Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Southern Spars Launches New Website

North Technology Group (NTG) company Southern Spars has launched a brand-new website at www.southernspars.com
With an emphasis on quality information, video, imagery, and interactive elements, the new website provides existing and prospective customers with considerably more detail about the Southern Spars' global operation and product offering than the previous version of the site.

"With eye-catching images of some of Southern Spars most recent projects, the new, more visual home page provides online visitors with access to a wide range of information with just one or two clicks of their mouse. I think we're on the mark with improved usability, providing quick access to details of the company's major products, technology, services and news," said Southern Spars Director, Mark Hauser.

Monday, January 11, 2016

WWW (What Went Wrong) in the "Hobart"

//Source: www.boatson.tv//
Geoff Waller of www.boatson.tv talks exclusively to North Sails' Michael Coxon on what happened in the recent disastrous 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race when 31 yachts retired.  

Cocko talks sails, sail handling, asymmetric vs. symmetric sails, which boats should be using them, dagger-boards good and bad, reefing, what happened on the first night in the big wind change and much more. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Το Wild Oats XI αναζητά τη ρεβάνς για το 2016

One of the many early retirements of the 2015 Rolex Sydney-Hobart was race favorite Wild Oats XI, who was vying for her nine consecutive line honors win. 
With 31 retirements so far, this year’s installment of the prestigious annual regatta is regarded as the toughest since 2004 when 50% of the fleet was forced to retire.
Wild Oats XI, Photo Credit: Andrea Francolini Photography
 At the front of the 100 boat fleet, the Wild Oats XI crew was among the first to hit a predicted southerly squall and thus one of the first to retire, after ripping the mainsail while attempting to put a reef in. In our first contact with Wild Oats XI upon return to Sydney Harbour; Alby Pratt, crew member and sales manager at North Sails Australia, reported:

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bermuda's Great Sound Beckons For M32 Fleet

A fleet of six M32’s will kick off the 2016 M32 Series Bermuda from 8-10 January sailing on Bermuda’s ‘Great Sound’, the same race area chosen for the 35th America’s Cup in 2017. The inaugural M32 Series Bermuda will run from January to April with one event per month.
Organised by M32 North America in conjunction with the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, the fleet for the opening event will consist of private owners and professional teams including Volvo Ocean Race skipper Charlie Enright, and former Olympic sailor and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Sally Barkow.

Barkow, who was recently awarded a Tour Card for the 2016 World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), is also taking the opportunity in Bermuda to prepare for the Tour Championship season starting in Fremantle, Australia in March;
"We are looking forward to racing the M32s in Bermuda this winter and are very fortunate to be supported by Chicago Match Race Centre for the use of an M32. Our international all-female team will be in Bermuda to gain as much experience as possible in the M32s as well as enjoying the current America’s Cup excitement in Bermuda and racing on the 'Great Sound'."

2016 World Match Racing Tour, Tour Card Skipper Sally Barkow

Competing against Barkow is Newport based Volvo Ocean Race skipper, Charlie Enright. He and Mark Towill will be racing as their own team, 11th-hour Racing; 
"After the Volvo Ocean Race, we have been looking for ways to keep some members of our team together and the M32 Series Bermuda is a natural fit: exciting racing, close to our east coast base, and on the M32 which is really taking off as an exciting class in the sport. We look forward to this new challenge and to pushing the other teams on the Great Sound!”

Charlie Enright will be racing alongside Mark Towill as their own team; 11th-hour Racing

Completing the full line-up for the first event are private owners Mikkel Rossberg and Olli- Pekka from Denmark, Don Wilson from the United States and M32 Series founder Håkan Svensson from Sweden.

For the second race of the Series from 19-21 February, five-time match racing world champion Ian Williams will be joining the fleet with his new GAC Pindar branded M32. The Bermuda Series will provide valuable training time for Williams and his team with their the M32 in preparation for the opening event of the World Match Racing Tour in March;

“Team GAC Pindar are very much looking forward to sailing in the M32 Bermuda Series this winter.  With the World Match Racing Tour transitioning into the M32 it will give us a great opportunity to hone our skills ready for the 2016 World Tour, besides which it will be great fun sailing the boats in Bermuda!”

Darrell's Island in Bermuda

To provide the easy launching of the fleet in Bermuda, the M32 team have been loaned the use of Darrell’s Island, a small island in the southeast of the Great Sound. Owned by the Bermuda Government, Darrell’s Island was formerly used as a flying boat station during the second world war for BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) In 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill famously visited Bermuda on his return from Washington DC, landing briefly at Darrell’s Island before making the transatlantic journey to Great Britain.

M32 Series Bermuda 2016
Event 1       8-10 January
Event 2       19-21 February
Event 3       11-13 March
Event 4       15-17 April

For more information, visit www.m32series.com

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Comanche story with Ken Read

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2015, Photo Credit Studio Borlenghi
Take a look at the 100ft carbon sloop Comanche built for Jim and Kristy Clark. From the first layers of carbon being layed in to the hull at Hodgdon's yard in Maine to her first offshore passage from Newport to Charleston, SC.

Το πήρε με την δεύτερη... Κανονιά για το Comanche στο 71o Rolex Sydney Hobart

Συγχαρητήρια Comanche, για την κανονιά στο 71ο Rolex Sydney Hobart! Επίσημος Χρόνος: 2 days 9hrs 58min 30 sec.
Comanche in action. Photo Credit Andrea Francolini
Το Comanche με κυβερνήτη τον Ken Read, μετά από έναν τρομερό αγώνα που είχε πολλές ζημίες που είτε οδήγησαν σε εγκαταλείψεις είτε σε μειωμένη απόδοση από πολλά σκάφη τα κατάφερε. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Battle of the Walking Wounded

//source: RSHYR media//
Can this 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart become any more convoluted – is Steven Spielberg directing this thing?  

Last night the race was turned on its head when the American super maxi Comanche hit something off the NSW south coast and sheared off most of her starboard-side daggerboard and rudder. This, just hours after the withdrawal of her principal Australian challenger, Wild Oats XI, should have been the defining moment of the dash for line honours.

Comanche’s compatriot rival, Rambler, seized the moment, scooting past into the lead, opening a six-mile lead over the pre-race favourite.

Comanche’s skipper Ken Read pressed on anyway, determined to at least to “finish this damned race”, but surely line honours was now beyond the stricken super maxi.

Except, this afternoon, Comanche staged a dramatic comeback, slowly reeling in her smaller rival, and eventually regaining the lead. What was happening? Had the guys on Comanche pulled off some sort of miraculous jury rig?

Not quite. Somehow, in the vast sweep of Bass Strait, Rambler had found her very own submerged object, twisting and bending her starboard side daggerboard.

“We have no idea what we hit, we couldn’t see it,” Rambler’s Australian navigator Andrew Cape said by satellite phone a short time ago. “It might have been marine life or flotsam, but it was a solid hit. It shook the boat.

“Our port tack performance has been badly affected, and it is all upwind to Tasman Island, so we have a lot of pain to come.”

Cape estimates that they have lost about 10 percent of their speed on port tack and, because they can’t lift the daggerboard, they are losing a bit on starboard tack as well. “It’s tricky,” Cape says, “ä serious structural problem impeding our boat speed.

“I don’t know what will happen overall. We’ll just try to get the shifts right and do our best.”

So right now we have an American two-horse race, and both horses are running with broken legs. The same broken leg.

Meanwhile, the last standing Australian super maxi, Ragamuffin 100, is slowly closing in. At 30 miles astern of the race leaders this afternoon, her close duel with the Italian V70 Maserati looked to be a fight over third place. Rags has cut the deficit to 26 miles, and there is still a long way to go to Hobart.

Will the Americans stagger up the Derwent side by side?

Will Ragamuffin 100 pull off a home-town upset? Or could Maserati?

Is there a malevolent sunfish roaming Bass Strait, looking to strike again?

If it was in a movie you wouldn’t believe it.


By Jim Gale, RSHYR media

Race Organiser Notes

  • Jaffa - Retired - Engine problems
  • Ark323 - Retired
  • CEX Dolce - Retired - Broken mast
  • China Easyway - Retired - Sail Damage
  • Cougar II - Retired
  • Dare Devil - Retired - rudder damage - returning to Sydney
  • Dekadence - Retired - Electrical problems
  • Frantic - Retired - Torn Mainsail
  • Great Xpectations - Retired
  • Haspa Hamburg - Retired - Rig damage
  • Hollywood Boulevard - Retired - Hull Damage
  • KLC Bengal 7 - Retired - Mainsail damage
  • Koa - Retired - Steering damage
  • Lupa of London - Retired
  • M3 - Retired - Broken Forestay
  • Patrice - Retired - Mainsail damage
  • Pazazz - Retired - Mainsail damage
  • Perpetual Loyal - Retired - Rudder damage
  • Pretty Fly III - Retired - Broken forestay
  • St Jude - Retired - Rudder damage
  • Triton - Retired - Mainsail Damage
  • Victoire - Retired
  • Wild Oats XI - Retired- Mainsail damage

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Foiling made easy

The dream of high-performance full-foiling racing has become that much more attainable with the introduction of the Waszp, a mass-produced one-design that sells for under $12,000, about half the price of a Moth. 
The Waszp comes from the drawing board of Aussie designer Andrew McDougall, creator of the cutting-edge Mach 2 foiling Moth, and features the same basic technology, including a wand system that links to the forward foil and an adjustable tiller to control lift aft.
The Waszp has also been made a bit more user friendly, thanks to the addition of some volume in the bow and stern, in the event the boat falls off its foils while maneuvering. Beyond that it features a hinged winged system that can be adjusted to suit a skipper’s particular sailing style and its extruded aluminum foils have been optimized to maximize overall performance and promote “early lift-off” for sailors weighing up to 220lb. Hey, I weigh less than that, can I have one? 


Final Four Skippers Announced for 2016 World Match Racing Tour

The World Match Racing Tour today announced the remaining four ‘Tour Card’ skippers that will join the 2016 World Championship. 

Yann Guichard (FRA), Mattias Rahm (SWE), Nicolai Sehested (DEN), and the first ever all-female Tour Card team to be led by Sally Barkow (USA) complete the list of ten appointed Tour Card Skippers for 2016.
Making his first ever appearance on the World Match Racing Tour, former Olympic sailor Yann Guichard from France is well known to the multihull world following multiple campaigns including the Rolex Fastnet Race and Multi One Championship. In 2011, Guichard co-founded Spindrift Racing with partner Donatella Bertarelli and the team are currently attempting to break the Jules Verne Trophy for the fastest non-stop circumnavigation of the globe on board the maxi trimaran Spindrift 2;

"Multihulls are embedded in Spindrift racing’s DNA and I have always been drawn to match racing. With the introduction of multihulls, the World Match Racing Tour now truly offers a unique opportunity to combine both aspects. The World Tour will constitute a major sporting goal for Spindrift racing in 2016.” Yann Guichard, Skipper Spindrift Racing

Double Olympian and former America’s Cup helmsman Mattias Rahm, SWE is no stranger to match racing after winning the Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand in 2007. More recently, he has turned his skill to multihull racing, winning the first M32 Scandinavian Series in 2013, and finishing second in 2014 and 2015;

"After a couple of years focusing on the M32 Scandinavian Series, it is great to be back on WMRT to fight for championship title against the world’s best match racers!" commented Rahm.

Danish match racer Nicolai Sehested and his TREFOR Match Racing Team returns to the World Match Racing Tour in 2016 following his role on board Team Vestas in the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race. In his brief participation in this years World Match Racing Tour, Sehested and his team won the Energa Sopot Match Race in Poland, and the team are now focused on adapting to the multihulls for 2016;

“We are delighted about joining the World Match Racing Tour next year with TREFOR Match Racing. We know the competition will be tough but we are excited to be part of the new World Tour format in the multihulls and we have a fantastic team to take us all the way to the finals!.”

Completing the skipper line up is US born Sally Barkow. A former Olympic sailor and two-time US Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, Barkow has earned her racing stripes both inshore and offshore, most recently on board the all-female Team SCA in the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race;

"It has been a dream of ours to race on the World Match Racing Tour ever since we were awarded our first wild card to race in the 2005 Monsoon Cup. Now finally, our timing is right. We have built a strong International team and after racing around the world we can't wait to get back on the water and into the multihulls!.”

The full line up of 10 Tour Card Skippers will kick off the start of the 2016 World Match Racing Tour season in Perth, Australia from 2nd-7thMarch. They will be joined by a further 10 teams at each event on the Tour schedule, those teams gaining entry through a series of ‘World Tour Event’ qualifying regattas. Interested skippers and teams should contact the World Match Racing Tour office for availability at info@wmrt.com

2016 World Match Racing Tour Championship Schedule:
Fremantle, Perth, Australia, March 2nd-7th
Long Beach, Los Angeles, USA, April 5th-10th
Undisclosed Venue, April 18th-23rd (TBC)
Copenhagen, Denmark, May 9th-14th
Newport, RI, USA, May 31st-June 4th
World Championship Finals, Marstrand, Sweden, July 4th-9th

2016 Tour Card Skippers:
Ian Williams, GBR
Björn Hansen, SWE
Taylor Canfield, ISV
Keith Swinton, AUS
Phil Robertson, NZL
Eric Monnin, SUI
Yann Guichard, FRA
Mattias Rahm, SWE
Sally Barkow, USA
Nicolai Sehested, DEN