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Barton Marine 2019 728x90

Mini-Transat begins, Championship of Champions - USA Newsletter


Mini-Transat departs France, Championship of Champions, U.S. Match Racing Championship

Melges 14 2019 Leaderboard


2019 Mini-Transat La Boulangère start - photo © Christophe Breschi

Dear Recipient Name

The 1,350 nautical mile Mini-Transat La Boulangère race departed the city of La Rochelle, France, on Saturday, October 5, following a considerable delay due to weather, finally giving sailors the chance to aim their bows towards Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the finish of the first leg of this two-stage race. Once in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, sailors will have a chance to temporarily regroup before then punching on towards the race's ultimate finishing line in Martinique's bay of Le Marin. En route, the 87 singlehanded sailors who are contesting this race aboard Classe Mini yachts (read: 21.3' LOA) will be challenged by the course, by the conditions, and by their fellow competitors and will have to make all decisions alone and with precious little sleep.

Sadly for American offshore interests, none of the competing Classe Minis will be flying sails that read "USA", however European interests are better represented, with France leading the hunt in terms of total number of boats entered.

Competing sailors can either enter a prototype (read: custom build) or production Classe Mini, and the two classes are scored separately. The race's tracker function reveals that amongst the protos, skipper Axel Trehin, sailing aboard Project Rescue Ocean (FRA 945) was leading the chase, followed by François Jambou, sailing aboard Team BFR Marée Haute Jaune (FRA 865), and Marie Gendron, sailing aboard Cassiopée-SNCF (FRA 930). Amongst the production builds, skipper Ambrogio Becarria, racing aboard Geomag (ITL 943), was in the pole position, followed by Lauris Noslier, sailing aboard Avoriaz (FRA 893), and Pierre Le Roy, sailing aboard Arhtur Loyd (FRA 925).

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Production boats - a wide open playing field at Mini-Transat La Boulangère 2019 - photo © Christophe Breschi
Production boats - a wide open playing field at Mini-Transat La Boulangère 2019 - photo © Christophe Breschi

For years, the Mini Transat has served as a talent pipeline for shorthanded sailors seeking to step up into the bigger Class 40 or IMOCA hardware, but the recently-announced addition of a mixed-sex, two-person offshore event in keelboats at the 2024 Olympics also places additional emphasis on single- and shorthanded events as a possible Olympic proving ground.

Clearly, France is well-positioned for glory, both in the 2019 Mini-Transat La Boulangère and likely also in the inaugural offshore event at the 2024 Olympics, and while Sail-World wishes all competitors racing in the Mini-Transat La Boulangère safe passage and plenty of speed, we sure wouldn't mind seeing a return to the days of American sailors participating in this storied event.

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2019 Jack Brown Trophy Winners, Dalton Bergan (Seattle, Wash.) and Ben Glass (Seattle, Wash.) Championship of Champions 2019 - photo © Rick Bannerot,
2019 Jack Brown Trophy Winners, Dalton Bergan (Seattle, Wash.) and Ben Glass (Seattle, Wash.) Championship of Champions 2019 - photo © Rick Bannerot,

Meanwhile, much closer to home, US Sailing's Championship of Champions, which was contested in Sonars, was sailed last weekend on the waters off of Stamford Yacht Club, in Stamford, Connecticut. To qualify, entrants must win a national or North American class championship title, meaning that the starting line was packed with talent. But, after 13 races, the Seattle-based team of Dalton Bergan and Ben Glass (Team 5) beat out 19 other teams. They were joined on the podium by Vincent Porter and Andrew Barrett (Team 17), and Chris Raab and Geoffrey Ewenson (Team 15).

"We went upwind to check our settings over and over again without resting much between races," said Glass in an official US Sailing press release. "It seems to have paid off."

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Pearson Potts and his crew claimed the Prince of Wales Bowl and the U.S. Match Racing Championship for the second year running - photo © Scott Armstrong/St. Francis Yacht Club
Pearson Potts and his crew claimed the Prince of Wales Bowl and the U.S. Match Racing Championship for the second year running - photo © Scott Armstrong/St. Francis Yacht Club

And in San Francisco, California, the St Francis Yacht Club hosted the Kilroy Realty U.S. Match Racing Championship (October 3-6). While "the Bay" is known for its wind-machine properties, Sunday proved to be a light-air affair that forced the race committee to cancel the day's racing. Fortunately, better air earlier in the series allowed the committee to successfully score the regatta. Skipper Pearson Potts and his team claimed victory for their third consecutive year, beating out seven other teams, including teams skippered by Peter Holz and Jeffrey Petersen, who finished the regatta in second and third places, respectively.

"We came in to defend; we never really saw ourselves [that way]," said Potts in an official press release. "So we tried to win rather than defend. Any time you come to St. Francis... there are so many currents and variables," he said.

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INEOS TEAM UK officially christened their first America's Cup race boat, Britannia - photo © Chris Ison
INEOS TEAM UK officially christened their first America's Cup race boat, Britannia - photo © Chris Ison

And finally, in America's Cup news, both INEOS Team UK and Luna Rossa have launched their first-generation AC75s. This brings the total count of launched AC75s to four, with only Stars & Stripes Team USA yet to unveil their build. It will certainly be interesting to see where these teams end up in terms of the designs of their second-generation boats. Stay tuned!

Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - launching AC75 - Cagliari, Sardinia - October 2, 2019 - photo © Carlo Borlenghi
Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli - launching AC75 - Cagliari, Sardinia - October 2, 2019 - photo © Carlo Borlenghi

May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt

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Marlow Ropes named official supplier of 11th Hour Racing Team
Marlow Ropes Inc., the leading manufacturer of high performance cordage, has signed on with 11th Hour Racing Team as official supplier for the team's campaign focused on the next edition of The Ocean Race in 2021-2022.

30th 2.4mR World Championship at Yacht Club Italiano - Preview
Since the 2.4mR is suitable for disabled helmsmen it was chosen as a single-handed class for the Paralympics in Sydney in 2000. The biggest fleets are in the Scandinavian countries, in Italy, England, Germany, Australia and the USA.

2019 Mini-Transat La Boulangère Day 4: Enjoyment, vigilance and competition!
Virtually all the competitors are opting to pass inside the Cape Finisterre TSS, aside from four sailors who are going for broke to the Far West, a move they hope will pay off.

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2019 FAST40+ Race Circuit Round 6 Finale at Royal Southern Yacht Club - Preview
Four teams are vying for the final podium position; Tony Dickin's Jubilee, Steve Cowie's Zephyr, Filip Engelbert's Elvis, and Ed Fishwick's Redshift. The FAST40+ fleet will be returning to the Solent for three days of exciting racing.

An interview with Duane Guidry about the 2019 Harvest Moon Regatta
I checked in with Duane Guidry, regatta chair of the 2019 Harvest Moon Regatta, via email, to learn more about this now-classic Southern Coast fall challenge.

The return of the Finn?
For the 2019 World Sailing annual conference in Bermuda the Finn Class has made eight submissions to try to 'rebalance the slate' and reinstate the Finn as Olympic equipment for 2024 and beyond.

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The Clipper Race Leg 1 - Race 2, Day 23
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2019 Farr 40 World Championship at Long Beach Yacht Club
While some may claim beginners luck, the first place team, Far Niente, of the 2019 Farr 40 World Championship earned their win with an amazing team and by going back to the fundamentals.

America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand flies Code Zero
Emirates Team Team New Zealand had fore-shortened training session on the Hauraki Gulf this morning, after their Code Zero let go.

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Paris 2024: Olympic windsurfing at a turning point
The future of Olympic windsurfing is likely to be decided next month and it is appropriate that at the forefront of discussions are options put forward by a couple of Kiwis who once ruled the sport.

Maxi winners decided at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
The final day of Les Voiles de Saint Tropez 2019 enabled the maxi teams to get some deciding points on the board after a week that has proved challenging to crews and race officials alike.

Argo, Maserati, PowerPlay set for 2020 RORC Caribbean 600
Multihulls have competed in every edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 and for the first time in the history of the race, the 2020 edition is set to feature three equally matched 70ft carbon flyers.

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Zhik's eagerly awaited new Dinghy Boot Range has arrived
Updating a long-time favourite for the dedicated sportsboat and dinghy sailors, these boots offer great support and insulation. An entirely new moulded sole design and new rubber compound create a step change in levels of grip on wet decks.

2019 Kilroy Realty U.S. Match Racing Championship: Potts retains Prince of Wales Bowl
The Kilroy Realty U.S. Match Racing Championship in San Francisco Bay started with two days of long postponements that yielded what chief umpire Glenn Oliver termed "champagne conditions." T

Auckland On the Water Boatshow - Sun shines on Final Day
The sun made a longer than fleeting appearance for the Final Day of the Auckland On the Water Boat Show, providing an opportunity for Sail-World's camera to get around the marina.

Paul Cayard reports from the Vintage Gold Cup 2019
The third annual 2019 Vintage Gold Cup is complete and we have a new winner; Eivind Melleby from Norway with Josh Revkin (USA) crewing. Melleby won the "who-beats-who" final 8th race to take the win over Lars Grael of Brazil with Arnie Baltins crewing.

2019 US Sailing Championship of Champions at Stamford Yacht Club
The Championship of Champions, hosted by Stamford Yacht Club came to a close Sunday afternoon after three days of exciting racing in windy conditions on Long Island Sound.

2019 44Cup Cascais at Porto Montenegro - Overall: Team Aqua win with a race to spare
Whether it is in big waves or small, gale force or sub-10 winds, Chris Bake's Team Aqua has shone this week and as a result today won the 44Cup Cascais with a race to spare.

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Going really quickly in big boats
And then there were four. And they are pretty different too. They are a little like two pairs, if cards are your thing, but by the time the second hulls appear, you wonder

20th Anniversary Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez - Overall
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez has certainly pulled out all the stops to celebrate their 20th anniversary! Glorious sunshine and all types of breeze resulted in some sumptuous races right up close to the enchanting shores of France's Var region.

North Sails Weekly Debrief: Azzura wins Super Series, IMOCA & HELIX, Glenn Cook joins North
We predicted the 2019 52 Super Series would be the most competitive season to date, and in the end, Azzura was on top.

America's Cup: What they didn't tell you about the launch of Luna Rossa
Leading Italian America's Cup correspondent, Fabio Pozzo was at the launch of Luna Rossa's AC75. He backgrounds some of the off-camera action from a launch typified by the understated elegance that has become the hallmark of the Italian fashion house.

America's Cup: 'We could have had more teams with a less aggressive boat' - Bertelli
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3rd Annual Vintage Gold Cup Regatta on Gull Lake, Michigan - Overall
After an eight-race series with very challenging conditions, Eivind Melleby from Norway and Joshua Revkin from Boston, are the 2019 Vintage Gold Cup winners with an impressive four bullets in the score sheet.

America's Cup: Images and analysis of INEOS Team UK's first AC75
The British America's Cup team INEOS Team UK was the last of the four "Super teams" in the 36th America's Cup to launch their AC75, which was splashed on Friday, UK time at Portsmouth. Shaun Roster was on hand to catch these images from the launch.

INEOS TEAM UK name their first race boat for the 36th America's Cup 'Britannia'
INEOS TEAM UK have officially christened their first America's Cup race boat from their HQ in Portsmouth, naming her 'Britannia' in homage to one of Britain's most famous racing yachts.

America's Cup - INEOS TEAM UK official AC75 naming ceremony
The INEOS TEAM UK AC75 has been officially named 'Britannia'. A name steeped in the history of sailing and of course containing the word 'Rita', which all of Sir Ben's boats have been named.

Brest Atlantiques - One month to the start
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More competitors at the start of the Vendée Globe
Ever since its creation, the Vendée Globe - a sailing race round-the-world, solo, non-stop and without assistance - has been an essential reference in the world of offshore sailing.

America's Cup: Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team launch their AC75
After months of simulations and trials on a smaller-scale model while the full-sized model was being built, the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli Team revealed their new, totally black, AC75 during an official ceremony at their home base in Cagliari, Sardinia.

An interview with Mark Towill about 11th Hour Racing's campaign for The Ocean Race 2021/2022
I checked in with Mark Towill, of 11th Hour Racing, via email, for his thoughts on the 2021/2022 edition of The Ocean Race.

America's Cup: Luna Rossa launch first AC75 in Cagliari
The Challenger of Record for the 36th America's Cup, Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli has launched their first AC75 in Cagliari, Sardinia. The hull is a different design treatment than the first two launched by Emirates Team New Zealand and NYYC American Magic

60 sailors to compete in the Transat Jacques Vabre in the IMOCA category
Thirty IMOCAs will line up for the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre - a record. That means sixty sailors (including seven women and sixteen non-French sailors) will be doing battle over the 4350 miles separating Le Havre from Salvador da Bahia.

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