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Camaraderie - Australia Newsletter



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Teams and rescue services working together to save Patriot - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi

Dear Recipient Name

As sailors we're incredibly lucky to have two events happening on the world stage which are able to take place in the Covid world. While the America's Cup and the Vendée Globe are from near opposite ends of the yacht racing spectrum, they share common traits, and the racing is close. Most importantly of all, they have both demonstrated the camaraderie which is a core principle of most sailors' lives. Sailboat racing sees as fierce competitors as any sport, but when the chips are down, sailors rise to the challenge as one.

The first weekend of racing in the PRADA Cup Challenger Series was intense. INEOS TEAM UK proved their doubters wrong to lead the way, with extraordinarily little difference in boat speed between the three teams when the breeze was up. Yes, in light stuff the margins became more pronounced, especially when one of the boats came off the foils, but races were being won and lost by getting the shifts right and calling the gusts both upwind and downwind. This was real racing, albeit at 40+ knots!

PRADA Cup Day 1: Round Robin 1 - Luna Rossa PRADA Pirelli Team vs. INEOS TEAM UK - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi
PRADA Cup Day 1: Round Robin 1 - Luna Rossa PRADA Pirelli Team vs. INEOS TEAM UK - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi

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The real drama was saved for the last race of the weekend. New York Yacht Club American Magic, who'd been so strong in the PRADA America's Cup World Series Auckland back in December, were on the back foot with three defeats in their opening races. As the storm clouds built, they looked superb against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli, leading for the entire race until disaster struck rounding the final mark of the race. A risky manoeuvre and a tight port runner turned into a sky leap together with a jarring landing which resulted in a capsize for the American's boat Patriot.

The AC75s are no strangers to capsizing, but this one was different. When the boat was towed upright it was clear that things weren't right as the bow was floating extremely low in the water. The crash landing had caused severe damage to Patriot and she was in danger of sinking.

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Emirates Team New Zealand help with the recovery of Patriot - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi
Emirates Team New Zealand help with the recovery of Patriot - photo © COR36 / Studio Borlenghi

Every single team, together with the New Zealand rescue services, immediately jumped to assist the American Magic team and the yacht was stabilised and very slowly taken back to base in Auckland. The repair they now must undertake is massive, but they have the opportunity to race another day. Emirates Team New Zealand, whose sailors - including helmsman Peter Burling - were seen in one of the more shared photos of the rescue, delivered pizza to the no-doubt exhausted American team as they nursed the boat back on the ten-mile journey to shore. They may be rivals on the racetrack, but there is a huge amount of respect and friendship amongst all the teams.

As American Magic's Skipper Terry Hutchinson said in the press conference after the event, "We need to recognize the heroic effort by everybody in the Auckland community that came forward to rescue Patriot from despair. In particular the local authorities, the police, the fire and rescue, and then finally the competitors, Team New Zealand and INEOS and Luna Rossa. They were spectacular. When you think about that family, our sailing community, it was awesome to see the show of support."

Moving back to the northern hemisphere, the battle in the Vendée Globe, as the leaders tackle the final 2,700 nautical miles to the finish in Les Sables d'Olonne, is incredibly intense with the top seven separated by just 165 miles and different routing strategies being employed, trying to use the weather systems best to gain advantage.

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Kevin Escoffier's IMOCA PRB - photo © Jean-Marie Liot
Kevin Escoffier's IMOCA PRB - photo © Jean-Marie Liot

The Vendée Globe really is the ultimate solo endeavour, but whenever a fellow sailor is in trouble then they can be sure that every other competitor within the vicinity will be doing all they can to help them. This was shown back in December when Kevin Escoffier's IMOCA PRB literally snapped in two in heavy seas 840 miles South West of Cape Horn, leaving the skipper very little time to activate his EPIRB distress beacon and deploy his liferaft. Four other competitors immediately diverted to the scene, but it was the 61-year-old five-time veteran of the race Jean Le Cam who picked up Escoffier in a coordinated rescue mission with Vendée Globe Race Direction in collaboration with CROSS Griz Nez and MRCC South Africa. Le Cam got Escoffier safely on board his IMOCA 'Yes We Cam' in extremely difficult conditions.

Kevin Escoffier & Jean Le Cam - photo © Kevin Escoffier
Kevin Escoffier & Jean Le Cam - photo © Kevin Escoffier

Ironically on January 6, 2009, during the 2008-2009 Vendée Globe, Vincent Riou, the then the skipper of PRB, rescued Jean Le Cam from his upturned IMOCA 60 which capsized at Cape Horn. Truly a case of camaraderie.

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This philosophy exists throughout sailing, all the way through our sport as Jon Holt, founder of the Scaramouche Sailing Trust and recently voted YJA International Sailor of the Decade, has seen first-hand:

"The young sailors of the Scaramouche sailing project have seen the camaraderie of sailing and the immense support of the sailing world first-hand. Seeing the top professionals of the sport, in the America's Cup and the Vendée Globe, racing to rival teams' assistance in times of need provides invaluable life lessons for youngsters in schools around the world. What's been amazing for our project to see is how the concern, help, support filters right down to grassroots level as well. The donation of life-saving gear and equipment from major sailing manufactures, to not so much improve performance but to keep our young people safe, is warming to say the least, but perhaps not surprising when we see that most of these sailing companies have active sailors of different levels at their core.

Kai Hockley sailing in Portland Harbour - photo © Scaramouche
Kai Hockley sailing in Portland Harbour - photo © Scaramouche

"The examples of support are many, but a few stand out. 14-year-old Kai Hockley was in the boat park of the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy about to go out for his first proper Laser race in the last qualifier of 2020, and who should pull up alongside for some last-minute encouragement but Lorenzo Chiavarini. A European Champion taking time out for someone who barely knew the way to the slipway!

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The Greig City Acadamy team in the 2019 Round the Island Race - photo © Scaramouche
The Greig City Acadamy team in the 2019 Round the Island Race - photo © Scaramouche

"Then there is the team with no budget, the youngest team in the 2019 Round the Island Race. Was there support from the industry? You bet. The use of a support RIB from David Franks, being held in the slings two nights on the trot by Cowes Yacht Haven, free sails from North Sails, donated deck gear and deck vests from Spinlock, new running rigging from Marlow Ropes... all of this to help them make the start line. Then there is the amazing advice the night before from Graham Sunderland and Simon Rowell. On the day when most retired, they didn't. Why? The advice the night before from Simon was that the wind would eventually kick in. They persisted but missed the finish by 12 minutes. What did the sailing world do? Well, a tour of the entire INEOS TEAM UK base by David 'Freddie' Carr followed days later... and then shortly after that a place on Ross Appleby's Scarlett Oyster for Seun in the ARC... Sailing community? Oh yes!"

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Sailing has its heroes, and they've grown up with the idea of camaraderie instilled in them from an early age. Friendships made from sailing often last for life, which makes sailing so much more than just a sport, and our sailing heroes ultimate sportsmen.

Mark Jardine and Managing Editor

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Top-speed flight and some 'me time' in Maxi Edmond de Rothschild Jules Verne Trophy record attempt
For the past 24 hours, since they made a perfectly controlled turn to the east offshore of Brazil, the men of the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild have clearly been lengthening their stride.

Prada Cup racing, PATRIOT's near-sinking, Vendee Globe update
It seemed as though just a few weeks ago, most of the sailing community was beginning to sing dirges for Sir Ben Ainslie and INEOS Team UK. After this weekend, that crooning has clearly ceased.

America's Cup Rialto: January 17 - All teams work together to save Patriot
No two days are ever the same in the America's Cup. The final race of Round Robin 2 was no exception. Here's on the water impression, with exclusive images of a day that brought out the best in the America's Cup teams to save a fellow competitor's boat.

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Entry open for the Topsy D Passage Race
You may have read a few weeks ago, about the way the Classic Yacht Association of Australia has adapted the Cup Regatta to ensure that the 14th consecutive running of the event will proceed, working within Covid regulations and adapting to changing times.

International 5O5 European Championship to be hosted in Weymouth this July
Would you like a feel of what your first major event post Covid can be? Check out this short Event promotion video...

Vendée Globe Day 73 morning update: Fast and low or high and slower?
After more than 25,000 miles of racing this Vendée Globe hangs in the balance. Who will win? At the head of the fleet now Charlie Dalin has been in first place 178 times since November 8th when the race started, Louis Burton has been in first twice

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Servane Escoffier: We can't wait to give him a hug
You don't hear a lot about the home front during the Vendée Globe, but every IMOCA sailor trying to complete his or her dream on the world's oceans right now has loved ones waiting for their safe return and following their every move.

Vendée Globe Day 72: Climbing home to a final battle
With less than two weeks - perhaps even just ten days - until the finish of what is set to be the closest ever edition of the Vendée Globe it is still impossible to predict which three skippers will finish on the podium.

An interview with Shirley Robertson on her media role at the 36th America's Cup
I checked in with Shirley Robertson, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and an internationally respected journalist, via email, to learn more about what it's like to be part of the media team that's providing commentary for the 36th America's Cup.

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Adventures Weekly: Prada Cup Review and Hutchinson's Mission
Terry Hutchinson represented his team today. He looked as tired and was as emotional as one would expect, with the dignity and grace that all respect in the NYYC American Magic figurehead.

Flying 15 Regatta at Clayton Bay Boat Club, South Australia
Clayton Bay Boat Club is a small, friendly and welcoming sailing club on the banks of the Lower Murray River, mostly catering to trailer yachts the occasional dinghy and catamarans.

Race Week, Episode 2 - The fight to save Patriot
On her 44th day of sailing, and her third day of racing in the Prada Cup, Patriot sustained major mid-race damage to the port side of the hull and was in real danger of slipping beneath the waves.

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Vendée Globe Day 72 morning update: Burton on the button, first out Doldrums
It seems to be Louis Burton on Bureau Vallée who has finally escaped from the Doldrums first. He has been making a consistent 17kts early this morning in the 16-18kts NE'ly trade winds which seem to be well established.

New York Yacht Club Statement on American Magic
Like New York Yacht Club American Magic fans around the world, I watched yesterday's Prada Cup race against Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli eager to see PATRIOT show her speed in her favorite conditions.

America's Cup: Patriot remains defiant in the Prada Cup
American Magic Executive Director Terry Hutchinson has confirmed that the team will remain in the Prada Cup, after nearly sinking their raceboat Patriot yesterday evening in Auckland.

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American Magic's AC75 survives crash, damage and near-sinking on the Hauraki Gulf
After racing into a squall, crashing, capsizing, incurring significant damage and coming close to sinking, American Magic's AC75 racing yacht, PATRIOT, made it back to shore at 10:45 PM NZDT after a herculean effort to save the boat.

The aftermath of Patriot's massive capsize
The PRADA Cup so far has been enthralling and day 3 saw the drama ratchet up to 11 when a vicious squall hit Patriot as she went for a tack then bear away at the final mark, had an issue with the port runner, went for a leap, then crashed down hard.

PRADA Cup Round Robin Day 3: A day filled with unexpected events
The first weekend of the PRADA Cup closes with a day filled with unexpected events, from the first race cancelled for sudden wind shifts to the major accident involving American Magic.

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PRADA Cup Day 3 Race Summary Video
A dramatic day on the Hauraki Gulf saw one race abandoned, and then rerun, and American Magic capsize while well ahead of Luna Rossa PRADA Pirelli on the last leg of the last race of the day.

PRADA Cup Round Robin Day 3: An eventful day on the Hauraki Gulf
In a day that was saddened by the capsize of American Magic, the changeable weather on the Hauraki Gulf threw strong winds, shifts, rain and chop at the Challengers of the PRADA Cup.

Vendée Globe Day 71 morning update: Louis Burton first back into the northern hemisphere
Louis Burton, the 35 year old Saint Malo skipper of Bureau Vallée 2 was the first Vendée Globe skipper to break back into the northern hemisphere last night, crossing the Equator at 1911hrs UTC last night.

J Composites 2020 - MPU   Flagstaff 2020 - Oceanis 40.1 - MPU
18ft Skiff NSW Championship on Sydney Harbour - Final Race
The tech2 team of Jack Macartney, Charlie Wyatt and Lewis Brake became the 2020-2021 NSW 18ft Skiff champion following an impressive all-the-way victory in today's re-sail of Race 2 of the championship on Sydney Harbour.

New York Yacht Club American Magic statement on capsize incident
New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the America's Cup, capsized in a strong gust of wind while leading around the final mark during a Prada Cup race shortly before 6:00 PM NZDT on Sunday, January 17 (January 16 U.S. time).

America's Cup teams battle to save Patriot
It's been a day of high drama in Auckland at the PRADA Cup, with all the support teams now battling to save NYYC American Magic's AC75 'Patriot'.

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Sébastien Destremau (Merci) forced to retire from the Vendée Globe
Sébastien Destremau, the skipper of the 26th placed IMOCA Merci, has been finally forced to abandon his attempt to complete his second Vendée Globe.

America's Cup Rialto: January 16 - The surprises continue
Day 2 of the Qualifiers for the Challenger Selection Series, in the 36th America's Cup had as many surprises as the first day of the event.

Richomme: Through this race, Seguin is becoming a legend of the sport
During this epic Vendée Globe, various sailors are making names for themselves and are reaching fans of the sport in all corners of the globe.

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PRADA Cup Round Robin Day 2: Racing held in light and unstable winds
Race conditions today were extremely tricky, with light and unstable winds across the entire racecourse that was positioned between course C at North Head and course D, closer to Rangitoto island.

Marine Auctions January Online Auctions
Marine Auctions are happy to provide details of the Boats and Marina Berths next Online Auction. The bidding will commence on Friday 22nd January and will end on Thursday 28th January 2021 at 2 pm AEST.

Goolugatup Sailing Carnival at South of Perth Yacht Club, Western Australia - Overall
Guests at the closing ceremony of the inaugural Goolugatup Sailing Carnival were treated to a performance by members from the Wadumbah indigenous Dance troupe.

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Classic Division at Hamilton Island Race Week 2021: Are you in?
This morning sws spoke with hirw regatta director, denis thompson and asked the question: "Denis, what would it take to get a Classic Division at Hamilton Island in 2021?" His reply? "It only takes seven."

Long Beach Yacht Club announces new dates for 56th Congressional Cup
Congressional Cup Chairman Chris Macy has announced the 2021 event will be postponed to mid-September in light of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

America's Cup Rialto: January 15 - Arise, Sir Ben
INEOS Team UK today surprised everyone, perhaps including themselves, with two wins from two races on the opening day of the Prada Cup in Auckland. Even more telling the British extended their margin on 11 of the 12 legs sailed.

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The BrisVegas Windfoil Pro at Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron - Preview
Twenty-two entries have already been confirmed with over two weeks to go until the first warning signal, with only two entries not originating from Queensland.

Bob Fisher - The second Wise and Witty Man
Key influencers in the world of UK dinghy sailing, like London buses, can often come in twos, with the best example of this being how the development of the sport here was driven by the shared presence of not just Jack Holt, but Ian Proctor.

Load Data Key When Margins Are Tight
One design racing is all about those tiny margins. A skipper that knows this better than most is Tony Mack who retained the J/111 National Championship and was awarded the J-Cup at the helm of McFly back in September last year.

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Adventures Weekly with QLD Olympic hopefuls Tom Needham and Joel Turner
For the first Adventures Weekly of 2021 we caught up with Tom Needham and Joel Turner, who were part of the winning team on IRC at the Bartercard Australia Sail Paradise Regatta last week.

SB20 sailing hotting up in 2021
The Tasmanian SB20 fleet will return to the water this Thursday for the first race of their post-Christmas pennant in what marks the start of a full sailing program for Tasmania's premium sportsboat class.

Liberty Bitcoin Youth Foiling World Cup: All set for Gaeta in February
Inaugural grand prix all set for Gaeta February, 8 teams confirmed with more spaces available. Conrad Colman joins media team to help reach international audiences.

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Kühlungsborn, Germany to host the Dragon World Championship
The 'Deutsches Drachengeschwader' will host the Dragon World Championship in the Baltic Sea resort of Kühlungsborn from June 13th to 18th.

Rolex Fastnet Race entry numbers smash all records
Within an hour an unprecedented 400 boats had entered the Royal Ocean Racing Club's flagship event, which this year will follow a route finishing for the first time in France.

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