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Spring’s still-reluctant arrival—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond


18 Apr 2017

Spring's still-reluctant arrival—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

J/70s at Charleston Race Week  Tim Wilkes / Charleston Race Week
Spring maybe be arriving to my Pacific Northwest homeport in a much tardier fashion than I would prefer, but I'm happy to report two observations-one based on empirical evidence, the other based on my calendar-that are sure-fire signs of spring's eventual arrival in North America. The first noted occurrence was the fact that it was 50 degrees Fahrenheit on my 0515 hours run today, making today the first time that I've experienced balmy enough temps to shed my fleece gloves since October. The second, which is of course of far, far greater significance to sailors nationwide, is the fact that the starting guns begin to sound for the much anticipated Sperry Charleston Race Week (April 20-23) this Thursday.

While I've not yet had the pleasure of participating in Charleston Race Week, it's on my Bucket List for a few simple reasons. For starters, this highly competitive regatta is the first large-scale spring event to unfurl on waters outside of Florida or the Caribbean each year, and it has a fantastic reputation for being a fun, well-run event that takes place just off of a beautiful and historic Southern city.

2015 Sperry Charleston Race Week - Day 1  Sander Van Der Borch

Stir in some of the hottest One Design and handicap fleets afloat, including J/70s (76 entries), VX Ones (16 entries), Viper 640s (10 entries), and Melges 24s (21 entries), as well as more venerable designs such as the classic J/22s (four entries) J/24s (20 entries), and you've quickly got a red-hot One Design regatta that also runs handicap races (PHRF and ORC) for some of the bigger keelboats.

Next, factor in some great racecourse management, as well as a city that offers a wealth of charming restaurants, cafes and bars, 65 public parks, plenty of golf courses, as well as an enticing and relaxed vibe that famously welcomes first-time visitors and returning racecourse aces alike.

Steve Lesniak's Charleston-based Beneteau 510 Celadon is among the biggest boats at the event and even it's crew found the massive waves offshore to be a challenge on Day 2 of Sperry Charleston Race Week.  Tim Wilkes

While long-term weather forecasts are oftentimes slippery slopes (at best), NOAA is calling for 10-15 knots and two to three foot waves, as of the time of this writing, with partly sunny skies overhead and temperatures in the high-70s/low-80s...potentially chilly for anyone fresh off of the Caribbean circuit, but did I mention that I was thrilled to take off my gloves for the uphill/downwind section of my run this morning?

Meanwhile, on sailing's international stage, the sailing temps appear to be just about perfect on Bermuda's Great Sound, where all six teams that are competing in the 35th America's Cup are now based. Emirates Team New Zealand (ETNZ) had been making the most of the summertime conditions on the Hauraki Gulf, off of Auckland, to train in “relative” secrecy (minus Oracle Team USA's “eyes”, of course), but their ACC yacht, which features its distinctive “bicycle” style grinding arrangement, arrived on the island nation via a Boeing 747 last week, bringing the total count of ACCs on Bermuda to a half-dozen.

Emirates Sky Cargo 747 arrives in Bermuda and unloads Emirates Team NZ's AC50  Hamish Hooper/Emirates Team NZ

ETNZ may be new to the party on Bermudian waters, but the other teams have been there for some time and have been engaging in “friendly practice” sessions that are designed to bolster each teams' ability to engage in close-quarters maneuvering prior to next month's racing, and to also give teams an opportunity to speed check against their rivals.

Interestingly, some teams are showing more promise than expected, at least in these early days of competition.

Artemis Racing - Practice Session 3, - April 10-12, 2017  Austin Wong | ACEA

“Artemis Racing are head and shoulders ahead in terms of consistency of maneuvers and how they manage their racing tactically,” reported Sir Russell Coutts, Oracle Team USA's CEO and a five-time Cup winner, in a report card from the practice races. “They've made a massive jump in the last two or three weeks. [Skipper] Nathan Outteridge has improved his positioning in the starts to the point that he won two of three starts against Oracle Team USA. Artemis also looked strong in defending their leads and managed to stay tack for tack with Oracle Team USA, extending a two boat length lead at the bottom gate to a seven boat length advantage by the top gate.”

Sir Russell Coutts, CEO of the America's Cup Event Authority  America's Cup

As for his own team, Coutts did not mince words. “Oracle Team USA didn't have a great series,” continued Coutts. “Jimmy Spithill and Tom Slingsby will be looking to improve their consistency in maneuvers and figure out better strategies to keep themselves in the race when they get behind.”

Oracle Team USA against Artemis Racing - Practice Session 3, Day 2 - April 11, 2017  Austin Wong | ACEA

Given the levels of secrecy, subterfuge and espionage that have long cloaked Cup circles, it's unclear as to if each team was showcasing their best moves (or their fastest foils) during these practice races. So while it's tempting to carefully analyze the tea leaves to try and glean any useful information as to who might have a performance edge come AC35 (June), never forget that when it comes to the Cup and world affairs, things are far different from how they appear on the surface.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

35th Lake Garda Meeting – Final day – USA and Italy wins
Fraglia Vela Riva,
Outstanding edition of the Lake Garda Optimist Meeting: good weather and strong wind let the Guinness World Records' event run smoothly both on land and water to the delight of the 1063 helmsmen, their families and coaches.... [more]

Annapolis to host SAP 5O5 World Championship
Bill Wagner,
SAP and the International 5O5 Class are proud to announce their partnership for the 2017 SAP 5O5 World Championship.... [more]

Nifty work as RORC Easter Challenge concludes
James Boyd,
Sailors at the RORC Easter Challenge left Cowes this Easter Sunday sunburned, full of chocolate and brimming with freshly acquired wisdom about their sport. Ultimately Roger Bowden's King 40, Nifty (ex-Tokoloshe 1), claimed first overall, two points ahead of Erivale with another King 40, Cobra, another point behind.... [more]

Evan Walker steals Coconut Grove Cup at final turn
Aston Harald,
In a day filled with leaderboard upsets, the event winner was decided rounding the final mark in the final race of the regatta. Australia's Evan Walker and his Team KA Match struck lucky on the last beat to win the final cross and pop a wheelie on the finish line to take the win in style.... [more]

Manly 16ft Club 'Crew Swap' another big success
Michael Chittenden,
Manly youth Sailors, Kids, Girlfriends, Wives, Fathers, and Mothers, you name them, they were out in Manly Cove last Saturday for the annual Manly 16ft Skiff Club “Crew Swap”. At the end of the season the 16 and 13ft Skiff fleet invites anyone who's keen to jump onboard and experience the joy of sailing a skiff.... [more]

RORC Easter Challenge - Day 2 - Admiral in the chocolates
James Boyd,
While Invictus Challenge remains top scoring boat at the RORC Easter Challenge, today the scoreline of Sir Keith Mills' immaculately sailed FAST40+ was matched in IRC Two by La Réponse, skippered by Admiral of the RORC, Andrew McIrvine.... [more]

35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting - Day 3
Fraglia Vela Riva,
The final races of the 35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting take place on Sunday. Windy day and all races completed. Great organizational success for Fraglia Vela Riva, acknowledged also by foreigners. Boom in photo and video visualizations on the official channels of the event.... [more]

Les Voiles de St. Barth - And the winners are...
Kirsten Ferguson,
After three days of tight competition on the waters off the French West Indies Island of St. Barth, many of the teams racing in Les Voiles de St. Barth headed into the final day today with the hopes of either dismounting class leaders or fending off competitors that were climbing up in the rankings.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - MAPFRE back on the water with new rig
MAPFRE - Volvo Ocean Race,
Just 16 days after dismasting during a training session off the coast of Galicia, the Spanish VO65 MAPFRE is back on the water. On Saturday 15th April in Lisbon (Portugal), home of the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard, and where the new mast was fitted, the VO65 was out on the water undertaking its first tests.... [more]

Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race crew Shona Davies
Clipper Round the World,
Race start might still be a few months away, but Clipper 2017-18 Race Crew Member Shona Davies already describes it as the experience of her life. This is an extraordinary statement for the 39-year-old South African to make, given the catalyst for her signing up.... [more]

Three bullets for Invictus on opening day of RORC Easter Challenge
James Boyd,
The RORC Easter Challenge, the Royal Ocean Racing Club's domestic season opener and coaching regatta, got off to an ideal start on the Solent today. Three races were held, the first of two windward-leewards off Lee-on-the Solent starting in a relatively benign seven knot southwesterly.... [more]

35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting - Day 2
Fraglia Vela Riva,
The Italian Arseni (Cadet) and the American Baker (Junior) are leading the way. Good performances for the Fraglia Vela Riva athletes in both categories. What an amazing day today in Garda Trentino for youth sailing and the Optimist class (9-15 years old): the skilled helmsmen from 30 countries sailed with confidence, despite the medium-high-intensity wind and short and steep waves.... [more]

Les Voiles de St. Barth - Stakes are high going into final day
Kirsten Ferguson,
Lighter breeze resulted in a shakeup in the rankings today at Les Voiles de St. Barth, with many new teams taking the win in their class for the first time this week. The regatta's 65-boat fleet started the race off the port of Gustavia and headed up the western side of the island on one of two courses between 17 and 20 nautical miles.... [more]

America's Cup - Artemis Racing trounces Defender in Practice Series
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ,
America's Cup Challenger, Artemis Racing has beaten the America's Cup Defender 4-0 in the just concluded three day Practice Session in Bermuda. On the face of it, USA emerged with a five win/four loss score card from the nine races they sailed. That is quite a turnaround from the nine win/two loss outcome from the first five day long Practice racing Session stage on March 22-26.... [more]

America's Cup - Russell Coutts' Report Card on Practice Session 3
America's Cup Media and Sail-World,
Russell Coutts, a five times winner of the America's Cup and the top helmsman with a 14-0 win record is CEO of Defender Oracle Team USA and the America's Cup Events Authority. He gives his thoughts on the just completed three day Practice Racing ahead of the 35th America's Cup, and critiques each of the five teams.... [more]

Coast Guard urges boating safety common sense
Coast Guard First District Northeast News,
The Coast Guard is reminding mariners Friday that as the air temperature is warming the water temperatures are still dangerously cold. With the rise in air temperature, the number of boaters, paddle craft users, and water enthusiasts taking to water activities also rises.... [more]

A QandA with Nicole Breault about women's match racing in the USA
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
I caught up with Nicole Breault to learn more about the state of women's match racing in the USA, and to also hear more about her upcoming Clinegatta, which is set to unfurl on the waters of San Francisco Bay this July, and which could be a great resource for other talented female match racers who are looking to sharpen their skills.... [more]

Viper 640 World Championship 2018 announced
Jon Stubbs,
Over 40 Vipers are expected to compete in the Regatta. This will be the biggest Viper regatta held outside the US.... [more]

Extreme Sailing Series - Getting to know Alinghi's Timothé Lapauw
Extreme Sailing Series™,
At just 20 years old, Timothé Lapauw is one of the youngest sailors in the Extreme Sailing Series™ fleet. But this season he is racing alongside some of the most experienced and respected names in Swiss sailing on board the two-time America's Cup-winning team Alinghi.... [more]

Meet the Clipper 2017-18 Race crew - Mick Pattni
Clipper Round the World,
Meet round the world crew member, Mick Pattni. Mick was inspired to take on the Clipper Race challenge by his friend, Memnia Theodorou, who the first Cypriot to compete in the Clipper Race. When Memina returned from crewing on legs one to four of the 2015-16 edition, the tales of her adventures on the Southern Ocean struck a chord with Mick who was looking for a new challenge.... [more]

Les Voiles de St.Barth - Entertaining lay day brings lots of team play
Kirsten Ferguson,
After two days of rigorous on-the-water battles, the Les Voiles de St. Barth sailors were well deserving of a break from competition, and event organizers had the perfect remedy: an official 'Day Off' at Nikki Beach Saint Barth, the famous beach club located in St. Jean. Many of the teams joined in the organized fun, which was complete with water activities... [more]

35th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting - Day 1
Fraglia Vela Riva,
1063 final entries for this year's edition started with sun and medium-intensity wind. Great technical and organisational start, thanks to the understanding between Fraglia Vela Riva staff and the Race Committee; as scheduled, Cadets (9-11 years old) completed two races, while Juniors (12-15 years old) sailed three races.... [more]

Australia's Harry Price steals the show at Miami Match Cup
Aston Harald,
At times today the young Australian looked to be struggling. After leading the qualifying session during the first two regatta days, today Price had a series of losses at the end of the qualifying series, but kept his calm when it mattered to sweep through the knockout stages and clinch the title. It was American Nevin Snow that Price took in the final... [more]

America's Cup - Practice Session 3, Day 3 racing in Bermuda - Video NZ,
Artemis Racing has dominated on the third day of race in the third Practice Session being sailed in Bermuda. Winds were averaging 23kts and gusting close to 30kts from the East... [more]

Wright to start Tokyo 2020 Olympic campaign at Sailing WorldCup France
Ajay Rau,
Through the British Sailing Team, Edward Wright has proudly flown the Union Jack dominating the Finn class for the past decade. In 2010, Wright was nominated for the prestigious ISAF Sailor of the Year. In World Championships alone, he has won one gold, two silvers and three bronze medals. The only medal missing in his trophy cabinet, Olympic Gold.... [more]

Clipper Race responds to publication of report into fatal accidents
Clipper Ventures,
The UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has today – Thursday 13 April 2017 - published its final report into two fatal accidents in the 2015-16 edition of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, the first in the event's 20 year history... [more]

Les Voiles de St. Barth - A different day, a different story
Kirsten Ferguson,
Shiftier breeze and a change in the direction and design of the racecourse, in comparison to yesterday, forced many competitors to shift gears for the second day of racing at Les Voiles de St. Barth and yielded a mixed bag of results for the event's nine classes. The fleet of 65 boats battled while navigating the rocky coast and its strong currents on courses... [more]

America's Cup - Artemis Racing undefeated in Practice Session 3
Sail-World NZ and Artemis Racing,
Swedish America's Cup Challenger, Artemis Racing has continued their form from the second Practice Session of racing in Bermuda and has made a clean sweep in the just concluded third round. In consistent windy conditions across the four days, Artemis Racing was on form winning nine straight races.... [more]

Gladwell's Line- Bermuda preview...Zhik joins Volvo...Myers
Richard Gladwell/,
So far we are two days into the third Practice Session of racing in Bermuda, and some interesting trends are beginning to emerge. So far the racing has been held in moderate winds of 17-23kts from the NNE on the first day and 12-20kts from the East on the second. So we have not seen the top end 25kts (but maybe got close to it in gusts) and have certainly not seen the bottom end of 6kts.... [more]

Strong fleet expected at Antigua Dragon Yacht Club Challenge
Louay Habib,
Harmony Hall Yacht Club, with the support of the Antigua Yacht Club Marina, The Inn at English Harbour and Antigua Pro Racing, will host the fourth edition... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Meet the man behind the next generation One Design
Volvo Ocean Race,
Guillaume Verdier is working on plans for the next generation Volvo Ocean Race One Design – and the final decision on monohull vs. multihull is now just weeks away...... [more]

Day 1 battles set the stage at Les Voiles de St. Barth
Barby MacGowan,
The 65 boats, split into nine classes, were sent on coastal courses, ranging from 24 to 31 nautical miles, tracing the western and northern coast of the island, all starting and finishing in the port of Gustavia in St. Barth.... [more]

Damian Marley to headline Antigua Sailing Week's Reggae in the Park
Antigua Sailing Week,
Internationally acclaimed reggae artist, Damian 'Junior Gong' Marley – the youngest son of the legendary Bob Marley – is set to headline the eighth edition of Antigua Sailing Week's Reggae in the Park. The concert is one of the most highly anticipated events on the Antigua Sailing Week party calendar.... [more]

Big J/70 Class to highlight Sperry Charleston Race Week
Charleston Race Week,
The largest keelboat regatta in the America's – Sperry Charleston Race Week – is known to attract big one-design fleets. And that trait will continue this year as 77 J/70s are expected to compete when the initial starting gun fires next week on Friday, April 21.... [more]

America's Cup - Practice Session 3, Day 2 racing in Bermuda - Video NZ,
Artemis Racing has dominated several teams on the second day of race in the third Practice Session being sailed in Bermuda. Winds were averaging 12kts and gusting 18kts from the East In the first race Oracle Team USA started ahead with Artemis to leeward, The Defender lost their lead after a touchdown allowing Artemis through to leeward.... [more]

America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ arrives in Bermuda,
After leaving New Zealand on Monday morning, Emirates Team New Zealand's AC50 plus chase boats and other gear has been unloaded in Bermuda. Three members of the crew travelled with the AC50 in the Emirates Sky Cargo Boeing 747.... [more]

Sir Peter Blake's key financial backer and supporter dies at 78
Richard Gladwell and Alan Sefton,
Sir Douglas Myers, a major financial backer of Sir Peter Blake's campaigns has died in London aged 78. Myers and his company backed several Sir Peter Blake led campaigns including Lion New Zealand; the Round Australia winning two handed trimaran, Steinlager 1; the 1898/90 Whitbread Round the World race winner, Steinlager 2, and the 1995 and 2000 America's Cup winners.... [more]

Fever-Tree extend Sailing Series with Antigua Sailing Week sponsorship
Richard Cuthbert,
Fever-Tree, the world's leading premium mixer brand, has announced a sponsorship partnership with Antigua Sailing Week to become the events official mixer provider. The move marks an extension of the Fever-Tree sailing series into a new territory.... [more]

Les Voiles de St. Barth - A week of rigorous competition ahead
Barby MacGowan,
The energy is high in the Port of Gustavia and its docks bustling as Les Voiles de St. Barth sailors put the finishing touches and updates on their respective race yachts in preparation for the first day of racing, which starts tomorrow, April 11. The regatta, which runs through Saturday, April 15, attracts international attention in the sport of sailing, bringing some of the top competitors... [more]

REV win the Double at Miami Final in hotly contested 10-strong fleet
Aston Harald,
An impressive sight of 10 M32 catamarans took to Biscayne Bay for the final event of the M32 Miami Winter Series this weekend. The event was rounded off in style as strong winds blew over the racecourse on Sunday allowing boats to fly at over 20knots. REV proved themselves as the team to beat this winter, skippered by Rick DeVos, winning both this final event and the overall Series title.... [more]

America's Cup - Video from third Practice Session - Day 1 in Bermuda NZ,
The third Practice Session got underway on April 10, 2017 in Bermuda. This is the first day of a scheduled three day session. Conditions were 15-16kts average gusting to 20kts and above. The wind limit for racing in the America's Cup is 25kts or when the Regatta Director deems it to be unsafe.... [more]

Sea breeze stunner to finish off tenth Sail Port Stephens
Nic Douglass,
The final day of the tenth edition of Sail Port Stephens was just glamorous. Sunshine, a building sea breeze all day, and fantastic racing combined to make one of those day that organisers and competitors wish for. I managed to capture the three starts for division 1 and 2 in the IRC NSW State Championship, as well as the Pantaenius Performance Racing and the Seabreeze Super 12 State Championship... [more]

America's Cup - Groupama Team France crewman takes running jump -Video NZ,
Groupama Team France lost a sailor overboard during practice sailing in Bermuda yesterday. The incident occurred as the crew were in the process of a foiling gybe and one of the afterguard ran across the AC50 to the new side.... [more]

A Few Rays - Being smart in the sun. Are you-
“Sunblock”'s a name we throw about when talking about sun protection creams. And that's fine so long as you realise, the product most people call ‘sunblock' is more accurately described as a ‘sunscreen'. A sunscreen only filters the suns burning UVB and UVA rays relative to the SPF strength of the product, a sunblock would be complete shade... [more]


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