Europe sailing news - The Kirby Torch, America's Cup and VOR

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 14 Apr 2013

Europe sailing news - The Kirby Torch, America's Cup and VOR

There has been a long running dispute between the designer of the Laser dinghy Bruce Kirby and one of the Laser builders LaserPerformance, the builder and supplier of Lasers into UK, Europe and North America, because of non-payment of design royalties and in early March that reached the U.S. Federal Court District of Connecticut, alleging unlawful counterfeiting of the Kirby dinghy by LaserPerformance principal Farzad Rastegar acting with and through LaserPerformance and its associated entities.

The case named the International Laser Class Association (ILCA) and ISAF alleging they assisted LaserPerformance by continuing to supply ISAF plaques to the builder, after Kirby had given them formal notice to stop.

In March 25th Legal Counsel for ISAF Jon Napier wrote to Jeff Martin the Executive Secretary of ILCA, requesting that ILCA cease to issue ISAF plaques to LaserPerformance (Europe) Limited and Quarter Moon Inc. (the 'Builders') with immediate effect. The reason for this decision is that ISAF has concluded, based on the correspondence and court papers received from Bruce Kirby's attorneys, that the Builders are no longer licensed by Bruce Kirby and/or Bruce Kirby Inc. to build the Laser class boat (as required by the 1983 ISAF Agreement and our 1992 Plaque Agreement).

ILCA has ceased to supply Laser Performance and related entities with Laser plaques.

You´d think that would be the end of the matter, but it looks like it might be just the End of the Beginning. Kirby has come up with a new name the Kirby Torch and new UK-European and North American builders. We have details from Bruce Kirby and are seeking more information from ISAF and ILCA.

Sail-World transitions to the Cloud  

We're pleased to able to report that Sail-World's transition to the Cloud is almost complete, one of the final phases of which has been to convert our newsletter system and so these are returning to their regular time slots.

Oracle Team USA - March 2013  Guilain Grenier/Oracle Racing©

A main feature in this edition is a two-part interview with Oracle Team USA's COO, Grant Simmer.

Known affectionately as Grunter on the Aussie scene, at just 26 years old was the navigator on board Australia II, winning the first of his three America's Cups. Now in his ninth America's Cup, Simmer, the former mechanical engineer is with Oracle Team USA, who he joined after the evaporation of the GBR Team Origin in 2011.

In the two part interview Simmer is very honest about some of the issues that the Defender has faced, and seems to be very confident that the Defenders can get back on top of the game by the time of the 34th Match in September.

In other America's Cup news, we cover the final sail of Emirates Team New Zealand, unfortunately we only have the team supplied reports and images of this milestone event.

America's Cup - Artemis Racing foiling on their AC45 in San Francisco  Sander van der Borch / Artemis Racing ©

In San Francisco, Artemis Racing have, today, released a video of their AC45 foiling in a very stable manner, save for one near cartwheel, which is also recorded. Whether they have been able to transfer this form to their AC72 remains to be seen. Their second SAC72 is due for launch in late May and is expected to be a true foiler. However as we note in the interview with Grant Simmer, time is fast running out in this America's cycle.

Luna Rossa are virtually out of Auckland. In this edition of's newsletter we feature an extract from an interview by top European website,'s Pierre Orphanidis, with their skipper Max Sirena, who certainly doesn't hold back on what he thinks of certain aspects of the America's Cup.

Official route of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15  Volvo Ocean Race ©

The full route for the Volvo Ocean Race has been announced. The latest and final stopover to be announced is Lorient, France. While some may disagree with the format of the race which has shifted a long way from its original concept of being a round the world sailing adventure, to being close to a round the world sailing rally, with a variety of long and short course racing. It is what it is, and the race seems to be ahead of where it was in previous editions.

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race 13-14 Skippers  Red Photographic

The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race gets underway this August and now, the 12 skippers for the ninth edition of the famous biennial event – which includes a mix of youth and experience, international challengers and home grown talent, as well as some familiar faces and only the third ever female to skipper the race - have been announced. More in this issue.

Jedda Murphy and the Sail-World team

49th Congressional Cup - Ferrarese wins with speed in the light
Rich Roberts,
On Saturday at the Long Beach Yacht Club's 49th Congressional Cup Simone Ferrarese found speed in light wind like nobody else could to win the Long Beach Yacht Club's 49th Congressional Cup with a 54-second win over Ed Baird in a one-race championship showdown.... [more]
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Cascais BMW Dragon European Championship overall
Sofia Borges de Castro,
Portugal's Drago, José Matoso / Gustavo Lima / Frederico Melo, won the Cascais BMW Dragon European Championship 2013, which came to an end today in Cascais Bay. The crew was 19th in the seventh and final race and conquered the title. German Markus Wieser, last edition's winner, was second, while the Dane Jens Christensen was third... [more]
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America's Cup WS: Images from Naples - World Series Opening Ceremony
Linda Wright,
Sail-World's Linda Wright provided this gallery of images from the opening of the America's Cup World Series, in Naples... [more]
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Melges 32 Sailing Series - Team Synergy keeps firm grip after day 2
Joy Dunigan,
On day two of the 2013 Audi Melges 32 Sailing Series in Gaeta, Italy, the Race Committee took full advantage of the heated conditions to deliver three incredible races. As proof, each race presented a different winner. Lanfranco Cirillo's Fantastica took charge early to win Race One.... [more]
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Ned Collier Wakefield is ready to defend his Channel Race title
Sam Joseph,
Talented British offshore sailor, Ned Collier Wakefield is all set for the notoriously competitive double-handed Normandy Channel Race that starts in Caen on April 14th. Collier Wakefield won the race in 2012 on Concise 2 with his co-skipper Sam Goodchild. This year, the 25 year-old will be joined by Brieuc Maisonneuve onboard the Hamble-based AL BUCQ.... [more]
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Extreme Sailing Series - Changing tactics, leading the charge + Video
Extreme Sailing Series,
The blazing Singapore sun challenged the cool of even the most experienced Extreme 40 sailors on Day 3 of the Singapore round of the Extreme Sailing Series. The Swiss America's Cup winning team Alinghi, however, didn't break their stride starting the day as they finished it by winning races and head into tomorrow's finale.... [more]
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Cascais Dragon European Championship - New leader 'Out of Bounce'
Luisa Neto Rebelo,
In the Cascais BMW Dragon European Championships, which will come to a close tomorrow in the Bay of Cascais, the Portuguese continue to win. Today was Catarina III, Henrique Anjos /Joaquim Moreira/Pedro Costa Alemão, to claim the victory in the sixth and penultimate race.... [more]
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Les Voiles de St. Barth - Door opens for rankings shift
Fabrice Thomazeau,
The Les Voiles de Saint Barth competitors - well-rested after a lay-day spent at the beach and enjoying other leisurely pursuits, returned to the race course today. Despite a forecast that called for rain and increased winds, sunshine and trade winds prevailed, though the breeze was lighter at 12 to 14 knots.... [more]
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Artemis Racing ready for ACWS finale in Naples
Artemis Racing,
The final event of the 2012-2013 America's Cup World Series will begin next week in Naples (ITA). Artemis Racing White (with 120 points) is currently standing in third position overall in the series, just one point behind Luna Rossa Piranha who are in second and Oracle Team USA Slingsby in first with 165 points.... [more]
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Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series - Day 1 images from Gaeta
Carlo Borlenghi images,
Melges 32 Audi Sailing Series - Day 1 images have been provided by photographer Carlo Borlenghi, who was present to cover the action.... [more]
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America's Cup World Series: New and old faces turn out for China Team
Linda Wright,
At the America's Cup World Series in Naples Italy, China Team will introduce seven new young Chinese sailors to compete in 45ft wingsailed catamaran. Last November, these new young sailors went to a training camp to learn how to handle the one design catamaran designed as an entry level boat for teams wishing to compete in a future America's Cup... [more]
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Extreme Sailing Series - The heat is on for SAP Extreme Sailing Team
Jo Uffendell,
On the second day of Act 2 in the Extreme Sailing Series, the heat was on for the SAP Extreme Sailing Team in more ways than one as they hit the race course in Singapore. Spectators visiting Marina Bay were gripped as the competing teams took part in 12 grueling races in temperatures reaching 33 degrees.... [more]
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Extreme Sailing Series - Alinghi into pole position on day 2 + Video
Extreme Sailing Series,
In Act 2 of the 2013 Extreme Sailing Series in Singapore, the eight world-class Extreme 40 teams competing under the shadow of some of the best modern architecture in the world on Marina Bay Reservoir felt the pressure -and the heat from the city- turn up a notch today, after a packed 11 race day.... [more]
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Congressional Cup - Williams in semifinals; Four fight for three spots
Rich Roberts,
49th Congressional Cup: When's the last time you saw spinnakers raised to start a match race? Or a leader spin off a penalty at the finish line with his opponent tickling his transom? Great Britain's Ian Williams, 33, and his talented crew offered a match racing clinic on day three when they pulled off both moves to stretch their win streak to fourteen and secure a place in Saturday's semifinals.... [more]
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Cascais Dragon European Championship - New leader after day 3
Luisa Neto Rebelo,
At the Cascais BMW Dragon European Championship, Portugal's Drago, José Matoso/Gustavo Lima/Frederico Melo, is the new leader after the third day's two races. The Portuguese crew have a five point lead and there are only two races to go until the end, next Saturday.... [more]
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America's Cup: Images of a revamped Artemis Racing in San Fran
Images of the Swedish Challenger Artemis Racing as she works up on San Francisco after her refit... [more]
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America's Cup: Artemis Racing Update - Three months left to LVC
Artemis Media,
With only three months until the start of the Louis Vuitton Challenger Series, Artemis Racing has been busy training and preparing for racing, which begins in San Francisco on July 4th. The team spent the majority of March in the shed modifying our AC72 and turning a standard AC45 into a foiling AC45.... [more]
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Les Voiles de St. Barth - Lay day in paradise
Fabrice Thomazeau,
At the Les Voiles de St Barth, following two long days with plenty of racing, the competitors enjoyed a 'lay day'. It gave the 700 plus sailors a chance to see more of the island they had been sailing around the previous days and enjoy some of St. Barth's other offerings, which, not surprisingly, could be found at the famously popular Nikki Beach.... [more]
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Anticipation builds at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda
Jill Campbell,
With anticipation building up at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda (YCCS) for the beginning of the sailing season in the Mediterranean, the Club presented its 2013 Regatta Calendar to journalists and yachtsmen in Milan this morning. While the Club's busy schedule kicked off in the Caribbean at the beginning of the year, the Mediterranean season is due to start in less than a month's time.... [more]
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Extreme Sailing Series Act 2 - SAP Extreme Sailing Team on the rise
Jo Uffendell,
On the first day of Act 2 of the Extreme Sailing Series, SAP Extreme Sailing Team was on deck for battle. Marina Bay in Singapore played host to the seven competing teams who were challenged by the tight confines of the race course and the added issue of constantly shifting winds.... [more]
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