymouth - here he looks at the approaches of different teams and sailors towards the sailing and general media, and gives a behind the scenes insight as to how the media works at a regatta like the Olympics.... [more]
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Pine Trophy - Victory for Yale Bulldogs
Jason P. LeBlanc,
At the Pine Trophy, the wind was the polar opposite from yesterday, NNW at 4-6 knots at the start with the pressure steadily declining throughout the race. The AP flag was posted shortly after the conclusion of race 8.... [more]
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Fall Fury - Wisconsin emerges victorious
Daniel Hanna,
Fall Fury - Racing got underway again today on Lake Mendota at 10:00am with teams arriving to similar conditions to what were seen on Saturday. The wind was coming out of the NNW at around 10 knots gusting up to 17. The course was a windward/leeward with a gate for all races.... [more]
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Rolex Big Boat Series - Stakes high with one race to go
Barbara McGowan,
A chill in the air did nothing to lessen the heat on the race course at the Rolex Big Boat Series, where 66 boats in eight classes have now completed three days of competition and look forward to the last and longest race of the event. Tomorrow's 'Bay Tour' race, which traditionally covers 20 or more nautical miles, will solidify who takes home class honors and the six special St. Francis Yacht Cl... [more]
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New York Yacht Club US Qualifying Series - Gold for Larchmont YC
New York Yacht Club,
If the previous days of sailing in the New York Yacht Club US Qualifying Series were any indication, all the skippers in this week's event knew today was going to be the toughest day. With a perfect 12- 17-knot sea breeze, the top seeded Gold fleet teams faltered from near capsizes to breakdowns and penalties allowing hope for the lurking pack close behind.... [more]
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Viper 640 North Americans - Day 3 images by Leighton O'Connor
Leighton O'Connor images,
EFG Bank Viper 640 North Americans - Day three images by photographer Leighton O'Connor... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Plugging in the new one-design – first pictures
Volvo Ocean Race,
Work on the new 65-foot one-design that will contest the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race is underway in Italy. Here, we get a first glimpse of the process. 'Pretty cool to see it there looking like a giant slab of marble waiting for Michelangelo to come along and create his David.'... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: From paper to plywood - in pursuit of perfection
Volvo Ocean Race,
While the hull's plug is being built at Persico Spa, Italy, another team is working on the deck of the 65-foot one-design that will contest the next two editions of the Volvo Ocean Race. A mock up deck constructed from plywood being used by experts to position deck hardware on the new Volvo 65-feet one design at Multiplast, France.... [more]
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2012 Paralympics: No racing possible on Final Day
No racing was possible on the final day of sailing at the London 2012 Paralympic Sailing Competition meaning that the results from the day prior confirmed the medals. Great Britain's Helena Lucas (GBR) could see the gold medal insight in the 2.4mR heading into the final day as she held a nine point lead, and when racing was called off at 13:50 her gold medal was confirmed.... [more]
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New York Yacht Club US Qualifying Series Day 3 - Series heats up
New York Yacht Club,
New York Yacht Club US Qualifying Series day 3 and after seven races preliminary scores show little light between the top seven teams in the Gold fleet.... [more]
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World University Match Racing Championships - Golden Aussies emerge
Ajay Rau,
Before the beginning of the finals of the sixth World University Match Racing Championships in Nice, France - on Saturday, we already know the name of both 2012 World Champion countries: it will be Australia and Brazil! Today, under blazing sun and eight knots of wind, Australia in the male competition had a great performance by qualifying both Australian teams for the big final.... [more]
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U.S. Qualifying Series for 2013 Invitational Cup Day 3
Christopher J. Museler,
In the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup U.S. Qualifying Series, sponsored by Atlantis WeatherGear and J Boats, after seven races in a brilliant sunlit sea breeze, preliminary scores show little light between the top seven teams in the Gold fleet vying for three Invitational Cup slots.... [more]
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Viper 640 North Americans Day 2 images by Leighton O'Connor
Leighton O'Connor images,
EFG Bank Viper 640 North Americans day two images by photographer Leighton O'Connor... [more]
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Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup - All to play for on final day
The 34-strong international fleet racing in the 2012 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup endured a frustrating waiting game on day five as insufficient breeze played havoc with the Race Committee's best laid plans. After this morning's racing was abandoned, conditions improved sufficiently by 14:45 CEST for all five classes to engage in a short coastal course.... [more]
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