Saturday, 19 June 2010

RTI: Joyon and Slade Take Line Honours in 79th edition

Paul Campbell-James in Oman Sail's The Wave takes the X40s, 47 seconds ahead of Loick Peyron in Oman Sail's Masirah. Khamis Al Anbouri was on Masirah last year and The Wave this year - always the winning boat!

Francis Joyon's line-honours winning IDEC trimaran. Image copyright onEdition.

by Anne Hinton

Sixteen thousand sailors either did not go to bed or got out of bed before dawn in Britain to start this year's J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race as the sun rose above the horizon, with the first boats getting away from Cowes at 5am. West-going tidal streams determine the start time, in order to ensure that boats clear the Royal Yacht Squadron line even if there is little wind.

Boats competing in the 79th edition of the Round the Island Race. Image copyright onEdition.

Dame Ellen MacArthur set the fleet away on the first start, before going afloat to start later herself, with the Ellen MacArthur Trust. Ben Ainslie had made it over for the day from the south of France (Marseille) TP52 Audi MedCup regatta, and he, Shirley Robertson and Paul Goodison, as British Olympic medallists, helmed or sailed on boats associated with charities in this year's race.

Velsheda just after the start at dawn. Image copyright onEdition.

ICAP Leopard (Mike Slade) led the large monohulls, including Velsheda, away from the line in light northerlies in the first start, but it was the X40 catamarans that charged off after her in the second start - Francis Joyon's IDEC trimaran ensuring that there was sea room to put up a headsail and get under way, albeit slowly at first, as the wind was light initially.

At the Needles, ICAP Leopard was still in the lead. Oman Sail's The Wave Muscat (Paul Campbell-James) and ECOVER (Mike Golding) stayed closest to the island shore and were leading the Extreme 40s at this stage. However, Loick Peyron on Oman Sail's Masirah went close inshore just before the Needles - an option that regularly pays well - while the leading pair remained watching each other further offshore at this point. Masirah caught up substantially as a result. All the Extreme 40s had passed the Needles before IDEC arrived there.

Francis Joyon, line honours winner in IDEC. Image copyright onEdition.

Passing into Freshwater Bay, with the wind still light, the boats were swept westwards on the strong ebb tide. Team Metherell (Nick Moloney) went furthest out, but the others stayed inshore. After St Catherine's Point ECOVER was furthest inshore. However, past St Catherine's Point there was also a lot of chop, as the wind built to 17 knots, which slowed the X40s down and allowed Francis Joyon's IDEC to stretch her legs and pass them.

ECOVER sailing with the winning Extreme 40, Paul Campbell-James' The Wave Muscat. Image copyright onEdition.

IDEC finished well ahead, at speed, off Cowes at 09h 34m 05s - so her rounding was in 04h 24m 05s, well outside her course record of 03h 08m 29s. She was followed by the four Extreme 40s. By the time they had got past the Forts inside the eastern Solent once more, the two Omani boats were well in the lead. Paul Campbell-James held off Loick Peyron to finish 24 seconds ahead. Oman Sail's The Wave Muscat finished at 09h 37m 33s, then Oman Sail Masirah at 09h 37m 57s, Team Metherell at 09h 44m 10s and finally ECOVER at 09h 48m 45s.

Mike Slade's ICAP Leopard was the first monohull to finish. Image copyright onEdition.

ICAP Leopard crossed the line at 10h 10m 06s so her rounding was in 05h 00m 06s, way outside her record of 03h 53m 05s. The J Class yacht Velsheda finished at 10h 45m 02s.

Smaller yachts are still finishing, and are expected to continue to do so into the evening. The handicap winner, of the Gold Roman Bowl, is not known at this stage. There has been one dismasting, out of the 1,750 starters in this year's race: this befell a classic Tumlar boat off Dunnose, but all crew are safe. The prizegiving is on Sunday at the Island Sailing Club, organisers of Britain's favourite sailing race.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race

Slovenia Match Race Cup: Robertson almost invincible on Day 2 in Korper

It's those Russians from Synergy again! Robertson (NZL) leads Neugodnikov (RUS) in the pre-start. Image copyright Slovenia Match Race Cup.

by Jana Pines

Second day of Slovenia match race cup started with the rain but soon after morning's skippers meeting the sun came out. Even though the conditions weren’t promising, the race committee left the harbour on scheduled time and waited for the wind to stabilize on the sea. Around the noon everything was set and matches could finally have started.

First objective was to finish the round robin, but it took quite a while to realize it because of many delays, caused by the damages on the boats. Ratko Štibrič in fact enabled one of the boats by perforating its side, so the competition proceeded with only two pairs instead of three. Anyway, the race committee managed to finish the first round robin and almost got the second one done.

Close racing in Slovenia. Image copyright Slovenia Match Race Cup.

Amongst the nine crews Philip Roberston’s team was the one with major number of victories. Actually the Kiwis were the only team who haven’t lost a single match. Ian Ainslie (RSA) placed second with six wins out of eight, while Michele Perris from Monaco took the third place. Morvan, Neugodnikov and Simone Ferrarese are the other three skippers qualified for the second round robin but so far, the game is far from decided.

Combined round robin scores to date for top 6 (each competitor has 2 matches remaining) win-loss

Phil Robertson (NZL) 7-1
Michele Perris (MON) 4-4
Ian Ainslie (RSA) 4-4
Eugeniy Neugodnikov (RUS) 4-4
Pierre-Antoine Morvan (FRA) 3-5
Simone Ferrarse (ITA) 2-6

Note from SailRaceWin: It's clear from the results (updated after the report above was written) that Phil Robertson's Waka Racing team has qualified for the semi-finals. Also, many of the competitors in Slovenia were those at the Sails of the White Nights in St Petersburg last week, beaten by Reuben Corbett (NZL) and Black Sheep Racing. Black Sheep Racing are currently in La Rochelle, France, competing alongside SLAM Kiwi Match at the Coupe d'ete (Summer Cup).

Slovenia Match Race Cup

Slovenia Match Race Cup: Waka Racing at the Top on Day 2

Video report from Waka Racing on Day 2 of the Slovenia Match Race Cup:

Waka Racing flying the flag at the opening ceremony at the Slovenia Match Race Cup. Supplied image.

Phil Robertson's car for the Korea Match Cup, with name branding. Supplied image.

Waka Racing
Slovenia Match Race Cup

Audi MedCup: Marseille Trophy images from Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

Video of images from the Marseille Trophy by Juerg Kaufmann/Go4Image

Audi MedCup

Audi MedCup: Big Blow Could be the decider for ETNZ

Emirates Team New Zealand in the coastal race off Marseille. Image copyright Chris Cameron/Emirates Team New Zealand.

by Warren Douglas

Strong winds predicted for the weekend could decide the outcome of the Audi MedCup Marseille regatta at Marseille.

On Friday, Emirates Team New Zealand took second place in the 40-mile coastal race, climbing to fourth on the overall leader board.

Now on 31 points, Emirates Team New Zealand is 8.5 points behind Quantum, which won the coastal race, on 22.5. Matador is on 27 points and Audi A1 on 29.5.

It’s tight on the leader board and the weather forecast has skipper Dean Barker and the boys hoping that the three races scheduled are run on Saturday. “If the winds on Sunday are as strong as predicted there’s unlikely to be any racing.”

Team weatherman Roger Badham expects winds on Saturday to be 20-25 knots gusting to 30. On Sunday, early signs are for the winds to increase to 30-35 knots gusting to 40.

Dean Barker says Saturday should be OK for racing. “Three races in strong winds – anything can happen.”

On Friday’s coastal race, several boats suffered sail and gear damage. On the long run, the wind gauge at the top of NZL380’s mast recorded 28 knots.

Barker said: “We didn’t have any problems with gear or sails. The shore crew has prepared the yacht exceptionally well. In heavy conditions reliability is paramount and we have the confidence in the boat to push it hard.

“We are only four points away from second overall; 8.5 from the lead. We’re not in the box seat, but we’re close enough to strike if we sail well and take the opportunities.”

Emirates Team New Zealand in the coastal race off Marseille. Image copyright Chris Cameron/Emirates Team New Zealand.

Of Friday’s coastal race, tactician Ray Davies said: "We finished second, so we are very happy with that on a very tricky and tough race. We had a very good first leg. Down the long run Audi was flying and they surfed right over the top of us and they just kept going.

“On the beat upwind they had some troubles with the genoa. They did a very good job of recovering - first they had to drop it and then re-hoist it and then the sail started pulling out of the foil.

“Conditions were great, it was perfect sailing and it got up to 26-28 knots down the run. But it was a long way upwind, a lot of hiking. A lot of people will be wanting a massage tonight, that's for sure."

NZL 380 led at the first mark with Quantum 19s behind. Quantum slipped past at the second mark, with NZL 380 right on its transom, the margin only 4s.

Audi A1 showed great speed down wind, overtaking NZL 380 and rounding second at the third and fourth marks. A broken jib halyard on the French-German boat gave Dean Barker an opportunity which he grabbed. They overtook and maintained the advantage to the finish.

Marseille Trophy

TP52 Series
Overall – Day 3

1. Quantum Racing (USA), 8+1+1+5+6+1.5= 22.5 points
2. Matador (ARG), 3+3+4+1+10+6= 27
3. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 2+9+2+10+2+4.5= 29.5
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 10+6+5+4+3+3= 31
5. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+7+7+3+1+9= 31
6. Synergy (RUS), 9+2+6+7+4+7.5= 35.5
7. Bribón (ESP), 1+8+8+2+7+15= 41
8. Cristabella (GBR), 6+4+3+8+9+13.5= 43.5
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+5+10+9+5+10.5= 44.5
10. Artemis (SWE), 7+11(RAF)+9+6+8+12= 53

Emirates Team New Zealand
Audi MedCup

Audi MedCup: Audi A1 Team powered by ALL4ONE in top 3 in Marseille

Audi A1 Team powered by ALL4ONE in the Marseille coastal race. Image copyright Frank Socha/

by Stephanie Nadin

For the third competition day in the Marseille Trophy, the Audi MedCup competitors fought in the "coastal race" in tough conditions and a wind about 20 to 25 knots that increased during the day. The TP52 fleet sailed along the beautiful coast from Marseille to Cassis via the "Cap Croisette", before coming back towards Marseille, sailing along the famous "calanques".

Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE takes the third place on this race, and goes up to the third position on today's provisional general ranking.

They said:

Albert Jacobsoone, Pit: "We had a good start, and we were in the middle of the fleet at the top mark. Then we sailed really well downwind, coming back on the leading group, which made it possible for us to manage a good mark rounding downwind. Then we headed towards the islands and kept a good speed. When sailing with the spinnaker we achieved a good move by taking over the second place from Emirates Team New Zealand as we were faster than them downwind, which is always a satisfaction, and proves that our boat is good and that we sail it well. But we had a little problem after that as we broke the jib halyard, so we had to send our bowman Jean-Marie Dauris in the mast to repair and fix the problem. We still managed to sail close to ETNZ, even if we lost our second place. We end up third on this race, which is good after a nice race, even if we have to work on improving some small details in the boat's preparation. This race confirms the results we achieved till now, and we still have some more races to go!"

Audi A1 Team powered by ALL4ONE in the Marseille coastal race. Image copyright Frank Socha/

Paolo Bassani, Floater and Boat Captain: "it was a great day and we finished third, like for the long distance race in Cascais, so we repeat the same result. It could have been a second place, but we broke the jib halyard when we were second just behind Quantum Racing, and we had a good lead on Emirates Team New Zealand. But the Kiwis passed us, and it was over for us with the second place. We kept our third position, which is still a very good one. We are back in the third position in the general ranking, so we are more than happy. We are very close in terms of points in the top group, everything can change with a few more races to go, and we will try to do our best to keep that third position or to reach the second position like we did in Cascais. The team is improving and racing well, that is good, as when you race in the first half of the fleet, it means you are racing well."

The competition resumes Saturday, and the wind should get stronger.

Provisional overall standings after 6 races TP52 Series
1. Quantum Racing - 22,5 points
2. Matador - 27 points
3. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE - 29,5 points
4. Emirates Team New Zealand - 31 points
5. TeamOrigin 1851 - 31 points
6. Synergy - 35,5 points
7. Bribon - 41 points
8. Cristabella - 43,5 points
9. Luna Rossa - 44,5 points
10. Artemis - 53 points
11. Bigamist - DNC - 78 points

Audi MedCup

Audi MedCup: TEAMORIGIN in 5th Overall after Tough Coastal Race

Finishing 6th in today's coastal race, we now lie in 5th place overall, two more race days to go

TEAMORIGIN 1851 in the coastal race of the Marseille Trophy, Audi MedCup. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

TEAMORIGIN 1851 in the coastal race of the Marseille Trophy, Audi MedCup. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

TEAMORIGIN 1851 in the coastal race of the Marseille Trophy, Audi MedCup. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

TEAMORIGIN 1851 in the coastal race of the Marseille Trophy, Audi MedCup. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

TEAMORIGIN 1851 in the coastal race of the Marseille Trophy, Audi MedCup. Image copyright Ian Roman/TEAMORIGIN.

Audi MedCup

Audi MedCup: Artemis in the Coastal Race off Marseille

by Paul Cayard

Friday we had the coastal race. The course was beautiful, taking the fleet around several islands and down along the coast eastwards to a city called Cassis.

On Artemis we did not do much better than we have been doing all week. We finished 8th after blowing up 2 spinnakers during the race. We had an ok start but did not go very well up the first windward leg and ended up second to last at the first mark. We gybed first and made big gains on the fleet down the first run. But then our gennaker exploded and we lost it all.

The day was kind of like that so it was plenty frustrating. The conditions were 16-26 knots. The sea was pretty big at times. The bows of these boats are so narrow that they spend a fair amount of time with the bow under water going downwind in 25 knots of wind. We did well to make it down the run in 26 with our A2 (.5oz) kite up after we had shredded both of our heavy kites.

Quantum sailed really fast in the big breeze and won the race easily over Emirates Team New Zealand and All4One.

We are still in last place. We just have to forget the scores and try to have some good races tomorrow and Sunday. The forecast is for strong winds again this weekend.

Audi MedCup

Audi MedCup Marseille: Quantum Racing kings under the Calanques

After winning on this track for the second year in a row Quantum Racing could be justified in claiming ownership of one of the most spectacular race tracks there is on the Audi MedCup Circuit, the 36 miles circuit down along spectacular calanques limestone cliffs to Cassis and back

TP52s off Marseille. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

by Sabina Mollart-Rogerson

Carrying a 1.5 points bounty the win their third of the Marseille Trophy so far, gives the 2008 Audi MedCup champions a lead of 4.5 points over Matador who stole third in the closing stages of a spectacular, exciting coastal race.

TP52 fleet. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

It was pure, distilled, classic Marseille. Winds peaked at nearly 25 knots with big seas to ride on the 10 miles downwind leg to the turning mark off Cassis, the scenic little town which lies in a quiet bay cut from the towering cliffs. On the downwind leg the sustained surfing action was quite simply as good as it gets, and on the return leg along the base of the cliffs, it is fantastic, powerful upwind sailing in flatter water.

Artemis. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

Emirates Team New Zealand. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/Audi MedCup.

The Quantum Racing team sailed an impeccable race.

Quantum Racing. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

The pressure was added at the start with the TP52 fleet knowing that there might be few big tactical opportunities after leaving the bay of Marseille. It was another pin sharp start from the Quantum Racing afterguard which allowed them to track left early with Emirates Team New Zealand. The Kiwis lead around the windward mark with Quantum Racing on their tails but on the first run Emirates Team New Zealand gybed early and the American team were able to get around the leeward gate first.

From there Quantum Racing were never really challenged.

Artemis. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

Jochen Schuemann, Sebastien Col and the Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE were probably the quickest on the water today and had overhauled the Kiwi team, but just after half way back up the long beat home, the Franco-German team lost their jib.

Audi A1 Team powered by ALL4ONE. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

They had to send a man up the mast quickly to retrieve the halyard and that lost them ground to the current champions. Audi A1 took third place across the finish, whilst Matador’s never say die spirit was rewarded when they managed to grab fourth on the finish line.

TP52s. Image copyright Ian Roman/Audi MedCup.

Equipment Failures
It was a muscular day which exposed any small imperfections in crew work, or equipment. Britain’s TeamOrigin 1851 had some of their good work on Thursday undone when their jib slipped down on the first beat when they were dicing for second place, they fought back but could only make sixth.

Audi A1 Team powered by ALL4ONE. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/Audi MedCup.

But the most unfortunate team were Bribon who lost their forestay strop and had to nurse their boat to the finish under mainsail only.

Artemis. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/Audi MedCup.

Madrid-Caser Seguros tightens the race
In a stunning reversal of yesterday’s mediocre results, Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP) found their form in today’s wavy, breezy conditions to post an impressive 2-1-1 in the GP42’s three races. This result has vaulted them from last to runner-up in the standings, and tightened the race in the GP42 Series. Helmsman Paolo Cian (ITA) and his team led by tactician Jose Maria van der Ploeg (ESP) were fast, smart and error-free from start to finish today, bested only by AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA) in the first race. The win in Race 3 by owner/helmsman Roberto Monti (ITA) and his team was their first of the 2010 season.

GP42s. Image copyright Guido Trombetta_Studio Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

These big-breeze conditions in the past have usually favored both Madrid-Caser Seguros and Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), being the latest-generation Botin & Carkeek designs, but the Felci-designed AIRISESSENTIAL and the slightly older generation B&C-designed Iberdrola (ESP) managed to hang on turn in their share of good results, with Iberdrola maintaining a slim 2-point lead in the class.

GP42s. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

Another older B&C design, Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), also showed great promise in the breeze by being among the leaders in the first mark rounding, but a loud crack heard shortly after rounding indicated the masthead crane breaking. The accident is particularly heartbreaking for the team, led by owner/helmsman John Bassadone (GBR) and tactician Inaki Castaner (ESP), since the very same break occurred for them on the final day of racing in the last Audi MedCup stage in Portugal. The team will be unable to affect repairs in time to re-join the series at this stage, especially with the strong Mistral forecast for tomorrow.

Quantum Racing. Image copyright Ainhoa Sanchez/Audi MedCup.

Ashore the Audi MedCup Public Village has proved a popular visitor attraction on the bustling Vieux Port promenade. As well as sailor interviews at the dock out and dock in, the day's winners Quantum Racing took to the stage for the public weigh in.

TP52 fleet. Image copyright Carlo Borlenghi/Audi MedCup.

strong>Quotes of the day:

Morgan Larson (USA) tacitician Quantum Racing (USA):
“We like that race course. It was slightly different to last year, but not that much. I think it was a pretty straightforward race, we put the right sails up at the right time, boat handling was good. I reckon that is probably the best race I have sailed with this team in two years. I don’t think there is anything especially different. For us it is nice to have Doug de Vos with us. He knows his way around the boat which is nice. It is the first regatta he has done with us. He is not just sitting on the rail, he is sort of the mast man and doing a lot of grinding.
“I think the addition of Phil Jameson, ‘Blood’, who joined as at the back end of last season, is a great addition. He has so much experience and is a great trouble shooter. We had a few mechanical issues before the start and one or two issues during the race and he sorted them out.

TP52s. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

“Visually that is beautiful course and tactically it is great. There are a lot of rocks and turns. You think it is the same every year but there are still bits where you are thinking where the mark is. Historically it has always been good for us and it is great because you sail outside in big winds and waves and then come upwind in flat water and along the cliffs.”

GP42. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

Gabriele Benussi (ITA), tactician AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA):
“We are surprised because the other boats are very fast with strong wind, but today we were very similar with the speed, we started very well, we did a good tactic, so we finish in first place. In the other two races we have done wrong some manoeuvres and we have broken one gennaker, so we were second and third and we have finished third and forth, but for me it’s a very good day as we sail with owner driver and with this conditions is very hard to steer the boat.”

Matador. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

José María van der Ploeg (ESP), skipper Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP):
“It’s been a second and two firsts, in this order, as we are not very happy with the first race, we have had some problems with the speed but we have been able to fix them and slowly we have been able to trim the sails and the mast and that has allowed us to sail the next two races more comfortable and relaxed and that has shown in the results. Here the level is very even and if you make one mistake you can be sure that they will remind you.”

Emirates Team New Zealand and Matador. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

Ray Davies (NZL), tactician ETNZ (NZL):
"We've finished second, so we are very happy with that but it's been a very tricky tough race. We've had a very good first leg, and then down the long run down to the bottom end Audi were flying they sailed past us they caught up towards Quantum as well they were going the best downwiind and they surfed straight over the top of us and they just kept going.
"Then on the beat upwind they had some troubles with the genoa, they did a very good job of recovering, first they had to drop it and then re-hoist it, and then started pulling out of the foil. Conditions were great, it was perfect sailing, it got up to 26-27 knots sometimes down the run. But it was a long way upwind, a lot of hiking, there will be a lot of people wanting a massage tonight that's for sure."

Matador and Emirates Team New Zealand. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

Jochen Schuemann (GER), Audi A1 All4One (GER):
" The most important part of the race was the long downwind where we were quite fast and could overtake ETNZ and we were in second position there down in Cassis, but unfortunately when we got a solid second place there we broke our jib halyard and we had to drop the jib, put it up again on the spinnaker halyard and also Jean Marie had to climb up twice in the rig to fix it so that we could continue sailing, and for all that drama we can be very happy of being so close to ETNZ in the finish, they passed us but it was a very nice race."

Quantum Racing and Emirates Team New Zealand. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

Marseille Trophy

TP52 Series
Overall – Day 3

1. Quantum Racing (USA), 8+1+1+5+6+1,5= 22,5 points
2. Matador (ARG), 3+3+4+1+10+6= 27
3. Audi A1 powered by ALL4ONE (FRA/GER), 2+9+2+10+2+4,5= 29,5
4. Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), 10+6+5+4+3+3= 31
5. TeamOrigin (GBR), 4+7+7+3+1+9= 31
6. Synergy (RUS), 9+2+6+7+4+7,5= 35,5
7. Bribón (ESP), 1+8+8+2+7+15= 41
8. Cristabella (GBR), 6+4+3+8+9+13,5= 43,5
9. Luna Rossa (ITA), 5+5+10+9+5+10,5= 44,5
10. Artemis (SWE), 7+11(RAF)+9+6+8+12= 53
11. Bigamist 7 (POR), 12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)+12(DNC)+18(DNC)= 78

AIRISESSENTIAL and Iberdrola in the GP42 fleet. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

GP42 Series
Overall – Day 2

1. Iberdrola (ESP), 1+1+3+2+3= 10 points
2. Madrid-Caser Seguros (ESP), 4+4+2+1+1= 12
3. AIRISESSENTIAL (ITA), 5+2+1+3+4= 15
4. Islas Canarias Puerto Calero (ESP), 2+5+4+4+2= 17
5. Peninsula Petroleum (GBR), 3+3+6(DNF)+6(DNC)+6(DNC)= 24

Bribon. Image copyright Nico Martinez/Audi MedCup.

Audi MedCup

Tour de France à la Voile: Dean Barker will be present in Dunkirk at the start

Dean Barker with a model of the M34. Image copyright JM Liot/Tour de France à la Voile.

* Dean Barker will be present in Dunkirk for the start of the Tour de France à la Voile
* The New Zealander will christen the first M34
* The first one design of the 2011 edition of the Tour de France à la Voile entered the water this week

* Dean Barker sera présent à Dunkerque pour le départ du Tour de France à la Voile
* Le Néo-Zélandais baptisera le premier M34
* Le premier monotype de l’édition 2011 a été mis à l’eau cette semaine

by Fabienne Morin (in translation by SailRaceWin)

Just a few days to wait before seeing the harbour in Dunkirk city centre adorned in the colours of the Tour de France à la Voile 2010. The 28 participating boats will have to be at the disposal of the organisers for measurement checks as soon as next Wednesday at 0900. The launch of this 33rd edition will be done under the gaze of an invited guest of note: Dean Barker.

The first M34. Image copyright DR.

The New Zealander, who asserted his enthusiasm for the Tour de France à la Voile, at a press conference last December at the salon nautique, will re-integrate into this ambiance that he appreciates, having already participated in two editions of the Tour. The recent conqueror of the Louis Vuitton Trophy at La Maddalena (Emirates Team New Zealand) in fact gave an assurrance that he would be present next year with a New Zealand team to participate in the first TFV on board the M34: an engagement that could further reinforce the interest of foreigners in the French event. Let us recall that, in Dunkirk, there will not be less than 9 foreign boats at the start, i.e. a third of the fleet that is participating in 2010!

Dean Barker, patron of the class M34, will take advantage of his presence in Dunkirk to baptize the first M34, put into the water this week. The baptism will take place at the start of the prologue, on Saturday June 26 (towards 1700).

William Borel, race director of the Tour de France à la Voile, had the pleasure of sailing on board the first one design «Batistyl – Ville de Pornic» for its first sea trials, at La Rochelle, on 15th June. The architects, the sailors, the builders' representatives all equally awaited this first outing. The first sensations of as much as the boat could be tested in a lively forecast were visibly excellent! "The conditions were rather boisterous, between 17 and 20 knots. And one can already say that the boat is well formed. As early as first sailing under gennaker, one was able to see all the potential of the boat. At one point, under kite, we even reached 15.8 knots! In short, the boat seems to have very good performance... a true delight to helm. One thing is sure, the M34 not is a compromise, this is a true racing boat. The boat is also very voluminous, rather high in freeboard, and the interior is a lot more habitable than a Farr 30! All that presages magnificent races, with long periods of surfing and a much fuller race programme" enthused William Borel.

The first M34. Image copyright DR.

While we wait to see, next year, the first duelling in the M34, it is on board the Farr 30 that the 28 crews will race against each other in a few days. A last Tour de France à la Voile before a well-deserved retirement, since this one design has been the principal actor in this summer festival for 12 years.

When will it be possible to see the M34 on the Tour de France à la Voile 2010? The first edition of the future one design will be on view in Dunkirk. It will also be present on two further occasions on the TFV 2010. It will take part in the Tour de l’ile de Groix on Saturday July 10 at the time of the stage to Lorient. The M34 will then be in the Mediterranean for the last stage between Marseille and La Seyne sur Mer. The second M34 should also be launched by the time of this final stage.

French version:

Plus que quelques jours à attendre avant de voir le bassin du centre ville à Dunkerque se parer des couleurs du Tour de France à la Voile 2010. Dès mercredi prochain à 9h00, les 28 engagés devront être à disposition de l’organisation pour les contrôles de jauge. Le lancement de cette 33ème édition se fera sous le regard d’un invité de marque : Dean Barker.

The first M34. Image copyright DR.

Le Néo-Zélandais, qui a affirmé son enthousiasme pour Tour de France à la Voile, lors d’une conférence de presse en décembre dernier au salon nautique, fera le déplacement pour se replonger dans cette ambiance qu’il apprécie, puisqu’il a déjà participé à deux reprises à l’épreuve. Le récent vainqueur du Louis Vuitton Trophy à la Maddalena (Emirates Team New Zealand) a en effet assuré qu’il serait présent l’an prochain avec un Team Néo-zélandais pour participer au premier TFV à bord du M34. Un engagement qui pourrait renforcer davantage l’intérêt des étrangers pour l’épreuve française. Rappelons qu’à Dunkerque, ils ne seront pas moins de 9 bateaux étrangers au départ soit un tiers de la flotte engagée en 2010 !

Dean Barker, parrain de la classe M34, profitera de sa présence à Dunkerque pour baptiser le premier M34 mis à l’eau cette semaine. Le baptême aura lieu à l’issue du prologue, le samedi 26 juin (vers 17h00).

The first M34. Image copyright DR.

William Borel, directeur de course du Tour de France à la Voile, a eu le plaisir d’embarquer à bord du premier monotype « Batistyl – Ville de Pornic » pour ses premiers bords, à La Rochelle, le 15 juin dernier. Les architectes, les voiliers, les représentants du chantier étaient également de cette sortie tant attendue. Les premières sensations ont visiblement été excellentes d’autant que le bateau a pu être éprouvé dans une météo tonique ! « Les conditions étaient assez musclées, entre 17 et 20 nœuds. Et l’on peut déjà dire que le bateau est bien né. Dès les premiers bords de spi, on a pu voir tout le potentiel du bateau. Nous avons même fait une pointe, sous spi, à 15,8 nœuds ! Au près, le bateau semble aussi très performant… un vrai régal à la barre. Une chose est sûre, le M34 n’est pas un compromis, c’est un vrai bateau de course. Le bateau est aussi très volumineux, assez haut de franc-bord, et l’intérieur est beaucoup plus habitable qu’un Farr 30 ! Tout cela laisse présager des régates magnifiques, de longs surfs et un programme de courses beaucoup plus vastes » s’enthousiasme William Borel.

En attendant de voir l’an prochain les premières confrontations en M34, c’est bien à bord du Farr 30 que les 28 équipages vont s’affronter dans quelques jours. Un dernier Tour de France à la Voile avant une retraite bien méritée puisque ce monotype est l’acteur principal de rendez-vous estival depuis 12 ans.

Inside the first M34. Image copyright DR.

Quand voir le M34 sur le Tour de France à la Voile 2010 ?
Le premier exemplaire du futur monotype sera visible à Dunkerque. On le retrouvera ensuite à deux occasions sur le TFV 2010. Il prendra part au Tour de l’ile de Groix organisé le samedi 10 juillet lors de l’étape à Lorient. Le M34 sera ensuite en Méditerranée pour la dernière étape entre Marseille et La Seyne sur Mer. Le deuxième M34 devrait être lui aussi visible lors de ce final.

Tour de France à la Voile

RTI: Round the Island Race on Saturday - Hot Shots Everywhere

Francis Joyon's 'IDEC' is up for line honours in the Round the Island Race 2010. Image copyright onEdition.

by Peta Stuart-Hunt

The last few entries... Ben Ainslie, Shirley Robertson and Paul Goodison – all Olympic Gold medallists, all sailing stars and all in Cowes for the J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race starting – and finishing – tomorrow, Saturday 19th June.

Ben, Britain’s most successful Olympic sailor of all time with three Gold medals to his name, is racing on board J.P. Morgan Asset Management Prince’s Trust, a Ker 46, with a group of young ambassadors from the Trust who have been through their ‘Get into Maritime’ programme and are now working in the industry. Shirley is skippering Team Volvo for Life 1 John Merricks, a TP52. Shirley won consecutive Gold medals in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. Paul Goodison is the relatively new kid on the block, and current Olympic, World, European and British Laser champion. Paul is on the VO60, Team Volvo for Life 2.

Jo Richards, the 1984 Olympic Bronze medallist, sailor and yacht designer, will be racing his own brand new boat, the recently completed Richards 20 named Moonshadow. Last Christmas, Cowes-based Jo drew the design of his new boat on the back of a card and it became his winter build project. Initially designed for sailing on the lakes of Europe Jo always had it in the back of his mind to compete in this year’s Round the Island Race on Moonshadow. As far as he is concerned to win this particular race you need to go ‘extreme’, either by racing a tiny boat such as his or something big and high tech, like ICAP Leopard.

Jo reckons that there’s no middle ground to securing the overall win. In his opinion victory lies in the lap of the gods when the forecast arrives. A windy race will see the big boats win, primarily because they get around fast enough to have a favoured tide from the Forts and if the winds are light, the smaller boats win on handicap. His crew on Race Day includes owner Stephen Fein and Peter Allam, Jo’s Olympic Flying Dutchman crew from 1984.

Jo and his little Moonshadow might just get left in the massive shadow cast by current monohull course record holder, Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard! Let’s see how it plays out tomorrow.

Jim Macgregor has entered his 2009 IRC 1 class-winner Premier Flair again. The Elan 40 is also a member of the GBR Red Team in this year’s Rolex Commodore’s Cup (15-21 August) taking place in Cowes. Three of his kids are on board, Nicky, Lucy and Kate.

A design called an Akilaria RC2 Class 40 is skippered by Ned Collier Wakefield. Concise 2 has been launched this year and is crewed entirely by young sailors, many of whom have sailed as part of the late Kit Hobday’s Bear of Britain campaign.

J/24 skipper Ian Southworth is racing the quarter tonner Whiskers (formerly known as ‘Snoopy’) owned by Ian and Led Pritchard.

Bill Blain is racing Batfish IV a J/97 30ft performance cruiser, and it’s her first RTI Race. Bill won the RORC’s Offshore Championship with ‘Batfish III’ in 2009.

Finally, the very last entry to be received and processed this year, number 1,754 was from John Caulcutt who is skippering the Swan 65, Desperado!

Race Press Conference officially launches Britain’s favourite yacht race
The Island Sailing Club hosted the 2010 Race Press Conference at midday today. The sun shone, the media arrived in their droves, along with some of the best-known racing teams in the world, charity representatives and celebrities from the world of sport and TV.

Introducing the proceedings, the assembled gathering heard from the Commodore of the Island Sailing Club, Bill Pimlott who welcomed everyone, explained that the very early start of 0500 was owing to tides and this year is exceptional. He went on to praise the 200 or so volunteers who give up their time to bring this amazing event to life. Bill also highlighted the family element of the race and that it is always a great day out for everyone involved. He concluded by thanking the title sponsor J.P. Morgan Asset Management for their continued sponsorship support and huge involvement.

Following on from Bill, we were introduced to Roger Thompson, the new UK Head of J.P. Morgan Asset Management who said that the partnership with the ISC and the Race worked extremely well and just gets better every year. He continued, “the introduction of tracking is an experiment this year but we hope it further enhances the event for everyone.”

On the charity fundraising front, Roger went on to say that the Race has raised £350,000 in the last three years and they hope to take this up to £500,000 this year and a £I million by 2012.

Sailing on Challenge Macmillan is Iwan Thomas, a former Olympic athlete who represented GB and Northern Ireland in the 400m and then represented Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

Mike Perham is sailing on Challenge Prostate UK. Mike was only 17 when he became the youngest person to sail round the world solo in a 50ft racing yacht over 164 days, completing his journey in August 2009.

The Charity Cup is presented each year for the most money raised for a charity during the Race. Last year it was the team at J.P. Morgan who raised the most for charity - £17,694.11 for the Ellen MacArthur Trust. In the last four years J.P. Morgan Bournemouth has raised nearly £50,000 for the Ellen MacArthur Trust. Daisy Skeplethon from the Ellen MacArthur Trust went up on stage with Andy Graham and Gary Hall from J.P. Morgan Bournemouth team for the presentation.

The four Extreme 40s were fully represented at the press conference with the skipper of last year’s line honours multihull winner Oman Sail Masirah, Loick Peyron on stage and telling the inimitable Richard Simmonds, the MC, that he wasn’t that interested in setting records, “we just want to win!” Meanwhile it was great to see Mike Golding and his team from Ecover and Nick Moloney who is at the helm of Team Metherell.

Finally Paul Campbell-James is skippering Oman The Wave, Muscat. At only 27 years old he already has two world championships and 17 national titles under his belt!

On the stage, alongside the sailing superstars was The Apprentice winner Michelle Dewberry who is sailing with Ben Ainslie on the Prince’s Trust yacht. Then Scott Waddington was introduced. Who? You may well ask! Well, Scott is the owner and skipper of the oldest boat in this year’s race, Nellie, an Itchen Ferry built in 1862. He talked lovingly about how he had inherited the boat from his father and has restored over the years to re-launch just last month. Despite Nellie's 148 years, she has never been sailed around the Island, making this year's Race a most auspicious occasion.

Turning to the weather...The Raymarine meteorologist, Libby Greenhalgh, was asked some tough questions. What’s the weather going to be like for the Race? Oh, and by the way, what’s it like in South Africa for the England v Algeria game tonight?! Her official weather briefing is at 1800 at the ISC.

Thankfully Libby knows plenty about the conditions for the RTI Race. It’s going to be dry and warm and the stable weather looks set to continue with high pressure dominating. The early starters can expect 8-12 knots from the north and there could, potentially, be record-breaking conditions when the wind increases to 17 knots around the back of the Island during the morning. More on that front tomorrow.

Future boat building talent shines
The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race Model Boat Building Competition was fought out over three races this afternoon by two competing Isle of Wight High Schools with two Cowes High School students walking away with the big prize.

Alfred Jennings, 15 and 16-year old Dominic Gibbons won two out of the three races against the team from Christ the King College with their craft “Pro -2”.
Thanks to their win, Dominic and Alfred have won £75 worth of Henri Lloyd sailing clothing and Round the Island race goodies.

Dominic said, “We used the same design from last year but tried to make it lighter and modernise it a little and adjusted the centre of gravity. I have been doing this for around eight years in my spare time. I am really happy with the look and design of this boat.” Alfred Jennings, “The start was really important and that was the reason we won I think.”

The J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race Model Boat Building Competition is staged in association with Isle of Wight Young Chamber.

J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race